Thursday, May 31, 2012

An "F" for Obama

Discrimination that starts in the womb

From Fox News:
A bill that would ban sex-selective abortions failed to muster enough support to pass the House Thursday following a contentious debate.

The final vote was 246-168. Though a majority voted in favor of the bill, this particular proposal required a two-thirds majority to pass -- supporters of the bill fell 30 votes short.

This debate captures the blindness of the abortion-obsessed left. Even the moderator is taken aback...

Poster Nun for Liberals

Check out this hilarious article/video from CBS:
(CBS News) Sister Maureen Fiedler, host of the public radio program "Interfaith Voices," calls looming moves by the Roman Catholic Church toward a group of American nuns a "hostile takeover."

The moves would follow an accusatory mandate last month

Fiedler, who has been an activist for social justice and racial and gender equality for more than three decades, said on "CBS This Morning," "(The Church leaders) say in their mandate that they're going to send in an archbishop and two bishops who will work with the nuns in order to - get this - revise their statutes, their handbook, their plans and programs, their conferences, their speakers, everything. If this were the corporate world, I think we would call it a 'hostile takeover.'"

The article, and Sister Maureen Fielder, go downhill from there. Striking a JCPenney-inspired lay pose, Sister Maureen is in a tizzy over the Vatican's completely legitimate concern regarding the direction of many female religious orders in the United States. She unwittingly proves the Vatican's point. And for that, we thank you, Sister. Without even knowing it, Sister Fielder is a walking cliché, a paragon of what is wrong with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and the renegade band of nuns, ever giddy to coquet with leftist, Hallmark Card social justice issues, while giving short shrift to Church doctrine.

Nuns like Sister Maureen love to spin all kinds of empty talking points about what they think Vatican II was all about. I think this modus operandi is intentional. One of the great successes that liberals in the Church have achieved over the past several decades is the creation and perpetuation of a phony, parallel legacy of Vatican II that doesn't at all jibe with what the real Council actually said. They use the protection of the "Spirit of Vatican II" to cover their rogue agenda and dissidence. They believe that if they just keep peddling a line about Vatican II over and over, regardless of its accuracy, conventional wisdom will eventually accept it as fact.

What really irks women like Sister Maureen is the knowledge that their mission, despite its initial successes, is clearly losing steam, just as their watered down religious orders, which embrace a pseudo-lay lifestyle, are dying off. Meanwhile, and this really sticks in their craw, traditional orders that actually embrace the vow of obedience (and the traditional habit) are flourishing, as vibrant young women seeking a serious Catholic religious life and identity respond to God's call.

Nashville Dominican Sisters: young, serious, relevant and faithful

Abortion Vote

From the Associated Press:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Legislation coming up for a House vote would make it a federal crime to carry out an abortion based on the gender of the fetus. The measure takes aim at the aborting of female fetuses, a practice more common to countries such India and China, where there is a strong preference for sons, but which is also thought to take place in this country.

The mainly Republican supporters of the bill characterized the vote as a sex-discrimination issue at a time when Democrats are accusing Republicans of waging a war on women. Abortion rights advocates argued that the bill exploits the problem of selective abortion to further limit a woman's right to choose.

This vote really puts the left on tenterhooks. Their conundrum: Liberals have to preserve the myth that they are the authentic defenders of women, and yet this selective abortion procedure is aimed almost entirely at unborn baby girls. The Democrats' macabre obsession with keeping abortion legal is truly chilling. So figure this one out: It's the Republicans who are engaging in a "war on women" because they are trying to ensure that babies, mostly female, are not selectively aborted because of their gender!

Immoral and stupid. That's the abortion-crazed Democratic Party for you.


Archbishop José Gomez wrote about the persecution of Catholics in Mexico in the first half of the twentieth century. Here's an excerpt from the National Catholic Register:
The anti-Catholic persecutions in Mexico in the 1920s and 1930s are long forgotten, it seems.

The reality is hard to believe. Just a generation ago, not far from our borders, thousands of men, women and even children, were imprisoned, exiled, tortured and murdered — all for the “crime” of believing in Jesus Christ and wanting to live by their faith in him.

So I welcome the new film, For Greater Glory. It tells the dramatic story of this unknown war against religion and our Church’s heroic resistance. It’s a strong film with a timely message. It reminds us that our religious liberties are won by blood and we can never take them for granted.

That such repression could happen in a nation so deeply Catholic as Mexico should make everybody stop and think.

Monks Under Legal Assault

Global Warming

An interesting report from The Register:
A US government-funded survey has found that Americans with higher levels of scientific and mathematical knowledge are more sceptical regarding the dangers of climate change than their more poorly educated fellow citizens.

The results of the survey are especially remarkable as it was plainly not intended to show any such thing: Rather, the researchers and trick-cyclists who carried it out were doing so from the position that the "scientific consensus" (carbon-driven global warming is ongoing and extremely dangerous) is a settled fact, and the priority is now to find some way of getting US voters to believe in the need for urgent, immediate and massive action to reduce CO2 emissions.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Walker Effect

Scott Walker, hands down, the best governor in the nation

Opinions can change on a dime, but this is looking pretty good. Let's hope it holds for just one more week. From Politico:
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker holds a 7-point advantage over Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in the recall contest, according to a poll on Wednesday.

With less than a week to go before the Tuesday election, the Republican governor is leading his Democratic challenger, 52 percent to 45 percent among likely voters, the latest Marquette Law School poll shows. Very little has changed since the previous poll, which showed Walker holding a 6-point advantage over Barrett among likely voters, 50 percent to 44 percent.

Yesterday I heard a small business owner confess that the future success of his business hinges on this election, and Walker winning it. That's how fragile the economy is. No doubt his story is one of hundreds. Thankfully, the majority of Wisconsinites know that they've got a very good thing going in Governor Walker.

The Switch

A Democrat has seen the light. From Politico:
Former Alabama Rep. Artur Davis announced Tuesday that he’s cutting ties with the Democratic Party, and said that he’s considering a future bid for Congress as a Republican.

Davis, who for a time had been considered a rising star in the Democratic Party, wrote a message on his website confirming that he is switching parties. ...

“[I]f I were to leave the sidelines, it would be as a member of the Republican Party that is fighting the drift in this country in a way that comes closest to my way of thinking: wearing a Democratic label no longer matches what I know about my country and its possibilities,” Davis wrote.

A talented black Democrat converts to the Republican Party? Absolutely verboten. Expect most of the media to bury this story.

Obama's War

A provocative article about Obama's ruthless war strategy from Tim Stanley, writing for the Telegraph:
When historians come to describe Obama’s domestic agenda, there won’t be much to write except “a mess.” Fiscal policy has been dictated by events, spending has plunged out of control and his healthcare reforms could well be rejected by the Supreme Court. But on foreign policy, a different picture emerges. The President is a tough SOB without a liberal bone in his body.

A very unpleasant story emerged this week: Obama has a “kill list.” Dozens of advisers nominate terrorists suspects who should be targeted by American forces. The New York Times reports that the chosen few are then discussed at Tuesday meetings in the White House, where the Prez “[insists] on approving every new name on an expanding 'kill list,' poring over terrorist suspects' biographies on what one official calls the macabre 'baseball cards' of an unconventional war.” Some of the names are adolescents; some are Americans. The Times report implies that sometimes whole families are wiped out when a single suspect is targeted by a drone strike. Oddly, Obama’s top political strategist, David Axelrod, is also present at the meetings. Are targets chosen according to electoral impact? Surely not.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Our President and Poland

From Niles Gardiner, writing for the Telegraph:
President Obama has a long track record of insulting the Poles. In 2010 he chose to play golf on the day of the funeral of the Polish President Lech Kaczynski, the Polish First Lady, and 94 senior officials who perished in the Smolensk air disaster. Eight months earlier he humiliated Warsaw by pulling out of the agreement over Third Site missile defence installations in Poland and the Czech Republic. And last night Barack Obama caused huge offence in Poland by referring to a Nazi death camp in Poland as “a Polish death camp” while awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to a Polish resistance fighter.

What a disgrace. Americans deserve a better president and the Poles deserve a better ally than Obama.

A follow up on the controversy, from the AFP:
Poland's prime minister said Wednesday that remarks by President Barack Obama erroneously identifying a Nazi death camp as Polish had hurt all Poles and he expected more from the US than "regret".

"I am convinced that our American friends can today allow themselves a stronger reaction than a simple expression of regret from the White House spokesman -- a reaction more inclined to eliminate once and for all these kinds of errors," Donald Tusk told reporters in Warsaw.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Veni, Sancte Spiritus

Pentecost, Jean Restout

The Debate

Last night I caught the debate between Tom Barrett and Scott Walker. I thought Barrett came across as nasty, bitter and hysterical. He was clearly trying to get under Walker's skin with his repetition of lame, t.v. commercial talking points: "You started this civil war" and "You want to divide and conquer" blah blah blah. He made a total fool of himself with his nagging petulance and empty, emotive attacks. He never addressed his disastrous, feckless term as Mayor of Milwaukee, which has seen unemployment, crime and taxes rise. Walker, for his part, was unflappably cool, rattling off numbers and statistics that bolstered his case for reelection. He referred to Barrett simply as "my opponent" and hardly looked at the man. A high point was when he was offered the opportunity to ask Barrett a question of his own. He cooly turned down the offer, as though a waste of his and our time, while Barrett embarrassingly countered with something like, "Great, I'll take twice as long for my question." How egotistical and childish. His "question" then turned into an unending broadside against Walker. Barrett embodies the kind of angry, bitter, and catty qualities that have permanently latched onto the left in Wisconsin. They never seem happy, always surly, always gloomy.

A revealing moment in the debate came with a question on gay "marriage." Predictably, Barrett, the deviant Catholic, said he supports it, while Walker said he will uphold the state constitution, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman. I am very curious as to what the Archdiocese of Milwaukee will do about Barrett's statement. Barrett is an arch-liberal who flouts the Church's teaching at every turn, and he regularly gets away with it. It's easy to fire arrows at the federal government, way out in DC, regarding Obamacare's odious mandate, but sadly, the in-house affairs close to home often get overlooked.

Obama's Failed Culture War Gamble

Obama is looking more like Jimmy Carter. A good analysis of the presidential race from the Telegraph:
The president has tried to distract from America’s economic misery by playing up the so-called culture war. Earlier in the year he decided that he would force Catholic employers to provide contraception to their employees through their insurance plans, and he followed that swipe at social traditionalism by endorsing gay marriage. This embrace of Sixties liberalism has backfired. While contraception and gay marriage often receive popular support in national polls, Americans are far more conservative in the voting booth. Thirty-two states have voted on gay marriage and all 32 have voted to outlaw it – even liberal California. Nor has the culture war rallied his party’s base. In presidential primaries held on Tuesday, 39 per cent of Arkansas Democrats and 42 per cent of Kentuckian Democrats rejected Obama’s re-nomination. In West Virginia, 41 per cent of the state’s Democrats voted for an imprisoned criminal rather than the president.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Enough Is Enough

From Fox News:
The author of best-selling novel “The Exorcist” says he plans to sue alma mater Georgetown University in a Vatican court after the Catholic school invited Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to speak on campus.

The author, William Peter Blatty, says the Jesuit-founded university in Washington has for the past two decades invited speakers who support abortion rights and has refused to comply with orders by the late Pope John Paul II for church-affiliated colleges and universities. ...

“I owe much to the Jesuit fathers and to Georgetown University,” Blatty says on his The Father of King Society website. “What I owe Georgetown, however, is nothing as compared to what Georgetown owes to its founders and the Christ of faith.”

On Virginity

From Yahoo Sports News:
Tim Tebow and American hurdling star Lolo Jones share two things in common: They're saving their virginity until marriage and they get made fun of incessantly for that decision.

Jones, the 29-year-old world indoor champion and Olympic medal hopeful, recently told HBO's "Real Sports" that she was still a virgin. Once that interview aired, she drew immediate comparisons to America's most famous sexual holdout, Timothy Richard Tebow.

In a time when bullying is being justly condemned from every quarter, it's apparently acceptable to make fun of those crazy virgins, I suppose, and for the media to treat it as a harmless joke.

Crusaders No More

A Marine fighter squadron challenged on its use of the "Crusaders" name and cross-and-shield symbolism as its insignia has been ordered to reverse the decision, and to return to identifying itself as "Werewolves," the Marine Corps said on Thursday.

The news came a month after the nonprofit Military Religious Freedom Foundation blasted the use of the Crusaders name and logo — citing constitutional and practical objections — on behalf of dozens of soldiers, including Marines in the affected squadron, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122...

The squadron, based in Beaufort, S.C., used the Crusaders symbol from 1958 to 2008, when Lt. Col. William Lieblein pointed out that imagery invoking the Christian conquest and colonization of Muslim nations during the Middle Ages was counterproductive to the U.S. presence across the Arab and Islamic world.

"The notion of being a crusader in that part of the world doesn't float," he said, ordering the change to "Werewolves," as reported by the Beaufort Gazette at the time.

From Crusader to Werewolf... This is pathetic and outrageous. Where do these ACLU types get their power? I can only suspect that someone in the president's inner circle, if not the man himself, was responsible for this. Why didn't someone tell those criticizing the name and symbol to buzz off?

"The Christian conquest and colonization of Muslim nations..." Are you serious? This is totally inaccurate. It's a glittering example of historical revisionism. It was the Muslims who played the role of ruthless conquerors, harassing Christian Europe (West and East) for centuries. Someone should ask a Greek Orthodox Christian about the claim that it was the Christians who were the conquerors.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Shoving same-sex "marriage" down the throats of kids

As part of its ongoing campaign to increase its characters’ diversity, Marvel Comics will feature X-Men superhero Northstar having a same-sex “marriage” ceremony with his partner, Kyle. 
Northstar became the first openly homosexual comic character in 1992.
This is sad, sick, and depressing. I grew up reading these comic books. This is a genre that is targeted towards young people—are they really going to do this? Marvel Comics has told some great stories and has had the best characters in the comic book world, but this is the worst. This is despicable. 

Everywhere I turn same-sex "marriage"is being shoved down my throat.  I have a message for Hollywood, Marvel, Starbucks, and every other corporation that endorses this farse: 

You can keep trying to shove this down my throat, I will continue to vomit. It makes me sick.

Sign of the Times

From Reuters:
WASHINGTON -- Two female soldiers filed suit on Wednesday to scrap the U.S. military's restrictions on women in combat, claiming the policy violated their constitutional rights.

Command Sergeant Major Jane Baldwin and Colonel Ellen Haring, both Army reservists, said policies barring them from assignments "solely on the basis of sex" violated their right to equal protectio under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.

"This limitation on plaintiffs' careers restricts their current and future earnings, their potential for promotion and advancement, and their future retirement benefits," the women said in the suit filed in U.S. District Court.

This is one of those sticky issues that is difficult to discuss in our politically correct world because the opposing view is immediately cast as sexist, patriarchal, etc. An Ad hominem argument, when done in a crafty way, cloaked in the appealing rhetoric of equality and rights, is a powerful tool that can automatically discredit a view and a person as backwards and prejudiced. "You're obviously sexist, so anything you say on the subject is irrelevant." (The pro-lifers face similar, nasty tactics from the pro-abort crowd. "You're anti-choice, anti-woman, and you don't care about girls who are raped.")

The fact is, there are totally legitimate, reasonable arguments for preserving the restrictions on women in combat. Kate O'Beirne penned an excellent article on this subject for National Review in 2003 entitled "An Army of Jessica's: About Women in Combat: Let's fight. Hard." Here's an excerpt:
Overplaying women's exploits permits proponents of gender-integrated combat to discount the masculine traits that the history of warfare shows to be vital to military success. In an article for the Buffalo Law Review, Wayne State law professor Kingsley R. Browne examines the historic link between masculinity and warfare: "Be a man" was the core value by which combat soldiers judged each other, according to Samuel Stouffer's classic study of soldiers in WWII; as Browne notes, Northwestern professor Charles Moskos--America's leading military sociologist--explains that one of the few ways to get men in combat to behave so irrationally as to risk getting killed is to appeal to their masculinity. A study of the Spanish Civil War found that the greatest fear of men facing combat for the first time was that they would turn out to be cowards. Historian S.L.A. Marshall found that a man in combat will overcome his fear and do what's required because he risks losing "the one thing that he is likely to value more highly than his life--his reputation as a man among other men." Browne concludes: "If the need to prove one's manliness is an essential motivator of combat personnel, what motivates women?"

A 1985 Navy study found that large majorities of women were unable to perform any of the eight critical shipboard tasks that virtually all men could handle...In her 2000 book, The Kinder Gentler Military, Stephanie Gutmann recounted how the harsh demands of basic training have been largely eliminated to make the experience more female-friendly. With basic training now gender-integrated in all the services except the Marines, the emphasis is increasingly on self-esteem and positive motivation. Recruits are shown videos that reassure them that "anybody can get through boot camp" and that it's "O.K. to cry." A commission appointed by defense secretary William Cohen...concluded that basic training should be separate because integrated training resulted in "less discipline, less unit cohesion, and more distraction from training programs.

And MacKubin Thomas Owens touched on some excellent points in an article he wrote a few years back:
The presence of open homosexuals (and women) in the close confines of ships or military units opens the possibility that eros will be unleashed into an environment based on philia, creating friction and corroding the very source of military excellence itself. It does so by undermining the non-sexual bonding essential to unit cohesion as described by Gray. Unlike philia, eros is sexual, and therefore individual and exclusive. Eros manifests itself as sexual competition, protectiveness, and favoritism, all of which undermine order, discipline, and morale. These are issues of life and death, and help to explain why open homosexuality and homosexual behavior traditionally have been considered incompatible with military service.

These are all serious, substantial arguments that deserve have a fair hearing in the debate over women in combat roles in the military.

Mitt Hits Back

A great interview. Romney is really getting better by the day. He exudes such confidence on economic issues.

Bring on the debates.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A New (Positive) Low

From Politico:
The percentage of Americans who identify themselves as “pro-choice” is at the lowest point ever measured by Gallup, according to a new survey released Wednesday.

A record-low 41 percent now identify themselves as “pro-choice,” down from 47 percent last July and 1 percentage point down from the previous record low of 42 percent, set in May 2009. As recently as 2006, 51 percent of Americans described themselves as “pro-choice.”

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? And "If the righteous man is scarcely saved, where will the impious and sinner appear?" Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will do right and entrust their souls to a faithful creator. ~1 Peter 4: 17-19


From ABC News:
The Obama campaign's latest Web video tells the story of workers at an Indiana office supply company who lost their jobs after a Bain-owned company named American Pad & Paper (Ampad) took over their company and drove it out of business.

Here's what the Obama video doesn't mention: A top Obama donor and fundraiser had a much more direct tie to the controversy and actually served on the board of directors at Richardson, Texas-based Ampad, which makes office paper products.

Jonathan Lavine is a long-time Bain Capital executive and co-owner of the Boston Celtics. He is also one of President Obama's most prolific fundraisers. He has already raised more than $200,000 for the Obama campaign this election, according to Federal Election Commission records.

The Obama Sphinx

Today, National Review featured an excellent article from 2008 entitled Who Is Barack Obama? I think it really cuts to the core of the man. Here are the first two paragraphs, but I encourage everyone to take some time to read the whole piece. It's that good.
Who is Barack Obama? Obama the presidential candidate presents himself as a man who has loved America from his earliest childhood, a man proud of his mixed-race roots who comfortably transcends polarized racial politics, a man who eschews the ideologies of Left and Right, an optimistic healer. But in his critically acclaimed autobiography, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, Obama is something else entirely.

Obama published his autobiography in 1995, when he was in his mid-thirties. Unlike most books by politicians, which are concoctions of clichés penned by ghostwriters, Dreams was clearly written by Obama himself. Unlike most politicians, Obama can write and loves language. (He was contemplating a career as a novelist at the time he wrote Dreams.) Most important, Obama wrote his autobiography after he had become a political activist but before he was a politician; the book is therefore candid in a way a conventional politician’s memoir would never be.

The Pill

Here's an excerpt from a fascinating article, What the Pill Is Doing to Our Water Supply, by Dr. Rebecca Oas:
When a new synthetic substance is created, or a naturally occurring substance is generated at greatly increased levels, the effects can be far longer-lasting and wider-reaching than its manufacturers predict or intend. Some well-known examples of this include asbestos, a popular insulation and flame retardant in the late 19th century, which was later discovered to be carcinogenic; and polystyrene foams like Styrofoam, which is frequently used in disposable packaging, yet takes hundreds of years to break down once discarded. In the case of oral contraceptives, the key ingredients are synthetic hormones known as progestins, which mimic progesterone, either alone or combined with estrogen. When used therapeutically in contraceptive pills or in hormone replacement treatments for menopause, these synthetic hormones make their way into the water supply after being excreted in the patients’ urine. As environmental contaminants, these are referred to as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), due to the fact that they interfere with the endocrine systems of humans and animals alike following exposure.

Monday, May 21, 2012

See you in court

From CNS News:
( - The Archdiocese of New York, headed by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., headed by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the University of Notre Dame, and 40 other Catholic dioceses and organizations around the country announced on Monday that they are suing the Obama administration for violating their freedom of religion, which is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution.

The dioceses and organizations, in different combinations, are filing 12 different lawsuits filed in federal courts around the country.

The Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. has established a special explain its lawsuit and present news and developments concerning it.

"This lawsuit is about an unprecedented attack by the federal government on one of America’s most cherished freedoms: the freedom to practice one’s religion without government interference," the archdiocese says on the website. "It is not about whether people have access to certain services; it is about whether the government may force religious institutions and individuals to facilitate and fund services which violate their religious beliefs."


Teacher yells at student because of a question he asked about Obama!

So much for academic freedom and the arena of ideas. Liberals are all about shutting up every opposing view. Throughout history we've seen this kind of tactic surface, and the results are usually very ugly.

On Party and Race

Here's a snippet from an excellent article by Kevin D. Williamson on the real story behind the Democratic Party's track record on race. From National Review:
...the Democrats have been allowed to rhetorically bury their Bull Connors, their longstanding affiliation with the Ku Klux Klan, and their pitiless opposition to practically every major piece of civil-rights legislation for a century. Republicans may not be able to make significant inroads among black voters in the coming elections, but they would do well to demolish this myth nonetheless.

Even if the Republicans’ rise in the South had happened suddenly in the 1960s (it didn’t) and even if there were no competing explanation (there is), racism — or, more precisely, white southern resentment over the political successes of the civil-rights movement — would be an implausible explanation for the dissolution of the Democratic bloc in the old Confederacy and the emergence of a Republican stronghold there. That is because those southerners who defected from the Democratic party in the 1960s and thereafter did so to join a Republican party that was far more enlightened on racial issues than were the Democrats of the era, and had been for a century.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Great Debate

Here's a rigorous debate between the president's go-to man on economic questions, Austan Goolsbee and Congressman Paul Ryan. Goolsbee boasts a dazzling academic resumé, but Ryan, quite simply, bests him. Enjoy!

Morning Shocker

The sun is shining on Scott Walker. The dependably liberal Milwaukee Journal Sentinel endorsed Walker over Tom Barrett for governor of Wisconsin. In their endorsement, the editors rehash some of the characteristic and ridiculous critiques of Walker, which is to be expected, but their point about the recall process in general is correct. Here's an excerpt from the piece.
No governor in recent memory has been so controversial. No governor in America is so polarizing. Everyone has an opinion about Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin.

Here's ours: We see no reason to remove Walker from office. We recommend him in the June 5 recall election.

Walker's rematch with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett was prompted by one issue: Walker's tough stance with the state's public-employee unions. It's inconceivable that the recall election would be occurring absent that. And a disagreement over a single policy is simply not enough to justify a vote against the governor.

A Marquette Law School Poll in January showed that many people in the Badger State agree. In that poll, 72% of Republicans, 44% of independents and 17% of Democrats said recalls should be limited to criminal wrongdoing. Republican state Rep. Robin Vos has proposed tightening the recall mechanism; he should continue to push for that after the election, regardless of who wins.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Too Much Time on Their Hands

Liberal Catholic academics take aim at pro-life Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan...again

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
More than 50 faculty members at Marquette University, including a dozen theologians, have issued a public letter to U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan criticizing his proposed budget as morally unjust and accusing him of distorting Catholic social teaching in its defense.

The letter echoes a protest issued late last month by 90 faculty and administrators at the Catholic Georgetown University in Washington, where Ryan defended his budget in a speech April 26, and similar criticisms levied by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The Marquette letter calls it "a glaring misuse of Catholic teaching to defend a budget plan that decimates food programs for struggling families, radically weakens protections for the elderly and sick, and gives more tax breaks to the wealthiest few."

"It is a question of balance," said Paul Misner, professor emeritus in the Department of Theology, who signed the Marquette letter. "Where is the balance in this budget?"

These people are just rehashing old clichés that are not rooted in reality. The article also makes clear that many at Marquette didn't sign the letter, and some even defended Ryan. Still, it's more than a bit odd that one of Wisconsin's most pro-life Catholic politicians is publicly rebuked by so-called theologians at a so-called Catholic university. Do these folks release letters whenever Pelosi, et al. tout their blatantly anti-Catholic positions on life, marriage, etc.?

It would be nice to see a suitably timed statement released from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, thanking Wisconsin's pro-life politicians like Ryan for their commitment to defending the unborn. Wishful thinking?

Special Forces

Day One

The U.S. Army Special Forces regiment welcomed more than 120 men into its brotherhood during a Special Forces Qualification Course graduation ceremony May 17 in Fayetteville, N.C.

The ceremony, where the newest Special Forces Soldiers wore their green berets and the Special Forces tab for the first time, marked the completion of at least one full year of specialized, individual training at Fort Bragg, N.C. with the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.

"The long, storied tradition of the legendary green berets began with just a few individuals who sought to strive for a higher standard of excellence in the profession of arms," said Maj. Gen. Patrick M. Higgins, the ceremony's guest speaker, to the graduates during the ceremony. "Now it's your turn."

Friday, May 18, 2012

Insult to Injury

From the Associated Press:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius paid homage to religious freedom and the separation of church and state in a graduation speech Friday at Georgetown University that was briefly interrupted by an anti-abortion heckler.

Catholic church authorities earlier had lambasted Georgetown's invitation for her to speak at the Public Policy Institute's awards ceremony.

Invoking the late President John F. Kennedy, Sebelius called the separation of church and state "a fundamental principle in our unique democracy." She urged graduates to weigh different views in policy debates and follow their own moral compasses.

Sickening. The "separation of church and state" line has been grossly distorted and radicalized by the likes of Kennedy and Sebelius, and the sad thing is that they get away with it time and again. Maybe a "strongly worded" statement will be issued by a bishop or a diocese, but nothing of substance is ever done about Catholic politicians who routinely flout the Church's teaching. Business as usual. Life goes on.

Floor to Ceiling

Check out this amazing view of the Sistine Chapel from the Vatican website.

Taking a Stand

From the Associated Press:
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Scores of Christian youths in the Philippines chanted "Stop the Lady Gaga concerts" at a rally Friday calling for the pop diva's shows here to be canceled despite assurances from authorities that they won't allow nudity and lewd acts.

Sold-out crowds and angry protests followed Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" Asian tour. Fans younger than 18 were banned from the Seoul concerts over complaints her lyrics and costumes were too sexually provocative, and she was denied a concert permit in Indonesia by police under pressure from Islamic hard-liners.

About 70 members of a group called Biblemode Youth Philippines rallied in front of the Pasay City Hall in metropolitan Manila. They said they were offended by Lady Gaga's music and videos, in particular her song "Judas," which they say mocks Jesus Christ.

I'm siding with the Muslims on this one. And those Christian kids in the Philippines deserve a lot of credit. I know that we live in a sex-obsessed culture but even still, I don't understand the appeal of Lady Gaga. When it comes down to it, she is an embarrassing, pre-packaged, phony entertainment gimmick, who gets far more attention from her disgusting prurience and garish, nonsensical performances than anything approaching raw talent.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Titian's Image

Tiziano, one of the greats from a Golden Age in art. From the Telegraph:
Is Titian self portrait hidden in The Martyrdom of St Lawrence?

As one of the grisliest pictures he painted, Titian's The Martyrdom of St Lawrence has exerted a horrified fascination for art lovers for centuries.

The masterpiece depicts the unfortunate saint, who had incurred the wrath of imperial Rome for his Christian beliefs, being slowly roasted on a gridiron heated by a blazing fire.

But nearly 500 years after it was painted, an intriguing new detail has come to light, previously unnoticed by scholars – an apparent self-portrait of the Renaissance master, tucked away in the bottom left hand corner of the 15ft-high work.

A year-long restoration has revealed a man's head, swathed in a turban, gazing at the saint as he writhes on the red-hot gridiron and extends his arm in agony to the heavens.

The man's face bears a striking resemblance to known portraits of Titian, one of the giants of the Renaissance who was born Tiziano Vecellio in Belluno in what was then the Venetian Republic in around 1488.

Missing Rome

It's times like this, from Reuters:
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - If you wanted to admire masterpieces of religious art by Titian, Raphael, Lorenzo Lotto, Guido Reni, Carlo Crivelli and other masters in museums around Italy's central Marche region, it could cost you a few weeks of time and a hefty hotel bill.

Now, 50 paintings from 15 museums in the region rich in natural beauty and artistic heritage are on exhibition at the Vatican.

Called "Meraviglie dalle Marche," or Marvels from the Marche, the one-stop viewing for paintings from the region opened recently in the Braccio Carlo Magno exhibition space in St Peter's Square.

It includes works such as a lesser-known version of Raphael's "Saint Catherine of Alexandria," (the most famous one is in the National Gallery in Washington), Titian's "Resurrection", and Guido Reni's "Annunciation" and "Saint Sebastian".

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Walker's Case

A great interview:


For what it's worth, from MSNBC:
Coffee drinkers who worry about the jolt of java it takes to get them going in the morning might just as well relax and pour another cup.

That’s according to the largest-ever analysis of the link between coffee consumption and mortality, which suggests that latte lovers had a lower risk of death during the study period.

Liturgy, Coffee and Culture

Here's an excerpt from a pretty sharp article appearing in Ignitum Today:
The sudden decay of the ritual in the Mass, as well as the gradual decrease in overall Mass attendance, are symptoms of the culture as a whole, of which grab-and-go coffee is merely another manifestation. Relativism has replaced absolute truths in the minds of many, causing the reasons behind the instituted rituals to be widely considered “old-fashioned” or “obsolete” and exchanged for touchy-feely “anything-goes” rituals which mean little and change according to whim. As for Mass attendance… well, Sunday Mass, on average, takes about an hour, though it can be shorter or longer depending upon the speed at which the priest speaks, the length of the homily, the length of the aisle, and whether or not there is a Sign of Peace, among many other factors. However, many people–often young people who start this habit early and then allow it to follow them–skip even an hour on Sunday, claiming that they “don’t have the time.” Like a diet or an exercise regime, once you’ve skipped it once, it’s easier to skip it again. And so an overly-busy life “prevents” many from attending Mass (even though “being too busy” is not written into Canon Law as a legitimate excuse for missing Mass).

Countering Obama

From the National Catholic Register:
In the wake of President Barack Obama's recent endorsement of same-sex “marriage,” the U.S. House Armed Services Committee adopted legislation to protect the religious liberty of members of the military, including chaplains.

A new amendment to the Fiscal Year 2013 defense-authorization bill says that the armed forces “shall accommodate the conscience and sincerely held moral principles and religious beliefs” of its members regarding “the appropriate and inappropriate expression of human sexuality.”

These beliefs or principles of conscience may not be used “as the basis of any adverse personnel action, discrimination or denial of promotion, schooling, training or assignment” against any chaplain or servicemember.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Jindal Rips Obama

From ABC News:
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal criticized President Obama's experience before he became president in an interview Tuesday, and defended Mitt Romney, who has recently come under attack by Obama's campaign for his record at Bain Capital.

"President Obama hasn't run anything before he was elected President of the United States. Never ran a state, never ran a business, never ran a lemonade stand. This job's too important for on the job training," Jindal said during an interview on FOX News' "America's Newsroom" Tuesday.

Jindal contrasted Romney's experience with Obama's record, arguing that, "In contrast, Mitt Romney's been a successful governor, a successful businessman. He's got the executive experience."

Modern-Day Machiavelli

From The Ticket:
Sixty-seven percent said they thought Obama's announcement [supporting gay marriage] was made "mostly for political reasons," while 24 percent said it was "mostly because he thinks it is right."

In another potentially damaging sign, 70 percent of Independents attribute the president's move to politics, along with nearly half of Democrats.

Obama is more about politics than principles. It's encouraging to see that most people are onto Obama's cold calculations.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Bishop Hying Responds

From Milwaukee's TMJ4:
MILWAUKEE - A bishop in the Milwaukee Archdiocese says that President Barack Obama's recently-revealed stance in support of same-sex marriage is a dramatic departure from what he believes has been society's long-held moral stance on the issue.

"What President Obama is proposing is really a radical change to the building block of society as we've understood it," Auxiliary Bishop Don Hying told Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News."

"Through all human civilization, it's been understood and respected as a union between a man and a woman for the procreation of children. That's been humanity's understanding of marriage forever, really."

"what he believes has been society's long-held moral stance on the issue." It's not just what he believes, it's a fact. I think we'll hear more from Bishop Hying on these issues. He's not one to stay silent in the public forum. It's very encouraging.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Romney Nails It

In his Commencement Address at Liberty University, Mitt Romney defended marriage, the unborn and praised Pope John Paul II as a "heroic soul." Besides this, I appreciated his remarks on the importance of authentic culture.

"Culture makes all the difference. ... what people believe and what they value. Central to America's rise to global leadership is our Judeo-Christian tradition."

Glimpse into an Attack

A moving story and a powerful collection of images, from The Wall Street Journal:

When a suicide bomber struck a convoy in Afghanistan, a routine Marine patrol turned into a harrowing firefight. Michael M. Phillips with an eyewitness account of bravery and tragedy in the confusion of war.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Swiss Confessions

From Catholic Culture:
The chaplain of the Swiss Guards has revealed that some Swiss Guards have not been practicing Catholics or made an individual confession before joining the corps.

“Although they are all baptized, confirmed and recommended by their parish priests, they have very different experiences,” said Msgr. Alain de Raemy. “There are individuals who never went to Mass on Sundays and whose families weren’t practicing. However, they discovered the possibility of the Swiss Guard and wondered why they couldn’t deepen their faith.”

“Sunday Mass is obligatory and attendance is controlled militarily, and they know this when they enter the service and when they submit their application,” he added. “They also know that there is a chaplain who will give them religious instruction during the recruits’ schooling … an intensive catechesis that lasts for a month.”


Training Camp

A great story from the National Catholic Register:

Mike Sweeney’s Catholic Baseball Camp, to be held July 24-26 at Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego, is not your average baseball camp. In addition to the customary fielding, hitting and base-running, this camp will include daily Mass, confession and praying the Rosary.

Participants will learn not only how to become great baseball players, but great human beings as well. Contrary to what some think, the two are not incompatible, the camp’s originator and leader, Sweeney, explained.

“The reason I started the camp was to share the integration of two of my loves in life: baseball and the Catholic faith. Of course I value playing baseball, but, more importantly, I set a tremendous, unsurpassed value on Catholicism,” Sweeney said.

Georgetown, Revisited

Apparently, opposing abortion and those who support it are not as au courant and cool for the academic pooh-bahs at Georgetown as opposing a rising Republican congressman who is pro-life. From the National Catholic Register:
Patrick Deneen, the founding director of the Tocqueville Forum on the Roots of American Democracy at Georgetown University, and several other faculty members drafted a letter to Georgetown's president, John DeGioia, asking him to rescind the Georgetown Public Policy Institute’s invitation to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Deneen supplied a copy of the letter to the Register and said that his group invited a “large number of faculty to join, including all faculty in Catholic studies and all signers of the letter to Congressman [Paul] Ryan, along with faculty whom we believed might be inclined to sign. A total of nine faculty elected to sign this letter.” ...

Only one of Ryan letter signatories agreed to sign the letter to DeGioia, he told the Register.

Don't tell me that secular liberalism isn't the driving ideological force at nearly all of the nation's "respected" Catholic universities.

Separate Her

From CNS:
( – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that her Catholic faith "compels" her to "be against discrimination of any kind" and thus for same-sex marriage. ...

"My religion has, compels me--and I love it for it--to be against discrimination of any kind in our country, and I consider this a form of discrimination. I think it’s unconstitutional on top of that. "

When will excommunication be declared for this perfidious blatherskite? It would be for her own good. I don't say this lightly, but Pelosi is an utter train-wreck, a disaster, who publicly contradicts the Church on major issues at every opportunity. She's an embarrassment and a scandal for the Church. Who will have the backbone to definitively confront her?

Why Obama Will Lose

It's still the pocketbook issues, folks. Try as Obama may to distract with Chicago-inspired tactics, like the "war on women" and the gay "marriage" nonsense, most people know that this country is ill. From Politico:
Economic pessimism is on the rise as Americans predict that the unemployment rate will start ticking back upward and expect a deterioration in their household finances over the next year, according to a new survey Friday.

Just 22 percent of Americans said that the economy has improved in the past month, down from the 28 percent who said so in February, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Obama's Cold Calculation

This is an excellent piece by Tim Stanley, appearing in the Telegraph:
The day after North Carolina voted 60-40 to ban gay marriage, Barack Obama did what any sane politician would do and … endorsed gay marriage. He told ABC that he felt compelled to by the gay interns he knew, his wife, his children and Jesus. Why did he really do it? Sheer, naked opportunism. Like the contraception issue before it, this is an attempt to distract from how bad the economy is. What will Obama do next in his desperate bid for re-election? Make a claim on the Falklands?

It’s unlikely that Obama is taking a principled stand for civil rights. In 1996, he said he was for gay marriage. In 2004, when he was running for the Senate, he said that Jesus told him it was wrong (Jesus, apparently, changes his mind almost as often as the Prez). In 2008, he repeated that gay marriage was a step too far. Then he started to “evolve” and, like the caterpillar, he turned into a beautiful pink butterfly.

This is an important social issue, to be sure, but from Obama's standpoint, this is all about distracting people from the pathetic state of the economy, for which he is responsible.

A Bishop Who Leads

From EWTN:
(EWTN) Bishop Xavier Novell of Solsona, Spain said that locals pay rapt attention to mistreatment of animals yet remain silent before the massive number of abortions that take place in the country.

In a pastoral letter issued on May 6, Bishop Novel noted an incident several weeks ago when a dog was shot by a Catalonian official. The reaction in the media was resounding and immediate, “with calls for resignations and even legal action,” he said.

“I couldn’t resist posing a question: When the chilling figures on the number of abortions in Catalonia are published each year, how is it that everyone is silent? Do not the lives of thousands of unborn children eliminated with impunity have value?”

“Could it be true that animals have just as many or more rights than persons? What’s going on in this country?” the bishop asked.

The trouble with Georgetown

It's always nice to see Catholics given a chance to speak out. From Fox News:

The media silence on Obama's big embarrassment

From Ken Cuccinelli:
...a guy in prison beat the President of the United States in a Democratic Party primary in 10 counties in West Virginia! 
In fact, statewide, the President didn't even break 60%!  You can see the results by clicking here (county by county results are available by clicking the button in the upper right hand corner).  Enjoy. 
A final note on West Virginia: Democratic U.S. Senator, Joe Manchin, won't even say who he voted for in the primary - between the President and a jailed criminal, he's still too embarrassed to be associated with the President!  Wow. 
But wait!  There's more! 
Let me take you back two months to Oklahoma... 
Also unreported (I know you're as shocked as I am with the media's failure to report these outcomes...), was the President getting only about 57% of the vote in the Oklahoma Presidential primary on March 6th. 
In Oklahoma, there were four other Democrats on the Presidential primary ballot along with the President. 
The President lost in 15 counties in Oklahoma!  How come you haven't read about this???  Ok, no need for me to answer that one for you... 
Even more incredible, in several of the counties in Oklahoma, the President didn't even come in second!  That's right, he finished in third place to two other Democrats in several Oklahoma counties! 

Protecting the Military

From Fox News:
WASHINGTON – On the same day that President Barack Obama declared his support for same-sex marriage, the House Armed Services Committee backed measures prohibiting the practice on U.S. military bases. ...

Conservative Republicans still angry with the end to the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the military pressed two measures.

"The president has repealed `don't ask, don't tell' and is using the military as props to promote his gay agenda," said Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., who is running for Senate.

The committee, on a vote of 37-24, backed an amendment that barred same-sex marriages or "marriage-like" ceremonies on military installations. The panel also endorsed an Akin amendment that said the services should accommodate the rights of conscience of members of the services and chaplains who are morally or religiously opposed to expressions of human sexuality.

On Rhetoric's Power

Michael Pakaluk serves as chairman of the philosophy department at Ave Maria Univeristy and he offers some insightful comments on Obama's pro-gay marriage endorsement yesterday. From National Review:
Obama’s remarks yesterday were a brilliant example of political rhetoric calculated to appeal to an emotionally mushy middle.

A scenario that has played itself out thousands of times across the country is the following. A person who unreflectively (that is, on the basis of “religion” or “tradition”) has been opposed to same-sex relationships is confronted by a friend who declares himself to be gay. Although marriage invokes very powerful traditions and religious beliefs for this person, his views begin to evolve, perhaps over a period of years, until — seeing his friend in what seems to be a committed monogamous relationship — he concludes that for him personally it is important to go ahead and affirm that he thinks same-sex couples should be able to get married.

Obama simply transposed the italicized words to the realm of the political. By appealing to sentimentalism in this way and avoiding questions of the common good, Obama can turn criticisms into strengths. To evolve is to move to a position better than that of someone who hasn’t evolved. That his new position is “personal” shows his sensitivity. His long hesitation is only a measure of the weight he gives to tradition. Romney will find it difficult to affirm a strong commitment to traditional marriage, as he should, while appearing equally sensitive and troubled, as (given the character of the electorate) he must.


From Politico:
Just hours after President Barack Obama publicly backed gay marriage, the House struck back and passed a measure aimed at reinforcing the Defense of Marriage Act.

With a 245-171 vote, the House voted to stop the Justice Department from using taxpayer funds to actively oppose DOMA — the Clinton-era law defining marriage as between a man and a woman that the Obama administration stopped enforcing in February 2011.

“It is not President Obama’s prerogative to decide which laws matter and which do not, nor his right to challenge constitutional amendments duly passed by the various states,” said the measure’s sponsor, Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.). “The Justice Department is duty-bound to enforce DOMA and to not do so is a flagrant disregard for the Constitution and for the rule of law.”

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

A look at the vote

Scott Walker (R): 626,538 votes

Tom Barrett (D): 390,109 votes

Kathleen Falk (D): 228,940 votes

Republicans in Wisconsin are understandably giddy over the high turnout for Walker in this primary, garnering more votes than the Democratic candidates combined. Conservatives wanted to send a message yesterday, and we did just that.


Round One Debate

Some people just can't take "no" for an answer. Feckless, egoistic Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who has tried twice in the past to run for governor of Wisconsin and failed, will face the incomparable Scott Walker on June 5 in a rematch of their 2010 battle for the governor's office. The stakes couldn't be higher for Wisconsin and for the nation. Walker represents everything that is good about this nation, its founding principles, its moral fiber, its character, while Barrett stands for everything that Obama, Greece, France and the increasingly irrelevant, nanny state-embracing nations of Europe stand for, i.e., higher debts, a cradle to grave culture of dependency on government handouts, a rejection of personal responsibility, and the rise of the dictatorship of relativism. Based on polling of of likely voters, I feel confident that Walker will win, and by a relatively comfortable margin. But there's work to do, and we shouldn't be overconfident. If Walker is given more years to govern, and assuming there's a Republican majority in the legislature, the sky is the limit as to what else he might accomplish to solidify the state's status as a leading conservative bastion in the nation.

It is pretty remarkable that the Catholic candidate in this race is the liberal, pro-abortion, pro-you-name-it-the-Church-opposes-it Democrat. Scott Walker, a Protestant, has done some incredibly positive things on the culture war front and deserves some "attaboy" encouragement from Church leaders across the state in the lead up to this epic battle. It will be interesting to see if the Archdiocese of Milwaukee issues any kind of directives on voting. I'm not holding my breath. Laissez-faire on politics and "business as usual," especially when it comes to liberal Catholic politicians, often seem to be the default positions here.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Not so inevitable, after all

Voters in North Carolina sent a resounding message to the rest of the nation. From Politico:
North Carolina overwhelmingly voted Tuesday in favor of a state constitutional amendment defining marriage between one man and one woman as the only legal union recognized by the state.

The vote makes North Carolina the 30th state to adopt a ban on gay marriage. While North Carolina law already bans same-sex marriage, the amendment means civil unions and potentially other types of domestic partnerships will no longer be recognized legally by the state.

Three cheers for the Tar Heel State! No longer can the intelligentsia in the media-political-entertainment establishment lecture us about the growing and unstoppable movement in America in favor of gay "marriage." There may be segments where that is the case, but large swaths of the nation are, thankfully, still not budging.

Surreal, Again

From The Washington Free Beacon:

The White House Visitors Office requires that an unborn child—still residing in utero—must be counted as a full human being when its parents register for a White House tour, according to documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

What more can I add?

The Calculating, Cynical President

From Dana Milbank, writing for The Washington Post:
Whatever Obama’s public position, there was little doubt in the briefing room Monday that the president supports gay marriage and that he would go public with this position after Election Day, when he no longer need fear losing independent voters. Carney, who had the unenviable position of trying to convince the press corps otherwise, arrived 35 minutes late for the job and found a feisty audience.

The president has recently taken to saying that his personal views on marriage are "evolving." Alright, if you're in your fifties and you still don't know where you stand on a subject as important as marriage, we're going to have real difficulties. What kind of fixed principles does someone like that have? Frankly, I think Obama has always supported gay "marriage" but realized in 2008 that he had to camouflage it for the sake of his election. By asserting that his views are "evolving," Obama is merely employing a cynical tactic that allows him to dodge being pigeonholed to a particular view that he is not sure will help him politically. It's quite Machiavellian. Now, Obama and his team, Biden, etc., are testing the waters in the run-up to November. But Milbank is right, if Obama wins re-election, his journey of "evolving" on the issue will, what do ya' know, come to a sudden end.

Monday, May 07, 2012

North Carolina's Moment

As North Carolina prepares to vote on a controversial amendment to the state constitution that would define marriage as between a man and a woman, both sides are making their final push, including enlisting high-profile backers – such as former President Bill Clinton and evangelist Billy Graham – to their cause. ...

"At 93, I never thought we would have to debate the definition of marriage,” Graham said in a full-page ad that was to run in 14 North Carolina newspapers. “The Bible is clear -- God’s definition of marriage is between a man and a woman. I want to urge my fellow North Carolinians to vote for the marriage amendment on Tuesday, May 8. God bless you as you vote.”

Billy Graham and Bill Clinton square off over a question of morals and ethics. Is it really even close? If you're looking to find a high-profile advocate to talk about marriage and commitment, I'd look elsewhere, libs.

The Patriarch's Plan

From the Associated Press:
TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — The patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church presided over the baptism of hundreds of babies in a Tbilisi cathedral on Sunday as part of an effort credited with helping raise the birth rate in this former Soviet nation.

Patriarch Ilia II has promised to become the godfather of all babies born into Orthodox Christian families who already have two or more children. Since he began the mass baptisms in 2008, he has gained nearly 11,000 godchildren.

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has said the patriarch deserves much of the credit for the rising birth rate, which in 2010 was 25 percent higher than in 2005. The number of abortions also declined by nearly 50 percent over the same five-year period.

What a great idea!

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Rubio Excoriates Obama

Prediction: Marco Rubio will be our president one day. It's only a matter of time. A Ryan-Rubio/Rubio-Ryan ticket is not too hard to see.

Catholic Biden Supports Gay "Marriage"

Biden: It's about 'who do you love?'

From Politico:
Vice President Joe Biden said Sunday he was “absolutely comfortable” with gay marriage, sending his office into an immediate effort to clarify his comments as reflecting no change.

Asked on “Meet the Press” Sunday if his views on gay marriage had “evolved,” which is the word the president has used to describe his own thinking, Biden spoke forcefully about his own position.

“I am vice president of the United States of America. The president sets the policy. I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And quite frankly, I don’t see much of a distinction beyond that,” Biden said.

The fact that ole' Joe Biden supports this is not at all surprising and is less interesting to me than what, if anything, the Catholic leadership here, which is never particularly eager to issue public rebukes (or more) to wayward, abortion-pushing Catholic politicians, will do about it. We're waiting to see who will rise to the occasion. A lot is hanging in the balance. All too often, the leadership operates under a faulty notion of what it means to be pastoral, to the extent that scads of so-called Catholic politicians get away with horrendous deeds with nary a slap on the wrist from a bishop. Cardinal Burke remarked on this point in an interview.
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.

How can bishops talk about the sacrosanct integrity of marriage and the urgency for Catholics to defend it on the one hand, and then turn a blind eye when such a prominent member of their flock as the vice president publicly gives his approval homosexual unions? It represents an intolerable inconsistency. Biden just made these remarks today, so time will tell if we see any different reaction from those at the top.

Joining the Ranks

From the AP:
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Twenty-six Swiss men have joined the oldest standing army in the world, swearing to give up their lives to protect the pope as the Vatican's newest Swiss Guards.

The swearing-in ceremony took place Sunday inside the Vatican auditorium — a last-minute change due to rain. Usually it is held in the St. Damaso courtyard of the Apostolic Palace.

The ceremony is held each May 6 to commemorate the day in 1527 when 147 Swiss Guards died protecting Pope Clement VII during the Sack of Rome.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

WI Roundtable

Case in Point

Making a comeback

A little excerpt from a story that appears in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on post-Vatican II religious life. It is filled with the kind of nonsense and cliches you'd expect to find in a piece covering a liberal nun who will have a hand in drafting the official response to the Vatican's call for certain religious sisters in the U.S. to be more, well, Catholic.
Changes after Vatican II

Like the sisters of her era, [Sister Florence] Deacon began religious life in a long, black habit and expected to live a more insular life than she does today.

But the Second Vatican Council changed that [NO IT DIDN'T!!], urging women religious to re-examine the original charisms, or missions, of their orders, and to find new ways to apply them in the contemporary world. For Deacon, as a Franciscan, that charism stressed a care for all creation.

"We began to see new needs that were not being met - the homeless on the streets and prisoners behind bars," she said. "Sister moved out to new, social ministries to meet the needs of the marginalized."

Many shed their habits - derided by some as a portable cloister - to be closer to the laity. And today, sisters, who once worked primarily as nurses and teachers, are parish administrators, social activists, social workers, lawyers, academics, presidents of hospitals and universities, and more.

First of all, I find it incredibly offensive and arrogant to portray traditional life in a convent, a way of life that has existed for well over 1,500 years, as antediluvian and inadequate to a fulfilling, complete life as a person. To suggest that, by breaking free from the walls of the cloister and shedding the habit, women religious are, only since the 1970s, truly finding their place in the Church and world is so myopic and condescending. Give me Teresa of Avila!

Young people are not going to give up everything and commit themselves to a vocation for the rest of their lives if a particular order is bending over backwards to be just like the laity and everybody else, blurring the line that distinguishes them as a distinct order and a unique way of life. What is the point of joining an order or signing onto a way of life if that basically means joining in order to blend in with the laity? This is why liberal orders like the one in the story are fading faster than Obama's prospects for reelection, while more traditional orders that embrace their ancient customs, like full habits, etc., are being bombarded with new vocations.


From the AFP:
Pope Benedict XVI asked bishops Saturday to ensure that religious teachings are authorised by the Catholic Church, in a bid to keep US Catholics in line with the Vatican.

The appeal comes after the Vatican last month upbraided a US association of Catholic clergy women for its feminist and liberal stances on contraception, homosexuality and female priests.

"Such discord harms the Church's witness and, as experience has shown, can easily be exploited to compromise her authority and her freedom," the pope said in a speech.

In the U.S., so many Catholic schools are a mess, more focused on money than on Catholic identity and forming students in the faith, liturgies and parish life are often run by lay committees composed of ideologues that are hostile to the Church's core teachings on the moral life, or who are simply clueless when it comes to the faith. The list goes on. Leaders in the U.S. need to step up. 'Business as usual' has gone on for too long.