PopeWatch: Antje Jackelén

Saturday, November 2, AD 2013

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

Unless a major news story involving the Pope develops, PopeWatch plans in future that Saturday installments of PopeWatch will normally be lighthearted, however this installment is somewhat darkly humored indeed.  Catholics can often rightly feel that there is much amiss in the Church.  Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who often has taken up the cudgels to defend the Church, reminds us in a current post at Midwest Conservative Journal that the problems of Catholics might seem trivial to Christians in various sects:

 

This one’s all yours, partner.  Just keep it clean:

The bookmakers were right. Today it was announced that the Church of Sweden’s new archbishop is Antje Jackelén. But who is the church’s new top leader, who has chosen part of the Muslim prayer call as her motto?

Many have been taken aback by the theological opinions Jackelén revealed during a questioning in Uppsala on October 1. The candidates for the highest position in the Swedish church were asked if they thought Jesus presented a truer picture of God than Muhammed. With her evasive answer Jackelén suddenly emerged as the bishop who couldn’t choose between Jesus and Muhammed. This provoked strong reactions on some editorial pages.

Kyrkans Tidning thought that the bishop’s answer might indicate that Christ is being relegated to the margins of the Church of Sweden and Dagens Nyheter encouraged the candidates to show some theological backbone. The editorial writer at the newspaper Dagen wrote that it is time to accept the idea of a split within the church – between Christians and those who think all religions are equally good. 

The bishop of Lund’s preference for Allah has prompted one of the church’s most preeminent theologians, professor Eva Hamberg, to leave her post as a member of the church’s theological council in protest against bishop Antje Jackelén’s failure to stand behind the Church of Sweden’s profession of faith. As a reaction to what she calls ”the inner secularization of the Church of Sweden”, she has also renounced her position as priest and her membership of the church.

In a number of interviews Hamberg has expressed her disappointment that not even the top leader of the church will clearly profess a Christian faith but wavers between Jesus and Muhammed.

It is not only Jackelén’s motto and her unwillingness to put Jesus ahead of Muhammed that has evoked strong feelings among many committed Christians. During her questioning in Uppsala, the new archbishop also said that the Church of Sweden has more in common with other religions than with other Christian churches, that the Virgin Birth must be understood metaphorically, that hell doesn’t exist and that the Biblical texts should not be taken as truth.

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4 Responses to PopeWatch: Antje Jackelén

  • All I can think of is prayers for professor Eva Hamberg, who has a chance to lead a significant number of people out of the Church of Sweden and to Christ. In an interview after her departure, she gives the impression that she is more of an academic type rather than a bold leader type. I can hope she realizes that other Christians in the Sweden have spoken in her favor and maybe reaches out to them directly. In that same interview, she expressed an intent to join an evangelical or Pentecostal denomination, but that not need be the end of her journey. (In addition to what Christopher Johnson described, professor Hamberg is also concerned that Antje Jackelén is not adhering to the Apostles’ Creed. So, I think there is grounds for genuine hope here.)

    I don’t want to pretend to know more about professor Hamberg than what is in a couple of news items and blog, but she really just might lead Swedes away from secularization and towards orthodox Christian beliefs. Prayers can help.

  • This story chimed in with my own reflections this morning. I had walked to early mass at Saint-Germain-des-Prés and being All Souls Day, the priest requested our charitable prayers for the faithful departed, including, amongst others, “those who lie peacefully here.” After mass I visited a number of the tombs in the church..

    There was René Descartes – his name means “born-again” (Renatus). Strange that we have no English equivalent for that Christian name par excellence. His brain, I recalled, is preserved in the Musée de l’Homme in Paris; the irony would not be lost on the philosopher of dualism.

    I visited the tomb of Chlothar II, King of all the Franks, who died in 629, more than a thousand years before Descartes. Muhammed had three more years to live. Finally the tombs of Childeric II, his wife, Bilichild and their five year old son, Dagobert, all assassinated, whilst hunting in the forest of Livry, one autumn day in 675, all baptized into the same hope as us. I lit a candle.

    Since this church was consecrated in 588, we have had the rise of Islam; the Great Schism; the corruption and disaffection of the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance Papacy; the Protestant revolt and the Wars of Religion; Quietism and Jansenism; the Deists and rationalists; the religious nationalism of Gallicanism and Josephism; the Revolution, the Risorgimento, the Ultramontane reaction; and, this morning, a Catholic priest said mass for the Holy Souls in the church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

  • …prayers for professor Eva Hamberg, who has a chance to lead a significant number of people out of the Church of Sweden and to Christ.

     
     

    Sadly, that would take a miracle on the order of the multiplication of the loaves According to Wikipedia, less than 4% of the Church of Sweden membership attends public worship during an average week; about 2% are regular attendees. I’m not sure if the corresponding figures for Sweden’s Catholics are any better, but they could hardly be much worse.

     

    In fact, the new bishop seems to be a centrist by local standards, given that putatively 30% of CoS members are either atheists or don’t believe in Jesus, and it is Prof. Hamberg who is pushing the envelope. But even if she doesn’t do a full Sigrid Unset, I do wish her well.

  • Sweden’s Catholics were the subject of some of Marcus Grodi’s The Journey Home programs last year, here’s one with Maria Hasselgren, Stockholm’s Diocesan Press Officer.

    If I remember correctly, there are more Catholics in the Diocese of Salt Lake City than in all of Sweden. The nation’s single diocese, the Diocese of Stockholm, was erected in 1953. The number of Catholics there is growing from both conversions by Swedes and arrival of immigrant Catholics, most of the latter are Poles.

Liberal Christianity as a “Religion”

Sunday, August 4, AD 2013

 

 

Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels in defense of Catholicism so frequently that I have named him Defender of the Faith, explains why liberal Protestantism deserves a place on the endangered species list:

Why is mainline Protestantism withering on the vine?  Because as Gertrude Stein once said about Oakland, California, there is no “there” there:

Liberal Protestantism is dying. Rod Dreher says so in a recent column in The American Conservative, and the statistics back him up: for decades, liberal and mainline Protestantism has been on the decline in the US, with some denominations (such as the United Church of Christ) losing adherents so quickly that their future is in peril. Meanwhile, more conservative and evangelical denominations have generally held their own, or even experienced growth (see graph below). But liberal Protestantism in many ways exemplifies the best of what religion could be: it’s tolerant of differences, non-judgmental, open to scientific knowledge. Good stuff, right? So why is it that the open-minded liberal churches are dying out? 

Golly gee willickers, it has to be painful to be this clueless.  “Liberal Protestantism in many ways exemplifies the best of what religion could be,” only to someone who has absolutely no idea what religion actually is.

I guess I’m going to have to try to dumb this down even further and for the sake of brevity, I’m going to stick with the monotheistic religions but these principles apply to all religions.  So here goes not much of anything.

There are people out there who believe that there is a God.  They believe that this God is responsible for existence itself as well as their presence in that existence.

Once they accept that, they’re kind of forced to accept three more concepts.  Even if they never figure out what it is, there’s a reason why they’re here; after all, if you’re talented enough to speak existence into existence, why would Christopher Johnsons ever just sort of randomly turn up?

So if you’re here for a reason, even if you never ever understand what that reason is until you die, if then, does that not imply that the God who deliberately made you exist feels that your existence is important?  And if your existence is important, does that not rather obligate you to try to live the way the God who made you exist wants you to live?

You can’t do that as well as you want to, of course.  God, in His mercy, understands that and has provided vehicles of escape, the most sensible and efficacious being, according to this Christian, that vehicle provided by the Christian religion.  That fellow on the Cross.

Then there are people who don’t believe any of that.

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5 Responses to Liberal Christianity as a “Religion”

  • At the heart of liberal Christianity lies the belief that religion is purely immanent.

    It was precisely this that Maurice Blondel so vigorously attacked: “No, Christianity does not emerge from nature by a subconscious and spontaneous evolution. No, it is not an emanation of the religious conscience of humanity. It proceeds from a positive intervention and a gratuitous and miraculous condescension of God; it is constituted by the historical fact of the Incarnation; it is essentially a supernatural gift, an interior gift of grace that feeds the Christian life, an exterior gift of the teaching and precepts of Christ, which, confided to the apostles, is communicated to us by the Church and her infallible head. To the thesis of efference that draws the dogmas and the virtues of Catholicism from below and, so to speak, from the depths of nature or the guts of humanity, the thesis of afference is radically opposed that affirms the character, specifically supernatural, free and gratuitous of the entire Christian order. And we adhere to this absolutely fundamental truth with our entire soul.”

    But he was alive to the danger of the opposite tendency: “First, the scholastic ideology, which still exclusively dominates, includes the study neither of religious psychology nor of the subjective facts that convey to the conscience the action of the objective realities whose presence in us Revelation indicates; this ideology only considers as legitimate the examination of what objectively informs us about these realities as designated and defined. Moreover, and especially, everything is instinctively resisted that would limit the authoritarianism born of an exclusive extrinsicism. And, without formulating it, the conception is entertained according to which everything in religious life comes from on high and from without. Only the priesthood is active before a purely passive and receptive flock.”

    It was left to Cardinal Henri de Lubac and his colleagues to resolve the tension.

  • Catholicism is like one of those universal constants that physicists can’t explain. If gravity were a billionth stronger, or a billionth weaker, the universe would end. Anything that isn’t Catholicism, no matter how close it is, will eventually collapse in on itself or explode outward in wasted entropy. Protestantism only survives to the extent that it’s similar to Catholicism, but “close” isn’t close enough, even if it takes 500 years longer than most heresies to disperse.

  • A good overview on the subject indeed! This “Liberal Christianity” will die the “fools death” if for no other reason than at its head are ill-advised, ill educated leaders & followers who have little real understanding of what “Faith” really is in their “Cafeteria Christian” world.We are taught in the Scriptures Hebrews 11:1 what faith is. We do these “Brothers & Sisters In Christ” NO justice by letting them continue to hold on to their beliefs that being a real Christian is easy & indeed trouble-free in and of itself! Again Jesus instructed us to council with them in His ways & Word! To fail in this duty will cause all of us to be judged harshly in The Almighty’s sight! Excellent article as well.

  • Did anyone follow all the way back to the original source?
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/scienceonreligion/2013/07/why-is-liberal-protestantism-dying-anyway/

    Check the last paragraph:

    Which is too bad, because the theology of liberal Protestantism is pretty admirable. Openness to the validity of other traditions, respect for doubters and for skeptical thinkers, acceptance of the findings of science, pro-environmentalism – if I had to pick a church off a sheet of paper, I’d choose a liberal denomination like the United Church of Christ or the Episcopalians any day. But their openness and refusal to be exclusive – to demand standards for belonging – is also their downfall. By agreeing not to erect any high threshold for belonging, the liberal Protestant churches make their boundaries so porous that everything of substance leaks out, mingling with the secular culture around them.

    So what if liberal Protestants kept their open-minded, tolerant theology, but started being strict about it – kicking people out for not showing up, or for not volunteering enough? Liberals have historically been wary of authority and its abuses, and so are hesitant about being strict. But strictness matters, if for no other reason because conservatives are so good at it: most of the strict, costly requirements for belonging to Christian churches in American today have to do with believing theologies that contradict science, or see non-Christians as damned. What if liberal Protestantism flexed its muscle, stood up straight, and demanded its own standards of commitment – to service of God and other people, to the dignity of women, and to radical environmental protection? Parishioners would have to make real sacrifices in these areas, or they’d risk exclusion. They couldn’t just talk the talk. By being strict about the important things, could liberal Protestant churches make their followers walk the walk of their faith – and save their denominations in the process?

    Why won’t it work? Because most people get that in their every day lives ANYWAY. So what will separate these churches from the pop culture?

    What I find even funnier is that no one really wants to ask the real question: What is the truth? Not sure many liberal denominations want to answer that question…

  • Nate Winchester

    In his novel, “Loss and Gain,” Chapter XVII, Bl John Henry Newman asks a series of questions; the following seem pertinent, and not only as applied to the English church:

    “4. Does not Scripture speak of it [the Church] as a kingdom?

    5. And a kingdom which was to last to the end?

    6. What is a kingdom? and what is meant when Scripture calls the Church a kingdom?

    7. Is it a visible kingdom, or an invisible?

    23. Is it necessary, or possible, to believe any one but a professed messenger from God?

    …..

    24. Is the English Church, does she claim to be, a messenger from God?

    25. Does she impart the truth, or bid us seek it?

    26. If she leaves us to seek it, do members of the English Church seek it with that earnestness which Scripture enjoins?”

The Left and Race

Wednesday, July 24, AD 2013

 

 

Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently in defense of the Church that I have designated him Defender of the Faith, explains at Midwest Conservative Journal why the Left is so obsessed with race and finding racists, if not under every bed, certainly within every white skin:

Never let it be said that Naughton’s joint serves no useful purpose because I found this there.  If you’re wondering why all the Episcopal Organization reactions to the George Zimmerman verdict read pretty much the same way, some chick named Mia McKenzie explains it all for you, illustrating why national “conversations” about race are worse than worthless because they’ll go somewhere only when white people admit that they’re wrong now, they’ve always been wrong and they always will be wrong:

Racism is, in reality, a huge, systemic, deeply-rooted plague that exists everywhere and affects everything, that degrades and starves and rapes and murders people without losing its breath. It is built on hundreds of years of oppression and genocide. It is in our government, in our entertainment, in our literature, in our corporations, in our language. This entire country was built on it. It is everywhere, and it is insidious and subtle just as often as it is open and obvious.

It is not that crazy dude over there.

I see the appeal to white folks in thinking about racism this way. The “whack job” approach allows people to separate racist thinking and behavior from themselves. It’s that crazy screaming dude over there who’s racist. It’s your drunk uncles. It’s your he-was-so-quiet-and-seemed-so-normal-before-he-walked-into-the-mall-and-started-shooting-people neighbors. All of whom you can shake your heads at with furrowed brows while proclaiming that you’re “not like that.”

But you are.

White people, you need to get this: you are racist. The first step is admitting that you are part of the problem.

I am not going to tell you why or how you are racist. I’m not here for your education.

Whatever, kitten.

A question and a comment.  What is the difference between Miss McKenzie declaring and the Episcopal Organization tacitly agreeing the concept that every Caucasian becomes a “racist” the moment his or her umbilical cord is cut and some old National Socialist concentration camp guard somewhere claiming that we had to gas all those Jewish children because of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion?  And before you mindlessly invoke Godwin’s Law, at least take a run at answering my question.

You and I both know certain facts about certain countries in the world and certain cities in the United States.  But I’m not going  to mention any of them right now for the same reason why, when I drove an orange Pinto several decades back, I refused, much to the consternation of a mentally-challenged friend of mine to put a Confederate flag on my car’s roof (my man was a huge Dukes of Hazard fan back in the day).  I saw no reason to needlessly offend anyone over something that eventually wouldn’t matter anyway.

But keep up this “guilty until proven innocent” line and I’ll stop caring about your feelings and mention these facts that everyone knows.  I own two Confederate flags, a Second and a Third National, that I bought from the Museum of the Confederacy.  I obviously have no pole to raise either of them on but I do have several walls.  If by some miracle, I ever let you in my place, you should happen to see one and wonder why it’s there, I’ll tell you it’s because of my pride in my Southron heritage. 

If you happen to get mad at me, I’ll happen to not give a crap.  Because the result of attitudes like Miss McKenzie’s and the Episocopal Organization’s can never be racial understanding and certainly won’t be increased racial hostility.  It’ll be something far worse for the liberals than either of those two outcmes.

Indifference.

Put simply, the left needs “racism” and needs it desperately.  Take that crutch away and large numbers of leftists are going to be forced to do pretty much the most difficult thing in the entire world.  Look in the mirror.

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5 Responses to The Left and Race

  • It reminds me of “dry drunks”, people who aren’t drinking but haven’t moved past the alcohol. They’re no longer racist, but they can only think about race, and think that everyone else is only thinking about race.

  • Nasty and dishonest/inane attacks, and ugly ridicule are at the heart of liberal arguments.

    And, then they send in the infiltartors . . .

    Instapundit: “Her name is Renee Vaughn. Her employer, the ‘Texas Campaign For The Environment’, has also apologized. Nonetheless, I hope the picture of her standing with a sign reading ‘We’re Racist And Proud’ winds up being tagged to both. . . . Regarding the leftist activist that carried a signing saying that sign at a TX pro-Zimmerman rally. All they have are lies.

  • Cheap grace.

    Denounce an entire race to show your purity– of course all whites are racist, just the good ones are willing to “admit” it for all the rest. *eyeroll*

    If the “racism” is so nebulous that they can’t even give good examples, it’s clearly not the “racism” that was a big deal.

  • We need to think about the consequences of this: if all whites are racists, that absolves white people of the responsibility to try not to be racist–and it makes Klansmen and Nazis the most sincere white men on Earth, and therefore the most authentic. Is that the world we want to live in?

    Never mind the fact that this claim is itself racist. Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Indians, anyone can be a racist–or not. You don’t fight racism by being racist, but by treating people as individuals, not as groups.

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The Left’s Astroturf War Against the Catholic Church

Sunday, June 23, AD 2013

Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently for the Church that I have designated him Defender of the Faith, has a barnburner of a column over at his blog Midwest Conservative Journal:

 

Gay conservative Kevin DuJan lets the cat out of the bag:

John Nolte at Breitbart.com just published a hard-hitting piece that’s worth your very valuable time…exposing Barack Obama’s commitment to the institutional Left’s Alinskyite objective of “dismantling, undermining, and toxifying the Catholic Church”; this article’s one of those that I’ll probably quote from for years to come, because I’ve never seen this articulated so succinctly before.  Dismantle. Undermine. Toxify.  That is precisely what Leftists have been attempting in their decades-long war against the Catholic Church. Kudos to Nolte for precisely encapsulating so much evil into three small words…which I hope you’ll join me in making everyday vocabulary from this point forward.

What John Nolte probably doesn’t know firsthand, though, is that the Left’s weapon of choice against Catholics is normally gays…who serve as a Gaystapo goon squad that is revved up into frenzies of hatred against Christians in general (but Catholics quite specifically).  If you observe the institutional Left’s strategic moves long enough, you’ll see it’s almost always gays who are bused in to block the entrances to cathedrals or churches and scream expletives at parishioners heading into mass; this is, of course, the toxification aspect of the Leftists’ agenda…since they are attempting to make going to Catholic mass so unpleasant an experience for believers that they’ll potentially start staying home, just to avoid being screamed at by obnoxious gays out on the street (most of whom, in the video above at least, are actually members of the Chicago Teachers’ Union…more on that later).

The Left uses the Gaystapo against the Church (with gays screaming “Bigots!”) in much the same way that Democrats trot blacks (led, of course, by the likes of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Henry Gates) in front of cameras to accuse conservative businesses, Republican politicians, or any of the Democrats’ other perceived “enemies” of being “Ray Ciss”. This is stage crafting coordinated by the DNC, with gays and blacks serving as useful idiots and foot solders for the institutional Left.

It’s a long article and there’s lots of video at the link.

Is this what Catholics have to look forward to?  Sure, if this country’s gays are titanically stupid.  For my part, nothing would get me into the Catholic parish directly across the street from where I live faster than hearing that I would be greeted by wild-eyed hordes of marauding gays as I walked in the door.

Of course, the Archdiocese here would probably discourage me from coming quite strongly, what with the fact that as I walked in, I would point and laugh at the assembled homosexuals, perhaps drop an F-bomb or two, physically react to any physical assaults on my person and break out an Anglican apology (I’m sorry if you were offended…) later if anyone called me on it.

You get the idea.

John Nolte, in the Breitbart.com post DuJan linked to above, overstates the case a bit.  Would the left really like to “demystify, undermine and toxify” the Roman Catholic Church?  Undoubtedly.

Why?  Because at the present time, the Roman Catholic Church is the single largest and most influential worldwide organization standing in the way of the leftist agenda.  I certainly don’t mean to suggest that strong opposition to the left does not also exist in Protestantism or Orthodoxy; it most certainly does.  But Protestantism is too fragmented and Orthodoxy still too exotic and foreign to put up the kind of fight that only the Catholics can currently wage.

I’m not making a judgment, I’m simply stating a fact.  Think of it like this; once you take Helm’s Deep, all you have left to do is to quietly wait for the rest of Middle Earth to fall into your hands.

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27 Responses to The Left’s Astroturf War Against the Catholic Church

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  • “Useful idiots” is what Lenin called his mob of revolutionaries. The gays’ final goal is to make the human being property of the state, deny the human, rational, immortal soul and our Creator endowed unalienable rights.The “Our Father” is going to be labeled hate speech and prohibited in spite of: “or prohibit the free exercise thereof.” If every gay was a dictator, he would need slaves or persons to whom to dictate. The sovereign state would no longer exist as the sovereign personhood of the individual human being constitutes government, but without the acknowledgment of the Supreme Sovereign Being, and the sovereignty of the human person, there can be no state. So, the gays think that they will rule…but the devil has other plans for the gays. The man practicing homosexual behavior takes as his bride the asinine sphincter of another man. Equality of sodomy? with what? Fornication is the chief form of devil worship. Even the devil does not want sodomy. Oh brimestone and fire where is your tenderness?

  • Sir Sean Connery is indeed a devout Catholic. See “Darby O’Gill and the Little People”, a Disney movie circa 1959 about leprechauns, especially the added bonus features which are more fun than the movie.

  • “This is stage crafting coordinated by the DNC, with gays and blacks serving as useful idiots and foot solders for the institutional Left.”

    I agree that certain tactics are obnoxious (of course for anyone who believes wholeheartedly in their cause, whatever the issue, there’s no such thing as too obnoxious.) However “useful idiots” implies that these protesters are dupes of something they’re not fully onboard with. Which I kinda doubt is the case.

    Ms. De Voe you complain about speech-policing and then launch into an over-the-top tirade about “gay rule” and hellfire rhetoric…no one is trying to legally prohibit you from saying those things but are you really surprised that certain people take issue with this sentiment

  • so apparently God created adam and steve…well that is what the stupid gay community thinks anyway….they are just sick perverted morons…

  • “The Holy Spirit apparently has a long history of commandeering both the ordinary and the oddball for service as needed, no matter how unexpected it would be.”

    Best news I’ve had in years. Bring it.

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  • at the present time, the Roman Catholic Church is the single largest and most influential worldwide organization standing in the way of the leftist agenda.

    Really? Our nation’s leading proponent of amnesty for the illegals? The world’s most vocal opponent of capital punishment? A church that never met a social spendng program it didn’t like (in the words of one leading conservative)? The Church that funds hundreds of left wing community organizing initiatives? The Church that has long been in the hip pocket of labor unions?

  • Kurt,
    I agree. Note, though, that the USCCB is composed only of U.S. Bishops, so whatever wise or unwise pronouncements they make concern only the Catholic Church in the U.S.

    Cardinal Ratzinger, before he became Pope Benedict XVI, had some interesting things to say about the danger of Bishops Conferences and their ability to stifle the voices of good bishops in “The Ratzinger Report,” a book-length interview by Vittorio Messori, in 1987. Ratzinger, then prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF), said:

    “We must not forget that the episcopal conferences have no theological basis, they do not belong to
    the structure of the Church, as willed by Christ, that cannot be eliminated; they have only a practical, concrete function.

    “No episcopal conference, as such, has a teaching mission; its documents have no weight of their
    own save that of the consent given to them by the individual bishops.”

    Elsewhere, he explained the difference between the College of Bishops, which In union with the Pope to magisterium because collegiality transcends geographical and historical boundaries. In other words, things The Twelve taught at the very beginning hold true for the Church to this day and in the future , all over the world.

    That said, Pope Benedict also had something to say about about the “common good.”
    ” The more we strive to secure a common good corresponding to the real needs of our neighbours, the more effectively we love them. Every Christian is called to practise this charity, in a manner corresponding to his vocation and according to the degree of influence he wields in the pólis. This is the institutional path — we might also call it the political path — of charity, no less excellent and effective than the kind of charity which encounters the neighbour directly, outside the institutional mediation of the pólis.”

  • Marietta —

    But are the bishops anywhere else in the world any different? In most of western Europe, save the Protestant UK and Nordic countries, the expansive social welfare schemes they now have were not enacted by the Socialists but by Catholic politcians with the firm support of the bishops and with priests generally designing the programs of the welfare state. I am referring to Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, Italy and Malta.

  • BTW, check out liberal Catholic Senator Tom Harkin’s hearing at 2:30 ET today on raising the federal minimum wage. His star witness will be the bishop chairing the USCCB’s domestic policy conference.

  • That would be completely pro-abort Senator Tom Harkin, right Kurt? Ignore the Bishops when it comes to killing kids in the womb, and then attempt to use them to drive up unemployment in the middle of the great Obama Recession.

    http://www.ontheissues.org/social/Tom_Harkin_Abortion.htm

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/08/sen-tom-harkin-forcing-catholic-church-to-pay-for-abortions-and-birth-control-is-ok-because-women-have-terrible-menstrual-cramps/

  • “Most of the major ills of the world have been caused by well-meaning people who ignored the principle of individual freedom, except as applied to themselves, and who were obsessed with fanatical zeal to improve the lot of mankind-in-the-mass through some pet formula of their own. The harm done by ordinary criminals, murderers, gangsters, and thieves is negligible in comparison with the agony inflicted upon human beings by the professional do-gooders, who attempt to set themselves up as gods on earth and who would ruthlessly force their views on all others with the abiding assurance that the end justifies the means.” From The Mainspring of Human Progress by Henry Grady Weaver

  • Ergo, . . .

    In 1950, 80% of men were employed, today 65%.
    In 1979, the real, entry-level hourly wage for a HS grad was $15.64, today $11.68.
    In 1960, 72% of adults were married, today 51%.
    In 1950, 78% of households contained a married couple, today 48%.
    One-in-three children live in a home with no father.

  • Yep, Don, that would be him. Guess how much gushing the bishop will be doing towards the Senator this afternoon. I predict a lovefest.

    Amnesty, minimum wage, spend more for food stamps. That our bishops for you.

  • You wish Kurt. Amnesty is not getting out of the House and neither will an increase in the minimum wage. Increasing the food stamp rolls by 70% along with other forms of dependence upon the State will certainly be one of the things the Obama administration will be remembered for when national debt repudiation occurs and our economy goes on life support for a few decades. But not everyone holds the life of the unborn with the callous indifference of the politicians you help elect, even Bishops who know as much about economics as a pig does about penance, or Tom Harkin knows about the sanctity of innocent human life.

  • “Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good
    of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

    -C.S. Lewis

    The classics never die.

  • Amnesty is not getting out of the House and neither will an increase in the minimum wage.

    Can’t have everything. Already got Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, repeal of DADT, Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, some good pro-union NLRB rulings, the Auto/UAW bailout, higher taxes on the rich, kicked big banks out of the federal student loan program, new regulations on credit cards, significant defense cuts, Hate Crimes Act, and some really great appointments. And that’s not counting the secret stuff to steer work to unionized firms.

    All in all, the laity’s church tithes have been used more to help the President than to hurt him. Remember what your friend Deep Throat said, “follow the money”.

  • Doesn’t look like you have the obsolete Voting Rights Act any more.

  • “Can’t have everything. Already got Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, repeal of DADT, Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, some good pro-union NLRB rulings, the Auto/UAW bailout, higher taxes on the rich, kicked big banks out of the federal student loan program, new regulations on credit cards, significant defense cuts, Hate Crimes Act, and some really great appointments. And that’s not counting the secret stuff to steer work to unionized firms.”

    1. Obamacare remains massively unpopular and that is before the onerous provisions kick in which begins next year. Obamacare will do permanent damage to your party Kurt, so perhaps on balance it is a good thing after all.

    2. Dodd-Frank-Fortunately that misbegotten piece of legislation from two of the more corrupt members of Congress is dying on the vine from the ineptitude of the Executive Branch. Massive incompetence, the saving grace of the Obama administration!

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/06/06/dodd-frank-isnt-close-to-implemented/

    3. Repeal of Dadt-Why am I not surprised Kurt that you would hail a development that both weakens the military and is a slap in the face to traditional morality? The main impact of this development is that cowards will no longer have an easy way to get out of their enlistments, which was overwhelmingly the cause of most discharges under Dadt which involved self-informing.

    4. Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009-The main impact of which is to allow members of my profession to bring lawsuits decades after the alleged pay discrimination. As always with most Democrat legislation the true beneficiaries are the lawyers.

    5. Some good pro-union NLRB rulings-Too bad that Obama jeopardized most of them by using recess appointments to the NLRB since he couldn’t get the hacks he wanted approved by the Senate:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/25/us/justices-agree-to-hear-case-on-presidents-recess-appointments.html?_r=0

    6. Kicked big banks out of the federal student loan program-Yep, by making the taxpayers foot the bill of a loan system that is rapidly going into default.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505123_162-57585366/student-loan-defaults-rising-despite-a-way-out/

    By doing this the Obama administration made it highly unlikely that bankruptcy laws will be reformed to allow discharging student loans in bankruptcy as the taxpayer will always be on the hook. The Feds of course have mechanisms that are denied to private student loan lenders including garnishing social security and pensions. It takes a certain type of deranged partisan mindset to view making the student loan system a federal preserve in any way pro-student.

    7. new regulations on credit cards-Which have had little benefit for consumers:

    http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2012/05/22/winners-and-losers-3-years-after-credit-card-act/

    Anyone who thought it was going to be otherwise should have asked themselves why Obama picked the Senator from Mastercard to be his Veep.

    More after I finish my afternoon tour in the law mines.

  • 1. Obamacare remains massively unpopular and that is before the onerous provisions kick in which begins next year. Obamacare will do permanent damage to your party Kurt, so perhaps on balance it is a good thing after all.

    I’ll take my chances. You can guess about the future. For now, it is the law. Upheld by the Roberts Court. 🙂

    . Repeal of Dadt-Why am I not surprised Kurt that you would hail a development that both weakens the military and is a slap in the face to traditional morality? The main impact of this development is that cowards will no longer have an easy way to get out of their enlistments, which was overwhelmingly the cause of most discharges under Dadt which involved self-informing.

    That one you don’t even predict will be repealed. Settled and done.

    4. Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009-The main impact of which is to allow members of my profession to bring lawsuits decades after the alleged pay discrimination. As always with most Democrat legislation the true beneficiaries are the lawyers

    Trial lawyers need jobs too. Settled and done.

    . Kicked big banks out of the federal student loan program-Yep, by making the taxpayers foot the bill of a loan system that is rapidly going into default.

    Settled and done!

    It takes a certain type of deranged partisan mindset to view making the student loan system a federal preserve in any way pro-student.

    So, Democrat degranged partisans are ruling the day. Settled and done!

    7. new regulations on credit cards-Which have had little benefit for consumers:

    Awwwh, but it must create some bureaucrat jobs and mess over the banks.

    Settled and done!

  • From “The Idiot Vote” by Harry Stein:
    “Yet in America today, only one of the dominant political parties–guess which one–is actually dependent on the idiot vote for its very survival.
    Ignoramuses are the Democrats’ core constituency. Can’t name your congressman or a single Supreme Court justice? Have vaguely heard of Gettysburg, but can’t quite place the war? Get your idea of news from People and Us or Comedy Central? You’re a single-issue voter and the single issue is more-more-more and who-cares-how-it-gets-paid-for. The Dems not only want you to vote, they’ll hunt you down, fill out the registration form for you and show up on Election Day to drag you to the polls. And if you can’t make it, they’ll send someone else and say you did. And all the while, proudly cast themselves as defenders of democracy, because the right to vote is, you know, like, sacrosanct.”

  • But think how much the Catholic faith is advanced by calling other people idiots.

  • Can’t resist quoting today’s Gospel here, kurt, as regards ‘advancing’ for the world.
    Matthew 7: 6, 12-14
    ( It’s valuable. We were reminded that God calls us to holiness and must recognize qualities that aren’t. So many ways the Catholic faith is rich beyond imagination in care. )

    “Jesus said to His disciples:
    Do not give what is holy to dogs or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces.
    Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the Law and the Prophets.

    Enter through the narrow gate;
    for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction,
    and those who enter through it are many.

    How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life.
    And those who find it are few.”

  • “But think how much the Catholic faith is advanced by calling other people idiots.”

    About as much as your fit of putrid gloating has done.

  • Mr. Stein nailed it. Please provide facts to refute his essay.

  • AP will no longer use the phrase ‘illegal immigrant, it will use ‘undocumented democrat.’

    Dems push Amnesty in attempt to replace 53,000,000 aborted children. Limbaugh

Sally Quinn, Short Skirts and the Church of Rome

Wednesday, February 27, AD 2013

Sally Quinn at the Washington Post has a column in which she calls for those darn Catholics to cease to be Catholic basically, and begins it all when she recalls the humiliation she felt during her salad days, presumably sometime after dinosaurs ruled the earth, when she was turned away from the Vatican because her skirt was too short.  Unfortunately for her, her column attracted the attention of Christopher Johnson at Midwest Conservative Journal, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently in defense of the Church that I have designated him Defender of the Faith:

Yeah, here’s the thing.  We Protestants obviously don’t have a dog in this hunt, as they say, but lots of us would really appreciate it if you mackeral snappers would pick the damned pace up and elect a new pope yesterday.  Then we wouldn’t have to have read about how Sally Quinn visited the Vatican right around the time that William Howard Taft, AKA ”Fatso,” was US President:

The first time I visited the Vatican as an adult I was in my 20s.  I was so excited. My boyfriend and I dressed up as if it were Easter Sunday. He wore a coat and tie. I wore a long sleeved black dress with pearls and little ballet flats. We were turned away. It seems my skirt was a half inch too short. I was crushed. I felt ashamed and humiliated. I certainly had not set out to offend anyone, much less God.

Two things, Sal.  They’re called “travel guides” and just about everybody publishes them.  So ignorance of the law and all that.  And if I’m wearing a Motörhead T-shirt and I haven’t shaved or bathed in three days, give or take, I don’t have anything to complain about if Vatican border guards tell me, “Not so much, no.”  Quinnsie, on the other hand, went back to the Vatican some time during the Coolidge Administration.

The last time I visited was five years ago, after the child sexual abuse scandal. Not long before, I had spent a weekend at Williamsburg, and I remember thinking that perhaps one day the Vatican would be like that same historic village. There would be actors dressed as priests and nuns and one actor playing the pope in flowing robes waving from the balcony, remembering an institution as it once existed.

And anybody with a brain would be Episcopalian by now.  A few days later, Sally’s little “On Faith” thing ran some advice to the Roman Catholic Church from a Jewish atheist.

[A whole lot of stupid-ass liberal bumper stickers omitted.]

So, Rome?  We’re going to need you to hurry things along, all right?  Really.

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23 Responses to Sally Quinn, Short Skirts and the Church of Rome

  • Off-topic, but for you, Don–50+ unpublished Kipling poems found by American scholar:

    http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/02/27/more-than-50-unpublished-rudyard-kipling-poems-discovered-by-u-s-scholar/

  • Thank you Dale, that makes my day. This indicates the shocking lack of serious scholarly attention to Kipling’s work since his death.

  • That Quinn article is a nearly-perfect match to the Choose Your Pope parody bit from a couple of days ago.

    I just have to give it more attention than it deserves:

    “Every priest who is known to be guilty should be routed out, excommunicated and jailed. Every priest, bishop and cardinal who had any knowledge of these heinous crimes and protected abusers should be excommunicated and prosecuted in the courts.”

    OK, nice idea. But why excommunicated? And how does one go about finding every priest “known to be guilty”? What kind of a standard is that? What does “any knowledge” mean? Suspicions? Confessions? How do you propose to implement this plan?

    “Some 98 percent of sexually experienced Catholics have used birth control even though it is considered a sin by the church. The same percentage of Catholic women have abortions as non-Catholic women.”

    Quinn uses that as proof that the Church needs to change. Why? Why not have every person who’s used birth control or had an abortion routed out and excommunicated? Every priest, bishop, and cardinal who’s known about one as well? Because Quinn doesn’t want people excommunicated for breaking the law, or breaking the Church’s moral code. She wants them excommunicated for breaking her moral code. And where the Church’s moral code doesn’t match hers, she wants the Church to reform.

    “The official explanation is that he has become too frail to perform his duties. I think there is more to it than that. I think that he either doesn’t want to or can’t deal with all that has gone rotten around him.”

    Oh, well, stop the presses. Sally Quinn thinks something different from the official explanation, and we should give Quinn’s thought greater weight than the official explanation because…?

  • The “skirt” incident reveals that the Vatican was unlike the World.

    In the World, men wouldn’t talk with her if she were not showing enough skin.

  • I don’t know if I should post this here or in the Hans Hunt letter thread, but here goes. Hunt put down a recent arrival who wanted to de-Wyoming Wyoming, her new state of residence. Paul Zummo made this comment:”If you are fleeing one area of the country because another area offers dramatically more opportunities, how obtuse do you have to be to vote for the policies that made you need to leave where you are coming from?” This is the exact same thing that’s happening in this column. Quinn wants to show a bit of leg at the Vatican, and she wants abortion and contraception to be acceptable to the Church. But she doesn’t want men to act the way they do in the face of sexual temptation. Sexual revolution for me, but not for thee.

    She didn’t set out to offend anyone, but she did offend people by breaking society’s standards, and she won’t accept responsibility for it. Now the dress length seems trivial. As trivial as the first straw on top of the camel’s broken back.

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  • Someone smart once said (paraphrasing) that the problem of sin is not so much the sin itself, but the arrogance of wanting the cosmic order to bend to the individual will by approving of the sin.

  • Yes, J Christian, exactly.
    There seems to be no shortage of folks who desire to conform their conscience to their actions rather than vice versa. Their logic seems to be:
    I’m a good person.
    I want to do X.
    Therefoere, X is a perfectly good thing to do.
    Those of us who try fecklessly to conform our actions to our conscience are relegated to hypocrite status.

  • Sally Quinn is beyond silly, and the Post is no better than Pravda. That said, I have to tell you that every time a Catholic male blogger or columnist makes snide comments about a woman’s age or appearance, he makes it just about impossible for women like me to keep making a case for the Church to our liberal, secular friends. I could make the most impassioned and reasoned argument defending the Church as the one and ONLY institution that values and protects the dignity of women, and then my listener would read something like this, or some screed about “aging hippie nuns” from Father Z, and we’re back to square one…”will the Church’s war on women never end?”

    Can’t you make a case for Sally Quinn as flat-out ridiculous based only on what she has said and written? If you can’t, then you’re not as good a writer as I though you were.

    This stuff makes me tired. Sigh.

  • Quinn was the one who brought up skirts Claire and her long ago youth. Her former appearance is the only reason why she is writing anything that is published in The Washington Post to be inflicted upon a hapless public. I call ’em like I see ’em.

  • Well, I don’t mind that you brought up skirts…I can see that you weren’t criticizing the length of her skirt. I guess I need to go find her article and read it…based only on what you have posted here, I don’t see where Quinn herself is making reference to her age. I do see where you’ve reprinted lots of snotty allusions to Quinn’s youth in the Coolidge era. Har har.

    The thing is that I’m just tired of Catholic male bloggers (even the ones I really like) jumping on every opportunity to mock wrongheaded women who happen to be unattractive or, God forbid, old. I don’t get why it’s not OK for women to be old. I want to be old myself eventually. I mean, I believe in eternal life, but I’m in no hurry. More importantly, I’m tired of the laziness in this kind of writing. Liberal nuns who want to “move beyond Jesus” (where? to Hell?) need to be criticized for their heresy, not for their wrinkles and grey hair. Pro-abortion women (the handful of them who show up at the March for Life) should be criticized for condoning child slaughter, not for their Birkenstocks and frumpy outfits.

  • “based only on what you have posted here, I don’t see where Quinn herself is making reference to her age.”
    The incident with the skirt occurred in her twenties and struck me as a remarkably petty note to start off a column slamming the Church.

    Criticisms of individuals in my writing are never gratuitous but always done for a point. I view Sally Quinn as perhaps the most vacuous writer published on a regular basis by The Washington Post, and that is saying something, and her personal history explains why she holds this position. Her youthful use of her sex appeal made her career and that is relevant when readers are wondering how such a dope got such a powerful podium to preach to us Catholics.

  • Claire, it looks like it was Johnson who brought up the age thing. (I almost wrote “brought up the skirt”, which is a completely different concept!)

  • Pinky–right, I agree, only Mr. McClarey did reprint it AND added the “presumably sometime after dinosaurs roamed the earth” just to drive it home.

    Mr. McClarey–see, I get that Quinn mentioned her age, but she was talking about her age at the time of the skirt incident. So we all know that she was in her twenties when that happened. What she doesn’t seem to say is exactly how long ago her twenties were. A reader who didn’t know anything about Quinn wouldn’t necessarily know if her twenties took place during the 1990s, the 1930s, or anytime in between. We get that she’s old (gross!) from the super-funny jokes about Taft and Coolidge. It’s fine, though…it’s your blog, so whatever. Maybe you don’t notice that conservative and Catholic male bloggers tend to take potshots at women for perceived lack of attractiveness. Liberal bloggers are far worse, of course, but I expect better from Catholics.

  • “Maybe you don’t notice that conservative and Catholic male bloggers tend to take potshots at women for perceived lack of attractiveness.”

    Some do. I don’t.

  • Right on, Claire! The older and less attractive I become, the less I like this type of comment. Too bad its true that there seem to be so many unattractive Lib women, of all ages. BEING Lib makes them unattractive to any thinking person.

  • A religious woman was the Door Keeper once for St Peter’s Basilica to replace the males, and quit because of abuse she took. forget the year that experiment began and ended quickly.
    . I was amazed at the total lack of respect in the USA before I was injured and could not attend Mass in church, to see so many women coming to church and some men. who were more properly dressed for golf or a BBQ than for communion; while black men and women whom I saw when I went to their church as part of my Consultant for the after school federal programme for that church-neighbourhood were dressed for a presidential visit. Same for the Hispanic Mass goers at our all-Spanish Masses.
    White trashily dressed to fulfil an obligation, most left early after communion. The length of the homily made no difference to their time-pieces. I asked the pastor one day to do his bit with bulletin announcements before Mass and he rejected the idea- within a month or so he did when he saw the nearly empty church at the end of communion. A deeper problem than a dress code.

  • coming from my silly simple little farm girl background, and a long line of old German Lutherans, I must say the length of her skirt was indeed reason to find fault with all the “rules” back in the day. I wish she could live in that lifestyle for awhile. skirt must touch floor when kneeling. No makeup, no pants, no dancing, no card playing, no drinking (lol) god forbid, if you got caught shaving your legs before you were 16, and the only thing we looked forward to was a “funeral” Lutheran of course. Ms Quinn grow up. I know one thing we worked hard, we were respectful, our minds were clean and we took responsibility for our own actions. I thought it was the most horrible lifestyle. I wish we had a little of that back now.

  • I was in Rome a few years back for the ordination of my brother to the Diaconate. I was surprised that St. Peter’s is the only one of the major Basilica’s where they enforce any sort of dress code and even there from what I can see, a half an inch is not going to going to keep anyone out.

  • I just looked at the clock. We don’t have a pope. Weird.

  • Mr. McClarey,

    I’m sure you don’t. I have a tendency to overanalyze and to overreact, sometimes without much charity. I hope I didn’t offend you. I still think this happens pretty frequently but I’ve never seen any evidence of it on your blog, so I should not have assumed that you were trying to be mean in this case.

  • In Independent (Fundamentalist) Baptist churches, women often wear very long skirts practically down to the floor, but it’s not a dress code. It’s merely a part of the subculture. They tend to use very long skirts made with jean material. Weirdly, they can often be accompanied by sneakers.

If Only the Church Were More Episcopalian!

Saturday, February 16, AD 2013

 

Annie Selak, Jesuit trained lay ministress, wishes that the Church were more like that La Brea Tar Pits of a church, the Episcopalian Church.  Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently in defense of the Faith that I have designated him Defender of the Faith, gives her a fisking to remember:

Any period between popes is always an exciting one for liberals, particularly liberal Catholics.  Leftist manifestoes concerning what the new pope and the Church MUST DO NOW are more numerous than snowflakes in a thundersnow, all of which, as David Fischler correctly points out, can be summed up as advancing the project to turn the Roman Catholic Church into the Episcopal Organization.  Annie Selak weighs in on behalf of Young Catholics.  What kind of Roman Catholic Church do Catholic kids want anyway?

A church that takes our experience seriously: If you dig through church teaching, you can see that experience is a valid and necessary aspect of forming conscience. However, it does not feel like that is the case. Whether it is the sexual abuse crisis or new translation of the Roman Missal, the church seems distant from what is actually going on in the world. We want the church to ask the questions we are asking, rather than ones that seem trivial at best and irrelevant at worst. Catholicism can recover from mistakes, but one thing the church cannot recover from is being irrelevant.

Three things, Annie.  Why should the Church ask the questions Young Catholics are asking?  Seems kind of redundant.  What makes the “experience” of Young Catholics so vital anyway insofar as Young Catholics haven’t had all that much of it?

What kinds of questions is the church asking that you believe are “trivial at best and irrelevant at worst?”  That stuff about sin and redemption?  And in case you think that whole “turning the Catholic Church Episcopalian” idea is hyperbole, Annie’s very next paragraph could have been written by Katharine Jefferts Schori.

A church that emphasizes the inclusive ministry of Jesus: Jesus was incredible, right? Why is it that we so rarely hear about that? Jesus consistently reached out to those marginalized from the community, yet the church does not follow suit. Who are the marginalized today? Most young Catholics are quick to point to two groups: women and people who do not identify as heterosexual. Regardless of political leanings, there is an overwhelming consensus that the church needs to do better in these areas. The Vatican has repeatedly shut down any dialogue surrounding the ordination of women and church teaching on homosexuality. At the very least, these issues need to be opened up to a thoughtful, informed dialogue that includes historical analysis, social sciences, tradition and Scripture (notably, all areas the church affirms in the formation of conscience). There is an urgency to these issues, as these are not nameless people on the margins, these are our friends, family members, mentors,and leaders. One of the things that draws young people to the Gospel is the inclusivity of Jesus; how is it that the exclusivity of the church turns people away?

Yes, by all means, the Roman Catholic Church should have a “thoughtful, informed dialogue” about these matters since it has never, ever considered these issues before.  What Annie means, of course, is that the Church came to the wrong conclusions and needs to come to different ones.  Therefore we need continuing, relentless, brain-dead “thoughtful, informed dialogue” until the Church gets its head out of its narthex.

A church that embraces that God is everywhere: The younger generation of the church resonates with the universal notion of Catholicism. We see diversity and unity as two concepts that go together, rather than being opposites. Moreover, we recognize the importance of other religions. Some of Pope Benedict XVI’s biggest missteps related to his interactions with other religions. But young Catholics have grown up alongside people from different religions who are some of the holiest people we know. Nostra Aetate , Vatican II’s “Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions” affirms that God is present in other religions, yet you would be hard-pressed to find anyone in the pews on a Sunday morning who knows this. We need to affirm and emphasize that God is present in other religions and sincerely work on improving our relationships with them.

Face?  Keyboard?  You know the drill.  Mrs. Schori’s “small box” line?  Front and center.  I’ll let the Catholic readership determine exactly how badly Annie mangled Nostra Aetate.  I’ll just say once again that given the choice between performing meaningless rituals in Annie’s ideal, high-church universalist Catholic Church and sleeping late on Sunday mornings, I expect to hit the snooze button a lot.

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19 Responses to If Only the Church Were More Episcopalian!

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  • As often as you cite him, my sole question is: why hasn’t Mr Johnson converted?

  • Something for us all to pray for I think Kyle.

  • Dear Mr. McClarey,

    You have done a great service here. In particular, thank you for direct quote, “We see diversity and unity as two concepts that go together, rather than being opposites.”

    I could not write a better parody of a sneak trying to fool the reader than that one, perfectly nonsensical line. The rest is just as bad, or worse. Directly quoting these “Christians” is the best way to refute them.

    Good job.

  • If only all the Kumbaya!-Obama-worshippers were Episcopalians!

    Next time have to you talk at a liberal, if you must, ask the following, “How is Ayn Rand always correct about everything?”

  • Ayn Rand is correct about very little. She can offer critiques, but no solutions.

  • I don’t even think the liberals believe the sort of clap-trap they are spouting. It’s just a tool to use. I don’t think these activists even consider themselves Catholic. They’ll just say they are because they think it gives them “street cred”. She said they were part of “Blessed by Default” which was “interdenominational”. In other words, it’s useful (read “dishonest”) to say they are Catholic, but they’re not really Catholic. Likewise the “wymyn priest” says her ordination is “valid” but not recognized. Really? Really? So if I get a judge to swear me in I can be President! I think I’ve solved the Obama problem!

    I would advise anyone watching the video to turn it off before they start singing. It’s awful. You can’t un-hear that.

  • Ugh. I almost didn’t watch it but couldn’t resist. Wow, what patience was shown with these women! I’ll echo Alphatron Shinyskullus’s great closing line: “I would advise anyone watching the video to turn it off before they start singing. It’s awful. You can’t un-hear that.”

  • “Ayn Rand is correct about very little. She can offer critiques, but no solutions.”

    true. it’s one of those things where particular types of radicalism can be interesting reading and offer unique insights, but when it comes to the ideology as a whole, not acceptable

    sometimes stuff like this can be gateways toward thinking about other ideologies though. i have a cousin who defended Rand before as a sort of gateway out of liberalism for young people. you just don’t wanna go all in

  • I think this is about a stance originating in the 60’s, and I’m incredibly surprised at its lifespan. I wonder how much mileage remains.

  • To choose one line; “The church should reach out”. Yes we should evangelize (reach out), one on one and talk to lapsed and non-Catholics. Yes many liberals forget the line about repentance, but we need to call everyone back home. After working with hurting youth for over a decade I can tell you we have what they are looking for and need. How will they find it if we don’t tell them? Please read George Weigle’s most recent book.

  • Weigel’s recent articles are great. Regarding these liberal “christians”, they will never totally die out here on earth. The press loves to give them air time to stir the pot. We have to be loving and patient all the same. One aspect of our eternal reward may be that not all of these “christians” will be in heaven with us. How sad. Life is short. Heaven is for eternity. Try to listen to these “christians” but don’t take them too seriously.

  • These people all want to act in Persona Christi, in the Person of Jesus Christ, but they will not accept and practice perfect obedience to our Father, WHO is in heaven, and Holy Mother Church. They want to be Holy Mother Church without the sacrifice, without the humility, without the repentance.

    The Sacrament of Reconciliation is another sticking point in their craw. They do not believe in penance practiced through obedience.

  • The same Anglican-Episcoplian order that bows down to political leaders and whose bishop claims “Whatever the theological principle on which people acted and spoke, the fact remains that a great deal of this discussion is not intelligible to our wider society.”

    Let’s be clear here. These liberal Catholics aren’t just little lost souls. They are that, but they are also surrogates for the princes and principalities of the political order and wider society that aims to force Catholics to bow down.
    These surrogates have been indoctrinated, promoted, and defended to attain the media heights and favorable attention they receive. We are in a war here. Our enemies will not fight fair. But we will always have, if we remain faithful to God, Truth. Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that I know what is holy…

  • Dear Brad, Rick, Mary DeVoe, Charles,

    Thanks. Keep them coming. That’s why I visit this site.

  • Ugh. That video. Excuse me, while I find a bucket.

  • Keep on trying, you guys. Damascus Roads and all that. And if it never happens, at least know this. To paraphrase Mr. Churchill’s remark about the Church of England, while I may never be a pillar of the Roman Catholic Church, I can at least be a flying buttress and support it from the outside.

  • Indeed Christopher! At The American Catholic you will always have friends praying for you!

Competing Religions

Thursday, February 14, AD 2013

Liberalism

Christopher Johnson, the non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently for Mother Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith, points to an editorial of The Washington Post that hopes the next Pope will not be so Catholic:

Roman Catholics?  You have my deepest sympathies.  You guys are going to have a LOT of crap to put up with over the next month and a half:

The hallmark of Pope Benedict’s tenure, for better or for worse, was fierce resistance to those changes. He rejected calls by Catholic progressives for reconsideration of doctrines such as celibacy and the ban on women in the priesthood; at a time when acceptance of the rights of gays and lesbians is rapidly spreading across the world, he was outspoken in condemning homosexuality as “unnatural” and unacceptable. With sectarian tension growing in Europe as well as the Middle East, he eschewed dialogue with Muslims and infuriated many by quoting a condemnation of Islamic theology as “evil and inhuman.”

Some of Pope Benedict’s most important achievements came in response to the backlash triggered by his reactionary acts. Pilloried for having suggested before a tour of AIDS-stricken Africa that the use of condoms “increases the problem,” he later suggested that the use of a condom by an HIV-infected person to avoid infecting a partner could be a positive step. After angering Jews by rehabilitating a bishop known as a Holocaust denier, the pope prayed at Auschwitz and published a book exonerating the Jewish people for the death of Jesus.

Pope Benedict will leave behind a church facing the same debilitating problems that loomed after the death of Pope John Paul II — above all, how to remain relevant to an increasingly secular world and to its own changing membership. This pope’s response was to insist that only uncompromising adherence to past doctrine could preserve the faith. Catholics who seek a different answer will have to hope that a college of cardinals dominated by the pope’s appointees will choose a more progressive successor.

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32 Responses to Competing Religions

  • The accompanying photo reminds me of a quote by William F. Buckley:
    “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”

  • I have to wonder if press bias has as much effect as we think. That editorial is about half opinion, half incorrect information. Reading it is like playing charades, trying to guess the real event from its mis-description. But then I think, they do that with everything. Every single thing that I know about, I can find errors in the coverage of. If I attend something, it’ll get falsely described. I wonder if we all just filter out the nonsense reflexively.

    In czarist Russia, in the Soviet Union, and for all I know in present-day Russia, no one ever believed the official story about anything. By censoring the news, they created a situation where any rumor was assumed to be more truthful than any official account. I’ve heard it argued that in the Soviet era, the whole point was to make a news story as false as possible, not because anyone would believe it, but because it broke people’s spirits to have to pretend to believe the stuff. The more outrageous the falsehood, the more dehumanizing it was to feign assent to it.

    So when I read this WaPo nonsense, part of me is afraid for the souls that think they know the Church based on the press’s reporting of it. But another part of me thinks that no one believes the press any more, about anything.

  • when people die are they going to go to catholic heaven, baptist heaven, methodist heaven ect ect?

    religious institutions are big money making machines, i wonder what our LORD/JESUS thinks about all this?

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  • when people die are they going to go to catholic heaven, baptist heaven, methodist heaven ect ect?

    No. There is only one heaven.

    religious institutions are big money making machines, i wonder what our LORD/JESUS thinks about all this?

    For whom? The flagship Anglican parish in my home town, chock-a-bloc with attorneys and corporation executives, employed a grand total of ten people. It had that many because it operated a day care center on site. That would be the most affluent parish in the most affluent denomination in the metropolitan region. The rector of that parish lived well, but rather less well than most of his parishioners and less well than the real-estate developer who bought the rectory when the vestry decided future rectors should own their own homes. Another parish in that same denomination (just down the road) lived hand to mouth under the inept financial administration of the schoolteachers who made up the majority of its vestry. The rector was over paid, but still earning less than he might have in the engineering career he had abandoned. That particular parish had a rector, a sexton, and a secretary.

    Catholic clergy receive a stipend that was (at that time) about 60% lower than the salaries paid to Anglican clergy. They were also celibates, generally owned no real property and often no consumer durables worth more than a three-figure sum of money.

    Running a small eleemosynary and receiving compensation similar to what a school teacher might receive is not an ascetic life; neither is it a life that would be chosen by someone notably acquisitive.

    You do realize, do you not, that religious congregations have no profits to distribute?

  • “he was outspoken in condemning homosexuality as “unnatural” and unacceptable.”

    What a horribly false mischaracterization! The Church certainly asserts that homosexual attraction is “unnatural” (which it is, how is that a contentious claim?), but she never claims that the orientation itself, distinct from acting upon it, is “unacceptable!”

    The problem is that we live in a world where people are incapable of using logic and reason. There is no nuance, there is no appreciation for subtle differences. It’s almost impossible be taken seriously when this is how the media portrays you.

  • And by the way, Left liberals aren’t the only ones guilty of mischaracterizing what the Pope/Church says.

    Sean Winters had a fantastic article praising Benedict’s papacy, but he also made some incredible insights into American Catholics.

    http://ncronline.org/blogs/distinctly-catholic/why-i-came-love-benedict-xvi

    I realize most of you won’t click through because it’s a piece from the National Catholic Register (I don’t blame you…this is the first half-way redeemable article from them that I’ve ever come across), so I’ll copy and paste the two most relevant paragraphs:

    “This concern for unity was evidenced in other aspects of his teachings. In his encyclical Caritas in Veritate, he was clear that the social justice teachings of the church and the teachings about sexual morality flowed from a single source and, in his mind, were irrevocably bound together. As I mentioned in my article at The New Republic yesterday, the fact that the pope was as devoted to social justice issues as he was to issues of sexual morality has been somewhat opaque in the U.S. because so many of his loudest supporters in the U.S. tended not to mention his commitment to social justice or minimized the radicalness of the demands he made in that regard. Catholic neo-cons dismissed his call for a conversion of Western lifestyles, his commitment to environmental protection, his denunciation of “unregulated financial capitalism” as a threat to world peace, his abiding lament at growing income inequality, and because these neo-con voices claimed to be authoritative and because the mainstream media does not know any better, Benedict’s rigorous critique of modern consumer, capitalist culture was underplayed. Whenever he spoke against gay marriage, however, the headlines of a reactionary pope could be found everywhere.

    The Catholic left, unfortunately, let the Catholic right define the narrative of Benedict’s reign. They, too, neglected the significance of his social teachings to focus on anything he said about sex or gender. More importantly, they failed to really wrestle with his challenge, to see all the issues the church addresses as bound together. Take this morning’s Washington Post. There, George Weigel is quoted as saying, “If you don’t sell full-throttle Catholicism, people are not going to buy it. Everyone knows the whole package is more compelling and interesting than some sort of Catholic hors d’oeuvres that leave you hungry.” This from the man who advised using red and gold pens to mark up Caritas in Veritate, ignoring the parts Weigel thought were not really from the pope’s hand. This from the man who can cite one paragraph, and one paragraph only, from John Paul II’s Centesimus Annus but never once has evidenced his compliance with, nor appreciation for, the call to a conversion of Western lifestyles contained in that same encyclical, nor its restatement of the church’s commitment to the rights of workers, nor those sections that question the very ethical and anthropological foundations of capitalism. I agree with Weigel about the need for “full-throttle Catholicism,” though I find his use of the verb “sell” telling. I just wish Weigel and other Catholic neo-cons actually engaged the full breadth of the church’s teachings instead of trying to distort and minimize those teachings about economic and social justice they disdain.”

  • @JL a small correction, Sean Winters’ article was in the National Catholic Reporter, not the National Catholic Register (which is usually steadfast in supporting Church doctrine)

  • @Kathy

    You’re absolutely right! My apologies. It’s so annoying that those two are so close in name, yet generally so far apart in terms of orthodoxy!

    Nonetheless, I suggest you all give Winters’ piece a chance.

  • Pinky, interesting thought. Of course, we Catholics know that confusion is a tool used by Satan. An individual that can’t trust anything he or she hears is an individual that is isolated and helpless against the devil. He or she is similarly shielded and resistant to Love.

  • JL – I read the article. I had two problems with it. First, it took the pettiness and infighting over messaging far too seriously. If a person tells a story about both sides’ pettiness, he always casts himself as the visionary who can see above it all. “The time for partisanship is over”, et cetera. I don’t think that anyone, even those involved in the trivial “left”/”right” squabbles, think they’re representing the fullness of the Faith.

    Secondly, the bit about Benedict saving the Church from being juridical and neo-scholastic. That didn’t sound genuine. It’s no different from saying “I like him”. It’s always easy to say that the people before the guy you like failed to resonate, because they failed to resonate with you. And there is something about a live person fleshing out an idea that makes it more compelling. But saying the Church wasn’t Christological enough? The Church is always walking the line between being formal and passionate. Each of its members walks that line. But it’s just weird that Winters praises Benedict for his organic hermeneutic at the same time he calls him a break from the past, and at the same time he complains about his heavy-handedness.

  • Art Deco, thank you for your comment. i believe that regardless of the church we attend, our worship is judged by the Lord. We do not earn browny points for aligning ourselves with a particular tradition, nor do we gain merit by associating ourselves with a worshipping community that claims an astonishing pedigree. We are one in the Spirit if we claim Christ as Lord and Savior, and this is the essence of true religion. He that worships him must worship him in Spirit and in truth.

  • @Pinky

    “First, it took the pettiness and infighting over messaging far too seriously.”

    It’s not really about the pettiness and infighting as evils in and of themselves, it’s about the fact that they obfuscate the entirety of Pope Benedict’s teaching. The problem isn’t primarily that “conservative Catholics” and their left-wing counterparts squabble amongst each other, it’s that they both latch on to one aspect of the pope’s teaching (sexual morality), and use it to define the pope and all he has to say in the terms of the American political spectrum. They’re too busy cramming him into pigeonholes that fit their own partisan paradigm to bother hearing out the rest of his message.

    Weigel is such an obvious example of this that it’s like he’s a living caricature. The audacity and presumption needed to go through a papal encyclical and decide what’s “legitimate” and what’s not is simply stunning. I don’t want to judge his intent, but it seems like he’s got a pretty bad case of the “conservative before Catholic” thing going on.

  • JL

    I am rushed today so I will have breaks in taking apart your flawed thinking.

    “In his encyclical Caritas in Veritate, he was clear that the social justice teachings of the church and the teachings about sexual morality flowed from a single source and, in his mind, were irrevocably bound together.”

    No problem there, Catholics agree God is the source of all good. However, the Church teaches that God holds some things to be evil (i.e. abortion, homosexuality). No one can ever condone those. However, in ordering the common good (justice) there are different legitimate solutions which people can licitly disagree with.

    “As I mentioned in my article at The New Republic yesterday, the fact that the pope was as devoted to social justice issues as he was to issues of sexual morality has been somewhat opaque in the U.S. because so many of his loudest supporters in the U.S. tended not to mention his commitment to social justice or minimized the radicalness of the demands he made in that regard. ”

    Conservatives don’t deny those social justice issues, they just disagree with the application of other’s solutions (see above). Rather, they see the preeminent issue as being that of the attack on the most vulnerable of our society – the unborn.

  • Weigel is such an obvious example of this that it’s like he’s a living caricature. The audacity and presumption needed to go through a papal encyclical and decide what’s “legitimate” and what’s not is simply stunning. I don’t want to judge his intent, but it seems like he’s got a pretty bad case of the “conservative before Catholic” thing going on.

    Oh go on. Actual disputes over political economy and social policy in this country involve questions of whether or not to replace extant public insurance schemes with vouchers, what sort of deductibles to put on public and private insurance programs, how to determine re-imbursement rates for physicians, and the balance between public and private insurance in financing medical care. You cannot repair to the social encyclicals to adjudicate these sorts of questions.

  • “You cannot repair to the social encyclicals to adjudicate these sorts of questions.”

    Exactually. Catholic Social Teaching definitively states that the Church does not propose specific solutions. The error of Sean Winters (and by extension JL) is that they believe it does. And they believe that those solutions happen to coincide with their political prejudices.

  • You cannot repair to the social encyclicals to adjudicate these sorts of questions.

    While I pretty much endorse most of what Art has said in response, I will throw in a word of caution. There are no specific guidelines to treat these issues within the magnificent treasure of Church magisterial teachings; however, the Church certainly proscribes certain – for lack of a better term – attitudes. Catholics need to approach economic issues in light of those guidelines.

    To be a little more specific, I’ll go to a non-economic issue. It is manifestly incorrect to assert that Catholics are bound to oppose the death penalty. Church teaching throughout the century has not mandated an absolutist anti-death penalty approach. That said, Catholics who do support the death penalty do have to do more than pay lip service to the many qualifications the Church places on the practice. One cannot simply wave their hands and say that it is a prudential matter. If one has honestly wrestled with what the Church has laid down and can show where support for the death penalty is justified, then one may support the institution with a clear conscience.

    I will grant JL one thing – gasp! Conservative Catholics sometimes do suggest that economic policies are merely prudential matters. In a sense they are, but we can’t breezily dismiss what the Church has taught through the ages. I am certainly not suggesting Art or anyone here has done this, and Winters as usual demagogues and exaggerates the issue in an attempt to salve his own conscience. It’s just a mild note of caution about how we should approach these prudential matters as Catholics.

  • The Church is on firm footing as to goals: help the poor comes to mind. She is on much less firm footing frequently when she comes to means: the long ban against interest for example. Additionally, mistakes of fact remain mistakes of fact whether they are in Church documents or not. Consider this from 2267 of the Catechism:

    “Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm – without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself – the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity “are very rare, if not practically nonexistent.”

    American prisons, and most prisons around the globe, are ongoing refutations of the argument that the State can render prisoners incapable of doing harm.

  • the long ban against interest for example. Additionally, mistakes of fact remain mistakes of fact whether they are in Church documents or not. Consider this from 2267 of the Catechism:

    Interest is the price of credit and in part derived from alternative opportunities. The implications and effects of charging interest are dependent on context. Medieval society (and early modern society – see Stanley Engerman on colonial America) featured rates of economic improvement that were glacial on balance and featured both sudden catastrophes and elongated periods of economic decline as well as advance (the latter 14th century and the early 16th century). In addition to that, the effect of charging interest in a cash poor agricultural society is not the same as in a modern society. Somewhere I have some lecture tapes which delineate the implications of charging interest in that context.

  • I will grant JL one thing – gasp! Conservative Catholics sometimes do suggest that economic policies are merely prudential matters. In a sense they are, but we can’t breezily dismiss what the Church has taught through the ages. I am certainly not suggesting Art or anyone here has done this, and Winters as usual demagogues and exaggerates the issue in an attempt to salve his own conscience. It’s just a mild note of caution about how we should approach these prudential matters as Catholics.

    I am not a close reader of the social encyclicals. As far as I can see, they rule out command economies (however inspired) and rule out most flavors of libertarianism. Getting more specific than that – and making sense of some apparent prescriptions – is a challenge.

  • “She is on much less firm footing frequently when she comes to means”

    True. Which is why, in her wisdom, the Church is stating more and more clearly that it does not have specific solutions. This is why the Church leaves to the laity, following the principles She lays out, to bring order to the world.

    “One cannot simply wave their hands and say that it is a prudential matter.”

    True again. Though one must be cautious. Not every pronouncement of an encyclical, apostolic exhortation etc. is binding on the conscience of a Catholic. This is not to pick or choose. Rather, the Church herself is taking from science, economics, historical understanding etc. to guide her. As understanding in these areas evolve, that guidance will change. The Church does indeed acknowledge this.

    An example I would posit is Climate Change (aka Global Warming.) Is the science on this definitive? If not, then is Church guidance on this open to reflection and correction? I would say that the science is not definitive and that Church reflections on the environment may shift some.

    Another issue, I know JP II in part argued against the death penalty citing that social science showed there was no deterrence effect of it. But that science may in fact have been flawed. In fact some current work shows the death penalty does deter crime. Will this change the Church’s judgment? It should if the change was based on such work.

  • Mobility of capital is desireable in any society, but most especially a cash poor one.

    I agree with Don re 2267. It’s expression of a factual assessment seems ideosyncratic and out of place in a catechism. The extent to which modern society can render violent criminals incapable of further violence requires a prudential assessment. And I point that out even though I’m generally opposed to the death penalty in the US.

  • @Art

    “Oh go on. Actual disputes over political economy and social policy in this country involve questions of whether or not to replace extant public insurance schemes with vouchers, what sort of deductibles to put on public and private insurance programs, how to determine re-imbursement rates for physicians, and the balance between public and private insurance in financing medical care. You cannot repair to the social encyclicals to adjudicate these sorts of questions.”

    Weigel wasn’t having a debate. He was pulling a Jefferson and cutting out what he didn’t like (not inferring that encyclical = scripture so please don’t go there). He consistently uses papal encyclical’s as binding commandments when they serve his purposes, so this amateur exegesis by him was a necessary reaction.

  • “I am rushed today so I will have breaks in taking apart your flawed thinking.”

    Sigh. This place would be far healthier without this unneeded internet combox bravado.

  • What Weigel did with Caritas in Veritate was pretty embarrassing. While there are usually several hands involved in constructing an encyclical, to go source-critical on it said more about Weigel than it did about Benedict.

  • “Sigh. This place would be far healthier without this unneeded internet combox bravado.”

    Back from retreat so I can respond. Thanks for not addressing the points I made. Instead you resort to pseudo-wit.

  • JL,

    Some more unpacking of the, um, internet bravado of Sean Winters.

    “nor its restatement of the church’s commitment to the rights of workers…”

    A commitment that is qualified. This as seen in Abp. Morlino’s prophetic response to the Wisconsin Public Union fiasco.

    “…nor those sections that question the very ethical and anthropological foundations of capitalism.”

    These foundations are not questioned per se. Otherwise JP II and Benedict XVI would not have had their qualified endorsement of Capitalism.

    Enough for tonight. But the reason I do not read Sean Winters much is that I routinely read the National Catholic Reporter. Someone leaves them in the back of Chuch. I take them home and read them before throwing them away. Unfortunately, every issue seems to say the same thing. Women priests, homosexual marriage, etc.

  • @Phillip.

    Of course it’s qualified. The right to life is qualified to. As is the right to liberty. Etc.

    Re: capitalism: http://distributistreview.com/mag/2009/02/what-does-centesimus-annus-really-teach/ I think critical acceptance is a better way to put it than “endorsement.”

    My approval of Winters and NCR went no further than the words that were written on that page.

  • The endorsement is in the wording of Centesimus Annus. Even if distributists disagree.

  • “The endorsement is in the wording of Centesimus Annus.”

    Prove it.

  • And quickly here from CA. I include the whole paragraph to show, as is frequently the case, a qualified endorsement. But an endorsement nonetheless.

    “34. It would appear that, on the level of individual nations and of international relations, the free market is the most efficient instrument for utilizing resources and effectively responding to needs. But this is true only for those needs which are “solvent”, insofar as they are endowed with purchasing power, and for those resources which are “marketable”, insofar as they are capable of obtaining a satisfactory price. But there are many human needs which find no place on the market. It is a strict duty of justice and truth not to allow fundamental human needs to remain unsatisfied, and not to allow those burdened by such needs to perish. It is also necessary to help these needy people to acquire expertise, to enter the circle of exchange, and to develop their skills in order to make the best use of their capacities and resources. Even prior to the logic of a fair exchange of goods and the forms of justice appropriate to it, there exists something which is due to man because he is man, by reason of his lofty dignity. Inseparable from that required “something” is the possibility to survive and, at the same time, to make an active contribution to the common good of humanity.”

The Pope’s Jews

Sunday, February 10, AD 2013

 

Christopher Johnson at The Midwest Conservative is at it again.  He is a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so ofen in defense of the Faith that I have designated him Defender of the Faith.  He enters the lists now on behalf of the most unjustly maligned man of the last century, Pope Pius XII:

or, Whoops There Goes Another Liberal Cliche:

Pius XII has long been vilified as “Hitler’s pope”, accused of failing publicly to condemn the genocide of Europe’s Jews. Now a British author has unearthed extensive material that Vatican insiders believe will restore his reputation, revealing the part that he played in saving lives and opposing nazism. Gordon Thomas,

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.  Who is this guy, some trad Catholic?  Dude, that’s special pleading, that’s not genuine research, you blithering idiot.

a Protestant,

Never mind.

was given access to previously unpublished Vatican documents and tracked down victims, priests and others who had not told their stories before.

The Pope’s Jews, which will be published next month, details how Pius gave his blessing to the establishment of safe houses in the Vatican and Europe’s convents and monasteries. He oversaw a secret operation with code names and fake documents for priests who risked their lives to shelter Jews, some of whom were even made Vatican subjects.

Thomas shows, for example, that priests were instructed to issue baptism certificates to hundreds of Jews hidden in Genoa, Rome and elsewhere in Italy. More than 2,000 Jews in Hungary were given fabricated Vatican documents identifying them as Catholics and a network saved German Jews by bringing them to Rome. The pope appointed a priest with extensive funds with which to provide food, clothing and medicine. More than 4,000 Jews were hidden in convents and monasteries across Italy.

During and immediately after the war, the pope was considered a Jewish saviour. Jewish leaders – such as Jerusalem’s chief rabbi in 1944 – said the people of Israel would never forget what he and his delegates “are doing for our unfortunate brothers and sisters at the most tragic hour”. Jewish newspapers in Britain and America echoed that praise, and Hitler branded him “a Jew lover”.

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14 Responses to The Pope’s Jews

  • “During and immediately after the war, the pope was considered a Jewish saviour. Jewish leaders – such as Jerusalem’s chief rabbi in 1944 – said the people of Israel would never forget what he and his delegates “are doing for our unfortunate brothers and sisters at the most tragic hour”.

    This is very gratifying to read but it makes me wonder why the opposite opinion ever gained traction in the culture. When that play by Hochhuth came out, the lies it contained should have been refuted immediately.

  • GH: It’s not about the war on Pope Pius. It’s about the war on Holy Mother Church, which they hate for the same reasons the devil hates Holy Water.

    Whatever the lying sacs of excrement say says more about them than about Pope Pius XII, of blessed memory, or any other subverted subject they spout.

  • IIRC, the Pope even hid many folks in Castle Gandalfo.

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  • The Pope’s Actions caused the Chief Rabbi of Rome to convert to the Catholic Church. The Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir, praised Pius XII highly for saving over 700,000 Jews , and I believe she named him a Righteous Gentile.

  • As to the Chief Rabbi of Rome Robert he and the Pope were good friends and he was grateful to the Pope for saving Jews. However that was not caused him to convert. Christ spoke to him in a vision. Go to the link below for the fascinating story:

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2102594/posts

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  • “He oversaw a secret operation with code names and fake documents for priests who risked their lives to shelter Jews, some of whom were even made Vatican subjects.

    Thomas shows, for example, that priests were instructed to issue baptism certificates to hundreds of Jews hidden in Genoa, Rome and elsewhere in Italy. More than 2,000 Jews in Hungary were given fabricated Vatican documents identifying them as Catholics …”

    Uh oh. Don’t tell you-know-who that Pius XII is a “liar for Jesus”, just like Lila Rose.

  • True Jay. Pius XII was another “Conman for God” during the War and doubtless has reaped a rich reward from God as a result! The arguments by William Doino and others that Pius never authorized lies or deception to rescue Jews is completely at variance with the historical record.

  • Don’t forget that there was a Soviet disinformation campaign against Pius XII; the KGB and its predecessors were masters of this. There are historians today who still repeat stories of atrocities committed by Ukrainian nationalists which never happened, and the attempt to blame the Katyn massacre on the Germans involved the wholesale manufacture of bogus forensic science evidence. As late as the 1970s their version was still being given credence by the British government.

    Hochhuth could have been a stooge, but more likely was one of Lenin’s “useful idiots”.

  • The Soviet campaign died in the 60s. Long after the demise of the Soviet Union, it seemed that hardly a year passed without some claimed revelation about Pius XII, Hitler’s pope. And who can forget those historians and muckrakers, not all of them disgruntled Catholics, who hinted darkly that the Vatican had a lot of skeletons to hide. But now that the Vatican archives have been catalogued into the war years where are they now? Like many others I too was taken in by the propaganda. Pius could not save his closest brothers and sisters, the priests and nuns who died in the thousands at the hands of the Nazis, all his diplomatic skills could not spare Catholic Poland, yet somehow a word from him was enough to save the Jews. The man endured a living martyrdom, how he must have suffered in those years.

  • Why did people begin to believe the lies about Pius XII about 1965? I’ll tell you why. Because that is when it began to be blazingly clear that the record of ALL the main allies in WWII in the matter of Jewish persecution stank; that Great Britain and the USA had both positively refused to help any persecuted Jews, and, in the full knowledge that Hitler was systematically having them butchered, pretty much said “good luck to it”; that, after the war, the British practically took the place of the Germans as enemies of the Jews, to the point of having Jews thrown into German bamps guarded by German guards, and of systematically supporting and arming the Jews’ enemies in Palestine; and that when President Truman took the elementary step of giving Israel diplomatic recognition, half the Administration was against him. The Soviet Union’s record on matters Jewish, of course, is best left unmentioned. These were countries, the British Empire and the USA, who could perfectly well have let in as many Jews as they wished, countries in fact that lived on immigration; they just did not want them, and they did not want them because they were Jewish. If Hitler killed the lot, well, too bad for them, but really, he’s solved our problem for us. And when the infamy of Britain and America, let alone Russia, in this matter, became clear, there was need of a scapegoat, someone to take the blame, so that we don’t have to dwell on our fathers’ guilt. I have given a larger account of my views here: http://fpb.livejournal.com/565171.html

  • Yes, it is true that during WWII no one of political importance really cared about the Jewish situation and that was in keeping with the zeitgeist. The Zionist movement was rather countercultural, I guess.

  • Jay Anderson: “Uh oh. Don’t tell you-know-who that Pius XII is a “liar for Jesus”, just like Lila Rose.”
    Any law may be broken to save a human life. This is law. The only country willing to take Jews was Haiti and Papa Doc Trujillo would only accept baptized Catholic Jews. Over 800,000 Jews were accepted into Haiti. The baptismal certificates were wishes for the future. Many of the Jews were baptized by desire.

It Takes A Lot of Verbiage to Justify Murder

Monday, December 3, AD 2012

Would that all pro-aborts were as forthright as the abortionist in the above video.  Instead, most of them hide behind an endless torrent of evasions and euphemisms to conceal a very simple truth:  abortion is the killing of the innocent.  Alison Taylor, first Anglican Bishopess in Australia, is typical in her lame defense of an unspeakable crime.  Unfortunately for her, her effort receives a fisking to remember from Christopher Johnson at Midwest Conservative Journal, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so often in defense of the Church that I have designated him Defender of the Faith:

Alison Taylor, the new Anglican Bishop of Queensland and the first female Anglican bishop in Australia, riffs on abortion:

The Bible speaks of a world which God has created and which he loves beyond measure, in which all life is to be embraced as a gift from Him. However, it is a world which is fallen, and which longs for the full redemption in Jesus Christ which is to come. Sin and suffering abound in a human condition of great complexity, and at times immensely difficult decisions need to be made.

Like whether or not Allie actually meant what she just said.

What the Bible does not teach, and which has never been a part of Christian doctrine – contrary to the assertion in this month’s TMA letter – is that ‘all human life has absolute moral value’. The latter view is unbiblical because it would be untenable for Christians in situations where complex moral choices must be made, in diverse circumstances ranging from military defence and self-defence to the sometimes conflicting rights of mother and unborn child.

Let’s see.  National defense.  Protecting yourself from someone who wants to physically harm you.  Fileting the kid because you don’t want to have to take a pay cut right now.  Morally, they’re all pretty much the same.  And on the ludicrously small chance that you missed Allie’s lame “theology,” she repeats it here.

Nowhere in the Bible is a foetus accorded the full moral status of a human person. On the contrary, in the sole biblical text on induced abortion, Exodus 21.22-23, an abortion caused by injury to a pregnant woman is regarded seriously but considerably less than murder. Other than what might be inferred from this text, the Bible is silent on the issue of the moral status to be accorded to foetal death, as it is on the question of when an embryo might be said to have a soul that survives death. These two issues, which preoccupy the abortion debate today, could probably not even have been conceptualised by writers living in the Biblical era.

I think it was Andy Warhol who once said, “In the future, everybody will be an Anglican bishop for fifteen minutes.”  It’s not like you have to know any actual Christian theology or anything, like Catholics, Orthodox and serious Protestants do, or be versed in some kind of Christian tradition.

Just memorize a few handy cliches that are useful for just about any occasion and you’re in like Bishop Flynn.  Allie uses two here.  The Scripture writers, who were mere men who had absolutely no assistance whatsoever in writing down the Word of the Living God but it wouldn’t have mattered if they had since they were all blithering idiots who couldn’t find their heads with both hands.

Then there’s the ever-popular “The Bible never said anything about _________” argument, probably the most useful Anglican dodge of all.  If, of course, you overlook the uncomfortable fact that the Bible also doesn’t teach that racism, sexism, “homophobia” and voting against Barack Obama are sins.  But did Allie happen to mention what absolute morons the Scripture writers were?

The Bible was written millennia before an adequate understanding of human reproduction was possible, let alone the possibilities of IVF, embryonic stem cell research or prenatal foetal tests, and the difficult moral dilemmas involved in each of them. In summary, an absolutist antiabortion stance simply cannot lay claim to Biblical warrant.

So what say Allie bottom-lines it for you?  It’s a human being when and if I want it to be and NOT BEFORE, bitches.

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16 Responses to It Takes A Lot of Verbiage to Justify Murder

  • 2nd Timothy 4:3-4 – For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths.

    Canterbury is in full flight from orthodoxy, and into heresy and apostasy. Judgement Day is coming and it ain’t a’gonna be pretty.

    Lord have mercy! Christ have mercy! Lord have mercy!

    PS, I love how the Nova Vulgata reads that passage – I just can’t help myself: “Erit enim tempus, cum sanam doctrinam non sustinebunt, sed ad sua desideria coacervabunt sibi magistros prurientes auribus, et a veritate quidem auditum avertent, ad fabulas autem convertentur.”

  • What do we expect from a female bishop of the Anglican church? It once celebrated the supernatural but now worships the unnatural,,,,,,,

  • Oh, but Patrick, in worshipping the unnatural, the faux-Anglicans still worship the spiritual – the demonically and diabolically spiritual.

  • Pacem Patrick and Paul. it isn’t the piskies’ fault. There aren’t so many of them compared to the hordes of common goods/socialist justice/sexular humanist cathies.

    And, it’s more the constant efforts of liberal US Catholic bishops’ bureaucracies (you should not give $$$ to your bishop); far-left US Catholic universities, et al that provide the “cover” to rationalize infanticide as a common good, “human right”, just, and “women’s health.”

    Oh, yeah, if you voted for Obama, you “own” this.

  • How very Anglican of her. She seems to be in the right “religion”. Lord have mercy on her.

  • “The Bible was written millennia before an adequate understanding of human reproduction was possible, let alone the possibilities of IVF, embryonic stem cell research or prenatal foetal tests, and the difficult moral dilemmas involved in each of them. In summary, an absolutist antiabortion stance simply cannot lay claim to Biblical warrant.”

    If anything, the advances in medical science and embryology that she cites make it more obvious than ever that abortion is killing a human. If someone wants to justify abortion, medical science does not provide a good template.

  • Anyhow, the Bible is the “Word of God.” Briefly, God, not man, decides who lives or dies. “Thou shalt not kill.”

    We’ve come a long way, baby!

    Recently re-reading a freshman Ancient History text, I see that as part of the development of the Spartan polis, Spartan fathers’ rights to kill their infant children were usurped by the polis’ council.

  • It is easy to see that many liberal or progessives have an illusion that because of the amount of scientific knowledge we enjoy today that it automatically converts to wisdom. It doesn’t. Unwanted pregnancy has a peaceful solution. Adoption.

  • “How very Anglican of her. She seems to be in the right ‘religion’. Lord have mercy on her.”

    No, Elizabeth, you got that wrong. Bishopress / High Priestess Alsion Taylor is in the LEFT religion, NOT the right religion.

    Big difference! 😉

  • A cup of Rath cometh.
    Keep your vessel filled with oil.
    Trim your wicks.
    And stand in humble awe of the vindicator to come.

  • Dr. Boyd is what “social justice” Catholics will look like in ten years.

  • God said to Eve: “I will intensify the pangs of your childbearing; in pain shall you bring forth childen.” Gen.3:16. Children before and after birth.

  • T. Shaw: “Recently re-reading a freshman Ancient History text, I see that as part of the development of the Spartan polis, Spartan fathers’ rights to kill their infant children were usurped by the polis’ council.”
    From the Preambe to the U.S. Constitution: “to secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and to our (constitutional) posterity,”

  • as posted here already, knowledge and wisdom not necessarily the same thing.
    I hate how they cite 9 year old pregnant girls as the reason we should have abortion legal. Something about it reminds me of terrorist hiding behind children.

  • Not to mention anzlyne the probable violation by the abortionist of the legal and moral duty to expose the hideous crime of a sex abuser impregnating a child. If I were the local prosecuting attorney I would have been opening up immediately a criminal investigation after seeing that video.

  • “an abortion caused by injury to a pregnant woman is regarded seriously but considerably less than murder. ” It is considered manslaughter. If the pregnant woman was killed by accident by another person, it is considered manslaughter. Justice is predicated on intent. To lay in wait for one’s neighbor to kill him is capital one homicide. The above doctor lays in wait to murder an innocent person. The doctor is one of the men emasculated by Roe v. Wade

That Inconvenient First Amendment

Thursday, September 27, AD 2012

Eric Posner, a University of Chicago law professor, and son of Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, one of President Reagan’s less wise judicial appointments, writing in Slate thinks that perhaps it is time that Americans stop making a fetish of freedom of speech as embodied in the First Amendment.  Christopher Johnson, a Protestant who has taken up the cudgels so frequently in defense of the Church that I have designated him Defender of the Faith, gives Posner a fisking to remember:

University of Chicago law professor Eric Posner thinks that this country really needs to dial down its obsession with free speech:

The universal response in the United States to the uproar over the anti-Muslim video is that the Muslim world will just have to get used to freedom of expression. President Obama said so himself in a speech at the United Nations today, which included both a strong defense of the First Amendment and (“in the alternative,” as lawyers say) and a plea that the United States is helpless anyway when it comes to controlling information. In a world linked by YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, countless videos attacking people’s religions, produced by provocateurs, rabble-rousers, and lunatics, will spread to every corner of the world, as fast as the Internet can blast them, and beyond the power of governments to stop them. Muslims need to grow a thick skin, the thinking goes, as believers in the West have done over the centuries. Perhaps they will even learn what it means to live in a free society, and adopt something like the First Amendment in their own countries.

Maybe that’s right.  But actually, America needs to get with the international program.

But there is another possible response. This is that Americans need to learn that the rest of the world—and not just Muslims—see no sense in the First Amendment. Even other Western nations take a more circumspect position on freedom of expression than we do, realizing that often free speech must yield to other values and the need for order. Our own history suggests that they might have a point.

Look at it this way.  At least the trains will run on time and everyone will be able to read the “No Food Today” signs.  Posner points out that it was the left which first turned the First Amendment into an weapon.

The First Amendment earned its sacred status only in the 1960s, and then only among liberals and the left, who cheered when the courts ruled that government could not suppress the speech of dissenters, critics, scandalous artistic types, and even pornographers. Conservatives objected that these rulings helped America’s enemies while undermining public order and morality at home, but their complaints fell on deaf ears.

Shogi, the Japanese version of chess, has a unique characteristic.  Because of the way the pieces are shaped, no piece is ever completely out of the game.  Any of your pieces that I happen to take can be turned around and employed by my army.

A totem that is sacred to one religion can become an object of devotion in another, even as the two theologies vest it with different meanings. That is what happened with the First Amendment. In the last few decades, conservatives have discovered in its uncompromising text— “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech”—support for their own causes. These include unregulated campaign speech, unregulated commercial speech, and limited government. Most of all, conservatives have invoked the First Amendment to oppose efforts to make everyone, in universities and elsewhere, speak “civilly” about women and minorities. I’m talking of course about the “political correctness” movement beginning in the 1980s, which often merged into attempts to enforce a leftist position on race relations and gender politics.

Posner wants Americans to remember two things.  The First Amendment is strictly an American idea whose inspiration is not shared by anybody else in the world and which cannot force people stop thinking bad thoughts.

We have to remember that our First Amendment values are not universal; they emerged contingently from our own political history, a set of cobbled-together compromises among political and ideological factions responding to localized events. As often happens, what starts out as a grudging political settlement has become, when challenged from abroad, a dogmatic principle to be imposed universally. Suddenly, the disparagement of other people and their beliefs is not an unfortunate fact but a positive good. It contributes to the “marketplace of ideas,” as though we would seriously admit that Nazis or terrorist fanatics might turn out to be right after all. Salman Rushdie recently claimed that bad ideas, “like vampires … die in the sunlight” rather than persist in a glamorized underground existence. But bad ideas never die: They are zombies, not vampires. Bad ideas like fascism, Communism, and white supremacy have roamed the countryside of many an open society.

In the past, American “values” have made this country look bad to the rest of the world.

Americans have not always been so paralyzed by constitutional symbolism. During the Cold War, the U.S. foreign policy establishment urged civil rights reform in order to counter Soviet propagandists’ gleeful reports that Americans fire-hosed black protesters and state police arrested African diplomats who violated Jim Crow laws. Rather than tell the rest of the world to respect states’ rights—an ideal as sacred in its day as free speech is now—the national government assured foreigners that it sought to correct a serious but deeply entrenched problem. It is useful if discomfiting to consider that many people around the world may see America’s official indifference to Muslim (or any religious) sensibilities as similar to its indifference to racial discrimination before the civil rights era.

It says in another part of the First Amendment that the US government is supposed to be indifferent to the sensibilities of all religions.  That’s what we were always told whenever some governmental entity allowed the display of the Cross or the Ten Commandments anyway.  So it’s unclear why the United States government should care one way or the other about the feelings of Muslims.

But according to Eric Posner, they apparently should care deeply whenever Islamic feelings are hurt.  Not only that, this American law professor thinks that the fact that Washington was unable to legally force Google to take that film down is a scandal.

The final irony is that while the White House did no more than timidly plead with Google to check if the anti-Muslim video violates its policies (appeasement! shout the critics), Google itself approached the controversy in the spirit of prudence. The company declined to remove the video from YouTube because the video did not attack a group (Muslims) but only attacked a religion (Islam). Yet it also cut off access to the video in countries such as Libya and Egypt where it caused violence or violated domestic law. This may have been a sensible middle ground, or perhaps Google should have done more. What is peculiar it that while reasonable people can disagree about whether a government should be able to curtail speech in order to safeguard its relations with foreign countries, the Google compromise is not one that the U.S. government could have directed. That’s because the First Amendment protects verbal attacks on groups as well as speech that causes violence (except direct incitement: the old cry of “Fire!” in a crowded theater). And so combining the liberal view that government should not interfere with political discourse, and the conservative view that government should not interfere with commerce, we end up with the bizarre principle that U.S. foreign policy interests cannot justify any restrictions on speech whatsoever. Instead, only the profit-maximizing interests of a private American corporation can. Try explaining that to the protesters in Cairo or Islamabad.

I’ve got a better idea, Professor.  Try explaining to the protestors in Cairo and Islamabad that ANYTHING that happens inside this country is none of their damned business.

The mendacity and dishonesty of this piece is easily ascertained by asking yourself a simple question.  If some form of artistic expression had insulted Jesus or villified Christianity, would Posner still have written it?

If some museum displays an egregiously blasphemous painting of Jesus or Mary, if a particularly blasphemous movie was made, if another TV show or play debuted which ridiculed Christians or if Bill Maher opened his pie hole, would Posner think it regrettable that the US government was unable to legally prevent these things from happening?

Of course  he wouldn’t.  The question wouldn’t even come up.  And the reason why the question wouldn’t come up is simple.  Christians don’t kill people and destroy property when they are insulted and villified or their Lord is blasphemed.

A faculty sinecure at the University of Chicago Law School would seem to suggest a certain level of intelligence.  So it’s hard for me to figure out why Eric Posner thinks that restricting American rights simply to avoid offending Muslims is a good idea.

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6 Responses to That Inconvenient First Amendment

  • The First Amendment is protected by the Second. Obama and the Democrats would do well to remember that. Oh wait – they do know that, hence their initiatives against firearm ownership. So only perverts will have freedom of speech so that they can dispense their pornography and only criminals will own guns with which to protect their activities. This is so Orwellian!

  • We might repair to the thought of Alvin Gouldner and Thomas Sowell to better understand what is meant by ‘liberal’ social thought at this point and then look at the behavior of the judiciary, the professoriate, and the nexus between them as represented in this chap Posner. Here is the hypothesis: these fellows conceive of the rest of society as being under their tutelage, and you no more have a right of free speech than you do in daddy Posner’s courtroom or junior Posner’s classroom. It is the job of the rest of us to remind Prof. Posner’s that we have all been out of school for a while even if you never left, buddy.

  • The answer to savagery is not slavery. It’s confronting savagery.

    Anyhow, the embassy massacre wasn’t caused by a YouTube video. That is propaganda. It was about Obama’s failed foreign and security policies.

    “Too many of the people at the top of our society are cowards.”

    Minor edit: Your self-anointed elites are unprincipled cowards and traitors.

  • A++, Art.

    August 13, 2012: George Steele Gordon:

    “Intellectuals, especially in the social sciences, have a nasty habit of thinking that, ‘This is the way the world should be, therefore this is the way the world can be.’

    “Sometimes the mind just boggles.

    “The Atlantic has an article this month with the title ‘Americans Want to Live in a Much More Equal Country (They Just Don’t Realize It).’ I am always curious when intellectuals announce that the people (who in the American constitutional system serve as the sovereign power) don’t know what’s good for them (What’s the Matter with Kansas?) or don’t even know what they want.

    “Implicit in all of these revelations, of course, is the firmest, if never directly expressed, belief of the Left: That the average person is too stupid to run his own life, let alone make public policy decisions. Those few, those happy few, that band of liberal intellectuals, must do that for them.”

  • If I followed this right, Posner is saying that a US move to take control of international communications systems would be welcomed by the rest of the world. That’s what he’s actually saying. I don’t know how to refute something that transparently idiotic. I mean, all First Amendment issues to the side, and questions of universal rights just tossed out the window, what does he think would happen if the US government announced that from now on, everything on the internet would have to be cleared through them?

    Maybe Posner anticipates that each country would have its own internet censorship board. But a heck of a lot of the internet is stored on US servers and bounced of US satellites. Thanks to cloud computing, it is impossible to say what information isn’t housed in the US. So Posner is essentially recommending an international cartel on information run out of Washington DC, and he thinks that that will relieve anti-US sentiment.

William Saletan, Meet Christopher Johnson!

Friday, September 14, AD 2012

 

William Saletan is a Leftist who writes a political column for Slate.  His prescience at predicting the future was amply demonstrated on September 14, 2000 when, based on then current polls, he stated that the election was over and Gore was a sure winner.  Go here to read that masterpiece of prognostication.  Now he has a piece attacking Romney for standing up for American freedom of speech as opposed to the craven apology for our freedom issued by the Cairo embassy.  Christopher Johnson, a Protestant who has taken up the cudgels so frequently for the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith, gives Saletan a fisking to remember at Midwest Conservative Journal:

to Slate’s William Saletan, freely expressing your opinion can be an abuse of your right to freely express your opinion:

Mitt Romney says the U.S. Embassy in Cairo has betrayed “American values.” He’s wrong. The embassy is standing for American values. It’s Romney who’s betraying them.

How’s that, Sally?

The fight began brewing Tuesday morning as Egyptian protesters gathered outside the embassy. They were furious at a sophomoric American-made movie that ridiculed the prophet Mohammed. In response, the embassy issued a statement saying that it “condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims—as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.” The statement added: “We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”

Quick observation.  If the universal right of free speech can be “abused,” then the universal right of free speech is not universal at all but has definite limits.  Saletan most emphatically agrees.

When you read the tweets alongside the initial statement, the message is clear. Free speech is a universal right. The Muslim-baiting movie is an abuse of that right. The embassy rejects the movie but defends free speech and condemns the invasion of its compound.

You keep using the word “universal,” Sally.  I do not think that word means what you think it means.

At his press conference, Romney accused Obama of “having that embassy reiterate a statement effectively apologizing for the right of free speech.” Romney claimed that the embassy had said, in his paraphrase, “We stand by our comments that suggest that there’s something wrong with the right of free speech.” This, too, was a Romney lie. The embassy had declared five times in writing that free speech was a universal right.

In other words, everyone has, or should have, the right to free speech.  But there are some things that you shouldn’t be allowed to say.

What made Romney’s statement and press conference disturbing, however, was his repeated use of the words sympathize and apology to conflate three issues the Cairo embassy had carefully separated: bigotry, free speech, and violence. The embassy had stipulated that expressions of bigotry, while wrong, were protected by freedom of speech and didn’t warrant retaliatory violence.

Then why did the embassy grovelingly apologize for them?

Romney, by accusing the embassy of “sympathizing with those who had breached” the compound, equated moral criticism of the Mohammed movie with support for violence. In so doing, Romney embraced the illiberal Islamist mindset that led to the embassy invasion: To declare a movie offensive is to authorize its suppression.

Um..what?!!  Project much, Sally?  It was the embassy that declared that movie “offensive,” idiot.  Why else would they have apologized for it and prattled on about some alleged hurt feelings Muslims may or may not have actually had?

“The Embassy of the United States issued what appeared to be an apology for American principles,” Romney asserted at the press conference. “It’s a terrible course for America to stand in apology for our values. … An apology for America’s values is never the right course.” Lest anyone miss his buzzwords, Romney called the embassy’s comments “a disgraceful statement on the part of our administration to apologize for American values.”

One of the foremost of which is basically unrestricted freedom of speech.

What, exactly, does Romney mean by “American values”? The embassy never apologized for free speech or diplomatic sovereignty. The only American offense it criticized was the movie’s “bigotry” and “efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.” Does Romney regard this criticism as an “apology for American values”? Is bigotry an American value? Is it weak or un-American to repudiate slurs against Muslims?

National Review will have none of “yes, but” attitudes like Sally’s.

Nobody in the U.S. government, least of all the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff acting in his official capacity, should be calling Terry Jones or any other American citizen about the Mohammed spoof. Not only does that elevate Jones to some sort of semi-official status, but spoofs of deities are entirely within our rights and absolutely no business of the government’s. The U.S. government should not be taking an official position on the Mohammed spoof.  It is entirely outside the official competence of United States military to be calling private citizens asking them be quiet, especially when they are exercising a constitutional right. Offending people is not an incitement to violence. Otherwise I could get everyone who wears a Che Guevara t-shirt brought up on charges of incitement.

Do I enjoy it when some work of “art,” some movie or some television show blasphemes Jesus Christ or insults and belittles Christians?  Of course not.  But unlike adherents of the Islamic religion, I’ve figured out a civilized way to deal with it.  I simply don’t patronize or stop patronizing those businesses who produce or support such works.

Conversely, if a work of art exalts Christ or displays Christians as they truly are, that work of art, whatever it is, will receive whatever support I can give it.  So what William Saletan is essentially saying here is that speech should be suppressed if someone anywhere is angry enough about that speech to kill people and burn things.

Saletan’s mindset basiclly gives the savages editorial control over all forms of expression everywhere which means that my opinions must perfectly accord with theirs or my expression of my opinion is an “abuse” of free speech.  I don’t know if Saletan realizes this or not but that is precisely why so many of us made a point of patronizing Chick-fil-A’s during that recent controversy.

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3 Responses to William Saletan, Meet Christopher Johnson!

  • What can you expect when the chief legal adviser to the State Dept is Harold Koh? See his article on American Exceptionalism (he’s against it) and how international law should be used to ease the 1st Amendment out of our Constitution:
    http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2737&context=fss_papers

  • The brohaha over what Romney said was never about Islamists. It’s about LibProgs in the US being able to dictate political correctness. They don’t have the right…or the power…to do that.

  • I don’t think that Saletan or Johnson hit the nail on the head. (Actually, I know that Saletan missed completely.) To say that a right can be abused doesn’t mean that the right isn’t universal. Now, I’m not 100% keen about calling free speech a universal right (slander is one example of illegal speech) but for argument’s sake let’s say that it is. We have the capacity to tell lies and discuss plot points of Michael Bay movies – complete abuses of the freedom of speech. Those actions don’t negate the freedom.

    The issue should be whether the government has the authority to endorse particular free acts.

Latter Day Leftist Secessionist

Saturday, August 25, AD 2012

Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently in defense of the Faith that I have named him Defender of the Faith, has an unforgettable look at a book written by splenetic Leftist, Chuck Thompson, who wishes that the South would secede:

It may interest you to know that a significant number of those Americans who think that Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox was a devastating tragedy, maybe even most of them, reside north of the Mason-Dixon Line and probably have never been to, have no ancestors from and have no interest in visiting that large area south of it.

If a leftist Yankee travel writer named Chuck Thompson, author of Better Off Without ‘Em: A Northern Manifesto for Southern Secession, ever put together a list of the worst American presidents, George W. Bush would probably come in second behind Abraham Lincoln.  In the Wall Street Journal, Barton Swaim reviews the book:

On the first page, the author wonders why the American electoral system must be “held hostage by a coalition of bought-and-paid-for political swamp scum from the most uneducated, morbidly obese, racist, morally indigent, xenophobic, socially stunted, and generally ass-backwards part of the country.” You expect him to let up, to turn the argument around, to look at the other side of question. But he never does. For more than 300 pages, Mr. Thompson travels through the South observing customs, outlooks and people and subjecting them to an unremitting stream of denunciations.

The American South is certainly not above criticism or satire.  And many writers from other parts of the country or the world have visited the South and written useful and interesting books about their experiences.  Thompson, on the other hand, made up his mind beforehand and went looking for what he thought he needed to see.

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53 Responses to Latter Day Leftist Secessionist

  • I used to read CW books. I recall one by a pair of university (a southern U., I don’t remember which) academics who worked up two hypotheses. One, most Confederates were Scotch-Irish, and two, their psyche favored the offensive. The authors went on to prove that the tactical offensive was more costly in casualties and the South could not afford to lose the numbers of men.

    Anyhow, hoard your Confederate money, boys! The South shall rise again.

  • Yeah, that book was written by Grady McWhiney and Perry D. Jamieson. The title was Attack and Die. Out of the hundreds of books I have read on the Civil War, it still holds pride of place as being the stupidest.

    http://www.amazon.com/Attack-Die-Military-Southern-Heritage/dp/0817302298

  • “… the region’s overrated college football teams …”

    When it comes to “overrated college football teams”, I’m sorry, but you can’t do much worse than the Yankee teams that make up the Big 10. Consistently overrated, and consistently underperforming against teams in other conferences, especially against teams from the South. And I say that as a Big 10 fan.

    And Mr. Thompson is just as off in the rest of his assessment of the South and of where the real problem lies.

    But here’s where Mr. Thompson will, ultimately, prove to be correct in the long run: his conclusion that one part of the country is better off without the other, he just gets it backward.

    I am sadly and reluctantly coming to the point where I believe the South (and other parts of “red state” America) would be MUCH better off without the blue states and the cultural crap they shove down our throats. I am becoming more and more convinced that we do live in two separate countries, and things like the whol Chik-fil-A brouhaha drive that home. Folks in the South (and other red states) see that kind of stuff and they hear the “Chicago values” nonsense and say to themselves “Those people live in a completely different world than we do.”

    I’m sort of at the point of concluding there will be no winners and losers in the “Culture War”, just a parting of the ways. It may not be in my children’s lifetimes, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see it happen in my grandchildren’s lifetimes.

  • At Gettysburg and in response to the question “what right did the South think they had to break up the United States,” a tour guide stated that secession has a long legal history and that it was proper to see the American Revolution as a secession, no more lawful or right than the secesson that started the Civil War.

    Do you share this view Don? (The “rightness” of the cause interests me)

  • Absolutely not. The American Revolution was a revolution as Mr. Jefferson noted in the Declaration of Independence:

    “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.”

    That is the right to revolution against an oppressive government.

    Secession is the assertion that under the United States Constitution there existed a right for a state to unilaterally withdraw from the Union. I agree with Robert E. Lee that no such right exists:

    “Secession is nothing but revolution. The framers of our Constitution never exhausted so much labor, wisdom, and forbearance in its formation, and surrounded it with so many guards and securities, if it was intended to be broken by every member of the Confederacy at will. It was intended for “perpetual union,” so expressed in the preamble, and for the establishment of a government, not a compact, which can only be dissolved by revolution or the consent of all the people in convention assembled. It is idle to talk of secession. Anarchy would have been established, and not a government, by Washington, Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison, and the other patriots of the Revolution. . . . Still, a Union that can only be maintained by swords and bayonets, and in which strife and civil war are to take the place of brotherly love and kindness, has no charm for me. I shall mourn for my country and for the welfare and progress of mankind. If the Union is dissolved, and the government disrupted, I shall return to my native state and share the miseries of my people; and, save in defense, will draw my sword on none.”

  • General Lee’s statement is surprising. How does one get from that to leading a secessionist army!?

    He must have been a pretty conflicted leader if he simultaneously thought the secession unlawful and wrong and yet had to lead a people into battle who believed their cause honorable and right. There is a missing piece of the puzzle here.

    I appreciate your patience with the questions. I gather you are a bit of a “Civil War buff” (that Seinfeld episode aside) and I’m sure it would tax any historian’s patience to have to give enough background on line for others to understand their point. Perhaps I can persuade you to, instead, recommend a book that explores Lee’s seeming contradiction. (Winter is coming and the TV increasingly irritates me.)

  • If I were so disposed, I could do what Chuck Thompson did…in a matter of speaking. However, I would go after the hard-core “blue” areas (how ironic is it that the semi-communist areas are referred to as “blue”) and show the sheer political and cultural stupidity that infests them. I would not have to go far. Albany, Philadelphia, New Jersey, the entrenched Democrat control of Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) Detroit, Chicago, Madison, Wisconsin…..

    Thompson’s drivel remind me of Bill Maher.

  • “General Lee’s statement is surprising. How does one get from that to leading a secessionist army!?”

    Lee also had no use for slavery. It all came down to one word: Virginia. When Virginia went with the Confederacy Lee went with her. Outside of God and his family, Virginia was the only thing that Lee loved more than the United States of America.

  • Penguins Fan, You lump together very different cities in your critique. As a fellos Pennsylvanian, I take exception to putting Philadelphia and Detroit in the same category. Besides, there is a lot more going on in former manufacturing centers than government is the cause of – at least not local government alone.

    Maybe you can be more specific?

  • Don, I suppose it is hard to get a sense of state loyalties back then. I’m a Pennsylvanian and immensely proud of where I come from. However, where does my provincial loyalty lie in the list of loyalties?

    At an intellectual level, I suppose it would go God, country, family, state, then the Eagles. (This year is our year. Really!) But the intellectual response doesn’t tell us much about how a person would react to the actual choice if forced to make it.

    If Pennsylvania outlawed government support for sports teams, would I follow the Eagles to another state? Probably not… Well, maybe South Carolina, Louisiana, or Arizona… If they did it in February or something. More to the point, would I abandon the United States or take up arms against her if she became tyrannical, if she, for example, set aside the First Amendment and outlawed the practice of our faith? I like to think that I would not.

    Perhaps this approximates Lee’s torment?

  • In Lee’s day most Americans lived their entire lives in their home states, with only brief forays outside of it, unless they moved West. Lee was unusual in that he had seen quite a bit of America during his military service. State loyalties were much more pronounced than they are now, and in the South since 1820 there had been an emphasis upon the rights of states against a Union that was perceived as threatening the Southern states.

  • “Would I abandon the United States or take up arms against her if she… set aside the First Amendment and outlawed the practice of our faith?”

    It depends. Our own ancestors “abandoned” other countries because they became too oppressive and tyrannical, or simply because they offered less hope of economic advancement. I can think of several religious orders with a substantial presence in Central Illinois that were founded in Germany or France in the 19th century and came here to get away from anti-clerical governments that hampered their ministries. Another order arrived in the late 1940s from Slovakia after the Communists took over. If they could emigrate when things got bad (and they didn’t have to get Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia-type bad), then I see no reason why individual Catholics in America would not be justified in doing the same.

    If it got to the point where Catholicism was explicitly outlawed and churches shut down, or even to the point where Catholics still had “freedom of worship” but it became impossible for a practicing Catholic to make a living, obtain an education or other essential services, or care for their family without compromising their faith, then I’d want to bail out of here as soon as I could. (Of course, where to go and how to get the money/resources to emigrate would be another story)

    A more likely scenario, I think, could be that even if egregiously anti-Catholic or anti-Christian laws were passed at the national level, they would not be enforced equally in every state. You might have Catholics “emigrating” from hardcore blue states where Church ministries have been forced to cease and anyone who doesn’t endorse abortion or gay marriage is driven out of public life, to red states where that is not the case. In fact, I am beginning to think I may have to do just that someday, given the direction Illinois is heading. Unless, of course, everything south of I-80 secedes and becomes a brand new “red” state, which is yet another story.

  • Don, I suppose it is hard to get a sense of state loyalties back then.

    Well, England is about 50 and 1/3k sq miles in size– you’ve got to get clear down through Louisiana in size before you hit a state smaller than that. (Mississippi.) Scotland is about 30.4k sq miles, or between South Carolina and West Virginia in size. Northern Ireland is only bigger than Delaware and Rhode Island.

    I don’t think I need to explain to anyone here that the Scots very much had their own loyalties.
    So maybe it’s more a matter of down-sizing our idea of “the state” to a state level, and figuring that loyalty to the entire group is kinda like loyalty to, oh, NATO?

    More to the point, would I abandon the United States or take up arms against her if she became tyrannical, if she, for example, set aside the First Amendment and outlawed the practice of our faith?

    If America wasn’t America anymore, I also think I wouldn’t abandon her– I’d fight to fix her.
    Over on Ricochet, someone brought up the notion of “Who would you vote for, if the options were Hitler and Stalin”? The idea was justifying a third party vote, but they totally ignore what real Americans would do in that case– revolt. If things are so broken that we have two of the biggest mass murderers of the last century as the two main options, the system need rebooting.

  • “If America wasn’t America anymore, I also think I wouldn’t abandon her– I’d fight to fix her.”

    Indeed. This country was born in armed strife and has been fought for ever since. I would not have this country go down without a fight.

  • As Foxfier points out, our states are bigger in size than many countries, and many of them have economies comparable to entire nations. Strange Maps has an interesting map in which each U.S. state is tagged with the flag of a country with the same population, and another in which each state is matched with a country of the same Gross Domestic Product:

    http://bigthink.com/strange-maps/388-us-states-as-countries-of-equal-population

    http://bigthink.com/strange-maps/131-us-states-renamed-for-countries-with-similar-gdps

    The GDP map, for example, shows that (as of 2007) California and France have about the same GDP, as do Illinois and Mexico; Texas and Canada; New York and Brazil; and Ohio and Australia.

    Also, even though the feds have taken over or dictated a lot of things, states can still do pretty much everything an independent country can other than declare war, sign treaties and print money. Most of the laws that govern everyday life — traffic laws, business licensing, criminal codes, etc. — are state level laws. So in many ways, states are still equivalent to mini-nations.

  • And here’s another site which compares nations to the size of U.S. states:

    http://www.insidervlv.com/landmass.html

    According to this site, Cuba is slightly smaller than Pennsylvania; Greece is slightly smaller than Alabama; Israel is slightly smaller than New Jersey; the UK is slightly smaller than Oregon; and Mexico is only three times bigger than Texas.

  • Oooh, thank you Elaine! I had to poke around for half an hour of watching-the-kids internet to find the data I used– this is MUCH better!

  • “Folks in the South (and other red states) see that kind of stuff and they hear the ‘Chicago values’ nonsense and say to themselves ‘Those people live in a completely different world than we do.'”

    Yep. Born and raised in the South from a very southern family. It takes me 8 generations back to find one relative from somewhere outside the South (and that person was from Scotland). That’s one ancestor from one great-grandparent. I can’t even find relatives outside the South or the US from any other grandparent. So I’m VERY Southern. I just don’t understand a lot of what comes out of the NE corridor and the West Coast. It’s like they live on a different planet.

    And look, the South did some bad things. I’m not a revisionist so I know things have not always been fantastic here for minorities. But I’m 32 years old and I have spent my entire life around minorities. I have never lived in a neighborhood or went to a school that did not have a substantial minority presence, and I have never been anything other than middle class. It blew my mind the first time I ventured up North. I have step-family in Ohio and when we visited I literally did not see any black people where they lived. It was bizarre. When I said something about it, my aunt said they all lived in the city and that the suburbs were where the white folks fled to back during desegregation and that it just always kind of stayed that way. Now, I don’t claim to know whether that’s the case in the whole of the North, especially outside of the big cities. But I can say that I’ve visited almost all of the major metropolitan areas in the NE and it was a pretty identical experience.

    So it’s kind of baffling to me when people claim the South is still this horrible, segregated, racist place. I know there are still racists here, but that’s mainly because people are sinners and you’re going to find that kind of thing (hopefully limited) anywhere you go. It just is not a huge part of the culture here anymore and has not been for as long as I can remember.

  • I grew up in Chicago and now live in Atlanta. Met and know many more bigots in Chicago.

  • Mandy,

    I grew up in a small town in Ohio. There were zero blacks there. Many rural areas in Northern states have few, if any, black people. The same applies for most suburbs of Northern cities.

    G-veg….your city and metro area is very different from mine. As you know, Philadelphia is a large Northeastern corridor city, and there are more people in the Philly suburbs in the counties that surround Philadelphia than in the city itself. Ed Rendell ran for Governor on a platform of having cleaned up Philadelphia – to a point – and the Philly ‘burbs supported him as well. The level of corruption – that I have heard about – from Philly has amazed me. Fumo, Perzel, Ed $pendell’s shenanigans as Governor.

    Southeastern Pennsylvania – Philly and the surrounding counties – have no coal mining, no oil, no shale gas, unlike the rest of Pennsylvania, and SEPA is much more like the other cities of the Eastern Seaboard. Pittsburgh is more like a Midwestern city. 300 miles, mostly of hills and mountains, are still a huge cultural divide.

    Allegheny County usually would vote for Hitler, Stalin or Satan if they were running as Democrats. Allegheny County residents, by and large, still vote as if it were the 1930s and FDR was on the ticket.

    My point is that once-great cities have been laid low by Democrat incompetence and malfeasance – and I am tired of their influence on elections.

    Oh, one more thing, G-Veg….the Eagles will not win the Super Bowl. The Steelers of the ’70s have more players in the Hall of Fame than the Eagles do in their history (I had to get in that dig).

  • And look, the South did some bad things. I’m not a revisionist so I know things have not always been fantastic here for minorities. But I’m 32 years old and I have spent my entire life around minorities. I have never lived in a neighborhood or went to a school that did not have a substantial minority presence, and I have never been anything other than middle class. It blew my mind the first time I ventured up North.

    My Godfather was a Basque, who lost his father in the last Indian raid in Cali.
    He never did understand why mom (daughter of two Kansas kids who met in Oregon) was so horrified about him asking “who’s the marker?” when a black guy walked into the local diner. (A “marker” is a black sheep put in a group of sheep; I think it was one to every hundred, but wouldn’t doubt that different bands did different metrics. Roughly, one black sheep= Xhundred white sheep.)

    He knew that there weren’t any black folks in the valley right then, but there were both types of Basque, Italian, Indian, Scots, a scattering of Spanish and English– those were what would probably be classed as “white” as much as anything– and there had been black cowboys and (more respectable– IE, call a them a “cowboy” and that’s fighting words) ranch hands for most of his life.
    It was no more a big deal than asking “who’s the carrot?” would be if a redhead had walked in. (None of those in the valley, either, from memory.)

    Mom had grown up in a situation where she was slapped and scolded for trying to touch a black lady’s arm in a “Lady’s Club” in a large town. (She was very small, and fascinated by someone who was darker than any tan she’d ever seen.)

    My personal exposure to the “race” thing was in high school, where there were two folks who “looked black.” One was a brilliant girl who was my favorite teachers’ favorite student (because she ragged him WITHOUT END, and did it well) and the other was a one-man crime wave, and the sort that breaks into places that have been closed for years to raid the cash register.
    They were siblings. She identified as “My dad was from the Caribbean,” and he identified as “YOU HATE ME BECAUSE I’M BLACK!”

    My second experience with “race” was bringing in all my (takes after the Scot side) sunburn aids because LCPL Winter found out that even black guys who’d grown up in Miami could get sunburnt if they hadn’t had sun on their backs for nearly two years, then fell asleep on a Florida beach. (Poor SOB.)

    I, funky sort of idealist that I am, think that folks are most likely to segregate based on philosophy.
    Thing is, bloodline is really important for philosophy, at least the bloodline you play up.
    Thus, a “black” lady who looks the same as a “Hispanic” lady or just a random lady (Hello, Ms. Jennifer Lopez) will fit in with whatever group she chooses, and the overall effect will back up that philosophy.

    Sure, you’ll have outliers that don’t even kind of fit the standard– but they’ll just be exceptions, like the “obviously black” couple in a “white” community.

    This theory might be biased because I grew up, as I said, in a valley with a lot of Basque– the lady who best exemplifies that is one I’d challenge anyone to class beyond “dried up nasty old harpy with the most nasty old poodle you ever met.” (A real poodle, not a toy.) Bias admission: she’s one of those folks who looks for old ladies that are going to die soon and are neglected by their families, and gets them to give her “gifts.” She tried it on my grandmother, who threw her out on her ear.
    The lady in question has vaguely tanned skin, dark hair (dyed, I think, but matches when she was young), hazel-dark eyes, local accent. Some sort of relative to my godfather, but I think it was via his granddaughter… the blonde, freckled, blue-hazel eyed girl in my grade.

    I guess my point is that a lot of the “segregation” we see is based on what folks expect to see. If someone is “too white” and gets attention from the wrong folks, they leave. If folks move into an area and don’t attract attention, they’re not comment-worthy– if they do get law type attention in relation to established racial problems, folks suddenly notice how they look like the folks who drew that attention.

    Sucks crazy hard, but there it is.

    For heaven’s sake, my mom grew up knowing as common knowledge that Indians in their area had a lot of Black blood, based largely on the whole “Buffalo soldier” thing; if you met someone who was clearly angelic, and there wasn’t a thing about man-and-wife-are-one-flesh, why would you not try to get some angelic blood in your tribe? (“Angelic” is as close as I can come to conveying what a “totem” is– it’s power, and good.)

  • “Absolutely not. The American Revolution was a revolution as Mr. Jefferson noted in the Declaration of Independence”

    I disagree with Don. I see the American “Revolution” as a “War of Independence”. For all their talk of the “rights of Englishmen”, the American colonists, after almost 200 years of virtual self rule, had come to see themselves primarily as “Americans”, rather than British subjects.

    And, if the cause is just, secession is entirely justified, at least if you believe in the concept of self determination (which I do, wholeheartedly). There was no just cause for secession in 1861, but that doesn’t mean there can never be just cause for secession.

    Still, even without a just cause, had I lived in those days, I am fairly certain I would have made the same decision as Lee made. When it comes to state vs. national loyalty, I feel MUCH more loyalty toward the local than I do to the remote. I am far more loyal to the states I consider my “home states” – Texas and Virginia – than I am to our Nation. If there ever were another sectional split, I have no doubts that my loyalties would go first with Texas, then with Virginia. (I may feel that way some day about my current state, Ohio, but I haven’t quite acquired the loyalty for the Buckeye State that I feel in my heart and in my gut toward the Lone Star State and the Old Dominion.)

  • To no surprise to either of us in this area, Jay, we will have to largely agree to disagree in this area. The Revolution was a revolution. It not only cast of the British monarchy, but established an entirely new basis for governmental power as Mr. Jefferson so eloquently set forth in the Declaration. Judging from their writings the Founding Fathers understood this, that they were bringing something new into existence on this planet. That is why on the Great Seal of the United States in 1782 they put the motto: Novus Ordo Seclorum (a new order for the ages) Nothing is more revolutionary in the history of Man in secular terms than what was proclaimed by the Founding Fathers. So it was in 1776 and so it remains today.

    As for secession, it is not to be confused with Mr. Jefferson’s right of revolution in the Declaration. No mechanism for secession being set forth in the Constitution, the only way it could be done except by revolution would be legislation in Congress, or, more properly I think, a Constitutional amendment. In both cases it would then have approval of a majority of the country presumably.

  • I suppose then, like Lee (“Secession is nothing but revolution.”), I see the distinction between secession and “revolution” as semantics. Self-determination is what we’re really talking about. Once one group of people, for just cause, no longer wishes to be attached to or governed by another set of people, they have the right to break away under the natural right of self-determination.

    Once those people decide they no longer wish to bound by the Constitution, and have just cause for making that determination to no longer be bound, the fact that the Constitution is silent on the matter of secession seems to me to be wholly irrelevant.

    As for whether the Revolutionary War was more of a “revolution” or a “war of independence”, yes, we will just have to agree to disagree. Althought the Founders were influenced by the English and Scottish Enlightenments (which, by the way, had also firmly taken hold in Great Britain, and British subjects were the free-est people in all the world), my reading of the conflict, at least by July 1776 was that they were primarily motivated by a desire for independence and to rule their own affairs (see, e.g., John Adams). That’s not to say that Enlightenment ideals didn’t flower their speech and writing as justification for that desire for independence, nor indeed that they weren’t also heavily influenced by said Enlightenment. But let’s not forget that it was a rather conservative transformation as far as “revolutions” go. In fact, as late as the early 19th century, there was still quite a bit of debate between Republicans under Jefferson and Federalists under Adams and Hamilton as to whether the Revolution had gone far enough (but for the wisdom of one man – George Washington, we might very well have replaced one king with another).

    It’s just too hard for me to accept the notion that the American Revolution was a “revolution” in the truest sense of the word, as opposed to a war for independence. I can’t help but read Amercan independence in light of other wars for independence fought against the English, such as those in Scotland and Ireland. The social order (see, e.g., English Common Law as the basis of the legal systems in those nations) really didn’t change all that much (when weighed against revolutions in France, Italy, Russia, etc.)

  • This liberal loon (I just insulted a bird) is expressing the fascist busy-bodies’ execrable disgust with the uses many Americans make of their freedoms, their franchise, and their property.

    Here is a modest proposal. Blue, bankrupt states should be expelled from the Union. They can be territories. Erstwhile state governments would be closed and the felons imprisoned. All contracts would be dissolved and debts and liabilities repudiated: bankruptcy is federal law. President Romney would appoint territorial governors to operate vital governmental functions: police, fire. The failed states’ congressional delegations would be expelled.

    When citizens of the territory write a constitution with sufficient safeguards to convince Congress that bankruptcy will never happen again, it could then rejoin the Union.

  • The English Civil War and the so-called “Glorious Revolution” are more aptly title “revolutions”, at least in my view of things, than is the American Revolution. (Note that the 4th of July is “Independence Day”, not “Revoultion Day” or “Enlightenment Day” or “New World Order Day”.)

  • The English Civil Wars Jay ended with the Merry Monarch on the Throne. The so-called Glorious Revolution I have a hard time taking seriously. The real diminution of monarchical power occurred after the death of William, an able soldier and king, and was a consequence of the fact that Queen Anne was a featherhead and the Hanoverians were all blockheads.

  • Yes, but during the years of the so-called “Commonwealth”, it most definitely had the effect of “Revolution”, and, indeed, led to a real revolution in the way the monarchy was viewed (at least ultimately).

  • The main effect of Cromwell and his cronies Jay, the rule of the Major Generals, was to give England an abhorence of standing armies. They attempted to pull off a revolution, but it had nothing to do with freedom, turned out to be abortive, and ended with the status quo ante. If the Stuarts had been wiser, I think the English Civil Wars would have less significance in English history than the Wars of the Roses which caused a change of dynasties.

  • “If the Stuarts had been wiser, …”

    The Stuarts were replaced because of their “Romish sympathies”. The only “wisdom” they might have embraced in order to hold on to the Crown would have been the wisdom of men, which is foolishness to God.

  • ***PET PEEVE***

    Semantics: the actual meaning of a word.
    Not how it’s sometimes used, not what it might imply, but the actual meaning.

  • Foxfier, I’m not sure my intent was to use it differently than that. Perhaps if I had said “a debate over semantics”? Maybe that makes a difference, maybe not.

  • Jay and Don,

    In sum, I think Jefferson understood revolution to be a natural right under certain circumstances pursuant to Divine law, whereas Jeff Davis et al viewed secession as a legal right by election or choice pursuant to positive law (i.e., the Constitution). Regardless of the merits of these views, the distinction cannot be dismissed as simply one of semantics.

  • Jay-
    I very much understand using a word with different meanings, I just get royally steamed when folks talk dismissively of “semantics.”

    Over at ricochet I recently argued about the meaning of “why”- “that is how it objectively is when you look at it” vs “Because x, Y and Z.” (example 2+2=4. objectively true, but what makes it so?)

  • Mike,

    I’m not advocating Davis’ positive law view of secession. I’m advocating a view of self-determination as a natural right, whether achieved via revolution, secession, or under whatever circumstances it might be achieved, so long as their is just cause for upsetting the present legal order.

  • Foxfier,

    I wasn’t trying to be dismissive of semantics, but rather pointing out that in the context of the natural right of self-determination, perhaps the distinction that was being made between “revolution” and “secession” was not dispositive. Don had made the distinction, but then followed up with a quote from Lee in which Lee dismisses the distinction. My point, as I just indicated to Mike, is that I’m not sure that the distinction is all that meaningful when what I’m really talking about is the natural right to self-determination.

    I apologize if my lazy shorthand got you steamed.

    😉

  • “The Stuarts were replaced because of their “Romish sympathies”.”

    No, James was pretty much a blockhead no matter his religion. He was as dumb as his brother Charles was clever. That his Catholicism was hated by most of his subjects is a fact. However, that was insufficient to lose him his throne. His ineptitude accomplished that feat.

  • Understood, Jay, thanks. It appears that we all may be in agreement regarding the lack of any secession right under positive law. But I agree that natural law trumps positive law in these matters, and if the South had a natural right to secede, then I expect Don (and I) would agree that its efforts amounted to a revolution consistent with the Jeffersonian understanding, albeit a failed one. My assumption is that Don would hold that the conditions predicate for the assertion of the right (i.e., the just cause to which you allude) were not present, and I would agree with Don on that. You apparently disagree, a disagreement I’m confident we won’t resolve via this blog thread. 🙂

  • No, I actually agree that there was no just cause for secession in 1861, as I noted above.

  • Sorry for not reading thoroughly, Jay. My apologies.

  • Jay-
    I honestly can’t say with impressive-enough-to-compare-here where I stand on “revolution” vs “secession”; I just know that semantics are HUGELY important.
    It’s like someone yelling “Bah, you crazy lady, you think that words have some sort of meaning!” when folks do the old shucks-and-shoo about “semantics.”

  • Penguin Fan, One of the great things about being a Pennsylvanian is that looking East or West, you see great sports. I would prefer Philadelphia but I’ll take another Steelers win over, well, just about anyone else. This may well be our year. Any given Sunday my Western friend, any given Sunday.

    As to the propensity to corruption ans mismanagement, I wonder if we aren’t seeing the effects of single-party politics, not the result of a sort of collective failure on the part of all Democrats. What I mean is that competition is necessary in American politics. A party left to its own devices is easily led astray, corrupted by extremism from within and predators from outside. Competition makes us clarify our positions, adhere to principles, and serve our constituents.

    I think we may see Democrats running cities into the ground because they have no reasonable competition. Paul is in a batter place to say but I seem to recall this argument as underpinning the 1980s’ movements to expand cities to encompass their suburbs.

  • Oh, come now – Aaron Rodgers and Co. are going to win the SP. Wisconsin’s on quite a roll this year, in case you hadn’t noticed 🙂

    Gee, what will this south-hating bigot – bless his heart – say when Packer Land and (here’s hoping) other northern states turn red in November? I note the GOP ticket has 2 candidates who do not exactly speak with southern drawls. And what about the Mountain West and Great Plains? Although Colorado has, unfortunately, made a leftward turn (a Colorado friend bemoans the influx of Californians who have fled the Golden State but continue to vote for exactly the same sort of policies that are driving California off the cliff), Arizona, Montana, Idaho and the Dakotas are expected to remain red. Not to mention the “red areas” of blue states. Much of California is pretty red, but they are outvoted by LA and SF. Same goes for IL, and it looks like it’s happening in VA, because the bureaucrats in the DC ‘burbs are overriding the votes of downstaters.

    The divide isn’t as neat as it was in 1861 (and even then, it wasn’t all that neat, because of the border states and the Copperheads in the North). The breakdown isn’t North and South, it’s urban vs. rural and suburban.

  • Please don’t call it “Packer Land.” The Packers are the least endearing thing about New England.

    Besides I’m betting Rhode Island will sweep football, hockey, and baseball.

  • I hate the I-Pad!!! I accidentally hit Return. I was going to go on with a Patriots in Wisconsi reference and other “clever” stuff but te moment is lost. It probably wouldn’t have worked anyway.

    Don, save me. Please delete both before I make a bigger fool of myself 🙂

  • Aaron Rodgers and Co. are going to win the SP. Wisconsin’s on quite a roll this year, in case you hadn’t noticed

    Well, that is unless they have to play the Giants in the playoffs again.

  • No, the least endearing thing about Wisconsin is Dane County, the Berkeley of the Midwest.

    Paul, the memory of that wretched, infernal playoff game, after such a spectacular season, induces severe pyschological anguish and trauma in all cheeseheads. Charity demands that we do not speak of it. Half on the state probably had to go on Prozac the day after.

  • P.S. Paul, it’s bad enough that I spent baseball season in agony, repeatedly watching the now-dismal Brew Crew bullpen find new and creative ways to blow leads in the 8th and 9th innings. I need some glimmer of hope on the horizon – and so I set my sights on football season.
    🙂

  • Donna V, you should know that a spectacular regular season in the NFL guarantees a playoff spot…and nothing more than that. The 1998 15-1 Vikings, the 2004 15-1 Steelers, the 2007 16-0 Patriots….

    As for baseball, I put up with 20 years of lousy Pirates teams….

    Back to the topic….Chuck Thompson is a bigot. The left wing frequently accuses those they disagree with of the sin that they, the left wing, are as guilty of as sin. What a shame that he has the same name as the late Baltimore Colts and Baltimore Orioles broadcaster. Tolerance, scream those who are the most intolerant.

    I, for one, would not give up on Virginia being conservative. The DC suburbs have their leftists, but the rest of the state isn’t nearly as so…..well, go there and figure it out.

  • Grady McWhiney

    That’s his real name, you didn’t make that up?

  • Yep cmatt that is his real name! It sounds like the name of a character from Little Abner doesn’t it!

  • A point of clarification, from a liberal: Chuck Thompson is a libertarian. We don’t want him either, thanks.

Bleeding Christians

Wednesday, August 8, AD 2012

The two churches nearest to him, I have looked up in the office. Both have certain claims. At the first of these the Vicar is a man who has been so long engaged in watering down the faith to make it easier for supposedly incredulous and hard-headed congregation that it is now he who shocks his parishioners with his unbelief, not vice versa. He has undermined many a soul’s Christianity. His conduct of the services is also admirable. In order to spare the laity all “difficulties” he has deserted both the lectionary and the appointed psalms and now, without noticing it, revolves endlessly round the little treadmill of his fifteen favourite psalms and twenty favourite lessons. We are thus safe from the danger that any truth not already familiar to him and to his flock should over reach them through Scripture. But perhaps bur patient is not quite silly enough for this church – or not yet?
At the other church we have Fr. Spike. The humans are often puzzled to understand the range of his opinions – why he is one day almost a Communist and the next not far from some kind of theocratic Fascism – one day a scholastic, and the next prepared to deny human reason altogether – one day immersed in politics, and, the day after, declaring that all states of the world are equally “under judgment”. We, of course, see the connecting link, which is Hatred. The man cannot bring himself to teach anything which is not calculated to mock, grieve, puzzle, or humiliate his parents and their friends. A sermon which such people would accept would be to him as insipid as a poem which they could scan. There is also a promising streak of dishonesty in him; we are teaching him to say “The teaching of the Church is” when he really means “I’m almost sure I read recently in Maritain or someone of that sort”. But I must warn you that he has one fatal defect: he really believes. And this may yet mar all.

CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

 

 

Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who takes up the cudgels so frequently for the Church that I have designated him Defender of the Faith, has a brilliant fisk at Midwest Conservative Journal detailing how upset some Episcopalians are at the Pope, because so many other Episcopalians are swimming the Tiber:

I said once before that if one of the marks of a genius was the ability to drive otherwise-sane people absolutely bat crap, then Pope Benedict XVI is Albert Einstein.  Come to find out that some Episcopalians are STILL bent about the Ordinariate.  Last weekend, Religion & Ethics Newsweekly did a story about a Maryland Episcopal parish that recently swam the Tiber:

In Bladensburg, Maryland, the Catholic service unfolds smoothly, a comfortable routine for priests and parishioners alike.

But one year ago, members of St. Luke’s parish were devout, devoted Episcopalians. This is the first Episcopal church in the country to convert to Catholicism under Vatican rules designed to attract disaffected Episcopalians.

Father Mark Lewis and his congregation preferred Roman Catholic order to the Episcopal tendency to make crap up as they go along.

We left the Episcopal Church not because we were running away from the issues of the Episcopal Church. We left the Episcopal Church because we were running to the Catholic Church. We came to the point where we realized the theology of the Episcopal Church is what was lacking. The theology of Rome, the authority of Rome, the unity in the Holy See and in the bishops: that was appealing to us.

As did Father Scott Hurd.

There is a real hunger amongst some Episcopalians and Anglicans for authority. It was the question of where can true Christian authority be found that was a key element in this community’s journey.

There wasn’t one particular reason, said congregant Stephen Smith.  There were a whole lot of reasons, each building on the last.

There’s not any one real incident you can point to, but it’s like the strands of a rope giving one by one, and each one weakens the rope as a whole.

Anne Marie Whittaker agrees.

All of a sudden it was do-your-own-thing mass, and there was a lot going on, for instance, a clown mass. I would come in and someone put a red nose on me! I saw children circling altars. One by one, parishes started to succumb to some of these practices in order to attract people, and it made it difficult for me to worship in that atmosphere.

Maryland Episcopal Bishop Eugene Sutton tried hard to be diplomatic.

I like to say that we are really one spiritual family. We believe about 90 percent of things in common. Where we disagree is on matters of authority and some other spiritual matters. But the important thing is that we are not fighting; we are not in competition with one another.

On the other hand, the Rev. Ian Markham, president and dean of the Virginia Theological Seminary, didn’t even try to hide his anger at the papists.

There’s quite a lot of traffic currently going both ways between the two traditions, especially at the level of congregants. What’s interesting here is you’ve got entire congregations and clergy making the shift. So, yeah, I think the Roman Catholic Church is a threat, because we’ve lost the sense of our theological understanding and identity.

How so?

There was a perception that this was poaching by the Roman Catholic Church of Anglicans around the world. It was discourteous, it was stealing sheep, it was unecumenical.

Stealing sheep?  Unecumenical?  In what way?

It’s viewed as not recognizing the value of and integrity of our traditions.

I’ve been covering the Current Unpleasantness since it began nine years ago.  And while some of you might feel the need to get into a theological argument with that line, I have arrived at a point where words like those just make me smile.

I wonder if Markham realizes how pathetic he sounds; I can’t conceive of an Orthodox or Roman Catholic Christian uttering those words or ever feeling the need to.  Because those words could not possibly occur to any person who is confident about his or her Christian tradition as Markham seems to imply here.

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10 Responses to Bleeding Christians

  • “bat crap” I love it. It is interesting to see how some Episcopalians do not understand that man has a ree will and reason and a love for God that is only fulfilled in the Catholic Church.

  • Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who takes up the cudgels so frequently for the Church that I have designated him Defender of the Faith

    Hehe. It reminds me of Grandpa Simpson flashing back to his time as a minesweeper in WW2 and repeatedly blowing up his own forces and after the flashback concludes with, “And that’s how I won the Iron Cross!” 🙂

  • Let me do that again, as I was late for Mass.
    “bat crap” I love it. It is interesting to see how some Episcopalians do not understand that man has a free will and reason and a love for God that is only fulfilled in the Catholic Church.”
    Scott W.: Simpson was injuring his own and good people. Christopher Johnson is redirecting the wayward into the TRUTH.

  • Interesting discussion.
    I was interviewed for about 45 minutes and much of what I expressed, unfortunately, was not included.
    At first, I merely dipped my toes into the Tiber, and retreated; I had loved the Episcopal Church’s doctrine and liturgy. It was heart-wrenching for this sheep to leave; but my shepherd abandoned me and was not attentive to the instructions from his Master. It’s wasn’t easy, but I needed to leave for my own soul’s sake. The transition is actually easier than I had imagined. However, I have subsequently learned, to my horror, that many Roman Catholic parishes have also celebrated the infamous, ‘Clown Mass’! I hope that bishops, Archbishops, and Rome put a stop to that sacriligious behavior. At least St. Paul’s Chapel in NYC had a bit of an excuse: after all, they are on Broadway.

  • Anne Marie I am glad you came over! I hope there are no clown masses or other liturgical messes anymore! That seems a lot less likely now with the new translation of the Mass.
    In the parish here the tabernacle was just moved to the center back of the sanctuary from a side place– progress is steady I think. Now if we can just move away from that Dan Schutte music!

  • The problem for the Anglican Church is that, once having rejected authority at the Reformation, it can never succeed in imposing its own. History bears this out: if Canterbury could reject the authority of popes and councils, why should the Puritans submit to the authority of the Convocation of Canterbury?

    Bishop Eugene Sutton really goes to the heart of the matter, when he claims, “we are really one spiritual family.” This only works, if “we” has a definite meaning in extension. Now, for the Catholic, this is simple. As Mgr Ronald Knox put it, “The fideles, be they many or few, be their doctrine apparently traditional or apparently innovatory, be their champions honest or unscrupulous, are simply those who are in visible communion with the see of Rome.”

    This is a real test, for it avoids the question-begging approach of defining the Church by its teaching, or the faithful by their tenets, which, inevitable leads to a vicious circle: “The true church is the one that teaches the true faith” and “The true faith is what the true church teaches.” It is also remarkably easy of application; just what one would expect of the criterion of a divine message, intended for all, regardless of learning, capacity or circumstances.

    It is worth noting that the Edict of Thessalonica (Cunctos Populos) of 380, which established Christianity as the religion of the Roman empire and which stands in pride of place at the beginning of the Codex of Justinian contains no mention of doctrine, but speaks of ““that religion which from then to now declares itself to have been delivered to the Romans by the divine Apostle Peter, and which is now professed by the Pontiff Damasus and by Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, a man of apostolic holiness.”

  • “It’s viewed as not recognizing the value of and integrity of our traditions.”

    About what “traditions” is Spanky speaking?

    Is it the “clown masses”, or the sanctification of sodomy?

    Liberals are stupid.

  • Anzlyne “Now if we can just move away from that Dan Schutte music!”

    Dan Schutte’s music is irreverent and ought to be removed from the church. I agree with you, Anzlyne.

  • I had forgotten that phrase of Lewis, “bat crap crazy”. Or perhaps I was young enough in my journey of life that I could not relate to the full measure of what that could mean. Now I can place a perfect example of what has happened to me and my thought processes in perspective! For in my study of the leadership and direction of my beloved Faith, and the forked road that has been taken what else could it possibly be? We are ALL being driven “bat crap crazy”! “Skrewtape, Skrewptape, Skrewtape!! Ye are alive and well.

  • *blink*
    I’m not sure if it’s an insult to Mr Lewis or a HUGE complement to TAC (or a comment on my sleep deprived self) when I read a long quote from CSL and interpret it as an opening comment from one of our good writers, rather than a classic quote…..

    It’s sad that I can see Priests that would be both, with great ease– as folks might guess from my talk of Father Hippy, Father Vietnam, etc.

Our Lightworker President Still Has His Worshippers

Monday, July 16, AD 2012

As hard as it is to believe, even after four years of the inept comedy stylings of the Obama administration as a substitute for government, we still have in this great land people who continue to worship, as occurred in 2008, the South Side Messiah.  Signs of this include the movie The Obama Effect, which reminds me of an old Stalinist propaganda movie with lesser production values, and this piece of tripe that our old friend Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels for the Faith so frequently that I have designated him Defender of the Faith, shines a light on at Midwest Conservative Journal:

Write about the Episcopal Organization long enough and every so often, you’ll run up against something that stops you cold.  Seems that the Rev. Mark Bozzuti-Jones, who works at Trinity-Wall Street, just published a book entitled The Gospel of Barack Hussein Obama According to Mark.  Here’s how Bozzuti-Jones blurbed the book at Amazon.com:

The Gospel of Barack Hussein Obama According to Mark is designed to initiate the reader into a meditation on what it means to be human, what it means to be a manifestation of God, and how Barack Obama is a unique and important manifestation of God’s desire for human flourishing. In a blend of words from his public speeches, imagined conversation, and fictional situations, the book highlights Obama’s real stance on social justice and, in particular, economic and political empowerment. It juxtaposes ancient Biblical form and contemporary reality, challenging the reader to see and seek God in all persons. “Our life-defining texts must be porous and we must be imaginative in our engagement with them. Let this book be a reminder not to so credit sacred texts or cultural icons that they lead us to hatred and violence in the name of God. When we see the Divine in another, we must name it. We must respect it. The practice demands nothing less than Love.

Um…okay.  If you use Amazon’s Look Inside feature and read the first few pages of this thing, you discover a book that is so over-the-top that David Fischler thinks it might be a joke.  I’m not so sure.  Over at Trinity’s site, Bozzuti-Jones comments:

This is a project close to [Bozzuti-Jones’] heart. “It means a lot to me because this is my first self-published book, and there is something special about that: a book like this is truly mine in the sense that I struggled with it, I wrestled with it, and I ensured that it saw the light of day.”

It may surprise some to hear that it is not meant to be a political book. “I have tremendous respect for all people, no matter which side of the political spectrum they are on,” Bozzuti-Jones explained. “That said, I do believe that President Obama holds a significant place in American history and world history. What Barack Hussein Obama has accomplished is the fulfillment of the constitution of the United States: that all people are created equal, and so more than any other person in the last decades he has fulfilled the American dream.”

The book comes from Bozzuti-Jones’ incarnational theology. “I think oftentimes, as Christians and as a world, we don’t give sufficient credit to what it means to be born in the image and likeness of God. I think if more human beings could see the divine in the other, they could recognize that human beings can point to the divine in each other.”

Normally, this is where I’d say, “I got nuthin’.”

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22 Responses to Our Lightworker President Still Has His Worshippers

  • The Gospel of Barack Hussein Obama According to Mark is designed to initiate the reader into a meditation on what it means to be human, what it means to be a manifestation of God, and how Barack Obama is a unique and important manifestation of God’s desire for human flourishing.

    I threw up a little in my mouth reading that…

  • ” Let this book be a reminder not to so credit sacred texts or cultural icons that they lead us to hatred and violence in the name of God. ”

    Another reminder that atheism, nihilism, and the other ism’s of worldly power brokers just end up needing the golden calves to replace desecrated good.

    ” Bozzuti-Jones explained. “That said, I do believe that President Obama holds a significant place in American history and world history. What Barack Hussein Obama has accomplished is the fulfillment of the constitution of the United States: that all people are created equal, and so more than any other person in the last decades he has fulfilled the American dream.” Free rides aren’t the stuff of dreams or the Constitution of the United States.

    The book comes from Bozzuti-Jones’ incarnational theology. “ ”

    The video clip has no dream come true looking happy souls – poor kids. Poor in Spirit … indoctrinated, not created. May they live and learn from their poverty of Spirit.

    ” fulfillment of the constitution of the United States: that all people are created equal, ”

    except the ones that are EXEMPT and are the Contributors List and the politically disagreeable . E. Orders and E. Privilege for the not so equal.

  • Exodus 20:1-3:

    “And God spoke all these words, saying, ‘I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me.’”

    Idolatry will always and everywhere result in the suspension of religious freedom. Just ask Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, or the Maccabean brothers. We live in perilous times little different from what the Weimar Republic faced after World War I, and we all know how that turned out.

    Kyrie Eleison
    Christe Eleison
    Kyrie Eleison

  • From the video, it is obvious, that the minor child, an un-emancipated child, without informed consent to give or adult enough to vote, has been and is being indoctrinated. The minor child is being used and abused to indoctrinate others, especially the minor children. This is proof positive in a court of law, that Obama does not rule according to the will of the people and will commit treason to get his own will accomplished. VIVA CRISTO REY

  • If you ever wanted any insight into how early Christians could fall and end up burning a pinch of incense to Caesar’s genius, here you go.

  • Oh, did I say IMPEACH? The child may be Obama’s constituent, but she is her own person. Using innocent children without the understanding to know what they are doing is a violation of their innocence and their informed consent, their citizenship. The child who has been indoctrinated for political purposes is being abused. The innocence of a child may only be presented to almighty God, the Supreme Sovereign Being, “their Creator” as inscribed into our Declaration of Independence. Because Obama is president, he has committed treason against this person, a child, a citizen. What is a little slavery, indoctrination is filial ensalvement, when one is Obama? There is no money that can buy the un-informed consent of a minor person, the consent and all minor person’s civil rights are held in trust for her by God, by her parents and finally by the court…not Obama. If the child’s civil rights are violated by enslavement to filial love without her informed consent, making of her a political issue instead of a free person, the courts are not the final arbiters, the child into adulthood is. In most states it is eighteen years and two months.

  • The forces of evil running public education are brainwashing, not educating, innocent little chldren.

    Talk about Obama-worshiping imbeciles . . .

    The Gospel According to Obama: uncharitable, implacable, hateful, dishonest, . . .

    Jim Treacher: “Here’s The Smartest President Ever, speaking in Roanoke on Friday . . . writing Romney’s next ad for him. . . . Barack Obama openly stokes bitter resentment against Americans who work hard, take risks, and create jobs.”

    “You don’t deserve what you have earned.”

    From comments: Americans to Obama: “Funny, we were thinking the exact same thing about you…”

  • Talk about Obama-worshiping imbeciles . . . I think Lenin called them “useful idiots”. The truth does not abide in them.

  • Mary–

    Were you this up-in-arms about the video of the child singing “no homos in heaven” from Indiana?

    As for the original article and the comments–my what vitriol and hatred from a bunch of self-proclaimed “christians”. (Just so you all understand, the quotations and the lower case is my personal way of noting that, while you proclaim to follow Christ, you certainly don’t act like it. Talk is cheap.)

  • “Were you this up-in-arms about the video of the child singing ‘no homos in heaven’ from Indiana?”

    “9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Neither sexually immoral people, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor passive homosexual partners, nor dominant homosexual partners, 10 nor thieves, nor greedy persons, not drunkards, not abusive persons, not swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” Lexham Translation of 1st Corinthians 6:9-10.

    Malakos (the Greek word for passive homosexual partners) and arsenokoit?s (the Greek word for dominate homosexual partners) are NOT getting into Heaven. Period.

    BUT celebate homosexuals who repent are getting into Heaven. BTW, adulterers and fornicators don’t make it into Heaven either except that repent and stop the sinning. The same rules apply to everyone: no sex outside of marriage between one man and one woman. Anything other than that means hell.

  • Just so you all understand, the quotations and the lower case is my personal way of noting that, while you proclaim to follow Christ, you certainly don’t act like it.

    No Kidding! I am completely shocked that someone could use air quotes to imply sarcasm on the internet. Had you not issued your excessively long disclaimer, I would have spent the next few seconds thinking you genuinely thought us to be Christians. Instead, I will now have to reflect on my life now that some drive by troll labeling himself cminca thinks I am somehow less than Christian.

  • Paul Z. wrote:

    “Instead, I will now have to reflect on my life now that some drive by troll labeling himself cminca thinks I am somehow less than Christian.”

    If one proclaims social justice, the common good and peace at any price from the hill tops, then to liberal philosophy that one is Christian.

    If one insists on holiness before the Lord God Almighty, personal responsibility and accountability for one’s actions, reverence before the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, and frequent Confession and Penance, then to liberal philosophy one is a medieval right wing neo-con reactionary.

    It all goes back to what the Prophet Ezekiel noted in chapter 18 of his book: “Y’all keep on whinin’ that ‘God ain’t fair, God ain’t fair’ because He told you what’ll happen if you sin. Quit your whining; you’re gettin’ what you always wanted.” (Loosely paraphrased, of course)

  • So what does cminca think about the claim that “Barack Obama is a unique and important manifestation of God’s desire for human flourishing”?

    Oh, never mind. He/She’s just here to declare personal awesomeness against those nasty inferior christers.

    Box–checked.

  • Something like a cause and effect kind of thing seems to happen in comment sections – maybe it’s coincidence or my limited reading time – which is: use of words implying delusions of someone for lack of any better terms brings on another using of accusations of hatred and judgements, in a vitriolic, condescending tone.

  • another using accusations

  • cminca,

    Did you read St Mark’s Gospel? In Mark, Jesus speaks of Himself as the Son of Man Who came to give His life to free people from sin and to win for them salvation.

    I find it highly offensive for a so-called clergyman to subvert the Gospel, the Good News of eternal life – the rewards of which jesus won for us by His Life , Death and Resurrection – to support a dull and illogical nobody like Obama.

  • He/She’s just here to declare personal awesomeness against those nasty inferior christers.

    Wow, that was really funny. I was going post something but the awesomeness of that post says it all.

  • “(Just so you all understand, the quotations and the lower case is my personal way of noting that, while you proclaim to follow Christ, you certainly don’t act like it. Talk is cheap.)”

    Not as cheap as a troll condemning complete strangers on the net for pointing out the obvious: that the Southside Messiah still has a cult follower that is weird in the extreme.

  • “You Got Nothin”, I got sick! One Our Father, One Hail Mary and One Glory Be To the Father. Oh and yes many “Acts Of Contrition” or in paraphrasing
    Salley Fields, “I’m trying I’m REALLY trying.”

  • In any case, a book comparing Obama with Muhammad would be closer to the truth.

  • cminca: “Mary–

    Were you this up-in-arms about the video of the child singing “no homos in heaven” from Indiana?”
    An homosexual in heaven will be practicing the homosexual act forever. Pretty boring. An homosexual in hell will be practicing the homosexul act forever. Pretty boring. God says : “Do not do sodomy. It gets pretty boring.” Man dies the way he lives. Man chooses heaven or hell for himself. The child singing ” no homos in heaven” is correct. Singing the Truth

Liberal Catholics and the Fortnight For Freedom

Friday, June 22, AD 2012

 

 

Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently in defense of the Church that I have designated him Defender of the Faith, has the number of liberal Catholics and their reaction to the Fortnight For Freedom proclaimed by our Bishops:

Jim Naughton’s joint takes note of the US Catholic Church’s latest initiative:

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has called on Catholics throughout the country to observe a “Fortnight for Freedom,” beginning today and running through July 4, to protest the Obama administration’s health care policies.

This is how the USCCB describes Fortnight of Freedom.

The fourteen days from June 21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this “fortnight for freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome.  Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action will emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country have scheduled special events that support a great national campaign of teaching and witness for religious liberty.

Here’s the obligatory bit that all stories like this are legally obligated to contain about how sharply divided the Roman Catholic Church is over this issue.

Marion McCartney, who attends the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Washington, D.C., opposes the bishops’ campaign. She’s part of a group, Blessed Sacrament Families United in Faith and Action, that wrote a letter to its pastor, saying the partisan nature of the campaign is “a step too far.”

“Nobody’s religious freedom is at stake. That’s just ridiculous!” McCartney says. Is “[Health and Human Services Secretary] Kathleen Sebelius going to come and close all the church doors? I mean, it’s just foolishness.”

Can you say “Episcopalians in Catholic drag?”  Knew you could.

Another member of that group is Jim Zogby, who has worked on human-rights issues overseas. He says the U.S. bishops were spoiling for a fight over social issues with the Obama administration.

“They declared war on the administration, and we the faithful are paying the price for it,” Zogby says. “Our religious freedom, our ability to simply go to church, worship, feel a community, feel safe in that community” has been compromised.

“We’re now being put in the middle of a partisan fight, and that’s wrong.”

It’s easy to see what’s at work here.  To liberal Catholics, as to all leftist Christians, Catholic bishops are “partisan” or “political” when they take a stand on an issue with which the left strongly disagrees(i. e., birth control and abortion).  When they back a cause the left strongly supports, the bishops are acting “pastoral” and truly Christian and doing what God called them to do and stuff.

His wife, Eileen, says Blessed Sacrament, with its mix of liberals and conservatives, has always put politics aside. Not now. At a recent parish meeting about religious freedom, people began attacking President Obama, she says, getting more and more heated.

“Until finally one person leaned forward and he said, ‘Well, I have seen cars in our parking lot with Obama stickers on them, and they are complicit in all of this.’ And I thought, ‘Well I guess I’m not welcome here, because I have an Obama sticker on my car.’ “

If you’ve got an Obama sticker on your car, lady, I have one piece of advice.  Get thee to a Eucharistic Adoration.  Can’t hurt.  Also, the sex abuse scandal.  And nuns are cool now so stop beating up nuns!!

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19 Responses to Liberal Catholics and the Fortnight For Freedom

  • “Episcopalians in Catholic drag!” I love that phrase!

  • Oh, I forgot:

    Bishopress Schori would be so proud! Revelation 2:20-23:

    20* But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and beguiling my servants to practice immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her immorality. 22 Behold, I will throw her on a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her doings; 23* and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches shall know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you as your works deserve.

  • Not one person mentioned the Body of Christ. “People of God” do not murder or approve of murder in the womb. Whoever encouraged that woman to believe that she is ordained is out of order and has done her a great disservice. How sweetly they are defiant. How compassionately they will rip the brains out of a living human being. How gently they say: “No, I will not serve.” They are atheists trying to take control of the Catholic Church, in the same manner the devil has taken control of their souls. Thank God for Pope Benedict XVI.

  • Liberal Catholics sing in one accord: “We have no King but Caesar” (John 16:9).

  • The Common Good!

    Social Justice!!

    They don’t care about faith and morals.

    They are not Catholics. They are liberals fronting as catholics.

  • “Liberal Catholics sing in one accord: “We have no King but Caesar” (John 16:9).”

    Whoa, the truth behind that should send shivers down one’s spine.

  • In the very old days, when a daughter wished to enter a convent, her father had to provide a dowery equal to her life’s support to the convent. It is said that this is the dowery provided by Saint Nicholas. Many a good woman could not enter a convent. And when these arrive at the gates of hell, they will blame their bishop.

  • “And when these arrive at the gates of hell, they will blame their bishop.” it is to these out of order nuns, to whom, I refer. Beg pardon.

  • The video is actually rather sad – the poor woman justifying her “choice” position because it is “private”; as if anything we do is actually private. And, of course, bringing up the canard about “coat hangers” (really would like to see a full scale investigation to find out if there was ever a woman who tried that). They are so lost – just aimlessly mouthing sentiments they cannot possibly have thought through and being willing tools of those who wish to destroy all truth.

  • Sad to see Ms. McCartney confuse “freedom of worship” with “freedom of religion,” but that’s just what her preferred standard-bearer wants to restrict her to. Sadder still that she’d need padlocks on the doors before she’d see a problem.

    Another snapshot from our Catholic house divided.

  • Sorry, I cant get all worked up about this. If the Bishops and the Church wanted true freedom they would stop standing around with their hands out asking for government money for health care, social programs, vouchers, tax exemptions. Has anyone ever heard the saying: “he who pays the piper gets to name the tune.” If the government gives you money (or financial benefit in the way of tax exemptions) they expect you to accept all the conditions that go along with it.

    True freedom means financial freedom. Other organizations have retained their freedom by refusing government assistance. For decades Hillsdale College has stuck by its principles and refused government funding to avoid government regulations. In the 1990’s Bob Jones University stuck by its principles – for awhile – until they caved on the issue of interracial dating (not an admirable cause but you can at least respect them for standing up for their principles). On the other hand look at all the Catholic social service agencies that have been forced to provide benefits to same sex couples because the agency accepts federal or local funds.

    I wish our Bishops would have enough courage to just say “NO” to government money. Unfortunately, that is something our clergy has never been strong enough to do.

  • Your argument is a nonsequitur since the HHS mandate is not contingent upon an employer receiving one thin dime from the Feds.

  • Don is right. I hear this nonsequitur argument all the time, even from folks who strike me as otherwise informed. Weird actually.

  • So in other words, the HHS mandate applies to every organization whether or not it receives federal money, the only exception being a very narrow one that includes houses of worship (I.e., churches, temples, synagogues, etc.), but NOT other religious organizations even when they receive NO federal money.

    Hence the non sequitur nature of the argument: “This is the Bishop’s fault because they receive federal funding for their organizations.”

    I do agree, however, that the Bishops’ ingratiation of themselves with the liberal leftist idea of social justice, the common good and peace at any price to the exclusion of the principles of subsidiarity, personal responsibility and individual accountability has had a lot to do with the current situation. Not all Bishops did this, but enough of this Marxist pollution has so infected the USCCB that we have the current situation. Now they cry religious freedom, having already sacrificed it for universal health care nonsense and other liberal social justice idiocies. The Church is about saving souls from Heaven, and that is where She ought to focus Her energies.

  • “The Church is about saving souls from Heaven…”

    Whoops! That should read:

    “The Church is about saving souls for Heaven…”

    -10 points for me!

  • “I wish our Bishops would have enough courage to just say “NO” to government money. Unfortunately, that is something our clergy has never been strong enough to do.”

    “Don is right. I hear this nonsequitur argument all the time, even from folks who strike me as otherwise informed. Weird actually.”

    Weird indeed. One cannot express oneself freely if one takes part in govt. programs. Though unfortunately, we might have to begin to think this way in order to prevent such a move in the future.

  • Mac and all lawyers at sea,

    I have been warned about hand-written notes and emails (they may be subpoenaed!).

    Can you give a Legalese, one- or two-word translation for the word “bu!!$@&%”?

    Ridiculous, spurious, and nonsequitur just don’t have the “oomph.”

    For accounting and financial BS, I use: “liberal interpretation”, inconsistent application”, “mark to make-believe”, “fairy tale value”, or “extend and pretend.”

    Thanx!

  • Love this video report! In La La land, one can believe just about anything and call herself a Catholic. And one more reason to never sing that stupid song. It may be heartfelt but it, along with many other OCP ditties, does not belong in any Catholic liturgy. SO happy we have the Latin Mass and are not subject to the liturgy nazi’s dictating what we must sing in order to make everyone at Mass feel good about himself/herself.

Surprise: Anti-Catholic Bigot Heads Pro-Abort Organization

Sunday, May 6, AD 2012

Anti-Catholic bigot, homosexual activist and Episcopalian minister Harry Knox is back in the news.  Long time readers of this blog will recall that President Obama appointed Knox to his Advisory Council on Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships back in 2009.  Go here to read a post on that appointment.

Knox has recently become the head of  the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.  He has a post on the Huffington Post explaining why religious people should support the slaying of children in the womb, a post which proves, once again the truth of Socrates’ adage that an unexamined life is a tragedy.  Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic  former Episcopalian, and a man who has taken up the cudgels so frequently in defense of the Church that I have designated him Defender of the Faith, gives one of the arguments of Mr. Knox a proper response:

A homosexual Episcopal minister named Harry Knox is set to become Führer und Reichskanzler of the national organization of Einsatzgruppen America the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and while explaining why “religious” people should be celebrating abortion rather than mourning it, wrote one of the five or six stupidest statements I’ve read this year:

The harsh and condemning judgments of some religious leaders are troubling. They suggest that abortion is morally wrong, while ignoring the fact that miscarriages and unwanted pregnancies are common.  They deny that God is present in these times

Let’s take that one out for a spin, shall we?

(1) The harsh and condemning judgments about dropping a nuclear bomb on Tehran are troubling.  They suggest that the complete annihilation of Iran’s largest city and every single man, woman and child in it is morally wrong while ignoring the fact that hurricanes and tsunamis regularly destroy cities and kill innocent people.  They deny that God is present in these times

(2) The harsh and condemning judgments about setting off that bomb in a crowded city are troubling.  They suggest that terrorism is morally wrong while ignoring the fact that volcanoes regularly explode, killing thousands of people all over the world.  They deny that God is present in these times.

(3) Your harsh and condemning judgments about me boinking your wife are troubling.  They suggest that adultery is morally wrong while ignoring the fact that more men and women have sex outside of so-called “wedlock” than in it.  They deny that God is present in these times.

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22 Responses to Surprise: Anti-Catholic Bigot Heads Pro-Abort Organization

  • “One can only imagine what He will have to say to a purported minister of His Gospel who adopted such a stance.”

    He may not say anything. “…Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.” John 8:6b

    And their response will be as follows, “…they went away, one by one, beginning with the eldest…” John 8:9.

    The only place they will have to go away to isn’t Heaven.

  • Harry knox’s mother thought abortion to be morally wrong for she brought him to birth, uinknowing who or what her son would become on earth. Also, Harry Knox’s father ought to have been involved in his son’s destiny. Harry Knox dishonors his parents. To be a minister of the Word and disobey God’s commandment to “Honor thy mother and thy father that thou shalt be long lived upon the face of the earth.” is an indication to what kind of job Harry Knox is going to do. Our tax dollars deserve better use.

  • Paul,
    The reason Christ wrote in the dirt that second time is found in the Douay Rheims version in Jeremiah 17:13:
    ” 17:13 O Lord, the hope of Israel:  all that forsake thee shall be confounded:  they that depart from thee, shall be WRITTEN IN THE EARTH…”
    In my opinion, Christ, who wrote Jeremiah 17:13, was writing each man’s name in the dirt with a clue to each of them ( e.g. name of a female) that told each of a hidden sin in their past.
    That is why they walk away one by one and in order of decreasing age because Christ writes each name and clue in order of descending age. But there is mercy here ( not in Jer.17:13 context) because each man may repent after having their self righteousness removed. Each already knew their hidden sin that was not hidden from Christ because Jeremiah 17:1 reads…”  The sin of Juda is written with a pen of iron, with the point of a diamond, it is graven upon the
    table of their heart…”

  • Gosh Mr. Knox, thanks! I can now stab my annoying neighbor in the chest and call it a heart attack! Woot!

  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that condoms do not prevent HIV/aids. The FDA says that HIV/aids and all viruses pass between the molecules of the material, a scientific fact. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says that SOME protection is better than none. The only way to use a lethal condom properly with HIV/aids is total abstinence as Pope Benedict XVI has proclaimed. Read: “Do Condoms leak HIV?” Does Harry Knox accept that he is guilty for every person who has contracted HIV/aids through his advocacy? Does Harry Knox accept that there is an Eighth Commandment that says: “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor”? And a Fifth Commandment that states: “Thou shalt not kill” even through HIV/aids advocacy? If Harry Knox is a minister of the Word of God, He needs to minister to the Word of God by telling the truth. Concealing and withholding the scientific truth about HIVV/aids and condoms from the taxpayers is criminal. Distorting scientific fact does violence to the common good and to the will of God through abortion, promiscuity and disease. Our tax dollars deserve someone who is who he says he is. If Harry Knox takes an oath of office he is a perjurer.
    My immediate response to Harry Knox’s indifference to HIV spread is that he is infected.

  • This can be an amusing and diverting activitie.

    Here’s my corollary to Knox’s moral deviance.

    Everyone will rightly condemn the following: “Make the World a better place. Shoot a liberal in the face.” Let’s give it the “Knox Treatment.”

    The harsh and condemning judgments of some religious leaders are troubling. They suggest that shooting liberals is morally wrong, while ignoring the fact that shootings and armed assaults are common. They deny that God is present in these times . . .

    Knox is either dumber than dirt or so controlled by evil as to be unable think rationally.

    A religious person might contemplate miscarriage and ascribe it to God’s will.

    God is not present with baby murders. The baby murderer violently acts against God’s will and denies the victim God’s creative act.

    What an evil idiot.

  • Is a homosexual taking the lead in an antiabortion mocment somwhow equivalent to a blind mind taking charge of a gun club? Perhaps he sees his new role as advancing the gay anti “breeders” hate campaign.

  • I do hope this is not to off topic but did anyone else notice the man with the bag on his head?

  • Valentin says:
    Sunday, May 6, 2012 A.D. at 7:29pm
    I do hope this is not to off topic but did anyone else notice the man with the bag on his head?
    That was no bag.

  • Yeah it was a bag. The bag guy who was on the panel to the side of Knox in the video was called “Moses” and supposedly was a homosexual from Nigeria fleeing persecution. The bag over his head was a media attention getting device, although the purported reason was to protect his identity.

  • I think the whole coexist unitarian is not a group to trust at the school I go to there was once a couple of boys whose dad ran the local unitarian church and he would not let them eat meat (how tolerant) because he was a vegetarian so at the school the staff members would let them eat the food that they had there so they eat tonnes of meat at the school and eventually started looking like shining Adonises and their decided to pull them out and move his whole family to Mexico because he was inspired by nature and when they got there he left them there and ran off with some mistress.

  • I am sorry there is supposed to be a “dad” in between “their” and “decided”

  • Harsh and condemning judgements trouble Harry Knox. Murder of babes, soaking the earth with blood, cannot be morally wrong when the cause is so common. Abuse of Free Will is God’s fault. He shouldn’t have given it to the human race because it doesn’t want to be held responsible for justifying its insanity. If the kids want to cheat in school, then take risks with the lives of others for what they’re supposed to know; well cheating is common, so tragedies of failure and error should be allowable, not accountable. Blame whoever sheds light on – yes, even Harry Knox – right and wrong, good and evil, up and down, sane and insane. That’s the way it goes.

    Just wondering about the root of the word Episcopal – is it tied to Epistles, such as are found in the Holy Bible?

  • Episcopal derives from the Greek episkopos. Yes, it’s in the New Testament.

  • Donald, it is not a surprise that Obama has appointed yet another “Chief Advocate of the Culture of Death”. You should all have seen it coming. By now, Obama’s Evil design on Humanity is as clear as the Sun at Noon. He is mocking God with every breath he takes and each beat of his heart. Yes, and Jesus HAS WRITTEN IN THE EARTH about him and his cohorts. He wrote and continues to write IN THE EARTH for those Sinners whom He knows – as only God can know – who will never, ever repent because they sold their souls to the Devil a long time ago.

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  • bill bannon,

    Thanks for the insight.

  • Huh. Minor mystery.

    The NAB translation of Jeremiah 17:13b is very different most other bibles:

    “The rebels shall be enrolled in the netherworld; they have forsaken the LORD, source of living waters.” http://www.usccb.org/bible/jer/17:13

    Virtually every other translation has something along the lines of “those who turn away from you shall be written in the earth, for they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living water.” http://bible.cc/jeremiah/17-13.htm

    There is almost always a good reason for the word choice in NAB, but this one is escaping me.

    The Hebrew verb is ‘kathab’ and the various meanings are shown here, mostly supporting the translation ‘written’ where NAB uses ‘enrolled’: http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/hebrew/kjv/kathab.html

    The Septuagint uses ?????????? which I would suspect also supports ‘written’. http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Jeremiah&c=17&t=LXX#13

    Also, NAB’s choice of ‘netherworld’ where other translations use ‘earth’ or ‘dust’. But what’s really baffling is that NAB’s footnote to John 8:6 references RSV: “Cf. Jer 17:13 (RSV): “Those who turn away from thee shall be written in the earth, for they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living water”; cf. Jn 7:38.”

    Anyway, thanks again to Bill for bringing this up.

  • He’s not just anti-Catholic; the guy is also anti-sequitur. I read the original column of his at HuffPo and every bit of it was as poorly-reasoned as the example given above.

  • We can do these all day: The harsh and condemning judgments about beating my wife, perhaps to death, are troubling. They suggest that wife-beating is morally wrong while ignoring the fact that wives are beaten, occasionally to death, all over the world. They deny that God is present in these times. Call it the Harry Knox defense.

  • Episcopal (episcopos) and Epistle (epistole) are only related in the Greek – linguistically – by their preposition starting the words. Epi… has several meanings but upon or over are a basic hit.

    Their root words are different – EpiSCOPOS is related to seeing, thus the bishop’s office is one of oversight. EpiSTOLE is related to the word “to send.” Thus it is something sent to (upon).

    They are both in the New Testament because functionally for the faith the ARE related, as the Epistles are letters which the teaching office (magisterium) of the Episcopacy sent to their “flocks.” Thus, to use them correctly in a sentence: I certainly hope the Episcopal conference in the U. S. would send more epistles with the quality of the recent document on our first freedom!

  • And yes – I noticed I’m not perfect with my grammar. I’ll blame it on the construction happing in my office right now.

Jesuitical 12: America and the Bishops

Monday, February 27, AD 2012

 

Part 12 of my ongoing survey of the follies of many modern day Jesuits.  For a nano second the Jesuit rag America was on the side of every Catholic bishop in this country in opposition to the HHS Mandate.  However, where your heart is so is your treasure, and America is back on the side of Team Obama.  I was going to take the Jesuits of America to task, but Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently in defense of the Faith that I have named him Defender of the Faith, has eloquently beaten me to the punch:

You Roman Catholic bishops have had your fun and put on your little temper tantrum, the editors of The REAL Magisterium Wannabe Episcopalian Weekly America write.  But the adults are here now so why don’t you all just look liturgically impressive, babble a little Latin and keep your stupid opinions to yourselves.  We’ll take it from here:

For a brief moment, Catholics on all sides were united in defense of the freedom of the Catholic Church to define for itself what it means to be Catholic in the United States. They came together to defend the church’s institutions from morally objectionable, potentially crippling burdens imposed by the Obama administration under the Affordable Care Act. Catholic journalists, like E. J. Dionne and Mark Shields, and politicians, like Tim Kaine and Robert P. Casey Jr., joined the U.S. bishops in demanding that the administration grant a broad exemption for religiously affiliated institutions from paying health care premiums for contraceptive services. Then, on Feb. 10, President Obama announced a compromise solution by which religious institutions would be exempt from paying the objectionable premiums but women would not be denied contraceptive coverage. A confrontation that should never have happened was over. But not for long.

Every single time we let the hierarchy think it’s in charge, the idiots completely screw things up.  Every.  Single.  Time.

After a nod to the White House’s retreat as “a first step in the right direction,” the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops rejected the president’s “accommodation” as insufficient. Their statement presented a bill of indictments on the fine points of public policy: It opposed any mandate for contraceptive coverage, expanded the list of claimants for exemption to include self-insured employers and for-profit business owners and contested the administration’s assertion that under the new exemption religious employers would not pay for contraception. Some of these points, particularly the needs of self-insured institutions like universities, have merit and should find some remedy. Others, with wonkish precision, seem to press the religious liberty campaign too far.

“Some of these points…have merit and should find some remedy?”  From where?  From the same people who wrote the initial rule and the transparently fraudulent “compromise?”  I can’t for the life of me understand why the bishops might be reluctant to take that offer.  Foxes, hen houses and all that.

And it’s difficult for me to see how the objections of the bishops constitute “press[ing] the religious liberty campaign too far” since forcing Church ministries to facilitate the acquisition of free contraceptives by any employee who wants them is the only option left on the table.  The idea of not being forced to provide free birth control at all seems no longer to be possible.

The bishops have been most effective in influencing public policy when they have acted as pastors, trying to build consensus in church and society, as they did in their pastorals on nuclear war and the economy. The American public is uncomfortable with an overt exercise of political muscle by the hierarchy. Catholics, too, have proved more responsive to pastoral approaches. They expect church leaders to appeal to Gospel values, conscience and right reason. They hope bishops will accept honorable accommodations and, even when provoked, not stir up hostility. In the continuing dialogue with government, a conciliatory style that keeps Catholics united and cools the national distemper would benefit the whole church.

I think you all know what’s going on there.  It’s the age-old story.  As long as the bishops are commenting on the issues that are important to the America editorial staff the right issues, we’re behind them 100%.  But once they move on to those…other issues(you know the ones America means), they are exercising “political muscle” and contributing to the “national distemper.”

On issues like nuclear war and the economy, the bishops should certainly take no prisoners and accept no compromises.  But on those relatively trivial issues that the laity constantly insists on whining about, Roman Catholic bishops need to “accept honorable accomodations,” they need to “not stir up hostility,” and, most importantly, they need to be “conciliatory.”

After all, we have the example constantly before us of the Author and Finisher of our faith who was always willing to accept honorable accomodations, who never stirred up hostility and Whose first name was Conciliatory.  Actually, we don’t have that at all.  What the heck was I thinking?

The campaign also risks ignoring two fundamental principles of Catholic political theology. Official Catholic rights theory proposes that people should be willing to adjust their rights claims to one another. It also assigns to government the responsibility to coordinate contending rights and interests for the sake of the common good. The campaign fails to acknowledge that in the present instance, claims of religious liberty may collide with the right to health care, or that the religious rights of other denominations are in tension with those of Catholics. But as Pope Benedict XVI wrote in “Deus Caritas Est,” the church does not seek to “impose on those who do not share the faith ways of thinking and modes of conduct proper to the faith.” Furthermore, the campaign fails to admit that the administration’s Feb. 10 solution, though it can be improved, fundamentally did what Catholic social teaching expects government to do—coordinate contending rights for the good of all.

Um…nuh-uh.  I have no idea what “Catholic rights theory” really consists of but I seriously doubt that “adjust[ing] their rights claims to one another” obligates Catholics to commit sins themselves or acquiesce in their commission.

As for the “contending rights” that America believes were coordinated by the Administration’s “compromise,” we have the long-established Constitutional right of Christian churches to order their own affairs versus the newly-created “right” to free birth control pills, a “right” which remains in place by means of an accounting trick.

Once again, there is no possibility of the Catholic Church not being forced to provide free birth control at all; the default position is the liberal one.  And that is not coordination of contending rights at all; it is soft tyranny.

By stretching the religious liberty strategy to cover the fine points of health care coverage, the campaign devalues the coinage of religious liberty. The fight the bishop’s conference won against the initial mandate was indeed a fight for religious liberty and for that reason won widespread support. The latest phase of the campaign, however, seems intended to bar health care funding for contraception. Catholics legitimately oppose such a policy on moral grounds. But that opposition entails a difference over policy, not an infringement of religious liberty. It does a disservice to the victims of religious persecution everywhere to inflate policy differences into a struggle over religious freedom. Such exaggerated protests likewise show disrespect for the freedom Catholics have enjoyed in the United States, which is a model for the world—and for the church.

What are you mackeral snappers complaining about?  It’s not like anyone’s burning down your churches or anything.  And you don’t have to pay for anyone’s abortion so chill out.

But here’s the problem.  A government that thinks it has the right to determine what are or are not Christian ministries is a government that can(and probably one day will) not only order Christian hospitals to provide free birth control but also order Christian hospitals and churches to provide free abortions for any staff member who wants one.

Were that to happen, what would America say?  That the bishops shouldn’t be so “wonkish” because this is yet anothern policy difference that doesn’t rise to the level of religious persecution?  That the bishops shouldn’t “provoke hostility” and need to take the lead toward cooling the “national distemper” over the fact that the Church is now being forced to participate in one of the greatest evils it is possible to conceive simply because somebody claims a right to access to it?

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8 Responses to Jesuitical 12: America and the Bishops

  • “Once again, there is no possibility of the Catholic Church not being forced to provide free birth control at all; the default position is the liberal one.  And that is not coordination of contending rights at all; it is soft tyranny.”

    All soft tyrannies become hard tyrannies. The cry of “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity” in France in the 1790s resulted in the murder of tens of thousands of Catholic clerics and laity alike. History will repeat itself.

  • I graduated from a Jesuit high school back in the mid-’70s. Once, when I dared contest the Godless, Marxist redistributionism of “Liberation Theology” in light of “Thou Shalt Not Steal,” I did not get a debate or even a “correction.” Instead, I was told to “shut up,” and received a disciplinary blot on my record. Such is the totalitarian bent of the Jesuits.

    Ironically, it was not until about 10 years ago that my wife and I went through RCIA and officially joined The Church. Every time I have brought up the Jesuit order during a “Stump the Priest” night at our parish, or even while we were still in formation, the replies were strained and vague. Obviously, none of the ordained is going to outrightly demean another, but it is also obvious that what restraint is shown is not out of respect for that order.

    In another vein, I have never understood how someone can claim a “right” to health care. Since when has there been that? Please tell me, o learned pastors, when it is the right of one to demand the fruits of the labors of another in any pursuit? At what point do doctors, nurses, pharmacists, therapists and all the other people whose work is in the provision of medical care become the slaves of those whose “right” it is to its access unencumbered? When will we start pressing into service unwillingly – and who will we press – when the inevitable shortages arise? And doesn’t such a right indicate that rights to the labors of farmers, well-diggers, builders and clothiers are also found somewhere? Aren’t food, water, shelter and clothing essentially much more necessary to survival than is a doctor’s visit?

    Where was this right during the 18th Century when the ideas of inalienable rights were being developed at light-speed? Was the right to leeches, cupping, bleeding and purging unquestionably argued? And if the right exists, is it not based on the idea that all health care is therefore true, beautiful and good? To what end is an inalienable right if it is for something malicious or incorrect? Speech may be hurtful or wrong, but guarantees to its freedom can never be deemed so.

    No – I will say it here. The so-called “Catholic” left is nothing more than Fascist. It cannot understand the essence of freedom or personal responsibility even while it calls for increased pastoral ministering to “the flock.”

    The last I heard, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind”, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” and “Do unto others as you would have done unto you” seem to provide a pretty comprehensive plan, and I don’t see anywhere in there a call for Government enforcement, extortion or feticide.

  • If ever I saw an edition of “America”, I would burn it.

    I refer to it as the “society of Judas.”

    But, I suffer pangs of guilt for being unfair to Judas.

    Judas’ betrayal did not prevent anybody’s Redemption. The SJ-ers are leading many into spiritual danger.

  • Campaign poster or next issue cover?

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  • PM: Neither: there are two crosses which will be purged for the 0 campaign and issue cover.

  • To tell if any Order or Group or Individual is a faithful Catholic, all you have to do is check to see if they adhere to the “CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH, Second Edition”.

    “ The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved … and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church’s faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium. I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion. “ – Pope John Paul II. (pg 5)

    “….the Catechism has raised throughout the world, even among non-Christians, and confirms its purpose of being presented as a full, complete exposition of Catholic doctrine, enabling everyone to know what the Church professes, celebrates, lives, and prays in her daily life.” – Pope John Paul II (pg xiv)

    Any Catholic who does not do his or her best to adhere to the CCC in its entirety is a heretic or schismatic. (See # 2089).
    When are we going to start calling cafeteria Catholics by their true names – heretic or schismatic?

  • Often, when I see an heretical book in my church’s library, I’ll simply take and throw it away. No permission asked for. If I see “America” for the taking, I’ll take all copies and “down the memory hole.”

    How dare they give us s _ _ _ when Jesus mandates that we proclaim the Gospel, His precious Body and Blood.