4

Dictator Pope

One of the iron rules of life is that if Leftists are placed in charge of any institution, the idea of respectful disagreement is taken out and shot.  Case in point from Father Z:

 

Did you read the Catholic Herald story?   It seems that the Sovereign Military Merciless Order of Malta (SMOM) has commanded its members not to say or write anything “offensive” about Pope Francis.

Also, and this is a little creepy, members are instructed to grass on, rat out, any member who does say or write something “offensive” about the Pope.

It isn’t entirely clear what might constitute “offensive”.   But then again, during the Cultural Revolution in China it wasn’t entirely clear what was “offensive” about Mao.

I don’t remember them doing this about John Paul II or Benedict XVI.  Then again, they were under different ownership at the time, weren’t they.

Is saying something like, “The Pope made a mistake about how he handled the situation of the Chilean bishop” offensive?

Is saying something like, “I think the Pope should wear the traditional papal vestments for the Urbi et Orbi blessing” offensive?

Is saying something like, “What the Pope said about women being ‘strawberries on the cake’ was offensive to women!”, offensive?

Do you suppose this is retroactive?   Are Knights of SMOM suppose to tattle on anyone who wrote something “offensive” about Benedict XVI?

 

Go here to read the rest.  Always remember Iowahawk’s accurate description of the mode of operation of the Left:

1. Target a respected institution 2. Kill & clean it 3. Wear it as a skin suit, while demanding respect

 

 

 

 

7

PopeWatch: Grave Errors

Well, it is a start in regard to acknowledging grave errors:

Pope Francis has admitted he made “grave errors” in judgment in a clerical sex abuse scandal in Chile and invited the abuse victims he had discredited to Rome to beg their forgiveness.

In an extraordinary letter published on Wednesday, Francis also summoned all of Chile’s bishops to the Vatican for an emergency summit in the coming weeks to discuss the scandal, which has badly tarnished his reputation and that of the Chilean church.

The Vatican orders up such emergency visits only on rare occasions, when Vatican intervention is urgently required, such as when the clerical sex abuse scandal exploded in the United States in 2002.

Francis said the meeting, which comes just a year after the Chilean bishops were last in Rome on a regular visit, would have as its objective “repairing scandal where possible and re-establishing justice”.

Francis blamed a lack of “truthful and balanced information” in his missteps in judging the case of Bishop Juan Barros, a protege of Chile’s most notorious predator priest, the Rev Fernando Karadima. Francis had strongly defended Barros during his January visit to Chile, despite accusations by victims that he witnessed and ignored their abuse.

In Chile and during an airborne press conference returning to Rome, Francis had accused the victims of “slander” for pressing their case against Barros, demanded they present “proof” of their claims, revealed he had twice rejected Barros’s resignation and insisted: “I am convinced he is innocent.”

After his remarks caused an outcry, Francis sent the Vatican’s most respected sex abuse investigator, Archbishop Charles Scicluna to Chile.

 

Go here to read the rest.  I hope the Papal dentist can deal with the teeth grinding  that Pope Francis is no doubt engaging in.  A very proud man, Pope Francis has rarely admitted to error, unless it is an error decades in his past.  Does anyone believe that the Pope knows more about the sex abuse situation in Chile than he did when he made his initial comments.  No, it is not additional knowledge that causes this confession of error, but because Pope Francis received negative coverage from the media that usually lauds him to the stars.  Pope Francis cares not a whit what Orthodox Catholic media, or conservative media says about him, but if he is criticized by liberal or leftist media, he will come crawling on his knees to seek forgiveness.  PopeWatch is glad that the Pope admitted error in regard to Chile.  Would to heaven he was willing to do do for reasons better than fearing criticism from the Left.

 

4

The Republican Party, the Democrat Party and Race

Retired Professor Carol Swain, currently running to be Mayor of Nashville, gives us some basic history about the Republican Party which will come as an immense revelation to too many Americans brought up in a country where almost all of academia, entertainment and the media play the game of protect the Democrat Party uber alles.

 

 

 

 

One political party for over a century and a half has routinely used appeals based on race to win elections.  The other party, throughout its history, has stood for civil rights for all Americans and denied that government policy should be based on racial discrimination.  The first party is the Democrat Party and the second party is the Republican party.  To get around this simple fact of American political history, some Democrats, especially in election years when the polls are against them, routinely attempt to portray Republicans as racists, in an Alice in Wonderland inversion of the truth.  A hilarious example of this mendacious and bold faced attempt to rewrite history is on display at Politico in an article entitled Race and the Modern GOP.  This recycles the claim of an evil Republican strategy to appeal to white racists in the South who switched en masse to become Republicans.

The problem with this is that it is a liberal fable. It didn’t happen that way. The first breach in the solid South was by Eisenhower who ran on a platform of vigorous support for Civil Rights for blacks. Segregationists retained complete control of the Democrat parties in the South and enjoyed electoral success throughout the period in question. The South changing to Republican had to do with the rise of the cultural issues, an influx of northern Republicans following wide spread use of air conditioning and the rapid economic development of the South, and the anti-military hysteria and isolationism that seized control of the Democrats in the wake of Vietnam.

My co-blogger Paul Zummo had an excellent post on this subject :

Along these same lines, Trende postulates that if any real realignment occurred, it took place during the Eisenhower administration. The Eisenhower coalition, as he puts it, pushed the GOP to decisive victories in seven of nine presidential elections. Moreover, the solid Democratic south began shifting towards the Republican party at this point. In fact the south’s gradual shift towards the GOP had begun as early as the 1920s, but the Depression halted Republican advances here. Once the New Deal had ramped up, the Republicans again began making inroads. Republicans began being truly competitive in presidential elections during the 1950s, then started making inroads in Congressional races in the 1970s and 80s, and are finally now the dominant party on the local level.

Trende’s thesis effectively destroys the notion that Republicans only began being competitive in the south once Nixon deployed the “southern strategy” to woo racist southerners after the Civil Rights Act. As already mentioned, the GOP vote share in the south had been incrementally creeping up in the 1930s, with GOP vote shares moving out of the 15-20% range and inching up towards parity slowly and surely. In fact the GOP vote share in the south did not noticeably increase during  the 1960s, but instead crept up in the same incremental 1-2% annual range. Where Republicans really started making dents were with younger southern voters, as older southerners continued to cling to the Democratic party even though the national party’s values no longer matched their own. Considering that younger voters tended to have much more liberal racial views, the transformation of the south into a Republican stronghold has to be explained by something other than racial matters.

Even though Trende doesn’t come right out and say this, if anything the changing electoral map can just as easily be explained by the Democrats pursuing a northern strategy. As the Democrats began appealing to elite northern voters by pushing a more liberal agenda, this drove southerners and midwesterners away from the party. This trend would continue until Bill Clinton pursued a much different strategy, crafting his agenda to appeal to suburbanites and middle income whites. Clinton and the New Democrats were able to rip into Republican strongholds by advancing a more moderate platform. The end of the Cold War, as well as the rise of the Evangelical right, fractured the Eisenhower coalition, allowing the Democrats to win presidential elections. Continue Reading

13

PopeWatch: Abortion

And the fruits of the current Pontificate keep coming:

 

Pope Francis’ new apostolic exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate “blurs lines and causes confusion” about the gravity of abortion, the leader of a pro-life group that majorly influences U.S. politics said today.

Pope Francis wrote that migration shouldn’t be seen as a “secondary” or “lesser” issue to “‘grave’ bioethical questions” and that helping “victims” of “every form of rejection” is just as important as defending the pre-born.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of the Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List, said it’s “impossible” to give any other social justice issue the same moral weight as abortion. SBA List and its partner super PAC, Women Speak Out, spent more than $18 million in the 2016 election cycle. The group focuses on electing pro-life candidates, especially pro-life women.

“It is impossible to equate the moral weight of abortion – the direct killing of innocent unborn children occurring on a daily massive scale, here in America and abroad – with any other social justice issue,” said Dannenfelser. “The right to live predates or precludes every other right. It is simple logic. Without the fundamental right to life, no debate can even begin on the rights that follow.”

“The Catholic Church has long taught that abortion is an intrinsic evil that must always be opposed,” she continued. “Today’s statement by Pope Francis confirms this when he says ‘Our defence of the innocent unborn, for example, needs to be clear, firm and passionate, for at stake is the dignity of a human life, which is always sacred and demands love for each person, regardless of his or her stage of development.’ We all affirm the absolute dignity of the migrants and those suffering from poverty. How we solve these issues are matters of prudential judgment on which Catholics can disagree. Today’s exhortation blurs lines and causes confusion.”

 

Go here to read the rest.  One of the keys to understanding this Pontificate is to pay zero attention to what the Pope says and to focus on what he does.  The Pope regularly verbally condemns abortion, but his actions are completely the reverse.  From kneecapping the Pontical Academy for Life, to celebrating pro-abort politicians and giving papal awards to them to having pro-aborts speak at papal conferences, the Pope has routinely given the impression that he could care less about the fight against abortion.  For the ordinary Catholic pro-lifer the best they can hope from this Vatican is malign indifference.

3

Grey Eyed Man of Destiny

Today when Americans hear the term filibuster, they think of an attempt by senators to block legislation in the Senate by taking a bill to death.  The term comes from filibustero meaning pirate or buccaneer in spanish.  In the 19th century the term filibuster was applied to individuals who sought to take over various nations in Latin America through military force, usually involving a revolution or a coup.  Usually the foreign filibusters would have the help of some native disgruntled faction within the target nation.  The 1850’s were the heighday of filibustering in the United States, propelled by the strong desire of pro-slavery advocates in the South to conquer new territory to form new slave Republics that would eventually be annexed by the United States as states.  Generally the filibusterers were hailed as heroes in the South and denounced as brigands in the South.  The most famous, and successful, of the filibusterers was William Walker, who admirers referred to as the Grey Eyed Man of Destiny.

Born on May 8, 1824 in Nashville, Walker was something of a child prodigy, graduating summa cum laude from the University of Nashville at the age of 14.  He went on to study medicine at the Universities of Edinburgh, Paris, Heidelberg and Gottingen.  The violence and romance of the revolutions of 1848 while he was studying in Europe had an immense impact on him as he witnessed how relatively small revolutionary movements could topple governments.  Eventually he earned a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania.  He practiced in Philadelphia briefly before moving to New Orleans to study law.  From law he leaped to journalism, becoming part owner of the New Orleans Crescent.  A restless spirit, he moved to San Francisco in 1849 where he worked as a journalist and fought three duels.

It was here that he decided his life’s work was to help carve out slave states in Latin America.  In 1853 he seized with 45 men the sparsely populated capital of Baja California and proclaimed the Republic of Lower California, and promulgated the laws of the state of Louisiana for the new republic, legalizing slavery in the process.  After attempts to conquer Sonora failed, Walker, running low on supplies retreated to California.  He was put on trial under the Neutrality Act of 1794 for waging an illegal war.  Walker was considered a hero in the South and the West, and the jury took all of eight minutes to acquit him.

An opportunity now dropped in Walker’s lap.  A civil war was raging in Nicaragua between the Conservative party based in Granada and the Liberal party based in Leon.  Democrat President Franciso Castellon worked out an agreement for Walker to brin 300 mercenaries to Nicaragua under the guise of being settlers.  Walker landed in Nicaragua in May of 1855 with only 60 men, but 170 locals and 100 Americans quickly flocked to serve under him.  On September 4, he and his small force defeated the Conservative army at the battle of La Virgen.  On October 13, 1855 he conquered the Conservative capital of Granda and was in effective control of the country.

Walker initially ruled the country through a puppet president Patricio Rivas.  President Franklin Pierce, ever eager to serve the demands of Southern fire brands, recognized the Walker regime on May 20, 1856.

Walker was riding high, but he made the fatal error of crossing Cornelius Vanderbilt.  In cahoots with C.K. Garrison and Charles Morgan, agents of Vanderbilt, who supplied logistical and monetary support to his government, Walker seized the assets of Vanderbilt’s Accessory Transit Company and turned them over to Garrison and Morgan.  Outraged at this treachery, Vanderbilt dispatched two agents to Costa Rica to give the Costa Ricans assistance in ousting Walker. The Costa Ricans had become alarmed by Walker’s talk of conquering all of Central America and declared war on him. Continue Reading

4

Frederick E. Strufe: Requiescat In Pace

My former law partner Frederick E. Strufe passed away last week at age 70.  Fred retired from the law mines on April 30, 2010.  Fred was something of a character, which was just as well as I am something of a character and he and I were partners for two decades.  Below is a video that he appeared in last year talking about the old Strufe/Arrow Motel that he and his parents ran in Dwight.  Good fortune Fred, and may you never be late for whatever courts the Kingdom of God may possess.

 

2

April 10, 1918: The Angel of the Trenches Earns His Nickname

 

Joao Baptista DeValles was born in 1879 in Saint Miquel in the Azores.  At the age of 2 his family moved to New Bedford, Massachusetts.  His first name anglicized to John, he quickly proved himself a brilliant student, eventually being fluent in six languages.  Ordained a priest in 1906 he served at Falls River at Espirito Santo Church, founding the first Portuguese language parochial school in the United States while he was there.  He later served at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in New Bedford and was pastor at Saint John the Baptist Church, also in New Bedford.

After the entry of the US into World War I, he joined the Army as a chaplain, serving with the 104th regiment, a Massachusetts National Guard outfit, part of the Yankee (26th) Division, made up of National Guard units from New England.  The Yankee Division arrived in France in September 1917, the second American division to arrive “Over There”.

The 104th was a hard fighting outfit, serving in all of the major campaigns of the American Expeditionary Force.  For heroic fighting at Bois Brule in April, 1918 the French government awarded the regiment a collective Croix de Guerre, an unprecedented honor for an American military unit.  There were quite a few very brave men in the 104th, and among the bravest of the brave was Chaplain DeValles.  For his heroism in rescuing wounded, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the second highest decoration for valor in the United States Army.  Here is the text of the citation:

104th Infantry Regiment, 26th Division, A.E.F.
Date of Action: April 10 – 13, 1918
Citation:
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to John B. De Valles, Chaplain, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action near
Apremont, Toul sector, France, April 10 to 13, 1918. Chaplain De Valles repeatedly exposed himself to heavy artillery and machine-gun fire in order to assist in the removal of the wounded from exposed points in advance of the lines. He worked for long periods of time with stretcher bearers in carrying wounded men to safety. Chaplain De Valles previously rendered gallant service in the Chemin des Dames sector, March 11, 1918, by remaining with a group of wounded during a heavy enemy bombardment.
General Orders No. No. 35, W.D., 1920 Continue Reading

16

PopeWatch: Seamless Garment Take Two

Pope Francis resurrects the moth eaten seamless garment:

Pope Francis’ remarks on the issue appear in paragraphs 101-102 of the exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate reproduced in full below:

101. The other harmful ideological error is found in those who find suspect the social engagement of others, seeing it as superficial, worldly, secular, materialist, communist or populist. Or they relativize it, as if there are other more important matters, or the only thing that counts is one particular ethical issue or cause that they themselves defend. Our defence of the innocent unborn, for example, needs to be clear, firm and passionate, for at stake is the dignity of a human life, which is always sacred and demands love for each person, regardless of his or her stage of development. Equally sacred, however, are the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned and the underprivileged, the vulnerable infirm and elderly exposed to covert euthanasia, the victims of human trafficking, new forms of slavery, and every form of rejection. We cannot uphold an ideal of holiness that would ignore injustice in a world where some revel, spend with abandon and live only for the latest consumer goods, even as others look on from afar, living their entire lives in abject poverty.

102. We often hear it said that, with respect to relativism and the flaws of our present world, the situation of migrants, for example, is a lesser issue. Some Catholics consider it a secondary issue compared to the “grave” bioethical questions. That a politician looking for votes might say such a thing is understandable, but not a Christian, for whom the only proper attitude is to stand in the shoes of those brothers and sisters of ours who risk their lives to offer a future to their children. Can we not realize that this is exactly what Jesus demands of us, when he tells us that in welcoming the stranger we welcome him (cf. Mt 25:35)? Saint Benedict did so readily, and though it might have “complicated” the life of his monks, he ordered that all guests who knocked at the monastery door be welcomed “like Christ”, with a gesture of veneration; the poor and pilgrims were to be met with “the greatest care and solicitude”.

Go here to read the rest.  The Pope thus gives political coverage to his Leftist pro-abort buddies and neuters the fight of the Church against abortion.  May Christ forgive him.

 

17

The Death of Stalin

I finally saw The Death of Stalin (2017) with my bride and son last Saturday.  Most films that I have high expectations for often leave me at least slightly disappointed.  This film exceeded my expectations.  It is a superb evocation of the power struggles that ensued in the wake of the death of Stalin in 1953.  The blackest of black comedies, it is also hilarious, albeit with quite a bit of very rough language.  The language however in this context works.  The men of the Politburo were gangsters, murderers.  We would no more expect them to use decent language than we would expect the demons to do so in Dante’s Inferno.  However, if there are gradations in Hell, the worst was Stalin’s Himmler, Lavrentiy Beria.  A Georgian like Stalin, and head of the NKVD for the latter part of Stalin’s rule, Beria had the blood of millions on his hands.  However, his colleagues were little better than him.  None of them had the courage not to go along with Stalin’s paranoia that executed millions and sent millions of others to living deaths, and often simply deaths, in the Gulag.  All of them had to sign off on execution lists and imprisonment lists of people they knew to be completely innocent.

 

Beria is the villain of the film, as the film depicts, albeit in truncated fashion, his rise and fall post Stalin.  The film’s comedic tone leaves it right at the very end when during his “trial” Beria is denounced for his habit of taking advantage of his position to rape women at will, to have women prostitute themselves to him in usually futile efforts to save themselves or their men and children and Beria’s involvement in pedophilia.  Only then do we see moral outrage from his colleagues, because here, for the first and only time in the film, they are talking about crimes they did not engage in themselves.

 

 

 

Communism is back in vogue on the Left, and thus this film appears at an opportune time to remind us of the gruesome reality of Communism in practice.

 

 

 

21

Civil War II

Maybe somebody just forgot what it was like.

Lt. Col. Andrew Tanner in Red Dawn attempting to explain why the Third World War broke out.

 

 

As faithful readers of this blog know, I write a lot about the Civil War.  One thing that has struck me over the years is just how terrible it was.  The amount of human suffering during that War is something that future generations have found difficult to fathom.  Typical is the uncertainty as to how many men died in the War.  For almost a century the accepted figure was around 620,000.  In the last few years good arguments have been made for 750,000.  Who knows?  There were so many unrecorded skirmishes, so much combat in poorly reported theaters of war, for example the Indian Territory and the Far West, so many men who died of disease, so many records lost, especially on the Confederate side.  You could tell me that the figure was a million and I wouldn’t blink an eye, and all of this was out of a total population of thirty million.  Then we have the maimed from that War, who became a common feature in American society for decades, as did myriads of widows raising kids, side by side with the many young women who never married due to so many young men being lost in the War.  That the South was economically devastated for decades is well known;  less well known is that it would be over a half century for the debt incurred by the Union to be repaid.  I think the cost in lives and treasure was worth it, but the phrase a dreadful price accurately sums up what occurred.

Thus I find it infuriating when idiots talk blithely of a Civil War II.  Attorney and retired Colonel Kurt Schlichter takes a look at a recent sample of this:

Tech titan Jack Dorsey of San Francisco-based social media platform Twitter applauded an article in something called Medium in which some other hipster CEO described how liberals intend to crush Normal Americans into serfdom in a bloodless “civil war.” 

Here it is. 

Ready?

It will just sort of happen. Why? Because. Americans will simply decide to be like California because of reasons and phew, no more troublesome conservatives and Gaia is saved!

So basically, wishing.

Well, that’s a kind of war plan. Perhaps by unleashing the power of hoping so they can utterly subjugate the half of America that voted against Felonia Milhous von Pantsuit and drive the people who actually operate and defend this country into silent obedience.

Or not.

Now, I know what you’re saying. You’re saying, “Why do a bunch of San Francisco dorks think that 150 million Americans with 300 million guns are just going to give up their rights and their say in their own governance and submit to the commands of people who eat kale by choice?” That’s a fair question, and they have an answer.

Because you just are.

I didn’t say it was a good answer.

Recently I wrote a long column here describing the ugly realities of an actual Second Civil War – realities that are much uglier for the anti-freedom liberal side in terms of terrain, combat power, and morale. Naturally, this cry for sanity, which was only the latest in my long history of pleas to liberals to avoid the kind of civil strife I witnessed the consequences of overseas, was greeted by a torrent of outright lies. “You are advocating a civil war blah blah blah blah.” All liberal bull Schiff, including some by shameful collaborationist Fredocons who should know better, but not at all unexpected. The modern liberals’ rhetorical toolbox is filled exclusively with lies, which has the effect of making actual reasoned discussion impossible. Of course, that is their goal – they don’t want to defeat your argument. They want you bullied into silence. Tellingly, no one even bothered to try and counter the indisputable facts I offered many times showing why liberals will fail if they choose violence – instead, they tried to shut me up. 

Go here to read the rest.  If we ever have a Civil War II it will be because, like the first Civil War, too many people on all sides swallowed their own Kool-Aide, and believed their propaganda that the other side would not fight or would be easy to defeat.  In a Civil War in a nation of 330 million people, stretching across a continent, our death toll in the first Civil War would likely be considered an historical footnote compared to the carnage that would quickly ensue in such a fight.  Otto von Bismarck once predicted that if a Great War happened it would be over some damn fool thing in the Balkans.  If Civil War II ever happens in this nation it will be because we simply have too many damn fools period.

“I will wipe up all the blood shed with a handkerchief of mine.”

A. W. Venable, North Carolina secessionist, predicting how much blood would be shed prior to the start of the first Civil War.

 

 

9

PopeWatch: Schism

Pope Francis, the Pope of the Great Schism of the Twenty-First Century, may be how he is remembered:

 

 

The recent proposal by Germany’s bishops to allow some Protestant spouses of Catholics to receive Holy Communion under certain conditions is meeting serious resistance in Germany, as well as opposition from some Church leaders elsewhere.

On April 4, the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper reported that seven German bishops — including Cardinal Rainer Woelki of Cologne — have written an urgent appeal to the Vatican in protest against the proposal.

According to German media, the seven bishops said in their letter that they believe the proposal contradicts Catholic doctrine, undermines Church unity and exceeds the competence of the bishops’ conference. The letter, leaked to the media April 4, was sent last month to both the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, the president of the German bishops’ conference, sent a letter to Germany’s bishops Wednesday, written and released immediately after the seven bishops’ letter was leaked. In it, the cardinal defended the bishops’ conference’s decision, saying it was consistent with theological and ecumenical texts and canon law.

Cardinal Marx, who according to a prelate invariably invokes the Pope to justify his positions, also said it was the result of “the encouragement of Pope Francis to take further steps in ecumenism.”

At their spring conference in February, Germany’s bishops voted in favor of producing a guide, or pastoral handout, to allow some Protestant spouses to receive Holy Communion under certain circumstances.

They voted overwhelmingly to offer guidelines allowing a Protestant partner of a Catholic to receive the Eucharist if, after having made a “serious examination” of conscience with a priest or another person with pastoral responsibilities, the partner “affirms the faith of the Catholic Church,” wishes to end “serious spiritual distress,” and has a “longing to satisfy a hunger for the Eucharist.”

At the time, Cardinal Marx said the guide would only be a “pastoral handout” and that the intention is not to “change any doctrine.” He said the proposal rejects any path for Protestant spouses to conversion, otherwise known as an “ecumenism of return.” It also leaves much discretion of the local bishop who may establish new laws in this area, he said.

 

Go here to read the rest.  A Pope has two main duties:  to defend the teachings of the Church and to maintain the unity of the Church.  Pope Francis has been a grade one disaster as to both/

0

April 9, 1939: Marian Anderson Sings America at the Lincoln Memorial

The rendition at the bottom of this post is by Marian Anderson, perhaps the most gifted songstress of her generation.  A devout Christian, this granddaughter of slaves was denied the opportunity by the Daughters of the American Revolution to sing at Constitution Hall in 1939.  In 1939 the District of Columbia was controlled by committees of Congress.  Democrat segregationists rigidly enforced rules of segregation in the District.  Blacks were rightly upset that during a performance by Miss Anderson, if it had been held at Constitution Hall, they would have been required to sit in the back of the hall.  The District of Columbia Board of Education, controlled by Democrats, declined to allow Marian Anderson to perform in the auditorium of a white school.  To her credit, Eleanor Roosevelt and her husband arranged for Anderson to give her unforgettable performance at the Lincoln Memorial on April 9, 1939, Easter Sunday.

During the war years, Miss Anderson spent a large part of her time entertaining troops.  In 1943, at the invitation of the Daughters of the American Revolution, she sang before an integrated audience for a Red Cross benefit at Constitution Hall.  The always gracious Miss Anderson remembered the event:  When I finally walked onto the stage of Constitution Hall, I felt no different than I had in other halls. There was no sense of triumph. I felt that it was a beautiful concert hall and I was very happy to sing there.

 

9

Anthony Borges

I wager the media will give little coverage to this hero of the Florida school shooting:

A student who was gravely wounded after being shot five times while shielding classmates during the Florida high school shooting in February criticized the county sheriff and school superintendent Friday saying they failed the victims by not arresting the shooter before the massacre.

Anthony Borges, 15, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., was hailed a hero after he used his body to protect the lives of 20 others students after accused gunman Nikolas Cruz opened fire at the school on Feb. 14, 2018, killing 17 people.

He was released from the hospital Wednesday after suffering wounds to the lungs, abdomen and legs.

Borges’ attorney read a statement from the teen during a news conference criticizing Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel and Superintendent Robert Runcie for the massacre.  Borges, too weak to talk, sat silently in a wheelchair with his right leg propped up. His statement specifically attacked the Promise program, a school district and sheriff office initiative that allows students who commit minor crimes on campus to avoid arrest if they complete rehabilitation. Runcie has said Cruz, a former Stoneman Douglas student, was never in the program, but Borges and his attorney, Alex Arreaza, said school and sheriff’s officials knew Cruz was dangerous.

 

Go here to read the rest.  In the case of the Florida school shooting the hue and cry for gun control has largely served the purpose of detracting attention from the dreadful malfeasance and nonfeasance of the Broward County Sheriff’s office that ignored the manifest threat posed by the shooter, allowed 17 people to be murdered during the shooting by going deer in the headlights during the shooting and did their worst to cover up the truth after the shooting.  The moral of this story is that if you rely upon government to protect you  from domestic shooters, you are a complete fool.

14

Chappaquiddick And Us

Ah, you can always predict The New York Times;  from covering up the crimes of Stalin, courtesy of their Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Walter Duranty, their goal is to ever protect the left.  Thus, it is unsurprising that they published a hit piece on the movie Chappaquiddick (2018) by Kennedy biographer Neil Gabler:

The film, by the same name, opened Friday and retells the story of an accident in July 1969, on the titular Massachusetts island near Martha’s Vineyard, in which Mr. Kennedy drove off a bridge, killing his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, a campaign worker for his late brother Robert. It has been heavily promoted by conservative media outlets, and reviewers across the political spectrum have praised what they deem its damning but factual approach. Damning it is; factual it is not.

Let’s set aside the fact that, despite the film’s advertisements claiming to tell the “untold true story” of a “cover-up,” the story has been told plenty, and no one but the most lunatic conspiracy theorists see this as anything but a tragic accident in which nothing much was covered up. Let’s also put aside the skein of conjecture and outright fabrication that the film unspools — in one scene Joe Kennedy, the family patriarch, murmurs “alibi” to his son, like a Mafia don, when in fact he was so debilitated by a stroke that he could only babble incoherently. Setting all this aside, the movie nevertheless raises a serious issue.

Go here to read the rest.  I was heartened that even in The New York Times this was too much for some of their readers:

 

 

 

What a moving, convincing piece. We should turn aside from the “fake history” of holding the powerful accountable for those they kill in their youth. Some of them might eventually turn out to do good things! Don’t worry about a cover up, there’s no way to prove it happened. The fact that Ted Kennedy never faced legal consequences for his actions doesn’t mean anything.

****************

This attempt to apologize for what is unquestionably the most disgusting and disgraceful transgression in the sordid pantheon of Kennedy clan transgressions is embarrassing and the NYTimes should have declined to run it.

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I saw the movie. I though it was a little slow. Whatever liberties the movie takes, it is a fact Ted Kennedy walked away from the crime scene, did not call for help, no doubt seeking counsel or a type of cover-up. Perhaps, his hope was that the truth would go away in the confusion. Not until it became self-evident that it would not go away, did Ted report it. If Ted had called for real help right after the accident that night, perhaps she would have been saved. It’s possible she struggled for life for hours before drowning.

****************************

 

I mean, really.

Bill Gates arguably has contributed far more to our society as well as to global prosperity than Ted Kennedy ever did — and he didn’t even need to help his father steal the 1960 election for his brother from Richard Nixon.

But if Bill Gates had negligently driven a young woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair off a bridge while drunk into a tidal channel, then fled the scene to save himself while she drowned, emerging only hours later once he’d realized he couldn’t avoid public blame … then Gates might still be in prison, and certainly would have an asterisk next to his name for all of history to compare to all the stupendous and positive things he’d accomplished.

Teddy’s actions were reprehensible, and the movie is no “distraction”.

***********************************

Can a person be both good and bad? Can a person ever atone for an outrageous act? Yes, and yes.

Disappearing for 10 hours after a fatal accident: a jury would have concluded he was sobering up to void a DUI which would be automatic manslaughter charges. He was not unconscious; he was gong back and forth meeting with everyone except the police/ambulance. That he was and remained an alcoholic supports this. That there were 6 unmarried young men with 6 married men (but one) supports more cover-up. Viewing his confession in which he avoids eye contact with the camera as he describes it all supports this.

Atonement? Yes he had a marvelous career and sobered up at the end of his life but if he never told the truth there can be no atonement of forgiveness. He killed a person and got away with it.

Democrats are just as able as Republicans to “see” what they want to see, and to spin this story politically is one more hallmark of a shallow and divided nation.

********************

 

 

The significance of Chappaquiddick goes way beyond the fact that Ted Kennedy committed crimes 49 years ago, that would have landed virtually anyone else in prison, and got away with them.  The importance of it really is that he was not shunned afterwards.  True, he never became President, but that was largely due to the fact that he was a lousy, and not infrequently incoherent, candidate on the national stage, who couldn’t even beat in the primaries Carter in 1980, who by that time was as popular as advanced leprosy.  If he had defeated Carter, Reagan would have eviscerated him in the general election.  In Massachusetts, however, he was treated like a hero and re-elected to the Senate seven times.  In the Senate he was very popular among almost all his fellow Senators, including Republicans.  When he died, the “Lion of the Senate”  received a virtual canonization Mass.  Cardinal O’Malley, who gives pusillanimous weaklings a bad name, sat by and did bupkis during the Mass, and only uttered a few words of mild criticism after outraged commentary forced him to do so.

No, the true and damning feature of the Chappaquiddick crimes is the unflattering mirror they hold up to a society which clearly values celebrity and politics far above justice and common decency.

 

 

 

1

PopeWatch: April Fools

In a little noted meeting with media on April 1, 2018, Pope Francis proclaimed his papacy the April Fools Pontificate:

 

We are all, or should be, fools for Christ.  And in the Spirit of Our Savior who smiled and laughed while He walked among us here on Earth, I have striven to present to the Faithful a minuscule fraction of the mirth that God experiences from watching the pratfalls of mankind as we wend our way through History.  It pains me that many Catholics have failed to get the joke, and have taken many of my humorous asides seriously.  Now, really, who could possibly think, for example, that the Vicar of Christ would ever talk about Catholics breeding like rabbits, except as a joke? My laugh riot “encyclicals” have been mistakenly moved out of the papal joke category and have been taken, incredibly, as actual encyclicals by too many humor impaired of the Faithful.  It is rightly said that when a comic has to explain a joke, the joke is ruined.  To simplify matters, I do here proclaim that in future if I make a statement dressed as Bobo the Papal Clown, the Faithful may assume that I am speaking gravely and seriously.  On all other occasions I am only being my customary Pontiff Fun and jesting with you.  I hope this statement has been an adequate clarification and that the nasty American Catholic blogs will now cease to pursue me as if I were actually serious as to the buffoonish statements and writings that have made my pontificate, I trust, truly memorable, and a source of laughter for intelligent orthodox Catholics.

The Pope then had members of his Swiss Guard spray the members of the Fourth Estate present with seltzer water, and the audience was at an end.

14

A Lack of Charity

In keeping with several people having noticed a seemingly active dislike of the loyal son, the Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa, has issued a statement about the recent violence on the Israeli/Gazan border:

We join with many around the world who were horrified at the killing of 18 Gazans near the militarized fence separating Gaza from Israel and the maiming and injuries of hundred of protesters by the Israeli Defence Force.

That this violence occurred on the holiest of days in both the Jewish and Christian faith communities calendar, adds to our outrage. From news reports it seems clear that the Gazans were involved in a peaceful protest, the March of Return which was organized to coincide with the Land Day on 30th March.

Land dispossession remains a key issue in the struggle of the Palestinian people. The situation in the Gaza strip remains desperate and is often referred to as the ‘world’s largest open air prison.’ It comes as little surprise that the people of this strip of land continue to express their political frustrations by means of non-violent protest. We support the call of the United Nations for a Commission of Inquiry into what has been called, ‘The Passover Massacre’ by some.

Our solidarity and prayers are with those who work tirelessly for justice and peace in the Holy Land.

+ Stephen Brislin
Catholic Archbishop of Cape Town

(from Vatican News)

This statement was put out on the 4th of April.

As of the 31st of March, 10 were known, violent terrorists; five more were being publicly proclaimed by Hamas as members of their military.  Notable is that one praised for his “skill at carving sand” to the international media was memorialized with a rocket launcher for local consumption.  (that’s him in the picture)

The “march” was a basic swarming tactic– send in a bunch of targets that Israel won’t want to shoot to give cover as terror cells go through the barriers.  Turns out Israel has pretty good snipers.

So now Hamas is planning a massive tire burn to give cover and make it more likely that the relatively innocent civilians doing the swarming are shot, so they don’t lose as many terrorists/militants.  Just imagine how much health damage those burning tires will do to the health of the kids being marched to the border, not to mention what it will do to the folks in Israel.

If Israel was a fifth as horrifically violent as accused, Gaza would be depopulated.  Yet as sure as day follows night, the official statements all attack the people who dare fight back when attacked.

14

PopeWatch: Cardinal Burke Nails It

While almost all our hapless Cardinals sit mute, Cardinal Burke calls a spade a spade.  Edward Pentin at National Catholic Register gives us the news:

Cardinal Raymond Burke has said Pope Francis is not only “refusing to clarify”  the Church’s doctrine and discipline but also “increasing the confusion” on the “most fundamental and important issues.”

In an interview Thursday with the Italian Catholic daily La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, the patron of the Order of Malta said the “confusion and division” in the Church on such important issues as marriage and the family, the sacraments, intrinsically evil acts, eternal life and the Last Things “are becoming more and more widespread.”

In spite of this, he said the Pope “not only refuses to clarify things by proclaiming the constant doctrine and sound discipline of the Church, a responsibility inherent in his ministry as the Successor of St. Peter, but he is also increasing the confusion.”

Asked if he was referring to statements coming from some of those who have spoken or met with the Pope (recently an Argentine sister said the Pope told her contraception is permissible in some cases, and a French priest said Francis condoned the blessing of homosexual couples), Cardinal Burke referred in particular to alleged comments the Pope made to the Italian atheist Eugenio Scalfari over Easter. Scalfari replorted in the La Repubblica newspaper that the Pope told him he doesn’t believe in the existence of hell, but that unrepentant sinners simply disappear.

That episode “went beyond what is tolerable,” Cardinal Burke said, adding that to have a well-known atheist speaking on behalf of the Pope in “denying the immortality of the human soul and the existence of hell, has been a source of profound scandal not only for many Catholics but also for many people in the secular world who have respect for the Catholic Church and its teachings, even if they do not share them.”

He also decried the fact that the story came out on Holy Thursday, “one of the holiest days of the year,” and that the Holy See’s response was “highly inadequate.”  

“Instead of clearly reasserting the truth about the immortality of the human soul and hell, the denial only states that some of the words quoted are not the Pope’s,” he said. “It does not say that the erroneous and even heretical ideas expressed by these words are not shared by the Pope, and that the Pope repudiates these ideas as contrary to the Catholic Faith.”

“This playing around with faith and doctrine, at the highest level of the Church, rightly leaves pastors and faithful scandalized,” Cardinal Burke added.

He went on to say the current situation is “further aggravated” by the silence of bishops and cardinals, and that ”the faithful who understand the gravity of the situation” are left feeling “lost” while those who don’t understand the crisis are left “in confusion and possibly victims of errors that are harmful to their souls.”

He also said those who have chosen to come into the Church “suffer intensely” from the situation as they perceive the Church is going down the same road of Protestant ecclesial communities and “abandoning the faith.”

Cardinal Burke alluded to an “apostasy from the faith” taking place within the Church and that in such a situation, bishops and cardinals “have the duty to proclaim true doctrine” and the College of Cardinals in particular must act as a “check against papal error.”

Go here to read the rest.  Never forget that when the clergy refuse to stand up for Catholic orthodoxy, the laity have a duty, not a right but a duty, to do so.  God forgive those Cardinals who by their silence deny Christ just as much as Peter did.

 

 

6

Jordan Peterson on Marxism

I have a simpler explanation, at least for most Marxist elites.  Marxism provides a useful disguise for many leftists for a gnawing ambition to grasp as much State power as possible, which is at least as old as the pharaohs.    Traditional morality is done away with: cooperating with the inevitable historical process, the ultimate triumph of Marxism, is moral, and anything that opposes it is immoral. Thus morality becomes a mere matter of political labels. How convenient that this has allowed movements dedicated to Marxism to commit any crime, no matter how vile, in the scramble for supreme power. That Marxism has never been anything but a transparent fraud, with no more intellectual validity than a tale from The Arabian Nights, is a damning indictment of the human capacity to embrace any fable if it gives an excuse to engage in wretched conduct with an ostensibly clean conscience.

 

 

2

April 5, 1951: Father Craig Goes to Heaven

October 27, 1913.  The Great War was soon to begin in Europe and Leo Peter Craig was born into this world in Everett, Massachusetts.  He was five years old when his mother died, leaving his father with five young children to raise.  Under these unusual circumstances, his Aunt, Veronica Craig, a member of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield Kentucky, received a dispensation from her vows in order for her to help raise her brother’s children.  For 18 years she dedicated herself to this task, becoming a second mother to young Leo.  After the children were all raised, she returned to the religious life.  Leo attended the LaSalle Academy of the Christian Brothers in Providence, Rhode Island.  Going on to Providence College, he obtained his BA in 1935, at which time he entered the Dominican novitiate at Saint Rose’s in Springfield, Kentucky.  He completed his philosophy courses at the Dominican House of Studies in River Forest, Illinois, and his theological training at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC.  He was ordained to the priesthood on May 21, 1942.

Father Leo P. Craig

 

Subsequent to his ordination he taught at the Aquinas High School in Columbus, Ohio and was curate at Saint Andrew’s Parish in Cincinnati.

In 1949 he joined the Army as a chaplain.  Assigned to the First Cavalry Division fighting in Korea, he had a stop over in Japan where he was able to have a joyful reunion with his big brother Father Lawrence A. Craig, 18 years his senior, who was a mission priest of the Sacred Heart.

The First Cavalry Division was participating in the counteroffensive that had retaken Seoul on March 15, 1951 and was driving the Communist Chinese and North Korean armies out of South Korea.  As they withdrew the Communists left behind unmarked minefields to slow the advance of the UN forces. Continue Reading

18

PopeWatch: Contraception

Well, this is unsurprising:

An Argentinian religious sister acclaimed for her work against the trafficking and exploitation of children has said Pope Francis told her responsible parenthood requires contraceptives in some cases.

This, despite the Church’s constant teaching that the use of artificial contraception is always intrinsically evil. 

In an interview on Tuesday with the Argentinian radio program Crónica Anunciada, Carmelite missionary sister Martha Pelloni said Pope Francis “told me three words” about the need for responsible parenthood among poor rural women: “condoms, transitory, and reversible.”

The radio interview covered poverty rates, drug trafficking and the decriminalization of abortion in Argentina.

Sr. Pelloni, who is opposed to abortion, said the Pope told her various forms of contraception could be permissible to prevent poor women from choosing abortion. She included condoms, “a diaphragm, and as a last resort, which is what we advise for rural women that we serve, because I have a foundation for the peasantry, tubal ligation.”

Go here to read the rest.  PopeWatch begins to suspect that either Pope Francis has a terrible problem with being misquoted, or he is simply a heretic.  Useless Cardinals, where art thou?

 

8

Always Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent

I rarely give legal advice on the blog, but the below video is an excellent restatement of one of the key pieces of advice I give to clients in criminal matters:  never talk to the police.  People often have a charming faith in their ability to explain themselves and get out of trouble.  This almost never works and they merely supply ammunition for any subsequent prosecution.  The old adage that if you are innocent you have nothing to fear could only have been dreamed up by someone who had very limited involvement with the criminal justice system.  If facts should be disclosed do so only after having a consultation with a criminal defense attorney who knows what he is doing, and let him disclose the facts..  Be forthcoming to your attorney.  Lack of full candor often leads to bad legal advice.  Here endeth the lesson.

 

 

 

 

 

2

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Martin Luther King, Jr.

Let us be honest with ourselves, and say that we, our standards have lagged behind at many points. Negroes constitute ten percent of the population of New York City, and yet they commit thirty-five percent of the crime. St. Louis, Missouri: the Negroes constitute twenty-six percent of the population, and yet seventy-six percent of the persons on the list for aid to dependent children are Negroes. We have eight times more illegitimacy than white persons. We’ve got to face all of these things. We must work to improve these standards. We must sit down quietly by the wayside, and ask ourselves: “Where can we improve?” What are the things that white people are saying about us? They say that we want integration because we want to marry white people. Well, we know that is a falsehood. (That’s right) We know that. We don’t have to worry about that. (All right) Then on the other hand, they say some other things about us, and maybe there is some truth in them. Maybe we could be more sanitary; maybe we could be a little more clean. You may not have enough money to take a weekend trip to Paris, France, and buy all of the fascinating and enticing perfumes. You may not be able to do that, but you are not so poor that you cannot buy a five cents bar of soap (Yeah) so that you can wash before [word inaudible]. [applause]

And another thing my friends, we kill each other too much. (All right, yes) We cut up each other too much. (Yes, Yes sir) There is something that we can do. We’ve got to go down in the quiet hour and think about this thing. We’ve got to lift our moral standards at every hand, at every point. You may not have a Ph.D. degree; you may not have an M.A. degree; you may not have an A.B. degree. But the great thing about life is that any man can be good, and honest, and ethical, and moral, and can have character. (Well, Yes) [applause]

Martin Luther King, Jr., December 5, 1957

3

Paul: Apostle of Christ-A Review

Hollywood, when it goes into the realms of History and Faith, often does justice to neither, getting the History wrong and making a complete hash of the presentation of religious faith on the screen.  I am pleased to report that Paul: Apostle of Christ defies this usual litany of failure.  My review is below, and the usual caveat as to spoilers applies:

 

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading

6

PopeWatch: The Other Side of the Hill

In any conflict it is all too easy to ignore how things might look to your opponents.  From The National Catholic Reporter:

 

Sr. Joan Chittister makes two very important points in her article on the first five years of the Francis papacy.

Sadly, her first point is that it seems only too clear that the momentum of the Francis papacy has stalled. So many of us had such great hopes for what Pope Francis would be able to do, but there is little to show for these past five years.

There is no doubt that Francis dramatically changed the style of church governance. His humble, pastoral approach demands greater compassion, understanding and care for the poor and the migrant. Yet there is resistance even to the most Gospel-oriented actions of this pope. Even in fulfilling Jesus’ command to wash the feet of one another, it was made clear by some that certain people’s feet were not to be washed. We wait for divorced and remarried Catholics to be allowed to share in the sacramental life of the church, but the church remains stingy with its largesse. Are female deacons on the horizon? I doubt many would believe this to be likely.

Francis, of course has flaws. He has been tepid and uncertain on addressing women’s issues in the church. He lacks a complete understanding of what needs to be done to ensure equality for women, and why that is so important for women and the church. His efforts at addressing sexual abuse issues also falter. He sometimes seems strong, and at other times his moves are confusing.

His visit to Chile is a case in point. His strong defense of his friend Bishop Juan Barros is difficult to defend. Francis had to back away, and we are forced to wonder whom he is talking to and just how isolated he may be.

Francis himself seems to have tired of the struggle. It’s almost as if he feels he has gone as far as he can and is discouraged from continuing to push for change. The resistance is winning. The conservative hierarchy is unwilling to relinquish power and seems to have the wherewithal to maintain it. Why is Francis’ council of eight cardinals who were to govern the church not doing more?

 

Go here to read the rest.  Time once again for the favorite poem of PopeWatch:

 

Say not the struggle nought availeth,
     The labour and the wounds are vain,
The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
     And as things have been they remain.
If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
     It may be, in yon smoke concealed,
Your comrades chase e’en now the fliers,
     And, but for you, possess the field.
For while the tired waves, vainly breaking
     Seem here no painful inch to gain,
Far back through creeks and inlets making,
     Comes silent, flooding in, the main.
And not by eastern windows only,
     When daylight comes, comes in the light,
In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly,
     But westward, look, the land is bright.
Arthur Hugh Clough

 

 

 

The Lion In Winter

 

A brief film of Theodore Roosevelt speaking in Baltimore on September 28, 1918.  At this time he had slightly more than three months to live.  He had been crushed by his son Quentin’s death as a fighter pilot in France on July 14, 1918.  Yet, in the film he seems to have lost none of his old fire.  The only sign of his immense personal grief was the mourning band he wore.  Few great men can live up to their legend.  Colonel Roosevelt surpassed his.

 

16

Of Transparent Backpacks and Irony

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

H. L. Menken

Some of the snowflakes at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, among whom are some who have been howling about stripping the Second Amendment from the Constitution, are upset about their deprivation of the right to have opaque backpacks:

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students are returning to campus after the March For Our Lives and a week-long Spring Break, but they have yet to adjust to the new security measures put in place.

After a mass shooting on Feb. 14 killed 17 people at the school, increased security precautions are being taken to ensure no acts of gun violence occur in the future. As of Monday, all students are being required to wear transparent backpacks, provided by the school, along with new student ID badges.

In response to the change, many students expressed their disappointment in the backpacks on social media, claiming the clear bags are a violation of privacy and not one of the key issues that should be grabbing the world’s attention.

 

Go to here to read the rest.  My heart bleeds for them.  Welcome to the real world kids.  Have fun.

 

2

April 3, 1862: Johnston Begins His March to Shiloh

It is rare for any soldier to attain the rank of general, but Albert Sidney Johnston managed that feat in three armies:  rising from Private to Brigadier General in the army of the Republic of Texas, brevet Brigadier General in the United States Army, and full General in the Confederate States Army.  On April 3, 1862 he led his newly created Army of Mississippi out of the town of Corinth, Mississippi and began the march which would end in the surprise Confederate attack in the early morning of April 6, 1862, the beginning of the two day mammoth battle known to history as Shiloh.

The battle would result in the death of Johnston, his dying caused probably by his act of mercy in dispatching his personal surgeon to attend a wounded Union officer and none of his remaining staff having the presence of mind to fashion a tourniquet to stanch Johnston’s bleeding after he was wounded, and the fighting would inflict over 23,000 total Union and Confederate casualties, exceeding in two days all of the battlefield casualties in all of America’s wars prior to the Civil War.  Shiloh told the nation, North and South, that this was going to be a very grim war, and that their adversary would fight it with all the strength and will that they could muster.  After Shiloh the myth of a quick victorious war died on both sides.

 

Continue Reading

6

PopeWatch: The Pope and the Dismal Science

Further evidence that when the Pope talks about economics, he is without a clue:

 

On Palm Sunday and World Youth Day, Pope Francis told youth “not to keep quiet even if others keep quiet.” Young people should take his advice and speak out against Pope Francis’s economic agenda.

In his apostolic exhortation Evangelii gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel”), Pope Francis said, “Young people call us to renewed and expansive hope, for they represent new directions for humanity and open us up to the future, lest we cling to a nostalgia for structures and customs which are no longer life-giving in today’s world.”

Those young people should note that Pope Francis clings to outdated structures and customs. He continues to push the high tax, government wealth-redistribution model that undermines market capitalism, which entrepreneurs, young and old, need to thrive.

 

Pope Francis argues that capitalism and globalization lead to poverty and inequality. In a 2015 interview, he said, “It is true that in absolute terms the world’s wealth has grown, but inequality and poverty have arisen.” His antimarket fervor stands at some distance from the facts.

From 1981 to 2013 the percentage of the world’s population living in absolute poverty (with incomes less than $2 per day) fell from 42 percent to 10.7 percent, according to the World Bank. This happened as market liberalization spread, lifting billions of people out of abject poverty over the past two decades alone.

More than 500 million people in China escaped crushing poverty after promarket reforms allowed unprecedented freedom for entrepreneurs to start new businesses, invest capital, innovate with new technology, trade globally, and hire the best employees. The same process has been at work in India.

At the same time, global income inequality has declined noticeably because of liberalizing economic reforms. Economist Branko Milanovic found that the global Gini value, a common measure of income inequality, decreased from 72.2 in 1988 to 67 in 2011. A lower Gini value means less inequality.

By ignoring these achievements of market liberalization and continuing to push for more government control, Pope Francis undermines entrepreneurship and wealth creation. He should heed the consequences of the policies he favors.

 

Go here to read the rest.  That a pope is bone ignorant about economics is unsurprising.  The problem of course is that the Pope is unaware of his ignorance and constantly supports policies that would make people poorer if implemented.  When a Pope tells us not to forget the poor, he is echoing Christ.  When a Pope tells us how to run an economy, his arguments must stand or fall like anyone else’s, since his office clearly gives him no special economic charism.

23

100 Top Catholic Blogs

Feedspot has done a listing of the top 100 Catholic blogs based upon viewership.  The American Catholic comes in at number 47.  Here is what is said about us:

About Blog The American Catholic is an online community of Christians, motivated by a rich heritage of Catholic spiritual and intellectual tradition, seeking to engage American society and culture in pursuit of the common good.
Frequency about 21 posts per week
Since Oct 2008
Website the-american-catholic.com
Facebook fans- n/a . Twitter followers- 76 . Alexa rank – 850,099

I find this interesting because unlike most of the other top blogs, The American Catholic has never done much with Facebook, Twitter or other social media.  Go here to read the article.

We have about 1.3 million views a year, somewhat more in presidential election years.  We draw readership around the globe, although mostly from the US and Canada.

The blog will be celebrating its tenth anniversary in October and we will be running some retrospective pieces throughout the year.  I blog for amusement and I have found the blog to be quite a bit of fun, and I hope that our readers usually think the same.

 

20

PopeWatch: The Pope and the Truthful Atheist

Well, the folks at Catholic Herald are pretty tired of the ongoing act of the Pope saying something to the elderly atheist Italian journalist that creates headlines, with the Vatican then doing a non-denial denial:

 

According to Scalfari’s report, the “colloquy” Pope Francis entertained with him ran the gamut: from the things like cosmogenesis — the origin and fate of the created order — to the social, political, and cultural complex and worldview we catch under the rubric of “Modernity”, to the present and future of Europe. Right in the middle of the conversation — one that reads like that, which could be carried on by any pair of intelligent and cultured old men at a pensioners’ club over wine and cards — there is discussion of the eternal fate of those who die in sin.

About that last thing, Scalfari quotes Francis as saying, “[The souls of] those, who do not repent and [therefore] cannot be forgiven, disappear. A ‘hell’ does not exist: what exists is the disappearance of sinful souls.” If the Pope said that, or anything that fairly amounts to that, he would be a heretic. There were other highly problematic expressions, which Scalfari put in the mouth of the Pope, as well: talk of “divine nature” and inert creation brought to life by a sort of divine or semi-divine “energy” that sounds exciting and speculatively daring in the ears of hippies and devotees of the New Age, but that really come to hackneyed and sixth-rate rehashings of primitive cosmological speculation.

Knowing what they come to, however, tells us nothing about where they’ve come from: Scalfari’s head? Pope Francis’s mouth?

The Press Office of the Holy See issued a statement on Thursday afternoon, denying Scalfari’s report is a faithful representation of Pope Francis’s ipsissima verba — his exact words — but avoiding a repudiation of the Pope’s ipsissima vox — that is to say, the general sense, meaning or purport of his remarks:

The Holy Father recently received the founder of the daily La Repubblica in a private meeting on the occasion of Easter, without, however, releasing any interview. Everything reported by the author in [Thursday’s] article is the fruit of his own reconstruction, in which the verbatim words pronounced by the Pope are not quoted. No direct report of speech, therefore, may be considered a faithful transcription of the words of the Holy Father.

One has the impression they took great care to avoid such repudiation. That may or may not be the case. It is also neither here nor there. The statement is not satisfactory. To be perfectly frank, nothing in this situation is satisfactory, or even close to it. The headlines generated around the world declaring hell abolished and the Catholic Church changed forever are false. The story they headline, however, is not.

 

Go here to read the rest.  The Pope has met with this journalist five times.  Pope Francis has never personally denied anything that Scalfari has claimed he said. PopeWatch has no doubt that Scalfari has been completely accurate in what came from the Pope’s mouth, and that we have a loose mouthed heretic as Pope, and the useless Cardinals are doing bupkis about it.  The best reading of the current pontificate is that it is God’s practical joke.

8

President John J. Pershing

 

 

It has long been thought by most historians that General John J. Pershing made a great mistake by agreeing to the Republican draft for President in 1920.  A national hero after World War I, he was no politician, a point he repeatedly made during his term in office.   A few revisionist historians have contended that Pershing was a highly effective President who saved the country much trouble and care down the road, but these historians are distinctly in the minority.  The current writer is firmly in the camp of the majority of historians who view Pershing’s Presidency as an unfortunate end to a glorious career.

Once Pershing had the Republican nomination in 1920, his election was a foregone conclusion even though he did almost no campaigning.  By 1920 the country was tired of the policies of the Democrats under Wilson and ready for a change.  The economic downturn after The Great War only increased the unlikelihood of a Democrat victory in November, and Pershing and the GOP won in a landslide.

Pershing ran his administration much as he ran the AEF.  Find the right men for the job, tell them in broad terms what to do, and then get out of their way.  The economy quickly rebounded and prosperity made the new administration popular, popular enough to get away with a move that most Republicans viewed with displeasure.  When the French and Belgians occupied the Ruhr to extract reparations called for under the Versailles Treaty from the recalcitrant Germans in January of 1923, Pershing gave his full-throated approval.  Pershing had always believed that the armistice which ended the fighting had been a mistake, and that Germany should have been occupied by the Allies to make plain to them that they had been beaten in the field, and that planning for a future war of vengeance was madness.  Pershing knew that he could never get Congress to appropriate funds for American troops to join in the occupation of the Ruhr;   he instead announced 25 new consulates in the Ruhr and sent a force of 2,000 Marines to protect them.  Isolationists in Congress howled, but Pershing responded that he had seen too many American boys die in the Great War and he would do whatever it took to to prevent that from happening in a second Great War.  With American involvement, the British also dispatched troops and spearheaded negotiations with the Germans to make the reparation payments more feasible for the Germans.

Perhaps things would have calmed down if not for the declaration of emergency in Bavaria by Bavarian Prime Minister Eugen von Knilling on September 26, 1923.  Pershing, over the strong objections of the German government, sent 1,000 Marines from the Ruhr to Munich to protect the American consulate.  This move led to ever increasing mass protests outside of the American consulate.  On November 9, 1923 a huge crowd attempted to storm the consulate.  The Marines opened fire and some 243 Germans were killed and 1523 wounded.  Among the dead were General Erich Ludendorff and an obscure Austrian politician and former corporal in the German army, Adolf Hitler, who led a small party calling themselves the National Socialist Workers’ Party.  The Munich massacre, as it came to be called, led to political convulsions in Germany with the German army seizing control and imposing martial law throughout the country. Continue Reading

4

He is Risen!

Are there any who are devout lovers of God?
Let them enjoy this beautiful bright festival!

Are there any who are grateful servants?
Let them rejoice and enter into the joy of their Lord!

Are there any weary with fasting?
Let them now receive their wages!

If any have toiled from the first hour,
let them receive their due reward;
If any have come after the third hour,
let him with gratitude join in the Feast!
And he that arrived after the sixth hour,
let him not doubt; for he too shall sustain no loss.
And if any delayed until the ninth hour,
let him not hesitate; but let him come too.
And he who arrived only at the eleventh hour,
let him not be afraid by reason of his delay.
For the Lord is gracious and receives the last even as the first.
He gives rest to him that comes at the eleventh hour,
as well as to him that toiled from the first.

To this one He gives, and upon another He bestows.
He accepts the works as He greets the endeavor.
The deed He honors and the intention He commends.
Let us all enter into the joy of the Lord!

First and last alike receive your reward;
rich and poor, rejoice together!
Sober and slothful, celebrate the day!
You that have kept the fast, and you that have not,
rejoice today for the Table is richly laden!

Feast royally on it, the calf is a fatted one.
Let no one go away hungry. Partake, all, of the cup of faith.
Enjoy all the riches of His goodness!

Let no one grieve at his poverty,
for the universal kingdom has been revealed.

Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again;
for forgiveness has risen from the grave.

Let no one fear death, for the Death of our Savior has set us free.
He has destroyed it by enduring it.
He destroyed Hell when He descended into it.
He put it into an uproar even as it tasted of His flesh.

Isaiah foretold this when he said,
“You, O Hell, have been troubled by encountering Him below.”
Hell was in an uproar because it was done away with.
It was in an uproar because it is mocked.
It was in an uproar, for it is destroyed.
It is in an uproar, for it is annihilated.
It is in an uproar, for it is now made captive.

Hell took a body, and discovered God.
It took earth, and encountered Heaven.
It took what it saw, and was overcome by what it did not see.

O death, where is thy sting?
O Hell, where is thy victory?

Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!
Christ is Risen, and the evil ones are cast down!
Christ is Risen, and the angels rejoice!
Christ is Risen, and life is liberated!

Christ is Risen, and the tomb is emptied of its dead;
for Christ having risen from the dead,
is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

To Him be Glory and Power forever and ever. Amen!

Saint John Chrysostom

 

 

A glorious Easter to all TAC readers, commenters and contributors!

O Sacred Head

Something for the weekend.  O Sacred Head Surrounded.  The lyrics of this hymn derive from the latin poem Salve Mundi Salutare.  The authorship is open to doubt although I agree with those who attribute at least part of the poem to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, based upon stylistic similarities with portions of his other writings.    The sanctity and eloquence of Saint Bernard alloyed with the musical genius of Johann Sebastian Bach makes a potent combination indeed.

On a personal note this hymn has always moved me as no other does.  I had it played at my son’s funeral and when I depart this Vale of Tears I have requested that it be played at mine.  It reminds me that God died for me, something I find absolutely stunning.  Love and sacrifice begin and end with God, who regards each man as if there were no other. Continue Reading

5

Worse Than Murder Inc and the Princess

 

 

A minion of Planned Parenthood Worse Than Murder Inc tweeted that the world needs a Disney Princess who has had an abortion.  Been there, done that:

 

After a backlash from Twitter users, Planned Parenthood pulled the tweet. Melissa Reed, Planned Parenthood’s president and CEO said the abortion giant wanted to make a point about “the importance of telling stories that challenge stigma and championing stories that too often don’t get told.” She added, “Upon reflection, we decided that the seriousness of the point we were trying to make was not appropriate for the subject matter or context, and we removed the tweet.”

After hearing about the tweet from a friend, a former Disney World princess posted a response on Facebook and Medium. In her post titled, “I Was a Disney Princess and I Had an Abortion,” Deanna Falchook wrote that she worked as a singing and dancing princess at Disney World. She’d sing “Some Day My Prince Will Come” and “When You Wish Upon a Star.” At 18 years old she became pregnant and had an abortion to keep her job. “There was no pressure from the company or management to abort my baby,” she wrote. “I didn’t tell them. But I made a decision on my own that I quickly lived to regret.”

Falchook “struggled deeply” and “wanted to die.” Although she continued to sing about “dreams coming true,” she couldn’t come to terms with what she’d done. She quit her job. Eventually, she said she found healing. “It was an arduous struggle to navigate my personal grief. But by the grace of God, I am living an amazing life.”

 

She married her “prince,” had two biological children and adopted five children from Ethiopia, Guatamala and Ukraine. Her family is “a Disney family beautifully woven together by God’s grace.” Continue Reading

6

See The Film

I shut down the law mines every Good Friday.  My bride and I and our son went to see Paul:  Apostle of Christ.  A review will appear in the next few days, but I wanted to advise our readers to see this film.  It is the most powerful film I have seen since the Passion of the Christ and it reminded me of why I am a Catholic.  It makes a grand spiritual meditation for the Triduum.  See the film, you will not regret it.

 

6

Professor Ratzinger on Hell

Since there is some talk this Triduum of what Pope Francis may or may not have said about Hell, I wanted to re-post an old post of mine that deals with the article of faith “He descended into hell” (Good Friday/Holy Saturday), being without God and the pain in the verse “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” It’s probably the best description of hell I’ve ever heard, not that I’ve heard many speak of it in detail.

Warning: This post is somewhat “dark”, but remember…darkness can be a kind of light if it helps you to see.

Briefly summarizing several pages from Joseph Ratzinger’s book (now Pope Emeritus) “Introduction to Christianity”, in Part II, The Development of Faith in Christ in the Christological Articles of the Creed:

Loneliness is a region of fear, which is rooted in the exposure of a being that must exist, but is pushed out into a situation with which it is impossible for him to deal. In the experience of utter loneliness, a fear arises peculiar to man which is not fear of anything particular, but simply fear in itself. Man cannot overcome this kind of fear by way of reason.

Example 1:

A child walking alone in the dark woods is frightened even if convincingly shown that there is nothing to be afraid of. The child will lose this fear the moment there is a loving hand to take him and he experiences the fellowship of “Another”.

Example 2:

Someone keeping watch over a corpse will feel somehow “eerie” even when he knows perfectly well the dead body can do him no harm. In fact, there would be more possibility of danger if the person was alive, but logic is of no help. This fear will also recede like the child’s if he experiences the loving nearness of a “You”.

Man cannot stand alone; he needs closeness; he needs unity. If man (and this is the true nature of sin) refuses to recognize his own limits and tries to “be like God”, standing alone on his own two feet, then precisely by adopting this attitude he delivers himself up to death. Scripture about the connection between sin and death is to be understood from this angle. Small wonder the devil wants us prideful. Pride naturally leads to isolation from God (and others), which will lead to a torment of anxiety. It’s the exact opposite of the life of the Trinity.

If a state of isolation were to arise that was so deep that no “You” could reach into it anymore, then we should have a total and terrifying loneliness; this is what theology calls “Hell”….. a loneliness which is as inescapable as it is dreadful!

Report to the Emperor-First Draft

(I post this each year on Good Friday.  A holy and happy Easter to all contributors, commenters and readers of TAC.)

I thank you Marcus for taking on the onerous task of acting as my secretary, in addition to your regular duties as my aide, in regard to this portion of the report.  The Greek, Aristides, is competent, and like most Greek secretaries his Latin is quite graceful, but also like most Greek secretaries he does not know when to keep his mouth shut.  I want him kept away from this work, and I want you to observe the strictest security.  Caiaphas was playing a nefarious game, and I do not think we are out of the woods yet.  I do not want his spies finding out what I am telling the Imperator and Caiaphas altering the tales his agents are now, no doubt, spreading in Rome.  Let us take the Jew by surprise for once! Continue Reading

11

Five Years of Lent

The Pope has said that there is no Hell and that the souls of the damned are simply annihilated.  The Vatican denies that he said it:

 

.- On Thursday the Holy See stated that a reported interview between Pope Francis and an Italian journalist, which claims the Pope denied the existence of hell, should not be considered an accurate depiction of Francis’ words, but the author’s own “reconstruction.”

A recent meeting between Pope Francis and Italian journalist Eugenio Scalfari, 93, was a “private meeting for the occasion of Easter, however without giving him any interview,” the March 29 communique stated.

“What is reported by the author in today’s article is the result of his reconstruction, in which the literal words pronounced by the Pope are not quoted. No quotation of the aforementioned article must therefore be considered as a faithful transcription of the words of the Holy Father.”

Scalfari, a self-proclaimed atheist, is the founder and former editor of Italian leftist newspaper La Repubblica. In an article published on the site March 29, Scalfari claims that Pope Francis told him, “hell doesn’t exist, the disappearance of the souls of sinners exists.”

Go here to read the rest.  Who to believe?  Well Patrick Henry once noted that “I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.”

The same thing was reported by the same elderly Italian atheist journalist three years ago.  Go here to read about it.  The Vatican has often claimed this same journalist routinely misquotes the Pope in his reports of the interviews he has with the Pope.  Riddle me this:  If the Pope is misquoted, why does he keep coming back for additional interviews?  This entire Pontificate has been five years of Lent for faithful Catholics.

5

Judas Explains It All

Judas:  – Because men are weak
Because they are cursed with envy and cowardice
Because they can dream of truth, but cannot live with it, they doubt
They doubt, the fools
Why must men betray themselves with doubts?
– Tell them, the others, find them and tell them not to doubt
Even now not to doubt
Tell them to keep their faith
They must keep faith
Demetrius:  – Wait, tell who?
Who are you?
Judas:  – My name is Judas

Screenplay The Robe (1953)

Michael Ansara at the beginning of his long career gives an absolutely unforgettable rendition of Judas in The Robe (1953).  Never has complete despair been more powerfully conveyed.  Yet, out of the bottomless pit he has fallen into, Judas pleads that the other Apostles must keep the Faith.

 

5

Saint Peter and the Last Supper

“Erravi cum Petro, sed non flevi cum Petro”, “Like Peter I have erred, unlike Peter I have not wept.”

Bishop Stephen Gardiner on his deathbed after hearing the portion of the Passion where Peter denies Christ.

 

I have always been fascinated by the figure of Saint Peter, our first Pope.  He was such an unlikely choice!  God could have chosen a priest, a very wise teacher, a prophet, a ruler, even, Heaven help us, a lawyer.   Someone who, to most superficial human eyes, would have been vastly more suited to be the first head of His Church on Earth. Instead he chose a humble fisherman.  Why?  Any number of reasons, I suppose, many of them still known only to God.  Perhaps one of the major factors was the love that Peter bore for Christ.  We see this after their first meeting when Peter urges Christ to go from him because Peter is a sinful man.  I think that at that point Peter desperately wanted to follow Christ, but he thought he was unworthy to because of his sins.  He was willing to have Christ depart from him in order to protect Christ from Peter’s sinful nature.

 

 

Peter is heartbroken when Christ reveals that he must die on the Cross.  Peter tells Christ that this must not happen, only to be rebuked by Christ for acting as a Satan attempting to tempt His human weakness.  This was said shortly after Christ, no doubt to Peter’s immense shock, advised him that He was going to build His Church on him, and committed to him the keys of the kingdom of Heaven.  How strange it must have all seemed to the Fisherman from Galilee!  However, his love for Christ kept him at the side of Jesus.

At the Last Supper when Christ reveals the Eucharist, He has this dialogue with Peter:

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”

And he (Peter) said unto him, “Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.”

And he (Jesus) said, “I tell thee Peter, the cock show not crow on this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.”

After seeing the great miracle of the Last Supper, Peter did precisely that, deserting Christ in His hour of need, denying him three times.  Continue Reading

5

The Answer

A Rose, in tatters on the garden path,

Cried out to God and murmured ‘gainst His Wrath,

Because a sudden wind at twilight’s hush

Had snapped her stem alone of all the bush.

And God, Who hears both sun-dried dust and sun,

Had pity, whispering to that luckless one,

“Sister, in that thou sayest We did not well —

What voices heardst thou when thy petals fell?”

And the Rose answered, “In that evil hour

A voice said, `Father, wherefore falls the flower?

For lo, the very gossamers are still.’

And a voice answered, `Son, by Allah’s will!’”

  Then softly as a rain-mist on the sward,

Came to the Rose the Answer of the Lord:

“Sister, before We smote the Dark in twain,

Ere yet the stars saw one another plain,

Time, Tide, and Space, We bound unto the task

That thou shouldst fall, and such an one should ask.”

Whereat the withered flower, all content,

Died as they die whose days are innocent;

While he who questioned why the flower fell

Caught hold of God and saved his soul from Hell.

Rudyard Kipling

5

Screen Pilates: Pilou Asbæk

Continuing our series on screen portrayals of Pilate that I began in 2011 during Holy Week.    The posts on portrayals of Pilate by Rod Steiger, Richard Boone, Barry Dennen, Hristov Shopov, Telly Savalas, Frank Thring, Stephen Russell, Greg Hicks, Cyril Richard, Stephen Moyer, Dennis King, Keith Mitchell, Leif Erickson, Peter Firth, David Bowie, Lowell Gilmore,  Hurd Hatfield, Vincent Regan, Arthur Kennedy, Gary Oldman and Ian Holm may be viewed  here, here, here, here  here , here, here, here, here , here , here, here, here , here , here , here , here , here,  here , here and here.

 

 

In Asbaek’s portrayal of Pilate we encounter a hirsute and ruthless Pilate.  In his ruthlessness, the portrayal of Pilate reflects that of the Jewish historian Josephus who lived in the latter half of the first century.  That portrayal has always been at odds with the more nuanced picture of Pilate contained in the Gospels.  I have never viewed these different portraits of the man as necessarily in conflict.  Depending upon events, a man might act quite differently than one might expect based upon their past.  Pilate had two jobs from the Emperor:  keep the peace and keep taxes flowing.  Pilate was inclined to be merciful to Christ until Caiaphas skillfully convinced Pilate that he would accuse him of falling down on both his jobs if Christ were not crucified.

 

As to Pilate having a beard, most Roman aristocrats were clean shaven at the time, and had been since the end of the Second Punic War, a beard usually being considered a Greek affectation.  It is unlikely that Pilate would have had a beard, especially considering the hot and humid climate of Judaea, but some Romans did have beards, usually as a sign of fashionable youthful rebellion or as a sign of mourning.

17

Repealing the Bill of Rights

The majority falls prey to the delusion, popular in some circles, that ordinary people are too careless and stupid to own guns, and we would be far better off leaving all weapons in the hands of professionals on the government payroll. But the simple truth, born of experience, is that tyranny thrives best where government need not fear the wrath of an armed people… A revolt by Nat Turner and a few dozen other armed blacks could be put down without much difficulty; one by four million armed blacks would have meant big trouble. All too many of the other great tragedies of history, Stalin’s atrocities, the killing fields of Cambodia, the Holocaust, to name but a few, were perpetrated by armed troops against unarmed populations. Many could well have been avoided or mitigated, had the perpetrators known their intended victims were equipped with a rifle and twenty bullets apiece, as the Militia Act required here. … If a few hundred Jewish fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto could hold off the Wehrmacht for almost a month with only a handful of weapons, six million Jews armed with rifles could not so easily have been herded into cattle cars.

Alex Kozinski, Federal Circuit Judge

 

What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling sea coasts, the guns of our war steamers, or the strength of our gallant and disciplined army. These are not our reliance against a resumption of tyranny in our fair land. All of them may be turned against our liberties, without making us stronger or weaker for the struggle. Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, every where. Destroy this spirit, and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors. Familiarize yourselves with the chains of bondage, and you are preparing your own limbs to wear them. Accustomed to trample on the rights of those around you, you have lost the genius of your own independence, and become the fit subjects of the first cunning tyrant who rises.

Abraham Lincoln, September 11, 1858

 

 

 

Well, on the Left in this country, everyone from former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens to Mark Shea, are calling for repealing the Second Amendment.  Now, there is no chance that is going to happen.  Go here to read about such an attempt would entail.  However, think about what the mere calling for this means.  Americans throughout our history have treasured our liberties.  Now, a large portion of the American people are willing to take an axe to the Bill of Rights in order to reach a political end.  The people doing so, I suspect, do not treasure the right to bear arms, and thus their liberty is not at risk, but merely a liberty prized by people they obviously despise.

Dale Price has a good response to this:

The First Amendment’s free speech protections are the relic of a backward 18th Century elite’s preoccupations with protecting the intellectual output of a now-extinct leisure class of slaveowning Deists.

In an age where hate and harassment can be transmitted across the globe with the click of a button and the children of vulnerable groups are being bullied into suicide every day, it is time to repeal the First Amendment.

However, I would caution Dale that many on the Left have no love of freedom of speech for those who disagree with them.  Those with the temerity to disagree with the Left are regarded as purveyors of hate speech and must be shouted down.  It is not fearmongering to assume they will eventually wish to amend the First Amendment.  Perhaps it would read as follows:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, except when a religion discriminates; or abridging the freedom of speech, except when speech is hateful or discriminatory or of the press, except when false news is being purveyed; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, except for those assembling to promote racism and discrimination, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, unless they are petitioning in support of racism or discrimination.

For radical egalitarians, the Left seems to long for a very stratified society where Platonic Guardians will rule over the common people in a progressive utopia  where freedom will be as absent as religion.  This all calls to mind the quote of CS Lewis:

 

5

The Ever Unconvincing Left

Internet sensation Jordan Peterson, and the over the top hate directed against him by the Left, brings to mind one of the unspoken features of contemporary life:  Leftism is completely unconvincing.

 

Think about it.  Leftism tends to only flourish in locations where they can howl down contrary speakers, a prime example is academia, where they have a captive audience, public schools, or where they can blacklist opponents, ironically the entertainment industry.  Leftists have largely forgotten how to argue and how to debate ideas.  Their only “arguments” these day are an oblivious assumption that all “good” people share Leftist views, and some form of force.  And that is not enough for the long term.  Evidence of this?  When Leftists have to compete head to head with non-Leftists, they tend to come a cropper.  Examples of this in this country are Politics and Religion.  In politics Leftists increasingly turn to the courts, because they are usually unable to enact their agendas by the ballot box.  In religion, a church embracing Leftism is a death warrant since such an embrace is swiftly followed by ever increasing empty pews.

 

Peterson represents to the Left their inability to argue successfully and thus they respond with brownshirt tactics.  Like their ideological forebears, a fist is their only true response to reason.  A movement that rests almost entirely on force is a movement that is doomed in the long run.

Screen Pilates: Ian Holm

Continuing our series on screen portrayals of Pilate that I began in 2011 during Holy Week.    The posts on portrayals of Pilate by Rod Steiger, Richard Boone, Barry Dennen, Hristov Shopov, Telly Savalas, Frank Thring, Stephen Russell, Greg Hicks, Cyril Richard, Stephen Moyer, Dennis King, Brian Mitchell, Leif Erickson, Peter Firth, David Bowie, Lowell Gilmore,  Hurd Hatfield, Vincent Regan, Arthur Kennedy and Gary Oldman may be viewed  here, here, here, here  here , here, here, here, here , here , here, here, here , here , here , here , here , here,  here and here.

 

Bilbo Baggins as Pilate.  Actor Ian Holm voice acted Pilate in the claymation version of the life of Christ in The Miracle Maker (2000).  British actors have a long history of being cast in roles as Roman aristocrats.  However Ian Holm does the role of Pilate without a trace of a British accent.  He portrays Pilate as quite stern but not unsympathetic to Jesus who he finds completely puzzling.  When Caiaphas states that Pilate is no friend of Caesar if he spares Jesus, Pilate gives up in disgust, washes his hands and orders the crucifixion of Jesus.

10

Music Loving Bishop Bans Concert

Father Z gives us this good news:

 

 

 

The National Sodomitical Reporter (aka Fishwrap) threw an editorial tantrum today about the decision of the Bishop of Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph (where Fishwrap’s offices are located), Most Rev. James Johnston not to allow at a diocesan parish a concert by former Jesuit Dan Schutte.

Schutte was one of the “St. Louis Jesuits” whose music tormented congregations for years.

Schutte was once on the Fishwrap’s board.

I wouldn’t bring this up, but the NSR dragged me into it by name in reference to the infamous Jesuit homosexualist activist James Martin.

BTW…NSR earns it’s middle term, “sodomotical” because they never lose an opportunity to promote a homosexualist agenda.

NSR aimed their editorial against Bp. Johnston.  They want him to conform.  I suspect that they will pick on him, as they did Bp. Finn.

They want Johnston to denounce Church Militant for spreading “fake news” about Schutte and allow the event to take place.

I have a counter suggestion.

Fishwrap should remove the word “Catholic” from their masthead, as they were directed to do by Johnston’s predecessor Bp. Helmsing in 1968.  Maybe then Johnston would be open to discussions of Schutte’s performance.

Either that, or finally become Catholic.

NSR defied Bp. Helmsing, openly attacked Finn, and has now started in on Johnston.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Now the Bishop needs to ban all Saint Louis Jesuit songs for a period in his diocese, for the next century or so.  Bad Music has been one of the banes of the Church for the past half century and it is time for it to end.  Ban the crap from the sixties and the seventies and let us free our Church from its musical Babylonian Captivity.