Trouble with Real Catholic TV?

Thursday, August 19, AD 2010

[This is Tito Edwards, I have current updates on the status of RealCatholicTV here.]

According to CatholicCulture.com, “while thoroughly approving many of the fine videos made available through “RealCatholic TV” site,” caution is recommended to the viewer for two reasons:

An apparent animus against the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, contrary to the clear mind of the Church; and a tendency to over-simplify complex cultural, ecclesiastical and theological problems, leading sometimes to the assertion of mere opinion as the “real Catholic” position.

In a recent episode, Michael Voris lays out the “Real Catholic” position on “Jews and Judaism” — a rather complex theological topic, as most people are aware. According to Voris:

The Jews who accepted him became the Church. The Jews who rejected Him .. having voted themselves OUT of the covenant .. went off and started a man made religion. Rabbinical Judaism (today’s Jewish religion) is to authentic Judaism what Protestantism is to Catholicism.

Suffice to say Steven Kellmeyer has raised some questions about this simplified treatment.

What do our readers think?

(HT: Mark Shea).

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50 Responses to Trouble with Real Catholic TV?

  • I personally do not understand the warning.

    Mr Voris is presenting his opinion or rather conclusions after doing research on the matter of the Novus Ordo has found things that he does not like about it. Has found things that seem rather odd about its implementation, promulgation and its obvious short comings and what he believes to be the ramifications on the Church.

    Mr. Voris only has a limited amount of time in which to present his segments at least on his free site, if he does not engage in to long theological discussions is because, I believe he wants to keep short and simple, something which quite frankly we do not do enough when talking about the Faith.

    I find his approach refreshing, sure it may lack subtlety and refinement but sometimes you need a blunt instrument to get the job done, and boy Mr. Voris if anything is blunt.

  • I’m uncomfortable with them calling it “Real Catholic TV,” esp. since it’s obviously a slam against EWTN, for example, and there’s the whole issue of authorization of the Church to call themselves “Catholic.”

    That said, I don’t see why Voris’s explanation of the historical facts and his analysis of *Jewish theology* are relevant to *Catholic* theology. As I understand it, the Church tells us to recognize that Jews and Muslims also worship the God of Abraham, and to recognize that the Covenant is still in some theoretical way “intact.”

    Yet the Old Covenant never promised spiritual salvation; only worldly salvation. And the Old Covenant was based upon the Ark and Sacrifice. Sacrifice ended when the Temple was destroyed.

    I think Voris’s assessment is fairly accurate, since the Jews of today are not practicing sacrifice.

    It’s kind of like T. S. Eliot’s criticism of “free thinking Jews” that got him labeled “anti-Semitic.” He was criticizing liberal Jews for not following their own religion’s teachings, the way liberal Christians don’t follow the teachings of Christianity.

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  • People in the days of Judah’s last kings didn’t like the prophet Jeremiah, so they threw him down a cistren. People in the days of Obama don’t like Michael Voris. Oh what a surprise!

  • People in the days of Judah’s last kings didn’t like the prophet Jeremiah, so they threw him down a cistren. People in the days of Obama don’t like Michael Voris.

    Gee, how did I ever miss *that* parallel?

  • He has said nothing extreme or even wrong theologically or historically.

    what does not sit right emotionally with some should not be used as a pretext to tarnish others.

    I can see his points but as with all people, including this blog, i keep the critical filter on.

    lighten up!

  • To be a Christian one has to be baptised, implying a choice to be included in the community, while those who stood outside remained Jews. Those who did not become Christians do not therefore lose their rights as Jews under the old covenant, unless it is claimed that the advent of Christianity had abrograted the old covenant. Now it is an attribute of the Christian God that He cannot contradict Himself in the course of time, for that would imply that He is merely a contingent being unable to fully forsee the future. Given this, the promises that He made to Abraham and his descendants must logically retain their validity through all the vicissitudes of history including the rise of Christianity.

  • People in the days of Judah’s last kings didn’t like the prophet Jeremiah, so they threw him down a cistren. People in the days of Obama don’t like Michael Voris.

    I refuse to believe this isn’t satire. Well played, sir. Well played.

  • Ivan, yes the promises made to Abraham and his seed remain valid… but not efficacious via the Old Covenant which has been superseded by the New Covenant sealed in the Blood of Our Lord.

    If anyone wishes to be saved, it will only happen by way of participation in some way in the New Covenant. Jews are not saved by Judaism or its sterile practices. Protestants and pagans are not saved by any practices of their sects.

    Jews, Protestants, and pagans may indeed be saved, but only by way of some form of participation in the salvific work of Christ and His Church, the only Ark of salvation.

  • “and a tendency to over-simplify complex cultural, ecclesiastical and theological problems,”

    Well, no s*** (Please no profanity – TAC Editors). I think that part of this problem is due to Voris–he really doesn’t, at times, seem to know what he is talking about–and at other times it’s due to the medium.

  • This is insulting. It’s Michael Voris S.T.B. Those letters give him authority.

    In all seriousness, the sooner his bishop hauls Voris into his office and tells Voris to stop it, the better. I honestly cringe every time I’m reminded of their existence. If you’re going to speak on behalf of the Church, you better be prudent and well-read/informed. Voris strikes me as neither.

  • The problem with the video on Judaism is that it ignores the biblical data–e.g., St. Paul in Romans–in favor of a hyper-simplified historical argument.

    And I was flat out agog at the video arguing the “only” appropriate form of government for Catholics was the “benevolent dictatorship” (his words) of a Catholic monarch. Then there was the argument that democratic government can’t work because the franchise cannot be limited to faithful Catholics alone.

    I know the Republic has its ailments, but I’m not interested in his cure.

  • I honestly cringe every time I’m reminded of their existence. If you’re going to speak on behalf of the Church, you better be prudent and well-read/informed. Voris strikes me as neither.

    Right. Voris is reckless and opinionated (which can be ok), but he’s not knowledgeable or particularly thoughtful. It’s a bad combination.

  • I stopped watching when Michael tried to convince us that Amazing Grace was an anti-Catholic hymn because it speaks of the unjustified as wretches. Last I checked, dying unjustified leads one to hell, a pretty wretched state.

    Christopher Burgwald S.T.D. 😉

  • Amazing Grace is anti-Catholic and also quite heretical. To sing such a hymn in a Catholic Church (something which I have seen personally) is a slap of relativism.

    To Michael Denton,

    Why would he do that? To my knowledge he has said nothing untrue or wrong.

    To the rest of the posters,

    Look at Ivan’s response to this thread do you think that may be we not putting things simply enough for people like him? He believes that the Jews are saved by the old covenant for God’s sake.

    The reason many do not like Mr. Voris is simply his attitude and directness. Sure you can be nuance and call it “simplistic” but in reality the reason is being direct something we don’t do because we need to be nice.

    Well there is a time and place for nice, but we live in dire times when we need brave people to stand up for the Church to those inside of it. I for one I am very glad that at least one lay person is doing it and that is Mr. Voris.

  • Voris is right about 50% of the time.

    I actually agree with him 100% on the so-called “ordinary form.” That message needs to be heard more often. What is derided as an “oversimplification” is really the complaint of those who prefer to obfuscate with complexity matters that are really are quite simple, in order to conceal their true intent.

    As for the Jew video, since I don’t believe in thought-crimes, unless he is calling for Jews to be rounded up and killed, I don’t care. I don’t believe that the road to the Holocaust begins 10 years prior with a few anti-semitic remarks (if that is what they indeed are), and claims that it does are nothing but emotional attempts to control and stifle independent thought.

    Like others though, I thought his video calling for a Catholic dictatorship/monarchy was off the rails. It was elitist, politically ignorant, and embarrassing.

  • Amazing Grace is anti-Catholic and also quite heretical.

    Well, the 3rd verse does say the Pope is the whore of Babylon, but I would imagine that is usually skipped when sung at mass.

    What on earth are you talking about?

  • This notion that Amazing Grace is anti-Catholic is just myth. At most it can be described as non-Catholic in origin. There is only one potentially offending passage, but it can easily be interpreted in keeping with orthodoxy. People really need to do some research before posting whatever hearsay they happened to have read. There is good reason that this hymn has been approved for Catholic hymnals. Now weather one likes it or not, that is another question entirely.

  • Do you really want to know what I think?

    I apologize in advance.

    The “animus” thing alleges Voris is 100% against the ordinary form, and is EVIL. That seems to be a false generalization. The “oversimplification” thing seems to say he’s too freaking stupid to understand the complexities or to agree with the “enlightened.”

    So, as it now seems acceptable: the lefty, professional catholic (much like his Obama-worshipping, liberal cousin) resorts to ad hominems, detractions, distractions, exaggerations, misdirections, etc. to stifle anyone so EVIL as to disagree with the TRUTH.

    I think Pope Mark is a jerk, anyhow. Voris isn’t here to defend himself.

    Again, I apologize!

  • I’m sorry did someone just accuse a “lefty, professional catholic (much like his Obama-worshipping liberal cousin)” of resorting to ad hominems?!?!?

    I’m not even sure who is being attacked here, but I do know what an ad hominem attack is. Yeesh.

  • Heh. Yes, well we know only terrible people who injure puppies for fun use ad hominems.

  • “Real” Catholic is real heresy.

  • Mr. Voris has issued an apology regarding the Catholic Government video. He never claimed to be perfect, and is doing what every responsible person should do, apologize when he’s wrong. Calling this extremely faithful man a heretic is so insulting it is beyond belief. He is doing what no one else seems to have the guts to do – say it like it is. For some reason people are intimidated by that, and calling him and his staff names seems to make them feel better. I just don’t get that.

  • With-A-Z,

    I concur wholeheartedly.

    Mr. Voris has above and beyond done more for the Catholic faith than many of us have done.

    He certainly represents many Catholics that obediently dealt with much of what the Spirit of Vatican II crowd brow-beated into us such as these cultural gems like: guitar masses, liturgical dancing, and many other blasphemies that are so still prevalent in the Catholic Church in America.

  • Here’s what I know about Amazing Grace, other than it is campy and has a very annoying, pitchy melody:
    Marcus Grodi has said that “Amazing Grace” perfectly sums up what he *used* to believe when he was a Calvinist.

  • Amazing Grace is anti-Catholic only in the sense that some vanishingly few Catholics wish that the clergyman, John Newton who wrote that hymn after participating in the slave trade was a Catholic himself. Its pure jealousy, nothing else.

  • I have a Catholic friend who sounds like this when he talks about the Jews. Whenever he starts talking about Rabbinical Judaism (which is often) is a man-made religion and then went on to talk about how communism is entirely based on the Talmud, the Jews control everything, etc. So I ran a diagnostic test. I asked him what he thought about the Muslims. He said, “I have no problem with the other Semitic people.” In other words, some man-made religions are fine. It’s OK that they have a world wide religion based on half-truths spouted by a lunatic, but it’s not OK for Jews to believe in something based on books that the Roman Catholic church considers to be divinely inspired. I don’t know how this kind of thinking could not be identified as prejudice toward the Jews, if not full-blown antisemitism.

    Coincidentally, or not so, my friend has the same views as Voris on the Novus Ordo Mass.

  • “I don’t know how this kind of thinking could not be identified as prejudice toward the Jews, if not full-blown antisemitism.”

    Bingo. Anti-Semitism is a poison that harms not only the Jews, but those who harbor it.

  • Go, Michael go!

    Btw, I hope his next vid is a commentary on Pius XI’s Mortalium Animos.

  • Sorry about the grammatical errors. The second sentence should read as follows:

    Whenever he starts talking about Rabbinical Judaism–which is often–he first notes that it is a man-made religion, then he goes on to talk about how communism is entirely based on the Talmud, the Jews control everything, etc.

  • Mr. Voris has above and beyond done more for the Catholic faith than many of us have done

    That he has done much for the faith is undeniable. Whether what he has done has been for good or ill is not.

  • I think Voris means well, and I’m glad he manned up on the Catholic government post.

    The problem is, I think his format forces him into an “attack on all fronts” approach which is only going to lead to more gaffes in the future. Complex subjects don’t lend themselves to five minute video essays. The format he’s aping–O’Reilly’s “no-spin zone”–is more of a mini-fisk of 3 or so “news of the day” items. As opposed to, say, the division between Christianity and Judaism and the development of the two post-split. You’re throwing yourself into an elephant trap doing that sort of thing.

  • The problem is, I think his format forces him into an “attack on all fronts” approach which is only going to lead to more gaffes in the future.

    That’s probably a good point. You can only present so much at a time. You either have to get a different more extended format to talk about certain issues or just limit the issues you treat with the shorter format.

    A good example of this is the talk show hosts who write books. Nearly all of the major conservative hosts have written books, out of the ones which I’ve skimmed or read, they all read much more thoughtfully than most of the shows sound, especially to the unconvinced.

  • That he has done much for the faith is undeniable. Whether what he has done has been for good or ill is not.

    Hair-splitting, gnashing of teeth, etc.

    I am sooo glad I am not an *intellectual* that I get caught up in semantics to defend and indefensible position.

  • Well, Voris often takes indefensible positions; he is reckless and not well-versed in the Church’s theology. By constantly defending him, you are implicitly defending his (frequently irresponsible) approach.

  • I am sooo glad I am not an *intellectual* that I get caught up in semantics to defend and indefensible position.

    I don’t think I’ve ever claimed to be an intellectual, though I think intellectuals have much to contribute and I admire them. I hope at some point I can be properly considered one but I’m a long ways away from that.

  • My sarcasm fails again.

    You’ll get there.

    You are light years ahead of me when I was your age buddy!

  • Voris reminds me of me, a well-meaning yutz who knows about half what he thinks he does, and is terrified of moderating his views on anything because that’s what *they* do. I think Skellmeyer is closer to the truth than Voris, but as far as I know the Church hasn’t ever spoken definitively on the nature of the old covenant. We’re under the new one, and we know that it works, and that’s where our attention should be focused.

    Like Skellmeyer, I flinched at Voris’s frequent use of the word “Jew”, but I don’t think there was any anti-Semitism behind the video.

  • I will repeat what I said before: Michael Voris is a modern-day Elijah, Ezekiel or Jeremiah. Too many people both within and outside the Church have gotten so caught up in the nuances of minutiae that when bald Truth stares them in the face, they cannot recognize Him.

    Now as for Democracy, it is an abject failure. It was in the time of 1st Samuel chapter 8 when the “peepul” demanded to choose their own leader, and it is now – just look at whom we have: abortionist Obama! People in love with self-rule simply can’t accept that such is the case with democracy – two wolves and one sheep voting on what’s for dinner. In the case of the United Soviet States of Amerika, that dinner is the corpses of murdered unborn babies.

    Furthermore, beyond that, Jesus Christ came to establish a Kingdom – a Monarchy – where NO ONE gets a vote EXCEPT the King of kings and Lord of lords. If one doesn’t like that, then one is free to leave the Church, the ONLY source of salvation. But we all know what that alternative is.

    As for Jews, they are still God’s Chosen People (and I just LOVE the State of Israel!), but they are still in rebellion exactly as St. Paul describes in Romans 9 through 11. There is NO equivalency between Rabinnical Judaism and Catholicism. In fact, there is only ONE Way to the Father, and that Way is NOT Judaism, Buddha or Hari Krishna.

    1st Corinthians 6:9-10 is still true regardless that almost 2000 years have passed since St. Paul penned these words:

    “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

    And yes, the NIV for all its Protestant bias does translate the word “arsenokoit?s” correctly in verse 9.

    The Gospel is about saving souls from exile for an eternity in the fires of hell. It is NOT about filling up bellies or other social justice nonsense. What did Jesus say to the crowd who followed Him around to Capernaum after the feeding of the 5000? He said:

    “…I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life…”

    It’s about time we jettison the liberal, Marxist trappings that have infected the Church since Vatican II. No, there’s nothing wrong with Vatican II or Novus Ordo. Rather, it’s about time we start recognizing that Jesus was NOT nice – He was truthful because He IS Truth and He confronted wickedness wherever it was, including whipping the money changers out of the Temple. Neither the religious hypocrites called Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes back then, nor the liberal Catholics of today can possibly tolerate that in spite of all their talk about tolerance and open mindedness.

    And one last thing: an open mind lets all the knowledge fall on out – thus do we have the problems that we have.

    There’s more like this here:

    http://commentarius-ioannis.blogspot.com/

  • Hey, did my post go thru? If yes, then ignore this. If not, then please post. Thanks!

    I will repeat what I said before: Michael Voris is a modern-day Elijah, Ezekiel or Jeremiah. Too many people both within and outside the Church have gotten so caught up in the nuances of minutiae that when bald Truth stares them in the face, they cannot recognize Him.

    Now as for Democracy, it is an abject failure. It was in the time of 1st Samuel chapter 8 when the “peepul” demanded to choose their own leader, and it is now – just look at whom we have: abortionist Obama! People in love with self-rule simply can’t accept that such is the case with democracy – two wolves and one sheep voting on what’s for dinner. In the case of the United Soviet States of Amerika, that dinner is the corpses of murdered unborn babies.

    Furthermore, beyond that, Jesus Christ came to establish a Kingdom – a Monarchy – where NO ONE gets a vote EXCEPT the King of kings and Lord of lords. If one doesn’t like that, then one is free to leave the Church, the ONLY source of salvation. But we all know what that alternative is.

    As for Jews, they are still God’s Chosen People (and I just LOVE the State of Israel!), but they are still in rebellion exactly as St. Paul describes in Romans 9 through 11. There is NO equivalency between Rabinnical Judaism and Catholicism. In fact, there is only ONE Way to the Father, and that Way is NOT Judaism, Buddha or Hari Krishna.

    1st Corinthians 6:9-10 is still true regardless that almost 2000 years have passed since St. Paul penned these words:

    “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

    And yes, the NIV for all its Protestant bias does translate the word “arsenokoit?s” correctly in verse 9.

    The Gospel is about saving souls from exile for an eternity in the fires of hell. It is NOT about filling up bellies or other social justice nonsense. What did Jesus say to the crowd who followed Him around to Capernaum after the feeding of the 5000? He said:

    “…I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life…”

    It’s about time we jettison the liberal, Marxist trappings that have infected the Church since Vatican II. No, there’s nothing wrong with Vatican II or Novus Ordo. Rather, it’s about time we start recognizing that Jesus was NOT nice – He was truthful because He IS Truth and He confronted wickedness wherever it was, including whipping the money changers out of the Temple. Neither the religious hypocrites called Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes back then, nor the liberal Catholics of today can possibly tolerate that in spite of all their talk about tolerance and open mindedness.

    And one last thing: an open mind lets all the knowledge fall on out – thus do we have the problems that we have.

    There’s more like this here:

    http://commentarius-ioannis.blogspot.com/

  • Sheesh, now I’ve heard everything, that some Catholics think Amazing Grace is heretical. We better start looking at anyone saying or singing Kyrie Eleison because as we all know good Catholics only sing or pray in latin.

    We need to write the pope too as that ultra liberal bishop in Denver quotes the hymn in his column at the archdiocese’s website. http://www.archden.org/dcr/news.php?e=408&s=2&a=8581

  • Michael Voris caught my attention with his Catholic Monarchy episode, but then I saw his Vortex episode about the Marian dogmas. I now realize how deluded he and all those others are who support such false teachings, which are contrary to Scripture. I was somewhat disappointed, but it is the will of God that these things take place, that the prophecy might be fulfilled:

    1 Timothy 4, 1-3
    Now the Spirit expressly says that in the after times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of devils, speaking lies hypocritically, and having their conscience branded. They will forbid marriage, and will enjoin abstinence from foods, which God has created to be partaken of with thanksgiving by the faithful and by those who know the truth.

    2 Peter 2, 1-3
    But there were false prophets also among the people, just as among you there will be lying teachers who will bring in destructive sects. They even disown the Lord who bought them, thus bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their wanton conduct, and because of them the way of truth will be maligned. And out of greed they will with deceitful words use you for their gain. Their condemnation, passed of old, is not made void, and their destruction does not slumber.

    Thus we are warned:

    Colossians 2, 8
    See to it that no one deceives you by philosophy and vain deceit, according to human traditions, according to the elements of the world and not according to Christ.

    It is time to send these dogmatics to the pound.

  • Here is the real problem with people who dont like Voris. “They want there(own)catholic church, not (the) Catholic Church.” If you want to see the truth on how many liberal clergy have abused the teachings of Vatican two, READ THE DOCUMENTS. Your eyes will be opened. I currently attend a parish where lectors change the wording in the missal from “brothers and sisters to sisters and brothers.” When confronted he said that is how he personaly thinks it should read. I have said something to our Priest and nothing has been done. We have a woman serving on the alter “alterserver” who vocaly supports legal abortion and assisted suicide, all the while telling everybody she can all about her feminist theology. When confronted I recieved the “judge not” response. Perhaps she is ignorent to the spiritual works of mercy. Meanwhile a faithful Catholic has been “fired” as an alterserver because he made a stink about all the liturgical abuses, I will admit “some” of his accusations were wrong, but the point is he was just trying to do what was right. These are the lay catholics AND clergy who dislike Voris. They just dont like being called out. Like I said they want there “own” Catholic Church. What these people are are protestants in catholic clothing, or better yet said wolves in sheeps clothing. God Bless

  • To our frien Mr. Henry.
    Perhaps you could shre with us all Mr. Voris theological failings.

  • Why is their website off-line?

    Anyone know?

  • Someone ought to post a warning about CatholicCulture and the neo-con modernists who run it.

  • I fear that Voris is setting himself and his fans up for a fall. I like most of his work, but it is presumptuous to name his venture “real Catholic TV.” In the relative authority vacuum we’ve endured post Vatican II, too many have been seduced into creating their own magisterium. I find the name “Real Catholic TV” reminiscent of the Traditionalist publication named “The Remnant.” Would they not be better served (and more in line with Traditionalism) to have named their publication “The Possibly Damned”?

    As a convert from Protestantism, I am very sensitive to the cult of the personality. Any time people are seduced into putting their faith in a person (even if unwittingly and even if supposedly a “supercatholic”), they will be swept away eventually.

  • RealCatholicTV has never bad-mouthed EWTN, in fact Mrs. von Hildebrand (one of many of their sources regarding the Mass) is a frequent guest speaker on EWTN with Father Groeshel.

    Further their “Obama’s Counterfeit Catholics” along with written documentation, and “Global Warming Unmasked: the Hidden Agenda” also including written documentation (both of which can be found on the internet) have been great.

    I study “Scripture”, the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” and the Vatican web site. Voris and RealCatholicTV have been true to all. If he steps out of line (which he has not), I’ll be first in line to say so.

    Check out their written documentation on the above, and provide better documentation that he is wrong – if you can.

    The more that true Catholics who love the Church make abuses from within known, perhaps future abuses will be fewer and more limited.
    Catholic Culture may have been too sensitive and read things into the videos that were not really there. Listen carefully and read the documentation. The Canadian Priest in “Weapons of Mass Destruction” was great, and right on.

  • What Michael Voris said about the Jews in his Vortex video was true. RCTV also has a one hour video available on the same subject that covers more ground than the Vortex spot.

Rank and File Conservatives & The Conservative Intelligentsia United In Outrage Over Mosque Near Ground Zero, Not So With Same-Sex Marriage

Sunday, August 15, AD 2010

The proposed mosque set to be built near Ground Zero, site of the September 11, 2001 attacks has brought a sweeping condemnation from both rank and file conservatives and the Conservative Intelligentsia. Now that President Barack Obama has weighed in the matter, seemingly supporting the effort, one can only imagine how this will be used in the fall elections. However, a rift has appeared to have been opened concerning the views of the rank and file conservatives and the Conservative Intelligentsia following the ruling of Judge Vaughn Walker over same-sex marriage. Many of the conservative intelligentsia, along with the establishment wing of the Republican Party has either been silent or voiced the view that the wished the whole gay marriage issue would simply go away. This has led to bewilderment from some conservative voices.

The best Catholic tie in with the efforts to build a mosque on Ground Zero came from the famed conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer, who is Jewish. In his opposition to the mosque being built near Ground Zero, he correctly pointed out that Pope John Paul II ordered Carmelite nuns, who were living right next to Auschwitz, to move closer to a nearby town, since the site had become a rallying point for Jewish identity. Krauthammer correctly pointed out that Christians had been murdered there too and the nuns were doing the heroic deed of praying for the souls of those who were viciously murdered. However, Krauthammer pointed out that the late Polish pontiff felt that it created the wrong perception.

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27 Responses to Rank and File Conservatives & The Conservative Intelligentsia United In Outrage Over Mosque Near Ground Zero, Not So With Same-Sex Marriage

  • Which members of the conservative intelligentsia who aren’t also rank and file Republicans, have expressed opposition to the mosque?

  • There are plenty of natural law and non-religious arguments against homosexuality. It is not a natural co-equal with heterosexuality. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Men and woman are complementary, not only physically, but emotionally and psychologically.

    Homosexuals have significantly higher levels of: mental health problems, psychological disorders such as suicide and depression, sexual addiction and coercion, promiscuity, STDs, violence, and addictions of all kinds including alcoholism and drug abuse.

    Almost every society, primitive and complex, has had laws and taboos against homosexuality. This isn’t just a Christian thing. There will always be a visceral reaction to homosexuality because it goes to the very heart of the survival of our species.

    Where homosexuality occurs in the animal world, it is primarily a temporary condition, and when the opportunity presents itself, animals will copulate heterosexually.

    Two-parent heterosexual families, despite the exceptions, are proven over history, across cultures, as the better way for healthy child development. Healthy children produce healthy societies.

    It’s time, in my opinion, for a Constitutional amendment that establishes once and for all that marriage is between one man and one woman. Then we can put this issue to bed.

  • I was rather hoping you would offer some analysis as to WHY so many self-described conservatives are backing away from the defense of traditional marriage. I suppose it is because Americans of all stripes have internalized the notion that it is “mean” to express “intolerance” toward homosexuality. Genuine intolerance, however, including intolerance toward Catholics, remains quite socially acceptable.

  • discarding Western Civilization’s definition of marriage (2,000+ years) is simply a non starter.

    As pointed out above, it’s not just Western Civ’s definition, it has been humanity’s definition since recorded history, and likely pre-dates that as well. try more like 5,000+ years.

  • From what I can tell, those members of the conservative “intelligencia” who aren’t members of Fox & Friends or proprieters of talk radio shows have mostly remained in favor of religious freedom — as they should.

  • Try on this one, Bunky:

    “Rank and file liberal catholics and the liberal catholic intelligentsia united in outrage over tax cuts for the rich, not so with abortion.”

  • I was rather hoping you would offer some analysis as to WHY so many self-described conservatives are backing away from the defense of traditional marriage.

    I suspect you usually could not do this without making evaluations of their personal disposition and conduct, as in noting that some folk appear other-directed by default (Ross Douthat, Rod Dreher) or have been married four times (Theodore Olson), or make use of the self-description ‘conservative’ to obfuscate (Conor Friedersdorf).

    Someone on the payroll of The American Conservative or the Rockford Institute can likely also supply a dismissive commentary to the effect that those resisting this burlesque have neglected some deeper cultural deficiency which these resisters are too shallow to detect and about which we can do nothing in any case.

  • “Rank and file liberal catholics and the liberal catholic intelligentsia united in outrage over tax cuts for the rich, not so with abortion.”

    Fits alright.

  • Homosexuals have significantly higher levels of: mental health problems, psychological disorders such as suicide and depression, sexual addiction and coercion, promiscuity, STDs, violence, and addictions of all kinds including alcoholism and drug abuse.

    Same can be said of blacks. I don’t find that a convincing argument. If you’re going to oppose gay marriage on secular grounds, I think you have to rest on the procreation argument.

  • I’d postulate that people don’t feel as threatened by gay marriage as they are by Islam. Homosexuals never killed 3000 people in my backyard.

  • Tide turning towards Catholicism? Just today I read a credible report saying that in the last 10+ Catholic marriages have decreased. One point of view is that the religion is too strict and another is that it is not needed with modern thinking. I just had a conversation with a liberal who said life is a pendulum goes from one extreme to the other finding it’s way in the middle. I do not believe this that societies do go by the wayside, that they undo themselves, with no virtue to survive pop trends.

  • I don’t find that a convincing argument. If you’re going to oppose gay marriage on secular grounds, I think you have to rest on the procreation argument.

    Why don’t you try making the case FOR it? Start with an explanation of why male friendships which do not incorporate sodomy as part of their daily practice should received less recognition than those which do.

  • Art Deco, I don’t know why you want me to make the case for it but you asked so I’ll try.

    The closer the relationship, the greater the rights and responsibilities between them are. If we want to legally protect expectation interests, we will want to recognize intimately committed couples in ways that we don’t recognize mere friendships. We may also want to legally recognize friendships but that’s not at issue here.

  • RR,

    We have an association that is sterile and undertaken in a social matrix where sexual activity is treated as fun-n-games. Why should this be honored? Why is it deemed ‘closer’ than the fraternity that bound my father to the man who was his dearest friend for 48 of his 51 years? What are ‘expectation interests’? Why do you want to protect them?

    My question was rhetorical. The gay lobby wants this as a gesture of deference. The only reason to give it to them is that they will be put out by refusal. Lots of people do not get their way, and public policy is enough of a zero sum game that that is inevitable. For some, it is incorporated into their amour-propre to regard some clamoring constituencies as composed of those who are So Very Special. Then there’s the rest of thus, who are not so well represented in the appellate judiciary.

  • AD,

    We have an association that is sterile and undertaken in a social matrix where sexual activity is treated as fun-n-games. Why should this be honored?

    It shouldn’t.

    Why is it deemed ‘closer’ than the fraternity that bound my father to the man who was his dearest friend for 48 of his 51 years? What are ‘expectation interests’? Why do you want to protect them?

    I assume your father and his friend didn’t rely on each other for financial support. When people form an association with the mutual expectation that they take on certain duties, it would be unjust to allow one party to escape their duties at the expense of the other(s). It’s why we enforce contracts. If your father and his friend did have such an arrangement, it should be enforced.

  • I’d postulate that people don’t feel as threatened by gay marriage as they are by Islam. Homosexuals never killed 3000 people in my backyard.

    Neither have illegal immigrants, but that hasn’t stopped an upsurge in hostility and resentment towards them as a group.

  • Pope John Paul II ordered Carmelite nuns, who were living right next to Auschwitz, to move closer to a nearby town, since the site had become a rallying point for Jewish identity. Krauthammer correctly pointed out that Christians had been murdered there too and the nuns were doing the heroic deed of praying for the souls of those who were viciously murdered. However, Krauthammer pointed out that the late Polish pontiff felt that it created the wrong perception.

    Nobody would object if those wanting to building the mosque volunteered to build it elsewhere. But who is the more honorable person? The Jew who welcomed the Carmelites or the Jew who told them to go somewhere else?

  • Neither have illegal immigrants, but that hasn’t stopped an upsurge in hostility and resentment towards them as a group.

    They ignored the law and act to frustrate lawfully constituted immigration policy. Can we have a wee bit o’ antagonism, pretty please?

  • I assume your father and his friend didn’t rely on each other for financial support.

    I cannot say if they borrowed money from each other or not. Ordinarily, working aged men are expected to be self-supporting if not disabled.

    When people form an association with the mutual expectation that they take on certain duties,

    Human relations are not commercial transactions and the law does not ordinarily enforce amorphous and unwritten ‘expectations’ that someone else is going to pay your rent.

    Right now, RR, I am pricing insurance policies. I was offered (unbidden) discount rates by the agent if I was in some sort of ‘committed relationship’ with some other dude. Uh, no, nothing like that Chez Deco, ever. I inquired about purchases for my sister. No discount offers there.

    Maybe sis and I can manufacture an ‘expectations interest’ and get you and Judge Walker to work on our problem.

  • And if it is written?

    Are you opposed to insurance discounts for spouses or for discounts for siblings?

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  • This article has a lot of interesting points. However, it rambles all over the place. The essay would have been easier to understand if it was broken up into three mini essays.

    There’s no intrinsic connection between the Cordoba Mosque, homosexuality, and same-sex marriage. Why lament that some conservatives have an opinion on one topic but not the other? You might (rightfully) argue that the establishment of a mosque near Ground Zero does not carry even a tenth of the socio-moral import of same sex marriage. But the logical independence of the two questions renders party lockstep on the two issues irrelevant. Let the GOP/right/conservative rank and file make up their own minds about the relationship between these two variables.

    Gratuitous aside: I know that you and other faithful/orthodox Catholic bloggers must boost reparative therapy. To not do so would negatively impact one’s orthodox Catholic street cred. Still, one can be a faithful Catholic, live morally, and not support COURAGE. Indeed, I found the meetings emotionally intrusive and psychologically manipulative. I wish that the Catholic orthodox/conservative/right would think twice before lavishing praise on an organization and therapeutic model that at the very least has emotionally troubled some participants. Sing your praises only after attending a meeting or two.

  • Sorta Catholic, the beauty of writing an article for a blog or newspaper column is that you have the freedom to write it as you see fit. Perhaps, some would like shorter columns, while others may favor longer columns, the choice is up to the writer.

    As for Courage, the group’s spiritual mentor is Father Benedict Groeschel, his credentials are certainly good enough for me. Perhaps, the meeting you attended was not run properly. I can only tell you that the group is trying to impart the Church’s teachings in a world that has become enamored with self, and not with faith.

    As for orthodox-minded street cred, we aren’t trying to impress anyone only help spread the message of Christ through His Church. We have divergent opinions on a variety of topics, but yet we fall under the same umbrella of supporting the Church’s teachings. The longer you submit to the will of God, the more you realize the wisdom of the 2,000 year old Catholic Church. It really does make you a more content indiviudal, free from the whims of the modern world. Take care!

  • It is a shame that the likes of Beck, Coulter and Limbaugh would let their libertarian views get the best of them when it comes to SSM. Divorcing that from their preaching for conservative values is not the charitable thing to do when the eternal salvation of those who engage in homosexual acts is at stake. Frankly, by doing so, they are committing the grievous sin of omission. A priest in Texas recently made that point clear when he said that Catholics have a moral duty to oppose abortion and SSM.

  • By the way, one of my favorite journalists, WorldNetDaily’s founder Joseph Farah, hits the nail on the head of this issue in offering his take on why some conservatives are “capitulating” to the gay agenda pushers: http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=192761

  • Hi Dave,

    A person that bases his or her judgement of an organization on the perceived reputation of a founder/leader/mentor in that organization commits the logical fallacy of “appeal to authority”. Now, Fr. Groschel is an upstanding authority. I respect him as a religious leader even if I do not agree with many of his points. Even so, the absolute metric for any organization is its ideology/methodology. Perhaps you’ve provided a rigorous defense of reparative therapy elsewhere on your website. If so, point me there. Otherwise, an appeal to authority without prior analysis of an institution’s ideology or methodology is rather insubstantial.

    Appeals to authority or subjective statements such as “X is trying to impart the Church’s teachings […]” sometimes hide insufficient research. Also, “orthodoxy” (i.e. strict adherence to a religion’s dogma/doctrine) does not guarantee the success or failure of a particular therapy.

  • Hi SortaCatholic, I hope your day is going well. I must say that I find these sorts of exchanges very interesting. I don’t believe my “Appeal to Authority,” is some sort of man made or earthly authority. You see I have worked for the Church in a number of capacities. I have seen the good, bad and the ugly. There is some great people who work for the Church and some really inept ones. I have always felt with all of these inept folks, the Church would have to be who she says she is to have survived 2,000 years!

    Perhaps someone at Courage might come across this and answer some of your questions. I do know that God does help us and prayer does work, but rarely in the sort of miraculous way in which we would like it to happen. God sorts and sifts us. We all have our own sets of problems, blessings, gifts, talents and struggles. I have always found Christ’s words of seek and you shall find, knock and you will be heard to be very true (Matthew 7:7-11.) In addition, I have always found this Scripture reading from Hebrews about God showing us the way through trial and struggle very revealing in my own life (Hebrews 12:5-12.) Take care!

SCOTUS: 6 Catholics, 3 Jews, Law, Scholasticism and Tradition

Wednesday, May 12, AD 2010

I read a comment[1] a few weeks ago on GetReligion.org attempting to explain why John Paul Stevens was the last Protestant in the U.S. Supreme Court which simply said that Catholics and Jews have a tradition of being immersed in law (Canon Law and Halakha respectively for Catholics and Jews as an example).

This struck me as interesting because at first glance it kind of makes sense.

Of course there is much more to why the current make-up of the U.S. Supreme Court, 6 Catholics, 2 Jews, and an Episcopalian, is as it is.[2]

But I thought it was an interesting enough topic to dive into.

Lisa Wangsness of the Boston Globe chimes in with her two cents worth [emphases mine]:

Evangelical Protestants have been slow to embrace, or to feel welcomed by, the elite law schools like Harvard and Yale that have become a veritable requirement for Supreme Court nominees. One reason for this, some scholars say, is because of an anti-intellectual strain within evangelicalism.

As Ronald Reagan would say, there you go again, pushing the liberal theory that Christians are stupid (at least Evangelical Protestants).

Lets get beyond these stereotypes done by liberals to Christians.

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47 Responses to SCOTUS: 6 Catholics, 3 Jews, Law, Scholasticism and Tradition

  • The legalistic traditions would be the most obvious theory but I suspect that it’s too abstract to have this disparate an impact. Besides, sola scriptura is much closer to the originalism of the four conservative Catholic justices. The living Magisterium is more analogous to the living constitution that they reject.

    The anti-intellectual strain within evangelicalism makes sense. Part of it may also be that Catholics make more reliable conservative judges and are therefore more appealing Republican appointees but I bet Catholics are overrepresented in the general lawyer population as well.

    Maybe religion is actually hiding an ethnic cultural difference. The legal field was one of the few fields that was relatively tolerant of Jews which is at least partially why they are overrepresented. Maybe anti-Catholic or anti-immigrant sentiment drove the Irish, Italians, and now the Hispanics into law.

    Maybe religion is hiding a regional difference. Five of the justices are from New York, two from California, and one from New Jersey. New York and California are the two biggest lawyer markets. They also happen to have the largest Catholic and Jewish populations. I can’t speak for California, but every ambitious New Yorker wants to be either a lawyer or a banker (another field where Jews, and maybe Catholics, dominate).

    Maybe Catholics and Jews can’t be lumped together. Maybe Jews are overrepresented for historic reasons and Catholics for religious reasons.

    Protestants do have their colleges, seminaries, and Bible study groups, similar to those of Catholics.

    But their emphasis is very different. I’ve heard one Protestant accuse Catholics of being too mechanical in their religious studies.

    Ironic that people got all hot and bothered when the fourth and fifth nominees for the SCOTUS were Catholic’s thus over-representing Catholics in the Judicial branch. But somehow the secularists are excited that the current nominee, Elena Kagan, a Jew, would make SCOTUS 1/3 Jewish.

    They were hot and bothered because Roberts and Alito were conservative Catholics. They had no problem with Sotomayor.

  • Let’s get beyond liberals. Liberals only have insults and lies; and fabricated/imagined crises meant to “grease the skids” for their destructive policy “solutions.”

    If we don’t stop Obama and his horde of liberal idiots (I repeat myself) in congress, and soon the Judiciary, they will cause a degree of economic devastation from which the private sector may never recover.

    Then, they will have succeeeded in making us all serfs, which was their (the two or three that aren’t gays/lesbians/puppy-lovers/morons) plan all along.

  • I take issue with the notion that the conservative justices’ approach is similar to “sola scriptura” and that the “living Constitution” approach is analogous to the living Magisterium.

    Instead, I would say the two approaches to the Constitution are rather more like the difference between how a traditionalist Catholic and a Voice-of-the-Faithful Catholic view the Magisterium.

    Conservative jurisprudence does not reject development in the law; conservative jurisprudence recognizes that the world today is different from the world 200 years ago and that matters will arise that were completely outside the imagination of the Framers. However, conservative jurisprudence also recognizes that developments in the law (1) are better suited to be addressed by legislative bodies rather than courts, and (2) to the extent the courts must develop constitutional doctrine to meet modern challenges, the development must be (a) an organic extension of the rights and values traditionally held by society and (b) be bound to the text of the Constitution as originally enacted and intended by the Framers.

    Justice Scalia famously discussed this view in the Michael H. case, in which a putative father (from an extra-marital affair) sought to use the Court’s “substantive due process” jurisprudence (see, e.g., Griswold and Roe) to overturn a state’s codification of Mansfield’s Rule, which protects the children of a marriage from outside claims of paternity. Scalia, in his majority opinion, attempted to limit the extension of “substantive due process” to those instances where society had traditionally protected such rights:

    1. The § 621 presumption does not infringe upon the due process rights of a man wishing to establish his paternity of a child born to the wife of another man.

    […]

    (b) There is no merit to Michael’s substantive due process claim that he has a constitutionally protected “liberty” interest in the parental relationship he has established with Victoria, and that protection of Gerald’s and Carole’s marital union is an insufficient state interest to support termination of that relationship. Michael has failed to meet his burden of proving that his claimed “liberty” interest is one so deeply imbedded within society’s traditions as to be a fundamental right. Not only has he failed to demonstrate that the interest he seeks to vindicate has traditionally been accorded protection by society, but the common law presumption of legitimacy, and even modern statutory and decisional law, demonstrate that society has historically protected, and continues to protect, the marital family against the sort of claim Michael asserts.

    Scalia explains further:

    In an attempt to limit and guide interpretation of the Clause, we have insisted not merely that the interest denominated as a “liberty” be “fundamental” (a concept that, in isolation, is hard to objectify), but also that it be an interest traditionally protected by our society. [Footnote 2] As we have put it, the Due Process Clause affords only those protections “so rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people as to be ranked as fundamental.” Snyder v. Massachusetts, 291 U. S. 97, 291 U. S. 105 (1934) (Cardozo, J.). Our cases reflect “continual insistence upon respect for the teachings of history [and] solid recognition of the basic values that underlie our society. . . .” Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U. S. 479, 381 U. S. 501 (1965) (Harlan, J., concurring in judgment).

    This insistence that the asserted liberty interest be rooted in history and tradition is evident, as elsewhere, in our cases according constitutional protection to certain parental rights. Michael reads the landmark case of Stanley v. Illinois, 405 U. S. 645 (1972), and the subsequent cases of Quilloin v. Walcott, 434 U. S. 246 (1978), Caban v. Mohammed, 441 U. S. 380 (1979), and Lehr v. Robertson, 463 U. S. 248 (1983), as establishing that a liberty interest is created by biological fatherhood plus an established parental relationship — factors that exist in the present case as well. We think that distorts the rationale of those cases. As we view them, they rest not upon such isolated factors but upon the historic respect — indeed, sanctity would not be too strong a term — traditionally accorded to the relationships that develop within the unitary family. [Footnote 3] See Stanley, supra, at 405 U. S. 651; Quilloin, supra, at 434 U. S. 254-255; Caban, supra, at 441 U. S. 389; Lehr, supra, at 463 U. S. 261. In Stanley, for example, we forbade the destruction of such a family when, upon the death of the mother, the State had sought to remove children from the custody of a father who had lived with and supported them and their mother for 18 years. As Justice Powell stated for the plurality in Moore v. East Cleveland, supra, at 431 U. S. 503:

    “Our decisions establish that the Constitution protects the sanctity of the family precisely because the institution of the family is deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition.”

    Thus, the legal issue in the present case reduces to whether the relationship between persons in the situation of Michael and Victoria has been treated as a protected family unit under the historic practices of our society, or whether, on any other basis, it has been accorded special protection. We think it impossible to find that it has. In fact, quite to the contrary, our traditions have protected the marital family (Gerald, Carole, and the child they acknowledge to be theirs) against the sort of claim Michael asserts. [Footnote 4]…

    That’s hardly a “sola scriptura” approach to jurisprudence and, in fact, I would argue that Scalia was relying upon his own Catholic understanding of the Magisterium in formulating that approach.

  • Thanks, Jay, for beating me to it. I owe you.

  • Ditto what Mike said. I’ve written that comment before (although probably not as well).

  • Three comments:

    First, I would not dismiss the existence of an anti-intellectual strain within evangelical Protestantism as mere liberal rhetoric. Certainly there is some of that, but the anti-intellectualism in evangelical Protestantism is well documented, especially by scholars such as Mark Noll, who is himself an evangelical Protestant. It is a part of evangelical Protestantism that many adherents are putting aside, but its historical existence could be a factor.

    Second, we can’t ignore social trends. Mainline Protestantism has been declining in numbers and influence for some time. The lack of mainline Protestants that “percolate up” to the upper echelons of the law is a consequence of that. At the same time, Catholic numbers and influence increased during the same decades. Also, Catholics and Jews during the last century emphasized education, assimilation, and becoming part of the “establishment.” That too, had implications. I would expect the same to happen with evangelical Protestants in the decades to come.

    Third, both Jewish and Catholic teaching has not emphasized, as much as mainline Protestants, a radical separation of church/state and politics/religion. Mainline Protestants, some have argued, emphasized it so much that they made religion irrelevant in the public square.

  • It’s not a perfect fit but there are elements of originalism that more closely resemble sola scriptura. Sola scripturists would also agree that the world is different today. Jay, I don’t think anything you said is inconsistent with sola scriptura.

    It’s funny you mention Michael H. I was just rereading my notes on the case a few days ago. None of the justices objected to Scalia’s view to traditional rights. Brennan’s dissent also looks to traditional rights. But a majority didn’t join Scalia’s footnote 6 for a very different reason. I, along with most the justices, think he’s wrong in his application, if not his approach. Contrary to his assertion that broader classes are more susceptible to conflicting interpretations, Scalia’s approach allows judges to pick conflicting specific classes. Scalia puts Michael H. in the class of “cheating fathers.” One can also place him in the class of “biological fathers.”

  • No, Scalia does not place Michael H. in the class of “cheating fathers”; he places him in the class of those who society and the law don’t want breaking up intact families by challenging the paternity of the children within those families. He’s unwilling to create out of whole cloth a “fundamental right” to do something that society has not traditionally seen fit to give sanction.

    And while one may also place Michael H. in the class of “biological fathers”, that says absolutely nothing regarding the “fundamentalness” of his “right” to have Mansfield’s Rule struck down as unconstitutional. And that’s what’s at stake. The liberal would throw out a centuries old common law rule over some imagined “fundamental right” to claim the child of an intact marriage as one’s own. That’s not akin to a “development of doctrine” – that’s changing the rules to suit one’s own personal view of how the law SHOULD be and fits more in line with how the VOTF crowd view the Magisterium.

  • Furthermore, the reason the “sola scriptura” analogy is inapt is because it an ahistorical reading of how originalists have actually behaved on the Court.

    Protestants whose approach to religion is based on “sola scriptura” reject authority and tradition as having any sway over how they apply their Faith to their lives. They reject developments in doctrine (even while unconsciously accepting such developments as the Trinity and the compilation of the Bible itself). The “sola scriptura” mindset – especially when it is of the fundamentalist variety – is a back-to-the-basics approach with only the Bible and the Holy Spirit as a guide.

    The originalist, in contrast, doesn’t reject authority or tradition or developments in the law that have occurred in the intervening years since the founding. The originalist doesn’t seek to “refound” the American republic as it existed in 1787. In fact, the originalist approach to jurisprudence is actually quite limited in scope by comparison to the Protestant Reformation and the approach of the “sola scriptura” practitioner.

  • Jay,

    Protestants whose approach to religion is based on “sola scriptura” reject authority and tradition as having any sway over how they apply their Faith to their lives. They reject developments in doctrine (even while unconsciously accepting such developments as the Trinity and the compilation of the Bible itself). The “sola scriptura” mindset – especially when it is of the fundamentalist variety – is a back-to-the-basics approach with only the Bible and the Holy Spirit as a guide.

    Thanks for fleshing out what I said in one sentence.

    I’m no law expert nor a lawyer, but I too could see that sola scriptura was an impediment towards doctrinal development for Protestants.

    And with that, originalsim and sola scriptura have no similarities with the respect to doctrinal development.

    Also appreciated your first comment as well…

  • Finally, let’s be honest about why those Catholics opposed to Constitutional originalism try to stigmatize it with the taint of “sola scriptura”: they know that most Catholics, especially conservative ones, take a dim view of “sola scriptura” in the context of theology, so they use the analogy to paint Catholic constitutional originalists as unthinking (in relying on the same intellectually inferior practice as protestant fundamentalists) and/or hypocritical (in doing to the Constitution what they criticize the protestants for doing to Christianity).

    The problem, as I’ve noted above, is that the analogy is inapt. But it is inapt not only because it fails to describe what originalists actually believe and how they actually behave, but because it is a comparison of two completely different institutions established for two completely different reasons and under two completely different sets of circumstances.

  • Evangelical Protestants who take their faith seriously go to any law school they can find that’s conducive to their faith. Catholics just go to the highest-ranked school that will take them – even if that school is not particularly religious. Of course, I am speaking in general terms.

  • Jay, I see that you are anticipating in advance the charge of being trapped in a Calvinist (and very Protestant) dualism by virtue of defending originalism. But you cannot escape; in order for the intellectually cramped Calvinist-Catholic dualistic system to work, any disagreement must be described as an outgrowth of individualism/Calvinism/liberalism.

  • Evangelical Protestants who take their faith seriously go to any law school they can find that’s conducive to their faith. Catholics just go to the highest-ranked school that will take them – even if that school is not particularly religious. Of course, I am speaking in general terms.

    I am not sure how true that is. I have friends and co-workers who are evangelicals that went to Harvard Law, and the Christian (not Catholic) law student group at my school (t-10 or so) was fairly sizable and active. But, of course, these anecdotes don’t really add up to data. You could be right about the general trend.

  • I’d consider myself a Catholic originalist. Sola scriptura (or some weak version of it) can be an perfectly defensible way to interpret the Constitution but not Scripture.

    Originalists reject any develop of new doctrines not grounded in the law as understood at the time of its enactment. They accept tradition only up to the point of enactment. They do not accept the idea that later traditions that could not reasonably be anticipated, can add to the law. On the other hand, Catholics accept that later traditions can add to existing “law” in ways that could not reasonably have been anticipated.

    Even the process of development differs. Originalists reject abstract unifying doctrines and prefer to judge new situations as fitting or not fitting into specific laws or enumerated rights. Catholics, I would argue, work in the opposite direction. Starting with abstract unifying doctrines (e.g., dignity of man), then judging whether the situation falls within an exception (e.g., double effect).

    As for the Michael H. sidetrack, Jay, you demonstrate exactly why Scalia’s methodology is wanting (I’d like to note that this is a different argument than the one over originalism). I described Scalia’s classification of Michael H. as a “cheating father.” You described it as “someone trying to break up a stable family.” Which one are we supposed to use? You also dismissed the implications of classifying Michael H. as simply a “biological father.” Traditionally, biological fathers have rights over their biological children. An appeal to tradition doesn’t work here because both sides can, and did, argue it. If Scalia’s methodology is correct, it’s incomplete, at the very least.

  • Centinel, you wrote:

    Evangelical Protestants who take their faith seriously go to any law school they can find that’s conducive to their faith. Catholics just go to the highest-ranked school that will take them – even if that school is not particularly religious. Of course, I am speaking in general terms.

    That goes beyond generalization, friend. Generalization, philosophically, means abstracting a feature true of each instance of a class, e.g., “Houses have roofs.” Generalization, popularly speaking, means abstracting a feature true of most or even many instances of a class, e.g., “The students at Catholic University are Catholics.”

    What you’ve managed to do is pluck out of a bag of prejudices and biases a dazzling example of complete ignorance EXCEPT of perhaps one or two cases that you know, and a few more that you know of.

    I am close friends with a woman who, as an Evangelical, went to Yale Law School because it was “the highest-ranking school that would take” her, to use your words. Not too shabby. Granted, it’s not the University of Barbados, but I suppose Yale Law will do for her sort. She’s a Catholic now, though. Did you know that there are numerous law schools at Catholic universities bursting at the seams with… all sorts of people?

    Do you think it possible that Catholics might be serious about their faith and go to a law school conducive to it?

    Do you think it possible that an Evangelical might be serious about his faith and yet go to an ungodly school bearing in mind that it is not the law school’s job to nurture his faith, and that he will continue to seek spiritual nourishment through the means he always has – prayer, reading the scriptures, attending a good church?

    C’mon. Your “observation” was entire facile.

  • “Traditionally, biological fathers have rights over their biological children.”

    Not biological fathers who aren’t married to the child’s mother. That’s a very recent development.

  • And I’m sure you’ll say that my last comment illustrates your point about classifications.

    But there will always be classifications when talking about defining rights under the Consitition. The key is to find the classification that does the least amount of damage to the constitutional order, and this is done by limiting the interference of the judiciary into the democratic process by defining the “fundamental right” narrowly enough as not to remove a broad category of activities from democratic oversight (not to mention creating out of whole cloth “rights” that have no basis in the text of the Constitution).

    Scalia’s appeal to tradition is to look at the behavior that society has traditionally valued and protected and determine whether the particular case before the Court meets – with specificity – the activity society has sought to protect.

    The liberal will look at “tradition” and try to broadly define the activity that is “fundamental” to ordered liberty so as to include as much activity as possible and remove it from the democratic process. Thus, Brennan et al looked at Michael H. as a “biological father”, and relying on some very recent precedent (and ignoring other recent precedent – i.e. that “biological fathers” have very few if any rights when abortion and birth control are at issue), tried to make the argument that he had a “fundamental right” to interfere in the inner workings and relationships of an intact family unit.

    What’s “traditional” about that? Nothing. Maintaining Mansfield’s Rule was based on tradition – the tradition of protecting the family, as society has sought to do for generations. The Court’s “fundamental rights” jurisprudence – of very recent vintage – regarding a biological father’s “reproductive rights”, not so much.

  • While not remotely an expert on law, the sociological/historical aspect interests me in regards to biological fathers’ right. It seems to me that the accurate characterization would be that in Western Culture, a biological father can assert paternity rights over illegitimate offspring by effectively “legitimizing” or recognizing them. This, however, assumes that the illegitimate offspring are otherwise simply “fatherless” and unacknowledged.

    The rights of the pater familias as a husband typically include having paternal rights over all children he chooses to acknowledge. So if his wife bears a child which is not, in fact, his, he can effectively make the child his by acknowledging the child as his regardless of actual paternity.

    The idea that a biological father could assert paternity rights over a child he fathered on a married women over the objections of her husband (who is willing to raise the child as his own) would be distinctly un-traditional.

  • Darwin,

    You’re right. It IS distinctly un-traditional. And for over 200 years, under Lord Mansfield’s Rule, such claims cannot be heard.

    Okay, I realize I’ve dominated this thread, so just one last thing on the classifications in Michael H. and how they relate to “tradition”:

    As Restrained Radical notes, both Scalia and Brennan appealed to “tradition” in reaching opposite conclusions in the case. However, a closer examination of the arguments and what respective “tradition” was being sought to be preserved by the opposing Justices, will reveal that one of the Justices was ACTUALLY concerned with remaining faithful to and preserving an established tradition, while the other Justice’s feigned appeal to “tradition” was a complete load of BS from one of the most successful bu11$h**tters who ever sat on the Supreme Court.

    Let’s start off with the fact that the rights of “biological fathers” – the “tradition” to which Justice Brennan appealed – are, as I noted above, a recent development in the law, and there is no long-standing “tradition” of “biological fathers” having legal rights over their offspring outside the context of the marital relationship. Even the parental rights of divorcing parents have always been based on the fact that the parents were married in the first place.

    So, let’s dispense with Brennan’s nonsensical claim that he was appealing to “tradition” and cut right to the chase. Were one to follow his constitutional jurisprudence to its logical conclusion, here’s Bill Brennan’s take on the “rights” of biological fathers:

    * A “biological father” has absolutely NO LEGAL RIGHTS to protect the life of his child should the mother choose to abort the child; HOWEVER …

    * A “biological father” has a “fundamental constitutional right” to interfere in an intact marital family relationship by asserting paternity over a child born inside that marriage should the mother choose to raise the child with her husband.

    * A “biological father” has a “fundamental constitutional right” that overrides an over-200-year-old common law rule – a common law rule known to and explicitly accepted by the drafters of the Constitution – meant to protect marriages from outside attack and children from bastardization.

    That’s Bill Brennan’s definition of “tradition”.

    On the other hand, under Justice Scalia’s approach, here is the state of the law:

    * an over-200-year-old common law rule that was on the books at the time of this Nation’s founding is preserved;

    * the sanctity of the marital family unit is preserved from outside interference by claims from a stanger to that marriage that he is, in fact, the father of a child born to that marriage;

    * the original intent and meaning of the text of the Constitution is preserved from the violence done to the constitutional order whenever a newly created “fundamental right” is used to strike down as “unconstitutional” a law that was fully known to and explicitly acctepted by those who drafted the Constitution.

    Now, which one of those approaches is TRULY concerned with tradition?

  • Personally, I always thought the tradition of offering sympathy to orphans should have helped the Menendez brothers

    😉

  • Jay, your putative domination of this thread has enriched it, and is greatly appreciated at least by me.

  • Agreed, I’ve enjoyed your explanation on this stuff, Jay.

  • I spend the day in Bankruptcy Court and Jay leaves me nothing to say in regard to Constitutional interpretation. Rats! Ah well, I will merely say ditto to what Jay wrote and what Scalia says below:

  • Donald,

    I liked his Chestertonian quote:

    “Some worth doing, is worth doing terribly.”

    Or something to that effect.

  • I should’ve stated this early but I don’t necessarily disagree with the outcome of Michael H. And I do think originalism is the proper method of analysis (while I still maintain this is closer to sola scriptura). I only take issue with Scalia’s method of abstraction outlined in footnote 6. He defines classes that need not be defined in that way.

    Jay & Darwin, it all depends on how you’re defining the tradition and the specific case. The children of a married woman have traditionally been presumed to be the biological children of the husband. Is Lord Mansfield’s Rule designed to protect the husband or the biological father? In the absence of DNA testing, it would seem that it protects the biological father (usually the husband) from spurious paternity claims. Therefore, it appears tradition protects the rights of the biological father. Modern technology has eliminated the need for blunt evidentiary rules.

    Again, I’m not saying that’s right. Only that the very existence of what I think is an alternative reasonable interpretation, undercuts Scalia’s approach.

  • Don, that was a great vid. It would be interesting to see a liberal originalist on the court. Lawrence Lessig, a liberal and a broad originalist, says Kagan thinks as he does. I doubt it but if true, not only would Kagan be the most influential justice, it would also alter the course of American jurisprudence. I’ve believed that the best kind of judicial nominee would be a liberal pro-lifer. Perhaps even more important than overturning Roe is changing the way liberals view abortion.

  • “Is Lord Mansfield’s Rule designed to protect the husband or the biological father? In the absence of DNA testing, it would seem that it protects the biological father (usually the husband) from spurious paternity claims. Therefore, it appears tradition protects the rights of the biological father. Modern technology has eliminated the need for blunt evidentiary rules.”

    I suppose it provides an alternative interpretation to Scalia’s, but it is one that I believe to be ahistorical.

    The historical record will bear out that Lord Mansfield was primarily concerned with the children of marriages not being made bastards, which is a matter wholly unconcerned with determining actual biological paternity. In fact, it was an objective that was often in direct conflict with determining such.

    Preserving intact marital family units from such challenges was not for the purpose of ensuring that the husband’s factual biological paternity was protected from spurious outside claims, but rather to ensure that children were not delegitimized. For that reason, the law created an irrebuttable presumption that the children of a married woman were the legitimate children of her husband.

  • I suppose, from a sociological point of view, a lot has to do with how you interpret the purpose of established cultural norms. It seems to me that the purpose would clearly be that a pater familias be able to determine who he wants to call his children. If he want to acknowledge children he had by a woman other than his wife, he can. If he want to refuse to acknowledge those children, he can. And when his wife bears children he can either acknowledge them, or repudiate his wife and deny them.

    All this sounds rather negative and “patriarchal”, but it also has the effect of making the direct and extended family strong against outside assaults. Good or bad, though, I think it’s hard to deny that it’s “traditional”.

  • “I doubt it but if true, not only would Kagan be the most influential justice, it would also alter the course of American jurisprudence. I’ve believed that the best kind of judicial nominee would be a liberal pro-lifer.”

    I doubt restrainedradical that Kagan will be anything but an orthodox political liberal on the bench. However, the fact that she has no judicial experience on the bench should give her backers pause. Felix Frankfurter, the great advocate of judicial restraint, was a fairly conventional political liberal before he was appointed to the Supreme Court by FDR without judicial experience. Things can look quite differently after one dons the black robe, especially with a life time appointment, and Kagan, perhaps, could end up surprising everyone.

  • I would be astonished if Kagan does not prove to be “anything but an orthodox political liberal” cleverly legislating from the bench whey “necessary.” But I’m prepared to be astonished, and certainly hope that I am.

    In any event. I hope the confirmation process is a smooth one. I’m all for hardball politics, but Kagan is qualified and that should be the end of it. The Dems viciously changed the rules with Bork, and I believe that the temperament within the Senate has never been the same. I’d like to see the Republicans avoid scoring political and polemical points and just plain do the right thing.

  • I agree Mike that the Kagan nomination is not the one for the Republicans to put up a fight on, but one of the main reasons why the Democrats routinely engage in scorched earth tactics in regard to Republican judicial nominees is because the Republicans routinely fail to do the same to Democrat nominees.

  • Fair enough, Don, but it is worth remembering that both Roberts and Alito got through without the Dems resorting to scorched earth practices, which is not to say that they behaved perfectly. I’d rather try to ratchet the practices back to how they are supposed to work. I acknowledge that it is a judgment call as to whether exhibiting good behavior or returning bad behavior is the most effective way to do that.

  • In regard to Alito Mike the Democrats tried but failed to filibuster his nomination. The final vote for his confirmation was 58-42 which is astounding if one of the chief criteria is supposed to be judicial comptence.

    Obama of course voted against confirmation for both Roberts and Alito, two of the best qualified jurists ever nominated to the Supreme Court.

  • Forgot that, Don, thanks. I’d still support Kagan’s nomination, but would also score points by emphasizing the contrast between her treatment and that of Alito, and get lots of digs against Obama for voting against Alito and Roberts.

  • Roberts was confirmed 78–22. He got far more Democratic votes than Sotomayor got Republican votes. Alito had the misfortune of being second. Kagan has the same problem.

  • Wow. Such deep arguments!

    Still, I think a lot of folks are overthinking this situation. A president seeking a pro-life perspective on the high court appoints a Catholic. Another president seeking some pro-life cover also appoints a Catholic. Presidents who seek a reliably pro-abortion leftist or wish to appease leftist elements of their party often appoint a Jew.

  • Restrained Radical,

    There’s no comparison, democrats are far more emotional and vindictive when it comes to voting against well-qualified judges that happen to seem conservative.

    Case in point, Robert Bork who lost the nomination 42-58.

  • The Bork confirmation process was unprecedented. It broke with longstanding Senate tradition, and frankly the Senate has not been the same since. The Dems broke the rules and lied shamelesslessly while doing it. Mutual rancor, payback, and distrust have been the order of the day since.

    While not unopinionated, I am not given to immoderate commentary. In fact I sign my real name as a matter of self-discipline. But let there be no misunderstanding or doubt: Joe Biden made his bones in the Bork hearings and behaved like a consummate dirtbag. I expected such dishonest behavior from the cowardly Senator from Massachusetts, but this was when Biden showed his true character colors.

    Finally, let’s be clear. When the Left decides to play hard ball, you can ususally count on the subtext being their sacrament of abortion. It started with Bork and Palin has been the most recent manifestation.

  • Bork and Thomas are outliners. People like Bork with long controversial paper trails don’t get nominated anymore. And Thomas had to deal with Anita Hill. I don’t think either party has a monopoly on outrage. As I noted before, Roberts had an easier confirmation than Sotomayor who in turn will have had an easier confirmation than Kagan. I predict Kagan’s confirmation to be similar to Alito’s. Four Democrats voted for Alito. I predict 2 or 3 Republicans will vote for Kagan (Snowe, Collins, and maybe Brown).

  • It’s a straw man.

    Bork had the most difficult.

    You can continue to apologize for your democratic party, but facts are facts.

  • While, I do not disagree with the overall thesis expressed herein. I find the characterization of Reform and Hasidic Judaism to be off the mark. I contend that the divisions within Judaism that they represent a division with Judaism but that these division were the result not of dogmatic differences.

    Rather I view the divisions within Judaism as being similar to the differences that exist between religious orders with Catholicism.

    In the sense that each religious order agrees on the truth of the dogma espoused by universal church, their missions differ,and as a result there may exist minor differences within their devotions and practice.

  • Nathan Zimmermann,

    I would like to default to your position because I know very little about Judaism.

    But when I see “conservative” and “reform” Jews advocate for the death of the unborn in absolute violation of the Ten Commandments and then I see “orthodox” Jews express identical views with Catholics and stand up for the unborn, then your analogy does not seem to fit that of Catholic religious orders.

    Catholic religious orders differ in mission, but adhere completely to the teachings of the Church.

    I don’t believe your analogy falls into that category with all due respect.

  • Mr. Edwards,

    I based my analogy upon my experiences and interactions with the aforementioned communities within my native city where even the conservative and reform Jews tend to be more conservative and pro-life.

  • If the Republicans wish to Bork a nominee Solicitor General Kagan’s nomination may be the best opportunity. If President Obama had nominated Judge Merrick Garland, the ability of the Republicans to Bork the nominee would have proved less tenable because, Judge Garland’ nomination was openly advocated by Senator Hatch.

    As addendum to my two previous posts, and to throw a fox into a hen-house. While there is no doubt of the universal church on the subject of abortion and euthanasia, eugenics and Darwinism.

    It should be noted that there existed a split with the church on the subject of eugenics and Darwinism during the 1920s and 1930’s as is evident in the writings of Rev. Hermann Muckermann, the elder brother of Rev. Friederich Muckermann SJ.

  • Nathan:
    There has never been a split regarding either Darwinism or eugenics in Church teaching properly understood The fact that some Catholic priests and theologians have favored abortion rights, for instance (which of course is still the case) does not in any way impair the fact that the Magisterium has remained consistent, even as it develops.
    I have countless Jewish friends. Sadly I know none who consider themselves of the Reform stripe who favor laws forbidding abortions, even though I know many who claim they themselves would not abort a child.

A Papal Audience in Autumn 1941

Sunday, May 9, AD 2010

Venerable Pius XII always believed that it was part of his duties as Pope to be accessible to virtually everyone who wished to see him.  His audiences would normally be crowded as a result.  In the autumn of 1941 he held an audience which was no different.  Italians, pilgrims of all nations, German soldiers (German soldiers flocked to see the Pope until the Nazis forbade such visits, fearing the influence the words of the Pope, in direct contradiction to the doctrines of National Socialism,  might have on the Landsers.), humanity from across the globe, all eager to see, and perhaps have a word with, the Vicar of Christ on Earth.

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6 Responses to A Papal Audience in Autumn 1941

11 Responses to The Infidel

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

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

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

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

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

  • LOL!

    “I used an I.R.A. voice.”

    I will be putting that on my Netflix cue now.

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

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

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

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

  • CMinor,

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

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

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

3 Responses to The Crucified Rabbi Trailer

  • THE HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH

    Oh, Bride of Christ, you’re beautiful
    So radiant your face.
    Crowned in love by holy priests
    Your raiment spun of grace.

    Attended to by angel choirs
    That ever sing your praise,
    The mother of the blessed saints
    Who wisely chose your ways.

    Protector of the Eucharist
    Beloved of the Queen,
    The keeper of the flame of faith
    The door to truths unseen.

    Pure flower of the Spring of Life
    The soul’s sweet lullaby,
    Oh, God’s most gracious gift to man
    Through you how blessed am I.

    Kate Watkins Furman

  • Thank you for sharing that Kate.

    A very serene poem in honor of the Bride of Christ.

  • my son does that sometimes but when i put him to eat and watch tv at the same time he seems to enjoy his food more…

Advent and Anti-Christ, Part II

Sunday, December 6, AD 2009

 

 

Part II of my presentation of the four sermons on the Anti-Christ given by John Henry Cardinal Newman during Advent in 1835 before his conversion.  Part I is here.

In this second sermon Newman concentrates on what we can glean of  the Anti-Christ  from Scripture and from the writings of the Fathers of the Church.  One thing stands out in this sermon for me.  The idea that the reign of the Anti-Christ may involve both ferocious atheism and a return to paganism.  This seems like a contradiction, but Newman points to the French Revolution:

In that great and famous nation which is near us, once great for its love of CHRIST’S Church, since memorable for deeds of blasphemy, which lead me here to mention it, and now, when it should be pitied and prayed for, made unhappily our own model in too many respects,-followed when it should be condemned, and admired when it should be excused,-in the capital of that powerful and celebrated nation, there took place, as we all well know, within the last fifty years, an open apostasy from Christianity; not from Christianity only, but from every kind of worship which might retain any semblance or pretence of the great truths of religion. Atheism was absolutely professed; -yet in spite of this, it seems a contradiction in terms to say it, a certain sort of worship, and that, as the prophet expresses it, “a strange worship,” was introduced. Observe what this was.

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5 Responses to Advent and Anti-Christ, Part II

New York Times Rejects Archbishop Dolans Article, Why?

Friday, October 30, AD 2009

Archbishop Timothy DolanThe New York Times rejected an op-ed article submitted by Archbishop Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York.  Why may I ask would the New York Times reject an article from His Excellency?  Probably because Archbishop Dolan called out the New York Times for their yellow journalism.

Of course those not familiar will Colonial American history will “poo poo” this particular article.  But as early as A.D. 1642 there were laws in the books that required test oaths administered to keep Catholics out of office, legislation that barred Catholics from entering certain professions (such as Law), and measures enacted to make Catholics incapable of inheriting or purchasing land.

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30 Responses to New York Times Rejects Archbishop Dolans Article, Why?

  • What would you expect? Evil knows who the real enemy is, and doesn’t waste effort on wannabes.

  • It would be pretty uncomfortable not to be hated by, um (coughs) “minions.”

    St. Max Kolbe, St. Frances de Sales and St. Paul the Apostle are the patrons of journalists. Integrity in the press would be pleasing, for a change.

  • Tito:

    There are far more recent examples of blatant anti-Catholicism in American history.

    For starters, you might want to look into what was then known as the Blaine Amendment.

    “The American River Ganges,” Harper’s Weekly,
    September 30, 1871, p.916. Wood engraving.

    By the middle of the nineteenth century, large numbers of Catholic children had withdrawn from the significantly Protestant American public schools to attend newly organized Roman Catholic schools. With a large and influential Irish Catholic constituency, the powerful New York City Democratic machine centered at Tammany Hall persuaded the Democratic state legislature to provide public support for the Irish schools. A firestorm of controversy ensued, especially in states like Ohio and Illinois,where the Catholic hierarchy had made similar requests. The controversy re-ignited smouldering Republican nativism, a policy of protecting the interests of indigenous residents against immigrants; and it suddenly became attractive as a vote-getter since that Reconstruction issues appeared to have been resolved. Tammany politicians are shown dropping little children into the “American River Ganges,” infested with crocodilian bishops. The American flag flies upside down, the universal signal of distress, from the ruins of a public school. Linking Roman Catholicism to the Ganges, the sacred river of Hinduism, suggested its exotic un-Americanism and also linked it with what Americans then considered a primitive and fanatical religion.

  • One significant part missing from the Archbishop’s article is that anti-Catholicism has waned a good deal since the colonial and founding days of this country. While it’s clearly still a very real and significatn part of the national mindset as he shows, had he mentioned this trend and shown an example – i.e., the positive reception of the past two popes when visiting this country – it may have been better received by the NY Times?

  • [A]nti-Catholicism has waned a good deal since the colonial and founding days of this country.

    I don’t believe this to be true; instead, I believe anti-Catholicism is not as blatant as it was in earlier days, which is why this would seem to be the case.

    After all, it is not without compellingly good reason why it has been declared (quite rightly) that “anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice”.

  • The Archbishop should remove the log from his own eye as well. He has his own biases which he shares with all his brother bishops and he, as they do, refuses to listen as well to the victims of his particular bigotry.

    What goes around comes around Timothy. Please look at yourself as well.

  • While [Anit-Catholicism] has been declared (quite rightly) that “anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice”.”, that doesn’t speak clearly to the extent of that bias, it only speaks that the bias still concretely exists. The fact that Evangelicals (see “Has the Reformation Ended?” by Noll and Nystrom) have been slowly moving toward closer relations and mutual understanding with Catholics, along with the general Protestant population as well, it’s quite clear that there is an improvement to the bias that has existed from the beginning.

    I agree that the bias is still strong, especially in the popular media, though as you mention less blatant. But even then there has been a slow but discernible improvement. See the NY Times coverage of Vatican II – the paper itself showed surprisingly positive comments on the council, granted, it tended to want to see the Catholic Church as a “changed church”, and not just development. But nonetheless, a respect was shown that would not have been present back in the 19th century.

  • Karl Says: “Archbishop should remove the log from his own eye as well”

    Karl, Archbishop does acknowledge the Catholics issues, maybe not as much as you like? But he does. Rehashing further those Catholic issues would require The NY Times to do the same every time it writes about a topic, certainly not something that will ever happen. But the Archbishop certainly deserves his say in the most influential newspaper in this country on a topic of significant importance. If you use your line of reasoning, then the NY Times would also have to do the same, and we’d have to do without that newspaper for a long time until that log was removed!

  • Publius:

    While I might grant that there has been apparently good sentiments towards establishing good relations with Catholics by some members of certain Protestant denominations (whether wholly or in part); surely, good vibes from merely a selection of Protestant individuals cannot translate as meaning the “general Protestant population”; furthermore, the general populace of America itself does not consist merely in such a population as this but extends to those who are merely secularist or are themselves beholden to other categories not even Protestant, which such anti-Catholicism also eminate.

    Rest assured, anti-Catholicism is alive and well; it’s just not as conspicuous as it used to be.

  • e.:

    I should have said that there are significant, meaningful efforts underway for decades – in particular, since Vatican II – that have made an impact in Protestantism. You’re right; it’s an overstatement to say these changes have affected the general Protestant populations. Having clarified that, it is clear that numerous Protestants and Protestant churches (not to mention a few agnostics/atheists) have gained a growing respect for Catholicism. I speak of the Protestant segment of the population because it is the largest segment and one that I know where meaningful change is taking place. If it can be shown one segment is affected, then it shows there is change, no matter how small.
    One area of change has occurred when numerous leaders on both sides of the Protestant / Catholic fences are finding important ways of working together, leaders – such as those involved in Evangelical and Catholics Together. They are leaders for a reason, they bring followers. And while this is always a bit nebulous in the Protestant world, there are a number of examples that can show this is taking root. Also, Protestants and Catholics have stood together in front of numerous abortion clinics, an action that is bound to produce more than ‘good vibes’. It builds shared values, which is a solid base to build on. This is a very slow process, but a process that is in the works. I am involved in two ecumenical groups myself where a learning process is underway that is yielding mutual respect and understanding, which requires a yield to the traditional bigotry.
    And no need to continue repeating Anti-Catholicism is still alive and well, we agree on this. I just think it’s important and helpful to acknowledge that serious effort and action has been made in past decades, especially since and because of Vatican II, that indicates the roots and resulting fruit that has taken place. It doesn’t diminish the reality of the “last acceptable prejudice” in this country.

  • I know it is called anti-Catholicism, but I think it is different in kind now than it was in the past. While many so-called anti-Catholics may see our beliefs as incoherent and superstitious as to theological/sacramental matters (eg, transubstantiation), the current anti-Catholicism is focused more on our ethical/moral beliefs. Thus, it’s not limited to anti-Catholic, but anti-anyone who does not agree with their morality.

  • c matt is correct in my view, which explains why the animus is directed more from so-called cultural elites and liberals than conservative fundies. The latter disagree with us, and have very odd understandings of our beliefs, but with a few exceptions really don’t demonize us. Moreover, the latter group is comparatively powerless.

  • Publius:

    While I agree with you that such advances have indeed been made insofar as our relationship concerning certain Protestants go; however, I believe what’s being neglected here is that these seemingly minor events have not led to any significant eradication or even a diminishment of anti-Catholicism in general and, as I’ve attempted to point out in my latter remark (admittedly, rather poorly), the general population of the United States is not primarily comprised of just Protestants. There are several other folks who are just as, if not, far more fierce in their anti-Catholicism.

    c matt:

    I’m afraid I need to disagree with you there.

    The PZ Myers affair itself would seem precisely indicative of the kind of underlying prejudice (still alive as it is ubiquitous & rampant) certain categories of Americans (in this case, the scientific community as well as various secular groups) harbor specifically towards our kind.

    That is, I don’t believe it is really merely a matter of Christian morals, which any other Christian denomination apart from ours may likewise subscribe to; and, yet, I doubt that they would suffer incidents similar to the hideous kind Catholics are typically victim to, like the one here.

  • This is no surprise to me. More and more, the MSM is simply ignoring criticism or stories which do not promote their leftist POV. They didn’t vet Obama properly, they barely reported on Van Jones, they dropped the ball on ACORN – but we know what designer made the dress Michelle wore on date night. People complain about Fox, but the truth is that Fox is doing the job the rest of the MSM refuses to do.

    In the meantime, the NY Times circulation continues to tank and they recently had another big layoff. If it wasn’t for Mexican billionaire Carlos Sim, the Gray Lady would already be six feet under.

    The Church will be around long after the Times prints its last snide MoDo column.

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  • If you go to Fox News you will see the entire Archbishop’s comments on their web site. I sent a copy of your web site article to Fox when it came out and whether or not they had planned to reprint it I do not know, but it is on their web site.

  • I should add that it is under their Opinion page.

  • Doesn’t matter.

    Anyone wanting to do an honest search will find our website or another Catholic website/blog with the correct information.

    As long as it gets out. Eventually most of the more outlandish attacks on our faith should subside with time. If not, those, like the New York Times, will get less and less credibility with their attacks.

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  • I do not think the NY Times is at all anti Catholic. Three years ago the Times published a Phenomenal and Wonderful Article about the NY Catholic Foundling and the work of Saint Elizabeth Seton and her Sisters of Charity.

    I think that perhaps Archbishop Dolan may just be a tad thin skinned and doesn’t understand the language of locals and natives……. He just needs time and the neverending tolerance and patience of the people we are — New Yorkers. He’s a shepherd. Perhaps sheep graze on different grass in the midwest. He’ll come around and see we’re not so scary!!!!!!!!! Francis de Sales, Gabriel, John Chrysostom, etc. love us all equally and are with us all. Maybe he was just having a bit of a belly ache after eating that case of Tasykakes sent to him by Archbishop Rigali of Philly!!!!

  • Being anti-catholic is like charging someone with being anti-semitic. This type of vitriol is thrown for the purpose of intimidating and silencing the views of others. The Archbishop has a right, if not a responsibility, to preach to his flock whatever he feels is proper according to his faith. The rub comes when he speaks or acts beyond that in an attempt to influence, if not shape, public policy. As a voter, he is free to. But as a cleric, he is out of bounds.

  • “The rub comes when he speaks or acts beyond that in an attempt to influence, if not shape, public policy.”

    So when the bishops of America speak out against abortion, would such acts be considered “an attempt to influence, if not shape, public policy”?

  • Absolutely… the Archbishop could, just as any other citizen, speak as a civilian (preferably in street clothes) and make his position clear. Speaking as a cleric and a leader of an organization accepting tax benefits, he is out of place.

  • Would similar individuals within an organization such as the Evangelical Society count?

  • The first test is whether they are granted tax free status, if so, then they would need to speak as individual and not from the authority of some tax supported organization… From the internet, I understand the Evangelical Society to believe the following: “The Bible alone, and the Bible in its entirety, is the Word of God written and is therefore inerrant in the autographs. God is a Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each an uncreated person, one in essence, equal in power and glory.” These beliefs are clear but the relevance to the modern world is highly unclear.

  • zukunftsaugen,

    I disagree 100%.

    He is the shepherd of the Catholic Church in New York City and he has the right and the duty to lead them.

    Your ideas are bordering on totalitarianism.

    If that is what you think anyone in a position of authority should behave, then maybe you should investigate Communist China and see how well they are doing over there.

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