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Today Is The Day
Get ready for it.
Okay Then, That Was Unexpected...
Weird.
Church Art Shouldn't Make You Say "Blech!"
Or cringe.
Cardinal Urges Priests To Liven Up Sermons
I got some ideas...
New Translation Objections Are Becoming More Ridiculous
Grasping at straws...
This Comes As No Surprise
Up with the ex-communicated!
Things A Catholic Ought Never Say
Watch your mouth!
Sister Patricia: On Seven Quick-Takes Friday
Catching up with Sr Pat.
Just Thought You'd Like To Know...
A public service announcement.

Friday, January 30, 2009

We Believe In...Oh, Never Mind

Political correctness continues to run amok in [insert emotion here] [insert age descriptor here] England (I didn't want to say "merry ol' England" because I don't want to offend sad young people).

From the Daily Mail: Silenced Christian Soldiers: Chaplain Bans Creed 'so services won't offend minority religions'

Sandhurst military academy has dropped the Church of England Creed from services over fears that it may offend religious minorities.

The move has outraged worshippers who say centuries of religious tradition have been sacrificed for the sake of political correctness.


Senior chaplain Reverend Jonathan Gough dropped the Christian declaration of faith in God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, when he took office earlier this month.

Mr Gough – nicknamed the ‘Right On Rev’ by some of his flock – says he wants avoid offending non-believers.

But Christian cadets and civilians were furious when the traditional Anglican service abruptly ended without the Creed being read last Sunday.

Although no official announcement was made, a fellow Chaplain said it had been removed ‘to stop upsetting cadets who do not believe in God.’

This isn't the first time the chaplain has jettisoned elements from the services, as the article states. My question is, if he's so determined to not offend the minority religions, why hold the services in the first place? He's more concerned with the sensitive feelings of tough non-believing soldiers than worshipping God anyway.

What's next? "God/Allah/Shiva/Invisible-Spaghetti-Monster-In-The-Sky/Jehovah save the Queen"??


The Real Reason Jesus Was Crucified

I'm not making this up. I may be crazy, but I'm not this crazy.

The Real Reason Jesus Was Crucified (exceprted) by Professor Emeritus P. Bagnolo

...There is little evidence that in truth Jesus was murdered because of his religious philosophies...

...Rabbi Yeshua, Joshua, (Jesus Ben Yoseph) was born in the reign of Herod the Great, sometime between 8-4 BC and died somewhere between 25-29 AD. The gospels were written: 1st-Mark's between 65-72 AD, 2nd-Matthews, between then and about 80 AD, Luke's about the late 80's AD, John's in 92-110 AD.

Because the extant gospels were not written until 36-85 years after the death of Jesus, it is doubtful that any of the writers of the gospels ever met Jesus or even, with the later writers, ever met anyone who ever met Jesus.

None of the writers, Mark, Matthew, Luke, John, were apostles, in fact no one knows their real names. Those names were added to the gospels by early church authorities to lend credence to the writings. (This is information that can be found in most unbiased bibles, like the St. Joseph New American Version, found in most bookstores.) Although it is possible, but only barely, that Mark was the Mark who sometimes traveled with St. Paul. There is also strong evidence that the writers were not Hebrews, but Gentiles, because of the many errors in Hebrew culture displayed in the New Testament...

To those of faith the words and deeds of the true Jesus; Mary need not be a virgin and Jesus need not be "The Only Begotten Son of God" for us to hold him in reverence any less then we hold Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, Elias, Elijah, David, St. Jude, St. Francis, St. Teresa, or Mother Teresa. Paul felt the need to convert Greeks and other Gentiles who would accept nothing less than a god that the tact of elevating Jesus to the rank of God was born. In the 3rd century, the argument began about Jesus eternality and Godship, supported by Athanasius and opposed by Arius, whose assessment of the situation was more logical, and saw Jesus as Messiah, appointed to adopted son of God because of Jesus' piety and courage. St. James the Just, Brother of the Lord, had a church, which rivals even the congregation's of today's churches, more than 8600 members James believed Jesus, his brother to be the Messiah, not God. He called his church the Church of the Nazarene.

Judeo/Christian views of property, bankruptcy and the Jubilee Year, were being trampled upon by conservative businessmen of the era, which bytheway was the real reason for Jesus' hasty execution-he was reexamining Moses idea of socializing the land and the people. You probably know all this and it is in one of my upcoming books, which shoots down the idea of religious persecution of Jesus. Everything is always about the money. The execution of Jesus by Rome and the Chief Herodian Priests, was no exception, and was not about theology. Religious Arguments far exceeding those of Jesus and his opponents were always brewing in Israel among the argumentive rabbi's. Jesus' execution was as much about the money as it Bush' attack on Iraq.

Funny how Americans accept socialization of government, of schools, police, fire departments, city services, the military, but socialization of not necessary products like fuel, water, housing, medical care and other personal necessities? It is about the money, avarice, and about contempt for the masses and for the God, these fascists claim to serve-hypocrisy.

Moses deeded to each Judean Peasant a few acres of land as "Social Security" on which to grow enough food for the family and allow some excess to be sold. He wanted them healthy for many reasons, one being he might need them for combat. Both Romans and some Herodian officials were Practicing Fascism, before the term was defined and coined in modern times. They were confiscating land breaking the bankruptcy laws initiated by Moses. They were also commercializing the land, in violation of his ancient concept. Priests were banned form owning land, like Cheney they made up their own rules.

They were also outsourcing labor to scabs and selling it to rich Greeks and Romans at prices out of the reach of peasant Jews. (Sound familiar?)

There was aside from the Seven (7) years-bankruptcy forgiveness policy, in the seventh application of each seven (7) year's of forgiveness of bankruptcy-the 50th year, was the JUBILEE YEAR or as Jesus called it, THE YEAR OF THE LORD, in which all land confiscated or bought for debt had to be returned to the family from which it was taken. The Romans, my rather brutal ancestors, rarely if ever crucified mere minor leaders alone. When they captured Spartacus they crucified him and 6,000 of his officers-mass execution was their means of ideas-nullification through forced attrition.

Among Jesus' followers, none but he were executed. His speech on the portico after his attack on the profiteers there earlier in the day, sealed his fate. The turning point was his mention of the YEAR OF THE LORD disguised to mean THE JUBILEE YEAR in the New Testament. Apparently, some Herodian Priests were buying and commercializing land against Jewish Law, they claimed they could own, but not work land.

Therefore, they had to get rid of Jesus before his next opportunity to speak, the next day or there might have been a riot turning the Zealots to assassination of Chief Herodian Priests instead of Romans. The Romans agreed with the idea of eliminating Jesus in a hurry because many lower level Roman officials were joined in the land commercialization scheme thus were "skimming' on the take to Caesar, a no-no for sure. Rome would only tolerate corruption at the top.

The article in Time magazine referred to a Darrell Bock, a professor at the conservative Protestant Dallas Seminary, whom the Discovery Channel had review the film recently, asked a question which disqualifies him as an expert: "Why would Jesus' family or followers bury his bones in a family plot and then turn around and preach that he had been physically raised from the dead?"

Why? If Bock should should have known that Jesus' family and Apostles, save for James, His brother, who was assassinated, and Peter who was crucified, were ousted, excised, from any participation in the later church by Paul and others who did not want the power of James The Just, Brother of The Lord's huge following (8,000 parishioners at His Messianic Hebrew Church) which did not depict Jesus as "Son of God" but as messiah/prophet. In addition, apparently the burial secrecy worked, because it took 2000 years to uncover the switch. Jesus' family and only a few apostles were sparsely present in the Acts and other books, which followed the four gospels.

I am a descendant of both Duke Bagnolo, Leader of the Albigensian Heresy and St. John Leonardi, canonized Saint.

The way I interpret this poorly written opinion? Jesus was killed because he was about to blow the lid off a real estate Ponzi scheme cooked up by the Pharisees and the Romans. Who knew?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

From The Mailbox

Received an email from a friend of mine today (slight vulgarity alert):

What Makes 100%? What does it mean to give MORE than 100%?

Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%? We have all been to those meetings where someone wants you to give over 100%. How about achieving 103%? What makes up 100% in life?

Here's a mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions.

If:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
is represented as:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.


Then:


H-A-R-D-W-O-R-K


8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%

and

K-N-O-W-L-E-D-G-E

11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%

But ,

A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E

1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%

And,


B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T

2+21+12+12+19+8+9+20 = 103%

AND, look how far ass kissing will take you.


A-S-S-K-I-S-S-I-N-G

1+19+19+11+9+19+19+9+14+7 = 118%

So, one can conclude with mathematical certainty, that while Hard Work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there, it's the Bullshit and Ass kissing that will put you over the top.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Catholics Who Bailed

Bishop Hermann of St Louis tells it like it is, and lays out a pro-life battle plan.

Bishop Hermann: "I Thought You Should Know"

Here's a couple excerpts, but read the whole thing at Lifesitenews.com.

...He (Obama) has made it known that, upon taking office, he will remove all federal restrictions on funding embryonic stem-cell research. He also intends to sign the Freedom of Choice Act. Seldom has our nation ever been confronted with such an extreme measure. The Freedom of Choice Act will invalidate for the entire country all restrictions on abortion before viability, including parental notification, waiting periods and partial-birth abortion bans. President Obama has no problem supporting legislation that would even kill a child who survived a botched abortion.

If at this stage our anger is directed at President Obama, our anger is misdirected. Obama is not the enemy. He needs and deserves our prayers, not our condemnation. As Catholics, we are not guiltless...

...In our Supreme Court and in our Congress, we have a plethora of so-called Catholics who are failing to live their Catholic identity. Over 50 percent of our electorate voted for a president who is one of the most pro-culture-of-death candidates from a major party to run for the highest office of the land.

Yes, we can thank one-half of our Catholics for bailing out on their faith!

After almost 50 years of having 50 percent of Catholics abandoning their Catholic identity, we cannot expect to turn this culture around by short-term political efforts.

In order to bring about a transformation from a culture of death to a culture of life, we have to restore our Catholic identity....

...What a glorious opportunity we all have to make a difference in the pro-life cause. Until we are willing to be politically incorrect in order to be biblically correct, we will never convince anyone that our religion is worth living...

As If Things In Detroit Weren't Bad Enough

The state of Michigan is at the forefront of the economic maelstrom. 10.6% unemployment rate. Businesses are laying off employees, or closing down. One of the highest rates of foreclosure. Experiencing "brain drain". Not to mention really cruddy roads with car-swallowing potholes.

The Big 3 are teetering on the edge of solvency. The former mayor of Detroit sits in prison, and is now embroiled in a new scandal. And the Detroit Lions went 0-16 this past football season.

Along with all that, AoftheA has learned that a greater, larger danger lurks on the horizon, poised to sweep into Detroit into 2011.

It's the upcoming American Catholic Council.

Yes, scores of dissidents, perhaps a hundred even, are making plans to descend upon Detroit in 2011. They're coming with their walkers and their powerchairs, with their volumes of Rahner, Kosnik and Schillebeecx, with their unopened, unread copies of Vatican II documents to discuss ways to destroy the Church.

What, didn't you get an invite? Neither did I.

The list of ACC members reads like a Who's Who of the Wandering Tribes: Sr Chris Schenk (FutileChurch); Robert Blair Kaiser (TakeBackOurChurch); Aisha Taylor (The CRONES); Pope Joan Chittister; Call-to-Apostasy; Voice of the Faithless; CORPSE (oops, I mean CORPUS).

Their goal: (from their website): After years of dialogue and experience with the often-unrealized reforms set in motion by the Second Vatican Council, the American Catholic Council, a coalition of representatives of organizations, communities and individuals, calls for a representative assembly of the Catholic Church in the United States to consider the state of our Church.

My translation: "After years of not getting their way with the often-imagined reforms set in motion by the Second Vatican Council, the American Catholic Council, a coalition of heretics, dissenters and apostates, calls for a group hug to complain how unfair it is that Pope Benedict is kicking their collective asses."

I'm hoping the new Archbishop of Detroit, newly installed Archbishop Vigneron, eventually tells these Seasoned Schismatics that they're not welcome in the archdiocese, and that they're forced to meet at a Bob Evans or Sign of the Beefcarver rather than any Catholic site.

And why are they waiting two years before meeting? Don't they realize that most of their members may have passed on by then?

I'm keeping an eye on this - it could be fun!

Vanity, Vanity...Read All About It At Vanity Fair

This surpasses idolatry - it's deification.

Is Obama The Most Famous Living Person Ever? by Dee Dee Myers (my comments in blue)

I’m not trying to induce an acid flashback to John Lennon’s infamous 1966 comment, “The Beatles are more popular than Jesus.” (You just did! But hey - your intentions were good, and intentions, not results, are all that counts with liberals) But whether you measure fame in terms of saturation or sheer numbers, it seems indisputable to me that more people know at least something about the new American president than anyone alive, at this point—or any—in the planet’s existence.... (sycophantic bs)

....That someone like Obama could be elected president of the United States—with its unrivaled power and prestige—has begun to restore the country’s and the world’s faith in America as the land of opportunity. (if you define opportunity as "getting gummint handouts", then sure. But the truth is, the US has always had more immigrants than any other nation in the world.) Gone is the hunkered-down defensiveness of the past eight years, the lock-the-doors, draw-the-curtains, load-the-guns-to-keep-out-the-bad-guys mentality that turned so much of the world against us. (So she admits that we aren't safer now with Obama in office.) In its place is the restoration of that classic American optimism, eyes lifted to the horizon, reaching out across continents and oceans, not in fear, but with faith that we can help build a better world.... (yes, reinstating the Mexico City policy is reaching out to other nations, helping to build a better world by increasing abortions. Not!)

...But at least for the moment, Obama has made America cool again (yay! 'cos being cool is soooooo important) —and more than that, he’s made his own brand arguably the most powerful the world has ever known... ("brand"? Proves what many have said - Obama is all marketing, no substance.)

Myers ought to be ashamed for writing this piece, but she's too full of slobbering, drooling adulation to know otherwise.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tyrants Of Relativism

As a brothel attracts drunken sailors, the new administration has attracted a boatful into port.

From SperoNews: Dissenting Catholics Hookup With Obama Team (hook-up...heh!); by Stephanie Block

“Cafeteria Catholic” is a term used to describe people who enjoy a Catholic self-identification, on some level, but reject all or part of Catholic teaching.

Most of them are modest about their views, only wanting to live and let-live, but others become aggressively evangelical, expecting the Church to change positions held for 2000 years, for which the blood of saints was spilled, to whore after current theological or liturgical fashions. These are the Tyrants of Relativism, bullying hapless pew-warmers and priests.

Busy, busy, busy. Catholics United, Pax Christi USA, Network, the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Conference of Major Superiors of Men, the Jesuit Conference, School of the Americas Watch, Franciscan Action Network, Sisters of Mercy, Africa Faith and Justice Network, the Center of Concern, Catholic Scholars for Worker Justice, and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good are some of the groups involved in political activism that has caused them to compromise Catholic moral principles – and in some cases, to ditch those principles altogether.

Catholics United and its partner organization Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good (CACD), for example, have openly endorsed pro-choice, Democratic candidates. Others among the above have been involved for decades with the dissident Call to Action movement, working inside the Church to change moral truths and Church structures. So, we’re not talking about folks who are representative of Catholicism. They only represent themselves, bound by the prejudices of their own, particular era and geography.

In July 2008, CACD sponsored a convention and, with these aforementioned groups, prepared a “Platform for the Common Good,” giving high priority to environmental concerns, international development and trade, health care reform, immigration, domestic policy, and poverty reduction.

Then the “Platform” was presented to members of the Obama transition team to “acknowledge the work that some of the Catholic groups had done in the Catholic community during the election and to begin to develop relationships for ‘post-Jan. 20,’ when the new administration takes over after Obama’s inauguration.” These self-appointed representatives of “Catholicism” want the new president’s ear and the new president wants to appear responsive to the concerns of people from all religious backgrounds – which, of course, he is…so long as they are the same as his own.

Those concerns aren't the same as the Church's.

We all know who the administration is more likely to listen to; that's no surprise. The real danger is the great harm these groups continue to inflict on the average Catholic. Based on the election results, much damage has been caused, as 54% of Catholics voted for Obama.

It's important that the bishops speak clearly and decisively when the administration proposes goals and objectives that conflict natural law and abuse human dignity (as well as commend them when they do the right thing - we are talking politics, after all). And Rome has stated their displeasure with Obama's "arrogance" in rescinding the Mexico City Policy, as Archbishop Fisichella of the Pontifical Academy for Life said "If this is one of the first acts of President Obama, with all due respect, it seems to me that the path towards disappointment will have been very short."

More importantly, though, is that our bishops must condemn these dissident organizations, in the strictest language. It must be made very clear to the millions of Catholics that these groups do not represent the Church in any way, shape or form. It doesn't matter if the majority of these dissenters are graying and dying off. If Archbishop Burke can declare that Call-to-Action members in the St Louis diocese are excommunicated, along with numerous other associations, then other bishops ought to do the same.

I'm not holding my breath.

Many Thanks

Just a short update on Mrs LarryD's father. He was released (finally!) from the hospital yesterday - the infection has been brought under control and the swelling in his leg and ankle has subsided. The doctors kept him hospitalized while he underwent a battery of tests, and they wanted to make for certain that the infection was abated. No one was able to specifically identify the infection, but the anti-biotics are doing their job, and he's much improved.

So thanks for all your prayers!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Dude, Like, Where's My Car?

Here's something that doesn't happen everyday....

Car Crashes Through Church Roof In Germany

...A police officer watched in horror as the vehicle crashed through a railing and careered up an embankment in the town of Limbach-Oberfrohna.

The car then sailed 100ft through the air and smashed through a church roof....


This is worth opening up the combox for another Caption Contest.

***And the Liturgy Commission's performance of Elijah's flaming chariot went horribly, horribly wrong.***

Pelosianism

Nancy Pelosi, the West Coast Catholic theologian who doubles as Speaker of the House in Washington DC, has issued another decree. It was delivered Sunday during services at the Anathema Babylon Church, presided by acolyte George Stephanopoulos.

Transcript from the ABC site:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Hundreds of millions of dollars to expand family planning services. How is that stimulus?

PELOSI: Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children's health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those - one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.


STEPHANOPOULOS: So no apologies for that?


PELOSI: No apologies.


Translation: More people is bad for the economy. Babies will worsen the situation. Additional residents will put an even higher strain on state and national budgets...I should say "additional POOR residents"....

The way I see it, additional people will create higher demand for goods and services. The demand for additional goods and services will in turn create employment opportunities - above and beyond the need for more birth control in the marketplace. However, High Priestess Pelosi looks at it with the myopic view that more poor people will make life harder and more uncomfortable for her. As one of the wealthiest members of Congress, she has a responsibility to share what she has with those less fortunate, not hoard her possessions and expect others to foot the bill, or worse yet, demand that more USA citizens not even come into existence.

GK Chesterton once wrote (and I'm paraphrasing here): "You don't eliminate poverty by eliminating the poor person; you eliminate the poor person by eliminating poverty." The funding of contraceptions in this proposed stimulus bill is a direct attack on the poor person - it does nothing to lift them up, improve their situation, or put additional money in their pockets. It's a covert plan to keep the poor marginalized and subject to governmental control.

And there ain't nothing Catholic about that.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Evil

There may be no other word in the English language that better describes this:

Service of Blessing
January 22, 2009

We stand here today as people of different faith traditions, but one in the presence of the Holy, surrounded by the love and goodness of the Divine.

We understand that bricks and mortar, steel and glass are but temporary things, but that day by day, by our presence and the presence of the living God, they become infused with the spirit of all who walk through these doors.

May God bless these doors and all who pass through them.

May these doors offer a welcome passage to all who seek to understand the miracles of their own bodies, to all who strive to make healthy lifestyle and medical decisions, to all who look for honest answers to complex questions.

May these doors be for the professionals who work here a place of opportunity and challenge, a place to use their talents and develop new skills, a place to satisfy their innermost desires to be of holy service to others.

May these doors be held in safety against the evil desires of any forces that wish to do harm; may all who walk through these doors be filled with strength for overcoming whatever malevolence they face.

May these doors present to this community a symbol of care for the needs that are present in every human life, and may the community grow in its appreciation of and commitment to that care.

May these doors be to us all a vision of hope for our future and our children’s futures. As we celebrate 36 years of women having the right to make their own choices regarding motherhood, we pray for sound decisions throughout our nation that will continue to protect women’s choices.God bless these doors and all who pass through them. Amen.

By Rev. Rebecca Turner, Executive Director, Faith Aloud

What is "Faith Aloud"? The banner at their site reads "Promoting Reproductive Justice through the Moral Power of Religious and Ethical Communities".

They might be praying to "God", but it's Satan who's answering.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Do Do That Voodoo That You Do So Well

I came across this story at What Does The Prayer Really Say?, and it reminded me of the following schtick:

"You remind me of a man."
"What man?"
"The man with the power."
"What power?"
"The power of voodoo!"
"Who do?"
"You do!"
"Do what?"
"Remind me of a man."
"What man?"

..and on it goes.

From Examiner.com: Ceremony Purges White House Of Evil Spirits, by Jim Cunningham

On Monday I witnessed, firsthand, the Saging of the White House. The White House is now free of any evil spirits that may have still been lingering from the Bush/Cheney Administration. And, I have to admit – I feel a little bit better myself.

On Monday, January 19th at 6:00 pm, hundreds gathered at Dupont Circle for this frivolous, yet remarkable, ceremony. A shaman was there to perform the ceremony. Rabbi Sharon Klein delivered the invocation. Together with organizer, Kate Clinton, they took on the gargantuan task of cleansing the White House of evil spirits. “Our purpose here tonight is to celebrate the end of the Bush regime with the saging of the White House”, bellowed Kate Clinton, kicking off the event before a crowd of about 2000 people....

Saging is a process by which bundles of Sage herb are ignited and left to smolder. This creates a thick, pleasant-smelling, blue smoke which, according to Wiccan tradition, has a cleansing effect, thus removing the area of unwanted energy.

Clinton explained that security prevented them from infiltrating (my words, not hers) the White House to perform the ceremony on site. Therefore, it necessarily had to be performed from elsewhere and Dupont Circle was chosen because, according to Clinton, it’s the gay center of Washington DC.

Just before the ceremony Clinton fired up the crowd by introducing a mock chant like Catholics do during mass. She would chant/sing distasteful parts of the Bush legacy and the crowd would sing back, “Na na naa na, na na naa na, hey hey hey. Goooobyyyye!”

“Signing statements!” she would shout, and the crowd would answer, “Na na naa na, na na naa na, hey hey hey. Goooobyyyye!”

“Guantanamo Bay!” The crowd would answer, “Na na naa na, na na naa na, hey hey hey. Goooobyyyye!”

“Anti-gay Constitutional Amendments!”

No one is certain whether the event occurred in close enough proximity to the White House to have any effect. But if the mindset and spirit of the crowd can have the effect of amplifying the cleansing effects of sage, I’m absolutely certain it was a success. The people in attendance couldn’t have been more into the moment. The crowd radiated so much positive energy, I’m not sure the sage was even necessary. We sent the Bush Administration packing, and the evil spirits along with them.


Well, this probably isn't that much different than a Call-to-Action mass, except they use a lot less incense. It wouldn't be the least bit surprising if a few of those moonbats were in attendance.

As for sending the Bush Administration packing...no, it was the American voters who did that. And those evil spirits? They moved in the next day.

Choosing Not To Choose

"Personally Opposed But" position on abortion gets a face lift of sorts at (Losing My) Religion Dispatches.

"I Am Pro-Choice And Pro-Life"

When I am asked my views on abortion I always reply, “I am pro-choice and pro-life.” It certainly produces puzzled looks from my interlocutors, but I think this paradoxical place is where most of society comes down on this contentious issue.

I am pro-choice in the fact that I believe, with every fiber of my being, that a woman has a right to choose what she does with her body. I fully believe that no government, and especially no religion, has the right to tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her body.

I am pro-life, however, in the fact that if it ever came down to brass tacks and I had to make a choice, I don’t believe I could choose to abort. Even if I became pregnant because of a rape? I’m really not sure. It’s certainly not the child’s fault that they came into being through an act of violence. If I really thought the child would be an unbearable reminder of that horrible event, I would like to believe that I would still have the child and give him or her up for adoption.

Okay, nothing really new here. We've heard these arguments before, and have been in exasperating conversations with fence-sitting friends and family members who are afraid to make a real choice. Bottom line is, though - people who have this mindset are pro-abortion. They believe that there will always be a substantial reason to murder an unborn child, even if they will never make that choice for themselves.

But then the article gets reaaaalllllly stupid. After which it gets reaaaallllly dumb. I'll skip the stupid parts and get right to the dumb one.

...there must certainly be a deeper reason for the passion on the anti-abortion side. I believe the answer lies in misogyny. History has witnessed how men have tried to control women—owning them as property, withholding basic human rights and even the right to vote. As the “weaker sex” women were to be protected from the big, bad world—and especially protected from themselves. Giving them ultimate control over their bodies would mean total anarchy. The act of denying the right to abortion is yet another act of misogyny—showing little concern for the woman’s independence, quality of life, or well-being.

The holes are so big in this point-of-view, you can drive Obama's presidential limo through them. Twice. But rather than retype my thoughts about this, I'll reprint the comments at the site.

A Non-Stand Stand. Your opinion is just a repackaging of the "Personally Opposed But" position that sadly, many Catholics hold. If you remember Christ's words in the book of Revelation - 'be ye either hot or cold, but the lukewarm I will spew from my mouth.'

I think the most explicit Biblical reference is the 5th commandment: "Thou shalt not kill". Perhaps you forgot about those ten pesky things.

As far as the misogyny claim - probably the most ridiculous outlandish claim I've read in quite awhile. If that were true, that "denying the right to abortion is yet another act of misogyny—showing little concern for the woman’s independence, quality of life, or well-being" , then is China's one-child policy, where women are forced to have abortions or undergo sterilization, not an act of misogyny? How can it be both ways?

And when fathers force their daughters to have an abortion, or a boyfriend demands his girlfriend have one, or a husband makes his wife undergo one....those are not acts of misogyny? I don't think you thought out your position all that well.

Have to say Ive never heard the misogyny charge before, but it comes as no surprise since I've detected a general distrust at this site of anything slightly patriarchal.

That this was published the day before the March for Life is unconscionable. It is frustrating that there are many so-called Catholics who support abortion - and it shows that there is still plenty of work to be done in our Church, to convert hearts and minds to do what is right.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Quick! Call The Darwin Awards!

Familiar with the Darwin Awards? They're given to individuals who, by their own ridiculously stupid actions and lack of foresight (and lack of common sense, as well), have helped improve the human race's survivability by either dying as a result of their ridiculously stupid actions and lack of foresight, or have narrowly escaped death and/or serious injury.
Here's the first nominee from Michigan for 2009.
From the Fox 2 Detroit website:

PORT HURON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) -- It was just one of those days for a Michigan man. First he lost his dog, then he lost his car.

Authorities in St. Clair County report the man drove onto the frozen Black River looking for his missing pooch. The guy then locked his keys in the car, with the engine running. Heat from the exhaust of '94 Buick melted the ice and the car sank into the river.

To make matters worse, the car isn't even his. Local newspapers report it's a loaner from a collision repair shop.

I don't think he lost the dog per se - it had probably run away for safety.

March For Life 2009

Today marks the 36th anniversary of the passage of Roe v. Wade. Thousands of faithful Christians will be marching in Washington DC in peaceful protest, bearing witness to the injustice of abortion, a heinous but sadly legal procedure that is performed nearly 3000 times a day in our nation.

As everyone knows, the MSM report will only be on the number of abortion supporters scurrying around Washington, promoting their demands that the right to murder unborn children be left intact. Regrettably, these protesters will be getting their wish with the new administration.

President Obama plans to commemorate the day by repealing the Mexico City Policy, which bans the use of tax-payer money to fund overseas groups that offer or aggressively promote abortion. How this action will lead to reduced abortions and help unify the nation over such a divisive issue is beyond me. I'm sure Doug Kmiec and other 'Catholic' Obama supporters can answer that for me.

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Sorry, can't hear over the crickets.

"New Intellectual Territory"

When a supposed Catholic institution uses those words to describe an upcoming speaker event, you just know the invitee will be unorthodox and liberal.

And in this case, you also get an unrepentant terrorist.

From California Catholic Daily:

Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, a 4500-student Catholic institution run by the Christian Brothers, has invited 1960s-era radical Bill Ayers to speak this month as part of a series of lectures the school is calling “Against the Grain.”

“The January Term Speaker Series at Saint Mary’s College features Bill Ayers and four other distinguished speakers throughout the month,” says a college press release. “This year’s theme, ‘Against the Grain,’ reflects the provocative stance the speakers have taken on issues ranging from politics to sustainable living. Bill Ayers was a political lightning rod during Barack Obama’s recent race for the presidency because of the president-elect’s association with the former 1960s radical. Ayers headlines the speaker series...

Saint Mary’s describes itself as “a Catholic, Lasallian, liberal arts college” that is “rooted in the life and work of Saint John Baptist de la Salle, founder of the Christian Brothers and the patron saint of teachers. Our traditions and heritage inform everything we do.”

I did some research on St John Baptist de la Salle, and while he is the patron saint of teachers, I couldn't find anything where he supported blowing up buildings.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

One Down....

1,460 days to go.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Prayer Request

Mrs LarryD's dad was admitted to the hospital last night - he developed a leg infection, and will remain there a couple days, until the doctors can figure out what this infection is all about. Complicating the matter is that he's also diabetic. She spoke with him tonight - he's in good spirits, but his leg hurts like hell.

Crazy Words From America Magazine

The more I read America, the National Catholic Weekly, the more I'm beginning to think that the inclusion of the word 'Catholic' is a typo.

Seems that the editors have gotten together and scribbled some open letters and memos to the incoming President. Here are selections from their submissions, with my comments.

Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator, S.J., is a lecturer in theology at Hekima College Jesuit School of Theology in Nairobi, Kenya, and rector of the college’s Jesuit community.

Here in Kenya, your ancestral land, we claim you as a true son of Africa. Your name, Baraka, means blessing. You assume the leadership of the United States at a time when Americans groan in the throes of economic woes...This may sound nepotistic, but in Africa we say that a person whose relative sits on top of a mango tree always eats ripe and delicious mangoes. (what the...? Is that supposed to be deep wisdom?) Africa expects many blessings from you, as our relative, in your exalted position as president. (yes, because of all the African citizens who voted for Obama.)

Matthew P. Moll, a 2003 graduate of Marquette University, served in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and is studying new media at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

According to a biannual report by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, “College tuition continues to outpace family income and the price of other necessities, such as medical care, food, and housing...." (newsflash, Matt! College is not a necessity, but a privelege.)

Peter Quinn, a novelist and essayist, was the speechwriter for two New York governors. His latest book is Looking for Jimmy: In Search of Irish America (Overlook Press, 2007).

I have not had higher hopes or greater expectations for any president since John F. Kennedy. You are every bit as intelligent, articulate and capable as he was. You seem wonderfully agreeable and genuinely decent. Your call for a new era of bipartisanship is admirable. (suck up.)

With malice toward none, Mr. President, but with firmness to do what is right, remember you cannot make everyone a friend. Partisanship is not pleasant. But there are times when it is necessary. Sometimes a measure of a president’s success is the vehemence of the enemies he makes. (based on that last sentence, Bush was a roaring success, which is something I'd be surprised this guy would admit. What a hypocrite.)

Helen Prejean, C.S.J, is the author of Dead Man Walking and The Death of Innocents.

(I'm not quoting anything from her - I keep thinking of Susan Sarandon, and I don't like Susan Sarandon)

Bob Finocchio Jr. is a corporate director, private investor, part-time professor and consultant.

(This guy actually makes a lot of sense, from a business and free enterprise perspective. It must have gotten published by accident)

Gabino Zavala is auxiliary bishop for the San Gabriel Region, Diocese of Los Angeles.

First and foremost, I would suggest that you find ways that help you to remain centered and grounded, in order to meet the new demands of your daily life and the well-being of your family. I would recommend that your work as president of the United States focus on cultivating the common good and promoting the dignity of every human person, both for the family of nations and our own national community. Restoring good international relationships based on mutual respect and equal regard is important for bringing about genuine peace and justice. Since you are coming into office in this difficult time globally and nationally, I would suggest that you focus on issues that are related to the dignity of the human person, and that you make it a priority to address the wars in the Middle East and other parts of the world that have torn apart our family of nations.
There are other related concerns that rob people of dignity, such as the food crisis, trafficking of human persons and genocide. Nationally, it should be your priority to restore those systems that affect the most vulnerable in our midst: education, health care, immigration, housing and employment. I would also encourage you to reconsider your pledge to sign the Freedom of Choice Act in light of the far-reaching and devastating effects its implementation will have on so many. (I reprinted the bishop's entire column so you can see how much time and space he didn't devote to the pro-life issue...)


Daniel Callahan is a senior research scholar and president emeritus of The Hastings Center.

I propose that President Obama take back his pledge to lower taxes, and instead persuade Congress to raise them. Amid the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, our many infrastructure needs, universal health care and the costs of the economic bailout, the government needs more money. (Dear Mr Callahan - if you want to pay the govt more money, please do so voluntarily. But keep your socialist hands off my wallet!)

Frank Brennan, S.J., is a professor of law at Australian Catholic University.

Gone are the days when the United States can go it alone or with “coalitions of the willing,” reconstituting the global landscape. The paddy fields and dusty roads will be safer and more productive if President Obama rekindles the dream of due process in international forums and equal protection for people of all races, regardless of their nationality. Change will not be easy; but together, as one world, “Yes we can.” (Translated to mean: please sign the UN charter for the International Criminal Court and prosecute the evil US troops)

Save yourself some aggravation and don't follow the link.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Don't Quit And Get Back Up

If you're beset with worries and feel overwhelmed by discouragement, then watch this video. You'll be filled with hope and inspiration in no time.



Seen at Faith & Family Live, via Creative Minority Report

Inaugapalooza

Springsteen. Bono. Beyonce. MaryJBlige. CherylCrow. JamesTaylor. GarthBrooks. StevieWonder.

So tell me - is it a president or a celebrity who's being inaugurated tomorrow?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

"Whoever says 'I love God', but backs FOCA, is a liar"

Bishop Vasa of Baker, Oregon penned a great column this week as seen in the Catholic Sentinel: Those Who Profess To Love God, But Back Abortion, Are Liars. Here's one paragraph:

It may sound a little strong to state that legislators “hate” the pre-born child but hate is an absence of love and love means to wish another well. There is nothing about abortion that wishes the pre-born child well. The preservation of abortion “rights” is already an absence of love for the pre-born child but the passage of FOCA could be construed as nothing less than active and positive disregard, even hatred, for these our brothers and sisters. To paraphrase St. John, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ but votes for FOCA, thus showing a disregard for his pre-born brother or sister, he is a liar.” Lots of things can be rationalized in government but I do not see any way in which any Catholic could rationalize or justify an affirmative vote for FOCA.

Read the rest.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sinking In A Sea Of Sin

Fr Frank Pavone has said on several occasions that one cannot practice vice virtuously. It's an impossibility, like a fish riding a bicycle, or a Democrat sponsoring a tax cut bill.

Thus it is for Catholics who are pro-abortion, espousing an ideology in direct contradiction to the moral law. They attempt to counterbalance their belief by announcing to anyone who will listen that they stand for issues of "peace and justice", are against the death penalty (not that there's anything wrong with that) or defend policies that lift up the poor and marginalized (worthy causes, too). But they're only fooling themselves. They're trying to frost Crap Cake with vanilla icing, but when all is said and done, the center is still a bunch of crap.

Whether the issue is abortion, contraception, so-called gay marriage, or women's ordinations - it doesn't matter. Once a Catholic starts swimming in the sea of sin, supporting any immoral position, there is imminent and consequently, eternal danger. As the person ventures farther into the currents of rationalization, bobbing along in the sea of sin becomes more comfortable. Then it becomes easier to compromise on other issues of faith. Before long, the accumulation of vices and imcorrect thinking weighs them down, and without realizing it, they sink like a millstone.


Today, Fr Philip at Domine, da mihi hanc aquam, describes this very thing has having occurred, titled The Folly Of The Pro-Abortion Catholic. Here's a portion of his piece:

Case in point: Eric McFadden, the former head of "Catholics for Clinton," "Catholics for Kerry," director of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives for Ohio's Democrat governor, former field director for Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, past president of Catholics for Faithful Citizenship, most recently Hillary Clinton's State Faith & Values Outreach Director for Ohio, and a Knight of Columbus who supported Obama, was arrested yesterday for running a prostitution ring that included minors.

Once your conscience tells you that it is OK to kill your child, running a prostitution ring that includes children is easy-cheesy. The idea is that "on-balance" McFadden was attempting to reduce the number of child hookers by providing them a fair wage. I wonder if he let them unionize?

Blub, blub, blub.....

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Progressive Bible Quotes #3

Ephesians 6:12 (McBrien-Kmiec 2008 American Edition.)

12For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the right-wing conservative Catholic bloggers, with on-line tormentors practicing a politics of odium.

AmericanPapist has written an open letter to Doug Kmiec, in response to his editorial in Commonweal accusing the “right-wing Catholic blogosphere” of perpetrating “unrelenting personal attacks” upon him during the Presidential election cycle. If you haven't read AP's letter yet, I recommend it. As usual, it is excellent.

Our Tax Dollars At Play

Tuesday's inauguration of Barack Obama will surely be historic as he will be sworn in as the first black president of the United States.

It'll be historic for another reason as well. The inauguration will cost more than $150,000,000. Yes, that figure is correct. Once the final dance at any of the many parties is danced, once the last drunken party-goer staggers home, the final tally is expected to exceed $150 million.

In fact, the situation has grown so huge and extravagant, that President Bush has declared a state of emergency in Washington D.C. He might as well call a state of emergency for the entire nation while he's at it - for four long years.

Now, with the economy as bad as it is, with suffering at every street corner and behind the door of every foreclosed home, you would think outrage and anger would drip from every newspaper. You would think that talking heads would be demanding answers why such exorbitant amounts of money are being spent during this period of economic pressure. People are losing their jobs and their homes, struggling to make ends meet, and the Champion of The Impoverished is putting on a bash that this nation has never witnessed. You would think that questions would be asked, questions such as "Couldn't that $150 million be spent on more worthwhile things?" Or "A lot of people in foreclosure could be helped with that money, couldn't they?" Or "How many teachers could be hired with some of that money?"

Nope - not a peep. In fact, some in the media are supportive of the lavish extravagance. This story came out on Tuesday, in the AP: For Inaugural Balls, Go For Glitz, Not Economy.

So you're attending an inaugural ball saluting the historic election of Barack Obama in the worst economic climate in three generations. Can you get away with glitzing it up and still be appropriate, not to mention comfortable and financially viable?

To quote the man of the hour: Yes, you can. Veteran ballgoers say you should. And fashionistas insist that you must.

"This is a time to celebrate. This is a great moment. Do not dress down. Do not wear the Washington uniform," said Tim Gunn, a native Washingtonian and Chief Creative Officer at Liz Claiborne, Inc.

"Just because the economy is in a downturn, it doesn't mean that style is going to be in a downturn," agreed Ken Downing, fashion director for Neiman Marcus.

And if anyone does raise an eyebrow at those sequins, remind them that optimism is good for times like these. "Just say you're doing it to help the economy," chuckled good manners guru Letitia Baldridge.

Helping the economy, my frosted Michigan butt. This is another example of the Elites impressing themselves while the hoi polloi muddle about, many of whom are unawares of the hangover they're going to get slammed with once the party's over.

But that's not all.
Rewind to 2005, and if you recall, Bush took a lot of heat, when about $40 million was spent on his second inauguration event. Here's a snippet from NewBusters:

President Bush’s second inauguration will cost tens of millions of dollars — $40 million alone in private donations for the balls, parade and other invitation-only parties. With that kind of money, what could you buy?

■ 200 armored Humvees with the best armor for troops in Iraq.


■ Vaccinations and preventive health care for 22 million children in regions devastated by the tsunami.

■ A down payment on the nation’s deficit, which hit a record-breaking $412 billion last year....

The questions have come from Bush supporters and opponents: Do we need to spend this money on what seems so extravagant?

New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, a Democrat, suggested inaugural parties should be scaled back...


So, let's see. $40 million in 2005 vs $150 million in 2009. Not in a recession then vs. a recession today. Bush is a Republican, Obama is a Democrat. Ahh, that's the reason right there. Obama is entitled to this Spend, Baby Spend approach.

The worst thing about this party? We're footing the bill, but we won't be the ones having a good time.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Caption Contest #4


Captionate in the combox. Have fun!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

In Case You Forgot...

...we're a week away from The One's inauguration. And then we get...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Indulge Me For A Moment

The amount of time and effort that liberal Catholics expend to strip away the depth and beauty of Church teaching is remarkable. Their actions, while predictable, evoke frustration most of the time, and leaves one wondering why they stay in the Church. They claim to love the Church, but they want to change it to fit their lifestyles and feelings. Sort of like the immature manipulative girlfriend who tells her boyfriend "I love you just the way you are - now stop watching sports, leave all your friends, talk only to me, change your wardrobe, and do something about your hair, and oh, get a nicer car." Kinda makes the "I love you" part sound insincere, don't you think?

Mention the word "traditional", and they bare their fangs and shriek. Quote the Early Church Fathers, and they shout "Patriarchalism!!" And barely whisper the word "Magisterium", and you're automatically stricken from their Christmas card list.

So it came as no surprise when I read the following article at (Losing My) Religion Dispatches: Indulgences Are Back At Last! (my comments)

The Sixth World Meeting of Families will be held this week in Mexico City. The meeting, with the theme of "The family, teacher of human and Christian values," organized by the pontifical council of the family (how nice -show your superiority by not capitalizing the council's name), will bring together clergy and lay people from over 90 countries.

The following message from Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, reveals the tenor of the conference:


"The family today must confront, with creativity and a proactive spirit, the challenge of an individualist and mercantilist culture, based on production and consumption. Unfortunately, we have a mistaken concept of freedom, understood as an autonomy closed in on itself; other forms of cohabitation are privileged that obscure the value of the family, based on the marriage of one man and one woman. With this mistaken mentality, very often laws are made—without widespread social consensus and under the impulse of small but active groups, strongly ideological and with extensive economic resources—that permit easy abortion, rapid divorce, and euthanasia. Responding to these challenges is a difficult moral obligation." (this whole paragraph must sound like fingernails on a chalkboard to this author. Good!)


As evidenced by a recent survey conducted by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, most Catholics disagree with Church teaching on homosexuality (Newsflash! The Church doesn't care about surveys and polls. Truth is truth, no matter how it may make you feel.). However, instead of taking the beliefs of the faithful (you're not talking about beliefs of the faithful here- you're talking about the opinions of the unfaithful) into consideration and reexamining these teachings, the Vatican is rewarding the small minority of Catholics who cling to their antiquated ideals (Nice - traditional marriage, no divorce, protection of the unborn and aged are antiquated ideals. What's interesting is that these Christian ideals, supported for the last 2000 years, supplanted pagan lifestyles where unwanted children were killed, wives were summarily abandoned, and the weak were left to die. So which ideals are actually the 'antiquated' ones? The ones you're espousing!).


Their reward? (Heaven, if we remain faithful - something you ought to give more thought to)

An indulgence—which, for those of you not living in Middle Ages, is “a remission of temporal punishment due to sin.” (if we were living in the Middle Ages, you'd be burned at the stake as a heretic, you know.)

The news of this “reward” was explained in a decree from the Apostolic Penitentiary:

"…the Holy Father grants to the faithful the plenary indulgence, to be obtained by the customary conditions...on the days in which they devotedly participate in the 6th World Meeting of Families.
"The truly penitent faithful who cannot participate in the event will receive the plenary indulgence, under the same conditions, if, united in spirit and in thought to the faithful present in Mexico City, they recite as a family the 'Our Father,' the 'Credo' and other devout prayers to invoke Divine Mercy for the goals indicated above, especially during the moments in which the words and messages of the Pontiff are transmitted by television and radio."

Well, I suppose medieval ideology is best rewarded with a medieval prize. (well, it's much better than the eternal prize awaiting those holding heretical ideologies, I can tell you!)

Indulgences never went away. The CCC has several paragraphs devoted to the topic, and it's one of the great gifts the Church offers Her members. I'm not going to describe the difference between plenary and partial indulgences, or quote the Catechism at length, or give the different conditions that have to be met. Suffice it to say it's a grace I should take better advantage of, as there are numerous ways in which to gain an indulgence (for a list of examples, click here).

Once again, a liberal Catholic ridicules the authority of the Church, makes light of a wondrous gift, and insults faithful Catholics worldwide. And it's a real pity - because something this person genuinely needs, is unattainable. In order to gain an indulgence, the person must be "in communion" with the Church. To be “in communion,” the person must be a baptized Catholic without any un-reconciled mortal sins and must not be dissenting from the Church’s teaching.


Indulgences aren't "back at last" - they're here to stay. At least for those who desire them.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

United States Of Obamica?

Saw this at Adrienne's Catholic Corner and Modern Commentaries today, and you can read the full text here, which I've posted below.

111th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. J. RES. 5

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, thereby removing the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as President.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 6, 2009

Mr. SERRANO (D-NY) introduced the following joint resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

JOINT RESOLUTION


Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, thereby removing the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as President.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years after the date of its submission for ratification:


`Article--

`The twenty-second article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.'

Change we'll be aggrieved of, if this were to happen. I highly doubt this will come to pass, but knowing there is at least one politician who thinks this is a good idea tells me that the best and brightest are not getting elected.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Job Posting

Times are rough - national unemployment is at 7.2% and it's about 40 times higher here in Michigan. Jobs are hard to come by, so I'm going to do something about it. This can't wait for Obama to take office.

Continuing the tradition of announcing employment openings at AoftheA, here is the most recent career opportunity.

I should mention, by the way, that the CRONES have the job opening.

Executive Director Job Announcement

Here's a couple highlights from the position description (my comments):

Organizational Description: Women's Ordination Conference is a national non-profit organization that works to ordain women as priests, deacons, and bishops into an inclusive Catholic church. (this should read: "...that works to undermine Church teaching and ignore legitimate Church authority.")

Position Summary: To give direction and leadership toward the achievement of the organization's philosophy, mission, strategy, and its annual goals and objectives. (To continue to lead women and men into further schism from the Church and eventually get all the members ex-communicated, if they haven't been already.)

Qualifications:
1. Committed to WOC's mission to ordain women into an inclusive Catholic church
2. Bachelor's degree
3. Administration, fundraising and finance management skills
4. Basic knowledge of current Catholic issues, women's issues in the Catholic Church and feminist theology
5. Excellent communication, writing and presentation skills
6. Demonstrated commitment to the principles of diversity and inclusion
7. Self-motivated with a positive attitude

8. Able to travel
(wouldn't it have been easier to say: "Must distrust misogynistic hierarchial leadership, have bad taste in liturgical practices, and be able to travel"?)

Part of the application process includes answering a series of questions, designed probably to keep people like me from applying. Questions such as: What is your vision of women priests within an inclusive and accountable Roman Catholic Church? (answer: I envision them like fairies and unicorns...they don't exist!) What are your views on the different forms of and paths to ordination: contra legem ordinations (e.g. RCWP/ECC]); small faith community ordinations; view that all are priests through baptism and no need for formal ordination; people working within the institutional church to get the Vatican to ordain women. (answer: they're all meaningless)

And then there's this statement: WOC fully and actively supports equal opportunity for all people and encourages women, people of color and LGBTQ applicants to submit proposals. Which translates to: Straight white guys need not apply. Which goes well with their inclusive Catholic church, doesn't it.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Valley Of The Dolls

This is just plain creepy and weird.

Adult Women Play House With Fake Babies

WASHINGTON - Many people like to stop and play with newborn babies, but now some adult women are playing house with fake babies.

Some women are even going as far as taking day trips with the fake babies to the park, out to eat, and even hosting birthday parties for them.

Forty-nine-year-old Linda is married with no children of her own. Now, she says she feels like a mother because she has Reborns -- dolls made to look and feel like the real thing.

"It's not a crazy habit, like, you know, drinking, or some sort of, something that's going to hurt you. It's like a hobby.and it doesn't really hurt anybody," Linda said.

These women are paying big bucks for this hobby, from $100 to a few thousand dollars. For Reborn owner Lachelle Moore, the fake babies fill a void. "What's so wonderful about Reborns is that, um, they're forever babies," said Moore, who has grown children and grandchildren. "There's no college tuition, no dirty diapers... just the good part of motherhood," she added.

In her Kansas City home, Moore even has an elaborate room for the dolls. She organizes birthday parties, bakes a cake and even invites guests.

Psychologists say there could be a problem if and when these women stop interacting socially with others in their life.


This is bizarre and wrong on so many levels. However, I do have one suggestion for these ladies. Should they want their fake babies to have a fake baptism, they can bring them to these fake 'priests':

stick salute to Curt Jester

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Resisting Tooth And Nail

I'm the type of man who can handle just about anything. Broken pinkie when I was a teenager, where it stuck out ninety degrees from normal....no problem. Suffered two dislocated fingers, a black eye and a split chin when the loftbed I was in collapsed beneath me....mere flesh wounds. Cracked skull from falling down stairs....been there, done that. Seen a few corpses. Watched the birth of my children...so what's a little blood? Granted, there are worse things that I haven't witnessed or experienced in my middle-age life, but I think I could handle them as well.

But mention the word 'dentist'? That's a whole other issue.

I don't know what it is about dentists. It takes every ounce of courage I can muster to finally get to "The Chair", usually after cancelling an appointment. Or two. Or three. I've tried to recall some event in my youth that has brought about this Mental Dental Syndrome. Best I can come up with is the agony and cruelty inflicted upon me by the Orthodontist, way back yonder. This was back before the days of paste-on braces. I'm talking metal bands, industrial-strength 20 gauge wire, headgear and retainers here. I was the James Bond villain 'Jaws' without the height advantage. The youth of today have no idea of the pain that ought to be associated with orthodontia. I feel like I've been gypped - it's now considered cool to have colored, fashionable braces. No more gunmetal grey.

But you know what the worst thing was? The dental impressions. That white pasty plaster slopped into the dental mold, pushed onto the teeth, the feeling of the goop oozing throughout my mouth. Stuck there for what felt like hours, but was probably 60 seconds or so - resisting the urge to swallow the buildup of saliva, because if I did, I just knew some of that plaster would go with it, while at the same time, fighting back the gag reflex. And of course my mouth is open at an unnatural angle, the mold pushed way back. Then that disgusting suction sound when he removed the mold. And this was done not only at the start of treatment, but once the braces were finally removed, like a farewell dose of discomfort, in case I had forgotten how much the process sucked the first time around. After all the months of oral anguish, the Orthodontist made me suffer just a little bit more. Bad memories all around.

Regular cleanings and check-ups are dread-filled experiences. I need topical anaesthetic on both sides of my upper and lower gums even prior to the x-rays, not to mention before they start chipping away with their icepicks. When Nurse Ratchett, the hygienist, starts working, I know how the block of marble felt before Michelangelo finished the statue of David. She even uses the ultrasonic nuclear-powered drill bits to get off the plaque - it's like hearing a hundred Freddy Krueger's dragging knife-tipped fingers down a chalkboard, making me curl my toes and grip the arms of The Chair. Then, when she's finally done scraping, picking, poking, prodding, gouging, brushing, flossing and rearranging my molars and incisors, the Dentist comes in. Dr Mengele with a dental mirror.

But still I suffer through it - if not for my health, then at least to provide good example to the Sons of LarryD, that it's oftentimes necessary in life to suffer through uncomfortable and painful things that are ultimately good for us. I guess it's my crossbite to bear.

Which brings me to now. At my last visit, back in December, Dr M noticed a change in tooth #9 (which is an Anterior tooth, upper left center). Years and years ago, I tried catching a softball with my mouth, resulting in that tooth's interior destruction. X-rays showed no decay or rot. At the time, I was told that as long as it wasn't causing me any pain, there's no need to do anything. Well, I saw no problem with that - why suffer a root canal today when I can put it off much much later? Subsequently, I was asked by every dentist if I wanted to have it fixed - but since it was considered a cosmetic repair, my insurance wouldn't cover it. So, being the cheap guy that I am who also hates and avoids unnecessary dental visits, I always opted out, politely saying "no thanks" while thinking, "It'll be a cold day in Hell before you get those tools of torture anywhere near my mouth!"

Guess what? It's cold in Hell. Dr Mengele saw an abnormal development in tooth #9, and suggested I make an appointment with an Endodontist. Endodontists treat disorders in the roots - ie: root canal specialist - but I like to think of them as The Nerdy Kids Who Got Beat Up In School All The Time And Now Take Their Frustrations Out On Their Patients. Okay, not really - but the inspiration of the maniacal dentist in Little Shop Of Horrors had to come from somewhere, didn't it?

So, tomorrow, January 8, at 10:45 AM, I have my Appointment. I'm not looking forward to it. But I know it's my time to go. Especially now, since it's a health issue, my insurance will finally cover it. I'm not sure exactly what the recommended course of treatment will be, but I'm sure it'll be horrific nonetheless.

I marvel at the courage and fortitude of the martyrs who suffered unimaginable cruelty for believing in Christ, and not wavering in spite of the pain and humiliation. As a committed Catholic, I'd like to think that someday, should it ever come to it, I could endure similar suffering, and die, remaining ever faithful.

But if the torturer shows up with floss in his hand, I pray to God He takes me quick. I may not make it otherwise.

Saint Apollonia, patron saint against toothaches and of dentists, pray for me!

***UPDATE: I survived! Of course, it was just a consultation, but I lived through it nonetheless. The root canal is scheduled for Monday 1/12 at 2:00 PM. ***

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Fun With Homonyms

The Processional Hymn at Mass on Sunday was "We Three Kings." The first line of the second verse is "Born a King on Bethlehem's plain..."

Soon after singing that verse, there was a tug at my elbow, and Son #2 asked: "Jesus was born on a plane?"

9 Steps To Surrender For Obama In 2009...

...as penned by Deepak Chopra in an open letter to Pres-Elect BHO.

Okay, he titled it "9 Steps To Peace For Obama In The New Year", but as you read this, you'll see why my title makes more sense.

You have been elected by the first anti-war constituency since 1952, when Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected after promising to end the Korean War. But ending a war isn't the same as bringing peace. America has been on a war footing since the day after Pearl Harbor, 67 years ago. We spend more on our military than the next 16 countries combined. If you have a vision of change that goes to the heart of this country's deep problems, ending our dependence on war is far more important than ending our dependency on foreign oil.

The most immediate changes are economic. Unless it can make as much money as war, peace doesn't stand a chance. Since aerospace and military technologies remain the United States' most destructive export, fostering wars around the world, what steps can we take to reverse that trend and build a peace-based economy?

1. Scale out arms dealing and make it illegal by the year 2020.

2. Write into every defense contract a requirement for a peacetime project.

3. Subsidize conversion of military companies to peaceful uses with tax incentives and direct funding.

4. Convert military bases to housing for the poor.

5. Phase out all foreign military bases.

6. Require military personnel to devote part of their time to rebuilding infrastructure.

7. Call a moratorium on future weapons technologies.

8. Reduce armaments like destroyers and submarines that have no use against terrorism and were intended to defend against a superpower enemy that no longer exists.

9. Fully fund social services and take the balance out of the defense and homeland security budgets.

These are just the beginning. We don't lack creativity in coping with change. Without a conversion of our present war economy to a peace economy, the high profits of the military-industrial complex ensures that it will never end.

He needs to add a tenth step: Hand China the keys to the White House.

Some of his statements prior to the 9 steps bear challenging. First, the military budget, and comparing our expenditures to the next 16 countries combined spending. I didn't see the list, but I can presume that those countries are a combination of our allies we have pledged to support, and our enemies we have sworn to defend against.

And I disagree with his statement that aerospace and military technologies are our most dangerous exports (except when secrets are sold to our enemies, as Clinton did with the Chinese, and that's another issue) - I contend that abortion and pornography and materialism are far more dangerous. Bombs and guns kill the body, but the others can kill the soul. If Chopra is as "spiritual" as he says, he'd have recognized the distinction.

I always thought that Chopra was loony, and this open letter seals the deal for me. I'm all for peace too, but these proposals are naive, idiotic and downright dangerous. If there's one government responsibility I agree with, it's national security and the pledge to defend its people from enemies within and without. Ultra-pacifism is a sure path to extinction.

Now, I doubt Obama will take any of these steps seriously. He will scale back on the military in some ways - that's what liberals do. For those who elected him, I hope you can sleep easy knowing that our national security will be compromised.

What scares me is that Chopra has plenty of followers who believe as he does.

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Appointment In Detroit

It's official. Pope Benedict XVI has chosen Archbishop-elect Allen Vigneron to succeed Cardinal Maida as Archbishop of Detroit. This is awesome news!!

As seen at the Archdiocese of Detroit website:

Pope Benedict XVI has named Bishop Allen Henry Vigneron, 60, of the Diocese of Oakland, California, as the new Archbishop of Detroit. Installation of the new archbishop has been scheduled for 2 p.m. on Wednesday, January 28, at Detroit's Blessed Sacrament Cathedral.

As required by Church law, Cardinal Maida submitted his resignation to the Holy Father when he turned 75, in March of 2005. Pope Benedict then invited Cardinal Maida to continue as Archbishop of Detroit. Cardinal Maida's resignation has now been accepted; he will, however, serve as apostolic administrator of the archdiocese during this month's transition.


News Conference:
Cardinal Adam Maida will introduce his successor, Archbishop-elect Allen Vigneron, at a news conference on Monday, January 5, at 10 a.m. at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, 2701 Chicago Boulevard at Linwood, Detroit.

In his remarks, Archbishop-elect Vigneron expressed his gratitude to Pope Benedict, acknowledged Cardinal Maida's welcome home, and addressed southeast Michigan's economic struggle. "I recognize that this challenge for our civic community is – as all societal problems are – a pastoral challenge as well. To that challenge," he said, "I want to bring all the riches of grace which the Holy Spirit has bestowed on the Church."

This means that for at least 15 years, Detroit will be led by a solid Archbishop. He is a native son of metro Detroit, was an auxiliary bishop here prior to his appointment in Oakland, thus he knows the archdiocese very well My condolences to the Diocese of Oakland - their loss is our gain.
This still leaves one vacancy in the Auxiliary Bishop ranks, since Bishop Quinn, recently appointed Bishop of Winona, MN, has not yet been replaced.