Thursday, March 29, 2012

"Active" in the Church

Here's an excerpt from a fine letter written by Bishop Robert Morlino of the Diocese of Madison:
Last week I was privileged to be a witness to religious freedom and freedom of conscience with nearly 500 faithful people at the Federal building in downtown Madison. Such rallies had been quickly organized around our nation and I know that not all who might have come were able (or even aware of the events).

Those who were able to gather, however, were in large part Catholic (though not all), and in being there, they were really doing what the Second Vatican Council meant by “lay mission,” that is, applying the standards of God’s Kingdom to the real world.

That is the true role that the Church was trying to enliven in the laity through Vatican II — faithful people witnessing actively to today’s world, bringing the Church into the world of today (as opposed to the idea that the main way one can be an “active” Catholic is by performing different liturgical roles).

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A More Progressive Nation

I came accross this line today: "How many thousands of people will die as a result of a few people in robes quibling over a document written two hundred years ago?" 

Apparently, the Constitution is holding America back.  It is preventing us from saving lives and enacting health upon our fellow citizens.  Herein, I suppose, lies our best solution: release America's constitutional government from the bonds of its constitution.  We can leave it to our ever pellucid federal lawyers to explain what it means for a constitutional government to exist independently of its constitution.  Afterall, they do an excellent job explaining how the same thing can be a tax and not a tax at the same time.       

I suggest the following slogan for the Obama 2012 campaign: "Believe in America, Abolish the Constitution."  This would be a much more informative and sincere line than the ones we hear about hope and change.  What is not for the honest progressive to like? 

End Game for ObamaCare?

From the Los Angeles Times:
Justices poised to strike down entire healthcare law

Reporting from Washington— The Supreme Court's conservative justices said Wednesday they are prepared to strike down President Obama’s healthcare law entirely.

Picking up where they left off Tuesday, the conservatives said they thought a decision striking down the law's controversial individual mandate to purchase health insurance means the whole statute should fall with it.

The court’s conservatives sounded as though they had determined for themselves that the 2,700-page measure must be declared unconstitutional.

"One way or another, Congress will have to revisit it in toto," said Justice Antonin Scalia.

Agreeing, Justice Anthony Kennedy said it would be an "extreme proposition" to allow the various insurance regulations to stand after the mandate was struck down.

Where we're going

A sobering look at the state of the economy, our debt, etc.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

ObamaCare in Trouble

“this [Obamacare's individual mandate] is beyond anything Congress has ever done before.” ~Justice Anthony Kennedy

From Politico:
Conservative justices attacked the heart of President Barack Obama’s health care law Tuesday, expressing deep skepticism that the government can force Americans to buy insurance.

On the second day of oral arguments, the Supreme Court grappled for two hours with that central element of the landmark legislation: the so-called individual mandate.

Before the arguments, many court watchers said they expected the law would be upheld, and a few even predicted that as many as eight justices would back the constitutionality of the mandate.

However, through their comments and questions Tuesday, the justices signaled they may defy those expectations.

And it's panic mode over at CNN:

Monday, March 26, 2012

Liturgy

Bishop Mark Davies

Here's an excerpt from a story from the Diocese of Shrewsbury, in the U.K. It discusses the inauguration of a newly reopened parish in England, the Shrine Church of Saints Peter and Paul, that will from now on be under the direction of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. Over 1,000 people attended the first Mass, when only about 400 were expected. Even the Telegraph featured a story on this.

Bishop Mark Davies, a strong proponent of Summorum Pontificum, presided at the traditional Mass. The new rector of the Shrine, French-born Canon Olivier Meney, served most recently as rector of Saint Stanislaus, the Institute's church in Milwaukee. He is a great priest and I'm sure he'll work wonders at Saints Peter and Paul. It's so encouraging to see such a strong demand for the traditional Mass among the faithful, not to mention a bishop who is fully on-board with Summorum Pontificum.
Bishop Davies said: “Perhaps in this image we can recognise the new mission given to this church in a new and vibrant parish and amid the new needs of those who travel through the century before us.”

Pope Benedict had observed, the Bishop reminded the congregation, “ how ‘every great reform’ every authentic renewal of the Church’s life ‘has in some way been linked to the rediscovery of belief in the Lord’s Eucharistic presence among his people’.

“This is the prayer and intercession that I wish to especially entrust to this Shrine Church,” Bishop Davies said.

He added: “So today we do not simply wish to open the doors of a closed building but to be open in our hearts to what Blessed John Paul II called ‘Eucharistic amazement’.

“I was asked in a radio interview whether I saw myself as part of an old, traditional church or a dynamic, evangelising community. My interviewer saw these as distinct alternatives but to the Catholic mind the answer must always be both.

“We can only be a dynamic, evangelising community if we are rooted in the continuity of the Church’s faith and worship. And always at the heart and centre, always the source and the summit as the Second Vatican Council declared is … the mystery and reality of the Eucharist."

Saturday, March 24, 2012

At stake next week

Here's an excerpt from an excellent editorial appearing in The Wall Street Journal that spells out the importance of next week's big hearing on ObamaCare at the Supreme Court.
Few legal cases in the modern era are as consequential, or as defining, as the challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that the Supreme Court hears beginning Monday. The powers that the Obama Administration is claiming change the structure of the American government as it has existed for 225 years. Thus has the health-care law provoked an unprecedented and unnecessary constitutional showdown that endangers individual liberty.

It is a remarkable moment. The High Court has scheduled the longest oral arguments in nearly a half-century: five and a half hours, spread over three days. Yet Democrats, the liberal legal establishment and the press corps spent most of 2010 and 2011 deriding the government of limited and enumerated powers of Article I as a quaint artifact of the 18th century. Now even President Obama and his staff seem to grasp their constitutional gamble.

What it means to be American

A short video, a couple of years old, but very relevant.

How It All Begins

From Brendan O'Neill, writing for the Telegraph:
Anyone who thinks the introduction of gay marriage will give rise to a new era of liberty and choice should look at the Canadian experience. There, the passing of the 2005 Civil Marriage Act, which allows same-sex unions, unleashed a phenomenal amount of state meddling in families and relationships. Most notably, the state utterly overhauled the traditional language of the family, airbrushing from official documents terms such as "husband" and "wife" and even "mother" and "father". The Orwellian obliteration of such longstanding identities, which mean a great deal to many people, demonstrates that modern politicians are more than happy to ride roughshod over the majority in their desperate pursuit of some PC political points. ... Most strikingly, on birth certificates some Canadian provinces have replaced the term "father" and "mother" with "Parent 1" and "Parent 2".

Such tinkering with lingo, the replacement of words that have real depth and meaning for millions of people with bureaucratic terms that no normal person uses, reveals the social-engineering instinct that lies behind the gay-marriage campaign. Because this is not simply about elevating gay relationships, as we are so often told – more importantly, it is about demoting and devaluing traditional relationships, as built on marriage as it was once understood.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Trinity

The Most Holy Trinity, by Guido Reni, seen in the Church Santissima TrinitĂ  dei Pellegrini in Rome

"If God is not a Trinity, God is not love. For love requires three things: a lover, a beloved, and a relationship between them. If God were only one person, He could be a lover, but not love itself. The Father loves the Son and the Son loves the Father, and the Spirit is the love proceeding from both, from all eternity. If that were not so, then God would need us, would be incomplete without us, without someone to love." ~Peter Kreeft

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Unite

A strong speech from Mitt Romney last night:



"I see an America where poverty is defeated by opportunity, not enabled by a government check."

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pope Leo XIII's Saint Michael Prayer

Saint Michael the Archangel, from the tavola d'oro in Saint Mark's Basilica, Venice

In times like these, it's a prayer well-worth saying.
O glorious Archangel St. Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, defend us in battle, and in the struggle which is ours against the principalities and Powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, against spirits of evil in high places (Eph 6:12). Come to the aid of men, whom God created immortal, made in his own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil (Wis 2:23-24, 1 Cor 6:20).

Fight this day the battle of the Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in Heaven. But that cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan, who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with all his angels (Rev 12:7-9).

Behold, this primeval enemy and slayer of man has taken courage, Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the name of God and of his Christ, to seize upon, slay and cast into eternal perdition souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. This wicked dragon pours out, as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity.

These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on her most sacred possessions (Lam 3:15).

In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be scattered.

Arise then, O invincible prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and bring them the victory.

The Church venerates thee as protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious powers of this world and of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude.

Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations.

Paul Ryan's Path to Prosperity

Walker on Recall

An excellent interview:

Monday, March 19, 2012

Saint Joseph



Canterbury Tales

Amid the discussion of who will succeed Rowan Williams as the next Archbishop of Caterbury, Brandan O'Neill makes a larger point about the level of intolerance aimed at anyone voicing the slightest objection to gay "marriage." From the Telegraph:
The extent to which gay marriage has become a measuring stick of moral decency is clear from the fate suffered by the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu. There was a time when Sentamu was fawned over by commentators-with-a-conscience. These right-minded folk, though essentially Godless, loved this energetic bishop and his banker-bashing, Mugabe-mauling publicity stunts. Yet as soon as he opened his gob on the matter of gay marriage, and said he was opposed to it, his stock in the chattering-class world plummeted with eye-swivelling speed. Now Sentamu is a figure of ridicule in respectable circles. He's still popular with the public, but elite opinion-formers openly scoff at the idea that he should take over from Rowan Williams as Archbishop of Canterbury. Be warned: if you take anything other than a nodding-dog approach to the issue of gay marriage, your reputation will be ripped to shreds.

Abortion and the Real War on Women

From the Telegraph:
India fears cheap Chinese ultrasounds are causing female abortions
India has launched an investigation into the sale of cheap Chinese ultrasound machines it fears are behind an increase in abortions of female babies.

Officials believe the wide availability and low cost of these machines have caused an increase in the number of clinics screening pregnant women and offering illegal sex determination tests.

The test results are often used by the husband's family to pressurize the woman into having an abortion.

India has been widely criticised for its skewed sex ratio which is widely believed to have been affected by female foeticide and abortion.

Toss Obamacare

From ABC News:
Two-thirds of Americans say the U.S. Supreme Court should throw out either the individual mandate in the federal health care law or the law in its entirety, signaling the depth of public disagreement with that element of the Affordable Care Act.

This ABC News/Washington Post poll finds that Americans oppose the law overall by 52-41 percent. And 67 percent believe the high court should either ditch the law or at least the portion that requires nearly all Americans to have coverage.

The high court opens hearings on the law’s constitutionality a week from today.

"Signaling the depth of public disagreement..."? No, most of the public agrees on how terrible this law is, or at least a central aspect of the law. This is another example of how the media attempts to form public opinion rather than simply report it.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

'Change the way people think about guns'

HOLDER 1995: WE MUST 'BRAINWASH' PEOPLE AGAINST GUNS


A pretty astonishing video from the man presently serving as our nation's Attorney General.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Freedom the AAUP Way



Back in 1940 the American Association of University Professors published a statement endorsing “full academic freedom.” The statement, however, allowed religious institutions to place some limits on academic freedom, provided those limits were “clearly stated in writing at the time of [faculty] appointment.”
The AAUP later pulled its exception for religious institutions in 1970. In its Interpretive Comments of that year, the AAUP states: “[m]ost church-related institutions no longer need or desire the departure from the principle of academic freedom implied in the 1940 Statement, and we do not now endorse such a departure.” In other words, a religious institution cannot limit the freedom of professors in order to ensure its religious teaching.
Catholic schools cannot comply with the mandate for such unbridled academic freedom. Pope John Paul II says as much in Ex Corde Ecclesiae (which, by the way, was condemned as a backward document by Daniel Maguire in the AAUP online journal): “all Catholic teachers are to be faithful to, and all other teachers are to respect, Catholic doctrine and morals in their research and teaching. In particular, Catholic theologians, aware that they fulfill a mandate received from the Church, are to be faithful to the Magisterium of the Church as the authentic interpreter of Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.” The Pope's directive stands squarely in opposition to the AAUP's revised 1970 position on academic freedom.
Unfortunately, the AAUP cut faithful Catholic universities out of the picture forty-two years ago. Perhaps it's time for Catholic universities, which still largely endorse the association, to return it the favor.

American Oil

The president has asserted that America really doesn't harbor a lot of oil to begin with, so why, he asks with a hint of sarcasm, all the drama with "Drill baby drill"?

To answer that question, I thought I'd share this article as a follow-up to Joseph's post. From Investor's Business Daily
But the figure Obama uses — proved oil reserves — vastly undercounts how much oil the U.S. actually contains. In fact, far from being oil-poor, the country is awash in vast quantities — enough to meet all the country's oil needs for hundreds of years.

The U.S. has 22.3 billion barrels of proved reserves, a little less than 2% of the entire world's proved reserves, according to the Energy Information Administration. But as the EIA explains, proved reserves "are a small subset of recoverable resources," because they only count oil that companies are currently drilling for in existing fields.

When you look at the whole picture, it turns out that there are vast supplies of oil in the U.S., according to various government reports. Among them:

At least 86 billion barrels of oil in the Outer Continental Shelf yet to be discovered, according to the government's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

About 24 billion barrels in shale deposits in the lower 48 states, according to EIA.

Up to 2 billion barrels of oil in shale deposits in Alaska's North Slope, says the U.S. Geological Survey.

Up to 12 billion barrels in ANWR, according to the USGS.

As much as 19 billion barrels in the Utah tar sands, according to the Bureau of Land Management.

Then, there's the massive Green River Formation in Wyoming, which according to the USGS contains a stunning 1.4 trillion barrels of oil shale — a type of oil released from sedimentary rock after it's heated.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Obama's Fuel Solution

From Reuters:
Britain is poised to cooperate with the United States on a release of strategic oil stocks that is expected within months, two British sources said, in a bid to prevent fuel prices choking economic growth in a U.S. election year.
Surely a nice tactic on President Obama's part.  Here is evidence that such a strategy might work.  From Bloomberg Businessweek: 
“The market took a massive tumble on the rumors of a SPR release,” said Stephen Schork, president of the Schork Group in Villanova, Pennsylvania.  Crude oil for April delivery declined 32 cents to $105.11 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the lowest settlement since March 6.
So is this the administration's energy plan: cancel the Keystone Pipeline, prohibit new drilling projects, and then tap into our emergency fuel reserves?

President Obama denies the rumors of a coming SPR release.  But we will see whether he changes his mind during the upcoming election season.  People in the financial world are expecting him to.  Again from Bloomberg:   
“A global release, not just U.S. action, will be needed to calm markets,” said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC, a New York-based hedge fund that focuses on energy. “This is a sign that we will be seeing coordinated releases.”

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Keeping the Faith


Father Marcel Guarnizo has written a powerful letter in which he defends his actions of a couple of weeks ago. Please read the letter in its entirety here. In the following excerpt, Father Guarnizo defends his decision to withhold Communion from an active and outspoken lesbian Buddhist.
A few minutes before the Mass began, Ms. Johnson came into the sacristy with another woman whom she announced as her “lover." Her revelation was completely unsolicited. As I attempted to follow Ms. Johnson, her lover stood in our narrow sacristy physically blocking my pathway to the door. I politely asked her to move and she refused.

I understand and agree it is the policy of the archdiocese to assume good faith when a Catholic presents himself for communion; like most priests I am not at all eager to withhold communion. But the ideal cannot always be achieved in life.

In the past ten days, many Catholics have referenced Canon 915 in regard to this specific circumstance. There are other reasons for denying communion which neither meet the threshold of Canon 915 or have any explicit connection to the discipline stated in that canon.

If a Quaker, a Lutheran or a Buddhist, desiring communion had introduced himself as such, before Mass, a priest would be obligated to withhold communion. If someone had shown up in my sacristy drunk, or high on drugs, no communion would have been possible either. If a Catholic, divorced and remarried (without an annulment) would make that known in my sacristy, they too according to Catholic doctrine, would be impeded from receiving communion. This has nothing to do with Canon 915. Ms. Johnson’s circumstances are precisely one of those relations which impede her access to communion according to Catholic teaching. Ms. Johnson was a guest in our parish, not the arbitrer of how sacraments are dispensed in the Catholic Church.

This is a heroic priest. The Church needs more like him.

Mmm, I like them polls...



The latest poll says that "President Obama tops Republican contenders in matchups" and here's why:
Nearly half of voters -- 47 percent -- approve of the job Obama is doing as president, while 45 percent disapprove. That’s little changed from last month when 48 percent approved and 45 percent disapproved (February 6-9, 2012). More here.
Why, America?! Why!?


All moral and social issues aside, let's talk about money, America. 


At worst, we are money-obsessed materialistic society. So... Let's talk money. Obama thinks it grows on trees. It doesn't. Why can't  the average American see the debt crisis and how Obama is perpetrating it?  Maybe it's because the average American lives like the federal government - living outside of their means. Ready for the next hand-out. Living irresponsibly. So they think, "What? The government is spending money it doesn't have... ha! I do that. Oh well. I'm sure it will be fine." 


Meanwhile, the economy remains stagnant. Oil prices rise. And what does Obama do? Why fill out his March Madness Brackets, of course! Mr. President, nobody cares. 


Please tell me, oh dear average American, that you are smarter than that! ... but polls don't lie. Or do they?

Romney's Cuts

From Fox News:
Democratic groups are pouncing on Mitt Romney for saying he would stop funding Planned Parenthood with dollars borrowed from China, accusing the Republican presidential front-runner of cutting preventive health care services to pay for millionaires' tax breaks.

Answering a question Tuesday about how he would cut the budget, Romney told a viewer of KSDK-TV in Kirkwood, Mo., that he would administer a test to see whether a program qualifies for federal funding.

"My test is pretty simple. Is the program so critical that it's worth borrowing money from China to pay for? And on that basis, of course you get rid of Obamacare. That's the easy one. But there are others. Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that.

And predictably, this has sent the left into fits of apoplexy. Personally, I just like how that sounds... "we're going to get rid of that." Here's to brevity's punch.

Pro-Life WI

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Madison - Schools that teach sex education would have to tell students that abstinence is the only reliable way to prevent pregnancy under a bill headed to Gov. Scott Walker.

The Assembly approved the measure early Wednesday, after approving a bill putting restrictions on some insurance coverage for abortions. Lawmakers were also to consider new limits that would prevent doctors from providing abortion drugs remotely through the use of web cameras. ...

The measure would require schools that teach that subject to promote marriage and tell students that abstinence is the only reliable way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. It would allow schools to teach abstinence-only courses, which have been banned in Wisconsin since 2010 under a law passed by Democrats when they controlled state government. ...

Late Tuesday, the Assembly approved a bill 61-34 to prohibit the insurance plans to be offered in Wisconsin under the federal health care law from covering some abortions. The Senate approved the bill on a party-line, 17-16 vote in October, and it now goes to Walker. ...

Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc) tried to cast the bill in moral terms.

"We heard this is an attack on women, a war on women's rights," he said. "What about the rights of the women who have not yet been born?"

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fixity of Orientation?

Today a number of major health organizations agree: adult sexual orientation is fixed and attempts to change that orientation are harmful. 

According to Robert Spitzer, however, these health organizations are wrong.  Spitzer is a recently retired professor of psychiatry at Columbia University.  He was also the primary advocate for removing homosexuality from the APA's list of sexual disorders in 1973.  Since that time he has conducted research on the possibility of changing sexual orientation, and has arrived at the following conclusion: "some people can change from gay to straight." 

Here are the numbers:

"Spitzer concluded that 66 percent of the men he studied and 44 percent of the women had arrived at what he called good heterosexual functioning.  That term was defined as being in a sustained, loving heterosexual relationship within the past year, getting enough satisfaction from the emotional relationship with their partner to rate at least seven on a 10-point scale, having satisfying heterosexual sex at least monthly and never or rarely thinking of somebody of the same sex during heterosexual sex.  In addition, 89 percent of men and 95 percent of women said they were bothered only slightly, or not at all, by unwanted homosexual feelings" (Malcolm Ritter of the Washington Post).

The APA, however, quickly dismissed Spitzer's findings.  They continue to maintain that sexual orientation changes are impossible.

Notice how modest Spitzer's claim is: some people can change.  The contradiction of his claim is much stronger: no one can change.  Why would we take this second claim as our default position?  Is our evidence on the issue really strong enough to support the conclusion that no one can change their sexual orientation?  Just take a look at Spitzer's work; you will find that the answer is "no." 

Deep-Sixing the Divine Comedy?


From the Telegraph:
Dante's Divine Comedy 'offensive and should be banned'

It is a world-renowned work of literature and one of the foundation stones of the Italian language, but Dante's Divine Comedy has been condemned as racist, homophobic, anti-Islamist and anti-Semitic.

The classic work should be removed from school curricula, according to Gherush 92, a human rights organisation which acts as a consultant to UN bodies on racism and discrimination.

Dante's epic is "offensive and discriminatory" and has no place in a modern classroom, said Valentina Sereni, the group's president.

Divided into three parts – Hell, Purgatory and Heaven – the poem consists of 100 cantos, of which half a dozen were marked out for particular criticism by the group.

Insane.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sacred Art and Beauty

Bernini's Ecstasy of Saint Teresa

Here's a snippet from an excellent article written by a good friend, Dr. Alphonso Pinto. The entire piece is worth reading and it appears in the February issue of In His Name Newsletter:
Sacred art can be described as a theological language, a muta praedicatio, that is, silent preaching through form and color. ... Thus, it is an imitation of not only words, but the Logos Himself. Through the beauty of its design, it radiates the Truth of the word of God as well as its attractive and imitative goodness. The Council of Trent taught that Sacred Art should be a faithful imitation of the life of a saint or a Scriptural text. This instruction goes all the way back to St. Gregory the Great who described sacred art as a biblia pauperum, or, a bible for the poor. The uneducated would "read" the Scriptures through the form and beauty of sacred art itself, through paint, relief, and sculpture etc. And so, sacred art is an imitation of Sacred Scripture, which has God as author, or the life of a saint, which has God as source of grace. The artist then must unite humanity and created beauty to divine inspiration. ...

Why must it be beautiful? Beauty attracts the worshipper in both body and soul, the senses are delighted, the soul understands and is enlightened. With the eyes, man comes to know the magnificence of the image of Christ, and with his soul, as a human person, he understands the ineffability of the Divine Person through that image. A beautiful Crucifix tells us that there is a spiritual reality and contemplative significance that unites the brutal aspects of Crucifixion and Death with the ecstatic radiance of the Resurrection. Beauty reveals the reality of salvation which was hidden to many eyes at the foot of the Cross many centuries ago.

In an era of relativism, true art is not immune from attack and distortion. Plays that blaspheme Christ are defended in the salons of Paris as "art". But is it genuine art, or a perversion? It would be interesting to discuss the arguments in favor of an objective representation of beauty through art. Before Truth Himself, Pilate once asked, "What is truth?" And so today, many lost in the sea of skepticism and nihilism ask, "What is beauty?"

Priest Suspended



The optics of this story are terrible. Headlines around the nation will no doubt read "Priest who denied Communion to lesbian is suspended". You may recall that Father Marcel Guarnizo, acting in perfect consistency with long-standing Church teaching and history, recently refused Communion to an active lesbian and Buddhist who was attending her mother's funeral. To orthodox Catholics, this was a non-issue, the only scandal being that a militant lesbian, and non-Catholic to boot, attempted to receive Communion, not that the courageous priest refused her. Predictably, the media went into apoplexy and circled the wagons around the alleged victim in the story, lambasting Father Guarnizo as a cruel agent of intolerance and hate. One might have hoped that the Diocese of Washington would have supported their besieged priest, but it was not to be. Gaining the approval of public opinion and fear of public backlash prevailed at the Curia. A timid apology was shamefully issued, thus solidifying Father Guarnizo's image as the local villain. And we wonder why there's a crisis in Catholic identity in the United States. Leadership, anyone?

An excerpt from a diocesan letter to local Catholics reads that Father Guarnizo was suspended because he "engaged in intimidating behavior toward parish staff and others that is incompatible with proper priestly ministry." Does that really warrant a public rebuke and official suspension that will forever shadow Father Guarnizo's reputation? Unless there's something truly outrageous that we don't know, this reaction smacks of overkill and a pathetic eagerness to appeal to public opinion.

According to people I know, Father Marcel Guarnizo is a firmly orthodox priest who may just need a little direction in terms of his pastoral touch. Even though, as reported in the story linked above, the Diocese of Washington denies that the suspension is a result of Father Guarnizo's refusal of Communion, it will no doubt be perceived that the two issues are at least tangentially related. The enemies of Father Guarnizo will feel vindicated that their bĂȘte noire has been silenced, for now. It is curious that such fierce punishments are not meted out to priests who routinely take any number of liberties with regard to the Liturgy. What is more grave: an orthodox priest who may be a little rough around the edges but defends the integrity of the Church's greatest Sacrament, or a milquetoast priest who distorts the practice of Sacred Liturgy and is thereby responsible for the malformation in the faith of an entire parish? Is overseeing a reign of terror with regard to out of control liturgical abuses and scandals compatible with "proper priestly ministry"?

For more on this, click here.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Income Gap



According to a recent CBS Money article, "the gap between rich and poor is getting bigger in the world's richest countries - and particularly the United States - as top earners' incomes soar while others' stagnate." 

What should we do in the face of such growing inequality?  Oxford University economist Anthony Atkinson has the following suggestion: "Governments have to step up. Step up to the plate as Roosevelt did in the Great Depression."  He advises the United States Federal Government to act as an employer of last resort, to fund an unemployment insurance plan, and to provide broad unemployment subsidies.

Before implementing Atkinson's strategies, however, we may do well to consider the following question: is the presence of an income gap a sure sign of economic troubles?  The rich have certainly gotten richer.  But have the poor been hurt by this increase of fortune, or have they, unbeknownst to themselves and the people at CBS, been brought along for the ride?

According to Bruce Meyer, professor at University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy, poor Americans have been brought along for the ride.  He reminds us, in the March edition of Commentary Magazine, that the income of Americans in the 10th percentile of wealth has risen 44 percent over the past 30 years; the consumption of goods has grown even more drastically; the size of living units has "increased by 200 to 250 square feet"; and the number of those with home air conditioning has doubled.

The income gap is there.  But does it indicate a crisis?  Let's stop and answer this question before implementing an array of new spending programs.      

CofE Jitters

James II of England, the last Catholic monarch

From the Telegraph:
Catholic monarch could put Church of England in peril, bishop warns

The Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Rev Tim Stevens, who leads the 26 bishops who sit in the House of Lords, tells The Sunday Telegraph that David Cameron’s policy to end Britain’s 300-year-old succession laws risks overturning the Church’s constitutional role. ...

He argued that the Prime Minister’s plans to repeal the ban on the monarch being married to a Catholic posed a serious potential risk. Currently the Queen is required to take on the role of Supreme Governor of the Church of England — making it the established Church. But the bishops said that it would be impossible for a Catholic monarch to have that role. ...

“If the heir to the throne is brought up as a Catholic, and therefore, under the present disciplines of the Roman Catholic Church, is not able to be in communion with the Church of England, it effectively renders a Catholic heir incapable of being the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, so clearly that’s a more complicated issue than it appears at first sight,” he said.

Something to keep in mind

The media's collective euphoria over the so-called economic recovery (which just so happens to coincide with an election on the horizon) is hard to bear. From the American Enterprise Institute:
Even if it were a legit number, the 8.3% February unemployment rate, released today by the Labor Department, would be simply terrible—and unacceptable. It would still extend the longest streak of 8%-plus unemployment since the Great Depression. The U.S. economy hasn’t been below 8% unemployment since Obama took office in January 2009. And back in May 2007, unemployment was just 4.4%.

But, unfortunately, the true measure of U.S. unemployment is much, much worse.

1. If the size of the U.S. labor force as a share of the total population was the same as it was when Barack Obama took office—65.7% then vs. 63.9% today—the U-3 unemployment rate would be 10.8%.

Read on...

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Christianity in the U.K.


From the Telegraph:
Christians have no right to wear cross at work, says Government

Christians do not have a right to wear a cross or crucifix openly at work, the Government is to argue in a landmark court case.

In a highly significant move, ministers will fight a case at the European Court of Human Rights in which two British women will seek to establish their right to display the cross.

It is the first time that the Government has been forced to state whether it backs the right of Christians to wear the symbol at work.

A document seen by The Sunday Telegraph discloses that ministers will argue that because it is not a “requirement” of the Christian faith, employers can ban the wearing of the cross and sack workers who insist on doing so.

I recall something Rick Santorum said recently about what he feels doing when people undermine the role of Christianity in society.

The Last Word

Just when I think that everything that could be said has been said regarding the manufactured, pathetic Sandra Fluke controversy, I come upon another excellent expose of the sordid affair. This time, the incomparable Mark Steyn peels back the layers of the story and lays bare what the controversy is really all about, and it ain't pretty. Here's a snippet from the National Review piece, but it warrants a complete read.
...the most basic issue here is not religious morality, individual liberty, or fiscal responsibility. It’s that a society in which middle-aged children of privilege testify before the most powerful figures in the land to demand state-enforced funding for their sex lives at a time when their government owes more money than anyone has ever owed in the history of the planet is quite simply nuts. ...

In the absence of religious virtue, sexual virtue, and fiscal virtue, one might trust to the people’s sense of sheer preposterousness to reject the official narrative of the Fluke charade. Yet even that is not to be permitted. ... But let me say this. Almost every matter of the moment boils down to the same story: The Left’s urge to narrow the bounds of public discourse and insist that “conventional wisdom” unknown to the world the day before yesterday is now as unquestionable as the laws of physics. Nothing that Rush said is as weird or as degrading as what Sandra Fluke and the Obama administration are demanding. And any freeborn citizen should reserve the right to point that out as loudly and as often as possible.

Checkmate.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Slipping Away

From Chiesa.com:
VATICAN CITY, March 7, 2012 – It has now been more than two centuries since France practically repudiated the title of "eldest daughter" of the Church, even if it has not yet renounced the office of honorary first canon of the chapter of Saint John Lateran for its head of state.

But in recent times, two other beloved daughters of the papacy seem to be demonstrating an aversion to Rome. Ireland blatantly so, and Poland with more circumspection.

In Dublin, the act of rupture – as previously reported by www.chiesa – was that of demoting the Irish embassy to the Holy See to the rank of non-resident representation, on a par with those of Iran and East Timor:

Read on.

'Cause I gotta have faith


Jack Hannahan, third baseman for the Cleveland Indians, discusses his faith and his trials in an interview that appears in the National Catholic Register. His observations on confession are powerful. Here's an excerpt:

What route did you take to stop drinking?
I went to rehab, where I learned the 12 steps, and simultaneously began to realize the importance of what the Church teaches. I already went to Mass every Sunday and even at times during the week at school, but I didn’t really interiorize what was there. It was just more something you did because that’s what you do. It was a duty rather than an opportunity to draw closer to God and lead a truly fulfilling life.

A good start in doing that is to go to confession. It’s a way to be honest about the problems you have rather than pretending like they’re not there. Facing reality head on can be scary initially, but, in the long run, it is so helpful because it makes healing possible. It’s such a relief to be unburdened with those things that held you back.

What does your Catholic faith mean to you today?
It means everything. I’m very fortunate to have parents who’ve been married for 35 years. They’ve given me that blueprint for life by raising me in the Catholic Church, and for the past decade, I’ve actually been living that out. Things go so much better when you live in God’s plan.

Once again, the importance of having a stable family life and good parents as examples for their children cannot be overemphasized. Be sure to read the rest of the interview.

Last Things


From the Diocese of Shrewsbury:
Catholics in Shrewsbury are being encouraged to use Lent to consider final judgement, heaven, hell and purgatory.

The Rt Rev. Mark Davies, the Bishop of Shrewsbury, said in a pastoral letter to be read at Masses in the First Sunday of Lent that meditation on the “Last Things” might help the faithful to accept the invitation to conversion in their lives.

In his letter, the Bishop noted the observation of Blessed John Paul II in his book, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, that many people today have lost the sense of the “Last Things”, the body of teaching that deals with death, judgement, the destination of our immortal souls and the bodily resurrection.

“Being aware of this limited time on earth and all that is to follow – our judgment, our purgatory, heaven or hell forever – becomes an urgent invitation to conversion in our lives,” the Bishop said. ...

Bishop Davies ... also explained why the Catholic Church resists the temptation to simply look back in a “celebration of life” at funerals, saying that the focus is instead the final destination of the soul of the deceased in view of the pledge of eternal life promised by Our Lord.

Read Bishop Davies' entire pastoral letter here. Here writes in refreshingly stark terms about the reality of hell. Here's an excerpt:
There is also a terrible reality of which the Gospel repeatedly speaks: “immediate and everlasting damnation” (CCC 1022). For “to die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God’s merciful love,” the Catechism explains, “means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice” (CCC 1033). Yes, this is the real and everlasting choice of our lives.

Pope to Bishops: Defend Marriage


From Reuters:
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict on Friday denounced the "powerful political and cultural currents" seeking to legalize gay marriage in the United States, where Maryland has just become the eighth state to allow it.

The pope's latest comments in opposition to homosexual marriage came in an address to bishops from several Midwestern states on a regular visit to the Vatican.

"Sexual differences cannot be dismissed as irrelevant to the definition of marriage," he said.

He added that the traditional family and marriage had to be "defended from every possible misrepresentation of their true nature" because, he said, whatever injured families injured society.

"In this regard, particular mention must be made of the powerful political and cultural currents seeking to alter the legal definition of marriage (in the United States)," he added in a clear reference to gay marriage.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Petition Intrigue

From the Badger Catholic: Archbishop Rembert Weakland signed the Gov. Scott Walker recall petition

Click to enlarge:

Life in Spain


From the Telegraph:
Spain announces plans to tighten abortion laws

Spain's new conservative government has announced plans to tighten the country's abortion laws provoking a storm among women's groups.

Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon, the justice minister, faced a furious backlash after blaming "structural gender violence" for pressurising women into seeking terminations.

It is the strongest sign yet that the government is poised to reverse a liberalisation of the abortion law introduced under socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in 2010.

During a session in congress on Wednesday Mr Gallardon argued that many women were forced to seek abortions because of the lack of support available to them.

"We cannot be indifferent to the situation of many women who see their right to be mothers violated because of the pressure placed on them by certain structures around them," he said, confirming that a new draft law would be presented later this year.

"No woman should be forced to renounce motherhood because of family, work or social conflict," he said.

Kudos to the pro-life communications/rhetorical offensive in Spain. This is the kind of positive, pro-life, pro-motherhood rhetoric we need to start hearing more of in our own country.

Fingerprints



Very intriguing. Like him or not, Bill O'Reilly does a bang up job exposing the details behind the pathetic and completely manufactured Sandra Fluke saga. It all traces back to Barack.

Rivers Backs Santorum


From Politico:
Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has an NFL quarterback on his team: Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers.

"I am supporting Rick Santorum for president because of his stance on issues that attack vital Christian values our country was founded upon: no abortion, upholding traditional marriage, defending religious freedom, no euthanasia,” Rivers said in a press release from the campaign.

"USA!" Deemed Insensitive

From Yahoo Sports:
A high-profile high school in one of the wealthiest districts of the San Antonio region finds itself under fire after its fans chanted "USA, USA, USA" following its boys basketball team's regional final victory against a team made up predominantly of Hispanic players.

As reported by KENS5.com, the Alamo Heights (Texas) High boys basketball team's regional title celebrations were marred by the aforementioned "USA" chants, which came from the school's fan section in the school's Littleton Gym.

Incredible. I have to think that most Americans are shocked by this kind of reaction to a harmless, patriotic chant. To those who felt offended, deal with it. It's only in the rarefied world of the media, which constantly tries to form and direct the narrative that we're all supposed to simply accept, that the chanting of "USA!" by boisterous kids having fun could be interpreted as something offensive.

Lottery winner still on gov. assistance

From The Daily Caller:
While most people have played the “if I had a million dollars I would ____ ” thought game, few fill that blank in with “stay on public assistance.”

Amanda Clayton, a 24-year-old from Lincoln Park, Michigan, is one of the few who does, and she is getting away with it. Clayton won $1 million from the Michigan State Lottery this fall, but she is still collecting and using $200 a month in food assistance from the taxpayers with her Michigan Bridge Card.

“I thought that they would cut me off, but since they didn’t, I thought maybe it was okay because I’m not working,” ...

When Local 4 asked if she felt she had a right to the money, Clayton responded, “I mean I kinda do.”

One example of what's wrong with America. Anyone wonder who she'll be voting for?

Pro-Life in the Old Dominion

From CBS News:
Amid continued protests from Democrats, Republican Governor Bob McDonnell on Wednesday signed into law a controversial bill requiring Virginia women to undergo an ultrasound procedure prior to having an abortion. ...

In a statement Wednesday, McDonnell reiterated his support for the bill, which he argues will provide additional information that "can help the mother make a fully informed decision" about having an abortion. ...

According to a study by the Guttmacher institute, Virginia will become the eighth state to require medical providers to administer ultrasounds on women before performing abortions. In Texas, the provider must also display and describe the image of the ultrasound.

There's that "controversial" again...

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Silence

From the National Catholic Register:
The constant noise that accompanies modern life is an enemy of God’s word being heard in prayer, Pope Benedict XVI said.

“Interior and exterior silence are necessary in order to hear that word,” and, yet, “our age does not, in fact, favor reflection and contemplation,” the Pope said March 7. On the contrary, “it seems that people are afraid to detach themselves, even for an instant, from the spate of words and images which mark and fill our days.”

The “great patristic tradition,” the Pope said, also teaches Christians that “the mysteries of Christ are linked to silence, and only in silence can the word find a place to dwell within us.”

He then explained to the pilgrims that this “principle” of silence “holds true for individual prayer” and for Catholic liturgies, which, “to facilitate authentic listening, must also be rich in moments of silence and of non-verbal acceptance.”

One of the more alarming aspects of modern liturgical life at many parishes is the conspicuous absence of silence in favor of constant activity and music, with the liturgical planners thinking that, in order to hold our attention, much like children, we must be constantly engaged and entertained.

Heartbeat

Another victory on the pro-life front, at the state level of course. From Politico:
The Oklahoma state Senate passed a controversial “heartbeat” abortion bill on Tuesday that would require doctors to tell women they have the opportunity to hear the fetal heartbeat before ending a pregnancy, according to a report.

The bill, approved 34-8, will now head to the Republican-dominated state House, Reuters reported. The original proposal required that women hear the heartbeat before having an abortion, but the bill’s author watered down the measure to require only that abortion providers let female patients know of the right to hear the heartbeat.

Without the heartbeat, the fetus “can’t say ‘please don’t kill me,’ it can’t say ‘I want to live.’ It can’t say anything,” the bill’s author, Republican state Sen. Dan Newberry, told Reuters.

Apparently, recognizing a living person's heartbeat is "controversial" stuff. Sad.

Video Release

Things are about to get interesting. Stay tuned...

From Breitbart.com:
Earlier today, Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith announced on Twitter that video researcher Andrew Kaczynski had released “the mysterious Harvard/Obama/race video that the Breitbart folks have been talking about.”

The video, which Kaczynski says was “licensed from a Boston television station,” shows a young Barack Obama leading a protest at Harvard Law School on behalf of Prof. Derrick Bell, a radical academic tied to Jeremiah Wright--about whom we will be releasing significant information in the coming hours.

And from Drudge:

FOXNEWS 'HANNITY' PLANS FULL AIRING OF TAPE: TONIGHT 9 PM ET...

Saint Thomas Aquinas


Tito Vespasiano Strozzi's The Vision of Saint Thomas

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Sacrifice

A sad story from MSNBC:
HOPE MILLS, N.C. - A Green Beret recently home from Afghanistan died trying to rescue his two young daughters from their burning home near Fort Bragg in North Carolina early Tuesday. The girls were also killed in the blaze.

Edward Cantrell and his wife escaped from the 2 a.m. blaze by jumping from the home's second floor, the Cumberland County sheriff's office said. Cantrell then wrapped himself in a blanket and re-entered the burning home in Hope Mills, about 10 miles from the Army base that is home to the Green Berets and other Special Forces units, sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Tanna said. ...

Cantrell was a member of the 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg. He held the rank of chief warrant officer 2, said Lt. Col. April Olsen, a spokeswoman for Army Special Forces Command.

Pray for Edward Cantrell and his family.

Cameron Fires Back

From ABC News:
In an email statement released exclusively to ABCNews.com today, Cameron said that when Morgan asked him to share his views on homosexuality, “I spoke as honestly as I could, but some people believe my responses were not loving toward those in the gay community. That is not true. I can assuredly say that it’s my life’s mission to love all people.”

“I should be able to express moral views on social issues,” he said, “especially those that have been the underpinning of Western civilization for 2,000 years — without being slandered, accused of hate speech, and told from those who preach ‘tolerance’ that I need to either bend my beliefs to their moral standards or be silent when I’m in the public square.”

He concluded, “I believe we need to learn how to debate these things with greater love and respect,” and added, “I’ve been encouraged by the support of many friends (including gay friends, incidentally).”

I am regularly shocked by the degree of vitriol, hatred and intolerance that emanate from the far left, especially on the question of homosexuality. Cameron was asked by CNN's latest back bencher provocateur Piers Morgan about his opinion on gay "marriage" on CNN. (Morgan's show, incidentally, boasts dismal, pathetic ratings.) Cameron gave his honest opinion in a reasoned, calm manner, and since then, has been the recipient of frenzied assaults by the media and the doyens of the entertainment industry. Conservatives are routinely accused of being obsessed with the social issues, when, we are told, people really care more about the pocket book issues. But time and again, it is the left and its most prominent talking heads that constantly bring this stuff up. I'm thinking of George Stephanopoulos who, out of nowhere, grilled Mitt Romney on contraception at a debate a couple of months ago.

These are the same people who, ironically, sanctimoniously preach tolerance and respect for diversity until they're blue in the face. It's not tolerance they are after, but the "dictatorship of relativism" and anyone who dares to stand in their way will be cowed into timid silence for fear of being on the receiving end of their volcanic eruptions of vile epithets.

Together Again

The Gap: Catholic, Orthodox and then...Anglican


From the AFP:
The Archbishop of Canterbury will pray together with Pope Benedict XVI in a rare gesture of unity on Saturday despite simmering resentment over the Catholic Church's move to recruit Anglicans.

Anglican leader Rowan Williams and the pope will celebrate vespers together in the monastery of San Gregorio al Celio near the Colosseum in Rome and a stone Celtic cross brought from Canterbury will be put up in the church.

Appearance

AP

It's always good to see Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers taking in some local entertainment. He appeared at a Milwaukee Bucks game last night and, ever the good sport, brought the down the house with his signature "Championship Belt" move. With lingering regrets over our playoff meltdown, we eagerly look to next season for redemption.

What's driving the support?

Here's a snippet from an excellent article by Brendan O'Neill, writing for the Telegraph, on the motivating forces behind the gay "marriage" bandwagon:
What it suggests is that gay marriage is more a tool of the elite than it is a demand of the demos. The thing motoring the gay-marriage campaign, its political engine, is not any longstanding desire among homosexuals to get married or an active, passionate demand from below for the right of men to marry men and women to marry women. No, its driving force, the reason it has been so speedily and heartily embraced by the political and media classes, is because it is so very useful as a litmus test of liberal, cosmopolitan values. Supporting gay marriage has become a kind of shorthand way of indicating one’s superiority over the hordes, particularly those of a religious or redneck persuasion. ...

The bizarre emptying-out of political debate from the issue of gay marriage, and its transformation instead into a clear-cut moral matter that separates the good from the bad, shows what its backers really get out of it – a moral buzz, a rush of superiority as they declare, to anyone who will listen, that they are For Gay Marriage. In this sense, supporting gay marriage has become less a declaration of truly democratic instincts and more a kind of provocation. In declaring your support for gay marriage, you can provoke both fusty old religionists and the backward masses into expressions of disagreement or disgruntlement, and then bask in the glow of your own superior, better-informed outlook.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Scott Walker


The nation's best governor

A few weeks ago I was in a cafe, seated a couple of tables down from two middle-aged, respectably dressed women who were planning a church festival of some sort. It didn't take long for me to learn about their common opinion of Governor Walker. (In the many hipster cafes of Milwaukee, Scott Walker and the recall brouhaha are topics that percolate as effortlessly as the coffee.) I won't repeat the vitriol here, but let's just say it was vicious, violent and unhinged. As these Talbots queens vented their pent up rage, I didn't know whether to burst out laughing or tell them off. The last thing I managed to hear was, "But I think he's gonna win the recall." Vindication. I smiled and sipped.

Now I have lots of rock-ribbed, purist conservative friends who fight passionately for the causes we all believe in, and I've never heard anyone tear into a Democrat like these two cafe curmudgeons mercilessly tore into Walker. It was revelatory, to say the least. I should have checked, but I'm sure one of them had a 'Celebrate Diversity' and/or 'Coexist' bumper sticker on her car.

The Truth

The New Morality


An excerpt from a fine piece written by the Rev. Peter Mullen, an Anglican priest, from the Telegraph:
The significant development in public morality which has taken place in our time is the profound shift in the understanding of our human nature. We no longer admit to being imperfect. We do not believe in Original Sin. We find such a concept offensive, demeaning, an insult to our much-vaunted “self-esteem” – a thing that has replaced “self-respect.” And what were once regarded as mortal sins are now only lifestyle choices.

How did this profound shift come about? It is implicit in the Enlightenment teaching about human perfectibility and all the airy waffle about Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. A warning: whenever you hear those slogans, the next sound you will hear is the mob and the rattle of the tumbrels.

But the greatest influence on our redefinition of human nature was the theory of evolution. Towards the end of the 19th century people, led by the likes of Herbert Spencer, came to imagine that just as the species was developing physically, so we are also developing morally. ...

Read on.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Stolen Heart


From the Associated Press:
DUBLIN – Somewhere in Ireland, a burglar has the heart of a saint.

Officials at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin said Sunday they're distraught and perplexed over the theft of the church's most precious relic: the preserved heart of St. Laurence O'Toole, patron saint of Dublin.

O'Toole's heart had been displayed in the cathedral since the 13th century. It was stored in a heart-shaped wooden box and secured in a small, square iron cage on the wall of a chapel dedicated to his memory. On Saturday someone cut through two bars, pried the cage loose, and made off with the relic.

Who would do something like this? Pray for the safe return of this relic.

Newt Eviscerates Phony 'Contraception Controversy'

Newt Gingrich embarrasses David Gregory over this completely manufactured issued by the mainstream media and, in the process, suggests areas where the press should be focusing their attention.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Air of Inevitability

Thanks to Hollywood, and, I would add, the media. From Tim Stanley, writing for the Telegraph:
Despite consistent public opposition, there is a growing sense of inevitability about gay marriage. And Hollywood should take credit, for beneath the political radar it has affected a cultural revolution. Turn on the TV in America and you are bombarded with images of homosexuality as a social norm. Shows that showcase gay characters include American Horror Story, 30 Rock, Modern Family, Being Human, Game of Thrones (yes, really), Broadwalk Empire, Law and Order, Downton Abbey and Southland. A significant number of these (including Glee, Vampire Diaries, Teen Wolf) are aimed at teenagers. Even the comic Archie featured a homosexual union in its latest edition. The result is that while adults huff and puff about the ethics of gay marriage, a lot of youngsters are growing up acculturated to it. In 2011, Forbes Magazine showed that 70 percent of young people support gay marriage and concluded that, “Marriage inequality … will die out with the older generations.” One day, the referenda that have hitherto rejected gay marriages will endorse them enthusiastically.

If this is to be stopped, leaders in the Catholic Church, from bishops to parish priests, will have to be about ten times more aggressive on the subject. No more skirting the issue, tackle it head on.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

In Defense of Marriage

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, wrote a powerful and devastatingly logical defense of the institution of marriage, just as Prime Minister David Cameron gears up to pave the way for the legalization of same-sex "marriage" in the U.K. Here's a snippet, but it's definitely worth reading in its entirety. From the Telegraph:
As an institution, marriage long predates the existence of any state or government. It was not created by governments and should not be changed by them. Instead, recognising the innumerable benefits which marriage brings to society, they should act to protect and uphold marriage, not attack or dismantle it. ...

This brings us to the one perspective which seems to be completely lost or ignored: the point of view of the child. All children deserve to begin life with a mother and father; the evidence in favour of the stability and well-being which this provides is overwhelming and unequivocal. It cannot be provided by a same-sex couple, however well-intentioned they may be.

Same-sex marriage would eliminate entirely in law the basic idea of a mother and a father for every child. It would create a society which deliberately chooses to deprive a child of either a mother or a father.

Pay for my promiscuity...



Sandra Fluke is being portrayed as the latest in a long line of victims to suffer at the hands of insensitive Republicans. Dragging out a prop victim and putting them before the cameras is the left's choice modus operandi. Beneath all the rhetoric, what Fluke is fundamentally saying is, "My income as a struggling law student cannot keep up with my out of control loose living, so the government, i.e., everyone else, YOU, should have to pay for my birth control pills." In other words, "Subsidize my sex." So pathetic and vulgar. The sad thing is that she feels no shame going before a phony Congressional committee spearheaded by Pelosi to admit this.

Of course, the sycophantic media has gone into apoplexy, circling the wagons around Fluke, outraged that anyone would question her integrity. I think the outrage actually stems from the fact that conservatives called her out, and everyone knows it. The left's victim strategy backfired.

Friday, March 02, 2012

March 1

This is pretty remarkable. From InfoWars:
In a stunning coincidence, It appears Andrew Breitbart suffered his untimely death just hours before he was set to release damning video footage that could have sunk Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.

Around three weeks ago on February 9 during the ‘Blog Bash’ event in Washington DC, Breitbart made a prophetic comment that takes on a somewhat chilling nature given the fact that he died in the early hours of March 1st.

Speaking to Lawrence Sinclair of Sinclair News, Breitbart stated, “Wait til they see what happens March 1st.”...

You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to appreciate the downright weirdness of Breitbart predicting a major event to occur on March 1st, only for him to end up dying on that very date. Breitbart was officially pronounced dead at 12:19am.

And what of these videos...?

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Andrew Breitbart, R.I.P.

His objective: "destroy the institutional left."

I read about the stunning, premature death of conservative firebrand Andrew Breitbart today. It was only at a distance that I followed his work, but I definitely admired his tenacity and utter fearlessness in confronting the very worst of liberalism and for speaking the undiluted truth about what that ideology wants to achieve in this nation. Simply put, Breitbart was a rakish trench fighter, with a hint of irreverence and scads of chutzpah, who rallied the troops on the front lines in the political and culture wars. Michael Walsh summed it up well in the tribute he wrote to Breitbart, linked above: "He was the kind of leader the Right needs more of — not a go-along, get-along time-serving functionary but a tactical commander on the battlefield, ever ready to take the bridge, fire the village, and move on to the next objective."

His loss is a severe blow to the conservative cause in America. Liberals feared his pen and, at times, his merciless wit and rhetorical stings. The apostles of liberalism are no doubt secretly (or not so secretly) glad that his voice is silenced, but his cause will go on in those who admired him and who still love this country. May he rest in peace.

The battle continues...