Gerry Connolly: Former Seminarian-Democrat Congressman-Anti-Catholic Bigot

Friday, February 17, AD 2012

Hattip to Chris Johnson at Midwest Conservative Journal.  Johnson is a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently for the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith. 

Gerry Connolly, (D.VA.), graduated from Maryknoll Preparatory Seminary in Illinois in 1971.  Rather than becoming a priest, he, fortunately for the Church, became involved in politics.  In 2008 he was elected to the House.  In 2010 he was re-elected by fewer than a thousand votes.  (Better luck to the unfortunate constituents of Mr. Connolly this year.)  Although he purportedly is a Catholic, he has routinely engaged in Catholic bashing as a political tool.  In his race for the House in 2008 he played the anti-Catholic card against his Republican opponent:

House minority leader John Boehner is urging Democratic leaders to stop a vicious anti-Catholic smear campaign against Republican congressional candidate Keith Fimian, who is challenging Democrat Gerry Connolly for a rare open seat in Virginia’s 11th District. All 157 Catholics currently serving in the House, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, should join their 25 Catholic colleagues in the Senate to denounce this vile attempt to denigrate their fitness for office.

Postcards mailed to voters on behalf of Connolly by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) portray the Fairfax County businessman as anti-women because he sits on the board of Legatus, a group of traditional Catholic CEOs founded by Domino’s Pizza magnate Tom Monaghan and endorsed by the late Pope John Paul II. Catholic League president Bill Donohue condemned the scurrilous ads as blatant “Catholic bashing” and demanded that Connolly publicly denounce them. Instead, the Democrat repeated the smears on TV.

It goes without saying of course that the CINO (Catholic in Name Only) Connolly is a complete pro-abort and a big supporter of Planned Parenthood.  Connolly can always be relied upon as a tame Catholic to defend the Obama administration from critics pointing out obvious anti-Catholic bias.

Thus it was no surprise that Connolly, at yesterday’s hearing on the HHS Mandate, belittled the witnesses who appeared to protest the infringement of the Mandate on religious liberty:

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7 Responses to Gerry Connolly: Former Seminarian-Democrat Congressman-Anti-Catholic Bigot

  • I noticed quite a while ago that the most venomously hateful anti-Catholics are those raised Catholic. The Jews have the phenomenon of the “self-hating Jew” but I don’t know that we can speak of “self-hating Catholics,” since the Catholic anti-Catholics seem to have very high opinions of themselves. (Unlike us, they “see though” the Church.) Really, I’ve heard one-time Catholics go off on tirades that make Jack Chick sound like Little Mary Sunshine. Unfortunately, because the bigots were raised Catholic, outsiders can get the idea that they know what they are talking about.

  • Why are Obama and Connolly talking about contraception, ending the health care scourge that are children, “why I hate Catholics”, etc.?

    Because they don’t want you to notice America is going bankrupt until there’s nothing left for them to steal.

  • I know the following is Godwin’s, but I can’t resist:

    “But he was a seminarian!”

    “So was Stalin.”

  • “…we were denied, on this side of the aisle, any witness who might have a differing point of view. And I think that’s shameful.”
    Did he stomp his foot too? What a whiner.

  • If Obamacare could heal the sick and raise the dead, participation must still be freely chosen to acknowledge the free will of the individual person to say: “THANK YOU, NO” Persons whose free will is not acknowedged are enslaved. Slaves are not citizens and do not vote. Remember to vote against your slave master.

  • ‘ to testify about your rights being trampled on — an overstatement if there ever was one — while you’re on a panel, and your participation on the panel makes you complicit in of course the trampling of freedom, because we were denied, on this side of the aisle, any witness who might have a differing point of view. And I think that’s shameful.” ‘

    Just like a trained attack dog. And they had to listen to what he thinks, not call him on what he’s doing to bring them there. Bailouts were the first order of business back when, causing spin enough to get minds too dizzy to watch where the cash waves crashed. Now, passions for the 1st Amendment problem will leave little left for the rest of coming Constitutional and financial trouble. God help those who try to stem the tide by ‘depriving’ anyone. Exec Branch has cried foul over any opposition creating stalemates to build its reputation for getting things done. They call the legislative branch do nothings. Now they scorn Religion on the front burner, while doing what with mammon.

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59% of Catholics Disapprove of Obama’s Job Performance

Tuesday, February 14, AD 2012




Interesting numbers from Rasmussen:

Catholics strongly disapprove of the job President Obama is doing as the debate continues over his administration’s new policy forcing Catholic institutions to pay for contraception they morally oppose. While the president’s overall job approval ratings have improved over the past couple of months, they have remained steady among Catholics.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 59% of likely Catholic voters nationwide at least somewhat disapprove of the president’s job performance, while 40% at least somewhat approve. But the passion’s on the side of those who don’t like the job he’s doing: 44% Strongly Disapprove versus 19% who Strongly Approve.

Fifty-four percent (54%) of Catholics voted for Obama in November 2008. However, Republican hopeful Mitt Romney currently leads the president among Catholic voters by a 52% to 35% margin. Among all voters, however, President Obama leads Romney and all Republican hopefuls.

These results are from surveys conducted over the seven days ending February 12, 2012. Among all likely voters, 50% approve of how the president is doing and 49% disapprove.  This includes 26% who Strongly Approve and 38% who Strongly Disapprove. Rasmussen Reports also provides daily updates of the president’s Job Approval and match-ups between President Obama and both Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.

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6 Responses to 59% of Catholics Disapprove of Obama’s Job Performance

  • It appears there is something seriously deficient among 41% of Catholics.

  • What percentage of the 41% could pick the Pope out of a line-up?
    I love our big fuzzy universal Church but it can be difficult having to continually explain away the bizarre behavior of my self-identifying Catholic brethren, particularly those currently forming the warp and weft of the P’resident’s doormat.

  • “If Obama loses the Catholic vote in the fall, he can kiss Ohio and perhaps Pennsylvania goodbye.”

    And probably Wisconsin too. Not to mention the concerned Protestant evangelical votes (e.g. Rick Warren) that he will also lose over the HHS issue. That means, I’m guessing, he loses EVERY state in the Midwest other than Illinois and maybe Minnesota. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him lose every Illinois county outside of the Chicago metro area and East St. Louis as well.

  • Good analysis Elaine. The Midwest could well decide the election. I think the South is gone for Obama. New England will be solid for him except for New Hampshire. In the West Obama keeps the coast, with the Republicans taking everything else, except possibly New Mexico. The Great Plains states will be entirely Republican as usual. The Mid-Atlantic is Obama’s except quite possibly Pennsylvania. If Obama can only hold on to Illinois and Minnesota in the Midwest, the elction becomes a rout against him.

  • I did a little playing around with the electoral vote map, based on your projections, and the results were:

    Without PA or OH, Obama loses 337-201.

    With PA but not OH, he loses 317-221.

    With PA and OH, he still loses 299-239.

  • “What percentage of the 41% could pick the Pope out of a line-up?”

    Maybe 5% of that I’d say.

    I wish these polls would a make a distinction between church going catholics (~20%) and the rest of catholics, who are asleep in a coma.

Bigot Mail

Thursday, February 9, AD 2012


At The American Catholic we get almost daily comments submitted by anti-Catholic bigots.  We routinely place them in our trash file as unworthy of the effort to respond to.  However, I thought that our readers might be amused to see the typical type of rant we receive from these individuals.  This one was submitted in response to my post about Eric Metaxas, a Dietrich Bonhoeffer biographer and a non-Catholic, comparing the contraceptive mandate of the Obama administration to the initial moves of Nazi Germany against the German churches in the Thirties of the last century.

If the Catholics want to get into a political battle then don’t whine.  That’s Politics.  Chaplains want to use their positions to push their political ideology from Rome.  That not their job.  Use your own time not USA;s time.  For a Catholic to talk about freedom of speech and liberty with their history of killing people, persecution, and enslaving western civilized is and utter joke.  Hate is what the Catholic showed to all non Catholics.  Catholics want a political fight then lets fight.  Significant number of priests are gay or child rapists, then your church shopped them around.  This is been going on since the 1100?s.  The Church’s political views against women health will alienate women.  How about shinning a light on church supporting fascist counties in WW2.  Germany, Italy, Spain, Argentina, and Croatia.  The pope told all of their leaders they were Christ defenders.  Your religion killed our ancestors civilization (Greek and Roman) and produced the Dark ages.  That is the politics of pain and suffering and I will proudly fight against it.

Well, let’s examine this screed shall we? 

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25 Responses to Bigot Mail

  • …….and this, I presume, is from a voting age American, Don?

    Not at all surprising, but indicative of the importance due the pursuit of truth among those who have made up their mind, absent the facts. Apparently this is a sampling of the fruits of our system of education, or is that, indoctrination?

    It gives one pause to reflect upon the fragility of the long-term prospects of civilized society.


  • “I know that my Redeemer lives.”

    From Father McCartney’s sermon, “Jesus came to take sin out of the world. He did not come to take suffering out of the world.”

    The same “thing” hit me right between the eyes, Karl.

    The republic is doomed.

    Imbeciles such as that vote and so we have Obama and his gang blithely tearing the Constitution to shreds and destroying the economy.

    It’s all over.

  • No it isn’t T.Shaw. Fools and bigots are always with us. The task for us to prevail against them.

  • You very ably dismantled the “reasoning” of this fool point by point, Donald. I have little to add except to note the terrible grammar and poor writing skills on display. Mr. or Ms. Bigot, if you are going to pose as some sort of champion of civilisation, at the very least you should write complete sentences. A nun of the old school never taught this illiterate dolt how to diagram a sentence, more’s the pity.

  • Mac,

    I guess. Sitting in occupied America, it’s hard to be optimistic.

    I hope you’re right.

    We won’t go down without a fight.

    I saw a poll that 39% agree with the idiot agenda. Hope it carries through November.

    Meanwhile, for what it’s worth strategic investing: God. Gold. Whiskey.

  • Donna, unimaginative illiteracy is almost always a feature of the anti-Catholic diatribes we receive. I do credit our correspondent however for leaving out references to the Illuninati, Pope Joan and Jesuit mind control, which I sometimes think are included in some sort of style guide for anti-Catholic rants.

  • Their number is legion.

  • Now I know where my comments have been ending up….

  • Don,
    I agree with Donna. Your reasoning is clearly superior to the Bigot’s.
    I’m surprised you didn’t say anything about the lack of proper punctuation and grammar in this example you offered.
    In the 1970’s, my parents were featured in the NY Times for the arrival of their 16th child. My parents held on to the mail that arrived after that article was published, the majority of it bashing large families. When I read through most of the letters they received, I’m surprised by the apparent illiteracy of those who bought into the myth of overpopulation.
    I see the same lack of knowledge exhibited in the example you offer, and I’m not surprised, frankly. An inability to intellectually study the Church (or any world affair for that matter) rightly indicates a lack of intellectual ability – period.
    And so, I’m left with the question: “Is it worth our time and energy to even respond, when it would seem that intellectually, our adversaries are incapable of understanding our reasoning?”

  • Sister Colleen, bigots such as my correspondent are harmless to us and warrant no response. Bigots who hold power in government, or who have platforms where they sway public opinion, always warrant swift, pointed and effective responses from all faithful Catholics who have the knowledge, talent and spine to do so, especially in a democracy. Our ancestors in the Faith understood this. Archbishop John Hughes of New York, known universally to friend and foe as “Dagger John”, after a Catholic Convent was burned to the ground in Philadelphia in the 1840s, advised the anti-Catholic mayor of New York that if one hand was raised against a Catholic Church in New York, New York would look like a second Moscow, referencing the burning of Moscow in 1812. For too long Catholics in this country have been used as a punching bag by those who hate us and the Faith. Time for Catholics to peacefully, but forcefully, defend themselves in the Public Square, and to remember that there is a reason why we are called the Church Militant here on Earth.

  • “Now I know where my comments have been ending up”


  • True, Don…I was referring to the letter-writing brand Bigot! Those in power are even more dangerous, power+ignorance=disaster.

  • Quite right Sister. Unfortunately power and ignorance too often walk side by side these days.

  • Whenever I run across a comment like this one, I try to engage the other person. Calling him a typical athiest doesn’t show any more imagination than his collective attacks on all Catholics. I would probably say that he underestimates the amount of child abuse by about 1100 years – but how does that prove that Catholicism is right or wrong? Or, I’d admit to Croatia, and explain to him the truth about Germany and Spain. I don’t think you can do much more than get in one or two points on the internet, but if they stick, or if someone else reads them and they stick, well then I’ve sown a seed.

  • ‘ And so, I’m left with the question: “Is it worth our time and energy to even respond, when it would seem that intellectually, our adversaries are incapable of understanding our reasoning?” ‘

    Sr. Colleen Clair: I would say, Yes. This is an important time. Whether or not understanding is established isn’t as important (or possible?) as actively defending the freedom to exercise religion and protect our 1st Amendment rights.

    If your mission involves young people, be sure they understand the Catholic Church established by Jesus is their meaning in life. It is where they will find a lifelong way for life to be manageable throughout their lives. Our young need direction and hope to work for now. I think our Father in Heaven wants us to learn to defend His Church for His people. Youth with direction will remember and carry on, they will care.

  • PM You are correct, our children need to be armed against whatever the devils throws at them.

  • Its a universal problem.
    I , along with a few other Catholics, and some protestants, on our most popular secular blog are continually having to defend or counter much of the screaming anti-christian sentiments and lies perpetrated by some of the commenters.

    It’s almost a sport – let’s hope it doesn’t become a blood sport !!

  • The scary thing is that this commenter is a Mensa candidate compared to some of the followup commenters (obviously not the ones who posted here and were approved). Sin makes you stupid.

  • Yeah, our trash file has been busy today!

  • I have to wonder how much longer it will be before Christian blogsites are ordered to give equal time to the liberal atheists, or worse, they are shutdown as “hate speech.” Liberty, equality and fraternity were Robespierre’s watch words.

  • My response to such an Order Paul would be “Eat lawsuits Feds!”

  • Praise God for men like Donald McClarey.

  • Wait just a doggone minute, now! No Pope Joan?

    But . . . but . . . She’s my very favorite false idol to which I like to bow down and pray to!


    Thank you for giving me a smile!

This is Still America, Isn’t It?

Friday, February 3, AD 2012


In my mispent youth I wore Army green for a few years.  My main contribution to the nation’s defense was when I was discharged, but I have always retained a fondness for the Army.  Therefore I have very strong feelings about the attempt by the Obama administration to censor Archbishop Timothy Broglio, the Catholic Archbishop for the military services in the US.


On Thursday, January 26, Archbishop Broglio emailed a pastoral letter to Catholic military chaplains with instructions that it be read from the pulpit at Sunday Masses the following weekend in all military chapels. The letter calls on Catholics to resist the policy initiative, recently affirmed by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, for federally mandated health insurance covering sterilization, abortifacients and contraception, because it represents a violation of the freedom of religion recognized by the U.S. Constitution.

The Army’s Office of the Chief of Chaplains subsequently sent an email to senior chaplains advising them that the Archbishop’s letter was not coordinated with that office and asked that it not be read from the pulpit.  The Chief’s office directed that the letter was to be mentioned in the Mass announcements and distributed in printed form in the back of the chapel.

Archbishop Broglio and the Archdiocese stand firm in the belief, based on legal precedent, that such a directive from the Army constituted a violation of his Constitutionally-protected right of free speech and the free exercise of religion, as well as those same rights of all military chaplains and their congregants.

Following a discussion between Archbishop Broglio and the Secretary of the Army, The Honorable John McHugh, it was agreed that it was a mistake to stop the reading of the Archbishop’s letter.  Additionally, the line: “We cannot — we will not — comply with this unjust law” was removed by Archbishop Broglio at the suggestion of Secretary McHugh over the concern that it could potentially be misunderstood as a call to civil disobedience.
The AMS did not receive any objections to the reading of Archbishop Broglio’s statement from the other branches of service.

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28 Responses to This is Still America, Isn’t It?

  • It will be again in January 2013, the end of an error.

  • This man is a tyrant. He must be resisted.

  • For once, I agree 100 per cent with Mark Shea.

  • Totally the wrong call. Small sliver of consolation in that the Secretary of the Army realized later that it was indeed the wrong call.

  • “This man is a tyrant. He must be resisted.”

    Indeed Mark. If he is acting this way in an election year, one can imagine what his administration would be capable of if he gets a second term and no longer has to face the voters again.

  • The man to which you refer is pharaoh.

    Pharaoh is most powerful. About 52% of voters said so (some felt so strongly they voted four or five times plus the dead ones). He doesn’t need to consult no Constitution. “We can’t wait!”

    Pharaoh has decided (he don’t need no Congress or Supreme Court) your opinions are “ancient religious hatred.”

    Pharaoh and his minions have ruled you will be proscribed.

    So it was said, so shall it be . . .

  • Misconstrued as a call to civil disobedience? It is, in the tradition of Henry David Thoreau! The mistake was the President’s to not fulfill his oath “…to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” His administration’s directive, then is an unlawful order to the soldiers. Each and every member of the Armed Forces has sworn an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Civil disobedience is not only warranted, but required by our citizenship.

  • “This man is a tyrant. He must be resisted.” Indeed Mark.

    The incident does say something about the institutional culture of the Democratic Party, the Administration, and the man’s camp followers, but it would be rash to assume the President had anything to do with the decision itself.

    Some years ago, Terry Eastland, who had been press secretary to the Attorney-General for a time during the Reagan Administration, told a story meant to illustrate something about which decisions get made at which layers. Shortly after his hire, the Department of Justice had invoked an obscure part of the U.S. Code on the books for some 30-odd years. The National Film Board of Canada had produced a couple of ‘documentaries’ narrated by Helen Caldicott, the Australian hysteric who then presided over ‘Physicians for Social Responsibility’. In accordance with the law, they were required to carry a trailer which informed viewers they had been classified as ‘foreign propaganda’. IIRC, there was an additional provision that a register of varies parties (including viewers of the film) be compiled by officials. Eastland said he found the whole business quite shocking. He was later disabused of the notion that the Attorney-General had had any involvement in this: “it was some GS-12 doing his job…..”

  • Sorry ART DECO, If Obama let this get by him, he is no leader. Obama is responsible for every jot and titel under his ADMINISTRATION. This is what being the EXECUTIVE IN CHIEF is all about. To say other wise, is to blame the executioner for
    St. John the Baptist, or St. Thomas More’s beheading. Agreed, they are all of the same mind, but they are all in the employ of Obama in establishing the religion of Satan. Let Obama tell the truth about our founding principles.

  • Donald R. McClarey: Obama will relieve citizens of the obligation to vote. Having appointed himself to the office of president in perpetuity, Obama’s second term will become the longest term in the history of the United States. Our founding father, George Washington declined the crown of king. David ought to have. Obama will crown himself.

  • Sorry ART DECO, If Obama let this get by him, he is no leader. Obama is responsible for every jot and titel under his ADMINISTRATION.

    You cannot be serious. The federal executive has 14 cabinet departments, about 100 free-standing agencies, and 3.4 million employees.

  • AD: The Secy of the Army is the Secy of the Army b/c Obama wants him to be Secy of the Army.

    Obama is the most intelligentest, bestestest educated, most effectivest person ever to be President.

    Nothing gets past Obamagenius.

    Or, are you saying Obama handlers appointed the ideologue? If so, O can fire the loose canon. Oh, Yeah! Right!!

    “I’m insulted.” Bart Simpson

  • He had 14 ministry heads, 200 agencies, and about 6,000,000 employees all over Europe and North Africa. Hitler could not be held responsible for killing American POW’s at Malmedy.

  • Obama would also like to remove religion from our military as well as health care. The secularist/statist agenda can not tolerate an authority higher than itself.

  • Bill,

    100%! The Church is one of the strongest opponents of the hedonistic, statist, soul destroying agenda.

    The regime is in league with evil spirits that prowl the planet seeking the ruin of souls. In 2008, the libertine tyrants were aided and abetted by much of the Church which allowed itself to be gulled by cynical prattling over peace and justice.

    It’s not only about the damnation of souls. It’s also about control. Again, the Church teaches conscience and Truth are superior to the state. Therefore, the Church must be destroyed.

  • “For once, I agree 100 per cent with Mark Shea.”


    Mr Shea will continue to attack and slander pro-life repubican candidates.

    You can count on it.

  • Yes, Jasper, I realize that. But in this one limited and isolated instance he is correct. Miracles do happen.

  • OT, but not really: over the past few years, I find I have become much more intensely interested in sports than I was as a young woman. I was depressed for days after my beloved Pack was crushed by the Giants. Ditto for when the Brew Crew was taken to the cleaners by the Cards during the playoffs. I actually have to remind myself that these are GAMES and quite trivial in the larger scheme of things. I knew that when I was younger.

    It’s occurred to me that the reason I am becoming such a sports maven is because politics deeply depress me these days. I can barely stand to watch the news. The Obama administration, with its’ open hatred of and contempt for my church, frightens me deeply. Hollywood is rotten to the core and so the only popular culture escape I have is sports. (And yes, I also aware of the corruption in professional sports and the fact that most athletes are very far from being Boy Scouts.) Contemplating the pros and cons of Manning vs. Brady, and hoping that Mr. Happy Pants (aka Ryan Braun) is spared by a merciful MLB is easier on the brain and nerves than watching totalitarianism on the march.

  • I had zilch interest in sports as a young man Donna, and now as a not so young man I still have zip interest in it. I believe my interest in politics, at least the horserace and technical aspects of it, is akin to the interest others find in sports. The only bowl game on tormorrow in my house will be the puppybowl!

  • Don’t get too depressed with the political scene. I believe we stand a very good chance of giving Obama and his party a memorable beating in November.

  • Donald: Ha! I take back all the kudos I have lavished on Packer quarterback Aaron Rodgers over the past few years. Clearly, the stalwart pups Toby and Tigger are superior athletes!!

  • Donald wrote:
    “I believe we stand a very good chance of giving Obama and his party a memorable beating in November.”

    As our Jewish brethen say, from your lips to God’s ears, Donald! I pray you are right!

  • Oh, and it’s interesting to me that a relevant comparison was made by an atheist on the WSJ site. This atheist said that although he himself has no religious belief, what Obama was doing reminded him of the Chinese and their sanctioning of compliant clergy and persecution of priests who adhere to Vatican teaching. The atheist said he was sickened by the Obama administration’s violation of religious freedom.

    Interesting times, indeed, when an atheist has a clearer idea of what is at stake here than many liberal “Catholics.”

  • Yeah, Jasper not only will Mark Shea continue to engage in calumnious attacks against those who express legitimate Catholic viewpoints, the “orthodox” Catholic apologist and writers establishment will continue to look the other way at it.

  • OK, that is enough about Shea. He is not the subject of this post.

  • Donna, you bet Donald is right!!!! Satan is recognized by his pride… Obama is just that….looks like his game plan is to cause a split in the Catholic Church, believing that the fallen Catholics in his Administration, and the statistics the polls give out that over 85% Catholics use contraceptives, is a sure bet that he will be voted back…and I have a feeling is is DEAD WRONG on this one… I stated elsewhere, Jesus is telling him : “You are persecuting Me”… in his pride, he has arrogantly pushed the Button just after the Holy Father spoke to the U.S. Bishops. So, we are counting on you, Faithful American Catholics and people of goodwill to rid your beloved country and the world of this evil character who is the High Priest of Lucifer

  • BTW, Donald, you might be as weary of politics as I am if you lived in the giant insane ayslum north of the Ilinois border, where the election cycles never end. The latest twist in the Wisconsin Soap Opera: since we have open primaries here, some conservative has come up with a brilliant idea. He suggested that Republicans vote in the Democratic primary – by writing Scott Walker’s name in. I laughed myself silly at the thought of a ballot listing Scott Walker (R) vs. Scott Walker (D). Since we Cheeseheads descended into the Theater of the Absurd long ago, why not really go for the gusto?

Bishop Jenky, Saint Michael and the Obama Administration

Monday, January 30, AD 2012

My Bishop, Daniel Jenky, in reaction to the Obama administration’s attempt to restrict Catholic religious freedom through its contraceptive regulations, has called for the addition of the Saint Michael Prayer in the intercessory petitions at Mass.  The intention of the prayer is for Catholic freedom in America.


January 24, 2012

My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In this history of the United States, Friday, January 20, 2012 will certainly stand out as a moment of enormous peril for religious liberty. On that day, the Obama administration announced regulations that would require Catholic institutions to offer insurance programs providing abortifacients, sterilization, and contraceptive services. If these regulations are put into effect, the could close down every Catholic school, hospital, and the other public ministries of our Church, which is perhaps their underlying intention. What is perfectly clear is that this is a bigoted and blatant attack on the First Amendment rights of every Catholic believer. Under no circumstances, however, will our Church ever abandon our unshakable commitment to the Gospel of Life.

I therefore call upon all the faithful of the Diocese to vigorously oppose this unprecedented governmental assault upon the moral convictions of our Faith. Under the Constitution, no president has the authority to require our cooperation with what we consider to be intrinsic evil and mortal sin. We must therefore oppose by every means at our disposal this gross infringement on the rights of Catholic citizens to freely practice our religion. This country once fought a revolution to guarantee freedom, but the time has clearly arrived to strongly reassert our fundamental human rights. I am honestly horrified that the nation I have always loved has come to this hateful and radical step in religious intolerance. I hope and pray that all people of good will would support the faith based resistance of us their Catholic neighbors.

While it is primarily the laity who should take the leading role in political and legal action, as your Bishop, it is my clear responsibility to summon our local church into spiritual and temporal combat in defense of Catholic Christianity. Have faith! Have courage! Fight boldly for what you believe! I strongly urge you not to be intimidated by extremist politicians or the malice of the cultural secularists arrayed against us. Always remember that the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world (I John 4:4).

Until these grave issues are favorably resolved, I ask that every parish, school, hospital, Newman Center, and religious house in this Diocese insert the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel into the Sunday General Intercessions just before their concluding prayer. It is God’s invincible Archangel who commands the heavenly hosts, and it is the enemies of god who will ultimately be defeated. This prayer should be announced as: A Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel for the freedom of the Catholic Church in America.

May God guide and protect his Holy Church.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, CSC Bishop of Peoria

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17 Responses to Bishop Jenky, Saint Michael and the Obama Administration

  • The Lord Jesus Christ wins in the end. He always has. He always will. I pray for Him to send His Archangel Michael to help us in this battle against sexual depravity, wholesale human slaughter, and the abasement of all that it measn to have been created in the image and likeness of God Himself.

    Sancte Michael Archangele,
    defende nos in proelio;
    contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium.
    Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur:
    tuque, Princeps militiae Caelestis,
    satanam aliosque spiritus malignos,
    qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo,
    divina virtute in infernum detrude.

  • In 2008, complete and utter idiots such as myself knew this was coming.

  • Then I am in august company with you, T Shaw. I am proudly an idiot.

  • Pray for the best.

    Be Prepared.

  • “Pray for the best. Be Prepared.”

    “A free people ought not only be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.”

    It is said that those words came from George Washington. I have a mini 14 in my closet that I haven’t used in years, and ammunition stored in an otherwise unused jewelry box. I hope and pray to God that it doesn’t come to that. Both Sacred Scripture and history say otherwise.

    ?”I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.” Luke 17:34-37

    This isn’t a prediction of the Rapture as so many Evangelicals and Pentecostals think. Rather, it’s a prediction of what Caesar does and those who are left behind are the lucky ones.

    Think about it. What did the Nazis do? They came in the night exactly as Jesus describes and took one while leaving the other. And the disciples ask where this would occur. Jesus response: where the body is, there the eagles will gather. And wasn’t the golden eagle the bird of prey displayed above the SPQR (Senatus Populusque Romae) banners? In His life on Earth in the early 1st century AD, Jesus saw those banners every place where Roman soldiers came to take away people to be tortured and crucified. One was taken and one was left behind. And did not the Nazis have similar banners of the swastika with the emblem of a golden eagle above? And what exactly is the US national emblem that sits above the American flag? Not the golden eagle, to be sure, but an eagle nonetheless – the bald eagle, even more regal and royal.

    “And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.” Remember: the eagles now serve Obama.

  • Good Shepherd there in Peoria. We have to realize that it’s up to all of us.

    And this one too, T. Shaw, standing up after the Sermon week after week, year after year, saying the Profession of Faith, … maker of Heaven and Earth, of all things seen and u n s e e n (visable and i n v i s a b l e)… , never imagining beyond Roe v. Wade, degeneration, and political correctness tyranny how pervasive, soon or quickly the evil powers prowl and gather for attack. Too much nap time.

    Faith, not fear, they’ll get it. Fish, hunt, garden, and farm – work w/ prayer in heart.

  • “Until these grave issues are favorably resolved, I ask that every parish, school, hospital, Newman Center, and religious house in this Diocese insert the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel into the Sunday General Intercessions just before their concluding prayer.”

    About a year ago, Bp. Thomas Paprocki gave parishes in the Diocese of Springfield (Ill.) official authorization to recite the St. Michael Prayer at the END of Mass, right after the dismissal. Although it is optional (not mandatory) it’s been done at every parish Mass I have attended in the last year. Here’s what the Bishop had to say at the time:

    “One of Satan’s greatest assets is his camouflage, the belief that he doesn’t exist. Disbelief in Satan and the forces of evil leave us unable to resist them. That is why it is good to remember the Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel. We need to remember that each time we pray we work to defeat our real enemies, not each other, but rather the devil and his evil spirits.”

  • Paul, the quote you say may have been said by Washington has been floating around the internet for some time. It is a corruption of this quote from Washington’s first State of the Union:

    “A free people ought not only to be armed but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well digested plan is requisite: And their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories, as tend to render them independent on others, for essentials, particularly for military supplies.”

    I would further note that the proper way to deal with the Obama administration is to defeat Obama at the polls in November. Peaceful organizing and voting is the way that we will deliver our country from the bigots that currently are at the helm of the government.

  • Thanks for the correction, Donald. I agree with about November. But I am pessimistic. I think the media will ensure Obama wins. I hope I am wrong. If I am not, then we can expect the persecutions to start in earnest.

  • AQ will hold off the next big one until after the election. Then, it starts here.

    OWS/Ayers/Black Panther types may run ops emulating their heroes Bernadette Dorhn, Che and mau mau murderers.

    The regime may start a war.

    This time, we are the fish in the sea.

    Thank God strong patriots for 75 years stood tall and stopped them from disarming us.

    There ain’t enough bullets.

  • The fish in the sea – an tenuous analogy:
    Last night on New England cable news a brief clip about ~100 dolphins beaching and dying on the shores of Massachusetts Cape in the past few weeks with no known cause.
    Dolphins are such beautiful communicators.

  • Oops, I meant that if we are the fish in the sea, then look what could happen. Their washing up on shore struck me as back up to the idea, and thought it was tenuous back up. Should have just said, at least we aren’t fish in a pond yet. Or, I agree.

  • Paul, do not be pessimistic about a defeat of Obama in the Polls. Donald is right…..Now that Pope Benedict XVI has fired the First Shot, Obama’s win is in mortal danger….As I have stated elsewhere, no Empire, no Power on Earth ever arrogantly attacked the Catholic Church as Obama has done and survived. Unless Obama goes, America will soon be History like the Roman Empire and the Nazis. This is one War which the Catholic Church is going to win, and win big time. Obama and his cohorts are the High Priest of Satan and he will soon be crushed. The Church on Earth and in Heaven will consign him to where he belongs – dustbin

  • While I agree with you, Mary, I fear the bloodshed that may come. Robespierre killed tens of thousands of people at the guillotine, many Roman Catholic Bishops and Priests, in the name of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity in the France of the 1790s.

  • Paul, if this is the only way Obama has left us to obey God’s Divine Law and protect His Kingdom, so be it…..yes, thousands will die….Christ Faithful have died in their millions these 2000+ years…Jesus did not promise us smooth sailing….He promised us the Cross, persecutions and unrelenting attacks from the Evil One….but He promised us Victory because He had won it for us on the Cross. This is the time the Church Militant must stand up their ground and fight…let every Catholic Faithful join the combat without fear of the Obama dragon….defy this unjust Edict and stand firm because God is fighting for His Kingdom which Obama wants to destroy.

Gingrich Assails Elites Over Anti-Religious Bigotry

Sunday, January 22, AD 2012

The South Carolina victory speech of Newt Gingrich last night.  Most such primary victory speeches are fairly forgettable efforts and the Gingrich speech was largely no exception except at one point in the speech.  Go to 12: 30 on the video, and watch Gingrich lambaste many elites in our society for their anti-religious bigotry.  Gingrich has raised the issue of anti-Catholic bigotry in particular, and anti-Christian bigotry  in general, before in this campaign, go here to read his earlier comments, and he may have hit on the sleeper issue of the year in this campaign.  With the words of Pope Benedict, go here to read them, warning last week about the lessening of religious freedom in this country, this is a message whose time is now upon us.

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9 Responses to Gingrich Assails Elites Over Anti-Religious Bigotry

  • Obama has graciously given the Church a year of grace before it must pay for abortions and then he pushes for gay rights and the end of ancient religious hatred.

    Could it be: Newt is the only one defending Holy Mother Church?

  • Better a flawed messenger than none at all.

  • The reporting in mainstream, such as the Sunday morning paper, manages to identify people of Christian religions in the broad stroke of “born-again” when they describe the voters in both Iowa and South Carolina as if being Christian is an anomaly.

    This talk of ‘ancient religious hatred’ being a problem for hedonists is a posturing stretch of him who, stepping on the Constitution and flag of the country he swore to serve, has already legalized ‘rights and benefits’. Must be moving on to building hatred and bigotry for religion and race into America’s psyche.

    Long months ahead. May God grant strength to handle this wake-up call sent during this week of prayer for Christian unity (18-25).

    Supernatural or what? – today’s first reading about prophet Jonah, first refusing, then suffering, then doing God’s will. In a day, all the people of Ninevah repented and were blessed with God’s mercy. Symbolism of God’s power and love. Jonah ch. 3. (South Carolina speech) (and on the eve of the March for Life right in DC.)

  • I apologize; “ancient religious hatred” is a quote from godless, serial rapist/sexual harasser Clinton’s Press Secretary Joe Lockhart slandering Christians for opposing gay privileges.

    I think it concisely reveals the enemies of God and man and their attitudes toward the little people.

  • Oh – i wasn’t complaining – just looking at the way the phrase is used in so many ways

  • Even if he doesn’t get the nomination, its been refreshing to see someone speak truth to power regarding religious bigotry in the gov’t and media in a way that finally gains national attention.

  • I went to Mass Sunday noon at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception; sat near the front. A few minutes later as I was craning my neck to see the mosaics, I saw that Speaker Gingrich was directly behind me in the next pew.

    After pondering all through Mass on the Face of Christ beyond the altar, I turned to Mr. Gingrich after the recessional and said, ” If you sit here weekly and see this rendering of the Face of Christ, how could you not be headed on the right path? He agreed. He seems to be very comfortable in his own skin. I’m still wanting the morals and ideals of Santorum to win; perhaps God has him in this race to be a constant voice for the unborn and marriage. But having met the Speaker face to face, and hear him sing praise to God in the Mass setting, my allegiances are taking a turn towards Gingrich. My “sincerity” meter gave him good marks. May God protect him and keep him close to His heart.

Newt Gingrich Attacks Fashionable Anti-Catholic Bigotry

Sunday, January 8, AD 2012

I assume that only hard core political junkies like me watched the New Hampshire Republican presidential debate last night which is a shame.  All of the candidates acquitted themselves well, including Ron Paul who came across as avuncular Uncle Ron, instead of crazy Uncle Ron.  Go here for a first rate overview of the debate.  It was a debate heavy on substance and each of the candidates dealt with the questions adequately.  I think Rick Santorum, who had quite a bit more air time last night than he did in previous debates, did himself a lot of good.   However, the standout moment of the debate came when Newt Gingrich dealt with a question about gay marriage.  The question was phrased as one would expect by denizens of the mainstream press, asking the candidates how they would talk to a gay couple who wanted to get married.  When Gingrich’s turn came, he was having none of it.

“I just want to raise the point about the news media bias,” Gingrich said. “You don’t hear the opposite question asked.

“Should the Catholic church be forced to close its adoption services in Massachusetts because it won’t accept gay couples, which is exactly what the state has done? Should the Catholic church be driven out of providing charitable services in the District of Columbia because it won’t give in to secular bigotry? Should the Catholic church find itself discriminated against by the Obama administration on key delivery of services because of the bias and the bigotry of the administration?” Mr. Gingrich asked.

Mr. Gingrich finished his comments by criticizing the media for not covering “anti-Christian bigotry.”

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8 Responses to Newt Gingrich Attacks Fashionable Anti-Catholic Bigotry

  • I watched it. Newt proved his point by the fact that the live-blog I was following was incredulous when he said that Catholic Charities shut it’s adoption services because it was required to service gay couples. Even political junkies are unaware of it.

    Romney had the best night, highlighted by his exchange with George Snuffleupagus over contraception. The audience actually booed George and it made the entire GOP look good. It proved without a doubt that Romney is the best debater in the bunch. Ron Paul also had a good night highlighted by his exchange with Newt over serving in the military. Paul actually came across as a patriot. Those were the highlights of the night.

    Huntsman had an okay night. He managed to convince people of his foreign policy bona fides. Perry had a completely forgettable night. Newt managed to attack free enterprise in his vain attempt to attack Romney’s record at Bain. I think that was the least conservative moment of the night. Santorum didn’t have a bad night but he failed in his argument aimed at Romney that the president isn’t a manager or CEO.

    A couple of minor but revealing points. Romney endorsed the Bowles-Simpson plan minus the cap gains and dividend tax hikes. I agree with him and it’s a pretty wonky statement which confirms that Romney really knows his economics. I found the “right to privacy” question very interesting. Romney’s a lawyer. Did he really not know the Supreme Court decisions at issue or was it an artful dodge? Ron Paul didn’t know what he was talking about. Paul loves the Constitution but he doesn’t know case law at all. Santorum directly quoted a Supreme Court decision and I don’t think anybody but lawyers would’ve caught it. He knows his constitutional law.

  • I watched and Romney did not steal the show for me. He did okay, but I liked Huntsman and I liked Perry. I also liked Santorum. Newt spoke very well to the anti-Catholic but for me that was his ONLY shinining moment. Of all of the candidates Newt and Ron Paul are my least preferred. Had the debate actually given the other candidates more time or at least the same as Romney I think there would have been CLEAR winner and it would not have been Romney.

  • Also watched the Sunday too-early debate. Everyone was ganging up on Mitt. Huntsman’s best moments came when it was attacking Mitt. He finally showed some spark. But the real memorable part for me was when one of the moderators tried to pin candidates down on gay rights again.

    Romney: If people are looking for someone who will discriminate against gays or in any way suggest that people who have a different sexual orientation don’t have full rights in this country, they won’t find that in me.

    Moderator: When’s the last time you stood up and spoke out for increasing gay rights?

    Romney: Right now.


    Moderator: What if you had a son who came to you and said he was gay?

    Santorum (without hesitation): I would love him as much as I did the second before he said it and I would try to do everything I can to be as good a father to him as possible.

  • With Cain and Bachmann out and Perry pushed to the end of the stage and steering clear of the topic of illegal immigration, these last two debates were good PR for the GOP.

    I will say however that while Santorum has a working-class friendly economic plan, his talk about ending welfare dependency can be perceived as cold-hearted. He’s better off sticking to talking about the economic opportunities he’ll create.

  • In the wrap up, after they had to tell what they’d be doing if not for…, George Smugapolis started on their lost opportunities to be less than honorable gentlemen. Off button.

  • Newt has the ability to make a provocative statement at the right time. Catholics should understand that they have been used. Democrats want your votes, but they have little time for pro life, anti gay marriage or health care and teacher conscious issues. If it makes Catholic Democrats feel good that they are willing to bankrupt their country to provide for illegals, gay self esteem, and unions in the private or government organizations then more peace to you. Our country needs less hands out and more hands pitching in.

  • “I will say however that while Santorum has a working-class friendly economic plan, his talk about ending welfare dependency can be perceived as cold-hearted. He’s better off sticking to talking about the economic opportunities he’ll create.”

    I agree with you to a point but if we’ve gotten to the point that we are afraid of pointing out the obvious, that the welfare state has not solved anything but has created a dependent class that we can’t afford to support anymore then no amount of economic growth will save us…the sooner we admit the war on poverty has been lost the better we will be.

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Coulter Shreds Any Remaining Credibility

Thursday, January 5, AD 2012

I’ve never much cared for Ann Coulter, but her column today shreds whatever remaining credibility she had.  Her attacks on Santorum in particular reek of anti-Catholicism.  Thankfully Jay Anderson has fisked her so that I don’t have to (Jay’s comments in red).

… Santorum is not as conservative as his social-issues credentials suggest. He is more of a Catholic than a conservative [ED: Apparently, being “more of a Catholic” – i.e. taking one’s faith seriously – is supposed to be a bad thing.], which means he’s good on 60 percent of the issues[ED.: Got that? Being Catholic automatically means being “wrong”on 40% of the issues in the mind of Coulter. At least she’s honest about her bigotry.], but bad on others, such as big government social programs. He’d be Ted Kennedy if he didn’t believe in God. [ED.: Yeah, that Santorum is JUST LIKE Ted Kennedy. Wait. What could the conservative Santorum POSSIBLY have in common with the uber-liberal late Ted Kennedy? Oh yeah. That whole Catholicism thingy – being beholden to the Pope, or something like that. Any doubts about how Coulter feels about Catholics now?]

Santorum may not be a big spender as far as professional politicians go [ED.: Or, for that matter, as far as your big-government, health-care mandating RINO boy, Dullard Flip Rino, goes.], but he is still a professional politician. In 2005, one of his former aides described him as “a Catholic missionary who happens to be in the Senate.” [ED.: I, for one, think the Senate could use a few more such statesmen who are committed to renewing our culture, promoting virtue and traditional family values, and prizing service to others in the common good. Apparently, these things have no place in the selfishly individualistic, objectivist AynRandland that Coulter envisions for our society.]

The Catholic missionary was fantastic on issues like partial-birth abortion, but more like a Catholic bishop [ED.: Ah, there we go. What anti-Catholic screed would be complete without a few shots at the hierarchy in the form of Bishop-bashing?] in his support for No Child Left Behind, the Medicare drug entitlement program (now costing taxpayers more than $60 billion a year), and a highway bill with a Christmas tree of earmarks, including the famous “bridge to nowhere.” [ED.: I was unaware that the Bishops had taken a formal position in support of any of these measures. Not sure they’ve really taken much of an interest in Alaska road projects, for example. But why let that get in the way of slapping the Bishops around?]

More at the link.

If I may add, her attacks on Rick Perry are just as poorly thought out.

Rick Perry is not electable as president for three reasons: First, he seems too much like Bush;

Only to dimwitted individuals who can’t look past the fact that he’s from Texas and speaks with a midwest Texas twang.

second, he gave illegal immigrants in-state tuition;

Really?  I mean really?  This is supposed to be a disqualifying position?  Also, he didn’t just give them in-state tuition discounts – the communist bastion known as the Texas legislature, by an overwhelming majority, did.  Meanwhile, Coulter supports the guy who gave Barack Obama the model for his health care overhaul.

But yeah, Perry signing the in-state tuition discount for illegals is completely disqualifying.

and, third, uh, oops … I can’t remember the third reason.

Oh!  Oh!  Get it?  It’s because Perry had that brain freeze at the debate.  That’s a completely original joke from Ann Coulter that hasn’t been made a couple of hundred times already by people with far more wit.

Ten years ago National Review gave Coulter the boot for her post-9/11 column.  With such slipshod reasoning as displayed here, I think they’d be ready to welcome her back with open arms.

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29 Responses to Coulter Shreds Any Remaining Credibility

  • Ann Coulter… zero credit.

    She has a problem with Santorum’s vote on Medicare, but she makes no mention of Romneycare?! That’s a burden on Massachusetts and the people of Massachusetts. It’s medicare part D and then some.

    She hits Newt for sitting on the couch with Pelosi for a TV commercial, but no mention of liberal legislation passed by Romney as governor. Which is more detrimental to the citizen, an environmental TV ad or liberal legislation?

    And Rick Perry… again with the stupid, vapid in-state tuition charge. (You’d swear Texas is the most liberal state in the union the way these ill-informed pundits speak.) Dear Ann, how can you possibly have a problem with in state tuition in Texas when Romney pushed free, comprehensive health care for illegal immigrants?!

    I am glad Ann and McCain have found common ground. So much to talk about at the next GOP cocktail party!

    In regards to her Catholic disrespect, it speaks for itself. Too bad she didn’t give Catholics the level of respect she gives the Log Cabin Republicans.

  • Ann Coulter’s act got old very, very long ago. I guess she must have forgotten about what she said in regard to Romney in February of last year:

  • I like Ann. I usually disagree with her but I enjoy listening to her take.

    Her bit about Santorum acting like a Catholic bishop is something you’d hear on Republican-leaning conservative Catholic blogs.

    She also makes a legitimate point. Had Santorum been in the House in 2009, can you say with certainty that he wouldn’t have voted with Joseph Cao in favor of ObamaCare the first time around? I don’t think he would have but the fact that I’m not certain says something about Santorum.

    I do think the fiscal conservatives in the GOP would keep any Republican president in check though so that’s not a big issue for me. Apart from his electability and possible lack of leadership ability, what concerns me most about him is his overly aggressive foreign policy and his deviation from free-market economics.

  • “Her bit about Santorum acting like a Catholic bishop is something you’d hear on Republican-leaning conservative Catholic blogs.”

    Rubbish RR. This is the Republican-leaning conservative Catholic blog and you would never see any of our contributors writing anything like that.

    “can you say with certainty that he wouldn’t have voted with Joseph Cao in favor of ObamaCare the first time around? ”

    I can say that with complete certainty.

  • Coulter’s article offends me more as a reader than as a Catholic. She just doesn’t back anything up. It reads like she wrote it in five minutes. I know she often uses hyperbole to make her points – way too often, for my tastes – but in this article she isn’t even making specific charges. (Actually, the more I think about this column, the more it offends me as a Catholic. But I’m ok with being offended as long as you back it up.)

    “what concerns me most about him is his overly aggressive foreign policy and his deviation from free-market economics”

    Coulter implies the same thing about his economics, but I just don’t see that in his record, except for the Medicare expansion. I have a real problem with that vote, but frankly a lot of high-caliber people disappointed me that day.

  • Pinky, as I said I don’t mind the drunken sailor record so much because any president will be restrained by the fiscal conservatives in Congress. But Santorum wants to tinker with the economy. Republicans rightly criticize Obama for “picking winners and losers” pointing to Solyndra. Santorum wants to do the same. As did Newt. Newt supported ethanol subsidies. Santorum supports manufacturing tax breaks. And if you follow their reasoning, there’s no reason why they would stop there. Their ideological frameworks don’t prevent “picking winners and losers.” David Brooks says we elect thought processes. I’m mostly with Santorum on his social issues thought process, i.e., orthodox Catholicism. I’m just realizing this now but the person whose foreign policy thought process most agrees with mine is Secretary Clinton’s. On the proper role of the federal government, I’m with Rick Perry. On economics, I’m with Romney. Santorum is right to worry about economic mobility but special tax breaks isn’t the solution I’m looking for. Nor is hiring students as janitors.

  • Years ago, I read one of her attack liberals books. I liked it and found it readable. I find most contemporary writers to be torturers.

    Ann and I are “bomb-throwers” more adept at outraging than communicating. I wonder if she does it because she thinks her readers wouldn’t get it. Or, more likely, she actually does not “have the goods.”

    Her attacks on my two Rick’s are short on facts and evidence. Liberals are so much easier to hit up. They never have facts.

    Or, was I less critical in the earlier readings?

    Anyhow, men are from Mars.

    Women are from Bedlam.

  • One thing about Ann that has always bothered me is that she’s just a complainer. I don’t really recall her offering solutions to any problems, just complaints that person X isn’t doing enough, person Z is crazy, and person Y had the right idea but did it wrong. I’ve found myself liking Charles Krauthammer more and more as the days go by, and I’m curious to see his take on the Iowa poll (I haven’t seen anything post-caucus, only his pre-caucus prediction).

  • “This is the Republican-leaning conservative Catholic blog …” (emphasis added)

    Love it. Reminds me of when Limbaugh responds to generic condemnations of “talk radio” by saying “Let’s get one thing straight – I AM talk radio.”

  • Too many people take Ann way too seriously. She will continue to say the most provocative and outlandish comments that are convenient at the time usually with a twisted right-wing spin.
    Ann Coulter = The Lady Gaga of the Republican Party.

  • Ann Coulter is my least favorite conservative and always has been, but a couple of years ago (I think) I happened to read a column of hers that was a fairly nice tribute to her then-recently deceased father… and it referred to him being Catholic. Sounds to me like she MAY be yet another of those “recovering Catholic” types. Still, she at least gives the Church credit for being right on more issues than not.

  • Santorum wants to do the same. As did Newt. Newt supported ethanol subsidies. Santorum supports manufacturing tax breaks

    An inadvisable idea, but it is a passably transparent rule. The U.S. Department of Energy had by 30 Sept. 2010 acquired a $50 bn loan portfolio. Discretionary decisions have to be made concerning each extension of credit. You have opportunities to make stupid allocation decisions and sluice income to the well connected you simply do not have when you merely declare the profits of manufacturing tax exempt.

  • Kyle,

    Krauthammer’s article today is full of glowing praise for Santorum, which actually mildly surprises me.

  • Santorum is at 24% today in a Rasmussen poll in South Carolina, just three points behind Romney:

    Note Gingrich at 18%. Once Gingrich pulls out, and hopefully throws his support to Santorum, Romney is going to be in very deep trouble and the GOP establishment will be in full melt down mode. Most of them simply do not realize that Santorum has an ever improving chance to win this. He raised over two million dollars in the last two days and his state polling is taking off. Romney is deeply unpopular with the base of the party and the effort by Republican elites to push him to victory is bitterly resented by the rank and file. Santorum gives them a chance to say a loud No!!! to all of this and Republicans around the country are grabbing hold of this opportunity.

  • Karl Rove and now Ann Coulter are bending over backwards to ensure the Romney gets the nomination. I wonder if it ever dawned on them why Romney can’t get past 25% in any poll? Could it be the anti-Romney vote? With Bachmann out and the novelty of the racist and 9/11 Truther Ron Paul wears out, Santorum will get another bump as well.

  • I remember in mid-December when CK was asked if Newt was peaking at the right time, if it was too early. He said “No. He’s peaking at the perfect time.” Oops. Can’t get them all right.

    And this is the part that worries me…
    “He is no austere limited-government constitutionalist. He participated in George W. Bush’s “compassionate conservatism,” ”

    Ugh. The fed is overdue for a serious downsize. The private sector has; it’s the fed’s turn.

  • Point of information (correct me if I’m wrong): Our Rick’s proposal is to cut corporate tax rates for all corporations. The rate reductions for all non-manufacturing corporations is 50%, for all manufacturing it’s 100%.

    BTW: reducing tax rates is the proven way of government fostering economic growth and development.

    Reduced tax rates are subsidies when you believe the regime owns you and is oh so liberal as to allow you to keep some of youe earnings it does not need to fund your subjugation.

    Solyndra was not “picking winners and losers.” It was political pay back to Solyndra’s billionaire Obama cash bundler.

  • “Krauthammer’s article today is full of glowing praise for Santorum, which actually mildly surprises me.”

    Santorum is from the Northeast, not like all those red-state rubes from the South and Midwest. In addition, Santorum is part of the Wilsonian GOP Establishment. Of course Dr. K is going to love him some Santorum

  • Krauthammer is a Teddy Roosevelt Republican who recognizes who our enemies are on this planet, as does Santorum.

    Although a pro-abort, Krauthammer has also called for the overturning of Roe:

    I have enjoyed Krauthmmer’s columns over the years, appreciating his reasoning even when disagreeing with him, and I am happy he likes Santorum.

  • Since I endorsed Santorum two days ago, despite his deficiencies on a number of issues, I’m glad to see him get support from whatever quarters he can.

    But I still think my explanation for Dr. K’s support is probably right on the money. The “making the world safe for democracy” crowd in the GOP sticks together. (And that crowd has a stronger resemblance to W.W. than they do to T.R., both of whom were from the so-called “Progressive” tradition, by the way.)

  • Santorum is from the Northeast, not like all those red-state rubes from the South and Midwest

    Mr. Santorum is from Pittsburgh. That’s the Rustbelt, not New England or the BosWash corridor.

  • (And that crowd has a stronger resemblance to W.W. than they do to T.R., both of whom were from the so-called “Progressive” tradition, by the way.)

    Actually Jay Roosevelt was much more eager to get into World War I than Wilson and blasted him regularly for his unwillingness to do so. Roosevelt also pioneered nation building in Cuba after the Spanish-American War. What is called Wilsonian foreign policy might be better called Rooseveltian foreign policy. The Republican party had a spasm of isolationism in the thirties and up to Pearl Harbor but it has basically always been activist in foreign policy, other than for that time period, dating back to the sending of Sheridan with 50,000 troops into Texas immediately at the end of the Civil War to strongly tell the French to get their gallic hides out of Mexico.

    However, for all I know his foreign policy views might well be what attracts Krauthammer to Santorum. Krauthammer has had his doubts about Romney for some time:

  • Donald: Thanks for the link, I was intending on getting towards NR sometime today. Glad I’m not the only person who reads his work (some of my conservative friends say, “Who?” when I mention his name). He has a weekly editorial/opinion column in my local newspaper, The Greenville Times (Greenville SC).

    Art: The general term “Northeast” refers to: Maine, NH, Vermont, Mass, RI, Conn, NY, PA, and NJ. I would agree, though, that Eastern PA (having spent several years living there) is more like Ohio than the rest of the Northeast region, it still technically is part of the Northeast corridor.

  • CK is interesting, and the article is a nice write-up, BUT he has a double standard here. Some say Perry is a long shot for nomination, and CK calls him a dead man walking. Many say Santorum is a long shot on winning the general, but CK calls him “first challenger to be plausibly presidential” along with several other accolades.

    I like Santorum, but he has a very tough road ahead.
    – He needs to put the personal issues to the side (Don’t worry. They will naturally come out anyway.) and make clear to the public what his policies would be. Right now, it’s muddled (ex: artificial contraception), and the MSM will happily paint his personal opinion as public policy and cry “Theocracy!”
    – He needs to continue retooling himself to move away from the petulance we saw in the early debates.
    – No more debating the audience like he did at the college on homosexual marriage. The campaign trail is not the senate. State your position and why and move on.

    This is the part of Rick that has me worried. I actually agree with a few of the positions he took, but that’s a long list.

  • The notion that part of Santorum’s appeal to many “establishment” types has to do with his being from the Northeast and not the South I would think is inarguable.

    Clearly there is a sentiment among some that a Northeastern candidate (such as Romney or Santorum or Christie) or Upper Midwest candidate (such as Pawlenty or Daniels) would help to expand the base of the party beyond what has been for the last 20 or so years a Republican “solid South”.

    Living in Ohio, I recognize that Pittsburgh and Western PA are considered rust belt. So are Buffalo and Syracuse. But that doesn’t make them any less part of the Northeast.

  • Santorum is borderline Northeast at best. Bachmann was Midwest but that didn’t help her image. The Northeast Republican image has more to do with perception than actual geography. Bush 2000 and McCain were acceptable to Northeast Republicans.

  • Living in Ohio, I recognize that Pittsburgh and Western PA are considered rust belt. So are Buffalo and Syracuse. But that doesn’t make them any less part of the Northeast.

    1. Cross-cultural contempt is a reality (lucidly expressed at one point by whathisname in the Oval Office), but you imputed to a particular individual (a man who grew up in Montreal and has spent his adult life in Washington after a run of years in Boston) a particular attitude that I think you would have a difficult time demonstrating he holds.

    2. Political boundaries and compass points are not optimal (much less exclusive means) for delineating regions. The ‘Midwest’ has two components:

    a. A savanna zone which was (until recent decades) intensely invested in agriculture and has a fairly truncated settlement hierarchy, with cities of middling and large size found only on its peripheries;

    b. A deciduous forest zone with a full settlement hierarchy and (until recent decades) an unusual affinity for heavy industry and slavic immigrants.

    Each of the cities of the BosWash corridor is a region unto itself and divergent from proximate provincial territory. I am not sure any were ever ‘industrial cities’ to the extent Chicago or Detroit were industrial cities. Economic and demographic adjustments derived from the decay of manufacturing are still ongoing in Detroit and Buffalo; not so cities farther east. (Have a look at some place names in Upstate New York and Michigan. You will see people from the one were settling the other).

    The Midwest begins at Allentown.

  • Actually, Santorum does have a (slight) Midwestern connection… he attended a Catholic high school in Chicago for a year while his dad was stationed at Great Lakes Naval Training Center.

Archbishop Wenski Reminds Pro-Obama Catholics of What Chumps They Are

Tuesday, December 6, AD 2011

Archbishop Thomas Wenski points out that pro-Obama Catholics were played as chumps by President Obama in an essay which appeared on December 2 in the Miami Herald.  Here is his essay interspersed with my comments:

In May 2009, President Obama gave the commencement address at Notre Dame  University and received an honorary degree. That Notre Dame would confer an  honorary degree on an elected official who advances abortion rights in  contradiction to Catholic teaching caused no small controversy among many  Catholics throughout the United States.

To say the least.  That event demonstrated the de facto schism that exists in the Church between those who follow the teaching of the Church in regard to abortion and those who do not.

Those who supported Notre Dame felt vindicated, however, when in his speech  the president promised to “honor the conscience of those who disagree with  abortion,” stating that his administration would provide “sensible” protections  for those who wanted no involvement in the procedure. This would presumably  include healthcare providers, social-service providers, and consumers who might  otherwise have to pay through their healthcare plans for other people’s  abortions.

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21 Responses to Archbishop Wenski Reminds Pro-Obama Catholics of What Chumps They Are

  • Good article.
    Your last sentence: hard = had.

  • Thank you daledog. The wages of blogging swiftly over an abbreviated lunch hour due to a looming court hearing!

  • The good Archbishop is too charitable. It seems clear to me that the likes of Stupak,
    Keenan, and the administration of Notre Dame were all willing tools for this president’s
    agenda. In the unlikely event that these people truly are so naive and so incompetent
    that they allowed themselves to be played, then they have no business in Congress or
    overseeing Catholic healthcare or running (what was once) a Catholic university.

    Incompetence is not the same as treachery, but it often achieves the same results.
    I believe these people to be knowing traitors to their Church. However, even if they
    are mere dupes and fools, then they still have no business continuing in positions
    where the Church must count on them to defend Her.

  • The archbishop is long moderation.

    Get to Confession. You won’t be going to heaven if you voted for Obama.

  • I wonder if the archbishop realizes just how many Catholic females get abortions every year? The abortion tables are filled to overflowing with Catholic girls and women. I have personally known many. There are more than a few Catholic husbands and fathers who will never know that their wives and daughters were among those who aborted.

  • There seems to be a small but increasing number of US bishops starting to speak up.

    Time is well past for them to put up a united front, name and shame the politicians and those in high office who make a mockery of Church teaching and insult the Church by boldly calling themselves Catholic – that brings the Church into disrepute.

    Sadly, our 7 bishops aren’t much better – we have only one conservative bishop, the others are fairly liberal. They are presently on their way to Rome for their Ad Limina visit. I suspect quite a rap over the knuckles for the.

    They made a mess of printing the new missal, so we have not yet introduced the new translation (except for what the congregation say – that was introduced last year) so New Zealand is technically in schism with the rest of the Roman Catholic Church because of our bishops’ incopetence.

  • “It’s great being back here with you in Texas!” The genius oBAMA told a Kansas gathering of Obama-worshiping cretins.

    Keep telling me about dunces among GOP candidates.

  • Obama later reiterated this position to Catholic newspaper editors, stating that he would make such protections “robust.”

    Ignorance and cowardice are a bad combination, and unfortunately the Church in America has had far too much of both over the past four and a half decades.

    Obedient faithful ready and waiting for loud, clear direction … parish bulletins and sermons are their prime educational, formative news source. If only there were a way to download serious, official insights to the weekly, in the same way the little, happy, generally without impact, essays on the weekly readings are done.

    “HHS seemingly wants to regard fertility as a disease — and elective abortion subsidized by the taxpayer as healthcare.”

    “What this administration intends is to make every institution of the Catholic Church in this country complicit in supporting intrinsic evil. Tolerance of differing opinions is not in the lexicon of Obama and his merry band of would be thought police.”

    The faithful need to have right words for response to so many critical, cynical attacks on their virtues. Government legislates tolerance of atrocity. Catholic (Christian) consciences become “the intolerant”.

  • Catholic votes may have helped Obama get elected, but whether they will help him get re-elected remains to be seen. Of late there have been reports that Obama has pretty much given up on trying to win the white, working-class vote. This would, I suspect, include a lot of the blue collar, pro-union Catholics who voted for him last time mainly out of traditional loyalty to the Democratic Party. Most pundits attribute this to the economy but I strongly suspect his attacks against the Church and its institutions have a lot to do with it also.

  • Agreed Elaine. If Obama is defeated next year I guarantee one of his thoughts will be: “The revenge of the bitter clingers!”.

  • What T. Shaw said: “Get to Confession. You won’t be going to heaven if you voted for Obama.”

    I would amend this statement for two things: (1) some people voted for Obama out of ignorance; now is the time for them to prove they have learned their lesson, and (2) those who deliberately voted for Obama regardless of his evil can always repent.

  • Before we go off consigning all Obama voters to hell, keep this in mind: Pope Benedict, when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger, issued a statement on the question of voting that said voting for a pro-abortion candidate was a sin if the vote was cast in direct SUPPORT of the candidate’s pro-abortion stance. He also went on to say that voting for a pro-abortion candidate IN SPITE OF his stand could be morally permitted in the presence of “proportionate reasons.”

    The $64 gazillion question in this case, of course, is what constitutes “proportionate reasons.” Some argue that there are no proportionate reasons whatsoever that justify voting for any pro-abortion candidate. Others (including Pope John Paul II in “Evangelium Vitae,” along with a number of bishops) say that in a contest between two or more candidates who are both or all pro-abortion, voting for the least aggressively pro-abortion candidate in order to minimize the potential damage provides a proportionate reason.

    Another possibly proportionate reason to vote for a pro-abortion candidate (e.g. a “moderate” Republican) could be if they belong to a party that is generally pro-life or conservative and voting for them will help keep that party in control of one’s state or national legislature. (That is why I voted, very reluctantly, for Sen. Mark Kirk last year; RINO though he may be, there was a chance his election would enable the GOP to take control of the Senate, and the alternative would have been an even more pro-abort liberal Democrat.)

    Still others (including myself) might argue that a pro-abortion candidate could, in some circumstances, be preferable to an ostensibly pro-life candidate who is so obviously corrupt, incompetent, mentally unstable or otherwise unqualified for the office that he or she would expose the public to grave danger if elected (e.g. by starting a nuclear war). I cannot, however, think of a single instance so far in which I personally have been faced with this choice.

    It’s possible that a sincere Catholic might have voted for Obama in 2008 in spite of his position on abortion because they were truly convinced that McCain and Palin were dangerously incompetent for the offices of POTUS and VPOTUS. If that is the case, I wouldn’t assume they were guilty of mortal sin. However, they may not have the same excuse this time around, now that we have seen how dangerously incompetent AND aggressively pro-abortion Obama has turned out to be.

  • Those who believe Obama’s word is his bond are simply choosing to believe what they wish to believe. It’s a cafeteria thing.

    I remain unconvinced anybody was truly convinced that McCain and Palin were dangerously incompetent for the offices of POTUS and VPOTUS.

  • Many people, Catholics included, voted against the McCain / Palin ticket for no other reason than that they hated the idea of a beautiful conservative Christian woman being VP.

    There were NO propotionate reasons to have voted for that man of sin now in the Oval Office. Many people wanted hope and change regardless that they KNEW he’s a baby-murdering, sodomy sanctifying anti-christ, no matter what and by golly they got their hope and change. He deserves every bit what God allowed to befall King Manasseh because like King Manasseh before him, that’s the only thing that will force him to repent of his narcissistic evil.

  • Thankyou Archbishop Wenski, for speaking out. It’s a shame that every Cardinal and Bishop in this country didn’t speak out prior to Obama’s speaking at Notre Dame, or any other institution which calls itself Catholic! They take money on the pretense of being a Catholic institution, but it’s actually the difference between Roman Catholicism, and American Catholicism which doesn’t admit to being at great odds with Roman Catholicism. Unfortunately many of the “sheeple” don’t know the difference and it’s not made clear in many parishes today.

  • I think some Catholics will not vote for some Republican candidates because they support waterboarding. Putting aside the evil of abortion, to which Obama is completely dedicated, I think we need to consider the constant attacks on the family by Obama and the Democrats.

    I think only a fool will see an equivalence between the issues.

  • “I think only a fool will see an equivalence between the issues.”

    Waterboarding is not equivalent to abortion. Both are evil, and I refuse to support any politician who supports either.

  • “… I refuse to support any politician who supports either.” Then don’t vote.

    Hypothetical scenario: a terrorist knows the location of a bomb set to detonate in some unnamed school in some unnamed large city. Waterboarding can force the terrorist to reveal the location of the bomb and save hundreds of children’s lives. But some people opposed to waterboarding would rather the children die.

    What would Charles Martel have done during the battle against the Islamic fanatics in Tours, France so long ago? Hand the city over to the demonic fanatics? Make peace in our time because peace at any price outweighs the freedom and safety of our children?

    Some people simply prefer dhimmitude, but not this American, not this Christian!

  • Oh, noes! Not the ticking timebomb scenario.

    lol. Where have you been for the last 5 or 6 years, Paul?

  • Sandi Trusso @ 7:22AM: “It’s a shame that every Cardinal and bishop in this country
    didn’t speak out prior to Obama’s speaking at Notre Dame…”.

    Actually, in a surprising show of unity, they did. As I remember, about 100 to 120
    bishops published open letters of protest concerning ND’s decision to honor Obama.
    It’s likely that many other bishops wrote in protest but chose not to make their letters
    public. I have a hard time thinking of any subject that has united our bishops in such
    a way. With so many bishops pointing out their errors, Notre Dame has absolutely
    no room to claim that they could not have known that what they did was both wrong
    and stupid. Notre Dame is run by willing tools of the culture of death. Our bishops
    did a good day’s work pointing that out.

Lying Worthless Political Hack Hates Catholic Conscience

Tuesday, November 22, AD 2011



It will come as little surprise to faithful readers of this blog, but the Lying Worthless Political Hack, as I affectionately refer to ex-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D. San Francisco), took  the opportunity during an interview with the Washington Post to slam the Church she purportedly is a member of:

On abortion

Pelosi recently was criticized for the way she characterized a bill to amend Republican-proposed conscience exemptions for health-care reform that allow providers to refuse to perform abortions. Pelosi called the measure, which passed last month with some help from Democrats, “savage,’’ and said, “When the Republicans vote for this bill today, they will be voting to say that women can die on the floor and health-care providers do not have to intervene, if this bill is passed. It’s just appalling.”

In retrospect, does she think that assessment went too far? Not at all, she said: “They would” let women die on the floor, she said. “They would! Again, whatever their intention is, this is the effect.’’

Catholic health-care providers in particular have long said they’d have to go out of business without the conscience protections that Pelosi says amount to letting hospitals “say to a woman, ‘I’m sorry you could die’ if you don’t get an abortion.” Those who dispute that characterization “may not like the language,’’ she said, “but the truth is what I said. I’m a devout Catholic and I honor my faith and love it .?.?. but they have this conscience thing’’ that she insists put women at physical risk, although Catholic providers strongly disagree.

On one occasion, she said, laughing, one of her critics on the topic of abortion, speaking on the House floor, said, “Nancy Pelosi thinks she knows more about having babies than the pope. They think like this. And of course I do — I think the pope would agree — and I know more than you, too, mister.’’

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9 Responses to Lying Worthless Political Hack Hates Catholic Conscience

  • The Church in America deserves all the trials and tribulations it is getting simply because Her Bishops will NOT turn over to Satan people like Nancy Pelosi. That’s what St. Paul told the Church at Corinth to do with a man sleeping with his father’s wife. And that is exactly what he would tell us to do with a woman promoting and extolling the infanticide of the unborn. 1st Corinthians 5:4-5:

    In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus

  • Don”t blame me. I voted for McCain.

    Plus, she made millions $$$ on trading inside info from her legislative activities.

  • She’ll receive communion, no questions ask, the first Sunday in Advent, with the tacit approval of her local ordinary.

    We can rage all we want at her, but she’s a symptom of the actual malady.

  • “askED.”

    Grrr. My two year old is going to have to reconsider her current vocation of living alarm clock. Stat.

  • Kind of makes me hope the atheists are right, because WE have MUCH to answer for allowing narrowbacks like Pelosi ruin this country!!!

  • Couldn’t help noticing in the video, Obama mentioning that defining when life begins is above his pay-grade.

    With the benefit of experience, it appears that most other things are as well.

    As for Pelosi, I wonder what her P.P and other parishioners think of her at her home parish – or does she scuttle off somewhere where she is less recogniseable?

  • “With the benefit of experience, it appears that most other things are as well.”

    Indeed Don! Some men rise to the challenge of high office, but unfortunately Mr. Obama is not among their number.

  • He has risen to the level of incompetant.

  • Pingback: Pelosi: Anti-Catholic Polical Hack | Cowboy Papist

Archbishop Chaput and the Media

Friday, August 26, AD 2011

One of the most irritating aspects of life for faithful American Catholics over the past several decades has been how quiet most of our bishops have been in the face of outrageous attacks on the Church.  Too many of our bishops have acted as if they had their spines surgically removed upon consecration.  Fortunately there have always been a handful who have been willing to speak out and suffer the media attacks that then ensue, along with the ambushes of heterodox Catholics frequently eager to lend a hand to anti-Catholics in their ceaseless war against the Church.  One of the more outspoken bishops is Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, who has never been afraid to proclaim the truth, and to do so eloquently.  He is at it again over at First Things.

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32 Responses to Archbishop Chaput and the Media

  • “Some of the usual suspects on the Catholic Left are upset at the Archbishop for naming some of their cherished propaganda organs…”

    I think that’s true for some. I also think that for some on the Catholic Left the NY Times reflects their view of the Church or, perhaps more accurately, what they want the Church to become.

  • Well Phillip, over the years certainly some members of the Catholic Left have been far more faithful to the magisterium of the New York Times than they ever have to the magisterium of the Church!

  • “Some of the usual suspects on the Catholic Left are upset at the Archbishop for naming some of their cherished propaganda organs…”

    They’re also upset that the Archbishop didn’t call out their own fave Catholic publications – Commonweal, America, National Catholic Distorter – as good sources for Catholic commentary. Thing is, they’re not good sources for Catholic commentary, and the Archbishop knows this. The Distorter especially – a vanguard for all that is opposed to Catholic teaching.

  • An excellent resource on this subject is the Get Religion blog, which examines coverage of all religions and religious traditions in the media and points out gaps or inaccuracies. In many stories, Get Religion says religion is present only as a “ghost” — an unnamed reference to people doing works of charity or attending rallies or “vigils” without mention of the fact that a religious motivation was behind it.

    From reading the mainstream media, you would think that thousands of people feed the hungry, travel to disaster zones, spend long hours at a sick or injured person’s bedside (doing what? PRAYING, maybe?), devote themselves to improving their communities, etc. for no apparent reason, other than, perhaps, some vague reference to their “values.”

  • “We make a very serious mistake if we rely on media like the New York Times, Newsweek, CNN, or MSNBC for reliable news about religion. These news media simply don’t provide trustworthy information about religious faith”

    and CBS, ABC, NBC, NPR, Wash. Post, Boston Globe, etc, etc, etc

  • We make a very serious mistake if we rely on media like the New York Times, Newsweek, CNN, or MSNBC, NPR, Washington Post, Boston Globe, for reliable news about ANYTHING.

  • I would include as unreliable the Catholic News Service, which if I mistake me not, is a service of the USCCB. It gave a favorable review to the homosexual movie Heartbreak Mountain. Another disservice of the bureaucracy of the USCCB.

  • “It gave a favorable review to the homosexual movie Heartbreak Mountain”

    I take it you are referring to BROKEBACK Mountain?

    Aside from the movie reviews, whose suitability can and often will be disputed, whether or not Catholic News Service is a “reliable” source of Church news depends on how you define “reliable.”

    In the Catholic press, there is always going to be a tension between the need to promote and adhere to Church teaching and the need to realistically report what is going on in the Catholic world whether or not it is agreeable to Church teaching. I have to admit that I am somewhat biased in favor of CNS due to the fact that I once worked for a diocesan newspaper that relied heavily on CNS news, and some of whose personnel personally knew people from CNS.

    If you rely solely on traditional/conservative leaning publications, you may get the impression that conservative/orthodox/traditional Catholicism is a lot more popular and widespread than it actually is. On the other hand, if you rely on left-leaning sites like National Catholic Reporter, you get the impression that the “spirit of Vatican II” crowd still reigns supreme, which is also not the case. There still needs to be a reasonably middle of the road source of Catholic news which doesn’t actively promote dissent but doesn’t ignore its real-world impact, or ignore the fact that the Church still has a long way to go in getting most of its members fully on board with its teachings.

    While I understand the disillusionment many people have with the mainstream media, and yes they do often get things wrong, still, I think it is VERY dangerous to dismiss them completely and insist on getting ALL your news only from sources that agree 100% with your political or religious leanings. Balance is the key here.

  • Wow Elaine,
    It almost sounds like you should be writing for Vox Nova. 😉
    Well put.

  • Nah, Brett, if Elaine were writing for Vox Nova she would have to say something truly absurd like mentioning Chaput in mouth disease, and I doubt if Elaine would ever say anything like that. Finally, I doubt if Elaine could make it past the Vox Nova entrance interview:

  • You’re right Don, I would not get past Rule #2. I certainly would flunk out by Rule #5 (“Paul Krugman is the living embodiment of Catholic social teaching.”)

  • Don’t worry Elaine. They let me write whatever I want and I don’t even know who Paul Krugman is!

    Also Don, no one at VN has ever forced me to say anything “truly absurd.” Elaine wouldn’t HAVE to say anything of the sort.

    All peace and good,

  • “Also Don, no one at VN has ever forced me to say anything “truly absurd.” ”

    That is good to know Brett. Judging from Minion’s posts I assumed there was some sort of requirement.

  • I’ve got to agree with Elaine — the Catholic News Service (and even the movie reviews, though I certainly don’t always agree with them) serves a useful purpose, and I’ve never found it to be an organ used for questioning or undercutting the faith.


    To not even know who Paul Krugman is, you’d have to be skimming MM’s posts pretty thinly. After all, in the very post linked to here MM chides Archbishop Chaput for not listening to Krugman more:

    Why does Chaput not mention any of this? Is he so insecure that he cannot handle criticism of the Church in the New York Times, and must instead run to those who use the Church for their political aims? Does he see no nuance and complexity? Is he not aware that he can learn far more about the economic mess from Paul Krugman in the New York Times than anybody on any alternative media source?

    I mean, I agree with those who knock people like Voris for bishop-bashing at the drop of a hat, but this is, if anything, worse.

    I will say, though, that I’ve always enjoyed reading your posts, which are both fair and intellectually curious. (I just wish that you’d keep a separate blog like Kyle does, so that it isn’t necessary for those of us bullies who might be divisive pamphleteers of the verge of kicking off a new Reformation to wade through the main site to read your stuff.)

  • “Judging from Minion’s posts I assumed there was some sort of requirement.”

    “…I don’t even know who Paul Krugman is!”

    Brett is clearly not reading Minion’s paeans to Krugman.

  • The quoted bit from MM on Krugman hardly tells me anything beyond the fact that he writes about economics for the New York Times and that MM thinks he has some insight. Surely that is not enough for me to know whether he is “the living embodiment of Catholic social teaching,” or even if MM considers him to be such.

    Perhaps the very favorable recent posts linking to the Distributist Review should give certain people pause before they announce exactly whom the Vox Novans think accurately represents CST (or is Krugman a Distributist?) or that all Vox Novans must be of the same opinion on such matters.

  • Brett,

    VN is well known for being disobedient to the Magisterium and for attacking orthodox Catholics.

  • Tito,

    I don’t believe I’ve ever seen any of the current frequent posters on Vox Nova dissent from Catholic doctrine.

    That many of them do specialize in “friendly fire” towards other orthodox Catholics is arguably true, though.


    Well, unless the Distributist Review is not an alternative news source, it would seem that MM does believe Chaput could derive more benefit from reading Krugman than from reading the Distributist Review. (Actually, this is probably not surprising, as MM is probably too educated in regards to economics to be terribly impressed with the Distributists.)

    But to be fair, that hilarious parody dates back to when Henry, MM, MZ and Iafrate were the mainlines of Vox Nova. The place has, somewhat diluted its craziness since then.

  • Tito,

    I don’t believe I’ve ever seen any of the current frequent posters on Vox Nova dissent from Catholic doctrine.

    That many of them do specialize in “friendly fire” towards other orthodox Catholics is arguably true, though.


    Well, unless the Distributist Review is not an alternative news source, it would seem that MM does believe Chaput could derive more benefit from reading Krugman than from reading the Distributist Review. (Actually, this is probably not surprising, as MM is probably too educated in regards to economics to be terribly impressed with the Distributism, at least where economics is involved. Chesterton and Belloc were admirable in lots of ways, but their economic analysis was not necessarily great. MM is probably right to rely more on Keynes and Krugman than on Chesterton and Belloc when it comes to actual economic theory.)

    To be fair, though, that hilarious parody dates back to when Henry, MM, MZ and Iafrate were the mainlines of Vox Nova. The place has, somewhat diluted its craziness since then — in regards to contributors at least. (Oddly, the comboxes seem to have gone even further off the deep end — though perhaps that’s just a matter of the “other side” not bothering to show up much anymore. I suppose in some ways we’ve had an equal and opposite history here. Given the natural affinities of belief, it may be that political sites natural sort themselves into either right or left with few dissenting voices bothering to show up.)

  • Darwin,

    I wasn’t aware that killing children in the womb was part of Catholic teaching.

  • I’m not either, but I was giving them credit for the fact that Gerald L. Campbell hasn’t posted there in a very long time. (Though I agree it was disgraceful that everyone at the time defended his claim that being pro-choice was a legitimate exercise of subsidiarity.)

    People like MM and MZ do everything possible to support pro-abortion candidates, because those candidates happen to also be leftists, but they insist that they are not in fact pro-abortion themselves (and would vote for anti-abortion leftists if they existed) so I figure it’s fair to categorize them as unwise rather than dissenting.

    Ditto on the tendency to attack pro-lifers far more often than pro-aborts while at the same time claiming to be pro-life.

    Don’t get me wrong. I have no desire to defend them. I just want to be precise in my attacks. 🙂

  • OK, I’ll back track.

    Certain bloggers are disobedient.

    The rest of the bunch are essentially good guys and it would be nice to share a beer with them because it would make for interesting conversation(s)!


  • Precision is always appreciated. As is beer.

  • As for a personal blog, here you go:

    I’m only tempted to set up something a little more formal because I think “Ein Brett Vorm Kopf” would be a great name.

  • Can’t let a name like that go to waste!

    I guess I should just bookmark the category link. For some reason, it’s not possible to put the category links into an RSS reader.

  • It would be helpful though if those bloggers on Vox Nova who are not in dissent do correct those who post comments who are. That would make it appear less likely that they are dissenting.

  • “MM is probably too educated in regards to economics to be terribly impressed with the Distributism, at least where economics is involved. Chesterton and Belloc were admirable in lots of ways, but their economic analysis was not necessarily great. MM is probably right to rely more on Keynes and Krugman than on Chesterton and Belloc when it comes to actual economic theory.)”.

    Yes, as regards “economic theory”. But economics in practice? A good antidote to Keynes [Krugman is not worth the effort] is J.K. Galbraith’s ALMOST EVERYONE’S GUIDE TO ECONOMICS. He makes the point that economics is not that difficult to understand. Thus, in the controversy about raising the debt limit, it is not difficult to understand that you cannot keep writing checks on an account without money. Belloc understood this; GKC understood this. Even B. Obama as a senator understood this.

    In May 1939, shortly after learning that unemployment stood at 20.7%, Henry Morgenthau, the secretary of the Treasury, exploded: “We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work.” Morgenthau concluded, “I say after eight years of this administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started. . . . And an enormous debt to boot!”

  • From the other side of the pond, I rate the orthodoxy of your bishops according to extent that they are excoriated by the liberal media – Burke, Olmsted, Chaput et al. The fact that none of ours has yet to be targeted by the Tablet, the English equivalent of the National Catholic Reporter, is cause for concern.

The Spanish Civil War: Sadly, Still Relevant

Wednesday, August 24, AD 2011

On Sunday I received a request from a Catholic blogger for my suggestions for readings in regard to the Spanish Civil War, a subject which I have always found fascinating.  Here is my response:

The go to man on the Spanish Civil War is Stanley Payne.  He has been writing on the conflict since the Fifties.  He interviewed many of the leaders of the various factions in the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies.  Originally a man of the Left, I think it would be fair now to call him a conservative, but what he is above all is a first class historian.

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36 Responses to The Spanish Civil War: Sadly, Still Relevant

  • A much-touted personal account is Orwell’s “Homage to Catalonia.” To me, it proved less than the touting.

    Tolerance for me not for thee.

    I used to “see red” whenever a US MSM commie propaganda outlet would cover a reunion of “Lincoln Brigade” murderers.

  • I am fascinated by the Spanish Civil War and have had a difficult time finding good books on the Subject. Warren Carroll’s the Last Crusade is excellent reading.

    I’m already scouring my nearby book stores for your recommendations, thanks Don!

  • One of the disappointments I had with There be Dragons is that it did not delve into the whys and whatfors of the SCW as much as I would have liked, and likewise not in depth as much regarding St. Josemaria. It gave a little of both, but the rather superficial treatment left you feeling somewhat robbed. It seemed the director couldn’t decide whether it was a movie about the war or about the saint, and ended up really being about neither – it seemed to use them both as props or settings to tell the story about the saint’s fictional friend. Not a bad movie if you have that understanding going in, but a bit disappointing if you don’t.

  • Where I was going with that comment – I would love to see a really good documentary on the SCW.

  • The Spanish Civil War seems to be one of those historical events that everyone is supposed to interpret the exact same way. It’s depicted as WWII on a smaller scale. I know very little about the war, but what bothers me is that I’ve only seen Franco’s side defended by extremely anti-communist Catholics. I’m wondering, is this just one of those rare moments with two bad sides (like Mubarak versus the Muslim Brotherhood)? Is it possible to view the world as a Catholic and still accept the common interpretation of the Spanish Civil War?

  • “Is it possible to view the world as a Catholic and still accept the common interpretation of the Spanish Civil War?”

    From an American perspective few of the sides in the Spanish Civil War are too appealing. On the Republican side the main factions were Communists, Socialists (who were often harder Left than the Communists) and Anarchists. There were some moderate Republicans but they were quickly pushed to the side lines. In the areas controlled by the Basque nationalists in Northern Spain the Church was not persecuted and the Basque Republicans were fervent Catholics. They were subdued by the Nationalists in 1937.

    On the Nationalist side we have Falangists, basically fascists modeled after Mussolini’s black shirts, most of the Army, monarchists, fervent Catholics, and the Carlists of Navarre who were probably the most fervent Catholics as a group in the world and who provided the Nationalists their shock troops.

    Of the factions on both sides, my favorites are the Carlists and the Basque Republicans.

    The Republicans were mostly fighting to implement a Revolution and bring to Earth a Leftist utopia, of some Communist, Socialist or Anarchist variant. They wanted to smash the Church and anyone else who stood in their way of bringing this about.

    The Nationalists were mostly fighting to crush the Left and sepratist movements like the Basques and the Catalans, and restore Spain to the glory it had known in the past. They detested democracy, as Americans understand it, as much as their Leftist adversaries.

    A fairly bad choice from an American perspective. However, one point can never be overlooked by a Catholic: on the Nationalist side of Spain Catholics worshiped freely; on the Republican side, outside of the Basque regions, the Churches were shuttered and turned into warehouses, garages, town halls, and the clergy, and faithful Catholics, murdered. I do not think that any faithful Catholic can overlook that.

  • A very concise and compact review Don, I agree wholeheartedly.

  • Well, certainly the right side won, at least in THIS civil war, Don! 😉

  • I often wondered that there were not “Lincoln brigades” of Catholics… why apparently no organized Catholic military units went to aid the Nationalists. Perhaps for the same reason that none aided the Cristeros in Mexico, an indifference to things Hispanic in the English speaking world, which itself seems to be in part a vestige of the Black Legend. Certainly the “main-stream media” was a formidable roadblock for Catholics trying to find out the truth of what was happening in Spain and Mexico.

  • What about the Hugo Thomas one volume history?

  • Irish Catholics sent about 500 men. They saw very brief action and then were sent home by the Nationalists as being fairly useless. American Catholics sent over a fair amount of money to aid the Nationalist cause, and lobbied hard, and successfully, against any US aid to the Republic. Portugal sent about 20,000 men to fight for the Nationalists, and allowed the Nationalists use of their ports and to use their territory to transport supply. The aid that the Nationalists received from Italy and Nazi Germany is of course well known. There were also White Russian and other right wing volunteers fighting for Franco. The study linked below has a strong Republican bias, but it is one of the very few volumes I am aware of that looks at foreign volunteers for Franco:

    Roy Campbell was an English war correspondent who followed Franco’s armies and was sympathetic to the Nationalist cause:

    Outside of Mexico, almost all of the Latin American states were sympathetic to the Nationalists and extended early diplomatic recognition to the Nationalists.

  • “What about the Hugo Thomas one volume history?”

    Good but dated. We know far more from released Spanish archive records than when he initially wrote it in 1961 and even with updates it is not up to snuff with current scholarship. It still has a warm spot in my heart as it was the first book I read on the conflict.

  • Very pricy is Burnett Bolloten’s The Spanish Civil War. It is worth every penny however for the serious student. The late Mr. Bolloten made an in depth study of magazines, newspapers, pamphlets and other publications published in Spain during the war. You find material in his history you find nowhere else. He is especially good on the byzantine Republican factional infighting.

  • Is that last one an even-handed account that you just commented on?

  • Bolloten began as a man of the Left Tito and by the end of his career the Franco regime was touting his books as a great scholarly study of the War. Bolloten was an honest man and the facts he brought to light tended to paint the Spanish Republic in a bad light. His scholarship is impeccable and he had no axes to grind.

    I would add that I would not recommend it to general readers. A fair amount of knowledge of Spain in the thirties and Spanish politics of that period is helpful before tackling Bolloten’s works.

  • Just added it to my Amazon Wish List, niiice.

  • The internet is awesome. Thanks, Don.

  • You want even-handed?

    The following is paraphrased from De la Salle Christian Brothers and Marianist sources.

    The holocaust within the Spanish Civil War has been denied far too long. Almost no one in America knows that during the 1930’s Spanish “Civil” War the “republicans” massacred of tens of thousands of Roman Catholic religious and lay people. For decades, the MSM, publishers, and the academy have sold the one-sided idea that Franco and his government (World War II neutrals) were merely fascists. The MSM, et al, egregiously deny the mass murders of Spanish Catholic religious and lay persons committed by the Soviet-led Spanish and international gangsters like Hemingway, Robeson and the so-called Abraham Lincoln brigade.

    There was a general massacre of Roman Catholic clergy and laity in the areas under communist control during the 1936 to 1939 Spanish Civil War. Four thousand Roman Catholic bishops, priests, brothers, and nuns, and tens of thousands of lay Catholic people were martyred. The Lord had called the Spanish religious community to a radical witness. When the republicans found them to be religious, they were arrested and executed. For example, the bolshevists murdered 165 of the order of Catholic school teachers, the De La Salle Christian Brothers, whose brothers have, for over 150 years, served their vocations at Manhattan College. On October 10, 1993, Pope John Paul II proclaimed “blessed”, seven Spanish Christian Brothers and three Spanish Marianists (Carlos Erana, Jesus Hita, Fidel Fuidio). The Marianists are dedicated priests and religious brothers who serve Long Island Roman Catholics at Chaminade High School and Bishop Kellenberg Memorial High School.

    About ten years prior in Mexico:

    Blessed Miguel Pro, S.J. – martyred in Mexico in November 1927

    A picture is worth a thousand words. One of the things that brought the attention of the world to the anti-Catholic persecutions in Mexico was the distribution of the photographs of some of the executions.

    At ten o’clock in the morning, Father Pro was the first to be led out to execution. Carrying his small crucifix and his rosary, he walked steadily across the yard.
    As his last request, Father Miguel asked to be allowed to pray. He knelt in front of the bullet-pocked walls and fervently prayed briefly. He kissed his crucifix and stood.
    Rejecting the traditional blindfold, Miguel stretched his arms out in the form of a cross and facing the firing squad said, “May God have mercy on you. May God bless you. Lord, You know that I am innocent. With all my heart I forgive my enemies.”

    As the firing squad took aim, Father Pro spoke his last words. In a firm, clear voice, he said: “Viva Cristo Rey!” Long live Christ the King.

    I guess that was “one-sided.”

  • I do not think that any faithful Catholic can overlook that.

    One would certainly think that Don.

  • Mr. McClarey’s advice about Burnett Bolloten’s book is really commendable.

    The Spanish civil war has been a very complex event, and the author’s long and (relatively, as is inevitable) unbiased research unfolded and pondered upon lot of documents, some of which – like newspapers – rarely used (at least intelligently) in other books. Bolloten was really able to give voice to the many, conflicting parties involved in this tragedy.

    It is too convenient to write Manichean books, were the righteous persons stand unerringly on one side only. Communism has been a cancer which exploited and exacerbated very real social problems, and this civil war is no exception. So one has to understand the concrete situation, the human plight in which those events could unfold: in this even conservatives and Catholics had their sins. Real life is not easy and is always more complex than ideology or partisanship would like it to be.

    So, if it is certainly true that the left lied for a long time about what happened (and still does), it is a Christian duty to always try to understand the whole: without hiding anything and certainly without feeling ashamed for politically correct reasons, it is God who must prevail, not our faction.


    As far as Mr. McKenna’s question, I would like to add this: many, many Italians went to Spain with the sincere intent to help that Catholic country wihch they knew was being devastated. Of course, they were part of the Fascist army, sometime proudly so, then they are easily dismissed in block as mean people.

    Again, reality is different from historical hyper-generalization. Similarly, most Soviet soldiers fought animated by the love for their country and even religion, whatever the Party could say in the propaganda. So much more it was the case in Italy, where the regime’s propaganda never attained the level of brain-washing reached in the USSR.

  • There is still a tendency (largely on the Left, it has to be said) to continue to view the Spanish Civil War through the prism of 1930s ideological assumptions rather than in the context of Spanish history. In hindsight it is difficult to see how Spain could have made a peaceful and swift transition to democracy in the mid-1970s had Franco not provided her with four decades of stability. Although his regime was oppressive and stifling, it was far preferable to those the Soviets imposed in eastern Europe.

  • Great info, Don, I look forward to delving into some of the contemporary histories you mention. Hugh Thomas was really my one and only source about this, and of course, Dr. Carroll under whom I studied, and who was a great proponent of the Carlists.

  • Dr. Carroll Tom wrote a passionate book in The Last Crusade which I enjoyed but it was basically derivate of other books. His tome is a useful corrective to most works on the Spanish Civil War due to their Leftist bias. Hugh Thomas managed a considerable feat of scholarship in 1961 with his volume, especially for one so young and in a field that was not his major subject of study. More amazing is that his account is almost completely neutral, not something you commonly find in books on this conflict.

  • Yikes, T Shaw, I don’t think anyone’s calling for equal respect for martyrs and their killers. But the war was fought between fascists and communists, or more accurately between one side which included and was supported by fascists and one side which included and was supported by communists. As Don describes it, there were faithful Catholics on both sides. There’s got to be some hesitation in portraying either side as the heroes.

  • Hi folks,

    Wonderful comments about a fascinating and tragic historical event. It is truly shocking seeing how hate-filled and bigoted the anti-catholics are in today’s Spain. However, secular Spain is pretty much going over the cliff so a lot of their anger is probably because they know they’ve lost the war.

    Concerning SCW books – don’t write off Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia! Orwell was far too complex and individualistic a man to be a straightforward pinko. He hated what he saw of Moscow’s manipulation of the Republican side and was very clear that there would have been a dictatorship whoever won. His book gives a superb personal, “you’re here too” account a part of the conflict.

  • After all these years ones grows very tired of this updated Black Legend of Spain and as is so often the case in these discussions the usual cliche seems to be that “both sides” committed atrocities and that there were no “good guys”. No, both sides did not commit atrocities. Only one side did, the leftist one. If you wish to maintain the fiction that Franco’s defending his country against these monsters by shooting back at them constitues “atrocities”, well, there is nothing I can say.

    Some are saying the Spanish Civil War was “complex”, which is a word used, I presume, to avoid really seeking out the truth and coming to a sensible conclusion. No, there is nothing complex about that war. It was the attempt by the Socialist/Communist forces to utterly stamp out the last vestiges of Catholicism in the land and as a revenge carried out by International Finance against a nation that was not dancing to their tune. And we Americans, both publicly in Hollywood and privately in the secret halls of government, were huge supporters of that Catholic extermination so sought after by the Left.

    It would seem that now, in the era of Zapatero and a frightened and weakened Chuch, that the Left has the last laugh because they are accomplishing just about everything they wanted in the ’30s. The modernist madness of Vatican II and creepy prelates like the unspeakable Casaroli paved the way for the Zapateros of this world. Sad…but there it is.

    Since we’re all recommending books about that terrible conflict allow me to suggest that we seek out and read the life and works of the Scotsman Hamish Fraser, a Communist fighter in that very civil war who ultimately converted and became one of the greatest Catholic journalists of the last century. It was my signal honor to know him and to learn from him what really happened there.

    And as for Gen Franco? God bless the memory of that great man who at least, if nothing else, bought some time and some peace for his beloved Spain.

  • I like you Dan.

    I agree with you, “both sides committing atrocities” is incorrect.

    Thank you for your book suggestion!

  • “No, both sides did not commit atrocities. Only one side did, the leftist one.”

    Completely untrue. A typical example of a Nationalist massacre:

    There have been few firmer Catholics than the French author George Bernanos. He goes into great detail in regard to Nationalist massacres he witnessed while staying on Majorca during the Spanish Civil War in his A Diary of My Times:

    Historical facts are historical facts no matter what our ideological predilections might be.

  • The late David Eccles was the English representative of one of the Spanish railways at the time. He read of Guernica; as it was within his jurisdiction he asked one of the engineers what was to be done to repair the damage. “Nothing” was the reply. “There was not much damage”.

    It seems that an English reporter in a nearby town had nothing to report. Then he heard of the bombing [some German bombers getting rid of their bombs?] and made up a report of horrendous massacres and damages. “It was written by George Steer, whose familiarity with Basque traditions, passionate support of the Republican cause in the Spanish Civil War, and outrage over the bombing may have led him to exaggerate some details, and to emphasize that Guernica was far behind the battle lines and not a military objective”.

    Having been told of this, I tried to do some little research on the subject. The eyewitnesses later interviewed [some two decades later] were across the Pyrenees, and of the Republican persuasion. The earliest book I found was Rudolf Arnheim’s 1973 book, based on the later accounts of eye-witnesses.

  • The Republicans exaggerated the damage to Guernica for propaganda purposes. The Nationalists said that there had been no bombing and the damage was caused by retreating Republican troops. Both of these positions were meretricious. There had been heavy bombing of the town and there was nothing wrong about that. The town had not been declared an open city, there were Basque troops in it in an active theatre of war, and therefore the bombing was completely legitimate.

  • Gironella who fought for the Nationalists during the War, wrote about both the red terror and the white terror in his trilogy: The Cypresses Believe in God; One Million Dead; and Peace After War. These books were published in Spain under Franco. No one could deny, with a straight face at least, that both sides had committed atrocities during the War, even at that time in Franco’s Spain. Leftist historians attempt to maximize the Nationalist atrocities and minimize, or ignore, the Republican atrocities. That is both a sin against history and the truth, and those who are appalled at Republican atrocities, as I am, should not ignore the massacres and atrocities of those fighting against the Republicans.

  • Americans who want to understand Spain and the Spanish Civil War should take to heart this preface that Gironella wrote in the American edition of The Cypresses Believe in God in 1954:

    “Author’s Note for the American Edition

    Spain is an unknown country. Experience proves that it is hard to view my country impartially. Even writers of high order succumb to the temptation to adulterate the truth, to treat our customs and our psychology as though everything about them were of a piece, of a single color. Legends and labels pile up: black Spain, inquisitorial Spain, beautiful Spain, tragic Spain, folkloric Spain, unhappy Spain, a projection of Africa into the map of Europe.

    I defend the complexity of Spain. If this book attempts to demonstrate anything it is this: that there are in this land thousands of possible ways of life. Through a Spanish family of the middle class–the Alvears–and the day-by-day living of a provincial capital–Gerona–I have tried to capture the everyday traits, the mentality, the inner ambiance of my compatriots in all their pettiness and all their grandeur. In Spain the reaction to this novel has been that it is “implacable”. Nothing could satisfy me more.

    This book spans a period of five years, five years in the private and public life of the nation: those which preceded the last civil war, which speeded its inevitable coming. The explosion of that war, its scope, and its significance are described in minute detail.

    A single warning to the American reader: Spain is a peculiar country and its institutions therefore take on unique coloration. Certain constants of the Spanish temperament operate under any circumstance. A Spanish Freemason is not an international Freemason. A Spanish Communist is not even an orthodox Communist. In every instance what is characteristic is a tendency toward the instinctive, toward the individualistic, and toward the anarchic. Spaniards follow men better than they follow ideas, which are judged not by their content, but by the men who embody them. This accounts for the inclemency of personal relationships, the small respect for laws; this, too, is what causes our periodic civil wars.

    To bear all this in mind is important in understanding this book. When the narrative deals with a priest, a policeman, a Socialist, a bootblack, it is essential to remember that it is dealing with a Spanish priest, a Spanish policeman, a Spanish Socialist, a Spanish bootblack, not with generic types. This warning is doubly necessary with reference to Freemasonry, Communism, and Catholicism, the interpretation of which will undoubtedly clash with the American reader’s concept of these doctrines.

    The book’s protagonist–Ignacio Alvear–is a type of young man who abounds in present-day Spain.

    Palma de Mallorca, Spain
    August 1954

    José Maria Gironella”

  • Just to follow up on Donald’s recommendation: You really can’t do better than to read Gironella’s trilogy. Thus far I’ve read the first two, and I want to read the third. They are truly brilliant, and they give you the more immediate sense of the war, and the way that sin begets sin. The sinned against, if they are not killed, often themselves become the sinners. Righteous anger begets unrighteous revenge.

    You don’t for a moment forget what side Gironella fought on, and yet he loves Spain so much he can’t help but make you understand and love even the people who would have shot at him.

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  • I was flipping around the radio dial last night and I ran across Michael Savage (who I wouldn’t normally listen to). He was discussing the Spanish Civil War. Odd coincidence.

Seymour Hersch Channels Dan Brown

Wednesday, January 19, AD 2011


Hattip to Christopher Johnson at Midwest Conservative Journal.  Seymour Hersch, part time left wing loon and full time writer at the New Yorker, critiques US policy in the Middle East and blames us papists:

In a speech billed as a discussion of the Bush and Obama eras, New Yorker journalist Seymour Hersh delivered a rambling, conspiracy-laden diatribe here Monday expressing his disappointment with President Barack Obama and his dissatisfaction with the direction of U.S. foreign policy.

“Just when we needed an angry black man,” he began, his arm perched jauntily on the podium, “we didn’t get one.”

It quickly went downhill from there.

Hersh, whose exposés of gross abuses by members of the U.S. military in Vietnam and Iraq have earned him worldwide fame and high journalistic honors, said he was writing a book on what he called the “Cheney-Bush years” and saw little difference between that period and the Obama administration.

He said that he was keeping a “checklist” of aggressive U.S. policies that remained in place, including torture and “rendition” of terrorist suspects to allied countries, which he alleged was ongoing.

He also charged that U.S. foreign policy had been hijacked by a cabal of neoconservative “crusaders” in the former vice president’s office and now in the special operations community.

“What I’m really talking about is how eight or nine neoconservative, radicals if you will, overthrew the American government. Took it over,” he said of his forthcoming book. “It’s not only that the neocons took it over but how easily they did it — how Congress disappeared, how the press became part of it, how the public acquiesced.”

Hersh then brought up the widespread looting that took place in Baghdad after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. “In the Cheney shop, the attitude was, ‘What’s this? What are they all worried about, the politicians and the press, they’re all worried about some looting? … Don’t they get it? We’re gonna change mosques into cathedrals. And when we get all the oil, nobody’s gonna give a damn.'”

“That’s the attitude,” he continued. “We’re gonna change mosques into cathedrals. That’s an attitude that pervades, I’m here to say, a large percentage of the Joint Special Operations Command.”

He then alleged that Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who headed JSOC before briefly becoming the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, and his successor, Vice Adm. William McRaven, as well as many within JSOC, “are all members of, or at least supporters of, Knights of Malta.”

Hersh may have been referring to the Sovereign Order of Malta, a Roman Catholic organization commited to “defence of the Faith and assistance to the poor and the suffering,” according to its website.

“Many of them are members of Opus Dei,” Hersh continued. “They do see what they’re doing — and this is not an atypical attitude among some military — it’s a crusade, literally. They see themselves as the protectors of the Christians. They’re protecting them from the Muslims [as in] the 13th century. And this is their function.”

“They have little insignias, these coins they pass among each other, which are crusader coins,” he continued. “They have insignia that reflect the whole notion that this is a culture war. … Right now, there’s a tremendous, tremendous amount of anti-Muslim feeling in the military community.””

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47 Responses to Seymour Hersch Channels Dan Brown

  • Any proof given?

    When intelligent (READ: conservative or tea party) people are involved the morons lose: they do not have ANY evidence. As in names, dates, places, numbers, inventories of loot, . . .

    OTOH, You got to give the devil his due. Obama has ended “enhanced interrogation” and replaced with assassinations by unmanned aerial drones. A stopped clock is correct twice a day.

    Anyway, this is extremely dangerous. There are thousands of drug-deranged, totally vicious liberal losers that are (truth) so moronic as to believe this stuff.

    Worse: they’ll blame Sarah (Palin 2012!!!) the next time her Church burns down. And, Rush Limbaugh for the next assassination (by a drug-crazed liberal loser) of a GOP-appointed Justice about to rule on the (genuflect!) Obama agenda.

    Suppose you were an idiot. And, suppose you were a liberal. But, I repeat myself.

  • First, I am serving in Afghanistan and Stash did not give me crusader coin, “whats up with that”.

    Second, Mr Hersch was once the press secretary to presedential candidate Eugene McCarthy, ’nuff said”. Extreme Liberal.

    What is it with these old reporters/columnists (Helen Thomas) who just keep their opinions to themselves.

  • God keep you and protect you stan and thank you for your service to our country. If you do get some of those crusader coins, save one for me!

  • Afghani”stan”

    God Bless you.

    Our son was there in 2009. He is set to go again in March.

    Keep alert. Stay safe.

    We love you. You wonderful guys are in our prayers morning and night.

  • Hersch clearly got carried away by pointing fingers at just about everyone, but he wasn’t far wrong about the crooked Cheney bunch who made hundreds of millions of dollars in blood money off the Iraq slaughter through Halliburton, et al. One wonders why Cheney would consider a heart transplant when it doesn’t appear he has one.

    Read “The New American Century,” hatched by the neocons about 10 years ago that said “absent a Pearl Harbor,” it would be difficult to revive defense spending. They got their wish with 9/11 and, no, I am not a conspiracy theorist, just stating a fact that gave the shot in the arm the sagging military-industrial complex needed.

  • Careful Joe.

    “Blood money” is awful close to “blood libel.” As we know from Palin’s use of that term, it is anti-semitic. Your use of the term can equally be considered anti-semitic especially in conjunction with your use of the word “slaughter.” Add to this that Cheney is from Wyoming which is next to Idaho which has a large number of extreme rightists, then you are clearly invoking violence.

  • Phil, I’ll take your comments as tongue-in-cheek, but if not then I’ll be careful and watch my back.

  • Joe,

    I’m controlling your dream reality as I write. You will not be able to watch your back. 😉

  • Second, Mr Hersch was once the press secretary to presedential candidate Eugene McCarthy, ’nuff said”. Extreme Liberal.

    Hersch was let go by the McCarthy campaign. Hersch contended that McCarthy took no interest in race relations and so he (Hersch) had to leave in conscience. Martin Peretz, then employed by the campaign, said that Hersch was lying and that he departed the campaign because McCarthy did not think that Hersch as his press secretary was charged with policy-making duties.

    Sen. McCarthy might be criticized for ineffectuality (with regard to the slide of the Democratic Party into the status of cat’s paw of the Planned Parenthood Federation) but was a detatched and ironic mainline Democrat, not an extremist. Hersch’s sensibility bears no resemblance to McCarthy’s and the two manifested little in common in the years after 1968.

  • but he wasn’t far wrong about the crooked Cheney bunch who made hundreds of millions of dollars in blood money off the Iraq slaughter through Halliburton, et al.

    1. Richard Cheney worked for Halliburton for all of four years.

    2. Who is ‘the Cheney bunch’?

    3. Why is their compensation as a government contractor ‘blood money’?

  • 1. “For all of four years”…resigned to avoid “conflict of interest” when he became VP. Meanwhile, racked up $30 million (known) net worth.
    2. ‘Cheney Bunch’ includes the following: Elliott Abrams Gary Bauer William J. Bennett Jeb Bush Dick Cheney Eliot A. Cohen Midge Decter Paula Dobriansky Steve Forbes Aaron Friedberg Francis Fukuyama Frank Gaffney Fred C. Ikle Donald Kagan Zalmay Khalilzad I. Lewis Libby Norman Podhoretz Dan Quayle Peter W. Rodman Stephen P. Rosen Henry S. Rowen Donald Rumsfeld Vin Weber George Weigel Paul Wolfowitz.
    3. Because they make it by killing innocents and then get no-bid awards to rebuild what they destroyed.

  • Never new Halliburton killed people. I thought they were into oil rigging.

  • As someone wise once said, “You think you die for your country, but you actually die for some industrialist.”

  • Just because some wackjobs buy into every conspiracy doesn’t mean there aren’t any conspiracies. Human history is full of them, chiefly one of the close followers of a certain Jewish Rabi we are all familiar with who conspired with the Sanhedrin to have Him killed. It is illogical to be Catholic and not believe in the existence of human conspirators – the Church, as promised by her Founder, is the object of many evil conspiracies and will always be. Somehow, I don’t think that space aliens have anything to do with that though 🙂

    When we give up our analysis due to the false left-right paradigm, we miss much.

    Sometimes conspiracies are made of convenient enemies who happen to have aligned interests at the time, sometimes it is because some people are just opportunists and sometimes it is an actual conspiracy in order to achieve an evil end.

    I was not against the Iraq war, at the time, partly because there was evidence, at the time, of the presence and willingness to use WMD, after all, Rumsfeld and Cheney sold them to Saddam to use against Iran in the 80s. What I think is a conspiracy is the fact that we are still there – it does not take this long for the finest military the world has ever seen to effect regime change and destroy an opposition army. It is silly to engage in guerrilla warfare in a foreign country. So why are we still there? Could it be part of a Persian flanking maneuver? Could it be very profitable for some people? Could it be that a state of war will always allow the welfare-warfare corporatist state to expand and work its way toward absolutism?

    It seems to be yes, on all fronts – that is a conspiracy.

    Notwithstanding the inane anti-Catholicism, do any of you really disbelieve that the enemies of the Church have entered the Church? Have you seen the damage done to Her? Sure, Holy Mother Church will be here until the end of time, but we have no guarantee that it will be anything more than a small remnant of saints. Of course, these saints can change the world.

    The problem is labels – it is not a right-wing, or a left-wing conspiracy, it is the result of Libido Dominandi, the Lust for Power driven by pride, sin and disobedience and in many cases humans who are in full cooperation with the demonic. Neocons are corporatist statists, modern liberals are corporatist statists and they exist in both parties (if there are in fact two parties) and they have been running this country into the ground. A great Republic like ours does not get brought down except from the inside, and that is a conspiracy.

    The days of this conspiracy are coming to an end – either the fulfillment of the conspiracy will occur soon and we will all be slaves, or, as I think will occur, we will thwart and destroy the conspiracy – for now anyway. Remember, the chief conspirator never sleeps and is always on the prowl to devour souls.

  • I am willing to bet that less than one percent of the people who ascribe dark motives to Haliburton have no clue what it does or what its operations in the Middle East are comprised of.

    As for conspiracy mongering in general, it’s a counter-productive activity. Instead of focusing on the content of the policy disagreement, conspiracy mongers prefer to see evil intent behind said policy. This of course only perpetuates the status quo. After all, if all the bad things the government does are due to the fact that most are slaves to some ill-defined corporate entity, then really there’s not much we can do to change things. In other words, its an excuse for dropping out of politics altogether. In other, other words, it sanctions laziness.

  • Joe and Ak, loosen up the tinfoil hats. The idea that the Iraq war was fought to further corporate interests is as risible as the lunacy Hersch is peddling.

  • Paul, My point re Halliburton can best be summed up by this definition by Ambrose Bierce:

    ‘Corporation: An ingenious device for obtaining profit without individual responsibility.’

  • Of course that idea has a long pedigree. Isolationists in the thirties were peddling the idea that sinister arms merchants were behind World War I, the so-called merchants of death. It was all rot, without a shred of evidence to support it, but a lot of people bought into it, with Congressional hearings held in regard to it. It gave a strong impetus to the isolationist movement in this country, and helped ensure that the US entered World War II badly unprepared.

  • Donald, I find your rejoinder close to ad hominem, which is out of character for one who purports to conduct a fair and open forum. Beneath the “tinfoil hat” you assert I wear, there lies a brain that attempts to do some critical thinking. There is ample evidence to suggest that Halliburton and other war contractors benefited enormously by the Iraq war. But in the spirit of civility sought by our President, I hereby will refrain from casting any aspersions on a corporation or those associated with it.

  • And Joe is no closer to providing an actual description of what Haliburton does, how it influenced policy, or how it has blood on its hands. More vague insinuations about a shadowy corporation. Nothing of substance.

  • I have a strong antipathy to conspiracy theories Joe. Throughout history belief in such theories, almost always unfounded, has wreaked much havoc.

  • Paul,

    Acknowledging a conspiracy does not make one politically lazy. In some cases it can inspire political action. If the conspiracy does exist, and we know that conspiracies do exist and you ignore it, then your political action will probably be rendered inert.

    I think one can take conspiracy too far, in the sense that everything is so secret that anything is possible – this of course, can only occur from a materialist perspective. With eyes of faith we know, not only do conspiracies exist, but that we can’t and don’t need to know everything about them because we trust in Divine Providence. Materialists are fools, and sadly, some are Christian, as if God did not know that the Enemy was tempting Adam and Eve in the garden.

    If we look at the evidence and employ some critical thinking and understand a little about power and human nature – then the conspiracies are fairly obvious. There is a money-power conspiracy in nearly every government and almost always and everywhere. The power of government is too tempting for sinners. If not for conspiracies and government abuse, why would the Founding Fathers have conspired to commit treason by rebelling against the Crown and then drafting Articles of Confederation to ensure that the same conspiracy did not befall them again?

    Don, I only wear the tinfoil hat to keep my hair out of my eyes, everyone knows that aluminum does nothing against Death Rays and H.A.A.R.P bombardments from Alaska.

    Don, where did I say that the second Iraq war was fought ONLY for corporate interests? I suppose you think the hack Eisenhower was wrong about the military-industrial complex too. I think Iraq was a legitimate war, given the circumstances at the time. I think we should have gone in with more force and wrapped it up much sooner and been far more concerned about liberating Muslims to allow them to kill Christians, intentionally or unintentionally (and no for this I don’t blame Bush – but those left-wing neocons). Nevertheless, a perpetual state of war is in no way in the best interest of a Republic – this is the action of Empire and an Empire abroad is always despotic at home.

    Don, There is no question that J.P Morgan and the mercantilist-Anglophile elite pushed us into WWI, what was the American interest in that mess, other than to bring about Wilson’s League of Nations to rule and order the world according to the scientific-technocrats superior ideas of social engineering and eradicate the true enemy, the Popish Church. Versailles guaranteed that we’d have to go back and fight Hitler, so long as we don’t damage any of the I.G. Farben/Rockefeller buildings of course.

    Don, throwing around a word like isolationist detracts from the validity that most of the wars we have been driven into and the perpetual state of undeclared war since WWII and Korea are NOT within the interests of the USA. Surely, we can agree on that.

  • Don,

    Did the Jacobins hatch a conspiracy? Was the havoc that ensued because of the Jacobins, or those who tried to fight the conspiracy?

  • Paul, Donald, et al…To document the vast array of facts regarding Halliburton and other war profiteers going back decades would not only take up too much bandwidth but also challenge the ‘conventional’ wisdom found hereabouts and subject me to further verbal assault. Though I have donned my flame-retardant suit, I nonetheless find the heat uncomfortable and wish to retain good relations with all those on TAC, which otherwise brooks dissent on a variety of topics.

  • Coincidence?

    Company Name Profits BEFORE WWI Profits by the end of WWI

    DuPont (Gunpowder) $ 6,000,000 $ 58.000,000
    Bethlehem Steel $ 6,000,000 $ 49,000,000
    United States Steel $ 105,000,000 $ 240,000,000
    Anaconda $ 10,000,000 $ 34,000,000
    Utah Copper $ 5,000,000 $ 21,000,000
    Central Leather Company $ 3,500,000 $ 15,000,000
    International Nickel Company $ 4,000,000 $ 73,000,000
    American Sugar Refining Company $ 2,000,000 $ 6,000,000

    Source: “War is a Racket”

  • Joe,

    I am not challenging your premise, because I suspect, to a large part we agree; however, correlation does not prove causation. Furthermore, not all war is a racket. Just wars are a necessary part of human life and history. Profits earned during a just war are not necessarily unjust and not necessarily part of a racket or conspiracy.

    Of course, humans without informed moral consciences, will prefer to have business guaranteed than compete in a market and war tends to move a populace to rally for support because the fear becomes existential.

    For example, we are at war with Muslim terrorists; however, this war is ill defined as the War on Terror, as if we can eradicate terror. In fact, this is a war OF terror and it is being fought against us. Does that mean that Muslim terrorists are not dangerous and that we should not deal with them, even if that means invading a host or supporting country – of course not. We have every right and in many cases duty to prosecute military action against them; however, that isn’t what we are doing most of the time. It seems the answer to being attacked by Al Qua’ida is to pass the Patriot Act. I thought it would have been better to just kill Osama, like when Clinton and Berger had the opportunity – I wonder why they didn’t squeeze the trigger.

    Oceana needs be at war with EastAsia or EuraAsia at all times to keep the citizens of Oceana under control.

  • AK, as defined by Augustine and Aquinas, perhaps the last “just war” was World War II. That profits inevitably flow from war is indisputable, but I’d agree that correlation is at times nebulous. Ike’s famous 1961 speech (delivered 50 years ago almost to the day) on the military industrial complex is worth re-reading.

    As for perpetual war for perpetual peace, Orwell sums up Oceania thusly:

    The primary aim of modern warfare (in accordance with the principles of doublethink, this aim is simultaneously recognized and not recognized by the directing brains of the Inner Party) is to use up the products of the machine without raising the general standard of living. Ever since the end of the nineteenth century, the problem of what to do with the surplus of consumption goods has been latent in industrial society. At present, when few human beings even have enough to eat, this problem is obviously not urgent, and it might not have become so, even if no artificial processes of destruction had been at work.

  • Donald, 2 Medals of Honor, a long and distinguished military career, I’d say he has some cred. Or don’t you believe that contemporary witness is best in recording history. Were this not so, Matthew, Mark, Luke & John could be readily dismissed and yet we Christians rely on them (and Paul) for much of what we believe.

  • Actually Joe, contemporary accounts indicate a wide spread belief that Butler fabricated the whole thing. Butler was passed over as Commandant of the Marine Corp in 1931 because he publicly accused Mussolini in a speech of having run over a child. He never got over it and he ran unsuccessfully for the Senate in 1932 as a Republican. He then turned hard left, attacking capitalism and the military as being gangsters for the capitalists. That is what makes his entire idea of a fascist plot against FDR so laughable. By 1934 he was known as an ardent supporter of FDR and yet shadowy plutocrats wanted him to command a coup against Roosevelt? FDR obviously thought it was rubbish as there were no criminal prosecutions by the Feds of anyone named by Butler. Butler was a very brave man as attested by his two medals of honor. He was also a fabulist, to put it politely, of the first order.

  • Re: Halliburton… I think people are just peeved at them because the French company Schlumberger didn’t get the contract. BooHoo. 😉

  • To document the vast array of facts regarding Halliburton and other war profiteers going back decades would not only take up too much bandwidth but also challenge the ‘conventional’ wisdom found hereabouts and subject me to further verbal assault.

    This is a very long way of saying you don’t have anything substantial to back up your allegations. Color me surprised.

  • Donald, no doubt he had his critics. Who doesn’t? Still, I would take his views with more than a grain.

    Tex: Your francophobia is showing. : )

  • Paul, the evidence is substantial, compelling fact-checkable and easily accessible to any objective investigator. That’s the short of it.

  • Finally (I promise), I hate to resort to a cliche, but connect the dots.

  • Joe, in part that is a kitchen sink list of professors, politicians, and wonks who have had, at one time or another since 1969, some sort of employment in the foreign policy apparat. However, you have also leavened it with a miscellany of others you appear not to care for, including a history professor at Yale, a theologian at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a publisher of business and travel magazines, and a retired editor at Basic Books. Several of these people held appointive positions contemporary with Cheney’s in the Ford Administration (in which Cheney was Rumsfeld’s subordinate, not the other way around), the 1st Bush Administration, and the 2d Bush Administration. Few other than Lewis Libby might be called Cheney proteges. His association with most, however, is limited to being a registered Republican with some entree into certain circles.

    Because they make it by killing innocents

    Who? where?

  • Art, They are ALL signatories to the 1997 New American Century think thank document (since disbanded), which posits:
    * we need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future;
    * we need to strengthen our ties to democratic allies and to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values;
    * we need to promote the cause of political and economic freedom abroad; [and]
    * we need to accept responsibility for America’s unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.

    Interpreted by some, this is but another blank check for militarism and imperialism.

  • Right Joe. The truth is out there.

  • I’m reminded of an old Jewish joke: a Jewish immigrant visits a deli and horrifies his friends by pulling out a notorious anti-Semitic rag to read while he’s eating his lox and bagel. “Abie, how can you read such a disgusting paper!,” they exclaim. ” It’s full of lies!”

    Abie replies, “When I read the Yiddish papers, all the stories are sad ones about pogroms and persecutions of Jews. When I read this one, it goes on about how our bankers run the whole world and how all Jews are smart and rich. This one makes me feel much better!”

    Similiarly, it’s a bit more fun to fantasize about the fabulous Knights of Malta, the ever-mysterious Opus Dei and crusader coins than it is for me to read the letter I just got from Archbishop Listecki regarding our Chapter 11 reorganization. Hey, Opus Dei, send a few crusader coins our way!

    But then I remember that there are people in the world who both take Hersh’s ridiculous theories to heart and are in a position to hurt Catholics and other Christians living in Muslim countries. Then Hersh’s absurdities aren’t so amusing.

  • Although it was founded by the Alsatian brothers, Schlumberger, since the 1940s the company has had its headquarters in Houston Texas USA.

  • Conspiracies a absolutely do exist. FDR once said: “If something happens in Washington, you can bet it was planned. Does that mean all conspiracy theories are true? Of course, not, but a few things that were once “conspiracy theories” but later turned out to be conspiracy fact: 1) banker’s plotted to seized the White House and overthrow Roosevelt (true: check out Semedley Butler and find the Congresssional Hearings classified until the mid 1980s, 2) the Contra-Cocaine affaire, 3) MKultra (yes, the CIA contracted prolific research on mind control), 4) FDR knew about the Pearl Harbor attack (last evidence to prove that came in in the last two years), 5) American bankers did business with the Nazis AFTER World War II had started (recent declassification of Justice Department documents have proved this true), 6) filibusters were an organized effort to create a “greater South” directed by a Secret Society called the Golden Circle (true, despite the fact National Treasure II tried to “fictionalize” much of this story. That’s only a half dozen of “loon” conspiracy theories that have been proved to be real plots or events.

    Now, is Hersch right on his charges? I have no idea, but try checking out the unit patches and symbols used by various departments of the military (you can start with the School of the Americas) and you do see over and over that the symbol includes symbols of Knights of Pythagoras, Knights of Columbus, the ubiquitous “all seeing eye” (NASA has a bunch of these on recent military missions, etc.. It is intriguing that these are chosen so often. Does each one have a link to a secret society or conspiracy thereof. No doubt the answer would be no, but are some quite possibly linked to a conspiracy or cabal within the military? Dismissing the idea out of hand is just intellectually lazy and possibly dangerous. Of all the real secret societies and plots that have ever existed, well over half have been associated the military, mercenaries, or some other paramilitary organization. What kind of hubris does it take to believe that we’re beyond all that in an era where “secrecy” is increasingly cloaking every thing the military and Homeland Security is involved in?

    Doubt Hersch? Sure. Dismiss him? I don’t think we should.

  • Blake Hounshell has a follow up today. We can diss Hersh as a loon but this is truly sad:

    “More than a few readers, including Salon’s Glenn Greenwald, complained that I hadn’t rebutted Hersh’s arguments… I imagine that when most reasonable people read the transcript — I don’t have a video, unfortunately — they will see what I’m talking about… I thought it was self-evident that several points Hersh made were off-base and conspiratorial, but perhaps it’s worth spelling things out for everyone.”

  • “There’s a lot more, but you get the idea. So I’m going to go out on a limb here and just say it: Odds are good that JSOC is not being overrun by Catholic fanatics.”

    That is sad RR. Apparently for some people no mad rantings are too bizarre to believe if Catholics can be painted as villains.

  • “1) banker’s plotted to seized the White House and overthrow Roosevelt (true: check out Semedley Butler and find the Congresssional Hearings classified until the mid 1980s”

    No, actually the evidence was that Smedley Butler was a fabulist in regard to his statements about this conspiracy, as demonstated by FDR’s Justice Department making no attempt to indict anyone name by Butler.

    “2) the Contra-Cocaine affaire-”

    The Reagan administration admitted at the time that some of the Contras had engaged in cocaine dealing to support their operations.

    “3. MKultra (yes, the CIA contracted prolific research on mind control),”

    The CIA wasted a fair amount of money in the fifties and sixties on mind control, telekinesis, mind reading, ESP and other nutty dead ends. MK Ultra has become a source of endless loony conspiracy theories as a google search will reveal.

    “4) FDR knew about the Pearl Harbor attack (last evidence to prove that came in in the last two years)”

    That is complete and total bunk.

    5) American bankers did business with the Nazis AFTER World War II had started (recent declassification of Justice Department documents have proved this true).

    Almost complete bunk. American banks and companies had ties with German companies and banks. The idea that this constituted doing business with the Nazis is a staple of conspiracy theories on the far left and far right, usually involving Prescott Bush. Go to the link below to separate fact from fancy:

    “6) filibusters were an organized effort to create a “greater South” directed by a Secret Society called the Golden Circle”

    The Knights of the Golden Circle was a remarkably ineffective Southern “secret” organization that was well known throughout the North during the Civil War.

    “Dismissing the idea out of hand is just intellectually lazy and possibly dangerous.”

    No, believing in conspiracy theories without solid evidence is intellectually lazy and almost always dangerous for societies if enough people begin to believe in them.

  • Re FDR, Donald, a lot of smoke if no fire:

  • No smoke and no fire Joe. Gordon Prange, a historian who clearly despised FDR, in his definitive Pearl Harbor: The Verdict of History demolished the argument that FDR knew in advance of Pearl Harbor.

Of Politics, Bigotry and Stupidity

Thursday, October 28, AD 2010

A week before the Presidential election in 1884, the Reverend Samuel D. Burchard, a Presbyterian minister, at a Republican gathering denounced the Democrats as the party of “Rum, Romanism and Rebellion”.  James G. Blaine, the Republican candidate, denounced the anti-Catholic remarks three days later, but it was too late and Blaine lost the election.  The memorable phrase helped cement most Catholics as Democrats for a century.

Now the Minnesota Democrat Farmer Labor Party (Minnesota Democrats) are doing their best to help drive Catholics into the arms of the Republican Party with this piece of tripe:

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20 Responses to Of Politics, Bigotry and Stupidity

  • It’s an asinine ad, but I would tend to doubt that the progenitor had Catholic priests in mind. Minnesota is chock-a-block with Lutherans:

  • I doubt Art if even in Minnesota the first thing that people think of when they view that ad is a Lutheran minister.

  • Lutherans are a small minority in the country at large but abnormally concentrated in the upper Midwest. Spelunking about I found a datum that fully a third of the population of Minnesota identify themselves as Lutherans. Another quarter identify themselves as Catholics. There is likely a small population of Anglicans and Orthodox in Minnesota as well. That would mean roughly 60% of the population of Minnesota identifies themselves with a denomination where the clergy wear collars, or likely around two-thirds of those who would offer the pollster a denomination if asked. That being the case, the generic image of the clergyman in Minnesota would likely be a man with a collar, and in Minnesota it is Lutherans (not Catholics) who are the mode.

    Still, that’s Hendrick Hertzberg’s image of the clergy. Not too sweet.

  • The story says they claim the ad was “taken out of context”!!! The ultimate lamo excuse – that just makes it worse!!! So what is the context that somehow makes it better (context never provided)?

  • Hmm…now that I read the alleged context (Disputations has it), I am still not completely convinced that some animosity toward religion (and Catholics in particular) didn’t play a part, but it is possible that gross stupidity and really really really bad judgment had a bigger role.

  • Perhaps it is more a reference to Lutherans. Perhaps, even as the linked AOL story at Disputations notes, it qualifies its message and thus is not anti-Catholic but rather pokes at an implied hypocrisy of a Pentacostal minister.

    I do find the second more difficult. Certainly Pentacostals and probably Lutherans do not have neo-gothic altars with St. Anthony front and center.

    Perhaps they’re clumsily drawing attention to the faith of Hall. Though in the second photo I suspect they are clearly using Catholic imagery. Is that anti-Catholic? Let’s ask NPR 🙂

  • Ah, the good old day, when the Dems were the party of rum, romanism, and rebellion… three praiseworthy things!

  • To me it looks like the ads are intended to point out that Dan Hall is a hypocrite. I don’t find them anti-Catholic. I think the ads against Dan Webster which criticize him for quoting scripture and the ridiculing of Christine O’Donnell for stating Church teaching are anti-Christian/Catholic.

  • Thank God for these comments. I thought I was the only one thinking this.

    I don;t see these ads as Anti Catholic. I think in a sense they are quite clever in making trying to make a Catholic Social Justice argument. Now people might disagree with that argument of the application of that argument but it needs to replied to with a Social Justice argument. NOT shrill cries of anti Catholicism.

    THere is plenty of anti Catholicism around that is for sure. But I don’t see it here

  • The image in the 2d flyer is distinctly Catholic.

    It would not surprise me, however, to discover that the progenitors of this mess could not recognize the difference between a Catholic church and a Quaker meeting house. Using a statue of St. Anthony to make a snide point against a minister of the Assemblies of God seems … confused.

  • “I think in a sense they are quite clever in making trying to make a Catholic Social Justice argument.”

    Only if we redefine clever as mindboggingly stupid jh.

  • Yes, it is clever – progressively clever.

  • ““I think in a sense they are quite clever in making trying to make a Catholic Social Justice argument.”

    Only if we redefine clever as mindboggingly stupid jh.”

    Well I don’t see it as stupid. Everyone knopws Catholic Priests and the Church don’t hate the poor. Everyone knows the famous scripture verse is Blessed be the Poor.

    It seems to have worked because everyone is talking about it and the best it appears we can do is shout anti Catholicism without responding back with arguments. Sort of like it is the new racist.

    So I find it effective so far, I hate that but so far the response to this has not been that clever to me

  • Well I don’t see it as stupid. Everyone knopws Catholic Priests and the Church don’t hate the poor.

    Really? Are you forgetting about all the rhetoric from the left during Obamcare debate? There were lot of accusations about Catholics hating the poor. Silly, ignorant, crazy even, but it is definitely there.

  • “It seems to have worked because everyone is talking about it”

    Yes, as an example of raw bigotry. The Democrat opposing Dan Hall has disowned it. If this ad is “working” jh, it is working for the Republicans.

  • Here is another example of anti-Catholic prejudice this election season:

  • If this were done to Muslims, someone would have been decapitated or blown to bits already, and others would be without jobs, and the whole media would be ablaze with fresh convictions that we are a racist and bigoted country.

    It really is the last acceptable form of bigotry. That’s why I can, only with the greatest of effort, muster anything beyond the level of disgust and contempt to interact with one of these blind hypocrites.

  • this is clearly targeted at Catholics since the recent DVD promoting the campaign against gay marriage. An odd position for an eveangelical, but anti-Catholic still sells well in MN

  • I was sort of on the fence when it was just the collar; the follow-up ad pretty much sealed it.

    They’re either invoking Christianity is Catholic (a dumb move) or they’re attacking the Church. (a REALLY dumb move)

    On a side note: a lot of folks who self-identify as Catholic can’t stand the traditional Catholic stuff like a guy in black with a Roman collar or the shiny, elaborate alcove with the statue. They also tend to be rather liberal… take as you will.

  • “Certainly Pentacostals and probably Lutherans do not have neo-gothic altars with St. Anthony front and center”

    I have seen pictures of at least one Lutheran church in Central Illinois that does appear to have a sort of “neo gothic” altar or reredos up front (this was a wedding picture of the bride and groom posing in front of the altar, for what it’s worth). I didn’t see any statues, though, and I highly doubt that any Lutheran church would have statues.

    Nevertheless, I am sometimes startled by the liturgical similarities between Catholics and (some) Lutherans… their Sunday services often follow the same cycle of readings that ours do, and I once attended a Lutheran funeral whose order of service was strikingly similar to the Liturgy of the Word/Eucharist that we have.

    Even so, the second ad is definitely anti-Catholic. The first ad probably is also although there are Protestant clergy who wear Roman collars.

Dr. Kenneth Howell-Update

Monday, July 26, AD 2010

Back on July 9, here, I wrote about Dr. Kenneth Howell who was fired by the University of Illinois for setting forth Catholic doctrine on homosexuality in a class that he was teaching on Catholicism pursuant to a contract between the University of Illinois and the local Newman Center on campus.  On July 14, I reported here that the firing was under review by a faculty committee of the University of Illinois.  The committee hasn’t completed its review, but there have been a few developments that I thought our readers might find interesting.

1.  An interesting story here by the News-Gazette, the local Champaign-Urbana paper, detailing how Dr. Howell went from a Presbyterian Minister to a lay Catholic.

2.  The Alliance Defense Fund which is representing Dr. Howell, sent a letter to the University of Illinois on July 12, demanding his reinstatement.  Read the letter here.  The Alliance Defense Fund highlights the absurdity of this situation rather well with this statement:  “A university cannot censor professors’ speech–including classroom speech related to the topic of the class–merely because certain ideas ‘offend’ an anonymous student,” said ADF Senior Counsel David French. “To fire a professor for teaching the actual subject matter of his course is outrageous. It’s ridiculous that a school would fire a professor without even giving him a chance to defend himself when he simply taught Catholic beliefs in a class about Catholic beliefs.”

3.  One thing I have learned while examining this controversy is just what a nice guy Dr. Howell is, and how open to argument and debate he is.  These characteristics are both noted by atheist John Loftus at his website here.  Dr. Howell is a model of what a university Professor should be:  knowledgeable as to his subject and willing to discuss and debate with anyone in an atmosphere of mutual respect and open inquiry.  That a man of his calibre has been subject to this type of politically correct firing is a total travesty.

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9 Responses to Dr. Kenneth Howell-Update

  • At the risk of complicating things, it should be noted that Howell’s status as “adjunct” allows UI to fire him for “no cause.” They therefore are not legally obliged to state the rationale behind his termination. Whether this is right or wrong, it’s perfectly legal.

    Secondly, as other publications have pointed out (most notably Inside Higher Ed), Howell was the beneficiary of a particularly odd arrangement between the Diocese and the University, according to which the faculty of Religious Studies had no say in his hiring, even though he was teaching classes in their department. The Diocese’s refusal to allow for peer review of their hiring decision thus rankled the faculty for a long time prior to this event, which was (in my opinion) merely an opportune moment for them to pounce. The arrangement itself was pretty delicate and tenuous, and I can see how, no matter what Howell was teaching, the mere fact of his being appointed outside regular procedures may have upset a good number of faculty.

    All this is to say nothing of his email, the merits and problems with it, whether he is being made a scapegoat (he undoubtedly is, in my opinion), but merely to point out that there is a much more complicated backstory there.

  • They therefore are not legally obliged to state the rationale behind his termination. Whether this is right or wrong, it’s perfectly legal.

    Perhaps Mr. McClarey might clarify whether, under Illinois law, they can be compelled to give an accounting of themselves before a committee of the legislature.

  • Art Deco,

    I hope that Donald does clarify the point of law at issue, but my understanding is that, if UI were to defend their non-renewal of Howell’s contract on the basis of the email in question, this would indeed provide Howell with a colorable First Amendment suit against UI. However, UI need simply provide *no* reason for their termination of Howell in order to avoid such a suit. (Of course, their own statements about the Howell case might make this latter move a difficult one for them to make. It may be too late to avoid.)

    Still, what the backstory of Howell shows, at least to my mind, is that there *are* issues of academic freedom and governance at play here other than the immediate issue regarding Howell’s email.

  • WJ, that’s my (non-professional) understanding also: If UI had simply said “your services are no longer required” and nothing else they would have a hide-bound case to stand on. But they have already gone way, way beyond that, and it would probably be true that based on the public evidence, they would be forced to give up internal documents relating to the discussions before his firing. If the public and internal documents show an action taken precisely on account of his teaching of Catholic standards, they will be hung out to dry in court.

  • “At the risk of complicating things, it should be noted that Howell’s status as “adjunct” allows UI to fire him for “no cause.” They therefore are not legally obliged to state the rationale behind his termination. Whether this is right or wrong, it’s perfectly legal.”

    Illinois is an “at will” state. What this means is that traditionally in Illinois employees, absent a contract, could be fired for any or no reason. However this has been modified over the past few decades by federal and state legislation that has prevented employers for firing employees for discriminatory reasons.

    “I hope that Donald does clarify the point of law at issue, but my understanding is that, if UI were to defend their non-renewal of Howell’s contract on the basis of the email in question, this would indeed provide Howell with a colorable First Amendment suit against UI.”

    I believe that a 1983 civil rights discrimination action might well succeed. The University is a governmental institution, and I would imagine that internal U of I e-mails, all of which would have to be turned over for discovery, would present plenty of evidence that Howell was fired precisely because he was presenting Catholic doctrine. In short Howell was fired because he is a believing Catholic presenting Catholic doctrine in a class about Catholicism.

    “Perhaps Mr. McClarey might clarify whether, under Illinois law, they can be compelled to give an accounting of themselves before a committee of the legislature.”

    That is not uncommon. The University is a state supported institution and its employees can be called to testify about the operation of the University at any time by the legislature.

    The backdrop to this is a major scandal where members of the University co-operated with powerful politicians to rig admissions for the offspring of the influential.

    Sad to say, Illinois is a very corrupt state, and my alma mater fully reflects this wretched culture of corruption.

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  • I have written four time about this matter on my blog (click my name if you’re interested).

    In my eyes the matter of employment is secondary to the mater of freedom of expression and academic freedom. Dr. Howell will certainly have no problem whatsoever in finding another suitable position as his reputation was and is outstanding. It might be that he decides to leave whatever the outcome of this controversy.

    What I think is more important here is that the principle is established that a teacher of a Catholic course can’t be fired for teaching Catholicism and that homosexual “sensitivities” are no meter for deciding what the subject of a religious course should be.

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