3 Catholic Hospitals To Close Allegedly Because Of Obamacare?

Monday, October 11, AD 2010

CatholicVote is mounting a campaign to bring attention to 3 Catholic Hospitals that are closing. The CEO said that ObamaCare “absolutely” factored into the decision.

This is certainly a troubling concern, made more so by the allegations that the White House, the local media, and Sr. Keehan have tried their best to quiet the story.

However, one has to be cautious. The report that CV apparently relies on is based on a doctor’s opinion-a doctor that does not appear to have any knowledge of the actual discussions at the hospitals in question. This unnamed doctor alleges that it is due to Obamacare restricting the ability of the hospital to collect Medicare reimbursements and thereby making its debt unbearable.

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8 Responses to 3 Catholic Hospitals To Close Allegedly Because Of Obamacare?

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  • I agree with the overall gist of your post but I feel obliged to say that “unbearable debt” and “not profitable enough” are two quite different financial states. Your use of the phrase “not profitable enough” seems intended to imply that greed might be a factor. Exactly how much debt should Americans, catholic or otherwise, have rammed down their throats before they resist? Should we wait until the Greek debt crisis, with its concomitant violent civil unrest, looks like amateur hour compared to our own economic collapse? I do however agree that pro-life issues are a separate issue, and even more important, in this particular context.

  • Ugh, pardon my grammatical pratfall in that last sentence. Hopefully my point still came through.

  • Your use of the phrase “not profitable enough” seems intended to imply that greed might be a factor.

    I understand why you might think that, though it was not intentional. I only meant “not profitable” enough in order to have the resources to pay back its debt. I’m not accusing the hospital of short-changing patients in order to make a bigger buck somewhere else.

  • While Obamacare may not be a factor in the hospitals’ decisions, I can tell you non-profit hospitals are very afraid of what health care reform will do to revenues.

    The cover of a hospital administration magazine recently had its cover story about the potential threat to non-profits that health care reform holds. The cover photo was of a Catholic hospital.

  • Here’s from the CEO of the involved hospitals:

    “”Actually we’re doing well. We’re ahead of budget for the year. It’s more that when we look out over the landscape of health care over the next five years and the needs of these facilities, the needs of this community, we understand a different level of investment will be needed than what we can do on our own,” Cook said.

    They said much of that required investment is the result of the health care reform bill passed in Washington.

    The CEO said it means the need for more spending and less federal reimbursements.

    “Health care reform is absolutely playing a role. Was it the precipitating factor in this decision? No, but was it a factor in our planning over the next five years? Absolutely,” Cook added.”

  • Philip:

    Do you have a link for that quote?

    I’m a little confused by the quote, but it sounds like the hospitals think they’re required to expand services/facilities and combined with the other investment the hospital needs to do, the budget isn’t there so they want to bring in private investment to take over so the investment in the community can occur.

    While that may be a little more damning of Obamacare, it’s still a very tenuous connection. After all, they say the planning began before Obamacare, suggesting that much of the investment couldn’t be afforded even if Obamacare was passed.

    Regardless, CV needs to produce a lot more evidence before making the claims it’s making. A sentence quote isn’t enough.

TAC College Football Rankings: Week 6

Monday, October 11, AD 2010

There are few stories, if any, better in college football than Jarrett Lee. A guy booed off the field in 2007 for his INTs, including a game where he got crushed in the Swamp, comes back to lead LSU to come from behind wins against Tennessee and then again at the Swamp. The Mad Hatter is 6-0.

Mad props to South Carolina. Used the bye week to perfection and embarrassed a team last week had their fans booking trips to Glendale.

Finally, some real chaos. Bama’s lost their margin for error. Ohio St., Oregon, and Nebraska look like the favorites to finish undefeated in their conferences. LSU & Auburn remain undefeated in the SEC. Oklahoma and Michigan St. also remain underdogs to win out their conference. And the BCS Busters remain undefeated (Boise St., TCU, & Utah). Apparently, Boise St. is likely to be #1 when the BCS comes out next week but truly only LSU & Auburn control their own destiny.

So who gets #1? Is a one-loss Bama team better than an undefeated BCS Buster? This is a week to fight over the rankings, so let’s get to them after this reminder that LSU inspires its fans to pursue holiness!

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30 Responses to TAC College Football Rankings: Week 6

  • If Tito keeps ranking Ohio State #7, I’m going to have to even it out by ranking Oregon at #7. Dude’s rankings are skewing the results.

    😉

  • My Boise St comment is probably hard to figure unless you realize I ranked them number one and also listen to the Mark Levin Show.

    And Jay, ditto times a hundred on your Missouri comment. The only championships that are even in the same league as CU’s bogus split title are the back-to-back “lets give it to a an old ball coach who hasn’t won it before” titles for Nebraska and FSU in the early 90s.

  • If Tito keeps ranking Ohio State #7, I’m going to have to even it out by ranking Oregon at #7. Dude’s rankings are skewing the results.

    It ends up evening out, but I flipped out when I saw he ranked Nevada over LSU.

    Oh, and I seriously considered striking Tito’s votes for UCLA and Cal by putting them in a “got votes by tito” category. Fairly absurd that 3 loss teams got votes in Week 6.

  • I consider Tito’s rankings to be some kind of performance art.

  • The good thing about 6 voters is that one doesn’t skew too bad. Since it came up, I took Tito’s votes out of the excel program. Tito did hurt a few teams (Arkansas & Florida St) and super helped Nevada but most are relatively the same. The top 25 without Tito:

    1. Ohio St. 2. Oregon 3. Boise St. 4. Nebraska 5. Oklahoma 6. Alabama 7. Auburn 8. LSU 9. Utah 10. Michigan St/South Carolina 12. Arkansas 13. Stanford 14. Iowa 15. florida St. 16. Wisconsin 17. Okie St. 18 Arizona 19. Mizzou 20. Air Force 20. nevada 21. Michigan 22.Florida 23. West virginia 24. Oregon st. 25. Nc State (Receiving votes: VT, Miami)

  • Michael, from a tried-and-true blue-and-orange-blood-bleeding Gator, I can honestly say that that game was exciting. In the end, I think a really poor call by officials on the forward lateral after the fake field goal attempt literally kept LSU alive and nearly gave them the game. I give it to Miles and the LSU players that they did pull off an awesome last-second TD there, but they should have never even had the chance to do it. Then again, if my Gators would have actually played any offense at all in the first half, then this discussion wouldn’t be happening. Alas, I must admit it’s a “rebuilding year” this year for the Gators!

  • East Coast dribble and babble.

    😉

  • In the end, I think a really poor call by officials on the forward lateral after the fake field goal attempt literally kept LSU alive and nearly gave them the game

    While I think it’s close, the sportscenter after the game put up this black line that was parallel and the ball followed it pretty closely. It was tight, but I think the refs made the right call. Moreover, they didn’t have the video evidence to overturn it.

    East Coast dribble and babble.

    Ok, but explain to me your thinking behind Nevada, UCLA, and Cal. B/c that blows my mind.

  • Beware of Spartans rising…

    …although, more likely, given the Law of Post-Big Game Letdown and Crashing Expectations, it’s quite possible that Illinois will bump off MSU this Saturday.

    Being a Michigan State alum has prepared me to never get my hopes raised in life. It came attached to my diploma.

  • Ok, but explain to me your thinking behind Nevada, UCLA, and Cal. B/c that blows my mind.

    You’re the one complaining about how horrible LSU is.

    You’ve answered your own question.

    That’s what you get with a third grade degree.

  • You’re the one complaining about how horrible LSU is.

    You’ve answered your own question.

    That’s what you get with a third grade degree.

    ???

    I think LSU is very good this year, though improvements are needed if they are to survive the brutal SEC schedule on top. However, LSU has made moves towards making those improvements, and I’m excited to see how the season progresses.

    To compare LSU to Nevada is quite simple. LSU has 6 wins over BCS opponents. 2 of those opponents are currently ranked; one more was ranked when LSU played them. Nevada has no wins against currently ranked teams; one win over a team ranked at the time they played. Their other opponents are homecoming fodder for the BCS.

    UCLA has 3 losses already. 2 of which were blowouts (Stanford & Cal), one to a Kansas St. team that just got smacked around in Manhattan. They beat Houston with a third string QB and an overrated Texas club (a quality win). Cal has beaten no one of quality (unless you count UCLA).

    I could maybe buy UCLA at 25 if they hadn’t gotten crushed this weekend. I don’t get Cal being over Arkansas and Florida St. the Seminoles just creamed Miami at Miami to become an ACC contender and Arkansas has a Heisman contender-led Offense.

    I’m not trying to be insulting, I’m just trying to figure out your reasoning.

    And I would respond to the third-grade quip, but I’m too busy writing my article for the law review at the top-tier law school I’m currently attending to give it adequate treatment. 😉

  • When LSU, Alabama, and Ohio State stop dodging Boise State and TCU on their schedule, I’ll start listening to how “tough” the SEC is.

    I’ve worked in college athletics and I know the politics behind scheduling.

    Boise State deserves a shot at the national title only because alleged heavyweights are too scared to play against them, even on their own home field!

    It’s what the FBS and BCS deserves, a Boise State-TCU national title game.

    Your reasons are empty until LSU schedules a Boise State or a TCU.

  • When LSU, Alabama, and Ohio State stop dodging Boise State and TCU on their schedule, I’ll start listening to how “tough” the SEC is.

    A) This is an argument for Boise St. to be ranked higher than them. I don’t have a huge problem with Boise over Ohio St., as VT & Oregon St. have looked better of late. I put Ohio St. 1st b/c they’ve looked good, beating Miami handily. I had Oregon over them last week, but I’m worried they’ll suffer if their starting QB remains a little injured.

    B) LSU ain’t dodging anybody. Last year we traveled to Washington. We signed up for West Virginia (Big East contenders; good bowl record), North Carolina this year (ACC favorites until the suspensions hit). We signed up to play at Oregon (your current #1 team) next year. Ohio St., to its credit has scheduled series with USC & Texas recently. Alabama played Penn St. this year. While there are teams that load up on cupcakes, these teams generally aren’t doing that.

    And while there are politics behind scheduling, there are also economics. TCU’s own fans don’t come out-at TCU. Travel costs to Idaho are expensive for most teams (especially the SEC squads). It makes it difficult for many teams to justify losing the money just to give Boise or TCU a chance at the title game.

    And finally, Boise’s played Oregon, Oregon St., and Virginia Tech. It’s not like they’re being shut out. They’re playing top teams from BCS conferences. TCU played Oregon St.

    LSU is not under a moral obligation to go out of their way to schedule TCU or Boise St. LSU gives itself a healthy non-conference schedule that is competitive (with a few easier games to be sure-usually against the WAC teams Boise St. has feasted on the past few years). There are many good teams worth scheduling-teams that bring in national attention, lots of fans, and excitement both before, during, and after the game. No one is obligated to play one team more than any other.

    C) Speaking of dodge, what happened to our conversation about Nevada, Cal, and UCLA? I wasn’t talking about Boise

  • Somewhat off-topic but not totally, Joe Posnanski has a point counter-point on the BCS. The latter was written by the executive director of the BCS, and I have to say he would make most politicians blush with his over-reliance on hackneyed cliches and talking points.

  • “… it’s quite possible that Illinois will bump off MSU this Saturday …”

    Definitely. And not just because of an MSU let-down. The Illini are better than their 3-2 record indicates. Still, I pick Sparty to win in a close game.

  • I have to say he would make most politicians blush with his over-reliance on hackneyed cliches and talking points.

    Heh. Couldn’t get past the first few sentences:

    College football is flourishing. Eager fans are flocking to stadiums across the country. Folks are watching on television like never before.

    The sport is decidedly healthy. There’s no reason to monkey with it.

    Seriously?

  • “Joe Posnanski has a point counter-point on the BCS.”

    I wish sportswriters would quit going on and on and on ad infinitum about a damned playoff. It’s not going to happen. More importantly, it SHOULDN’T happen.

    Posnanski is full of it when he says Division 1-A college football doesn’t have the most meaningful regular season in all of sports. Of course it does. It may not be meaningful to HIM because HE doesn’t get to see the match-ups HE wants to see week in and week out. But so what? College football has always been about the rivalries and the conference match-ups. An Alabama-Auburn game or a Texas-Oklahoma game or a Ohio-State Michigan game is FAR more important than whether a bunch of top-10 teams play one another every week, giving Joe Posnanski a thrill up his leg.

  • I couldn’t get past the first few sentences in that either.

    But I do have a problem with the arguments made against the BCS he presents

    Arg #1: It leads to teams scheduling cupcakes-This doesn’t go away in a playoff. If rankings what matter, then you schedule cupcakes and let your season revolve around one or two big games. In fact, I think the incentive is higher to schedule cupcakes in a playoff b/c if you have a harder schedule, you have less energy to get through an additional 3-4 weeks tacked on at the end of the year. The only way to increase good non-conference games is make them not count. However, to its credit the BCS has given strength of schedule an important role, so that many teams are trying to get a marquee non-conf game to improve their chances in case of equal records, as well as getting the buzz about the team early.

    2. The BCS is illogical-there isn’t a magical formula about the rankings. Unless you say playoffs are limited to conference champions, then rankings matter and will continue to be kinda crazy. I could only accept a playoffs if they were limited to conference champions-allowing wild cards just perpetuates the problems of the BCS while diminishing the value of the bowls.

  • Which isn’t to say I defend the guy at the BCS, either. I despise the BCS, but think a playoff would be worse.

  • College football has always been about the rivalries and the conference match-ups. An Alabama-Auburn game or a Texas-Oklahoma game or a Ohio-State Michigan game is FAR more important than whether a bunch of top-10 teams play one another every week, giving Joe Posnanski a thrill up his leg

    This is true. The conference schedule is what counts.

  • Excuses, excuses, excuses.

    LSU and many, many other heavyweights are dodging the TCU’s and Boise States.

    Fresno State is famous for “taking on all comers”.

    LSU?

    Bring on McNeese State!

    Whimps.

  • LSU and many, many other heavyweights are dodging the TCU’s and Boise States.

    Except for Oregon, Oregon St., and Virginia Tech.

    LSU has played Fresno. We beat the snot of them in 2006.

    This week is the first non-BCS opponent we’re playing. They’re in an in-state school, so we’re giving the money to a local team. We only have one non-BCS team left-ULM of the Sun Belt (another state school). Not sure why playing UNC & West Virginia isn’t good enough but oh well.

    And Boise just finished playing Toledo and Wyoming. Don’t give me your nonsense. (And Boise is scheduled to play at Ole Miss next year, so don’t pretend the SEC has completely shut off Boise).

    Still no answer on why Nevada, Cal & UCLA are where they are in your rankings.

  • Michael,

    Boise is playing Toledo because LSU refuses to play them… in Baton Rouge!

    Pretty lame, but par for the course for the biggies in college football, full of excuses when their arguments run out.

    When you start scheduling the mid-major powerhouses, then you have an argument, until them, eat your roadkill and smile.

  • McNeese State for crying out loud!

    Sheesh.

  • Boise is playing Toledo because LSU refuses to play them… in Baton Rouge!

    Do you have any evidence that LSU said “screw you” to Boise?

    Pretty lame, but par for the course for the biggies in college football, full of excuses when their arguments run out.

    LSU doesn’t need to schedule flash-in-the-pan programs like Boise St. that have no fan base when it can schedule schools with bigger fan bases and more consistently good football teams like UNC & West Virginia that allow for neutral-field or home & home options. This allows LSU guaranteed better football games, guaranteed media exposure, and guaranteed money for the school and program.
    If it becomes feasible (as it was when LSU scheduled Fresno St.), LSU will do it.

    When you start scheduling the mid-major powerhouses, then you have an argument, until them, eat your roadkill and smile.

    So LSU is terrible & cowardly for scheduling major conference powerhouses instead of mid-major ones. Ok.

    McNeese State for crying out loud!

    LSU undertook a commitment to play in-state schools so that its dollars would go to help boost the programs of the smaller LA schools. It’s a fun weekend, as everyone from that area comes in. For example, when LSU played ULL last year a lot of my wife’s family came in. It makes for a great weekend for Louisiana families. Doing it twice a year is not a crime. LSU has far more interest in helping boost up McNeese, Tulane, ULL, and ULM than it does for some school in Idaho.

  • Nuf sed.

    YOU STILL HAVE SAID NOTHING ABOUT NEVADA!

    We started this off by asking you why you ranked Nevada above LSU, and why you ranked UCLA & Cal where you did.

  • I proudly serve as TAC’s token Air Force fan. The Falcons lost some key defensive personnel this past week. They might actually fall out of the rankings after a tough trip to San Diego –thanks to the job Brady Hoke’s doing, these aren’t your older brothers’ Aztecs. I still think they’re going to knock off either Utah or TCU later in the season though.

  • Where is the NFL rankings? 🙂

  • Robert:

    I’ve been swamped; expect them tomorrow.

TAC Pro Football Rankings: Week 4

Tuesday, October 5, AD 2010

Is anyone any good? Jeesh, I know Texas is a horrible place to visit, but surely the Superbowl is worth the incursion? After all, Louisiana is right next door.

Last year was year of the Titans, with the Colts, Vikings, and Saints clearly in another league. This year, everyone has significant problems. The Colts have dropped 2 games. Favre wants to go back to Miss. The Saints have a plethora of injuries and the offense hasn’t looked great.

Each team seems to have an inexplicable loss on their record. The Jets opener against the Ravens, the Pack’s loss to the Bears, etc. After Week 4, you have a pretty good sense usually of where everybody stands. Everyone has significant improvements that need to be made; the question is who can make them in time to get into the playoffs, as it seems that unlike last year, once you’re in the playoffs it’s anybody’s game.

To the rankings!

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6 Responses to TAC Pro Football Rankings: Week 4

  • I don’t believe the pro-football rankings are as popular as the College football rankings.

  • Rankings don’t determine the championship in professional football. The pro league relies on a ridiculous, arbitrary system called “playing football” to determine the national champion.

  • The pro league relies on a ridiculous, arbitrary system called “playing football” to determine the national champion.

    Truly preposterous system.

  • Well, Tito, I think it has to do with this season. hard for anyone to be really passionate about their team right now; everyone looks yucky.

  • The pro game sucks by comparison. Keep your damned playoff.

  • “… I think it has to do with this season …”

    Of course it has to do with the season. The season is way too long. (And they’re actually going to make it longer by expanding to 18 games. 18 games!?!) They’re already playing the Super Bowl in frickin’ February.

    Half the teams in the playoffs are playing at or just above .500. Compelling stuff, that.

    There’s no tradition. There’s no pomp. There’s no pageantry. The cheerleaders leave absolutely nothing to the imagination (unlike their college counterparts, who seem far more attractive despite showing far less skin).

    I grew up living for Sunday afternoon. Now I could give a rat’s.

    All my football watching is done on Thursday night and Saturday, where the REAL drama lives. And, yes, they do “play football” to determine the National Champion in college football. They play it EVERY week of the season, where EVERY game counts.

TAC College Football Rankings: Week 5

Monday, October 4, AD 2010

Update: There was a glitch that prevented the rankings from showing. The glitch is fixed and the rankings are up.

You may be wondering why there is a big picture of the Blessed Mother to lead off the post. It’s simple. I and the rest of us clad in purple & gold owe her. Big time. On the 4th down play and the last play of the game (both of them), I was furiously saying the Hail Mary in the LSU student section. If those flags aren’t miraculous intercession, I don’t know what is. I have prayed like that during a game twice-the NFC championship game against the Vikings and the LSU v. Auburn game in 2007 (Byrd’s catch with a second left-the most beautiful pass & catch I’ve seen in Death Valley). These Tigers are going to kill me, and even though they should have slaughtered the Vols, that was a rare and fun experience.

In the rest of the college football world, we now have clear front-runners in the top 2 conferences. Oregon will need a major upset to lose the PAC-10, and Alabama made quite a statement to the rest of the SEC West. In the Big 12, Oklahoma looks to take the Big 12 South with the win in the Red River Rivalry. The Big 10 is still wide open, and the ACC is anyone’s guess.

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38 Responses to TAC College Football Rankings: Week 5

  • I think I can mind read these invisible rankings.

  • “If those flags aren’t miraculous intercession I don’t know what is.”

    Actually the penalty was a sign of poor math instruction in Tennessee. 😉

  • That’s the second prayer-related story I’ve heard about the end of the LSU game today. I need to get some LSU fans as personal intercessors.

  • Rankings are now visible.

    I need to get some LSU fans as personal intercessors.

    Apparently, the Blessed Mother is an LSU fan, so getting LSU fans for intercessor may be of the utmost importance 😉

  • Y’all must not have been praying hard enough during the Capital One Bowl. That, or the Blessed Mother just love Joe Pa more.

    (I’m guessing it’s the latter. Those field conditions were ideal for the Nittany Lions – a gift from above.)

  • Y’all must not have been praying hard enough during the Capital One Bowl. That, or the Blessed Mother just love Joe Pa more.

    Between our national championship in football in 2007, the magical baseball run of that year to win the SEC, and then the next year to win the College World Series, I imagine the Blessed Mother allowed us to grow through humility and sacrifice.

    After all, if we remembered too well how badly we humiliated Ohio State in the BCS Title game, we would be too prideful.

  • Nah, she just loves Joe Pa more.

  • After the shellacking Bama applied to the Gators, I couldn’t have picked the Buckeyes for first. But dropping them to fourth?! Reminds me of the Nittany Lions getting absolutely screwed over in 1994 because Indiana made a meaningless “comeback” in the fourth quarter after JoePa pulled his starters in a blowout.

    Let me reiterate–the Buckeyes are a machine this year. Even if Denard is wearing his cape (“Superman wears Denard Robinson pajamas”) against OSU, he doesn’t play defense.

    The in-state war (MSU at UM) will define the season for each team. If Michigan beats the Spartans, they could make a run for 9 wins. If State wins, mark them down for 10.

    Oh, and wow–I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a fanbase more outraged by a 5-0 start than LSU’s. The funny thing is, the Tigers and Wolverines are mirror images of each other this year.

    Yeah, I’ll send a poll next week. 🙂

  • (“Superman wears Denard Robinson pajamas”)

    Superman must wear a lot of pajamas, as he has Chuck Norris, Tim Tebow, and now Denard Robinson pajamas. More importantly, all of them wear Drew Brees pajamas.

    Oh, and wow–I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a fanbase more outraged by a 5-0 start than LSU’s. The funny thing is, the Tigers and Wolverines are mirror images of each other this year.

    Actually, I have seen a fanbase more outraged: LSU 2009. It really is a testament to how spoiled Louisiana football fans are that our teams are a combined 8-1 and we’re not happy with either one of them.

    Oh, and definitely send on a poll. Do you have my email?

  • Yeah, Dale, I figured the other pollsters would drop Ohio State, forgetting that the Buckeyes returned the entire team that beat Oregon in the Rose Bowl. Ohio State’s defense shut down Oregon’s much-vaunted offense back in January, and the Buckeyes’ defense is even better now.

    And the other pollsters are either unaware or have ignored the fact that over the last 20 years the Illini have always played tough against the Buckeyes. It’s one of those “throw the records out” type of ballgames every year. (Let’s not forget that Ohio State’s one regular season loss the last time they played for the national championship was against … Illinois.)

    Finally, whatever Michigan’s final record turns out to be this year, y’all have yourselves a Heisman Trophy winner in Robinson. At this point, I’d put real money on it.

  • Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, Ohio State and Michigan fans saying nice things about the other’s team … mass hysteria!

  • Jay, this skeletal guy on a white horse just rode up and asked for directions to “Armageddon.”

  • Okie Lite had that last victory handed to them on a silver platter.

  • Ohio State is a great team, but there are greater teams ahead of them still. I could understand the belly-aching if they were ranked one more spot further.

    Besides, we have enough complaining from southern Louisiana.

  • Alabama . . . fourth? Tito, Tito, Tito. (Shakes head)

    Then again, I’m the guy who ranked USC in the top 15 because I misread the score of their game over the weekend. My bad.

  • LOL @ Paul

    Boise State is the real wild card.

    Everyone refuses to play them so they can’t be blamed for their out of conference schedule.

    But other than the Bronco’s, I find it hard to rank them higher than the other teams ahead of them.

    But yes, there is room for debate.

    But I don’t recognize the mythical national champion until we have a playoff.

    And that’s what it is, a mythical national championship.

  • Then again, I’m the guy who ranked USC in the top 15 because I misread the score of their game over the weekend. My bad.

    I was wondering why you had USC so high…

    Besides, we have enough complaining from southern Louisiana

    I don’t think I’ve complained about LSU’s rank in the poll yet. 11th is fair for a 5-0 team that just barely escaped this weekend.

    And that’s what it is, a mythical national championship.

    As I’m wearing a shirt bearing the years 1958, 2003, and 2007 in purple and gold, I ought to point out that Tolkien finds myths to contain much truth.

  • “But I don’t recognize the mythical national champion until we have a playoff.”

    Now I know you’re whack, Tito.

    I can understand not recognizing the mythical national champion, because I, too, think the BCS is a joke. But a playoff is the WORST possible thing that could happen to Division 1-A college football. The only people who care about a playoff are lefty sportwriters, the casual college football observer who’s only interested in having another office pool, and Las Vegas/gamblers.

    REAL college football fans want to see the BCS scrapped and a return to the traditional bowl alignments (with a few extra “major” bowls thrown in to accomodate the Boise States, TCUs, and Utahs of the world) and ALL THE DAMN GAMES PLAYED ON NEW YEAR’S DAY, not stretched out over a frickin’ week.

    And, yes, I understand that these criteria may define me as the ONLY REAL college football fan in the entire worlds. So be it. Everyone else can rot.

  • I’m whacked!

    Woo hoo!

    My second opinion would be to revert back to the old system.

    Where only the best conferences play for the national title each year in the Rose Bowl.

    Yep, only the Pac-12 & Big-10 (the great lakes 12) would be playing for the mythical nation title.

    Whackedy whack!

    🙂

  • is getting whacked like getting served, but for old people? 😉

    REAL college football fans want to see the BCS scrapped and a return to the traditional bowl alignments (with a few extra “major” bowls thrown in to accomodate the Boise States, TCUs, and Utahs of the world) and ALL THE DAMN GAMES PLAYED ON NEW YEAR’S DAY, not stretched out over a frickin’ week.

    I don’t know. I think the idea of trying to get the best two teams to play is fun, and college football is about fun. So I’m a little more sympathetic, especially as it tends to embarrass the lefty sportswriters who only watch football on the east coast. I think the SEC, PAC-10, and Big 12 have benefited from the arrangement. Still, going back to the traditional bowls wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. While I like being national champions, I don’t care nearly as much about LSU being better than Ohio St. as I do about us being better than Alabama. College football is about regional rivalries; the national championship is only necessary for the pros. So if it’s between playoffs and old system, I’ll take the old system.

    However, college football should be over by 11:59PM, January 1. Period.

    Where only the best conferences play for the national title each year in the Rose Bowl.

    Yep, only the Pac-12 & Big-10 (the great lakes 12) would be playing for the mythical nation title.

    Usually I would make a comment that in fact the two best conference do in fact do that in the SEC championship game, but since the SEC East went 0-5 this weekend, I’d best shut my mouth on that aspect.

    However, I’m still fairly confident that over the last decade, conference strength is: 1. SEC, 2. Big 12, 3. Pac-10, 4. Big 10, 5. ACC, 6. Big East.

  • Some football fans grossly overvalue and thus take the mere game of football far too seriously. Doing so, and the consequent obsession with winning, can be an offense against truth and one’s own dignity and can easily and insidiously lead to sins against charity toward anyone (e.g., one’s own coaches or opponent coaches/players/fans) who are perceived as standing in the way of one’s favorite team winning. It’s only a game whose object is to carry an inflated ball across a field of grass and cross a “goal line” and occasionally kick that inflated ball through two upright posts. Instead of light entertainment and a healthy diversion, football has become for some an unhealthy passion that saints would deplore.

  • Instead of light entertainment and a healthy diversion, football has become for some an unhealthy passion that saints would deplore.

    Actually, many saints like football. Some like it so much, that they have started their own team in New Orleans. It has been doing rather well of late. 😉

    Though it is certainly true that many football fans lack charity, I think football does a great deal of good as well. It is one of the few occasions that manage to bring the community together, allowing the kind of interaction that healthy societies require. Even if they are coming together for a game, they are still coming together.

    I think sports also tends to teach many virtues to both athletes and fans about hard work, teamwork, leadership, etc. While many athletes are divas, those athletes usually do not succeed in the same way or as well as virtuous ones (for every T.O., there’s a Drew Brees).

    While sports should never come before family or God, even fanatic sports fans can live a healthy and virtuous life in which sports plays an uplifting role.

  • Question:

    Is praying for an LSU victory when it looked like Tennessee won the game a wasted prayer?

    Those “Hail Mary’s” could have been used for the salvation of your soul, instead they were used for an event that has almost nothing to do with reaching Heaven and achieved eternal salvation.

    Just a question, probably a good post to write about to.

  • And on that note …

    Speaking of taking things far too seriously, it’s funny how, as soon as the preaching begins, threads suddenly tend to get a lot less fun.

    😉

  • Is praying for an LSU victory when it looked like Tennessee won the game a wasted prayer?

    Those “Hail Mary’s” could have been used for the salvation of your soul, instead they were used for an event that has almost nothing to do with reaching Heaven and achieved eternal salvation.

    Oh, I was praying before the last play (both times). Praying for other people can be a good thing, I think. Of course, it is interesting how sports games can make people when they don't often do so. As a sports fan, you can cheer and make noise, but you are largely unable to affect the result on the field before us. Similarly, we as humans are largely unable to alter the events around us. If one recognizes that we pray during sports because we can do no more, and that such is often the case in our own lives, where we pridefully think we can do more than we can, than this might help in our salvation.

  • Good point Jay.

    But I figure if this is a Catholic website, we could examine such issues (on another post).

    🙂

  • Actually, I was referring to a comment above, but I suppose it could apply to your overly-preachy preachiosity, as well, Tito.

    😉

  • I don’t have a comment, but if we have another emoticon in a row we all lose our man cards. Looking out for everybody.

  • I can’t find the firy rage emoticon. >(

  • Sadly Paul, I was unable to download the Yahoo Emoticon plug-in for the upgrade of our website. So we’ll be stuck with these basic four or five emoticons.

    🙁

  • Do they have one of those emoticons that flip the bird?

  • Sadly Paul, I was unable to download the Yahoo Emoticon plug-in for the upgrade of our website. So we’ll be stuck with these basic four or five emoticons.

    Then how on earth are we going to bring TAC to the millions of teenage girls out there? :_(

  • Do they have one of those emoticons that flip the bird?

    Never seen an emoticon bird.

    If they had, I’m sure we’d have seen it from certain people in these comboxes.

  • I’d have probably used it a time or two myself.

  • Kansas State: They haven’t played anyone, but get the chance to prove it against Nebraska. It’s a nice story-but they’ll lose big.

    Boy, when I’m right, I’m right.

CatholicVote & Endorsements

Thursday, September 30, AD 2010

The folks of CatholicVote had some objections to my post Tuesday. Brian Burch had this to say in the comment box:

Thanks Michael for your post, though I am compelled to respond and disagree with much of what you and others have written. I do believe that the questions you raise are highly relevant to the conversation occurring within the Church today about the proper role of the laity in public life, and especially American politics. I should also note for those that don’t know, Michael has been, and continues to be, a guest blogger on CatholicVote.org and we continue to welcome his contributions (and disagreements) on our site should he choose to cross post there.

CatholicVote.org was founded specifically to champion the cause of faithful citizenship from a distinctly lay perspective. As such, we seek to serve the Church by assisting the laity with material, catechetical resources, news and commentary, and tools for evangelization (videos, ads, etc) that incorporate an authentic Catholic worldview as applied to our civic life, in pursuit of the common good. To be sure, the issues that involve intrinsic evils, or questions that involve the “non-negotiable” issues are always treated as foundational, and not open to compromise or debate for Catholics. Our programming has almost exclusively been focused on the life issue, for example.

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38 Responses to CatholicVote & Endorsements

  • You mean all these years as a Catholic I wasn’t a
    Bear fan? Wow I should really get rid of all the Bears stuff I have. Maybe I should Drink the Greenbay Koolaid. Not!
    Anyway I am glad this is a blog that allows discussion and disagreement in a civil way without name calling. I thank you for your blog but I also appreciate all the help that Catholicvote gives us. Thanks for the blogs and God Bless

  • As the article clearly points out, Green Bay fans are not Catholics either so do not drink that Koolaid. Only those fans of the noble Who Dat Nation, the New Orleans Saints, are living out their call as Catholics to the fullest.

  • This is precisely where we hope to provide the laity some needed counterweight to the default socialist oriented, government-first, policy prejudices often assumed to be the more authentically “Catholic” position on many issues.

    It would be nice if you disclosure your bias on your website. I propose a FaithfulCatholicVoter.org to provide a counterweight to the default anti-solidarity policy prejudices often assumed to be the more authentically “Catholic” position on many issues.

  • to provide a counterweight to the default anti-solidarity

    ‘Anti-solidarity’? What does that mean?

  • In my hare-brained opinion: the USCCB, the commie-cath (Gospel of St. Marx) social justice crowd, et al have embraced humanism, statism and secular socialism: such that they believe it is a moral imperative to displace the evil, racist, unjust private sector distribution of goods and services with Obama regime rationing by hate-filled, class-envy warrior-bureaucrats.

  • I voted Demokrat because I believe the government will do a better job of spending your (hard-earned) money than you do. NOT!

  • I voted Democrat because I’m more concerned about keeping keep all death row murderers alive than murdering millions of unborn babies by abortion.

  • I voted Democrat because I believe oil companies’ profits of 4% on a gallon of gas are obscene but the government taxing the same gallon of gas at 15% isn’t.

    Stop me . . .

  • In my hare-brained opinion: the USCCB, the commie-cath (Gospel of St. Marx) social justice crowd, et al have embraced humanism, statism and secular socialism: such that they believe it is a moral imperative to displace the evil, racist, unjust private sector distribution of goods and services with Obama regime rationing by hate-filled, class-envy warrior-bureaucrats.

    You clearly have devoted not one second to examining what the USCCB actually has said.

    Stop me . . .

    That I will do quite gladly.

  • CV could do a great service by putting the responses to the questionnaires online.

  • Once, again, Michael you are right on target. It seems to me that the folks from CV who have responded to your post do not really grasp what it is you are arguing, which suggests to me that they are more entrenched in their partisanship and dubious interpretation of subsidiarity than I initially thought. It reminds me of some of the leftist Catholic groups who misunderstand and/or misapply other chief principles of Catholic social thought, such as the dignity of human life and the common good.

  • Denton: Do you dislike my hare-brained opinion?

    Spend two seconds. Prove it false. Give me examples.

  • Spend two seconds. Prove it false. Give me examples

    Uh, no. You want to accuse the bishops of being Marxists, you darn well better have some proof. Burden of proof is on you this time.

  • I don’t think Nate Sliver’s percentage likelihood of winning is the best barometer. It’s true that Lipinski and Fortenberry are in the driver’s seat. But as I mentioned, we are supporting Lipinksi for many of the same reasons you like Cao. And in fact, because he’s a Democrat, that makes it all the more important. Fortenberry is now in the driver’s seat, thanks to the fact that a high-profile challenger (Nebraska’s Lt Gov) opted against a run. If he wins big and has strong support, it will make the case for a strong run against Nelson in 2012.

    A look at the other races:

    Benishek – Larry Sabato and Cook Report both had this at a Toss Up for months and only changed it to Leans R this past week.

    Schilling – Sabato has this as a Likely D race, but Cook now considers this a Toss Up. So opinion on this race varies.

    Duffy – Sabato has this race as a Toss Up.

    Guinta – Sabato has this race as Leans R. Not Likely. So it is competitive.

    Angle – Toss Up.

    Mulvaney – Leans D, but the District has a lot +7 R advantage and DeMint has come out strong for him. So it is winnable.

    Fimian – Leans D (not Likely D as Sliver indicates). The Democrats assailed Fimian’s Catholic faith last cycle. He deserves some Catholic support (and the race is winnable.)

    We think it is good to get Catholics active in supporting good candidates in office.

    Hopefully this will encourage more good citizens to run for office so we can turn things around.

  • Joshua:

    Ok, so I gather that an important race are those races you deem competitive, which makes sense. But what of the rest of the post?

  • I don’t think the claiming the USCCB has a specific agenda (whatever that may be) and claiming that is equal to what the bishops think is necessarily the case. One only has to look at the USCCB’s support of Health Care reform (with three objections) and the positions of the Bishops of Denver and Sioux City to understand that they can be quite different.

    The USCCB is made up in large part of laymen who have their own political perspectives. I think it fair to say it is quite liberal in a modern American sense and does not exhaust the possibile options for lay opinion. The USCCB in the past would note that their judgments were THEIR prudential judgments. Not so anymore.

  • Michael, you state that we at CatholicVote are “endorsing in the name of the Church.”

    I think it’s helpful to be more specific about terms. As Americans we sometimes use the words Church and the Bishops interchangeably when obviously in a true sense the terms are distinct.

    We at CatholicVote agree with the Bishops’ that they should not endorse candidates for office. We think having them outline the principles of Catholic teaching is a great role for them. But they think it’s wiser for them to not endorse candidates so as to not divide the flock.

    As a lay Catholic group, representing lay Catholics, we strive to put these principles into action. Not only through further education and lobbying (which the Bishops also do), but also through providing financial support for candidates that we think are worth supporting.

    So I don’t think we claiming to representing the Bishops. But yes, we do hope to be good representatives of the Catholic vote, by which I mean, the Catholic laity, who must ultimately decide who to vote for. The Bishops (rightly) won’t say which candidate to vote for. We come along and suggest that Candidate X is better than Y — we then give our reasons and state that we base this on Catholic teaching. Some of our conclusions are based on non-negotiables like life and marriage. Other issues are open to prudential debate and we freely admit that other Catholics applying the teachings of the Church could come down on the other side on a given issue.

    For example, on health care, there is considerable debate on which legislative program or health care delivery system would be the most just or the best application of Catholic principles (or at the very least an improvement).

    You think lay groups should avoid coming to conclusions. But this is where you and I very much disagree. Lay Catholics have been asking for more guidance. They love that their Shepherds outline the principles, but they then ask, okay, so who do you think we should support?

    We answer and give our reasons and, like our website says: “Unlike the issues of life, marriage, and religious freedom, these issues allow for a variance of policy approaches, and not every Catholic must agree with us (though we think you should!). We use the teachings of our Church, the lessons of history, nature, and our intellects to form our judgments in this area.”

    Michael, you contend that it’s virtually impossible to find candidates that could be defended and supported along Catholic principles.

    But with Bobby Schilling, Frank Guinta, and Keith Fimian we have three pro-life and pro-marriage Catholics who are trying to defeat Phil Hare, Carol Shea-Porter and Gerry Connolly — all pro-abortion “Catholics.” Additionally Shea-Porter and Connolly have co-sponsored a bill to repeal DOMA.

    We think it makes sense to get Catholics to financially support these three candidates (and the others we have endorsed) because we think they would be a vast improvement over their competitor.

    David Obey had a mixed record on life. Now that he’s retiring, Obey is supporting Julia Lassa, who is supported by Emily’s List. We think Catholics should financially help pro-life and pro-marriage Sean Duffy win this race.

    No candidate is perfect. And CatholicVote itself is made up of fallible people. But I don’t think that this means we shouldn’t have start a campaign fund that tries to support candidates along the teachings outlined by the Church. In fact, I think that’s a great idea. Obviously. 🙂

    Michael, I hope you re-consider your thoughts on this matter. If you move from being negative to neutral on the question of Catholics starting a PAC, that would be an improvement. But I do hope you begin to see it as a net good. I’m not asking for you to think it is perfect, but that it is better to have this PAC than not to.

    We think it is important for Catholics to become more politically active and to financially support good candidates for office. Will the next Congress have Julia Lassa, Phil Hare, Gerry Connolly and Carol Shea-Porter? Or do we have the chance to send Sean Duffy, Bobby Schlling, Keith Fimian and Frank Guinta to Congress?

    We can use all the help we can get. Let’s get these candidates the resources they need to win.

    How do you expect good people to get elected if you won’t support them when they run?

  • So I don’t think we claiming to representing the Bishops.

    I really don’t know where this line of argumentation came from. I never claimed that CV was attempting to represent the bishops, but the Church. What I argued was that CV, in speaking for the Church, was claiming authority it does not have (namely to produce conclusions on proper applications of Church teaching).

    Lay Catholics have been asking for more guidance. They love that their Shepherds outline the principles, but they then ask, okay, so who do you think we should support?

    There is a difference between guidance and answers: guidance helps you understand the problem and the possible solutions. By pronouncing the principles, the bishops are giving guidance. No, the bishops aren’t giving the quick “Vote for X” easy answer-not out of a concern for division of the flock, but b/c there are no easy answers. You have this bizarre view of the bishops as seemingly afraid and unable to endorse the candidates they know need endorsing. Instead, they’re not endorsing b/c there isn’t an clear favorite.

    Let’s take Schilling for example. 10.0 score. Pro-life and pro-marriage, but judging by his issues pages it seems pretty clear he’s in favor of deportation (with the euphemistic “should be given the opportunity to return to their country of origin”), in clear violation of the Church’s teaching on immigration & deportation. He also propounds the disgusting and demeaning view that “immigrants must be required to learn the English language as all American citizens are.” I imagine that if his blurbs on national security were expounded, we would find that he is favor of the unjust wars and torture (though if we had the CV questionnaire, we might have a resource to know for sure).

    How on earth do you balance that? Perhaps you make the judgment that abortion & marriage outweigh the damage he does on immigration & national security, and can make arguments on that (arguments I probably would agree with). But it is far from conclusive there is a definitive Catholic answer on this.

    In short, you simplify where simplification is not warranted. Catholics will be better voters when they understand that there is not a simple answer, and that both parties have significant problems that need to be addressed with substantial reforms. CV’s PAC moves us away from that, providing lazy Catholics with a quick checklist that fails to address the whole range of Catholic teaching. Instead of arguing whether the GOP or Democrats are more in line with Church teaching and then funding the GOP, CV’s resources would be better spent educating Catholics and politicians about the teachings of the Church. Even if one accepts endorsements by Catholic lay groups as permissible, those endorsements would be better served by promoting candidates who bravely defy party convention in favor of Church teaching (pro-life Democrats; socially-conscious Republicans-in this, CV’s endorsement of a democrat is encouraging, though frankly it seems to be a token endorsement).

    You ask how I expect good people to get elected if I won’t support them. My answer is that I think political reform will come not by electing a candidate her or there, but by fundamental changes in party philosophy. Neither party accepts the dignity of human life (Dems reject via abortion, escr, etc. ; GOP rejects via torture, war & immigration). Until those parties are converted, we can expect Catholic social teaching to remain untried. CV is not working towards that end, and so I think it ultimately a waste or misuse of resources. However, the work it is doing is not leading Catholic Voters to pressure politicians for a holistic embrace of CHurch teaching, so I’m afraid I cannot find CV’s PAC a neutral. Rather, CV’s PAC is doing demonstrable harm by attempting to simplify and frankly perverting (through bizarre interpretations on a number of issues) Church teaching, leading Catholic voters away from the goals they ought to pursue. It would be better if it did not exist.

  • Actually there is nothing is CST that prohibits deportation.

  • I might also add that leaning the language of the receiving country is not prohibited by CST either.

  • Michael,

    No need to provoke silly fights between TAC and CV. I critiqued you and your readers only for their unwillingness to draw specific conclusions on how Catholics ought to measure candidates, particularly in the admittedly messy business of applying Church teaching in areas of prudential concern. Your posts repeatedly defend this reticence.

    The “I will put the readers and contributors of TAC against any Catholic group…” sounds like playground talk. Of course you would. We hardly claim to be the only ones talking about these issues.

    But be careful you don’t get too specific, lest you have to remove the word “Catholic” from your blog name. I would hate for people to think you are speaking for the Bishops. 🙂

  • Phillip,

    I was basically going to say the same thing. What is demeaning about expecting immigrants learn the dominant language of the Nation that they are emigrating to? Moreover, even if one opposes instituting a national language, how does that conflict with Church teaching? Moreover, this:

    I imagine that if his blurbs on national security were expounded, we would find that he is favor of the unjust wars and torture

    Is the kind of crass generalization I’d expect to see at Vox Nova. First of all, we don’t know what his positions are in either respect, and second you’d then have to demonstrate precisely how those stances clearly contradicted Church teaching.

    And finally this:

    GOP rejects via torture, war & immigration)

    is off base. I know that one of the things that certain Catholics like to do is the “they’re all equally bad” game, but when you equate the Democrats clear embrace of positions absolutely antithetical to Church teachings with Republic positions that are not as clearly opposed to Church teaching, then your argument loses force. It takes a titanic leap of faith to argue that the prevailing GOP stance on immigration, for example, is in clear opposition to Church teaching. Now I’m sure someone will object and quote a passage from the Catechism or an Encyclical that actually doesn’t contradict the point I just made, but they’ll pretend it does so anyway.

    We’re also expected to swallow that the GOP “position” on the war and torture are similarly problematic. The problem is there is not GOP “position” on the latter, and while a fair majority supported the most recent wars, again you get into some difficulty proving that support for the war was a clear violation of Catholic teaching. As for torture, I would agree that some Catholic conservatives ignore the Church on this one, but then we get into the usual debate about definitions, etc.

    By the way, that’s not to say Michael’s ultimate stance on these endorsements is wrong. But I think trying to equate the faults of both parties vis a vis Catholic teaching is not going to work, at least on the issues mentioned here.

  • Brian,

    We enjoy reading Catholic Vote.

    There is no silly fight between TAC and CV.

    We both similarly aim for the same thing, engaging the public square.

    If anything we like to engage in creative dialogue to better fine tune our ideas in order to be the Creative Minority that changes America into a Catholic nation.

  • I amazed that out of a long post, Mr. Burch chooses to discuss one sentence. Alas. I was hoping at least he or Joshua Mercer would explain why CV did not post the questionnaires…

    No need to provoke silly fights between TAC and CV.

    I didn’t. You mischaracterized the nature of the readers & writers but pretending that somehow they lacked the courage to engage in issues involving prudence. That’s simply not true and I corrected you. All of our contributors advocate taking a particular prudential stand as being the one most in accord with Church teaching.

    sounds like playground talk

    What kind of playgrounds do you go to?

    But be careful you don’t get too specific, lest you have to remove the word “Catholic” from your blog name. I would hate for people to think you are speaking for the Bishops

    I imagine you think this is rather clever & witty, but it actually reinforces my point. TAC only promises a Catholic forum; TAC has not endorsed a candidate nor as a group claimed x prudential decision is the correct decision of a Catholic. In short, TAC is doing precisely what the Catholic laity ought to be doing by discussing these issues without issuing conclusions in the name of the Church. If TAC did, you are right, they should remove the Catholic from their name.

  • Now that I’ve critiqued Michael, let me come to my co-bloggers defense (not that he can’t hold his own).

    The “I will put the readers and contributors of TAC against any Catholic group…” sounds like playground talk. Of course you would. We hardly claim to be the only ones talking about these issues.

    He was merely responding to a comment that seemed to indicate that this blog and other Catholic blogs were not addressing serious issues as thoroughly as CV. Maybe you didn’t mean to imply that you were the only ones talking about the issues, but it certainly came across as an implicit put-down. Therefore I don’t think that Michael’s comment would qualify as “playground talk.” I also don’t think that Michael provoked any silly fights – he’s simply questioning – in a reasonable way, IMOHO – the basis of your endorsements. Nothing wrong with some good honest debate, is there?

  • I was basically going to say the same thing. What is demeaning about expecting immigrants learn the dominant language of the Nation that they are emigrating to? Moreover, even if one opposes instituting a national language, how does that conflict with Church teaching?

    There’s a difference between expecting them to learn it and “requiring” them to learn it. I don’t know what that requirement entails or what it is required for. As someone hesitant about governmental power, I think that would make you a little nervous.

    Is the kind of crass generalization I’d expect to see at Vox Nova. First of all, we don’t know what his positions are in either respect, and second you’d then have to demonstrate precisely how those stances clearly contradicted Church teaching.

    Maybe I shouldn’t be so judgmental, you’re right. I based my opinion on the fact that if you’re against torture you usually promote that, and so its absence seemed suspicious to me.

    The problem is there is not GOP “position” on the latter, and while a fair majority supported the most recent wars, again you get into some difficulty proving that support for the war was a clear violation of Catholic teaching

    It is hard as you point out to pinpoint one belief of the party, but that is true of both parties. While we could discuss the issues you name more in depth at a later time regarding whether a Catholic could hold those positions, I think it is fair to say that most Republicans who did and continue to support the war in Iraq are not doing so on just war grounds. The same in immigration. The problem is not merely the conclusions are wrong but that the GOP is not using the right principles.

    Now, one could retort that the Democrats did not oppose the war on just war grounds either, which is true and gets to my point-we need to argue for the adoption of these principles first and foremost, then we could discuss whether x party is better living them out than y party.

  • Is the kind of crass generalization I’d expect to see at Vox Nova.

    Let’s play nice. No need to impugn TAC’s reputation.

    🙂

  • There’s a difference between expecting them to learn it and “requiring” them to learn it. I don’t know what that requirement entails or what it is required for. As someone hesitant about governmental power, I think that would make you a little nervous.

    I guess I’d like to know what exactly Schilling is calling for. If he’s advocating that English be the national language, then I don’t have a problem with that. Beyond that, I can’t see how you could “require” anyone to learn any language.

    As for war/torture, the difficulty is that the when it comes to torture, the issue gets fuzzy because there are few politicians of any stripe that clearly advocate for torture. What we get instead are endless debates about “enhanced interrogation techniques,” so it’s not exactly as black and white as, say, abortion and gay marriage. But since I don’t want this thread to descend into the one millionth debate about torture, I’ll just leave it at that.

    Let’s play nice. No need to impugn TAC’s reputation.

    Sorry. That was truly below the belt. 😉

  • To answer a question that has arisen a few times: If we told the candidates that we would make their answers on the Questionnaire open to the public (and thus fuel for their opponents) candidates would never fill out our Questionnaire.

  • If we told the candidates that we would make their answers on the Questionnaire open to the public (and thus fuel for their opponents) candidates would never fill out our Questionnaire.

    Then your questionnaire is fairly meaningless as far as giving advice to others on who to vote for. I am just supposed to take CV’s word on it that these candidates are have appropriate answers on all these issues? I don’t think so.

    While I understand the position you guys are in, you can’t use the questionnaire to defend your candidates and their positions if you’re not willing to make it public.

    How many people did in fact return the questionnaire?

  • I think Michael is not being charitable in discussing the efforts we are trying to do with CatholicVote PAC.

    I hope others on this site will disagree with his assessment that CV PAC is causing “demonstrable harm.”

    We all may hope and work towards a day when all people will take the appropriate time to investigate all the issues and all the candidates.

    But to suggest that CV PAC is hindering or hampering that goal is grossly unfair. We hope our videos, our website (with the Issues pages and our blog) will further aid a vigorous discussion about these issues. And we hope to engage the American people with advertisements on the radio and TV, too.

    We are trying our best to steer the national political conversation towards a Catholic view of life and family and, yes, subsidiarity.

    I’m not saying we’re perfect, that we won’t make a mistake from time to time, or that we aren’t open to debate and critique.

    But I do hope that others will not accept Denton’s view that: “It would be better if [CV PAC] did not exist.”

    Groups like National Right to Life have candidates fill out Questionnaires and then work hard to educate voters on the candidates and their different positions. They provide a slate from top to bottom for people to support statewide.

    If they failed to do a checklist (which Denton seems to indicate is over-simplification and thus bad), this would not help bring the day when every voter exams the issues as much as we all do.

    No, in fact, if they refused to produce a simple checklist, they would be doing a gross disservice to thousands of pro-life voters who look to them to do research on the different candidates.

  • Michael, all nine candidates on our Endorsements page returned the Questionnaire.

    And again, we are not the first to make use of Questionnaires. If we told the candidates that we would go public with their answers, then they would not fill out our Questionnaire. Or in order to get anyone to respond with a Questionnaire, we would have to offer only the most basic simple Yes and No questions that honestly would provide us little more information than the candidate’s own public statements offer.

    Campaigns see the value of an endorsement and are willing to provide a PAC with more detailed answers on questions (including also internal polling and fundraising details to show their likelihood of success) in return for the PAC not going public with all the information.

    Again, this is not unique to CV. National Right to Life, Emily’s List, Club for Growth, etc, all use this same strategy so they can better determine which candidates are truly worth supporting.

    The alternative which you would prefer (full answers) is just not possible in this political environment.

    So, yes, the supporters of CatholicVote entrust our research team to make the best judgment of public and private information on which candidates to support – given all the realities and difficulties.

    There could be other or better ways to determine which candidate to support. I’m open to suggestions.

  • Tito/Michael,

    After re-reading my original post, I understand my critique of TAC could have been misinterpreted as more broad. My point was that I think you are wrong to sit on the sidelines and counsel Catholic groups against drawing conclusions on specific candidates.

    Whether we have wrongly applied the principle of subsidiarity, as Mr. Acquila seems to imply, remains a good question that deserves to be debated. But your argument that such particular judgments ought to be avoided altogether in the context of specific candidates remains unconvincing.

    It seems to me the debate boils down to this: should a Catholic lay organization spend time and resources researching and interviewing candidates for office and drawing specific conclusions for Catholic voters based on their application of the principles of Cath social doctrine? Your position seems to be, yes to research and conversation, but no conclusions. We disagree, and believe the trajectory of the development of the Church in this area, namely an increased deference (on non-negotiable questions) to the role of the laity, is precisely what is needed.

    Another point – we do not “endorse in the name of the Church.” In fact, we explicitly disclaim this in multiple places on our website, and I am dubious of the accusation that somehow, unknowing Catholics (or non-Catholics) will assume that CV is the political mouthpiece of the institutional Church.

    Final point, whether we adjust our policy and reserve the right to publicly disclose candidate responses to our questionnaire remains a point of debate within CV. I am not aware of what other political orgs do. For now, if you would like to see the blank questionnaire, we would be happy to share it.

    And of course, Catholic social teaching, authentically read, requires all football loving Americans to cheer for the Bears. See you in the playoffs.

  • Joshua:

    When I refer to CV PAC, I assume that is the branch of CV that handles the endorsements and the donations. My understanding was that the videos and blog were a separate aspect of CV. Never having been read into the structure of CV, I could be wrong. My comments ought to be taken that it would be better for CV to cease its endorsing activities, but that hopefully it will redirected its resources in more productive ways.

    The comparison to NRLC is apples/oranges. NRLC claims only a handful of issues and proclaims those issues to be the most important ones. The scores are based on those issues and are designed to educate on those issues. If I am not mistaken, NRLC (or other groups like) will often provide detailed voting records to justify their scores. NRLC also does not claim to speak for the Church. CV on the hand is supposed to be addressing all issues in the name of Catholicism.

    While I think a checklist on a narrow slate of issues isn’t a good way to base your vote (as you have said, I think we need to be broader than single-issue), it can be informative. There are however other ways for CV to provide research considering the scope of issues it claims to address. A much longer write-up on the candidates would be a start, such that it could address all the issues in a more in-depth way. It could provide a comparison between the candidates in a race (actually reid’s record to angle’s, for example). There are a lot of innovative ideas that using technology and social media CV could employ that would be far more informative than the simple “We like X” that would also avoid making conclusions on matters of prudence.

    The alternative which you would prefer (full answers) is just not possible in this political environment

    I’m not saying don’t use them, but I don’t think you can keep them secret while at the same time arguing that their presence justifies your decision. If someone tells me “Hey, I talked to that person. It’s okay,” I’m not going to base my decision on the fact that they talked; rather, I am going to base my opinion on my ability to trust the person telling me it’s ok. In other words, for these questionnaires to have an impact on my decision to vote, I would need to really trust CV to do my job for me.

    all nine candidates on our Endorsements page returned the Questionnaire.

    I figured that. But how many were sent out and how many were returned was more of what I was asking.

  • The USCCB letter on economics (“Economic Justice For All”) would be merely incomprehensible if it hadn’t been written with the stated intent of issuing pastoral counsel on a topic of which the Bishops freely admit, in the letter itself, to having no advanced knowledge. In doing so, it becomes a rather dangerous document written by Chruch authorities who clearly should have been dealing with more important issues in their own backyards at the time it was written (1986). I have the letter open in front of me right now and it is self-contradictory and does not even make correct use of the terms “economy” and “economics.” It is quite literally nonsensical from any perspective of academic and economic thought, from Keynesian to Austrian, and it is an all-around unfortunate document for the USCCB to have attached its name to, considering that the letter might seem to those who don’t know any better to offer meaninfgul instruction on topics that are indeed very imporant and which the Church can and does ameliorate on some levels: poverty and injustice.

  • Mr. Burch

    Your position seems to be, yes to research and conversation, but no conclusions.

    I think that’s accurate.

    Another point – we do not “endorse in the name of the Church.” In fact, we explicitly disclaim this in multiple places on our website, and I am dubious of the accusation that somehow, unknowing Catholics (or non-Catholics) will assume that CV is the political mouthpiece of the institutional Church.

    I think your error is in assuming that if people know that CV is not speaking on behalf of say the USCCB or bishops, then it’s not speaking on behalf of the Church. That’s not true. Once you claim to be Catholic, your actions and your statements are representative of Catholicism as a whole. This is true for us as individuals living our lives (think of how many people have been turned off from the Church b/c of person who claimed to be Catholic that lived a life that was anything but), and especially true for groups claiming to be Catholic in the public square. This requires a heightened duty to be faithful to the Church’s teaching.

    When CV says “this is our position” it is also saying “This is the position of good Catholics” regardless of the number of disclaimers put on the website. Insofar as prudence is involved both in the application of Catholic principles to various issues as well as the weighing of issues between one another, I think it is imprudent at best for Catholic groups to make such statements.

    For now, if you would like to see the blank questionnaire, we would be happy to share it.

    I think that would be very helpful in figuring out what CV is basing its decision on.

    And of course, Catholic social teaching, authentically read, requires all football loving Americans to cheer for the Bears.

    The fact that CV is led by someone who does not root for the Saints tells me all I need to know about CV’s lack of commitment to true Catholic principles. 😉

    See you in the playoffs.

    That’s very kind of you to tune in to watch Saints playoffs games. You’ll find them very entertaining.

  • I take back my snide remark towards Vox Nova.

    I like those guys (really I do).

    Charity needs to start somewhere.

  • Some thoughts from the Bishop of Camden on culture and migration:

    “The defense of cultural pluralism, especially in regard to migrant peoples, is always consistent with the Holy Father’s understanding of the human person. To strip a person of his or her culture, to reduce a person to an object, when only a person can truly be human is to be able to have the freedom to create their own culture. The Holy Father’s theory of culture is perhaps best expressed in a talk that he gave at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on June 2, 1980. This gave him the opportunity to speak in later discourses on the relationship of culture and faith. The theme of the talk was that the future of mankind depends on culture. In that historic talk he said, “It is through culture that man lives a truly human life. Human life is also culture in the sense that it is by culture that man is distinguished and differentiated from everything else that exists in the visible world; man cannot do without culture.”27 If we were to apply this to the situation of migrants, a migrant person also cannot do without culture. He or she often straddles two cultures and not only must maintain his or her own, but also acquire all that a new culture entails; languages, customs, etc. Migrants become the purveyors of diversity which contributes to the ultimate unity of the human family.”

    While he does not state that learning the language of the receiving country should be forced, he does note that the migrant should acquire the culture of the receiving nation as a duty of becoming a member of that nation. This includes its language.

    I might argue that failure to do so is a moral failure. As there are rights, there is always a corresponding duty. Moral failures can be compelled by legal requirements.

TAC NFL Rankings Week 3

Tuesday, September 28, AD 2010

Well, this has been boring, right? Steelers, Bears, and Chiefs are undefeated, just like we expected. Yawn.

Rankings…BEFORE the jump! (gotta keep you on your toes). Comments by me (MD), MJ (MJ), and Paul (PZ).

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers (4) – The most complete team in the NFL–without Big Ben (MJ)
  2. Indianapolis Colts – As is the case with Green Bay and New Orleans, one gets the sense that Indy hasn’t really kicked into high gear yet, which is just truly terrifying to ponder. (PZ)
  3. New Orleans Saints (TIE w/ Indy) – Losing a game coming off a Monday nighter on the West Coast isn’t the end of the world, but when you’re a field goal miss away from a win against the main division rival, it hurts. (MD)
  4. Green Bay Packers – Outplayed the Bears for 57 minutes (MJ)
  5. Chicago Bears – Has there ever been a softer 3-0 team?  Maybe the 2006 Bears.  They have a soft schedule coming up, so they may be able to coast by for a while, but something tells me we will be soon shown that they are indeed who we thought they were.(PZ)
  6. New York Jets – So is the secret recipe just letting Mark Sanchez throw the ball? (MJ)
  7. Atlanta Falcons – They got the win, but barely against a Saints team not at 100% (Porter, Bush out + short week). They won’t get that lucky again.
  8. Baltimore Ravens – Not sure about this team; we’ll find out this week when they play the Steelers (MD)
  9. Kansas City Chiefs – This isn’t going to last, but I can’t really keep an undefeated team out of the top ten.  Jamaal Charles is just absolutely explosive, and they need to stop giving Thomas Jones the majority of the carries.(PZ)
  10. New England Patriots – Not the best two weeks of Pats football. (MD)

Others receiving votes: Eagles & Texans

Dropping out: Texans, Dolphins, and Chargers

Continue reading...

3 Responses to TAC NFL Rankings Week 3

  • Obviously, last year was a special year for the Saints, and no one (very few, anyway) thought this year’d be an exact repeat. However, I think the Super Bowl hangover has hit New Orleans pretty hard.

    Brees is still very good, but not great. His pinpoint precision is not there. The receivers have dropped passes they were catching last year. There’s no Mike Bell to alternate with Pierre Thomas.

    Defensively, Fujita’s presence is missing. And, if you want big fantasy team points, just take whatever tight end is playing against New Orleans. Rosario will be good for 8 catches, 60 yards, and a TD this weekend.

  • I was not expecting the loathsome Bears to continue to be undefeated. 🙁

    This Packer fan wept bitter tears (and ground her teeth this morning when confronted with a gloating Chi-town native – grrrrrr!)

  • Donna V,
    Bears fan here. The Pack played a terrible game and we barely beat you. Chin up babe.

    Daledog

36 Responses to Analyzing Catholic Endorsements

  • Michael,

    This is a great post, and I agree with almost everything you say, especially:

    I have a very hard time believing Angle ought to get an endorsement over Cao under Catholic principles.

    Thomas N. Peters strikes me as very dogmatic when it comes to his conservativism (one need only peruse his posts at The American Priciples Project), which has had led to some very senseless justifications for his political and policy positions on Catholic grounds. Hence, Cao, who is, I would think, exactly the sort of candidate Peters and Catholic Vote would embrace and endorse, is not trumpeted. This, however, is par for the course for Peters. And there’s the rub: Cao voted for a bill that is contrary to Peters’ dogmatic views of the “proper role of government,” despite Cao campaigning and voting in accord with the chief tenets of Catholic morality.

    I don’t think it is a problem to be a Catholic and subscribe to many of the positions that typify American conservativism and that are not explicit directives of Catholic morality and social teaching (e.g., gun rights, certain conomic policies), though I do think a lot of these positions are untenable on philosophical and sociological grounds (but that’s for another time). The problem is when it is thought that those positions are deduced/derived from Catholic teaching, and that’s the problem with nearly all of Peters’ political commentary.

  • As you seem to indicate, it’s certainly appropriate for Catholics to endorse candidates who support Catholic teaching on non-negotiable issues of life and marriage.

    But I find it bizarre that anyone would call it “abusive” for Catholics to support political candidates that they think will help advance the public good on issues like health care, the economy, and immigration. We never said they were more important.

    As our website states, these issues are important. But they are not more important than life and family. However… they are not irrelevant either.

    Catholics should talk about what a just tax system and a just health care system would look like. If there are candidates out there that support this, why should we not support them?

    As for Rep. Joseph Cao, his campaign did not return our candidate questionnaire, which is required for our endorsement. Have them call us.

    We did however endorse Rep. Dan Lipinski, which I’m surprised you did not mention. Lipinski, like Cao, supported the health care bill with the original pro-life Stupak language. And like Cao, Lipinski refused to support the final bill which didn’t have the pro-life protections in it.

    While CatholicVote.org opposed the entire health care bill and not just the pro-abortion language, we still support Lipinski for standing true on his principles. We need to support pro-life Catholics like Lipinski or else the entire Democratic Party will be in the wilderness.

  • MJ:

    On twitter, Peters said Cao didn’t get an endorsement b/c Cao didn’t respond to some questions. Taking him at his word, it’s not as bad of an oversight.

    However, I think considering Cao is in a hotly contested seat, CV probably ought to do some following up with the Cao campaign, as Cao can use some help.

  • Yes, it is quite true that there is a problem when it is thought that positions are derived from Catholic teaching.

    Catholics have much to dislike of the right-liberalism (freedom! liberty!) that swims so strongly inside the American conservative movement (and in Britain and Australia, the parties and coalitions of the Right wear the proper labels).

    However, the cheerleading for leftist figures and policies that is justified in the name of Catholicism, as we see in the linked post as elsewhere, can truly be toxic to our discourse. First, if that ad is “racist,” well, then, what can you say? It’s a small but thuggish tactic to shut down an opponent. Have a good faith conversation about the meaning of the word? About why illegal immigration is such a big deal in border states? About how wages are impacted by the massive influx of low skilled labor in recent decades (Cesar Chavez was right about that, by the way)? NO! Bad racist so-called Catholics. Second, if that ad is noteworthy as overly heated, then the person noting that supposed fact is rather uninformed about elections – heck, there are about 10 that are “worse” (look at Grayson’s latest) just in this cycle, not to mention the very rough and tumble 19th Century, which puts even Lyndon Johnson and his daises to shame.

  • Catholics should talk about what a just tax system and a just health care system would look like. If there are candidates out there that support this, why should we not support them?

    Not going to let this slip, since you appear to be begging the question against Michael. What exactly does a “just tax system and a just health care system” look like? Can you give an example of an “unjust tax system” or an “unjust health care system” such that if an American politician were to endorse one or the other you would refuse to endorse him/her on Catholic grounds?

    As for Rep. Joseph Cao, his campaign did not return our candidate questionnaire, which is required for our endorsement. Have them call us.

    If returning your questionnaire is a necessary condition for endorsement, and assuming few candidates actually do so, then how exactly do Catholics (like me) benefit from a CV endorsement? It seems likely that you will end up providing little to no guidance to Catholics in most political contests. Further, there is obviously some asymmetry with respect to your endorsements and oppositions; it does not appear that returning a questionnaire is a necessary condition for being condemned by CatholicVote.

    While CatholicVote.org opposed the entire health care bill and not just the pro-abortion language

    This seems disingenuous, then. The health care bill that included the pro-life protections was not contrary to any Catholic moral or social principles, so your opposition to it could only be justified (if it even could have been justified in the first place) on grounds quite apart from expressed Catholic teaching. Calling yourselves “CatholicVote” while opposing policies that are not themselves in conflict with Catholic moral and social teaching is misleading and, it seems to me, partisan.

  • it’s certainly appropriate for Catholics to endorse candidates who support Catholic teaching on non-negotiable issues of life and marriage.

    No, that is not what I indicated. For a Catholic to endorse a candidate requires more than token acceptance of pro-life views on abortion and marriage, but rather a wholistic embrace of Catholic social teaching-an embrace rarely found in either party.

    For example, there’s not a word on the site about torture. How do you claim a candidate is Catholic without examining this issue?

  • Michael,

    As you point out, CV’s emaciation of Catholic social teaching and its vague reference to the “proper role of government” seems to be arbitrary.

  • Michael, you make good points (especially about that humorless crusader called Minion!). And I also respect Anh Cao a lot – my wife has donated to him, and I’ve been to fundraisers. Let’s say he’s one Republican I hope wins this year (even if I think he made the wrong prudential call on the final healthcare bill).

    You have flagged the core problem here. It is one thing to claim that some issues are more important than others, or to support somebody while holding your nose over certain issues. But the Peters brigade goes much further. While calling themselves “Catholic Vote”, they actually seize a principle about the role of government which is quite at odds with a Catholic understanding and a Catholic sensibility. While we can certainly have debates over the appropriate role of government, I think certain positions can be ruled out of bounds, and Angle’s ultra-liberalism is one of them.

    It is rooted in a philosopical principle that the Church has long condemned. To give just one of many examples, Pope Paul VI in Octogesima Adveniens warns about the attraction of liberalism as a counterweight to totalitarianism: “the very root of philosophical liberalism is an erroneous affirmation of the autonomy of the individual in his activity, his motivation and the exercise of his liberty”.

    In essence, it forsakes all notions of solidarity. In healthcare in particular, this “evil individualistic spirit” sees health as personal responsibility and opposes all notions that the fortunate must be compelled to subsidize the unfortunate. This was really at the essence of the healthcare debate. During the debate, the Peters brigade used abortion as a smokescreen to mask their true liberal position. This explains why not a single one of these people supported the House bill, which had the language on abortion approved by the USCCB. Only Cao…

  • I agree with what you say here, and MM did point out some rather questionable issues with some of Angle’s views, but I do have a hard time considering Reid pro-life. He may not be as rabid a pro-abort as some other Dems, but a Cao he is not. Yet some on VN are painting the Reid v Angle as a pro-life Dem v. pro-life Rep contest, as though there is no difference between the two on that issue.

  • but I do have a hard time considering Reid pro-life. He may not be as rabid a pro-abort as some other Dems, but a Cao he is not.

    I thought the votes MM quoted showed me enough to not trust Reid on abortion; whether Angle is more trustworthy I cannot say, as I am not from Nevada and have no real interest in the race.

    Michael, you make good points (especially about that humorless crusader called Minion!

    You know what? You want me to call you by the full name, you gotta have a shorter name. I come from a generation where if you have a name that gets more than three letters in text-speak, you’re doing pretty good 😉

    MJ & MM

    I have a hard time accepting that either party has an understanding the proper role of government. While subsidiarity does call for smaller government, it does allow for larger ones to step if there’s a problem that either can’t or isn’t being addressed by the smaller. Healthcare seems to fit that bill. However, the Dems didn’t seem really interested in constructing a system that was geared towards returning the system to more local control (local, not state). To be fair, they had a hard time constructing much of anything with the lobbyists and such, but it seems to me that both parties didn’t really represent solidiarity in that debate. Which approach did more violence to the principle is hard to tell and up for discussion-which is precisely why it’s so hard to say “x candidate is good on the issues” in this partisan environment. Both sides have some elements of social teaching in them, but neither has nearly enough to be called Catholic.

  • My position is that there are a few issues, abortion and euthanasia being among them, where there is a clear Catholic position. On most other issues the Church leaves her sons and daughters free to execise their wits and determine their own positions.

    This letter from then Cardinal Ratzinger to Cardinal McCarrick in 2004 has helped shape my thinking in this area:

    Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion. General Principles

    by Joseph Ratzinger

    1. Presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion should be a conscious decision, based on a reasoned judgement regarding one’s worthiness to do so, according to the Church’s objective criteria, asking such questions as: “Am I in full communion with the Catholic Church? Am I guilty of grave sin? Have I incurred a penalty (e.g. excommunication, interdict) that forbids me to receive Holy Communion? Have I prepared myself by fasting for at least an hour?” The practice of indiscriminately presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion, merely as a consequence of being present at Mass, is an abuse that must be corrected (cf. Instruction “Redemptionis Sacramentum,” nos. 81, 83).

    2. The Church teaches that abortion or euthanasia is a grave sin. The Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae, with reference to judicial decisions or civil laws that authorise or promote abortion or euthanasia, states that there is a “grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection. […] In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to ‘take part in a propaganda campaign in favour of such a law or vote for it’” (no. 73). Christians have a “grave obligation of conscience not to cooperate formally in practices which, even if permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to God’s law. Indeed, from the moral standpoint, it is never licit to cooperate formally in evil. […] This cooperation can never be justified either by invoking respect for the freedom of others or by appealing to the fact that civil law permits it or requires it” (no. 74).

    3. 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.

    4. Apart from an individuals’s judgement about his worthiness to present himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, the minister of Holy Communion may find himself in the situation where he must refuse to distribute Holy Communion to someone, such as in cases of a declared excommunication, a declared interdict, or an obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin (cf. can. 915).

    5. Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.

    6. When “these precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they were not possible,” and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, “the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it” (cf. Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts Declaration “Holy Communion and Divorced, Civilly Remarried Catholics” [2002], nos. 3-4). This decision, properly speaking, is not a sanction or a penalty. Nor is the minister of Holy Communion passing judgement on the person’s subjective guilt, but rather is reacting to the person’s public unworthiness to receive Holy Communion due to an objective situation of sin.

    [N.B. A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favour of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.]

  • I posted the folloing in the comments sectio9n of MM’s post.

    Justice is the moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbor. Justice toward God is called the “virtue of religion.” Justice toward men disposes one to respect the rights of each and to establish in human relationships the harmony that promotes equity with regard to persons and to the common good. The just man, often mentioned in the Sacred Scriptures, is distinguished by habitual right thinking and the uprightness of his conduct toward his neighbor. “You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.”(Lev 19:15) “Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.(Col 4:1) Emphsis mine.

    Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 1807

    I think the discussion would be better made if took are catagoris from the Church’s teaching rather than secular political talking points.

    Questions

    What is the proper due to of a government to it’s citizens?
    What is the proper due to of a government to non-citizens it has allowed to reside there.
    What is the proper due to of a government to non-citizens who have moved there in violation of it’s own laws?

    That is probably not exhaustive but to have just policy all of them must be answered in a way supports giving each his popper due.

    Without the hype Ms Angle’s add is accusing Senator Reid of wanting the Government to take from what is due citizens and lawful resident non-citizens and to give unlawfully present non-citizens more than their due.

    I do not know all the facts of the situation, and would most likely dislike them both if I did, but there is nothing inherently racist in the video. If you want to disagree with Ms Angle go ahead send some money to Senator Reid’s campaign, but the accusation of racism is over the top and not really conductive to charity.

  • “He also claims Cao did not return CV’s questions, explaining why there is no endorsement.

    Well we should be able to correct that problem down here

  • We need to support pro-life Catholics like Lipinski or else the entire Democratic Party will be in the wilderness

    A fellow named Stupak showed us all not too long ago that the promises of “pro-life” Democrats are worth less than a warm bucket of spit. I’ll not let myself be suckered again.

  • Thanks Michael for your post, though I am compelled to respond and disagree with much of what you and others have written. I do believe that the questions you raise are highly relevant to the conversation occurring within the Church today about the proper role of the laity in public life, and especially American politics. I should also note for those that don’t know, Michael has been, and continues to be, a guest blogger on CatholicVote.org and we continue to welcome his contributions (and disagreements) on our site should he choose to cross post there.

    CatholicVote.org was founded specifically to champion the cause of faithful citizenship from a distinctly lay perspective. As such, we seek to serve the Church by assisting the laity with material, catechetical resources, news and commentary, and tools for evangelization (videos, ads, etc) that incorporate an authentic Catholic worldview as applied to our civic life, in pursuit of the common good. To be sure, the issues that involve intrinsic evils, or questions that involve the “non-negotiable” issues are always treated as foundational, and not open to compromise or debate for Catholics. Our programming has almost exclusively been focused on the life issue, for example.

    However, it should come as no surprise that Catholic voters are confronted with a host of public policy questions where an authentic Catholic approach to a particular public policy solution is not as easily discernible. Your beef seems to focus on our use of prudence in reading Church teaching, particularly on the issue of subsidiarity, in evaluating and scoring candidates for public office. This is precisely the debate we hoped to spawn, namely, one that involves questions of prudence in the application of this foundational principle of Catholic social teaching to the questions of economic justice, taxes, immigration, health care, and other issues where Catholics in good conscience are permitted to disagree. To your credit, you acknowledge that our scoring analysis makes clear that we make no claim that Church teaching binds Catholics to vote and follow particular policy approaches on these prudential matters. That does not mean, however, that the principles and guidance of the Church should be ignored, or as some here suggest, be kept out of the public square by Catholic groups in the context of specific candidates seeking elected office.

    This is precisely where we hope to provide the laity some needed counterweight to the default socialist oriented, government-first, policy prejudices often assumed to be the more authentically “Catholic” position on many issues. We openly acknowledge our reading of Catholic social doctrine to incorporate the principle of subsidiarity in the development of policy prescriptions that seek to bring about the conditions most conducive to the common good. This reading of Church teaching, not altogether novel incidentally, leads us to advocate in many instances a more limited role for the federal government in the governance and control of policies that impact our economy, health care and so forth.

    I think it is perfectly defensible to suggest that the Church, particularly since Vatican II, and more recently the public statements from the Holy Father, urge the laity to assume a more active role in this area. Quite frankly, I continue to be disappointed in the reluctance on the part of highly competent Catholics (including many of your readers) to engage these questions head on. This is precisely the function of the laity, whom in many cases possess a level of competence or expertise in various areas (economic policy or health care delivery for example) that may exceed even that of our priests or bishops or, most certainly, the staff of the USCCB. This is in no way intended to slight our bishops, whom we serve and obey without qualification on questions of faith and morals. But it does seem to me of utmost importance that the laity assert their role, apply their insights and expertise in light of the guidance provided by the Church, and most importantly, not be afraid to say that their judgments are informed by Catholic social doctrine and tradtion. Catholic voters in return can more responsibly rely on lay groups such as mine as a place to help formulate and articulate political positions that are shaped and guided by the insights of the Church.

    Whether Sharon Angle for example should be supported by Catholics is a highly relevant question, which we unabashedly try to answer. There are some Catholics who may disagree with our judgment, but I find it odd, if not irresponsible, to suggest that Catholic laity (or groups using the word Catholic in their name) should shun such judgments.

    Finally, I think it important to propose that Catholics begin to work to overcome the “single-issue voter” critique, as if the Catholics who follow the Church’s teaching on the life issue have nothing further to contribute to the our national political conversation. We have much we can offer, and indeed must learn to articulate the ways in which the life issue is indeed foundational, by and through, our articulation of a Catholic approach to other issues. Socialist Catholic organizations have understood this for years, and have harmed the Church because, unlike you and me, they don’t truly take seriously the non-negotiable issues to begin with.

    I have written far to much for a comment box, and I could go on much further, but perhaps I should stop now and allow the discussion to continue. Your post, and the comments by your readers are indeed helpful and thought provoking. Like most here, I hope this conversation, and any success we achieve, contributes in some small way, to the New Evangelization, of which we are all a part. Any grammatical mistakes, spelling errors, or lapses in logic can be blamed on my lack of sleep from Monday night, having attended that glorious upset of the Packers at Soldier Field. Go Bears.

    But wait, a few final remarks –

    – our questionnaire that must be completed prior to any endorsement is the most extensive questionnaire that I know of. It is not multiple choice, and requires candidates to submit lengthy answers, including an explicit question asking about their opposition to torture;

    – those that read into the placement of issues on our website as indicative of the priority we place on these issues are simply looking to cause trouble; if the work we have done, and the commentary provided by Thomas and others on our site has not made plain that we believe the issues of life, marriage, and religious liberty to be foundational, then they I can’t help them.

    – Finally, the endorsements on our site do not constitute a comprehensive list of all candidates worthy of an endorsement or Catholic attention; because this is our first public foray with our PAC, we have chosen to keep our “slate” to a limited number of candidates who qualify for our endorsement, and whose races we believe to be significant

  • “A fellow named Stupak showed us all not too long ago that the promises of “pro-life” Democrats are worth less than a warm bucket of spit. I’ll not let myself be suckered again.”

    Words to live by Donna.

  • A fellow named Stupak showed us all not too long ago that the promises of “pro-life” Democrats are worth less than a warm bucket of spit. I’ll not let myself be suckered again.

    I know this debate dragged on for quite some time, and I do not wish to rehash it, but it is not at all apparent to me that Stupak betrayed any pro-life principles. Stupak remains a hero of mine and many other pro-life Catholics.

  • Well, IIRC, Stupak proposed an amendment that would have provided some pro-life protection in the health care bill, and voted for the package including the amendment (as did Cao). The Senate dumped the amendment, and when it came back to the house, Stupak voted for it w/o his amendment (Cao voted against after the amendment was dropped). So, who did his Father’s will?

  • For months Stupak, along with the Bishops and the vast majority of pro-life advocates, argued that the bill provided federal funding for abortion. He stated that he couldn’t support the bill unless it included language specifically excluding abortion. He said that, without such language, the bill was “unacceptable”.

    Then, when push came to shove, he voted for the very bill that he had previously said was “unacceptable” because it funded abortion. He chose voting with Pelosi over voting with the Bishops. Then, in defense of himself, and in speaking against Republican efforts to reintroduce HIS OWN Stupak Amendment, he smeared the very pro-lifers who had stood with him for months as not caring about health care for mothers and only caring about babies up until the time they are born:

    http://proecclesia.blogspot.com/2010/03/smear.html

    As if that weren’t enough, he then attacked the Bishops and other pro-lifers as “hypocrites”:

    http://proecclesia.blogspot.com/2010/03/smear-part-2-stupak-attacks-catholic.html

    I’d say that’s a fairly serious compromise of one’s pro-life principles.

    It’s funny because Rick Santorum is still raked over the coals (and rightfully so) for his far less egregious sell out of the pro-life cause in his support of Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey. It almost seems that every misstep by pro-life Republicans is magnified as a sell-out of epic proportion (and I happily join in on piling on the GOP when that happens). So why would we give more deference to a pro-life Democrat whose actions arguably will, if the Bishops prove to be correct, actually lead to more abortions via federal funding?

    I was one of Stupak’s biggest cheerleaders during the healthcare debate, and often referred to him as a “hero” myself. The fact that he is a Democrat made him even more of a hero in my book. I was even willing to support the final bill (a bill I otherwise opposed) had the Stupak language been inserted, and to encourage others to do so, just as a show of good faith that a Democrat who had up until then stood up for pro-life principles against the pro-abort Dem leadership would be rewarded for his actions.

    So I understand the desperate need to find true pro-life Democrat heros. But not at the expense of calling Stupak’s sell out exactly what it was – a betrayal of pro-life principles far more egregious and far-reaching in its consequences than most pro-life sell-outs.

  • Jay, Very true. Many pro-life activists were very excited about Bart Stupak for standing true to his principles. In fact, we at CatholicVote launched a video comparing him to Braveheart and encouraged people to Stand With Stupak (www.standwithstupak.com). The hope was that he would begin a strong and bold pro-life movement within the Democratic Party.

    Conservatives said that this was wishful thinking — that Stupak would betray the pro-life cause.

    And he did betray us. Like Jay said, he also attacked those who stood with him.

  • Nice article, Michael. To stir the pot a little, the focus on abortion and family as the greatest political issue may come into conflict with what John Paul II taught: “the one issue which most challenges our human and Christian consciences is the poverty of countless millions of men and women.”

  • “most challenges” can mean a lot of things, nate, not necessarily “this is the most important issue.” I do think the poverty around us-spiritual and material-is what spurs us into politics. What issues we address in order to cure that poverty is the question. Indeed, part of the difficulty is that in America we have artificially divided things into separate issues whereas in Catholic social teaching, as Benedict makes clear in Caritas in Veritate, all issues are part of a whole.

    This wholeness, in turn, makes voting difficult and endorsing almost impossible for Catholics in America.

  • Michael, in terms of substance, this is one of the best pieces I have read on this blog in a very long time.

  • “I was one of Stupak’s biggest cheerleaders during the healthcare debate, and often referred to him as a “hero” myself.”

    I reacted the same way Jay, a mistake I am going to do my best not to repeat.

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  • Jay,

    From this:

    He stated that he couldn’t support the bill unless it included language specifically excluding abortion. He said that, without such language, the bill was “unacceptable”.

    Then, when push came to shove, he voted for the very bill that he had previously said was “unacceptable” because it funded abortion.

    you make the following inference:

    I’d say that’s a fairly serious compromise of one’s pro-life principles.

    The inference simply does not follow. You can (rightly, I think) charge Stupak with inconsistency on the substance of the healthcare bill. But it does not follow from his inconsistency that he compromised his pro-life principles. He stated that he voted for the bill because of the Presidential Executive Order, whose content he deemed sufficient to block that content of the bill over which he objected. Now, we can debate over the efficacy and content of the PEO or whether Stupak misunderstood it, but either option would be a matter separate from the question over whether Stupak compromised his pro-life principles.

  • He stated that he voted for the bill because of the Presidential Executive Order, whose content he deemed sufficient to block that content of the bill over which he objected.

    But the statement that the executive order changed Stupak’s opinion is an obvious lie. The executive order has no effect whatsoever on the legislation; the executive order did not and could not trump the congressional legislation (as its text makes clear). I think Stupak has received more criticism than he probably deserves; I am certain his efforts did result in some marginal improvements in the ultimate shape of the legislation.

    But his performance at the end was simply a disgrace – first he bashed pro-lifers, then he lied about the significance of the executive order. There was no need for him to do this – he could have simply said – ‘look, I was bluffing to get the best pro-life deal I could in the legislation, and in the end they called my bluff’. Instead he tried to play pro-lifers for fools by claiming the executive order was significant (it wasn’t), and then kicked sand in their eyes with antagonistic comments. Certainly, he was under a lot of pressure, but let’s not pretend he behaved in an honest or praiseworthy manner. I’m discounting as unworthy of serious consideration the idea that Stupak was unaware that the executive order was meaningless – it’s possible he’s an ignoramus on matters relating to the most basic facets of his job, but I’m assuming (perhaps erroneously) that he is not.

    Lest you think I am mis-stating the significance of the order, here’s Slate and the Volokh Conspiracy puzzling over Stupak’s bizarre behavior in light of the legal effect of the order.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2248490/
    “Why did Bart Stupak hold out for a meaningless executive order?”

    http://volokh.com/2010/03/22/the-stupak-conundrum-why-did-the-stupak-nine-change-their-positions-on-the-health-care-bill-in-exchange-for-a-meaningless-executive-order/

  • I think there are two interpretations of what Stupak did.

    1) Stupak sold out. He was grandstanding to make a name for himself and to get more favor for his vote that he could trade for earmarks for his Michigan. The pro-life schtick was a sham.

    2) Stupak realized at the 11th hour that he had failed and that Obamacare would fund abortion. Hoping to at least bind the Obama administration as much as possible, he traded his vote, which he now knew was meaningless, for the EO in order to at least slow down the flow of abortion funds into the coffers until the GOP could come back and fix it.

    #1 doesn’t make much sense, because it seems to have been a gross miscalculation as everyone dislikes him now. #2 doesn’t square away with the comments he directed towards the pro-lifers who had faithfully backed him. The whole thing doesn’t quite make sense, and Stupak is still trying to argue the EO means something (he & pro-healthcare Catholics seem to be the few who think this). Until he comes clean, we can argue about it. But I think it’s possible that Stupak made a prudential error in voting for the bill in order to get the best pro-life protection he could get-which wasn’t much, if anything.

  • I just think he was sincerely pro-life and pro-health care and pro-his career. He was under a lot of pressure and made some poor choices (and voting for the bill wasn’t necessarily one of them). There is no legal basis for claiming the executive order accomplished anything. None. It’s impossible for me to believe that Stupak doesn’t know this, given that he was (theoretically) holding hostage Obama’s signature initiative for this reason. My problem is less with his actions re: voting, than how he went about it, which reflected some combination of foolishness and dishonesty, although we can disagree about how much there was of each. It’s one thing to vote for the bill. Quite another to make obviously false statements about the rationale for said vote, and attack pro-lifers in the process.

  • This:

    the statement that the executive order changed Stupak’s opinion is an obvious lie.

    Does not follow from this:

    The executive order has no effect whatsoever on the legislation; the executive order did not and could not trump the congressional legislation (as its text makes clear).

    This problematic way of drawing inferences is what I pointed out about Jay’s commment.

    There seems to me to be no grounds for the following three claims:

    1. Stupak compromised his pro-life principles (made by Jay)
    2. Stupak betrayed the pro-life cause (made by Joshua)
    3. Stupak lied (made by John)

    None of these three claims follows from the facts of the matter. Instead, each claim depends by and large on speculation about Stupak’s intentions and understanding with respect to the bill and the PEO. It may be the case that Stupak made an error of judgment about the nature and content of the PEO and its precise relation to the bill, and we could criticize him for this mistake (if he made one) and express our disappointment that he made it. But to attribute ill-will to Stupak (e.g., “he lied,” “he betrayed us”) or to claim he compromised his faith and principles is to not only go well beyond the facts we have available to us, it is to give no benefit whatsoever of the doubt to him. In that case, I question the motives behind portraying Stupak in the worst possible light (it’s hard to imagine saying anything worse about his legislative actions than that he deliberately compromised key Catholic moral principles or willingly deceived pro-lifers).

    A more charitable take on the Stupak case is that he misjudged or misunderstood what was at stake with respect to the PEO. This seems to me to be more plausible than the speculation offered in this thread.

  • A more charitable take on the Stupak case is that he misjudged or misunderstood what was at stake with respect to the PEO

    It is possible for a third way-that he understood that it was weak, but took the deal because it’s better than nothing. That doesn’t mean he betrayed his pro-life principles, but rather did what he thought best to secure the best pro-life bill he could.

    But to attribute ill-will to Stupak (e.g., “he lied,” “he betrayed us”) or to claim he compromised his faith and principles is to not only go well beyond the facts we have available to us, it is to give no benefit whatsoever of the doubt to him.

    I think his comments from the House floor really hurt a lot of his former supporters. While they could be more charitable, Stupak did also stir the fire against him and made a lot of mistakes in handling how he switched his vote so that mistrust is understandable even if not ultimately justified.

  • Stupak decided to fight the good fight, until the going got rough and then he capitulated unconditionally. Obama gave him the executive order as a figleaf, nothing more. More’s the pity if Stupak has managed to convince himself that what he did accomplished anything for the pro-life cause.

  • MJ,

    I would be willing to buy your take and to have given Stupak the benefit of the doubt had he not, after all was said and done, attacked the pro-lifers who had stood with him. Had he not called the Bishops and other pro-lifers “hypocrites” for their pointing out the worthlessness of the Executive Order.

    The evidence of Stupak’s bad faith lies not in conjecture on my part, but in his words and deeds since he switched his vote.

  • John Henry and I haven’t always agreed on everything (usually differences over form rather than substance), but I know him to be one of the more thoughtful and measured contributors here. He is not prone to harsh words about anyone, and in those very few instances where his commentary does take on an edge, it is almost never without justification.

    I also know John Henry to have once held Bart Stupak in the highest esteem.

    So, the fact that John Henry now takes this tack with regard to Stupak’s actions gives me confidence that Stupak’s critics here are not acting uncharitably or in bad faith in forming their assessments of him.

  • None of these three claims follows from the facts of the matter. Instead, each claim depends by and large on speculation about Stupak’s intentions and understanding with respect to the bill and the PEO. It may be the case that Stupak made an error of judgment about the nature and content of the PEO and its precise relation to the bill, and we could criticize him for this mistake (if he made one) and express our disappointment that he made it

    Respectfully, MJ, you seem to be ignoring the main issue and injecting doubt into the discussion about the executive order where none exists. Everyone from Ezra Klein to Slate to the conservative law profs at Volokh agree that the Executive Order carried no legal force; it did nothing to modify the law and said as much in the plain text of the Order. Stupak’s claim on that score is simply false, and your comments haven’t acknowledged that. Once we understand that his statements were clearly false, we are left with two (unflattering) conclusions:

    1) Stupak knew they were false, and was trying to save face by claiming the Executive Order had some legal force.

    2) Stupak made a deal completely misunderstanding its contents.

    As I said, I find the second explanation implausible; Stupak was holding the entire health care reform bill hostage over this issue. Either he knew or he should have known that the deal he made was meaningless. I don’t even see why 2 is really all that much more flattering than 1; is it really more flattering to portray him as an ignorant dupe than a politician caught in a tight spot who decided to lie to cover up for his reversal? Your comments suggest you think it is, but you haven’t explained why. There is no ambiguity here legally; pretending there is simply wishful thinking. As I said, Stupak has received more criticism than he deserves; that does not mean the criticisms are wholly unfounded – your comments here have been rather obtuse.

  • He is not prone to harsh words about anyone, and in those very few instances where his commentary does take on an edge, it is almost never without justification.

    I don’t really agree with this – I have wished I were more charitable towards people in comment threads (including you, as you know) many, many times – but thank you for saying it. As for Stupak, I think it was fine for him to make a prudential judgment about the health care reform bill; I just think he should have been more upfront about his reasons for doing so (or if he was being honest, he shouldn’t have agreed to a deal that he clearly didn’t understand).

TAC College Football Rankings Week 4

Monday, September 27, AD 2010

This weekend was the first opportunity for me to rejoin my brethren in purple & gold, and enjoy the tailgating, so college football has officially begun. Notes from the week:

  • 8:15 games are lame, made more so with long TV timeouts. I didn’t get home till 1:45 (granted, I waited out the traffic at a nearby apartment but still).
  • The Big East in in trouble. No one in the Top 25, with all three marquee teams losing this weekend (WVU, Pitt, & Cincy).
  • The ACC is a mystery to me. With GT losing and UNC’s troubles, hard to pick a favorite. Miami looks good, and NC State is undefeated, but the Hokies don’t have a conference loss yet and made a good statement against BC.
  • As of right now, the SEC West has the teams ranked #1, #10, #12, and #15 in the AP poll. Your chaos of the season will ride on what happens there (as well as what happens when Florida plays some of those teams-starting this week when Bama is rewarded for its efforts v. the Hogs by meeting the stronger-looking Gators at home). You may begin an “S-E-C!” chant now.
  • Do you think Brian Kelly & Notre Shame expected to be 1-3 right now?
  • What happened to Georgia? They got creamed by Moo U. and sit firmly behind Vandy in the SEC East. Very sad.
  • The Heisman race continues to intrigue. Ingram, despite missing a few games, looks solid. Robinson was out for much of the game but looks ok. Pryor handled business, and Peterson added another special teams TD. I will say that I acted very dignified when peterson scored his TD and did the Heisman pose. And by dignified, I mean jump up and down so much that I almost knocked my sister down. However, I did resist putting that picture as the lead this week (saving it for a future week, perhaps?)
  • Right now, I think conference ranks are 1. SEC, 2. PAC-10, 3. Big-10, 4. Big 12, 5. MWC, 6. ACC, 7. Boise St. 8. Big East.
  • This week, Idaho receives no votes in the TAC poll. In a unrelated story, the TAC poll gains nation-wide credibility (love ya, tito!)

Ok, rankings after the jump.

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40 Responses to TAC College Football Rankings Week 4

  • This week, Idaho receives no votes in the TAC poll. In a unrelated story, the TAC poll gains nation-wide credibility (love ya, tito!)

    I don’t know…TAMU and Kansas State are somehow getting votes! 😉

  • And check out Dave and Denton with their blatant anti-USC bias!

  • Michael,

    Please tell me you were not among the Boo Birds in Death Valley Saturday night.

    Although I believe that Miles waited too long to put Lee in (at least for a couple of series), I can’t understand those fans who actively booed JJ.

    Imagine that LSU is entertaining a top QB prospect (or any other position, for that matter). Is that what we want highly-touted recruits to see and hear? That our fans will jump all over them when they’re stuggling?

    Crowton, IMHO, is the problem. He’s got to be replaced if the offense doesn’t get any better this year.

  • I did not boo when JJ came back in. I don’t boo players. However, I was trying to start a “Jar-ret Lee!” chant before then. Didn’t work.

    Crowton needed to be replaced last year.

    And check out Dave and Denton with their blatant anti-USC bias!

    I did rank them. I think that’s better than previously.

  • Look on the bright side, T-sippers: you’ve shown improvement against UCLA since your last drubbing at their hands.

    In between drubbings, I recall a certain inVINCEable outing for the Longhorns.

  • All USC has to do is beat a lathargic Washington Huskies squad and they should easily move up my poll, that is if the Men of Troy actually decide to field a defensive squad. There are bound to be upsets this week, so the Trojans should move up quite nicely. By the way what happened to Jake Locker? Is it him or is the Huskies offensive line a pale comparison of last year’s unit?

  • It’s nice of y’all to put Michigan at 15, but that’s overrating my team.

    The offense is a beast, but the defense is a porous, talent-deficient nightmare. They scrap, but they’re so clearly overmatched it’s not funny. My original prediction for this year was 7-5. If the breaks fall their way, they could get to 8-4. The two-all-but-guaranteed losses are to OSU and Wisconsin, both road games. Almost as likely is a loss to Iowa, even though that’s a home game and they played the Hawkeyes really tough last year. They likely lose to either (but not both) MSU or PSU. Then toss in the annual rude surprise, and you’re back at my original pick. I want to believe, but I don’t.

  • In retrospect, I’m thinking my assessment of Ryan Mallett was a little overly harsh. I’m not sure he actually had much of an opportunity to fold like a cheap card table while he was at Michigan, and he actually performed fairly well in some of the games he started, such as in the 38-0 routing of the Fighting Irish.

    But he certainly folded like a cheap card table in the 2nd half of that Alabama game.

  • No, you were right about Mallett, basically. Yes, he wasn’t on the field much, but the scuttlebutt about the guy’s attitude was strongly suggestive of a folder. Lloyd Carr was *not* delighted with him during his last year as coach, and IIRC, there were hints he would have transferred even if Carr had stayed on another year.

  • Oh, and I would have voted OSU number 1–and not as some kind of jinx, either. 🙂

    ‘Bama’s good, don’t get me wrong. But I think they’re good for at *least* one conference loss this year. National Championship hangover plus everyone in the SEC gunning for them every week.

  • TAMU!

    Gig ‘em!

    If the Aggies beat Oklahoma State this weekend, then I think they are worthy of a vote for the week 5 rankings. Up to now, they haven’t shown us anything.

  • It’s been a fun couple of years to be a Stanford fan (Handing USC its largest loss ever was too sweet). But once your coach gets the national spotlight… (Hands off, Dale Price.)

  • rather, this Thursday.

  • Sorry, jchris–the Harbaugh Watch has been on since the gun sounded at the end of the OSU game last year.

    I see what RichRod’s trying to do, and when it works–wow. But his defenses have to get better, fast, or he’s going to be out, and Dave Brandon’s going to be knocking on your door.

  • Oh, and I would have voted OSU number 1–and not as some kind of jinx, either.

    You could always write your own rankings that would be included…:)

    Michigan at 15 makes sense just b/c of the makeup this year. 1-5 are solid contenders (though I have a feeling oregon will switch out with Stanford this week), 6-15 are teams that could be contenders but have problems (LSU and Florida fit this mold pretty well), and after that are a lot of teams that could have decent seasons. Michigan is on the cusp of being a contender, not to mention I don’t trust many of the other Big 10 teams (Wisconsin is begging to be beaten). so 15 is about right.

  • My prediction: if RichRod doesn’t beat Tressell in the next couple of years, I think Stanford fans can say “So long” to Harbaugh.

  • You sure Michigan doesn’t want Michigan man Les Miles? We’ll even throw in an offensive coordinator!

  • I am a homer for TAMU.

    After their less than thrilling 3-0 run, I dropped them a few.

    I’ll continue to drop them if they don’t have an impressive win soon and OSU should provide the Aggies for that.

    Gig ’em!

    (self-honorary Aggie fan)

  • I am not sure Harbaugh would come back to Michigan. Think about it Stanford’s a great job. If you don’t do well, people will say your academics are too tough. Ty Willingham looked like a genius at Stanford, but far from it at Notre Dame and Washington. There are certain jobs that just don’t have much pressure. Pitt is another one, few in Western Pennsylvania care about the Pitt Panthers. Their main focus is the Steelers and Penn State as an after thought, Dave Wannstedt with all of his underachievement looks like a genius compared to the Pirates front office.

  • I hope you’re right, Dave, but I’m skeptical. Maybe getting burned in basketball by Mike Montgomery’s traitorous jump to Cal has me jaded.

  • Michael Denton,

    What’s the name of your banana colored kitten gravatar?

  • Mike the Tiger. He also goes by “Who needs Offense?” and “He who won a national title with Les Miles”

  • j. christian:

    “ALL YOUR COACH ARE BELONG TO UM.”

    🙂

  • Lolz, Dale. I mean, all those women’s tennis titles are fine, but can’t we have just a few more good years of football, please?

  • If you’d like a modicum of comfort: Harbaugh antagonized some folks with his comment about Michigan academics a couple years back. It rankles in some quarters.

    A little more comfort: there are still influential Michigan Mafia types pining for Les Miles. “Sure, he’s wacky–BUT HE COACHED WITH BO SCHEMBECHLER (PBUH)!” Also, it sounds like plenty of LSU fans are happy to offer Miles at a steep discount, despite being 4-0.

    The best thing that can happen for fans of the Cardinal is a good Michigan season. So far, so good.

  • I like Les, but any deal to get rid of Crowton is a deal LSU should take.

  • I for one hope that Les Miles does come to Michigan. We need another curmudgeonly type in Ann Arbor. It makes the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry so much more interesting. Rich Rod doesn’t exactly seem like the well heeled Michigan man that some of the more elite alum types would have. Les isn’t exactly well heeled but he does bare a little resemblance (in personality) to Bo. Now Woody and Bo and the 10 Year War, those were the days. It certainly left an indelible mark on my childhood!

  • What we need is for Tressell to start acting like Woody. Hell, I’d pay to see him punch a Clemson player.

    (And, no, the fact that the woman to whom the Church says I was never married is a Clemson alumna has absolutely nothing to do with that. Really. It doesn’t.)

    😉

  • So much for the Ags’ top 25 hopes. But a team that turns the ball over as much as the Aggies have all year doesn’t deserve to be highly ranked.

  • I couldn’t believe that last interception – he overthrew the receiver by fifteen yards.

  • It’s a shame really. TAMU has a great team. Without the turnovers, they’d have killed OSU and been in the top 25. But 5 turnovers, particularly the last mind-boggling 2, are really disappointing for a squad that could be better.

    At least it was a great game.

  • Were we all watching the TAMU game? Lol, we may need to have an Aggie game thread next time.

  • They’ve had … what … 15 turnovers in the last 3 games, or something like that? The Ags have a lot of talent, but teams that aspire to be great can’t turn the ball over like that.

  • Total bummer dude. I just opened my Shiner after Texas scored the tying touchdown at 35. 🙁

  • Total bummer dude. I just opened my Shiner after Texas scored the tying touchdown at 35.

    TEXAS?!?

  • lol, hook em horns, Tito.

    However, Shiner is a good beer and is worthy of being opened & consumed win or lose. Probably the only good thing to ever come from Texas.

  • LOL @ MJ & MD,

    I learned that the Aggies are referred to as the “Texas Aggies”.

    Hence why you hear insecure Longhorns say that they are “The University” of Texas.

    I could be wrong, but that’s what I see and hear here in my short six years in good ole Houston.

  • That may be true, but if you’re at an Aggie bar and openly start proclaiming your love of “Texas,” very bad things will happen.

  • 10 turnovers the last two games. Mind boggling, really. This game was ripe for the picking for the Aggies, but Johnson turned the ball over WAY too many times. I don’t get it… he wasn’t prone to this sort of thing last year. Something seems to have gotten to him mentally. I hope he fixes it.

TAC College Football Rankings: Week 3

Tuesday, September 21, AD 2010

No upsets before midnight central standard time made for a fairly quiet rankings; this week we lined up more or less with the AP poll (though Tito and I threw it some curves). Some random thoughts of my own before the rankings:

Could we please stop with the Locker for #1 pick and Heisman? This is the second game he’s blown this year. He shouldn’t still be on a Heisman ballot. The Heisman is between Pryor, Robinson and Patrick Peterson (his interceptions this weekend were insane) at this point.

If Ole Miss had listened to their fans and made Admiral Ackbar their mascot, maybe they would have known that Vanderbilt & Jacksonville St. had the potential to be A TRAP! (Seriously, Ole Miss is terrible and Ackbar is a better choice than the moronic suggestions they’ve come up with so far to replace Johnny Reb. of course, the stupidity & lack of creativity of Ole Miss’s student body is how we got stuck with the lame “Magnolia Bowl” title between LSU & Ole Miss /rant.)

Brian Kelly is not a good coach, or at least not from what I saw Saturday night. A bizarre 4th & 1 decision to go for it in Notre Dame territory late in the 4th quarter as well as being totally unprepared for an obvious fake field goal situation makes me question Kelly. Coming from a fan who puts up with Les Miles’s gambles, that’s saying a lot.

Ok, time for the rankings!

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7 Responses to TAC College Football Rankings: Week 3

  • Florida v. Arkansas should be an excellent game. BTW, Razorback fans–you’re welcome for Mallett.

    Oregon’s offense reminds me of accounts of the Mongol invasions.

    We won’t know anything for sure about the Wolverines before the Michigan State game. Unless, of course, they pratfall or have UMass-like near misses against Bowling Green or Indiana.

  • Seeing the Aggies in the Top 25 is nice, but seems a bit unwarranted… especially with two games in a row with 5 turnovers… each. But then again, it only took them one quarter to outscore FIU.

  • Yeah, Tito ranked them high but no one else ranked them (not even MJ, who is an Aggie alum). I was not impressed with their effort v. FIU. I wish them all the best, but it looks like a rough year for them unless they can muster together one huge upset.

  • I am a big TAMU fan, but I must admit that they don’t belong (yet) among the T-25. They barely got by Florida International, and J. Johnson looked like a freshman against the FIU defense. I’m a bit worried about Big-12 play for the Aggies.

  • Texas A&M is my Notre Dame.

    They have the most outstanding Catholic apostolate in the country when it comes to public universities. I have met so many faithful and devout Catholics from that school that I have adopted A&M as my school to root for (after Arizona and Hawaii) while Notre Dame tries to recover from the Obama fallout.

    Yes, I’m disappointed at how A&M has started the year, but they still won. Though if they do another dead-cat bounce victory then I too will begin to think twice of their worthiness to be in the T-25.

  • Well, that game, or at least the third quarter (4 INT’s) was very uncharacteristic of Jerrod Johnson. My hope is that this was an aberration. They did manage to pull out the win in one quarter of play, so that says something about character. Well… it’s on to Okie Lite.

  • The Aggie defense was outstanding, but Johnson was the very definition of erratic – I think the creative defensive scheming of FIU had him for three quarters (plus the very, very young O line).

    This Thursday will tell us a lot (although the OSU defense isn’t the greatest).

Benedict at Westminster

Friday, September 17, AD 2010

The text of Benedict’s keynote speech on his trip to the UK is here; video of the speech can be found here.

Obviously, you read or watch the speech in its entirety, but I will present a few highlights for readers:

And yet the fundamental questions at stake in Thomas More’s trial continue to present themselves in ever-changing terms as new social conditions emerge. Each generation, as it seeks to advance the common good, must ask anew: what are the requirements that governments may reasonably impose upon citizens, and how far do they extend? By appeal to what authority can moral dilemmas be resolved? These questions take us directly to the ethical foundations of civil discourse. If the moral principles underpinning the democratic process are themselves determined by nothing more solid than social consensus, then the fragility of the process becomes all too evident – herein lies the real challenge for democracy.

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One Response to Benedict at Westminster

Politicians and Church Platforms

Thursday, September 16, AD 2010

MM is leading a campaign to protest a book-signing of Newt Gingrich’s latest book to be held at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in D.C. The book is “To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular-Socialist Regime” and Amazon provides a description.

For once, I agree with MM: the book-signing is a bad idea. I’m a very big believer of separation of church from state, and I don’t like the appearance that the Church is being co-opted here. The book isn’t religious; it’s political. Even if I would agree with what he says in the book, I’d rather it not be promoted by being offered at a Catholic bookstore, much less be publicized through a book-signing.

Unfortunately, this is not the grounds that is offered to oppose it. Instead, we find references to Newt’s “hyper-partisan” nastiness, his racism, and his serial adultery. I don’t wish to get into an argument about the virtues and vices of Newt’s career or his potential presidential candidacy (in part b/c being of the generation I am, I have little knowledge of what Newt did). However, I do find it useful for thinking about how the Church interacts with politics, in part b/c it’s not the only example in the last week. Tony Blair wrote a column published on the front page of the Vatican’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, in anticipation of the Pope’s visit to the UK. There are a number of problems with Blair’s political career from the Church’s view, including his support for legalized abortion, gay marriage  and  the invasion of Iraq. While it doesn’t appear that Blair has political aspirations any longer, it brings up the question of how much past political failings ought to deter Church officials from granting a stage to politicians, particularly repentant ones?

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25 Responses to Politicians and Church Platforms

  • When you write of Newt’s racism what exactly are you refering to?

  • I’ll emphasize that I have no idea whether he is racist or not, but the comments he is being criticized for at VN are comments he made about the Kenyan origins of some of Obama’s socialist beliefs. MM writes:

    No, this has everything to do with Gingrich’s hyper-partisan nastiness, and his deliberate strategy of appealing to the worst in people with ugly and offensive statements – the latest being an attack on Obama for having a “Kenyan, anti-colonial” worldview. Even worse is Gingrich’s tendency to make insulting and inflammatory statements about Muslims, including by likening them to nazis.

  • Even worse is Gingrich’s tendency to make insulting and inflammatory statements about Muslims, including by likening them to nazis.

    Yes, we are all familiar with Vox Nova’s notorious aversion to likening others to Nazis; it obviously troubles M.Z. very deeply.

    Newt’s remarks about Muslims are pernicious, no doubt about it, but I can’t imagine MM would be this up in arms if Ted Kennedy had done a book signing a couple years ago. And this isn’t nearly as much of an endorsement as the ND/Obama commencement speaker episode, about which I don’t remember MM being particularly upset. On balance, sure, maybe Gingrich shouldn’t have a book signing there; but of all the things to call or write about it, it seems pretty far down on the list to me – at any rate, the primary motivation seems to be partisan in this particular case.

  • Given the way that MM and michael so cheaply throw around the term “racist” (usually for the purposes of status-posturing), it’s not particularly helpful to focus in on that point (although an open and charitable discussion about the meaning of the term would be welcome).

    In any event, the issue is a good one. Gingrich and Blair are poor examples of living the Catholic faith for a public figure, but they are also converts little experienced in the faith, and that point is true of every public figure (some, granted, are worse than others, and few worse than the current Speaker).

    I don’t see a big problem, and would be fine if Pelosi had an event there. Providing a platform does not suggest endorsement as much as it does dialogue, although providing an honor is a very different story.

    It might be best to keep all politicans out unless they are taking Communion or giving confession, just like anyone else.

  • Of all the goofy books one can find at many Church run book stores, this one has to be protested? Whether Newt has truly repented for his many moral failures is known to God and his confessor. However, to protest against him when we have all matter of nutty left wing Catholics signing books and selling them in Church owned stores is beyond me. Michael, you say the book isn’t religious. Maybe to Newt and those who will read the book, it has a religious componenet to it. As liberal government and liberal Catholicism goes down in a ball of flames, the best way to help them is to bring them into the light, not stand there and protest with them.

  • Meant to write that almost all public figures fail to live out the Catholic faith very well.

    Anyway, why not offer speaking platforms on occasion and honor no elected official? This especially makes sense for Catholic universities, as a credential does leave a stamp of approval upon its recipient.

  • Providing a platform does not suggest endorsement as much as it does dialogue, although providing an honor is a very different story.

    I think that brings up an interesting question. I wouldn’t have a problem if a Catholic university invited Obama to give a speech about his belief on abortion rights-as long as there was some other worthy figure them to provide a counter-balance.

    My question is then this: how do Catholic platforms manage to be more than simply a platform and more a place of dialogue? Does simply providing a situation where dialogue can occur be enough or should Church leaders strive to build into the events/platform some kind of dialogue?

  • Has anyone bothered to even check if “To Save America” is the book/dvd that Gingrich is signing? Because he also has a recent documentary on John Paul II’s involvement with the Solidarity movement called “9 Days that Changed the World.” He’s been promoting that fairly heavily to Catholic organizations, and held some screenings and sales of the DVD out in my neck of the woods a few months ago.

  • No, this has everything to do with…hyper-partisan nastiness, and his deliberate strategy of appealing to the worst in people with ugly and offensive statements

    Pleased to see Minion repudiate Paul Krugman and Bradford deLong.

  • I imagine that’s the DVD, but there’s no book attached to it to my knowledge. I couldn’t find out what’s being offered.

    It does change things if it’s just the DVD; however the DVD with the book doesn’t change anything to my mind.

  • I’ve spelled out my own opion on this over at Vox-Nova, but I’d be interested to hear from anyone who has seen the DVD “9 Days That Changed the World” whether and to what extent it *is* primarily religious/spiritual/heck even cultural and not a political propaganda piece. That this video is produced by the same group, Citizens United Productions, which produced America At Risk, and whose website speaks for itself(http://www.citizensunited.org/ makes me suspicious about “9 Days”–not having seen it.

  • I’m uneasy about the signing, though it is hard to form a confident opinion without more facts. But as a matter of principle it is important for the Church to not behave or appear partisan. This concern for church/state “separation” is not grounded in the First Amendment (which does not speak of any such separation), but in the values and integrity of the Church.

  • Michael – to be (somewhat) fair to the Basilica, the medium Gingrich is promoting is his religious-themed one, not his Obama-is-Hitler one. Still, the issue is not the content of the book, but the grave public scandal. Let’s say Nancy Pelosi decided to publish a book of her favorite prayers, and all agreed that the prayers were beautiful – should a Catholic church host a book signing? I think that would be most imprudent (and the same goes for Ted Kennedy, since somebody mentioned it).

    It’s funny how people around here were so quick to express their frustration with “Bush Derangement Syndome” and “Godwin’s Law” during the Bush years. Now, it is apparently no big deal that one of the most senior Republicans can claim that his opponents are more dangerous than Nazis, or play with racist fire by calling the president a “Kenyan anti-colonialist”.

    As for the Blair situation, I have not been following it, but I certainly do not hold Tony Blair in high esteem. He seems to have converted without any understanding of the consistent ethic of life.

  • The Nancy Pelosi example actually does not trouble me that much. It would be more scandalous to bestow upon her an honor ala the honorary degree awarded by ND to Obama. Simply giving her a forum to share her favorite prayers does not strike me as crossing the line, though I appreciate others might differ.

  • Still, the issue is not the content of the book, but the grave public scandal.

    How can the two be separated? I would have less concern with Pelosi hawking her “Favorite Prayers” book in a Catholic forum than her “Augustine: The Doctor of Abortion” book.

  • or play with racist fire by calling the president a “Kenyan anti-colonialist”.

    Your complaint on this point is contrived.

  • “Your complaint on this point is contrived.”

    And mundane given how the racism card is played against every critique of Obama.

  • Michael – to be (somewhat) fair to the Basilica, the medium Gingrich is promoting is his religious-themed one, not his Obama-is-Hitler one. Still, the issue is not the content of the book, but the grave public scandal.

    Is there a book attached to the DVD though? I mean, it says book & DVD signing but I only see a DVD about the JPII/Solidarity, not a book. Perhaps I need to keep up more with Newt’s offerings lol.

    Now, it is apparently no big deal that one of the most senior Republicans can claim that his opponents are more dangerous than Nazis, or play with racist fire by calling the president a “Kenyan anti-colonialist”.

    Well, he’s out of office and has been so for a long time. If he actually runs for president instead of profiting off of people who want him to, then of course higher standards will apply (i.e. any stupid comment he makes, he gets roasted). That said, I think his comments about Nazis are over the top and his comments about Kenya appear to have very weak justifications.

    On another note, is there a distinction between Newt & Obama? I remember you thought the outrage over Notre Dame was unjustified (if I’m wrong about this, correct me) and I’m curious if there’s another line you think has been crossed here that wasn’t with Obama.

  • Yes, we are all familiar with Vox Nova’s notorious aversion to likening others to Nazis; it obviously troubles M.Z. very deeply.

    You’ll have to help me on that one.

    As to Newt, I tend to avoid commentary on him. Yes, I am scandalized that he was married in a Catholic church. As long as he isn’t speaking from a pulpit, I don’t really care what what public venues he avails himself. Too much effort is spent attempting to discern an implied intent so people can be scandalized. Sometimes folks just want to be scandalized. I’m not claiming this is a particular case, just saying.

  • That doubtless is a reference to the Catholic Anarchist’s charming habit of calling everyone but himself and God a fascist, and I don’t think he is quite sure about God. However I do not think he is currently writing at Vox Nova, but is on detached duty with his parody blog entitled, what else?, The American Fascist.

  • The statement on “embracing the churches teaching on Social Justice” makes me crazy.

    The catholic left likes to wear this on their sleeve and wave it about anytime the ‘orthodox” Catholics speak to the issues of life (abortion, gay marriage, contraceptive). I believe that social justice can be summarized to mean allowing each person the right to have enough of the basic necessities to feed and shelter oneself and ones family, and making sure each person is treated fairly under the law. To hear some people talk the only way you can get to heaven is if you support big government welfare programs. This is one of those issues that allows for differing opinions. I believe that the best way to bring about social justice is to allow for a climate that promotes job growth and allows people to earn their own way. You know teaching a man to fish versus giving them a fish.

    Sorry, the social justice tag line is a pet peeve of mine.

  • Why make this so complicated? Not everyone who professes Lord, Lord is a friend of the church and Jesus warns of wolves wearing sheep clothing. You have noted that these men have converted to Catholicism, why judge your brethen so harshly and let the fruits of their labor post conversion be their judge…and what of you that have plank in your eye? and who without sin can cast the stone? There is no merit in the auguments of separation of the church and state…it is rhetoric usually uttered by enemies of
    truth and faith. Lastly it is a gift store, who says because it is run by the church it should limit it inventory to religious items…so if the bhudda belly found its way there…would you say, oh it should be catholic, religious items? Your points are worth consideration but Newt and Blair aren’t the moral compasses…the Bible, Magisterium, and Catholic tradition as basis for all matters.

  • Winkyb:

    Other than “don’t judge,” I honestly have no idea what you’re trying to say.

  • @Denton I thought I was clear…regarding your judgement. What is it you don’t understand?

TAC Pro Football Top 10

Wednesday, September 15, AD 2010

We promised pro rankings, and here they are. I promise not to abuse my discretion as poster to unnecessarily promote the official team of all orthodox Catholics, the New Orleans Saints…

…after I post that picture. Ok, now I’m done. Maybe.

Same deal as the college ranks, though we decided that debating whether the Browns or Rams were the worst team was boring, so we limited it to the top 10. Voters are myself, Tito, and Paul Zummo. Cue the ranks!

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10 Responses to TAC Pro Football Top 10

Fides et Ratio

Tuesday, September 14, AD 2010

Today is the anniversary of what might be John Paul II’s most important encyclical, Fides et ratio. Although I have not the time to give it a full treatment, if you have not read it I strongly urge you to do so as soon as possible. Catholicism’s eager embrace of reason & philosophy not only sets it apart from most other religions but also positions it to best respond to the philosophical failures that are hurting the modern world. If the modern world is to find some redemption, it will be because these words are heeded:

Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves

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5 Responses to Fides et Ratio

  • I’d welcome — personally and professionally — any thoughts on how we might facilitate the “incarnation” of papal documents amongst the masses; I’ve got a few ideas, but I’d love to hear any thoughts my fellow contributors and commentators might have.

  • I think on Catholic social teaching as a whole, the best thing is to start referencing them in homilies. If the priests act as if Catholic teaching is important, the faithful will follow suit. Furthermore, I think reading clubs or such that go over the encyclical would be great to getting adults caught up; children should get a LOT more exposure to them in religion class/ccd.

    However, I don’t know if there’s anything the Vatican can do to get them respected by the masses-and that shouldn’t be the focus yet. Let’s get the Catholics to care before we start worrying about the non-Catholics.

  • I meant the Catholic masses, Michael… most of them — as you know — are just as clueless as the non-Catholics, much to our chagrin.

    Reading groups are a good idea, but the problem there is that most Catholics are afraid of even *trying*… I think the term “encyclical” must somehow be intimidating. 🙂

    My current thought: start a reading group that emphasizes incarnation, i.e. not just understanding the text intellectually, but embodying it in our lives. And the next crucial step: the participants who value the group need to step up and *invite* others to come! We Catholics aren’t very good at that.

  • I wasn’t sure which masses you were referring to! lol

    Well, most Catholics are afraid of trying-by themselves. They’re intimidated by the philosophy, whatever. I think they can have some success if led by the priest though after the priest builds up some trust in the parish. Even if people are just showing up to hear the priest talk and explain, that’ll do some good.

    That said, I think Catholics could probably use more philosophy in their training so they’re not so afraid of encyclicals.

    And you’re definitely right; the groups need to emphasize that this isn’t just book learning; this is helpful information for how to better live out our lives as we strive for holiness.

  • Agreed, with this caveat: I think those of us who are capable must take the lead; we need to get the approval/permission/endorsement of our pastor, but chances are, he’d be *thrilled* to have us offer something like this… the guys are stretched pretty thin these days, and as much as I’d love to have them doing the actual teaching, I’ll settle for them letting competent laity doing it if he can’t.

TAC College Football Rankings: Week 2

Monday, September 13, AD 2010

Last week we debuted our fearless college rankings here at TAC. This week saw chaos in the middle and back as our #11, 12, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, and 24 teams all lost. Some of the chaos is surely due to this man:

The first lesson we need to learn is that if we keep ignoring the Federalist Papers, Madison will strike down our football teams. The other lesson is that it’s great to not be an ACC fan.

This week the rankings take on two new additions: our own Dave Hartline and Evangelical Catholicism’s M.J. Andrew. If you’re a Catholic blogger, and you’re interested in writing rankings, shoot me an email at michaelrdenton”at” gmail. com. Let’s see those rankings now, shall we?

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32 Responses to TAC College Football Rankings: Week 2

  • Tito, sir, you are a gentlemen. Gig ’em!

  • #25 I thought Air Force was one of the more interesting wins that seemed to go under the radar this weekend. COming off their Last season they could very well be legit

    #24 Fresno – I agree why not

    #22 WV I agree skeptical but it was one those game. 40th Annv of Marshal Plane Crash,Marshal feeling the heat to win because of the politics of keeping game going.

    #19 Miami(Fl) Your being generous

    #14 Arkansas- ULM did not play a game before this one so there was no game film. Also ULM has New Coach, so unknowns for Arky. Further believe it or not ULM has played them close before. So we shall see this week

    #13 Wisconsin Yall are on Crack. At the very least I would Wis change places with S.C

    #11 LSU I WISH!! The QB situation is just too unstable now

    #7 Oklahoma- Agree. Jimbo was running the show at Florida State last year. Why would this year be different. SO we don’t learn much

    #6 Nebraska I am a believer too

    #1 Alabama Yack Yack Yack!! but at this point true

  • JH:

    LSU is so high b/cit’s hard to figure out who’s ahead. 1-7 looks pretty good, 8-10 have some history of getting good later, but after that it’s a crapshoot between 11-20 and after 20 you might as well stop the ballot.

    I really don’t know what to do with Wisconsin, myself. They could be great; could suck. As for SCAR, a win over Georgia isn’t what it once was, and SCAR has had a problem with being a flash in the pan. We’ll see if they can keep it up, and if so they’ll rise.

  • I guess I just see SC wins more quality than Wisconsin. Of course with South Carolina one has a feeling that Garcia could implode at any moment

  • JH,

    If Air Force wins this week, I assure you that I’ll bump ’em all the way up into the top 15 in my voting. Maybe even top 10.

    For what it’s worth, I think they have a real shot at beating the Sooners.

  • Big Tex,

    If I’m not mistaken, one of the voters in this poll is an A&M alum, and he didn’t even give the Ags any love. I think the Aggies may be another one of Tito’s Idaho Vandal type picks.

    😉

  • A&M is grossly underrated.

    This is the year they get over the hump and finally beat Kansas State, Colorado, and TU-Austin.

    As for Idaho and Jay’s ‘comment’, Idaho played Nebraska pretty damn hard up until kickoff. That and their schedule get’s pretty easy so hopefully they’ll run the table and knock off WAC powers Boise State and Fresno State and prove me right!

  • I overlooked Houston (in my own backyard no less) and if they man-handle UCLA like they should, they’re getting my vote (assuming anyone in my top-25 loses).

    West Virginia won against Marshall because of a coaching decision of putting in a freshman RB when they had a seasoned back ready to go. The freshman fumbled inside the red-zone. If they would have scored there is no way WV would have had time enough to score 18-22 points.

    Fresno State takes on all-comers. They still have Mississippi and Illinois in their schedule.

    Not to mention WAC powers Boise State, Nevada, and Hawaii.

    If they can just win those close games watch them reek havoc in the polls!

  • Idaho played Nebraska pretty damn hard up until kickoff

    Lol.

    I’d agree with Houston getting a vote if they beat UCLA; I probably could have shoed them in to my rankins.

    West Virginia seems suspect to me. I just couldn’t figure out who to put ahead of them. However, if they try to play like that in Death Valley…well, let’s just say we came up with “Tiger Bait” (pronounced Tiii-GAH BAIT!) for a reason

  • I agree with WV. It doesn’t help that they’re in an overrated conference (thank goodness the Big Least is around, it makes the ACC look like the Black&Blue Division of the NFC North).

    LSU will walk all over them like a cheap rug.

  • I just noticed Jay putting in UVA at #25.

    They almost took out the University of Spoiled Children though.

    Tough cross-country road trip for the Cavaliers.

  • Yeah, that was a stretch, but I had to give some love to my alma mater for a late-night trip to the Colliseum that almost ended in an upset of USC.

    What does that say about the ACC that arguably the most impressive performance of the weekend came in a loss?

  • Sorry to dissappoint you Tito, but the A&M Gaggies will not beat The University.

  • …of Arizona?

    I agree, because Arizona isn’t on the schedule.

    😉

  • Sorry to dissappoint you Tito, but the A&M Gaggies will not beat The University

    I won’t tolerate anybody speaking badly about a future SEC team-which reminds me, when does the rest of the country decide to gang up to pummel UT for their nonsense this summer?

  • A&M would be a great addition to the SEC.

    I could see a great rivalry forming between A&M and LSU.

    Along the lines of the Red River Classic, games could rotate between Houston (Reliant Stadium) and New Orleans (Super Dome) every year!

  • Tito:

    We used to have that rivalry, but it got lost sometime in the conference shuffle. I have a great respect for the Aggies’ tradition and wished they could join us in the SEC (even though I don’t like the idea of super-conferences and like the SEC’s number). I hope LSU will notice the attraction of its fan base towards the Aggies and schedules a series in the near future-I think your idea of Reliant & New Orleans is a good one, though I think both schools have such great environments tha it would be a shame to be played other than Death Valley & the Home of the 12th man.

  • Jay, at A&M, we don’t have alumni. We have former students.

    cmatt & others… I didn’t realize A&M had the Volunteers on their schedule? UT is in Tennessee. If that was a typo, and you meant t.u., then yes, I think the Aggies have a better than good shot and sawing varsity’s horns off. Remember back a couple years ago, McGhee ran all over that horn defense… in Austin. Anything can happen, especially with the skill players the Aggies have on offense. Watch out for Johnson, Michael, Gray, Fuller, and Nwachukwu.

  • Michael,

    Everything’s on the table!

    A player for either school could play one game in College Station, one game in Baton Rouge, one game in the Super Dome, and one game in Reliant.

    During the course of the players four year career he would get the opportunity to play in all those great venues!

  • What a load of dung. Once again, southerners who seem to need to justify just how important they are to the world of sports spout on obnoxiously about how superior they are to the Big Ten. A careful study of Penn State history vs. the SEC will demonstrate they do pretty well thank you very much. In fact, since joining the league in ’93, PSU is 5 and 2 vs. the SEC in bowl games. In fact, only a closely contested match against Auburn and a game against Florida where PS was without Curtis Enis and Joe Jurivicius resulted in PS losses. In the SEC land, only the Bear owned Penn State and he owned everyone else too! I will take our record against the vaunted and mighty SEC any day of the week.

  • Oh and by the way, do you know the differnce between the SEC and the NFL? The SEC does not have a salary cap!

  • I follow the Big Ten and prefer it to the SEC. But the SEC is a stronger football conference. Obnoxiousness has nothing to do with it. The Big Ten has disappointed me for too long and I refuse to be in denial. That said, I still prefer the Big Ten. Overall I think they run somewhat cleaner programs more consonate with the stated ideals and objectives of college athletics. To be clear, I do not think the SEC was necessarily the stronger (let alone strongest) conference in the 90s; but it is today and has been for a while I think.

  • I’m a Southerner who now lives in Big 10 country, and who has been an Ohio State and Big 10 fan for most of my life. I also like Penn State and LOVE Joe Pa.

    Believe me, there is a lot of respect for the Big 10 reflected in this poll (Michael’s whiny comments about having to play on anything other than pristine field conditions in anything other than sunny 75-degree weather or inside a dome notwithstanding).

  • Speaking of respect for the Big 10, I just noticed that Michigan is missing from this poll, despite the fact that the Wolverines appear to have received votes from all the voters.

    What gives?

  • Speaking of respect for the Big 10, I just noticed that Michigan is missing from this poll, despite the fact that the Wolverines appear to have received votes from all the voters.

    What gives?

    Um…I screwed up. 🙁 I’ll fix it.

  • “Speaking of respect for the Big 10, I just noticed that Michigan is missing from this poll,”

    I think all Illinis would say Michael that whenever you wish to forget Michigan, that is fine with us. 😉

  • That would make Michigan come in at #20.

    Bumping the three-way tie at #25 into ‘honorable mention’ territory.

  • Believe me, there is a lot of respect for the Big 10 reflected in this poll (Michael’s whiny comments about having to play on anything other than pristine field conditions in anything other than sunny 75-degree weather or inside a dome notwithstanding).

    I actually gave a lot of respect to the Big 10 in my ballot; I think they’re either the second or third best conference right now in the country. But I do reserve the right to jab Penn St. for barely beating the worst offense in LSU history on “turf” that gave advantages beyond what proper conditions should give to a Big 10 team. (See addendum in post above)

  • @Michael Denton, @Jay, et al,

    It’s hilarious that Michael is complaining on what definition of the word “field” should be, since most Louisianan’s call the northern seabed of the Gulf of Mexico “New Orleans”.

    So I take his comments with a ginormous grain of salt.

    “You call it dinner, I call it roadkill.”
    –Tito driving through the Louisiana portion of I-10 circa 2002.

  • It’s hilarious that Michael is complaining on what definition of the word “field” should be, since most Louisianan’s call the northern seabed of the Gulf of Mexico “New Orleans”.

    Yes, but we’ve never called it a field. You’ll find that we New Orleanians have the technology to produce flat fields as opposed to Marshes, a technology we apparently have to share with the good people of Orlando.

    We will provide ginormous grains of salt from Avery Island, if you would like.

    And we don’t call it dinner; we call it “gumbo” or “boudin” and it’s delicious. 😉

  • Mike-

    Granted, I am a bit sheepish about the Cap One Bowl victory last January but not because of the field. I am a bit embarrased about the horrible unsportsmanlike conduct penaltly at the end of the game that should have been called against PSU instead of LSU. I don’t apologize for our ability to play in crappy weather. In fact, that’s my beef against the SEC outside of Bama whom we have a history with. I think Bama is the only school SEC we have ever seen in Happy Valley and I am looking forward to the battle in 2011. I sort of bristle when we are lumped in with the rep the rest of the Big Ten has. Penn State has always held its own vs. the SEC.

    I do not doubt that year in and year out the SEC is the deepest conference in football but let us just agree that the SEC with the exception of Vandy operates froma different set of rules than the SEC when it comes to “student” athletes, OK?

  • Note: should read “from the Big Ten”.

    It’s late.

TAC College Football Rankings: Week 1

Thursday, September 9, AD 2010

Idaho Vandals QB & NFL Prospect Nathan Enderle

So we’re trying a new feature here at TAC. Since we noticed we have a lot of college football fans, we thought it might be fun to start our own rankings system. This way, we have an excuse to talk college football every week in a Catholic setting. B/c we thought of it this week, this ranking is coming out on Thursday but the others should be coming out on Mondays.

Here’s how it’ll work. People will send in their rankings and I’ll assign points to them (25 for 1st, 24 for 2nd, etc.) and then average out the points and rank the teams according to that. Then I will take that score along with the computer models and…just kidding. No computer models.

My hope is that it’ll build and we’ll get more people involved (and if you want to submit rankings, let me know-you don’t have to write for TAC). At the end of the year, we may even do a special bowl pick-em thing if it seems popular enough.

Rankings follow after the jump ?

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37 Responses to TAC College Football Rankings: Week 1

  • Thanks for ranking them Michael!

    BEAR DOWN!

  • Ok, Tito. Why on earth is Idaho #8? Why do you have them so high?

  • Idaho has a four year starter in NFL prospect QB Nathan Enderle returning and putting in a fantastic performance against FCS power North Dakota.

    1,000-yard rusher Deonte Jackson is back for his senior season.

    2 starting WR’s return as well.

    7 of the top 8 DL’s return in a loaded WAC with Boise State, Fresno State, and Nevada.

    The entire LB corps returns to make the Defense one of the most feared in college football (and their back-ups return as well).

    Ditto the Secondary.

    We’ll see what happens in Lincoln this weekend when they face #6 Nebraska.

  • I agree with your take on VA Tech. Boise State was shrewd in scheduling the Hokies for their first game. VA Tech lost a disproportionate number of starters, especially on defense, whereas Boise State returned almost all their starters. VA Tech is likely to improve more than Boise State through the season.

  • You know I was kind of tempted to get a little ridiculous in my rankings – like putting the entire Big East in top 25 or something. After seeing Tito’s rankings, I kind of wish I had.

  • Mike:

    Yeah, the first game is always really tough to judge b/c some teams need it more than others i.e. need to work out the kinks & sloppiness. Both Boise & VT had their moments in that game. I still think VT will contend for the ACC crown.

    Paul:

    Please don’t. You are going to hurt my soul.

    Tito:

    Not a bad case, though 8 is really high. We’ll see what happens when you #8 meets your #1 this weekend. Maybe you’ll have me eating crow.

  • Paul,

    There’s always next week, but by then the Big-East will reveal themselves to be the usual charlatans that they are.

  • Okay, MAYBE Tito has a good argument for Idaho’s inclusion in the top 25. But at #8?

  • Very interesting Michael, you put some serious work into this project. For what it is worth, I might have to throw my prognosticating helmet into the ring. While Tito may have a West Coast bias, I have a Midwestern bias, skewing toward the Big Ten and MAC. Though I believe Jay has some loyalties to the Big 12 and ACC, he might be sympathetic to the Midwest.

    As for the poll, it looks pretty sound though I would put Ohio State over Boise St. You might want to check out the Central Michigan vs Temple game tonight, the winner could be a sleeper in the Top 25. I would also put Notre Dame in the Also Receiving Votes. I think they will manhandle Michigan this week. Though, I don’t like recent developments at Our Lady’s campus, they still have a more orthodox minded student body than any of the other major Catholic campuses. In addition, there probably hasn’t been a more faith filled Catholic coach than Gerry Faust, even if things didn’t go his way. He promptly went to the Grotto every day, as he promised Our Lady, if he got the job.

    BTW, what in the world is wrong with Joe Montana bad mouthing Rudy during the Dan Patrick Show? Let the guy have some glory. How embarrassing for Joe that some former teammates had to politely scold him for his comments.

    Finally, Tito I think the Idaho Vandals should employ you as their marketing director, that’s some pretty astute commentary on your part!

  • Dave:

    Well if Paul’s got a Big East bias and I’ve got my SEC bias, we’ll have everyone except the MWC represented!

    Also, Notre Dame did receive votes. Notre Dame was in Jay, Mine, and Paul’s top 25 but not Tito’s (or maybe very low on Tito, not sure). Since Notre Dame was pretty low on all our ballots, it fell out.

    What happened with the Joe Montana deal? I hadn’t heard about that.

  • Jay, Michael, Paul, et al.,

    And just a reminder, in our Catholic Writer’s College Football Poll Idaho is ranked #22.

    😉

  • Actually, they’re 21st since they’re tied with Penn State.

    :_(

  • Michael, Jay, & Dave,

    I had Notre Dame in at #25.

    I penalize their faculty and administration for being worldly, but you’re right about the student body.

    From what I’m aware of they are one of the most deeply devote campuses in the country outside of Thomas Aquinas College and Franciscan University-Steubenville.

    For the record, Idaho was #9 on my ballot, not #8.

  • Dave is correct that my loyalties do lie in the Midwest – I prefer Big 10 football (and have from childhood) even over my alma mater conferences, the SWC (now the Big 12 minus 2) and the ACC.

    In addition, I will give Idaho props for their awesome mascot name.

    Jay
    Van High School (Van, TX)
    Fighting Van Vandals
    1982-1986

  • Jay,

    The very same Vandals that terrorized Christian North Africa?

    😉

  • The very same Vandals that kicked @$$ and took names throughout East Texas, baby.

    😉

  • Yeaaah!

    It’s FOOTBALL season baby!

    That’s what I’m talkin’ about!

  • Michael, the Joe Montana thing rubbed me the wrong way. Perhaps it was because Rudy was nice enough to be interviewed for my book twice (along with other Notre Dame connected personalities like Lou Holtz, Dick Vitale and Gerry Faust.) He didn’t know me from Adam and yet he helped me out. He has been on the road for years giving hope to people and making a nice living for his family. (A great combination by the way, someone who is an idealist and a Capitalist all at the same time.)

    Why Joe Montana tries to ruin it for the guy is beyond me. As I stated fortunately after the Dan Patrick interview, a couple members of the 1975 squad defended Rudy and scolded Joe saying 95% of the movie was correct. Montana was only a freshman on the team, let Rudy have his fun and allow him to inspire people. Joe could take some lessons from Rudy’s exhuberance, because as a commentator Joe was terrible. Sorry if I got off topic everyone, thanks for allowing me to vent.

  • Just another reason for me to hate Joe Montana (the so-called “The Catch”, of course, taking the highest position of prominence in my hierarchy of hatred).”

  • Awww, Jay, don’t tell me you’re a cowgirls fan?

  • Dave:

    No problem. I wasn’t familiar with what Joe had said about Rudy, but I take he indicated that the movie was not accurate?

    Tito:

    No, you had Idaho at 8. I double-checked. Next week, I hope to actually figure out how to do a screenshot of the excel sheet and post it to so we can see where everyone was.

    And Jay is a cowgirls fan, which is sad, since God has clearly designated his team in New Orleans and Jay refused to believe (which reminds me-anyone up for a Pro football rankings next week?)

  • Michael,

    I double-checked and you’re right.

    In my WORD document where I made my picks I must have updated it after I sent it.

    Now I know how John Kerry feels, like a complete idiot.

  • I’m not into pro football power rankings, so I’ll just stick with the college game.

    Tito,
    I grew up in northeast Texas in the days of God’s (and His blessed mother’s) quarterback, Roger Staubach. Anyone NOT a Cowboys fan under those circumstances has no soul.

  • Jay,

    Those were there good ole days of Tex Schram.

    Luis Zendejas said in a motivational seminar where I used to work at Wal-Mart that the difference between playing for then-new head coach Jimmy Johnson and Tom Landry (he played for both) was that you would take your family to a BBQ hosted by Landry, but you would go to the strip clubs with Johnson.

  • I’d be up for pro-football rankings.

    Speaking of which – go Drew Brees and Bobby Meachem (both on my fantasy team)!

  • Yes, this is my favorite time of the sporting year (the best actual time period being rivalry week of mid November through the bowl season into early January.) Though I do like March Madness as well.

    As for nicknames, I am sucker for the politically incorrect names. At my high school (Marion Catholic in Ohio) we were the Fighting Irish. I am an Ohio University alum, and we are a member of the Mid American conference. At one time there were the Redskins (Miami of Ohio) the Hurons (Eastern Michigan) and the Chippewas (Central Michigan.) Now only the Chippewas remain. However, some alums from Eastern Michigan and Miami still travel with banners that read “Forever Hurons” and “Forever Redskins.” It was my understanding that the Huron tribe actually liked the name, but the liberal university board thought it would be offensive. Nothing like telling people that they should be offended!

    When I was in school, we had an old school Irish priest who also served as chaplain at the local correctional institute. He was always on the football sidelines exhorting the team and the crowd. One year we played a school about an hour away, where few Catholics lived. We were told some years later that the coach of the team placed a bounty on the priest. The priest was never touched because the opposing players were smart enough to know there would have been a war. During my high school years, that same priest once said that he was surprised to learn that players of German extraction had exceeded in numbers players of Irish and Italian extraction, “Maybe we should call ourselves the Fighting Germans? Well on second thought that might not go over well.” I think it was the only time he second guessed himself!

  • Dave,

    My first job out of college was as an Assistant to the Marketing Director at the University of Arizona Athletic Department. I did a lot of work in the college football industry after that so I can spin a tale or two to sell a ticket!

    Helps if the program is a winner.

    I’m also a MAC fan since I had to work with them when I was a Las Vegas Bowl rep many moons ago when their champions would meet the WAC champions.

  • Tito, ah the Las Vegas Bowl. At Ohio U, we never had a winning season in my undergrad years. For years after, fellow alums and yours truly would think of the Las Vegas Bowl as most school’s alums think of the BCS Bowl Series. We never made it! However, I did attend the MAC Championship Game and the Little Ceasar’s Bowl (formerly the Motor City Bowl) last December. Ah Detrot in December, there’s nothing like hearing gunfire as the detour signs to I-75 were mysteriosuly nowhere to be found, and you find yourself are driving through blocks of abandoned buildings. I don’t think my wife as recovered yet! Somehow, the Las Vegas Bowl of old would have sounded more inviting, though no less dangerous.

  • Yes, Ohio University.

    Back when I was more interested in sports/athletics than in God I remember Ohio U. having the best Masters in Sports Management degree in the country.

    Besides that, it is a fine and excellent university!

    The MAC is known as the cradle of college football coaches. Where all the greats start out and move on to BCS-caliber programs.

  • There is now an Idaho Vandal on my post. I guess I shall have to ensure that pictures from the LSU games make more frequent appearances.

  • Michael, just wanted to ‘improve’ the look of your post.

    It’s your post so I don’t mind if you take it down.

    🙂

  • No, it’s fine. I think it’s kinda of funny.

    That said, if you suddenly see that one of your comments now proclaims the glory of LSU football and your profound love for the purple and gold, you’ll understand why. 😉

  • LOL.

    It’s a one week wonder. Idaho will probably lose to the Cornhuskers, but hopefully not so badly so my ranking looks good!

  • Tito, thanks for the compliment concerning my alma mater, Ohio University. Yes the MAC has had some great coaches. Miami of Ohio (our hated rival) is where Sid Gilman, Paul Brown, Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler, Ara Paraseghian, Randy Walker etc got their start.

  • Can’t wait to see week’s 2 rankings beh-bee!

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Catholics and Professional Football

Thursday, September 2, AD 2010

As a person who has voted for a Republican, I am a fascist. As you may know, fascists want to control every aspect of people’s lives (and I don’t want to hear any fancy political science definitions to the contrary). With the college football season starting tonight and professional football starting a week from now, it is the perfect time to consider the ethical approach Catholics must take towards professional football. I have attempted this once before, but like Cassandra, no one really listened to my wise teachings. Therefore, I must witness once again by examining afresh all the professional football teams in light of Catholic teaching in order to determine whether Catholics may root for them while avoiding the fires of hell.

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37 Responses to Catholics and Professional Football

  • Hilarious Michael! My one point of concern is that I despise football, indeed all professional sports. Can I remain a fascist in good standing with that stain on my record, in spite of my voting record? I suspect that Dan McLockinload would say no.

    http://thecatholicfascist.wordpress.com/2010/08/11/how-many-ecumenical-councils-are-there/#comments

  • That was very good. Well done, Michael.

  • Gnosticism and the Cleveland Browns? Good call, but you have only scratched the surface. I believe it goes far deeper than that, Michael, I suspect ancient secret ties between that organization and the bestselling author of anti-Catholic potboilers. I swear I saw an albino water boy hanging about the sidelines last time I watched a Browns game. Saints, beware!

  • Your comments regarding the Cowboys are Calvinist gibberish. 🙂

  • Don:

    All that is necessary to be a fascist is to condemn. Remember, we have no positive ideas of our own and are merely there to stop joy in the lives or others. Therefore, as long as you are condemning those around you, you are fine.

    Big Tex:

    Aha! You have revealed your own Calvinist leanings! For I did not mention Calvin, and the fact that you did shows your dualism and your secret adherence to his teachings!

    Donna V:

    I suspect that all of these organizations are secretly in collusion with each other as well as Islam to overthrow the Church.

  • I don’t see the point in supporting a sport that doesn’t involve Paul The Octopus.

  • Roger Stauchbach was the embodiment of Catholicism in the NFL. His most famous pass is named the “Hail Mary” because of his answer to a post-game question about what he was thinking when he threw the ball up in the air:

    “I got knocked down on the play. … I closed my eyes and said a Hail Mary.”

    And all subsequent last-second heaves toward the endzone have been likewise named after the most famous and widely used prayer to Our Lady.

    If the staunchly Catholic Staubach could spend his entire career with the Dallas Cowboys, and remain one of their biggest fans, then you can get over yourself and your hang-ups over God’s Team (borne purely out of jealousy over a long winning tradition vs. the Aints’ likely one-and-done history of “success”).

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  • you can get over yourself and your hang-ups over God’s Team (borne purely out of jealousy over a long winning tradition vs. the Aints’ likely one-and-done history of “success”).

    I’m not jealous. I guarantee you that the joy myself and other New Orleanians had over this one Superbowl was more than the joy of Cowboys fans for all the Cowboy’s titles put together. Also, I am not jealous of any team that has Romo as QB, for we have Brees and he is amazing, both on and off the field. So you can keep your owner who charges people to watch TV outside the stadium; give me the Who Dat Nation anyday!

  • And you still need to brush up on your history (I still haven’t forgotten that you completely bolluxed the history of “Cavaliers” and the part they played in the war against the evil Calvinists under Cromwell).

    For example, you’re right that “Vikings are celebrated pagans who pillaged innocent towns, committing unspeakable atrocities while doing so.”

    But, while you cite things that are clearly contrary to Catholic teaching, you completely MISSED that what made the Vikings truly deplorable from a Catholic perspective was that they specifically sought out Catholic monasteries for plunder and defacement and took great pleasure in desecrating Our Lord in the Eucharist.

    Countless number of monks died before the altar in attempts to defend the Body and Blood of Our Lord from the Viking hordes. That makes the Vikings the MOST unCatholic team in the NFL – shame on a Catholic boy like Brett Favre for choosing to play for them.

  • Jay:

    That’s very true, and all the more reason to not cheer for them. Unfortunately, it would have been too long if I listed all the ways in which the various teams violated Catholic principles. Indeed, I would have spent the whole day writing on the Cowboys if I had done that, not to mention would have had to spend a week writing on the glories of the Saints.

    And I haven’t forgotten my college football post, either. I will deal with your UVA Cavaliers soon enough.

  • Lions eat Christians. That’s what they did in Rome, and that’s what they do to Catholics unwary enough to slip into their trap.

    But the Detroit Lions haven’t hurt anyone in years. OK, they beat the Browns and Redskins last year, but that’s not saying much. Kinda like shooting zombies in the head, really.

    Oh, and being a Lions fan is an excellent primer in Purgatorial suffering, so I think they’re ideal for Catholics–the Last Things, and all that.

  • Before my good friend Mr. Denton gets around to “deal[ing] with [my] UVA Cavaliers”, please allow me to enlighten the readers as to the genesis of this friendly discussion. Here is a link to the post in question, in which Michael gets taken to school on English Civil War history after he first referred to “Cavaliers” as “pirates”, and then subsequently edited his post to say something that was even less coherent in regard to the name “Cavaliers”:

    http://forthegreaterglory.blogspot.com/2008/08/catholics-and-college-football-part-i.html

    Michael, my friend, whatever you have to say in your future dealings with my UVA Cavaliers, I hope that it is, unlike your previous tripe, at least grounded in reason and actual historical knowledge.

    😉

  • Dale:

    You may be interested to know that my alternate entry for the Lions was:

    “The Lions haven’t fielded a team in years, or maybe ever, so this point is moot.”

  • Good lord, Jay. That post was two years ago. I guess UVA fans don’t have anything other than grudges to fill their memories.

    I don’t even remember what I said about them being pirates. Their dress is remarkably similar to that of pirates, which is probably where the association came from. Presumably in my haste to not spend as much time on a football team that isn’t any good, I misspoke. However, once you pointed out my error I amended the post to include some research. Having found that “cavalier” was a derogatory term for those who were Catholic, I argued that it is not permissible for Catholic that support a team whose name began in order to mock Catholics for their alleged vanity and lack of manliness and virtue. Just because a name is applied to Catholics does not mean Catholics ought to embrace it.

  • Somebody take American Papist out of the blogroll.

  • Somebody take American Papist out of the blogroll.

    Wow, Jay. Why do you hate Peters so much? Are…are you one of the bloggers at Catholic Fascist?

    headline: Jay Anderson hates American Papist; Pro Ecclesia to begin major blog war with Catholic Vote Action. 😉

    In seriousness, Papist refers to what protestants believes was undue reverence to the Pope. Catholics can rightfully celebrate being associated with the pope, but not celebrate being associated with being vain girly-men, which was the connotation of cavalier.

  • Wrong, again.

    “Cavalier” refers to what Calvinist Roundheads believed was undue Catholic influence within the Stuart monarchy and its supporters. Catholics can rightfully celebrate those who proudly accepted the name “Cavalier” for themselves and fought against the heretical, genocidal Roundhead usurpers.

  • And, by the way, I DO hate Tom Peters (admittedly out of jealousy for his success).

    😉

  • I agree; I hate everyone who gets paid to blog and tweet out of pure jealousy.

    As for you assertions about cavalier, do you have a source? I have a feeling we’re on different planes here.

    Additionally, for turning a discussion about football into the English Civil War, I hate you also. 😉

  • Weren’t tigers also used on the Christians? Just asking.

  • Dale,

    but that’s not saying much. Kinda like shooting zombies in the head, really.

    Niiice.

    I remember the day Sanders retired.

    I was doing a shift meeting with my colleague, a Lions fan, at a Wal-Mart Warehouse in front of the shift-workers and in the middle of announcements my colleague asked everyone to bow their heads in sorrow for Sanders retirement from football.

    Michael Denton,

    Your post is nothing short of Freemason gibberish with a dash of Illuminati seasoning.

    Anyone who lives south of I-10 knows full well that the best professional football is played in the SEC and not the NFL.

  • go pats!!!!!!!!! yes, i’m an addict 🙁

  • Your post is nothing short of Freemason gibberish with a dash of Illuminati seasoning.

    It’s not Illuminati; it’s more Opus Dei/Knights Templar. We New Orleanians know the best spices to season our gumbos.

    Anyone who lives south of I-10 knows full well that the best professional football is played in the SEC and not the NFL.

    It is difficult to be in Louisiana to choose between the World Champion Saints and the greatest conference in college football. Thankfully, they play on different days so that we may enjoy them both.

  • …this embrace of Gnosticism will lead many Cleveland fans to the depths of hell-where the devil will either show them “The Decision” or Cleveland Browns games on an eternal loop.

    Don’t forget “the Drive” which will be meticulously narrated by a demon with over-sized teeth and a #7.

  • Michael: Yeah, that would have worked, too. We Lions fans are eagerly awaiting the return of professional football to Detroit.

    Tito: Thanks! I mean, the Skins will wear the shame of breaking “The Streak” forever, which makes me happy as a Patriots fan.

    Pauli: There will also be slow-mo, frame-by-frame replays of “The Fumble,” narrated by a demon who impersonates John Madden’s voice.

  • You know, Jay, Roger Stauchbach was also a supporter of Catholic education. His daughter attended Ursuline Academy in Dallas in the early ’90s.

  • The Chargers were not named after an electrical device or even a charging horse–it’s worse than either. Former owner Gene Klein wrote about it in his book First Down and a Billion. The Chargers original majority owner, Barron Hilton, was starting a new credit card company in 1960 called “Carte Blanche”. The team was named for what we do with credit cards: We charge.

  • Robert K.,

    Are you serious about the “charge card” thing?

    I did some Google research and they were named “Chargers” because Mr. Hilton liked how Dodger and USC fans would yell “Charge!” during home games.

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  • Lol I couldn’t stop reading this, I was amazed that anyone could actually be this stupid.
    The saints are dirty cheap players.
    And Brees-GAG! …. I wish the vikings would break his legs.

  • Lol I couldn’t stop reading this, I was amazed that anyone could actually be this stupid.

    You don’t get sarcasm, do you.

    The saints are dirty cheap players.

    Actually the Saints have shower technology and are well paid, making them neither dirty nor cheap.

    And Brees-GAG! …. I wish the vikings would break his legs.

    How you can hate a guy like Brees is beyond me. I hope you’re a Viking fan, enjoying Brees walking around victorious tonight on his two perfectly healthy legs.

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