Res Ipsa Loquitur

Thursday, January 21, AD 2016

 

Dutch men in miniskirts protesting the Cologne New Year’s Eve attacks on women by Islamic “refugees”.  With such defenders every European woman should invest in a firearm and learn how to use it.  Of course in many European countries the law abiding populations are disarmed by the same governments importing the “refugees” from Islamic lands.  In the West we are led by idiots due to the fact that mass idiocy is the most effective mass political movement in the West.

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8 Responses to Res Ipsa Loquitur

  • The bigger the reaction over there, the better for us. It was the European mentality that got us into the trouble we’re in now.
    Political correctness destroys more nations than all the H-bombs owned by our enemies. Why risk retaliation when the “pride” weapon stops a man dead in his tracks?

  • These men in mini-skirts protesting rape of their women – girlfriends, wives, mothers, sisters, daughters – would do well to realize that Muslims will by sodomy rape them as well, and indeed deserving of such would they be.
    .
    Disgusting, putrid, filthy, dirty, vile liberal progressive, modernist, secularist, humanist excrement! The women had better arm themselves whether legally or otherwise because their men are more effeminate than they.

  • Men in miniskirts will definitely put fear into neanderthals. I’m sure those German women feel safer now.

  • How completely stupid.

  • Europe’s toe-tag is being filled out as I type this.

  • And to think that Holland, prior to Vatican II, was among the top countries with vocations.

    Then came the Singing Nun; Vatican II; the Belgian Schillebeeckx, who taught in Holland; Cardinal Willebrands; and the Dutch Catechism (not necessarily in that order).

    “An enemy hath done this.”

  • When your best defense is ‘fags in drag’ you are in a heap of trouble. If we wish to find someone to blame for all of this (decline of Western civilization and the Catholic Church) the name Edward Schillebeeckx, O.P. comes to mind. He was a leader of the perversity at Vatican II and beyond.

  • DJR, Thanks for reminding me of all those diabolically influenced events and creatures. And some think demons are just in Hollywood movies.

Woe to the Vanquished

Thursday, January 7, AD 2016

 

Ah, one of the “benefits” of large scale immigration from the Islamic world is that Western women get lectured to by the powers that be as to how to deter the savage attitude towards women displayed by some of the male immigrants.  After the Cologne attacks on New Year’s Eve on 80 women by roving gangs of up to 1000 Middle Eastern or North African men, the female mayor of Cologne had some sage advice to her female constituents:

“There’s always the possibility of keeping a certain distance of more than an arm’s length — that is to say to make sure yourself you don’t look to be too close to people who are not known to you, and to whom you don’t have a trusting relationship,” Henriette Reker said, according to Britain’s Guardian newspaper.

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21 Responses to Woe to the Vanquished

  • Deportation is called an intrinsic evil in section 80 of Splendor of the Truth by St. John Paul II with no qualifying caveats. However when Italy deported two North African muslim students who had planned to kill Pope Benedict years later, Pope Benedict did not stop Italy from doing so. I’m guessing Pope Benedict didn’t fully endorse section 80’s penchant for blanket denunciations. Pope Francis is not the only Pope to write the fallible idea. Germany should deport any immigrant acting like this.

  • “There’s always the possibility of keeping a certain distance of more than an arm’s length — that is to say to make sure yourself you don’t look to be too close to people who are not known to you, and to whom you don’t have a trusting relationship,” Henriette Reker said, according to Britain’s Guardian newspaper.

    OR (follow along now) a person COULD CARRY A GUN!

    But no, we’ve got to see Europeans preaching online to Americans about how Obama’s efforts are dragging us into the first world, even as their own cities prove every day the necessity of a person taking care of their own self-defense.

  • “Women and children first”.
    We think if that phrase when seeking safety and survival but in this case women and children may be early casualties.

  • It’s not bad advice, it just sucks that the situation has been created. (Not like a mayor can do anything about it.)

  • For hundreds of millions of them, Islam in short: “”Crush your enemies. See them driven before you. Hear the lamentations of their women.” With apologies to Conan the Barbarian.

  • So 80 unarmed women were responsible for the 1000 pagan horde that violated them? Is that the message here? So a woman cannot take a train or a subway unless in a burqa with her pimp with her?

  • That is precisely the message. In the eyes of the European elites, Western women clearly rank behind Islamic immigrants.

    http://pamelageller.com/2016/01/mayor-of-cologne-blames-the-victims-of-new-years-eve-sexual-attacks-by-muslim-hordes.html/

  • It’s interesting how our own Feminist Social Justice Warriors– the ones
    so loudly protesting over the supposed “rape culture” on our university
    campuses– are silent about this, as they are silent about Muslims’
    brutal treatment of women in general.

  • Probably a dumb question but has H. Clinton commented on this yet?

  • Whatever happened to women’s rights? The liberal progressive answer is to keep arm’s length away? Really?

  • (Not like a mayor can do anything about it.)

    Depends on who is responsible for the police force.

    There isn’t much life in Germany. It appears that they may next year and for the first time since 1961 have a conservative party in parliament. Still, only about 10% of the electorate is reacting against what they see, and what they see is that Germany’s political class is loyal to their confederates all over Europe and indifferent to the public over which they rule.

  • Is California any better?

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/california-man-jailed-killing-mom-row-parking-spot-article-1.2486976?ref=Outbrain&ADLocation=footer&ADPosition=2

    Guy stabs a woman over a parking spot…in the base of the neck twice and once in the back. She dies and he gets 13 years in prison which I’ll assume means less than that. Inter alia, the very intelligent demonic world will work on her relatives to kill him when he gets out. Pray for every human involved. I knew a similar case up close where the murderer served five years due to being a minor…then bragged about it in the wrong Irish barnwhere they knew her. Fortunately they only removed all his teeth.

  • That’s bar not barn.

  • “It’s interesting how our own Feminist Social Justice Warriors– the ones
    so loudly protesting over the supposed “rape culture” on our university
    campuses– are silent about this”

    Clinton, that’s because Feminist Warriors really don’t care for women’s interests. They care only for bulling the men in their lives. Tag men as rapists and they can be held under a Feminist thumb. Ah, but what about these Middle Eastern MEN? They are someone else’s men and so someone else’s problem.

    Myopia rules.

  • I wonder how the mayor of Cologne would act if she were one of the women being sexually assaulted by these Islamo perverts.

  • Clinton, that’s because Feminist Warriors really don’t care for women’s interests. They care only for bulling the men in their lives.

    Bingo. Most feminist discourse reads like part of the dialogue in a repulsive domestic argument.

  • Mayor looks like Nancy Pelosi to me

  • Art-
    Let’s assume she is solely in control of the police. On New Years, they’d already be on high alert because of crowds, and be out in force, and I haven’t heard any reports of cops standing right there and ignoring assaults.
    .
    We’ll lowball the number of extra police that would be needed as 12 times what they had before, because ‘dozen’ stuck in my head and it could be that each force could prevent more than one assault, and we’ll pretend that the number of criminals out and about during a new years eve celebration is likewise normal.
    .
    It takes serious time to not just double but to 12-fold increase the police force, if it’s even possible– in the US, we kind of back-door this because of concealed carry. A violent criminal literally never knows when he might run into what amounts to an undercover cop, in those areas it’s allowed. Heck, I know that I’ve been a lot more careful to always be armed if it’s legally allowable, to the point of things like not stopping anywhere else when we go on base.
    Germany doesn’t have that option.

  • “Let’s assume she is solely in control of the police.”

    The police at first attempted to deny that anything unusual had happened.

    https://www.rt.com/news/328118-cologne-police-assaults-unprepared/

    The mayor has been an ardent proponent of Islamic immigration, so much so that she was stabbed during her last campaign by an anti-immigration activist.

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/18/europe/germany-candidate-stabbing-migration/

    The police chief has been fired and I bet the mayor won’t remain in office much longer.

  • The mayor was just elected in October. She isn’t a member of any of the political parties but the Christian Democrats endorsed her candidacy. The Social Democratic, red, and watermelon parties have have a comfortable majority on the city council. I do not think she’s going anywhere. She appears to be some sort of social work professional who hasn’t lived in Cologne that many years. Her husband is an Australian golf pro. They appear to have no children.

  • Nate- spot on!! why is this so difficult for liberal miscreants to grasp??
    Matt 11:25

Vaclav Havel: Requiescat In Pace

Sunday, December 18, AD 2011

The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less.
                                                                     Vaclav Havel

 

Former Czech president Vaclav Havel has died.  One of the giants of our time, he was one of the dissident heroes in the Eighties who helped end Communist rule in Eastern Europe.  He was also a profound thinker and writer.  In recent years, although his own personal religious beliefs were murky, he has bemoaned the atheism and the flight from God that has become a hallmark of modern Europe.  Last year he gave a remarkable speech, in which the following passage sums up what is wrong with Europe and much of the rest of the West:

We are living in the first truly global civilisation. That means that whatever comes into existence on its soil can very quickly and easily span the whole world.

But we are also living in the first atheistic civilisation, in other words, a civilisation that has lost its connection with the infinite and eternity. For that reason it prefers short-term profit to long-term profit. What is important is whether an investment will provide a return in ten or fifteen years; how it will affect the lives of our descendants in a hundred years is less important.

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5 Responses to Vaclav Havel: Requiescat In Pace

How Europe Sees America

Monday, October 4, AD 2010

Click on the above map to be able to read it.  The original of the map is here.  Tito had a post yesterday here with a map depicting how America views Europe.  Ambrose “Bitter” Bierce in the 19th Century said that war was God’s way of teaching Americans geography.  Unfortunately, the lessons do not appear to stick.  However, the Europeans are often not that better informed about us.

For example, I have always enjoyed reading the English historian Paul Johnson, and have read almost every book he has written.  Therefore, I was dismayed when reading his history of the US to encounter quite a few factual errors, including his inability to distinguish between Albert Sydney Johnston and Joseph Johnston in the Civil War, and his apparent belief that it was the Texas Rangers and not Army Rangers who landed at Utah Beach on Normandy.

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10 Responses to How Europe Sees America

  • That map has way too much detail in it.

  • Agree with Mr. Blackadder.

    Either they are red states or they’re in various states of ruin.

    I’m emigrating to America when I retire. My new motto: “Red state or bust!”

  • I have to jump on the band wagon about there being much to much detail for a European. That’s more a Map of how American’s see our own country, allowing for everyone to have more knowledge of their own state of course.

  • Some of these are a bit puzzling: “Same last names” in Illinois? Ohio is all bars and drugs (I would think “Burning Rivers” is more evocative)? 2012 starts in Montana?

    My freshman dorm roommate came from Maryland to northern California for college. I still remember the hand-drawn “bon voyage” poster someone had drawn him, with the outline of California filled with endless palm trees. Oh boy, I thought, Someone’s never been to San Francisco before.

  • The “Same last names” tag is applied to SOUTHERN Illinois, which is culturally far more “Southern” than the rest of the state — physically it’s closer to Kentucky or Tennessee than Chicago. Of course this map might also lead one to believe that pizza was invented in the Peoria area 🙂

  • Also, try telling the residents of Nashville that everyone in Tennessee “plays jazz and is black.”

  • Pizza was not invented in Chicago, Illinois…just perfected there.

    Wow, I can’t wait to leave Afghanistan and return to the USA!

  • I believe the Salem witch trials were in Salem, Massachusetts, not Salem, Oregon

  • Apparently Nashville was confused with New Orleans… just kidding… sort of.

  • When I was in the UK in the early ’80’s, I found that just about every person I met thought of the Midwest as a massive corn field with Chicago plopped down in the middle of it. (And more than a few people mimicked the “rat-tat-tat” of a tommy gun when they said Chicago.) The few exceptions I met said “Harley-Davidson!” when I mentioned my hometown. Certainly not beer or cheese – given the excellence of native Brit brews and cheeses, they do not automatically think of America when they think of those products.

    Bawer is right. Euros flatter themselves that they “know” America, but what they know are Hollywood stereotypes. Most Euros visit NYC, LA and Disney World if they visit the States and ignore “flyover country” entirely. A trip spent in Manhattan and Magic Kingdom really doesn’t make you an authority on the States, anymore than a few days spent visiting the Louvre and Notre Dame gives you any great insight into modern-day French folk.

9 Responses to A Map Of How Americans View Europe

Burleigh Defends the Pope

Friday, September 17, AD 2010

My second favorite living historian, Michael Burleigh, who has written stunningly original works on subjects as diverse as Nazi Germany, religion and politics in the last two centuries,  terrorism, and morality and World War II,  has taken up the cudgels against the despicable attitude of many Brits of the chattering classes regarding the visit of the Pope to the Island next to Ireland.

Under normal circumstances, one might say “welcome” rather than “receive”. But the multiple sexual scandals that have afflicted parts of the Catholic Church have created a window of opportunity for sundry chasers of limelight – including human rights militants, crusading gays, Islamist fanatics, and celebrity God-botherers – to band together to “arrest” the Pope under laws so obscure that few knew they existed. Because child abuse is involved, rather than the more widespread phenomenon of homosexual predation on young men, these manifestations will receive much media attention, especially from the BBC, to the guaranteed perplexity of a less involved general public in a nominally Protestant country. It will require some effort of mind to tune out this noise to hear what the Pope will be saying.

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3 Responses to Burleigh Defends the Pope

German Economist: America Is Becoming Too European

Friday, September 3, AD 2010

I found this piece from the English-language edition of Der Spiegel by University of Hamburg economics professor Thomas Straughaar very interest, in part because it reads very much as written by someone who is looking at American history and culture from the outside, yet trying to understand it for what it is. A key passage from the second page:

This raises a crucial question: Is the US economy perhaps suffering less from an economic downturn and more from a serious structural problem? It seems plausible that the American economy has lost its belief in American principles. People no longer have confidence in the self-healing forces of the private sector, and the reliance on self-help and self-regulation to solve problems no longer exists.

The opposite strategy, one that seeks to treat the American patient with more government, is risky — because it does not fit in with America’s image of itself.

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4 Responses to German Economist: America Is Becoming Too European

  • I’d say the author has a better understanding of this country than many Americans do.

    The author fears that if America adopts European ways, “the American age will have really come to an end.”

    But the good professor fears this because he, unlike large numbers of leftists both here and in Europe, actually likes America. He sees the “The American Age” as a positive. The end of the American Age is precisely the result the left is after and when you look at it from that perspective, Obama’s not doing a bad job.

    America is evil in leftist eyes because – oh, heck, all you have to do is read Vox Nova and you’ll have the reasons. The secular left would add a few other reasons to loathe the US – far too many “Christianist” yokels who have silly qualms about abortion and gay marriage. These people never seem to ask themselves if the American Era might be preferable to a Chinese Era, or an era in which there is no superpower at all, just an ineffectual UN in thrall to states like North Korea and Iran and state-funded terrorist groups.

    Unless we get a grip on ourselves and steer back from the cliff’s edge, we may indeed find ourselves living out one of those 2 scenarios. And my bet is that many lives – not just American lives by any means – would once again become nasty, brutish and short, and the world would find itself yearning for the good old days of the American era.

    Another thing: I have noticed that Euro-admiring lefties are pretty good at ignoring aspects of Europe they disagree with. They’ll tout Europe’s smaller cars (it would be pretty difficult to maneuver a Explorer through narrow medieval streets) and railway system, but not, say, France’s nuclear energy program. Or they’ll praise more relaxed attitudes about adulterous politicians or public nudity, but when you mention that no European country allows partial birth abortions – well, that’s one example of American “exceptionalism” they don’t mind at all.

  • B…b…b….but Paul Krugman says …

  • [email protected]!

  • I’m always weary of these cultural arguments. How’s homogeneous state-friendly Greece doing?

63 Responses to The Ground Zero Mosque Controversy

  • My understanding is that the mosque wouldn’t be built on Ground Zero but several blocks away. Why they shouldn’t be allowed to do so is not quite clear to me.

  • Legally, they have every right to do so (build a mosque).

    As to the distance from Ground Zero, my impression was that it was only a block away if that.

    Not really sure to the distance.

  • Why we fight: We need to see that video every day until the war is won.

    BA: Clearly, you do not know the gang behind this travesty is called “The Cordova Initiative.”

    Where do you suppose they are going to get the $100,000,000 to build the blasphemy?

    Do you know what Cordova means to the jihadi?

    It recalls the Mohammedan conquest and rape of Spain for seven centuries from circa 700 to 1492.

    They don’t have a right to rub their murderous paganism in our faces. I was there both in 1993 qnd 2001. And, I knew men and women who were massacred.

    It must be nice to view 9/11 as a boring History Channel mini-series they re-run once a year in September.

    It must be to be at peace.

  • I don’t see that this is necessarily a problem — and more to the point, while I would agree with the Muslims quoted in the article Don links to that this is probably a bad idea, it would strike me as intensely un-American to deny a specific religious group permission to build a place of worship on a piece of land that they’ve bought simply because we feel sensitive about the locale.

    Also, while I think it’s important that we not deceive ourselves about the extent to which military jihad and theocracy are native to Islam, it would also be a serious mistake to consider the US to be at war with Islam as a whole or with all Muslims. To the extent to which Muslims are prepared to exist peacefully with or in the US (and most are), we should welcome that.

  • Clearly, you do not know the gang behind this travesty is called “The Cordova Initiative.”

    I’ve never heard of the Cordova Initiative. Were they somehow involved in the 9/11 attacks? Cause the video says that “they” attacked us on 9/11, and now “they” want to “celebrate” by building the mosque.

    Do you think (can any reasonable person think) that the purpose of building this mosque is to celebrate 9/11?

  • “I don’t see that this is necessarily a problem — and more to the point, while I would agree with the Muslims quoted in the article Don links to that this is probably a bad idea, it would strike me as intensely un-American to deny a specific religious group permission to build a place of worship on a piece of land that they’ve bought simply because we feel sensitive about the locale.”

    A very reasonable point, DC. Thank you!

  • Blackadder,

    No reasonable person would think this is to celebrate the 9/11 attacks. The problem is that committed Muslims aren’t reasonable, so, yes, they are erecting this to celebrate their greatest salvo in the war against the West. Religious freedom in the United State of America, is freedom to practice religions that are compatible with Judeo-Christian tradition, not necessarily of the same theology, but the same cultural principles – Islam is not.

    Darwin,

    Islam lives peacefully with Dar-Al-Harb, the House of War (the West, us) only to the extent that it is pragmatically necessary in order to gain the upper hand. When they think they can conquer, they will. It is pillar of the ‘faith’. We are commanded to go and baptize all nations in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost – we conquer with Love. They are commanded to conquer by the sword and slay all enemies, although Jews and Christians may be allowed to live as slaves.

    How do you suggest we peacefully exist with that mentality?

  • AK is correct about Dar-al-Harb.

    Muslims are instructed to lie and live among infidels until they become the majority.

    That’s at least according to Bernard Lewis and Robert Spencer, both experts on Islam and the Middle East.

  • No reasonable person would think this is to celebrate the 9/11 attacks. The problem is that committed Muslims aren’t reasonable, so, yes, they are erecting this to celebrate their greatest salvo in the war against the West.

    The guy in charge of the proposed community center is named Feisal Abdul Rauf. Here is an article by Mr. Rauf from last year arguing against prohibiting alcohol based on Sharia. Sounds like a real extremist.

  • Blackadder,

    You are employing reason as we understand it from a Christian perspective. That is not how the Muslim mind thinks.

    Muslims are commanded to employ taqiy’ya, loosely translated as concealing or guarding. Practically it means employing deceit to conquer your enemy. ‘Moderate’ Muslims are living pleasantly amongst us simply to be inside the gates to open them for the inevitable attack. Any other view is asking for our destruction.

    The only solution to the problem of Islam is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As Catholics, we cannot sit back and watch as over a billion of God’s children are led into hell. We are obligated to witness to the Truth of Christ to them so that He has an opportunity to save them. Confirming them in their error is akin to desiring their eternal damnation.

  • T. Shaw,

    You should be very careful referring to all Muslims as ‘filthy animals’ – that is an error, it is rude and is probably a sin. Our problem cannot be with Muslims, they are made in the image of God also and we have to look for Christ in them. Our problem is with Islam, which is as much the enemy of the poor, enslaved Muslims as it is ours.

    Tone down the rhetoric. Our Lady loves the Muslims. Muslims also revere Our Lady. She is given the highest honor above all other women, including Mohammad’s daughter, Fatima. We pray, “Blessed art thou amongst women” in the Ave Maria. Muslims actually share that sentiment. Our Lady appeared at Fatima, which is the name of Mohammad’s daughter. She also appeared at Guadalupe from the Sparabic (that is Spanish and Arabic hybrid) Wadi Lupe, Wolf River. She also appeared to a mostly Muslim crowd in Zeitoun, Egypt (Zeitoun is the Arabic for olives, as in the Mount of). She has her eye on Muslims, she will crush Islam and bring the Muslims to her Son.

    When she appears, clothed with the Son, with a crown of twelve stars on her head, what is under her feet?

    A crescent moon. Think about that.

  • It would mean much more to the world, I believe, if Muslims would invest the one hundred million dollars in support of the global war on terrorism as a religious statement that Islam really is about peace; and as an incentive for the Arab nations of the world to do the same.

    Going to prayer isn’t proof of anything.

    The proving of prayer is in the way we live.

  • If someone feels compelled to call all muslims “filthy animals” they will do so at some other blog than American Catholic. T.Shaw, I have unapproved your comment, and for the time being you are on moderation.

  • The mosque would be 2.5 blocks from Ground Zero. It would be in the middle of the block surrounded by buildings so I doubt Ground Zero would be visible from that location.

    [I]magine being Baraheen Ashrafi, nine months pregnant with her second child. Her husband, Mohammad Chowdhury, was a waiter at Windows of the World restaurant, on the top floors of Tower One. The morning of September 11, they prayed salaat-l-fajr (the pre-dawn prayer) together, and he went off to work. She never saw him again. Their son, Farqad, was born 48 hours after the attacks — one of the first 9/11 orphans to be born.

    http://islam.about.com/blvictims.htm

    Anyone opposed to the building of the mosque should be able to tell Baraheen Ashrafi that she should not be allowed to worship so close to Ground Zero.

  • And anyone in favor of building the mosque so close to ground zero should explain to Debra Burlingame why this is a good idea:

    “Outraged family members and community groups are accusing a Muslim group of trying to rewrite history with its plans to build a 13-story mosque and cultural center just two blocks from Ground Zero, where Islamic extremists flew two planes into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

    “This is a place which is 600 feet from where almost 3,000 people were torn to pieces by Islamic extremists,” said Debra Burlingame, whose brother died in the attack on the Pentagon that day.

    “I think that it is incredibly insensitive and audacious really for them to build a mosque, not only on that site, but to do it specifically so that they could be in proximity to where that atrocity happened,” said Burlingame, who is co-founder of 9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/05/14/plan-build-mosque-near-ground-zero-riles-families-victims/

    This is America, so assuming the building permits are issued, the mosque will be built, and the promoters of this project have every constitutional right to do so. However, that is not the end of this inquiry. To overlook the role that Islam played in the attacks on 9-11 is to be historically blind. Are all Muslims to blame for the attack? Of course not. Does Islam have a very long history of justifying such actions as part of conflicts with non-Muslims? Of course. This pours salt on a very raw wound, and the backers of this project are playing with fire. Having a right to do something does not make that action smart, moral or proper.

  • Until I am no longer considered dirt by Islam – ie, until I can travel freely and worship freely in Mecca as a Catholic – then Moslems can go jump in a lake as far as I’m concerned in such matters. They get to build their Mosque at Ground Zero when we can build a Church in Mecca.

  • I’ve been told that we can built a church in Mecca when they can build a mosque in Vatican City.

    Don, we should be required to prove that our chosen location for a church is a “good idea”? The burden is on the opponents to show that it’s a bad idea. Why is it insensitive to build a mosque near Ground Zero? That might make sense if the mosque was to preach that 9/11 was good but there is no indication that that’s the case.

    There’s nothing immoral about it. Saying it’s not smart or proper sounds an awful lot like the criticisms leveled against the Holy Father when he spoke about Islam. “It wasn’t wrong but it was unwise and improper.” Maybe the criticism should be directed at the irrationally oversensitive.

  • To the extent to which Muslims are prepared to exist peacefully with or in the US, we should welcome that.

  • MAGISTERIUM SAYS EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE A VISIBLE MEMBER OF THE CHURCH FOR SALVATION, EXTRA ECCLESIAM NULLA SALUS

    Catholic blogs and websites are still not willing to discuss extra ecclesiam nulla salus and they just accept a secular media interpretation of a Catholic ex cathedr dogma. This has an important bearing on our understanding and relationship with Islam.

    The following is from the blog eucharistandmission
    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.com/2010/07/apologist-simon-rafe-in-real-catholic.html#links
    ____________________________________________________

    July 15,2010
    APOLOGIST SIMON RAFE IN REAL CATHOLIC DIFFICULTY : MAGISTERIUM SAYS EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE A VISIBLE MEMBER OF THE CHURCH FOR SALVATION, EXTRA ECCLESIAM NULLA SALUS

    Apologist Simon Rafe says :

    The teaching of the Church is that a person CAN be saved if they are not a visible member of the Church.
    Lionel: Yes. True. This is not being denied.

    To deny this is to cease to give full acceptance to the Church.
    Lionel: It is not being denied.

    Non-Catholics can be saved, DESPITE their failure to be a visible member of the Church. This is the teaching of the Church.
    Lionel: This is not the official teaching of the Church. This is a popular interpretation.

    I would say everyone needs to be a visible member of the Catholic Church to be saved and there are no known exceptions. If a person was saved without being a visible member of the Catholic Church it would be known to God only, we cannot know any such case.

    It’s a real Catholic difficulty these days, with the new doctrine, which goes like this: everybody needs to enter the Catholic Church for salvation except for those in invincible ignorance, the baptism of desire or a good conscience.

    When people say that everybody needs to enter the Catholic Church except for those in invincible ignorance, with the baptism of desire and a good conscience it could be right or wrong depending on the interpretation.

    1. It is WRONG if they mean that every one does not need to become a visible member of the church. Then this is a new doctrine and contrary to the Deposit of the Faith.

    2. It is RIGHT if they mean every one does have to become a visible member of the Catholic Church to avoid Hell and if there is anyone with the Baptism of Desire, genuine invincible ignorance and a good conscience it will be known only to God.

    (Note: Above I affirm the Baptism of Desire, invincible ignorance and a good conscience and I also affirm the dogma that everybody needs to be a visible member of the Catholic Church to avoid Hell.)

    The dogma says everyone needs to be a visible member of the Catholic Church.

    ‘…it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” (Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull Unam Sanctam, 302.). Ex Cathedra

    ‘…none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation…

    No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.” – (Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441.) Ex Cathedra
    The dogma does not contradict other Church Documents regarding the Baptism of Desire.

    Simon Rafe’s problem is one being faced by many Catholics, including those who have orthodox Catholic beliefs.Some Catholics are describing the situation as ‘a mystery’.So Rafe is only repeating the problem as other Catholics face it i.e everyone needs to be a visible member of the church and everyone does not need to be a visible member of the Church.

    Catholics in erroe interpret the Catechism and the Vatican Council II according to the Jewish Left media and believe there is no other interpretation. Simon Rafe and others needs to interpret the Catechism of the Catholic Church,Vatican Council II and the Letter of the Holy Office 1949, in line with the ex cathedra dogma which says everyone needs to be a visible member of the catholic Church and there are no exceptions. Simon agrees everyone needs to be a visible member of the Catholic Church for salvation but when I ask him of Lumen Gentium 16 contradicts this teaching of the dogma he does not answer.

    The Magisterium of the Church cannot reject an ex cathedra dogma.
    So interpret all Church documents according to extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

    Catholic Church documents say everyone needs to be a visible member of the Church to avoid Hell and there is no Church document issued to refute it.

    1. For instance we can misinterpret the Letter of the Holy Office 1949.

    In order for someone to be saved, it explained, “it is not always required that he be incorporated into the Church as an actual member, but it is necessary at least to be united to her by desire and longing.”-Letter of the Holy Office 1949. The same message is there in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

    True however this (not receiving the Baptism of water as an adult and being saved) is only known to God. It is not as real as the Baptism of Water. So it was wrong to suggest that everyone does not have to be a visible member of the Church, as if the Baptism of Desire is explicit and visible by nature. So this is a distorted interpretation of the Letter of the Holy Office using the Cushing Doctrine. It is heresy. It is clear ‘double speak’. Discerning Catholics consider this new doctrine a hoax, the equivalent of the fabled Emperors New Clothes. Liberals call it a developed doctrine.

    Through his books Fr. Hans Kung uses the Cushing Doctrine, suggesting Lumen Gentium 16 refers to explicit and not implicit salvation, to question the infallibility of the pope ex cathedra. He maintains the Kung Deception that the Church has retracted extra ecclesiam nulla salus after Vatican Council II.

    Without the Cushing Doctrine, one could say: For salvation everyone needs to be a visible (explicit) member of the Catholic Church with no exception and if there is anyone with the Baptism of Desire or who is in invincible ignorance it will be known to God only.

    If this point in the Letter is ministerpreted one could also misinterpret the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

    2. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says the Church alone saves from the flood like Noah’s Ark and so everyone needs to enter the Ark to be saved. Extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

    N.845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son’s Church. The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is “the world reconciled.” She is that bark which “in the full sail of the Lord’s cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world.” According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah’s ark, which alone saves from the flood.-Catechism of the Catholic Church n.845
    Here we have an interpretation of the Catechism affirming the dogma.

    3.”Outside the Church there is no salvation”

    846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

    Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.-Catechism of the Catholic Church 846
    CCC 846,847 like Lumen Gentium 16 refer to implicit salvation, those saved ‘in certain circumstances’ (Letter of the Holy Office 1949).They are known to God only.

    847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

    Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.-Catechism of the Catholic Church,N.847

    848 “Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men.”-Catechism of the Catholic Church,N.848
    Those saved implicitly (CCC 847,848) for us, they are just a concept, something hypothetical, a possibility. It is not explicit. Since it is not explicit it does not contradict CCC845, 836.It does not contradict Ad Gentes 7, Lumen Gentium 14 and the infallible teaching outside the church there is no salvation.

    CCC836 which says all people need to enter the Catholic Church include all Christians who are not in full communion with the Catholic Church, Jesus’ Mystical Body.
    If CCC 846,847(invincible ignorance etc) referred to explicit salvation, it would be irrational. Since we cannot judge who has a baptism of desire or is in genuine invincible ignorance.It would also mean that the Catechism, which is the ordinary Magisterium of the Church, is correcting and contradicting an ex cathedra teaching. So it would be a rejection of the dogma on the infallibility of the pope.It would mean CCC 846,847 (implicit invincible ignorance etc) is a new Christian doctrine or Christian Revelation.
    Yet this teaching was not mentioned for the first time in the Catechism of the Catholic Church or Vatican Council II (Lumen Gentium16).It was referred to in the Letter of the Holy Office 1949 to the Archbishop of Boston, Richard Cushing. The popes over the centuries always considered those saved by implicit faith as, implicit. Hence the ex cathedra teaching said everyone with no exception needs explicit faith (the baptism of water and Catholic Faith).
    So 846,847 do not refer to explicit salvation. Otherwise it would be irrational, illogical and contrary to the Magisterium of the past and present.
    The Catholic Church is saying everybody needs to be a visible member of the Church to avoid Hell.Those who are aware of Jesus and the Church and yet do not enter are on the way to Hell, definitely.
    CCC is also saying that all non-Catholics in general need to enter the Catholic Church to avoid Hell. All. If there is anyone among them with the baptism of desire, invincible ignorance etc (implicit faith) it will be known to God only. We cannot judge.
    De facto everyone needs to enter the Catholic Church for salvation.
    De jure there could be the probability, known only to God, of someone ‘in certain circumstances’ (Letter of the Holy Office 1949) being saved with implicit faith. God will provide all the helps in the manner known to Him only; it could include explicit faith (the baptism of water).So if someone says the Catechism says that they can be saved who are in invincible ignorance etc, the answer is: ‘Yes, as a concept only. In principle.’ De facto everyone explicitly needs to be a Catholic to go to Heaven is the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.(CCC 845).Simon Rafe needs to clarify this point.

    “For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament” (CCC 1259).
    In other words everyone needs to de facto be a ‘card carrying member’ of the Catholic Church, everyone needs to have his name on a Parish Register. All who are in Heaven, people of different countries, cultures and times, are Catholics, the chosen people of God, the Elect, the people of the New Covenant. I think Simon Rafe and Michael Vorris would agree here. They recently produced a video on ONLY CATHOLICS IN HEAVEN! ( http://www.youtube.com/user/RealCatholicTV#p/a/u/0/2Dcfj0PU_JQ ) . It is highly recommended.( I try not to miss Michael Vorris’ videos)

    4.In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the sub title‘Outside the Church there is no salvation’ has been placed over N.846.It should really be above number 845.

    The ex cathedra dogma says everyone needs to explicitly enter the Church for salvation. It is in agreement with n.845

    N.845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son’s Church….(quoted above in full )
    Here is the ex cathedra dogma:

    1. “There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved.” (Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215). Ex cathedra.

    2.“We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” (Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull Unam Sanctam, 1302.).Ex cathedra.

    3.“The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.” (Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441.) Ex cathedra
    – from the website Catholicism.org and “No Salvation outside the Church”: Link List, the Three Dogmatic Statements Regarding EENS http://nosalvationoutsideofthecatholicchurch.blogspot.com/
    It says everyone needs to be a visible member of the Catholic Church to go to Heaven and avoid Hell.

    So CCC 847,848 must be interpreted as referring to implicit salvation, in ’certain circumstances’ and unknown to us, otherwise it would contradict the infallible teaching.

    847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

    Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.-Catechism of the Catholic Church
    848 “Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men.”-Catechism of the Catholic Church
    CCC 847, 848 do not refer to explicit salvation and so do not contradict the dogma. There is no de facto baptism of desire that we can know of. There is no explicit Baptism of desire that we can know of. While implicit Baptism of Desire is only a concept for us. Since it is known only to God.

    So if asked if everyone needs to enter the Catholic Church for salvation the answer is YES.

    5. Everyone explicitly needs to enter the Catholic Church for salvation and those who have the baptism of desire or are invincible ignorance would be known only to God.

    All men are certainly called to this Catholic unity. The Catholic faithful, others who believe in Christ and all mankind belong to or are ordered to Catholic unity.-CCC 836

    Here again we have an affirmation of the ex cathedra dogma and the word all is used as in Ad Gentes 7.

    6.

    How do we understand this saying from the Church Fathers? All salvation comes from Christ through his Body, the Church which is necessary for salvation because Christ is present in his Church…-CCC846
    Here the Catechism places de jure and defacto salvation together. It does not conflict with the ex cathedra teaching that everyone with no exception needs to enter the Catholic Church .We cannot personally know any cases of a genuine invincible ignorance, baptism of desire or a good conscience.

    7.

    However, those, who through no fault of their own do not know either the Gospel of Christ or his Church, can achieve salvation by seeking God with a sincere heart and by trying to do God’s will (Second Vatican Council). Although God can lead all people to salvation, the Church still has the duty to evangelize all men.-CCC 848
    Those who are in invincible ignorance can be saved -and this does not conflict with the ex cathedra dogma that everyone with no exception needs to enter the Church to avoid Hell. It is a conceptual, de jure understanding.

    8. CCC 1257 The Necessity of Baptism

    CCC 1257 affirms the dogma when it says that the Church knows of no means to eternal beatitude other than the baptism of water. This is a reference to explicit salvation for all with no known exceptions.

    CCC 1257 also says that for salvation God is not restricted to the Sacraments. This must not be interpreted as opposing the dogma or the earlier part of CCC 1257. This is a possibility, ‘in certain circumstances’ (Letter of the Holy Office 1949) and we cannot judge any specific cases. Th Baptism of Desire is never explicit for us humans.
    I repeat the Church refers to the ordinary means of salvation (Redemptoris Missio 5. The word ordinary is used in RM 55).

    In Dominus Iesus the words de jure and de facto are used in the Introduction.

    In CCC 1257 we have the baptism of water as the ordinary means of salvation for all people with no exception.

    In CCC 1257 we also have those saved with implicit faith (invincible ignorance,BOD etc) as the extraordinary means of salvation.(‘God is not limited to the Sacraments’).

    VI. THE NECESSITY OF BAPTISM

    1257 The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation.59 He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them.60 Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament.61 The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are “reborn of water and the Spirit.” God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments. -Catechism of the Catholic Church 1257

    The Letter of the Holy Office 1949 while affirming the dogma and the need for everyone to be a visible member of the Church to go to Heaven with no exceptions- also says that ‘in certain circumstances’ a person can be saved with implicit faith, if God wills it.

    However, those, who through no fault of their own do not know either the Gospel of Christ or his Church, can achieve salvation by seeking God with a sincere heart and by trying to do God’s will (Second Vatican Council). Although God can lead all people to salvation, the Church still has the duty to evangelize all men.-CCC 848

    St.Thomas Aquinas says God will ‘provide the helps necessary for salvation’ by sending a person to baptize the one needing help in this extraordinary situation OR telling the person what he needs to do.

    Here we are in a conceptual area, open to theories since this is the nature of the baptism of desire etc which cannot be explicitly known to us humans.
    St.Thomas Aquinas also said that everyone with no exception needs to be a visible member of the Catholic Church for salvation. De facto everyone needs to enter. De jure there could be the man in the forest for St.Thomas Aquinas. He did not have a problem with de facto and de jure.

    On the Saint Benedict Centre website, the community founded by Fr.Leonard Feeney in New Hampshire,USA it is written, that Fr.Leonard Feeney knew that his view on the Baptism of Desire was only an opinion.
    Finally everyone’s view on the Baptism of Desire is ONLY AN OPINION. De jure. This is seen clearly in CCC 1257.
    It reminds one of Jesus’ saying that ‘he who does not collect with me disperses’ and ‘those who are not against us are for us.’

    9.When it is said that only those who know about the Catholic Church need to enter to avoid Hell (Ad Gentes 7) we can mistake this to mean only this category of people are on the way to Hell. Instead we know that all non Catholics are on the way to Hell with no exception ( ex cathedra dogma) and if there is any one among them who is in invincible ignorance etc it will be known only to God.

    Those who are in invincible ignorance can be saved-and this does not conflict with the ex cathedra dogma that everyone with no exception needs to enter the Church to avoid Hell. It is a conceptual, de jure understanding.

    So the Catechism is not asking us to reject the notion that one can be saved without the Sacraments according to the ordinary way of salvation. (Redemptoris Missio 55).If one says it does it is a misinterpretation of the Catechism.

    Where it refers to being saved without the Sacraments it is referring to that exceptional case, which in ‘certain circumstances'(Letter of the Holy Office 1949) are known only to God. We do not even know if there has been any case of the Baptism of desire during our lifetime.

    A.Practically speaking everyone needs to enter the Catholic Church to go to Heaven.

    B.Theoretically (de jure, in principle) a person can be saved through implicit faith (if God wills it) even without the Baptism of water.This is the official teaching of the Church.

    B is in accord with the Catechism which mentions the Baptism of water as a concept (it cannot be anything else other than a concept)

    B is in accord with Fr.Leonard Feeney who mentioned the Baptism of Desire (catechumen).It was a concept in his mind (something dejure).

    B is in accord with the website of the Saint Benedict Centre,one of Fr.Leonard Feeney’s communities, which defines the Baptism of Desire. A definition is a concept.

    So when Simon Rafe says in his e-mail to me that ‘Non-Catholics can be saved, DESPITE their failure to be a visible member of the Church. This is the teaching of the Church.’ it is true ( de jure, in principle). However de facto everybody with no exception needs to be a visible member of the Catholic Church, Jesus’s Mystical Body to go to Heaven and avoid Hell.

    -Lionel Andrades

    _______________________________________________________________________________

    Simon Rafe

    Simon Rafe is a former undergraduate in the Department of English Language and Linguistics at Sheffield University, England. An immigrant to the United States, he is an adult convert to Catholicism, formerly being what he describes as a “militant atheist”. Simon has been heavily involved in the Internet for over a decade, working as a webmaster and performing web design for several companies in the UK. He is well-versed in the ethos of the “New Evangelization”, having both found his wife and come to know Christ and the Catholic Church thanks to the Internet. He is the author of the book “Where Did The Bible Come From?” and consultant-author for the Saint Michael’s Basic Training series.

    ——————————————————————————–

  • [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Dcfj0PU_JQ&hl=it_IT&fs=1]

  • How about we celebrate America’s Christian heritage with a church instead?

  • “Don, we should be required to prove that our chosen location for a church is a “good idea”?”

    Well, yes, actually restrainedradical, if a group of Catholic fanactics, to the strains of Ave Maria, had crashed two airliners into the twin towers and then less then a decade later Catholics wanted to build a grand Cathedral two blocks from the site.

    Of course the comparison breaks down in that I find it hard to imagine any priest, let alone a bishop, who would support such a terrorist act by Catholics, no matter the motivation. Plenty of imams, in this country and abroad, have given at least tacit approval to what was done on 9-11.

  • I’ve been told that we can built a church in Mecca when they can build a mosque in Vatican City.

    The Vatican is a 109 acre site occupied by antique buildings with complimentary plazas and gardens. The City of Mecca extends, per some accounts, over an area of 330 sq miles, and, like any city, makes additions to its stock of buildings each year.

  • How about we celebrate America’s Christian heritage with a church instead?

    I believe there already is a church equally close by to Ground Zero.

  • Blackadder,

    You are employing reason as we understand it from a Christian perspective. That is not how the Muslim mind thinks.

    Muslims are commanded to employ taqiy’ya, loosely translated as concealing or guarding. Practically it means employing deceit to conquer your enemy. ‘Moderate’ Muslims are living pleasantly amongst us simply to be inside the gates to open them for the inevitable attack. Any other view is asking for our destruction.

    Well, gee, if that’s the case how do I know that you aren’t secretly a muslim practicing taqiy’ya?

  • “Well, gee, if that’s the case how do I know that you aren’t secretly a muslim practicing taqiy’ya?”

    Or you BA? Paranoia, it’s not just a game! 🙂

  • “I believe there already is a church equally close by to Ground Zero.”

    Is there a synagogue? How about a Hindu shrine?

  • Allowing the building of this or any other Mosque shows our commitment to religious freedom. Not allowing it “to happen” gives the impression that we don’t take freedom of the religion seriously or that we take it seriously for us but not for them.

  • “Allowing the building of this or any other Mosque shows our commitment to religious freedom.”

    To whom? And to what end? Call it a hunch, but I think the Muslims worldwide who think America got what it deserved on 9/11 won’t react to a 13-story mosque at ground zero with heartfelt gratitude and a new appreciation for Western tolerance, but rather as unmistakable (and further) evidence that Western society is a paper tiger, an apple ripe for the plucking.

    I’m all for religious freedom, but we don’t need to symbolically bend over and clutch our ankles to show our commitment to it.

    We’d do better to show our commitment to religious freedom by, say, standing up and fighting for our own religious values such as the rights of the unborn and the integrity of marriage. Simply preventing the construction of a mosque at ground zero isn’t enough to impress upon anyone that we do in fact take our own religious liberties seriously.

  • “Not allowing it “to happen” gives the impression that we don’t take freedom of the religion seriously or that we take it seriously for us but not for them.”

    If the “Cordoba Initiative”, a name that bespeaks gross ignorance of what Muslim Andalus was actually like, obtains the necessary permits they have every right to construct the mosque, just like the wackos of the Westboro Baptist “church” have the right to protest at the funerals of servicemen. Whether a right should be exercised in a particular case is completely separate from whether a legal right exists.

  • I’m happy for you all. You seem to be able to see ‘it’ – September 11/the Pentagon/World Trade Center – as the plot for boring History Channel specials they rerun every September.

    I know: I need to get over it!

    Well, at the least $100 million (from wherever they obtained it) won’t be used to arm, supply, and train mass murderers. Thank God for small mercies.

    I will join the widows, widowers, mothers, fathers, orphans of the 3,000 victims in whatever they deem approriate.

    Anyhow, there appears to be an amount of ignorance around here.

    Pull your heads out of the sand. The religious war that is now raging around you is far bigger than you know.

  • Yes, T. Shaw. We get it. Only you are seriously passionate about the threat of Islamic terrorism. Those of us who think that calling all Muslims filthy animals is beneath contempt must obviously have our heads in the sand.

    The sad thing is that there is a little bit too much naivety about the threat of Islamism – whether it be expressed here or in the wilder world. Yet there are those who seem to think that anything less than 100 percent, undiluted, RAGE AND HATRED ARGHHHHHH!!!!! is unacceptable. Shouting at the skies might be amusing for a while, but at some point it’s time to grow up. Raging at the world isn’t going to solve problems. I’m not saying we should stifle our passions or walk around like robots, but you’ve gotta channel some of that to more constructive purposes.

  • Is there a synagogue? How about a Hindu shrine?

    I have no idea. And, more importantly, who cares?

  • The enemy lies amongst us. They will continue to out breed us until the day they rise up to take control. It’s not too many years away before they’ll be able to vote whom ever they wish to the highest political seats in our nation.

    “America…it was fun while it lasted”!!!

  • Pat and everyone else,

    America is not Europe.

    What is occurring in Europe will not occur in America because we integrate our immigrants into society. We don’t make entire new neighborhoods for them to reside in as Europe does.

    Granted blue states like California and New York will not integrate their immigrants like the rest of the country, but I guess it is a problem they will need to deal with in the future.

  • We let them build it, not because we’ve forgotten 9/11 or because we think it’ll win world support for us. We let them build it because we’re America, and if we stop them then we’re liars.

    The whole point of this blog is to approach issues from an American Catholic perspective. The implication is that it’s possible to be both American and Catholic. The day we ignore the Constitutional protection of religion in the name of our Faith is the day we cease to be American Catholics.

  • They are commanded to conquer by the sword and slay all enemies, although Jews and Christians may be allowed to live as slaves.

    How do you suggest we peacefully exist with that mentality?

    Because not all of them share that mentality. There is nothing wrong with working with the more “Piskyized” versions of Muslims.

  • Tito –

    I’m not talking about immigrants. These will be American born Muslims, that worship Islam. They will/are out breeding everyone around the world. Like I said, they will be able to take control of the House of Reps., the Senate & ultimately the Presidency of the U.S. just based off the sheer numbers they’re producing.

    “America…it was fun while it lasted”!

  • Blackadder,

    If I am concealing my true intentions because I am a Muslim, then it appears that my secret plot is to NOT build the Mosque at Ground Zero and I am promoting the conversion of Muslims to the Catholic Faith through the intercession of the Blessed Mother of God.

    By their fruits ye shall know them. 😉

    Pinky,

    Religious freedom is limited to authentic religious practices. Satanists desire to sacrifice virgins to Lucifer – do you think we should let them kill virgins in the interest of religious tolerance? How about Rastafarians, should we allow the use of an illegal (well at least still somewhat) mind-altering drug in their practices?

    The attack we endured on 9/11 was perpetuated by Muslim terrorists. Not by terrorists who happen to be Muslim; rather it was their ‘religious’ ideology that inspired them to kill and destroy. At best, erecting a Mosque so close to Ground Zero is in bad taste and it is more likely a beachhead for the battle against the unfaithful infidels who must be subjugated or destroyed (in case you are wondering that is everyone who does not subscribe to the Islamist ideology of the particular terrorist group that committed the heinous attacks, and includes Muslims who tolerate the ways of the West).

    Your opinion, kindly civil sentiment as it is, is grossly naive.

  • AK – In what context to you mean “authentic religious practices”, theological or civil? False religions have no rights in themselves, but they have rights accorded them by human freedom. That’s what a theologian would say, I think.

    As a civil matter, religion isn’t an excuse to break the law. If we had reason to believe that this particular mosque was being used to commit or encourage criminal activity, we’d be right to investigate it and arrest those involved. If you’re worried that they’re hiding something, we can keep an eye on them. But we can’t forbid them from building on the grounds that they’re Muslim. At least not under the current interpretation of our Constitution.

  • Tito Edwards, yes New York will pay soon enough for failing to integrate the Irish, Jews, Italians, and Chinese.

    Fact is we’re never had a problem with people retaining foreign cultures as long as they retain or adopt a common set of core values. There is nothing to indicate that the Muslims who will worship at the mosque do not share our values. In fact, their values are probably closer to conservative Southern values than liberal NYC values. If you talk to Muslim cabbies in NYC (who will probably make up a large portion of the mosque’s congregants), they sound like conservative Southerners with the exceptions of their views on immigration and Israel. I even met one who thought Bush would be remembered as one of America’s greatest presidents for taking down Saddam. Another Muslim cabbie expressed his disgust that an Episcopal church we were passing by was converted into a club. These are hardly the people who are subverting our way of life.

  • RR,

    I’m referring to the “multi-cultural” programs that purposely segregate and demonize “whitey” that is taught in the schools in New York and California.

    I am not familiar with the sample pool of NYC cab drivers and their political leanings.

    Though I know Tijuana taxi drivers and they have a pretty good right hook.

  • RR,

    As a Coptic friend of mine once told me, “Your problem is you think like a Westerner.” Her portrait of living under (and I do mean under) Islam is not flattering. Her experience is probably more informative than a few cab rides in NYC.

  • Way too much education wasted here. Our sense of right and wrong, enshrined in our legal system, will guarantee that when the permits clear, Islam will have it’s Al Aqsa Mosque casting a triumphalist shadow over (or very near) the place of execution of thousands of (mostly) infidels.

    That said, there is no way to turn their intent to erect this hellish monument into anything less triumphalist, even malicious, than Catholic-in-good-standing Nancy Pelosi’s provocative march of the Democrats through those gathered in DC to protest against the passage of the ObamabortionCare bill.

    Our sense of right and wrong will cause us to stand by with our hands in our pockets while those who wish us ill lay the legal, financial, and political groundworks from which they will ultimately bring us into dhimmitude.

  • j. christian, I didn’t know we were talking about Islam in Egypt. I had thought we were talking about Muslims in NYC.

  • And I thought we were talking about Islam, not Muslims.

  • This is not about individual opinions, but demographic changes.

    You meet Muslims who are sympathetic to Christianity when it is attacked by secularism – and you meet Muslims who are allied with leftist radicals against all things Western.

    Today, its sensitivity programs and recognition of holidays. That’s where it starts. Tomorrow, towns with significant Muslim populations start wondering why they can’t have sharia courts for family disputes. The flow of Muslim immigration to the US isn’t like what it is in Europe so we may have a while yet before such things occur. But we may as well take measures against it now – like, perhaps, state laws forever barring the establishment of separate sharia courts. I know people will say our first amendment prevents it. Lawyers will always find a a way to justify anything. What we don’t want in the future must clearly be spelled out now, before some bottom-feeder hoodwinks a judge or jury and establishes a dangerous precedent.

    That’s why I care, Blackadder. Jews and Hindus don’t have a mandate to convert the world by any means necessary. Muslims do. Christians also have a mandate to spread the Gospel throughout the world, but many Muslim states punish both proselytization and conversion from Islam with death.

    I really don’t hate Muslims. I respect them on many levels. But I don’t want their values replacing ours. We don’t have to become hateful savages in our dealings with them, but we need to at least match their level of determination to see their own religion and world view triumph.

  • I don’t think we assimilate like we used to. Even 30 years ago, it was assumed that the first generation would figure out English the best they could, and the second generation would be raised American (even if the family remained in an ethnic neighborhood). These days, we reinforce the “manyness” of the immigrant rather than promote the “oneness” of America. If we don’t stop that, we can’t handle any immigration at all without falling apart. If we return to the idea of assimilation, we can handle a slow influx of any culture.

  • Pinky, know many 2nd generation Americans who can’t speak English? I don’t that’s been an issue since French immigration to New England 100 years ago. Immigrants probably assimilate faster today than ever before.

  • It’s my understanding that there was a much smaller mosque, near the twin towers, and that it was damaged when the airplanes hit. Rebuild the mosque to what it once was, there is nothing wrong with that, but to build a new, much, much larger mega mosque is a slap in the face to those who lost loved ones on 9/11. As someone above said, how would muslims like it if a Cathedral was built at Mecca?

  • Pinky,

    There are a few problems with your line of thinking.

    First, there have only been two authentic religious practices – those of the Hebrews prior to the Incarnation and those of the Catholic Church since. That being said, we are not a Catholic nation; however, we are Christian.

    To be clear in our Christian nation we allow religious freedom, originally that meant that as a matter of culture we allow the different denominations of Christians to practice their own faith – it also meant that we would allow guests to practice what they desire; however guests are not invited to change the fundamental principles of our culture including religious life.

    Something as fundamental to the make-up, the constitution, of each and every one of us as religion is, cannot be multi-cultural. We have to genuinely agree on some basic truths of conduct. The only rules of conduct that are compatible with authentic human freedom are those of mere Christianity (to quote C.S. Lewis). Muslims who practice within the confines of Christian culture are welcome. Yet Christians are barely permitted to be Christians in a Muslim state.

    It is a terrible error to apply Western Christian thought about human dignity, religious freedom, human rights, etc. to the Muslim view. Islam is a conquering religion, at any cost. It is imperial, it is unbridled human passion without the restraints of reason. Do most Muslims practice their religion that way? No. But that doesn’t change what Islam is. Many Muslims do adhere to the jihad between Dar-Al-Islam (the House of Peace) and Dar-Al-Harb (the House of War). You cannot take that lightly. If you do, it is to your own peril. We are commanded to love our enemies, which means we should want them to be saved by the Precious Blood of Christ – without compulsion. But, it does not mean we tolerate their blasphemies, errors, heresies and aggression.

    Furthermore, the civil law is only valid when it is built upon the rock that is God’s Law. What are you going to do when the Catholic Church is declared illegal because she discriminates against women by not ordaining them as priests, or, engages in ‘hate speech’ for her views on homosexualism?

    Most Catholics throughout the world, including China and ALL Muslim controlled lands, practice their faith in secret because to be Catholic is illegal.

    There is no such thing as the CURRENT interpretation of the Constitution – there is only the original intent of the Constitution, properly amended. The false idea that it is to be perpetually and continuously interpreted is a liberal idea to undermine the very term constitution.

    Patrick Henry said it clearly, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship.” (Now there is some dispute as to whether or not he actually said that, or if it was added to one of his letters in 1956 – nevertheless, the sentiment is valid.)

    We can accept certain Muslims into the United States; however, those would be either guests, tourist or laborers who are invited by the employer for a temporary stay and that has to be enforced strictly. Muslims that want to come here to live, would need to choose to live in a Christian culture, which is essentially to no longer desire to be Muslim.

    I agree with your point about assimilation. We are a nation of many elasticities, but we are of one culture – the American culture and authentic American culture is Christian in character and quite compatible and welcoming to Catholics. Of course, we should all remember, sadly many don’t, that we are to uncoercively change the culture toward the one true Catholic faith without being changed by the culture.

  • AK – You raised a lot of issues, but since we disagree on a lot of things, let’s take them one at a time.

    You said that religious freedom is limited to authentic religious practices, and that there is only one such practice at this point in history. But that’s not the same thing as banning the practice of other religions. The Catholic Encyclopedia defines three types of religious toleration: dogmatic, civil, and political. The practice of dogmatic toleration of error is an affront to truth, but civil and political toleration of error are obligations. That’s why I was making the distinction between our obligation as Americans and as Catholics.

    The Summa calls religion a natural virtue, not a supernatural one. I take that to mean that the practice of any religion, even in error, contains an element of virtue. Jacques Maritain says that with respect to God and truth each of us is obligated to follow the true religion, but “with respect to the State, to the temporal community and to the temporal power, he is free to choose his religious path at his own risk; his freedom of conscience is a natural, inviolable right”.

  • Pinky,

    We are Catholics first and from the dogmatic perspective we have to be intolerant. The Spirit of the World stands against God and we are always to seek His Kingdom first. On this I know we agree.

    As for being Americans, well then we have to be vigilant to protect the fragile nature of a free society. Although the natural virtue of religion is admirable in all, after all it is innately human to seek Truth and that is what the virtue of religion is, it is not admirable to twist the virtue into an orientation for anything else. Religion is the justice due to God. For an American to have freedom of religion necessarily means a religion based on truth, not necessarily God’s revealed Truth, but the natural truth that we can know by reason.

    The religion of the atheists can be practiced by good people. If their intellect is acute enough and can see the world as it is, then an atheist can have some sense of morality. They won’t admit it, but that morality would necessarily have Christian elements, although not fullness of truth – that is what Western tradition is all about. Mormons too. They do NOT believe in God as we do, and the ‘revelation’ they received from the mind of Joseph Smith is full of error. Yet, being an American invention, their religion is replete with authentic Christian morals, which is why most Mormons are good people and fully compatible with life in America – religious heresies excepted.

    Islam is like Mormonism in many ways. It was ‘revealed’ to a mentally unstable man by and ‘angel’ and is a horrible heresy. Islam is very different than Mormonism in that Islam demands the conquest of the world by the power of force, terror, fear, plunder, deceit and unbridled human passion. This is incompatible with life in America, with our civic institutions, with our way of life. It cannot coexist in the same culture as anything other than Islam. It is not to be tolerated because it is a dangerous political movement and even the most benign Muslim will eventually face the choice of renouncing their faith (which is a death sentence) or becoming a jihadi. Mohammad left no other option.

    To be ‘tolerant’ of Islam within our country is to tempt God to unleash hell upon us. Perhaps that is what He has in mind. I don’t know, but it wouldn’t be the first time He uses Islam to chastise the children of His one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church.

    As for freedom of conscience as an inviolable right, I do agree; however, keep in mind that when we commit a mortal sin we may be damning ourselves, but we also bring down the whole Church and when we repent all the angels and saints in Heaven rejoice. We do not sin alone, so while we must have freedom of conscience, after all God gave us a free will, we cannot be absolved of the responsibility our individual sins have on others. The sins of Islam have direct temporal and eternal damage attached. Islam calls for the subjugation of all people of the Book and the wholesale genocidal slaughter of ALL others. That means that Islam desires the murder of 60% of the people, 3 billion souls! And the slavery of another billion. Those numbers may be right out of the Book of the Apocalypse and we are to hasten the Lord’s Parousia, but we are not to desire the tribulation that precedes the Return of the King. Islam thrives on violence, discord, domination, rape, theft, plunder, murder and chaos. To let that blasphemy take hold within our borders is suicide. For Muslims, suicide is salvation; for us it is an unforgivable sin against the Holy Spirit.

    We are at war!

    Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in praelio.

  • It’s not a matter of being “Catholics first”, AK. Obviously, we’re all Catholics first. If we weren’t, we wouldn’t be Catholics at all. Given that fact, the question isn’t whether we choose to be dogmatically intolerant, civilly tolearant, or politically tolerant. The question is how do we do all three at once.

    I’m no fan of sharia, believe me, and I’m not gullible. I understand the dangers of Islam. But America isn’t at war with a religion.

  • Pinky,

    I try to state the obvious when I post because people who aren’t in the dialogue will read it and perhaps some of them aren’t Catholics or at least poorly catechized Catholics.

    We are not at war with a religion, but we are at war with a violent, dangerous, anti-intellectual (reason), anti-brotherhood (love), anti-Christian political ideology masquerading as a religion. To think we are not is to give in to defeat – in this matter we cannot concede. Our primary battle is within ourselves, but in order to win souls for Christ – our primary mission, we cannot allow an environment that is dangerous to both those outside of Islam as well as those mired in it to grow. Will we win? Ultimately – yes; however, we must remember that our part is in the effort – the victory belongs to God alone. Islam is not to be tolerated.

  • It’s not a Ground Zero mosque… it’s a few blocks away… and if you’ve ever been to NYC, you’d know that a few blocks is a huge distance in such a highly densely populated area. And the Imam heading the project has had his own Sufi-based (y’know…the tolerant, love-all type Muslims) in Tribeca since 1990 (Masjid Al-Farah)… roughly 12 blocks from Ground Zero. Masjid Al-Farah, where he’s given the Friday prayer service for over 20 years is the antithesis to fundamentalist Islam. It’s a seat of the Jerrahi Sufis…lead by two female Shaykhas. Heck, they’ve even had same sex couple blessings there and female-led prayers. Imam Rauf was chosen by the FBI to lead sensitivity training following 9/11 and has been involved in Interfaith issues for years. He’s very well-respected among the NYC Interfaith crowd.

    It’s not the same as building a Church in Mecca… nor is it the same as building a mosque in Vatican City (which would be similar). Although you may not know this, people like Imam Rauf are hated by Islamic Extremists far more than non-Muslims. They are viewed to be the kafirs…not Christians and Jews who are viewed as People of the Book. Sufis, liberal/tolerant Muslims are much more enemies of Bin Laden types than you and I. There would be nothing that would bother the Wahabis more than having a Sufi affiliated, Multifaith Islamic Center representing Islam. I say thumbs up. And opposing this mosque, goes against our Constitution. I’d much rather show what true religious freedom is about than unfairly target Muslims–especially those like Imam Rauf.

  • karla,

    You may not have slogged through all the posts, but it is probably worth the time if you have interest in the subject.

    Islam, even Islam as understood by the ‘nice’ Muslims, is incompatible with Western Civilization and especially Christendom. To rationalize any other viewpoint is suicide. Muslims are less than 1.5% of the American population; if ‘tolerant’ people like you keep welcoming more and more of them, that number will grow and the inevitable clash will be a disaster.

    Additionally, I don’t see how Muslims who promote homosexualism are to be held as a sign that Islam is improving. That is some seriously twisted thinking.

  • To prove their love for us, the Mosque proponents seek the civil protection of a fair minded US Constitution which is their right. But will it make us love them? Coming to us outside of the courts and appealing to our Christian duty to love, especially to love our enemies, would have been the better result, if it were for mutual love and respect. As it stands now, we have to love, but we don’t have to like. This manner of action makes me suspect the true motive and I will remain wary, very wary.

    I trust, however, that living long enough in the presence of New Yorkers will have the same “liberating” effect that New Yorkers have had on every monolithic creed they have ever encountered. How long before New York Islam buckles under New York mockery, ridicule, perversion, and defilement? Do you think their grandchildren will be wearing head scarves or jeans? Do you think their children will marry into their faith or be seduced by New York style liberty? We can corrupt the sacred in anyone.

    I also trust that living side by side with committed people of other faiths, persecuted equally by secular society, will lead to personal choices that would not be possible in single faith societies. If the Saudis want to remain Islamic pure, they better not allow any Churches.

  • Woe to us who just don’t get it. Islam seeks to conquer, pure and simple. They will build a mosque in any area they deem significant as a conquest. This is what they do, hence the reason for the mosque on the temple mount in Jerusalem. Anywhere near ground zero, for that matter, the whole of NY City as one of our centers of commerce that represents America, is where they would erect a huge ediface to the glory of their moon rock god (little g) as an insult to us. They would level NYC, then build a new Mecca if they could. We are really the ostridges with our silly 60’s peacenik, hippy, lovefest heads in the sand. They just laugh and praise allah (little a)that our stupidity with our complacent holier-than-thou humanistic, atheistic (a religion by the way), political correctness will lead us to hand over our country (if we don’t wake up!) As to previous posts, if we haven’t already allowed islam (little i) into our political system, we are certainly paving the way.

  • My wife is Muslim (from Lebanon; I am black). The father of the family is a lawyer and the mother is a lawyer. They are living the great American dream– a big screen TV, a German shephard dog in the back yard, a full 401k, a mini-van to bring the kids to footbal practice, the whole enchilada. They also happen to be practicing Muslims. We should not split “us” and “them,” we’re all “us.” Don’t let those criminal terrorists divide our vibrant, learned Muslim community from the rest of America.

  • Max,

    I’m 100% with you.

    Freedom of Religion is a right! The builders behind the Ground Zero Mosque have every right to build their mosque.

    My personal opinion is that the mosque should still not be built near Ground Zero. That’s me practicing my free speech rights.

The World Cup & American Idealism

Thursday, June 17, AD 2010

If you read the comments here at TAC, no doubt you’ve seen the accusation that America suffers from a Calvinist dualism that sinisterly causes all of American conservativism’s woes like it was the Catholic Church in a Dan Brown novel. While these claims are exaggerated, there’s a bit of truth in the idea that when compared to Europe, we’re a little more dualistic.

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41 Responses to The World Cup & American Idealism

  • Heh, I’ve never thought about the American approach to sports through the lens of dualism, but you might be on to something there!

    But honestly, I can’t get terribly excited over these “soccer wars”. It’s mainly because I don’t really like sports. Of course, what kind of multilateralist would I be if I didn’t support the World Cup (!), and I do, but I just can’t get too excited about it. I certainly appreciate the game of soccer, and think it is incredibly skilful. I think the low scoring adds to the tension and excitement. I’ve always thought that the American distaste came from its culture of instant gratification, and the fact that soccer stubbornly refuses to adapt to the whims of American TV advertizers.

    But it’s not really a big deal. I can also appreciate why some people like baseball, even though it bores me to tears. I have a far less appreciation for American football and basketball, which I see as simply too “noisy” and chaotic.

  • “Scarred by the horrors of the two world wars, Europe has lost any kind of ideal and so do not push themselves towards. Instead they accept themselves and their countries as flawed and do not see anything that can be done about it. There is no hope.”

    I’m not sure I agree with this, but it sounds like a very “conservative” position to me – a rejection of modernity’s constant drive for betterment alongside a pessimism about human potential.

  • [SNORE]

    Is it over yet? Must not be, because I can still hear all that buzzing and droning in the background, interrupted by the occasional cheer whenever someone manages to kick the ball wide of the net.

    [ROLLS BACK OVER]

    😉

    Now we need to get back to some REAL sports news like how much money LeBron James is going to make by testing the free agent market and how much money the Texas Longhorns will make now that they’ve tested the free agent market.

  • I’m not sure I agree with this, but it sounds like a very “conservative” position to me – a rejection of modernity’s constant drive for betterment alongside a pessimism about human potential.

    I’m not sure that necessarily a conservative position. For example, the Founding Fathers set up the system of checks & balances so “ambition can check ambition,” the idea being that men were not going to become virtuous and so we could attempt to build institutions to use men’s vices against each other in the hope that something resembling virtue would come out. I think both conservatives & liberals have a problem with the idea of men pursuing virtue, though they differ one where should turn then (conservatives turn to traditions, small communities at least in theory while liberals turn to larger institutions like the UN).

    I’ve always thought that the American distaste came from its culture of instant gratification, and the fact that soccer stubbornly refuses to adapt to the whims of American TV advertizers.

    Yeah, but I’m not sure soccer is that much less of an instant gratifier than say baseball (especially small ball) or hockey. It’s an interesting question though.

    The advertising idea is interesting, as I think that largely accounts for why motor racing is relegated to a regional sport.

    Anyway, I like sports as a prism to view the culture b/c whereas in politics we have our guard up, in sports our guards are down.

  • I think you need to adjust your schema to explain the wonderfully cryptic scoring of Cricket.

  • Darwin, I leave that wonderful task up to you 😉

  • I’ve always thought that the American distaste came from its culture of instant gratification, and the fact that soccer stubbornly refuses to adapt to the whims of American TV advertizers.

    Not denying that modern America (or even much of the West) is hooked on the crack of instant gratification, but I’m not so sure the distaste for soccer follows from it.

    The money from TV advertising is as corrupting as the good it brings. However, I don’t think that’s a uniquely American problem either. This story has been big for a few days.

    http://g.sports.yahoo.com/soccer/world-cup/blog/dirty-tackle/post/Two-Dutch-mini-dress-models-arrested-after-defyi?urn=sow,248867

  • Ties in the World Cup only happen in the first round.

    Part is the TV ad money, but I agree with MM that instant gratification has something to do with it. It also has to do with not understanding the game (understanding the rules is not the same as understanding the game).

    It has more to do with American exceptionalism – if we can’t be the world champions at something, then the sport sucks. Best example – when was the last time you heard of the world cup of baseball? Yeah, when we actually compete as a national in our own sport, we lose, hence very little hoopla about it. Makes us feel like the English.

    Add to the list of “paint drying” sports baseball, bowling, and even American football (run for two yards, drop a pass, run for three more, punt…repeat – about 7 seconds of actual movement interrupted by 40 seconds of standing around in a circle). Baseball has to be the worst – if you don’t understand the game. Three up, three down…repeat for 9 innings…and you have what is known as the most excting thing – a no-hitter (how a no hitter can be “exciting” but a nil-nil draw is not because of low scoring, I can’t figure out). And basketball – they should just shorten the game to one period of about 7 minutes, since the last 7 is all that matters.

  • The notion that Calvinism is “dualist” is bizarrely ahistorical and inaccurate.

  • Best example – when was the last time you heard of the world cup of baseball? Yeah, when we actually compete as a national in our own sport, we lose, hence very little hoopla about it.

    We don’t hear about it b/c none of the MLB teams are interested in letting the best players risk injury for it. They don’t care, the best players aren’t there for America, so if they don’t care why should we?

  • It has more to do with American exceptionalism – if we can’t be the world champions at something, then the sport sucks.

    You contradicted yourself with your next statement. We lose in the World Cup of Baseball (which is moderately popular), and yet I don’t see baseball losing its popularity because of it. Then again, as Michael says, we’re not necessarily sending all of our best players anyway. Also, could we “suck” (we actually don’t, at least not as much as we used to) at soccer because we’re not that interested in it, and not the other way around. After all, how can you develop a good national team when the fifth best athletes from your country are participating in it – the others all going to the other big four?

  • For me, soccer’s fine, and I admit I am following the World Cup again this time around. Then again, I find curling fascinating, so YMMV. 😉

    My one complaint with soccer is the consistent, exaggerated “flopping” to try to draw fouls (is that the right term?). Some of these guys get tapped and they go down like they took a shotgun blast to the torso. It happens in hockey, too, but you can get penalized for it there. Leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

  • I like soccer because you can leave the game on, accomplish many household chores, and exist firmly in the confidence you did not miss anything at all noteworthy.

  • c matt,

    We’re putting a lot of weight on the idea that the low score/tie scenario is truly a reason why Americans don’t like the game. While some may remark about it, I don’t think that’s necessarily it and find the instant gratification angle connection weak at best (again, not denying that as a culture we have a problem there).

    I think the largest part is tradition. Baseball, basketball, and football are essentially American (US) and their populatrity pre-existed our population. Hockey is North American, but not from the US, yet it caught on fairly well in the northern states early on and has a significant tradition to grow from. There’s just a huge hurdle for soccer to overcome to become popular here. It just doesn’t help that it’s rather boring to watch.

    I’m with Dale on curling. Everything about it screams BORING, but somehow it’s very interesting to watch.

  • Certain Americans don’t like the game for many reasons, I venture most who don’t like it have never played it consistently or at a decent level. Surprisingly, there are many who do. De gustibus, I suppose.

    We can argue until the end of the world which is more boring, but it is unfortunately too typical that many Americans for some reason have to pick on soccer as uniquely boring when, frankly, many sports are extremely boring if you did not grow up with it and don’t fully appreciate the various nuances. (C’mon, basketball and baseball have to constantly remind us that “every game matters” because they know in a 60+ game season every game really doesn’t). You can hardly stay awake during a full regular season game, when the regular season is nothing but a seeding for the playoffs (particularly basketball, where it seems half the teams go on to post-season).

    At least in soccer (in most countries) every game does count, as it is the team with the most points (3 for win, 1 for tie, 0 for loss) at the end of the season who is the winner. Kind of like NASCAR.

    Yes, it is very much a cultural thing, and as we know, Americans are rather notorious for not being very interested in other cultures. Perhaps that is the main reason.

    BTW, many of the best players in the Major league are not, in fact, US citizens. There was a hilarious commercial not too long ago that made just that point.

  • Pretty funny MM. Looks more like Brasilian training though.

  • Anyway, getting back to the main point, I don’t even see how allowing for a tie somehow shows a lack of dualism because there is no winner. There is clearly a winner at the end of the season, as there is at the end of the cup. Europeans separate winners and losers just as much as we do, they just do it differently. In fact, you might have less dualism here because playoffs are essentially a second chance. If you make it to the playoffs, you have just as much opportunity to win it all as the top seeded team, so you really haven’t lost. Even more so in basketball and baseball, where you are playing best of whatever series, so you can lose the first game or two and still eventually move on.

    In the Euro system, the 3 points you didn’t gain at the beginning of the season b/c you tied or lost rather than won can never be made up (ask Real Madrid).

    I just don’t understand where you are getting the idea that allowing for ties to factor in somehow does not show dualism whereas the American system does.

  • After all, how can you develop a good national team when the fifth best athletes from your country are participating in it – the others all going to the other big four?

    Fair and accurate point. Others go to the big four for good reason – that’s where the money is. College scholarships and pro contracts. Can’t blame them for doing that.

  • Although I think there is a lot of skill in soccer, I do find it a little boring.

    That’s why I played a REAL game, and continue to follow it enthusiastically.

    R U G B Y 😆

  • A rather fascinating topic. Just for the record my favorite sport is college football, but I enjoy all sports, especially nationalistic affairs. I think it is a healthy release and not grounds for over the top triumphalism like some claim. I will watch World Cup Soccer and Olympic hockey far more than I will watch MLS (or any Euro soccer) and NHL for that matter. It seems like there is more passion when the nation state is involved. A rather interesting concept that when one plays for their nation (instead of money) one sees this kind of passion. This is probably why I like college football far more than I do the NFL.

    I think these team events are far more healthy than the indiviudalistic Roman specatacle that evolved from the coliseum. As far as sports being boring, it seems our modern remote control society has told us that soccer and baseball (two of the world’s more ancient sports) are somehow boring.

    However centuries ago, during the infancy of the games that became to be known baseball and soccer, they were embraced because of their excitement. Keep in mind a cricket match can go on for hours and days. Just some of my thoughts on this interesting topic.

  • Don the Kiwi:

    Two of my sons play Rugby. Both won their college club league titles – different years. The elder is a prop. The younger is fullback or wing and co-captain.

    A ruffian’s game played by gentlemen.

    Excellent game! Enjoy to watch it. Took some time to get the rules.

    I never played. My face looks like it, tho.

    You have the All Blacks. We Yanks have a ways to go.

  • Hi T.Shaw.

    ” A ruffians game played by gentlemen

    That’s maybe how it was 100 years ago in England, but most of the guys I played with and against could hardly claim that title ( gentlemen, that is – mostly ruffians). 45 years on I still carry a few scars – but with pride, of course. 😉

    Actually, the US is getting better all the time. I’ve watched them over the past few world cups, and they improve with every showing. The Rugby World Cup is being held in NZ next year, around July 2011. It’ll be quite a spectacle I expect.

    Mmmm….propping in the front row is no place for shrinking violets. I used to play open side flanker in my school days, then moved to first five-eight in late teens and early 20’s.

    Them were the days 🙂

  • Yessir Don the Kiwi,

    “Youth is wasted on the young.” Yogi Berra said that.

    Last game this Spring the old maroon (grads), my prop son, played the students, my full back son.

    Mother’s big worry was one would bust the other’s nose or any other moving part.

    Last Fall, the young guy had his nose reworked. Had it fixed, good as new. Years ago, the older guy had his nose laid out on the side of his face, and just pushed in back – blood all over the place, tho. At one tourney a doc was on the side line with a beach chair doing free sewing up work. One of the lads can’t play any longer – fluid on the brain. His cousin is still in there. One tourney – about 30 college and club teams – at Fort Drum had the ambulances running every 15 minutes.

    Once they get it in the blood . . .

    Keep the faith! And, God bless the Kiwis.

  • As little attention as soccer gets in the US, Rugby has to get even less. Heck, I spent half of “Invictus” trying to figure out how rugby was played. Soccer to me has always been known by Americans, even if we didn’t care about it. Rugby is almost nonexistent, though I do know that at the high school and collegiate level it is starting to get attention as informal inter-school competitions pop up.

    Then again, I’ve also seen inter-collegiate competitions in Quidditch, so take what you will from that.

  • What I’ve come to love about European football is that if your a fan of a team there’s almost always some competition your team or at least some of its players is involved in. You’ve got the competition for the league championship if your team is really good. If your team is really bad you have to worry about your team staying out of the bottom three spots or it gets sent down to next lower level for the next season. Also during the season each country holds a competition for all the teams in the different leagues for their national cup. So big clubs end up playing against small town teams and every year there is at least one small club that goes a long way in the tournament. If your team finishes in the top four in its league then you compete in the European Champions League against the best four teams of other nations. If your team finishes in the top seven, then there is the competition for the Europa League Championship. And then maybe some of your star players make the national team and you’ve got international competition.

    So there is lots to live for and enjoy. As opposed to growing up in or around Cleveland.

  • “When the One Great Scorer comes to write against your name – He marks – not that you won or lost – but how you played the game.”

    Grantland Rice

  • As an avid soccer fan, I have some quibbles with some statements made thus far. 🙂

    Athletes and the big 4 sports… many of these so-called “best” athletes have certain attributes that are beneficial for certain sports (height, 300 lbs., or massive upper body strength) that sort of preclude them from playing the game of soccer at the highest levels. You ever see high school soccer players answer the charge from high school football players that their game is wimpy? It wasn’t pretty, if you were one of the football players. I contend that the athletes in the big 4 sports are really no better athletes than soccer players. The game requires different skills, and thus is like comparing apples, Volvos and paper.

    Re: popularity
    It’s low popularity as compared to other sports is due to many different factors. Low scores, frequent draws, not to mention that the game is relatively new to Americans. Where were we 25 years ago? It’s making more inroads with each new generation, albeit slowly.

    John Cleese adds further commentary (however, he SHOULD know the origins of the word soccer seeing that he’s English):

  • Another point… “flopping” is not unique to soccer. Basketball does it too.

  • MM: You’re right–that’s a good one! Thanks!

  • Oh, the flopping in basketball drives me crazy, and is one of the many reasons it is my least favorite of the big four sports. But even basketballers don’t act like they’ve been shot in the groin every time another player so much as breathes on them. That to me is one of the more annoying aspects of soccer,

  • As for the Cleese rant, that was actually pretty funny. But I would like to see a soccer player, oh, excuse me, footballer lineup behind the line of scrimmage just once and see how “unthinking” an NFL quarterback is. I’m sure Peyton Manning would be amused by the results.

  • Big Tex,
    Soccer? Really? And you call yourself a Texan?

    Dude, first you refer to that university down on the Colorado as “UT”, then not giving REK and Lyle the love they deserve, and now … soccer???

    I’m going to have to reassess my, up to now, very high opinion of you.

    😉

  • Oh, by the way, Gaelic Football rules!!!

    😉

  • Jay, I am very much a Texan. My cleats are right next to my boots. Moreover, soccer is very much a part of the youth athletics landscape in Dallas. Moreover, the Dallas Cup is one of the premier tournaments in the US, featuring teams from across the nation and the world.

    Sorry about bustin’ your impression of me. I hardly conform to the typical Texan stereotype. Would it shock you even more that I love jazz music? One thing I’ve learned over the years about the interwebs, is that the old adage about books and covers applies even more. 😛

    The US was robbed out of two points today.

  • “Would it shock you even more that I love jazz music?”

    Not at all. Texans have always been eclectic about their musical tastes. Bob Wills, himself, loved jazz.

    As for soccer, I’m just giving all my soccer-loving friends a bit of a hard time (especially now that soccer has officially come out of the closet).

    😉

    Besides, my kids all play it, and my 6-year-old son is (dare I brag?) a superstar at soccer. I’m just not really all that into the sport, though (not that there’s anything wrong with it).

  • One of my buddies from college always calls it a communist sport.

  • T. Shaw.

    You may be interested to know that one of our well known All Blacks from the 80’s, 1980 – 86 in fact, was a Mark Shaw, his nickname ‘Cowboy’ Shaw. He was a tall rangy hard hitting loose forward who worked in the Freezing Works (Meat Industry). You being from Texas, I thought the info was appropriate 😉

    Michael Denton.

    I believe that rugby has a fairly good following up in the US North West – also the Canadians around Vancouver have a fairly respectable team. I have a Welsh born cousin in law( the Welsh are Rugby mad, probably more so than the kiwis) who live in Vanc. and he has had many world trips as assist.manager of the Canadian team. Also, I believe that rugby has a reasonable following in Texas and a couple of the other southern states.

    Jay Anderson.

    Oh, by the way, Gaelic Football rules

    You would be a fan then of AFL – Australian Football , commonly called Aussie Rules. It is a game based on Gaelic Football, but with an oval ball, and is quite a spectacular game. It is very strong in Australia, particularly Victoria, South Australia and Western Austrslia, tho’ the other 3 states have teams in the national comp. There may even be a Kiwi Aussie rules team in the comp in a few years.

    And I think the US were robbed of a couple of points last night too. Bloody refs. 😉

  • No winners or losers in football? cough…penalty…cough…golden goal…cough…really, it is well known that in football there is always ultimately a loser and a winner..one of the most merciless sport at reminding people of that.

  • LOL, Big Tex. Way back when, I used to tease a college friend of mine who was a soccer fan by saying that soccer was a sport for “chicks and communists”.

    Don,
    I remember the early days of ESPN, when they used to show Australian rules football all the time during the late-night hours. It was fun to watch.

  • Those judges at the world cup are clearly BLIND!… firstly with the germany-england game.. not to count all the other stupid decisions.

German Family Receives Policital Asylum in US

Tuesday, February 9, AD 2010

In a story those in homeschooling stories may already have heard about, Federal Judge Lawrence Burman issued a ruling in late January granting political asylum to a family of Evangelical Christians from Germany, on the basis that they faced religious persecution in Germany over their belief that they needed to homeschool their children in order to provide them with proper religious formation. With a number of writers, both American and European, pursuing a narrative in which Europe is far more civilized and tolerant than the US, this event provides an interesting example of how European laws are often, in practice, far more restrictive than people in the US would be comfortable with.

The family in question had suffered repeated fines for homeschooling their children, and had been threatened with jail time or loss of custody.

Uwe and Hannelore Romeike, who are evangelical Christians, say they were forced to go the the US because they wanted to educate their five children at home, something that is illegal in Germany….

In October 2006, police came to the Romeike home and took the children to school. In November 2007 Germany’s highest appellate court ruled that in severe cases of non-compliance, social services could even remove children from home.

Uwe Romeike told the Associated Press that the 2007 ruling convinced him and his wife that “we had to leave the country.” The curriculum in public schools over the past few decades has been “more and more against Christian values,” he said.

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One Response to German Family Receives Policital Asylum in US

  • There are many more German families that have had the parents either imprisoned or children taken away or both.

    Very sad.

    I hope the homeschooling movement here in the United States is organized enough to prevent such laws from ever being passed or enacted.

Advent and Anti-Christ, Part IV

Sunday, December 20, AD 2009

The fourth and final part of my presentation of the four sermons on the Anti-Christ delivered by John Henry Cardinal Newman before his conversion during Advent in 1835.  Part I is here, part II is here and Part III is here.

In this last sermon Newman speaks of the persecution that will attend the reign of the anti-Christ.  In Newman’s day, living memory could recall the savage persecution that the Church endured dring the initial years of the French Revolution.  In our time, we have the blood-stained last century when millions of Christians were martyred for their faith.  It is all too easy to suspect that those terrible persecutions were trial runs for the persecution of the Anti-Christ.  The last century brought to reality these words of Newman:  “Let us then apprehend and realize the idea, thus clearly brought before us, that, sheltered as the Church has been from persecution for 1500 years, yet a persecution awaits it, before the end, fierce and more perilous than any which occurred at its first rise.” Certainly all prior persecutions pale before what Christians experienced in the Terrible Twentieth.

This is an interesting passage from Newman’s sermon:  “Again, another anxious sign at the present time is what appears in the approaching destruction of the Mahometan power. This too may outlive our day; still it tends visibly to annihilation, and as it crumbles, perchance the sands of the world’s life are running out.” I assume that Newman was thinking of the decline of the Ottoman Empire of his day, the sick man of Europe.  Freed from this adversary, perhaps Europe would unite behind one man, reform or revive the Roman Empire, and bring about the conditions for the Anti-Christ.  Small wonder that Hitler was frequently deemed the Anti-Christ during his lifetime.  Of course Hitler was not the Anti-Christ, but perhaps merely one of myriads of anti-Christs who have arisen and fallen in the centuries since the coming of Christ, or perhaps he is a precursor of the Anti-Christ.

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3 Responses to Advent and Anti-Christ, Part IV

  • Actually (if I’m not mistaken), the sermons as they exist now were published as #83 in Tracts For The Times in 1838, but they are a development of a series of sermons preached in 1835.

    Are you familiar with the short postscript Newman wrote for their publication? It’s rather interesting.
    http://www.archive.org/stream/ra599730700newmuoft#page/107/mode/1up

  • Thank you for the info DB. I have corrected my posts to indicate 1835 as the year of delivery. I was unfamiliar with the postscript. Bishop Horsley’s letter quoted in the postscript is stunningly prophetic.

  • The passage of the letter of Bishop Horsley quoted by Newman:

    ‘The Church of God on earth will be greatly reduced, as we may well imagine, in its apparent numbers, in the times of Antichrist, by the open desertion of the powers of the world. This desertion will begin in a professed indifference to any particular form of Christianity, under the pretence of universal toleration; which toleration will proceed from no true spirit of charity and forbearance, but from a design to undermine Christianity, by multiplying and encouraging sectaries. The pretended toleration will go far beyond a just toleration, even as it regards the different sects of Christians. For governments will pretend an indifference to all, and will give a protection in preference to none. All establishments will be laid aside. From the toleration of the most pestilent heresies, they will proceed to the toleration of Mahometanism, Atheism, and at last to a positive persecution of the truth of Christianity. In these times the Temple of God will be reduced almost to the Holy Place, that is, to the small number of real Christians who worship the Father in spirit and in truth, and regulate their doctrine and their worship, and their whole conduct, strictly by the word of God. The merely nominal {108} Christians will all desert the profession of the truth, when the powers of the world desert it. And this tragical event I take to be typified by the order to St. John to measure the Temple and the Altar, and leave the outer court (national Churches) to be trodden under foot by the Gentiles. The property of the clergy will be pillaged, the public worship insulted and vilified by these deserters of the faith they once professed, who are not called apostates because they never were in earnest in their profession. Their profession was nothing more than a compliance with fashion and public authority. In principle they were always, what they now appear to be, Gentiles. When this general desertion of the faith takes place, then will commence the sackcloth ministry of the witnesses … There will be nothing of splendour in the external appearance of their churches; they will have no support from governments, no honours, no emoluments, no immunities, no authority, but that which no earthly power can take away, which they derived from Him, who commissioned them to be His witnesses.’

We Are Americans, Not Europeans

Friday, August 14, AD 2009

Isn’t it obvious that most of our American ancestors came over from Europe because they wanted life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?  They fled totalitarian regimes, socialist governments, and anti-Christian repression for the freedom that is afforded all Americans.

We have the best health care in the world precisely because it is not operated by the government.  Private industry drives innovation, government regulation or government-run health care eliminates innovation, awards bureaucrats, and ultimately leads to marginal health care in the long run.

We are Americans, not Europeans.  Yet President Obama, Congressional Democrats, and well-meaning liberals and progressives want to emulate European health care programs.  What Europeans have is not necessarily right nor good.

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42 Responses to We Are Americans, Not Europeans

  • My ancestors from Norway came here because they wanted to farm, and the soil where they lived was rocky, and the seasons short. My ancestors from Germany came, we think, because they were younger sons who were cut out from owning the family farm in the Rhineland. My Quaker ancestors from England and Wales were indeed escaping religious persecution, although if they had landed in the wrong colony in America (anywhere but Pennsylvania or Rhode Island), they would have encountered it again.

    None were escaping government-run healthcare. Most were not escaping any form of statism. It could be argued they were pursuing prosperity in the freedom of America, but it should be noted that most immigrants to the U.S. supported the state-led reforms of the progressives and Democrats in the first half of the twentieth century (although that was less true of the Scandinavian and German farmers of the Great Plains, who tended not to care about urban issues like that, although they did support populist initiatives like North Dakota’s central bank). In other words, your narrative of American history is certainly uncomplicated, and not unrelatedly, quite inaccurate.

    Why does it matter whether public health spending increases as a percentage of GDP if overall spending as a percentage of GDP is decreased? Why consolidate vastly different government healthcare programs – what does Medicare have to do with NIH?

    When you win an election for economic reasons, generally it’s because people think your policies will help address the economic situation. When part of that economic situation is healthcare (concerns about its costs, and about losing your coverage), presumably it’s not absurd to think there’s a connection. For years a greater percentage of people have trusted Democrats more than Republicans on healthcare. That suggests that maybe the “We’re Americans, so don’t try to learn from other countries” argument doesn’t hold as much sway as you think.

  • Zak,

    Excellent points.

    But if I were to jump into the details for every European ethnic group that moved to the US it would have ended up being a novel.

  • Ha! In and out of moderation. Hope you are having fun, policeman!

  • Not *all* of us come from European stock. 😉

  • Tito – Interesting that you deleted all of my comments here EXCEPT for that one. What is the point of that?

  • Michael,

    Your less than charitable comments are being deleted. And not only by me.

    Unlike Vox Nova, where I have been banned due to my comment that I am an American first and Mexican second thus destroying the myth of the American left that minorities need to be self-empowered by adding a “hyphenated” prefix attached to “American”, we have charity at this website, so many of your comments do get approved.

  • You know you were not banned for that comment.

  • My comments were moderated before, but that was the first one that got deleted, while the others were in moderation and then approved.

    So apparently that was the final straw that destroyed the delicate liberal world view that all minorities need to be pampered and told how to talk, think, and vote.

  • We have the best health care in the world if you are at a certain income bracket…

  • Proud to be an A-mer-i-can…

  • Eric,

    When I ‘had’ health care insurance, I got the cheapest plan available and ended up having the best orthopedic surgeon in the country repair my damaged knee.

    And I made less than 6 figures.

    Mark D.,

    Me to brother.

  • “Nationalized” and “socialized” health care programs (they are the same thing, which anyone opposed to the “nation-state” should recognize) “work” much better in small, homogeneous places with high average healthy behaviors and human capital – like say, the Scandinavian places many (rightfully, often) praise.

    Will it work here? Not according to the CBO, and that is just on the estimations of financial side.

    Why don’t we do this instead?

    PROMOTE HEALTH. Cut carbs – go against the destructive status quo (which the government has done a lot of damage on – remember that food pyramid?) Do something like this
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/definitive-guide-primal-blueprint/

    TORT REFORM. Add high-deductible health insurance plans and health savings accounts. Equalize the tax laws so that that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits. PORTABILITY. Let people view plans across state lines. Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover. Enact Medicare reform…NOW. And REVISE tax laws to make it easier for individuals to make a voluntary, tax-deductible donation to help the millions of people who have no insurance and aren’t covered by Medicare, Medicaid or SCHIP.

  • Tito – Believe what you want. Make things up if it turns you on.

  • “We are Americans, not Europeans. Yet President Obama, Congressional Democrats, and well-meaning liberals and progressives want to emulate European health care programs.”

    I’ve seen it suggested that “blue state” America, especially college campuses, looks so much like Europe because American academics helped rebuild the continent after the war and made themselves and the like-minded into the uncontested establishment. Is there anything to this?

  • Tito,

    Would you forego governmental assistance in the form of medical care and martyr yourself, if need be, for the principles of your America?

  • Nationalized” and “socialized” health care programs (they are the same thing, which anyone opposed to the “nation-state” should recognize) “work” much better in small, homogeneous places with high average healthy behaviors and human capital – like say, the Scandinavian places many (rightfully, often) praise.

    Will it work here? Not according to the CBO, and that is just on the estimations of financial side.

    Why don’t we do this instead?

    PROMOTE HEALTH. Cut carbs – go against the destructive status quo (which the government has done a lot of damage on – remember that food pyramid?) Do something like this
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/definitive-guide-primal-blueprint/

    TORT REFORM. Add high-deductible health insurance plans and health savings accounts. Equalize the tax laws so that that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits. PORTABILITY. Let people view plans across state lines. Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover. Enact Medicare reform…NOW. And REVISE tax laws to make it easier for individuals to make a voluntary, tax-deductible donation to help the millions of people who have no insurance and aren’t covered by Medicare, Medicaid or SCHIP.

  • Pingback: COACHEP » Blog Archive » Posts about Obama Health Care Failure as of August 14, 2009
  • Kevin,

    It happens sadly in red states as well.

    Mark D.,

    There is the emergency clinic.

  • Touche

  • Nationalized” and “socialized” health care programs (they are the same thing, which anyone opposed to the “nation-state” should recognize)…

    They’re not the same thing if there are no nation-states. Socialized health care could also operate on the state (in the u.s.) or provincial level (as in Canada) as well.

    …“work” much better in small, homogeneous places with high average healthy behaviors and human capital – like say, the Scandinavian places many (rightfully, often) praise.

    There you go with your “homogeneous places” stuff again. “If only we could keep all the races separate, everything would work great!”

  • Mark D.,

    I just want to be clear that I want Health Care reform as well. Just not as drastic in some portions of the bills that are floating around in the House with possibly an addition to including tort reform.

    We need health care reform, but together as Americans, not as a strictly Democratic bill.

  • To all you people who care so much about the uninsured, I have two words for you: PROVE IT! Spend your own money, not someone else’s. Last time I checked, when the Good Samaritan helped the man on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho, he did not spend another person’s money. He spent his own.

  • Just because an idea or system is not American, does not make it automatically bad (or good). After all, most of us on this blog really like the social and moral ideas promulgated in the last 100 years or so by certain Italian, Polish, and German guys who wear funny hats 😉

  • To all you people who care so much about the uninsured, I have two words for you: PROVE IT! Spend your own money, not someone else’s. Last time I checked, when the Good Samaritan helped the man on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho, he did not spend another person’s money. He spent his own.

    Presumably those who are in favor of universal health care are willing to have their taxes raised in order to pay for it. So, um, they would be spending “their own money.”

    Your me, mine, all mine attitude is sub-Christian.

  • When does society begin to look at itself to curb the healthcare problems? Obesity, smoking, drinking, STD’s, unwanted pregnancy, abortions, elicit drug use all put demand on the system in overdrive. Seems easy to say let the government take care of it so all share in the cost, but we are not eager to curb our own appetite for vices. There can be no true social justice that is not rooted in virtue and our Government does not respect the dignity of life so it is really a farce to think they care about the quality of life. If we as a country do not respect God as our creator, no government program is going to save us.

  • Ray – Sadly, not all health problems are connected to “virtue.” Aside from the fact that accidents happen in real life, your comment is the same old blame the victim nonsense.

  • Michael,

    While forcing the rest of us to pay for something we already do through charity.

    Dufus.

  • While forcing the rest of us to pay for something we already do through charity.

    This doesn’t make any sense.

  • Tito, you had a good health insurance plan. That does not mean the entire system is not deeply flawed.

  • Mikael,

    Cost is a product of demand; the demand is greatly increased by health care administered to people who made a choice to engage in risky behavior. US Policy Makers have done nothing to slow the erosion of this immoral behavior, but now have a plan to reduce cost. All hollow without morals in the driver’s seat. You will not contain a fire by putting a fire hose in the front door and a gasoline hose in the back.

    And don’t take this to mean I am not compassionate. I am not in favor of a GOVERNMENT run plan. Private and faith based working together with the government will provide greater success. What is the purpose of keeping their body alive if you are not trying to save the soul?

  • Michael, a portion of health care costs are the result of affluenza, the indulgence of appetites in ways that previous generations could ill-afford. That is just a social fact.

  • Today’s reading and Gospel summed up my thoughts better then I did.

    “But when the judge died,
    they would relapse and do worse than their ancestors,
    following other gods in service and worship,
    relinquishing none of their evil practices or stubborn conduct.”

    We are quick as a nation to anoint blame and seek fixes for our problems and concerns, but we are slow to admit there is a divine plan at work here. This country does have a lot of Greed, Does have a lot of Lust, Does Kill it’s unborn, and we are trashing the Mother/Father family structure. Now as you listen to our elected policy makers we “must” do something about the broken health care system; Some what being sold as a moral obligation to the poor and a “must have” to prove we “love your neighbor”. Poppycock if we do not relinquish our evil and stubborn conduct.

    The way we are asked to help the poor is Charity given from the heart, not policy given by our babbling law makers.

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • Hey thanks for reminding the Sloth in our country has too.

  • Another difference with Europenas is their lifestyle – they tend to be healthier in diet and exercise (lots more walking). Of course that has an impact on health care costs. Not to mention their defense budgets are a heck of a lot less than ours.

    But we are Americans, dang it. If we want that custard filled donut with bacon and eggs for breakfast to help us sit at our cubicle for the next nine hours before we go home and plop down in front of the tube for 3 hours while we wait for the pizza delivery guy, then by golly, we’re gonna get it.

    On the other hand, why the rush to pass this particular bill? Why so hurried – if health care reform is worth doing, isn’t it worth doing right?

  • “Presumably those who are in favor of universal health care are willing to have their taxes raised in order to pay for it. So, um, they would be spending ‘their own money.'”

    Actually, the Administration proposes that very few people pay for it.

  • C Matt,

    It’s our choice to eat what we want.

    Granted it is excessive, but God gave us free will.

    (For the record, I agree with you that Americans don’t eat very well).

    As far as defense budgets are concerned, the US pretty much is NATO. If they were ever to be attacked by Russian or the Arab states, you can be well assured that the Americans will rush quickly to their defense.

    It’s how NATO works.

  • Michael,

    To your reference to “dufus”, I apologize about that.

    I should have been more careful.

    In my defense, I thought it was a silly word appropriate for you, but when I looked it up in the dictionary, it went to far where you didn’t deserve to be called that.

  • 1960 Flemming v. Nestor the Supreme Court ruled “The noncontractual interest of an employee covered by the Act cannot be soundly analogized to that of the holder of an annuity, whose right to benefits are based on his contractual premium payments”. The decision means that since no one has any legal right to Social Security benefits, Congress can cut or eliminate benefits at any time.

    Keep this in mind as Baby Boomers retire. Early on SS was a trust fund that was eventually raided in 1965 to offset the deficit. When the retirees payments exceeds the collections taxes will skyrocket, benefits will get cut, or they print money and inflation runs rampant.

    Flemming v. Nestor will have the same impact on a public option healthcare, it is not a contractual right and they can cut or eliminate benefits at any time. With a private option you have a contract and legal rights. Private payments that are deductible for the poor is a much better solution.

    As far as who is paying? It does not pass the squint test that this can be paid for with only a handful of wealthy people footing the bill. Hence the panic that the “end of life” counseling session will turn into nothing more then trying to talk the elderly into NOT accepting advanced and costly treatment. So why reinvent the Living Will? Promote everyone to write a Living Will; don’t replace it with another system which will open decades of new legal questions already established by Living Wills.

  • Michael,

    That’s between you and Donald.

    While we’re on the subject, look up the word charity and read the Holy Gospel of St. Matthew, chapter 5, verse 39.

The Narrow Atlantic

Friday, May 29, AD 2009

UCLA professor Peter Baldwin pens an interesting priece for the UK’s Prospect in which he argues that the differences between the US and Europe are not as great as is often claimed. Baldwin’s point of view strikes me as left of center, but his argument (mainly a comparison of statistics to see how the US really measures up to various EU countries on questions like poverty, education, environmentalism, etc.) is fairly non-ideological and the overall result is interesting.

Left open ended (though he provides a few thoughts on the matter) is the question of why both Americans and Europeans like to perceive such strong differences between themselves, and what exactly that means about the two cultures.

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