Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 26 years. Small town lawyer. President of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center.

PopeWatch: Rules

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PopeWatch: HippieSpeak




An interesting comment by Hilary White at Damian Thompson’s blog at The Spectator:


A good deal of the problem with Francis, that so far no one is talking about, is his Jesuit intellectual training. He talks as he thinks, and this is very much how Jesuits and their students of his time period spoke and thought (if you could call it thinking). This is precisely how the hippie radicals of that period spoke. I remember it very well from my childhood in the hippie 70s; I was surrounded by it.

If you read the full texts of his speeches and homilies or watch him on Youtube, and you can follow the Italian, you will see that he does not talk in complete sentences, does not use any sort of rational rhetorical system presenting a coherent idea and building on it. He emotes and gestures, he jumps from idea to disconnected idea, uses sentence fragments and phrases and half-delivered jokes. Vatican employees tasked with translating him into language, any language, that is comprehensible to readers, are faced with a very difficult task of simply making any sense out of him. It is why you mostly see paraphrases and summaries online where they have picked out the most coherent bits and pieces.

There’s no there there. This is why it is so absurd to see all these well-intentioned Catholics (and less well intentioned) trying so very, very hard to make even a modicum of coherent sense out of his weird blitherings, let alone gain any kind of useful Catholic information for their faith lives. He is probably best compared to the Delphic oracle. He just opens his mouth and blithers, and his little group of priests of Apollo tell us all what he meant.


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Screw the Candlelight Vigil



I fully endorse these sentiments of Mark Steyn.  Until the West gets serious about the threat posed by Islamic radicalism, nothing will change:


As I write, Paris is under curfew for the first time since the German occupation, and the death toll from the multiple attacks stands at 158, the vast majority of them slaughtered during a concert at the Bataclan theatre, a delightful bit of 19th century Chinoiserie on the boulevard Voltaire. The last time I was there, if memory serves, was to see Julie Pietri. I’m so bloody sick of these savages shooting and bombing and killing and blowing up everything I like – whether it’s the small Quebec town where my little girl’s favorite fondue restaurant is or my favorite hotel in Amman or the brave freespeecher who hosted me in Copenhagen …or a music hall where I liked to go to hear a little jazz and pop and get away from the cares of the world for a couple of hours. But look at the photographs from Paris: there’s nowhere to get away from it; the barbarians who yell “Allahu Akbar!” are there waiting for you …when you go to a soccer match, you go to a concert, you go for a drink on a Friday night. They’re there on the train… at the magazine office… in the Kosher supermarket… at the museum in Brussels… outside the barracks in Woolwich…

Twenty-four hours ago, I said on the radio apropos the latest campus “safe space” nonsense:

This is what we’re going to be talking about when the mullahs nuke us.

Almost. When the Allahu Akbar boys opened fire, Paris was talking about the climate-change conference due to start later this month, when the world’s leaders will fly in to “solve” a “problem” that doesn’t exist rather than to address the one that does. But don’t worry: we already have a hashtag (#PrayForParis) and doubtless there’ll be another candlelight vigil of weepy tilty-headed wankers. Because as long as we all advertise how sad and sorrowful we are, who needs to do anything?



He ends this cri de coeur piece with this:

To repeat what I said a few days ago, I’m Islamed out. I’m tired of Islam 24/7, at Colorado colleges, Marseilles synagogues, Sydney coffee shops, day after day after day. The west cannot win this thing with a schizophrenic strategy of targeting things and people but not targeting the ideology, of intervening ineffectually overseas and not intervening at all when it comes to the remorseless Islamization and self-segregation of large segments of their own countries.

So I say again: What’s the happy ending here? Because if M Hollande isn’t prepared to end mass Muslim immigration to France and Europe, then his “pitiless war” isn’t serious. And, if they’re still willing to tolerate Mutti Merkel’s mad plan to reverse Germany’s demographic death spiral through fast-track Islamization, then Europeans aren’t serious. In the end, the decadence of Merkel, Hollande, Cameron and the rest of the fin de civilisation western leadership will cost you your world and everything you love.

So screw the candlelight vigil. Continue reading

Saint Louis of France, Defend France!

“The King was so liberal an almsgiver, that wherever he went throughout his kingdom, he made gifts to poor churches, to lazar-houses, to alms-houses, to asylums, and to poor gentlemen an gentlewomen. 
 From his childhood up, he was compassionate towards the poor and the suffering ; and it was the custom that, wherever he went, six score poor should always be replenished in his house with bread and wine, and meat or fish every day. In Lent and Advent, the number was increased, and many a time the King would wait on them, and place their meat before them, and would carve their meat before them, and with his own hand would give them money when they went away. 
Likewise on the high vigils of solemn feasts, he would serve the poor with all these things, before he either ate or drank.”

“Besides all this, he had every day old broken-down men to dine and sup with him, and had them served with the same food that he himself was eating. And when they had feasted, they took away with them a certain sum of silver. Over and above all these things, the King used every day to give large and liberal alms to poor men of religion, to poor asylums, to the sick poor, and all sorts of poor colleges, to poor gentlemen and married women and spinsters, to fallen women, to poor widows, and to women in child-bed, and to such poor as by reason of old age or sickness were unable to labour or pursue their trade – in number past all telling.”

Jean, Sire de Joinville, Memoirs of King Louis IX







How hard it is for a ruler to also be a saint, but Saint Louis IX of France managed that difficult feat.  Pious, charitable, just, a warrior for the Faith, Saint Louis is a model of what Catholic rulers should strive to be, due allowance being made for the differences between his time and ours.  In his two crusades Saint Louis was notably unsuccessful and died of disease on his second.  Yet the people of France cherished his memory, which was confirmed by the Church by his canonization only 27 years after his death in 1270.  A Christian life is not sanctified by success, but rather by constant striving to follow in the footsteps of Christ, and in that all important effort Saint Louis was quite successful indeed.

The spirit of the man shines forth quite clearly in this advice that he left to his oldest son, written in his own hand:

“Fair son, the first thing I would teach thee is to set thine heart to love God; for unless he love God none can be saved. Keep thyself from doing aught that is displeasing to God, that is to say, from mortal sin. Contrariwise thou shouldst suffer every manner of torment rather than commit a mortal sin.

“If God send thee adversity, receive it in patience and give thanks to our Saviour and bethink thee that thou hast deserved it, and that He will make it turn to thine advantage. If He send thee prosperity, then thank Him humbly, so that thou becomest not worse from pride or any other cause, when thou oughtest to be better. For we should not fight against God with his own gifts.

“Confess thyself often and choose for thy confessor a right worthy man who knows how to teach thee what to do, and what not to do; and bear thyself in such sort that thy confessor and thy friends shall dare to reprove thee for thy misdoings. Listen to the services of Holy Church devoutly, and without chattering; and pray to God with thy heart and with thy lips, and especially at Mass when the consecration takes place. Let thy heart be tender and full of pity toward those who are poor, miserable, and afflicted, and comfort and help them to the utmost of thy power.

“Maintain the good customs of thy realm and abolish the bad. Be not covetous against thy people and do not burden them with taxes and imposts save when thou art in great need. Continue reading

Socrates Was a Stone Mason

Mike Rowe, the star of Dirty Jobs, has been a champion of training for teenagers to take on jobs that do not require a college degree.  He weighs in on Rubio’s observation that we need more welders than philosophers:


“Rubio gave a nice shout out to welders on the debate last night (that may or may not have made Socrates roll over in his grave). We all know you support welders and their hard work, but should we go so far as to say, “We need more welders and less philosophers?”

Hi Liz. Great question. Across the interwebs today, people are rushing to point out that the mean wage of a welder is actually lower than the mean wage of a philosopher – $40,000 vs. $71,000.

There’s an article on Vox that “debunks” Rubio’s claim.…/…/9709948/marco-rubio-philosophy-welder.

Here’s another from CBS that “fact-checks” his statement.…/republican-debate-fact-check-was-…/

Based on these “revelations,” Rubio’s assertion that “welders make more than philosophers” is being dismissed out of hand.

Interestingly, no one has pointed out that last year, philosophers earned a combined total 1.6 billion dollars, whereas welders earned a combined total of $34 billion. Nor have I heard anyone explore the differences between mean wage vs. median wage, and the vastly different number such a calculation would yield, given the disparate size of each group, and the impact of high-earning outliers, particularly among the philosopher cohort. I suppose I could do all that here, but really, what’s the point? Numbers can always be twisted and turned to make whatever case the speaker wishes to drive home.

Personally, I’m convinced that more and greater opportunity exits in welding than philosophy. But I would not encourage one at the expense of another. That’s precisely how we’ve wound up with a workforce that’s both over-educated and under-trained. Never mind obscenely indebted. Also – it’s dangerous to conclude that one profession is superior to another simply because it pays more. Those kind of generalizations are fun but meaningless.

Having said that, I’m glad Rubio said what he said, because I know for a fact that employers are clamoring for welders. And I also know with certainty that a talented welder who is willing to go where the work is has an excellent chance to earn a six-figure salary. I have no idea if the same is true for a philosophy major, but I can assure you of this: an excellent welding program will cost a lot less than a Philosophy Degree from an excellent university. I can also tell you that the classified section of today’s paper is conspicuously void of openings for “Experienced Philosophers.” “Experienced Welders” on the other hand, appear to be in high demand everywhere.

Anyway Liz, to answer your question, I don’t think we need fewer philosophers – I think we need more philosophers who can weld. Or better yet, more welders who can philosophize. Welding and Philosophy are not opposites – they’re two sides of the same coin. Likewise blue and white collar. Labor and Capitol. Employer and Employee. Continue reading

PopeWatch: Sheep Dip



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

A new terrorist video put out today by Starbucks shows the latest batch of Christmas killers being trained by the terror group called “Barista.”

The 9-minute propaganda video released by Starbucks shows masked trainees wielding non-festive red cups and making inflammatory remarks such as “Happy Holidays” in an unknown location in Seattle, Washington.

The chilling video of green-clad barista terrorists standing behind a counter serving paying hostages moments before serving them Gingerbread Lattes in red cups with no mention of Christmas on them is being called one of the most terrifying images of our times.

In the video, the barista terrorists are seen smiling as they clearly undermine the saving power of Christ. The paying hostages are forced to pay for lattes and frappuccinos as a tattooed barista announces, “Thank you…have a great day,” without once mentioning Christmas. The paying hostages, who apparently chose to become hostages, are then given a chilling smile before each is forced to wait for their drink to arrive. The 9 minute-long propaganda video goes on to show terrified hostages receiving their drinks in little red cups that neither mention Christmas or Holidays.

In another part of the video, a barista is heard asking whether the hostage would like a receipt, instead of reciting the Nativity narrative from the Bible word-for-word to the hostage as is done in more civilized parts of the world.

“This is perhaps one of the most sickening videos I’ve ever seen,” said Christian pastor Thomas Hayes who was once a hostage himself. “I believe these barista terrorists are trying to send a clear message: “If you’re going to enjoy a warm latte on a cold winter evening, you’re going to have to convert to corporate paganism.” Continue reading

Southern Soldier

Something for the weekend.  A rousing rendition of Southern Soldier by the 2nd South Carolina String Band, a group dedicated to bringing to modern audiences Civil War music played on period instruments.  Southern Soldier was immensely popular among Confederate troops during the latter part of the War and was one of their favorite marching tunes. Continue reading

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Winston Churchill and the Maccabees




Today is Trin­ity Sun­day. Cen­turies ago words were writ­ten to be a call and a spur to the faith­ful ser­vants of Truth and Jus­tice: “Arm your­selves, and be ye men of val­our, and be in readi­ness for the con­flict; for it is bet­ter for us to per­ish in bat­tle than to look upon the Out­rage of our nation and our altar. As the Will of God is in Heaven, even so let it be.

Winston Churchill, Radio Address, June 19, 1940.  Churchill was quoting, slightly altered by him, I Maccabees 3: 58-60

58. And Judas said, Arm your­selves, and be valiant men, and see that ye be in readi­ness against the morn­ing, that ye may fight with these nations, that are assem­bled together against us to destroy us and our sanc­tu­ary: 59. For it is bet­ter for us to die in bat­tle, than to behold the calami­ties of our peo­ple and our sanc­tu­ary. 60. Nev­er­the­less, as the will of God is in heaven, so let him do.

Charles Martel Aid Us!

“A victorious line of march had been prolonged above a thousand miles from the rock of Gibraltar in Spain to the banks of the Loire in France; the repetition of an equal space would have carried the Saracens to the confines of Poland and the Highlands of Scotland; the Rhine is not more impassable than the Nile or Euphrates, and the Arabian Fleet might have sailed without a naval combat into the mouth of the River Thames. Perhaps the interpretation of the Qur’an would now be taught in the schools of Oxford, and her pulpits might demonstrate to a circumcised people the sanctity and truth of the revelation of Muhammed.”

Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

(In light of the attacks in Paris this evening I am re-running this post.  Charles Martel has never been canonized, but surely saving Europe from Islam must have counted much in his favor when he stood before God for his judgment.  In any case, we will need much of his spirit to survive the coming years and much less of the pacifist bilge that has turned the Church Militant too often into the Church Delusional.)

The slogan Je Suis Charles Martel is beginning to make its way around Saint Blogs.  Here is some information on the grandfather of Charlemagne who stopped the advance of Islam into what became France in 732 at the battle of Tours.

Charles Martel, “The Hammer”, led a life of conflict.  An illegitimate son of Pepin of Herstal, Mayor of the Palace and the true power behind the Merovingian puppet kings, after the death of his father he had to fight his father’s legitimate offspring who sought to deprive him of any share in his father’s inheritance.  Fortunately for Charles a streak of military genius ran through him, and he won battles against the odds, using force multiplying stratagems, including feigned retreats, and attacking in the middle of the day when armies of his time normally took a siesta.  By 717 he was in control of Neustria, showing mercy unusual for his day in letting his defeated adversaries live and treating them with kindness.

The 28 year old ruler now entered a round of endless wars with neighboring kingdoms, gradually extending his power, and building up a professional force of infantry to supplement the peasant levies that made up the vast bulk of most Frankish armies.

A friend and patron of Saint Boniface, he also began the alliance between the rulers of the Franks and the Popes.  He contributed much land to the Church, but roused ecclesiastical ire when he took some back to support his troops.  He might have been excommunicated if both Church and State had not suddenly confronted a common foe. Continue reading

Paris Terror Attacks






At least three terrorists took more than 100 people hostage in a hall where a music concert was being held, before they began randomly killing innocent people. They had time to reload their weapons at least three times during the attack. Five explosions were heard when police stormed the venue. The Prefecture of Paris said the attackers were wearing explosive vests and detonated them during a police assault on the venue. Three terrorists were killed, as police took control of the hall.

Shooting has also been reported in les Halles in the centre of Paris, and in a restaurant by Bastille in rue de Charonne, with “many dead”, including children, according to eyewitnesses. Further incidents have been reported at Le Pompidou and Louvre.

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PopeWatch: Who Are the Pharisees Today?



Rorate Caeli has a fascinating piece by Roberto de Mattei which answers the questions:  who are the Pharisees today?


Criticizing the “Pharisees” is recurrent in Pope Francis’ words. In numerous discourses, between 2013 and 2015, he has spoken of “the sickness of the Pharisees” (7th November 2013), “who rebuke Jesus for not respecting the Sabbath” (1st April 2014), of “the temptation of self-sufficiency and of clericalism, that codification of the faith in rules and regulations, as the scribes, the Pharisees, the doctors of the law did at the time of Jesus” (September 19th 2014). In the Angelus of August 30th 2015 he said that just as it was for the Pharisees it is “dangerous too for us to consider ourselves acceptable, or even worse, better than others simply for observing the rules, customs, even though we do not love our neighbor, we are hard of heart, we are arrogant and proud.” On November 8th 2015, he contrasted the behavior of the Scribes and Pharisees based on “exclusion” and Jesus’ behavior based on “inclusion”.

The reference to the Pharisees is evident, ultimately, in the Pope’s concluding discourse last October 24th, at the end of the XIV Ordinary Synod on the Family. In effect, who are the “closed hearts, which frequently hide even behind the Church’s teachings or good intentions, in order to sit in the chair of Moses and judge, sometimes with superiority and superficiality, difficult cases and wounded families” if not “the Pharisees who were making religion […] a [never-ending] chain of commandments”? (June 26th 2014). A Pharisee seems to be anyone who defends, with stubborn pride, the existence of commandments, laws and the absolute, mandatory rules of the Church.
Yet, who were the Pharisees exactly? When Jesus began His preaching, the Jewish world was divided in various currents, which the Gospels mention, and also historians like Flavio Giuseppe [Josephus] (37-100 A.D.) in his works Jewish Antiquities and The Jewish War. The main sects were the Pharisees and the Sadducees. The Pharisees observed the religious prescriptions in great detail, but had lost the spirit of Truth. They were proud men, who falsified the prophecies relating to the Messiah and interpreted the Divine law according to their own opinions. The Sadducees taught even graver errors, by placing in doubt the immortality of the soul and rejecting most of the Sacred Books. Both disputed the power of the Sanhedrin, which was lead by the Sadducees at the time Jesus was condemned. 
Who are the Pharisees and Sadducees of our time? We can say it in all certainty. They are  those who, before, during and after the Synod tried to (and will try to) modify the practice of the Church, and, through practice, Her doctrine on marriage and the family.

Jesus proclaimed the indissolubility of marriage, basing it on the restoration of the natural law the Jews had departed from, and He reinforced it by elevating the marriage bond to [the level of] a Sacrament. The Pharisees and the Sadducees rejected this teaching, denying the Divine words of Jesus, to which they substituted their own opinion. They falsely referred to Moses, just like the innovators of our times refer to a supposed tradition of the first centuries, falsifying history and the doctrine of the Church. 
For this a valiant Bishop, defender of the orthodox faith, Monsignor Athanasius Schneider speaks of a “Neo-Mosaic practice” (see here) which re-emerges: “The new disciples of Moses and the new Pharisees during the last two Assemblies of the Synod (2014 and 2015) masked their practical denial of the indissolubility of marriage and of a suspension of the Sixth Commandment on a case-by-case basis under the guise of the concept of mercy, using expressions such as: “way of discernment,” “accompaniment”, “orientations of the bishop,” “dialogue with the priest,” “forum internum,” “a more fuller integration into the life of the Church,” a possible suppression of imputability regarding the cohabitation in irregular unions (cf. Final Report, nn. 84-86).” (The Final Report, nn. 84-86).
The Sadducees are the innovators that state openly the abandonment of the doctrine and practice of the Church; the Pharisees are those that proclaim the indissolubility of marriage with their lips, but deny it hypocritically in facts, proposing the “case by case” transgression of the moral law. The true followers of Jesus Christ belong neither to the neo-Pharisees party nor to the neo-Sadducee party, both modernists, but belong instead to the School of St. John the Baptist, who preached in the spiritual wastelands of his time. The Baptist, when he stigmatized the Pharisees and Sadducees as a “race of vipers” (Matthew 2, 7) and when he admonished Herod Antipas for his adultery, was not hard of heart, but was moved by love for God and souls. The hypocrites and the hard of heart were Herod’s advisors who claimed to reconcile his condition as an impenitent sinner with the teaching of the Scripture. Herod killed The Baptist to suffocate the voice of truth, yet the voice of the Precursor still resounds after twenty centuries.
Those who defend good doctrine, do not follow the example of the Pharisees and Sadducees, but the example of St. John the Baptist and Our Lord. 

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November 13, 1775: Montgomery takes Montreal


Of all the former British officers who fought on the patriot side in the American Revolution, the most militarily talented was Richard Montgomery.  Born near Swords in County Dublin in 1738, he was a member of an Ulster Scots family notable for supplying officers to the British Army.  After studying at Trinity College he joined the 17th Foot in 1756, his father purchasing an ensign’s commission for him.  During the siege of Louisburg in 1758 his courage and initiative earned him promotion to Lieutenant.  In 1759 he participated in the siege of Fort Carillon and in 1760 was made adjutant of the regiment, a singular honor for an officer so young.  During subsequent fighting in the West Indies he was promoted to Captain.  After participating in the suppression of Pontiac’s Rebellion, Montgomery returned to Britain to recover his health, exhausted and ill from years of campaigning.

In Britain he became friends with Whig members of the British Parliament, including Edmund Burke and began to question British policies in America.  He sold his commission in 1772 for 1500 pounds, intent on retiring to America and becoming a gentleman farmer.

In America he married Janet Livingston, sister of future Founding Father Robert Livingston in 1773.  It was a love match marred by a dream in which Janet saw Montgomery being killed in a duel with his brother.  Montgomery responded stoically,  I have always told you that my happiness is not lasting…Let us enjoy it as long as we may and leave the rest to God.

Associated with a strong New York patriot family, additionally politically powerful, Montgomery gradually became a firm patriot, convince that the British government was acting tyrannically against the Americans.  On June 22, 1775 he was appointed a Brigadier General in the newly formed Continental Army and made deputy to Major General Philip Schuyler who commander the Continental forces in the north, charged with the invasion of, or, as the Americans saw it, the liberation of Canada.  Schuyler’s health failing him, Montgomery took command of the invasion force. Continue reading



Keely Mullen, featured in the above video, is a junior majoring in political science and sociology at Northeastern University.  Tuition and fees at Northeastern are 42K a year.  Judging from the above video her parents should demand back every penny they have paid to Northeastern in an obviously futile effort to educate their offspring.

PopeWatch: Bear Growls: Martin Luther



Our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear asks an interesting question.  Who is the better insult slinger:  Pope Francis or the Mouth from Wittenberg:  Martin Luther?


Champion of Insults: Pope Francis or Martin Luther?

Background and Fighters

When it comes to Christians slinging insults, two heavyweights come to mind. First, of course, is the reigning heavyweight champion of the sour science of insult. The Bear gives you the pride of Saxony, the Heresiarch of Haymakers, the Raging Bull himself: Maaaaartin Luuuuuther!

And in this corner, a real up-and-comer, and a big surprise, the Pontiff of Punching, the Argentine Bombshell, and you know what’s coming! The Bear can only mean: Horhaaaaay Bergoliooooo! The 266th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church!

Luther started the Reformation in 1517, which split the Church under Bergoglio’s predecessor, Pope Leo X. Although the two camps have tried to keep the smack talk dialed down lately, you just have to know this is a 500-year-old grudge match.

Will Luther keep the title he’s held onto for half a millennium? Or will the antipodean upstart pull an upset? There are no rules, and low blows are encouraged. So let’s watch the Pope and the Heresiarch go head to head to find out who is the more insulting. The two fighters will square off over ten rounds, each with a different theme.

1. Johnny, Take That Out of Your Mouth!

Pope Francis: “Formenter of coprophagia!”

Martin Luther: “You are like a magician who conjures gulden into the mouths of silly people. But when they open their mouths, they have horse (dung) in them!”

Bear — the two statements are similar, but Luther’s earthy clarity beats the Pope’s spectacular display of vocabulary. Round One: LUTHER.

2. Say Again?
Pope Francis: “Self-absorbed promethean neo-pelagian!”
Martin Luther:  “You sophistic worms, grasshoppers, locusts and lice!”
Bear — here the Pope’s vocabulary dazzles, even if nobody understands it! Luther already looks tired in this round. Round Two: POPE FRANCIS.
3. Animal Crackers
Pope Francis: “Creed-reciting Parrot Christian!”
Martin Luther: “For you are an excellent person, as skillful, clever and versed in Holy Scripture as a cow in a walnut tree or a sow on a harp!”
Bear — Wow! What a comeback. Pope Francis is clever, funny, and right on target, but Luther’s humorous and memorable imagery demonstrates why he’s the champ. Round Three: LUTHER.
4. A Few Beads Short of a Rosary
Pope Francis: “Sloth-diseased, acedic Christians!”
Martin Luther: “You people are more stupid than a block of wood!”
Bear — Pope Francis may be getting a little cocky. He sounds like a doctor, here, and falls back into his tendency to use jargon that lacks impact. On the other hand, Luther connects with the simplest insult imaginable, but good enough to put the Pope on his heels. Round Four: LUTHER.
5. Prelates
Pope Francis: “Airport bishops!”
Martin Luther: “As for the signs of your peculiar priesthood, we are willing to let you boast of these mean things, for we know it would be quite easy to have, anoint and clothe in a long robe even a pig or a blog of wood!”
Bear — Here we see the difference. Pope Francis lands a popping jab that’s effective. But Luther just overwhelms him with an impressive combination relying once again on concrete, humorous imagery. He even slips that “block of wood” punch in again. Round Five: LUTHER.
6. Wings
Pope Francis: “There are Christian bats who prefer the shadows to the light of the presence of the Lord!”
Martin Luther: “You are a bungling magpie, croaking loudly!”
Bear — This one comes down to bat vs. magpie. The judges are going with bat! Round Six: POPE FRANCIS.

Continue reading

November 1, 1945: The House He Lived In



One of the interesting aspects of studying history is to view public figures, blessed with long lives, and see the roles they played  at different periods in their life.  Frank Sinatra, who towards the end of his life was noted primarily for his body of work as a singer, associations with the Mafia, and stories about his frequently extreme personal behavior, was quite the political activist as a liberal in his younger days.  (He would switch to the Republican party after being snubbed by JFK during the Kennedy administration.)  One example of this was when he gave a concert in Gary, Indiana, to help solve a problem with racial strife in that city.  Blacks from the South had been attracted to Gary by wartime jobs, as was the case with many Northern cities, and this influx led to racial turmoil.  The city had one integrated high school, Froebel High School.  White students protested integration by organizing two walkouts that attracted national attention.

Sinatra had recently cut a record, The House I Live In, pleading for tolerance.  Probably both in an honest effort to help, and to gain much needed positive publicity after being attacked for draft dodging during the War, Sinatra gave the concert on November 1,1945.

The draft dodging rumors were unfair.  Sinatra had been designated a 4-F by his draft board due to a perforated ear drum, caused during his delivery at birth, chronic mastoiditis and mental instability.  ”During the psychiatric interview, the patient stated that he was ‘neurotic, afraid to be in crowds, afraid to go in the elevator, makes him feel that he would want to run when surrounded by people. He had comatic ideas and headaches and has been very nervous for four or five years. Wakens tired in the A.M., is run down and undernourished. The examining psychiatrist concluded that this selectee suffered from psychoneurosis and was not acceptable material from the psychiatric viewpoint.” 

Sinatra was met in Gary by a large and enthusiastic integrated audience, with both black and white teenage girls in rapturous hysterics as he sang.


Sinatra got some good national publicity and doubtless his heart was in the right place.  The concert of course did nothing to resolve the racial disputes since only in Hollywood are such deep rooted problems dealt with so easily as by a concert. Continue reading

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