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!

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.

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.

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

Friday, February 17, AD 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    “But he was a seminarian!”

    “So was Stalin.”

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, July 8, AD 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    We should vote them out of office.

  • Don, only in the next life.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Pinky,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • What is depressing is three fold:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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