Monday, May 31, 2004

Preach the gospel. Use words sometimes.

During the month of June, John Paul II will pray that baptize persons be missionaries of the love of God to every one they meet.

This is illustrated in the general intention of the Apostleship of Prayer, an intention shared by the Pope and thousands of faithful.

The intention reads: "That all Christians may be constantly more aware of their personal and community responsibility to bear witness to God's love for humanity and for every man and woman."

A commentary by the Apostleship of Prayer said: "Through the real care for our brothers and sisters, Christianity breathes forth all its liberating and salvific power. Charity represents the most eloquent form of evangelization because, answering to material needs, it reveals to people the love of God for every person."

The Pope also offers his prayers for a missionary intention, which in June will be "That religious freedom -- a fundamental right of mankind -- may meet with ever growing respect in Asian countries."

A commentary on this intention by Archbishop Oswald Gracias of Agra, India, published by the Vatican agency Fides, reminds the faithful that "human rights cannot be said to be fully protected unless there is true religious freedom."

Evil condoms!

Nothing more satisfying then when the WHO confirms that your religious right extremist views are the most effective at preventing widespread death and destruction. Usually it's the other way around.

The Catholic Church has played a major role in containing the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa. Without its message of sexual abstinence before marriage and fidelity in marriage, the epidemic would arguably have been worse, not only among believers but among the general population.

But the Church no longer stands alone. Its position — that abstinence and fidelity are key to stopping the spread of the epidemic — is now beginning to receive support from a wide variety of sources. The World Health Organization (WHO) is now promoting what it calls “partner reduction” and “long-term monogamous relationships.” (Faithfulness and marriage, for you ordinary folks, words that apparently still make WHO’s sexperts choke.)


Even on the issue of condoms, where the Church has taken such a beating, the tide is now turning. The reason for this is the overwhelming evidence of condom failure. Not one country that relied upon condoms to check the pandemic has successfully reduced the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate. Not one.

Instead, those countries with the highest condom availability rate also have the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate. After 20 years of throwing condoms at the problem — and millions of deaths — it’s past time to try another approach.

You know you took too much stat when . . .

You get excited when you see SPSS for $80. Ugh.

For those who think Roe v. Wade had something to do with the Constitution

In an oral history given to one of his former clerks in the summer of 1995, Blackmun began revealing his true motives behind Roe V. Wade. In one telling sentence he says, "I think it (Roe) was right in 1973, I think it is right today. It's a step that had to be taken as we go down the road toward the full emancipation of women."

He then added, quoting Ambassador Sol Linowitz, "Do you want to be just another Supreme Court justice and be there for ten or fifteen years, write a few opinions and be forgotten, or do you want to be remembered?"

This was the first hint that Blackmun began with the idea that abortion had to become legal, and that he would play an important role in bringing that about. What the Blackmun papers show is that the highly controversial finding of Roe v. Wade was not the product of unbiased legal reasoning, but one man's crusade to make abortion abundantly available in the U.S.

Mmm, judges appointed for life to be "impartial". I'll believe it when I see it.

Crucial distinctions

Yet according to some critics, recent statements by bishops aimed at dissenting Catholic politicians breach the “wall of separation of church and state.” This is sheer nonsense. Set aside the question of whether such a separation of church and state was envisioned by the Founding Fathers. It’s an infringement on the free exercise of religion to insist that Catholic pastors — or any other kind of pastors — must accept as full participants in their church politicians, or their supporters, who act contrary to the church’s central beliefs. So much for civil law. Does denying Holy Communion to pro-abortion, pro-euthanasia, or pro-same-sex marriage Catholic politicians violate Church law? Not according to the Vatican’s Cardinal Francis Arinze, who heads the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments. At an April 2004 press conference to present a new document on the Sacred Liturgy Cardinal Arinze said pro-abortion politicians shouldn’t try to receive the Eucharist and priests ought not to give it to them. Cardinal Arinze’s position is no innovation. According to the Code of Canon Law, “Those who…obstinately persist in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion” (CIC 915).


Still, some Catholics object. One priest sermonized that since Jesus didn’t deny Judas the Eucharist at the Last Supper, bishops and priests have no business denying the Eucharist to Catholics, not even to obstinately persistent committers of manifest grave sin. The priest’s objection ignores a crucial distinction between what Jesus did at the Last Supper, when He alone knew of Judas’ sin, and what a pastor does in giving the Eucharist to one who obstinately persists in manifest grave sin. It’s one thing for a pastor to allow someone to receive the Eucharist whom the pastor alone suspects of unrepentant grave sin. It’s another thing for a pastor to do so when everyone in the congregation knows the man to be unrepentant. In the former case, the recipient of the Eucharist brings judgment upon himself, as Paul notes in 1 Corinthians 11:27-29. In the latter case, both the recipient and the minister of the Eucharist risk leading others to sin.

Catholic Answers on Orthodoxy

Can you say "ouch" and "good point"
One of the reasons the Eastern Orthodox do not claim to have had any ecumenical councils since II Nicaea is that they have been unable to agree on which councils are ecumenical. In Orthodox circles, the test for whether a council is ecumenical is whether it is "accepted by the church" as such. But that test is unworkable: Any disputants who are unhappy with a council’s result can point to their own disagreement with it as evidence that the church has not accepted it as ecumenical, and it therefore has no authority.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

References to God in state constitutions

Every state has one. I guess they're all unconstitutional! Overthrow all the state governments!

Yeah maybe not.

Papabile . . . sorta

Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774- 1824), a German mystic and stigmatist, has enjoyed a renewed popular appeal during the past year because her visions served as the basis for Mel Gibson's movie, The Passion of the Christ. A nun who was confined to her bed by illness for years, she recorded at length her visions of the Passion. She also received many visitors at her bedside during the last years of her life, providing spiritual counsel and developing a wide reputation for sanctity. On July 7, Pope John Paul II (bio - news) approved the decree authorizing her beatification. The ceremony will on October 3-- which is already a day of celebration in Germany because it is the 14th anniversary of country's reunification.

Keep in mind no one really knows if the book w/ her name on it was written by her and the Vatican thinks it's been shuffled significantly. Aside from that however a very holy woman rolling towards sainthood. Nice.

Amazon review of Tom Lehrer, author of the Vatican Rag

n the wake of the '80s comedy boom that made casual obscenity and bodily functions safe for TV, a listen to these '50s classics from a piano-playing Harvard grad student with a thin singing voice sounds tame if not quaint. Yet Lehrer's first two self-produced albums, among the first generation of comedy LPs, remain beloved gems of musical parody, and noteworthy for their original success in an era when their topics were strictly taboo for broadcast media. He kids cold war paranoia ("We Will All Go Together When We Go"), sends up then-hip folk revivalists with a cheerful murder ballad ("The Irish Ballad"), and gets laughs out of incest ("Oedipus Rex"), drugs ("The Old Dope Peddler"), and racism ("I Wanna Go Back to Dixie"). Closer to Gilbert & Sullivan (whom he in fact raids for one melody) than Def Comedy Jams, Lehrer can still raise a modern frisson when he plays necrophilia as romance ("I hold your hand in mine dear, I press it to my lips/ I take a healthy bite from your dainty fingertips..."). --Sam Sutherland

Felix dies nati!

Happy Birthday Church! Today you are 1974 years old and looking pretty good for your age. Though there have been lots of bad people, they are getting assinated by elite SquachCommandos and things are looking up for the 2000th anniversary of your marriage to Christ coming up quite soon. You're also catching up in age to Jimi Hendrix, but you'll never be as old as St. Peter who was around when you were born.

Time to pop the champaign. Here's your song, the Vatican Rag! (Stolen from 4d, click for music)
Another big news story of year concerned the ecumenical council in Rome, known as Vatican II. Among the things they did in an attempt to make the church more commercial was to introduce the vernacular into portions of the mass, to replace Latin, and to widen somewhat the range of music permissible in the liturgy, but I feel that if they really want to sell the product, in this secular age, what they ought to do is to redo some of the liturgical music in popular song forms. I have a modest example here. It's called The Vatican Rag.

First you get down on your knees,
Fiddle with your rosaries,
Bow your head with great respect,
And genuflect, genuflect, genuflect!
Do whatever steps you want, if
You have cleared them with the Pontiff.
Everybody say his
own Kyrie eleison,
Doin' the Vatican Rag.

Get in line in that processional,
Step into that small confessional,
There’s, the guy who's got religional
Tell you if your sin's original.
If it is, try playin' it safer,
Drink the wine and chew the wafer,
Two, four, six, eight,
Time to transubstantiate!

So get down upon your knees,
Fiddle with your rosaries,
Bow your head with great respect,
And genuflect, genuflect, genuflect!
Make a cross on your abdomen,
When in Rome do like a Roman,
Ave Maria,
Gee it's good to see ya,
Gettin' ecstatic an'
Sort of dramatic an'
Doin' the Vatican Rag!

Saturday, May 29, 2004

How many did you say?

Homosexuals pushing for gay marriage have appealed to the sympathies of America by claiming that same-sex couples are being denied 1,049 rights that the federal government grants married couples.

The figure comes from a recent Government Accounting Office (GAO) report, according to Warren Redman-Gress, with the Alliance for Full Acceptance.

"Most people refer to it as benefits, rights, responsibilities," Redman-Gress said. "It's not someone just coming up with a list. This is actually provided by the U.S. government."

But the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy (IMAPP) accuses gay activist groups like the Alliance for Full Acceptance of skewing the number to mislead the public.

"What the report actually says is there are 1,049 mentions of the word 'marriage' in the federal statutes," said Maggie Gallagher, IMAPP president. "And not all of them can be construed as rights.

Many of the references actually confer disadvantages to married couples, and some are simply irrelevant.

"Dozens of these statutes apply to hardly anyone -- and sometimes to no one at all," Gallagher explained. "(For instance), there are provisions in the federal statutes for Spanish War widows."

That's the Spanish-American War, by the way, which ended in 1898.

Seperation of Church and Church leadership guaranteed in the Constitutoin?

Or, is it legal in the US to have a religous organization with rules for membership? Or is that a violation of some Constitutional right to call yourself whatever you want?

Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State sent a letter to the IRS today asking the agency to investigate what he terms “electioneering” by the Diocese of Colorado Springs. Referring to Bishop Michael Sheridan’s recent pastoral letter about politicians receiving Communion, Lynn accuses the letter of using “code language that says ‘Re-elect Bush and vote Republican.’” Lynn also alleges Bishop Sheridan’s actions are “part of a larger trend among some members of the Catholic hierarchy to influence Catholic voters in this election year,” citing the bishops of New Jersey and Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis.

Catholic League president William Donohue responded today:

“It is disingenuous of Lynn to accuse Bishop Sheridan of ‘religious blackmail to steer votes toward the GOP.’ Sheridan never mentions any candidate or political party in his letter. He makes his judgment based on moral issues, on which members of both political parties can come up short. As Sheridan wrote, ‘The Church never directs citizens to vote for any specific candidate. The Church does, however, have the right and the obligation to teach clearly and fully the objective truth about the dignity and rights of the human person.’ Lynn conveniently omits this part of the pastoral letter.

“Lynn joins a growing group of those who cry ‘separation of church and state’ when Catholic bishops venture to speak on public issues. It is hard to take these critics seriously when, with very few exceptions, they wink at campaigning and even political endorsements of candidates by name in some Protestant churches.

“Lynn’s remark that Bishop Sheridan’s actions are part of a ‘larger trend’ among some in the Catholic hierarchy is an attempt to intimidate the bishops into silence. And he has shown he is not averse to using the power of the state—the IRS—to do so. So much for separation of church and state.”

Did Law get off easy?

A lot of people have been saying that Cardinal Law is getting coddled by a Vatican bueracracy who's in favor of paedophilia or something like that. But consider this.

On Thursday I received a phone call from a reporter from a secular newspaper-- a fellow who calls me now and then, looking for help in interpreting the latest Vatican moves.

This time, he was asking me to explain the appointment of Cardinal Bernard Law, formerly of Boston, as archpriest of a major Roman basilica. How, he wanted to know, could the Vatican give such a "high-profile" assignment to a prelate who had resigned amidst a scandal?

A "high-profile" assignment? I asked my friend to explain what he meant by that phrase. And then, to clinch the argument, I asked him to name the man whom Cardinal Law will replace. He couldn't, of course.

Do you ever know where to look?

Thanks to Phil Lawlor of CWNews for that one.

Cheap and efficient

Isn't it great we have so many easy ways to kill people?

In August 2002, CMA joined Concerned Women for America and the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists in submitting a 90-page petition to the FDA. The paper showed evidence why the drug was not safe and why it was approved during the Clinton administration in a rushed, politically motivated process.

Since the petition, Holly Patterson, a California teenager, died after an infection brought on by use of the abortion drug she obtained at a Planned Parenthood abortion business.

Patterson's parents have called on Congress and the FDA to reevaluate the safety of the drug to prevent the death of other women.

Earlier this week, representatives of the abortion industry claimed the petition "lacks any scientific basis and must be denied."

. . .

Members of Congress have also questioned the safety of the abortion drug, and legislation is currently under consideration to ban sales of it pending review.
House Bill 3453, which currently has 85 co-sponsors and was referred to the Subcommittee on Health in November of 2003, states that "the drug mifepristone (marketed as Mifeprex, and commonly known as RU-486) in conjunction with the off-label use of misoprostol to chemically induce abortion has caused a significant number of deaths, near deaths, and adverse reactions."

Patterson died in September from septic shock and a massive systemic infection as a result of a botched RU-486 abortion that left part of the developing baby inside her.

After Patterson began experiencing severe pain and bleeding from the abortion, she went to ValleyCare Medical Center for treatment. Doctors there gave her painkillers and sent her home. She came back the next day with no improvement in her condition. It was only then that officials contacted her father and he learned she was pregnant and had been taking drugs to produce an abortion.

"They told her it was safe and it killed her," Monty Patterson, her father, said. "I felt so helpless...I didn't have a chance to be involved."
Safe, cheap, and legal.


Give the best title for this picture and you win a prize.

Friday, May 28, 2004

India gets fabs

It's a big step up for India, which is probably a good thing. But I'm worried that in a few years the only people able to make computers in the US will be IBM, which is almost where we are now. That makes us a lot more vulnerable than any oil dependency could ever.

Walk for Everyone's Lives

This weekend, twelve college students begin a 1300-mile trek from Maine to D.C. on behalf of American Life League's Crusade for the Defense of Our Catholic Church. They'll be walking through the northeastern states, sacrificing most of their summer break to help spread the message that you can't be Catholic and pro-abortion. Learn more about the walk and the walkers at

Hell hath no fury like killers of chldren

I'm glad to see the demons were out in force for the march.

It is now the two week anniversary of "The Womens March for Life" and I can tell you it has been a great two weeks. Demons love irony and the irony of this event was delicious. Thousands of women marching to celebrate the death of at least 22 million women in abortion is just demonic, and that is a good thing. I so enjoy seeing husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends marching together to keep the right to kill their own progeny. I haven't seen such displays of the promotion of promiscuous sex since the days of the pagans. Sex and bodies are now worshiped more than ever. I've seen your advertising, TV, and movies and humans are now better at idol making then they ever have been. How is that for progress? Wealth, materialism and sex without restrictions are the keystones of a good Molochian culture. I also enjoyed that there was so much anger and hatred displayed at the march. Signs promoting that Barbara Bush should have aborted little George. Angry signs against the Catholic church like "Keep your rosaries off our ovaries." There were even wannabe Satanists at the march.

These photos give an example of what went on there.

Though there were some disappointments. They had some of what they call anti-choicers there. Some were supporting the man who shot an abortion doctor. Unfortunately not many of them were there. I always hope that I can spoil pro-life groups by encouraging hatred towards abortion supporters. If I can get you to hate, I have a way in. Corruption of this sort is a demons favorite activity. Yet for the most part those pro-lifers only stood there while they taunted, swore at, and spit on They didn't attack back which I found to be disheartening. Maybe one day I can get them to have a fervent hate for abortion supporters.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Germany's greatest export

I have to say, I thought that they could stay there and make fine automobiles. But it turns out that the youth have other plans:
One antivirus company, Panda Software, suggested the timing of the attack may indicate an "organized group of delinquents" is creating Sasser, since the company's detection of the latest infection came after the arrest of the 18-year-old in Germany.
We're truly moving up in the world.

Faith and/or Works?

One of the best exchanges I've seen in a while. The Catholics win, of course :-). This never seemed like a particularly big issue to me, actually. I read the Bible and it took the Catholic position, so I never understood how you could get from sola scriptura to sola fide without saying faith really includes works, which is just saying you still need faith and works but you'll call it faith to go w/ Luther. Of course I don't do nuances when it comes to these things so I've probably missed something.

The New York Times > Magazine > The Way We Live Now: Who Invented Lolita?

In the earlier work, as in the later, a first-person male narrator describes an obsession with a young girl named Lolita that entails long travels and ends in death. Maar finds the coincidence of plot, narrative and name ''striking.'' He does not accuse Nabokov of plagiarism, since ''he was a genius on his own.'' (As some are too rich to steal, apparently, others are too smart to crib.) Maar prefers the word ''cryptomnesia,'' a process by which things are learned, forgotten and then mistaken for original inspirations when recalled. Since Nabokov lived in Berlin from 1922 to 1937, Maar asks, could he have been under the ''stimulus'' of von Lichberg's story? If so, what does that tell us about one of the last half-century's most famous -- and notorious -- works of fiction?

Now that's fascinating. I wrote an essay on Lolita and C+P actually that I got a good grade on, should post it for the edification of those who are interested in.

The Syllabus of Errors in the manner of Rerum Novarum

Always one of my favorite documents ;-). It's a good look for those who want to understand what the Church teaches is a no-no and how that plays in light of VCII.

What shape was it?

Historians of science have been proving this point for at least 70 years (most recently Edward Grant, David Lindberg, Daniel Woodward, and Robert S. Westman), without making notable headway against the error. Schoolchildren in the US, Europe, and Japan are for the most part being taught the same old nonsense. How and why did this nonsense emerge?

In my research, I looked to see how old the idea was that medieval Christians believed the earth was flat. I obviously did not find it among medieval Christians. Nor among anti-Catholic Protestant reformers. Nor in Copernicus or Galileo or their followers, who had to demonstrate the superiority of a heliocentric system, but not of a spherical earth. I was sure I would find it among the eighteenth-century philosophes, among all their vitriolic sneers at Christianity, but not a word. I am still amazed at where it first appears.

No one before the 1830s believed that medieval people thought that the earth was flat.

All you need to do is create the impression of something without any actual facts for victory.

Random question

What happened to all that oil we were supposed to get from Iraq? What a rip . . . I can't wait until we get those wind plants up and running on Long Island.

Communion blues

Why should a priest refuse communion to a congregant who approaches him wearing a rainbow sash?

Jewish men are required to cover their heads on entering a synagogue. Consider the case of a man who tries to enter a synagogue on the feast of Simhat Torah wearing a Nazi stahlhelm. Most of us would think the elders justified in refusing him entrance. Why? Because bending steel in a particular way impedes worship of God? No, because the elders understand the stahlhelm precisely as it is meant to be understood by its wearer, as an expression of contempt for Jews and Judaism. The key point is the mutually recognized intention in the wearing of a Nazi icon.

Prof. Michael Levin writes: "Just as reference is secured by a mutually recognized intention to refer ... so an insult is a word or a gesture used with the intention of causing affront through the recognition of that intention."

Would the situation change if the person wearing the Nazi helmet were himself Jewish? Only to the extent that one would acknowledge more complex psychological motivations behind the intention to express contempt. We can imagine a 17-year-old Jewish boy who showed up on Simhat Torah in a Nazi helmet, and most of us would intuitively recognize that there must be some deep-seated anger (directed at a parent, perhaps) at the bottom of the desire to wound, and consequently we might interpret the action as the product of pain and confusion rather than of true hatred. But the desire to wound is there for all that, and must be recognized. To allow the boy to attend services wearing the helmet would be grotesquely irresponsible indulgence.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

HRE defends Thomas

This one's for you, Jess.

The reason you will do this is that your *current* political necessities demand it. If the Church is right that all humans desire happiness that makes it... problematic... if you wish to cast your side as the Good Guys in a Manichaean struggle against Wholly Alien Creatures who mysteriously desire pure evil for its own sake. You will be resistant to the notion that the people you are fighting are humans, like us, who, like us, desire happiness, but in profoundly disordered ways which lead them to do evil. You will tend to dislike the Church's view as a "bleeding heart", "optimistic", "blind to original sin" view which does not go far enough in making the Evil Ones out to be as Fully Evil as they are. It "humanizes" them, makes them "sympathetic". It's "soft".

Better, then, to shout down the teaching of Holy Church as "idiotic nonsense" and "the worst, most banal, self-congratulatory tripe I have read outside UN declarations in my life". And if St. Thomas basically supports the Council's teaching that a) nothing God makes is intrinsically evil and b) human beings are incapable of not desiring happiness (which is the basis for the Church's *hope* (not "optimism") that there is a good, though badly fallen, human being there upon which grace may still build), well then, let's shout down Thomas too. All that medieval twaddle is "useless technicalism" and "ledgerdemain". These people for whom the Church hold out the hope of redemption are Bad Guys in whom the imago Dei has been completely and utterly destroyed, all the goodness of nature has completely vanished, and no toehold of goodnes of *any kind* remains for grace to build on. Never mind that this would imply that Christ did not and could not have died for them. The Church's "idiotic" expressions of redemptive hope get in the way of demonizing our enemies and so the Church must be ridiculed, not learned from.

When will the Magisterium learn that it is there to confirm us in our prejudices and a priori assumptions, not to make us think?

He who sings well prays twice

Such, then, is the character of the Book of Psalms, and such the uses to which it may be put, some of its number serving for the correction of individual souls, and many of them, as I said just now, foretelling the coming in human form of our Saviour Jesus Christ. But we must not omit to explain the reason why words of this kind should be not merely said, but rendered with melody and song; for there are actually some simple folk among us who, though they believe the words to be inspired, yet think the reason for singing them is just to make them more pleasing to the ear! This is by no means so; Holy Scripture is not designed to tickle the aesthetic palate, and it is rather for the soul's own profit that the Psalms are sung. This is so chiefly for two reasons. In the first place, it is fitting that the sacred writings should praise God in poetry as well as prose, because the freer, less restricted form of verse, in which the Psalms, together with the Canticles and Odes, [the hymns of Exodus 15: 1-18, Deuteronomy 32:1-43, and Habacuc 3] are cast, ensures that by them men should express their love to God with all the strength and power they possess. And, secondly, the reason lies in the unifying effect which chanting the Psalms has upon the singer. For to sing the Psalms demands such concentration of a man's whole being on them that, in doing it, his usual disharmony of mind and corresponding bodily confusion is resolved, just as the notes of several flutes are brought by harmony to one effect; and he is thus no longer to be found thinking good and doing evil, as Pilate did when, though saying I find no crime in Him, he yet allowed the Jews to have their way; nor desiring evil though unable to achieve it, as did the elders in their sin against Susanna - or, for that matter, as does any man who abstains from one sin and yet desires another every bit as bad. And it is in order that the melody may thus express our inner spiritual harmony, just as the words voice our thoughts, that the Lord Himself has ordained that the Psalms be sung and recited to a chant.

Very Positive People

The World Youth Alliance just got ECOSOC status at the UN (thanks to for the update), which means they can go badger the UN now and keep the abortion lobby in line. Good stuff!

You should all join them if you're a "young person" like myself and attend a training session. It's a good overview of the chaos going on at the UN and how people can help out, as well as a good overview of how international law works in general.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Cultural Context?

The newly-released personnel file of Davenport priest James Janssen has been studied by the Des Moines Register and organized into a timeline of successive revelations, admonishments, and reassignments that almost defies belief. Father Robert Silva warns us that the "bishops' actions should be placed in the cultural context of the United States at the time," and insists "The trauma caused by child sexual abuse was not known," but this is blowing smoke. In terms of protecting children, everything that was necessary to know about Janssens was known when Leviticus was written.

One of the ironies of the story is that, in the course of Janssens's priestly career, both the YMCA and the Boy Scouts banned him because of his misbehavior with youth. Why did they -- who were part of the same "cultural context" that Silva mentions -- manage to exhibit concern for children that the Diocese did not?

It's both sad and touching to learn how many people -- parishioners, therapists, brother priests and seminary staff -- clearly saw Janssen as a disturbed man and urged that he be defrocked and given help. The Church had a large reservoir of good will to work with. And then that eerie vacuum at the center ...

Yeah, the bishops are weak and oversexualized because everyone is. But that's not really an excuse.

New Church music comes out

Get in line in that processional,
Step into that small confessional.
There the guy who's got religion'll
Tell you if your sin's original.
If it is, try playin' it safer,
Drink the wine and chew the wafer,
Two, four, six, eight,
Time to transubstantiate!

LOL. Thanks to JZF for the link.

Shavout starts tonight

That means, of coure, a birthday is coming up very soon.

After 3,316 years, a portion of the Jewish people still regard those vows as sacrosanct. Jews who live in the modern world of computers and cell phones and transatlantic flight and cyberspace still define their relationship with the Divine according to its original terms. They find nothing outdated, nothing unfashionable, nothing anachronistic in the generations-old dictates of those original "Ten Statements." Just the opposite, the vows their ancestors swore and the ethereal marriage those vows protect provide a safe harbor for the modern Jew against the ceaseless winds of social fad and the relentless tide of moral anarchy.

Tragically, there are other Jews who have either abandoned or reinterpreted the original vows of Sinai, who discard the moral clarity of their own eternal heritage in favor of the conventional wisdom of a society that defines exhibitionism as entertainment, pornography as art, and partial-birth abortion as the "right to choose." For them, marriage means no more than a contract of mutual gratification, to be brokered or broken at the whim of either partner. Their vision of relationship is blurred by their investment in an amoral culture where everything must be accepted and no judgments are allowed.

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OOC AHC Hebrew

Since the letters are in
Hebrew, what we write here is a transliteration thus the difference in
spelling. There's no official spelling for it in English. It comes from
the root HLCH in Hebrew, which is a walk. (Halachti, I walked. Halach, he
walked. Holech, he is walking. Mehalech, he is a walker. Yochanan
hamehalech: Johnny Walker...;o))
-- Ariela

French politician calls for return to 19th century politics that lead to bloodiest century in history but with nuclear arms instead of horses

There is, however, another serious imbalance for which we are in part responsible, namely the imbalance of forces. I have no hesitation in saying that we must consider giving the Arab side a large enough force, including a large enough nuclear force, to persuade Israel that it cannot simply do whatever it wants. That is the policy my country (DF: i.e. France) pursued in the 1970s when it gave Iraq a nuclear force. We have now destroyed it. So we will carry on with our policy of imbalance and what is happening today is merely the annoying but inevitable result of our collective blindness and cowardice. -- LGF

Right, you need more nuclear bombs in the hands of military dictators to make the world a safer place. The logic is impeccable. Besides, does he really think the Pakis woulnd't lob a few nukes towards Israel if they got bored?

British AND smart

Every feminist I have ever met, does consider women (wo what?) to be inferior - The feminists try to expouse the glories of the female (fe what?) gender by, well, showing how masculine it can be if it really tries. Well whoopy doo, the fact that a women can act like a man doesnt make her any more equal, the very implication that a woman needs to act like a man to be equal (which is a doctrine promoted mainly by feminists) can lead only to the conclusion that for a woman to be like a woman is to be less than equal.

It's "look, were equal, we can be just like you" when it should be "look, were equal, but different, in our own glorious and equally fantastic way". We're all men you ninnies, just some of you are a different kind of man.

It's like CS Lewis says, butter never claims to taste like margarine, you wont be buying "I cant believe its not margarine" anytime soon. The feminists constant yapping about how like men they are only serves to show that at the end of the day, they consider whatever quality of spread they actually are to be inferior.

It's like I said. You can only argue that abortion is good for women if you argue that women are defective and need to be like men.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Il Papa!

In a message address to Grand Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni, the Holy Father expressed regrets that he could not personally attend the May 23 ceremony. (Earlier in the year, there had been heavy speculation that the Pontiff would make a personal appearance.) Two ranking prelates represented the Church in his stead: Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the vicar for Rome, and Cardinal Walter Kasper (bio - news), the president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity and the head of a Vatican commission for relations with Jews.

The Pope said that his visit to the synagogue, on April 13, 1986, "remains instilled in my memory and in my heart." He sent special greetings to the former Grand Rabbi Elio Toaff, who had welcomed him there. The papal message opened and closed with prayers in Hebrew.

Now that's my kind of Pope.

Just testing

The new interface in the new Opera. Exciting

Too much time on my hands

Don't you think it's funny that both miserable failure and great president google to Bush?

A new poll of South Dakota residents shows that a majority favor making it illegal or restricting it to very limited circumstances. The poll also reveals that women are just as likely to take a pro-life stance opposing all or virtually all abortions than men.

Residents of the Western state were asked whether abortion should be legal, illegal or limited to the rare situations of rape, incest and to save the life of the mother.

Some 63 percent of those poll took a pro-life position saying that abortion ought to be illegal (25%) or only allowed in the limited cases, meaning the respondent favors making more than 95 percent of all abortions illegal.

Kate Looby of Planned Parenthood of South Dakota-Minnesota, told KELO-TV, the poll sponsor, "An overwhelming majority of people in South Dakota support access to safe and legal abortions."

However, the poll doesn't confirm Looby's view.

Only 34 percent of South Dakotans said abortion "should be legal and the decision to have an abortion should be made by the woman without government interference."

Contrary to claims by abortion advocates that women back legal abortion, women were more likely than men say it should be illegal and just as likely to say abortion ought to be either illegal or restricted to very rare cases.

More women than said abortion should be illegal (28 percent to 22 percent) and about the same percentage said abortion should be illegal or limited to the rare circumstances (62 percent for women and 64 percent for men).

KELO-TV in Sioux Falls released the poll results of 800 people on Monday. It has a margin of error of 3.5 percent.

I love how the overwhelming majority is 34%.

Just fixed RSS

I'm impressed it hasn't worked since Feburary.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Constitution and Abortion, RN style

For (i) the Declaration of Independence affirms the right to life which is anathema to a so-called "right" to abortion and (ii) the Framers to a man held that abortion was murder. Therefore, (iii) to claim that the Framers would enshrine a so-called "right" which flies in the face of what they held as true makes a mockery of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

I can predict the usual shibboleths of the abortion rhetoric about women and minorities and voting. However, those dogs do not hunt because (i) the Framers did not see these as possessing the required capacity for intelligent voting and (ii) the Framers did not explicitly forbid them in the Constitution of such -though with the slaves it was tacitly noted in Article One Section Two when apportioning in accordance with the census numbers.

However, (iii) the Constitution on these points was amended later on -with the ambiguity on these matters being clarified by Constitutional amendments.

In short, the attempt to opine for abortion in light of the previous situations with slaves and women is a facile one that cannot withstand logical scrutiny.


Pro-lifers should never use the word "abortion." It's too soft a word. To
begin with, it's the wrong terminology. The definition of abortion is the
expulsion of an embryo or fetus before it is viable outside of the womb.
In the wholesale killing of unborn children that are done today, the fetus
IS viable inside the womb. It has to be killed first. This is called a
surgical, or induced abortion. Plain abortions, which are spontaneous
abortions, are nature's way to expel a non- viable unborn child.

Before the Roe-Wade decision 31 years ago, if a woman lost her unborn
child without a surgical intervention, the doctor referred to this as an
abortion and the lay person used the term miscarriage. Now somewhere
along the line the PCKU (pro-choice to kill the unborn) has taken
liberties with semantics and uses the word abortion in place of surgical
or induced abortion.


Alan Guttmacher, 1933

We of today know that man is born of sexual union; that he starts life as an embryo within the body of the female; and that the embryo is formed from the rusion of two single cells, the ovum and the sperm. This all seems so simple and evident to us that it is dificult to picutre a time when it was not part of common knowledge.

Planned Parenthood, 1963:

Q: Is an abortion birth control?

A:Definitely not. An abortion kills the life of a baby after it has begun

I don't even need to say anything. I can just quote themselves against themselves.


Apparently the old bat was in the right direction and we really did have a bunch of Commies in the government. Too bad he was an ass about it.

Democrats in U.S. Congress Assail Denial of Holy Communion

It seems to me people have it all backwards. This is church and state. But. This isn't the Church telling politicians what to do. This is politicians telling the Church what to do. "You can't say Catholics have to believe that, it's counterproductive". Well, the Church can, and you don't have to be a member if it matters that little to you. We, as Catholics, have beliefs. If you don't share those beliefs, you can't do Catholic things.

Stop using the Body of Christ as a photo-op to get the Catholic vote.


Arriving in Fátima the pilgrims made their way to the Chapel of the Apparitions, where from the altar a Hindu priest led prayer sessions. A commentary on the service was given by the TV reporter who explained: “This is an unprecedented unique moment in the history of the shrine. The Hindu priest, or Sha Tri, prays on the altar the Shaniti Pa, the prayer for peace.” The Hindus can be seen removing their shoes before approaching the altar rail of the chapel as the priest chants prayers from the altar’s sanctuary.

During the newscast the Rector of the shrine Father Luciano Guerra says: These meetings give us the opportunity to remind ourselves that we live in community”.

After worshipping their gods and praying in the chapel the Hindus are shown being escorted to an exhibition hall where a model of the controversial new basilica currently being constructed is on display. In a setting described as ambassadorial by the commentator, each Hindu is personally greeted by the Bishop of Leiria - Fátima, who bows to the Hindu priest repeating his gesture of greeting. The Hindu priest is then seen clothing the Rector of the Fátima Shrine and the bishop with a Hindu priestly shawl. “On the shoulders of the highest representatives of the Church in Fátima, the Hindu priest places a shawl with the inscriptions of the Bagavad Gita, one of the sacred books of Hinduism,” the reporter tells his viewers.

Hindus worshipping at Fatima. Give me a plane ticket and a baseball bat and I'll clear out the shrine and the see of Fatima at the same time.

More about Law and Spirit

Written by a nun. I really think I should agree with all her conclusions, but something inside of me is a little suspicious.

Kosher and Me, AHC style

Date: Fri, 21 May 2004 18:27:02 EDT
Subject: Re: To eat or not to eat--check out this extensive answer. Wow.

Dear All,
Acts 15: 10-11 gives St. Peter's decisive speech at the Council of
Jerusalem: Why, then, are you now putting God to the test by placing on
the shoulders of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we
have been able to bear? On the contrary, we believe that we are saved
through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they." Peter is
here being very 'Pauline.' Jewish as well as Gentile disciples are saved
through the grace of Christ, not by Law. Those Messianic Jews who argue
that the Law is still binding on Jewish Christians are arguing that it is
necessary for one group of believers to follow a path that is not
necessary for salvation. In other words, they are adding another yoke to
the believer over and above the yoke of Christ. What does seem crystal
clear is that there is no obligation to observe, for example, the laws of
kashrut. Someone may do so out of private devotion, out of a desire to
show cultural identity with Orthodox Jews or because they find it
personally impossible to eat 'treyf' in the same way that an English
person would find it impossible to eat horse meat. I think there is
freedom here unless someone believes that kashrut is obligatory and
necessary for salvation. For me, the problem with Messianic Judaism is
that it is very 'thin' theologically and often seems little more than
Pentecostalism with a 'Jewish' dressing, a dressing often applied by
converts who were very secular before their conversion and then become
'more Catholic than the Pope.' They are split in many different and
often opposed groups. Perhaps unfairly, I do detect a hint of pride in
some of their writings and a lamentable ignorance of church history. As I
mentioned before, when I hear of Gentile converts to Messianic Judaism
becoming more 'kosher than the chief Rabbi,' my alarm bells as a priest
begin to ring. Certainly, a Hebrew Catholic community would be one that
would be seen as distinctively Hebrew. Man is not a disembodied spirit
and therefore this community would be visibly Hebrew. Here, the thought
and writings of Fr. Elias will be germinal: we cannot work out in detail
how things will evolve but it will, of course, be within and inspired by
the Church. It will be also something which will show to Jews that they
can be Catholic without being assimilated. It will involve a profound
sense of solidarity with the Jewish people, their history, culture,
Hebrew language and suffering. It will also be a visible sign of all
that it is true and good in Judaism, showing how all the hopes and dreams
of the Jewish people down the centuries find their fulfilment in Christ.
With every kind wish, Canon Michael Lewis

Saturday, May 22, 2004


No blogging today b/c I have a show to put on for like the whole day. Ugh. At least I'll get a canoli or two out of the deal.

Friday, May 21, 2004

JWR reviews Opera web browser!

You might think IE is good enough, but until you've tried, don't rest easy. I know a couple of converts, and I don't mean Will.

IBM tells SCO to suck it

I applaud.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Dems complain

Bishops tell them to be Catholic or stop pretending. Some donors are furious. Others crank up the cash flow.



May 21, 2004
Volume 7, Number 22

WHO Official Admits Legal Abortion is Not “Safe” For Women

At an international conference on population held in Washington,
DC last week, an official from the World Health Organization (WHO) made an
admission that undermines one of the most common arguments for the
worldwide legalization of abortion on demand. Dr. Gunta Lazdane, European
Regional Advisor to WHO on Reproductive Health and Research, said that,
"up to 20% of maternal deaths are due to abortion, even in those
situations were abortion is legal…there is a question whether ‘safe’
abortion is safe."

However, international pro-abortion advocates often claim that
only illegal abortions are unsafe. Thus, to address maternal deaths due to
unsafe abortions, they argue that nations should recognize a broad right
to abortion.

This reasoning is even found in WHO’s own reports on reproductive
health. In a 1997 document entitled “Unsafe Abortion: Global and Regional
Estimates of Incidence of Mortality Due to Unsafe Abortion,” WHO states
that, “Estimates for 1990 indicate that almost 30 million legal
terminations of pregnancy were performed. Millions of abortions, however,
were performed outside the legal system, often by unskilled providers, and
these abortions are unsafe.”

The document then goes on to assert that laws against abortion
result in a massive increase in maternal deaths. According to WHO,
“Restrictive legislation is associated with high rates of unsafe
abortion…In the case of Romania, for example, the number of
abortion-related deaths increased sharply after November 1966 when the
government tightened a previously liberal abortion law…Abortions were
legalized again in December 1989 and, by the end of 1990, maternal deaths
caused by abortions dropped to around 60 per 100 000 live births.” WHO
does not explain why Romania, with its extremely tumultuous social and
political history, holds lessons for international policymakers.

However, based upon this information, WHO seems to call for the
worldwide legalization of abortion, stating that nations should “frame
abortion laws and policies on the basis of a commitment to women's health
and well-being rather than on criminal codes and punitive measures.” If
Lazdane is correct, however, and legal abortions are also unsafe for
women, then these arguments would appear to lose much of their weight.

Lazdane was speaking at the Global Population Forum 2004, which
was organized by the Population Institute and Population 2005, an alliance
of reproductive rights groups. The Board of Directors of Population 2005
includes former high-ranking officials of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA),
and UN Under Secretary General H.E. Anwarul Chowdhury.

Other speakers at the conference were more typical. Alfonso Lopez
Juarez, former head of the Mexican Family Planning Association, called the
Catholic Church and the “religious right” “fanatics.” He also said that,
“Nothing is sinful about sexuality if you avoid pregnancy and STD's
[sexually transmitted diseases]."

Copyright, 2004 – C-FAM (Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute).
Permission granted for unlimited use. Credit required.

Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute
866 United Nations Plaza, Suite 427
New York, New York 10017
Phone: (212) 754-5948 Fax: (212) 754-9291
E-mail: Website:

Playing around with my template to try to learn CSS

Please excuse the fact that it looks like poop.

That Romano-Jewish calendar conspiracy


\Au"gust\, n. [L. Augustus. See note below, and August, a.] The eighth month of the year, containing thirty-one days.

Note: The old Roman name was Sextilis, the sixth month from March, the month in which the primitive Romans, as well as Jews, began the year. The name was changed to August in honor of Augustus C[ae]sar, the first emperor of Rome, on account of his victories, and his entering on his first consulate in that month.

Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc

Who knew? Must be related to that Piso Jesus conspiracy stuff.

On mockery of medicine

Apparently in 1987 and before APA literature listed abortion as a potential casue of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. In 1994, all references to abortion were missing and there was no new research. Cute.


Today is Ascention Thursday. That's a Holy Day of Obligation. That means go to church or I show up at your house with a Bible and an instrument of torture. Some of us go for that though . . . maybe I should rethink.

In nomine cuius?

First Things tackles the godless athiest party and compares their religious views to the hyperkeynesian party. IE an exploration of the religion gap. My favotite bit is the part when DP Moynihan, who ain't Catholic the last time I checked, voted to ban Partial-birth abortion as he felt it was infanticide and the "Catholics" in the Senate because they wouldn't let the Church tell them not to kill babies.

Must be a self-hater

"Government officials, including Gov. Romney, should be helping families and supporting equality, not putting obstacles in the path of people seeking to care for one another," Wolfson told the PlanetOut Network.

That's funny. How could Dan and I have cared for each other through thick and thin for 17 years without being married? Mr. Wolfson, people who genuinely care for one another and love one another don't make each other a means to their ends, whether those be economic, social or even sexual....

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

These three things

The governor has threatened to fine or criminally prosecute town clerks who issue licenses to out-of-state couples, and he has said that the state will not record those marriages and will inform the couples that their marriages are "null and void." The demand for the license applications on Tuesday appeared to be the first step in that process.

"This is an unprecedented request," said Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone of Somerville, where about 12 of the 45 marriage applications since Monday have been from out-of-state couples. "I do have concerns that there's a political focus on these out-of-state couples. Those couples came here in good faith."

No one goes to a state where the governer said they can't get marriage lisences and tries to get them in "good faith". Also:

Gretchen Van Ness, a Boston lawyer hired to be a special counsel to Provincetown, where nearly a quarter of roughly 180 marriage applications were from out-of state, said the 1913 law has never been interpreted by a court.

Who cares? A law is a law when it is passed, not when someone sues about it. Non issue.

Hmm . . .

Lisa (3:45:51 PM): yo
David (3:46:25 PM): what did i miss?
Lisa (3:46:57 PM): fruity booty and salad
David (3:47:15 PM): plenty of both at FIT i'm sure

If grad school doens't work out I can always head a major Asian nation

Nature Worship

There is a difference, though, between your (Rosemarie) primitive man and your atheist "scientist". The primitive man would have viewed the eclipse as a manifestation of god's anger (or some other emotion), god being the moon or the sun, or God, or someone else. So while the primitive man may have felt transcendence from viewing an eclipse, that would be completely logical in view of his relation of it to some higher meaning.

The atheist "scientist" views the moon as a random piece of randomly-derived matter moving through a random universe. There is no meaning to such an event. And he struggles to find meaning in it, to satisfy some innate craving for meaning, though he will ever disregard the only One who can ever give it.

Unitarians don't get tax-exempt

The state of Texas has denied Unitarians tax-exempt religious status because the church "does not have one system of belief." As Julia notes, Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams were sufficiently convinced of the Unitarians' religiosity that they actually were Unitarians.

Never before -- not in this state or any other -- has a government agency denied Unitarians tax-exempt status because of the group's religious philosophy, church officials say. Strayhorn's ruling clearly infringes upon religious liberties, said Dan Althoff, board president for the Denison congregation that was rejected for tax exemption by the comptroller's office.

They key difference is, of course, that Unitarians used to be a "Christian" group that was opposed to trinitarianism and had a rather set doctrine that went along with that and a "bishop" in Romania who had something to do with governance. Now, however, they encourage people to choose another religion that they like and come to Unitarian worship services, and this is a religion?

Yeah, there have been some changes.

The Gender Gap

Did you know that there are 128 women to every 100 men enrolled in colleges?

I was lucky to go to the schools I did and have the teachers that I did, but it seems that a lot of guys are getting hammered pretty hard. It's like a game of Israelites v. Egyptians. You feel kinda sorry for the Egyptians when the smoke clears even though they got what was coming to them.

Also interesting:
But Phyllis Schlafly says doctors and pharmaceutical companies are turning behavioral problems into a disorder. 'If you look at the list of symptoms on which people diagnose ADHD, you will find that they are characteristics of most normal boys -- unable to sit still, has difficulty following directions, wants to run around and may fidget if required to sit too long; that sort of thing. This is just normal boy behavior,' she says."

Why wake up in the morning?

I consider myself a spiritual person, and I have an awe of nature, a sense of transcendence when I see an eclipse or a Hubble space telescope photograph. These things all generate a sense of transcendence, spirituality, every bit as warm and fuzzy and religious as when I was a religious person. You know I was an evangelical Christian for years and to me Chartres Cathedral is wonderful but so is Machu Picchu or going up to Mount Wilson Observatory and sitting in the chair where Edwin Hubble himself sat and discovered that our galaxy is not the only galaxy.

So: a blind, literally pointless string of complete accidents of which man is a product is “a source of transcendence,” which produces a “spirituality” which is “warm and fuzzy and religious.”

To have any use at all, the word “transcendence” must mean an authoritative word from outside, something greater than you by which you are transcended. I’m afraid I don’t see how the process of evolution can be said to transcend us who are one of its products, any more than the factory assembly line can be said to transcend the car made on it. A process does not in any useful sense transcend its product — unless, that is, the process itself is the creation of an external personal intelligence and can be treated as representing him.

I'd like to add, for the record, that religion and spirituality aren't about feeling warm and fuzzy inside. They're about radical demands and dark nights of the soul. Modern secularism is about feeling warm and fuzzy, which is why it's so big on sex and self-affirmation. Don't confuse the two.

And Mark Shea shows some more brilliant insight

Many people assume "true" Christianity is wholly and utterly altruistic and sentimental. Often, to illustrate this, Jesus' command to the rich young man ("Go, sell all you have, give it to the poor, and then come and follow Me") is trotted out to support the notion that the gospel is a sort of dreary altruism. It appears that Christianity is, in Ted Turner's phrase, "a religion for losers."

Saw this on Mark Shea's site

Trust me. You want to click on this link and read it. Trust me.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Happy birthday Pope!

You're much older than me. Congratulations!

When you see this

It stands on par with the most daring work of such thinkers as Freud or Darwin, using the author's unusual intelligence to discern unacknowledged truths behind everyday realities.

Don't read it.

Heard on the street by Jon F

"Does anybody have five thousand dollars they can spare? Anyone got five thousand dollars? Hey buddy, could you spare five thousand? Anyone? Five thousand, anybody got five thousand?"

HRE on Pride and me

I will repeat what I have said in the past: there is *nothing* more dangerous to the soul than being really right in a fight. Under the influence of original sin, the sense of justly aggrieved righteousness (not phoney righteousness, but the real deal) is most potent blindness-inducing chemical on the planet. Never ever forget that the people who put Jesus to death were genuine heros who had valiantly labored to protect Judaism from the ravages of Gentile culture and sin. And it was precisely this greatness which blinded them to the fact that they were, like everybody else, capable of real sin.


It is, by the way, within the power of the President
to end abortion tomorrow, as I would do my first day
in office. Don't let alleged "pro-life" Presidents
tell you differently. The President has an obligation
under Article IV, §4 to ensure to each member State
that it will be republican in form of government. Any
action that is not republican in form will be utterly
resisted to the grave if necessary under a Peroutka
Presidency. Abortion was made "legal" (more
correctly, the prosecution of abortion was made
illegal) in these United States by judicial fiat,
which is anti-republican in form and in violation of
the Separation of Powers and Article I, §1 of the
Constitution vesting all legislative power of the
Federal Government in the Congress. In an American
form of government, "all laws which are repugnant to
the Constitution are null and void." Marbury v.
Madison. Most certainly, anti-Constitutional court
decisions are not binding.

He does have a good point. One of the things that the Founding Fathers were big on was that the courts must have absolutely no way to enforce their decisions, because they are so unaccountable to anyone and have ops sine fine, power and might without limit. I don't know if this "works" though, or what the consequences would be, but it's fascinating.

Moses v. Sodomy

Part of being human is being subject to desires, and that includes desires for behaviors deemed improper by the Torah. One example that has always existed is the desire, at least for some people, to engage in homosexual behavior. But no predisposition or desire, no matter how strong, is beyond the most powerful and most meaningful force in the universe: human free will. We are not mere animals, responding to whatever urges overtake us. We are choosers. And at every moment of our lives, can choose right or choose wrong. If we subscribe to the belief that we are here not to "be what we are" but rather to "be what we can," we must endeavor to choose right.

One of humanity's saving graces over history, the Talmud teaches, has been its refusal to legitimate male homosexual relationships. It is distressing that much of American society and popular culture seems to be abandoning respect for fundamental aspects of the Torah's sexual behavior code intended for all of mankind. We Jews, though, must not allow ourselves to be pulled aboard the cultural bandwagon.

A very good and, strangely, very Catholic look at why homosexuality just doesn't fit in with that whole religion thing. Kinda key given the circumstances.

On radishes

Your nephew's question is perfectly understandable. Someone unfamiliar with all the idiosyncrasies of our language would naturally assume that horseradish comes from a horse. After all, peanut butter comes from peanuts and orange juice comes from oranges. Most grownups know, of course, that the "horse'' in "horseradish'' doesn't denote the condiment's origin, but they may not know where the term comes from.

You might tell your nephew that although horseradish doesn't come from a horse, the horse does figure prominently in its name. The horse is a large, not especially delicate animal. As a result, one sense of the adjective "horse'' is "large or coarse of its kind.'' The condiment we call "horseradish'' comes from the pungent root of a tall, coarse, white-flowered herb of the mustard family known scientifically as "Armoracia lapathifolia'' and more familiarly as "horseradish.'' Horseradish isn't the only plant designated "horse'' because of its coarse quality. Others include "horsebean,'' "horse cucumber,'' and "horse mushroom.''

JWR's always good in a pinch.

My project for the week

Trying to figure out what motivates me to do things. I've been fairly productive this morning in coming to conclusions. Here's what I'm thinking about.

Why am I at college?
Why do I find the priesthood attractive?
Why do I find the ladies attractive? (compare and contrast the last two as well)
What is my end goal.

A life's work and I have a summer. Cool.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Classic conversations in AIM history

fersh: bye
fersh: bye
becky: bye
fersh: bye
fersh: bey
becky: bye


The Church of England burst the dam in 1930 when it became the first major
Christian denomination to accept the use of contraceptives. Lawler reveals
that a Washington Post editorial at the time warned the 1930 decision
"would sound the death knell of marriage as a holy institution by
establishing degrading practices which would encourage indiscriminate

From CWNews

My favorite SSA Catholic comments

Colleen Carroll Campbell has a good essay out today on this:

After all, if marriage is only a temporary union of people who share a sexual relationship, how can its benefits be denied to homosexual couples or to heterosexual couples who live as if they are married? And if the meaning of marriage is defined exclusively by individual couples, how can its benefits even be confined to those in a sexual relationship? If marriage is truly a private affair, then any couple or group of people could lay claim to its benefits, and it could benefit anyone.

Except, of course, for those whose welfare has always depended on the special support society gives to traditional marriage, those whose interests are so rarely heard above the din of adults clamoring for their rights. Statistics consistently show that children raised by married mothers and fathers are less likely to be poor, less likely to engage in risky behaviors like premarital sex and drug abuse, and more likely to succeed in school.

Perhaps the children of America should flock to our courthouse doors and demand that we start respecting their rights.

It will never work of course, marriage isn't about kids any more. Marriage is about us and what we want. The kids can more or less lump it - and stop crying, it's really not so bad. You can visit every other weekend and here, meet Joe/Sandra my newest boy/girlfriend.

Am I part of a brainless cult?

It basically consisted of three people for whom 'thinking for yourself' is the ultimate most unquestionable belief all of the world complaining to another three people that Christianity was cheeky enough to have unquestionable beliefs. They wanted the Christians to allow people to call themselves Christian without having to believe anything that Christians believe - their main objection to Christianity being that it has a definition in the first place.

Why I'm an arrogant rear end

Message: 2
Date: Sun, 16 May 2004 18:30:12 +0000
From: "chris
Subject: Cardinal Kasper's track record and The Holy Father


God Himself chose 12 Apostles, one of whom committed suicide after betraying
Him, one denied Him to a serving girl, and 9 of the other 10 ran away rather
than suffer with Him. How many mistakes did God Himself make, and how would
you judge that, exactly. Cardinal Kasper opens his mouth and gibberish
pours forth, but does this mean that the Holy Father made a mistake? Is the
Cardinal a choice I can not fathom? Certainly. But remember -- the
suffering of Good Friday seemed like folly to those among His disciples who,
even after the Resurrection asked "Are you going to restore Israel now?

My two cents: Certainly there is a great spiritual and doctrinal confusion,
which has been predicted by great mystics. Why do Nostradamus and St.
Malachy not announce popes beyond John Paul's successor? I posit that this
is because there is something God doesn't want us to see, yet. Since we
know that the gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church, we must
accept our cross and pursue fidelity to the CONSTANT, AUTHENTIC Magisterium
of the Church.


Read: I should shut up and have more faith and stop criticizing curial officials. Good stuff.

Got this in my mailbox

It's called the KosherLamp and you turn it on and off by not turning anything on and off. It's like throwing a blanket over a lightbulb, but without the risk of fire.

I donno, it seems like it's missing the spirit of the law while following the letter, no matter how many people sign off on it. Kind of like eating meat on a Friday. No one's going to stop you, but it isn't a matter of logic. It's a matter of love.

One click taxes?

A strong push is on at all levels of government to make online self-service a reality. Responding to budgetary pressures and taxpayers’ rising expectations, cities such as New York and Chicago have implemented “311” programs to provide citizens with points of contact for nearly all government issues. Florida is among the states leading the way in putting traditionally time-consuming services online. And in response to the E-Government Act of 2002, federal agencies are scrambling to deploy self-service Web-based solutions to improve service to citizens and make their own workforces more efficient.

But in terms of enabling self-service government, the United States lags behind a number of countries, including Canada, Japan, and especially the United Kingdom, which has mandated that all government services must be available via the Web by next year. Self-service government in the United States is “all over the map,” says Greg Gianforte, CEO of applications vendor RightNow. “Some [governments] are really leading-edge, and there are some that are still in the dark ages.”

If I can't trust my school not to lose my transcript, can I trust the Feds not to lose my Social Security info? Good thing the system's going to be bankrupt by the time it's time for me to collect or I might be worried. The only problem is that there is no system, the funds come from the general fund, and if SS is bankrupt that means the US is bankrupt. Yikes.

Sunday, May 16, 2004


I think they're returning to the early Anglican tradition. Six wives (including two beheadings) allowed.
-- Father Wilson

Shea speaks

They have a right to pretend to be married. I have a right to laugh at them.

Or, you can use the coercive power of a state to call it a cat, but you won't be able to prevent people from saying that it's a duck what with all that waddling, swimming, and daffying. Not even if you throw people in jail, like in Enlightened Canada.

Maria, exterminatrix haeresis, ora pro nobis.


One more week down. Good Shabbos!

. . .

. . .

Yeah . . .

Maybe if this blog was in Hebrew I could say that without getting my a** kicked. I mean that's the translation!

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Jon's frat

I want to go to a chicken wing eating contest

Latest from Tektonics

JPH covers some knee-slapping charges against Christianity.


36-65 Paul of Tarsus Paul (Saul) of Tarsus allegedly orders destruction of Israel Christian church before converting to Christianity; no evidence proves Paul existed. Ditto. to the above. We would like for "crimeline" to prove to us that Plutarch or Cicero existed.

48-62 Pauline books Teachings of Jesus allegedly recorded by Paul despite claims by many scholars that he could not possibly have met Christ. Fluff ball. The Pauline books are NOT "teachings of Jesus' but letters written to address specific problems in local churches. The Gospels record the teachings of Jesus and are not by Paul.

And for the Catholics

1294-1368 China Catholicism is established in China. Marker. Even if true, hardly constitites a "crime".

1295-1303 Boniface VIII Boniface VIII (1295-1303) declares every creature is subject to authority of pope. Unverified.

But true, sort of. It's more of an assertation of everyone's dependence on the Church for salvation. Unum Sanctum. Good stuff.

Came back home today

Isn't that exciting?

Friday, May 14, 2004

Hasidic Hoagies?

Big construction project underway. This gives me ideas . . .

Passio in Germania

Apparently it's causing quite a stir. Big surprise there.

Pope to tell Bush to take a chill pill

The Pope "will again express the more ample appeal he made in the message for the 2004 World Day of Peace," the Italian cardinal continued. "In it, he called for a higher level of international order and warned that the struggle against terrorism cannot only be 'repressive,' but must start with the 'elimination of the causes' of the injustice."

In that message, "it is stated that respect for life must always be honored and that the struggle against terrorism does not justify giving up the principles of the state of law, as the end never justifies the means," Cardinal Laghi said.

Should be an exciting event for the Holy See. I really hope we don't invade like Germany did in the 1540s. The Swiss Guards havn't seen much action for a while.


To the many NYUers who have graduated the past day. You're outstanding, because you survived and I wussed out :-)

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Question: Do fraternities deserve their bad reputation?

Answer: Yes

BUT not so bad.

Former Dartmouth Review Editor Steven Menashi has written of the controversy, "even though fraternities have been around for two centuries, it's only recently that colleges have launched a concerted effort to destroy them. In the last decade, anti-Greek initiatives have emerged at Dartmouth, Bates, Trinity, Bowdoin, Hamilton, and Bucknell — to name only a few."

Menashi concludes that a main reason fraternities are under attack is that they "have become a sanctuary for campus heterodoxy." For example, fraternities tend to be critical of affirmative action and so-called diversity policies. Thus, "the war on fraternities isn't about ending drinking or bad behavior, it's about ending dissent."

Ah yes, the left, tolerant of anyone that doesn't disagree, cracks down on anyone who invokes tolerance. Lovely

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us

In 1917, Portugal was verging on totalitarianism after the revolution of 1910. The revolution had decreed a sharp separation of Church and state, Church property had been confiscated, and religious congregations had been ordered dissolved. The intelligentsia and ruling classes were anti-religious and decisively anti-clerical. The ruling cognoscenti were contemptous of traditional religious beliefs often describing these beliefs as mere superstitions in the newspapers and journals they ran. Even rural areas normally immune to the intellectual fads of the cosmopolitan centers were affected by church closings and a cautious wariness about any outward expression of religious belief. Despite this, strong religious faith still took root in the simple peasants of the rural countryside. In this environment, a series of apparitions by the Blessed Virgin occurred to three small children from the rural village of Fatima over a six month period starting in May of 1917.

. . .

" A miracle! A miracle!" Before the astonished eyes of the crowd, whose aspect was Biblical as they stood bareheaded, eagerly searching the sky, the sun trembled, made sudden incredible movements outside any cosmic laws - the sun "danced" according to the typical expression of the people.

Another observer who witnessed these events was Joseph Garrett, a natural sciences professor at Coimbra University. Dr. Garrett described the events in a similar manner:
This was not the sparkling of a heavenly body, for it spun round on itself in a mad whirl, when suddenly a clamor was heard from all the people. The sun, whirling, seemed to loosen itself from the firmamant and advance threateningly upon the earth as if to crush us with its huge fiery weight. The sensation during these moments was terrible.

That is why Jesus didn't heal the ear and show everyone. Because no one would care, any more than they care now. People will rationalize until all the miracles are gone, if they disagree with the miracle itself.

1981, Pope John Paul II was shot and seriously wounded in St.
Peter's Square by Turkish assailant Mehmet Ali Agca.

Well, what about it?

That's all true, but it's also true that a great many of their accusations about Israeli abuse of Palestinian prisoners are real. Israel's own Supreme Court admitted as much in 1999, when it outlawed the "legal" torture of Palestinians under interrogation.

The Israeli court went to some trouble to outline the inadmissability of torture, even though it was highly likely that some prisoners might have information about planned terrorist activities that would save lives. Despite the court's ban on torture, debate on the issue continued.

If anything, the reaction to the decision seemed to make clear that most Israelis were still in favor of "physical force" in interrogations. In March 2000, Prime Minister Ehud Barak said he supported torture because when "ticking bombs" were at stake, "it is necessary to immediately save life from a concrete danger of a serious attack, and no other reasonable course exists to achieve this result."

Interesting, very interesting. I put my CCC away so I can't get anything from there, though I doubt they'd be very enthusiastic. I suppose, however, that this is one of those situations of the type that justifies state-sanctioned killing of prisoners, i.e., the death penalty. If the harm to society is known and great, and there are no other courses of conduct left open, the guilty may be harmed to protect the innocent. I'm not too comfortable with it though . . .


Message: 1
Date: Wed, 12 May 2004 19:13:27 -0000
From: "Angela N"
Subject: PP website...stats and a load of garbage

I just checked out the PP website. One phrase that I wrote down
was "we need to make America more friendly to children". WHAT??? How do
they plan to do that? By killing them before they are born? Great plan
folks. They also made mention of "compulsory pregnancy laws". Gee, I must
have missed that law being passed. But I'm sure us Republicans are
probably responsible for it. If you look at their abortion facts links
they give you abortion statistics as to how many early or late term
abortions have risks. They quote 1/100 and 3/100 and such as this. Well,
using their own numbers and dividing them by the 1,500,000 abortions per
year in our country these are the figures I came up with: 7,500 D&E's are
incomplete 15,000 D&C's are incomplete 15,000 result in a torn cervix
7,500 D&C's result in organ injury or hysterectomy 22,500 D&E's result in
organ injury or hysterectomy 4 die each year from early abortion and 15
die each year from D&E's. If you add all of these up you get 67,519
injuries/deaths per year!!! Then they turn around and talk about life
before Roe v Wade and say that "tens of thousands (of women) were
Maybe they aren't smart enough to add up their own figures???
If these are the figures THEY are admitting to-God only knows how high the
numbers really are. Praying for the day abortion is illegal again. Angie

And seeing at the numbers before were BS, since the guy who released them ADMITTED THAT THEY WERE FAKE SO PLEASE STOP TELLING ME THAT THERE WERE THOUSANDS OF DEATHS FROM ABORTION, this makes it quite worse, even. Kyrie Eleison.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Lord have mercy

As the people of southern Sudan anxiously wait for news of a final peace agreement that could end their country's long civil war, rebel leaders have disclosed that thousands of people are living of water lilies after their food stores were destroyed in recent fighting.

Spokesmen for the Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) said that about 70,000 people were driven from their homes in the southern Shilluk region, when pro-government militia groups burned their houses and destroyed their food supplies. "It is the strategy of the government not only to burn the food crops, but also to torch the grass," said SPLA spokesman Lam Akol; he explaining that grass is used in constructing huts.

Pray for them. Then send money.

Testing testing

New comments from blogger. Let's see if it's worth my time

And it's even kosher

"A little philosophy inclineth a man's mind to atheism,
but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to

-- Sir Francis Bacon

On Movies and stuff

In his Letter to Artists the Pope says that secular artists depict for us with power what the world without God looks like, and we owe them gratitude for that. Take a movie like Magnolia, or Eyes Wide Shut. When the industry is making an indictment of a particular world, for people in the church to say, "That's a bad movie," because presumably we're not even supposed to look at that world, makes no sense at all.

I would say the movie Boogie Nights, for instance, was an indictment of the porn world and what it does to people. Most thoughtful people would look at the world depicted in Boogie Nights and see that it's empty, shallow, that it's missing intimacy. It's so sad; it's tragic. No way do you come out of that movie wanting to be in that world. Yet I hear people in the church say "How dare you make a movie about the porn industry—do you know there's a scene where they're having sex?" OK, is it that we are not allowed to make a movie about that world? Do we say to our Christian artists there are areas of human life that are off limits to you? Because that notion deserves to be slammed.

To tell you the truth, I'll take an R-rated true movie over a G-rated saccharin lie movie any day. Because with the R-rated film I'm being challenged and I'm growing. If we turned over Hollywood to the Christians tomorrow, we'd make worse movies than we're making now because they would mostly be guilty of what Flannery O'Connor called—for Christians—"inexcusable sentimentality."

This is, incidentally, why I can recommend Requiem for a Dream to everyone I know and derive only minimal pleasure out of seeing a little lesbian loving at the end. I mean, yeah, you can sort of look at it and say look, there's someone's butt, and have your chuckle. Or, you can look at the world as it is, get over it, and see what you can do with the movie, what you can learn. I think this is the rather more laudable course. Surely, preparation is necessary. You don't feed a baby chile peppers, you feed him his mother's milk. But when he's grown, then he can get on to the real stuff, and it will make him stronger and better able to survive.

I think the thing I miss the most about NYU is that it was really fight or flight down there with being Catholic. You were either hardcore or you died. But I digress.

It goes back to contraception. I suppose I sound like a wacko when I say that, but once you took the self-donation, the possibility of sacrifice out of sex, the door was opened. It became about your own self-fixation, what you're getting out of it, because it feels good—that was it. About gays, we cut these poor people off forty years ago when so many pastors and teachers in the Church signed on to the sexual revolution. They hear that you can have sex with anyone you care about. And now these people are trapped.

My former pastor at my RCIA program wouldn't even speak to our young converts about contraception—he was embarrassed. So I would speak to them about it. When my catechumens hear about the Theology of the Body they start crying because it's such a beautiful ideal—two emptinesses making a whole, two people pouring themselves out in order to be fulfilled. In six years, I've never yet had a couple I've worked with—and I know when I start who's living with each other—I've never had one couple who within three months, are still living with each other. It's because they want to be pure, they want to be heroes, they want to be more than they are. That's what this teaching is. It's peace for these couples.

May I say, word. Call it like it is. People will follow.

Mmm, axes falling

Nothing tastes so good to kick off summer break like a good ass-kicking


Rev. Edward Malloy, president of the University of Notre Dame since 1987,
has been replaced by the university’s board of trustees amid scandals
including a Queer Film Festival and “The Vagina Monologues” that upset
Notre Dame alumni.

Malloy told a campus newspaper that he asked the trustees to review his
tenure and offered to remain in the position. But in an unusually swift
manner, the trustees announced that Malloy would step down in June 2005
and named his replacement, Rev. John Jenkins, a Notre Dame vice president
and philosophy professor who raises no objections from Cardinal Newman
Society’s contacts at the university.

University chairman Patrick McCartan said Jenkins’ “suberb academic
credentials... will be of critical importance to the realization of our
aspiration to become one of the great research universities of the world
with a distinctly Catholic character.”

Read: Notre Dame fights back against itself, cuts out the cancerous bits and keeps the good stuff.

COTM on Friends and Family

One Friends related memory: At Northwestern, I was a grad student R.A. to an all female dorm of mostly freshmen. We were living in a renovated mansion that had recently been reclaimed from a defunct sorority, and so I actually had my own large suite of rooms with a good size living room. Every Thursday night at about 7:45pm, the girls would start to arrive in my living room, packing the sofas, window ledges, floors, until the room was filled to over-flowing. I took to providing snacks, so that it became even more of a community experience. It really was Must-See TV for us all to watch Friends together, and then most of them would drift back to the books.

It's true that the show has been one that I have at many times hated to love. Having just migrated from NYC when the show first started, I remember watching its first episodes with disdain for the absurd premise of an all white group of mostly under-employed twenty-somethings in Manhattan being able to afford apartments that would probably cost $1,000,0000 a year.

From a moral standpoint, it depicts a world without God and really without any moral framework outside of tenuous loyalty to one's friends. It's a show which glorified and normalized pornography, homosexuality and promiscuity.

But the core of the show which caught on with 18-35 year old viewers, was once again, the fantasy community it provided. Most of my generation, the Xers, have grown up in fractured families, with aborted siblings, watching every authority structure of church, state, ivory tower, fifth estate, everything, reveal nothing but clay feet. Because our parents were more mobile than past generations, we have had little if any relevant extended family.

I never really got over the world without God part myself, but it seems to have been quite the show.

Quote of the Day

"We'd like to have Baptist ministers and Catholic priests buying and selling drugs, but the real world doesn't operate that way."

John aschall, Robertson County (Texas) district attorney, commenting on drug arrests and defending the credibility of informer Derrick Megress (Thanks to Joel Scheuer)

Highlights from the "Why are you Catholic" thread

Until recently I was perhaps the most faithful Catholic that ever lived. My certitude was unmatched. Sigh, until that is, I found a tract in a Wal Mart parking lot. Yes, indeed, an astute scholarly tract with ironclad arguments, which basically refutes Catholicism as a spawn of Satan himself. Who wrote this tract? None other then the honorable Jack Chick, who is an authority on Roman Catholicism, even perhaps a higher authority than Dave Hunt? Now I'm questioning whether I should worship the Pope, and remain in the whore of Babylon.

(Chad Williams)

Oh, yes and believing that sex is evil but that we also must have as many babies as humanly possible! But that makes sense since of course we're the Antichrist and therefore we want to be as evil as possible! And I also love how we unnecessarily make the simple Gospel stultifyingly complex, what with bored logic-chopping monks and friars having nothing to do all day but sit around making up abstruse theological questions with which to confuse people.


Sex: Kids by the dozen and guilt by the bushel! It's wrong and dirty even in marriage, but at least I can keep my wife in thrall because of a degrading patriarchal vision of the role of women. Yeah, baby! Thank--whoever--that we keep that Bible thing in the hands of priests only. I'd hate to be infected by Protestantism by reading it for myself. Saint Worship: Because Who Wants To Pray To God, Anyway?™

P.S. Jesuit Assassins are so pre-Vatican II. Get with the program, people!

(Albino Opus Dei Assassin)

I also love the fact that the pope can just wake up one day and invent a dogma so that we could keep ourselves busy with another devotion to one of numerous gods.... err... saints in our purgatorial pantheon.


I like being Catholic because they serve liquor at EVERY MASS, even to little kids.


The only Church to publicly acknowledge the existence of its "secret" library/archives and to allow visits.


Sometimes, I'll be out walking by myself on a cold, clear night, and I'll look up at the stars so far away and almost be overwhelmed by the sense of my own insignificance.
But then I remember how I'm helping to keep dark-skinned foreigners poor, ignorant, and wretched by supporting priests to teach them pagan superstitions, and I feel a lot better about myself.


I became a Catholic because they had all the cutest girls: Italians, French, Spanish, Mexican, Brazilian, even half of the Germans and a fair number of the English, for heaven's sake.

(Dave Armstrong)

As for me, I always liked that whole ancestor-worship thing when you pray to dead people for dead people. Real sense of belonging.

What's the deal?


A thirty-second rant. An AP report says a gay couple have been turned away from communion at their Catholic parish. In an interview with the AP, Monsignor Roger Grundhaus makes clear his view that communion is a requirement for attaining eternal life. Ergo: Grundhaus is in effect damning the couple to burn in eternal hell forever (in his own mind, that is). As a former Roman Catholic, I've written in polite language many thoughtful reflections on the inadequacies of Catholic moral theology. Today, let me put it a different way: Fuck you, Monsignor Grundhaus. You and your hypocritical, sick twisted perversion of Christ's teachings are a disgrace to the Christ, the Church, and all humanity. You can take your Blessed Sacrament and shove it up your ass.

And counterpoint:

Soulful Blogger Spews Highly Acidic Evolved Consciousness All Over the Screen

It seems a priest failed to affirm that gayness is the most exquisite form of wonderfulness the human race has yet given to the world. He didn't tell anybody what they could do in their bedrooms. He didn't threaten anybody. He simply asked somebody in *his* Church to refrain from communion since, you know, the teaching of the Church is that gay sex is wrong. For this failure to give 100% approval to what the priest's faith says is sinful, the highly evolved Joe Perez, Expert Astrologer, give us all a rhetorical foretaste of what to expect from the Evolved Consciousness once it owns all the guns and can punish Christians for incorrect thoughts.

Remember, if you follow what Christ said, you're perverting His teachings. If you BS, put words in His mouth, and ignore what he said, you're being Christian. I'll take number one please.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Body parts of Israeli soldiers held hostage

Even the Romans didn't do crap like this, and they were pretty messed up. Real freedom fighters, those Hamas men, always taking the high ground and defiling dead bodies.

Windows update

Run it or die. I don't want to be cleaning your computer.

Daily dose of Shea

Cops intervene to stop dangerous display of free speech, peaceable assembly and independent thought

Gay Day goes off without a hitch.

When I hold a pro-life candlelight vigil and the randoms come up and tell us how we're all going to hell and yell and carry on, no problem. You show up at Gay Day and mind your own business, you're in jail.


I'd blog something

But I'm still reeling from the econ test. Weird.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Best of Old Oligarch

OO writes on ordinatio feminae, as the expression would go if anyone ever wrote about it in Latin. Better than his entry about cooking, even. Best quote ever:

The argument that the prohibition against the ordination of women occurred because of cultural bias stands on bad theological ground for a more general reason. It presumes that Christ is not the Lord of History, but rather that He is constrained in His teaching by social forces which are contrary to His intentions. This is a poor, deistic interpretation of divine Providence and a weak Christology. Christ is the Lord of History, and in His divinity knew everything about the age in which He chose to appear, deeming it "the fullness of time." We must have a similar faith that the Holy Spirit preserves the Church in matters of doctrine pertaining to faith and morals.

Couldn't have said it better myself. In fact, I usually just rip him off . . . when I'm talking though so don't sue me. Please.

Catholicism and its discontents

Read: Catholic League's 2003 Annual Report on Anti-Catholicism

Good bit from the executive summary:
"In Long Island, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota won the plaudits of many when he impaneled a grand jury to hear testimony on alleged instances of sexual abuse committed by priests in the Diocese of Rockville Centre. But he never cross-examined anyone; he never gave the diocese an opportunity to reply; and he leaked his report to the local newspaper, Newsday, before the diocese could respond. And he did all this knowing there would be no prosecutions because the statute of limitations had run its course! Worse, when asked to join me in supporting a bill that his colleague in Nassau County, District Attorney Denis Dillon, was backing, he balked: the bill would have mandated that every professional who learns of the sexual abuse of a minor report it to the authorities."

Exciting as it is, I have to keep reminding myself, as the HRE pointed out, that it's "Deliver us from evil" and not "Bring it on".

Continuing . . .

In several states in 2003, legislation was introduced that would have compromised the sanctity of the confessional. The bills were nominally aimed at preventing the sexual abuse of minors: it was maintained that this could not be done without changing the law on priest-penitent relations. The Catholic League successfully fought these bills everywhere they were introduced. We pressed lawmakers in Kentucky, New Hampshire, Maryland, Iowa, West Virginia, Florida, Ohio and Nevada not to proceed with such bills: it was a red herring, we argued, to contend that child sexual abuse could not be stopped without violating the priest-penitent privilege.

Confessional. Can't be violated. Law that says you have to = law that no one will follow. Violating the seal of the confessoinal is punished by automatic excommunication, reserved to the Pope, I think. Probalby the kind where no one can talk to you too.

But everyone wants in.

And no, they're not right-wing zealots.

Bill O'Reilly has a need to show how independent he is, and in doing so he often engages in overkill. For example, he loves to attack Pope John Paul II: "I have never liked this pope. I have always felt he was an autocrat who had no vision about how people live in the real world." O'Reilly sees the Catholic Church as a monolithic institution headed by a tyrannical pope who always gets what he wants. This isn't Catholic bashing so much as it is a grand display of ignorance.

And there's some high praise for my august institution of higher learning.

There are bigots on every campus, but few schools seem to harbor student associations that offend year after year. Columbia University does—its band annually engages in a bigoted assault on Catholicism. Having extracted an apology in 2002 from its president, Lee Bollinger, I thought the message had been received. I was wrong. I got another apology in 2003, this time from the band manager by way of the dean of Columbia College. During the halftime festivities of the football game between Columbia and Dartmouth, an announcer for the Columbia College Marching Band invited the crowd to join the band in their "Celebration of Partial-Birth Abortion." This was followed by some ranting against the pope and what the announcer described as the pope's "drooling and stuttering speech." Forget about the ridicule of the pope for a moment: it is astonishing that college students at an Ivy institution would celebrate the killing of a child who is 80 percent born. It will not do to say this is preppy comedic behavior: it is sick. And the fact that no other Ivy League college—or any college for that matter—engages in this kind of behavior suggests there is something seriously wrong at Columbia.

I think I stand with many when I say I'm glad the band got their asses handed to them for that Orgo night BS.

Some more info on Hutton, BTW. Apparently he isn't a Holocaust denier. They even had me believing that one. He's still nuts though.

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