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Church Art Shouldn't Make You Say "Blech!"
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Cardinal Urges Priests To Liven Up Sermons
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New Translation Objections Are Becoming More Ridiculous
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This Comes As No Surprise
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Things A Catholic Ought Never Say
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Sister Patricia: On Seven Quick-Takes Friday
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Just Thought You'd Like To Know...
A public service announcement.

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Illustrated Progressive Catholic Alphabet, Part II

(Click here for Part I)

Are you a progressive Catholic blessed with children grandchildren young nieces and nephews who are showing interest in the Catholic faith, and you want to make sure they don't grow up orthodox? Or do you lead Children's Liturgies at your Catholic community, and are seeking a fresh new text with which to indoctrinate educate your young impressionable charges? Well, AoftheA Publishing has the perfect book for you! It's the Illustrated Progressive Catholic Alphabet! Help that young person you know learn their ABC's while discovering the creative and spirit of Vatican II-filled world of progressive Catholicism.

Here is Part II of the Illustrated Progressive Catholic Alphabet:

F Fundamentalists

(Source)

Fundamentalists are Catholics who celebrate Church where the priest has his back to the congregation, and they don't permit girl altar servers. As the above picture shows, they're more concerned with lace, statues and tradition, than letting the laity actively participate. They use words like "Catechism", "Magesterium", "Orthodoxy", "rubrics" and "sin".

G
God(de
)

(Source)

God(de) is invisible, and is everywhere. God(de) created everything. God(de) can see everything - that's God(de) looking through the clouds, looking at you! God(de) used to be a "He", but now it's more enlightened to think of God(de) however you want!. God(de) used to be hateful and judgmental in the Old Testament, but when Jesus came, God(de) became loving and tolerant.


H Hierarchy


The Hierarchy is a group of celibate old men who prohibit discussion on groundbreaking theology, prevent women from coming priests, seek to control every aspect of a Catholic's life, and are fearful of science.


I Indulgences

(Cardinal)

Indulgences are a medieval practice making a bit of a comeback. In the past, the Church would grant a person points towards salvation if they donated money. Today, one only has to say a few prayers and perform acts of devotion (and maybe slide some extra bills to the bishop!), and sainthood is right around the corner! The skeleton in the picture represents a poor person who should have gotten the money instead of the wealthy bishop.


J Justice, social

(Source)

Social justice is the single greatest Christian virtue. Ever. Jesus was all about social justice. Nothing else matters. One way to better promote social justice is to tax the really wealthy. Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta is one of the most famous social justice workers of our time.


K Kumbaya


If there's any word that says "Love" more than "Love", then it's Kumbaya. Getting along with other people, that's Kumbaya. Feeling good about oneself, that's Kumbaya. Not being made to feel guilty about one's actions or lifestyle, that's Kumbaya. To be fully Catholic is to have Kumbaya in your heart.


L Latin

(Source)

Latin is a dead ancient language that hardly anyone understands nowadays. Eucharist used to be said in Latin, but since God(de) understands English, we do Eucharist in English today. Jesus never spoke Latin either. Latin is still the "official" language of the Hierarchy, which is one reason why few people understand what they talk about.


Part III of the IPCA (letters M-S) will be released sometime soon.

Nice Sheep's Clothing Ya Got There!


Following is an excerpt from Bishop Gumbleton's homily from the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time (emphases mine). How he continues to get away with this stuff is beyond me. Maybe it's time for an intervention...

"Then there was an article in The Michigan Catholic this week that caught my attention. It's a survey of what's going on around our country, where place after place, church after church is being closed. It points out, in Cleveland, the diocese has closed 27 parishes within the city of Cleveland itself — 27 within the city and most of them in the black community — and then 67 altogether throughout the diocese because there are no priests.

The article lists other diocese: Camden, New Jersey, this year they closed 56 of 124 parishes because they have no priests. Syracuse, New York, 36 out of 173. Scranton, Pennsylvania, more than 100 parishes in a diocese where there is less than 200. What's happening? Why aren't we listening? Isn't God taking any initiative to provide us with the ministers we need?

The answer is, of course God has, and there are those who have proclaimed how God has called them, and I'm talking, of course, about women, and we refuse to accept them as ministers.

In the early church, women did go out and proclaim the good news. In today's Gospel, Jesus sends out the 12, but you can be sure there was another time where it's recorded he sent out 72 in pairs, and surely there were men and women that went together and preached. Now when we are so desperately in need of priests, ministers of the gospel, ministers of the Eucharist, we don't have them.

And there are those who are calling for it, but then they're pushed away like Amos was pushed away, silenced. "You can't speak about that as a possibility, not to speak about ordaining married men or about women." Yet, I am confident that God is taken an initiative and we who are the church have to begin to listen to that and to respond to it and try to make sure our leaders respond to it."

His hot-line to heaven was disconnected a long long time ago - his confidence in God's initiative is in direct opposition to God's revealed ordained plan. Which kinda makes me wonder - if he's not listening to God, then who exactly is he listening to? And if it's not God's Word he's proclaiming, then whose word is it?

Mt 7:15 - "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." (1899 Douay-Rheims)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

All Thumbs

Nicked this from Rich Leonardi's blog. Too funny not to share.

There's a story, perhaps apocryphal, that a well-known New York priest was once ministering the sacrament of the sick to a hospital patient. A female "chaplain" standing next to him sniffed, "If I had a penis, I could do that." To which the priest responded, "My dear, I generally prefer to use my thumb."

According to one of the commenters, Fr George Rutler was the priest.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Illustrated Progressive Catholic Alphabet

Are you a progressive Catholic blessed with children grandchildren young nieces and nephews who are showing interest in the Catholic faith, and you want to make sure they don't grow up orthodox? Or do you lead Children's Liturgies at your Catholic community, and are seeking a fresh new text with which to indoctrinate educate your young impressionable charges? Well, AoftheA Publishing has the perfect book for you! It's the Illustrated Progressive Catholic Alphabet! Help that young person you know learn their ABC's while discovering the creative and spirit of Vatican II-filled world of progressive Catholicism.

Here is Part I of the Illustrated Progressive Catholic Alphabet:

A Active participation

Active participation takes many forms - singing, clapping, holding hands, lectoring, giving an occasional homily. One of the most vivid examples of active participation is cramming as many lay persons as possible onto the altar prior to doing Eucharist. Nothing shows "We Are Church" more than this sign of activity!

B BibleThe Bible is a very important book - it contains famous stories and myths that are fun to read. More importantly, though, there are stories about Jesus, a great teacher who showed us how to love and accept one another, just the way we are! It was too bad he was killed for being nice, but he came back to life and told the Apostles to start the Church. They messed up, though, because they didn't include any women.

Some parts of the Bible are hard to understand, which is why other people have written other books to help explain what the Bible means, like this one:

C Conscience

Your conscience is in your brain. "Following your conscience" means thinking for yourself and doing what you feel is right. Don't worry! You'll always be okay if you follow your conscience, because the Church has said "Man has the right to act in conscience."

D Dancing

Dancing during liturgy displays the joy and happiness we feel at being Church. It brings honor to God because we are Her feet. Just as King David danced before the Ark of the Covenant, so we dance before each other because we are little arks, too!

E Environment

As Catholics, we are called to save the environment and the Earth, especially from global warming. There are many ways to do this: drive electric cars; vote Democrat; don't eat meat; don't watch TV; only use one square of toilet paper. Jesus said: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." Well, we have to save the Earth so that the meek will have one to inherit!


Future installments of the Illustrated Progressive Catholic Alphabet are coming soon. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Desecrated

I can't believe that no one, not one person, raised their hand and said "This is a really, really bad idea" when this was being discussed.

From the Telegraph.co.uk: Art Gallery Invites Visitors to Deface Bible

The open Bible is part of the Made in God’s Image exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art (Goma) in Glasgow.

Its inclusion was the idea of a local church which hoped gallery visitors would suggest ways in which the Bible could be “reclaimed as a sacred text”.

A sign next to a container of pens says: “If you feel you have been excluded from the Bible, please write your way back into it.”

The Bible has already been adorned with comments, according to The Times, including “**** the Bible” and “This is all sexist pish, so disregard it all.”

A contributor wrote on the first page of Genesis: “I am Bi, Female & Proud. I want no god who is disappointed in this.”

The exhibit, Untitled 2009, was proposed by the Metropolitan Community Church, an international Christian group which describes itself as offering “inclusive Christian ministry to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered communities”.

The £7,000 exhibition, which is funded by the Scottish Arts Council and is free of charge, has been created by the artists Anthony Schrag and David Malone in association with organisations representing gay Christians and Muslims.

Mr Schrag, 34, told the newspaper: “Any offensive things that have been written are not the point of the work. It was an open gesture. Are those who say they are upset offended by the things that people write, or just by the very notion that someone should write on a Bible?”

He added: “If we are to open up the Bible for discussion, surely we have to invite people to speak out. Art allows us to discuss difficult things, and Goma allows difficult discussions to take place — that is why Glasgow is at the cutting edge of contemporary art.”

Jane Clarke, a minister of the community church, said she regretted the insults that had appeared. “The Bible should never be used like that. It was our intention to reclaim it as a sacred text,” she said.

Gee, so much for best intentions. And reclaim the Bible from whom and for whom? The initial premise for the display is patently false - the Bible has always been a sacred text. Leaving it exposed so that it can be defaced is high profanity. All that was accomplished here was that people were handed a perfect opportunity to freely express their self-loathing and anti-Christian bigotry - and as many of the published comments show, they clearly took advantage.

Given that the Metropolitan Community Church, who proposed the display and more than likely distances themselves from traditional teaching on homosexual behavior, it comes as no surprise that they believed that they were promoting a Greater Good. And what "Greater Good" would that be? That traditional Christianity is oppressive, regressive and hateful towards homosexuals.

Oh! By the way, if this was done in association with organizations representing gay Christians and Muslims, then where's the Koran? Smacks of anti-Christian bias on the part of GOMA.

As the article stated: "...while a spokesman for the Catholic Church said: “One wonders whether the organisers would have been quite as willing to have the Koran defaced.”" Maybe GOMA isn't as cutting edge as they would like to think.

I just returned from Washington DC, where among other sites, I visited the National Art Gallery, the Library of Congress (as a building, it's one of the most stunning I have ever seen in the US), and a small portion of the Smithsonian Art & Portraiture Museum. Magnificent, beautiful works of art - paintings, sculpture, what have you. A lot of it thought-provoking, and much of it expressing the depth and breadth of man's ability to create (I'm not big on modern art, but even still, it reflects the desire to fashion something outside of ourselves and evoke a response). Even the war memorials are filled with meaning and symbolism that draw out feelings and emotions, providing perspective on events that occurred before my time, and serving to enshrine the memory of those who sacrificed their lives. I was especially moved by the Vietnam Memorial and Japanese-American World War II Memorial.

But this gross desecration isn't art. Art ought not mock or demean other people's beliefs. It ought not showcase the base and foul dimensions of our humanity. It ought to cause us to aspire to higher and greater ideals. It ought to express beauty and transcend beyond words man's reach for the Divine. Defacing the Scriptures, the divine Word of God, only serves to separate us further from God, and ultimately from each other.

I'm no art critic, but I'm giving this exhibition a two big thumbs down. When "art" draws out hatred and anger, then it's not art at all. It's anti-art, or un-art. There is nothing "Made in God's Image" about this display. It's a perversion and a distortion - works of the devil.

Monday, July 27, 2009

An Open Reply To Joan Doe

Back on July 15, I posted on a column written by Rev. Richard McBrien, wherein he defended the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in light of the upcoming Vatican visitation. I highlighted the positions and history of several of the former presidents of the LCWR he claimed to admire, and not surprisingly, they are heterodox in some of their views, especially in the area of ordaining female priests. If you so desire, you can read that post here.

And in typical AoftheA snarky fashion, I reworded Willie Nelson's song "To All The Girls I've Loved Before", calling it "To All The Nuns I've Loved Before", a quasi-love song from McBrien to the religious women he admits to admiring.

Several readers who liked it left comments expressing their thoughts, while most who read it left no indication of their opinion - which is fine. Readers are not obligated to comment on every post in a person's blog - for me, if a post is powerfully written, or evokes a big laugh, or touches on a subject that is important to me, then I'll leave a comment. Sometimes I just write something I think is funny. However, I've never ever left a comment on anyone's blog anywhere at anytime just to score a point in the You're An Awful Person game.

Like this one left by Joan Doe in response to the aforementioned post:

A visit to your blog is surreal,extremely sad and can make me feel ill. Entry after entry from you Larry D and your small band trashing, making mock of and composing cruel poems about priests, sisters and fellow baptized catholics who do not live in your intellectually circumscribed thought box is not humorous.The religious you bash have lived lives with vows that you and your cohorts could not or would not commit to, desite (sic) your profession of such pure orthodoxy. The inquisition and the crusades are over except for you and your thought police. Your cruel and nasty behavior indicates how threatened you are. No where on your blog is there any expression of love of neighbor. This love was recognized as the sign that we were followers of Jesus. Why would you mock and slam your fellow Catholics like little children in a tantrum. You may disagree with others but that discussion should be on the level of St. Thomas Aquinas where true intellectual dialogue was engaged in. This stuff is truly puerile. The mockery you think so prophetic is devoid of any love and so we hear the cymbals for sure. Do you have any credentials to speak for the church? I suspect if you did they would head every page in the blog.So we are dealing with uber orthodox critics, lacking in the ability to adequately deal with theological issues. The scattered Latin terms and phrases are a fanciful affectation and I would suspect no one here has studied the language. By the way God can understand English and Jesus spoke Aramaic.Do us a service and give up blogging, go out and minister to the poor and perhaps your heart and soul may heal and you may develop some tolerance for your fellow man. As Paul said give up childish things. My creds - I served as a Dominican sister for 13 yrs, have a B.S. and M.S. from prestigious Catholic college and university, am married in and presently serve in my parish as a Roman Catholic in good standing Joan R.

This comment was made while I was on vacation, so I didn't have the opportunity to respond (I know - it's not always a good idea to 'feed the trolls', but in this case, I'm making an exception). So here's my open response:

Dear Joan Doe:

"A visit to your blog is surreal,extremely sad and can make me feel ill."...Thank you for visiting my blog. I'm sorry you felt ill after reading some of my posts. I've always believed that laughter is the best medicine. Some people have allergic reactions to certain types of medicine. In any case, I hope you feel better now. I'll be praying for you.

Let me first say that your opinion of me has not caused me to lose any sleep, or reevaluate my blog, or alter any belief that I hold. Since I am the sole publisher, I can be as surreal as I wish. However, this blog is never ever sad - I presume you meant pathetic when you said "sad". In order for this blog to be pathetic, it'd be defending heterodox positions of individuals and groups (Call-to-Action, Catholics for Choice, VOTF, WOC, etc) intent on destroying Christ's Church, rather than exposing them to the light. I do not trash people - I trash the harmful and dangerous ideas certain people espouse. We are all created in the image and likeness of God, and baptized Catholics have a great responsibility to carry Christ's message to the world faithfully - and when certain individuals and groups don't, I have a responsibility, as a baptized Catholic, to point it out and do what I can to keep others from straying. The people I talk about are dangerous people, and in my opinion, they have abrogated their responsibility to lead others to the truth. The Truth who is Jesus Christ. They are seeking to fragment the Church - which is a very silly thing to do. Therefore, I point out their silly actions using satire, parody and humor. Do I go for the cheap laugh? Yeah, I admit it. It's because I hide my poor theological understanding and lack of intellectualism behind puerile childish humor. You figured me out.

"Larry D and your small band"...I don't have a small band. I do, however, have a posse.

"...live in your intellectually circumscribed thought box..." I don't know what an intellectually circumscribed thought box is.

"...with vows that you and your cohorts could not or would not commit to..." I'm married, so I have taken vows, and I do know what they mean - and I live them as faithfully as I can because my life (and the lives of my wife and children) depends upon it. And some of my "cohorts" are also married, and even a few religious read my blog, too. And so do some single people who are living chaste lives. And guess what - we're all sinners. Big surprise. Now, based on your short bio, seeing as how you were a Dominican Sister for 13 years but now you're married, one might think that it's you who's unable to make and keep a vow. But then, perhaps I'm incapable of understanding that because I'm in an intellectually circumscribed thought box, and I still don't know what that is.

Here's the thing - the title of my blog is "Acts of the Apostasy". I post on and talk about things that heterodox individuals and groups are doing and saying, pointing out how they are damaging and dividing the Church. That's the main thrust of this stupid little blog - like the description says - "Orthodox commentary on heterodox hooligans - Serious. Satirical. Humorous. Faithful." Granted, the humor may not always hit its mark, but I'm deadly serious about exposing heterodoxy, I am 100% faithful to Church teaching, and, yes, I employ satire (and parody) from time to time. Why? Because I don't take their opinions seriously - no devout Catholic ought to -because to do so would give their ideas and positions merit, and I don't believe they are worth any consideration. Sure, I could ignore what they say and do, but there's nothing virtuous in turning one's back when the bride of Christ is attacked, especially when those attacks come from within. And doubly so when said opinions help to lead people away from the Truth.

"Your cruel and nasty behavior indicates how threatened you are." Believe me, I'm not threatened by anyone or anything. I know how the story ends - Christ is victorious, and the faithful will follow Him into heaven. I hope to be part of that parade. I hope that all my family and friends will be too. God wills the destruction of no man, and neither do I. People's souls are at stake here, Joan - I have family and friends who subscribe to a variety of the beliefs of these individuals and groups, intent on distorting Church teaching, whether it be abortion, contraception, female priests, so-called same sex marriage, papal authority, the Sacraments, salvation, and everything else besides. It breaks my heart - and while I do not claim divine knowledge of their hearts, and make no judgment upon their destinies, I am responsible to a certain degree in regards to their salvation (we're workers in the vineyard), so I brook no compromise on what is Truth and what are Lies. For instance, as my sons get older, I won't tell them that pre-marital sex is okay if they truly love their girlfriends and use contraception, so as to avoid hurting their feelings or appearing "uber-orthodox." That ain't love. The martyrs died for nothing less.

"...discussion should be on the level of St. Thomas Aquinas..." I can't comment on St. Thomas Aquinas. I should read more of him, I guess. But I know that many faithful Catholics were killed by followers of Arius. And many died at the hands of other Christians after the Protestant Reformation, too. Perhaps if they only dialogued more, they wouldn't have been exiled or martyred.

"Do you have any credentials to speak for the church?" My credentials are irrelevant. You see, while you and others feel compelled to defend yourselves with your degrees and education, and your life experiences, I'm compelled to merely defend the Church against those who seek to divide it. In other words, this blog isn't about me. I know that I'm not the fastest car on the track, but I'm at least in the right race, and I'll eventually, by God's grace, make it across the finish line.

"Do us a service and give up blogging, go out and minister to the poor..." You know, someday I may give up blogging. But for right now, it's what I'm doing. It's my way of expressing my thoughts and defending the faith. It's my way of commenting on the crazy things happening in the world. I talk about the things I like to talk about. I am not writing it for you, and I do not seek your approval. And why would you assume I'm not helping the poor? Because I don't talk about it? Again, this blog isn't about me - and I'm not going to use this blog to promote any of my good works. Those are between me and God.


"... develop some tolerance..." I tolerate everything which is good. Why should I tolerate evil? Why should anyone?

No one's forcing you to read my blog, but if you continue to do so, and if you make future comments, you should know that ad hominem attacks are not expressions of love of neighbor.

Praying for one another, though - now that's true charity. Funny how there's nothing about that in your comment.

Monday Madness XVII

Welcome to Monday Madness, AoftheA's weekly feature, where formal attire is defined as black tie and straight-jacket. You can come as you are, but you might not leave as you were. Or something like that.

From The Telegraph.uk.co: Church Tells Worshippers to Give Special Treatment to Overweight or Bald People

A Church of England book published this week says they should be regarded as worshippers with "special needs" alongside the blind, the deaf, breast-feeding mothers, very short people and readers of tabloid newspapers.

The advice is part of an initiative launched this week to make churches more friendly and less intimidating to newcomers in an attempt to increase attendance at services.

Among those considered to warrant particular attention are people who are blind, deaf or in wheelchairs.

However, it also warns that bald people could be "in trouble from those overhead radiant heaters some churches have unwittingly installed" and that special arrangements may need to be made for people who are overweight.

"Some pew spaces and chairs are embarrassingly inadequate for what is known in church circles as 'the wider community'," the book says.

Consideration should be given to recovering alcoholics who want to receive communion wine, it suggests, and for those who "find loud noises from organs or music groups distressing".

The book, called Everybody Welcome, claims that only one in ten church visitors return because existing worshippers tend to be so unwelcoming.

It urges churches to become more professional in their attitude to attracting newcomers and suggests they follow the example of department stores in appointing customer-care managers.

I'm actually quite speechless about this. People who read the tabloids are considered among those who have "special needs"? Does that mean they need to have badly photoshopped pictures in their missals, along with sensational headlines before each reading? Like "MAN EATEN BY FISH SPEWED UPON SHORE!!!" And overly short people? Do they get preferential seating in the front row?

All this "attention to exemption" weakens the Gospel message and the point of worship. I think people are drawn to a church where the focus is not on them but on the transcendent God. Or where there is no emphasis on their differences - because for the other 167 hours of the week, many have to deal constantly with the selfish and thoughtless attitudes of other people. What overweight person wants to go to a church where they have extra-wide chairs installed just for them? So that they can be told by an usher, "Excuse me, but the overweight chairs are in that section over there"? IMHO, they would want to go to a church where, despite the good intentions, they won't be singled out for their appearances.

There's a very simple solution to their problem of attracting worshippers, or in appearing welcoming. Just say this: "Christ died so that we might have eternal life - none excluded." Christ doesn't judge by the externals, and neither should a church.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Faves #3: Marriage Advice

A real tear-jerker....

video

Originally posted 10/6/08

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Faves #2: The Super Duper Handy Parish Search Reaction Reference Guide

Been looking for the parish that's right for you and your family? Having trouble finding one that is the perfect blend of sanctity, holiness, spirituality and orthodoxy? Suffering fools while striving for sainthood?

If so, you may find The Super Duper Handy Parish Search Reaction Reference Guide helpful. It's easy to use, eliminating the long process of determining whether or not a parish is right for you.

How's it work? After attending a Mass for the first time at a new parish, compare your reaction to one of the Response Simulation Modules (RSM) below. In no time at all, you will know if the new parish is right for you, providing you peace of mind, knowing quickly if you've found a home, or need to continue your search.

RSM #1: Where'd They Hide Jesus?

www.totalleh.com - click to visit
Symptoms: head-turning, anxious looking about the sanctuary. Causes: no tabernacle in sanctuary; few or no statues, icons, crucifixes and other signs of Catholicism in the sanctuary; modern art; no kneelers; portion of congregation disappears after Holy Communion. You may end up spending weeks looking for the tabernacle, because chances are, none of the regular parishoners won't even know what a tabernacle is if you ask them.

RSM #2: The Rock Concert Conniption

www.totalleh.com - click to visit

Symptoms: mind-splitting ear-piercing brain-rattling headaches due to excessive music volume, progressive percussives, overbearing guitars and electronic keyboard instrumentation, choir chaos, or a combination of any of the above. Additional causes: congregation expected to sing every response; inappropriate music during distribution of Holy Communion and period of thanksgiving afterwards; applause at end of Mass for the choir. This type of parish typically is under the iron fist of the Music Director, or the pastor is more interested in the entertainment aspect of liturgy than its sacredness. Take two aspirin and move on.

RSM #3: Did I Just Hear What I Think I Heard???

www.totalleh.com - click to visit

Symptoms: sudden surprise reactions; confusion; uncertainty and incredulity. Causes: hearing inclusive and gender-neutral language; omission and/or insertion of unexpected liturgical words and actions; generally minor liturgical abuses. These are things that you, as a conscious, active, full participant of the Mass would notice, while most Church-goers wouldn't recognize as anything extraordinary. Actions such as these could represent either an upward trend or downward trend; proceed with caution and discretion.

Note: You may experience this reaction if you hear any of the following topics during the sermon: sin, Sacrament of Reconciliation, authentic Church teaching, Magesterium, Church Fathers, vocations. However, if you also experience any of RSM #1 and RSM #2 simultaneously, further discernment may be required.

RSM #4: WHERE THE HELL IS THE EXIT????

www.totalleh.com - click to visit www.totalleh.com - click to visit

Symptoms: uncontrollable urge to run screaming from the sanctuary. Causes: major major liturgical abuses!!! Lay preaching; illicit matter for the Eucharist; "Halloween" masses; giant puppet figures; womynpriests; etc. Get out, never return, write the Bishop and warn your friends!!

RSM #5: I am Home.


www.totalleh.com - click to visit

Symptoms: Peace, happiness and groovy vibes. Causes: SAY THE BLACK, DO THE RED. Sign up your family, serve the Church and count your blessings.

Disclaimer: no reference guide can claim 100% effectiveness, but it is my hope that you will find this to be a helpful tool. Also, this guide has not been granted an imprimatur or nihil obstat, but it should.

PS: No cats were harmed in the development of this Guide.

All images courtesy of totalleh.com (Warning! Some content is offensive)

Originally posted 7/28/08

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Faves #1: "World's First Church" Discovered

As reported in Breitbart news:
"Archaeologists in Jordan have unearthed what they claim is the world's first church, dating back almost 2,000 years, The Jordan Times reported on Tuesday.
'We have uncovered what we believe to be the first church in the world, dating from 33 AD to 70 AD,' the head of Jordan's Rihab Centre for Archaeological Studies, Abdul Qader al-Husan, said.
"He said it was uncovered under Saint Georgeous Church, which itself dates back to 230 AD, in Rihab in northern Jordan near the Syrian border.
'We have evidence to believe this church sheltered the early Christians -- the 70 disciples of Jesus Christ,' Husan said."

Click here for the entire story.

There are unconfirmed reports that Call To Action has their own archaeologist on-site, and she has made a discovery that has their members thrilled:

Under centuries-old dirt was found a remnant of a mask similiar to those used in progressive liturgies. The unnamed archaeologist has reportedly stated that it's comforting to know that the world's first Church was committed to the "Spirit of Vatican II".


originally posted 6/12/08

Monday, July 20, 2009

AoftheA Hits The Road...Again!



But no tents this time.

Taking the Family on a week-long vacation, so no new posts until next Monday. I have some "Faves" in the hopper - past posts that will have to suffice until fresh material makes its way to the Instant "Acts"cess widget. (I wonder if anyone's noticed that widget...)

Oh - where are we going, you ask? Well....let's just say we're going deep into Enemy Occupied Territory, primarily to attend a nephew's wedding, with sightseeing included. Guesses (and prayers for a safe trip!) are welcome!

Monday Madness XVI

Welcome to Monday Madness, AoftheA's weekly installment where the forecast is partly sane with a chance for light afternoon lunacy.

From RIA Novosti newswire: St. Petersburg Couple Names Child After Iranian President

MOSCOW, July 14 (RIA Novosti) - A Muslim couple from Russia's second largest city of St. Petersburg has named their child Mahmoudahmadinejad after the Iranian president, the Tatar community website in St. Petersburg reported.

Mahmoudahmadinejad is the couple's sixth child. The father is a Bangladeshi Muslim and his wife is Russian.

"I like Iranian President Ahmadinejad, I like his policies, his wit and amiability. The child is named after this person," Mahmoudahmadinejad's mother explained. ("Oh, and my husband is making me do this," she forgot to add. "I wanted a nice normal name like Nikolai or Dmitri.")

She added that she would like to live in Iran, which "enjoys stability" and where the president "is not afraid of anyone, except Allah." ("Oh, and did I mention that my husband made me do this?")

The child, whose second name has not been disclosed, has already been issued with a birth certificate.

Makes me wonder what this couple's other five kids are named.

I'm hoping another couple in St. Petersburg names their newborn son Dick Cheney, so that when they attend school together, he can kick Mahmoud's butt.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Camping Weekend

Twelve months ago, the words "LarryD", "camping" and "tent" used in the same sentence would not have happened. Unless the sentence was "LarryD does not do camping in a tent".

And yet here I am, going on a camping weekend with the Family. I wasn't planning on it - the deal was for Mrs LarryD to take the Sons for the weekend, camping with her sister's family. I was going to paint the bathroom, throw in some extra caulking and even do a few more jobs around the house.

Nuh-uh. One painful heel spur later (Mrs LarryD's, that is), yours truly is roughin' it, too, so that Mrs LarryD won't overdo it with the sore foot.


This won't be the first time I've done this. The last time I did the tent thing....okay, actually, it was the only time I did the tent thing...was August 2008. The Family stayed two nights at Port Crescent State Park located on the shores of Lake Huron at the tip of the thumb (look at a map of Michigan's Lower Peninsula to get the visual). Night One: early evening ferocious thunderstorm + constant drip-drip-drip of water on the tent + dampness = no sleep; Night Two: constant 40 mph winds off the lake + occasional stronger gusts = less sleep than the night before.

So now round two. Say a prayer - more for Mrs. LarryD's heel spur than for me, though. Hopefully the cortisone shot does the trick. Surviving this - and by survive, I really mean get more than 0 hours sleep - will only make me stronger, right?

I hope you enjoy your weekend. Me maybe not so much. Blogging returns Monday....

***UPDATE***

I survived! Weather was great - no biblical proportions in sight! Woo-hoo!! Funny thing is...we came home Saturday evening (a day early) because the Family out-voted me 3-1 to break camp and go back home. Ha ha!

Today's Oxymoron: Liberal Martyrs

Ever notice that when liberals are questioned about statements they've made concerning their beliefs, they equivocate and excuse, but never, ever stand up and say: "Yes, I said that, I meant what I said and I still believe that till this day"?

Here are two instances, involving Science Czar John Holdren and Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

1. The record: John Holdren co-wrote the book Ecoscience in 1977 with Paul and Anne Ehrlich in which you will read: “Adding a sterilant to drinking water or staple foods is a suggestion that seems to horrify people more than most proposals for involuntary fertility control…No such sterilant exists today, nor does one appear to be under development. To be acceptable, such a substance would have to meet some rather stiff requirements: it must be uniformly effective, despite widely varying doses received by individuals, and despite varying degrees of fertility and sensitivity among individuals; it must be free of dangerous or unpleasant side effects; and it must have no effect on members of the opposite sex, children, old people, pets, or livestock.” Also from that book: "In today's world, however, the number of children in a family is a matter of profound public concern. the law regulates other highly personal matters. For example, no one may lawfully have more than one spouse at a time. Why should the law not be able to prevent a person from having more than two children?" (s/s to Zombietime.com for quotes).

The denial: (from CNA 7/15/09) He (Science Czar's spokesman Rick Weiss) could “easily dismiss” fears that Dr. Holdren favors government control over population growth.

“He made that quite clear in his confirmation hearing,” Weiss said.

He then quoted a section of the confirmation transcript in which Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) asked Holdren whether he thinks “determining optimal population is a proper role of government.”

“No, Senator, I do not,” was Holdren’s reply, according to Weiss and a transcript of the proceedings.

According to Weiss, Holdren “made clear that he did not believe in coercive means of population control” and is not an advocate for measures expressed in the book “and they are certainly not endorsed by this administration in any way.”

Way to stand up for what you believe, Mr. Holdren. Such firm conviction.

2. The record: In a speech given in 2001, Judge Sonia Sotomayor said: “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” (5/15/09 NY Times). In fact, she made similar comments in other speeches over the years.

The denial: ...she conceded she had been "using a rhetorical flourish that fell flat."

She added, "My play fell flat. It was bad because it left an impression that life experiences command the result in the case. But that’s clearly not what I do as a a judge." (Newsday)

Awesome, Judge Sotomayor! Your passionate nuance is an inspiration to relativists everywhere!

See, liberals can't admit who they really are because it would mean ridicule from normal people, and they would be unable to accomplish their nefarious goals as easily. And their liberal followers actually admire it when their heroes equivocate, because in their eyes, us stoopid Christian middle class idjits deserve to be lied to, because we're too stoopid to understand their brilliant and enlightened ways of thinking.

And we're not even talking about a life-or-death circumstance here. It's about power and the acquisition of it, regardless of the means.

Imagine if Catholic martyrs responded similarly when standing before Roman Emperors back in the early centuries of the Church.

Emperor: "You were heard preaching that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior of all! That is blasphemy, punishable by death! What say you?"

Joe Christian: "No, that was a rhetorical flourish! I'm not an advocate for that in any way! And by they way, nice looking lions you got there!"

Now granted, there were many Christians who apostatized in the face of martyrdom. But guess what? No one remembers who they are. We venerate and admire those who stood firm in their belief in Christ, and died professing their love for Him and their faithfulness to His Church. It had nothing to do with the acquisition of earthly power, and everything to do with the reward of eternal life. Their heroic virtue in the face of death is praiseworthy - and while I certainly don't hope for such an end, I pray for the strength should such an unlikely occurrence befall me.

When these liberals die someday, it won't be at the hands of those who hate them, or who vehemently oppose their worldview. They won't be persecuted in any way, shape or form. They won't be willing to die, or even to be unemployed, for their personal beliefs, but they'll have no problem forcing you to die for yours.

They'll die someday professing their love for themselves and with unyielding faith only in their own certitude. So who's stoopid now?

Subversive

The undermining of traditional marriage as upheld by the Catholic Church continues - this time from within. Evil's traitorous taint spreads deep and wide.

From LifeSiteNews.com: Catholic Church must "Rethink" the Family: Head of Church-Funded Marriage Counseling Service to Homosexual Activists by Hilary White

LONDON, July 16, 2009 - Homosexuals can "lay equal claim to their married heterosexual counterparts when bringing up children in stable relationships" the head of the highly regarded British Catholic marriage counselling service, Marriage Care, will tell a gathering of homosexualist activists this weekend.

Marriage Care is registered as a Catholic charity whose president is the sitting Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, who is represented on the board by Fr. Michael Cooley. The organization, formed after the Second World War, calls itself "a Christian organisation, developed from within the Catholic community." The group operates from 80 locations and 53 relationship counselling centres in England and Wales.

Terry Prendergast, Chief Executive of Marriage Care, is to be keynote speaker at the annual conference of the homosexualist organisation Quest, a group that is trying to convince the Catholic Church to abandon its "policies" on sexuality and the nature of marriage. Prendergast will call upon the Catholic Church to "rethink" the nature of the family this weekend.

"Statistically, children do best in a family where the adult relationship is steady, stable and loving," Prendergast will tell the group in his prepared remarks. "Note that I stress adult, not married, since there is no evidence that suggests that children do best with heterosexual couples," he will add.

In a press release, Quest said it was looking forward to the appearance of Prendergast at its annual conference this coming weekend, the theme of which is "We Are Family: New Thinking for the Twenty First Century." Quest describes Prendergast's upcoming talk as focusing on the "romantic image" built up by the Church of a "golden age of the nuclear family" which excludes those who "do not fit." These, the group says, include single parent families, "and also "co-habiting and same-sex families."

The group describes marriage as "a covenant between two people" that can include same-sex partnerings. The group's website openly admits that it supports homosexual liaisons, saying "we accept those who come to the organisation for help, support or education without any judgement or discrimination in relation to their marital status, creed, race, age, gender or sexual orientation."

Of its annual £900,000 income, the portion received from Catholic parishes and dioceses directly is £89,000, with one diocese paying the rent for the counselling centre.

Terry Prendergast told LifeSiteNews.com in an interview that a significant source of the group's funding and other support comes from Catholic dioceses, one of which pays the rent for offices, and from individual parishes across the country. But, he said, the group's purpose is not necessarily to uphold the Catholic teaching on marriage and family.

He vehemently denied that the "teaching Church" and the "pastoral Church" are one and the same thing.

"There are pastoral concerns," he said, "that conflict with the Church's teaching. I think priests and bishops are faced with that kind of dilemma every day."

Marriage Care was founded in 1946 in response to pressure on families coping with post-war issues. Perhaps it's time to form a new group in response to pressure on families coping with post-Christian PC uber-tolerant anti-Catholic neo-agnostic heretical issues.

The only "rethinking" the Church needs to do is in regards to donations made to Marriage Care. Archbishop Nichols needs to shut off the funding spigot immediately. Mr Prendergast is serving the PC/homosexual agenda here, along with promoting harm to children and attacking the Church. His understanding of Church teaching is beyond being simply incorrect or merely vacuous - he is playing the tolerance card and trying to make himself appear "the good guy", and if requires him to be subversive, then so be it.

Claiming the "pastoral Church" and the "teaching Church" are different is ridiculous. That'd be akin to a priest telling a parishoner, go ahead and give in to the temptation, just repent quickly. Sin is sin, God is God, and Church teaching is perfected and preserved by the Holy Spirit. Merely wanting the Church to change her mind on the nature of marriage (as if that could be done in the first place) does not alter the reality that God's perfect design for marriage requires one man and one woman, for the sanctity of each, and for the optimal environment for the procreation and upbringing of children. So-called same sex marriage is a sham and illusory forgery - I'm not denying the dignity of the individual, only describing the falsity of the relationship. If it isn't "real" in the true sense of the word, then why strive for it?

The world is a tough place. Feelings get hurt, and we don't always get our way. Christianity is difficult, but it wasn't established to bend and twist her teaching to sate our selfish desires. Christ established His Church so that we can become holy and make it to heaven. It is us who are challenged to change, not the Church. The Church exists so that our sinful brokenness can be healed, not encouraged. And the reality of marriage must continually be defended, for the sake of the souls of everyone involved, including Mr Prendegast.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Setback For The Gay Penguin Movement

This was at Catholic Online: 'Gay' Penguin Flies Straight by J. Matt Barber

LYNCHBURG, VA (Liberty Counsel) – The highly contentious “nature vs. nurture” debate over whether gay penguins choose the homosexual lifestyle or are hatched that way has reached a hard boil.

San Francisco’s Fox affiliate KTUV reports: “The San Francisco Zoo’s popular same-sex penguin couple has broken up.

“Male Magellan penguins Harry and Pepper have been together since 2003. The pair nested together and even incubated an egg laid by another penguin
in 2008, but their relationship hit the rocks earlier this year when a female penguin, Linda, befriended Harry after her long-time companion died.

“Zookeepers say Harry and Linda are happy and were able to successfully nest this year,” reported KTUV.

But not everyone is celebrating Harry and Linda’s newfound love. Some believe there can be no such a thing as an “ex-gay” penguin. Upon news of Harry’s decision to fly the same-sex-coop, outspoken pro-homosexual activist and anti-ex-gay crusader Wayne Besen cried fowl:

“Attempts to change sexual orientation are patently offensive, discriminatory by definition, theologically shaky, uniformly unsuccessful and medically unsound!” exclaimed a visibly angry Besen. “There is no ‘ex-gay’ sexual orientation. Harry is simply in denial. He’s living what I call the ‘big lie.’”


Click here to read the rest...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

McBrien And The LCWR: A Love Song

Fr. Richard McBrien continues to defend the LWCR against the upcoming "doctrinal assessment" called for by the CDF. It's unnecesary, he says, because the leadership conference has been faithful to its mission.

Ummm, he's kinda defined the reason right there, in that one sentence.

In his latest essay, a follow-up from last week's (CMR has a great analysis of that one), McBrien writes (emphasis mine):

Not having at hand copies of the talks given at conference assemblies since 2001, I am not in a position to evaluate Levada's expressed concern about these addresses nor how the three issues (women's ordination, salvation, and homosexuality) were treated in these presentations.

However, I do know enough about the nature and history of the Leadership Conference to express amazement that there could be any "doctrinal" concerns about the organization and its leadership.

Some of the finest women religious in the United States, and worldwide, have headed the Leadership Conference. By identifying only a sample, I do not mean to imply that those sisters who remain unmentioned are (or were) of lesser quality and achievement.

The list of past national chairpersons and presidents of the Leadership Conference reads like a Hall of Fame of religious life: Mary Luke Tobin, Thomas Aquinas (Elizabeth) Carroll, Margaret Brennan, Francis Borgia Rothleubber, Joan Chittister, Mary Dooley, Theresa Kane, Nadine Foley, Doris Gottemoeller, Camille D'Arienzo, and so many others.

That's an interesting list of women he added there. Progressive feminists, every one of them. I wonder if they'd be offended that a man (a priest, no less!) is going out of his way to defend them.

I did some quick research on each woman he named. Here's a little bit of what I learned concerning some of them, beyond their being past chairwomyn of the LCWR.

Mary Luke Tobin: from the Aug 25, 2006 issue of NCR - [...] "From 1972-78 she directed Citizen Action for Church Women United, an organization of mainly Protestant women who work ecumenically on justice, peace and human rights issues affecting women"...[...]..."would bravely attack the recitation of endless psalms by trying to change the overwhelmingly male language to something more suitable for a congregation of aging women. We would listen dutifully to the daily homilies - timeless gems that would as easily have fitted the 13th century as our own - and make up limericks about them on our way home from Mass,"...[...]..."For many years Tobin was an adviser to the Women's Ordination Conference"...

Francis Borgia Rothluebber: from the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Quarterly, summer 1997, page 17, from an article titled "Sisters in Crisis" by Msgr George Kelly. "[...] It is the irony of history, perhaps, that Mother Corona's successor, once removed, became a chief liberator...from Community Life, from many of the Order's teaching missions. And from obedience to superiors, even to the Pope, who by virtue of the School Sisters' pontifical status, was their ultimate Father under God. Sr. Francis Borgia Rothluebber, through the intervention of a Chicago priest, fell under the influence of Saul Alinsky, and later used newly developed skills (1973) to become President of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which, several years before, had declared its own autonomy from the Church's hierarchy."

Teresa Kane: from the Sept 8, 2000 issue of NCR - "[...] As part of her address, moments later, Kane said, "As women we have heard the powerful message of our church addressing the dignity and reverence of all persons. As women we have pondered these words. Our contemplation leads us to state that the church in its struggle to be faithful to its call for reverence and dignity for all persons must respond by providing the possibility of women as persons being included in all ministries of the church." [...]" Yep - Kane was the nun who addressed Pope John Paul II during his 1979 visit to the US, saying in veiled language that women ought to be ordained as priests.

Nadine Foley: extract from Feminists and the Catholic Faith by Donna Steichen (1992), pgs 9-10. "[...] The truth, however, is that feminist nuns destroyed their own communities. The single most shocking book I read during my research for Ungodly Rage was not one about witchcraft or satanism. It was Claiming Our Truth, a volume of essays edited by Sister Nadine Foley, OP,
prioress of a Dominican community in Adrian, Michigan, and a past president of LCWR. Published by LCWR, it consists of analyses of a 1986 LCWR member survey. In answer to the question ‘‘Who is God?" the survey reported one response of ‘‘Trinitarian’’, two of ‘‘incarnate in Jesus’’,
two of ‘‘Indwelling Spirit.’’ The overwhelming majority answered in one way or another that God is ‘‘the energy in the Universe.’’10 [...]"

You know, I'm going to take it easy on McBrien. Why? Because he's in looooooooooove. These women have him wrapped around their collective fingers, having whispered sweet nothings of "women's ordination" and "God is the energy in the Universe" and "autonomy from the Church hierarchy" for all these many years.

The dude's got it bad. So bad, I bet he sang the following song as he wrote this column:

To All The Nuns I've Loved Before
(to the tune of "To All The Girls I've Loved Before")

To all the nuns I've loved before
Who challenged Rome since '64
I'm glad they've come along
I dedicate this song
To all the nuns I've loved before.

To all the nuns known well by me
But not in ways called "biblically"
For helping me to grow
I owe a lot I know
To all the nuns I've loved before.

The winds of change are always blowing
And every time I try to say:
"These nuns have a new way of Knowing!"
Rome tells me to go away!

To all the nuns who shared my life
Who now are someone else's wife (that part might be true!)
I'm glad they came along
I dedicate this song
To all the nuns I've loved before.

To all the nuns who gave me hope
That someday one might become Pope.
One day we'll end our search
At the American Cath'lic Church
Me and the nuns I've loved before!!

'Fake Priest' Arrested

Saw this at Yahoo! news: Police: Man Impersonates Priests, Visits Officer

PHILADELPHIA – A 26-year-old Philadelphia man suspected of impersonating a priest while visiting a wounded police officer was arrested on Monday. The man was charged with criminal trespass and false impersonating. Investigators said he posed as a Roman Catholic priest last month and entered a hospital's intensive care unit to visit Officer Richard Hayes.

Officials from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia said the one-time seminary student also attended funerals for slain officers and presented himself as part of the religious community but not a priest. Church officials call the matter deeply disturbing.

Hayes was struck by another vehicle during a traffic stop. He remains hospitalized.

Dear Philadelphia police - here are some other impersonators that you should put out an APB for!

Church officials will surely call these impersonators deeply disturbing, too.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Finally - Some Good News!

Some very excellent news has been reported on numerous newssites and several blogs - The Catholic Key blog in particular - and it's too wonderful not to share.

Voice of the Faithless is experiencing extreme financial hardship. Time to call it Voice of the Funds-less.

Here's the urgent appeal letter that was sent out:

With great heaviness of heart, we write to inform you that VOTF is at the crossroads of financial survival and we need your immediate help in order to keep it going.

No U.S. business or organization (from the biggest corporate entity to the smallest non-profit) has been immune from the devastating downturn in the economy over the past 1-2 years. As we know all too well from unyielding media reports, that downturn has rippled into communities and households, confirming worst expectations and fears.

During the past two years, the Board of Trustees approved substantial reductions in VOTF's operating budget as decreases in revenue reflected the emerging and now full economic downturn in our country. Between FY 08 and 09, the Board approved a budget reduction of over 30%. As the economy and our revenue stream worsened appreciably, in April 2009, the Board reduced the FY 09 budget by another 35% (nearly $235,000 more). To accomplish this huge drop, the Board made painful cuts in staff salaries and contractor support; relocated the office to a smaller facility at about half the monthly rental costs; and curtailed costly mailings intended to raise revenue. Throughout this period, staff, contractors and volunteers demonstrated remarkable resolve in doing even more with less.

At the same time, the Board continued an aggressive outreach to members, friends, and donors to raise more revenue, as you are no doubt painfully aware from a variety of appeals and fund-raisers communicated in emails and editions of In The Vineyard.

Cash reserves allowed VOTF to continue operations but only by a very thin margin. The Board's plan was to generate a substantial infusion of revenue when the Officers rolled out a comprehensive Strategic Plan in early August. Based on the enthusiastic response from dozens of VOTF members who have been bringing the Strategic Plan to life for several months, we expected that it would result in a revitalization of members' energy at regional and local levels, and with it, a level of necessary revenue as members and donors recognized the opportunity for a renewed voice and influence in achieving VOTF's mission and goals. Previews of the Strategic Plan have been included in several recent editions of In The Vineyard.

Unfortunately, our financial condition has deteriorated before the rollout the Strategic Plan. As of early July, VOTF's reserves have all but been depleted, and it faces the prospects of not being able to pay for recurring costs during July and beyond. After meeting in an emergency session on July 9, the Board foresaw two realistic options: (1) declare that VOTF could not continue to operate and begin to wind it down, or (2) appeal to members to fund operations in the short term and seek sustained funding based on an anticipated enthusiastic response to the Strategic Plan. If the latter is successful, the Board will develop a downsizing plan commensurate with sustained funding expectations, supplemented where feasible with additional volunteer help. . .

Gather your wooden nickels. Dig out your $3 bills. Find those Publishing Clearinghouse Sweepstakes entry forms. Take your kids' Chuck E Cheese's tokens. Send them to VOTF now! It's only right that a counterfeit "Catholic" group receive bogus funds in support of their false agenda.

Or here's another idea - send them a letter naming the truly faithful Catholic groups you're supporting, whether financially or prayerfully. Let them know why.

Surgeon General Nominee - Another Pro-Abort Catholic?

Quite possibly.

President Obama has nominated Dr Regina Benjamin for Surgeon General. She is an African-American doctor from Alabama, former board member on the AMA (youngest doctor ever elected to that position), and a professed Roman Catholic. She serves on the board of Catholic Health East and is also a member of the board of Catholic Health Association of the US.

However, she's associated with a couple questionable organizations, as well as a point of view that medical schools ought to instruct future doctors on aboriton procedures.

LifeNews.com has details:

Benjamin became the first black physician and the youngest doctor ever elected to the American Medical Association's board.

In that position, she presents some concerns for the majority of Americans who take a pro-life position on abortion.

In December 1996, Benjamin spoke in favor of a vote by the AMA's governing body to "urge medical schools to expand their curriculum" to teach "more about abortion."

She supported teaching doctors to do abortions in an interview with the Associated Press.

"We are adopting a policy that medical school curriculum provide the legal, ethical, and psychological principles associated with abortion so students can learn all the factors involved," she said.

Benjamin is also on the board of directors of Physicians for Human Rights, an organization which has spoken out against illegal abortions in many nations across the world. The group has relied on disputed statistics on maternal deaths from abortions to call for legalization.

The group also called on President Bush not to expand the Mexico City Policy, which President Obama overturned in January, that stops sending taxpayer dollars to groups that promote and perform abortions in other nations.

And it asked President Bush to ratify the CEDAW treaty that does not include abortion promotion but has been used by the United Nations to pressure numerous countries to legal abortion or expand abortions further.

Her "official" position on life issues may or may not come out during the confirmation hearings. However, given Obama's track record on selecting members of his Cabinet (and those mysterious czars), it's conceivable that Benjamin fits the mold of other so-called Catholics that serve at the pleasure of the President. You know - reduce the need for abortions, instead of implementing policies that will actually end abortion. It would be more of a surprise if her viewpoint was anything but different than Obama's - to the best of my knowledge, he has yet to appoint or nominate anyone who doesn't tow the party line.

Like Sonia Sotomayor, nominee to the Supreme Court, Benjamin has a "compelling life story" - opening a clinic in Alabama, rebuilding it with her own money after being destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and then a fire in 2006; multiple family members dying of preventable diseases, including her father (diabetes) and mother (lung cancer due to smoking). In fact, President Obama mentioned in his introduction of Benjamin that prevention will be a key component in her work as the country's top doctor. She was quoted as saying "I cannot change my family's past, but I can be a voice to improve our nation's health for the future." Great - no more Pringles, Cheetos, double cheesburgers, bratwurst....I can see Food Police in America's future.

Oh, and this nomination occurred just days after the President told Pope Benedict XVI that he was committed to reducing abortions. Meh. Once again, it seems that the One's words have an expiration date.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Just Another Publicity Stunt

"Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they might be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will repay you." (Mt 6:1-3, RSV)

I saw this story at Big Hollywood - David Arquette: Making a Difference in a Box by Alexander Marlow - and that Scripture passage immediately came to mind.

Thursday night, the AP reported David Arquette, best known for the “Scream” franchise and for being Mr. Courtney Cox, is going to “live in a box to raise money for the hungry.” In typical Hollywood fashion, this stunt is trumped up, if not downright goofy. To sum it up, Snickers is sponsoring Arquette to sit in a cushy box in New York on Tuesday and Wednesday, eight hours per day, to raise hunger awareness. Consult facebook.com/snickers for more.

Apparently, the AP’s definition of “living” in a box is two eight-hour shifts over two days. [...] In a gesture of solidarity with America’s poor, Arquette’s Plexiglas abode will be furnished.

Their not-so-ambitious goal: to raise $250,000, probably the amount Arquette makes off royalties from “Scream” DVD rentals every Halloween. I bet it will cost at least that much just to promote the event.

In what might be a hunger-awareness first, Arquette plans to chow down while in the box, and considering the event is put on by Snickers (part of the Mars, Inc.), he’s likely to gain weight over the two days. But this event is not about hunger or charity or starving people–it’s about selling chocolate bars. I’m a free market guy, so I don’t mind that Snickers hired a celeb to pimp their product, but nougat gives me moobs and not even David Arquette in a publicly displayed human-sized fish tank (complete with ottoman) can change that.

Besides, among America’s poor, very few are starving but very many are obese and wrongly fed as opposed to underfed. If we are serious about fighting against deficient nutrition in America, should the people behind the best-selling candy bar of all time lead the charge? The problem isn’t starvation, it’s Snickers.

I might say this story made me snicker, but that's giving it too much credit.

Thus appears the latest example of "Look at our great intentions!! Aren't we wonderful?" So much more could be done for the needy in this world if those with money and influence (ie: Arquette and Snickers) donated it anonymously - this gimmick smacks of notoriety and self-promotion. Arquette's career needs a boost or something, and Snickers is taking advantage of an advertising opportunity, pure and simple. I'm doubtful of any sincerity seeing as how Arquette will be eating during his publicity stunt in the box, a box that will be furnished, no less. Like all Hollywood stunts, this is fake and contrived.

In the end, the actor and the promoter will receive their reward - attention and sales. Meanwhile, the poor and hungry have paltry crumbs thrown their way, and wait until the next celebutard publicity stunt.

[Monitor Preservation Alert!] Oh - and this is totally hilarious - if you click on "moobs" - don't be eating or drinking at the time. That's my PSA for today.