Woke up with a headache this morning which wouldn’t be so bad except I didn’t have a drop last night and fell asleep around 10.

So I’m starting the year with a bit of a headache, some low dose asprin, no job, a new mortgage, my kids college fund down half its value 5 months before he graduates, a house that needs cleaning before Saturday, and a house full of people due in 54 hours (which means my wife will be in panic mode for the next two days).

Of course things are not so bad, I have my health, the family is well, her sauce is in the fridge, the oldest has been accepted to one college and looks like his hard work will pay off with some serious financial help.

One nice thing about thing starting the year in a bit of a hole is that you are bound to climb out of it.

So welcome to the year 2009 AD and a happy new year to all.

And Yes I typed AD not “Common Era” or “Before Common Era”, common era refers to the common time scale used and what marks the use of that “common era”? Why the birth of Christ!

It’s another cheap trick to deny history, I don’t seem anyone in a rush to call Thursday day 5 because they don’t want to say “Thor’s” day.

You know there are a lot of what I like to call “indirect proofs” of Christianity. Little things that indicate something funny. The obsession some people have with removing Christianity from sight is rather amazing particularly when they don’t have that same obsession with Islam or Buddhism or Hinduism or even Judaism.

Why such venom at only one target? Why even be bothered by something that one believes is a myth?

And even within the Christian community is a protestant goes from one denomination to another there is hardly an eyelash blinked, but if one converts to Catholicism its a big fuss.

Why be so angry when an atheist converts?

Interesting questions over the year I’ll talk about it more.

Anyways a happy new year to all.

The Curt Jester reports that the Raving Atheist has changed the name of his blog to the Raving Theist and this post contains the following announcement:

Three years ago, I promoted and appeared in the atheist documentary “The God Who Wasn’t There,” dedicated to the proposition that Jesus never existed.

TODAY I DEDICATE THIS SITE AND MY LIFE TO THE WORSHIP AND SERVICE OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST.

The rest of the post is the creed which suggests he has become a Catholic. Good for him! The comments however are full of rather abusive and insulting comments from other Athiests.

Presuming this isn’t a Christmas joke it will be very interesting to see if he explains the conversion in detail. The Jester has some experience in this matter so his blog will be a good thing to check out over the next few days as this goes on.

If you are a Christian in general or a Catholic in particular I suggest praying for him as there are some tough times ahead. If you are a disappointed atheist will I guess you just have to deal with it and hope for the best.

Can someone explain the wisdom of this:

Oddly enough, the FAQ page at the Saddleback Church that contained their policy statements on dinosaurs, evolution, and homosexuality (among other subjects) has suddenly been wiped clean: Saddleback Church: Small Group Information.

As a Catholic my belief set doesn’t match Pastor Warren’s but c’mon. You either believe what you preach or you don’t. The bible is rather clear that being attacked is part of the job description to wit:

“Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father. Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his household.’ Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me and whoever does not take up his cross 15 and follow after me is not worthy of me.

This passage from Matthew 10:32-38 is very clear, take the hits and the jibes, stand up and be counted. No waffling allowed.

The Pope affirmed Catholic teaching yesterday:

Pope Benedict said Monday that saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behaviour was just as important as saving the rainforest from destruction.

The Church “should also protect man from the destruction of himself. A sort of ecology of man is needed,” the pontiff said in a holiday address to the Curia, the Vatican’s central administration.

“The tropical forests do deserve our protection. But man, as a creature, does not deserve any less.”

The Catholic Church teaches that while homosexuality is not sinful, homosexual acts are

Considering the first line I was waiting for a direct quote concerning homosexuality. Maybe the author didn’t include it because the Pope didn’t make one:

Benedict XVI stands accused today of ecclesiastical gay-bashing. When I was woken up very early this morning by a radio station looking for a quote, I was given the impression that he’d given a speech saying homosexuals were as big a threat to the planet as climate change.

That would have been an own goal, I admit. But look at the text of the Pope’s speech to the Curia and he doesn’t even come close to saying that. The point Benedict is making is that God’s plan for creation encompasses both stewardship of the planet and the expression of human sexual relations within (and only within) marriage.

Nowhere in his speech does he say that “homosexuaity” is a sin, because that’s not Catholic teaching.

None the less the long knives are out:

“When you have religious leaders like that making that sort of statement then followers feel they are justified in behaving in an aggressive and violent way because they feel that they are doing God’s work in ridding the world of these people.”

Her views were echoed by the Reverend Dr Giles Fraser, the vicar of Putney and president of Inclusive Church, the pro-gay Anglican movement. “I thought the Christmas angels said ’Fear not’. Instead, the Pope is spreading fear that gay people somehow threaten the planet. And that’s just absurd … Can’t he think of something better to say at Christmas?”

Pam Spaulding, a leading lesbian blogger from the United States, was even more direct. She said: “The Prada Papa Ratzi opens his trap again, and the homophobia stinks like trash piled up during a NYC garbage strike.”

If you want to read the actual text of the speech it is available in German and Italian here, but not in English. A babel fish translation is here but it seems a tad iffy to me so feel free to use your own translator.

Lets cut to the Chase: Regardless of what is done in other denominations the Pope is not going to change Church doctrine because you don’t like it. There is no requirement for anyone to be Catholic. There is no requirement for you to believe Catholic teaching. If you want a church that fits your beliefs there are plenty of denominations out there that tailor their beliefs to fill the collection plate. Or you can even form your own. If you don’t want to believe in any religion that is fine too. It’s all up to you. Feel free to critique, demonize, attack, belittle, ridicule, denounce and even hate the Church and proclaim it loudly for the rest of your life if you want to.

After that you’re on your own.

A lot of things on the mind again so we are just going to have to steal the style of Jay Nordlinger’s Impromptus column and say a few things;

And since I’m stealing his style may I say that you should read his column regularly and consider buying his book right off the top.

The last time I did this I wrote the following:

The day the New York Times can call itself the Instapundit of Newspapers is the day its stock will not be tanking its building will not need to be mortgaged and will be worth reading again.

Gateway pundit who I read regularly and you should too, hit the New York Times over this front page story that was frankly; a bunch of nonsense. He makes a very obvious point:

Obviously, if Democrats really believed that Republicans were responsible for the housing crisis we would be seeing mock show trial after mock show trial in front of the various Congressional committees. We are not seeing that today.

You can tell what is reality by what people actually do vs what they say every time.

A little more on the New York Times; you know there is nothing wrong with serving a niche market as long as you can make a profit doing it. The New York Times and a good chunk of the media in general is writing for a niche liberal east coast market and is tanking in value. If you can be happy being #2 or #3 and still make a buck all well and good (Read MSNBC) but if you are losing your shirt you can be doing this?

And is it just me or do liberals seem to forget the existence of YouTube and video tape? From the same Gateway pundit link above we see members of congress with a D by their side defending Fannie Mae. Then we see the media and those same congressmen pretending it didn’t happen. Have they forgotten a computer is now an appliance? People can see this stuff.

You know when I was working I had the 1 to midnight shift. Since my wife is a light sleeper and always had trouble getting back to sleep I would crash on the couch and moan when my early rising family would wake me up. Now that I’m not working I’m sleeping in my bed much more. My wife and kids have no school and I’m still waking up before 6. The only good side of it is Morning Joe.

Speaking of Morning Joe, it is the best show on MSNBC and not just because Mika Brzezinski is one of the most handsome women on television but the chemistry between her and Joe Scarborough is fantastic. It really seems that the people on this show genuinely like each other and are not afraid to disagree without being disagreeable. Watching them talk is like watching my friends talk with me, we come from all over the political and religious spectrum and we are friends and always will be.

Don’t forget that it was Morning Joe that grilled Axelrod when nobody else would.

Plus Mike Barnicle is from my home town.

However the hardest thing about watching the show is the ads for Rachel Maddow and Countdown, even the promos are over the top in their worship of liberalism and demonetization of conservatives.

Whenever I see Harold Ford Jr. on Morning Joe I think of Satchel Paige THE greatest pitcher of all time. Page resented that Jackie Robinson made the majors before him with his long record of accomplishment. I look at president elect Obama and Ford and think the same thing.

Then again we all know what Jackie Robinson did, maybe the president elect will do the same. But remember that Jackie won his world series ring in 1955. Satchel won his 7 years ahead of him.

Do you know who got the last hit against Paige? Carl Yaztrzemski in 1965. 1965! It was the only hit he gave up in three innings work, at the age of 59. And that’s assuming his listed birth date is correct.

Of course the Red Sox were one of the worst teams in baseball that year too. They lost 100 games and finished 9th in a 10 team league. Rico Petrocelli and Jim Lonborg were rookies and Tony Conigliaro was only in his 2nd year. They were two years away from greatness. They were also still the most lily white team in the league. Earl Wilson the great slugging pitcher was about it.

These days the Sox are perennial contenders with two world series under their belt and look like the UN by comparison.

It’s quite a thing to be a Boston fan of any sport this year. The Sox just missed the series this year, the Pats are 10-5 WITHOUT Tom Brady, the Celtics are the World Champs and have won 18 straight. and the Bruins are in First place. I don’ t know how long this can last but you’ve gotta love it if you are in Boston.

It almost makes up for the two feet of snow in my front yard, there is no place to put the snow and it isn’t even winter yet. And we have another storm due this week.

Did I just hear people comparing Sarah Palin to Caroline Kennedy and saying the comparison is unfair on Morning Joe and in print? Yes I did but they have it backwards. Gov Palin has actually run a city and a state. Caroline Kennedy hasn’t. Kennedy is so much less qualified that Palin that it isn’t funny.

Of course the newly popular Kathleen Parker makes that point in her column today too, but can’t do it without kicking Palin:

Palin’s demonstrated lack of basic knowledge, her intellectual incuriosity, her inability to articulate ideas or even simple thoughts all combined to create an impression of not-quite-there.

Few doubt that Palin is here to stay. She is the GOP’s chosen closer, as demonstrated in Georgia when she roused the crowds to help re-elect Sen. Saxby Chambliss. What she possesses by immeasurable orders of magnitude – personal power, presence, pizazz – one can’t purchase. The rest – theoretically – she can learn.

Kennedy, a relatively erudite person who has authored several books, may have the political clout to get herself a Senate seat, but it isn’t clear that she has the people power needed to sustain her. The electorate eventually will sort out the differences that matter.

In the meantime, a Sen. Caroline Kennedy would not be a nuclear-enabled leader of the free world, whereas a Vice President Sarah Palin might have been.

Gotta love the theoretically it sounds like Admiral John Jervis Lord St. Vincent in 1804 describing the threat of a French Invasion.

‘I do not say the French can’t come, I only say they can’t come by sea.’

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, God they must hate her!

Been reading about Jervis in The Line Upon the Wind the Great War at sea 1893-1815. Once I finish it I’ll link to the Amazon review but there is one thing worth mentioning up front.

I’ve read a lot of naval histories, this is the first one describing the Chesapeake Leopard incident from the British side of the coin and it seems to give justification for the act, although saying the cost was high in terms of international relations. It also repeats the nonsense suggestion of the Admiralty at the time that US frigates such as the USS Constitution was in fact more of a Ship of the Line than a frigate. 200+ year old biases die hard.

And if you’ve never visited the USS Constitution in Charleston Mass do so.

Some more recient biases include everyone’s favorite game “Name That Party!

How bad is the bias? It’s gotten so bad that yesterday when my totally non-political wife was reading the paper I pointed to this AP story and asked what was wrong with it. She took one look and said they must not mention he was a democrat.

She wouldn’t know the AG of Ohio from a hole in the ground. If my wife is figuring this out then the cat is out of the bag.

A little religion, did you see this:

He may not be a Catholic but it is the best description of Sin and the fight against it i’ve ever heard.

Played BANG, the wild west card game with my gaming crowd last Thursday I’m very surprised that the expansions are available at Amazon but the game is not.

And the Talisman game we played after it was the best I’ve ever seen, 4 people made it to the crown and the fate markers really add to the game even if I was turned into a frog. It was the most exciting single game that I’ve played in 30 years.

And if you are interested in all things Talisman check here.

Well I’ve been typing this for almost two hours and I haven’t even talked about battery cars and the coal that will be needed to power them. I’ll finish with this totally unrelated stat and thought.

Just before the storm this blog was being found, my hits were up by a factor of 3-5 and it looked like it was growing. The loss of power slaughtered my stats and they haven’t recovered, it is quite annoying but if that is the worst problem that I have (particularly with people on my street STILL without power then I’m a real lucky guy.)

And only three days to the Doctor Who Christmas Special The next Doctor; Huzzah!

From the Curt Jester here is a rather funny list of what programming language is your religion:

C would be Judaism – it’s old and restrictive, but most of the world is familiar with its laws and respects them. The catch is, you can’t convert into it – you’re either into it from the start, or you will think that it’s insanity. Also, when things go wrong, many people are willing to blame the problems of the world on it.

C++ would be Islam – It takes C and not only keeps all its laws, but adds a very complex new set of laws on top of it. It’s so versatile that it can be used to be the foundation of anything, from great atrocities to beautiful works of art. Its followers are convinced that it is the ultimate universal language, and may be angered by those who disagree. Also, if you insult it or its founder, you’ll probably be threatened with death by more radical followers.

For some reason the Catholic Church is not included and he thinks about it.

Now a programming language that reflected the Catholic Church would be a cross between Basic and machine language. Basic gives it the James Joyce ‘here comes everybody’ aspect and machine language would give it the direct access to God that we have through the Eucharist. The Catholic Church can nourish anybody from the humblest peasant to the most brilliant theologian. Like most languages an interpreter is required for compiled code. In computing if you don’t have a valid interpreter/compiler the code you write will end up either doing nothing or not what you intended. The teaching magisterium of the Church gives us that interpreter in real life. A good interpreter/compiler also has lots of error checking. On our own we are often prone to errors and so being informed of our errors is to our good to ensure that we write valid code. Often we think we are writing valid code only to find that when we go to build it something is not exactly right. You can’t just tell the interpreter/compiler you are sorry for writing bad code, you have to repent of your coding error and fix it.

He goes on quite a bit on it. I would lean toward machine code myself but that’s me.

One of the things that I have been very frustrated with over the years are the number of my fellow Catholics who don’t know what Catholic teaching actually is.

A lot of this comes down to apathy, but you also have people who are ill informed by either teachers who don’t know what they are talking about, denominations outside the church who have their own false view of the Church, the media who love of the church is almost as large as their love of George Bush and groups of “Catholics” who want to change the rules or redefine sin to fit their own worldview.

Well with the internet there is no excuse for ignorance on this matter so I have added several permalinks to the Vatican including links to the Bible, Canon law (the internal law of the church) and most importantly to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

This link is the most important because it is the document that contains what Catholic belief actually IS. Not what other people say it is but the bottom line. If you want to know what the Church says on any matter that is where you go. It is very complete, footnoted and well referenced.

If you prefer a copy that you can read on the go you can also pick it up at Amazon here. Hardcover here.

Every Catholic should have one of these, outside of scripture it is the most important book on your faith to have. If you are a non-catholic you will find it an excellent reference to what we actually believe. So pick one up or permalink the page so you can be informed.

The JammieWearingFool points out that the imminent birth of Bristol Palin’s son (due tomorrow) will be a death blow to people who are insisting that Trig Palin is Sarah Palin’s grandson rather than her son.

No it won’t.

You have to think of people who follow conspiratorial type stuff as people following a religion. Excuses will be followed by clarifications but in the end the belief will not be dropped, remember William Miller and the 2nd coming.

The only thing that will be missing is the tax-exempt status. (Believe me the collection plate WILL exist).

I was reading Jay Nordlinger today. You should read him too. These two quotes show why:

Longtime Impromptus readers may remember something I had to say from Davos, one year. Lord Carey — the former archbishop of Canterbury — stood up. Sitting next to a Saudi potentate (Prince Turki, I believe), he said, “Sure, you can have your mosques on every corner of Europe. But wouldn’t it be nice to have a church in Saudi Arabia one day?” (I have paraphrased.)

I thought of him — thought of Carey — when reading this item about Russia: “The Saudis have recently asked permission to build a mosque in Moscow, a city where there are only four mosques and 2 million Muslims. The Russians, however, are saying they want, in return, an Orthodox church in Saudi Arabia.”

Interesting.

And another one also on religion:

Finally, a reader said, “Jay, thought you might like to see this T-shirt. We made a dozen to sell at our church — sold out in one Sunday (usually a dozen shirts will last us a couple months).” The man included a picture of the shirt. And it says, “Go ahead and say it . . . Merry Christmas!”

Interesting what qualifies as subversive and daring in America these days.

If you like this style you might also want to consider his book,
Here There and everywhere.
Amazon for some reason is out and may not restock but you can get it here.

I really like Charles Johnson, his blog Little Green Footballs is one of the first ones I started reading back in 2001. When it comes to the Islamic threat he will NEVER earn a Nelson nor will he compromise his beliefs concerning some on the right who have bedfellows he objects to. His blog should not be missed.

When it comes to religion however he can get a bit iffy. Today he posts on the fact that more people in the US believe in the Devil than in Evolution.

Well DUH most Americans are Christians. The Devil is specifically mentioned in both the new and old testaments. Christ specifically mentions him. As a Roman Catholic I will state this categorically:

If you say you are a Catholic and don’t believe in the devil, then you might as well say you are something else because you are not a Catholic.

If you say that you are a Christian and you don’t believe in the Devil, then you must be of a sect that doesn’t believe in the divinity of Christ either, and if not, why are you bothering to say you are a Christian?

Christianity as a religion is not one of compromise, either Christ is God or is is not. If he is not then there is no point being a Christian. If he is then he is and nothing anyone else says will make it otherwise. The Catholic Church states that the devil exists as a fact. Period. End of sentence. I’m not a protestant but I’m not aware of any protestant denominations that believe in the divinity of Christ that don’t state the existence of the devil as a fact.

Now unlike most Christian denominations the Catholic Church doesn’t deny the existence of evolution. Catechism of the Catholic Church says the following:

282 Catechesis on creation is of major importance. It concerns the very foundations of human and Christian life: for it makes explicit the response of the Christian faith to the basic question that men of all times have asked themselves:120 “Where do we come from?” “Where are we going?” “What is our origin?” “What is our end?” “Where does everything that exists come from and where is it going?” The two questions, the first about the origin and the second about the end, are inseparable. They are decisive for the meaning and orientation of our life and actions.

283 The question about the origins of the world and of man has been the object of many scientific studies which have splendidly enriched our knowledge of the age and dimensions of the cosmos, the development of life-forms and the appearance of man. These discoveries invite us to even greater admiration for the greatness of the Creator, prompting us to give him thanks for all his works and for the understanding and wisdom he gives to scholars and researchers. With Solomon they can say: “It is he who gave me unerring knowledge of what exists, to know the structure of the world and the activity of the elements. . . for wisdom, the fashioner of all things, taught me.”121

284 The great interest accorded to these studies is strongly stimulated by a question of another order, which goes beyond the proper domain of the natural sciences. It is not only a question of knowing when and how the universe arose physically, or when man appeared, but rather of discovering the meaning of such an origin: is the universe governed by chance, blind fate, anonymous necessity, or by a transcendent, intelligent and good Being called “God”? And if the world does come from God’s wisdom and goodness, why is there evil? Where does it come from? Who is responsible for it? Is there any liberation from it?

This doesn’t even count the Jews, the Muslims who’s writing also specifically state the existence of the devil as a fact. There is no way that the numbers can not favor the existence of the Devil vs evolution.

This should not be a shock and its a good thing too. In a later post I’ll explain why.

UPDATE: Allahpundit puts up the numbers.