NB – this was originally posted at the Catholic Stand.
I would like to use this space to talk with you about an issue of the utmost moral importance. It’s an issue where no clear-thinking, righteous Catholic could possibly differ in judgment. Yes, it’s time that Catholics united and stood up for legislation that outlaws the use of incandescent light bulbs. Not only would such legislation help protect our environment, but it is actually mandated in the Bible. Are you not familiar with Mathew 25:35?
For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in:
If you’re wondering what this Scripture passage has to do with banning incandescent light bulbs, well, it’s as applicable to this issue as it is to the Senate’s attempts to pass an immigration reform bill. Yet our Vice President has cited this passage to shame Christians into supporting immigration reform.
You’ll pardon me for failing to see how this biblical injunction means that I must support a bill that allows those who have entered the country illegally to jump ahead of those who desire legal passage into this country.
Unfortunately it has become something of a game to misappropriate bible verses in order to justify either legislation or, in some circles, to actually defend behavior or attitudes that contradict most other Bible passages. How often have you read a blog post criticizing, say, Nancy Pelosi for defending abortion rights, only to see someone in the comments to said post utilize the “let he who is without sin cast the first stone?” non-argument? It’s not enough to just cite the passage, you actually have to demonstrate how the passage you’re citing actually links to the position you’re taking. Sure, not every Bible verse will literally match up and you do need to interpret according to the proper context, but there should be at least a reasonable nexus between the Scripture quotation and your position on a semi-related issue.
What’s also infuriating about Biden’s sudden adherence to biblical literalism is that he glosses over, say 1 Corinthians 6:9 when it comes to same-sex marriage, and that pesky 6th Commandment when it comes to abortion. Yet strained references to unrelated Bible passages are perfectly acceptable according to ole Joe when it’s a piece of legislation his boss and his party are really desperate to pass.
If only Joe Biden were the only Catholic stretching logic in order to justify Senate action. Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, the Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, authored this letter encouraging support for the Senate’s bill. I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with the Bishops supporting immigration reform, it’s just that the arguments deployed in defense of the bill are, well, indefensible, starting with this:
Each day in our parishes, social service programs, hospitals, and schools we witness the human consequences of a broken immigration system. Families are separated, migrant workers are exploited, and our fellow human beings die in the desert.
This is a very unfortunate choice of words. Note the use of the passive voice: families are separated, migrant workers are exploited. What this passage does is essentially deny any agency in the migrant worker. In fact, the wording actually dehumanizes the worker in a certain sense because it takes away any moral culpability on his part. Those who have chosen to immigrate to the United States – legally or illegally – have largely not done so against their will (I will not discuss here those who have been forced to leave the country against their will thanks to our lack of effective border security). If families are separated, then that responsibility adheres to the individual or individuals who have knowingly entered the country illegally.
There is more:
We can continue on our current path, which employs an immigration system that does not serve the rule of law or the cause of human rights, or we can create a system which honors both principles.
I have admitted that the current immigration system could use improving, but this is complete hyperbole. Even if one grants – as I do – that the current system is overly restrictive, how does it not serve the rule of law? Is the system unjust? No. Moreover, Archbishop Gomez fails to recognize where the rule of law is not being respected. It’s the person who has entered the country illegally who has flouted the rule of law. If the system is broken, then perhaps we should point the fingers at those who have broken it by overrunning it.
We can maintain a system that fosters illegal behavior and undermines the law, or fashion one that provides incentives for legal behavior and is based upon fairness and opportunity.
Again, in trying to defend the migrant worker the good Archbishop is effectively dehumanizing him by suggesting that the person just has no other recourse than to break the law. Furthermore, the very bill that Archbishop Gomez and his fellow American Bishops are promoting creates dis-incentives for legal behavior. Those who are already here illegally will not be punished other than in the most minimal way, and most of the supposed restrictions being placed on them can easily be disregarded. In essence, they will have an opportunity to gain legal status ahead of those who have played by the rules. Where is the fairness in that? Where is the respect for the rule of law in that?
I am growing tired of those who misuse Scripture and who offer empty platitudes in an attempt to convince Catholics they are morally obligated to support certain public policies. Of course Jesus’s words and teaching should always be at the forefront of our minds as we’re formulating political opinions. What I find offensive are efforts to appropriate those teachings and infer a certain pre-determined end.
Hattip to Matt Archbold at Creative Minority Report. Veep and Beloved National Clown Joe Biden excuses his refusal to kiss the ring of the pope by making up a fable about his Mom:
I’m sure many of you will disagree with me, seeing as how this is a mostly conservative blog, but I do not think Paul Ryan won tonight’s debate. In fact, I was disappointed in his overall performance, particularly his weak answers on abortion.
Yes I’m glad he raised the religious liberty issue, but he should have taken a moment to insist that opposition to abortion is rooted in the belief that all innocent human beings, born and unborn, deserve protection under the law. We all know that “life begins at conception.” The question is not when life begins, but when the right to life begins. Ryan’s hands may be tied to a certain extent by Romney’s position, which admits for various exceptions – conditions under which it is ok to butcher an innocent unborn child. Even so, he could have answered much better than he did.
That aside, I believe Biden dominated the debate. I know I am not the only one making this comparison, but it looked like a Thanksgiving dinner. To some it looked like mean old uncle Joe trying to beat up on nephew Paul, who held his own. To others, including myself, it looked like mean but knowledgeable Uncle Joe schooling a somewhat intimidated whippersnapper.
What I think, fortunately, doesn’t matter. Some post-debate polls, such as CNN’s, said Ryan won the debate, while others, such as CBS’s, had Biden winning. It appears that the debate was a tie game, with Biden having met his primary objective and Ryan having (mostly) stood his ground. Perhaps I am more disappointed than most because I expected much more from Ryan. I didn’t expect him to be a foreign policy whiz, but I expected more fight out of him on economic issues and certainly a whole lot more on social issues, particularly abortion.
Maybe he could take lessons from Ron Paul on how to respond next time (if there is a next time, in 2016 perhaps).
Lately our beloved national clown and veep, Joe Biden, has come under attack. Light-heartedly attempting to whip up racial hatred and paranoia in a speech before a predominantly black audience in Danville, Virginia, Biden said that Romney and the Republicans would “put y’all back in chains!”
These remarks were denounced by various people including Douglas Wilder, a former Democrat governor of Virginia.
This is all so wrongheaded. I could understand such recriminations if Biden were a serious politician of an ordinary sort, but he is not. His entire gaffe-ridden political career has been one long extended comedy routine. His purpose as Veep has been to relieve the public mood during the Great Depression II, much as his intellectual peers, The Three Stooges, did during the original Great Depression. Continue reading
Rumors have been afloat lately that Obama is set to dump Biden. Judging from the frenzied, one might say hysterical, tone of Biden in the speech earlier this week featured in the video clip above, one might well believe that Biden is looking at the political hook coming toward him. This might explain why Biden forced Obama’s hand on gay marriage by coming out in favor of it before Obama did. Rule one of being Veep is never upstaging the POTUS. Presumably Biden believes that if he is beloved of the base of the Democrat party, Obama will not dump him. Alas, strategizing, indeed thinking of any sort, has never been Biden’s strong suit.
Unfortunately Biden matters not one whit to the Democrat base, and by acting out he merely convinces Obama that perhaps it is time that Joe meet the acquaintance of the many individuals and groups that Obama has thrown under the bus in his political career.
This is all so unfair. Joe Biden, as beloved national clown, has been one of the few success stories of this administration. Imagine how much grimmer the past four years would have been without the comic stylings of Jollie Joe. Poltical pratfalls and endless gaffes, a tireless willingness to play the complete buffoon, nothing has been beneath Biden in his endless task to lighten the mood of the nation. I therefore announce the formation of the Biden Forever Superpac. We will do everything in our power to keep Joe on the ticket. Save Joe! I pray that we prevail, but if we fail, we will always have YouTube to remember Joe by! Continue reading
No, seriously, our Vice President knows next to nothing about history. Speaking about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, ole Joe said:
“You can go back 500 years. You cannot find a more audacious plan. Never knowing for certain. We never had more than a 48 percent probability that he was there.”
William Tecumseh Sherman, George Washington, Robert E. Lee, Dwight Eisenhower, Napoleon Bonaparte, Winston Churchill, and Ulysses S. Grant could not be reached for comment, but surely they would have agreed.
Sure was a good thing we didn’t elect that idiot Sarah Palin, or else we would have had a Vice President who continuously made completely idiotic remarks.
Oh Joe, Joe, Joe, Joe. God love ya.
But as I was talking to some of your leaders, you share a similar concern here in China. You have no safety net. Your policy has been one which I fully understand — I’m not second-guessing — of one child per family. The result being that you’re in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people. Not sustainable.
That’s right. The Vice President of the United States of America, a good old Catholic, was speaking in China and couldn’t bring himself to criticize China’s one child policy. No, he went so far as to say that he understands the policy. This comes a mere few moments after he had expended some hot air about human rights.
I recognize that many of you in this auditorium see our advocacy of human rights as at best an intrusion, and at worst an assault on your sovereignty. I want to tell you directly that this is not our intention. Yes, for Americans there is a significant moral component to our advocacy. And we observed where we have failed, as well. But it is who our people are.
In these dark days of the credit downgrade of the nation, an economy falling back into recession, a crashing stock market, etc, one man shines out as a beacon of hope: Veep and Beloved National Clown Joe Biden. As the Three Stooges lightened the American mood during the Great Depression with their comic pratfalls and buffoonish antics, so Biden lightens the national mood by constantly, and deliberately I am sure, saying the stupidest things imaginable.
When Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford recently returned to Congress after being shot in the head, Biden welcomed her as a fellow member of the “cracked head club”. As the nation was still howling at that, he dauntlessly followed up with the gutbuster that the members of the Tea Party were “acting like terrorists“.
Note the master at work. Joe of course realizes that calling people who organized peacefully, won the Congressional elections in 2010, and whose representatives in Congress are seeking to enact legislation embodying the beliefs they campaigned on as terrorists, is absurd. He therefore willingly makes himself absurd and a national joke in order to give us all something to laugh about in these dark days. What a true patriot!
However, in the event that I am wrong and that Joe really meant that tea party members are acting like terrorists, below are depicted the intellectual godfathers of this dangerous movement, and perhaps Homeland Security needs to put them under surveillance pronto: Continue reading
Go read Jonah Goldberg’s NRO post on the disgusting media hypocrisy when it comes to cries of civility. Like Jonah, I do tire of playing the media blame game, but today the media’s double standard was in full glare. Gabby Giffords has made a remarkable recovery and is back in Congress, and the morning news show focused on this story. That’s wonderful. And of course they completely ignored the fact that Joe Biden called tea partiers terrorists (or nodded along when the terminology was applied), and also failed to discuss the columns written by guys like Tom Friedman and Joe Necera that also use the language of jihad and terrorism to describe the tea party.
But think about this for a second. The Giffords shooting sent the media elite in this country into a bout of St. Vitus’ dance that would have warranted an army of exorcists in previous ages. Sarah Palin’s Facebook map was an evil totem that forced some guy to go on a shooting spree. The New York Times, The Washington Post, all three broadcast networks, particularly NBC whose senior foreign affairs correspondent — Andrea Mitchell — devotes, by my rough reckoning, ten times as much air time to whining about Sarah Palin as she does about anything having to do with foreign affairs, flooded the zone with “Have you no shame finger wagging.” A memo went forth demanding that everyone at MSNBC get their dresses over their heads about the evil “tone” from the right. Media Matters went into overdrive working the interns 24/7 to “prove” that Republicans deliberately foment violence with their evil targets on their evil congressional maps.
. . .
So flashforward to this week. Tom Friedman — who knows a bit about Hezbollah — calls the tea partiers the “Hezbollah faction” of the GOP bent on taking the country on a “suicide mission.” All over the place, conservative Republicans are “hostage takers” and “terrorists,” “terrorists” and “traitors.” They want to “end life as we know it on this planet,” says Nancy Pelosi. They are betraying the founders, too. Chris Matthews all but signs up for the “Make an Ass of Yourself” contest at the State Fair. Joe Nocera writes today that “the Tea Party Republicans can put aside their suicide vests.” Lord knows what Krugman and Olbermann have said.
Then last night. on the very day Gabby Giffords heroically returns to cast her first vote since that tragic attack seven months ago, the Vice President of the United States calls the Republican Party a bunch of terrorists.
No one cares. I hate the “if this were Bush” game so we’re in luck. Instead imagine if this wasDick Cheney calling the Progressive Caucus (or whatever they’re called) a “bunch of terrorists” on the day Giffords returned to the Congress. Would the mainstream media notice or care? Would Meet the Press debate whether this raises “troubling questions” about the White House’s sensitivity? Would Andrea Mitchell find some way to blame Sarah Palin for Dick Cheney’s viciousness? Would Keith Olberman explode like a mouse subjected to the Ramone’s music in “Rock and Roll High School?” Something inside me hidden away shouts “Hell yes they would!”
The Today Show even had Debbie Wasserman Schultz on this morning for five minutes talking about Giffords. No one thought to ask her what she thought of Biden’s comments? It’s not like she’s the Democratic Party’s national spokesperson or anything. Oh, wait. She is!
I have to give a hearty “AMEN” to Jonah’s concluding sentences.
Well, go to Hell. All of you.
I find all of this particularly laughable considering that I spent time in the eye doctor’s office this morning straining to read Rolling Stone with my contacts out. I’m not sure what was rougher on the eyes – the drops they put in them or reading that trash. At any rate, there was a rather long feature story on, what else, but the evils of Fox News. Yes, that bastion of journalistic integrity, Rolling Stone, is calling Fox News a propaganda arm of the GOP. It was your typical hysterical screed about Fox’s bias, made all the more ironic considering the author’s failure to note the 2×4 stuck in his eye.
Vice President Joe Biden was in Rome today to mark the 150th anniversary of Italy’s unification. While there, he met privately with Pope Benedict XVI. Biden is a Mass-attending Catholic who supports “abortion rights”. Many of the Catholic faithful have called for his excommunication due to his support for abortion. No official announcement has been made, as of this writing, in regard to this visit.
In February, 2009, pro-abortion Congresswoman and then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met privately with Pope Benedict XVI. The Vatican issued a statement afterward that was widely considered to be a scolding.
“His Holiness took the opportunity to speak of the requirements of the natural moral law and the Church’s consistent teaching on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death which enjoin all Catholics, and especially legislators, jurists and those responsible for the common good of society, to work in co-operation with all men and women of good will in creating a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development.”
Official announcements from the Vatican are available at the Vatican Information Service blog.
Joe Biden gives dating advice to the daughters of new members of the Senate. This video is a prime example of why Biden has always been a figure of fun to me rather than a figure that gets me angry. Joe Biden is none too bright, as he has demonstrated by his endless gaffes, and a few instances of plagiarism, and I regard his policy positions, notably his pro-abortion position, as appalling. However, the man does have a certain daffy charm, rather like a sweet old uncle who, at every family reunion, confuses the names of most of his nieces and nephews, specializes in non-sequiturs, and invariably will end up passed out on the pile of coats in the spare bedroom. Of course, the dazed and confused sweet old Uncle isn’t a heartbeat away from the presidency, Heaven help us all, as Joe is.
Reason TV has fun with recent statements by Veep and National Clown Joe Biden that the lame duck Democrat 111th Congress should stay in session up to Christmas in order to pass legislation now that would not have a prayer of passing after the 112th Congress is sworn in next month. I think Reason TV is being unfair to Jolly Joe. I think he loves Christmas with all of its bright lights, colorful presents and good food, not to mention the day off. Joe has always been up for a good party, and to say otherwise is simply not true. Continue reading
Assuming the polls are correct, obviously a big assumption, the Democrats are in for a very long election night tomorrow. In the face of devastating election losses, the Dems can rely upon Veep and beloved national clown Joe Biden! First, we should understand why the Democrats are looking at the electoral equivalent of a wheat farm in Death Valley. My favorite living historian Victor Davis Hanson explains what went wrong:
Barack Obama entered office; nationalized health care; ran up record $1 trillion deficits; promised to hike taxes on the rich; pushed cap and trade through the House; took over large chunks of banks, insurance companies, and auto corporations; made hard-left appointments from Van Jones to Sonia Sotomayor — and in 21 months saw his positives crash from near 70% in January 2009 to little above 40%, with the specter of near record Democratic losses in the Congress just two years after the anti-Bush/anti-Iraq sweep of 2008.
All the polls of independents and moderates show radical shifts and express unhappiness with higher taxes, larger deficits, a poor economy, and too much government. In other words, the electorate is not angry that Obama has moved too far to the right or stayed in the center or borrowed too little money. A Barney Frank or Dennis Kucinich is looking at an unusually tight race in a very liberal district not because liberals have had it with them, but because large numbers of moderates and independents most surely have.
Yet if one were to read mainstream Democratic analysis, there is almost no acknowledgment that the party has become far too liberal. Indeed, they fault Obama for not being liberal enough, or, in the case of the Paul Krugman school, for not borrowing another trillion dollars for even more stimulus, despite the failure of the earlier borrowing. In fact, Obamaites offer three unhinged exegeses for the looming defeat: a) there is no looming defeat: the Democrats will still keep the House; or b) Obama did not prove to be the radical as promised; or c) the American people are clueless and can’t follow science and logic and therefore do not know what is good for them.
Do liberals really believe that had they rammed down cap and trade, borrowed $6 trillion instead of $3 trillion the last 21 months, and obtained blanket amnesty their candidates would be posed to ward off Republican attacks this election year? The problem right now with Greece is that it borrows too little, hires too few, and spends not enough? Continue reading
As faithful readers of this blog know, I am Joe Biden’s number one fan. Not for his meaningless job as Veep, which does suit Joe like a velvet nose warmer as long as Obama, please God!, remains in good health. I am of course referring to his real job: beloved National Clown. In these dark days of the Obamacession, he has lightened the national mood with his verbal pratfalls, non-sequiturs, theater of the absurd behavior, inability to think first and talk later and, in general, his heroic willingness to be a fool 24/7 to put a smile on our faces as we stare into the economic abyss. A tear almost comes to my eye when I think of Joe’s unflappable dedication to a comic idiocy which no doubt is being loudly applauded by the Three Stooges and the Marx Brothers in that land which knows only laughter. We love ya Joe!
Therefore I can only view with complete alarm the ongoing campaign being waged by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to take away from Jolly Joe his status as our National Fool. True, Harry Reid has always been given to saying wacky things. For example, in 2008 he referred to Obama as a light skinned negro who didn’t speak with a negro dialect unless he wanted to have one. In 2008 he gave his opinion of tourists in Washington: “You can always tell when it is summertime because you can smell the visitors. The visitors stand out in the high humidity, heat, and they sweat.” In 2009 he referred to tea-party members as “evil-mongers”. So a certain level of daffiness is standard operating procedure for Reid. Continue reading