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You're one click away from AoftheA's most recent posts:

Today Is The Day
Get ready for it.
Okay Then, That Was Unexpected...
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.

Monday, May 31, 2010

My Memorial Day

I hope everyone had a Memorial Day less unfortunate than mine.

It's not as bad as it looks. Still, I ended up missing about an hour of our Memorial Day family celebration - 21 guests at our home - and received treatment at the local Urgent Care Center. Four stitches later - closing up a 1/2" deep cut just beneath the knuckle (and the tendon was untouched, thanks be to God!) - I returned to the get-together and enjoyed myself, knowing I was exempt from having to wash any of the dishes. D'ya think the nurse got a bit carried away with her bandaging?

Rather than explain how it all went down, I'm giving you the opportunity to guess how it happened. I've added a poll below, done in Clue! format, with multiple options - guess which one, and in a few days, I'll update this post.

Select one of the following:
Was it LarryD in the kitchen with the can opener and can of baked beans??
Was it LarryD in the garage with the step ladder?
Was it LarryD on the patio with the barbecue tools?
Was it LarryD on the dock with the utility knife in the tackle box?
Was it Larryd in the basement with a shattered lightbulb?
Other free polls
I included 'Other' for you comedians out there - leave your explanation in the combox.

The stitches can be removed next Monday or Tuesday, so I won't be typing all that quickly for the next week or so, but that will help out those of you who are slow readers.

**UPDATE** Thanks to everyone who voted - and the correct reason is........drumroll.........
LarryD on the patio with the barbecue tools!!! Which came in fourth! Congratulations to all those who selected that option - unfortunately, there are no prizes.

So that's the what - here's the how: I was getting ready to grill up some burgers on my awesome Weber grill. For the first time (and now, the last time), in the interest of ease and economics, I had bought bulk frozen Angus burgers. Alas, I didn't allow enough time for them to sufficiently thaw out, so I attempted to separate them by using my very sharp-edged hamburger flipper. Ooops. Not only did I separate the first couple burgers, I nearly separated my pinky from my hand.

So there you have it. Thanks for playing - hopefully, we won't ever have to do this again!

Leadership - UR Doing It Wrong!!

So let's see...the gulf of Mexico is poisoned; gulf-coast states are facing devastation and decimation; North Korea and South Korea are balanced on a knife's edge; Iran races full steam-ahead to become nuclear. Oh yeah, and the economy still sucks.

Fortunately, we have a president who isn't afraid to take necessary action and step boldly into the fray. To tackle the important issues head on and lead our nation into...whatever it is that he's leading us towards. Which is why on Thursday May 28, he made the following proclamation:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2010 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon all Americans to observe this month by fighting prejudice and discrimination in their own lives and everywhere it exists.
Click here to read the whole thing.

Yep - it's pretty reassuring knowing that the current administration has its priorities straight...oh snap! Can I even use that word anymore??

s/s to Subvet

Friday, May 28, 2010


While Mt Eyjafjallajökull seems to be experiencing a bit of eruptile dysfunction, an even larger volcano in Iceland is showing signs of activity.

Even larger? Oh oh.

From MSNB .com: 2nd Iceland Volcano Issues Ominous Warning

LONDON - A second, much larger volcano in Iceland is showing signs that it may be about to erupt, scientists have warned.

Since the start of the Eyjafjallajökull eruption, which caused cancellations of thousands of flights in Europe because of a giant ash cloud, there has been much speculation about neighboring Katla.

An initial research paper by the University College of London Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction said: "Analysis of the seismic energy released around Katla over the last decade or so is interpreted as providing evidence of a rising ... intrusive magma body on the western flank of the volcano."

"Earlier seismic energy release at Katla is associated with the inflation of the volcano, which indicates it is close to failure, although this does not appear to be linked to seismicity around Eyjafjallajökull," it added.

"We conclude that given the high frequency of Katla activity, an eruption in the short term is a strong possibility," the report said. "It is likely to be preceded by new earthquake activity. Presently there is no unusual seismicity under Katla."

Meanwhile, half a world away...

From the New York Times: 2 Volcanoes Erupt in the Americas

Explosive eruptions shook two huge volcanoes in Central and South America on Friday, forcing thousands of people to flee their homes and disrupting air traffic as ash drifted over wide regions.

The Pacaya volcano, about 25 miles south of Guatemala City, began spewing lava and rocks on Thursday, blanketing the capital with ash and closing the international airport.

A television reporter was killed and three children were missing, a spokesman for the national disaster committee said. The volcano’s eruption lost some intensity on Friday, according to the country’s Geophysical Research and Services Unit.

Meanwhile, strong explosions rocked the Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador, prompting the evacuations of hundreds of people from nearby villages. The National Geophysics Institute said that ash plumes soared six miles above the 16,479-foot crater. An institute researcher, Sandro Vaca, told Radio Sonorama that the eruption “seems to be growing rapidly,” but that there were no immediate reports of deaths.

The Obama administration issued the following statement regarding the volcanic activity: "It's Bush's fault!" AlGore could not be reached for comment, and it will only be a matter of time before actor/activist Danny Glover blames the volcanoes on man-made global warming.

Given all this volcanic activity, it only makes sense to include the following:

This song's always been one of my favorites from Genesis.

The 10 Types Of Comments

Matthew Warner (from Fallible Blogma - one of my favorite blog names) published an essay at the National Catholic Register listing the 10 Types of Blog Comments: Part 1 of 2.

Here's his list:

Here are the 10 types of blog commenters:

1) Encouragers - These leave simple, encouraging comments like, “great post!” Or, “wow, this totally changed my life.” But they don’t instigate further conversation or offer anything additional to the post. (FYI - Bloggers love these kinds of comments.)

2) Non-contributors - These are similar to Encouragers, except without the encouragement. Their comments say I was here and I read your, “I also have a fish named Dorothy,” or “Thanks for this post.”

3) Contributors - Contributors usually leave the best blog comments because they offer something new to the conversation. A new perspective. Additional information. A new insight. They are thoughtful. And they can either respectfully agree or disagree with the post. Overall, they contribute to a healthy conversation and they make the blog post more valuable and helpful for other readers.

4) Destitutes - These are people in need. They might be depressed or struggling with something. They just want somebody to talk to. Somebody to listen. Sometimes their comment is on topic, often times it is not. Many times they have serious questions.

5) Slackers - Slackers are people who don’t read the post. They just read the title of the post and then want to say something. So they write it in the combox. They often strongly disagree with you while making your point. Or they soundly defeat a straw man and feel better afterwards. Or they ask things like, “Well what about X?” When the post spent paragraphs 3 and 4 answering precisely that about X.

6) Brawlers - Brawlers love to fight and argue. They aren’t interested in learning, giving the benefit of the doubt or considering that it was just an accident when I spilled my drink on them.

7) Angries - An Angry is somebody who is just angry at something. They often take the form of brawlers, but worse. They don’t even want to argue or fight about it. They just want to express their anger about something. Often times it makes them feel better to bring others down in the process. Their comments are often inappropriate and hurtful. And they usually end up accusing somebody tangentially related to the post of something tangentially related to the topic and then lumping everyone together and concluding that “You people are all a bunch of losers.” They can turn into real trolls too.

8) Posers - Posers pretend like they don’t care about the topic when they really do. Their comment basically says “I don’t care about this, but I still took the time to comment and tell you. That’s how much I really don’t care about this. And now I’m going to get really defensive about something you said…but I really couldn’t care less about it.”

9) Self-promoters - These people range from spammers and link-baiters to honest people just trying to promote something good. But their comment is all about promoting something else, not contributing to the post directly.

10) Aliens - Aliens leave comments that make absolutely no sense at all. It’s like they just landed on the planet Earth and thought they would leave a comment.

Read the whole piece.

There are other types of commenters - perhaps a subset or mish-mash of the ten listed by Matthew. For instance, I suggested the "Linker" - someone who writes "Good post - I'm linking to this!" - which is exactly what I did! Perhaps a "Linker" is a combination of "Encourager" and "Self-promoter"...

Going through the list, I can recall times when I've been each type, at one time or another, sometimes simultaneously! Which isn't always a good thing. I ought to aspire to being either a #1 or #3, and avoid being a #6, #7 and definitely a #10.

And there has been each type leaving comments here at AoftheA. Which is why I'm looking forward to Part 2 of Matthew's column: how to deal with each type of commenter.

So what kind of commenter do you see yourself as? And what other types of commenters do you think exist?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Reid Leads Senate Tribute Of Notorious Baby-shredder

More proof that liberals - especially those who scuttle through the halls of the Senate - are pro-abortion. As the one-year anniversary approaches of the martyrdom of St Tiller murder of infamous late-term abortionist George Tiller, Sen. Reid (most likely at the behest of pro-abortion groups) read a tribute statement on the floor of the Senate today.

How about a Senate tribute for the 1.2 million unborn babies aborted since May 31, 2009?

Utterly despicable.

May God have mercy on all our souls.

s/s Jill Stanek

Pre-empting The Proselytizers

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Little Story

Two groups of Catholic missionaries were making their way through unexplored regions of the Amazon jungle. They met in the middle of the Amazon River, one traveling upstream, the other downstream. They decided to pitch their camps together, and regaled each other with tales of their journeys as the sun began to set.

They soon discovered that each group represented opposite stances on the Catholic faith; one was extremely progressive, while the other was faithful to all of Church teaching. Arguments and heated discussions broke out, as the progressives angrily accused the Church of being too oppressive, while the faithful group passionately defended Church teachings. Neither group was aware that their clamorous debate aroused a nearby tribe of cannibals. They were surrounded and quickly taken captive, and herded back to the tribe's village.

The groups were led to separate huts - the progressive group in one, the faithful one in another. Cooking fires were lit, and the entire tribe worked together in preparing the great feast. After a short time, the progressive group was escorted from their hut and taken away. Upon seeing this, the leader of the faithful Catholics turned to his fellow missionaries.

"We must pray for our brethren. While we may differ on many theological issues, they are still our brothers and sisters in Christ."

So they fell to their knees and began reciting the rosary, begging Christ to intervene and save the other missionaries. As they were just starting the fourth Joyful Mystery, they watched in amazement as the progressive missionaries were escorted out of the village, and given their freedom. The faithful missionaries erupted with shouts of joy and praise for God. Perhaps the progressive group had converted the tribal chief, telling him of the saving power of Jesus Christ!

Just then, several tribe members, armed with blow guns and spears, approached their hut. The mission leader told his group's translator to ask the guards why the progressive group was released. After a bit of back and forth, the translator blinked a bit and turned towards the group leader.

"Well?" asked the leader. "Why were they let go?"

"Too bitter."

*Today is the feast day of St Philip Neri, a saint who appreciated a good laugh or two.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Oh No!!! Another Bailout!!

(AoftheAP) Despite the country's weariness and anger with multiple industries being bailed out by the Federal government, and the political ramifications for incumbents in the upcoming elections, the Obama administration is requesting that yet another American institution receive a bailout:

Women's religious congregations and orders.

Pressured by the Vatican's Apostolic Visitation, and suffering from the triple threat of aging membership, declining enrollment and dwindling funds, representatives from the Leadership Conference of Women Religious reportedly have sat down with members of the administration, including high-level staffers of the Office of Faith-Based & Community Initiatives. While details of the alleged meeting have not yet been released, sources close to the OFBCI and LCWR have leaked some information to AoftheA, on the condition of maintaining anonymity.

"It's the least we can do," said a staff member of the OFBCI. "They were instrumental and supportive in the passage of the Health Care bill. I want to be perfectly clear on one point: Any support they might receive from this administration cannot be construed as quid pro quo. Rather, we recognize the stress and hardship many in the LCWR are experiencing, and since they've done so much for this country, they deserve the nation's support. Furthermore, this administration has no desire whatsoever in running or owning any congregation or order."

"This administration shares the same social justice values we do," commented the LCWR source. "Any funding we might receive would only demonstrate the president's commitment to helping the least among us. It ought not be perceived as an endorsement of Christian ideals, but instead an endorsement of human ideals."

Neither side would admit to the dollar amount being discussed; however it is believed that the figure could top $5 billion. It is speculated that much of that money would be used to fund strained retirement accounts, to install "green" technology at LCWR properties, and to purchase rather tasteless pantsuits.

Naturally, conservative Catholic organizations are displeased with this development, while the more progressive groups are excited.

"This is a blatant attempt to secure votes amongst sympathetic liberal progressives within the Catholic Church, as well as payback for their vociferous support of the health care legislation," stated Del Bonnevue of the League of Catholics. "These orders and congregations have no business accepting funds from the federal government - I say let them all die out on their own."

The editorial staff at the National Catholic Reporter disagreed. In their most recent issue, they wrote: "This potential development shows the Vatican and those mean-spirited US bishops that these plucky nuns are not willing to go quietly into the night. The boys better bring cups and helmets - these gals are ready to play hardball."

Surprisingly, groups that advocate for separation of church and state are not fazed at all by the possible bailout. Millie Pedullah of Theocracy Never! said her organization is not planning any protest. "These congregations haven't been Catholic for years, much less Christian. We have no issue with pantheistic, pagan groups receiving federal funds. To us, they're as secular as the Sierra Club." Similar groups shared the same sentiment as Pedullah.

Bonnevue concurred. "If you compare the beliefs of these congregations and orders to Church teaching, you soon notice there's little in common. But I'm objecting to the misuse of tax payer money in propping up dying institutions. These groups aren't too big to fail. It's unclear to me how any amount of funds will increase their membership, or help them survive the Apostolic Visitation."

The anonymous OFBCI source discounted the tax payer money argument. "No one's taxes will be raised to pay for this bailout. We're just going to print money, and not demand that any of it be paid back. Besides, this is good for America and the American economy."

In addition, the Obama administration is intent on providing more than just funds. "We're not content in merely offering financial support," the OFBCI source continued. "We're also considering expanding CityYear and Americorps objectives, providing these orders and congregations fresh blood, improving their membership enrollments. Entirely voluntary, of course, should anyone want a high school diploma. Regardless of faith or gender. We share the LCWR's vision of a more inclusive society."

AoftheA has also learned that the Obama administration will apply pressure to the Vatican, to suspend their Apostolic Visitation. The OFBCI is assembling a team, comprised of congressional members, LCWR representatives, two Native American shamans and a gay palm reader from Key West. The team plans to travel to Rome in early June and meet with the Vatican Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. The team, reportedly to be led by Nancy Pelosi and Doug Kmiec, will have their work cut out for them. Cardinal Rode, head of the Congregation, was unavailable for comment, but a Vatican spokesman, speaking on his behalf, said: "The cardinal looks forward to the visit. He hasn't kicked heretic ass in quite some time."

Any funding must pass both houses of Congress. It is believed that this bailout will be included as a rider on the upcoming Armed Forces funding bill, thus making it more difficult for any opponents to vote down the legislation. Should this happen, will it lead to further bailouts in years to come?

"Trust me," the OFBCI source told AoftheA, "we won't be making a habit out of this."

Monday, May 24, 2010

One Of Those Things

The following doesn't have much purpose, at least on the surface, but for some reason, I felt compelled to blog about it.

Summer seems to have arrived in southeastern Michigan, as the temperature climbed into the mid 80's, nearly setting a new record high. It warmed up the LarryD house, even with windows open and ceiling fans a-spinning. And I'm a cheapie when it comes to firing up the AC - not for any goofy climate change reduce-my-carbon-footprint reason - why spend the money, you know?

So as the Sons of LarryD were preparing for bed, they asked if I could bring up their room fans - the 3-speed oscillating type - one for each room. I keep them in our basement storage room for the winter. When I finished our basement, I built in a spacious storage room, lined with several shelving units, as well as multiple stacks of Sharpie-marked plastic bins.

After maneuvering through scattered piles of who-knows-what on the floor - stuff that mysteriously flings itself off of the shelves and is incapable of returning to their proper spot, right? I mean, I'm sure no one else has the problem of things not being returned to their rightful place, do they? - I made my way to the back corner, to the shelving unit where the two fans were stored. Ah! Upon the very top shelf, perched like two white sentinels awaiting orders.

While taking them down, I accidentally swung one of the fans into the ceiling mounted fluorescent fixture, knocking the bulb from its mooring. I looked up just in time to watch the pronged-tip of the 3-foot long tube-shaped bulb impact my face, above my right eye. It bounced away, careening off one of the scattered piles of who-knows-what, coming to a safe landing, unbroken.

I guess you can say I saw the light.

With my orbital socket throbbing in pain, I replaced the bulb, and proceeded to set up the fans for the Sons. Once they were settled in bed, their fans whirring away, I went into the bathroom to inspect the damage. The skin wasn't broken - so no shedding of blood - but the distinct imprint of the two metal prongs remained, just above the eyebrow. It looked as if I had been assaulted by a far-sighted vampire, barely escaping having my eye bitten into.

Just one of those things. A couple inches, and the light would have poked me right in the eye. If the piles of who-knows-what had not been there, the bulb would have shattered into countless pieces (oh yeah - I forgot to mention I was barefoot at the time). If my Sons weren't wimps, and just suffered through their stuffy upstairs bedrooms, like I used to do when I was a kid, none of this would have happened. See? When you spoil your kids, bad things happen. Like nearly being impaled by a fluorescent light bulb.

Okay, that last part is just kidding around. But the episode did give me pause. Every day - sometimes aware of it and sometimes not - events transpire around us that stray close to the line of tragedy, or serious injury. A turn here. Or a twist there. An inch in one direction or the other, and Something Really Really Bad Happens. In more occasions than I can count, I've narrowly avoided situations that would have resulted in terrible consequences. The kind that leaves your heart pounding and mind racing. The type of occurrence that can shock you from sleep when you imagine "what if...?"

Even the Real Big Events that almost happen - such as the failed plane bombing that happened in Detroit last Christmas, or the violent weather that never quite materialized - we are so so frail, and yet we can act as if we're indestructible. As if nothing will or can ever happen to us. Despite all the evidence contrary to that presumption.

And those are just the things that affect us physically. The spiritual battle wages continually all around us, the forces of darkness hungry for our very souls. It is so hard to stay on the narrow path, in a state of grace - a turn here, a twist there, an inch in one direction or the other. Only by God's grace are we saved from straying - and only by relying on His power can we hope to emerge victorious. Won't it be interesting to learn, upon reaching heaven, how many times our Guardian Angels preserved us from danger throughout the course of our lives? That is something I'm looking forward to discovering. Just - not right now...

Granted, tonight's episode was just one of those things - it could have been worse, and thankfully it wasn't. Just goes to show that we can't take anything for granted - our health, our safety, our faith. Every day is a miracle in its own way - making it from our awaking first moment to the time we fall asleep without loss of limb is miraculous in and of itself.

Life swings in the blink of an eye. It can be an event as sublime as a light bulb hitting you in the face, or as dramatic as....just about anything else you can imagine. Situations present themselves in which we step towards sainthood, or retreat into iniquity. Whether by choice or by chance, we are affected and assaulted by things seen and unseen every single moment. The linchpin to surviving the unexpected things is faith - that all things happen for a purpose, as part of God's design. And expressing gratitude to God at the end of the day, no matter what the circumstances, big or small - finding joy in all things, as St Paul says - changes the ordinary "one of the things" into extraordinary moments of grace.

Booksigning FAIL

Sunday, May 23, 2010

"Watchdog Nuns"

It's rare when the local Detroit paper runs a story on stuff happening in the Catholic Church. As rare as it may be, the slant remains the same. No exception on a puff piece about the Apostolic Visitation of the Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Michigan.

Progressive Nuns Under Scrutiny (from the online Detroit Free Press) -
They've taught legions of Detroit-area Catholics. They've taken on major corporations. They are watchdog nuns who have urged U.S. companies to be socially responsible.

But to the Vatican, the Adrian Dominican congregation of 850 progressive nuns may be a problem, especially under the conservative papacy of Pope Benedict XVI.

For five days this spring, a Vatican-backed team studied the Adrian Dominicans at their motherhouse in Lenawee County. They are among at least 19 sister congregations being investigated under a process called the Apostolic Visitation.

The investigation hits at a time when the Vatican is dealing with escalating criticism of its oversight of priests accused of sexually abusing children.

While church officials have said the study is necessary to account for the shrinking number of American nuns, the Rev. Thomas Reese, a Jesuit priest at Georgetown University's Woodstock Theological Center, called it a "disastrous PR move by the Vatican."

"When American Catholics find out (nuns) are being investigated by the Vatican, they scratch their heads and say, 'What is this all about?' " said Reese, a Catholic commentator. "There has always been at the Vatican a deep suspicion of U.S. nuns because they are educated, outspoken and don't like to be pushed around."
Typical. Using a political label to describe Pope Benedict's pontificate, and dragging Rev. Reese out of his crypt and into the sunlight to take a few jabs at the Vatican. The Detroit wing of the MSM hasn't updated their Catholic rolodex, I see.

It's not until page 2 of the article that you get a short whisper of the true reason for the visitation:
Critics of the investigation say the goal is to scale back reforms that allowed many sisters to shed their habits, live outside a traditional convent and work outside Catholic schools and hospitals. But the Vatican maintains the study will address the declining number of American nuns and confront concerns about some sisters straying from church teachings -- such as challenging the doctrine on female priests and homosexuality.
And except for a throwaway quote from Cardinal Rode, there is virtually no balance to the critics' point of view. In a four page article. Which is non-defensible, because Bishop Blair, who has a prominent role in the Visitation, lives in Toledo OH, which is as far from Detroit as Adrian.

As to the comments, skip them if you have high blood pressure or stress out easily.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Footprints, Vatican II Style

One of those things I wish I had thought of first. Courtesy of Catholic Cartoon Blog. Great site.

"Fairly Inefficient"

The day is quickly approaching, it would seem, that when a husband and wife decide to have a child, rather than escape to the bedroom, they make an appointment at the fertility clinic.

From the DailyMail online: Sex Will not be Used to Make Babies in Just 10 Years, as Couples Turn to IVF

Couples will stop having sex to conceive babies within a decade and use IVF instead, scientists said yesterday.

They say 30-somethings will increasingly rely on artificial methods of fertilisation because natural human reproduction is 'fairly inefficient'.

It means that in future, sex will be nothing more than a leisure activity - the latest blow to the Christian idea that the role of sex is to produce children.

'Fairly inefficient'? I suppose if you consider the statistical relationship between the number of sperm used to fertilize an egg versus the number produced - one vs., oh I don't know, about 13 gabillion - then, yeah, inefficient is one way to describe it.

Another way to interpret that is the month-to-month "attempts" before getting pregnant. Ummm...who cares? After all, there's quite a bit of enjoyment in the attempting bit - and besides, since the wife has to endure the nine-month sacrifice in having wild and weird stuff happen to her body, as well as bear the child at the end, the 'fairly inefficient' method at least provides some level of compensation, right? Not to mention that the husband, throughout the pregnancy and for awhile after childbirth, is given a leave of absence, as it were. (I don't mean to slight anyone who has difficulty conceiving - I know it's a painful and heart-breaking situation for many couples. Please don't take my comments the wrong way.)

But perhaps the insidious interpretation would be that without the careful guiding hand of fertility experts, a 'fairly inefficient' child might be born. You know, maybe one with a birth defect, or Downs Syndrome, or any other perceived imperfection. IVF provides a potential means to eliminate that type of 'inefficiency'. Maybe I'm reading too much into the phrase, but given society's desire for everything to be perfect; that 90% of babies prenatally diagnosed with Downs Syndrome are aborted; that some clinics offer "designer babies" - maybe I'm not so off base after all.
And it raises ethical questions over whether greater use of IVF will lead to eugenics, with couples screening out characteristics they regard as undesirable.
It's already being done.
And IVF isn't perfectly efficient either - according to the article, current success rates stand at abour 50%. I wonder if that number takes into consideration the frozen extra embryos, or selective reduction. Although...although IVF is extremely efficient for the clinic - IVF is not cheap. And it's cold and lifeless and impersonal and unsatisfying and - most importantly - very sinful. Grave matter kinda sinful. Mortal sin kinda sinful, if the conditions are there. Sad thing is, I bet most Catholics aren't even aware of the moral and spiritual implications of IVF. When was the last time the evils of IVF were preached from the pulpit? I don't even recall it being discussed during pre-Cana classes all those many years ago.

Then there's the last statement - it's only half right. The Catholic view of sex - and only when it's between a husband and wife (married to each other, of course!) - is not solely for procreation, but also to strengthen the love between them. The creation of a child is a physical sign of their love and selflessness- at least it ought to be. With IVF, it becomes a sign of their selfishness. Children as accessories.

And predicting that sex in the future will only be a leisure activity? The future is now, for all intents and purposes. We've got contraception to prevent pregnancy, abortion to eliminate a pregnancy, homosexual activity that precludes pregnancy, "friends with benefits", swinger parties, masturbation...I suppose all these deviations are the 'fairly efficient' uses of sex - all the fun without the purpose.

Well, maybe I ought to cut the "expert" some slack. Turns out one of the prognosticators interviewed in this article is a - wait for it - veterinarian.
The startling vision of the future comes from John Yovich, a veterinary doctor from Murdoch University in Perth, Australia. [...]

Dr Yovich, co-author of a new report in the journal Reproductive BioMedicine, said: 'Natural human reproduction is at best a fairly inefficient process.

'Within the next five to ten years, couples approaching 40 will assess the IVF industry first when they want to have a baby.' He based his hunch on the fact that in cattle, IVF works almost every time. He said there was no reason that success rate could not be replicated in humans.

Yep, that's right, ladies. This vet just compared to you to a herd of cows. Bet this guy is single.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Utter Nunsense

So, the International Union of Superior Generals met in Rome last week. 800 women religious leaders of different congregations and orders got together to dialogue. Riveting.

And as it happens at many of these conferences, a "declaration" was drawn up. The NCR wrote about it - need I say more?

Of course I do! It's me! So I'm going to reprint their conference declaration, a statement that "aims to express the spirit, intent and direction of the organization for the next three years through a series of public commitments."

To provide a bit of atmosphere, I've added a soundtrack. As some of you may recall, I've done this once before.

Click the green arrow and then slowly read the declaration. Lighting incense and dimming the lights will help set the mood.

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada - CD 06-1 Govinda .mp3

Found at bee mp3 search engine

“I know the fountain well that flows and runs… though it is night”
(St John of the Cross)


“My soul is thirsting for God, the living God” Ps 42, 3

During this Assembly:

We, 800 superiors general coming from 87 countries, have quenched our thirst together at the Fountain of life, the God of Jesus Christ, source of our joy, our hope and our strength.

We commit ourselves to:

* Rediscover anew and listen to the Fountain which speaks in our hearts, through others and through creation.
* Draw water from the Source of our charism and rediscover the dynamism of our first call.
* Taste and share together the Word and the Bread.
* Promote a constant dialogue between the Word of God and the events which happen in our world.
* Invite others to come and drink at the Fountain.

“If you consider me a believer… come and dwell in my house” Acts 16, 15

Like Lydia, a listening and faith filled woman, we are invited to open our hearts and our homes and to remember the living waters of our baptism.

We commit ourselves to:
o Create a new style of mystical and prophetic life, open and hospitable, inclusive, respectful of differences and acknowledging the richness of other cultures and religions.
o Recreate the art of living in common, marked by deep human relationships, a listening heart, empathy and non-violence in order to be witnesses of Gospel values.
o Focus on initial and on-going formation in order to unify the mystical and prophetic dimensions of our consecrated life.
o Live in harmony with the whole Cosmos and to dwell respectfully on this Earth.

“Put out into the deep… and cast your nets…” Luke 5,4

We have become aware that we should not fear the night of the deep waters.

We commit ourselves to:
o Courageously identify the “nights” of the Church, of society and of our congregations.
o Discover the sparks of light hidden in the heart of violence, poverty and the lack of meaning.
o To open our eyes to discover new paths of light in the darkness of our world: in the precarious situation of women, the existential restlessness of the youth, the consequences of war and natural catastrophes and the extreme poverty which leads to violence.
o Offer as consecrated women a ministry of compassion and healing.
o Build inter-congregational networks at local and international levels, involving the laity in order to initiate different projects and to work for the transformation of unjust structures.
o Go beyond the frontiers of our respective charisms and to unite ourselves in order to offer a mystical and prophetic word to our world.
o Engage in truthful dialogue with the hierarchical Church at all levels in order to achieve a greater recognition of the role of women.

As Mary, let us remain awake and vigilant,
constantly searching for the Fountain that flows,
certain that It will be found, although it is night.
One mention of Christ, and only two of the Church - and not in entirely positive terms, either. But they sure seem groovy - discovering paths of light and going beyond frontiers and stuff.

And we're told there's no need for an Apostolic Visitation. Yeah right.

p.s. - this is my 1000th post. Where's my prize?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mr. Motivational

Ah, good ol' AlGore - quite the motivator.

I feel sorry for the graduates - the one's who didn't strangle themselves with their own intestines, that is. Full of excitement on their commencement day, only to be shot down in flames.

AlGore makes Debbie Downer seem downright chipper by comparison:

s/s to Jay at Pro Ecclesia*Pro Familia*Pro Civitate

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Solution To The Priest Shortage?

This is just bizarre. Weird. Crazy. Yet so like the Japanese.

The thing looks like a descendant of Johnny 5 from Short Circuit.

Here's the link to the article at Popular "Japanese Robot Officiates Wedding of Two Humans".

Of course robots could never be used in place of priests. First of all, they'd short out during baptisms. Secondly, confessions would be permanently stored on their hard drives, and the 'Seal of the Confession' might get hacked. Thirdly, they'd create a whole lot of feedback from the music group's amps (which might sound better in some cases, oddly enough). And fourthly, things never go well when robots get in involved. You know what I mean. You start with something innocuous and harmless-looking as this....

...which leads to spooky human-looking ones like this...

...which ultimately leads to unstoppable armies such as these!

So not good!

However, you could program them to Say The Black and Do The Red. Hmmmm....maybe this robot priest stuff isn't such a bad idea after all.

After all, there's already a robot Bishop!

s/s to a kind reader who sent me the story.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Are You Praying For The Holy Father?

If you are, that's great - keep doing it. Frequently. In this time of deep crisis within the Church, Pope Benedict needs to be lifted up in prayer, for strength and protection. It's up to all of us.

If you aren't - why not? It doesn't have to be elaborate, or formal, or anything like that. The Holy Rosary is best, but even ejaculations throughout the day - "Mary, Mother of God, protect Pope Benedict", or "Jesus, watch over the Holy Father" - are effective and not unimportant. It's our intent that matters more so than our words. Oh - and include your Guardian Angel as you pray, for wherever two or more are gathered, Christ will be there in your midst.

Never doubt the power of prayer.

Here's why:

From Spero News: Muslim Plot Against Pope Benedict Foiled
Two Moroccan students who attended a university in the central Italian city of Perugia were expelled from the country last month after it was discovered that they were conspiring to kill Pope Benedict. One of them allegedly said he wished to “earn a place in Paradise.”

According to Italian weekly newspaper Panorama, conversations intercepted by Italian authorities led to the arrest and deportation of the two suspects.

The order for expulsion reportedly included the transcript of a conversation in which one of the students, Mohammed Hlal, said that he wished “death to the head of the Vatican City State” and was "ready to assassinate him to earn a place in Paradise."

The 26-year-old Hlal was speaking over the phone with 22-year-old Ahmed Errahmouni when he made the statements, which earned them the attention of the local police and a trip back to Morocco.

They were deemed a “threat to national security” in the document signed by the Italian Minister of the Interior, Roberto Moroni, and expelled on April 29, Panorama reported.

According to an investigation begun last October by the Italian anti-mafia police, the two were known to have a radical vision of Islam and had expressed a desire to obtain explosive materials. It was reported that no material used to construct explosives was found in their residence hall rooms.

Hlal studied international communications, while Errahmouni was a student of math and physics at the University of Perugia.

There plenty of political comments I could make, in regards to how matters are handled here in the U.S. and the attitude of our current administration, but I won't. It's neither the time nor the place. I'm content to give thanks to God that our Holy Father was kept safe, and will continue to pray.

And when I'm finished praying, I'll pray some more. You too, ok?

Progressive Top Ten List To Destroy The Church

Of course, the list isn't being advertised as such. In their eyes, it's Ten Ways Pope Benedict Can Save The Church From Itself.

This is from The Moonbat Cave, aka The Open Tabernacle: Making Benedict's "Optimistic" Words Count: Ten Theses about Moving from Words to Action, from William Lindsey:

I ended my posting yesterday about Benedict’s recent “optimistic” Portuguese address with the following observation:

The church finds itself in its current “terrifying” position due to decisions the current pope himself made as John Paul II’s theological watchdog, which he has not effectively reversed through his actions up to this point—as fine as his recent words sound.

And so to make my critique constructive, what actions would I hope to see Benedict undertake, if he is sincere about reviving Vatican II’s call for affirmative dialogue with the world, which recognizes that the church can learn from the Spirit’s leading in other religious traditions, as well as in cultural developments and movements?

And so my vision of where the church must go, if it is to reform itself and if Benedict’s words in Portugal are to mean anything beyond rhetoric. As a minimum, I’d expect the following, if Benedict’s “optimism” and retrieval of Vatican II are to be effective. Ten theses:

(I've shortened many of these for the sake of space constraint. My comments are in [blue].)

1. Apologize to and rehabilitate the more than 100 theologians whom Benedict himself silenced as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Admit that the Vatican has been unjust and cruel to theologians whom it has silenced, forbidden to teach or speak, and refused to permit a fair, open hearing as it takes these actions. [The "theologians" are the ones who need to apologize, for endangering the salvation of souls. The Church is only being a good mother - She kicks out the riff-raff that seeks to harm Her children.]

2. Retrieve the work and talents of this group of Spirit-led individuals, whose gifts are exceptionally needed by the church today, if it’s to negotiate its current crisis successfully and begin to interact creatively, fruitfully—with evangelical intent—in its encounter with postmodernity. [These Spirit-less individuals are the ones mainly on the side of 'postmodernity', and stand against the teachings of the Church. Does it make sense to ask enemies to draw up battleplans?]

3. Apologize for, in particular, the vicious attack on liberation theology which has decimated that much-needed movement in faith communities of the developing areas of the world. Rehabilitate those theologians, in particular, whose prophetic witness is also much-needed by Western theologians... [See point 2. Liberation theology, as struck down by Rome, is Marxist evangelization.]

4. Reopen the discussion about women’s ordination. Give women a voice equal to that of men in the governing of the church. This requires ordaining women. Now. [Good grief. Ever notice how every problem in the Church could be solved by women's ordination? Sure hasn't cured any problems in the Protestant denominations now, has it.]

5. Reopen the discussion of sexual ethics that Paul VI squelched when he ignored the recommendation of the commission he appointed to advise him about artificial contraception. Take the witness and voices of lay Catholics about sexual ethics seriously, for a change....[Oh sure, because the 1930 Lambeth Conference was such a huuuuuuge success.]

6. Abolish the pre-modern, non-democratic process by which the work of theologians is vetted in Rome...[Memo to Lindsey - Church ain't democratic. And what you call "pre-modern", I'd like to call preserving the faith as handed down by the apostles.]

7. Send a strong signal that the length of hierarchs’ cappae magnae is not a self-evident testimonial about their virtue, pastoral acumen, or qualifications for high office in the church. If Benedict places Cardinal Pell at the head of the world’s bishops, as credible reports from Rome indicate he intends to do, he will send a signal to the church in general and to clerics in particular that his words in Portugal were just fine words and nothing more...[Moving Cardinal Pell to the Vatican is a brilliant move. How do I know? Because the Catholycs loathe it.]

8. Become accessible to the people of God. Walk among them. Listen to them. Do so without frou-frou and gravitas. Be a pastor. Take as your pastoral model Jesus, the good shepherd. [This is arrogant beyond description. What a doik.]

9. Demand that every bishop in the world behave that way, as well. [Here's a thought - when you behave as you ought to, then you'll earn the privilege of telling the Holy Father what to do. Until then, STHU. Double-doik.]

10. Reverse the chill in theology departments of Catholic universities around the world, and admit that it was an act of great evil to trample on the gifts offered to the church by the many laywomen and laymen who flocked to programs of theological study following Vatican II, with great hope and enthusiasm for serving the church in the ministry of theology....[Oh boo-friggin' hoo. The problem with many of these gift-trampled laypeople is that they studied under "theologians" who ran their own magisteriums rather than submitting to the true one. It's not their fault - but their malformed education is not an excuse to undermine the faith and mislead countless other Catholics. Rather, it's a clarion call to re-evangelize these folks.]

All this to pave the way for the next ecumenical council, which must be a council of reform and must, for the first time in history, be truly ecumenical, with women’s voices counting as much as men’s, and with lay voices counting as much as clerics’. And with representation and voice on the part of non-Catholic communities of faith . . . .
You know what I hope for? I hope there is an ecumenical council sometime in the near future, during my lifetime, and doiks like this guy are left out in the cold. Because such a council would be necessary to correct the mistakes, errors and intentional misleading the Catholycs have been peddling the past 40+ years. The wailing and gnashing of teeth, while pitiable to the nth degree, will also deeply fulfill a sense of Schadenfreude.

Is that wrong?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Final Results

The 2010 Cannonball Catholic Awards are officially over. Votes have been tallied and the awesome plaques have been designed. Thanks to everyone who voted for Acts of the Apostasy in each of the five categories for which this blog received a nomination. It was fun and a great diversion from the everyday.

However, many of you didn't vote often enough, because I came in first in only one category: Snarkiest Catholic Blog. For which I earned this rockin' plaque:

In case you're as slow in math as you seemed to have been in voting, that's a 20% success rate. Last year I was nominated in only two categories and finished first in one of them, which comes to a 50% rate. What's up with that, people!?!

Should you be interested (and I highly doubt you are, but tough - I'm feeling snarky right now), I came in 4th in Most Underappreciated; 2nd in Most Church Militant; 3rd in Most Bat Sh!t Crazy; and 2nd in Most Hifreakinlarious (behind Kat of The Crescat - a worthy opponent, to be sure, but the awards and then winning one? Hmmmm......).

So - I'll leave it up to you to determine an appropriate penance for your failure to pad my vote totals. I expect you to show up next year, okay? ;-)

p.s. - props to the Mom (at Shoved to Them), Nod (at Wynken, Blynken and Nod) and Joe (at Defend Us In Battle), my Catholic Blog Voting Bloc pals. We pooled our resources and tried our best (S-to-T and WBN each won their categories too, but we were unable to pull DUIB along - sorry Joe).

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sluts In Training?

Having two sons, I'm grateful I never had to deal with any of this:

The only things missing were some poles. Incredible.


If you have a child enrolled in dance classes or if you've been to a kids' dance recital or competition recently, you might find the costumes de rigueur -- not shocking or provocative. Of course, costumes are part of a dancer's artistic expression, adding drama to the performance while allowing them to move. But do prepubescent girls need to express themselves in bra tops, booty shorts and fishnet sleeves?
You do if you want them objectified. What a moronic question. And the costumes aren't shocking and provocative...for (reputed to be) nine year olds??? Are you kidding me???

Each summer, the town in which we live has a weekend festival. There are numerous live acts, more than half of which consist of the various dance clubs in and around the area, ages ranging from the girls in the above video, to teenagers. I purposely avoid watching them, and I discourage the Sons of LarryD from doing so too. I know the mind of young teens, having been one myself, and they don't need their imaginations fired up, and allowed to smoulder in such occasions.

Are the girls talented? Many of them are. Have they put a lot of time and effort into perfecting their performances? No doubt. You can bet, though, that a certain percentage of the audience is not so much fascinated with their skill than they are with the goods. Regardless of the age of the girls, or of the intended audience.

And yet society is shocked over child porn. Or STD rates among teens, and teenage pregnancy. Or the over-sexualization of the youth. Or the fact that it seems our kids "grow up so fast".

I have to ask, why should anyone be shocked? It doesn't matter which came first - the Funky Chicken or too much leg. It doesn't matter if it's Britney's fault or if it's the culture's fault. Sooner or later, we end up having to deal with a mess of someone else's making. I'm not saying that Young Girls Who Perform In Dance Shows are the primary cause for moral depravity running roughshod over the culture. Not at all. But it sure as heck isn't slowing down the train, is it?

Ultimately it comes down to the fact that some parents just don't get it. They see no problem with strumpeting up their little girls - as long as they get recognition for putting on a darn good show. They look past the Little Miss Hooker get-up because they have talent. They accept the suggestive moves and strip-club sashays, excusing them as "expressive dance steps". Give me a break. There was more flesh undulating in that video than at a fat farm during a 6.5 earthquake.

These parents have failed at their main responsibility - protecting their children, and teaching them vitally important virtues such as modesty, humility and to a certain degree, chastity. Instead, they've flung them to the wolves, having exposed them to objectification. They've taught them that looking good is better than being good.

It's not the girls' faults - they (hopefully!) don't know any better. But it makes me wonder - what happened that made these parents think this was okay? When did they un-learn, and thus not know any better?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ban Gagging Morals!!

Oops! I mean, Blogging Anagrams!!

Found this fun site called Internet Anagram Server. Pop in a phrase, hit the 'Anagram' button, and voila! Instant anagrams!

Here are a few derived from "Acts Of The Apostasy":

Fast Cat Pests Yahoo
Patchy Assets Afoot
Fatty Chooses Pasta
Cast Easy Footpaths
Hasty Oats Cafe Stop
Eat At Fy's Taco Shops (I added an apostrophe - so sue me)
Yacht Seat - Soft Spot

Here's a couple random ones:

Barack Hussein Obama - - - - > Bakes Marihuana Cobs
Nancy Pelosi - - - - -> Nosy Pelican

If you have a blog, input your title and leave some of the good ones in the comment box!

Raising Wussies

Let me get this straight. "Pinning the Tail on the Donkey" is a game fraught with danger, but striking a pinata with a bat while blind-folded is okay?

What's next? "Tag" at walking speed, in case someone falls down?

The Scriptural Origin Of Cafeteria Catholics

More comedy gold from the pages of the National Catholic Distorter.

Sermon on the Mount: the First Gathering of Cafeteria Catholics by Eugene Cullen Kennedy
You can tell them, as the Gospel puts it, a long way off. They are so puffed up with the hot air of self righteousness they resemble a covey of balloons jouncing against each other as they wait for take-off.
(Let's do this paragraph by paragraph). Yowza! Christian love just oozes from every word, doesn't it?
These are not just Catholics who want to preserve the Catholic values they cherish; they are rather those who, as careless of the truth as political consultants, sling mud at followers of Vatican II. If they took any more pleasure in denouncing the latter as "cafeteria Catholics" they would almost certainly commit a mortal sin.
So...who's slinging mud here? He's accusing faithful Catholics of being slanderous and committing calumny. The truth is - Pope Benedict XVI is an authentic follower of Vatican II, in the way in which it was intended. Progressive Catholycs would have you believe otherwise, of course, that the Pope is trying to turn back the clock, which makes them the deceivers.

Speaking only for myself, calling fake Catholycs "cafeteria Catholics" is not a denouncement. It is a fairly accurate term. I take no pleasure in using the term - there but for the grace of God go I - it just is what it is.
To them, "cafeteria Catholics" pick and choose what teachings they will consume instead of stuffing down everything on the house menu, including yesterday's now rancid specials. These critics favor teachings that do not affirm humans or the universe but those that slap a moral lien on both. For them religion is castor oil for the spirit; it only does you good when it makes you feel bad.
The imagery of 'stuffing down everything on the house menu' - that's just crass. It conjures the idea that faithful Catholics believe Church teaching without thinking, without engaging the will, without trust. That we just shove all the items on the buffet table into our mouths. But that's not how it is.

The faithful Catholic looks at the buffet table and thinks: "I accept everything that God has presented to me necessary for my salvation. The plate in my hand is not large enough to hold all these gifts, so I will take as much as I can and savor each bite. When my plate is empty, I will return to the table and receive more. Some of the food might be unappealing (for me, it's stuff like eggplant or certain types of fish), but God has prepared it and served it, so it must be good for me. And since I can never be fully satisfied, I will return to the table again and again."

The cafeteria Catholic looks at the buffet table and thinks: "Oooh, that's a lot of food. In fact, there's too much food. Wouldn't it be better if some of this was given to the hungry and the poor?"

The faithful Catholic is interested in the recipes and the ingredients, the methods used to prepare each dish, to better understand how the flavors and the textures mingle, mix and work together. They do this in order to better appreciate what they have received. They do this in order to be able to describe the foods and dishes to others, to pass on what they have experienced. They do this to share their joy with others, so that they too will want to come to the buffet.

The cafeteria Catholic is not interested in reading cookbooks or inspecting the kitchen - at least the ones that were used. They are too preoccupied with how certain foods make them feel, or how they appear. They refuse some of the bounty that is offered, and ask for food that isn't available. Thus, they often times will eat from a different table located in a banquet room down the hall, convinced they're still in the same restaurant. They repeatedly gorge themselves on the same dish trip after trip - forsaking all the rest that is available, becoming myopic in their tastes. To them, their choice is the only choice; their selection is the best of all. And any suggestion to try a different food offends their sensibilities.
What exactly is a cafeteria and does it remind us of anything? According to the American Heritage Dictionary cafeteria derives from the idea of a "coffee house,' in which people gather convivially to take food and drink together, an old notion that speaks to moderns, ask Starbucks, they can tell you.

A cafeteria "is a restaurant in which the customers are seated at a counter and carry their meals to tables." Does this bring to mind a bacchanal? Or does it stir associations with the everyday sacramental experience of the Catholic community?

Well, I don't know about you, but when I eat at a cafeteria-style restaurant, I don't sit down with strangers. Do you? To me, he offers two false choices. The closest thing to a bacchanal I can think of is a high school food fight. And the Catholic Mass fails the smell test too - it is not the building or the gathering that unites us - it is Christ's sacrifice on the cross, and that alone, that draws us in.
Catholics choose an atmosphere for the Eucharist that celebrates rather than denigrates them. They do not bring some one-size-fits all appetite for watered down New Age broth or for the stale bread and worse, menus written in the no longer intelligible language of another age. Instead, they express the specific spiritual hungers that arise from their individual experiences of loss and of their personal longings to be filled.
He forgot to include "cafeteria" as the first word in that paragraph. Faithful Catholics come to Mass not to celebrate themselves, but to worship God! When First Things are no longer first, anything goes. Thus he focuses on the externals here, and not the internal disposition, nor the supernatural. And through our right worship, we are filled by His grace in order to live life more fully and more in tune with His will.
They come to a table-like altar to eat and drink the body and blood of the Lord, laying their own lives with their failures and their dreams on its surface and returning to their pews knowing that they have not been accepted and fortified not in general but in the unique circumstances of their own lives. Yes, like those in a cafeteria, they know they are hungry and they pick out the nourishment that is right for them.
Ack! I'm embarrassed to have such a stupid paragraph on my blog. At least I didn't write it. According to Kennedy, we know ourselves better than God does, and we take what we want. I dunno, I thought we receive what we need, whether we know it or not, but what the heck do I know.
And like Jesus, when he looked out on the people spread across the hillside and recognized that some were blessed because they were meek and others because they sought peace while beyond them were those blessed because they did not complain but embraced their mourning while others earned a blessing because they thirsted for justice. The sacramental parallel is completed as these believers discover the nourishment they had chosen for themselves and give it away to feed the strangers around them.
This is idiotic. Christ wasn't doing a mountaintop shout out here. He was describing the blessings and joys in store for those who would follow Him and accept all His teachings. He was pointing out, through paradox, that our life here and now prepares us for eternal life in the hereafter. Sure, at different times of our life, certain aspects of the Beatitudes are more prominent than others. But they aren't optional. We can't take five out of eight. In order to have the fullness of joy, we must work for perfection in every single one.

And then the last phrase: "give it away to feed the strangers around them". I'm not sure what he means here. Sounds touchy-feely, doesn't it? Typical progressive-speak - make it about us. Ultimately, the way we live will be a witness to others, and that isn't so much giving it away to others, but it's giving it back to Christ.
Perhaps the Sermon on the Mount was the first gathering of cafeteria Catholics, people who honestly admitted their own spiritual hungers and sought and then shared just the food that they needed. They knew then what Catholics know now, that Jesus and his church will feed them just as they are in their own lives. Jesus looked on them as he gazes on us, moved by their plight and ours, that is, by their hunger for special food for their own needs. He proclaimed to them what he does to those now damned as "cafeteria Catholics," that the Kingdom of God belongs to them.
The entire Sermon on the Mount is so much more than the Eight Beatitudes - I'm not going to list all the things Christ taught, as detailed in Matthew's gospel. I will say this: at the conclusion, the people did not say "Man, am I full! I got just what I needed! Thanks bro, and alleluia!" No, this was their reaction: "And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes." (Mt 7:28-29) Sounds to me they were taken aback and surprised. And if you recall, the times crowds followed Christ around occurred after He had fed them real food (multiplication of the loaves in John, for instance).

Here's where I think "cafeteria Catholics" were first mentioned in the Bible: "I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth." (Rev 3:15-16)

If Kennedy thinks I'm being self-righteous, well, he can take it up with Jesus. After all, those are His words.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Caption Contest #16

(Click here for last contest's winner)

Leave your captions in the combox!

****Winner! From glennbcnu: "The "Orthoterminator" takes care of the Liturgical Dance where was that priest with the guitar?"****

Monday, May 10, 2010

Senior Citizens Denied Right To Pray Before Meals (Updated)

***Update at end***

Crazy things are happening in our nation, I tell ya.

From WSBTV in Georgia, via Gateway Pundit:

Ga. Seniors Told They Can't Pray Before Meals

Preston Blackwelder proudly showed off a painting of his grandmother that had hung next to the front door of his Port Wentworth home.

She was the woman who led him to God, Blackwelder said Friday.And with that firm religious footing, Blackwelder said it would be preposterous to stop praying before meals at Port Wentworth's Ed Young Senior Citizens Center near Savannah because of a federal guideline."

She would say pray anyway," Blackwelder said of his grandmother. "She'd say don't listen."

But Senior Citizens Inc. officials said Friday the meals they are contracted by the city to provide to Ed Young visitors are mostly covered with federal money, which ushers in the burden of separating church and state.

On Thursday, the usual open prayer before meals at the center was traded in for a moment of silence.

The dilemma is being hashed out by the Port Wentworth city attorney, said Mayor Glenn "Pig" Jones.Tim Rutherford, Senior Citizens Inc. vice president, said some of his staff recently visited the center and noticed people praying shortly before lunch was served. Rutherford said his company provides meals like baked chicken, steak tips and rice and salads at a cost of about $6 a plate. Seniors taking the meals pay 55 cents and federal money foots the rest of the bill, Rutherford said.

"We can't scoff at their rules," he said of federal authorities. "It's a part of the operational guidelines."

Rutherford said the moment of silence was introduced to protect that funding. He said although the change may have been misinterpreted, perhaps his company could have done a better job selling it.

"It's interpreted that we're telling people that they can't pray, but we aren't saying that," he said. "We're asking them to pray to themselves. Have that moment of silence."
Another example of the gross misrepresentation of 'separation of church and state', as well as a violation of the 1st Amendment, me thinks. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

The seniors free exercise is being limited when they're told they can only pray silently. This is contemptible, and so unAmerican. If this were an Islamic institution receiving federal funds, how much you wanna bet there would be zero zip nada infringement? Prayer mats and segregated prayer rooms would be subsidized out of deference - maybe out of fear for reprisal. Who knows.

But Christians praying out loud prior to eating a federally-subsidized meal? Why, that's a violation of the establishment clause! Get the ACLU on the phone post haste!!

This is ridiculous. This might be a bit far-fetched, but imagine years from now - Christian federal employees, whose entire salary is paid for by tax-payer dollars, being prohibited from contributing to their church. Think it might not happen? Think it might not be tried? I'm not so sure.

UPDATE: The Senior Center management has reversed its decision - from Fox News

There's Work To Be Done

Okay. The weekend's over. It's time to get to work. The Cannonball Catholic Blog Awards continue through the end of this week.

This is no small contest. Now there's a promotional video that shows just how big time the Cannonball Catholic Blog Awards are. I mean, when there's a video, it's got to be the real deal, right?

And did you know you can vote more than once? It's true! You can vote once a day. I've heard that ACORN benchmarks this contest for pointers and tips. It's sheer volume and repetition that counts here. Enlist your friends and family. If you have no friends, then go to the local library and vote from every terminal. Whatever it takes.

Just to remind you - AoftheA has been nominated in 4 categories (well, it's actually 5, but I've agreed to not tell anyone that I've also been nominated in Best Underappreciated Blog, so I won't say anything about that) - Most Hifreakinlarious, Snarkiest, Most Church Militant, and Most Bat Sh!t Crazy.

Currently, AoftheA is 2nd in Hifreakinlarious; 3rd in Snarkiest; 4th in Church Militant; and 3rd in Most Bat Sh!t Crazy. And in the category I've promised to never ever mention, I'm currently 3rd. With your help, I can surge past my opponents and not look like such a failure.

All proceeds from any awards will go towards improving the blog. And to charity, but not necessarily in that order. I promise.

So quit delayin' and get yer say in! Click here to vote for me. Again and again and again and again and again and again....well, you get the idea.

And please vote for Wynken, Blynken & Nod as "Best Potpourri of Popery", Defend Us In Battle as "Best New Kid On The Block" and the Mom (of Shoved To Them fame) for "Best Underappreciated".