For Roman Catholics, the defense of life is a sine qua non, one that’s sadly missing form many politicians who self-identify as “Catholics.” To wit: Nancy Pelosi (C-CA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Vice President Joe Biden.
So, it’s refreshing when a politician defends life, especially at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing where the proposed bill—the “Women’s Health Protection Act“ (WHPA) (S.1696)—would block all restrictions on abortion. WHPA includes sweeping federal authority to preempt “any provision enacted by a state or subdivision.” Of course, the bill is a legislative response to the recent Hobby Lobby decision.
According to CNSNews.com, Congresswoman Marsha Wentworth Blackburn (R-TN) stated in her comments: “Our Constitution does not put a qualifier on life.” Blackburn then held up a large, 3-D ultrasound image of her grandson. She continued:
And I have to tell you how exciting it was for me to see this ultrasound. I was thrilled. I could tell…three months before he was born, he had my eyes and nose. Now, for a grandmother, that’s a really big deal. I could see his hands. I could see his arms. And I could see him peacefully resting in his mother’s womb. That’s the wonder of science. That is life!
Our Constitution does not put a qualifier on life. The pursuit of life, liberty–pursuit of happiness. Those protections–the right to life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, (exist) even in the mother’s womb.
I urge the committee to reconsider this legislation.
As for the bill’s title, Blackburn said it’s misleading:
I find it so curious that this legislation is termed “The Women’s Health Protection Act.” In my opinion it would be more accurately titled the “Removal of Existing Protections and Safety Measures for Women Undergoing Abortion Act.”
Kind of refreshing, isn’t it, to see an elected representative bringing the battle for life right into the Chambers? Would that every Roman Catholic member of Congress courageously promoted the cause of life, as does this member of the Presbyterian Church in America.
Pro-Life kudos to U.S. Representative Marsha Wedgeworth Blackburn!
To read the CNSnews.com article, click on the following link:
To read The Motley Monk’s daily blog, Omnibus, click on the following link:
Hmmm. In the same week in which Father Lombardi, Vatican Press Flack, has warned us that in the current Scalfari interview we must not assume that the Pope is being correctly quoted, the first Scalfari interview from last fall is back up on the Vatican website. Go here to view it. It had been taken down last fall when questions arose as to its accuracy. Since it is back up, Popewatch assumes that it must therefore have accurately reflected what the Pope said at the time, or it is truly bizarre for the Vatican to be re-posting it, especially when the veracity of the second interview is being questioned. If the readers of PopeWatch are confused by all of this, PopeWatch welcomes their company. Continue reading
The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.
Abraham Lincoln, conclusion of his First Inaugural Address
A video clip of a movie, The Better Angels, coming out in the fall of this year. The film deals with the boyhood of Lincoln and centers on the death of his mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln. She died when Lincoln was nine and Lincoln helped his father make her coffin. Throughout his life Lincoln was surrounded by death: his younger brother Thomas who lived only three days, his mother, his beloved sister Sarah who died at age 20 giving birth to a still born son, his son Eddie who died in 1850 age three, his son Willie who died in 1862, age 11 and the grim death toll of the Civil War, larger than that of all other American wars combined until Vietnam. These deaths helped increase the melancholy that always lurked below the surface for Lincoln and which he fought off with his humorous story telling.
Lincoln’s religious beliefs during his life were a subject of controversy and so they have remained after his death. However, all the deaths that he personally witnessed convinced him that God had His own purposes that were unknown to mortals. Lincoln gave this belief immortal form in his Second Inaugural:
Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. “Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.” If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. Continue reading
Barry Goldwater long ago ceased to be a hero of mine after the revelation that back in the fifties he had paid for an abortion for one of his daughters and his open embrace of abortion after his retirement. However, he was certainly a hero of mine as I watched the Republican convention in 1964 on television at the age of seven. I do not recall his speech, but I do recall watching every minute of the convention with rapt attention. Goldwater’s acceptance speech was not a great speech, Goldwater admitting himself that he was no great orator. It will always be remembered for two phrases: extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.
Harry Jaffa, perhaps the foremost expert on the political thought of Abraham Lincoln, wrote the phrases for Goldwater, although Goldwater, bizarrely, claimed that the phrases were written by Cicero when the lines came under attack. Jaffa recalls helping to write the speech:
I wrote that statement, in part, as a repudiation of the critique of extremism that was made by Rockefeller and Scranton witnesses before the [platform] committee. Sometimes these things get out of hand. They are like letters you do not intend to send. But they blow out the window and somebody picks them up and they are delivered. And this one was delivered to the Senator, who fell in love with it and ordered that it be incorporated in his Acceptance Speech, and it led to my becoming the principal drafter of the speech. And, there it was. It was not my political judgment that the thing be used in the speech at all, although I must say that I was flattered at the time and didn’t think too much of what the consequences would be. . . The Senator liked it because he had been goaded by mean-spirited attacks through the long months of the primaries. Nothing in the political history of the country surpasses in fundamental indecency the kind of attacks that were made on Goldwater by Nelson Rockefeller and his followers. . . But I was not asked for the extremism statement; I had written it as an in-house memorandum, and it was appropriated. I’m not making an excuse for myself in saying I wasn’t responsible for it. I was certainly enthusiastically in favor of it at the time. Continue reading
As part of their War on Women meme against Republicans, Senate Democrats have begun hearings on the Orwellian entitled Women’s Health Protection Act of 2014. Since 2010 the Republicans have controlled more state legislatures than at any time since the administration of Calvin Coolidge, and as a result much pro-life legislation has been enacted in these states. The Democrat bill seeks to federalize abortion and eliminate virtually every piece of pro-life legislation. The bill seeks to ensure that abortion on demand will be completely unfettered.
Now, the chances of this Act becoming law currently are nil. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.Koch Paranoia) will not even bring this bill to the floor of the Senate for a vote. If it did scrape together a majority vote by some demonic miracle, it would die a swift death in the Republican House.
No, this bill is all about electioneering. The Democrats believe they have a silver bullet to win elections and that is by waving the dead fetus and scaring women that their precious
rite right to slay their kids is under attack. At the very least they assume they can probably incite their more demented feminist voters into a frenzy and thereby get them to the polls. In the latter assumption they are probably correct. Of course, this also demonstrates that any pro-lifer who ever casts a vote for a Democrat is out of his or her mind. Even a pro-life Democrat, I think you can count them on two hands now as members of the House and have fingers to spare, will be part and parcel of supporting a party that has declared open season on the unborn. Here is the text of the proposed bill: Continue reading
On June 30, 2014 Pope Francis in his homily at the Mass remembering the martyrs of the Neronian Persecution said this:
“In the Gospel reading of the day one of Jesus’s disciples said that he would follow Him, but only after having buried his father… and the Lord replied: ‘No! Follow me without conditions’. Your witness must be firm; you must use the same strong language that Jesus used: ‘Your words must be yes, yes, or no, no’. This is the language of testimony”.
“Today – Pope Francis said – we look upon the Church of Rome that grows, fed by the blood of martyrs. So it is right – he continued – that our thoughts turn to the many martyrs of today, the many martyrs who give their lives for faith. It is true that during the times of Nero many Christians were persecuted, and today – he said – there are just as many”.
“There are many martyrs today, in the Church, many persecuted Christians. Think of the Middle East where Christians must flee persecution, where Christians are killed. Even those Christians who are forced away in an ‘elegant’ way, with ‘white gloves’: that too is persecution. There are more witnesses, more martyrs in the Church today than there were in the first centuries. So during this Mass, remembering our glorious ancestors, let us think also to our brothers who are persecuted, who suffer and who, with their blood are nurturing the seed of so many little Churches that are born. Let us pray for them and for us”. Continue reading
The proponents of dividing California up into six states have enough signatures for the proposal to be on the ballot in 2016. I think this is an idea we will see more of in many states. Urban areas and non urban areas have been growing increasingly antithetical to each other in state after state, politically and culturally. The problems of dividing states, which would have to be approved by Congress as well as state legislatures, are huge but I think the movement for this will grow, and not just on one side of the political ledger. As for myself, I would love to see Illinois divide into two states: The Land of Lincoln and whatever Chicago wants to call itself. If such a measure is ever approved in one state, I think this movement will rapidly sweep across the country. We will see.
Picking a fight, go here to read all about it, with PewSitter is a really bad idea.
Update: Mark Shea weighs in with the calm and charitable commentary that has made him famed throughout Saint Blog’s:
Update: some of my more charitable readers insist that “admit” is patient of a reading that is not as unfeeling as it sounds to Simcha, me and rather a lot of female readers (particularly victims of sex crimes). Okay. Summoning “love believeth all things” to its summit, I will buy that and apologize for seeing red. But I also don’t think Simcha was particularly wrong to see red. Pewsitter has a long record of saying odious things. The fact that this may have only been semi-odious is nothing to write home about.
Moral: a website written by anonymous cowards who regularly go out of their way to put the darkest possible constructions on the pope’s words should perhaps consider a bit more circumspection about throwing stones from their glass house when they themselves speak so recklessly. The best that can be said for their wording was that it was, ahem, “poorly chosen” and (what’s is it that those guys love to hurl at Francis? Oh yeah!) “sends a confusing message”. And the rest of the site remains a clearinghouse for contempt for much of the Church’s magisterial teaching and this pope in particular. Take the log out of your own eyes, anonymous Pewsitter cowards.
Patheos v. Pewsitter! Pass the popcorn!
Hilarious! Spirit of Vatican II types outraged that a Newman Chapel becomes Catholic again:
Newman Center’s new pastor said the changes were intended to make the church more appealing to a broad spectrum of Catholics, including students, by making the church “more familiar or traditional,” both in its design and in the style of Mass.
“Everybody that came on Sunday was kind of in shock,” said Gale Flack, 60, a longtime Newman Center parishioner. The altar, which for years had been located in the middle of the church with pews arranged in a U-shape around it, had been relocated to the east end of the church, she said.
If anyone doubts that we have gangsters at the helm of the federal government who have nothing but contempt for traditional American liberties, the Obama administration quite nicely continues to supply plenty of evidence to support their hostility to the Bill of Rights, as Mary Katharine Ham at Hot Air notes:
The U.S. Department of Justice has joined the discussions over a controversial float in the Norfolk Independence Day parade.
The department sent a member of its Community Relations Service team, which gets involved in discrimination disputes, to a Thursday meeting about the issue. Also at the meeting were the NAACP, the Norfolk mayor and The Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
The float was created by a Nebraska veteran, Dale Emmerich, and featured a zombified mannequin figure standing in front of an outhouse bearing the sign, “Obama Presidential Library.” Emmerich said the mannequin represented him and other veterans, and the float was a comment on the horrors of the VA scandal. Which, given the level of broken trust, deceit, and death exposed at nearly every level of that corrupt system, I cannot begrudge the man his dissent. It used to be that we valued such things even when— especially when, dare I say— we disagreed personally with such speech or found it problematic.
I describe the content of the float to put us all on the same page but it’s irrelevant because making a parade float that offends people is not in any way against the law. Charles C.W. Cooke on the virtues of the formerly universally understood freedom to mock one’s leaders:
Now for the obvious question: Why? What, exactly, was the problem here? Nobody was killed. Nobody was injured. Nobody had their material or spiritual interests injured, nor were they stripped of their livelihoods. No federal or state laws were broken. Indeed, not even private rules were broken. More to the point, there was no “discrimination dispute” of the sort with which the DOJ likes to concern itself. Instead, a few free people were vexed because a politician that they like was depicted in an unflattering light. One might well ask, “So what?” Once, Americans tackled the Oregon Trail. Are they now in need of their political “discussions” being arbitrated by glorified social workers sent by Uncle Sam?
In a typically risible statement, Nebraska’s state Democratic party described the incident as one of the “worst shows of racism and disrespect for the office of the presidency that Nebraska has ever seen.” That this is almost certainly true demonstrates just how much progress the United States has made in the last 50 years — and, in consequence, how extraordinarily difficult the professionally aggrieved are finding it to fill their quotas. If a fairly standard old saw is among the worst things to have happened to the Cornhusker State in recent memory, the country is in rather good shape, n’est-ce pas?
“The float was political satire and an expression of political disgust. There was no racism involved, no hate for anyone,” Remmich said. Continue reading
From the latest La Repubblica interview:
Asked whether priests might one day be allowed to marry, Francis pointed out celibacy was instituted ’900 years after Our Lord’s death’ and that clerics can marry in some Eastern Churches under Vatican tutelage.’There definitely is a problem but it is not a major one. This needs time but there are solutions and I will find them,’ Francis said, without giving further details. Continue reading
Death had to take him in his sleep, for if he was awake there’d have been a fight.
Remark of Charles Marshall, Vice President of the United States, upon hearing of the death of Theodore Roosevelt
On October 12, 1915, Columbus Day, that force of nature Theodore Roosevelt gave a speech to the Knights of Columbus in New York City. Roosevelt packed so many lives into his 60 years: historian, reformer, rancher, politician, Undersecretary of the Navy, soldier, Governor of New York, President, explorer, naturalist, etc. In 1915 his crusade was to rouse America into readiness if it should become necessary to fight Germany and to instill in the American people a sense of unity and patriotism. He wanted this nation of immigrants to understand that they were Americans and he wanted no talk of hyphenated Americans. Many of the important issues of his day translate poorly to our time, and Roosevelt took positions which would inspire, and offend, virtually every segment of the contemporary American political spectrum. This speech however does have a contemporary ring to it, and if I had been present I suspect that I would have come close to wearing out my hands madly applauding most of it. Here is the text of the speech:
FOUR centuries and a quarter have gone by since Columbus by discovering America opened the greatest era in world history. Four centuries have passed since the Spaniards began that colonization on the main land which has resulted in the growth of the nations of Latin-America. Three centuries have passed since, with the settlements on the coasts of Virginia and Massachusetts, the real history of what is now the United States began. All this we ultimately owe to the action of an Italian seaman in the service of a Spanish King and a Spanish Queen. It is eminently fitting that one of the largest and most influential social organizations of this great Republic, a Republic in which the tongue is English, and the blood derived from many sources, should, in its name, commemorate the great Italian. It is eminently fitting to make an address on Americanism before this society.
We of the United States need above all things to remember that, while we are by blood and culture kin to each of the nations of Europe, we are also separate from each of them. We are a new and -distinct nationality. We are developing our own distinctive culture and civilization, and the worth of this civilization will largely depend upon our determination to keep it distinctively our own. Our sons and daughters should be educated here and not abroad. We should freely take from every other nation whatever we can make of use, but we should adopt and develop to our own peculiar needs what we thus take, and never be content merely to copy.
Our nation was founded to perpetuate democratic principles. These principles are that each man is to be treated on his worth as a man without regard to the land from which his forefathers came and without regard to the creed which he professes. If the United States proves false to these principles of civil and religious liberty, it will have inflicted the greatest blow on the system of free popular government that has ever been inflicted. Here we have had a virgin continent on which to try the experiment of making out of divers race stocks a new nation and of treating all the citizens of that nation in such a fashion as to preserve them equality of opportunity in industrial, civil, and/ political life. Our duty is to secure each man against any injustice by his fellows. Continue reading
(I originally posted this in 2012. I rather liked this post, so here it is again.)
The La Marseillaise scene from Casablanca. Today is Bastille Day, the great national holiday in France, the equivalent of our Independence Day. In France it is known as La Fête Nationale, the National Celebration, or Le quatorze juillet, the fourteenth of July, rather like Independence Day is often known here as the Fourth of July. There the similarities end. Although almost all Americans look back at the American Revolution with pride, many of us dedicated to the great truths embodied in the Declaration of Independence, the French Revolution is looked upon much more ambiguously in France.
Bastille Day recalls an event July 14, 1789 in which the mob of Paris, joined by mutinous French troops, stormed the Bastille, a fortress-prison in Paris which had in the past held political prisoners. The Bastille fell to the mob after a fight in which some ninety-eight attackers and one defender were killed. After the fighting, in an ominous sign of what was to come in the French Revolution, the mob massacred the governor of the prison and seven of the defenders. The Bastille held a grand total of seven inmates at the time of its fall, none of political significance.
So began the Revolution which promised Liberty, Equality and Fraternity in theory and delivered in practice, Tyranny, Wars and Death, with France embarked on a witches’ dance of folly which would end at Waterloo, after almost a quarter of a century of war which would leave Europe drenched in blood. Edmund Burke at the beginning of this madness, in 1790, saw clearly where all this would lead:
Regicide, and parricide, and sacrilege, are but fictions of superstition, corrupting jurisprudence by destroying its simplicity. The murder of a king, or a queen, or a bishop, or a father, are only common homicide; and if the people are by any chance, or in any way, gainers by it, a sort of homicide much the most pardonable, and into which we ought not to make too severe a scrutiny.
On the scheme of this barbarous philosophy, which is the offspring of cold hearts and muddy understandings, and which is as void of solid wisdom as it is destitute of all taste and elegance, laws are to be supported only by their own terrors, and by the concern which each individual may find in them from his own private speculations, or can spare to them from his own private interests. In the groves of their academy, at the end of every vista, you see nothing but the gallows.
Many Frenchmen also saw this, and fought against the Revolution and all its works. The Revolution is a history of civil wars, and barbarous massacres. The Church of course was enemy number one of many of the Revolutionaries, with faithful Catholics undergoing a murderous persecution without parallel up to that point in the history of the Church.
Why would anyone want to celebrate any of this?
Matt Archbold at Creative Minority Report has an interesting post on a liberation theologian:
Former Catholic priest and liberation theologian Mike Rivage-Seul, who directed Berea College’s Peace and Social Justice Studies Program until his retirement, wrote a poem of sorts about his reaction to Americans standing up and cheering the homecoming of a Marine from Iraq.
In it, he compared the U.S. military to the Nazi S.S. and to the Roman persecutors of Christ. He also called them names like “robo-grunts” and then said we should be kind and merciful to all. Go figure.
Two weeks ago/ Between innings/ Of a Cubs-Pirates game/ At Wrigley Field/ They celebrated a Marine from Iraq — A local boy/ Who emerged from the Cubs’ dugout/ Waving/ To a hero’s welcome/ From a crowd on its feet/ Cheering/ Between swigs of PBR/ As if the poor kid had hit/ A game-winning dinger.
Reluctantly I stood up with the rest./ I now regret my applause./ I should have remembered shaved-headed/ Brain-washed innocents/ Kicking in front doors/ Profaning the sacred portals/ Of everyman’s castle,/ Petrifying children/ Calling their parents “mother f_ _kers”/ And binding tender wrists/ With plastic handcuffs./ To rid the world of evil.
Pitiful lobotomized innocents,/ They are/ Driven to slaughter by poverty/ And debt/ To Haditha, Fallujah, Abu Grahib,/ To weddings transformed in a flash and bang/ Into funerals/ Leaving mourners shocked and awed — “Collateral Murder,”/ By what King called/ The world’s “greatest purveyor of violence”/ And the Sandinista hymn identified as / “The enemy of mankind.”
Or Humvee/ And banishing chariots, cross-bows/ And drones raining hell-fire/ From the skies./ His kingdom disarmed/ Would encompass the entire world./ Refusing to call/ Any of God’s “little ones” (To use our military’s terms of art) “Rag-heads” or “Desert ni_ ggers” / Paul called such imperial hate-speech “flesh.” /(Judging by appearances like skin color, nationality, religion)
I should have remembered Jesus And his yoke./ So good and light/ He said Compared with The heavy burdens The Roman War-makers Laid on their subjects Who kicked in Nazareth’s doors And called parents like Joseph and Mary “Mother f_cking Jews.”
Jesus preferred — In places far from the imperial center/ Like Palestine (or Iraq today)./ Victims there might be out of sight And mind/ For those enjoying bread, circuses/ Cubs and Pirates, But not for the All Parent Described by the Psalmist today
As gracious, merciful, slow to anger, hugely kind, benevolent to all, compassionate, faithful, holy, and lifting up (rather than crushing) those who have fallen under the weight of the burdens Jesus decries.
I should have asked, If following that Messiah If worshipping that All Parent Allowed standing and applauding A robo-grunt returned From a war Where over a million civilians have been slaughtered To rid the world of violence.
Intrigued by this outburst of jejune far leftism, I wondered what else I could find out about this gentleman. Well, it will come as absolutely no surprise that he is a pro-abort:
Embracing children like the one Jesus held doesn’t mean legally restricting abortions beyond Roe v. Wade. Neither does it mean “tough love,” nor forcing impoverished mothers to bring their children to term and then telling them “You’re on your own.” Rather, embracing poor children – truly being pro-life – means creating a welcoming atmosphere that receives children as we would receive the Jesus who identifies with them in today’s gospel. Yes, it suggests supporting those “Big Government” programs that work so well elsewhere.