No More Generations?

Monday, June 7, AD 2010

On the NYT’s philosophy blog, there was an article written about the decision to have children. I didn’t realize it when I first read it, but it was written by notorious pro-abort Peter Singer (and by notorious, I mean that he’s pro-choice even after birth).

But very few ask whether coming into existence is a good thing for the child itself. Most of those who consider that question probably do so because they have some reason to fear that the child’s life would be especially difficult — for example, if they have a family history of a devastating illness, physical or mental, that cannot yet be detected prenatally

All this suggests that we think it is wrong to bring into the world a child whose prospects for a happy, healthy life are poor, but we don’t usually think the fact that a child is likely to have a happy, healthy life is a reason for bringing the child into existence. This has come to be known among philosophers as “the asymmetry” and it is not easy to justify. But rather than go into the explanations usually proffered — and why they fail — I want to raise a related problem. How good does life have to be, to make it reasonable to bring a child into the world?

A quick observation will point out that Singer assumes that health is a requirement for happiness, an assumption well refuted by many anecdotes about the joy of those who suffer with illness.

However, I find it amazing that Singer is willing to attempt to determine how “good” a child’s life will be.

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12 Responses to No More Generations?

  • I’m beginning to think that Peter Singer is the greatest (unwitting) Christian apologist of our generation.

  • Comment #4 at NYT:
    “Perhaps it’s my depression talking, but I have long maintained that I was done a disservice by being created in the first place. I would not inflict that pain on anyone else.”

    Comment #6:
    “I think about this a lot – so many pregnant women are out there, and I wonder where they find the hope to have children. My son is a young adult, and I feel that the likelihood of his living out a natural lifespan is small. Environmental disaster, terrorism, the end of the world feels awfully close. Frankly, I love the idea of a planet devoid of people, healing itself from our damage, taken over by animals and plants. I don’t think most people lead such fabulous lives, and I don’t think it’s worth sacrificing our beautiful home to let more people slog along.”

    This is what we’re dealing with.

  • Singer makes an odd structural decision in his piece. He lays out all the reasons for not reproducing, and then throws in with no explanation in the last paragraph:

    I do think it would be wrong to choose the non-sentient universe. In my judgment, for most people, life is worth living. Even if that is not yet the case, I am enough of an optimist to believe that, should humans survive for another century or two, we will learn from our past mistakes and bring about a world in which there is far less suffering than there is now. But justifying that choice forces us to reconsider the deep issues with which I began. Is life worth living? Are the interests of a future child a reason for bringing that child into existence? And is the continuance of our species justifiable in the face of our knowledge that it will certainly bring suffering to innocent future human beings?

    Which leaves us with the question: if he think that life is actually worth living, why? Or is this his own blind leap of faith? From what he lays out before, there seems little reason to come to this conclusion. It strikes me as a rather intellectually cowardly approach not to even provide support for your own conclusion.

  • Yes, that struck me too. It does seem that in essence he has faith in progress (and science presumably) that the suffering scales will be tipped.

    What I don’t understand is how it is justified to make the generations in between suffer (including Singer as he continues to live a life not worth living) so that the future generations can enjoy a life worth living.

  • “But you have to give Singer credit for being logical. If there is no good, no purpose in love or sacrifice and no eternal life, then perhaps life is not worth living and humanity ought to cease to exist.”

    Isn’t it none-sense to speak about what will be good or bad for a nonentity? I mean, before conception, “you” don’t exist. And if my life is so bad, how could it be better for me to die when (if you believe the self perishes at death), there is no more “me” in the equation?

    Singer is playing with square circles as if he were doing serious geometry.

  • Singer is playing with square circles as if he were doing serious geometry.

    When I first heard of the David Benatar book Singer cited, I thought the same thing — it’s sheer nonsense. To what entity does the “good” of nonexistence accrue? What does it even mean to talk of “good” if there is no existence to assert what is good or bad?

    These guys need to do some serious reflection on the meaning of Exodus 3:14.

  • Singer’s position seems to be that life may be worth living in the future, so he thinks it’s worth continuing the species in hopes that we get there, and also because most people today already assess life as worth living.

    I took him to be raising questions more than providing answers, so I don’t fault him for not providing more support for his position. He may, in fact, have developed his position quite thoroughly elsewhere.

  • God however, does have the capabilities to sort through all the factors to decide when it is best that a child come into the world.

    Would you say that when each and every child comes into the world, that God has decided it was best?

  • Kyle:

    I have a feeling “best” is the wrong word, b/c I don’t know if there ever if a “best” time for a child. I do think that God finds that it would be good for a child to be born and so it happens. If it would be bad for a child to come into the world, I don’t think it would happen.

  • Wow, someone from Vox-Nova defending Singer. Shocking.

  • Karen,

    Kyle was not defending Singer’s views, he was just trying to figure out what the heck they are. In that regard, he was doing no differently than I.

  • Karen,

    I have no qualms about defending Singer when I think he’s right. In this case, though, I merely noted how I understood his position: I didn’t judge his position as right or wrong.

Gibbon, Hypatia and Bigotry

Monday, June 7, AD 2010

One of my favorite historians is Edward Gibbon.  I have made my way through his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire several times.  I find his style entertaining, his wit dry, and his scholarship, for his time, adequate.  Unfortunately Gibbon was also an anti-Catholic bigot, in part a reaction to a brief conversion to the Faith as a teen-ager, which exposed him to considerable paternal displeasure.  His bigotry is on full display whenever he treats of the Church, but usually he does not distort the facts.  That was not the case in his account of the female philosopher Hypatia, and the fate she met in Egypt in 391 AD.  That account, usually in distorted form, is a staple of anti-Catholic and atheist websites.  Now Hypatia is the heroine of a Catholic bashing movie Agora. The English trailer of the movie is at the top of this post.  David Hart has a superb post at First Things correcting Gibbon and the movie.

The occasion of my misery is the release of Alejandro Amenábar’s film Agora, which purports to be a historical account of the murder of the female philosopher Hypatia by a Christian mob in the early fifth century, of the destruction of the Great Library of Alexandria, and (more generally) of an alleged conflict that raged in the ancient world between Greek science and Christian faith. I have not actually seen the movie, and have no intention of doing so (I would say you couldn’t pay me to watch it, but that’s not, strictly speaking, true). All I know about it is what I have read in an article by Larry Rohter in the New York Times. But that is enough to put my teeth on edge.

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2 Responses to Gibbon, Hypatia and Bigotry

  • It just won’t stop will it?

    Thank goodness for Catholic New Media to expose this sort of bigotry.

  • Here art imitates bigotry.

    Found a pithy article by a Preston Chesser on the burning of the library.

    If I (a total anti-islamist) were employing the same “scholarship” (must support the agenda) as many of today’s academics, I’d use the following (deleting from Chesser that which doesn’t advance the agenda/narrative) as a base.

    “In 640 AD the Moslems took the city of Alexandria. Upon learning of ‘a great library containing all the knowledge of the world’ the conquering general supposedly asked Caliph Omar for instructions. The Caliph has been quoted as saying of the Library’s holdings, ‘they will either contradict the Koran, in which case they are heresy, or they will agree with it, so they are superfluous.’ So, allegedly, all the texts were destroyed by using them as tinder for the bathhouses of the city.”

    The director could get beheaded for that . . .

Inventing Jesus

Thursday, June 3, AD 2010

Ross Douthat has a good post on his NY Times blog responding to Adam Gopnik’s New Yorker piece on the search for “the historical Jesus”.

James Tabor, a professor of religious studies, in his 2006 book “The Jesus Dynasty,” takes surprisingly seriously the old Jewish idea that Jesus was known as the illegitimate son of a Roman soldier named Pantera—as well attested a tradition as any [emphasis mine — RD], occurring in Jewish texts of the second century, in which a Jesus ben Pantera makes several appearances, and the name is merely descriptive, not derogatory.

The whole problem with two centuries worth of historical Jesus scholarship is summed up in those seven words: “As well attested a tradition as any.” Because obviously if you don’t mind a little supernaturalism with your history, a story about Jesus being a Roman soldier’s bastard that dates from the second century — and late in the second century, at that — is dramatically less “well attested” than the well-known tradition (perhaps you’ve heard of it) that Jesus was born of a virgin married to Joseph the carpenter, which dates from the 70s or 80s A.D. at the latest, when the Gospels of Luke and Matthew were composed. Bracket the question of miracles, and there’s really no comparison: Giving the Roman soldier story equal weight with the accounts in Matthew and Luke is like saying that a tale about Abraham Lincoln that first surfaced in the 1970s has just as much credibility as a story that dates to the 1890s (and is associated with eyewitnesses to Lincoln’s life).

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5 Responses to Inventing Jesus

  • I’m not holding my breath for the “New Yorker” hit piece on the historical Muhammed.

  • Good quote and good subject — it’s easily one of my favorites (which I think might be obvious).

  • People invent their own gods, so why not invent some history while they’re at it? 🙂

  • This of course all comes from the anti-Christian writer Celsus. Go to the link below to read all about it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiberius_Iulius_Abdes_Pantera

    This recycling of a hostile Jewish slur against Jesus, was of course something unknown at the time of Jesus because it was invented after the fact as Christianity converted many Jewish congregations, and ill-will became the norm between the two faiths.

    The Gospels relate many slurs against Jesus, including the charge that he was possessed by demons, so our earliest source materials do mention what adversaries were saying, without a hint of this being mentioned. Tacitus, a pagan Roman senator who mentions Jesus in his writings circa 118 AD, says nothing of this.

  • Here is another “as well attested a tradition as any” (related by Cassius Dion through Edward Gibbon) that academics ought to take seriously: Simon Bar Kokba.

    “During Roman times the Jews were exceptionally intractable. They were unable to endure contact with others not of their race. They reacted with extreme vigor and obsession with ‘purity.’ They feared death less than the profanity of idolatry. They violently revolted when forced to pay taxes to idolaters.

    “The possibly mythic Zionist arch-hero Barchachebas –’Simon Bar Kokba’ – led an infamous messianic revolt against Rome during Emperor Hadrian’s reign – circa 135 AD. Humanity was shocked at the recital of the horrid cruelties they committed in Egypt, Cyrene, and Cyprus where they dwelt in treacherous “friendship” with the unsuspecting natives. They committed furious massacres: Cyrene – 220,000 dead; Cyprus – 240,000 dead, Egypt – uncounted dead. Mutilations and atrocities were recorded.” See Dion Cassius and Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

Elena Kagan and the state of Democracy

Tuesday, May 11, AD 2010

I’m not sure I ever expected to wake up to read the New York Times coverage of a new nominee to the Supreme Court and find myself in agreement.

Of course, they think she’ll be a fine justice and I think she’s a pro-abort and could do without her. I also think she looks like Ursula from “A Little Mermaid,” which is less a comment on her than it is a comment on how many Disney movies I watch with my wife (curse you, Disney movie club!). That’s not what we agree on.

What we agree on is that she is a stealth candidate and that just by itself makes us uncomfortable. The official editorial reads:

President Obama may know that his new nominee to the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, shares his thinking on the multitude of issues that face the court and the nation, but the public knows nothing of the kind. Whether by ambitious design or by habit of mind, Ms. Kagan has spent decades carefully husbanding her thoughts and shielding her philosophy from view. Her lack of a clear record on certain issues makes it hard to know whether Mr. Obama has nominated a full-throated counterweight to the court’s increasingly aggressive conservative wing.

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5 Responses to Elena Kagan and the state of Democracy

  • “(You can tell I went to law school with a sentence that long).”

    It’s not the length of the sentence but the fact that it is unintelligible upon a first reading that betrays your law school bona fides.

    😉

  • Posing in judicial robes for a high school picture truly creeps me out. I am always leery of people who have an overriding career ambition and who shape their entire life to reach it. Such individuals are the last people I would trust to wield power wisely.

  • Has anyone read anything she (or Obama for that matter) has had published?

    Hey! Her fellow traveler colleague defended her today in the WSJ. Seems she broke federal policy/law and refused access to military recruiters; but quickly complied (courage of her convictions) when they moved to take away my (taxpayer) money.

    Sounds like Supremo Corto material to mio!

    Only way I can explain this (and Sotomayor) is Obama doesn’t want anyone to show him up, or his wife would be jealous if he nominated a babe.

    Not that it matters. We are getting screwed “six ways from Sunday.” There will be nothing left by 2012.

  • I notice that Ms. Kagan put her opinions under wraps about the time her fellow political partisans calumnated Robert Bork.

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Competing Magisteriums

Thursday, April 29, AD 2010

I give an incredulous salute to the liberal Commonweal for publishing a magnificent column by Kenneth Woodward where he discusses the New York Times Magisterium:

No question, the Times’s worldview is secularist and secularizing, and as such it rivals the Catholic worldview. But that is not unusual with newspapers. What makes the Times unique—and what any Catholic bishop ought to understand—is that it is not just the nation’s self-appointed newspaper of record. It is, to paraphrase Chesterton, an institution with the soul of a church. And the church it most resembles in size, organization, internal culture, and international reach is the Roman Catholic Church.

Like the Church of Rome, the Times is a global organization. Even in these reduced economic times, the newspaper’s international network of news bureaus rivals the Vatican’s diplomatic corps. The difference is that Times bureau chiefs are better paid and, in most capitals, more influential. A report from a papal nuncio ends up in a Vatican dossier, but a report from a Times correspondent is published around the world, often with immediate repercussions. With the advent of the Internet, stories from the Times can become other outlets’ news in an ever-ramifying process of global cycling and recycling. That, of course, is exactly what happened with the Times piece on Fr. Murphy, the deceased Wisconsin child molester. The pope speaks twice a year urbi et orbi (to the city and to the world), but the Times does that every day.

Again like the Church of Rome, the Times exercises a powerful magisterium or teaching authority through its editorial board. There is no issue, local or global, on which these (usually anonymous) writers do not pronounce with a papal-like editorial “we.” Like the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the editorial board is there to defend received truth as well as advance the paper’s political, social, and cultural agendas. One can no more imagine a Times editorial opposing any form of abortion—to take just one of that magisterium’s articles of faith—than imagine a papal encyclical in favor.

The Times, of course, does not claim to speak infallibly in its judgments on current events. (Neither does the pope.) But to the truly orthodox believers in the Times, its editorials carry the burden of liberal holy writ. As the paper’s first and most acute public editor, Daniel Okrent, once put it, the editorial page is “so thoroughly saturated in liberal theology that when it occasionally strays from that point of view the shocked yelps from the left overwhelm even the ceaseless rumble of disapproval from the right.” Okrent’s now famous column was published in 2004 under the headline “Is the New York Times a Liberal Newspaper?” and I will cite Okrent more than once because he, too, reached repeatedly for religious metaphors to describe the ambient culture of the paper.

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2 Responses to Competing Magisteriums

  • That’s a solid and well balanced piece.

    Which maybe explains why the majority of comments are incredibly negative over at Commonweal.

  • I can understand the negative responses of Commonweal readers. I am taking a course with my local diocese. Naturally 99% of what is taught is a variant of liberal (Enlightenmnet) Protestantism. Social justice for this course IS the Democratic platform.
    The teachers have been using the clergy abuse scandal to undermine the hierarchy. This to undermine official Church teaching. This scandal has been a useful club for liberals – of Enlightenment and American varieties.

What Evil Looks Like

Saturday, April 24, AD 2010

The Face of Evil

Pure and unadulterated evil.

Attorney Jeffrey Anderson of Saint Paul, Minnesota, has had success in winning millions of dollars[1] from homosexual pedophile abuse cases against the American Catholic Church over the years.

He has stated many times that he will not be satisfied until he sues the Vatican in federal court with Pope Benedict in tow [2].

“We’re chasing them. We’re taking bites out of their a@#,” said the lawyer. “All the roads lead to Rome. What we’re doing is getting us closer every single day.”

He may have been driven in the past in pursuit of justice for many victims of homosexual pedophiles, but what was a mission to bring justice is apparently now driven by diabolical forces to take down the Catholic Church Herself at all costs and with prejudice.

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47 Responses to What Evil Looks Like

  • I think he’s scummy lawyer but the “face of evil?” Hyperbole is neither prudent nor helpful. Who knows why he has gone on a quest against the Church? Perhaps he was hurt by a Catholic and is seeking revenge.

    Of course we should pray for him, but let’s not demonize him.

  • but the “face of evil?” Hyperbole is neither prudent nor helpful.

    Why Michael I am being prudent in calling out evil.

    Moral conscience, present at the heart of the person, enjoins him at the appropriate moment to do good and to avoid evil. It also judges particular choices, approving those that are good and denouncing those that are evil. It bears witness to the authority of truth in reference to the supreme Good to which the human person is drawn, and it welcomes the commandments. When he listens to his conscience, the prudent man can hear God speaking (CCC 1777) & (Cf. Romans 1:32)

    Your accusation of “Hyperbole” is actually imprudent of you.

  • I don’t expect you to change your mind Tito but I agree with Michael. If you read the section of the Catechism that you just quoted, it concerns judging particular choices (actions) – not judging a particular person, which I think you would have to say you are doing in this post.

    Do you not think in some ways the Church has brought this on itself? I understand a legitimate defense of the Church against calumny, but I think this is a bit extreme.

  • This man has stated without equivocation and a clear mind he wants to bring the pope to trial.

    This is ridiculous and considering his spartan and efficient work ethic he is determined without a doubt to bring this to fruition.

    I’m reading the CCC in black and white, not with your nuanced colored glasses.

    It is explaining conscious, not action. But I suppose your not interested in this considering your previous comments.

  • You can denounce someone without calling them the face of evil. Wanting to sue the Vatican out of spite is evil, but “the face of evil?” I think you give him far too much credit and appear to be overreacting.

  • Michael,

    If you want to go against the Magisterium so be it.

    I’m not going to argue against your conscious.

    That is between you and God, not I.

  • You give Mr. Anderson too much credit Tito. He has made a ton of money by suing the Church. If there was no money to make I can guarantee you he would not be around.

    Here is some background on him.

    http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2003_01_06/2003_04_16_Schimke_TrueBeliever.htm

    He is not the face of evil, nor is he a crusader for justice. He is a fellow who stumbled into an unexploited area of tort litigation and has reaped a bonanza.

    Making much more of him than that is an insult both to great sinners and true crusaders for justice.

  • Donald,

    We can agree to disagree.

  • Bringing the pope to a civil trial is hardly the worst threat leveled against the pope or the Church. Arresting him would be more serious, but really a rather pathetic desire. More serious are attempts to kill the pope, bring down the Church, deny the sacraments, etc.

  • Michael,

    I suggest you write to the Vatican your concerns about CCC 1707 and why you disagree with it.

    I doubt anyone at the Vatican is reading this post.

  • One ought to condemn evil There is absolutely nothing in the Magisterium to suggest that the way one must go about that is to by declaring them to be the faces of evil.

    The way you are denouncing this man is imprudent and diminishes true evil.

  • Michael,

    You’re arguing semantics.

    You’re being imprudent by going against the teaching of the Church with your own personal interpretation.

    We are Catholics, not Protestants.

    I suggest you write the Vatican about your concerns.

  • Tito:

    The catechism calls the choices as evil, not people. You have entered into the dualist heresy when you call someone pure evil. As St Thomas Aquinas pointed out, not even Satan is pure evil.

  • Tito, you are not following Catholicism when you engage the dualist heresy and call someone pure evil. St Thomas Aquinas makes it clear, not even Satan is pure evil. It is heresy which you engage — condemned heresy, and through a misapplication of the catechism which talks about choices, not people.

  • Thank you Zach and Henry.

    After rereading CCC 1777 I see where it says choices.

    As far as “pure” evil, I can’t vouch for that.

    I’m using semantics when I call him evil or the face of the evil.

    What he is certainly doing is evil and that is what I am calling evil, his choice in pursuing these lawsuits.

    Thanks for the brotherly corrections Zach and Henry.

  • Tito:

    You are now accusing me and are out of control. There is nothing remotely close to supporting your position in 1707 other than that man sins and can be seduced by evil. This is true of every sin. There is no personal interpretation here; quite frankly 1707 is irrelevant. What on earth am I “personally interpreting” different to the Vatican? I quote frankly am totally baffled by your position.

    Nothing there suggests that those who are trying to make money or avenge some petty slight ought to be called by Catholics using prudence & charity “the face of evil” and “what evil looks like.”

  • Michael,

    I’m going to ignore your comments from here on out on this post since you’ve gone off the deep end.

    Like I said, take it up with the Vatican.

  • Tito:

    I’m saying the same thing as Henry & Zach! How are they doing “brotherly correction” while I’m “off the deep end!”

    I do not appreciate being called a Protestant and accused of being opposed to the Vatican when there is no basis for it.

  • It’s certainly not imprudent to say that someone’s actions are evil. However, I don’t think it’s necessarily prudent to denounce a person as “the face of evil”. That doesn’t mean his actions aren’t evil.

    It doesn’t seem to me that Michael is in any way twisting or ignoring the catechism here.

    (Maybe everyone’s just spending too much time at the computer today. Personally, I’m going to go mow the lawn, since it’s “work that Americans won’t do”. 🙂 )

  • Now, let’s explore this further, Tito.

    What is your take of St. Catherine of Sienna? She took on a pope — quite strongly; would you have called her pure evil for opposing the actions of a pope? What about popes which attacked their predecessors? Is your argument that no one can offer a complaint against a pope, or that this complaint is what is wrong?

    If you think it is possible to launch a legitimate complaint against the pope, what would be necessary for it? If you do not, what do you think of St Catherine and other popes?

  • Michael,

    I’m a Neanderthal Catholic when it comes to reading “into” statements and “nuance”.

    If what you were trying to point out was the same as Zach and Henry (I’ll take your word for it), then I to thank you for your brotherly correction.

    I appreciate the feedback. Especially when I learn something new everyday.

    For the record I have a degree in Marketing and not in Theology, Philosophy, etc.

    I read it as it is. Not what I think there is or what I want to read into it.

    Thanks Michael, I do appreciate learning from my mistakes!

    Tito

  • Yeah, lots of time on the computer and my girlfriend isn’t happy about that.

    So I want to withdraw my comments that Michael is a “Protestant” and is “going against the Magisterium”.

    I say it with love!

    Thanks guys, anymore comments I will respond to later.

    Gotta go jump in the pool and get this extra energy out of my system 🙂 !

    Tito

  • Geez though it is really nice outside.

    Although in New England there are about 40,000 mayflies per square foot, which puts a damper on things.

  • He is not the face of evil, nor is he a crusader for justice. He is a fellow who stumbled into an unexploited area of tort litigation and has reaped a bonanza.

    Right. I don’t think he has much of a case on the merits, but this is the type of thing plaintiff’s lawyers do; they drum up publicity and hope for a settlement or a sympathetic judge. If the case was stronger, then he’d be perfectly justified in bringing it. As it is, he’s just acting like a scummy tort attorney trying to make some money. That’s a bad thing, but it’s not ‘pure evil’ – and it’s certainly not as evil as the actions of many priests and bishops in this scandal.

  • Jesus seemed to consider doing harm to children to be the ugliest sin. If there’s an example of pure evil in the pedophile scandal, it’s the pedophiles.

  • I am stuck in front of a computer and paper for at least the next two weeks. Darned law exams. 🙁

  • “Maybe everyone’s just spending too much time at the computer today. Personally, I’m going to go mow the lawn, since it’s “work that Americans won’t do”.”

    That is work this American would not do if I wasn’t so cheap! I despise mowing, an activity no doubt that is mandatory in portions of Hell! I have it done by a service at the office, but I and my eldest son do the home lawn. Fortunately it is raining here so I can put it off until tomorrow!

  • Michael, I still can feel the joy that exploded within my soul when I finished my last final at law school and realized that whatever else awaited me in life I was done with finals! (Of course then there is the bar exam but anyone who can cram can pass that.)

  • Don:

    After the birth of my child, that is the next great true joy I will experience. Alas, that it comes in 2 more years.

  • The face of evil?

    I look in the mirror, and pray.

  • I heard this guy being interviewed on the radio the other day. The way he spoke didn’t impress me- he sounded like a second degree lawyer attempting to gain notoriety/publicity.
    The weather continus to be unseasonally beautiful here in my part of the world – but very little rain over the past couple of months, so the farmers are whingeing – some ares in the North Isalnd and eastern coast in the South Island have been declared drought stricken.
    As for mowing lawns, that’s a job my wife does – she claims I’m too lazy to do it, but I know she loves it for the exercise.
    (That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it) 🙂

  • It’s rainy here; a good day for a thorough spring cleaning. I’ve been bopping over the computer in between bouts of scrubbing and dusting. Just put the vaccuum cleaner away, there’s a big pot of spring vegetable soup on the stove and whole wheat bread in the oven and the place smells heavenly. I wish I could all invite you over for soup and homemade bread. You could eat off the floor, although it would be rather tricky with soup. 🙂

    Michael, good luck with your exams.

  • Henry Karlson accusing others of heresy … now THAT’S hilarious!

  • “As for mowing lawns, that’s a job my wife does – she claims I’m too lazy to do it, but I know she loves it for the exercise.”

    Don, I was unable to convince my kids that lawn mowing was fun, although I gave it a good try! As for my wife, she is firmly convinced that mowing the lawn is my job, curse the luck!

    “I heard this guy being interviewed on the radio the other day. The way he spoke didn’t impress me- he sounded like a second degree lawyer attempting to gain notoriety/publicity.”

    That is basically my opinion also.

  • Henry,

    Nice try.

    Comparing Catherine of Siena to this monster is an insult to humanity.

    Down the rabbit hole you go.

  • T. Shaw,

    Straw man.

    Although I know where you’re coming from, it is prudent to call evil evil.

  • Yeah, catching up after a dip in the pool.

    It’s about 80 degrees here near downtown Houston and not a bit humid (yet).

    Simply beautiful!

  • Jay – er, if you are going to make such a vague statement, at least actually define the heresies you are implying I follow. Otherwise, you would do well to see your confessor. I actually pointed out the heresy involved, and where one can look to see it is indeed rejected.

  • Not sure who ‘Jay Chambesr’ is – don’t think I’ve seen that commenter before. Either it’s someone using a different handle to hide their identity (which is just lame), or it’s someone who has strong opinions about Henry who has never before expressed them here. In either case, they shouldn’t throw around accusations of ‘heresy’ without some explanation.

    Of course, fwiw I think Henry’s rather tone deaf reading of the ‘pure evil’ line above – which is a colloquialism for a very bad person rather than a theological statement – is off too, but at least Henry set forth his reasoning.

  • I would definitely have to agree – mowing the lawn is a man’s job. My husband is bitterly disappointed that my son is off to college in August!

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  • Hmmmm.

    Looks like Kiwi chicks are cut from the same mould as kiwi blokes – mowing lawns is a breeze.

    But I’m real glad the chicks have the babies 😉

  • May I make a statement? Guess what,we are ALL going to die naked and penniless,put into the ground,embalming last aprox.four years,so the worms eventually get to us all.It’s facing God that we need to worry about,the mercy is here on earth,there’s only justice on judgement day.So this fool attorney cannot relly hurt anybody but himself.

  • I hope you are wrong, Sue. My salvation strategy is heavily dependent on mercy.

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A Second Victimization

Tuesday, April 20, AD 2010

Nicholas D. Kristof wrote another New York Times editorial condemning the Church. It’s not worth reading; it’s the same stuff about the Vatican is not the Church, but the real Church are the ones helping the needy (i.e. the ones doing what Kristof likes-except for obviously Mother Teresa b/c she didn’t like contraception) and the Church needs to expand its ideas on women and contraception in order to avoid the sex abuse crisis. For example

That story comes to mind as the Vatican wrestles with the consequences of a patriarchal premodern mind-set: scandal, cover-up and the clumsiest self-defense since Watergate. That’s what happens with old boys’ clubs

That’s not interesting. We’ve heard it before. What is interesting is his blog. He himself comments on the article.

One question that I’m still puzzling over is this: how much difference would it make if the Vatican did admit women as deacons, or ordain them? It’s certainly true that women can be abusers as well as men. The painful report of the Irish Commission of Inquiry last year made that clear, with accounts of nuns brutally mistreating children and in some cases raping them. Likewise, ordination of women is no guarantee of popular support: mainline Christian denominations have been ordaining women, and still losing ground to more conservative Evangelical denominations.

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9 Responses to A Second Victimization

  • Too bad he never met a Catholic who could’ve converted him.

  • Just a slight correction: Kristoff is actually an outspoken opponent of abortion, which actually makes the junk he peddled in his column all the more disappointing.

  • I don’t see what’s so objectionable about the portion you quoted. He didn’t say any of the stuff you attribute to him unless you decide to read only every other word of every other sentence.

  • restrainedradical:

    What’s objectionable is that he knows that he wants to see happen will do very little to actually make children safer-yet continues to connect it to the sex abuse scandal and admits it by saying that he knows that women can be abusers as well.

  • He admits no such thing. You inferred it, improperly. Women can be abusers and the presence of women can make children safer.

  • What is objectionable is that he wants the church to okay gravely immoral contraception and that the Church is an institution founded by men.

    My experience outside of the church ie public school system and many different Protestant denominations is that the presence of women do not make men more moral. Admitting women to ministry in Protestent cirles leads quickly to heresy.

  • restrainedradical:

    I’m pretty sure you didn’t read the column but just the quoted portion (or every other word of the quoted portion…not sure which you took the time to read). This is what he said:

    “That old boys’ club in the Vatican became as self-absorbed as other old boys’ clubs, like Lehman Brothers, with similar results. And that is the reason the Vatican is floundering today.”

    Now compare

    “One question that I’m still puzzling over is this: how much difference would it make if the Vatican did admit women as deacons, or ordain them? It’s certainly true that women can be abusers as well as men. The painful report of the Irish Commission of Inquiry last year made that clear, with accounts of nuns brutally mistreating children and in some cases raping them.”

    So we went from “Boys club is the reason” to “I’m puzzling whether it would make much of a difference.” It is proper to infer that he is admitting that the thesis advancing by his column is not true; that at the very best his thesis would be “Admitting women would help decrease the liklihood of this problem.” That’s a big difference to admit/acknowledge.

    So he’s already admitted that he doesn’t believe in the thesis he advanced, that he failed to mention in his column that women are also abusers and he failed to admit that admitting women had not helped make other denominations relevant (which is not what the column suggests).

    He then puts in the throw-away paragraph. He makes 3 assertions: it would attract more priests (which is not relevant to the crisis), that for mystical reasons women would magically produce democracy and transparency, and that women could change the Church’s teaching on contraception. it is not till the very last two words of the paragraph that he remembers what the column is about and adds “and child abuse,” suggesting that women are more against child abuse then men (which also is given no support).

    He’s not looking to child abuse. All of the goods he discusses are irrelevant or marginally connected to the issue. Combined with the doubts and stats he admitted in the first paragraph I quote, the inference is proper. He knows his connection isn’t strong but he wants to promote contraception & women priests so he does so anyway, taking advantage of the emotional reaction to child abuse in a way that he ought to apologize for.

  • Working on the issue-spotting, I see, Michael. ;-).

    The instrumentalization of abuse victims to serve as Exhibit A in the argument why the public schools, excuse me, Catholic Church needs to be radically redesigned in the author’s image, is one of the more unsavory aspects of the coverage of the scandals. I think this is an error often made in good faith; people are not that good at sorting out the differences in their sincerely held beliefs. Nevertheless, the fallacy on display is often:

    1)Abuse is bad,
    2)I think these Church teachings are bad,
    3)The correlation of bad things happening in an institution with bad teachings implies causation (regardless of what the evidence shows)

    And, of course, a similar thing happens to defenders of the Church, where the syllogism often runs:

    1) The Church is good;
    2) The liberal media is bad;
    3) Ergo, the bad liberal media is wrong when it says bad things about the good Church.

    Throw people on each side reasoning in this manner, and truth quickly becomes a casualty. I think your post is perceptive insofar as it captures the mask slipping a bit as Kristof questions the assertions he has casually made in arguing for his preferred reforms. At the same time, I am not sure this is morally blameworthy as much as it is a mental blindspot. People really aren’t that good at thinking rationally; at least not for long and not on that many topics. I usually use MSNBC and Fox News as my primary examples of that, which, for some reason, some people find only half-persuasive.

  • It might be more persuasive if you used CBS, NBC, ABC, NY Times, WAPO, CNN and MSNBC as opposed to Fox. 😉

Looking into the Cloudy Ball

Thursday, April 15, AD 2010

Tax day is a day when all Americans are reminded about the importance of politics and think about the importance of the political future so they can adjust their budgets accordingly. Most of the time in politics we have a reasonably good idea of what’s going on: what the issues are going to be, who the favorites in the next election are, who are the main blocs, etc. Of course, there are always surprises and upsets.

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13 Responses to Looking into the Cloudy Ball

  • I think the GOP can count on solid tea party support in the Fall. In many states the dead line to get on the ballot is approaching or passed, and, in any case, there has been little movement by tea party members to run third party candidates. The big problem for the GOP will be if they win a huge victory in November with crucial tea party assistance, which I expect, and then proceed with business as usual. In that case I do anticipate a tea party third party in 2012.

    The post by Morning’s Minion, which you linked to, thanking God that John McCain is not president was a hoot! A weak defense indeed of the South Side Messiah!

  • Don:

    I hadn’t talked about the Tea Party as a potential third party, but I think you’re right. The Tea Party is largely built on the emotional resistance to Obama and I think the Tea Party will do its best to defeat Obama and Democrats. I would imagine they’ll stick with the GOP until at least Obama’s defeat and then perhaps start a separate party if they’re unsatisfied with the results.

    However, which candidate the Tea party will back in the Presidential primaries is anyone’s guess. Palin? Someone like Scott Brown? Will they go ideology or the best chance at winning?

  • “However, which candidate the Tea party will back in the Presidential primaries is anyone’s guess. Palin? Someone like Scott Brown? Will they go ideology or the best chance at winning?”

    At this point I am beginning to think that Palin is looking at 2016. Brown I think isn’t looking at the Presidency at all, but is completely concentrated on Massachusetts where the political revolution he initiated is gathering momentum. I think that 2012 may well be the year of someone who is little known now, at least by the general public. From the GOP standpoint it is essential that the standard bearer be someone who can cause great enthusiasm among the tea partiers.

  • From the GOP standpoint it is essential that the standard bearer be someone who can cause great enthusiasm among the tea partiers.

    Seems unlikely with Romney and Huckabee as the frontrunners. But a lot can change in two or three years.

  • The articel seems to presume that, absent the ominous “Tea Party threat,” the Republican Party would naturally sweep to victory in November, then immediately set about setting things right. Wrong! If the recent history of the American body politic says anything, it says that the parties are both more intersted in having and expanding power, rather than necessarily using power for good.

    Without the Tea Party threat, the repubs are nothing but a shade or so removed from the Dems on the critical life issues; the country club repubs most definitely want pro-lifers to go away.
    In my adult days, only once has the repub party used a majority to try to limit government expenditures and reduce the interfering influence of government in the daily lives of citizens; and ultimately, they abandoned the effort.
    Neither party can lay claim to a corner on “social justice” issues. At least not if one takes the position that forced taxpayer largesse in the social programs MUST be able to boast of resounding success in return for the now truly collossal expenditure of funds involved.

  • although not a memember of the so called tea party..people are rightly concerned that if the spending contiunes the chances of having a debt that requires a one trillion dollar interest per year will occur. the problem as i view is that we need a congress that will pass a bill demanding a balance budget each year and get rid of those bills that do not create jobs or add to an already explosive deficit and to develop a foreign policy with teeth and not just words and one that quits trying to tell people how to live. we fought one king for that right and it appears we have another trying to tell us the sme thing.

  • Kevin:

    The articel seems to presume that, absent the ominous “Tea Party threat,” the Republican Party would naturally sweep to victory in November, then immediately set about setting things right.

    Wrong on both counts though I don’t think that’s obvious from this post. I think the Republicans did a fine job of messing things up long before “Tea Party” was thought up and so would have complications going into November (i.e. the residual effects of the Bush presidency). Nor do I think the republicans would set things right, though i hope especially on issues of SCOTUS nominations and abortion funding they would be able to provide some corrections.

    My point in discussing the Tea Party was that, especially in considering 2012, they provide a variable. We don’t know what kind of effect they will have and so it is hard to predict how elections will turn out.

    afl:

    develop a foreign policy with teeth and not just words and one that quits trying to tell people how to live.

    Beware that the foreign policies with teeth (such as Bush’s) are often the ones that are based on the premise that the United States has a moral responsibility to spread democracy & its principles i.e. tell people how to live.

  • MD,
    Okay, if you say that was your point, I must believe you. But if the democrats remain in control of the house in December of this year, the political game is up. No amount of right thinking in 2012 will serve any good purpose if the leak in the dike is not stopped now.
    Those of you who think that politics, carried out with the Constitution in the fundamentally fractured state it is in now, can answer the mail are probably fooling yourselves.
    What was it Gandolf said? “The board is set, the pieces are moving, the final battle for Middle Earth has begun.”
    God help us all!

  • I don’t think any of the presumed GOP candidates (Huck, Palin, Romney) will win the nomination. I think it will be someone who catches fire–like a Paul Ryan or a conservative governor.

  • The fact that they’re more educated and wealthier may just be a reflection of the fact that they tend to be white, male, and old.

    The NY Times pool reveals some other interesting facts. Most Tea Partiers favor at least civil unions for gay couples, most favor legal abortions, and most don’t go to church regularly. Most like Palin but don’t think she would make a good president!

    My money was on Romney before this whole Tea Party thing. Huckabee and Romney have fiscally liberal records which voters may not forgive. Palin is talking up Romney though so Tea Partiers may forgive his past. The liberal elite find Romney to be the least objectionable.

    Gingrich’s negatives are too high. He’d be unelectable in the general election.

    Ron Paul is polling well but he can’t win the GOP nomination.

    A lot of excitement around Marco Rubio but he’s not even Senator yet and he’s only 38. Maybe 2016.

  • Romney is a political chameleon and I doubt if he will get the nomination in 2012. Paul is going no place slowly. Gingrich is only formidable as a talk show guest. The Huckster should stick with his show on Fox. I think Palin, as I stated earlier, is waiting for 2016. Rubio is a man to watch closely, but his year is not 2012. The New York Times poll of tea partiers is as worthless as most of what appears in that poor excuse for a fish wrapper.

  • Intrade has Romney in first followed closely by Palin. In third is John Thune. Others fall way behind. Oh how far Jindal has fallen…

    Intrade also gives the Democrats slightly better odds of retaining control of the House.

    Bad news in New York. Neither Guiliani nor Pataki will challenge Gillibrand.

  • As a twenty-something male I find the whole situation depressing. When you have Romney and Palin ahead in the poles for the Republicans and I guess, um…, Obama for the Dems, you really have to fool yourself to see anything bright in the future. The way I look at it we just have to hope that our pilot was the one who was sitting at the bar before departure who only had three whiskeys instead of five. I really am sorry for it but this nation has become the fruit of a more and more Godless society. Even though we have statistics that comfort us in being a Christian nation, the label “Christianity” is about as broad as Conservatism or Liberalism. Fact of the matter is that unless there is some major miraculous turn around in the faith of the people of this nation and their education in that faith, we will be sentenced to suffer the consequences of such a society. However, conversation such as in this com box and in the greater political arena is still necessary. I may not have much faith in the future of this country but I do realize that you have to go down swinging.

Why They Attack Pope Benedict XVI

Monday, April 5, AD 2010

In some ways, we shouldn’t be surprised at all concerning the attacks on Pope Benedict XVI. The Holy Father was never one of the “chosen religious people” loved by the dying group called progressive Christians, or by the mainstream media; that distinctions falls to the National Catholic Reporter, Maureen Dowd, Episcopal Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, or the openly gay Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire, Gene Robinson.

(Point of personal privilege. In my mind, there are two schools of liberals, one is the utopian view, and while I disagree with their unrealistic views of the world, they are in their heart of hearts not nefarious. This group truly believes the world would be a better place if their views were followed. A couple examples of their spiritual gurus would be Jerry Brown and Jerry Garcia.  However the other form of liberalism, which is much more prevalent, is a virulent strain that masquerades as a protector of the less fortunate and a conduit of all things intellectual. Their goal is nothing less than absolute societal control; their godfathers are Voltaire, Nietztche, Karl Marx, Saul Alinksy etc.)

When the Abuse Crisis came to Europe, the mainstream media, and the many within religious reporting circles who despise the conservative social teachings of the Catholic Church, were licking their chops to take a shot at Pope Benedict. Never mind, the huge number of abuse cases coming out of big government circles, or the fact that an overwhelming majority of abusers who were priests were those with views of changing the Church and not respecting her teachings, the mainstream media smelled blood in the water and feeding frenzy was on.

The New York Times article, basically saying then Cardinal Ratzinger looked the other way during the abuse scandal, was so shoddy that even writers from the liberal Jesuit America magazine took note of it. It might behoove those who have fallen for the Old Gray Lady’s hysterical rantings to read the quotes of some in the mainstream media praising then Cardinal Ratzinger’s handling of the crisis during the later stages of the pontificate of Pope John Paul II.

Why the attack on the Catholic Church one might ask? The Catholic Church is the only Church who is universal, can speak with one voice and has conservative based social views. This coupled with the fact, that she unlike far too many Christian churches, has never lost her belief in the mystical i.e. the Eucharist, miracles, apparitions etc. However, the biggest reason some in the mainstream media attack the Holy Father is that despite all of these “non modern” views, the Catholic Church continues to grow. Adding insult to injury for these modern day Pontius Pilates (what is truth?) the Church continues to grow, young people in particular are draw to devotions like the Rosary and Eucharistic Adoration.

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7 Responses to Why They Attack Pope Benedict XVI

  • Great column as usual, Dave. It brings to mind the crowd that mobbed Jesus and threatened to throw him over the cliff. But like Jesus, the church will just walk right through them.

  • “As one can clearly see from this example, the right wing Catholic hierarchy may not have existed as vividly as it did in some liberal’s imagination.”

    The Kennedys had the Church in Boston in their hip pocket since the Thirties, largely due to the amount of money that Joe Kennedy, a man who gave slime a bad name, dumped on the Church in Boston. To be fair, his wife Rose was a model Catholic and mother. Too bad her sons took after their villainous father.

    Most Catholic clergy tended to be Democrats, like most of their parishioners, prior to the Sixties. This rarely mattered then, since the Democrat party at that time rarely embraced causes which went against Church teaching. An exception was the Spanish Civil War of the Thirties where Catholic Democrats were often at odds with their more liberal brethren.

  • AMEN. As usual a well presented and logically laid out response.At least one of the those Magisterium will be gone next February and hopefully two. ( Los Angeles and Rochester )

  • I was thinking about this the other day. You hit on it here pretty well. The timing (not just the attacks right at Easter)is intriguing. In about November, it was announced that the Traditional Anglican Communion was going to be allowed to come into the Catholic Church. This means upwards of half a million people in a very short time will enter the Church. I feell strongly that the liberals must hate this. I think part of this onslaught from the press against Pope Benedict is due to this amazing event.

  • AFL, one of your wishes is coming true, with the pope picking a conservative archbishop from San Antonio to replace Cardinal Mahony as the shepherd of the Los Angeles archdiocese. Hallelujah!

  • Just a theory… President Obama visited Pope Benedict XVI about 2 weeks before the healthcare bill vote, I personally believe it was to garner support for it. Obviously the Pope wouldn’t support the bill, abortion and euthanasia are in direct opposition to the basic tenets of our Catholic Faith. It is my personal opinion that dragging the Holy Father through the mud is just Obama trying to get back at Benedict XVI for his resounding ‘NO’ when it came to supporting that heinous healthcare bill. I caught the pics of Obama and Michele (actually wearing a chapel veil) on the Vatican’s Youtube site.

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The Myth of Tolerance by Our Intellectual Superiors

Tuesday, March 30, AD 2010

With the vilification that the political left has done to the right, we Catholics also suffer from the same abuse.  Take point in fact that U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops spokesperson Sister Mary Ann Walsh demonized Pro-Life Catholics by regurgitating uncorroborated reports of racism against ObamaCare proponents and attributed them to Pro-Life Catholics with her blog entry.

Such blatant disregard for facts in order to advance your personal agenda has become the norm in the mainstream media as well.  The Media Research Center has provided the following synopsis to clarify this point:

Update I (4:12pm CST): Prominent Republican Gets Actual Death Threat, NYT Suddenly Drops Concern Over Threatening.  To read the entire story by Clay Waters of NewsBusters click here.

Update II (4:21pm CST): A video was tracked down showing Representative John Lewis of Georgia, whom Sister Mary Ann Walsh referenced in her blog post showing absolutely no evidence whatsoever of any racial epithets being thrown around.  Again, the uncorroborated evidence that Sister Mary Ann Walsh referenced is a fabricated lie and she willfully used this to smear Pro-Lifers in her less than charitable blog posting.

The video is here:

Update III (6:26pm CST): Representative John Lewis of Georgia, the very man who lied that there were racist remarks yelled at him at the Tea Party protests is known to be very hyperbolic himself.  Jeff Poor of NewsBusters recounts the time back in 1995 how Representaive Lewis defamed Republicans by painting them as ‘Nazis‘.

Representative Lewis has shown himself to be nothing more than a political hack that lashes out when he doesn’t get his way.

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30 Responses to The Myth of Tolerance by Our Intellectual Superiors

  • Take point in fact that U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops spokesperson Sister Mary Ann Walsh demonized Pro-Life Catholics by regurgitating uncorroborated reports of racism against ObamaCare proponents and attributed them to Pro-Life Catholics with her blog entry.

    –How is the “regurgitating uncorrobarated reports”? She says that “Anonymous messages are being left on voicemails – I even got one from a nun, for goodness sake.”

  • Jim,

    She connected the alleged racism at the Tea Party protests to Pro-Life Catholics and went into the whole melodrama of Rep. Lewis experiencing the same verbal abuse during the civil rights era.

  • Here’s what she wrote in the first four paragraphs, Tito. She doesn’t even mention “Pro-Life Catholics” anywhere in her post. Yes, she is referring to opponents of the legislation, but surely there are people out there who opposed the legislation for other reasons. Am I missing something?

    The heat in the aftermath of passage of health care reform reveals the depth of feeling among those for and against the landmark bill that affects all Americans. Such heat, however, cannot justify the verbal and physical violence that has ensued.

    If we needed health care because of the crisis affecting the sick, especially the weakest among us, we need even more a move toward civility, if not for our own betterment then at least for the betterment of our children.

    Politics has become a kind of blood sport. News junkies over the weekend heard reports of crowds shouting racist remarks and individuals spitting at African American lawmakers, including John Lewis, who suffered violence years ago when he marched for Civil Rights. Surely he – and all of us – has a right to expect that that chapter of despicable, racist violence long over.

    We’ve seen reports of homes and offices of lawmakers vandalized and heard of death threats. Anonymous messages are being left on voicemails – I even got one from a nun, for goodness sake. If that isn’t proof that we’ve gone astray I don’t know what is.

  • Jim,

    Yes, she is referring to opponents of the legislation [ie, Pro-Life Catholics], but surely there are people out there who opposed the legislation for other reasons. Am I missing something?

    Yes there are other people who oppose health care for other reasons, but the number one issue was abortion, which in even in the end the USCCB came down against ObamaCare because of this issue.

    The heat you are referring to is the anger out there that ObamaCare passed without the people’s consent nor with any bipartisanship.

    Though it is exactly the racism that Sister Walsh is referring to, which there is no proof hence the ‘uncorroborated’ remark, which she paints Pro-Life Catholics with.

  • She refers to “reports”. She does not say that those things happened. And go to other websites. Many–probably most–of the people who oppose ObamaCare do so because of things not connected to abortion.

    I, for one, am still not convinced that ObamaCare does fund abortion–except for allowing for the possibility of abortion at Indian reservations and community health care centers, which are minor matters in my view. Can you or Don prove that Obama does fund abortions beyond those?

  • Jim,

    I don’t doubt that such voicemails are occurring, what I am pointing out is the example that Sister Walsh specifically uses to drive her point of demonizing pro-life Catholics by painting them with the same brush as a ‘racists’.

    As to your point about abortion being paid for by ObamaCare, that is for another thread, not this one which you are hijacking.

    I will delete anymore of your comments that do not deal with Sister Walsh’s demonizing of Pro-Life Catholics.

  • And Tito, I sincerely doubt that what she did technically qualifies as “demonizing” anyone by mentioning “reports”. I also sincerely doubt that the majority of the opposition was because of the abortion issue, if you read some of the polls. Please link to a poll which shows that the majority of the opposition was because of that issue.

    I’ll wait for you and Don to start a post on the issue of what ObamaCare does and doesn’t cover.

  • I find it HI-larious that these establishment liberals, Catholic or secular, are now eminently concerned with the disposition of the protesters.

    Oh how far we have fallen from the teach-ins, smoke-outs, and campus occupations of the 1960s. Then it was all legitimate, it was all just, it was the young people making their voices heard.

    This sister is not the first left-leaning Catholic I have heard denouncing the internet as a medium of communication, invoking “anonymity”, and obviously desiring a return to the more easily controlled, less free, and less accountable print media.

    Wherever freedom thrives in communication as opposed to government control, conservative points of view also thrive – the vast majority of them NOT steeped in “racism”, but in firm if not always charitable rejections of the leftist agenda.

    Of course, these people believe it is more uncharitable to call them names than it is to force people to buy private health insurance at gun point.

  • Jim,

    People opposed this bill for many different reasons. But the majority of Catholic opposition was primarily about abortion and the vast majority of heat any Catholic supporters of the health care bill are taking is b/c of their unwillingness to put life first. I’m disturbed by your statement that you believe a billion taxpayer dollars (for starters) being funnelled into CHC’s w/out any Hyde Amendment protections is a “minor” issue. The vast majority of Americans, pro-choice and pro-life alike, do not believe taxpayers should be subsidizing or funding abortion in any way. This is a dramatic increase right now and it sets up a restriction free tool for federally funded abortions in the future. That is not a minor change in federal policy. Catholics who deny this or treat it as a non-issue need to seriously revisit the teachings of the Church on the primacy of protecting human life. It’s not something that can be put aside let alone hindered in accomplishing something else you happen to like.

    I’m sorry – I know this is further getting off topic. Feel free to delete.

  • That was the most selective reading and least charitable interpretation of Sister Mary Ann’s post possible.

  • Of course the good Sister’s claim that some members of Congress may have been spit on may also be an uncharitable claim.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/28/congressman-spit-on-by-te_n_516300.html

  • RR,

    As your “selective” reading into Church teaching that forces others against their free will to pay for health insurance.

  • Jim,

    If she was sincere she wouldn’t haven’t chosen the uncorroborated racist reports for her straw man.

  • Yeah, I heard Sister Mary Ann smokes ganja in the sacristy before Mass. I heard it. I heard it I did.

  • As Catholics, real Catholics and not liberals playing catholics, we are not to engage in gossip and hearsay. On those grounds alone, she’s off.

    As for the ‘racism’, I was there and I didn’t see anyone spit, attack or yell any racist slurs. Although one Senior Citizen did call Barney Frank a gay commie – however, I don’t know why anyone would denounce that – it is true and Barney appears to be proud of it.

    The pro-Constitution anti THIS health care reform bill group outside the Capitol on that dark day was multi-ethnic and included black Americans. In fact one black man running for Congress led all of us in prayer and the funding of baby killing was the overwhelming objection along with fiscal soundness, because we can’t afford this mess. KILL THE BILL was chanted and so was BABY KILLERS during the meeting of the rules (or lack thereof) committee.

    For her to address racism with no evidence and spread it as truth, even if it is merely implied, is unCatholic, wrong and typical of all of those poor, misguided people who are progressives before they are Catholic. Before you go yelling that the rest of us are conservative before we are Catholic – be aware that those are the same things. To be Catholic is to be conservative in the strictest sense and that does not mean Right Wing or Republican. It means one who sticks to the old ways of right reason, natural law and morality and our ancient Faith.

    To be a progressive Catholic is to insist that revelation did not end with the death of the last Apostle and that the Church needs to get more hip instead of sticking to what Christ taught us 2,000 years ago and still teaches those of us who ask Him and not some excommunicated religious or government bureaucrat.

    The Sister may be well-intentioned, she may be confused, she may be working for Satan – either way – she’s wrong.

  • Oh for crying out loud. Just last week pro-lifers were praising Sr. Mary Ann Walsh to the skies for her succinct explanation of how Obamacare funds abortion and why this was not acceptable. She stepped up to the plate at precisely the moment when other “nuns” were trying to sow confusion.

    Now all of a sudden, she’s a tool of Satan because she repeated second hand reports from “news junkies”?

    It’s one thing to be “intolerant” of blatantly pro-abortion “Catholics” like the Lying Worthless Political Hack, who never met an abortion she didn’t like, or of the “nuns” who went out of their way to defy the bishops on the very question of abortion funding. But please, give Sr. Mary Ann SOME credit for calling out the real “tools of Satan” who were hard at work last week.

  • Elaine,

    I only stated she is demonizing Pro-Lifers, not that she is a tool of Satan.

    I’m sure Satan would disagree with you here.

  • I used that hyperbole in a series of descriptions and I stated that I don’t know which one (implying, ‘if any’) apply to her, but that no matter the outcome of her disposition – she is wrong – no racism occurred, no evidence of racism has been presented, taken as a whole Tea Party supporters are not racist. She was engaged in either gossip or hearsay – neither sin befits a Catholic, clergy, lay or religious.

    I am not casting stones, I am merely stating that on this issue she is wrong. My post was also directed at progressive Catholics who may or may not have posted in this thread, who desire to disparage Catholics of a more conservative stripe like St. Paul or Pope Benedict XVI.

    I also never said ‘tool’ – I said ‘working for’ – which is probably true of all us at one time or another, on one issue or another, in one aspect or another – thank God for the Sacrament of Penance.

  • Elaine,

    I think the biggest problem with Sister Mary Ann is that she passes on things that have been “heard” as fact. It seems these things are false. As such she is passing on what are in essence lies. Sister Mary Ann was brave in pointing out the flaws of the nuns sowing confusion about health care. Now she is sowing confusion.

    Its okay to critque her.

  • I read Sr. Walsh’s post and was so crushed by it that I responded back with 2 comments. So far, she has not posted them yet. My guess is she is selective in posting comments from readers.

    It is a shame that USCCB treats us like children who don’t know how to read legislative language or who do not understand inferred language or double speak.

    Plus, the claims she made about racism are unsubstantiated. One can only assume she came to that end by watching MSNBC or CNN. These two channels have been pushing that story. Yet, nobody mentions that Rep. Jackson and his father, Rev. Jackson had a video camera and were recording every step along the way. There were also TV crews all over recording the historic event. Where–pray tell, is the evidence of somebody being spat on or being denigrated in any other way?

    We are being forced into buying a “good” or a “commodity” that we don’t want and an insensible group of people are saying that we should focus on civility. Was the process of the administration and their congress civil in any respect?

    Good minded Catholics fell into that trap in 2008 because they thought it would be a nice thing to vote Obama into office because he held such promise and we just couldn’t possibly rule him out because a fringe group says he’s Socialist. Let’s be civil and give the man a chance. Well, here we are 2 years later and our Bishops are applauding the bill silently and hoping that the language that includes abortion can be taken out. Really? Tell that to the very people who’ve been risking their jobs and livelihood to fight against Roe V Wade for almost 40 years.

    The problem with the subsidiarity ideal is not that it has been tried & found wanting but that it has not yet been tried.

  • oh..and there was a black gentleman who was left hospitalized after an attack by SEIU thugs who were bused in to a townhall meeting. Nobody covered that…Sr. Walsh didn’t write a blog post on that…but yet, it was recorded on video and is floating around on youtube!

  • I don’t think it’s inaccurate to say that *SOME* opponents of the health care bill / tea party folks have dabbled in racism. Yesterday I was invited to join a Facebook group opposing Obamacare, and their photo section included:

    An image of the president in front of the White House with a comment, “Hey, who’s the monkey on our porch?”

    A photoshopped image of the presidential limo with huge rims added.

    A sign reading “Welcome to Kenya, Birthplace of Barack Hussein Obama.”

    If this kind of crap is online, I wouldn’t be surprised if it has also cropped up at Tea Party rallies.

  • JohnH,

    So you have evidence of any racial epithets throw Representative John Lewis’ way during the ObamaCare vote?

    Or you’re just “sharing”.

  • But was the Congressman spit on?

  • I didn’t see anyone spit at him, but to be fair, it is difficult to tell by the grainy video.

  • True enough. Hard to tell but does not look like it.

    Also some on the racism of the Obama Administration:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/01/the_obama_administrations_ramp.html

  • Tito: I’m just saying that based on my own experience with some of the extreme elements on the fringes of the anti-Obamacare movement, accusations of racist epithets do not seem unlikely.

    And, BTW, I am not trying to say that only the right-wing can get ugly at political rallies. I have personally been spat on and physically assaulted at a pro-life march before, and it wasn’t by Tea Partiers.

  • How is welcoming people to Kenya racist? Maybe he was born in Kenya. His ancestors on his father’s side do come from Kenya. Being from Kenya may be a fact, it my be incorrect, it may just merely be conjecture – but pointing it out isn’t racist. The president is half African, that is a fact – nothing racist about pointing out that his father was in fact an African, just as his mother was in fact a white American. Where’s the racism?

    The monkey on the porch statement could be racist; however, it could just as easily be a reference to Darwinism. Don’t Progressives, like the president, assert that human beings are just talking monkeys. I think they are wrong, but who am I to judge.

    Again, to be clear, sure there are racists in American and they are all idiots. Most belong on the left side of the equation, even when they are allegedly from the right. The simple fact is that liberals/progressives/fascists/collectivists are inherently racist because they seek to divide people into groups. Traditionalists/conservatives prefer to see everyone as a unique, unrepeatable individual and we Christians are called to respect the dignity of each of God’s children because each one is infinitely valuable in His eyes.

    Furthermore, being against Obama because he is half-black is utterly stupid – he should be despised because he is all red – Commie red – that is an ideology and being against it and those who practice and promote Communism, is not racist – it is just prudent.

    I saw and met no racists, no spitting and heard no racial slurs. Could that have occurred? Sure it could have. But to bring it up, as conjecture or fact, with absolutely no evidence or indication of it, is simply a smear tactic right out of Alinsky’s playbook (you know the one he dedicated to the first revolutionary – Lucifer).

  • The monkey on the porch statement could be racist; however, it could just as easily be a reference to Darwinism. Don’t Progressives, like the president, assert that human beings are just talking monkeys. I think they are wrong, but who am I to judge.

    Wow. You’ve either got to be joking or willfully obtuse.

  • JohnH,

    Perhaps sarcasm doesn’t translate well on the Internet. I was merely trying to point out the ridiculous mindset of Progressives Darwinists and for that matter racists too.

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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