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

Monday, November 30, 2009

Gettin' Ready For Christmas

First week of Advent...are you getting ready?

Take a look at the top of my sidebar - see that neat Advent wreath with the lit candle? Cool, huh? If you like it and want it on your blog, mail a $15 check payable to Acts of the Apostasy to PO Box....okay, just kidding. Head over to The Curt Jester and you can copy the html and paste it on your site. It's easy!

One family tradition is to get the Christmas decorations up over the Thanksgiving weekend, with the first step putting up the outside lights. We normally set up the tree too, but we didn't get around to it this weekend. Last night, I took a picture of my lights. My house is the one on the right.

I didn't want to get all Clark Griswold this year.

Monday Madness XXXVII

Welcome to Monday Madness, the weekly feature at AoftheA that proves that truth really is stranger than fiction. Unless of course it's a Dan Brown novel.

From the DailyMail Online: Parents Vetted Before Christmas Carol Services

Parents are being forced to undergo checks to prove they are not paedophiles simply to accompany their children to school Christmas carol events.

Graham McArthur, headmaster of Somersham primary school in Cambridgeshire, said that criminal checks were being carried out on more than 20 parents volunteering to walk his 330 pupils to a carol service at nearby St John's church later this month.

Other primaries have instituted vetting for parents attending Christmas discos on school premises.

Mr McArthur said: 'We rely quite a lot on parental volunteers. It is a community school and parental engagement is very important to being part of the community.

'For the carol service they will need clearance which is basically something we can do on the day. You need to see details of who they are, where they live and make several phone calls.

'Parents accept it's about safeguarding the welfare of children. They accept it only has to be done once and it's a necessary chore.'

The case is an example of the confusion sewn by the Government's controversial new Independent Safeguarding Authority.

In October, it emerged any parent regularly volunteering to transport children on behalf of a school or sports club would have to be formally vetted.

Frank Furedi, professor of sociology at Kent University said: 'Once you institutionalise mistrust, you incite people to take these things further and further, finding new areas to implement criminal record checks.

'It becomes a badge of responsibility and a symbolic ritual. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make sense.'

The way things are going, parents will be vetted before purchasing Disney on Ice tickets, taking kids to the zoo, and hosting birthday parties at Chuck E. Cheese's for their children. PC will be the death of us all.

But it's okay to allow homosexual couples to adopt kids. Figure that one out.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Climate Lies

More information continues to come out on the East Anglia CRU leaked emails and documents that are providing details on the hoax known as Anthropogenic Global Warming. Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma is calling for congressional inquiries, for instance. While it's too early to tell, this development could mean the end of Cap and Trade legislation in the US, and will hopefully lead to investigations worldwide on the whole scam.

One thing you haven't heard is that Al Gore and some of his cronies at the CRU have released a song about this whole sordid affair. AoftheA has gotten a bootleg copy of the lyrics, and I'm reproducing them here.

Climate Lies (to the tune of "Lyin' Eyes", by the Eagles)

Sung by Al Gore and The CRUners

Scientists just seem to find out early
How to open doors in politics
A perfect scam
And we won't have to worry
As long as no one figgers out our tricks!

"Day and night, our fragile Earth is heatin'!"
We'll tell the hapless folks it's all their fault.
We'll say they're why the glaciers are retreatin'
While taxpayer monies fill up all our vaults.

And we'll tell them that the Earth will soon be burnin'
Cos' of oil and CO2 and made up facts.
The media will keep folks out there from learnin'
That we're cheatin', lyin', data-changin' quacks.

Now we can't hide our climate lies
And our graphs are a thin disguise.
We hoped by now the seas would rise
But there's no way to hide our climate lies.

On the other side the skeptics are all waitin'
With fiery eyes and threats we're goin' down.
We thought we could get by without debatin'
If only those polar bears had gone and drowned!

If this had come out after
Then all these allegations wouldn't take.
Think of all those taxes we almost raked in
If no one proved our hockey stick was fake.

But we can't hide our climate lies
And our graphs are a thin disguise.
We hoped by now the seas would rise
But there's no way to hide our climate lies.

We're gonna go and pour ourselves a tall one
And curse because it isn't hot as hell
There's still a chance our careers aren't all done
As long as there's no skit on SNL.

We wonder how it ever got this crazy.
This whole event we'd rather just forget
Did we get tired, or did we just get lazy?
We wish I never built the Internet.

My oh my! We sure knew how to arrange things
We set it up so well, so carefully.
But now this goldang hacker's gone and changed things
And forced us to try and spin this cleverly.

Cos' we can't hide our climate lies
And our graphs are a thin disguise.
We hoped by now the seas would rise
But there's no way to hide our climate lies.

Just no way to hide our climate lies.
I'm not givin' back my Nobel prize
Even if this means our full demise
Honey, we can't hide our climate lies.

Friday, November 27, 2009

I Think The Vatican Has Its Answer

From the National Catholic Distorter: Women Religious Not Complying With Vatican Study

The vast majority of U.S. women religious are not complying with a Vatican request to answer questions in a document of inquiry that is part of a three-year study of the congregations. Leaders of congregations, instead, are leaving questions unanswered or sending in letters or copies of their communities' constitutions.

"There's been almost universal resistance," said one women religious familiar with the responses compiled by the congregation leaders. "We are saying 'enough!' In my 40 years in religious life I have never seen such unanimity."

The deadline for the questionnaires to be filled out and returned to the Vatican-appointed apostolic visitator, superior general of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Mother Mary Clare Millea, was Nov. 20. On that day, according to an informed source, congregation leaders across the nation sent Millea letters and, in many cases, only partial answers to the questionnaire. Many women, instead of filling out the forms, replied by sending in copies of their Vatican -approved orders' religious constitutions. A religious order's constitution states its rationale, purpose and mission.

Given this immature response, I'd say the Vatican has their answer. These communities, by their disobedience, have demonstrated their extreme poor quality of life...spiritual life, that is. Their contempt for the Church is self-evident. One cannot say "I love Jesus" and then openly disobey His Church. This nearly unanimous act of childish behavior may very well be their last - can the Holy Spirit truly bless any organization that snubs the authority of the Church He protects and guides?

I think not. As Archbishop Sheen once said: "Anyone who marries the spirit of the Age is soon widowed."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Preparations

The day before Thanksgiving can be rather hectic. If you're someone who's hosting a family celebration, you know what I'm talking fact, you shouldn't even be reading this post until Friday. If you're reading this on Wednesday, you're shirking your responsibilities. Get back to work!

Traditionally, the LarryD family celebrates with Mrs LarryD's relatives. We head on over to her aunt's house, and enjoy the festivities with her parents, her siblings and their families, and the cousins and their families too. Her aunt is a phenomenal cook, and insists on providing all the food. We bring along a dessert. Not only do we have the traditional Thanksgiving turkey and all the trimmings, but Mrs LarryD's aunt also prepares Middle Eastern dishes (they're Chaldean) - like kibbeh, saffron rice, stuffed grape leaves and more. To.die.for.

After the meal, and just before dessert (which is a whole other course in and of itself!), the kids put on a show. Sometimes they tell jokes, or put on an improv skit, or sing a few songs. The Sons of LarryD are planning to play a duet on their band instruments this year - baritone and trombone. They're working on "Louie Louie". I never knew that was a traditional Thanksgiving hymn.

Oh, and we'll probably catch the end of the annual Detroit Lions massacre football game. Some traditions never change, no matter how much I hope they would. Is it too much to ask for the Lions to at least play competitively this year??

Friday will be spent as a day of fasting and abstinence.

On behalf of everyone at AoftheA (Sister Patricia sends her regards - especially to you, Terry!), I wish everyone a safe, healthy and happy Thanksgiving. I thank God for all the blessings He has bestowed on me - faith, family, friends, work, health, America (that last one needs a lot of prayers!) - and I'm especially thankful for the gift of His Son and the church. Apart from Him, we can do nothing.

Well, time I should be getting back to my preparations for Thanksgiving. I'm bringing pumpkin pie.

Santa Claus Given His Walking Papers

Here's the latest example of "Look how dumb things have gotten in the US":

From Town Tries To Save Santa Letter Program

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Nov. 20) — Santa's "elves" at the North Pole have been given their walking papers, but they're not going quietly.

The volunteer "elves" are trying to counter a decision by the U.S. Postal Service to discontinue a program begun in 1954 in the small Alaskan town of North Pole, where they open and respond to thousands of letters addressed to "Santa Claus, North Pole" each year.

"The city was founded on the Christmas theme," Gabby Gaborik, chief elf among several dozen volunteers, said Thursday. "This is our identity. This is North Pole, Alaska."

Gaborik said he met with Postal Service officials this week to come up with an alternative. He's now working with local government officials to get "101 Santa Claus Lane" as an address for his group, Santa's Mailbag. That way children will have a specific destination for their letters, allowing volunteers to run their own program and bypass stringent new rules implemented by the Postal Service after security issues arose in a similar program in Maryland last year.

Gaborik believes his town's name gives the local effort more cachet than other destinations.

People in North Pole are incensed by the changes. The letter program is a revered holiday tradition in North Pole, where light posts are curved and striped like candy canes and streets have names like Kris Kringle Drive. Volunteers in the letter program even sign the response letters as Santa's elves and helpers.

The North Pole program was stymied by a tighter process put in place nationwide by the Postal Service after a postal worker in Maryland recognized a volunteer with the agency's Operation Santa program as a registered sex offender. The worker intervened before the individual could answer a child's letter, but the agency viewed the scare as a reason to tighten security.

So the Postal Service's definition of "tightening security" is to abolish the entire program, which has been going on since 1954. Yep, that's our government, seeking to kill joy wherever it is found. I can understand their rationale - "We must always protect our children" - but really, let's look at this logically. Postal workers have had access to private addresses since, oh, I don't know, Benjamin Franklin started the US Postal Service in the first place? Every time I put a bill in the mail, someone has access to my address. Every time mail is delivered to my home, someone has access to my address. I'm not convinced this decision was made to protect kids as much as it was made to protect US Postal Service officials from future litigation.

Here's what I think is going to happen next: No more "Meet Santa Claus!" set-ups in the shopping malls, because having kids sit on his lap might give rise to child abuse.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Open Door Policy

There are pixies living in my home. Perhaps they're faeries. Or maybe even imps.

Whatever they are, they used to really upset and frustrate me. As time has gone by, though, I've learned it's better to just accept the situation rather than lose my temper. They're going to do the things that pixies, or faeries, or imps do, right?

You see, in my house, these invisible beings like to play a little game called "Leave The Cupboard Open". For instance - I'll be in the kitchen, getting a glass of water, or looking in the pantry for something to munch on. I'll close the cupboard door, or pantry door, and leave the kitchen. When I return, there will be several cupboard doors half open, even though I know all the cupboards were closed when I left.

It happens in other rooms, too. The under-the-sink cupboard in the powder room, where we keep TP and kleenex. Dresser drawers in the boys' bedrooms. The door to my tool room. Closet doors. It seems that in every room, a door that ought to be closed, is left open. Sometimes all the way. Sometimes half-closed. I'll close them, shut them, slide them in, latch them shut - and later in the day, without fail, those darn pixies, or faeries, or imps, have reopened them.

Like I said - it used to make me mad. One of those little things that would set me off. I know, I know, you're saying: "LarryD, that's an awfully silly thing to get angry about." And you're right. It's funny, though, how the little insignificant things balloon into the large stupid aggravations, if we let them. I suppose it's due to our sinful nature - we let our expectations of circumstances and situations control our emotions, rather than the other way around. And it doesn't matter if logic and rationalization is applied to the problem - "but someone could hit their head on the cupboard door with it being open" (that's happened to me, and if you've ever smacked your head on a corner of an open door, you know what I mean); or "I don't want the cat getting locked in the tool room accidentally". Sure, those are valid reasons, and they're important to convey. But not while in a fit of frustration.

Besides, the pixies, or faeries, or imps, or whatever they are, rarely if ever respond to logic, or rationale, or sound reasoning.

They do, however, respond to good example. Eventually. So perhaps the Sons of LarryD will learn a lesson now, witnessing me calmly and without complaint close the doors that were mysteriously opened, rather than rant and rave over such an insignificant thing. I'm even getting better at remembering to thank God for the opportunity to be helpful in a cheerful, peaceful way.

Oh, and Mrs LarryD swears that these are the same pixies, faeries, or imps that leave the toilet seat up. Silly pixies.

Monday, November 23, 2009

BCS Rankings 2009

(cross-posted at Creative Minority Report)

Hello sports fans! If there's one topic in the world of athletics that can turn friendly discussion into heated debate, it's the BCS. And this year is no exception. As this anything-but-ordinary season winds down in the final week of competition, uncertainty is the only sure thing, and the only common ground is controversy. No matter how the rankings come out, someone is bound to disagree and argue with the results.

It was a season filled with surprises, upsets and thrills unmatched by any other to date. Pundits and observers throughout America have been weighing in since the start. Now, one week before the end of the season, AoftheA weighs in as well.

So let's talk about the BCS - the Bishop Championship Series.

The pre-season rankings were murky and unsettled. With perennial powerhouse Archbishop Burke moving to the Holy See in 2008, it appeared that the top spot in 2009 was up for grabs. Numerous bishops and cardinals throughout the Ordinary Season vied for the #1 ranking, a season filled with unexpected twists and turns. The Notre Dame scandal. The healthcare debate. Catholic identity. The sudden retirement of Bishop Martino. Abortion and embryonic stem cell research. Gay marriage. CCHD.

The Notre Dame scandal in the Spring immediately knocked out hundreds of episcopal contenders, substantially trimming the field. Throughout the month of April and early May, positions were taken and statements were issued. It was furious and frenzied - with perhaps the most ardent speech being delivered by Bishop Finn of Kansas City ("We Are At War", delivered at a Gospel of Life Convention) - but by mid-May, the polls had settled. Bishop D'Arcy of South Bend, IN took over top position with his early statements and steely consistency, and he solidified his ranking when, at the last moment, he surprised everyone by attending the prayerful on-campus protest while President Obama gave the commencement address. This kept others, who had joined the campaign condemning Notre Dame's actions, such as Cardinal DiNardo, Bishop Martino, Cardinal George, Archbishop Chaput and Bishop Nickless and more than 70 others, from moving up in the poll.

Bishop D-Arcy maintained #1 for several weeks, followed closely by Bishop Finn. Some felt that D'Arcy was getting sympathy votes due to his upcoming resignation, while Finn supporters believed that their man deserved to be first. Bishop Martino, who had been top-ranked on the strength of his February announcements he would refuse Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians, slipped to third. There were rumors he threatened to ex-communicate anyone who didn't vote for him, but those remain unsubstantiated.

Throughout the summer, the issue of nationalized health care took center stage. Numerous bishops entreated upon their faithful to reject any plan that provided tax-payer dollars to fund abortion. Week after week, the rankings shifted slightly, but by and large, the status quo held sway.

Then, in August, a bombshell exploded, that threw the rankings for a loop: Bishop Martino unexpectedly resigned from the Diocese of Scranton. This created a void near the top of the rankings, and dioceses throughout America realized that they were handed a great opportunity to move up in the poll.

Here are just a few of the highlights of 2009:
  • Bishop D'Arcy slipped several notches as rumors swirled that the Holy Father was going to (finally!) accept his resignation, but maintained firm footing in the top ten with a late August letter urging continued pressure upon Notre Dame.
  • Bishop Nickless issued a strong letter in mid-October declaring the "spirit of Vatican II" must be exorcised.
  • Bishop Finn continued his vigorous "wildcat-style" offense, issuing another episcopal strike by publishing a letter concerning healthcare (with Archbishop Naumann) in early September.
  • Bishop Blair made waves when he was selected to spearhead the Apostolic Visitation of the LCWR, giving him a platform to start from for the 2010 Ordinary Season.
  • Archbishop Dolan, assigned to New York City earlier in the season, posted a powerful piece on anti-Catholicism in the media at the archdiocesan blog that practically assured him a first tier finish.
  • Bishop Malone of Portland ME began a steady rise to the Top Ten by battling so-called gay marriage in his state, with the election victory in early November all but guaranteeing a solid finish.
  • Cardinal DiNardo, by being selected to lead the powerful USCCB Pro-Life Office, stands to finish strong for a third straight season.
But as it seems to happen in competitive sports, and even across all walks of life, a contender appears out of nowhere to take everyone by surprise, and come away an unexpected winner. In a stunning late-season development, the bishop from the smallest state made the biggest impact.

Bishop Tobin's November 12 open letter to Rep. Patrick Kennedy was the shot across the bow, and that rocketed him into the Top Ten. Then, in the early hours of November 22, with just less than one week remaining in the Ordinary Time Season, it was reported that Bishop Tobin has barred Kennedy from receiving communion, instructing his priests to uphold that ban. This display of episcopal authority and intense care for the soul of one his flock has catapulted Bishop Tobin to #1 in the BCS rankings for 2009.

Here's the 2009 BCS Top Ten:

1. Bishop Tobin, Providence RI
2. Bishop Finn, Kansas City
3. Cardinal DiNardo, Galveston/Houston
4. Archbishop Chaput, Denver
5. Bishop Nickless, Sioux City
6. Bishop Malone, Portland
7. Bishop D'Arcy, Fort Wayne/South Bend
8. Cardinal George, Chicago
9. Archbishop Dolan, New York
10. Archbishop Nienstedt, St. Paul/Minneapolis

Undoubtedly there will be disagreements over this year's BCS Rankings; no one ever said it was a perfect system. Let's just hope it doesn't get brought up before a US Senate subcommittee...

Monday Madness XXXVI

Welcome to Monday Madness, the weekly feature at AoftheA that boldly goes where no blog has gone before!

From the DailyMail online: Linguist Reveals: I Only Spoke in Klingon to my Son for Three Years

A linguist has revealed he talked only in Klingon to his son for the first three years of his life to find out if he could learn to speak the 'language'.

Dr d'Armond Speers spent days translating phrases to communicate to his son Alec speaking like the creatures featured in space-based fantasy programme Star Trek.

The Minnesota native hoped the child's first word would be 'vav' instead of 'dad'. However, the language was problematic at this age because it lacked equivalent words for 'bottle' and 'diaper'.

Despite his passion for Klingon, Speers denied he is a Star Trek fan, saying: 'I don't go to conventions or wear fake foreheads. I'm a linguist.

'I was interested in the question of whether my son, going through his first language acquisition process, would acquire it like any human language.

'He was definitely starting to learn it,' he added. 'When Alec spoke back to me in Klingon his pronunciation was excellent.'

Now 13, Speers' son does not speak Klingon at all.

The language was developed after Spock actor Leonard Nimoy decided the creatures should have their own language.

Developed by an expert, Klingon has 21 consonants, five vowels and is the most spoken fictional language in the world.

So where was the guy's wife during this three-year "experiment"?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Breaking News! AGW Exposed!

Move over, Piltdown Man. There's a bigger badder hoax in town.

From the Daily Telegraph: 'Climategate': The Final Nail in the Coffin of Anthrogenic Global Warming?

If you own any shares in alternative energy companies I should start dumping them NOW. The conspiracy behind the Anthropogenic Global Warming myth (aka AGW; aka ManBearPig) has been suddenly, brutally and quite deliciously exposed after a hacker broke into the computers at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (aka Hadley CRU) and released 61 megabites of confidential files onto the internet. (Hat tip: Watts Up With That)

When you read some of those files – including 1079 emails and 72 documents – you realise just why the boffins at Hadley CRU might have preferred to keep them confidential. As Andrew Bolt puts it, this scandal could well be “the greatest in modern science”. These alleged emails – supposedly exchanged by some of the most prominent scientists pushing AGW theory – suggest:

Conspiracy, collusion in exaggerating warming data, possibly illegal destruction of embarrassing information, organised resistance to disclosure, manipulation of data, private admissions of flaws in their public claims and much more.

One of the alleged emails has a gentle gloat over the death in 2004 of John L Daly (one of the first climate change sceptics, founder of the Still Waiting For Greenhouse site), commenting:

“In an odd way this is cheering news.”

But perhaps the most damaging revelations – the scientific equivalent of the Telegraph’s MPs’ expenses scandal – are those concerning the way Warmist scientists may variously have manipulated or suppressed evidence in order to support their cause.

This may be the tip of the melting iceberg. Should these emails and documents prove to be true (and there is evidence that they are legitimate), this would become a huuuuge case of deliberate tampering with data and willful falsification of results to influence public policy and public attitudes.

Here are a couple of the emails being circulated around the Internet:

From Michael Mann (the guy who developed the "hockey stick" graph):

"Perhaps we'll do a simple update to the Yamal post, e.g. linking Keith/s new page--Gavin t? As to the issues of robustness, particularly w.r.t. inclusion of the Yamal series, we actually emphasized that (including the Osborn and Briffa '06 sensitivity test) in our original post! As we all know, this isn't about truth at all, its about plausibly deniable accusations."

From Phil Jones:

"I've just completed Mike's Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline."

Other sites are covering this breaking story:

Gateway Pundit: ManBearPig is Dead! Emails Prove Global Warming Junk Science Conspiracy! (Updated) Warmist Conspiracy Exposed?

There are numerous links over at The Climate Depot

Obviously, it's much too early to declare a victory over the climate alarmists. The MSM won't report on this, that is a given, at least not until it becomes so big due to the Internet coverage. Then they might be forced to cover it, but downplay it as not all that significant. And the environmentalists will do their best to downplay this inconvenient truth. The best thing that can come out of this would be criminal charges for conspiracy to commit fraud. Then perhaps the whole AGW scheme will come crashing down, and perhaps at that point, the lies being perpetuated will end.

Make no mistake: the climate fakers will ignore or deny these facts, just like they've been ignoring and denying facts about AGW. They have invested a lot of time and money into this charade.

So - read up on this story. Stay informed. Learn as much as you can about these developments. Tell your family members and friends. Blog about it. Put it on your Facebook page. Cap 'n Trade legislation is currently stalled in Washington, and we have to work to make sure it dies a terrible death, so
send emails to your congressmen and senators, with links to the Daily Telegraph article.

One final question - will Al Gore have to give up his Oscar?

They're On To Me

Someone from the US House of Representatives stopped by earlier today. Should I be nervous?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Urgency Of Now...Delayed

(Cross-posted at Creative Minority Report as a guest post.)

Well, well, well. Seems that there won't be any Hopenchangen coming from Copenhagen this December after all. Thank goodness! This despite English PM's Gordon Brown warning everybody back on October 19 that the world has only 50 days left (PM Warns of Climate 'Catastrophe') if the world leaders delayed any longer.

Lemme see...Oct 19 + 50 days....carry the 1....that puts it at about December 8. Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Perhaps it ought to be renamed as the Feast of the Inaccurate Deception, just this once. No disrespect to the Blessed Mother, mind you.

Why the latest delay? While on his Bash America tour in Asia, President Obama participated in the annual two-day APEC summit, and it was reported in the BBC that "...leaders have failed to agree a target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) forum.

Officials said the leaders - including presidents Barack Obama of the US and Hu Jintao of China - now viewed the Copenhagen summit as a "staging post", and not an end point, in the search for a global deal to cut emissions of greenhouse gases."

A member of the Obama administration added: "There was an assessment by the leaders that it was unrealistic to expect a full internationally legally binding agreement to be negotiated between now and when Copenhagen starts in 22 days."

How much you want to bet this is because the US Senate hasn't done anything on Cap-n-Tax? Which has to be a major embarrassment to President Man-child. Especially since the German publication 'der Spiegel' has come out and lambasted him for failure to come through on promises made during his Berlin campaign speech:

Barack Obama cast himself as a "citizen of the world" when he delivered his well-received campaign speech in Berlin in the summer of 2008. But the US president has now betrayed this claim. In his Berlin speech, he was dishonest with Europe. Since then, Obama has neglected the single most important issue for an American president who likes to imagine himself as a world citizen, namely, his country's addiction to fossil fuels and the risks of unchecked climate change. Health-care reform and other domestic issues were more important to him than global environmental threats. He was either unwilling or unable to convince skeptics in his own ranks and potential defectors from the ranks of the Republicans to support him, for example, by promising alternative investments as a compensation for states with large coal reserves.

Obama's announcement at the APEC summit that it was no longer possible to secure a binding treaty in Copenhagen is the result of his own negligence. China, India and other emerging economies have always spoken openly about the fact that the US, as the world's largest emitter of CO2, has to be proactive in commiting itself to targets agreed on by way of international negotiation. But that is not America's style. The US is quite happy to see itself as the leader of the Western world. But when it comes to climate change, America has once again failed miserably -- for the umpteenth time.

Ouch! That's gonna leave a mark!

Thing is, more and more Americans are seeing the light, that Cap-n-Tax is nothing more than a jobs killer and an attempt to redistribute wealth. For instance, stimulus money was awarded to Texas to develop large wind farms as part of the shift to renewable energy, and to create jobs. Dirty little secret, though, is that 100% of the parts for the turbines will be manufactured in China. Only 330 jobs will be created here, and of those, only 30 will be permanent, while China will reap the benefit of thousands of manufacturing jobs. Gateway Pundit has the story.

The longer this climate change malarkey is postponed the better. It won't ever go away, sadly, not while politicians and snake-oil salesmen (Al Gore, anyone?) stand to profit from it. Perhaps if politicians continue to make fear-mongering claims of imminent destruction, voters will cast them aside for more practical level-headed leaders. And for many in the US Congress, their 'catastrophe' may strike in about 351 days - Election Day, 2010. Now that's a bold prediction I can look forward to.

The Most Evil Man In Michigan

It appears that things are quickly unraveling for the most prominent abortionist in the state of Michigan. is reporting that Dr Alberto Hodari has three of his six abortuaries up for sale and is facing a new lawsuit from a woman who is claiming he forced her to have an abortion back in April 2008.

Dr Hodari has been in legal trouble before - he has been implicated in the deaths of two women due to failed abortions, and earlier in 2009, aborted remains and patient records were discovered by pro-life activists in dumpsters behind two of his clinics.

Here's some of the story:

Flint, MI ( -- Alberto Hodari owns six abortion centers in Michigan and has delivered multiple reports on how he has three of them up for sale. A new lawsuit from a woman who says he forced her to have an abortion could explain why Hodari is quickly moving to divest himself of his abortion business.

Hodari, who has killed at least two women in botched abortions, put a for sale sign on his Flint, Michigan center last week and also on his facilities in Livonia and Southgate.

Local pro-life advocate Judy Climer of Flint Right to Life told that there is a "a fresh lawsuit against him, the clinic and former employee(s)," filed by Caitlin Bruce.

Climer noted Bruce says Hodari forced her to have an abortion after she declined.

Today, Operation Rescue president Troy Newman provided with more details of the lawsuit based on the records filed in court.

Bruce filed a suit against Hodari and his assistant, "Victor" on June 17 over an incident that took place at Hodari's Flint abortion center in April 2008.

Bruce alleges that she went to Hodari's clinic seeking an abortion, but, before the abortion began, she changed her mind, decided against it and told Hodari. However, Hodari and his assistant forcibly restrained Bruce and held her down, according to her suit.

Bruce screamed "Stop, stop, I don't want this," but her mouth was covered to muffle her pleas while Hodari forced her to have the abortion.

The lawsuit notes six counts against Hodari including lack of informed consent/medical malpractice, battery, fraud, misrepresentation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and ethnic/gender intimidation.

Also, Bruce believes that Hodari forced the abortion on her because she is black, even though Michigan law forbids intimidation based on gender or ethnicity.


Hodari has also killed women in failed abortions and, in June, Hodari was fined $10,000 by a state board in connection with a woman's botched abortion death.

One of Hodari's staff did an abortion on Regina Johnson who, afterwards, suffered respiratory and cardiac arrest.

Staff at Hodari's abortion center allegedly failed to help her or call for an ambulance and she was deprived of oxygen for an extended time. She died a short time later at Hodari's Womencare clinic in Lathrup Village.
Johnson's death is one of several women to have died over the years under Hodari's care.

The September 17, 2003 abortion saw Milton Nathanson, then employed by Hodari, do an abortion on Johnson. She died the next day from "anoxic encephalopahy due to cardiac arrest" resulting from the abortion, according to official reports.

In addition to Hodari and Nathanson, anesthesiologist Barry Thompson and the abortion clinic's nurse, Cathy Litchig were also implicated in Johnson's death.

The Michigan Attorney General imposed the fine on Hodari on March 4, 2009. is also reporting that Hodari's wife filed for divorce last week.

We ought to rejoice that, by all accounts, an abortionist will be soon out of business. This would be a dramatic victory for the pro-life movement, as well as demonstrating just how insidious and anti-woman the abortion industry is.

At the same time, we ought to be praying very hard for Dr Hodari's conversion. He is reaping what he has sown right now - loss of income, lawsuits, divorce - demonstrating very clearly that when you sow the wind, you will reap the whirlwind. God, though, still desires the destruction of no one. As Christians, as pro-life Christians, we would be remiss to not pray for his salvation and to accept God's mercy. Dr Bernard Nathanson used to be a notorious abortionist; now he is ardently pro-life and a stalwart defender of the unborn. Dr Hodari has the same opportunity.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Backs Against The Wall

President Obama contemplates a plan to lower the employment rate and spend the unused stimulus dollars...

Two Sets Of Rules

***Ed. note: I've been invited to submit a few guest posts at Creative Minority Report over the next week. I know - they must be desperate, right? The following is my first submission, cross-posted there. To all those who arrived here via CMR, welcome! I hope you like my blog.***

You know how some people - mainly the progressives - complain that the Church is too focused on the Rules? Rules about contraception, rules about divorce, rules about annulments, rules about this that and the other. They say things like "Jesus didn't care about rules. He only commanded us to love". Or "Jesus never said anything about homosexuality, so stop judging".

It turns out that they're only complaining about the Rules they don't like. Because they're totally okay with the rules Vatican II set out, like taking statues out of churches, or getting rid of Latin, or permitting Sr. Kumbaya and The Unifying Spirit Dance Company to take over the liturgy.

Hang on. I forgot - those are the rules they *think* are in Vatican II. So not only do they complain about and/or ignore the rules they don't like, they also imagine rules that don't exist.

Lest you think the progressives are above any sort of actual rules, a story came out yesterday that kinda proves the axiom that the best rule is a rule that gives progressives an advantage.

From the Priest Ordered to Pay Court Costs After Repairing Leaks Without Permission [my comments]

A priest and his church warden have been ordered to pay £100 each for repairing leaks to their church roof without permission from a church court.

Geoffrey Tattersall QC, Chancellor of the Diocese of Manchester and a judge of the Church of England's Consistory Court, said he was "appalled" with the way the repair works to Saint Margaret's Church, Halliwell, Bolton had been arranged without proper authority by priest in charge Rev Derek French and churchwarden Robert Abram, and in "blatant disregard" of advice that they were not suitable.

He ruled that some of Mr French's evidence was "lacking credibility" and said that there had been an "attempt to conceal" that the works had already been carried out when they applied to the consistory court for permission.

The judge took the rare step of ordering both Mr French and Mr Abram to each personally pay £100 towards the cost of the proceedings to "mark the gravity of their behaviour".

Mr French and Mr Abram had taken action to have the roof of the Baptistry repaired to put an end to 15 years of leaks at the church, which sometimes required several buckets to collect incoming rainwater.

[Okay - we have a leaky roof that has been in disrepair since the mid-1990's. And Mr. Tattersall says they're lacking credible evidence? Hello? 15 years???]

In late 2007, the Parochial Church Council decided that repairs should be carried out, at a cost of more than £3,000, and submitted a repair proposal to the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) for approval.

However, in September 2008 the DAC responded saying that it could not recommend the proposal because it was "inappropriate and lacking in detail".

It criticised the specification of the lead to be used, as well as the use of polystyrene in the repairs, and the way battens were to be fixed. It advised consultation with the church architect.

[This is how I know the priest was dealing with liberals. Two years ago, he says he has to fix a roof that's been leaking for 15 years. One year later, the committee responds with, in effect, "How many holes are there and show us exactly where they are." And then declares that repairing the roof might result in environmental disaster - shown by the utter disdain for lead and polystyrene.]

On 29 September, a "disappointed" Mr French wrote back saying they had no intention of consulting with the architect for what was a repair job, and did not wish to incur additional fees. He provided answers to the DAC's queries, and urged an "early and favourable response", adding: "In the meantime I would ask the committee to bear in mind that the roof still leaks and the winter weather is drawing in."

[Big mistake, there - expecting a liberal committee to respond to common sense.]

At a meeting on 6 October 2008, the DAC again rejected the proposal, deeming it "wholly inappropriate" and concluding that it would not solve the problem.

Nevertheless, the repairs were carried out between 13 October and 2 November, even though such work requires a "faculty" or permission to be granted by the consistory court.

The judge said that in the subsequent petition for a faculty, dated 19 November 2008, completed by Mr French and signed by both applicants, the question in Item 31, 'How soon will work start after the faculty is granted', was met with the answer "ASAP", and the time estimate for completion given as two weeks.

However, during the course of the proceedings, Mr French revealed that the work had already been carried out "in order to stop the ingress of water that we have been experiencing for some time".

He wrote in a letter to the judge in May this year: "You might be interested to know that we have had no ingress of water throughout this past winter."

However, the judge in his ruling said: "Whilst I accept that the works undertaken have prevented the further ingress of water, it is self evident that only works of an appropriate specification will stop such further ingress in the longer term."

[The priest gets the roof fixed anyway to prevent further damage and more expensive repairs - successfully, as there were no leaks throughout the winter and spring - but the judge says "So what? You failed to pay homage to the almighty committee, and thus you must pay for your sin."

I imagine the priest and his warden consider the fine to be the best £100 they ever spent, just to avoid having to deal with the stupid committee anymore. And they have a dry church to boot, which I'm sure pleases the congregation.]

There are two lessons to be learned here. One, alluding to the start of this post, rules that progressives make are the only rules that must be followed. By everyone. No exception. We are experiencing that in society, and unfortunately in the Church as well.

But here's the second, and it's one that the Catholic Church should consider adopting. In order to curb liturgical abuses, the Vatican ought to authorize the CDF or CDW to develop a "GIRM Offenses To Cease Happening Assessment" plan. GOTCHA, for short. It would be applied when priests, pastoral associates, or liturgy committees commit liturgical abuses. Using Ritz crackers and grape juice? Slap! $1000 fine. Using inclusive language? Ding! 50 bucks please! Halloween Mass? $500, thank you very much. Playing too many Marty Haugen tunes? $250 per offense!

Alright, the last one is more of a pet peeve than an abuse. But who knows? This idea might provide sufficient disincentive and bring some of the worst offenders in line. And the collected fines could defray seminary tuition, or be donated to non-ACORN related charities.

After all, the progressives have been playing GOTCHA! with Church rules for a long time. Time to turn the tables.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Why We Must Always Pray For Priests

In this Year for Priests, it's important to constantly lift up in prayer those holy priests that suffer for the sake of Christ - by remaining faithful to Church teachings despite the derision and threats to their life (I'm thinking of those in dangerous places like China, the Middle East, the Diocese of Rochester). Priests like Fr Corapi, who boldly proclaim Christ's gospel. Priests like Fr Groeschel, who despite his injuries, soldiers on. I personally know several holy humble priests who serve tirelessly, seeking not their own glory, but the glory of God.

It's equally important - and possibly more important - to pray for the priests that struggle to remain faithful, and especially for those who have completely lost their way and cause scandal to the Church. Satan has it out for all priests, and the ones who have fallen away, who have succumbed to sin, who have accepted his lies, need our prayers and sacrifices more than ever.

Here's a recent, and very serious, example:

From the Edmonton Gay Catholic Priest Getting Married by Bryn Weese (emphases mine)

TORONTO -- Canada's first openly gay Catholic priest is to mark another milestone.

Father Karl Clemens is getting married Saturday to his partner Nick.

He says he'll be the first man of the Catholic cloth to enter into a same-sex marriage in Canada, and maybe even in North America.

"I'm not doing it to start a revolution, but if people want to exercise their right, and so forth, that's terrific," Clemens told Sun Media yesterday.

"I feel very strongly about it.

"I'm leading the way, or pioneering, as it were, in something that I think is very important," Clemens said. "It's a human right."

Clemens, who is approaching 70 and who retired from the Kingston, Ont. diocese after serving there for 33 years, moved to Toronto more than a decade ago to work in, and advocate for, the city's gay village.

Regarding his same-sex marriage, he's prepared for a backlash from the church and some of its followers, as he was when he came out of the closet in 2005.

"There will be Catholics who feel, because of their lack of understanding, that this is a very wrong thing and therefore will not be pleased," Clemens said.

"But those are consequences we have to be willing to deal with because we feel strongly about the issue at hand, which is the right to be able to enter into same-sex marriages."

Clemens and his partner will be married Saturday afternoon in the couple's home.

I'm tempted to be snarky about this, but won't. The level of scandal and depth of sin that this priest is engaged in is much too deadly. This is what happens when anyone idolizes their feelings and assumes their individual infallibility. He has taken the easy path that could lead to eternal destruction rather than bear his cross that will lead to everlasting life. He may be a "pioneer", but the only place he's leading people to, is Hell. The consequences of making "the Catholics who feel this is wrong" (we don't 'feel' it, we 'KNOW' it) displeased will be nothing compared to the consequences of displeasing God. Provided he does not change his ways. And the only way he will change, the only way he will have a true conversion of heart, is by the power of the Holy Spirit - prayed for by "the Catholics who feel this is wrong". Catholics like you and me.

Mary, Holy Mother of God, implore your Son for the soul of your priest. St John Vianney, pray for Fr Clemens.

Get Me To The Crypt On Time!

This story is perfect as a Monday Madness entry, but it's Tuesday...or should I say, Tombsday.

From the Daily Mail online: Gothic Couple Have Their Wedding a Cemetery

A gothic couple have become the first in the UK to have their wedding blessed in the graveyard of a cemetery.

Samantha Smyth, 25, and husband Paul Adams, 33, had originally planned to marry at the unlikely venue but realised it would mean their marriage was not legally recognised.

They later decided to fulfill their dream by having a blessing in their local cemetery eight months after their ’legal wedding’ in a traditional registry office.

The blessing, which occurred at Wisbech General Cemetery on Saturday, was performed by a Spiritualist minister as 40 family and friends gathered around the disused four acre site's ancient stone chapel.

The housewife, who is from a family of Catholics, said that her friends thought she was mad when she told them she was having the £2000 wedding in a graveyard.

She said: ‘My dad, who is a hardcore Catholic didn't believe me when I told him but when I showed him the site - he just said to do whatever made me happy.

‘We had a wonderful day and it was actually very peaceful and tranquil with all the graves and trees sweeping over the chapel.’

Following the blessing the couple returned to their local pub where they cut their giant French Fancy wedding cake with a metre-long Scottish broad sword.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday Madness XXXV

Welcome to Monday Madness, the weekly feature at AoftheA that delivers the crazy, free of charge.

From the Daily Mail online: Ice Age Took Just SIX Months to Arrive

It took just six months for a warm and sunny Europe to be engulfed in ice, according to new research.

Previous studies have suggested the arrival of the last Ice Age nearly 13,000 years ago took about a decade - but now scientists believe the process was up to 20 times as fast.

In scenes reminiscent of the Hollywood blockbuster The day After Tomorrow, the Northern Hemisphere was frozen by a sudden slowdown of the Gulf Stream, which allowed ice to spread hundreds of miles southwards from the Arctic.

Geological sciences professor William Patterson, who led the research, said: 'It would have been very sudden for those alive at the time. It would be the equivalent of taking Britain and moving it to the Arctic over the space of a few months.'

Professor Patterson's findings emerged from one of the most painstaking studies of climate changes ever attempted and reinforce the theory that the earth's climate is unstable and can switch between warm and cold incredibly quickly.

The subsequent mini Ice Age lasted for 1,300 years and was probably caused by the sudden emptying of Lake Agassiz in Canada, which burst its banks and poured freezing freshwater into the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans.

That would have disrupted the Gulf Stream - the flows of which depend on variations in saline levels and temperature - and allowed the ice to take hold.

Some scientists believe that if the Greenland ice cap melts it could disrupt the world's ocean currents and have a similarly dramatic effect.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Progressive Bible Quotes #7

Mark 10: 11-13 (McBrien-Kmiec 2008 American Edition)

11And he said to them: "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; 12and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery. 13Unless they just want to be happy; then it's all good."

Divorce perhaps ranks as the single greatest threat to marriage. And what is the "Young Voices" columnist saying about that?

The Church just doesn't care about people's happiness.

A New Theology of Divorce by Mike Seitzer-Beckham

Tom Roberts, NCR editor at large, recently wrote about an upcoming document from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops on marriage, and the threats to marriage. The threats ranged from cohabitation to same-sex partnerships, to birth control pills, condoms and other forms of artificial contraception. There is a lot to question here given what sociology, biology and 21st century experience contribute to the dialogue. The threat to marriage that I would like to think more about is divorce.

Here is what Roberts reports about what the bishops have to say about divorce:

Divorce is a reflection of original sin, "which disrupted the original communion of man and woman," the document states. Acknowledging that the stresses of modern life and ordinary disagreements and quarrels that occur can jeopardize marriage, the bishops urge "couples in crisis to turn to the Lord," as well as to programs and ministries offered by the church, for help in solving problems.

This all sounds well and good on paper. But what happens when a couple turns to the Lord and is led to getting a divorce in order to live a happier life?


The bishops' approach to dealing with divorced couples is disheartening. I have a friend whose mom was married in the church, endured years of domestic violence, and got divorced. She is now remarried and happy. Would God have wanted her to stay in that first marriage, continue to endure abuse, and not find happiness in another unitive, procreative relationship where she and others involved could more fully feel God's love? She attempted to file for annulment of the first marriage, but it meant having to recount all the times she was abused in order to complete the paperwork. It wasn't worth it. It's not that she's not committed to the church -- she still attends daily Mass and doesn't participate in the Eucharist. She's continued to play by the rules. I'm sure she'll approach the pearly gates, and God will forgive her for not filling out some paperwork -- and I imagine if God doesn't forgive her, it will be because she never sinned in the first place for getting out of this marriage and finding one where she could live God's call.


There needs to be a new inclusion in the theology of divorce that more fully allows divorced Catholics to articulate their faith. I imagine that the bishops do solicit opinions and support for their documents on marriage and other moral issues. However, I don't think that they solicit the opinions of my friend's mom and my friend, who want nothing more than to fully participate in the church but decided they found more fulfillment through love in their lives elsewhere.

I've only reprinted excerpts - the rest has just as many theological problems and gratuitous tugs at the heart strings, if you care to read them. It's full of wishful thinking, canonical complaints and a prejudiced progressive pity party.

There is no mention anywhere in this puff piece about Jesus' very explicit teaching about divorce and remarriage - you know, the adultery bit. Isn't it funny how progressives will say how Jesus never mentioned anything about homosexual stuff, but conveniently forget (or most likely just ignore) about His words of adultery?

Thus, problems begin when the emotions are engaged at the expense of the truth. The goal of life is to be holy, not happy. Sure, happiness is great and all, but it's not worth it at the expense of one's salvation. And it's not really happiness if it's based on a lie. For instance, the divorced woman he talks about, from his account, appears to be in a state of grave sin. Sure, she may not be receiving the Eucharist, but if she is in a "unitive, procreative relationship" without having gotten an annulment, then isn't that adultery? The fact she refrains from receiving Holy Communion indicates that on some level, she realizes she is doing something wrong. I'm not saying that she ought to have remained in an abusive marriage - if it was truly dangerous for her, then by all means, separate. But to remarry because she "deserves" happiness is bunkum. No one deserves happiness.

We should be thankful the bishops aren't soliciting the advice and opinions of people like this who have decided to put happiness above holiness.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Word For The Day

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church: (paragraph 2138) "Superstition is a departure from the worship that we give to the true God. It is manifested in idolatry, as well as in various forms of divination and magic."

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Merry Tossmas!

It's that Special Time of Year
That's full of Season's Greetings
Where Joy and Peace are deeply wished
At social calls and meetings

Where catalogs and store cashiers
Proclaim that sec'lar phrase
That means so little and says much less:
"Happy Holidays!"

'Tis a great shame they don't profess
Christmas by its true name.
They won't be getting my business;
I won't play that PC game.

So try and patronize the stores
Who recognize the worth
Of keeping Christ in Christmas,
That we celebrate His birth.

And when the mailman gives to you
A heavy cat'log cache
Keep the "Merry Christmas!" ones
And dump the others in the trash!

Pluralism Run Amok

I'm not so sure we're living in a pluralistic society as much as we are living in an insane society. There is a push to obliterate the differences between men and women, or is it men who used to be women, or maybe it's women who want to be men, and they all want taxpayers to pay for their sex's getting confusing. The traditional view of marriage is being assailed - we are expected to accept that a "love" between two homosexuals is equal to (and some have tried to argue it's better than) the love between a husband and wife. In fact, AFAIK, some places have even struck the words "husband" and "wife" from state forms and such.

Then there are the concepts of people wanting to have sex without babies (abortion, contraception, sterilization, etc), and others wanting babies without sex (IVF), and then are people who are having sex with no chance of ever having babies (homosexuals). It seems that the folks who are having sex in order to have children are looked at as the bizarre oddity circus freak nowadays.

And then we come to religion. Some want to eliminate it entirely from the public square. And by "it", I mean Christianity. There have been lawsuits to have the words "under God" stricken from the Pledge of Allegiance. No crosses in cemeteries on federal land. Take "In God we trust" off of our currency.

But the culture, being crazy and schizophrenic, is also demanding the right to express religious beliefs (as long as it's not Christianity, of course). Since the beginning of November, there have been several stories where religious beliefs have made the news. You've got the story of the Massachusetts man who was fired because he told a fellow employee (who didn't work with him, but was visiting from another location) he thought her upcoming same-sex marriage was wrong. He said she was hounding him throughout the day about her so-called marriage, practically goading him into a response, and when he finally did respond, she filed a harassment suit.

Then there was the story from the Telegraph UK, where a man's climate change beliefs was afforded 'religious belief' legal standing from a judge. The man claimed he was fired because of his environmentalist beliefs. Actually, this might be a good thing, because if global warming is legally treated as a religion, then it cannot be science - scientists, atheists and the like always tell us that religion and science are incompatible. So, thanks judge!

And finally, there's this story from today's Police Worker Fired for Backing Psychic Investigations, Claims Religious Discrimination.

Alan Power, who has been a member of a Spiritualist church for 30 years, argues that his belief in the power of mediums should be placed on a par with more mainstream religious and philosophical convictions.

He has already secured a legal ruling that his principles are covered by laws designed to prevent religious discrimination in the workplace, and is now seeking to prove that they were the reason for his dismissal.

Mr Power's case follows a landmark ruling last month that environmental views should be considered equivalent to religious and philosophical beliefs, following a legal challenge by a green executive at a property firm.

At a tribunal in London, Mr Power will claim that Greater Manchester Police broke the law by sacking him for believing that mediums should be consulted in criminal investigations.

In an initial judgement seen by The Independent, Judge Peter Russell said that the case had merit because his Spiritualist views "have sufficient cogency, seriousness, cohesion and importance" to be covered by the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003.

The judge wrote: "I am satisfied that the claimant's beliefs that there is life after death and that the dead can be contacted through mediums are worthy of respect in a democratic society."

While I agree that a person's beliefs ought to be respected, and that discrimination ought to be discouraged, at what point does this become even sillier than it is now? If all religious beliefs have equal standing before the law, then what happens when one person's religious beliefs come in conflict with another person's? Which gets preference? (The Massachusetts story pretty much answers that). And what happens when one's beliefs come into conflict with the law? What then?

Of course, if someone's religious beliefs call for the murder of innocent people, and they act on it, there is a legal structure and precedent. For instance, Nidal Hasan should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, even if he claims his religious beliefs were the motivation for the shootings. IMO, he should be executed as a war criminal, but that's beside the point. Similarly, bigamy laws supercede Mormon teaching of permitting multiple wives.

So evidently, these rulings seem to be limited to just the workplace. But is the law being equally applied? In England, there were several stories over the past year of a couple nurses getting fired or suspended for asking patients if they would like to pray together. Were they reinstated? Were they allowed to return to work? I don't know.

One of my customers has a significant number of Muslim employees. They have designated several spots in their building as prayer rooms. They installed special foot washing stations in the rest rooms. That's all well and good - so how about a chapel for the Christians?

What if a person's beliefs requires the sacrifice of a chicken at noon on the third Wednesday of each month? Who's to say that isn't a valid religious belief? Would an employer be expected to fulfill that request so as to avoid a religious discrimination suit?

If Christians are expected to check their beliefs at the door when they show up for work, then so should everyone else. The psychic cop can summon the dead on his own time. The True Green Believer can impose his environmental tenets on his family, but leave them out of the office. The lady 'marrying' her girlfriend? She should keep it to herself - religion is supposed to be private and personal, right?

These stories are just the latest examples of attitudes towards "Christian privilege". Believers in Christ have been at the top long enough - we've had all the advantages, the preferential treatment, the best seats in the house. Apparently, it's time for us to be brought down to size. Christianity is no better than any other belief system, I guess. Raelians, environmentalists, psychics - shoot, they're all equal, right? Living in a pluralistic society must mean that every belief system must be accepted...except for Christianity. Like GK Chesterton once said: "These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own."

Well, when these fringe beliefs and superstitious fads start setting up hospitals, opening schools for underprivileged children, when they send missionaries to the indigent, when they perform selfless acts of charity to the poor, when they display a consistent ethic of defending life, when they stand up to evil, when they save an entire civilization, perhaps they'll have some merit. But until then, their "religious beliefs" betray an immaturity that demands acceptance from all, and shows none towards all.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mattel Newest Ken Doll: All Pimped Out!

As parents, we remain ever-vigilant to ensure that our kids are prepared to handle the secular culture's immoral and degenerate portrayal of sex. For the most part, we try to protect them from harmful influences while they're still too young to understand. Television shows, as well as the advertisements, can be near occasions of sin. Video game and movie ratings are unreliable, and seem downright deceptive. The internet...well, we all know about the internet. And the public school system, despite their assurances of providing sex-education materials that are 'age appropriate', seems hell-bent on overruling parental rights when it comes to this issue.

Let's face it - the culture is opposed to every Christian sexual ethic. It's even showing up in kids' toys.

Introducing Sugar Daddy Ken from Mattel.From Barbie Palm Beach Daddy Ken is a Real Doll (emphases mine)

The Internet is all abuzz with news of the Barbie Palm Beach Sugar Daddy Ken Doll. Retailer Entertainment Earth is taking preorders for the doll, scheduled for release in April 2010.


A word of explanation -- in this case, the phrase Sugar Daddy does not refer to the candy bar.
Urban Dictionary describes the term thusly: "A man (usually older and well-off) who financially supports a younger woman (or man) in exchange for sex and companionship.

Palm Beach Sugar Daddy Ken won't be alone in Florida with his little white dog (readers of the site Topless Robot think the pooch should be named "Precious"). The doll is part of a series called Barbie Palm Beach, which includes the Barbie Palm Beach Swimsuit Doll, the Barbie Palm Beach Caftan Doll, and the Barbie Palm Beach Coral Doll, which is the most expensive offering at $174.99. The least expensive of the line, the $14.32 Barbie Beach Party Pool Playset, is sold out at the moment.

We truly hope it will be in stock soon. Otherwise where
will Palm Beach Sugar Daddy Ken dunk his pedicure whilst sipping his third Sex on the Beach?

Okay, to be fair, the article mentions that this doll isn't being marketed to kids. Which makes me wonder - who is the target market? Alright, alright, I'm not wondering per se; I'm not that naive. But it's just wrong on so many levels - and who's to say it's not going to end up in some kid's collection anyhow? So how would any parent explain to their daughter (even worse to their son!) what 'Sugar Daddy' means, and that no, they can't have the gay Ken. And no, you definitely aren't getting a green sport jacket either.

And what's next? Ken's "Provincetown Pals"?

Now - if Mattel is truly interested in expanding their line of dolls, there remains a large untapped segment of the population. I have an idea that will sell like crazy, especially among readers of AoftheA, and would be a huuuuuuge money maker. And if Mattel turns this down, then I may just become an entrepreneur.

Introducing The Heresy Collection: dolls of dissent, action figures of apostasy. The Priscilla Priestess Doll would be launched first, complete with two bundles of kindling, a rope and a Scripto Aim 'n Flame.

Sure, it's a one-time ex-communication - but think of the repeat sales!

Next in line would be The Pope Joan Doll (including a pink Popette-mobile) and The Helga and Uma German Bishop Doll Set (with river boat for ordinations). The Priscilla accessories would be included with both. Oh, and can you imagine the fun you'd have with The Plowshares Social Justice Nuclear Missile Depot Protest Action Figures - with dual rolls of barbed wire fencing, wire cutters, colorful protest signs and 2 GI Joe MP's to arrest and interrogate the trespassers? I'd buy two of those - one to keep in the original packaging, and the other to teach my catechism class the difference between real justice and plain ol' nuttiness.

Of course, there would be an Orthodoxy Collection, too. I mean, who wouldn't want a Fr. Corapi Action Figure, right?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Today's Winner Of The Biased, Brainless and Callous Award

Leave to the liberals at Commonsqueal to ignore the murders of 13 people stationed at Ft. Hood, and focus on feminism, of all things, and spin it about the upcoming LCWR investigation.

From the Commonsqueal blog: The 'New' Feminism?, by Cathleen Kaveny

As I was catching up with the news this week, I came across this account of the police officer--the female police officer who stopped the rampage at Fort Hood in Texas.

And then I read this story of Cardinal Rode admitting that the reason he’s launching an investigation of women’s religious orders is that he wants to combat “a feminist spirit.”

What is “feminism”? The term is notoriously contested.

Is this police officer a self-identified “feminist”–I don’t know. I do know that she has managed to make good, and full, use of the gifts that God gave her–to protect those more vulnerable than she. And I know that anyone, male or female, who puts their life on the line to save other people is a hero.

Will it still be possible to raise girls–women–in the Church who admire that police officer for living out her own unique vocation as a woman -even if it isn’t theirs?

The latest glittering example of abject idiocy posing as journalistic wisdom. Only a liberal Vatican-hating, anti-traditional rag of a magazine could look at the heroic actions of a female police officer and compare them to the lives of women religious - and not just any women religious, but those who will be investigated by the Vatican. But heroism is not standing against the Church doctrine of the all-male priesthood. Heroism is not promoting alternative theologies, denying Christ His unique kingship and necessity for salvation. Heroism is not assisting vulnerable girls through the doors of Planned Parenthood. Heroism is not advocating sexual deviancy. Those are examples of defiance. Obstinacy. Disobedience. Blasphemy. Scandal.

I highly doubt the survivors of this massacre, and the family members who lost loved ones, are thankful for the advances of the feminist movement. They're grateful that a police office did her job, and helped to save lives. For this writer to promote her social agenda in the wake of this attack only shows her bias and lack of compassion. For shame.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Connecting The Dots

Last Thursday's Ft Hood massacre was shocking and appalling. Thirteen people dead, and dozens wounded. And the alleged shooter, Major Nidal Hasan, a devout Muslim, was injured during the shootings and remains hospitalized. His motives are still unknown, but apparently yelling "Allahu Akbar" prior to opening fire fails to provide sufficient explanation, and the media would like us to believe he suffers from "secondary trauma" rather than a jihadist ideology.

It would be unwise to jump to conclusions about Hasan's motivations - not like what the media did when George Tiller was murdered, when they raced to be the first to declare he was killed by an extreme right-wing Christian anti-abortionist - and come right out and declare this an act of terrorism against Americans. Because do to so might inflame Muslim antipathy towards the United States and weaken the administration's peaceful outreach to the Muslim community and Muslim nations. And we all know about that Nobel Peace Prize thing - improved relations with the Muslim world was one of the criterion for its being awarded to President Obama. So there can't be any mention of [whispers] terrorism, now, can there?

But new information is starting to come out about Army Major Nidal Hasan that might be difficult to explain away:

Yahoo News reported that Hasan's imam "was a spiritual leader at two mosques where three 9/11 hijackers worshipped."

Gateway Pundit reported that Hasan's imam praised him for the shooting, calling him a 'hero'.

And Newsmax reported today that "U.S. intelligence agencies were aware months ago that Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan was attempting to make contact with people associated with al-Qaida."

How soon before people start asking the tough questions? How long will it take for folks to start "connecting the dots"? Could this attack have been prevented? When will the media start blaming Bush for this (perhaps they already are)?

Bottom line is this - if this attack is classified as a terrorist attack, it will be the first successful attack on American soil since 9/11. I think it's significant - and will lend evidence to the charge that our nation is not safer under the Obama administration. And there's nothing to indicate that things will change for the better.

Monday Madness XXXIII

Welcome to the latest installment of Monday Madness, the weekly feature at AoftheA, your real-life true-blue online Twilight Zone.

From the TimesOnline: Evangelical Outrage Over Play Featuring Transsexual Jesus

A controversial play which portrays Jesus as a transsexual woman was defended yesterday by its writer who has herself crossed the gender barrier to live as a woman.

Jesus, Queen of Heaven, has caused a storm of protest from Christian evangelical groups, who picketed the Tron Theatre in Glasgow when it opened this week.

However, their attacks have caused deep offence to the play’s author, who also acts the leading role. For Jo Clifford — formerly the playwright John Clifford — wrote the piece in an attempt to create greater understanding of transgendered people like herself.

The play’s opening night was attended by about 300 demonstrators. Roman Catholics joined evangelical Christians for a two-hour protest during which they waved placards and sang hymns.

Yesterday Ms Clifford, 59, from Edinburgh, expressed deep disappointment in the reaction.

“Most of it is happening because of a complete misunderstanding of what I am and what I am trying to do ... They thought awful, sacrilegious things were going to happen on stage,” she said. Her critics, she added, ought to reread the Gospel. “Jesus said: ‘judge not’.”

Ms Clifford is clear that much of the motivation for protestors is disapproval of her transgendered identity. Not only has she written the play, she also performs the title and only role.

The piece is a sequel to God’s New Frock, which Ms Clifford wrote in 2002 when she was still identified as John. Although she came out to her friends and family at the age of 50, she did not begin living as a woman until five years ago, after her partner, Sue Innes, the feminist writer, with whom she has two children, died.

While God’s New Frock was a partly autobiographical piece about Ms Clifford growing up as a male and trying to suppress her need to become a woman, Jesus, Queen of Heaven, imagines the son of God alive in the present world as a transsexual woman, and attempts to present how she would relate the parables under this transgendered identity. “I have showed the script to priests and they’ve said it corresponds to what the Bible says,” Ms Clifford added.

Which priests?

This kind of tripe that passes for "cultural arts" is blasphemous rubbish - no other way to describe it. There's more culture growing in highway rest stop bathroom stalls on the floors beneath the toilets than in a play such as this. Any gross depiction of Jesus Christ ought to be challenged in the strongest terms possible. This JoJohn Clifford, may God have mercy on his/her soul, is battling mighty strong demons, and their contempt for holiness has taken centre stage - literally.

If I wasn't busy writing the next Great American Novel, I'd write a play about a transgendered bleeding heart liberal who regrets his sex change operation, seeks absolution from his sins, get received into the Catholic Church, marries and has seven children, and then gets martyred by extremist gay activists. It'd be a heck of lot closer to the truth, that's for sure.

Rant over.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Confession Rocks!!

It's a great feeling, isn't it?

Caption Contest #13

(Click here for previous contest winner)

Compose your captions in the combox!

Winner: From BroAJK: How many Santas can fit in a phone booth?