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Friday, November 28, 2008

Know Thine Enemy

Since my reversion in 1997, I have consistently relied upon four books. First and foremost is the Bible. Scripture is more alive to me now than it has ever been in my life, through the Holy Spirit's inspiration. The Gospels sing to me. Paul's epistles speak to me more deeply. The Psalms and Proverbs fill me with hope and provide me with wisdom. God's Word provides me with consolation that I hadn't experienced in my pre-reversion life, and along with that, greater challenge as well.

The other three books, in no particular order of importance, are My Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis; The Spiritual Combat by Dom Lorenzo Scupoli; and The Sinner's Guide by Venerable Louis of Granada. They have been read and re-read, with dog-eared covers and highlighted pages, with underlined text and numerous bookmarks.

Recently, I've been posting on the theme of spiritual warfare, especially since the election. The battle may intensify very soon as earthly forces increase their efforts to minimize and even attempt to eliminate Church influence in our culture, in a real and concrete fashion. While this has been happening since the birth of the Church, and even before that (after all, Christ was crucified before the Church officially started, right?), it's only within the context of our personal history that we can say "we are (or I am) engaged in spiritual combat". The lives of the saints, the teachings of the Church, the history of the world - these provide the blueprints, the models by which this battle is waged. But it is today, this very hour, that matters to us as individuals. We look to Scripture, Tradition and the Church for the strategies, and we apply those strategies to our unique circumstances.

As my header points out, this blog addresses groups and individuals who are working to destroy and damage the Church from within. Today, though, I'm going to focus on another enemy. Spiritual warfare has many fronts, and while it is true our ultimate enemy is the powers and principalities and not flesh and blood, there is still another that must be vanquished and subdued.

That enemy is....(insert your name here). Yep, it's me and you, with our failings and bad habits, rife with concupiscence, shortcomings and vices.

Knowing my enemy, then, means knowing myself. In Chapter 1 of The Spiritual Combat, Scupoli writes: "Since, therefore, you seek the highest degree of perfection, you must wage continual warfare against yourself and employ your entire strength in demolishing each vicious inclination, however trivial. Consequently, in preparing for the combat you must summon up all your resolution and courage. No one shall be rewarded with a crown who has not fought courageously."

He concludes the chapter with this: "...in order to attain it (Christian perfection), you must resolve a perpetual war with yourself, begin by providing yourself with four weapons without which it is impossible to gain the victory in this spiritual combat. These four things are: distrust of one's self, confidence in God, proper use of the faculties of body and mind, and the duty of prayer."

As I interpret it, Scupoli's words can be summed up in one word: Humility. In Chapter 32 (The Last Artifice of the Devil in Making Even the Practice of Virtue an Occasion of Sin), he writes: "If anyone should show affection for you or commend your God-given qualifications, you must immediately be mindful of truth and justice, saying in your heart with all sincerity: 'May I never, O lord, attempt to rob Thee of Thy glory by attributing to myself that which is entirely owing to Thy holy grace! May honor and praise be Thine; may shame and confusion be mine!'" Later in the chapter, he pens this: "Just as God created our first parents out of nothing,, so He continues to build our spiritual lives on our realization of the truth that we are nothing. Therefore the lower we humble ourselves, the higher the edifice rises....Choose the neglect of men that you may have the love of God."

True humility, therefore, is not saying we're worthless slugs capable of nothing, or displaying false modesty when we do something with the talents God has given us. It's realizing that any good we're capable of accomplishing is all due to God's grace, and our cooperation with it. And it's with true humility that we're best prepared for the spiritual combat against Satan and his minions. I believe it was Fr Corapi who said that humility is the atomic bomb in the war against the devil.

Now combine those words of Scupoli with these from The Imitation of Christ (Book III, Chapter 30): "'As My father hath loved Me I also have loved you,' said I to My beloved disciples (John 15:9), whom certainly I did not send to temporal joys, but to great conflicts; not to honors, but to contempt; not to idleness, but to labors; not to rest, but to 'bring forth much fruit in patience.' (Lk 8:15) Remember these words, O my son."

So - it's humility combined with conflicts, contempt, labor. Ready to sign up? It's what the saints did, and if we're to be saints too, then we have to make the commitment.

And it truly is all or nothing. Here's one of my favorite parts from The Spiritual Combat: "The first thing to do when you awake is to open the windows of your soul. Consider yourself as on the field of battle, facing the enemy and bound by the iron-clad law - either fight or die." (from Chapter 16). 100% commitment.

Earlier today I read a great post at Abbey Roads 2: Losing Friends and Influencing People. The post talks about what it means to live a Christian life, about how 100% commitment is required. It means the loss of some friendships (and even the estrangement of family members). But it also means that others will be influenced by how we conduct ourselves, and most of that will happen without our ever knowing it. The post touches on the subject of spiritual combat as well, and he refers to Dr Peter Kreeft's book from 2002 "How To Win The Culture War". Here's a passage from his book that says it much better than my post-long ramblings:

"To win any war, the three most necessary things to know are: (1) that you are at war, (2) who your enemy is, and (3) what weapons or strategies can defeat him.

"You cannot win a war (1) if you simply sew peace banners on a battlefield, (2) if you fight civil wars against your allies, or (3) if you use the wrong weapons..."

"... 2. Our Enemy - Who is our enemy?

"There are two answers....the first answer is almost never mentioned today....Our enemies are demons. Fallen angels. Evil spirits....The second is even more terrifying than the first. There is one nightmare even more terrible than being chased and caught and tortured by the Devil. That is the nightmare of becoming a devil. The horror outside your soul is terrible enough; how can you bear to face the horror inside your soul?

"What is the horror inside your soul? Sin. All sin is the Devil’s work, though he usually uses the flesh and the world as his instruments. Sin means inviting the Devil in. And we do it. That’s the only reason why he can do his awful work; God won’t let him do it without our free consent. And that’s why the Church is weak and the world is dying: because we are not saints."


I may have found a fifth book.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers! I pray that everyone enjoys this holiday with the best of health, in the company of friends and family, and reaches their destinations safely.

May your turkey not be dry, may your gravy not be lumpy, and may your pumpkin pie be perfect!

I give thanks to God for all the blessings He has bestowed on me and my family.

What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lessons McBrien Should Learn From The '08 Election

Richard McBrien's essay at the NC Distorter this week focuses on the lessons the bishops ought to have learned from this year's presidential elections. He cites three distinct points, all of which, IMHO, are distinctly wrong. His words are in red, mine are bracketed.

(1) First, Catholic voters are paying less and less attention to the urgings of the most theologically rigid and politically partisan bishops of the U.S. bishops’ conference. [Nice choice of descriptors - let's rewrite this, shall we? "First, lukewarm and poorly catechized Catholic voters are still ignoring the urgings of the bishops who are most loyal to the Magesterium." That's not news, Rich. It's been going on for decades.]

(2) Second, there is also a question to be put to the all-too-silent majority of bishops who have failed to remind Catholic voters that the bishops’ conference supports a “consistent-ethic-of-life” approach to moral issues, that it has gone on record as neither endorsing nor opposing candidates for public office, and that it insists that the Catholic church is not a one-issue church, notwithstanding the moral urgency of the abortion issue. [Your editor should be fired for letting that go through as a complete sentence. Rewrite: "A majority of bishops let these poorly catechized lukewarm Catholics believe that the USCCB has real teaching authority, which makes their job easier, but doesn't absolve them of teaching truth. "The seamless garment" is not Church doctrine!! Furthermore, opposition to abortion is not a religious issue, but is the fundamental moral life issue.]

(3) Third, beyond the concern for political and moral credibility and effectiveness, there are other, equally significant statistics to be drawn from the recent presidential election. The Democratic ticket won the support of 66 percent of voters between the ages of 18 and 29, and 57 percent between the ages of 30 and 44.
These voters are not only the future of the country; many of them are also the future of the Catholic church. Do our pastoral leaders really want to be so far out of step with this crucially important constituency?
[Rewrite: "The younger generation is in need of catechesis as well. Look at how they were duped! Since many of these represent the future of the Church, and the bishops are responsible for their souls as well, do we really want them so far out of step with Church teaching?"] Can our leadership not make a more concerted effort to understand the thinking of under-45 Catholics, as well as of many older Catholics who are aware of, and in full agreement with, the official teachings and policies of the conference but who disagree strongly with the views of the conference’s aggressively conservative minority? [What is it with these long sentences? Rich, the USCCB does not issue official teachings!! They are compromises at best, watered down official teachings of the Church at worst. And the "aggressively conservative minority" you dislike are those who are most faithful to the Magesterium.]

Like all dissenters and apostates, you desire to change the Church into a democracy. Christ was not elected head of the Church, you know. He is the King of Kings - meaning we are members of a kingdom. We don't get a vote in the Church like we do in our nation's elections. You should know that by now.

There's more inanity in his essay that I have neither time nor energy to parse. Like a politician, McBrien is pandering to the choir of NC Distorter readers, as the majority of commenters at that site demonstrate. He ends his essay with a reference to the loss of credibility the Church has suffered as a result of the sexual-abuse crisis, and sadly, that is true. He follows that reference with an admonition that they must be careful not to make the problem worse, by not learning anything from this election.

I think they have, Rich - I think it's you who haven't learned anything. What's needed is stronger adherence to the truth, not increased concern about polling and statitistics. They ought to be concerned about the weakness in the faith of American Catholics, brought about to significant degree by actions and words such as your own.

Move Over, Fr. Milquetoast!

Fr. Courageous is comin' through!! Original post is here, but I'm reprinting the whole thing because it is so excellent. Our Church will need more priests (and Bishops) like Fr Euteneuer who is unafraid to speak truth to lies.

Election Part II-Catholic Culture and the Election of Barack Obama

It is impossible to speak of a “Catholic culture” in America any longer. A whole segment of the populace who call themselves “Catholics” do not feel bound by any standard of Catholic orthodoxy or sanity. In fact, it is impossible to even speak of a Catholic culture in most parishes! At a recent “ministry faire” of a large Catholic parish in south Florida, the Respect Life ministry of the parish displayed its pro-life materials next to the table of the “social justice” committee of the same parish. Any commonality between the two ministries was simply in the space they shared. Their worldviews could not have been further apart, but they both call themselves Catholic.

In fact, the “social justice” people were positively aglow about the election of their new messiah, Barack Obama. Several of them were speaking of their plans to attend the Inauguration and were utterly unaware that there would be 100,000 people marching on the nation’s Capitol two days later for the right to life of unborn Americans which they had just voted into irrelevancy by electing Obama to the highest office of the land. One of them even expressed shock at the provisions of the upcoming Freedom of Choice Act until he was confronted with the nasty little fact that his messiah had been a sponsor of that pernicious bill in the last Congress. True to form, he steadfastly refused to allow that truth to have any effect on his euphoria. His mind was made up, and he would not let himself be confused by facts. Needless to say, the orthodox, practicing, believing Catholic pro-lifers will not be attending the Inauguration.

How can these two groups sit side-by-side in the same pews and display their ministries in the same space at the same Catholic parish? Simply because this contradiction has been tolerated for years by those in charge of our Church. In this election season neither of these two groups received any guidance about voting according to Catholic principles because, as per usual, there was silence from the pulpit on the issue. The absolute failure of our church leaders to define for us what membership in the Church means—and then to enforce it—has led to the degradation of Catholic culture and the loss of meaning for things that are sacred. When Christ and Belial are considered equal partners in the sanctuary, then nothing in the sanctuary means anything any more and no meaningful standard exists to distinguish a true Catholic from a false Catholic.

The degradation of Catholic culture is largely, but not exclusively, the fault of the clergy. For four decades in the Catholic Church in America we have seen:

1. Liturgical abuses run rampant, aided and abetted by those in charge

2. Two or three generations of Catholics left un-catechized or taught with flimsy, Protestantized fluff passed off as Catholic education

3. Sexual abuse by clergy excused and unaddressed by the hierarchy

4. A blind eye turned to high profile dissent and political class heretics

5. Wholesale attacks on sacred teachings that receive virtually no response from our pastors (and if it weren’t for Catholic Answers, EWTN and the Catholic League we would have no defense whatsoever)

6. The succumbing of our Catholic institutions of higher education to the ravages of political correctness, and the list goes on. In the face of all this, should we be surprised that 54% of “Catholics” voted for Barack? Hardly.

The battle for Catholic culture begins with us, and there is no time like the present to don the armor of spiritual warfare. We either believe and practice what the Church teaches or we live as part of the shadow church, falsely trading on the Name Catholic for its benefits without at the same time shouldering the crosses that this entails.

There is, however, great hope for the future because the battle has already been engaged: new Catholic colleges are springing up to replace the old decrepit houses of heresy, new religious orders with abundant vocations and orthodoxy have arisen, home schooling families and strong lay movements are abundant now. Only when we take back our beloved Church from the false Catholics and clerics will our Church be able to stand up and rebuke the storm winds of paganism that are building faster than we care to admit. This project is not without its price, however. The cost of being a true believer will undoubtedly be much higher than ever before in our lifetime. Starting now and into the next generation we as Catholics will have to show the world not only what we believe but that we are willing to lay down our lives for it as a witness to the truth.

Sincerely Yours in Christ,

Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer,

President, Human Life International

R/W stick salute to Catholic Caveman

Monday, November 24, 2008

PSA For The Progressive Parish



A good name for this church would be St. Watson....as in, St Watson Itfermi.

Red Wing stick salute to Catholic Dads

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Plenary Indulgence For The Solemnity Of Christ The King

From What Does The Prayer Really Say?:

Requirements for Obtaining a Plenary Indulgence on Christ the King

- Public recitation of the prayer “Most Sweet Jesus, Redeemer Act of Dedication of the Human Race to Jesus Christ King” (listed below)

- Say one “Our Father” and one “Hail Mary” for the intentions of the Pope

- Make a Sacramental Confession within a week of (before or after) the Feast of Christ the King

- Worthily receive Holy Communion (ideally on the Feast of Christ the King)

- that one be free from all attachment to sin, even venial sin.

Most Sweet Jesus, Redeemer – Act of Dedication of the Human Race to Jesus Christ the King

Most Sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before You. We are Yours, and Yours we wish to be; but to be more surely united with You, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Your Most Sacred Heart. Many indeed have never known You; many, too, despising Your precepts, have rejected You. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Your Sacred Heart.

Be King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken You, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned You; grant that they may quickly return to their Father’s house, lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.

Be King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbor of Truth and the unity of Faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one Shepherd.

Grant, O Lord, to Your Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give tranquility of order to all nations; make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: Praise to the Divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to It be glory and honor forever. Amen.

Public recitation of the prayer, at least according to a commenter at Fr Z's cite, would be saying the prayer aloud in a Church, regardless of it being empty or not. For my part, I'll ask my associate pastor. For a "baby priest", he's pretty hep on all things traditional Catholic.

Speaking of my associate pastor, here's a couple excerpts from his column published in this weekend's bulletin.

"Although the concept of king as a symbol does not speak to our world with the impact it had hundreds of years ago, the reconciliation of all people under the lordship of the crucified and risen Jesus remains the goal of this feast. The Gospel reveals to us that Jesus will return one day, not as savior, but as Judge.
This image of Jesus doesn't always go over very well in our culture [big understatement]. In our overly tolerant and non-judgmental society, we prefer to think of Jesus as a friend, a counselor, a wise man, a comforter. He is all of these things, but He is also lawmaker and judge. And though our American sensibility for the separation of powers may be offended by this, we must remember that it was God who created everything out of nothing and for His own purposes. He has the right, and even the duty, to set the rules. If there were no rules, then how could we say that God brought order from nothingness? [good point!]

"The Church Fathers talk about the kind of kingship we are supposed to exercise in our lives, since at Baptism we are anointed, as Christ was. As kings, we are to exercise sovereignty over our passions in order to follow God's commands [I'll have to remember that!] The control of our passions is something we do under submission to the Lord. We cannot pretend to do this of our own accord. We have to be like the servants who say "We are but useless servants; we have done no more than we have been commanded" [that verse has been surfacing in my prayer life quite a few times as of late. Looks like I'll be meditating on that one a bit longer].

So go out and get indulged - for yourself, for a soul in Purgatory. This is another weapon the Church makes available at our disposal in the spiritual battles we face daily.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Am I Missing Something?

From the Herald Sun: Apocalypse How? Four Threats To Our World

EARTH has been subjected to some apocalyptic events in its 4.5 billion-year history.Volcanoes, meteors, fire and ice have almost obliterated all life and threatened the very existence of the planet.

Now, a new British TV program, Catastrophe, looks at the science behind the destruction and the threats our planet still faces.


These are the four scenarios that the programme (for you British readers out there!) is going to extrapolate:

TOXIC CLOUDS - the sort that are produced by volcanic eruptions, as per the article
DAILY TSUNAMIS
A NEW ICE AGE
SUPER VOLCANO - think Yellowstone Park

I'm not posting about this to give anyone a panic attack or anything - Lord knows we all have enough on our plates as it is - but someone tell me....what's missing? I can't quite put my finger on it....

I'll Believe It When I See It

...or, "Methinks He Doth Protest Too Much."

Professor Doug Kmiec continues to staunchly defend President-elect Obama, now stating that his administration will be more Catholic than Reagan's or Bush's, both of which can historically be shown to have been very pro-life.

In an article at LifeSiteNews.com, Kmiec makes comments in response to Cardinal Staffords' recent address, in which he called Obama's pro-abortion policies “aggressive, disruptive and apocalyptic" and that the senator campaigned on an “extremist anti-life platform.”

CNN conducted a follow-up interview with Cardinal Stafford, who stood by his remarks.

Stafford told the cable news network that he couldn't understand how any Catholic could support Obama because of his radical views in favor of taxpayer-funded abortions, unlimited abortions throughout pregnancy and overturning all of the hundreds of abortion reduction laws in all 50 states.

As a result, Stafford says Obama "is hostile to the life of an unborn child."

Kmiec told the paper that Stafford was giving a false portrayal of Obama and accused him of talking about Obama's abortion views not as they are but as they are made out to be by opponents.

“Sometimes all of us — even the wisest among us – are given to speak not from personal knowledge, but from that which has been portrayed as true, but is really a caricature,” said Kmiec in an interview with The Tower.

“When Stafford gets to know Obama better, said Kmiec, he will readily see that Obama “has far more in common with our great faith tradition than any political administration in recent memory.”


So Prof, still sucking down that Kool-aid, I see!

Now, I'm a firm believer in giving someone the benefit of the doubt. I also know from personal experience that people can and do change. And I pray everyday for Obama's conversion, to truly apply Christ's teaching to care for the least of his brethren. Nothing is impossible for God.

But in the here and now, it's hard to figure out where Kmiec is coming from. Obama received a 100% rating from NARAL. His voting records show his anti-life positions. He has promised Planned Parenthood one of the first things he will do is sign FOCA. He has said he wouldn't want his daughters to be "punished with a baby".

We can add VP-elect Biden's anti-life voting record to the mix as well. And this doesn't include Obama's pledged use of the "bully pulpit" to support the gay community.

Now, I know that there are other Catholic social justice issues that Obama may support which could warrant his administration as displaying some modicum of catholicity. I happen to highly doubt it, though, given that he has chosen so many former Clinton administration members (gotta love that "change"!) to fill out his cabinet and transition team - and we all know how Catholic they were, right? Right?

So Kmiec continues to defend defend defend - "get to know the guy", or "what you've been hearing has been a caricature".

Sorry, Doug. I'm wise enough to know that you could whip me in a debate, but I'm not stupid enough to fall for your rhetoric. You've dug yourself a hole, and I think you want us to jump down and join you, so that you have someone to step on in order to clamber out. The onus is on you and other pro-life Catholics who support Obama, to remind him that his administration has to prove how "Catholic" his administration will be beyond mere words and platitudes.

Friday, November 21, 2008

"It's Our Turn"

Immediately following the presidential election, I posted my thoughts on the outcome, how God is revealing His will, and what it will mean for us as Catholics. Below is a short excerpt (clicking on the highlighted text will take you to the original post):

Preparation and trust. The intense prayer and fasting we engaged in was a preparation for what is to come. Like a diligent farmer who prepares the soil by tilling it, removing the weeds and stones, God was preparing us, in order to reap a bountiful harvest when the season is due. God has been preparing us (preparing me, at least), strengthening us for the battles ahead, battles that will intensify and rage all around. Battles designed by Satan to demoralize and suppress us, battles that will be waged with the strategies of a master tactician, and if we aren’t prepared, then we, as individuals, will surely lose. Satan wants us to take our eye of the real battle – it’s not the economy, or national security, or health care. The issue is Life. The one issue that was conspicuously absent from debates, rallies and speeches. The one issue that the bishops, at least those who issued statements and letters, constantly focused on.

God is asking us to deepen our trust in Him, as well. You know the old cliché: “It’s always darkest before the dawn”. That is how it seems right now, doesn’t it? But God has a plan, and we must trust Him. Work our butts off, be prepared for battle, but keep our trust in God.

Here's a video posted at Fr Zuhldorf's 'What Does The Prayer Really Say?' that dovetails with my post-election thoughts.

video

Fr Z adds:

But do you honestly think we are not at an important crossroad?

Catholics had to make choices in 1930’s Germany.

Catholics had to make choices behind the iron and bamboo curtains.

It’s our turn.

Red Wing s/s to Fr. Z

"How Great I Am"

Saw this at The Ironic Catholic. For that much needed end-of-the-week laugh.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Another Cafeteria Catholic Comes Out

From The California Catholic:

“I start every one of my days praying,” says Maria Shriver, wife of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. “I go to church every week. I went to Catholic schools my entire life.” But, says Shriver, when it comes to Church teachings, “I pick and choose… I think I’m probably a ‘Cafeteria Catholic.’”

Thus Maria has made it official. It's okay now. She's admitted that she's a cafeteria Catholic, and is at odds with many of the Church's teachings. Since she's being honest about her pick-and-choose approach, she's to be applauded for her sincerity and openness.

Ah, not really.

Instead of a being a role model for full disclosure, she's just another poster child for dissent and hypocrisy. There's no virtue in being prideful. There are no medals for displays of hubris.

“I have a dispute with a lot of the Catholic Church,” said Shriver in the interview. “Even though I consider myself a Catholic in good standing, I disagree with a lot of the teachings of the Church.”

So many Catholics have the misguided notion that their own consideration of what constitutes being a 'Catholic in good standing' is the only and primary consideration worth having. And that's using the wrong perspective. That's the perspective seen through a conscience that elevates personal opinion above objective truth. It's one thing to disagree with a political party, or with someone on how to solve the economic crisis, or to disagree with a friend that Corgis make better pets than German shepherds. But to disagree with the Church on matters of faith and morals....that'd be like saying "yeah, I consider myself a believer in physics and all, but I disagree with gravity and Newton's 2nd Law of Thermodynamics." It makes no sense, and it might prove deadly if you're about to step off a cliff.

The "Well, at least she's being honest about it" defense holds no water, either. Bottom line is, she's honestly wrong. Just like the Crones are honestly wrong about their opinion that women can be ordained. Just like Dignity is honestly wrong in their opinion that homosexual activity is not sinful or disordered. Just like Apostates for Choice are honestly wrong in their opinion that the use of artificial contraception is not sinful. And so on down the line.

Because when we meet Christ on the Day of the Lord, our final reward won't be based upon our opinion. It's going to be based upon His judgment.

And that's the God honest truth.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Clothes Mindedness

Let me unequivocally state that I am fashionably uneducated. It's kinda like art: I don't know much about it, but I know what I don't like. And I stick to what works for me.

Blue jeans and a sweatshirt off hours. For work and Sundays, khakis and a golf shirt in warm months, exchanging the shirt for a sweater or shirt & tie in the cold months. I have a collection of cool Christmas ties that come out in mid-December, but beyond that, it's nothing fancy. Checking out the latest styles in the countless stream of catalogs is not my thing. I bought GQ a couple times back in my college days, when I didn't have money for any of the fashions, and now that I have some extra to spend, I have a "where's the bargain rack?" attitude.

On the rare occasion I'm with Mrs LarryD when she's on a shopping spree, my opinion means even less. I'm pretty much there to carry the bags.

I will say this, though - droopy drawers with 3" of boxer shorts exposed is not fashionable. It's just plain stupid. In several Michigan communities, it's even a misdemeanor, punishable with a fine and a bill for a brand new belt. Well, okay, no belt, but gosh darn it, to me, that would be an acceptable use of taxpayers' money.

With all that being said, despite my lack of interest and inability to tell the difference between a cravat and an ascot, and an even greater propensity to care less, I can identify fashion faux pas. Just watch a replay of any golf tournament from the 1970's and 80's, for instance, and 75% or more of the golfers provide examples aplenty.

Which leads us to this more recent example, courtesy of an email from a friend.

Doesn't the dress....


...even remotely resemble, oh, I don't know....this?


But what do I know about fashion?

Rise Up, Ye Oogedy Boogedy Of God

From Creative Minority Report:

Kathleen Parker of the Washington Post ruminates on why the Republicans lost this year's election, and it's all God's fault. Here's an exercpt of her article cited at CMR:

As Republicans sort out the reasons for their defeat, they likely will overlook or dismiss the gorilla in the pulpit.

Three little letters, great big problem: G-O-D.

I'm bathing in holy water as I type.

To be more specific, the evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP is what ails the erstwhile conservative party and will continue to afflict and marginalize its constituents if reckoning doesn't soon cometh.

Simply put: Armband religion is killing the Republican Party. And, the truth — as long as we're setting ourselves free — is that if one were to eavesdrop on private conversations among the party intelligentsia, one would hear precisely that...

So it has been for the Grand Old Party since the 1980s or so, as it has become increasingly beholden to an element that used to be relegated to wooden crates on street corners.

Which is to say, the GOP has surrendered its high ground to its lowest brows.

Okay, to be more specific, she's blaming the "right-wing oogedy-boogedy branch". Well, Kathleen, being a branch means we're still attached to the vine. And I'm talking about The Vine. Seems to me you've been pruned.

Perhaps she channelled the Spirit of Vatican II while writing her article, and the spirit gave her the term. I'd like to think that oogedy-boogedy has Aramaic roots, and wouldn't be out of place in the Beatitudes: "Blessed are the oogedy-boogedy; they shall inherit the Earth."

So while insulting G-O-D, she also insulted people like me. Like you. People who insist on infusing their faith into their politics. And that's okay; I'd rather be in the oogedy-boogedy section of Heaven (God willing), than in the hoity-toity room of hell, where's there possibly very little elbow room.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Die behausung Spekulationsblase

A clip from Die behausung Spekulationsblase (The Housing Bubble)

R/W stick salute to Karen at Some Have Hats


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Of Breakfast Tables And Prop 8

I recently found a new website, and I kind of regret having done so. In pursuit of finding even more examples of far afield dissenters and so-far-left-they've-even-left-the-wide-road apostates, I've come across www.religiondispatches.org. They have a dumb tag line: "Exhilarating the breakfast table since 2008". Besides being dumb, it's also inaccurate, because they've been around since December 2007. I know - I checked their archives. Perhaps they were only 'Piquing the interest of breakfast tables' then, but now the tables are downright excited.

As I thought about it, maybe furniture deserves to experience exhilaration, a fact I never considered. So I asked my breakfast table how I can make it feel more exhilarated, and it said "Well, actually sitting at me to eat breakfast might help, instead of standing over the kitchen sink, like you were some single guy or something." Ouch. Mrs LarryD doesn't have time during the week to eat breakfast before heading to work, and the Sons of LarryD eat at the counter before school. Weekend breakfasts are eaten at the table, a fact I pointed out, to which the table responded: "You only do that because you feel guilty, so it doesn't count."

Well, enough about my furniture issues.

Here's the "About" description for Religion Dispatches: "Religion Dispatches is a daily online magazine dedicated to the analysis and understanding of religious forces in the world today, highlighting a diversity of progressive voices and aimed at broadening and advancing the public conversation." In other words: "We hate orthodoxy and are not afraid to shove our pipsqueak opinions down your throat." Ears getting tickled yet?

Case in point: a column from last week titled Catholic Bishops Want a Place at the Table of Hate. (Do these people have a table fetish?) The author, Kate Childs Graham, is bemoaning the fact that, while it's the Mormon Church who ponied up big bucks to promote Prop 8 in California (donated nearly $15 million to the cause, allegedly - her figure is not cited), the Catholic Church in Utah contributed nearly $1.4 million to the cause. She's quick to quote Bishop John Wester of the Salt Lake diocese:

"Like our friends in the Mormon faith, the Catholic Church has long championed and promoted the sacredness of traditional marriage and the importance of the family in our society. While acknowledging that this position is not universally held in our society today, our churches are committed to proclaiming the truth and we cherish our ability to participate in the democratic process."

Man, that statement just drips with hate, doesn't it? Bad, bad bishop!

She seems to think so: "Seriously? It is like children clamoring to be known as the bully in first grade." Ummm, perhaps you missed this video? And the vandalism and intimidation that's been occurring in other places throughout California? And the demonstrations in New York City? Maybe you describe that as "tough love", but a better term might be "hate the straight".

She's grateful, though, that not all Catholics are in on the nefarious "plot to destroy same sex marriage." She goes on to quote the National Catholic Reporter, Nicole Sotelo (who) wrote, “As a Catholic, I believe it is time we forgo another constitutional amendment, or “new law,” that continues to uphold special privileges for some. It is time we begin creating a society based on “the law which we had from the first,” a law of love.”

Nice spin, Kate. Use the Birdcage Bottom Gazette to support your cause. The "special" privileges you complain about are applied to the wrong segment of the population. So-called same sex marriage activists as yourself are the ones demanding "special" privileges, not the other way around. You're the ones spewing hate. You're the ones who can't deal with the will of the people.

Ah, what's the use? I'd read this garbage to my breakfast table, but it might turn suicidal and fling itself through the glass doorwall. Then where'd my family eat on the weekends?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Progressive Bible Quotes #1

Matthew 22:35-39 (McBrien-Kmiec 2008 American Edition.)

35 And one of them, a doctor of the law, asking him, tempting him:
36 "Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law?"
37 Jesus said to him: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy loopwhole heart, and with thy loopwhole soul, and with thy loopwhole mind.
38 "This is the greatest and the first commandment.
39 "And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thyself."

Real Hope, Real Change - A Conversion Story

In case anyone is discouraged in the battle against abortion, both here and abroad, here is an article from CNA that ought to give encouragement and inspiration.

The Story Of Stojan Adasevic

Madrid, Nov 12, 2008 / 09:21 pm (CNA).-

The Spanish daily “La Razon” has published an article on the pro-life conversion of a former “champion of abortion.” Stojan Adasevic, who performed 48,000 abortions, sometimes up to 35 per day, is now the most important pro-life leader in Serbia, after 26 years as the most renowned abortion doctor in the country.


“The medical textbooks of the Communist regime said abortion was simply the removal of a blob of tissue,” the newspaper reported. “Ultrasounds allowing the fetus to be seen did not arrive until the 80s, but they did not change his opinion. Nevertheless, he began to have nightmares.”

In describing his conversion, Adasevic “dreamed about a beautiful field full of children and young people who were playing and laughing, from 4 to 24 years of age, but who ran away from him in fear. A man dressed in a black and white habit stared at him in silence. The dream was repeated each night and he would wake up in a cold sweat. One night he asked the man in black and white who he was. ‘My name is Thomas Aquinas,’ the man in his dream responded. Adasevic, educated in communist schools, had never heard of the Dominican genius saint. He didn’t recognize the name”

“Why don’t you ask me who these children are?” St. Thomas asked Adasevic in his dream.

“They are the ones you killed with your abortions,’ St. Thomas told him.

“Adasevic awoke in amazement and decided not to perform any more abortions,” the article stated.

“That same day a cousin came to the hospital with his four months-pregnant girlfriend, who wanted to get her ninth abortion—something quite frequent in the countries of the Soviet bloc. The doctor agreed. Instead of removing the fetus piece by piece, he decided to chop it up and remove it as a mass. However, the baby’s heart came out still beating. Adasevic realized then that he had killed a human being.”

After this experience, Adasevic “told the hospital he would no longer perform abortions. Never before had a doctor in Communist Yugoslavia refused to do so. They cut his salary in half, fired his daughter from her job, and did not allow his son to enter the university.”

After years of pressure and on the verge of giving up, he had another dream about St. Thomas.
“You are my good friend, keep going,’ the man in black and white told him. Adasevic became involved in the pro-life movement and was able to get Yugoslav television to air the film ‘The Silent Scream,’ by Doctor Bernard Nathanson, two times.”

Adasevic has told his story in magazines and newspapers throughout Eastern Europe. He has returned to the Orthodox faith of his childhood and has studied the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas.

“Influenced by Aristotle, Thomas wrote that human life begins forty days after fertilization,” Adasevic wrote in one article. La Razon commented that Adasevic “suggests that perhaps the saint wanted to make amends for that error.” Today the Serbian doctor continues to fight for the lives of the unborn.

There isn't much on the Internet regarding Adasevic (I did find this article from 2004), but this is a riveting story. It demonstrates the incredible power of intercessory prayer. It shows how science and technology endorses the pro-life position. And it reveals that a person is never ever beyond redemption.


Never. Stop. Praying.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Definition Of Tolerance...

...is NOT 'if I shout louder and get in people's faces, they'll give me what I want to make me stop'.

What parent has experienced that tactic from their child at some point in their lives? Does it ever work? Yet that's exactly how these Prop 8 protesters are acting - a collective of arrested development infants masquerading as adults. Yes, folks, they're still at it in California, and now they've gone from protesting in front of Mormon places of worship to terrorizing elderly Christian women and stomping on the cross.



You'd think from the crowd's reaction that this little old lady was solely responsible for the passage of Prop 8. Notice that she is neither Latino nor black, the two voting blocs that were instrumental in getting the legislation passed. So when is this group going to argue with the people most responsible? Absolutely never - thus showing themselves to be the most cowardly, intolerant bunch of sore losers I have ever witnessed. At the same time, I admire the lady's courage and perseverance, and hopefully, by virtue of her witness, perhaps someone will amend their life and be a force for good, rather than a cause for evil.

Oh, and did you catch the media bias at the end of the report?

Conscience Is King

As evidenced by Fr Bourgeios:

Despite warning, Father Bourgeios firm on women's ordination

By Dennis Sadowski
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Despite being threatened with excommunication by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Maryknoll Father Roy Bourgeois said he would not recant his belief that women should be ordained as Catholic priests.

"There's nothing that Rome can do to me to take away the peace, the clarity I have on this issue," Father Bourgeois told Catholic News Service Nov. 12. "No matter what the consequences, I feel I am doing the right thing."

Father Bourgeois sent a letter to congregation officials Nov. 7 outlining his stance on women's ordination and how he believes church "teaching on this issue is wrong and does not stand up to scrutiny." He said the issue is one of conscience and that he cannot recant something of which he remains firmly convinced.

Kudos to Cardinal Levada and the CDF. While this has already stoked the fires of inflamed dissident octogenarians worldwide, it's the right thing to do. Fr. Bourgeios is the latest 'martyr' for the CRONES, Call-to-Apostasy and other Wandering Tribes. Go ahead, canonize him. Extol the vices of a priest who stubbornly holds to his malformed conscience. God has given you over to your disobedience, so be indignant and act like the greatest injustice has been inflicted upon you. The purpose of the ex-communication, you is to make Bourgeios realize that he's in serious doo-doo...and, ironically, he does, because in the article he says: "The seriousness set in. It wasn't complicated. They said very seriously I had 30 days and if I didn't recant I will be excommunicated. That's pretty serious. That's pretty clear. No ifs, ands or buts." Unfortunately for him, he has decided to ignore Christ's Church and instead has made his conscience his king.

So go on worshipping at the Altar of Stubbornness and at the Shrine of Conscience and Feelings. When you're done with that, the Church will still be standing, ready to forgive you and receive you.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

We Interrupt This Broadcast...

...for an award! It's been granted by Cassie at A Blessed Life. Thanks, Cassie!


I'm supposed to send this off to 15 other bloggers whose blogs "transmit cultural, ethical, literary and personal values every day." But since that pertains to every one of them that's in my Catablogue, I'm going to defer. They all deserve it!

And now back to the program already in progress...

The Baltimore Battlecry

Is this an indication of things to come?

From FOXNews: Catholic Bishops Vow to Confront Obama Administration Over Abortion

The nation's Roman Catholic bishops vowed Tuesday to forcefully confront the Obama administration over its support for abortion rights, saying the church and religious freedom could be under attack in the new presidential administration.

In an impassioned discussion on Catholics in public life, several bishops said they would accept no compromise on abortion policy. Many condemned Catholics who had argued it was morally acceptable to back President-elect Obama because he pledged to reduce abortion rates.


Some bishops are quoted in the piece:

"I cannot have a vice president-elect coming to Scranton to say he's learned his values there when those values are utterly against the teachings of the Catholic Church," (Scranton Bishop Joseph) Martino said....

Archbishop Joseph Naumann of the Diocese of Kansas City in Kansas said politicians "can't check your principles at the door of the legislature."
(He) had said repeatedly that Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius...should stop taking Holy Communion until she changes her stance.
"They cannot call themselves Catholic when they violate such a core belief as the dignity of the unborn," Naumann said Tuesday...


The bishops suggested that the final document include the message that "aggressively pro-abortion policies" would be viewed "as an attack on the church."
Along with their theological opposition to the procedure, church leaders say they worry that any expansion in abortion rights could require Catholic hospitals to perform abortions or lose federal funding. Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Chicago said the hospitals would close rather than comply...


"We have a very important thing to say. I think we should say it clearly and with a punch," said New York Cardinal Edward Egan.

Of course the apostates had their own things to say:

But Dr. Patrick Whelan, a pediatrician and president of Catholic Democrats, said angry statements from church leaders were counterproductive and would only alienate Catholics.

"We're calling on the bishops to move away from the more vicious language," Whelan said. He said the church needs to act "in a more creative, constructive way," to end abortion.


Catholics United was among the groups that argued in direct mail and TV ads during the campaign that taking the "pro-life" position means more than opposing abortion rights.
Chris Korzen, the group's executive director, said, "we honestly want to move past the deadlock" on abortion. He said church leaders were making that task harder.


"What are the bishops going to do now?" Korzen said. "`They have burned a lot of bridges with the Democrats and the new administration."


Well, maybe those bridges shouldn't have been built in the first place. Getting along with the new administration ought not be the priority for the bishops. They're charged with the salvation of souls and the spreading of the Gospel. These so-called "Catholics" are going to learn that the real battle hasn't even begun yet, and that a sleeping giant is being roused from his slumber. While the Obama election was a great disappointment for the pro-life movement, it might well be the catalyst to show these dissident groups just what the Church Militant in the 21st century is all about.

Next step? IMHO, ex-communication for members of these dissident groups (a la Call-to-Action members in Omaha by Abp. Burke)and denial of Holy Communion to Catholic pro-abortion politicians. With the utmost charity, of course. Our real enemy is not of flesh and blood, but the devil. We must pray for those who persecute us, and love our human enemies. Otherwise we're no better than those who espouse the ideas we fight against.

Divine Housecleaning

Thoughts on the Gospel from November 9, 2008.

John 2:13-22

This is inarguably the most well-known passage in the Gospels depicting Christ’s display of righteous anger. Brandishing a whip of cords, our Lord drives the beasts out of the temple, and turns over the moneychangers’ tables, spilling coin across the floors. The visual images are dramatic. It reminds me of the anonymous quote: “Remember that when you ask ‘What Would Jesus Do?’, sometimes the answer is ‘get mad and knock over a table or two.’”

Whenever this is the Gospel at Mass, the sermon is usually one of two things: Jesus’ reaction to the immoral activities occurring within the Temple are an allegory, that it’s an appropriate response to any perceived injustices happening in the Church today (or real ones, but mostly what’s talked about are the perceived injustices, depending on the priest or deacon’s disposition); or it’s a lesson about how righteous anger can be a legitimate expression, but don’t forget that God is Love and God loves us and so on, otherwise people will think you're just a nutjob and won't take you seriously.

On Tuesday, as I was driving between customers, for whatever reason, the Gospel was still on my mind. I usually do my best thinking when on the road (some may allege that I do my only thinking while on the road, and they might be right!), with the radio off, and my cell phone not in use for a brief moment or two. It gave me the opportunity to reflect on the goings-on in my life, taking advantage of the solitude to chat with God.

That’s what happened yesterday afternoon. An interpretation of this Gospel event popped into my head, right out of the clear blue. It’s one I had never heard preached before, yet I don't claim it to be original. It just happened because I allowed the Holy Spirit some time and space, a clear inspiration. And on a different level, it made sense to me.

It’s like this: from time to time, we have to let Christ furnish a whip of cords and drive the beasts and sins out of our hearts, not as a display of righteous anger per se, but mostly as an act of Divine Love. Just let him clear out the crap. A holy enema to flush out all the dead stuff, the things that get in the way of His Love and zeal for us. We are, after all, by result of our Baptism, temples of the Holy Spirit. But over time, the temple can get overrun by the pressures, stresses, aggravations, temptations and sins the world throws in our paths. With grace, and with our humble submission, Christ will "destroy" this temple (remove the sin), and then rebuild it, refashioned and conformed to Himself. St Paul wrote that the old man has gone, and a new man clothed in Christ has replaced him. And later in John’s gospel, Christ says that whosoever follows His commandments, He and the Father will abide in that person’s heart.

Made me say, “Whoa – where’d that all come from?” What beasts of burden do I still have roaming around my heart? What distractions and attachments are cluttering the ‘rooms of my interior mansion’?

So I was given much more to ponder as I made my way to my next destination. It’s incredible how little space and time the Holy Spirit needs to impart a kick in the butt; or in this case, knock over a table or two.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Funniest Thing I've Read In Quite Awhile

This is probably older than dirt and has circumnavigated the globe via the Internet many times over, but this is the first time I've come across it. I found it at Vox Clara.

The Heaviest Element Known To Science

Lawrence Livermore Laboratories has discovered the heaviest element yet known to science.

The new element, Governmentium (Gv), has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert; however, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A tiny amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second, to take from 4 days to 4 years to complete.

Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2- 6 years. It does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places.

In fact, Governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.
This characteristic of morons promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass.

When catalysed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium, an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.

From the internet via Vox Clara

Veterans Day Tribute

A heartfelt "Thank you" to all veterans who served our nation with dignity, pride and honor, protecting our freedoms and God-given rights of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. An unpayable debt of gratitude to those men and women who made the Ultimate Sacrifice in defense of our great country.

In honor of this day, I'd like to pay tribute to my family members who served our country...

...to my dad, Karl, who enlisted in the Navy in 1944 and served in the Pacific Fleet until the end of World War II. He never saw combat, but he was part of the force that occupied Guam once it was recaptured, ensuring a free flow of supplies and materiel.

...to my uncle George, his younger brother. He also served in the Navy in the Pacific Fleet as a cook. His service concluded at the end of World War II, and I regret never learning more about his experiences, as he passed away back in the 90's. To my knowledge, he was never involved in any combat. His desire to serve the country that welcomed his parents as immigrants was so great, that he lied about his age in order to enlist.

...to my Uncle Stan, my mom's younger brother. He served in the Army during World War II, in the ETO. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge, where shrapnel from a grenade tore off his nose. He survived the battle and was the one of the first people to ever receive facial reconstruction via plastic surgery. He's still living, in Albuquerque, with his wife Pat.

...to my Uncle Vic, my mom's older brother. He too served in the Army in the ETO, and to this day, has never said anything about his wartime experiences. I can only imagine what horrifying things he witnessed, and I pray that he has found peace. He's still living in Rochester NY.

...and to my brother-in-law Brian, a career Army man who retired in 2000 after twenty years of service. He was deployed to Kuwait during Gulf War I - he didn't see front-line combat, but had to live through the occasional SCUD attack. Prior to that, he was stationed in South Korea for two years. Today he, my sister and their kids live in northern Virginia, where he works for a consulting firm in and around the Pentagon. By the providence of God, he was on vacation on 9/11---the plane had struck very close to his Pentagon office, and several of his friends and coworkers perished in the attack.

So to my family members, I say thank you. Your examples of dedication, sacrifice and courage are and always will be deeply appreciated. It seems insufficient to just say "thank you", so I will continue, each and every day, to never take for granted the freedoms I and my family enjoy, and to strive every day, in whatever way we can, to ensure that those freedoms are never taken away.

In commemoration of Veterans Day is the launch of a new website called Great Americans, a tribute to men and women of uniform who serve the United States. It looks pretty cool. From their site:

Our Mission

The mission of Great Americans is to tell the stories of the positive role models of our time.


We live in an era when adults watch movies about comic book characters because we’ve convinced ourselves that there are no more real heroes. And many will point out that if we search for role models who are perfect people, we won’t find any living among us.


There are no perfect people. But there are many ordinary people in America doing extraordinary things for the sake of others and our country. Great Americans is a celebration of their lives, their service, their sacrifice, and their example to us all.

GreatAmericans.com

The vision of Great Americans as a movement is to celebrate those in every area of society whose lives offer a positive example to others. As the first step in the pursuit of this vision, GreatAmericans.com is focused on the men and women who serve our nation in uniform. GreatAmericans.com seeks to tell the stories of those who put their lives at risk to protect others both at home and abroad.

National Obama Day???

Are you freaking kidding me???

Here's the opening of the story from The Topeka Capital Journal:

Activist seeks national holiday
Topekan's effort to honor President-elect Obama causes commotion

By James Carlson
The Topeka Capital-Journal
Published Tuesday, November 11, 2008


The local push for a national holiday commemorating Barack Obama's election to the U.S. presidency ricocheted around the Internet over the weekend, drawing criticism from notable conservative critics and nearly crashing The Topeka Capital-Journal's Web site with an influx of traffic.

The holiday drive is the brainchild of local activist Sonny Scroggins, who had planned to hold brainstorming sessions at the downtown McDonald's every morning and night until Obama's inauguration. He said "America grew up" on election night.

Okay, would someone like to tell me what Obama has actually accomplished yet that warrants a holiday? Besides beating a 70-some odd year old man in a presidential election? Anyone?

Obviously, what is needed is a name for this new National Holiday...any ideas?

And I wish I was proficient with Photoshop, because I have an awesome idea for a National Holiday poster. Perhaps the Creative Minority Report Phunny Photoshop Phactory can help out?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Heterophobes Disrupt Christian Service

As if things in Michigan weren't bad enough already...

At Gateway Pundit via Creative Minority Report:

"A radical gay group in Michigan crashed an evangelical church service on Sunday.The radicals interrupted the service rushed the pulpit with a megaphone, noise makers, condoms, glitter by the bucket load, confetti, and pink fabric while screaming at the churchgoers."

Yeah, that'll win you supporters. It might titillate and excite the mindless drones that like the provocation and fear factor tactics, but it's actions like these that help solidify the opposition to their causes.

"On Sunday, November 9, 2008 Michigan liberals sat peacefully through announcements, worship and prayer for the sick, our nation and our President-elect before staging a coordinated, disgusting and repulsive attack on worshipers and the broader concept of the church itself at Lansing's Mount Hope Church."

This is domestic terrorism, and I hope the church leadership, while they will most likely forgive the sin, contacts the Michigan division of Homeland Security, who will track these idiots down and slap them in irons. And not the fur lined variety, either. Or maybe the FBI can bust this group of malcontents, charging them with hate crime violations, giving them a taste of their own medicine.

You won't see this on MSNBC or any other news source - perhaps Fox News, if and when video surfaces.

And let 'em try this at my church - they'll learn true tolerance right quick, along with a dose of righteous anger thrown in.

Apostates-For-Choice Post-Election Press Release

The so-called "Catholics For Choice" are neither Catholic, nor for choice, and they are especially disdainful of Catholics who choose to follow the bishops and true teachings of the Church. They're a despicable bunch.

Catholics for Choice Statement On The US Election and Priorities for the Next President

Washington DC—Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued a statement today on the US election results and the priorities for the next president.



“Initial results show that 54% of the Catholic vote went to President-elect Barack Obama. This shows that the majority of Catholics voted their [uniformed and confused] conscience when deciding who should be the next president, and ignored the single-issue dictates of a few bishops [no, that would be the pre-eminent issue of life of more than just a few bishops]who declared that it was unacceptable to vote for him because of his prochoice [anti-life, pro-abortion] position.



“The next administration will have to work hard to repair the damage [unfortunately, it won't be hard, and it will be causing damage, but hey, what's a little political spin when you've already trashed Church teaching, right?] done during the last eight years. Undoubtedly, concerns about America’s economic security and military engagements overseas will garner a great deal of attention. However, the next administration and Congress must also work for [undoing the] advances in reproductive health care in the US and abroad. The priorities include:

1. Providing comprehensive and affordable health care to all Americans. This includes funding for comprehensive sex education and family planning programs that reduce unintended pregnancy and the need for abortion, as well as providing support for women who choose to carry their pregnancies to term. [notice how having the baby is secondary to killing the baby? Sick. And where's the help for the women who regret having had killed their child?]


2. Restoring the United States’ leadership position on women’s rights, international family planning and global development issues. This includes the restoration of the US contribution to UNFPA and the repeal of the Mexico City policy that restricts US funding for foreign NGOs that work on abortion. [That's right! The US only represents 2% of abortions worldwide! We want our leadership restored!! We demand more work on abortion so that we can be #1!! Are these people capable of anything more evil?!? Yep - read on]

3. Working towards an end to the culture wars over abortion and towards an era that respects the right of women to access legal abortion in a timely manner. To that end, we need to restore scientific integrity to federal agencies by appointing qualified personnel to leadership roles and advisory committees irrespective of their personal beliefs about abortion and contraception and by appointing judges who will uphold the long-standing precedent of Roe v. Wade. [in other words, don't appoint anyone with a conscience, because they'll make us feel squeamish. End the pro-life movement once and for all]


4. Respecting the conscience of each American. [except for those Americans that are pro-life. Their consciences don't deserve respect] The next president should remove any refusal clauses affecting federal health programs beyond the traditional exemption for the direct provision of abortion and work to make the equitable provision of reproductive-health services a priority at both the state and federal levels.” [so goodbye conscience clauses for pharmacists, Catholic hospitals, pro-life OB/GYN's, etc.]

It's time the US bishops squashed this organization. They need to be publicly ex-communicated immediately for their non-Catholic anti-life pro-abortion positions. The fact that they are downright gleeful that abortions in this nation and around the world are going to rise as a result of an Obama administration is scandalous to the nth degree.

At the same time, they must also be prayed for (see the previous post on the Rosaries for Life project), because they are enemies of our Lord and of his Church, and they are in need of conversion. That will be difficult, but it is of the utmost necessity. They're doing the work of Satan without even realizing it. They are part of the darkness, and they need the saving light of Christ to bring them back into full union with His Church.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

New Prayer Initiative

Just found this new prayer initiative via And Sometimes Tea. It's called Rosaries For Life, an endeavor to storm heaven with prayers between now and Inauguration Day. There are five specific intentions for the initiative's first prayer operation:

* For the triumph of the Culture of Life in the United States of America.

* For President-elect Obama, and for all of the leaders of the United States of America, that they will be led personally to Jesus Christ and His truth, and that they will lead our country in a positive direction. Or in other words, as Archbishop Wuerl said, "That our nation's new leaders be guided in their decisions with wisdom and compassion and at the heart of all of their decisions may there be a deep respect for and commitment to the sanctity and dignity of all human life and support for the most vulnerable among us."

* For the hearts, minds and SOULS of the American people, that they will be turned back towards Jesus Christ and the "least of His brethren".

* For a renewal of the virtues of purity and self-control, especially among our youth.

* In reparation for the scourges of abortion, Embryonic Stem Cell Research, euthanasia, cloning, artificial contraception, and all manifestations of the Culture of Death, and especially in reparation for the support and/or complacency that we as American Catholics have shown to these evils.

Click on the link, read about it, and sign the pledge. We mustn't stop praying.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Forty-five Percent

November 9th is the first Sunday that follows this year's presidential election, an election that saw 45% of Catholics who regularly attend weekly Mass cast their vote for Barack Obama.

Invariably, and perhaps involuntarily, I may select a group of 20 adults in the congregation and ask myself: "Which of you are the nine who voted for Obama?" I know I shouldn't cast aspersions, or harbor suspicious thoughts (especially in God's house, of all places!), but a small part of me might wonder, and I will need God's grace to not do so.

Unless they're wearing a pin, or have a car magnet on their tailgate, I will have no way of knowing. On one level, it's none of my business. Elections are still via the secret ballot, and that's the way it ought to remain. Who I vote for is my business, and I respect the privacy of everyone else. But on another level, there is the responsibility to persuade, engage and reasonably discuss with those who, for whatever reason, have decided to vote for a candidate that represents what is The Worst about our nation: the continued bloodbath of the unborn.

The time for persuasion and engagement regarding one's choice for president is over, because the votes have been cast and counted. But the duty to address our fellow Catholics on the primacy of the life issue must never stop. And the duty lies with everyone: with us laity, as we go about our daily lives in the marketplace, and with the ordained through consistent preaching. Especially the bishops, who as direct successors of the Apostles, must always preach the Truth in season and out of season (which is why it was so discouraging to read that the issue of pro-abortion Catholic politicians was removed from the agenda of the upcoming USCCB meeting, but that's a whole separate story).

Yes, the 45% statistic is discouraging. Perhaps scandalous. They ought to know better, we say amongst ourselves. But I wonder how many among the 45% have had an abortion, or helped procure one, or imposed one upon a family member. For some, a vote for a pro-life candidate would mean accepting that their past action was indeed the wrong choice, and for whatever reason, they're not ready to face their demons. They probably try to ignore the whole pro-life/pro-abortion debate altogether. For others, they have so deeply rationalized their past decision that it's automatic - sort of like the "I've voted such-and-such party all my life and I'm not about to change." I believe that most of the 45% wish the abortion issue would go away, having had no direct experience with it. And then there are those who truly believe that there are better ways to address the abortion issue, and have convinced themselves that reducing the need for it is a more effective strategy, a la Doug Kmiec and friends.

Let me interject here that I'm not approving their vote. Those of you who are regular readers know that I am pro-life. But the Bigger Picture, I believe, is to first grant the benefit of the doubt. None of us are mind-readers, so it's incumbent there be no blanket condemnation. And I'm not saying that anyone has done so - is it sad and terrible that so many regular Church attendees voted for Obama? It most certainly is. Do we need to pray for these people? We most certainly do. That's our first duty.

But not our only duty. It's also important to be charitable. After all, there are plenty of Catholics in the 55% group who have had abortions, too. They've most likely repented of their sin and now make reparations for the unborn in any way they can, with voting being one of those ways. Members of Rachel's Vineyard and Silent No More are prime examples of such people. It demonstrates that prayer and charity is effective at helping people change their lives and be an inspiration for others.

So we must be careful when the term scandalous is used. At our parish, the number of women who have had abortions is estimated to be 25% (our associate pastor provided that figure, and he implied it was regularly attending women). Which also means that the number of men involved is somewhere about 25%. That's not insignificant. Going back to the group of twenty, where nine voted for Obama, statistically speaking, five have been directly involved in an abortion. It's a staggering number.

And that's the number that will dissuade me from casting aspersions. Because unless I've walked in the shoes of any of those five people, I'm not going to cast stones at any of the nine.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Sheep Led To The Slaughter

...quite literally.

Turkish Village Slaughters 44 Sheep For 44th US President-Elect (from FOXNEws.com)


ANKARA, Turkey — Residents of a mainly Kurdish village in southeastern Turkey have sacrificed 44 sheep to celebrate the election of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States.

Dogan news agency video Friday shows villagers in Cavustepe village, in the province of Van, bordering
Iran, holding Obama posters smeared with blood. In overwhelmingly Muslim Turkey, the practice is believed to protect people or property from bad luck.

The posters read "you are one of us" and "we love you."

Abdulkerim Kulaz of Cavustepe village says Obama's election and his Muslim ancestry have excited the villagers. Kulaz says Obama's election was a "proof of an end to racism in the world."

Turkey is a close U.S. ally.

To hi-jack a slogan oft-heard the past 7+ years: "Obama lied, sheep died."

Thursday, November 6, 2008

People Drunk On Kool-Aid Should Not Write Poetry

I'll spare you the entire poem. Here are the first two stanzas. If you want a good laugh, or are in need of a natural bowel cleansing, you can click here to read the rest.

THE VIEW FROM CHICAGO

Like an Easter morning
Joy has erupted
into exclamations, sobs,
and the crisp bliss of Unity.

(I didn't know bliss was crisp - I always imagined it to be all squishy-like)

Anxiety and fear have stepped aside to
allow a new era to arrive. (yeah, the era of evil and socialism. It's just like the old era, only meaner)
Faces glow with the energy of peace (would that be renewable energy?)
and harmonious sighs of relief make music throughout the city.
(it might be sighs of relief now, but it'll be screams of anger when you campaign workers show up to get paid!)

From Young Adult Catholics blog (the Sour Patch Kids at Call-to-Apostasy)

Humor Discernment

While buzzing around the Wandering Tribes, I stopped at the CRONES site and came across this posted letter. It's hilarious. I reprint it in its entirety:

Letter from a Young Seminarian in Rome

Dear Aisha Taylor (she's the director of heresy and Head of the 'Oh-My-Gosh,-I'm-Like-So-Offended' Department, or something like that)

I am a seminarian studying for the priesthood in Rome. You do not know who I am, but I met you in Rome. I was dressed casually and not wearing my clerical clothes. You handed me one of the WOC cards while I was crossing the street. I simply said thank you and kept on walking, not realizing what it was for at first.

I must tell you that I was so very impressed by how you, Erin Hanna, and the other women from WOC made your presence known in Rome in such a positive way. It is important for you to understand that your efforts were a great success, more than you realize. WOC has been out of Rome for almost two weeks now and you are still being talked about at my seminary and I am still seeing your cards and pamphlets around the city. You inspired many women and men about their faith and women's equality within our Church.

I will tell you in complete confidence that many of the young seminarians between the ages of 21-35 years old support (privately, of course) the ordination of Catholic women in the Church. It is mostly the older seminarians and priests that have a lot of difficulty with such an idea.

What impressed me and other seminarians about your group's presence in Rome is the fact that you led the protests in a very respectful and peaceful manner, yet you were very effective and became "the talk of the town" so to speak.

I can provide you with information about the topics of conversation in the seminary, including the ordination of women. I will say that many of the older priests and seminarians are truly afraid of WOC and their continued success in our Church and culture, mainly because they do not like change. However, many unfortunately, also still hold some very sexist views of women.


One thing I've learned from growing up with sisters is to respect women -- ALWAYS -- and I certainly do. I believe that many women would make excellent, holy priests in our Catholic Church. The gift, talents and charisma that many women could bring to the office of priesthood are innumerable.

On the negative side, as much as you have my support, along with other young seminarians, in regards to the WOC and its cause, I do not think the all male priesthood will change in the near future.

However, I do believe it could happen in our lifetimes. There are still just too many old, set-in-their-ways clergy men still dominating the Church. Times have changed dramatically for women over the years. Women have the ability and the power to reach equality with men in all areas of life and they are being successful.

Dear Aisha, I truly support you and WOC. Unfortunately, I have to contain my support to a private manner, because the sad news is I would be kicked out of the seminary for publicly supporting women's ordination. Please forgive me that I cannot support WOC publicly. I look forward to the day when Catholic women from all over the world reign as Roman Catholic priests in a Church so desperately in need of such women.

Please do put my e-mail on your mailing list, if that is possible. And more importantly, thank you for your group's presence in Rome, and how you presented yourself and WOC in a very mature, respectful manner. You truly inspired me and many other young seminarians.

GOD BLESS YOU,

"A Young Seminarian in Rome"

This letter made me laugh. Out loud. I have about as much proof about the actual existence of this "Young Seminarian" as the CRONES do, and they're the ones who went to Rome, fer cryin' out loud! I can think of several scenarios about the truth behind this letter.

1) This "Young Seminarian" has a wicked sense of humor, and ought to be ashamed. Not too much, mind you.

2) By asking to be put on their e-mail list (if this is authentic), he's keeping tabs on what the group is doing so that he's prepared once he's ordained. Clever strategy.

3) The CRONES wrote the letter themselves. The letter is so full of talking points and buzzwords, it smacks of internal propaganda designed to fill the bellies. All that's missing is "Hope and Change".

4) The "YS" isn't a seminarian at all, but The Curt Jester pretending to be one.

5) Maybe it's Fr Z is pulling a fast one. In fact, I'm going to email this to Fr Z for his reaction, if he hasn't already discovered it. Since he's in Rome, he'd be able to verify the "talk of the town" bit.

Still chuckling...