Obama Greater Than Jesus

Thursday, December 31, AD 2009

Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.  Cult, what cult?  The Danish paper Politiken assures us that the South Side Messiah is greater than the real Messiah.

He is provocative in insisting on an outstretched hand, where others only see animosity.

His tangible results in the short time that he has been active – are few and far between. His greatest results have been created with words and speeches – words that remain in the consciousness of their audience and have long-term effects.

He comes from humble beginnings and defends the weak and vulnerable, because he can identify himself with their conditions.

And no we are not thinking of Jesus Christ, whose birthday has just been celebrated – – but rather the President of the United States Barack Hussein Obama.

For some time now, comparisons between the two have been a tool of cynical opinion that quickly became fatigued of the rapture that Obama instilled prior to and after the presidential election last year.

From the start, Obama’s critics have claimed that his supporters have idolised him as a saviour, thus attempting to dismantle the concrete hope that Obama has represented for most Americans.

The idea was naturally that the comparison between Jesus and Obama – which is something that the critics developed themselves – would be comical, blasphemous, or both.

If such a comparison were to be made, it would, of course, inevitably be to Obama’s advantage.

Today, his historic Health Reform is being passed through the American Senate – a welfare policy breakthrough that several of his predecessors have been unable to manage.

Despite all the compromises, it has finally been possible to ensure something so fundamental, as the right of every American not to be financially shipwrecked when their health fails them. Add to that the biggest ever financial support package in America’s history, a major disarmament agreement and the quickest-ever re-establishment of American reputation.

On the other hand, we have Jesus’ miracles that everyone still remembers, but which only benefitted a few. At the same time, we have the wonderful parables about his life and deeds that we know from the New Testament, but which have been interpreted so differently over the past 2000 years that it is impossible to give an unequivocal result of his work.

Obama is, of course, greater than Jesus – if we have to play that absurd Christmas game. But it is probably more meaningful to insist that with today’s domestic triumph, that he has already assured himself a place in the history books – a space he has good chances of expanding considerably in coming years.

Without, however, ever attaining the heavens….

I can’t even get angry at this.  Stupidity of this magnitude is to be laughed at, not to be enraged at.  Suffice it to say that the fools who wrote this did Obama no favors.

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4 Responses to Obama Greater Than Jesus

  • Certainly difficult to be angry at such silliness, Don.

    It does make me wonder though at times, if I lived in Jesus’ time and knew him/of him, would I have recognized the Truth?

    Its all too easy to find yourself if that crowd chanting ‘crucify him! crucify him!’ That scene from Gibson’s ‘Passion’ film where Pilate asks his wife if she can recognize the truth when she hears/sees it always struck a chord with me. Our Lord is one of surprises, after all!

    Not that BHO’s policies resemble Jesus in the slightest.

  • I can work up a little exasperation, but that’s about it. I’m a complete dolt, too. Just in different, non-O-worshipping ways.
    Anthony, if you recognize Him now, you would’ve recognized Him then.
    Happy New Year, Happy New Decade to all!

  • Same to you Suz!

    “It does make me wonder though at times, if I lived in Jesus’ time and knew him/of him, would I have recognized the Truth?”

    As long as we had stayed for an answer.

    “WHAT is truth? said jesting Pilate,and would not stay for an answer.”

  • Just don’t dare say The One is better than Mohammed.

Government Health Care Means Rationed Health Care

Monday, August 17, AD 2009

Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air for the above video which was produced by the Independence Institute.  As Barabara Wagner learned, the Oregon Health Plan would pay for her to kill herself but will not pay for Tarceva to fight her lung cancer.  But that’s just Oregon, maybe ObamaCare wouldn’t ration health care?

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17 Responses to Government Health Care Means Rationed Health Care

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  • While I admire Dr. Pollard for providing the necessary antibiotics out of pocket, this is a purely anecdotal example of the inefficiency of Medicaid. These same horror stories exist for private insurers, and many equally moving success stories for Medicaid also exist, yet somehow you conclude that a reformed health care system would result in more rationing of care. The story is touching, but it doesn’t support your conclusion in the slightest.

  • There’s a troublesome topic that hasn’t been discussed much which is that part of the bill that would give the government access to a person’s bank account. Consider this scenario: If a person, be he elderly or otherwise, goes to the ER for a life-threatening event and is subsequently denied coverage, would there exist the possibility that all assets of that person could be confiscated by the government in order to reimburse the health care providers for care rendered? There is a particularly evil man, George Soros, who contributes mightily to several humanitarian foundations that Zeke Emanuel also happens to author health care articles. A real stretch on my part perhaps, but I am reminded that Soros had no qualms with confiscating property belonging to those being led off to the death camps.

  • “The story is touching, but it doesn’t support your conclusion in the slightest.”

    Wrong on both counts. I find Dr. Pollard’s statements alarming rather than touching. His statements also indicate a clear intention to deny treatment by medicaid. If such attempts are made by a private insurer to do this, a consumer always has recourse to the courts and to not give their business to insurers with a poor track record of paying for treatment. When the government is the insurer, no such options are available for ill treated consumers.

  • Having legal recourse after an insurance company has denied coverage is virtually no recourse at all unless your emergency medical condition is courteous enough to wait up to several years while you pursue a (hopefully) favorable verdict. Private insurers are also largely immune to having their customers vote with their wallets, since most people can only feasibly afford the insurance their employer has chosen to offer. There seems to be some implication that the scenario encountered by Dr. Pollard can’t or doesn’t happen when private insurers are involved despite the fact that it can and does all the time.

  • djr,

    a reformed health care system would result in more rationing of care.

    Not a reformed health care system – a GOVERNMENT health care system.

    The difference with private insurers is that the coverage limits are written into the policy agreement, if the insurer does not abide by them, you have recourse to the government. If you’re on a government health care program, your recourse is “the hospice chute”.

  • djr,

    can you provide an example where a health insurance company has offered to kill it’s customer?

    Problems with enforcement in the current system do not get solved by throwing “the baby out with the bathwater”. The current system works for the overwhelming majority, the problems need to be fixed but that doesn’t mean it’s flawed in general.

    since most people can only feasibly afford the insurance their employer has chosen to offer.

    There’s a “change” we can all believe in right? Allow individuals to economically purchase a state approved plan for themselves? Wait…. the Republicans proposed this plan several times and the big “O” and all his cronies voted against it.

    ps. I’m unaware of any euthansia promotors at the top levels of private insurance companies…apparently you are, or you would see the difference.

  • “Having legal recourse after an insurance company has denied coverage is virtually no recourse at all unless your emergency medical condition is courteous enough to wait up to several years while you pursue a (hopefully) favorable verdict.”

    Actually verdicts in wrongful denial of coverage suits are frequently astronomical and many insurance companies will authorize treatment soon after receiving a letter from an attorney threatening such a suit. Having written several such letters that has been my experience.

    “Private insurers are also largely immune to having their customers vote with their wallets, since most people can only feasibly afford the insurance their employer has chosen to offer.”

    A consumer in moderate to good health can usually get an insurance policy for rather low rates, especially if he is willing to take on a high deductible for non-emergency care. I pay for my family’s insurance out of my own pocket and have done so for the past 23 years and have been able to get good rates with various insurers through careful shopping.

    “There seems to be some implication that the scenario encountered by Dr. Pollard can’t or doesn’t happen when private insurers are involved despite the fact that it can and does all the time.”

    No such implication was made by me. My point is that when the Government runs health care the consumer has no options to rationing and frequently shabby service.

  • Matt,

    Again, legal recourse is not particularly meaningful when (as in the ten day example given in the original article) you require treatment immediately. Granted, if your insurer is simply and blatantly in breech of the terms of your policy, you (or maybe your estate) will probably trounce them in a courtroom one day. But your insurer may also have conditions associated with your coverage that prevent you from getting the treatment you actually need within the timeframe you actually need it. Perhaps before agreeing to antibiotic treatment for your eye infection, you’re required to undergo some less expensive treatment that takes 10.1 days and fails. This is rationing of care, and it happens today in a perfectly legal manner without any help from the government.

    Regarding euthanasia, I’m not entirely sure where that is coming from or where it is going. I suppose I don’t know of any private insurance companies that offer to kill you (although there are many who would be happy to let you die), but I don’t think it has anything to do with whether or not health care is rationed to any greater or lesser extent under any of the proposed plans.

    Donald,

    I’ll defer to your expertise on the topic of wrongful denial of coverage, since it sounds like you have some experience there, but I think ‘wrongful’ is the operative word. Care doesn’t necessarily have to be wrongfully denied to be effectively rationed, it simply has to be limited to the point that it isn’t of any use to you at the time you need it. I can attest personally (anecdotally, I admit) to the hurdles and hoops private insurance will ask you to jump through before agreeing to a procedure or settling a claim. Given the right circumstances, that is every bit as much rationing as the situation described by Dr. Pollard.

    I’ve also had personal experience trying to secure affordable insurance without the help of an employer, and I’m honestly amazed to hear how successful you’ve been. The numbers I was quoted for a fairly modest plan (including eye care and dental, admittedly) were outrageously high, even in my mid-20s and with no pre-existing conditions. Maybe with enough time and agreeing to a high enough deductible, I could have found something acceptable, but there is just no comparison to the plan and pricing I’m able to get through my employer. I would have to be extremely angry and willing to sacrifice a huge amount of money to stick it to my current provider, and in the end, I don’t think they would miss me enough to really reflect on why they lost me as a customer. I think my situation is fairly common, and it effectively prevents me from taking my business elsewhere to any great effect.

    It may be true that government-run health care will lead to greater rationing and shabbier service, but I don’t think the article supports that argument at all. It just tells a story where adequate care wasn’t provided, and Medicaid happened to be the insurer involved. You could find a story just like this in any hospital in America where the insurer is a private company.

  • The prime problem drj with giving government a monopoly over health care, which is what the proposed House legislation would do, is just that. In a monopoly situation there is no incentive for the holder of the monopoly to provide good service. Dr. Pollard’s experience attests to what happens now in regard to Medicaid, a service provided to the poor who have no other alternative due to lack of funds. ObamaCare would put us all in that leaky boat.

  • I don’t disagree that a monopoly is terrible for consumers, and I would hate to see a government monopoly over health care. I’m not thoroughly convinced that any mechanism by which the government provides insurance necessarily leads to a government monopoly, either. But in either case, Dr. Pollard really only successfully makes the case that people without any options have no options, something that is true whether your health care comes from the government or from a private insurer. The rationing argument he makes doesn’t hold because it is in no way unique to Medicaid. Private insurance rations very clearly already and often in the exact same way, so it isn’t fair to assert that Medicaid is a leaky boat (in regard to rationing of care) and that private insurance is something different.

  • When private insurers are driven out of business drj, and that would clearly be the ultimate result of the House bill, only the government would be left as a monopoly. A multiplicity of private insurers today prevents such a monopoly. A single payer system is merely another way of saying government monopoly.

  • My folks have private insurance, have my entire life– it’s expensive, but ranches don’t offer insurance.

    Mom’s had breast cancer, two orthoscope knee operations, a knee replacement, some sort of operation on the joints of her thumb…. all with the pre-existing wear and tear of a high school track star.

    Dad has a lot of skin problems, an incorrectly healed wrist since he was in high school and a pretty solid history of stuff-spiked-through-his-foot.

    Both in their fifties, both with family histories of rather expensive medical problems.

    Private insurance hasn’t been *perfect,* but it’s been pretty dang good.

    It’s also telling that mom is the only one that we know in the valley who has had any of those surgeries and paid for them herself, and that dad’s medical massage therapist had to raise her rates (she previously had a “monthly member” style discount club for valley residents with medical problems) or she would have to stop seeing Medicaid/Medicare customers.

    From where I stand, it sure looks like the idiots who are proud and honorable enough to pay for their own dang insurance need some protection from the folks that won’t, and they sure don’t need something that a politician is promising will be as good as the Post Office!

  • djr,

    First of all, you haven’t responded to the objections about the character of government which clearly is an important element of this.

    I’m not thoroughly convinced that any mechanism by which the government provides insurance necessarily leads to a government monopoly

    we don’t need to convince you that it will absolutely happen. You support a massive expansion of government power, it is your side that must prove that it will absolutely not happen in order to justify it.

    people without any options have no options, something that is true whether your health care comes from the government or from a private insurer. The rationing argument he makes doesn’t hold because it is in no way unique to Medicaid. Private insurance rations very clearly already and often in the exact same way, so it isn’t fair to assert that Medicaid is a leaky boat (in regard to rationing of care) and that private insurance is something different.

    The problem you’re having is the “insufficient options” fallacy. The only options are not to leave the health insurance system as it is, or a “government option”. The fact is that numerous improvements to the current system do not involve the great risk that we’re concerned about but the democrats oppose them… tort reform, separating insurance from the employer, cross-state line competition… these things would solve the problem of rationing by giving people options. Appropriate oversight to ensure people get the procedures they need is important, and if it’s not happening then EACH STATE should work to resolve this as quickly as possible, there’s no need for federal infringement on this state level authority.

  • Matt,

    I guess I don’t fully understand what you mean by the ‘character of government’. Is this on the topic of euthanasia? If so, I honestly don’t give much credence to the argument that the government wants to euthanize old people, and I’m amazed and disappointed that the idea has gotten any traction. Compared to the ethics and character of private enterprise, which I think we can all admit is only interested in your health care to the extent that they can wrangle a profit from you as you try to afford it, I think it’s a wash at best.

    I don’t feel like I need to defend a massive government expansion because I’m not a proponent of government-run health care – that’s just something you’ve assumed because you see the entire issue as Us vs. Them and because my initial post was about how the content of this article doesn’t support its headline in any reasonable way. Still, it does seem clear to me that the government could be involved in health care to many different degrees, most of which don’t require the takeover that you assume would result. This should be evident by the fact that the government already is involved heavily with health care and has not thus far managed to take over the entire system.

    As for the insufficient options fallacy, you’re again assuming that I’m only interested in a government-provided solution. The argument I’m making is not for a government option, it’s against drawing bad conclusions from anecdotal accounts in an effort to convince people of something you hope they’ll believe without being offered any real evidence.

    As far as the other options you mentioned are concerned, I don’t disagree with any of them. I’m not a democrat or a republican, so I don’t find myself at odds with any political ideology for thinking that they’re good ideas. But they’re not incompatible with government intervention either, so I don’t consider it an either/or proposition. One thing the government can bring to the table that private industry can’t is a service driven by and focused on something other than quarterly profits, and I recognize that there might be a place for that somewhere in the health care industry.

    I don’t want to wander too far from the point, though. I haven’t seen any credible evidence that government care means rationing above and beyond the level we see today (especially if you treat being unable to afford or obtain insurance at all as rationing, which I think you can legitimately do), and you can’t simply tell a bad story about Medicaid, conclude that Medicaid is bad, and call that a meaningful argument.

  • Is this on the topic of euthanasia? If so, I honestly don’t give much credence to the argument that the government wants to euthanize old people, and I’m amazed and disappointed that the idea has gotten any traction.

    Well, when we have multiple examples of Gov’t healthcare doing exactly that, in this country…. What else are we supposed to think? “It can’t happen to me”?

White House Meeting Ferments Beer Brew-hahha

Thursday, July 30, AD 2009

It’s not unusual for people attempting to smooth over a contentious discussion to say that they’d of course be willing to get together for a friendly beer some time. Apparently, when one has the resources and media visibility of the President, it’s possible to actually pull this off, but trouble can ensue.

When President Obama called Cambridge police officer Crowley last week to try to smooth over tension resulting from Obama’s declaration that Crowley’s arrest of Professor Gates had been “stupid”, Officer Crowley suggested that the three men should get together for a few beers. It seems that Obama thought this was a good idea, and a beer summit between the three men is currently scheduled to take place are scheduled to get together at a White House and knock back a couple cold ones.

However, this morning’s Wall Street Journal reveals that peace making is never simple, American brewers are upset over the likely offering at the beer fest:

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24 Responses to White House Meeting Ferments Beer Brew-hahha

  • Hard to fault the President’s fridge choices, at least for the first two. I’m especially fond of Red Stripe. However, I’ll stipulate that Blue Moon is a trifle overrated, if still solid.

    In the spirit of “Buy American,” let me suggest the fine Texas brew Jay Anderson put me on the trail of: Shiner Bock.

  • I agree with Dale that Blue Moon is overrated. There are many other domestics of its type that beat it hands down.

    As I am an IPA fan, I’d pick Sierra Nevada’s or even Anchor Steam’s.

  • I agree with the above about Blue Moon. Still hard to fault anyone who prefers it because it’s still far better than any of the American mass-market brews. You want to rail on the evil effects of a consumerist society – start there!

  • Yes on the Shiner, Dale! But I doubt the President would go for a Texas beer.

  • They could have compromised, maybe Rolling Rock….anyway, I am a big fan of Shiner and Blue Moon. And people do rightly state that Blue Moon can be overrated – but I bet they have yet to try it from the tap with an orange slice. Finally, I also like several of the beers people tend to make of – namely Miller GD and HL.

    Or maybe I drink too much…..

  • Blue Moon isn’t my choice of beer, but with an orange slice and from the tap, it isn’t bad.

    Red Strip and Bud Light are terrible choices.

    As I’ve said elsewhere, Shiner and Abita are excellent American choices. Better than the name-brand stuff, and much better than the West coast micros (I think it was Anchor Steam that I was given a little glass of in one of those taster deals-couldn’t finish it, it was so nasty.)

  • I’ll give the President his due. This is a good idea and kudos for him for running with it.

    Now if they’d only serve PBR in tall cans…

  • I just tried Shiner Bock for the first time last week – it was very good. As a Chicago fellow, I would hope the President preferred Goose Island – maybe a Honkers Ale.

  • Zak,

    I love Goose Island 312.

  • One could pretty easily list off two dozen breweries whose offerings are better than the brews on offer at the White Hous, but if we’re calling out local favorites I have to stand up for St. Arnold’s (down in Houston) over the more mass market Shiner. Also Independence Brewery here in Austin, with a solid Independence Ale (classic American pale ale) and for those who don’t like the bitterness as much, Bootlegger Brown Ale.

  • Let’s through in Smuttynose also.

  • And to wrap up, if one is ever in Boise, go to The Ram and get the Buttface. Its pronounced the way its spelled.

  • I am partial to the Otter Creek brews myself, particularly the Stove Pipe Porter. But I’m also down with the “Champagne of Beers”: Miller High Life.

  • Paul, I’ve never had any Otter Creek’s before but I sure appreciate a nice porter. Darwin turned me onto Samuel Smith’s Taddy Porter – it’s an old English brew. Dude, it’s beautiful…

    Oh, Rogue’s Mocha Porter has a lot of character and believe it or not, Samuel Adam’s Honey Porter is really nice.

  • Apparently the Beer Summit is inspiring all sort of beer related analysis.

  • But I doubt the President would go for a Texas beer.

    His loss, Jay.

  • I think it’d be funny if the president drank Arrogant Bastard Ale.

  • After moving to Texas a few years ago, I fell for Shiner hard.

    It’s what I order every time here in Houston.

    God help me if I ever visit out of state or if a restaurant doesn’t carry Shiner.

    I’ll have to “regress” to rum or scotch beverages.

  • As one of the rare breed of mostly Irish Americans who are life-long abstainers from beverages containing alcohol, I will not venture an opinion of the beer to be served. I would merely note that if any DC cops are below their DUI quota of tickets, this get together presents possibilities!

  • Not a summit, just a beer, Obama says

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32210408/ns/politics-white_house/

    Beer offer turns Gates situation into brewhaha
    EXCERPT:

    Wilmore noted that Gates had said “yo mama” during his confrontation with Crowley.

    “How many decades has he been holding that in?” Wilmore said. “Did he call him a jive turkey, too?”

    Wilmore did have one thing in common with white comics: He couldn’t resist a beer joke.

    “Alcohol — that’ll end well,” he said. “Booze isn’t how you resolve a racial conflict. It’s how you start one.”

  • Killian’s Red is good– very inexpensive, yet high enough quality that my Guiness-snob beer drinker friends enjoy it without qualm. (Me, I enjoy both Killians and PBR cans.)

    Wanna be practical, a variety pack of Weinhards would probably be the way to go, though.

    Wait, I suggested practicality… for a college professor and a politician… where was my mind?

  • They could’ve gone with Yuengling,(Oldest AMERICAN beer)!

8 Responses to Hey There, Obama!

  • Great way to make use of the worst song of the last decade!

  • Thank you Ledygrey for bringing this superb video to my attention!

  • I’m sure you folks will be happy to hear that “Hey There Obama” was the first YouTube project of a Catholic homeschool family in Michigan. Dad (John) wrote the song, gathered the photos, and played the older federal agent; our oldest boy John-Henry (16) filmed the video, did all the editing, and played the younger agent; Mary-Grace (9) had a cameo; and our local DRE played the lead role. Another local Catholic teen, Matt, did our audio recording and editing. Humor is a great weapon in the culture wars, and we’re grateful to all those fellow believers who are helping us to battle the Cult of Obama.

  • You and your family are to be congratulated John! The video is fantastic, and I am unsurprised that a Catholic homeschooling family was behind it. Humor can often reveal truth and I think that is just what your video did. Very well done!

  • Mr. Keenan –

    Again, it is indeed a commendable effort you and your family have made. Thank you! It certainly made my day upon viewing (and re-viewing) and I’ve since shared it with my family and friends. Also, as you know, I’ve placed it on my blog as well (thank you for stopping by and leaving your kind words). Hopefully, we’ll see your admirable project with view-count which rivals other videos which are the medias’ darlings.

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Pope Obama

Sunday, July 12, AD 2009

Pope Obama

Hattip to the ever eagle-eyed Paul Zummo, the Cranky Conservative.  Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, ex-Lieutenant governor of Maryland, and oldest of Bobby Kennedy’s offspring, has a screed in Newsweek where she explains how Obama represents American Catholics better than the Pope.  As one reads the article it becomes clear that the ex-Lieutenant governor actually means liberal Catholics like her when she says American Catholics, no surprise since she has always been a vociferous supporter of abortion.

Paul Zummo gets to the heart of the matter nicely:

“It really isn’t about whether or not Catholics in America view the Pope or the President more favorably, it’s about a faux Catholic’s outrage that the Church refuses to change its core teachings and mission on the say-so of irate children like Townsend.  We’ll leave aside the sheer duplicity in the statement that Obama actually listens to different points of view and focus instead on the shrill cri de couer of another bitter progresso-Catholic who believes she knows better than the Magisterium.  I guess when you’re the spoiled child of a family that hasn’t contributed anything to the American polity since her grand-dad built his fortune by exploiting the 18th Amendment, you’re pretty used to getting your way.  But here we have the Pope, head of an institution that has the temerity to say “NO!” emphatically to the progresso-Catholics who just stomp their feet in anger over the Pope’s refusal to give them condoms and let their gay friends get married.”

I have long suspected that for some, by no means all, Catholics on the Left in this country their true Pope’s last name begins with an O rather than a B.  I therefore have to give KKT credit for honesty if for nothing else.

Update: Good commentary on the Townsend article by Ed Morrissey here at Hot Air.

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27 Responses to Pope Obama

  • I don’t see why a much-needed critique of Townsends outrageous column had to include an attack on the Kennedy family (and I disagree wholeheartedly that JFK and RFK were ‘no contribution’ to the American polity). Isn’t this the same sort of thing conservatives go nuts about when it is done to Palin?

    The Pope does continue to say NO – and I am grateful that he does and would consider another religion, perhaps, if he ever stopped. But the Pope did not scream “NO” in Obama’s face, and Obama, for his part, has never insisted that the Church stop being the Church.

    People like Townsend on the left – and I am sorry to say, plenty of her counterparts on the right – attack each other with a viciousness neither the Holy Father nor Obama are either willing or able to engage in. I used to think leaders should and could set good examples to follow.

    It is apparent that most people have no interest in emulating anyone or anything but wild beasts fighting over the last scrap of bloody meat.

    Well, as an ardent Benedictine myself, I will follow the Pope’s example. And I will also stick to my usual belief that arguments, even arguments as insulting and ignorant as Townsends, should be addressed on their own merits, and not ‘linked’ to personal history or any other sort of irrelevancy.

  • Joe, other than Joe Kennedy, Jr. dying heroically in WW2, JFK’s heroism after the sinking of PT 109, and Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s magnificent work in creating the Special Olympics, I think Paul’s critique of the Kennedy clan is largely on the mark. I agree with British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, in regard to JFK and RFK, that seeing them in action in Washington was “rather like watching the Borgia brothers take over a respectable North Italian city.”

  • Well, whether or not I agree with that assessment, the point is, what does it have to do with her arguments?

    It isn’t relevant and it brings us down to her level.

  • There I disagree with you Joe. Let us say that the argument were being made by someone who belonged to a family noted for faithfully observing the teachings of the Church, and that the person making the argument had carried on in that fine tradition. I think that would add more force to the argument, if not more logic. That this argument is being made by the scion of a family noted for adherence to left-liberalism and a somewhat flagrant public flouting of the teachings of the Church by a few of the more well-known members of the clan, lessens the force of the argument.

  • I think Pres. Kennedy can be commended for making the correct calls during the Cuban Missile Crisis. IIRC, Edward Kennedy participated in drafting and shepherding through Congress some of the legislation enabling deregulation in the transportation sector thirty years ago. Can we truly say that Mark Shriver contributes notably less to the commonweal than any other member of the Democratic caucus? Also, and conceding that five of Robert Kennedy’s eleven children have been implicated in wretched public scandals, it is too much to refer to his daughter Kathleen Townsend as ‘spoiled’ unless you have personal knowledge of behavior which indicates as much. (Unless it is your opinion that any child of the patriciate must be spoiled).

    I think it reasonable to suspect that Joseph P. Kennedy was one of the world’s genuinely evil people and that he and his issue have damaged the quality of American public life. To say that collectively they have offered nothing worthwhile is de trop.

  • Art, in regard to the Cuban Missile Crisis, although I am thankful we got through it without the world perishing, I think Kennedy’s performance left much to be desired but I will concede the point. I had forgotten about Ted backing deregulation and I will also concede that point. As to Mark Shriver I honestly do not know of any contribution he has made. Paul can speak for himself as to KKT, but I suspect that he may be referring to her run for Governor of Maryland in 2002 when she appeared to think her Kennedy status assured her of victory and lost in the general after a weak campaign that was much criticized by Democrat activists at the time. I believe her opponent was only the seventh Republican to be elected governor of Maryland, and he was booted out in 2006. As to Joe Kennedy, Sr, he was the type of slime that gives slime a bad name.

  • I suppose it’s an exaggeration to say that the Kennedies have contributed nothing to the polity — but it’s pretty arguable that they have contributed more bad than good. (Though the rosy glow of martyrdom and celebrity around JFK tends to obscure the incompetence and corruption that too often epitomized this day to day.) But exaggeration is a pretty standard technique in polemic, and I would say one pretty much draws polemics on oneself when one explicitly endorses Obama as a Catholic leader over the pope.

    And really, no one would care what Kathleen Townsend said on Catholic issues, were she not minor nobility in “America’s royal family”.

  • Error on my part. Mark Shriver is an official of the Save the Children Federation. He did serve two terms in the Maryland legislature but was defeated in the Democratic primary when he ran for Congress. Both he and his cousin Kathleen have had an indifferent record in electoral contests in a state dominated by the Democratic Party (between them they are zero for three or zero for four on Congressional contests). I would wager both are a good deal better behaved and functional than the median of their family. The Kennedy clan cannot sell these two in Maryland but they can sell Edward, Joseph II, and Patrick in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. I does not make any sense, unless there be a faction of the general public affectionately disposed toward sybaritic excess (incorporating vehicular manslaughter), loutishness and stupidity, and sheer, sorry-assed incompetence (incorporating a history with booze and drugs).

  • The point is, Joe, that the author in question has basically built her career based on nothing more than her family brand-name – a brand name which frankly is of dubious quality. It calls into question her credentials in attempting to establish her vision of the American Catholic Church.

  • I agree with Joe on this one. I think the point at large is being ignored.

    The argument at hand is an intellectual position of Kathleen Kennedy Townsend that is terribly flawed, which can be argued against without resorting to attacking the Kennedy family and pointing out there contribution, or lack thereof, to America. The latter point has nothing to do with the statement that President Obama supposedly is more representative to American Catholics than the Pope is. That’s a matter in and of itself that can be intellectually dismembered without the slightest mention of the Kennedy family or their political history.

    The problem I have is that such a critique can really turn into a rant that does nothing but render judgment after judgment — many of which, I might agree are valid — to the Kennedy family, but does nothing to contribute to the debate over the status of Catholicism in America and the growing gap between self-described Catholics and the teachings of the Church.

    I’m not convinced that many of such Catholics could not be simply redirected toward orthodoxy through calm and patient dialogue. I’ve seen it happen with too many people, who really “never thought about it” and with whom a patient witness turned them around. Instead, we “demonize” them — wrong and unorthodox though they are — into enemies, that is conscious and willful enemies of the Church, in absolute, full understanding of the Church’s teaching, but they just oppose it anyway and push their liberal agenda. Maybe I give them too much credit. But I am doubtful. I have, in fact, never known anyone who disagreed with the Church who could accurately describe to me the Church’s teachings on life, family, and sexuality — why they were are the way they are, how they, though distinct, they are related to one another.

    Again, I’ve never met someone who disagreed with the Church who could accurately describe her teachings. It is largely in ignorance that such nonsense, as displayed in Mrs. Townsend’s comment, is said. Perhaps they are not open to change and are not willing to learn what the Church says and why, at this point in their life, if they ever were. I’m totally not in position to make that call and I’ll pray for them. That is not the point here. Neither am I saying these people with these very influential roles should be “let off the hook.” I’m more concerned about the way we engage them. One of the biggest things I remember as a non-Catholic and as a convert is how off-putting the approach a lot of Catholics, consciously willing it or not, can be.

    God assist me, but I don’t know how turning debate to focus on the spiritual and moral failures of the Kennedy family and their political impact on Americans fully exhausts, or even addresses, the absurd notion that President Obama is more representative of American Catholics. A simply address of ecclesiology and the essential nature of the Church and her moral teachings would be sufficient. I see no reason at all to even go in the other direction. In fact, even if I did, I would think it prudent to strike the cord that would win me more allies not less if I could do so in a way that is faithful to my responsibilities as a Catholic. I’m going to have to disagree Donald.

  • The point is, Joe, that the author in question has basically built her career based on nothing more than her family brand-name – a brand name which frankly is of dubious quality. It calls into question her credentials in attempting to establish her vision of the American Catholic Church.

    I am sorry to be a pest, but what calls in to question her credentials are 1.) she is not a bishop or a shepherd of any kind; 2.) the private life of her immediate family of origin and that of her collateral relations on both sides has been manifestly disordered (“Sheila, its just Catholic gobbeldygook”, quoth Joseph Kennedy II); and 3.) Sargent Shriver aside, has there been any member of the clan known in the last 30 years to have sided with the Church against the Liberal Establishment on certain non-negotiables?

    She is a legacy pol as well, and none too successful at it. The degree to which ‘branding’ of this sort seems to influence the capacity of aspirant office holders to raise funds and prevail in elections is dismaying but a separate issue.

  • That’s all right Eric, I sometimes even disagree with myself! Paul however nails it in that she would never have been asked to write that dreadful article but for her being a Kennedy. A defeated candidate for governor in 2002 who has not held elective office since would not have received such an invitation to write otherwise.

    When I was growing up, my mother had a picture of JFK on the wall. She was deeply hurt when the revelations about his personal behavior began to surface. Too many people in this country directly associate Catholicism in this country with the Kennedy clan, and this article helps to reinforce that connection which I believe has been detrimental to the Church. I think under her circumstances the fact that she is a Kennedy is of importance in considering this article, and why Newsweek decided to run it.

  • Thanks for the insight of the views of Catholics who have lived since the rise of the Kennedys and how it effects them. I’m glad we can cordially disagree. 🙂

  • God assist me, but I don’t know how turning debate to focus on the spiritual and moral failures of the Kennedy family and their political impact on Americans fully exhausts, or even addresses, the absurd notion that President Obama is more representative of American Catholics.

    I haven’t. You have. My post was 700 words, and you and Joe are focusing on one sentence. That’s your problem.

  • Eric, my apologies- I didn’t mean to be so hasty and rude in my reply – I shouldn’t try to write when I am pressed for time. Anyway, while I understand your concerns, I think I addressed the substance of her complaints with as much due consideration as she put into writing them. Let’s be honest – there was no there there. It was a basic racpitulation of the traditional progresso-Catholic list of demands that the Church must make. The only reason that tripe was published in the first place was due to who she was, not the sentiment expressed in it.

  • And Paul,

    “It calls into question her credentials in attempting to establish her vision of the American Catholic Church.”

    I’m sorry to say that I completely disagree. If she were making arguments that were inherently true, we would reject any attempt to dismiss them on the basis of what family she hails from.

    That rule of logic does not change when the arguments are false. Her arguments are false because they are false – a tautology, I am well aware, but justified in this case. Anyone inclined to agree with them, moreover, is certainly not going to be convinced not to on the basis of her family history.

    It’s just mudslinging. Both sides engage in it – throw enough mud and hope that it sticks. Arguments must be evaluated on their merit alone, on the extent to which they conform to the known facts and the rules of logic. This particular argument fails miserably enough on both counts without having to resort to ad hominem.

  • A non-Catholic friend of mine sent be Townsend’s article and asked for my reaction. My response: complete and utter crap. Townsend on the left is making the exact same mistake as Weigel on the right — trying to divide Catholic social teaching into the bits I like and the bits I don’t like. Caritas in Veritate makes clear that the social doctrine is a single doctrine, all related, and should not be pulled apart.

    I, for one, found her argument tired and jaded. That generation is still fixed on Humanae Vitae — get over it. Incredibly frustrating.

    That said, the attack on the Kennedy family was uncalled for. I found the most poignant moment of Obama’s meeting with the pope was when he handed him a letter from Ted Kennedy, who clearly has not much longer to live. A deeply flawed man, Kennedy still faught the good fight in so many areas. And for me, RFK was the greatest president that should have been.

  • “My response: complete and utter crap. Townsend on the left is making the exact same mistake as Weigel on the right”

    Actually no. Weigel was claiming that parts of “Caritas” were inspired by the Office of Justice and Peace in the Vatican. He did not claim that George Bush, for example, was a better representative of American Catholics than the Pope. Townsend stands all by herself in that regard.

    As for the Kennedy clan, I can understand why an extreme liberal such as yourself can have a tender spot in your heart for Ted. RFK was a political chameleon who went with the flow and was constantly reinventing himself. Anti-Communism in fashion: RFK the Red-hunter. People tired of Vietnam: RFK the peacenik. It never ceases to amuse me how one of the more ruthless pols to ever strut on the American scene inspires such sentiments on the Left.

  • KENNEDY FAMILY AUSTRALIA ARE PRO LIFE

    Now we have many USA relatives that eg serve in the armed forces, and in other fieldsds as well
    we just want to let you know that NOT ALL Kennedys are Pro abortion rather we are Pro life pro life pro life!!!!!

    so
    What Pres Obama* should have presented to his Holiness Pope Benedict the real Pope, not a pretender to the throne as some surmise PO* is

    was CLEAR , TANTAMOUNT, IRREFUTABLE proof that Obama will not only move to reduce abortions but that he Obama will follow the current American pro life trend and so become a pro life president like some of his predecessors were!!!!!
    Facta non verba
    deeds NOT words PRESIDENT O !
    people want action, not glib PERFUNCTORY oraty
    game, set, match to his Holiness Pope Benedict for reminding Obama and the world of the Church’s TOTALLY correct pro life position
    LIFE IS NEVER EVER JUST FOR THE PRIVILEGED, THE PlANNED THE PERFECT!
    SIMPLE AS THAT!

  • Catherine, Kennedy, as you know, is a noble and common Irish name, and I know many fine pro-life Kennedys myself.

  • I am sure Mary Jo Kopechne admires Ted’s ability through the years to “fight the good fight.”

  • AUSSIE KENNEDYS* say gracie tanto ie Thanks Donald for that! Yes , Kennedy is a noble and common irish name!
    Now we AKs* are so sick and tired of the pro abortion mindest that is running RANCID in the world
    This mindset has to be thwarted! once and for all!
    President O(PO)^ has the chance now he is the incumbent president to set the pace, to lead the way to follow the example of the brave USA Pro life clergy/ laity that so often speak up and out pro life
    you ALL know who we mean the likes of
    Archbishops Chaput, Burke, Cardinal Rigali, Bishop D,Arcy etc, etc.
    Indeed about one third of the bishops that spoke up against the PO^ visit to Notre Dame all so deserve both our gratitude, respect and recognition for all the unborn lives that they must surely help to save through correctly enunciating the pro life teachings of the Church

  • A deeply flawed man, Kennedy still fought the good fight in so many areas.

    Recalling that in 1979 he was asked by Roger Mudd why he was running for president and had a less than concise and coherent answer, I am not sure he had much of a rationale for what he did do or did not do other than it was the role of a lifetime. I seem also to recall that one of his pet issues at the time was national health insurance. If I am not mistaken, he did not manage to get a bill out of subcommittee though he was chairman of the subcommittee.

  • It never ceases to amaze me how one of the more ruthless pols to ever strut the American scence inspires such sentiments on the Left.

    Not the whole of the left. He managed to snooker figures as disparate as Cesar Chavez, Gloria Steinem, and Charles Peters, but there was a large constituency that could not abide the man. I have a dear friend who was obiligated to work on his 1964 Senate campaign. He said the experience of meeting Kennedy (in Auburn, N.Y. as I recall) and seeing him interact with his aides and retainers left him appalled. He was hot and heavy for Eugene McCarthy four years later. Gloria Steinem has also said the planning and discussion groups she and Allard Loewenstein were involved in during 1967 and 1968 were shot-through with ‘Bobby-haters’.

  • Donald:

    “I have long suspected that for some, by no means all, Catholics on the Left in this country their true Pope’s last name begins with an O rather than a B.”

    Careful there — you just might find yourself guilty of the modern version of praemunire and, thus, be branded a traitor to these United States, according to some of our more distinguished ‘patriots’!

  • Catholic Online has a good, concise response posted:

    http://www.catholic.org/politics/story.php?id=34055&page=2

    It feels kinda weird but refreshing to read Morning’s Minion’s comment and nod in agreement. Still,on reading Townsend’s assertion that in her family politics was considered an honorable profession, I’ll admit to some uncharitable reflections myself on possible reasons for this view.

But For Malta!

Thursday, July 2, AD 2009

Douglas Kmiec, betrayer of the pro-life cause, has received his reward for his slavish support of President Obama.  He has been nominated to be ambassador of the proud, small and Catholic country of Malta.  Malta has a very strong and active pro-life movement, so this might get interesting!   Bon Voyage Doug!  We’ll stay in touch, and so, I am sure, will our colleagues in lovely Malta!

Other Kmiec related posts on American Catholic:

1.     Kmiec on Kozen…

2.     Archbishop Chaput Weighs in Again

3.     Douthat Puts Kmiec in His Place

4.     Ross Douthat:  Not Backing Down

5.     Dedicated to Douglas Kmiec

6.     To the “Traitor” Go The Spoils?  Kmiec & The Ambassadorship

7.     Another Day, Another Kmiec 180

8.     Shameless

9.     Bag of Silver

10.   More Commencement Controversy

11.   Heee’s Back!

12.   What’s Empathy Got To Do With It?

13.   Kmiec Lectures Fellow “Conservative” Catholics

14.   Is There A Common Ground on Life Issues?

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10 Responses to But For Malta!

  • Only goes to show that Mr. Kmiec was interested in the ambassadorship of the Vatican or at least he was considered. Pretty pathetic and sad that he sold his soul for the devil’s cause.

    We need to pray for his soul.

  • Malta was a stumbling block to Islam in the middle ages, and the Axis forces in WW 2.
    Will this insignificant island prove a stumbling block
    to Obama’s war against the unborn?

  • Indeed Don, Malta has a proud fighting tradition. Throughout the ages it has been a bastion of the Faith in the Mediterranean and during WW2 the entire island was awarded the Victoria Cross, Britain’s highest award for gallantry. I think this appointment, which is obviously Obama’s way to fob off Kmiec with something Obama considers insignificant, may come back to haunt both Kmiec and Obama.

  • Malta is one of the most, if not THE most, pro-life country on earth, according to an article I read some years ago in Our Sunday Visitor. It is also one of the most Catholic countries on earth, outside of (of course) Vatican City State. And don’t the Knights of Malta still exist today as a Papal honorary order?

  • I am relieved. he can do little damage there and hopefully he will be there the entire 2012 election season

  • As a side note, Malta has a few fantastic ancient Churches. If you ever get a chance to travel Europe include Malta on your itinerary.

  • I am not sold on the idea that Prof. Kmiec knows anymore whether he is coming or going. I would not be the least surprised if he were compelled to resign from his position in Malta ‘ere long to ‘spend more time with his family’ (under their watchful supervision).

  • Pingback: Malta and Doug « The American Catholic
  • Malta is hosting more and more prominent people and it’s becoming the hub of lots of important meetings. Hope you enjoy it on our island!

  • Malta is definitely on my top ten list of places to visit!

USCCB Issues A Statement of Support For Bishop D'Arcy

Tuesday, June 23, AD 2009

Bishop John M. D'Arcy

Hattip to reader Rick Lugari.  The USCCB* has issued this statement of support for Bishop John D’Arcy, the Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend:

“The bishops of the United States express our appreciation and support for our brother bishop, the Most Reverend John D’Arcy.  We affirm his pastoral concern for Notre Dame University, his solicitude for its Catholic identity, and his loving care for all those the Lord has given him to sanctify, to teach and to shepherd.”

Bishop D’Arcy had been in the forefront of protesting Notre Dame honoring Obama on May 17, 2009.

* United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

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30 Responses to USCCB Issues A Statement of Support For Bishop D'Arcy

  • I wonder if, now that the entire USCCB has voted on this resolution, people will stop claiming that the ~80 bishops who spoke out against Notre Dame’s actions at the time were some sort of partisan hack minority.

  • “A sad testament to the co-option of the USCCB by Republican partisans…” will probably be the editorial gloss from the usual suspects, followed by more faux hand-wringing about “civility”, which, as practiced by its proponents, rarely involves a good faith attempt to respond to legitimate criticism.

    It is nice that the USCCB decided to recognize Bishop D’Arcy. I thought his firm and temperate response to the Notre Dame controversy was a model for other bishops.

  • The members of the Obama cult will have no difficulty discounting this.

  • How soon we forget!

    D’Arcy was one of the more moderate of those who expressed concerns about the Obama visit. Some of you even called him a coward! Now you’re spinning this as you wish. I commend the USCCB’s recognition of his leadership. In doing so, they have expressed their solidarity with HIS view, not the views of the mosr radical, Republicatholic bishops.

  • Catholic Anarchist, I defy you to find a quotation from any member of this blog in which Bishop D’Arcy was called a coward.

  • Michael, I think it’s you who are spinning. Bishop D’Arcy could not have been more clear in his position that Notre Dame was wrong to honor president Obama and that in doing so, they violated the 2004 Bishop’s statement (both statements are available on the diocese website and the one interview he gave is available on youtube). His response was direct and prayerful. I read all the bishops statements and I didn’t see any who said anything markedly stronger than Bishop D’Arcy. Maybe I missed it. Can you point me to the bishops you think are the “radical republicatholic bishops” and which parts of their statements went so far beyond Bishop D’Arcy that the USCCB’s statement of support can’t fairly be said to apply to them also?

  • D’Arcy was one of the more moderate of those who expressed concerns about the Obama visit. Some of you even called him a coward!

    Michael,

    I have no recollection of such a statement by anyone on this blog. As far as I know, I am the only one who (gently) criticized any of the bishops, and that post suggested Bishop Olmsted had been too harsh with Fr. Jenkins (a view I later revised as more Bishops spoke out). I praised Bishop D’Arcy’s response as striking the perfect balance; certainly, no one called him a coward. Please either produce a link or retract the accusation.

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2009/03/26/bishop-olmsted-accuses-president-jenkins-of-disobedience/

  • As I recall the debate the only thing negative and disrespectful said about any of the bishops were from people who called them Republicatholics and the like because they spoke out against a Catholic college honoring a vehemently pro-abortion politician who happens to be a Democrat. Those who supported the bishops were called partisan hacks who don’t understand what true Catholicism is – strikingly similar to Schiavo affair when the enlightened Catholics told us that Terri’s supporters and the many vocal bishops simply didn’t understand. Now the USCCB, albeit a late, gave voice, just like the Vatican did – thought at least in the Schiavo case Pope John Paul II and the Vatican were speaking out all along – but the arbiters of true Catholicism ignored all that too.

  • Rick

    Thank you for combating the revisionist history

  • I read all the bishops statements and I didn’t see any who said anything markedly stronger than Bishop D’Arcy.

    This is simply absurd. D’Arcy was about the tamest of the bishops who spoke out. This, jh, is revisionism.

  • Now, now, now–don’t confuse the excitable lad with facts. He expects neologisms like Republicatholic actually mean something to others, which is almost endearing.

    About the only truly intemperate statement was from Bishop Bruskewitz, the exception which proves the rule.

  • “Republicatholic bishops”

    Like I said, self parody. Who needs “i” when you have the real iafrate?

  • D’Arcy was one of the more moderate of those who expressed concerns about the Obama visit.

    What a hack. So a “more moderate” response was D’Arcy’s boycott of the Notre Dame graduation, along with his prayer for “Our Lady to intercede for the university named in her honor, that it may recommit itself to the primacy of truth over prestige.”

    After your behavior over at VN, no one in their right mind thinks that your positions have anything to do with fealty to the Church. Your comments are dripping with contempt and intellectual pride whenever anybody in the Church suggests disagreement with your precious political positions.

  • Michael J is the embodiment of the axiom that being on the left means never having to say you’re sorry, either for baseless accusations or for a bad memmory. There does seem to be a catholic modification to his leftism; he generally tells those he disagrees with to merely “shut up”. This is vastly better than the Che Guevara supporters on youtube who say they are going to kill me.

  • Michael J is the embodiment of the axiom that being on the left means never having to say you’re sorry, either for baseless accusations or for a bad memmory.

    What should I apologize for? I was against the idea of Obama receiving the degree from the beginning.

    he generally tells those he disagrees with to merely “shut up”.

    Prove it.

  • What should I apologize for?

    For claiming that you were against Obama receiving an honorary degree, when in fact you ridicule the Bishops that you supposedly agree with as “radical Republicatholics.”

  • Yeah, SB, that second example you posted is something I’ve seen more than once from him.

    Michael J. Iafrate Says:
    October 29, 2008 at 3:47 pm
    S.B., shut up or you will be permanently banned from commenting on my posts. Understand?

    I assume that smart people on the left resort to verbal bullying and intimidation because they know their arguments are weak. Some on the fringe right have the same tendency.

  • For claiming that you were against Obama receiving an honorary degree, when in fact you ridicule the Bishops that you supposedly agree with as “radical Republicatholics.”

    I was against Obama receiving the degree but I disagreed with the viewpoint expressed by your “heroic” bishops who went much further and said he should not be allowed to speak at ND and even went so far as to make judgments about Fr. Jenkin’s spiritual state. Surely you see that there is a difference.

    In the first example you cite, S.B., I clearly did not simply say “shut up” as a way to end an argument.

    Nor did I do so in the second example. In fact, “Pauli,” if you look at my comment in context you will see that was in fact S.B. who was engaging in verbal bullying. That’s his tactic as I’m sure you well know. I have no qualms about telling him to shut up when he does such things at my blog. But that is not the same as saying “shut up” in order to shut down an argument. Once again, you and S.B. must resort to mischaracterization in order to “win” an argument.

  • It wasn’t verbal “bullying” to point out the obvious fact that you were making an astonishing claim (about starvation being caused by “deliberate policies of global capitalism”) with zero evidence to back it up (“click around the internet,” you said, when you turned out to be incapable of finding any supportive links yourself).

    So you’re merely proving the point that leftists sometimes resort to verbal bullying (“shut up”) when their arguments lack logic or evidence.

  • S.B. – Your bullying reputation is obvious to anyone who reads this blog or Vox Nova. But continue to claim otherwise. It’s nice to have a little giggle in the middle of a busy day.

  • People who say stupid things often experience it as “bullying” to have it pointed out.

  • Ha! Two giggles in one day! You are too generous, S.B.

  • Addendum: People who tell outright lies in defense of unorthodox beliefs, and yet who derive enormous intellectual pride from their faith, often experience it as “bullying” to have that pointed out as well.

  • Reading his stuff is kind of like looking at pictures of crystal addicts–it keeps most sane folks from going over to the left. At least I would hope so.

  • I was against Obama receiving the degree but I disagreed with the viewpoint expressed by your “heroic” bishops who went much further and said he should not be allowed to speak at ND and even went so far as to make judgments about Fr. Jenkin’s spiritual state. Surely you see that there is a difference.

    Of course there’s a difference. But it says much more about your partisan idiocy, and about your willingness to put your own ideology above respect for the Church’s stewards, that you think a Bishop’s fierce opposition to Obama’s position on abortion makes him a “Republicatholic.”

  • Please, by all means, prove that I am a “partisan.” I am, and have been, against the republicans and democrats for many years. You are just spewing filth, nothing accurate, nothing based in reality.

  • It’s not “filth” — just the obvious truth — to point out that you are unorthodox, as are some of your fellow bloggers. If you’re not intelligent or honest enough to admit that fact, that’s your problem.

  • Is partisanship equivalent to unorthodox?

    It doe not matter here… SB is allowed to live out rather ungracefully his continued obsession with MI.

  • No, they’re unorthodox on several moral issues.

    I’m not “obsessed.” Believe me, it takes but 30 seconds or a minute at most to type out an occasional comment. I spend far more time thinking about my family, my work, the book I’m publishing, the classical guitar album I’m making, and how to improve my squat form as I progress towards squatting 405. It’s just that when I read this blog, and I keep coming across obnoxious and asinine comments from unabashed dissenters who nonetheless have managed to convince themselves that they are the only true Catholics, I can’t help responding.

6 Responses to Obama: Fly-Killer!

If Obama Is Spock We Are Doomed!!!

Tuesday, June 9, AD 2009

Spobama

Maureen Dowd wrote a column last month in which she compared, tongue in cheek, Obama to Mr. Spock from Star Trek.  Jeff Greenwald of Salon also sees a resemblance between Chicago’s “gift” to the country and the first officer of the Enterprise.  Bill Whittle of Pajamas Media, takes great joy in informing us in a very entertaining video here why having an intellectual in the mode of Mr. Spock as president is very bad for the nation.

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10 Responses to If Obama Is Spock We Are Doomed!!!

  • well, most of ’em are true anyway

  • It’s a fun video, but I don’t think Spock qualifies as an intellectual (he’s very intelligent, but that’s not the same thing). Also, the problem Spock had in the series as a leader was that he couldn’t connect with people emotionally, and therefore they didn’t trust him. This, I’m afraid, is not Obama’s problem.

  • 0.o

    Want… to defend… Spock…..

    On a side note, I thought Spock had a pretty good sense of humor: very, very, VERY dry. Heavy use of irony.

    Spock is also very good at subtle, polite insults. ^.^

    I object to intellect without discipline; I object to power without constructive purpose. -Spock

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/148307/best_quotes_from_mr_spock_of_star_trek.html?cat=38
    http://www.pithypedia.com/?author=Spock

  • Foxfier, I will concede that Spock often got off a good bon mot. However, what made it humorous was the assumption on the part of the audience that Spock was not trying to be funny and would have been aghast at the suggestion that he was attempting to be funny.

  • Asperger’s.

  • I’d have to draw a distinction between “trying to be funny” and having a sense of humor; I’d further have to submit that any Vulcan dealing with humans will either have to be able to find some amusement in their actions, or go mad from the sheer irrationality.

  • Of course we also have to bear in mind that Spock was only half Vulcan. I always assumed that he massively repressed his sense of humor in order to be 100% Vulcan which was obviously his goal, at least in the original series. The Enterprise series portrayed Vulcans as being far more openly emotional, at least by the standards of the original series.

  • If I remember the bits of Enterprise I read, coupled with the history of the Romulans,

    *SPOILER*

    *SPOILER*

    *SPOILER*

    (maybe)

    in the Enterprise time-frame, Vulcans had fallen away from the logical teachings of Surak (googles to get the name right) and it was toward the end of that when the teachings made a resurgence; historically, the Vulcans nearly wiped themselves out before Surak’s teachings took hold.

    Several waves of refugees or those who didn’t wish to reject their (highly overpowering) emotions included the ancestors of the Romulans. (They seem to have found a way to control their overwhelming emotions by being cold-blooded, back-stabbing, manipulative politicians.)

    That would make Sarek a child soon after a big wave of religion sweeps over, so Spock might be modeling himself on some real hard-liners, logically speaking.

    Add in the way that someone who is halfway between cultures tends to choose one and be more Catholic than the Pope for that one, and it explains why Spock would be a Vulcan’s Vulcan. (Spock’s fiancé’s actions in that pon farr ep come to mind.)

    Side note: I am utterly geeking out that my spell check had “Spock” in it already.

  • While it is true that Obama has developed a reputation for being rather “geeky,” I seriously question whether he has Asperger’s, since most Aspies are socially extremely awkward and probably couldn’t win an election if their lives depended on it. I do not mean that as an insult, by the way, just a statement of fact.

    Probably the most famous Aspie in the world right now is Bill Gates; he is famous and very successful but charisma is not exactly his strong point. In general, Aspies have little or no interest in purely social friendship (it has to be about a common interest), or in the relentless social maneuvering that would be required to become a successful politician.

    A lot of Aspies do identify with characters like Spock and Next Generation’s Data because of their focus on pure logic and inability to deal with emotions and body language. As I said earlier, many Aspies (I strongly suspect myself to be one) prefer e-mail and blogging to in-person communication because it allows you to communicate pure words and ideas, without having to worry about eye contact, etc.

  • nope, obama cannot be an aspie because he is too full of shi* to be. as a rule, aspies are very honest, do what they say they are gonna do, and say what they mean and mean what they say. obama, on the other hand, is from the senate, and as a rule, people from the senate and the house are so full of shi* that they cannot tell the difference between truth and a lie – to congressmen and seantors – truth and a lie are the same thing. 😛

Jesuitical 5: Obama as "the Spirit of Vatican II" President

Thursday, June 4, AD 2009

John O'Malley

The fifth installment of my series pointing out the follies of some Jesuits in this country.  Father John O’Malley, SJ, of  the theology department of Georgetown has a piece in America, where else?, in which he hails Obama as a President who embodies something called “the Spirit of Vatican II”.  Actually I think Obama really embodies “the Spirit of Jesuits Trapped in ’68”.    Father Z does the necessary fisking of the article here.  Carl Olsen has some pointed comments on the same subject here.  Rich Leonardi of Ten Reasons points us to thoughts about the meaning of Vatican II by the late, and very great, Avery Cardinal Dulles, SJ, which appeared in America in 2003.

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12 Responses to Jesuitical 5: Obama as "the Spirit of Vatican II" President

  • This is amusing, while the article is based on “style” as substance in which there are legitimate comparisons between the Council language Obama’s rhetoric at times, it wholly ignores Obama’s rhetoric at other times which is entirely different.

    While Obama gives some speeches that are “civil” he gives many others in which he demonizes the opposition in sometimes insidious but often openly contempt fashion. That is not civility. To speak one way about pro-lifers in a Catholic college, but in an opposite way at a DNC rally, or even to the mainstream media, that is the height of contempt, not only for the opposition, but for everyone, treating us as the proles of Communist countries were.

  • No institution is doing a better job of spreading the post-Christian virus than GTown. No Catholic religious order is more zealous in this mission than our Society of Jesus. Thus the Theology Dept. of this once fine institution is a host body. As I value my daily time only the fisking from Mr. Olsen was worth my view and a worthy one it is. Confirms my belief that when folks unhinge themselves to One True God, they hook up with other gods, the most popular one being Gummint. As O’Malley chooses to make a strange god of Dear Leader, he only expresses what many of his D.C.-based libs believe in their heart of hearts. But perhaps his words of worship are already stale. This past weekend, read something from noted lib Ted Rall already calling for Dear Leader to step down from the throne. Gitmo Angst and other stuff made him unhinged. Perhaps Theology Professor O’Malley should read this essay and update his theories. False gods often have limited shelf-lives.

  • Today the Commonweal blog is casting Obama as St. Francis of Assisi. Better than making him Jesus, I guess. But these people have a sad awakening coming.

  • This article was the most silly thing I have read ever in America magazine. WHich is saying a lot

    These line floored me

    “Is it not ironic that not a bishop but the President of the United States should today be the most effective spokesperson for that spirit”

    Breathtaking just Breathraking. Can one imagine the yelling and wailing if a conservative journal implied that Bush was a better spokeman for American Catholic than the U.S. Bishops

  • “But these people have a sad awakening coming.”

    Quite true Ron. No politician could possibly live up to the type of adulation that has been bestowed on Obama.

  • Isn’t “The Spirit of Vatican II” that anti-orthodox priest in Japan?

  • Yes, foxfier, that would be Fr. O’Leary. (An “O'” usually denotes the bearer of a fine Irish name, but I’m beginning to be wary of “O’s” with an S. J. after their Celtic monikers.)The last I saw of O’Leary, aka “The Spirit of VII,” he was telling the VN posters that abortion, including late-term abortion, is justifiable in some circumstances. He got that pearl of wisdom from Andrew Sullivan’s blog. O’Leary, like O’Malley, delights in telling us we should really forget all that stodgy old Vatican stuff and just get cool with the progressive program.

  • In August 2004 I saw first hand modern Jesuit thinking and its hideous anti Catholicism. Taking my daughter to freshman orientation at the University of San Francisco, the openning convocation was full of self (false) praise of the value of Jesuit education. What it lacked was single prayer for hope, encouragement, or thanks to our Lord. As I told the assistant Dean of Students while leaving, that I a lay person and the product of a good Marian education would have gladly offered one if the Jesuits were too embarassed to offer even one. But the next days Mass for students and family was even more hurtfull by these non-catholic humanists. During the homily, a young woman just graduated actually gave a speech on how she lost her faith and possibly her eternal happiness with Jesus as she was inspired by her Jesuitg education to convert from Catholicism to Islam. I am not afraid of the truth, those are facts and that is what is tolerated in the Jesuit community under the guise of being secular and seeking justice.
    I always thought that seeking Jesus, the way, the truth, and the light was what we humans were about.

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Bishop D'Arcy Responds

Thursday, April 23, AD 2009
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18 Responses to Bishop D'Arcy Responds

  • I hope it’s OK to comment. I am a Catholic, but I disagree with the Bishop somewhat. Plus: Why is it only abortion that matters? Obama is also pro-death penalty. Obama is not that pro-choice (what he says and who he appoints are two different things). But he is rabidly pro-death penalty.

    I don’t care if Obama speaks at Notre Dame. Lots of presidents speak at universities and to me it is something that students will always remember, whether they agree with that president’s political stands or not. I disagree with Obama on almost everything. I would rather see protests WHEN he speaks than protests about him speaking. IMHO.

  • Plus: Why is it only abortion that matters?

    That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it has been pointed out that the evil of abortion does outweigh some other issues. As then Cardinal Ratzinger put it:

    Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.

    Obama is not that pro-choice

    Yeah, he kind of is. He is so rabidly pro-abortion that he opposed the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, which would have guaranteed some basic rights to babies that survived a botched abortion. Even Planned Parenthood didn’t hold such an extreme view.

    I don’t care if Obama speaks at Notre Dame.

    That’s nice. But that doesn’t really speak to the issue of whether or not honoring a public individual who supports a grave and manifest evil that is unequivocally opposed by the Church ought to be honored at a Catholic university.

    would rather see protests WHEN he speaks than protests about him speaking. IMHO.

    Why not both?

  • Carrisa,

    Whether you are Catholic or not, you are more than welcomed to comment here just as long as it relates to the topic, charitable, and constructive.

    Welcome to American Catholic!

  • Understatement of the year:

    Obama is not that pro-choice

    Yeah, he kind of is”

    I laughed when I read that 🙂

  • “Obama is not that pro-choice.”

    I think the argument used by some is that he is pro-choice but not pro-abortion.

    We’ll leave it at that.

  • Bishop D’Arcy talks about how proper consultation could have avoided all this. This is the real shame here. This all could have been avoided. Father Jenkins acted unilaterally. Where have I heard that unilateral action is the worst kind of sin? Hmm…

  • Father Jenkins acted unilaterally.

    Just because he didn’t consult with the bishop does not mean he acted unilaterally.

  • I’m pro-choice with regard to holding slaves.

    I think that every person should be free to hold slaves without government interference, the government should provide funding for people to purchase slaves if they can’t afford them, the government should provide facilities to keep slaves, also it’s good for the government to fund organizations which further the cause of slavery worldwide, I speak often at slavery conventions, and receive many political contributions from slavery groups.

    But…. I am not pro-slavery, I would not hold slaves, although if my children needed some help around the house I wouldn’t want them punished with having to do the work themselves, so I would take them to the slave auction and give them money to buy slaves).

    Slaves should be safe, legal, and rare.

  • Michael,
    Ought not a priest consult with the local bishop on a decision that was surely to be controversial? On a matter that cuts to the core of Catholic teaching and its alignment with the Natural Law? If not unilateral, then surely imprudent. The good father chose perishable wordly praise over timeless universal truth. How very sad.

  • Matt,
    Bravo. Can I borrow this comparison of yours? I may be able to make some headway with this.

  • daledog,

    I’m sure it’s been done before, but it fits Obama so precisely! Feel free to use it.

    I’m still trying to figure out how to make an analogy of the opposition to “Born Alive Protection Act” any suggestions?

  • “I’m still trying to figure out how to make an analogy of the opposition to “Born Alive Protection Act” any suggestions?”

    Not a direct analogy, but here goes:

    Fugitive Slave Act. If a slave actually manages to make it to freedom in the North, it is against the law for people in Northern states to aid said slave in his/her escape or otherwise provide assistance.

  • With respect to my comment that Obama is not that pro-choice, I realize in Catholicize there is no wiggle-room. But Obama isn’t Catholic, even though he gave more money to Catholic Social Services last year (as revealed on his income tax forms) than to any other group. Many Catholics belonged to a pro-Obama group (Catholics for Obama) because they believed that he was more anti-choice than pro-choice. I did not support Obama, but I think that group had good evidence. His first choice for Health and Human Services was Tom Daschle, a guy who had only a 50% rating from NARAL. And many of Obama’s associates are ministers like James Meeks of the Illinois Family Institute.

    Abortion just took over the Church as an issue. In the 1980s it became impossible to attend a mass or sometimes even a funeral without hearing about abortion. Now it seems to be homosexuality.

    When are we going to get back to the central message of love? When are the words of Jesus going to come to us from the pulpit? I have listed to pro-life men speak about abortion without ever using the word woman or mother: they say “womb,” like we are incubators. I don’t hear Jesus in that. I am not saying the Church should drop its doctrine or not take stands on issues of life. If I wanted no doctrine, no transubstantiation, no veneration of the Blessed Virgin, I would be a Unitarian or something. But I find more vitriol than love most of the time when Catholics talk about current politics.

    Thank you for letting me comment. God bless.

  • Above, second line should say Catholicism. Sorry.

  • Carrisa, here is a good site to learn about Obama and his record on abortion:

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

    The Church has condemned abortion since the time of the Apostles and Obama is a champion of abortion. The facts shout for themselves. A website you might find interesting is here:

    http://www.feministsforlife.org/

  • Carissa, even though I am 100 percent pro-life, I have sometimes wondered myself why the Church seems to “harp” on abortion so much.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s because no other major institutions (other than evangelical Protestant churches) are doing so, and the Church HAS to go out of its way to remind people how evil abortion is because they aren’t getting that reminder anywhere else, with a few exceptions (e.g. Feminists for Life, noted pro-life atheists such as Nat Hentoff, some Orthodox Jews and Muslims).

    The Church doesn’t have to put quite as much effort into condemning war, poverty, capital punishment, or murder of people already born because there are plenty of other individuals and groups out there doing so already, and the force of civil law already condemns things like murder. With abortion (and now, gay marriage), however, Catholics and evangelical Protestants stand nearly alone in opposing it; so I guess they just have to repeat their message louder and more frequently.

  • The reason the Church harps on this so much is that Catholics DO NOT GET IT. Most voted for Obama, and every pro-abortion presidential candidate before him. Maybe they’ll take it easy when liberal Catholics get it.

  • Catholics say in the Creed: “I believe in the Holy Spirit the Lord and Giver of Life…” Anyone who thinks that abortion or euthanasia ought to be legal is an enemy of God and will receive the recompense which befits an enemy. This is so clear a child can understand. The enemies of God cannot see this which is the first sign that they are already being punished.

Res & Explicatio for A.D. 4-22-2009

Wednesday, April 22, AD 2009

Salvete AC readers!

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

1. The HOT rumor of the day is that “Father John Jenkins, the president of Notre Dame, is in Washington today (Tuesday) for an unannounced meeting at the White House.”

Is he personally visiting with President Obama to offer his sincere apologies for rescinding the invitation to speak at the commencement?  Rescind the honorary law degree?  Ask for a job after he gets fired?

Your guess is as good as mine.

Phil Lawler of Catholic World News received a report from a reliable source of Fr. Jenkin’s unannounced visit to the White House and they cannot confirm this report yet.

In other news, this past Monday Fr. Jenkins expressed his profound pride in honoring the most pro-abortion president in U.S. history.

2. Have you seen Fr. Dwight Longenecker’s updated and revised blog?  It is awesome!

3. Even though the 2012 U.S. presidential elections are three years away we can dream and speculate who we would like to run for office between either a Democratic or Republican candidate (or even a legitimate third party candidate).  One name that has become quite intriguing to me is the former U.S. Representative from Georgia, Newt Gingrich.  His mea culpa of his previous marriages, his incredible intellect, speaking skills, and his recent conversion to our beautiful Catholic faith makes him my favorite for now.

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77 Responses to Res & Explicatio for A.D. 4-22-2009

  • Newt Gingrich has a hundred ideas a day, at least three of which are sound! Bright guy but he would be a disaster as a candidate. Too many skeletons, too many bitter ex-wives and a tendency not to be trusted within the party. I could imagine him as a possible veep, but I don’t think he will ever be elected to the top job.

    In regard to Hitler, rumors constantly swirled during the War that he planned to imprison Pius and set up a puppet papacy. Wiser heads in the Third Reich realized this would be a disaster for them, and Hitler in his saner moments agreed, but the risk was real enough at the time. Hitler often spoke of “settling accounts” with the Church after the war, and I could easily imagine him in a moment of high anger deciding not to wait.

  • That is frightening to hear about “settling accounts”. If Hitler had won the war it may have well been one of the darkest periods for the Church since the French Revolution.

  • Because of your excellent points on Mr. Gingrich I still have inadequate information to be completely convinced of his candidacy.

    I’m still distraught over Senator Brownback’s support of Governor Sebelius so I don’t have anyone as of now that I really like.

    I hear from insiders of the Baton Rouge political scene that Governor Jindal so far has ‘mixed reviews’ on his performance, so I’m hesitant to jump on that bandwagon.

    And Governor Palin’s appointment of a pro-choice judge to the Alaska State Supreme Court has made my stomach turn.

  • To answer the question headline of one of the related posts:

    “Should Pope Pius XII Become a Saint?”

    Yes!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Myth_of_Hitler%27s_Pope

  • As Donald said Gingrich is an ideas guy, but he is saddled with too much baggage. This is the land of second chances, but the presidency isn’t a second chance job.

    Tito,

    I’d recommend you do some more research before you let your stomach turn. This non-issue was debunked a while back. Alaska Supreme Court Justices, unlike the US Supreme Court, are not chosen by the executive branch. In Alaska the state Judiciary Council submits nominees to the governor who has to pick one of the nominated individuals. A previous governor fought this requirement and lost. Unless the Alaska state constitution is modified the process will remain as is.

  • In regard to Hitler here are some of his diatribes against the Church contained in his “Table Talk” compiled following the war from notes taken at the time he spoke:

    ‘The war will be over one day. I shall then consider that my life’s final task will be to solve the religious problem. Only then Will the life of the German native be guaranteed once and for all.”

    “The evil that’s gnawing our vitals is our priests, of both creeds. I can’t at present give them the answer they’ve been asking for, but it will cost them nothing to wait. It’s all written down in my big book. The time will come when I’ll settle my account with them, and I’ll go straight to the point.”

    “I don’t know which should be considered the more dangerous: the minister of religion who play-acts at patriotism, or the man who openly opposes the State. The fact remains that it’s their maneuvers that have led me to my decision. They’ve only got to keep at it, they’ll hear from me, all right. I shan’t let myself be hampered by juridical scruples. Only necessity has legal force. In less than ten years from now, things will have quite another look, I can promise them.”

    “We shan’t be able to go on evading the religious problem much longer. If anyone thinks it’s really essential to build the life of human society on a foundation of lies, well, in my estimation, such a society is not worth preserving. If’ on the other hand, one believes that truth is the indispensable foundation, then conscience bids one intervene in the name of truth, and exterminate the lie.”

    “Once the war is over we will put a swift end to the Concordat. It will give me the greatest personal pleasure to point out to the Church all those occasions on which it has broken the terms of it. One need only recall the close cooperation between the Church and the murderers of Heydrich. Catholic priests not only allowed them to hide in a church on the outskirts of Prague, but even allowed them to entrench themselves in the sanctuary of the altar.”

    “The fact that I remain silent in public over Church affairs is not in the least misunderstood by the sly foxes of the Catholic Church, and I am quite sure that a man like the Bishop von Galen knows full well that after the war I shall extract retribution to the last farthing. And, if he does not succeed in getting himself transferred in the meanwhile to the Collegium Germanium in Rome, he may rest assured that in the balancing of our accounts, no “T” will remain uncrossed, no “I” undotted!”

  • LargeBill,

    Thanks for that bit of information. I was unaware of how Alaska politics works.

    Henry Karlson,

    No personal attacks and insults will be tolerated anymore. You are given your first warning before being placed on moderation.

  • Tito:

    I’m no insider but I do live in Baton Rouge. For my view, Jindal still has a lot of respect for his handling of Gustav as well as telling Obama to keep some of the money and being one of the first to do so.

    However, Louisiana does face a budget deficit (our problem is the oil revenues have gone down, just like Alaska) and there have been cuts, which rarely make one popular. Not to mention he did a pretty poor job in the response to Obama.

  • Michael,

    I do not doubt what you are saying is true. I like Mr. Jindal very much and I have heard many, many good things about him. I am just being cautious in my praise since he is a neophyte.

    I don’t want to get excited about someone with so little experience, especially after watching President Obama create one disaster after another in his “on the job training”.

  • Henry Karlson,

    You are hereby placed on indefinite moderation until you have a change of heart.

    [ed.-in fairness to Henry, I have edited out my accurate adjectives]

  • “Even though the 2012 U.S. presidential elections…”

    2012?

    Isn’t the world supposed to end in 2012?

  • “Henry Karlson…May God help you in your struggles [ed.].”

    Is this the very same Henry Karlson who authored a series on ‘lies’ at the blog Vox Nova?

    [ed.-sorry e., in fairness to Henry, I edited out my accurate adjectives]

  • Phillip et al,

    We’ve received numerous complaints from many of our good readers of the ‘distractions’ that people like Karlson have become to constructive debates and engagement in dialogue.

    The final straw came when we were being accused of tolerating insults and hate speech at the expense of good Catholics and dialogue.

    I have seen across the Catholic blogosphere these same culprits use their political agenda to cloud their Catholic sense of being because of their hate towards orthodoxy in general and Pope Benedict specifically.

    Many, many well meaning Catholics have been patient and charitable in tolerating these malcontents in their comboxes and we here at American Catholic have decided to draw a line in the sand against such hate speech.

    Henry Karlson exemplifies the liberal extremists who disguise themselves as Catholics to push President Obama’s agenda of abortion on demand. [conservative extremists can be just as awful. There is a distinction between liberals and liberal extremists. I count many friends with center-left leanings as good friends and model Catholics that I myself strive to be to follow in their footsteps.]

    The TIDE IS TURNING against them and they know it. Hundreds of seminarians are more orthodox than their predecessors. Orthodox parishes are thriving while the Spirit of Vatican II churches are shrinking in number.

    They know their days are numbered and they are frantically attacking anyone and anything that is bringing the Church closer to Christ.

    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

  • e.,

    Yes. That’s if you follow Mayan paganism.

    In reality what it really means is ‘time will reset itself’. Like when you jump forward in Spring or turn back the clock in the Fall.

    Many people take it to mean something more sinister.

    But we as Catholics do not know the time nor the place of His return.

  • Tito,

    Thanks for the info!

    On the other matter, I’m fairly disappointed at Karlson’s behaviour. I never knew he could sink so low.

  • Now I’m just curious. What did he say?

  • When the world ends is unknown, though if the Saints draft well enough to win the Superbowl this year, it will most certainly end in Feb. 2010. 😉

    Tito:

    This is true, though Jindal does have more experience than Obama (House of Reps for I think 3 years).

    Donald:

    Thanks for the Hitler quotes; they are very chilling and important to keep in mind.

    Joe:

    I just finished that book. It was very convincing that Pius has been unfairly marginalized and should in fact be canonized. I hope that when he is sainted, the calumny against him will subside and he will be honored as a “righteous Gentile.”

  • Perhaps: “Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries.”

    Or even just, “Ni!”

  • Darwin,

    Now those are fighting words.

    Tito,

    Okay, just saying ouch.

  • Michael D.,

    I have a soft spot for people like Sam Brownback, Newt Gingrich, and Bobby Jindal. I love hearing and reading about conversion stories. These stories fill me with inspiration and joy while simultaneously they motivate me to turn closer to God.

    Though they have many flaws I am reminded of Jesus’ mission that he came for these sinners so they may have eternal life. This particular passage is very soothing and I reflect on it right before the consecration during Mass.

    Just awe-inspiring!

  • I know I’ll regret this, but part of me just cannot let this [ed.-your lies will not be tolerated] pass. I would advise Tito Edwards to get a better handle on the term “liberal” [ed.-I said liberal extremist] before he throws it around (hint: it’s not what Limbaugh and Hannity say it is). For the record, Henry Karlson is one of the most conservative people [ed.-I view Catholicism as to whether one adheres to the teachings or as one who does not] I have ever met. He had a deep love of the traditional faith [ed.-in the many insults that Henry has given me through the years, not once has he ever mentioned his love of Catholicism, Jesus, or the Church], and he has described himself as a monarchist. He does not fit in well with the American political debate, because both sides in that partisan divide are heavily influenced by liberalism (and that includes your hero, Mr. Gingrich [ed.-I said I favor him. Much different than hero. Another lie from a Vox Nova contributor, par for the course]).

    Liberalism as manifested in politics neatly always boils down to the individual over the community, the focus on individual rights over the common good, the satisfaction of individual wants and needs. The US constitution is a deeply liberal document (I’m being descriptive, not pejorative). A second dimension of liberalism is a utopian approach to society, and both sides of the US debate share this zeal, especially when it comes to the role of the US and its institutions.

    On the left, liberalism manifests itself by insisting on the right to satisfy one and all sexual needs, by the right to marry whoever one wishes, by placing one’s rights above those of the unborn, by belief in a that all the ils of society that can be guided by good government.

    On the right, liberalism manifests itself as belief in the virtues of individuals maximizing utility in the free market, as an emphasis on keeping government off one’s back, on the right to own guns without restriction, on the right to consume as much material goods as one wishes regardless of its effect on the planet, and as a belief in the ability of the United States to impose democracy on the world through the barrel of a gun or the door of a torture chamber.

    You need to understand these points. You need to understand that your politics are as liberal as a partisan Democrat, and have the exact same fault lines. But the problem is not really your politics– you are entitled (as are we all) to support who you think will do the least harm in the public square. Your problem is that your political error translates into how you see Catholicism, for you are quick to denounce any who do not share your politics (not your theology) [ed.-I am a Catholic first, political last] as somehow heterodox. Not that I want to get into a [ed.-typical liberal extremist always using vile language to prove a point. Such language will not be tolerated on AC] context, but I would safely bet that the average Vox Nova contributor agrees with the Church far more on the issues than the average contributor over here [ed.-an opinion emanating from a false Catholic such as yourself from Vox Nova, nice]. Your heterodoxy is against Republican party orthodoxy (liberalism of the right), not the faith. You really need to see the sharp difference between your politics and your faith– the former is deeply flawed, while the latter embodies the truth.

  • Henry Karlson exemplifies the liberal extremists who disguise themselves as Catholics to push President Obama’s agenda of abortion on demand.

    I do not think Henry is a liberal extremist, much less someone who is Catholic as a ‘disguise…to push President Obama’s agenda of abortion on demand.’ [ed.-inappropriate comments that do not deal with the posting will be deleted.]

  • Henry Karlson exemplifies the liberal extremists who disguise themselves as Catholics to push President Obama’s agenda of abortion on demand.

    Tito, Lord knows I have my disagreements with Henry, but I would beg to differ with your characterization of him in this manner.

  • A second dimension of liberalism is a utopian approach to society, and both sides of the US debate share this zeal, especially when it comes to the role of the US and its institutions.

    I have never encountered someone so intelligent who is nonetheless so completely ignorant of basic political theory. The idea that classical liberalism is in any way utopian is so wide of the mark that one wonders if you have even read an elementary book on political philosophy. The utopian strain is clearly prevalent in totalitarian systems, all of which are antithetical to classical liberalism and modern American conservatism.

    On the right, liberalism manifests itself as belief in the virtues of individuals maximizing utility in the free market, as an emphasis on keeping government off one’s back, on the right to own guns without restriction, on the right to consume as much material goods as one wishes regardless of its effect on the planet, and as a belief in the ability of the United States to impose democracy on the world through the barrel of a gun or the door of a torture chamber.

    Does this even resemble the actual beliefs of, well, anyone? Liberal or conservative. Also, while it is possible that a fetish for free market economics could have a utopian overtone, it’s sort of difficult to square that particular circle.

    Your problem is that your political error translates into how you see Catholicism, for you are quick to denounce any who do not share your politics (not your theology) as somehow heterodox.

    Unlike say, yourself? BTW, isn’t it curious that you boys at Vox Nova are all so cozy with one Gerald Naus now that he’s not a practicing Catholic but is a practicing leftist. I think your sudden coziness towards that particular individual reveals all too much your own blatant partisanship.

  • Paul:

    There is most certainly a utopian thread within classical liberalism. Locke and Rousseau view their states of nature as utopian (or close enough in Locke’s case). Now to be sure, it is much stronger in communism and fascism, but that is because building off the liberal tradition they came to the notion that science and the right amount of government will lead to an improve of society.

    Indeed, liberalism holds that man is always rational and tends to deny the notion that man is fallen and therefore doomed to imperfection. This failure to emphasize the fallen nature of man made it prone to the utopian direction that its descendants have taken it.

    Furthermore, while I agree that sometimes Naus is treated too sympathetically at VN, it’s not as if the “boys” at Vn (poor Katerina and RCM) never disagree. think it’s true that we have a tendency to downplay the faults of those who disagree with us less-whether they are our friends or usual allies. For more on that, see the McCain love-fest before November in conservative circles.

    Minion:

    I would point out that before Iraq, the other side was just as willing to promote democracy with guns and judging by Obama’s foreign policy that hasn’t changed a whole lot (see Israel, in a situation I know you sympathize with).

  • Labels are problematic over the Internet, for many reasons: as wannabe writers, we like to call attention to ourselves, we “say” things we wouldn’t normally “say” in a different medium, labeling is cheap and easy and we all tend to be lazy, ect.

    That said, I enjoy TAC and hope that our blogs will continue to comment mutually. We should also all leave labeling behind as much as possible – like name-calling, which is also too easy to do – and engage points and substance with counter points and substance.

  • Contrary to popular belief, ‘labels’ aren’t in themselves an injustice; indeed, many times they are a ‘must’.

    It is by such means that we call evil ‘evil’ and good ‘good’.

    The injustice comes in when certain individuals come to call evil ‘good’ and good ‘evil’ or would leave the rather impressionable public believing thus.

  • There is most certainly a utopian thread within classical liberalism. Locke and Rousseau

    I would reject the classification of Rossueau as a classical liberal. If he can labeled thusly, then the term has no meaning. And I have no brief for Locke, but I’m not quite comfortable branding him a utopian. Yes, his state of nature musings were idealistic, but at the same time he acknowledges the imperfections of such a state – after all, what else can justify the social contract other than the very imperfections of such a state?

    Indeed, liberalism holds that man is always rational and tends to deny the notion that man is fallen and therefore doomed to imperfection.

    What then of pretty much all of the Founding Fathers – men like Adams, Madison and Hamilton, in particular – who had a pretty good understanding of the fallen nature of mankind (If men were angels . . .) Unless you deem them to be outside of the classical liberal tradition, then it’s hard to justify that claim.

    That being said, there certainly is a utopian strain in some current of liberal thought, exemplified in the American sense by Thomas Jefferson. That I would not deny, and I’d enjoy the opportunity of hashing this argument out further one day, but perhaps we’ll save that for another day.

    . think it’s true that we have a tendency to downplay the faults of those who disagree with us less-whether they are our friends or usual allies.

    The Closed Cafeteria

  • I have to agree with Paul – ‘utopian’ is a poor choice of word to describe classical liberalism.

    If the state of nature is a utopia, why the need for government? Locke’s state of nature is no where near as chaotic and violent as Hobbes’, but to say it is utopian, I think, is a stretch. Government still comes along to fix the problems of the state of nature, which are ultimately the results of flaws in people and their ‘private judgment’. Perhaps this isn’t an explicit recognition of a fallen nature, but it still seems far from a utopian conception.

    Rousseau on the other hand is not really a liberal; he is more a classical republican following in the tradition of Machiavelli. Republicanism and liberalism might have some overlap, and I think they are co-parents of 19th century socialism, but they’re distinct enough that no one should confuse them.

    Finally, I think MM just mis-spoke; modern liberalism insofar as it has socialist parentage does have a Utopian streak. We do have to make the distinction between modern and classical liberalism.

  • John Henry,

    I do not think Henry is a liberal extremist, much less someone who is Catholic as a ‘disguise…to push President Obama’s agenda of abortion on demand.’ That is a very serious and uncharitable accusation, and, in my opinion, calumnious, particularly since Henry made it quite clear he could not vote for Obama. If a commenter left such an accusation on one of my threads, I would delete it.

    His whole point is to disrupt the discussion on the content of my post.

    Henry K. has failed over and over to show any prudence, charity, or any semblance of practicing his Catholicism. If you have witnessed this then he is an even worse person than I thought. Purposely showing one face while in another instance leading sheep to the slaughter.

    Anymore comments that doesn’t pertain to the original posting will be deleted from here on out.

  • Sorry, got cut off:

    The Closed Cafeteria Gerald was almost literally hounded by the Vox Novaites on a daily basis. Now that Gerald has done a 180, they are eminently more accepting of him. So they’re basically showing by their actions that it is more tolerable to be a heterodox, politically left quasi-Catholic than an orthodox, politically conservative Catholic.

    For more on that, see the McCain love-fest before November in conservative circles.

    Umm, if by “love fest” you mean the “hold your nose and vote for him because he’s better than Obama” thread that ran through such circles, then maybe you have a point.

  • Paul,

    My reasons for placing Henry Karlson on indefinite moderation. His goal as well as his cohorts are to do the same to unwitting Catholics here at AC.

  • We do have to make the distinction between modern and classical liberalism.

    Exactly. And even then I think we have to make distinctions within the world of classical liberalism itself.

  • Tony in regard to your definition of liberal, Tito is correct in regard to modern American usage. In the 19th century sense of the term I am a political liberal. In today’s usage in this country I am a conservative. However, in neither usage am I a statist or a socialist. In terms of economics and the role of the state in the economy that is the true dividing line between most of the contributors of American Catholic and most of the contributors of Vox Nova. The exceptions to this dividing line are not insignificant. For example, Blackadder as a libertarian makes me look Leftist on economic matters, and Joe, who is a contributor to both blogs, is a Distributist I believe. (Please correct me if I am mistaken Joe.) However I think in general the role of the state in society is the general line of division between the Left and the Right in contemporary America.

  • Well its like Robert Bork said, liberalism was a good idea when it was tempered with other ideas and forces that prevented its less desirable tendencies from running amok.

    But then, so was conservatism.

    Now we simply have shrillness.

  • I am a Distributist 🙂

    But more importantly, I just try to follow Catholic social teaching as best I can, regardless of where that puts me on the secular political map.

  • Paul,

    I think you are missing the connections. Liberalism and socialism are intimately related. The Church always tended to condemn both in the same breath – and here I think we can draw a very interesting parallel between Pius IX’s authoritarian hatred of liberalism and its socialist step-sister, and Leo XIII’s condemnation of both from an economic perspective.

    My point remains: both sides of the debate in the United States are deeply grounded in the liberal tradition. There are very few true conservative voices. It’s always been a pet peeve of mine that people use these terms inappropriately. And no, you can’t just lump a bunch of unconnected and often contradictory beliefs together– free market liberalism, huge spending on military, small spending on everything else, nationalism, traditionalist sexual norms, opposition to abortion — and ascribe any consistent political philosophy to it, let alone “conservative”.

  • “I am a Distributist.

    In other words, “Communist”.

  • I think you are missing the connections.

    Yes, MM, please lecture me about the genesis of political thought in America, and the various influences on it. This is just a topic way beyond my pay grade.

  • e., Joe is not a Communist. Joe and I do not see eye to eye on economics, but there is nothing of the Bolshevik about him.

  • Mr. McClarey,

    It’s just I don’t see how distributism, if actually implemented, would not ultimately end up being, in the end, “Communism”.

  • E,

    Seeing as how I don’t believe in a command economy, nationalization of the means of production, or violent class warfare, I’d have to be one strange communist.

    That, or you don’t know what the h**l you’re talking about, once again.

  • “It’s just I don’t see how distributism, if actually implemented, would not ultimately end up being, in the end, “Communism”.”

    How do you define communism?

  • e, I have my doubts how Distributism would work in the real world. However, as Joe has pointed out he disavows the characteristic elements of most Communist movements and I take him at his word.

  • Herr Hargrave,

    Yes, I do not find it (i.e., distributism) exceptionally inviting for the very fact that it will merely result in the same sort of tyrannical coercion by the State not unlike that infamously found in your so dearly beloved Marxist system.

  • John Henry & Christopher Blosser,

    Reflecting on my comments I see my error.

    Henry Karlson exemplifies the liberal extremists who disguise themselves as Catholics to push President Obama’s agenda of abortion on demand.

    Henry isn’t pushing for abortion on demand. I assume he isn’t for that matter.

    What I dislike are his distraction techniques of taking the discussion away from the intent of the post to something frivolous as to what the definition of “is” is (as an example).

    I’m sure he’s quite a decent human being, though he makes it hard for me to see that part of him.

  • Distributism does work in the real world. There are thousands of successful workers, consumers, housing and credit co-ops all over the world. I just think it needs to be spread further.

    It’s the ‘free market’ that no one can seem to agree upon – does it exist, is it an ideal, has it existed? What we’ve only ever had is either command economies, or varying degrees of state-capitalism.

    E,

    I’m not going to let you continue slandering me. Your comments are entirely without foundation, I have never advocated anything close to ‘tyrannical coercion’, I have made it clear more than once that Distributism is a voluntary system.

    If there is some thing I have said that makes you think otherwise, quote it, and we will discuss it.

    If you can’t do that, I’m going to start throwing out the garbage – by that I mean, your posts.

  • What’s interesting about several of the comments above is that Tito went overboard in attacking Henry, and then was immediately criticized himself by several other bloggers here.

    What a sharp contrast from the conduct at Vox Nova, where Michael I. gets away with all kinds of slanderous comments and no one disagrees; where Gerald openly dissents from the Magisterium but no one disagrees (far from it: Henry pretends to believe — but he couldn’t possibly be that dumb — that Gerald’s comments are all faithful to the Church’s teachings); where commenters like Digby and Mark D. and Kurt say even more outrageous things and are never called to account.

  • Joe,

    I must’ve gotten you confused with some petty tyrant who actually wanted to impose this incredibly idealistic Chester-belloc vision on the whole world regardless of what anybody else had to say about it and would compel entire societies and even nations to do so on the simple basis that he knew what was best for them on a grander scale.

  • e,

    That would involve an awful lot of confusion. Joe shows no signs of being a petty tyrant. Still, if we’ve cleared up any confusion, one hopes we can move on.

  • e., not sure how you made that confusion, given Joe’s regular m.o. of proposing, not imposing.

  • I don’t particularly buy Newt’s “conversion”. Lets give it some time to see how it plays out.

    To be blunt I see no one in the field right now that is particularly appealing. I was a Paul supporter, and I don’t see any true “Old Right” guys coming into replace his voice in the Republican field. Its possible Mark Sanford, Bobby Jindal or Gary Johnson might run, but a lot depends on the policy direction they advocate.

    I would be more optimistic about Republican chances today if they would renounce Bush foreign policies and return to being the party on non-intervention and diplomacy, as opposed to a party of blind militarism.

  • I would gladly and happily vote for Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska if he were to run for President.

  • 1). I agree with MM about the confusions of political labels. The Australians have it correct: the U.S. center-right / libertarian infused economics and Wilsonian adventure-ism that passes for center-right (it’s not; Robert Taft was) should have it’s home in the Liberal Party.

    2). The American Conservative magazine / Pat Buchanan / Steve Sailer / Oakeshott – Scruton ect. is much more in line with what it means to be of the Right. This died more or less in the 70s as liberals upset with Lyndon Johnson’s statist projects – who never left their idealisms behind – came to dominate the political Right (the borderline ant-Semitic stuff from the “paleos” is based in truth – there were and are a lot of very sharp and active Jews who abandoned the Left.

    3). That said, ALL of our discourse and political activity is inescapably under the umbrella of Enlightenment liberalism. There is no other way – it was an earthquake.

  • Whoops – minor typos above. That’s annoying.

    And let it be on record that I have written “I agree with MM”.

    Ha!

    I strongly recommend getting ahold of some Oakeshott and Roger Scruton. The basic idea is that to be of the Right is a temperment, a sentiment against all totality and ideology, against all utopia, and for local community and family as the basic foundations of society. Any harm to these (including industrial capitalism and the “elevation” of markets over society) are to be opposed.

  • e.,
    Yes, I do not find it (i.e., distributism) exceptionally inviting for the very fact that it will merely result in the same sort of tyrannical coercion by the State not unlike that infamously found in your so dearly beloved Marxist system.

    I think the difference is that distributism is more of a free association model, rather than a state coercive model which would make it socialist. While Joe disavows the label socialist, he hasn’t found a state intervention he doesn’t like so, if his political views defined distributism, it would be very close to socialism, but I think that view is flawed.

    Anthony,

    I don’t particularly buy Newt’s “conversion”. Lets give it some time to see how it plays out.

    I see. Do we speak of everyone’s conversion the same way, or just Newt? Do you think he did it for political reasons??? Oh, yes, there’s a strong precedence for conservative Catholics as successful national candidates.

  • Hey Tito,

    I will end this discussion right now about liberalism…

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/theology/libsin.htm

  • Bret, the Publisher’s Preface states, By definition, Liberalism is the mistaken notion that “One religion is as good as another.”

    I don’t think that’s how liberalism is being used in the context of this combox.

  • Matt,

    “While Joe disavows the label socialist, he hasn’t found a state intervention he doesn’t like”

    This is another slander. On what do you basis this ridiculous claim? You first brought it up when I merely said I agreed with Obama’s ideas on clean energy and health care. Those are two ‘interventions’.

    Distributism has to do with property ownership. It doesn’t exclude government leadership on issues that affect the entire country. I evaluate each proposed ‘intervention’ on its individual merits.

    I am opposed, for instance, to gun control and a state monopoly on education. I am opposed to attempts to interfere with home schooling. I am opposed to big businesses forcing their way into small communities where they are not welcome. I am opposed to religious communities being forced to tolerate pornography and gay pride parades. These are only a few examples.

    In short I believe communities should be given a much wider range of freedom to determine their own standards, provided they don’t violate actual Constitutional rights of individuals and not made up ones (like the ‘right to privacy’ conjured up by the Blackmum court, or the ‘right to obscenity’ that is falsely derived from the first amendment). And I believe Distributism is the best economic base for a strong community, because it centers economic and political power at the local level and grants more people the opportunity to directly control their own lives, their own political and social environments.

    So I would call myself, in addition to being a Distributist, a communitarian. As for socialism, I stand with the Church: socialists have made some just demands. Yet it isn’t necessary to actually be a socialist to make those demands, and in becoming so, one professes agreement also with many other unjust demands.

    On the other hand, people such as yourself like to tar and feather people whose ideas sound unappealing to you with a negative label that some people will feel bound to reject without ever actually exploring the content of what is being proposed. It’s a cheap, dirty tactic, it smothers rational discourse and it feeds into the stupidity and hysteria of the mob.

  • I mean, Matt, you don’t even know me. I’ve only been here for a few weeks. And yet you have the bloody nerve to say I’ve ‘never met a government intervention’ I didn’t like, as if you’ve known me my whole life?

    Shame on you!

  • Matt,

    Your comments about Joe was unnecessary and in my view, entirely untrue. I personally find the majority of your comments to be condemning and not personable, or charitable in diction. Perhaps, it isn’t intentional. But, if you could, for the sake of civil dialogue, be more charitable toward others and consider your comments before posting, I’m sure everyone would be more appreciative. Thank you.

  • I don’t know a whole lot about Distributism, but from what I do know, it hardly seems communist. It’s more in line with the “conservative” ideals of individuals being self-sufficient instead of depending on someone else to provide them with a paycheck (be that the government or some mega-corporation). In other words, “give them a hand up, not a handout.”

    It’s also more in line with the very Catholic concept of subsidarity — doing things at the lowest level of societal organization that can handle it, e.g. the individual, family, parish, neighborhood, or community.

    I really wish more political conservatives would pick up on the idea of subsidarity. Instead of just constantly hammering on the notion that ALL government and taxes are bad, promote the idea of keeping government and taxation as localized (and as accountable) as possible instead of handing everything off to the state or the feds.

    As for GOP prospects for 2012, well, nobody’s perfect and conservatives had better stop expecting a “perfect” candidate. Beggars can’t be choosers and we’re pretty much beggars right now. Bear in mind, though, than inexperience is a problem that tends to get better with time. The longer Jindal, Palin, et al. stay in office the more experienced they become.

  • S.B.,

    Thank you for pointing the difference.

    Though I disagree that my comments went overboard, I do recognize the charitable correction from my fellow writers and combox buddies and understand to withdraw such comments since others deem them offensive.

    I want AC to be a forum of constructive and if possible positive dialogue on even the most contentious issues.

    Please do not hesitate to email any of us or post a comment in the combox if any one of us have crossed the line.

    Regardless of where anyone stands as a Catholic, we should all treat each other as brothers in Christ. I want AC to be welcome to those that care about helping the poor and the homeless as well as protecting life in all stages of life.

    We are all Catholics first, Americans of whatever political persuasion second.

    Sugar goes much farther than vinegar as they say.

  • I tried posting this on Fr. Longnecker’s website but couldn’t get signed into Word Press to do so, so I’ll summarize it here.

    Basically, Fr. argues that priestly celibacy was easier for men to live with years ago because many good Catholic men saw the life of a priest as being much easier and more secure than that of a married man who would have to support a wife and lots of kids (because they weren’t practicing birth control) and carefully save up to pay for everything the family needed (because it wasn’t as easy to borrow money then). Today, he says, marriage looks like a much better life because women work outside the home, most couples only have two kids, and they can own two cars, a house in the suburbs, and pay for everything on their credit cards.

    All that is true but I wanted to add some further observations.

    In those days (early Baby Boom era) just about any able-bodied man who was able to read and write (and even some who couldn’t) could usually find a manufacturing job at pretty good wages, and count on it to be there until he retired, at which point he could expect at least a small pension to live on. In many communities in the Midwest and Northeast such jobs were readily available, and men didn’t have to move out of town or very far away to find them. (I used to live in one such town in northern Illinois that had a large clock factory, which closed in the early 1980s, throwing the local economy into a tailspin that lasted well into the next decade.)

    Plus he could expect to have dinner on the table every night, and count on his wife to handle nearly all the details of child-rearing. A high school diploma was generally all that was needed to get a decent job; there was no need to go into debt for years or decades to get a college or professional degree. He could also continue to live near his parents, brothers, sisters, etc. and his children would grow up in close contact with them.

    Today any man who expects to be the sole support of a large family would pretty much have to obtain a college degree in a highly paid professional or technical field (incurring lots of debt in the process, unless he did a stint in the military first to get GI Bill benefits) and then, perhaps, move to a part of the country where his skills are needed (e.g. Silicon Valley), away from his family of origin (no siblings, grandparents, aunts or uncles around to help babysit the kids).

    And even after all that, he would have no confidence that his job would not disappear after the next boom-bust cycle, nor can he count on any kind of retirement security. Plus, he has to be prepared to pay his children’s way through college if they are to have any kind of decent living. And, since his wife works they have to worry more about finding decent child care and supervising their kids’ after school activities.

    So when you add it all up, I’m not so sure that marriage is an “easier” choice today.

  • Paul,

    Yes, I know your Ph.D topic was on early American political philosopy, and I am most assuredly not getting into that debate with you! However, you miss the big picture, the sense that what calls itself American conservatism is deeply deeply liberal. It is the same way that many constitutional legal experts (many of them brilliant) are mired so deeply in legal positivism that they miss the bigger natural law picture.

  • ou miss the big picture, the sense that what calls itself American conservatism is deeply deeply liberal.

    Actually, no, I haven’t denied that American conservatism is the stepchild in some ways of classical liberalism. In fact, I cherish the fact that conservatives are greater expositors of true liberalism than the people that we call liberal today – so, we actually agree to a point on this issue. My point of departure is your classification of classical liberalism as a utopian political ideology.

  • …the sense that what calls itself American conservatism is deeply deeply liberal.

    Umm, I think everyone gets that. However, we also understand there are contexts in which terms are used (as someone above pointed out). MM, you continually use the terms left and right. We give you enough credit to assume that you’re railing against the right, it’s not because you think they’re sympathetic to French monarchy or sitting on the right side of the National Constituent Assembly. Wouldn’t you think I looked either ignorant or like a condescending ass if I complained every time someone used the terms left and right outside of the context of the French Revolution?

  • Sorry for using a little hyperbole to illustrate why e. is confused about distributism, frankly I think a lot of people are a little hypersensitive.

    To be totally direct without any ‘license’. I have not ON THIS BLOG seen a discussion with Joe in which he did not defend government intervention into the economy which could be considered a socialist policy. If I have missed one, then please post it and I will stand corrected.

    My point is that distributism is not communism or socialism because it is not controlled by the state. The confusion comes because of what I stated above, we hear that distributism is good in the same breath as endorsement of government control of the economy and it’s easy to conclude that distributism is that… it is not.

    Joe: why not make some more posts on distributism as endorsed by champions like Chesterton and Belloc? This might alleviate the confusion, and further your cause.

  • Well, you have not see me on this blog argue once against government intervention policies, so I suppose there isn’t capitalist policy, I do like?

    I’m sure you see the point. Simply because I haven’t done so, doesn’t mean I despise every stripe of capitalism. Same case here. Though, I’d suggest two things: Either read up personally on distributism, ask Joe what he thinks of ‘this’ or ‘that’ idea you encounter. Or, surely, as Joe might, ask him to post on distributism (as you have done) and maybe he can clarify some things for you.

    Thanks Matt.

  • Eric,
    Well, you have not see me on this blog argue once against government intervention policies, so I suppose there isn’t capitalist policy, I do like?

    nor did I suggest this about Joe.

    I’m sure you see the point. Simply because I haven’t done so, doesn’t mean I despise every stripe of capitalism.

    Nor did I suggest this about Joe.

    I’m sure you see MY point, if the biggest defender of distributism is seen as a big defender of government intervention in economy, that some readers may get the mistaken notion that distributism is like socialism. I’m suggesting that that this conflation be disavowed.

    Same case here. Though, I’d suggest two things: Either read up personally on distributism, ask Joe what he thinks of ‘this’ or ‘that’ idea you encounter. Or, surely, as Joe might, ask him to post on distributism (as you have done) and maybe he can clarify some things for you.

    I have read about distributism thank you very much, I am well aware of it and that it is a morally good economic system and that it is not socialist or communist in it’s nature. I am not a huge proponent of it on a wide scale because I don’t really see how it could be implemented without massive personal conversions, I’d be delighted to hear and discuss more about how it could be done in the current milieu, I’ve suggested this before on this blog and again today.

  • “I see. Do we speak of everyone’s conversion the same way, or just Newt? Do you think he did it for political reasons??? Oh, yes, there’s a strong precedence for conservative Catholics as successful national candidates.”

    Matt,

    I certainly do not profess an ability to peer into any man’s soul. However, its worth noting Tony Blair made the leap and it hasn’t amounted to much. There were rumblings of a W. Bush conversion.

    My concern is mainly with Newt’s own rocky track record in Congress and as Speaker of the House. He comes from a brand of Republicanism that loves the State. He seems to try and waffle between constitutional convictions and political trendiness. In short, I don’t really know what to think of him.

    If I had to guess, he would have appealing rhetoric during a presidential run and then promptly keep this fat American Empire on its destructive trajectory once in office.

    How does it relate to his conversion? It doesn’t, and thats precisely the problem. I would expect a lot from a constitutionally conservative, Catholic president and I don’t think Newt’s really up to the burden.

  • Anthony,

    I certainly do not profess an ability to peer into any man’s soul. However, its worth noting Tony Blair made the leap and it hasn’t amounted to much.

    That’s a fair point, but there’s a big difference between Blair and Newt. So far as government policy is concerned, there is little that Newt is obliged to reform in order to be consistent with the Catholic faith, while perhaps in some case it ought to.

    There were rumblings of a W. Bush conversion.

    I’ve heard this too, and I would say the same as I did about Newt.

    My concern is mainly with Newt’s own rocky track record in Congress and as Speaker of the House. He comes from a brand of Republicanism that loves the State. He seems to try and waffle between constitutional convictions and political trendiness. In short, I don’t really know what to think of him.

    I would suggest his conversion to Catholicism should not change your healthy skepticism.

    If I had to guess, he would have appealing rhetoric during a presidential run

    I really doubt it would be all that popular of a move, especially among the evangelical base of the GOP. While they might be comfortable with a Catholic, it seems less likely they would really want one who was a recent defector from their own denomination.

    and then promptly keep this fat American Empire on its destructive trajectory once in office.

    How does it relate to his conversion? It doesn’t, and thats precisely the problem. I would expect a lot from a constitutionally conservative, Catholic president and I don’t think Newt’s really up to the burden.

    You’re right on this. I guess my main point is we need to carefully separate his faith conversion from any political expectations.

  • Joe & Matt:

    Yeah, right.

    This highly noble system of distributism of which you speak could never ultimately end up being an even distribution of property by force of law.

    Far be it for me to consider Chesterton’s ideas in this regard romantic (let alone, extremist) when, in fact, they are achievable and, what’s more, without any such coercion by the State.

  • GK Chesterton:“That economic condition in which there is a class of capitalists, roughly recognizable and relatively small, in whose possession so much of the capital is concentrated as to necessitate a very large majority of the citizens serving those capitalists for a wage.”

    I’m not sure that what Chesterton describes is accurate to the current situation here in the US. Small business ownership and stock ownership directly or via mutual funds held in 401k’s and pensions is incredibly broad here. While there is much wealth concentrated in a relatively small group, there is massive opportunity for independence here, far more so than any place.

    Derived from: http://www.census.gov/epcd/www/smallbus.html

    20% of US workers own their own business, or are employed at a firm with less than 5 workers.

    45% of US workers own their own business, or are at a firm with less than 100 workers.

    42% of US workers are employed at firms with more than 500 workers

    Keep in mind that many of those in the latter category are completely free and capable of becoming small business owners but find the safety of corporate life preferable however many of them do, including me.

    It would be interesting merge this with a study of stock ownership by those employed, as it would further move the “concentration” down.

    I don’t think there’s any of the more conservative poster’s here that would argue that more small business and more broadly distributed ownership of enterprise would be a good thing. We are the ones advocating for measures which have shown or can reasonably be demonstrated to aid people in building their own business or becoming owners of shares.

    To me, the change to broader ownership can only be done through coaxing, and leadership, not through coercion. Frankly much of it can be accomplished from the ground up, and I think you’ll find that within the conservative movement it largely has…Go Joe the Plumber!

    It’s actually my theory that preferential treatment by government is part of the reason that ownership concentrates in large corporations as much as it does. The complexity of government regulation makes economies of scale more significant than they ought to. Last summer’s law requiring testing of virtually every product intended for children is in the process of destroying virtually every small manufacturer in that market.

  • Matt,

    What government interventions or what have you have been proposed, that I agree with?

    I can only recall TWO things that I’ve said I agree with, when did the rest of this happen?

    Do you think I’m lying when I pointed out in an earlier post, right here on this thread, all of the government interventions I don’t agree with?

    You don’t seem to understand that the issue of Distributism is separate from the issue of government regulation. If we had an economy based on workers cooperatives, if the majority of firms were structured in just the way I think they ought to be, even then I would STILL be for government regulation and oversight. Why?

    First of all, because I’m a Catholic and I believe, as Pope Pius XI wrote, that the economy must be ordered and guided by an effective principle – an ethical principle, the common good. The economy exists to serve man and not the other way around. Government regulation of the economy is completely and wholly endorsed by CST and does not negate the principles of Distributism.

    Meanwhile economic liberalism – the idea that the economy should not be regulated, that each individual has unlimited economic freedom, that their cumulative efforts over time will generate the best economic result – has been unambiguously, clearly, condemned.

    The key as always is finding a balance – between economic anarchy and command economies. The most powerful economies the world has ever seen have existed because of extensive private-public collaboration. This ‘free market’ doesn’t even exist, it never has existed. We know that because its most ardent defenders, whenever markets are blamed for any problem, immediately step forward and declare, ‘that’s not the free market’. Ok, so where is it? What does it do? Nowhere and nothing.

    For me the choices are not ‘free market’ versus distributism, but rather economic oligarchy in a state-capitalist framework, or economic democracy in a distributist framework. The ‘free market’ isn’t an option, a totally deregulated economy isn’t an option and most of us do not proceed on the naive assumption that it is.

  • Pingback: Res & Explicatio for A.D. 4-29-2009 « The American Catholic

Catholic Democrats Come to the Defense of Notre Dame

Friday, April 17, AD 2009

catholic-democrats

Catholic Democrats come to the defense of their leader in regard to Georgetown and Notre Dame and run into a buzzsaw named Father Z here.

Update:  Good analysis of why Catholic Democrats and other Obama-philes are so concerned about the fallout from Notre Dame is given here by the always readable Damian Thompson across the pond at his blog Holy Smoke.

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10 Responses to Catholic Democrats Come to the Defense of Notre Dame

  • Isn’t Fr. Z the man whose writing verges on pornography, whenever he muses lyrically on his intense love for certain U.S battleships?

  • Obviously Mr. DeFrancisis you know nothing about Father Z. Enjoy the fisk. I know I am!

  • Isn’t Fr. Z the man whose writing verges on pornography, whenever he muses lyrically on his intense love for certain U.S battleships?

    Only in the perverted imagination of a couple rather odd bloggers. He just likes naval architecture. Many people have worse hobbies.

  • Mark,

    And you wonder why I call you a dissident Catholic.

  • He just last year salivated in writing over the armored appendages of one US battleship, one that he pointed out delivered missiles in the (unjust)U.S military aggression on Iraq of the early 90s.

  • Mr. DeFrancisis, doesn’t it get tiring dragging red herrings across the screen? Deal with the substance of Father Z’s fisk and stop babbling about battleships.

  • Tito – Opposing war makes one a “dissident” Catholic? Someone better notify the Pope.

    If find it outrageously funny that you people did the same thing to Bush and yet you’re criticizing Obama’s folks when they rush to defend him. Are you surprised? I’m not.

  • Tito,

    Fr. Z is a phenon in an obscure corner of the Catholic blogosphere. His pronouncements have no authority over me, as he is neither a bishop nor a priset in my diocese. Additionally, despite all of his clains to Catholicity, his views on the liturgy and other matters are mostly the predilictions of an ideologue and an aesthete, not ones which mirror the necessary pronouncements of Mother Church. I wish him all the cyber-success he seeks out, but, otherwise, we have nothing to do with each other.

  • We should pray for Fr. Z. He will surely lose a lot of sleep over Mr DeFrancisis’ poor opinion of him…

  • Pingback: Catholic Democrats Attack Glendon And Run Into Father Z « The American Catholic

56 Responses to "I can assure you of my prayers for your conversion, and for the conversion of your formerly Catholic University."

  • I think this type of rudeness is disappointing and counter-productive, particularly coming from a Bishop.

  • I think John Henry that we need a lot more blunt talk against people like Jenkins who make a complete mockery of the Catholic Church.

  • The world would be a better place if more bishops had the candor of Bp. Bruskewitz.

  • As I noted on my own blog, Deus caritas est, but God is also Truth.

    I fail to see any “rudeness” in His Excellency’s letter.

  • I think this type of rudeness is disappointing and counter-productive, particularly coming from a Bishop.

    Pardon my rudeness, but stuff it. While you might think moderate tempered mealy-mouthed reactions are what’s going to suddenly make people see the light, the rest of us applaud the fact that some Bishops have suddenly found their voice and are willing to call out those who aid and abet the culture of death.

    I’m frankly more disgusted by people who wag their fingers at those who raise their voices above a whisper.

  • The problem with the letter is

    1) Notre Dame has not lost its Catholic status, so the letter itself is mirepresenting the status of the university. If it had lost its status, this would be a proper letter to make. When it has not, then it only hurts the point the Bishop makes. It is always important to be honest and not misrepresent the situation by exaggeration.

    2) It’s also dishonest in saying President Jenkins is indifferent to abortion or the beliefs President Obama has on abortion. It’s over-the top.

    3) Should we use this line of reasoning, as exemplified in the letter, it would turn on upon the Catholic Church and end up calling the Church not Catholic for its historical mistakes and indifference to many crimes against humanity which it turned a blind eye to when regimes did them (such as the Spanish Inquisition). It’s really absurd, and poor ecclesiology.

  • Sorry to draw your ire, Paul(s). As I’ve said before, I am glad that bishops are addressing the issue, particularly Bishop D’Arcy and Cardinal George. The question is how to address it, and perhaps by temperament or whatever I prefer a lighter touch than the episcopal version of ‘I can only pray for you, you miserable quisling.’ I don’t like that style in com-boxes, and I’m not a fan in public discourse.

    Furthermore, I think he overstates his case; I don’t think accusing Fr. Jenkins of ‘absolute indifference’ is entirely fair, although I do think Fr. Jenkins has shown he does not place a high enough priority on the protection of unborn life. And Notre Dame is not a ‘formerly Catholic University,’ as much as it is one that is struggling with what it means to be Catholic. I’m not sure such harsh dismissals aid it in that endeavor. At a general level, I’d say there are different models for engagement; the prophetic is a legitimate model, but it’s not the only model, and I’m not sure it’s the best one here.

  • I agree that any indifference charge is unfair. But what is really “over the top” is conferring an honorary law degree on the legislator who led the effort to stop Illinois’ protective born alive legislation.

  • The bishop’s letter is unfortunate, both in its unbecoming tone and its untruth. Any productive point he could have made is lost in gross exaggeration and seemingly foul temper.

    What puropose can it now possibly serve, other than a personal, narcissistic one? Is this what prophetic witness entails or constists of? I too think not.

  • To preface my comment, I think his book “A Shepherd Speaks” is one of the best books out there. In many ways I think he has been a model of a bishop, providing clear leadership in exhortation and practice. If I’m not mistaken, he has been responsible for setting homes for unwed mothers and has done good things with the education system. I think this letter though is a pretty clear example of why he hasn’t been moved beyond Lincoln despite his many gifts.

  • When conservatives speak, people always worry so much more about how a thing is said than about what is said.

    But let liberals riot, and we’re asked to “understand.”

    It gets old.

    I disagree that the letter is over the top. Notre Dame has set itself at odds with Church teaching, and Fr. Jenkins has refused the correction offered him by scores of bishops, and the superior of his own order.

    If I had 30+ bishops telling me publicly that I was wrong about something, I would surely be moving to correct my error, not releasing statements to justify it.

  • That is why you have recanted your support of the Iraq War, ended your crusade against illegal immigration, and myriad of other things I take it.

  • Fr. Jenkins is a grown man and the President (or whatever, not sure of exact title) of a major university. I seriously doubt he is stupid. Which leaves the impression that he is indifferent to O’s views or at least does not feel strongly enough against them to withhold the honoray degree and opportunity to speak.

    Overly nuanced approaches are what have gotten us to this point in the first placed.

  • Unbelievably rude, condescending, and untrue.

    Where did you find the text of the letter, out of curiosity? It’s, in fact, so rude my immediate reaction is to suspect that Bill Donahue (or Donald McClarey!) wrote it!

  • And we all know how scrupulously Michael avoids any trace of rudeness and condescension in his own comments.

  • Michael,

    You’re so shocked by what you consider rudeness that you immediately accuse two people, by name, of forgery?

    What tender sensibilities you do have…

  • That is why you have recanted your support of the Iraq War, ended your crusade against illegal immigration

    Yes, because all those things are contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church. Oh wait, no. That’s only what you told yourself to convince yourself that voting for Obama was a-ok. Whatever. Some people on this thread have clear consciences. Others, well, less so.

  • Unbelievably rude, condescending, and untrue.

    Wow, like every comment that michael has ever made. Bishop Bruskewitz must be a personal hero of yours.

  • Paul,

    The standard the other Paul gave was, “If I had 30+ bishops telling me publicly that I was wrong about something, I would surely be moving to correct my error, not releasing statements to justify it.”

  • And we all know how scrupulously Michael avoids any trace of rudeness and condescension in his own comments.

    I can be rude, and yes, condescending. But I don’t lie.

    Wow, like every comment that michael has ever made.

    Show me a comment in which I have lied.

    You’re so shocked by what you consider rudeness that you immediately accuse two people, by name, of forgery?

    T’was a joke!

  • No Catholics are ever neutral about Bishop Bruskewitz. One of the reasons he is a hero of mine is that he does not speak in ecclesi-speak, which tends to be rambling, vapid and full of weasel words. Bruskewitz always tells the truth as he sees it with the bark on. I concede that it is much easier to find this quality endearing when you agree with the substance of what is being said.

  • Bruskewitz always tells the truth as he sees it with the bark on.

    Sounds like Rush Limbaugh with a mitre.

  • Show me a comment in which I have lied.

    As I am sure you are clever enough to know, this is something of a tricky thing. To show that you have lied I would have to show that you said something untrue, knew it was untrue, and intended by saying it to decieve people.

    So for instance, while I recall you on various occasions of having said that I don’t care about the poor, don’t care about people after they are born, worship war rather than God, etc., it would be hard to make the case that you didn’t believe these to be true at least in whatever rhetorical sense in which you meant them.

    However, in this same sense, it is doubtless the case that Bruskewitz is saying that Notre Dame is “formerly Catholic” and that Jenkins does not give sufficient priority to abortion in a sense which is true in regards to what he believes to be the case. He is not, for instance, trying to decieve people into thinking that Notre Dame is not accredited as a Catholic university. (That would be lying.) He is stating, we must presume accurately, that Notre Dame’s actions represent an abandonment of its Catholicity and a lack of interest in the unborn.

    So basically, if you don’t lie in your comments, then Bruskewitz is not lying, and if he is lying, then you often do.

  • The bishop did not say Jenkins “does not give sufficient priority to abortion.” He said “absolute indifference.” He’s out to deceive.

  • Rush Limbaugh? No, actually he reminds me more of the gentleman who wrote this :

    “I wonder that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ, unto another gospel. 7 Which is not another, only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. 9 As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema. 10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”

  • “As I am sure you are clever enough to know, this is something of a tricky thing. To show that you have lied, I would have to show that you said something untrue, knew it was untrue, and intended by saying it to deceive people.”

    Quite right —

    This is something that even the great St. Thomas More himself had spoken quite eloquently in its regard during his unjust inquisition at Westminster, noting Aquinas own thoughts on the matter — in particular, the interoribus mortibus which no man is able to judge.

  • Also, when a Bishop says “X is not Catholic,” that has implications which are different from when you or I say it. Since a Bishop is the ultimate authority within their own jurisdiction, if they said that about an institution within their own jurisdiction, I would say it would have an effect, just like an excommunication or an anthema has had. Obviously there would be canonical issues, and could sometimes work to show a Bishop over-stepped their authority in doing so, but that would be decided under review, and their Bishop’s stand would have relative authority. However, when they try to say X is not Catholic to an institution not in their own jurisdiction, they are undermining the authority of another Bishop, and indeed, causing ecclesial scandal. This is, for example, caused great division throughout the ages when a Bishop acts beyond their proper authority (look, for example, to the ordination of Origen as an early example of where such mistakes can lead).

  • Donald – I see no resemblance whatsoever. One involves a pastor being firm with his congregation, but speaking the truth. The other involves a relatively obscure bishop taking advantage of a shallow, buzzing news story in order to gain attention, attempting to out-do his fellow bishops in rudeness.

  • Let’s see:

    Fr. Jenkins certainly hasn’t claimed the high ground here. He’s shown no qualms whatsoever about honoring and giving a free political podium to a man whose actions and words demonstrate a commitment to increasing the death rate of unborn (and even recently-born, the horror of it) life.

    Moreover, he employs reasoning in defense of his actions that can’t be dignified with the term “casuistry” and refuses to engage the opponents of his actions in dialogue after promising to do so.

    In other words, where exactly is the evidence that he does care about abortion? As in concrete actions, and not the usual attempts at verbal disinfectant and empty reassuring noises. If someone can point to a pro-life initiative by Fr. Jenkins as President of ND (or even before), then the Bishop’s accusation will be unjust, and the Ordinary of Lincoln should be presented with this evidence.

    If not, well, President Jenkins got himself into this mess, and he shouldn’t have expected plaudits.

  • Mr. Lafrate writes:

    “The other involves a relatively obscure bishop”.

    A relatively obscure bishop? Where have you been for the last two decades?

    That Fr. Jenkins had some sort of connection with the diocese of Lincoln surely gives Bishop Bruskewitz “standing”, as the lawyers call it to reprimand him.

  • A relatively obscure bishop? Where have you been for the last two decades?

    Well, I have not been intimately involved in the irrelevant circles of the Catholic Right, nor have paid much attention to whoever their episcopal heroes might be. Has Bruskewitz been a newsworthy figure in some way? I’ve not heard of him.

  • Mikey Mikey. So cute when you’re mad. Bishop B has been bad bold and boisterous for well unto a generation. Cries aloud and spares not. His comments about Father Jenkins were bang on the money. Funny how you get SOOOOO jumpy and personal on this that or other thing. Might wanna check your own self. Meanwhile Bravo Bishop B and keep on laying down smack.

  • Mad? Jumpy? Personal? If you say so. Merely pointing out the obvious. Other than than, I’m chillin’ like Bob Dylan.

  • Should read “other than that.”

  • A google search would quickly disabuse anyone that Bishop Bruskewitz has been obscure. Controversial? Yes. Ordaining more priests per capita in many years than any other bishop in the country? Yes. Contentious? Frequently? Obscure? Anything but!

  • I bet most Catholics in the United States don’t know who he is, Donald. Just because he is popular within a certain internet crowd doesn’t make him non-obscure. People might know what their local ordinary is doing, but beyond that? Not necessarily.

  • The diocese of Lincoln is ranked 131st in the nation by Catholic population, having 89,000. ( http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/country/scus1.html ) The See has no historical importance and is one of the least important in the country.

  • Iafrate is obscure. Bruskewitz not so.

  • The American Catholic is obscure, as is Koss Nova. The diocese of Lincoln is obscure if you are a protestant living in canada.

  • “The See has no historical importance and is one of the least important in the country.”

    Wasn’t Jerusalem likewise an obscure and insignificant province of the Roman Empire?

    Yet, somehow this obscure backwater ended up being historically monumental.

    Go figure.

  • Koss Nova

    Eh!!! Did you come up with that one on your own? Wow! I’m so impressed!!!

  • MZ,
    As a matter of fact, I did, several months ago. But its formation was undeservedly obscure.

  • The diocese of Lincoln is ranked 131st in the nation by Catholic population, having 89,000. The See has no historical importance and is one of the least important in the country.

    I’m not really clear where all this argument about whether Lincoln is an “obscure” see is supposed to go — other than that some obviously agree with Bruskewitz’s opinions in re Notre Dame and others don’t.

    The diocese itself is, as MZ points out, rather small. However it is known for having consistently high numbers of vocations, and I’ve heard about Bruskewitz off and on in national Catholic publications like OSV for a good fifteen years. I imagine that if one did a citation count of National Catholic Register, National Catholic Reporter, OSV, Commonweal, This Rock and America one would find significantly more mentions of Bruskewitz over the last 15 years than of anything going on in my own see of Austin, even though we have far more Catholics.

    So aside from not seeing the relevance of the “obscure” accusation, I don’t really see that it’s true either.

  • I doubt Mr. Karlson if most Catholics know the name of their local bishop, just as most Americans do not know the name of their representative in Congress. This fact does not necessarily make either the bishop or the representative obscure. Compared to the other bishops in this country Bishop Bruskewitz is not obscure as the length of this thread both condemning and supporting his letter indicates. That we have so many visitors in this thread from Vox Nova indicates quite clearly that you and your colleagues are well aware of who Bishop Bruskewitz is.

  • A google search would quickly disabuse anyone that Bishop Bruskewitz has been obscure.

    I see. Because obscure persons and things tend not to show up on Google searches, right?

    Wasn’t Jerusalem likewise an obscure and insignificant province of the Roman Empire?

    Well, M.Z. and “e.”, I didn’t say anything about the man’s diocese being “obscure.” Most people have heard of Lincoln, Nebraska after all. But this bishop seems to be an angry, obscure one who is just looking for the latest “newsworthy” item to be outraged about so he can appear prophetic. I mean please; sending a priest that he doesn’t know a letter saying that he will pray for his conversion is pretty low. Who does he think he is? A combox participant at Vox Nova?

  • “That we have so many visitors in this thread from Vox Nova indicates quite clearly that you and your colleagues are well aware of who Bishop Bruskewitz is.”

    I hate to break it to you, but that in itself doesn’t prove or pull the good bishop out of obscurity just because certain Vox Novan visitors happen to know him; unless, of course, such persons are representative of the entire Catholic population of the United States.

    (The fact that this isn’t actually the case is, quite frankly, a relief.)

  • That we have so many visitors in this thread from Vox Nova indicates quite clearly that you and your colleagues are well aware of who Bishop Bruskewitz is.

    Why? We simply saw the latest hateful letter by a u.s. bishop and wanted to comment. Doesn’t mean we have a clue who this guy is.

  • e., the fact that they are also the same individuals contending that he is obscure rather disproves their point by the vehemence with which they are arguing about the letter from an “obscure” bishop. Bishop Bruskewitz is well known by those who follow the actions of the bishops in this country, and the Vox Novniks are in that category.

  • Catholic Anarchist, disingenuousness does not become you. A google search of Iafrate and Bruskewitz reveals that you are quite familiar with Bishop Bruskewitz.

  • Mr. McClarey,

    “e., the fact that they are also the same individuals contending he is obscure rather disproves their point by the vehemence with which they are arguing about the letter from an ‘obscure’ bishop.”

    Well, that wouldn’t actually be the first time that certain Vox Novans happened to engage in arguments that were, in fact, self-refuting! ;^)

    Yet, to be fair though, although the Catholic crowds that roam around various Catholic foras may actually know of the good bishop doesn’t really give any actual indication that American Catholics in general would happen to know of him.

    (About your last comment though about Catholic Anarchist, are you really surprised?)

  • Donald,

    I have known of him for quite some time, but I am also not your average Catholic in what I know or do not know. If I judged how obscure something or someone was based upon what I know, I would say the debates about who and what the icchantikas are must not be obscure to anyone.

  • e., when we say that a bishop is obscure the only proper comparison is whether he is obscure in regard to other bishops. For example, I doubt if the general public knows who General “Pap” Thomas was, a Union general from the Civil War. However, no one who has a working knowledge of the Civil War would ever call the “Rock of Chickamauga” an obscure Union general. To people who pay attention to events pertaining to the Church in America, Fabian Bruskewitz is not obscure.

  • Fair point and duly noted.

  • A google search of Iafrate and Bruskewitz reveals that you are quite familiar with Bishop Bruskewitz.

    Haha. Good one. I can’t find it, though, so you must be lying, right?

    Or wait. is he my long lost uncle or something?

    Interesting, too, that you always fall back on war comparisons. Always.

  • The Cure d’Ars and his parish was quite obscure. As was Lourdes. Likewise Lisieux.

    What is amusing – because pointless – is a discussion about whether Bishop Bruskewitz and the Diocese of Lincoln are obscure, rather than the matter of his letter.

    Just as an oddity, Fr. Jenkins was born in Omaha. That is a city in Nebraska, just like Lincoln. Lincoln and Omaha are a but a few miles distant. Thus Bishop Bruskewitz was correct in referring to Fr. Jenkins’ Nebraskan roots.

  • “Obscurity” is relative. A person may be very well known in a particular field of endeavor (art, sports, law, finance, technology, etc.) but not be well known to people outside of those circles.

    Bishop Bruskewitz may be “obscure” to the average Catholic whose only exposure to Church teaching comes from a 10-minute weekly sermon and who does not carefully follow news or trends within the Church. He doesn’t get a lot of mention in the secular media. He is, however, definitely NOT obscure to other bishops, Catholic journalists, and others who regard him as a champion of orthodoxy/conservatism/traditionalism (whatever term you prefer to use). In those circles he is very well known.

Jenkins to Pro-Life Students: No dialogue for you!

Thursday, April 16, AD 2009

obama-and-valentine3

jenkins1

One of the main defenses of Jenkins in regard to Obama Day on May 17, 2009 at Notre Dame is as follows:  “However misguided some might consider our actions, it is in the spirit of providing a basis for dialogue that we invited President Obama.”

It is therefore richly ironic that Jenkins refuses to meet with pro-life Notre Dame students opposed to the Obama homage:

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4 Responses to Jenkins to Pro-Life Students: No dialogue for you!

  • I never believed that ‘dialogue’ excuse for a nanosecond anyway.

    I remember hearing a few decades back that one way the pro-aborts used to get politicians to ‘change’ from a pro-life stance to a pro-abort one was to threaten to expose the pro-life politicians past involvement in an abortion…

    Hey when there is no logical explanation given for such an outrageous betrayal, one has to start wondering…

  • “conditions for constructive dialogue do not exist”

    Translation: “I didn’t expect 33+ bishops to uncork on me, and as sure as we have a cheesy leprechaun for a mascot, I don’t want to hear you quoting them. When I want input from the episcopate, I’ll send them talking points.”

  • Is this how the leftists in the Soviet Union did dialogue? The elitist masters speak and the masses listen intently with no dissent allowed?

  • Whenever someone to the left of me utilizes the word “dialogue,” I develop itch in various parts of my torso. So it was triggered on the news that Father Jenkins will not engage in it with pro-life ND students. Dialogue By Their Definition = We Will Lecture You More Forcefully. Not to worry. Father Jenkins has more immediate concerns. His job, more specifically.

The Giggle Test

Monday, April 13, AD 2009

obama-and-valentine2jenkins

In my “real life”, for my sins no doubt, I am an attorney.  Before I raise an argument in court before a judge or a jury, I always make sure it can pass the giggle test.  It has two components:  1.  Can I make the argument with a straight face;  and 2.  do I think a judge or a jury can hear the argument without giggling.  The giggle test has saved me a lot of embarrassment over the years in court.

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7 Responses to The Giggle Test

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  • The good Father is feeling the heat.

  • Notre Dame gets an “F,” on the Giggle Test, an “F” for Catechism and an “F,” for not defending the free speech of the unborn. We who calls ourselves Christians/Cath. have been depicted as provincial backward folks with little comprehension, for progress and the sciences. Our faith is ridiculed by the media/academia quoting that 54% of the Cath. voted for President Obama. How many Cath. voted not to be sacrificed to the lions, when Emperor Nero was in charged? Our faith has not changed in the elapsed time especially, when the “life” of the innocent is the question. Jesus loves us today just as he did then, but more important; we must remember that Jesus always had a special love/consideration, for the weak, innocent, and the most vulnerable. November 17, will soon be water under the bridge. However, dishearten Christians/Cath. can reaffirm their commitments to faith and life through prayers. John Cardinal O’Connor reminded us in his book “Moment of Grace” of the following: “If prayer is resolutely united with that of Jesus in trust and boldness as children, we obtain all that we ask in his name, even more than any particular thing: The Holy Spirit himself, who contains all gifts.” On commencement day, I will pray/dedicate the rosary, for the protection of the innocent. I will also ask our Lord Jesus Christ to give our Cath. leaders the strength of character and wisdom to stand in disagreement when disagreement is required by principle. God Bless J. Cardinal O’Connor.

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  • “Chancellor Hitler” professed himself to be a Catholic. He was raised Catholic and remained a formal member of the CC until his death. And for the record, this entry goes straight to the top of the list of online rants that most quickly go out of their way to lend support to Godwin’s Law due to the oblique and nonsensical relationship attributed to Hitler and whoever it is you’re disagreeing with.

    If you aren’t familiar with Godwin’s Law, please do look it up.

  • Mike, Hitler despised the Catholic Church and only waited until the end of the war to settle accounts with it. Perhaps you are not aware of Hitler’s Table Talk? Here are some selections:

    ‘The war will be over one day. I shall then consider that my life’s final task will be to solve the religious problem. Only then Will the life of the German native be guaranteed once and for all.”

    “The evil that’s gnawing our vitals is our priests, of both creeds. I can’t at present give them the answer they’ve been asking for, but it will cost them nothing to wait. It’s all written down in my big book. The time will come when I’ll settle my account with them, and I’ll go straight to the point.”

    “I don’t know which should be considered the more dangerous: the minister of religion who play-acts at patriotism, or the man who openly opposes the State. The fact remains that it’s their maneuvers that have led me to my decision. They’ve only got to keep at it, they’ll hear from me, all right. I shan’t let myself be hampered by juridical scruples. Only necessity has legal force. In less than ten years from now, things will have quite another look, I can promise them.”

    “We shan’t be able to go on evading the religious problem much longer. If anyone thinks it’s really essential to build the life of human society on a foundation of lies, well, in my estimation, such a society is not worth preserving. If’ on the other hand, one believes that truth is the indispensable foundation, then conscience bids one intervene in the name of truth, and exterminate the lie.”

    “Once the war is over we will put a swift end to the Concordat. It will give me the greatest personal pleasure to point out to the Church all those occasions on which it has broken the terms of it. One need only recall the close cooperation between the Church and the murderers of Heydrich. Catholic priests not only allowed them to hide in a church on the outskirts of Prague, but even allowed them to entrench themselves in the sanctuary of the altar.”

    “The fact that I remain silent in public over Church affairs is not in the least misunderstood by the sly foxes of the Catholic Church, and I am quite sure that a man like the Bishop von Galen knows full well that after the war I shall extract retribution to the last farthing. And, if he does not succeed in getting himself transferred in the meanwhile to the Collegium Germanium in Rome, he may rest assured that in the balancing of our accounts, no “T” will remain uncrossed, no “I” undotted!”

    Hitler remained Catholic in the same sense that Benedict Arnold remained an American. As to Godwin’s Law, the point I was making obviously eluded you, or, more likely, you are unable or unwilling to debate the substance of it.

  • Mike,

    Perhaps you’ve never heard of excommunication latae sententiae.

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

"diminishes the reputation of Notre Dame and makes one wonder what its mission truly is."

Monday, April 13, AD 2009

bishop-samuel-j-aquila

Bishop Samuel J. Aquila of the Diocese of Fargo, North Dakota,  takes Jenkins to task for the homage to Obama to Obama scheduled at Notre Dame on May 17, 2009 and also addresses the sophistical defense mounted by Jenkins of his decision:

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One Response to "diminishes the reputation of Notre Dame and makes one wonder what its mission truly is."