As a Knight of Columbus [that’s where my nom de plume comes from], I was particularly pleased to see the recent op-ed column by Supreme Knight Carl Anderson (whom I’ve had the pleasure to meet) in which he called for Catholic politicians either to stop supporting abortion “rights” or to resign their office. I could not agree with him more.  As Pope Benedict XVI said in Sacramentum Caritatis, the question of Catholic politicans supporting abortion is “not negotiable.” So a pro-abortion Catholic politician can only be one of two things:

  1. Misinformed on the Catholic teaching on abortion, such that he thinks his pro-abortion stance is somehow consistent with his Catholicism and thus with his conscience, or
  2. So craven in his desire for political power that he is willing to violate his conscience to acquire it.

Option 1 is addressable by knowledgeable Catholics engaging the candidate. Option 2 can only be addressed by the candidate himself, and I would argue that any politician who can be shown to be in this category should be automatically disqualified from receiving your vote (or anyone’s for that matter). [Note that I am not calling for a “religious test” for the candidate, but rather that voters disqualify him by not supporting the candidate. There’s a huge difference.] Moreover, if a sincere effort has been taken to inform the candidate to address the first problem and the candidate persists in his support for abortion, then the only conclusion to be drawn is that he is now in the second category and undeserving of your support. As a Knight, I find particularly galling the attitude of pro-abortion politicians who not only make an issue of their Catholicism, but also publicize their membership in the Knights of Columbus to enhance their credentials.

Indeed, I was involved a few years ago in an effort to have the Knights adopt a policy whereby they would kick out any member who, as a politician, could be shown to support legislation or policy that contradicted Catholic teaching on abortion, marriage or the family. We made considerable progress, but ultimately the motion was defeated at the Knights’ convention. The reasoning was that it was not the Knights’ job to determine who was a Catholic in good standing, which is the only qualification for becoming a Knight of Columbus in the first place. They felt that that decision lay with the bishops. I can’t help but feel that a certain amount of political reticense (dare I say “cowardice”) also played a part in the decision because the Knights are – quite rightly – protective of their tax-exempt status as a world-wide philanthopic and insurance agency.

Unfortunately, while the Knights could enforce such a policy in a non-partisan manner (Lord knows there are many Catholic Republicans who support abortion), it is undeniable that it would have a disparate impact on Democrat politicians due to that party’s extreme pro-abortion platform. And given Democrats’ penchant for forcing the Little Sisters of the Poor and other religious groups and individuals to violate their consciences to support abortion, it is a safe bet that such a policy would put the Knights firmly in the Democrats’ cross-hairs to remove the tax exemption that enables the Knights to do so much good work throughout the world.

But if our Supreme Knight recognizes that pro-abortion Catholic politicians are in serious-enough error to call for their resignation, surely if they persist in their error, Mr. Anderson should call for their resignation from the Knights. Allowing them to continue as Knights brings scandal and undermines the Knights’ position as the pre-eminent private Catholic charitable institution in the world. While I applaud his call that Catholics must not vote for such politicians (including Tim Kaine), I challenge him to extend this policy to its logical conclusion.

A note to readers: It’s getting down to “crunch time” for Da Magnificent Prospects, so I’d really appreciate it if you could share this article and my others with your social media friends. My other articles are:

Hamilton and Marriage
Trump, the Church and Immigration
The “Final Five” Show Us How It’s Done
The Left is Wrong About Rights
Ends, Means and Democrats
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My teenage daughter is obsessed with Hamilton, the musical that has taken Broadway by storm. Not being a fan of rap music, I was not particularly interested in listening to the soundtrack, but seeing my daughter’s reaction to it made me more than a little curious. We recently had occasion to spend quite a bit of commuting time in the car together and, since she had the music on her phone, the show’s soundtrack became the soundtrack of our drives. It’s easy to see why the show has become so popular, and a show that can save Alexander Hamilton’s place on the $10 bill and increase the appreciation people have for our Founding Fathers can’t be a bad thing, no matter how much rap it contains (and fortunately there is plenty of other styles of music that I found quite compelling). I was equally impressed with my daughter’s ability to sing along with the cast (sometimes mixing multiple parts, which was amazing) with her inserted commentary about the political and military background of the events depicted, even pointing out the historical inaccuracies in the script! Clearly she’s been learning more than just the lyrics. But there was one lesson in particular I wanted her to learn from the show, and it is one that Hamilton and his wife, Eliza, learned the hard way. CAUTION: Mild Spoilers ahead.

When my wife and I were engaged, we went through a multi-week Marriage Preparation program with our pastor, whom I’ll call “Father N.” One part of the program called for us each to fill out a questionnaire to determine if we had similar attitudes about different aspecs of marriage, from Faith to finances, family and even fidelity. One question in particular stood out: “Are there any circumstances under which you might choose to get a divorce?”

My bride and I had actually spoken about this in advance and both made it clear that infidelity would be a dealbreaker, so we both answered “yes” to the question. When evaluating our results, Father N pointed to that as the only problem with our answers. He said that in answering “yes” to that question, we were giving ourselves an “out,” which contradicts the Catholic view of marriage. Even though we had only one serious condition in mind, the idea that there could be one thing that would end our marriage could lead us to consider other lesser offenses to somehow rise to that level. In giving ourselves an out, we would have been entering our marriage without understanding what we were really doing. Unfortunately, too many couples in our society today lack that understanding and think that it’s OK to abandon their marriage for far more trivial reasons.

That was not true in Hamilton’s time, and the musical shows us this. Whether through faith or through fear of scandal, even when Hamilton’s infidelity comes to light, he and Eliza stay married, as difficult as that is. In “Burn,” Eliza makes her feelings clear:

You forfeit all rights to my heart
You forfeit the place in our bed
You sleep in your office instead

Recognizing that he is at fault, Hamilton refuses to give up. In “It’s Quiet Uptown,” he rekindles his Faith and does his best to win Eliza’s heart again:

I take the children to church on Sunday
A sign of the cross at the door
And I pray
That never used to happen before

It is his steadfastness, especially in facing the death of their son Philip, that they eventually experience “a grace too powerful to name” and she eventually forgives him:

Alexander by Eliza’s side
She takes his hand

After his untimely death, Eliza rededicates her life to continuing his legacy as best she can:

The Lord, in his kindness
He gives me what you always wanted
He gives me more / Time

She raises money for the Washington Monument, speaks out against slavery and, most telling, establishes the first private orphanage in New York City and helps raise hundreds of children, saying “In their eyes, I see you, Alexander.” Finally, she expresses her belief that she will see him again, in time.

Maybe in addition to learning about our nation’s founding, fans of Hamilton will also learn the true spirit of commitment, love and forgiveness inherent in marriage. Wouldn’t that be something?

A note to readers: It’s getting down to “crunch time” for Da Magnificent Prospects, so I’d really appreciate it if you could share this article and my others with your social media friends. My other articles are:
Trump, the Church and Immigration
The “Final Five” Show Us How It’s Done
The Left is Wrong About Rights
Ends, Means and Democrats
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A note from DaTechGuy: I hope you enjoyed Tech Knight’s piece. Remember we will be judging the entries in Da Magnificent tryouts by hits both to their post and to DaTipJar. So if you like Tech Knight’s work, please consider sharing this post, and if you hit DaTipjar because of it don’t forget to mention Tech Knight’s post as the reason you did so.

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Donald Trump delivered a rather compelling speech on Monday about terrorism and protecting our country from those who would do us harm. As usual, the media, who praised Trump during the primary as an iconoclast who refused to play by the traditional rules, are now casting him as a lunatic who refuses to play by the traditional rules. So, typically, they have ignored the substance of the speech, which is that Hillary Clinton and President Obama have objectively made our country less safe by their mishandling of international relations, especially in the Middle East, and tried to make Trump sound at the very least unhinged when he spoke about establishing criteria to decide who gets to immigrate here.
Here’s what he said:

We should only admit into this country those who share our values and respect our people. Those who do not believe in our Constitution, or who support bigotry and hatred, will not be admitted for immigration into the country. Only those who we expect to flourish in our country – and to embrace a tolerant American society – should be issued visas. (via politico)

In other words, the government’s purpose for “establish[ing] a uniform Rule of Naturalization” (the Constitution, Article I, Section 8) is to improve the safety, security and general welfare of its citizens. Let’s be clear: non-citizens do not have a right to become U.S. citizens, nor do they even have a right to enter our country unless we decide to let them.
As I mentioned in my first article, I am a Catholic and a Constitutionalist. I try my best to be a good Catholic and try to make sure that my Constitutionalist instincts fit within that framework. Fortunately, in the case of immigration, this is not that difficult. The Catholic position is described in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (clause 2241):

Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.

Thus, according to the Church, the government has the right to establish conditions “for the sake of the common good” under which someone may immigrate. Of course, the immigrant also has the duty to “respect the heritage” of the U.S. when they come here. (One could argue that the reason we now have to press 1 for English is that immigrants since the passing of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act have failed to live up to this obligation, but that’s a separate discussion.) In short, they should be coming here to become American. So what’s the problem with vetting people who want to come here from regions of the world where Islamic terrorism is rampant and excluding those found unacceptable?
Putting aside for the moment the practicality and logistics of such an effort, is there really a problem with establishing an immigration policy like what Trump described? It is certainly Constitutional, and it appears to be Catholic as well. There’s just one little wrinkle. The first part of the clause I quoted from the Catechism states:

The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin.

Thus, the Catholic position would be that a blanket ban on immigration from certain countries or regions would be unacceptable because we must allow the truly persecuted refugee to come to our shores out of compassion. So where do we draw the line? All I can say is that by calling for “extreme vetting” – which would allow for admitting the truly persecuted – and temporary holds, Trump appears to be closer to the Catholic position than Clinton who seems to be ignoring her Catholic responsibility of focusing on the common good of American citizens, by whom she is hoping to be elected.

A note to readers: It’s getting down to “crunch time” for Da Magnificent Prospects, so I’d really appreciate it if you could share this article and my others with your social media friends. My other articles are:
The “Final Five” Show Us How It’s Done
The Left is Wrong About Rights
Ends, Means and Democrats
Don’t forget to hit DaTipJar, and thanks for your support!


A note from DaTechGuy: I hope you enjoyed Tech Knight’s piece. Remember we will be judging the entries in Da Magnificent tryouts by hits both to their post and to DaTipJar. So if you like Tech Knight’s work, please consider sharing this post, and if you hit DaTipjar because of it don’t forget to mention Tech Knight’s post as the reason you did so.

Normally i’d link to his previous pieces but he’s already taken care of that.




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