God Gave a Goose: A Continuing Series

Thursday, March 6, AD 2014

Ticked off Goose

One of my favorite expressions, that I think I inherited from my sainted mother, is, Fill in the blank, doesn’t have the sense that God gave a goose.  Here is the latest incident that elicited that phrase from me:

A Minnesota public high school was so committed to obeying its fire drill policy to the exact letter of the law that it forced a female student–dressed only in a swimsuit, and sopping wet–to stand outside in the freezing cold for ten minutes. As a result, she suffered frostbite.

Administrators wouldn’t let the student retrieve her clothes, sit in a car or wait inside another building, according to WCCO.

The trouble began when a small science experiment triggered the fire alarm at Como Park Senior High School in St. Paul, Minnesota. Fourteen-year-old Kayona Hagen-Tietz was swimming in the school pool for health class at the time. Her clothes were in her locker, and a teacher told her that there was no time for her to change. Hagen-Tietz was rushed outside–still wet and dressed in only (a) swimsuit.

It was 5 degrees below zero in St. Paul that day. With the windchill, it was 25 degrees below zero.

Hagen-Tietz asked to wait inside an employee’s car, or at the elementary school across the street. But administrators believed that this would violate official policy, and could get the school in trouble, so they opted to simply let the girl freeze.

Her fellow classmates, at least, huddled around her to try to keep her warm. And one teacher did eventually lend her a coat.

Still, Hagen-Tietz came down with frostbite on her feet, according to her mother, Eva Tietz, who took her to the doctor as soon as she found out what had happened.

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2 Responses to God Gave a Goose: A Continuing Series

8 Responses to Face Palm Political Ad of the Year

  • As a person of Chinese descent, I don’t find the ad offensive. In fact, I think it’s kind of funny, which maybe says something about my sense of humor.

    I suppose if there’s one thing Hoekstra can be criticized for, it’s not giving sufficient consideration to the overcharged politically correct environment that we now live in. If Hoekstra had thought it through better, the ad would have had the gal speaking in Chinese with English subtitles running below her.

  • Believe me, we’ll see a LOT worse as the year goes on. I actually don’t think the content is all that bad; but the production values totally suck.

  • The Chinese gal is too pretty. I suspect that most males viewing it would be distracted by that. This ad does “Yellow Peril” better:

  • Of course, if we do not get our fiscal house in order than the Chinese would be left holding worthless paper. I doubt if that will happen, although I do expect it to happen with most other non-American government debt. As for the Chinese, they have their own coming economic meltdown to worry about.

  • It works for me. Only criticism is: she speaks better English than I do.

    You need to monitor default/troubled debt restructuring news out of Greece; and soon Portugal, Spain and Ireland (Italy may somehow muddle through). That likely is a harbinger of our future.

  • Roger’s comment reminds me a of a Seinfeld episode in which his dentist converts to Judaism, and then proceeds to make a slew of anti-Semitic jokes. This upsets Seinfeld, who explains that he thinks the dentist merely converted for the jokes. Someone asks him, “This offends you as a Jew?” “No,” Jerry replied, “it offends me as a comic.”

    I think the poor production quality and the hackneyed way they tried to force the “Debbie Spend it now” nickname all contribute to make this an awful ad. The subtle playing to Chinese stereotype doesn’t help.

  • If she had delivered her lines in Mandarin with English subtitles, as opposed to pidgin engrish, it definitely would’ve been better.

    Again, it’s not so much the message of the ad as it is the lame-assed production values that make this ad miss the mark.

  • The girl does not look Chinese and the action appears to be somewhere in South East Asia. Who is about to begrudge a girl on a bicycle a few dollars more? But I suppose given sheer tackiness of the advertisement it might work.

You Can't Buy This Type Of Bad Publicity!

Thursday, November 12, AD 2009


The administration of Ave Maria, I assume in an attempt to draw huge public attention to a critic, has banned blogger Marielena Montesino de Stuart from most of the campus.

Two days after she asked questions at a town government meeting, Marielena Montesino de Stuart was told by a university spokesman she was not allowed on university property or to attend a press conference announcing a $4 million donation from New York billionaire Tom Golisano. When she tried to go anyway, the university had Collier County Sheriff’s deputies waiting to say that they would arrest her if she persisted.

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9 Responses to You Can't Buy This Type Of Bad Publicity!

  • Technical legal terms usually employ Latin – I would go with “Summa Stupidity”

  • Sorry, I must say you don’t describe this accurately. You say “two days after she asked questions at a meeting …” I guess you weren’t there. Listen to the audio file on the website maintained by the Ave Maria Stewardship Committee, and find out yourself how Ms. Stuart behaved at the meeting you reference. She asked the same question six times after it was answered the first. She insulted the committee. She interrupted, wouldn’t yield the floor, and had to be repeatedly reminded not to stray from the agenda. She argued with other residents to the extent that finally, the committee had to call a five minute recess.

    Yeah, you’re right it’s a shame the University gave her a chance to grab the spotlight by not allowing her to the press conference, but, to be fair, the alternative wouldn’t have been pretty either. That press conference was being held to announce a $4 million gift and to thank the donor.

    Ms. Stuart, a woman of, let us say, questionable temperament, made it no secret that she was heading over with plans to humiliate the donor. Letting her in wouldn’t have been pretty either. I think it would have truly irritated the donor, who might reasonably expect the event to be a pleasant one, since he was, after all, funding a gym.

    It was a lose/lose situation either way for the University. Yes, it’s possible that a really skilled public relations person (or someone experienced in dealing with town cranks) could have handled it more adroitly. But I disagree that it was a case of stupidity.

  • It was stupidity on stilts Monty. Banning the blogger from virtually all the campus merely attracted a lot of attention to the points that she was trying to make. Having security simply keep her out of meetings that the administration at Ave Maria didn’t want her to attend would have served the same purpose and attracted a lot less bad publicity.

  • Well, there you have a point, Donald. I do think barring her from the meeting served its purpose by not allowing her to turn the event into the Marielena Show, which she likes to do. That wasn’t stupidity on stilts.

    But banning her from the campus did work against the University and served no purpose, although I will note we both speak from hindsight, when it’s pretty easy to see clearly. She would have ginned up bad publicity anyway, but I agree that being banned from campus made it worse.

  • For the general public and for those who lack the courage to identify themselves with real names: http://tinyurl.com/yjt22mm

  • The Wanderer Retracts “False Statements” About Ave Maria


    The editor of The Wanderer has publicly retracted “false statements” that were published in the weekly newspaper about the town of Ave Maria and Ave Maria University.

    In a statement titled “Retraction and Correction,” published in the April 29 edition of The Wanderer, Editor Alphonse J. Matt Jr. apologized for six different errors in fact that appeared in stories published in August, 2009, and January, 2010. Both stories were written by Ave Maria town resident Marielena Montesino de Stuart.

  • Les Femmes-The Truth Blog
    Wednesday, June 16, 2010
    Ave Maria Town, Jackson Labs, and The Wanderer..Oh My!
    Ever since I wrote the article about my concerns over The Wanderer, I have been eagerly reading my weekly paper to see if they will cover the scandal of Jackson Labs locating at Ave Maria Town. And it truly is a scandal to see this anti-life organization with deep roots in eugenics welcomed by Tom Monaghan and Ave Maria University. If you don’t think that’s what’s happening you need to read about Jackson Labs and realize exactly how deeply disturbing Monaghan’s complicity in providing the land to build their facility is. Monaghan claims absolution because the National Catholic Bioethics Center provided cover, but that organization is not without controversy.

    Randy Engel has a two part article about this mess:
    Part I – Eugenics Meets the Pizza King – Ave Maria in the Shadow of Auschwitz

    Part II – Ave Maria, Jackson Laboratory and Mass Eugenic Killing
    And Randy is not the only one talking about the scandal. FUMARE has an article questioning it that links to a National Catholic Register article. The American Papist also addressed the issue in early June.

    All of these sources are asking what is going on? And why? What happened to the idea of the city on a hill where Catholics could locate in confidence that their values would be supported. What will happen to the integrity of the town when one of the biggest employers for miles around is an anti-life organization whose entire history is steeped in the culture of death? It looks like a prescription for the perfect storm of disunity. Culture of life move over and make room for the culture of death. It reminds me of the years when St. James Catholic Church in Falls Church, VA peacefully coexisted with the abortion mill next door. All they did was build a higher fence and sing a little louder and harrass pro-lifers who stood on their property to counsel women and offer alternatives. The devil loves that kind of setup!

    One voice has been surprisingly silent while the confrontation over Ave Maria welcoming Jackson Labs builds — and it’s a voice that calls itself “Witness for the Truth.” That, of course, is The Wanderer. I’ve been watching for six weeks to see if an article or a column would mention this abomination. There hasn’t been a single solitary word about the Ave Maria scandal, only a puff piece by Jeffrey Tucker (two months old) praising a conference on sacred music held at Ave Maria. Is the fix in?

    A newspaper can tell you just as much by what it doesn’t print as what it does. The pro-life movement has known that for years and the tea party movement discovered it more recently. The mainstream media ignores those who don’t represent their liberal mindset.

    So does The Wanderer’s silence on the buddy-buddy relationship between Ave Maria and Jackson labs reflect a new mindset where Ave Maria and Tom Monaghan are above criticism? I fear the next thing in The Wanderer’s pages will be a full-page ad promoting the university. Or perhaps I and other subscribers will get slick packages from Ave Marie touting their orthodoxy.

    Until Jackson Labs is run out of Ave Maria Town on the proverbial rail, no orthodox Catholic can believe that Tom Monaghan cares more about the faith than about money. He has given a lot of it away to good causes and that’s great. But a drop of poison can ruin a gallon of water. Jackson Labs will poison Ave Maria Town beyond recovery. Why aren’t the “witnesses for the truth” at The Wanderer shouting that from the housetops?

    Read more:

    Jackson Labs Outlines Vision for Collier County Project
    Business Plan Released
    Latest Update on JAX-Florida
    Posted by Mary Ann at 3:53 PM
    Labels: Ave Maria Town, Jackson Labs, The Wanderer and Tom Monaghan, Tom Monaghan
    Anonymous said…
    Does AM resident Marielena de Stuart, who was threatened with arrest if she steps foot on AM property, no longer write for The Wanderer? Seems she would be the one to report Jackson Labs, no?

    June 16, 2010 4:27 PM
    Anonymous said…
    I did find the following: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2532576/posts

    June 16, 2010 4:30 PM
    Mary Ann said…
    I haven’t seen any more articles by Marielena de Stuart since The Wanderer ran their retraction.

    June 16, 2010 5:30 PM
    Marielena Montesino de Stuart said…
    My articles opposing The Jackson Lab can be found at http://www.TheRomanCatholicWorld.com as well as in Spero News and Daily Estimate.

    Marielena Montesino de Stuart

    June 17, 2010 11:25 AM
    Anonymous said…
    Does The Wanderer feel threatened if they ran more of these stories?

    June 17, 2010 11:51 AM
    Mary Ann said…
    I think one can assume The Wanderer was threatened with a lawsuit by Tom Monaghan. I also think it’s pretty clear that the original articles were on target since well-known Catholic lawyer Charlie Rice wrote an article saying they were and that Mrs. de Stuart had actually understated her case.

    So if the articles were accurate and The Wanderer backed off what’s the conclusion? I think there are several possibilities. First, they probably wanted to avoid a nuisance lawsuit. It costs a lot of money even if you win and The Wanderer is in financial difficulty. The second possibility is one I hate to even think of: That Monaghan suggested working together in a beneficial relationship. That’s why I’m watching to see what happens.

    Let’s recap: First The Wanderer publishes a correction of articles that were accurate which required shoving the writer under the bus. 2.) Then they publish a two-month old puff piece on Ave Maria. 3.) Then they ignore a HUGE negtive story about the relationship between Ave Maria and Jackson Labs. It is just the kind of story The Wanderer SHOULD run and has in the past.

    What’s 4? A full page ad for the university or selling Ave Maria the use of The Wanderer’s mailing list?

    I hope not. By ignoring the Jackson Lab controversy The Wanderer has broadened the debate to include their integrity.

    June 17, 2010 2:04 PM
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  • Has a venerable Catholic institution been compromised by wealth?
    Thursday, May 06, 2010By Mary Ann Kreitzer

    I received my Wanderer newspaper in the mail yesterday, as always a week late thanks to the postal service that discriminates against small publications. As usual I gave it a quick scan to see what the main issues are. When I got to the back page the piece that particularly drew my attention was the “retraction and correction” related to recent articles on Tom Monaghan and Ave Maria University and town. I read all the articles and was disappointed that the paper was caving in the face of Monaghan’s pressure. The retraction on its face is simply not credible.

    Since the very first controversy at Ave Maria over the Monaghan-designed monstrosity of a church, I’ve followed the events at the school closely. My husband and I were thrilled to hear of a new Catholic college and town and joined the “founders club” early on with regular contributions. However, we withdrew in the light of growing problems over, not only the design of the church, but the draconian actions taken against the Ave Maria Law School in Ann Arbor MI.

    We were appalled at the forced move to Florida including the removal of Dr. Charles Rice from the governing board and the suspension of three law professor who sued the president of the law school, Dean Bernard Dobranski, and Tom Monaghan. The professors subsequently won a settlement including full reinstatement and an undisclosed financial award. But a promising institution that had a 100% pass rate for the Michigan Bar Exam in 2004 and was accredited in the shortest time possible, ranked at the bottom in the 2010 U.S. News and World Report review of law schools.

    The Wanderer’s series of articles by Marielena Montesino de Stuart on the situation in Ave Maria were very disturbing, but subsequent events indicate the criticism of Monaghan and University president, Nicholas Healy, are thoroughly justified. Naming the sports center after billionaire Tom Golisano with his consistent funding of pro-abortion politicians was shocking. Galisano gave a million dollars to the Obama extravaganza democrat convention, consistently supports dozens of NARAL-backed politicians, and most recently promised to support publicly pro-abortion Charlie Crist after he fled the Republican party to run as an independent. These are the actions of a man who claims he is pro-life?

    With regard to the problem of Ave Maria’s town charter that allows abortion, what is there to retract? No less an authority than constitutional scholar Charles Rice wrote an article in The Wanderer in the February 18th edition titled The Controversy Behind Monaghan’s Ave Maria “Scheme”. Professor Rice affirmed all the documentation from the previous article and concluded:

    A curious question arises from the conclusion that the absolute prohibition of abortion in the first sentence of Section 6.5(V) is unconstitutional and void. If that prohibition is void, all that could possibly be left of Section 6.5(V) is the restriction on promotion, counseling and referrals. But if “promotion” of abortion is not counseling or referral, what is it? Does it include the performance of abortions? Can you promote abortion by performing abortions? The drafters of Section 6.5(V) drew a distinction between performance and promotion of abortion. But how can you perform abortions without promoting abortion? Promotion, unlike counseling and referrals, is a vague term and should not have been used in that context. If the absolute prohibition of abortion is void and if promotion of abortion can include performance of abortions, Mrs. Marielena Montesino de Stuart’s criticism has merit.

    In any event, Mrs. Montesino de Stuart understated her case. Will Ave Maria Town be required to permit the performance of some abortions? Yes, if, as seems clear, Ave Maria is subject to the Fourteenth Amendment under the criteria of Marsh v. Alabama.

    The underlying problem here is that the architects of the Ave Maria scheme undertook to create a town and exempt it from the constitutional restrictions that apply to state and local governments and to private persons assuming public functions by the operation of such a town. The incoherence of that course legally means that it will apparently be up to the abortionists to decide whether some abortions will be performed in Ave Maria Town.

    Any claim to the contrary is, in my opinion, a misrepresentation.

    Since Dr. Rice wrote this, Ave Maria has stepped into another morass (Is it because they’re located in a swamp?) over Monaghan turning over a section of land so that eugenics pioneer Jackson Labs can locate in Ave Maria Town. In view of all these problems with Ave Maria and the obvious accuracy of the articles illustrated by the analysis of a constitutional scholar, exactly what is really going on at The Wanderer and why did they print a retraction (with a face-saving refusal to concur on one issue)?

    Here’s my educated guess. First, everybody knows The Wanderer is in financial trouble. It’s mentioned in almost every issue. Second, Tom Monaghan has plenty of money to engage in a frivolous lawsuit which the paper can ill afford and he has shown himself perfectly willing in the past to go after those who disagree with him (Remember the professors at the law school in Ann Arbor?). Third, and this pains me to consider, Monaghan can “help” The Wanderer with its difficulties. All it takes is throwing a troublesome journalist under the bus and retracting a few facts that are true, but unpleasant for Monaghan.

    If my third supposition is true, you will never see another critical item about Tom Monaghan and Ave Maria appear in The Wanderer’s pages. You may even see full page ads for Ave Maria gracing the back page. And anyone who thinks Monaghan would buy an ad from a critic needs a reality check.

    The Wanderer has been described as a “witness to the truth,” a well deserved accolade. But if the paper caved to Monaghan over money, that witness is in mortal jeopardy: a newspaper that has been fearless in its reporting for over 100 years has sold its soul. It’s integrity will have been bought by a pragmatist who, while paying lip service to the faith, is willing to compromise Catholic values to get what he wants. Is Ave Maria really about the Blessed Mother and the promotion of the faith or is it the legacy of a man building a shrine to himself? Pray for Tom Monaghan and all those he is willing to injure to reach his goals. The list is growing. Pray especially that this is not the death knell of The Wanderer. I love the paper and have myself written articles for it. The mourning will indeed be great if the great witness to the truth becomes one more jockey in Tom Monaghan’s stable.

    Mary Ann Kreitzer is a founder of the Catholic Media Coalition. She blogs at Les Femmes-The Truth.

Clinton and Our Lady

Saturday, March 28, AD 2009


Our Secretary of State, pictured above in her school days when she must have been busily not paying attention in at least some of her classes, visited the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe On Thursday March 27.  After observing the image of Our Lady, Clinton inquired who painted it?  She then told a group of Mexicans outside that they had a “marvelous virgin”.  I must say that I am proud to have such a sophisticated, intelligent  and well read person as Mrs. Clinton representing the U.S. abroad.  I trust that she will not forget the “Montezuma’s Revenge” reference on a future trip to Mexico.  Paying “homage” to Our Lady was squeezed in on her way to accepting the Margarent Sanger award Thursday night in Houston from Murder Inc., aka, Planned Parenthood.

Update I:  “Reproductive rights and the umbrella issue of women’s rights and empowerment will be a key to the foreign policy of this administration,” Clinton said in Houston, where she received the Margaret Sanger Award from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “

Update II:  Ed Morrissey notes at Hot Air that Clinton said that she had been at the Basilica 30 years before.  Hopefully she was paying more attention this time.

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32 Responses to Clinton and Our Lady

  • With all due respect, the hatred here is palpable.

  • You are correct Mr. DeFrancisis. Clinton obviously does not think much of either Catholics or fetuses. In the case of Catholics I would say it is stupidity rather than hatred. In the case of fetuses it might be hatred.

  • Ironically enough, Our Lady of Guadeloupe’s grace led to the conversion of an entire culture that was built on destroying life. Let’s pray that even this PR encounter leads to more conversion.

  • Mr. McClarey,

    I just know that you can do better that this. These types of posts add a foul air to the general atmosphere of discussion.

  • Mr. DeFrancisis, your anger towards me is misdirected. I merely report the news and point out the follies therein. It is people such as Mrs. Clinton who engage in the follies and much worse. I tremble for our nation when, and it is when and not if, she has to wrap her tremendous knowledge base around a dangerous foreign crisis.

  • I am no fan of Hillary, but cut her a little slack here. Sheesh, there are CATHOLICS in this world who don’t know about Our Lady of Guadalupe; it doesn’t surprise me that a non-Catholic wouldn’t have heard about its miraculous significance. She’s probably seen it but assumed it was a painted icon like Poland’s Black Madonna, or Russia’s Our Lady of Vladimir.

    One could argue that because she is Secretary of State and is supposed to be an expert on foreign cultures, particularly those of strategically important nations, she should know better. However, GOP presidents and administrations aren’t immune to similar gaffes. Bush’s last press secretary, for example, admitted she didn’t understand an analogy to the Cuban Missile Crisis because she didn’t know what it was.

    I agree with Rick that given Our Lady’s success in turning around another culture of death, this might be a hopeful sign.

    I have heard that President Reagan (whose father and brother were Catholic although he was not) knew about Our Lady of Fatima and was intrigued by her promise of Russia’s conversion.

  • While I’m not a Hillary fan (to put it mildly), I would be more surprised if she was aware of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

  • Of course she is not a mere tourista. Secretaries of State are extensively briefed before foreign visits. I find the idea that she seems to be oblivious of Catholic beliefs regarding the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe to be risible in the extreme, especially as part of the brightest and most sophisticated administration in our nation’s history, or so what is left of the mainstream press keeps assuring us.

  • When I saw the outrage from Mark I assumed part of the story was fabricated. In particular, I assumed the bit about the Margaret Sanger award was added as a joke. However, after reading the linked article it turns out she went from paying homage to Mary to receiving an award from PP named after a racist advocate of abortion as a way to clean up the gene pool. Yet, the outrage is directed at the author of the post and not towards the Secretary of State who would accept such a heinous award, or the President who would name such a character as SECSTATE. Seems our outrage is misplaced. I don’t care that she had no knowledge of the history of the shrine in Guadalupe. I do care that she has lived her sorry life in such a way that disgusting people like PP feel obliged to honor her. As a society we should be ashamed that PP exists and yet no less a figure than our SECSTATE deems them worthy of her presence. Yet, we have people more concerned about internet posts adding a foul air??? Ridiculous.

  • Last year when she was trolling for Catholic votes Clinton wore a “madonna” bracelet with an image of our Lady of Guadalupe. I guess it was boob bait for Catholics stupid enough to think it meant anything to her other than as a piece of jewelry.


  • I would think that if she was making a visit to the shrine, her staff should have provided her a one-sheet on Our Lady of Guadalupe. That’s the sort of cultural sensitivity and competence we were assured we could expect from this administration.

    Or perhaps, being an “ugly American” tourist is more bipartisan than is generally claimed.

    If she’d had the question sprung on her (in a Katie Couric interview?) on some unrelated occasion I’d consider it fair to allow her ignorance, but if you’re going to visit a national shrine you should know the five minute version of its story.

  • Frankly, I’m surprised by her gaffe. She has made a gross error.

    On Donald’s point, I agree, that bracelet was mere pandering to the Catholic vote, a meaningless gesture worn by the former first lady.

  • Donad,

    There is no anger or outrage on my part, but mere pity– that you have to bring the blog down to the level you sometimes do.

  • Your pity is misplaced Mr. DeFrancisis. I will attack absurdity and evil wherever I find them. If you do not regard Mrs Clinton’s ignorant perfomance at the Basilica as aburd, and her acceptance of the Margaret Sanger award as evil, then you and I clearly have different definitions of those terms.

  • I certainly do not agree with anything Margaret Sanger or Planned Parenthood stands for.

    However, I think pro-lifers would be well advised to stop citing statements Margaret Sanger made back in the 1920s as “proof” that the modern-day Planned Parenthood is explicitly racist and bent on genocide.

    That would be like insisting that Jews today shouldn’t buy Ford products because Henry Ford was anti-Semitic — even though Henry Ford’s personal views nearly 100 years ago have little if anything to do with how the company is run today. It’s an argument that makes pro-lifers, not PP, look like fools who resort to irrelevant ad hominem attacks to make a point.

    In the early 20th century a LOT of educated and otherwise well-intentioned people considered eugenics a legitimate science that held the promise of eliminating poverty, disease, etc. The Nazis didn’t invent eugenics. They did, however, exploit it for their own racist and nationalistic purposes, which hastened its demise.

    If I were looking for proof that the modern PP is racist, I would look for more recent evidence than that. Margaret Sanger died in 1966, I believe, and she gave interviews as recently as the late 1950s. She had to have been aware of the civil rights movement. Did she ever repudiate, take back or explain her earlier comments about “Negroes”? If she did repudiate those views later in life, then no matter how loathsome or offensive we may find her views on sexuality, I don’t think it would be fair to charge her or the modern Planned Parenthood with racism.

    There are plenty of solid arguments against Planned Parenthood’s approach to sexuality without resorting to a rather lame charge like this.

  • Then we have Alveda King, a niece of Martin Luther King, Jr., who is one of the leading critics of Planned Parenthood in the black community:


  • A group of black pastors in Washington attacked Planned Parenthood last year.


    Now admittedly charging a group that kills children in the womb with racism does seem rather behind the point. However it is interesting how many Planned Parenthood abortion clinics are located near black population centers:http://www.lifeissues.org/connector/display.asp?page=05oct.htm

  • Elaine,

    I think you’re missing the bigger picture with respect to the association of Margaret Sanger and PP. The larger issue is that the early 20th century progressive movement was in favor of eugenics because it was completely unmoored from any idea of natural right or law. The same is true of today’s progressives and many so-called conservatives as well. Both ideologies are suffering from a divorce from the reality of natural law; in the case of progressives, there is nothing eternal and transcendent, only the traditions that “hold us back” from the “progress” we should be making. In the case of many conservatives, it’s more of a Burkean “tradition for tradition’s sake” than anything else.

    And so you have two sides basically trying to shout louder than each other with almost nothing in the way of first principles. In this respect, I think it’s *extremely* pertinent to point out the historical heritage of today’s progressives with those of the Sanger era. It’s not surprising at all that today’s progressives seem to have nothing in common at all with the racist eugenicism of Sanger; that’s because there’s nothing fixed in the ideology — there’s only the desire to defeat human nature and replace it with the pragmatic concerns of the zeitgeist.

  • Christian seems to be onto something — the notion that “progressivism” basically denies original sin and the need for repentance and conversion, because man can achieve perfection in this life if only he tries “something” hard enough.

    Sanger’s belief in eugenics dates from an era when science and technology were thought to be the key to establishing “heaven” on earth. She comes from the same era as inventors like Ford and Thomas Edison, along with utopian fiction writers and thinkers like H.G. Wells, Bertrand Russell, etc.

    It took World War II and the invention of the atom bomb to disabuse most people of the notion that science could solve all problems. After that, came the notion that “tolerance” and “just getting along” with people of different races, religions, etc. would solve everything. More recently we have the notion that a good education, a good job, regular checkups and counseling whenever something bad happens will cure war, crime, hunger and all other bad things.

    So basically, the only thing Sanger’s progressivism has in common with today’s progressivism is its faith in something other than natural law and morality as the ultimate solution to social problems.

  • Mark DeFrancis! Can’t you man get a life? Why do you always feel the need to rush to the defence of people like Ms Clinton who are so militantly pro-aborts that they actually received awards from PP precisely because of that? I understand that, much like the Bush devil’s advocates of the previous administration, you are simply engaging in the usual Coalition For Fog…but there is a point where the whole thing becomes outright disgusting…

  • Pingback: An Apology « The American Catholic
  • Mark, in my threads I do not allow personal attacks on other commenters. Since you are new, I believe, I will not delete your comment but no further personal attacks will be allowed by me. We can all make our points without attacking each other in the comment boxes.

  • I also want to make it clear that my intention is NOT in any way to defend Sanger or Planned Parenthood but to insure that pro-life arguments against their worldview are as solid as possible and not tainted by unfairness or distortion of any kind. We are Christians, after all, and are supposed to “do unto others as we would have them do unto us.” That includes not making outdated accusations of racism against someone IF they or their organization changed their view later in life.

  • Well, I do apologise Donald Mc Clarey for having gone much too far…However I am really “bothered” by the almost knee-jerk reaction of some people who rush to the defense of people like Ms Clinton who has lead such a life as to be fit to receive the highest award of PP…what do such people think they are gaining by doing this? what thoughtul contribution are they bringing to the conversation? And yes, I often read Vox Nova; I know what they have done to fellow blogger Zippy and I apprciate the fact that you did not “send me into exile from civilization” (banning) too…
    However it should be noted that it is Mr Defrancisis which assumed the worst of you with his “hatred is palpable” comment. I will also not walk away from the Coalition for Fog part of my comment because it’s true though i guess that in the politics of USA 2009 it’s fair game…

  • Thank you Mark. I allow more discretion when comments are directed towards me if I find that I can use them to advance the discussion. If not, I delete them. My purpose in mandating civility is partially manners, but mostly because I have seen too many combox threads on too many blogs devolve into wearying back and forth between a few commenters exchanging insults. I find those threads boring to read and ultimately a waste of time. The comboxes on my threads are for exchanging insights, ideas and views and never insults. I hope I will see you frequently in my comboxes because I think you can make a valuable contribution to the ongoing debate.

  • “De rien” as the frenchman will say…

  • To wrap up my earlier tangent on Margaret Sanger’s alleged racism: a quick Google search on this topic turns up several interesting articles.

    Planned Parenthood of New Jersey has an article devoted to this topic. Of course it is meant to be sympathetic to Sanger, but it does point out that some of the most offensive quotes often attributed to her (such as “the most merciful thing a large family does to one of its children is to kill it”) appear to have been either wrongly attributed or taken grossly out of context. This does not surprise me as many historical figures and celebrities (from Lincoln to Einstein) are often misquoted or assumed to have said things they never really said.

    The Wikipedia entry on Sanger notes her controversial racial views as well as the fact that they were shared by a lot of people at the time. It also notes, however, that she did not approve of the state-enforced Nazi eugenics program. She did once address a KKK women’s group (in the 1920s the Klan was at the height of its popularity and was known just as much for its anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant views as its racial views) but found it to be a strange and rather disturbing experience.

    Interestingly, according to Wikipedia, she also made comments acknowledging that abortion was killing a baby and that she intended for contraception to reduce the incidence of abortion.

    Whether Sanger’s “Negro Project” was a consciously and deceptively racist effort to reduce the black population or simply an attempt to give black women the same “right” to control the size of their families as white women had, was and still is a matter of debate, particularly among African-Americans.

  • A good book in regard to Sanger and her role in the American eugenics movement is War Against the Weak.


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