Wednesday, December 31, 2003

True Wisdom

"A turkey is more occult and awful than all the angels and archangels. In so far as God has partly revealed to us an angelic world, He has partly told us what an angel means. But God has never told us what a turkey means. And if you go and stare at a live turkey for an hour or two, you will find by the end of it that the enigma has rather increased than diminished.
G.K. Chesterton"

WorldNetDaily: Bible verses regarded as hate literature

"The Court of Queen's Bench in Saskatchewan upheld a 2001 ruling by the province's human rights tribunal that fined a man for submitting a newspaper ad that included citations of four Bible verses that address homosexuality.
Imagine 'the hand-wringing if ever a federal court labeled the Quran hate literature and forced a devout Muslim to pay a fine for printing some of his book's more astringent passages in an ad in a daily newspaper,' wrote Lorne Gunter in the Edmonton, Alberta, daily. "

So in the name of freedom of sex we throw away freedom of speach and freedom of religion. I think it was Muggeridge that said the new world would be one of "I screw, therefore I am" where screwing would be more important than reasoning. I can see we're right along the path now.

First Openly Muslim Anglican Bishop

"And what was God thinking... when the Angel Gabriel was sent by God to reveal the sacred Quran to the prophet Muhammad?
Were these just random acts of association and coincidence or was the Angel Gabriel who appears as the named messenger of God in the Jewish Old Testament, the Christian New Testament Gospels, and the Quran of Islam, really the same miraculous messenger of God who proclaimed to a then emerging religious, global community and to us this morning that we are ALL children of the living God?"

I was kidding when I put up the away message about the ECUSA making their first openly Muslim bishop. Now they actually have one. Does anyone besides me think that a church with Muslim and atheist bishops might have somewhat larger problems besides their rather rediculous ordination of Robinson?

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Jewish World Review

Dearest readers:

I will make this note short and sweet.

The next 48 hours are the last chance for you to make your 2003
tax-deductible donations.

We believe JWR is worthy of your support and we need your help now
more than ever.

On December 10, JWR turned six years old. That's eons in Internet
time. Not only has JWR survived, but we've done so without a penny
from corporate investors. We've remained fiercely independent and
yet have managed to keep our quality soaring.

And I pledge that we will continue to do so. If you let me.

We are significantly behind where we should be with our
fundraising. But I honestly believe that this can be changed within
the next 48 hours.

I hate to beg. It's unbecoming. But, as I'm doing it for a greater
good, I force myself.

In the past, I've asked folks to send a pittance. Something.
Anything. I received a lot of apology notes. So let me make this
pitch. PLEASE donate $1. Yes, a single buck. (More if you want to.

You think I'm joking? I'm not! All of those dollars will add up. If
only people with give. Unfortunately, many assume, wrongly, that
somebody else will respond. They haven't. They've been counting on

Here's the credit card donation page:

If you wish to donate via conventional means, please drop me a note
by replying to this message.

I'm not a very good self-promoter. I admit it. I'm also usually too
busy trying to manage JWR's day to day affairs. Kathleen Parker has
written a column about JWR and its struggles. It is slated to appear
nationwide TOMORROW. Her column is carried in over 300 papers

I've created a special preview version for my readers.
( ) The headline
was provided by her syndicate. I don't claim to be anything other
than a guy working out of a Brooklyn basement who is trying to make
a difference.

My heartfelt thanks to all of those readers who helped out before.
Obviously, this appeal was not to you.

In gratitude and friendship,
Binyamin L. Jolkovsky
Editor in Chief,

Sunday, December 28, 2003

The Latest "Real Jesus"

"One good rule of thumb whenever one encounters a 'real Jesus' who is radically at odds with the picture offered by the ordinary Tradition, Scripture and magisterial teaching of the Church is to examine the dominant fixations of one's own age and see how much of a Rorschach ink blot test that new 'real Jesus' is. Oddly enough, when liberal Protestantism went gaga for the Social Gospel a hundred years ago, the Real Jesus looked very much like a Social Gospel Protestant a la Albert Schweitzer. When the world went nuts for Marxism, a new Real Jesus suddenly appeared on the scene as the First Marxist preaching the Sermon on the Barricades to the Oppressed Proletariat. Nazism was fond of discovering a Real Jesus who was 'really' an Aryan eager to condemn Judaism and not beholden to his Jewish ancestry. Ironic postmodernity sees an ironic postmodern Jesus, feminism sees a feminist Jesus and New Age 'prophets' see Real Jesus who offer the same sort of pantheistic tapioca they offer. Of the making of 'real Jesuses' there is no end."

I have to say, I didn't know there was a "real Jesus" movement before this century as the Gnostics really didn't see what they were doing as an attempt at history. This stuff, however, is fascinating. He also goes on to talk about how out sexual conceptions are getting projected onto Jesus, etc. I'm still pissed ABC got involved in this debacle.

Oh well. One down, eight zillion to go.

Friday, December 26, 2003

LO . . . L

"I know, I know - 'Marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman, blah blah blah'. Yeah, whatever you say, Reverend Swaggart. Man, woman, chicken, what's the difference? You're thinking in black & white - there are gray areas, you know. Graaaaaaaay areas. Herman Goerring said that the first step towards Fascism is gender absolutism, and here you cons go, goosestepping right back to the Third Reich. Today, you're whining about high school health teachers giving dildo demonstrations to your kids, tomorrow you're slapping pink triangles on homosexuals and loading them ontoto box cars."

That's exactly what I've been planning! Amazing how fast these people pick up on me.

Join the College of Athanasius

"Many years ago, when a certain English king declared himself head of the Church in England, all the Catholic bishops and public officials agreed that he was. All but one bishop and one public official. St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More were murdered for not agreeing, and hundreds of lay people followed them to the scaffolds. None of the Catholic bishops or public officials did. The Catholic Church was stripped from England like living flesh stripped from the bone.

I am a coward. The priests described above are cowards. The bishops described above are cowards."

I, too, am a coward. Too willing to go along with the crowd. Not willing enough to die. Me and most of the American bishops, and most of the bishops in the world. Too willing to be swept along in the tide of culture. I pray that I wake up. Pray for us.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Interesting thoughts

"John Leo calls it �the rapid refurbishing of appalling people,� and he has more than a point. In 1987, Joel Steinberg of New York City beat to death his illegally adopted six-year-old daughter. Though still in jail, he has parlayed his notoriety into a job with a cable TV show. Jayson Blair fabricated stories for the New York Times, and has a six-figure advance for a book telling how a �racist� press made him do it. Stephen Glass fabricated stories for the New Republic and other publications, which earned him a movie sale and big book contract, as well as a job writing for Rolling Stone, for which he wrote fiction as fact. Roman Polanski drugged and raped a thirteen-year-old girl, and then skipped the country, which did not prevent him from getting last year�s Oscar for best director. Marv Albert�s career was presumably shattered by a messy sex scandal, but a little more than a year later he was hired as host of MSG Sports Desk. And then there is Al Sharpton, co-perpetrator of the Tawana Brawley rape hoax, leader of an agitation against a Jewish store owner in which he joined with others in screaming �bloodsucking Jews� and �Jew bastards,� which agitation ended with three people shot and seven dead in a fire set by a protestor. Now he is a �civil rights leader� who is addressed as �the Rev. Sharpton� in national debates with other aspirants for the presidency of the United States. Such things are to be expected, writes Leo, �in a culture with no higher standard than non-judgmentalism.� "

Judgement can be a good thing.

Thomas More's Conscience

"Seeing that I see ye are determined to condemn me (God knoweth how) I will now in discharge of my conscience speak my mind plainly and freely touching my Indictment and your Statute, withal. And forasmuch as this Indictment is grounded upon an Act of Parliament directly repugnant to the laws of God and His Holy Church, the supreme Government of which, or of any part whereof, may no temporal Prince presume by any law to take upon him, as rightfully belonging to the See of Rome, a spiritual pre-eminence by the mouth of our Savior himself, personally present upon earth, only to St. Peter and his successors, bishops of the same See, by special prerogative granted; it is therefore in law, amongst Christian men, insufficient to charge any Christian man. "

Conscience is a rather interesting question. Some would use it to justify both Luther and More. But is that quite possible?

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Food for thought

"Situating the peace on this level is tantamount to heightening the debate. This is incontestable. But it is normal. A people cannot live for a long time with its eyes riveted upon the radar screens of its territorial surveillance or upon the statistical charts of its economists. All this is important but remains in the order of means. Beyond the means of living arises the question of the reasons for living: for perosns, but also for nations and for the entire human race. And this is a question of culture -- that is to say, a spiritual question."
Paragraph 55 of "Winning the Peace", Joint Pastoral Letter of the French Bishops, Ignatius Press

Catholic and Enjoying It!

"For billions of years, species have gone extinct, bodies of water have dried up, rivers have changed course, etc. Yet, when it happens now, people talk as though this is something that must be stopped. Very often, such people are materialists who regard matter and energy and natural processes as 'all there is'. Yet, for some reason, they don't regard human activity as just another part of the overall grand scheme of nature.

And that would be a significant point if the Christian picture of humans as creatures in the image of God who are superior to and responsible for creation were true. But that's exactly what you deny. We are not, by your reckoning, spiritual beings who are superior to and responsible for creation. We are, by your reckoning, just unusually clever pieces of meat, largely acting in response to hormones, environmental pressures and so forth. Whence all the outrage?"

That's something I always wondered about! And I think Shea has a good point.

Stolen from Mark Shea

Rudolphus, naso rubro,
naso nitidissimo,
si umquam eum spectes,
dicas eum fulgere.
Reliqui tum renones
deridebant ludentes,
semper vetabant eum
apud ludos ludere.

Deinde ante natalem
Santa venit, et
"Tu, Rudolphe nitide,
traham meam duc nocte."
Dein, ut renones amant,
exclamantes hilare:
"Rudolphe, naso rubro,
in annalibus eris!"

Latin Carols for more.

The true meaning

"So it was in the days of the Maccabees, when the Jewish people were so steeped in the physical aestheticism and indulgences of Greek culture that many of them forgot that they were in exile, forgot that they were inheritors of a priceless spiritual legacy, forgot that they were children of the King.

But a few didn't forget. A few risked their lives to honor the Sabbath, to circumcise their sons, to study the Torah of their fathers and grandfathers, to preserve the divine spark that had guided their ancestors for a thousand years. And, when their moment came, those few took up arms against their oppressors and fought for the privilege of living as Jews. They recaptured the Holy Temple and, as they rekindled the menorah, divine light flooded the streets and courtyards of Jerusalem, pushing off the darkness of exile, waking the people from cultural forgetfulness, inspiring a generation to remember its ancient roots cast its aspirations once more toward the heavens. "

So the days of the West come down to this. What people have given thousands of years for is disregarded in the name of modernism. Amen, I say to you, we will not have peace until we realize how misguided we are. I think Blessed Theresa had something to say about that.

Monday, December 22, 2003

Goodby, Good Men

"This is not to say that American seminaries have turned the corner, or that everything is OK. Many weaknesses still exist, and priestly formation is not all it could and should be. Most American seminaries, although making an honest effort, do not come close to living up to the norms and standards set by the Church. It is even possible that some of the same people responsible for the abuses catalogued in Goodbye, Good Men are still occupying positions of power in some seminaries. But there have been enormous improvements in seminaries across the country in the last decade. Seminaries such as Kenrick-Glennon in St. Louis and Sacred Heart in Detroit have shown remarkable development in the last decade, and now enjoy the confidence of bishops known for their orthodoxy."

Seminaries, my favorite. Rev. Johansen comments on the book Goodby, Good Men as per his actual seminary experiences. He comes to the conclusion, not too surprising, that the problems are rather overstated in the book as noted, as the author strives to promote a one sided view of what is going on in American seminaries. Still, they are weaker than they should be though they are slowly refilling after years of chaos. Pray for them. Maybe for me, one day.

Eucharistic Importance

"Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger believes that the greatest threat to man today is relativism, which ends by shutting him up in individualism.

This is why the Church has stressed to Catholics over the past year, the bond represented by the Eucharist, the cardinal said, after attending John Paul II's yearly pre-Christmas meeting with his collaborators in the Roman Curia. "

I recommend Adoration and Benediction to all. They have been most fruitful to good ole' bread-worshipping me.

A Christmas Story

"She had already visited a pregnancy center," Tigchelaar recalls the young woman telling him, "and was told about the 'product of conception' and 'contents of the uterus' that she had within her. She was advised to have an abortion and had one scheduled for the following morning."

But after Tigchelaar's class she realized she had more within her than a "product of conception." And she cancelled her scheduled abortion, continued with her pregnancy and eventually delivered a healthy baby girl.

'I am that girl," the student then informed a stunned Tigchelaar. "Thanks for my life.'"

Oremus, cognoscete, munde. Cognoscente, nobis.

Too private for me

"Spousal unity is the feature of human sexuality that makes it distinct from purely animal sexuality. As far as I know, humans are the only animals that copulate face to face. Shakespeare described the sexual act as "making the two-backed beast." Both the Hebrew and the Christian Bible describe the sexual act as uniting the spouses in the most literal sense: "the two become one flesh." Two people become, if only for a short while, one flesh. Evolutionary psychology observes the survival value to spousal cooperation. Males and females who attach themselves to each other, have a better chance of seeing their offspring survive long enough to produce grandchildren.
. . .
A significant subset of heterosexuals share with homosexuals a common view of the meaning of human sexuality. Some heterosexuals believe they are entitled to unlimited sexual activity without pregnancy. (Pregnancy introduces an obvious third party into the sexual activity. The argument for sex as a completely private activity goes out the window when a baby appears.) Some homosexuals, particularly the professional activists, find it incomprehensible that sexual activity could be anybody's business but the two parties involved. So these activists can make common cause with heterosexuals who hold these views.
. . .
Likewise, when gay people demand access to marriage in the name of equality, straight people are tongue-tied, because we have already redefined the social context of marriage in the name of equality for women. But equality is a political concept. Rights and entitlements are the vocabulary of politics. By contrast, human sexuality is about gift and gratitude: the mutual gift of self to one's partner, the gift of life that results, and the gratitude tinged with awe that is the only reasonable response to both. Using political concepts, such as equality or freedom, to describe marriage obscures this crucial connection between sex and gift."

Morse decides to analyse sex. This, incidentally, is what I try to get across but am too inarticulate to make my point. So read up, if you please. Incidentally, I ran across a good quote from Chesterton that describes where we are now:

“The next great heresy is going to be simply an attack on morality and especially sexual morality. And the madness of tomorrow will come not from Moscow but from Manhattan.”

Sunday, December 21, 2003


"November 19, 2003 - Sgt. Liron Siboni, 19, of Ramat Gan, who was seriously wounded in a terrorist attack near the Zirifin military base on 9/9/03, died this morning from her wounds"

Pater noster, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra. Panem nostrum quoditianm do nobis hodie. Et dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in temptationem, sed libera nos a malo. Quoniam tibi est regnum et potestas et gloria in saecula saeculroum.

Overrule Buckley v. Valeo. Money Does Not Equal Speech

"So what do we do? The first step is to identify the roots of the problem. In this case, it’s the Supreme Court. With its 1976 Buckley v. Valeo decision, the Court leaped over logic to declare that spending money to influence elections was a form of 'free speech' protected by the First Amendment and largely beyond democratic control.
The remedy is daunting but simple: reversing the baseless and profoundly anti-democratic precedent of the Buckley ruling. This would allow rules that make the common-sense distinction between speech as the Constitution intends--expressing one's opinion--and using economic power to overwhelm the opinions of other citizens.
The San Francisco election once again demonstrated money overpowering democracy, but it was no aberration. Citizens who value the principle of one person, one vote should demand a Constitutional Amendment to restore what the Supreme Court has broken—fair elections and our democracy."

I'd agree there are serious problems with the political campaigning system as such. But I have two objections. Firstly, if a crucifix in a jar of urine is free speech, donating money surely is. Secondly, when in the hell did the far left stop kowtowing to the Supreme Court? I thought they were the surpreme law of the land or some such like that. Anti-democratic isn't suppoesd to be a consideration.

I also don't really get what these people propose. I guess they want to ban money in politics or something like that . . . though I'm not sure how that would work. Equal protection, which they note in their amendment, also doesn't exactly have anything to do with this, though that's never stopped them before.

Here's a knee-slapper:
"SECTION 1. The U.S. Constitution protects only the rights of living human beings.

SECTION 3. Corporations and other for-profit institutions are prohibited from attempting to influence the outcome of elections, legislation or government policy through the use of aggregate resources or by rewarding or repaying employees or directors to exert such influence."

That's right. Corporations can't play for themselves. But, everyone plays for themselves. That's how the gov't works. Incidentally, the Constitution says absolutely nothing about whose rights are protected, hence the current abortion debacle. The court has ruled that forests are persons deserving of protection under the law, would these Green party representitives perhaps like to roll that back too?

I'm just looking for a little consistancy here. Not much.

Welcome to the real world

In September 1970 the medical journal _California Medicine_ published an editorial 'A New Ethic for Medicine
and Society' It was a pro-abortion, pro-new medical ethic editorial which said, 'The process of eroding the old ethic and substituting the new has already begun. It may be seen most clearly in changing attitudes toward human abortion. In defiance of the long held Western ethic of intrinsic and equal value for every human life regardless of its stage, condition, or status, abortion is becoming accepted by society as moral, right and even necessary...Since the old ethic has not yet been fully displaced it has been necessary to separate the idea of abortion from the idea of killing, which continues to be socially abhorrent. The result has been a curious avoidance of the scientific fact, which everyone really knows, that human life begins at conception and is continuous whether intra- or extra-uterine until death. The very considerable semantic gymnastics which are required to rationalize abortion as anything but taking a human life would be ludicrous if they were not often put forth under socially impeccable auspices'"

Sign me up

"The Left Behind Prophecy Club is a website and newsletter to help you understand how current events may actually relate to End Times prophecy. Each week you will get Interpreting the Signs, an online newsletter featuring Tim LaHaye, Jerry Jenkins, Mark Hitchcock and other End Times scholars. You also have access to exclusive online message boards where you can discuss these important issues with fellow Christians. "

Napoleon was the antichrist, you know.

Friday, December 19, 2003

Headscarves update

"Hanford said, 'A fundamental principle of religious freedom that we work for in many countries of the world, including on this very issue of headscarves, is that all persons should be able to practice their religion and their beliefs peacefully without government interference as long as they are doing so without provocation and intimidation of others in the society.'
'Where people are peacefully practicing their faith, is it really necessary to be outlawing their manifestation of their own faith?' Hanford asked. 'That's the sort of basis (upon) which we will be discussing this.' "

Now I'm no theological fan of Islam, despite my deep affection for many Muslims. But as I understand it, this law basically is a de facto ban on Muslim girls in schools, as well as Jewish boys. That seems quite unfair. It is also, I think, against the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states

"Article 18.
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance."

And France said they supported the UN. I guess they support the UN right up to the point where they disagree with it.

Never mind this . . .

Actual post data 12/19/07

African Anglicans speak out

"Recent comments by your staff suggesting that your proposed visit demonstrates that normal relations with the Church of Uganda continue, have made your message clear: If we fall silent about what you have done promoting unbiblical sexual immorality and we overturn or ignore the decision to declare a severing of relationship with ECUSA, poor displaced persons will receive Aid. Here is our response: The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not for sale, even among the poorest of us who have no money. Eternal life, obedience to Jesus Christ, and conforming to His Word are more important."


Int'l Strategy

Time to read up:

"The link we provided earlier was too long and therefore would not work.
Here is a better, shorter link to the documents as they appear in the
Congressional Record....


Get these around....seriously spread the word.

Yours sincerely,

Austin Ruse

Thoughts on Iraq


Message: 3
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2003 07:16:33 -0800
Subject: Re: Capture of Saddam

"If you look at 'The Reigle Report' (1994) to US Congress and will find it
is your government (and mine) which supplied Iraq with biological (and
chemical) agents in the first place"

Doesn't this make it OUR responsibility to remove him from power, since it
was our funding and training that assisted Saddam in gaining such power
and it was our agents that caused so much death? What if GWBush is simply
acting on his conscience to right a wrong done a generation before? Is it
so wrong to admit that we erred and need to correct it?

Before you criticize the actions of a President in this manner, consider
talking to someone who has lived under the rule of Saddam first. One
family in my parish escaped from Saddam's tyranny 15 years ago, when he
was persecuting Christians. I asked them of their opinion of the war
against Saddam. (Remember, it wasn't against Iraqi's, it was against
Saddam.) She said it was an answer to their prayers...a prayer they have
been praying for at least 30 years. She actually said the media has not
told half of the horror that she personally knew was caused by Saddam.

And Papal infallibility does NOT mean the Pope is always right on all
things...only on things with regard to the teaching of Faith and Morals.
Please remember, even though the Holy Father condemned the war, he was not
speaking in an encyclical, or ex cathedra. He is allowed to make
statements of guidance, but even then, the only statement he made
regarding this particular issue is that war should always be avoided. He
was, in fact, very careful NOT to say this was against the Catholic faith
because he knew many Catholics were being deployed. How could he condemn
the action without condemning every soldier involved to the committing of
a sin by obeying their leader and going to war? And, in the end, it was
very clear how the Americans were going out of their way to limit the loss
of life, even to the point of putting themselves at greater risk.

I don't think the parallel of Hitler and Poland is a valid one. If I
remember correctly, there weren't Polish people cheering and greeting
Hitler's tanks as they rolled through the Polish capital, nor was there
any mass extermination of any religious group by the American troops.

As to the "blasphemies of the president", I would caution you. FDR opted
to avoid getting involved in WWII because we DIDN'T see it as our
responsibility to keep peace in the world. 6 million plus deaths later,
we saw how wrong we were. Evil thrives when the good do nothing. If we
take a position to "leave the job to God" to create peace on this earth,
what happens to the idea of creating the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, as we
are exhorted to do as followers of Christ? Elimination of evil men is not
the same as imperialism.

Let me present a different scenario to you. Everyone in Europe chose to
remain silent as Hitler invaded country after country...insisting it
wasn't "their problem". When they saw Hitler stroll into their country,
they were stunned (i.e., France).
Are we required to ignore that which is
happening only until it causes massive death and destruction? No. Apathy
is the reason evil thrives. To condemn a person for acting when the
evidence was clearly shown that God's little ones were suffering is to
hand the world over to the evildoers of the world.

One thing to consider...everyone is God's child. Therefore, what the U.S.
has done by capturing Saddam and his cronies is it has given them, as
God's children, an opportunity for repentance. If Saddam was allowed to
continue on with control of Iraq, I somehow doubt he would have ever
considered what he was doing was wrong. However, he may consider that
now. Although we cannot judge a human soul, we MUST judge human actions.

"For two people in a marriage to live together day after day is
unquestionably the one miracle the Vatican has overlooked." --Bill Cosby

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Christmas V. Xmas

"At the far end of the 'Holiday' spectrum are films like White Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street, The Santa Clause and Home Alone. These are not 'Christmas' films. They are 'Holiday' films that celebrate a secular feast that happens to fall on Christmas and which is generally associated in a dim way, not with Christ, but with the fading American reverence for hearth and home. I say this, not to denigrate them, but to be clear about what they are. They have no particular connection to the Christian faith, nor even to any particular form of American civil religion. They breathe the general sentiment (not a bad thing in itself) that Christmas is a 'magical' time (though it would be more accurate to call it a 'miraculous' time). They encourage reverence for the family (a very good thing indeed) and they are harmless enough, but they are emphatically Holiday movies, not Christmas ones."

Please, please, please. Christmas is not just a "Christian" word but at the core a Catholic one. It is the Mass of Christ. Happiness and chear are good, but don't give me this peace on earth lets all get along stuff. It really doens't work unless there's a reason, for there isn't peace on earth, and secularism won't get you there.

I don't distort Diwali. Let's leave Christmas alone.

"Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword" (DRV Mt:10:34:).

6th Circult Court of Appeals upholds constitutionality of Ohio's PBA ban

"If the fetus presents head first (a cephalic presentation), the doctor first collapses the fetus’s exposed skull by “breaching and compressing the [head] with the forceps’ jaws, inserting a finger . . . , or piercing the [head] with a sharp instrument, such as a tenaculum or a large-bore needle.” W. Martin Haskell, MD, et al., Surgical Abortion After the First Trimester, in A Clinician’s Guide to Medical and Surgical Abortion, 135 (Maureen Paul, MD, et al., eds. 1999). "

Good riddance.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Religion is no pyjama party

"The comparison is apposite, because the program also featured two young Catholics, a woman from Vancouver and a Toronto man who had entered, respectively, the convent and the seminary. In the former case, the WYD experience was a decisive factor.
What unites Wiccans and our new vocations? Perhaps young people doing unusual religious things? Actually, freakishness was suggested, but not of the equal-opportunity variety. The Wiccans, we were told, were very responsible, cheerful folk, carefully adhering to the 'discipline' of ceremonial incantations and spell-casting rituals. As for Sr. Antoniana, who left behind her family, and Ed Curtis, who left behind his girlfriends, they were just a touch weird, illustrated with plenty shots of weeping parents and frequent questions about sex."

Read as you will. When I went back to the HS everyone was asking me if I was going to be a monk. I said, I donno. Cara said something to the effect of, don't you have sexual desires. Me: Of course. Don't monks?

They're not strange creatures utterly devoid of normal human emotions. Just people who are drawn more strongly to the Lord.

Church of the Masses

"I hear hoards of blinking-eyed LOTR fans foisting all kinds of profound Christian themes on the movies. I use AS MY SOURCE for the theme of the project the words of the director of the project himself. At the junket for the Return of the King, one of the writers asked Jackson how much interest he had in fleshing out the Christian themes in the story, Jackson replied, 'Not an ounce.'


Non ounciam. Non ounce pas. Nien onze. Niew ouzkew pftusk.

When I pressed him further to identify what the theme of the work was for him, Jackson gave the usual spiel about not wanting to send a message. Then, he shrugged and said, 'I guess if it is about anything for me, it would be about environmentalism.' He suggested that Tolkien wrote the books with a sense of horror about what the Industrial Revolution was doing to the English countryside. "

Hmm . . . Jackson seems a little confused. Good thing he wasn't able to do a hatchet job. This blogger seems to follow through on the attempt though. So confusing.

New York Times Wakes Up

"The world Dean described is largely devoid of grand conflicts or moral, cultural and ideological divides. It is a world without passionate nationalism, a world in which Europe and the United States are not riven by any serious cultural differences, in which sensible people from around the globe would find common solutions, if only Bush weren't so unilateral.
At first, the Bush worldview seems far more airy-fairy and idealistic. The man talks about God, and good versus evil. But in reality, Dean is the more idealistic and naïve one. Bush at least recognizes the existence of intellectual and cultural conflict. He acknowledges that different value systems are incompatible."

That Dean is bad news . . . . I recommend a little George Weigel reading. He tries to squirm out a lot of stuff with Just War theory, but he tries to paint a picture of the two worldviews represented here. If I may quote

"The brave new world tells us that we ought to settle for a middling happiness in a life free of trouble. Catholicism tells us not only that we are capable of greatness, but that greatness is demanded of us.

The brave new world is a world of rationally organized self-indulgence. The world of saints is a world of radical, extravagant self-giving.

The brave new world is flat, painles, essentially care-free. The wrld of the saints is always craggy and sometimes painfu; it includes dark nights of the soul as well as moents of ecstatic love.

Which is the more humane world? Which is the more liberated world? Which is the world on which you would want to stake your life?"

I'll go with choice number two. Plutocracy aside, I'd rather let my mind acknowladge the obvious in the world, than pretend all problems will go away if we just talk about them. That's what they said after WWI. It lead quickly to WWII.

Monday, December 15, 2003

Strangers in the House: When Catholics in the Media Turned Against the Church

"But despite the appearance of a groundswell of support for contraception among American Catholics, the reality was something quite different. Indeed, the media first created the conditions for dissent and then reported on that dissent as a fact of life. This fact was pointed out by James Hitchcock in The Rise and Fall of Radical Catholicism: “The key concept was that of supposed ‘trends’ that were developing and which the press was merely reporting. To establish such trends, however, it was necessary either to ignore all evidence against them”—and here Hitchcock notes that most theologians and bishops in 1965 supported the traditional teaching on contraception—or “treat it as unimportant. The postulation of a trend…was at best a guess on the part of the reporters, rendered all the more dubious by the obvious desire of most of the press that such a change should take place.” "

The media has a way of getting the agenda pushed. Good article, esp. the end about Shannon and Merton. Check it out.

Dr. Seuss

Which Dr. Seuss character are you?

brought to you by Quizilla

Who is this guy?

Catholic World News : British library celebrates Eid but bans Christmas

"Margaret Dewar, the local councilor who is responsible for libraries, said she was 'appalled at the attitude of these so-called Christians making such a fuss about this policy.' She said, 'The way they have reacted to the children's party is just shocking. It is quite a different thing having a party organized by a library to promote cultural understanding and accepting notices for religious services.'
She claimed the decision to allow the Eid party was different from allowing a poster to be displayed: 'We have a policy which aims to be inclusive and to respect the religious diversity of Buckinghamshire.' "

Wait. It's ok to promote one religion. But not promoting another one is not ok? I must have missed something here.

Catholic and Loving it!

"I suppose things could be worse, I could be Mark Shea and people could keep getting my blog mixed up with some english guys blog."

Now THAT's funny.

The Japanese girl Photo Album

Is this pornography or Catholic catechism? I'm so confused.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Do Humans Matter?

People don't like to think that life has value. That would cause problems with their whole way of viewing the world.

"So what is it about Kass that upsets so many bioethicists, other than perhaps, a touch of professional jealousy? Simply this: Kass eloquently and forcefully that human life has intrinsic moral value simply because it is human. This flies in the face of the predominate ideology of contemporary bioethics that disdains human exceptionalism as arbitrary, irrational, human-centric, and indeed, an act of discrimination against animals known as 'speciesism.'"

So the debate continues. Of course, if the speciesists are right, I fail to see why their job matters. It's not wrong for a lion to kill the cubs of another male, just unfortunate for them. Logically, it's not wrong for a man, then, to kill his new wife's children, if she should have any.

""It has become the era of Leon Kass," McGee writes, "brought back to scholarly life [as if he ever left it] by a call from President George W. Bush. It was a call to become a Presidential bioethics advisor [as head of the President's Council] in the service of putting a stop to embryonic stem cell research, and if possible, putting a stop to a number of other scientific and clinical projects objectionable to the far right wing of the Republican Party, and in particular, Southern Baptists."

Bioethicists pride themselves on rational discourse, but this is mere diatribe. Surely McGee knows that Kass is Jewish, not Southern Baptist. (For that matter, neither are President Bush nor, as far as I know, are any council members who tend to agree with Kass's perspectives.)"

The straw man. Why is it that people I know who think that socialism is the only way to save this country are always regarded as part of the far right? Last I checked, socialism was somewhere between far-left and left.

Take a gander, too, at the "personhood theory" that is now becoming prevalent in Europe, pushed on by such fellows as Peter Singer. It is truly frightening. The world is groaning and finding itself Arian, or perhaps Gnostic.

"Shallow are the souls that have forgotten how to shudder."

Lying about contraception

"Why would abortion rights advocates play such a verbal trick? The redefinition of this one key word has given them license to lie to millions of women by telling them that the birth control pill, Norplant, Depo-Provera, and other such chemicals do not cause abortions.
The truth -- according to medical science as well as the pharmaceutical companies that make the products -- is that chemical birth control methods can, and do, cause abortions. How does this deception work? Since according to the pro-abortion community, ``conception'' now means ``implantation,'' contraception (against conception) is anything that works before the newly fertilized egg implants in the uterus. By this definition, the birth control pill is acting as a contraceptive when it (according to a pill manufacturer) ``makes the womb (uterus) less receptive to any fertilized egg that reaches it.''
The birth control pill can act as an abortifacient -- it can kill human life -- but is falsely labeled a contraceptive."

Some more science.

Morning After at the F.D.A.

"What's absolutely certain is that they have a right to expect the decision to be made on the basis of science. If some of the drug's supporters are uneasy on this count, it is because the Bush administration has, on more than one occasion, attempted to make scientific research agree with its own ideological predilections. This is particularly true when it comes to abortion."

Thank you New York Times. Perhaps we could all go here and do a little scientific reading.

Harry Potter vs. Gandalf

"Among many Christians, the coming of these two films is a herald of renewed debate. On the one hand, the works of Tolkien have been almost universally embraced by literate Christians, who have long recognized the richness and beauty of Tolkien’s Middle-earth as well as the profound influence of Tolkien’s Christian and Catholic faith upon the shape of his imaginary world. Christian fans of Tolkien also tend to be fans of C. S. Lewis, whose seven-volume series The Chronicles of Narnia is also a work of Christian imagination that involves magic and wizardry.
The Harry Potter books, on the other hand, have met with decidedly mixed reactions among Christian readers. In both Catholic and Protestant circles, some have enthusiastically embraced Rowling’s popular series, at times even explicitly making comparisons to Tolkien and Lewis (at least as regards the use of magic and wizardry). Others, however, have attacked the young hero of Rowling’s series as a veritable poster child for the occult. "

One look at Harry Potter. See, we're not all crazies. I still think there's latent anti-Catholicism, but there usually is in those Brits.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

ROTK do-nots


Be careful, contains spoilers.

Supreme Court Opinions Not Private Enough

"During oral argument in Roe, the entire courtroom laughed when the lawyer arguing for abortion law ticked off a string of constitutional provisions allegedly violated by Texas' abortion law – the due process clause, the equal protection clause, the Ninth Amendment 'and a variety of others.' According to the 'The Brethren: Inside the Supreme Court' by Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong, the law clerks felt as if they were witnessing 'something embarrassing and dishonest' about the decision-making process in Roe, with the justices brokering trimesters and medical judgments like a group of legislators. Never has the phrase 'judge, jury and executioner' been more apt than with regard to this landmark ruling."

I was reading an advocate in the WSN for gay marriage that said he hadn't heard any arguments against gay marriage that weren't biblical (guess he hasn't heard any Catholic arguments yet). However, he was completely unable to forumlate an argument for his position. He couldn't construct an argument from his premises to his conclusion. It was all emotionalism. This is the future. 43 million down, many more to go.

Faith and Fantasy: Tolkien the Catholic, The Lord of the Rings, and Peter Jackson's films

"The land seemed full of creaking and cracking and sly noises, but there was no sound of voice or of foot. Far above the Ephel Duath in the West the night-sky was still dim and pale. There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was a light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach. His song in the Tower had been defiance rather than hope; for then he was thinking of himself. Now, for a moment, his own fate, and even his master’s, ceased to trouble him. He crawled back into the brambles and laid himself by Frodo’s side, and putting away all fear he cast himself into a deep untroubled sleep. "

Florida Teacher Blames Firing on Support for Terri Schiavo -- 12/09/2003

"The situation went from bad to worse, Cooper-Dowda claimed, when several copies of a booklet she had written detailing the similarities between her experience and that of Terri Schindler Schiavo appeared on campus. At age 30, the teacher contracted a severe case of lupus that left her unable to speak and with very little control over her motor functions. She listened helplessly as doctors incorrectly diagnosed her as being in a Persistent Vegetative State, the same condition some physicians believe afflicts Terri, and described her chances for recovery as 'hopeless.'

'I could hear all that,' Cooper-Dowda recalled. 'It took a huge effort to finally communicate, 'I'm in here!' And I barely survived.'

Though she could not speak, Cooper-Dowda would use her finger to write the word 'no' in the air when doctors discussed removing her life support. Those same doctors diagnosed her attempts to communicate as 'seizure activity' and sedated her. According to Cooper-Dowda, the harder she tried to communicate with her caretakers, the more heavily she was sedated."

And the culture of death marches on.

Friday, December 12, 2003

My father on Saturdays in my house

"This place is like a Christian Science reading room"

What do they do in there anyway?

Jess on gifts

"Jess (10:23:26 PM): fuck getting gifts for other people i need to buy myself more gifts
Jess (10:23:36 PM): x-mas just makes me want to go shopping for myself"

Now that's the holiday spirit! Ah my liebling :-)

Zenit News Agency - Chastity Talks

"Beyond that, I often think of the battle in Second Kings, verse 6, where a servant approaches Elisha and complains that their troops were overwhelmingly outnumbered. Elisha replied, 'Fear not, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.'

He then prayed, 'O Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes that he may see.' The servant immediately saw the mountain filled with fiery horses and chariots around Elisha, and these angels let them to complete victory.

So, before chastity talks, I often look out to the crowd of 1,400 high school students. Then, I recall the presence of 1,400 guardian angels, ready to intercede for them throughout the talk. Suddenly, you don't feel so outnumbered in a public school auditorium."

And they say the Jews don't believe in the communion of saints.

Oremus pro invicem

BBC NEWS | Europe | French clerics oppose scarf ban

"Although the report was into the wider question of French secularism, debate on the issue has focused on the wearing of Islamic headscarves in schools.
The commission's recommendations would outlaw the Jewish kippa, large Christian crosses and the Islamic headscarf, which would be considered overt religious symbols. "

So you can show the world your thong, but to wear a skullcap is a bad thing. Lord forbid you admit in a public school that religion exists. Well, secular humanism is ok, but any other religion is illega.

I seem to recall something about the gov't not prohibiting the free exercise of religion. That would be our constituton, though, and not theirs, and it's not like we've used ours since 1968.

I'm really hoping Europe and the US decide to nuke each other out of existance. I'd give at least my bank account for that.

A very Wiccan Christmas

"Once she found out I had a background in theology, she did the predictable: 'So then you know that the celebration of Christmas was designed to replace an originally pagan ritual?'

Now it's one thing if I am in a bad mood, and you accidentally set me off with a 'Merry Meet.' But in this case, we have the dialectical equivalent of walking up to the 'Detonate' button on my brain, flicking off the safety, and poking it repeatedly to see what happens. The short answer to her question would have been: 'Yes, in the same way in which the automobile replaced the horse and buggy.'"

Now this guy is intense.

Innocent III update

Jon Finke got me the Innocent III action figure! He has excommunication power! CANTATE DOMINO!

Campbell's Chunky

Click click click people! Once a day, you can donate cans of food to people who don't have enough to eat. It's good times for all.

Maggie Gallagher on the scandal

"But I have two sons. As I sat in the pews last Sunday, obediently praying for an increase in religious vocations, the thought occurred: If one of my sons wanted to dedicate himself to a life of chastity, poverty and obedience, forsaking marriage (and my grandchildren!) for God's sake, would I trust my child to the care of people now running American Catholic seminaries? Should I? Should any mother?"

She wonders why it is that people think that middle-aged women will keep men from desiring little boys. The two are not too close. It's not considered nice to point out the difference in our society, but it's there.

Rerum Novarum on Cigarettes and Sex

"I found myself focusing on a radio ad this morning which was targeted against youth smoking. The ad was actually well done; however it revealed of course the kind of absurd double standards that many who crusade in that field utilize. The line that began the ad was 'there is no such thing as a safe cigarette.' And the ad built on that theme with the usual statistics approach. I found myself substituting the word 'sex' for the word 'smoking' when listening to the ad -knowing that those who promote 'safe sex' amongst the youths would never run such an ad as I envisioned. Think about that for a moment if you will.

The same people who would never accept the argument that 'well, you should not smoke but if you do try to smoke a low tar cigarette because that is safer' nonetheless promote condoms under the rationale that 'kids are going to do it anyway.' Well, if that is the case, there is always the possibility of handing out free low tar cigarettes to the youths who are 'going to smoke anyway.' Is this going to happen anytime soon??? Do not bet on it if you have any pretentions of being smart.

For the same people who post these ads against youth smoking who like to point to statistics that show that said ads have a positive effect in reducing the number of youths who smoke are not infrequently the same people who get outraged about sex education programs that emphasize abstinence or even (God forbid) do not explain in detail -and with props at that- how various contraceptives actually work."

Thursday, December 11, 2003

phatmass - Superpope

Neither a bird nor a plane, and with the ability to rule infallibly on faith and morals. This will go great with the Pope Innocent III actoin figures! But he crosses himself like an Orthodox, which is weird. Maybe this is set in the pre-schism past?


"The actual moment we decided it should be an adventure video series was at 2 a.m. about three years ago. From a sound sleep I sat bolt upright in bed. I shook my wife awake and scared her half to death. 'Janet,' I said, 'we have to make a 10-part video series on the history of salvation from a Catholic perspective!' She responded, 'You're crazy! Go back to sleep!' "

If only I could manage that kind of zeal, I'd probably be ordained by now.

Introduction to Symosium of Plato

From symposium intro: "[Aristophanes' speach] actually anticipates more romantic modern versions of love, particularly the idea that love draws together two unique individuals to join as one person"

Wait, I seem to recall something like that once before.

Gn:2:24:Wherefore a man shall leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be two in one flesh. (DRV)

So, basically the brilliant new idea of the modern world was anticipated by 3200 years or so, to date it to this setting-down. Maybe the modern world isn't so amazing in it's brilliance and the Greeks weren't that smart?

Stern on Kids

Howard Stern: "I don't see why people think they can keep killing their kids and get away with it"

David: Let's use our brains here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003


I like Joe Scheidler's (Pro-Life Action League) response about the media using the word Anti-Choice....
'It's time we won this war of words. They don't call the Republicans the Elephant Snout party, nor the Democrats the Donkey Ears party. They don't call the National Organization for Women the National Organization for Witches. But they play games with our official names and we're tired of it. While we are ANTI-SATANIC CHOICE, we like PRO-LIFE'.
~ Joe Scheidler, National Director of Pro-Life Action League, in his October 29 Action News Hotline regarding a headline in that day's Chicago Tribune's WomanNews section that read, 'Anti-Choice Groups Celebrate Victories' on the passage of the partial birth abortion ban."


"The library also accepted paintings of Biblical scenes, including Moses accepting the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai. 'He just looks like an old man. You would really have to know the whole story behind it,' Trotta said.
The story behind Jesus is too well known, and more importantly, tied to Christianity, Trotta said."

Right, because the story behind Moses is unknown to everyone and has nothing to do with the religious beliefs of Jews and Christians . . .

The Massacre and Destruction of Damour

"Father Labaky telephoned the Muslim sheikh of the district and asked him, as a fellow religious leader, what he could do to help the people of the town. ‘I can do nothing,’ he was told ‘They want to harm you. It is the Palestinians. I cannot stop them.' "

You don't hear about Damour too much in the media. I never heard of it until I found this site.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

More from Canon Lewis's mail

"In the 19th century, Mark Twain visited the Holy Land and found it
virtually deserted - possibly a total population of up to a quarter of a
million tops. Jews were present in to the holy cities and the Arab
population albeit numerically larger but thinly scattered and often
transient. The Zionist settlers took over the malarial areas, planted
eucalyptus trees, built and developed farms and industry. Arabs flocked
into the area of the Yishuv. But there was no concept of an 'Arab
Palestine': most Arabs would have vaguely regarded themselves as 'south
Syrians' but the real allegiance was to family and tribe, not to a
non-existent Palestine.

As Abba Eban said of Yasser Arafat, the Arabs never missed an opportunity
to miss an opportunity. Now, however, they are winning the propaganda war
- many Christians believe that there was once a Palestine which was taken
over by the Jews. Similarly, the great myth of Islamic tolerance has been
promulgated - as if the Christian communties in Asia Minor, Egypt and
north Africa spontaneously decided to reject their faith in favour of that
of their conquerors. Certainly, there was a limited co-existence in Spain
but largely because the Moors were a minority. Islamic culture rested
largely on that of the old Graeco-Roman world which they absorbed and
adapted. It was essentially derivative rather than original."
-- Canon Michael Lewis

Monday, December 08, 2003

The Onion Dome: Orthodox News with a Twist

"'The Rabbi's analysis is good enough for me,' chipped in Fr. John ('of Patmos') Johnson, rector of All Saints of Middle-Class America Orthodox Church (Rump OCA) in Takoma Park, Maryland. 'Which is why we get to eat Rice Krispy treats during the fasts! Yumm!'
'Is not good enough for COROC!' barked Fr. Vasiliy. 'Jewish rules are not Christian rules. This has been case since they kicked us out of synagogue in late First Century A.D.'
'You're not still sore about that, are you?' inquired our intrepid Onion Dome reporter."

Now that's hardcore.

PREVIEW: Imagining "Imagine"


Pope Innocent III Action Figure

"Introduce this Pope Innocent III Action Figure to your other figures and watch the spiritual sparks fly! Armed with his formidable power of excommunication and an intimidating scroll inscribed with Latin text, this 6' tall, hard plastic model of the 176th Pope will soon have all your other action figures lining up for confession."

About time! Innocent III kicked butt.

American College of Pediatricians, Information About Pediatric Medicine

Enough people got pissed at the American Association of Pediatricians ignoring the views of their members that they formed their own organization. Go figure. I love that grassroots activism.

International Newsletter - November/December 2003

"More United Nations Law-Making
Some years ago, the United States refused to sign the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Every nation in the world except the U.S. and Sudan has since signed this international treaty. The U.S.'s reason for not signing was that it feared that it would surrender its national sovereignty and ability to control its own laws. This has now been clearly shown once again in Canada. This UN committee has just instructed Canada to 'adopt legislation to remove the existing authorization of the use of 'reasonable force' in disciplining children.' It says Canada should 'explicitly prohibit all forms of violence against children, however light, within the family, in schools and in other institutions where children might be placed.' Translating this fancy language, what it says is that this international body has now interfered with Canada's sovereignty and is telling them that they must pass a law to make spanking of a child a crime."

This reminds me of the calls to make it illegal for children under the age of 12 to work. Children under the age of 12 have always worked, since there were people. Was it that bad? They seemed to turn into decent adults.

Groupthink on both sides of the Atlantic

There was something in the New York Times story "Actors in All-Latino Cast Savor a 'Historic Moment'" that reminded me of the BBC story "Gloucester Muslims tell (British Home Secretary) Blunkett to resign" — but what? That is, how could it be that a story written to celebrate, politically and correctly, the Hispanic-ness of a Broadway cast have anything to do with a heated gathering of British Muslims at a Gloucester community center? What could acting in "Anna in the Tropics," a Pulitzer Prize-winning play, have to do with debating the arrest of a local bloke suspected of Al Qaeda links? The stories are without parallels.

Or are they? Both stories are deeply marked by their subjects' ethno-vision, the tightly blinkered perspective that makes for rigid groupthink and cumbersome apologetics. On Broadway, it allows actors, who are as lucky as they are deserving, to rise to the peak of their careers and see only a view dominated by the bogeymen of identity politics."

It does indeed seem that people are being lost in the sort of new world that we are entering. Truly a gnostic endeavor we have undertaken.

White people, don't you dare go there

"As our society becomes more and more racially splintered, there is a stark reality...white people can't speak or register their thoughts about race nor can they have an open dialog without being considered racist.

When football player, Junior Seau was asked how to stop San Diego Charger star running back LaDainian Tomlinson, he said: "Put a couple of buckets of chicken and some watermelon in front of him and maybe that would stop him." The Miami Dolphin's Seau, who is himself a minority, was wearing a Tomlinson jersey at the time. He later said Tomlinson, a former teammate, was one of his best friends and that there was no issue. Tomlinson later agreed and said he didn't know what all the fuss was about."

Does anyone besides me think of all those lovely 1984 terms that have become popular in our society?

Federal spending soars under Bush's watch

"'President Bush has yet to meet a spending bill he doesn't like,' The Wall Street Journal complained in a recent editorial denouncing what it called 'the GOP's spending spree.' "

I'm no particular fan of small or big government, or lots or little spending, except to say that deficit spending is sometimes good in the short run and always deadly in the long run. As my econ professor likes to point out, it all depends on the yield you're getting on your debt. Sure, we could have had a balanced budget in WWII, but then we would have been speaking German now.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

The Bible in Pig Latin

"It is my sincere hope that this work will be of value to scholars, researchers, native speakers of Pig Latin, and all those who wish to further their understanding of scripture by seeing it presented in new terms. As it is said, 'In-ay e-thay eginning-bay as-way e-thay Ord-way.'
The Catholic Church may wish to consider conducting Mass in Pig Latin, as it combines the solemnity of Latin with the accessibility of English. "


Saturday, December 06, 2003

Boston Globe Accused of Bias Again on Abortion Issues

"Likewise, in March, The Globe mistakenly reported that partial-birth abortions were used in the 20th to 26th week of pregnancy 'because of fetal abnormalities or medical conditions threatening a woman.'
However, Martin Haskell, the Ohio abortionist who popularized partial-birth abortion, has conceded that the vast majority of such abortions are performed on the healthy babies of healthy mothers."

Women Priests in Catholic Church?

"Now here is where the issue gets murky. You can react to the Anglican decision in a variety of ways. Some would say, 'It's about time! Welcome to the Twentieth Century.' Others could say that this gives a home to Catholics who favor woman priesthood. In fact, one could ask, Why don't they just join the Anglicans? After all, if I went into a McDonalds and told the waitress I wanted deep fried chicken with lots of spices, she would simply tell me, 'Sir that is not on our menu, but there is a KFC right across the street.' I have actually said as much to some of my friends who feel so strongly that they say that the pope is unjust.
I hope we can get beyond the rhetoric of justice and injustice in talking about this issue. Those words, as well as oppression, dictatorial, etc. assume that the Church is a kind of sovereign nation. It is not. It is a completely free association. You can accept or reject your baptism. We have no police or court system to make you comply. We cannot levy taxes and force you to pay for them.
I lived in a country for seven years where injustice meant something so terrible that it seems a mockery to apply that word to the Catholic Church. A woman thrown arbitrarily in jail where she is made fun of by the guards and humiliated by the officers is an injustice, especially when there is no calling to account of perpetrators. However, a professor losing his job because what he teaches is opposed to the institution paying his salary is done no injustice. A woman who has hundreds of opportunities, but one of them is not a low paying, high stress, twenty four hour a day job is not a victim of injustice. I am sorry if I offend, but I do not know how to make that point any plainer."

An argument that centers around Heaven as the marriage feast and the essentail femininity of all humanity in relation to our Heavenly Father. This is not, as some reviewers would have it, some sort of straw-man argument, but something that cuts to the core of what it is to be Catholic.

Check out the comments near the bottom of the peace for the Women's Ordination Conference and some questions about why vocations are way up for pretty much the entire planet except the US and Western Europe. Or as another put it, there is no priest shortage, there is just a poor distribution of the priests we have.

Defining the Legal Status of the Unborn

"Greenfield also noted that the British Home Office has extended legislation that originally gave legal protection to mammals, to include an octopus and even a mollusk. 'If a mollusk can be attributed with being sentient, and now has Home Office protection, then my own view is that we should be very cautious on making assumptions,' she said."

Remember, mollusks are persons. Trees are persons. Forrests are persons. Ships are persons. Corporations are persons. A fetus, a latin word which means young boy, is not a person. The policy seems somewhat odd.

TCS: Tech Central Station - Does Islam Need a Luther or a Pope?

"But there is another and deeper problem with the received analysis. The fact of the matter is that those aspects of Islam that seem to put it unalterably at odds with the modern world are, for the most part, precisely those that it shares in common with Protestantism; and that those features of modern Western civilization most crucial to the maintenance of liberty and scientific reason owe far more to the Catholic Church than they do to Luther and Calvin."

An interesting case study, though i'm not sure how relevant the discussion is to Islam, unfamiliar as I am with Islamic theology. However, it does bring up the old Belloc quotes in spirit: "Science is the enemy of reason". And of course the post-Enligtenment revelation that in fact it's impossible to construct a system of pure logic that makes any sense. Thus, the road from Luther's sola scriptura to the modern "I make my own world and my own rules".

Mark Shea on Hell

"Wanna bet Aaron doesn't believe in hell? Generally, the reason for that is that people are thinking of hell as some arbitrary punishment 'imposed' like a prison sentence on us for making decision that an arbitrary Authority dislikes. I think hell is simply the fruit of our choices. If I choose to overeat I am not 'punished' with being fat. I am simply getting what I want. If I choose to shut God out of my soul I am not punished with an empty eternity without light and love. I am simply receiving what I wanted since God is light and love."

'Tis the Season ... to Live It Up

"The Pope asked if this progress really makes human life 'more human' and more 'worthy.' In some areas it does, he replied. But he questioned whether, in the most essential facets of human life, we are becoming truly better, more mature spiritually, more aware of the dignity of our humanity, more responsible, and more open to others, especially the neediest.

John Paul II also asked if, amid material progress, there is a growth of social love, of respect for the rights of others -- or if there is an increase in selfishness. This materialism, he warned, can lead us to becoming slaves of our own products. "

Yeah, I don't like to buy new things. I like to buy lots of old junk.

Friday, December 05, 2003

JS Online: Officials bristle at bishop's epistle

"'It's not for people to decide whether I'm a bad Catholic because I'm going about my job in a consistent way; that's for God to decide,' said Colon. 'I never thought my salvation would be a topic for public debate.'"

Actually, it is for people to decide whether you're a good Catholic or a bad Catholic. That's the job of bishops, amoung many others. Being a Catholic isn't like being an American. It isn't the default position. You have no right to that which you reject with your actions.

The Church is saying that you have a problem with God if you continue on your way. If you're Catholic, you believe that the Church has the authority to say this. If you don't believe that the Church has the authority to say this, you're not a Catholic.

The bishops are not "invoking the moral authority of the Church in a threatening way." You are. You're probably excommunicate under canon law, by your own actions, and your bishop is remininding you of this fact.

Funny, I don't recall anyone being upset when the archbishop of New Orleans excommunicated a judge for squashing a civil rights case. I guess he should have never "invoked the moral authority of the church."

Declaration of the Joint Jewish-Catholic Commission

Following a Meeting in Jerusalem

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 4, 2003 ( Here is the Statement of the
Joint Commission of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel's Delegation for
Relations with the Catholic Church and the Holy See's Commission for
Religious Relations with the Jews, signed Wednesday at the conclusion of a
three-day meeting in Jerusalem. The statement was slightly adapted here.

* * *

1. After two meetings, in Jerusalem (June 2002, Tammuz 5762) and in
Grottaferrata/Rome (February 2003, Shvat 5763) the respective high-ranking
delegations convened in Jerusalem to discuss the theme of "The Relevance
of Central Teachings -- The Holy Scriptures Which We Share for
Contemporary Society and the Education of Future Generations Accordingly."

2. The deliberations took place in an atmosphere of mutual respect and
amity, and satisfaction was expressed regarding the firm foundations that
have already been established between the two delegations with great
promise for continuity and effective collaboration.

3. The participants expressed their profound appreciation for the
forthright statements emanating from the Holy See condemning violence
against innocents and denouncing the current resurgent manifestations of
anti-Semitism, as declared in the statements of the Cardinals of the
Vatican's delegation to the Joint Commission Cardinals Walter Kasper,
Jorge Mejía and Georges Cottier.

In this spirit, His Eminence Jorge Mejia wrote to the Chief Rabbis of
Israel: "It is indeed not only cruel but vile and quite incompatible with
any acceptable human standards to attack people in their places of
prayer." Indeed, at the time of the Joint Commission's meeting, His
Holiness Pope John Paul II issued a powerful appeal "to all men and women
of good will to join your voices with mine as I repeat that the holy name
of God must never be used to incite violence or terrorism, to promote
hatred or exclusion."

4. The presentations focused on the foundational teaching in the Holy
Scriptures which we share, which declare the faith in the One Creator and
Guide of the Universe who has formed all human beings in His Divine Image
with free will.

Humankind is thus one family with moral responsibility for one another.
Awareness of this reality leads to the religious and moral duty that may
serve as a true charter for human rights and dignity in our modern world
and provide a genuine vision for a just society, universal peace and

5. We live in a global village of unparalleled technological and
scientific advances. These present us with the challenge to use them for
good and blessing and not for evil and curse, God forbid. In this regard,
the global system of mass communication serves as a key edification
vehicle. It behooves us to constructively utilize this opportunity for
global edification in keeping with our aforementioned shared religious and
moral aspirations.

6. It was emphasized that the response to the challenge of promoting
religious faith in contemporary society, requires us to provide living
examples of justice, loving-kindness, tolerance and humility, in keeping
with the words of the Prophet Micah.

"It has been told to you, O man, what is good, and what the Lord requires
of you: But to do justice and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with
your God" (Mic 6:8).

7. Religious education can and must provide hope and direction for
positive living in a human solidarity and harmony in our complex modern
times. Above all, it is faith in God that gives us true security and joy,
in keeping with the verse in Psalm 16: "I have set the Lord always before
me ... and my heart rejoice" (Ps 16:8-9).

8. In particular, religious leaders and educators have the special duty to
instruct their communities to pursue the paths of peace for the well-being
of society at large.

We issue this appeal especially to the family of Abraham and we call upon
all believers to put aside weapons of war and destruction -- "to seek
peace and pursue if" (Ps 34:15).

9. As religious leaders we share in the pain and sorrow of all who suffer
in the Holy Land today -- individuals, families and communities -- and
express our fervent pope and prayers for an end to the trials and
tribulations in the Land that is holy to us all.

10. Finally, we urge our own communities, schools and families, to live in
mutual respect and understanding and to immerse themselves in the study
and teachings of our Holy Scriptures which we share, for the ennoblement
of humanity, universal peace and justice. Thus will the words of the
Prophet be fulfilled: "and they shall beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword
against nation and they shall not learn war any more" ([Isaiah] 2:4).

Jerusalem, December 3, 2003. Kislev 8, 5764

Cardinal Jorge Cardinal Mejia (Chairman of the Catholic Delegation)
Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo
P. Elias Chacour
Pier Francesco Fumagalli
P. Norbert Hofmann S.D.B.
Archbishop Pietro Sambi

Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen (Chairman of the Jewish Delegation)
Rabbi Rasson Arussi
Rabbi David Brodman
Rabbi Yossef Azran
Rabbi David Rosen
Oded Wiener
Shmuel Hadas

Thursday, December 04, 2003

JS Online: Bishop appeals to Catholic lawmakers

"'Churches ought not use the pulpit for blatant political purposes,' said Schneider, who is Lutheran. 'When they start telling legislators how to vote, they've crossed the line.'"

Sorry, Rev. King. Because you're a clergyman, you shouldn't have any input in the political process. You're a threat to democracy because you have the audacity to suggest that people's religion should have some part to play in their decisions.

The Declaration of Independence drafted by Thomas Jefferson declared: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."

Hmm. Is it perhaps possible that teaching the Declaration of Indepencence in school is a violation of the seperation between church and state? What about when clergymen remind legislators of its existance?

I guess if I become a priest, I'll have to give up my views on moral issues. Better get started on that book before ordination.

Indulgences and that Luther Movie

"There is constant stress on the Holy Father's declaration that a partial indulgence is a 'matching grant'. The Church uses her 'power of the keys' and opens 'the treasury of the Blood'—the merits of Christ, Our Lady and the Saints, to match whatever remission of the temporal punishment due to sin results from an individual's careful, loving performance of an indulgenced work"

This, btw, is the answer to Luther's question to the effect that if the Church has the power of binding and loosing with indulgences, why doesn't the pope just issue a command and empty out purgatory? The answer, of coures, is that it doesn't work like that. People have to sacrifice to get the benefit of the indulgence.

There are, of course, monks and nuns around the world praying for the souls in purgatory every day, as well as many laity. This is the Church's contribution to their freedom.

Just goes to show you that nothing good's come out of germany since 1500.

Massachusetts vs. Marriage

"The couples most likely to secure legal benefits from marriage are those in prototypically traditional marriages. That is because most of what can be described as the legal benefits of marriage, though now formally gender-neutral, were designed to protect women from the risks and costs that childbearing imposes. Most research suggests that gay and lesbian relationships are most stable when the partners earn similar incomes and play similar household roles. So when gays and lesbians scrutinize the basket of legal benefits of marriage for them, they are especially likely to come up empty. The general rule in federal marriage law: The more egalitarian the couple, the more likely they are to face marriage penalties rather than benefits. "

An interesting article that investigates the question of what marriage exactly is. It was obviously never something that the state instituted, but not many people have really been asking exactly what it is that the state didn't institute. This seems to me to be better. No name-calling.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003


A blessing

Monday, December 01, 2003

Mark P. Shea: Mere Theism: The Case for G-d

"As you can imagine, in such a mysterious world everything becomes charged with great significance. There's no telling what some seemingly trivial thing you run across might signify. You have the sense that you are always moving in the precincts of a great mystery. You become increasingly convinced that there is some master key that can make sense of the connections between things in this world. You begin to feel that the connections, though mysterious, are not random. "

And I thought I was the only one . . . Open your eyes. Your ears. Your heart. Let materialism slip away. It works in Myst. It may just work for you.

In principio erat Verbum, et Verbum erat apud Deum, et Deus Erat Verbum. . .

HIV infections soar among gays - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics

Kyrie eleison

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