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Sister Patricia: On Seven Quick-Takes Friday
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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

An Outright Attack On The Blessed Mother

There's no other way to describe it. It's enough to turn your stomach.

From CNA: Homosexual Activists Design 'Relational Mysteries' for Rosary

Scrutiny of a group of protesters at Bishop Salvatore Cordileone’s visit to the Jesuit School of Theology at the Graduate Theological Union last week has put the spotlight on a variant of the Rosary designed by homosexual activists to contemplate what they call the “Relational Mysteries.”

The Bishop of Oakland's visit was intended to commemorate the merging of the Jesuit school with Santa Clara University.

The California Catholic Daily reports that the visit’s protesters, about twenty in number, included Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, president of the Starr King (Unitarian Universalist) School of Ministry; Rev. Roland Stringfellow, the organizer of the GTU’s Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies; Rev. Sanna Reinholtzen, a Lutheran minister; and doctoral student Eugene McMullan, apparently a Catholic.

[...]

The “Relational Mysteries” are listed as Fidelity - Ruth’s pledge to Naomi; Grief – The Parting of David and Jonathan; Intercession – Esther intercedes for her people; Restoration – the raising of Lazarus; and Discipleship – the two encounter Christ on the road to Emmaus.

The California Catholic Daily also reports a habit among religious homosexual activists of interpreting the relationship between Ruth and Naomi as a homosexual one.

Episcopal priest John Kirkeley, a nominee for Bishop of Los Angeles, has characterized the relationship between Saul, David and Jonathon as a “Biblical Love Triangle,” while Fr. Donal Godfrey, executive director of University Ministry at the University of San Francisco, in a homily likened the story of Lazarus to “the call to come out.”

These aren't the "Relational Mysteries" - they are the "Deviant Mysteries". It's a sham, a total hijacking of a beloved devotion that is meant to deepen one's faith. These 'mysteries' only serve to deepen the pit these misguided souls are sinking in. Another reason to pray for the intercession of Our Mother of Sorrows.

It seems as if my own rosary has become defiled as a result of these people's actions.

Well, guess what. I can make up "mysteries" too. I'm gonna call them the "Fire and Brimstone Mysteries".

  1. The Annihilation - Gen 19:24-25.
  2. The Abomination - Lev 18:22.
  3. The Wickedness - Lev 18:23.
  4. The Detestation - Ps 101:4.
  5. The Infliction - Rom 1:27
Please don't pray these! It's just a rant of righteous anger! I'll be praying a real rosary for reparation.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

An Award

Some time ago, the Grand Duchess of Idaho bestowed upon me a Loyal Friend award. Thank you Adrienne! If you haven't been reading Adrienne's Catholic Corner, you should check it out. Her commentaries on faith and politics is top-notch, her sense and style is fascinating and funny, and her blogroll is a Who's Who of conservative writers and Catholic bloggers (yeah - I'm on her list. Don't act so surprised!).

I'm supposed to pass it on to other people - so all you loyal readers and visitors out there - this is for you!

"My Best Days..."

So how would you complete that sentence? Would it be "My best days lay behind me"? Or "My best days are still to come"?

This idea has been rattling around my mind the past few days - if I don't take the time to write about it, the rattling will continue and drive me nuts.

In the course of one's life, either sentiment is plausible, sometimes simultaneously. Circumstances of every stripe influence us - whether they be political, economical, social, physical, spiritual - so it's possible to answer one way this week, and completely opposite a week from now. God created us body and spirit, with emotions, affected by external stimuli and internal conditions, both within and without our control. We aren't passive and inert - we possess will and conscience, which differentiates us from the rest of creation. We can decide how to react to situations. We can adjust our attitude to the conditions, or choose not to. Sometimes we even have the power to adjust the conditions.

I was watching "GK Chesteron: The Apostle of Common Sense" Sunday night on EWTN, and the show dealt with Progress, and progressives. He basically said that in the past, pre-Industrial Revolution, life was like a dance. It had an expected rhythm, a pattern of rising and falling that contained order and balance. But now, life resembled a race - a frenetic chaotic pace of striving towards an undefined goal: Something Better. He put it something like this - "Today's progressives want to take a trip to Canterbury, but rather than stop there, continue on for several more miles." In other words, there was no contentment with the Here And Now. It was Progress for the Sake of Progress. He wasn't advocating returning to the Middle Ages in a literal sense - but he suggested that we have lost, as a society, the aspects of that way of life which kept us happy and content. Our modern culture pushes us forward at a faster and faster rate, but have we really moved forward? Just because a product is declared to be New and Improved, it doesn't make it so. In many respects, we've moved backwards. Depression seems rampant, uncertainty is a sure thing. As a culture, our best days may very well be behind us, but the culture continues to announce that our best days are yet to come. It's schizophrenic in a way.

I think everyone has some innate sense that "things are always going to get better". Perhaps it's a defense mechanism against despair. Or maybe it's just a different way of saying "I can't imagine things getting much worse" - which, oddly enough, becomes prophetic, because then things do get worse. It's such a fine line, isn't it, between hope and despair.

Here's the bottom line - as Catholics, the key to living in joy is to be living in the present moment. Present to those we live with; present to our current responsibilities; present to our vocation. Christ exhorted us not to worry about the future, that there is sufficient evil in the present day.

Fr Corapi has said on numerous occasions - "Leave the past to God's mercy; leave the future to God's providence. God has given us the gift of today - which is why it's called the Present." I've found that advice to be very comforting as of late.

I'm not advocating sticking one's head in the sand and ignoring what's going on in the world. I'm not suggesting going all Pollyanna and blindly hoping for the best. There's work to be done in the vineyard, after all - and Jesus' parables talk about people working those vineyards, not God or the angels. Yes, God will provide, but His plan requires our involvement.

It's easy to fall into either the trap of Progressive Optimism - "Everything is always going to get better" - or the quicksand of Oppressive Pessimism - "Things will never be as good as they used to be". There's a sure and safe path between both traps - it's a narrow road, as Christ told us. And if I stick to that road - even when it's difficult - then I'll have the proper attitude and will be able to complete that sentence the way I believe Jesus would want me to:

"My best days are right now, this very day."

I look ahead with the Hope that God has promised me, regardless of whether things on this earth improve or not. I look at my past with Faith that God has forgiven my sins, and that I've learned from my mistakes and grown from them. I will try my best to live this day as a witness to Christ, with charity towards all. I will continue to count my blessings, and bear my cross with joy. I'm not always going to be successful, but I sure as heck am going to stay faithful. Regardless of whatever circumstances I find myself in, the love of God makes today the best day of my life.

The First International Blasphemy Day

***Welcome to those coming over from the Creative Minority Reader!!!***

Okay, let's see if I understand this correctly. Atheists don't believe in God. Atheists think people of faith are stupid. Atheists hold rationality and reason as the highest ideals, and rely on science to define Everything That There Is And Ever Shall Be. They hold no regard for anything supernatural or miraculous.

So why are they doing something so stupid, irrational and unreasonable as this? Do they really believe that holding an International Blasphemy Day is going to change any believers' minds? Or make them appear uber-intelligent to anyone other than their own minions?

From Catholic Online: 'Blasphemy Day Targets Christianity'

NEW YORK, NY (Catholic League) - The Center for Inquiry will launch the first International Blasphemy Day on September 30, the anniversary of the 2005 publication of the Danish cartoons that so inflamed Muslims worldwide.

Billed as a free speech event designed to oppose such things as a Muslim-sponsored U.N. resolution banning criticism of religion, the day has drawn the support of people like PZ Myers.

Myers, a professor at the University of Minnesota known for intentionally desecrating a consecrated Host (I blogged about him here), says the day was established to “mock and insult religion without fear of murder, violence, and reprisal”; he wants every day to be Blasphemy Day.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue spoke to this event today:

"The Center for Inquiry is factually incorrect to say that “Free speech is the foundation on which other liberties rest.”

"Freedom of conscience is the first liberty, and it is inextricably linked to freedom of religion. Moreover, the whole concept of inalienable rights presupposes a belief in the Creator.

"In other words, atheists have the right to mock religion because our Christian Founding Fathers afforded them human rights.

"They are all such phonies. The stated purpose of Blasphemy Day has nothing to do with any religion but Islam, yet there is not one scheduled event insulting Muslims. We can only guess why. So who have they chosen to mock? You guessed it—Christians.

"Artist Dana Ellyn will wander to Washington, D.C. to show her masterpiece, “Jesus Does His Nails,” a portrait of Jesus polishing a nail jammed into his hand.

"In Los Angeles, there will be a film about a gay molesting priest and another about a boy who is so angry about being sent to bed that he asks God to kill his parents. Oh, yes, American Atheists will conduct “De-Baptisms” in New Jersey.

"Nice to know that even the atheists know that Christians can be counted on to react to their antics like good Christians. Which is why there will be no violence."

So how rational and reasonable is this then? They're commemorating a day when a Muslim cartoon was censored...by insulting Christians? They don't seem all that bright to me. These folks aren't willing to be persecuted for their own beliefs, but they are more than willing to insult and impugn others. What are they so afraid of?

I suggest declaring September 30 as "Forgive Them, Father, They Know Not What They Do" Day. Offer Masses, say rosaries, recite Divine Mercy chaplets, offer reparation for sin - that'd be the best Catholic response. Kinda like being anti-blasphemers. And who knows? Maybe some of the atheists will come to know Christ and convert. It's been known to happen.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Holy Father, Meet Daddy Long Legs

From Fox News.com: Large Spider Crawls on Pope During Speech in Prague



PRAGUE — President Barack Obama had his fly. Now Pope Benedict XVI has his spider.

A large arachnid appeared on the pope's white robes as he addressed politicians and diplomats in Prague on Saturday afternoon. The pope didn't seem to notice at first — but journalists following the speech on a large screen flinched as the spider inched toward Benedict's neck.

It disappeared from view for a moment, but then could be seen crawling up the right side of the 82-year-old pontiff's face.

When it reached his ear, Benedict gave it a swat. But it didn't go away — it reappeared on the pope's left shoulder and scampered down his robe.

As the pope left the medieval Prague Castle's ornate Spanish Hall, the spider could be seen hanging from a piece of web.

In June, Obama now famously swatted and killed a fly that intruded on an interview for CNBC at the White House

AoftheA issued the following statement:

The itsy-bitsy spider
Climbed up the white-haired pope
Down came God's reign
And gave the spider hope
Out came the Son
And forgave all its sin
And the itsy-bitsy spider
Climbed down the pope again.

PETA has yet to issue a statment applauding the Holy Father's merciful treatment of the spider.

Monday Madness XXVII

Welcome to Monday Madness, the weekly feature of AoftheA. This week's installment is dedicated to all the left-handed men who read this blog. I hope you're happy being responsible for the impending apocalypse.

From London-Reuters: Store Launches Underpants for Left-handed Men

A British store is launching a range of underpants for left-handed men, an innovation it says will save them both time and embarrassment in front of the porcelain.

The new range, by UK-based Hom, will have a horizontal opening instead of a vertical slit accessed from the right-hand side, breaking a tradition that has lasted for 75 years.

"In our view, this is a vital step toward equality for left-handed men," said Rob Faucherand of Debenhams store.

Almost 10 percent of British men are believed to be left handed but men's Y-fronted underpants have traditionally had a right-handed opening from the time they were invented in 1935.

"As a result," Debenhams said, "left-handed men have to reach much further into their pants, performing a Z shaped maneuver through two 180 degree angles before achieving the result that right handed men perform with ease." (that's called geourinometry, you know)

Previously, it added, boxer shorts, with an adaptable, ambidextrous opening in the middle, have been the underpants of choice for left handed men.

The new pants mean that left handed men can finally go to the bathroom as quickly and efficiently as their right-handed colleagues, the store said.

"Switching the opening from vertical to horizontal may sound like a small step, but it's the major breakthrough that many have been waiting for," added Faucherand.

For the record, I am right-handed.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Apocalypse Alert!!

The Detroit Lions won their football game today! No, seriously! They defeated the Washington Redskins, 19-14. First regular season victory since December 23, 2007.

I hope you all have your blessed candles handy...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Quick Thought


I was able to go to Confession today. I'm so grateful for that sacrament. Otherwise I'd have to sacrifice a bull or something as a blood atonement for my sins, and that'd be really messy.

Take That, Vatican!!

Yeah, I'm talking to you, seat of the Catholic Church. You are in biiiiiiiig trouble now. You've really stepped in it by ordering a visitation of women religious orders. You were asked to dial it down. You were accused of being hateful to American sisters.

Well, the gloves are off now. You had your chance to walk away without a fight. Ain't gonna happen now.

Congress has spoken. Unanimously.

House Resolution #441 has been passed, which honors the historical contributions of Catholic sisters in the US.

As gestures go, the resolution is nice. But this is much much more than a gesture. This is Sending A Message. Straight to Rome.

Because the NCR has spoken: "This should be sent to the Vatican forthwith. The men who ordered the current inquisition need to know how Sisters are regarded in the United States."

Seriously, this resolution is irrelevant to the current visitation. Because the visitation is concerned with current circumstances and doctrinal issues, not historical contributions.

Ah, but let the NCR and LCWR have their big dog moment. It's kinda funny.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Does Devout Mean Anything Anymore?

In The Princess Bride, Inigo Montoya tells Vizzini: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Kinda like the word "devout" when it comes to mainstream journalists.

Interesting article at GetReligion from 9/24: Hopelessly Devoted to Fog, where Terry Mattingly looks into the phrase "devout Catholic". Is it a product of lazy journalism, the result of 'religion' writers failing to make a serious effort to understand the beliefs and doctrines of Catholicism? Or is it something different?

He cites two examples in his piece, that clearly illustrate the issue:

For example, you may remember the tragic case of the “devout” Catholic who died in the three-day head-washing voodoo rite? By the way, yes, I know about the overlaps of cultural Catholicism and voodoo in Haiti.

The column also mentions the recent Chicago Tribune coverage of the death of nationally syndicated horoscope columnist Linda C. Black. Here’s a key piece of that:

Ms. Black was both a devout Catholic and a devoted follower of astrology, which holds that the position of the stars and planets has a direct effect on human affairs and personalities.

This demonstrates a laziness on the journalist's part -I seriously doubt it's a nefarious plot to water down Catholic teaching that shows that astrology and Catholicism are hunky-dory with each other. CCC 1216 is pretty explicit in condemning astrological practice. Still, it's frustrating, because the casual reader who is as equally uninformed as the journalist may be led to believe that there is such acceptance in the Church. Five minutes of research is all it would have taken to present an accurate report. Instead, stuff like this happens all the time.

Most of the time, it happens with high-profile individuals, primarily in the government:

Nancy Pelosi - devout Catholic.

John Kerry - devout Catholic.

Ted Kennedy - devout Catholic.

Kathleen Sebelius - devout Catholic.

Joe Biden - devout Catholic.

I know, I know - "judge not" and all that. But I'm not judging here - these terms have been used to describe each of the above individuals. My question is - how do the journalists know that they, or any other public Catholic, for that matter, are devout? Because these people have called themselves thus, and the journalists repeat it? Because they spout "I'm faithful to my conscience" while at the same time, they're unfaithful to aspects of Church teaching? Well, Jesus gave a parable comparing the Pharisee to the Publican. Who was the truly devout one in that story?

John Roberts', during his confirmation hearings, was also described as a "devout" Catholic. Of course, in that case, it meant something entirely different, to the liberal Catholics especially.

Same two words - completely opposite meanings. An abuse of language. So what ends up happening is that both terms - "devout" and "Catholic" - become meaningless. They become shadows without substance, weakened to the point where they're both hollow words filling up space without saying anything. Which is to everyone's detriment. News and reporting is supposed to inform, not deform. Then again, it is the secular news we're discussing here. Yeah, they have an agenda - which is not to accurately portray Church teaching - I just think that it's so ingrained in their habits and behavior, they don't realize that they're actually doing it. I could be wrong - I'm giving them a huge benefit of the doubt.

One thing I do know - when public Catholics are chastised by those in authority - ie: the bishops - for their failure to uphold Catholic doctrine and their blatant disobedience, then labels are thrown around with abandon: "judgmental"; "legalistic"; "narrow-minded"; "controlling"; "oppressive". These are printed in the liberal 'Catholic' media for the most part - NCReporter anyone? - and there's no ambiguity about the intent of these labels.

I'm not hopeful that the secular journalists are going to change their ways anytime soon as it pertains to Catholicism. They will continue to label, they will continue to be lazy, they will continue to repeat and report without research. In effect, they will claim to be journalists without doing everything that's required to be a good journalist.

I guess that makes them "devout" journalists.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mad Scientist, Or Just Plain Crazy?

You'd think these scientists have never read a sci-fi story or watched any of The Terminator movies.

From the Telegraph.co.uk: Immortality Only 20 Years Away Says Scientist

Scientist Ray Kurzweil claims humans could become immortal in as little as 20 years' time through nanotechnology and an increased understanding of how the body works.

The 61-year-old American, who has predicted new technologies arriving before, says our understanding of genes and computer technology is accelerating at an incredible rate.

He says theoretically, at the rate our understanding is increasing, nanotechnologies capable of replacing many of our vital organs could be available in 20 years time.

Mr Kurzweil adds that although his claims may seem far-fetched, artificial pancreases and neural implants are already available.

I have a word of warning for Mr Kurzweil - Cybermen. Just sayin'.

And here's a thought - this may be the only way progressive Catholics end up sticking around, because they're a bit long in the tooth, and fewer still are reproducing.

Canadian Bishops: "Give To UNICEF"

I think it's high time the bishops' conferences, both here in the US and in Canada, disband. Voluntarily, forcibly...either way is fine with me. Despite any good they might promote - which is arguable - time and time again they make decisions that defy understanding.

For instance - the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) released a statement on September 18th in which they announced that money may be donated to UNICEF, provided they "receive the necessary assurances their contributions will not be used for programs in conflict with Catholic moral principles." The UNICEF project specifically approved for donations is "Schools for Africa". This is recommended despite the fact that UNICEF promotes abortion.

But as LifeSiteNews.com reported yesterday, "UNICEF has indicated that the program has already exceeded its fundraising expectations. This is adding to questions being asked by Catholics about why the bishops' organization is so insistent that they donate to the UN group while many Catholic charities are suffering from the economic downturn."

Oh, and get this: C-FAM President Austin Ruse reacted to the CCCB announcement saying: "The Holy See ended its annual contribution to UNICEF years ago (since 1996) and even under great pressure has never returned. Why? Because UNICEF promotes abortion."

This is so freakin' naive. It'd be like the USCCB saying money will be donated to Planned Parenthood, but only for the projects where PP helps pregnant women bring their babies to term. And then believing PP when they say "sure, no problem - trust us!" I know it's not a perfect analogy, but you get the idea.

So I ask the USCCB, whose Catholic Campaign for Human Development contributes funds to organizations that have pro-abortion and pro-Socialism ties (Gamaliel Foundation, for instance), and the CCCB, in earmarking donations for UNICEF: what the hell are you doing??? Are there no worthwhile Catholic charities and organizations that could use the funds? As the LifeSite article states: In a UNICEF press release on September 15, UNICEF announced that it's "Schools for Africa" project had "raised more than $50 million for its Schools for Africa campaign, exceeding its initial target"; while at the same time - MaterCare International (MCI), an association of Catholic Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, dedicated to improving the lives and health of mothers and their children both unborn and born throughout the world, is headquartered in Newfoundland. Founder and Executive Director Dr. Robert Walley informed LifeSiteNews that the organization is in great financial need. His current project in Kenya where there is hardly any healthcare is over $4 million short, he noted.

That's pretty bad. That's really bad. I find it ridiculously stupid that any Catholic bishop anywhere in the world would want to give money to the UN. What has the UN ever done for the Catholic Church?

I have never contributed to the CCHD, and I never will. Bishops ought to be solely and independently responsible within their dioceses for how contributions are distributed, rather than hide behind the bureaucracy of the USCCB, which shuffles contributions off to disreputable and questionable organizations. Send Catholic money to Catholic groups. Period. There are plenty out there that need financial support. Stop sending money to groups and programs that are not in line with Catholic social teaching.

If the USCCB were to disappear tomorrow, the Church would not be worse off, in my opinion. In fact, the Church's credibility would more than likely improve.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Role Reversal

If the CRONES had produced "The Bells of St. Mary's"....

Liturgical Abuse - Unleashed!

Wow. There's just no limit to the extent by which some folks - priests included - insist on abusing the liturgy.

From Thomas Peters' blog American Papist:



"The video [shows] one of many liturgical abuses during Sunday Mass, which also included a plug before Mass for Father's favorite dog shampoo (As he set the bottle of shampoo on the altar while continuing to talk about it and then made some in the congregation smell it)."

Thomas explains why it's important to publicize these abuses: "I think it is legitimate to document cases of liturgical abuse and bring them to the attention of the wider Catholic community, so that prompt action can be taken by the local bishop. Scandal has already been done to those who directly witnessed the event, and by making the abuse public, there is a better chance that action will be quickly taken to address the situation internally."

I'm in 100% agreement. Exposing such cases increases the possibility that they won't reoccur, and provides the bishop an opportunity to teach and admonish, if necessary, so that the faithful won't be led further astray. More importantly, the Mass will be preserved as a solemn act of worship, and not reduced to a dog and pony show (sans pony, in this case).

s/s to CMR

Monday, September 21, 2009

Another Pro-Lifer Assaulted

It comes as no surprise that people who support violence against the unborn will sometimes display violence towards the born - specifically, those in the pro-life movement protesting abortion.

Ten days ago, it was the murder of James Pouillon by Harlan Drake.

Today, it's an attack against a pro-life demonstrator in Arizona. Thankfully, the man survived his minor injuries.

Here's the story at CNA:
Elderly Pro-lifer Assaulted While Protesting in Arizona

Pro-life activist Johnny Wallace, 69, was attacked on Friday by two women as he stood holding two signs in front of City Hall in Flagstaff, Arizona. The women, both 48, yelled profanities at him, attempted to take his signs and wrestled him to the ground.

On the day of the attack, Wallace, who daily protests in front of City Hall, held two text-only signs. According to Operation Rescue, the signs said, “Abortion kills more black Americans in four days than the Klan killed in 150 years,” and the other, “Life begins at conception and ends at Planned Parenthood."

The two women who accosted Wallace were identified as Denise Redsteer and Laura Chapman. According to Northern Arizona Today, Wallace was knocked to the ground as he attempted to protect his signs from one of the women. The other woman then joined in the struggle.

Wallace was treated for minor injuries after the incident by medics called to the scene. Redsteer and Chapman were cited and released on misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and criminal damage.

Operation Rescue President Troy Newman released a statement on Monday commenting that Wallace was only “exercising his God-given rights as an American citizen when he was brutally assaulted because his attackers disagreed with his beliefs."

“This attack is especially disturbing because the motivation for the attack on Mr. Wallace was the same motivation that caused Harlan Drake to murder Jim Pouillon," Newman added.

How courageous - attacking a 69 year old man. The truth of the statements on his signs resonated profoundly with these women - perhaps they bear the pain and shame of past abortions, and rage became their defense against the truth. It's been known to happen.

I fear these assaults will become more commonplace, with the unfortunate result being additional restrictions placed on protesters, 'for their protection', of course. Even though this assault occurred in front of the Flagstaff City Hall rather than outside an abortuary, somehow someway the pro-abortion lobby will try to spin these circumstances to their advantage.

God bless Johnny Wallace - he's a warrior for God and for the unborn.

Telling Statement

Just finished reading an interview Doug Kmiec gave to The Times of Malta (which can be read here), and while no new ground is broken concerning his unwavering support of Obama, there's one quote that's rather revealing - emphasis mine.

Even though there were areas of disagreement, Mr Obama pointed out the responsibility of government to provide a family wage, to care for the environment and to provide healthcare for the uninsured. (but it's not government-run health care. Got it.)

"When I thought about all these things, I thought 'this is my catechism come to life' because we are called to each of these things in the social teachings of the Church."

Hmmm. The copy I have is titled "The Catechism of the Catholic Church". His must be called The Catechism of Doug Kmiec.

I realize that being an ambassador requires commitment to the administration's policies. But it's rather unsettling to hear him say things like "...everyone realised that this (Obama) was a man of humility, great intelligence and capable of listening..." and "...that Mr Obama is about conducting a foreign policy that is principled and lives up to international standards...". Sounds like his transformation into Richard Rich is complete.

Monday Madness XXVI

Welcome to the weekly feature Monday Madness at Acts of the Apostasy, where things can get quite a bit hairy at times. Literally.

From The Daily Mail Online: Beard and Wonderful: Hairy Competition Gather in Germany for Moustache Championships

Here's a group of men who certainly cut a tache when they appear in public.

The hairy-faced competitors took part in the annual International World Beard and Moustache Championships in Gruendau near Frankfurt this weekend.

And some of them looked as though they'd been waiting all their lives for their moment to shine (or wax).

Here's pictures of several of the contestants:

I'm facial-hair growth challenged - so no competitions for me. Oh! Do you think the LCWR or the CRONES will cry "Unfair and sexist"? Cos' everyone knows that God doesn't just call men to be fleeced.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Good News Sunday

There's no greater Good News than the Gospel, but it never hurts to read of other good news occurring elsewhere. What makes good news "good" is that it's not published as much.

From the National Catholic Register: Emma Watson Meets Her Pope by Tim Drake

Last Wednesday, 7-year-old Emma Watson of Craigmont, Idaho, finally got her wish to meet Pope Benedict XVI. Register readers will remember first meeting Emma through this story.

Nearly aborted, Emma was born with mosaic Turner syndrome and hypoplastic left heart syndrome and has undergone five open-heart surgeries for palliation of her congenital heart condition. She has wanted to meet the Pope since age 3.

Originally scheduled to meet the Pope in February, that trip had to be canceled because Emma had to be hospitalized for intestinal bleeding. The trip was made possible through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which granted 13,425 wishes to children last year.

This time around, she almost missed seeing the Pope for two different reasons. First, only three weeks before the trip, she was hospitalized with pancreatitis. Then, on the morning of the general audience, the Watson family couldn’t find the Make-A-Wish volunteers in the plaza.

Eventually, they found one another, and the Watsons were rushed in and seated for the general audience just minutes before it began. Emma and her mother, Patti, were given front-row seats.

“Mom was looking the other way when the Pope came out,” said Emma. “I was in awe, and I started crying.”

“She kept saying, ‘It’s the Pope. That’s the Pope,’” said Emma’s mother, Patti.

After the audience, Emma and her mother were brought to greet the Pope.

The Holy Father blessed Emma “in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,” and then put his hands on Emma’s shoulders.

“He asked us where we were from,” said Patti. “I said the U.S., and then we were ushered aside.”

Normally quite talkative, Patti said that Emma was “speechless for the first time in her life.”

Emma said that when she looked into the Pope’s eyes she saw “happiness.”

This might be a recurring feature at AoftheA. Thinking about it.

s/s to Fr. Z

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Talk Like A Pirate Day - A Testimony

(September 19 is International Talk Like A Pirate Day. So I invited a pirate to post today.)

Ahoy, me hearty lubbers readin' this here blog! I be Captain Malcolm Creed o' the vessel Apostate Bane, 'unter of 'eretics and dissenters where'er they be skulkin'. Like bilge rats nestin' in yer grub, they be bad fer morale, deservin' a long walk on a short plank, if ye get me drift an' all.

Now it seems thar be plenty o' blaggard backstabbers seekin' ta hoist their own colors up the mizzenmast, an' steer Jesus' Good Ship (aye, thar be a good Commodore in Jesus, arrrr! A worthy sea dog be He!) into dangerous waters and uncharted seas. But any pirate worth 'is weight in gold doubloons knows ye follow charts that be true and routes that be sure.

Now ye might be askin' yerself, "How'd a wenchin', pillagin', groggin', pirate start livin' a life cleaner than a rightly swabbed quarterdeck?" Arrrr, I tell ye how, so shut yer bungholes and lissen close-like. Fer years I sailed the Seven Seas livin' on the account, boardin' ships and plunderin' their 'olds. I've keelhauled me share of scurvy dogs, an' fed many a fish. I spent me loot at many a port, got drunker than entire crews, and caboodled me share of buxom beauties. Aye, of that I be mighty 'shamed. I most like sailed 'round the world a dozen times over, as if pursued by Davy Jones hisself, aimin' to drag me down to his cold black locker. Aye, chased I be, but not by 'im. It was Jesus Christ who dogged me sails and tracked me wake, til one day, I fell to me knees and prayed "Arrrr, Lord Jesus, ye win. The chase be over. I give up me life of sackin' and carousin', and trade me watery grog for ye fine rich wine." Next time I dropped me anchor, I collared a priest, an' he forgave all me sins; aye, smartly he did. Arrrr, that be truth, else I spit in yer deadlights an' stick me pegleg up yer....er, booty.

Now I serve Jesus Christ, layin' down me cutlass but still fightin' the fight. No more stealin' treasure and hoardin' it in buried chests - now I share His treasure with all me buckos. Arrr, an' I defend the Good Ship from those who aim t' sink Her, or run Her aground. Me spyglass be trained rightly on a scurvy lot, a dissenters' ship named The NC'ARRRRR. It be a motley crew, with poxed 'earts and words fouler than bilgewater. Aye, they think they be cunning, but they be addled as if sloggin' mugs o' brine.

Arrrr, this here day, me bosun shewed me this message writ by their bony claws and sent adrift upon the briny deep, an' it backs me words, fifty pieces 'o eight if it don't:

Not long ago, the Cincinnati archdiocese banned Sr. Louise Akers from teaching because she supports the ordination of women.

That was bad enough. Then, Dr. Carol Egner, a laywoman and a gynecologist who was incensed by this injustice, wrote a letter supporting Akers to the Cincinnati Inquirer. Her pastor read the letter, and had the gall to demand that she write another letter retracting her position. When she rightly refused, he banished her from her volunteer teaching position with a 6th grade religion class at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish.

What is it that these men fear? Exposing children to the gospel ideal of gender equality? Open discussion of an issue of great importance in our church? The thought of actually sharing ministry equally with women?

The issue of women’s ordination seems to have produced a new level of clerical emotion in the last year. Perhaps -- because of the clergy shortage, the theological indefensibility of this discriminatory position, and the widespread acceptance of women in other denominations -- this is the issue on which they feel most vulnerable.

Begad, this saucy wench be speakin' like a Jack Tar marooned on a sand bar! Any pirate able to 'old his grub in a temptest knows that the Gospel is 'bout repentance an' salvation, not "gender equality"! Arrrr, me thinks she fears the good archbishop speaks true, an' she knows it in 'er bones. She prattles like shark-bait - 'stead of joinin' the 'ard-working hands in a battle, she calls fer a truce, or worse, makes up 'er own plan. When ye go aft when the Lord says go fore, ye end up gettin' scuppered! Arrrr, that be truth, else I make ye kiss the gunner's daughter!

The NC'ARRRR is makin' full sail, so I must 'elp me crew keep tack. I be writin' agin, if Jesus wills. For a knock-kneed land lubber, LarrrrrrrryD be a fine bucko - aye, we be mates in Jesus. Arrrrr, fair winds to ye!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

I Sense A Disturbance In The Force

I know it's not nice to laugh at people or poke fun at their beliefs - but there are times when it's darn near impossible to resist. Sometimes, they're begging for it.

This is one of those times.

From the "Truth is Stranger Than Fiction" department....

Jedi Ejected From Tesco for Wearing Hood, from the Telegraph.co.uk (Murray Wardrop)

Daniel Jones, 23, who created the International Church of Jediism, claims he was “victimised over his beliefs” by staff at the supermarket in Bangor, North Wales.

The religion, inspired by the sci-fi films, is practised by 500,000 around the world and requires believers to cover their heads in public places. But Mr Jones, from Holyhead, said that staff ejected him from the store over security fears when he refused to remove his hood.

Mr Jones, also known by his Jedi name Morda Hehol, told The Sun: "I told them it was a requirement of my religion but they just sniggered and ordered me to leave.

"I walked past a Muslim lady in a veil. Surely the same rules should apply to everyone."

The handbook of the UK Jedi Church, founded by the Star Wars fan last year, states: "Jedis must wear a hood up in any public place of a large audience."

Daniel added: "It was discrimination. I was really upset. Nobody should be treated like that.”

"I'll advise worshippers to boycott Tesco if it happens again. They will feel the Force."

A Tesco spokesman said: "Jedi are very welcome to shop in our stores although we would ask them to remove their hoods.

"Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Luke Skywalker all went hoodless without going to the Dark Side.

"If Jedi walk around our stores with their hoods on, they’ll miss lots of special offers."

The Tesco spokesman gets like, a billion points for dry humor.

Daniel Jones....I mean, Morda Hehol....ought to work a bit harder on his Jedi mind tricks. He should have been able to wave his hand a little and say "I am not the shopper you are looking for", right?

And since this story involves Jedi's, a grocery store and the Force, it makes sense to include the following video:


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Caption Contest #12

(Source)

(Click here for previous contest winner)

***WINNER***: Coffee Catholic: "Have you tasted the blue ones?"

Compose your captions in the combox....and if this doesn't get 20+ submissions, I'll be very very surprised.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Reason #4,522 Why I Hate Prime-time TV

(Yeah, I know the title isn't original, but it happened to fit.)

In my previous post, Mike in CT and Sarah-kala left comments regarding commercials. This was Sarah's: "The commercials are just as raunchy and etc. as well. BARF."

Absolutely right! I watch a fair amount of sports, and during commercial breaks, I often need to quickly switch to a tame channel. Like The Weather Channel.

And here's proof to back up her statement (not that any is needed):

From MSNBC Airs Ad for Adultery Website: "Life Is Short. Have An Affair."

"Live is Short. Have an Affair."

So ends a truly disgraceful television commercial for the "married dating and affairs" website AshleyMadison.com.

Readers might recall that the MRC's Brent Bozell wrote in February about how the NFL refused to allow this organization's commercials to be broadcast during this year's Super Bowl.

According to National Review's Kathryn Jean Lopez, the following ad by this adultery advocate actually aired on MSNBC last Wednesday during -- of all things! -- the post-presidential address commentary (h/t Hot Air)

That websites like this exist is certainly not shocking.

But that national cable outlets would air their commercials certainly is.

Of course, what should one expect from a network that actually gives Keith Olbermann a stage from which to spew his moronic vitriol?

I went to the site just to see if it was actually for real.

It is. In fact, the Ashley Madison Agency boasts of over 4,450,000 members! And there were nearly 45,000 members online at the time! This agency caters exclusively to married (the site uses the term 'attached') people. You know, the marriage counseling industry should be disappointed at all the lost business - 4 million plus couples needing their help and expertise, instead of this outlet to sin.

They forgot a sentence in their marketing, though.

Life Is Short. Have An Affair. Hell Is For Eternity.

All I can say is, is if this indicative of how some in America value marriage, perhaps we don't deserve to have it saved from so-called gay marriage.

Reason #4,521 Why I Hate Primetime TV

As if I needed another reason to NOT watch prime time television.

Premiering on ABC this fall is a sitcom called "Modern Family" (9PM, 9/23), starring Ed O'Neill (remember "Married...With Children"?). The synopsis, from ABC.com: "Today's American families come in all different shapes and sizes. Shot from the perspective of an unseen documentary filmmaker, this comedy is a modern look at the complications that come with being a family in 2009."

Sounds innocuous enough, right?

Wrong - included in the mix is a gay couple with an adopted child. Yep. Disney Studios doing their part to propel social engineering. Or rather, social re-engineering. It doesn't take a genius to figure out what some of the "complications" will be: so-called gay marriage and gay adoptions, to name the two biggies. I'm willing to bet that one or more characters on this show will be a "religious intolerant bigot", too. To show 'balance', of course.

I often wonder how much different our culture would be if shows reflected traditional families, dealing with traditional issues. Couples remaining faithful to each other in marriage. Children being respectful of their parents. Parents acting like adults. Fathers not being portrayed as ignorant airheads. Immoral behavior being rejected rather than embraced and glorified. Values such as sacrifice, prudence, modesty, chastity, God and faith being honored rather than vilified. Comes down to two words, really: Sin Sells. It's a shame the American public at large have rejected many of these ideals, replacing them with cheap laughs, scatological humor and being content with settling for the lowest common denominator. Shame on us.

This isn't new - it's been happening for decades (how many years have some of those soap operas been on tv, anyway?). And the crazy part is that we've allowed it to happen. Not all of us, but enough to send a clear message to the producers and creators of these kind of shows: Keep it coming! Push the envelope! Make us laugh! Circuses, circuses!

My bet is that this show won't survive past mid-season. Which really doesn't matter, because the end game for the networks is not individual success of any particular show. It's the eventual transformation of the culture into their perspective of What's Really Important - instant gratification, misapplied tolerance and the relentless advance of the tyranny of relativism.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Compendium Of Progressive Saints

Reading as much progressive Catholic drivel as I do, one theme that is frequently repeated in their essays and articles is an appeal to non-Catholic figures and an extolling of their virtues. The most prominent tends to be Gandhi, followed by Dr. Martin Luther King. It strikes me funny that, despite the two thousand year history of the Church, these and others are held up with the highest esteem.

And if non-Catholic men and women aren't praised, then former Catholics, or "faithfully dissenting" Catholics, are regarded as important as any Doctor of the Church, or early Fathers of the Faith. Sometimes more important. "Victims" of Church hierarchy are often paid homage to more often than martyrs, it seems. Leading that list is Martin Luther, John Calvin and Hans Kung. Yep, to be a progressive Catholic saint, death isn't a requirement.

I'm not saying, by the way, that non-Catholics aren't capable of living virtuous lives, or don't have something to tell us about how we ought to live. Gandhi's commitment to non-violent resistance is legendary and commendable; King's fight for civil rights - his call to judge a man by the content of his character and not the color of his skin - and subsequent assassination because of his mission should be recognized and celebrated. There's no legitimate reason to do so, because numerous Catholic men and women throughout the ages have preached similar messages and many suffered death for their beliefs. The problem with the progressives is that Catholic martyrs died defending all the truths of the Church. And since progressives are incapable of upholding the totality of Church teaching, they're compelled to lift up people who so obviously don't.

And when progressives do get around to talking about Catholic saints, it's either to a) reform them (a la St Mary Magdalene) or b) exploit them - such as Blessed Franz J├Ągerst├Ątter - on at least one occasion, a prog Catholic compared Franz to Pope Benedict, stating that Franz was a better man for refusing to serve in the Nazi army due to his Catholic faith, and subsequently being martyred; Benedict, though, didn't display the same show of faith, because he was a Hitler Youth. Pretty deplorable, eh?

Sooner or later, though, they'll tire of reciting the same list of heroes and saints - after awhile, listening to the same names and the same stories has to get boring and uninspiring.

So you know what? I'm going to help them out. Yeah, I'm feeling gregarious. Their devotees need more saints to look up to as Examples To Live By, just in time for their upcoming Council in 2011. These "saints" don't need to be real or anything - a lot of what progressives believe isn't real anyway, like women's ordination - they just need to sound real and espouse the kinds of values they like and live down to.



Without further ado, I introduce to you the first entry of the Compendium of Progressive Saints.



1) Saint Percy MacWafful the Tolerant (1352-1396)

Percy MacWafful was born in a small Scottish village, Llylewlyen-on-the-Ness Loch, the fourth of thirteen children. His dad was a haggis stuffer. Not much is known of Percy's early years, except that at the age of 15, he started working in the village's quarry. He helped deliver stones to a group of monks constructing a nearby monastery, and that exposure convinced him to convert to Catholicism. This made his parents very upset, because they were High Priest and Priestess of the local Pagan Chapter, so he promised to continue his participation in the pagan rituals to make them happy.

In 1391, Percy became magistrate of Llylewlyen-on-the-Ness Loch. He was the youngest magistrate in the village's history, selected because he stood for not making a stand for anything - as a result, graft and prostitution increased dramatically, but everyone got along. He enacted the 'Law of Noble Intentions' in 1392, which stated that no one could be held liable for their actions if their intentions were noble.

In 1396, he instituted the first (and only) Scottish Multi-faith Symposium, despite the protests of the close-minded diocesan bishop. Representatives of the local Pagan Chapter, members of the "Nessie Lives!" worship-cult and one monk from the nearby monastery attended. Arguments among the three groups ensued. Percy, while attempting to prevent the fanatic monk from throwing the pagan Tome of Incantations into the fireplace, fell over a bench and impaled himself on a bagpipe. His dream of an all-faith inclusive village ended that fateful day in 1396, but his spirit lives on among modern day like-minded diverse progressive Catholics today.


St. Percy is the patron saint of CINO politicians, and his feast day is celebrated March 5. If you prefer to celebrate on any other day of the year, go right ahead. St. Percy would want it that way. Whatever makes you happy!

Monday Madness XXIV

Welcome to the weekly AoftheA feature, where the strange and the peculiar comes at you faster than a speeding....pigeon?

From Yahoo!News: Pigeon Transfers Data Faster Than South Africa's Telkom

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A South African information technology company on Wednesday proved it was faster for them to transmit data with a carrier pigeon than to send it using Telkom , the country's leading internet service provider.

Internet speed and connectivity in Africa's largest economy are poor because of a bandwidth shortage. It is also expensive.

Local news agency SAPA reported the 11-month-old pigeon, Winston, took one hour and eight minutes to fly the 80 km (50 miles) from Unlimited IT's offices near Pietermaritzburg to the coastal city of Durban with a data card was strapped to his leg.

Including downloading, the transfer took two hours, six minutes and 57 seconds -- the time it took for only four percent of the data to be transferred using a Telkom line.

SAPA said Unlimited IT performed the stunt after becoming frustrated with slow internet transmission times.

The company has 11 call-centers around the country and regularly sends data to its other branches.

Telkom could not immediately be reached for comment.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Gone With The Wind (Updated)

"But, Rhett, what shall we do?"


Friday, September 11, 2009

Pro-lifer In Michigan Murdered

Here's the story as reported by Lifenews.com:


Owosso, MI (LifeNews.com) -- Local officials and state police are confirming that a pro-life advocate was shot and killed outside a high school in this Michigan town. The person, who is described as well-known but whose identity has not been released, was shot multiple times while protesting abortion outside Owosso High School.

LifeNews.com has learned that the pro-life advocate is James Pouillon and the local Argus Press newspaper in Owosso has confirmed that to be the case. He was reportedly shot multiple times.

In the spot where the Pouillon stood, a portable oxygen tank lay next to a sign with a picture of an unborn child and the word "Life."

Officials say the shooting occurred at 7:30 a.m. local time and most students were inside the school building at the time of the incident. The shooting did not take place on school property but officials locked down the school and taped off most of the front portions of the school grounds.

State police have confirmed they apprehended a suspect about 8:15 a.m. at the suspect's home in this small community northeast of Lansing.

Sara Edwards, the chief assistant prosecutor for Shiawassee County, has confirmed that Pouillon's pro-life stance was the reason he was targeted and said the suspect officials have in custody disapproved of his abortion protests outside the schools.

Fr Pavone issued a statement earlier in the day: "We do not know the motive yet. But this is a time to console one another, and to renew our determination to organize peaceful protests," he said. "It is no time for fear."

Pavone called on abortion advocates to comdemn the shooting.

"And I am waiting to hear the abortion advocates condemn this killing," he said. (emphasis mine).

Well, let's not hold our breath or anything. NARAL, PP and Catholics for Choice are still in mourning over Dr Tiller, after all. And I won't be surprised if the MSM ignores this story, especially if the motive behind the murder was Pouillon's pro-life activism.

For more details and updates, go to theblogprof. He's a Michigan-based blogger and has been updating throughout the day.

**UPDATE** blogprof provides the latest: "As to the reason for the killing of pro-life activist Jim Pouillon, Harlan Drake has told police that he was “offended” by Pouillon’s anti-abortion messages."

Pray for the repose of James Pouillon's soul - "May the angels lead you into paradise; may the martyrs come to welcome you and take you to the holy city, the new and eternal Jerusalem. Amen."

Obama IS The Moral High Ground???

President Obama's Health Care speech on Wednesday brought back memories of his presidential campaign - sweeping rhetoric, generalized platitudes and, oh, outright lies.

Naturally, it also brought out the latest example of sickening sycophancy, sinking to even lower depths.

From the Washington Post's 'On Faith' blog: Obama Is The Moral High Ground by Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite (my comments and emphases)

(notice the title isn't "Obama Takes The Moral High Ground" or "Obama Sticks To The Moral High Ground". He IS the moral high ground. He has become the yardstick by which we measure and the bar at a height to which we aspire. No - he is the spoon by which we all gag.)

The struggle for decent, affordable health care for all Americans is a test of the national character. (I think it's a bigger test of how much capital Obama has left, and whether or not the Congress has the integrity to do the will of the people.) That was the President's overarching message in his speech on health care to the joint session of Congress.

With five different congressional committee bills, four of which have been marked up and one yet to come, specific details are not exactly under the President's control. (But he knows what is and what isn't in the bill?? How can he say what's in the bill if he's not in control of the specific details?) What is clearly under the President's control, however, is the moral high ground. This isn't just any other legislation, Obama argued. This time, health care reform is a test of whether America can deliver on its fundamentals, "the fundamental issues of social justice." Is that our national character, or have we really become just the pawns of a runaway corporate culture, bent on profit at the expense of the common good? (So the solution is to become pawns of a runaway ever-expanding government, bent on oppression at the expense of the common good? Seriously?)

Obama not only taught the lesson, he is the lesson. (What lesson might that be?) He's a grown-up (really? When will he start acting like one then?) faced with an America that needs to grow up and face the fact that we are not a brash young nation any more. We need to realize we're citizens of the world and we need to start to act like it. (What does "citizens of the world" have to do with nationalized Health Care? Does that mean we're to lower our standards to meet everyone else's?) We need to lead by example, not by acting out or acting up. The childish bickering at the "Town Halls" is broadcast around the world and it diminishes respect for us as a nation. (Excuse me, Miss, but this is America - we have the right to speak out and voice our concerns. Many nations don't have that freedom. Some countries, people get arrested and killed for speaking out. Perhaps you prefer we just shut up and bask in the glowing aura of Mr Moral High Ground? Has life in America sunk to that level? And it's not Obama supporters you're referring to here, either. Your disdain is for those who have legitimate concerns about The Plan and what it will mean to them.)

This speech on health care was, in that sense, a reprise of the Inaugural Address -- the theme of which was, surprisingly to many, 'Oh, grow up.' It was signal to the citizens of this nation that they could no longer afford not to be adults. (Another insult - nice.)

According to Wikipedia, "The moral high ground, in ethical or political parlance, refers to the status of being respected for remaining moral, and adhering to and upholding a universally recognized standard of justice or goodness." So does Obama match that?

It is not the moral high ground to state that tax-funded abortions will not be part of the bill, when in fact they will be. Why else would Planned Parenthood and NARAL support this bill if abortion was excluded? Why else would even the progressive religious organizations like Catholics United - yeah, even them! - push legislators to be more specific or offer alternative plans, if abortion isn't in The Plan?

It is not the moral high ground to accuse opponents of The Plan of using "scare tactics" and then state later that "millions of Americans will die" if The Plan is not passed.

It is not the moral high ground to omit details regarding the stories of Robin Beaton and Otto Raddatz, two individuals who were "victims" of private health insurance rescission policies.

It is not the moral high ground to say that The Plan will "not add one dime to the deficit", when it has been shown that it will.

It is not the moral high ground to lie about no illegal immigrants being covered by The Plan.

It is not the moral high ground to accuse people of lying who take issue with the End-of-Life Counselling aspects of The Plan - the "death panels". Those words might not appear in the legislation, but the foundation is there (section 1233 of HR 3200, pages 424-425).

It is not the moral high ground to tell people to "Shut Up" about health care, while at the same time, claim openness to different ideas.

It is not the moral high ground to promise to eliminate billions of dollars of waste and fraud from Medicare yet wait until 2013 to start doing it. Start now, if it's such a big problem.

It is not the moral high ground to claim that 14,000 people a day will lose their health insurance if nothing is done, yet wait until 2013 to implement The Plan. Unless part of The Plan is to wait until 16,000,000 more people are without health insurance. If that's The Plan, then the moral high ground would be to say so.

Obama is far from being the moral high ground. He's a politician - a very liberal politician at that - who has yet to demonstrate that he has ever set foot on the moral high ground. Words alone do not elevate a person to that level - it's actions consistent with those words that prove it. Words alone do not propel a person to that position - it's the matching deeds that demonstrate it. Those words must be truthful and must bear up under scrutiny. What's going on here is duplicitous and disingenuous.

The moral high ground would require Obama to explain precisely and rationally, point by point what The Plan will and will not do. Downplaying people's concerns with a patronizing air fails the moral high ground test. Saying "Trust me!" doesn't work because he hasn't shown to be trustworthy. Saying "Time for bickering is over!" sounds more like an exasperated parent telling his child "Because I said so!!" - how is that acting like an adult? How is that treating America like adults? That's taking the path of least resistance, not being the moral high ground. The moral high ground demands transparency and honesty - but what we are being given is obfuscation and half-truths.

Christ said of Nathaniel when he met him: "Behold, an Israelite in whom there is no guile!" The same cannot be said of Obama.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Nursery Rhymes For A Post-Christian World #3

Once upon a time, under the Obamacare public option....

Jack and Jill went up the hill,
To fetch a pail of water;
Jack fell down, and broke his crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.

When up they got and off did trot,
To go and see Doc Mobler,
He did say, to their dismay
"I'm booked til late October!"

Jack told Jill, "I feel so ill,
I mightn't live that long!
'Tis so strange, this health care change
It seems so very wrong!"

Jill then cried: "Jack, when you've died
due to these health care tricks,
For your obit, I'll have it writ
'Jack: Killed by Politics'."

(the original poem is here)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Puppets In The Pulpit

There's a time and place for everything in life.

Mass ain't the time nor the place for this silliness.

From American Papist:

At St. Agatha's Parish located in Milton-Quincy, MA, they've got a puppet ministry.


This ministry is a pretty big deal at St. Agatha's. They have an extensive cast of characters - 40 in all - which includes people, monsters and animals. And Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, too. Oh, and a Jesus puppet, who really isn't Jesus but a puppet who pretends to be Jesus. Don't ask me - I don't get it either.

This one is the weirdest of the bunch:

Sheriff Chunkey Monkey - "a real cool lawman." I don't recall any law enforcement monkeys in Scripture, do you?

Stuff like this is fine for young schoolkids, but never ever during a Mass - as it's stated in the advertisement. Talk about bringing the sacred down to the level of the profane.

A Certain Kind Of Penance

As a form of penance, I'm not going to discuss Richard McBrien's latest essay in the NCR, Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration. It'll be a good spiritual exercise - difficult to be sure, but beneficial nonetheless.

So I'm going to resist the temptation to quote the part where he wrote: "Now that most Catholics are literate and even well-educated, the Mass is in the language of the people (i.e, the vernacular), and its rituals are relatively easy to understand and follow, there is little or no need for extraneous eucharistic devotions. The Mass itself provides all that a Catholic needs sacramentally and spiritually."

The part where he casually brushes aside "...Pope Benedict XVI's personal endorsement of eucharistic adoration..."
won't be mentioned.

And you won't see any recounting of the final sentence: "
Eucharistic adoration, perpetual or not, is a doctrinal, theological, and spiritual step backward, not forward."


Nope, this time around, I'm gonna refrain from pointing out his asinine, ridiculous statements that insult the countless Catholics who adore our Lord in this special, intimate fashion. Yep, nary a word will be written on how he has pooh-poohed the practice of innumerable saints, notably Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. It's my personal mortification, this time around.

I'll just pray for him next time I'm at our parish's Perpetual Adoration Chapel.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Speech To Students: "Me Me Me Me And If The Country Fails, It's Your Fault!"

On Tuesday, September 8, in schools across the fruited plain, President Obama will be addressing school students in grades K-12. The speech, and more prominently the suggested lesson plan, has many parents upset, so much so that some school districts have decided to not broadcast the speech live, opting instead to record it and allow students the option to watch it Wednesday. The text of the speech was released on the White House site today - here's the entire text of the speech.

First of all, the speech he gives, like most speeches he gives, is about him. I counted 64 times where he said "I", "I've", "I'm", "my" and other permutations of the first person pronoun. He talks about his "disadvantaged" background - as Pundette puts it so well, "do little ones really need to hear about his broken home, deadbeat dad, and devoted-but-grumpy mother?" Exactly!

Secondly, there are several times in the speech where the success of the student is tied to the success of the nation.

"We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don’t do that – if you quit on school – you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country."

"What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. What you’re learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future."

"...don’t ever give up on yourself. Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country."

Wow -is that motivational or what? I don't know about you, but I got an education so that I could be successful, or at the very least, support myself (and future family) to enjoy the lifestyle that I wanted to live. And not be dependent upon society and expect the government to supply my needs. I got an education so that I could be a responsible individual contributing to society, not so that I could sacrifice self-interest and become subordinate to society. These comments make it sound like that individual success has to be put at the service of the entire nation, or else it's worthless.

It might be more accurate to say that the success of the nation is directly related to the success of the education system. Of course he wouldn't say that, because it would be an indictment of a broken system. And the politically-motivated union leadership. More often than not, students rise above the mediocrity (or downright failure) and liberal nature of the system in order to succeed. But by and large, the system fails kids, regardless of the amount of money that's thrown at it.

Here's the last paragraph. I picture the President making that hand signal he's famous for, emphasizing each of the "I expect" statements:

"Your families, your teachers, and I are doing everything we can to make sure you have the education you need to answer these questions. I’m working hard to fix up your classrooms and get you the books, equipment and computers you need to learn. But you’ve got to do your part too. So I expect you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you. So don’t let us down – don’t let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it."

Yes! Do it for Dear Leader! He expects you to do your best for the good of the Party teacher's unions nation!

Oh - and here's my choice for unintentionally funniest line (and probably farthest from the truth as well): "Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day." BWAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!!

Monday Madness XXIII

What? You thought that just because it's a holiday, I'd pass on Monday Madness? I know you look forward to this.

Today's version features a food fight. And it ain't a pretty sight.

From the TimesOnline: Fight Erupts Over Black Pudding

Black pudding is the latest food to find itself at the centre of a cross-border row, with Stornoway and Bury, in Greater Manchester, both laying claim to its origins.

Producers in both areas are seeking geographical protection from the European Union for their version of the blood sausage.

With the support of their government, food producers can apply to the EU for Protected Geographical Indication. This has been granted to regionally designated foods such as Arbroath smokies, Parma ham and Melton Mowbray pork pies to protect them from imitators.

While both bids could succeed, experts have indicated it may be difficult because they would have to prove they were distinct from each other and unique to each area.

Black pudding makers in Stornoway, whose bid is backed by the Scottish government, claim their dish, known as marag dubh, has been made by crofters for centuries from pig’s blood, onions, suet, oatmeal and spices.

However, producers in Bury argue their version predates it and was brought by monks from mainland Europe who settled there in the 16th century.

The row comes weeks after England laid claim to haggis, believed to have been a Scottish invention. Catherine Brown, a food historian, discovered references to haggis in an English recipe book dated 1615, 171 years before Robert Burns penned his poem Address to a Haggis.

The Stornoway bid is being spearheaded by local butchers backed by Western Isles Council and local politicians.

Robert Smith, of WJ Macdonald butchers, said: “In the old days the crofters used to make full use of the animal because times were hard. That has been happening here for hundreds and hundreds of years. Everybody claims they did it first but ours is certainly the most well known. I have never heard of the Bury black pudding before.”

I understand the prestige and economic benefit that would come to whichever town is awarded "The Home of Gross Pig Blood Sausage Thing". But really now - is that a distinction worth fighting for, really?

You also have to wonder how successful those 16th century monks were at evangelizing...

Monk: "My name be Brother Cadfael! I comest to preacheth about Jesus!"

Villager #1: "Oi, have ye blood sausage on ye?"

Monk: "Aye, I hast portions to shareth with ye!"

Villager #2: "KILL HIM!!!!"

This story begs an impromptu Comments Food Fight: What's the worst culinary concoction you've ever eaten, or barely avoided eating? The more descriptive the better!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Caption Contest #11


(Click here for last contest winner)

Some Labor Day weekend fun! Submit your caption in the combox.

*Winner* Cliff: "Be vewy vewy quiet. Im hunting hewetics."

p.s. - I don't remember where I found this picture.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Poll Position

Over at Cincinnati.com, the online edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer, there's an article regarding Archbishop Pilarczyk's decision to ban a nun from teaching anywhere in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati until she recants her support for women's ordination. Rich Leonardi has posted on this issue at his blog, Ten Reasons.

The article includes a poll: Should the Catholic Church ordain women?

Now, I know that the poll is frivolous and dumb - the Church has no power or authority to ordain women, that we all know. This type of thing is frustrating because it perpetuates the idea in many people's minds that the Church is a) old-fashioned; b) sexist; c) irrelevant; or d) all of the above. The results of this poll, or any poll for that matter, ultimately mean nothing. However, it provides another opportunity to clearly explain Church teaching and defend Her from attacks.

Still, we don't want the "Yeses" to win, do we? Click here to take the poll. At last check, the orthodox (those who responded "No") were up 65%-33% (1-2% were undecided). Fr Z. deserves a lot of the credit - WDTPRSers have been voting like dead Chicago Democrats. Go show your support - if you vote, I'd appreciate a comment here on how you voted, and the current standings.

It's free fun! Go now!