Live Not By Lies

Thursday, August 7, AD 2014

 Live Not By Lies

Alexander  Solzhenitsyn

One of the more distressing aspects of the contemporary world is just how frequently people are asked to swallow the most total malarkey.  Case in point, current Catholic policy in regard to Islam.  This policy, to dignify ahistoric fervent wishful hoping, is best exemplified by Pope Francis in this passage from Evangelii Gaudium:

253. In order to sustain dialogue with Islam, suitable training is essential for all involved, not only so that they can be solidly and joyfully grounded in their own identity, but so that they can also acknowledge the values of others, appreciate the concerns underlying their demands and shed light on shared beliefs. We Christians should embrace with affection and respect Muslim immigrants to our countries in the same way that we hope and ask to be received and respected in countries of Islamic tradition. I ask and I humbly entreat those countries to grant Christians freedom to worship and to practice their faith, in light of the freedom which followers of Islam enjoy in Western countries! Faced with disconcerting episodes of violent fundamentalism, our respect for true followers of Islam should lead us to avoid hateful generalisations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.

Andrew Bieszad, at One Peter 5, has a brilliant piece in which he explains how this policy is directly the reverse of the position of the Church until the day before yesterday in historical terms:

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49 Responses to Live Not By Lies

  • I’m at odds with modern police theory. If stones are thrown, the stoners should be shot dead because stones can cause comas and blindness. Shoot them and see how many stoning incidents follow. When God through Peter, killed Ananias and Saphirra for lying to the Holy Spirit, the passage in Acts 5 says this in verse 11: ” And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.”
    Death deters…that’s why Al Qaeda leader Zawahiri doesn’t list his address in Pakistan after the Bin Laden hit by the Seals. Truthfully US police would not shoot stone throwers either in my area but they would put them in prisons with the Hoover Street Crips and that is why even Pablo Escobar feared US prisons. Our prisons do not deter nearly as much as our inmates deter.

  • I suggest there is a very obvious distinction to be drawn between statements made by the Magisterium on matters of faith and morals and on statements she makes about matters of fact.

    As Pascal says in the 17th Provincial Letter to Père Annat S.J., “It is matter of thankfulness to God, then, father, that there is in reality no heresy in the Church. The question relates entirely to a point of fact, of which no heresy can be made; for the Church, with divine authority, decides the points of faith, and cuts off from her body all who refuse to receive them. But she does not act in the same manner in regard to matters of fact. And the reason is that our salvation is attached to the faith which has been revealed to us, and which is preserved in the Church by tradition, but that it has no dependence on facts which have not been revealed by God. Thus we are bound to believe that the commandments of God are not impracticable; but we are under no obligation to know what Jansenius has said upon that subject. In the determination of points of faith, God guides the Church by the aid of His unerring Spirit; whereas in matters of fact He leaves her to the direction of reason and the senses, which are the natural judges of such matters. None but God was able to instruct the Church in the faith; but to learn whether this or that proposition is contained in Jansenius, all we require to do is to read his book. And from hence it follows that, while it is heresy to resist the decisions of the faith, because this amounts to an opposing of our own spirit to the Spirit of God, it is no heresy, though it may be an act of presumption, to disbelieve certain particular facts, because this is no more than opposing reason – it may be enlightened reason – to an authority which is great indeed, but in this matter not infallible.”

  • The global tragedy unfolds.


    The Truth shall make you free.


    Go forth and make disciples of all nations.


    You will not hear on MSNBC nor read in the NY Times that the Spanish Inquisition killed far fewer people in 150 years than the world-wide jihad in an average year.


    BB: Agreed. One marvels at the recent (March 1995) renovation that near-totally bans capital punishment.


    “. . . authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.” ???????


    Islam may be the only religion that does not teach the Golden Rule (Qur’an 48:29). It teaches violence and hatred against non-Muslims, specifically Jews and Christians (50:5).

    Qur’an 4:46, says Allah has cursed the Jews for their disbelief.


    Twenty-six Qur’an chapters cover jihad. All able-bodied believers must join the fight (Surah 2:216). The Quran orders Muslims to “instill terror into the hearts of the unbeliever” and to “smite above their necks” (8:12).

    The test of faith is Allah is not found in good works, but in martyrdom while trying to murder unbelievers (47:4). Murdering unbelievers is the only sure way to salvation in Islam (4:47; 9:111).

    Murdering unbelievers is the means of obtaining forgiveness of sins for the mohammedan (4:96).

    The reward for murdering unbelievers is sexual delight with virgins and other carnal joys (38:51; 55:56; 55:76; 56:22). St. Alphonsus declared: “The Mohammedan Paradise is only fit for beasts; for filthy sensual pleasure is all the believer has to expect there.”


    Mohammedans are required to give aid and advance the murderers (8:74).
    Mohammedanism requires global conquest and domination (9:29).


    The Koran is opposed to nearly all the fundamental Christian dogmas.


    From a Wall Street Journal editor letter: “I say to the Western scholars: Do not interpret the Quran for Muslims. We Muslims are capable of interpreting the Quran for ourselves. No other people have shown the level of hostility to another faith as Westerners have shown to Muhammad, the Quran and Islam. It continues to this day. Islam doesn’t need reformation; the Western mind needs reformation about Muhammad, the Quran and Islam.

    “It will be better for both of us.”


    Tahir A. Qureshi; Silver Spring, Md.


    The other day, they murdered a two-star general. Obama: crickets.


    Sound advice (it’s why we read the classics) from Herodotus Book IX, regarding the Phocians serving with the Persians at Platea: “Seeing what was coming, their commander Harmocydes urged them to sell their lives dearly. ‘Fellow countrymen,’ he cried, ‘you cannot fail to see that these fellows have deliberately planned to murder us […] Come then; show what you are made of, everyone of you. It is better to die defending ourselves than just to give up and be butchered – that disgrace, at least, we can avoid. Let us show them that the men they have plotted to murder are Greeks – and they themselves mere foreign trash.’”

  • I guess the Muslims did not read Pope Francis’ Evangellii Gaudium.
    Thank you T. Shaw. Your reading of the Koran is appreciated and needed.
    Thank you Donald McClarey for the video.

  • The video is disgusting and reprehensible. No one will argue that. And there are no ‘buts’ to it either.

    The problem lies in the Quran itself which has contradictory statements or teachings. There are indeed ‘peaceful’ statement and teachings, especially concerning ‘the Peoples of the Book’ [Jews and Christians] alongside hate-filled and violence prone statements and teachings. With no ‘magisterium’ to authoritatively interpret these teachings we have Muslims gravitating toward one side or the other. What we have in Islam is ‘everyone’ interpreting the Quran as he/she sees fit. That of course is ‘fundamentalism’

    I believe Pope Francis, among others, is emphasizing ‘the peaceful element’. However it seems that those who gravitate toward the hostile and violent are in the ascendancy within the Muslim world at this time. Pope Benedict [intentionally?] exposed this violent side of Islam, as well as its lack of the logos, reason, rationality, in his famous Regensburg address. In a very real sense, both popes are right.

    In the midst of all the horrendous news about fundamentalist Islam we should not forget that the Kingdom of Jordan welcomes Christians (both native to Jordan and from other Middle Eastern countries] We have a Catholic University now in Amman. Bahrain, on the Persian Gulf has welcomed Catholics building a new cathedral, the only Catholic church on the Arabian peninsular

    Even if all Muslims were to turn ‘irrational and violent’, we, the People of the Logos become flesh, cannot and will not. That is what the Catholic Church is saying, and what Pope Benedict and Pope Francis are saying. Here, “the Sunday People”will be ready to enter into dialogue [note the root word: ‘logos’ in there] concerning common concerns which we have as human beings and yes, believing in the One God, the Creator [that much we can say: St John Damascene, and Thomas Aquinas back this up-contrary to the opinion given in the original article]. This is all part of pre-evangelization; we know it is not evangelization. [No one can be evangelized unless they have been ‘prepared’ for evangelization]
    This is what the Lord is calling us to be and to do.

  • for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.

    Robert Spencer has been slicing this thesis to pieces in public fora for about 11 years now. The thing is, muslim populations and muslim societies can and do craft a modus vivendi with competing populations, arrangements which have in the past had some durability. We need to explore why this has been breaking down and how we might craft a new armistice. The number of authorities who wish to deny that the black letters can be fodder for revanchist politics (or wish to change the subject to Israel’s supposed ‘crimes’) just amazes.

  • Botolph,
    Google ” abrogation Koran “. Violent Muslims see the early peaceful sayings of the Koran as nullified by the chronologically later violent sayings of chapter nine of the Koran. Non violent Muslims see abrogation as having to do with the Koran abrogating the Bible etc. An abrogation verse is e.g. (2:106) “Any message which We annul or consign to oblivion We replace with a better or similar one.87 Dost thou not know that God has the power to will anything? “. Jihadists take that to mean violent chapter nine voids earlier peaceful verses within the Koran. Non violent Muslims take that verse to mean the Koran voids aspects of the Bible etc.
    So whereas the New Testament abrogates much of Old Testament violence; it is the reverse for people like
    ISIS who see their new covenant so to speak as abrogating peaceful passages that came earlier. Elijah killed about 552 idolaters with God’s help…102 by lightning…while Christ rebuked the disciples in Luke 9’s ending story for wanting to bring down lightning on the Samaritan town who refused Christ because His face was set for Jerusalem not Mt. Gerizim.

  • Instapundit: “I CALLED THIS OBAMA’S RWANDA, BUT ACTUALLY SYRIA IS OBAMA’S RWANDA. SO I GUESS THIS IS OBAMA’S SECOND RWANDA? The Islamic State’s bloody campaign to exterminate minorities: ‘Even Genghis Khan didn’t do this.’ ‘We are being exterminated! An entire religion is being exterminated from the face of the Earth. In the name of humanity, save us!’”

    This is rational. It’s institutionalized in the Q’ran. Convert or die. Or, pay a high tax and be uterly marginalized – the slower death of the culture/religion. Then, they wipe (blow up churches and staues) from the face of the earth all traces of the murdered religion and culture.

  • Bill Bannon,

    I agree that the violent Muslims interpret the Quran in this manner. And there is no doubt in my mind that they are in the ascendancy within the Islamic world.

    The key is the Islam (in total) does not accept ‘logos’, reason and the givenness of creation. God is not Logos for them as He is in Judaism (Torah) and Christianity [Logos become flesh]
    We Christians would state categorically that not only is God Logos but that God is love-not simply loving etc (which Israel believes) but love: Trinity of Persons: Lover [Father], Beloved {Son] and Love [Holy Spirit]

    Further, as your post states, there is no authoritative ‘magisterium’ which can interpret the Quran authoritatively nor with whom we can carry on substantial dialogue. Relating with Islam is, by analogy, like relating to the 30,000 some Protestant denominations. However, dialogue (logos) and relate [agape] we must if we are really children of the God Who is Logos and Agape-love, missionary disciples of the Logos become flesh. That being said calling a spade a spade, dialoguing in truth, demands we call out the violence against fellow Christians and demanding the religious respect and freedom we give to Muslims in lands in which we are more populous.

    What we see with Islam is actually the Church’s mission to all the world religions-dialoguing, ‘citiquing’ and ‘purifying’ them by means of the Logos and Agape. In this sense we begin to set up the conditions for true evangelization.

  • Botolph,
    The leaders of ISIS know the Bible’s message about Christ and reject it. They are not analogous to Mayans in the 16th century. God is Love but He brought about the death of 1.1 million people in Jerusalem in 70 AD ( Josephus) by using the Romans as His axe. It wasn’t karma. Christ warned Jerusalem it would happen even to the infants within them…Lk.19:44 ” They will smash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” Just as David’s baby was killed for David’s sin by God (but I’ll bet is in Heaven)…infants were killed in 70 AD perhaps in accordance with Exodus 20:5 wherein God says He punishes down to the third and fourth generation ( physically…not spiritually..see Ezekiel)…those who hate Him.
    But being Love, He gave them almost 40 years to repent and escape…directions for which He gives in Luke 21:20-24. Had any Jew believed His word on the Jerusalem doom and how to escape, that Jew would have been saved by Christ’s word on the matter. They had 40 years to think and discuss with their young.
    In short God is Love but not all His actions or ours will be tender.

  • Bill Bannon,

    We are not as dividend as you might initially think. I have long believed that we have arrived at a moment in time in which Islam is being judged, as Jerusalem indeed was in 70 and ultimately in 135 AD. I believe that the rise in violence does not manifest an increase of faith, but a deep anxiety, fear and even nihilism in the face of reality. Just how realistic is it to “bomb” or force the whole world back to the seventh century.

    People fail to realize that the Jews rose up in murderous rage in three distinct wars between 66 and 135 AD not simply against the Roman occupation of Judea but against their Gentile neighbors in Egypt, Libya and Asia Minor (Turkey). Actually hundreds of thousand Gentiles died before Rome decimated the Jewish population of the eastern Mediterranean as well as expel all Jews from their ancient homeland, rebuild a Gentile/pagan city on the few ruins of Jerusalem, and renamed Judea as Palestina, named for their ancient enemies, the Philistines.

    I believe Islam is (relatively speaking) about to collapse with the majority turning to either disbelief or a sort of ” rabbinic style” Jewish like religion, open to the proclamation of the Gospel. Time will tell, of corse but the Lord Jesus is the Lord of history. Jesus is Lord!

  • The folks who are so naïve about the true nature of Islam should remember this saying: “watch what they do, not what they say.”

  • Botolph wrote, “I believe Islam is (relatively speaking) about to collapse with the majority turning to either disbelief or a sort of ” rabbinic style” Jewish like religion, open to the proclamation of the Gospel. Time will tell, of corse (sic) but the Lord Jesus is the Lord of history. Jesus is Lord!”

    Aside from the Hope for the crown of martyrdom, not sure that that will ease the anxieties of thousands of Iraqi/Syrian Christians presently being liquiditated.

  • “watch what they do, not what they say.”

    True, but what they do is somewhat variable over time and place. Take Alistair Horne’s Savage War of Peace about Algerian politics from 1948 to 1962 (with prefaces and addenda). The Association of Ulema was mentioned only in passing. It was the least consequential political force in Algeria at the time. Political revanchism in the Arab world and adjacent areas (in countries with parliamentary politics and without) tended to be praetorianist or secular-fascist. The most ‘Islamic’ government therein was Saudi Arabia’s, which has long been a status quo power making practical arrangements with external parties. (It still is).

    As for your trouble in Europe, it may be that Muslims and others are, in some way, tragically incompatible within the boundaries of one country. However, other countries have managed passably with muslim minorities of a dimension you see in Europe. What gives? Native fertility deficits, ruined labor markets, bad policies in the realm of common provision, institutionalized poltroonery (see the police in France), bad immigration screens, and the dysfunctional dynamic between elites and the vernacular society with the former pushing multi-culturalism in its ongoing campaign to rub the masses’ noses in it.

  • Charles Martel, Pelayo, King Alfonso the Avenger, Queen Isabel, Don Juan of Austria, King John Sobieski – they knew how to deal with Islam – fight it up to your last breath. Preferably, beat the $#?& out of them.

    Dialouge with Muslims is impossible because Muslims are heretics stuck in the seventh century. Their “holy book”, written after the death of the pederast Mohammed, is a bunch of warlike, hate-filled contradictory nonsense.

    “Veni, vidi, Deus vincit.”

  • Hey, want to watch a great movie about Christians triumphing over Muslims? Buy or rent ” Day Of The Siege”. It’s about the victory of King John Sobieski over the Ottoman Army at the gates of Vienna. It’s the best Christians vs Muslims movie since “El Cid”! I give it five stars!

  • Over the centuries Islam has been the greatest protagonist the Catholic Church has ever faced. Throughout history, when the forces of Islam have perceived a weak Christendom, they have attacked.

    This time round, Islam has been welcomed into much of the Western secularised world that was previously Christendom, but is now agnostic to a large extent, and Islam considers them weak and corrupt – not an unreasonable view. Muslims have infiltrated societies to the extent that when their population reaches a tipping point – around 5% – they begin agitating for Sharia and calling for jihad. This is obvious in many European cities, and is now happening is Sydney , Australia.

    The time is fast approaching – indeed has arrived in places like Iraq and parts of Europe – where Islam has to be met with a defensive force, as the Catholic Church has done in the past, and be defeated. Otherwise they will continue to radicalise moderate Muslims – who will not go against their own beliefs – and the mayhem and murder will continue until they totally dominate.

  • Most Muslims hear their Koran in Arabic, a language they hardly understand. It is usually the case that the (perceived or alledged) musicality of the verses drown out whatever the evil that is being said. This is similar to what the rappers do when they brag about killing cops and raping hos. In any society there seems to be a pathological element, hovering around ten percent, that takes pleasure in cruelty, sadism and the humiliation of others. For the well being of others, these elements have to be isolated and on occasions killed. The Muslims as a people are no more inclined to violence and sadism than others, but since their Koran endorses violence in pursuit of religious goals, they are usually helpless in the face of their sadists. The solution it seems to me is never to endorse the Islamic faith as an equal to other religions and never concede any rhetorical points whatsoever. The smarter Muslims will come around, the stupid Muslims are just village idiots and are usually harmless. The pathological elements can then be contained.

  • Pleased to hear on tonight’s news that O’Bumbler is going to send elements of the USAF to sort out ISIS.
    At last, he’s grown some cojones – albeit very small – and decided, despite his support for Muslims and those attacking the democratic governmetns of the area, to do something about the slaughter of Christains and Shia muslims, even though its some months since Maliki pleaded for help against ISIS.

  • Don the Kiwi . My thought exactly. Only you said it much better than I would have

  • Don the Kiwi I was responding to what you said yesterday. Especially this:
    The time is fast approaching – indeed has arrived in places like Iraq and parts of Europe – where Islam has to be met with a defensive force, as the Catholic Church has done in the past, and be defeated. Otherwise they will continue to radicalise moderate Muslims – who will not go against their own beliefs – and the mayhem and murder will continue until they totally dominate

    If God is willing Allies will band together and fight as they have in the past. .. At Lepanto and in the wars of the 20th century

  • Anzlyne.

    In union with allies and Holy Rosary.

    T. Shaw. I thank you as well for your Koran quotation’s. This is a wake-up call, again, and Dearborn Michigan is one of many neighborhoods bringing the best Islam has to offer..cough cough.

  • ” … That being said calling a spade a spade, dialoguing in truth, demands we call out the violence against fellow Christians and demanding the religious respect and freedom we give to Muslims in lands in which we are more populous. … ”

    Who, what (such as an organization of Bishops or Cardinals), and/or where is the unified “we” and when will the call out happen?

  • It has already taken place, many times. One thing I would point out is that the pope and bishops speak with a tone unlike the direct and sometimes confrontational manner that we see, for example in St Blogs. To be honest, I hope people don’t speak in the ‘real world’ as many do in the cyber world

    I myself have heard Poope Francis in very specific circumstances and times calling for respect for all people and calling for religious freedom. His most recent pleas for the Christians of the Middle East, especially Iraq is finally getting response in the media, at the UN and from the international community

  • “Pleased to hear on tonight’s news that O’Bumbler is going to send elements of the USAF to sort out ISIS. At last, he’s grown some cojones – albeit very small – and decided, despite his support for Muslims and those attacking the democratic governmetns of the area, to do something about the slaughter of Christains and Shia muslims, even though its some months since Maliki pleaded for help against ISIS.”

    I called my US Congressmen’s office and told them in great detail about the first hand, up to the hour reports coming out of Franklin Graham’s international ministry, Samaritan’s Purse, and from Glenn Beck’s ministry in the starving, camps of the Christian mothers and children who have fled from ISIS -reports of systematic movements across the country by ISIS toward the camps along with systematic decapitation along the way by the terrorists with no where left for their victims to flee. I described the picture that ISIS took and released, of themselves standing proudly with their militarized weapons, over rows of perfectly aligned dead young men (ISIS exterminated like rats) face down in the dirt–the lines went on so far in both directions that the ends of the rows of the murdered could not be seen in the picture. I let my Congressmen’s staff know that since Osama was doing nothing that I wanted the US Congress to raise Hell until this genocide was ended. Cruz missiles, bombs, and Hell fire missiles from a Predator drone would take care of those terrorists without putting one foot on the ground.

    This afternoon, I turned on Fox News on satellite in my car and heard that the US bombing of those viscious beyond description devils had begun. It should have started weeks ago IMHO.

    This evening

  • Has the pope said a word about the stacks of dead, mutilated, murdered bodies of Christians–or like Osama has he remained relatively silent?

  • Barbara,
    I think Francis is even more pacifist than the later life period of both his predecessors…here he is:
    “Violence will not defeat violence. Violence is defeated by peace! Let us pray in silence, asking for peace; everyone, in silence … Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us!” 7/20 angelus address
    Bizarre…Violence alone stopped Hitler and Japan…peace emboldened them. Francis has never been intimate with the figure of the bully even if he has seen them from a distance.
    St. John Paul forgot WWII also here:
    ” To obtain the good of peace there must be a clear and conscious acknowledgment that violence is an unacceptable evil and that it never solves problems. Violence is a lie. It goes against the truth of our faith, the truth of our humanity, the truth about Jesus. Violence destroys what it claims to defend; the dignity, the life, the freedom of human beings. What is needed is a great effort to form consciences and to educate the younger generation to goodness, to nonviolence, to love.
    -Pope John Paul II- Message for World Day of Peace 2005

    ” given the new weapons that make possible destructions that go beyond the combatant groups, today we should be asking ourselves if it is still licit to admit the very existence of a just war.” – Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) just before the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.

    Madness….all three. I have a b&e criminal in my city who could shoot me some night as he once hinted because I beat him in a fight after he broke in one day. If he calls to me and threatens us from outside our locked bedroom door some night, I’ll shoot him right through the door with – tactical shotgun. Case closed. These Popes are over cultured. In Plato’s Republic Book III, he states that too much sports makes men brutal and too much culture makes them feminized. Judith in Scripture was not feminized when the context called for violence.

  • Pope Francis is from a part of the world that has had no contact with violent Islam. He has no experience with it and it shows.

    One can point out the conditions under which Karol Wojytla lived as a young man and this, along with Vatican II, shaped his worldview. He, too was from the Church of Nice. I think 9/11 woke him up – too late in my opinion.

    The Vatican has tried to be amenable to the Muslim world, before WWII or WWI. This is in part due to the small Catholic populations in the Middle East. Certain radtrads blame Israel. The Holy See has not always had a good relationship with Israel for many reasons.

    The West has abandoned its Christian culture and in its place has embraced pleasure, sex, leisure, sodomy, porn, multiculturalism and any other sort of stupid brain cell killing time wasting activity. We have learned nothing from 9/11.

    The great heresies have, over the years, faded away – Arianism, Nestorianism, iconoclasm. Even Protestantism, in its “mainline” forms, is disappearing. Islam, the barbaric seventh century heresy remains, funded by oil wealth. Without the oil wealth Islam would be nothing. Islam was allies with Germany in both world wars.
    Bishop Sheen said there would not be peace in the world until the Muslims convert. This flies in the face of that stupid Vatican II statement about Islam.

  • These Popes are over cultured. In Plato’s Republic Book III, he states that too much sports makes men brutal and too much culture makes them feminized.

    St. John Paul was quite the athlete and both John Paul and Benedict had survived the 2d World War. Benedict had some military service. Francis supposedly once had a job as a bar bouncer and has spent much of his life in Buenos Aires, a locus in which daily life requires … coping skills. They may have been overly feminized by their old age but I doubt they started out that way.

    The real problem is not their person but their thinking. The deficiencies of John Paul were on display in 1991 when he refused to countenance the use of force when what was arguably one of the half-dozen or so ghastliest regimes on Earth (and the only one among them sitting atop a natural resources bonanza) conquered a harmless oil principality, generated a six-figure caravan of refugees, trashed the place, and treated everyone therein with the utmost brutality. (Scott Richert has since been calling us all ‘cafeteria Catholics’ for not falling in line behind the inanities of the Vatican diplomatic corps).

  • Art Deco,
    Yes 1991 was absolutely bizarre.
    Thousands of nine year old girls survived WWII. Two army brothers in WWII…one fighting in the trenches…the other cooking sos at an army base far from the enemy. “Survive” is mainly about the former.
    I stated …”later life period of both his predecessors”. In late life, Benedict commissioned his own personal fragrance….and had a 28,000 book collection and loved classical music. It’s the aggregate…especially the fragrance.

  • Well, from what news I saw, Obama is using the 500 lb bombs to protect a group of people who practice a form of Zooasterism who are trapped on a mountain top and who are surrounded by ISIS. No direct help for the Christians.

  • It’s the aggregate…especially the fragrance.

    It sounds like a prank story. That aside, I gather (from the disaffected spouses of Europeans billeted in America) that it’s modal across the pond to use cologne instead of deodorant, at least for the older generation. One of my office mates had a temp just off the boat from Nepal who never seemed to bathe. Nothing else offensive about him, clean clothes, clean white teeth, just the acrid odor of sweat; later I had one from India. He bathed; he just didn’t brush his teeth all that often. People are funny about hygiene.

  • An Indian paper has far more detail than Western news sources because they have people in those areas of Iraq under seige….see especially the last ten paragraphs:

  • Beheading of Christian children–heads placed on sticks in parks for display.

    Christian men who pay the fine for being a Christian have their daughters & wives taken from them for use as sex slaves.

    (see video at the link below)

  • Barbara,
    ISIS should be not an Iraq issue but a World Court/ UN issue for blatant war crimes in three countries so far and all nations should be gathering to send forces to shoot or capture everyone of them. This is not just the US responsibility. ISIS has thousands of passports and all Western nations and even China for its Moslem trouble in the north west are named by them and susceptible to e.g. suicide bombing by them….and India which was mentioned by them as an oppressor of Islam. The world should be gathering and should DESIRE to gather at the UN with military intent based on unrelenting war crimes….including India and China.

  • Can we get out in the streets and pray
    public prayer lots and lots of out spoken prayer

    when we pray by ourselves it is like lighting a candle when we pray en masse it is a bonfire (john vianny said something like that)

  • Flooding the streets of cities and capitals with praying people putting pressure on governments to take defensive action for these children and all people against this Evil

  • Anzlyne,
    I suggest the long run. There are very young and teen captive girls of these men many of whom no one in your lifetime is going to rescue. Adopt them forever in your prayers. One of their faces will haunt me for a long time…looked like 7 years old…balling her eyes out. Pray for them til death that they find Christ by seeing his opposite in these men and pray that they plan their escape with much forethought. And if you pray unceasingly like Elijah, your adopted girls will perceive Christ and will escape one day…for sure. You can take that to the bank.
    Opium brides are common in Afghanistan. Gangs loan farmers seed money…farmers can’t pay in product and the gangs take their very young daughters as payment. Then the farmers go on opium. A young, hard luck life in the US is a mansion compared with these female victims of Islam in those countries. Think long run. Adopt them in your prayers…til death. Christ said it’ll get worse before it gets better…” wars and rumors of war….these things are but the beginning of sorrows.” Mt.24:6–

  • This article at the following link has a video of the representative of the minority groups, currently being slaughtered by ISIS, Pleading with her government to stop the genocide. It appears she is completely overwhelmed by emotions and falls to the floor at the end. I have no interest in the article itself– it is the video that I wanted to add to the discussion at hand. She lists all of the minority groups in her speech.

  • Barbara,
    That clip was on tv and may well have been part of Obama moving toward airstrikes along with other input….things from intelligence people we’d rather not see. These people are more evil than the majority of criminals.

  • BB wrote: “ISIS should be not an Iraq issue but a World Court/ UN issue for blatant war crimes in three countries so far and all nations should be gathering to send forces to shoot or capture everyone of them. This is not just the US responsibility. ISIS has thousands of passports and all Western nations and even China for its Moslem trouble in the north west are named by them and susceptible to e.g. suicide bombing by them….and India which was mentioned by them as an oppressor of Islam. The world should be gathering and should DESIRE to gather at the UN with military intent based on unrelenting war crimes….including India and China.”

    Bill, I agree in theory with what you have stated. In reality if we wait for those other nations to act or the UN to act–all of us will be dead.

    The simple truth is that like most politicians/previous presidential admins, the Osama Admin only acts on behalf of mInority populations when it is to his benefit politically.

  • The second video in this article at the link below is of the Orthodox archbisop of Mosul telling how the destruction of all Christianity/Christan sects took place.

  • It appears that our current American president released from prison the madman who is now leading ISIS–as one of his first acts as President.

  • Barbara,
    Read your last link to the bottom. They conclude that the charge against Obama on this is false. Baghdadi was most probably released in 2004 according to US records not 2009 and only one prison worker “thinks” he saw Baghdadi in 2009 but the records show him being released in 2004. The real 2009 release was not a release anyway but a transfer to Iraq custody as per an agreement signed before Obama entered office. Obama is way late in this ISIS crisis but he can’t be blamed for releasing Bahgdadi whichever date is correct because if 2004 then that preceded Obama or if 2009, it was a mandated in writing transfer to Iraq who released him.

  • Bill, thank u for pointing out what the conclusion of the link is. That is a conclusion by a rabidly pro-Obama website–that is not my conclusion. I do not agree that turning this devil loose to the Iraqis was not an actual release–it was. Obama has just recently recently released some more of these devils from US custody–into the oversight of Yemen–quite the joke. His admin also claims that those more recent transfers were not actually releases of murderers who plan to kill us all. He also failed to give congress the required notice in law before the releases. I remember exactly when this devil leading ISIS we are discussing now was released and his promise to see us in New York. Obama upholding any agreement of a former admin is a joke as well–he is constantly issuing decrees as if he is a monarch. Our current president abides by only the agreements and rules he wishes when he wishes.

    However, please let me thank you for pointing out the discrepancy in the article itself. I do not agree that Obama is not responsible for his release despite the apologist argument.

  • In 2003, there were about 1.5 million Christians in Iraq; today they are estimated to be less than 200,000 in number. And their numbers continue to dwindle every day.

    The Islamic extremists, presently in charge of large parts of the country, are bent on wiping out 1900 year old history of Christianity in Iraq, as a whole, and the city of Mosul in particular.

    let us recall what happened in March 2000, when the then pope – John Paul II – went to the state of Jordan and said this:

    “May Saint John Baptist protect Islam”

    Well the Vatican in the last few decades have tried to appease Islam but to no avail. Is it not time to change the tune?

  • Cpola said: “In 2003, there were about 1.5 million Christians in Iraq; today they are estimated to be less than 200,000 in number. And their numbers continue to dwindle every day.”

    Why did they start decreasing in 2003?

  • “In 2003, there were about 1.5 million Christians in Iraq; today they are estimated to be less than 200,000 in number. And their numbers continue to dwindle every day.”
    More likely fewer than 400,000 at one time.

ObamaCare and the Big Lie

Tuesday, October 29, AD 2013

One of the many, many lies that Obama told when he was selling ObamaCare was that if you liked your policy you would get to keep it.

Obama knew that this was a lie when he said it.  ObamaCare was designed to cause people to lose their pre-existing insurance.  NBC, probably the most pro-Obama administration of the three networks, has a story explaining how the hilariously named Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) mandates the loss of such policies:


President Obama repeatedly assured Americans that after the Affordable Care Act became law, people who liked their health insurance would be able to keep it. But millions of Americans are getting or are about to get cancellation letters for their health insurance under Obamacare, say experts, and the Obama administration has known that for at least three years.


Four sources deeply involved in the Affordable Care Act tell NBC NEWS that 50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect to receive a “cancellation” letter or the equivalent over the next year because their existing policies don’t meet the standards mandated by the new health care law. One expert predicts that number could reach as high as 80 percent. And all say that many of those forced to buy pricier new policies will experience “sticker shock.”  

None of this should come as a shock to the Obama administration. The law states that policies in effect as of March 23, 2010 will be “grandfathered,” meaning consumers can keep those policies even though they don’t meet requirements of the new health care law. But the Department of Health and Human Services then wrote regulations that narrowed that provision, by saying that if any part of a policy was significantly changed since that date — the deductible, co-pay, or benefits, for example — the policy would not be grandfathered.

Buried in Obamacare regulations from July 2010 is an estimate that because of normal turnover in the individual insurance market, “40 to 67 percent” of customers will not be able to keep their policy. And because many policies will have been changed since the key date, “the percentage of individual market policies losing grandfather status in a given year exceeds the 40 to 67 percent range.”  

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6 Responses to ObamaCare and the Big Lie

  • I suspect, like Bill Clinton, the notions of ‘truth’ and ‘falsehood’ do not register with this man in the way they do with ordinary people. He just utters whatever b.s. serves his purposes at the moment.

  • You got what you voted for…now everyone has to live with the results! Hope “you” are happy!

  • I’d really like to know why no one is trying to impeach him. When comparing him to Nixon, he seems about a billion times worse. But then again, maybe the thing he lacks is integrity. Nixon resigned, right? I am ashamed to say that I don’t know history for that part of US History.
    When I posted on FB, in August, that we couldn’t keep our same plan, several Obama lovers came on to my post & posted that they love what they have, are happy with the changes & don’t care (or don’t think) that he lied. Now it’s October, and I wonder if they’ve gotten the letter or other news that what they liked isn’t allowed.

  • I’d really like to know why no one is trying to impeach him.

    1. Nixon faced a legislature controlled by the political opposition and Obama does not.

    2. Nixon violated various and sundry unwritten standards which politicians impose on each other. Read Ron Nessen on how Gerald Ford, who was pleased to tolerate creatures like Lyndon Johnson and John Kennedy, thought of Nixon. Read George Will on Nixon, ca. 1973, which one may surmise reflects what a great many Republican congressional staff though of him as well as what Will’s old boss Gordon Allott thought. Our political class has lowered its standards and Obama had gotten mulligans all his adult life.

    3. Obama’s offenses likely cannot be readily formulated into discrete violations of the federal penal code. Some of Nixon’s could.

    4. Nixon had to manage a war which, in the words of Nicholas von Hoffman, ‘split the ruling classes’. In so doing, he offended a critical mass of the political establishment and there was the manpower on hand (Archibald Cox, Leon Jaworski, John Sirica, Katherine Graham et al) to take him down. The media establishment is commercially quite a bit weaker and has less integrity than was the case in 1970; they are Obama’s puppy dogs. As for the legal establishment, they get more scandalous every year.

    5. As Robertson Davies said, there is scant relationship between popularity on the one hand and integrity and good performance on the other. A large bloc of the population is willing to give Obama a pass as they were Bilge Clinton, for reasons one surmises are superficial.

  • “A large bloc of the population is willing to give Obama a pass as they were Bilge Clinton, for reasons one surmises are superficial.”

    The large bloc grows each day. The hundred million that dependent on the government to provide for them outnumber full-time employed, taxpayers.

  • What health care plan do the Obamas have????

    If he really believed in the AFCA, President Obama (with Michelle next to him and their daughters behind them) should have signed up or had the pretense of signing up in front of live cameras from every network and news service.

Live Not By Lies

Thursday, January 24, AD 2013



Live Not by Lies is the last thing Alexander  Solzhenitsyn wrote before his exile to the West in 1974.  Solzhenitsyn was one of the giants of the last century.  Thrown into the Gulag while he was an artillery officer in the Red Army during World War II, he tirelessly, at the constant risk of his life, fought a lonely battle for freedom for three decades in the Soviet Union.  His courage and literary skill inspired people around the globe, including me as a teen-ager and a young man.  I never thought what he wrote would be applicable to the United States, the land of the free and the home of the brave.  Alas, in the Age of Obama Solzhenitsyn’s writings have an increasingly unpleasant contemporary ring to them.


So in our timidity, let each of us make a choice: Whether consciously, to remain a servant of falsehood–of course, it is not out of inclination, but to feed one’s family, that one raises his children in the spirit of lies–or to shrug off the lies and become an honest man worthy of respect both by one’s children and contemporaries.

And from that day onward he:

  • Will not henceforth write, sign, or print in any way a single phrase which in his opinion distorts the truth.
  • Will utter such a phrase neither in private conversation not in the presence of many people, neither on his own behalf not at the prompting of someone else, either in the role of agitator, teacher, educator, not in a theatrical role.
  • Will not depict, foster or broadcast a single idea which he can only see is false or a distortion of the truth whether it be in painting, sculpture, photography, technical science, or music.
  • Will not cite out of context, either orally or written, a single quotation so as to please someone, to feather his own nest, to achieve success in his work, if he does not share completely the idea which is quoted, or if it does not accurately reflect the matter at issue.
  • Will not allow himself to be compelled to attend demonstrations or meetings if they are contrary to his desire or will, will neither take into hand not raise into the air a poster or slogan which he does not completely accept.
  • Will not raise his hand to vote for a proposal with which he does not sincerely sympathize, will vote neither openly nor secretly for a person whom he considers unworthy or of doubtful abilities.
  • Will not allow himself to be dragged to a meeting where there can be expected a forced or distorted discussion of a question.
  • Will immediately walk out of a meeting, session, lecture, performance or film showing if he hears a speaker tell lies, or purvey ideological nonsense or shameless propaganda.
  • Will not subscribe to or buy a newspaper or magazine in which information is distorted and primary facts are concealed.

Of course we have not listed all of the possible and necessary deviations from falsehood. But a person who purifies himself will easily distinguish other instances with his purified outlook.

No, it will not be the same for everybody at first. Some, at first, will lose their jobs. For young people who want to live with truth, this will, in the beginning, complicate their young lives very much, because the required recitations are stuffed with lies, and it is necessary to make a choice.

But there are no loopholes for anybody who wants to be honest. On any given day any one of us will be confronted with at least one of the above-mentioned choices even in the most secure of the technical sciences. Either truth or falsehood: Toward spiritual independence or toward spiritual servitude.

And he who is not sufficiently courageous even to defend his soul- don’t let him be proud of his “progressive” views, and don’t let him boast that he is an academician or a people’s artist, a merited figure, or a general–let him say to himself: I am in the herd, and a coward. It’s all the same to me as long as I’m fed and warm.

Even this path, which is the most modest of all paths of resistance, will not be easy for us. But it is much easier than self-immolation or a hunger strike: The flames will not envelope your body, your eyeballs, will not burst from the heat, and brown bread and clean water will always be available to your family.

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3 Responses to Live Not By Lies

  • Will not raise his hand to vote for a proposal with which he does not sincerely sympathize, will vote neither openly nor secretly for a person whom he considers unworthy or of doubtful abilities.

    Will not subscribe to or buy a newspaper or magazine in which information is distorted and primary facts are concealed.

    With just these two convictions, you can pretty much count out voting for 99.99% of American candidates, and reading newspapers and magazines (although I notice he said “subscribe to or buy,” so maybe he still allows you to read, just not support financially). On the bright side, that would leave you with a heck of a lot of time on your hands to surf the net for interesting blogs!

  • I don’t remember ever hearing God’s truth from the current administration.

  • “you can pretty much count out reading newspapers and magazines”

    I presume that would also count out working for or contributing any articles to a newspaper (which I do occasionally) or magazine, although I suspect he was thinking primarily of pure propaganda outlets like the Pravda and TASS of his day, or of Communist Party organization publications, rather than the garden-variety American newspaper. Although many American newspapers do have a left-leaning editorial stance, there are letters to the editor published with differing points of view and often guest editorials or columns presenting the “other side”, which someone has to contribute.

Religious Bigotry: The First Refuge of Scoundrels

Monday, October 8, AD 2012

The Obama campaign is very worried about Catholic voters.  They have two strategies:  lie about Obama’s record and bash Mitt Romney for being a Mormon.

Deal Hudson reports at Lifesite News the type of calls that are being targeted to Catholics by the Obama campaign:

Just a week ago, I reported a call from an Obama supporter received by a Catholic in Pennsylvania. The caller, identifying herself as Catholic, insisted Obama was not pro-abortion and Planned Parenthood did not encourage abortions.

Joy Allen, co-chair of the pro-life committee of her parish, Saints John and Paul in Franklin Park, PA, received another call yesterday.  The first Obama caller had asked for her daughter; the second asked for her son — both are registered Republicans. The call came from 215-796-4259 at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday.

After telling the caller her son was not at home, the caller said she was from the Obama campaign and wanted to know how he would be voting.

Joy reported to me:

“Well, I could not believe that I had received another call from the Obama campaign looking for another of my college aged children in less than a week. I informed the caller that my son was a practicing Catholic and would not be supporting a pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage candidate who did not respect the Catholic faith in his HHS mandate that would force all Catholics to pay for birth control, sterilization, and the abortion pill.”

At that point, the Obama supporter started reading from the same script that Joy had heard from the first call.

“Well, I am a practicing Catholic, and I have no problem supporting Obama. How can you support a Mormon who does not believe in Jesus Christ….”

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12 Responses to Religious Bigotry: The First Refuge of Scoundrels

  • It isn’t about policy or issues anymore. It is simply a question of which of these lies will you believe? What part of our propaganda will you accept? This is not a good sign for the future of this country.

  • All out warfare. I just read an e-mail from Dr. Jerome Corsie. He stated that 2 million DVDs of Dreams of my Real Father had been sent to three swing states. (residents)

    Pray, Pray And then pray some more.
    The movie suggests that FRANK is the real father….???

  • I am not voting for Mitt Romney to be my pastor. I am voting for him to be my President. And I am voting specifically for Mitt Romney over Barack Hussein Obama because Mitt Romney, while an LDS adherent, is far more of a Christian in his actions than Barack Hussein Obama has ever been.

  • Back in 2000, I ran state rep campaign . We were ahead in the polls by 2 points during the afternoon before the election. Throughout election day we had furious voters angrily denouncing our candidate at the polling places for her “lies.” It took hours to piece it together but a massive calling campaign had gone on the night before, asserting that they worked for our candidate and that our opponent was about to be arrested. Our opponent wasn’t about to be arrested and the false charges the callers made were patently obvious.

    We lost by little more than a point.

    The county committee figured it out about a week later: someone representing our opponent hired a Canadian firm to make the false accusations against our opponent. The county strategist, very matter of factly, explained that our candidate was polling as “honest” and “credible” and that the use of no negative adds by our campaign (truth be told, we couldn’t afford television ads and name recognition was the critical piece of our ad campaign, not information) meant that creating the appearance that our candidate was just as dirty as theirs was a winning strategy.

    The county strategist was very comfortable with this trick too, even admiring.

    My point is that those who make this politics their career use falsehood as the primary tool. We may hate this strategy but it was a winner in ’08 and will likely pay dividends this go-around too.

    How do political operatives and professional spin-doctors live with themselves?

  • So based on what G-Veg wrote, I wonder if Obama operatives will make a flood of phone calls asserting Romney is a polygamist or a child abuser or a pedophile or some such other nonsense. I pass nothing beneath their dignity to do.

    Political operatives and professional spin doctors live with themselves by not having either conscience or sense of shame.

  • “How can you support a Mormon who does not believe in Jesus Christ….”

    She should have replied to the campaigner – “how can you support a muslim who doesn’t believe in Jesus Christ?” that would have sent the campaigner into a fit – lots of fun! And keep on insisting the O is Muslim no matter what she says – would have prevented the campaigner from making other calls for hours!

  • All they have are dirty tricks and lies.

    Isaiah 5:20: “Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness: that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.”

  • The name of Romney’s denomination is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The subtitle of The Book of Mormon is “Another Testament of Jesus Christ.” Its title page states that its purpose is to declare that “Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself to all nations.” The name of Christ is stated more frequently in the Book of Mormon than in the New Testament.

    Mormons have a distinct theology, but it is centered around Christ as the Son of God and the resurrected Savior of mankind.

  • I’ve allowed this comment through, but we will have no more comments about Mormon theology which frankly I view as hogwash, just as I am sure most practicing Mormons would regard most of Catholic theology as hogwash. I do not regard it as relevant to this political contest and does not alter one iota my determination to see Romney replace Obama.

  • Pingback: Unity Candle Religious Bigotry Religious Life SSPX Talks OK | Big Pulpit
  • I liked Paul Primavera’s answer that we’re not electing a pastor and such.

    If I receive such a call, I hope I remember to ask the “practicing Catholic” what’s her parish and what were the parts of last Sunday’s gospel reading she found the most inspiring.* (Yes, I admit that I’m suspicious that Obama’s phone bankers aren’t what they claim to be.)

    *Of course, a covering-all-the-bases script would tell the phone banker what to say about that too.

  • “but we will have no more comments about Mormon theology ”

    Apparently we had a problem with reading comprehension on this thread. The comments about Mormon theology have been deleted and the person making them has been banned.

Lying to Join The Band of Brothers

Wednesday, May 19, AD 2010

I have never served in combat or been in a warzone for which I thank God.  However, many of my friends are veterans of combat in conflicts stretching from World War II to Iraq.  Such an experience marks them.  They tell me that they have some of their best memories from their time in service, along with some of their worst.  It is a crucible that they have passed through which is hard to completely convey to someone like me who has never gone through it.  Usually they do not speak much of it, although often I have seen a quiet pride when they do speak about it:  a knowledge that they were given a test on their passage through life and made it through, mingled with sadness for their friends who were lost.  They belong to the exclusive club of those called upon to put their lives on the line for the rest of us.  They are entitled to respect for their service, whether they are given that respect by the rest of us or not.

Therefore I take a very dim view of anyone who seeks entry into their ranks under false pretences.  The New York Times has revealed that Richard Blumenthal, Democrat Attorney General of Connecticut and candidate for the Democrat nomination for the US Senate is one such person:

At a ceremony honoring veterans and senior citizens who sent presents to soldiers overseas, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut rose and spoke of an earlier time in his life.

We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam,” Mr. Blumenthal said to the group gathered in Norwalk in March 2008. “And you exemplify it. Whatever we think about the war, whatever we call it — Afghanistan or Iraq — we owe our military men and women unconditional support.”

There was one problem: Mr. Blumenthal, a Democrat now running for the United States Senate, never served in Vietnam. He obtained at least five military deferments from 1965 to 1970 and took repeated steps that enabled him to avoid going to war, according to records.

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22 Responses to Lying to Join The Band of Brothers

  • What’s the difference between a couple of attention-seeking hard lefties like Richard Blumenthal and Jane Fonda?

    Jane Fonda actually went to Vietnam.

  • Lying is dishonorable. As is adultery. Over and over we have evidence that there is one aspect of human frailty both the Left and the Right share in equal measure. Sin.

    I would have more respect for a person who opposed the war on moral or ethical principles and accepted the consequences of that. But American politics is certainly not poverty-stricken for examples of individuals who dodged overseas military service, either legally, financially, or otherwise. The previous two presidents, and three of the last four, certainly.

    I will note that the first President Bush served with honor. The man didn’t need to make a big thing of it in his political life.

  • What? Isn’t Blumenthal sufficiently liberal for the NYT?

    Mr. Blumenstein misspoke. He meant to say, he did not spit on any Vietnam veteran as did Bill and Hillary Clinton, Jimmeh Carter (pardoned draft dodgers), and every VC sympathizer-Obama appointee of that age.

  • The previous two presidents, and three of the last four, certainly.

    About 1.9 million men were posted to Indo-China during the period running from 1965 to 1973. There were some 18 million men born during the years running from 1943 through 1952. Roughly 30% of the military of that era were vocational soldiers (e.g. John McCain). The probability of a randomly selected individual from those age cohorts serving in VietNam as a consequence of conscription or an enlistment for a discrete term was about one-tenth.

    As we speak, about 70% of the Armed Forces are stationed in the United States. That proportion has varied over the years, but at no time since 1945 have the majority of American servicemen been stationed ‘overseas’.

    There is no documentary evidence and there are no disinterested witnesses who can cast apersions on the military service of George W. Bush, which is why Mary Mapes was scamming around with forgeries.

  • I have not a clue why you are casting aspersions on Ronald Reagan’s service either. Except that that’s what you do.

  • Well … Ronald Reagan served stateside. So did my dad. He admitted he was fortunate not to draw overseas duty as his younger brother did. Mr Reagan was not beyond padding his military record in casual conversation. But I have no problem with an actor making military films stateside. He was about my dad’s age, and my father (as he reports it) was considered too old to be a first choice for overseas duty.

    But I see: you objected to my used of the verb, to dodge, because it is used in connection with those who illegally avoided military service.

    Mr Shaw, aside from your need to learn to spell, do you have proof of spitting, or are you just engaging in a blumenthalism here?

  • Ronald Reagan had an older brother; no younger brother. I object to the use of the term ‘dodge’ because you were insinuating a scheme on the part of the two men in question, and there was no scheme. George W. Bush, Patrick J. Buchanan, Hubert Humphrey, Dan Quayle, and Richard Cheney all had the disagreeable experience of being smeared over their service record. Their service records were perfectly in order (if unimpressive) and they availed themselves of no privileges that were not available to tens-of-millions of other similarly situated.

    I do not think you would have to look very far in the press corps to find folk employed therein who were happy to overlook genuinely hinky service records (e.g. B. Clinton’s) or impugn the motives of Mekong Delta veterans fed up with John Kerry. The whole discourse is disgusting.

  • I spent my “combat time” fighting the report shuffle wars and the battle of PowerPoint, or in pulling long watches “just in case” the order was given and the birds of death were to fly.

    I use terms like “served during” not “served in” although technically I “could” say “in” I was never during “active combat operations” in harms’ way. The standing guard on the Southern Watch, a little different. But that, like being in Korea, was a “cease fire” not combat actions.

    Had Mr. Blumenthal been “honest” he too would have used “served during” not “served in.”

    I had a supervisor that was stationed in the Philippines that was not “credited” for serving in Viet Nam, although she spent 3 days out of every 10 there (medical tech on Air Evacuation missions) and was under fire many times.

    She had EVERY RIGHT to say “served in Viet Nam” but didn’t because her base of assignment was NOT in Viet Nam.

    A couple points that the author got correct. We that served, DO CONSIDER IT AN HONOR. As well as many of the real heroes, did not make it home intact, and that is a burden that we carry. What we do, like Pvt. Ryan in the movie “Band of Brothers,” hope we live our remaining lives to bring honor and respect to those we served with.

  • Art, you’re not reading accurately, and I didn’t express myself accurately. My father indeed had a younger brother. Two, in fact; the other served with him stateside during WWII.

    Your point seems biased in your last post. Politicians of both left and right have served with honor, both as combat veterans and otherwise. Some of them, as I said, “dodged” dangerous service either by dodgy means or, as my older brother did, by serving before the Vietnam years.

    It is also true that politicians of both the right and left have attacked the service records of their opponents. Please don’t try to excuse Karl Rove and others of his ilk in the GOP. Republicans have not hesitated to malign the service records of Dems when it suited their purpose.

    I may be a pacifist, but I can respect the prudential judgments made by those who believe military service is honorable. What is less than honorable is to sin against truth by telling as it is not: and I would place my condemnation equally against a person who shares my ideology and those who do not.

    Mr Blumenthal is wrong for giving a false impression. Mr Reagan’s sin struck me as more of a kindly guy making embellishment for the sake of telling a story. His record wasn’t a key point in his political campaigning.

  • Todd,
    I acknowledge that your assertion that Reagan padded his military record may not constitute the sin of detraction since it does seem germane to the discussion. Whether it constitutes the sin of defamation cannot be so easily dismissed. It seems only appropriate that you provide some evidence to back up such an assertion. If you claim that you cannot because such instances occured only in casual conversations, please do explain how you know so much about such casual conversations. Thanks.

  • Let go of my leg. You made use of the term ‘dodge’ to impugn the character of two politicians who did not merit it.

    I made no partisan points, Todd. I remembered the names of several public figures who have been sliced up by their opponents (Humphrey) or by the press (Quayle) or by the combox chatterati (Cheney). If you can think of three additional Democrats who have received this treatment to balance the roster to your satisfaction, that is fine with me.

    Bill Clinton welshed on his ROTC service obligations. If acknowledgement of that bothers you, tough.

    You have repeatedly made a point of chuffering about the military service of Ronald Reagan, who hardly spoke of it.

    Mr. Rove is not responsible for John Kerry’s troubles. Kerry’s detractors are other Navy veterans who served in the Mekong Delta ca. 1970, one of whom has been a public nemesis of Kerry since Karl Rove was an undergraduate. Assessing Kerry’s service record is a more complex task because it involves granular knowledge of naval operations; memories decades after the fact; the degree to which a facially fine service record is blemished by the disdain of one’s peers, manifest tall tales, gamesmanship, and one’s troublesome public career after discharge. It really does not belong in a discussion of these other cases.

  • Here is a good overview of Reagan’s military service.

    I find it significant that Reagan held a reserve commission in the Army well before World War II, and apparently obtained it purely on his own initiative after he graduated from college. His eyesight prevented him from serving overseas, and he made films for the Army which was his assigned duty. As far as I know, he never claimed otherwise. Reagan of course clearly understood who the real heroes of the War were:

  • The spitting (and bags of crap) happened all the time.

    And, the anti-war demonstrations were not about pacifism. They were about the communists winning the war in which my buddies were fighting and dying; and about weed and sex.

    I was in the USAF from 1972 to 1976. I served with SAC (B-52’s/nukes) in California and with USAFE in West Germany.

    Re: Kerry. If the USMC (part of the Navy) in Vietnam applied the same three purple heart that Kerry used, no marine would have been in country more than three weeks. In the Army, you never got a purple heart unless you were med-evacked/hospitalized.

  • My apologies. The story that came to mind was that Mr Reagan recounted a movie plot as an actual story of heroism at some veterans’ event in 1983. I do recollect the famous account he gave of losing a football feed as a radio announcer and having to “invent” a game for the audience.

    The point is that fibbing like this is more akin to telling tall tales. Some of us wouldn’t do it. A few of us would. Personally, I don’t think Mr Reagan’s exaggerations are terribly harmful. And it was because of his nearsightedness that he was declined for overseas duty. He worked as an active duty officer making films in Hollywood for much of the period 1942-45.

    I think we’re all in agreement that Mr Blumenthal’s exaggerations are dishonorable. I think we can also agree that a person’s military service or lack of it is often a target, and often unfair. Former Georgia Senator Max Cleland strikes me as a guy who got a raw deal from the GOP. Senator McCain (among other Republicans) thought the dirty politics of Senator Chambliss “worse than disgraceful, it’s reprehensible.”

    As for Mr Kerry, my recollection is that he told his own campaign that Bush’s service record was not going to be part of his political strategy. Officers who did attack the senator during the campaign, if indeed one, as you report, Art, did have more of a personal vendetta against the man, seems to line up as well in the category of dishonor.

    These men were serving in their twenties, for the most part. Young men. Placed in extremely difficult circumstances. With their own flaws and immaturity.

    In judging a person of 40, 50, or older, I’m disinclined to criticize the events of young adulthood. Mature citizens, even the Kerry slowboaters, should be also. Even so, the president should have clamped down on that from the start. Letting out-of-control guys with personal issues get off leash is an indicator of his own lack of leadership. Or his approval.

    The fact is that the Right has no moral high road on this. Today Mr Blumenthal. Tomorrow somebody else.

  • Thanks for the clarification, Todd, but I’m not satisfied. I’ll let others decide whether the episode described below is comparable to “padding his military record” or even “inventing a game”, let alone whether the mysteriously plural “exaggerations” that are “not very harmful” isn’t just rich.

    “One of Reagan’s responsibilities was to give accounts of Chicago Cubs baseball games via telegraph. During one game between the Cubs and their arch rivals the St. Louis Cardinals that was tied 0-0 in the 9th inning, the telegraph went dead: An often repeated tale of Reagan’s radio days recounts how he delivered “play-by-play broadcasts” of Chicago Cubs baseball games he had never seen. His flawless recitations were based solely on telegraph accounts of games in progress.

    “Once in 1934, during the ninth inning of a Cubs – St. Louis Cardinals game, the wire went dead. Reagan smoothly improvised a fictional play-by-play (in which hitters on both teams gained a superhuman ability to foul off pitches) until the wire was restored.

    “Reagan says: “There were several other stations broadcasting that game and I knew I’d lose my audience if I told them we’d lost our telegraph connections so I took a chance. I had (Billy) Jurges hit another foul. Then I had him foul one that only missed being a homerun by a foot. I had him foul one back in the stands and took up some time describing the two lads that got in a fight over the ball. I kept on having him foul balls until I was setting a record for a ballplayer hitting successive foul balls and I was getting more than a little scared. Just then my operator started typing. When he passed me the paper I started to giggle – it said: ‘Jurges popped out on the first ball pitched.’”

  • “My apologies.”

    Of course you’re not satisfied, Mike. Enjoy the day.

  • Polls showing Dodd’s seat just went from a safe Democratic seat to a tossup. And the story is only two days old. Gotta love the NY Times.

  • Former Georgia Senator Max Cleland strikes me as a guy who got a raw deal from the GOP.

    The political mythology machine just runs on and on. Here’s the bloody ad attacking Max Cleland’s Senate votes.

    As for Mr Kerry, my recollection is that he told his own campaign that Bush’s service record was not going to be part of his political strategy.

    1. There was nothing to attack;

    2. His political strategy was expressed in using his boat mates as campaign props.

    Officers who did attack the senator during the campaign, if indeed one, as you report, Art, did have more of a personal vendetta against the man, seems to line up as well in the category of dishonor.

    No, it does not. It is only dishonorable if they self-consciously manufactured a false narrative. It is a matter of record that Kerry had been dining off his military service for more than 30 years; that he was awarded a Purple Heart for an injury to his rear end that left him in the hospital for thirty six hours, a Purple Heart for a superficial injury that required no inpatient care, and a Maj. Frank Burns style Purple Heart for a trivial injury that may have been inadvertantly self-inflicted; that he had made repeated incredible claims to having been sent on intelligence missions to Cambodia; that he also claimed to have been an ear-witness to military operations involving the Khmer Rouges at a time what the Khmer Rouges were a trivial force operating hundreds of miles away from the Mekong Delta; that he claimed to have listened to a mendacious speech by his commander-in-chief concerning American incursions into Cambodia when no such incursion were undertaken until a year after he had been shipped home….

  • Some really good points and words by Art Deco, DRM and T. Shaw.
    For my part, I served twenty years between two services (Navy and Army). While I have ventured into harm’s way no less than four times, to include deployment to Operation Desert Shield/Storm, I cannot say with a straight face that I am a combat veteran. For most of my career in the Army, I was authorized to wear a “combat patch” (wearing on your right shoulder the shoulder insignia of the unit with which you deployed to a combat zone for 30+ days). But even the patch that I wore gave evidence that I was a card-carrying rear-echelon puke.
    I am trying to paint the picture that I had long service and some (very little) fairly risky service. That said, I would never intimate that I am a veteran of close-quarters combat. When anyone asks if I have ever killed an enemy, I say “Praise God, I have never had the opportunity!”

    Mr. Blumenthal sought and received five deferrments, then managed to wrangle an assignment to the USMCR to avoid any remaining risk of deployment to Vietnam. It was his right to do all of these things. Unless further examination of the facts were to indicate that he behaved in similar fashion to Slick Willie Clinton, you can call him a coward if you want to, but cowardice is not illegal.

    But he seems to present a pattern of attempting to associate himself with those who served on active duty during, or even fought, that war. This is not accidental. A lawyer who has risen to the position of a State AG (necessitating proficiency in both the written and spoken word) cannot then claim to be unaware of the effects of his carefully chosen words upon his listeners.

    So let me state, with absolute disgust toward the Con (yes, I think that’s the best way to spell it in this case) AG, that his conduct here and now, not forty years ago, demeans any military service he might have rendered.

    Given then opportunity, I would spit in his face in any airport, anytime.

  • “In judging a person of 40, 50, or older, I’m disinclined to criticize the events of young adulthood.”

    Todd, really? So explain your back-stab at GWB again…

    “Even so, the president should have clamped down on that from the start.”

    Sorry, but McCain-Feingold created the runaway special purpose group phenomenon. So the mechanism of direct control was simply not there. Bush distanced himself from the swift-boaters, who were not saying their piece on his behalf.
    Oh, and then there’s this almost extinct, clearly arcane Constitutional notion of freedom of political speech.

    “Letting out-of-control guys with personal issues get off leash is an indicator of his own lack of leadership. Or his approval.”

    Personal issues? Try Winter Soldier on for size- that was your boy Kerry’s baby. He testified to it before Congress by way of launching his political career. It was all lies.
    As for approval, do you believe that some level of veracity is to be expected of elected officials? If so, you should approve of flashlights focused on their paths. Shine the light on everything. Let the voters decide what is damning and what is not.

  • AD,
    Thanks for reminding everyone what a masterful job the Dems did at manipulating the public’s memory of that ad. By repeatedly accusing the rather unremarkable ad as questioning Cleland’s patriotism, they managed to manufacture a myth. Truly masterful.

  • Todd,
    Your apology was diminished by your subsequent dissembling. What exactly were the “exaggerations” that you were referring to? Of the two examples you seem to rely on the first seems more a case of harmless confusion and the second was at most a harmless fib; neither was an exaggeration.

Top 15 Misconceptions About Catholics

Tuesday, April 20, AD 2010

Karen L. Anderson of Online Christian Colleges wrote a timely piece on the many myths, misconceptions, and outlandish lies told about Catholics:

With nearly one quarter of the U.S. population Catholic, they make up a huge part of society and the largest Christian denomination. Yet with so many, how is it they are so misunderstood and characterized by films, television shows, etc.?

Failing to do the proper research explains a great deal of it. With a simple search on the internet, we were able to find many interesting answers to the top 15 misconceptions about Catholics. They are both from official sources, reporters, academics, and more.

1. Priests Are More Likely to be Pedophiles : The most dangerous of all myths concerning Catholics, this can lead to many negative and unfair consequences. Recently in a book entitled Pedophiles and Priests, an extensive study – and the only one of it kind – took a look at the pedophile statistics of over 2,200 priests. It found that only 0.3% of all Catholic clergy are involved in any pedophilia matter, guilty or not. This number is actually very low and according to Counter Pedophilia Investigative Unit, who reports that children are more likely to be victims of pedophile activity at school with nearly 14% of students estimated to be molested by a member of the school staff.

2. Everything in “The Da Vinci Code” is True : Even author Dan Brown himself doesn’t agree to this. In this free film from Hulu, Mr. Brown admits to writing his novel as a step in his own spiritual journey. As he confesses to being swayed by his extensive research, the experts behind the research weigh in with facts. Simon Cox is the author of “Cracking the Da Vinci Code” and tells more about his work in this documentary. If you don’t have 90 minutes to view it, you can get the real story behind Opus Dei, the villain organization in the novel, from ABC news.

3. Women Are Oppressed in the Catholic Church : Although women are still not eligible to become priests as explained by Pope John Paul II, they were still acknowledged as valued members of the church as far back as 1947. In a Papal Directive from then Pope Pius XII, he expressed his admiration of women “to take part in the battle: you have not sought to do so, but courageously you accept your new duties; not as resigned victims nor merely in a defensive spirit.” Also, in 2004 then Pope John Paul II historically appointed two women theologians to the International Theological Commission and named another as the president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

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12 Responses to Top 15 Misconceptions About Catholics

  • The dificulty in the myths in the article are not the fact that they are misconceptions of the Roman Catholic Church. The turly sad part is that many so called members of our Church add to these misconception by 2 basic means. They do not correct these myths when asked by friends or others who are inquisitive either from lack of knowlegde or feeling this is not their right to do so and the second most problem and perhaps the worse is that many so called “catholics” beleve the crticisms are correct.

  • I would also say 9, 12 and 15 are odd; never heard them before….

  • #1: The book looks only at data since 1982. As we’ve seen in another recent TAC post, we have far more incidents prior to 1982. The John Jay study, which goes farther back, concludes that a shocking 4% of priests were reported to have sexually abused children. The second link you posted says that 1-5% of teachers sexually abuse or harass children. Harassment is more common than sexual abuse so the prevalence among teachers is probably less than 2.5%. But then you have to take out the women teachers who are must less likely to sexually abuse students. It also might to useful to compare the prevalence of sexual abuse of boys only. Priests are more likely to abuse boys and teachers are more likely to abuse girls. Bottom line is that you need more data but it’s certain that among pedophiles, priests are outliers. Even if abuse isn’t any more prevalent, why boys instead of girls? I think it’s entirely possible that the priesthood attracts sexual deviants.

    #3: And some black slaves were allowed to sleep in the master’s house. Crumbs do not disprove oppression. If we’re going to completely honest with ourselves, I think we have to admit that the Church denies women opportunities that are open to men. We don’t have to get all defensive over that fact. Christ denied women opportunities that he gave to men.

    #5: The Immaculate Conception refers to the conception of Mary, not Jesus.

    #8: I’m unclear of what you’re saying here. Catholics were once required to abstain from meat on ALL Fridays. Catholics must still abstain from meat on Fridays of Lent but in the US, bishops allow Catholics to give up something else on Fridays outside of Lent.

  • RR,

    #3. She never claimed nor said that.

    #5. I corrected her post, thanks!

  • You can always count on restrained radical to bash the Church for no apparent reason.

  • Is the reason not apparent? I’m a closet Episcopalian. Which reminds me… there’s an interesting piece in the New Yorker on the debate over women bishops in the Church of England. Full article requires a subscription.

  • I think that a lot of these misconceptions come from different places. The Dan Brown stuff is probably more common among evangelicals and conspiracy-types, two crowds that probably don’t have much in common. Ditto for the claim of oppressing women, which would come from feminist atheists and faithful Protestants.

    The supposed conflict between faith and reason in #4 is the one that irritates me the most. It’s so patently wrong! I attended a lecture on data visualization (of all things) last week, and the instructor went off on a tangent about the persecution of Galileo. For whatever reason, we get tarred by the same brush as evangelicals about science, then tarred by evangelicals about Mary. Oh well. As Chesterton said, if you’re being accused by everyone of every possible error, you may be perfectly correct.

  • Yes Pinky, Chesteron really had a unigue use of words and as far as 9 is concerned ,they probably never heard of Hilaire Belloc..”wherever the Catholic sun doth shine there’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I always found it so Benedicamus Domino “

  • Number 9 was news to me. Wine is even part of our sacramental life, unlike those denominations that use grape juice. I’ve never heard a stereotype about a sober Irishman, a teetotaling Italian, or a Mexican refusing beer, so I don’t know where the myth of Catholic avoidance of alcohol comes from.

  • Too often Catholics get lumped together with puritan Protestant Creationists. And too often it’s Catholics who do it.

    Catholics can drink, smoke, believe in evolution, dinosaurs, the big bang, aliens, believe that you can be born gay, reject intelligent design, and celebrate Halloween.

    Here’s a couple others:

    Catholics are anti-sex or Catholics believe sex is purely for pro-creation.

    Catholics believe being gay is a sin.

  • Catholics believe engaging in homosexual sex is a sin. Whether people are in their “being” gay, that is that it is genetically determined, is far from scientifically proven. But if so, it would be like alcoholism. There would be a genetic predispostion to sin which in itself would not be sinful but which, through grace, could be overcome.

If You Repeat a Lie a Thousand Times…

Friday, April 9, AD 2010

Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul-Minneapolis has defended Pope Benedict in his column in the archdiocesan weekly newspaper.

In reporting on the column, the Associated Press closed their story with this:

Critics of the church’s handling of abuse cases are citing Benedict’s tenure as head of the Vatican office charged with disciplining clergy. The office halted a mid-1990s investigation into a Wisconsin priest accused of molesting some 200 deaf boys.

Dear Associated Press: the CDF did not stop the investigation. If you’d actually do some journalism you’d know that.

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5 Responses to If You Repeat a Lie a Thousand Times…

  • The communists succeeded in branding His Holiness Pius XII as a virtual agent of Hitler because of his alleged silence in the face of Nazi atrocities. The facts suggest otherwise, but they have been buried over time, and the mud sticks. Now, secularists (and others, including some in the Church herself) are trying to do the same to His Holiness Benedict XVI with regard to the priest sex scandal. The facts tend to exonerate him, but I fear the mud will stick. It will take a persistent and forceful defense if there is to be any hope for his legacy.

  • So, did you try to contact MPR to address their error?

  • I tried to contact the AP, but there’s no writer in that or other bylines, so I have little idea who to reach. And given that it’s been picked up elsewhere, merely trying to communicate with MPR seemed pointless.

  • You ask,

    “If they [AP] can botch this story this poorly, how can I trust their reporting on other issues?”

    So far as I can see, you can’t.

    All you can do is trace the facts about any given story that AP presents in a broad-brush kind of way, compare those to the facts presented from other sources, find the commonalities, then go seeking criticism from bloggers who specialize in the relevant topics to get a sense of which commonly-reported facts are open to debate or alternative interpretation, and which are thought by the bloggers to be missing.

    Rinse, repeat, for several days.

    Then you ruminate, allowing that picture simmer and stew until you come to some kind of conclusions about what actually happened.

    That’s how one “checks the news” these days. AP is just mono-sourced data. If you want information, even minimalist “satisficing” (let alone detailed knowledge) will require individual collation of data from multiple inputs.

    The darkly amusing thing to ponder is this: Were the MSM always this bad, and we just didn’t have enough sources of alternative opinion to know about it? Or has the failure of intellectual and moral standards brought us gradually to this point from some earlier state of being in which media organs were moderately trustworthy?

  • “Were the MSM always this bad, and we just didn’t have enough sources of alternative opinion to know about it? Or has the failure of intellectual and moral standards brought us gradually to this point from some earlier state of being in which media organs were moderately trustworthy?”

    Bad reporting there has ever been, and the access of the internet to multiple sources displays such reporting in bold relief. However, I doubt if there has been a time before when the ink stained wretches were so ideologically committed in one direction and so uncaring about their professionalism.

What We Know Now

Monday, March 22, AD 2010

As it so happened, I was in Washington DC on that National Mall as congress was voting on the mess which is our “health care reform” bill. I hadn’t been to our capitol city before, and it was a simply beautiful afternoon — one on which it was hard to believe that our elected representatives were bringing us one large step closer to a major budgetary crisis point, and Representative Stupak was busy selling out the principles everyone had imagined to be as solid as the Rock of Gibraltar for a rather paltry executive order which may (or may not) come after the fact. (Call me a cynic, but I could well imagine the EO never coming. Though in a sense, why not issue it: It would have no effect and could be repealed at any time. Still, there would be a great deal of justice and truth in Obama using the old Microsoft line, “Your mistake was in trusting us.”)

Still, though sun, green grass, and stone monuments are fresh in my mind, and the largest looming problems in my mind revolve around children wailing that they need a bathroom right now while traveling on the metro (let’s just say that didn’t end well) I don’t want to seem as if I’m discounting the importance of what we’ve just seen. And there seem to be some fairly clear conclusions we can draw:

1) Stupak had no desire to be to abortion what Joe Lieberman chose to be to foreign policy. Lieberman was hounded out of his party and continues to hold office only because of people who disagree with him on nearly every other issue admired his principled stands on Iraq, Israel, etc. If Stupak had brought down the Health Care Reform bill in defense of the unborn, he would have received similar treatment from his own party to what Lieberman has received, and he clearly didn’t want to be that person. Instead, having talking himself into a corner he really didn’t want to be in, he seized upon a fig leaf when it was offered and did what he’d clearly wanted to do all along:

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21 Responses to What We Know Now

  • Thanks for your thoughts on this Darwin. Though I will say this: I am not so sure Stupak’s principles failed today as much as his intelligence. What was he thinking, putting the status of abortion in the health care program in the hands of Obama?

    He was willing to go to war just to keep the Hyde language in the bill, but now he caves and gives the president what amounts to carte blanche? What idiocy. What foolishness! It’s irrational behavior.

    The rabidly pro-abortion Dems who threatened to block the passage of any bill that denied public coverage of abortion are clearly confident that this EO would have little to no effect. Pro-life Republicans also clarified how EOs really work during the debate running up to the vote.

    I will be writing soon on the prospects of nullification.

  • I mentioned upon the election of Brown that it’s possible that his election would result in a more liberal bill. Without Brown, Stupak would’ve had a much better chance of getting his amendment.

    Anyway, surprising indeed.

  • It is rare for a political party to walk off a political cliff in lockstep, but that is precisely what the vast majority of Democrats did in the House last night. Most of them I assume have no idea of the political whirlwind they sowed last night.

  • Donald,
    I hope you are right, but if ‘pro-life’ Dems have not figured out their party by now is there any chance that they ever will?

    Party affiliation first and foremost!!!

  • What do you guys think of Bill McCollum, et al and their posturing to kill this in the courts? Do you think they have a shot? I mean, large parts of this monstrosity strike me as blatantly unconstitutional, but I’m no lawyer.

  • restrainedradical,

    Given that the text of the Senate bill, with its more liberal abortion language, predates Brown, I’m unclear how it is the result of his election. Are you theorizing that if the Democrats still had a 60 seat majority in the Senate they would have been more willing to accept Stupak’s language even though they’d initially refused.

  • I mentioned upon the election of Brown that it’s possible that his election would result in a more liberal bill. Without Brown, Stupak would’ve had a much better chance of getting his amendment.

    Nice try, rr, but I do not think the psychology commonly attributed to battered wives is salable in this forum, whether the huckster is you or David Frum.

  • Nice try, rr, but I do not think the psychology commonly attributed to battered wives is salable in this forum, whether the huckster is you or David Frum.

    Oh yes, pro-lifers were the victims in all this. Aren’t they always? I can’t say I didn’t warn you, not like you were listening anyway. Pro-lifers got more out of this than they deserved politically. It’s time for the pro-life movement to stand up, and admit they are facing the adult consequences for their adult choices. Of course that would mean actually holding leaders accountable and not continually giving them a pass. For all the complaining about McClarey’s favorite representative, he’s probably the only reason you have the half loaf you have.

  • Victims? Not particularly, that I can see. We lost lost a battle but won some side engagements along the way, and while it could have been a lot better, we certainly did better than if we’d simply sat around on our hands. (BTW what’s with all this 2nd and 3rd person?)

    That said, we did lose, and in directly because of a loss of either wisdom or principle on the part of one of the main players. In that sense, it’s hardly surprised to see him blamed.

    The point about battered wife syndrome is more that it hardly makes sense to argue that we somehow would have got even more concessions if we hadn’t pushed for anything at all. The Democratic Party is overwhelmingly pro-abortion at this point, and they run congress, so clearly, if pro-lifers had not tried very hard to get pro-life restrictions forced into the bill, the folks who think that killing the unborn is a form of health care would have had their way in its entirety. If there’s a lesson in all this, it’s that the “let’s shut up and be good patsies for the Dems because they’re only ones who care about people” crew would never have got any pro-life concessions at all if they’d been left to their own (lack of) way.

  • I mentioned upon the election of Brown that it’s possible that his election would result in a more liberal bill. Without Brown, Stupak would’ve had a much better chance of getting his amendment.

    I’d considered this possibility too, but ultimately I don’t think it works. The language to be included in the Conference bill had already been worked out prior to Brown’s election, and it wasn’t the Stupak language (that’s what the whole Cornhusker Kickback thing was all about). If Brown hadn’t been elected we would have ended up with the same result w/r/t abortion.

  • MZ, rr fancies we are responsible for this mess because we did not play the angles in some complicated way, e.g. being frightfully clever and casting a ballot for Martha Coakley. Now, I am not impressed with such a thesis or the bloke who offers it, but then I am just an ass who doesn’t want to take responsibility for anything.

    not like you were listening anyway.

    You got me there. I do not pay you much mind, for reasons you should be able to discern.

  • DarwinCatholic, I disagree with you assertion that “the Democratic Party is overwhelmingly pro-abortion at this point…”

    I’m a 30-year-old pro-life Catholic and spent the last decade voting Republican solely on the abortion issue. But I’m done with that. The Democrats of 2010 are a far cry from the party that silenced Bob Casey 18 years ago. Case in point: as Stupak took the podium last night he was greeted with loud, sustained applause from his caucus. Imagine that, 250 Dems cheering a pro-lifer as he champions the pro-life provisions of a piece of Democratic legislation.

    Frankly, the fact that you and others on this blog find yourselves in the same camp as Planned Parenthood and NOW, lambasting Obama over abortion, should give you pause.

  • What a ludicrous thing to say Mr. Kelley. The Democrat party is the most pro-abortion that it has ever been. Stupak sold out the pro-life cause for a meaningless Executive Order that is unenforceable. That is why he was getting cheers from the overwhelming pro-abort Democrat caucus. Vote Democrat if you wish, but do not delude yourself that you will be voting pro-life when you do.

  • Frankly, the fact that you and others on this blog find yourselves in the same camp as Planned Parenthood and NOW, lambasting Obama over abortion, should give you pause.

    Put that bong down, and crash.

  • Donald:
    I didn’t say I was vetoing Democrat, just said I’m done with the Republicans.

    Art Deco:

  • oops. “voting”

  • Chuckling at Art Deco.

    If the Dems weren’t overwhelmingly pro-abortion, there wouldn’t have been any provisions in this bill for abortion from the beginning. Only a handful of Democrats in the house held out for an abortion exclusion. “Pro-life” senators were bought off with promises of pork. The leadership maintained that the bill will still allow funding of abortion and consider that a cost saving measure. Even going as far as to call this a “life-affirming” bill.

    We know to some Catholics abortion isn’t a big deal to begin with, and to most of them the end justifies the means. But the Church’s teaching on life, abortion, and justice resonates with and informs some of our consciences.

  • I don’t blame those who voted for Brown. I wouldn’t have voted for Coakley. But I did think the celebration was premature.

  • RR,

    Yes, the celebration was premature.

    Let’s see if the Democrats can control both houses of congress come the November elections.

  • ” as Stupak took the podium last night he was greeted with loud, sustained applause”

    Whereas just days before, he was greeted with vicious hate. For everyone from the liberal bloggers to the House Dems to suddenly love Stupak says one thing, and one thing only to me: that he agreed to a deal that will do absolutely nothing for the pro-life cause, because any bill that would, would have been shot down by the pro-abort Dems.

    The viciousness with which he then attacked pro-life Republicans during the following vote was like a victory dance with salt-coated shoes over open wounds. And all they were trying to do was get HIS language in the bill – his reason for berating them was that he had the utmost confidence in Obama’s EO.

    What a chump. What an irrational, foolish man.

  • We also know that the people begging and praying for the congressional critters to obey God and the Constitution aren’t being heard by most, both those in the Capitol and anyone outside of the four block radius.

    According to the reporting there were a 1000 ‘Tea Partiers’ and hundreds of Catholics for Health Reform making their cases.

    The sad fact is there is no such thing as a Catholic who is in favor of this ‘health care reform’. I know you misguided lefties are going break your keyboards responding, but the fact is you are wrong. You may have won this battle, but you are still wrong. Engage whatever mental gymnastics you want, you can’t contort the Catholic faith into making this OK.

    I spoke to these poor fools when I was on the hill the past two days and nights. At one point there was some confusion over the boundaries of the pro-Constitution group and the anti-life group and I ended up on the anti-life group side. I admit that after the confusion was cleared up I stayed there because I wanted the cameras to know that we are not all nuts, in favor of collectivism and that there is NO SUCH THING AS A PRO-ABORTION Christian. The camera men told me to, ‘get out of my face, I’ll film whatever I want’. I was told by Capitol police not to cause a commotion and I told them that I was just correcting a lie. The cops were very cool, they did there job well with a few minor exceptions who were chastised.

    One poor woman holding one of the professionally fabricated signs that were given to them by Demon Pelosi ‘catholics’ told me that I wasn’t allowed to be there. I responded that Catholics aren’t allowed to be for killing babies. I was met with silence. No matter how much we sin, that conscience is always there, as misguided and disfigured as it is – even Judas could have repented.

    The interesting thing was that after the ‘staged’ pro-abortion promoters were scheduled to leave – the pro-life, pro-Constitutionalists stayed and prayed and chanted and prayed. Sure I found the Our Father a little long, you know with the Novus Ordo doxology tagged on to the end of the Lord’s Prayer, but that was OK. We sang the national anthem and said the pledge of alliegence and emphasized REPUBLIC and UNDER GOD! (tangent: funny how Bible-only Chrhstians pray the Lord’s prayer differently that it says in the Bible). Some of the younger fools came to our rally carrying their professional signs and acted like fools – some of us fell for it and engaged, sadly, I wish I had recalled that Jesus didn’t say one word to Herod – but I caved into temptation and engaged.

    I am not sure that all of the ‘Catholics for Health Reform’ were actually Catholic or just very, very poorly catechized Catholics, but they are certainly wrong and misguided. They behaved like ignorant fools. It is sad that each subsequent generation since the 60s is devolving into barbarism. Having attended Mass in DC, I also noticed that the Washington DC diocese is not nearly as conservative and traditional as the western part of the Arlington diocese just across the river. That may have something to do with it – lefties and unorthodox, even downright heretics are in our Church and to be silent is to allow the Devil to sweep souls away.

    Oh – as for those racial slurs – I saw none of that – it hasn’t been proven and none of the thousands that I met behaved that way. Not to mention I met many black Americans that were with the alleged perpetrators. There were also many agent provocateurs among us to malign patriotic Americans – don’t fall for the lies. As for Barney Frank being called a fag**t, I didn’t see any of that either, despite the fact that he is a proud Sodomite. We did call him a treasonous traitor – another term that is accurate for that man.

    There were thousands standing up for life, for America and for freedom to worship and honor God. If you can’t be there in person you must pray and fast with those on the front line. This isn’t a joke. This is how a society succumbs to Jacobins, Leninists and Brownshirts. It is so sad that so many have been mentally conditioned into believing that it can’t happen here and that it isn’t happening.

    Of course, this bill is not ushering in collectivism tomorrow – we’ve been working on that for 100 years and the Enemy bides his time. The damage from this will be slow enough for most to not notice it and that will fool many into thinking their conscience is OK with it and then one day they’ll look back and wonder when it happened – when did we become Communist slaves? Or, worse, actually be happy about it and embrace it.

    Thanks for coming to DC – perhaps we bumped into each other. 🙂

November 2009, Stupak Never Intended to Vote No on ObamaCare

Monday, March 22, AD 2010

Last November during a town hall meeting near the Upper Peninsula Representative Bart Stupak of Michigan, an alleged “pro-lifeDemocrat that recently voted for government funding of abortion, made it clear that he was never going to vote “No” on ObamaCare.

Biretta tip to Sydney Carton and Alicia Colon.

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30 Responses to November 2009, Stupak Never Intended to Vote No on ObamaCare

  • From the Weekly Standard:

    The GOP is now offering its motion to recommit: the Stupak-Pitts amendment which passed the House 240 to 194 in November to ban abortion-funding. If it passes, the bill will have to go back to the Senate for approval, which means at least 25 Democrats will flip-flop on their previous vote on Stupak.

    Stupak is now urging fellow members to vote it down.

    Update: The Stupak amendment fails 199 to 232.

  • “The American Catholic”? Really? So you are American first, and Catholic second? Or what?

  • Yeah, and as Roman Catholic, I’m Roman first and Catholic second. Yeesh.

    You guys should have named this blog The Catholics Who Live in the United States of of America, Don’t Really Hate it, and Aren’t Self-loathing. Not that some would appreciate it, but you’d be denying them juvenile semantic plays.

  • I’m pretty sure I heard about this at the time. Wasn’t it excused by some pro-life leaders (or maybe his spokesman) as a necessary profession of open-mindedness?

    In his defense, a man in Stupak’s position can’t afford to appear totally uncompromising all of the time.

    I am disappointed that so little came out of the Stupak fight. He fought and lost but wouldn’t commit political suicide over it.

    How can pro-lifers limit the damage and strengthen a bipartisan pro-life coalition for the future? If Stupak had real help in the Senate, for instance, he would have had less need to compromise.

    (Juvenile semanticism should often be deleted to stop tangents. Don’t feed the pedants.)

  • I think I remember reading that Stupak is Catholic.

    That being said, and given the smart-mouth remarks previously posted, I would guess that Stupak’s label would best be a “Democrat Catholic” in regards to his way of voting. Political Party man first, God’s second.

  • No one has worked harder than Mr. Stupak to protect the unborn throughout this whole process. No one… not one Republican, not any bishop. I love the Church. I am 100% Catholic, by God’s grace. I am particularly concerned with the plight of the unborn. I think that Mr. Stupak is very sincere and his conscience is clean before God. He and his fellow pro-life democrats have been the voice of reason in this debate. Both pro-abortion Dems and anti-health care reform Republicans should be ashamed of themselves. Neither group has taken account of the poor and downtrodden

  • Patrick,

    If he was sincere, he would’ve voted “no” on the final bill.

  • It puzzles me that he held out for so long to only give in to a worthless piece of paper. Not to be all conspiratorial, but my feelings are that this was done intentionally by the Democratic leadership in order to buy themselves more time. They did not have the support of those on the far left (i.e. Kucinich) who wanted a strong public option and/or a single payer system. So, in order to garner the support of the severe leftists, they made it sound as if there were pro-life democrats who were holding out.

    The thing is: there is no such thing as a pro-life democrat.

  • When given the chance to support his own amendment, Representative Bart Stupak described it as “cynical”.

  • Mr. Stupak straddled two logs, upholding the great tradition of political BS in this cgreat country. He milked the pro-life folks and it is concievable that he was not sorry he lost the vote there. His vote on the Medical reform bill no longer mattered. He was free to abstain in accord with his professed “conscience” or again vote negative on the Reform Bill. To vote for the Bill truly stinks since it allows him to straddle both sides of the debate which in turn allows him to advance his own personal poliltical agenda from the pro-life folks was well as from the abortion folks. A true Solomonic/Satanic choice. He didn’t save the baby, so he cut the baby in half!

  • FYI: Cheboyan is in the lower peninsula of Michigan. Oh yeah, Stupak sucks.

  • Another politician that bears all the traits to be in the Congress of the USA. 1. Liar 2. Cheat 3. favors genocide(abortion). If the Government were serious about health they could make it free for every American (legal) and stop giving away our tax dollars to themselves and foreign countries that are against every thing that we stand for. YOU DO THE MATH……

  • Will,

    Thanks for pointing that out.

    I’m not a Michigander, but it sure is close to U.P.

  • The question I have is this. Did Richard Doerflinger who led the last minute rush to include the Stupak amendment in the House bill know about this, did Nat’l Right to Life know about this. Where has this been. Why are we just know getting it!!!!!!

  • If the Bishops knew about this and if Nat’l Right to life knew about this at the time the Stupak amendment was put in the House bill, then our own Bishops and our own Right to Life groups have betrayed us!!!!!

  • To Patrick:
    Charity for the poor and downtrodden is a good thing. But only if it’s FREE WILL VOLUNTARY! The entire governmental welfare system is corrupt as it is never moral to forcibly take from one person, even if the intent is to give to another person for a “good” intention. The original theft negates any possible “good.” Taxes should only go to things that have equal possible use for everyone, i.e. police, fire protection, infrastructure, etc., never to force anyone to give even one dime to another for nothing in return. Theft by “majority rule” is still theft. All government forced wealth transfer is immoral, period, whether for “health care” or anything else.

  • Stupak went through months of hell from pro-abortion advocates, gets a concession from a politician like Obama, and now he gets this vituperation from people who were singing his praises days before?

    He lost in the Senate and had no good options, supporting his party gave him an opening to fight another day. Pelosi already had votes in reserve, but Stupak just helped out his threatened fellow Democrats who were allowed to vote no. That’s how you advance in a party.

    Stupak has pledged to go back and fix things if it is necessary:

    During the press conference announcing his last hour support for the bill, Stupak said: “the statutory language, we’d love to have it. But we can’t get it through the Senate. And we’re not giving up. If there was something we missed, we’re coming back with legislative fixes. These right-to-life Democrats, who really carried the right-to-life ball throughout this whole debate, we will continue to do that. We will work with our colleagues to get the job done.”

    If he really were only a craven opportunist, he would have abandoned his pro-life fight long ago. His situation is ugly, and the EO is almost useless, but he got more done than if he had just followed the party leadership.

    His months of fighting was a show of loyalty to the pro-life cause. Doesn’t he deserve pro-lifers’ critical loyalty rather than critical rejection?

  • “Doesn’t he deserve pro-lifers’ critical loyalty rather than critical rejection?”

    No. He caved and settled for a useless fig leaf to hide his abject surrender. He deserves all the scorn he is reaping. I regret every positive word I wrote about Stupak. In the final analysis making his peace with his party was more important to him than the pro-life cause.

  • @ Jim S.

    “The development of peoples depends, above all, on a recognition that the human race is a single family working together in true communion, not simply a group of subjects who happen to live side by side.”

    (Words given by Pope Benedict XVI in Caritas in Veritate.)

    If you ask around I believe you will find that your consideration of paying taxes as theft and thus a moral evil incapable of bearing any good to be very isolated and unacceptable to 99% of people(including Christ Himself see: Mt 22:17-23)

    You mentioned charity, but reduced it to government run almsgiving. Upon further reflection I hope you find that charity is much more dynamic than you propose (see 1 Cor 13 for example).

    As Catholic followers of Christ we should look to HIM and not to figures like Rush Limbaugh for answers. Christ is our model. See how he had compassion on the multitudes and fed them (Mt.15:32), taught them (Mk. 6:34)and yes, healed them of their infirmities (Mt 14:14; 20:34; 1:41; etc… He gave His very life for us and has asked us to do the same (Mt 16:24).

    St John asks: “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” (1Jn. 3:17)

    True charity, a real love of our brothers, is the priviledge and the gift given by God to us. Social Darwinist, ultra-conservative “Christians” may very well find themselves in the same predicament as the rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day, oblivious of the righteous man Lazarus sitting outside his door. (Lk 16:19-31).

  • I missed the part in the Gospels Patrick where Christ decreed that it was the duty of Caesar to take care of the poor. Statist attempted solutions of taking care of the poor have an abysmal track record. Christians have a duty to care for the poor personally. I do not think we have a duty to have the State confiscate funds from taxpayers under the pretext of caring for the poor.

  • Duh. The Catholic faithful haave suffered enough while the Church goes chasing after socialis progressive ideals. I suggest you read the history of Marx, Lennin and Saul Alinsky

  • “Doesn’t he deserve pro-lifers’ critical loyalty rather than critical rejection?”

    I think Stupak deserves our forgiveness and prayers, but not our loyalty. My prayers go out to both Ben Nelson and Bart Stupak for I think both of them have consciences and are suffering and perhaps even condemning themselves more than we are condemning them. They are both casualties, and Lord only knows of all the other casualties due to the tactics used by Obama, Reid, Pelosi, et al. The problem therein lies within me as my heart tells me that there is unconscionable evil abounding in Washington in the form of Obama and Pelosi, those who will continue exploiting others for their own selfish ends, yes, even the perhaps noble motions of Stupak. Once Stupak examined his very ignoble acquiescence of yesterday followed by drinking and partying, one would hope his disillusionment set in about the deal he had just struck. Pelosi and Obama, however, seem to be stuck in perpetual happiness with themselves, totally. We are told to pray for their conversion, but would it do any good? As C.S. Lewis said, “should they be confirmed forever in their present happiness, should they continue for all eternity to be perfectly convinced that the laugh is on their side?” I detected no mocking tone or cavalier attitude in Stupak’s interview today, but perhaps confusion. It is not his intent, nor Ben Nelson’s, to eliminate undesirable elements of society. But what is the intent of our most pro-abort President ever, who would deny medical care to a still-alive aborted fetus, and the 100-percent NARAL rated Pelosi, who voted against the ban on partial birth abortion? I cannot fathom the evil that lurks in their hearts and souls.

  • Read the reply list and you will soon recognize the problem. We are much closer to Anarchy than we are to Socialism. Stupak is playing his own game (anarchy) just like all other congressmen do. Read some history about other empires and how they failed. You need not be a scholar to figure it out. The United States and the Catholic Church needs to step back and look at the one thing that creates good and rejects evil. It is called UNITY. Remember the Trinity?

  • The cynicism is overwhelming. We won’t even allow a matter of days to play out before we cast our stones at Mr. Stupak, who has probably spent the last few weeks and months agonizing over how to do the right thing in the midst of this complex and relatively poor political system. I am amazed that we already feel the authority to judge not only his actions, but his culpability. Time will tell what the fruit of his labors will be, and may we pray that those fruits will be the preservation of many lives; yet, no amount of time will ever reveal to us the inner thoughts or intentions of a man’s heart.

  • Thank you TM for a mature reply.

  • To Patrick,

    It is not the place of the government to take money from its people to freely give to another group of people and we as citizens should not accept this. This precept is not Christian nor Catholic for it breaks the 10th commandment. We are called as Christians to give to the poor and downtrodden. We are not called as Christians to have money taken from us and given to someone else because the government deamed it something good. Charity comes from people not from governments. Our welfare, medicare, etc systems are in a mess and do nothing but hold people down in poverty. Welfare is to help people until they get on their feet not to sustain them their entire lifes even though they have the ability to work. This is evil not good.

  • TM: Since we know that in November 2009 Stupak indicated that he NEVER intended to vote no on Obamacare, where do you get the idea that he has spent “the last few weeks and months agonizing over how to do the right thing?” Your defense of him is clearly negated by what the man said himself, right in front of a camera.

    He used the unborn as pawns in a political game designed to fool gullible pro-lifers and place himself in the spotlight. Now that’s what I call cynicism.

  • Be careful–Stupak will lie about other things as well. The key word is FOOL and we are that FOOL…

  • My only intent in posting this is to edify those who may not know. Bart, Jr., Stupak’s youngest son, committed suicide approximately ten years ago. I don’t know whether this tragic event played any role in Stupak’s initial heroic stance on abortion and his subsequent shameless cave-in, but, in any event, he and his family certainly deserve our prayers.

Thou Shalt Not Run Smear Campaigns

Monday, November 10, AD 2008

So the Republican Party is reeling, trying to find its voice and a clear path forward in the aftermath of a terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad defeat. While initially we hear that the party will be led by fresh faces, such as Sarah Palin and Bobby Jindal, and that forerunners for 2012 will also include Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney, this brief noise has been covered over with the deafening sounds of ligaments snapping from too much finger-pointing. These days, if you want to know who is old-guard in the Republican party, you merely need to see who has his index finger splinted and bandaged.

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One Response to Thou Shalt Not Run Smear Campaigns

  • Even if you (I don’t, BTW) assume the smears are true, who ultimately looks worst for their airing?

    The candidate for whom the clothes were bought or the campaign manager who provided a blank check and no parameters for the purchase?

    The candidate who made embarassing civics and geography mistakes or the nomination committee vettors who failed to identify her weaknesses before her selection?

    The candidate who may have acted inappropriately in the company of fellow party members or the campaign staffers who sought to minimize their own failures by airing her pecadilloes to the world?

    Judith Martin used to say, “Miss Manners would be too polite to notice.”
    The finger-pointers only proved their own lack of class, not Sarah Palin’s.