Monday, February 29, AD 2016

7 Responses to Trumpisms

  • If there ever was a convincing argument that the GOP should adopt the super delegate system, Trump would be the embodiment of that argument!

  • Who in their right mind, would want to work in his cabinet if he made it to President?
    He would have to dig up Disney’s best; Press Secretary… Fog Horn Leg Horn.
    Secretary of State…Elmer Fudd.
    Toon Town would be all a buzz as the Donald presented his picks.

    Move over Daffy…there’s a new Donald in town.

  • “What? Does a little praise for tyranny trouble you in a candidate for President?”

    Welcome to America, a nation that has learned to appreciate the comfort of seemingly benign slavery and to prefer that condition to the vagaries of life and the freedom that results.

  • Holy Mackerel!

    Let us set aside who the President is that is being spoken of and consider that this is text from a US Senator to a US Secretary of State.

    Senator Blumenthal’s statement is so servile, so wretchedly fawning, and so un-American that it sickens me. This is whete we are, a people so accustomed to an Imperial Presidency that we have dropped the pretense of being a free people. Here is one of our senators, acting the part of a petty minister to a king, not the representative of a free people:

    “‘Having the members file through [a special secure room] will provide testimony to the President’s feat,’ Blumenthal wrote in the May 5, 2011 message. ‘They will be not only be acknowledging but also enhancing his power. They will in effect become liegemen bowing before him, but not in any way they will resent or will protest. They will serve as witnesses to the magnitude of what he has done.'”

    CONTEXT: This is from an e-mail to Secretary of State Clinton, urging her to make photographs of Osama Bin Laden’s body available to Congress, under tightly controlled conditions.

  • Wow! Trump in misusing executive action to put down his adversaries would make Obama green with envy. The pendulum is swinging the other way so far that the apex of its swing is at the same point at that from which it swung.

  • Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus.

    Can you imagine his fingers on the nuke-o-blasters:)…party like it’s 1999! Your dead on about the pendulum swing.

    E-mail from the Senator to the S.S. is sickening. Boot lickers,no question about it.

  • “When the mob gains the day, it ceases to be any longer the mob. It is then called the nation. If it does not, why, then some are executed, and they are called the canaille, rebels, thieves and so forth.’
    Napoleon to Dr Barry O’Meara on St Helena

Red Fascists at Work

Monday, February 29, AD 2016


What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling sea coasts, the guns of our war steamers, or the strength of our gallant and disciplined army. These are not our reliance against a resumption of tyranny in our fair land. All of them may be turned against our liberties, without making us stronger or weaker for the struggle. Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, every where. Destroy this spirit, and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors. Familiarize yourselves with the chains of bondage, and you are preparing your own limbs to wear them. Accustomed to trample on the rights of those around you, you have lost the genius of your own independence, and become the fit subjects of the first cunning tyrant who rises.

Abraham Lincoln, September 16, 1858




It has become so common for leftist groups to attempt to shout down conservatives at state funded colleges and universities that we overlook what a true outrage it is.  Institutions of higher learning are supposed to be places of free inquiry.  Instead, they are today commonly citadels of bigotry and intolerance where campus radicals, aided and abetted by the administrations of these state institutions, play out brown shirt fantasies against anyone with the guts to stand against them.  What happened to conservative commentator Ben Schapiro a few days ago at California State University Los Angeles is typical:


Initially, administrators at the taxpayer-funded public university tried to force the postponement of the event in favor of a later event where Shapiro would have to appear alongside speakers who disagreed with him. Shapiro vowed to speak at the original time scheduled, and the university backed down, releasing a statement Thursday:

Author Ben Shapiro was invited to speak this afternoon at Cal State LA by the Young Americans for Freedom, which is a registered student organization. The event, “When Diversity Becomes a Problem,” was funded by the Associated Students, Inc., the student government.

Leading up to the event, there were a number of emails and social media posts that caused concern for the campus community. Given threats and expressions of fear, President William A. Covino proposed a rescheduled event that would be civil and inclusive, and in which Mr. Shapiro and speakers with other viewpoints could offer their perspectives in an organized forum.

“My decision was made in the interest of safety and security,” Covino said. “I am disappointed that Mr. Shapiro has not accepted my invitation to speak in such a forum. He has indicated that he will come to Cal State LA to speak today at the University-Student Union Theatre, where he was originally scheduled to deliver his talk,” Covino told the University community Thursday morning.

Covino added: “I strongly disagree with Mr. Shapiro’s views. But if Mr. Shapiro does appear, the University will allow him to speak. We will make every effort to ensure a climate of safety and security.”

In his remarks, Shapiro blasted Covino and other faculty members who tried to stop the event from taking place, and who had threatened violence against Shapiro, including professors Robert Weide and Melina Abdullah.

He called them “disgusting” and described Covino as a “totalitarian” and an “idiot” whose behavior exemplified “an insane society created by the American left who says that anybody that disagrees with them must be silenced.”

He explained that there are three kinds of diversity: diversity of color, diversity of values, and diversity of ideas. Only the last kind, he said, was valuable to society and could create stable and healthy communities.

Continue reading...

3 Responses to Red Fascists at Work

  • The great Divide. Liberial Tolerance.

    Call it the Grand Canyon of Tolerance. A place where hatred is nurturing in the young hearts.
    A hatred for good. Void of virtue but filled with indignation towards Liberty. Ah yes…higher education at it’s worse…thanks liberal Universities. You’ve been breading a culture of Nazis that would make Hitler blush.
    Great job. 🙁

  • I never went to college and I thank God that I never did. I was trained and educated in the US Naval Nuclear Power Program – effectively 4 years of real college education shoved down the throat in 2 years of technical training – 12 to 16 hours a day 6 days a week until being sent to the submarine. Then the real training and education began with cleaning the bilges beneath the feedwater control station and steam generator level control system in the feedwater bay of Engineroom Forward. Everytime those Reactor Coolant Charging Pumps started up just forward of where I was cleaning as the boat tosses and turns on the surface in the North Atlantic in November made me realize where I was and what I had done to myself. Don’t puke now – you’ll just have to clean the bilge all over again.
    Freaking spoiled brat millennial children and their commie pinko idiot professors! They got no idea what diversity and tolerance really is – shutting your freaking mouth as your division CPO is screaming at you for not doing a good enough job at bilge cleaning and you’re dog tired from being awake for 16 hours and a reactor coolant leak drill is now going to be randomly run to see how well you respond when you can’t see straight or stand on your feet. I hate godless liberal progressivism.

  • When will Mr. Shapiro run for president? Common sense, guts and the ability to handle a hostile crowd. When was the last time we saw someone with those abilities?

1752: The Year of the Missing 11 days

Monday, February 29, AD 2016

“It is pleasant for an old man to be able to go to bed on September 2, and not have to get up until September 14.”

Benjamin Franklin celebrating the elimination of 11 days in the switchover in 1752 from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar.

February 29, seems like an appropriate date to discuss the Gregorian Calendar.  The Julian Calendar, implemented by Julius Caesar, had been a striking advance for its day, placing the Roman calendar on a solar, rather than a lunar basis, and being only 11 minutes off in the length of the solar year, a strikingly accurate estimate for the time.  However, eleven minutes added up as the long centuries passed, and by the sixteenth century the calendar and the seasons were ten days out of whack, which was important to the Church in regard to the calculation of Easter.  The Gregorian Calendar implemented by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 eliminated ten days from the calendar and instituted the February 29 leap year, ever four years, to compensate for the extra six hours between 365 days and the solar year which adds up each year.  Three leap years are skipped every four centuries in years which are divisible by 100 but not divisible by 400.  The Gregorian Calendar is off by 26 seconds each year as to the length of the solar year which results in an extra day every 3,323 years.

Continue reading...

5 Responses to 1752: The Year of the Missing 11 days

  • St Teresa of Avila died on the night of the 4th and 15th September 1582, the day/s the Gregorian Calendar came into effect.

    In Scotland, from 1600 on, merchants and others tended to operate with both calendars andi t is common to find dates in letters or deeds expressed as OS (Old style or Julian) or NS (New Style or Gregorian) From 1 January 1600, the year had begun on 1 January; previously, it had begun on Lady Day (25 March) and continued to do so in England until 1752.

    A curious legacy of the reform is that the tax year, which previously ended on Lady Day now ends on 5 April – 25 March OS

  • MPS, I recall that Thomas Jefferson’s gravestone at Monticello Virginia has his birth date listed as “OS”. (Born in 1743)
    Upon briefly researching it today, I see that the original stone was replaced in the 19th century. Naturally, that’s the one I saw.

  • exNOAAman

    I recall reading somewhere that, after the Calendar Act, George Washington, who was born on 11 February 1731, celebrated his bisrthday on 22 February.

    I wonder if the practice was widespread and if people adjusted for 1800, which was a leap year in the Julian, but not in the Gregorian calendar.

  • I had not known that the Saxons persisted with the Julian calendar for nearly 170 years after the Italians, Pope and Spain adopted the Gregorian calendar. In 1588, the year of the Armada, the difference in calendar dates was 10 day numbers according to Garrett Mattingly, who in his book, The Armada, attributes this to the Englishmen’s “sturdy conservatism.”

  • T Shaw

    John Donne wrote his “A Nocturnal upon St Lucy’s Day, being the Shortest Day” in 1617. St Lucy’s Day is the 13th December. It is still celebrated as a winter festival in Sweden with a young girl wearing a crown of candles; thei obviously dates from the time when it fell on the Winter solstice.

    Likewise, there is a couplet, obviously dating from the 16th or 17th century,
    Barnaby bright, Barnaby bright
    The longest day and the shortest night

    The feast of St Barnabas is on 11 June

PopeWatch: The Donald and The Francis

Monday, February 29, AD 2016




Matthew Schmitz, literary editor of First Things, in the Washington Post thinks that the Pope and Trump have much in common:



Despite these differences, Francis and Trump have much in common. Begin with how they choose their major targets. Both are outsiders bent on shaking up their establishments. Francis challenges a hidebound Vatican bureaucracy and flirts with revising settled Catholic doctrine. He denounces institutional maintenance, demanding “a church that is poor and for the poor.”

Trump attacks conventional Republican politicians and violates every conservative orthodoxy. He calls George W. Bush a liar and praises Planned Parenthood. His every electoral success deals another blow to a political class that is already reeling during a primary season marked by populist passions.

There are rhetorical similarities, too. Barton Swaim, a former speechwriter, notes that conventional politicians “rely … heavily on abstractions” and “avoid concrete nouns.” By contrast, writes Swaim, Trump addresses potential voters in a vivid and snappy way, using simple words and arresting statements. Much the same could be said of Francis.

“” frameborder=”0″ marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” style=”border: 0px currentColor; border-image: none; vertical-align: bottom; display: none;”

[Pope Francis suggests contraception could be permissible in Zika fight]

Francis’s claim that “the earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth” is a piece of arresting hyperbole not unlike Trump’s claims that “we are led by very, very stupid people.” Whatever the merits of their arguments, both know how to make headlines.

And both men promise to empower those who feel excluded — from the Catholic Church, or from the U.S. political process. Francis sets aside established rules to accommodate troubled Catholics, while Trump gives voice to the anxieties of working-class whites who feel they have lacked a champion.

In making these appeals, Francis and Trump prioritize an iconoclastic style over substance — or coherence. The pope has heartened many Catholics, and shocked others, by supporting heterodox views on communion for the divorced and remarried. But he is hardly a down-the-line liberal.

He opposes abortion and has described gender theory as a violation of nature similar to the use of nuclear arms. His scattershot rhetoric finds its parallel in the opportunistic bombast of Trump.

Both an opponent of immigration and a critic of immigration rhetoric, both antiabortion and a supporter of the nation’s leading abortion provider, Trump boasts a political program that is no clearer than Francis’s theological one. Both men prize bold words and gestures at the expense of clear arguments and specific policies.

Their admirers overlook these inconsistencies. Why? The basis of their appeal is a mistrust of institutions, which is widespread and increasing. According to the Gallup Organization, only 42 percent of Americans now profess confidence in organized religion, down from a historical average of 55 percent. Only 8 percent have confidence in Congress, down from a historical average of 24 percent.

In such an environment, anti-establishment personalities become immensely attractive. It seems that all we need is a Strong Will (in Trump’s case) or Good Intentions (in Francis’s). Institutions, with their rules and customs, seem irrelevant at best.

Continue reading...

6 Responses to PopeWatch: The Donald and The Francis

  • Excellent post. Trump ad Bergoglio are so opposite that they are the same. I hold both in utter contempt as well. There. I said it.

  • I like Donald McClarey’s sum of the similarities of behavior and effect. We can see similarities in their actions but I don’t know that we can say what their motives are. (“Both are outsiders bent on shaking up their establishments.”) Was Bergoglio anti-establishment in Argentina? Was Trump anti establishment among the Democrats?

  • The pope doesn’t always shoot his mouth off. He was silent in supporting traditional marriage in Italty. Homosexual civil unions are legal in Italy. Francis comments…
    Of course, the U.S. bishops were silent when the Supreme Court forced gay “marriage” on us. Apparently massive shifts in the moral landscape are not a high priority. The shepherds have other things to do than quell the concerns of the flock, like help open the door to sin.

  • Lucius,
    If utter contempt allows you to still pray for both men as to their salvation, then you love your enemies as Christ mandated. But if utter contempt includes not praying for them per that contempt, then…you need to discuss contempt with your pastor because it seems the same as hatred which excludes from Heaven. I Peter 4:18…” “And if the righteous one is barely saved, where will the godless and the sinner appear.” Everyone here and in the Church is barely saved…not saved by a long shot…barely saved. A very high IQ demon got me last week on blasphemy during an oil painting mistake…for the first time in my life, full deliberation, no excuses…. and I got to Confession Saturday.
    The righteous one is barely saved…not saved easily…barely saved. Demons will use Francis against many…they are billiard players…excellent ones…using that ball to sink that other ball.

  • Bill Bannon,
    You are correct that we must pray for Pope Francis and Donald Trump. Perhaps God will bestow His grace and a miracle will happen. That is what we should want and work towards.
    That said, we have seen sacrifice with strange fire being offered to God. In Francis case, it’s the gospel of eco-wackism, unlimited immigration, and socialism masqueraded as social justice. In Trump’s case, it’s a secularized version of the prosperity preaching from the likes of Joel Olsteen, Creflo Dollar, Federick KC Price and Joyce Meyer (which does much to explain the appeal Trump has among evangelicals). We know from history how God responds to such strange fire. From Leviticus 10:
    1 Now Nadab and Abi′hu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer, and put fire in it, and laid incense on it, and offered unholy fire before the Lord, such as he had not commanded them. 2 And fire came forth from the presence of the Lord and devoured them, and they died before theLord. 3 Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord has said, ‘I will show myself holy among those who are near me, and before all the people I will be glorified.’” And Aaron held his peace.

  • Optimistic take. God has determined that Trump and Pope Francis are exactly the medicine we require at this time in history. Just wait and see.

The Essence of Trump

Sunday, February 28, AD 2016

It should be obvious to all sentient people by now, who are not card carrying members of the Cult Trump, that Donald Trump is completely ignorant on most public policy matters and that when confronted on his ignorance he resorts to his trademark Trump bluster and insults.  Ace at Ace of Spades had been supporting Trump due to Ace’s well founded disgust with the Republican Establishment.  He no longer is supporting Trump and in a very thought full post explains why Trump is a disastrous choice for conservatives:


Why I am I banging on about Trump’s lack of knowledge and thinking on these thoughts?

Because, unlike many, I don’t consider thinking and knowledge to be enemies of conservatism and principle. Rather, I consider them to be essential to it.

If you’re going to be a conservative — if you’re going to fight the very powerful cultural forces that surround us and push liberalism on us as the easy path you won’t get beat up for — you’d better have some damn good reasons for doing so, or you’ll come apart like a cheap suit.

Let me remind everyone what knowledge, deep thinking over years of consideration, and conviction can get you.

Let me remind everyone of Ronald Reagan’s and Robert F. Kennedy’s “Great debate” in 1967. A major issue was Vietnam (though Reagan did also take the time to call for the Berlin Wall “to disappear.”)

Robert F. Kennedy, the great hope of liberals and intellectuals and liberals who wrongly believe themselves to be intellectuals, got completely obliterated, despite being on the more popular side of the Vietnam War debate.

Why? Because Reagan knew every damn thing that was required to have an opinion, and to defend an opinion, on Vietnam. When an Oxford student claimed that the Diem regime (a previous America-supported regime, ended when Diem was assassinated) had put six million people in “concentration camps,” Reagan scoffed, noting the entire population of Vietnam was merely sixteen million people. How could he have possibly put six million in concentration camps, surreptitiously?

A big problem I have with Trump not knowing things, and clearly never have thought about things, combined with his obvious desire to pander and make the big sale, is that when he’s caught out without any good answer, and senses that he’s losing the room with an unpopular answer, he usually (75% of the time) tries to get back on the right side of popular opinion and embrace the liberal position on the issue.

You couldn’t do that to Reagan, because Reagan always had a series of facts to back him up, and because he’d been thinking about things — not feeling about them; thinking about them, theorizing about them — for years, like during his famous GE addresses.

Unlike Trump, he never felt that he was “losing the room” with an unpopular conservative answer. He was always confident and in command, because he had earned being confident and in command. He had done the homework — he wasn’t some Millennial who had feelz that xe was right. He was a thinking, intellectually-voracious man who tested his own thoughts until he knew he was right, because he’d looked at the question from several directions.

When Reagan felt he was addressing a hostile crowd, he didn’t immediately attempt to placate them by offering them a liberal position he flip-flopped to on the spot. Instead, he went into his mental note-card file and tried to convince them of the conservative opinion.

And a lot of the time, he did.

My problem with Trump is that he is a dealmaker trying to make a sale. Right now he’s trying to make a deal with conservatives — so this is the very most conservative we’ll ever see him.

If he gets the nomination, he now starts working on making the second part of the deal with the other party in the negotiations, the general public.

So this is the most conservative we’ll ever see Trump — this is the absolute most conservative he’ll ever be — and he’s not conservative at all, except, possibly, on immigration. He combines liberal policy impulses with frankly authoritarian or even fascist ones, which he thinks are “what conservatives want,” because, frankly, he conceives of us as ugly-minded, stupid dummies who get off on this shit.

That’s why he didn’t put the “Ban Muslims” line in a more palatable, persuasive form, like “Reduce immigration from Muslim-majority countries or countries with a terrorism problem to a level where we can vet each individual applicant.”

No, he put it in the most bigoted, ugly way he could think of, because that’s about his level, and because, also, that’s what he thinks “conservatives” are.

Even on issues like that, where I would like him to move the Overton Window so we can begin discussing a rational reduction of such immigration until this Jihadist Madness passes from history, I find he doesn’t move it at all, because he makes the issue much more toxic and alienating than it needs to be.

What does Trump actually know about conservatives? He seems to only know five things, which he repeats in such crude ways it’s preposterously insulting. Apparently we “love Jesus,” so he says he does too. He knows we love guns, so he’s so in love with the Second Amendment he wants to make out with it.

Does he ever explain the underpinnings of his belief in the Second Amendment, such that you get the impression if he’s challenged on it, he can break out chapter and verse on the amendment like Reagan would have and remained resolute in his position?

He senses we don’t like Mexicans or Muslims very much, so he wants to ban rapists and terrorists.

He knows we love babies and hate abortions, so he’s reversed himself from being “very, very pro-choice” and even supporting partial birth abortion to being so against abortion you couldn’t believe it. (But he’ll keep on funding Planned Parenthood because they’re a wonderful organization.)

Continue reading...

44 Responses to The Essence of Trump

  • The mental prayer job for all of us is to affirm that God is caring for us hourly despite what God is permitting on the macro stage seemingly in punishment of the macro culture. I still suspect Trump will find a way to lose since he need only state several new positions that he knows offend his own crowd. I don’t think he wants to build a wall or hunt 11 million people or pay for either…nor does he want ISIS bombing his hotels and golf venues. He knows his crowd which means he knows how to deflate them and how to exit this moving reality show. Slate says Christie endorsed him either to get attorney general etc…or a place on Fox news…not just to hurt Rubio. What a world.
    But to return to my first thought. Mental prayer on God’s hourly care for us is becoming in such a weird world…an obligation not a random option. Popes opposing the death penalty without noticing that Catholic non death penalty northern Latin America has the highest rate of murder of poor victims in the world by UN figures…and East Asia has the lowest. North Korea working always toward pointless war. Trump dreaming of an all executive order, no Congress, kingship….but not really when he finds the door leading out. To be sane for long in this world, one must find the God of Love and Care working hourly in one’s micro world…not the macro world…and that takes mental prayer with a notebook. How did God hug me this week…it’s not in the macro…it’s in the micro.

  • Heh… The Lex Luther closing was well played, Sir.

  • Maybe I am wrong about this, but I see some comparisons between Julius Caesar and Donald Trump. Of course there are significant differences, a big one being Caesar’s success as a military professional. And unlike Trump, Caesar wasn’t bone-head ignorant of the issues. Nevertheless, the following from chapter 4 in Plutarch’s Life of Julius Caesar is instructive, but like all comparisons, it fails in details (e.g., Trump isn’t eloquent but rather bombastic); however, the reference to hair is an interesting one.
    4 At Rome, moreover, Caesar won a great and brilliant popularity by his eloquence as an advocate, and much good will from the common people for the friendliness of his manners in intercourse with them, since he was ingratiating beyond his years. 5 He had also a large and gradually increasing political influence in consequence of his lavish hospitality and the general splendour of his mode of life. 6 At first his enemies thought this influence would quickly vanish when his expenditures ceased, and therefore suffered it to thrive among the common people; 7 but later on when it had become great and hard to subvert, and aimed directly at a complete revolution in the state, they perceived that no beginnings should be considered too small to be quickly made great by continuance, after contempt of them has left them unobstructed. 8 At all events, the man who is thought to have been the first to see beneath the surface of Caesar’s public policy and to fear it, as one might fear the smiling surface of the sea, and who comprehended the powerful character hidden beneath his kindly and cheerful exterior, namely Cicero, said that in most of Caesar’s political plans and projects he saw a tyrannical purpose; 9 “On the other hand,” said he, “when I look at his hair, which is arranged with so much nicety, and see him scratching his head with one finger, I cannot think that this man would ever conceive of so great a crime as the overthrow of the Roman constitution.” This, it is true, belongs to a later period.
    Chapter 5 likewise had some parts in it as well that compare favorably to what Trump is doing – again, details are entirely different but popular ingratiation seems common to both Caesar and Trump. Here is the entirety of that chapter given to place things in context:
    1 The first proof of the people’s good will towards him he received when he competed against Caius Popilius for a military tribuneship and was elected over him; 2 a second and more conspicuous proof he received when, as nephew of Julia the deceased wife of Marius, he pronounced a splendid encomium upon her in the forum,9 and in her funeral procession ventured to display images of Marius, which were then seen for the first time since the administration of Sulla, because Marius and his friends had been pronounced public enemies. 3 When, namely, some cried out against Caesar for this procedure, the people answered them with loud shouts, received Caesar with applause, and admired him for bringing back after so long a time, as it were from Hades, the honours of Marius into the city. 4 Now, in the case of elderly women, it was ancient Roman usage to pronounce funeral orations over them; but it was not customary in the case of young women, and Caesar was the first to do so when his own wife died. 5 This also brought him much favour, and worked upon the sympathies of the multitude, so that they were fond of him, as a man who was gentle and full of feeling.
    After the funeral of his wife, he went out to Spain as quaestor under Vetus, one of the praetors, whom he never ceased to hold in high esteem, and whose son, in turn, when he himself was praetor, he made his quaestor. 7 After he had served in this office, he married for his third wife12 Pompeia, having already by Cornelia a daughter who was afterwards married to Pompey the Great. 8 He was unsparing in his outlays of money, and was thought to be purchasing a transient and short-lived fame at a great price, though in reality he was buying things of the highest value at a small price. We are told, accordingly, that before he entered upon any public office he was thirteen hundred talents in debt. 9 Again, being appointed curator of the Appian Way, he expended upon it vast sums of his own money; and again, during his aedileship,13 he furnished three hundred and twenty pairs of gladiators, and by lavish provision besides for theatrical performances, processions, and public banquets, he washed away all memory of the ambitious efforts of his predecessors in the office. By these means he put the people in such a humour that every man of them was seeking out new offices and new honours with which to requite him.
    Yes, Rome was very different than the United States. But what few similarities there are should put fear in each of us. For example, what happens when Caesar meets his Brutus today? Will we get Augustus and Imperium a short while afterwards? And will Republicans be decapitated as was Rome’s last “Republican,” Cicero? If I err in my understanding of history, I am sure Donald will correct me. This is an area in which I admit my lack of knowledge.

  • I saw Trump’s “Trump U” advertisement the other day, in which Trump, while his lips were moving, said absolutely nothing. He reminds me of two vignettes:

    He’s Foghorn Leghorn – A loudmouth schnook.

    And Prestige:

  • I keep coming back to the Fall of the Roman Republic these days and your comment points to one of the reasons.

    As you say, Trump isn’t Caesar but the impulse to make kings is present in both examples. This is to say that the really interesting thing is that the people are in the same position, not that the would-be-kings are the same characters.

    When did the Republic die? It was dead before the crossing of the Tiber and, for us, before Obama’s election. In a sense, these men are opportunists, carrion rather than raptors.

    American independence ended with FDR… Perhaps too strong a statement. FDR laid the road to tyranny through replacing manly self-reliance with the comfort of slavery. In this sense, we have become like Rome, prefering golden shackles to the risks of freedom. For freedom requires self-reliance and an acceptance of risk and slavery is maintained by dual forces of threat and certaintly.

    I do not see this as a chicken-or-egg situation since it seems clear that a people who no longer care for freedom or have the stomach for self-reliance invite the opportunist who kills their republic. We did this to ourselves in 150 years.

  • “Carrion rather that raptors…”

    That was a dumb comparison since carrion is dead creatures and raptors do eat carrion… Opportunists that they are.

    Sorry… Need more coffee.

  • Texts from superheroes 6 months ago. XD just for you, Don.

  • Cheap seat prediction; If Thumper gets the nomination and faces the Pathological Liar for November, many current Trump supporters will not cast a vote. By then they will be so sick of Trump that they will stay home come Tuesday. They couldn’t imagine being a part of voting in a Idi Amin. Harsh? Yes. Trump has that capacity. By November his current backers will be nil.

    Rubio is the fading hope, and unfortunately I don’t think he’ll get the nod.

    Prediction. Socialist States of Amerika via Hag-erly.

  • What of predictions that Kasich is the most likely Convention pick?

    I could be persuaded by Kasich… Sort of a “mature” candidate. He isn’t Establishment but isn’t opposition either.

  • David Spaulding.

    Kasich would fit.
    Long shot though.
    Would he gather enough support prior to super Tuesday?

    I like his stands related to abortion. Passes test, except for Rape and incest. Rubio is a lone wolf when it comes to that exclusion.
    However… at this point in time…I’d be thrilled if Kasich made it in vs. Trump.

  • Kasich also insists that business owned by Christians cater to homosexual events like marriages (e.g., baking a gay wedding cake) against their consciences. Therefore, Kasich is less than fully acceptable. he would deny the full exercise of freedom of religion to those who by informed conscience cannot serve sodomite or lesbian unions.

  • Good point Lucius.
    I’d still be in favor of K over T.

  • “Texts from superheroes 6 months ago. XD just for you, Don.”

    All Luthor needs is a bad toupe and he and Trump could be stand ins for each other!

  • Philip, your prediction “many current Trump supporters will not cast a vote. By then they will be so sick of Trump that they will stay home come Tuesday” is quite likely. Trump’s posturing is shallow, its appeal is wide but shallow, and may blow away before the media fanned winds of Hillary’s full blown campaign. It is tempting to blame the Republican Party for failing to anticipate the rise of Trump but we are confronted with a population whose knowledge of history and civics is as shallow as Trump’s appeal. Shame on me for being so pessimistic on the Lord’s Day but there are devils driven out only by prayer and fasting.

  • I suspect that this will make no difference at all to Trump’s prospects.

    People become beholden to the political system in which they were raised. For most Americans, the two-party left/less-left system is natural and right, and they have great difficulty comprehending shocks to that system. It’s a black-swan problem: if you try to fit the Donald Trump phenomenon into your existing political universe, you will flounder.
    Oh, but he’s not discernibly conservative! No, he isn’t, but elected conservatives have utterly failed in conserving anything over the past century or do, and there’s no reason whatsoever to think that Rubio, Cruz, or Kasich will do any different.
    He doesn’t know the issues! No, he doesn’t, but you’ve been governed by the Ivy Leagues for generations, and they’ve sold the nation’s birthright to foreigners and oligarchs (including Donald Trump) immiserated a formerly proud and aspirational lower-middle class, and embroiled the country in disastrous foreign adventurism.
    He’s crass! Indeed, and how are your smooth-talking elites working out for you?
    He’s not pro-life! No, but tell me again about the manifold successes of the GOP in stemming the tide of abortion since 1974.
    All of these objections would be potent arguments if previous elections hadn’t proven beyond all reasonable doubt that the GOP (aka the Outer Party) is merely a token opposition that exists to legitimate the ever-leftward drift of the country. To coin a phrase, it turns out you can’t elect yourself out of a problem you elected yourself into.
    So the mood is a dangerous one. For every low-information voter who pulls the lever for Trump for dumb celebrity-worshipping reasons, there’s another, more well-informed voter who wishes to see the GOP in its current form laid waste, to be replaced by a party less inclined to sneer at and mock its own constituents or to regard them as cattle to be mustered at election time and disregarded thereafter. If this means losing an election or enduring the likely chaos of a Trump presidency, well, that’s a risk they’re prepared to take.
    Isn’t this a little desperate? Absolutely. Will the scorched-earth strategy work? Probably not. But it’s futile to try to fit this into the existing, moribund paradigm, in which we just have to elect the right Republican (maybe this time Lucy won’t take away that football!) in order to set the country back on the right footing. That paradigm, I am convinced, is dead.

  • ” you try to fit the Donald Trump phenomenon into your existing political universe, you will flounder.”

    Actually no. His type of candidacy is not without parallel. Perot and Wendell Wilkie for example. The outsider come in to cleanse the Temple is as old as American politics.

    “Oh, but he’s not discernibly conservative!”

    Actually he is discernibly liberal. The conservative movement has had long term successes: including defending the second amendment, the spread of right to work laws and the curbing of the power of unions.

    “He doesn’t know the issues!”

    Bone ignorant is a better phrase. The best President we have had in my life time was Ronald Reagan. He was very well informed and I assure you that Eureka is as far from an Ivy League college as it is possible to be. Trump graduated from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and you don’t get any more Ivy League than that.

    “He’s crass!”

    He certainly is. My late father, a factory worker who never graduated from high school and who was always a gentleman, would have snorted at Trump’s “I’m just a regular guy!” act.

    “He’s not pro-life!”

    He is a pro-abort actually, including partial birth abortion. Your reasoning is akin to supporting John Breckinridge in 1860 because Lincoln hadn’t accomplished anything on slavery. Your comment also ignores the ton of pro-life legislation passed in states where the Republicans control both the legislature and the Governor’s Mansion.

    “that exists to legitimate the ever-leftward drift of the count”

    You obviously have not been paying attention to which party has been enjoying an explosion in legislative seats and governor’s mansions at the state level. The idea that there is an inevitable drift to the left in this country is simply wrong.

    “more well-informed voter who wishes to see the GOP in its current form laid waste”

    Which won’t happen with a Trump defeat. A Clinton four year term might be as disastrous for the Democrats as the victory of George H W Bush turned out to be for the Republicans in 1988.

    “Isn’t this a little desperate?”

    I would not use the term desperate. “Profoundly stupid” would be the phrase I would apply to those conservatives who think backing Trump will either kill or reform the Republican Party.

  • William P. Walsh.

    I know how you feel. I said that this morning before the banquet of our Lord. I don’t like to be a pessimist either, without help from Our Lord we will have to suffer the pain of fools and opportunist who will shape the future our of Nation in an unrecognizable fashion. I should say unrecognizable when thinking of Americas past. I’m afraid the future will look more like Venezuela or USSR.


    Now more than ever be strengthened with fellow Catholics of like mind. Daily Mass if it’s possible. Meditation and Prayer. When things get out of control I am ready to stand up in the face of tyrannies. The past 16 years have been the practice field. Rallies on the public square, radio interviews and escorting the Bishop to front lines during the Religious Freedom events.

    What may come is our trial of Faith.
    Maybe not….but when Hillary Clinton spews rhetoric like; ” Religions must change their opinions on abortion..”. as she did a year ago, and God forbid she becomes Madame President, well let’s just say her words are fighting words and leave it at that!

  • I just today thought of one POSSIBLE argument in favor of voting for Trump in the general election if it comes to that.

    C.S. Lewis once wrote: “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

    Trump may be a “robber baron” who’s ultimately in it only for himself, but either Hillary or Bernie would be “omnipotent moral busybodies” determined to carry out the enlightened liberal agenda, and as such there would be no escaping them. Trump, perhaps, could be persuaded to back off of certain policies (e.g. the HHS mandate) if enough people made a ruckus about it. I doubt that Hillary or Bernie would do the same. In any event, this is NOT an endorsement of Trump but simply one possible way in which he MIGHT prove to be less odious than the alternative by the time November arrives.

  • In the meantime, I plan to vote for either Cruz or Rubio in the IL primary if it makes any difference by that point. Haven’t decided between the two however.

  • Elaine Krewer.

    C.S. Lewis to the rescue, of sorts.
    Interesting angle.
    Thanks for sharing this just in case the Donald and Ms. Benghazi are the two evils to choose from.

  • “The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

    Well, that actually helps a lot and ia not a thought that had occurred to me.

  • The Step Brothers routine reminds me of a recent comment I made to one of my many dear relatives who support Trump. I said, “Is Trump a conservative? I worry that electing Trump is like buying a boat without a rudder. The best we can hope is that he’ll at least ram the last voyage of Hillary’s garbage scow but then Heaven help the Ship of State with him at the helm.”

  • Oh, but he’s not discernibly conservative! No, he isn’t, but elected conservatives have utterly failed in conserving anything over the past century or do, and there’s no reason whatsoever to think that Rubio, Cruz, or Kasich will do any different.

    I’m not going to argue for the Conserv Inc here, but I do want to post the following quote from Mark Shea’s facebook page. This is NOT from Mark. Both of the following are from commentators and, as far as i can tell are sincerely believed and expressed. I have shown this to Don for a laugh and he can vouch for the screenshot. Links might also be provided if some are really incredulous. These are two different people who really believe the following:

    I think the point is to show how both parties have shifted so far to the right that the “liberal” Democratic party today is more conservative in a lot of ways than the “conservative” Republican party was 40+ years ago.

    It’s funny how many people say that Obama is the most liberal President ever, or that he’s some out of control radical, when he’s more conservative than Nixon.

    I only post this because… well because look at the 3 block quotes above. 1 claims that conservatism has been completely steamrolled and beaten forever. The other 2 claim it is in fact liberalism that has had nothing but loss.

    Obviously there are only 3 logical conclusions: 1) One of the beliefs is wrong. 2) Both are right. 3) Both are wrong. The real question is, how could we ever settle the dispute?

    And the real conclusion is: if both sides believe they’ve been nothing but beaten the last few generations, it explains everything about why Sanders & Trump are in the lead.

  • I’ll answer Don in a sec, but Nate raises an interesting point.
    I think the answer is that left-liberalism–based as it is in no coherent principles except muh self-pleasuring!–is a uniquely fluid and adaptable ideology. During the Soviet interlude of 1917-89, leftists were at least sympathetic to the command economy, and often outright champions of the model. The Soviet collapse should have forever discredited their ideas, yet they managed to completely reinvent themselves in no time at all, reorienting their Cold War class warfare organizing themselves instead around Third Worldism, environmentalism and the endless fount of identity grievance politics. Meanwhile, left-liberal governments under Clinton in the US, Hawke/Keating in Australia, and Chretien in Canada rejected the Old Left’s economic fantasies in favor of a more market-oriented approach. Sure, conservatives (actually right-liberals) “won” the economic battle, sort of, but for the left, sane economic policies just gave them more breathing room for their war on the culture.
    Objectively speaking, what do we have today in almost every Western country? An immense federal bureaucracy almost entirely captured by the left which busies itself harassing political opponents and smothering a formerly free people under mountains of regulation. A judiciary which has eagerly taken on the task of discovering previously undreamed-of “rights” by which they can drag the country into the glorious progressive future. An academic elite that provides a pseudo-intellectual facade for tomorrow’s new cause–whatever that might be–and which practices active exclusion of even moderately conservative views. A public school system that sees its primary task as indoctrination rather than anything resembling a well-rounded education. A media class that is so beholden to left-liberalism that they make centrist outfits like (gah!) Fox News seem like jackbooted brownshirts. Militaries whose leaders trumpet “diversity” (however defined) as their greatest strength and force soldiers to run in pink shoes and put on those pregnancy-simulating things.
    On the ground, we have more or less unrestricted abortion, same-sex “marriage” and the concomitant persecution of dwindling Christian minorities, the mainstreaming of pornography, a level of vulgarity and profanity in popular culture that would have been unthinkable to our grandparents’ generation, and an economy in which a large fraction of the population is effectively mendicant, net consumers of government spending. And despite Don’s sterling efforts here, our people have largely been stripped of their own history, culture, religion and heritage, all the better to transform them into rootless atoms of consumption, easy prey for corporations and the masters of the mob.
    And what grand successes can “conservatives” claim against this Marcusian long march? Well, none, really, with the singular exception of gun rights in the US. (And even that may largely have been due to NRA grassroots members taking Conquest’s Second Law seriously.) Conservatives fought every single item on the left agenda until they lost, at which point they started concocting reasons why “X” is really a conservative value. They made their peace with every leftist innovation that’s more than about, oh, five years old, and they’ll eventually make their peace with whatever abomination is next on the agenda.
    These are the fruits of democracy, my brethren. No matter how many times you pull that GOP lever, you will just get more liberalism, and get it good and hard. You simply cannot elect yourself out of this. The victory has been too total.

  • *sigh* If it comes down to Trump & Killary, I will vote for Trump. If he at least secures the southern border & reduces some of our ridiculous trade deficits/does serious damage to ISIS, that is better than what we have now. *longer sigh*

  • “Conservatives fought every single item on the left agenda until they lost, at which point they started concocting reasons why “X” is really a conservative value. They made their peace with every leftist innovation that’s more than about, oh, five years old, and they’ll eventually make their peace with whatever abomination is next on the agenda.”

    1. Maybe you defined what you mean by Conservatives somewhere, & I just didn’t read back far enough.

    2. People who simply call themselves “Conservatives” of whom there are myriads (but really are not) have only put on show fights & political theater to keep getting elected & consolidate their power. They are called RINOs. (Hope that gets on the regular contributor’s nerves who thinks that derogatory term is stupid.)

    3. Actual Conservatives will never stop fighting battles for limited government/freedom.

  • “These are the fruits of democracy, my brethren. No matter how many times you pull that GOP lever, you will just get more liberalism, and get it good and hard. You simply cannot elect yourself out of this. The victory has been too total.”

    Hopefully, brother, you will get some rest and regain your courage for the fight. I have been where you are right now. What it takes to rise, again, is to ask God for strength and a refreshing through the power of his Word, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the sport of Christian brethren. Courage is regained when we once again are assured that no matter the corruption we face–that God is on our side. He is not the least bit shocked by what is taking place and is making available His grace, that is new every morning, to sustain us.

    For some beginning encouragement toward that goal I will make a reference to history & then a couple of quotes.

    In the early 1980s it appeared that Communism had won & could never be defeated. It was defeated. The cost was high–however the defeat came.

    “Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” –Matthew 19:26

    “Never, never, never give up!”–Winston Churchill

    God only holds us accountable for what we are able to do in our circle of influence and that which is within our power. He can take small things that we are able to do and turn them into huge victories over time–we may not even live to see the end results of small actions we take in our service to Him.

  • “And the real conclusion is: if both sides believe they’ve been nothing but beaten the last few generations, it explains everything about why Sanders & Trump are in the lead.”

    Conservatives have had no real representation in DC since Reagan left office, and he was an anomaly. The last Conservative plan a Republican congress had was Newt Gingrich’s Cobtract with America. Boehner & Ryan have had a “contract on America” and give Osama (mispelled on purpose) every thing Osama has wanted.

  • Thanks for your reply, Don. If I get a little sharp in this exchange, please be assured that I am undiminished in my appreciation for your work here.
    I should say that as a reactionary rightist, I’m not actually a Trump supporter. I oppose universal-suffrage democracy in toto; in fact, I even oppose partial-suffrage democracy on anything larger than maybe a county or small city scale, so I don’t vote. I do welcome the fact that Trump has widened the Overton Window on questions like immigration–and if he actually builds a wall, he would have accomplished a great thing–but I’m under no illusions about him being the Great Savior.
    But Trump has tapped into a deep undercurrent of anger at the direction of the country. The average wage-earner hasn’t seen a real increase in pay in some decades. Manufacturing has increasingly shifted offshore, and men who used to support their families with honest, skilled labor are now relegated to service jobs. At the other end, low-skill entry-level jobs (especially those once filled by blacks and young people) have been turned over to an endless stream of immigrants, illegal and otherwise. In lower-middle America, broken families are ubiquitous, which provides great benefits to lawyers but otherwise leaves a trail of human wreckage as far as the eye can see. And the cultural fragmentation and enmity brought by all these factors (and more) has led to a sharp increase in death rates among lower-middle class whites. This indicates a deep malaise, and if it were any protected demographic–gays or wealthy white women, for instance–it would be deemed a major social crisis.
    Neither party offers anything to these forgotten people. To the Democrats, they’re flyover-country redneck bigots; to the Republicans, they’re entirely dispensable, to be palmed off with promises at election time and forgotten thereafter. Wealthy, well-educated people with low time preference have the means to insulate themselves from societal decay, but the people we’re talking about here are not so well-endowed. Over at The Week, Michael Brendan Dougherty–a traditionalist Catholic and like me, no Trump supporter–has written several articles detailing the Republican Party’s failure to take account of these downwardly-mobile unfortunates.
    Are they stupid? Yeah, they often are, but that’s not a crime, nor is it something they can do anything about. And under democracy, they get just as much of a vote as you do. Or should they just wait for their betters to tell them who to vote for?
    On the broader issues, Trump is certainly liberal–but then, they all are, to such an extent that they would be unrecognizable to any conservative from even the 1960s, let alone before. Liberalism (in the broad philosophical sense) is the state religion of the West, and experience has proven that right-liberals are totally ineffectual at resisting left-liberal innovations, since they agree on the fundamentals: the absolute primacy of individual self-determination and the right to “define one’s own concept of existence”, to quote that notable conservative, Anthony Kennedy. Left- and right-liberals just disagree on the best means to achieve those ends: property rights and freedom for the former, state-coerced “equality” for the latter. Since I profoundly disagree with those ends, I reject them both.
    I would not use the term desperate. “Profoundly stupid” would be the phrase I would apply to those conservatives who think backing Trump will either kill or reform the Republican Party.
    Once again, stupid people get the same vote as you do, and insulting them seems like a strange way to bring them around to your way of thinking. Secondly, the Republican establishment is currently mooting a third-party run or clever brokered-convention strategies, so they certainly seem to be worried about exactly that fate befalling the GOP. I mean, they could take note of the growing despair and anger among lower-middle class whites and tailor their policies accordingly, but that would mean turning on the transnational globalist elites who control the purse-strings, and who would do that for a bunch of gap-toothed hicks? I mean, think of the Party!

  • When facing overwhelming odds & corruption, as I have many times in my adult life and often on the behalf of others, I have often felt in my spirit basically what is said in the poem below. I have found that many times we can gain ground even when it appears on the surface that we have lost.

    “My Orders”

    MY orders are to fight;
    Then if I bleed, or fail,
    Or strongly win, what matters it?
    God only doth prevail.

    The servant craveth naught
    Except to serve with might.
    I was not told to win or lose,–
    My orders are to fight.

    Ethelwyn Wetherald

  • He’s (Trump is) not pro-life! No, but tell me again about the manifold successes of the GOP in stemming the tide of abortion since 1974.

    I’ve heard this argument in numerous places. Your error, dear Murray, is to assume that just because the Democrat Party is strenously pro-abortion that the Republican Party must be its exact opposite in all issues and therefore strongly pro-life. And because the GOP isn’t, it must be hypocritical or something like that.

    The Democrat party has pretty much ended any internal debate on the life question, its national candidates and national convention speakers must be unquestionably in lockstep with Planned Parenthood and other abortion-on-demand advocates. However, in the Republican party, the debate still goes on. Millions of people who identify as Republicans are just like Trump, they’re pro-abortion. It’s Trump and others like him who undermine rousing a solid stance against abortion within the Republican party yet because the GOP isn’t rock-solid pro-life you’re going with Trump. You make no sense, Murray.

  • Thanks Donald and everyone. Lot’s of good thinking. Murry impresses. Personally, I have grown tired of all the Republican/Democrat comparisons. Basically, there’s hardly a dimes worth of difference between them except some rhetoric. Both are giveaway artists. Both are corrupt. Both are there to feather their own nests. Both are liberal. And neither is going to do much about abortion or the size of government. Big Business, Big Government, Big Media and Big Religion (USCCB) are all in bed together. Fubar is the only way to describe it all. And it needed to be disrupted, destroyed.

    So now comes The Donald full of bluster and ignorance to the rescue. The establishment is appalled, embarrassed, scared, thinking that this guy is going to screw
    up the happy incestuous game they have going on. Thus Trump must be stopped at all costs even if it means Hillary is elected. This is what some folks think. They don’t trust any of the establishment politicians, the government, Wall Street, etc. I guess they could be called paranoid.

    Anyway, I don’t think many of them are going to change their minds as they believe Trump is the only one who has a chance of bringing change about. I think they have a point. And I think they deserve some respect.

  • My father and I were talking about loyalty yesterday. It is good and helpful to me to talk about management and last night we explored winning and maintaining loyalty.

    Loyalty cannot be damanded or faked.

    Tying this to the discussion, the GOP Establishment has been faking its loyalty for a very long time and, so, has np just cause to be angry at our rejection of their overtures.

    Is there a fundamental difference between the GOP and the Dems? That depends on what we mean by “party.” Just as “church” can mean the place, the hierarchy, the people, or the universality of Christian belief, so too, “Republican” can define the rank-and-file, the organized structure, or those who control the mechanisms of its governance.

    Even within those who control the mechanisms of the Republican Party’s governance, there is a split between the state parties and the national. If we are to be fair and accurate, we cannot speak of the Republican Party as a monolith for it is not.

    There IS a GOP Establishment whoch os more comfortable with the Democrat Establishment than the rank-and-file who make their elitist, privileged “careers” possible. Some states (my own is one of them) have State Republican Parties that are every bit as corrupt, morally and ethically, as their Democrat counterparts. Some states have parties which are more virtuous and faithful but the national party is utterly corrupt and inept.

    Look only at abortion and ask “what have national party officials and elected leaders done to further a culture of life?”

    Set aside success or failure for, if success and failure are the measure of virtue, who can be counted as virtuous? What have they TRIED to do?

    I have gone to all but three Right to Life Marches in DC since 1991 and can count, on one hand, the number of national leaders who were willing to stand up with us. Santorum? Absolutely. Where, pray tell, has Toomey been? Did Boehner or Ryan stand with us? No.

    Oh, they are happy enough to list being pro-life as a position in e-mails at this point in the election cycle but those position statements are greatly subordinated at all other times.

    Faithless, disloyal… And yet, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has the audacity to send me three e-mails a day, EVERY DAY, begging for money and warning me that, if I don’t support cowardly worms like Toomey with my donations, Obama will install liberal justices… “Oh yeah? Where in the hell were you guys when the President added the greatest number of judges to the bench in the last 50 years?! If you care so damned much about judges, and you should, why didn’t you even blink at the confirmation of liberal judge after liberal judge at points that you controlled the Senate?!”

    Faithless. Disloyal. Hypocrites. Cowards. Elitists. Bastards.

    The indictments have been earned, a pillar of privilege that the GOP Establishment has built, brick by brick, setting themselves up so high above us that they cannot even see the need and want of the rank-and-file that make their positions possible.

    Loyalty cannot be demanded or faked but the GOP Establishment demands loyalty and sacrifices, offers nothing in return, and pretends to know us.

    Trump is possible because the bastards have abused our relationship for so long. Like a jilted teenager who dates someone terrible for them, to get back at the ex, the GOP rank-and-file are expressing their outrage, just though it is, in the most juvenile and ill-considered way possible.

    We are angry and burning down the house of our abusers and they act bewildered. They seem to be oblivious, in true abuser fashion, to their responsibility in this and that reality heeps fuel on the fire.

    So, meaning no disrespect, the claim that the GOP have been faithful stewards falls flat, not because no Republicans HAVE been good stewards but becausethe national party, the GOP Establishment, has acted like abusive jerks for so long that they have utterly destroyed the relationship between them and us. We may be acting irrationally. We may be behaving like children. We may even be nailing the last nail in the Republic’s coffin but it is not without cause.

  • “Where, pray tell, has Toomey been?”

    Earning a 100% pro-life voting record according to National Right to Life which takes considerable courage facing re-election in Pennsylvania, a state reliably in the Democrat corner in presidential elections since 1992. Boehner and Ryan also had perfect pro-life voting records. This from Ryan’s facebook page:

    Pro-life politicians are politicians just like Lincoln. They have to work within the political system and win elections before they can do anything. Too many critics from the outside, not being politicians, fail to understand that short of magic wands or mass executions on the floor of Congress, progress depends upon substantial majorities in Congress and control of the White House, plus the convincing of the American people.

  • “I oppose universal-suffrage democracy in toto; in fact, I even oppose partial-suffrage democracy on anything larger than maybe a county or small city scale, so I don’t vote.”

    As stated by Winston Churchill it is the worst form of government devised by the mind of man, except for all the others. Human governance is always going to be a messy process, but if prosperity and peace are two of the big goals in this Vale of Tears, democracies have comparatively functioned rather well.

    “In lower-middle America, broken families are ubiquitous,”

    Judging from my legal practice they often haven’t formed. The number of paternity cases I see has sky-rocketed over the past twenty years.

    “This indicates a deep malaise, and if it were any protected demographic–gays or wealthy white women, for instance–it would be deemed a major social crisis.”

    Blacks have the same trends, only double the impact, and there is zip outcry over them. The reason for this is because the two prime culprits are the Sexual Revolution and the Welfare State, those two great disasters of the Sixties that the Democrat Party is pledged to protect.

    “Neither party offers anything to these forgotten people.”

    Not quite. The Republican party offers a better economy, as Obama has demonstrated the deadly impact full bore Democrat policies have on any recovery, and the Republicans offer more local, rather than Washington, control, along with a diminishment of the welfare state. The Democrat party does not even see that a problem exists. Ever more hapless wards of the State is a feature not a bug as far as most Democrat politicians occur. The problem of broken families, which is at the bottom of most of the pathologies that afflict us, is of course beyond the power of politics, and will probably require a massive religious re-awakening, along the lines of the mendicant monks of the latter Middle Ages and the Methodists of eighteenth century Britain, but politicians can at least stop making a bad situation worse.

    “Are they stupid? Yeah, they often are, but that’s not a crime”

    It is often worse than a crime in its consequences to the person making the stupid mistake. However, I do not think that Trumpism is a phenomenon of the white working poor, but much broader than that, and much stupider as a result, since desperate people can be forgiven for acting in a desperately stupid manner.

    “the broader issues, Trump is certainly liberal–but then, they all are”

    That is false. The average Republican in Congress is not only far, far more conservative than Trump, but is more conservative than the average Republican in Congress five decades ago. As to your broader point, it is simply mistaken. Leftists are certainly not champions of the individual but of the hive, the collective. All the proposals that serve to use the power of the State to enforce conformity now comes almost exclusively from the Left.

    “Once again, stupid people get the same vote as you do”

    I did not call them stupid but rather stated that people who support Trump in order to destroy the Republican party are acting stupidly since that goal will not be reached by making Trump the nominee. Everyone acts stupidly on occasion, even very bright people. Trump is an ignorant megalomaniac, but I think it would be quickly clear that he is a party of one in the event that he were to be elected, which if Clinton is the nominee for the Democrats he might very well be. The people are in a “throw the rascals out and replace them with new rascals” mood and Trump might well benefit from that sentiment. We have had buffoons before as President, and doubtless the Republic and the Republican Party will survive, but it would not be a pleasant trip, especially for the people who have to recall they voted for this crony capitalist Mussolini.

  • I certainly get that winning elections is necessary to affect change. That creates a natural tendency to spend precious time, post-election, suring up wins and looking for opportunities to pick up other seats. Thus, the focus becomes winning, not doing.

    The problems with this are many since the rank-and-file vote with a purpose in mind, a purpose that is thwarted by the efforts to convince the amorphous Middle to lean towards the party. Add to that the challenges in passing legislation through two houses and the othrr party’s president, and accomplisging nothing salutary is rather to be expected than not.

    In a sense though, this is a cop-out.

    You and I express favor for the Separation of Powers set up by the Constitution and, for me, the idea that Congress, session after session, myopically focuses on the Presidency, assuming it can do nothing a president does not approve of, is odious. This is all the more so when the Senats has unilateral power to stop the President through its Consent powers and chooses not to our of some assumed risk that the Middle will switch to their side, if only the GOP is, well, NOT an advocate for the very things we emected them to do.

    For example, Jeh Johnson says he won’t enforce immigration laws and, after a hearing in which the GOP shakes its finger at him, he is confirmed. Loretta Lynch says she will not appoint special prosecutors to look into Administration corruption and the GOP makes a big hooplah… Then confirms.

    Do immigration agencies lose funding for diverting funding to illegal, unconstitutional DACA and DAPA actions and for failure to remove criminal aliens? Nope. Does ATF&E lose funding for the ill-concieved Fast and Furious scandal? Nope. Does DOS lose anything for letting men die in Libya, our consulates and embassies be attacked, or consular officials assaulted and killed in the Americas? Nope.

    All we get is rhetoric and little enough of that is there is a perception that the Middle might lean Left on the issue.

    At some point, “positioning” looks a lot like cowardice.

  • Pingback: MONDAY EDITION – Big Pulpit
  • Micha Elyi,
    Your error, dear Murray, is to assume that just because the Democrat Party is strenously pro-abortion that the Republican Party must be its exact opposite in all issues and therefore strongly pro-life. And because the GOP isn’t, it must be hypocritical or something like that.
    No, I’m not making that assumption at all, and I’m not “going with Trump”. I don’t vote, remember? In fact, my core point is that the Democrats and the Republicans are not opposites at all; they are both fervent adherents of the state religion of liberalism, differing only on the best means to achieve their common end of maximal equal preference satisfaction, as Catholic writer Jim Kalb calls it.
    Understand that I’m not using “liberalism” in the standard pejorative sense; I’m using it to describe the overarching political philosophy that animates our entire political class and that completely occupies the Overton Window of contemporary politics. (The Buchananite paleoconservatives were the last, weak vestige of anti-liberal thought in American politics, and they were purged from the GOP in the 1990s.) When a leftist invokes “equality” or “choice”, they are paying homage to liberalism; similarly, when a conservative invokes “freedom” or “self-determination”, they are likewise burning a pinch of incense to the gods.
    We befuddle ourselves when we assume (understandably, but mistakenly)that the current Overton Window represents the entire theoretical space of politics, and that what we now deem as “left” and “right” represent polar opposites on the political spectrum. The Window certainly sets the boundaries of acceptable mainstream political discourse right now, but even a cursory glance at history will tell you that mankind has developed (and often flourished under) a vast array of political philosophies, in which liberal democracy represents a tiny, brief (and probably soon to be extinguished) sliver.
    Which is not to say that there aren’t important differences between left- and right-liberals. Right-liberals tend to be more realist in their economics, more traditional in their social mores, and more accepting of intermediary institutions like churches and fraternal organizations, and and to that extent we can make alliances with them. But we do not agree on ends.
    Which brings me (finally!) to abortion. Left-liberals are being entirely consistent with their principles when they uphold a woman’s right to kill her unborn child–that is, as long as they can maintain the pretense that the fetus is not, in fact, a living human individual. But it presents secular right-liberals with a Gordian-knot dilemma: how do they square the mother’s right to freedom and self-determination with the child’s right to exist? Religious right-liberals can invoke their beliefs in defense of the child–at least for now–but if a secular right-liberal decides to oppose abortion, he must do so by adopting what the late Lawrence Auster called an unprincipled exception. Others, more consistently, become pro-choice to the arbitrary extent that their own squeamishness will allow them to accept: first trimester, viability, heartbeat, whatever. And that’s why the Republican Party is all over the place on abortion.

  • Don,
    I agree with each of your posts above. My views are summarized well in this link:

  • Edward K, I think that the only thing that can save America at this point is for all the best brains to put their full support behind the Tea Party and do everything in your power to help Trump win the White House. Meanwhile in the next four years build up the Tea Party into a real and proper powerhouse, ready and determined to replace the corrupt G.O.P. party once and for all. Only then can you have a real chance at rebuilding America. It has to be something along those lines. The corrupt elites are too firmly entrenched to be expelled in any other way. Right now, Trump is a Godsend for America.

  • Don,
    As stated by Winston Churchill it is the worst form of government devised by the mind of man, except for all the others.
    Yes, I hear this a lot, but … it’s not exactly an argument, is it? It’s pretty much a bumper sticker.
    Human governance is always going to be a messy process, but if prosperity and peace are two of the big goals in this Vale of Tears, democracies have comparatively functioned rather well.
    Have they? In the past century, democracies engaged in several of the bloodiest, cruelest wars in human history (not to mention the Civil War in the 19th century), and have embroiled themselves in dozens of lesser conflicts since then. And irony of ironies, that may be endemic to the the democratic model: According to Victor Davis Hanson (quoted here), Athens ‘widened, amplified, and intensified’ the waging of war, regularly attacked other democracies, and was ‘a constant source of death and destruction’ among the Greeks. (That entire essay is gold, and the balanced account of Athenian democratic militarism is highly reminiscent of the American public’s attitude to war over the past century or so, for good and for ill.) It wasn’t long ago that the American public was being urged to support military action in Iran and Syria (for democracy!), and one or both of those may yet eventuate.
    As for prosperity, I think you may be engaging in a bit of Whig history here. A democratic market-based economy is certainly superior to command economies of any stripe, but our current prosperity rests upon astonishing technological advances, all of which rely on scientific discoveries that took place in societies which were vastly more illiberal than our own. If we can credit democracy for Watson and Crick, or Shockley, or Fleming, or Einstein, can we credit monarchy for Newton, Pascal, Maxwell, Lavoisier, Volta, Watt, Carnot, and Faraday? We are standing on the shoulders of giants. To be sure, technological development would likely have taken some different turns under a non-democratic modernity: absent liberal democracy, for instance, we might not now be looking forward to hardcore porn being delivered through virtual-reality headsets, but I see no reason to expect that we would not have experienced a similar level of technological progress.
    Blacks have the same trends, only double the impact, and there is zip outcry over them. The reason for this is because the two prime culprits are the Sexual Revolution and the Welfare State, those two great disasters of the Sixties that the Democrat Party is pledged to protect.
    I agree wholeheartedly on the issue of black dysfunction, but it seems to me we have recently been subjected to a very great deal of agitation about the social crisis affecting black communities. Of course, being leftists, they try to fit everything into the Procrustean Bed of RACISM!, but this is not exactly “zip outcry”.
    The Republican party offers a better economy…
    Indeed it does, but this sidesteps the point that the people we are discussing are the losers in the great creative-destruction shakeout. If you haven’t read it already, David Frum, writing in The Atlantic, offers an excellent overview of the new class warfare emerging in the Republican Party: The Great Republican Revolt. Be sure to read his replies to his critics, linked at the end.
    he average Republican in Congress is not only far, far more conservative than Trump, but is more conservative in Congress than the average Republican in Congress five decades ago.
    By what measure? I would say they’re probably more conservative in strict economic terms (as I replied to Nate last night), but on social or cultural issues? No-fault divorce? Immigration? Free speech? Religious liberty?
    And this also raises the question: If Republicans now are “far more conservative” than Republicans then, why does the federal government continue to occupy an ever-increasing chunk of the economy? Why does the federal bureaucracy continue to metastasize? Or is it just that they only came around a couple of years ago, and haven’t yet had time to implement their “far more conservative” agenda? And if that’s the case, what evidence do we have that they’re actually sincere, given that they’ve controlled the HoR for over three years, and both Houses since 2014?
    As to your broader point, it is simply mistaken. Leftists are certainly not champions of the individual but of the hive, the collective. All the proposals that serve to use the power of the State to enforce conformity now comes almost exclusively from the Left.
    Sure, that’s what they do. But the left absolutely does champion individual freedoms when it comes to issues like sexual freedom (so-called), emancipation from “racism” or “white privilege” (ditto), or abortion. They do this at the very same time as they shout down and persecute dissenters, but they’re doing it in the name of the sacred individual.

  • “Yes, I hear this a lot, but … it’s not exactly an argument, is it? It’s pretty much a bumper sticker.”

    It is a statement of historical fact.

    “In the past century, democracies engaged in several of the bloodiest, cruelest wars in human history”

    Unless they were going to lay down as sacrificial lambs before the Third Reich, World War II was a completely just conflict from the standpoint of the democracies. In regard to World War I, I don’t believe a more democratic German Second Reich would have given carte blanche to Austria. In the last century, outside of colonial conflicts, precious few conflicts had a democracy as an aggressor.

    In regard to Athens they had a long history of conflicts with Sparta that pre-dated the famous Peloponnesian War. Additionally the Athenian state had precious little in common with modern democracies as I am sure that Athenian women, slaves and foreign residents would attest. In regard to the Civil War I suspect that the whole conflict would have been resolved peacefully if the subject of the dissolution of the Union had been brought before Congress and argued out there rather than on the battlefield. There have been enough sentiment to “let the erring sisters go” that a bill calling for the separation into two nations might have been voted out of Congress. In any case my argument is not that democracies never go to war, but that they tend to go to war less overall than other systems of government.

    ” A democratic market-based economy is certainly superior to command economies of any stripe, but our current prosperity rests upon astonishing technological advances, all of which rely on scientific discoveries that took place in societies which were vastly more illiberal than our own.”

    The English scientists that you named were members of a society that tended to be among the most liberal on earth since the seventeenth century. However prosperity and democratic regimes pre-date the scientific advances of the past three centuries. The republics of the Middle Ages were not democracies but they were much closer to democracies than the regimes they competed with and surpassed in merchant and banking prowess. Popular regimes seem to gravitate towards market oriented economic activity.

    “Of course, being leftists, they try to fit everything into the Procrustean Bed of RACISM!,”

    Allegations of racism is the binding glue that holds together leftist politics in this country. True solutions to the real problems that beset blacks would be a disaster for the left. Booker T. Washington saw this long ago: “There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs – partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.”

    “Indeed it does, but this sidesteps the point that the people we are discussing are the losers in the great creative-destruction shakeout.”

    A vibrant economy benefits all, but especially the people who are without work. The contemporary Democrat party embraces economic superstitions that are poison to economies.

    “but on social or cultural issues? No-fault divorce? Immigration? Free speech? Religious liberty?”

    In regard to all these issues, except for divorce, I would say yes. Certainly that is the case with abortion. Goldwater’s wife, for example, was one of the big supporters of Planned Parenthood in Arizona and he had arranged an abortion for one of his daughters in the fifties. Other than prayer in school, the social issues were not prominent in the sixties, and if they had been the Rockefeller wing of the Republican party would have been on the other side.

    “why does the federal government continue to occupy an ever-increasing chunk of the economy?”

    Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid almost entirely. They account for around 48% of all Federal spending. Other than Obamacare which is in meltdown, the Republicans have been good in the past thirty six years since Reagan in holding the line on federal spending. However, they have been unable to get through reforms of these costly programs due to the fact that the Democrats enjoy electoral success largely as the defenders of these programs.

    “they’re doing it in the name of the sacred individual.”

    Yes, we are agreed that leftists lie a lot, most pitiably to themselves.

Von Galen Contra the Swastika

Sunday, February 28, AD 2016

The Lion of Munster

Neither praise nor threats will distance me from God.

Blessed Clemens von Galen

(I ran this series originally back in 2011.  I am rerunning it now, because the contemporary Church is greatly harmed by the unwillingness of so many clerics to confront evil forthrightly.  In this year of Mercy we must not forget the need to cry out for Justice, and that is precisely what the Lion of Munster did.)


In my first post on Blessed Clemens August Graf von Galen, which may be read here, we examined the life of this remarkable German bishop who heroically stood up to the Third Reich.  Today we examine the second of three sermons that he preached in 1941 which made him famous around the globe.  One week after his first breathtaking sermon against the Gestapo, my examination of which may be read here, he preached on July 20, 1941 a blistering sermon against the Nazis and their war on Christianity in general, and Catholicism in particular.

Today the collection which I ordered for the inhabitants of the city of Münster is held in all the parishes in the diocese of Münster which have not themselves suffered war damage. I hope that through the efforts of the state and municipal authorities responsible and the brotherly help of the Catholics of this diocese, whose contributions will be administered and distributed by the offices of the Caritas, much need will be alleviated.

Charity, always a prime duty of Catholics.

Thanks be to God, for several days our city has not suffered any new enemy attacks from without. But I am distressed to have to inform you that the attacks by our opponents within the country, of the beginning of which I spoke last Sunday in St. Lambert’s, that these attacks have continued, regardless of our protests, regardless of the anguish this causes to the victims of the attacks and those connected with them. Last Sunday I lamented, and branded as an injustice crying out to heaven, the action of the Gestapo in closing the convent in Wilkinghege and the Jesuit residences in Munster, confiscating their property and possessions, putting the occupants into the street and expelling them from their home area. The convent of Our Lady of Lourdes in Frauen­strasse was also seized by the Gau authorities. I did not then know that on the same day, Sunday 13th July, the Gestapo had occupied the Kamilluskolleg in Sudmühle and the Benedictine abbey of Gerleve near Coesfeld and expelled the fathers and lay brothers. They were forced to leave Westphalia that very day.

The Nazi war on the Church is becoming more brazen in the midst of the War.

Continue reading...

13 Responses to Von Galen Contra the Swastika

  • Pingback: Blessed Clemens August von Galen | CatholicSaints.Info
  • These articles are such an encouragement.

  • Change a few words and this is about the USSA today. Hitler-Obama; Nazis-Democrats; etc. But SS/Planned Parenthood is not a 1 for 1 comparison-the SS never, and never even dreamed of, demonic killing on the scale at which PP does it today. Himmler/Richards is also in error – Richards oversees a killing machine that Himmler never even hoped for. Guy McClung, San Antonio, Texas

  • Please, the US bears no resemblance to the Third Reich. Among its other manifest evils, the Third Reich did forced abortions on non-Aryans. It is obscene to compare the US to the Nazis and it is not going to be tolerated on this blog.

  • Pingback: MONDAY EXTRA – Big Pulpit
  • Thank you for publishing these posts on Blessed Clemens von Galen. On my father’s side, I am totally English from the earliest sellers in MA and RI. I am, on my mother’s side, descended from devout R Catholic Austrian, German and Swiss immigrants who came to this country in the 1840s.
    In Catholic grade school in Arlington VA, 1958-1963 VA, my brother and I felt the stigma of having German ancestry even though we had an English surname…as all German-Americans were equated with being Nazis. No one from my father’s family was present at my parents’ Catholic wedding in MN. It could be that my grandparents had 4 sons (my father included) and 1 daughter-in-law serving in the WWII European theater. Anyway thank you. This is another post I am passing to relatives from that side of the family.

  • “as all German-Americans were equated with being Nazis.”

    Considering the number of German-Americans buried in US military cemeteries in Europe, and that our forces were led by a German-American, the idiocy of such a belief is self-apparent.

    The crazed paper hanger is an aberration in German history which provided Europe some of its proudest moments, especially in the cultural sphere.

  • Yes, Gen Eisenhower, USA, and Gen Spaatz, USAAF, in Europe and Fleet Admiral Nimitz, USN in the Pacific.
    My father told us to ignore the name calling kids; that they were parroting their ignorant parents. Stick and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.
    I look forward to the canonization of von Galen, and hope and pray that our Church hierarchy will be braver.

  • Donald R-The USA that my father and great uncle fought for [one above beach on DDay, one on the beach] and that my father-in-law fought in the Pacific for, that USA no longer exists; and I would never compare that USA to the Third Reich. I purposefully used “USSA” to distinguish our present tyranny from that country that was blest by God. There are things the present-day Democrats, a few others, and Planned Parenthood have done and are doing that make Hitler, Goebbels, Himmler and Mengele look like wicked little kindergartners. Here is a “letter” about that God-blest country (note-I am now in my 70th year):

    Yes, Guy, There Is And Will Be America January 12, 2016
    Dear Editor,
    I am in my 69th year. Some of my little-minded friends, Democrats, and their President rejoice and say America is no more. I and many of my friends served in the Army during the Vietnam War. My father, my uncles, and father-in-law fought for America in World War II. My grandfather fought for America in World War I. My ancestor grandfather fought for America with General Washington in the Revolutionary War. Is this America no more? My childrens’ ancestor grandfather was the first Texan wounded in the Texas War For Independence in 1835; and two of their other grandfathers fought in the Civil War. Is what they fought for dead? I have heard from some, “If you see it in the eyes of your fellow Americans, hear it in their words, witness it in the reverence they have for Old Glory, and if they believe it in their hearts, then it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there an America any more? Very truly yours, Guy McClung, San Antonio, Texas

    Dear Guy,
    Your little-minded friends, the Democrats, and their President are wrong. They have been affected by the statism of a statist age and have been taken in by their own schemes. Yes, Guy, there is an America. America exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion and true patriotism exist, and America makes possible for you and everyone here an abounding meaning, beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no America! It would be as dreary as if there were no Americans. There would be no faith in one’s fellow man or woman, no united country that is and has been a shining city on a hill, no place where still thousands wish to come, and sacrifice everything to do so, because the hope for this America can move men and women to sacrifice all to be happy here.

    If there were no America, there would be no hope for the world. The world would have no enjoyment, no place full-of-wonder as is America. If anyone would succeed in destroying America or fundamentally changing it, the shining American light which fills the world would be extinguished.

    The Democrat President has said America is a nation of a foreign religion. Guy, he might as well have said a dog’s tail is a leg, and that a dog has five legs. From its founding America was a Judeo-Christian nation, has been a Judeo-Christian nation throughout its history, is one now, will be one after 2016, and will forever be a Judeo-Christian nation. Change America to another nation ? Our Constitution itself says it was signed in “the year of Our Lord,” who is none other than Jesus Christ. Change America from being a Judeo-Christian nation? This would be like changing love to hate, glory to infamy, or light to darkness.

    Not believe in America! You might as well not believe in goodness, and justice and love. America is the faith, poetry, love, care, courage, beauty, steadfastness, romance, and bravery that pushes aside tyrants and those who would alter or abolish her, and proclaims the glory she has known, the glory of her today, and the glory she will know in years to come. Is America real? Ah, Guy, in all this world there is no country so real, so good, and so abiding.

    No America? Thank God, Guy, America, the America your forbears fought for, lives and will live forever. A few foolish fools cannot change her. A thousand years from now, Guy, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, America will continue to make glad the hearts of its citizens and be a place of justice, of courage, and of freedom.

    God bless America, Guy, Merry Christmas! and Happy New Year.

  • Speaking of U.S. patriots, here is a link to the Middle East War Memorial which I didn’t know existed. It’s in Illinois on private property, an inscribed granite wall. The phone company HQ has turned it’s lobby into a museum for items left behind at the memorial outside. There is annual motorcade like Rolling Thunder.

  • A number of years ago, I happened to strike up a conversation with an elderly woman at WalMart. She was a survivor of the Second World War and related to me an unbelievable story of how she and her sister had saved their lives. I asked her what it was like growing up during the rise of Nazism and she said, “It was very much like what is going on here, under President Obama, today–except for the schools.” I said, “Yes, I suppose so. The propaganda and brainwashing under the Third Reich must have been intense, indeed.” She looked at me intently and replied, “No; you misunderstand me. I feel sorry for the public schoolchildren of today. My sister and I longed to spend as much time as possible at school because there, at least, we were safe.” I commend you for calling attention to Cardinal von Galen’s heroic stance, but let’s not be too quick to say that what we are facing here and now is “much milder,” even where textbook publication is concerned. Textbooks from which references to the Living God have been scrubbed, and schools from which prayer to Him has been banished, have produced an environment of violence–ideological and literal–which those who successfully resisted the Third Reich find ominous and blood-chilling.

  • Re-reading Blessed von Galen this afternoon.
    “We see a much milder version of this in too many public school text books in our own country today. “{Unfortunately it’s not just public schools in the USA.}

    “Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs” is this similar to what Germany has today? If so, it would explain why the almighty Mark was and the Euro is so important to the German hierarchy. What are other strings are attached to the government’s money?

    This man’s writings are so inspiring as is your commentary. I hope and pray that we in America will never experience the fierce attacks that the Catholics and other Christians experienced under the Nazi regime.

  • Pingback: Von Galen on Martyrdom – The American Catholic

PopeWatch: Trump and Christ

Saturday, February 27, AD 2016

14 Responses to PopeWatch: Trump and Christ

  • “PopeWatch attempted to contact the Pope for comment but was told by the Vatican switchboard operator that the Pope was not taking any more questions about Donald Trump or nuns in the Congo.”

    The Holy Father knew to keep his mouth shut? Now that’s a first!

  • Aren’t we happy The Donald came into the picture. He gives Pope Francis some competition.

  • Trump and Pope Francis both speak too soon after an impulse. Proverbs 15:28 says, ” The just man weighs well his utterance..” I think Francis is just in his private behaviour but he does not have the macro justice required to lead the Church as witnessed by his last week claim that the fifth commandment condemns the death penalty. The fifth commandment was given inter alia in the 5th chapter of Deuteronomy after which the same Trinity…God…gave multiple death penalties as mandatory in Deuteronomy 13 and 19. So we’re faced with an almost total ignorance of the Old Testament lately and not just with Francis on that topic…his two predecessors finessed the OT in this area and all three never spell out vocally Romans 13:4….which tells birth control dissenters what when Popes dissent from tradition and certain scriptures with not even a Cardinal making a peep about it. It tells them dissent is normal.

  • Trump vs. Clinton in 2016: there is something almost preternatural about what appears to be forthcoming. Did Bill Clinton really ask Trump to run? The psychopathology is monumental.

    Despite his flaws the Pope is looking better and better when measured against these two.

  • “Despite his flaws the Pope is looking better and better when measured against these two.”

    That is a very low bar indeed.

  • TomD “Pope looking better and better”?

    Let me think about that.

  • Nobody’s been audited more for Christ than Trump.

  • Well, Trump mostly told the truth about his audits. His faith WAS attacked, since his deity does reside in his bank accounts.

  • “As Christ wrote somewhere in the bible, ‘Don’t be losers. Drop your nets and follow me.’ And I take these words seriously. Only winners follow Christ, and Rubio is losing. He’s losing badly, which makes him a loser, and therefore not a Christian.” Wow, Donald! And right off the top of your head.

  • Oh course, the Donald I refer to above is the Trump and not the McClarey we all know and love. As I recall, the only mention of Christ writing “somewhere in the Bible” was when He traced upon the ground the sins of those gathered to stone the woman caught in adultery. A case of open mouth, insert foot, Mr. Trump?

  • Trump… fired back.

    “As Christ wrote somewhere in the bible, ‘Don’t be losers. Drop your nets and follow me.’ And I take these words seriously. Only winners follow Christ, and Rubio is losing. He’s losing badly, which makes him a loser, and therefore not a Christian.”

    Yeah, a lot of Protestants just assume Christ wrote the Bible. It’s only when they get off mental autopilot and actually think hard about the Bible do they realize that Catholic church fathers wrote the Christian Scriptures and compiled the Hebrew Scriptures that became the Bible. (Then, as soon as their conscious thinking stops they slip back into their unconscious mental autopilot assumption that Jesus wrote it all–or at least the parts Protestants haven’t redacted out of the Bible.)
    And the bit about “Rubio is losing… and therefore not a Christian” is soooo very Prosperity Gospel. Very Protestant* and very heretical.
    Congrats to Eye of the Tiber for such a spot-on portrayal of a modern Protestant.
    *Sure, not every Protestant is a Prosperity Gospel believer. To paraphrase Groucho Marx, if you don’t like that heresy the Protestants have others.

  • No room in the Prosperity Gospel for the Widow and her Mite.

  • Jesus did’t write the Bible, He just spoke the words in red.

    In English, just like it appears in the King James’ Bible.

1812 Overture

Saturday, February 27, AD 2016


Something for the weekend.  Tchaikovsky’s  1812 Overture.  Written in 1880 to commemorate the victory of Russia over Napoleon, its composition was due to the fact that the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, commissioned by Tsar Alexander I in thanksgiving for the victory, was nearing completion.  As it happens, Tchaikovsky did not think much of what would become his most famous piece, writing that it was noisy and lacked all artistic merit and was written by him without love.  Oddly enough, it has become associated in this country with the Fourth of July, as I have heard it performed on several Independence Day celebrations.

Although it has been endlessly parodied, “the cereal that’s shot from guns”, I have always liked it.  Listening to a great piece of music like this, I wonder if the below humor piece does not possess a rare insight:

Continue reading...

5 Responses to 1812 Overture

  • Love those canons!

  • Military pieces are rarely the composer’s best. Beethoven admitted that “Wellington’s Victory” was “sh*t” but that his sh*t was better than other composers best music.
    My reaction when I first heard it was, “Wut? Beethoven wrote ‘The Bear Went Over the Mountain’?”

  • If there’s a composer whose name can be mentioned in the same breath as Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven, it’s Tchaikovsky. He suffers from the same dilemma as Mozart: he’s often so accessible that people overlook his skill. In Mozart’s case, the more you study music, the more impressive he gets. In Tchaikovsky’s case, I think that people who study Russian music in greater depth become enchanted with later, less accessible composers.

  • “As it happens, Tchaikovsky did not think much of what would become his most famous piece, writing that it was noisy and lacked all artistic merit and was written by him without love.”

    If anyone would like to hear what Tchaikovsky considered his love, listen to his Serenade for Strings Op 48 (the 1812 Overture is Op 49, both were written in 1880). The two have similarities, but the Serenade is a very beautiful work, one of the best ever.

  • very interesting article– the “hologram” of great music seems possible ! 🙂
    I have always been drawn to pre-Soviet music, prose and poetry…that Russian spirit is also close the the heart of our blessed Mother, I think

The Rifleman and Job

Saturday, February 27, AD 2016


From the second episode of The Rifleman television series entitled Home Ranch, first broadcast on October 7, 1958.  Lucas McCain and his son are taking possession of their ranch outside of North Fork that McCain purchased in the first episode.  Agents of a local cattle baron, who has been using the range of the abandoned ranch, burn down the house on the property in order to force McCain to sell the land to the cattle baron.  His ten year old son Mark, in despair, says it looks to him as if the Lord is dead set against them ever owning a ranch.  McCain responds by telling his son the story of Job.  Director Sam Peckinpah loved the Book of Job, and would often recite verses from it when he encountered bumps in the road during his life.

Continue reading...

4 Responses to The Rifleman and Job

  • Few if any TV shows like this any longer.

  • One of the greatest compliments a soul will ever receive is being told that they have the patience of Job. God in his great love for mankind gives us Job and thus, a reality that all is never lost. Never.

    The suicidal tsunami seems to be gathering momentum. No hope. This as more and more sophisticated parents and teachers do not advocate any formalized religion. I’ll always remember my wifes nephews response as I mentioned baptism for his first newborn son; “Never! My son will pick out his own if he so chooses, but I hope he never chooses a religion.”

    Meanwhile, the answers for the truly despondent are found by ending their own lives.

    Because many do not understand or attend church services, you are their hope. You are the only Church a soul may have encountered.
    You may have saved a life without ever knowing it. That’s Good News. Thanks Job.

  • Late in my morning prayer.
    Today’s reading from Micah; “Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance; Who does not persist in anger forever, but delights rather in clemency, And will agian have compassion on us, treading underfoot our guilt?

    In the daily readings that stretch from East to West in our Catholic Church, this first reading, partial reading (Micah 7:14-15, 18-20), caught me after the earlier post above. About Job and souls who despair and give up, unlike Job. The souls who might not of ended their lives if they had only known Gods love and forgiveness.

  • Thanks. I needed that.

The Last Cristero

Friday, February 26, AD 2016


The Virgin Mary is our protector and defender when there is to fear

She will vanquish all demons at the cry of “Long live Christ the King!”

Soldiers of Christ: Let’s follow the flag, for the cross points to the army of God!

Let’s follow the flag at the cry of “Long live Christ the King!”

English translation of the battle hymn of the Cristeros




The last member of that gallant band who took up arms to defend Catholics 90 years ago has passed away.  From the blog Call me Jorge:


Juan Daniel Macias Villegas died on 18 February 2016 at the age of 103 years in his native town of San Julián, Jalisco, Mexico.  He began fighting with the ‘Cristeros’ at the age of 13 years.  Don Macias was the last living soldier of the Cristero War. 

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord.
And let the perpetual light shine upon him.
And may his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Go here to read the rest.

Continue reading...

9 Responses to The Last Cristero

  • May the spirit of Juan Daniel live in our hearts.
    A spirit of Viva Cristo Rey!

  • Juan Daniel is a saint and a faithful son of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
    I went to the theater three times to watch this movie and to financially
    support it. I also purchased a Blu-ray copy for my home theater.

  • A “lovely revolution” indeed. God, that we will have such courage and faith.
    THANK YOU for sharing this.

  • Perhaps we are under circumstances in our country, where we may have to defend our “Christ The King” and our right to believe soon now. As we saw in Mexico, Satan is relentless, and Politicians WILL take away our freedom.

  • Douglas A. Saballos.

    Not perhaps, rather we are in jeopardy of our Religious Freedoms. In 2012 the movie For The Greater Glory opened up in select theatres and it wasn’t by coincidence. The HHS mandate was the weapon wielded by Obama’s Administration to coerce all business owners into supplying insurance products that destroy human life at its earliest beginnings; abortifacients ie. Morning after pill, plan b, RU-486. Obama gave a very slim exclusion to exceptions, mainly Church employee status, however rulings in favor of Freedom of Conscience have come about; Hobby Lobby case for example, but it’s an uphill fight.

    To have the government defining our religion is one small step to having our religion gutted.
    For The Greater Glory was a timely reminder of what can transpire when good men remain silent or asleep as tyranny slithers in on its belly.

  • When I learned of the Cristeros and the oppression of Christians in Mexico by thuggish, anti-Catholic governments I was dismayed that I had never heard of it in all my years in Catholic school and CCD.

    This history should definitely be taught to US Catholic children. That it’s not another example of our bishops doing less than their full duty.

  • Pingback: MONDAY EDITION – Big Pulpit
  • I own the movie, “For Greater Glory” and believe that we are all being “readied” to defend our faith come what may. Our hope lies in Christ & He is our hope. Even if we lose our lives it does not matter because in essence we truly gain it. But for those who wish to persecute us it will not go well with them. The truth of God can never be “silenced” it lives on even after death. I share this movie & evangelize others to the love of Christ. Que Viva Christo Rey Para toda la vida! Amen.

  • Mrs. Edna Ruiz-Manrique.

    Agreed 100% to everything you said.

    When Hillary Clinton told a group of women that Religions “must” change their views on the abortion debate, one must take her seriously! If she gets in as President you can count on her working to achieve that goal by any means possible.

    God bless you and keep you.

To Remain Forever a Child

Friday, February 26, AD 2016




Hattip to Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts.  Patrick Deneen who teaches political theory at Notre Dame decries the ignorance of his pleasant students in a post entitled Res Idiotica:


My students are know-nothings.  They are exceedingly nice, pleasant, trustworthy, mostly honest, well-intentioned, and utterly decent.  But their minds are largely empty, devoid of any substantial knowledge that might be the fruits of an education in an inheritance and a gift of a previous generation.  They are the culmination of western civilization, a civilization that has forgotten it origins and aims, and as a result, has achieved near-perfect indifference about itself.

It’s difficult to gain admissions to the schools where I’ve taught – Princeton, Georgetown, and now Notre Dame.  Students at these institutions have done what has been demanded of them:  they are superb test-takers, they know exactly what is needed to get an A in every class (meaning that they rarely allow themselves to become passionate and invested in any one subject), they build superb resumes.   They are respectful and cordial to their elders, though with their peers (as snatches of passing conversation reveal), easygoing if crude.  They respect diversity (without having the slightest clue what diversity is) and they are experts in the arts of non-judgmentalism (at least publically).  They are the cream of their generation, the masters of the universe, a generation-in-waiting who will run America and the world.

But ask them some basic questions about the civilization they will be inheriting, and be prepared for averted eyes and somewhat panicked looks.  Who fought in the Peloponnesian war?  What was at stake at the Battle of Salamis?  Who taught Plato, and whom did Plato teach?  How did Socrates die?  Raise your hand if you have read both the Iliad and the Odyssey.  The Canterbury Tales?  Paradise Lost?  The Inferno

He contends that this pathetic ignorance among students who should be the most learned among their generation is no accident:

We have fallen into the bad and unquestioned habit of thinking that our educational system is broken, but it is working on all cylinders.  What our educational system aims to produce is cultural amnesia, a wholesale lack of curiosity, historyless free agents, and educational goals composed of contentless processes and unexamined buzz-words like “critical thinking,” “diversity,” “ways of knowing,” “social justice,” and “cultural competence.”  Our students are the achievement of a systemic commitment to producing individuals without a past for whom the future is a foreign country, cultureless ciphers who can live anywhere and perform any kind of work without inquiring about its purposes or ends, perfected tools for an economic system that prizes “flexibility” (geographic, interpersonal, ethical).  In such a world, possessing a culture, a history, an inheritance, a commitment to a place and particular people, specific forms of gratitude and indebtedness (rather than a generalized and deracinated commitment to “social justice), a strong set of ethical and moral norms that assert definite limits to what one ought and ought not to do (aside from being “judgmental”) are hindrances and handicaps.  Regardless of major or course of study, the main object of modern education is to sand off remnants of any cultural or historical specificity and identity that might still stick to our students, to make them perfect company men and women for a modern polity and economy that penalizes deep commitments.   Efforts first to foster appreciation for “multi-culturalism” signaled a dedication to eviscerate any particular cultural inheritance, while the current fad of “diversity” signals thoroughgoing commitment to de-cultured and relentless homogenization.

Go here to read the rest.  Now such ignorance is appalling but why?  Cicero said it best:  “Not to know what happened before you were born is to remain forever a child.”   One of the chief goals of education should be to produce morally responsible men and women, not forever children, and hard won knowledge is usually an essential part of the process.  Deneen has a series of questions to underline the ignorance of his students:

Continue reading...

20 Responses to To Remain Forever a Child

  • We are in for a lot of trouble. Ignorance is not bliss; it is a tragedy.

    “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana

  • “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana

    Condemned to repeat its more harrowing aspects of it.

  • Marcus Tullius Cicero – my favorite statesman!
    If I had my way, his writings would be mandatory reading in high school – in the original Latin.

  • I might add that the effect, if not the very purpose, of modern education, is to erase all ties between western civilization and its Judeo-Christian roots.
    The battle is always, as St Paul reminded us, with the powers and Principalities….

  • Think this is new? I graduated from high school in 1982 – a third of a century ago. I never read any of those works, not in high school or college, for which I was ill prepared both academically and financially.

    School systems teach tests now as a sign of “academic excellence”. Ha.
    Young people, thanks to their parents and their never ending infatuation with pop culture, have no knowledge of God, only of the half truths and lies taught as fact about Christianity.

  • Penguins Fan has a point. I graduated in 1976. Mine was the last Latin class. I was the last person to be taught Caesar, Cicero, Virgil, Horace, Catullus, Tacitus and Aurelius in that school. The Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Aeneid – all things I had to read in high school (and I had to translate the last one) are unknown to today’s wide-eyed spoiled brat millennials. It’s depressing. I as a Catholic even know the Bible better than my Sola Scriptura Baptist friends. People nowadays – unless it is something directly related to their jobs or a hobby they do at home – are bone head ignorant. So if they don’t know Plato and Cicero, then how can we point to Aquinas’ arguments about God’s existence in Summa Theologica as they argue for materialistic scientism taught in today’s Academia? There is no common ground. They have no foundation. They do not know nor would they understand that our Republic is built on Greek philosophy, Roman law, and Judeo-Christian religious tradition. Zeno, Epicurus, Epictetus, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Herodatus, Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon, Daniel, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Cincinnatus, Scipio Africanus, Cato, Cicero, etc. are all names meaningless to these idiot children. And they are our future. God help us.

  • The problem is multi-generational, since Deneen isn’t saying anything that Bloom hadn’t already said. Barzun too, for that matter.

  • You don’t know where you are until you know where you’ve been.

  • Deneen is making a different argument than Bloom did. He’s citing the same symptoms but giving a different diagnosis. Bloom described cultural ignorance as more of a bug. Deneen describes it as a feature. It’s a provocative position, but I’m not sure that I agree with it. I think the answer is that awareness of our common culture and history is just a very low priority.

  • At Yorktown, Washington and our French allies forced Cornwallis to surrender his Army in 1781, ending, mostly, the combat portion of the American Revolution, although negotiating the peace would take until 1783. Understanding of the United States is impossible unless one comes to grips with the American Revolution and its aftermath.

    I know that one!
    “At Yorktown the British could not retreat
    Bottled up by Washington and the French fleet.
    Cornwallis surrendered and finally we had won! (The Winna! Hurray!)

    From the shot heard ’round the world
    To the end of the Revolution
    The continental rabble took the day
    And the father of our country
    Beat the British there at Yorktown
    And brought freedom to you and me and the U.S.A.!

    God bless America, let freedom ring!

    As you may guess, it was not from school history class.
    Lincoln had no third inaugural. (Without a substantial knowledge base, students are always prey to the trick question!)
    You had me wondering if it was a trick question, or if I was somehow messed up about what an inaugural address was. 😀
    Which actually wraps around to a big point– there isn’t much of a cost to not saying anything. But if you speak up, and get it wrong– or, worse yet, say something true that the teacher doesn’t like– there can be a very high cost.

  • Foxfier, I have always contended that The Shot Heard Round the World, from Schoolhouse Rock gives an excellent summary of the Revolutionary War. It manages to include the opening battles of the war, Washington as the central figure of the war, the role of the militia, the endurance of the Continentals, the battle of Trenton, Valley Forge, the frequent defeats of the Americans, American determination, the importance of diplomacy and foreign intervention, constant raiding and skirmishing and the decisive victory at Yorktown. I confess to always tearing up a bit at “The continental rabble took the day.”

  • That’s where Barzun’s House of Intellect comes into the mix Pinky. Culture is a low priority because the Culture cultivating and transmitting institutions treat their primary mission as secondary as the true primary mission becomes endowment building.

  • One cannot know why things are the way they are until one knows history. Bill Clinton, the first infatile President, was quoted, I believe, to think that nothing important happened before his birth.

    A whole lot of the problems we face today began or accelerated with him. Knuckleheaded young people fall for Bernie Sanders’ garbage. The MSM is in the tank for Shrillary the should Be Convict.

  • What’s in a name? Garbage by any other name would still stink the same. Perhaps the Democratic Party is due for a name change. Rather than strain their brain in search of a novel new name, I suggest one discarded and available. The Know Nothing Party is presently quite descriptive of their party.

  • Sadly, this is part of the explanation of the primaries in the United States this year.

  • Talk about ignorance? How about Catholics? Tell me what percentage know or understand Catholic history or Church teaching? It is the fault of the Church. How often have you heard a priest in his homily explain church teaching? Why do we believe Christ is most present in the Eucharist? Why is the Church against abortion and contraception? Why would Christ prefer we confess to a priest? Why pray to the saints? I could go on and on.

  • It’s difficult to gain admissions to the schools where I’ve taught – Princeton, Georgetown, and now Notre Dame. Students at these institutions have done what has been demanded of them: they are superb test-takers, they know exactly what is needed to get an A in every class (meaning that they rarely allow themselves to become passionate and invested in any one subject), they build superb resumes.

    Colleges and universities get the students they admit.
    Then there’s the example of a graduate of my region’s Jesuit high school, a kid from a Catholic family and a product of Catholic parochial schools, who upon meeting a classmate years after high school graduation was startled to discover that his classmate was now a Catholic priest then said, “I’m not Catholic any more. I’ve become a Christian.”

  • Think this is new? I graduated from high school in 1982 – a third of a century ago. I never read any of those works, not in high school or college…
    Penguin Fan

    I’m of Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus’s vintage. I apologize that we used up all the books and didn’t leave any for you. I thought everyone on a high school college track was assigned some Chaucer, Wife of Bath at least. Maybe it became thought too bawdy for high school kids when that moralizing Southern Baptist from Jawjuh was elected National Sunday School Nanny president. I encountered US History in grade school, middle school, and high school; Martin Luther’s 95 Theses in high school; all that English history in high school; read the Iliad and Odysseyin translation in sixth grade (that was the first time I had a man for a teacher, he liked to teach those two stories and a smattering of ancient Greek history–Thermopylae!–with ’em) but missed the Aeneid because I was too chicken to attempt high school Latin. (Like millions of other kids looking for an easy way to meet a college foreign language requirement, I took Spanish instead, 5 years of it between middle school and high school but I can’t speak it and I’ve never been to a Spanish-speaking country–unless you count Texas and California. If only I’d been brave enough to have taken German, that turned out to be useful in my working years multiple times.)
    Then I went to university to study engineering. Six non-skill courses was the breadth requirement for Engineering majors. I took a philosophy class and petitioned to be graded pass/fail ’cause I was a gear-head dummy who din’ know nuthin’ ’bout literature an’ dem liberal arts things. When the class was over I was relieved to have earned a Pass grade. I had felt like an impostor who didn’t belong there. The professor asked me why I hadn’t taken the class for a letter grade. I explained and the professor told me too bad, my marks had earned an A.

  • Bravo to Micha Elyi. I wish I could have studied under a professor like you at college. There are two few of such people left anywhere.

  • Talk about ignorance? How about Catholics? Tell me what percentage know or understand Catholic history or Church teaching?
    *looks guiltily at her collection of half-finished Conspiracies and Catholicism posts* Working on it, takes a little while with the whole run and find out yourself stuff…..
    I’m of Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus’s vintage. I apologize that we used up all the books and didn’t leave any for you. I thought everyone on a high school college track was assigned some Chaucer, Wife of Bath at least.
    It’s not that the books aren’t around, it’s that you can’t get a straight, simple, basic class about them. (Look at various “by the Bible” churches to see how horribly wrong just reading stuff yourself can go– and that assumes you don’t run into someone’s pet hobbyhorse dressed as objective scholarship.)
    It’s all deconstruction– which is fine if you already have the foundation, then you can build something up again, but when the only way you’re ever introduced to something is to have planks ripped out of it and thrown at your head, not so much.
    A lot of the time it’s like the American hating history classes– the training is designed by someone who, 60 years ago, got the very basic “I cannot tell a lie” level of history and has worked for their entire adult life to correct it.
    I can’t count the number of times that me, being the type of person I am, asked a teacher why we were hammering so hard on a specific point– and long story short, it’s correcting for a “lack” three generations back. It would be alright if the thing it was correcting had ever been offered to us…but it wasn’t.
    We spent more time on the thrice-cursed 60s than we did on all of Europe’s history pre-Bismark. (and we only learned about Bismark at all because the gym teacher had a big rant about how if he’d been in charge, Germany would control Europe; no idea how accurate it was, because we didn’t get any blessed information!)

PopeWatch: Junk History

Friday, February 26, AD 2016



Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa notes the use by the Pope of false history to support the idea of using contraception in regard to Zika virus.



ROME, February 24, 2016 – In the pyrotechnic press conference on the return flight from Mexico to Rome, among his other remarks Pope Francis pulled out again the story that “Paul VI – the great! – in a difficult situation, in Africa, allowed the nuns to use contraception for cases of violence.”

And he added that “avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil, and in certain cases, as in those that I mentioned of the blessed Paul VI, [that] was clear”:

Two days later, Fr. Federico Lombardi also pulled out the same story, in an interview with Vatican Radio conducted with the intention of straightening out what had gotten tangled in the statements of the pope presented in the media, which at the go-ahead for contraceptives had already chanted victory:

“The contraceptive or the condom, in cases of particular emergency and gravity, can also be a serious object of discernment of conscience. This is what the pope is saying. [. . .] The example that [Francis] gave of Paul VI and the authorization to use the pill for religious women who were at the gravest continual risk of violence on the part of rebels in the Congo, at the time of the tragedies of the war in the Congo, makes it clear that it was no normal situation in which this was taken into consideration.”

Now, that Paul VI explicitly gave this permission is not evident at all. No one has ever been able to cite a single word of his in this regard.

Yet this urban legend has been kept alive for decades, and sure enough even Francis and his spokesman have fallen for it.

To reconstruct how this story came about, one must go back not to the pontificate of Paul VI, but to that of his predecessor, John XXIII.

It was 1961, and the question of whether it were licit for nuns in danger of being raped to have recourse to contraception, in a situation of war like the one raging in the Congo at the time, was submitted to three authoritative moral theologians:

– Pietro Palazzini, secretary of the sacred congregation of the council, later made a cardinal;
– Francesco Hürth, a Jesuit, professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University;
– Ferdinando Lambruschini, professor at the Pontifical Lateran University, later archbishop of Perugia.

The three together formulated their respective views in an article for the Opus Dei journal “Studi Cattolici,” number 27, 1961, pp. 62-72, under the title: “A woman asks: how should violence be rejected? Morality exemplified. A debate.”

All three were in favor of admitting the liceity of that act, albeit with different arguments. And this favorable view not only passed unharmed through the anything-but-lax scrutiny of the Holy Office, but it became common doctrine among Catholic moralists of every school.

In 1968 Paul VI published the encyclical “Humanae Vitae,” which condemned as intrinsically evil “any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means.”

And in 1997 this condemnation would enter, with the same words, into the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

But even after “Humanae Vitae” the liceity of the actions of the Congolese nuns continued to be peacefully admitted, without Paul VI and his successors saying anything.

In 1993, in fact, during the reign of John Paul II, the question came into the spotlight again, this time on account of war not in the Congo, but in Bosnia.

That year the moral theologian who made himself the authoritative spokesman of the common doctrine in favor of liceity was the Jesuit Giacomo Perico, with an article in the magazine “La Civiltà Cattolica,” printed with the imprimatur of the Vatican authorities, entitled: “Rape, abortion, and contraception.”

There are those who maintain that this act is an “exception” to which others could be added, evaluated case by case, thereby invalidating the qualification of “intrinsically evil” – and therefore without any exception – applied to contraception by “Humanae Vitae.”

And there are those who maintain that the act of the Congolese or Bosnian nuns is an act of legitimate defense against the effects of an act of violence that has nothing to do with the free and voluntary conjugal act from which procreation is meant to be excluded, on which and only on which falls the condemnation – without exceptions of any kind – of “Humanae Vitae.”

The scholar who has most deftly reconstructed the clash between these two currents is Martin Rhonheimer, professor of ethics and political philosophy at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, in the volume “Ethics of Procreation and the Defense of Human Life,” The Catholic University of America Press, Washington, 2010, at pages 133-150, which in turn reproduce a previous essay published in 1995 in “La Scuola Cattolica,” the magazine of the theological faculty of Milan, with the title: “Threat of rape and prevention. An exception?”

In Rhonheimer’s judgment the second thesis is the one more faithful to the magisterium of the Church, while the first, typically casuistic and “proportionalistic,” offers support to the criticisms of “Veritatis Splendor,” the encyclical of John Paul II on moral theology.

Continue reading...

2 Responses to PopeWatch: Junk History

  • The more I think about this legend the angrier I get. Liberal Catholics completely buy into this story because they see it as an opening into eventual approval of their current use of contraception.

    Rape involves violence, physical and psychological trauma, risk of disease and a chance of pregnancy. Only an obtuse Jesuit or contraceptive proponent would view the pill as the best defense against rape.

    Picture saying to a traumatized nun, “At least you didn’t get pregnant.”

    What an absolute joke.

  • One of the many annoying aspects of the current Pontificate is a complete unwillingness to correct the record when an obvious error has been made.

    Yes, and this desire that boo-boos blow over and be conveniently forgotten is the very defect of bishops that allowed sexual abuse scandals involving priests to continue when they should have been checked.

I Will Not be Cowed into Voting for Trump this November

Thursday, February 25, AD 2016

Roughly eight percent of the Republican delegates have been doled out thus far, but evidently it’s all over but the shouting. We might as well make piece with GOP nominee Donald Trump, we’re told. Whether or not one is ready to so readily concede, I’ve already seen the message pivot on various social media platforms. Despite the fact that a majority of Republican voters do not like or simply loathe the man, the quadrennial ritual is about to take place. Yes folks, it’s time for another lovely round of “Vote Republican in November or else.”

Oh I’m just as guilty as anyone as playing this game before. I almost made it through 2012 myself before regretfully folding and pulling the imaginary lever for Mitt Romney (more on that later), and I did the same for McCain in 2008. I’ve made the same arguments now being put forth by Team Vote GOP or Die, so I understand them. I personally find it rather amusing that the same people who have kvetched the most about this strategy in the past are now the ones wielding it, but so be it.

There are two core arguments being put forward as to why we need to get in line for Trump: the courts, and “OMG! Hillary!” (Yeah, Bernie too, but establishment Democrats are ironically better at putting their thumbs on the scale to thwart grassroots sentiment than the not quite so Machiavellian GOPe, so forget him for the time being).

Normally I’d fall in line with this way of thinking, but not this time. Let’s address the courts first.

Antonin Scalia’s death has made the Supreme Court, and the corresponding presidential appointment power, even more pressing of an issue than it normally is. Assuming Senate Republicans actually hold the line – and to their credit, I think they will – then the next president will not only choose his replacement, he or she might get to fill two other vacancies, if not more. Do we want Hillary to make those appointments? Donald Trump may not be counted on to make suitable choices, but at least with him we have a fighting chance. Sure he hasn’t demonstrated any familiarity with constitutional law, or a deep understanding of originalism, and on several high profile cases (such as Kelo) he took the anti-Constitutional side. But he will surely have the best men and women advising him, and we can trust that he will pick good people to pick good people.

To which I reply: The infinitesimal chance that Donald Trump will astutely nominate jurists whose philosophies echo Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, or – dare a girl dream – Clarence Thomas, does not counter all of the other negatives associated with Donald Trump. When speaking of constitutional issues Trump seems barely more coherent than a high school kid who has not done his social studies homework. It’s easy to make too much of his comment that his radically pro-abortion sister would make a “phenomenal” Supreme Court justice, but it underlines his fundamental lack of seriousness on the courts and constitutional issues. He may mouth platitudes about appointing “pro life, conservative” justices, but even when he’s trying to say things he knows his supporters want to hear, he still betrays his complete lack of understanding of what the courts are about. I don’t want “pro life, conservative” justices, I want constitutionalists who will adhere to the document as written and originally understood by its framers. Such justices would naturally decide in a manner that would overturn the social justice engineering wrought by the courts, but would also consistently vote so as to keep the courts out of other areas that are not their concern.

It’s also folly to count on Trump picking excellent advisers to assist him with these picks. We’re left hoping that he picks the right person to pick the right people. Hey, I have an idea – let’s cut out the middleman. Maybe instead of Trump we could have a president who, say, has argued (and consistently won) before the Supreme Court and thus might actually know a little but about constitutional law. Oh, I know, that’s crazy talk. Better to roll the dice, cross our fingers and pray that Trump picks the right person to pick the right person.

Even assuming Trump hits the jackpot and chooses a suitable replacement for Scalia, guess what – he’s likely gonna have to repeat that process multiple times. I would be surprised if Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy don’t resign during the next Republican administration. Ruth Bader Ginsburg might try to hang on for another four years in case Trump wins, but even she might walk away. So not only are we relying on Trump getting it right to simply hold the line, we might need him to make the right call when it comes to appointing someone who could switch the court’s basic composition.

Wait. There’s more. While we focus obsessively on the Supreme Court we forget to scores of lower court appointments that will be made. As Danel Horowtiz details, less than one percent of cases make it to the Supreme Court, meaning that most cases are decided on the appellate level. And as Horowitz shows, President Obama has completely remade the lower courts.

While most people focus exclusively on the Supreme Court and how that institution has reached rock bottom with some of the decisions of the past term, the situation in the lower courts is even worse.  And remember, only 1% of this country’s cases ever make it to the land’s highest court.  Obama has now appointed 54 active appeals court judges, which represents 30% of the appeals court benches.

As of 2016, nine of the 13 circuits are comprised of majorities of Democrat-appointees.  In totality, there are 92 Democrat circuit judges, 77 GOP judges, and 10 vacant seats.  The all-important D.C. Court of Appeals—the second most important court in the land on constitutional issues—is now 7-4 majority Democrat-appointees, with four judges appointed by Obama alone.

On the district level, Obama has now appointed 260 judges, 39% of the federal district bench.

Even if we trusted to Trump to somehow have a better batting average of appointing constitutionalists to the bench than Ronald Reagan and the Bushes, it probably won’t matter. The courts are so fundamentally broken that even appointing the right people – which we can’t even trust Trump will do – won’t solve anything.

Which brings us to the final point. The judiciary has usurped the legislature’s role in deciding social issues. It has become a super legislature, far beyond anything imagined by the framers of the Constitution. Even if the courts decided rightly on these major social issues, we should question why they are even deciding so many of these issues in the first place. Major judicial reform is necessary, including such ideas as jurisdiction stripping. While I wouldn’t expect even a President Cruz to succeed in this arena, at least not as thoroughly as one would hope, there is no chance in Hades than a President Trump will get behind any initiatives to reform the judiciary. In the end, the courts are simply too far gone to think that electing Donald Trump can make any difference whatsoever.

Which brings us to the “but Hillary” argument. Yes, Hillary Clinton is a sociopathic, charisma vacuum who would almost literally (maybe not almost) kill someone who stood in her way of obtaining office. She has no scruples, would say anything to get elected, lies as easily as any of us breathe, and is a doctrinaire leftist.

But I also kind of just described Donald Trump (except for the charisma thing – I’ll give him that).

Phillip Klein laid out a pretty exhaustive list of Trump’s political failings. It’s hard to see in this list precisely where he’s markedly better than Hillary Clinton. In fact both are political chameleons who seem to thirst after power, and will do and say anything to attain that power. In the end, President Clinton or President Trump will do nothing to repeal Obamacare, and both seem to be fine with ideas to further socialize health care. Neither is going to reign in the judiciary, nor are they going to halt the expansion of executive powers. And on and on.

As mentioned above I held out for much of 2012 before finally succumbing to the “he’s better than Obama” argument as applied to Mitt Romney. The thing is, Mitt Romney is Edmund Burke, Barry Goldwater, and Ronald Reagan rolled into one compared to Donald Trump, not to mention his clearly superior moral character. Mitt Romney, for all his faults, truly was a superior alternative to Barack Obama. I cannot say the same about Donald Trump as compared to Hillary Clinton.

So that is why no amount of pleading will ever get me to vote for Donald Trump. If it makes you feel better I live in a state that has zero chance of going Republican in a general election, so it also won’t matter. As I said in my previous post, Donald Trump actually could and maybe even likely will defeat Hillary Clinton. God help our nation that this is our choice.

NB: If Tuesday goes as poorly as I fear it might, this will be my final post on presidential politics until election day in November. I don’t think I can stomach eight months of coverage of these two fundamentally loathsome human beings.

Continue reading...

42 Responses to I Will Not be Cowed into Voting for Trump this November

  • My guess is that an Art. V convention is our last, best hope.

  • “Vote GOP or Die”, eh?
    Well work hard for a decent candidate, Paul Zummo, else you’ll have no GOP candidate to vote for this fall. Trump isn’t Republican, he’s Fauxpublican–not even enough of a Republican to be RINO. Work very hard because your time is running out.
    P.S. I’m glad Paul Zummo repented of his Romney’s Not Good Enough For Me attitude. But now he gets to experience a weakened Republican Party as his penance.

  • An Article V convention is a horrible idea. Once called the Convention could not be limited to a single topic, everything, including the Bill of Rights would be up for grabs.

  • There are so many issues that it can be heard to see where to begin. Our Republic looks to me like a town flattened by a tornado.

    If one were serious about restoring the Republic, one would begin with the Separation of Powers… No one but Rand really talked about that. (Cruz test floated that issue but America yawned.)

    Everything else is irrelevant in comparison.

    Trump wants a facade as fake as Rock Ridge’s in Blazing Saddles. Clinton wants to rebuild a mansion for her to live in and look down on the huddled masses. Bernie wants to give up and borrow tents forever.

    Not one of the candidates is interested in the Constitution or, if they are, have the courage to say so.

    Long ago, we gave up education to the Left. They stripped it of Civics and we are now an ignorant people… Regular Eloi.

  • That great social conservative W. Bush declared during his presidency
    abortion is settled law and part of the U.S. Constitution. The social conservative
    phonies control the Republican Party. They will never overturn Roe vs Wade.
    Not long ago 7 of the 9 justices on the Supreme Court were appointed
    by Republicans. Most of them were appointed by the liberal pro-abort
    Bush family. And still the Republican Supreme Court refused to overturn
    Roe vs Wade. American conservatives are the most manipulated group of
    human beings on the planet, which explains their rage and support for Trump.

  • Good post, Paul. I hope you are wrong. I fear you are right. 🙁

  • I’ve worried about opening that pandora’s box myself, Thomas, but as I was reminded when I expressed those concerns, 3/4 of the states would have to ratify any amendments or wholesale changes. If three-quarters of the states are willing to scrap the Bill of Rights, well, we’re in trouble regardless. That’s not to say I’ve fully signed onto the Article V convention quite yet, but it’s becoming more palatable idea.

  • “That great social conservative W. Bush declared during his presidency
    abortion is settled law and part of the U.S. Constitution.”


    Bush senior appointed Clarence Thomas, perhaps the most ardently pro-life member of the Court. Earlier in his career he had not been pro-life, but as President he was quite pro-life.

    Where Republicans control state legislatures a steady stream of pro-life legislation has emerged. In regard to the Supreme Court, blame Ted Kennedy. He began the Democrat Jihad against Republican Supreme Court nominees, beginning with Judge Bork. If Bork had been confirmed, Roe v. Wade would now be an ugly footnote. To get nominees through the Senate Republican presidents, when the Democrats control the Senate, have resorted to stealth nominees like Kennedy and Souter who have been immense disappointments. All the foes of abortion on the Supreme Court have been Republican nominees, with the exception of Whizzer White who was appointed by JFK.

  • W. Bush and phony social conservatives like him believe abortion
    is part of the U.S. Constitution. So when these slick phonies declare
    their support for the constitution they also mean abortion. Thomas is
    a great pro-life justice of the Supreme Court and so would have Bork were
    he confirmed.

    However, that does not deny the fact that not long ago 7 of the 9 justices
    on the Supreme Court were appointed by Republicans and Roe vs Wade
    is still the law of the land.

  • Franco, you merely repeated your first comment. Exactly when did George W. Bush declare that abortion is part of the Constitution? Citation please,

  • “But we must remember that Cabinet officers, including the U.S. Attorney General,
    serve at the will of the President of the United States. In this instance, George W.
    Bush has never said that he would, or even wanted to, overturn Roe. To the contrary,
    he has said he thinks the American people aren’t ready for that yet. He certainly
    made it clear that respect for the sanctity of human life is not a requirement for his
    nominees to the federal bench and the Supreme Court.” Republican National Coalition
    For Life – January 19, 2001

    Also, that other great social conservative H W Bush recently attended a gay marriage.

  • “Bush senior appointed Clarence Thomas, perhaps the most ardently pro-life member of the Court.”

    And probably the most originalist member of the Court.

  • “But we must remember that Cabinet officers”

    Still waiting for that citation Franco where George H. W. Bush declared during his presidency that abortion is settled law and part of the constitution. Since you have been unable to support that claim with a citation I will assume that your statement was a false assertion by you.

  • Paul Z.:
    Play it as it lays. Make the best of it. Be part of the game. It’s not over till it’s over.
    All the cliches oppose folding your tent and going home.

    Considered in it’s best light, Trump, despite his loathsomeness, is doing a great service for the country by inaugurating what amounts to a new Independent Party that will encourage more folks to participate in a presumably less corrupt political process which Trump is attempting to blow up. The subversiveness of it all is what appeals to me along with the hope for an eventual better government where the will of the tax paying public is acted upon.

    Heady days are ahead Paul. Go for it. We need your contribution.

  • I can not vote for a pro abortion politician like Donald Trump.

  • My “Mortal Sin Vote Democrat” creed does not translate to “Therefore vote for a GOP candidate.” The creed applies to the entire Devil’s Brigade, all the members of the Party Of Death; each and every candidate and office holder of The Party Of Intrinsic Evil in simple terms – ALL DEMOCRATS; but also to some individual independents and some republicans. Sadly, you can always not vote; and you can always write in someone. Bill-comment above-what you say applies to ALL DEMOCRATS even those hypocrites “personally opposed.” This Party of Death and of Evil is the Satanic Choir of Abortion. No stronger message to follow. Guy McClung, San Antonio TX USA

  • but Guy, not voting IS a vote for Billary Hussein – and this issue of POTUS is much larger than Trump himself- it is the complete removal of the immoral incompetent circle of black wrong doers … Rice, Holder,Jynch, Jeh[sic] Johnson, black wannabee’s Mcdonough,dreese, murray, Sunstein,stern, holdren,axlerod and of course Queen Jarrett- imagine all this wasted human flesh replaced with competent leadership in their own fields…. Energy being focused to heal and bind the nation and her people rather than divide as these folks do?

    appointments to the Supreme Court is a crap shoot regardless – I and many of you have been amazed at how ‘ learned judges ‘ can become so obtuse and unable to resist embracing judicial legislation ….. but the current vacancy AND at least 3 more, not with standing any decision by the Supreme Being to bring more of these people to Justice , will be crucial to any significant period of religious revival and a return of this wayward people to the One True God. I still await any listing of particular in this blog as to what’s wrong with Trump- adulterer ? yes, crude and direct? yes ? a baby killer who calls on Gods Blessing for Planned Parenthood? no – objects to the amount of debt we carry -yes? – believes in strong borders- yes- 2nd and 4th amendment – yes- where is the objectionable part that would force you to not vote at all and thereby vote for any Democrat ? all purveyors of death?
    as Guy so accurately points out

  • I’m with you, Paul. If Trump wins the GOP nomination, I will find a third party to support or not vote in the Presidential contest. I absolutely will never vote for him, and a GOP that nominates him deserves to lose.

  • Paul Z. You did the right thing in ’08 and ’12. In a previous comment on your previous post about Rubio I said I did the same think.
    You’re feeling disenfranchised…like you have no real choice. Well, you do. You can do what millions of voters did in ’08 and ’12 and contribute to a 3rd term of continued socialism boarding on communism, or vote for someone that might do the right thing. We all know what Hillary will do.
    Please do stop posting on politics if your goal is to dissuade your fellow Catholics.

  • stop posting on politics if your goal is to dissuade your fellow Catholics.

    You don’t make the rules here, I do. Toodles.

  • I’ve been praying that God influence the election outcomes, and I choose to trust that He is bigger and more powerful than either candidate, and can certainly use them and circumstances according to His plan. That said, I don’t have the stomach for the circus either.

  • “You can do what millions of voters did in ’08 and ’12 and contribute to a 3rd term of continued socialism boarding on communism…”
    A vote for Bernie Sanders is an outright vote communism (otherwise called socialist democracy) wherein one is equal in poverty and misery except for the elitists in government and academia.
    A vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote feminist socialism that masculines females and emasculates males – androgyny on steroids.
    A vote for Donald Trump is a vote for corporate socialism that enriches politicians and corporate executives while impoverishing those who work to earn.
    Question: What exactly is the substantive difference?
    Answer: In how fast you the lobster want to be boiled while alive.

  • 2 comments here- Donald – your shot on Kennedy and his assault on Bork was a bullseye – the Chapaquiddick kid had no shame as he assaulted a man so far above him in talent, morals and intelligence – i recall Kennedy berating while questioning Bork for why he left the bench to go into private practice for a short time and then returned to public service- Bork for the first time, revealed that his wife at the time was dying of cancer and the Judge had to go earn money to pay her medical bills- yet the disgusting likes of theodore Kennedy, the abortionist and adulterer who abandoned his wife joan when she needed help the most, gets a pontificall send off from the church upon his death , with the good cardinal in attendance……
    2- ahhh… Lucius, “there you go again”… to quote that certain actor.

    ‘A vote for Donald Trump is a vote for corporate socialism that enriches politicians and corporate executives while impoverishing those who work to earn.’

    He won 46% of the Latino vote in union strangled Nevada/ clark county! That speaks volumes of the down troddens’ view of being pillaged by that Socialist –
    – i fear less the robber baron than i do those who are committed to killing the weakest , the youngest and oldest in my community. I can deal with the captains of industry’ i think. – i cannot stop people in power who find rights in our Constitution where there are none.and make them ‘ laws of the land ‘ – “decided law” my God, have mercy on us….

  • Pingback: FRIDAY EDITION – Big Pulpit
  • Christie is like a hired hit man for Trump. What an ugly attitude.
    Many, maybe most, Democrats don’t like their front runner, and many, maybe most, Republicans don’t like theirs. Both parties are broken really.
    The Democratic party is already split – democrats /socialists. The Republican electorate has to decide not to split – in other words Not To Choose Trump.
    A few months ago people were worried about Trump forming a third party– but he and his supporters may actually force a third party if things keep going his way.
    I know regular rank and file Democrats and Republicans who are sick about their apparent (so far) nominees. Unless Republicans coalesce around Rubio- the one who really can unite the party as well as bring in disaffected democrats who love America, Trump may be the nominee. What an embarrassment.
    There are some voters who love the idea of “sticking it to” their respective party leaders more than they love their country…they will go for Trump.

  • Don,

    You may view my statement about W. Bush’s comment as false. But I did hear him
    state that abortion is settled law and part of the constitution. This happened about
    12 years ago. I believe W made this statement during an interview on CNN or Fox News.
    W. Bush gave me the impression that he considered pro-life advocates as single
    issue voters, whom he dismissed as eccentric.

    To me there is very little difference between the Democrats and the Republicans,
    except the Democrats will tell you their evil intentions if elected while the Republicans
    engage in deception.

  • If he had made such a statement Franco it would be all over the internet and easy for you to find. That you can’t find it indicates that your memory is faulty. I disagree with you profoundly regarding the Republican party. There are certainly elements within it that actively oppose a conservative agenda, but there are many more people within it who support that agenda, unlike the Democrat party which is simply beyond hope from the point of view of conservatism.

  • Pray without ceasing. Trump threatens to kill the Republican Party by dismemberment and Hillary threatens to kill the country by suffocation.

  • Don and Paul

    I found the citation. The following quote is from the “Presidential Campaigns, Slogans,
    Issues and Platforms,The Complete Encyclopedia, Volume I”, copyright 2012, by Robert
    North Roberts, Scott John Hammond and Valerie A. Sulfaro

    “In the campaign of 2000, the Democratic Party and their nominee, Al Gore, spent
    millions of dollars to highlight Gore’s strong pro-choice position. The success of
    this effort helped Gore to win a popular-vote majority. (Republican nominee, George W.
    Bush, on the other hand sought to avoid discussions of abortion, referring to Roe v. Wade
    as “settled law”).”

  • You still haven’t found the citation Franco. You need to link to the actual speech where Bush allegedly said it, not link to where a third hand source claimed that he said it.

  • Don,

    I was up until 3 AM last night looking for the quote. I knew I heard W. declare
    abortion settled law. And there it was in some obscure political encyclopedia.
    I doubt that W. made this statement in a speech. However, he did use the
    terms “settled law” and “part of the constitution” when discussing abortion
    during an interview on either CNN or Fox News.

    At least my memory is not faulty.

  • People like Franco disgust me. George W Bush was a GOOD President and Barack Hussein Obama is a traitor. EOM.

  • I deleted your cut and paste wall of text Franco since it did not contain a link to a speech where President Bush said what you have claimed.

    Oh, and the doofus organization you quoted from is so extreme that they regarded Antonin Scalia as a pro-abort, indicating that they completely misunderstand the Constitution and have no clue why Roe was an unconstitutional usurpation of power by the Court:

    They also regard National Right to Life as being pro-abort:

    Such CloudKuKoo nuts do nothing to help the pro-life cause.

  • Lucius, you’re in the penalty box and way out of bounds. I’m declaring a personal foul and assessing a 15 yd penalty. Franco – I applaud your tenacity and share your sense. I’ve often thought the republican congress and executive could have ended abortion- how else do you read article III sec 8 of the constitution- In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, ” with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make””.

  • Paul Coffey, I do not give a hoot about your fracking boxes.

  • “how else do you read article III sec 8 of the constitution- In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, ” with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make””.”

    Actually no one knows. There has been no definitive court cases on the issue. Of course taking away abortion from the Supreme Court would have no impact unless Congress took abortion away from the entire Federal judiciary. Then the state courts would still have to be contended with. In any case it isn’t going to happen until the Republicans have control of Congress and at least 60 votes in the Senate to break a filibuster. Since Roe a Republican Congress and a Republican President have existed for a whole 4.6 years. In the .6 year portion the Republicans had a majority due to Vice President Cheney until Jeffords went over to the Democrats and established a Democrat majority by one vote. From 2002-2004 the Republicans had a two seat majority, and from 2004-2006 a ten seat majority, in neither case close to enough votes to break a filibuster by the Democrats.

    A handful of bills including jurisdiction limitations have become laws, while hundreds have been proposed and languished in Congress.

  • Anyone who would not vote for an R against Killary is a complete waste of time.

  • Well my conscience is clear since Donald Trump is not, in fact, a Republican.

Second Class Catholics

Thursday, February 25, AD 2016

If there is a more pro-life Catholic entertainment figure than talk show host Laura Ingraham, I am unaware of that person.  Yet her views against illegal immigration make her persona non grata at a Catholic diocese.

Catholic Bishop Joseph Tyson of Yakima, Washington, has disconcerted members of his flock over his stance on a pro-life charity event. Diocesan officials are discouraging parishes from advertising a dinner being hosted by Image Point Mobile Medical Services, a private non-profit that maintains and operates a mobile medical unit that offers services at the site of abortion providers that including counseling and ultrasound. The organizers are hoping to raise money for another mobile testing facility for Image Point.

An email missive from a diocesan official to the priests of the diocese cited what was called Image Point’s alleged failure to “collaborate in a meaningful way with the Diocese,” after having received a grant from the Knights of Columbus. In his email, Monsignor Robert Siler, Bishop Tyson’s Chief of Staff, wrote:  
“Second, the speaker they have invited, Laura Ingraham, while having a positive pro-life witness including her personal choice to adopt three children from other countries, is a strident opponent of many of the immigration positions held by the US bishops. As such, her visit to Yakima sends a profoundly mixed message to our community. As a very public figure with a national audience, she is held to a higher degree.”
Laura Ingraham is a Catholic, who also is a well-known radio/television commentator and attorney. She is also the editor-in-chief of the LifeZette news service.
The email from Monsignor Siler concluded, “Given these two points, it is not appropriate to advertise Image Point’s event in any way. This isn’t about advertising future events, as will we make those decisions on a case by case basis and should be brought to me.”

Continue reading...

53 Responses to Second Class Catholics

  • Yet, our bishops remain silent on elected officials and civil servants promoting a host of activities that directly challenge Catholic teaching.

    If I raised my children with the same confusion in priorities and concerns as our bishops shepherd their flocks, my kids would be basket cases.

  • So tell me, if no faithful Catholic should put up with this, then what is our recourse and alternative? Bishop Fellay? Patriarch Kirill?
    It is eventually going to get to a point where conservative orthodox Catholics (and other Christians) will have had enough from their liberal progressive leaders, political and ecclesial. This is how Luther started. He was right about the corruption in the Church, but he made everything worse, and that is exactly what Pope Francis and his like are going to cause sooner or later, except in the opposite direction. And it’ll be so opposite that it’s the same – illogical but true.

  • “then what is our recourse and alternative?”

    Publicity and protest, articles, blog posts, getting organized into groups within dioceses. There is plenty to do.

  • Thank you, Donald. You are right again. I will contact the diocese over this. I’m sure the good Bishop is embarrassed by a real pro-life event anyway. The last thing he wants is to advertise it. As I’ve said many times, most bishops aren’t actually pro-life.

  • Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus.

    Please check out Cardinal Burke’s answers.
    Holy League is one men’s group that is actively involved. Turn outs have been inspiring. Many Catholic.. Big C… men are fed up with liberal teaching as well, within our Church that is.

  • No mystery here. Follow the money. These dioceses get federal money for “refugee” settlement and immigrant services.

    I’d like to see how much this bishop gets, at least 30 pieces of silver I’d imagine.

    That, and of course, many bishops are Dem operatives in polyester chasubles, and fervently believe that a flood of unassimilated aliens will forever shut down those evil, greedy, death-penalty loving Repubs.

  • “…As a very public figure with a national audience, she is held to a higher degree.”
    As will be our church leaders, from those in the smallest chapel, to the very highest in Rome itself, for their sowing of confusion, contradiction, and failures to teach and follow that which Holy Mother Church has handed down from the apostles, instead of the “all too common” smorgasbord of secular God-less political solutions for man’s fallen sinful condition.
    It appears today, as with the Jews of Christ’s day, that we again seek a worldly messiah to lead us and reject the truth-speaking man who sought not paradise from Caesar.

  • Thank you, Donald.
    Thank you, Philip.
    I for one have been fed up with this nonsense for a long time. The priest at a Sunday Mass recently just had to speak disparagingly of Donald Trump in his homily, but never would he ever mention one negative thing but any baby murdering, sodomy sanctifying liberal progressive Marxist commie Demoncrap. Yes, I loathe the prospect of a Trump victory. But the pulpit is for speaking out on principle – sanctity of life and marriage, repentance and conversion, holiness and righteousness, death and final judgment – and NOT on political leaders in any political party (no matter how much Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry and Joe Biden merit being vilified).

  • Destroying a nation through untrammeled immigration is a prudential judgment subject.
    Until the leftists calling themselves catholics start fighting abortion, an intrinsic evil, I only hear millions of dogs barking whenever I hear/read anything they spew out.

  • Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus.

    An idea on your parish priest situation.

    In refined humility ask him over for dinner.
    Not as an opportunity to banter political, but just as a way to make a new friend. Avoid all discussion on political ideology at this dinner. Save those discussions for future meetings.

    It’s possible that your kindness will pave the way for future success in the pastors viewpoint. Possible, not guaranteed however.

    Just my two cents worth.
    Hope it helps.

    Secondly. Letters to the Bishop if the priest continues to widen the flow of (c) atholic retoric that is anti-Catholic.

  • Image Point failed to collaborate with the Diocese? I’ll bet a dollar that they approached the Diocese first and were rebuffed.
    We should boycott Catholic Charities nationwide in favor of local initiatives like Image Point.

  • In the case of Yakima, it’s at least an understandable cowardice. Look at a satellite. See all those orchards?

    A lot of the numbers there are illegals— especially since they’ll do things like register with a parish to get easy access to the food banks….and never unregistered. (I’ve mentioned our local “Hispanic” parish has, on paper, the vast majority of the members– but they’re invisible, and I’m not being nasty about the C&E effect.)

    Not the same region I grew up in, but it’s similar, and there’s a good chance that they’ve done like my home area did and drove off or silenced everybody but the illegals and the wealthy liberals who will scream and take away their money if crossed. Those who support rule of law and are still donating won’t stop for this insult.

  • Lucius Quinctjius et al. Canon law may provide additional avenues for recourse against a bishop, who is obliged by the law as follows:
    Can. 386 §1. A diocesan bishop, frequently preaching in person, is bound to propose and explain to the faithful the truths of the faith which are to be believed and applied to morals. He is also to take care that the prescripts of the canons on the ministry of the word, especially those on the homily and catechetical instruction, are carefully observed so that the whole Christian doctrine is handed on to all.
    §2. Through more suitable means, he is firmly to protect the integrity and unity of the faith to be believed, while nonetheless acknowledging a just freedom in further investigating its truths.
    For details, please contact me at [email protected].

    Chuck Wilson
    Executive Director (Retired)
    The Saint Joseph Foundation

  • Yes, indeed to follow the money. “The bishops” do no seem as concerned for the salvation of souls as I would want them to be so should I boycott them? So anyone who does not go along with unlimited illegal ‘immigration’ (not to mention invasion) that ”the bishops’ favor are to be chastised.

  • I’ve been screaming about this sort of thing for years. I have tried, to no avail, to have the pro- death penalty position given a fair hearing within my diocese in San Diego. The best I was able to get was a few private sit downs with the director of the diocesan social ministries office. I went to the length of saying to the face of Bishop Brom when he was still our bishop at a public venue that the way that Church leadership at the diocesan and especially the national level took sides on the death penalty and immigration issue seriously undermined the dialogue that desperately needed to take place on issues like this where Church teaching allows divergent views. I could tell from the bishop’s body language that he knew what I was saying was true. In fact, I got the sense he even agreed with me.But when I got done respectfully, but firmly, speaking my piece, he moved away from that subject with lightning speed. If he in fact did actually agree with me, I find it sad and appalling that he didn’t have the guts to face down the goons I. his own chancery or break ranks with his brother bishops. I have been pointing out that it isn’t just the bishops who have reputations for heterodoxy who engage in this, but also the ones who are regarded as orthodox lions. Just look at bishops like Chaput and Cordileone say about these matters.

  • In the case of Yakima, it’s at least an understandable cowardice. Look at a satellite. See all those orchards?
    A lot of the numbers there are illegals— especially since they’ll do things like register with a parish to get easy access to the food banks….and never unregistered.

    Meanwhile, in Californialand we can’t get illegals to register with a parish. Afraid of putting their name down because ICE might use it to find them is the excuse. And many illegals don’t marry, they shack up and may have a spouse back in their Latin American home country. They plead poverty when time comes to pay the pittance asked for the religious education Sunday and mid-week classes for their kids.* But they want father to bless the quinceañera blow out party they throw for their teen daughters!

    *The parish knows from experience that when there’s no fee, the parents don’t reliably bring their kids (then later they’re upset when the kids don’t know even the basics of the Faith or the simplest prayers and aren’t ready to receive the sacraments with their other age peers). No más!

  • Yes, this is very silly and overtly political. For the record, I’m not a Laura Ingraham fan. I admire her strong pro-life stance, but I don’t like her style. She often comes across as snarky, which bores me to death. I just can’t listen to talk radio with its sarcasm as a substitute for wit approach anymore. But although I tend to be more liberal on immigration, I respect the conservative viewpoint on that issue, too. More importantly, it’s a matter of prudential judgement, just as you point out. As long as she’s with the Church on matters that aren’t left to our judgement, then she should be free to say what she wants to say without any fear of reproach from the Church.

  • I hope all who made comments here will email Bishop Tyson as I just did. I hope you’ll deluge him with mail from caring Catholics who know that a bishop is duty-bound to do all in his power to defend the sanctity of life – an unchangeable Catholic doctrine – while he is free to come to his own conclusions about open borders. Though Pope Francis shares Tyson’s opinion on that, it is NOT infallible. How dare Tyson go out of his way to hurt the efforts of Laura and IPMMS!!! It’s indefensible. Shame on him.

  • Well….the ban on advertising seems to have backfired….many of the prelates in the church are not the sharpest knives in the drawer. I hope it is filled to the rafters and raises a ton of money for the cause.

  • “I hope all who made comments here will email Bishop Tyson as I just did.”

    Sound advice Pam!

  • A mixed message? Like when President Obama delivered the commencement address at the May 2009 Notre Dame graduation ceremony and was awarded with, of all things, an honorary law degree? An honorary law degree from a Catholic University, perhaps the most prominent Catholic University in the United States? Oh the irony.

  • ” I hope all who made comments here will email Bishop Tyson as I just did. I hope you’ll deluge him with mail from caring Catholics who know that a bishop is duty-bound to do all in his power to defend the sanctity of life – an unchangeable Catholic doctrine – while he is free to come to his own conclusions about open borders. Though Pope Francis shares Tyson’s opinion on that, it is NOT infallible. How dare Tyson go out of his way to hurt the efforts of Laura and IPMMS!!! It’s indefensible. Shame on him.”

    I hate to burst your bubble Pam, but e-mail campaigns are really useless. They can be easily ignored. More effective would be for Catholics in that diocese refuse, en masse to contribute to annual diocesan appeals for money. Instead of a check in the envelope put a note stating their refusal along with an explanation why they are refusing to contribute. The old adage money talks and BS walks applies every bit as much in Church circles as the world at large. But then again, the bishops may feel they get enough tax payer money to offset the shortfall.

  • “….perhaps the most prominent Catholic University in the United States?”


    The arrested 88 including Fr. Norman Weslin, deceased, lowered the status from prominent to plastic. The bashing is for the decision makers at ND to choose BO over Sacredness of Life. People make the University and the body of the school is great, however they honored Barabbas while arresting Christ.

  • via Thomas More Society reported that ND lost $120 million in gifts during the fiscal year 2009, the year of the Black President Matters.

    Greg Mockeridge. Agreed, however a deluge of opinion can’t hurt. My e-mail will be sent in minutes. Thanks Pam.

  • There is only one way to deal with these pro-Francis and anti-Catholic horror-bishops, which is to organize negative publicity against them. They must be vilified and compelled into abdication. Like the Pope they are enemies of Christ and the Church.

  • tow the party line

    Toe the party line.
    Speaking of sending mixed messages to the flock, when was the last time Bishop Joseph Tyson of Yakima, Washington publicly preached on the commandments regarding covetousness? The silence of our bishops is often their loudest message.
    And was Bishop Joseph Tyson of Yakima, Washington one of Obama’s USCCB dupes regarding the Obamacare scheme paid for by coveting thy fellow taxpayer’s goods? If so, has he ever publicly denounced himself for that folly?

  • If the Church cared about pro-life, they wouldn’t ban self-defense in Church by disallowing open and concealed carry… I actually hesitated at the Church door this past weekend when they ( finally ) posted the notice, as required by law — a sign a quarter to a third the size of the glass door ( side entrance ). .. Should I go in ? Actually it was two signs since it is a double door. Haven’t heard any homilies lately on being prepared for martyrdom, or on the ban. I haven’t heard the ban mentioned at all during Mass. Law abiding citizens can’t defend themselves against crazies or moslem hordes during Mass, but non-citizens can enter this nation at will and be defended to the hilt by the bishops. The diocesan spokesperson Annette Gonzales Taylor says there is security on duty. Really ? I haven’t seen any. We haven’t had any drills with them, or heard the prospect of such. We did have video presentation at Mass a couple of weeks ago with the Bishop requesting donations for some sort of appeal ( so memorable the specifics escape me ). And of course pledge envelopes were available in the pews for that. They usually give people time during Mass ( homily period ) to fill them out. Good luck collecting on that if everyone is “martyrized” during Mass.

  • And yet Gloria Steinam recently spoke at the “Catholic college” where I live.

  • In general Catholic Bishops have become a wing of the Democrat Party and are nearly as corrupt. My approach is to significantly reduce my financial support and speak out against them whenever the opportunity presents itself.

  • Laura Ingraham is a cafeteria Catholic – picking and choosing the policies she likes from the Church while ignoring others. Thank goodness that Bishop Tyson is the ONLY one who is consistent in his Catholicism.

  • I didn’t know that allowing illegal aliens to ignore US immigration laws was a core teaching of Catholicism. The things that you learn on the internet!

  • Good morning, everyone. If you are interested in seeing what the Bishops of Washington State are doing to uplift life, from the moment of conception to age five of the child’s life, visit this website:

    It’s unfortunate that Ms. Ingraham chose to make this matter public. Believe what you wish about immigration. But you know, standards and policies are important. Since Image Point won’t speak to us, and their website is silent on these matters, we have no idea what their policies are on whom they will assist; whether there will be any proselytizing; whether volunteers will be able to respect their Catholic consciences in regard to making a statement of faith; and so on. We all agree that life is sacred from natural conception to natural death; but all efforts to uphold that belief are not necessarily equally good.
    With respect,
    Msgr. Robert Siler
    Diocese of Yakima

  • Some have said “follow the money.” A great part of government money received by Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Yakima goes to provide crisis mental health services in one region of our Diocese. A regional network with a history of conflict turned to the Church for help. We are serving some of the most seriously hurting people in our society, regardless of race, creed, or color, and doing so more efficiently, thus maximizing the hard-earned tax dollars that I and other citizens of Washington State pay. Ms. Ingraham is grossly misinformed.
    Msgr. Robert Siler
    Diocese of Yakima

  • I actually hesitated at the Church door this past weekend when they ( finally ) posted the notice, as required by law — a sign a quarter to a third the size of the glass door ( side entrance ). .. Should I go in ?

    I wouldn’t, same way I wouldn’t take communion if I knew the supply of wine and hosts was from the warehouse that a known poisoner had the run of with his bag of tricks.
    If there were no parishes that did not ban weapons, I’d end up breaking the law as the least bad option– bet I wouldn’t get the sort of support illegals do.

  • “Some have said ‘follow the money.'”

    Some have said this. I don’t know if Laura Ingraham said this about hard earned tax dollars. Of course those would be primarily Federal dollars in Washington as there is no income tax for you Msgr. Actually, you probably do not pay too much in the way of Federal taxes (perhaps on the order of $3000) which is far, far less than I pay. But of course I make more. Of course there are my property taxes etc. which I suspect you do not pay either.

    But that does not seem to be the issue, nor is the issue here raised about essentially secular services being provided by the Church. What is being discussed is the denial of advertising a pro-life event because a faithful Catholic disagrees with a prudential choice of the Bishops. A decision on the part of the Bishops that is likely wrong.

    Could you address that please.

  • Maybe when a priest is elevated to bishop in the U.S. they should automatically have to adopt three children from foreign country.

  • The two specific concerns I mentioned to Ms. Ingraham’s staffer, who wrote the LifeZette story but declined to include them, are mentioned in our response, which you can read by following the link below. They were meant to be private criticisms; we only published it because of the many false and misleading statements in the LifeZette story (which are now being repeated on social media as if they are the gospel truth).

    In regard to advertising, if free publicity from the Catholic Church was part of Image Point’s plan, it would have seemed prudent on their part to have asked us for permission. But again, they so far have been unwilling to respond to our requests for a dialogue that might restore a true collaborative working agreement, based on our standards. respecting their conscience rights, and hopefully following the U.S. Bishops Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities, and the Norms and Guidelines for Ecumenism. These are all important considerations that too often get reduced to sound bites over who, and who isn’t “pro-life enough.”

    Your estimate of my tax burden was correct. I also pay Washington State sales tax, which goes to the general fund. We do not have an income tax, and I don’t own any property. I am working at eliminating my bad habit of buying lottery tickets, which are advertised as helping schools, too.

    God bless,

    Fr. Robert

  • “The Diocese of Yakima, however, said in a statement prepared by Monsignor Robert Siler that Ingraham is an unsuitable speaker for events sponsored or promoted by the Diocese.

    Specifically, the church statement takes aim at what it calls Ingraham’s harsh comments ‘supporting the deportation of entire families, including children who are American citizens.'”

    From your link then, you do criticize Ingraham’s advocacy of what is a licit Catholic position?

  • What happened to showing respect for priests, bishops, and/or pope? I see rude and abrasive comments towards the Msgr.’s comments. If you were to follow what the bishop stated whether he is correct or not, in the final analysis, you would not be held accountable to our Lord for this. Secondly, those of you who are disparaging “illegal immigrants”—you seem to forget that all your ancestors were illegal immigrants in a land which was inhabited and owned by Native Americans and yes—Mexicans. Read the history of the United States—-fifty percent of the western United States was taken from Mexico! Thirdly, Jesus was an alien—remember the flight into Egypt? What happened to Christian charity?

  • “Secondly, those of you who are disparaging “illegal immigrants”—you seem to forget that all your ancestors were illegal immigrants in a land which was inhabited and owned by Native Americans and yes—Mexicans.”

    I am sure my Cherokee ancestors would have liked effective enforcement against the illegal aliens they confronted.

    As for the territory claimed by Mexico in the 19th century and taken by the United States, it had very few Mexicans in it other than New Mexico. About 40,000 Mexicans in New Mexico, 3200 in California and 2500 in Texas. The Mexican government allowed American settlement in Texas in hopes that the Americans could defeat the Comanches who raided Mexican settlements in Texas at will.

    The idea that Catholicism demands that the US have open borders is ludicrous and comes not from the teachings of Christ but from various political agendas. The US allows a million legal immigrants into the country a year, a policy which is generous compared to any other nation on Earth. The immigration laws of this nation should be respected and the idea that I am a bad Catholic for thinking this is merely a very bad joke as far as I am concerned.

    Christ was never an alien as both Egypt and Judaea were provinces of the Roman Empire of which he was a subject.

  • Secondly, those of you who are disparaging “illegal immigrants”—you seem to forget that all your ancestors were illegal immigrants in a land which was inhabited and owned by Native Americans and yes—Mexicans.

    That is a manipulative lie which tortures even the most friendly of facts to it so much they must be screaming for mercy.
    Alternatively, you live in some imaginary universe where there were borders, laws, enforcement mechanisms and routes of legal immigration into what is now the United States– as well as formalized, organized, established national boundries.
    No, “tribes would travel in that area” is not the same.

  • So I hear, Native Americans came from China, we are all immigrants.

  • So sad….the unborn are God’s children too….the unborn have NOTHING not even the love of the parents and you they want to strip from them a little hope….

  • “Secondly, those of you who are disparaging “illegal immigrants”—you seem to forget that all your ancestors were illegal immigrants in a land which was inhabited and owned by Native Americans and yes—Mexicans.”

    As someone who is native american and has three Mexican grandparents, I ask you to leave. Siler appears to be German in origin. So perhaps he can leave also.

    But perhaps we can move on from simplistic thoughts. Wait, we still have to wade through the nonsense of having to worship every thought that a priest or bishop has. Of course that has no basis in Catholic teaching. In fact, Catholic teaching notes that laymen are the experts in ordering the secular domain, not the clergy.

    Nor, as Don points out, does Catholic teaching deny the right of the state to set limits on immigration and to deport those who violate those laws. In fact it clearly allows it.

    Perhaps that will be enough for you to go and think a while.

  • I read the Yakima Herald link Fr. Siler offered. Seems to be fair & balanced (as they say). But, I’m afraid the bishop still comes out looking pretty bad.

  • There you go being “rude and abrasive” again, Phillip. (Sure, it looks a whole lot like being extremely polite and disagreeing, but don’t we all know that failing to utterly turn over every thought to the prudential judgement of another is rude and abrasive? /silly)

  • Hey Morgan! If those Hispanic countries are so darn great, then why are Hispamics fleeing from them to come here?
    And exactly how many immigrants did YOU take into your home? I took two (Filipinos – do they count?) for 6 months – free rent, free electricity, free heating. What have YOU done? Let me guess: not a darn freaking thing.
    Take your Katholyck social justice crap and stuff it back where it has come from.
    PS, for the record: I married a 3rd immigrant (also Filipina) and am working on getting her children from a previous marriage (husband deceased) to come over here. But legal immigration is very slow even though my wife’s daughter is a nurse and wants to work and pay taxes and support herself.
    I despise you liberals. You do nothing constructive but you shoot off your big mouths on stuff you know nothing about and you spread your fecal refuse everywhere.

  • I forgot to mention that I am still housing an immigrant – my wife’s niece. She has a job and I charge her a very modest sum for monthly rent (just enough so I can take the wife out to dinner and the movies twice a month). She is awaiting her permanent green card (she has a temporary one). But we are doing everything legally and she is working her butt off in a job where she pays taxes. She is also a very devout Methodist. That’s how things are supposed to work. You got that Morgan? Is your cranium big enough to fit such facts within your brain?

  • I shudder to think of how many terrorists, who may end up murdering Americans, Catholic agencies have helped to usher into the United States. All this while being payed-off by the most pro-abortion, IMMORAL ‘president’ in our history.
    May GOD help us all.

  • From the last time I heard Laura, she really wears her border sentiments on her sleeve. It would be one thing to be for border security but with Laura, in short, she is an activist; “call your congressman”, “MS-13 in the United States” and so on. That is her right to say such things and I may well agree but her position is very well defined.

  • Pingback: The Front Lines Of The Pro- Life Movement And The US Bishops | Traditional Catholics Emerge
  • Msgr Robert Siler, Thank you for responding and engaging. Your response amazes me, since for decades, with letters to priests, bishops, archbishops, and curial officials in the Vatican, the response in almost every case is silence. The letters were not rants or diatribes, but recounted clear liturgy abuse [elimination of creed on Sundays; laity at altar speaking the canon with ordained priests; homilies by non-priests non-deacons] and the spreading of heresy [e.g. church can ordain women to ministerial priesthood]. So, although I wonder if you would deny Democrat candidates a forum to speak in your diocese, I applaud your discussing the treatment of Laura I. Guy McClung, San Antonio, Texas

  • It would seem that this bishop should also be held to a higher standard. I was unaware that being a member of the clergy gave him special competence in other disciplines. If he would really like to expound on proper treatment of illegals, he may wish to comment on the Mexican government’s treatment of Central American immigrants.

PopeWatch: Isaiah

Thursday, February 25, AD 2016



Well that’s a relief.  The Pope assures us that the prophet Isaiah was not a communist:


“Richness and power are realities that can be good and useful for the common good, if they are put to the service of the poor and all, with justice and charity,” Francis said during his weekly general audience in the Vatican.

“But when, as happens too often, they become lived as privilege, with egoism and presumption, they are transformed into instruments of corruption and death,” the pope explained.

Francis referred at one point to the famous reproaches to the greedy in the fifth chapter of Isaiah, and then in an impromptu addition said: “And the prophet Isaiah wasn’t a communist!”

The pontiff’s lines on the exploitation of the powerless drew wide applause and highlighted not only themes that he has often addressed but also the debates over whether the pope — and Catholic teaching — lean toward some form of Marxism.


Francis’ critics among conservatives in the U.S. in particular have often accused him of being a “left-winger” or a communist.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, has praised Francis as a “socialist” like himself.


Go here to read the rest.  CS Lewis had this passage in the Screwtape Letters:

We direct the fashionable outcry of each generation against those vices of which it is least in danger and fix its approval on the virtue nearest to that vice which we are trying to make endemic. The game is to have them running about with fire extinguishers whenever there is a flood, and all crowding to that side of the boat which is already nearly gunwale under. Thus we make it fashionable to expose the dangers of enthusiasm at the very moment when they are all really becoming worldly and lukewarm; a century later, when we are really making them all Byronic and drunk with emotion, the fashionable outcry is directed against the dangers of the mere “understanding”. Cruel ages are put on their guard against Sentimentality, feckless and idle ones against Respectability, lecherous ones against Puritansm; and whenever all men are really hastening to be slaves or tyrants we make Liberalism the prime bogey.

Continue reading...

4 Responses to PopeWatch: Isaiah

  • Also from the O.T. Leviticus 19:15

    “”‘Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.”

    God is not a communist nor a socialist. Nor is he a modern American. But he does leave to laymen the role of ordering society. Some systems, like capitalism and democracy, stink. Except for all the others.

    Several clear themes from the Bible is that God does not condemn the existence of classes (neither does Catholic Social Teaching but you wouldn’t know that from the way it is taught now.) Nor does the Bible teach that the poor are necessarily good and the rich are necessarily evil. That is a modern invention. Nor does it teach that a massive welfare state is the solution to injustices (though Catholic Social Teaching does in fact teach that a welfare state that creates dependency is unjust.) It does teach that each one of us is to help our neighbors according to God’s will.

  • “It does teach that each one of us is to help our neighbors according to God’s will.”

    Yes, but that must include awareness that with all help, there comes a tipping point, whereby the best of intentions becomes an impediment to the other’s exercising personal responsibility–that virtue which acts like yeast to one’s God-given personal dignity.

  • So Pope Francis declares that Isaiah is NOT a communist.
    But YOU, Pope Francis, ARE a communist.

  • “Several clear themes from the Bible is that God does not condemn the existence of classes”

    No where does He explicitly approve or promote them, either.

When You’ve Lost Amy Welborn…

Wednesday, February 24, AD 2016


When I first began to comment on blogs circa 2003, one of the Catholic blogs I frequented was Open Book run by Amy Welborn.  I liked her blog because she always struck me as fair-minded and attracted a diverse and entertaining crowd of commenters, many of whom went on to illuminate Saint Blogs with blogs of their own.  She seemed to me as being near the sensible center of Catholicism.  I did not always agree with her, but I always respected her well-reasoned opinions that reflected a deep love of the Church.  Therefore I was intrigued by a recent post of hers entitled Against Popesplaining:

Before I move on to specifics, I want to say something about discussing these issues.

It’s okay.

And it’s time.

Well, it’s been time for a while – it’s never not been time, but, well, it’s really time now.

And it’s time to do so without the spectre of  being caricatured as a a “Francis-Hater” or that you must consider yourself “One of the Greatest Catholics of All Time.” Ignore that kind of discourse. It’s lazy.

It’s time to do so without the discussion-silencing claim that any critique of the current papacy must – must  – come from a fearful identification with American capitalism rather than an embrace of Catholic social teaching.

There’s also no reason to feel guilty about engaging in this discussion or – honestly – not liking Pope Francis very much. It is awesome to be in the presence of the successor of St. Peter, and it is a great gift that Jesus gave us, Peter, the Rock. But it is just a matter of historical fact that not all popes are great, popes make mistakes and sin.  Respect for and value of the office does not mean we must feel caught up in emotion about any pope, even the present one.

Years ago, I was in intense email discussion with someone who was considering leaving the Church, so scandalized was he by the sexual abuse scandals.  He was not personally affected, but he had intimate knowledge of it all and had to write about it. I absolutely understood his pain, because it’s pain anyone would  – and should – feel.  But I made this argument to him over and over:

Look. The Church we’re in is the Church that is not confined by time or space.  The Church we’re in in the present moment is the Church of 42, of 477, of 1048, of 1684, of 1893. The institutional sins and failures of the present moment are real, but no less real are the sins, failures and general weirdness of the past 2000 years.  Look at the history of the papacy in the 9th and 10th centuries. If you can hold onto apostolic succession after studying that chaos, then nothing else is ever going to shake you. 

(Oh, it didn’t work. He left the Church. For another church, no less scandal-ridden than this one, but oh well)

This applies to the discussion at hand, as well. Frantic, defensive fear that critiquing any aspect of any recent papacy would call into question one’s faith in Christ’s gift of Petrine ministry is silly. Our discussions should be grounded in humility and an acceptance of our limited understanding, but wondering if a Pope is doing or saying the right thing does not make one an unfaithful Catholic or a sedevacantist.

The inevitable  concerntrolling respone is going to be, “Sure, you can say all that, but you know that a lot of the people speaking about Pope Francis are…”

Hey, guess what?

I don’t care. 

Continue reading...

18 Responses to When You’ve Lost Amy Welborn…

  • Her commentary was excellent. And as Don mentioned, she’s not someone you would necessarily expect to come out with something hard-hitting against the Pope, although I guess her commentary is aimed more at the apologists than the Pope himself.

  • Gracias. He never “had” me. I’ve been biting my tongue (sort of – I have had a couple of posts here and there.) for three years. It’s still difficult to comment without imposing meaning and motivation because he’s so opaque.

  • Ok, the PF-amorists will accuse me of piling-on (even though it is now Pitchers-and-Catchers time in baseball season, not football—explanatory comment for Michael Peterson-Seymour)… but like Amy W., I smelled foul odors from the start when the US media tried to claim he had an exceptional Ph.D. from Frankfort’s theologate. I thought: Wow: a Jesuit priest-friend of outstanding intellectual caliber went there, and I know it’s a thorough training.

    Of course, I could never get a “copy” forwarded to me of his Ph.D. thesis. After some time doing some “forensic thesis” research, I finally obtained confirmation from direct sources, later even publicly and notably, the southern German news source, Die Tauber-Zeitung, that PF had in fact failed to complete his thesis and didn’t even pass his comprehensive exams. Sorry, not recommending for the highest positions in the church.

    Pish-posh, say the Francis-Guard: we don’t need an “academic” pope. So that means we have a man whose last objective academic qualification was obtained about 1969, a licentiate (e.g. advanced master’s) at the Buenos Aires theologate, San Miguel. Other Jesuits have commented to me that “In those days, if you just sat there in the classroom, you would get a licentiate by the end of summer semester.” That makes one feel good.

    In all our fields, we have not just objective education requirements, but licensing, CPE (continuing professional ed, NOT clinical pastoral ed). California law requires a certain person to have about 60 hours total, after one’s degrees and fairly difficult exam-qualified licensing, annually.

    And in the case of the world’s largest organization, based entirely on a profound knowledge of systematic philosophy and theology, we have a GED running things. Would that wash at Harvard? Columbia? Stanford? But that is fine for us.

    And now you know yet again how the Visionary Pope can foul up contraception, marriage, abortion, and relativize climate-change and wealth-redistribution, all in about 3 short years. It is all simple to him. Yes. Very very simple.

  • From Sixtus V, who died in 1590, to Leo XIII, who was elected in 1878, we had a virtually unbroken succession of popes, who had risen through the ranks of the Vatican bureaucracy and who were, by habit, taste and training, administrators. Good men, pious men, of proven ability in a lifetime of administration and with their energies stultified by a Byzantine bureaucracy.
    It is not unfair to describe the result as one of assiduous mediocrity. Even in Catholic countries, they had the same impact and the same popular appeal, as the average Secretary-General of the United Nations or President of the World Bank.
    Thirty popes and not a Leo or a Gregory, a Hildebrand or an Innocent III amongst them; the very suggestion seems absurd. Benedict XIV (Prospero Lambertini) can fairly be ranked with Innocent IV as a canonist and with Leo X and Clement VII for his learning and he appears as a giant in that age of pygmies.
    Meanwhile, we had the Church riven by the Thirty Years War, the Quietist controversy, the Jansenist heresy, the Gallican controversy, Josephism, the suppression of the Jesuits, the French Revolution and its aftermath, and the Risorgimento, in none of which can the Holy See be said to have distinguished itself.
    Popes who leave a lasting legacy are very rare indeed.

  • Well, count me amongst the Catholics who absolutely LOVE Pope Francis. And no, I don’t agree with everything he says, and yes, I sometimes wish he had phrased this or that comment a bit differently. But I believe he is exactly the right person at the right time. Future Church historians will mark his reign as the moment when the current long decline of Catholicism ended and the coming period of explosive growth began.

  • At first, I thought BobInMaryland was serious.
    By the 3rd or 4th sentance I guessed him sarcastic.

  • Good job to Amy.
    Apparently fantasy land is Democrat Maryland which gave us the likes of Catholyck Martin O’Malley.

  • ExNOAAman,

    I was totally serious.

  • Amy is right.
    I have considered our good Pope Francis as being “confusing” from within months of the start of his papacy. Yes, when his written word is published days after his loose comments, we can see that in his considered thoughts he is orthodox; but in his off-the-cuff comments, he is confusing and sometimes seems heterodox.
    In recent time, I have stated in a couple of my homilies”……often what comes out of the Vatican is perplexing…….” We may have to obey the pope in any of his ex cathedra statements, but we certainly do not have to agree with the pope in his rather nebulous and often disconcerting positions WRT – for example – “Donald Trump is not Christian” , or, that capitalism has exploited the poor etc.

    It appears to only make sense to other Latinos. 😉

  • ‘The relative formality of apostolic Christianity – for that is what Catholicism is – is about safeguarding the Faith against the temptation to allow the priorities of one particular age or individual from having too much influence and for allowing “space” as it were, underneath that highest level for various movements, influences and emphases to arise, dialogue, be refined, embraced, discarded and take their place.’
    ‘ … for allowing “space” as it were, underneath that highest level for various movements, influences and emphases to arise, dialogue, be refined, embraced, discarded and take their place.’
    ‘ … safeguarding the Faith against the temptation to allow the priorities of one particular age or individual from having too much influence and for allowing “space” …’
    The Synod of embarrassing machinations revealed the enormity of the ‘space’, as well as the empty speeches at visit venues around the world, have, and will have, no regard for what was ‘temptation’.
    Apostolic Christianity is important to God. He said so.

  • Amy does excellent work in demystifying the cult of Pope Francis. Pope Francis with his vulgar displays of humility, his insulting remarks to faithful Catholics, his political people- pleaser personality, his confusing and ambiguous statements about the faith qualify him as one of the worst popes in history. And that’s not the worst of it. Two-thirds of the Cardinals elected this guy. God help us all. And let us say a prayer that Pope Francis reign will be short.

  • Patricia

    There is an important distinction to be made, as the quotation you cite indicates. As Bl John Henry Newman puts it, “Revelation sets before it [the mind] certain supernatural facts and actions, beings and principles; these make a certain impression or image upon it; and this impression spontaneously, or even necessarily, becomes the subject of reflection on the part of the mind itself, which proceeds to investigate it, and to draw it forth in successive and distinct sentences” That is Newman’s doctrine of development in a nutshell.

    “Apostolic Christianity” is summed up in the Apostles’ Creed. Its articles are (1) categorical, not argumentative; (2) concrete, not abstract; (3) concerned with facts and actions and, above all, with a Person; not with ideas or notions or reflections.

  • To Bob in Maryland, ah yes, the “Francis effect”. I’ve been waiting for that too. Unfortunately, I think the actual “effect” will be more of the same, an even more rapid decline. Why would anyone listening to Francis think it necessary to enter the Catholic church? As his January prayer intention makes quite clear, there is more than one path to “love”.

  • Here in Cajun French South Louisiana the most frequent comment I hear about the Holy Father is, “Cher, he just has the ‘hot blood!’ Bless his heart!” (Translation: “He’s a hot-headed, blowhard knot head, just like PawPaw Henri; but we’ve got to love him, since he’s family.) In the Catholic South, “Bless his heart” can mean anything from “If he drives up in the front yard, turn off all the lights, lock all the doors, and be quiet until he goes away,” to “What an idiot!” YMMV

    Incidentally, I accidentally **exited** our cathedral through the Door of Mercy after attending the Rite of Election for my catechumens last Sunday. I notice that I have been feeling particularly merciless ever since! Should I worry? What should I do?!?

  • Michael

    That distinction is a help to explain further explain my worry.
    When you mentioned the three hundred years of thirty administrative popes and those heresies that went around the Church with no pope distinguishing himself, I wondered at the difference in this 2016 world. ‘Popes who leave a lasting legacy are very rare indeed.’ This is the main eventuality (legacy in the making) facing the Church. What I see are more and more impressions on minds which may find developmental challenges due to the lack, even derision, of definitive teaching about the Holy facts and actions which the valuable Creed can offer to do what Blessed John Henry Newman tells us about development of faith and love for God. It is more than leaving interested ones waiting for a surprise from an unknown or intangible stranger. Further, I think young and old, especially young though, could benefit from being given a Creed for their lives, as opposed to pop culture influences. Gangs offer more facts and actions to which young hold.
    It seems that our Lord is hearing a lot of the dreaded ‘crucify him’ that we will hear during the Triduum.
    It is the legacy of wayward and groundless actions while the western world degenerates – so far, anyway.

  • Hey, Don the Kiwi, your use of quote marks around the phrase Donald Trump is not Christian is incorrect. Those were not the words of Pope Francis. It’s bad enough putting up with foot-in-mouth remarks that he really did say.

    By the way, I notice that when popes wore the traditional red slippers that Pope Francis has refused to wear there was a lot less foot-in-mouth disease among pontiffs. Please, Pope Francis, wear the shoes! (I hear the red dye tastes really, really bad!)

3 Responses to Starry, Starry Night Open Thread