This is Unconscionable.

Wednesday, March 31, AD 2010

From the Anchoress:

MSNBC ran a headline on their website:

“Pope Describes Touching Boys: I Went Too Far.”

NBC has apologized (the linked story had absolutely nothing to do with the headline, or with the pope, for that matter).

Really? Will heads roll, too? They should, but I doubt they will.

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24 Responses to This is Unconscionable.

  • I find it hard to believe that this was inadvertent. I suspect that it was simply an example of Catholic bashing bigotry so fashionable these days in certain circles and that was engaged in by whoever put together the headline.

  • Completely agreed, Donald… no way it was just an accident.

  • I think it’s easy to believe it’s inadvertent. It’s possible a different headline involving the Pope was considered, then they went with this headline but forgot to change out “Pope.” Or the Pope was on the writer’s mind, not the priest.

    Whoever writes those headlines probably does at least 5-10 a day. He’s going to screw up, and this is one of those times.

  • Anyone reading MSNBC the last few weeks knows this was no accident. There is no news organization around more virulently anti-Catholic than MSNBC.

  • Utterly appalling & completely unacceptable! That’s not by accident!

  • Any decent organization has checks and balances. I would be seriously shocked if headlines don’t have to be signed off on by at least 2-3 people before being published on the MSNBC site. (Though as in all such systems, some people may approve without reading or thinking.)

    We have better controls than this on the processes I deal with at my company despite the fact we have individual people publishing hundreds of changes per week.

    So while I could perhaps believe that the original mistake was some sort of mental slip, letting it through was gross negligence possibly compounded by actual anti-catholicism.

    I mean, seriously, you don’t imagine that MSNBC would “accidentally” run a headline saying “Obama Admits Accepting Bribes, Promises Not To Run Again” because some totally unrelated black Democratic politician had made such an admission, would you? This seems like a similar scope mistake.

  • Its clearly their idea of fun, let an obvious slander against the Pope pass and then come up with a proforma apology.

  • A few years back, MSNBC made a somewhat similar gaffe during an interview with Niger Innis, a spokesman for the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE). They posted a graphic on the screen in which Niger’s first name was spelled with two “g”s. The mistake was quickly spotted, MSNBC apologized, and Innis didn’t make a big deal of it.

    Years ago I wrote a lengthy feature story about a man who had been a ham radio operator for more than 50 years. A few days later, he called to thank me for the story, which he said was wonderful except for one little thing… I had called him George Flanagan instead of Glenn Flanagan (his real name). He was very kind and respectful about it and not upset however.

    Recently I started doing occasional theater reviews for the local newspaper. In my first draft of one such review I referred to an actor whose real name was “Sean Michael Butler” as “Sean Michael WINTERS”…. because I had the name of Michael Sean Winters of America magazine on the brain at the time.

    My point is that gaffes like this CAN happen purely by accident — I know because I’ve committed them myself. So I wouldn’t jump to the conclusion that the “pope” headline was deliberate. The biased and slanted content of the stories themselves, however, is another matter completely.

  • Cancel your newspapers and cancel your cable TV – the only way to fight back. We do want to fight back don’t we? Be careful how you spend your money.

  • MSNBC: Unfair and unbalanced

  • I agree Marc, but I’d spread that to include the execrable Faux News and Crappy News Network as well. Journalism is a joke today.

  • They think they have the last laugh, lol, no problem, God has his way of dealing with ‘no good’ evil people like msnbc, watch just watch!

  • Do the Catholic-haters,aka MSNBC/NYT, ever reflect on why they are allowed to print lies in English, rather than in Arabic or Turkish? They would learn how the Catholics and the Pope saved the bacon of their European ancestors by the Battle of Tours; the Battle of Vienna; and the naval Battle of Lepanto. For dessert: How Saint Clare stopped the advance of the Huns.
    By the way DarwinCatholic, “anti-catholicism” should be
    “anti-Catholicism” as other religions and adjectives that
    modify them enjoy. One does not see: muslim, lutheran, amish, methodist, baptist, and forty thousand others.

  • Elaine Krewer listed three typos as examples of “gaffes”. MSNBC’s headline would be one serious typo. The headline is deliberate and she knows it; otherwise, MSNBC would have
    issued a hasty apology.

  • Nemo, my whole point is that I DO NOT KNOW that the headline was deliberate, and MSNBC DID issue a hasty apology (the same day it happened).

    Things like this do happen, and Kevin Jones’ explanation makes sense to me. The examples I cited from my own experience were NOT “typos”, i.e. totally accidental misspellings, but lapses of judgement on my part — I wasn’t paying close enough attention to the real name of the person in question. Something similar COULD have happened with regard to the “pope” headline.

    My point is, let’s direct our outrage where it belongs — to the content and reporting of these stories, and not against some copy editor or headline writer, or whatever the equivalent title is in TV news, who might have slipped up.

  • If said copy editor, headline writer, etc. did slip up and make an honest mistake, but gets fired to placate outraged Catholics while the reporters and assignment editors acting engaging in obviously biased reporting are allowed to stay and keep drawing their six- or seven-figure salaries, I don’t think that would be at all fair or just.

  • Cheer up! Based on how things are heading, in 5 years the NYT will no longer exist in print form. Can they survive and make money as a web-only newspaper? Maybe … maybe not. So how do you think it hits these folks to see that their beloved cage liner will not outlast the Catholic Church?

  • Perhaps, it was a mistake. Most likely, not a mistake. It gives me the willies that our Holy Father is being attacked so viciously, especially during Holy Week, and so soon after Obama signed the worthless Executive Order prohibiting federal funding of abortions, that I think we are all aware of the possibility of a decree being issued to Catholics, more subtle than the below, but nevertheless a decree:

    “More and more the people must be separated from the churches and their organs the pastors . . . Just as the deleterious influences of astrologers, seers and other fakers are eliminated and suppressed by the State, so must the possibility of church influence also be totally removed . . . Not until this has happened, does the state leadership have influence on the individual citizens. Not until then are the people and Reich secure in their existence for all time. “

    Martin Bormann, Head of the Nazi Party Chancellery, June 1941.

  • Moe, are you suggesting that this is part of a conspiracy to separate us from Christ and ruin this country? Do you really think there are people who want to remove God and replace Him with the god-state?

  • AK,
    Of course, I detect your facetiousness, but, yep, it has become meaningless to appeal to any higher law, God’s law, above the commands of the State. The Church is the State’s strongest opposition, ideologically speaking, and the media is the State’s strongest ally and is dutifully doing its job in attempting to destroy the Church, as evidenced by the latest round of attacks.

    Furthermore, there is no room for the Cross because suffering must be eliminated, at the expense of the weakest. And because the Cross has been eliminated, there will be no Simons, only the State. Pretty sterile stuff. The Paschal Mystery has been replaced with cute bunnies, chocolates, and baskets. Everything is feel-good fluff and Greek columns. Just take a look at the 70-year-old sexy-looking botoxed Lying Worthless Political Hack, who, as Elaine so recently succinctly put it, never saw an infanticide that she didn’t like.

  • If anyone is STILL watching MSNBC, I hope they will stop…

  • MSNBC purports to be a credible news agency. If this was a flub, then head(s) should roll given the enormity of the mistake. If it was intentional, as most of the comments indicate, then it is totally in-excusable. Either way MSNBC loses its credibility and is probably the reason why no one has been taking them seriously for a very long time and they are in the tank. So one can only say about this ridiculous headline ..consider the source!!! and be about your business.

  • Elaine: Yes dear,but that’s why they have proof-readers!! Or have they been down-sized?? at MSNBC!
    along with truth and sense of fair-play?

  • +Easter Blessings!
    It could have very easily been a mistake, most of what happens at MSNBC is a mistake!

As Our Modern, Western Culture Begins To Implode, The Catholic Church Is Our Last, Best Hope

Sunday, January 31, AD 2010

Channel surfing the other night, I came across a slew of 1980s “coming of age” movies on cable television. With all of their flaws (too much sexual innuendo, which is mild by today’s comparisons,) one can easily see a positive theme of a bright future and endless possibilities running through this genre of films. I had almost forgotten that in the 1983 film Valley Girl, Julie played by Deborah Foreman actually chastises her hippy parents for their suggestion that if she and her new boyfriend Randy, played by Nicholas Cage, want to explore their sexuality it would be alright by them.  Julie rebukes her parents for having such beliefs as well as the nostalgia surrounding their involvement in the 1960s anti war movement; after all it was the era of Ronald Reagan. Everything seemed possible; it was Morning in America again. Many of these movies were set in California which at the time exuded excitement for those of us growing up in colder, Midwest climates. Economically, California was booming and it was also the heart of a growing and diverse music scene.

Fast forward some 25+ years later and many of today’s films have a dark undercurrent with more than a little subtle leftwing political and cultural propaganda running through them. While there are certainly hopeful signs in Hollywood, especially with the advent of stars like Eduardo Verastegi and his movie Bella and associated Metanoia Films, (Click here for my interview with Eduardo Verastegui,) the secular film industry has fallen even farther into the cesspool. Sadly the Golden State’s economic boom seems but a distant memory, which was bound to occur when California’s Big Government mentality rivaled that of Sweden or the Canadian province of Quebec. The bigger question remains; is California setting the trend once again for the nation and the western world, and if it is what hope is there? The hope remains as it always has not in mortal man and the latest left wing hypothesis about the world’s failings, but in the teachings of the Catholic Church.

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4 Responses to As Our Modern, Western Culture Begins To Implode, The Catholic Church Is Our Last, Best Hope

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  • Fulton Sheen said that the time of evil would come upon mankind. Pope John Paul said a great darkness has descended on the earth. And we are living in this age of darkness and evil made transparent . The light of Christ is shining so brightly now that all of mens hearts and actions are coming into the light and being exposed for who and what they are. This is a great time of purification and God is getting ready to move mankind into a very important direction. You are either with Christ or against Him, There will be no middle ground. That is why it seems that it is all imploding but what is really happening is a time of great grace before the time of great judgement!

  • Man, where have I been for not finding your web site earlier – loved every word spoken.

    will be e-mailing you later brother. Praise Christ for you taking a stand and speaking His truth. We are so hungry for JUST the truth. Fr. John Corpie tells it like it is – and there is standing room only when he speaks somewhere. Holy Mother Church needs to feed her sheep – I am so tired of shim milk. Where is the beef that I may feed on the deep things of God.

    God bless brother – Later.

    In Christ,
    Don

New York Times Rejects Archbishop Dolans Article, Why?

Friday, October 30, AD 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Tito:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Publius:

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

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

  • e.:

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

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

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

  • Publius:

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

    c matt:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Doesn’t matter.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • zukunftsaugen,

    I disagree 100%.

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

    Your ideas are bordering on totalitarianism.

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

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CNN and HuffPo Feeling Heat Over False Racist Quotes to Rush Limbaugh

Friday, October 16, AD 2009

[Updates at the bottom of this post as of 4:21pm CDT 10-16-2009 AD]

This week there has been a whirlwind of character assassination done by the mainstream media to conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh’s bid to purchase the St. Louis Rams (American) football team of the National Football League (NFL).   They have been accusing Mr. Limbaugh of saying several racist quotes without confirming their existence.  All the alleged racist quotes have been debunked by Snopes earlier this week as well as being denied by Mr. Limbaugh.  Additionally many in the mainstream media have been unable to find any evidence of these allegations.

But today there has been a sudden realization of regret when the heat turned up on their yellow journalism.  Regret that some elements of the mainstream media were involved in libel and slander.

The most prominent of the yellow journalists are liberal news anchors Anderson Cooper and Rick Sanchez of the left-of-center CNN, sports columnist Bryan Burwell of the liberal St. Louis Dispatch, and finally the liberal Huffington Post (HuffPo) blog.

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10 Responses to CNN and HuffPo Feeling Heat Over False Racist Quotes to Rush Limbaugh

  • If I were a St. Louis Rams fan, I would not want an owner who couldn’t tell how good a quarterback Donovan McNabb was (at least before his injuries).

  • I would not want an owner who couldn’t tell how good a quarterback Donovan McNabb was

    Sigh. You know, Rush never actually said Donovan McNabb wasn’t a good quarterback. In fact he has repeatedly said that he is. The whole fiasco was about how he felt the media portrayed McNabb – a point that Chris Collinsworth actually all but confirmed the very next week when he overhyped McNabb’s role in an Eagles’ victory that was all but due to the defense.

  • BTW, somewhat tangentially, a person can be deemed overrated who, noentheless, is still a great player. Case in point: Derek Jeter. Jeter is no doubt a Hall of Fame caliber ballplayer, yet at the same time he is completely over-hyped by a fawning media. At the time Rush made the comments I think it’s fair to say that McNabb, while a very good player, was probably slightly overrated by the media. Even if you don’t think the media was motivated by racial considerations, I thought at the time that such a consideration was fair.

  • Being a liberal means never saying you’re sorry.

  • Yeah, I thought Rush’s comment was probably correct, but imprudent for exactly the reason that has manifested this past week. People with agendas would twist his words to manipulate people without gray matter.

  • This is on of the many instances where the mainstream media tries to silence crazy uncle Rush, not because of what he says, but because they disagree with his point of view and are jealous of his following and his wealth.

    If he hasn’t pulled a Pete Rose (or something similar), why would he not be allowed partial ownership of a sports team? I guess I will never understand that one…

  • Speaking of bad journalism… Anderson Cooper did -not- use the false quotes, he merely pointed out they weren’t accurate, which is an example of yellow journalism? Logic fail.

  • No one destroyed Rush Limbaugh…he is still going strong…those who lied will have their lies backfire on them at some point…what goes around, comes around. Actually, Rush would probably not have had as much time for his radio show so the liars have enabled Rush to stay and fight against the radicals who have infiltrated our adminstration and our country. Way to go!!!!

  • Paul, Just this guy,

    Being a liberal means never saying you’re sorry.

    That was funny!

Blueshirts, Pelosi, and Mobs, Oh My!

Saturday, August 8, AD 2009

It’s been an interesting week in the world of American politics.  With the arrogance of congressional Democrats and the White House attempts at discrediting a grassroots movement, the passions will certainly continue to climb after the weekend is over.

Here are some highlights from these past few days:

1. At a town hall last week in Dallas, an elderly “mob” with “manufactured” outrage questioned AARP’s support for nationalized health care, asking: “Do you work for us or do we work for you?”

There were no swastika-wearing grannies at Tuesday’s meeting, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi might claim. Nor were they “taking their cues from talk show hosts, Internet rumor-mongers . . . and insurance rackets,” as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said.

But they were mad as hell at the perception that AARP was selling them out in the name of government-run medical insurance. That perception was not helped when the AARP town hall on the subject was shut down by the seniors outfit once the members dared to ask questions. The AARP representatives did not want to hear from the members at all. Just send in your dues, granny, and be quiet.

To read the rest of this IDB Editorial click here.

2. You’ve heard a lot about this crazy, scary, vicious mob on some shadowy GOP payroll. By the way the DNC, Rachel Maddow, and President Obama talk, you’d think it was a motley crue of Hell’s Angels.

Let me introduce you to the mob:

scary mob 1

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20 Responses to Blueshirts, Pelosi, and Mobs, Oh My!

  • A superb roundup Tito! You have a real talent for putting these together!

  • It’s funny we hear Republicans say that they do not want “faceless bureaucrats” making medical decisions but they have no problem with “private sector” “faceless bureaucrats” daily declining medical coverage and financially ruining good hard working people. And who says that the “private sector” is always right, do we forget failures like Long-Term Capital, WorldCom, Global Crossing, Enron, Tyco, AIG and Lehman Brothers. Of course the federal government will destroy heathcare by getting involved, Oh but wait our military men and women and the Senate and Congress get the best heathcare in the world, and oh, that’s right, its run by our federal government. I can understand why some may think that the federal government will fail, if you look at the past eight years as a current history, with failures like the financial meltdown and Katrina but the facts is they can and if we support them they will succeed.

    How does shouting down to stop the conversation of the healthcare debate at town hall meetings, endears them to anyone. Especially when the organizations that are telling them where to go and what to do and say are Republicans political operatives, not real grassroots. How does shouting someone down or chasing them out like a lynch mob advanced the debate, it does not. So I think the American people will see through all of this and know, like the teabagger, the birthers, these lynch mobs types are just the same, people who have to resort to these tactics because they have no leadership to articulate what they real want. It’s easy to pickup a bus load of people who hate, and that’s all I been seeing, they hate and can’t debate. Too bad.

  • If you don’t know who Rick Scott is then you don’t know who is duping you. This is the false prophet. Scott is the money-changer you let into your temple. Scott is a big health care CEO (whose company by the way was fined $1.7 billion for fraud) who is financing the disruption of the town hall meetings. He is the temptor who has cause you to stumble into the gospel of hatred for your fellow man. His “salvation” (money) is to get you to serve corporate profits instead of your fellow man.

    One Master said “Feed my sheep,” “As ye do to the least of these my brothers, you do unto me.” Perhaps you can appreciate how that would be served by universal health care?
    The other “master” says, “shout them down,” and “voice your anger.” Does that really serve your mission to be the spreader of the Good News?

    I truly feel sorry for good-hearted people who have been drawn into the hatred of political extremism and who honestly think they are serving Christ, when in fact they are serving corporate lobbyists. What a shame!

    Check it out: http://thinkprogress.org/2009/08/06/rick-scott-sanchez/

  • Paul,

    Those were very hateful elderly people in those posts.

    I guess the GOP Hate-van picked them at an early bird dinner and bussed them over to these town halls.

    It’s called grasping at straws.

  • I really don’t care how great the proposed healthcare bill is, even if it give cradle to grave care to all at the same level Congress enjoys (don’t mention the military, our healthcare isn’t all that great). I don’t care if B.O. & Company summon up a genie to pay for it all with no expense to the taxpayers. I don’t care if there is absolutely no provisions for funding abortions in it.

    If it doesn’t expressly forbid coverage for abortion and euthanasia it isn’t good enough. Period.

  • The health care plan on offer provides for government funding of abortions. Pointing to shady corporate lobbyists doesn’t change that gruesome fact. Who’s the temptor who put that murderous, needless and revolutionary language in the bill? Mr. Scott may be a fraud, but he hasn’t snuffed human life on the scale contemplated by this health bill.

    It has no place in a “health care” bill. Demand that it be taken out and I’ll stand with you, CL. Ignore it, and I’ll ignore you.

  • Paul,

    Do you have a citation for your assertion that the military receive the ‘the best health care in the world’?

    I am not aware that anyone has asserted that private enterprise is infallible, merely that it generally performs more efficiently in the provision of merchandise and services unless the good in question is one that cannot be vended on a market (e.g. law enforcement, or natural environments) because the costs and benefits of the provision of the service are very poorly aligned, payer and recipient being different parties (for the most part). A secondary problem you have is that often the use of markets to provide certain goods and services leads to a distribution of same that people find unpalatable. Medical services is one of those goods.

    People’s demand for goods and services (including medical services) is invariably going to exceed the capacity of producers to supply these services. From the perspective of the consumer, if you spend more on x, you have to spend less on y. Rationing of the fruits of productive capacity may be done through price systems or through administrative controls, but it must occur. Neither the individual household, nor the commercial insurer, nor the government have unlimited resources, so some party must be in the business of ‘denying coverage’ (i.e. refusing to pay for it). The commercial insurer charges you a premium which is derived in part from an understanding of a particular benefits configuration. If you change the benefits configuration post hoc, the insurance program is not actuarially sound and eventually goes bankrupt.

    The program as proposed is hideously rococo, is proposed to be enacted when there are severe demands on public resources from the banking crisis, and is being enacted when simpler alternatives that allow for more decision-making by consumers and providers are available. People also tend to be rather risk-averse in these sorts of situations, preferring a devil they know. That there is opposition is unsurprising. Get used to it.

  • Paul,

    the plan at offer bears no resemblance to the plan which congress generously offers itself, it’s more akin to medicare or the veterans administration. Active military enjoy excellent trauma care, but their “routine” medical system leaves a lot to be desired.

    ChristianLiberal (an oxymoron),

    and your well-crafted talking points are financed by George Soros. Whatever the agenda of Rick Scott’s organization, they fund NOBODY to attend any townhalls, they, along with many other conservative groups help to analyse the proposal (it’s >1000 pages for legalese and Orwellian “newspeak”) and communicate their findings. It’s the well funded SEIU that is far more in line with what you’re accusing us of.

  • Advocacy groups, at ALL points on the political spectrum, exist for a very good reason: because most ordinary people cannot take the time to thoroughly perform completely original research and personally lobby their legislators on EVERY single issue of interest to them.

    That’s why we have issue-based organizations that do it for us — National Right to Life, the NRA, AARP, the Sierra Club, etc. If they organize an event and provide transportation, meals, etc. for people to participate, does that automatically mean that every individual who attends is being “manipulated” or “bought” and therefore their views don’t deserve consideration? Do people’s views “count” only if they happen to find out about an event completely on their own and attend totally at their own expense, without using any arguments or “talking points” that have ever been used by anyone else?

    The mere fact that an advocacy group organizes an event or actively invites people to participate (no one has, as far as I know, claimed that anyone on either side was ordered or forced to attend) does NOT mean that the views expressed by those attendees are insincere or not worthy of attention. I think that applies just as much to SEIU as to any alleged GOP political operatives — if they care enough to show up for an event, they have a right to be heard AND a responsibility to let others be heard as well.

  • Elaine,

    you’re right of course, but in the case of the townhall ‘mobs’ the only support provided has been information as far as we know, and that’s generally the case with conservative causes. On the other hand, there is a LONG history of leftist groups using all sorts of enticements, including cash payments to individual protesters. Furthermore, it’s curious that the SEIU is showing a lot of interest in this matter, since union negotiated health care plans are largely exempted from interference under this law. Also notable is the special treatement afforded SEIU and other democrat activists at these supposedly “open forums”.

    I remember SEIU “protestors” involved in a janitorial contract dispute a couple of years ago marching around Cincinnati. I asked one of them what it was about and after a short discussion he acknowledged that he had no idea what it was about he just got paid to come out.

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  • I probably should have added that I have very little if any sympathy for SEIU, since they were among the biggest supporters of and donors to Illinois’ disgraced Governor Blago, and also among the most strident groups now pushing for a massive tax increase to cover the state deficit. I believe their efforts to organize home health care workers and demand taxpayer support for them are doing more harm than good to their cause and those of the elderly and disabled people they are supposed to be helping. Also, it is true that completely original arguments offered by someone acting on their own will carry more weight than canned “talking points”.

    What I take issue with, however, is the notion that participating in ANY kind of organized effort or campaign regarding an issue somehow invalidates one’s point of view or makes it less genuine.

    Also, Pelosi obviously doesn’t know what “astroturfing” means. In my experience as a journalist, it referred to instances in which an advocacy or lobbying group creates fake grass roots support for its point of view by getting its own members or clients to write a bunch of letters to the editor, op-ed pieces, blog posts, etc. in a way that makes them APPEAR to have come from ordinary citizens moved to write purely out of personal conviction — with NO mention of the authors’ group affiliation or personal or financial interest in the matter. However, the mere fact that a letter-writing campaign or public event is organized by some group does not make it “astroturf.”

  • Tito Edwards, Art Deco, Matt McDonald: It is very American to want to help our fellow countryman. I believe in my government especially our men and women in our military, firefighters and police. You, not so much. Lets face it the previous administration did nothing (except start two wars of choice that are bankrupting our country with all the “war profiteering” contracts to Halliburton) well you and I will just have to agree to not agree. I did not believe any of the Republican rhetoric before the last election and I do not believe them now. I do not believe that your sentiments are in line with the majority, but your comments, funny stuff.

  • Paul,

    Tito Edwards, Art Deco, Matt McDonald: It is very American to want to help our fellow countryman.

    yes, and we do. In fact, if you are a typical liberal, and we are typical conservatives then we do far more to help our fellow countrymen than you do… shame on you.

    I believe in my government especially our men and women in our military, firefighters and police. You, not so much.

    I believe in God Almighty. I appreciate and thank our military, firefighters, and police. The FEDERAL government bureacracy which you worship, not so much. State and local governments I appreciate and trust more because they are closer to the people.

    I do not believe that your sentiments are in line with the majority

    based on all the liberals you hang out with it’s not surprising that you have no idea what the majority think. Check the polls buddy.

  • “I believe in my government especially our men and women in our military, firefighters and police. You, not so much.

    And this comment was meant to prove what exactly?

    It reminds me of a corrupt company when faced with possible prosecution for dumping toxic wastes into rivers; they all of a sudden introduce the rather conspicuous red herring: well, our company, as you know, believes wholeheartedly in the greatness of these United States and, in fact, donate regularly to charitable causes!

    Well, quite frankly, much like the Demo-n-Caths and other like-minded felons who capitalize on the veneer of societal goodness, professing such remarkable love of country and their fellow man, all the while, advancing deterimental policies that only hinder and even injure the common citizen; I don’t buy the seemingly noble facade even for a second.

    Go sell your liberal goods elsewhere; while McDonald might play gracious host to you, I, on the other hand, see you for who you truly are: an actor disguising sheer demagoguery in mere sentimentalism but, as even evident in the agenda and actions of the current administration, nothing substantive or even noble where the average American Family is concerned, which policies as these can only prove injurious as regarding any purported benefits such policy claim to advance and can prove even fatal, especially in light of end-of-life issues which will certainly be truncated — not so surprising given the fiercely Pro-Abort administration bent on only advancing the merits of the Culture of Death.

  • e.,

    very eloquent!

  • Matt & e: Sticks and Stones……. Stick and Stones

    I do not believe that your sentiments are in line with the majority, but your comments, funny stuff.

  • Paul:

    I do not believe that your sentiments are in line with sanity; but, hey, such is the sorry state of the world.

    All things besides, interesting that you should flaunt your views as being the right one simply because you make the rather tenuous claim that it happens to be the majority, which doesn’t necessarily make them right even if so.

    That notorious ad populum is an old fallacy that even your own ignoble confreres have used time and again.

    Please do visit us again should you have something more substantive to share. Thanks.

  • e: Snore….Snore

Townhalls Out of Control! The Unions to the Rescue!

Friday, August 7, AD 2009

Lots of videos of townhalls here where members of Congress face outraged constituents.

Liberals can relax however.  The AFL-CIO is going to send out union members to restore order at the townhalls.  I look forward to the footage when a union leg breaker decides to take a swing at someone who is not enamored of ObamaCare.  In the age of cell phone videos nothing will escape being placed on video.   Conservative union members, your dues money at work.   My late father was a member of Allied Industrial Workers for 30 years, and it used to anger him intensely that his dues were used to support political causes he adamantly opposed.  If you don’t like this and you are a member of a union, you might want to attend a townhall meeting!  Although maybe they won’t let you in.  At the Russ Carnahan town meeting in Saint Louis over a thousand protesters were locked out and only Carnahan supporters were allowed in. Similar tactics were used at a townhall in Tampa.  That will solve the problem!  Lock people out who disagree with the person purporting to represent them in Congress!

The Left  is completely misreading this situation.  This isn’t a matter of just Republicans and Conservatives.  There is a prairie fire of anger burning in this country, and it is not going to be stopped by biased media, attempts at intimidation, White House calls for informants or locking citizens out of townhall meetings.

Update: An  update here from Gateway Pundit on the violence at the Carnahan town meeting.

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14 Responses to Townhalls Out of Control! The Unions to the Rescue!

  • That’ll be interesting to see Obama’s goons try and strong-arm red-blooded Americans into silence.

    Technology will reveal the true colors of these Government Health Care ‘enthusiasts’.

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  • Just finished reading the ‘prairie fire’ article by the insightful Victor Davis Hanson. What a damning report on left-wing elitism that is demonizing hard working Americans and stoking class-warfare in order to push what is essentially socialism in all disguises upon the American public.

  • Stongarm I deleted your comment. Come back when you have something intelligent to contribute.

  • To quote the SEIU member in the video: “We didn’t attack him for nothing . . . He attacked America.”

  • While I am not a fan of Obama or his health plan by any means, after reading a variety of articles and opinions on this subject (not just the ones I tend to agree with) it seems to me that some of the more dangerous aspects of the healthcare reform plan have been blown out of proportion by their opponents — most notably, the “end of life” care clause.

    From what I gather, it does NOT mandate or encourage euthanasia but provides a mechanism (government funded of course) by which seniors are kept informed of their rights concerning advance directives and are given the opportunity to communicate their wishes regarding end of life care (whether via living will or by granting healthcare power of attorney to a trusted relative or friend). Most hospitals do this already for people having surgery or other procedures. There are also differences of opinion regarding whether the current reform plan will actually force the government or any private insurer to pay for abortions. All these things need to be monitored carefully, of course, and any healthcare plan that includes explicitly anti-life measures must be defeated.

    That being said, it seems to me that the Dems are throwing gasoline on a “prairie fire” that could be contained simply by slowing down the process of passing these bills — so that the Congresscritters and public could actually have a chance to read and debate them — and by EXPLAINING, carefully, 50 or 100 times if they have to, what is really in the most controversial parts of the healthcare bill. Why does it HAVE to be passed in the next 30 or 60 days? If a timetable for passage must be set, why not make it January, or next spring, or next summer? (Worried about reelection prospects perhaps?) Instead they just insist on shoving it even harder down everyone’s throat. No wonder people are so upset — and the sad thing is, it MIGHT turn out to be over

  • issues that were’nt really there in the first place.

  • As shown by the “we won’t pay for treatment, but we’ll pay to kill you” examples out of Oregon, it’s amazing how quickly a relatively inexpensive “option” becomes the only funded option…that’s why mandatory counseling by the bureaucracy paying for treatment to discuss “options” is such a bad idea.

    As for not explicitly funding abortion– do you hear the pro-abortion folks complaining about the bill? No? Pretty clear they think it’ll fund it just fine, then….

  • If it takes the health care issue to force Americans to realize just how much control over their individual lives, their money and their government they’ve lost, so be it.

    I’m personally hoping for a massive backlash against the Democrats… however, its also likely that any Republicans that win in ’10 will be of the statist variety. The struggle will be far from over…

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  • Elaine,
    From what I gather, it does NOT mandate or encourage euthanasia but provides a mechanism (government funded of course) by which seniors are kept informed of their rights concerning advance directives and are given the opportunity to communicate their wishes regarding end of life care (whether via living will or by granting healthcare power of attorney to a trusted relative or friend). Most hospitals do this already for people having surgery or other procedures.

    Have you read the language? It REQUIRES seniors to meet with a end-of-life counselors every 5 years or if they go downhill. After the session a “DIRECTIVE” will be issued, it is not at all clear whether the victim, er patient will have the authority to dictate the directive or it will be simply imposed upon them. When asked about this Obama dodges it shamelessly, why? Because it does exactly what we fear it does.

    All these things need to be monitored carefully, of course, and any healthcare plan that includes explicitly anti-life measures must be defeated.

    That’s not a the right test at all, we as Catholics must work towards defeating any policy which explicitly OR implicitly contains anti-life measures. Good heavens, what do you think “reproductive health care” means?

    We need to be clever as serpents here and look for the evil in this man’s policies because we know his nature. Time to drop the politics and get ALL CATHOLICS to oppose this expansion of the abortion and euthanasia regime.

  • Don’t forget “women’s healthcare” and “healthcare education.” Oh, and “dignity.”

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25 Responses to Obama and Notre Dame – a Belated Follow-Up

  • Agreed 150% on the PWSA as a good common-ground measure. Heck, it’s good legislation regardless of whether it brings folks together or not.

    But, if you google around a bit, you’ll find that there is a lot of resistance in left-wing circles to the Act, coming from the mindset of the “reducing pregnancies, not number of abortions” crowd. The PWSA forthrightly (and rightly) presumes that abortions are bad and discourages them, which is a no-no in those circles.

    Given that the President appears to share that mindset, I think the odds of him putting his clout behind the PWSA are vanishingly small at this point in time. If/when he needs pro-life Democrats to get something he truly cares about passed, then you might see the horse trading.

    Sadly enough, I think we’re much more likely to see Rep. Slaughter’s “Prevention First Act” than the PWSA. And, make no mistake, Slaughter is in the hard-core choicer camp.

  • Father Jenkins- surprise still in his job- received his 15 minutes of fame. Dear Leader received another day of adulation. Both care about the unborn about as much as the crumb sitting on my desk. By me. Lovely rhetoric about Dialogue and such. But no other significant issue- and this is as significant as it gets- is more polarizing. Designed to be no other way. Tim notes those rare creatures known as pro-life Democrats- endangered species who should receive legal protection. Perhaps Dear Leader will open up TARP money for Planned Parenthood and non-franchise clinics. Might have the same beneficial effect as to Ford and Chrysler. Oh, just to note before posting- Tiller The Killer’s big time abort business is shutting its doors. What a shame. Maybe it could have qualified for TARP funding.

  • (1) Scalia does not really believ ein Original Intent

    (2) I don’t know what you mean by the “American Right” wanting to wash it hands of abortion by sending it to the States. First many on the right are for the Human Rights Amendment. ALso the “AMerican Right” would be working in their respective State legislatures to prohbit abortion. Activity does not stop just because it does not happen in the District of Columbia

    (3) Archbishop Chaput said recently there was no “Catholic way” to the interpret the Const. I think he is right.

    (4) what you refer to as States Rights is more commonly know as Federalism that has not been abolished. I think if you are proposing that getting this issue back to the States is against Catholic SOcial Doctrine you need to flesh that out some.

    (5)THere are Natural Law folks on the right such as Arkes and Robert George etc etc that are trying to influence the Court and polticy

    (6) There is nothing to probhibit Legislators from legilsating based on the Natural law

  • Let me add the whole Subsidarity , Federalism, abortion issue was fleshed out in some detail in response to Kmiec.

    See this entry at America magazine

    http://americaelection2008.blogspot.com/2008/10/different-take-on-kmiecs-book.html

  • Yeah, I would say that States Rights is quite consistent with Catholic Social Teaching. Subsidiarity and all. That is a principle you know.

  • I will grant that labels like American Political Left and Right are very general- but I think that those who feel comfortable self-labeling themselves liberal or conservative, will fit those larger categories. I reject these labels for myself because I believe like Archbishop Chaput- I use his great book “Render..” in my classes- that there isn’t going to be a Catholic political party- as the Compendium states we are always to be critical members of any political party- that implies that there is always going to be an incompleteness in any purely political party.

    I don’t mean to take a cheap shot on those who take the Federalist position, that abortion can only be resolved at the state level because that’s how our Constitution was written- but I advise all Catholics to read Notre Dame prof. Rice’s book on Natural Law. He describes Justice Thomas as pretty much putting the idea of natural law reasoning to death, when he backtracked during his confirmation hearings on previous positive assertions on the role of such reasoning in juridical decision making. I do view Scalia and Thomas quite negatively for the way they come across in interviews when they seem proud to assert that their Catholicism has absolutely nothing to do with their work as Justices- I don’t think anyone in any position should say that- the natural law is everyone’s responsibility- especially those with juridical and political power- this is an intellectual dodge- even if it is an honest one- to come across as some kind of progressive, non-partisan in contrast with those who do use reasoning beyond the deciphering of the original intent of the Constitutional framers.

    Professor Rice says that on abortion we don’t even have to pull out the natural law trump card- it would be rare to have to do that given that much of positive law in the Constitution is already rooted in natural law reasoning- if we apply the 5th and 14th Amendments to the unborn, we would be good to go- but this is not on the radar in the Scalia/Thomas circles as far as I know- and I would say that these Justices are very well regarded in general by conservatives/ American Political Right.

    I am offering a critique that isn’t designed to play well to liberals or conservatives, I don’t think Jesus played to such narrow audiences, and I don’t find the complete social doctrine of the Church to be in conformity with any ideology that I’ve encountered thus far- so I work in both liberal and conservative circles depending on the issue- but sometimes neither camp seems to get it right- like on abortion- the liberal juridical approach is ice cold, while I grant the Scalia et al approach is luke warm- not sure I can get on board with lukewarm even if it offers a legislative endgame in every state. I want the unborn to be safe in every state, all over the world- the Law should reflect this- the Law must reflect this, and then all other aspects of society will need to reform to adjust to this reality- economically, culturally- all of it needs to upgrade to deal with the children we will be welcoming into the world instead of terminating.

  • Subsidiarity is not to be viewed apart from the universal common good and solidarity- it also isn’t a replacement for the natural law requirements for all people- Catholic or not. This emphasis on natural law is found throughout the social doctrine and papal encyclicals

  • Thank you for a thoughtful diary. Another bill that I hope starts gathering support is the “Newborn Child and Mother Act”. Approximately 1500 mothers die in childbirth across Africa EVERY DAY. I gather most of their babies die, too.

  • TIm

    Let me say I am not saying that Natural Law Jurisprudence is forbidden. As Arkes says where in the Const does it forbit it? I am just saying that if lets say a Catholic Judge does that think that was part of the Document then I think he can in a valid way interpret it otherwise. I mean in the end his Power and authority come from the Document or the “Pact” as it were. So when Scalia looks at the text he does not that think he has the power to change it

    It is in a sense similar to the situation of the Federal Judges that lets say were anti Slavery. They might have been anti Slavery but because their power and authrotiy came from an agreement that made an compromise with this evil they very well could not just ban it nationwide.

    Again as to Natural Law and the Social Compendium what should Catholic Judges do. I can’t imagine that they would start citing the Comepndium of SOcial Justice. In fact what authority would they have to base Opinion on that at all.

    I am not sure Scalia or THomas for that matter have an agenda to end abortion nationwide. I think they probally think that is not their job but the job of the legislator. I strongly suspect that Scalia thinks Gay marriage is wrong. However I doubt he would think he ahd any authority to “ban” it in lets say Iowa.

    TO quote Chaput in Full
    “CHAPUT: The Supreme Court doesn’t make law, as we know. It interprets the law. I think it’s much easier from a moral perspective to be a justice – a judge – than it is to be a legislator. Legislators are the ones who make laws and change laws. But to interpret the law in its fidelity to the Constitution is a much less morally compromising kind of position to have, I think.

    I’d rather be a justice than a politician, in terms of dealing with my conscience, because if we write bad laws in this country that are constitutional, then the judges – the justices – have to interpret the laws as allowed by the Constitution, even if they don’t like them, even if they would think they’re not good for the country, it seems to me, even if they think they’re not moral. That’s what justices do. So I had the impression that Wendy thinks that the Supreme Court writes the law. Certainly that’s not my impression. I know it can’t write the law. In terms of not wanting all the justices to be Catholics, I agree with you, Michael. That would not be a good idea in the United States”.

    http://pewforum.org/events/?EventID=213

    Now I think Judical attitudes matter that is for sure. The attitude of the Iowa Supreme Courts Justices was frightening as they basically shot down arguments because they thought they could smell religous intent.

    I just think from a Natural Law standpoint that the key is if one wishes to adovcate that is to start in the legilatures. That is where the action is.

    As Chaput stated

  • “Subsidiarity is not to be viewed apart from the universal common good and solidarity- it also isn’t a replacement for the natural law requirements for all people- Catholic or not. This emphasis on natural law is found throughout the social doctrine and papal encyclicals”

    Well Tim I don’t think Federalsim gets rid of that. I mean what is changed or what is at issue is what branches of the Governements have the responsibility, power , and authority to act as to the common good or solidarity.. As to the abortion question is it the States or the Federal Govt or a combination of the two.

  • What other aspects of the natural law should the Justices be concerned with? Should a Catholic-based interpretation mandate that all homosexual acts be outlawed? Should a natural law view of the Constitution mean a ban of contraceptives? How far do we take this? And what do we do when we have a majority of Justices whose interpretation of the natural law leads to conclusions quite the opposite of our own?

  • Tim

    I think my other post did not go through for some reason

    Let me clear I am not saying that Natural law Juridprudence cannot be had. As Arkes says where in the COnst is it forbidden.

    I just think that if you really want Natural Law and to have it part of our system one needs to start with the legislature where the real action is at. THat is not to ignore the Judiciary. We should recall that Iowa Supreme Court mandated Gay marraige and in that argument they shot down opponets of it because they say said they could smell religious reasoning. That is a problem

    I am not sure at all that THomas and Scalia have a “plan” to end abortion. I suspect they don’t think that is their job but that of the legislature. Just Like how I think that Scalia is against gay marraige but I could never seem him overturning a state law allowing it because it goes against the natural law or because he does not like it.

    I suppose if we are going to get natural law more in the discussion first the Catholic schools nned to be teaching it more.Then we are going to have to have an discussion with our neighbors about it.

    Political parties are not going to be able to do that. In fact in GOP circles where such an approach has fans in some segments there would have to be some on the evangelical side that would have to embrace it. SOme are open others are wary.

    So as to Natural law principles I think there is a lot of work to be done before we can expect polticos to start using it. In fact we might need to breed a whole new generation of polticos that understand it.

    When I talk to Catholic about the natural law it sometimes seems like they look at me like I am from Mars. That has nothing to do with left, right, or center but just horrid Catholic education in the Puplit, in CCD , and in the schools.

    As to Catholic social justice concerns and principles I think there will be porgress till each “side” that is engaging this start talking to each other instead of yelling at each other.

  • Tim,

    Of course subsidiarity is to be seen in the context of the common good and solidarity. Just as solidarity is to be seen in the context of the common good and subsidiarity. The claim of solidarity does not rule out allowing more basic units of society tend to the common good. Catholic Social teaching never says this. In fact higher units of society are to take over only when lower units cannot meet a common need. States rights fits perfectly in this framework.
    When to allow higher units to take over from lower is a prudential judgement in many cases and you will not find such a criteria in the Compendium.

  • My impression from reading the social doctrine is that the common good is the only real reason for having governing authority in the first place- when this focus is lost then that authority can soon run amuck- I do not dispute or ignore the principle of subsidiarity but we are talking about abortion here, and that is something that cannot be left to even a popular vote- it smacks of the whole scene with Jesus being condemned by popular vote, and Pilate standing by, washing his hands of the affair, even as he seemed to side with Jesus on the level of basic justice- Pope John Paul II even used this comparison with abortion and Christ with over-reliance on democratic outcomes in determining all important matters- now Pilate has not gone down in history as a heroic figure- and I don’t think that a State’s Rights approach to abortion is going to be seen as the best we could do at the level of civil authority.

    We have a problem with subsidiarity as a primary principle to view abortion or the global economy through right now- with the power of multinational corporations usurping even the power of national governments- read Bailouts- it would seem that the local government powers have not kept up with the times- and Free Trade Pacts have taken economic decisions far afield from local control. With abortion, we simply have to have everyone doing what they can with whatever power they have to establish the legal and moral sense that an unborn child is worthy of our human rights. Natural Law reasoning does not have to be overused to the point where we have an effective theocracy- but we ignore the Natural Law to our own peril as a nation, as a people.

    Again- I cannot go into the detail here on this as Professor Rice did in his book- 50 Questions on the Natural Law- if anyone has read that book and has any comments I would love to hear of your thoughts. I think he represents the most orthodox Catholic position on the importance of Natural Law, and how we can promote it without having to force the nation to convert to Catholicism wholesale. There is something religious behind the Natural Law, and the Catholic social doctrine is a necessary guide- but the Natural Law is something reasonable and can be argued with non-believers and believers alike. We cannot continue to cede everything to the secularists- at some point we have to fight for more than merely symbolic gestures like Nativity Scenes on government property- we need Catholics willing to stand behind Natural Law reasoning and Catholic social doctrine- the Natural Law reasoning is all we need to use in public debates, and all the Justices need to make certain that Justice prevails when opportunity comes for them to render decisions that obviously offer life and death for many. Imagine if genocide came up for a vote? Abortion is a genocide of unborn, unwanted children- millions of them- if this doesn’t call forth a universal decision on the part of our Supreme Court- then they may as well pack it in, and leave our Capital empty of Justices and Justice.

  • Tim

    So a vote on the Supreme Court is legitimate but a vote in the Staer Houses is not. Also one can amend State Const a heck of a lot more easier than you can the U.S. COnst to show these natural law principles

    Again it is not a principle of “State Rights” but Federalism. I am not saying fight for a Human Rights AMendment. In fact I suspect that a HUman Ruights amendments would gain steam when it returned to the States.

    You know we can’t just blame nameless polticos in D.C. for not getting the pro-life cause done. It is suddennly much more in our faces where we must convince our neighbors

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  • Tim,

    Its not a problem of seeing subsidiarity as a primary priciple for in fact it is. As are the principles of the common good and solidarity. They are an organic unity. The problem becomes how do we apply these primary priciples to concrete situations. You have your problems with multi-nationals. I have a problem with strong (an ever increasingly stronger) national and international governments. The Compendium does not have a policy to address these. Catholics in good conscience apply the primary principles. At times Catholics in good conscience disagree, sometimes strongly. That’s life in the secualar for the Christian.

  • Honestly, Tim, I think your argument sets up a couple of straw men that you then proceed to effectively slaughter; I disagree with a couple of your premises, and must, therefore, disagree with your conclusions.

    First, I believe you fall victim to the same illogic that drives most who claim to not be “right-wing” Catholics: namely, you choose to lump all Catholic Social Teachings, and abortion, into the same mass and call it legitimately Catholic. I disagree for a couple of reasons:

    1. You mentioned that you would have invited neither PResident Obama nor President Bush to speak at Notre Dame, given the authority to make such a decision. You cite both men’s lack of conformity to basic principles of Catholic Social Doctrine as your reason.

    This comparison sufers for at least two reasons. first, abortion, and , say, the death penalty are not equivalent issues. The authority to make the decision to mete out a penalty of death rests with duly elected civil authorities. SOLELY with them. And while the Compendium of Catholic Social Teaching may decry the occasional necessity to mete out such a sentnece, and while it may state that the circumstances which should require such a penalty are so rarae as to be almost nonexistent, in the end, the judgment of the circumstances lies SOLEY with those duly elected to exercise such authority.

    Similarly with the exercise of war powers. The Church rightly decries the use of military force in *any* circumstance; however, it recognizes the right of governments to enter into armed conflict against those nations or entities which pose a credible threat, and which cannot be subdued by other means. That right flows from the national leader’s responsibility to provide for legitimate defense of its territory and citizens. And the authority to make such a decision rest, again, SOLELY with the likes of President Bush and President Obama.

    Man, this is brain-wracking. I will amend my opening statement to include the thought that I can only respond to one at a time.

    But i fwe are goin gto use Catholic Teaching to justify our positions, it wold seem prudent…to use ALL of it, not jsut the parts that nicely fit our preconceived schema.

    God bless.

  • Totally apart from the extremely interesting issues and discussions in this thread, it occurred to me [somewhat belatedly] that Father Jenkins was greatly disingenuous in the reasons he gave for inviting Mr. Obama to speak at the Commencement exercises.

    Commencements they are meant to be – but commencements to the world wider than the campus in South Bend.

    Now if the graduating students had not pretty well covered the subject – personally and intellectually – in four years’ attendance at the school, what is the purpose of a dialogue about it just as they are about to leave? Surely their teachers must have discussed [dialogued?] the issues during the campaign a year previously.

    I said disingenuous; I repeat disingenuous.

  • And the authority to make such a decision rest, again, SOLELY with the likes of President Bush and President Obama.

    But it does not end there. The authority to pass judgment on the decision made by presidents lies with the Church and SOLELY with the Church.

  • Tim,
    I would go further in this line of consistent criticism of the American political Left and Right. I don’t believe that the state’s rights approach to abortion rights is truly consistent with Catholic social doctrine. The juridical philosophy called “Originalism”, which is championed by many Catholics supportive of the American political Right, is not one that is rooted in Natural Law.

    Conservative Catholics hold to the belief that the laws of the land should be rooted in Natural Law. They belief that the way to change those laws is through democratic processes which are established in the United States constitution and the constitutions of the several states which it comprises. There is nothing in Natural Law which states that a judiciary should act in contravention of the laws which are established.

    Professor Rice says that on abortion we don’t even have to pull out the natural law trump card- it would be rare to have to do that given that much of positive law in the Constitution is already rooted in natural law reasoning- if we apply the 5th and 14th Amendments to the unborn, we would be good to go

    I agree completely.

    but this is not on the radar in the Scalia/Thomas circles as far as I know- and I would say that these Justices are very well regarded in general by conservatives/ American Political Right.

    I’m not so sure, have they ruled that way? If a case came before them which way would they rule? I think you’re mistaken. Those justices have consistently ruled in a way that would allow us to infer they do in fact believe that the unborn are human persons and are protected. Their Catholic faith (and basic empbryology) teaches them that, and there is no contradiction with the Constitution which would preclude them as “originists” in ruling that way.

    we simply have to have everyone doing what they can with whatever power they have to establish the legal and moral sense that an unborn child is worthy of our human rights. Natural Law reasoning does not have to be overused to the point where we have an effective theocracy- but we ignore the Natural Law to our own peril as a nation, as a people.

    Absolutely, but I think there is limits to what a Catholic is compelled to do given the restrictions of his office, especially if he has taken an oath to be bound by those restrictions. Now, no Catholic is permitted to commit an immoral act regardless of his office, but that doesn’t mean he is obliged to use their office illegally in their actions.

    Michael J. Iafrate,

    But it does not end there. The authority to pass judgment on the decision made by presidents lies with the Church and SOLELY with the Church.

    No. Wrong. While the Church has the authority to pass judgments when a public act is in objective violation of Church teaching, she does not make such judgements on purely subjective reasoning (sound thought it might be), nor does the Church pass judgement where she does not possess all of the relevent facts that the civic authority does. She may and often does issue opinions based on what is known and the preponderance of evidence, but that is not the same thing. Ultimately the judgement falls to the Lord God Almighty.

    Jh,

    I just think that if you really want Natural Law and to have it part of our system one needs to start with the legislature where the real action is at.

    exactly!

    Deacon,

    awesome! You nailed it.

  • No. Wrong. While the Church has the authority to pass judgments when a public act is in objective violation of Church teaching, she does not make such judgements on purely subjective reasoning (sound thought it might be), nor does the Church pass judgement where she does not possess all of the relevent facts that the civic authority does. She may and often does issue opinions based on what is known and the preponderance of evidence, but that is not the same thing.

    No, YOU are wrong. The Church has the right to make judgments on wars. Period. That it does not do so regularly with unambiguous force does not mean it does not possess this authority.

    Your mistaken view is precisely one of the results of buying into the americanist separation of secular and sacred authority. Too many Catholics (usually so-called “patriotic” ones) fall for it. What you do not realize is that you are contributing to the marginalization of the Church by promoting such nonsense.

  • “There is nothing in Natural Law which states that a judiciary should act in contravention of the laws which are established.”

    Because the Natural Law, i.e. the Law of Human Nature has no conception of “judiciaries.” However, the moral principles to which we’re oriented would suggest that laws that are not in accord with true justice–thus, not actually being laws should be contravened. Simple establishment makes no case in itself for not contravening it. Now you’ll argue that’s the role of the legislatior; I’m establishing that the Natural Law is not silent about the matter.

    “I think there is limits to what a Catholic is compelled to do given the restrictions of his office, especially if he has taken an oath to be bound by those restrictions. Now, no Catholic is permitted to commit an immoral act regardless of his office, but that doesn’t mean he is obliged to use their office illegally in their actions.”

    Well, I see your point. But this is again my problem with Scalia’s philosophy. I talked about it in a different thread. Effectively, I think the American conception of “justice” and “law,” at least in terms of judicial philosophy is based largely on positive law philosophy and Western Enlightenment philosophy rather than natural law thinking, and therefore, a proper notion of justice and law. Therefore, I think the “originalism and textualist” position might do-the-least-harm, it remains fatally flawed.

  • Eric,

    so how do you propose a “natural law” based judiciary should act? Do we need a legislature at all, just for administrative types of laws? Why not just a system of judges who base their rulings on their understanding of natural law? What reference documents for natural law would be used as a basis?

    I reject this idea because it is akin to anarchy. Each judge applying his own understanding of a very broadly contentious set of rather non-specific rules.

    I believe self-governance is in accord with natural law, and so the people guided by conscience establish the system of laws, the judges do not overturn them they simply apply them.

    There may be certain cases where heroic violation of laws will not cause more harm than good, that any moral person should stand up against them, this can not be the general case.

  • Matt,

    Well, I am no constitutional law scholar. However, I do think that the “originalist” and “textualist” position contradict, to some degree, my understanding of both law and justice because of the inherent lack of consideration of natural law principles. This, I think, is a built-in recipe for disaster. Granted, while the philosophy itself might be, relative to other theories, the “lesser of evils” because of its do-no-harm mantra, it still can create quite a few ethical problems for Catholics.

    I earlier used the example of pre-Civil War slavery. Hypothetically speaking, if there were a case regarding slavery before the United States Supreme Court, tied 4-4, and I’m a Catholic sitting on the U.S. Supreme Court, I certainly would not rule to uphold slavery as the law—and with no apology. It seems that the American notion of “justice” is not whether or not a law is in conformity with the natural law, reflecting the eternal law of God. No, rather, “justice” means having laws conform immediately to the written letter of the U.S. Constitution strictly and legal precedence. While this is not immediately a problem (I’m not saying that the U.S. Constitution should be irrelevant), while it is not in and of itself wrong—it does give rise to ethical issues.

    From the originalist viewpoint regarding slavery, a Justice would have to rule in favor of an unjust law which contradicts the very essence of their title: Justice. An unjust law is not a law according to the scheme of the natural law. However, to an originalist, that point is irrelevant. If law is not meant to be in conformity with the natural law, which reflects perfect justice, then our inherent goal is not to uphold real laws at all but human decrees with no consideration or concern of objective conformity with the laws written into Nature. This, to me, seems to be clearly antithetical to Plato’s The Laws, Cicero’s On The Law, Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics, and St. Thomas Aquinas’ Treatise on Law which are four of the most important works in the natural law tradition. There is a fundamental disagreement then about the nature of law itself, about the nature of justice, and therefore, the likeliness to reach just conclusions, while not impossible certainly, is more difficult.

    Alexander Hamilton put it this way: “The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for among old parchments or musty records. They are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of Divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power.” Even the more secular-minded Thomas Jefferson agreed: The “only firm basis” of freedom, he wrote, is “a conviction in the minds of people that their liberties are the gift of God.”

    These words are clearly a natural law commitment (and I’m not suggesting they are advocating it be used by the U.S. Supreme Court). Yet contemporary judicial philosophy is based largely on the Enlightenment-borne philosophy of legal positivism—that is, there is no inherent or necessary connection between the law and ethics, but rather laws are rules made by human beings entered into a social contract with no regard for moral objectivity because the contract is inherently relative.

    If you consider such broad phrases such as “cruel and unusual” or “unreasonable searches and seizures,” it seems to me that the Founders presuppose that you would reference some sort of objective moral criteria that exists outside of the text of the Constitution to know what constitutes such activity. What is cruel? What is unusual? What is unreasonable? Unless there is some objective, unchanging standards that it is presupposed, that is known and can be known because of a common human nature with an unchanging law—the natural law—then it seems that the “concepts” of these things evolve and change with society; thus, this lends itself to the argument for a “living Constitution” that should be read in light of the relative values of the contemporary people. Yet the “originalists” pore scrupulously over the text for some criteria, the Founders (in a world yet to have fully abandon the natural law) may have presumed to be self-evident, or they commit to some legal precedence judged to be in conformity with their judicial philosophy versus what it may be the Founders actually intended. Again, to what do you reference as the criteria to define such “concepts” (cruel, unusual, unreasonable)? Their time period? Our time period? And barring natural law ethics, it becomes inherently relative, which requires one to inject their “personal values” into the constitutional text.

    Simply put, I cannot fully embrace this judicial philosophy and am rather interested in projects to rethink, reasonably, how to interpret the Constitution and develop an American legal system that is more harmonious with the ongoing project of Catholic legal theory. Though, I will add that originalism does guarantee some sort of consistency in judiciary judgments and protects Americans from arbitrary changes in constitutional interpretation. Moreover, to fully reject originalism there needs to be a ready, clearly articulated criterion for interpreting the Constitution, otherwise the matter of law will be solely at the discretion of political inclinations of sitting Justices. Perhaps, at best, originalism constrains the worse temptation of Justices to overreach.

    But it still remains that originalism isn’t perfect. It faces hermeneutic difficulties to which Justice Scalia admits, when he said, “It’s not always easy to figure out what the provision meant when it was adopted…I do not say originalism is perfect. I just say it’s better than anything else.” That is, anything else so far. So while I am not in favor of a hasty departure from originalism to an anything-goes Court, I’m not going to back the theory.

    I still think that it poses quite an ethical dilemma and I’m weary of the Catholic support it gets despite the fact that its philosophical underpinnings, i.e. legal positivism, are fundamentally contradictory to Catholic moral and social thought. While I am sympathetic to the intellectual commitment to protect the integrity of the legal system and the constitutional order, I don’t think that requires an immediate advocacy of originalism over attempting to find some other way to interpret the Constitution. I am not convinced it’s all or nothing—either originalism or the “living Constitution” theory.

    As Edmund Randolph set out at the Constitutional Convention, the goal was to “insert essential principles only; lest the operations of government should be clogged by rendering those provisions permanent and unalterable, which ought to be accommodated to times and events.” Now, this quote, granted, can be misconstrued and interpreted as advocacy of an “evolving” doctrine in regard to constitutional interpretation. However, it seems to me, that the U.S. Constitution seeks to create a government that recognizes and respects the natural, inalienable rights that are self-evident in the natural moral law which are enshrined within the text of the Constitution. While the “essential principles,” which are moral, cannot change—as the moral law does not change; positive laws, however can. Different situations, different circumstances, different cultural values may have a need for different positive laws to best accommodate and promote human flourishing and the protection of human rights. (I’m not saying these laws come from or should come from the Court.) Now how such a view could reasonably and practically be played out in terms of judicial philosophy is quite a debate.

    Nevertheless, originalism strikes me as too keen on preservation of the status quo, that is, order rather than on actual Justice, ifthe circumstances puts the two in contradiction. It brings to mind Machiavellian principles (which I think is the actual beginning of modern philosophy) specifically the re-definition of prudence as a purely pragmatist virtue oriented more toward some end, judging and weighing consequences, i.e. consequentialist and utilitarian ethics that masquerade as natural law thinking when it really is not. It seems the concern is not necessarily on what is moral, but to what works (pragmatist). Therefore, one of the Cardinal Virtues is employed in such a way that its immediate and direct concern is not necessarily intertwined with its sister virtue of Justice, real justice. And the divorce of the two, characteristic of modern thinking, is precisely what I am arguing against.

    Again, I’m not constitutional law scholar, but I do find it curious that the framers of the Constitution did not indicate, in the text itself, how the Constitution should be read. I have no idea why. Perhaps they could not agree on a method themselves, as we cannot.

    Though, I do wonder if one is arguing “original intent” or “original meaning,” does this include taking into account the fact that the words (diction), come from other common law traditions based largely around natural law thinking? Do you seek to understand the words in those light as to get a greater understanding of the words in light of the historical situation? This might be comparable to using the historical-critical method as a tool for scriptural exegesis. In other words, one would read the U.S. Constitution in light of the Declaration of Independence and the natural law tradition? Or, does one read the text strictly, isolated from such references?

    My question arises because of this: The Declaration of Independence states that all men are created equal. The Bill of Rights establishes natural human rights. Yet in the U.S. Constitution there is legalized slavery. A natural law thinker would see that as a blatant contradiction. If such a matter were before a Catholic on the Supreme Court, should the Catholic uphold the unjust law as a matter of originalist intent even if contradicts the natural law and say, the majority of the United States citizens refused to conform with natural justice and outlaw it legislatively. For instance, what if abortion was a right written verbatim into the U.S. Constitution. Would I have to be complicit with an intrinsic evil until such a time that society changed its mind? I know I certainly wouldn’t. I am not sure if any oath or commitment can exempt you from stopping an objective moral evil. Consequences aside, as judging whether or not to end slavery or abortion based on how the populace will respond is judging the rightness or wrongness of the act based on the consequences–which again, is consequentialism and not natural law morality. The problem again persists.

    This is the challenge and difficulty of natural law jurisprudence, of which, I am profoundly interested in. Perhaps, I should send Prof. Robert George, a proponent of the “New Natural Law Theory”, another email and ask him a few questions about the matter; he usually replies rather quickly.

20 Responses to Spirit of '09 – Part II

  • Oh, let the “Palin people” have their day in the sun. It’s all rather quaint — the last gasps of a fading natovist culture… But let’s not pretend they have the slightest clue what they are talking about.

  • This purportedly grass roots stuff is corprate manufactured astro-turf. I know, for instance. that Fox News really pushed–almost advertised for– this event, showing itself once again as beyond the bounds of legitimate news. This also says something about the event itself.

  • Man, the established media and government must just HATE Youtube and the internet.

    Mark “the Great Oz” DeFrancisis just “knows” this is all corporate manaufactured. Just like the CNN reporter’s on-air comments were just completely objective reporting.

  • I see the Usual Suspects are out in force, not including c matt. Good to see you sweat gentlemen.

  • I’m new to this blog – first time commenter. I’m not into protests like this in general, but I don’t understand the venom, Morning’s Minion and Mark. You will ALWAYS find loony toons at these things (whether they are “conservative” or “liberal” causes). I know a LOT of very moderate, normally quiet people who are at their breaking point – some protesting for the first time in their lives. They have a point to make that would not have included repeating “he’s a fascist” over and over or waving a sign portraying President Obama as Hitler. For the main stream media in general and this hostile reporter in particular to completely ignore the regular people here who had something to say and focus exclusively (when they reported on it at all) on the uninformed and radical ones….well I would say that’s pretty suspicious. What is one to conclude but that they had an agenda to begin with? Do you really believe they couldn’t find a single normal person to interview to at least throw into the mix on TV w/ the crazies? I don’t, since we saw one in the video above. There were ignorant people in this crowd, no doubt, but this is very blatant media bias.

  • CT- it makes good teevee. That’s why they do it. The effects of Tea Bag Day continue to reverberate among the Chattering Classes. Given their universal condemnation of Fox News, would appear this news organization is This Week’s Lib Boogie Man. Postscript- Fox News ratings soared this week, particularly on April 15. Its 5-11PM lineup- Beck to Van Susteren- is virtually impregnable. How delightful- just following this monolith in numbers was…… Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. According to Drudge, career funny man Jon Stewart beat so-called journalists like Keith Olbermann. As for Ms. Rosegen’s employer- for the moment- sinkingsinkingsinking. Another report surfacing that Ms. Rosegen attempted twice to secure a gig from Fox News, to no avail. Note- then Teevee Division head Kevin Magee- who gave her the first brushoff- is old bud of mine from Enormous City U. Way to go, Kev.

  • I don’t understand the venom, Morning’s Minion and Mark.

    Because it’s all they know, CT. Once you begin on the road of becoming a political mouth piece, it’s hard to turn back.

    I know a couple who went to a Tea Party protest. Good folks who don’t even watch FOX News. They were just tired of pork, politicians who speak out of both sides of their mouth, and what they perceived as a federal government that’s become out of touch. They aren’t hateful people, and certainly aren’t hacks for the rich. But that’s what the media, and folks like Mark and Minion will portray them as. Honesty takes a back seat when it comes to the Party.

  • “Honesty takes a back seat when it comes to the Party.”

    Which is why you have to misrepresent them, right? But I see no answer for Jesus’ words about taxes. Seems like you answer to greed instead of Jesus. Mammon – can’t serve it and God.

  • God is not served by my tax dollars funding abortions.

  • Agreed Karen, and, I would contend that neither God nor the taxpayers are served by much of what our tax dollars are used for at all levels of government. God said render unto Caesar. Since we elect Caesar in this country, I don’t see why it is worshiping Mammon to make sure that he doesn’t waste the money, or that he takes more than is absolutely essential for the proper functions of government.

  • Karen

    Jesus said render that which is Caesar… to CAESAR. You know, the Roman Emperors. They were doing quite a bit of evil with the money, but as Jesus also pointed out, that money was ultimately theirs anyway. The same is true with American dollars, ultimately. What names is on it? The United States. This is why your answer in itself doesn’t respond to the question. We could go into more detail about St Paul and public authority, but you know, I doubt you want a Christian discussion on this.

  • CT,

    You are quite correct. When these dissenting Catholics froth at the mouth when their beloved lies are exposed, it is only venom which they articulate.

  • Tito,

    I am sorry you are having such a bad day.

  • God’s name is also on our currency ;)…

    I believe everything I earn/own is from God. It is given to me and is my responsibility. Since I do have a voice, unlike the people of Caesar, it is also my responsibility for my voice to be heard when our government is causing more harm than good. It would be nice if the media, which purports to be fair and balanced, really was. It has nothing to do with greed or worshipping mammon but with responsibility.

  • Mark,

    I’m actually having a good day. Though your powers of perception are underestimated.

  • Tito,

    Again, I am just trying to save you from your ridiculousness.

    This is a thread on national teabagging.

    It has nothing to do with Church dissent, as our Church has taken no stand on the matter.

    But if you want to run around making false claims about the condition of my assent to Mother Church, go right ahead. Realize, however, that at best you will be misguided, and at worst, an outright liar.

  • Mark,

    Your humility is astounding.

  • Karen,
    Your response betokens far more charity than your detractor deserves. I salute you.

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Res & Explicatio for A.D. 3-18-2009

Wednesday, March 18, AD 2009

Salvete AC readers!

Here are today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:

1. Cardinal George had a private unscheduled 30 minute meeting with President Barack Obama yesterday afternoon.  Outside of the normal platitudes issued between the USCCB and the White House, nothing substantive of note can be reported.  Although Cardinal George issued a YouTube video warning to President Obama concerning the United State’s moving towards despotism the day prior to his meeting.  President Obama seems to have responded positively to Cardinal George’s proposal of “an agenda for dialogue” which was issued early this year.

2. The secular and liberal media, i.e., the mainstream media, have pretty much remained silent on Pope Benedict’s visit to Africa.  Is it because they don’t want to report the problem of condoms only exacerbating the issue of AIDS and not wanting to hear about the sanctity of life?  Is it beneath their elitism to do anything with Africa?  Or is it because the mainstream media could care less about Africa because of the pigment of their complexion?  Remember Rwanda and southern Sudan, the media remained silent.

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf made similar comments, for the link click here.

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9 Responses to Res & Explicatio for A.D. 3-18-2009

  • 1. “Agenda for dialogue:” never a good sign. Not sure what can come from such dialogue on the good Cardinal’s part. Amazing that the meeting even took place- probably due to their mutual place of residence.

    2. All questions regarding lack of MSM coverage of His Holiness’ visit satisfactory to ask. Also- Is the Church that humdrum? Is it JPII Fatigue? Or that this Pontiff doesn’t deliver slamming quotes? Just goes about his business? Hooray- San Diego Union Tribute found a buyer! Newspaper journalism is saved! Not.

    3. Welcome Jennifer and hubbo to Family of Faith. Nice to have ya around.

  • Rich Leonardi cites another example of a innovative bishop creating his own parallel magisterium in the creation of a ”Installation Mass” for female lay pastoral administrator.

    You go overboard when you criticize these “innovations” (these installation Masses are hardly new) as the creation of a “parallel Magisterium.”

  • Gerard E.,

    The story on the atheist turned Catholic is actually a year old, but I wanted to share it just the same because I like reading her blog.

    Michael I.,

    Mea culpa, but exaggerating the obvious does not take away from the fact that Bishop Matthew Clark is inventing rites that aren’t authorized by the CDW or CDF or listed in any GIRM.

    Just because this isn’t new, doesn’t make it right.

  • I’m not going to make judgments on it until it happens. But for what it’s worth, the Obama Administration is going to meet with pro-life groups.

    http://www.lifenews.com/nat4918.html

  • Tito – I’m puzzled. “Installation Mass” can mean a variety of things. There is nothing wrong with installation Masses per se. There are all kinds of Masses for various occasions, including the installation of various lay ministers. Not everything is listed in the GIRM. I believe I saw a published collection of such rites recently and it was approved either by the USCCB or the CCB (I can’t remember what context I saw the book). You may not recognize those bishops’ conferences, but if those conferences have any authority, they definitely have some limited authority when it comes to the liturgy. You would have to provide some evidence that this particular installation Mass violates some kind of universal liturgical guideline.

    Our diocese in WV had an inaugural Mass for our Catholic governor. Do you oppose that sort of thing as well?

  • Michael I.,

    I do recognize those conferences.

    Although I doubt there is a rite for this type of Mass, I will keep in mind those documents and conferences that you site and look into it at a later date.

    Like many Catholics, I have a pile of books next to my bed that intend to read but have difficulty attending to!

    :~)

  • Eric,

    That link sounds promising, but it may little more than lip service since mid-level functionaries and not President Obama himself will be meeting with those pro-life groups.

  • My comment above should read “USCCB or the CCCB” as in the Canadian Catholic Bishops.

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