Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Tell it like it is!

"I don't tell church officials what to do, and church officials shouldn't tell American politicians what to do in the context of our public life."

It's not the Church telling you what to do. It's God, John.

It's posts like this that make me proud to be a blog reader.

On 4D Ultrasound

Joseph Gigante, director of media and government relations at American Life League, said that 4-D sonograms have been a boon to the struggle for the right to life. "These images are playing a powerful role in the struggle to restore respect and dignity to the preborn human person." Gigante said that the call for fines and restrictions by the groups is an act of hypocrisy. "This is the same group of people that has resisted every single attempt to ensure that their very own abortuaries meet even minimal medical standards. A truly pro-life person, who is fully committed to the sanctity of life, would never knowingly or willingly do anything to endanger the life of an innocent human being."

The good director raises a good point. Medical standards are lower at your average abortuary than your average vet, at least in a legal sense. If they want to impose harsh medical standards on ultrasounds, maybe they should put their money where their mouths are and keep up their own standards. Oh wait, we can't do that. That would be increasing the expense of abortion, making it unaffordable to those poor people abortionists want to get rid of. Oops, I shouldn't have said that either. Never tell anyone that Planned Parenthood's founder was a racist killer who was friends with Nazis. Hey, things are slipping out left and right here.

I heartily salute the abortion industry with my middle finger. May its death be a long and painful one that leaves thousands of careers shattered and reputations ruined. May the UNFPA be honored with newspaper articles celebrating its demise. Then we'll finally start seeing justice.

Britain and the tubes

New UK Abortion and STD Statistics: 1 in 5 Babies Killed; Teen STD Rates
Doubled 600 babies a day are aborted - only 300-a-year are placed for

LONDON, March 31, 2004 ( - The UK's newly released
abortion figures reveal that more than one in five children there dies
from abortion. The Office for National Statistics report also revealed
that the number of childless women over 40 has risen dramatically, while
the UK birth rate is the lowest ever.

Patrick Cusworth, spokesman for UK's pro-life group Life, told the UK
Mirror, "It's ironic that while 600 babies a day are aborted - only
300-a-year are placed for adoption."

The report also revealed that the sexually transmitted disease rate among
teens in the country has skyrocketed. In the period from 1991 to 2001, the
STD rate has doubled from 669,291 in 1991 to 1,332,910 in 2001. The
prevalent STD is Chlamydia, followed by Gonorrhea.

The authors of the report blame the soaring rates on promiscuous sexual

Read related coverage of the UK's Dr. Trevor Stammers
report to the British Public Health Laboratory Service, in which Stammers
asserts that "Contraception as the cornerstone of sexual health promotion
for adolescents has manifestly failed," at:

Also see "UK Sex-Ed Backfire: Survey Reveals Increased Pregnancy Rates in
Teens Subjected to Program," at:

Read local coverage:

Mail Call

Message: 3
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2004 14:48:19 -0000
From: "Angela N"
Subject: The Value of Human Life...what's wrong with people

Two stories in today's paper involving children-born and unborn.
The first is the story of a woman in Texas who stoned 2 of her
children to death and injured her 14 month old permanently. The 14
month old has impaired vision and will never live independently
because of what his mother did to him. The state will not seek the
death penalty-she is "insane" after all. But then again someone in
their "right mind" would never kill their children.
The second story in the paper this morning is about the courts
fighting over the partial birth abortion ban. So called "doctors"
saying it IS necessary in order to safely "empty out the uterus".
What is wrong with these people? "Empty out the uterus"-what kind of sick
terminology is that? Were talking about destroying innocent babies and
then removing them from their mothers...Funny how they will never use the
word baby and that it magically becomes a "baby" after it's born. However,
if it's born during an abortion it still isn't called a baby. The
disregard for the lives of children amazes me-ending human life- you make
a baby and don't want it don't worry just pay someone to kill it for you.
Are peoples senses so numbed by all the violence in the world that they
can't see the absolute horror of abortion? I mean, I'm a woman and I am
all for women's rights and equal pay and equal opportunities but to tie
abortion into that package is wrong. Not all women rights activists are
pro-abortion by any means.

Sorry to ramble...I was so upset by the stories I read this morning
that I had to sit down and cry. I look at my 3 year old son and can
not fathom how anyone could ever hurt a child.

Angie in Atlanta

Read please


A young mother of 5 – ages 4-14 -- who is a neighbor of mine is on
the verge of death. I was asked to relay the following info with the
hope that somebody out there -- there are tens of thousands of you
on this list! -- might be able to save her life.

I TRY to never be scared off by challenges that are said to be
"insurmountable." We always need to try.

(Do you or somebody you know work in a hospital?)

The young mother is in need of a double lung transplant.

The best candidates are:

A) On life support
B) Have not had cancer
C) Under the age of approx. 60 --- either male or female
D) Shouldn't been on a respirator for more than a week

Potential donors may have ANY BLOOD TYPE --- the mother is a
universal receiver.

Individuals who suffered a traumatic head injury fit this criteria

If you know anybody PLEASE call 1-800-728-3254 (800) SAVE-A-LIFE
or email

Please pray for her as Nava bas (daughter of) Frumah Leah

THANKS for taking the time to read this and SPREADING this MESSAGE
in any way you can! (If, Heaven forbid, we were in this situation,
we would want everything to be done for us!)

Binyamin L. Jolkovsky
Editor in Chief

The Two Greatest Commandments

Mk 12:
28 ¶ And there came one of the scribes that had heard them reasoning together, and seeing that he had answered them well, asked him which was the first commandment of all.
29 And Jesus answered him: The first commandment of all is, Hear, O Israel: the Lord thy God is one God.
30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and with thy whole soul and with thy whole mind and with thy whole strength. This is the first commandment.
31 And the second is like to it: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is no other commandment greater than these.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Growing up in the Bronx

Lying in bed, I never thought of that train (always, in my mind, the same single train) as anything but a living and feeling creature, racing first one way and then the other in a never-ending search for something crushingly human: its mother (probably at the Simpson Street stop), a lost child, or perhaps a girl train.

Ah, more stuff about subways. Great night! Check out NYCSubway if you get a chance. Many thanks to Lisa for this and the previous!

Sweet Subway Memories

Anyone who grew up in the city will probably find Ms. Brallier's story as appealing as clothes to a nudist, as one hard-core subway buff snidely suggested. However, if you, too, came to the city wide-eyed and wary from Small Town, U.S.A., chances are you will recognize your story in Ms. Brallier's. Negotiating the subway in New York is like driving the freeway in Los Angeles or cutting a hole in the ice and going skinny-dipping in Minnesota. It's scary, thrilling and the mark of a member of the tribe. To master the subway is to pass a rite of initiation into the secret society that is New York life.

Great article about learning how to use those train things underground. Gives me fond memories of how it was back in the day. Yes, I too once was ignorant of how to get anywhere or where anything was. I know it's hard to believe. You can stop laughing at me now.

Elections and Terrorism. Not what you think.

You Wouldn't Even Ask
-- Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life

If a candidate who supported terrorism asked for your vote, would you say,
"I disagree with you on terrorism, but where do you stand on other

I doubt it.

In fact, if a terrorism sympathizer presented him/herself for your
vote, you would immediately know that such a position disqualifies the
candidate for public office – no matter how good he or she may be on other
issues. The horror of terrorism dwarfs whatever good might be found in the
candidate's plan for housing, education, or health care. Regarding those
plans, you wouldn't even ask. So why do so many people say, "This
candidate favors legal abortion. I disagree. But I'm voting for this
person because she has good ideas about health care (or some other

Such a position makes no sense whatsoever, unless one is completely blind
to the violence of abortion. That, of course, is the problem. But we need
only see what abortion looks like, or read descriptions from the
abortionists themselves, and the evidence is clear. (USA Today refused to
sell me space for an ad that quoted abortionists describing their work
because the readers would be traumatized just by the words!)

Abortion is no less violent than terrorism. Any candidate who says
Abortion should be kept legal disqualifies him/herself from public
service. We need look no further, we need pay no attention to what that
candidate says on other issues. Support for abortion is enough for us to
decide not to vote for such a person.

Pope John Paul II put it this way: "Above all, the common outcry, which Is
justly made on behalf of human rights -- for example, the right to health,
to home, to work, to family, to culture -- is false and illusory if the
right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for
all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum
determination"(Christifideles Laici, 1988).

False and illusory. Those are strong and clear words that call for our
further reflection.

"I stand for adequate and comprehensive health care." So far, so good. But
as soon as you say that a procedure that tears the arms off of little
babies is part of "health care," then your understanding of the term
"health care" is obviously quite different from the actual meaning of the
words. In short, you lose credibility. Your claim to health care is
"illusory." It sounds good, but is in fact destructive, because it masks
an act of violence.

"My plan for adequate housing will succeed." Fine. But what are houses
for, if not for people to live in them? If you allow the killing of the
children who would otherwise live in those houses, how am I supposed to
get excited by your housing project?

It's easy to get confused by all the arguments in an election year. But If
you start by asking where candidates stand on abortion, you can eliminate
a lot of other questions you needn't even ask.

For more election related articles and information, visit

For all the but . . . Catholics.

Senate Goings-on


March 30, 2004 Volume 1, Number 33

Broad Range of Senate Witnesses Support
Changing US Constitution on Marriage

The US Senate moved a step closer to amending the US Constitution
last week as the Judiciary Committee held a hearing about mandating that
marriage can only exist between a man and a woman. Not surprisingly the
liberal American Bar Association testified against the proposed federal
marriage amendment saying it "would restrict the ability of a state to
protect the rights of children." Other witnesses disagreed.

Teresa Collett, professor of law at St. Thomas University, said
that states were not restricted in offering "compassionate alternative
legal arrangements to people, without redefining the institutional of
marriage itself." Further Collett said, "what is not understandable…is the
constant charge that prejudice and bias motivate those of us who believe
the legal institution of marriage is, and should remain focused on
insuring that children are raised by their mother and father." Katherine
Shaw Spaht, a professor at the Louisiana State University Law Center,
testified that "a union that biologically is the only one that can create
the children" must be defended "if we as a society are to survive."

Reverend Richard Richardson, representing the Black Ministerial
Alliance of Greater Boston, told Senators that "children do best when
raised by a mother and a father…the dilution of the ideal…has already had
a devastating effect on our community. We need to be strengthening the
institution of marriage, not diluting it." Richardson said, "This
discussion about marriage is not just about adult love. It is about
finding the best arrangement for raising children." Senator John Cornyn
(R-Texas) said in his opening statement that "if the national culture
teaches that marriage is just about adult love, and not about the raising
of children, then we should be troubled, but not surprised, by the
results…America needs stable marriages and families."

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said that "the bedrock of American
society is the family, and it is traditional marriage that undergirds the
American family. The disintegration of the family in this country
correlates with many serious social problems." Cornyn later said, "Either
you believe that traditional marriage is about discrimination and
therefore must be invalidated by courts, or you believe traditional
marriage is about children and must be protected by the Constitution."

Cass Sunstein, a professor at University of Chicago Law School,
said that the amendment was an "unfortunate idea" that would "violate the
founders' commitments to constitutional stability." Cornyn said that the
Constitution "cannot and should not be amended casually" but that the
"Founders recognized that situations would arise when an amendment would
become necessary and appropriate."

Spaht of Louisiana State said if a constitutional amendment is not
passed, "the courts will take this issue away from the American people,
and they will abolish traditional marriage. It is really that simple…we
are left with no middle ground, no other option than to either acknowledge
defeat or give up traditional marriage, or support a constitutional
amendment defending it." Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said that the
amendment "interferes in a fundamental State matter, and worse yet, it
does so for the purpose of disfavoring a group of Americans." In response
to this charge, Spaht said, "the reason why the defense of marriage is a
federal issue, and not a state issue, is simple: Because the courts have
made it a federal issue."

Copyright---Culture of Life Foundation.
Permission granted for unlimited use. Credit required.

Culture of Life Foundation
1413 K Street, NW, Suite 1000
Washington DC 20005
Phone: (202) 289-2500
Fax: (202) 289-2502

Monday, March 29, 2004

WTF Mate?

I think google has a new interface. Check it out. Wild.

SSM and Ender's Game

"The proponents of this anti-family revolution are counting on most Americans to do what they have done through every stage of the monstrous social revolution that we are still suffering through -- nothing at all.

But that "nothing" is deceptive. In fact, the pro-family forces are already taking their most decisive action. It looks like "nothing" to the anti-family, politically correct elite, because it isn't using their ranting methodology.

The pro-family response consists of quietly withdrawing allegiance from the society that is attacking the family.

Would-be parents take part in civilization only when they trust society to enhance their chances of raising children who will, in turn, reproduce. Societies that create that trust survive; societies that lose it, disappear, one way or another.

But the most common way is for the people who have the most at stake -- parents and would-be parents -- to simply make the untrusted society disappear by ceasing to lift a finger to sustain it.

It is parents who have the greatest ability to transmit a culture from one generation to the next.

If parents stop transmitting the culture of the American elite to their children, and actively resist letting the schools and media do it in their place, then that culture will disappear.

If America becomes a place where the laws of the nation declare that marriage no longer exists -- which is what the Massachusetts decision actually does -- then our allegiance to America will become zero. We will transfer our allegiance to a society that does protect marriage.

We will teach our children to have no loyalty to the culture of the American elite, and will instead teach them to be loyal to a competing culture that upholds the family. Whether we home school our kids or not, we will withdraw them at an early age from any sense of belonging to contemporary American culture.

We're already far down that road. Already most parents regard schools -- an institution of the state that most directly touches our children -- as the enemy, even though we like and trust the individual teachers -- because we perceive, correctly, that schools are being legally obligated to brainwash our children to despise the values that keep civilization alive.

And if marriage itself ceases to exist as a legally distinct social union with protection from the government, then why in the world should we trust that government enough to let it have authority over our children?"

. . .

"Since the politically correct are loudly unwilling to fight or die for their version of America, and they are actively trying to destroy the version of America that traditional Americans are willing to fight or die to defend, just how long will "America" last, once they've driven out the traditional culture?"

. . .

"Since the 1970s, judges have been bolder and bolder about inventing new laws and forcing them on the American people. Mr. Herman is content with this, because he is part of the elite that has seized control and agrees with the forced experiments. But I'm quite sure that if a different group were using the same mechanism to force social experiments on an unwilling people, he would have a very different opinion."

. . .

"In Iran, people whom the ayatollahs don't approve of are barred from running for office or taking part in public discussion. The ayatollahs have the right to impose their ideas on the whole nation because they're really really really sure that they are correct about everything. All their friends agree with them, and anybody who disagrees with them is obviously evil or stupid.

Apparently, as long as he and his friends get to be the ayatollahs, Mr. Herman thinks that's a good system."

I love Orson Scott Card. Ender's Game is the best. Buy it!

D&X and D&E

Why is it that people think there's a moral difference between cutting up a kid while he's in his mother and inducing labor then cutting him up. So strange. I'll never understand.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Over 1,000 e-mails poured into University President Rev. Edward Glynn’s inbox last weekend, and they weren’t all valentine greetings. These e-mails came from people all over the nation, expressing fierce opposition to last weekend’s production of “The Vagina Monologues."According to Glynn and chair of the Communications Department Sister Mary Ann Flannery, the e-mails detailed opposition to the production’s controversial content being displayed on a Catholic university’s campus.
This society is an ultra-conservative Catholic group, based in Virginia, said Flannery, who was in charge of the monologues.

That's me!! You know us ultra-conservates that think Catholic colleges should be, I don't know, Catholic. But this is my favorite part.

In reaction to the society’s actions, Flannery said, “I think the Cardinal Newman Society is the closest organization in the Catholic Church to the Taliban. [The Cardinal Newman Society] has used harassment and terrorist tactics to shut down the president’s computer system and to do harm to my department’s office,” Flannery said.

I'm not sure if this is a compliment or an insult. The harassment and terrorist tactics we used were sending lots of email and making lots of phone calls to the president's office, which apparently has an email system so archaic that a couple of thousand messages tanked it. That's less than some people I know deal with on a weekly basis and they don't complain that it's terrorism. Or maybe it's a backhanded compliment? Like, Muslims have al-Quaeda, which flies planes into buildings, and all the Catholic Church has is the CNS, which sends lots of emails? Like, our harassment and terrorist tactics are peaceful protest emails?

Somehow I don't think that's what she had in mind. But that's kind of what it turned out to be.

Friday, March 26, 2004

More quotes

For all my admiring fans, here are my sophomore year quotes:

"You can tell, even if he's standing still, whether someone's a person or a monkey. This is because we're proportional"
- Questionalble assertation by stat prof Tian zheng

"Do you think I can get a house free after rebate?" -- Walder

"No, Saint John the Evangelist is the beloved disciple who is one of the Twelve Judges in heaven judging the Twelve Tribes of Israel. You most likely are on his sh-t list. "

I just found this gem:
"It often happens that I wake up at night and begin to think about a serious problem and decide I must tell the Pope about it. Then I wake up completely and remember that I am the Pope. "
Pope John XXIII

Me and Jon F get into a fight over two used paper plates, and he tosses me to the ground. Ouch.

"I think we should have a sacrament of abortion" -- omar

"I have to wash my hand" -- brian after shaking jonathan's hand

Brian getting transsubstantiation in Pictionary, then a rosary in the mail

"Fred called you an apostate" -- Brian

"If it were up to the protestants there wouldn't be any alcohol in this country" -- Brian
"If it were up to the Catholics the drinking age would be four" -- Will

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

We're getting another two feet of snow, I have a lot of reading to do, BUT we got Saddam. Nice. -- Walder

"Chicks dig the Pope" -- me talking to Jess

Chris G.: Yeah, powerful category 5 Hurricane my foot! Just like every other promise to blow me, Isabel let me down! My school sure isn't closed. Thanks a lot Isabel...

David (9:22:44 PM): how come you never see an italian diner?
Acocella (9:22:57 PM): cause they have more class
Acocella (9:23:07 PM): with some exceptions
David (9:23:51 PM): such as myself?
Acocella (9:24:06 PM): no more like sigges like pete
David (9:24:12 PM): that bastard
Acocella (9:24:19 PM): and fuckos like marc
David (9:24:52 PM): that kraut mick?
Acocella (9:25:06 PM): more like terror lord
David (9:25:30 PM): what's his full name now?
Acocella (9:27:10 PM): Sheik Markazah Saddam Mohammed Nawazi Abdullah al-Tambin Husseni bin Khalid al-Tikriti
David (9:27:29 PM): can i put that in my profile?

David i think you ust go and start yelling until they sign you up
Blair: ! What should I yell?
David: fuck you clown
Blair: Ahh
Blair: Ways to make friends and influence peopl
David: damned straight tell them how it is

Brian: Are you batting your eyelashes at me?
David: Yes.
Brian: You have a beautiful face.
David: How do you know?
Brian: My penis told me.
Brian ripping off of Jon F.

"I don't do anything useful"
"Any one of you could go into any bar in 1790s France and kick ass all over the place"
"Let's assume everyone is the same, which is probalby true in New Jersey"
"There's a section in Marx that deals with this . . . Groucho"
"A guy in a hummer, doing 90 on Amsterdam Ave, drinking whiskey, snorting coke, talking on his cell, looking at child porn. . ." now that was a fun externalities problem
Poverty allievation . . . because pareto isn't everything
-- Prof Dan of Econ

"The uncle on the only side of her family"
--Lit Hum revelation about Demeter's new husband

"Where does he have to aim .. . well where does she have to aim . .. well we shouldn't be shooting a monkey at all."
"Einstein kind of screwed things up. Then he figured out the new stuff and unscrewed things."
"Again, a fundamental law of physics is violated, showing if I was smarter I would ahve been a theoretial physicist" -- after a demo fails
-- Prof. Charles Hailey in physics


David: "What's a good ambush in World War II? I can't think of a single one."
Brian: "Umm, Pearl Harbor?"

From the New York Times

The breakdown, members of both parties said, came after Mr. Daschle met with the Senate majority leader, Bill Frist, Republican of Tennessee, this week to warn him that Democrats would block all future nominees unless they received assurances from the White House that there would be no more recess appointments. Senator Charles E. Schumer, a New York Democrat who is a member of the Judiciary Committee, said he conveyed a similar warning to White House officials.

So what they're saying is, if the president executes his constitutional and legal rights, they will continue to pout. Grr.

Cacciaguida tells Vatican to remove head from ass

I really don't understand why they protect these people. Very strange.

Vatican tells Palestinian terrorists to stop killing children. One listens, the rest disagree.



Heaven is more than a word to me now,
For now my own mother is there;
And earth has a deeper dimension somehow
Whenever I bow down in prayer.

Christ and His mother and Calvary's cross
Are now ingrained deep in my soul;
And what they have gained must now fill up my loss
While pointing the way to my goal.

Time now proceeds from meridian noon
And shorter the day now appears;
But come when it will, whether later or soon,
The sunset contains no more fears.

Frank X. Blisard
February 1978

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Cute, but not quite

Got this in my email from today:

Most of the world's religions declare their founder or leader to be
Divinity embodied, or, at least, free from sin or error. The Torah not
only expects even High Priests and Kings to sin, but allows for errors
from the High Court that impact upon the entire nation. There's no
infallibility doctrine, nothing miraculous about our leaders. We follow
the Sanhedrin because G-d told us to do so, not because we attribute
divinity to the Rabbis within.

Of course, he, like almost everyone else I've met, seems a little confused about infallibility. I don't suppose he would advocate that Moses could have written dowm the wrong things in the Torah? I suppose that's different. Why? Because he had divine guidance.

There we go.

Now, I can't think of anyone that ATTRIBUTES ANY DIVINITY TO THE POPE OR AN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL. IF SOMEONE DOES, THEY'RE A HERETIC AND SHOULD BE BURNED AT THE STAKE. That feels much better. Infallibility is an ex officio thing by which we're prevented from screwing up major things because of a promise from Jesus Christ. Not something that depends on the people in office being holy or divine or some BS like that.

Also, if there is no Jewish method to resolve questions, why should I believe his interpretation? What makes it better than any other? If we go along with a majority ruling that can change at any time, why shouldn't I hold my minority position up and advocate for it?

Interesting problem.

Incidentally, I can't think of too many world religions that do anything more than the Jewish does in claiming that there were people touched by the Holy Spirit who wrote sacred books, and I can only think of one that has a Leader who was free of sin. The claims going along with Him are of a somewhat different order, however. Point being, either Moses and the Prophets fit into this divinely touched category he's trying to get away from, or there's no point in listening to them. How do you know what G-d says if you advocate he doesn't say anything?

Keep off the potshots is my advice, Rabbi Menken. Not very effective and they undermine what you're trying to say.

The Pledge

To be honest with you, I don't see why they're pushing to say that the Pledge doesn't involve any religious ideas. It really seems like it does to me. I also don't understand why this guy has his panties up in a tizzy. Grow up. He says hearing the pledge is a slap in the face. For me, walking past a hospital is a slap in the face.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

AH! JWR comes through in the clutch

The media are playing their familiar role. The Associated Press said the strike by the Israeli Defense Forces is "likely to escalate violence" and constituted "an enormous gamble by (Prime Minister Ariel) Sharon" that "risks triggering a dramatic escalation in bloodshed." Notice that Hamas attacks never risk an escalation in bloodshed, even though such attacks cause the shedding of blood. The AP offered an opinion in the place of reporting the news.

I say we let the Byzantine empire take over everything again and kill anyone who acts up. That'll work . . . except it didn't the first time. But so true.

Second note:

Numerous networks and newspapers call Yassin a "spiritual leader," though he frequently called for suicide terrorism as a religious obligation. What kind of credible religion exults in the death and dismemberment of children?

Let's see. We have the Methodists, the Anglicans, Reform Jews, Conservative Jews, Presbys, feminists, humanists, some Muslims, Lutherans, some Hindus . . . actually the list is kind of long. Which is why, of course, I don't consider any of them to be credible :-). Which is why everyone should be Catholic.


The Bush administration properly noted that Israel has a right to defend itself, but White House spokesman Scott McClellan added the usual mumbo-jumbo about all parties needing to demonstrate "restraint." When have terrorists ever exercised restraint? All anti-terrorist parties should be going after these killers and liquidating them.

I like his point, but I have two issues. One, by saying liquidated, he's playing language games to make it sound better. If you're going to kill people, kill them. Don't "liquidate" them. Don't "terminate" them. Don't make a "choice". Just kill them and then we can debate whether you should. Second point, I fear that this will indeed lead to chaos. But perhaps chaos is the only thing that can save us. We'll see.

How many genders did you say?


Then you have the “gender feminists,” who are a more recent phenomenon. These believe that women would not be oppressed if there were no such thing as women. In other words, they want to eliminate the division of human beings into men and women and have an infinite number of genders all along the political spectrum and that one should be able to go back and forth between them at will.
A person’s chromosomes identify whether they are male of female. In some tragic cases a person can be born with both male and female genitalia or with organs that don’t develop properly. But your genitals are not what makes you male or female. For the vast majority of people, basing sexual reality on that kind of anomaly is not rational. But these “gender feminists” used these cases to say that we have got to get all these “genders” into the mainstream and to be not just tolerant but positively supportive and to promote these things.

In fact, one feminist made the extraordinary remark that “I think that true liberation will be achieved when I don’t know and don’t care about the sex of the person I am marrying.” In other words women would not be oppressed if there were no such thing as women.

Please excuse me while I weap for the future of the West. I think Islam just won.

How does this happen?

Most people don’t know there is a delegation. They don’t know who is on it. And reading this stuff can be terribly boring. People would rather let the official people take care of it and watch Seinfeld.

These activists who are moving this are people with an agenda. They’ve aborted their children, they’ve dumped their partners and this is their life.

They’ve got nothing else.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

What I'm known for

Chase (11:28:55 PM): some guys are coming around and talking about the sophmore class elections
Me (11:28:59 PM): ?
Chase (11:29:01 PM): they are going to come to your room
Chase (11:29:03 PM): and talk to you
Chase (11:29:07 PM): ask them about G-d
Chase (11:29:07 PM): a lot
Chase (11:29:12 PM): claire and i think you should
Me (11:29:13 PM): should I?
Chase (11:29:16 PM): mess with them a litt
Chase (11:29:17 PM): e
Me (11:29:19 PM): the door's locked should i unlock it?
Chase (11:29:23 PM): YES
Chase (11:29:26 PM): yes yes yes

Monday, March 22, 2004

Latest from Diogenes

Academic freedom takes a licking in Ohio (from today's WSJ Opinion Journal):

In March of last year, philosophy professor James Tuttle received a complaint that had been forwarded by his superior at Lakeland Community College in Ohio. The student letter-writer charged that Prof. Tuttle had made comments she deemed offensive to women and gays, and that he'd also shown signs of hostility to Muslim women. "I feel," she wrote, "as if I have been crushed, and forced to endure views that I do not agree with . . . we are supposed to be learning philosophy." But the main problem, the letter stressed, was the professor's excessive reference to his religion -- Catholicism. How, she wondered, would non-Catholic, liberal students "be able to defend themselves or even be able to learn in such a hostile learning environment?" The philosophy professor needed the separation of church and state explained to him; furthermore, the student said, his classes should be monitored and he should undergo counseling.

Pretty foul. Thankfully, the Catholic Theological Society of America immediately weighed in with a stirring defense of personal and intellectual liberty of a responsible scholar:

To grasp the special nature of the treatment accorded Prof. Tuttle here, it's only necessary to consider what would have happened if the accused had been a feminist professor rather than a Catholic philosopher -- if, an Evangelical Christian student, offended by criticisms of Christianity, the church as subjugator of women and the like, were to file complaint charging bias and a hostile learning environment. Can one imagine -- the mind reels -- administrators warning this professor to cease offending and seek counseling?

Sorry, did I mention the CTSA? My mistake. Prof. Tuttle's defender is Dorothy Rabinowitz.

Why is it that . . .

. . . the same people who cry out that it's unfair that people who experience same-sex attractions can't get "married" are the same people who talk about how there is "discrimination" against those who aren't married. Now it seems to me if married is something worth getting, then by definition there should be discriminating factors. If there aren't any discriminating factors, what's the point of the government being involved in marriage? Why should the government care who loves who?

Thus we come to the crux of the matter. Gay marriage isn't about homosexual couples getting the same status as heterosexual marriage. It's about getting the government to stop recognizing marriage so it can become a government seal of approval on homosex.


Right puts out right arm, extends middle finger

Washington, DC, Mar. 22 ( - Thirteen Republican members of Congress have written to urge Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to withdraw from rulings involving abortion. The congressmen argue that her association with the pro-abortion National Organization for Women Legal Defense and Education Fund disqualifies her as an impartial arbiter in such decisions.

The letter expressed grave concern over her endorsement of the feminist NOW movement. Her involvement extends to her establishment of the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Distinguished Lecture Series. "As legislators, we believe your actions call into question your ability to rule with impartiality on any case involving abortion," the congressmen wrote.

The Scaliamonster goes duckhunting w/ Dick and it's a national affair. Ruthy's pushing the presidency of NOW and she's fine. Can I say WORD.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Haven't found a good Jewish article . . .

In quite a while. Luckily after my math midterm next week I should have some time to continue my Hebrew studies a little and maybe I'll find something tasty. Bad adjective by the way, but seeing as I have school again tomorrow, I'm in no mood to think tonight. Besides thinking is work and it's Sunday.

New data

Well, not to me, but I like it none the less.

WASHINGTON, January 14, 2004 ( - The Culture of Life website ( reported today on troubling statistics regarding condom use and associated increased HIV transmission rates. The "safe sex" message, as promulgated and promoted by groups such as the UN and Planned Parenthood, is still the message of choice being delivered to sub-Saharan Africans. This, despite the fact that the availability of condoms statistically increases promiscuity and risk of contracting HIV according to medical experts who presented their findings on the HIV Pandemic in Washington, DC last week.

Dr. Norman Hearst of the University of California - San Francisco revealed statistics on Kenya, Botswana, and other countries, which show an increasingly alarming pattern of increased condom sale correlation with rising HIV prevalence by year. Unfortunately, Hearst stated, we are "raising a generation of young people in Africa that believe that condoms will prevent HIV." This is concerning because condoms are not 100% effective, even when used properly. According to Hearst, "the most recent Met-analysis came up with 80%, but even if it is 90%, over time it's the question of when, not if."

Dr. Rand Stoneburner (formerly of the WHO and an independent advisor to United Nations AIDS agency, USAID), talked about the famous Ugandan case, where "declines of HIV in Uganda are linked to behaviour change [and] include primary risk avoidance with a 65% decline in causal sex." The Ugandan government, which promoted abstinence and faithfulness, helped bring about a 75% decline in HIV prevalence among 15-19 age group, 60% in the 20-24, and a 54% decline overall by 1998.

Many, including U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, have praised Uganda's success in cutting the HIV infection rate by 50 percent since 1992. CNN reported in 2000 that the country is "widely seen as one of the most successful in fighting AIDS."

Aside from AIDS, condoms are also known to provide even less protection from a variety of other sexually transmitted diseases.

Read similar coverage of the Ugandan success story at:

Also read the United Nations report which admits condoms fail to protect against AIDS 10% of the time at:


Mildred 1047 (8:59:56 AM): Hello!!!
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Me (9:00:10 AM): Sorry, you have diseases

Good stuff from Price

Check out
And, in the future, please try to refrain from referring to my sacred scripture as "tawdry, cartoonish, badly-acted and anti-Semitic." Doesn't do much for interfaith dialogue.

and this
Greater understanding and participation by lay members led to a renaissance of the Catholic Church in the 60's and 70's.


No, of course not. He did not just say that. Not possible. No freaking way. Let's try that again:

Greater understanding and participation by lay members led to a renaissance of the Catholic Church in the 60's and 70's.

He freaking did!

Where do you begin to respond to this?

Maybe: "What color is the sky in your world?"

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Fascinating things in India

It is Good Friday in Kottayam, a city in the southern Indian state of Kerala. A family of Christians gathers to bless a plate of fresh, unleavened rice bread. The head of the household reads from a prayer book written in Malayalam, the vernacular of Kerala. On the cover the Hebrew word for Passover is embossed in gold. By tradition, the youngest member of the family asks the eldest the significance of unleavened bread. He is told how their ancestors, the Jews, fled Egypt in haste and how they had only enough time to prepare unleavened bread.

Before sharing their Passover bread, these Christians greet each other, exclaiming, “Happy Pessaha!”

This Indian Christian family traces its origins to those Jewish Christians who immigrated to India from Mesopotamia in the fourth century. Rooted in the past by cherished traditions, they belong to a dynamic community – the Southists, or Knanaya – a group vital to the mosaic of modern India.

Luckily for you guys, I'm on the case

So I'm minding my own business reading Jewish newspapers and I get this article. Check out some if it's finer points.

Only someone who is being disingenuous can claim that the "Passion" was born in a vacuum, or that it will not boost anti-Semitism. I understand that even Pontius Pilate is portrayed in the movie as an enlightened ruler, surrounded by cruel, bloodthirsty, long-nosed Jews with rotting teeth - so say people who have seen the movie.

Umm, did we see the same movie? Pontius Pilate ordered a man that he had decided was innocent to have the bloody shit beat out of him because he didn't want to accept responsibility for his actions. Real enlightenment philosopher. Actually. As for the cruel bloodthirsty long-nosed Jews, there were probably a few. There were a few drunk sadistic Romans. There were a few coward apostles who also happened to be Jewish. There was also Simon of Cyrene, Claudia, and the apostle John. Watch the movie, open your eyes.

Now on to point number II!

What is to be gained in the exact reenactment of the crucifixion when the viewers are invited to watch nails being hammered into the palms of a tortured man? If this isn't an attempt to stir up passions, to promote a dispute, and to again cast darkness on Jewish-Christian relations under the heavy shadow of the cross, then what do we have here?

Well, I donno. We have these things in my church called crucifixes where we always look at the beaten and crucified body of Christ. Then we have the stations of the Cross where we go around and meditate on the Via Dolorosa. Then the real sickos like me meditate on all the events of the movie twice a week in this thing called the Rosary. I think, Mr. random Jewish guy, that what we get out of it is a deeper appreciation of our Lord's suffering and a deeper call to follow in his footsteps of leading a life worthy of the name Christian. Other than that, and the fact that our entire religion is based on this Guy getting nailed to the cross, not much.

Who would think that those Catholics had anything to do with that Jesus fellow. What an outrage.

Their friendship is conditional; for the evangelists, the return of the Jews to their land, especially to the Greater Land of Israel, free of Muslims, is a precondition for a complete Christian redemption, which includes, among other things, wiping out the Jews as a people. These evangelicals see the redemption of Israel as a crucial foundation in the return of the messiah Jesus Christ. This is the only reason they encourage Israel and donate a lot of money to it, mainly to the messianic streams within the Jewish state, who view the settlements as the start of the redemption.

If by wiping out the Jews as a people you mean that the Lord will take them all into heaven for an eternity of perfect worship, yeah I guess they'd like to see the Jews cease to exist as a people on this good earth. Of course, the earth will be gone by then in their theology, so if the Jews were still around they would be having problems. I recommend getting a little deeper understanding of the admittadly bizarre end-tmes theology of some people before you talk about it.

With friends like these, who vote en masse for Haider and flock en masse to see Gibson's movie, there's no need for enemies; because enemies such as these friends are hoping to inherit this land in a war of Armageddon, whose advent, if it is taking time, maybe needs to be sped up.

I don't know about this Haider guy. But I'm pretty sure that he's basically calling me an anti-semite of some color. One point first, though. Again, I don't think they hope for the land. They hope for the end of the world. That's kind of a different thing, it seems to me, anyway. Secondly, it's the theology of some, not all. Gibson's is almost certainly quite different, if he's holding to any kind of orthodox Catholicism. I can't know it, of course, and there's no official one as far as this quesetion goes, but I tend to doubt he's one of these pre-rapt post-mill late-fulfilment types (no I'm not sure what that means). Third, how many Evangelicals does he know?

I donno. I'm just amused he's making comments about a movie he hasn't seen and people he hasn't met who believe theology he doesn't understand.

Friday, March 19, 2004

De Latinae

Read this:

"I love it when Catholic laypeople without any obvious training or understanding of what the Church teaches nevertheless get up on a public soapbox to preach to the rest of us about what it really means to be Catholic. It’s especially interesting when they’re politicians. Case in point: The vice-mayor of Mesa, Arizona, writes an op-ed today complaining that the new bishop of Phoenix is going to allow Latin Masses."

Wrote this:

My name is David XXXXXXXX from Pelham, NY and I'm commenting on

I would just like to respond to Mr. Kavanaugh when he states

"There was a reason that the Second Vatican Council called for services to be held in the vernacular. Greater understanding and participation by lay members led to a renaissance of the Catholic Church in the 60's and 70's. Sadly, some in the church today would prefer to reverse many of the Vatican II reforms."

If I may quote the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium) 36.1, "Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites." The rest of section 36 goes on to permit wider use of the vernacular for the understanding of the people and reserves the right to determine how much of the vernacular is used to the "competant territorial ecclesiastical authority" and the Holy See. Other interesting points would be II.54, which allows Masses with more vernacular, but states "Nevertheless steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them."

It seems to me that the complete disappearance of Latin from the sacraments is in fact a misreading of Sacrosanctum Concilium, which does call for Latin to be preserved. The bishop is only carying out what the Council said, not what people think the Council said. Certainly the wider use of the vernacular has been immensely helpful over the past fourty years, but the loss of Latin has, I think, led to a loss of the universal, timeless sense of the Church and led some to believe that it is "our", rather than "His", church.

Thank you for your time.


Now hopefully I haven't said anything too stoopid or messed up my grammer or anything like that, and we'll see what happens. And i'm not even upset because he didn't say anything too stupid in the newspaper article! Good times.

Moloch Now!

"In an apparent attempt to mend relations with Christians, Planned Parenthood has hired a national chaplain to 'articulate the spiritual dimensions of sexuality and reproduction.'

Rev. Ignacio Castuera, senior pastor of St. John's United Methodist Church in the Watts district of Los Angeles, also will seek to build better relations with the largely pro-life Hispanic community.

'His expertise in offering spiritual insight and guidance to the reproductive health movement is invaluable,' Planned Parenthood president Gloria Feldt said in a statement announcing the appointment Monday. 'We are honored that he has accepted this position.'

As demons we don't have the power to create anything out of nothing ourselves. But we don't really need to since we can just imitate all we want. What better than to imitate the very church that was setup to destroy us, HA! They have ministers and priests, fine, we will have are own also. We just love to corrupt the very things that are to help save those foolish mortals souls. So I proudly give this weeks 'Moloch of the Week' award to Rev. Ignacio Castuera. By the way the award statue is fireproof so that he can take it with him."

I finally found out who that guy is a priest for. Again, nothing personal, but I hope he chokes on a fishbone and dies seconds before repenting of his sins then suffers in purgatory for a good long time paying his debt to society. I think that's fair.

Sorry, Moloch, us Catholics still want the guy. I guess that might be greedy, but it is what it is.

Thursday, March 18, 2004


London, Mar. 18 ( - Almost one in four of all teenage girls aged 16 and 17 in Britain take the contraceptive pill, according to new figures released today.

The proportion has risen from 17 percent in 2000 to 24 percent, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The survey-- which compared figures in 1998/9 with those in 2002/3-- indicates just over a quarter of all women use the contraceptive pill, with the biggest increase in the 16 to 17 age bracket.

Family Planning Association spokeswoman Melissa Dear told the BBC the statistics were "very positive news." She said she said she hoped the figures would dispel the "doom and gloom" surrounding Britain's teenage pregnancy rate, which is the highest in Europe.

However, earlier this week, a report from the Family Education Trust showed that increased and more explicit sex education in British schools has actually increased teenage pregnancies rather than reducing them, according to a new report.

Spokesman Valerie Riches, a Catholic, told the Sunday Times: "The government's teenage pregnancy strategy is based on the premise that it is unrealistic to expect young people to abstain from sex. They have embarked on a damage-limitation exercise dependent on condom use and the morning-after pill."

So this is progress? People are going to do it anyway? I think Mr. Chesterton has some words on this:

Now here comes in the whole collapse and huge blunder of our age. We have mixed up two different things, two opposite things. Progress should mean that that we are always changing the world to suit the vision. Progress does mean (just now) that we are always changing the vision. It should mean that we are slow but sure in bringing justice and mercy among men: it does mean that we are very swift in doubting the desirability of justice and mercy: a wild page from any Prussian sophist makes men doubt it. Progress should mean that we are always walking towards the New Jerusalem. It does not mean the the New Jerusalem is always walking away from us. We are not altering the real to suit the ideal. We are altering the ideal: it is easier.

G.K. Chesterton - Orthodoxy

Welcome to the desert of the real.


"Dear friends: A teenager named Sara is scheduled to have an abortion next
Tuesday, March 23. Her friend Patience (also a teenager) is trying to
convince her to seek help from a pro-life counselor. Sara's boyfriend
wants the abortion and they are hiding the pregnancy from her parents.
Please pray that their hearts are changed and that Patience will have the
words to say to Sara that will make a difference. Please spread this
request to all you can. Thanks. God bless you."

What I don't understand is

why the same people who say we fought in Iraq for oil are complaining about the cost. If we get their oil, it'll be a profit!

On the Pope kissing the Koran

Message: 19
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 03:57:19 -0000
From: "jxxxxxx"
Subject: Kissing the Koran

Well there are just two ways to look at the Pope kissing the Koran.

One) It was a mistake & an act of bad judgement on the Pope's Part. After
all nobody is perfect. Of course considering all the other good things
the Pope has done, he can MAKE at least one mistake please cut the man
some slack.

Two) My Coptic Catholic friend told me that it was a custom in some parts
of the middle east to kiss special gifts that have been given to you. For
these Muslims to give the Koran to the Pope was for them the Highest gift
they could give in their own minds so the Pope was showing graditude for
their sentement.

Even the late Carl Sagan who was an Atheist THANKED a Priest who he
was corisponding with for praying for him. Now Sagan didn't believe in
God (he knows better now.:-)) but he could acknowlege the Priest's good
will (unlike say Maddelin Murry O'Hair who used to curse out people who
offered to pray for her).

Thus the Pope can acknowlege these Muslims their good will & with a
middle eastern custom of kissing a special gift.

Take your pick.

Yours in Yeshua & Miriam,

James M. Scott IV (Yachov Ben Yachov)

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

I don't get it

"Kingston, New York, Mar. 17 ( - Two Unitarian Universalist ministers -- Kay Greenleaf and Dawn Sangrey -- were charged with criminal offenses Monday for conducting 13 homosexual marriages over the weekend.

District Attorney for Ulster County, New York, Donald Williams, said that the law prohibiting homosexual marriages makes no distinction between religious ministers and officials who hold public office. Williams is likely referring to New Paltz Mayor Jason West who last month was charged with 19 counts of solemnizing a marriage without a license. Williams told The Associated Press that the charges were made because the marriages were "drastically different" from religious ceremonies, since Greenleaf and Sangrey stated publicly that they were civil marriages.

"It is not our intention to interfere with anyone's right to express their religious beliefs, including the right of members of the clergy to perform ceremonies where couples are united solely in the eyes of the church or any other faith," Williams said in defense of his actions. Some groups have charged that Williams is violating the constitutional protection of religious freedom.

A statement released to the press said that Unitarian Universalist Association ministers have been marrying homosexuals for 35 years.

Meanwhile, openly homosexual Episcopal bishop Gene Robinson, ordained last year as bishop of New Hampshire, told reporters Monday that "If the civil right of marriage were to become legal in New Hampshire, I think we'd be married in a minute," referring to his partner Mark Andrew. Robinson is a 56-year-old divorced father of two.

Also, in related news, former Surgeon General Dr. Jocelyn Elders, in an address to a national meeting of the million-member United Methodist Women's organization, said that the Bush administration "has no business interfering" in the issue of homosexual marriage. "I see no problem with gay couples marrying," she said. The comment came as a surprise to the group. The official stance of the United Methodist Church is that homosexuality is "incompatible with Christian teaching."

Elders was appointed Surgeon General by former President Bill Clinton, who later called for her resignation after Elders appealed for an increase in sex education, including "self stimulation" as an alternative to sex outside of marriage.

Defenders of marriage have been arguing that all homosexual persons have the same right as anyone to marry a person of the opposite sex. They just do not have the right, it is emphasized, to marry someone of the same sex since that would not be a marriage."

I still don't get why Robinson pretends to be some sort of Christian. Regardless of Christ's "inclusivity," he was extremely specific several times as to what marriage is and that it can under no circumstances be dissolved . When Robinson says something different, it may have merit, but it has nothing to do with Christ.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004


To Lisa who got into Columbia/JTS. I'd whip up a flash animation for the occasion, except I'm about to leave the city. Such will have to wait.


New Template

Sadly, it sucks and looks just like the old one. But it does have a blogroll and stuff, so we're getting there.

Wellborn says:

"Instead of...

....spending a lot of time and energy arguing about the role of secular Jews in communism, why don't we worry about the role of American Catholics in supporting legal abortion and other fruits of contemporary civilization?

I mean, really."

I say: Word.

Why the uproar?

"I know a guy who teaches at a prestigious private school. His school had to adopt a strict dress code when 12-year-old girls started coming to class wearing T-shirts with the words 'Porn Star' emblazoned on them. Just the other day, I saw a girl at the airport who couldn't have been much older than 14 wearing sweatpants with the word 'juicy' emblazoned across her butt. And, two of my best friends are still remorseful, years after the incident, because they didn't rip off a kid's T-shirt - and perhaps his head - because across the cretin's chest read the words: 'Stalin was right.'
As far as I can tell, none of these examples - nor thousands like them - have garnered one one-thousandth of the hand-wringing that this preshrunk cotton hate crime- 'Voting Is for Old People' - has caused."

I didn't hear about this until JWR covered it, but I'm a little amused that the same people that will threaten to have you thrown out of school if you wear a tee shirt that say "I'm pro-life" or "Jesus Christ" because it's "hateful" are all over this.

Why we will lose to those who think.

"The eyes and the heart form an extraordinarily powerful force. They can only be overcome when formulating policies by a mind and a value system that are stronger than the heart-eye duo. With the decline of Judeo-Christian religions, the heart, shaped by what the eye sees (hence the power of television), has become the source of people's moral decisions.

This is a potentially fatal problem for our civilization. As beautiful as the heart might be, it is neither intellectually nor morally profound.

It is therefore frightening that hundreds of millions of people find no problem in acknowledging that their heart is the source of their values. Their heart knows better than thousands of years of accumulated wisdom; better than religions shaped by most of the finest thinkers of our civilization (and, to the believer, by G-d ); and better than the book that has guided our society — from the Founders of our uniquely successful society to the foes of slavery to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and most of the leaders of the struggle for racial equality.

This elevation of one's heart is well beyond self-confidence — it is self-deification."

Heart versus mind, JWR style. The "Enlightened," in that final twist of irony, are those who refuse to think about things, refuse to consider the brilliant minds of the past, refuse to consider logic and truth at all. Their "hearts" are quite enough. The refusal of a society to think about anything of significance, I think, is unprecedented in history. It can not be a good sign.

And a good quote

"When we look at three disastrous and diabolical revolutions that have taken place over the last five hundred years–the Protestant, the French, and Communist–we find that what they all have in common is the dissolution of monasteries."

Good article

By Frank X. Blisard

© Copyright F.X.Blisard 2004

Having seen the movie "The Passion of the Christ" twice now, I can
empathize with people who are hesitant to see it at all. I am not sorry
that I saw it, and I am actually "glad" that I went back a second time. I
put "glad" in quotes because what I really mean is not that it made me
happy, but simply that it was important for me to see it, and to see it
again. It was important because I am trying to take Jesus seriously these

A Protestant caller to a Catholic talk-radio program the other day
observed that reactions to this movie are breaking along "liberal" and
"conservative" rather than denominational lines, and he had a point. I'm
sure that many of us have made the same observation since the film opened
on Ash Wednesday...actually, long before that. Perhaps this is one of
those nasty stereotypes we are always warned about: "liberal" Christians
prefer a "warm and fuzzy" Jesus and a "social" gospel; "conservative"
Christians prefer a "fire and brimstone" God and a "messianic" Messiah
(imagine that!). But I think it goes deeper than that. It goes back to a
question that Jesus himself asks in the Gospel: "What think ye of the
Christ?" (Matt 22:42). And, since the thrust of the whole conversation
related in that passage (Matt 22:41-46) is that the Christ is not King
David's "son" but rather the son of someone greater than David, this
question in turn points to another set of questions: "Whom think ye his
Father is?" and "What think ye of that Father?"

Indeed, the debate over this movie merely brings to the general public's
attention a debate that has been raging in academia for over a century
now, well under the "radar screen" of most of us: Is Jesus Jesus? Are the
Gospels "gospel"? What is "The Good Book" good for? The ticket sales for
Gibson's Gospel give a thundering answer to those questions, an answer
which academicians and journalists alike find most unsettling --
unsettling because they have long enjoyed the illusion that these
questions can remain forever open and debatable, and Mel's minions have
given them a glimpse of a world in which such questions have been
resolved. And what is worse, in this other world life goes on quite
normally, even peacefully: no hordes of true believers streaming out of
cineplexes hell-bent on torching synagogues or universities or the New
York Times building; no book-burning parties in the town square; no
rallies of goose-stepping Christians rounding up infidels and burning them
at the stake. How can this be?

This can "be" simply because the multitudes who are vicariously walking
the Via Dolorosa with Jim Caviezel are turning the wrath of God inward,
not out. They are experiencing through this particular flawed work of
religious art what every devout Jew experiences on Yom Kippur - the
awareness of their own sinfulness, and the assurance of a gracious God
that "though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow"
(Isaiah 1:18). They regard Jesus of Nazareth as the 'scaped-goat
"pre-figured" in the ancient Jewish rites, and the inescapable Aramaic of
the film forces them to face the mysterious bond that exists between them
and the Children of Israel. And many of them see "The Jew" not in the
dark-cloaked members of the Sanhedrin, but in the man on the cross -- and
in his grieving mother, whose piercing gaze at the film's conclusion they
cannot forget.

My father, like Gibson's, has tried for years to convince me that the
Nazis could not possibly have destroyed six million Jews in six years
("Just do the math..."), but I have never bought it. I have been to Yad
Va-Shem. My wife has been to Auschwitz. I have seen the photographs her
Uncle John brought back with him from "The War." And I have loved (and
lost) more than one Jewish woman in my life. Both of my parents -- and
most of their siblings -- were racists of one sort or another, yet their
children, by and large, are not. And I do not believe that this paradigm
shift is an isolated event; I believe that it was something experienced by
my generation as a whole, regardless of how many of us have resisted it.
Secularists might call this "evolution." I would call it "grace."

One inescapable fact highlighted by the "Protestant caller" I mentioned
above is that this movie is bringing Catholics and Protestants together in
a genuine religious experience in a way that no formally "ecumenical"
event in recent memory - not even Vatican II - has been able to do. I
fully expect that, after the dust settles, we will discover that it has
done something similar for Christians and Jews, despite the furor over the
issue of anti-Semitism surrounding the film.

I am profoundly grateful to Mel Gibson for making this film, not only for
the effect it has had on me, but especially for the effect it has had on
my children, both of whom are now independent, self-sufficient adults
dealing with the usual issues of their postmodern generation -
disillusion, doubt, and distrust of anything resembling tradition. What
he has done for them is "simply" to translate the essence of the Gospel
into a medium that they and their peers find irresistible, into a "story"
that they will actually "read" (or, in postmodern-academic jargon, into a
"text" that they will actually "negotiate"). He has, in effect, done for
them what I could not. And yet their response to this film is nothing
less than an affirmation of everything that their mother and I, in our own
stumbling way, have tried to teach them about faith, love, and forgiveness
- three things that Mr. Gibson has repeatedly said are what his film is
all about.

Personally, I don't care if certain journalists or university professors
can't fathom my faith in a God who would die for me (and even for them).
I don't even care if they mischaracterize this movie as a "sadomasochistic
snuff film" (as more than one of them has done) or as fodder for the
lurking anti-Semites among us (as hardly any of them has failed to do).
Nothing that they -- or any of us, for that matter -- say or do can unsay
what "The Christ" said in his life or undo what he did in his death.

And I really don't care whether Mel Gibson, Jim Caviezel, or the amazing
cinematic icon they have lovingly crafted ever wins a single award from
the American Motion Picture Academy, the Golden Globes, or the Cannes Film
Festival. The treasures they are storing up in heaven are much to be
preferred over such trinkets.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Lorica of Saint Patrick

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth and His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion and His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection and His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In preachings of the apostles,
In faiths of confessors,
In innocence of virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.

I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me;
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's hosts to save me
From snares of the devil,
From temptations of vices,
From every one who desires me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a mulitude.

I summon today all these powers between me and evil,
Against every cruel merciless power that opposes my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of women and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul.
Christ shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that reward may come to me in abundance.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through a confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation

St. Patrick (ca. 377)

Sunday, March 14, 2004

A grandmother speaks out

"But yesterday when I visited this charming nephew of mine I thought of some people I saw last month when I went to a hospital in Mississippi to visit my new granddaughter Elisabeth. I peered eagerly through the nursery window along with all the other grandmothers and the smug fathers. "Ours" was shown to us by the nurse, a beautiful tiny thing clenching her perfect fists. I gazed as enthralled as though I had never seen a newborn child, as though Elisabeth were the first of her kind ever to appear to mystify and bewitch and melt the soul of a grandmother.

It was at the back of the nursery that I saw the people who affected me very differently but also very deeply. They were extremely small. A nurse thrust her hands into built-in rubber gloves in the side of an incubator and ever so gently lifted a little creature that looked infinitely more fragile and helpless than our baby, a "preemie" of perhaps two and a half pounds. He was one of several in incubators, and as I watched them lying there, eyes bandaged against the heat lamp, moving and breathing in their plastic boxes, I thought of Charles, who was just such a baby nine years ago. Born three months early, he was not expected to make it through the first night.

Earnestly prayed for by his parents and many others, cared for continuously by many hands as gentle as those of the nurse I watched in Mississippi, he survived.

Not long ago I saw a picture which will remain ineradicable in my mind: a black plastic garbage bag which contained what was left of the morning's work in one city hospital--four or five babies, some of them the size of Charles when he was born, some of them larger. They were rejects.

Who is it that makes the "selections"? Who may determine which tiny person is acceptable and may be permitted to be born (and if necessary, hovered over, cradled in a sterile temperaturecontrolled incubator to assist his survival), and which is unacceptable and may be treated as a cancer or a gangrenous growth and surgically or chemically removed? What perverted vision of "life enhancement" warrants such a choice?

Gloria Steinem appeared on television recently to speak about what she calls "pro-choice." What she did not say, what no proponent of abortion ever says, is that the choice they defend is the choice to kill people. Babies are people, but the U. S. Supreme Court has decreed that certain people, if they are young enough and helpless enough, may be killed.

Another choice which the courts and modern liberality and morality permit us to make is the choice of a tasteful vocabulary. To begin with, the rejects I saw in the plastic bag are not babies, they are not people, they are, if small enough and unrecognizable enough, merely "tissue" or, as ethicist Charles Curran puts it, "the matter involved in the research." If undeniably identifiable, they are but the "products of conception." Well, so is Charles. So am I.

Words most assiduously to be avoided are "kill" and "murder." They were also avoided by the physicians who supervised the "selections" in Nazi concentration camps. Heirs to Europe's proudest medical traditions, they resorted to complicated mental gymnastics to provide moral and scientific legitimacy for Hitler's crazed racial and biological notions. In a world forty years advanced from those barbarities we speak of freedom, of the liberation of women, of the right over our own bodies-- viewing ourselves as emancipated and enlightened while we sink into ever more diabolical (though always finely calculated and carefully rationalized) modes of self-worship and idolatry."


"Subject: Virus Alert
If you receive an email entitled 'Badtimes,' delete it immediately. Do not open it. Apparently this one is pretty nasty. It will not only erase everything on your hard drive, but it will also delete anything on disks within 20 feet of your computer.
It demagnetizes the stripes on ALL of your credit cards. It reprograms your ATM access code, screws up the tracking on your VCR and uses subspace field harmonics to scratch any CD's you attempt to play. It will re-calibrate your refrigerator's coolness settings so all your ice cream melts and your milk curdles. It will program your phone autodial to call only your ex-spouses' number. This virus will mix antifreeze into your fish tank. It will drink all your beer. It will leave dirty socks on the coffee table when you are expecting company. Its radioactive emissions will cause your bellybutton fuzz (be honest, you have some) to migrate behind your ears. It will replace your shampoo with Nair and your Nair with Rogaine, all while dating your current boy/girlfriend behind your back and billing their hotel rendezvous to your Visa card. It will cause you to run with scissors and throw things in a way that is only fun until someone loses an eye. It will give you Dutch Elm Disease and Psitticosis. It will rewrite your backup files, changing all your active verbs to passive tense and incorporating undetectable misspellings which grossly change the interpretations of key sentences. It will leave the toilet seat up and leave your hair dryer plugged in dangerously close to a full bathtub. It will not only remove the forbidden tags from your mattresses and pillows, but it will also refill your skim milk with whole milk. It will replace all your luncheon meat with Spam. It will molecularly rearrange your cologne or perfume, causing it to smell like dill pickles. It is insidious and subtle. It is dangerous and terrifying to behold. It is also a rather interesting shade of mauve. These are just a few signs of infection.
PLEASE FORWARD THIS MESSAGE TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW!!! (everyone deserves a good laugh)"


Jon (1:45:35 PM): So why you coming to New York?
Other (1:46:39 PM): well...howard dean is having a rally and announcing the new direction of his campaign on friday, there's a peace rally on saturday, and it's NEW YORK
Other (1:46:44 PM): and i've never been
Jon (1:48:34 PM): I see.....
Jon (1:48:40 PM): So you have no reason for coming here.
Jon (1:48:45 PM): You're very sporadic and strange.

CNS: Wake up! says bishop

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (CNS) -- Bishop Nicholas A. DiMarzio of Brooklyn told the people of his diocese that Catholics have "a basic obligation" to participate in political life, but must participate with a "properly formed" conscience. Writing March 6 in his diocesan weekly, The Tablet, he said the American principle of church-state separation had "perhaps led some to avoid forming their consciences properly" in accord with church teaching and "the true good willed by God." "Catholics may choose among political parties and may choose strategies for promoting the common good, but may never promote laws which are incompatible with the faith and with natural law," he said.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

The Fameous CWN: Why Not Gay Marriage? Exchange

Highly recommended reading. Or in my words, "Why should we give people legal recognition of the fact that they love each other? I don't see the point."

Email I just got

"Along with holding signs, Vox members passed out condoms to people with statistics citing how many women die from illegal abortions around the world."

Here's my proposal, now. Think of how many women a year are hurt by rape. Now imagine how much better it would be if the government regulated rape. People could go to clean facilities with doctors and counselors and the whole works, and there would be no more violent sexual assault. Immoral, you say? Why should we legislate morality? I mean, it's going to happen anyway, so shouldn't we make it safe?

Sorry, saying that many women die from illegal abortions, so they should be legal, is about two steps from saying look at how many women die from being beaten by their husbands, so we should just let the state step in to regulate the affair. Both are abuse, except one is harder to see.

"Nick Burt, a Medill freshman, said he contacted as many people as he could
around campus and in the Chicago-area to notify them of the anti-abortion
group's arrival.

'This is really our campus,' said Burt, who is of no relation to one of
the writers of this story. 'And we have to be sending a message that
pro-bigotry views are not representative of Northwestern.'"

OK. Now we have a cause advanced by whites, blacks, asians, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Hindus, pagans, witches, men, women, adults, children, seniors being called pro-bigotry. Yeah, you know those everyone. They discriminate against everyone. Wait.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Bloomberg, on why he deserves to be taken out back and shot

"Between 1992 and 1996, The Washington Post noted in a recent panicky editorial, the number of abortion providers in America declined by 14 percent. The downward trend has been ongoing for 20 years. Of roughly 2,000 doctors who now perform abortions nationwide, more than half are over 50 and closing in on retirement. The Post's analysis: "The greatest decrease was among doctors in private practice, who are less likely to perform abortions the younger they are; and hospitals, which, as they are bought by religious institutions and for-profit chains, increasingly prefer to avoid the controversies that abortion entails."

In other words, the unencumbered exercise of religious liberty and the power of the free market have combined to reduce the number of willing abortion providers. Oh, how awful.

To remedy this calamitous epidemic of new young doctors listening to their consciences (gasp), the abortion lobby has conjured a tidy solution: Infiltrate public training hospitals and force future doctors to learn the bloody tools of the abortion trade.

Ground Zero in this new abortion front is New York City, which trains one-seventh of the nation's doctors. The New York chapter of NARAL secured the support of liberal Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg to use taxpayer-funded medical facilities as private recruitment camps. Beginning next month, abortion training for obstetrics and gynecology residents in New York's 11 public hospitals will become part of the compulsory curriculum, rather than an elective that trainees generally eschew."

I'm not violent. Really. But sometimes people come up with something so beyond comprehension that I just have to stand there, amazed that they don't fall over from having a lack of brain activity.

Crisis Magazine, March, Sense and Nonsense

"To translate this examining “backs of books” into modern terms, someone recently asked me about “the Illuminati,” about whom I knew little. I went to Google, typed in “Illuminati, Catholic Encyclopedia.” Immediately I found an essay on the topic. The Illuminati were a secret 18th-century society founded by a graduate of a Jesuit college. It figures."

Plagurizing from Summa Contra Mundum

"Socrates debates someone who supports the legalization of abortion, named Bob. Warning: This is rated PG-13.

Bob: The issue of when a fetus becomes uniquely human is unknowable.
Soc: What do you mean by uniquely human?
Bob: Well, morally considerable. Worthy of respect of law.
Soc: Why do we respect humans? Could I just enslave them or harvest them to make Soylent Green?
Bob: Clearly not, most excellent Socrates.
Soc: Why not?
Bob: Because that would be wrong. It would be using a human as a mere tool.
Soc: So a human being isn't a tool? Would you say that a human is more like a work of art?
Bob: Exactly, Socrates. A human has value in and of itself, just like a painting.
Soc: No-one ever asks what a painting is good for, do they?
Bob: No. Humans are just good, not good-for-something.
Soc: Ok. Now, when we value tools, things that are good-for-something, there is always some feature that makes it valuable.
Bob: I see, like the sharpness of a knife or the speed of a computer.
Soc: Right. Now, if the thing lost the feature, what do we do?
Bob: We throw it in the trash!
Soc: Ok. Now, what are some features of humans?
Bob: Oh, intelligence, consciousness, emotion, love.
Soc: If you lost one of those features, would you still be worthy of respect?
Bob: Yes, of course I would. We don't respect humans because of what they can do, but because of what they are.
Soc: So you are worthy of respect, regardless of what you can do?
Bob: Yes.
Soc: Ok. When did you acquire this worth?
Bob: What do you mean?
Soc: At what point in your life did you acquire this dignity, this moral worth?
Bob: The law says when I was born.
Soc: How fortunate we are that the laws are so wise that they can determine such a thing! But, I wonder. Why do the laws say at birth?
Bob: Because the human leaves his mother's body at that time.
Soc: What? How strange! My mother the midwife always used to tell me that there wasn't any difference in the baby before birth or after birth.
Bob: Nevertheless, that's the law.
Soc: So, if a human is in the womb, it is expendable, but if it is outside, it is not?
Bob: Yes.
Soc: At last, we have solved the mystery of ages!
Bob: What do you mean?
Soc: We finally know what it is that makes a human so different, so glorious, so wonderful: it is this: "Passing through a human vagina." One suspects that we have treated any number of cucumbers and cigars quite badly.
Bob: Now you are making fun of me.
Soc: I'm sorry, most excellent Bob. I'm just trying to make a point in my own clumsy way. Do you remember what you said about humans and paintings?
Bob: Yes. A human is valued for what he is, not for what he can do.
Soc: But how could that be if we only begin to value a human who has done the act of passing through the birth-canal? Wouldn't it be the case that we value passing through a vagina more than life itself?
Bob: I hadn't thought of that, although there are many who would agree with that last statement.
Soc: One should think of such things before discoursing on public policy.
Bob: But isn't this a religious question?
Soc: Certainly, the gods care about such things. But the fact that the gods care doesn't require that truth be unknowable. Have we appealed to scripture at any point in this argument?
Bob: No.
Soc: So how is it a religious argument?
Bob: I guess it isn't."

Thursday, March 11, 2004


"As he looked on, he was surprised to see that the bush, though on fire, was not consumed. So Moses decided, 'I must go over to look at this remarkable sight, and see why the bush is not burned.' Exodus 3:2-3

When the Lord saw him coming over to look at it more closely, GOD called out to him from the bush, 'Moses! Moses!' He answered, 'Here I am.' GOD said, 'Come no nearer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground. I am the GOD of your father...the GOD of Abraham, the GOD of Isaac, the GOD of Jacob.'... Exodus 3:4-6"

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Latest on the "Choice" front

"he Population Research Institute has revealed that coerced abortion is a reality in America. A court ruled that a woman can be forced to submit to an abortion, if, in the opinion of the abortionist, the measure is necessary to "protect the health of the mother." The Jane Roe II vs. Aware Women Center for Choice, Inc. ruling was handed down in January.

The case arose when a young woman who entered an abortion clinic for an abortion changed her mind. The abortionist, William P. Egherman, who has committed over 10,000 abortions, instead of stopping the procedure, called in assistants to hold her down while he continued to dilate her cervix.

"My God, you're hurting me" the woman screamed. "You're killing me, I'll never be able to have babies... Stop!" Despite her pleas, Egherman went in with forceps, an instrument in court he referred to as "the bear," and began prodding and pulling, and accidentally tore out a piece of her intestines. He advised the ambulance to go slow, without lights or siren, so as not to distress his other clients who were waiting for abortions. The hospital repaired the damage and removed the remains of a dead child.

The woman and her lawyer, former judge Chris Sapp, filed suit in the federal courts, arguing that the abortionist had violated the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE). FACE was passed to guarantee the right of women to receive reproductive health care. But if a woman had a right to enter a clinic to get an abortion, Sapp argued, she also has a right to leave a clinic in order to protect herself and her baby. The suit was lost, but an appeal is planned-- to the US Supreme Court if necessary.

According to Sapp, "This ruling does establish a precedent for forced abortion." An expectant mother receiving a routine gynecological exam, for example, could be held down and forcibly aborted. The abortionist would merely have to argue that the abortion was necessary to protect the mother's health or life, and this would not be a violation of the FACE Act.

PRI recently learned of another forced abortion in America. A 25-year-old Maryland woman, four months pregnant, changed her mind about having an abortion after being taken to the procedure room. She ran back to the clinic entrance where her boyfriend stopped her. "You have to get an abortion", he told her. "I've already paid for it." Three clinic workers and the abortionists surrounded the woman, sedated her by injection, and then took her back into the procedure room. After the forced abortion, she awoke in a closet."

Remember, it's your choice. Especially if they force you to do it.

Sad people

"That's right, I'm calling for the end of the human race
We're not doing anything worthwhile anyway, so I say we just lay down our weapons of mass destruction, suck back a few margaritas, and let the human race die out peacefully. Let's see what the marmots can do with things for awhile, eh?

Because I've had it with all you mass-producing baby-breeders out there. Don't you realize your baby-making ways cause the rest of us great emotional distress? Do the world a favor. Do me a favor. Just stop. (Except for my sister, because she's taking all the "where are my grandbabies?" flack for the rest of us.)"

You came about from being a baby. If you're so concerned about the existance of the human race, do us a favor and leave. No one's forcing you to be here. You can end it whenever you want and that will be, you anticipate, the end of your distress.

Too much Montaigne and not enough common sense makes people stupid. We are not baby-breaders. We are co-creators with the Lord, and that is an awesome and wonderful responsiblity, not a burden to be gotten rid of. Luckily such points of view get themselves out of the gene pool rather quickly by natural selection, one fo the few parts of Darwin's opus that really do make lots of sense.

Midterms . . .

are done. Now onto getting my spring break homework done.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Summa Contra Mundum meditates

"Half of Young Americans Get Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Press, Students Draw Exactly Wrong Conclusion.

What would it take to convince people that human beings are not by nature fit for promiscuity? Maybe if there were fatal diseases spread largely by means of immoral sexual behavior. . . .

Nope. It would never work."

Monday, March 08, 2004


"Ann Coulter gets Passiolicious

The [NY] Times ought to send one of its crack investigative reporters to St. Patrick's Cathedral at 3 p.m. on Good Friday before leaping to the conclusion that "The Passion" is Gibson's idiosyncratic take on Christianity. In a standard ritual, Christians routinely eat the flesh and drink the blood of Jesus Christ, aka "the Lamb of God." The really serious Catholics do that blood- and flesh-eating thing every day, the sickos. The Times has just discovered the tip of a 2,000-year-old iceberg.


Jesus' distinctive message was: People are sinful and need to be redeemed, and this is your lucky day because I'm here to redeem you even though you don't deserve it, and I have to get the crap kicked out of me to do it. That is the reason He is called "Christ the Redeemer" rather than "Christ the Moron Driving Around in a Volvo With a 'Be Nice to People' Bumper Sticker on It.""

Lay down the law

"Dear Steven, You are correct. How could anyone who regularly backs a politician who votes pro-choice all the time, how could that voter be excused from objective sin? Ignorance is the only "out" for them. Most such Catholics think this or that politician has effected much good and so they vote. Many have no idea that he is pro-abortion, or they think this issue is dead-in-the water already. In other words, God might be indulgent with them because of their ignorance. But then is this ignorance imputable for them? Is it vincible or invincible? All these elements enter the picture of the seriousness of the vote. I agree with you that any penitent who votes for pro-abortion politicians sins. The degree of the malice must be determined with other motives. I also agree that Catholics are in never-never land of fantasy on this question since so many of them never consider voting a moral act. They are objectively guilty of the slaugter of 4400 babies every day. God bless. Fr. Bob Levis"

Just realized . . .

Why I've been upsetting certain friends of mine w/ the profusion of Hebrew stuff floating around my life. It's the same reason that I'm upset to use it. Or put more plainly, it's the same reason I have a tendency to start cursing when I walk inside an Anglican church. Heresy. The Hebrew stuff brings to mind heresy.

Working theory.

Gospel thoughts

"To borrow an illustration from classical literature, the 'Memoirs' of the Apostles are treated [by unbelievers] by a method which no critic would apply to the 'Memoirs' of Xenophon. The [Rationalistic] scholar admits the truthfulness of the different pictures of Socrates which were drawn by the philosopher, the moralist, and the man of the world, and combines them into one figure instinct with a noble life, half hidden and half revealed, as men viewed it from different points; but he seems often to forget his art when he studies the records of the Saviour s work. Hence it is that superficial differences are detached from the context which explains them. It is urged as an objection that parallel narratives are not identical. Variety of details is taken for discrepancy. The evidence may be wanting which might harmonize narratives apparently discordant; but experience shows that it is as rash to deny the probability of reconciliation as it is to fix the exact method by which it may be made out. If, as a general rule, we can follow the law which regulates the characteristic peculiarities of each Evangelist, and see in what way they answer to different aspects of one truth, and combine as complementary elements in the full representation of it, we may be well contented to acquiesce in the existence of some difficulties which at present admit of no exact solution, though they may be a necessary consequence of that independence of the Gospels which, in other cases, is the source of their united power".

Good advice

Zenit headline: "Catholic-Muslim Panel Advises Against Generalizations"

I hope it was like a panel of teachers from Catholic and Muslim countries or something.

What is a civil right? Whatever people yell about?

"'An act as unremarkable as getting a wedding license has been transformed by the people embracing it,' Rich wrote, 'much as the unremarkable act of sitting at a Formica lunch counter was transformed by an act of civil disobedience at a Woolworth's in North Carolina 44 years ago this month.' Nearby, the Times ran a photograph of a smiling lesbian couple in matching wedding veils � and an even larger photograph of a 1960 lunch counter sit-in.

Rich's essay - 'The Joy of Gay Marriage' - went on to cast the supporters of traditional marriage as hateful zealots. They are 'eager to foment the bloodiest culture war possible,' he charged. 'They are gladly donning the roles played by Lester Maddox and George Wallace in the civil rights era.'

But it is the marriage radicals like Rich and Newsom who are doing their best to inflame a culture war. And as is so often the case in wartime, truth � in this case, historical truth - has been an early casualty.

For contrary to what Rich seems to believe, when Ezell Blair Jr., David Richmond, Joseph McNeil, and Franklin McCain approached the lunch counter of the Elm Street Woolworth's in Greensboro, N.C. on Feb. 1, 1960, all they were looking for was something to eat. The four North Carolina Agricultural & Technical College students only wanted what any white customer might want, and on precisely the same terms � the same food at the same counter at the same price.

Those first four sit-in strikers, like the thousands of others who would emulate them at lunch counters across the South, weren't demanding that Woolworth's prepare or serve their food in ways it had never been prepared or served before. They weren't trying to do something that had never been lawful in any state of the union. They werenen't bent on forcing a revolutionary change upon a timeless social institution.

All they were seeking was what should already have been theirs under the law of the land. The 14th Amendment — approved by Congress and ratified by three-fourths of the states in 1868 — had declared that blacks no less than whites were entitled to equal protection of the law. The Civil Rights Act of 1875 — passed by a Democratic House and a Republican Senate and signed into law by President Grant — had barred discrimination in public accommodations.

But the Supreme Court had gutted those protections with shameful decisions in 1883 and 1896. The court's betrayal of black Americans was the reason why, more than six decades later, segregation still polluted so much of the nation. To restore the 14th Amendment to its original purpose, to re-create the Civil Rights Act, to return to black citizens the equality that had been stolen from them — that was the great cause of civil rights."

Ah yes, Supreme Court, supreme law of the land with which it is forbidden for any politician to argue lest he be branded as an anti-choice fanatic, upholder of slavery, destroyer of civil rights. Why do people think this time will be anything different?

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