11

Indoctrination

 

I have always been pretty conservative.  Well, at least since the age of seven when I backed Barry Goldwater in 1964.  In college I often clashed with liberal professors.  I recall one education professor who went off on a leftist rant in class.  I stood it as long as I could and then yelled out, “That is garbage sir, pure garbage!”  The shocked look on my classmates was classic!  He graded my work in the course as an A anyway.  I have to hand it to all the liberal professors that I battled, that none of them downgraded me because of my stances.  Judging from the following at Instapundit, times have changed for the worse:

 

THEY OUGHT TO BE FIRED: It’s back to school time, and progressive professors at Washington State University are gearing up to suppress speech they personally find “offensive,” such as saying “illegal alien,” using the terms “male” or “female,” or failing to “defer” to the “experiences of people of color”:

In his “Introduction to Multicultural Literature,” for example, professor John Streamas informs students in his syllabus that he expects white students who want “to do well in this class” to “reflect” their “grasp of history and social relations” by “deferring to the experiences of people of color.”

The taxpayer-funded critical studies professor also writes in his syllabus that Glenn Beck is a member of a group of “insensitive whites.”

Streamas, who obtained his Ph.D. at Bowling Green State University, is most notable because he told a student who supports limits on illegal immigration: “You are just a white shitbag.” . . .

A second Washington State faculty member, Selena Lester Breikss, warns students in her “Women & Popular Culture” course this semester that they risk “failure for the semester” if they use the terms “male” or “female.” . . .

“Students will come to recognize how white privilege functions in everyday social structures and institutions,” Breikss adds.

Finally, not to be outdone, Washington State American studies professor Rebecca Fowler similarly warns students that she will lower their grades if they utter the phrase “illegal alien” at any time in her “Introduction to Comparative Ethnic Studies” course.

The taxpayer-funded Fowler proclaims that she bans students from using the phrase “illegal alien” because the Associated Press stylebook “no longer sanctions the term.”

The Associated Press stylebook is purely an advisory publication for professional journalists. It has no force of law whatsoever. . . . Public university students who dare to use the phrase “illegal alien” “will suffer a deduction of one point per incident,” Fowler warns.

Apparently these sensitive little snowflake professors cannot tolerate any disagreement. For their failure to tolerate a diversity of views and engage in actual teaching (rather than proselytizing), they should be terminated for “cause.” Parents and students should avoid this university at all costs, unless/until the University’s administration takes appropriate disciplinary action to ensure that all viewpoints are welcomed, even those that are “offensive.” It’s called “free speech,” and yes, it protects offensive speech, too. Continue Reading

14

Bear Growls: Egg Gate

 

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Our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear analyzes the context of the Pope’s seeming endorsement of gay themed kid books:

More on Egg-Gate: The Gay Storybook and the Pope

 
In the interests of good journalism, the Bear wouldn’t write anything at all. But we’re way beyond that by now, woodland creatures. So here is a consolidation of information scattered through the Bear’s previous story and comments on the apparent endorsement by Pope Francis of a children’s book promoting homosexuality.

It all started in June, when the new mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, banned 49 books from the city’s preschool libraries. After a major controversy erupted, he rescinded the ban on all but two books, one of which was Piccolo Uovo.

Gay Penguins, Lesbian Rabbits, and a Rainbow

Piccolo Uovo, or “Little Egg,” is a children’s book written by Francesca Pardi. Among the fans of the book is gay pop icon Elton John, who, along with his male partner, have obtained two little boys, four-year-old Zachary and two-year-old Elijah. The book-banning became an international incident when Sir Elton blasted Brugnaro in the press. He described Piccolo Uovo this way:

Here is one of the Furnish-John family’s favourite storybooks. It champions an all-inclusive world where families come in all shape, sizes and colours. And most importantly, that families are about love. Our boys adore it.

Piccolo Uovo also champions families headed by gay penguins and lesbian rabbits.

It is important to note that this whole situation unfolded against the backdrop of a high-profile controversy. There is every reason to believe the Vatican was aware of this controversy. As we shall see, the Vatican had in its possession pro-homosexual books by the author sent by the author herself. The point to remember is that the response by the Vatican was done with eyes wide open.

At some point, the author of the book, Francesca Pardi, sent an unknown number of copies of her books to Pope Francis. They included seven or eight books expressly dealing with homosexual issues. Accompanying them was a plaintive letter that Pardi showed to a reporter from The Guardian. According to that newspaper, her letter included the following plea:

Many parishes across the country are in this period sullying our name and telling falsehoods about our work which deeply offends us,” she wrote. “We have respect for Catholics … A lot of Catholics give back the same respect, why can’t we have the whole hierarchy of the church behind us?

Pardi was surprised to hear back from the Vatican.  In a letter dated July 9, Msgr. Peter B. Wells, a senior official in the Vatican secretariat, wrote back on behalf of the Pope. It said:

His holiness is grateful for the thoughtful gesture and for the feelings which it evoked, hoping for an always more fruitful activity in the service of young generations and the spread of genuine human and Christian values.

Msgr. Wells, an American, was appointed to his position by Pope Benedict. According to Vatican-watcher John Allen, Wells is far more than an ordinary functionary. He is a bellwether of Vatican opinion and a man of significant influence. In 2013, Allen wrote this in the National Catholic Reporter of Wells.

Cables revealed as part of the Wikileaks scandal show how much diplomats rely on Wells for readings of the Vatican’s take on sensitive issues, such as the church’s sexual abuse scandals. Other players know the score, too. In 2010, when parishioners in Boston wanted to appeal the closing of nine local parishes, they consulted a couple of canon lawyers about the best way to get the pope’s attention, and the reply was to address the petition to Wells.

Msgr. Wells seems like the last fellow to do something that did not reflect the Pope’s sentiments.

After the Guardian story broke on Friday, the Vatican Press Office issued issued a terse statement which placed responsibility for the letter squarely on Msgr. Wells. It did not mention homosexuality specifically, but explained the letter was not meant to endorse anything “not in line with the Gospel.” “In no way does the letter from the Secretariat of State mean to endorse behaviour and teachings not in line with the Gospel.”

The letter from Wells to Pardi on behalf of Pope Francis was also supposed to private.

The emerging narrative is that this was merely a polite, routine letter to an author of children’s books. The problem with this is that it completely ignores the context, which in this case, is everything.

Analysis

So what happened?

First of all, note that Pardi’s letter discusses the controversy and expressly asks for support of “the whole hierarchy of the Church.” In other words, she is asking the Pope — to whom she sent the letter and the books — to take her side in the controversy. And that’s exactly what she got, albeit in very careful language.

Second, the letter on behalf of the Pope speaks for itself. How the Vatican Press Office imagines one can praise an author for children’s books that favor homosexuality and yet not endorse “behavior and teachings not in line with Gospel,” is quite the mystery. Clearly, this is damage control to shift the blame to Wells and backtrack when the Guardian made the papal endorsement public. lt seems to have worked. The accepted narrative is that this was just a routine, polite letter to an author of children’s books, and the Pope had nothing to do with it.

Yet Wells obviously felt he had the authority to speak on behalf of Pope Francis on a well-known controversy involving a children’s book featuring gay penguins.  It would take a real Vaticanista to know if Wells would do that without the Pope’s knowledge, but it seems unlikely to the Bear. If this had been some under-the-radar thing, the Vatican might plead ignorance. This was a matter of controversy, however, as shown by the public record, Pardi’s letter and the books she sent.

It is interesting to consider once again John Allen’s assessment of Wells. “[D]iplomats rely on Wells for readings of the Vatican’s take on sensitive issues.” This is a man acutely sensitive to his boss’s positions. How likely is it that Wells misread Pope Francis on the controversial book?

Well’s letter is admittedly pretty generic. (Query: does praise for spreading “genuine human and Christian values” seem odd coming from the Vatican?) Even so, it is blandly encouraging to an author who writes storybooks on lesbian rabbits for children. This is really the bottom line.

As the Bear asked in the previous story, what would it take to get Msgr. Wells, on behalf of the Pope, to encourage the aggressively orthodox Catholicism contained in this blog? The sun standing still comes to mind, but probably not even that. And yet Francesca Pardi gets an attagirl from Pope Francis for writing Elton John’s and David Furnish’s favorite gay storybook.

This might be dismissed as an aberration were it not for Pope Francis’ — and indeed most of the hierarchy’s — famous tolerance for sexual deviance. This is the “Who am I to Judge” papacy, the “Bravo!” Church. Pope Francis’ priorities do not include teaching on the evils of abortion, homosexuality and contraception. He is a “son of the Church,” but finds “it is not necessary to talk of these issues all the time.” Or, as it turns out, any of the time.

This is not gratuitous criticism of the Pope. It recalls the context which makes it seem plausible that Pope Francis told Wells to “send a nice letter to the lady who writes about love and acceptance for children with gay parents.” So whatever the details of this scandal, in a real sense, Pope Francis owns it.

Continue Reading

17

PopeWatch: Questions

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The Pope will be visiting this country later this month.  If PopeWatch were able to, he would ask the Pope these three questions:

 

  1. You have confirmed the existence of a gay lobby in the Vatican.  What steps have you taken to eliminate its influence?
  2.  You have written about people who have a naïve faith in the workings of the market place.  Do you have a naïve faith in the state regulating the economy?
  3.  Do you have any opinion as to why the economy of Venezuela is in melt down?  Does it surprise you that the daughter of Hugo Chavez is reputed to be a billionaire?

Continue Reading

7

Myths of MacArthur: Dugout Doug

Dugout Doug MacArthur lies ashaking on the Rock

Safe from all the bombers and from any sudden shock

Dugout Doug is eating of the best food on Bataan

And his troops go starving on.

Dugout Doug’s not timid, he’s just cautious, not afraid

He’s protecting carefully the stars that Franklin made

Four-star generals are rare as good food on Bataan

And his troops go starving on.

Dugout Doug is ready in his Kris Craft for the flee

Over bounding billows and the wildly raging sea

For the Japs are pounding on the gates of Old Bataan

And his troops go starving on…

Anonymous, 1942

Over the next few years we will be taking a look at General Douglas MacArthur, concentrating on his rule of Japan and his role in the Korean War.  A larger than life figure even while he lived, MacArthur has always sparked strong hate and love.  A number of myths have cropped up about Macarthur, and several posts will deal with dispelling these myths, so that we can look at him in the cold light of historical fact.  The first myth up is that of Dugout Doug.

The myth of Dugout Doug contends that MacArthur was a coward, who refused to share the dangers of his troops on Bataan, and fled from them, leaving them to endure defeat and brutal captivity, often ending in their deaths.

It is probably accurate to say that MacArthur was not a brave man.  In order to be brave, in a physical sense, one must know a fear of physical pain or death.  Some men simply have no such fear.  George Washington did not.  Throughout the French and Indian War and the American Revolution he constantly exposed himself to enemy fire while he led from the front, to the terror of his aides, who were brave men.  They marveled that Washington showed no sign of fear, and his only reaction to being fired upon was a look of minor annoyance. Continue Reading

16

Cardinal Kasper Debates John the Baptist

 

John the Baptist:  For Herod himself had sent and apprehended John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias the wife of Philip his brother, because he had married her.

Cardinal Kasper:  Often pastors want to control human life. It’s clericalism.  They don’t trust people and therefore don’t respect the conscience of people.

John the Baptist:  For John said to Herod: It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’ s wife.

Cardinal Kasper:  Of course, we have to give guidelines from the Gospel and remind people of the commandments of the Lord, but then we should trust that the Holy Spirit is working in the hearts and in the conscience of our people.

 John the Baptist:  But Herod the tetrarch, when he was reproved by him for Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done;  he added this also above all, and shut up John in prison.

Cardinal Kasper:  Therefore divorced and remarried people should find a good priest confessor who accompanies them for some time and if this second, civil marriage, is solid then the path of new orientation can end with a confession and absolution.  Absolution means admission to Holy Communion.   Continue Reading

6

Line of Grace

Saint Stephen Colbert

Line of Grace

Oh, what a picture Father Barron paints!
Grace has descended in a nice, straight line
through a whole crew of lovely British saints
to glorious Colbert. To see this sign
is to appreciate all that’s Divine.
Colbert can quote The Silmarillion
and Tolkien’s letters. What delight is mine —
for I too think Tolkien is lots of fun!
All of my prejudices are undone.
A broader mind is what I am acquiring.
Under God’s great and even-handed sun,
apologists are well and widely hiring.
Catholicism’s good, Colbert is good.
Let’s all stick up now for Planned Parenthood!

–Tom Riley

3

PopeWatch: In the Round

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From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:

 

Members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops announced that they have approved an initiative to “round out” all remaining traditionally built churches by the end of next year, USCCB secretary to the president bishop Jonathon Garner announced early this morning.

“This is a long time coming,” an ecstatic Garner told EOTT. “We’re excited to finally give all parishioners the opportunity to finally get more involved in the Mass.”

Garner also said that during the renovation, parishioners would be invited to “come together as one family by sitting around the altar,” which, he emphasized, was one of the most essential aspects of Mass participation.

“Christ did not ask the disciples to sit behind him or even in front of him during the Last Supper,”  Garner said. “No, he asked them to gather around the table, as we can clearly see in Leonardo di Vinci’s painting of the Last Supper. And by having them gather together, he was able to remind them of what clearly is most important part of the Mass: awkwardly staring at the person across the other end of the church for a full hour. I’m sorry, what did I just say? I meant ‘gathering together.’ Yeah, that’s it…gathering and stuff.”

The initiative also applies to Tridentine parishes where the priest is expected to say the Mass with his back facing the congregation. When asked how the “restructuring” could be done while still preserving the integrity of the Latin Mass, Garner suggested that the women simply turn their mantillas around until they completely covered their faces.

“That way, they can simply imagine the priest’s back is facing them, I don’t know…who cares? Bunch of freaks anyway. I’m sorry what did I just say? I meant ‘we’ll look into it.’” Continue Reading

4

The Strife is O’er

 

Something for the weekend. THE STRIFE IS O’ER, THE BATTLE DONE.  The words were written by that most prolific of authors, anonymous, in the 12th century.  The music is from Palestrina’s Magnificat Tertii Toni.  This was all brought together by William Henry Monk in 1861 to produce this glorious hymn that celebrates that for faithful Christians death has no ultimate victory.

  1. The strife is o’er, the battle done;
    The victory of life is won;
    The song of triumph has begun:
    Alleluia!
  2. The pow’rs of death have done their worst;
    But Christ their legions has dispersed;
    Let shouts of holy joy outburst:
    Alleluia!
  3. The three sad days are quickly sped;
    He rises glorious from the dead;
    All glory to our risen Head:
    Alleluia!
  4. He closed the yawning gates of hell;
    The bars from heav’n’s high portals fell;
    Let hymns of praise His triumphs tell:
    Alleluia!
  5. Lord, by the stripes which wounded You,
    In us You’ve won the vict’ry too,
    That we may live, and sing to You:
    Alleluia!
16

Bear Growls: Crazy Time

 

Do you ever get the feeling that you are living in a pontificate scripted like an old Monty Python skit?  I certainly do, and I think our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear agrees with me:

The Holy Father has sent a letter praising Francesca Pardi for a children’s book in which an egg encounters all sorts of different families, including those headed by gay penguins and lesbian rabbits. The controversial book, which was banned in Venice, touched hearts at the Vatican. According to an article in The Guardian, the letter said:

“His holiness is grateful for the thoughtful gesture and for the feelings which it evoked, hoping for an always more fruitful activity in the service of young generations and the spread of genuine human and Christian values,” wrote Peter B Wells, a senior official at the Vatican secretariat of state.

This is what John Allen wrote in the National Catholic Reporter of the appointee of Pope Benedict:

Cables revealed as part of the Wikileaks scandal show how much diplomats rely on Wells for readings of the Vatican’s take on sensitive issues, such as the church’s sexual abuse scandals. Other players know the score, too. In 2010, when parishioners in Boston wanted to appeal the closing of nine local parishes, they consulted a couple of canon lawyers about the best way to get the pope’s attention, and the reply was to address the petition to Wells.

 

Msgr. Wells

Wells, an American, is known as the guy whose ear you want when you want the Pope’s ear. He is not some low-level functionary.

The Bear will say this, after taking a deep breath. In all charity, obviously, this was not the doings of Pope Francis. The Vatican Secretariat of State may have its own agenda. People are always taking advantage of poor Holy Father, by shoving anti-fracking T-shirts or commiefixes into his hands, or misquoting him, or making up stories about phone calls they supposedly received from him.

This is a boilerplate letter, and the Pope probably never even saw the book. (The author apparently submitted her entire oeuvre, including seven or eight dealing with homosexual issues, along with a plaintive letter.)

How does the Bear know Pope Francis is innocent?

Because not even Pope Francis would approve of a book for young, impressionable children promoting homosexuality. Only a flat-out homosexual activist would abuse his position for such a purpose. This would constitute material assistance — through his endorsement — for a book even secular authorities found repulsive, a book that promotes homosexuality and same-sex unions to young children. “Woe to those who do; woe, woe to those who approve.”

Also, if he had, Michael Voris would have done a Vortex about it. Because if there’s one thing Michael Voris hates, it’s bishops who approve of homosexuality.

The Bear predicts that within 48 hours, we will see a retraction from the Vatican. And thus shall we know that the problem we have at Santa Marta is not a horror beyond all imagining.

UPDATE: Friday, the Vatican Press Office said: “In no way does the letter from the Secretariat of State mean to endorse behaviour and teachings not in line with the Gospel.” Oh, and it was supposed to be private. (The Bear isn’t some big shot diplomat, but if you decide to weigh in on a controversy Elton John has thrown a hissy fit about, chances are the aggrieved author is not going to keep a papal endorsement letter private. Just a hint for future reference, gentlemen.)

Well, there you go! This:

His holiness is grateful for the thoughtful gesture and for the feelings which it evoked, hoping for an always more fruitful activity in the service of young generations and the spread of genuine human and Christian values,”

in reference to books promoting homosexuality to children is clearly not “endorsing” their content! What do you think the Bear’s chances are of getting Msgr. Wells to issue a similar statement on behalf of the Pope regarding this blog?

“Bear, His holiness is grateful for your tireless ursine activity in the service of the Church, and the spread of genuine Bearish and Christian values.”

Nah. If the Bear were aiming at first-graders to teach them what a great thing it was for homosexuals to co-habitate and obtain children was, he might have a chance. Continue Reading

35

Requiescat in Pace: Chris Bissey

Chris and Family

“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:”

John 11:25

My secretary and office manager Chris Bissey passed away in the early hours of this morning, age 51, ending her over two years fight against cancer.  I have seen many a valiant fight against cancer in my life, including that of my mother who died at 48 on Easter Sunday 1984, but never a braver one than that fought by Chris.  Throughout her ordeal her spirit was ever unbroken, she usually cheering up those around her.  She was bright and optimistic, just as she had been throughout her life.  She worked up until Wednesday of this week, telling the Grim Reaper that she had tasks to attend to and he could just wait until she was ready.

She worked for me for thirty years.  I called her my secret weapon.  If I needed a hearing scheduled and she was told that it was impossible, she would get it scheduled anyway.  Astonished Judges often asked me how I managed to get a hearing set before them on a date when they said no more settings.  I replied that it was by black magic, black magic that went by the name of Chris Bissey.  She routinely did the impossible for me, imposing order on hundreds of open files, typing up my endless documents at lightning speed, making friends among courthouse staffs and charming all who came into my office and called on the phone.  It was a rare week when I did not receive at least one compliment in regard to Chris.

She was much more to me however than a secretary.  She was also a good friend.  Over the years we looked out for each other and helped each other through our triumphs and our tragedies.  Outside of my immediate family, no person was closer to me than Chris. Continue Reading

5

PopeWatch: Audiences

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Father Z brings us this interesting factoid:

Shortly after the election of Pope Francis, the Wednesday General Audience and the Sunday Angelus made the area around San Pietro a complete madhouse.  I would usually be at the Augustinianum at those times for study or for lunch with a friend and I experienced it myself.

Then, over the next couple years, I noticed that it was easier and easier to get around near San Pietro at those times.  Fewer people were coming.

For the 100th general audience of Pope Francis’ pontificate, the Prefecture of the Papal Household released the average attendance of audiences from 51,6K in 2013 to 14,8K in 2015.  HERE

 

From Sandro Magister:

In occasione della centesima udienza generale [On the occasion of the 100th general audience] del pontificato di papa Francesco, mercoledì 26 agosto, la prefettura della casa pontificia ha comunicato che a questi cento appuntamenti hanno preso parte in totale 3.147.600 persone, così distribuite anno dopo anno:

– 1.548.500 i presenti alle 30 udienze del 2013,
– 1.199.000 i presenti alle 43 udienze del 2014,
– 400.100 i presenti alle 27 udienze del 2015.

Questo significa che anno dopo anno la media dei presenti a ciascuna udienza è stata la seguente: [the average at each audience]

– 51.617 persone nel 2013,
– 27.883 persone nel 2014,
– 14.818 persone nel 2015.

Quindi ogni nuovo anno con la metà di presenze dell’anno precedente. [Each year, half the number of the year before.]

Nè le vacche magre sembrano scongiurate, visto che alla centesima udienza di mercoledì scorso è stato comunicato che sono accorsi solo “in più di diecimila”.  [at the 100th there were “more than 10K”]

La foto sopra è stata scattata durante l’udienza generale di mercoledì 11 febbraio 2015, che era anche la festa della Madonna di Lourdes e la giornata del malato, con l’afflusso di delegazioni dell’Unitalsi.  [Photo at the audience of 11 Feb 2015, Day of the Sick.]

 

Benedict’s audiences exceeded those of John Paul II at times.

The square is emptier and emptier.

And it’s not because of the general secularization.

Romans aren’t going either, so it isn’t the economic slump. Continue Reading

8

Without God, Everything is Permissible

 

 

“If God does not exist, everything is permitted.”

  Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

 

A civilization where belief in God is on the wane, is a civilization where people are merely objects and will be treated as such.  The greatest thinkers of the human race have understood this.  Benjamin Franklin, who was far from being an orthodox Christian, saw what the world would be like without religion in a letter dated December 13, 1757:

Dear Sir,

I have read your manuscript with some attention. By the argument it contains against a particular Providence, though you allow a general Providence, you strike at the foundations of all religion. For, without the belief of a Providence that takes cognisance of, guards, and guides, and may favor particular persons, there is no motive to worship a Deity, to fear his displeasure, or to pray for his protection. I will not enter into any discussion of your principles, though you seem to desire it. At present I shall only give you my opinion that, though your reasons are subtle, and may prevail with some readers, you will not succeed so as to change the general sentiments of mankind on that subject, and the consequence of printing this piece will be, a great deal of odium drawn upon yourself, mischief to you, and no benefit to others. He that spits against the wind spits in his own face.

But were you to succeed, do you imagine any good would be done by it? You yourself may find it easy to live a virtuous life, without the assistance afforded by religion; you having a clear perception of the advantage of virtue, and the disadvantages of vice, and possessing a strength of resolution sufficient to enable you to resist common temptations. But think how great a portion of mankind consists of weak and ignorant men and women, and of inexperienced, inconsiderate youth of both sexes, who have need of the motives of religion to restrain them from vice, to support their virtue, and retain them in the practice of it till it becomes habitual, which is the great point for its security. And perhaps you are indebted to her originally, that is to your religious education, for the habits of virtue upon which you now justly value yourself. You might easily display your excellent talents of reasoning upon a less hazardous subject, and thereby obtain a rank with our most distinguished authors. For among us it is not necessary, as among the Hottentots, that a youth, to be raised into the company of men, should prove his manhood by beating his mother.

I would advise you, therefore, not to attempt unchaining the tiger, but to burn this piece before it is seen by any other person, whereby you will save yourself a great deal of mortification by the enemies it may raise against you, and perhaps a great deal of regret and repentance. If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be if without it? Continue Reading

117

Bishop Elect Barron, Stephen Colbert and Abortion

 

Bishop Elect Barron has a post at Catholic News Report that rubs me the wrong way.  Here is the beginning:

 

Just last week, Stephen Colbert gave an interview in which the depth of his Catholic faith was on pretty clear display. Discussing the trauma that he experienced as a young man-the deaths of his father and two of his brothers in a plane crash – he told the interviewer how, through the ministrations of his mother, he had learned not only to accept what had happened but actually to rejoice in it: “Boy, did I have a bomb when I was ten; that was quite an explosion…It’s that I love the thing that I wish most had not happened.”

Flummoxed, his interlocutor asked him to elaborate on the paradox. Without missing a beat, Colbert cited J.R.R. Tolkien: “What punishments of God are not gifts?” What a wonderful sermon on the salvific quality of suffering! And it was delivered, not by a priest or bishop or evangelist, but by a comedian about to take over one of the most popular television programs on late night.

Go here to read the rest.  The problem that I have with this is that the Bishop-Elect fails to note that on a crucial issue, abortion, Colbert is in opposition to the Faith.  Go here to see a video in which Colbert ridicules the efforts in 2011 to defund Planned Parenthood Worse Than Murder, Inc. on the grounds that abortions make up only three percent of the business of Worse Than Murder, Inc.  There are two problems with this line of argument.  First, because it is morally obtuse:  “Look at all the good things that Hitler did!  Murdering millions of people in death camps was only a very small percentage of what the Third Reich accomplished!”  The fact that Planned Parenthood is engaged in killing innocent children in utero should be repugnant to any “good Catholic”, or, indeed, any man or woman of conscience.  Second, because it is a lie.  Colbert got the three percent figure from Planned Parenthood talking points.  The figure is ludicrous.  Planned Parenthood performs thirty percent of all abortions in this country.  Abortions are a major revenue generator for them.  Even the pro-abort Washington Post a few weeks ago, admitted that the three percent figure is deceitful:

The 3 percent figure that Planned Parenthood uses is misleading, comparing abortion services to every other service that it provides. The organization treats each service — pregnancy test, STD test, abortion, birth control — equally. Yet there are obvious difference between a surgical (or even medical) abortion, and offering a urine (or even blood) pregnancy test. These services are not all comparable in how much they cost or how extensive the service or procedure is.

The Church has been against abortion since the time of Christ.  Stephen Colbert defends the organization that promotes the ongoing murder of the most innocent among us.  Go here to watch a video of his drinking game, with a drink being taken whenever Rick Santorum mentioned partial birth abortion. Continue Reading

7

PopeWatch: Peronism

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Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa brings us more about the controversies of whether Pope Francis is a Peronist and just what being a Peronist means:

 

There has been a great deal of discussion over the idea of a “populist” and “Peronist” Jorge Mario Bergoglio, addressed in the two most recent articles from www.chiesa:

> Political Ecumenism. With the Technocrats and Anti-globalists (21.8.2015)
> From Perón to Bergoglio. With the People, Against Globalization (12.8.2015)

In particular the discussion has been over the description of Peronism and its multiform expressions presented by Professor Marco Olivetti in an article published in “Avvenire” on the eve of the presidential primaries in Argentina last August 8, won with a wide margin by Daniel Scioli, the candidate of current president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner:

“Kirchnerism is the latest reincarnation of Peronism: after the original, vaguely fascistic form of Juan Domingo Perón and Evita; the free-market conservative form of the dying Perón and his third wife, Isabelita, during the 1970’s; and the neoliberal form of Carlos Menem during the 1990’s.

“It constitutes the socialistic variation, in continuity with the para-revolutionary groups that infested Argentina in the early 1970’s, and is upheld by traditional Peronist trade unionism. Its support is particularly high among persons with low incomes and little education.

“Its distinguishing mark is populism, identification with a good ‘people,’ now inflected according to the political terrain prevalent in much of Latin America, from the Venezuela of Chávez and his heirs to the Bolivia of Morales, from the Brazil of Lula and Dilma to the Ecuador of Correa, albeit with all the differences of the various cases.”

Olivetti is an expert on constitutions and political systems, and made no reference, in the article cited, to the political vision of Pope Francis.

But the most noted Italian expert on Latin America, Professor Loris Zanatta of the university of Bologna, has explicitly upheld a connection between Bergoglio and Peronist populism both in his latest book, “The Catholic nation. Church and dictatorship in the Argentina of Bergoglio” – published in Italy by Laterza and in Argentina by Editorial Sudamericana – and in this article published in the Argentine newspaper “La Nación” after the pope’s journey to Ecuador, Bolivia, and Paraguay:

> Un papa propenso a abrazar las raíces del populismo latinoamericano

Professor Olivetti has received a contentious reply from Buenos Aires, from a man with a deep understanding and appreciation of Peronsim, José Arturo Quarracino, in the message published in its entirety further below.

In addition to being a nephew and sharing the last name of the cardinal who as archbishop of Buenos Aires wanted Bergoglio as his auxiliary and snatched him out of “exile” in Córdoba, Quarracino has taught the history and evolution of political ideas at the faculty of economic sciences of the Universidad Nacional de Lomas de Zamora, and is an excellent translator of great authors like Romano Guardini, Gilbert Chesterton, Joseph Ratzinger, as well as of various articles from www.chiesa, including this one.

In replying to Olivetti he too makes no explicit reference to Bergoglio. And yet he gives a definition of Peronism that is perfectly in line with what Pope Francis has recently said in this regard.

This is what Quarracino writes:

“Peronism has always defined itself as a humanist and Christian movement, as a third philosophical and political movement next to free-market capitalism and Marxist totalitarianism. On the social, economic, and cultural level, many of its doctrinal postulates were explicitly founded on the principles of the social doctrine of the Church.”

While these are the pope’s words to Javier Cámara and Sebastián Pfaffen, authors of the book “Aquel Francisco” published last autumn in Córdoba, with regard to his interest in politics:

“In the formulation of Peronist doctrine there is a connection with the social doctrine of the Church. It must not be forgotten that Perón showed his speeches to Bishop Nicolás de Carlo of Resistencia in Chaco, so that he could look at them and tell him if they were in accord with the social doctrine of the Church.”

And again:

“Bishop de Carlo was a Peronist sympathizer, but also an excellent pastor. The one thing had nothing to do with the other. In April of 1948 Perón, from the balcony of the seminary in the central square of Resistencia, said at the end of his speech that he wanted to make one thing clear. He mentioned that they were accusing Bishop de Carlo of being a Peronist and said: ‘It is a great lie. It is Perón who is decarlista.’ De Carlo was the one who helped Perón with the social doctrine of the Church.”

Pope Bergoglio also said to the authors of “Aquel Francisco”:

“I have always been a political butterfly, always.”

And he explained:

“I come from a radical family, my uncle was a ‘radical of ’90’ [editor’s note: the party born from the revolutionary movement that overturned the ruling regime in 1890]. Then, as an adolescent, I also got a crush on the ‘zurdaje’ [editor’s note: Argentine term that indicates the left], reading books from the Communist Party that were given to me by my teacher Esther Ballestrino de Careaga, a great woman who had been secretary of the Partido revolucionario febrerista paraguayo.

“In those years the political culture was very lively. I liked to get in on everything. Between 1951 and 1952 I would wait anxiously for the arrival, three times a week, of the socialist militants who sold ‘La Vanguardia.’ And naturally I also frequented social justice groups. But I never signed up for any party.”

The “social justice groups” that Pope Francis said he frequented were precisely those of the followers of Perón, who called his own ideology “justicialista” – a blending of “justice” and “socialism” – and gave his party the name of “Partido justicialista”.

In the five pages of reminiscences that Pope Francis dedicates to politics in the book cited, there is not even one word that sounds the least bit critical of Perón, in spite of the anti-Catholic character of the end of his first presidency and the excommunication issued against him by Pius XII in 1955.

But here is Quarracino’s commentary on “true” Peronism, so similar to the political vision of Pope Francis.

______________

A POPULAR MOVEMENT, BUT NOT POPULIST

by José Arturo Quarracino

I.

Kirchnerism is not “the latest reincarnation of Peronism” – as Professor Marco Olivetti calls it – because it is by its nature a “subtle form of anti-Peronism,” or the “anti-Peronization of Peronism”: in fact, the content of its policies is completely opposed both to the policies historically implemented by Peronism and to its theoretical positions.

In general terms, Kirchnerism has kept alive until today the founding laws of the civic-military transformation of 1976 that turned Argentina into a neocolonial appendix of international financial power, as well as the concentration and outward projection of its economy and the role of single main export (soy) country.

For its part, historically speaking, Peronism opposed this predatory financial power, while Kirchnerism instead docilely submitted to this power and repaid with interest the plundering perpetrated from 1976 onward: more than two hundred billion dollars, with the paradox that today Argentina has a debt much higher than what it had at the beginning of Kirchnerist rule.

The ability of Kirchnerism consisted in putting into action a profoundly anti-Peronist and pro-colonialist politics, but under the disguise of Peronism. That is, in the name of Peronism it advanced a politics completely opposed to the theoretical postulates of Peronism.

Continue Reading

11

PopeWatch: Bergoglio Party

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Once you have made the World an end, and faith a means, you have almost won your man, and it makes very little difference what kind of worldly end he is pursuing. Provided that meetings, pamphlets, policies, movements, causes, and crusades, matter more to him than prayers and sacraments and charity, he is ours – and the more “religious” (on those terms) the more securely ours. I could show you a pretty cageful down here.

CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

 

 

Rorate Caeli brings us the musings of Antonio Socci, one of the keener observers of the Church in Italy on what he refers to as the Bergoglio Party:

 

To the courageous headline in yesterday’s “Libero” (“The Pope’s Party. The Vatican’s Political Shift”) only one idea should be added: the Bergoglio Party is one thing (which is doing harm, but will fade with him), the Catholic Church is another. The other day Matteo Salvini* rightly noted this in the polemics he had with Monsignor Galantino. Plus, the very caustic interview with Giovanni Sartori – the king of political analysts – helped clarify it all:

“To me, this Vatican that utters such nonsense is a disaster. They aren’t interested at all in the real facts and focus on very petty things”. [Note: Sartori also declared, “Galantino? To me, he seems… demented.”]

Sartori has always torn Italian politics to shreds, but to the Bergoglio Party he says: “Let me do the work of the political analyst – you attend to the things priests attend to”.
What would those “real facts” be that the priests should be attending to? Sartori is merciless:

“for two years” – he says – those in Bergoglio’s Church haven’t said a word about the extermination of Christians, the slaughter of Catholics in Africa and the rest of the world, along with the continuous persecution of the Kurds. They should focus on these issues and leave alone the things that are not of their competence”.

It’s true that there are some shocking cases of Christians condemned to death for the faith – like Asia Bibi or Meriem – whom Bergoglio has always refused to mention.

But on the overall issue of the slaughter of Christians he has spoken several times. Yet, he has always done so, very late, in a generic way, without naming the causes or condemning the torturers and even – which is worse – delegitimizing the possibility of interventions by “international police” to protect the populations threatened by massacres (interventions that were desperately asked for by the bishops of those places).
When Bergoglio really cares about something he speaks of it in an earnest, vigorous way, continuously – even harshly. For example, on immigration [he says] that we – in his view – ought to welcome everyone en bloc, without saying a word – paying the costs of it.
Nothing of this sort has been seen in defense of the massacred Christians. For that matter, he has never skimped on words of esteem for the Islamic world, even going as far as pronouncing ecumenical concepts of dubious orthodoxy.
The tardy and generic words spent on the persecuted Christian communities are not in the least comparable to the care he has lavished – for example – on ecology. He wrote an encyclical to defend the survival of “algae, worms, small insects and reptiles” but for the persecuted Christians – nothing. He declared the 1st of September a world-day of prayer for the ecosystem, but for the massacred Christians – nothing (and they are the most persecuted human-group on the planet).
Obviously the ecological encyclical wasn’t only about worms and reptiles, but also thundered against the use of plastic cups and air-conditioners (which, however, is used in Santa Marta). By contrast, he has never hurled any thunder and bolts of lightning at the butchers of Christians.
Why does Bergoglio’s Party intervene in a hard-hitting way against Italian politicians, but not against the Islamic or Communist regimes where Christians are on the cross?
“The truth is that’s it’s easier (more comfortable) to shoot at politicians than defend Christians”, thunders Sartori who says of Bergoglio that “he is a cunning Argentinean and should have other immense questions on which to concentrate”.
Indeed, Sartori poses dramatic questions to the Vatican: “Is it more important to speak about the harem of parties, of the government and Parliament or of the religious wars spreading like wildfire all over planet Earth?”
For the Catholic Church it is more important to attend to Her persecuted [children]. Yet for the Bergoglio Party this seems not to be the case. And this – the political analyst continues – exposes “the Church, which is being made to look bad”.
The Bergoglio Party (which doesn’t care for faith and doctrine) is concentrated on politics – but not only Italian politics. They want to build for Bergoglio a sort of world political leadership of the leftist no-global ecologist type, as the survivors of the Italian Left keep saying (most of all, Bertinotti**, a fan of Bergoglio).
This is the reason for the rehabilitation and glorification in Rome of the old, disastrous Liberation Theology which John Paul II and Benedict XVI had rightly condemned.
However, the event that clarified this project the most – anticipated in 2014 by the meeting in the Vatican with the no-global movements (even the Leoncavallo Social Center ***was present) – was Bergoglio’s recent trip to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay.
Sandro Magister noted that on this trip “Francis didn’t hide his sympathy for the populist presidents of the first two countries, whereas with the third, he showed coldness, by even rebuking him publically for a crime that he had never committed, resoundingly misinterpreted by the Pope”.
For that matter, the emblematic image of that trip was the “Hammer and Sickle” (with a crucifix attached to it) which Bergoglio not only accepted as a gift from Morales (bringing it back to the Vatican with him), but – in its reproduction on the medallion – he even kept it around his neck to be seen by the world-wide media. Further, also round his neck – he kept the traditional Bolivian container for coca-leaves – another gift from Morales. Things never seen before.

Continue Reading

4

Quotes Suitable for Framing: GK Chesterton

War is an ugly thing

 

 

I cannot see how we can literally end War unless we can end Will. I cannot think that war will ever be utterly impossible; and I say so not because I am what these people call a militarist, but rather because I am a revolutionist. Absolutely to forbid fighting is to forbid what our fathers called “the sacred right of insurrection.” Against some decisions no self-respecting men can be prevented from appealing to fortune and to death.

GK Chesterton

Eagle on gravestone

18

PopeWatch: Elementary

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Father Z discusses two fairly elementary points, although many Catholics get them wrong:

 

Can a Catholic criticize the Pope? Or is it a mortal sin to do so?

Yes.

No. Not necessarily.

Catholics are obliged to have filial love for and obedience to our Holy Father. Neither that love nor that obedience are required to be blind or stupid.

Criticism of the Pope can become a mortal sin if one’s criticism is filled with a hatred and vitriol that shows a lack of respect or filial love for Our Sovereign Pontiff.  One must also consider to whom you show that lack of respect.  If by your words and actions you harm his reputation with others unjustly, you do him and them a grave wrong.  You also may be committing the sin of sacrilege.

The Pope is Christ’s Vicar, and deserves all the respect of that office.

The Pope is, however, not Christ. Nor does his charism of infallibility render him perfect in all his words and actions.

He may do things that are objectionable.  When he does, he can be criticized – respectfully.

But be careful in aiming criticism at the Pope.  Be careful to whom you open your mind or reveal your attitude.  Examine your conscience with brutal honesty, remembering that His Holiness has a perspective on the Church that we do not.

Catholics loves their Popes.  That doesn’t mean that we always like them or everything they do.

We should, however, avoid giving scandal.  Maintain respect for the Holy Father when speaking about him to others, heed his words on faith and morals, and give him obedience when it is called for. Continue Reading

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August 25, 1945: Captain John Birch Murdered

John Birch

Sometimes regarded as the first casualty of the Cold War, Captain John Birch died seventy years ago.  Born in 1918 in India to American Baptist missionaries, he followed in his parents’ footsteps by becoming a missionary in China in 1940.  After the Doolittle Raid he helped rescue some of the raiders who landed in China.  He was commissioned a First Lieutenant, later promoted to Captain, in the Fourteenth Air Force.  General Chennault, legendary founder of the Flying Tigers, got him to accept the commission by telling him that he could still function as a missionary in his off hours.   He performed intelligence missions behind enemy lines for the Army Air Corps and the OSS.  While on these missions he would conduct services for Chinese Christians.  He was utterly fearless, despising both the Japanese and the Chinese Communists.  He built up an extensive network of Chinese who passed along information to him about Japanese troop movements and shipping that he passed on to Chennault for bombing attacks.

On August 25, 1945, as he was leading a group of Americans, National Chinese and Koreans to liberate Allied personnel in a Japanese POW camp, he was ordered by a party of Chinese Communists, who had intercepted his group, to surrender his revolver.   Birch refused and was murdered by the Communists.  He was posthumously awarded a Distinguished Service Medal.  Dead at age 27, he had led a short but eventful life. Continue Reading

12

PopeWatch: Pope Francis and the Jesuits

 

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In an article in The Atlantic, author Paul Vallely looks at how Pope Francis changed as a result of his period of “internal exile” imposed upon him by the Jesuits:

 

 

As polarization grew between an atheist, anti-Church Left and a right wing that claimed to be acting in defense of the Church and its values, Bergoglio found that it was impossible to hold to a middle way. He cracked down on Liberation Theology inside the Jesuits. Progressives within the order accused him of de-facto collusion with the worldview of the Right, if not with its tactics. Looking back he admitted, in his first interview as pope: “I had to deal with difficult situations, and I made my decisions abruptly and by myself. My authoritarian and quick manner of making decisions led me to have serious problems and to be accused of being ultra-conservative.”

A titanic struggle for the soul of Catholicism ensued. Bergoglio had strong support within the Jesuits when he became provincial superior in 1973. But by the time he ended his leadership role as rector of Buenos Aires’s Jesuit seminary in 1986, those who loathed him had begun to outnumber those who loved him. By 1990, his support within the order had been eroded by his authoritarian style and his incorrigible inability, in the words of the Jesuit, Father Frank Brennan, “to let go the reins of office once a [Jesuit] provincial of a different hue was in the saddle.” Another senior Jesuit told me: “He drove people really crazy with his insistence that only he knew the right way to do things. Finally the other Jesuits said: ‘Enough.’”

By the time he was sent into exile, according to one senior Jesuit in Rome, around two-thirds of Argentina’s Jesuits had lost patience with him. In his first interview after becoming pope, Francis attributed this dynamic to his own “style of government as a Jesuit at the beginning. … I found myself provincial when I was still very young. I was only 36 years old. That was crazy.” As a young priest in powerful leadership positions, Bergoglio did not have the maturity he needed to cope with the competing pressures of Jesuit factions, the Vatican, and a ruthless military dictatorship.

In response to these cleavages within the Argentine Jesuit community, Jesuit leaders in Rome eventually decided to strip Bergoglio, then 50, of all responsibility. In 1990, he was sent to Cordoba to live in the Jesuit residence, pray, and work on his doctoral thesis. But he was not permitted to say Mass in public in the Jesuit church. He could only go there to hear confessions. He was not allowed to make phone calls without permission. His letters were controlled. His supporters were told not to contact him. The ostracism from his peers was to be complete.
In Cordoba, Bergoglio turned inward. His main public spiritual engagement was hearing confessions. He spent a lot of time looking out the window and walking the streets, from the Jesuit residence to the church along a road that passed through many different areas of the city. People from all walks of life—academics, students, lawyers, and ordinary folk—visited the church for the penitential sacrament. He found his interactions with the poor particularly moving.

“Cordoba was, for Bergoglio, a place of humility and humiliation,” said Father Guillermo Marco, who was later Bergoglio’s right-hand man on public affairs in the diocese of Buenos Aires. There seems to have been more to this than learning from experience. Francis later admitted to having made “hundreds of errors” in his time as leader of Argentina’s Jesuits. Cordoba was, he revealed in his first interview as pope, “a time of great interior crisis.”

In 1992, when Bergoglio returned to Buenos Aires as auxiliary bishop, he had totally remodeled his approach to being a leader. His style became delegatory and participative. And his manner was distinctly different. He developed what became one of his best-known habits: ending all encounters by asking the other person to pray for him.

For the new Bergoglio, humility was more like an intellectual stance than a personal temperament—a tool he developed in his struggle against what he had learned were the weaknesses in his own personality, with its rigid, authoritarian, and egotistical streaks. In Cordoba, Bergoglio had had two long years to reflect on his divisive leadership of the Jesuits in Argentina, and on what he had done wrong or inadequately during the Dirty War.

But the change came from more than that: History was also a major factor. The world has shifted around him. Bergoglio’s early politics were formed in the era of the Cold War, amid the fear that atheistic, Soviet-style communism would supplant both capitalism and Catholicism in Latin America, with Cuba as its toehold. But then the Berlin Wall came down. The Soviet Union and its empire collapsed. Mainstream Catholic teaching absorbed key insights from Liberation Theology—like the idea that sin does not just reside in the bad acts of individuals but can also become embedded in unbalanced economic structures. Globalization only internationalized that injustice. And this truth was brought home to Bergoglio most forcefully during the seismic economic crisis that seized Argentina in 2001, when half the population was plunged below the poverty line. Macroeconomic solutions engineered in Washington by the International Monetary Fund ratcheted up austerity policies that made life harder for the poorest. Bergoglio began to be highly critical of the economic formulas of modern capitalism; he was particularly critical of speculative financial markets for their ability to damage the real economy. Continue Reading

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August 23, 1865: Lincoln, Argentina

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Americans traveling through Argentina are sometimes surprised when they come across the town of Lincoln.  Founded in 1871, the name of the town was the result of a decree of the government of Argentina on August 23, 1865 which ordered that the employees of the government of Argentina observe three days of mourning for Lincoln and decreed that the next town founded be named in honor of Lincoln.  Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, President of Argentina from 1868-1874, was such an admirer of Lincoln, that he wrote the first biography of him in Spanish.

15

When Is News, Not News?

“The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”

Winston Churchill

 

 

 

When the media perceives it will hurt the Democrat Party:

 

 

Thousands of protestors showed up outside over 300 Planned Parenthood clinics Saturday morning.

Protestors tweeted photos of the crowds and their mostly hand-made signs, causing their hashtag, #ProtestPP, to trend on Twitter. At several protests, people carried a large pink sign that read “Planned Parenthood sells baby parts,” referring to a series of undercover videos that revealed the abortion giant sells aborted fetal organs and tissue to biomedical companies. Continue Reading

4

Is Abortion Moral?

 

 

You’re going from dealing with people to dealing with what most people here at the Center consider a real hurdle, to do sterile room, because you have to deal with the actual abortion tissue. And for some people that’s really hard. They can be abstractly in favor of abortion rights, but they sure don’t want to see what an eighteen-week abortion looks like.

  • Anonymous clinic worker Abortion at Work: Ideology and Practice in a Feminist Clinic Wendy Simonds (Rutgers University Press: New Brunswick) 1996 p 69.

 

Dennis Prager zooms in on the essential question regarding abortion:  Is it moral?  Legal protection of the unborn is our goal, but winning the moral debate is all important, and the pro-life cause has been slowly winning that debate.

Today I will be driving by Galesburg, on my way to take my daughter back to college.  In the Lincoln-Douglas debate held at Galesburg on October 7, 1858, Lincoln got to the heart of the difference between him and Stephen Douglas regarding slavery:

But there still is a difference, I think, between Judge Douglas and the Republicans in this. I suppose that the real difference between Judge Douglas and his friends, and the Republicans on the contrary, is, that the Judge is not in favor of making any difference between slavery and liberty-that he is in favor of eradicating, of pressing out of view, the questions of preference in this country for free or slave institutions; and consequently every sentiment he utters discards the idea that there is any wrong in slavery. Every thing that emanates from him or his coadjutors in their course of policy, carefully excludes the thought that there is any thing wrong in slavery. All their arguments, if you will consider them, will be seen to exclude the thought that there is any thing whatever wrong in slavery. If you will take the Judge’s speeches, and select the short and pointed sentences expressed by him-as his declaration that he “don’t care whether slavery is voted up or down”- you will see at once that this is perfectly logical, if you do not admit that slavery is wrong. If you do admit that it is wrong, Judge Douglas cannot logically say he don’t care whether a wrong is voted up or voted down. Judge Douglas declares that if any community want slavery they have a right to have it. He can say that logically, if he says that there is no wrong in slavery; but if you admit that there is a wrong in it, he cannot logically say that any body has a right to do wrong. He insists that, upon the score of equality, the owners of slaves and owners of property-of horses and every other sort of property-should be alike and hold them alike in a new Territory. That is perfectly logical, if the two species of property are alike and are equally founded in right. But if you admit that one of them is wrong, you cannot institute any equality between right and wrong. And from this difference of sentiment-the belief on the part of one that the institution is wrong, and a policy springing from that belief which looks to the arrest of the enlargement of that wrong; and this other sentiment, that it is no wrong, and a policy sprung from that sentiment which will tolerate no idea of preventing that wrong from growing larger, and looks to there never being an end of it through all the existence of things,-arises the real difference between Judge Douglas and his friends on the one hand, and the Republicans on the other. Now, I confess myself as belonging to that class in the country who contemplate slavery as a moral, social and political evil, having due regard for its actual existence amongst us and the difficulties of getting rid of it in any satisfactory way, and to all the Constitutional obligations which have been thrown about it; but, nevertheless, desire a policy that looks to the prevention of it as a wrong, and looks hopefully to the time when as a wrong it may come to an end. Continue Reading

August 23, 1945: MacArthur Takes Charge

MacArthur who was going to be responsible for ruling post war Japan during the occupation, lost no time in telling the Japanese precisely what they must do as he entered Japan to stage manage the formal surrender and take up his role as, in effect, the Yankee Shogun:

August 23, 1945

New York Times.

(1) Weather permitting, air-borne forces accompanying the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers will land at Atsugi Airdrome, in the vicinity of Tokyo, and naval and marine forces will land in the vicinity of Yokosuka Naval Base on Aug. 28, 1945. The instrument of surrender will be signed in the Tokyo area on Aug. 31.

(2) Requirements of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers presented to Japanese representatives at Manila, Philippine Islands, Aug. 20, 1945:

Requirements for entry of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers and his accompanying forces.

(1) The Japanese Imperial Government and Japanese Imperial General Headquarters will require execution of the following requirements effective 1800 hours [6 P.M.] Aug. 24, 1945:

(a) Japanese armed forces and civilian aviation authorities will insure that all Japanese military, naval and civil aircraft in Japan remain on ground, on water or aboard ship until further notification of disposition to be made of them.

(b) Japanese or Japanese-controlled military, naval or merchant vessels of all types in Japanese waters will be maintained without damage and will undertake no movement beyond voyages in progress pending instructions of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers. Vessels at sea will immediately render harmless and throw overboard explosives of all types. Vessels not at sea will immediately remove explosives of all types to safe storage ashore.

(c) Merchant vessels under 100 gross tons engaged in civilian supply activities in Japanese waters are excepted from foregoing instructions. Vessels in Tokyo Bay engaged in evacuation of personnel from Yokosuka Naval Base are also excepted. Continue Reading

17

Laughing at Evil

 

“They can’t make that (Blazing Saddles) movie today because everybody’s so politically correct. You know, the NAACP would stop a great movie that would do such a great service to black people because of the N-word,” says Brooks. “You’ve got to really examine these things and see what’s right and what’s wrong. Politically correct is absolutely wrong. Because it inhibits the freedom of thought. I’m so lucky that they weren’t so strong then and that the people that let things happen on the screen weren’t so powerful then. I was very lucky.”

Mel Brooks, 2014

To back up the words of Mr. Brooks:

Olney Theatre’s production of Mel Brooks’s 2001 musical The Producers only has three more performances, but it’s not going to close without a bit of manufactured controversy. Audience members at Montgomery County playhouse are going to have to walk past a small coterie protesting the show’s play-within-the-play, because, the demonstrators say, it makes light of Adolf Hitler and the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany.

“I understand the intent is satire,” says Jeffrey Imm, who is organizing the demonstration through his anti-discrimination group, Responsible for Equality And Liberty. “This is the point of morality: some things we have to recognize as absolute evil. When 6 million people are murdered, we don’t view it with knee-slapping, we view it with reverence.”

Go here to read the rest. Mr. Imm’s group is completely wrong-headed.  Too often Hitler, murderous little jumped up thug, is elevated into being some sort of grand demonic personification of evil.  This is precisely the wrong way to remember the psychopath and the movement he led.  Far better to make him into a clownish figure and condemn him throughout history with laughter and ridicule.  Continue Reading

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Just in Case There Isn’t Enough Racial Animosity in This Country

 

Theodore R. Johnson at The Washington Post has a proposal to cure the problem in this country of too much amity between blacks and whites:

 

 

Thanks to a compromise between Southern slaveholders who wanted enslaved blacks counted in the population, for the sake of boosting Southern congressional representation, and Northern whites who didn’t, the framers enshrined the three-fifths clause in the Constitution. This agreement set the census value of a slave as 60 percent of the value of a free person. Even after the 13th Amendment neutralized the political (and moral) compromise by abolishing slavery, Jim Crow laws, which contravened the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equality, stopped blacks from voting. The just answer today is to invert that ratio. If black Americans were once counted as three-fifths of a person, let each African American voter now count as five-thirds. Continue Reading

1

August 22: Queenship of Mary

The King looked up, and what he saw
Was a great light like death,
For Our Lady stood on the standards rent,
As lonely and as innocent
As when between white walls she went
And the lilies of Nazareth.

One instant in a still light
He saw Our Lady then,
Her dress was soft as western sky,
And she was a queen most womanly—
But she was a queen of men.

Over the iron forest
He saw Our Lady stand,
Her eyes were sad withouten art,
And seven swords were in her heart—
But one was in her hand.

Then the last charge went blindly,
And all too lost for fear:
The Danes closed round, a roaring ring,
And twenty clubs rose o’er the King,
Four Danes hewed at him, halloing,
And Ogier of the Stone and Sling
Drove at him with a spear.

But the Danes were wild with laughter,
And the great spear swung wide,
The point stuck to a straggling tree,
And either host cried suddenly,
As Alfred leapt aside.

Short time had shaggy Ogier
To pull his lance in line—
He knew King Alfred’s axe on high,
He heard it rushing through the sky,

He cowered beneath it with a cry—
It split him to the spine:
And Alfred sprang over him dead,
And blew the battle sign.

Then bursting all and blasting
Came Christendom like death,
Kicked of such catapults of will,
The staves shiver, the barrels spill,
The waggons waver and crash and kill
The waggoners beneath.

Barriers go backwards, banners rend,
Great shields groan like a gong—
Horses like horns of nightmare
Neigh horribly and long.

Horses ramp high and rock and boil
And break their golden reins,
And slide on carnage clamorously,
Down where the bitter blood doth lie,
Where Ogier went on foot to die,
In the old way of the Danes.

“The high tide!” King Alfred cried.
“The high tide and the turn!
As a tide turns on the tall grey seas,
See how they waver in the trees,
How stray their spears, how knock their knees,
How wild their watchfires burn!

“The Mother of God goes over them,
Walking on wind and flame,
And the storm-cloud drifts from city and dale,
And the White Horse stamps in the White Horse Vale,
And we all shall yet drink Christian ale
In the village of our name.

“The Mother of God goes over them,
On dreadful cherubs borne;
And the psalm is roaring above the rune,
And the Cross goes over the sun and moon,
Endeth the battle of Ethandune
With the blowing of a horn.”

GK Chesterton, Ballad of the White Horse

10

PopeWatch: Year of Wrath

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From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:

 

Hundreds of Catholics gathered in St. Peter’s Square this morning to celebrate the Holy Father’s announcement that 2016 will now be called the Year of Divine Wrath. The announcement came as Pope Francis asked God to rain down fire and brimstone on the world for its corruption and lack of care for the poor.

“It is time, oh Lord, for retributive justice!” Francis yelled into the microphone in front of all those gathered. “Let Judgment Day commence!”

One of the many pilgrims visiting Rome this morning told EOTT shortly after the event that she was “extremely blessed” to have been able to partake in Francis’ call for Armageddon.

“It was such a cool moment,” Adelyn Barnes visiting from Washington D.C. told EOTT shortly after the event. “Just watching all the cute little nuns raising their voices and asking for the fury of God’s wrath to be poured out upon the earth…it gives me goosebumps even now.”

Barnes went on to say that it was moments like this that made her feel so blessed to be Catholic.

“Being able to pray with so many people who are united in their petitions that an angel pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath on the earth for the destruction we have reaped makes you feel so alive. Anyhow, it’s time I go fill my lamp with oil. Don’t wanna get caught off guard, if you know what I’m saying.” Continue Reading

Just As I Am

 

Something for the weekend.  Johnny Cash singing Just As I Am.  Used as the altar call song in Billy Graham Crusades, it was written in 1835 by Charlotte Elliott.  It has a simple power about it as it relates a sinner coming before God for pardon:

Just as I am – without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am – and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am – though toss’d about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am – poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need, in Thee to find,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am – Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am – Thy love unknown
Has broken every barrier down;
Now to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am – of that free love
The breadth, length, depth, and height to prove,
Here for a season, then above,
-O Lamb of God, I come! Continue Reading

17

Two Unarmed Members of the US Military Foil Armed Terrorist

 

 

You cannot exaggerate about the Marines. They are convinced, to the point of arrogance, that they are the most ferocious fighters on earth – and the amusing thing about it is that they are…You should see the group about me as I write- dirty, bearded, their clothing food-spattered and filthy- they look like the castoffs of creation. Yet they have a sense of loyalty, generosity, even piety greater than any men I have ever known. These rugged men have the simple piety of children. You can’t help loving them, in spite of their language and their loose sense of private property. Don’t ever feel sorry for a priest in the Marines. The last eight weeks have been the happiest and most contented in my life.

 Father Kevin Keaney, 1st MarDiv Chaplain, Korean War

Marines are apparently pretty dangerous even when they are unarmed and confronting an armed enemy:

 

 

A massacre on a high-speed train in France was prevented Friday when two U.S. Marines in civilian clothing surprised an Islamist militant, a senior European counterterrorism official told CNN.

The suspect was loading his automatic Kalashnikov rifle in a toilet when the two Marines confronted him, the source said.

The gunman fired on the Marines with a handgun, the official said, wounding at least one of them. Three people were injured aboard the Thalys train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris, authorities said.

The Marines overpowered the suspect, who was placed under arrest when the train was rerouted to the town of Arras, about 115 miles (185 kilometers) north of Paris. One of the Marines was wounded, the Pentagon said.

The gunman, a Moroccan national, was on the radar screen of European counterterrorism agencies for his radical jihadist views, the official said. Continue Reading

17

Pope Francis: Nagging

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When PopeWatch was a boy his mother once told him to eat everything on his plate because there were kids starving in China.  PopeWatch looked down at his plate and advised his mother that he would be happy to have this food shipped to any hungry child in China who wanted it.  Instead of the slap that cheeky comment deserved, PopeWatch’s mother said, good comeback, and told him to clean his plate.  One of the salient, and tiresome, features about this current pontificate is just how much of a nag Pope Francis is:

Throwing away food is like stealing from the table of those who are poor and hungry,” he said during his weekly audience in St. Peter’s Square.

His words came on the day the United Nations launched an anti-food waste campaign to mark World Environment Day.

According to data provided by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, approximately 1.3 billion tons of food — one third of the world’s total food production — are lost or wasted every year. In the United States, 30 percent of all food is thrown away each year.

“Consumerism has made us accustomed to wasting food daily and we are unable to see its real value,” Francis said, comparing this attitude to the frugality of “our grandparents” who “used to make a point of not throwing away leftover food.” Continue Reading

4

The Satanist Champion of the Rosary

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Ray Sullivan reminds us at The Catholic Stand that God has a way of raising up champions from among the ranks of His enemies:

 

What could be a more fascinating tale than a satanic high priest becoming a saint? Blessed Bartolo Longo is such a story.  Born in Italy in 1841, Bartolo grew up in a very Catholic household, where the family said the Rosary regularly.  But his mother died when he was 10, and Bartolo’s life began its way downward. When he enrolled at the University of Naples as a young man, he was ripe for the new agers to confuse him and lead him astray. He soon started to attend séances and fortune telling “parties.”  And of course, there was the bait that always draws young men into this kind of thing, sex orgies.

Soon, Bartolo aspired to be a satanic priest, and he was ordained into the devil’s brigade as a high priest. The walls shook and there were strange voices and visions when the ordination took place. Bartolo fainted with sheer terror, and soon became very sick and was deeply tormented by the evil one. But the die was cast, so Bartolo was off to the races, performing blasphemous black masses and publicly ridiculing the Catholic faith in public. Many were drawn away from the faith of the saints as a result. Bartolo’s mind was becoming more and more twisted and confused as his belief in the false promises of Satanism took their toll.

The Internal Battle

However, in the meantime, what was left of Bartolo’s family was praying for his return to the faith. Like St. Monica praying for the conversion of her wayward son Augustine, his family never gave up on him. One day, Bartolo thought that he heard the voice of his dead father urging him to return to the Catholic Church.  Isn’t it wonderful how God uses our family members to save us, even when they are no longer here on earth?

So Bartolo decided to pay a visit to an old friend that he hadn’t seen in a while, Professor Vincenzo Pepe.  The good professor was shocked at the degraded appearance of his old friend, and asked a very good question of Bartolo:

“Do you want to die in an insane asylum, and then be damned forever?” Continue Reading

6

PopeWatch: Retirement

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Karl Keating speculates about a possible retirement by Pope Francis:

A year ago, on the return flight from a visit to South Korea, Francis said to the reporters who accompanied him, “Let us think about what [Benedict XVI] said, ‘I have got old, I do not have the strength.’ It was a beautiful gesture of nobility, of humility and courage.” Then, with a reference to his own frail constitution, he said, “I know this will last a short time, two or three years, and then to the house of the Father.” Two years from 2014 is 2016.

If Francis retires (please notice: “if,” not “when,” since I’m not predicting that he will retire, only that he might), I don’t think it would be before October’s synod. He certainly would want to see that project through. Unlike some others, I’m not much concerned about the wayward cardinals and bishops who will be in attendance. I don’t think they will come close to having the votes to force through a less-than-orthodox final statement, and I don’t for a minute suspect that Francis secretly wants them to prevail.

Nothing in his moral teaching over the years—whether as cardinal or pope—gives any support to such speculation. But I do think Francis wants the synod to be a “success” (however he envisions that), and I wouldn’t be surprised if he thought that, seeing it to its conclusion, he had “done his duty” and could feel free to lay aside papal responsibilities.

Like Celestine V, Francis undoubtedly is a holy man. Also like Celestine, though to a considerably lesser degree, he does not match his recent predecessors in terms of diplomatic or administrative skills.

It is not a sign of a lack of filial respect to note what many have noted, that Francis, when speaking extemporaneously, frequently speaks confusingly. The proof is in how often Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See’s press office, finds himself before the cameras, trying to put an acceptable spin on the Pope’s words.

Of course, over the last several decades, under Lombardi and his predecessor, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, there were many occasions for the press office to explain a papal writing or utterance, but normally those were restatements, in popular language, of subtle and precise papal wording. Under Francis, the need has been somewhat different.

The press office has had to put theological substance into colloquial expressions such as “Who am I to judge?”—a comment that many people thought meant that one couldn’t pass judgment on the sinfulness of the homosexual lifestyle. It’s easy to take off-the-cuff remarks out of context, because they often don’t have much context. It’s harder to misconstrue written remarks that have gone through the customary and long Vatican editorial process.

 

I think that by this time Francis understands that, however successful he has been in terms of image, he has not had as much success in terms of teaching, nor has he had as much success in terms of reorganization of the Vatican machinery. Continue Reading

23

“And she just taps the heart, and it starts beating.”

The latest Center for Medical Progress video is up.

Content warning at the video.

From the CMP link:

O’Donnell describes the harvesting, or “procurement,” of organs from a nearly intact late-term fetus aborted at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte’s Alameda clinic in San Jose, CA. “‘I want to see something kind of cool,’” O’Donnell says her supervisor asked her. “And she just taps the heart, and it starts beating. And I’m sitting here and I’m looking at this fetus, and its heart is beating, and I don’t know what to think.

 

. . . The video also features recordings of Dr. Ben Van Handel, the Executive Director of Novogenix Laboratories, LLC, and also of Perrin Larton, Procurement Manager of Advanced Bioscience Resources, Inc. (ABR). Novogenix is the company that has harvested fetal organs from abortions done by Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, in Los Angeles, while ABR is the oldest fetal tissue procurement company and works with Planned Parenthood in San Diego and other clinics around the country. Van Handel admits, “There are times when after the procedure is done that the heart actually is still beating,” and Larton describes abortions she has seen where “the fetus was already in the vaginal canal whenever we put her in the stirrups, it just fell out.

Pure, unadulterated evil.

14

PopeWatch: 11 Cardinals

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Father Z brings us some interesting news:

 

The Italian site La Nuova Bussola has learned that, in advance of the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the family, yet another “Cardinals Book” is being released.

This time, however, its the “Eleven Cardinals Book™”!

This is sure to strike terror in the hearts of the Kasperites!

Eleven Cardinals, as the headline runs, are trying to stop the “Protestantization of the Church”.

In a way this is, but it also isn’t, a sequel to the Five Cardinals Book™, Remaining in the Truth of Christ: Marriage and Communion in the Catholic Church

The names of the Cardinals involved:

  • Carlo Caffarra, Arcivescovo di Bologna;
  • Baselios Cleemis, Arcivescovo maggiore della Chiesa cattolica siro-malankarese e Presidente della Conferenza episcopale dell’India;
  • Paul Josef Cordes, Presidente emerito del Consiglio pontificio «Cor Unum»;
  • Dominik Duka, O.P., Arcivescovo di Praga, Primate di Boemia;
  • Willem Jacobus Eijk,  Arcivescovo di Utrecht;
  • Joachim Meisner, Arcivescovo emerito di Colonia;
  • John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, Arcivescovo di Abuja (Nigeria);
  • Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, Arcivescovo emerito di Madrid;
  • Camillo Ruini, Vicario generale emerito di Sua Santità per la Diocesi di Roma;
  • Robert Sarah, Prefetto della Congregazione per il culto divino e la disciplina dei sacramenti;
  • Jorge Liberato Urosa Savino, Arcivescovo di Caracas, Santiago de Venezuela

The editor is the German professor of Canon Law Winfried Aymans, at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich.

It seems that Cardinals and only Cardinals are the writers.  I am pleased to see Card. Sarah in the list, as well as Caffarra.

It doesn’t say anything concrete about the publisher.  It doesn’t mention the title.  It doesn’t say anything about the languages, though given that this is in an Italian site we can assume Italian is – at least – one of the languages.

The Five Cardinals Book (which everyone ought to have, especially every priest and bishop) came out simultaneously in five languages.  HERE

Also, in the same Bussola piece there is a hint that another book is coming with contributions of 11 bishops and cardinals… all Africans!

You can guess what side of the marriage and the sodomy issues they will be on! Continue Reading

39

The Civil War and Slavery

We’re not fighting for slaves.

Most of us never owned slaves and never expect to,

It takes money to buy a slave and we’re most of us poor,

But we won’t lie down and let the North walk over us

About slaves or anything else.

                              We don’t know how it started

But they’ve invaded us now and we’re bound to fight

Till every last damn Yankee goes home and quits.

Stephen Vincent Benet, John Brown’s Body

 

I certainly agree with video above from Prager University that the Civil War was started over slavery.  As Jefferson Davis stated in his initial address to the Confederate Congress:

 

In the meantime, under the mild and genial climate of the Southern States and the increasing care and attention for the wellbeing and comfort of the laboring class, dictated alike by interest and humanity, the African slaves had augmented in number from about 600,000, at the date of the adoption of the constitutional compact, to upward of 4,000,000. In moral and social condition they had been elevated from brutal savages into docile, intelligent, and civilized agricultural laborers, and supplied not only with bodily comforts but with careful religious instruction. Under the supervision of a superior race their labor had been so directed as not only to allow a gradual and marked amelioration of their own condition, but to convert hundreds of thousands of square miles of the wilderness into cultivated lands covered with a prosperous people; towns and cities had sprung into existence, and had rapidly increased in wealth and population under the social system of the South; the white population of the Southern slaveholding States had augmented from about 1,250,000 at the date of the adoption of the Constitution to more than 8,500,000 in 1860; and the productions of the South in cotton, rice, sugar, and tobacco, for the full development and continuance of which the labor of African slaves was and is indispensable, had swollen to an amount which formed nearly three-fourths of the exports of the whole United States and had become absolutely necessary to the wants of civilized man. With interests of such overwhelming magnitude imperiled, the people of the Southern States were driven by the conduct of the North to the adoption of some course of action to avert the danger with which they were openly menaced. With this view the legislatures of the several States invited the people to select delegates to conventions to be held for the purpose of determining for themselves what measures were best adapted to meet so alarming a crisis in their history. Here it may be proper to observe that from a period as early as 1798 there had existed in all of the States of the Union a party almost uninterruptedly in the majority based upon the creed that each State was, in the last resort, the sole judge as well of its wrongs as of the mode and measure of redress. Indeed, it is obvious that under the law of nations this principle is an axiom as applied to the relations of independent sovereign States, such as those which had united themselves under the constitutional compact. The Democratic party of the United States repeated, in its successful canvass in 1856, the declaration made in numerous previous political contests, that it would “faithfully abide by and uphold the principles laid down in the Kentucky and Virginia resolutions of 1798, and in the report of Mr. Madison to the Virginia Legislature in 1799; and that it adopts those principles as constituting one of the main foundations of its political creed.” The principles thus emphatically announced embrace that to which I have already adverted – the right of each State to judge of and redress the wrongs of which it complains. These principles were maintained by overwhelming majorities of the people of all the States of the Union at different elections, especially in the elections of Mr. Jefferson in 1805, Mr. Madison in 1809, and Mr. Pierce in 1852. In the exercise of a right so ancient, so well established, and so necessary for self-preservation, the people of the Confederate States, in their conventions, determined that the wrongs which they had suffered and the evils with which they were menaced required that they should revoke the delegation of powers to the Federal Government which they had ratified in their several conventions. They consequently passed ordinances resuming all their rights as sovereign and Independent States and dissolved their connection with the other States of the Union. Continue Reading

4

The Many Faces of Dalton Trumbo

Hollywood …



… and history:

Hollywood’s Trumbo appears to be something of a whitewash of Stalinist screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. Portrayed as a victim of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), a closer investigation of history reveals that he did his fair share of censoring and “blacklisting” himself — against anti-Communists within the industry.

  • Hollywood’s Missing Movies: Why American films have ignored life under communism, by Kenneth Lloyd Billingsly. Reason June 2000:

    if Comintern fantasies of a Soviet Hollywood were never realized, party functionaries nevertheless played a significant role: They were sometimes able to prevent the production of movies they opposed. The party had not only helped organize the Screen Writers Guild, it had organized the Story Analysts Guild as well. Story analysts judge scripts and film treatments early in the decision making process. A dismissive report often means that a studio will pass on a proposed production. The party was thus well positioned to quash scripts and treatments with anti-Soviet content, along with stories that portrayed business and religion in a favorable light. In The Worker, Dalton Trumbo openly bragged that the following works had not reached the screen: Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon and The Yogi and the Commissar; Victor Kravchenko’s I Chose Freedom; and Bernard Clare by James T. Farrell, also author of Studs Lonigan and vilified by party enforcer Mike Gold as “a vicious, voluble Trotskyite.”

  • The Stalinist Ten–A True Story About Communists in the Movie Industry, by Allan H. Ryskind. [excerpt from the newly released book, Hollywood Traitors: Blacklisted Screenwriters – Agents of Stalin, Allies of Hitler, by Allan H. Ryskind]:

    Trumbo is less well known for a script that never made it to the screen: An American Story, whose plot outline, in the words of film historian Bernard F. Dick, goes like this: North Korea finally decides “to put an end to the border warfare instigated by South Korea by embarking upon a war of independence in June 1950.” (In his papers at the Wisconsin Historical Society, Trumbo says he “dramatized” Kim Il-sung’s supposedly righteous war for a group of fellow Communist screenwriters, including at least two Hollywood Ten members.)

    Trumbo also seemed to think that Stalin needed a bit of a reputation upgrade. So one finds in his papers a proposed novel, apparently written in the 1950s, in which a wise old Russian defends Stalin’s murderous reign as necessary for the supposedly grand achievements of Soviet socialism.

    Those celebrating Trumbo today as a sort of saintly curmudgeon do not feel obligated to mention this aspect of his Red ideology, nor do they point to his writings during the Soviet-Nazi Pact, when he was excusing Hitler’s con- quests. “To the vanquished,” he airily dismissed the critics of Nazi brutality, “all conquerors are inhuman.” For good measure he demonized Hitler’s major enemy, Great Britain, insisting that England was not a democracy, because it had a king, and accused FDR of “treason” and “black treason” for attempting to assist the British in their life-and-death struggle against the despot in Berlin.

  • Hollywood Celebrates Another Stalinist, by Allan H. Ryskind. CNSNews.com 01/05/15:

    … The evidence of Trumbo’s Red activities is hardly secret. He came clean, sort of, to his biographer, Bruce Cook, a writer of the upcoming Trumbo screenplay. He told Cook in the 1970s that he joined the party in 1943 (some FBI informants think he joined in the 1930s), that some of his “very best friends” were Communists and that “I might as well have been a Communist 10 years earlier….” He also says, about joining the party: “But I’ve never regretted it. As a matter of fact, it’s possible to say I would have regretted not having done it….”

    He said he let his party membership lapse after his HUAC appearance, possibly finding it difficult to pay his party dues after he was blacklisted, but he never publicly turned his back on communism or Stalin. Indeed, in his private papers he admits that he “reaffiliated with the party in 1954,” apparently his passion for a Communist America burning brightly as ever. So, by the historical record and his own account, he was in tune with the Soviet Union for nearly a quarter of a century, when Stalin was in his prime killing years.

  • Will the new Trumbo movie rehash old myths?, by Ronald Radosh. National Review 11/02/13:

    [Trumbo] bragged how he had used his position to stop anti-Communist films from being made. Stalin, he said, was “one of the democratic leaders of the world,” so he used his position to stop Trotsky’s biography of the dictator from being filmed, and did the same with anti-Communist books by James T. Farrell, Victor Kravchenko, and Arthur Koestler, all of which he called “untrue” and “reactionary.” As he explained in 1954 to a fellow blacklisted writer, the Communist party had a “fine tradition . . . that whenever a book or play or film is produced which is harmful to the best interests of the working class, that work and its author should and must be attacked in the sharpest possible terms.”

    Two years later, when many Communists learned some of the truth about Stalin from the Khrushchev speech, Trumbo wrote a comrade that he was not surprised. He explained that he had read the books by Koestler, George Orwell, James Burnham, Eugene Lyons, and Isaac Don Levine, who all had exposed the truth about the Soviet Union. These, of course, were the very books he had made sure would never be turned into movies. Trumbo supported Stalin, all the while knowing that he was a monster.

  • Flipping Hollywood’s Blacklist Narrative, by Ron Capshaw. Library of Law and Liberty 01/25/15:

    … All in all, Ryskind’s work is a welcome addition to the anticommunist corrections to the blacklist legend. He has written a convincing and well-sourced follow up to the pioneering effort of the Radoshes. Moreover, he has refused to play the warped victim son of a writer who was much maligned in his time and may have been black-listed (Morrie never got another script accepted after 1945). Instead he has focused on disputing how Hollywood then and now has rehabiliated what in essence were Stalinists.

  • Exclusive Author Interview with Allan Ryskind, Author of “Hollywood Traitors”, by Christopher N. Malagisi.
  • Who was Dalton Trumbo, Screenwriter and Stalinist?, by Ron Capshaw. The American Spectator 01/06/15.

  • Dalton Got His Gun, by Stefan Kanfer. City Journal 02/27/15. “The lodestar of the Hollywood blacklist was all that his fans said he was—and less.” [Review of Trumbo: Blacklisted Hollywood Radical by Larry Ceplair and Christopher Trumbo, and Hollywood Traitors: Blacklisted Screenwriters, Agents of Stalin, Allies of Hitler by Allan H. Ryskind].
44

Ranking the Field

Now that we’re somewhat officially underway in the presidential campaign season, I thought I’d rundown my current rankings of the GOP field. This is a rough estimate of how I personally rank them. This has nothing to do with how I deem their chances at winning the nomination or the presidency in general, though there will be some mention of that in the discussion.

15 – 17: Jim Gilmore, George Pataki, Lindsay Graham. Just call them the 3 G’s. Their presence in this race just baffles. Gilmore is officially registering as an asterisk in the polls, the other two are barely above that.

14. Rand Paul: Ron Paul lite is living up to his name. He presents a more palatable version of his father, but in doing so he has failed to sway those who didn’t support his dad, and at the same time he has alienated a good chunk of his father’s base.

13. Donald Trump: I’ve just about had my say on the Donald. Yes, we get it Trump supporters: you’re angry. Many of us are upset and frustrated with the Republican party’s leadership as well. We’ve just discovered more effective outlets for our frustration.

12. Ben Carson: If there has been one benefit to the Trump candidacy, it is that Carson appears credible by comparison. Carson is clearly the more thoughtful of the two male outsider candidates, and I would love for him to come to his senses and make a bid for the Senate in Maryland where I think he would have a pretty decent shot at winning. But one speech does not a president make, and this is not Carson’s time.

11. Mike Huckabee: You know there must be a lot of chaffe for Huckabee to be this high up the list. Huckabee is the big government conservative that foolish “conservatarians” convinced themselves that Rick Santorum is. He is an eloquent speaker and always does well in debates, but that is not the measure of presidential timbre.

10. Chris Christie: If Donald Trump were a governor, he’d be Chris Christie. While Christie’s off the cuff bloviations might have come off as refreshing and maybe even a little fun at first, now they just seem like the pathetic utterances of an ineffective governor. I would be somewhat surprised if Christie makes it to primary season before withdrawing from the race.

9. Carly Fiorina: Fiorina has charmed her way up the polls, and indeed she has proven to be an effective communicator. Where Trump is all show, she adds substance to style and has been one of the most effective champions of conservative ideas in the race. But before getting too excited about Fiorina, be forewarned. First of all, there’s the little matter of her complete lack of political experience. Even if you view that as a plus and not a negative, and point to her stewardship as CEO of Hewlett Packard, well I wouldn’t exactly rush to put that feather in her cap. (We’ll call her record mixed, and leave it at that.) On social issues her language is wishy-washy, and in general she’s somewhat of a blank slate. She has promise, but there are better candidates with stronger track records.

8. Jeb Bush: You were probably expecting him much lower on the list, but I do not have the same antipathy towards Jeb as others do. His record as governor of Florida was generally strong, and all in all I always thought he would have made a more effective president than his brother. That being said, he should absolutely not be the nominee. Aside from his (at the very least) muddled positions on immigration and Common Core, Bush is the absolute worst person to run against Hillary Clinton. His nomination would certainly negate the dynastic factor. What’s more, at least the person that Hillary is tied to is (sad as it is) actually popular with the electorate. And while Hillary Clinton is a charismatic dud, Jeb is not exactly a dynamo himself. More substantively, we are now almost a full decade removed from his term of office. I’m not the first to observe that he simply does not feel the connections to the issues that matter with the electorate that he might have once possessed. On top of all that, he’s a clumsy speaker who has made a number of unforced errors that hardly seems befitting the Establishment darling.

7. John Kasich: Well, Newt Gingrich made a pretty strong bid in 2012, so why not have another member of the 90s conservative revolution give it a shot? Unlike Gingrich then and Bush now, Kasich actually currently holds elective office, and won re-election in 2014 fairly easily. A conservative governor of a desperately needed swing state? Sounds like a sure winner to me. Unfortunately Kasich has decided to go the Bush route in seemingly taking delight in poking his base in the eye. And while he has a fairly strong conservative record, his support for Medicaid expansion is what particularly galls, especially in the way he framed it as a religious issue. Echoing the likes of Archbishop Cupich he said”“Now, when you die and get to the meeting with St. Peter, he’s probably not going to ask you much about what you did about keeping government small. But he is going to ask you what you did for the poor. You better have a good answer.” I didn’t realize entry into the kingdom of heaven would be based on my support of giving other people’s money to the poor. That soundbite is also odd considering more recent comments about faith and politics. Really, John? There’s only one social issue of importance now?

6. Marco Rubio: If he hadn’t initially supported the Gang of Eight deal on amnesty he’d be the front-runner. Alas he did, and so here we are. Unlike others I am willing to forgive a single transgression when a person’s record is otherwise solid, and Rubio’s record is very good. If anything gives me pause it is his somewhat aggressive approach towards foreign policy. He is almost at the polar opposite end of Rand Paul, and frankly I find both extremes troubling. It’s for this, and not his transgression on amnesty, that Rubio remains outside of the top tier.

Tie 4: Ted Cruz and Rick Santorum: If either man had been a governor he’d be the runaway leader for me. Alas, they’ll just have to make do with their sparkling ideological records. I was proud to support Santorum in 2012. Though I preferred Perry, Santorum was a strong second choice and, well, let’s not re-fight those battles. As with Rubio, my main concern is with Santorum’s dare I say neoconnish outlook on foreign affairs. Santorum is much more likely than Cruz to support military involvement, and as such Cruz might have the edge over Santorum. Both men are absolutely solid on both economic and social issues. Santorum gets pegged as a big government conservative, but this is completely unfair based on his track record. Santorum does have a bit of a protectionist streak in him, so once again Cruz comes out slightly ahead when it comes to trade. In terms of their overall chances, I’m sad to say that I don’t see Santorum making much of a run, though he did surprise last time out. Cruz, on the other hand, could potentially win a chunk of the anti-Establishment vote from the Trump supporters as real elections draw near. Along with Walker and Bush, I’d peg him as one of the front-runners (assuming the Trump boomlet does in fact die out, which I’m less certain of now).

Tie 1: Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, and Rick Perry: And here is where I shake my head over the current state of the campaign. Let’s be frank: none of these men are perfect. Walker has been somewhat wishy-washy on immigration. Jindal’s budget record in Louisiana has been disappointing (although Leon Wolf makes a persuasive case that Jindal’s budget record is quite commendable). Perry continually makes missteps in debates and in his overall campaign strategy. One of our faults as Americans in these campaigns is looking for some perfect candidate who will absolutely embody everything we hold dear, and who will, in a single term, make America a land flowing with milk and honey, where rainbows will dash across the sky every day. And so we nitpick our politicians, looking for the slightest flaws. Then when we grow frustrated we lash out at everyone. So Ted Cruz and Scott Walker becomes no better than John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. They’re all equally bad, or so we delude ourselves.

So here we are. Three solid conservative governors with good to great records, including one man who won statewide elections three times in four years in a swing state and in the face of intense opposition. Rick Perry won three terms on his own and oversaw one of the few solidly functioning economies in the state. Bobby Jindal has worked to restore some sense of political trust in a state that has been wrecked by both political and natural disasters. Again, their records are not perfect, but I would take it in my home state.

And where are they? Two of them had to sit at the equivalent of the kiddies table during the debates two weeks ago, with Jindal also registering as an asterisk in the polling, and the other remains mired in a kind of political limbo – doing better than most but not as well as he should. All the while a boorish lout who is literally a Republican in Name Only laps the field and a man nine years removed from effective governance is the darling of the establishment class.

Perhaps Walker and the rest deserve some of the blame for their failure to catch on in the polling. And it’s still too early to get quite panicked, especially when history shows that candidates have a tendency to rise from the ashes as soon as you are about to count them out. We’ll see how this all plays out, I suppose.

17

PopeWatch: Global Venezuela

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Back during the Cold War there was a joke about what would happen if the Soviets conquered the Sahara.  Nothing for about fifty years and then there would be a shortage of sand.

That old joke came to mind with the latest news out of Venezuela:

 

.- Venezuela’s ongoing economic crisis has hit the Church in a unique way: the production of Hosts fell 60 percent during the past month, affecting three states in the South American country.

Giovanni Luisio Mass, prior of the Order of Poor Knights of Christ of the Temple of Jerusalem, explained to local media that the shortage of unleavened wheat flour needed to make Hosts has been acute for a month now.

According to Caracol TV, the monthly production of Hosts has dropped from 80,000 to 30,000. This drop, Mass indicated, has affected every parish in three Venezuelan states. He added that they can only send 1,500 Hosts to the parishes in the north of the country, because there is no longer enough flour to make the 8,000 they have always needed.

Several parishes, along with the local communities, have organized to search for the wheat flour needed for the Hosts.

Venezuela is dealing with shortages including food, toilet paper, medicines, auto parts, chocolate, oil, and clothes irons. According to the Central Bank of Venezuela, food prices went up 92 percent last year, and during the last ten years inflation has risen 1,250 percent.

According to the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo, since 2003 the Venezuelan government has imposed price controls on 165 products, including cooking oil, soap, milk, flour, cereals, toilet paper , cleaning products, detergent, diapers, toothpaste, and sugar. The local currency has plummeted in value. Continue Reading

35

Religion and Happiness

atheism

 

Ha!  The Washington Post runs a story admitting the obvious, and their readership goes berserk:

 

 A new study suggests that joining a religious group could do more for someone’s “sustained happiness” than other forms of social participation, such as volunteering, playing sports or taking a class.

A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology by researchers at the London School of Economics and Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands found that the secret to sustained happiness lies in participation in religion.

“The church appears to play a very important social role in keeping depression at bay and also as a coping mechanism during periods of illness in later life,” Mauricio Avendano, an epidemiologist at LSE and an author of the study, said in a statement. “It is not clear to us how much this is about religion per se, or whether it may be about the sense of belonging and not being socially isolated.”

Researchers looked at four areas: 1) volunteering or working with a charity; 2) taking educational courses; 3) participating in religious organizations; 4) participating in a political or community organization. Of the four, participating in a religious organization was the only social activity associated with sustained happiness, researchers found.

Go here to read the rest.

Then their leftie, atheist readers do what they normally do when reality conflicts with their beliefs:  attack reality!

 

-Wok-
8/16/2015 7:31 PM CDT
 
 
 
 
Sorry but I’m not interested in false consolation.more
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jeglackin
8/16/2015 6:45 PM CDT
 
 
 
 
“Religious Faith” sustains.We learned that long ago in Japan. We are being hammered by it in the Middle East.
Afghanistan gave the Russians AND us a lesson.

Do you have a point? One beyond fanatics are eager to die ?

more

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rcarliii
8/16/2015 6:17 PM CDT
 
 
 
 
An opium addict might be happy too. I have never seen evidence of a benevolent deity. I could argue for the existence of a malovent one though.more
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Rhea1
8/16/2015 5:32 PM CDT
 
 
 
 
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality of happiness, and by no means a necessity of life. — George Bernard Shawmore
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Russell Vaughan
8/16/2015 5:30 PM CDT
 
 
 
 
I got nuthin’ to loose with this comment. I used to sneak Hamburgers on Fridays and I was told I am going straight to Hell, so my die is cast! You will notice where most all the mega-churches are in the country, down South. You’ll notice where Jerry Springer gets most of his guests, down South. You’ll notice where the the lowest wages and most impoverished people come from, down South. You’ll notice who has the poorest health in the country, down South. You’ll notice where the least bright people in the country live, down South. There is a definite correlation between not being too bright and being overly religious. These mega-church pastors rake in millions from the hopeful and dumb. Look at the Muslim suicide bombers , they blow them selves up thinking they are going to live in eternity with 39 (or so) virgins. They’re not dumb anymore! Did anyone play a game in grade school? The teacher told a phrase to the first kid and by the time the story got the the last kid it was unrecognizable. Think the printing press wasn’t in use in any numbers until 1500. All these stories of Jesus were passed down for 1500 years mouth to mouth until finally printed Does anyone seriously think the stories are accurate? Now think back just 320 years to Salem. People were burned at the stake for being witches. If that was the state of mind in relatively recent times, what was it like five times that duration in the past. In the Universe we are a speck of sand in the Sahara, yet all this life flourishes in only one place? The truth is believers are afraid. Afraid to just be dead for eternity. So if your given the delusion that you will live on in spirit and you’re stupid enough to believe it, you’re going to jump at it. The trick is to go ahead and enjoy life! Commit all the sins (not crimes) you want ! When the sun burns out and engulfs the planet, my ashes are going to be right next to yours !!more
See More

Continue Reading

17

PopeWatch: The Shock of Recognition

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Those brilliantly twisted folks at The Lutheran Satire are always on target.  PopeWatch wishes that the arguments raised by the theological liberal in the video do not bear more than a passing resemblance to the style of argument engaged in by high level figures in the Vatican, one of many instances:

This current initiative of Cardinal Kasper comes, however, also right after a somewhat concealed May 25 “Day of Study” at the Gregorian University in Rome, which was organized by the three presidents of the Swiss, French, and German Bishops’ Conferences – Bishop Markus Büchel, Archbishop Georges Pontier, and Cardinal Reinhard Marx – who met with 50 participants: “partakers of the Synod, professors of theology, members of the Roman Curia, as well as journalists,” according to the press release of the German Bishops’ Conference of May 26. The general theme of this confidential gathering was the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the family, and the substance of the presentations was also to be kept confidential. The participants were even asked to preserve a silence after the Day of Study was over. As Catholic News Agency reports:

One of the speakers, who asked to be kept anonymous, refused to comment on the purpose of the conference and the tone of the discussion, as “it is unfortunately forbidden to us by the organizers to give any interview or explanation about yesterday’s conference.”

The well-respected Vatican reporter Edward Pentin spoke with Cardinal Marx after he exited the confidential meeting. Pentin reports:

Speaking to the Register as he left the meeting, Cardinal Marx insisted the study day wasn’t secret. But he became irritated when pressed about why it wasn’t advertised, saying he had simply come to Rome in a “private capacity” and that he had every right to do so. Close to Pope Francis and part of his nine-member council of cardinals, the cardinal is known to be especially eager to reform the Church’s approach to homosexuals. During his Pentecost homily last Sunday, Cardinal Marx called for a “welcoming culture” in the Church for homosexuals, saying it’s “not the differences that count, but what unites us.”

As different media outlets have subsequently been able to report, the following themes were discussed favorably at this Rome meeting, all of which items indicate a liberalizing tendency:

  • a new “theology of love”: sexuality as a precious gift of God, as itself an expression of love
  • the Church’s acceptance of homosexual unions
  • the Church’s listening to the voice of the Baptized in moral questions
  • a Catholic Hermeneutic of the Bible on the basis of the words of Jesus about divorce
  • the change of moral patterns in a pluralistic society
  • admittance of “remarried” couples to the sacraments
  • a second marriage as an “authentic union”
  • the indissolubility of marriage as “an ideal or ‘utopia’”
  • the importance of the human sex drive
  • sexuality as basis for a long-lasting relationship
  • with the lengthening of lifespans, the borders of fidelity are also changed
  • the development of Church doctrine and discipline over time

The spokesman for this one-day meeting, Matthias Kopp, told Catholic News Service on May 27, after some criticisms had arisen: “I reject the thesis that the bishops have an agenda to change church teaching.” In spite of this denial, many Catholics are indignant and suspicious about the procedure and tendency of this meeting, since many of the bishops, who are meant to be represented by the presidents of their own national bishops’ conferences, were not even informed about the confidential meeting, let alone invited. Continue Reading

17

The Man in the High Castle

Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:

Ecclesiastes 12:5

 

The late Philip K. Dick, paranoid, left-leaning, mentally ill and drug abuser, was nevertheless a science fiction writer of pure genius.  His book The Man in the High Castle (1962) introduced me as a boy to the genre of alternate history, with his unforgettable evocation of a United States divided by the victorious Axis powers of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.  One of the main plot devices in the book is a novel The Grasshopper Lies Heavy which posits an alternate reality in which the Allies won World War II.  Like most of Dick’s work, the book suggests that the dividing line between alternate realities can be very thin. Continue Reading

43

Today the Episcopalians, Tomorrow the Catholics!

national-catholic-fishwrap-sancte-pater2-death-penalty-capital-punishment-national-catholic-reporter-national-catholic-register-america-magazine-our-su

 

Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels for the Church so frequently that I have named him Defender of the Faith, has  a warning for us:

 

Most people figured out a long time ago that the ultimate goal of the secular and Christian left in general and the Catholic left in particular is the Episcopalianization of the Roman Catholic Church.  Hence the wild leftist enthusiasm for anything Pope Francis says that sounds like a signal that Rome might be backing away from some of its more objectionable (to the left) doctrines.

Toward that end, the National Catholic [HAW, HAW, HAW, HEE, HEE, HEE, OH MY GOD, STOP IT, MAN, I’M BEGGING YOU, YOU’RE KILLING ME HERE, HAW, HAW, HAW, HEE, HEE, HEE!!] Reporter lets a retired Episcopal minister named Warner White write a bunch of really stupid crap:

It was a slippery slope. Once I began to refer to the Holy Spirit in the feminine in my sermons and in the creed, certain results followed — slowly at first, but inevitably.

Why in the world did you start doing that, Warner?  Because PATRIARCHY!!

“We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life.” I didn’t notice right away, but after a while, it sunk in. I was calling the Holy Spirit “Lord.” The Holy Spirit, I was saying, not only gives life and proceeds from the Father and the Son, she is “the Lord.” I was co-opting the word “Lord.” In my vocabulary — and that of anyone else who called her “Lord” — this previously masculine word was now including the feminine.

Okey-dokey.

Not too long after I began this new practice, I also retired as an Episcopal parish priest.

Warner, my man, and please pardon the use of the masculine there, you “retired” as a priest LONG before that.

I became a parishioner. I sat in pews. And I noticed how little difference in the patriarchal nature of our worship this change was making, even when we had a woman priest at the altar. The language and imagery remained overwhelmingly masculine.

Told you it was the PATRIARCHY!!  Those bastards.

I also noticed that the priest and a lot of people around me were making “inclusive” language substitutions. When we gave thanks to the Lord our God we didn’t give “him” thanks anymore, we gave “our” thanks. Many people were now substituting “God’s kingdom” for “his kingdom,” and “God’s holy name” for “his holy name.”

Warner has two words of advice for people who do that.  Sack up.

Ugh. I see this as timidity, evasion, a minuscule half-measure. Why evade the issue? Why not just use the feminine? I have been saying, “give her thanks,” “her kingdom,” “her holy name,” and the like. Whenever a reference is being made to God and it is not clearly a reference to the Father or the Son, I am using the feminine.

If Warner gets his way, that Father/Son stuff is on the way out.

I have slipped a long way down the slope. A feminine God is not only Lord, she is also King. And not only do I speak of the Spirit in the feminine, I now speak of God in the feminine about as often as in the masculine.

I have never read a better illustration of Episcopalian air-headedness than Warner provides here.

But as a priest, the daily office immerses me in the PATRIARCHY!! of the psalms. We can’t change the PATRIARCHY!! of our heritage. That’s how God has revealed herself to us over the centuries.

So God’s kind of a screw-up then?

So in reading Scripture, in seeking its meaning, I do not feel free to make changes in the text. But in my worship, I do feel free to do so. When I pray the psalms, it seems to me that I am free to make changes that express my heart.

Son of a…aw, skip it.  You have to give Double W this much.  Dude’s all-in.

So I have gone through the Prayer Book psalms and substituted feminine pronouns for masculine wherever the reference is not clearly to a specific male, such as David and Moses and Joseph.

Any male human being reading this can sit Christianity out since any manifestation of masculinity whatsoever gives Warner the vapors.

I call these committed psalms.

Because anybody stupid enough to read them ought to be?

They go the path of commission rather than the path of omission. Further, they require a commitment on the part of those who use them. We commit ourselves to a path of reparation, of repairing the relation of female and male in our life and worship. Similarly, this is committed language in contrast to inclusive language. This language is not inclusive; it overdoes the feminine on purpose. It is matriarchal language instead of patriarchal.

So basically, it’s totally dishonest.  An absolute frickin’ lie.  Yeah, great Christian witness there, Warner.

Catholics?  Never EVER let down your guard. Continue Reading

26

Economics 101: That Didn’t Take Long

 

 

From a Mark Shea post back on April 15:

Seattle CEO to pay his employees $70K minimum wage

He will take a large pay cut to do it.

Proud of my home town.

Meanwhile, the naysayers keep responding to the evidence of the success and doability of a living wage with “Sure it works in reality.  But will it work in theory?”

Fast forward a quarter of a year:

What few outsiders realized, however, was how much turmoil all the hoopla was causing at the company itself. To begin with, Gravity was simply unprepared for the onslaught of emails, Facebook posts and phone calls. The attention was thrilling, but it was also exhausting and distracting. And with so many eyes focused on the firm, some hoping to witness failure, the pressure has been intense.

More troubling, a few customers, dismayed by what they viewed as a political statement, withdrew their business. Others, anticipating a fee increase — despite repeated assurances to the contrary — also left. While dozens of new clients, inspired by Mr. Price’s announcement, were signing up, those accounts will not start paying off for at least another year. To handle the flood, he has already had to hire a dozen additional employees — now at a significantly higher cost — and is struggling to figure out whether more are needed without knowing for certain how long the bonanza will last.

Two of Mr. Price’s most valued employees quit, spurred in part by their view that it was unfair to double the pay of some new hires while the longest-serving staff members got small or no raises. Some friends and associates in Seattle’s close-knit entrepreneurial network were also piqued that Mr. Price’s action made them look stingy in front of their own employees.

Then potentially the worst blow of all: Less than two weeks after the announcement, Mr. Price’s older brother and Gravity co-founder, Lucas Price, citing longstanding differences, filed a lawsuit that potentially threatened the company’s very existence. With legal bills quickly mounting and most of his own paycheck and last year’s $2.2 million in profits plowed into the salary increases, Dan Price said, “We don’t have a margin of error to pay those legal fees.” Continue Reading

5

PopeWatch: Wascally Wabbits

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From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:

 

Just days after Pope Francis made statements supporting the Church’s ban on artificial means of birth control, media outlets from across the globe are now reporting that the “progressive” pope has finally overturned the Church’s long-standing ban on contraception for bunnies.

Speaking with reporters on a flight Monday from the Philippines to Rome, Francis encouraged Catholics to use natural family planning so as not to breed like rabbits, before going on to add that rabbits would, from now on, be allowed the use of certain forms of artificial birth control.

MSNBC Vatican analyst Reese Moore reported that although the Church’s ban on humans using birth control has sadly not been overturned, that bunny contraception was a step in the right direction.

“This is certainly a step in the right direction,” Moore told EOTT this morning. “It appears to be an unprecedented statement that bunnies too may have a moral responsibility to limit the number of their offspring. When the Pope makes a statement saying that rabbits need not breed like rabbits, it appears as though the Pope is asking rabbits world-wide to look at Catholics as an example of responsible parenthood. I firmly believe that Pope Francis is testing the waters here for something truly groundbreaking.” Continue Reading

1

St. Alphonsus de Liguori on the Assumption

Fly, my soul, with Mary fly,
Soar beyond the golden sky,
Mount to Mary’s throne on high.

Bright the queenly crown she won,
Sweet the reign she has begun,
As she stands beside her Son.
Fly, my soul, with Mary fly.

How endure this long delay?
Living here how can I stay
From such beauty far away?
Fly, my soul, with Mary fly.

Sad my lot is here below;
Who can hope or life bestow?
Who will help or pity show?
Fly, my soul, with Mary fly.

But though far away from me,
Still our sovereign Queen will be
Full of love and clemency.
Fly, my soul, with Mary fly.

With a mother’s loving care
She will lift those hands so fair,
And will save us by her prayer.
Fly, my soul, with Mary fly.

Mother’s heart can ne’er forget
That we are her children yet,
By such dangers fierce beset.
Fly, my soul, with Mary fly.

Gently, still, she bends her eyes
On the soul that longs and sighs
For her love, the heavenly prize.
Fly, my soul, with Mary fly.

Blest the soul who, like the dove
Borne upon the wings of love,
Follows her to heaven above.
Fly, my soul, with Mary fly.

St. Alphonsus de Liguori

6

August 15, 1945: The Voice of the Crane

Something for the weekend.  Kimigayo, the Japanese national anthem.

And so World War II ended with the people of Japan standing at attention or bowing as they heard their Emperor tell them, in a classical Japanese that most of them probably found hard to follow, that it was time to endure the unendurable:

TO OUR GOOD AND LOYAL SUBJECTS:

After pondering deeply the general trends of the world and the actual conditions obtaining in Our Empire today, We have decided to effect a settlement of the present situation by resorting to an extraordinary measure.

We have ordered Our Government to communicate to the Governments of the United States, Great Britain, China and the Soviet Union that Our Empire accepts the provisions of their Joint Declaration.

To strive for the common prosperity and happiness of all nations as well as the security and well-being of Our subjects is the solemn obligation which has been handed down by Our Imperial Ancestors and which lies close to Our heart.

Indeed, We declared war on America and Britain out of Our sincere desire to ensure Japan’s self-preservation and the stabilization of East Asia, it being far from Our thought either to infringe upon the sovereignty of other nations or to embark upon territorial aggrandizement.

But now the war has lasted for nearly four years. Despite the best that has been done by everyone – the gallant fighting of the military and naval forces, the diligence and assiduity of Our servants of the State, and the devoted service of Our one hundred million people – the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan’s advantage, while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interest.

Moreover, the enemy has begun to employ a new and most cruel bomb, the power of which to do damage is, indeed, incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives. Should We continue to fight, not only would it result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but also it would lead to the total extinction of human civilization.

Such being the case, how are We to save the millions of Our subjects, or to atone Ourselves before the hallowed spirits of Our Imperial Ancestors? This is the reason why We have ordered the acceptance of the provisions of the Joint Declaration of the Powers.

We cannot but express the deepest sense of regret to Our Allied nations of East Asia, who have consistently cooperated with the Empire towards the emancipation of East Asia.

The thought of those officers and men as well as others who have fallen in the fields of battle, those who died at their posts of duty, or those who met with untimely death and all their bereaved families, pains Our heart night and day.

The welfare of the wounded and the war-sufferers, and of those who have lost their homes and livelihood, are the objects of Our profound solicitude.

The hardships and sufferings to which Our nation is to be subjected hereafter will be certainly great. We are keenly aware of the inmost feelings of all of you, Our subjects. However, it is according to the dictates of time and fate that We have resolved to pave the way for a grand peace for all the generations to come by enduring the unendurable and suffering what is unsufferable.

Having been able to safeguard and maintain the structure of the Imperial State, We are always with you, Our good and loyal subjects, relying upon your sincerity and integrity.

Beware most strictly of any outbursts of emotion which may engender needless complications, or any fraternal contention and strife which may create confusion, lead you astray and cause you to lose the confidence of the world.

Let the entire nation continue as one family from generation to generation, ever firm in its faith in the imperishability of its sacred land, and mindful of its heavy burden of responsibility, and of the long road before it.

Unite your total strength, to be devoted to construction for the future. Cultivate the ways of rectitude, foster nobility of spirit, and work with resolution – so that you may enhance the innate glory of the Imperial State and keep pace with the progress of the world. Continue Reading

3

Lost Moral Compass

Yes, it’s true…
and I don’t ask for forgiveness… not anymore.
With thee, heresy has come to eden.

John Rhys-Davis (Vasco Rodrigues)-Shogun

I have been a fan of the work of actor John Rhys-Davies since I viewed his over the top performance as the Portuguese pilot Vasco Rodrigues in Shogun in 1980.  In a field dominated by the Left, he is an outspoken conservative and has achieved success through sheer ability as an actor.

In an interview this week, he lamented the current morally lost state of the West:

“There is an extraordinary silence in the West,” Rhys-Davies told Carolla. “Basically, Christianity in the Middle East and in Africa is being wiped out – I mean not just ideologically but physically, and people are being enslaved and killed because they are Christians. And your country and my country (Wales) are doing nothing about it.”

“Why is it so evolved not to judge?” Carolla replied, identifying political correctness as the culprit. “This notion that we’ve evolved into a species that’s incapable of judging other groups and what they are doing, especially when it’s beheading people or setting people on fire or throwing acid in the face of schoolgirls… I like that kind of judging. That’s evolved!”

Carolla added that the U.S. “crushing Hitler” in World War II was a “good thing” that would not be possible now because Bill Maher would be “screaming” about tolerance.

“This is a unique age,” Rhys-Davies explained. “We don’t want to be judgmental. Every other age that’s come before us has believed exactly the opposite. I mean, T.S. Eliot referred to ‘the common pursuit of true judgment.’ Yes, that’s what it’s about. Getting our judgments right, getting them accurate.”

“Why can’t we get the same nations on the same page?” Carolla asked. “There’s a lot of nations that are never going to go down this road with us, but your nation, England, they’re sane. Why can’t we get them back toward sanity?”

“I think it’s an age where politicians don’t actually say what they believe,” the actor replied. “They are afraid of being judged as being partisan. Heaven forbid we should criticize people who, after all, share a different ‘value system.’ But ‘it’s all relevant, it’s all equally relative. We’re all the same. And God and the devil, they’re the same, aren’t they, really? Right and wrong? It’s really just two faces of the same coin.’”

“We have lost our moral compass completely, and unless we find it, we’re going to lose our civilization,” Rhys-Davies cautioned. “I think we’re going to lose Western European Christian civilization anyway.”

Rhys-Davies appeared on Carolla’s podcast to promote the DVD release of his film Return to the Hiding Place, about a group of Dutch youth resistance fighters in World War II. Continue Reading

6

Bear Growls: Theology: The Art of the Possible

I suspect that our Bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear is also a fan of Evita:

 

This scene from Evita takes a grimly comical look at Argentine politics. The name of the piece is a quote by Otto von Bismarck, “Politics is the Art of the Possible.” This realpolitik view was echoed by Pope Francis during his visit to Korea a year ago when he paraphrased Bismarck (or the musical) by saying, “Diplomacy is the art of the possible.”

Too often lately, we seem to be hearing prelates saying “Theology is the art of the possible.” The Bear was inspired (last year) to write his own lyrics for Jorge: The Musical. He didn’t have to change much. Imprecision, double-talk and misdirection have been the hallmarks of this papacy.

Theology is the Art of the Possible

PRELATES
One has no rules
Is not precise
One rarely acts
The same way twice
One spurns no device
Practicing the art of the possible

One always picks
The easy fight.
One praises fools
One smothers light.
one shifts left to right
It’s part of the art of the possible.

THE BEAR (on the air)
I’m only a blogger, in fact I’m a Bear.
But as a pewsitter I wanted to share.
We are tired of
the decline of
Our Church
with no sign of

A Vatican able to give us the things we deserve!

PRELATES
One always claims
Mistakes were planned.
When risk is slight
One takes one’s stand.
With much sleight of hand
Theology–the art of the possible.

One has no rules
Is not precise.
One rarely acts
The same way twice.
One spurns no device
Theology–the art of the possible. Continue Reading