As If They’d Have Him

Thursday, January 19, AD 2017

 

 

 

 

 

Garrison Keillor is still alive? was my initial reaction to this proclamation by former humorist Garrison Keillor that he is searching for another religion due to the number of Christians who voted for Trump:

 

So I’ve been shopping around for a new religion to see me through the next four years. Too many of my fellow Christians voted for selfishness and for degradation of the beautiful world God created. I guess they figured that by the time the planet was a smoky wasteland, they’d be nice and comfy in heaven, so wotthehell. Anyhow, I’m looking around for other options.

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March 4, 1841: Longest Inaugural Address

Thursday, January 19, AD 2017

 

President William Henry Harrison gave the longest inaugural address in American history.  He spoke for one hour and forty-five minutes in a howling snow storm, without wearing a hat or a coat.   Catching pneumonia, he died one month later.  Here is the text of his address:

Called from a retirement which I had supposed was to continue for the residue of my life to fill the chief executive office of this great and free nation, I appear before you, fellow-citizens, to take the oaths which the Constitution prescribes as a necessary qualification for the performance of its duties; and in obedience to a custom coeval with our Government and what I believe to be your expectations I proceed to present to you a summary of the principles which will govern me in the discharge of the duties which I shall be called upon to perform.

It was the remark of a Roman consul in an early period of that celebrated Republic that a most striking contrast was observable in the conduct of candidates for offices of power and trust before and after obtaining them, they seldom carrying out in the latter case the pledges and promises made in the former. However much the world may have improved in many respects in the lapse of upward of two thousand years since the remark was made by the virtuous and indignant Roman, I fear that a strict examination of the annals of some of the modern elective governments would develop similar instances of violated confidence.

Although the fiat of the people has gone forth proclaiming me the Chief Magistrate of this glorious Union, nothing upon their part remaining to be done, it may be thought that a motive may exist to keep up the delusion under which they may be supposed to have acted in relation to my principles and opinions; and perhaps there may be some in this assembly who have come here either prepared to condemn those I shall now deliver, or, approving them, to doubt the sincerity with which they are now uttered. But the lapse of a few months will confirm or dispel their fears. The outline of principles to govern and measures to be adopted by an Administration not yet begun will soon be exchanged for immutable history, and I shall stand either exonerated by my countrymen or classed with the mass of those who promised that they might deceive and flattered with the intention to betray. However strong may be my present purpose to realize the expectations of a magnanimous and confiding people, I too well understand the dangerous temptations to which I shall be exposed from the magnitude of the power which it has been the pleasure of the people to commit to my hands not to place my chief confidence upon the aid of that Almighty Power which has hitherto protected me and enabled me to bring to favorable issues other important but still greatly inferior trusts heretofore confided to me by my country.

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March 4, 1793: Shortest Inaugural Address

Thursday, January 19, AD 2017

 

 

The shortest inaugural address was given on March 4, 1793.  Since it was delivered by George Washington it still managed to be meaningful as well as brief.  I wish every one of his successors had to repeat the final paragraph:

Fellow Citizens:

I AM again called upon by the voice of my country to execute the functions of its Chief Magistrate. When the occasion proper for it shall arrive, I shall endeavor to express the high sense I entertain of this distinguished honor, and of the confidence which has been reposed in me by the people of united America.
Previous to the execution of any official act of the President the Constitution requires an oath of office. This oath I am now about to take, and in your presence: That if it shall be found during my administration of the Government I have in any instance violated willingly or knowingly the injunctions thereof, I may (besides incurring constitutional punishment) be subject to the upbraidings of all who are now witnesses of the present solemn ceremony.

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PopeWatch: Luther Stamp

Thursday, January 19, AD 2017

I feel much freer now that I am certain the pope is the Antichrist.

Martin Luther

PopeWatch pities satirists trying to keep up with this Vatican:

The Vatican office charged with issuing stamps, known as the Philatelic and Numismatic Office, confirmed Tuesday to LifeSiteNews that Luther, who broke away from the Catholic Church in a schism 500 years ago, will be celebrated with a postage stamp in 2017. The office is in charge of the annual commission of stamps, coins, and other commemorative medals.

The Vatican regularly issues such memorabilia for special events, including papal trips and holy years. Honoring Luther and the Protestant Reformation is an unlikely choice, trumping other significant events in the Catholic Church such as the 100-year anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima and the 300-year anniversary of our Lady of Aparecida, Brazil.

Major events such as Christmas, Easter, the Holy Year of Mercy, and the World Meeting of Families have also merited a commemorative stamp. In the time before a Papal election, when the seat of Peter is vacant, the Philatelic and Numismatic office issues a “Sede Vacante” stamp.

Usually if individuals are commemorated on stamps they are saints, such as Teresa of Calcutta, John Paul II, and Pope John XXIII, who most recently were honored with stamps.

While the Vatican has in the past collaborated with other national post offices to create stamps that are not of explicitly religious content, such as Charlie Chaplain or the fall of the Berlin wall, the Luther stamp has an undeniable religious connotation linked with much hostility to the Catholic Church.

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Obama Commutes Sentence of Un-Repentant Terrorist

Wednesday, January 18, AD 2017

 

 

I have been highly critical of President Obama.  In the closing days of his term in office I see that I have not been critical enough:

 

The last imprisoned member of the Puerto Rican independence group that terrorized New York in the 1970s will be a free man in May — 20 years ahead of schedule.

President Obama granted a commutation Tuesday to FALN mastermind Oscar López Rivera, who’s served 35 years of his 55-year sentence.

During the 1970s and 80s, López Rivera was part of FALN, or Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional, a group seeking to liberate Puerto Rico from U.S. control.

FALN placed more than 130 bombs in American cities — including one in New York on Jan. 24, 1975. The explosive went off in busy Fraunces Tavern during lunch hour. Four people died, including Frank Connor, a 33-year-old father.

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PopeWatch: Blind Man

Wednesday, January 18, AD 2017

 

 

Sandro Magister brings us an english translation of Cardinal Caffarra’s explanation as to why the Four Cardinals wrote to the PopeL

CAFFARRA: “WHY WE WROTE TO THE POPE”

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We cardinals have the grave duty of advising the pope in the governance of the Church. It is a duty, and duties are obligatory.

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Only a blind man could deny that in the Church there is great confusion, uncertainty, insecurity caused by some paragraphs of “Amoris Laetitia.” In recent months it has been happening that on the same fundamental questions concerning the sacramental economy – marriage, confession, and Eucharist – and Christian life, some bishops have said A, and others have said the opposite of A. With the intention of giving a good interpretation of the same texts.

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There is only one way to get to the bottom of this: to ask the author of the text that has been interpreted in two contradictory ways what is the correct interpretation. There is no other way. Next came the problem of the way in which to approach the pope. We chose a way that is very traditional in the Church, what are called “dubia.” […] This was done in a private manner, and only when we were certain that the Holy Father would not respond did we decide to publish.

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The problem is precisely this: that on fundamental points there is not a good understanding of what the pope is teaching, as demonstrated by the conflict of interpretations among bishops. We want to be docile to the pope’s magisterium, but the pope’s magisterium must be clear.

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The division already existing in the Church is the cause of the letter [of the four cardinals to the pope – editor’s note], not its effect.

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To conceive a pastoral practice not founded and rooted in doctrine means founding and rooting pastoral practice on inclination. A Church that pays little attention to doctrine is not a more pastoral Church, but a more ignorant Church.

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The evolution of doctrine has always accompanied Christian thought. [But} if there is one clear point, it is that there is no evolution where there is contradiction. If I say that S is P and then I say that S is not P, the second proposition does not develop the first, but contradicts it. Already Aristotle had correctly taught that enunciating a universal affirmative principle (for example: all adultery is wrong) and at the same time a particular negative proposition having the same subject and predicate (for example: some adultery is not wrong), this is not making an exception to the former. It is contradicting it.

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Can the minister of the Eucharist (usually the priest) give the Eucharist to a person who lives “more uxorio” with a woman or a man who is not the wife or husband, and does not intend to live in continence? […] Has “Amoris Laetitia” taught that, given certain specific circumstances and after going through a certain process, the faithful could receive the Eucharist without resolving to live in continence? There are bishops who have taught that this is possible. By a simple deduction of logic, one must therefore also teach that adultery is not evil in itself and of itself.

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Conscience is the place where we come up against the central pillar of modernity. […] One who saw this in the most lucid manner imaginable was Blessed John Henry Newman. In the famous letter to the duke of Norfolk, he says: “All through my day there has been a resolute warfare, I had almost said conspiracy against the rights of conscience.” Further ahead he adds that in the name of conscience, true conscience is destroyed.

This is why among the five “dubia” doubt number five [the one on conscience – editor’s note] is the most important. There is a passage in “Amoris Laetitia,” at no. 303, that is not clear; it seems – I repeat: it seems – to admit the possibility that there may be a true judgment of conscience (not invincibly erroneous; this has always been admitted by the Church) in contradiction with that which the Church teaches as having to do with the deposit of divine Revelation. It seems. And that is why we raised the doubt with the pope.

Newman says that “did the Pope speak against Conscience in the true sense of the word, he would commit a suicidal act. He would be cutting the ground from under his feet.” These are matters of breathtaking gravity. Private judgment would be raised up as the ultimate criterion of moral truth. Never say to a person: “Always follow your conscience,” without always and immediately adding: “Love and seek the truth about the good.” You would be putting into his hands the weapon most destructive of his humanity.

(English translation by Matthew Sherry, Ballwin, Missouri, U.S.A.)

 

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Hamilton: Art Fails as Politics

Tuesday, January 17, AD 2017

 

The United States have already felt the evils of incorporating a large number of foreigners into their national mass; by promoting in different classes different predilections in favor of particular foreign nations, and antipathies against others, it has served very much to divide the community and to distract our councils. It has been often likely to compromise the interests of our own country in favor of another. The permanent effect of such a policy will be, that in times of great public danger there will be always a numerous body of men, of whom there may be just grounds of distrust; the suspicion alone will weaken the strength of the nation, but their force may be actually employed in assisting an invader.

Alexander Hamilton, “Examination of Jefferson’s Message to Congress of December 7, 1801” (1802)

 

 

 

 

I have rather liked the musical Hamilton, although I have understood that it bore only an accidental relationship to the history it purported to represent.  However, at Reason Nicholas Pell has a scathing review of Hamilton, and he makes some good points:

 

 

Some are irritated about the people who aren’t white playing white people, but I’m not. The whole production plays so fast and loose with the truth that it’s hard to pick any particular piece to criticize, there’s a reality correlation approximating that of the Weekly World News. At the top of the list, though, has to be casting Alexander Hamilton as some sort of proto-multicultural progressive. That’s either stupidity or mendacity, take your pick. Hamilton was, if anything, the most aristocratic of the Founding Fathers, the closest thing to a Colonial Tory. You know that electoral college you’ve been gnashing your teeth over for the last couple months? Guess whose idea that was?

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January 11, 1989: Reagan Farewell Address

Tuesday, January 17, AD 2017

 

My fellow Americans, this is the 34th time I’ll speak to you from the Oval Office, and the last. We’ve been together eight years now, and soon it’ll be time for me to go. But before I do, I wanted to share some thoughts, some of which I have been saving for a long time.

It’s been the honor of my life to be your President. So many of you have written the past few weeks to say thanks, but I could say as much to you. Nancy and I are grateful for the opportunity you gave us to serve.

One of the things about the Presidency is that you’re always somewhat apart. You spend a lot of time going by too fast in a car someone else is driving, and seeing the people through tinted glass – the parents holding up a child, and the wave you saw too late and couldn’t return. And so many times I wanted to stop, and reach out from behind the glass, and connect. Well, maybe I can do a little of that tonight.

People ask how I feel about leaving, and the fact is parting is “such sweet sorrow.” The sweet part is California, and the ranch, and freedom. The sorrow? The goodbyes, of course, and leaving this beautiful place.

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Quotes Suitable for Framing: Frederick Douglass

Monday, January 16, AD 2017

 

 

In regard to the colored people, there is always more that is benevolent, I perceive, than just, manifested towards us. What I ask for the negro is not benevolence, not pity, not sympathy, but simply justice. The American people have always been anxious to know what they shall do with us… I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are worm-eaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! … And if the negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone! If you see him on his way to school, let him alone, don’t disturb him! If you see him going to the dinner table at a hotel, let him go! If you see him going to the ballot box, let him alone, don’t disturb him! If you see him going into a work-shop, just let him alone, — your interference is doing him positive injury.

January 26, 1865-Frederick Douglass

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PopeWatch: Beyond Parody

Monday, January 16, AD 2017

 

 

PopeWatch does wonder at times if this pontificate is a divine practical joke:

 

Life and family experts are calling it “scandalous,” “shocking,” “confusing,” and “perplexing” that the Vatican would invite Dr. Paul Ehrlich, the undisputed father of the modern, pro-abortion population control movement, to present a paper at an upcoming Vatican-run conference.

“The fact that Paul Ehrlich is advertised as a speaker at the Vatican’s ‘Biological Extinction’ conference is scandalous,” Maria Madise, manager of Voice of the Family, told LifeSiteNews.

“Through its choice of speakers, the Pontifical Academies running the event are giving an unmistakable message of sympathy for the radical environmental agenda, despite it going hand in hand with abortion, birth control, and a total lack of compassion for the real poor in today’s world, the unborn children,” she said.

Ehrlich, author of the 1968 bestseller The Population Bomb, is scheduled to speak in Vatican City during the February 27-March 1 conference that will discuss “how to save the natural world,” a story LifeSiteNews broke earlier this week. 

The Stanford biologist champions sex-selective abortion as well as mass forced sterilization as legitimate methods to curb population growth. It is impossible to calculate the possible millions of deaths globally the man and his population control ideas might indirectly be responsible for over the past five decades — ideas that are forcefully employed in countries such as China, India, Kenya, and many others.

Ehrlich called for “compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion” in his 1977 book Ecoscience, as a way to fight population growth.

He once said that allowing women to have as many children as they desired was like letting people “throw as much of their garbage into their neighbor’s backyard as they want.”

The conference, jointly sponsored by the Pontifical Academies of Sciences (PAS) and Social Sciences (PASS), will address what Vatican organizers call an unsustainable “imbalance” between the world’s population and what the earth is capable of producing.

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January 15, 1943: Pentagon Dedictated

Sunday, January 15, AD 2017

Leslie Groves was not a pleasant man to work for, but if you wanted to get something done, he was the man to accomplish the seemingly impossible.  He demonstrated this twice during World War II:  spearheading the Manhattan Project and overseeing the construction of the Pentagon.  A ruthless driver of men, and a born problem solver, he managed to build the Pentagon under budget and in sixteen months, a project that was estimated initially to take four years.

Major General Kenneth Nichols, who worked under Groves summed up the man:

First, General Groves is the biggest S.O.B. I have ever worked for. He is most demanding. He is most critical. He is always a driver, never a praiser. He is abrasive and sarcastic. He disregards all normal organizational channels. He is extremely intelligent. He has the guts to make difficult, timely decisions. He is the most egotistical man I know. He knows he is right and so sticks by his decision. He abounds with energy and expects everyone to work as hard or even harder than he does. Although he gave me great responsibility and adequate authority to carry out his mission-type orders, he constantly meddled with my subordinates. However, to compensate for that he had a small staff, which meant that we were not subject to the usual staff-type heckling. He ruthlessly protected the overall project from other government agency interference, which made my task easier. He seldom accepted other agency cooperation and then only on his own terms. During the war and since I have had the opportunity to meet many of our most outstanding leaders in the Army, Navy and Air Force as well as many of our outstanding scientific, engineering and industrial leaders. And in summary, if I had to do my part of the atomic bomb project over again and had the privilege of picking my boss I would pick General Groves.

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Truth From an Archbishop

Sunday, January 15, AD 2017

 

 

I guess these days archbishops have to be retired before we can expect to here truth from them:

 

Monsignor Carlo Liberati, Archbishop Emeritus of Pompeii, said that Islam will soon become Europe’s main religion thanks to the huge number of Muslim migrants alongside the increasing secularism of native Europeans.

Speaking to Italian Catholic journal La Fede Quotidiana, the archbishop said: “In 10 years we will all be Muslims because of our stupidity. Italy and Europe live in a pagan and atheist way, they make laws that go against God and they have traditions that are proper of paganism.

“All of this moral and religious decadence favours Islam.”

“We have a weak Christian faith,” he added. “The Church nowadays does not work well and seminaries are empty.

“Parishes are the only thing still standing. We need a true Christian life. All this paves the way to Islam. In addition to this, they have children and we do not. We are in full decline.”

 

The archbishop added that the problem is not just Muslim immigration. The number of Eastern Europeans arriving over the past few years has also hit the quality of life for native Italians, he said.

“We help without delay those coming from outside and we forget many poor and old Italians who are eating from the trash,” the archbishop said. “We need policies that take care of Italians first: our young people and the unemployed.

“I am a protester. If I were not a priest, I’d be out there demonstrating in the squares. What is the point of so many migrants that instead of thanking for the food we give them, they just throw it, spend hours with their cell phones and even organise riots?”

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The Worth of Man

Sunday, January 15, AD 2017

 

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

Abraham Lincoln, August 17, 1858

 

 

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Requiescat In Pace: William Peter Blatty

Saturday, January 14, AD 2017

 

William Peter Blatty died this week at age 89.  He had a long career as a screenwriter and an author.  Despite his multiple marriages, his latest in 1983 and which would last to his death, Blatty remained a Catholic and in the latter part of his life a fervent one.  Best known as the author of The Exorcist Blatty often complained that the work was misunderstood.  He viewed its themes as being that there is a God and that the universe has a happy ending.  Most recently, he spearheaded a drive to have the Vatican find that Georgetown University, his alma mater, was in violation of its papal charter.  The Vatican in 2014 stated that the petition sent in by Blatty was well founded and then promptly did nothing.

 

 

“There it lies, I think, Damien … possession; not in wars, as some tend to believe; not so much; and very rarely in extraordinary interventions such as here … this girl … this poor child. No, I tend to see possession most often in the little things, Damien: in the senseless, petty spites and misunderstandings; the cruel and cutting word that leaps unbidden to the tongue between friends. Between lovers. Between husbands and wives. Enough of these and we have no need of Satan to manage our wars; these we manage for ourselves … for ourselves.”

William Peter Blatty, Father Lankester Merrin in The Exorcist

 

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