Pope Benedict: Religious Freedom Under Threat in America

Friday, January 20, AD 2012

 

Pope Benedict, judging from this address on January 19 to American bishops in Rome, apparently understands the high stakes in the outcome of this year’s election, even if many American Catholics do not:

Dear Brother Bishops,

I greet all of you with fraternal affection and I pray that this pilgrimage of spiritual renewal and deepened communion will confirm you in faith and commitment to your task as Pastors of the Church in the United States of America. As you know, it is my intention in the course of this year to reflect with you on some of the spiritual and cultural challenges of the new evangelization.

One of the most memorable aspects of my Pastoral Visit to the United States was the opportunity it afforded me to reflect on America’s historical experience of religious freedom, and specifically the relationship between religion and culture. At the heart of every culture, whether perceived or not, is a consensus about the nature of reality and the moral good, and thus about the conditions for human flourishing. In America, that consensus, as enshrined in your nation’s founding documents, was grounded in a worldview shaped not only by faith but a commitment to certain ethical principles deriving from nature and nature’s God. Today that consensus has eroded significantly in the face of powerful new cultural currents which are not only directly opposed to core moral teachings of the Judeo-Christian tradition, but increasingly hostile to Christianity as such.

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9 Responses to Pope Benedict: Religious Freedom Under Threat in America

  • Quite timely, given the Administration’s offering of the tall finger of fellowship on conscience protections today.

  • “For though absent in body I am present in spirit, and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment in the name of the Lord Jesus on the man who has done such a thing. When you are assembled, and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man [or woman] to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his [or her] spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” 1st Corinthians 5:3-5

    It is now time for the Bishops to act consistent and in synchronicity with St. Paul’s instructions with respect to Kathleen Sebelius, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and all the rest of the liberal Catholycs who have exchanged the truth and mercy of God’s only begotten Son for the convenience of childlessness by murder and the fleeting pleasure of homosexual filth.

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  • The American atheist, in denying other citizens’ Creator endowed unalienable rights, forfeits his own unalienable rights and has no legal standing in a court of law and must be prevented from removing other civil liberties and freedoms set forth in our founding principles: The Declaration of Independence and our Constitution. The atheist may choose to be an atheist for himself, but the atheist may not choose atheism for me or any other human being endowed with unalienable rights to LIFE, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, our destiny as a person, as a citizen, as a people, and as a nation. Government of the people, for the people and by the people will have none of the chicanery going on in Washington: abortion is human sacrifice offered to the devil and the establishment of a religion. sue HHS. In cases of rape, the innocent victim is put to death for the crimes of his parents, JUSTICE? Fornication is the second form of religion to the devil. Lies, perjury, perversion. God created man in FREEDOM. NINCOMPOOPS, IMBECILES, IDIOTS, MORONS, MISCREANTS, THE HIERARCHY OF POLITICIANS IN WASHINGTON, EXCEPT CHRISTOPHER HENRY SMITH R. NJ. I feel bad Chris Smith has not be drafted for president. He’d be real good at it. And thank you for letting me sound off.

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  • I love Pope Benedict’s way with words in how he both teaches and cares about us :

    – the deepest truth about our being and ultimate vocation –
    – countering cultural currents which seek to promote notions of freedom detached from moral truth –
    – a worrying tendency to reduce religious freedom to mere freedom of worship without guarantees of respect for freedom of conscience –

    Our marching orders and perfect prayer intention for USA in:

    – a more consistent witness on the part of America’s Catholics –

    ” … or suppressing it in the name of political power or majority rule, they represent a threat not just to Christian faith, but also to humanity itself and to the deepest truth about our being and ultimate vocation, our relationship to God.”

    “With her long tradition of respect for the right relationship between faith and reason, the Church has a critical role to play in countering cultural currents which, on the basis of an extreme individualism, seek to promote notions of freedom detached from moral truth.”

    “Of particular concern are certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion. Many of you have pointed out that concerted efforts have been made to deny the right of conscientious objection on the part of Catholic individuals and institutions with regard to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices. Others have spoken to me of a worrying tendency to reduce religious freedom to mere freedom of worship without guarantees of respect for freedom of conscience.”

    “There can be no doubt that a more consistent witness on the part of America’s Catholics to their deepest convictions would make a major contribution to the renewal of society as a whole.”

  • @PM: Pope Benedict XVI’s words bear repeating. Thank you.

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Non-Human People

Thursday, August 18, AD 2011

(First time posting, so hopefully I don’t mess up the formatting too much; that would be a bit much after folks were kind enough to invite me to post!)

Time for a bit of Catholic applied to geekery! (Not to be confused with straight up Catholic Geekery, which is more the Holy Father’s area– does anyone doubt that he dearly loves thinking about, playing with and elaborating on Catholic theology? You just don’t end up writing THREE books on the life of Jesus without the love, intellectual interest and deep enjoyment of a geek for his geekdom.)

There’s something about Catholics and blogs that always ends up going into the old question of what makes a man– or, more correctly, a person. “Man” in this context would be a human, and there are several examples of people that aren’t humans– like most of the Trinity. Sadly, the topic usually comes up in terms of abortion; even the utterly simple-science-based reasoning that all humans are human and should be treated thus will bring out the attacks. (Amusingly, the line of attack is usually that someone is trying to force their religious beliefs on others, rather than an attempt to explain why a demonstrably human life is objectively different from, say, an adult human. The “bioethicist” Singer is famous for being open about valuing life in a utilitarian manner, but there aren’t many who will support that angle.[thank God])

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164 Responses to Non-Human People

  • Fascinating. If there are other sentient races in the universe then there arises the question as to whether God would provide ways for them to attain salvation other than through Christ. CS Lewis was intrigued by this question as demonstrated by his Out of the Silent Planet trilogy and the Narnia books.

  • When I think of what differentiates us as humans, Donald, I think of how we are spiritual beings. We yearn for God (whether we know it or not). And we of course look over the horizon to find something that will fill that gap. So we’re spiritual. As Augustine said, Thou hast made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless til they find their rest in Thee. We are at the center, too. There is a great chain even while Sir Lovejoy charted its intellectual demise. Regardless of our physical location in the universe, our spiritual plight places us right at the center. As far as we can tell, we alone are consciously troubled and preoccupied more than any other creature. We know of no others comparable to us.

  • “We know of no others comparable to us.”

    Yet.

  • Whether God created other beings than those mentioned in Scripture cannot now be known. Depsite what scientists have said, we live in a human-centered, geocentric universe till this day.

    C. S. Lewis was a fascinating, imaginative man, of course. His works are all classics. I appreciated The Abolition of Man. When we divorce our concept of man from the Christian worldview, we get a distortion. Our understanding is still dependent on the Christian worldview (to some extent). We’re at a transition, surviving on borrowed capital. But there are those who argue for a different view, and that other viewpoint is gaining in acceptance. So we have our feet in both worlds. Are we beings of worth and responsiblity? Or are we animals of instinct determined by forces?

    So what separates us? I don’t think it’s reason. I think it’s spirituality. We are accountable to God. He made us as priests over creation, to offer up sacrifices pleasing to Him. We failed in that assignment. So He initiated a rescue mission to restore us to that role. Once again we can be “priests of God and of Christ,” and we can reign with him (have dominion over creation). It’s the marriage of heaven and earth, where God, the temple, comes down to the garden never again to depart.

  • Priests and kings. We were created as priests and kings. To that we are restored if we are in Christ. This priestly and kingly role to which we’re assigned, then, is what differentiates us from all other created beings that are known.

    To possess dominion over creation, offering it back up to God, is the essence of the human being, I believe, when restored to God’s image. After all, who is God in whose image we were made?

  • Pat-
    I would agree “we” (culturally) are living on borrowed worldview– one of the things that this kind of discussion does is get people to realize how many of the things they assumed were just universal human views are Christian, and not shared by other cultures. (This is a major, major issue in dealing with time off the ship in the Navy–utterly ignoring the applications in terrorism!)

    I think the difference you draw between reason and spirituality might be an artifact of definition. Short version: you can’t be spiritual if you can’t choose.

    St. Augustine got it right in general, although I don’t think his biological detail is required:
    But whoever is anywhere born a man, that is, a rational, mortal animal, no matter what unusual appearance he presents in color, movement, sound, nor how peculiar he is in some power, part, or quality of his nature, no Christian can doubt that he springs from that one protoplast. We can distinguish the common human nature from that which is peculiar, and therefore wonderful.

  • Well, Foxfier: People have long distinguished us on the basis of reason. But do not animals reason? I have before me a dog that reasons. She’s not apparently spiritual, though. So I guess that’s the sense in which I meant to get that difference across. (Also, people vary in mental capability and sometimes profoundly so). I trace ‘the reason thing’ to the Greeks, Aquinas, Western phil., Victorian sensibility. I don’t think of it as a purely Christian notion. We’re spiritual beings, I know. I don’t know that reason really separates us from other seen beings. First of all I don’t know that we all reason. Secondly, I’m not sure all other seen beings don’t.

  • It’s that priestly and kingly role to which we were assigned that separates us from the rest of creation. We were to reign over it and offer it back up to God. We failed in that mission. He in His goodness, came down to us as high priest in Jesus Christ offering up a perfect sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world. He thereby restored us to Himself. We are atoned for. We find in Christ our roles re-established. Priests of God and of Christ who reign with Him. There’s a polis in a garden that God has sanctified. He’s Immanuel forevermore.

    The human being is made in God’s image, fallen in Adam, and then redeemed and restored in Christ. Made by a triune God, we find our fulfillment in Him and in His community, the New People. The world is very old and is passing away.

  • You know I’ve been tempted to use reason and/or morality to separate us from other beings. It just doesn’t make any sense. Unless you’re living in one of the better parts of Victorian London. No. People are different from animals because they are spiritual beings, made in God’s image, and fallen from thence, though redeemable in Christ. This is our essence.

  • But do not animals reason?

    In this meaning of reason, no, they don’t reason, are not rational beings. Mental capacity of an individual is likewise not involved– we’re talking classes, groups, not individuals. I don’t remove your soul if I do so much brain damage that you’re unable to express the rationality of said soul.

    I’m not sure how you figure your dog reasons, since you don’t explain it, nor how you’d be able to tell if she felt a yearning for something greater than herself– after all, dogs do tend to desire a pack.

    You might want to go read Jimmy’s post that I linked.

    It’s that priestly and kingly role to which we were assigned that separates us from the rest of creation.

    Problem being, who is “we”? Rather the whole point of the exercise….

  • No idea what you’re getting at by the frequent references to Victorian London, either.

  • Well I think we are that: beings made in God’s image, fallen, and redeemable. Priests before and after. Lords before and after. We are spiritual. In Christ our identity is reclaimed. We find our place again in God’s creation: kings and priests. Does God need us? Of course not. But this is what he created us for. He loves us and engages us in his creative work.

  • In the Western world beginning wiht the Greeks, we at the height of culture/ civilizaTION HAVE thought of ourselves as rational beings. I think it’s old.

  • YOu see, the problem is that we’re not rational. We’ve found that out. We just have to accept it.

  • When we think of human beings, we must think not only of what we were, but of what we are and what we will be (assuming we are Christians). Our essence is this: Made in God’s image, fallen, and redeemed in Christ. This is what separates us from vegetation, animals, angels, etc. I do not mean to say creation in general is not redeemed. I believe very strongly that it is. I simply mean to point out our difference. Our essence. We are spiritual, with souls as well as breath, accountable spiritually since we were made in God’s image, since we failed his assignment, since we find redemption in Him through Christ, and restoration.

  • Well I think we are that: beings made in God’s image, fallen, and redeemable.

    Who is included in “beings made in God’s image”? That is the point of this post.

    Obviously it includes male, female, a huge range of hair, skin and eye colors, a huge range of body types, a huge range of mental abilities… we often use the short-hand of human, or homo sapiens; as we learn more about homo neanderthalensis, that becomes less reasonable.
    Like St Augustine reasoned, if “monstrous” births are still people, would it not be possible for there to be “monstrous races”?

    YOu see, the problem is that we’re not rational. We’ve found that out. We just have to accept it.

    That people don’t use the ability doesn’t mean that we don’t have it. It would take a lot of proof to “show” that your dog is rational, but humans aren’t!

  • Hmnn, I think you might be looking at it a bit too literally or precisely. Whether one is profoundly retarded or genius level is irrelevant. God made human beings in His image. We failed in that. But we have souls as well as ‘breath’ or life. We are spiritual. We were and could once again be priests and lords within the context of this creation. Whatever else is going on way out there is another topic, really. As for prodigies, unusual differences, etc., we still know they are human if they are. Otherwise it’s an animal. Darwinism and evolutionary thought has us confused on this. Secular scientists would like to blur the boundary between animals and humans by focusing on ‘deep time’ and theorizing.

  • Reason became a distinction, and perhaps the one distinction of the human being because of the Greek inheritance. Acquinas was reason-oriented within the western heritage. But the Bible’s dinstinguishing mark for the human is what? The soul, created in God’s image, fallen, redeemable in Christ, priests and kings. This is the pattern. It’s our essence. I was made by God, in God’s image, for Godself, and can be restored to that image in Christ the Redeemer. This is what’s central about the human.

  • Yes, that’s it. Animals have breath. Life is there….there’s blood. Human beings have souls too, however. We were made in God’s image. We were meant to be that. We can be that again. That’s the marker.

  • I think you’re bypassing the point entirely, Pat– who is “we”? Who has souls?

    To our knowledge, people/men/humans have souls, animals do not, but that makes for a circular definition– or for abject horror, when you consider that it’s pretty standard for a culture’s word for their own group to translate as “people,” “mankind” or “humans.” Just as with “rational,” the meaning of a word in context is very important.

    A person is one with a soul; how do we figure out if someone who is outside of our previous experience is a person or not? Appearance won’t work, obviously, and we are not God so we do not see their souls. Obviously, we have to assume that those who seem to have a soul do in fact have one– but what are the markings of having a soul?

    Can you argue against Augustine’s ‘rational, mortal animal’ definition? Actually argue, not assert?

  • correction:
    To our knowledge, people/men/humans have rational/spiritualsouls, animals do not

  • All made more complicated because “soul” refers to several different things– life, including that of animals; essence of something; the part of a human that is eternal….

  • Too much classification….why order it like that? Not necessary for our conception. No little green man will come by to confuse us. It’s just us. If it looks like a human, walks like a human, and talks like one, it’s a human. That includes the Elephant Man, the circus workers, those referenced by Augustine in the City of God, and anyone else who’s uniquely interesting and remarkably different. They’re all human. The trinity teaches us that there is diversity in unity, vice versa. The Fall teaches us that we’re not as we should be. Yes there’s variety. But I know a human when I see one. And I’ll bet the farm that they possess breath and a soul, and the same origin and destiny too, if in Christ.

  • No. The soul is not eternal. That’s a Greek error. Christ alone has immortality. That’s where the Christian gets it. Soul and body resurrect. We’re not eternal. No portion is. But the soul gains immortality in Christ. The body is resurrected in Him.

  • Our first parents were made in God’s image. The animals were not. Plants were not. The earth was not. Neither was the sky. We alone were made in His image. We fell. We’re restored if in Christ. That image manifests in the priestly and kingly role. Exercise dominion. Offer up creation. And St. John said, they came to life and reigned with Christ. Kings and priests.

  • Too much classification….why order it like that?

    Because meaning is important. You can’t say that only humans have souls, because everyone who has a soul is a human. That’s circular.

    We can’t say it’s obvious who is human and who is not, because it’s sadly not obvious– a quick glance at history will show that, and a moment’s thought on the current pro-life issues of abortion, eugenics and euthanasia show it’s ongoing. People are very, very good at making themselves believe things that suit them. God made this world in a manner that we can learn about systematically– why would he have not done the same when it comes to who is a person?

    If it looks like a human, walks like a human, and talks like one, it’s a human.

    And what constitutes “like a human”? From your prior statements, you mean “being made in God’s image”– which we cannot define by the standard use of “human,” which is a biological term.

    That question is the entire point of this post.

  • No. The soul is not eternal. That’s a Greek error.

    From Catholic Answers:
    The glossary at the back of the U.S. version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church defines “soul” as follows:
    The spiritual principle of human beings. The soul is the subject of human consciousness and freedom; soul and body together form one unique human nature. Each human soul is individual and immortal, immediately created by God. The soul does not die with the body, from which it is separated by death, and with which it will be reunited in the final resurrection.

  • Humans give birth to humans. Animals give birth to animals. Both have life. But the human was initially created in God’s image. We are now fallen, but redeemable. What’s the question? I think you’re trying to argue with secular ethicists and pragmatic people who represent what the late John Paul II termed a culture of death. I understand that if you are. But these people make distinctions the Bible does not. We shouldn’t. We know life. We continue to know life. Not everything can be proven. God only holds us responsible, in those casses, for maintaining faith and conviction and obedience to truth. If they press us, we may not be able to answer. They want to know what is special about a fetus. I don’t know exactly. It’s a human. God knits us together in the womb. They won’t believe that, though. And there’s no strict definition of the kind for which you’re searching. If they don’t have faith, it won’t be life to them. But we know it is, and will continue to say so.

  • Christ, who alone has immortality, be glory forever. Forgot which epistle. But we are ‘clothed’ with that immortality. It’s not ours. We ‘died’ because of sin, the fall…the soul would live on in death or die forever, however you wish to say it. But that’s not the same as “being eternal by nature.” The Greeks thought we were. Plato thought that. Some of it’s semantic. But those not saved in Christ are not immortal. They don’t live forever. They die forever. Christ is the Life.

  • Pat, where does the Bible define made in God’s image?

    Where does it define soul?

    Where does it define human?

    It’s obvious that people– from the embryonic through the senile, sound of mind and body or not, in all our wide range of characteristics– are different than animals because we’re made in God’s image. The question remains: who is “we”?

  • Why is that a question? I’ve never been confused over whether a created being was a human or an animal. I’ve always distinguished the two. I’ve never yet seen a demon or an angel. No aliens either. “We” are those two-legged creatures that walk upright, etc., though we sometimes are born with issues. “We” may be Siamese, etc. Humans though. ANd we all know them. What’s the question? You want a definition? Don’t tell me you dont’ knwo one when you see one. I can’t kkeep from laughing. I jsut don’t udnerstand where you’re coming from, Foxfier.

  • The Genesis myth tells us about our first parents, who they were, what happened. Who we are now. Who we can be in Christ. The new creation. Humans are at the center because made in His image and capableof being restored to that. It’s the focal point. Well, God is really, but then we in Him and He in us forever. That’s at the center of the story.

  • I jsut don’t udnerstand where you’re coming from, Foxfier.

    I noticed.

    Why is that a question?

    Because you claimed that the Bible has said the soul is the “dinstinguishing mark for the human.”

    You claimed that I’m making distinctions where the Bible did not– you still haven’t supported that claim.

    I’ve never been confused over whether a created being was a human or an animal. I’ve always distinguished the two.

    So? I’ve never had to splint a broken arm– doesn’t mean that the information isn’t important, or will never be used.
    As I pointed out, there are several times where people mistakenly classified other people as non-persons; more amusing are the times when people mistakenly classified non-persons as people. (Was it Mark Twain that wrote about a town mistaking an ape for a Frenchman?)

  • Admittedly, apart from the Biblical story, there is no way to define and separate people fromm the rest of creation. Paganism blurs the distinction. IT’s through the light of Scripoture that we learn of who we are. Our identiy is derived from our Creator who communicates revelation. Otherwise we wouldn’t know. And people today don’t know. The Christian identity of the person is wearing off. You can’t fix a defintion of the human for the non-Christian. It won’t work. It’s through Scritprue that we find out who we are. The Greeks tried and all they came up with was reason. No good. Priests and kings. Not simply reason. If only reason, why preserve a human?

  • Humans are at the center because made in His image and capableof being restored to that.

    To repeat myself a final time tonight:
    you can’t define “human” as “those made in God’s image,” then say that those who are made in God’s image are human.

    Bring in actual quotes, with citations. Make an argument for what you’re saying, rather than just claiming it.

  • You’re getting really incoherent, Pat.

  • You wihs to go with Etienne Gilson’s choice? Do you wish to have a universal sense of the human, that can prove to everyone, that can force everyone to believe it and be OK with it rationally? Then it would be watered-down. It would not be the udnerstanding given by Scripture, the identity we have within the narrative of God. It would be something far less, something paltry.

  • Well how coherent do you suppose you can become on something like this? It’s not that kind of a thing. Either you’re human or an animal in our visible realm here. I do not have to create new definitions because someone feels like they might face an alien soon. It’s simply either an animal OR a human. If you approach it, talk to it, and stay with it for about five minutes, you ought to know which classification it falls within. If it has two heads and two permanently separate personalities and identities, it’s two humans joined from birth. Two souls, not one. Otherwise, one soul per human. And that’s about it.

  • You see, it’s through God’s story that we learn who we are, why wer’re here, where we could go, etc. Apart from faith there is no correct definition of the human. God alone gives it. If you are willing to accept it then that’s what it is. If not, you live in ignorance as pagans always have. It’s nothing complicated. Very simple. No God, no man; Lewis wrote “THe Aboliton of Man.” That’s what he meant.

    If ever there’s confusion as to whether a creature is human or animal, I’d like to know why. I’ve never heard of someone being confused in our time.

  • God’s story is our story too. It’s our meaning, our identity. We are told everything that way. It IS circular. That’s why it’s faith. If it were otherwise, it would be human philosophy. What has Athens to do with Jerusalem? Jerusalem saved Athens, and so we continue to think as it did.

  • I always thought of people as possessing dignity. Then I read of a minister who visited the dying. He said that dying is the most undignified thing. He’s right. I feel we should be thankful that God made us for himself. Life is a gift. It’s precious. We’re responsible for how we live it. We need to be good stewards of all that God gave us. To live again is possible. But it happens in Christ alone. This is being human.

    I experience no despair over my lack of a scientific definition. Humanity cannot be defined philophically or scientifically. And that’s OK, since we gain our understanding from Scriptural revelation.

  • pat,
    It is basic Catholic teaching that we gain our understanding of God and His Creation not only through Scripture, but through reason as well. I don’t know you and perhaps you are a sola scriptura Protestant, and this thread is not intended to debate that point. I only point out that the notion that humanity cannot be defined philosophically or scientifically, but only by reference to Scripture alone is a singularly unCatholic point of view.

  • It would not be the udnerstanding given by Scripture, the identity we have within the narrative of God.

    What is this understanding? Lay it out.

    And that’s OK, since we gain our understanding from Scriptural revelation.

    If it’s in the scriptures, it can be cited. Go for it. Jesus Himself, if he said “is it not written,” would then give the actual quote.

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  • In Genesis, it says that God created our first parents in His image. Let us make man in our image, after ouor likeness. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. That’s the actual quote. This is NOT true of animals or the rest of the visible creation.

    The understanding is arrived at through progressive revelation. As the story unfolds, we learn of who we are: where we came from, where we’re at, and where we can go. It’s not fixed. It depends on who and where you are within the story. That’s our identity. It’s what it means to be a human being. But it cannot be abstracted to be a precise, universal idea. That’s reason at it’s best and it still falls radically short of scriptural revelation. Don’t baptize it. Don’t synthesize them.

    You’re trying to arrive at a universal, modernist understanding of the human, analytically or philosophically abstracted from concrete time, space, and the story that changes as it unfolds and moves eschatologically, or teleologically, toward its fulfillment, the story that informs us and gives us our understanding. We cant do that.

    The Greeks abstracted from the concrete because they beleived in the heraclitean/parmenidean split, the platonic this world of change versus that world of static reality, etc. No, we see it eschatologically.

  • So God created man in His own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. That’s the actual quote. This is NOT true of animals or the rest of the visible creation.

    Now, where does it say what, exactly, His image is? Clearly it’s not too physical, since the difference between male and female in the human species is rather large. The wisest idea would be to read the original, or as detailed an explanation as possible of the known meaning of the original.

    Given that information, we could very easily come to the conclusion that being able to create things is what makes us “in God’s image.”

    But it cannot be abstracted to be a precise, universal idea.

    How do you come to that conclusion? Much like the other claims you make, you don’t support it– you just state it.

  • No….we’ve wound up talking past one another because we’re starting with different assumptions. I’m assuming that Scriptural revelation is what we are given, and that that’s meant to inform all that we think and find elsewhere. I don’t hold to two separate categories. There is faith and it seeks understanding. I don’t maintain that reason or tradition are separate or reconcilable compartments. Never thought that way.

    Citgations, quotes….what good would that do? You prooftext with one set of references. Somone else uses another set. Everyone has their own pattern. That still doesn’t answer the question. It simply reveals paradigms. It’s like the Methodist who finds all the proofs. They back it up. Then the Calvinist does it with their proofs. The Catholic wiuth theirs. The Mormons have their documents from which to prove their arguments, and they are coherent within their own system, more or less.

    I advocate a better way. Let’s transcend these systems and get back to the BIble. Not Sola Scriptura per se. But let’s go back to the narrative first and foremost. That’s our story. Let’s learn it and allow it to inform our thinking. That’s what I’ve tried to do. I’ve tried to get across the Bible’s sense of who we are in relation to the one who has made us. We are humans, and the story tells us what that means. We happen through the story. It’s eschatological, that is to say that we are ‘on the way.’ We are pilgrims if we are Christian. We’r’e in transition. If not, we’re part of an old world that’s passing away, and that means death. Definitions? Not really. But definiately a reality that is wondrously amazing!

  • Once again: priests to God and kings over creation. Sacrifices acceptable, our creative service. Worship. That’s the image reflected. It’s the life we’re called back to. He’s not jsut the Creatior. He’s the Redeemer too. We participate redemptively in his plan. Also, He’s triune. So we exist in community. All this is what’s meant by being in his image. If we are in Christ, we are alive again! We see signs of that now. It will come about fully when the Lord returns in glory.

    A scientific or philosophic definition of the person that I can insert in Merrium-Webster’s? I really and truly don’t think it’s possible. There are two kinds: the saved and the unsaved…two very different definitions, and within each there is the telos—they’re in flux. You can try….I used to attempt that sort of thing. I find at the end of it soemthign like this: You learned all this information and wonder to yourself what you know. Then you come to realize that what really matters is who you know. The path, the truth, and the life is a person, Jesus. Not some abstract set of propositions. Propositions exist. But Chrsitianty is life. Our faith is never in truth itself. It is in Truth itself. Do you get what I’m saying? It’s not in the written word, but in the Word. Christ was the Word who spoke. We beleive the One who spoke. We therefore speak.

  • No….we’ve wound up talking past one another because we’re starting with different assumptions.

    Yes.

    I assume that when you say “the Bible says X,” that you can actually show where it says ‘x’.

    You seem to assume that when you say “the Bible say X,” that is enough– because you think that’s what it means.

    Perhaps you should try to mimic Christ in how He taught– as I said before, when He said “is it not written,” he followed with what was actually written.

  • Christ spoke things without quoting too. BUt the fact is that we have a Bible and it presents a story. We have to let that story inform our life.

  • To learn of the human, we must read the WHOLE story. Where we came from, where we’re at, and our destinations. I cannot quote the whole bible. We have to read it from cover to cover. You would never do that with a movie or another book. SO why would you only take a part of the Bible? I don’t like that.

  • Christ spoke things without quoting too.

    When teaching things on His authority as the Son of God, not when trying to explain his position as a guy in a compbox….

    SO why would you only take a part of the Bible? I don’t like that.

    Jesus Himself quoted. Don’t like it, take it up with Him.

  • We know from the Bible that the human is created in God’s image, made to reflect him. We are fallen. But we can be redeemed and this is life. Not everyone is redeemed. So in this sense the definiton of what makes us human is being redeemed. To be human is to be all that God has called us to be and do. And what is that? What the Bible says. You know the quotes. I don’t have the time to offer them now. But we see throughout Scripture that we are called to service and worship.

  • I don’t have the time to offer them now.

    You’ve spent roughly three days failing to offer them, Pat; small wonder you have no time left!

    The one quote that I asked for and you partly offered was out of context and didn’t actually say what you implied it did. (1 Tim 6:16.)

    Still, you beg the question- who is “we”?

    So in this sense the definiton of what makes us human is being redeemed.

    This contradicts what you’ve said before– that being made in His image is what makes us both people and able to be redeemed.

  • Yes, three things. We were made in his image. We fell. We can be redeemed.
    Some are. Some aren’t. Where you are in that defines who you ar as a person.

  • We were made in his image. We fell. We can be redeemed.

    Good start! Mr. Wright’s post touched on these aspects, pointing to aliens that never fell as being something that would actually cause trouble with folks’ faith.

    So, “we” are those made in God’s image, who fell and can be redeemed; how do we identify those who fit that category? Objectively– as I pointed out, there are a lot of people right now who can’t recognize a baby as a person, just because of where they happen to be located. (Be it in the womb or inside of Israel’s borders.)

    Where you are in that defines who you ar as a person.

    Has nothing to do with the conversation.

  • Well, we have not yet seen aliens. To be honest, I don’t really believe we will. We’re the focus now. We’re accountalbe to God. We must deal with this fact. What God chooses to do elsewhere is His business. We musn’t evade our responsibility for service and worship, to come home and accept his embrace, to arrive spiritually with God.

    Yes, if we’re redeemed, then we are a new creation. Old things have passed. New things have come. Otherwise we are part of a world grown old and dying.

  • So there are two different kinds of peole. Those saved and those unsaved. Again, a precise definition for the ‘universal human’ will allude you.

  • The only alluding going on here is your alluding to there actually being something to back up your claims; somehow, the notion that you actually have to support your assertions eludes you…..

    You’re still saying “we.” Of course people are “we” in a religious context. How to go about figuring out who is “we” is the point of this post.

  • Yes, in Genesis we learn that God created various creatures. And human beings were initially made in his image. Having given us dominion, he launched us into that priestly and kingly endeavor. God knew what would happen. The plan was built in so we can find restoration as it unfolds. We can find redemption in Christ. So the image is restored, as well as our initial purpose. As Augustine said in The City of God, though, it’s on a higher level. There’s a garden, now a polis, and a temple—God is with us forever. New Jerusalem. It’s taken to a higher level.

    What distinguishes the human being? Made in his image, responsible to Him for what he requires. We fell. The law came. The kingdom has come; now grace. Human beings can respond to their Creator as he engages us in a relationship with Him. This is special. Nonhumans, i.e. animals, don’t share in it in this way. How do we knwo? Revelation. Without it we are unenlightened as the pagans. A rational way to affirm? I don’t think so. A scientific way? I don’t think so. We sort of had that but it wares off without revelation. Science and rationality turn unscientific and irrational as our hearts and minds are darkened once again. They still call it science and ratioanlity, but it’s not. Apart from Revelation we simply wouldn’t know what human means. We wouldn’t accept it.

    So abortion, euthenasia, suicide, etc. is wrong. He gives us life with his plan in view. If an animal is put down do to severe complications or rabies, it’s just not the same thing. The animal is not made in His image and designed for this plan I described. THAT IS WHAT DISTINGUISHES US FROM THE OTHER VISIBLE CREATURES OF GOD. Then there are angels elect and fallen. That’s a different matter. The Bible gives us a sense of what that’s about too, but it’s different. Another order. Other life? If so, a different order. So yes, there is a classification.

    So to define it would go something like this: Human beings are made in God’s image, responsible morally. Can’t meet the law’s requirements. We tried. We’re responsible for “going through the eye of the needle.” How do we do it? Seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness. Grace. He sent Jesus Christ, the atoning sacrifice. The human is responsible to God’s law. The provision is in Christ alone. With God all things are possible: we go through the eye of the needle. Our humanity is restored. That’s really human. New people. New community. New creation.

  • To clarify the kingdom, Christ is King and we His subjects. He reclaimed the world, creation. (When the strong man is tied, his place is looted by one stronger.) The nations are no longer deceived. Now we can live and reign with Christ a thousand years. It was promised. So it is.

    When we acknowledge Christ as the Lord, the King, the Messiah, we yield our political allegience to Him. Our inclusion in His kingdom is marked by the acknowledgement that He is Lord to whom we bow. Ours is a polis…an outpost in the world as it passes. So we are the New People. Creation waits for us to find itself again.

  • Creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. Who are the sons of God? Those redeemed in Christ. Creation too, is liberated from its bondage to decay and set free in the glorious liberty of Christ. God’s re-creation of the New Day. Humanity restored in Him. To be human is to be created by God in his image to worship and serve Him. But we fell. How to we reclaim our humanity? In Christ there is a new creation. Old things have passed away and new things have come. So we can be human again. I think this is the best way to answer the question of what defines us. It’s our essence.

  • You still don’t get it, Pat.

    You jump from those made in His image to “human”– without either defining the word or giving a reason why.

    Also, I thought you were out of time? Where are the verses you owe me?

  • I’m assuming macro-evolution never took place.

  • Genesis Chap. 1 versus 26-28. That’s the part that explains that human beings were made in His image. Revelation Chap. 20 verses 1-6 describes the reinstatement of dominion, as these are “in Christ.” They reign with Him.

  • In his image, dominion over creation, creatively offering up sacrifices well-pleasing. Worship and service as kings and priests. This is not given to the animal kingdom. Extra-terrestrial life doesn’t figure into this. It’s our story for now, so it doesn’t include what God may be doing elsewhere.

  • So we find our understanding of the human in the unique way that the Creator has made us, and for the unique purpose to which we’re assigned. And that’s what I’ve been detailing throughout this thread.

    That identity was given at the start of creation in Genesis. It is reclaimed in Christ.

  • Gen 1:26-28
    l Then God said: Let us make* human beings in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the tame animals, all the wild animals, and all the creatures that crawl on the earth.
    27
    God created mankind in his image;
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female* he created them.
    28
    God blessed them and God said to them: Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.* Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that crawl on the earth.m

    (With many, many footnotes.)

    That does not say:
    So in this sense the definiton of what makes us human is being redeemed. To be human is to be all that God has called us to be and do. And what is that? What the Bible says.

    It’s only the same tiny snippet you’ve offered several times before, in various phrasings, still not defining who is human.

    How about we go back before you started just repeating yourself– how do you conclude that your dog both reasons and does not yearn for God? Evidence?

    Can you explain this phrase?
    You know I’ve been tempted to use reason and/or morality to separate us from other beings. It just doesn’t make any sense. Unless you’re living in one of the better parts of Victorian London.

    Justify this one?
    YOu see, the problem is that we’re not rational. We’ve found that out. We just have to accept it.

    Can you justify why we should abandon reason when all you can offer is

  • So we find our understanding of the human in the unique way that the Creator has made us, and for the unique purpose to which we’re assigned. And that’s what I’ve been detailing throughout this thread.

    No, it is not. You’ve been asserting various things, and failing to follow through the reasoning or offer justification for why you have reached various conclusions.

    You can not even explain the incredibly simple, basic question, the entire point of this post:
    why do you assume that ‘we’ consists of only those you have personally identified?
    You don’t even apply that consistently, since you’ve also said that only those who have been redeemed are truly people!

  • No, I do not beleive we have seen or will see extra-terretrial life. Humans are those who were created in God’s image, fallen and redeemable in Christ. Each human is somewhere within that story. Either we’re still fallen or we’ve been redeemed. Two entirely separate destinies, regardless of the same origin.

    What we were, what we are and what we will be are not necessarily the same. Once, again, it depends on where you are within the narrative.

  • You wish to abstact a definition so it will be static. That is not possible. You have to read the story to find out.

  • You wish to abstact a definition so it will be static. That is not possible. You have to read the story to find out.

    No.
    I “wish” support for the assertions you keep making, especially when you claim they are Biblical. Your track record on the Bible actually saying what you think it does really isn’t very good.

  • I don’t know what you’re referring to. In the scriptural narrative, human beings were created one way, fell to become something else, and are heading somewhere else if “in Christ.” I’m not sure how you would define that philosphically or scientifically. You have to read the story and find your place within it.

  • We need to understand that Scripture is a narrative. In any story things change. It’s in flux. We need to find out where we are in the story and decide what that means. What the implications are.

  • I don’t know what you’re referring to.

    That explains why you aren’t making any sense….

    By the way, you still haven’t supported your claim that your dog reasons, or any of the other claims you made that were actually related to the topic.

  • You want to know what makes a human and what differentiates them from other created beings. I told you: God made us in His image to reflect Him. We failed in that mission. He promised restoration in Christ. Some people claim that by being recipients of God’s grace. Others don’t.

    Animals stand outside that category. We have not seen, and I think we will not see extraterrestrial beings. So I’m content with the answer I gave. It’s biblically informed. It makes perfect sense. What part of it don’t you understand?

    On a broader level you can say that we are spiritual. This separates us. Not the ability to philosophize like the Greeks on a sunny day. No, but the fact that we were made for God in the unique way I described. As Augustine said, You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you. This makes us spiritual and that is what’s most profound about us. People have that need.

    From a non-Christian, Western vantage point, people often feel driven to say it is reason that separates us. But reason is merely a part of the ‘image.’ It fails, furthermore, to describe the person adequatly. It only mentions a facet, and does not get at our essence. Also, there are people who do not reason because of some predicament, e.g. severely low mental capacity. Animals can reason: they put two and two together to reach an end that that person I described would not. My dog sees someone and is hungry. She picks up her paper plate and growls as she moves toward you. Other animals are smarter yet.

    So you see it is not reason that separates us, but that we are spiritual beings, and in the way I described based on Genesis and the narrative’s development.

  • The quote from Augustine you gave earlier is not satisfactory. Mortal, rational? No, this is what I’ve been saying is not the case. Mortal, yes. Rational, no. Reason or rationality is a facet. That is not our essence, though. Our essence is that we’re spiritual, with souls, originally created in God’s image, fallen, and redeemable through Christ. This is what defines us if you look to the Scriptures. And any sense of the human that derives from elsewhere must be checked against that. I don’t even think the Greeks held reason or rationality to be central. Only aristocrats or freemen of their kind. They beleived that the rest of the world were Barbarians. And then there were slaves. No universality there. The universal notion came much later with Christianity. That’s because Christianity recognized a common descent for humanity and borrowed heavily from the Greeks for ideas. What the Greeks said was appropriated wrongly.

    It is true to say that reason or rationality is generally a facet of human beings. But it’s not the defining characteristic. It’s not our essence.

  • 1) You utterly miss what I “want.”
    2) You are still asserting, not arguing, supporting, giving any reason beyond “Because I’ve said so, several times.”

  • Foxfier, I’ve supplied an udnerstanding of the human in line with Scripture. It’s pretty scripturally-informed. I can’t see getting any more exact than that. I’ve supplied reasons and explanations. I even quoted Scripture. I’m not sure what else you’re looking for. This is best I can offer based on my understanding of the Bible:

    We were created in God’s image. We experienced a fall from that first estate. Christ can restore us to that. That’s human.

    All other visible created beings we usually see were placed under us.

    Angels are God’s ministers. They are (usually) unseen. Demons are angels who also fell.

    Extra-terrestrial beings: I don’t believe they’ve been mentioned in Scripture.

  • If you wish to engage in a thomistic exercise, and write the way he did in the Summa with quotes, citations, unreasonable and dramatic logic, I cannot afford you that kind of an experience. I don’t even udnerstand the Summa myself. I have a copy of it but it’s become a dust-collector.

  • No, Pat, you’ve just kept making claims and unsupported statements.

    Argument by saying it over and over, and then failing to provide any support, is what you’ve provided.

  • Support? We have the weight of Genesis and the whole Bible in fact. How much support do you want? I won’t go outside Scripture. I’ve quoted verses from Genesis. You know the story as it develops. The Fall, Redemption, Restoration….the themes speak for themselves. This is the basic Christian narrative. What is more central to the human person than this? Can you please tell me? I’m quite satisfied with what’s said. If you went to any Christian book to find answers to who we are as persons, you will find this. It is what Christianity has always taught.

  • This is where I draw my understanding of the person: the scriptural narrative. What do you base it upon?

  • Since you like quotes, I came upon this one from Laurens Van Der Post, quoted in L’engle’s Walking on Water: “The extreme expression of his spirit was in his story. He was a wondrful story teller. The story was his most sacred possession. These people know what we do not: that without a story you have not got a nation, or a culture, or a civilization. Without a story of your own to live you haven’t got a life of your own.”
    I introduce this to underscore the importance of ‘story.’ It is through ‘story’ that our meaning and purpose is derived. That is where our identity is found.

  • Support? We have the weight of Genesis and the whole Bible in fact.

    Great! So show your work.

    I’ve quoted verses from Genesis.

    Yes, and I’ve pointed out that it isn’t sufficient for your claims. Heck, you’ve quoted it to establish something not related to the topic!

    It is through ‘story’ that our meaning and purpose is derived. That is where our identity is found.

    That doesn’t mean what you seem to think it does, that your “the whole thing” sourcing is good… it’s a statement on personal identity.

    Nobody forced you to come here and start making claims, or dragging the conversation away from what could have been an interesting, fun route. Seeing as you decided to insert yourself, why can you not do the incredibly simple task of supporting your claims? In a manner other than just saying them again or ignoring that you ever said them!

    How do you figure your dog reasons, but isn’t “spiritual?” Etc.

  • I think that would be taking scripture out of its context. To see it as a whole, to catch the grammar or morphology of things, is rather the aim for me. The story is our story, yours and mine. It teaches us about origin and destiny, and where we fit within all of that.

  • I think that would be taking scripture out of its context.

    Now that is funny, since the very first quote you offered was out of context and clearly didn’t say what you claimed….

  • Hmmm, I’m not sure what you mean. I know I quoted something from Genesis about being made in God’s image. But the thing you raise goes to the heart of what I’m saying regarding definitions. We are not as our first parents (humans) were; we (humans) fell. But we (humans) can reclaim the position in Christ. Or rather, he can reclaim us (humans). So here is the quandary: how to fix a definition of the human given this dynamic reality. I feel that cannot be done scientifically or philosophically. So I let the story inform my understanding. And stories move from a begining to an end. As said Lewis Carroll, I like to begin at the beginning and end at the end.

    You see, here is the problem. If I say that human beings are creatures made in God’s image, well, that’s not true. Adam and Eve were. Then they fell. We can be among the redeemed or the unredeemed at this point along the story. At the consummation of things, those redeemed will be raised up body and soul, resurrected as a unity. You see the problem? No definition fits throughout, unless of course we include everything. That is why quoting just parts of the Bible doesn’t work. Gotta read the story. I do appreciate very much your spirited debate. There is a new (or not so new) trend known as narratival theology. It stresses the fact that Scripture affords us a story. It is less concerned with universal statements and propositions than with how this story shapes our lives and how we find our place within it, letting it inform us. I’ve been somewhat influenced by narratival theology. I find that the Bible makes much more sense this way. I used to think like a Fundamentalist, always wanting to locate a verse or two, or a passage in order to feel like I had proof. Yet those parts of Scripture are part of an ever-widening context, until we find ourselves within the broadest circle of the Word itself. And that Word presents us with a story.

  • When you tried to claim that immortal souls were a Greek invention, using a quote about the resurrection of the body.

    The reason you don’t want to offer text to support your claims is because, based on the evidence, you can’t. All you can do is make claims and hand-wave that it’s all there, somewhere.

  • I also said confusion could arise in part due to semantics.

  • But what has that to do with the discussion?

  • To get back on track, you wish to define the human. I’ve told you that the meaning and purpose of the human is found in the Christian story. By reading any story, you learn character development. We must do this witht the Bible.

  • Still waiting for support for a single one of the claims I’ve asked you about.

  • Foxfier, you’ve not listened to a single thing I’ve said. You continue to insist on supporting things with verses. People do this all the time. And they’re often wrong. To give you an example: i had a discussion with a man the other day who said alcohol was sinful. I said why? He said let me show you, and he brought me a gigantic King James Version of the BIble, and he pointed to a line where it said “do not be givne to strong drink.” Well, upon reading the epistle, I was reminded that this was advice for bishops/elders of the church. It was not a pronouncement on alcoholic beverages. Anotheher version reads “not a drunkard” which of course is binding upon all Christians anyway. It was horrendous. I just couldn’t explain it to him. THe understsanding simply wasn’t there.

    So no, I strongly feel, and this is my conviction (no proof here) that we should read the whole Bible and let its meaning come forth.

  • No, Pat, the “problem” is that I have listened to what you said– and asked you to actually support your claims, with something besides waving at the whole Bible.

    Every time you try to get into detail, you fail.

    Small wonder you try to change the subject, especially when asked to support your claims.

    I do not care what you strongly feel. This is not a post on “what Pat strongly feels.”
    This is a light-hearted, whimsical post about applying Catholic personhood theory in imaginary situations, which is a useful exercise for dealing with the darker, real situations that show up in day to day life– such as the trans-human embryos already in England.

    You’ve shown that you’re not going to defend the few statements you made related to the topic, let alone discuss the actual topic.

  • Too often it degenerates into prooftexting. Here a verse, there a verse, pick and choose them, divorce them from their contexts and use them to prop up an idea. Why? Because you hold a beleif prior to Scripture which you wihs to prove, whether it’s temperance, forms of church polity, views on baptism, or whatever else people subscribe to. They go to the BIble to prove things, and they uproot verses from their context. I can find ‘proof’ of the congregational politiy, the presbyterian government, the episcopal form, etc., for example, depending on which texts I use. Likewise, I can find ‘proof’ for many other things. There is always a tendency to do this in Chrisitnaty.

    Instead, I choose to read the BIble from cover to cover as a story, and to let that story inform me. And if something is unclear i don’t go back and try to find the verses that fit the belief I hold most dearly becasue of sentiment or preference. I let the story unfold. I find where I belong in it. I become enveloped by the story. The story then dictates to me. As Tom Wright said regarding our time, we are called upon at this juncture to improvise, to pick up where the apostles left off, and to play out our role until Christ returns (paraphrase). I do not solely conform to propositions, though those exist to which we give assent. Christianity is more importantly a living faith.

  • Can you give me an example of Catholic personhood theory? I’m not aware of this. I don’t see personhood in specifically ‘Catholic’ terms. I view the human in a Christian light as I’m informed by the Bible.

  • Too often it degenerates into prooftexting.

    The irony of you warning of is amazing…..

    You are still trying to change the subject away from your failure to support a single claim when challenged.

  • YOu say this is a light-hearted, whimsical post. I can see that. We move back again and again and again to your need for supporting versus despite all I’ve said. I wonder if you’ve really been reading my remarks, or simply skipping over them. Do you understand anything about what I’ve said thus far? About the narrative and the need for us to find our sense of ourselves within that structure? Or the need to take into account where we are along the timeline? Has any of that meant anything to you?

  • Can you give me an example of Catholic personhood theory?

    Read the post. There are several different examples, multiple links, many phrasings.

    For love of little green apples, you claimed to disprove it by assertion.

    We move back again and again and again to your need for supporting versus despite all I’ve said.

    That happens when you claim the Bible says something: people say “where?” Shockingly, the rest of us aren’t willing to accept the word according to Pat as a binding source of enlightenment.

    I notice you’re trying to change the subject to your favorite– “Pat.” Amazing how your sources all seem to be by your own authority, and every attempt you make to justify that with evidence fails.

  • The human being cannot be distilled into a definition such as would be broadly understandalbe and acceptable. I don’t wish to play fast and loose wtih Scripoture by engaging in prooftexting.

    Revelation teaches us who we are. Our identity develops through the narrative that is the Word of God.

    Whatever verses one has, another has theirs and so on. It just keeps going. There’s no way out until we discover truth. And that truth is in a person, the Truth, Jesus Christ. Once our God engages us, we learn who we are. We know it. The world cannot know this as we do. It’s spritually discerned.

  • I believe you misudnerstand what I’ve said. I’ve tried to explain my position: I read the Bible as story. That story informs my life. I find myself within that story. Before you know it, I’m a living part of that reality. I speak this way because this has been my experience. It’s wonderful. It’s truly human. And I think that’s what I’ve been trying to get across. Our experiences, if they relate to the Word, demonstrate that humanity we strive for. It is not what we were, and thank God we will not always be what we are. As tge past and present are taken up in the cross of Jesus Christ, we are transformed. We’re a new breed.

  • Pat, I don’t think you’re getting the point:
    You already showed that you’re not able to quote scripture–or anything else– without prooftexting.
    You already claimed to define what makes people be people, but couldn’t defend your objection to a rational soul or your support for “spirituality.”

    The thing that keeps going on and on is your attempt to change the topic to being all about you.

  • We each see things from our perspective. Hopefully we come to see those things accurately. I’m able to quote scripture and other sources. I have with regard to the human, by going back to Genesis. That’s classic. Nothing peculiar.

    Yes, I maintain that we are spiritual beings, and that this separates us off from the rest of creation. Having been made in his image, yet fallen, we’re accountable for that kind of creaturehood which we possess.

    I don’t prefer the ratioinal soul idea. I just don’t see it as getting to the core. I see it as Greek. I know we absorbed the Greeks. But I don’t agree with it, which is one of the reasons I welcome postmodernism.

  • We each see things from our perspective

    No, we’re not just seeing things from different perspectives.

    You made claims. You still haven’t backed them up. You misquoted, you still haven’t corrected yourself. You try to change the subject… in pretty much every post.

    What is so difficult about this topic? The simple fact that it’s not “Pat,” or something else?

  • I appreciate the spirited discussion on what makes us human. I of course don’t go at it the way you expect. For me, defining the human is not a logical exercise or a rational sort of thing. It’s not really about quoting a verse or a passage either. But when I think of what defines a human, or what their essence consists in, I think of how we’re spiritual. We live lives based upon our beliefs. Our convictions. We can’t prove such things. But if we have faith in the Word despite appearances to the contrary, we develop conviction. As John Ortberg has said in “Faith and Doubt,” we bet the farm on it. On all that we’re told throughout the Scriptural narrative about God, ourselves, and His ongoing interaction with us. I feel that life is worth it. That all that happens occurs redemptively in Christ. That our suffering, loss, grief, pain, uncertainty and all our trials are taken up into the cross of Jesus Christ and sanctified. That we’re loved by him and that being a recipient of his grace makes us entirely gifted and priveleged. I hope you can come to see that being human means recognizing what we were created for and finding our home once again in God. There are those who wish to remain apart from their Creator in darkness and alienation and confusion. I don’t totally understand how all this can be. But I’ve “bet the farm on it,” I know all that God’s story says, and I believe it. To present this to the world as an “ambassador” I believe I must share this in life, in love, and in action. I cannot communnicate all of this in a way that resonates wiht those who wish to keep their ears shut. I can only hope that “whosoever will” listens.

  • Still trying to change the topic.

  • It is true that Christianity is confessional. And the world seeks after wisdom. But to define the human in a way that’s embraced by everyone on the basis of proof is not possible. So to get right to the topic, here it is: The human cannot be understood outside of revelation and faith. Call me fidiestic, I don’t care. But it’s our story and we’re convicted it’s true because we persevere in faith.

  • You’re still trying to change the topic.

    Guess it’s pretty embarrassing to have evidence that you’re willing to quote things only when they don’t say what you claim, right above where you claim you wouldn’t do that? Probably annoying to find a place that keeps asking for more support than what you “feel.”

  • Another example of the serious applications of personhood theory, and why it matters to have a defensible, reasonable definition of what a person is.

  • Hmmm….I just can’t seem to figure out what you’re getting at. If the purpose of this thread was to work toward an understanding of the human as differentiated from all other creatures, I think we’ve been pretty successful. If the purpose of this thread was to do so on the basis of scriptural evidence, I think we touched on that when I quoted Genesis and spoke about the Fall and Redemption. But more important than single verses is the narrative as a whole. We find meaning and purpose and identity for the human in that story. It’s our meta-narrative, if you will.

  • Pat, the only thing you’ve done here is make unsubstantiated claims, misquote the Bible, complain about how you don’t understand what I’m saying and how I’m not listening to you, and go off on tangents to try to change the subject.

  • Oh, and misquote other sources, too. Mustn’t forget that.

  • Thanks for the example. Yes, indeed it’s a problem. But I think you’re assuming all people share in this rational thing that can be expressed and agreed upon.

    God chooses to make himself known to HIs people. THe world does not know him. They therefore see things from the perspective of that world.

    How would the nations have known of the one God and his ways? Revelation. How would we know of his plan? who we are? the anser is revelation. ONce known, revelation informs our reason and we go on to develop further understanding. But we remain people of faith whose minds have conformed to revelation and the way that revelation shapes our “reason.”

  • You’re trying to change the subject again.

  • Thomistic philosophy cannot hold onto the one while retaining the other; either we must accept that revelation is requisite always or we must reject the light that enlightens. There is no ‘reasonable’ concept of the human. Our ‘reasoning’ apart from the story of God will be to no avail.

  • On topic, with support for assertions, Pat. And your feelings aren’t evidence.

  • The issue does not relate to that at all. It relates to our approaches. I’ve explained that for me, the narrative of God tells us who we are. Read the story and find out. I give precedence to revelation.

  • For some people, faith and reason are equally valid categories, reconcilable systematically.

    I am not a thomist. Never was. Never thought that approach worked. God reveals himself to us personally through the Word and Spirit. Then revelation informs our lives and our minds are transformed. So our ‘reasoning’ is altered after conversion. Without this experience one would think from a worldly vantage point. You simply could not tell them what being human means, its implications, its worth, etc.

  • Calvinism, Thomism, all these systems want to be logical and universally compelling. They want their understanding to reach the world. To make sense to everyone. It’s as if the faith were a matter of common sense explanation. As if those who rejected it could be laughed at. That’s not how it is. Two radically different positions exist: we are either darkened in our minds and lost in sin, or we are enlightened by the Holy Spirit. Two viewpoints and no bridge but that of the Holy Spirit and of Christ.

  • Still not on topic.

    Still not supported by anything but your say-so.

  • I don’t know what you’re looking for in a thread. I tried to tell what it means to be human based on an informed biblical understanidng. I feel I have done this. I have no regrets. I would like to know what you specifically disagree with and why.

  • If you point to something you don’t udnerstand or highlight a disagreemnt you have, I can address that. But to ask for quotesand citations for everything stated is a bit odd. That’s something that might happen in an official debate. I would not expect to see that in a compbox. That’s just too much. When a priest offers a homily or a pastor delivers a messsage, it’s true they quote scripture. They do not do this constantly though. It does not go on from beginning to end. If operating on a calendar, tehy have the passages. They build from there. I know that fundamentalists are fond of quoting more often. I’m not fundamentalist. I don’t agree with that approach. I find it unnecessary and even confusing. Too often people quote scripture without understanding what it means and this confuses people. I told you about the gentleman who argued against alcoholic beverages. I spoke with another person who quoted verses in support of Sabbath-keeping for Saturday. No, the entire story must be reaed. That’s my approach and I’m sticking with it. Once againm, if there’s anything you wish to debate specifically, tell me what that is.

  • You made claims; the few times you’ve tried to support them with quotes, you failed. When asked for details or support, you try to change the topic.

    Your only approach is to try to change the subject to “Pat.”

  • I’ve expressed a lot throughout this page. I’d like you to glance back at it and see what’s there. Especially since you haven’t necessarily found soemthing you disagree with or can prove wrong.

  • First read through what I’ve written one more time. Try to get the gist of it,the basic idea. Then cite what you disagree with, if anything at all. And I’ll try to substantiate it. But we have to get this narrowed down.

  • I already pointed out where you misquoted, where you failed to support your claims and where you changed the topic. Two or more times for some of them. I even provided the quotes you misused.

  • I don’t see that. What I’ve stated is pretty classic, although it’s admittedly said in a different way at times. I don’t believe I’ve said anything contrary to the Bible. I believe I’ve communicated the sense of being human based upon our controlling narrative. I’m not sure what could be there that you’d disagree with or be uncertain about.

  • Behind everything lies conviction. I don’t know what your precise convictions are. I’ve tried to state mine.

  • I don’t see that.

    *dryly* Hadn’t noticed.

    I do notice that you’re still trying to change the subject, though.

  • Foxfier, are you interested, really interested in what makes us human? If you are, I would think you’d look back on what I’ve said to get the basic idea. Do you really want to know our essence? It’s there.

  • Oooh, nice try on changing the topic again! Too bad “Foxfier” isn’t my favorite subject….

  • Creation, the fall, redemption and restoration, these themes and our relation to them define us. We must of course trust the narrative. I believe it’s true. So I’m perfectly settled in my notion of the human. I know of no other source that can get to the heart of who we are. Acceptance of this requires a faith response.

    Now I know that people disbelieve this. I know that ‘Christians’ sometimes believe in macro-evolution and hold to variations of Darwinism. They say that human beings and animals possess a common descent. That at some point humans evolved. I just don’t beleive this. While the creation portion of Genesis is mythic in one sense, I see God intentionally creating creatures after their kind, with humans alone made in his image having dominion over all others. That kind of language doesn’t sound evolutionary.

  • I’m trying to get you to think. I want you to see what I said about faith in revelation, and about finding our place in God’s story. Our sense of ourselves must derive from this. Not from attempts at reconciling the Bible with knowledge from a worldly vantage point. Spengler, the historian, knew that evolution was a Western projection.

  • And Pat goes back to his favorite subject- “Pat.”

  • You’re trying to change the subject because people are actually paying attention to the lack of substance to what you say on the topic.

  • This is not about me. This is about what defines us as human beings. It’s about the story we’re given through revelation, the story that we find ourselves a part of. For those who can accept it, it’s ‘Everyman’.

    I’ve said nothing eccentric or heterodox to my knowledge. If anything strikes you as untrue, point it out and we’ll get to the bottom of it.

  • This is not about me.

    The topic isn’t; your posts are.

    I have pointed out your misquotes, incorrect claims, unsupported claims and where you keep trying to make the subject you, you, you. The Word According to Pat is not the topic, but it’s about the only one you’re willing to expound on– at great length.

  • I don’t see this as being about me. However, Christianity is a faith that involves the person. We experience it. There is no subjective/objective split. What the Bible says it says to all who would listen. For those who do, their experience is at one with what’s been said.

  • Again, trying to change the topic….

  • I’m not a fudamentalist. I don’t see the point in throwing out verses here. Anyone can find verses to support their view. That’s prooftexting. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been upset by people who do just that. They grab hold of some verse and use it to support their belief or claim as you put it. So we have people going aroudn saying it’s sinful for Christians to drink alcohol. There’s a thousand years of bliss in store for the Jews when Christ returns to the David throne and reinstates the sacrificial system. A rapture will occur that will beam us up to the sky because Christ won’t come all the way down. We’re not allowed to eat anything with blood in it. Vegetarianism is God’s best. David and Jonathan were homosexuals together. We can literally move mountains if only we believed we could. We must practice footwashing. Ministers should support themselves through their own means because Paul did, and on and on it goes. All these things sound like true statements for all time. They’ve been abstracted from the Story.

  • Still trying to change the topic, and still all about you.

  • This is not about me, Foxfier. It’s about what makes us human. It’s applicable across the board. Now this has become about prooftexting. You don’t accept something unless someone cites a chapte and verse. I don’t see that happening on any of the other threads.

    If you disagree with what I’ve stated, then say so. Tell me what you don’t believe in and why. Then we’ll take it from there. I’m fully ready to tackle that. I’m totally confident about what I’ve stated.

  • This is not about me, Foxfier.

    Nice of you to realize it, finally. So, when are you going to stop making it all about you?

    It’s about what makes us human.

    Close, but no– it’s about what makes us people.

    If you disagree with what I’ve stated, then say so. Tell me what you don’t believe in and why. Then we’ll take it from there.

    I’m not going to go back over all this again and collect up your unsupported claims, prooftexting quotes and attempts to shift the conversation.

    I’m fully ready to tackle that. I’m totally confident about what I’ve stated.

    Again, it becomes all about you. Same as the last several times.

  • Hmmm….don’t know what to say. But again, Christians are people of faith, of conviction. We have revelation from God, his Word, and we have faith. I don’t know what else you want to hear, but this is the most I can offer.

  • I don’t know what else you want to hear, but this is the most I can offer.

    Scroll up to the top of the page.

    See the post? See how it has a topic?

    Notice how it’s not “the word according to Pat”?

    Frankly, I doubt your sincerity. You were vaguely on topic up to the point where I started asking you to support the claims you made, such as that your dog is rational, or to explain the off-handed comments you made, such as about Victorian England.

  • Foxfier, dogs reason in a sense. They figure things out. SOme humans don’t. For example due to a profoundly low IQ or some other state they’re in. I mentioned Victorian England because people think of humans as rational—I intended my allusion to hit home, in other words, we’re not the rational people we tend to think we are. CIvilziation is precarious. Rationality adn civility are not givens. Intellectual edifices and official definitons based on rationality come and go, and people may or may not be willing to accept that understanding for long. In the end we have our faith, the revelation from God whom we place our faith in, and the convictions that develop as we persevere through life.

  • 1) Wrong kind of rational
    2) You’re still not supporting your claim that dogs aren’t “spiritual”– pretty hard to do, since they clearly do have a desire for something larger than themselves, most obviously their pack, and the God-shaped hole is traditionally detected by that yearning.
    3) How does Victorian England show that humans, as a group, are not rational?

  • Intellectual edifices and official definitons based on rationality come and go, and people may or may not be willing to accept that understanding for long.

    Fallacy. Truth isn’t determined by how popular a belief is.

    In the end we have our faith, the revelation from God whom we place our faith in, and the convictions that develop as we persevere through life.

    Again, you try to change the subject.

  • I don’t believe I have to support a claim that dogs aren’t spiritual. True, they are created by God. But they are not spiritual in the sense humans are. When it comes to something like that, I believe the burden is on the oteh person to prove that they ARE spiritual, i.e. made originally in God’s image and responsible to him in the way we are with the central purpose for which we were made.

    What God-shaped hole lies in the animals?

    Victorian England doesn’t necessarily show in itself that we’re not rational. World Wars and genocide do. Rebellion against the very Creator that made us creatures does. That’s irrational.

    Truth is not determined by popularity. Well said. But the acceptance of truth waxes and wanes throughout a civilization. The popularity level alters. What society is willing to take from the church changes. And it is for that reason that I remark on faith, revelation and conviction. Truth is spiritualy discerned. If civilization is not Christian, don’t expect it to heed truth from revelation that once was accepted. It’s wearning off. We can again see the separation of those who know and those who don’t, or to be more precise, the righteous and the wicked.

  • I notice you don’t believe you have to support most of the claims you make, or define your terms, or even hold with what you’ve previously said.

    You’re trying to change the topic again, too.

  • That separation occurs during times like this. Christianity and culture are not one and the same. They interact. It’s dynamic. The church is influenced by society and culture and also influences society and culture. This happens in varying degrees at different times.

    Thomism, Etienne Gilson’s choice, seems to some Christian philosophers to be the anwwer to our troubles. I just don’t see that. I think it creates more problems than it solves. Thomism, Calvinism, and all these scholastic methods don’t work out.

  • Would you please answer my questions? How is a dog spiritual? How is being rational at the center of being human?

  • I already did for the dog, and you’re still trying to change the conversation.

  • Foxfier, the conversation has remained the same throughout–the human–what makes us so. I’ve stated that we’re spriitual, originially amde in God’s image, fallen yet redeembable, and we have souls. That’s our identity, our meaning. Our purpose too. We were made to be priests and kings, to offer up sacrifices pleasing and acceptable, lives of service and praise, as we participate as co-creators, creatively engaging the world to God’s glory. Under God, over the earth.

    I’m sticking by this. It does not pertain to the animals, plants or othe aspects of visible creation. If extra-terrestrial life exists beyond angels and demons, we haven’t seen them yet and I suppose they’d be for another chapter. Thats’ God’s business, not ours. As of now, they exist as products of our creative imagination. We can posit other worlds and beings. It’s fabulous, but irrelevent to the discussion of what makes us human (except insofar as we can imagine other beings).

    You did not explain how a dog is spiritual. You only explained how they seek out things beyond themselves. Other aspects of creation. You didn’t prove they seek out or know God the Creator of all.

  • Yes, we are creative, and i’ve addressed that throughout the thread. We imagine other worlds, better worlds, more powerful beings. We hypothesize in all kinds of different ways. We have the creative capacity to invent new things. God engages those he calls in his plan. He invites us to work redemptively alongside him. He restores us. We live and reign again. Lords of the earth. That’s why we love myth. A new world’s coming and we’re going to reign as priests and kings in the kingdom of God.

  • Foxfier, the conversation has remained the same throughout–the human–what makes us so.

    No, it has not. Partly because the topic is not “what makes a human,” and partly because you keep dragging it off into The Word According to Pat.

    We’re now in stage three– stage one was making assertions until challenged, step two was offering quotes that didn’t say what you claimed or weren’t related to the topic, step three is you demanding that I do this or that.

    All of that, rather than just reading the post and responding to that.

  • As far as I can tell, and it’s not totally lucid, you’re trying to understand the human and to distinguish the human from the non-human who may also possess intelligence. Is that correct?

  • I don’t beleive it centers on intelligence or being rational. I beleive the Creator created a world and arranged it according to a plan. The plan, I believe, is what tells us about each being, who they are and what their purpose is. As the story unfolds, we learn of that in detail. We see where it goes and we get a glimpse of the outcome.

    That we are creative means we can posit OTHER worlds and beings similar too but not the same as us. I’m not sure what can be said beyond that. The dramatis personae in Scripture is pretty straightforward. We have the script, etc., and we live in that world.

  • We are characters in a story already underway. Through revelation, we learn that story and who we are. We wouldn’t know this otherwise. We otherwise wouldn’t know what being human versus being nonhuman meant. The distinction would not be clear.

    The world we inhabit is understood, if at all, through scriptural revelation. Otherwise it would be an existential exercise. We’d wonder about it. And we’d worship creation rather than the one Creator whose plan we are a part of.

  • I think I’ve ansered everyuthing as best as I can. I ‘ve told you how I feel concerning the whole thing. I’ve given you my very best understanding about who we are and what separates us from other biengs. I'[ve asked you to point out any paritcular disagreemnets you had with me and I told you I’d address them one by one. I answerreed several of the items you cited. What more do you expect? Yes, this should have been a fun exercixe, an enjoyable discussion aobout what makes us human and what separates us from other seen and unseen aspects of God’s order. Instead, this has become about reducing what I say to nothing by insisiting on literal quotes, citations, hair-splitting logic that would make a Presbyterian seem mild, and a sense that what you say matters and what isay does’nt. I don’t know where you learned to debate, but using terms like beg the question and so on when it’s a nice talk among Christian-minded people is not necessary. Straw-man, and all ofthis is used among adversaries or within debates that surpass this level. I’m a bit disappointed. I wish we could have discussed this thing in a fun way like you said without it becoming so literal and exacting.

  • This post has gone off topic, and there is apparently no pulling it back.

    I’m closing comments.

Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite: Why Doesn’t That Papist Bishop Just Shut Up?

Friday, July 8, AD 2011

Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, current faculty member and former president of the Chicago Theological Seminary ,(don’t laugh yet), doesn’t think much of Catholic bishops expressing opposition to gay marriage, and she  said so recently at some length in the “On Faith” (trust me that is a misnomer) blog at the Washington post.  Christopher Johnson at Midwest Conservative Journal, a Protestant who takes up the cudgels in defense of the Church so often that I have named him Defender of the Faith, gives her a fisking to remember:

Nobody, and I mean nobody, does pompous, arrogant self-righteousness better than liberal Protestants.  Via David “He Reads ‘On Faith’ So You Don’t Have To” Fischler comes this drivel from the Chicago Theological Seminary’s Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite criticizing a Catholic bishop for being…well…a Catholic bishop:

How can we expect other nations around the world to create and sustain pluralistic democracies when prominent religious leaders in the United Sates, such as Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of New York, fail to grasp the fundamentals of this concept?

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22 Responses to Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite: Why Doesn’t That Papist Bishop Just Shut Up?

  • The stand that the Church has taken (and must take) against homosexual behavior was severely weakened when Bishop Hubbard of the Diocese of Albany, NY gave such a rousing tribute to Governor Andy Cuomo at his inauguration Mass (did I describe that correctly?), knowing (how could one be unaware) of his stated position on abortion, homosexual marriage and co-habitation with his concubine.

    People like Cuomo, Pelosi, Biden, Kerry, Kucinich, Leahy, Guiliani (let’s not leave the RINOs excluded), etc., must be publicly excommunicated (1) to bring them to repentance and (2) as an example to the Faithful. St. Paul set such an example with Hymenaeus and Alexander in 1st Timothy 1:19-20. And worse happened for less to Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-11. Neither one murdered unborn babies or sanctified homosexual sodomy. Worse also happened to Jezebel at the Church in Thyatira as recorded in Revelation 2:20-23.

  • A lot of bandwidth to give an idiot, Don.

  • She and her ilk are treated seriously by the elites who run our country Joe, even if her position boils down to the belief that anyone who disagrees with her should just shut up.

  • Well, Don, maybe we should ignore the “elites,” too. 😆

  • As soon as they have no power in our society Joe I will be happy to do so.

  • “…her position boils down to the belief that anyone who disagrees with her should just shut up.”

    That is the hallmark of liberalism, progressivism and “demokracy”: two wolves and one sheep voting on what’s for dinner.

    “Well, Don, maybe we should ignore the ‘elites,’ too.”

    We should vote them out of office.

  • Don, only in the next life.

  • Oh, I think we can make them limp a bit in this life also Joe.

  • Catholics have been persecuted, put down and belittled for centuries and some of them (martyrs) have died for the faith. It is liberal sport to criticize Catholics. This leftist is no different than the persecutors of old and she will ultimately lose this battle. The truth always wins. “People the Earth” cannot apply to those who practice sodomy. There is a reason for everything within the Catholic Church and all of it stems from Jesus Christ, himself. The depravity of the leftist, modernist progressives knows no bounds: proved by the legalized murder it commits on the unborn. They may be the elites here on earth but they will not be the elites when they burn in hell. God help them all.
    It is up to all of us to remove all of them from power and from our churches. They are Lucifers with College Degrees.

  • I read her article on Ryan’s plan and Rand. I agree with a lot of what she said. The surge of interest in Ayn Rand does bother me, and I didn’t know that Ryan had been a fan. (Then again, I haven’t checked her sources on that.) But the piece ends with a classic bit of McCarthyism: if you support a plan that Randians support, you’re no better than they are. If a Christian supports the plan for a Christian reason, and a Randian supports the plan for a non-Christian reason, the Christian is acting as a non-Christian. Appalling.

  • May I gently remind my separated brethren here that it was the Republicans who were key to passing homo marriage in NY. The vote in the Legislature was 32-29 with the GOP posting the swing votes.

    So the idea that you can vote the bums out, as Paul P suggests, is ludicrous. Despite the so-called “shellacking” last November, House Republicans are on the verge of caving to Obama’s demands for either tax hikes or defense cuts, according to the latest scuttlebutt.

    Given that most Republicans pay mere lip service to important social issues such as abortion and gay marriage, there is not much difference between the two major political parties. That, Don, comprises the “elite” you reference. Making them “limp” is an inadequate remedy as long as they can still walk.

  • Pinky,

    Ryan has read Rand. I think his enthusiasm is for her thoughts on the free market etc. Contrary to what’s out there, he’s not made it required reading for his staff.

    I think reading Rand is the equivalent of reading Marx. A lot wrong in both (more wrong in Marx than in Rand) but not necessarily evil to understand their thoughts and where they may hit the mark.

    I’m sure Thistlethwaite has no problem with reading Marx.

  • There’s a certain amount of truth to what Joe green points out. I am thoroughly disgusted with the Republicans, but when given a choice between a Demokrat and a Republican, I will always vote Republican. The Republican Party certainly isn’t the party of God, but the Demokratik Party is the party of Satan.

    That being said, I really like the platform of the Constitution Party:

    http://www.constitutionparty.com/party_platform.php

    It is the closest to Church teaching of any of the political parties that I am seen. But the chances of this party gaining ascendency are abysmally low. So…..when the only two choices are the Demokrats and the Republicans, vote Republican. We cannot afford another four years of the Obamanation of Desolation.

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  • In reference to RINOS Joe they are not the main problem. Your example of gay marriage is instructive in New York. The vast majority of Republicans voted against it, while virtually all Democrats voted for it. The Pox on both your Houses stance is silly since it is the Democrats who are the driving force behind virtually all the bad ideas currently afflicting this country in the government arena. I have no problem with voting RINOs out and belaboring them, but I never take my eye off the main cause of bad ideas being made into law: The Democrat party and the voters who pull the lever for it.

  • “But the chances of this party gaining ascendency are abysmally low.”

    Actually the chance of the Constitution party ever being more than an electoral asterick on the national scene is abysmally low.

  • I realize that, Donald. -10 pts for me not wording the sentence more accurately.

  • Phillip, yeah, that may be the case. I don’t know anyone on his staff. Making an intern read one of her 3000-page books has got to be a violation of some labor law, though.

    I think Rand is a trap that the Buckley-Reagan generation knew to avoid. The conservative movement has never tried to alienate people who have good intentions. The effort is always made to explain why some things that sound like they’d be bad for the poor are really good for everyone including the poor. Conservatives get labelled cruel and uncaring, but always defend their principles as fundamentally good. The Rand trap is to espouse good economic policy in the name of evil. That doesn’t persuade anyone. And as Catholics, it’s our greater duty to identify and condemn evil.

  • What is depressing is three fold:

    1. The woman’s political thought as exemplified is confused, stereotyped, and crude;

    2. Her conception of her function vis-a-vis her denomination and protestant Christianity generally appears to be to re-imagine it in accordance with the zeitgeist – which is to say her position is parasitic, dishonest, and supercilious.

    3. She has an honored position on a theological faculty.

  • “She has an honored position on a theological faculty.”

    Ever learning and never coming to the knowledge of the truth – that’s in Scripture somewhere.

    My 2nd sponsor in a 12 step program used to tell us pigeons prideful of our education in Academia, “A thermometer has degrees and you know where you can stick that!”

    We really didn’t take too kindly to his statement (and he didn’t give a hoot because that’s what it took to rid us of the pride that kept us from staying sober), but sometimes it’s better to be without those credentials than to be like this woman – “done educated into imbecility.”

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  • Maybe because Incompetent and Unqualified Obama has not yet repealed the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights . . . He and the commie crowd are working on it.

    Credentialed, infallible ignorance . . . theology: making up stuff about god (purposefully not capitalized).

Von Galen Contra the Swastika

Sunday, March 20, AD 2011

In my first post on Blessed Clemens August Graf von Galen, which may be read here, we examined the life of this remarkable German bishop who heroically stood up to the Third Reich.  Today we examine the second of three sermons that he preached in 1941 which made him famous around the globe.  One week after his first breathtaking sermon against the Gestapo, my examination of which may be read here, he preached on July 20, 1941 a blistering sermon against the Nazis and their war on Christianity in general, and Catholicism in particular.

Today the collection which I ordered for the inhabitants of the city of Münster is held in all the parishes in the diocese of Münster which have not themselves suffered war damage. I hope that through the efforts of the state and municipal authorities responsible and the brotherly help of the Catholics of this diocese, whose contributions will be administered and distributed by the offices of the Caritas, much need will be alleviated.

Charity, always a prime duty of Catholics.

Thanks be to God, for several days our city has not suffered any new enemy attacks from without. But I am distressed to have to inform you that the attacks by our opponents within the country, of the beginning of which I spoke last Sunday in St. Lambert’s, that these attacks have continued, regardless of our protests, regardless of the anguish this causes to the victims of the attacks and those connected with them. Last Sunday I lamented, and branded as an injustice crying out to heaven, the action of the Gestapo in closing the convent in Wilkinghege and the Jesuit residences in Munster, confiscating their property and possessions, putting the occupants into the street and expelling them from their home area. The convent of Our Lady of Lourdes in Frauen­strasse was also seized by the Gau authorities. I did not then know that on the same day, Sunday 13th July, the Gestapo had occupied the Kamilluskolleg in Sudmühle and the Benedictine abbey of Gerleve near Coesfeld and expelled the fathers and lay brothers. They were forced to leave Westphalia that very day.

The Nazi war on the Church is becoming more brazen in the midst of the War.

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Faculty Committee Finds That Dr. Howell's Academic Due Process Rights Were Denied

Thursday, October 21, AD 2010

 

Faithful readers of our blog will recall the case of Dr. Kenneth Howell at the University of Illinois.  I have posted on his firing and subsequent rehiring here, here, here and here.  Briefly, Dr. Howell taught a course on Catholicism at the University of Illinois under contract between the Newman Center at the University of Illinois and the University since 2001.  Dr. Howell describes the events which led to his firing:

This past semester was unusual. In previous years, I had students who might have disagreed with the Church’s position but they did so respectfully and without incident.  This semester (Spring 2010) I noticed the most vociferous reaction that I have ever had. It seemed out of proportion to all that I had known thus far. To help students understand better how this issue might be decided within competing moral systems, I sent them an email contrasting utilitarianism (in the populist sense) and natural moral law. If we take utilitarianism to be a kind of cost-benefit analysis, I tried to show them that under utilitarianism, homosexual acts would not be considered immoral whereas under natural moral law they would. This is because natural moral law, unlike utilitarianism, judges morality on the basis of the acts themselves.

 After the semester was over, I was called into the office of Robert McKim, the chairman of the Department of Religion, who was in possession of this email. I was told that someone (I presume one of my students) sent this email to the Office of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Concerns at the University. It was apparently sent to administrators in the University of Illinois and then forwarded on to Professor McKim. I was told that I would no longer be able to teach in the Department of Religion.

Professor McKim and I discussed the contents of the email and he was quite insistent that my days of teaching in the department were over. I offered that it would be more just to ask me not to address the subject of homosexuality in my class. In fact, the other class I regularly taught (Modern Catholic Thought) never dealt with that subject at all. I also averred that to dismiss me for teaching the Catholic position in a class on Catholicism was a violation of academic freedom and my first amendment rights of free speech. This made no difference. After that conversation and a couple of emails, Professor McKim insisted that this decision to dismiss me stood firm.

The Newman Center and the Diocese of Peoria did not stand behind Howell initially, seeming to want to avoid a conflict with the University.  Dr. Howell contacted the Alliance Defense Fund which contacted the University and threatened to file suit.  Catholic bloggers raised a huge hue and cry about the firing.  Eventually the firing decision was reversed, and Dr. Howell was re- hired to teach Introduction to Catholicism in the fall semester of this year.  However, the contract between the Newman Center and the University of Illinois was ended, and Dr. Howell would simply teach the course as a regular adjunct professor of  the University.

The faculty committee has finished its examination of the firing of Dr. Howell.  Inside Education has obtained a leaked copy of the report, and a story on the report may be read here, along with a link to the report.

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6 Responses to Faculty Committee Finds That Dr. Howell's Academic Due Process Rights Were Denied

  • Donald – Thanks for all the work you have did posting on this topic. It was/is very helpful. Thank you.

  • I confess. I am one of the (primally evil) Americans that opposes politically correct censorship, coersion and show trials.

    One of the more notorious perpetrators of the so-called enlightenement said something to the effect, I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend (to the death?) your right to say it.

  • That was Voltaire T. Shaw. I doubt if he meant it.

  • That was Voltaire T. Shaw. I doubt if he meant it.

    Ha!

    Don, Do I recall correctly that you have a book of quotes you collected or am I thinking of someone else? If so, you need to put your own quote in there. Perfect!

  • Thank you RL, and I have do have quite a list of quotes I have stol…, that is borrowed, from others over the years.

  • Catholics fought back, and that is the most important lesson from this affair: the necessity for Catholics to stand and fight when they receive bigoted treatment.

    Exactly. Helmet to helmet, put ’em down hard.

Victory! Dr. Ken Howell Reinstated at the University of Illinois!

Thursday, July 29, AD 2010

Dr. Kenneth Howell, the adjunct professor at the University of Illinois who was fired for teaching Catholic doctrine regarding homosexuality in a class on Catholicism has been reinstated by the University.  Here is the press release from the Alliance Defense Fund that represented Dr. Howell:

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana confirmed to Alliance Defense Fund attorneys Thursday that it will once again allow popular professor Dr. Kenneth Howell to teach on Catholicism after recently firing him for explaining the Roman Catholic Church’s position on human sexual behavior to members of his class.

ADF attorneys representing Howell sent a letter to university officials on July 12 explaining that the university’s actions violated his rights protected by the First Amendment and asked that he be reinstated.

“A university cannot censor professors’ speech–including classroom speech related to the topic of the class–merely because certain ideas ‘offend’ an anonymous student. We greatly appreciate the university’s move to put Professor Howell back in the classroom, but we will be watching carefully to make sure that his academic freedom is protected throughout the university’s ongoing process,” said ADF Senior Counsel David French.

A letter from the University of Illinois Office of University Counsel admits no wrongdoing on the part of the university but states, “The School of Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics will be contacting Dr. Howell to offer him the opportunity to teach Religion 127, Introduction to Catholicism, on a visiting instructional appointment at the University of Illinois, for the fall 2010 semester. Dr. Howell will be appointed and paid by the University for this adjunct teaching assignment.”

The letter then adds that a university committee will continue its investigation of Howell’s situation.

Howell, who had been teaching at the university since 2001, was relieved of his teaching duties based in part on an anonymous complaint sent via e-mail to university officials. The e-mail was sent by the friend of an anonymous student who claimed to be “offended” by a May 4 e-mail Howell sent to students elaborating on a class discussion concerning Catholic beliefs about sexual behavior.

The May 4 e-mail from Howell addressed a May 3 lecture in which he explained how the Roman Catholic Church distinguishes between same-sex attraction and homosexual conduct. He accurately stated the church’s teaching that homosexual conduct is morally wrong, framing the issue in the context of natural moral law.

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19 Responses to Victory! Dr. Ken Howell Reinstated at the University of Illinois!

  • A letter from the University of Illinois Office of University Counsel admits no wrongdoing on the part of the university

    I don’t believe the University learned its lesson about free speech.

  • They learned a more important lesson Tito. Catholics are dangerous, they fight back.

  • This is great news, and am I reading this right, that the U of I agreed to pick up paying his salary (instead of having the Diocese of Peoria pay it)?

    Also, note that his prospective teaching position is in the School of Linguistics and Culture instead of the religion/philosophy department. Perhaps the earlier flap was more due to a personality clash with the religion department chair than anything else.

  • “Also, note that his prospective teaching position is in the School of Linguistics and Culture instead of the religion/philosophy department.”

    So, does this mean that the University of Illinois sees Catholicism as a “cultural” phenomenon rather than as a religion?

  • I am still trying to come to terms with why a secular university would have a religion department anyway. I am certainly not against religion being taught, and it is a fascinating area, but if religiously affiliated universities have a hard time teaching it correctly (*cough* Notre Dame/Georgetown/San Diego *cough*), how well will a secular university do it? And who decides what is “authentic Catholic teaching” in a secular university?

    Is there a way for the Church to protect its brand integrity, so to speak?

  • So, does this mean that the University of Illinois sees Catholicism as a “cultural” phenomenon rather than as a religion?

    LOL, I can see the new course syllabus now:

    1. Kitsch and Paraphernalia
    2. Narratives of Catholic School Discipline
    3. Pre- or Post-Vatican II: Felt Banners?
    4. Ethnic Interpretations: Drunken Brawls on Friday, Confession on Saturday, Mass on Sunday
    5. The BVM: More Than a Car Decal?

  • This article might give you some pause:

    “The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign announced Thursday that it is ending an unusual relationship under which an independent Roman Catholic center has for decades nominated instructors to teach Catholic thought at the university and paid their salaries . . . A lawyer for the Alliance Defense Fund, a group that defends religious students and faculty members, and that is representing Howell, said that the organization was much more concerned about his continued teaching than about the link between the university and the Newman Center.”

  • Not at all. The relationship between the University and the Newman Center in regard to the teaching of classes about Catholicism is of small importance to me. The issue for me was always about the firing of a professor for reasons that clearly rested in anti-Catholic bigotry. The University has backed down on that point, and we will see what happens to Dr. Howell at the end of next semester and fight that battle at that time.

  • I agree with Don.

  • What do you think about The Anchoress’ comments:

    This rehire–with the school, not the church employing him–does one of two things:

    1) Makes it easier to eliminate the class in future

    2) Gives the school control over what Howell can or cannot teach, which would be fatal to the class, and disturbing to our constitutional future, as it suggests the sort of business we’re seeing in the UK, where simply declaring Christian doctrine (whether doing it badly or well), or even simply offering prayers will be enough to get one fired or arrested.

  • And these comments, via Insight Scoop, from Dr. David Delaney: “[I]t seems obvious to me that even if Ken does teach in the fall, there is no way that he can stay there for very long on a paltry $20k a year. Even if he does choose to accept the resolution, without tenure and without an agreement with the Newman Center, Ken will have no recourse if they simply discontinue his classes without providing him a reason. In any case, it is nearly certain that someone other than Ken will be teaching classes on Catholicism at the U of I in the near future, or as the UI associate chancellor for public affairs called it, ‘the theory of Catholicism.'”

  • The relationship between the Diocese and the University regarding the teaching of for credit classes on Catholicism paid for by the Diocese was never the issue. The issue was the firing of Dr. Howell for anti-Catholic reasons. Whether it is a good thing for a Diocese to fund courses on Catholicism at a public university is debatable. Frankly, I would think the money could be better spent with the courses being taken at the Newman Center under the auspices of a Catholic college with a reciprocal agreement with the U of I regarding recognition of earned credits. Instruction at a public university regarding Catholicism obviously risks the dilution of the instruction, as was attempted here by the firing of Dr. Howell. Catholic students, and non-Catholic students seeking instruction on Catholicism, might well do better receiving instruction free of any influence of the University of Illinois. Reasonable people can differ on that subject. What is not debatable is that Catholics need to raise a furor whenever a Catholic loses his or her job simply because he or she is a faithful Catholic. To me that is what this whole battle was about, and the reversal of the firing is the victory.

  • Yeah, I guess you’re right about that. I don’t meant to nag and I certainly agree about the value of “raising a furor.” I’m just pessimistic about universities in general and their effect on the culture: speech codes, the Martinez decision, application of ill-defined ethics standards, etc. I have trouble thinking this isn’t a net loss down the road.

  • In regard to colleges and universities in general Tony you have every right to be pessimistic. However, the days of the old brick and mortar unversities I think are numbered. With the effortless diffusion of knowledge over the internet, I think how higher education is done 20, perhaps ever 15, years from now will bear little resemblance to how we do it now. Higher education could be done for a fraction of what it costs now and in less time. Eventually simple economics will force the change. Like newspapers, current colleges and universities are on their way to the tar pits. Overall I think this will be a healthy development both for education and for intellectual freedom.

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  • Dr. Ken,

    Your course is called Religion 127. May I suggest it be changed to Religion (Psalm) 127:1 with the subtitle as follows: “Except the LORD shall build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the LORD shall keep the city, the watchman waketh in vain.” (Webster 1830) Substitute “institution” for both house and city in the above for the ideal university in a nation that was founded “…under God…”

    Continue to fight the good fight for all of America.

    Dave Wade

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Firing of Dr. Kenneth Howell to be Reviewed By University of Illinois Committee

Wednesday, July 14, AD 2010

Last week I wrote here about the firing of Dr. Kenneth Howell who had the audacity, in a class about the Catholicism, to actually state Catholic doctrine about homosexuality.  There has been enough of a furor since that the University of Illinois is acting, according to this story in the Chicago Tribune:

A faculty group at the University of Illinois’ flagship campus will review the decision to fire an adjunct religion professor for saying he agreed with Catholic doctrine on homosexuality.

Urbana- Champaign campus Chancellor Robert Easter said Monday he hopes to have a decision on the firing of Kenneth Howell from the Faculty Senate’s Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure by the time fall classes start. The review is to determine whether Howell’s academic freedom was violated.

“We want to be able to reassure ourselves there was no infringement on academic freedom here,” new university President Michael Hogan told members of the Faculty Senate on Monday. “This is a very, very important, not to mention a touchy and sensitive, issue. Did this cross the line somehow?”

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10 Responses to Firing of Dr. Kenneth Howell to be Reviewed By University of Illinois Committee

Anti-Catholic Bigotry Alive and Well at the University of Illinois

Friday, July 9, AD 2010

I am an alum of the U of I.  I obtained my BA in 79 and my JD in 82.  My wife is also an alum of the U of I, obtaining her MA in Spanish in 82.  Our eldest son will be entering the U of I as a freshman in August.  I therefore found the news that  Professor Kenneth Howell, an adjunct Professor at the University of Illinois, has been fired for teaching in a course about Catholicism  basic Catholic doctrine on homosexuality quite alarming:

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39 Responses to Anti-Catholic Bigotry Alive and Well at the University of Illinois

  • Looking at the e-mail from the student to the administration, and the original e-mail from Howell, two things seem clear:

    1. Neither the student nor his “friend” have a clear understanding of the purpose or content of Howell’s e-mail. They clearly cannot distinguish between advocacy and presentation of a fairly standard-issue argument in Catholic moral theology. I might expect this of high school students. College students should know better.

    2. This supposed college student’s grasp of standard English is most distressing. “Anyways”? Yikes!

    I am forced to question the Department Chair’s ability to notice the above.

  • In other words: Teach Catholicism, but don’t teach that it has anything to do with reason and reality. We must continue the lie that faith and reason are at odds, that the Church opposes gay marriage solely as a matter of religious faith, and that religion is purely a matter of private opinion, not public action.

    And this is supposed to “promote independent thought”? I’d wager that those students have never encountered any though quite so radical as Prof. Howell was exposing them to. He was doing exactly what they say they wanted.

  • Elena Kagan demonstrated how liberal pandering to any special interest group trumps your right to freedom to exercise your religion.

    Kagan on Whether Catholic Church Could Recruit at Harvard Law

    http://tinyurl.com/369nxwj

    This is precisely how Hitler took over Germany. It began with politically correct “thinking” which led to politically correct “law” and everything Hitler did was “legal”. This “judge” who never met a politically correct cause she didnn’t love and support (regardless of it’s standing the law) is about to take a seat on the highest court in the land.

    Yet she is touted for her “brilliance” and legal scholarship. They teach you all about the law in law school – they don’t teach you a thing about JUSTICE.

    ———————–
    “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

    ~ President John Adams

    “Authentic democracy is possible only in a state ruled by law, and on the basis of a correct conception of the human person. It requires that the necessary conditions be present for the advancement both of the individual through education and formation in true ideals, and of the “subjectivity” of society through the creation of structures of participation and shared responsibility. Nowadays there is a tendency to claim that agnosticism and skeptical relativism are the philosophy and the basic attitude which correspond to democratic forms of political life. Those who are convinced that they know the truth and firmly adhere to it are considered unreliable from a democratic point of view, since they do not accept that truth is determined by the majority, or that it is subject to variation according to different political trends. It must be observed in this regard that if there is no ultimate truth to guide and direct political activity, then ideas and convictions can easily be manipulated for reasons of power. As history demonstrates, a democracy without values easily turns into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism.”

    ~ Pope John Paul II – Centesimus Annus

  • theory of Catholicism

    So now Catholicism is a theory and not a faith?

  • Just read the emails. I’m no natural law philosopher, but wasn’t the professor’s explanation of natural law a little weak? It was more about biology than teleology. Nor was his description of utilitarianism exactly correct.

    Still not grounds for dismissing him, however.

  • Does anyone else see the immediate bias by Kaler when saying “the theory of Catholicism.” This sums the issue up. Another situation of higher education punishing the religious guy.

  • I hope that it is starting to dawn on the “Catholic Church” that when you sleep with dogs you wake up with fleas. Amen!

  • TonyC,

    Are you referring to the U of I as dogs?

  • Do you think if he had taught what Islam tenets are in the Koran on morality and homosexuality and the handling of those of that orientation, he would have lost his post.

  • “When I joined the military it was against regulations to be homosexual, then it became optional. I’m getting out before it becomes mandatory.” GySgt Harry Berres, USMC

  • Guys, guys! Remember, you’re free to talk all you want about Catholicism, as long as you don’t believe it!

  • Very, very troubling indeed! May God have mercy on us. It is so hard for me to see the radical decay all around. May I work to be faithful, to pray for the Catholic Church and for men like this, punished harshly for speaking of their religious beliefs, that were once protected by the very Constitution that is now used to persecute them.

  • This is just awful. Kenneth Howell, in case you don’t know, is a former Presbyterian minister who converted to the Catholic faith — which of course, forced him to give up THAT job — and who has written several books on Catholic doctrine. He converted well BEFORE he took this job. He was hired by the U of I specifically to teach classes on Catholic doctrine, which have been offered, for credit, for decades. It should not surprise anyone that he agrees with Catholic teaching on homosexuality and other issues.

    What he said is not “hate speech” any more than, say, an observant Orthodox Jewish professor who teaches classes specifically on Judaism attempting to explain kosher dietary laws and having a student who raises hogs back home take offense at it.

  • Friend, huh? Might this ‘friend’ not be a student? Is it possible that someone just wants a politically correct elucidation of the theory of Catholicism without any of the truth of what the Church teaches?

    I am also curious, how does saying that sodomy is an unnatural act ostracize people with homosexualist proclivities? Any biologist would tell you that certain human orifices are for evacuation and not anything else, except in cases of medical testing. Should we outlaw the theory of biology?

    Apparently the school wants to teach the theory of Catholicism and disassociation themselves from what the Church actually teaches. Why? Does anyone really think the UI Religion Dept. is somehow associated with the Church or with Catholics in anyway? Why did his statement violate the ‘inclusivity’ policy? Was he banning homosexualists from his class? Did he tell them that Sodomites aren’t allowed to learn about the theory of Catholicism? Were they told they were not allowed to disagree with Natural Law? Since when does the Church or those who teach her truths believe that humans don’t have free will?

    Are we going to fire history teachers who teach the offensive act of killing Jews? How do you study Nazi Germany without addressing the wholesale slaughter of Jews, Catholics, etc.? You can’t. It is the truth. Nazis did kill Jews. It is offensive. It certainly isn’t inclusive. I seriously doubt that any history teacher worth their mettle thinks it is OK to kill Jews – but they teach it nonetheless, because that is what Nazis did and what they believed. No one has to agree with it. This is ridiculous.

    I wonder if its OK to teach about Nazism because most Nazis were Sodomites and not OK to teach about Catholicism because the Church teaches that Sodomy is not OK, despite the proclivities of a small number of her members – of course, we don’t talk about pederast priests, we talk about pedophile priests because if we addressed the real problem, we may have to indict Sodomy. Me thinks there is an agenda here and just like in the late Wiemar Republic it starts with the homosexualists.

  • I was tempted to say that this development would make Msgr. Edward Duncan, the VERY longtime U of I Newman Center chaplain (over 50 years, from the 1940s to the 1990s), “turn over in his grave”, but after doing a quick google search on his name it appears he’s still alive, or was as recently as 2008. Anyone know his status? I don’t doubt he would have a LOT to say about this.

  • They would never have pulled this Elaine if Duncan were still in charge of the Newman Center. He was a formidable presence on the campus and not a man to brook any insult against the Church, as I noted when I was at the U of I. Judging from the spineless reaction of the Newman Center to this outrage, I guess the University decided that Catholics would just take this slap in the face lying down. Time to prove them wrong.

  • Will they fire Muslims for taking the same position?

  • “spineless reaction of the Newman Center to this outrage”

    I just hopped over to Thomas Peters’ blog and read the actual letter from Dr. Howell himself, explaining his side of the story.

    After reading it, I’m almost as ticked off at the Newman Center and the Diocese of Peoria as I am at the university! It APPEARS that they told him “Sorry, can’t help you, and by the way, we no longer need your services either, so good luck and don’t let the door hit you on your way out.” What’s up with that?

  • Do I have this right? A man teaches the 2,000 year old teachings of Holy Mother Church in a U course on Catholicism and is terminated for hate speech.

    But Obama supporters call for murdering crackers and their babies; and that’s free speech.

    Go figure.

  • If the “Institute of Catholic Thought” for which Dr. Howell worked is structured in such a way that an instructor can no longer work for the Institute if they no longer work for the university, well, isn’t this living proof that the Newman Foundation and the Diocese had better do something about that? If they don’t, then I will have to take back all my past comments about the U of I being a more “Catholic” university (because of the quality of its Newman Center, and of the ICT classes) than some Catholic in name only schools are.

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  • As a no longer proud alum of U of I it shows me that the motto Learning and Labor has left the learning behind. Universities understand only one thing now and that is money. Don’t just write comments on blogs, write the president of U of I at mjhogan@liinois.edu If you are an alumm tell him you won’t send them another dime until this is fixed. Send emails to all of your alumni friends. Post this on all of your blogs.

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  • Msgr. Duncan is still alive. His health isn’t so great anymore, but he occasionally makes appearances at St. Johns. I know he was there as recently as last fall for a special event.

  • This is simply further proof that the so-called Diversity Movement is about anything BUT diversity. It is about conformity to a set agenda with dogmas as entrenched as those of the Catholic Church with whom they are at war. Homosexuality and the praise thereof top the list of that agenda.

    I was particularly awed by the following excerpt taken from the email sent by the offended students “friend” and the mention of “independent thought” : “Teaching a student about the tenets of a religion is one thing,” the student wrote in the e-mail. “Declaring that homosexual acts violate the natural laws of man is another. The courses at this institution should be geared to contribute to the public discourse and promote independent thought; not limit one’s worldview and ostracize people of a certain sexual orientation.”

    Who is genuinely aware of the meaning of true public discourse here? Who is promoting genuinely independent thought? Who is being ostracized? It certainly isn’t the Diversity Movement, not is it the offended student, who is still a student, while the good Prof. is beating the streets looking for a job.

  • Food for thought received in an email from the Manhattan Declaration group:

    ” . . . may be one of the gravest, most insidious threats to religious freedom I’ve seen in my lifetime: What may be an attempt, at the very highest levels of government, to RE-DEFINE the very meaning of religious freedom, from “free exercise” to merely private worship.”

  • “Will they fire Muslims for taking the same position?”

    No, only anti-catholic bigotry is allowed.

  • Is there any anti-Buddhism, anti-Hinduism, anti-Islamic, anti-protestant? Why there is anti-Catholic Bigotry? If there is answer please answer me. Thanks!

  • GM: I think (bombs away!) that there is anti-Catholic bigotry because Holy Mother the Church (the minority that actually adheres to its precepts) is a major safeguard against secular humanist cultural/societal hegemony.

    And, if one believes (as a small minority of so-called Catholics believes) that we are IN this world, but not OF this world, one is less easily controlled and, thus, one is a threat to the statist, fascist far-left liberals intent on controlling aspects of our lives.

    And, because the majority of bishops, nearly all so-called catholic scholars, catholic university regimes, etc. have sold out to Obama and the socilaists. In this rounnd the bowl of pottage is full of human dignity, peace, social justice, etc.

    I could barf!

  • T. Shaw,

    Food for thought received in an email from the Manhattan Declaration group:

    ” . . . may be one of the gravest, most insidious threats to religious freedom I’ve seen in my lifetime: What may be an attempt, at the very highest levels of government, to RE-DEFINE the very meaning of religious freedom, from “free exercise” to merely private worship.”

    That is why the Obama administration and many liberals continue to say “Freedom of Worship” instead of “Freedom of Religion”.

    They want to eliminate faith completely from the public square by redefining certain precepts of the U.S. Constitution.

  • You can say that Catholic bigotry is alive at the University of Illinois, but your church is a most dangerous foe of civil and religious liberty. The Catholic Bishops descended on Congress and pressured our legislators to pass Obama’s health care bill, even though the nation could not afford it and is on the verge to ruin and bankruptcy. The Bishops have no respect whatsoever for the U.S. Constitution. All across the board the church is pushing its’ agenda, seeking to dominate and control. The papacy is battering down the walls of church-state separation every where she can. She is pushing to enforce Sunday observance upon all of Europe, and is pushing for Sunday enforcement in the U.S. also. The Founding Fathers enacted safeguards, but these are being dismantled. Persecution is returning as sure as day. The words of John Adams, our second president, are proving true, as liberty of conscience is more and more threatened, “I have long been decided in opinion that a free government and the Roman Catholic religion can never exist together in any nation or Country.” “Liberty and Popery cannot live together.”

  • Logan,

    The Catholic Bishops are U.S. citizens.

    You need to brush up on the constitution.

    The last time I read it we all have freedom of expression.

  • Actually Logan the Bishops opposed Obamacare due to fear of it funding abortion. However I have found that anti-Catholicism and rank ignorance tend to go together so I am unsurprised that you are misinformed.
    As to your comment about the Church attempting to enforce Sunday observance, that is a fantasy you either got from an anti-Catholic website or dreamed up in your fevered imagination.

  • Logan, if you are some sort of Christian, then you should prayerfully read John 8:32.

    If you aren’t Christian, then you should pray, “God, if you really exist, help me understand what you are telling me in this Scripture reading.” and then read John 8:32.

    God and His Church do not impose, He proposes – the rest is up to you. Know that your Father loves you, despite any feelings you have otherwise.

  • Logan,

    The wall of separation between Church and States is from a letter Jefferson wrote in 1802 to the Danbury Baptists, a religious minority fearing that they would not be able to worship the way they were inclined and Jefferson was assuring them that the first amendment to the Constitution protected their religion from interference by the federal government.

    Jefferson was an adept diplomat and knowing his audience, Baptists, he wrote in terms they would understand. The wall of separation was drawn from a sermon by Roger Williams, whose sermons would have been known well among Baptists in 1802.

    The particular sermon is titled, “The Garden in the Wilderness” preached in 1644. He said, “When they have opened a gap in the hedge or wall of separation between the garden of the Church and the wilderness of the world, God hath ever broke down the wall itself, removed the candlestick, and made his garden a wilderness, as at this day. And that there fore if He will e’er please to restore His garden and paradise again, it must of necessity be walled in peculiarly unto Himself from the world.”

    Clearly Jefferson was referring to the fact that the wall separated the Church (the garden) from the State (the wilderness of the world) to protect the Church from the corruption of the political power. He was not even intoning that the State had a right to be ‘protected’ from the Church. In Jefferson’s time, even though it followed the Enlightenment, people of faith knew that religion formed men in virtue and virtuous leaders, men of character, were what was required to govern the Republic.

    Twisting this wall of separation to mean that religion has no place in public life is an atheistic Communist ploy. Probably concocted by the Communist front – the ACLU. It is a lie and intelligent people using the gift of human reason wouldn’t employ such a tired and weak argument.

  • “Will they fire Muslims for taking the same position?”

    An excellent question! Are similar courses in Islam being taught there?

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George Weigel: Defend Religious Freedom

Tuesday, May 18, AD 2010

George Weigel wrote a timely article in National Review Online titled, Defending Religious Freedom in Full.

In it cites the extremist attacks in expressing our Catholic faith in the public square.

The forms of these attacks are egregious because they that attack us are also tearing apart the moral fabric of this nation.

Case in point is the Washington Post, and in my opinion they represent secular humanism, when it comes to natural law they painted those that hold to natural law as extremists:

This past October, in the heat of a political campaign, the nation’s political newspaper of record, the Washington Post, ran an editorial condemning what it termed the “extremist views” of a candidate for attorney general of Virginia who had suggested that the natural moral law was still a useful guide to public policy.

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The Liberal Dystopia of Political Correctness

Thursday, April 29, AD 2010

In our world today we are living in what I would refer to as the Liberal Dystopia of Political Correctness.  This thing that our current Holy Father warned us about.

As secular humanism continues its march towards a Dictatorship of Relativism we innocent bystanders suffer the consequences of its fruits when prejudice is rewarded and common sense rejected.

Five years ago this month, in the Mass prior to the Conclave of 2005 A.D., then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger warned us in his homily that:

“We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and desires.”

An excellent example of this dictatorship of relativism or as I would name it, liberal dystopia, is the United Kingdom’s Foreign Office anti-Catholic memo on the preparation of Pope Benedict’s visit to Britain.

In this event Anjoum Noorani, another Oxford educated civil servant* of the U.K. Foreign Office, who headed the Papal Visit Team that was planning the Pope’s visit to Britain was only verbally reprimanded for his part in approving and distributing the anti-Catholic memo.

What makes this worse is that the Foreign Office advertised the requirements for the position to lead the Papal Visit Team as “Prior knowledge of the Catholic church is not necessary“.

To add some irony the advertisement also stated, “High levels of tact and diplomacy will be required.

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2 Responses to The Liberal Dystopia of Political Correctness

  • Britain has become, as one Russian news commentator put it a while back, “an Orwellian prison camp.”

    I used to dream about visiting the British Isles as a kid because I loved the Middle Ages and my heritage is there.

    Now I wouldn’t be caught dead in that trash heap, a nation of degenerates. Maybe I’ll visit Ireland before the putrid soul-rot of England and Scotland completely consumes it as well.

  • [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IIzNmLDvb8&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

British Government Shows Prejudice Towards Papal Visit

Sunday, April 25, AD 2010

[Updates at the bottom of this post as of 4-25-2010 AD at 8:28pm Central time]

An internal U.K. government memo titled “Policy planning ahead of the Pope’s visit” have caused an uproar in Britain and which included the following suggestions:

  • The launching of Papal-branded condoms.
  • Blessing homosexual marriages.
  • Opening an abortion ward.

There is more, but you get the picture.

The memo was distributed to key officials in Downing Street and Whitehall.  Many recipients were not so pleased which eventually led to an investigation and finally to a public apology by the U.K. Foreign Office:

“The text was not cleared or shown to Ministers or senior officials before circulation. As soon as senior officials became aware of the document, it was withdrawn from circulation.”

“The individual responsible has been transferred to other duties. He has been told orally and in writing that this was a serious error of judgement and has accepted this view.”

“The Foreign Office very much regrets this incident and is deeply sorry for the offence which it has caused.”

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40 Responses to British Government Shows Prejudice Towards Papal Visit

  • I’m a British Subject and also a Roman Catholic and am appalled at this memo and how it portrays my country to the world.

    I’ve spent this morning contacting the relevent ministers and heads of the civil servants by letter and email.

    If you’d like to express your concern the Scottish Office is the department in charge of the visit- you can contact them by email at
    http://www.scotlandoffice.gov.uk/scotlandoffice/58.html

    The minister concerned is Jim Murphy. The Foreign Secretary is David Miliband. He can be contacted at
    edeelection@live.co.uk.

  • I live in the UK and am constantly apalled by the things this and other popes have said on many subjects they have no knowledge, experience or place to make comment.

    I have read the whole list its simply proposes confronting the Pope with reality of the modern world, his beliefs and policies which are at odds with the majority rational thinking people in this country.

    This just shows the moral hypocrisy of the Chatholic church.

  • “Chatholic church.”

    Rob, if you are intent on going through life as an anti-Catholic bigot, at least do so as an anti-Catholic bigot who can spell.

  • Rob, let me get this straight: because people don’t *agree* with the Pope it’s then perfectly acceptable to torment him and hurt him?

    Typical “open minded” and “tolerant” Liberal.

  • I’m British and I couldn’t be happyer that this was sent to the pope. He has the responsibility and opportunity to stand up to pedaphellia in the catholic church,instead he blames it on homosexualaty. He could help end the aids crisis in africa by condoning the uses of condoms, instead he says they dont work. This is the workings of a old, twisted and evil mind. If there is a hell I’m sure thats were he is going!

  • Why don`t you also offer condoms or aborted babies to the Dalai Lama? You bigot may not know it, but the Pope and the Dalai Lama are on the same page when it comes to defend human dignity. I am almost sure you are one of these who throw themselves at the Lama`s feet to feel cool and trendy.
    But it only shows how small your imagination is, tried up by your so-called “rationality”.

  • Matt,

    First the email was only an internal government email, not a global email.

    Second you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    You need to do your own research or at least read Catholic blogs to understand the misperceptions out there.

    And be careful who you judge that goes to Hell.

    Be merciful as your God is merciful.

    Because He will judge you as you judge others.

  • It is interesting to watch western governments, which owe their existence to Christianity, now openly ridicule and reject it. I am getting tired of it for one and make no mistake about it I will defend the church

  • Oh Britannia, what has happened to you? You were beautiful once…

  • Doreen, many thanks for your links to relevant government contacts. (and I hope that you’ll be able to see the Holy Father in person during his visit!)

    Per the Telegraph, the ‘ideal visit’ list was attached to a memo that stated, “Please protect; these should not be shared externally. The ‘ideal visit’ paper in particular was the product of a brainstorm which took into account even the most far-fetched of ideas.”

    That these sorts of insulting ideas would be the product of a government ‘brainstorm’ speaks volumes about the immaturity of the Foreign Office employees involved. Leaking it to the press seems an anti-Catholic action. But hey, we ARE the easy target these days, hmmm? If “South Park” is an indication, it’s safer to bash Christianity in general than Islam.

    Contrary to the belief of the Times reporter, I suspect that the Holy Father will take this inanity in stride.

    Praying for the safety and good health of our Holy Father as he visits England.

  • That something like this would be put together is in a sense not surprising. I could see some 20-something ex-campaign assistant, now political appointees pulling off this kind of stunt in our own government. And the grown ups at the Foreign Ministry sound rightly appalled.

    That we’ve got a couple Brits showing up here to defend the memo, however, just goes to show the old empire still hasn’t lost the sort of blokes that the Irish side of my family came to know and love over the centuries…

  • what a disppointment the UK has become!

  • This is almost as disgusting as hiding pedophiles in the church.

  • With this example of British bigotry and noting the comments of some of the Brits who have shown up to defend it, I say Thank God for 1776!

  • This is why Britain has become a society of degenerates.

    Apparently they didn’t realize that 1984 wasn’t an instruction manual, but a warning.

  • I kind of like the idea of the Pope and the Queen singing a duet together.

  • *sigh* Homophobia knows no borders. Glad I am an atheist.

  • Why would an atheist come to this website?

    When Pope Benedict XVI meets Queen Elizabeth II, I can only hope he has one question for her: “WTF?”

  • Union Jack,

    Thank you.

    I’m sure the British people are disappointed in how you engage in charitable dialogue.

  • Personally I find this whole episode amusing and find it difficult to take even slightly seriously. The catholic church is a sprawling institution keen on looking after its own interests and with lots of bazaar ideas that are counter to human instinct or out of touch with the world we live in. That’s before the issues of a former member of the Hitler Youth engaging in efforts to marginalise the seriousness of child abuse within the organisation he works for.

    All in all, this is not a serious event and while the pope is a leader of faith he is not a political statesman (due to the size of the vatican) and he is not above mockery for his ideas.

  • To Antony (April 25th 9:56pm)

    The pope can ask the Queen what he likes but she can respond however she feels best. She afterall is also a leader of faith as well as the head of state to almost a third of the worlds population.

    In effect she has greater authority than the pope and so can say whatever she feels is best.

  • The Pope has made no secret of his hatred and contempt for secular society and secular values. But secularists have values — some of which are at utter variance with the Pope’s very medieval views. So, when they are expressed, whether they refer to pedophelia, stem-cell research or the church’s attitudes to celibacy within the church itself or celibate attitudes to women generally, sexuality, aids, family, fertility-management etc., why should catholics be surprised? The civil servants are entitled to have their views — even if they are not entitled to communicate them in the fashion alleged.

    Moreover, the thing that Catholics are becoming most renowed for is their eternal preoccupation with being offended and persecuted. If you say ‘boo’ to a Catholic, he is persecuted; and yet Catholics can hold the most outrageous and dogmatic notions concerning state governance, which interferes with the rights of others — and yet they are perfectly indifferent to them.

    In Papal states,which is how most Catholic countries are run, citizens have been unable for decades to avail of divorce, the use of contraceptives or the right to arrange abortion facilities even in cases of the most violent rapes.

    What some civil servant thinks, thefore, is by comparison a minor matter even if it rightly needs to be dealt with by way of internal discipline.

    As to the Pope’s outrage, he should really make up his mind whether he is a religoius leader or simply a politician with a state and a religion of his own. That might make things easier for those who have to relate to his excursions.

    And as to his visit to the UK?

    If he doesn’t come, so what? That wouldn’t be the end of the world , would it!

    Seamus Breathnach

  • “She afterall is also a leader of faith as well as the head of state to almost a third of the worlds population.

    In effect she has greater authority than the pope and so can say whatever she feels is best.”

    This is simply delusional. The Queen is a mere figurehead and has virtually no power. The Anglican Church is in the process of becoming extinct. The Commonwealth of Nations is almost entirely a fig leaf implemented during the dissolution of the British Empire and has little substantive meaning.

  • Seamus Breathnach I assume is the author of this idiocy:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/10062380/The-Jesus-Joke-Part-1-by-Seamus-Breathnach

    Tito, this post is attracting a poorer quality of trolls than we are accustomed to!

  • I just wonder how quick the same people would be to make fun of Islam?

    I am proud of the fact that I am British and live in a country tolerant of all religion views. I wouldn’t mock other’s religious views and find it objectionable.

    Regarding the civil servant, I find their mockery asinine and more suited for a sixth-former than coming from someone who’s salary is paid by my taxes totally out of order and who is suppoed to be doing a job.

  • To Doreen Lambert,

    I would expect the same people would be just as quick to parody elements of other faiths, be it Islam or Buddism. The only difference is that they would probably have the better judgement and not write it down in those cases. A casual look acros the internet will show that nothing, no matter how tasteless or inappropriate can be spared from humourous mockery whether it be people, icons or religion. Perhaps it should be a relief that the memo didn’t go further and invite the pope to open an orphanage? He does seem to be having trouble from that sort of thing recently.

  • Donald R McClarey,

    You’re absolutely right in some regards about the Queen being a figurehead and her power being limited however what few powers she has, such as disolving parliament and enacting laws are substantial and it is within her rights (albeit not in her character it seems) to disolve her government or refuse to bring bills into law. So how does the Pope compare then? Does he have the final say on national laws or whether a government will be desolved for election? What true power does he hold?

    To your next point and again you are correct in that the Commonwealth is not a global force to be reckoned with however neither is the global catholic population for the simple reason that national governance is normally (always?) above the grumblings of a multilingual ultra-conservative sat in Rome.

    Anyway, back to my main point: The pope and christianity in general, whichever flavour is followed is not so special that it can’t be mocked. Especially when there is so much to mock.

  • “What true power does he hold?”

    The power to bind and to loose as given to Saint Peter by Christ Matt, the same power also possessed by all other popes throughout history. He also has the power to appeal to the consciences of men and women and converting them to Christ. His power apparently disturbs quite a few Brits in and out of office.

    As to the Queen, who personally I view as a good woman, her power is of a purely ceremonial function. If she stepped one foot outside of that role, something she is too wise to do, she would quickly learn who rules the UK, and it most certainly is not her.

  • Don,

    As far as trolls, that’s for sure.

    They are a perfect example of throwing straw man and ad hominems.

    It only goes to show how the shallow and course they are.

  • Donald,

    Firstly, thanks for a dignified response. You’ll have to forgive the pedantry but from your description it sounds like at best the popes have the same influence as any other sect or religeous leader. Anyone can appeal to a conscience and plenty of non catholics have run around the globe trying to convert people to their own brand of christianity. From your description there is nothing special about the man aside from his position in a large established organisation and so is just as open to ridicule as said leaders.

    I don’t want to deviate too far from the given topic of mockery of the pope so I won’t say any more on the queen however if you are keen to persue that thread of debate then feel free to carry on and I may respond.

    Tito, feel free to contribute more than a few lines and maybe open the debate a little wider. Of your 3 posts you’ve only contributed anthing to this discussion once and so could be accused of trolling. Coherance would be a benefit as ‘…throwing straw man…’ makes little sense unless you use the word ‘man’ as a speach stabiliser. As for the ad hominems, be specific; there is a lot of text here and reading the lot again looking for them is unnecessary.

  • Not to mention that they can’t seem to spell, nor do they have any comprehension of basic grammar. I think their stupidity speaks for itself.

  • “Anyone can appeal to a conscience and plenty of non catholics have run around the globe trying to convert people to their own brand of christianity. From your description there is nothing special about the man aside from his position in a large established organisation and so is just as open to ridicule as said leaders.”

    Popes have been subject to ridicule and much worse Matt since the days of Peter. When our popes are attacked we Catholics tend to take umbrage about it. We are funny that way. The hatred and bile that popes tend to engender detract from your contention that there is nothing special about the pope’s position. No one gets upset about, or cares, for example, about what the governing body of the Unitarian-Universalists does or does not do. As the late Lenny Bruce, heroin addict and comic of genius, said, and he despised the Church, “The Catholic Church is the church people mean when they say “the Church”.” When it comes to Christianity, there is the Catholic Church and then there is everyone else.

  • Matt,

    Thank you for proving my point.

    If the Pope is such a lowly figure as you deemed to explain, why are you bothering engaging in dialogue with us here across the pond?

  • Donald,

    Thanks again for engaging in a rational discussion, it seems that our stances have converged, or at least are converging. The mockery directed towards the pope is due to his position in the same way that many other figures are critisised.

    My conclusion is that the pope is not special and so is open to mockery causing catholics to get the hump on his behalf because they’re ‘funny that way’.

    It’s now morning in America, I hope the American readership of this like my conclusion…

  • Tito,

    I bother to engage in this because I’m amused by it. Donald McClarey has helped in this by providing rational counters to my points and while I have not accepted his statements I have been engaged in the light debate that has been provided. I’m sure that we could engage in a far more heavy series of points and counter points but this is the internet and nothing written here actually matters. I think that Donald recognised this and I can only respect that if true.

    The reason why I entered into this on an American website was because I was hopeful of finding an irrational foaming-at-the-mouth bible enthusiast who would hopefully show an exploitable weakness in discussion such as intolerance or factual errors. As it can clearly be seen no such character has appeared, probably due to the time of day.

    Anyway, over to you Tito, I prove your point do I? Which point might that be? That I throw straw, man, or that I engage in petty ad hominem attacks? Perhaps I’ve shown that I am shallow although how I may have shown that much of my character in such few words is intriguing. Alternatively I may have not proven your point at all since you’ve not made a point yet.

    Which is it?

  • irrational foaming-at-the-mouth bible enthusiast

    Not to be stereotypical, but you’d be rather hard-pressed to find that in Catholic circles, at least with all the modifiers you used. You’ll be more likely to find that sort of caricature in the Fred Phelps’ of the world.

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  • irrational foaming-at-the-mouth bible enthusiast

    It’s like me saying you watch too much BBC to come up with a that type of stereotype.

    Like Big Tex said, you’d be hard-pressed to see any of that in most Catholic circles.

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What Evil Looks Like

Saturday, April 24, AD 2010

The Face of Evil

Pure and unadulterated evil.

Attorney Jeffrey Anderson of Saint Paul, Minnesota, has had success in winning millions of dollars[1] from homosexual pedophile abuse cases against the American Catholic Church over the years.

He has stated many times that he will not be satisfied until he sues the Vatican in federal court with Pope Benedict in tow [2].

“We’re chasing them. We’re taking bites out of their a@#,” said the lawyer. “All the roads lead to Rome. What we’re doing is getting us closer every single day.”

He may have been driven in the past in pursuit of justice for many victims of homosexual pedophiles, but what was a mission to bring justice is apparently now driven by diabolical forces to take down the Catholic Church Herself at all costs and with prejudice.

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47 Responses to What Evil Looks Like

  • I think he’s scummy lawyer but the “face of evil?” Hyperbole is neither prudent nor helpful. Who knows why he has gone on a quest against the Church? Perhaps he was hurt by a Catholic and is seeking revenge.

    Of course we should pray for him, but let’s not demonize him.

  • but the “face of evil?” Hyperbole is neither prudent nor helpful.

    Why Michael I am being prudent in calling out evil.

    Moral conscience, present at the heart of the person, enjoins him at the appropriate moment to do good and to avoid evil. It also judges particular choices, approving those that are good and denouncing those that are evil. It bears witness to the authority of truth in reference to the supreme Good to which the human person is drawn, and it welcomes the commandments. When he listens to his conscience, the prudent man can hear God speaking (CCC 1777) & (Cf. Romans 1:32)

    Your accusation of “Hyperbole” is actually imprudent of you.

  • I don’t expect you to change your mind Tito but I agree with Michael. If you read the section of the Catechism that you just quoted, it concerns judging particular choices (actions) – not judging a particular person, which I think you would have to say you are doing in this post.

    Do you not think in some ways the Church has brought this on itself? I understand a legitimate defense of the Church against calumny, but I think this is a bit extreme.

  • This man has stated without equivocation and a clear mind he wants to bring the pope to trial.

    This is ridiculous and considering his spartan and efficient work ethic he is determined without a doubt to bring this to fruition.

    I’m reading the CCC in black and white, not with your nuanced colored glasses.

    It is explaining conscious, not action. But I suppose your not interested in this considering your previous comments.

  • You can denounce someone without calling them the face of evil. Wanting to sue the Vatican out of spite is evil, but “the face of evil?” I think you give him far too much credit and appear to be overreacting.

  • Michael,

    If you want to go against the Magisterium so be it.

    I’m not going to argue against your conscious.

    That is between you and God, not I.

  • You give Mr. Anderson too much credit Tito. He has made a ton of money by suing the Church. If there was no money to make I can guarantee you he would not be around.

    Here is some background on him.

    http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2003_01_06/2003_04_16_Schimke_TrueBeliever.htm

    He is not the face of evil, nor is he a crusader for justice. He is a fellow who stumbled into an unexploited area of tort litigation and has reaped a bonanza.

    Making much more of him than that is an insult both to great sinners and true crusaders for justice.

  • Donald,

    We can agree to disagree.

  • Bringing the pope to a civil trial is hardly the worst threat leveled against the pope or the Church. Arresting him would be more serious, but really a rather pathetic desire. More serious are attempts to kill the pope, bring down the Church, deny the sacraments, etc.

  • Michael,

    I suggest you write to the Vatican your concerns about CCC 1707 and why you disagree with it.

    I doubt anyone at the Vatican is reading this post.

  • One ought to condemn evil There is absolutely nothing in the Magisterium to suggest that the way one must go about that is to by declaring them to be the faces of evil.

    The way you are denouncing this man is imprudent and diminishes true evil.

  • Michael,

    You’re arguing semantics.

    You’re being imprudent by going against the teaching of the Church with your own personal interpretation.

    We are Catholics, not Protestants.

    I suggest you write the Vatican about your concerns.

  • Tito:

    The catechism calls the choices as evil, not people. You have entered into the dualist heresy when you call someone pure evil. As St Thomas Aquinas pointed out, not even Satan is pure evil.

  • Tito, you are not following Catholicism when you engage the dualist heresy and call someone pure evil. St Thomas Aquinas makes it clear, not even Satan is pure evil. It is heresy which you engage — condemned heresy, and through a misapplication of the catechism which talks about choices, not people.

  • Thank you Zach and Henry.

    After rereading CCC 1777 I see where it says choices.

    As far as “pure” evil, I can’t vouch for that.

    I’m using semantics when I call him evil or the face of the evil.

    What he is certainly doing is evil and that is what I am calling evil, his choice in pursuing these lawsuits.

    Thanks for the brotherly corrections Zach and Henry.

  • Tito:

    You are now accusing me and are out of control. There is nothing remotely close to supporting your position in 1707 other than that man sins and can be seduced by evil. This is true of every sin. There is no personal interpretation here; quite frankly 1707 is irrelevant. What on earth am I “personally interpreting” different to the Vatican? I quote frankly am totally baffled by your position.

    Nothing there suggests that those who are trying to make money or avenge some petty slight ought to be called by Catholics using prudence & charity “the face of evil” and “what evil looks like.”

  • Michael,

    I’m going to ignore your comments from here on out on this post since you’ve gone off the deep end.

    Like I said, take it up with the Vatican.

  • Tito:

    I’m saying the same thing as Henry & Zach! How are they doing “brotherly correction” while I’m “off the deep end!”

    I do not appreciate being called a Protestant and accused of being opposed to the Vatican when there is no basis for it.

  • It’s certainly not imprudent to say that someone’s actions are evil. However, I don’t think it’s necessarily prudent to denounce a person as “the face of evil”. That doesn’t mean his actions aren’t evil.

    It doesn’t seem to me that Michael is in any way twisting or ignoring the catechism here.

    (Maybe everyone’s just spending too much time at the computer today. Personally, I’m going to go mow the lawn, since it’s “work that Americans won’t do”. 🙂 )

  • Now, let’s explore this further, Tito.

    What is your take of St. Catherine of Sienna? She took on a pope — quite strongly; would you have called her pure evil for opposing the actions of a pope? What about popes which attacked their predecessors? Is your argument that no one can offer a complaint against a pope, or that this complaint is what is wrong?

    If you think it is possible to launch a legitimate complaint against the pope, what would be necessary for it? If you do not, what do you think of St Catherine and other popes?

  • Michael,

    I’m a Neanderthal Catholic when it comes to reading “into” statements and “nuance”.

    If what you were trying to point out was the same as Zach and Henry (I’ll take your word for it), then I to thank you for your brotherly correction.

    I appreciate the feedback. Especially when I learn something new everyday.

    For the record I have a degree in Marketing and not in Theology, Philosophy, etc.

    I read it as it is. Not what I think there is or what I want to read into it.

    Thanks Michael, I do appreciate learning from my mistakes!

    Tito

  • Yeah, lots of time on the computer and my girlfriend isn’t happy about that.

    So I want to withdraw my comments that Michael is a “Protestant” and is “going against the Magisterium”.

    I say it with love!

    Thanks guys, anymore comments I will respond to later.

    Gotta go jump in the pool and get this extra energy out of my system 🙂 !

    Tito

  • Geez though it is really nice outside.

    Although in New England there are about 40,000 mayflies per square foot, which puts a damper on things.

  • He is not the face of evil, nor is he a crusader for justice. He is a fellow who stumbled into an unexploited area of tort litigation and has reaped a bonanza.

    Right. I don’t think he has much of a case on the merits, but this is the type of thing plaintiff’s lawyers do; they drum up publicity and hope for a settlement or a sympathetic judge. If the case was stronger, then he’d be perfectly justified in bringing it. As it is, he’s just acting like a scummy tort attorney trying to make some money. That’s a bad thing, but it’s not ‘pure evil’ – and it’s certainly not as evil as the actions of many priests and bishops in this scandal.

  • Jesus seemed to consider doing harm to children to be the ugliest sin. If there’s an example of pure evil in the pedophile scandal, it’s the pedophiles.

  • I am stuck in front of a computer and paper for at least the next two weeks. Darned law exams. 🙁

  • “Maybe everyone’s just spending too much time at the computer today. Personally, I’m going to go mow the lawn, since it’s “work that Americans won’t do”.”

    That is work this American would not do if I wasn’t so cheap! I despise mowing, an activity no doubt that is mandatory in portions of Hell! I have it done by a service at the office, but I and my eldest son do the home lawn. Fortunately it is raining here so I can put it off until tomorrow!

  • Michael, I still can feel the joy that exploded within my soul when I finished my last final at law school and realized that whatever else awaited me in life I was done with finals! (Of course then there is the bar exam but anyone who can cram can pass that.)

  • Don:

    After the birth of my child, that is the next great true joy I will experience. Alas, that it comes in 2 more years.

  • The face of evil?

    I look in the mirror, and pray.

  • I heard this guy being interviewed on the radio the other day. The way he spoke didn’t impress me- he sounded like a second degree lawyer attempting to gain notoriety/publicity.
    The weather continus to be unseasonally beautiful here in my part of the world – but very little rain over the past couple of months, so the farmers are whingeing – some ares in the North Isalnd and eastern coast in the South Island have been declared drought stricken.
    As for mowing lawns, that’s a job my wife does – she claims I’m too lazy to do it, but I know she loves it for the exercise.
    (That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it) 🙂

  • It’s rainy here; a good day for a thorough spring cleaning. I’ve been bopping over the computer in between bouts of scrubbing and dusting. Just put the vaccuum cleaner away, there’s a big pot of spring vegetable soup on the stove and whole wheat bread in the oven and the place smells heavenly. I wish I could all invite you over for soup and homemade bread. You could eat off the floor, although it would be rather tricky with soup. 🙂

    Michael, good luck with your exams.

  • Henry Karlson accusing others of heresy … now THAT’S hilarious!

  • “As for mowing lawns, that’s a job my wife does – she claims I’m too lazy to do it, but I know she loves it for the exercise.”

    Don, I was unable to convince my kids that lawn mowing was fun, although I gave it a good try! As for my wife, she is firmly convinced that mowing the lawn is my job, curse the luck!

    “I heard this guy being interviewed on the radio the other day. The way he spoke didn’t impress me- he sounded like a second degree lawyer attempting to gain notoriety/publicity.”

    That is basically my opinion also.

  • Henry,

    Nice try.

    Comparing Catherine of Siena to this monster is an insult to humanity.

    Down the rabbit hole you go.

  • T. Shaw,

    Straw man.

    Although I know where you’re coming from, it is prudent to call evil evil.

  • Yeah, catching up after a dip in the pool.

    It’s about 80 degrees here near downtown Houston and not a bit humid (yet).

    Simply beautiful!

  • Jay – er, if you are going to make such a vague statement, at least actually define the heresies you are implying I follow. Otherwise, you would do well to see your confessor. I actually pointed out the heresy involved, and where one can look to see it is indeed rejected.

  • Not sure who ‘Jay Chambesr’ is – don’t think I’ve seen that commenter before. Either it’s someone using a different handle to hide their identity (which is just lame), or it’s someone who has strong opinions about Henry who has never before expressed them here. In either case, they shouldn’t throw around accusations of ‘heresy’ without some explanation.

    Of course, fwiw I think Henry’s rather tone deaf reading of the ‘pure evil’ line above – which is a colloquialism for a very bad person rather than a theological statement – is off too, but at least Henry set forth his reasoning.

  • I would definitely have to agree – mowing the lawn is a man’s job. My husband is bitterly disappointed that my son is off to college in August!

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  • Hmmmm.

    Looks like Kiwi chicks are cut from the same mould as kiwi blokes – mowing lawns is a breeze.

    But I’m real glad the chicks have the babies 😉

  • May I make a statement? Guess what,we are ALL going to die naked and penniless,put into the ground,embalming last aprox.four years,so the worms eventually get to us all.It’s facing God that we need to worry about,the mercy is here on earth,there’s only justice on judgement day.So this fool attorney cannot relly hurt anybody but himself.

  • I hope you are wrong, Sue. My salvation strategy is heavily dependent on mercy.

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A Second Victimization

Tuesday, April 20, AD 2010

Nicholas D. Kristof wrote another New York Times editorial condemning the Church. It’s not worth reading; it’s the same stuff about the Vatican is not the Church, but the real Church are the ones helping the needy (i.e. the ones doing what Kristof likes-except for obviously Mother Teresa b/c she didn’t like contraception) and the Church needs to expand its ideas on women and contraception in order to avoid the sex abuse crisis. For example

That story comes to mind as the Vatican wrestles with the consequences of a patriarchal premodern mind-set: scandal, cover-up and the clumsiest self-defense since Watergate. That’s what happens with old boys’ clubs

That’s not interesting. We’ve heard it before. What is interesting is his blog. He himself comments on the article.

One question that I’m still puzzling over is this: how much difference would it make if the Vatican did admit women as deacons, or ordain them? It’s certainly true that women can be abusers as well as men. The painful report of the Irish Commission of Inquiry last year made that clear, with accounts of nuns brutally mistreating children and in some cases raping them. Likewise, ordination of women is no guarantee of popular support: mainline Christian denominations have been ordaining women, and still losing ground to more conservative Evangelical denominations.

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9 Responses to A Second Victimization

  • Too bad he never met a Catholic who could’ve converted him.

  • Just a slight correction: Kristoff is actually an outspoken opponent of abortion, which actually makes the junk he peddled in his column all the more disappointing.

  • I don’t see what’s so objectionable about the portion you quoted. He didn’t say any of the stuff you attribute to him unless you decide to read only every other word of every other sentence.

  • restrainedradical:

    What’s objectionable is that he knows that he wants to see happen will do very little to actually make children safer-yet continues to connect it to the sex abuse scandal and admits it by saying that he knows that women can be abusers as well.

  • He admits no such thing. You inferred it, improperly. Women can be abusers and the presence of women can make children safer.

  • What is objectionable is that he wants the church to okay gravely immoral contraception and that the Church is an institution founded by men.

    My experience outside of the church ie public school system and many different Protestant denominations is that the presence of women do not make men more moral. Admitting women to ministry in Protestent cirles leads quickly to heresy.

  • restrainedradical:

    I’m pretty sure you didn’t read the column but just the quoted portion (or every other word of the quoted portion…not sure which you took the time to read). This is what he said:

    “That old boys’ club in the Vatican became as self-absorbed as other old boys’ clubs, like Lehman Brothers, with similar results. And that is the reason the Vatican is floundering today.”

    Now compare

    “One question that I’m still puzzling over is this: how much difference would it make if the Vatican did admit women as deacons, or ordain them? It’s certainly true that women can be abusers as well as men. The painful report of the Irish Commission of Inquiry last year made that clear, with accounts of nuns brutally mistreating children and in some cases raping them.”

    So we went from “Boys club is the reason” to “I’m puzzling whether it would make much of a difference.” It is proper to infer that he is admitting that the thesis advancing by his column is not true; that at the very best his thesis would be “Admitting women would help decrease the liklihood of this problem.” That’s a big difference to admit/acknowledge.

    So he’s already admitted that he doesn’t believe in the thesis he advanced, that he failed to mention in his column that women are also abusers and he failed to admit that admitting women had not helped make other denominations relevant (which is not what the column suggests).

    He then puts in the throw-away paragraph. He makes 3 assertions: it would attract more priests (which is not relevant to the crisis), that for mystical reasons women would magically produce democracy and transparency, and that women could change the Church’s teaching on contraception. it is not till the very last two words of the paragraph that he remembers what the column is about and adds “and child abuse,” suggesting that women are more against child abuse then men (which also is given no support).

    He’s not looking to child abuse. All of the goods he discusses are irrelevant or marginally connected to the issue. Combined with the doubts and stats he admitted in the first paragraph I quote, the inference is proper. He knows his connection isn’t strong but he wants to promote contraception & women priests so he does so anyway, taking advantage of the emotional reaction to child abuse in a way that he ought to apologize for.

  • Working on the issue-spotting, I see, Michael. ;-).

    The instrumentalization of abuse victims to serve as Exhibit A in the argument why the public schools, excuse me, Catholic Church needs to be radically redesigned in the author’s image, is one of the more unsavory aspects of the coverage of the scandals. I think this is an error often made in good faith; people are not that good at sorting out the differences in their sincerely held beliefs. Nevertheless, the fallacy on display is often:

    1)Abuse is bad,
    2)I think these Church teachings are bad,
    3)The correlation of bad things happening in an institution with bad teachings implies causation (regardless of what the evidence shows)

    And, of course, a similar thing happens to defenders of the Church, where the syllogism often runs:

    1) The Church is good;
    2) The liberal media is bad;
    3) Ergo, the bad liberal media is wrong when it says bad things about the good Church.

    Throw people on each side reasoning in this manner, and truth quickly becomes a casualty. I think your post is perceptive insofar as it captures the mask slipping a bit as Kristof questions the assertions he has casually made in arguing for his preferred reforms. At the same time, I am not sure this is morally blameworthy as much as it is a mental blindspot. People really aren’t that good at thinking rationally; at least not for long and not on that many topics. I usually use MSNBC and Fox News as my primary examples of that, which, for some reason, some people find only half-persuasive.

  • It might be more persuasive if you used CBS, NBC, ABC, NY Times, WAPO, CNN and MSNBC as opposed to Fox. 😉

Top 15 Misconceptions About Catholics

Tuesday, April 20, AD 2010

Karen L. Anderson of Online Christian Colleges wrote a timely piece on the many myths, misconceptions, and outlandish lies told about Catholics:

With nearly one quarter of the U.S. population Catholic, they make up a huge part of society and the largest Christian denomination. Yet with so many, how is it they are so misunderstood and characterized by films, television shows, etc.?

Failing to do the proper research explains a great deal of it. With a simple search on the internet, we were able to find many interesting answers to the top 15 misconceptions about Catholics. They are both from official sources, reporters, academics, and more.

1. Priests Are More Likely to be Pedophiles : The most dangerous of all myths concerning Catholics, this can lead to many negative and unfair consequences. Recently in a book entitled Pedophiles and Priests, an extensive study – and the only one of it kind – took a look at the pedophile statistics of over 2,200 priests. It found that only 0.3% of all Catholic clergy are involved in any pedophilia matter, guilty or not. This number is actually very low and according to Counter Pedophilia Investigative Unit, who reports that children are more likely to be victims of pedophile activity at school with nearly 14% of students estimated to be molested by a member of the school staff.

2. Everything in “The Da Vinci Code” is True : Even author Dan Brown himself doesn’t agree to this. In this free film from Hulu, Mr. Brown admits to writing his novel as a step in his own spiritual journey. As he confesses to being swayed by his extensive research, the experts behind the research weigh in with facts. Simon Cox is the author of “Cracking the Da Vinci Code” and tells more about his work in this documentary. If you don’t have 90 minutes to view it, you can get the real story behind Opus Dei, the villain organization in the novel, from ABC news.

3. Women Are Oppressed in the Catholic Church : Although women are still not eligible to become priests as explained by Pope John Paul II, they were still acknowledged as valued members of the church as far back as 1947. In a Papal Directive from then Pope Pius XII, he expressed his admiration of women “to take part in the battle: you have not sought to do so, but courageously you accept your new duties; not as resigned victims nor merely in a defensive spirit.” Also, in 2004 then Pope John Paul II historically appointed two women theologians to the International Theological Commission and named another as the president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

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12 Responses to Top 15 Misconceptions About Catholics

  • The dificulty in the myths in the article are not the fact that they are misconceptions of the Roman Catholic Church. The turly sad part is that many so called members of our Church add to these misconception by 2 basic means. They do not correct these myths when asked by friends or others who are inquisitive either from lack of knowlegde or feeling this is not their right to do so and the second most problem and perhaps the worse is that many so called “catholics” beleve the crticisms are correct.

  • I would also say 9, 12 and 15 are odd; never heard them before….

  • #1: The book looks only at data since 1982. As we’ve seen in another recent TAC post, we have far more incidents prior to 1982. The John Jay study, which goes farther back, concludes that a shocking 4% of priests were reported to have sexually abused children. The second link you posted says that 1-5% of teachers sexually abuse or harass children. Harassment is more common than sexual abuse so the prevalence among teachers is probably less than 2.5%. But then you have to take out the women teachers who are must less likely to sexually abuse students. It also might to useful to compare the prevalence of sexual abuse of boys only. Priests are more likely to abuse boys and teachers are more likely to abuse girls. Bottom line is that you need more data but it’s certain that among pedophiles, priests are outliers. Even if abuse isn’t any more prevalent, why boys instead of girls? I think it’s entirely possible that the priesthood attracts sexual deviants.

    #3: And some black slaves were allowed to sleep in the master’s house. Crumbs do not disprove oppression. If we’re going to completely honest with ourselves, I think we have to admit that the Church denies women opportunities that are open to men. We don’t have to get all defensive over that fact. Christ denied women opportunities that he gave to men.

    #5: The Immaculate Conception refers to the conception of Mary, not Jesus.

    #8: I’m unclear of what you’re saying here. Catholics were once required to abstain from meat on ALL Fridays. Catholics must still abstain from meat on Fridays of Lent but in the US, bishops allow Catholics to give up something else on Fridays outside of Lent.

  • RR,

    #3. She never claimed nor said that.

    #5. I corrected her post, thanks!

  • You can always count on restrained radical to bash the Church for no apparent reason.

  • Is the reason not apparent? I’m a closet Episcopalian. Which reminds me… there’s an interesting piece in the New Yorker on the debate over women bishops in the Church of England. Full article requires a subscription. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/04/26/100426fa_fact_kramer

  • I think that a lot of these misconceptions come from different places. The Dan Brown stuff is probably more common among evangelicals and conspiracy-types, two crowds that probably don’t have much in common. Ditto for the claim of oppressing women, which would come from feminist atheists and faithful Protestants.

    The supposed conflict between faith and reason in #4 is the one that irritates me the most. It’s so patently wrong! I attended a lecture on data visualization (of all things) last week, and the instructor went off on a tangent about the persecution of Galileo. For whatever reason, we get tarred by the same brush as evangelicals about science, then tarred by evangelicals about Mary. Oh well. As Chesterton said, if you’re being accused by everyone of every possible error, you may be perfectly correct.

  • Yes Pinky, Chesteron really had a unigue use of words and as far as 9 is concerned ,they probably never heard of Hilaire Belloc..”wherever the Catholic sun doth shine there’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I always found it so Benedicamus Domino “

  • Number 9 was news to me. Wine is even part of our sacramental life, unlike those denominations that use grape juice. I’ve never heard a stereotype about a sober Irishman, a teetotaling Italian, or a Mexican refusing beer, so I don’t know where the myth of Catholic avoidance of alcohol comes from.

  • Too often Catholics get lumped together with puritan Protestant Creationists. And too often it’s Catholics who do it.

    Catholics can drink, smoke, believe in evolution, dinosaurs, the big bang, aliens, believe that you can be born gay, reject intelligent design, and celebrate Halloween.

    Here’s a couple others:

    Catholics are anti-sex or Catholics believe sex is purely for pro-creation.

    Catholics believe being gay is a sin.

  • Catholics believe engaging in homosexual sex is a sin. Whether people are in their “being” gay, that is that it is genetically determined, is far from scientifically proven. But if so, it would be like alcoholism. There would be a genetic predispostion to sin which in itself would not be sinful but which, through grace, could be overcome.

Our German Shepherd Under Attack

Saturday, March 13, AD 2010

The mainstream media and even some conservative sites such as Lucianne are spreading defamatory statements that are misleading and false about Pope Benedict XVI.

What started this brouhaha?

Richard Owen of the newspaper site called the Times of London.

The headline reads “Pope knew priest was paedophile but allowed him to continue with ministry“.

The article then states otherwise, but if Richard Owen didn’t write the headline to his story, he should request it to be changed immediately.  It is apparent that someone at the Times hates the Church and is pushing their anti-Catholic agenda with this misleading headline.

It doesn’t help that a self-identified expert on Catholicism, blogger Ruth Gledhill, adds insult to injury with an off-base column blasting of the hierarchy and structure of Holy Mother Church:

The Pope is pretty unassailable. He is not elected, he is a monarch, and the centralisation that has taken place under the last two Popes has cemented that power. Pope Benedict XVI has also indicated in his three encyclicals the depths of his own integrity and intellectual rigour.

How much knowledge on the Catholic Church does one need to be called an “expert” on it?  How to spell ‘Catholic’?

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43 Responses to Our German Shepherd Under Attack

  • If there is anything real that has come out of this scandal it’s that the media has completely clouded the issue to the point of rendereing any truth impossible to discern.

    We should acknowledge that there is no such thing as unbiased journalism. ‘Fair and balanced’ is a joke and nothing more than a tagline. It should be plainly obvious to any one with a few brain cells that religion- particularly of the Christian sort- is seen as something gravely misunderstood, irrelevant and to be discarded by any means.

    So who knows what is real anymore?

  • “Damned lie” covers it.

  • “Lie, lie bravely: something will always remain. Fling mud: some of it will stick.” Voltaire

  • Darwin,

    I have that link up already under “calls Ruth Gledhill out”.

  • I asked why I was banned from Lucianne, and Lucianne herself responded:

    You were blocked for no other reason than personally attacking this site’s editorial integrity.

    The ‘attack’ she is referring to is me pointing out the anti-Catholic bigotry on her website.

    Nice.

  • Lie hard, liberats!

    Do you think they’d be so exercised if the Pope had had the pedophile water-boarded.

    It seesm a Pope just can’t win with liberals.

    Now, if he’d just come to see the light on abortion and gay privileges . . .

    Mac, that’s not mud they’re flinging.

  • if this is a true statement from the link DarwinCatholic posted : “Then-Cardinal Ratzinger was involved in the decision to remove the priest from his parish assignment…”

    it would seem to me that the cardinal was aware of wrongdoings by this priest, and should have acted accordingly by turning him in to the police.

    i would have to know if this was a true statement though.

  • It’s become increasingly more difficult to discern the true from the false in the media today, especially the new media. But, to speculate what’s true I suspect this media frenzy was most likely created from within the Vatican itself. From within its own fifth column. Most likely the Jesuits.

  • Psalm 109 warns of the severe consequences for calumny ,(and how much more such would be esp. against a Father aunthority !) – how children of calumniators would be vagarant beggars and so on ; may be antichrist is trying to prepare a whole lot more people , esp. in Europe , to come under its power through the debt of such unrepentant sin .

    At the time when Holy Father was even indirectly dealing with this complex area, not much was known of prognosis for cure of these persons ( we know better now !) and hope and mercy in dealing with the culprit, in imitation of our Lord dealing with Judas who was warned repeatedly , was possibly seen as more appropriate !(Only those who dealt with the sitaution could possibly know how much Godly wisdom was used !)

    There are many priests who now a days have to suffer through loss of respect, unneeded fears etc ; due to these incidents ; now , they know that Holy Father , sufering with them , would esp. obtain the freedom in The Spirit for them too, uniting his sufferings , with our Lord’s – esp. from judas and thus help them too , not to fall under the enemy’s tool of hatred !

    These attacks are possibly incited by the same powers who are against life itself and wanting to divert attention from the satanic hold on many parents who have chosen to use their bodies as murder chambers – the most severe form of abuse !
    Prayers of the suffering Holy father wold be used by God , to bring victory there too – helping many to turn to our Lord, to plead for mercy !

    May prayers of our bl.Mother and of St.Benedict drive out malice and spirit of calumny from may hearts and bring in the dominion of The Holy Spirit !

  • We need to pray for our Pope because he is comming under attack.There are horrific attackers of anything Catholic out there and we, as good Catholics, must continue our prayer efforts till Christ returns; we are all under attack because we are the one true Church. There is no more abuse in our Church than in any other so-called church. It is simply that we are the one true Church and that is a problem for the others who are not one true Church. And, many of the accusations against our priests are not even real; it’s just open season at this time.

  • Liberals are just plain horrible human beings; they are barely human. They represent everything awful in the world. They are truly of the world, which is basically evil.They have no respect for life but value murder. They love socialism and death. They simply know not what they do.

  • A question for the sake of conversation: is there a proper direction for our anger? Is there any element of the story that should illicit genuine frustration with the church?

  • Dam the Devil to HELL he has come in to our Catholic Church to try to destroy it with his LIES & EVIL ways. But he will not ever prevail over it !!
    Jesus will raise it out of darkness …THE GATES OF HELL WILL NEVER PREVAIL OVER THE TRUE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST …EVER !!!!

  • The media could be wrong, but I believe in the wisdom of the Holy Father and whatever decision he made was the right one.
    Clergy has to learn to take full responsibility for their actions and fear the judgment of God not of humans. If each consacrated priest did that , we would not have this overwelmimgly disgraceful problem we have today. The reason why we still have this problem is because priests have forgotten that some day they will account for it in the presence of God. Jesus said.” If you give scandal to even one of these little children, the punishment of Sadoma and Gomorra will be nothing compare to theirs.”
    Why don’t they preach this any more from the pulpit? Instead they talk about the silliest things that only distract catholics and leave them totally umprepared to resist the tamptations of the world including tamptations caused by priests themselves. It is a disgrace!!! Let’s do somehting concrete about it!!! A sincere confession followed by a repented and contrite heart
    Thank you

  • What a tragedy! For Satan to attack the Holy Father this way, by means of deceptive media propaganda means his reign of terror is nearing it’s end… Hold strong in faith.. We already know the outcome…

    GOD WINS!!

    Mother Mary, this is your beloved shepherd, your beloved Bishop who leads the entire faithful flock of Christ, your child…. He is under attack Mother..
    Protect him..
    Cover him dear mother with your mantle of love..
    Safeguard him against his enemies,
    against the enemies of the Church,
    against the deceptions of the biased media,
    O Holy Mother of God, look not upon our sinfulness,
    but upon our desire to live your messages,
    and intercede before thy Son on our behalf,
    that Our Holy Father and Our Church be safeguarded
    against heresy, lies, deception, malicious accusations, and evil persecution, Amen…

    ST. Michael the ArchAngel, defend us in this day of battle
    be our defense and our protection against the wickedness of the devil
    God rebuke him! We humbly pray..
    And do thou O prince of the heavenly Host
    by the power of God, cast back into Hell
    Satan, and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world today
    seeking the ruin of souls, Amen…

  • Talk about over-reaction. The Pope is a man. The Pope is servant to all. The secular press is right: If he knew of crimes and hid them, he was wrong, period. If he didn’t know of them, fine, let him not hide behind his office. Frankly, I’m tired of bishops and “Popes” hiding behind “secrecy” and “dignity of their offices.” Cardinal Law, for instance, should be in prison, not the Arch-Priest of a Basillica in Rome…What a joke. If you Papists can’t see that Christ would have been ALWAYS AND COMPLETELY HONEST AND ABOVE BOARD, then you’re not even Catholic at all…I say, let the Pope speak!

  • We will continue to pray for our Pope Benedict, and the increasingly virulent attacks upon him. He is a holy man, totally deserving of our prayerful support.

  • John Lillis, you are entirely missing the point.. Articles are appearing in various news mediums making the false claim “The Pope Knew”

    This is extreme biased reporting at it’s finest! And it only serves to destroy faith just as the horrendous crimes that have actually occurred over the years have…

    No doubt horrible atrocities have occurred within our Church. No one here is arguing that nor sticking up for any priest who has in fact committed such a crime.. The point is, the media “greatly influences”… and when the media reports inaccurately in the manner that it is doing now it can be extremely damaging.. This type of reporting is not by accident.. It’s planned.. That means there is an agenda behind why it reports this way..

    The agenda is obvious- destroy the entire Church… No priests- no Eucharist.. No Eucharist- no true presence of Jesus…

    And just as utterly appalling as it is to learn “in truth” about horrendous crimes committed over the years, it is just as utterly appalling to have an innocent man falsely accused.. There has been absolutely no evidence that suggests Our Beloved Holy Father is guilty of anything…

  • Of course John, that might be a nice sentiment and it might come to pass… But it’s fair to assume that he is counseled otherwise, for even a sincere and truthful statement would be twisted and used to inflict more damage. There are those that will not be satisfied until they are the ones steering the Church.

    No one here is claiming that the pope (or any pope for that matter) is immune to sin or wrongdoing or a mistake. I agree, there is nothing to fear in knowing the truth. But it is also naive to not acknowledge the media bias and spiritual warfare at play here.

    Truth has a way of finding it’s way out into the open. Whether ‘the people’ are mature and educated enough to accept it is another question entirely…

  • The Holy Father was elected by the” Holy Spirit”-and I will quote from the Holy Bible from Jeremiah ch. 15 V19 where it says, the following. “They will come back to you,but you must not go back to them. I will make you a bronze wall fortified against these people. They will fight against you,but they will not overcome you because I am with you,to save you and deliver you-it is Yahweh who speaks, I mean to deliver you from the hands of the wicked and redeem you from the cluches of the violent. Stand up for the Pope as we listen to what God is saying to us today in His Holy Word.

  • Remember St. John Bosco’s dream of Two Pillars, it’s happening now but the Holy Father survive because he steered the ship between the Sacred Host & the Immaculate Virgin Mary, he won, enemies flees. ( http://www.markmallett.com/blog/?p=481 ). As what our Lord Jesus Christ said when He established His Church: …and gates of hell will not prevail against it ( Catholic Church ). And what Mama Mary keep on saying: Pray, pray, pray.

  • L.G.,

    Please don’t generalize.

    Be specific in your comments and abstain from the very same attacks that those like Richard Owen does.

    Jo,

    Please abstain from calumny. Your comment has been removed due to the nature of the attack on the Lucianne herself.

  • Question: Is the Pope that will be forced to go into hiding (as often prophesied)?

  • Why is it so difficult for us(any of us/all of us) to simply say, I was wrong. I am sorry. ? We were wrong. We are sorry. This was the policy. This is the way we handled this particular situation. It was wrong. We are sorry.? We will make reparation. We will act justly now by the grace of God. Why is it so hard to say, even now that the pattern is in the light?

  • TIesOnline is on a hunt for the Papacy to destroy the CHurch with false News. Now if TimesOnline is really a real true resource why dont the investigate PLanet PArentHood. Read This

    ——————————————————————————–

    Planned Parenthood Distributes Graphic Sex Guide at Girl Scouts UN Meeting

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    By Terrence McKeegan, J.D.

    NEW YORK, NY, March 12, 2010 (C-FAM) – The World Association of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides hosted a no-adults-welcome panel at the United Nations this week where Planned Parenthood was allowed to distribute a brochure entitled “Healthy, Happy and Hot.” The event was part of the annual United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) which concludes this week.

    The brochure, aimed at young people living with HIV, contains explicit and graphic details on sex, as well as the promotion of casual sex in many forms. The brochure claims, “Many people think sex is just about vaginal or anal intercourse… But, there are lots of different ways to have sex and lots of different types of sex. There is no right or wrong way to have sex. Just have fun, explore and be yourself!”

    The brochure goes on to encourage young people to “Improve your sex life by getting to know your own body. Play with yourself! Masturbation is a great way to find out more about your body and what you find sexually stimulating. Mix things up by using different kinds of touch from very soft to hard. Talk about or act out your fantasies. Talk dirty to them.”

    The brochure also tells students that national laws requiring HIV-positive people to reveal their status to their partner(s) “violate the rights of people living with HIV” and calls for advocacy to “change laws that violate your rights.” It explains, “There are many reasons that people do not share their HIV status. … They may worry that people will find out something else they have kept secret, like they are using injecting drugs, having sex outside of a marriage or having sex with people of the same gender.”

    The Girl Scouts, along with the YMCA have been co-moderating a young women’s caucus that included an “Intergenerational Conversation” side event on “universal access” and “reproductive health.” One recent Girl Scout project “aims at securing the right of women, men and adolescents aged between ten and twenty-five, to better reproductive and sexual health.”

    Also at CSW last week, the heads of various powerful UN agencies, including the UN Population Fund, UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), UN Children’s Fund and the World Health Organization released a “UN Joint Statement” under the name of the “UN Adolescent Girls Task Force,” which calls for their agencies to promote and support programs “that empower … adolescent girls, particularly those aged 10 to 14 years.” One of the chief priorities for empowerment is ensuring access to “life-skills based sexuality education, HIV prevention, and sexual and reproductive health.”

    The New York Times recently reported that the UN Population Fund had co-sponsored a very controversial curriculum with UNESCO, that included teaching children as young as five to be sexually active and training adolescents to advocate for abortion.

    Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women of America told C-Fam’s Friday Fax, “Governments and NGOs should be aware of Planned Parenthood’s insidious plan to work with UN agencies and girls’ organizations in order to profit from encouraging kids to be sexually active.”

    This article reprinted with permission from http://www.c-fam.org/

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  • Ben,

    The policy here is and has been in the light for some time. This story, considering its from 1980 is nothing new. Its not as if we are talking about a case that happened last year, indicating that the policy is STILL ongoing.

    Plus, the more details that have come to light, the more it looks like Cardinal Ratzinger had an indirect and minor role in the case, even to the point where it has recently been revealed that the priest in question was in the Diocese of Essen, not Munich.

  • Read Leo XIII’s encyclical on Masonry and you will discover what’s really going on here, and from where the roots of the homsexuality in the Church came from. Read “The permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita” and you will discover more. Read about Bella Dodd, an American Communist Party official, who converted to catholicism and testified before the House Committee Un-American Activities Committee in the 50’s. It’s in the Cong. Record! She alone helped send over 1000 communist youth into seminaries. Many of them rose to become “bishops.” These demonics began the ushering in of the homosexuals into the seminaries. BTW-it is NOT pedophila,since most of these perverts prayed on teenagers, not children! We catholics MUST become extremely familiar with the message of Fatima!! It is NOT a matter of the past…It continues NOW!! Find out about the Five First Saturday Devotions to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the undone Consecration of Russia, and you will see what is going on in the world…..

  • The USCCB decides to NOT support Obamacare because of abortion and the next day the Pope is being attacked in the MSM. Coincidence? NOT!

    Note to conservatives: don’t be a a tool for the Left.

  • i don’t see how people can make a connection between wanting justice for those victims of pedophilia and attacking the church. the catholic church is the one true church and the pope is the infallible leader of the one true church…. and if he runs a red light he should be given a ticket, and if he has harbored pedophiles he needs to go to jail. im sure he can write just as many encyclicles from behind bars, and i will be one of the first to read them and learn from them.

    don’t confuse the two issues.

  • (The gates of hell will not prevale against our CHURCH )We could all see were this attack was leading to,satan wants to destroy our Church Through the Media and Television Stop buying These Newspapers and Turn of the T.V. are we going to sit back in this HOLY SEASON OF LENT ,and let The Media Attack OUR HOLY FATHER THE POPE AND OUR CHURCH FOUNDED BY OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST!NO we can not, We need to stand up for OUR CHURCH We Know What JESUS Said About The Luke Warm .Our CHURCH IS A PEOPLE NOT A BUILDING OUR CHURCH IS UNDER ATTACK WHAT ARE WE CATHOLICS GOING TO DO ABOUT IT,ASK YOUR SELF IF YOUR FAMILY WERE UNDER ATTACK WOULD YOU DO NOTHING!WE NEED TO PRAY EVERY DAY FOR OUR HOLY FATHER OUR PRIESTS AND OUR CHURCH OUR CHURCH IS OUR SALVATION IF ANY OTHER CHURCH WAS BEING ATTACKED BY THE MEDIA AS OUR CHURCH IS THEY WOULD NOT SIT BACK AND DO NOTHING ,BOYCOTT THE MEDIA THAT ARE ATTACKING US.OUR WEAPON IS PRAYER LET US USE IT PRAY THE HOLY ROSARY AS NEVER BEFORE Satan HATES IT.MAY JESUS AND OUR BLESSED MOTHER PROTECT AND BLESS OUR HOLY FATHER AND OUR HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH NOW AND FOR EVER AMEN GOD BLESS US ALL IN OUR BATTLE MAY THE NAME OF JESUS AND MARY BE FOREVER BLESSED.

  • Satan is at work big time.

    St. Michael Archangel defend us (The pope, bishops, priests,and the entire Catholic Church) who are in the battle against Satan’s attack.
    May Jesus be Praised forever. Amen

  • I don’t believe that Our beloved Pope would do anything of this sort. We need to pray for him more than ever and pray for the persecutors to open their to see the truth.

  • A cheap piece of reportage peppered with inaccuracies. I had thought bettter of Ruth Gledhill and The Times.
    I now recommend all Catholics to reject this paper and but The Daily Telegraph.

  • I agree with Mr. Richard Collins. I’m especially disappointed with Miss Ruth Gledhill because she knows better.

    Stop reading the Times would really help to send them the message of our dissatisfaction.

  • One sure sign of the hate and fear of people is the way they attack. They try to undermine what they do not understand. The Pope is loved and respected by many more than hate him and will continue to be so. Those who would try to take him down are doing more harm to themselves than to him or the church. Yes, it is true that the more you repeat a lie, the more people will believe it, but it still remains a lie. There is no getting around that. However, because it can never be completely irradicated, it is one of the unforgivable sins – calumny!! So do so at your own peril!

  • I love my Shepherd, the Vicar of Christ, Pope Benedict XVI. Just as they wanted to kill Jesus and they persecuted Him, so will they persecute priests, bishops and the Pope because they are Christ in the Church. Without them, we could not have the Eucharist. Jesus told us that we will be persecuted as He was. I pray for these sometimes misguided, sometimes hateful people. May God convert their hearts.

  • Other John and Posters Say: I am missing the point –that the media is destroying an innocent man… What a joke…I said IF he knew, let him say it…Period…And by the way: I am the media and been in it almost twenty years…I’ve stuck up for God/Church in Fox newsrooms, fought incestuous mafia in so-called Catholic radio, destroyed Bishop’s running family planning clinics in diocesan owned buildings. I’m married to one woman, am raising seven children, go to confession at least once per month, go to Mass more than just Sundays, fight liturgical abuses and DON’T NEED papists sobbing over the media saying that Joseph knew about this priest. If he was the Archbishop, he knew, period. If he didn’t “know,” my God, what was he doing? I think you’ll find that he comes clean and says something profound, like, I’m sorry for what happened…etc.

    God help us if we can’t figure out that even Peter denied Christ before the cock crowed….

  • This attempt to smear the image of Pope Benedict,XVI is outrageous to say the least as he was regarded as too tough on moral principles while he served faithfully under Pope John Paul,II who kept him on as guardian of the Papacy in his powerful office as Prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the Faith. He was often referred to by those feared him as the rottweiler who guarded the Church against heresies.

  • Suzanne: Surgery for unidentified brain mass. Jesus, guide the doctors so that they are able to remove the entire mass. Pray that the biopsy shows no cancer.

  • “Loyal Catholics” like Anne Rice spread anti Pope propaganda at her Facebook. I feel sorry for Non Catholics but I feel anger towards catholics who accuses the Pope being the protector of pedophile priests.

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Burke on Marie Antoinette

Sunday, January 31, AD 2010

The French Revolution had the effect of lessening anti-Catholicism in England.  The English admired the courage with which many Catholics fought against the Revolutionaries in France and tolerance was extended to French Catholic refugees in England.  This was a great change as all the French had traditionally been regarded as the mortal enemies of the English.  Edmund Burke began to change this traditional attitude with his Reflections on the Revolution in France.  Here are his comments on Marie Antoinette:

“It is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the queen of France, then the dauphiness, at Versailles; and surely never lighted on this orb, which she hardly seemed to touch, a more delightful vision. I saw her just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she had just begun to move in, glittering like the morning star full of life and splendor and joy. 0h, what a revolution! and what a heart must I have, to contemplate without emotion that elevation and that fall! Little did I dream, when she added titles of veneration to those of enthusiastic, distant, respectful love, that she should ever be obliged to carry the sharp antidote against disgrace concealed in that bosom; little did I dream that I should have lived to see such disasters fallen upon her, in a nation of gallant men, in a nation of men of honor, and of cavaliers! I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards, to avenge even a look that threatened her with insult.

But the age of chivalry is gone; that of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded, and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever. Never, never more, shall we behold that generous loyalty to rank and sex, that proud submission, that dignified obedience, that subordination of the heart, which kept alive, even in servitude itself, the spirit of an exalted freedom! The unbought grace of life, the cheap defense of nations, the nurse of manly sentiment and heroic enterprise is gone. It is gone, that sensibility of principle, that chastity of honor, which felt a stain like a wound, which inspired courage whilst it mitigated ferocity, which ennobled whatever it touched, and under which vice itself lost half its evil, by losing all its grossness.”

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3 Responses to Burke on Marie Antoinette

  • The history of the French Revolution is still unfolding. The causes and explanations behind it and the ramifications that are still felt up to today.

    One thing is certain, there is absolutely nothing in common between the French Revolution and the American War for Independence.

  • Tito:

    In high school I had a card carrying communist as a history teacher (he was actually a good teacher) who stated the the American Revolution, despite some abuses, was remarkable for how unbloody it was.

  • Faustina,

    That is one of the startling contrasts between the two.

    The French Revolution was vindictive and evil in who they targeted and the various decrepit methods used to execute people, which were mostly loyal Catholics to Mother Church.

Coakley: Faithful Catholics Shouldn't Work In Emergency Rooms

Friday, January 15, AD 2010

“Ken Pittman: Right, if you are a Catholic, and believe what the Pope teaches that any form of birth control is a sin. ah you don’t want to do that.

Martha Coakley: No we have a separation of church and state Ken, lets be clear.

Ken Pittman: In the emergency room you still have your religious freedom.

Martha Coakley: (…stammering) The law says that people are allowed to have that. You can have religious freedom but you probably shouldn’t work in the emergency room.”

A charming sentiment from Martha Coakley running for the Senate seat in Massachusetts.  For this gem, I award Ms. Coakley the second American Catholic Know-Nothing Award.  If I were living in Massachusetts, I would be out next Tuesday to cast my vote against this bigot.

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7 Responses to Coakley: Faithful Catholics Shouldn't Work In Emergency Rooms

  • If I were living in Massachusetts, I would be out next Tuesday to cast my vote against this bigot.

    I wouldn’t be so sure, Don. Massachusetts is like some inverted parallel universe where right is wrong and wrong is right – stupid is wise and wise is stupid. There’s no other way you can explain the electoral history. Ted Kennedy was a living saint in MA while in the real world he was a scoundrel. And lets not mention the legacy of Barney Frank too!

  • I assume Ms. Coakley was referring to situations in which devout, pro-life Catholics would be working in emergency rooms where they might be called upon to administer emergency contraception to rape victims.

    For her to say who should or should not be permitted to work under those conditions is, of course, the height of arrogance. This combined with her other recent statements and actions also makes me wish I could vote against her on Tuesday. (We Illinois residents, however, will have to settle for voting against Mark Kirk, the pro-abort RINO running for Obama’s old Senate seat, in the Feb. 2 primary… but I digress) I am definitely rooting for her opponent!

    However, allow me to play devil’s advocate here and suggest there MAY be a grain of truth in what Ms. Coakley said — what devout Catholic today would WANT to accept a job where they KNOW they are likely to be asked to do things that are against their conscience?

    If I were interested in pharmacy or medicine I would have to think very, very long and hard about taking a job in a retail pharmacy, an acute care hospital, a student health center on a secular college campus, or any environment where I knew contraceptives or abortafacients would be distributed. That would make about as much sense as, say, a Jew signing up to work in a meat packing plant that processes pork, or a Muslim applying for a job in a restaurant that also requires them to tend bar occasionally or regularly.

    It’s one thing if a pro-life Catholic who went into the pharmacy or medical field years ago and was never confronted with this issue before is suddenly confronted with it and forced to choose between his/her job and his conscience when the employer could easily have found someone else to do the objectionable task. And I presume there are still plenty of other doctors, nurses, pharmacists, etc. available in just about any hospital to take over morally objectionable tasks like administering emergency contraception so it’s not as if the entire operation of the hospital, etc. will come to a screeching halt.

    However, it seems to me to be a bit disengenuous to apply for and accept a job and then say “Oh, by the way, I’m not going to perform this part of my job.” If the employer does find a way to excuse you from performing the objectionable part of your job, that’s good and they should be allowed to do so; but ultimately, should they (employers) be FORCED to do so?

    I realize that what I’m suggesting means that pro-life Catholics may find their employment prospects in pharmacy or medical fields pretty limited and perhaps eventually nonexistent, which is regrettable. It would be much better, of course, if medical employers didn’t make these kind of demands, but as long as they do so, maybe faithful Catholics really should think twice about working in emergency rooms.

  • Elaine, I couldn’t disagree more, the First Amendment doesn’t say “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; except for Catholics”.

    I understand what you are saying as a matter of prudence, but exceptions for religious reasons are made every day for a myriad of beliefs (i.e. wearing head scarfs etc). If Catholics capitulate on conscience issues then the secular society will see that as a sign of weakness and run roughshod over them.

    What Catholics DO need however is a truly Catholic Health care system that practices what it preaches – something that has and remains harder and harder to find as Catholic hospitals sell their souls to secular society in mergers & acquisitions. Fortunately God is raising up leaders in this area like:

    The Tepeyac Family Center
    http://www.tepeyacfamilycenter.com/

    Divine Mercy Pharmacy
    http://www.dmcpharm.com/

    Maybe such efforts like this should be the focus of the USCCB instead of funding groups like ACORN and issuing “Catholic Climate Covenants”

  • JB: The establishment clause has nothing to do with any issue related to abortion, since the evil of abortion falls not under the category of revealed precept but natural law. According even to Catholic teaching, a Catholic wouldn’t have to bring religion into the equation to refuse distributing the morning after pill.

  • Rick,

    I wouldn’t be so sure, Don. Massachusetts is like some inverted parallel universe where right is wrong and wrong is right – stupid is wise and wise is stupid

    Very succinct!

  • Meet the new junior senator from Massachusetts!

  • I don’t know about that one, Zach. Every article and op-ed I’ve read today sounds like “doom-and-gloom” for Coakley, including among the liberal Left. They sound as if their daggers are out for her and that they’ve all but given up on her potential to win–there isn’t a bus big enough for her to be thrown under, from the way they are reading the tea leaves. We can only hope Brown pulls the upset and puts the nail in the coffin of the atrocious HCR bills now being constructed behind closed doors!