Pence Drives the Left Bonkers

Friday, March 31, AD 2017

 

 

Vice President Mike Pence has a talent for bringing out the crazy, admittedly never far beneath the surface, on the left in this nation.  They are trying to make hay out of Pence’s statement in 2002 that he never dines alone with a non-related woman not his wife.  Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts gives us the details:

Who in the world would have a problem with this? Apparently a few hellbent on looking stupid.  This is Washington, and this is Pence, a man who tries to live by his faith and thus his reputation will be target number one for those who wish to destroy him. That’s the common sense in politics part.

On the common sense in life part, neither do I. I know of few if any married men who do go out to dinner with other women one on one. Business or otherwise.  Not a single man I’ve worked for, and not a single woman I’ve worked with for that matter, does that I’m aware of.   At least ones in good marriages. That’s just common freaking sense marriage 101. It’s not really a ‘Billy Graham rule.’  Graham made it famous for pastors back in the day when clergy held a certain star status, but he didn’t pioneer the advice.  It goes back long before Graham, and generally has been followed by most men and women I know who had happy marriages.

If people do go out together with others one on one, when they’re otherwise married, that’s up to them. I wouldn’t judge one way or another.  But to make this basic common sense advice, since forever, into some scandal? I thought it was an Onion piece or SNL skit when I first heard about it. I’ll count this as almost the most stupid thing I’ve heard in a year. An actual year of stupid, and this is near the top.  And reading what the “critics” were actually saying made it worse.

Kudos to Slate for the most ‘out the arse asinine stupid’ take on this non-story.    Because the only place I can learn how much a woman has to offer is alone at dinner, not in any other setting at all.

And the “Make Walter Sobchak seem like Einstein”award goes to Philip Sherburn for comparing this principle to Sharia Law in his tweet about Pence’s choice.

I mean, the dumb has taken over the extreme left on this day in March, 2017.  Mourn or apologize or rejoice as you see fit.

Continue reading...

20 Responses to Pence Drives the Left Bonkers

  • The left are incredibly stupid and shallow, not to mention forgetful of their hero slut Bill Clinton. Cigar connoisseur wee Willie wanker.

    I do not wish for Trumps demise.
    That said, VP Pence would make an excellent replacement if ever our President was incapable of holding office.

  • I asked someone over there who was blaming Mike, “What if his wife asked it of him?”

    Their answer: “Then his wife is a suspicious fool.”

    That’s where we are now. Common sense and knowledge about human nature is now called foolish.

    They mock wisdom, and wonder how in the world they keep looking stupid.

  • When I first saw this, I thought “Oh, he’s kind of strict, like Mrs Jones at school.” And then I thought nothing more of it until today when I got an email regarding this so-called scandal.
    .
    If this is the worst the Left can throw, they are truly scrapping the bottom to find an issue, any issue, to stir up trouble. Total non issue.
    .
    My husband and I don’t follow this policy, but I must confess I don’t know the details of this policy either. Are we talking fancy restaurant (with suitable menu/prices), dim lighting, semi private booths/tables? Or the Wednesday lunch Pizza Bro’s day, when the usual posse (and the rest of the local financial district ) is almost always there, but only Peter and Helen make it, because Paul, Catherine, Luke, and Mary are trapped at work? Peter and Helen deciding to dine at Cafe Chez Vous is definitely sketchy, but sitting apart from each other at Pizza Bro’s seems odd. They are no longer following a predictable, established pattern.
    .
    I’ve had lunch with other men in public places (and my husband knows about it). And my husband has been seen eating lunch with other women. On the other hand, my husband and I have a table at a local establishment (where there is zero privacy-less than Pizza Bro’s at Wednesday noon hour) I wouldn’t dream of having a drink with anybody but him. And I’d be hurt if he took a female friend/co-worker there.
    .
    (Apologies to any establishment named Cafe Chez Vous or Pizza Bro’s-I meant them as pseudonyms)

  • I cannot recall even once in the past 40 years of my nuclear power career when I have ever had to go out to lunch or dinner alone with a woman not my wife.

    Now I have had woman bosses and we have had closed office door discussions at work about work related issues. And I have had closed door discussions with woman inspectors from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, again all about work.

    But not once have I had to go to lunch or dinner alone with anyone that was a woman. Not once.

  • About my Karen [going on 43 plus years now]:

    Rockport Pilot Newspaper; Rockport, Texas
    Letters to Editor: published March 7, 2012

    I’m here, she’s dear, get used to us- Out of the monogamy closet.
    Dear Editor:
    As the dark ages of heterophobia are waning, our society is evolving, for the good, to the point where it can now accept me and my ilk. I cannot deny it any longer-I am coming out of the monogamy closet. Yes! I am faithful to my wife and I always have been since the day we were married over 38 years ago. I have always felt different around those who, with absolutist certainty, preached: self-fulfillment, freedom, liberty, self-worth, if-it-feels-good-do-it, I-gotta-be-me, do-it-my-way, grab-for-all-the-gusto-you-can, grab [another partner]-now, do-not-judge, my-morality-is-good-as-yours, and I-choose-my-morality. Why they want to impose this on me I do not know.
    I knew deep in my heart and in my soul I was different. This is something I can turn on and off, it is a matter of my choice, my free will. It is innate in me. This is the way I was made by God and so I have come to believe it cannot be bad. I knew I was free to choose, it felt so natural. And I chose – over and over, again and again – to love my wife, and only my wife.
    I know many will heap opprobrium on me, and some will even condemn me. So, I would like to begin a dialogue with those who are not like me, even though the grip of monagaphobia for some is overwhelming and the response from some monogaphobes is often shrill, scary, and even violent. Hopefully such a dialogue will spawn a movement to have the right to monogamy recognized legally and, if necessary, enforced by the government with concomitant retroactive compensation for past injustice, with future preferential treatment.
    If it comes to legal action, no doubt many judges, fine judicial legislators, on courts at all levels and on the U.S. Supreme Court, will easily discover the Right to Monogamy hidden in the interstices of the Commerce Clause and in the penumbras of the Second, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments, buried there long ago by our Founding Parents. I anticipate City Councils across our land will pass hate speech legislation so I and those like me will no longer be assaulted with “one-wifer!”
    I look forward to Monogamy History Month – surprisingly there were monogamists who played major roles in our nation’s storied birth and growth, although this included relatively few politicians and journalists. Monogamy Challenged parking places will facilitate my visits to Wal-Mart. I relish the thought of the educational materials to be produced by organizations funded with my tax money for kindergartners that will portray monogamy in a tender, welcoming, accepting light and provide instruction, in graphic detail, about the mechanics of monogamy. I cannot wait for “Tommy Has One Mother and One Father,” “See How Happy Sally Is With Her [One] Mommy and [One] Daddy,” and “The Illustrated Joy of Monogamous Sex.”
    Monogamy has become the love that dare not be mentioned, for some a stifling, dirty thing. But, in private, I have quietly reveled in it, glorying in the love of my one wife while keeping my mouth shut for fear of reprisal. I can no longer be silent. Now I dare … I’m here, she’s dear, get used to us.
    Guy McClung

  • In my parents circle of friends, some husbands and some wives were congenial about husband from couple A having lunch or a drink with wife from couple B, but it was atypical. Succeeding generations simply do not have the social graces that one did, so it’s inadvisable for anyone else. In my old office, there was a pair who generally had lunch together (man born in 1955, woman in 1966). It always looked odd, but the reputation of the man was such and the proximity of the husband of the woman was such that I think people figured there was nothing going on there.

  • Driving to distraction the left is an extremely short drive, as in backing out of the drive-way. The dogs bark while the caravan moves on.

  • When I was in grad school and still fairly newly married, and I knew that I would be spending an inordinate amount of time with another grad student (same advisor, same interests, same seminars etc.), I made sure she and my wife got to be friends first.

  • Pingback: Canon212 Update: Francis and His Friends Run Like Gleeful, Thrilled Rats Through the Halls of Our Vatican – The Stumbling Block
  • The odd thing is, I imagined this would be a freebie for my more liberal visitors. Sort of a ‘we’re with you on this crazy thing Dave’ opportunity. Nope. It can only be misogyny, Sharia Law, and who knows, Nazis? I heard Mark Shea and Deacon Steve Graydanus discuss this. While they said some of the reactions were overblown, they also said they could understand women saying it’s not fair to them if the man would also have dinner one on one with another man. Did I miss something? Is this Church position now? When I entered the work force c. 1990 it was basic, secular advice to beware getting into compromising situations with female coworkers. Furthermore, a situation where I insisted the only way to my company’s top tier was by a one on one dinner with me would have been attacked by my liberal counterparts back in the day. What happened? I admit I’m not high up in the corporate world today, but is this common now that the only path to success is through one on one dinner meetings?

  • I saw that podcast, Dave and was wondering if you listened to it.

    Did Mark or Steve at least say something positive about Pence or express understanding from his point of view? I mean, ok, some of the secular folks I can understand but the Christians? Those whom should know the verse, “if your right arm causes you to sin…”? What did Mark used to say…

    What would you think of a friend (let’s call him “Bill Clinton”) who is constantly e-mailing you to ask just how far he can go with the hot secretary without it actually crossing the line into, you know, “adultery” (he always puts the word in scare quotes, as though there isn’t really such a thing, and he’s certainly not guilty of it).

    I guess nowadays it’s wrong to try and flee from sin?

  • It is nice to see this sound piece of advice getting some play. It is one I have followed throughout my adult life. Even when dating, maybe especially when dating, I have done so. It seems wise and good and proper and it is nice to hear other married people asserating the value of the policy.

  • And, thank you, Guy McClung, for that thoroughly enjoyable Letter to the Editor.

  • Nate, I noticed that. I mean, like my wife said, she remembers when if it was discovered that a woman had to have a one on one dinner with a man to get ahead, that would be the cause for outrage. Now it’s not only apparently OK, but anyone who chooses not to go out with women other than his wife is suspect? Mark and Steve suggested it was a case of misplaced scrupulousness. Which was odd, because Mark admitted that it would be wrong to share a hotel room with a woman if on a business trip. So clearly there is *something* there regarding common sense. I wonder why the sudden difference? I mean, it was the secularists and women’s groups who would have screamed at the idea that a woman had to dine with a man to get ahead. But should representatives of the Church even budge on such obvious politicizing of a situation? Not to mention the notion of avoiding the near occasion of sin. That is supposed to be somewhere in basic Christian teaching. I don’t think they trashed Pence or anything, I just was taken by the fact that they were clearly trying to walk that line of saying there’s really no reason to call this Sharia Law redux, while clearly not wanting to give Pence the obvious support any believer should give him in this case.

  • Leftists getting into a twist something that is none of their damned business. What else is new?

  • Good stuff, GREG M. All indicators point to the next eight years will be nauseatingly repetitive. The Einstein definition of insanity is on display. our perpetually outraged left (apparently including Mark-who?) is patently stupid or simply insane. You decide.

    Its’ all sound and fury akin to a wind chime in a hurricane.

  • Here I think is good support for Pence. This is from one of the blog sites I visit. I like the man’s writings on marriage and family. He isn’t Catholic, so there are things that probably won’t sit too well with the learned orthodox of our faith, but surely this is the support that Mark Shea and Deacon Steve should have given Pence?
    .
    http://www.kevinathompson.com/mimic-dont-mock-mike-pence/

  • So the same folks that have made it so that I cannot be alone with an single other individual are having fits about…normal manners?

    How often do you have restaurant meals with only one person, anyways? If it’s a group of friends, or of co-workers, and it’s a group.

    Reminds me of that mini-outrage about that football player for San Diego– Mr. Rivers hit the news about three years ago because he had “so many” kids…with his WIFE. ***AFTER*** they were married! (Just checked– now at 8. Just welcomed a new little girl.)

    DJH- If I remember right, one of the angles of attack on Pence is that he left the Church.
    While I’m not a big fan of the guy, I remember getting the impression that he got the same kind of post-Vatican-II religious education that I got… ie, he was taught that the Church wasn’t the Church anymore, by those who were supposed to officially teach him. I might be confusing him with one of the others in the pack, though.

  • Boy, the libs are really digging deep. Before my husband’s first deployment after we were married he said to me that we should never put ourselves in any situation that would give cause for scandal and I agreed. The squadron detted out in fours aboard destroyers so there were always a few “sea wives” at squadron parties. Everyone behaved. However there was a group of young sea wives who went to the BOQ bar for dancing on DJ night. Bad idea. Two divorces ensued from that. Regarding work: I was a Flag Secretary at the time and on a couple of occasions had to travel with the admiral as a sub for the male Flag Lieutenant. For overnights the admiral had a suite and I had a room elsewhere in the BOQ. If the Flag LT were along he probably would have stayed in the suite’s second bedroom. If the admiral and I went to dinner we usually wore our uniforms. On one occasional we were in civvies and the hostess seated us side by side. We were both uncomfortable. The admiral immediately explained that this was a business dinner and asked her to change the place settings. Good rule is how would my spouse feel about this situation? If one lives in a fish bowl one has to be aware that there are always malicious gossips who have nothing better to do than spread lies no matter that the situation is innocent.

  • “If one lives in a fish bowl one has to be aware that there are always malicious gossips who have nothing better to do than spread lies no matter that the situation is innocent.”

    You can underline that CAM!

Elections Have Consequences

Friday, March 31, AD 2017

 

The next time someone tells you there is no difference between the parties on abortion, look them in the eye and call them a liar:

 

With a rare tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence, the Senate on Thursday sent a bill to President Donald Trump’s desk giving states permission to withhold federal family planning funds from Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.

Pence and Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson, who is recovering from back surgery and used a walker inside the chamber, were dramatically summoned to the Capitol to help pass the measure by a razor-thin margin.

Continue reading...

4 Responses to Elections Have Consequences

  • “Mark Shea hardest hit.”

    I don’t know how he can now argue that he is not in proximate, material cooperation with evil as a strong supporter of the Democratic Party.

  • There is a difference between the parties on this issue. It’s why, despite everything, I will continue to vote Republican until there is a better choice. However, the party of death will never be the better choice.

  • Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, the nauseating GOP Alaska Senator who claims to be Catholic but is a bought and sold stooge for Planned Parenthood, certainly voted against the measure. Murkowski is almost as bad a Barbara Milkulski, the former Maryland Senator. People with Polish surnames who support Planned Parenthood, whose founder saw Slavs as subhuman, deserve the paddle on the rear end that Foghorn Leghorn gave the barnyard dog in the Looney Tunes cartoons.

  • Here in Texas, Planned Parenthood of Houston opened the largest abortion facility
    in the nation– a 78,000 square-foot behemoth. The Houston Democrats chose
    that venue for their annual Christmas party. I kid you not. I believe that speaks
    volumes about the Democrats. Planned Parenthood is merely the baby-killing arm
    of the Democrat Party.

PopeWatch: Judas and the Beggar

Friday, March 31, AD 2017

 

An interesting difference between the Pope and a Bishop.

 

A month after Pope Francis endorsed giving money to panhandlers, the Roman Catholic bishop in Rhode Island has posted three reasons not to.

Pope Francis was asked last month by an Italian magazine for the homeless “if it is right to give alms to people who ask for help on the street,” according to a transcript of the interview posted on the Vatican website. He replied that there are many arguments to justify not giving money, such as being concerned the person will go buy himself wine. But, Francis said, “Help is always right.”

He added that when people give, they should do so not by throwing coins, but by looking the person in the eye and touching their hands.

Bishop Thomas Tobin, who has previously criticized Francis, posted a Facebook message Tuesday entitled “Three Reasons Not to Give to Panhandlers.” Tobin’s spokeswoman said the post was prompted by recent local debate on the panhandling issue, not in response to anything Pope Francis has said.

Tobin said it can be a safety hazard if someone standing on a curb or roadway is asking for help, and said the practice enables dishonest people to prey upon others’ compassion when they do not have legitimate needs. He also said throwing loose change at a panhandler is demeaning to that person’s dignity.

Continue reading...

9 Responses to PopeWatch: Judas and the Beggar

  • That is an interesting tale (Judas tossing money absent-mindedly?) since it was his addictive thirst for money that may have cost him paradise.
    I often have the same feeling of doubt (about where the charity money is going) when a “Bishop’s collection” is asking.

  • In Biblical times, beggars were blind, crippled, or otherwise incapable of making “a living.” Today, not so much.

    True story: A panhandler would stand outside a NYC breakfast café asking for money. One morning, a co-worker, who grew up in Minnesota, went inside, bought a buttered roll, and gave it to the man. The man told him he didn’t want it. My friend was shocked. Better to put money in the Church poor box, or send a check to St. Vincent de Paul Society. That being said, I used to give to panhandlers as an act of penance.

    Each Lent, I “try” to read all the Gospels. Of course, I note the four evangelists’ treatments of well-known Gospel themes. It is often noteworthy how some are related in all four and some only one Gospel. (I have a Catholic HS textbook which cross-references the Gospel chapters and verses) Regarding the woman at Bethany who anointed Our Lord with expensive perfume; three Gospels (Luke doesn’t have it) have it and teach the vital lesson is that the woman will be remembered for what she did (the Spiritual charity) for Jesus. A lesser theme is that the money (from selling the perfume) could have been given to the poor (who will always be with you) but it was appropriate to anoint Our Lord. St. Matthew states that disciples were angry. St. Mark states that some of the people were angry. St. John (12:4- 6) names Judas as the complainant. St. John also states Judas didn’t care about the poor, but was helping himself with coins from the Apostolic purse, which he controlled. Was Judas looking for a Worldly messiah? Was Judas more concerned for money (30 pieces of silver, the price of a man) than the Kingdom of God? How could a man who walked and talked with Our Lord betray him?

  • “In Biblical times, beggars were blind, crippled, or otherwise incapable of making “a living.””

    Or faking it. Professional beggars are as old as Sumer.

  • T.Shaw, I try to do much like your friend and give food to beggers. More than once I’ve handed over a doggie bag I had brought from a restaurant and I’m trying to figure out some “cookie project” thing where I get a dessert or treat from a place (usually cookies) and hand those to the first needy person I see.

    But I know it’s not enough. I was listening to this podcast and the guy talking on it made it a really excellent point: most of what today’s poor are in need of is social capital, not monetary capital. And despite being free, it’s so much harder to give that to people.

  • When a panhandler approaches me on the street for a handout, I ask if I can bring him to the AA meeting to which I am about to go where there is hot coffee and fresh (well, maybe not so fresh) cookies. The answer is always NO. End of story.

    NO FREE HANDOUTS! That was one of the unspoken rules my 2nd 12 step sponsor gave me some 30 years ago. “Bring him to a meeting,” he would always say. But never any money. And his sponsor, a Franciscan priest at the Greymoor Monestary in Putnam County, NY, and my priest confessor, would always agree with him.

    NO FREE HANDOUTS!

  • We lived outside of Boston in the early 90s so my husband would take the T into the city for classes. At the entrance to the T station downtown
    there was a fella living in a refrigerator box. My husband went to hand him some money and he said no; he just wanted something to eat so my husband handed over his bag lunch. From then on I made two sandwiches for his lunch. Sometimes the homeless man was there; sometimes he was not. The number of homeless showing up in Braintree increased dramatically when the town became the last stop on the T. The local priest told us he often had men showing up at the rectory asking for money. He refused to give them money but always had $5 gift certificates to the McDonalds down the street. For awhile in one city there was a group of men and women show up in a shopping center parking lot with cards printed in English asking for money. They appeared to be Central Asian/Mid-eastern. It was closing time at the local coffee shop so I asked waitress for the day’s leftovers. She gave me two big bags of rolls and pastries. When I handed them to the woman she gave the breads back to me and said, “We want money.” In rather good English at that. That said it is hard to see someone apparently in need and not hand them a dollar bill.

  • I generally give money to anyone who asks. But am never sure I am doing the right thing.

  • Saint Mary of Mercy Parish in downtown Pittsburgh has, for many years, operated the Red Door Program. There is a red door at the back of the church building along the Boulevard of the Allies. Every day except Sunday a bagged lunch is offered to anyone who comes to the door and asks. I have contributed to this program through the United Way for I don’t know how many years. Inside the church there is a sign asking those attending Mass or going to Confession or the rosary that they NOT give money to panhandlers, who frequently congregate at the front door of the church. I have followed that advice. Through a reputable charity, I will give money to help poor and homeless people. I won’t give cash to someone asking for it so he can go to the liquor store on Liberty Avenue or go buy illegal drugs. These people know where they can go to get a hot meal or clothing or other assistance. I can’t make them accept that help.

    Inside one of the office buildings leased by my employer is a public area with a food court. There is a cafe and bake shop that donates the unsold inventory at the end of each day to nearby charities so none of it goes to waste.

  • The last time I gave a beggar money I told him the truth, that I was nearly broke myself, and I asked him to pray for me. Besides my need for prayer, perhaps he needed the motivation. A win-win moment?

Chesty Puller and Catholic Chaplains

Thursday, March 30, AD 2017

(I first ran this back in 2011.  It has proven to be one of the most popular posts I have written for TAC.  Time to run it again.)

 

 

Some men become legends after their deaths and others become legends while they are alive.  Lewis Burwell Puller, forever known as “Chesty”, was in the latter category.  Enlisting in the Marine Corps in 1918 he would serve until 1955, rising in rank from private to lieutenant general.  Throughout his career he led from the front, never asking his men to go where he would not go.  For his courage he was five times awarded the Navy Cross,  a Silver Star,  a Distinguished Service Cross, and a Bronze Star with a V for Valor, along with numerous other decorations.  In World War II and Korea he became a symbol of the courage that Marines amply displayed in  both conflicts.

His fourth Navy Cross citation details why the Marines under his command would have followed him in an attack on Hades if he had decided to lead them there:

“For extraordinary heroism as Executive Officer of the Seventh Marines, First Marine Division, serving with the Sixth United States Army, in combat against enemy Japanese forces at Cape Gloucester, New Britain, from 26 December 1943 to 19 January 1944. Assigned temporary command of the Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, from 4 to 9 January, Lieutenant Colonel Puller quickly reorganized and advanced his unit, effecting the seizure of the objective without delay. Assuming additional duty in command of the Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, from 7 to 8 January, after the commanding officer and executive officer had been wounded, Lieutenant Colonel Puller unhesitatingly exposed himself to rifle, machine-gun and mortar fire from strongly entrenched Japanese positions to move from company to company in his front lines, reorganizing and maintaining a critical position along a fire-swept ridge. His forceful leadership and gallant fighting spirit under the most hazardous conditions were contributing factors in the defeat of the enemy during this campaign and in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”

Stories began to cluster about him.  When he was first shown a flame thrower he supposedly asked, “Where do you mount the bayonet?”    Advised that his unit was surrounded he replied:  “All right, they’re on our left, they’re on our right, they’re in front of us, they’re behind us…they can’t get away this time.”  On an inspection tour of a Marine unit he became exasperated at the lack of spirit he saw and finally said,“Take me to the Brig. I want to see the real Marines!”  During the Chosin campaign in Korea when the Marines were fighting their way to the coast through several Communist Chinese corps he captured the tactical situation succinctly:  “We’ve been looking for the enemy for some time now. We’ve finally found him. We’re surrounded. That simplifies things.”  Little surprise that Marine Drill Instructors at Parris Island still have their boots sing good night to Chesty Puller some four decades after his death.

Puller was an Episcopalian.  However he made no secret that he greatly admired Navy Catholic chaplains who served with the Marines, and had little use, with certain honorable exceptions, for the Navy Protestant chaplains sent to the Corps.  His reasons were simple.  The Catholic chaplains were without fear, always wanted to be with the troops in combat, and the men idolized them for their courage and their willingness, even eagerness, to stand with them during their hour of trial.

Continue reading...

8 Responses to Chesty Puller and Catholic Chaplains

Nap Time

Thursday, March 30, AD 2017

 

From LarryD at Acts of the Apostasy:

 

SLEEPY HOLLOW – Three-year-old Remy Nodderson took full advantage of the gospel at Sunday’s Mass, as the priest read the long form rather than omitting the bracketed sections, allowing him to get what he called “the best nap I’ve had in weeks”.

“I was all prepared to throw a Category 6 tantrum,” Remy told AoftheA News. “It welled up inside me during the Responsorial Psalm, and I felt it cresting during the second reading. But when Father went long form for the Gospel? It was lights out, baby.”

Remy’s nap on the cushioned, soft-as-a-cloud pew bench, his head supported by his dad’s comfortably weathered leather jacket, lasted until the Sign of Peace, when his older sister Corma stepped on his face as she reached out to hug her mother.

“Yeah, if she hadn’t shoved her Florsheim up my nose, I would’ve slumbered like a baby through Holy Communion, nestled safely against daddy’s shoulder. I thought about screaming like a stuck pig for maybe half a second, but damn, that nap was soooo good. I really couldn’t care less.”

Remy yawned, stretched his little limbs, and cracked his knuckles. “Sure, my parents are grateful now. Wait til it’s 2 in the morning, and they’re still trying to make me go to bed.”

Continue reading...

4 Responses to Nap Time

  • I love Pope Benedict XVI, napping and awake.

  • That 27 hour visit to Malta occurred in April 2010. His Holiness’ catnap on the altar was not mentioned by the Times of Malta. The real news on that trip was that Benedict arranged a prayerful meeting with victims of clerical abuse, and that he praised citizens of Malta for their devotions to the faith. Abortion and divorce are illegal in Malta and he praised the citizens for their continued respect for life and marriage . Pope Benedict will 90 years old April 16th. Who knows what meds he was or is prescribed that might induce drowsiness.
    He needs our prayers even in retirement.

  • Thanks for the link, Don!

  • Thanks Larry for giving me a smile so many times with your articles!

March 30, 1842: First Use of Ether in Surgery

Thursday, March 30, AD 2017

Surgery took a giant leap forward one hundred and seventy-five years ago thanks to Doctor Crawford W. Long.  On that date in Jefferson, Georgia he used ether on James M. Venable before removing a tumor from his neck.  The procedure was a success and Long used ether for surgeries and in his obstetrics practice.  He published the results of his use of ether in 1849 in The Southern Medical and Surgery Journal.  Dentist William T. G. Morton had demonstrated the use of ether before an audience of physicians on October 16, 1846 in the operating theater of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.  His publication of this event in December 1846 alerted Long to the claim of Morton to be the discoverer of the use of ether in surgery.  Long wrote of the controversy in his 1849 article:

A controversy soon ensued between Messrs. Jackson, Morton and Wells, in regard to who was entitled to the honor of being the discoverer of the anaesthetic powers of ether, and a considerable time elapsed before I was able to ascertain the exact period when their first operations were performed. Ascertaining this fact, through negligence I have now permitted a much longer time to elapse than I designed, or than my professional friends with whom I consulted advised; but as no account has been published, (so far as I have been able to ascertain), of the inhalation of ether being used to prevent pain in surgical operations as early as March, 1842. My friends think I would be doing myself injustice, not to notify my brethren of the medical profession of my priority of the use of ether by inhalation in surgical practice.

Continue reading...

4 Responses to March 30, 1842: First Use of Ether in Surgery

PopeWatch: They Have the Buildings, We Have the Faith

Thursday, March 30, AD 2017

 

As this Pontificate winds on its merry way my fondness for Saint Athanasius grows.  In writing to Catholics dismayed because Arian heretics had been placed in control of the Church in the Eastern Empire, Saint Athanasius wrote:

May God comfort you. I know moreover that not only this thing saddens you, but also the fact that while others have obtained the churches by violence, you are meanwhile cast out from your places. For they hold the places, but you the Apostolic Faith. They are, it is true, in the places, but outside of the true Faith; while you are outside the places indeed, but the Faith, within you. Let us consider whether is the greater, the place or the Faith. Clearly the true Faith. Who then has lost more, or who possesses more? He who holds the place, or he who holds the Faith? Good indeed is the place, when the Apostolic Faith is preached there, holy is it if the Holy One dwell there. (After a little:) But ye are blessed, who by faith are in the Church, dwell upon the foundations of the faith, and have full satisfaction, even the highest degree of faith which remains among you unshaken. For it has come down to you from Apostolic tradition, and frequently has accursed envy wished to unsettle it, but has not been able. On the contrary, they have rather been cut off by their attempts to do so. For this is it that is written, ‘Thou art the Son of the Living God,’ Peter confessing it by revelation of the Father, and being told, ‘Blessed art thou Simon Barjona, for flesh and blood did not reveal it to thee,’ but ‘My Father Who is in heaven,’ and the rest. No one therefore will ever prevail against your Faith, most beloved brethren. For if ever God shall give back the churches (for we think He will) yet without such restoration of the churches the Faith is sufficient for us. And lest, speaking without the Scriptures, I should [seem to] speak too strongly, it is well to bring you to the testimony of Scriptures, for recollect that the Temple indeed was at Jerusalem; the Temple was not deserted, aliens had invaded it, whence also the Temple being at Jerusalem, those exiles went down to Babylon by the judgment of God, who was proving, or rather correcting them; while manifesting to them in their ignorance punishment [by means] of blood-thirsty enemies. And aliens indeed had held the Place, but knew not the Lord of the Place, while in that He neither gave answer nor spoke, they were deserted by the truth. What profit then is the Place to them?

For behold they that hold the Place are charged by them that love God with making it a den of thieves, and with madly making the Holy Place a house of merchandise, and a house of judicial business for themselves to whom it was unlawful to enter there. For this and worse than this is what we have heard, most beloved, from those who are come from thence. However really, then, they seem to hold the church, so much the more truly are they cast out. And they think themselves to be within the truth, but are exiled, and in captivity, and [gain] no advantage by the church alone. For the truth of things is judged…

Continue reading...

15 Responses to PopeWatch: They Have the Buildings, We Have the Faith

  • Thank you, Donald McClarey. I love St. Athanasius, for he writes beautifully about the Catholic Faith. The translation however suffers. “For behold they that hold the Place are charged by them that love God with making it a den of thieves, …” must be: “For behold they WHO hold the Place are charged by them WHO love God with making it a den of thieves, …” Even the devil is a person WHO has forfeit his sovereignty over himself to say “NO” to God. Later on in the piece the person is referred to as “WHO”. “WHO” denotes the PERSON.

  • The One True Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church ABS was born into in 1948 no longer exists outside the Caves of Covadonga; SSPX, FSSP, ICK etc.

    One prays that in those caves many Pelayos are being formed who will go to war against the revolutionaries who control the Hierarchy to such an extent that putative courageous cardinals quail at the idea of publicly confronting Franciscus.

    They could start slowly and identify how his praxis is perplexing before, slowly, spiritually rounding that up to heresy.

  • But if any are tied in any way to the false church by written agreements with compromises, how can they consider themselves to not be in THEIR buildings and to be in the caves? They have not been kicked out but are indeed united to it.

  • Pingback: Canon212 Update: St. Athanasius, Save Us From These Pro-Death FrancisFiends! – The Stumbling Block
  • Very encouraging in these times! We need to hear this! Thank You!

  • Thank you, Donald McClarey. I love St. Athanasius, for he writes beautifully about the Catholic Faith. The translation however suffers. “For behold they that hold the Place are charged by them that love God with making it a den of thieves, …” must be: “For behold they WHO hold the Place are charged by them WHO love God with making it a den of thieves, …” Even the devil is a person WHO has forfeit his sovereignty over himself to say “NO” to God. Later on in the piece the person is referred to as “WHO”. “WHO” denotes the PERSON.

    In the olden says “that” could be used for both people and objects; hence in the BCP translation of the Lord’s Prayer, it has “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive THEM that trespass against us.”

  • “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive THEM that trespass against us.” “…as we forgive them WHO trespass against us.” Who is the Holy Spirit. “That” refers to the physical while objectifying the spiritual. People are WHOs because of the image and likeness of God in WHOM people are created. God’s Name is “I AM WHO I AM” and “I AM WHO IS” Some outside the Catholic Bible refer to God as a “that” and a “which”. Some refer to other people as “that” and “which” . Would refers to yourself as “that” and “which” instead of WHO? All the little WHOS in Whoville will miss you for WHObilation. I do not know what the BCP translation is? I do know that all sovereign persons are referred to as WHO.

  • Correction: Would you refer to yourself as “that” and “which” instead of WHO?

  • That same “who” or “what” issue crops us so many times and I always react to it as you do Mary De Vie
    I also love the strength and feisty faith of Athanasius.
    He says ‘For if ever God shall give back the churches (for we think He will) yet without such restoration of the churches the Faith is sufficient for us.’
    The only problem that wears at me is that the “us’ suffers decimation in the meanwhile. Maybe not the “us” but many souls who do not know any better.

  • Good point Donald. Who needs the building anyway when they stand for nothing or even worse than nothing? Let us hold to the true faith and worship God within us.

  • “….But the Faith within you.”

    You are the Holy Catholic Church to everyone you meet. Especially the unchurched. The wanderer who has chosen to go it alone.

    “The Faith is sufficient for us.”

    Each of us has the privilege and responsibility to be the reflection of the true light, just as the moon reflects the brilliance of the sun. Those that know you know that you are a beacon of light.
    That is why they ask you for prayers.

    Indeed, the Faith within you is sufficient and extraordinary as it can nurture the sanctification of your soul and then the help in the sanctification of your neighbors soul.

    Sanctifying grace is a sharing in God’s work and continues on as long as we don’t get in His way. John 3:30 ..”He must increase and I must decrease.”

    If you received Jesus from the hands of a poor Priest who is suffering in unrepentant sins or from a humble Priest that just received reconciliation a hour before Mass…You are still receiving Jesus… Fully.

    Praise God.

  • RIGHTEOUS
    THUNDER

    Five times banished
    Exiled seventeen
    Excommunicated champions
    God puts at each scene.

    Saint Athanasius,
    Feast day of worth
    On the second of May
    The month of great mirth.

    Out in the deserts –
    As history has charted –
    You preserved the true Mass
    Great lion-hearted.

    Now Lefebvre
    And the sixties egalitarians
    Like Athanasius,
    His time his Arians.

    For He who abolished
    Death by death
    Sent him to absolve
    Sin width and breadth.

    And yes the same moon
    The same sun we’re all under…
    We venal rain – but Lefebvre

    Righteous thunder!!

    RIGHTEOUS
    THUNDER

    Five times banished
    Exiled seventeen
    Excommunicated champions
    God puts at each scene.

    Saint Athanasius,
    Feast day of worth
    On the second of May
    The month of great mirth.

    Out in the deserts –
    As history has charted –
    You preserved the true Mass
    Great lion-hearted.

    Now Lefebvre
    And the sixties egalitarians
    Like Athanasius,
    His time his Arians.

    For He who abolished
    Death by death
    Sent him to absolve
    Sin width and breadth.

    And yes the same moon
    The same sun we’re all under…
    We venal rain – but Lefebvre

    Righteous thunder!!

  • If the Supreme Sovereign Being’s name is “I AM WHO I AM”(there can be ony one Supreme Sovereign Being) and man is made in the image of The Supreme Sovereign Being (as all men are created equal but are unique persons), man must be referred to as “WHO”. “That”and “What” are insults and referring to The Supreme Sovereign Being as a thing is blasphemy.

  • …because all things are finite. All physical things are created finite, created with a beginning and with an end. The rational human soul, made in the image of God, has a beginning and is immortal, that is, the rational human soul has no physical matter to corrupt. The human soul is created and is therefore not infinite, that is, without beginning and without end.
    Only The Supreme Sovereign Being is infinite, that is, without beginning and without end. God’s name is “I AM WHO I AM”, and “I AM WHO IS.”
    The breath of life in man, man’s rational, immortal soul made in the image of God must be referred to as “WHO”.
    Anzlyne. Frightening for me to hear at Mass is : ” For all the FAITHFUL here assembled.” Jesus , I trust in you.

Do It

Wednesday, March 29, AD 2017

 

Representative Morris Brooks Jr. (R.Al.) has a simple solution to ObamaCare:

 

“Effective as of Dec. 31, 2017, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such Act had not been enacted.”

 

The mistake of Speaker Paul Ryan in regard to the fiasco over a replacement to ObamaCare was not repealing it first.  If he has any brains, a debatable proposition at this point I am afraid, he will ram this through the House and toss it to the Senate.  Grass roots pressure will be hard for the Republicans in the Senate to ignore to put a stake in this misbegotten exercise in government by wishful thinking.  What comes next?  I would suggest mandatory a la carte insurance policies being offered, no mandated coverage of any conditions and allowance of health insurance policies being offered nationally.

Continue reading...

29 Responses to Do It

  • I agree that it is a good idea to push this right over to the Senators. At the same time I say that I do think Paul Ryan has plenty of brains and does learn from life experience. Being antagonistic to other republicans is not a good idea. I think Reagan said something about that- not speaking I’ll if each other. Republicans can not be. So fractious at a time such as this, but need to pull in the same harness. Difficult, I know in that “big tent” the republicans have.

  • “I think Reagan said something about that- not speaking I’ll if each other.”

    Not one of Reagan’s more apt quotes, especially considering all the ill he rightfully said against Jerry Ford when he almost seized the nomination from him back in 1976. In regard to brains, Ryan certainly did not display any in regard to the repeal of ObamaCare, unless he deliberately wanted to sabotage the effort to get rid of it, and I am not Machiavellian enough to suspect that, yet. What I do know is that Ryan has a bad relationship with a good many House conservatives, and he has done bupkis to heal the breach which is why he could not pass his ObamaCare lite bill.

  • 🙂 I know from personal experience that these wonderful maxims are easier to say than to do!
    I see the republican fractiousness as one of the democrats best tools.
    Perhaps the art of the possible, and half a loaf better than none…

  • Possibly, we have the worst political class in History. Ryan arguably is a RINO, a fake liberal. Ryan may be the worst speaker for this GOP Congress. Review his accomplishments as speaker while Obama was wrecking America. He was no better than Pelosi. Ryan gave Obama all he ever wanted.

    When the left fabricated the fake health care crisis, the polls showed 80%+ Americans were content with their health care and insurance arrangements. ACA simply was a boondoggle to wreck private health insurance/care and eventually replace it with single payer. When you realize that, it all makes sense.

    ACA made health care unaffordable. It destroyed the health care system with sky-high Obamacare health insurance premium increases and it will bankrupt states with hugely expanded Medicaid costs. Another ticking time bomb for President Trump – Obama overloaded, and will bust, states’ social programs with tens of millions of illegal immigrants.

    The failed RyanCare bill was almost as bad as ACA. Health insurance premiums would continue to skyrocket. It did not repeal most of the costly mandates and insurance regulations driving up premiums and deductibles. It replaced Obamacare’s subsidy scheme with a new costly federal entitlement in the form of a refundable tax credit. It left significant portions of the ruinous and expensive Medicaid expansion intact by delaying the freeze on Medicaid enrollment, maintaining the expansion of the program to the able-bodied, and providing a pathway for non-expansion states to accept enhanced federal dollars.

    To repeat your “money” quote:

    “Effective as of Dec. 31, 2017, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such Act had not been enacted.”

  • The problem, really, is that constructing a sustainable system of financing medical care which incorporates universal coverage and the possibility of efficiencies in service delivery is going to require disposing of first-dollar coverage of medical expenses. It’s doubtful the Capitol Hill GOP is willing to attempt to institute a piece of legislation that does that, the Democratic Party would engage in a lallapalooza of demagogery if they did, the predictable glitches in implementation would provoke severe public discontent, and making transparent costs which were previously opaque would promote more discontent. It’s also doubtful that Ryan has much of a grasp of the issue at hand. The whole episode does reveal he really had no plan to speak of. Robert Stacy McCain has been saying for some time that the Capitol Hill GOP is a donation collecting machine and its members despise their base. Cannot argue against that.

  • People who don’t contribute to the betterment of the Republic are addicted to suckling from the public treasury. Once that happens, Obamacare can never be repealed. The howl will be too great.

  • https://reason.com/blog/2017/03/29/turns-out-congressional-republicans-dont

    Paul Ryan, AM McConnell, and the Capitol Hill GOP: a study in delusions of adequacy.

  • People who don’t contribute to the betterment of the Republic are addicted to suckling from the public treasury. Once that happens, Obamacare can never be repealed. The howl will be too great.

    The marginal increment of beneficiaries derived from Obamacare does not carry much demographic weight. In any case, you cannot really treat medical care and long-term care they way you’d treat consumer durables. Thomas Sowell has suggeted a fee-for-service cum donation economy might be reconstructed. The trouble is, it’s not really worked that way n long-term care since the late 19th century (if not earlier), medical care is a much larger share of household consumption bundles than it was during the period Sowell has made reference to (ca. 1948), and medical care is more salient in determining outcomes than it was 70 years ago.

  • “Paul Ryan in regard to the fiasco over a replacement to ObamaCare was not repealing it first. If he has any brains, a debatable proposition at this point…”

    While Ryan certainly deserves blame, the buck here stops with President Trump. At best, it demonstrates that Trump’s skills as a negotiator are a piece of fiction. At this point, the more likely result of the collapse of Obamacare will be single payer. I seem to be one of the few people who remember what Trump said during the primary debates. One of those things was about how well single payer worked in Canada and Scotland. Never mind the fact that they are clearly abysmal failures. He also said, on MSNBC of all places, how he could work with Schumer and Pelosi while trashing Ted Cruz.

    If things go the way they are going now, Trump’s approval numbers cratering and all, democrats will take back both the House and Senate in 2018 midterms . Then Trump will go to Schumer and Pelosi hat in hand and they will gladly lead him where he probably wanted to go all along.

  • “While Ryan certainly deserves blame, the buck here stops with President Trump.”

    Not at all. From start to finish the ObamaCare replacement was Ryan’s project. Trump supported Ryan down the line and Ryan was unable to deliver the votes. As for 2018, absent nuclear war, the Republicans will add to their majorities in both houses assuming the same rate of economic growth we are currently experiencing.

    http://money.cnn.com/2017/03/22/investing/trump-economy-gdp/

    As for ObamaCare it is manifestly dying no matter what Congress does or does not do.

    http://money.cnn.com/2017/02/15/news/economy/aetna-obamacare-death-spiral/

  • Trump ran hard on repeal and replace. If he was serious about replacing Obamacare with something market based or anything close, he would not have not gone along with Ryan’s proposal, he would not have threatened to primary conservatives who refused to go along with it. Then he takes to Twitter accusing the Freedom Caucus, Heritage Foundation, and Club for Growth with siding with Obamacare and the dems. This was Trump’s baby. Ryan is just a political prostitute and Trump is no his pimp.

  • I meant to say Trump is now his pimp.

  • Here in NZ we have a state healthcare system with state hospitals run by district health boards which are taxpayer funded by govt., and in tandem with that, private insurance and private hospitals, and it all works great. Why can’t the US Govt simply make legal all and any private health insurance companies to offer health insurance, to run in tandem with Obummercare until it collapses?

  • I guess that system might be too simple – us out here on the fringes of civilisation don’t do complexity very well. 😉

  • Don, depends on how you define “works great.” From stories and things I’ve heard, a lot of europeans and oceanic people put up with things in their health care that americans will not tolerate.

    And given the recent IRS scandal, I have my doubts about any nation adopting single-payer and still hanging onto their freedoms after that.

  • “Ryan is just a political prostitute and Trump is no his pimp.”

    No, Ryan is Speaker of the House and Trump is President of the United States. Trump assumed that Ryan knew what he was doing and had or could get the votes for his plan. I doubt if Trump will make that mistake again. If conservatives in the House put a proposal on the Table and seem to have the votes to pass it, Trump will support it. The problem of course is that the Republicans in Congress do not yet understand that Trump will work with them, but he is not going to intervene in their internecine strife until he is sure that one side has the votes. Conservatives in Congress who expect Trump to do the heavy lifting for them are delusional. Trump is an outsider and he will be happy to sign any GOP bill that gets through Congress, but he has no loyalty to any faction of the GOP nor any great following among any of the factions. It is up to the GOP Congress critters to do their job and pass bills for him to sign.

  • We should rather not see something passed without its making the working middle-classes whole again. There are people paying far more for less and of whom it may be said, they have health insurance in name only.

  • Mar 30 What god is mortal? The god of relativism is mortal. The god of relativism dies every time the moral value changes and imposes a finite truth.
    Human sacrifice was abolished by God on Mount Moriah when Isaac became the first human sacrifice to be physically prevented and outlawed by God. The Chosen People carry the Law of the Triune God from Father Abraham to Moses to the promised Son of Man.
    The Democratic Party named for people, murder as many individual persons as they can and make U. S. citizen pay taxes to enable their treachery against the people. The Democratic Party rejects God, Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas, The Unanimous Declaration of Independence. The U. S. Constitution, Scientific DNA, ultrasound images of human development and Dr. Seuss, who said that “A person is a person, no matter how small.”
    The Democratic Party rejects that the immortal human soul made in the image of God with free will and unalienable human rights infused at fertilization of the human egg by the human sperm forms the human body to become whoever the human soul is…formed by “their Creator”. The name given us by the Democratic Party is “NAUGHTS”, non-human beings, subhuman taxpayers. If “We, the people” are “NAUGHTS”, then who in heaven’s name are Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Party, but non-members of “We, the people…”. The Democratic Party has disenfranchised its members from our Citizenship in the United States of America. Mary De Voe

  • It is up to the GOP Congress critters to do their job and pass bills for him to sign.

    (A) You have to get rid of the filibuster and (B) You have to craft a worthwhile plan which creatures such as Susan Collins (R – Me) and Lisa Murkowski (R – Her Daddy) won’t try to scuttle. Fat chance.

  • Maybe not Art. Reports today are that the Gop in the House are going to have another vote soon on the replacement bill. Even the dimmest Rino in Congress will have to glimpse that their will be hell to pay in the primaries if they go into 2018 having accomplished zilch.

  • The Ryan bill was so disappointing. It was my understanding that various Republicans, in and out of Congress, had drafted health care plan proposals way before the election. Newt Gingrich was one and he seems to have disappeared after the election. So what happened?
    Why did Ryan let the media and Democrats pressure him to unveil the bill before it was ready? The Democrats are not bi-partisan, not your friend. When are Ryan and the Congressional RINOs going to wake up. Did Nancy Pelosi care what Republicans wanted when she was speaker of the House, hell no.

  • Mar 20 What god is mortal? is to be posted on Abortion and the Catholic Democrat. Bear with me. I will learn this computer.

  • Yes, Ryan is Speaker of the House and Trump is President. But the former is still a political prostitute (just look at the way he did Boehner’s bidding when during his tenure as Speaker) and the latter is his pimp.

    If Trump wasn’t the driving force behind the Ryan bill and doesn’t want to involve himself in inter party squabbles, then why did he react in such a caustic way to conservative push back on it? He threatened those who opposed it with primary challenges and lumped them in with Obama and the dems. If Trump will sign any bill the GOP congress puts before him that means he is not interested in leading. It is the President who drives the agenda bus, especially when his party controls Congress. And that is another thing Trump campaigned on, that he is a strong leader.

    Trump will work with conservatives? I guess nothing says “I will work with you.” better than threats to your political future and lumping you in with the worst elements of the of the other party.

    And this BS about Trump being an outsider is just that, BS! Donald, you yourself called Trump the ultimate insider portraying himself as the outsider some time ago. You were right then.

  • Two observations: One, the current political class, elites, and media possibly are the worst in Human History. Two, look at the records of serial, deep economic crises, look at the increases in poverty and misery; look at the sharp decreases in real median family incomes; etc.

    If the Federal government set out to reform the Sahara Desert, in five years there would be shortages of sand.

    Get the government out of our lives.

  • Nate – please don’t confuse us with Australia – it’s like calling a Scotsman and Englishman, or a Canadian an American. 😉
    Not really – but the NZ system has been improved immensely over the past 20 years and is way better than the Australian one. I lived in Oz 30 years ago, so have and inkling of the differences.

  • “If Trump wasn’t the driving force behind the Ryan bill and doesn’t want to involve himself in inter party squabbles, then why did he react in such a caustic way to conservative push back on it?”

    Because he wants to pass something on ObamaCare and move on. If conservatives in Congress want Trump’s support they need to show they can pass something. Trump is not going to get into a losing fight over ideology that he does not share.

    “It is the President who drives the agenda bus, especially when his party controls Congress.”

    Not this President. Trump in effect ran as an independent. He simply does not have the type of loyalty among members of Congress that most presidents have as a result of party ties and the President controlling the party apparatus.

    The GOP in Congress can do a lot with Trump but they have to understand him first. If they view him as a conventional President they are barking up not the wrong tree, but the wrong Kingdom.

    “Trump will work with conservatives?”

    Sure, if it gets him where he wants to go as he will work with any group, and that is the essence of deal maker Trump.

    “And this BS about Trump being an outsider”

    That is precisely what he is when it comes to the two political parties. Trump in effect is the first independent elected to the White House since the development of the party system.

  • “Nate – please don’t confuse us with Australia – it’s like calling a Scotsman and Englishman, or a Canadian an American. 😉
    Not really – but the NZ system has been improved immensely over the past 20 years and is way better than the Australian one. I lived in Oz 30 years ago, so have and inkling of the differences.”

    We don’t want your socialized medicine here in the US in any form or combination. Period!

  • We don’t want your socialized medicine here in the US in any form or combination. Period!

    That’s nice. Socialized long-term care has been extant since the 19th century. Socialized medicine has been present since 1965. No, I don’t think you’re going to persuade politicians or the general public to eliminate Medicare and Medicaid because you personally do not ‘want’ this thing called ‘socialized medicine’. While we’re at it, private risk-pooling is also a means of socializing costs.

PopeWatch: Ban the Bomb

Wednesday, March 29, AD 2017

 

 

Pope Francis has called for banning all nukes:

 

ROME – Pope Francis has called for a “collective and concerted” multilateral effort to eliminate nuclear weapons, telling a United Nations conference working on a treaty to prohibit such weapons that international peace and stability “cannot be based on a false sense of security, on the threat of mutual destruction or total annihilation, or on simply maintaining a balance of power.”

The conference took place March 27 in New York, after the UN General Assembly voted in December to negotiate a legally binding treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, with the aim of working toward their total elimination.

Such a treaty would make explicit what is implied in the 1970 Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, which calls on declared nuclear powers to aim for complete nuclear disarmament.

The talks seemed doomed from the start, since every state with nuclear weapons – including the five veto-wielding permanent members of the UN Security Council – boycotted the congress.

Nikki Haley, the U.S. representative to the UN, said she “would love to have a ban on nuclear weapons, but in this day and time we can’t honestly say we can protect our people by allowing bad actors to have them and those of us that are good trying to keep peace and safety not to have them,” specifically mentioning the threat of nuclear-armed North Korea.

The pontiff answered these objections directly in a letter to the congress, noting the current “unstable climate of conflict” might not seem the best time to approach the “demanding and forward looking goal” of nuclear non-proliferation, and even nuclear disarmament.

However, the pope said nuclear deterrence is ineffective against the principal threats in the twenty-first century, mentioning in particular terrorism, asymmetrical conflicts, cybersecurity, environmental problems, and poverty.

“These concerns are even greater when we consider the catastrophic humanitarian and environmental consequences that would follow from any use of nuclear weapons, with devastating, indiscriminate and uncontainable effects, over time and space,” Francis writes, adding “we need also to ask ourselves how sustainable is a stability based on fear, when it actually increases fear and undermines relationships of trust between peoples.”

The pope said the world needs to go beyond nuclear deterrence: “The international community is called upon to adopt forward-looking strategies to promote the goal of peace and stability and to avoid short-sighted approaches to the problems surrounding national and international security.”

Continue reading...

15 Responses to PopeWatch: Ban the Bomb

  • MAD doesn’t work?

    His Holiness assumes much not in evidence.

  • I notice, Donald, you wrote you had a “few” questions. I’m certain your list could be much longer. But really, let’s just get to the heart of the problem. Why didn’t the Pope just propose a ban on mean people? That way, even if nuclear weapons existed, there would be no worries. Everyone would be nice. He’s just the man to propose something that will truly benefit all mankind. Thank God for Pope Francis.

  • It is not as if President Trump needs another reason to defund the UN.

    Mutually assured destruction worked in the Cold War. Chamberlain-style appeasement, and the so-called League of Nations’ arms restrictions on Germany, didn’t work in the first half of the 20th century, when cold reality crushed sunny theory and unicorn farts.

    There are only two outcomes of appeasement: surrender or war. The reality is that there are lunatics (Hitler, Stalin, Kim) that will never honestly respond to a generous gesture.

    Here we have a secular humanist (globalist elite) essay about perfecting the World, which is the only World we have, and which we must feverishly work to make better.

  • “Why didn’t the Pope just propose a ban on mean people?”

    Comment of the week F7!

    Take ‘er away Sam!

  • Very hard to imagine a situation in which use of such weapons could be done in a morally licit way. Yet the situation is such that many bad actors have these weapons, and the most plausible way of deterring their use is our own arsenal. Not an ideal situation, but until and unless the bad guys get rid of them in a verifiable way, our continued possession of them must continue as a deterrence.

    The Pope is merely stating the obvious, that the existence of these weapons is a tragedy, since even one use of a modern warhead would have devastating consequences on innocent noncombatants. I don’t think opposing the existence and maintenance of these wretched weapons is some kind of pacifist, tree-hugging, “librul” position, it’s the consistent Catholic position since the time they were developed. If they could be gotten rid of, it would be a net moral gain for humanity.

  • “The Pope is merely stating the obvious, that the existence of these weapons is a tragedy,”

    Nope, he is calling for their elimination without caring a fig about the practical difficulties that prevent such a policy from having an ending that does not involve the use of nuclear weapons by some very bad actors. Good intentions are never a substitute for intelligence.

  • The Pope’s remarks ever remind one of recycled opinion journalism, like he had a mind which consisted of back issues of The Nation (with a few copies of Commonweal tossed in).

  • Clerics have have spent not a single day aboard a nuclear submarine or in a Trident missile silo should shut their freaking mouths about nuclear weapons. They do NOT get to have an opinion. We gave this Argentinian Marxist Peronist the freedom he abuses to spout froth his liberal progressive feminist nonsense.

    I despise the Church of Jorge Bergoglio.

  • Can Death, War, Famine and Pestilence ever be eradicated?

  • Pingback: Canon212 Update: Open Your Heart and Your Brain to the Faithless FrancisGospel – The Stumbling Block
  • FYI, due to a lack of berthing space on a 688 class submarine, I slept next to one of these in the torpedo room.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UUM-44_SUBROC

    I was a junior reactor operator back aft in Engineering, and as such had no choice where I berthed. Nevertheless, death from below was a real deterrent. However, my real hope wasn’t that we would never have to use these, but that as we did angles and dangles, the metallic straps securing the weapon would not let loose and pancake me beneath a metal tube containing solid rocket fuel, plutonium-239 and deuterium-tritium.

  • Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus: I have always held your great sacrifice in high esteem. Thank you for your service. I know it was not easy. God bless and keep you always.

  • Pope needs to advocate prayer not pie in the sky pieties.

  • The BOMB?

    This is the BOMB our pontiff should be concerned about;

    http://us14.campaign-archive1.com/?u=665e622d4e99881d09713e0a9&id=439e1c51c5&e=e5be2aae9c

    This insidious weapon kills body and soul.

  • Philip Nachazel: Thank you for the link. Forty three years and sixty million human souls later, the civil right of “We, the people” to our constitutional Posterity is the eternal truth.

    In atheistic communism, “We, the people” must follow the dictates of the Party. “We, the people” have no right to think, to say or to do what the human soul in search of God indicates. “We, the people must disenfranchise ourselves of our conscience, our civil rights and our freedom. “We, the people” must do what the Party dictates.
    Michael Dowd: My exact thought, “with a reliance on the support of divine Providence.” (Declaration)

2 Responses to Tarzan_Son of Man

  • Oh, the power to be strong
    And the wisdom to be wise
    All these things will
    Come to you in time
    On this journey that you’re making
    There’ll be answers that you’ll seek
    And it’s you who’ll climb the mountain
    It’s you who’ll reach the peak
    Son of man, look to the sky
    Lift your spirit, set it free
    Some day you’ll walk tall with pride
    Son of man, a man in time you’ll be
    Though there’s no one there to guide you
    No one to take your hand
    But with faith and understanding
    You will journey from boy to man
    Son of man, look to the sky
    Lift your spirit, set it free
    Some day you’ll walk tall with pride
    Son of man, a man in time you’ll be
    In learning you will teach
    And in teaching you will learn
    You’ll find your place beside the
    Ones you love
    Oh, and all the things you dreamed of
    The visions that you saw
    Well, the time is drawing near now
    It’s yours to claim in all
    Son of man, look to the sky
    Lift your spirit, set it free
    Some day you’ll walk tall with pride
    Son of man, a man in time you’ll be
    Son of man,
    Son of man’s a man for all to see.

  • I had this soundtrack a few years back. All in all, it was very good.

Abortion and the Catholic Democrat

Tuesday, March 28, AD 2017

 

 

“In their directive, ‘Faithful Citizenship,’ our American Catholic bishops make clear that people don’t necessarily need to have their vote determined by a single religious issue. One could say, ‘I don’t like Hillary’s position on abortion but her social services policy should help reduce the number of abortions. I love her position on the environment and immigration reform and so I’ll vote for her.’”

Thomas Groome, Professor of Theology, Boston College

Thomas Groome, Professor of Theology at Boston College, a Jesuit research university, is a former priest and an advocate of jettisoning celibacy, he left the priesthood to get married, and an advocate of ordaining women as priests.  Coming from that perspective, I guess it is praiseworthy that he wrote an article in The New York Times entitled To Win Again Democrats Must Stop Being the Party of Abortion.

When I came to this country from Ireland some 45 years ago, a cousin, here 15 years before, advised me that Catholics vote Democratic. Having grown up in the Irish Republic, I was well disposed to Republican Party principles like local autonomy and limited government. Yet a commitment to social justice, so central to my faith, seemed better represented by the Democratic Party. I followed my cousin’s good counsel.

But once-solid Catholic support for Democrats has steadily eroded. This was due at least in part to the shift by many American Catholic bishops from emphasizing social issues (peace, the economy) to engaging in the culture wars (abortion, gay marriage). Along the way, many Catholics came to view the Democrats as unconditionally supporting abortion.

Last year’s election was a watershed in this evolution. Hillary Clinton lost the overall Catholic vote by seven points — after President Obama had won it in the previous two elections. She lost the white Catholic vote by 23 points. In heavily Catholic states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, she lost by a hair — the last by less than 1 percent. A handful more of Catholic votes per parish in those states would have won her the election.

Her defeat is all the more remarkable considering that Mrs. Clinton shared many Catholic social values. By contrast, Mr. Trump’s disrespect for women, his racism, sexism and xenophobia should have discouraged conscientious Catholics from voting for him. So why did they? Certainly his promises to rebuild manufacturing and his tough talk on terrorism were factors. But for many traditional Catholic voters, Mrs. Clinton’s unqualified support for abortion rights — and Mr. Trump’s opposition (and promise to nominate anti-abortion Supreme Court justices) — were tipping points.

In its directive, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops make clear that American Catholics do not need to be single-issue voters. The bishops say that while Catholics may not vote for a candidate because that candidate favors abortion, they can vote for a candidate in spite of such a stance, based on the totality of his views. Yet despite that leeway, abortion continues to trigger the deepest moral concern for many traditional Catholics, including me.

Continue reading...

45 Responses to Abortion and the Catholic Democrat

  • I take issue with the energy tone, suggesting to me that we are mistaken in our view that the Democrat Party is unconditionally pro-Choice. The good professor says:

    “Along the way, many Catholics came to view the Democrats as unconditionally supporting abortion.”

    Except that the Democrat Party IS unconditionally pro-Choice. That’s not a mere perception, that is the reality.

    I WAS a Democrat and left specifically because I was repeatedly told that I was a traitor because I did not share every single idiotic notion that the national party pushed. It is a reality that the Republican umbrella is FAR broader than the Democrats can tolerate.

  • “But it is not necessary here to argue whether the other-worldly or the humanistic ideal is ‘higher.’ The point is that they are incompatible. One must choose between God and Man, and all ‘radicals’ and ‘progressives,’ from the mildest liberal to the most extreme anarchist, have in effect chosen Man.”

    The Gospels teach that one cannot serve two masters. Orwell (above) in his essay, Reflections on Gandhi, ratifies that determination.

    The phrase “catholic Democrat” is an oxymoron. The so-called cD is Democrat first, catholic last. They have chosen the party over God and the rewards of eternal life.

    I will not be lectured on virtue by anybody that thinks murdering 57 million babies is a “choice.”

    FYI the US Constitution does not give you a human right. God endows you with unalienable rights. Also, the courts do not have power to amend the Constitution.

    Finally (Thank God!), “social justice” simply is stealing from your neighbor with the government as middleman.” It has nothing to do with charity, the Gospels, or faith. They (cD’s) use it for two main purposes: to “buy” votes/seize power and to dishonestly beat up the opposition.

  • As the years have gone by I too have grown disillusioned and disappointed by the Republican party. However, in that same time I have seen the Democrat party grow even more pro-abortion making my decision easy every time I step into the voting booth.

  • This is supremely bad advice from Professor Groome, and I hope the Democrats take it.

  • This is our Civil War hot button.
    No. I’m not advocating Civil unrest.
    But this issue is far more oppressive than the right to own slaves..For obvious reasons.

    Death in the form of a licence, and via the taxpayers money!!!

    No MORE. That sentence demands all capital letters.

    We, the nation, is hanging on by the absolute ends of our fingers, and we don’t have a toe hold. The next move will allow US to regain a foot hold, or it will cause US to loose the little grip we have.

    April 28th and 29th…. Defund Planned Parenthood prayer rallies nation wide.

    Please help US get a better grip before we slip into oblivion.

  • The sovereign personhood of the newly conceived human being institutes government from the very first moment of existence. The moral and legal innocence of the newly conceived are the standard of Justice for the state and the compelling interest of the state to guard and protect the unborn PERSON. In her own words Hillary Clinton calls the unborn person a “person”. All law and our Constitution are written for the person, born and unborn. Our Constitutional Posterity are acknowledged in our Preamble. “We, the people…” are a community of persons…sovereign persons, created equal and endowed with a right to life; the innate human right to life that becomes our civil right to life. Hillary Clinton does not circumscribe our civil rights nor circumvent our innate human rights.

  • “We, the people…” are created equal, not born equal. “The rights the state gives, the state can take away” Thomas Jefferson. God creates life and sovereign personhood, moral and legal innocence; original innocence, the image of God in man. The state gives man citizenship and a tax bill at birth. WELCOME

  • No one should kill their child. No one should promote the killing of children.

  • Pingback: Canon212 Update: Don’t be a Dubia Dummy and Join the Real Resistance – The Stumbling Block
  • The notion that HRC ‘shares many Catholic social values’ or that DJT is addled by ‘racism, sexism, and xenophobia’ are evaluations so stereotyped and naive that I’d have to conclude Prof. Groome lives entirely within a certain sort of bourgeois subculture. What was that bloody PhD worth?

    It’s doubtful that HRC has consequential motors at this point other than megalomania and the welfare of her camarilla (who cycle between government gigs and slots at the Clinton Foundation). You can refer to Christopher Lasch’s critiques in 1992 of her writings up to that time, especially her notorious article in Harvard Education Review. The woman was an advocate of the social work trade.

    And that’s the Democratic Party: always promoting the interests of various cadres (and the business sectors which finance their campaigns – the media, casino banking, and tech).

  • “…and our Constitution are written for the person, born and unborn. ”

    We should think so. I honestly believe so.

    Unfortunately, the late Justice Scalia, himself a Catholic and a constitution originalist, said the Constitution guarantees personhood only on those “walking around.” That excludes the human fetus.

    Perhaps the problem is the Constitution itself?

  • It is interesting that abortion and so called same sex marriage are part of a “culture war” but peace and the economy are simply “issues”. The language is illustrative of why Catholics tend to start off any debate on the defensive. After all discussing issues is good but going to war is bad, right?

    I think a good way to bring this issue to light is to ask the pro-choice person who claims Catholics who vote first on pro-life are simply one issue voters is to ask them, “If your favored candidate came out as pro-choice for owning a slave would you still vote for that person?” The answer is always no, best follow up is, “Why not?” It gets them to understand the Church teaches all humans deserve legal protection and enlightens them that we are all, at some point, single-issue voters. It just depends on the issue.

  • from an earlier article of mine-summary: “Mortal Sin – Vote Democrat”-

    https://abyssum.org/2016/02/19/look-ma-the-emperor-has-not-clothes-his-seamless-garment-is-transparent/

    Guy McClung, San Antonio, Texas

  • These Leftists & those who lean left still cannot get over the fact that they lost the presidential election. And they seem completely incapable of understanding that Hillary list because she lost. She lost because of what a horrible president Obama was & Hillary had promised to continue his policies and strengthen them. She lost because she was a horrible candidate with all kinds of negatives. She lost because her campaign picked a losing game plan. There is nothing mystical about this.

  • “Perhaps the problem is the Constitution itself?”

    Huh?!?

    The problem most definitely is not the constitution as written. It says that we are endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights. As soon as that egg & sperm unite, a unique human being is created–everything and all that human will ever be is present. The problem is in the recognition of that created human being.

    If man can be so dead/hardened spiritually that they can enslave and murder other full grown human beings and deny those humans the rights due to them through their creation, then they will certainly deny the rights of created humans in the womb.

  • “Unfortunately, the late Justice Scalia, himself a Catholic and a constitution originalist, said the Constitution guarantees personhood only on those ‘walking around.’ That excludes the human fetus.”

    Somehow, I think that your interpretation of what you say Scalia said must include some misunderstanding. For instance, the ability to walk being a limitation on who has rights under our constitution, would exclude a lot more people than just unborn babies. Born babies cannot walk well until they are about 2 years old. Lots of adults can walk and must use a wheel chair or stay in bed. Disease can render us unable to walk at any time in life. A lot of us are temporarily unable to walk due to injuries at times, etc.

  • The Democratic Party is no only pro-choice but opposed to Catholic sexual morality. They are also in favor of open borders, an attitude they share with many bishops. I beige to think they sympathize with the rabidly nationalistic Mexican bishop who opposes Trumps’ proposal for a wall. Given that despite the rhetoric Trump’s policy seems basically to enforce laws that Obama had chosen not to enforce. Reactionary, not radical, at least so far.

  • I believe nearly every aspect of the Democrat Party platform is evil. It is a tarted up version of atheistic Communism.

  • More foolishness from a professor of an alleged Catholic university.. that’s all it is.
    As noted earlier, I, too have become disappointed in the GOP, The Democrats are the Evil Party. Anything they do is to increase their power.

  • T Shaw: BEAUTIFULLY SAID!

  • Perhaps the problem is the Constitution itself?

    The constitution does not vest Congress with general police power. A legal regime consistent with moral principles is largely the business of state legislatures exercising discretion. The Constitution does not give the courts a warrant to invalidate laws which permit abortions to be performed, and Mr. Justice Scalia recognized that. The business of putting abortion mills out of business is the responsibility of state legislators, not judges.

  • Somehow, I think that your interpretation of what you say Scalia said must include some misunderstanding.

    The Constitution is a piece of political architecture which distributes functions between various and sundry institutions. That’s what it does. There’s an addendum which prohibits state action in certain realms. It’s not some summary of justice or moral teaching. The misunderstanding is incorporated in the notion that it is or should be.

  • “child sacrifice known as abortion”. Abortion IS child sacrifice! The phrase conjures up a picture of the Aztecs’ grisly pagan religious practices. It’s a perfect phrase when writing/speaking on abortion, about pro-choice ( abortion) advocates. The Democrats love to talk about programs for children from one side of their mouths while touting reproductive rights (code word abortion) and its funding out of the other side.

  • “The problem most definitely is not the constitution as written.”
    Christian Teacher, I would not be so sure. As Mary De Voe points out, the Declaration of Independence says we are created, not born. The largest problem we have in our constitutional law is that there is no requirement that the philosophy of the Declaration should carry any weight with any court. Reaching back for constitutional guidance stops at the Constitution. It didn’t when we refused to dispose of slavery, and it didn’t when we decided to dispose of our children. At this late date such references will not happen unless the Constitution is so amended or our judges revolt against their training and precedent and work to add such references.

  • “Abortion IS child sacrifice!”
    Yes it is, CAM, and at least one abortion proponent has said so:

    “The November 1992 issue of Harper’s contained a sort of symposium on the issue of abortion. Most of the contributors were predictably pleased with it, though the editors were fair enough to include the wisdom of Juli Loesch Wiley and Wendell Berry. The last of the dozen or so short pieces was one of the few things I have ever read which literally frightened me. The writer is Frederick Turner, Founders Professor of Arts and Humanities at the University of Texas at Dallas:

    ‘It might help if you think of abortion as a sacrifice—the later the abortion, the heavier and graver the reason had better be, and the more sacred the whole thing is. … But the way I look at it, a sacrifice demands respect. It had better be done in a good cause, or it will come back to haunt us. That’s why we often make a beautiful communal ritual out of sacrifice, even if it’s a highly symbolic one…. What traditional religious ritual tells us is that sacrifice can be enriching, creative, evoking powers and values that can contribute great gifts to human existence. Isn’t it possible that abortion, in the right circumstances, for the right reasons and intentions, could be like that?’
    “There you have it. An intellectual, a sensitive man, an educated and thoughtful man, has suggested that human sacrifice may be, after all, a meaningful—moreover, an effective—part of life. Moloch is stirring in the Department of Humanities.

    see http://www.lightondarkwater.com/nothing-at-the-center.html

  • Actually, the essay by Maclin Horton titled Nothing at the Center that is quoted in my last post above, is a very good read. It is tightly argued with only one error: it notes at the beginning that the Constitution began as ‘a piece of political architecture which distributes functions between various and sundry institutions’, as Art Deco put it, but then became the arbitrator of morality once the underlying Christian cultural consensus “cracked”, then at the end the writer assumes that the recovery of limited government is impossible. He seems to assume that we will never again be a virtuous people.

  • Roe v. Wade is a preemptive war against human beings. Roe never bore the burden of proof that the unborn was not a person, a ward of the court, a member of the human species and a person of our constitutional “Posterity” to whom all “Blessings of Liberty” must be afforded because of all innate, unalienable human rights that become our civil rights through the state.
    The UNANIMOUS DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE OF THE UNITED STATES is ratified by each and every state, as is THE CONSTITUTION FOR THE UNITED STATES ratified by every state. These are our FOUNDING PRINCIPLES. Any change, in these our FOUNDING PRINCIPLES must be ratified by three fourths of Congress, the voice of the will of the people. Neither, the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution is written to repudiate or to abrogate any one of these principles. They are the whole truth needed in a court of law, as each one gives evidence and testimony to all.
    “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created (not born) equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” The Declaration of Independence.
    “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” The Ninth Amendment of our Constitution.
    Abortion is predicated on the erroneous assumption that the newly conceived, morally and legally innocent human being, the standard of Justice, endowed with free will, intellect and sovereign personhood is not a person, a human being composed of body and rational soul. And further, that the unborn cannot will to survive, nor will to be. Having been invited by the marital act, the unborn creates a mother of a woman and a father of a man and institutes the state by his very existence.
    Our Constitutional “Posterity”, all future generations are taxpayers. “We, the people” are being supplanted by invaders, some of whom are inimical to our Founding Principles.
    Politicians who have not read or grasped our Founding Principles need to be “”drained from the swamp.”

  • Democrats are not only pro-abortion, they are anti-God, anti-America, anti-Christian, anti-family, pro-perversion and anti-Constitution to name a few. They are the party of Satan.

  • With the dawn of the secular state, that is, atheistic communism (nothing less), all Christians are disenfranchised. Christians must battle to exercise Christian virtues. Christians must battle to retain any semblance of civil rights. “the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” have been disenfranchised as well. God, the Son of Man and the Holy Spirit, common sense for the common good have been disenfranchised and evicted from the public square, the public domain and the public Welfare, all purposes of The Preamble, the institution of the state… America.

  • Professor Turner, the answer is NO. it could never be like that.
    What a stretch…”a beautiful communal ritual out of sacrifice” “traditional religious ritual”…. allusions to the Crucifixion and Resurrection and to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with the Eucharist in the same paragraph with the word abortion. Professor Turner must have even impressed himself with his rationalizing verbiage. Sad thing is there are those so committed to the Cause that they will believe his drivel. He’s a dangerous man.

  • The largest problem we have in our constitutional law is that there is no requirement that the philosophy of the Declaration should carry any weight with any court.

    No, that’s not a problem at all, much less the largest one. We certainly do not need judges making decisions on the basis of half-baked ‘philosophy’. The most salient problem in constitutional law is that it no longer exists. It’s just a set of intellectual games for a collection of haut bourgeois cadres to impose social policy in defiance of the judgments of elected officials.

    There’s a distinction between a problem in public policy and a problem in constitutional law. Constitutional law concerns the architecture of public institutions, not the substance of public policy.

  • There’s a good book with an apt title that refutes this kind of seamless garment sophistry. Besides, like the man said, “Social Justice isn’t what you think it is.”

  • Art Deco wrote “There’s a distinction between a problem in public policy and a problem in constitutional law. Constitutional law concerns the architecture of public institutions, not the substance of public policy.”

    What does that even mean? Would a judicial review of the conviction of a journalist under the Sedition Act of 1798 be constitutional law, or not? Any half-baked philosophy could argue that an individual’s First Amendment rights exist for public policy reasons, or for public institutions (is the “Press” an institution? is it public?). Is it even possible to answer those questions without a philosophy? It seems you are in a position when you are using a philosophical statement about law to eliminate the need for philosophical statements about law.

  • What god is mortal? The god of relativism is mortal. The god of relativism dies every time the moral value changes and imposes a finite truth.
    Human sacrifice was abolished by God on Mount Moriah when Isaac became the first human sacrifice to be physically prevented and outlawed by God. The Chosen People carry the Law of the Triune God from Father Abraham to Moses to the promised Son of Man.
    The Democratic Party named for people, murder as many individual persons as they can and make U. S. citizen pay taxes to enable their treachery against the people. The Democratic Party rejects God, Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas, The Unanimous Declaration of Independence. The U. S. Constitution, Scientific DNA, ultrasound images of human development and Dr. Seuss, who said that “A person is a person, no matter how small.”
    The Democratic Party rejects that the immortal human soul made in the image of God with free will and unalienable human rights infused at fertilization of the human egg by the human sperm forms the human body to become whoever the human soul is…formed by “their Creator”. The name given us by the Democratic Party is “NAUGHTS”, non-human beings, subhuman taxpayers. If “We, the people” are “NAUGHTS”, then who in heaven’s name are Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Party, but non-members of “We, the people…”. The Democratic Party has disenfranchised its members from our Citizenship in the United States of America.

  • “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” The Ninth Amendment of our Constitution.
    “We, the people” have the right to acknowledge our Creator in the public square.
    “We, the people” have the right to wisdom, grace, virtue and righteousness.
    “We, the people” have the right to determine our legacy of righteousness to our Constitutional Posterity, all future generations.
    “We, the people” have the right to maintain the truth of man having an immortal, rational soul, thereby rejecting the redefinition of the human being as having no transcendent life in our Creator, nor unalienable human rights endowed.
    “We, the people” have the right to reject the atheistic notion of man’s pursuit of Happiness ending in death.

    “We, the people” have the right to celebrate the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God.”
    “We, the people” have the right to define marriage according to the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” and to reject the redefinition of addiction to sodomy as a civil right.
    “We, the people” have the right to judge principles and tolerate persons.
    “We, the people” have the right to distinguish between free will choices to pursue transgendering, free will choices to gender identity, free will choices to abortion, free will choices to addiction to sodomy; pornography and between those particular human characteristics that are innate, as color of skin, gender and sexual orientation.
    “We, the people” have the right to refuse the individual citizen’s free will choices against the human being as civil rights.
    “We, the people” have the right to FREEDOM.

  • “Would a judicial review of the conviction of a journalist under the Sedition Act of 1798 be constitutional law, or not?”

    That’s an easy one. The Sedition Act of 1798 clearly violated the First Amendment of the Constitution, as many individuals at the time noted. However, a court would only have the power to strike down the law due to the Constitution, not as a result of philosophical questions as to whether the law was good or bad. Constitutional law in this country is a mess largely because the temptation of judges to play Platonic Guardian is a strong one, rather than the fairly modest one that the Founding Fathers anticipated. In a democracy, courts are the worst sort of place for public policy to be hashed out and the history of the Court amply supports that conclusion.

  • Thank you Don. So I take it that you would agree that constitutional law is not merely about the arrangement of public institutions.

    I agree 99% with what you wrote. That nagging 1% is due to my feeling that, having taken the wrong fork in the road, it is too late to back up. We are stuck with philosophical interpretations of the Constitution. Originalism and textualism are simply attempts to develop philosophies that are less damaging and less subject to abuse (and their existence shows that judicial philosophies are inescapable). I am aware that the idea I floated about the Declaration of Independence is more dicey than those two and would be harder to consistently implement, but it would have its virtues. Chief among those virtues would be that it would be hard to substantially oppose such a philosophy without opposing the very foundation of the country – the Constitution, after all, founded only our government.

  • “Thank you Don. So I take it that you would agree that constitutional law is not merely about the arrangement of public institutions.”

    It should be only about the interpretation of the text of the Constitution and its application. Originalism is the way that lawyers have been interpreting contracts and other agreements since time out of mind. Too many judges have no fidelity to the text of the Constitution and view it as a tabula rasa upon which they may write their political predilections. They have no more right to do this than any other citizen and it is a completely illegitimate assumption of a power that the judiciary does not possess.

  • “We, the people” have the right to our Founding Principles, to the self-evident truth that all men are created equal, that all men are endowed with Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness and to the reliance on the support of divine Providence.
    “We, the people” have the right to be self-determined, to think, to say and to do what the sovereign person believes to be in his best interest to attain his eternal glory.

    “We, the people have the right to our Constitutional “Posterity”. It is important to remember that “We, the people” institute government and that the Supreme Court is part of that government. That when the Constitution says that all states must regard the Court’s decisions as binding upon them, it goes without saying that the Court’s decisions must exclude no one and all men are to be represented by that Court’s decision. The Courts decisions must be based on the TRUTH and for all men, before all states must acquiesce. Those Court decision that exclude the Person of God are not based in the Truth.

  • The traditional Democratic party died with the passing of Jack and Bobby Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey and Scoop Jackson. If the former members, like myself, find that no party represents them properly, then registering as an independent is the honorable thing to do. This is not Europe where slavish obedience to party leaders is mandatory. If enough traditional voters did this, and closed their pocketbooks, it might get some attention. The last election certainly proved that even if the satraps of the left refuse to acknowledge it.

  • “The Constitution is a piece of political architecture which distributes functions between various and sundry institutions. That’s what it does. There’s an addendum which prohibits state action in certain realms. It’s not some summary of justice or moral teaching. The misunderstanding is incorporated in the notion that it is or should be.”

    Bovine feces! There is no amoral law. Just the fact that the constitution limits the federal governments power is a moral decision based on the idea that we are created by God with inalienable rights. Otherwise there is no reason to limit a national government’s power.

  • “Christian Teacher, I would not be so sure. As Mary De Voe points out, the Declaration of Independence says we are created, not born. The largest problem we have in our constitutional law is that there is no requirement that the philosophy of the Declaration should carry any weight with any court. Reaching back for constitutional guidance stops at the Constitution. It didn’t when we refused to dispose of slavery, and it didn’t when we decided to dispose of our children. At this late date such references will not happen unless the Constitution is so amended or our judges revolt against their training and precedent and work to add such references.”

    I’m sure. The problem is the judges on the bench who are forcing their will upon the American populace at large regardless of what the constitution says. Not the constitution, itself.

  • You failed to point out that one of the “NON-NEGOTIABLES” of the Bishops’ directive is support for abortion. A Catholic in good conscience cannot vote for a candidate who is pro-abortion.

  • Bovine feces! There is no amoral law. Just the fact that the constitution limits the federal governments power is a moral decision based on the idea that we are created by God with inalienable rights. Otherwise there is no reason to limit a national government’s power.

    You can argue that constitutional provisions are derivative of a certain moral understanding or conception of justice. That does not mean that the provisions themselves summarize a comprehensive set of understandings of justice or morals. Nor does in mean that the provisions in question have an exclusive one-to-one relationship with a given conception of justice or moral understanding.

    Otherwise there is no reason to limit a national government’s power.

    I suspect there are people who might take exception to that.

  • The traditional Democratic party died with the passing of Jack and Bobby Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey and Scoop Jackson.

    The PM of Britain was asked in 1961 about the new administration in Washington. His reply: “rather like the Borgia brothers have taken over a respectable north Italian town”.

    By and large, the willingness of national Democrats to critique the abortion license dissipated about 25 years ago. As late as 1988, John LaFalce was able to assemble 60 members of the Congressional Democratic caucus in favor of a statement on the subject. Jerry Brown in 1992 was the last Democratic presidential candidate of consequence who was willing to say the legal regime was not legitimate and Jimmy Carter in 1976 was the last to suggest doing anything about it. The last Democratic appointee to the Supreme Court to dissent from the fiction that this mess was constitutionally required was sworn in in 1962. Someone identified Adlai Stevenson was the first in a long line of Democratic presidential aspirants who tended to be critics rather than celebrants of American culture. If you bracket out the buffoons and the snake-oil salesmen, the disposition to sit in judgment of previous generations is pretty much bog standard at that level of Democratic politics, and has been for some time. Perhaps Wesley Clark was an exception, or Bob Kerrey.

PopeWatch: Peron the Papal Role Model

Tuesday, March 28, AD 2017

 

 

John-Henry Westen at Lifesite News conveys some observations of the Pope by an Argentinian priest:

 

For those who knew Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio prior to his election to the pontificate, this is nothing new. I spoke to a few priests from Buenos Aires who worked with Cardinal Bergoglio in different capacities and from them learned that confusion is emblematic of his ministry. One anecdote in particular was very instructive. I was told that people from opposite camps would both come out of meetings with Cardinal Bergoglio believing he supported their position. “He’s with us but can’t say so publicly,” they would relate, as would those who met with him from the opposing camp.

While in an archdiocese this may work for a time, this learned priest told me, in the Vatican where just about everything the Pope says is trumpeted to the world, these kinds of discrepancies become evident more quickly. Francis, the priest told me, is very much a Peronist — named for former Argentina President Juan Domingo Perón. Like Perón, Pope Francis plays with both left wing and right wing factions.  

The priest tells a story about President Peron that helps to understand Francis. Once Peron was in his car and at a fork in the road his driver asked him which way he would like to go, to which Peron replied: “Put the flicker on for a right turn, but go left.” One last note about Bergoglio, related by the priest, is that when pushed, he will go left out of a great apprehension of being labeled a right-winger by the media.

Continue reading...

2 Responses to PopeWatch: Peron the Papal Role Model

About That Apology

Monday, March 27, AD 2017

 

From the thread on the post where Mark Shea announced his apology to Ed Feser:

 

Trump remains, without any possible comparison, the worst and most dangerous crook to ever live in the White House. The issue is not how people voted. The issue is the massive scandal of Christians who still support, deny, and excuse every lie and cruelty this feckless incompetent commits at this hour.

 

######################

 

The Christian right, in huge percentages, voted for a lying sex predator who embodies the antithesis of the gospel in almost every way and has continued to defend him with silence and acclamation to this hour. They have killed my faith in their judgment and their honesty stone dead. Until I see some signs of repentance I will regard them with the same incredulity as I regard Catholics for a Free Choice. Indeed, *more* incredulity since CFFC at least have the honesty to state clearly that they are at war with the Magisterium while the Catholic Right has the gall to claim they represent the Church better than the Pope does.

And yes, I do deeply disagree with Feser about the death penalty. The one thing this world does not need is a Catholic Defense of the Death Penalty.

Continue reading...

31 Responses to About That Apology

  • Shea’s issue is so obvious, even his remaining supporters have pointed out: politics! Considering that Jesus told us to cut off our arm and pluck out our eye to stop sinning, it seems like a bargain indeed that all Shea would have to do is shut up about Trump. And yet he couldn’t do it even in the main post, much less in the comments. It’s like listening to an alcoholic scream that THIS time he is definitely going to go sober… while standing in front of his favorite bar.

    In one of his replies, Edward Feser says,

    I noted that Shea’s claim that “4% of [those executed] are completely innocent” misrepresents the authors of the study from which Shea derives this claim.

    Indeed, if one reads the links Shea posts one can’t help but notice it’s not uncommon for him to misrepresent anything he has read if he read it (like the prison/gulag number comparisons he still harped on for awhile). Therefore the man has shot his own apologetics in the foot, for if he cannot read and understand that which was written for his time, and his ears, one has to wonder how well he can understand something written in a different time and context using a language not his own.

  • “And yes, I do deeply disagree with Feser about the death penalty. The one thing this world does not need is a Catholic Defense of the Death Penalty.”
    Has Shea read the Catechism of the Catholic Church?

  • He took a perfect description of Bill Clinton and just subbed in Trump’s name.

    While he accepts the UCCSB’s documents on the death penalty, he hasn’t bothered to acquaint himself with what the Church teaches–the Catechism paragraph 2267.

  • At least Mark has come out and all but admitted he is now a passionate, hardcore liberal Democrat:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2017/03/to-win-again.html

    I don’t know if he ever will admit it in those words, since he seems to be a proud ‘non-conformer’ from his youth, plus his shtick as ‘the conservative Catholic who despises conservatism but loves liberalism’ has helped him garner quite a few followers on the left who enjoy the benefits that such a voice brings to the table.

    But at least in this post, he has more or less said that apart from abortion, he sees liberal Democrats and fealty to the Church’s teaching as pretty much one and the same.

    Perhaps that will help, because I’ve felt part of the reason for his rancor, personal attacks and at times slanderous approach to the debate has been rooted in the conflict between Mark Shea c. 2002 and Mark Shea c. 2017. Between the man who once declared Islamic aggression and liberal Democrats and their lust for government power to be serious threats to the Faith and liberty, but who now has become a vocal ally of those same forces. And all without admitting the change. By finally admitting where he stands on things, perhaps he will finally calm down.

  • I oppose the death penalty, in all but exigent circumstances.

    I acknowlefge that I am not competent to state a matter the Church has not spoke definitely on. I know many good people who fundamentally disagree with me about the death penalty. I listened. I considered. I remain convinced that I am right.

    There I this crazy idea out there that the Church’s teachings as a sort of moral and ethical baseline of mandatory beliefs, to which one can append one’s own beliefs and, so, paint them with the same moral certainty. I know y’all know this isn’t how it works but I see this impulse in Mark Shea’s writings.

  • Willing to make a wager on that, Dave G? 😉

    Actually you may be right. It’s a hellova thing to lie mostly to oneself. Maybe if he can finally face the truth about who he is there some hope he can find a bit of peace.

  • Mark strikes me as a man going through a conversion to the left. I suspect that he will eventually go whole hog and jettison his pro-life stance. His celebrating the ridiculous “New” Pro-life Movement, that seems to exist in order to give cover to voting for pro-abort Democrats, is a half-way house on that course. The adamant pro-abort stance of Hillary Clinton did not stop him from launching a crusade to elect her in preference to, cue evil music, Trump. Mark gives lip service to the pro-life cause now, but that is all he gives it, except for curses and calumnies.

  • Eh, I’ll bet against you on that, Don. :mrgreen:

    Mark seems to have given over to intellectual laziness whole hog. He thinks far more with his gut & heart than his brain any more. This makes him a natural prey for the Left who’s arguments innately appeal to reflexive emotion (conservatives have complained about it for years). But abortion is just too grisly for him to ever really embrace it. Although in Dave’s link we can see him using the emotional “innocent girls will suffer!” argument, babies dying is still too emotional for him to embrace. Instead he’ll probably remain on his current streak indefinitely in that if we had just a bit more welfare, one more government project, we’d finally be free of abortion once and for all.

    Ironically it’s the Democrat version of what he said the GOP do: ‘So every four years they say “Vote GOP or the baby gets it…”’ (i.e. “Support this program or babies will die!”)

    Shea’s life seems full of irony in that way.

  • Oh but he wouldn’t be embracing it. The way to fight abortion according to the “New” Pro-life Movement is to elect pro-abort Democrats and vastly expand the welfare state and the need for abortion will end. Overlooked of course is that abortion was legalized in tandem with a radical expansion of the welfare state. This is a prime example of the endless ability of humans to believe complete and utter rubbish in order to reach a desired end, which in this case is a mythical welfare state utopia.

  • ” I suspect that he will eventually go whole hog and jettison his pro-life stance.” I hope not. That said, I realized sometime around 2010 that reading his columns was a near occasion of the sin of wrath for me. No doubt this is partly due to the Internet itself, which tends to make people who use it, certainly not excepting myself, into bigger jerks than they were before. Maybe that’s all there was to it at the time, but there seemed to be something more deeply wrong. He may still have a blog entitled “Catholic and Enjoying It”, but he doesn’t seem to have actually had any joy from Catholicism for quite some time. Where there should be the Fruit of the Spirit, there seems to be bitterness instead. If I am right in sensing that — and again, the Internet is infamous for creating false impressions of this kind — he is not only useless as an apologist (no one needs an angry, bitter apologist) but is in need of our prayers (and not the kind of condescending prayers like those of the Pharisee when he prayed with himself, which we will be tempted to offer).

  • It’s worth noting that Shea didn’t write the passages you quoted. What he wrote was troubled but moving.

  • Mark strikes me as a man going through a conversion to the left. I suspect that he will eventually go whole hog and jettison his pro-life stance. His celebrating the ridiculous “New” Pro-life Movement, that seems to exist in order to give cover to voting for pro-abort Democrats, is a half-way house on that course.

    Something is odd. Since about 2005, he’s been a hideously angry man re the machinations of politicians, but not in any consistent way. The years between 47 and 60 are not typically years of hideous anger and politicians of all stripes will disappoint you. In Shea’s case, the causes of disappointment seem to be magnified and reduced 100x by whatever set of trick-lenses he’s using to look at them. I expect this from partisan Democrats, who aren’t the most perspicacious people in the world. The thing is, the term ‘partisan Democrat’ might apply to one-adult in eight in this country (and, you’d think, around about 0% of the serious Catholics). I also think few people noodle around with their worldview much past the age of 35. He is one curious piece of work.

  • It’s worth noting that Shea didn’t write the passages you quoted. What he wrote was troubled but moving.

    Wait… what? Yes, he did, Pinky. The quotes were written by chezami, who IS Mark Shea. Here’s his twitter. And his post from 2013 admitting that it’s him.

  • Nate is correct. Mark did write the passages quoted.

  • Gotcha. Didn’t know that.

  • Mark has, for the most part, all but pushed the whole ‘marriage’ issue to the side. About a year ago, he didn’t say he supported businesses being sued for not taking part in gay weddings, but hinted that it might be time for them to just buck up and go with the flow. And with abortion, he has embraced the progressive narrative that it’s mostly male pigs and oppressive capitalists who force most women against their will to have to have an abortion. Those are the only two areas left where Mark is remotely not in line with the modern secular left. In every other position I’m aware of, he echoes almost verbatim the narratives, policies, solutions, ideas, interpretations and priorities of modern liberalism. That he takes even the most radical, militant leftist publications as reliable sources is itself telling, especially since in the day a person who quoted Rush Limbaugh or Fox News was immediately smacked down by Mark as an automatic partisan.

    The irony is, in the early years, Mark was clearly the conservative who admitted the faults and flaws of secular conservatism, while conceding where he believed liberalism was correct. And yet he also stood firmly on the traditional values, morals and perspectives of Catholicism and Christian American and Western culture. He did this while pointing to the dangers to the faith of those who become partisan tribalists completely in line with one side and entirely condemning of the other. Now he has become everything he once condemned – almost blind to anything bad on the Left except a couple things that he almost dismisses a ‘blindness’, while finding almost no ability to find or acknowledge anything good to the right, except those who still say they are conservatives but spend most of their time trashing conservatives. All in all, a very unreliable source for almost anything at this point I’m sad to say.

  • A sadly accurate summary of what Mark has become Dave.

  • I have never been a fan or follower of Shea. I do know that he went ballistic over the accusations of torture allegedly committed by agents of the US Government and its allies in the war in Iraq. His smarmy description of “that thing that used to be called conservatism”, his anger at the Bush Administration and its supporters, many of whom were evangelicals, observant Catholics and pro-lifers, was the start of Shea coming unhinged. George W. Bush was a a lot of things but he was no real conservative. Since that time, most of what I have read about Shea’s rantings has been here.

    As for Shea’s Catholicism, he never has had much to say critical of liturgical abuses. He is a convert during the post Vatican II era. Catholics older than myself are quite aware of what the Church has lost since Vatican II and the implementation of the Novus Ordo Mass. Shea is unaware and doesn’t care anyway. Since Vatican II, the Church hierarchy has frequently and loudly supported the expansion of the welfare state and pacifism and little is said about sin during CCD or RCIA or at Mass during the homily. Well, Vatican II was not the start of the Catholic Church and everything that came before it does not belong in the landfill and if Shea can’t handle that then too bad for Shea.

  • Why is it important that Mark Shea be given this much attention? It appears that Mark is not even a Catholic, a believer in Catholic doctrine, but rather a another Progressive Democrat who has gone mad trying to reconcile the incompatibility of those beliefs with Catholic doctrine. Maybe an exorcism is in order for Mark.

  • I’ve come to know that the devil tempts us to despair in clever ways that allow some gap to try to pull us away from God and/or our Fellow brothers and sisters in order to pull us away from God. It can be anything, deceptively the person will not realize it. Please keep Mark in our prayers.

  • “Why is it important that Mark Shea be given this much attention?”

    Because he is taken as a solid Catholic apologist by all too many clergy and laity in this country.

  • Is Mark-who? insane in the membrane.

    To me, there’s a major problem with catholic Democrats’ and bishops’ so-called “pro-life” propaganda. They vehemently (I was going to use “violently” but the spineless squids couldn’t be) oppose several dozen (unjust?) death penalties and utterly ignore 57 million abortions. Plus, abortion is murder since the early Church. DP is prudential judgment, even after the radical re-write of the Catechism, which is the conclusion of Pope Benedict. That’s why I will not be lectured on charity or virtue by catholic Democrats like Mark-who?, who apparently believes his political opinions are ex-cathedra.

  • I believe Shea has always been a leftist. However, like a closeted homosexual, he thought it was unwise to come out. However, when the secular and religious left started to become more strident, so did he. Also, I suspect Mark has some very serious mental problems that drive his political radicalism. His cyberstalking of one individual for seven years,and his attempts to actually get people fired from their jobs because they offended him in some way seems to indicate this. Jesus said those who are sick need a physician. I think Mark is long overdue for some psychiatric care.

  • Michael, what Donald said. I stumbled on Mark years and years ago as I was on my journey into the Church. I was actually looking for Scott Hahn, but I found Mark’s webpage, or at least an article from it. I’m sure it still happens. Because he is published by Catholic publications, asked to speak at Catholic forums and parishes, interviewed by Catholics, referenced by Catholic leaders and clergy, and given a thumbs up by Catholics in the know, it makes it important and, IMHO, unfortunate.

  • Mark is not the evil himself but more like an “Everyman” character in a morality play.
    Very sad, and instructional.
    There many others who are struggling between truth and lie, not knowing g what to believe, assailed by all the tricks and snares

  • “Mark seems to have given over to intellectual laziness whole hog. He thinks far more with his gut & heart than his brain any more.”
    “I do know that he went ballistic over the accusations of torture allegedly committed by agents of the US Government and its allies in the war in Iraq.”

    Put these two statements together and you have exactly what went wrong with Mark Shea.

    Recall that the allegations of torture at the time had to do with waterboarding. Due to a fluke involving training, waterboarding was not considered to be torture under U.S. military law. Shea insisted that it WAS torture, and he had a valid point. Due to the military’s training history it was possible to say that waterboarding was ontologically torture yet not legally torture. If you accepted this then the solution was simple: change the law and define waterboarding as torture. In the end John McCain did this (though the law applied only to the military, the CIA was exempted).
    Mark Shea would have none of this. If the U.S. had painted itself into a corner on this subject, then Shea had no interest in knowing why this had happened. He maintained that waterboarding was legally torture, despite the ample legal precedent to the contrary. What was even worse was his desire to see that people who advocated this view (it’s not torture now, so let’s debate changing the law) as enablers of torture. It was the logical equivalent of calling Lincoln pro-slavery in 1860.

  • Ex. 21:14 “you must take him even from my altar (compassion and mercy). He must be put to death.” The Church, Holy Scripture and Tradition do not contradict each other.

  • Also, I suspect Mark has some very serious mental problems that drive his political radicalism. His cyberstalking of one individual for seven years,and his attempts to actually get people fired from their jobs because they offended him in some way seems to indicate this.

    I remember the d’Hippolito business. Who did he try to have fired?

  • “Who did he try to have fired?”

    I vaguely remember he tracked someone’s boss done and emailed them about their internet disagreement and tried to have him fired. But that’s as detailed as my middle aged brain can muster.

  • “Because he is taken as a solid Catholic apologist by all too many clergy and laity in this country.”

    Thanks in large part to an “orthodox” Catholic Media Complex that has enabled him for over a decade.

  • Phillip, they may be thinking of Simcha Fisher and her efforts against the lawyer & judge.

Theodore Roosevelt and His Four Divisions

Monday, March 27, AD 2017

 

 

In 1917 a century ago Theodore Roosevelt was 58 years old.  He was not in the best of health and he had put on a fair amount of weight since his “crowded hour” leading the charge up Kettle Hill in the Spanish American War.  Nonetheless, he was eager once again to fight for the Stars and Stripes.  An advocate of preparedness, he had assembled a staff and plans to recreate his Rough Riders on a corps level to fight in France, and over a 100,000 men had indicated their willingness to join this force.  Congress in March of 1917 authorized him to raise such a force of volunteers of up to four divisions.  In May of 1917 President Wilson indicated that no such force of volunteers would be accepted by the Army, Wilson not wanting to be held responsible if the beloved ex-President died fighting.  Roosevelt was crushed and never forgave Wilson, who he despised in any case.  He kept busy making speeches in support of the War and selling war bonds, but it was not the same as fighting himself.  On April 1 we will explore the “what if” had Wilson allowed Roosevelt to take his new Rough Riders into battle.

Continue reading...

PopeWatch: Hmmm

Monday, March 27, AD 2017

 

 

From Pewsitter:

 

 

Speaking at a March 16th conference in Limburg, Germany, the long-time Vatican correspondent Andreas Englisch has delivered an explosive allegation: In contradiction of public appearances, Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI “are in complete disagreement” and “never speak to one another.” The Pope Emeritus has apparently stated that he only appears in public “at the explicit request of Pope Francis.” What is shown on these occasions, Englisch continues, is “only the pretense of friendship.”

No official transcript of the press conference is yet available, but Giuseppe Nardi, another well-known Vaticanist who was in attendance, says that Englisch continued his statements by describing Pope Francis as a “strong personality” who “gets what he wants,” and that he has little in common with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI but “uses him when necessary for the optics.” Englisch concluded his dramatic remarks with a remarkable statement: that, in addition to the pressure put upon the Pope Emeritus to resign, “different ecclesiastical forces” are putting pressure on Ratzinger in a different direction: “to return.”  

Continue reading...

4 Responses to PopeWatch: Hmmm

  • “Ordinary Catholics have been…kept in the dark” before. It is now called Good Friday, and its evil confusion and feelings of betrayal were soon dispelled by the light of the Risen Christ on Easter. We “ordinary Catholics” shall always have that gift to weather the most diabolical of storms within God’s holy Church.

  • Amen DonL.

  • It is heartening that Benedict feels this way. It would be devastating if he didn’t.

  • Like everyone here, I too have tried to make sense of this account. I went back to look at some Deutsche.de sites, employing my journeyman German, to check his background, and he has good credentials as a correspondent with die Bild and die Bild am Sonntag. He has previously written about the impending explosion of the sexual abuse problem in Catholic Germany, and from 1995 on, often personally accompanied P JP2 on his airplane on the latter’s travels throughout his pontificate. At first a papal critic, he became an admirer of JP2 and wrote book on him entitled “JP2: The Secret of Karol Wojtyla”, as well as other pro-Catholic works. He is married (to a woman, no less 🙄 ) and has a son.

    But Englisch first came to major attention outside of Germany, predicting some months prior to his abdication that P BXVI was going to resign, the first to hint at the coming crisis.
    So, it sounds like there is more fire to this smoke than originally expected.

    Plus, years in the Holy Office for P BXVI cant be a situation where he appreciates the complete doctrinal undoing of the Catholic Church that the Angry Red from Argentina is doing to the Church.

Congratulations Mark!

Sunday, March 26, AD 2017

 

 

I have to hand it to Mark Shea.  He has managed to get into the verbal equivalent of a fist fight with Ed Feser.  Ed is a philosophy professor, and runs a blog where he breaks philosophical concepts down to bite sized chunks for readers like me.  He is a loyal son of the Church and a true gentleman.  Getting him angry is rather like getting Gandhi to take a slug at you or being hissed at by Mother Teresa, but Mark managed that feat:

 

Not too long ago, Catholic writer Mark Shea and I had an exchange on the subject of capital punishment.  See this post, this one, and this one for my side of the exchange and for links to Shea’s side of it.  A friend emails to alert me that Shea has now made some remarks at Facebook about the forthcoming book on the subject that I have co-authored with Joe Bessette.  “Deranged” might seem an unkind description of Shea and his comments.  Sadly, it’s also a perfectly accurate description.  Here’s a sample:

 

Yes. This needs to be the #1 priority for conservative Christian “prolife” people to focus on: battling the Church for the right of a post-Christian state to join Communist and Bronze Age Islamic states in killing as many people as possible, even if 4% of them are completely innocent. Cuz, you know, stopping euthanasia is, like, a super duper core non-negotiable and stuff.  What a wise thing for “prolife” Christians to commit their time and energy to doing instead of defending the unborn or the teaching of the Magisterium. How prudent. How merciful. This and kicking 24 million people off health care are *clearly* what truly “prolife” Christians should be devoted to, in defiance of the Magisterium.  Good call!
“Prudential judgment” is right wing speak for “Ignore the Church and listen to right wing culture of death rhetoric”.
This book will be the Real Magisterium, henceforth, for all members of the Right Wing Culture of Death on this subject. It’s judgments, not that of the Magisterium, will be final and authoritative for the “prolife” supporter of the Right Wing Culture of Death.

 

It will do nothing but foster right wing dissent. It will be the New Magisterium for the entire right wing and give oxygen to the War on Francis.

 

The Right anoints a Folk Hero antipope who tells it it’s okay to reject the obvious teaching of the Church and do whatever they want and then the cry “Prudential judgment!” goes up.

 

Etc.  End quote.

 

No comment is really necessary.  Still, I can’t help calling attention to a few points:

 

First, the book has not come out yet, so Shea hasn’t even read it.  His attack is thus aimed at a fantasy target rather than at our actual claims and arguments.  In fact, all of the concerns Shea might have about our position are answered at length and in detail in the book, and in a scholarly and non-polemical fashion.  Hence Shea’s remarks are – to say the very least – ill-informed and unjustifiably vituperative. 

 

Second, the few substantive assertions Shea makes here – and note that they are mere assertions, completely unbacked by any argumentation or evidence – have already been answered in my earlier exchange with him.  For example, in the initial response to Shea I posted during that exchange, I noted that Shea’s claim that “4% of [those executed] are completely innocent” misrepresents the authors of the study from which Shea derives this claim.  I also there noted the problems with Shea’s use of the term “prolife,” which is merely a political slogan deriving from contemporary American politics and has no theological significance.

 

As to the bogus charge of “dissent,” in my second post in our earlier exchange, I quoted statements from Cardinal Ratzinger (then head of the CDF and the Church’s chief doctrinal officer) and Archbishop Levada (then writing in a USCCB document, and later to take over from Ratzinger as head of CDF) which explicitly affirm that faithful Catholics are at liberty to take different positions regarding capital punishment and even to disagree with the Holy Father on that particular issue.  Both Ratzinger and Levada in these documents also explicitly assert that abortion and euthanasia – which, unlike capital punishment, are intrinsically evil – have a greater moral significance than capital punishment.  Hence, when Shea mocks Catholics who are strongly opposed to abortion and euthanasia but who do not share his views about capital punishment, he is implicitly mocking Ratzinger and Levada – who, unlike Shea, actually have authority to state what is and is not binding Catholic teaching. 

 

Shea has, in several follow-ups now, given no response whatsoever to these points or others made in my earlier posts.  He simply ignores the arguments and instead reiterates, with greater shrillness, the same false and already refuted claims he made in his initial attack on Joe and me.

 

Third, the charge that Joe and I are motivated by a desire to justify “killing as many people as possible” is not only false and groundless, but a truly outrageous calumny.  Shea made this charge in our original exchange, and (as I noted in my second post in that exchange) when I complained about it he seemed to back away from it.  Now he is back to tossing this smear at us.

 

Fourth, if Shea insists on flinging calumnies like these, he ought to consider just how many people he is implicitly targeting.  On my personal web page I have posted the endorsements given our book by J. Budziszewski, Fr. James Schall, Robert Royal, Fr. Robert Sirico, Edward Peters, Fr. Kevin Flannery, Steven A. Long, Fr. George Rutler, Fr. Gerald Murray, Barry Latzer, Michael Pakaluk, and Fr. Thomas Petri.  This list includes some very prominent faithful Catholics and respected scholars, representing fields such as moral theology, canon law, philosophy, and criminal justice.  And unlike Shea, they have actually seen the book.  It is worth noting that Fr. Sirico, who happens to be opposed to capital punishment, does not even agree with our conclusions.  He graciously endorsed our book anyway simply because he regards it as a worthy and serious defense of the other side, which opponents of capital punishment can profit from engaging with. 

 

Now, I imagine that Shea knows and respects many of these people.  Of course, they could be wrong, and the fact that they endorse our book doesn’t mean we are right.  But would Shea go so far as to label all of these people “dissenters,” or proponents of a “culture of death” who want to “kill as many people as possible,” etc.?  If not, then perhaps he will reconsider his rhetorical excesses. 

 

Fifth, the out-of-left-field stuff in Shea’s remarks about “kicking 24 million people off health care,” “the War on Francis,” etc. have, of course, absolutely nothing to do with the argument of our book.  Shea made similarly irrelevant remarks in our earlier exchange.  His seeming inability to refrain from dragging in his personal political obsessions shows just how very unhinged he is.  It also manifests his lack of self-awareness.  Shea accuses fellow Catholics who disagree with him about capital punishment of being blinded by their political biases – while in the very same breath bizarrely insinuating that our support for capital punishment somehow has something to do with President Trump’s health care bill (!) 

 

Sixth, Shea’s political obsessions blind him to other and more important aspects of the debate over capital punishment, in ways I have already explained in my earlier posts – where, here again, Shea simply ignores rather than responds to what I wrote.  For example, Shea appears not to realize that there is a very influential strain of thought within otherwise theologically conservative Catholic circles – namely, the so-called “new natural law” school of thought – which takes a far more radically abolitionist position than even he would.  Shea has repeatedly acknowledged in the past that capital punishment is not always and intrinsically immoral and that the Church cannot teach that it is.  But the “new natural lawyers” maintain that capital punishment is always and intrinsically wrong, and they would like the Church to reverse two millennia of teaching on this point – indeed, to reverse the consistent teaching of scripture, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and the popes.

 

One of the main motivations for writing our book was to rebut this extreme position, which has very dangerous theological implications that extend well beyond the capital punishment debate.  Indeed, our primary concern in the book is to demonstrate the continuity of Catholic teaching and rebut any suggestion that the Church has contradicted herself, with advocacy of capital punishment in practice being a merely secondary concern.  Among the many novel things the reader will find in our book is a far more detailed and systematic response to the extreme “new natural law” position on capital punishment than has yet appeared. 

 

Since Shea too rejects the extreme “always and intrinsically wrong” position vis-à-vis capital punishment, one would think he would see the importance of rebutting it.  Unfortunately, in his apparent desire to fold every Catholic theological dispute into his obsession with current American electoral politics, Shea seems unable to understand that some of us have much larger and less ephemeral concerns in view. 

Continue reading...

12 Responses to Congratulations Mark!

  • Of course he’ll be back to his old tricks! In the long run, his leftist agenda is more important than showing Christian charity.

  • A friend of M. Shea’s in meatworld might do him a great favor and grease the skids to an ordinary wage-job (though not one where he has anything to do with the public). Something that would occupy his time and allow him to undertake a prudent (and penitential?) silence. This is just too much (though I’ve seen some of these tropes before, flung at Tom McKenna).

  • Sounds like Mark needs lots of prayer and lots of smart pills. Taking on Ed Feser proves it.

  • You cannot dialog with liberals like Mark Shea. Rather, you must either acquiesce to their irrationality or defeat, muzzle and emasculate them. Defeat so that they lose in the public eye, muzzle so that they cannot spread their lies and deceit, and emasculate so that they cannot reproduce their falsehood and heresies.

  • This:

    “That a man with his manifest issues is considered a worthy apologist for the Catholic Church in this nation is beyond belief.”

    Is the issue. Mark has issues. Serious issues. But who doesn’t? We all have our own issues. But Mark’s issues are antithetical to being a credible representative of any religious tradition, much less the Church. His use of slander and false accusation, his inconsistency and fusing the Gospel with his personal opinions, are the stuff that would keep most Protestants I know from being Sunday School teachers, much less paid apologists.

    It’s that Mark is given such a platform and supported by Church leaders, religious and Catholic organizations is the problem. He has issues that he should work through. But that he is given such praise for things that are so detrimental to the message says something is wrong with the apologetics world in the American Church at least.

  • For those curious, Ed had a third Shea post in between the two linked above.

    I will comment further on the latest topic Don posted.

  • The irony is that capital punishment is an effort by the state to protect the public and even prison populations from truly dangerous people. Further unlike war, there seldom is indiscriminate killing. It seldom happens except after a long legal process and seldom is done to innocent or incompetent persons. Finally, it offers justice that is commensurate with the crime.

    Compare this with abortion and euthanasia. A public execution is a cold-blooded thing. I shook me to the core to put down my family dog. I would hate to be the person who put down a human being no matter what his deeds. So many murderers are never caught, and with rare exceptions, his crime is lesser than those of many who escape justice. But abortion is the most callous act of which we are capable, because it denies the obvious: that the victim is a human being. Exactly the same as herding men and women into a gas chamber, made all the worse because it is the decision of those who ought to care the most. From the time of Cain, mankind became inured to slavery. But it could be justified in the name of expediency. Prisoners of war pressed into involuntary servitude;women taken to satisfy the lust of their captors. Mitigated by human compassion, but supported by customs and law as inevitable as other human acts of violence. Celebrated also as positive act by those who treated the enslaved as lesser beings. The same attitudes affect those engaged in abortion and euthanasia. Like “positive slavery” these practices rot society at its core and taint all of us who allow it.

  • Deny oxygen to aerobic bacteria and they die. I have never in my life heard a speech by BarrySoeotoroBarack Obama or by HR Clinton – I simply refuse to listen or watch-and turn them OFF. Ignore Shea and his public work dies. No audience = no paycheck. Remember Bogey to Peter Lorre in Casablanca: Ugarte: “You despise me , dont you?” Rick: If I gave yo any thought, I probably would.”. Give Mark no thought. Guy McClung, Sasn Antonio, Texas

  • ” It is worth noting that Fr. Sirico, who happens to be opposed to capital punishment, does not even agree with our conclusions. He graciously endorsed our book anyway simply because he regards it as a worthy and serious defense of the other side, which opponents of capital punishment can profit from engaging with. ”
    Capital punishment is executed through the power of attorney of the condemned. As a citizen of the state, the condemned is executed by the citizens of the state. Priests and consecrated persons do not engage any person without their consent, not even to execution. The first mission of the priest and consecrated persons is to serve God in the Catholic Church. It is the state of whom the condemned is a citizen who must execute the capital one murderer because the capital one murderer has not expired with grief over his crime.

  • Is the issue. Mark has issues. Serious issues. But who doesn’t? We all have our own issues. But Mark’s issues are antithetical to being a credible representative of any religious tradition, much less the Church.

    What’s odd is that he wasn’t a particularly troublesome figure ca. 2003, though his voice was much improved by editing. No clue what happened.

    It’s that Mark is given such a platform and supported by Church leaders, religious and Catholic organizations is the problem.

    I don’t know that I’d call Sherry Weddell, Karl Keating and Jimmy Akin ‘church leaders’. Catholic Answers had about 20 employees at one time. A diocese of ordinary size might employ 2,000. People who were once his patrons (e.g. Crisis, and, again Karl Keating) have ceased any dealings with them. I’m not sure who the progenitors of Patheos are, but it’s not a specifically Catholic apostolate.

  • AD, it’s not just them. I know Fr. Longenecker, who emerged as a pretty popular voice in some circles, spent several years giving Mark a thumbs up and defending Mark against critics. I don’t know if he still is. I don’t know if Bishop Barron is aware of Mark or not, but Mark seems linked to some who have worked with him. Certainly Mark’s own bishop has been made aware of him. I know some have contacted his diocese. Mark frequently gets visits and support from deacons and priests, both on his blog and FB page. Or at least he was. And he’s regularly asked to speak at parishes and dioceses around the country, esp. Washington. It’s enough to say that the casual net surfer, stumbling through wanting to know a Catholic who can explain the Faith, might just stumble across the name Mark Shea. And seeing a priest here or an apologist there give him a stamp of approval, that’s enough – in the world of Catholic apologetics – to warrant official endorsements.

  • You cannot dialog with liberals like Mark Shea. Rather, you must either acquiesce to their irrationality or defeat, muzzle and emasculate them. Defeat so that they lose in the public eye, muzzle so that they cannot spread their lies and deceit, and emasculate so that they cannot reproduce their falsehood and heresies.”

    As far as I can tell, this is the approach we must take with all Leftists–or waste our time & energy.