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.

To All His Creatures

March for Life

 

 

These communities, by their representatives in old  Independence Hall, said to the whole world of men: “We  hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are  created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with  certain unalienable rights; that among these are life,  liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” This was their majestic  interpretation of the economy of the Universe. This was their  lofty, and wise, and noble understanding of the justice of  the Creator to His creatures. [Applause.] Yes, gentlemen, to  all His creatures, to the whole great family of man. In their  enlightened belief, nothing stamped with the Divine image and  likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on, and degraded,  and imbruted by its fellows. They grasped not only the whole  race of man then living, but they reached forward and seized  upon the farthest posterity. They erected a beacon to guide  their children and their children’s children, and the countless  myriads who should inhabit the earth in other ages. Wise  statesmen as they were, they knew the tendency of prosperity  to breed tyrants, and so they established these great  self-evident truths, that when in the distant future some man,  some faction, some interest, should set up the doctrine that  none but rich men, or none but white men, were entitled to life,  liberty and the pursuit of happiness, their posterity might look  up again to the Declaration of Independence and take courage to  renew the battle which their fathers began — so that truth,  and justice, and mercy, and all the humane and Christian virtues  might not be extinguished from the land; so that no man would  hereafter dare to limit and circumscribe the great principles  on which the temple of liberty was being built.

Abraham Lincoln, August 17, 1858

Morality and Abortion

 

 

I call heaven and earth to witness this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Choose therefore life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

Deuteronomy 30:19

PopeWatch: Bear Growls: Catholic Movies

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You know, if PopeWatch could give the Pope anything it would be a list of Catholic movies to watch.  Our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear gives us some of his choices for great Catholic movies:

 

A Man for All Seasons — I hope one day to meet St. Thomas More, the patron saint of lawyers, and I expect him to look like Paul Scofield. Great 1966 drama of a family man who would not compromise his Catholic conscience.

Becket — “Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?” A king’s expression of frustration with another one of those stubborn Catholics, or an invitation to murder? St. Thomas Becket Archbishop of Canterbury, had his brains bashed out and scattered across the floor of his cathedral while he prayed Vespers. Released in 1964 with a great cast including Richard Burton, Peter O’Toole, and John Geilgud.

The Passion of the Christ — Mel Gibson’s mesmerizing and bitterly moving 2004 reliving of Jesus Christ’s Passion. Authentic details include everyone speaking the correct ancient languages, so Jesus speaks Aramaic, while Pontius Pilate and his wife speak Latin. (There are subtitles.) We watch it during Holy Week. Some of it, especially the Scourging at the Pillar, are frankly hard to take. I think there are two versions, one less graphic, but still bad enough. I know when I say the Second Sorrowful Mystery of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it is the scene from the movie I often remember. The whole movie is perfect in tone for every scene, and the restrained use of bizarre images suggest the omnipresence of Satan, in his taunting moment of apparent victory.

Brother Orchid — Totally changing tone now, this is just a sweet tale of a ruthless gangster who hides out with monks, and… You can probably guess what happens. By 1940 Edward G. Robinson was sick of playing gangsters, but agreed to this one in exchange for a promise of broader roles. Humphrey Bogart co-stars, but, as is typical at this point in their careers, he is overshadowed by Robinson.

Song of Bernadette — 1943 movie faithfully presenting the traditional account of Bernadette Soubirous, the young visionary of Lourdes. This a solid movie built on a wonderful performance by a winsome Jennifer Jones as Bernadette. She won an Oscar for Best Actress. The screenplay was based on a novel written by a Jew, Franz Werfel, who never quite converted to Christianity. I saw it on TV as a young boy and still remember how sorry I felt for Bernadette when she rooted around in the mud as everyone made fun of her. I remember imagining that if I were there, I’d set them all straight! It sounds silly now, but we should not underestimate those early feelings of children. Mine, I would now call a childish chivalry. But what better sentiment for a boy to learn and to have? I wonder what we’re teaching young boys and girls in today’s entertainment?

The Passion of Joan of Arc — 1929 silent masterpiece by Carl Theodore Dryer. I know what you’re thinking. Sure, masterpiece for those days, before sound. No. This stands totally on its own merits. The cinematography is amazing, with constantly shifting angles, long pans, quick cuts to the faces of the clerics, each a fully realized portrait, many lasting only a few seconds. There is nothing dated about any of it. But it is Renee Jeanne Falconetti’s luminous performance as Joan that makes the movie a masterpiece. It is possibly the greatest performance ever captured on film. Joan always seems on the boundary of two worlds, slipping almost imperceptibly from one to the other in response to events. This film is powerful to the point of disturbing. It is based on the actual transcripts of her “trial” — some of the most remarkable documents in existence — which I cannot read except as a defense lawyer. My blood boils. She, an illiterate girl, was alone before educated men, without counsel.  The English tricked her into signing a confession she could not read. She was tormented, condemned and burned at the stake. The film treats St. Joan with respect, and, being based on the trial transcripts, is quite faithful to the shameful events.

For Greater Glory — Critics hated this 2012 movie of the 1926-1929  Cristero War between Catholics and an atheistic Mexican government. The late Roger Ebert (a self-described Catholic atheist) had to admit the move was well-made, but reflected “Catholic tunnel vision.” Have never been movies about other religions’ struggles against wholesale slaughter in the 20th century that have won universal acclaim? I’m sure he did not criticize their tunnel vision! If the idea of guns isn’t frightening enough to mainstream movie critics, Catholics using them while crying “¡Vivo Cristo Rey!” must give them nightmares. Andy Garcia brings his usual understated yet compelling presence to the role of a former general who agrees to lead the Cristeros for a nice paycheck, plus the adventure. He is not religious himself, at least not at first. It got marketed as a “Catholic movie” but I thought it was just a great, old fashioned action drama. I had not known about this bit of history. ¡Vivo Cristo Rey!

The Mission — A 1986 movie starring Jeremy Irons, Robert DeNiro and Liam Neeson. Jesuits and Indians in 18th century South America. (I wonder if Pope Francis has ever seen it?) It is a surprisingly sympathetic portrayal of the Jesuits, who find the Indians are not necessarily peaceful. The movie is full of moral complexity where the right course is not as clear as in most movies. The great Ennio Morricone (still alive and working, by the way) wrote the score. He is known for scores for Clint Eastwood westerns, the Untouchables (which had a great one), and many, many others.

Of Gods and Men — Poignant, understated 2011 movie about a small group of monks who serve an Algerian village. When Moslem radicals move in they must decide whether to remain or leave. Based on a true story. There is one scene where they share a bottle of wine at dinner that is unforgettable.

Into Great Silence — 2005 beautiful documentary about the daily life of Carthusian monks high in the French Alps. The viewer is simply made a curious guest who watches the monks at their daily routine, goes along with some of them for their different work, and has conversations with others, young and old. The monastery has a barber shop, for instance, and the monks get their hair cut. No drama there. It is just an intimate look at everything. A monk is treated for a lung condition. Another repairs a cold frame for the garden. There are scenic shots of the mountains, a gathering storm. It is slow paced, but that’s deliberate, indeed part of the viewing experience.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose — I would not call this 2005 movie great, but it is good. A possessed girl dies after exorcism. The priest is put on trial, making this essentially a courtroom drama. As a lawyer, I find the idea of the criminal justice system being confronted by a supernatural event it is unable to deal with compelling. Interesting, effective and scary without going over the top, and it treats the subject respectfully and realistically. (The Rite is another exorcism movie released in 2011, starring Anthony Hopkins. It wasn’t bad, and was generally well received as accurate in Catholic circles, but I just didn’t enjoy it that much.)

The 13th Day — This 2009 movie was, I believe, a straight to DVD release, but should not color expectations. It is a lovingly made Catholic art film that reverently and accurately portrays the miraculous events at Fatima, Portugal between May and October, 1917. Besides excellent, if obviously careful, cinematography, there are scenes where colors suffuse the screen in a way suggesting the supernatural atmosphere. There is nothing cute or well-scrubbed about the young seers, and the human side of the story is even gritty, emphasized by the black-and-white cinematography of most of the film. It makes the supernatural elements more moving. The famous “Miracle of the Sun,” which was witnessed by 70,000 people, is especially well done in an unexpected, but compelling and utterly persuasive way. The story itself should be familiar to all Catholics, and probably even non-Catholics have heard something about “The Third Secret.” Continue reading

Scalia on Roe

 

There is a poignant aspect to today’s opinion. Its length, and what might be called its epic tone, suggest that its authors believe they are bringing to an end a troublesome era in the history of our Nation and of our Court. “It is the dimension” of authority, they say, to “cal[l] the contending sides of national controversy to end their national division by accepting a common mandate rooted in the Constitution.” Ante, at 24.

There comes vividly to mind a portrait by Emanuel Leutze that hangs in the Harvard Law School: Roger Brooke Taney, painted in 1859, the 82d year of his life, the 24th of his Chief Justiceship, the second after his opinion in Dred Scott. He is all in black, sitting in a shadowed red armchair, left hand resting upon a pad of paper in his lap, right hand hanging limply, almost lifelessly, beside the inner arm of the chair. He sits facing the viewer, and staring straight out. There seems to be on his face, and in his deep-set eyes, an expression of profound sadness and disillusionment. Perhaps he always looked that way, even when dwelling upon the happiest of thoughts. But those of us who know how the lustre of his great Chief Justiceship came to be eclipsed by Dred Scott cannot help believing that he had that case–its already apparent consequences for the Court, and its soon-to-be-played-out consequences for the Nation–burning on his mind. I expect that two years earlier he, too, had thought himself “call[ing] the contending sides of national controversy to end their national division by accepting a common mandate rooted in the Constitution.”

It is no more realistic for us in this case, than it was for him in that, to think that an issue of the sort they both involved–an issue involving life and death, freedom and subjugation–can be “speedily and finally settled” by the Supreme Court, as President James Buchanan in his inaugural address said the issue of slavery in the territories would be. See Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the United States, S. Doc. No. 101-10, p. 126 (1989). Quite to the contrary, by foreclosing all democratic outlet for the deep passions this issue arouses, by banishing the issue from the political forum that gives all participants, even the losers, the satisfaction of a fair hearing and an honest fight, by continuing the imposition of a rigid national rule instead of allowing for regional differences, the Court merely prolongs and intensifies the anguish.

We should get out of this area, where we have no right to be, and where we do neither ourselves nor the country any good by remaining.

Justice Antonin Scalia, dissent, Planned Parenthood v. Casey (conclusion)

 

 

Mark Shea, Do I Have a Candidate For You!

 

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At the risk of restarting the Catholic torture wars, (No Don, for the love of God, no!)  I would note that there is one Republican candidate running for President who is against torture:

 

One year after a bracing Senate report on post-9/11 CIA interrogation practices led Congress to ban waterboarding and other forms of torture, the leading Republican presidential candidates are talking like it’s 2002 all over again.

With one exception: Going against the GOP’s rhetorical grain is Trump’s main rival for the party’s nomination, Ted Cruz. “Torture is wrong, unambiguously. Period. The end,” the Texas senator said in December 2014. Cruz, whose own father was tortured in Cuba, reaffirmed that position last month, saying that “America does not need torture to protect ourselves.”

 

I assume that Mark Shea, and the denizens of the Catholic Left, will now be falling over themselves to endorse the pro-life Ted Cruz who is also anti-torture.  “Crickets chirp.”

Bob Dole’s Still Alive?

 

That was my first reaction when I read Dole’s comment blasting Cruz:

“I question his allegiance to the party,” Mr. Dole said of Mr. Cruz. “I don’t know how often you’ve heard him say the word ‘Republican’ — not very often.” Instead, Mr. Cruz uses the word “conservative,” Mr. Dole said, before offering up a different word for Mr. Cruz: “extremist.”…

But Mr. Dole said he thought Mr. Trump could “probably work with Congress, because he’s, you know, he’s got the right personality and he’s kind of a deal-maker.”…

“If he’s the nominee, we’re going to have wholesale losses in Congress and state offices and governors and legislatures,” said Mr. Dole, who served in the House and Senate for 35 years and won the Iowa caucuses twice. He described Mr. Cruz as having falsely “convinced the Iowa voters that he’s kind of a mainstream conservative.”

The only person who could stop Mr. Cruz from capturing the nomination? “I think it’s Trump,” Mr. Dole said, adding that Mr. Trump was “gaining a little.”…

Mr. Dole repeatedly said he was strongly supporting Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, although he acknowledged that Mr. Bush has had trouble gaining traction. Continue reading

Res Ipsa Loquitur

 

Dutch men in miniskirts protesting the Cologne New Year’s Eve attacks on women by Islamic “refugees”.  With such defenders every European woman should invest in a firearm and learn how to use it.  Of course in many European countries the law abiding populations are disarmed by the same governments importing the “refugees” from Islamic lands.  In the West we are led by idiots due to the fact that mass idiocy is the most effective mass political movement in the West.

PopeWatch: Blogs

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PopeWatch confesses that when he first heard of this, he recalled the scene from the film Twelve O’clock High where General Savage, played by Gregory Peck, is briefing his 918th Bomb Group.  He announces to them that Intelligence  has reported that the Germans have been taking fighter units from the East Front and stationing them in Germany.  Savage pauses, smiles, and says to the laughter and cheers of his men, “I guess they’ve heard about the 918th!”

 

From The Eponymous Flower:

 

“This is interesting,  as the Argentine Master of Ceremonies of the Pope, Msgr. Guillermo Xavier Karcher, said  for the first time in interview in April 2014  that the Pope reads a single newspaper, La Repubblica, and that it prepares a map for him of the daily press. But he neither reads the Internet nor could he use a computer.  Curial Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, said on June 23, 2015 at the Europe Forum in Bilbao, the Pope had confided to him on 18 June in Santa Marta: “I know that there are many blogs against me.”  It was a statement that he could only make from information provided by others.” Continue reading

Kneeling Foreign Policy

The Obama administration, so desperate to preserve the Administration’s surrender deal on Iranian nukes, ignored Iranian mistreatment of American sailors who got lost and wandered into Iranian territorial waters last week.  Jerry Hendrix, a retired USN Captain, explains what this means at National Review Online:
Two thousand years ago, a Roman could wander the known world confident that he would be unmolested by local unruly elements, protected only by the statement “Civis romanus sum,” I am a Roman citizen. His confidence stemmed from a demonstrated assurance that any group that dared attack a Roman would trigger a response in the form of a Roman legion, which would deal swift and brutal justice. Juxtapose this image of a previous world-spanning hegemon with the image of ten American Sailors kneeling on the deck of their own vessel with their hands clasped together over their heads. It is an image of indignity and failure that is accompanied by the smell of rotting power.

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President Obama entered office riding a wave that rejected American exceptionalism and aggressive military operations. After eight years in Afghanistan and Iraq, many on the left felt that it was the United States itself, with its aggressive, us-versus-them foreign policies, that presented the strongest threat to world peace, and the Obama foreign policy, from its earliest bows to foreign leaders to its “reset” with Russia and opening of Iran and Cuba, has been all about presenting a more modest America. The seriously flawed negotiations with Iran to cease the development of nuclear weapons is just the latest and perhaps most egregious example of the effort to “normalize” the United States’ role in the world.
This is where we find ourselves today, kneeling on the world’s stage, with our hands clasped over our heads, all the while trying to convince ourselves that this new position demonstrates our strength and earns respect. Civis americanus sum, I am an American citizen. Let the molesting begin.

Continue reading

PopeWatch: Issues

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Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa looks at how the Pope deals with public policy issues:

 

Jorge Mario Bergoglio likes his crowds festive and prayerful, never politically aggressive.

In Buenos Aires, in 2010, he sent back home the Catholics who had gathered in front of parliament for a prayer vigil against the imminent approval of homosexual marriage. He persuaded them to “avoid the impasse.”

Of course, in that law Bergoglio saw in action nothing less than “the father of lies who has the presumption to confound and deceive the children of God,” but in public he did not say a word. He only released a letter that he had written to cloistered Carmelite nuns, in which he blamed the devil and asked for prayers.

Today as well, now that a law on homosexual unions is on the way in Italy, Pope Francis is not swerving from this stance.

He has thundered against “the new ideological colonialisms that seek to destroy the family” and against “that error of the human mind which is gender theory.” But he did so while he was on his way to Manila and to Naples, both times out of context, never in the heat of political combat.

Last June, at the announcement of a “Family Day” in Rome against the legalization of homosexual unions, secretary of the Italian episcopal conference Nunzio Galantino, the pope’s go-between with the bishops, did everything he could to make it a stillbirth. And when the demonstration went ahead anyway and saw massive public attendance, Pope Francis was careful not to give it his public blessing.

The faithful may indeed act in the field of politics, the pope said the following November to a gathering of Italian Church leaders in Florence, but they can forget about having “bishop-pilots.”

The “Family Day” of 2007, the one that stopped the approval of de facto unions, was in effect organized by the CEI. But even among those who participated in it there are some who take Bergoglio’s new stance, and no longer refer to it as a success but as a “failure” not to be repeated: the words of Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti and of the new president of the Catholic Family Forum, Gianluigi De Palo.

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Easygoing and viewed favorably by secular opinion when it comes to the new laws on homosexual unions, Pope Francis instead takes a more dissonant stance on other crucial geopolitical questions: from immigration to poverty to Islamic radicalism.

On immigration flows, for the pope it all boils down to a single word: “acceptance,” and to the consequent disapproval of all those who do not conform to it.

Francis carefully avoids calling the reproved by name, including states and public institutions. In Lampedusa, on the small island where he made his first journey as pope, he raised a vague cry: “Shame!” But if one looks at what the rulers are saying and doing in Europe and in the world, the distance between them and the pope appears to be measureless.

“Acceptance is needed, but rigor is also needed,” said Italian president Sergio Mattarella, a Catholic and a leftist, in his year-end message to the nation. “Common rules are needed to distinguish those fleeing from wars or persecutions, who therefore have a right to asylum, and other migrants who must instead be repatriated.” They are words that Francis would not endorse.

As for poverty, the solution that the pope systematically invokes is that of giving land, homes, jobs to all men. But the political scientist Angelo Panebianco is right when he objects that “there is in Francis the idea that all the resources are already available and that their scarcity, rather than an objective barrier, is instead the effect of a conspiracy of the dominant classes at the expense of the planet’s poor.”

Last July 12, questioned point-blank by a German journalist on the flight back from Paraguay, Francis admitted the “mistake” of overlooking the middle class in his analyses, but he added that this “is becoming smaller and smaller,” crushed as it is by the increase in inequality between rich and poor. Evidently it escaped the pope that the numbers say the opposite, starting with the giants India and China.

And as for radical Islamism, it is astonishing that Francis should say this is the offspring of Western aggression and poverty, “structural” in the Marxist sense, instead of that of a native religious choice, of an interpretation of the Quran firmly rooted in it. Here as well the pope’s political narrative appears detached from reality. And as a result ineffective.
Continue reading

Finished Peace, Unfinished Peace Portrait

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The negotiations that led to the Treaty of Paris which ended the Revolutionary War, were long, contentious and complicated, involving not merely the peace treaty between Great Britain and the United States, but also separate treaties between Great Britain and France, Spain and the Netherlands.  Benjamin Franklin, who led the American team, and who deserves the title of greatest American diplomat, made it clear from the outset that the United States would not make any peace with Great Britain without its ally France also coming to terms with Great Britain.  He also demanded Canada.  By such wily ploys, Franklin outthought the British negotiators at every turn, and quickly got them to concede American Independence in hopes that the Americans could prevail upon France to be reasonable in its demands.  Continue reading

Royal Dano and Abraham Lincoln

Royal Dano as Lincoln

 

 

Last night I was watching an old Rifleman episode and it was an odd one.  One of Lucas McCain’s neighbors turns out to be Abraham Lincoln!  Well, not the real Abraham Lincoln, but rather a man who incurred psychic trauma during his Civil War service and now he believes he is Abraham Lincoln.  However, the man, portrayed by the late actor Royal Dano, looks and acts just like Abraham Lincoln.  This show was broadcast in 1961 when the Civil War centennial was big news, and this was a clever way of getting Lincoln on the Rifleman show, a series set in the 1880’s, without having to invoke time travel!  The episode was moving and as I listened I thought the actor portraying Lincoln sounded familiar.  Then it struck me: the Disney Animatronics Lincoln!

Dano provided the voice of Lincoln.in the Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln show which Disney premiered at the World’s Fair in 1964. Disney chose Dano because he believed his voice was most like what Disney imagined Lincoln sounded like.  In this Disney was probably incorrect.  Most contemporaries described Lincoln as having a high pitched voice.  However, Disney was a showman and not an historian, and I think Disney hit upon a voice that did fit the popular imagination of what Lincoln sounded like, said imagination having been formed by deep voiced portrayals of Lincoln on film by actors such as Walter Huston, Henry Fonda and Raymond Massey.  The Animatronics Lincoln now has a new voice actor as Lincoln, but to generations that came of age in the final decades of the last century and visited Disney World, Dano’s voice will be that of Lincoln’s. Continue reading

PopeWatch: Saul and Obedience to God

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The Pope gave an interesting homily in which he bashed those who do not support what he is doing to the Church.  Here is the report on the homily by Vatican Radio interspersed with PopeWatch comments:

 

 

In the first reading, Saul was rejected by God as King of Israel because he disobeyed, preferring to listen to the people rather than the will of God. The people, after a victory in battle, wanted to offer a sacrifice of the best animals to God, because, he said, “it’s always been done that way.” But God, this time, did not want that. The prophet Samuel rebuked Saul: “Does the Lord so delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obedience to the command of the Lord?” Jesus teaches us the same thing in the Gospel, the Pope explained. When the doctors of the law criticized Him because His disciples did not fast “as had always been done,” Jesus responded with these examples from daily life: “No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.”

 

 

What an odd interpretation.  Samuel conveyed to King Saul the command of God that the Amalekites be annihilated long with all their animals.  When Samuel learned that Saul had disobeyed by sparing the King of the Amalekites, Agag, and the best of the animals, he rebuked Saul and slew Agag with his own hand.  The lesson is strict adherence to the commands of God, something that the Pope is shaky in regard to.

 

 

 

 
“What does this mean? That He changes the law? No! That the law is at the service of man, who is at the service of God – and so man ought to have an open heart. ‘It’s always been done this way’ is a closed heart, and Jesus tells us, ‘I will send you the Holy Spirit and He will lead you into the fullness of truth.’ If you have a heart closed to the newness of the Spirit, you will never reach the full truth. And your Christian life will be a half-and-half life, a patched life, mended with new things, but on a structure that is not open to the voice of the Lord—a closed heart, so that you are not able to change others.”

 

 

Once again a bizarre interpretation.  God gave a command and Saul failed to carry it out.  The passage has nothing to do with what the Pope is arguing.

 

 

 

 
This, the Pope emphasized, was the sin of Saul, for which he was rejected by God. “It is the sin of so many Christians who cling to what has always been done and who do not allow others to change. And they end up with half a life, [a life that is] patched, mended, meaningless.” The sin, he said, “is a closed heart,” that “does not hear the voice of the Lord, that is not open to the newness of the Lord, to the Spirit that always surprises us.” This rebellion, says Samuel, is “the sin of divination,” and obstinacy is the sin of idolatry:

 

 

Saul was rejected by God because he did not heed the commands of God as conveyed by Samuel. God commanding the annihilation of an enemy population was not a new teaching as a cursory reading of earlier passages in the Old Testament would clearly indicate.

 

 

 
“Christians who obstinately maintain ‘it’s always been done this way,’ this is the path, this is the street—they sin: the sin of divination. It’s as if they went about by guessing: ‘What has been said and what doesn’t change is what’s important; what I hear—from myself and my closed heart—more than the Word of the Lord.’ Obstinacy is also the sin of idolatry: the Christian who is obstinate sins! The sin of idolatry. ‘And what is the way, Father?’ Open the heart to the Holy Spirit, discern what is the will of God.”

 

 

 

The whole point of the passage is strict obedience to the will of God.  Unless the Pope is seeking to claim the mantle of prophet with some new revelation from God, it does not support the argument he is making.

 

 

 

 
Pope Francis noted that in Jesus’ time, good Israelites were in the habit of fasting. “But there is another reality,” he said. “There is the Holy Spirit who leads us into the full truth. And for this reason he needs an open heart, a heart that will not stubbornly remain in the sin of idolatry of oneself,” imagining that my own opinion is more important than the surprise of the Holy Spirit.

 

 

 

 

Christians fasted after Jesus ascended.  As Christ noted, it was not proper for the Church to fast while He, the Bridegroom of the Church, was present on Earth.

 

 

 
“This is the message the Church gives us today. This is what Jesus says so forcefully: ‘New wine in new wineskins.’ Habits must be renewed in the newness of the Spirit, in the surprises of God. May the Lord grant us the grace of an open heart, of a heart open to the voice of the Spirit, which knows how to discern what should not change, because it is fundamental, from what should change in order to be able to receive the newness of the Spirit.”

 

 

 

Pope Francis has a dismaying habit of attempting to turn his policy preferences into mandates of the Holy Spirit, while taking as unimportant teachings of the Church based upon what Christ said. Continue reading

PopeWatch: Free Markets

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George Cardinal Pell once again shows that he is not a “yes man”. In a speech before The Global Foundation he praised free markets. Go here to read about it. This is at a time when the so-called Pink Tide of governments in South America are in trouble, with a free market President being elected in Argentina, Venezuela electing an opposition controlled National Assembly and the Socialist President of Brazil facing impeachment proceedings as the Brazilian economy tanks.  Will any of this moderate the manifest hostility of the Pope to free markets?  Doubtful.  The Pope has reached an advanced age and what he has written about economics indicate that his beliefs in this area are completely impervious to facts contrary to what he wishes to believe.  The Pope is ever optimistic about the ability of government to better the lives of people and ever pessimistic about the ability of free markets to do so.  That this belief stands reality on its head the Pope seems to be either unaware of or indifferent to.  In some of his more troubling statements about economics, the Pope has given the impression that he would favor heavy handed government regulation of markets even if people would be materially poorer as a result.

 

 

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Clarence Thomas

 

Our small, soft hands blistered quickly at the start of each summer, but Daddy (the maternal grandfather of Clarence Thomas) never let us wear work gloves, which he considered a sign of weakness. After a few weeks of constant work, the bloody blisters gave way to hard-earned calluses that protected us from pain. Long after the fact, it occurred to me that this was a metaphor for life–blisters come before calluses, vulnerability before maturity.

He never praised us, just as he never hugged us. Whenever my grandmother urged him to tell us that we had done a good job, he replied, “That’s their responsibility. Any job worth doing is worth doing right.”

The family farm and our unheated oil truck became my most important classrooms, the schools in which Daddy passed on the wisdom he had acquired in the course of a long life as an ill-educated, modestly successful black man in the Deep South. Despite the hardships he had faced, there was no bitterness or self-pity in his heart. As for bad luck, he didn’t believe in it.

Justice Clarence Thomas, My Grandfather’s Son

Justice Thomas has called his barely literate grandfather, the late Myers Anderson, who raised him and his brother after his father ran off, the greatest man he has ever known. He taught him the value of hard work, self reliance and a striving to achieve against the odds, essential lessons that too many Americans, no matter how well educated, fail to ever learn.

 

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi: A Review

My family and I went to see 13 Hours:  The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi on Saturday.  I found the movie to be an exciting and moving recreation of the actions of the CIA contractors, all former  members of elite American military units,  who fought against the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya on 9/11/12, and a damning indictment of the lack of action by the administration which left these men in the lurch, their criminal inaction leading to the death of former Seals Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.  A strong language advisory  as military men under fire have been known to swear on occasion, and I would further note that my wife had to leave the theater because she found the movie too intense.  My review is below the fold and the usual warning as to spoilers is in full effect.

 

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