3 Responses to Open Thread Thursday – Never Let A Serious Crisis Go To Waste

  • The Japanese have been on this same road for 20 years. I think it’s a depression that we’re in. It’s spin to call it a recession and to continually announce the “recession” is over now, … no now, … no now, … no really, “this” time it’s over, ….

    -Paw, Doomer in Chief
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/brierpatch/

  • The geniuses (former weathermen; clueless college profs; and retired bomb throwers) in the WH; among congressional dems (Fwank, Reid, Pelosi, Dodd in power since January 2007); and in the liberal/social justice elites are having their sway.

    Fasten your seat belts . . .

    Tax, regulate, mandate, take from the evil rich, unfund and mandate, cap and tax, kill jobs, murder opportunity, give to the saintly poor, sink everyone to an equal level of dependency and desperation.

    Here’s the plan: destroy the evil, racist, unjust capitalist system.

    They can always blame Bush.

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Chrysler UAW Workers Caught Drinking on the Job

Friday, September 24, AD 2010

Less than two months after President Obama visited the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit to highlight the billion dollar government bailout of Chrysler, Chrysler UAW workers were caught on tape drinking alcoholic beverages on a 30 minute lunch break.  Not to mention what looks like marijuana joints in between swigs of grog and then littering a public park with the empties.

That’s a nice liquid lunch… if it were a public holiday!

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10 Responses to Chrysler UAW Workers Caught Drinking on the Job

  • Given the future they have to look forward to under a government owned Chrysler, I can’t say I blame them.

  • Drinking beer at lunch? Not so bad… being drunk very bad… Smoking a jot ummm… WTF?? My stance is alcohol is fine only if not getting drunk or impairing the ability to perform. The Jot thing is a gov’t issue they should be going to jail it is illegal??? Although I do beleave we should legalize it .. still illegal at the moment… and doing that on the job is a def no no …

  • It’s okay! They work for the government.

  • I worked for the government in a Summer internship during college, and boy this stuff is minor to what else occurs “on the job”!

  • Yeah. Going out for a beer isn’t a big deal (as long as one isn’t impaired from doing one’s job or driving), but smoking joints and drinking a lot is a problem. While I doubt this means much for Obama, it is kinda embarrassing.

  • Think about this, If any one of those people in the video would have in anyway gotten hurt on the job and needed to go to the medical dept. in the plant, they would have been tested for drugs and alcohol!!! Wow if it should (would have)come back positive for either no workman’s comp. and immediate termination.
    So who’s the fool here the drinking pot smoking workers or the UAW for protecting them?

    I personally think if I where upper management in today’s UAW I’d vote to cut them loose from the union so that union could protect the image of the truly good loyal workers and to say the New UAW doesn’t tolerate that kind behavior any more!!!!!
    How many people do you think would be happy to come work in this economy for 1/2 the pay those guy’s where making?????
    I’m Proud to be an auto worker but not with fools like that.

  • Not to defend these workers for what they did — it was stupid and (as far as the pot smoking and littering) illegal — but… how is it that a bunch of blue collar workers drinking a beer or two at lunch is any worse than a bunch of white collar executives having a three-martini “business” lunch?

    If they were not impaired in their ability to do their jobs, the beer drinking should not have been an issue. The pot smoking and the littering are another matter.

  • Elaine, I agree. But for what it is worth drinking at lunch among white collar workers is pretty rare in most cities. Companies have policies against it, and customs have just changed.

  • As Mike said, the days of a three martini lunch are pretty much history. Even if it weren’t I don’t think the comparison holds up. I worked in factories for over 20 years and have recently transitioned to a corporate job. The difference is that if someone in a factory is impaired or even a little off their game (overly tired, hangover, etc.) people can die or get maimed. The white collar guy might make a mistake that costs millions of dollars but at the end of the day everyone went home to their families. Not saying it’s okay for the white collar guy or trying to set a double standard, just pointing out that the consequences can be quite different.

    The large modern factories are spectacular and the safety measures in place are very impressive, but they’re still not foolproof and never will be. One of the biggest challenges a factory supervisor faces is complacency. Trying not to keep people from taking safety (and quality, but that’s another story) for granted is a never ending battle. Someone pounding a couple tallboys or smoking a joint at lunch is just asking for trouble. We have a responsibility to not endanger our coworkers even if we’re too shortsighted about our own well-being. That is why these policies are in place and why they should be enforced. The unions should of course welcome rules like this, but they lost their way over a generation ago.

  • When I was in college I spent a summer working on a die press in a truck body plant. I kept counting the ways people could lose fingers or limbs if someone got careless. Anyone doing that type of work high, drunk or hung over is just asking for a trip to the emergecy room for themselves and the people they work with.

11 Responses to Weird Al Yankovic Parodies Bob Dylan

Catholics and Professional Football

Thursday, September 2, AD 2010

As a person who has voted for a Republican, I am a fascist. As you may know, fascists want to control every aspect of people’s lives (and I don’t want to hear any fancy political science definitions to the contrary). With the college football season starting tonight and professional football starting a week from now, it is the perfect time to consider the ethical approach Catholics must take towards professional football. I have attempted this once before, but like Cassandra, no one really listened to my wise teachings. Therefore, I must witness once again by examining afresh all the professional football teams in light of Catholic teaching in order to determine whether Catholics may root for them while avoiding the fires of hell.

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37 Responses to Catholics and Professional Football

  • Hilarious Michael! My one point of concern is that I despise football, indeed all professional sports. Can I remain a fascist in good standing with that stain on my record, in spite of my voting record? I suspect that Dan McLockinload would say no.

    http://thecatholicfascist.wordpress.com/2010/08/11/how-many-ecumenical-councils-are-there/#comments

  • That was very good. Well done, Michael.

  • Gnosticism and the Cleveland Browns? Good call, but you have only scratched the surface. I believe it goes far deeper than that, Michael, I suspect ancient secret ties between that organization and the bestselling author of anti-Catholic potboilers. I swear I saw an albino water boy hanging about the sidelines last time I watched a Browns game. Saints, beware!

  • Your comments regarding the Cowboys are Calvinist gibberish. 🙂

  • Don:

    All that is necessary to be a fascist is to condemn. Remember, we have no positive ideas of our own and are merely there to stop joy in the lives or others. Therefore, as long as you are condemning those around you, you are fine.

    Big Tex:

    Aha! You have revealed your own Calvinist leanings! For I did not mention Calvin, and the fact that you did shows your dualism and your secret adherence to his teachings!

    Donna V:

    I suspect that all of these organizations are secretly in collusion with each other as well as Islam to overthrow the Church.

  • I don’t see the point in supporting a sport that doesn’t involve Paul The Octopus.

  • Roger Stauchbach was the embodiment of Catholicism in the NFL. His most famous pass is named the “Hail Mary” because of his answer to a post-game question about what he was thinking when he threw the ball up in the air:

    “I got knocked down on the play. … I closed my eyes and said a Hail Mary.”

    And all subsequent last-second heaves toward the endzone have been likewise named after the most famous and widely used prayer to Our Lady.

    If the staunchly Catholic Staubach could spend his entire career with the Dallas Cowboys, and remain one of their biggest fans, then you can get over yourself and your hang-ups over God’s Team (borne purely out of jealousy over a long winning tradition vs. the Aints’ likely one-and-done history of “success”).

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  • you can get over yourself and your hang-ups over God’s Team (borne purely out of jealousy over a long winning tradition vs. the Aints’ likely one-and-done history of “success”).

    I’m not jealous. I guarantee you that the joy myself and other New Orleanians had over this one Superbowl was more than the joy of Cowboys fans for all the Cowboy’s titles put together. Also, I am not jealous of any team that has Romo as QB, for we have Brees and he is amazing, both on and off the field. So you can keep your owner who charges people to watch TV outside the stadium; give me the Who Dat Nation anyday!

  • And you still need to brush up on your history (I still haven’t forgotten that you completely bolluxed the history of “Cavaliers” and the part they played in the war against the evil Calvinists under Cromwell).

    For example, you’re right that “Vikings are celebrated pagans who pillaged innocent towns, committing unspeakable atrocities while doing so.”

    But, while you cite things that are clearly contrary to Catholic teaching, you completely MISSED that what made the Vikings truly deplorable from a Catholic perspective was that they specifically sought out Catholic monasteries for plunder and defacement and took great pleasure in desecrating Our Lord in the Eucharist.

    Countless number of monks died before the altar in attempts to defend the Body and Blood of Our Lord from the Viking hordes. That makes the Vikings the MOST unCatholic team in the NFL – shame on a Catholic boy like Brett Favre for choosing to play for them.

  • Jay:

    That’s very true, and all the more reason to not cheer for them. Unfortunately, it would have been too long if I listed all the ways in which the various teams violated Catholic principles. Indeed, I would have spent the whole day writing on the Cowboys if I had done that, not to mention would have had to spend a week writing on the glories of the Saints.

    And I haven’t forgotten my college football post, either. I will deal with your UVA Cavaliers soon enough.

  • Lions eat Christians. That’s what they did in Rome, and that’s what they do to Catholics unwary enough to slip into their trap.

    But the Detroit Lions haven’t hurt anyone in years. OK, they beat the Browns and Redskins last year, but that’s not saying much. Kinda like shooting zombies in the head, really.

    Oh, and being a Lions fan is an excellent primer in Purgatorial suffering, so I think they’re ideal for Catholics–the Last Things, and all that.

  • Before my good friend Mr. Denton gets around to “deal[ing] with [my] UVA Cavaliers”, please allow me to enlighten the readers as to the genesis of this friendly discussion. Here is a link to the post in question, in which Michael gets taken to school on English Civil War history after he first referred to “Cavaliers” as “pirates”, and then subsequently edited his post to say something that was even less coherent in regard to the name “Cavaliers”:

    http://forthegreaterglory.blogspot.com/2008/08/catholics-and-college-football-part-i.html

    Michael, my friend, whatever you have to say in your future dealings with my UVA Cavaliers, I hope that it is, unlike your previous tripe, at least grounded in reason and actual historical knowledge.

    😉

  • Dale:

    You may be interested to know that my alternate entry for the Lions was:

    “The Lions haven’t fielded a team in years, or maybe ever, so this point is moot.”

  • Good lord, Jay. That post was two years ago. I guess UVA fans don’t have anything other than grudges to fill their memories.

    I don’t even remember what I said about them being pirates. Their dress is remarkably similar to that of pirates, which is probably where the association came from. Presumably in my haste to not spend as much time on a football team that isn’t any good, I misspoke. However, once you pointed out my error I amended the post to include some research. Having found that “cavalier” was a derogatory term for those who were Catholic, I argued that it is not permissible for Catholic that support a team whose name began in order to mock Catholics for their alleged vanity and lack of manliness and virtue. Just because a name is applied to Catholics does not mean Catholics ought to embrace it.

  • Somebody take American Papist out of the blogroll.

  • Somebody take American Papist out of the blogroll.

    Wow, Jay. Why do you hate Peters so much? Are…are you one of the bloggers at Catholic Fascist?

    headline: Jay Anderson hates American Papist; Pro Ecclesia to begin major blog war with Catholic Vote Action. 😉

    In seriousness, Papist refers to what protestants believes was undue reverence to the Pope. Catholics can rightfully celebrate being associated with the pope, but not celebrate being associated with being vain girly-men, which was the connotation of cavalier.

  • Wrong, again.

    “Cavalier” refers to what Calvinist Roundheads believed was undue Catholic influence within the Stuart monarchy and its supporters. Catholics can rightfully celebrate those who proudly accepted the name “Cavalier” for themselves and fought against the heretical, genocidal Roundhead usurpers.

  • And, by the way, I DO hate Tom Peters (admittedly out of jealousy for his success).

    😉

  • I agree; I hate everyone who gets paid to blog and tweet out of pure jealousy.

    As for you assertions about cavalier, do you have a source? I have a feeling we’re on different planes here.

    Additionally, for turning a discussion about football into the English Civil War, I hate you also. 😉

  • Weren’t tigers also used on the Christians? Just asking.

  • Dale,

    but that’s not saying much. Kinda like shooting zombies in the head, really.

    Niiice.

    I remember the day Sanders retired.

    I was doing a shift meeting with my colleague, a Lions fan, at a Wal-Mart Warehouse in front of the shift-workers and in the middle of announcements my colleague asked everyone to bow their heads in sorrow for Sanders retirement from football.

    Michael Denton,

    Your post is nothing short of Freemason gibberish with a dash of Illuminati seasoning.

    Anyone who lives south of I-10 knows full well that the best professional football is played in the SEC and not the NFL.

  • go pats!!!!!!!!! yes, i’m an addict 🙁

  • Your post is nothing short of Freemason gibberish with a dash of Illuminati seasoning.

    It’s not Illuminati; it’s more Opus Dei/Knights Templar. We New Orleanians know the best spices to season our gumbos.

    Anyone who lives south of I-10 knows full well that the best professional football is played in the SEC and not the NFL.

    It is difficult to be in Louisiana to choose between the World Champion Saints and the greatest conference in college football. Thankfully, they play on different days so that we may enjoy them both.

  • …this embrace of Gnosticism will lead many Cleveland fans to the depths of hell-where the devil will either show them “The Decision” or Cleveland Browns games on an eternal loop.

    Don’t forget “the Drive” which will be meticulously narrated by a demon with over-sized teeth and a #7.

  • Michael: Yeah, that would have worked, too. We Lions fans are eagerly awaiting the return of professional football to Detroit.

    Tito: Thanks! I mean, the Skins will wear the shame of breaking “The Streak” forever, which makes me happy as a Patriots fan.

    Pauli: There will also be slow-mo, frame-by-frame replays of “The Fumble,” narrated by a demon who impersonates John Madden’s voice.

  • You know, Jay, Roger Stauchbach was also a supporter of Catholic education. His daughter attended Ursuline Academy in Dallas in the early ’90s.

  • The Chargers were not named after an electrical device or even a charging horse–it’s worse than either. Former owner Gene Klein wrote about it in his book First Down and a Billion. The Chargers original majority owner, Barron Hilton, was starting a new credit card company in 1960 called “Carte Blanche”. The team was named for what we do with credit cards: We charge.

  • Robert K.,

    Are you serious about the “charge card” thing?

    I did some Google research and they were named “Chargers” because Mr. Hilton liked how Dodger and USC fans would yell “Charge!” during home games.

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  • Lol I couldn’t stop reading this, I was amazed that anyone could actually be this stupid.
    The saints are dirty cheap players.
    And Brees-GAG! …. I wish the vikings would break his legs.

  • Lol I couldn’t stop reading this, I was amazed that anyone could actually be this stupid.

    You don’t get sarcasm, do you.

    The saints are dirty cheap players.

    Actually the Saints have shower technology and are well paid, making them neither dirty nor cheap.

    And Brees-GAG! …. I wish the vikings would break his legs.

    How you can hate a guy like Brees is beyond me. I hope you’re a Viking fan, enjoying Brees walking around victorious tonight on his two perfectly healthy legs.

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4 Responses to British Survey on Foreigners In the United Kingdom

11 Responses to The Infidel

  • Many errors with this premise. But let’s assume it could be as it was — would you think it good if they did a show called The Pagan about someone who thought they were baptized and found out they were not? Or someone who thought they were a priest and not?

  • That is hilarious Tito! No doubt the humor impaired will deny it, but it is!

  • Here is a clip from the Four Lions, a comedy about four inept British muslim terrorists.

  • What if someone did a show about “someone who thought they were a priest and were not?”

    I dunno about that, but I have seen that premise done in reverse — someone who WAS a priest and thought they weren’t. The character of John Black on “Days of Our Lives” (Drake Hogestyn), when he entered the story about 20 years ago or so, had been brainwashed, or had amnesia, or something, and forgotten his previous identity. Only after his beloved Marlena (Deirdre Hall) became possessed by the devil did he discover that he had been a priest in his past life, and he ended up exorcising the evil spirit from her. Then, of course, he dropped his vocation like a hot potato.

  • LOL!

    “I used an I.R.A. voice.”

    I will be putting that on my Netflix cue now.

  • There have also been several comedies where everyone thinks someone is a priest when in fact he is not.

  • Too funny… I agree that in premise it has errors. Any Jew or other religion can be accepted into the Muslim community. In Islam it is believed that every one is born Muslim – period. If you say you are Christian – Jew or other – you are wrong and need to be corrected through Dawa first.

    But this is histerical, I can only imagine how it will turn out and who will be upset about it….

  • Nice to see the Brits haven’t yet succumbed to political correctness!

  • CMinor,

    They may well be the last bastion of common sense left in Europe!

  • The fact that Islam accepts conversions from any faith (which faith doesn’t?) doesn’t delegitimate the story, since Jewishness is perceived ethnically as well as religiously. There are secular Jews just as there are secular people from a Christian background, etc. The fact is that people who’ve found out they’re Jewish halfway thru life- and there are many, for obvious reasons – are generally turned upside down by the news. What’s more interesting is why a filmmaker would feel this premise is important to us now as something to laugh at and learn from – it’s the zeitgeist and a conversation (and laughter) that needs to be had.

  • Interesting that Islam isn’t so tolerant when people convert away from Islam.

Res et Explicatio for AD 2-3-2010

Wednesday, February 3, AD 2010

Salvete TAC readers!

Here are my Top Picks in the Internet from the world of the Catholic Church and secular culture:

1. On ABC’s “This Week” this past Sunday Arianna Huffington, of the Huffington Post accused Glenn Beck of “inciting the American people” to commit violence against Obama by talking about “people being slaughtered.”

Here is Glenn Beck’s response from last night:

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7 Responses to Res et Explicatio for AD 2-3-2010

  • Safari and Chrome are superior to Firefox in page loading speed and web standards compliance. Firefox uses the least memory but the #1 reason I stick with it is because of the extensions. All this competition is producing rapidly improving browsers.

  • “Here is a neat story of how a kitty cat at a nursing home in Rhode Island curls up to patients just before they are about to die.”

    Oscar, The Cat of Doom!

  • RR,

    I agree. Competition makes everyone better. And if they don’t get better they wither and die!

  • I have found Google Chrome to be the superior browser, at least on my home computer. I don’t do much except browse the internet, and it is super fast. I have two problems with it, though they might be unique to my circumstance. For one, last I checked it still wasn’t syncing with PayPal to enable me to print out shipping labels (I have some ebay business), and for whatever reason whenever I attempt to write out blog posts all but the first paragraph disappears when I attempt to publish.

    I do like Safari as well, and Firefox works great on my work computer but for some reason is slow as heck at home.

  • Thanks for the post about Glenn Beck and for your pro-life stand.

  • Paul,

    Some of the online and evening classes I’m taking requires that I use Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox to access my assignments.

    Ironically they never configured their secure sites for Google Chrome, but Chrome works infinitely better than IE and Firefox!

    Go figure.

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2 Responses to Team America Meets Avatar: Special Guest Appearance By Matt Damon

  • Too Funny. I won’t see the movie and hate movies that put our military in bad light. I mean come one they are going to get this precious cargo for the knd and gental natives. I can see that is how hollywood sees our involvement in Iraq.

  • Absolutely agree Robert.

    Even Cameron isn’t disguising the fact that this movie is an indictment on our military.

    There is so much hate for our great country, it’s disturbing to see itself manifest in movies now.

    Hopefully it will bomb like every other anti-American film that has been released since 9/11.

Fiscal Health Care Reform: The Publics Option

Friday, December 11, AD 2009

Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama continue to spend, spend, spend away money we don’t have.  With the public option now firmly established in the current Senate version of the health care bill, Election 2010 comes to mind.

Kick the bums out.

I love democracy.

(Biretta Tip: Glenn Foden of NewsBusters)

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13 Responses to Fiscal Health Care Reform: The Publics Option

  • Give me an alternative to Republicans, and I’ll happily comply. Let’s not forget that the borrow-and-spend mantra was begun by Mr Reagan, and continued by both Bushes, especially the last one.

    Lucky thing for the GOP that in our political system, you might be in last place, but you’re never more than one election from ascendancy.

  • Borrow and spend began with Reagan Todd only if Reagan’s name is spelled Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Roosevelt’s Depression deficits, not including World War II, peaked at 5.4% of gdp. Obama’s deficit this year was 7.2% gdp. During Reagan and the first Bush the deficits averaged 4.3% gdp. Both parties have done a lousy job since the onset of the Great Depression of balancing tax receipts and spending, with the exception of Eisenhower and for a few of the Clinton years due to the dot.com bubble, and we are all going to be paying a high price for this for a very, very long time.

  • Running a deficit during a war of national mobilization, a banking crisis, or an economic depression is not unreasonable. During nearly all of Mr. Roosevelt’s tenure, the country was either producing below capacity (and had latent unemployment of such a level that public expenditure might actually be ‘stimulating’) or engaged in a war global in scope. Please note, the Roosevelt Administration did make a serious attempt to balance the federal budget in 1937.

    What has been troublesome has been the inability (since 1960) of the political class to balance the federal budget over the course of any one of the seven business cycles which have run their course since that time. We have had a few balanced budgets near business cycle peaks.

    It is not that difficult to manage. You have to fix your expenditure stream at where your revenue stream would be if the economy were producing at mean capacity. They do not do it because they just don’t feel like it.

  • Let’s not forget that the borrow-and-spend mantra was begun by Mr Reagan, and continued by both Bushes, especially the last one.

    Todd, you are of an age to recall that during a period of economic expansion lasting ten years and featuring improvements in real domestic product a mean of 4% per annum, the administration and Congress balanced the budget just once. Name the political party which had majorities in the upper and lower chamber of Congress during that entire period, and held the presidency for eight of those ten years.

  • When was the last time anyone heard of Congress raising our debt limit to aproximately 2 Trillion dollars. With our debt cost apprroaching 50% of our national income, and the new health bill
    and more stimulus spending to come..some thoughs..the
    government takes money from someone, it has none of its own, and giving money to others has to come from those who work for a living. When those who work for a living realize that if they didn’t and then the government would care for them, then what is their incentive to work and that is the begining of any nation to fail..the fact is that you can not mutiple wealth by spending it and dividing it.

  • I should have added that Medicare’s chief actuary states that Medicare under the proposed bill would spend 35.8 Trillion from 2010 to 2019. Wonder where the money is going to come from?

  • “Name the political party …”

    I would love to see national politics turned on its head, and some degree of sanity restored to foreign and economic policies.

    That either major party will effect that change is a vain hope. Given an alternative to an incompetent, lawless GOP, I’d prefer to hold my nose and take my chances with the current status quo. If nothing else, seeing the Republicans whine in defeat is more entertaining than the alternative.

    Seriously, I do think 2010 and 2012 will be an outlet for much anger if the job market doesn’t perk up. The feds borrowing money isn’t news; it’s been SOP for the last three decades. But unemployment is a crusher right now. The federal deficit? That’s just a useful tool for partisans. As of right now, it still means nothing, and either party is as much to blame as the other.

    Now let’s get back to Obama’s one-child policy.

  • I do not think it will be all that amusing if the U.S. Treasury suffers a failed bond sale. When the ratio of public debt to domestic product comes to exceed 0.9, the willingness of participants in the bond market to buy your scraps of paper diminishes considerably. And that won’t mean ‘nothing’.

    Quite a number of us have had occasion to assess what causes you to hold your nose.

    http://amywelborn.typepad.com/openbook/2005/11/settlement_in_s.html

  • Excellent research, Art. With the change in topic to Catholics behaving badly, I’ll accept your concession on my point that major party politics are bad news for economic good sense. I’m really curious about one point. Stocks are up forty-some percent and the Christmas bonuses for bankers are rolling through the economy. Just what is it that the GOP would have done differently? Mr Bush and the Fed starting the bailout to the tune of a third of a trillion last Fall. Would Mr McCain have ended all that?

    Now can we please get back to the secret Muslim/socialist takeover?

  • Stocks are up forty-some percent and the Christmas bonuses for bankers are rolling through the economy. Just what is it that the GOP would have done differently?

    I am not making any concessions, Todd.

    Counter-factual speculation is usually idle.

    Barney Frank was one of the obstacles to implementing debt-for-equity swaps to recapitalize the bulge bracket banks and in general casino bankers like Robert Rubin have more intimate relations with the elites of the Democratic Party; however, it is true that debt-for-equity swaps for these institutions and for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were also rejected for obscure reasons by Mr. Paulson and his camarilla.

    I have a suspicion a Republican Congress and Administration would have told the United Auto Workers to pound sand. They’d have had to accept a pre-packaged legislated re-organization or the corporations would have had to trudge through the standard proceedings of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, not to mention the ministrations of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. It would have been a good deal less sweet for General Motors’ legatees.

    As for the stimulus, by what accounts have appeared in the newspapers, it appears to have been an omnibus of programs Democratic members of Congress have had on their wish lists for some years. A Republican Congress and Administration would likely have preferred a legislated tax cut.

    There is quite a bit of dispute between economists as to the actual value of the multipliers associated with public expenditure in these circumstances, which is to say a dispute about the degree to which public spending crowds out private spending (one macroeconomist who has written on the subject has said recently that crowding out vitiates the effect of public spending so long as unemployment rates are below 12%). A suspension of payroll tax collections could have been implemented rapidly and would have dispensed a disproportionate share of its largesse to the segment of the population with the highest propensity to consumption, thus having the most impact toward the goal of maintaining aggregate demand. There was the anxiety that the demand for real balances was so intense last year that such would simply be added to people’s stock of cash reserves. The results of monetary policy innovation since then indicate that that concern was misplaced. I do not think the Republican caucus would have favored a payroll tax cut over an income tax cut.

    I think the Republicans, given a free hand, might have put the kibosh on scheduled increases in the minimum wage. The labor market would be in less parlous condition for a’ that.

    The Republicans likely would not have pissed away valuable time on a tar baby like Mr. Obama’s medical insurance proposal.

    I have no clue about what sort of mortgage modification plan might have been drawn up by a Republican Administration.

    So, we did not get debt-for-equity swaps, we got fleeced by the United Auto Workers, the Democratic Party got to do $787 bn in favors for their friends, we priced a good many low wage workers out of the market, we were saddled with a means-tested mortgage modification program that encouraged people to restrict their earnings, and we have had no action as yet on a revised architecture for the banking system or a general plan for working out underwater mortgages because Congress has wasted so much time debating a non-acute problem. It is possible that a Republican Congress and Administration could have done a worse job. It is also possible that I am Marie of Roumania.

  • “It is possible that a Republican Congress and Administration could have done a worse job. It is also possible that I am Marie of Roumania.”

    Ouch! Give it up Todd! You are batting way out of your league with Art. (When it comes to economics, so would I if I tangled with Art!)

  • No, president is can solve these problems. There is more going on behind the scene that we can’t see. Why don’t movie stars like Oprah and Jolie and many other people in the US try to help but stand and watch our country go down and stand before the camera with six kids from all around the world. Im sorry Oprah im black and I may just have to mail her. Why do people from out of the country get free education but not homeless vets? Or just homeless people?. And Obama is making it worse sending troops because he just gonna piss off those people and that’s the last thing we need here in America along with a race war. America is fake, why would anyone believe any presedent. Denmark, France are happy countries with healthcare but they pay a lot in taxes, not many people want to do that in America. America is not use to change. Change is easier for an eastern countries philosophy speaking.

  • “I am not making any concessions, Todd.”

    Then on the next thread we find ourselves conversing, I suggest you stick to your expertise, as Donald terms it, and set aside the desperate historical research.

Libs Go After Obama, Why?

Tuesday, November 24, AD 2009

In this most recent SNL skit President Obama was skewered… royally.  It’s as if the SNL writers downloaded my thoughts on President Obama’s recent Asia trip, or what is sometimes referred to as his World Apology Tour: Asia Edition, and wrote this skit

The sarcasm is biting and the humor is hilarious.

The question is, why does it seem that his base is turning on him?  Are they realizing that their previous efforts to poke fun at President Obama failed miserably so they turned it up a notch?  Or is this genuine creative license that sometimes hits or miss and in this instance it hit?  Or are they really upset with the excessive spending that President Obama is pushing for?

My guess is that it’s their creative license that finally hit its mark.  I like SNL, but watch it infrequently now that I don’t even have rabbit ears on my tv set to watch the broadcast networks.

This skit certainly got me to smile and lifted up my day ever so briefly.

The most memorable line from this skit is:

“I am noticing that each of your plans to save money involves spending even more money.”

Enjoy!

[vodpod id=Groupvideo.4001657&w=425&h=350&fv=]

(Biretta Tip: Big Hollywood)

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34 Responses to Libs Go After Obama, Why?

  • There’s clearly at least one writer on SNL’s staff with some conservative sympathies (see here and here for other examples).

  • I remember both skits. Pretty good stuff.

    The second link, that of the Olbermann spoof, was so good that Afleck personally called up Olbermann to apologize for the skit.

    What a wimp.

  • Well, this liberal thinks our president is too conservative. And while I may be the most radical person in your commentariat, there are several million Americans who have me beat.

    That said, humor sells. SNL has spoofed every president since Ford. I doubted they had enough Palin material to roll with for eight years.

  • Well, Olberman crashed the closed set while Affleck was rehearsing the sketch…which must have been a little awkward. It’s not surprising that he apologized.

  • Why John Henry, I didn’t know you read the HuffPo! 😉

  • Well, this liberal thinks our president is too conservative.

    I’ll take the bait, Todd. How so?

  • Every President of a pronounced ideological stripe tends to leave the true believers on his side unsatisfied. That was certainly the case with Reagan and many conservatives. Obama is a dream come true for many liberals and worry is growing on the Left that they aren’t getting what they want. For example:

    1. No single payer health care system.

    2. US troops aren’t out of Iraq and Afghanistan.

    3. Deep cuts in defense spending aren’t being called for.

    4. No card check.

    5. No Freedom of Choice Act.

    6. Insufficient spending by the Federal government as typified by the calls on the Left for a second stimulus package.

    7. No blanket amnesty for illegal aliens.

    8. No attempts yet to go after “right wing” talk radio through an imposition of a new Fairness Doctrine.

    9. No repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” or the Protection of Marriage Act.

    10. No calls to overturn the filibuster rule in the Senate.

    Partisans of the Left recognize that this is the best opportunity to enact their agenda in four decades. From where they sit Obama is blowing a golden opportunity.

  • Donald,

    I hope they do fail on this farce of a health care bill.

    Lieberman has already said absolutely, unequivocally “no” to any form, delay, etc of the public option.

    Landrieu, Nelson, and Lincoln have hostile constituencies that want NOTHING to do with more public spending.

    I will be praying hard for this bill to die quickly.

  • Wow. I had no idea Donald was a closet liberal. Are you guys going to kick him off the blog for that?

    “I’ll take the bait, Todd. How so?”

    I don’t speak for other liberals, especially the secular ones, but Mr Obama is a conservative in my view because of …

    – pro-death penalty
    – Geithner and money
    – pro-choice (it’s a forty-year status quo, after all)

    He’s just a mainstream politician, no matter how much whining others do because he’s non-GOP. Y’all make the false assumption that we 40% non-GOP and non-Dem, are all tucked in ideologically between your two big parties. Look more closely.

  • We have other Catholics that lean left on this website.

    We all have fidelity to the Magisterium.

  • “Wow. I had no idea Donald was a closet liberal.”

    One does not need to be a liberal Todd to read their sites. The disappointment with Obama is palpable on many blogs of the Left. A typical type of post is linked below:

    http://lesserevilparty.blogspot.com/2009/06/obama-hoover.html

  • So, then, Donald, why are you pontificating on what it means to be a liberal? Aren’t there enough conservative things to talk about? Attending to your testimony, counsellor, would be like going to an internet-savvy Muslim to tell me about Catholicism. It just begs the question: what’s the point?

  • “He’s just a mainstream politican…”

    Maybe, but then why did so many of his disciples think he was The One?

  • Mr Obama is a conservative in my view because of …

    – pro-death penalty

    I may be mistaken, but I think the last time an execution was carried out at the behest of a (civilian) federal court was around about 1963, so whatever he might have said to whatever focus group is not likely to have much practical import. (Unless of course you were hoping for judicial appointments that would arbitrarily nullify all capital sentances, as Justice Brennan wished to do).

    – Geithner and money

    You appear to be referring to financial regulatory schemes and modes of recapitalizing the banks. He and Barney Frank have been most problematic in this regard. What appellation would you apply to Yves Smith (lapsed investment banker) and Luigi Zingales (professor at the University of Chicago) who have been most eloquent about the shortcomings of Geithner and his predecessor?

    – pro-choice (it’s a forty-year status quo, after all)

    How very Burkean, you and Jeffrey Hart.

    A purpose of political terminology is to supply and illuminating shorthand. It’s not working out for you (or the folks to whom you speak).

  • “It just begs the question: what’s the point?”

    To answer the question of the post Todd. There is growing concern about Obama on the Left. I find it interesting because Republicans he never had, Independents now are largely in opposition to his administration and even his base is becoming restive. That is a good shorthand description of an administration in trouble.

  • And right on cue Obama scores his lowest approval rating yet:

    http://hotair.com/archives/2009/11/24/rasmussen-obama-drops-to-lowest-approval-rating/

  • Okay …

    It’s just so fun to skewer you, Donald. I bet your courtroom opponents had similar fun on occasion.

    I think your politics are off somewhat. When elected, the president’s base was pretty solid among independents–I would have expected registered Dems to support him. Otherwise, he positioned himself (and giverns as) a moderate centrist Democrat. I give him credit for being the first northern Dem to be elected president since 1960.

    But base? Are you serious? These are Democrats you’re talking about. You realize that, right?

  • “It’s just so fun to skewer you, Donald. I bet your courtroom opponents had similar fun on occasion.”

    Normally they do not look like they are having much fun actually.

    “he positioned himself (and governs as) a moderate centrist Democrat.”

    For someone on the far Left Todd I have no doubt that Obama would appear moderate. For those Americans who have not swilled the “progressive” Kool Aide, Obama is quickly becoming president non grata. At 45% Obama is falling back on his Democrat base. Assuming the economy stays in the tank, I am expecting him to decline to 38% to 40% by the Spring of next year, assuming no foreign disaster. After he announces more troops to Afghanistan next week, that might peel off a point or two of the Out-Now crowd.

    You do have my sympathies Todd. It can be hard to vote for a man and then have him revealed as completely inept at the job. You can take solace from this observation however. With Jimmy Carter’s record as president, it will be difficult, although not impossible, for Obama to claim the distinction of worst post World War II president.

  • … or the worst president EVER.

  • Wow! So Pelosi, Kate Michelman, the late Ted Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Obama are “conservatives” on the subject of abortion, because conservatives are always on the side of settled law, no matter what the law happens to be.
    Who knew?

    Nice bit of sophistry. Reminds me of the media trick of referring to the hard-line Russian Communists who opposed Yeltsin in the early ’90’s as “conservatives.”
    It was an entirely inaccurate description but a cute way for liberals to reassure themselves that they are ever on the side of the angels.

  • Tito may be right, Donald. In just one year, Obama is giving Mr. Peanut a run for his money. By 2012, The One might even match the dismal record of Buchanan, who was long thought unbeatable in the “Worst President” category.

    For America’s sake, I certainly hope not, but the possibility *shudder* is there.

  • You might be right Donna. Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit, is saying that a reprise of the Carter Administration is a best case analysis now.

  • It can be hard to vote for a man and then have him revealed as completely inept at the job.

    Given his deficient preparation, it would be a most pleasant surprise if he performs creditably. Todd should have understood this before casting his ballot. Given the severity of our economic problems, one better hope he performs creditably.

    With Jimmy Carter’s record as president, it will be difficult, although not impossible, for Obama to claim the distinction of worst post World War II president.

    No, it will not.

    Mr. Carter’s principal problem was that he lacked the people skills and acquired street smarts to persuade Congress.

    His secondary problem was that his priorities were rather at a variance with those of the majority of the Democratic Congressional caucus; Mr. Carter’s interests: tax reform, civil service reform, energy conservation, and improved methods of public budgeting were more those of a liberal Republican (e.g. Thomas Dewey) that the mode of the Democratic Party of his day.

    Another problem was that he was unwilling to countenance controls on monetary aggregates to restore price stability. Keep in mind, though, that the stable of economists listened to at the elite levels of the Democratic Party misdiagnosed the sources of inflation (as did Arthur Burns) or misjudged how costly it would be to contain it (as did James Tobin).

    All of which is to say that the domestic policy failures of the Carter era had less to do with Mr. Carter’s deficiencies than they did with the wretched matrix in which he found himself. Blame Tip O’Neill, blame Arthur Burns, blame Texas oil patch congressman, and blame the shills of the public employee union in Congress ‘ere you blame Carter.

  • Whenever a discussion like this veers to Jimmy Carter, the Republicans have gotten bored with the notion of the Left laughing at President Obama.

    In political cycles like these, it’s easy enough to find the worst presidents. But I can’t pass up the opportunity for the bogus administration of Bush the Second: inattention on terrorists, then still-unsolved anthrax. Let’s not forget a souped-up homeland security department, followed by an inability to deal with a homeland natural disaster. Two wars, not well thought-out, incompetently run.

    Honestly, I think y’all are still smarting from getting thrashed in the last two national elections. Let it sink in: by your own admission, you’ve been routed by the worst president in history. Seven more year, my friends. Seven more years.

  • “Seven more year, my friends. Seven more years.”

    Actually Todd it is 13 more months and change before the Congress elected in 2010 is seated. Enjoy the next year Todd. I think you and your ideological think-a-likes are going to be in the political wilderness for a very long time.

  • to Jimmy Carter, the Republicans have gotten bored with the notion of the Left laughing at President Obama.

    It’s a small topic, needing few words.

    you’ve been routed by the worst president in history. Seven more year, my friends. Seven more years.

    The man is an empty suit; the Administration and Congress have done flat nothing to address a most wretched banking and financial crisis, and ignored sachems like Paul Volcker and Luigi Zingales; he has squandered months attempting to build a policy monument to himself in the form of a hopelessly baroque medical insurance program (which ain’t gonnal look good if we have a failed Treasury bond auction); he allowed David Obey, et al to turn a needed macroeconomic stimulus into a patronage free-for-all; and he Rahm Emmanuel, a monster of arrogance whose personal history suggests Latin American levels of corruption, in charge of his executive office staff. You want seven more years of this????

  • “The man is an empty suit …”

    That empty suit still beat your war hero and perky governor. And it wasn’t even close.

    “You want seven more years of this?”

    I’m going to enjoy watching conservative heads spin until 2017, at least. You’re far more entertaining this way. The only thing that would be better would be a third party to vault ahead of the Dems and leave the GOP third in a 3-way race. Then I’d get to watch conservative Dems twist in the wind, too.

    I agree, Tito, that corporate banks and insurance are a complete mess. It wouldn’t have been different under McCain, and we know it was BAU under Bush II.

    If we were suddenly to see Ron Paul and pre-pro-choice Dennis Kucinich surge into the fore, then we’d have some excitement.

  • I read what you write; the President’s suit is not the only thing that is empty. Happy trails.

  • Art, it doesn’t seem you read terribly carefully. Like many conservatives, you assume that just because I disagree with you on one point, I disagree across the board. There is a distinction between being the bearer of bad news and actually causing the calamity oneself. Take the last word, friends. This has been a tough one for you; you’ve earned it.

  • Actually, I tend to think it was George W Bush that beat “the war hero”. The Democrats could have nominated anything from Charles Manson to a lobotomized lab rabbit to a gooseberry pie and it would have won by the same margin.

  • Todd, have you checked Gallup or Rasmussen in the last couple of days? They’re a bit more accurate than Daily Kos online polls.

    I live in a very liberal area. If I confused the entire country with the folks in my neighborhood I would be very glum indeed.

    Todd, you need to get out more.

  • The Democrats could have nominated anything from Charles Manson to a lobotomized lab rabbit to a gooseberry pie and it would have won by the same margin.

    I don’t know about that. Charles Manson would have had a hard time delivering the minority vote in usual numbers. The lobotomized lab rabbit was even a drag to the ticket as VP running mate, and the gooseberry pie was too much of a girly-man for most voters.

  • Actually, I tend to think it was George W Bush that beat “the war hero”. The Democrats could have nominated anything from Charles Manson to a lobotomized lab rabbit to a gooseberry pie and it would have won by the same margin.

    Darnit, Rick beat me to the punchline!

    Cheers!

  • Found this and just wanted to post it. No SNL skit, or funny, but straightforward truth.

    http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/16905

4 Responses to Obama: Right Wing Media Wrong

  • Hilarious! President Log is right!

  • Tito:

    The amazing thing about this video is that while it does not say so directly it shows that Obama is nothing but President Bush III. He has done nothing but continue the disasterous policies of his predecessor. His stimulous packages are no more than an extention of those socialist/communistic policies instituted by Bush II. His foreign/war policy is no diferent than Bush II- we are still in Iraq and expanding activity in Afgahnistan. Guantanemo is still open.

    Unfortunately, one of the things that Obama ran on was that he owuld make our government less autocratic and move away from the strong unitary executive being pushed by Bush (and every president since the ratification of the Constitution and especially since Lincoln). Obama has done nothing to reign in presidential powers, and you can be assured that the Executive Branch will claim more powers 4 or 8 years from now when he leaves office than it did in January of this year.

    As noted anti-federalists, such as Patrick Henry, Sam Adams, George Mason argued that the strong national government proposed by the Federalists in the Constitution was a threat to the rights of individuals and that the President would become a king. History has proven these gentlemen entirely correct.

  • I am not so sure that ALL Presidents expandanded executive power. Lincoln? Certainly. Nevertheless, Lincoln did stand against the money power and got a bullet in the head for it. Kennedy too. They shot Reagan but missed. They’ve gotten smarter though. Executive power is way out of line but the judicial power is far worse.

    The executive is quickly becoming an impotent monarch. The real power is in the handlers of the president. That’s why you can’t tell the difference between the parties anymore. The same Commie fascists run the day-to-day machinations of government and the Fed and other trans-national banks that are all effectively coordinated.

    Obama may not have accomplished anything but he has overstepped his rhetoric and people don’t like it. Well, sane people don’t like it. This is a good thing. I think that God may have answered our prayers with BHO. We may actually get the change we hope for it’s just going to take a while.

    VA and NJ in 2009, the House in 2010 and the executive in 2012. What it will take is an unrelenting political onslaught and holding the Repubiclans to authentic conservative principles.

    That is unless BHO is the anti-Christ. Hmmm . . .

  • Pingback: President Log « The American Catholic

Weapons of Mass Destruction

Sunday, September 20, AD 2009

MassDestruction

Happy 25th Sunday of the year!

Ahhh, the fruits from the spirit in the sky of Vatican II!

Give us your opinion as to what has caused the celebration of the Mass to deteriorate since the Second Ecumenical Council (using Vatican II as a starting point, but not the cause).

You can only vote once, but you can choose more than one answer (on your first and only vote), so be careful!  Voting will end on Friday, September 25, 2009 AD.

Key:

Ad Populum = The priest showing his back to God while staring at the people.  Instead of facing God with the people (Ad Orientem).

Vernacular Liturgy = The liturgy of the Mass is celebrated in only the local language of the people instead of both the vernacular and Latin language.

(Biretta Tip: Catholic Cartoon Blog)

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69 Responses to Weapons of Mass Destruction

  • I am curious about the inclusion of Altar Girls in the list.

    Altar girls in our parish has more than doubled the number of children involved in the Mass and it seems to me that they are more careful to observe the rubrics than most of the boys were.

  • This seems to make light of things of which you shouldn’t make light.

  • Evidence has shown that having altar girls has reduced the number of vocations to the priesthood for each parish that allows this practice.

    For example, the Diocese of Lincoln has the largest seminary classes in the country and the highest ratio of priests to parishioners in the world and they are the only diocese in America that does not allow altar girls to serve.

  • I wanted to vote for hippies!

    Nuns in pants is a close second 🙂

  • I sincerely apologize for bringing down the Catholic Church. I just wanted to serve and be a part of the liturgy. I love my faith and think it’s ridiculous that you believe that my existence is destroying the church.

    Who was the first person to proclaim the good news of the resurrection? Mary Magdalene

    Who said yes to God and Gabriel and brought Jesus into the world? Mary

    Who said “Do as he tells you?” Mary

    Why was there only one man at the foot of the cross as Jesus was dying?

    I was an altar girl. You told me I did a fantastic job chairing Cafe Catholica. I am SO sorry my willingness to participate in the liturgy is bringing destruction to the Catholic Church.

    I think you need to add one more item to your list – “Closed-minded people who point fingers at simple things that don’t really matter”

  • Praise God for the allowance of altar girls!

    And your comments abouts nuns are mean-spirited, however much you cloak them in “dry-humor”.

  • Ah, the Catholic Left, always having more than their fair share of the humor impaired.

  • A joke is never just a joke, as the Viennese master used to say.

  • I am sure the late Bob Hope would disagree and I think he would be a better authority, although Freud could be unintentionally funny as he was in his laugh riot Moses and Monotheism.

  • I don’t have strong feelings one way or the other on female altar servers. But if it could be proven that their existence had a significant negative impact on vocations to the priesthood, that would be a fairly negative thing.

    But I’m not necessarily convinced that correlation equals causation in a diocese like Lincoln. My guess is that the dioceses that limit serving at the altar to boys are also doing OTHER things that are having a positive impact on vocations.

  • Actually, the most destructive, in my opinion, would be the extreme lack of spiritually and academically grounded catechesis based on the Teaching Magisterium of the Church.

  • Kristan,

    What has chairing Cafe Catholica have to do with being an altar girl?

    I said the word generally.

    I did not say always and directly.

    Mark DeFrancisis,

    I love you man.

  • Jay,

    That is why I said “generally”.

    I do think it “generally” represents how orthodox the parish is in relation to other good things that they are doing.

    Mr. Iafrate,

    I love you man.

  • Kristan,

    Kristan – an altar girl Says:
    Sunday, September 20, 2009 A.D. at 10:34 am

    I sincerely apologize for bringing down the Catholic Church. I just wanted to serve and be a part of the liturgy. I love my faith and think it’s ridiculous that you believe that my existence is destroying the church.

    Who was the first person to proclaim the good news of the resurrection? Mary Magdalene

    Who said yes to God and Gabriel and brought Jesus into the world? Mary

    Who said “Do as he tells you?” Mary

    Why was there only one man at the foot of the cross as Jesus was dying?

    I was an altar girl. You told me I did a fantastic job chairing Cafe Catholica. I am SO sorry my willingness to participate in the liturgy is bringing destruction to the Catholic Church.

    I think you need to add one more item to your list – “Closed-minded people who point fingers at simple things that don’t really matter”

    I think if you were to look at the history and theology of the practice of a male only priesthood with an OPEN mind you would probably have a better understanding of why the custom of male alter service is important.

    Altar service is not a reward for doing good, your appeal to the absence of men at the foot of the altar illustrates your misunderstanding.

    Your understanding of liturgical participation would also benefit from a study of the writings of the Holy Father on the matter. Participation is not about who gets to be on the altar, or who gets to run around with the Precious Blood.

  • G-veg.

    I am curious about the inclusion of Altar Girls in the list.

    Altar girls in our parish has more than doubled the number of children involved in the Mass and it seems to me that they are more careful to observe the rubrics than most of the boys were.

    There’s no doubt that young girls do very well at serving on the altar, but does it do them a service or a harm? Serving at the altar has long been a path to the priesthood, do you not see how having altar girls gives false expectations and cuts off the valid path for boys? Do you not see how the boys have tended to shun the service now?

    Also, look into the history of altar girls, it was introduced as a liturgical abuse and was finally allowed? The same is the case for communion in the hand.

  • Tito,
    By asking “what has caused the celebration of the Mass to deteriorate?” and including “altar girls” as an option implies that the altar girls themselves contribute to what you believe to be the deterioration of the Mass. As a former altar girl, I am offended. Yes, I realize that you labeled this post as “dry humor” but I find nothing funny about it. So, what I’m saying is that you were very vocal about your praise for this summer’s Café Catholica. So, apparently this former altar girl is still able to serve in the local church without bringing about the deterioration of the liturgy.

    Maybe I’m taking this too far … but I think you have, too. And I don’t appreciate it.

  • Matt,

    Surprise, we agree again.

    The next logical step after altar girls is women priests. You know, they just love the liturgy and they just want to serve the Church, so why can’t they do that?

    “Participation is not about who gets to be on the altar, or who gets to run around with the Precious Blood.”

    This is absolutely right. The Mass is not entertainment, it is not a show during which the priest is the lead role and the servers are is co-leads.

    I reject anything that is demanded in the spirit of “I want”. It isn’t about you, whoever you are, male or female. Men and women are not interchangeable biological organisms, they are unique and different for purposes determined by God.

    Another thing that bothers me – the notion that these things, these traditions, ancient and sacred, “don’t really matter”. Why not have altar girls, why not have anything we damn well please?

    It is not for us to decide “what matters”.

    And of course I realize that our modern Church allows these sort of things to take place. I find it terribly unfortunate that the generation of hippies – aging and thankfully on their way out – decided to push the traditions of the Church into the background in an effort to appease the modern secular world, the Protestants, and everyone else but the faithful Catholics who didn’t ask for or require innovative gimmicks to stay within the Church.

    I look forward to the day when the younger and decidedly more conservative generation reverses the bulk of this sappy, feel-good nonsense. And I am grateful that our Pope has reaffirmed the right of Catholics to establish and attend a traditional Tridentine Mass in their parishes, where these sort of things simply do not take place.

  • >>I think if you were to look at the history and theology of the practice of a male only priesthood with an OPEN mind you would probably have a better understanding of why the custom of male alter service is important.

    Well, hello again Matt. I completely support the male only priesthood (something you would know if you actually took the time to get to know me instead of criticizing my beliefs and my involvement in the church over blogs and emails). I understand that altar service is historically a precursor to the priesthood. It is a precursor – not a prerequisite. Many of the theology classes that are prerequisites to ordination are also attended by women who are pursuing a Masters in Theology with the intent to teach … should they be banned from taking these classes?

    Altar servers do not administer sacraments. They assist in the celebration of the Eucharist – carrying the crucifix, preparing the altar for the liturgy of the Eucharist.

    >>Altar service is not a reward for doing good, your appeal to the absence of men at the foot of the altar illustrates your misunderstanding.

    I never said it was a reward for doing good – it is an opportunity for our youth to participate in the Mass and serve their community. The list of “weapons of Mass destruction” explicitly list women in two of the “weapons” – nuns wearing pants and altar girls. Women have historically played a strong role in the Church – I agree that the Sacrament of Holy Orders is for men just as bearing life is for women. Give the women a chance to serve in the role that the USCCB allows them to do so and stop blaming us.

    >>Your understanding of liturgical participation would also benefit from a study of the writings of the Holy Father on the matter. Participation is not about who gets to be on the altar, or who gets to run around with the Precious Blood.

    Please show me the writings of the Holy Father that allows anyone to “run around” with the Precious Blood. In my years as serving as an altar server as well as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion we have been taught to handle and share the Body and Blood of Christ with utmost reverence, which does not include running.

  • Joe,

    I concur.

    Kristan,
    apparently this former altar girl is still able to serve in the local church without bringing about the deterioration of the liturgy.

    I don’t think Tito was accusing you (or any other former altar girl) of personally causing harm to the liturgy, or that a former altar girl can’t do some good. The point is that THE PRACTICE of having altar girls contributes to a serious problem with the liturgy. I’m sure nobody here thinks you did anything morally wrong by being an altar girl, surely you didn’t know better at the time, and meant only to do good.

  • Correlation without causation is a favorite form of “evidence” used by the V2 haters. Never mind that Mass attendance began to decline BEFORE any of these reforms. Never mind that mainstream Protestant denominations have also been in decline. Never mind that the most church-going conservative crazy-about-their-faith Christians go to the innovative and thoroughly modern evangelical churches.

    I’d say that greatest cause of Mass destruction is the inability to recognize that small-t tradition is for the benefit of man, not the other way around.

    Having said all that, I’d like to see a return to altar rails and Communion on the tongue and I think parishes should ban felt banners on purely aesthetic grounds.

  • Kristan,

    I completely support the male only priesthood

    I never questioned your support of a male only priesthood, I’m merely pointing out the incongruety of your position with this doctrine. In Italy, altart boys are referred to as “chierichetto”, literally little clerics.

    I understand that altar service is historically a precursor to the priesthood. It is a precursor – not a prerequisite.

    in case you haven’t noticed, there is a deep shortage of priests… do you think it’s a good idea to cut off this customary path to the priesthood?

    Many of the theology classes that are prerequisites to ordination are also attended by women who are pursuing a Masters in Theology with the intent to teach … should they be banned from taking these classes?

    Of course not, that’s a completely different situation. I have no objection to women learning anything or teaching anything that they have the ability to do.

    it is an opportunity for our youth to participate in the Mass and serve their community.

    As I said, it is incorrect to believe that a youth participates any less fully and really from the pews than she does on the altar, in fact the opposite could be argued. There is no shortage of ways to serve the community which more correctly orient young girls to their proper roles in the Church and without alienating the young boys from theirs.

    The list of “weapons of Mass destruction” explicitly list women in two of the “weapons” – nuns wearing pants and altar girls. Women have historically played a strong role in the Church – I agree that the Sacrament of Holy Orders is for men just as bearing life is for women. Give the women a chance to serve in the role that the USCCB allows them to do so and stop blaming us.

    nobody is blaming YOU, please, this is not about YOU. We don’t blame the women for being altar girls, we blame the priests and bishops who encourage or allowed the illicit practice in the first place, and we blame the pope for conceding to it.

    As to the nuns in pants, I guess that blame falls on the nuns, but also to the priests and bishops.

    restrainedradical,

    i don’t know where you get your material from, but none of the things listed are called for by Vatican II.

  • Here is one priest’s take on the issue of boys vs. girls serving on the altar:
    http://www.st-thomascamas.org/moretreasures/altarboys.htm

  • Two points.

    There is nothing inherently wrong with Mass in the vernacular. The oldest liturgies of the Church were celebrated in the language that the people actually spoke.

    The Bible itself and the liturgy shifted into Latin because the New Testament, as we know, was written in Greek and the majority of educated minds spoke Greek — but Latin was the common tongue of the poor, who would obviously have expressed difficulty in any real meaningful participation or understanding of what it is they are entering into.

    The Divine Liturgy was celebrated in Latin because it was the language of the people. There is nothing wrong per se about a vernacular liturgy. I think the point of frustration has to do with the quality of biblical translations, not the language the liturgy is celebrated in.

    There is evidence that communion was distributed on the hand in some places, notably Jerusalem, in the early church. Addressing the issue in “The Living Liturgy” the Pope reminds us that it was permitted and there is nothing in Tradition that absolutely forbids this — “I wouldn’t want to be fussy about that. It was done in the early Church. A reverent manner of receiving Communion in the hand is in itself a perfectly reasonable way to receive Communion.”

    Are there differences between the two? Definitely. Are there problems with some of the mentalities and ideas that are used to justify some of these liturgical changes? Yes. But this does not violate the validity of receiving communion in the hand.

    For example, in the Eastern tradition, which is just as rich (if not at times, theologically and liturgically richer), Catholics remain standing for the majority of the liturgy, receive communion standing, and usually do not kneel.

    If you think about the Jewish mentality that influenced the West (i.e. Diaspora Jews, particularly those in Rome), there is a strong top-down mentality. In Matthew, Jesus gives the Sermon on the Mount — God is looking down on us. There is strong emphasis on the prophecy of Isaiah that all shall kneel before Christ in adoration due to the one God of Israel. This influenced liturgical thinking in the West, in terms of things that traditionally varied beyond those things fundamentally essential to the liturgy itself.

    But in the East, with greater Greek influence, the focus is on the process of “theosis”. The whole spirituality really in the East focuses on becoming “partakers of the divine nature,” which is the fulfillment of the kergyma of salvific recapitulation described by St. Paul in Gal 4:4-7. In this way, we are being incorporated into the very life of God — to share in the ‘Sonship’ of the Son of God. If you read the Gospel of Luke, I think there are traces of this spirituality in the Sermon on the Plain — the equal grounding, of God coming down from heaven and “clothing” Himself in our human nature. So in that spirit, the Christian East (which is now being mimicked in the West — without the proper understanding, unfortunately) we stand in reverence of Christ, like we stand in honor of a King or someone of respectable nobility in our presence (and also because the Divine Liturgy and the canonical hours of the East are so incredibly long in their celebration, when not cut short, if you weren’t forced to stand, you would literally go to sleep). This understanding is not without merit.

    So in defense of what I think in many ways are legitimate and superior understandings of the Roman-rite, we must not use language to absolutize them as irrevocably essential to the liturgy itself to the point that all else is absolutely invalid (and notice I am being vague and not pointing to specific things here) because the great number of Christian liturgies might contradict you. So, I would be careful in that regard.

    I would rather we maintain both of these understandings and I’m not convinced we began to stand in the West for the reasons that Eastern Catholics do — if anything, I’m not sure what the reasoning was because I have never looked into it.

    Just a few thoughts.

  • >> in case you haven’t noticed, there is a deep shortage of priests… do you think it’s a good idea to cut off this customary path to the priesthood?

    Okay, now you’re the one putting words into my mouth … I did not suggest “cutting off this customary path to the priesthood”. I just clarified that being an altar server does not directly lead to priestly formation.

    >> As I said, it is incorrect to believe that a youth participates any less fully and really from the pews than she does on the altar, in fact the opposite could be argued. There is no shortage of ways to serve the community which more correctly orient young girls to their proper roles in the Church and without alienating the young boys from theirs.

    Okay, finally – we agree on something. Participation in the Mass in the pews is definitely important. How does allowing girls to be altar servers alienate young men from becoming altar servers?

  • Eric,

    good points. I think that it’s possible to take each of these issues in isolation and say that alone destroyed the liturgy, the point, as I think you alluded to, is the intention of each step and their affect as a whole. One practice that at it’s core can be blamed is the “versus populum”, that posture fundamentally changes the people’s perspective of the priest and worship, and so it must also change the priest. He no longer stands leading us to worship, but instead, we turn towards each other, and he appears as a showman on the stage.

  • (forgive me – I hit submit comment on accident before I was done)

    >> As I said, it is incorrect to believe that a youth participates any less fully and really from the pews than she does on the altar, in fact the opposite could be argued. There is no shortage of ways to serve the community which more correctly orient young girls to their proper roles in the Church and without alienating the young boys from theirs.

    Okay, finally – we agree on something. Participation in the Mass in the pews is definitely important.

    When I was an altar server, I was very immature in my faith. The liturgy hadn’t begun to “click” for me. I have been an EMHC for 12 years and my faith has grown tremendously during that time. Literally giving someone the body and blood of Christ has deepened my appreciation for the liturgy. The youth at my parish who are altar servers are also in formation classes I have lead. They are growing and developing a love for the Mass that is beautiful and inspiring. I hope that being an altar server has had a role in that as serving as an EMHC does for me.

    By the way … how does allowing girls to be altar servers alienate young men from becoming altar servers?

    >> nobody is blaming YOU, please, this is not about YOU. We don’t blame the women for being altar girls, we blame the priests and bishops who encourage or allowed the illicit practice in the first place, and we blame the pope for conceding to it.

    Then I think Tito should re-word the blog entry and the selection to be “The Bishops allowing women to be altar servers”, “The Bishops allowing communicants to receive the Eucharist on the hand” and so on. The wording as it stands appears lays blame on the young girls, the musicians, etc.

    If you are so determined to find blame then be clear on whom you are blaming.

    As I said before, there is one option I think has been left off the list “Closed-minded people who point fingers at simple things that don’t really matter”. I am supportive of correct liturgical practices as defined in the GIRM. But let’s get the focus where it belongs – on being the hands and feet of Christ and loving our brothers and sisters as He loves us.

  • It is noteworthy that the age-span and number of the altar servers is greater in our parish in the four years that we have had altar servers.

    Not so long ago, it seemed as though, due to forgetfulness or valid excuse, the earlier and later masses were often served by only one altar boy. Most of the altar boys were 14 or younger and there were no altar servers at the weekday masses at all.

    Now there are altar servers as young as 10 or 11 and there are ALWAYS at least 2 and usually 3 altar servers on Sunday masses and those on Holy Days.

    From a purely practical point of view, this seems to be an improvement.

    I am also not terribly impressed with the argument that restricting altar servers to boys preserves a path to the priesthood.

    I suspect that God calls many more men and women to His service than follow his path. With an average of 2.6 children per Catholic family, I suspect that the smaller families tend to deter acceptance of vocations. Fewer priests, brothers, sisters, and nuns make the religious life less visible and further subordinates the position of that vocational choice for young people.

    It is important, I think to note that vocal dissenters at American Catholic universities can’t be helping and various scandals within our Church has to have taken a toll.

    My point is simply that the gender of altar servers has to be pretty low on the list of reasons for the decline in acceptance of vocations.

    Finally, from a practical point of view, having older teens of both genders in the sacristy presents a unique opportunity to reassure the Catholic laity that the American Church has learned its lesson with regards to protecting children from abuse.

    (I hate to bring up that specter since I think the Voices of the Faithful crew were little more than tools of Satan but part of the Church’s duties must include systemic changes to affirm its commitment to child protection.)

    Do we truly believe that altar girls are in any way either to blame for or a symptom of the problems in the Church?

  • Matt,

    I would mostly concur. I think many changes are not absolutely invalid in and of themselves, but I think we should be very thoughtful in our analysis of how things change our perspectives of things — even if we might not realize it.

    I am just making the point there is no absolute rubric of what is and is not liturgically permissible per se, in that, I mean, something can have great theological and liturgical validity insofar as that it does not contradict what the liturgy in fact is — literally the marriage feast of the lamb described in Revelation and more so, Heaven, in our midst. The great honor and penitence we ought to feel is, for example, undermined by attempts to use contemporary Christian music, or even, instruments. I don’t think the Divine Liturgy, heaven on earth, really ought to remind us of anything outside — which is why I really favor chanting.

    But on a different note, the liturgy in the first century particularly was seen by the first Christians as a continuation of the Jewish Todah feast — and the Eucharist really is a Todah feast and remains one.

    The “versus populum” is not in and of itself invalid. We cannot say with historical certainty (or claim that it was universal) that the person presiding over a Eucharistic banquet, which in the first century was not divorced entirely yet from the meal and was done in house-churches really had that format. So we must be careful in our language about that — and I think we have been, but I am always careful in this issue to draw lines.

    But, the theology of the High Priest entering the Holy of holies for the people and offering a sacrifice on their behalf, of leading the people, and entering where they cannot — this is really the case of the priest standing In Persona Christi — is really and profoundly lost in the “versus populum” perspective. It becomes too often and falsely a “celebratory” meal that involves no penitential sentiment or physical, sacramental gestures that convey this deeply rich theological understanding that the priest facing “Ad Orientem” can. And it is for that reason I think the priest ought to face that direction, toward the East, toward the Sun where the Garden was, where the Tree of Life is, where the Divine Liturgy of the Book of Revelation tells us that all who celebrate and participate in the Marriage Feast of the Lamb will be led. This all is essentially lost and it is very disappointing.

  • I also missed the memo that “vernacular liturgy” was being purely defined as totally one language to the exclusion of Latin in even some of the prayers or “Mass parts.” So be ware of that in my previous comments.

  • By the way … how does allowing girls to be altar servers alienate young men from becoming altar servers?

    I guess if you had ever been a small boy, or raised one you would understand, but I’ll do my best to explain. Little boys like to play with other little boys, they like to emulate the older boys. They like playing in the mud, and don’t like anything that is perceived to be “girly”. When you introduce altar girls you create an atmosphere that is just not appealing to them.

    As I said before, there is one option I think has been left off the list “Closed-minded people who point fingers at simple things that don’t really matter”. I am supportive of correct liturgical practices as defined in the GIRM. But let’s get the focus where it belongs – on being the hands and feet of Christ and loving our brothers and sisters as He loves us.

    So you think that of the Holy Fathers who for centuries considered such practices to be significant enough to forbid them officially and publicly?

  • Tito, shame on you for leaving off one of the most significant abuses. The blurring of lines between the priest and the faithful caused by the ordinary use of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion:

    Redemptionis Sacramentum
    [158.] Indeed, the extraordinary minister of Holy Communion may administer Communion only when the Priest and Deacon are lacking, when the Priest is prevented by weakness or advanced age or some other genuine reason, or when the number of faithful coming to Communion is so great that the very celebration of Mass would be unduly prolonged.[259] This, however, is to be understood in such a way that a brief prolongation, considering the circumstances and culture of the place, is not at all a sufficient reason.

  • To be consistent, since I often call people on “double standards” or “uncharitable language”…

    (1) To assume that people who disagree with you and do not think these changes are true “progress” and would undermine the Church in her mission to evangelize the world are “close-minded” is really actually a mark of intolerance. Perhaps, that is closed-minded?

    Moreover, it is a deep and far-reaching implication to assume that the most subtle things within the liturgy, or anything in the liturgy “don’t really matter.” That is quite a presumption, which, if it is the edifice of your argument, can easily undermine all your other points.

    Also to call something “correct” liturgical practices, presupposes an infallibility of that code — and as we might all note, there have been legitimate and illegitimate reforms to the liturgy, with changes occurring based on issues that arise.

    So, I would advise straying away from making presumptions that are debatable the crux of your argument without first defending them. It might help our dialogue here progress further beyond disagreement of fundamentals.

  • Eric,

    I don’t think we disagree at all. I’m not at all suggesting that any of these practices are “invalid”, only that their practice, as a whole led to a degeneration of the Sacred Liturgy. As you said, we are not discussing questions of infallibility but ones which are prudential, and within the authority of the Holy See, or in some cases deferred to the local ordinary.

    It seems to me, that the “versus populum” changes the perspective of all participants in a way that would allow all these other problems to occur without objection. If it’s just a “show” why can’t we have girls up there, why can’t all the people distribute communion, why should we kneel?

  • Matt,

    I must say it is striking — and the case seems to be similar with Joe and yourself — that on a political column, we quickly diverge. I think it is quite a grace that, as far as I can remember, when the issue is theological or liturgical, we don’t disagree very much. In fact, I am theologically and liturgically quite “conservative,” e.g. I actually believe the Gospel of John was actually written by the Apostle (which to biblical scholars is just pure heresy).

    I’m glad to know we aren’t always butting heads.

  • Eric,

    it is a refreshing change of pace. I have long and often noted that there is a divergence doctrinal liberals and political ones. I think that there are a very many people who are doctrinally very conservative and yet have a more “leftish” view of politics. The converse of course is true (O’Relly and Hannity come to mind).

  • er… “divergence between doctrinal liberals and political ones”

  • Matt. You have issues with Hannity (well, he supports contraception, left the Church I think, and attacked a priest on the air for calling him out on his dissent) and O’Reilly?

    We have made more progress than Catholics and Orthodox have in a thousand years. I’m being hypoerbolic…I hope.

    Those two actually, in union with Glen Beck, make me very angry. But then again…Olbermann, Maddows, Matthews.

    I actually like Gretta and Morning Joe. But I absolutely love and admire Pat Buchanan.

    We have gotten off topic…

  • Well, I voted for Communion in the hand.

    John Zmirak once made the point that belief in the Real Presence has taken a downward dive since VII. If people had to kneel down for movie tickets, he said, they would develop the notion that movie tickets are special,perhaps even sacred things.

    Well, the reverse has happened. Now we hand out the Body of Christ as if it is a movie ticket – and people have come to believe that Communion is no big deal.

  • Kristan

    By the way … how does allowing girls to be altar servers alienate young men from becoming altar servers?

    Growing up with a predominately boy neighborhood and with 3 brothers, I know that girls have cooties until they are in middle/high school (in which they become cute or hot and dating material).

    Little boys want nothing to do with with little girls until they get rid of their cooties.

  • Matt – Yeah thanks for pointing out the problem of blurring the distinction between the priest and the laity due to the use of EME’s. Sometimes when I go to Mass I get up and try to give a crappy homily! We really need to fix this!

  • My vote goes to something not even on the ballot — displacing the tabernacle from its position of honor, on the dubious grounds that it would “confuse” or “distract” parishioners from the action of the liturgy. This, I believe, reduced the sense of the Real Prescence and reverence for the Blessed Sacrament, though not perhaps intentionally.

    I don’t know that liturgical dance was really widespread enough to have caused “Mass destruction” on a global or nationwide scale.

    As for altar girls I think it’s too soon to tell what the long-term effect will be. You see, they’ve only been permitted by the Holy See for the past 15 years. I don’t think the negative effect (if any) would be as pronounced in parishes and dioceses that WAITED until the practice was authorized (thereby showing obedience to the pope) to start it, as in those parishes that started doing it when it was clearly not allowed.

    I have absolutely no beef with a male-only priesthood, I never had any desire to be a priest myself nor did I ever have a desire to be an altar girl. So what follows is not intended as a raging feminist rant but simply to point out a flaw in one of the arguments against female altar servers.

    If, as some argue, allowing girls to serve Mass turns altar service into a “girly” thing, makes it less attractive to boys and young men, and deludes girls into thinking they can grow up to be priests, thereby undermining priestly vocations, then why not extend that logic even farther and say that allowing females ANYWHERE in the sanctuary, or anywhere inside a church at all, has the same effect?

    For that matter why not ban women from coming anywhere within 20 feet of the sanctuary, or from attending Mass at all if that’s the case? Why not set up separate chapels strictly for women to attend or divide every church into a men’s and women’s side with a screen like some Orthodox Jews do in their synagogues?

  • “If, as some argue, allowing girls to serve Mass turns altar service into a “girly” thing, makes it less attractive to boys and young men, and deludes girls into thinking they can grow up to be priests, thereby undermining priestly vocations, then why not extend that logic even farther and say that allowing females ANYWHERE in the sanctuary, or anywhere inside a church at all, has the same effect?”

    Because the Church did ban women from acting as altar servers until just a minute ago in historical terms. The burden of proof rests on those making the innovation, not upon those carrying out a tradition sanctioned by Catholic belief for two millenia. The Church did that while cherishing the role of women within the Church as the devotion to Mary, Queen of Heaven, amply demonstrates.

  • http://the-american-catholic.com/2009/09/20/weapons-of-mass-destruction/#comments

    Elaine Krewer,

    My vote goes to something not even on the ballot — displacing the tabernacle from its position of honor, on the dubious grounds that it would “confuse” or “distract” parishioners from the action of the liturgy. This, I believe, reduced the sense of the Real Prescence and reverence for the Blessed Sacrament, though not perhaps intentionally.

    Another great item!

    I don’t know that liturgical dance was really widespread enough to have caused “Mass destruction” on a global or nationwide scale.

    It’s really not that widespread I think, but it is completely devastating to True Worship that it bears mentioning.

    As for altar girls I think it’s too soon to tell what the long-term effect will be. You see, they’ve only been permitted by the Holy See for the past 15 years. I don’t think the negative effect (if any) would be as pronounced in parishes and dioceses that WAITED until the practice was authorized (thereby showing obedience to the pope) to start it, as in those parishes that started doing it when it was clearly not allowed.

    Because the salvation of souls depends on a strong and plentiful supply of priests, it’s just not a place for gender “bending” which will lead to at least some, if not many souls lost.

    I have absolutely no beef with a male-only priesthood, I never had any desire to be a priest myself nor did I ever have a desire to be an altar girl. So what follows is not intended as a raging feminist rant but simply to point out a flaw in one of the arguments against female altar servers.

    If, as some argue, allowing girls to serve Mass turns altar service into a “girly” thing, makes it less attractive to boys and young men, and deludes girls into thinking they can grow up to be priests, thereby undermining priestly vocations, then why not extend that logic even farther and say that allowing females ANYWHERE in the sanctuary, or anywhere inside a church at all, has the same effect?

    For that matter why not ban women from coming anywhere within 20 feet of the sanctuary, or from attending Mass at all if that’s the case? Why not set up separate chapels strictly for women to attend or divide every church into a men’s and women’s side with a screen like some Orthodox Jews do in their synagogues?

    Why? Because every Catholic man or woman has a right to the sacraments, an obligation to attend, and an important role to play at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Nobody has a “right” to be in the sanctuary, or fulfill any role not proper to their station. Those roles are strictly for the good of the Church.

    Redemptionis Sacramentum:
    [40.] Nevertheless, from the fact that the liturgical celebration obviously entails activity, it does not follow that everyone must necessarily have something concrete to do beyond the actions and gestures, as if a certain specific liturgical ministry must necessarily be given to the individuals to be carried out by them. Instead, catechetical instruction should strive diligently to correct those widespread superficial notions and practices often seen in recent years in this regard, and ever to instill anew in all of Christ’s faithful that sense of deep wonder before the greatness of the mystery of faith that is the Eucharist, in whose celebration the Church is forever passing from what is obsolete into newness of life: “in novitatem a vetustate”.

    Frankly it would be best if the bishops implemented the canonical status of lector, and acolyte sufficient to perform their rightful functions in the sanctuary, and expand the permanent diaconate for similar reasons. Why do you think the Church treats these minor orders as steps along the path to the priesthood, and reserves them to men?

    No, I don’t think women should be specifically banned from the sanctuary, I believe all lay people who have not been canonically instituted to the proper function should not perform those functions absent TRULY extraordinary circumstances. That is what the rubrics actually call for.

  • Donald,

    The Church did that while cherishing the role of women within the Church as the devotion to Mary, Queen of Heaven, amply demonstrates.

    An excellent point, would that it would be sufficient to quell the false notion of misogyny seen by those opposed to the specifically male roles in the liturgy.

  • “I believe all lay people who have not been canonically instituted to the proper function should not perform those functions absent TRULY extraordinary circumstances. That is what the rubrics actually call for.”

    Ok, THAT argument makes more sense to me than the notion that allowing females to do something thereby automatically makes it less attractive to males.

    Although, if your recommendation that the minor orders of lector and acolyte be restored or attached to the permanent diaconate, and that no lay person who hasn’t been formally installed in those ministries be allowed to perform them except in emergencies, wouldn’t that in effect ban women from the sanctuary altogether, as they would not only be forbidden from serving but from giving any of the readings?

  • I agree with you Elaine. It seems that some churches think they can just place the tabernacle anywhere they want. Often times the parishioners are kneeling to the altar and the tabernacle is off to the side somewhere. Most people don’t realize that they are not kneeling to Christ.

    However, the altar girl issue may not appear to be a problem..but if you really think about it you can see the problems. The 12 Apostles were not girls.

  • Elaine Krewer,

    allowing females to do something thereby automatically makes it less attractive to males.

    that argument was specifically addressed to the question of altar boys, because, even if it’s not very mature, do think little of “girly” activities, and so if you, as I do, believe we are in dire need of more manly, and Holy priests, should not want to see them discouraged at a young age from heading down such a fruitful path to the priesthood.

    Although, if your recommendation that the minor orders of lector and acolyte be restored or attached to the permanent diaconate, and that no lay person who hasn’t been formally installed in those ministries be allowed to perform them except in emergencies, wouldn’t that in effect ban women from the sanctuary altogether, as they would not only be forbidden from serving but from giving any of the readings?

    yes.

  • The last post was from Matt. He borrowed my computer.

  • Jenn, it’s true the 12 Apostles — from whom we derive the “apostolic succession” that all priests and bishops share in — were all male, and this does argue strongly in favor of an all male priesthood.

    I’m not sure, however, how one extends that argument beyond the ordained ministries of the episcopate, priesthood, and diaconate* to argue against girls and women being allowed to do ANYTHING even remotely resembling what the priest does (serving, reading/lectoring, distributing Communion) and not appear to be motivated at least in part by misogyny, or the sentiment referred to above — that allowing girls or women to do something automatically means men and boys will think it beneath them and won’t want to do it anymore.

    In other words I don’t know how you put this particular genie back into the bottle at this point. I personally still think the problem lies NOT in the actual concept of female altar servers, as in the fact that so many parishes and dioceses disobediently instituted “altar girls” long before the Vatican allowed it. These parishes/dioceses were more likely than not to have been disobedient or less than orthodox in other ways which contributed to the “Mass destruction” we are discussing in this thread.

    I think a much bigger factor in the decline of vocations is simply the fact that young Catholics are not as acquainted with priests and Religious as they used to be (due to there being fewer priests and nuns in parishes, schools, hospitals, etc), and don’t understand what exactly their vocations involve. Perhaps the exposure that EWTN has provided to Mother Angelica, Fr. Pacwa and other clerical/religious personalities has compensated for the loss of vocations somewhat, but certainly not entirely.

    I agree that “active participation” in the Mass is certainly NOT limited to performing actual liturgical functions, and that one does not have to be “doing something” at every moment in order to be participating. The wrongheaded notion of “active participation” that arose after Vatican II (not necessarily because of it) did play a role in “Mass destruction” also.

    * There is some debate as to whether the “deaconesses” of the early Church shared in an ordained ministry comparable to that of present day deacons; I tend to believe they did not.

  • If we carry the “boys won’t do anything they perceive as ‘girly'” argument to its logical conclusion, then women should never be allowed to enlist in ANY branch of the military (not simply kept out of front line combat, which is an entirely different matter), nor should women be allowed to enter law enforcement, firefighting, construction work, or any profession which “manly men” can generally perform better than they, and which would suffer if it did become predominantly female.

    I realize that this is getting off topic here and is an entirely different matter from the nature of the priesthood; I’m just saying that there has to be a better argument against female altar servers, lectors, etc. than simply “If girls do it, it will drive away boys and they won’t become priests.” Is there any actual evidence of this in parishes that adopted female servers AFTER the Vatican allowed it? And aren’t there other dioceses besides Lincoln that have thriving vocation programs AND female altar servers as well?

  • Elaine Krewer,

    appear to be motivated at least in part by misogyny

    that’s exactly how the world sees an all male priesthood… you need to look below the surface.

    or the sentiment referred to above — that allowing girls or women to do something automatically means men and boys will think it beneath them and won’t want to do it anymore.

    Interesting how you expand the point to include men and not just young boys, when nobody made such an extension, and furthermore you insert the word “beneath”. You’re creating, probably unintentionally, a little misogynistic strawman. Not one person opposing altar girls has proposed that it is beneath men to share a role with women, or that it is somehow “above” a woman’s station to serve at the altar. In fact it is only women supporting altar girls who have made such a false proposition. A sad sign of the insidious Bouvoirian feminism that has seeped into the Church in the years since Vatican II.

    In other words I don’t know how you put this particular genie back into the bottle at this point. I personally still think the problem lies NOT in the actual concept of female altar servers, as in the fact that so many parishes and dioceses disobediently instituted “altar girls” long before the Vatican allowed it. These parishes/dioceses were more likely than not to have been disobedient or less than orthodox in other ways which contributed to the “Mass destruction” we are discussing in this thread.

    Obviously, disobedience is much worse, but the very reason the Holy See ultimately indulged the practice is because it had become so widespread. The very reason the Holy See opposed altar girls for so long is the exact reason that it was illicitly introduced. The fact that the Holy See caved does not change the opposition’s problematic view of gender roles.

    As to putting the genie back in the bottle, you’re correct that the damage has been done and it will be painful. If it is handled gradually and delicately by those empowered to do so (parish priests and local ordinaries, and hopefully the Holy Father) most unnecessary hardship can be avoided. I know of parishes where there was a gradual process of shifting girls out over time, as well as introducing female specific ministries to replace the altar.

    I think a much bigger factor in the decline of vocations is simply the fact that young Catholics are not as acquainted with priests and Religious as they used to be (due to there being fewer priests and nuns in parishes, schools, hospitals, etc), and don’t understand what exactly their vocations involve. Perhaps the exposure that EWTN has provided to Mother Angelica, Fr. Pacwa and other clerical/religious personalities has compensated for the loss of vocations somewhat, but certainly not entirely.

    So… a shortage of priests was a big factor in the shortage of priests? Well, it’s true, but there has to be other factors, or the shortage would never have occurred in the first place.

    I agree that “active participation” in the Mass is certainly NOT limited to performing actual liturgical functions, and that one does not have to be “doing something” at every moment in order to be participating. The wrongheaded notion of “active participation” that arose after Vatican II (not necessarily because of it) did play a role in “Mass destruction” also.

    Absolutely, and it manifested itself in multiple ways, including the practice of altar girls, and the ordinary use of extraordinary ministers.

    * There is some debate as to whether the “deaconesses” of the early Church shared in an ordained ministry comparable to that of present day deacons; I tend to believe they did not.

    The debate is mostly among the pro-women’s ordination crowd, and is really irrelevant, as the Church has made clear that the diaconate is strictly open to men.

    If we carry the “boys won’t do anything they perceive as ‘girly’” argument to its logical conclusion, then women should never be allowed to enlist in ANY branch of the military (not simply kept out of front line combat, which is an entirely different matter), nor should women be allowed to enter law enforcement, firefighting, construction work, or any profession which “manly men” can generally perform better than they, and which would suffer if it did become predominantly female.

    It’s irrelevant because we’re talking strictly boys… but I’ll bite. I actually tend to agree that for critical services (military, police, fire) which women perform poorly at a substantial portion of the functional requirements should be restricted to male applicants. Non-critical services are free to make their own hiring practices, but should not be subject to any sort of quota forcing them into hiring women who perform less effectively than their male counterparts. Of course, the converse should apply to fields which women generally perform better at than men.

    I realize that this is getting off topic here and is an entirely different matter from the nature of the priesthood; I’m just saying that there has to be a better argument against female altar servers, lectors, etc. than simply “If girls do it, it will drive away boys and they won’t become priests.”

    Are you denying the fact that where there are female altar servers present, the boys are driven away? Honestly? Or are you just saying you don’t care about those misogynistic little boys getting on a path to the priesthood?

    Is there any actual evidence of this in parishes that adopted female servers AFTER the Vatican allowed it?

    And aren’t there other dioceses besides Lincoln that have thriving vocation programs AND female altar servers as well?

    Virginia I believe has strong vocations, they started allowing altar girls 2 years ago, so we’ll see soon enough the fruits of it.

    There’s a broader point at issue here. Since I’ve breached PC and most of the feminist leaning women here consider me misogynistic anyway… The whole Church has leaned deeply towards a more feminine perspective, as a result, male participation IN ALL AREAS has dropped drastically and disproportionately to women. What many don’t realize is the ENORMOUS effect that this will have on the following generations. As the Church has long taught and is discussed particularly by St. Paul (a misogynist after my own heart), men are to be the spiritual leaders. Apparently, children are much wiser than feminists and recognize this. Statistics clearly show that the greatest influence on a person’s mass attendance is their FATHER’s mass attendance. So, congratulations pro-altar girl crowd, you have gained not equality but superiority in a barren and sterile Church…. destined to be emptied..

  • “As the Church has long taught and is discussed particularly by St. Paul (a misogynist after my own heart), men are to be the spiritual leaders. Apparently, children are much wiser than feminists and recognize this. Statistics clearly show that the greatest influence on a person’s mass attendance is their FATHER’s mass attendance.”

    That is quite true, however, I think lots of men abdicated their responsibilities in this regard and treated church attendance, morality, and religion in general as strictly “womanly” concerns long before Vatican II. The notion of the mother as the keeper of religion and morals in the home (the de facto spiritual head) actually goes back to the Victorian era if not earlier.

  • Kristan,

    Been out and about with Mass, and other spiritual activities.

    Just want you to know that I love you as a brother.

    And what Matt and Jenn said. 😉

  • Kristan said “Maybe I’m taking this too far …”

    Yep, I think you finally hit the nail on the head!

    Pete

  • How come molesting little boys isn’t on the list?

    I believe that is hurting the church’s credibility more than anything else.

  • I voted “ad populum”. The other stuff is annoying, but not as universal and ubiquitous. E.g., Guitar masses are fairly easy to avoid, nuns in pants look like angry old men, barely anyone I know has ever seen liturgical dancing and felt banners are easily confiscated and disposed of by…. unknown parishioners…..

  • Matt, Jenn –
    Regarding your comments that boys would not participate in activities with girls, what about co-ed sports teams for children? Would that dissuade boys from playing high school soccer because they played with girls growing up? I posed your theory to a priest friend last night. He was an altar server alongside girls and just celebrated his 3rd anniversary of ordination. The presence of female altar servers had no impact on him.

    And I don’t think I’ve heard the word “cooties” from a child singer i was one.

    Regarding the writings of the church leiders who supported thee liturgical practices, I doubt they wereld written with such disdain and anger.

  • Mostly because the decline has been evident long before the molesting made the headlines, and also because the topic is deterioration of celebration of the Mass, not the Church’s credibility in general.

  • Most boys that would play soccer end up playing something else (football/baseball) precisely because soccer in this country is seen as a “girly” sport. Other countries, where it is more popular, think co-ed soccer is crazy.

    There is a reason that softball and baseball are what they are. I also don’t see many co-ed basketball, football, hockey, lacrosse or other sports at the middle school or higher level, at least not competitively. I am not saying it is right, I am just relating the observations.

  • Kristan,

    Kristan Says:
    Monday, September 21, 2009 A.D. at 10:01 am

    Regarding your comments that boys would not participate in activities with girls, what about co-ed sports teams for children? Would that dissuade boys from playing high school soccer because they played with girls growing up?

    yes. But our salvation doesn’t depend on soccer.

    I posed your theory to a priest friend last night. He was an altar server alongside girls and just celebrated his 3rd anniversary of ordination. The presence of female altar servers had no impact on him.

    Bully for him. He is among a class that is 60-70% smaller than it should be, do you think it’s possible that SOME of the boys were not so magnanimous at a young age and so missed there vocation? I suspect your young priest friend could do well to study the behavior of more typical young boys if he is to fulfill his role of drawing men to the priesthood… or does he subscribe to the teddy bear approach?

    And I don’t think I’ve heard the word “cooties” from a child singer i was one.

    Precisely. We’re discussing the reaction young boys have to co-ed activities, so I’m glad you can confirm that it is an actual phenomenon.

    Regarding the writings of the church leiders who supported thee liturgical practices, I doubt they wereld written with such disdain and anger.

    The only disdain and anger is coming from you, do you want me to post the text message you sent me??? Including the snide remark about a grammatical error? In any event, I’m glad you recognize the Church’s longstanding position on this.

    c matt,

    good points.

    Another point I want to raise which makes the situation even worse with regard to co-ed altar service (aside from the fact that salvation is at stake), is that girls actually do extremely well because of their greater maturity at that age, and their greater attention to detail. The girls soon take over, which further alienates the boys.

    Honestly, if people would set aside their deep-seated feminist ideology, they would recognize the fundamentally obvious facts. Girls and boys are DIFFERENT. It’s not only absurd to suggest that we are interchangeable, it is a violation of the TRUE dignity of womanhood.

  • I have no strong feelings about girl altar servers, but on balance I sort of disfavor the idea precisely for the prudential reasons proffered by others. Young boys often first discover their calling when serving Mass, but young boys are often not interested in doing anything perceived as girly. Boyish girls are considered endearing tom-boys, so are usually not shy about trying to mix it up with boys if they share their interests. But girlish boys are not considered so endearing, and boys will go out of their way to avoid doing anything that is considered less than masculine. None of this is theological; it is solely prudential.
    Finally, I think Elain is spot on right about men abdicating their role, in some cultures more than others. I just see no reason to aggravate that sad phenomenon.

  • I don’t hear or see of many co-ed sports until college. Even YMCA sports have a youth girls and a youth boys basketball team, not a girl-boy co-ed team.

  • Matt – You are a pig.

  • You go girl.

  • because soccer in this country is seen as a “girly” sport.

    Them’s fightin’ words. 😉

  • I said removal of altar rails because I think they are pretty.

  • I assume Tito is away from his computer. I am closing comments on this thread pending his decision on what to do regarding this thread. The personal attacks contained in this thread cross way over the lines established by blog policy.

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Miguel H. Diaz Is A Latino, Yeah!

Thursday, May 28, AD 2009

Miguel H. Diaz has been chosen by President Obama, peace be upon him, as the new ambassador to the Holy See.  The Miguel H. Diazsecular media and Catholic Left has been hailing Mr. Diaz as a Rahner scholar and “pro-life” Democrat.  Jesuit Father James Martin of America magazine, who recently claimed that Obama is not pro-abortion, has praised Mr. Diaz for being a Latino, in addition to being a “faithful” Catholic and for receiving a degree from the University of Notre Dame.

Abbot John Klassen of St. John’s Abbey had this to say about Mr. Diaz’s Latino and theological credentials [emphasis mine]:

“He is a strong proponent of the necessity of the Church to become deeply and broadly multi-cultural [I guess we need priestesses to be more multi-cultural], to recognize and appreciate the role that culture plays in a living faith [sounds too much like a living, breathing constitution]. Born in Havana, Cuba [Being born in Havana, Cuba is a good start in creating his Latino credentials.], he is a leading Hispanic theologian in United States.”

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22 Responses to Miguel H. Diaz Is A Latino, Yeah!

  • Michael I.,

    What part of “satire” don’t you understand?

    I asked the question if Mr. Diaz holds fidelity to the teachings of the Church not because he doesn’t, but because I want to know if he does. It was a question.

    Your comments will not be approved if you continue to insult people.

  • 1. Bad sign- he wears a t-shirt under his sport jacket. Sorta like the flipside of the aging dissident priest- badly mismatched sport jacket and tie. The Diaz Look- so 2003.

    2. “Born in Havana, Cuba-” on to Abbot Klassen’s glowing review. Only means that Mama and/or Papa had the good sense to raise their offspring outside of a Marxist dictatorship.

    3. “A leading Hispanic theologian-” the good Abbot sets both himself and Prof. Dr. Diaz as butts of jokes here so we will proceed further.

    4.”The need for the Church to become deeply and broadly multi-cultural…..” There’s a ringing endorsement. I would think Prof. Dr. Diaz would understand the need to preach Christ Crucified, in season and out, as both a personal and professional priority. Perhaps I am too insensitive.

    5. So is he pro-life? Or is he the best that Dear Leader can find in an increasingly limited pool of likely candidates- Dear Mother of God, he might have actually considered Caroline Kennedy? Hope Prof. Dr. Diaz- married? Ex-priest? Metrosexual?- doesn’t do the t-shirt and jacket number in official meetings. Might be a little too multi-cultural for the Vatican.

  • Let’s see he worked actively to have the most pro-abortion President in our nation’s history elected. He signs on to a letter supporting the fanatically pro–abortion Sebelius, the friend of Tiller the Killer, to be Secretary of HHS. With “pro-lifers” like Mr. Diaz, who needs pro-aborts?

  • TO be honest the least of our concenrs should be his Theology.

    Is he competent!! I am relieved that it is not Kmiec. Kmiec showed in his actions the last couple of monthys he had no business beingan Enoy to the Island Nation of Naru or the Artic for that matter with his temperment

    What sort of strikes me about this pick is that it is much much lower profile name than usual compared to Envoys that we have sent in the past.

    As

  • Question: why would it be that important to Obama for the Vatican ambassador to be a pro-choice or even pro-Obama person? Or a dissident Catholic?

    If he’s really a uniter, why can’t he just take his lumps on this particular position and install a practicing/ faithful Catholic to the job? Is it really that unacceptable?

  • Perhaps, contra some who think otherwise, it is to develop a liberal Catholic and Hispanic voting bloc for the Dems. for the forseeable future.

  • Exactly, Phillip.

    I’ll assume that the Hispanic vote was lacking in his first campaign–as a politician (and nothing more) he always looks to the future; his own.

  • If the Catholic left is hailing him, his ‘Catholicism’ is immediately questionable, and more likely than not, contrived.

  • Is it not somewhat racist to applaud the nomination of Mr. Diaz [as also that of Judge Sotomayor] because they are Hispanic?

  • Is it not somewhat racist to applaud the nomination of Mr. Diaz [as also that of Judge Sotomayor] because they are Hispanic?

    No, of course not. What an impoverished (or ideologically tainted) definition of “racism” you must have. Stop listening to Rush Limbaugh.

  • Stop listening to Rush Limbaugh.

    The hard left has found its new bogeyman in the post-Bush era.

  • No, they still use Bush. But even they know they need a new object for division.

  • Tito:

    “Miguel H. Diaz has been chosen by President Obama, peace be upon him…”

    You gettin’ all Mohammedan on us now?

    (On another note, why in heavens name do I yet remain a 2nd class citizen on this here blog?)

  • Be glad for that, I’m a third class. 🙂

  • I haven’t even been assigned a class; my wife says it’s because I have none…

  • Well, it seems even the Ever Infamous Iafrate, in spite of his seemingly horrid presence, retains a much higher standing than we few, we happy few, we Catholic band of brothers so grievously persecuted by The Guardians of this Realm simply because we are, at bottom, classless… oh well.

  • No e., the Catholic Anarchist is continually in moderation.

  • Is it not somewhat racist to applaud the nomination of Mr. Diaz [as also that of Judge Sotomayor] because they are Hispanic?

    No, of course not. What an impoverished (or ideologically tainted) definition of “racism” you must have.

    I thought we moved beyond race. Didn’t Martin Luther King say we should judge someone based on the content of their character and not of there skin? Oh, that only applies to conservatives, while liberals get to be racists.

    Mark DeFrancisis,

    Nonconstructive comments will not be approved.

  • I thought we moved beyond race.

    Who is “we”? How the heck do we “move beyond” race? “Colorblindness” is a false “solution” to racism. We should see and appreciate racial diversity, not “move beyond” it.

  • We should see and appreciate racial diversity, not “move beyond” it

    I’m glad you feel that way. Since Sotomayer believes that Latino’s are superior to everyone else, I hope you recognize my intellectual superiority to you and your race.

  • Michael I.,

    Personal insults will not be tolerated. Keep up your unChristian behavior.

  • Since Sotomayer believes that Latino’s are superior to everyone else…

    She did not say this.

What's a Modernist?

Saturday, March 28, AD 2009

A biretta tip to Fr. John Zuhlsdorf for this wonderful piece of humor that he came across on Catholic Church Conservation.  When they stop believing in God, they call themselves modernists.  They being the Church of England but would also apply to many Catholic prelates and laymen here in the United States and around the world.

(Biretta Tip: Catholic Church Conservation via Fr. John Zuhlsforf)

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11 Responses to What's a Modernist?

  • Thank you Tito, I haven’t laughed so hard this week! We laugh because it’s funny and we laugh because it’s true!

  • “They being the Church of England but would also apply to many Catholic prelates …in the United States and around the world.”

    Tito’s at it again.

    He simpy cannot seem to live his faith without scapegoating many American (and international)prelates in the process.

    At least he is not naming names again.

    That’s spiritual progess, maybe.

  • Remember…he has actually charged her that many prelates (U.S. and worldwide) of having stopped BELIEVING IN GOD.

    How does he know this? Does he have sources willing to go on record? A special charism of discernment in these matters?

  • Mark,

    What’s the name of your gf’s puppies name?

  • “When they stop believing in God, they call themselves modernists.”

    How many self- described “modernist” prelates are there? Very few, I would imagine. Rather, isn’t it usually a label tagged on by others who disagree with their pastoral approach…. and are perhaps lacking in faith themselves? Just something to ponder…

  • “How many self- described “modernist” prelates are there?”

    Lots in the Anglican Church ever since John Robinson’s Honest to God book in the sixties.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_A._T._Robinson

    The good news regarding modernists is that they tend to destroy the sects that embrace them as they have done in the Anglican Church. I doubt if they will do lasting harm to Christianity. The bad news is that they destroy the faith of those few who do embrace their “updating” of the faith.

  • Donald,

    John Robinson is a pretty complex case. His biblical scholarship often questions so- called modernist presuppositions. There is much to take issue with in his work, for sure, but I doubt that he would think of himself as a “modernist” today. And can we really accuse any Catholic prelates of modernism, as defined by the Church?

    I just think we should be careful tagging people as modernists. There was a period in the Church when the reigning opinion was that Henri de Lubac and Congar were modernists. I’m sure that Ratzinger was considered one by the conservatives at the eve of VII.

  • “The Church of England is trying to be more relevant”

    “To God?”

    “Of course not!”

    Hahaha….so true…reminds me of Notre Dame….

  • Brian, you are correct that the Bishop of Woolwich, CS Lewis, who didn’t think much of Honest to God, referred to him privately as the Bishop of Woolsworth, argued for an early dating of the Gospels, and that is a credit to his intellectual honesty. However, I think the contention that his book gave a huge impetus to modernism is uncontroversial. As to his position today, since he died in 1983 I truly have no clue, although during his lifetime he was always firmly in the camp of those most eager to overturn traditional Christian beliefs. The most important theological battles are no longer between the Church, our separated brethen, and the disputes among their sects, but within the Church and within the sects between those who believe that Jesus is God as part of the trinity, and those who at bottom reject all of this as superstitious mumbo-jumbo. That of course is why modernism, I actually would call it agnosticism-lite, is a path to extinction for any group within Christianity that embraces it. Why attend a “church” that really believes in nothing, can promise nothing after the grave, and might as well be flying a flag atop its steeple with a question mark emblazoned upon it?

  • Well said Donald.

    The demands of the Catholic Church may be difficult, but the rewards are eternal. I may make mistakes, but I try my best to rectify them and follow the path that Jesus as set out for me.

    I love the Catholic Church unconditionally.