Saturday, June 30, 2007

Know Thy Enemy

From CNN's continued gloating about their homosexuality poll:

For the Rev. Mel White, the founder and president of faith-based gay rights group Soulforce, the poll results were a "tremendous relief."

"The poll is such good news," White said Thursday. "Over half of America thinks we don't have to be healed from a sickness; suddenly we are OK as we are."

White, once a ghostwriter for the Revs. Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and Billy Graham before coming out in a public sermon in 1993, said the church was the barrier to nationwide acceptance of gays and lesbians.

"Until the church changes, this debate will go on and on and on," he said. "Once the church changes, it'll be over."

Good to know that there's still tension between the World and the Church, and the World knows that it cannot win the argument unless the Church cedes her authority. It's also good to know the stakes that the other side is playing for.

Pope Writes to China, pt I

Pope Benedict XVI writes the the faithful Catholics of China:

I realize that the normalization of relations with the People's Republic of China requires time and presupposes the good will of both parties.

Yes, and China's advance preparation to denounce the Pope's message telegraphs the true nature of the Patriotic Association of Chinese Catholics. The Communist Party is a jealous god, and will have no other gods before it. From CWNews:

Chinese officials have summoned Catholic bishops to a meeting in Huariou, north of Beijing, to coordinate their response to a forthcoming message from Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) to the Catholics of China, the AsiaNews service reports.

Ever the optimist, the Pope presses on:

at the same time, though, compliance with those authorities is not acceptable when they interfere unduly in matters regarding the faith and discipline of the Church. The civil authorities are well aware that the Church in her teaching invites the faithful to be good citizens, respectful and active contributors to the common good in their country, but it is likewise clear that she asks the State to guarantee to those same Catholic citizens the full exercise of their faith, with respect for authentic religious freedom.

Like I said before, Maoism is inherantly anti-christian in it's avowed repression of any religious expression not worshipping the State. More later, after I read the whole document.

h/t CWNews

Friday, June 29, 2007

Slouching Toward Sodom

My, my. The handbasket is picking up speed:

Poll majority: Gays' orientation can't change

In addition to orientation, a majority is coalescing around the rainbow flag for adoption and marriage issues. More people have a sitcom view of human sexuality anymore, and it will continue to worsen, especially when they pass those mores onto their children:

CNN's Paula Zahn speaks with a transgendered 7-year-old and her family.

The video report includes the parents telling how horribly sad their son was until he was allowed to dress like a girl. How could good parents countenance waiting one nanosecond before allowing their child to dictate their own identity. Were I as good a parent as these folks, I'd have already changed my son's name to 'Godzilla' and let him exclusively dress in reptile costumes.

But, I should be mindful of my criticism. The closer our comfy handbasket gets to the iron gates of Dis, the more likely this will apply here:

Belgian Bishop Accused of Homophobia
Belgian homosexual activists have brought charges against Mgr André-Mutien Léonard, the Roman-Catholic bishop of Namur, for homophobia, a criminal offence in Belgium according to the country’s 2003 Anti-Discrimination Act. In an interview last April in the Walloon weekly Télé Moustique, the bishop is said to have described homosexuals as “abnormal” people.

We are not to blaspheme the popular sacrament, as our intolerance will not be tolerated.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Evangelism, à la McBrien

Fr. Richard McBrien is at it again. In the latest issue of the Tidings, Fr. McBrien critiques conversion motivations in the post-Vatican II Church. Evangelism in the Catholic church has suffered:

"With the Second Vatican Council, however, and with the ecumenical movement which the council and the popes had endorsed, it became practically impossible to present the Catholic Church any longer as "the one, true Church" and all other denominations as awash in error and falsehoods."

Of course, you cannot present the Catholic Church as the one, true Church if you don't really believe it. Can you? That's also a large and unspoken variable in the calculus; the scores of clergy and theologians, in the Church, that cannot acknowlege the Church and thus cannot proclaim it. Skeptics make lousy salesmen, and cynics are even worse.

McBrien goes on to examine recent conservative converts to the Church, noting:

"Conservative Protestants and Jews who convert to Catholicism, especially of the Opus Dei kind, rarely shed the religious, social and political biases they had in their pre-Catholic life."

I didn't realise that there is a Opus Dei Catholic Church. Or, is this a backhanded slap at conservatives who come to the Church expecting some orthodoxy? Some converts have no interest in Cafeteria Catholicism, especially of the Most Holy Redeemer (San Francisco) kind, or else they would have joined the Episcopalians.

At least converts to the Church have the good grace and intellectual honesty to leave a church (or 'faith community') that they do not agree with. Right, Fr. McBrien?

h/t to Curt Jester and da Cafeteria.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Obama on the Achille Lauro

From USA Today, Barak Obama decries the polarization of the faith debate:

"Somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together and faith started being used to drive us apart... Faith got hijacked, partly because of the so-called leaders of the Christian Right, all too eager to exploit what divides us."

I shant chide him for his selective ignorance of Scripture, it's to be expected. Here's our Lord speaking about the unity that He will bring:

Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword. For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

And as a man's enemies shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not up his cross, and followeth me, is not worthy of me.
Matthew 10:34-48

Obama belongs to both a church and a political party that are selective in discriminating good from evil, unless a poll be taken first. The firm discernment of the Faith proposed by the Catholic Church, and select splinters, is anathema to the Left:

"At every opportunity, they've told evangelical Christians that Democrats disrespect their values and dislike their church, while suggesting to the rest of the country that religious Americans care only about issues like abortion and gay marriage, school prayer and intelligent design,"

Let me turn this one around a bit:

" At every opportunity, party leaders told Democrats that evangelical Christians are drooling troglodytes that only care about issues that oppress women, bash gays, force theocracy on schools, and insist that some 'god' created the universe."

Barak, if you want to find out why evangelical christians and pro-life catholics don't support liberal Democrats, why don't you ask the Democratic Party chairman, Howard Dean.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Fairness v. Bias

From WorldNetDaily:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is "looking at" bringing back the Fairness Doctrine, a controversial policy designed to ensure equal time for all political viewpoints on radio, but criticized by many as resulting in the opposite result.

Peeved by conservative proliferation in talk radio forums, she's hoping to try and rein in the archconservatives rockin' on the mic:

"Well, I'm looking at it, as a matter of fact... because I think there ought to be an opportunity to present the other side. And unfortunately, talk radio is overwhelmingly one way."

Oh, so shall we then apply the same scrutiny to PBS and NPR? Hell no, the senator says:

"The Corporation for Public Broadcasting exists – to ensure independence and freedom from political influence. Its mission is to protect public broadcasting from political persuasions of either side."

So if the CPB is free from bias, then why excoriate those who would verify the claim to impartiality? Feinstein was one of several Democrats to howl for the resignation of Ken Tomlinson, CEO of the CPB, as he dared to study bias in the broadcasts of PBS and NPR.

But for all her support of 'Fairness', the senator admits that it's all in the eye of the beholder:

" We all know that what is needed to create balance is subjective. "

And her unspoken ultimatum: Those in power decide what the balance is.

Trusting Feelings

I had a couple visitors Friday evening: two young men, dressed in crisp, white shirts, and neatly tucked ties.

Yes, they were Mormons.

It was raining fairly hard, so I invited them to wait out the storm on my porch while we went round and round about false prophets, Scripture, and Apostolic Succession. Now, I will admit that I'd no candidate to be a Doctor of the Church, but I'm not your average pew-warmer either.

The last discussion, before I dismissed them, was a bit about prayer and feelings. One of the young men told me of the "burning feeling in my heart" he experienced when he prayed about the truth of Mormonism. He suggested that I pray about it too, and I could have that feeling.

I told the young man that I trust neither sensations of Flesh nor it's emotional states to validate the truth of Jesus or His Church. He replied that God speaks to us through our flesh, and I replied that our fallen nature and concupisance do as well. Every murmur of Will needs to be measured against Scripture and Tradition.

When exhorted to pray further about it, I told him that Muslims pray five times daily, and are very devoted to their faith (sometimes explosively), yet I wouldn't trust their devotion as validation of Muhammad's heresy.

So, here's my question: What makes YOU so sure that your church is The Church?

Friday, June 22, 2007

Mao v. Mary

From CWNews, China is opressing Christians again:

A government decree has ruled that the Marian sanctuary, and the pilgrimages that have brought over 40,000 pilgrims there annually, are evidence of "illegal religious activity."

The Henan government plans to raze the sanctuary, bar pilgrimages to the site, and destroy the celebrated statue of Our Lady of Carmel that is revered by Catholics there. To discourage faithful Catholics from organizing sit-ins on the site to protect the shrine, authorities have scheduled military exercises in the area.

It's just another instance of how the Maoist government can do what it pleases with the Chinese people, while the retail-addled consumers in the West do nothing to help. The religious liberties of the Chinese people are secondary to cheap footwear for Americans.

Maybe if the Chinese rename the shrine "Our Lady of Low Prices"..

Syllogism #70622


The Taliban represents orthodox Islam.


The Taliban's fighters hide behind woman and children.


Islam is the religion of bullying cowards.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Jiggety Jig

It's two and one half driving days from northeast Philly to Lincoln, Nebraska. We only managed an average of 50 miles driving/hour for all the potty breaks the kids needed. But we're home.

As you may have seen, we took the kids to their first dip in the Atlantic Ocean. Most importantly, we managed to spend lots of time with family. It had been two years since I had seen my five brothers and three sisters, all younger than I, along with some budding families. I missed them all terribly before, and even now, I can't wait for a pleasant opportunity to see them again. The children they were, when I left home, are now mostly adults, parents, and students.

I caught up a bit with my brother-in-law, who's finishing his Masters, in theology, at Duquesne and starting a doctorate at Catholic University this fall. We had some spirited discussions while at home, both in agreement and disagreement, and so you may hear him pipe up in these pages in the future.

I played some golf with Dad and my next younger brother, played many rounds of cards with brothers and sisters, and an impromptu game of moonball as people were trying to pack their families away to hit the road. The siblings with kids took their families, all together, to Sesame Place, a Sesame Street theme park, where the kids all had a great time. Over all, we had a lot of fun.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Fathers' Day

Do you spend time with your family? Good. Because a man that doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man.
- Vito Corleone, in The Godfather

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Ahh, Paradise

Ahh, the warm sands of Point Pleasant, New Jersey, linger still between my toes:

New Jersey beach sand,
cleaner than I remember,
ashtray no longer.

The family got to frolic in the turbid Atlantic this afternoon, along a stretch of private beach (no one told us to leave). Not a bad way to spend a day.

Pizza in shore points of New Jersey has a character unlike most other spots in the country. It must be a blend of influences from NYC and Philly (and the local Italians and Sicilians). Pizza Hut, Papa John's, and Dominos all pale in comparison, capice.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Mao, the Movie

A fawning firm treatment of Mao Zedong is in the works. To cerebrate, in chinese manufacturing fashion, I'm going to copy some famous tagrines from hit movies:

Mao's Mother, speaking to young Mao: "The life is a box of chocolate, Mao. Very difficult to say any you obtain."

Mao, after his mule has been scared off: "I did not think, you smile. You see, my mule does not like the person smiling. His some you ridicule him the crazy idea. Now if you apologize, if I knew you go to, perhaps I convince him, you truly have not meant it."

Mao, riling chinese peasants: "Tells us the enemy, perhaps they need our life, but they never will adopt... our freedom!"

Mao, later, speaking to his troops: "Is taking the line! Stays with me in the same place! If you found oneself alone, rides in the green domain and the sun in yours face, do not have to trouble. For you is in Elysium, and you already were die!"

Mao, talking about his tanks: "Very good, the person, you sees, the picture, we us opposed big and is better than all tanks, therefore possesses us to be able to hope does is, the picture, frightens them, y'know. This pole gun is ordinary 76mm but we increases pipe this piece it, and Capitalist pigs believed, the picture, it is possibly 90mm. We obtained we ammunition, it uses the paint to fill. When we fire at it, it makes the pretty picture, frightens the person! And we have a loudspeaker, when we enter our extremely loud performance music the battle. It... is a little calm we to get down."

The final scene, Mao has sacrificed himself to save the people of China:

Lin Biao: "Mao."
Mao: " Country... stemming from danger?"
Biao: "Yes."
Mao: "Do not grieve, Comrade. This is a logic. Many needs to exceed...
Biao: "... Minority need."
Mao: "..Or that. I have until now never accepted Kobayashi the Maru test. How do you think my explanation?"
Biao: "Mao."
Mao, before dying: "I will be and always will be your friend... Exactly long and is prosperous."

If anyone can guess the movies these diarogs are transrated from, more power to you...

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Big Punchline

"They think they're killing me. They think they're punishing me. They've already punished me. I've already had 16 years of punishment. They're releasing me. They're letting me go. That's helping me out. That's the way I look at it."

- Convicted murderer Patrick Knight,
facing his impending execution.

Still Krasny After All These Years

From CNN, a story about Russian nukes. The flag may look different, but that beast is still a Bear:

Moscow could aim nuclear weapons at targets in Europe as part of "retaliatory steps" if Washington proceeds with building a missile defense system on the continent, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday.

Why is the self-esteem of the Russian people so bound up in claiming authority through the threat of force? Times are tough in Russia, Putin's been shoring up power and eliminating his critics. By stoking the anti-USA embers, he's hoping to distract russians from the congealing totalitarian regime in Moscow.

Putin also suggested that in the absence of a real threat from Iranian and North Korean missiles, the U.S. plan could be an attempt to spoil Russia's relations with Europe.

Well, if Russia's relations with Europe are based on the threat of force, then maybe Europe wouldn't mind some spoilage.

Notes from the Road #70602

Who gets vanity plates with TV jokes? Some yutz from Iowa, perhaps, thought that a witty Seinfeld reference would set himself, and his Lexus SUV, apart from the crowd. Too bad he couldn't think of anything funnier than 'Moops'.

If you plan a travel route on the Internet, add 25% to the travel time if you're travelling with toddler/preschoolers. Yes, the extra time is for copious potty breaks.

I wish I could have been in Lincoln for Call To Action's Futility Fest, but I was burning road to Des Moines by the time that all transpired.

Mass in Ohio, everything I hear people complaining about that's wrong with the Novus Ordo:

"Hey, where's the Tabernacle?!?"

I didn't realize that 'R/' in the hymnal was a cue for the cantress to raise her right arm.

Waterford crystal ciborium and chalices were used, showing their unity with Los Angeles.

Like a freak, I knelt (alone) after the Agnus Dei, and even continued kneeling after Communion.

I will eventually return to Lincoln, and will be glad..

Sunday, June 03, 2007


Nine members of the group Call to Action stood outside the Cathedral of the Risen Christ Friday to call attention to Lincoln Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz’s refusal to participate in an annual sex abuse audit.

But they were upstaged by more than 100 local Catholics who came together on less than an hour’s notice to show support for the bishop

That was from the Lincoln Journal Star's account of CTAN's histrionic bid for some attention. To try and scrape up some ill will against their nemesis, bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, the heretics trot out the bete noire of sexual abuse. Despite that fact that it has been a rare but quickly dealt with problem in Lincoln, some are leary of Lincoln's non-participation in the USCCB's backside-covering sex abuse audits.

Nevertheless, the non-participation raises questions, said John Krejci, a Call to Action member from Lincoln. “We have no guarantee that the children of this diocese are protected,” he said.

I wish that people could be honest in their beefs. Call To Action isn't primarily concerned about sexual abuse, they want the excommunications recinded by Bruskewitz. The sexual abuse audit question is the only thing that they can get any media traction on, in order to try to pressure the bishop. Well, here's the big claim:

Despite the greater numbers on the other side, Pokora said she believes Call to Action represents the majority of Catholics nationwide who want bishops to fully comply with the annual sex abuse study.

“We are the church, and it is important that the voices of the faithful who are concerned about the children of the diocese are heard,” she said.

Well, if CTA represent a majority of Catholics, then why did it take months to get 1000 signatures on their petition. The pro-Bruskewitz petition got 1400 signatures in 31 hours. As for "We are the church", I wasn't aware that the excommunicated had any claim on the Church.

Bruskewitz, as he's always done, called for the dissidents to repent and rejoin the Church. As for the faithful laity of Lincoln, Bruskewitz had the usual request:

He asked them to pray for Call to Action members, that they return to the true Catholic faith.

Yes, let's do.