“I shall never fight in the armed forces with a Negro by my side … Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.”
From a letter by Robert Byrd to Mississippi United States Senator Theodore Bilbo, December 11, 1945
One amusing aspect of the current flap over Confederate statuary is the omission of the memorials to the late Senator Robert Byrd (D.WV). Go here to read a list of institutions named after him in his native West Virginia. A former Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan, Byrd was the longest serving member of Congress when he died in 2010, having been a member of the House and Senate for almost 58 years. A fierce proponent of segregation when first elected to Congress, his position moderated over time as he amended his beliefs to fit changing political realities within the nation and his Democrat Party. Nicknamed the Prince of Pork, he succeeded, due to his seniority in the Senate, in getting endless Federal pork for his state. Since it seems to be an article of faith on the left that memorials to racists must be expunged from the public square, and that arguments that the racists changed are to be rejected out of hand, the omission of Byrd’s tax supported memorials to himself from targeting by the left is curious, until one recalls that the latest hoorah over such monuments has nothing to do with race and everything to do with contemporary political battles, and that highlighting the sins of a contemporary Democrat like Byrd, who was hailed during his lifetime by many liberal Democrats still active in politics, would be politically inconvenient for the puppet masters who pull the strings of the leftist groups who seem to be outraged by racists dead for over a century, but seem quite willing to tolerate recent racists so long as they were members in good standing of the contemporary Democrat power structure.
I find this absolutely hilarious:
A pro-life activist who previously served as vice president for missions at the group Human Life International, West is an associate pastor at St. John’s Catholic Church in Orange, an ethnically diverse community in Essex County.
He declined to comment on his social media postings when approached by a reporter at the rectory last week, referring questions to Jim Goodness, a spokesman for the archdiocese.
In a statement to NJ Advance Media, Goodness said the archdiocese would move to curtail West’s political pronouncements.
“Certainly, a priest doesn’t give up his civil liberties when he is ordained, and he maintains the same right to freedom of expression as anyone else in the United States,” Goodness said. “That said, we are concerned about Father West’s comments and actions, and will be addressing them according to the protocols of the Church.”
The spokesman declined to elaborate or answer additional questions.
A minority of commenters on West’s Facebook page have denounced him as a “hatemonger” who promotes divisiveness, and at least one person complained about him to the archdiocese in December — a development announced by West himself on Facebook.
His response? A harangue against “leftist apparatchiks” and “Comrade Obama.”
Directly addressing the complainant, whom he did not name, West added: “You should be ashamed of yourself for supporting pro-abortion, anti-family politicians. If I get in trouble for denouncing them, so be it! But I won’t be scared off by a totalitarian jerk like yourself!”
The Rev. John J. Dietrich, the director of spiritual formation at the nation’s second largest seminary, Mount Saint Mary’s in Maryland, called West’s comments about politicians, Muslims and liberals “way over-the-top inappropriate behavior.”
“The thrust of his priesthood is not to be political. The thrust of his priesthood is supposed to be sacramental, preaching the Scripture,” Dietrich said, adding, “There’s a red line you don’t cross.”
“We discuss things like this in the seminary,” he said. “We would never countenance anything like this.”
Catholic leaders in recent decades have navigated the intersection of religious belief and politics carefully, stressing, for instance, the sanctity of life but rarely launching personal attacks against politicians who support abortion rights.
One modern exception to the tread-lightly rule has been Cardinal Raymond Burke, a former St. Louis archbishop who made headlines in 2004 when he said presidential candidate John Kerry, then a U.S. senator, should be denied Communion because of his pro-choice views. Francis demoted Burke, also a vocal Trump supporter who has criticized Islam, to a largely ceremonial Vatican position in 2014 amid several public disagreements.
A handful of other outspoken priests took public political stances in the 20th century, said David Campbell, who has written about religion and politics as chairman of the American Democracy Department at Notre Dame University.
Those priests include the brothers Daniel and Philip Berrigan, who led protests against the Vietnam War, and the Rev. Charles Coughlin, an early radio talk show host who challenged the policies of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the 1930s.
But politically hard-charging Catholic priests remain a rarity, said Boston College theology professor Stephen J. Pope, an expert on Catholic social teaching.
“Catholic priests are forbidden from using their office and their priesthood to promote partisan political positions,” Pope said. “A priest’s job is to be a bridge-builder, not a wall-builder.” Continue reading
Christopher Johnson at Midwest Conservative Journal, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels for the Church so frequently that I have named him Defender of the Faith, explains one of the basic rules when it comes to sex crimes in contemporary America: some animals are more equal than others:
or, “There’s Never A Massive Earthquake Around When You Need One.”
Frisco? A bunch of us were shooting the breeze the other day and we decided that if you and the rest of Cali ever wanted to secede from the Union and rejoin Mexico, join Canada or form your own basket case of a country, none of us Tea Party wingnuts will stand in your way. Why? Larry Brinkin:
Larry Brinkin, who worked at the Human Rights Commission for the City of San Francisco for 22 years and was a prominent homosexual rights activist for more than 40 years, pleaded guilty to felony child pornography possession last week.
Brinkin is expected to serve six months in jail, five years of probation, and register as a sex offender for the rest of his life when he is sentenced on Mar. 5. But he likely will get to keep his city pension because possessing and viewing child porn apparently is not considered a crime of “moral turpitude” under San Francisco’s retirement/pension rules.
More on that last sentence in a few moments. I’m not posting this to make points at the hands of homosexuals. You and I both know that gays with a conscience will be horrified at all this, particularly at one of Brinkin’s e-mails reproduced in the story. The language has been cleaned up but I’m not going to copy it here.
It’s that bad.
I mention this only to note that the very people who would be shrieking like banshees if Brinkin were a Catholic priest are closing ranks.
After Brinkin’s initial arrest, Theresa Sparks, executive director of San Francisco’s Human Rights Commission, told the media, “It’s almost incredulous, there’s no way I could believe such a thing. He’s always been one of my heroes, and he’s the epitome of human rights activist – this is the man who coined phrases we use in our daily language. I support Larry 100%. Hopefully, it will all come out in the investigation.”
Bevan Dufty, who served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and now is director of Housing Opportunity, Partnerships and Engagement in the mayor’s office, following Brinkin’s arrest said, “I have admired and respected his work for the LGBT community. I respect and am confident that there will be due process.”
Did you know that in Frisco, possessing and viewing kiddie porn does not constitute “moral turpitude?”
Concerning whether Brinkin will retain his city pension, his attorney Randall Knox said he did not think the felony child porn possession conviction was relevant because it apparently does not fall under “moral turpitude,” as explained in the city rule Proposition C.
“This is not a moral turpitude crime,” Knox told the Bay Area Reporter, and it is “not something that happened when he was working for the city.” Continue reading
Horace Walpole once famously observed that the world is a comedy to those who think and a tragedy to those who feel. The times in which we live certainly gives support to the sometime accuracy of that maxim. My favorite living historian, Victor Davis Hanson, helps buttress the point:
What explains these contradictions in our wide-open but prudish society? Decades after the rise of feminism, popular culture still seems confused by it. If women should be able to approach sexuality like men, does it follow that commentary about sex should follow the same gender-neutral rules? Yet wearing provocative or inappropriate clothing is often considered less offensive than remarking upon it. Calling a near-nude Madonna onstage a “hussy” or “tart” would be considered crude in a way that her mock crucifixion and simulated sex acts are not.
Criminal sexual activity is sometimes not as professionally injurious as politically incorrect thoughts about sex and gender. Former New York governor Eliot Spitzer — found to have hired prostitutes on a number of occasions during his time in office — was given a CNN news show despite the scandal. But when former Miss California Carrie Prejean was asked in the Miss USA pageant whether she endorsed gay marriage, she said no — and thereby earned nearly as much popular condemnation for her candid defense of traditional marriage as Spitzer had for his purchased affairs.
Critics were outraged that talk-show host Rush Limbaugh grossly insulted birth-control activist Sandra Fluke. Amid the attention, Fluke was canonized for her position that federal health-care plans should pay for the contraceptive costs of all women. Yet in comparison to Fluke’s well-publicized victimhood, there has been a veritable news blackout for the trial of the macabre Dr. Kermit Gosnell, charged with killing and mutilating in gruesome fashion seven babies during a long career of conducting sometimes illegal late-term abortions. Had Gosnell’s aborted victims been canines instead of humans — compare the minimal coverage of the Gosnell trial with the widespread media condemnation of dog-killing quarterback Michael Vick — perhaps the doctor’s mayhem likewise would have been front-page news outside of Philadelphia.
Modern society also resorts to empty, symbolic moral action when it cannot deal with real problems. So-called assault weapons account for less than 1 percent of gun deaths in America. But the country whips itself into a frenzy to ban them, apparently to prove that at least it can do something, instead of wading into polarized racial and class controversies by going after illegal urban handguns, the real source of the nation’s high gun-related body count.
Not since the late-19th-century juxtaposition of the Wild West with the Victorian East has popular morality been so unbridled and yet so uptight. In short, we have become a nation of promiscuous prudes. Continue reading
Well, the above tribute video to Ted Kennedy shown last night at the Democrat Convention certainly fit into the War on Women meme that the Democrats have been pushing! The video failed to mention that Kennedy had a great sense of humor, especially about Chappaquiddick! What a guy!
Time magazine, anyone still reading it?, has a truly despicable piece by Bruce Crumley in which he basically says that “they had it coming” after a French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, was firebombed:
Okay, so can we finally stop with the idiotic, divisive, and destructive efforts by “majority sections” of Western nations to bait Muslim members with petulant, futile demonstrations that “they” aren’t going to tell “us” what can and can’t be done in free societies? Because not only are such Islamophobic antics futile and childish, but they also openly beg for the very violent responses from extremists their authors claim to proudly defy in the name of common good. What common good is served by creating more division and anger, and by tempting belligerent reaction?
The difficulty in answering that question is also what’s making it hard to have much sympathy for the French satirical newspaper firebombed this morning, after it published another stupid and totally unnecessary edition mocking Islam. The Wednesday morning arson attack destroyed the Paris editorial offices of Charlie Hebdo after the paper published an issue certain to enrage hard-core Islamists (and offend average Muslims) with articles and “funny” cartoons featuring the Prophet Mohammed—depictions forbidden in Islam to boot. Predictably, the strike unleashed a torrent of unqualified condemnation from French politicians, many of whom called the burning of the notoriously impertinent paper as “an attack on democracy by its enemies.”
We, by contrast, have another reaction to the firebombing: Sorry for your loss, Charlie, and there’s no justification of such an illegitimate response to your current edition. But do you still think the price you paid for printing an offensive, shameful, and singularly humor-deficient parody on the logic of “because we can” was so worthwhile? If so, good luck with those charcoal drawings your pages will now be featuring. Continue reading