3 Responses to The Wearing of the Grey

Irony Alert

Friday, April 24, AD 2009

human-being

Hattip to The Catholic Key BlogComments of President Obama at the Holocaust Memorial in Washington.

“It is the grimmest of ironies that one of the most savage, barbaric acts of evil in history began in one of the most modernized societies of its time, where so many markers of human progress became tools of human depravity: science that can heal used to kill; education that can enlighten used to rationalize away basic moral impulses; the bureaucracy that sustains modern life used as the machinery of mass death — a ruthless, chillingly efficient system where many were responsible for the killing, but few got actual blood on their hands.”

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5 Responses to Irony Alert

  • Good post.

  • Two posts ago (the Colbert Report post) has 0bama lecturing us about losing our moral bearings. This is one sick dude.

  • I don’t know which possibility is scarier: that he may be completely oblivious of the obvious parallel, or that he is perfectly aware of it and doesn’t care.

    The major challenge for Catholics in the next four years will be to mount a credible opposition without allowing it to be characterized as “partisan politics.” Won’t be easy.

  • Great post Donald!

    gary,

    The major challenge for Catholics in the next four years will be to mount a credible opposition without allowing it to be characterized as “partisan politics.” Won’t be easy.

    not with his communications department in bed with pretty much the whole of the media, and liberal Catholics like Kmiec shilling for him.

April Is Abortion Recovery Awareness Month

Friday, April 24, AD 2009

jindal-family-being-blessed

Hattip to Opinionated CatholicAbortion Recovery International, a group dedicated to helping women heal from the trauma of abortion has proclaimed April as Abortion Recovery Awareness Month.  Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana, has issued a proclamation, as has Governor Rick Perry of Texas.  Bravo to the Governors!  Hey Jenkins, if Notre Dame really needs to honor a politician, you need look no farther than Catholic convert Bobby Jindal!

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Bishop D'Arcy Responds

Thursday, April 23, AD 2009
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18 Responses to Bishop D'Arcy Responds

  • I hope it’s OK to comment. I am a Catholic, but I disagree with the Bishop somewhat. Plus: Why is it only abortion that matters? Obama is also pro-death penalty. Obama is not that pro-choice (what he says and who he appoints are two different things). But he is rabidly pro-death penalty.

    I don’t care if Obama speaks at Notre Dame. Lots of presidents speak at universities and to me it is something that students will always remember, whether they agree with that president’s political stands or not. I disagree with Obama on almost everything. I would rather see protests WHEN he speaks than protests about him speaking. IMHO.

  • Plus: Why is it only abortion that matters?

    That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it has been pointed out that the evil of abortion does outweigh some other issues. As then Cardinal Ratzinger put it:

    Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.

    Obama is not that pro-choice

    Yeah, he kind of is. He is so rabidly pro-abortion that he opposed the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, which would have guaranteed some basic rights to babies that survived a botched abortion. Even Planned Parenthood didn’t hold such an extreme view.

    I don’t care if Obama speaks at Notre Dame.

    That’s nice. But that doesn’t really speak to the issue of whether or not honoring a public individual who supports a grave and manifest evil that is unequivocally opposed by the Church ought to be honored at a Catholic university.

    would rather see protests WHEN he speaks than protests about him speaking. IMHO.

    Why not both?

  • Carrisa,

    Whether you are Catholic or not, you are more than welcomed to comment here just as long as it relates to the topic, charitable, and constructive.

    Welcome to American Catholic!

  • Understatement of the year:

    Obama is not that pro-choice

    Yeah, he kind of is”

    I laughed when I read that 🙂

  • “Obama is not that pro-choice.”

    I think the argument used by some is that he is pro-choice but not pro-abortion.

    We’ll leave it at that.

  • Bishop D’Arcy talks about how proper consultation could have avoided all this. This is the real shame here. This all could have been avoided. Father Jenkins acted unilaterally. Where have I heard that unilateral action is the worst kind of sin? Hmm…

  • Father Jenkins acted unilaterally.

    Just because he didn’t consult with the bishop does not mean he acted unilaterally.

  • I’m pro-choice with regard to holding slaves.

    I think that every person should be free to hold slaves without government interference, the government should provide funding for people to purchase slaves if they can’t afford them, the government should provide facilities to keep slaves, also it’s good for the government to fund organizations which further the cause of slavery worldwide, I speak often at slavery conventions, and receive many political contributions from slavery groups.

    But…. I am not pro-slavery, I would not hold slaves, although if my children needed some help around the house I wouldn’t want them punished with having to do the work themselves, so I would take them to the slave auction and give them money to buy slaves).

    Slaves should be safe, legal, and rare.

  • Michael,
    Ought not a priest consult with the local bishop on a decision that was surely to be controversial? On a matter that cuts to the core of Catholic teaching and its alignment with the Natural Law? If not unilateral, then surely imprudent. The good father chose perishable wordly praise over timeless universal truth. How very sad.

  • Matt,
    Bravo. Can I borrow this comparison of yours? I may be able to make some headway with this.

  • daledog,

    I’m sure it’s been done before, but it fits Obama so precisely! Feel free to use it.

    I’m still trying to figure out how to make an analogy of the opposition to “Born Alive Protection Act” any suggestions?

  • “I’m still trying to figure out how to make an analogy of the opposition to “Born Alive Protection Act” any suggestions?”

    Not a direct analogy, but here goes:

    Fugitive Slave Act. If a slave actually manages to make it to freedom in the North, it is against the law for people in Northern states to aid said slave in his/her escape or otherwise provide assistance.

  • With respect to my comment that Obama is not that pro-choice, I realize in Catholicize there is no wiggle-room. But Obama isn’t Catholic, even though he gave more money to Catholic Social Services last year (as revealed on his income tax forms) than to any other group. Many Catholics belonged to a pro-Obama group (Catholics for Obama) because they believed that he was more anti-choice than pro-choice. I did not support Obama, but I think that group had good evidence. His first choice for Health and Human Services was Tom Daschle, a guy who had only a 50% rating from NARAL. And many of Obama’s associates are ministers like James Meeks of the Illinois Family Institute.

    Abortion just took over the Church as an issue. In the 1980s it became impossible to attend a mass or sometimes even a funeral without hearing about abortion. Now it seems to be homosexuality.

    When are we going to get back to the central message of love? When are the words of Jesus going to come to us from the pulpit? I have listed to pro-life men speak about abortion without ever using the word woman or mother: they say “womb,” like we are incubators. I don’t hear Jesus in that. I am not saying the Church should drop its doctrine or not take stands on issues of life. If I wanted no doctrine, no transubstantiation, no veneration of the Blessed Virgin, I would be a Unitarian or something. But I find more vitriol than love most of the time when Catholics talk about current politics.

    Thank you for letting me comment. God bless.

  • Above, second line should say Catholicism. Sorry.

  • Carrisa, here is a good site to learn about Obama and his record on abortion:

    http://www.lifenews.com/obamaabortionrecord.html

    The Church has condemned abortion since the time of the Apostles and Obama is a champion of abortion. The facts shout for themselves. A website you might find interesting is here:

    http://www.feministsforlife.org/

  • Carissa, even though I am 100 percent pro-life, I have sometimes wondered myself why the Church seems to “harp” on abortion so much.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s because no other major institutions (other than evangelical Protestant churches) are doing so, and the Church HAS to go out of its way to remind people how evil abortion is because they aren’t getting that reminder anywhere else, with a few exceptions (e.g. Feminists for Life, noted pro-life atheists such as Nat Hentoff, some Orthodox Jews and Muslims).

    The Church doesn’t have to put quite as much effort into condemning war, poverty, capital punishment, or murder of people already born because there are plenty of other individuals and groups out there doing so already, and the force of civil law already condemns things like murder. With abortion (and now, gay marriage), however, Catholics and evangelical Protestants stand nearly alone in opposing it; so I guess they just have to repeat their message louder and more frequently.

  • The reason the Church harps on this so much is that Catholics DO NOT GET IT. Most voted for Obama, and every pro-abortion presidential candidate before him. Maybe they’ll take it easy when liberal Catholics get it.

  • Catholics say in the Creed: “I believe in the Holy Spirit the Lord and Giver of Life…” Anyone who thinks that abortion or euthanasia ought to be legal is an enemy of God and will receive the recompense which befits an enemy. This is so clear a child can understand. The enemies of God cannot see this which is the first sign that they are already being punished.

Debt Sun

Wednesday, April 22, AD 2009

 debt-sun

Hattip to Instapundit.  The Heritage Foundation supplied the above graphic which compares Obama budget “cuts” of $100,000,000.00 to the appropriations bill for fiscal 2009 of $410,000,000,000.00, the Bankrupt the Nation Act of 2009, sometimes erronously called the “stimulus” bill, which has a price tag of $787,000,000,000.00 and the estimated bill for fiscal year 2010 of $3,600,000,000,000.00.  How ludicrous is all this?  Ludicrous enough that the Obama supportive Associated Press makes fun of it.  Ludicrous enough that even Paul Krugman is chuckling.

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11 Responses to Debt Sun

  • Is this the equivalent of global warming?

  • Considering that Al Gore helped to create both Phillip, I’d say you are on to something!

  • Perhaps he could cut $100 million by merely not printing that amount!

  • The problem is that a lot of people will fall for this 0bama stunt. This man preys on the stupid better than anyone.

    It’s been a long time since I heard the word matterhorn.

  • Fron the “White Giant” to the “Red Dwarf”

    The end of life as we know it.

    OR

    The Big Bang, and the ever expanding universe. 🙂

  • You’re just upset that you’re looking at winter coming. 😉

  • “Either we turn away from this madness or our ecnomy will eventually hit a wall of governmental debt and the whole house of credit cards will come crashing down.

    I think we’re already getting there. This wretchedly regrettable crisis we’re currently in is merely but one of its manifestations:

    “The root cause of today’s crisis lies not in the housing market but in America’s foreign debt. Over the past four years the U.S. private sector has borrowed an astonishing $3 trillion from the rest of the world. The money, directly and indirectly, came from countries such as China, Germany, Japan, and Saudi Arabia, which ran huge trade surpluses with America. Foreign investors trusted their funds to U.S. financial institutions, which used much of the money for mortgage loans.

    But American families took on a lot more debt than they could comfortably afford. Now no one is sure how much of that towering sum the U.S. is going to pay back — and all the uncertainty is roiling the financial markets.

    SINCE MID-2004, AMERICAN HOUSEHOLDS HAVE TAKEN ON A BIT MORE THAN $3 TRILLION IN MORTGAGE DEBT.”

    SOURCE: Chief Economist Michael Mandel

    — and —

    “Experts say that even when the current credit crunch eases, the nation may finally have maxed out its reliance on borrowed cash. Today’s crisis is a warning sign, they say, that consumers could be facing long-term adjustments in the way they finance their everyday lives.

    ‘I think we’re undergoing a fundamental shift from living on borrowed money to one where living within your means, saving and investing for the future, comes back into vogue,’ said Greg McBride, senior analyst at Bankrate.com. ‘THIS ENTIRE CREDIT CRUNCH IS A WAKEUP CALL TO ANYBODY WHO WAS ATTEMPTING TO BORROW THEIR WAY TO PROSPERITY.’

    AMERICANS ARE MORE RELIANT ON DEBT THEN EVER BEFORE.

    The portion of disposable income that U.S. families devote to debt hit an all-time high in the second half of last year, topping 14 percent, figures from the Federal Reserve show. When other fixed obligations — like car lease payments and homeowner’s insurance — are added in, about one of every five household dollars is now claimed by bills.

    The credit card industry lobbied heavily in 2005 to tighten bankruptcy laws to make it more difficult for consumers to seek court protection and shed responsibility for paying off debt. But in a sign of just how much households have become dependent on borrowing, the average amount of credit card debt discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings has tripled — to $61,000 per person — from what it was before the law was passed.

    ‘We are going to have to cut back,’ said Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a Washington, D.C. thinktank. ‘We’ve really been living beyond our means.'”

    SOURCE: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27149408

  • “From the “White Giant” to the “Red Dwarf”

    The end of life as we know it.

    OR

    The Big Bang, and the ever expanding universe.”

    I’d vote for the Big Whimper Don!

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8 Responses to Priest of Andersonville

13 Responses to Dawn Johnsen

  • I hestitate to use the expression becuase I think Harry Potter wasn’t all that great but these people really are deatheaters.

  • How about deathspawners?

  • How does this fit into Doug Kmiec’s opinion that Obama is pro-life?

  • Obama is pro-life in that he is pro-choice and non-pro-abortion. In this he seeks to affirm priciples stated in Catholic social teaching. The statements from CST definitively teach that increases in taxation, social programs and family health/sexual education necessarily increase the prosperity of all and thus necessarily reduce abortion.

    Being pro-choice Obama is also definitely in accord with recognzing the freedom of the person and subsidiarity in society. This is also consistent with CST which definitively teaches that laws against abortion do not reduce abortion and violate the dignity of the person in the right to freedom of conscience.

    Make sense?

  • Thanks, Phillip. All clear now. 😉

  • “Make sense?”

    Uh, nope.

  • bill,
    I think that is Phillip’s precise point.

  • And did you hear he will have an honorary doctor of laws degree from Notre Dame? So of course he’s pro-life. 😉

  • “Obama is pro-life in that he is pro-choice and non-pro-abortion. In this he seeks to affirm priciples stated in Catholic social teaching. … Being pro-choice Obama is also definitely in accord with recognzing the freedom of the person and subsidiarity in society.”

    I’d say Phillip’s been taking notes from Gerald Campbell. 😉

  • I wonder if Obama isn’t making all these appointments of hard-core pro-aborts to his administration as a way to placate his hard-core pro-abort supporters (like Planned Parenthood and NARAL) for his failure to push the Freedom of Choice Act and for breaking his promise to make signing FOCA the “first thing” he would do as President?

  • Partially I think you are right Elaine. However it has been noted that his appointees in second tier positions in his administration, as in the case of Ms. Johnsen, are much more to the left than his cabinet level nominees. That is not an uncommon strategy for most administrations: present a moderate face to the public, and have the “true believers” below set and implement policy.

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2 Responses to Deadly Greenbacks!

Worthless Political Hack Says Embryonic Stem Cell Research Is Answer To Our Prayers

Saturday, April 18, AD 2009

pelosi

Worthless Political Hack Nancy Pelosi, in defiance of the teaching of the Catholic Church of which she is purportedly a member, said on Friday embryonic stem cell research is the answer to our prayers.  She is quoted as saying , “We need science, science, science, science, science. ” I agree with the  Worthless Political Hack.  She might consider this little factoid:  number of cures and treatments from adult stemcell research:  72;  number of cures and treatments from embryonic stemcell research:  00.00.  If the Worthless Political Hack ever wishes to read the actual science on the subject a good place to start is here.

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11 Responses to Worthless Political Hack Says Embryonic Stem Cell Research Is Answer To Our Prayers

Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier

Saturday, April 18, AD 2009

Something for the weekend.  I have been thinking a lot about the American Revolution this week.  One of the most popular ballads during that war was Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier.  Sad like most Irish tunes, it captures well the bitter partings that war always causes.  Dedicated to Major Andrew McClary, New Hampshire militia, and all the patriots who went to be soldiers and who never came back from that war.

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Catholic Democrats Come to the Defense of Notre Dame

Friday, April 17, AD 2009

catholic-democrats

Catholic Democrats come to the defense of their leader in regard to Georgetown and Notre Dame and run into a buzzsaw named Father Z here.

Update:  Good analysis of why Catholic Democrats and other Obama-philes are so concerned about the fallout from Notre Dame is given here by the always readable Damian Thompson across the pond at his blog Holy Smoke.

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10 Responses to Catholic Democrats Come to the Defense of Notre Dame

  • Isn’t Fr. Z the man whose writing verges on pornography, whenever he muses lyrically on his intense love for certain U.S battleships?

  • Obviously Mr. DeFrancisis you know nothing about Father Z. Enjoy the fisk. I know I am!

  • Isn’t Fr. Z the man whose writing verges on pornography, whenever he muses lyrically on his intense love for certain U.S battleships?

    Only in the perverted imagination of a couple rather odd bloggers. He just likes naval architecture. Many people have worse hobbies.

  • Mark,

    And you wonder why I call you a dissident Catholic.

  • He just last year salivated in writing over the armored appendages of one US battleship, one that he pointed out delivered missiles in the (unjust)U.S military aggression on Iraq of the early 90s.

  • Mr. DeFrancisis, doesn’t it get tiring dragging red herrings across the screen? Deal with the substance of Father Z’s fisk and stop babbling about battleships.

  • Tito – Opposing war makes one a “dissident” Catholic? Someone better notify the Pope.

    If find it outrageously funny that you people did the same thing to Bush and yet you’re criticizing Obama’s folks when they rush to defend him. Are you surprised? I’m not.

  • Tito,

    Fr. Z is a phenon in an obscure corner of the Catholic blogosphere. His pronouncements have no authority over me, as he is neither a bishop nor a priset in my diocese. Additionally, despite all of his clains to Catholicity, his views on the liturgy and other matters are mostly the predilictions of an ideologue and an aesthete, not ones which mirror the necessary pronouncements of Mother Church. I wish him all the cyber-success he seeks out, but, otherwise, we have nothing to do with each other.

  • We should pray for Fr. Z. He will surely lose a lot of sleep over Mr DeFrancisis’ poor opinion of him…

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20 Responses to Spirit of '09 – Part II

  • Oh, let the “Palin people” have their day in the sun. It’s all rather quaint — the last gasps of a fading natovist culture… But let’s not pretend they have the slightest clue what they are talking about.

  • This purportedly grass roots stuff is corprate manufactured astro-turf. I know, for instance. that Fox News really pushed–almost advertised for– this event, showing itself once again as beyond the bounds of legitimate news. This also says something about the event itself.

  • Man, the established media and government must just HATE Youtube and the internet.

    Mark “the Great Oz” DeFrancisis just “knows” this is all corporate manaufactured. Just like the CNN reporter’s on-air comments were just completely objective reporting.

  • I see the Usual Suspects are out in force, not including c matt. Good to see you sweat gentlemen.

  • I’m new to this blog – first time commenter. I’m not into protests like this in general, but I don’t understand the venom, Morning’s Minion and Mark. You will ALWAYS find loony toons at these things (whether they are “conservative” or “liberal” causes). I know a LOT of very moderate, normally quiet people who are at their breaking point – some protesting for the first time in their lives. They have a point to make that would not have included repeating “he’s a fascist” over and over or waving a sign portraying President Obama as Hitler. For the main stream media in general and this hostile reporter in particular to completely ignore the regular people here who had something to say and focus exclusively (when they reported on it at all) on the uninformed and radical ones….well I would say that’s pretty suspicious. What is one to conclude but that they had an agenda to begin with? Do you really believe they couldn’t find a single normal person to interview to at least throw into the mix on TV w/ the crazies? I don’t, since we saw one in the video above. There were ignorant people in this crowd, no doubt, but this is very blatant media bias.

  • CT- it makes good teevee. That’s why they do it. The effects of Tea Bag Day continue to reverberate among the Chattering Classes. Given their universal condemnation of Fox News, would appear this news organization is This Week’s Lib Boogie Man. Postscript- Fox News ratings soared this week, particularly on April 15. Its 5-11PM lineup- Beck to Van Susteren- is virtually impregnable. How delightful- just following this monolith in numbers was…… Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. According to Drudge, career funny man Jon Stewart beat so-called journalists like Keith Olbermann. As for Ms. Rosegen’s employer- for the moment- sinkingsinkingsinking. Another report surfacing that Ms. Rosegen attempted twice to secure a gig from Fox News, to no avail. Note- then Teevee Division head Kevin Magee- who gave her the first brushoff- is old bud of mine from Enormous City U. Way to go, Kev.

  • I don’t understand the venom, Morning’s Minion and Mark.

    Because it’s all they know, CT. Once you begin on the road of becoming a political mouth piece, it’s hard to turn back.

    I know a couple who went to a Tea Party protest. Good folks who don’t even watch FOX News. They were just tired of pork, politicians who speak out of both sides of their mouth, and what they perceived as a federal government that’s become out of touch. They aren’t hateful people, and certainly aren’t hacks for the rich. But that’s what the media, and folks like Mark and Minion will portray them as. Honesty takes a back seat when it comes to the Party.

  • “Honesty takes a back seat when it comes to the Party.”

    Which is why you have to misrepresent them, right? But I see no answer for Jesus’ words about taxes. Seems like you answer to greed instead of Jesus. Mammon – can’t serve it and God.

  • God is not served by my tax dollars funding abortions.

  • Agreed Karen, and, I would contend that neither God nor the taxpayers are served by much of what our tax dollars are used for at all levels of government. God said render unto Caesar. Since we elect Caesar in this country, I don’t see why it is worshiping Mammon to make sure that he doesn’t waste the money, or that he takes more than is absolutely essential for the proper functions of government.

  • Karen

    Jesus said render that which is Caesar… to CAESAR. You know, the Roman Emperors. They were doing quite a bit of evil with the money, but as Jesus also pointed out, that money was ultimately theirs anyway. The same is true with American dollars, ultimately. What names is on it? The United States. This is why your answer in itself doesn’t respond to the question. We could go into more detail about St Paul and public authority, but you know, I doubt you want a Christian discussion on this.

  • CT,

    You are quite correct. When these dissenting Catholics froth at the mouth when their beloved lies are exposed, it is only venom which they articulate.

  • Tito,

    I am sorry you are having such a bad day.

  • God’s name is also on our currency ;)…

    I believe everything I earn/own is from God. It is given to me and is my responsibility. Since I do have a voice, unlike the people of Caesar, it is also my responsibility for my voice to be heard when our government is causing more harm than good. It would be nice if the media, which purports to be fair and balanced, really was. It has nothing to do with greed or worshipping mammon but with responsibility.

  • Mark,

    I’m actually having a good day. Though your powers of perception are underestimated.

  • Tito,

    Again, I am just trying to save you from your ridiculousness.

    This is a thread on national teabagging.

    It has nothing to do with Church dissent, as our Church has taken no stand on the matter.

    But if you want to run around making false claims about the condition of my assent to Mother Church, go right ahead. Realize, however, that at best you will be misguided, and at worst, an outright liar.

  • Mark,

    Your humility is astounding.

  • Karen,
    Your response betokens far more charity than your detractor deserves. I salute you.

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56 Responses to "I can assure you of my prayers for your conversion, and for the conversion of your formerly Catholic University."

  • I think this type of rudeness is disappointing and counter-productive, particularly coming from a Bishop.

  • I think John Henry that we need a lot more blunt talk against people like Jenkins who make a complete mockery of the Catholic Church.

  • The world would be a better place if more bishops had the candor of Bp. Bruskewitz.

  • As I noted on my own blog, Deus caritas est, but God is also Truth.

    I fail to see any “rudeness” in His Excellency’s letter.

  • I think this type of rudeness is disappointing and counter-productive, particularly coming from a Bishop.

    Pardon my rudeness, but stuff it. While you might think moderate tempered mealy-mouthed reactions are what’s going to suddenly make people see the light, the rest of us applaud the fact that some Bishops have suddenly found their voice and are willing to call out those who aid and abet the culture of death.

    I’m frankly more disgusted by people who wag their fingers at those who raise their voices above a whisper.

  • The problem with the letter is

    1) Notre Dame has not lost its Catholic status, so the letter itself is mirepresenting the status of the university. If it had lost its status, this would be a proper letter to make. When it has not, then it only hurts the point the Bishop makes. It is always important to be honest and not misrepresent the situation by exaggeration.

    2) It’s also dishonest in saying President Jenkins is indifferent to abortion or the beliefs President Obama has on abortion. It’s over-the top.

    3) Should we use this line of reasoning, as exemplified in the letter, it would turn on upon the Catholic Church and end up calling the Church not Catholic for its historical mistakes and indifference to many crimes against humanity which it turned a blind eye to when regimes did them (such as the Spanish Inquisition). It’s really absurd, and poor ecclesiology.

  • Sorry to draw your ire, Paul(s). As I’ve said before, I am glad that bishops are addressing the issue, particularly Bishop D’Arcy and Cardinal George. The question is how to address it, and perhaps by temperament or whatever I prefer a lighter touch than the episcopal version of ‘I can only pray for you, you miserable quisling.’ I don’t like that style in com-boxes, and I’m not a fan in public discourse.

    Furthermore, I think he overstates his case; I don’t think accusing Fr. Jenkins of ‘absolute indifference’ is entirely fair, although I do think Fr. Jenkins has shown he does not place a high enough priority on the protection of unborn life. And Notre Dame is not a ‘formerly Catholic University,’ as much as it is one that is struggling with what it means to be Catholic. I’m not sure such harsh dismissals aid it in that endeavor. At a general level, I’d say there are different models for engagement; the prophetic is a legitimate model, but it’s not the only model, and I’m not sure it’s the best one here.

  • I agree that any indifference charge is unfair. But what is really “over the top” is conferring an honorary law degree on the legislator who led the effort to stop Illinois’ protective born alive legislation.

  • The bishop’s letter is unfortunate, both in its unbecoming tone and its untruth. Any productive point he could have made is lost in gross exaggeration and seemingly foul temper.

    What puropose can it now possibly serve, other than a personal, narcissistic one? Is this what prophetic witness entails or constists of? I too think not.

  • To preface my comment, I think his book “A Shepherd Speaks” is one of the best books out there. In many ways I think he has been a model of a bishop, providing clear leadership in exhortation and practice. If I’m not mistaken, he has been responsible for setting homes for unwed mothers and has done good things with the education system. I think this letter though is a pretty clear example of why he hasn’t been moved beyond Lincoln despite his many gifts.

  • When conservatives speak, people always worry so much more about how a thing is said than about what is said.

    But let liberals riot, and we’re asked to “understand.”

    It gets old.

    I disagree that the letter is over the top. Notre Dame has set itself at odds with Church teaching, and Fr. Jenkins has refused the correction offered him by scores of bishops, and the superior of his own order.

    If I had 30+ bishops telling me publicly that I was wrong about something, I would surely be moving to correct my error, not releasing statements to justify it.

  • That is why you have recanted your support of the Iraq War, ended your crusade against illegal immigration, and myriad of other things I take it.

  • Fr. Jenkins is a grown man and the President (or whatever, not sure of exact title) of a major university. I seriously doubt he is stupid. Which leaves the impression that he is indifferent to O’s views or at least does not feel strongly enough against them to withhold the honoray degree and opportunity to speak.

    Overly nuanced approaches are what have gotten us to this point in the first placed.

  • Unbelievably rude, condescending, and untrue.

    Where did you find the text of the letter, out of curiosity? It’s, in fact, so rude my immediate reaction is to suspect that Bill Donahue (or Donald McClarey!) wrote it!

  • And we all know how scrupulously Michael avoids any trace of rudeness and condescension in his own comments.

  • Michael,

    You’re so shocked by what you consider rudeness that you immediately accuse two people, by name, of forgery?

    What tender sensibilities you do have…

  • That is why you have recanted your support of the Iraq War, ended your crusade against illegal immigration

    Yes, because all those things are contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church. Oh wait, no. That’s only what you told yourself to convince yourself that voting for Obama was a-ok. Whatever. Some people on this thread have clear consciences. Others, well, less so.

  • Unbelievably rude, condescending, and untrue.

    Wow, like every comment that michael has ever made. Bishop Bruskewitz must be a personal hero of yours.

  • Paul,

    The standard the other Paul gave was, “If I had 30+ bishops telling me publicly that I was wrong about something, I would surely be moving to correct my error, not releasing statements to justify it.”

  • And we all know how scrupulously Michael avoids any trace of rudeness and condescension in his own comments.

    I can be rude, and yes, condescending. But I don’t lie.

    Wow, like every comment that michael has ever made.

    Show me a comment in which I have lied.

    You’re so shocked by what you consider rudeness that you immediately accuse two people, by name, of forgery?

    T’was a joke!

  • No Catholics are ever neutral about Bishop Bruskewitz. One of the reasons he is a hero of mine is that he does not speak in ecclesi-speak, which tends to be rambling, vapid and full of weasel words. Bruskewitz always tells the truth as he sees it with the bark on. I concede that it is much easier to find this quality endearing when you agree with the substance of what is being said.

  • Bruskewitz always tells the truth as he sees it with the bark on.

    Sounds like Rush Limbaugh with a mitre.

  • Show me a comment in which I have lied.

    As I am sure you are clever enough to know, this is something of a tricky thing. To show that you have lied I would have to show that you said something untrue, knew it was untrue, and intended by saying it to decieve people.

    So for instance, while I recall you on various occasions of having said that I don’t care about the poor, don’t care about people after they are born, worship war rather than God, etc., it would be hard to make the case that you didn’t believe these to be true at least in whatever rhetorical sense in which you meant them.

    However, in this same sense, it is doubtless the case that Bruskewitz is saying that Notre Dame is “formerly Catholic” and that Jenkins does not give sufficient priority to abortion in a sense which is true in regards to what he believes to be the case. He is not, for instance, trying to decieve people into thinking that Notre Dame is not accredited as a Catholic university. (That would be lying.) He is stating, we must presume accurately, that Notre Dame’s actions represent an abandonment of its Catholicity and a lack of interest in the unborn.

    So basically, if you don’t lie in your comments, then Bruskewitz is not lying, and if he is lying, then you often do.

  • The bishop did not say Jenkins “does not give sufficient priority to abortion.” He said “absolute indifference.” He’s out to deceive.

  • Rush Limbaugh? No, actually he reminds me more of the gentleman who wrote this :

    “I wonder that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ, unto another gospel. 7 Which is not another, only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. 9 As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema. 10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”

  • “As I am sure you are clever enough to know, this is something of a tricky thing. To show that you have lied, I would have to show that you said something untrue, knew it was untrue, and intended by saying it to deceive people.”

    Quite right —

    This is something that even the great St. Thomas More himself had spoken quite eloquently in its regard during his unjust inquisition at Westminster, noting Aquinas own thoughts on the matter — in particular, the interoribus mortibus which no man is able to judge.

  • Also, when a Bishop says “X is not Catholic,” that has implications which are different from when you or I say it. Since a Bishop is the ultimate authority within their own jurisdiction, if they said that about an institution within their own jurisdiction, I would say it would have an effect, just like an excommunication or an anthema has had. Obviously there would be canonical issues, and could sometimes work to show a Bishop over-stepped their authority in doing so, but that would be decided under review, and their Bishop’s stand would have relative authority. However, when they try to say X is not Catholic to an institution not in their own jurisdiction, they are undermining the authority of another Bishop, and indeed, causing ecclesial scandal. This is, for example, caused great division throughout the ages when a Bishop acts beyond their proper authority (look, for example, to the ordination of Origen as an early example of where such mistakes can lead).

  • Donald – I see no resemblance whatsoever. One involves a pastor being firm with his congregation, but speaking the truth. The other involves a relatively obscure bishop taking advantage of a shallow, buzzing news story in order to gain attention, attempting to out-do his fellow bishops in rudeness.

  • Let’s see:

    Fr. Jenkins certainly hasn’t claimed the high ground here. He’s shown no qualms whatsoever about honoring and giving a free political podium to a man whose actions and words demonstrate a commitment to increasing the death rate of unborn (and even recently-born, the horror of it) life.

    Moreover, he employs reasoning in defense of his actions that can’t be dignified with the term “casuistry” and refuses to engage the opponents of his actions in dialogue after promising to do so.

    In other words, where exactly is the evidence that he does care about abortion? As in concrete actions, and not the usual attempts at verbal disinfectant and empty reassuring noises. If someone can point to a pro-life initiative by Fr. Jenkins as President of ND (or even before), then the Bishop’s accusation will be unjust, and the Ordinary of Lincoln should be presented with this evidence.

    If not, well, President Jenkins got himself into this mess, and he shouldn’t have expected plaudits.

  • Mr. Lafrate writes:

    “The other involves a relatively obscure bishop”.

    A relatively obscure bishop? Where have you been for the last two decades?

    That Fr. Jenkins had some sort of connection with the diocese of Lincoln surely gives Bishop Bruskewitz “standing”, as the lawyers call it to reprimand him.

  • A relatively obscure bishop? Where have you been for the last two decades?

    Well, I have not been intimately involved in the irrelevant circles of the Catholic Right, nor have paid much attention to whoever their episcopal heroes might be. Has Bruskewitz been a newsworthy figure in some way? I’ve not heard of him.

  • Mikey Mikey. So cute when you’re mad. Bishop B has been bad bold and boisterous for well unto a generation. Cries aloud and spares not. His comments about Father Jenkins were bang on the money. Funny how you get SOOOOO jumpy and personal on this that or other thing. Might wanna check your own self. Meanwhile Bravo Bishop B and keep on laying down smack.

  • Mad? Jumpy? Personal? If you say so. Merely pointing out the obvious. Other than than, I’m chillin’ like Bob Dylan.

  • Should read “other than that.”

  • A google search would quickly disabuse anyone that Bishop Bruskewitz has been obscure. Controversial? Yes. Ordaining more priests per capita in many years than any other bishop in the country? Yes. Contentious? Frequently? Obscure? Anything but!

  • I bet most Catholics in the United States don’t know who he is, Donald. Just because he is popular within a certain internet crowd doesn’t make him non-obscure. People might know what their local ordinary is doing, but beyond that? Not necessarily.

  • The diocese of Lincoln is ranked 131st in the nation by Catholic population, having 89,000. ( http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/country/scus1.html ) The See has no historical importance and is one of the least important in the country.

  • Iafrate is obscure. Bruskewitz not so.

  • The American Catholic is obscure, as is Koss Nova. The diocese of Lincoln is obscure if you are a protestant living in canada.

  • “The See has no historical importance and is one of the least important in the country.”

    Wasn’t Jerusalem likewise an obscure and insignificant province of the Roman Empire?

    Yet, somehow this obscure backwater ended up being historically monumental.

    Go figure.

  • Koss Nova

    Eh!!! Did you come up with that one on your own? Wow! I’m so impressed!!!

  • MZ,
    As a matter of fact, I did, several months ago. But its formation was undeservedly obscure.

  • The diocese of Lincoln is ranked 131st in the nation by Catholic population, having 89,000. The See has no historical importance and is one of the least important in the country.

    I’m not really clear where all this argument about whether Lincoln is an “obscure” see is supposed to go — other than that some obviously agree with Bruskewitz’s opinions in re Notre Dame and others don’t.

    The diocese itself is, as MZ points out, rather small. However it is known for having consistently high numbers of vocations, and I’ve heard about Bruskewitz off and on in national Catholic publications like OSV for a good fifteen years. I imagine that if one did a citation count of National Catholic Register, National Catholic Reporter, OSV, Commonweal, This Rock and America one would find significantly more mentions of Bruskewitz over the last 15 years than of anything going on in my own see of Austin, even though we have far more Catholics.

    So aside from not seeing the relevance of the “obscure” accusation, I don’t really see that it’s true either.

  • I doubt Mr. Karlson if most Catholics know the name of their local bishop, just as most Americans do not know the name of their representative in Congress. This fact does not necessarily make either the bishop or the representative obscure. Compared to the other bishops in this country Bishop Bruskewitz is not obscure as the length of this thread both condemning and supporting his letter indicates. That we have so many visitors in this thread from Vox Nova indicates quite clearly that you and your colleagues are well aware of who Bishop Bruskewitz is.

  • A google search would quickly disabuse anyone that Bishop Bruskewitz has been obscure.

    I see. Because obscure persons and things tend not to show up on Google searches, right?

    Wasn’t Jerusalem likewise an obscure and insignificant province of the Roman Empire?

    Well, M.Z. and “e.”, I didn’t say anything about the man’s diocese being “obscure.” Most people have heard of Lincoln, Nebraska after all. But this bishop seems to be an angry, obscure one who is just looking for the latest “newsworthy” item to be outraged about so he can appear prophetic. I mean please; sending a priest that he doesn’t know a letter saying that he will pray for his conversion is pretty low. Who does he think he is? A combox participant at Vox Nova?

  • “That we have so many visitors in this thread from Vox Nova indicates quite clearly that you and your colleagues are well aware of who Bishop Bruskewitz is.”

    I hate to break it to you, but that in itself doesn’t prove or pull the good bishop out of obscurity just because certain Vox Novan visitors happen to know him; unless, of course, such persons are representative of the entire Catholic population of the United States.

    (The fact that this isn’t actually the case is, quite frankly, a relief.)

  • That we have so many visitors in this thread from Vox Nova indicates quite clearly that you and your colleagues are well aware of who Bishop Bruskewitz is.

    Why? We simply saw the latest hateful letter by a u.s. bishop and wanted to comment. Doesn’t mean we have a clue who this guy is.

  • e., the fact that they are also the same individuals contending that he is obscure rather disproves their point by the vehemence with which they are arguing about the letter from an “obscure” bishop. Bishop Bruskewitz is well known by those who follow the actions of the bishops in this country, and the Vox Novniks are in that category.

  • Catholic Anarchist, disingenuousness does not become you. A google search of Iafrate and Bruskewitz reveals that you are quite familiar with Bishop Bruskewitz.

  • Mr. McClarey,

    “e., the fact that they are also the same individuals contending he is obscure rather disproves their point by the vehemence with which they are arguing about the letter from an ‘obscure’ bishop.”

    Well, that wouldn’t actually be the first time that certain Vox Novans happened to engage in arguments that were, in fact, self-refuting! ;^)

    Yet, to be fair though, although the Catholic crowds that roam around various Catholic foras may actually know of the good bishop doesn’t really give any actual indication that American Catholics in general would happen to know of him.

    (About your last comment though about Catholic Anarchist, are you really surprised?)

  • Donald,

    I have known of him for quite some time, but I am also not your average Catholic in what I know or do not know. If I judged how obscure something or someone was based upon what I know, I would say the debates about who and what the icchantikas are must not be obscure to anyone.

  • e., when we say that a bishop is obscure the only proper comparison is whether he is obscure in regard to other bishops. For example, I doubt if the general public knows who General “Pap” Thomas was, a Union general from the Civil War. However, no one who has a working knowledge of the Civil War would ever call the “Rock of Chickamauga” an obscure Union general. To people who pay attention to events pertaining to the Church in America, Fabian Bruskewitz is not obscure.

  • Fair point and duly noted.

  • A google search of Iafrate and Bruskewitz reveals that you are quite familiar with Bishop Bruskewitz.

    Haha. Good one. I can’t find it, though, so you must be lying, right?

    Or wait. is he my long lost uncle or something?

    Interesting, too, that you always fall back on war comparisons. Always.

  • The Cure d’Ars and his parish was quite obscure. As was Lourdes. Likewise Lisieux.

    What is amusing – because pointless – is a discussion about whether Bishop Bruskewitz and the Diocese of Lincoln are obscure, rather than the matter of his letter.

    Just as an oddity, Fr. Jenkins was born in Omaha. That is a city in Nebraska, just like Lincoln. Lincoln and Omaha are a but a few miles distant. Thus Bishop Bruskewitz was correct in referring to Fr. Jenkins’ Nebraskan roots.

  • “Obscurity” is relative. A person may be very well known in a particular field of endeavor (art, sports, law, finance, technology, etc.) but not be well known to people outside of those circles.

    Bishop Bruskewitz may be “obscure” to the average Catholic whose only exposure to Church teaching comes from a 10-minute weekly sermon and who does not carefully follow news or trends within the Church. He doesn’t get a lot of mention in the secular media. He is, however, definitely NOT obscure to other bishops, Catholic journalists, and others who regard him as a champion of orthodoxy/conservatism/traditionalism (whatever term you prefer to use). In those circles he is very well known.

Where's Jesus?

Thursday, April 16, AD 2009

ihs

When Obama gave an economics speech at Georgetown, the monogram IHS in the background was covered over at the request of the White House.  I approve!  Whenever this President speaks at a Catholic college, anything related to Christ should be covered over!  I will leave to others to debate whether Georgetown is a Catholic college!

Update I: Father Z unleashes one of his unforgettable fiskings on this story here.

Udate II: Excellent commentary here.

Continue reading...

6 Responses to Where's Jesus?

  • I had to read this a few times before I got it,
    “I approve! Whenever this President speaks at a Catholic college, anything related to Christ should be covered over!”

    I still think we should be praying for him, even as we disagree with his polices and viewpoints. Work within the legal bounds to curtail, slow or block some of the actions his administration wish to implement, but we all ought to be begging the intersession of our Patroness, Mary of the Immaculate Conception, the intervention of the Holy Spirit and the compassion of Our Risen Lord.

  • Well said Sandra.

  • This is the university which removed crucifixes from the classrooms.

    It is also the university, like Fordham, which was first financed by the sale of slaves.

  • I agree. In fairness to Obama, it is possible that the Notre Dame controversy has sensitized his handlers such that they did not want to make it look like Obama’s speech had some type of Church imprimatur, or more specifically, give ammo to those who would accuse him of making it look so. For this pro-abort President to give a speech in front of explicitly Catholic symbols runs the risk of being inflammatory in a way that is not helpful to his presidency. It was a good political move, I think. In a way, the question is which is worse, Obama giving a speech in front of Catholic imagery or Obama asking that the imagery be removed before he gives his speech? I agree with Don that the first is worse, and I suspect that Obama’s handlers worried that enough Catholics would feel that way that they understood where the better part of valor rests

  • O think that the Catholic Church should withdraw the status of “Catholic” to Universities like Georgetown or Notre Dame

  • Mike- you are too clever by half. Please do not employ nuance where knuckleheadedness is more applicable. Of course, Georgetown is Catholic to the same extent that say Terrell Owens is a team player. Only when useful. Then the image comes down. As yet another DC Establishment Player, it was more than willing to cooperate with the White House’s wishes. Thus earning derisive scorn in this Obama To Notre Dame period. If Dear Leader was scheduled to address students virtually in this section of his backyard, yawn and double yawn. A few years back, took the dedicated K of C chapter on campus to put crucifixes back in classrooms. Mere covering of IHS is just more of the same. 30 pieces of silver and all.

25 Responses to The Ten Worst Supreme Court Decisions of All Time

  • Thanks, Donald. And if we had to do a top 100, I doubt we’d run out of room.

  • I sent a note to the website pointing out that the Dred Scott was correct. Disgusting, but correct.

    The Constitution does permit slavery [which Taney despised]. Slavery became illegal with the passage of the 13th Amendment.

  • I sent a note to the website pointing out that the Dred Scott was correct. Disgusting, but correct.

    And I replied noting that you were wrong, dead wrong. The Dred Scott case wasn’t about whether slavery was constitutional. It wasn’t even supposed to be about Congress’ ability to outlaw slavery in the territories until Taney transformed the case. So your observation about the 13th Amendment, like Taney’s decision, is kind of a non sequiter.

  • Mr. Zummo:

    Would you refer to chapter and verse in your comments on Justice Taney? Or try to develope an argument?

    You might read Walker Lewis’ complete account of the case in his biography of Taney: WITHOUT FEAR OR FAVOR.

    I am puzzled by your remark about the 13th Amendment. If slavery was not illegal in the U.S., why was the amendment necessary?

  • I am puzzled by your remark about the 13th Amendment. If slavery was not illegal in the U.S., why was the amendment necessary?

    Umm, because slavery was not prohibited.

  • “Not prohibited” seems to mean “permitted”. But I am not a lawyer, nor a graduate of a school in the Jesuit tradition.

    The Jesuits had no problem with slavery. [Taney despised it and the slavers: “those vermin who trade in human flesh”]. Their Georgetown province had slaves until 1828, when Rome insisted that they give up the practice. They did so by selling the slaves into the deep South and using the money to finance Georgetown and Fordham colleges. [T.J. Murphy. JESUIT SLAVEHOLDING…].

  • “Not prohibited” seems to mean “permitted”.

    Yes, exactly. Slavery was permitted. Thus the need for a 13th Amendment. I’m still at a complete lose as to where the confusion is coming.

    But I am not a lawyer, nor a graduate of a school in the Jesuit tradition.

    And neither am I, though I did attend a Jesuit high school.

  • “complete lose” should read “complete loss” above.

  • I sent a note to the website pointing out that the Dred Scott was correct. Disgusting, but correct.

    beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations, and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.

    Neither the declaration nor the constitution included this, but that it was believed by Taney that the framers believed this (reasonably). I don’t see how such a ruling could square with a strict constructionist principle of jurisprudence. Do we have to hold that everything the framers believed however proven by science and reason to be false should be upheld as constitutional even though they did not write it in the constitution? Look at the abortion situation, I really don’t know the framers understanding of embryology, but what if they believed that human beings just spontaneously formed in the woman’s womb moments before delivery (not unreasonable in the late 18th century)… would that then restrict the courts from protecting unborn children as “persons” given modern day understanding that the human embryo is fully human from the earliest stages? That the framers were ignorant of the inherent equality of Africans does not mean that this ABSOLUTE fact must not be acknowledged for all eternity without a constitutional amendment?

    No, strict constructionism must acknowledge without amendment any changes in the understanding of the natural order unless they are EXPLICITLY spelled out in the constitution.

    There should have been no need for a 13th amendment nor no need for the Human Life amendment. These laws were necessary because of horrendously bad judgments. Consider how much more powerful the SCOTUS has become since these terrible errors.

  • “Neither the declaration nor the constitution included this, but that it was believed by Taney that the framers believed this (reasonably).”

    Actually that was more a reflection of what Taney and most white Southerners had come to believe by the 1850’s. In his younger days Taney reflected the consensus of the Founding Fathers: slavery was an evil that would eventually die out. By the 1850s the South felt under siege, the slave economy of the South was booming, “scientific” racism was in vogue, and the idea that slavery was a positive good was argued by many Southerners. This was a radical change from the beliefts of such Southern Founding Fathers as Washington, Jefferson, Patrick Henry, etc., who regarded slavery as an evil that would eventually pass away in the relatively near future. That several states at this time period allowed free slaves to vote, including North Carolina, is an indication that no absolute bar to citizenship was held at the time of the Revolution on the basis of race. The evolution of thinking on slavery from 1776-1861 in America is a fascinating subject. The tragedy is that it tended to develop in opposite ways in the North and the South.

  • I believe we are getting away from the decision into ad hominem arguments. Taney was always admired for the precision of his arguments and his knowledge of the legal precedents, He had been a law clerk for one of the Maryland delegates to the Constitutional Convention so had good knowledge of what the delegates believed when they agreed to the Constitution.
    In this respect, the Founding Fathers were not nice people. They were slavers {“Vermin who traded in human flesh”] and no amount of whitewash will cover that. As Samuel Johnson snorted about the DECLARATION: “Virginia slavers preaching the equality of man”. Although there were fine examples of Southern slave owners [Taney among them] who emancipated “their” slaves, none of our slaver founders did so. They could not afford it, they said.

  • Gabriel, Dr, Johnson, brilliant writer though he was, was also a paid shill of King George III, receiving a pension of 300 pounds a year from 1762, a small fortune in those days. Of course he supported King George and villified his adversaries, both in England and in America!

    George Washington freed several of his slaves during his life and freed all of his slaves at his death and left bequests for the education of the younger slaves in trades.

    Founding Father Robert Carter III of Virginia freed hundreds of his slaves during his life and made arrangements to free all of them after his death.

    Most of the Founding Fathers of course had no slaves and were opposed to slavery.

  • Taney was always admired for the precision of his arguments and his knowledge of the legal precedents, He had been a law clerk for one of the Maryland delegates to the Constitutional Convention so had good knowledge of what the delegates believed when they agreed to the Constitution.

    Which is all well and good, but that still doesn’t mean that his decision was based even remotely upon sound legal reasoning.

    Again – the Dred Scott base was simply about whether or not a slave residing in free territory could be declared free. It had nothing to do about the ultimate justice of slavery in the US. NOTHING. Taney’s decision could have been justified had he and his cohorts simply declared that Dred Scott could not be freed, He stepped over the line when he declared Congress’ ability to prohibit slavery in the territories unconstitutional.

  • Donald R. McClarey Says:
    Sunday, April 19, 2009 A.D. at 2:58 pm

    “Gabriel, Dr, Johnson, brilliant writer though he was, was also a paid shill of King George III”

    This is what I mean about the constant use of ad hominem arguments on this site [and others]. Dr. Johnson was an unapologetic Tory. He was granted the pension for his literary work. The last thing he could be called is a “paid shill”.

    “George Washington freed several of his slaves during his life and freed all of his slaves at his death and left bequests for the education of the younger slaves in trades”.

    Why not all of the “men created equal”?

    I repeat my admiration for Roger Taney who regarded slavers “as vermin who trade in human flesh”.

  • paul zummo Says:
    Sunday, April 19, 2009 A.D. at 4:37 pm

    “Which is all well and good, but that still doesn’t mean that his decision was based even remotely upon sound legal reasoning”.

    I repeat, perhaps hopelessly, that it was not Taney’s decision. It was a decision of 8 of the 9 justices. At the time it was accepted quite calmly – indicating probably a majority agreement in the country. Including Mr. Lincoln.

    I repeat my chief point: for nearly a century, slavery was accepted in the United States. One may praise democracy as perhaps the least evil of governments, while remembering that the American democracy accepted the Jim Crow laws until the 1960s.

  • Johnson was a Tory Austin and he was also a paid shill. As long as a Whig ministry was in the good graces of the King he defended the Whig ministry. He was paid his pension because he would enter the lists on behalf of George III, as he did in the 1770’s in four pamphlets. Johnson was touchy about this, and well he should have been. He was no more an independent agent than a soldier in the British Army who took the King’s shilling. If he had spoken out against a policy favored by the King that pension would have grown wings and flown away, as happened routinely to people who fell out of favor with George III.

    Your comment that the Dred Scott decision was accepted calmly by the country is completely mistaken. The decision caused an uproar throughout the North. Here is Lincoln’s speech on the decision: http://www.freemaninstitute.com/lincoln.htm

  • In regard to Dred Scott, the vote on the decision was 7-2.

  • I repeat, perhaps hopelessly, that it was not Taney’s decision. It was a decision of 8 of the 9 justices.

    Seven of nine – one of the concurring Justices disagreed with Taney’s reasoning. And since Taney wrote the decision, it makes it his opinion. But that’s just a technical matter that really has little to do with the merits of the case.

    At the time it was accepted quite calmly – indicating probably a majority agreement in the country. Including Mr. Lincoln.

    Donald beat me to the punch on this. I simply have no clue how you can make that claim.

    I repeat my chief point: for nearly a century, slavery was accepted in the United States.

    Which, AGAIN, says nothing about the correctness of the decision. I don’t know why you have this mental block that prevents you from understanding that the case wasn’t about the moral rightness or wrongness of slavery. Your insistence upon this point is a complete non sequiter.

  • To try to make Samuel Johnson the “shill” of a political party gives but a shallow idea of his great thinking ability. He also had a way with words, teste the precision of his snort about “Virginia slavers preaching the equality of man”.

    As to the facts about the events after the decision, I can but again refer to Walker Lewis’ biography of Taney WITHOUT FEAR OR FAVOR.

  • Paul Zummo writes:
    “Which, AGAIN, says nothing about the correctness of the decision. I don’t know why you have this mental block that prevents you from understanding that the case wasn’t about the moral rightness or wrongness of slavery. Your insistence upon this point is a complete non sequitur”.

    I wrote nothing about the morality of slavery. My point is the legality of slavery. The Dred Scott decision is based upon the concept that for the Constitution slaves were property – chattel. And that they were held to be inferior to others.

    This is the chief thrust of the decision.

    Lincoln also thought that blacks were inferior. Taney did not, being a good Catholic. He inherited three or four slaves. He immediately freed with a bourse those who could take care of themselves, and took into his household those who were too aged to take care of themselves. As a young lawyer he defended several blacks against criminal charges and was always generous to black associations.

  • Actually Gabriel by the 1850’s Taney was an ardent defender of slavery as noted here:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=E0HS12DV98UC&pg=PA156&lpg=PA156&dq=taney+blacks+inferior&source=bl&ots=X5iwS0tA0U&sig=FMD7525JnV8XnOSlG46cmOmoeuI&hl=en&ei=qAnuSei8GozyMqSn2fEP&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1#PPA126,M1

    Taney in writing the decision of the Court was acting as a partisan of the slaveholding south. He thought he was resolving the question of slavery in this country, which just goes to demonstrate that Supreme Court justices can be just as susceptible to self-deception as most people.

  • The Dred Scott decision is based upon the concept that for the Constitution slaves were property – chattel. And that they were held to be inferior to others.

    This is the chief thrust of the decision.

    No. It. Isn’t.

    Seriously, read a constitutional law textbook. Or perhaps simply a history book. Your understanding of this case is mind-numbingly insufficient for you to be carrying on this conversation.

  • As to the facts about the events after the decision, I can but again refer to Walker Lewis’ biography of Taney WITHOUT FEAR OR FAVOR.

    And no doubt Donald and I can refer to about 20 other books that would refute the idea that the decision went over well with a majority the population. It helps to have read more than one or two books on an issue if you’re trying to educate yourself on a given topic.

  • “I sent a note to the website pointing out that the Dred Scott was correct. Disgusting, but correct.

    “The Constitution does permit slavery [which Taney despised].”

    The only way for Dred Scott to have been “correct” is for the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America to have been incorrect. If ALL men are Created Equal, and Endowed by their Creator with the Unalienable Rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, and ALL governments must be instituted to “secure these rights,” then on what basis can the government of the United States permit the taking away of the rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness?

    BTW, if Chief Justice Taney was such as a foe of slavery, why on Earth did he try to insure the victory of the Southern Slave States in the Civil War by issuing the his famous Ex Parte Merryman decision attempting to release the rebellious Maryland Militia Officer Lt. Merryman?

  • Neal Lang Says:
    Sunday, May 10, 2009 A.D. at 1:26 am
    G.A.: “I sent a note to the website pointing out that the Dred Scott was correct. Disgusting, but correct.
    The Constitution does permit slavery [which Taney despised].”

    “The only way for Dred Scott to have been “correct” is for the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America to have been incorrect. If ALL men are Created Equal, and Endowed by their Creator with the Unalienable Rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, and ALL governments must be instituted to “secure these rights,” then on what basis can the government of the United States permit the taking away of the rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness?”

    It is one of the difficulties in discussions about the Constitution is that it often confused with the Declaration. Like it or not, the Constitution is the basis of our laws. And it did permit the trade in slaves by “those vermin who trade in human flesh” [Taney] to continue for 20 years; and it did permit slavery.

    Taney is reviled for being the messenger who brought the bad news – that the U.S. was the country of freedom for white men and a few blacks [Indians not included]. Even Father Abraham believed that Negroes were inferior to whites and looked to shipping Negroes to Africa as a solution. Taney defended Negroes in court cases.

    Taney was not a partisan of the South. The decision in ex parte Merriman to suspend habeas corpus was upheld by several other courts, the argument being that only Congress had the power to suspend ex habeas.

    “Lincoln subsequently expanded the zone within which the writ was suspended. After reconvening on July 4th Congress rejected a bill favored by Lincoln to sanction his suspensions. Between 1861 and 1863 several additional federal district and circuit court rulings affirmed Taney’s opinion. Lincoln nevertheless continued making unauthorized suspensions for another two years until the Habeas Corpus Act of March 3, 1863 formally suspended the writ for him.
    “The Merryman decision is still among the best known Civil War-era court cases and also one of Taney’s most famous opinions. Its legal argument holding that Congress alone may suspend the writ is noted for reiterating the opinion of John Marshall and the court in Ex Parte Bollman (1807) and was recently restated by the Supreme Court in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld (2004)”.

    The adulation of Lincoln goes too far. It also raises the question of whether Lincoln assumed to himself sole power to declare war – a power which seems to be assumed by presidents since Truman.

Jenkins to Pro-Life Students: No dialogue for you!

Thursday, April 16, AD 2009

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One of the main defenses of Jenkins in regard to Obama Day on May 17, 2009 at Notre Dame is as follows:  “However misguided some might consider our actions, it is in the spirit of providing a basis for dialogue that we invited President Obama.”

It is therefore richly ironic that Jenkins refuses to meet with pro-life Notre Dame students opposed to the Obama homage:

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4 Responses to Jenkins to Pro-Life Students: No dialogue for you!

  • I never believed that ‘dialogue’ excuse for a nanosecond anyway.

    I remember hearing a few decades back that one way the pro-aborts used to get politicians to ‘change’ from a pro-life stance to a pro-abort one was to threaten to expose the pro-life politicians past involvement in an abortion…

    Hey when there is no logical explanation given for such an outrageous betrayal, one has to start wondering…

  • “conditions for constructive dialogue do not exist”

    Translation: “I didn’t expect 33+ bishops to uncork on me, and as sure as we have a cheesy leprechaun for a mascot, I don’t want to hear you quoting them. When I want input from the episcopate, I’ll send them talking points.”

  • Is this how the leftists in the Soviet Union did dialogue? The elitist masters speak and the masses listen intently with no dissent allowed?

  • Whenever someone to the left of me utilizes the word “dialogue,” I develop itch in various parts of my torso. So it was triggered on the news that Father Jenkins will not engage in it with pro-life ND students. Dialogue By Their Definition = We Will Lecture You More Forcefully. Not to worry. Father Jenkins has more immediate concerns. His job, more specifically.