But the thrill we’ve never known
Is the thrill that’ll getcha when you get your picture
On the cover of the Rollin’ Stone
Dr. Hook, The Cover of the Rollin’ Stone
Although it is only a pale shadow of the former influence it had in our culture, the fact that Pope Francis is on the cover of Rolling Stone does signify that he has become a hero for much of the cultural left. The story itself by Mark Binelli in the magazine is astonishingly wrong headed, even by the standard of the raw ignorance which most of the denizens of the media reveal whenever they seek to discuss Catholicism. A sample will suffice:
After the disastrous papacy of Benedict, a staunch traditionalist who looked like he should be wearing a striped shirt with knife-fingered gloves and menacing teenagers in their nightmares, Francis’ basic mastery of skills like smiling in public seemed a small miracle to the average Catholic. But he had far more radical changes in mind. By eschewing the papal palace for a modest two-room apartment, by publicly scolding church leaders for being “obsessed” with divisive social issues like gay marriage, birth control and abortion (“Who am I to judge?” Francis famously replied when asked his views on homosexual priests) and – perhaps most astonishingly of all – by devoting much of his first major written teaching to a scathing critique of unchecked free-market capitalism, the pope revealed his own obsessions to be more in line with the boss’ son. Continue reading
PopeWatch assumes that Rush Limbaugh is viewed as the Devil Incarnate by many Pope Francis fans, for his criticisms of the economic portions of Evangelii Gaudium, but actually Rush has a much shrewder view of the Pope than the empty praise that the Pope is currently getting from many leftists who eagerly embrace the Pope as an unexpected ally. From the Limbaugh show yesterday:
RUSH: Back to the pope. You’ll note that I didn’t spend any time in the first hour on this. I am not striving to keep this alive. I’m not striving to make this about me. But the Drive-Bys won’t let it go. They can’t turn this loose. The latest, Piers Morgan on CNN last night on Piers Morgan Live. He had the noted author and well known conservative raconteur, Ann Coulter. And during his conversation with Coulter, he wanted to bring up me and Il Papa, Pope Francis. And to set it up, this is what he said.
MORGAN: Rush Limbaugh keeps whacking away at Pope Francis, which is, you know, it’s like watching the devil incarnate taking on Mother Teresa. But tell me why the right seemed to have some big issue with a man who appears to be non-bigoted, incredibly humble, a force for good, somebody perhaps revolutionizing an anachronistic church, dragging them kicking and screaming into the real world, why would this enrage the likes of Rush Limbaugh?
RUSH: Okay, that’s the question. The devil incarnate. I am the devil incarnate. The pope is Mother Teresa. And you’ll note, folks, look, I don’t want to be subtle about this. It’s Christmastime. Can I take a little credit for something here? (interruption) What, you think you know what I’m gonna say? Here is an avowed leftist who every other day of the week despises the Catholic Church, Piers Morgan. And he’s no different than anybody else out there on the left. Every other day of the week, they hate the Catholic Church. They don’t like the pope because of abortion, because of gays, gay marriage, because of no women priests, because of AIDS, you name it. They do not like the Catholic Church at all, except now since I, the devil incarnate, have entered the fray. These people that hate the Catholic Church are now its biggest advocates.
Is that not amazing? Is that not a wonder to behold? I don’t care that he calls me the devil incarnate. He’s speaking out positively about Christianity now. He doesn’t know it. He thinks the pope is modernizing the church in the way the left thinks it should be. See, to the left, a religion is nothing but a malleable, bendable, shapable, flakable, formable thing. And like anything else, it ought to accommodate whatever the will of the people is at that moment. So if the people are for abortion, the church ought to be, ’cause the church ought to relate to the people. It’s a total lack of understanding of what a religion is, what a church is.
For him to call the church anachronistic shows he has no understanding of religion whatsoever. The church, Catholic Church, whatever church, is what it is. And if you don’t like it, it’s your role to get out, not change it. Christianity is Christianity. The various denominations are what they are. If you don’t like it, you move on. It’s not up to the church to modernize. It’s not up to the church to be dragged kicking and screaming into the real world. Yet that’s what he thinks Pope Francis is doing, and it’s not what Pope Francis doing.
Pope Francis is as rock rigid anti-abortion as any pope ever has been. The same thing on gay marriage, female priests, and all of this. But I still think, folks, that it is a wondrous thing that because of little old me, the devil incarnate, leftists who would otherwise and do otherwise revile the Catholic Church are now singing its praises. It is a beautiful thing. But that whole sound bite is proof that Piers Morgan, incompetence incarnate, hasn’t the slightest idea, slightest understanding of religion. Religion is timeless. Continue reading
Well, what do you know. The most anti-Catholic President in our nation’s history is suddenly quoting popes.
During a Wednesday speech on income equality, Obama remarked, “Across the developed world, inequality has increased. Some of you may have seen just last week, the pope himself spoke about this at eloquent length.”
He went on to quote a line from Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium,” asking, “How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?”
That is truly hilarious when one considers that Obama has been President now for almost half a decade and that his policies have succeeded only in exacerbating income inequality with his truly wretched stewardship of the economy. Rush Limbaugh who, unsurprisingly, has been highly critical of the economic portions of Evangelii Gaudium, recognizes that the Pope’s popularity with the port side of our political spectrum is only fleeting because of the Pope’s position on abortion, the holy of holies for the Left: Continue reading
Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem have written an op-ed in which they call upon the FCC to revoke the licences of radio stations that carry the Rush Limbaugh show.
That makes this a fitting time to inquire of his syndicator, Clear Channel Communications, whether it intends to continue supporting someone who addicts his audience to regular doses of hate speech. Clear Channel’s Premiere Radio Networks Inc., which hosts Limbaugh’s program, has defended his recent comments.
If Clear Channel won’t clean up its airways, then surely it’s time for the public to ask the FCC a basic question: Are the stations carrying Limbaugh’s show in fact using their licenses “in the public interest?”
Spectrum is a scarce government resource. Radio broadcasters are obligated to act in the public interest and serve their respective communities of license. In keeping with this obligation, individual radio listeners may complain to the FCC that Limbaugh’s radio station (and those syndicating his show) are not acting in the public interest or serving their respective communities of license by permitting such dehumanizing speech.
In the course of an op-ed calling upon the government to restrict free speech rights, the authors compare Rush Limbaugh to Joseph Goebbels.
I know that Wikipedia is not the greatest source of information, but it usually gets the basics correct. From the article on Goebbels:
Goebbels rose to power in 1933 along with Hitler and the Nazi Party and he was appointed Propaganda Minister. One of his first acts was the burning of books rejected by the Nazis. He exerted totalitarian control over the media, arts and information in Germany.
From Webster’s dictionary:
Irony : 3 a (1): incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result (2): an event or result marked by such incongruity
Fonda, Morgan, and Steinem might want to have a look at this book before taking to the keyboard again.
Part 13 of my ongoing survey of the follies of many modern day Jesuits. Georgetown University, founded in 1789, is the oldest Jesuit college in the United States. Last week it found itself at the center of the debate over the HHS Mandate. How the powers that be at Georgetown reacted to all of this is instructive.
On February 16, 2012 Representative Darrell Issa (R. CA), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing on the ramifications of the HHS Mandate in regard to religious freedom. Democrats had the opportunity to present witnesses. Initially they were going to have Barry Lynn, a Methodist minister and Leftist political activist, and head of the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, but for some reason that fell through for the Democrats. They then proposed Sandra Fluke, identified as a third year law student at Georgetown. Issa refused to allow her to testify on the grounds that she wasn’t testifying about the religious liberty issue but rather about a perceived need for contraception. The Democrats, who realized that they were in trouble on the religious liberty issue, used this as an argument against the hearings, arguing that women were banned from the hearings as speakers. This was a lie, as there were two panels which testified in opposition to the Mandate at the hearing. The second panel included Dr. Allison Garrett and Dr. Laura Champion who testified as to the dangers that the HHS Mandate poses to religious liberty.
On February 23, 2012, Nancy Pelosi (D.CA), minority leader, organized a Democrats only “hearing” at which Sandra Fluke gave her testimony. Go here to read that testimony. Among other statements she said that in three years contraceptives could cost a law student three grand.
The idea that someone at Georgetown Law School, an elite school that costs over 50k a year to attend, was crying poverty over the alleged cost of $1,000.00 a year, a sum about $800-$900 too high in relationship to the actual cost, to make illicit whoopee has its comedic possibilities, and this was seized upon by Rush Limbaugh on Wednesday February 29:
What does it say about the college co-ed Sandra Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex, what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. What does that make us? We’re the pimps. (interruption) The johns? We would be the johns? No! We’re not the johns. (interruption) Yeah, that’s right. Pimp’s not the right word. Okay, so she’s not a slut. She’s “round heeled.” I take it back.
This caused an uproar and on Thursday March 1, John J. DeGioia, the first lay President of Georgetown, released this statement: Continue reading
Some in the mainstream media are so angry about the existence of faithful Catholics that they can’t help themselves in becoming unhinged. I will reference the main points, but suffice to say that I could write a book on the subject. These latest quotes have caused me to scramble to get information to my editor so as to include at least some of this in my upcoming book; The Tide Continues To Turn Toward Catholicism, a follow up to my first book. For starters it seems some in mainstream media are so ignorant of religion that even though 90% of Americans belong to some form of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, which all believe that evil is manifested through a figure known as Satan, the media still finds it in their power to mock anyone who thinks evil exists. Some in the media seemed to take glee in pouncing on Catholic and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. He was called a kook, a nut, deranged, a mullah and an ayatollah, not by nameless posters on leftwing blogs but named writers in serious newspapers.
Leading the charge was that maven of militant secularism and angry people everywhere Maureen Dowd. Here are some of the spoiled nuggets from her dung heap. She calls Santorum a “mullah” who wants to take, “women back to the caves.” She goes on to deride anyone who actually believes in the teachings of the Catholicism that she once practiced.
Never one to miss a chance at apostasy and heresy; Chris Matthews entered the fray with both of his tingling legs. Matthews claimed the reason the Catholic Church is growing is because homophobic converts are coming into the Church. It would appear that Mr. Matthews is off his meds. Has anyone ever informed mister leg tingler that groups like Courage; the Apostolate run by those who are same sex attracted, is a rapidly growing organization with men and women from all walks of life? They feel the comfort and assurance of living in God’s chaste plan for their lives. The New York Times of all papers did a favorable story on Eve Tushnet, a popular Catholic writer who has ties to the group. She is a successful woman and an Ivy League grad. Are these militant secularists going to claim that she is homophobic?
David Gergen and Donna Brazile (who is Catholic) didn’t take any pot shots at Catholics per see but did point out that liberal feminist organizations didn’t seem smitten with any of the GOP candidates, because they kept talking about religious liberty instead of the rights of birth control? David Gergen even said it with a straight face, which should really frost Rush Limbaugh who has dubbed the Washington establishmentarian; David Rodham Gergen. As much as they refer to the New York Times, they somehow missed Ross Douthat’s op-ed piece on the growth of Natural Family Planning and the number of women who help teach this non birth control view of family planning across the country and world.
The coup de grace of hate came from David Waldman who writes for a number of publications. This little nugget would make the Know Nothing Party of the 1840s smile. I would rather not give him the pleasure of repeating such delusional hatred; if you want to read his screed click here. UPDATE In a Lisa Miller Washington Post article just out; Ms. Miller not only mocks Catholics but calls bishops “zealots” three times in her article.
If the Catholic Church is so irrelevant why would the likes of Dowd, Matthews and Waldman froth at the mouth at her beliefs? The simple answer is the Catholic Church is growing while their favorite liberal religious bodies are not only dying on the vine, but shriveling in a complete statistical freefall. Catholics and Evangelicals continue to increase in numbers which drive these mouthpieces of militant secularism nuts. Continue reading
In case you had any lingering doubt that Rush Limbaugh makes a good charlatan’s living espousing half-baked pseudo-ideology slyly disguised as principled conservative philosophy, the winning radio host informs us that he doesn’t know what Classical Studies is, but he’s sure it’s a clever socialist plot. His faux-ignorant blather about the uselessness and insidiousness of studying Greek, Latin, Cicero, Plato, Aristotle, Homer, Virgil, the Bible—you know, the bulwarks of Western Civilization that any conservative worth his salt should have an interest in conserving—reveals that he has no regard for the origin and history of our ideas, for the development of the intellect, or for conservatism.
The source of the indignation is a rant which Rush apparently delivered on the air a week ago. Said rant was in response to this “We Are the 99%” plea which was posted in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement:
I graduate college in 7 months with a “useless” degree in Classical Studies. I have worked very hard and am on track to graduate with highest Latin honors. I am in a Greek organization with many volunteer hours under my belt.
MY JOB PROSPECTS?
I am one of the lucky ones, but I am still the 99%.
Welcome to the American nightmare.
Rush responded to this plea, in part, as follows:
[reads the above quoted "We Are The 99%" piece]
Now, do you think somebody going to college, borrowing whatever it is in this case, $20,000 a year to get a degree in Classical Studies ought to be told by somebody at a school that it’s a worthless degree? … [W]hy is it that no one in her life told her that getting a degree in Classical Studies would not lead to employment? In fact, how many college students do you think believe that just getting a degree equals a high-paying job? Probably a lot of them. Not that you can blame ‘em. That’s what they’ve been sold on. That’s what they’ve been told. Ergo, that’s what they expect. A college degree equals success, riches, whatever. Not work. This is key, now. Continue reading
Right you are Klavan on the Culture! Conservative talk show personalities do owe a great debt to one group which has contributed more to their success that any other group: Liberals. Many liberals, through their over the top hatred of dissenting views, helped give vast publicity to the figures they hated and thus helped launch their careers and continue to give them endless publicity. So a round of applause for intolerant liberals! Continue reading
Rank and File Conservatives & The Conservative Intelligentsia United In Outrage Over Mosque Near Ground Zero, Not So With Same-Sex Marriage
The proposed mosque set to be built near Ground Zero, site of the September 11, 2001 attacks has brought a sweeping condemnation from both rank and file conservatives and the Conservative Intelligentsia. Now that President Barack Obama has weighed in the matter, seemingly supporting the effort, one can only imagine how this will be used in the fall elections. However, a rift has appeared to have been opened concerning the views of the rank and file conservatives and the Conservative Intelligentsia following the ruling of Judge Vaughn Walker over same-sex marriage. Many of the conservative intelligentsia, along with the establishment wing of the Republican Party has either been silent or voiced the view that the wished the whole gay marriage issue would simply go away. This has led to bewilderment from some conservative voices.
The best Catholic tie in with the efforts to build a mosque on Ground Zero came from the famed conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer, who is Jewish. In his opposition to the mosque being built near Ground Zero, he correctly pointed out that Pope John Paul II ordered Carmelite nuns, who were living right next to Auschwitz, to move closer to a nearby town, since the site had become a rallying point for Jewish identity. Krauthammer correctly pointed out that Christians had been murdered there too and the nuns were doing the heroic deed of praying for the souls of those who were viciously murdered. However, Krauthammer pointed out that the late Polish pontiff felt that it created the wrong perception.
[Updates at the bottom of this post as of 4:21pm CDT 10-16-2009 AD]
This week there has been a whirlwind of character assassination done by the mainstream media to conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh’s bid to purchase the St. Louis Rams (American) football team of the National Football League (NFL). They have been accusing Mr. Limbaugh of saying several racist quotes without confirming their existence. All the alleged racist quotes have been debunked by Snopes earlier this week as well as being denied by Mr. Limbaugh. Additionally many in the mainstream media have been unable to find any evidence of these allegations.
But today there has been a sudden realization of regret when the heat turned up on their yellow journalism. Regret that some elements of the mainstream media were involved in libel and slander.
The most prominent of the yellow journalists are liberal news anchors Anderson Cooper and Rick Sanchez of the left-of-center CNN, sports columnist Bryan Burwell of the liberal St. Louis Dispatch, and finally the liberal Huffington Post (HuffPo) blog.
I have to say, I try to keep my expectations for political personalities on the radio and television low. But this is pretty appalling:
It’s Obama’s America, is it not? Obama’s America, white kids getting beat up on school buses now. You put your kids on a school bus, you expect safety but in Obama’s America the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering, “Yay, right on, right on, right on, right on,” and, of course, everybody says the white kid deserved it, he was born a racist, he’s white. Newsweek magazine told us this. We know that white students are destroying civility on buses, white students destroying civility in classrooms all over America, white congressmen destroying civility in the House of Representatives.
Let me get this straight, according to Rush: 1) Obama approves or is responsible somehow for white kids getting beat up on school busses. 2) Obama approves or is responsible somehow for people cheering while white kids get beat up on school busses; 3) Obama approves or is responsible somehow for the idea that white kids are all racists and deserve to get beat up on school busses; and 4) Somehow there is a connection to be drawn here to Joe Wilson’s intemperate outburst during Obama’s speach the other night.
How do people listen to this stuff?
H/T: The American Scene
Update: Re-reading the transcript again, I still think Rush is race-baiting, although not in the sense my comments above suggest. I don’t think Rush was actually intending to make a direct comment on Obama, much less about busses and school children. Rather, he was engaging in a caricature of lefty outrage over various political and racial issues (e.g. Jimmy Carter’s recent remarks) . I think this type of caricature is irresponsible and foments racial tensions, even if Rush’s intention was just to foment partisan outrage. Race is a highly charged issue with good reason given our country’s history, and the risks of misinterpretation are very high. Accordingly, I think it is irresponsible and, in some sense, race-baiting, to belittle these concerns and treat them as if they were trivial. While I don’t want to be humorless or disingenuous, I agree with Megan McArdle that 1) if so many missed it, it’s not a very good satire; 2) what Rush is actually doing is quite bad enough.
Also, for those interested, Michael Iafrate thinks that many of the commenters in this thread are racists. I have not allowed his comments to come through because I do not think they will lead to a productive discussion here, and I will delete any comments that respond to Michael’s accusation. If you would like to discuss these issues with Michael, he blogs at Vox Nova and Catholic Anarchy.
It seems in recent week that an ever-increasing focus has fallen on Rush Limbaugh and his radio show. Not only have the usual suspects worked themselves into a frenzy over him, but we’ve even had President Obama command Congressional Republicans to ignore him. And the White House has yet to let up on speaking against him. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has even taken a few stabs at Limbaugh. Even more amazingly, Republican Chairman Michael Steele has voiced disapproval of Limbaugh’s talks.