Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Defending Marriage

Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon

Nothing new under the sun. An interesting story on the Vatican's Secret Archives, from the Telegraph:
The three ft-wide parchment letter, complete with 81 wax seals and red silk ribbons, was one of the highlights of the exhibition, which chronicles more than 1,200 years of the Vatican’s dealings with kings, conquerors and caliphates.

The letter was sent on Henry VIII’s orders to Pope Clement VII in 1530 and was signed by members of the English parliament, as well as bishops, abbots and the Archbishops of York and Canterbury.

They urged the Pope to annul Henry’s marriage to Catherine so that he could marry one of her ladies-in-waiting, Anne Boleyn, in the hope of producing a longed for male heir.

“If the Pope is unwilling, we are left to find a remedy elsewhere. Some remedies are extreme, but a sick man seeks relief in any way he can find,” the lords wrote in a barely veiled threat.

One Courageous Priest

Look it up: Saint Ambrose and Emperor Theodosius

Barbara Johnson knew last Saturday, the day of her mother’s funeral, would be difficult. But she and her lesbian partner of 20 years had no idea that the priest at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Gaithersburg, Md., would be a source of her grief. ...

The day, already tense, was about to get significantly worse. Johnson said the priest denied her Communion at her own mother's funeral, telling her he couldn't give it to her because she was gay.

When it came time to hand out bread and wine, Guarnizo “issued a strong admonition that only Catholics in a state of grace can receive Communion,” Johnson told “I went up. I was standing next to my mother’s casket and he covered the bowl, and said, ‘I cannot give you Communion because you are with a woman, and in the eyes of the church, that is a sin.’ I stood there with my mouth open in a state of shock for – I don’t know how long.” ...

When asked how she identifies herself religiously, Johnson told, “I’m a Catholic. I’m deeply influenced by eastern religion philosophy and the nonviolence of Gandhi and the Dalai Lama along with my church upbringing.”

Where to begin with this sad example of journalistic flotsam? The slanted presentation of this story, depicting Father Guarnizo as the villain, is utterly shameless. There is obviously no knowledge in the head of the writer or the alleged victim in the story of Church teaching on the question of worthy reception of the Eucharist. It's embarrassing.

"to hand out the bread and wine..." Someone, stop the bleeding! The ignorance of the Catholic faith is simply astounding. Someone cue the reporter covering this story, and a lot of Catholics for that matter, as to what we really believe about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and the proper disposition for receiving the Blessed Sacrament. When did the casual reception of Holy Communion become an absolute right for anyone to receive at will? As a friend of mine recently observed, "It used to be that few received Communion and lots went to Confession. Now, few go to Confession and yet everybody receives Communion."

Secondly, no one is denied Communion solely because he or she deals with same sex attraction. It has to do with one's active lifestyle. Again, this is simply basic Church teaching that, unfortunately, is routinely misrepresented by a lazy, slapdash media.

Father Guarnizo, in a general manner that didn't single out anyone, warned those in attendance beforehand that only Catholics in the state of grace should receive Communion, so the fact that the "deeply influenced by eastern religion philosophy" Johnson felt singled out is her own fault for arrogantly disobeying the priest's general admonition and for daring to attempt to receive Christ in the state of mortal sin, a state which again is due to her active, public and immoral lifestyle. The priest protected her soul from committing a grave sacrilege. She should be thanking him and he should be applauded.

Apparently, the diocese issued a statement of regret over the handling of the incident, representing a pitiful act of capitulation, as Father Guarnizo behaved heroically to defend the integrity of the Blessed Sacrament. One might disagree over how he said this or that (I don't), but the act of denying Communion to someone living in grave public sin in and of itself was perfectly sound, rooted in centuries of Church history and theology. If someone doesn't agree with the Church's teaching on faith and morals he or she can at least do the respectful thing and refrain from partaking in the Sacrament that is supposed to represent a Catholic's full communion with the entire Church and all of her teachings.

Father Guarnizo deserves three cheers from faithful Catholics instead of the bile and vitriol he's receiving from an anti-Catholic and pugnacious press, as well as the venomous hatred from the desperadoes in the militant homosexual lobby.

Special Ops Feeling the Strain

"Too much with too little"

From The Washington Times:
The Obama administration’s increasing reliance on special operations forces with a stagnant budget has sparked concern among the elite units that they will be asked to do too much with too little.

The forces will be conducting missions in 120 countries by year’s end, up from about 75 currently. This activity is increasing as the U.S. Special Operations Command’s budget is set to remain flat.

Anti-Catholicism on Display

From FoxNews:
A group of socially conservative leaders is demanding Huffington Post publisher Arianna Huffington apologize for allowing a column to be published on her website that compares Catholics to pedophiles and attacks communion as a "barbaric ritual."

In the letter dated Tuesday and obtained first by, the group -- never fans of the online news site -- writes that the website, recently purchased by AOL, is "complicit in bigotry" for publishing columnist Larry Doyle's article about Rick Santorum's Catholic faith. ...

"If such an article was written concerning the Islamic or Jewish faith, the public outcry would be overwhelming, and rightly so. But anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable form of bigotry, and The Huffington Post is taking advantage of that bigotry for all it's worth," they continue.

Abortion Logic

From Will Heaven, writing for the Telegraph:
A paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics, entitled "After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?", argues that killing a newborn baby should be "permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled". (Hat-tip: Catholic Herald.)

The authors of this paper, Alberto Giubilini of the University of Milan and Francesca Minerva of Oxford University, argue that "both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons". Secondly, they say that "the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant". Thirdly, they write that "adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people". ...

But what interests me is how this paper might lead to support for the pro-life movement. As Matthew Archbold points out on the National Catholic Register, the ethicists' arguments are actually sound: if we accept their ideas on personhood, there is no ethical reason to stop carrying out abortions at the arbitrary point of birth.

Which is why abortion was always only a beginning.

Monday, February 27, 2012

On Being Authentically Pastoral

"I think that in latter years there has been a false sense of being pastoral, in the sense that priests and bishops can only talk about positive things. The whole notion about confronting the evils of society — especially those things that have become politically acceptable — became difficult, as if these subjects should not be raised." ~ From a Legatus interview with Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke

Walker's Defense

Scott Walker defends his record in this article from The Ticket:
Scott Walker, the Republican governor of Wisconsin who is battling an effort to recall him from office, told Yahoo News that his controversial law that ended many collective bargaining rights for public-sector employees and sparked protests from labor unions and their allies one year ago is accomplishing his goal.

"You've literally had tens of millions of dollars of savings all throughout the state just by allowing, through our reforms, by allowing school districts to bid out their health insurance," he said.

"The law is working," he added in an interview with Yahoo News in which he said he was able to close a $3.6 billion budget gap without tax increases, massive layoffs, or cuts to Medicaid because of the legislation.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A pick you up

Even if you don't understand Spanish, this catchy song by Albita Rodriguez will lift your spirits and prepare you for those warm summer days ahead. It has a rustic, folk sound (Cubans call this style a "Son") that reminds me of past visits to Puerto Rico to see family. I've posted this before a couple of years ago, but it's worth a repeat. Albita ranks in the top five of my favorite singers list, so enjoy!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Gendercide Follow-up

When dealing with a phenomenon as macabre and gory as the abortion industry, no grotesque revelation is really all that surprising. From the Telegraph:
Dr Vincent Argent, who previously worked for the British Pregnancy Advisory Service and is now a GP and consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, said he had “no doubt” that women were terminating pregnancies because of the sex of the baby and that he believed the practice was “fairly widespread”. This week The Daily Telegraph disclosed that women were being offered illegal abortions by doctors on the basis of the gender of the foetus.

Dr Argent said there were “an awful lot of covert abortions for sex selection going on” where women would have a scan or blood test to find out the sex, then ask for a termination without telling the doctor the real reason.


From Robert Colvile, writing for the Telegraph:
It is one of the great unreported stories of our age – the slaughter of the unborn on an industrial scale. In India, China and elsewhere, millions of female children are simply not being born. As an excellent piece in the Economist pointed out a few years ago, gender ratios in those countries have been skewed far beyond what nature would allow.

The reason for this problem, which grows more serious by the year, is simple. More effective abortion procedures, and sex identification, have allowed millions upon millions of people to ensure that male children are born, and female children are not. Nor is it a result of the one-child policy: it appears to be happening across the developing world, and even in parts of Europe and America.

One wonders what the feminists, who have made abortion on demand their prime objective, will say about this.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Newt Shines at Debate

Newt Calls Out Media: Why Didn't You Ask Obama About His Infanticide Support In 'O8?

When Newt Gingrich is at his best, no one can compete.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

UK Abortion Shock

The Culture of Death on full display. From the Telegraph:
Abortion investigation: doctors filmed agreeing illegal abortions 'no questions asked'
Women are being granted illegal abortions by doctors based on the sex of their unborn baby, an undercover investigation by The Daily Telegraph reveals.

Doctors at British clinics have been secretly filmed agreeing to terminate foetuses purely because they are either male or female. Clinicians admitted they were prepared to falsify paperwork to arrange the abortions even though it is illegal to conduct such “sex-selection” procedures.

Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, said: “I’m extremely concerned to hear about these allegations. Sex selection is illegal and is morally wrong. I’ve asked my officials to investigate this as a matter of urgency.”

The disclosures will add to growing concerns about the regulation of abortion clinics and the apparent ability of women to secure terminations “on demand”.

Plan B Rejected

From the Associated Press:
TACOMA, Wash. — Washington state may not force pharmacies to sell Plan B or other emergency contraceptives, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, saying the state's true goal is to suppress religious objections by druggists — not to promote timely access to the medicines for people who need them.
Don't miss these Health stories

U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton heard closing arguments earlier this month in a lawsuit that claimed state rules violate the constitutional rights of pharmacists by requiring them to dispense such medicine. The state requires pharmacies to dispense any medication for which there is a community need and to stock a representative assortment of drugs needed by their patients.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cold Water Christie

Class Act

Tim Tebow surprised a 9-year-old Colo. girl battling a painful disorder with a special date to a Hollywood awards show. KCNC's Kathy Walsh reports.

Celebrating Bernini the Catholic

Bernini's David

Father Michael Keating penned a fine tribute to Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Appearing in Crisis Magazine:
He [Bernini] was from his boyhood a believer in the Catholic faith of his family and his people. In his young manhood, although occasionally erratic in his moral behavior and the practice of his faith, he was still restrained and held in place by it. And once come to maturity he embraced that faith with genuine fervor and sincere devotion. He married a lovely and excellent woman with whom he had eleven children, of whom two became priests and two entered the convent. He habitually carried a copy of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius in his pocket while he worked. He would regularly stop in at the Church he built for the Jesuits, Sant’Andrea al Quirinale, to pass an hour of quiet prayer. Bernini’s supreme accomplishment was not his artistic output, amazing as that was: it was rather that, by the grace and power of Christ, he did not allow his extraordinary gifts to overcome his character and destroy his life. He allowed himself to be mastered by the Faith and was steered into a safe haven.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Crumbling Walls

From the Associated Press:
NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — A historic monastery where an apostle of Jesus Christ is said to have performed miracles is close to caving in and needs immediate repairs, the leader of Cyprus' Orthodox Christian Church said Monday.

Archbishop Chrysostomos II urged Greek Cypriot pilgrims not to travel to the Apostolos Andreas — or Saint Andrew — monastery in the island's northern breakaway Turkish Cypriot northern sector for fear it could collapse. ...

Located on a rocky outcrop on the island's northeastern tip, the monastery has been venerated by pilgrims for generations. It's origins date back to the 1st century A.D. when according to church tradition Saint Andrew was left stranded there for three days after the ship he was traveling on sought safe harbor following a violent storm.

While there, the Saint is said to have created a fresh water spring to quench the sailors' thirst and healed the blind child of the captain, who converted to Christianity and built a church at the spot.

The Next Front: 'Gender Identity Disorder'

This is probably the most bizarre and troubling story I've posted, as it demonstrates the slow but relentless manner that a radical social agenda can wriggle its way into the accepted norms of society. With a complicit media eagerly helping things along, the nefarious work becomes much easier. From the Associated Press:
CHICAGO (AP) — A small but growing number of teens and even younger children who think they were born the wrong sex are getting support from parents and from doctors who give them sex-changing treatments, according to reports in the medical journal Pediatrics.

It's an issue that raises ethical questions, and some experts urge caution in treating children with puberty-blocking drugs and hormones. ...

The report details 97 girls and boys treated between 1998 and 2010; the youngest was 4 years old. Kids that young and their families get psychological counseling and are monitored until the first signs of puberty emerge, usually around age 11 or 12. Then children are given puberty-blocking drugs, in monthly $1,000 injections or implants imbedded in the arm.

Just when you think the boundaries cannot be pushed any further...

Orthodox Christians in Turkey

From the Associated Press:
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians said Monday that Turkey's new constitution should grant equal rights to minorities in the country and safeguard religious freedoms.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I met with members of a parliamentary subcommittee seeking an all-party consensus in drawing up a new constitution, which will replace the one ratified in 1982 while Turkey was under military rule. The subcommittee is meeting with non-governmental organizations and representatives of minority groups for input on the drafting of the new laws.

Turkey's existing constitution guarantees religious freedom, but when it comes to minority religions the country has long been criticized for restricting the training of clergy and the ownership of places of worship, and for interfering with the selection of church leaders. It also has recognized Bartholomew I as the leader of the local church in Turkey, but not as ecumenical patriarch of all Orthodox Christians.

For decades, Turkey has mostly ignored demands of the Patriarchate, mainly due to mistrust stemming from a rivalry with Greece.

It's such a tragedy that Orthodox Christians have to fight for their basic liberties in the land that was once the epicenter of the Byzantine Empire and the heart of the Orthodox Faith.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Us vs. Them

From Tim Stanley, writing for the Telegraph:
It is not a strength of the UK – relative to the US – that it doesn’t discuss social issues. It is a testament to how complacent or cowardly its political elites have become. For fear of sounding like a crazy Republican, they won’t discuss the ugliness of popular culture: sex and violence on TV, rife substance abuse, broken families, the failure to care for the elderly, the abrogation of responsibility, the casual disregard for other people’s feelings etc, etc. Yet these issues are at the root of our more readily acknowledged challenges. If we had a little more Catholic subsidiarity or Muslim Zakah, we wouldn’t need our costly and authoritarian welfare state.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Getting Started in Spain

From The Daily Tribune
MADRID — Spain’s ruling conservatives are attacking the liberal legacy of the defeated Socialists by rolling back abortion and education reforms and awaiting the outcome of a challenge against gay marriage.

The Socialists legalized gay marriage in 2005 and abortion in 2010 and set a liberal syllabus for the civic education classes taught in schools.

Now, alongside its headline-grabbing economic reforms, the conservative Popular Party is taking aim at its defeated rivals’ reforms on these divisive social issues, drawing protests from gays, women’s groups and the left. ...

Separately, Health Minister Ana Mato has ordered a medical review of the morning-after pill, authorized for sale without prescription in 2009.

Education Minister Jose Ignacio Wert meanwhile has said he will scrap the Socialists’ “Education for Citizenship” syllabus, from 2006, which covers sex education, family and diversity, drawing fire from his rivals.

In Defense of Santorum

From The Washington Post:
Female Navy vet: Santorum has a point
By Elizabeth Reintjes De Angelo

Having served in the Navy — I was forward deployed to the Persian Gulf in wartime, helped carry more than 2,000 Marines for the initial invasion of Iraq and watched the first Tomahawks fly from the deck of the USS Kearsarge — I can tell you that Rick Santorum’s unpopular remarks about women in combat roles do reflect reality. ...

And while some politicians and military leaders push for this equality for women, another reality is that many women in the military don’t want it.

For a majority of women I’ve known in the military, being on the front lines in a combat situation isn’t something they desire. Also, when “equality” is established, you are then forced into those roles because your career progression depends on fitting into them.

I was surprised (and disappointed) to see even Republicans pounce on Santorum for his remark. It goes to show how risky questioning the conventional wisdom can be.

Sign of the Times

From The New York Times:
LORAIN, Ohio — It used to be called illegitimacy. Now it is the new normal. After steadily rising for five decades, the share of children born to unmarried women has crossed a threshold: more than half of births to American women under 30 occur outside marriage.

Once largely limited to poor women and minorities, motherhood without marriage has settled deeply into middle America. The fastest growth in the last two decades has occurred among white women in their 20s who have some college education but no four-year degree, according to Child Trends, a Washington research group that analyzed government data.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Defending Marriage

Brendan O'Neill is a writer for the UK's Telegraph. He is an avowed atheist, but he makes a strong argument for traditional marriage in his latest article by debunking the claim that opposition to homosexual "marriage" is another manifestation of the kind of prejudice that once opposed interracial marriage. Here's an excerpt from the piece:
...this comparison between restrictions on interracial marriage and restrictions on gay marriage is utterly moronic; it is historically illiterate and politically opportunistic. Gay-marriage supporters might like to fantasise that they are bravely struggling against an injustice as terrible as America’s old bans on interracial marriage or European states’ one-time bans on Jewish-Gentile marriages, but there is one very important difference between those who campaigned against bans on interracial marriage and those who campaign against restrictions on gay marriage: the anti-racist activists of old were calling for democratic equity within an already-existing institution, whereas today’s pro-gay marriage activists are calling for the creation of an entirely new institution. ...

Gay marriage is very different, because such an institution, the state-approved union of two men, has never existed before. Where black and white lovers or Jewish/Gentile sweethearts once demanded, rightly and bravely, equity within an existing social institution, gay-rights activists today are actually demanding the creation of a brand new, historically unprecedented institution – one in which two men can, in the eyes of the state and society, form a marital union.

Personhood Advances

From the AP, via CBSNews:
(AP) OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma Senate has overwhelmingly approved an anti-abortion "personhood" bill that declares life begins at conception.

The vote Wednesday upset doctors who fear the proposed law will jeopardize reproductive medicine.

The bill now heads to the House, where it is expected to pass. Republican Gov. Mary Fallin typically won't comment on pending legislation, but she has described herself as strongly "pro-life."

And there are more positive shifts like this one in the Old Dominion:

The Tuesday passage in Virginia of two of the strictest anti-abortion bills in the country has sparked fierce debate over abortion rights the battleground state, with Democrats decrying the acts as an unprecedented encroachment on women's rights as Republicans push to move the legislation forward.

One bill, Republican Del. Bob Marshall's House bill 1, would define personhood at conception and "provides that unborn children at every stage of development enjoy all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of the Commonwealth." The second bill requires that women be required to undergo an ultrasound procedure prior to having an abortion.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Archbishop Listecki Questions Walker Recall

Responding to "Tax the Rich"

At about the 7.30 mark, Paul Ryan tackles this common line of argument from the left. It's a great interview, so characteristic of Ryan, who again, should be running for president. No one demonstrates such effortless mastery of these economic issues as Ryan, and he's the one who should be debating Obama one-on-one.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Encouraging news, from The Washington Examiner:
There goes the Catholic vote. Nearly four years after President Obama won 54 percent of Catholic voters, their support has plummeted to just 40 percent in the first poll conducted after he imposed a new birth control mandate on employers, including Catholic agencies.

In a new Rasmussen poll, 59 percent of Catholics now disapprove of the president's job. Rasmussen reports that 44 percent strongly disapprove. About 40 percent at least somewhat approve of Obama's job.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Catholic Soul Searching

Obama at Notre Dame

Cardinal Bernardin. The Seamless Garment. FDR. The New Deal. The Democratic Party. Social Justice. Abortion. Where we are today.

This is just a snippet from an excellent essay written by Paul A. Rahe, a professor of history at Hillsdale College. The full text can be read at Ricohet:
...the leaders of the American Catholic Church fell prey to a conceit that had long before ensnared a great many mainstream Protestants in the United States – the notion that public provision is somehow akin to charity – and so they fostered state paternalism and undermined what they professed to teach: that charity is an individual responsibility and that it is appropriate that the laity join together under the leadership of the Church to alleviate the suffering of the poor. In its place, they helped establish the Machiavellian principle that underpins modern liberalism – the notion that it is our Christian duty to confiscate other people’s money and redistribute it.

At every turn in American politics since that time, you will find the hierarchy assisting the Democratic Party and promoting the growth of the administrative entitlements state. At no point have its members evidenced any concern for sustaining limited government and protecting the rights of individuals. It did not cross the minds of these prelates that the liberty of conscience which they had grown to cherish is part of a larger package – that the paternalistic state, which recognizes no legitimate limits on its power and scope, that they had embraced would someday turn on the Church and seek to dictate whom it chose to teach its doctrines and how, more generally, it would conduct its affairs.

Cardinal Wuerl on HHS Mandate

Pill Culture

Here's an excerpt from an outstanding article by George Weigel, appearing in National Review:
But if Leviathan is to be confronted, and defeated, in his attempt to impose the sexual revolution by brute state power, a critical mass of morally serious minds have got to get clear on one crucial point: The invention of the oral contraceptive was, with the splitting of the atom and the unraveling of the DNA double helix, one of the three world-historical scientific developments of the last century — scientific accomplishments that have within themselves the capacity to change culture and history in fundamental ways. By effectively sundering sexual expression from procreation, modern contraceptives have done something their less-effective predecessors were unable to do for millennia: They have created a contraceptive culture that identifies fertility with disease and willful infertility with “health.” Those who celebrate that culture are not interested in compromise: They are interested in having everyone pay for what they want, and in levying serious penalties on those who won’t truckle to their will.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Our Lady of Lourdes

Obama and Henry VIII, BFF

As usual, Mark Steyn hits a home run with this National Review piece:
For one thing, the Catholic Church in America has been pathetically accommodating of Beltway bigwigs’ ravenous appetite for marital annulments in a way that Pope Clement VII was disinclined to be vis-à-vis the English king and Catherine of Aragon. But where’d all the pandering get them? In essence President Obama has embarked on the same usurpation of church authority as Henry VIII: As his Friday morning faux-compromise confirms, the continued existence of a “faith-based institution” depends on submission to the doctrinal supremacy of the state. ...

As Philip Klein pointed out in the American Spectator two years ago, the Obamacare bill contained 700 references to the secretary “shall,” another 200 to the secretary “may,” and 139 to the secretary “determines.” So the secretary may and shall determine pretty much anything she wants, as the Obamaphile rubes among the Catholic hierarchy are belatedly discovering. His Majesty King Barack “shall have full power and authority to visit, repress, redress, record, order, correct, restrain, and amend all such errors, heresies, abuses, offenses, contempts, and enormities whatsoever they be.”


From Politico:
Hours after calling the Obama administration's contraceptives compromise a "first step," the Catholic bishops said Friday night they have "two serious objections" to the new policy and will fight its enactment.

First, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said the administration’s plan still includes a “nationwide mandate of insurance coverage of sterilization and contraception, including some abortifacients.”

“This is both unsupported in the law and remains a grave moral concern,” the bishops said in their statement.

“We cannot fail to reiterate this, even as so many would focus exclusively on the question of religious liberty.

And while Obama’s new plan allows religious-affiliated employers to refrain from paying for contraceptive coverage — insurers would be obligated to provide the coverage for free — the bishops said the change doesn’t go far enough.

Of course, there's no such thing as a free lunch. Everyone will pay for this with an increase in premiums. Obama didn't blink, there was no compromise. He merely pivoted a bit. But he'll come back for the Church at another time. He is still operating under the faulty idea that he has the authority to dictate any of this in the first place, which he doesn't. He cannot order Catholic institutions or insurance companies what they have to provide and at what cost they must provide it. Obama's so-called compromise simply demonstrates the astonishing breadth of his abuse of power.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Worst Quote of the Year Award Goes To...

Democratic Congresswoman Gwendolyn Moore made the most absurd and idiotic assertion of any politician of the past year.

"The National Institute of Health has said that it is a danger to women's health and safety of their families, that for 30 years, to be exposed to the prospects of pregnancy." ~Gwendolyn Moore

Did you catch that? Families are threatened by pregnancies. Goodnight everyone! Did anyone ever teach Moore about the birds and the bees? She's from Milwaukee, I'm utterly ashamed to say. Initially, I didn't want to contaminate my blog with this piece of rhetorical flotsam, especially as a follow-up to the brilliant Paul Ryan. But ultimately, I think it is very revealing in that it shows exactly what the far left thinks of children. In light of this doozie, I think all of Wisconsin will spend some time to reappraise the Milwaukee Public Schools' laughable "High Standards Start Here!" mantra.

Move ahead to the 2.05 mark to hear Moore's embarrassing statement.

Pro Business and Pro-Market

A worthwhile interview with Paul Ryan:

A Good Point

From CBSNews:
WASHINGTON - Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum created a stir at a high-profile conservative conference on Friday by aggressively charging that his GOP rivals aren't conservative enough to excite voters - in the primary or general election.

"We always talk about appealing to moderates," Santorum said at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). "Why would an undecided voter vote for the candidate that the party's not excited about? We need conservatives to rally for a conservative, to pull with that excitement moderate voters, and to defeat Barack Obama in the fall."

PC World

Rick Santorum raised very rational objections to the Pentagon's plan to open up more positions in the military to women. Predictably, he is facing a barrage of criticism from those who are always eager to pounce on anyone who dares to question liberal dogma.

The U.S. military wants to open thousands of jobs that could put more women on the front lines of combat, a move Rick Santorum believes could compromise missions.

“When you have men and women together in combat, I think men have emotions when you see a woman in harm’s way,’’ Santorum told TODAY’s Ann Curry Friday. “I think it’s something that’s natural that’s very much in our culture to be protective. That was my concern, and I think that’s a concern with all the military.’’

The orders from the Pentagon issued Thursday — ending restrictions that prevent women from taking certain military positions once considered dangerous —will take effect in 30 works days if Congress offers no opposition.

Santorum cited the Israeli army’s policy of not allowing women on the front lines of combat to support his stance. On CNN Thursday, he said that having women serve in combat was “not in the best interests of men, women or the mission.”

I read an interesting quote from a female veteran who complained that the Pentagon isn't going far enough with its new rule. She wanted to see all military positions open to women, including, presumably, Special Forces and all combat-related roles. All positions should be open to "qualified women," she declared. This is simply absurd. Physically speaking, women are not capable of the incredibly demanding rigors of Special Forces training, something I know a good deal about thanks to a friend who successfully completed such training. It's not a slight against women to say this, but merely an honest appraisal of the limitations of a woman's natural physical strength. So does the military ease up on, i.e. water down, the intensity of the training, so as to better accommodate women, all in the name of equality? So much for equality in that case, as an adjustment in training would represent an admission of a disparity in physical abilities between men and women. Does blind adherence to political correctness or an ideology so override common sense and, in this case biology, that we're going to ignore reality? That's kind of what liberalism is all about, after all.

You often read testimonies from reflective soldiers who claim that the military taught them how to "be a man." Traditionally, serving in the military has afforded a unique opportunity for the soldier to prove himself as a man. I still think this is the case, but where are we headed?

Outside Support

From FoxNews:
Seemingly emboldened by the support he received after skipping a trip to the White House a few weeks ago, Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas has put himself in the middle of another political fight with the Obama administration, this time expressing his support for the Roman Catholic institutions that are resisting the federal government’s attempt to force them to include coverage for contraception in health plans for their employees.

“I Stand with the Catholics in the fight for Religious Freedom,” wrote Thomas on his Facebook page earlier today before quoting from “First They Came,” a poem by Martin Niemöller, a German Protestant minister who regretted his failure to resist the Nazis before they came to power in the 1930s.

“In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew,” wrote Thomas. ... "Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Elephant in the Room

The Church, or rather those in leadership positions within the Church, should see the national controversy over Obama's birth control mandate (for now the burden of insurance companies) as a golden opportunity to educate the faithful on the reasons behind the Church's teaching on artificial birth control. Instead of just playing defense against the outside political establishment, bishops and pastors should be pursuing an internal catechetical offensive geared to lay Catholics in the pews on Sunday. Now that the issue has been so dramatically brought to the fore, why not take the time to catechize the faithful on this sensitive subject, rather than simply talking about the First Amendment violation and the chutzpah of the federal government? For an example of this, check out the Archdiocese of Saint Louis' flashy new Youtube video on the subject:

It's not a bad clip per se, but in fact, from the perspective of a serious Catholic, this issue is very much about the "pill", contrary to the video's assertion. The video presents birth control as almost a sideshow, just a red herring for the real bête noire, an overreaching government, when in fact birth control is a major theme in all of this from the Church's perspective. It's understandable for politicians to focus more on the power grab of the Executive Branch and the First Amendment, but Church leaders need to reexamine how they have presented the Church's teaching on the subject of birth control over the past several decades, rather than just tackle the political angle of the controversy.

Harsh statistics reveal the sad truth that the overwhelming majority of Catholics use birth control. And yet these same Catholics receive Holy Communion time and time again. This is a serious problem that requires serious attention. Clearly, someone, or some group of people, dropped the ball when it came to proper catechesis on the subject. (Add this to a long list.) This is a problem that has been decades in the making, and now it is laid bare for all to see. I've watched interview after interview of bishops and cardinals being grilled on various secular news outlets, and the interlocutor, without fail, gleefully reminds the prelate about the gaping disparity between most Catholics and their bishops on the subject of birth control. It's an awkward moment, to say the least.

On the one hand, this issue is being portrayed by politicians and Church leaders as an unprecedented assault by the government on religious freedom, and that is certainly true. The other side to this issue that I find perhaps more important, the elephant in the room, if you will, is the in-house business relating to the Catholic Church and the fact that so many of its members, sadly, sharply diverge from official Church teaching on a specific issue pertaining to the moral life. And then related to this is the scandal of observing so many so-called Catholic politicians on the left dutifully circle the wagons in support of this mandate. New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand comes to mind, and who could forget Kathleen Sebelius? What is being done on this front? How long will such public, grave dissidence, the source of so much confusion to lay Catholics, be tolerated by Church leaders? Don't strong public scandals call for a strong public reaction from the leadership? And I'm not talking about issuing statements.

What Obama's Up To

This is a chilling, yet wholly accurate summation of where Obama wants to take this nation with his pernicious HHS mandate. From Janet Daley, writing for the Telegraph:
Obama moves closer to post-religious Europe is also a departure from the traditional American view (enshrined in the Constitution) that the government shall not interfere in the people's right to religious assembly and practice. What the Obama White House has effectively decided is that religion can not be allowed to interfere with the secular values which government has decreed - such as the right to equality in contraception services. Religion itself is being firmly put in its box. If the state decides that contraception must be available to all, then no church or theological text will be allowed to stand in the way. Once again, the US is following where Europe leads: to a future in which all values will be determined and enforced by the state.

Sanctum Santorum

Just what is the Santorum appeal? Conservatives know the answer without thinking twice, but the GOP establishment and much of the mainstream media are scratching their heads on the subject. Here are a couple standout reasons from CNN's Top Ten list:
7. Santorum doesn’t just talk about opposing abortion, he’s legislated on it. As a senator, he was an architect of the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. He pushed the ban even in the1990s, when Bill Clinton was in the White House and the legislation stood nary a chance of a presidential signature. “He walked the walk,” Land says. “When no one else would carry our water in the Senate, he would.”

8. Ditto on same-sex marriage. Santorum sponsored a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage at a time when many Republicans lawmakers didn’t want to touch such a hot potato.

I have to say that Santorum's resilience truly surprises me. I certainly didn't think he'd last this long. Still, doubts stubbornly linger about his electability in a general, but come on, wouldn't it be outstanding if he became president? Now there's a man you could trust to go to war on the big issues we face and not back down.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012


"Conversion is an act of obedience toward a reality which precedes me and which does not originate from me. Conversion does not lead into a private relationship with Jesus. It is a delivery into the pattern of doctrine...the entry into the "we" of the Church." ~Pope Benedict XVI

This wise reflection, from the Holy Father's The Nature and Mission of Theology, is a good place to start with the "I love God, but hate religion" crowd.

Boehner's Line In the Sand

"This attack ... on religious freedom in our country cannot stand and will not stand."

From YahooNews:
From the Republican presidential candidates to top GOP lawmakers in Washington, party leaders are engaging in a full-court press against the Obama Administration's decision to force employers affiliated with religious groups to offer health care insurance plans to workers that cover birth control free of charge, even if the action contradicts the employer's religious beliefs.

In a rare move for someone in his office, House Speaker John Boehner, Republican of Ohio, took to the floor of the chamber on Wednesday to discuss a legislative plan to overturn the decision. Calling the rule "an unambiguous attack" on faith-based groups, Boehner said the House would begin work on a bill immediately.

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Air Force Atheism

Just when you thought the government's assault on religion and God couldn't get any more blatant, there's this. From The Hill:
A group of Republican lawmakers is protesting the removal a reference to God in the patch logo for the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO).

The 35 lawmakers, led by Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), wrote a letter to Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz urging them to restore the logo with a reference to God.

Forbes warned that the action taken by the RCO could set a “dangerous precedent” when it comes to religion and the military.
"The action taken by the RCO suggests that all references to God, regardless of their context, must be removed from the military,” Forbes wrote. “As we are confident that your legal advisors would not suggest that censorship is required for compliance with the First Amendment, we ask that you reverse this perplexing decision.”

The patch logo was changed after a military atheist group, the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, protested the reference to God on the patch.

Rand Paul Sides With Catholics (And Freedom)

Here's the intro. of an excellent article by Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, appearing in National Review:
In his 1991 encyclical Centesimus Annus, Pope John Paul II delivered a scathing critique of socialism, declaring that “the fundamental error of socialism is anthropological in nature. Socialism considers the individual person simply as an element, a molecule within the social organism, so that the good of the individual is completely subordinated. . . . Socialism likewise maintains that the good of the individual can be realized without reference to his free choice, to the unique and exclusive responsibility which he exercises in the face of good or evil.”

Pope John Paul II’s indictment of socialism is illustrated in the Obama administration’s recent edict requiring nearly all employers — including Catholic hospitals, schools, and charities — to cover sterilizations and contraception in their employees’ health-care plans. Because “contraception” includes abortifacients, this decision — made under the powers granted to the executive branch under Obamacare — also threatens many Protestant employers.

With young, savvy legislators like Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, and not to mention stellar governors like Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal and of course, Scott Walker, the future of conservatism looks brighter than ever. (At the same time, it's too bad that none of these politicos are running for the presidency. Quite simply, they outshine the GOP candidates in every category. Here's to a VP slot.)

A New Low

From FoxNews:
Vending machine at Pennsylvania college dispenses 'morning after' pill

Students at a public Pennsylvania university can buy the "morning after" pill from a campus vending machine, though the school's minister is working to get the dispenser off of school grounds.

The vending machine at Shippensburg University's Etter Health Center that provides Plan B emergency contraceptive pills for $25 was installed after a survey found that 85 percent of student respondents supported it, according to Peter Gigliotti, the university's executive director for communications and marketing. The machine also dispenses condoms and pregnancy tests.

What next?

Seeing Is Believing

From the Telegraph:
Texas forces mothers seeking abortions to view image of unborn child

The state of Texas is to enforce a law requiring abortion doctors to show a woman an ultrasound of her foetus before allowing her to go ahead with the operation.

The law, enacted in 2011, requires abortion providers to perform an ultrasound on pregnant women, show and describe the image to them, and play sounds of the foetal heartbeat.

Though women can decline to view images or hear the heartbeat, they must listen to a description of the exam.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Army Chaplains Reined In

First, Obama forced the military to accept open homosexuality in its ranks, and now his loyal minions are censoring Catholic chaplains in the Army. A true authoritarian.

From FoxNews:
Army chaplains have been told not to read a letter in Masses on Sunday that expresses disapproval of a new regulation in the Obama administration's health care law because the language in the letter speaks too strongly against the commander in chief.

According to a senior Army official, Chief of Chaplains Donald Rutherford was asked not to let chaplains read the Jan. 26 letter sent by Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio because of the sentence that states: "We cannot -- we will not -- comply with this unjust law."

"There was a worry that would be a call for civil disobedience," said a senior Army official.

Mark Steyn made a great point yesterday. "When government gets bigger, everything else gets smaller."

Update: From FoxNews:
The Army said Tuesday that a request for chaplains not to read a letter in Sunday Mass that expressed disapproval of a new regulation in the Obama administration's health care law was not an attempt to "censor," but rather a cautionary move to preserve "military order and discipline."

The Army acknowledged that Chief of Chaplains Donald Rutherford had asked chaplains to only distribute, but not read, the Jan. 26 letter sent by Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio. The concern was apparently over a single line.

"The Chief of Chaplains was concerned that one line in the 456-word letter could be misinterpreted as a call to civil disobedience within our nation's military ranks," the statement said.

This is outrageous. For any government to insert itself between a Catholic and his priest during Mass when the latter is instructing on faith and morals represents a terrible precedent.

"I am the King's good servant, but God's first." Saint Thomas More, pray for us.

Romney on HHS Mandate

Mitt Romney is certainly not backing away from the issues that matter most to social conservatives. From the National Journal
CENTENNIAL, Colo. – With the U.S. economy improving, Mitt Romney is expanding his focus to other areas of attack against President Obama, and on Monday honed in on a social issue – contraception – that he has rarely discussed on the stump.

At a high school in Centennial, a Denver suburb, Romney took aim at recent regulations requiring women’s contraceptive services to be covered by insurance policies under the Affordable Care Act. The Catholic Church had sought a broad exemption for the many Catholic institutions in the country to recognize its canonical opposition to artificial birth control. Instead, the Department of Health and Human Services excluded only “religious employers” that primarily employ members of their own faith communities. ...

“Think what that does to people in faiths that do not share those views. This is a violation of conscience,” he said. “We must have a president who is willing to protect America's first right, our right to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience.”
He added, “The creator gave every human being his rights. I’m just distressed as I watch our president try and infringe upon our rights. The First Amendment of the Constitution provides the right to worship in the way of our own choice.”

And the there's this, from CBSNews:

"I am a pro-life individual, I was a pro-life governor, I served as a pro-life governor, I'm a pro-life candidate. I simply do not want to participate in anything that takes the lives of an unborn child." ~Mitt Romney

Monday, February 06, 2012

Bishop Stands Pat

It's a great thing to catch wind of a fearless bishop who speaks truth to power. From CNS News:
( – The Catholic bishop of Harrisburg, Pa., has apologized for offending anyone with his recent comments that Hitler and Mussolini “would love” the public school system in Pennsylvania, because it is similar to what they sought to create in their totalitarian states.

But in a statement issued by the diocese of Harrisburg, Bishop Joseph McFadden did not retract comments he made during an interview on Jan. 24 with WHTM-TV, the ABC affiliate in Harrisburg.

The bishop made a comparison between the interests of the public school system and totalitarianism, while discussing what he sees as a lack of school choice in Pennsylvania.

“In the totalitarian government, they would love our system,” McFadden said. “This is what Hitler and Mussolini and all them tried to establish -- a monolith; so all the children would be educated in one set of beliefs and one way of doing things.”

This is simply the truth.

Twilight's Last Gleaming

A storm is brewing, and American Catholics are quickly arriving at a time for choosing. On what side will they fall? From CBS New York:
Catholic League Poised To Go To War With Obama Over Mandatory Birth Control Payments

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Catholic leaders upped the ante Monday, threatening to challenge the Obama administration over a provision of the new health care law that would require all employers, including religious institutions, to pay for birth control.

As CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reports, it could affect the presidential elections.

Catholic leaders are furious and determined to harness the voting power of the nation’s 70 million Catholic voters to stop a provision of President Barack Obama’s new heath car reform bill that will force Catholic schools, hospitals and charities to buy birth control pills, abortion-producing drugs and sterilization coverage for their employees.

“Never before, unprecedented in American history, for the federal government to line up against the Roman Catholic Church,” said Catholic League head Bill Donohue. ...

“This is going to be fought out with lawsuits, with court decisions, and, dare I say it, maybe even in the streets,” Donohue said.

Romney's Intervention

Here's an excerpt from an incredible story about Mitt Romney that is presently circulating on the web. From Politifact:
A number of readers recently have asked us to fact-check a story about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The story, currently circulating on email, Facebook, and blogs, says that Romney helped a colleague of his at Bain Capital locate his missing teenage daughter. ...

Three days later, her distraught father had no idea where she was. Romney took immediate action. He closed down the entire firm and asked all 30 partners and employees to fly to New York to help find Gay’s daughter. Romney set up a command center at the LaGuardia Marriott and hired a private detective firm to assist with the search. He established a toll-free number for tips, coordinating the effort with the NYPD, and went through his Rolodex and called everyone Bain did business with in New York and asked them to help find his friend’s missing daughter. ... Romney and the other Bain employees scoured every part of New York and talked with everyone they could – prostitutes, drug addicts – anyone.

"That day, their hunt made the evening news, which featured photos of the girl and the Bain employees searching for her. As a result, a teenage boy phoned in, asked if there was a reward, and then hung up abruptly. The NYPD traced the call to a home in New Jersey, where they found the girl in the basement, shivering and experiencing withdrawal symptoms from a massive ecstasy dose. Doctors later said the girl might not have survived another day. Romney’s former partner credits Mitt Romney with saving his daughter’s life, saying, ‘It was the most amazing thing, and I’ll never forget this to the day I die.’ ...

By all accounts, the effort by Bain employees was central to the effort to locate the girl, and Romney reportedly played a significant role in that effort. We give the account now circulating a rating of True.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Rogers' Neighborhood

Aaron Rogers is the NFL's MVP of the year! He's a good man and an amazing quarterback. Here's to next season!

Shutting It Off

This guy is definitely on to something. Real life and real relationships are what matter most, not the virtual social world. Instead of calling or texting a friend, Jake Reilly would ride his bike to visit them in person in order to chat. From Yahoo!:
Could you live without daily electronic conveniences -- Twitter, Facebook, email, texting and more -- for 90 days? Jake P. Reilly, a 24-year-old copywriting student at the Chicago Portfolio School, did just that. [Related: See more of Reilly’s work at]

From October to December, he unplugged from social media, email, texts, and cell phones because he felt that we spend more quality time with gadgets and keyboards than we do with the people we really care about.

During his social experiment, he found that some people he counted among his close friends really weren't that close after all. ...

In the opening of your "Going Amish" presentation, you say that you had friends over and realized what was going on. Describe what you noticed and your feelings right at that moment.

Reilly: I live with three guys and we had two of our best friends in visiting from New York City. We only see these guys once a year, maybe every six months. We were at the University of Wisconsin watching a Badgers basketball game or something like that. Every single person had either a laptop or a cell phone. That's just kind of funny to begin with, then, I was like, "What are we all doing?" I asked everyone what they were doing and somebody's playing Words with Friends, somebody's playing Angry Birds, somebody's playing online trivia. Nobody's really doing anything, just sitting quiet. It's like this was what we were all looking forward to and we're just sitting here numbing our minds.

I've often posted on this disturbing trend in society, whereby people are becoming sucked into their handheld mobile devices, to the extent that their ability to interact with the people physically present to them is severely hampered. These days, is it possible to go anywhere, out to dinner, for a drink, etc., and not see someone, even your friend, pull out his phone or whatever, almost without thinking about it, and begin texting away?

Friday, February 03, 2012

She said what???

An astonishing story: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court and Clinton appointee, basically pooh-poohed the U.S. Constitution while in Egypt, and suggested that present-day statesmen in search of political wisdom would do better to rely on more contemporary constitutions instead of our own.

From ABCNews:
Asked by the English-speaking interviewer whether she thought Egypt should use the Constitutions of other countries as a model, Ginsburg said Egyptians should be “aided by all Constitution-writing that has gone on since the end of World War II.”

“I would not look to the U.S. Constitution, if I were drafting a Constitution in the year 2012. I might look at the Constitution of South Africa,” says Ginsburg, whom President Clinton nominated to the court in 1993. “That was a deliberate attempt to have a fundamental instrument of government that embraced basic human rights, had an independent judiciary. … It really is, I think, a great piece of work that was done. Much more recent than the U.S. Constitution.

Ginsburg, you'll remember, is perhaps the strongest advocate of the ludicrous "living Constitution" theory, whereby the essential tenets of the mossy ole Constitution are gutted in favor of the so-called "evolving standards of decency" of our enlightened era, which must, of course, include the right to kill an innocent child in the womb.

Spain Rolls Back Zapatero-Era Laws

The rain in Spain is over. From the Christian Science Monitor:
Spaniards have been taken by surprise by the new conservative government's aggressive efforts to implement social reforms, overturning several liberal laws passed by the previous government amid tremendous economic uncertainty.

People's Party rising star Justice Minister Alberto Ruíz Gallardón, a former mayor of Madrid and one of the most popular politicians in Spain, announced he would soon introduce a bill to overturn the changes the Socialists made to Spain's abortion law, reverting to the 1985 version.

According to the current version, approved in 2010, teenagers aged 16 and older can have an abortion without parental permission in some cases and don’t need to meet pre-approved circumstances, such as rape or mental illness, as long as it’s during the first trimester. The People's Party's reforms will reverse both changes ...

And on Jan. 30, Education Minister José Ignacio Wert announced that a new law would replace the civic education curriculum that Socialist introduced in 2006, which included lessons on religious, racial, and sexual tolerance that were loudly criticized by the Catholic Church and the country’s extreme right. Mr. Wert said he would eliminate “issues that controversial and susceptible to ideological indoctrination,” although he didn’t offer more details.

The People's Party has not said when either of the laws would be introduced or passed. But a landslide victory in November elections gave the party an absolute majority in Parliament, meaning it doesn’t need to negotiate support from any other parties in order to pass legislation.

My advice: Don't stop now.

"You are Peter"

AP Photo
Vespers yesterday at Saint Peter's Basilica

Economic Realism

Unemployment rate down, but...

And from FoxNews:
Three years after Obama became president, even the official unemployment rate still remains high. The newly released 8.3 percent unemployment rate is still a half a percentage point higher than when he took office.

But that still might be looking at the bright side. If we include those who have given up looking for work and those who could only find part time work, the unemployment rate stands at almost an entire percentage point higher than when Obama entered office.

In January 2009, 11.6 million Americans were out of work and 23 percent of them had been unemployed for more than six months.

Today there are 12.8 million unemployed and 43 percent have been out of a job for more than six months. The average length of unemployment has increased dramatically since even the recovery started. Back in June 2009, “only” 29 percent of the unemployed had been unemployed longer than six months.


When it comes to determining what qualifies as "art" nowadays, anything goes. From the Diocese of Charlotte:
CHARLOTTE — The faithful of the diocese, led by Bishop Peter J. Jugis, are standing up for the Catholic faith by protesting a blasphemous play being performed Feb. 2-18 at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center in Charlotte.

"The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told," an off-Broadway play written by Paul Rudnick in 1998 and being performed this month by the Queen City Theatre Company, retells the Creation story with two homosexual couples, portrays Mary as a lesbian and mocks the Virgin Birth.

The play "presents a gleefully outrageous reinterpretation of Creation. Adam and Steve begin their journey in the Garden of Eden. After being banished from Eden, they encounter Jane and Mabel, who insist they were the earth's original couple," according to the promotional information on the Queen City Theatre Company and Blumenthal Performing Arts Center websites. The two homosexual couples are then portrayed in various Old Testament stories, ending up in Central Park in modern-day New York, where Steve is suffering from AIDS and Jane is nine months pregnant. The irreverent play questions the existence of God, features homosexual acts and bestiality, and lampoons heterosexual fidelity. ...

More than 100 Catholics also stood in peaceful protest on the sidewalk in front of the Duke Energy Theater at Spirit Square in uptown Charlotte Thursday night, Feb. 2, praying a Rosary of Reparation and Divine Mercy Chaplet immediately before the opening night performance. The crowd grew quickly from 60 people to start with about 7 p.m., then to 85, and then to 105 by the time the prayer vigil was concluding around 8 p.m.

United Catholics Rise

Peggy Noonan wrote an excellent analysis of the political damage that could stem from Obama's unprecedented birth control mandate. Noonan's argument is that the HHS mandate, so unpopular and so brazen, could be a major factor in Obama's defeat in November. Of course, a lot of this will hinge on the Church's leadership here in the states, and its ability to keep this issue front and center in the minds of their flock. So far, the forceful and united response from the bishops has been impressive. They must not relent.

From The Wall Street Journal:
The church is split on many things. But do Catholics in the pews want the government telling their church to contravene its beliefs? A president affronting the leadership of the church, and blithely threatening its great institutions? No, they don't want that. They will unite against that.

The smallest part of this story is political. There are 77.7 million Catholics in the United States. In 2008 they made up 27% of the electorate, about 35 million people. Mr. Obama carried the Catholic vote, 54% to 45%. They helped him win.

They won't this year. And guess where a lot of Catholics live? In the battleground states.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Concealed Carry: 'It levels the playing field'

A little local, Brew City news for you.
MILWAUKEE -- It's the first known case of a concealed carry permit holder in Wisconsin shooting someone, and it happened in the middle of a Milwaukee grocery store, where a customer stopped two men from robbing the store by shooting one of them, Milwaukee police said.

It was just after 7 p.m. Monday when two men stormed into the Aldi at 76th Street and Villard Avenue. Police said at least one of them was waving a shotgun, despite the presence of two unarmed security guards.

Still, they couldn't have counted on a customer legally carrying a concealed handgun, who opened fire on them.

Everyone involved in the attempted robbery has been arrested. A short video on the story accompanies the link. It's worth watching, and it presents a few interesting anecdotes:

1. Unarmed security guards... Seriously? What's the point?

2. The store boasts a sign warning, "Weapons of any kind are prohibited". Do people really think that criminals are going to take note of that sign and have a change of heart about carrying out their plan to rob, or murder? I've never understood the logic of these signs. Criminals will not care a wit, and the only ones who might care about following the rules are those interested in protecting themselves.

3. The refreshingly common sense observation of a nearby worker, Larry Rowell, who declared (in a classic Milwaukee accent) "I'm really happy because now the criminals are gonna be afraid 'cause who knows who's gonna have their weapon on 'em? ... I think it levels the playing field."

Let's put Rowell up as a candidate for Mayor of Milwaukee.