The Lure of Authoritarianism

Wednesday, March 31, 2010 \PM\.\Wed\.

There seems an odd attraction towards Chinese-style authoritarianism among certain more technocratic/elitist segments of the left-leaning political elite. On the one hand we have we have people like Thomas Friedman arguing that Chinese one-party-autocracy is more efficient in passing the sort of regulations (“green” energy and nationalized health care) that he cares most about. On the other, we have Harold Meyerson’s claim that China is doing a better job of providing clean political process and economic recovery than the US, and that if Republicans don’t get in line behind Obama’s agenda the rest of the world will resolve to follow China’s autocratic example rather than American-style democracy.

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This is Unconscionable.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010 \PM\.\Wed\.

From the Anchoress:

MSNBC ran a headline on their website:

“Pope Describes Touching Boys: I Went Too Far.”

NBC has apologized (the linked story had absolutely nothing to do with the headline, or with the pope, for that matter).

Really? Will heads roll, too? They should, but I doubt they will.


Edward Feser on Stupak, the USCCB and Subsidiarity

Wednesday, March 31, 2010 \PM\.\Wed\.

Pertinent to recent discussions of Stupak and the role of the USCCB in advancing the health care bill, Edward Feser offers his reflections on Bart Stupak, the USCCB and the Catholic principle of subsidiarity:

… before the health care bill vote, the USCCB urged Congress either to alter the bill to prevent federal funding of abortion or to vote the bill down. (The USCCB also objected to the bill’s failure to extend coverage to illegal immigrants.) But the letter in which this request was made also emphasized that “for decades, the United States Catholic bishops have supported universal health care,” that “the Catholic Church teaches that health care is a basic human right, essential for human life and dignity,” and that it is only “with deep regret” that the bishops must oppose passage of the bill “unless these fundamental flaws are remedied” (emphasis added).

Needless to say, the impression these words leave the reader with – whether the bishops intended this or not – is that, were abortion (and coverage of illegal immigrants) not at issue, the moral teaching of the Catholic Church would require the passage of the health care bill in question, or something like it. In fact the teaching of the Church requires no such thing. Indeed, I would argue (see below) that while the Church’s teaching does not rule out in principle a significant federal role in providing health care, a bill like the one that has just passed would be very hard to justify in light of Catholic doctrine, even aside from the abortion question. Nevertheless, as I say, the bishops’ language would surely leave the average reader with the opposite impression. And as the bishops themselves remind us, they have “supported universal health care” for “decades,” in statements that also would leave the unwary average reader with the impression that Catholic moral teaching strictly requires as a matter of justice the passage some sort of federal health care legislation. On the day Obama signed the bill into law, Cardinal Francis George, a bishop with a reputation for orthodoxy, urged vigilance on the matter of abortion while declaring that “we applaud the effort to expand health care to all.”

Read the rest!


The Middleman

Wednesday, March 31, 2010 \AM\.\Wed\.

One of the joys of life for me is stumbling upon an unexpected gem.  So it was on Saturday when my family and I were browsing in a Best Buy and came upon the DVD collection of the complete Middleman series.  I had never heard of the series, but it seemed to be some sort of comedy science fiction show and it was only $29.00.  Recalling the McClarey family shopping motto, “If we don’t like it we can sell it on e-bay.”, we purchased it. 

I wasn’t expecting much when I put it on, and I was shocked while watching the pilot.  It was startlingly good!  Funny, intelligent dialogue, vastly entertaining, the superlatives could go on at some length.  I will not give away too much of the series  for fear of spoiling it for anyone who has never heard of the series that was briefly on ABC.  Think of a funny X-files series that spoofs virtually every science fiction, horror and fantasy theme imaginable.  This summary of course does no justice to the series.  It is also a sharp satire on contemporary life.  Except for a few off-color references it is a clean series fit for family viewing.  It is also “adult” in the best sense of the word in scattering throughout the show references to books and movies that are a treat to pick up on.  I am surprised that the series survived on  ABC Family for 12 episodes.  It is far too bright a series for network TV where the base, the obvious and the banal tend to reign supreme.

Enough text, time for videos!

The wit and wisdom of The Middleman:

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Service Economy

Tuesday, March 30, 2010 \PM\.\Tue\.

One often hears polemics against the fact that our country is now dominated by the “service economy”. It is one of those phrases that gives a strong impression, yet is oddly difficult to pin down.

If I may be indulged in an open-ended post:

1) How would you define the “service economy”? (with examples)

2) Is the service economy new, or merely expanded/changed, versus what you would consider a more traditional time? (Whether that is 100 years ago or 500 years ago.)

3) Is it a problem that the service economy is so large, and if so why?


Liturgesy

Tuesday, March 30, 2010 \PM\.\Tue\.

Hattip to Father Z. Father Z has coined a new word called Liturgesy.  The meaning of the word is heresy expressed as liturgy.  The unintentionally hilarious performance above is from the Los Angeles Archdiocese’s annual three day education conference dubbed by critics the three days of darkness for its fondness for featuring heretical speakers.

Catholicism of course is centered around the Mass.  It speaks very ill of our age that we allow these clownish farces to deface our central act of worship. Past time to put an end to this madness.  For those with a fondness for this type of bizarre do it yourself liturgy, I am certain that they will be welcomed with open arms by their true spiritual home: Unitarian-Universalism!


The Myth of Tolerance by Our Intellectual Superiors

Tuesday, March 30, 2010 \AM\.\Tue\.

With the vilification that the political left has done to the right, we Catholics also suffer from the same abuse.  Take point in fact that U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops spokesperson Sister Mary Ann Walsh demonized Pro-Life Catholics by regurgitating uncorroborated reports of racism against ObamaCare proponents and attributed them to Pro-Life Catholics with her blog entry.

Such blatant disregard for facts in order to advance your personal agenda has become the norm in the mainstream media as well.  The Media Research Center has provided the following synopsis to clarify this point:

Update I (4:12pm CST): Prominent Republican Gets Actual Death Threat, NYT Suddenly Drops Concern Over Threatening.  To read the entire story by Clay Waters of NewsBusters click here.

Update II (4:21pm CST): A video was tracked down showing Representative John Lewis of Georgia, whom Sister Mary Ann Walsh referenced in her blog post showing absolutely no evidence whatsoever of any racial epithets being thrown around.  Again, the uncorroborated evidence that Sister Mary Ann Walsh referenced is a fabricated lie and she willfully used this to smear Pro-Lifers in her less than charitable blog posting.

The video is here:

Update III (6:26pm CST): Representative John Lewis of Georgia, the very man who lied that there were racist remarks yelled at him at the Tea Party protests is known to be very hyperbolic himself.  Jeff Poor of NewsBusters recounts the time back in 1995 how Representaive Lewis defamed Republicans by painting them as ‘Nazis‘.

Representative Lewis has shown himself to be nothing more than a political hack that lashes out when he doesn’t get his way.


Academic Tolerance At Duke

Tuesday, March 30, 2010 \AM\.\Tue\.

Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.  It is one of the rich ironies of our time that colleges and universities which were once hailed as centers of independent inquiry and temples of freedom of thought are often now centers of frantic intolerance and temples of deadening ideological conformity.  Case in point Duke University where, apparently, a pro-life point of view in regard to motherhood is considered to be beyond the pale.

Duke University’s Women’s Center has canceled an event about motherhood because the sponsor was engaging in pro-life expression elsewhere on campus. A Women’s Center representative told Duke Students for Life (DSFL) that “we have a problem” and an ideological “conflict” with the event, which was supposedly canceled to protect Duke women from encountering the event during the group’s “traumatizing” pro-life “Week for Life.” The group’s president has turned to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help.

“Duke appears to have an unwritten but officially enforced stance regarding abortion that has resulted in pro-life groups being shut out of the Women’s Center,” said FIRE Vice President Robert Shibley. “This treatment is a deeply hypocritical violation of the Women’s Center’s promise that it ‘welcomes discordant viewpoints from varied experiences.’”

As part of a “Week for Life” series of events held at Duke over March 15-19, DSFL had reserved a Women’s Center space for a “Discussion with a Duke Mother” on March 18. A Duke student and mother was to speak about motherhood and the challenges of being in both roles. But the day before the event, the reservation was abruptly canceled in a voicemail to the group.

Meeting with the group on March 18, Duke Women’s Center Gender Violence Prevention Specialist Martin Liccardo said that because the event was associated with the Week for Life and DSFL, the event could not be held at the Women’s Center.

Liccardo told the group that the prospect of holding a pro-life event in the Women’s Center during Week for Life was too upsetting for some students: “We had a very strong reaction from students in general who use our space who said this was something that was upsetting and not OK. So based on that, we said, OK, we are going to respond to this and stop the program.”

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A Kinder, Gentler Cthulhu

Tuesday, March 30, 2010 \AM\.\Tue\.

How H.P. Lovecraft would be dismayed at his paean to nameless horror transformed into a kid’s cartoon!  I think the video below sums up his probable reaction.


The New York Times Is Lying About the Pope

Monday, March 29, 2010 \PM\.\Mon\.

On March 25, 2010, the New York Times claimed that then Cardinal Ratzinger acted to prevent the defrocking of Lawrence C. Murphy.  Here is the crux of the story:

“In 1996, Cardinal Ratzinger failed to respond to two letters about the case from Rembert G. Weakland, Milwaukee’s archbishop at the time. After eight months, the second in command at the doctrinal office, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, now the Vatican’s secretary of state, instructed the Wisconsin bishops to begin a secret canonical trial that could lead to Father Murphy’s dismissal.

But Cardinal Bertone halted the process after Father Murphy personally wrote to Cardinal Ratzinger protesting that he should not be put on trial because he had already repented and was in poor health and that the case was beyond the church’s own statute of limitations.”

The New York Times is lying and they know they are lying.

Father Raymond J. de Souza at National Review Online explains how I can make the statement above about the New York Times.

The New York Times on March 25 accused Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, of intervening to prevent a priest, Fr. Lawrence Murphy, from facing penalties for cases of sexual abuse of minors.

The story is false. It is unsupported by its own documentation. Indeed, it gives every indication of being part of a coordinated campaign against Pope Benedict, rather than responsible journalism.

Before addressing the false substance of the story, the following circumstances are worthy of note:

• The New York Times story had two sources. First, lawyers who currently have a civil suit pending against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. One of the lawyers, Jeffrey Anderson, also has cases in the United States Supreme Court pending against the Holy See. He has a direct financial interest in the matter being reported.

• The second source was Archbishop Rembert Weakland, retired archbishop of Milwaukee. He is the most discredited and disgraced bishop in the United States, widely known for mishandling sexual-abuse cases during his tenure, and guilty of using $450,000 of archdiocesan funds to pay hush money to a former homosexual lover who was blackmailing him. Archbishop Weakland had responsibility for the Father Murphy case between 1977 and 1998, when Father Murphy died. He has long been embittered that his maladministration of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee earned him the disfavor of Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, long before it was revealed that he had used parishioners’ money to pay off his clandestine lover. He is prima facie not a reliable source.

• Laurie Goodstein, the author of the New York Times story, has a recent history with Archbishop Weakland. Last year, upon the release of the disgraced archbishop’s autobiography, she wrote an unusually sympathetic story that buried all the most serious allegations against him (New York Times, May 14, 2009).

• A demonstration took place in Rome on Friday, coinciding with the publication of the New York Times story. One might ask how American activists would happen to be in Rome distributing the very documents referred to that day in the New York Times. The appearance here is one of a coordinated campaign, rather than disinterested reporting.

It’s possible that bad sources could still provide the truth. But compromised sources scream out for greater scrutiny. Instead of greater scrutiny of the original story, however, news editors the world over simply parroted the New York Times piece. Which leads us the more fundamental problem: The story is not true, according to its own documentation.

The New York Times made available on its own website the supporting documentation for the story. In those documents, Cardinal Ratzinger himself does not take any of the decisions that allegedly frustrated the trial. Letters are addressed to him; responses come from his deputy. Even leaving that aside, though, the gravamen of the charge — that Cardinal Ratzinger’s office impeded some investigation — is proven utterly false.

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Bart Stupak’s Last Stand

Monday, March 29, 2010 \AM\.\Mon\.

Since his sell-out of the pro-life cause, Bart Stupak (Weasel, Michigan) has been attempting to justify his cave-in.  My friend Paul Zummo, the Cranky Conservative, has given these efforts a fisking to remember:

Somewhere Doug Kmiec is breathing a sigh of relief, for he is no longer the biggest sell-out to the pro-life cause in modern American politics.  As we begin Holy Week, it is appropriate to examine the apology of one Bart Stupak of Michigan.

When I saw that Kathleen Parker’s March 24 op-ed, “Stupak’s original sin,” defined me as a “backstabber,” it reminded me of a Bible verse. Matthew 7:3 asks, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”

Had Bart been making a jibe at the expense of an individual with a similarly dodgy track record in things cultural, that would have merited a high five.  Unfortunately I doubt ole Bart is smart enough to be making such a well-researched dig.  Rather, we witness here the first refuge of all left-wing betrayers of the unborn: citation of biblical passages that have absolutely nothing to do with the matter at hand.  While the writer might feel some sort of sanctimonious justification, the rest of us are left just shrugging our shoulders and thinking, “Okay, you have a research assistant who reads the Bible, do you have anything meaningful to say in reply?”

The true motives of many blogs and organizations claiming to be pro-life have become clear in recent days: to politicize life issues as a means to defeat health care reform. One group even sent an e-mail to supporters saying they are “working feverishly to stop this legislation from going forward.”

Oh burn.  Pro-life opponents of this legislation vowed to stop this legislation from going forward.  You have clearly caught us in a terrible web of deceit.  How dare people who have openly declared their opposition,  umm, openly declare their opposition.  Next thing you know ole Bart will publicize an email from an AARP representative declaring that they are fighting for the elderly.  You really showed us for our hypocrisy.

The pro-life groups rallied behind me — many without my knowledge or consent

It’s good to know that we have reached the point in American politics that politicians must now assent to their support.  Something tells me that ole Bart was less annoyed by pro-life support when the donations were rolling in a month ago.  Surely now ole Bart will refund every cent of money given by someone whose support he had not consented to.  Yeah, if you could just let us know the web address where the suckers could claim their refund, that would be a big help.

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Give The Devil Benefit Of Law

Monday, March 29, 2010 \AM\.\Mon\.

One of my favorite movies is  A Man For All Seasons (1966).  The film depicts the events that led up to the martyrdom for the Catholic faint of Saint Thomas More.  The movie completely captures the look and sound of Tudor England, and evokes well Saint Thomas More, perhaps the most learned, and one of the most holy, men of his day.  That such a man was an attorney, and I say this as an attorney, is shocking!

But Saint Thomas More was an attorney, and one of the ablest of his time.  When he was a judge, he once called for the next case only to learn that he had cleared the docket of all cases pending before the court, something that had not occurred before More’s time and has not occurred since.  He even wrote a prayer, a copy of which I have hanging in my office, and which I believe should be said by attorneys as they go home from their offices:   “Give me the Grace Good Lord, to set the world at naught; to set my mind fast upon Thee and not to hang upon the blast of men’s mouths. To be content to be solitary. Not to long for worldly company but utterly to cast off the world and rid my mind of the business there of.

His secular life revolved around the law, and when the King sought his blood because he would not bend to the King’s bigamous marriage to Anne Boleyn, he defended his life with such legal skill that the perjured evidence of Sir Richard Rich had to be used to allow the judicial murder of Saint Thomas.

At the beginning of this post we see the scene in the movie where the playwright Bolt has Saint Thomas defending the proposition that the Devil should be given the benefit of Man’s law.  I believe that is a perfectly accurate statement of the view of Saint Thomas.  If a law is unjust, as laws not infrequently are, then the law should be changed.  However, for  laws to be ignored or to be actively disobeyed in order for some good to be achieved would have struck him as anathema. Read the rest of this entry »


Mr. Brooks Meets Mr. Blond

Monday, March 29, 2010 \AM\.\Mon\.

The passage of Obamacare has qualitatively transformed the political polarization of Americans. For the 1/5th of the American people that describe themselves as liberal or very liberal – and for people from other countries, that means leftist – Obamacare is a triumph. Of course it is not as glorious a triumph as some would have liked, since leftists with consistent principles are dismayed by what amounts to a massive handout to the private insurance cartel. These, however, became a voiceless minority when Dennis Kucinich kissed Obama’s ring on Air Force One.

For the rest of America, identifying as centrist, conservative, or very conservative, the passage of Obamacare is a qualitative marker on what has been a long and often terrifying journey of government expansion. With the full acknowledgment that they could have been, and should have been, louder about these matters under Bush Jr. than they actually were, the rise of the tea party movement suggests that growing numbers of conservatives are no longer satisfied with the performance of the GOP. They will of course vote for GOP candidates come November – at the same time, many of those candidates my find themselves on the ballot because of this movement.

For our nation’s “political class”, a construct that shouldn’t even exist in the self-governing republic envisioned by the Founding Fathers, these developments are viewed with some alarm. This is not surprising, given what recent polls have discovered about the gap between this class, and mainstream America:

By a 62% to 12% margin, Mainstream Americans say the Tea Party is closer to their views. By a 90% to one percent (1%) margin, the Political Class feels closer to Congress.

The left side of the punditry and political establishment view the populist movement as something dangerous and irrational, and do their best to make sure that the handful of racists who show up with inflammatory signs are portrayed as it’s vanguard. Then they insinuate, with little to no evidence, that various figures such as Dick Armey or Sarah Palin are controlling the entire movement, though tea parties inspired by Ron Paul were taking place long before either of them arrived on the scene.

The right wing of the political class has viewed the tea party in two ways: with the same level of contempt as their liberal counterparts (isn’t it nice when they can agree?), or, on different occasions, with put-on enthusiasm in the hopes of co-opting and controlling the movement. That is, until David Brooks’ piece in the New York Times, titled “The Broken Society.”

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Christianity and the Miraculous

Monday, March 29, 2010 \AM\.\Mon\.

Today, Palm Sunday, and throughout the rest of Holy Week, we devote ourselves to the central mysteries of our faith as Christians: Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem. The Last Supper, which instituted for us the mystery of the Holy Eucharist. The suffering and death of Christ on the cross. His resurrection on the third day.

These miracles are the very center of our faith. As Saint Paul said, if Christ did not rise from the dead, then our faith is in vain. Or to paraphrase Flannery O’Connor’s use of rather more modern parlance, “If it isn’t true, to hell with it.”

This central miracle, Christ’s death and resurrection, is the miracle which gives our faith meaning and sets it radically apart from the “he was a good man killed by the authorities for standing up for the poor” substitute which some propose. For if Christ was not God, if He did not rise from the dead, if He did not offer to us eternal salvation, then “he was a good man” is no half-way-there substitute. The resurrection is a miracle so unlikely, so scandalous that we must either embrace it wholly or reject Christianity with scorn. The events of Holy Week are not something we can accept half-way, and by accepting them we accept something which goes utterly and completely beyond the natural and predictable world. A miracle.
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Triumph of the King

Sunday, March 28, 2010 \AM\.\Sun\.

zechariah

“9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion, shout for joy, O daughter of Jerusalem: BEHOLD THY KING will come to thee, the just and saviour: he is poor, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. 10 And I will destroy the chariot out of Ephraim, and the horse out of Jerusalem, and the bow for war shall be broken: and he shall speak peace to the Gentiles, and his power shall be from sea to sea, and from the rivers even to the end of the earth.”

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Palm Sunday 1865

Sunday, March 28, 2010 \AM\.\Sun\.

I have always thought it appropriate that the national nightmare we call the Civil War ended during Holy Week 1865.  Two remarkably decent men, Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant, began the process of healing so desperately needed for America on Palm Sunday, April 9, 1865 at Appomattox.  We take their decency for granted, but it is the exception and not the rule for the aftermath of civil wars in history.  The usual course would have been unremitting vengeance by the victors, and sullen rage by the defeated, perhaps eventually breaking out in guerilla war.  The end of the Civil War could so very easily have been the beginning of a cycle of unending war between North and South.  Instead, both Grant and Lee acted to make certain as far as they could that the fratricidal war that had just concluded would not be repeated.  All Americans owe those two men a large debt for their actions at Appomattox. Read the rest of this entry »


Sharpe is Back

Saturday, March 27, 2010 \PM\.\Sat\.

A public service announcement for those who, like me, enjoyed watching the adventures of Richard Sharpe, ably portrayed by Sean Bean, an up from the ranks officer in the British 95th Rifles during the Napoleonic Wars.  Two new episodes are being broadcast on PBS this week and next.  Go here  and here for the details chosen guys and gals.


Planned Parenthood Gives Thanks To Nuns

Saturday, March 27, 2010 \PM\.\Sat\.

The President of Worse Than Murder, Inc, aka Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards has thanked  all the nuns who helped get the pro-abort version of ObamaCare passed.  My emphasis added:

And in the last days, when Congressman Stupak and the National Conference of Catholic Bishops threatened to bring down health care reform completely over their narrow demands, the true heroine for women’s health was Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She never blinked. In the final hours, when congressional leadership and the White House were scrambling for any vote they could get to reach the magic 216, Speaker Pelosi put herself in the way of the anti-choice steamroller. In private and in public, she vowed that there would be no health care bill if it included the Stupak abortion ban.

And in the final days before the bill was passed, it was the Roman Catholic nuns who most importantly broke with the bishops and the Vatican to announce their support for health care reform. This brave and important move, demonstrating that they cared as much about the health care of families in America as they did about church hierarchy, was a critical demonstration of support. Bart Stupak may not ask the nuns for advice, as he recently announced to the press, but maybe next time he should.

At Planned Parenthood, we’re committed to fight to change the egregious Nelson language in the bill that President Obama signed today, which unjustly treats abortion coverage differently than all other health care. As providers of health care to three million people every year, Planned Parenthood health centers are also prepared to roll up their sleeves and help get more Americans the health care they need. We are pleased that the health care reform bill will extend coverage to millions of women and guarantee access to affordable, lifesaving screenings for breast and cervical cancer and other preventive tests. Women will no longer need to live in fear of being dropped by an insurer because of a pre-existing condition. And, in a huge victory for women’s reproductive health, this bill will significantly increase insurance coverage of reproductive health care, including family planning.

It has been a long and difficult process to get health care passed, and the work isn’t over yet. But we need more than health care; we need women and men elected to office who will stand up for our health and our rights, even when it’s hard. So here’s to the women leaders in Congress — and to the nuns — and to the women everywhere who were counting on them. They need our gratitude and our support.

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Consequences of the Love of Equality

Saturday, March 27, 2010 \PM\.\Sat\.

Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Volume Two, Part Four, Chapter Six: What Kind of Despotism Democratic Nations Have to Fear:

I see an innumerable crowd of like and equal men who revolve on themselves without repose, procuring the small and vulgar pleasures with which they fill their souls. Each of them, withdrawn and apart, is like a stranger to the destiny of all the others: his children and his particular friends form the whole human species for him; as for dwelling with his fellow citizens, he is beside them, but he does not see them; he touches them and does not feel them; he exists only in himself and for himself alone, and if a family still remains for him, one can at least say that he no longer has a native country.

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All Glory, Laud and Honor

Saturday, March 27, 2010 \AM\.\Sat\.

Something for the weekend.  The masterpiece of Saint Theodulph.  Go here for the Latin and English lyrics.


Media Bias, What Media Bias?

Friday, March 26, 2010 \PM\.\Fri\.

Hattip to Michelle Malkin.  When it comes to the lamestream media, their bias in favor of the pro-aborts is so manifest as to be laughable.  The latest demonstration of this bias is to call pro-aborts “abortion rights supporters” and pro-lifers “abortion rights opponents”.  NPR has jumped on this bandwagon:

NPR News is revising the terms we use to describe people and groups involved in the abortion debate.

This updated policy is aimed at ensuring the words we speak and write are as clear, consistent and neutral as possible. This is important given that written text is such an integral part of our work.

On the air, we should use “abortion rights supporter(s)/advocate(s)” and “abortion rights opponent(s)” or derivations thereof (for example: “advocates of abortion rights”). It is acceptable to use the phrase “anti-abortion”, but do not use the term “pro-abortion rights”. Read the rest of this entry »


Talent

Friday, March 26, 2010 \AM\.\Fri\.

Hattip to the ever reticent lads and lasses at The Lair of the Catholic Cavemen.  My plaudits to the young lady.  Balancing 15 books on her head, reciting pi to the 100th digit and solving a rubik’s cube is much more difficult and entertaining than most of the “watch me!” videos posted on Youtube.  Youtube will allow us all to achieve the 15 minutes of fame predicted by Warhol, but rarely in as amusing a fashion as this video.


Do Not Date Shapeshifters!

Friday, March 26, 2010 \AM\.\Fri\.

From the only reliable source of news on the net, the Onion.  Hmmm, well my opinion is that all men and women should not date shapeshifters, robots or androids, especially if they come from the future.  This giving relationship advice thing is a snap!  Maybe I should start a “Dear Don” column here at AC and offer solutions to relationship dilemmas.  Let me try offering another piece of relationship advice.  If your date insists on finishing up a blog post, you must be understanding and patient, unless he or she exceeds the one hour keeping a date waiting rule.  Ha!  How easy this is!


Can Catholics Abstain From ObamaCare

Thursday, March 25, 2010 \PM\.\Thu\.

I came across this American Thinker article on the exclusion of Amish and Muslims from ObamaCare:

The Senate health care bill just signed contains some exemptions to the “pay-or-play” mandate requiring purchase of Obamacare-approved health insurance or payment of a penalty fine. As Fox News has pointed out, for instance, the Amish are excused from the mandate:

So while most Americans would be required to sign up with insurance companies or government insurance plans, the church would serve as something of an informal insurance plan for the Amish.

Law experts say that kind of exemption withstands scrutiny.

“Here the statute is going to say that people who are conscientiously opposed to paying for health insurance don’t have to do it where the conscientious objection arises from religion,” said Mark Tushnet a Harvard law professor. “And that’s perfectly constitutional.”

Apparently, this exemption will apply similarly to believers in Islam, which considers health insurance – and, for that matter, any form of risk insurance – to be haraam (forbidden).

Steve Gilbert of Sweetness & Light calls our attention to the probability that Muslims will also be expempt. According to a March 23 publication on an authoritative Islamic Web site managed by Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid, various fatwas (religious decrees) absolutely forbid Muslim participation in any sort of health care or other risk insurance:

Health insurance is haraam like other types of commercial insurance, because it is based on ambiguity, gambling and riba (usury). This is what is stated in fatwas by the senior scholars.

In Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (15/277) there is a quotation of a statement of the Council of Senior Scholars concerning the prohibition on insurance and why it is haraam:

It says in Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (15/251):

Firstly: Commercial insurance of all types is haraam because it involves ambiguity, riba, uncertainty, gambling and consuming people’s wealth unlawfully, and other shar’i

Secondly: It is not permissible for the Muslim to get involved with insurance companies by working in administration or otherwise, because working in them comes under the heading of cooperating in sin and transgression, and Allaah forbids that as He says: “but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allaah. Verily, Allaah is Severe in punishment”

[al-Maa’idah 5:2]. End quote.

reservations.
And Allaah knows best.

So, it turns out that observant Muslims are not only strictly forbidden from buying any health insurance under the ObamaCare mandate, but may also not even work for any company that provides such insurance or any other form of commercial insurance.

(…)

Being an observant Catholic I don’t have to participate because it goes against my faith to kill unborn innocent children?

The 5th, 7th, and 10th Commandments and the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) forbids me from participating.

5th Commandment & CCC 2268-2269: You shall not kill. (ObamaCare kills unborn babies)[1]

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