Joseph: I forgot what I was supposed to tell him.
Jules:Oh, well tell him he should on no account try to open that cage. Tell him because if he does try to and puts his hand inside of the cage to find out what’s there, he’s liable to be disagreeably surprised.[laughs] Tell him, well that there’s a deadly poisonous snake inside, of the cage. Tell him. [Joseph leaves the room & Re-enters a few seconds later] You didn’t tell him!
Joseph: He knows already.

We’re No Angels 1955

The great Synod Debate continues and my Friend Elizabeth Scalia has reached a point of frustration:

My dear synod fathers, my dear co-religionists, I am a nobody and am the first to admit it—I am shocked to hear myself ask this question. But what if Christ Jesus is rolling his eyes at us because we are still wondering whether people should disperse and go find bread elsewhere, when the True Bread is before us and abundant? What if, as the debate rages over whose hands are clean enough to eat the Food that cannot defile, he is sighing and asking us, “Do you still not understand?”

As have her critics:

That the long-settled question regarding the presentation of Holy Communion to notorious, unrepentant sinners is even up for discussion at this Synod is a tragic scandal. But for this consideration to be promoted by a prominent Catholic writer who has a reputation for orthodoxy? Ms. Scalia … please retract your article.

I very much understand both of their frustrations because the sin they are warning against is spiritual pride, It a sin that terrifies me because it’s an easy sin to fall into and feels so warm on the skin until like Adolph the poisonous snake in the movie it bites you.

Cousin Paul: Still in all I’d feel better if I had a doctor look at it.

Joseph: He Says he’d feel better if a doctor looked at it.

Jules: Oh, He wants to send for a doctor

Albert: Tell him to save his money.

Joseph: He says to save your money that’s good advice take my word for it.

Cousin Paul: I guess you’re right, it stung at first but now I don’t feel a thing 

That’s the nature of spiritual pride, it bites for a second but before you know it you don’t feel a thing. And spiritual pride comes in multiple flavors both being too rigid to see the possibilities and being too willing to bend the rules are two sides of the same coin, but I think the best answer to both comes from the Gospel of Luke:

At that time some people who were present there told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with the blood of their sacrifices.

He said to them in reply, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans?  By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!  Or those eighteen people who were killed when the tower at Siloam fell on them – do you think they were more guilty than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem?  By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!”

And he told them this parable: “There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard, and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none, he said to the gardener, ‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none. (So) cut it down. Why should it exhaust the soil?’  He said to him in reply, ‘Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future. If not you can cut it down.'”

Luke 13:1-9

This passage is telling. The first paragraph reminds everyone that salvation isn’t like running away from a bear where you just have to be faster than the guy behind you.  Being right on the issue of the Eucharist or having mercy in the heart isn’t going to be enough to get it done.  It’s about finishing the race with Christ at the finish line.

The second paragraph parable reminds us that those who are stuck in mortal sin are worth the extra effort to help them out but it also says something more.

Note what the gardener does in trying to save the fig tree,  He cultivates the ground around it, he fertilizes it.  He doesn’t do anything extraordinary, anything miraculous, he uses the regular methods of any gardener he just gives this tree a little more extra personal attention because that’s what it needs.

Michael Hickborn is correct about not being too keen play fast and loose with the rules. This is well founded remember what a tiny exception did to the protestants at Lambeth in 1930 and we have all seen results of the spin of Vatican II for those whose goals were to change the faith.

Meanwhile Elizabeth Scalia is correct that the call of God to an individual is subtle and we MUST be willing to cultivate and fertilize the ground around them so the call can bear fruit because that is the bottom line of Christianity, the salvation of individual souls. I suspect each of us can tell a story like Elizabeth’s of a person finding the faith and as the Holy Spirit told Peter.  “What God has made clean, you are not to call profane.

However the difference between cultivating and coddling is the difference between a person hearing God calling despite their sins, and a person calling God out demanding what he considers his due. It’s the difference between the synod looking for a way to enable those who seek God’s mercy and enabling those who seeking the world’s agenda.

Closing thought, one of my favorite movies is the 1955 classic We’re no Angels.  Starring Humphrey Bogart, Aldo Ray and Peter Ustinov as three escaped Devil’s island convicts who come to a house and shop to rob it to aid their escape but find themselves instead coming to the aid of the honest husband his devoted wife and their Daughter accidentally causing the end of their tormentors leaving the parents rich and the daughter with a fine young doctor as a suitor and in the end rather than board the boat and escape decide to turn themselves in. The final scene show them walking away back to the camera with halos appearing over their heads.

It’s how God sometimes works, slowly and subtly until in the end they do the right thing.

People who want to find God, who are seeking mercy will find it, it might take a lifetime but they’ll get there.  Those who are looking to justify themselves for their own power, their own glory or to bring down the church will fail in all those counts because that’s how the Holy Spirit works and as Christ said when it comes to his church the gates of Hell will not prevail against it.

I’m a big fan in the truths of the church, we should have faith in this one.

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Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many.  How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.

Matthew 7:13-14

I have to admit when I saw this piece at the Anchoress’ site

Let’s do this! If you’re Catholic and have access to a web-page, a radio program, a Facebook page, whatever, take a few minutes, and tell the world why you are remaining a Catholic in an era where doing so seems not only counter-cultural, but also counter-intuitive and even, perhaps, a bit risky?

my thought was, Really?  

Now in fairness to a person who is not Catholic or Christian,  to a person who has not read history and a person who has been immersed in popular culture this might seem a legitimate question.

They might ask:  What are the advantages of being Catholic?  And one could give a long list of good answers.

You could point historical facts, that it was the Catholic Faith and scripture that elevated and established the principle of the dignity of all human beings.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendant, heirs according to the promise.

Galatians 3:28-29

Even those you hate:

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you,

Matt 5:43-44

You have the development of education and the university system that educated those who did not have power and might, the hospital systems that cared for the sick and poor (do you think all of those hospitals called St. So & So were a coincidence?)

Or you could look at what the church does.  The Catholic church feeds more people, clothes more people, visits more people in jail, educated more people, treats more people who are sick than any institution in the world.  Go to any Catholic Parish and you will see people involved in programs for the poor, for the needy, for people around the world.  After any disaster go to any church and see the collections for those struck by disaster.

Not only do lay Catholics do this (mostly without pay) but they teach their children that such service is a virtue and encourage them in these things.

Or maybe you might consider the intellectual, artistic and  philosophical thought and you might decide that all of these expand the mind, maybe you might look at the cultural part of the church and find those appealing.

Or perhaps you like the idea that in the parish priest you have a marriage counselor, psychologist and ethics coach all rolled up into one.  Even better they will provide said services & advice without cost but who, if you are feeling guilty about something will not only hear you out, forgive you (even if the offense is directly against them) but will go to jail rather than disclose the secret you confess to them.

All of these things are appealing and might attract people to the church but none of them are, in my opinion a reason to be Catholic or stay Catholic.

Let’s be clear, yes I was brought up Catholic, but that means nothing.  Most of my extended family don’t attend mass or practice the faith.  Furthermore most of my friends aren’t Catholic or even Christians.  In many ways my Catholicism isolates me in my social circle.

And even at my own parish there is trouble.  As I write this there is a clash over our new Pastor.  Some people at my church have written to the Bishop asking for him to be removed over hiring and spending decisions (not for any misconduct) others (myself included) have written to the Bishop urging him to be retained.  The end result of this will, at best, be a division at our parish or  at worst, be a soiled reputation for us among priests and in our diocese.  It’s something that will cost us dearly, particularly if there is a second batch of church closings in Fitchburg.

And I haven’t even gotten into all of the social pressure in media and culture against Catholic belief and teaching particularly in a state like Massachusetts.  In fact I’ve been writing for a while that it’s going to be a very hard time for Christians in general and Catholics in particular

So given all that the question remains, why would you or anyone remain a catholic under these circumstance? 

The answer is so obvious that I’m almost ashamed to have to write it:

Because it’s true!

That’s what it comes down to, that’s what it’s all about.  It is my conclusion based on my study of history, my view of events and my personal experience that what the Catholic Church teaches is the truth.

If for one second I thought that Jesus was just some guy who lived a couple of thousand years ago then then the Catholic church is just another business/NGO.  It’s an Elks club that does some good thing and has some odd customers rules and creeds that people recite.  If that was the case there is no way I’d allocate either my limited financial resources or my even more limited time to the church.  I’d sleep in on Sunday, skip daily mass or novenas for game nights and I’d dive into the lucrative pot business that has the potential to bail me out of serious financial straits.

But if Christ is the son of God, if he was born of the Virgin Mary, Crucified died and rose again, if he did made Peter the head of his church and if that authority was handed down from Peter to Linus to Cletus to Clement all the way down to Benedict XVI and Francis, if the Eucharist is the real body and blood of Christ.  If heaven, hell and purgatory are real and this brief life we have is only a brief pit stop to eternity,  then not only does logic demand that I be a member of the Church and follow its directives but I’d be a damned fool (literally) if I was willing to change my belief based on either cultural, financial or social pressure.

You shall know the truth and it will set you free

John 8:32

That’s why I don’t understand this paragraph:

How about it, folks? This is a call-out to CatholicMom.com, and New Advent andEd Morrissey and Our Sunday Visitor, and Crux, and dotCommonweal, and Brandon Vogt, and dear, brilliant Heather King, and Jennifer Fulwiler, and Big Pulpit andCatholic Digest, and DaTechGuy and Hallie Lord and In the Arena, and Relevant Radio!

I could go on and on but you get the idea, and I must dash out to noon mass, but what do you think? Ready to share your reasons why you will remain with the church as the world increasingly bares its teeth against it?

I presume that all of these people and the long list of those who have answered Elizabeth’s question believe the church is true.  That being the case the question isn’t:  Why one would remain Catholic, the question is:  Why would any of them, no matter what the cost, consider leaving?

Update:  If you want to see the answers given by others:

Marge Fenelon: Forever Catholic: Why the Pew study doesn’t matterMax Lindenman Why I’m still CatholicTom Zampino: Upon This Rock: Why I RemainKate O’Hare: Why I Stay in the Catholic ChurchKathy Schiffer: 8 Bad Reasons to Leave the Catholic Church, and 1 Good Reason to Stay, Swimming the Depths Why I Remain Catholic, Julie Davis: Why Do I Stay Catholic?Tom McDonald Why I Am Catholic, John Stegeman at Catholic Telegraph: Four reasons I’m not leaving the Catholic Church,Sarah Reinhard Why I Stay Catholic, Leroy Huizenga : Why I Stay, Notre Dame’s Tim O’Malley: WHY I’M STILL CATHOLIC, Artur Sebastian Rosman: Takes Why am I Still a Catholic? What Else is There?,Sherry Antonnetti: Why I Am NOT Leaving the Catholic Church, Leticia Adams Why I Stay Catholic, Gregory Hillis: Gregory Hillis | For the Catholic Church, an abiding vision (this piece is an old one), Mudblood Catholic: Raw Tact, Part X: Agony, Ecstasy (this one is  an old piece too), Katrina Fernandez: Will Remain Catholic For Beer…, Maria Morera Johnson Why I Remain a Catholic, Deidre Mundy: Take Up and Read: Why I Remain a Catholic, Erin Martin: Why be Catholic? (another old piece) , Catholic Drinkie: Why I Remain a Catholic When my Peers Don’t, Michelle Arnold: God Only Knows If I Stay CatholicDiane Korzeniewski: Why I remain Catholic: I need the Sacraments, Caitlin Marchand: Why I’m Still Catholic: Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you., Sister Theresa: Warning! Atheist in the Church: How the Eucharist Saved My Life, Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry: Why I Remain Catholic, Rebecca Hamilton: I Chose Christ, and He is There on All the Altars of All the Catholic Churches in the World., Erin McCole Cupp: “WHY I STAY CATHOLIC,” WITH THE AID OF THE INTERNETMatt Nelson: The Catholic Church: Why I’m Staying

And lasty Elizabeth Scalia’s own piece:  Pew Studies be damned

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Robert Stacy McCain:

Coverage of the Baltimore riots over a man who died in custody has created the false impression that police brutality is routine. However, in a nation of 300 million people, it is a simple trick to pick some phenomenon you want to criticize and then say, “Look, here is a Example A, and there is Example B and, oh, look! Now we have Example C — it’s an epidemic!”

The phenomenon in question (for example, lesbian school teachers molesting teenage girls) may actually be quite rare, but in a nation of 300 million people, you can find a dozen examples of relatively rare phenomena every year.

The Anchoress:

This comes right on the heels of headlines announcing that confirmed abuse allegations against Catholic priests were in the single digits for 2014. One allegation is too many, but clearly the zero-tolerance measures put into place over the last ten-or-so years, and the laicization of hundreds of bad priests under Pope Benedict XVI is having the desired effect.

The exact number is in fact 8.  That just so happens to be the number of mug shots on Robert Stacy McCain’s list from this post.

Alas neither story satisfies the media narrative thus you’ll have to settle for hearing this from me.

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Elizabeth Scalia is one of the most loving and prayerful people I know.

But like Jesus moved to zeal in the temple there are some levels of foolishness that simply cross the line:

 here we are seeing laws put into place that are not even being discussed by the congress; there is no advise and consent, no debate, no alternative proposals amassed because no one actually knows what this proposal is, and we will not know until it is put in place, a done deal.

Now, I know, you’re saying:

“well, Elizabeth, how can you rant about this when you don’t know what exactly is being put into place? Maybe Obama’s Net Neutrality is perfectly benign and helpful to all of us, and he just doesn’t want to be bothered having to explain it to reactionaries and people who wear their pajamas to work.”

To which I respond: are you stupid? If the thing were benign, there would be no reason to prevent us from knowing what it is. If the thing was “helpful to all of us” the administration wouldn’t be shielding it, and its minions in the press wouldn’t be obsessing about Jon Stewart resigning from comedy news show — they’d all be cooing about this great gift being bestowed upon us by the beneficent Obama Administration.

 

The only thing more frustrating that the government acting this way is that the public’s ignorance level has reached such heights that this has to be explained.

Read the whole thing but beware this is only one of several things that have finally set her off in that piece.

 

 

I’m holier than thou
I’ve got the spirit now
I thank God almighty I’m holier than thou

Nunsense Holier Than Thou 1085

There are a lot of people who avoid Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular suggesting that people who follow the faith are “Holier than thou”.

what is not realized by many is that for the faithful the resolution to devote oneself to God is less Holier than thou and more like the Anchoress saying “i’m not worthy” 

To make an oblation — and to become an Oblate — means to make an offering of one’s whole self. My oblation, made before the altar of the Lord, was a “Yes” that I had looked forward to with gladness, but which suddenly became terrifying in the distinct moment that I pronounced the words:

I offer myself to Almighty God
through the Blessed Virgin Mary
and our Holy Father Benedict
as an Oblate. . .
and promise to dedicate myself
to the service of God and humanity
according to the
Rule of Saint Benedict
in so far as my state in life permits

I had been practicing prayer and service for years in preparation for the moment, and yet when it came, that was suddenly a very scary “Yes” for many reasons, mostly because within that promise I suddenly felt very small; very unable; very unworthy.

And it’s not just a fear of being unworthy, there are two sides in this fight and the enemy doesn’t take kindly such actions as A reading of the diary of St. Faustina notes the sufferings and temptations that she endured on her journey to promote Divine Mercy tells us.

After the adoration, however, when she was halfway to her cell, Sister Faustina found herself surrounded by what she thought to be a pack of huge black dogs who were jumping and howling and trying to tear her to pieces. Instantly she realized they were not dogs but demons. One of them spoke up in a rage, “Because you have snatched so many souls away from us this night, we will tear you to pieces.”

But back to the Anchoress, yeah maybe she felt unworthy the day she made those vows, but now that she’s one for the leading national Catholic bloggers, a published author and a person whose opinion on the faith is followed by thousands how does she feel now?

And I am unworthy, everyday.

Which ironically was the same reaction of St. Faustina when confronted by the situation I quoted above.

Sister Faustina answered, “If that is the will of the most merciful God, tear me to pieces, for I have justly deserved it, because I am the most miserable of all sinners, and God is ever holy, just and infinitely merciful.”

It’s not being holier than thou that is the most frightening part of Christianity, it’s becoming aware of just how unworthy of the mercy of God that we are.

There have been several posts talking about this piece in the NY Times about the malaise of the Obama Years. without of course mentioning Obama  or noting their own sins as Ed Driscoll notes

Fair enough, but consider the source — over the past 12 years, the New York Times, when not going on benders on the evils of golf courses and air conditioning, and publishing outright fabulism, has, more recently, published pieces calling for the end of the US Constitution, and mocking the “fervid subsets of evangelical Christianity” of its presidential candidates — only, upon further review, to discover that these extreme worldviews are Catholicism, Lutheranism and Mormonism, bedrock religions of America’s history.  Its leading journalists have publicly called the citizens of the American midwest “The dance of the low-sloping foreheads” and filed William S. Burroughs-style stories of openly experimenting with drugs. And of course, in 2008, it went all-in to champion a man who was clearly not ready to be president, to the point of actively burying potentially damaging stories about him and refusing to run op-eds from his opponent.

But the Anchoress deemed it required reading:

Sadly, this is essential reading; this is essential thinking. The long sleep induced by prosperity and power must now be broken. The choice to remain unengaged, fully tricked out with technology, is coming to an end

And further complements him for warning us

With this column, Mr. Cohen has done us the remarkable service of showing us the ugly landscape all around us; the one we have not wanted to pretend was neither so vast nor so damaged and fragile. Without taking it in, we cannot possibly begin to address the least-precarious bit of it.

But when and if we do, we will have to be very careful; because it is in the face of so much weakness that the most malevolent opportunists, seen and unseen, make their move.


Unfortunately she and to some degree Ed are missing the point.  This IS in fact a malevolent opportunist making their move.

The errors of the Obama years have reached the point where even the most partisan press like the NYT can not convince people who have water up to their necks that there is no leak in the boat.

It is therefore necessary to acknowledge what exists without, as Ed notes, pointing to its source or their complicity in what has taken place, that it is being done at this point is not a coincidence.

Because once the full congress is controlled by the GOP the paper will not be so hesitant to place blame explicitly.

Over the next year you will see the New York Times decide that there is a solution to all the  problem that will be blamed on the GOP congress.  That solution will be a leader that they will spend the next two years building up, either Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Warren as that leader.

Alas this isn’t about reflection it’s the first step of battlefield preparation to convince a gullible base that the solution to the malaise brought on by a liberal leader is another liberal leader.

God willing what the public was unable  to learn in four years they will be able to grasp in eight

I’ve had a brief but friendly exchange with a commentator named Pam concerning my piece on spiritual malpractice both inside the Catholic church (I heard an excellent example of this recently in a sermon that suggesting lesson of the loaves & fishes was sharing as if the significance of the loaves & fishes was a multitude sharing their afternoon rations rather than Christ miraculously feeding the five thousand).

My point was that the fruit of the reformation or anyone that preaches to please is basically serving themselves rather than Christ or the Church.

Yesterday the Anchoress elaborated on the subject in a post about a young girl who foolishly decided to follow a fad:


When people ask me what I think is “the biggest idol we face”, meaning what is the most challenging Strange God that needs to be swept away from us, I tell them “the zeitgeist; the need to be part of every trend. It is a most insidious idol, because it seems so innocuous; we’re just doing what everyone is doing, wearing what everyone is wearing, driving what everyone is driving, right?”

In truth the idol of the zeitgeist, of being hip, is one we bow down to daily and we train our children to prostrate themselves to it, from a very early age, when we communicate to them that yes, they need the lastest game; they must wear the latest styles; they should certainly have the trendy gear. And this is an idol that blocks us from faith-practices, from reality and eventually from ourselves:.

She also includes a quote from her book where she really nails down the reality that I’ve mentioned of playing with doctrine to woo the masses:

If Christ and his Church are to be a “sign that will be contradicted” (Lk 2:34), the Church of What’s Happening Now is the vehicle of worldly affirmation; its only membership requirement is that one be immediately and unquestioningly in tune with the conventional wisdom of the day

And if we don’t move the world will try to move us.

You should read the Anchoress’ entire piece, in fact you should read her book as well.

I guarantee you that before another generation is born we will see churches redefine sin even farther with the media celebrating them when they do and when they can’t get a church to move they’ll spin what is taught falsely to achieve the same end.

And I further guarantee that if you choose to redefine sin the forces of the Zeitgeist will celebrate you and you’ll be complemented for it publicly for the rest of your days…

…after that you’re on your own.

4th Yorkshireman: Right. I had to get up in the morning at ten o’clock at night half an hour before I went to bed, drink a cup of sulphuric acid, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad and our mother would kill us and dance about on our graves singing Hallelujah.

1st Yorkshireman:And you try and tell the young people of today that ….. they won’t believe you.

Monty Python’s Flying Circus

At yesterday’s Mass my pastor Fr. Robert Bruso in one of his last sermons before his transfer gave a short to the point sermon on yesterday’s  Gospel reading (Matthew 7:1-5) where Christ tells us not to judge. He said it’s one of the hardest passages in scripture.

The Anchoress was not there  for that sermon but discovered just how hard that passage was as she read Chelsea Clinton talking about how she doesn’t care about money:

Sometimes you read a piece like this and you want to be nice, but it takes all you got. All you got. Then you say, “Lord, save me from myself…”

And sometimes, the Lord says, “got my hands full over here in the Third World with real issues, so just be a dude and abide! In me.”

And you really try, but then you read another version of the piece, and realize that no, you cannot abide.

I cannot abide this nonsense a moment longer.

And with that Elizabeth Scalia vented for 16 more paragraphs.

What nonsense elicited this reaction?  this nonsense:

“I was curious if I could care about (money) on some fundamental level, and I couldn’t,” she told Fast Company in an interview that ran in the magazine’s May edition, explaining why she gave up lucrative gigs to join her family’s philanthropic foundation.

As a person who in a successful year will not take home as much as Chelsea Clinton did in one minute at NBC I certainly understand the Anchoress’ frustration, but I think the best way, besides humor (that comes tomorrow) to vent while still following the very hard words of Christ is to introduce the sheltered young Ms Chelsea Clinton to a lady about her age who by an odd coincidence made a career decision decreasing her income

Meet Olalla Oliveros Model and actress:

As a famous model, Olalla Oliveros took part in glamorous photo shoots, starred in movies, and saw her face on billboards across Spain.

As a model she had it all, wealth, fame, notoriety, admirers, a comfortable life.  What could compare to the call of a life that women dream of?  A different kind of call the call of Christ

Eventually, she realized that the image in her mind was a calling. “The Lord is never wrong. He asked if I will follow him, and I could not refuse,” Oliveros said.

The contrast is stark.  Young Ms. Clinton dubious $600K job was abandoned to work for her parents foundation where she will receive the movers and shakers of the world anxious to be associated with the Ex President’s causes and a possible future president’s cause.  She will lose none of the luxuries of life from the finest foods to the most exclusive company to the best wardrobes that she may want.

As for Ms Oliverous…

Oliveros had just won a movie role, reports El Diaro. Though Oliveros entered into the order four years ago, she only recently decided to open up about her decision. Formerly represented by Agencia Plan B in Spain, she is now known as Sister Olalla del Sí de María:

This is her wardrobe now:

sister

Decades from now most of us will forget Sister Olalla del Sí de María as she prays for our souls.  Meanwhile Chelsea Clinton will not lack attention, founds or opportunities if she decides to leave the Clinton foundation.  Mike Barnicle put it best when Mother Teresa died a few days after the Princess Diana (no link available)

That gets us to the end game: If Diana’s life, causes, and commitments did indeed come up in conversation only one time prior to being snuffed out in a Paris traffic accident, it was probably one more mention than Mother Teresa got.

 

If someone want to do a real service for young Ms. Clinton they’ll send her this link and the rest and let her ponder them before she speaks.

 

Update:  Fixed the Fr. Bob Paragraph

9th Doctor: (Sobbing)   They’re all gone Rose, All of them

The Ten Doctors Page 239 Rich’s Comic’s Blog

One of the things that cemented my Doctor Who fandom as a kid was the boundless optimism of Tom Baker as the 4th Doctor.  Every new experience was treated with a cheer and an optimism.  Even as he lay dying at the end of Logopolis his last words were preceded by a grin.

When the new series came back there was an edge that wasn’t there before.  It came from the story of the Doctor’s decision to destroy his own people along with the Daleks in order to end the Time War and save the universe. While you had many upbeat stories the weight of that decision was constantly there and would be the subject of incredible melancholy from episodes from all three doctors modern Doctors.

The 9th in Father’s Day: “My entire planet died! My whole family! Do you think it never occurred to me to go back and save them?

The 10th in Gridlock: “We lost. Everyone lost. They’re all gone now. My family. My friends. Even that sky.”

The 11th in The Doctor’s Wife: You gave me hope, and then you took it away. That’s enough to make anyone dangerous. God knows what it will do to me.”

One of the most important things the 50th anniversary episode The Day of the Doctor,  did was change that dynamic of melancholy as the War Doctor (John Hurt) when about to use the sentient ultimate weapon “the moment” to kill them all is offered the chance to see the consequences of that decision:

The Moment: How many children on Gallifrey right now?
The War (8 1/2) Doctor: I don’t know.
The Moment: One day you will count them. One terrible night. Do you want to see what that will turn you into? Come on, aren’t you curious?

She sends him in search of his future selves the 10th (David Tennant) & 11th Doctor (Matt Smith) who have suppressed their memory of this previous self and are horrified by his presence.

War Doctor:  Oh, the way you both look at me. What is that? I’m trying to think of a better word than dread. 
10th Doctor: It must be really recent for you. 
War Doctor: Recent? 
11th Doctor:  The Time War. The last day. The day you killed them all. 
10th Doctor: The day we killed them all. 
11th Doctor: Same thing. 

This leads to an adventure  where they confront a friend dealing with an alien invasion put in a similar situation:

10th Doctor :  You tell yourself it’s justified, but it’s a lie. Because what I did that day was wrong. Just wrong. 
11th Doctor:   And, because I got it wrong, I’m going to make you get it right. 

The climax of the episode comes shortly afterwards when the two younger Doctors find themselves with their older self at the very moment he is about to push the button to destroy them all.  That history changing moment is set up when the 11th Doctor’s companion Clara (Jenna Louise Coleman) informs Doctors 10 & 11 that their earlier self they have been with comes from a time before he did it.

How did she know?  From this conversation:

Clara:  I’m Clara. We haven’t really met yet.
War Doctor:  I look forward to it. Is there a problem?
Clara:  The Doctor, my, my Doctor, he’s always talking about the day he did it. The day he wiped out the Time Lords to stop the war.
War Doctor:  One would.
Clara: You wouldn’t. Because you haven’t done it yet. It’s still in your future.
War Doctor: You’re very sure of yourself.
Clara: He regrets it. I see it in his eyes every day. He’d do anything to change it.
War Doctor: Including saving all these people. How many worlds has his regret saved, do you think? Look over there. Humans and Zygons working together in peace. How did you know?
Clara: Your eyes. You’re so much younger.

It’s no surprise that killing  2.47 Billion children would change a person, but killing even one, no matter how small changes you forever.

And that brings me to a shorter film with a much less happy ending and Emily Letts

Her film was the winning entry in an “Abortion Stigma-Busting Video Competition” she filmed her abortion treating it as a positive good.  Since then abortion advocates have been holding her up as their poster child.

But Elizabeth Scalia took a closer look at the video and saw what those some anxious to paint a pretty picture wished to ignore.

If you let yourself become distracted by what is coming from her mouth, you miss all that is revealed in her face, which tells the whole, and very different story. A month after the abortion — with the dramatic change in hairstyle that so many women effect when emotions are high and they need to feel in control of something — watch Emily, then. The light is gone from her eyes. The seeming disconnect between pc-fed head and instinctive heart is laid out in breathtaking and stark incongruity, even down to the shadows, the blue note, the lack of energy. Devastating. Cognizant of it or not, she is a mother in grief.

That grief is why you will see many women who have had abortions like Patricia Pullman telling stories like this:

I attended a Rachel’s Vineyard post abortion healing retreat in Corpus Christi, Texas. A loving and compassionate team of women led me and several other women on an incredible 3-day journey of healing and reconciliation. Together we shared our stories and claimed our babies. We grieved together, some for the first time, for our lost children. We named them and we symbolically held them for a night.

and attending pro-life rallies holding signs like this:

Silent no more

The irony of course is like the Soviets who thought our pro-abortion friends this think video will win converts to their cause, Elizabeth thinks otherwise

Frankly, if I were a young woman watching this and pondering abortion, one glance at those haunted eyes, that beautiful, woebegone countenance and benumbed, vacant tone, and I would be running to my nearest Birthright, or to the Good Counsel network, or to the Sisters of Life, whose founder, the mighty John Cardinal O’ Connor of the Archdiocese of New York, once pledged to help any needy pregnant woman seeking assistance instead of abortion, and whose successor, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, has maintained that position.

As I recall the soviets thought that CBS special on poverty in America would serve their cause too but if the image doesn’t give away the future this quote from Letts does:

“I know that sounds weird, but to me, this was as birth-like as it could be. It will always be a special memory for me. I still have my sonogram, and if my apartment were to catch fire, it would be the first thing I’d grab.”

That she saved that sonogram speaks volumes. I suspect the time will come when those cheerful words will be replaced by something like this:

Guilt still accuses me, and at times I fall prey to it even at the happiest moments in my life, such as viewing the ultrasound of my third child at fourteen weeks. I was jolted again by the stark reality of my sanctioned choice. I cried as I watched the tiny arms flail and the spindly legs kick. At the births of my children, I was overcome by ‘what if’s?’ What if my first child had lived? What if I had never had an abortion? What color eyes, hair, sex?

With God all things are possible yet as it is highly unlikely that a pair of her future selves will arrive to talk her out of this decision, I suggest we pray for Emily as the Anchoress recommends:

John Joseph Cardinal O’ Connor, Pray for Emily and for us.
Servant of God Dorothy Day, Pray for us Emily and for us.
Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen, Pray for Emily and for us.
Saint Gianna Molla, Pray for Emily and for us.
Pope Saint John Paul, Pray for Emily and for us.

Perhaps with prayer, time and the wisdom that comes with age Emily will recognize what has been done and like the Doctor her regret will save many others.

It’s Christmas Day I wish all of my readers and their families a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year.

In the spirit of the Season if you didn’t hear this week’s DaTechguy on DaRadio with Daniel Reilly Bishop Emeritus of Worcester you can hear it here.

And of course if you want even more Christmas Religious stuff you can hear DaMagnificent Panel with Rosemary Reynolds, Little Miss Attila, The Anchoress and Dominic Nanni and of course Joe Mangiacotti & Me, here.

 

Today on DaTechGuy on DaRadio we continue our Christmas Tradition with our annual Christmas all Religion show.

We’ll spend our first hour with Bishop Emeritus Daniel Reilly of Worcester. We’ll talk about Pope Francis, the Church, the Meaning of Christmas and his 60th year in the Priesthood.

In the second hour we’ll talk to Peter Healey the State Treasurer of the Knights of Columbus. He’ll talk about the things the Knights do all across the state and country.

Then comes our special all Catholic Panel In addition to regulars like Me, Joe Mangiacotti and Dominic Nanni in the Bob Beckel Seat we will bring in Former City Counselor and very active livelong Catholic Rosemary Reynolds, Catholic Convert from the west coast Little Miss Attila (making our first visit to our syndicated edition) and lastly but not least Elizabeth Scalia the Anchoress author of the book Strange Gods Unmasking the Idols in everyday life which would make an EXCELLENT Christmas gift this year.

It all starts Noon EST on DaTechGuy on DaRadio.

Join the conversation at 888-9-fedora.

Listen in live on FTR Radio

or via our Tune-in Stream for the Money Matters Radio Network

And of course there are the terrestrial stations

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But DaTechGuy, you might say. You went and covered that 2nd Amendment Rally in NH for hours with all those interviews and you’re not going to talk about it today.

We’ll as a matter of fact I am. This morning I’ll be on Conservative speaking during the second hour 7:30 till maybe 8 to discuss the 2nd Amendment protest and Scott Brown in NH on my old station WCRN AM 830 with host Mike Wade.

So if you want your political fix, join me on WCRN this morning and for your Christmas Fix come to DaTechGuy on DaRadio later in the day.

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I received a second email from Elizabeth (the Anchoress) Scalia on my Francis post

FWIW, Frank (weathers) thinks they’ll be jumping the bus, soon

The Pope emphasized that something similar or the very same thing is true in the 21st century: “The worldly spirit exists even today, even today it takes us with this desire to be progressive and have one single thought. If someone was found to have the Book of the Covenant and if someone obeyed the law, the king condemned them to death: and this we have read in the newspapers in recent months. These people have negotiated the fidelity to the Lord and this people, moved by the spirit of the world, negotiated their own identity, negotiated belonging to a people, a people that God loves so much that God desires to be like Him.”

She continued on the prospect of the left abandoning this Pope:

I don’t. They’ll continue to deny his orthodoxy for as long as they can. They just won’t report on stuff like this — Francis’ brave bold words from yesterday, which were so countercultural as to be dangerous to folks like the press. They won’t report on the pope giving out rosaries the other day, and calling it “medicine” from the “spiritual pharmacy”. That’s okay. If they want an idol, they’ll build one … but it will be built, as all idols are, on the nothing of themselves.

It has only been six months since Jorge Mario Bergoglio came to the world with a new name, but already MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, channeling his inner tween, has gushed, “is it too early to say Francis is the best pope ever?”

His effusion prompts a different question: Are we, like the ancient Jews at Mount Sinai, and Americans in 2008, molding Francis into an image and polishing him to a high gloss, that we might better see ourselves reflected in him? Are we treating him as we would a god?

She amusingly closes
But then again…there’s a book about that! 🙂

There was one good thing about the slow upload speeds at the Westin Hotel at RNC Boston, I had a chance to finish Elizabeth’s Scalia’s Strange Gods Unmasking the idols in Everyday life (FYI you can find my interview with her on the book here)

The book is all about the things we place before God in our life the idols and Icons that we raise up and I recommend it to anyone who can read.

I would especially recommend it to Secularists as I wrote in my review on Amazon:

But for the skeptic the lessons still hold true, because Strange Gods really is dealing with obsessions, and even if one is not a believer those obsessions can take over your life and get in the way of what is important.And nobody is more vulnerable to creating a strange god than a person who thinks they do not acknowledge one because they will not recognize behavior that a believer would instantly see as religious.

While a skeptic may scoff at the core message of Christ that is the center of the book that warning to remember what is truly important in life can do naught but help overcome they gods they don’t even know they have.

It’s a great read, buy it.

Hey DaTechGuy on DaRadio is a great show but it was even better with the Anchoress in the First Hour and Stacy McCain talking Kate Hunt.

And if you don’t believe me, you can listen to it here.

And it goes without saying you should buy the Anchoress’ New Book Strange Gods, unmasking the idols in everyday life. (Stacy’s Books too)

And this week come join me at the Natural Discount Shop Rte 12 in Leominster From Noon to 2 EST. I’ll there at noon with the Right Wing Granny, but if you don’t want to wait till Noon come at 10 AM for Fireside with Jim Callahan . Have a cup of coffee or a bagel and maybe a prize or surprise or two.

We’ll have a grand old time.

Today on DaTechGuy on DaRadio Noon till 2 EST on the Money Matters Radio Network & FTR Radio we welcome Elizabeth Scalia the Anchoress back to DaTechGuy on DaRadio for the first time since syndication.

In that first hour With Elizabeth we talk about her new book Strange Gods, unmasking the idols in everyday life. Anyone who has seen a teen or a business person wedded to their iPhone can guess where that conversation will be going.

In hour two we welcome Back Robert Stacy McCain editor in Chief of Viral Read and proprietor of The Other McCain to talk about the Free Kate business and the new twists and turns it has taken

And of course we want to hear from YOU Join the conversation from Noon till 2 EST at 888-9-FEDORA and listen on the following stations

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FTR Radio Nationally

You can pick up the stream on TuneIn search for Money Matters Radio

You can buy Elizabeth’s Book here, and while you’re at it why not spring for Both of Stacy’s Books too

And remember Next Saturday we will be broadcasting live from the Natural Discount Shop Rte 12 Leominster along with Fireside from 10 till 2 PM. Be there

What you missed DaTechGuy on DaRadio talking #freekate, terrorism and a call in from Michael Graham last week?

For SHAME, lucky for you the first hour is available here and the 2nd here.

And don’t miss this weeks show where we will feature Elizabeth Scalia the Anchoress talking about her new book Strange Gods, unmasking the idols in everyday life in the first hour and Robert Stacy McCain Bringing us up to date on the Free Kate business.

Join the conversation from Noon till 2 EST at 888-9-FEDORA and listen on the following stations

WBNW Concord Ma 1120 AM FLAGSHIP

WPLM 1390 AM Plymouth MA

WESO 970 AM Southbridge MA

FTR Radio Nationally

You can pick up the stream on TuneIn search for Money Matters Radio

And you can buy her book here:

And remember Next Saturday we will be broadcasting live from the Natural Discount Shop Rte 12 Leominster along with Fireside from 10 till 2 PM.

Don’t forget if YOU want DaTechGuy on DaRadio on your local station give them a call and tell them you want DaTechguy on their station. Your local station can call Cameo Productions at (617)-302-7393.

I really wish I wrote this:

The men who built the Empire State Building stood on bare planks to work in the sky; paradoxically, they were grounded in reality, not theory. They did not have to concern themselves with tones and timbres; nor did the educated architects who dreamed up skyscrapers. One suspects that if either the man on the beam or the one with the blueprints had been approached by a tanning-booth-bronzed-and-manicured corporate bureaucrat, and asked to enumerate their “goals” as part of their “performance review” they both would have hooted at him in derision. “My goal,” the first would say, “is to not fall. It’s to stay alive so I can pick up my pay, have a beer with the wife, raise the kids and get into heaven a half-hour before the devil knows I’m dead.”

That’s actually how I’ve answered when people have asked me for my “goal” in job interviews. It tended to confuse the people because they would follow-up and I’d answer the job is a means to an end.

Read the entire thing, I think this isn’t just about jobs I think it’s about society.

ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS

George Orwell: Animal Farm 1945

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition.

Alexander Stephens March 21, 1861

One of the first arguments that generally come out of the mouth of a person who supports abortion when confronted by the argument on innocent life is that you aren’t killing baby in abortion.

Not anymore. Mary Elizabeth Williams has decided to go the other way here is the title or her Salon Piece

 

So what if abortion ends life?
I believe that life starts at conception. And it’s never stopped me from being pro-choice

Mary Katherine Ham notes the thinking process:

This was the exact thought process that led me to the exact opposite position. I, too, noticed a distinction between how women approached an in-utero child when they wanted the child and how they felt about it when the pregnancy was unexpected and unwanted. Logically, it made no sense to me that the mother’s disposition should change the biological disposition of the baby. Therefore, it made no sense that it should change the ethics of the situation. But Mary Elizabeth Williams goes a whole different direction

Mary Elizabeth Williams doesn’t just go in a different direction she goes all Comrade Napoleon on us

All life is not equal. That’s a difficult thing for liberals like me to talk about, lest we wind up looking like death-panel-loving, kill-your-grandma-and-your-precious-baby storm troopers. Yet a fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides. She’s the boss

Katrina Trinko calls asks the obvious:

By this same logic, isn’t infanticide also fine and dandy? After all, if we’re talking about autonomy, kids aren’t exactly independent as soon as they are born. No infant can take care of themselves. And even later on in childhood, children rely heavily on the adults in their life to provide shelter, food, and emotional support. What about kids and adults who become disabled in life? What about quadriplegics?

Elizabeth Scalia, meanwhile is horrified:

When terrorists flew jets into tall buildings, they believed that those 3,000 lives were “worth sacrificing” for the furtherance of their situation. When Nazis led people with disabilities into gas chambers, those lives were “worth sacrificing” for society. When Herod had all the male children killed Bethlehem, those lives were “worth sacrificing” for his ease of mind.

The utilitarian mindset is a crystalline brutality of efficiency. If human beings of unknown or dubious worth cannot contribute to the comfort of a society, or the success of an endeavor or the happiness of one’s life, they are swept aside and away.

I’m shocked none of these ladies mentioned slavery, the ultimate utilitarian argument, consider these words from Williams…

She understands that it saves lives not just in the most medically literal way, but in the roads that women who have choice then get to go down, in the possibilities for them and for their families.

..and remember the arguments in the past concerning the black man, and the red man and how their subordination allowed the superior the more important to advance and achieve, to give them roads to go down and possibilities for them and their families.

And it also ignores something else, the costs of abortion:

A recent study published by Great Britain’s Royal College of Psychiatrists (H/T Alveda King Blog) includes data collected from 22 studies, conducted over 14 years, involving over 887,000 women, of which at least 166,831 had abortions.  The results? Eighty-one percent of women (81%) who have had abortions suffer an increased risk of severe mental health problems.

All these reactions have merit but they miss the real story of the Salon piece although Elizabeth comes closest…

Were I a cartographer, I would hasten to warn Ms. Williams against this route; I would mark the map, “Here be Monsters.”

Elizabeth Elizabeth Elizabeth you are so close, being kind-hearted you conclude that Ms Williams is taking herself on a monstrous route unknowingly, but observe her argument carefully. This is a place she has been forever, in fact an honest reading of her piece admits the pro-abortion side has been there all along. The only reason she is making this statement in public is she believes it will advance her cause.

In short Ms. Williams is not taking the route toward the monsters, she is the MONSTER and the monster has decided it is strong enough to show true colors. By it being printed in a national magazine publicly it informs others that they can openly discuss this topic without fear.

That begs the question why now? Well that’s a piece is for tomorrow.

Jabez Stone: What does it mean here, about my soul?

Mr. Scratch: Why should that worry you? A soul? A soul is nothing. Can you see it, smell it, touch it? No. This soul, *your* soul, are nothing against seven years of good luck. You’ll have money and all that money can buy.

The Devil and Daniel Webster 1941

10th DOCTOR: Come with me. You’ve seen the warehouse, you can’t agree with all this. You know this place better than me, you could help.

SOLANA: They’re over here! Guards! They’re over here!

Doctor Who Planet of the Ood 2008

“You see Mr. Simpson, a man, well, he’ll walk right into Hell with both eyes open….”

The Twilight Zone The Hunt 1962

Yesterday I was reading the Anchoress’ piece on Andrew Cuomo and the link to Deacon Greg. I found it extremely depressing but for reasons you might not suspect.

Not for the concept of the new abortion regulations, I’m resigned to democrats pushing for such things.

Not for the potential slaughter, The current slaughter is already depressing and frankly the world is full of slaughter from Africa to China to Mexico to Chicago, there is never a shortage of innocents murdered to be upset about.

Not even for the cheers as he made the proposition. I’m into history, the idea of a mob cheering evil as if it’s good has a long and distinguished pedigree.

No what depresses me about Andrew Cuomo is the same thing that depresses me about the Monsignor Kevin Wallin story.

They both knew better or at least should have.

It’s not like they have the youth of a Lindsay Lohan or a Amanda Bynes to explain their behavior, or the ignorance of many of those born in the last few decades who have never been taught differently or exposed to the word and came of age in a culture that mocks it at every turn.

Andrew Cuomo was born in 1955 eight years before me, His father Mario was born in 1932 11 years after my own. Both were raised Catholic, Andrew being sent to a Catholic High School. Both have been clearly taught the precepts of the Church and of Christ. Being Italian Catholics it is impossible they did not have one or move strongly devout relatives or in Mario’s case devout parents who set an example of faith and what it means.

Likewise Wallin at 61 not only came to age in a different era but as a Catholic priest would have had formal training and teaching in the Gospels, in the faith. These are not things that would be abstract to him, these would be things that would be understood.

Additionally both Cuomo’s and the former Monsignor (he left the church in 2011) by virtue of their place in society would have direct access to superiors in the faith, people of vast knowledge and understanding able to give them advice and guidance, access that an average Catholic simply doesn’t.

Yet they have discarded it like the wrapping of a gift at Christmas.  Tossed it for pride in the case of Cuomo, lust in the case of Wallin and greed in the case of both.

The question is why?

Well the easy answer, the one that is most comfortable and least challenging is simple human weakness. These are sins, all people are vulnerable to sin. It is tempting to look at Mr. Cuomo and Msgr Wallin and say to ourselves: “They have given into sin, we are all sinners so rather than critique we should simply pray for them”, Indeed we should pray for them, but that answer while comforting to us permits us to ignore a most uncomfortable reality.

Both Mr. Cuomo and Msgr Wallin are intelligent and educated men. At ages 55 & 61 they both understand they at the very least a decade closer to death than to birth and like all of us are marching relentlessly toward it. This being the case, what do their choices tell us?

They tell us when it comes to Christ, they simply don’t buy it.

They don’t buy God, they don’t buy Christ, they don’t buy the idea of heaven and hell and they certainly don’t buy these words from the Gospel:

Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few. “ Matt 7:13-14

They simply see the world in front of them as the only end and a supposed faith as a means to those ends. As Elizabeth Scalia bluntly put it concerning NY’s Governor:

“Yeah, well, he’s not seeking heaven, just now,” I shrugged. “He’s seeking the White House, and power.”

Of course he’s not seeking heaven Elizabeth, he doesn’t believe it’s there! For such a person Mass is a formality for electoral purposes or more likely a comfortable habit akin to Sheldon Cooper knocking on a door three times.

As I said on the air on the Money Matters Radio Network in my first broadcast as a guest host yesterday. The only reason to be Christian in general and Catholic in particular is because it’s true. If it’s not true the we are an Elk’s club that meets on Sundays and the rules of morality that take away from your wealth or comfort are the rules of fools and no amount of belief will make it otherwise. If it’s not true I’m a sucker for not walking across the bridge to Water street and buying every EBT card I can for .50 on the dollar and doubling my available grocery money in seconds.

But the converse is also true. If Jesus Christ is the Son of God, if the Gospel is the word of God, if the bread and wine are transformed at the altar into the body and blood of Christ and if heaven and hell exist, then no amount of disbelief, doubt or laughter will change it.

The tragedy of Andrew Cuomo and of Kevin Wallin is not solely in what they have done and choose to do driven by either the lust for power, sex, money or even drug addiction in Wallin’s case.

The tragedy of their actions is they knew better and were taught better and are intelligent enough to understand better, yet are still walking toward the open-pit. Watching them walk toward it is like watching a Lindsay Lohan or a Amanda Bynes self destruct. It’s a waste, it bothers me, it doesn’t have to happen.

But Andrew Cuomo and Kevin Wallin have one thing going for them, one card still in play:

And he told them this parable: “There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard, and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none, he said to the gardener, ‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none. (So) cut it down. Why should it exhaust the soil?’

He said to him in reply, ‘Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it;it may bear fruit in the future. If not you can cut it down.'” Luke 13:6-9

Cuomo, Wallin, myself and anyone who is reading this still has that one vital ingredient to avoid the pit in front of us.  We are still alive.  I’ll do my best to steer clear of it, you do the same and I hope and pray that Mr. Cuomo and Wallin do too.  They have the rest of their lives to do so….

…after that, they’re on their own.

In my post on the subject yesterday I talked about the purpose the Pope on Twitter

Most twitter accounts are about the people or organization who have them, the purpose of my account is to promote me, keep me in touch and aid me in making my living. That’s not what the Pope is shooting for. His purpose is not for his own aggrandizement but to spread the good news of Christ for the salvation of any who hear it.

And it’s not just the spreading of the world but as the Anchoress notes, what matters is how he communicated to the faithful

I love this piece by Cathy Grossman in USA Today, in which she makes not of the real people behind the questions that Benedict answered, today:

At noon, he addressed a mom who asked: “Any suggestions on how to be more prayerful when we are so busy with the demands of work, families and the world?”

Benedict replied: “Offer everything you do to the Lord, ask his help in all the circumstances of daily life and remember that he is always beside you.”

Let me introduce you to the lady in question:

Meet Linda Binggeli:

If you do a search of “Linda Binggeli” on the internet for the period of Jan 1, 2008 to Dec 1st of this year you will find 37 results the most interesting one being a story of an app for Eucharist Adoration for the iPhone. The woman in the picture resembles the photo above and the location is right so I assume the developer is her husband.

So Linda this ordinary wife and mother posed this question on twitter on December 6th:

:

and I’m sure to her surprise the Pope answered it directly:

Now that tweet got the attention of not just the news but people all over the world. The English Language version of it has been re-tweeted over 16,500 times.

That however isn’t the story. The story is a member of the faithful, an ordinary person, asked a question to the Pope and he answered.

This answer was not delivered by the Vatican, not by a Cardinal, an Archbishop, Bishop, Monseigneur, Priest or Deacon. It was delivered directly from the Pope.

It was not filtered by any media service, not the Vatican News Agency, CNN, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, FOX, The New York Times, Washington Post, London Times, or even her local paper before the Pope stated it.

It was not dissected by Morning Joe, Made fun of by Maureen Dowd, scoffed at by Fr. Richard McBrein or Denounced by Richard Dawkins before the Pope expressed it.

This was the Holy Father, the Supreme Pontiff, the direct Successor to St. Peter, the holder of the Keys who can bind and loose on earth and in heaven, speaking directly to the faithful and interested in general and to Linda Binggeli in particular.

It’s been my experience that the many of the objections to the church (particularly among Christians) are objections the a Church not as it is or as it teaches but what they think it is and teaches based on what they’ve been told it, perhaps from a minister, a secularist or perhaps even from a priest who has given poor catechesis.

In other words they object to or attack a Catholic Church that doesn’t actually exist.

But with the Pope now able to tweet directly to the masses, that is eliminated. There is absolutely no question that the message given is consistent with the authentic teaching of the Church.

That power and ability to bypass the media filter will only grow over time and that effect will be profound, The Anchoress again at the Washington Post:

I’m tempted to say there is a danger that the pope can be misconstrued, but it’s difficult to imagine how Benedict can be any MORE misconstrued than he usually is in most media stories about him — witness the silly headlines following the release of his latest book, suggesting that Benedict was naysaying the Christmas narratives. On the other hand, if His Holiness is misconstrued, setting the record straight is much faster and more efficient online. He won’t have to wait four days for a “clarification” (in section C, page 36) of the screaming headlines that had appeared front page, above the fold. In that sense, I guess you could say Rome has a shot at grabbing the wheel of the Barque of St. Peter from the hands of the media and being its own helmsman-of-perception.

And it is this fact more than anything else, the potential to do this and actually save souls that causes that anger and venom spewed in his direction. The Anchoress however notes this will backfire in a special way:

It’s interesting to see folks indulge themselves like that; lashing out at an 85 year old man — or tweeting risque pictures to try to shock him — reveals a great deal about the people who do it, but if folks think they’re hurting the pope, they should think again. All they’re doing, when they try to shock, or vent, is opening the door to their own salvation. They’re only prompting Benedict to pray directly for the healing of their souls, as the Vicar of Christ encounters their need.

Seen in that way, it’s impossible to take offense at these tweets; easier to see them for what they are: cries from the shadows, by sheep in search of their shepherd but wounded, and cold — and so very afraid — that they do not know how to trust.

as Thomas McDonald put it:

When you tell the world to hope, pray, and look for Jesus in the faces of the needy, and they respond with “f*ck you you child molesting old queen,” that doesn’t say a thing about the pope or his message. It says volumes about the demonic forces unleashed in our world. It’s nice for Catholics to see a tweet from the pope, but it’s important for the haters to see one. emphasis mine

No matter if it’s a cry for help, demonic forces unleashed or a little of both, they will get the word of Christ and his Church directly from the Chair of Peter.

And that reality will not change no matter how they protest, but it might in the end change the world.

When you have reached the point where the Anchoress, one of the most sober and reasonable people on the net are asking question like this concerning Benghazi:

1) If no one gave an order to “stand down” who gave the order to “go save”?

2) If no one gave an order to “go save” just what exactly did the President, the Sec State and the Sec Defense do while they watched Benghazi burn over seven hours. There must be some paper trail, somewhere, that shows us that responsible action was taken, yes?

3) Did they all just vote “present?”

4) Why would you go to the UN, and lie about what happened in Benghazi to the whole world, even as your own spokespeople were admitting that the situation there had nothing to do with a damn video?

5) Was this a gun-running operation? Or some kind of October political theatrical gone bad?

5) People in your administration lied to the public. Should not a few resignations be on the president’s desk? Why isn’t the president asking for them?

6) Does lying not matter any more?

you know thing have more than crossed the line, and I don’t mean in an Alamo way.

What’s rather amazing is I had the same: “A few Good Men” thought that she had concerning any written order. If they had such an order it would have been produced almost at once.

and the Valerie Plame vs Benghazi comparison with the MSM says a lot, none of it good.

I think these folks will be damn lucky to lose next week and have then end before it begins.

Monday on Morning Joe they covered a blockbuster story by Campbell Brown concerning the Teachers Unions in NY:

By resisting almost any change aimed at improving our public schools, teachers unions have become a ripe target for reformers across the ideological spectrum. Even Hollywood, famously sympathetic to organized labor, has turned on unions with the documentary “Waiting for ‘Superman'” (2010) and a feature film, “Won’t Back Down,” to be released later this year. But perhaps most damaging to the unions’ credibility is their position on sexual misconduct involving teachers and students in New York schools, which is even causing union members to begin to lose faith.

It’s big news and important news, the unions and the pols protecting teachers unions on this issue, Campbell Brown should be complemented for covering the story. And Morning Joe should be complemented not only for covering but for being only 27 months behind DaTechGuy blog

I’m sure that as soon as the New York Schools abandon celibacy and allow workers to marry this problem will totally disappear. Just like when the celibacy and marriage requirements were removed from Boy Scout leaders and the US Swim Team.

And the Anchoress:

In New York, Queens Assemblywoman Margaret Markey routinely presents a bill which seeks to open a year-long “window” into the statute of limitations on child sex-abuse cases, allowing victims whose cases may go back as far as 40 years to bring suit for damages.

Because the bill has -until now- been limited by Markey to impact the churches, exclusively, it has always either failed or been shelved. It is difficult to pass a bill that essentially finds some sexual abuse victims to be more worthy of redress than others.

And the The hermeneutic of continuity

The excuses are all now tumbling out. The New York City Mayor is concerned about the potential impact for taxpayers. Welcome to the real world, Mayor. Catholics in the pews have seen billions of dollars, donated by them over decades, paid out in compensation to victims of clerical abuse and episcopal failure. It is tough but we have to recognize responsibility.

The State Association of Counties has issued a memo of opposition citing the problem of “significantly aged and clouded” evidence. Well, as we have learnt in the Church, extending the statute of limitations is necessary because the nature of the crime means that it may take a long time before a person is ready to confront the abuse that they have suffered in the past.

The New York State School Boards Association has said that the revelation of past misdeeds would provide no extra protection for children. They should talk to Safeguarding Officials and good lay Catholics who know that the revelation of past crimes is a very strong motivation to provide robust safeguarding procedures.

or even dare I say it the New York Times

Until last year, proposals to change the statute of limitations would not have affected public bodies and fallen largely on the church. After much debate, the bill, sponsored by Assemblywoman Margaret Markey, a Queens Democrat, was amended to include governments and their employees.

Suddenly, lobbyists and advocates for school boards, counties and small towns spoke out.

Since Morning Joe normally jumps all over stuff in the Times Back in may of 2010 I wrote this:

I am simply dying to see how Joe and Mika choose to cover this. I wonder how they will approach it? I’m scheduling this post for Monday morning before the show, so we can see if they touch the New York Law.

Well it was a Monday, just a Monday 27 months later. Strangely nobody suggested ending celibacy or allowing public school teachers to marry as a solution.

If they only read DaTechGuy blog they would know around here we’ve managed along with others to hit the subject.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad we are seeing the story and the subsequent blog posts elsewhere, who knows, with a little more staff and some luck they might catch up to us on a few more stories a little faster.

——————–

The DaTechGuy fundraiser lumbers on. With your aid this one man blog with the occasional post from RoxeAnne De Luca will continue to keep it’s 27 month lead on breaking news over MSNBC’s meager staff.

Any help is appreciated. For details click here for the progress check the thermometer to the right and to kick in hit DaTipJar”.





The Anchoress reports on a disturbing omission in the MSM coverage of Thursday’s debate:

I came to the debate a few minutes late so I didn’t see it live. At the end of the debate, when CNN replayed “highlights” the standing-O wasn’t included (it certainly seemed like a “highlight” whether one liked it or not), so I only became aware of it thanks to the internet, and social media.

This morning I got an email from a friend who scours the papers, and he wrote:

AP and others did not even mention the standing O

I took a quick look around at various mainstream reports and discovered that my friend was correct. Even pieces identifying themselves as analysis of “winners and losers” or “views from the bleachers” made no mention of the standing ovation that accompanied Newt’s smackdown of King.

I also barely got to the TV for the first question after covering Scott Brown’s announcement in Worcester. I saw the standing O that Gingrich got.

Now let’s be clear, I’m a Santorum man and that’s it, but this is really more about the stereotype that the left has about the right than anything else.

To our friends on the left, the Christian is an intolerant bigot, extremely judgmental who only lives for their own self-righteous. It is a caricature of actual Christianity which is not only based on the concept of forgiveness but demands it of any who would follow Christ. In fact every time the Lord’s Prayer or as we Catholics would say the Our Father is prayed we are reminded of it:

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us

For our own sakes we have to forgive

Of course one is required to avoid and turn away from sin, but Gingrich has confessed his sin and asked forgiveness. We must avoid the trap of the elder brother in the story of the prodigal son.

But to our friends on the left that’s a story they are not familiar with.

Meanwhile in South Carolina Stacy McCain does some practical shoe leather reporting on concerning a false flyer and Will “hot stuff” Folks and a flyer targeted at Rick Santorum:

this flyer was surreptitiously distributed on the windshields of cars at a pro-life event where the Paulistas were out in force.

So I come out to the parking lot, get the flyer, drive to a McDonald’s to file my American Spectator column and, while I’m at it, decide to Google this “Elizabeth Reichert” to see if such a person exists. And the only reference to her online as of 10 p.m. Wednesday was … Will Folks at FITS News, who had managed not only to transcribe the 388-word flyer, but also to write a 475-word “news” story about it, in which he said, “Allegations are flying among the rival 2012 camps, but at the moment a majority of fingers are being pointed at Perry’s campaign.”

Because why would you stop a dirty tricks campaign when you are pulling out of a race and trying to mend fences. Stacy continues

So: How did Folks get hold of the flyer? Was he in Greenville that night? Three presidential candidates — Santorum, Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich — spoke in person at the pro-life forum, while Ron Paul appeared via satellite TV hookup. If Folks was in Greenville to cover that event, where are his reports of those candidates’ appearances? Did he decide that what the candidates said at the forum was less newsworthy than this flyer distributed in the parking lot of the Hilton?

You see what I mean by “suspicious”? One suspects that, unless Folks himself wrote this flyer, it was written by one of his fellow Ron Paul supporters, who informed him in advance and provided him with the text of the flyer by e-mail, so that all he had to do was to cut and paste it and hit the “publish” button the minute his fellow Paulista informed him that the flyer had, in fact, been distributed.

Read the whole thing and you can see why lover-boy is so anxious to hit Stacy. When you are a shoe leather reporter used to using sources you know how much time it takes to transcribe a flyer, you notice a lack of sources and the improbability of certain “facts”.

This would be consistent with Robocalls that took place in Iowa falsely questioning Santorum pro-life and pro-gun stance and the false flag operation at the Gingrich/Huntsman debate that I covered in Goffstown NH..

Paul’s people seem to take a page out of the Lyndon Johnson school of tactics. Politics isn’t beanbag and a presidential campaign even less so but my advice to the Ron Paul folks is this: If you expect Rand Paul to be a serious contender in 2016 (and you do) I strongly suggest cleaning up your act. The press might not be all that interested in the tactics and the players while the targets are fellow republicans or conservatives, but once the target is a democrat in 2016 or Obama if somehow Paul gets the nomination, all of this stuff is going to come out in the wash and a lot of members of the GOP who stayed silent because they didn’t want to alienate the Paul folks will be happy to confirm and cooperate in bringing you down.

Now it’s true that “liars and disgraceful cowards” votes count the same as everyone else, but I would remind every one of an old poem that I enjoy quoting:

One night in late October,
when I was far from sober,
Returning with my load, with manly pride;
My feet began to stutter,
So I lay down in the gutter,
And a pig came up an’ lay down by my side;
A lady passing by was heard to say:
‘You can tell a man who “boozes”
by the company he chooses’
And the pig got up and slowly walked away.

And this doesn’t even take into account this interesting piece of work:

In what appears to be a last ditch attempt to halt Newt Gingrich’s late momentum in South Carolina, a fake CNN Breaking News alert was emailed to state Republican activists early Thursday morning claiming that the former House Speaker pressured his ex-wife to have an abortion.

CNN did not send out the email alert.

I don’t know who sent out this blast, but as it says above “you can tell a man who boozes…”

With only an hour to go before my ride to the airport shows up (I’ll grab the Cannoli on the way) I wanted to get something up concerning the Cain speech yesterday in my destination city of Phoenix.

But there is no need, the Anchoress has done all the heavy lifting

He needed to say, “shame on you, all of you, for being so willing to run with a story like this, you people who tried to spike the Lewinsky story and were ready to call her a “crazy stalker” until the blue dress showed up; you people who can’t be bothered investigating incidences of voter fraud or collusion between Democratic operatives and publicly-funded enterprises like ACORN. You people, who spent month after month hoping to find evidence of racism, or sexism, or homophobia, or anti-socialism, or violence at a tea party — even editing video or arguing with peaceful protesters in hopes of creating scenes to help sell your preferred narrative — while you ignore evidence of anti-Semitism, sexism, anti-socialism and violence perpetrated by hundreds of ‘occupiers.’ Why should anyone believe you? Why should I bend to your perverted, distorted and myopic vision of the nation? Why should I serve your intentions?”

Cain needed to take it to be press, and give them a public scolding for their double standards and hypocrisy in front of the whole nation — “you’ll crucify a Republican president who got congressional approval to go to war, but look the other way when a Democrat skips getting approval; you savage a Republican candidate who did not go to an Ivy League college but cower before the idea of asking for transcripts from the Democrat; you’ll mock a Republican who mispronounces a word, or stumbles over a phrase, or misspells potato — things we all have done; things that you have done — but when a Democrat talks about visiting “all 57 states,” or apologizes for not speaking Austrian, his mistake is allowed to be the forgettable flub that it is. The forgettable flub that it always is, unless it comes from the lips of a Republican.”

What is the end game on all of this? I tweeted it out last night:

That’s the whole game, no more no less.

My guest today on DaTechGuy on DaRadio will be that most Catholic of Bloggers the Anchoress.

We will be talking about Lent and her take on the Church.

We will also have Roxeanne Deluca and James Marley joining us.

The second hour topics will include Wisconsin, Libya, and the budget battles in congress and NPR.

You can call in and join us at 508-438-0965 and if you are somehow out of our 50,000 Watt range you can listen online here.

Oh and BTW on Conservatively Speaking between 7 and 7:30 Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann is going to be calling in. You won’t want to miss it.

I’m in the process of writing a critique column for the Examiner on the media’s reaction events in Arizona but if spend the entire day working on it I suspect it will not compare to this post by Elizabeth Scalia the Anchoress.

“Today was supposed to be set-aside for the victims,” someone posted on twitter, “Palin decided she is one of them.”

No. Sarah Palin made a statement that was contextual, relevant and appropriate to the day. The press, if they really wanted to put the day aside for the victims, could have simply reported that Palin made a statement, and moved on. In truth, they could have utterly ignored Palin’s statement altogether, because she really is not part of this story.

But they did not, because they cannot. Where Sarah Palin is concerned, the mainstream press and the political pundit class are like 14 year olds obsessing over the social order of the cafeteria, and especially that stupid new cootie girl, ewwww.

They are the spiteful, malevolent and immature teenagers in “Carrie,” armed with pig-blood and just looking for any opportunity to pour it.

They are repulsive in their clique; one wants to take them by their shoulders and shake them and say “grow up! GROW UP!”

Read the whole thing, is it the best piece I’ve seen on the subject. Also not to be missed is NeoNeocon’s piece.

I believe that, like her or hate her (and I’ve gone on record saying I don’t think she’s a good candidate for the 2012 presidency), Palin chooses her phrases carefully and knows what she’s doing. And I would guess that, as a religious Christian and strong supporter of Israels and Jews, Palin knows exactly what the blood libel is and has an awareness of the history behind the use of the phrase.

I am wondering how it would feel to be reeling from hearing the dreadful news of the Tucson assassination/massacre, and then almost immediately to find oneself accused of inciting it by press and an opposition solemnly and sanctimoniously intoning the charge in transparently hypocritical hope of elevating the tone of political discourse while simultaneously pointing the finger of bloody guilt at their hated opponent. You know, the phrase “blood libel” might just come to mind.

I know I will add only a few hits after Glenn and Elizabeth but I can say that she as intelligent and delightful in person as she is online.

Update: More attempted scrubbing on the left, and makes the following point in a follow up post:

What is most remarkable about these death wishes is that they were done in the open and often with the identity of the person not hidden. The identities of the tweeters and the people who “liked” the Facebook pages were readily identifiable in many cases.

Why do these people, many of whom are professionals, feel no fear in expressing such death wishes in the open?

Because they know that the media will never call them out for death threats against Sarah Palin. I will be delighted in a show like Morning Joe proves me wrong.

Still collecting on my thoughts about Obama’s speech (read it, sounded good in my head) but on the air on Morning Joe after 15 minutes of praising the president it is all Sarah Palin.

Politico talks about the “contrast” between the speeches and Joe, Mika and Harold Ford are all going off on her saying she should be quiet (Likely the only woman pol that the media can say basically “shut up” to without being called sexist). Watching it I can’t believe the degree of Sullivan’s syndrome among the panel.

I’ve read the various commentaries on Instapundit and noticed a link to the Anchoress. Elizabeth Scalia is one of the most level-headed people out there and I trust her judgment:

She liked the president’s speech very much but had this to say about the media:

Will the speech change anything? Charles Krauthammer, in post-speech remarks, said he thought it would put a stop to the insane, Palin-heavy rhetoric of the past few days. I hope that is true but I have my doubts. On twitter, I watched a number of journalists (Andrea Mitchell, Dave Weigel and others) immediately begin either talking about or snarking about Palin, and I couldn’t help thinking, “the president–your president whom you love–just gave the speech of his presidency and not five minutes later you’re on Palin again? Conservatives are here praising the president, and instead of joining in, you’re obsessing on Sarah Palin? Does that seem like normal, rational, healthy behavior or sick obsession?All emphasis mine

Guys I like you, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Mike and Willie and they are regular guys. Joe, Mika I hope to meet you someday (at CPAC perhaps this year?) and suspect I will like you as well but guys you are really obsessed on Sarah Palin and it really makes you guys look ugly.

Don’t take my word for it, take Elizabeth’s word for it, she is a prayerful and steady woman and always means to help.

She also wrote THE piece on the subject of the media actions of the week. It is so good it deserves it’s own commentary post.

…he just doesn’t know it yet:

I am not Catholic – my ancestors were Ulster Scots, and I remain proudly Protestant – but over the years many Catholic readers have been attracted to this blog by my advocacy of a pro-family, pro-life philosophy which owes much to the doctrine expounded in Humanae Vitae. If you have never read it, you certainly should and please note that Humanae Vitae is addressed not merely to Catholics, nor even exclusively to Christians, but “to all men of good will.”

He writes about Pope Paul Vi (the pope of my youth) and Benedict XVI, read this post, it is a very Catholic one

Recall that Paul VI wrote this in 1968, eight years after the first oral contraceptive was made commercially available in the U.S., at the height of the ridiculous hysteria over “The Population Bomb,” and five years before Roe v. Wade.

As Benedict XVI says, Humanae Vitae was “prophetically right,” because Paul VI clearly warned that the embrace of artificial contraception would “open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards.”

Since most protestant denominations gave in on Birth Control more than half a century ago reading this from Stacy brings a grin to my face. It’s like reading an essay from my friend Jim Marley poet and student of Theology (and one of the guest for my Christmas show). Stacy sounds more Catholic than most Catholics, but then again he is starting by linking to the Anchoress which is the best way to find the way to the charity of truth.

The Anchoress tends to hit basic truths well, to wit:

Did Pope Benedict know he was sparking a debate with his responses in Light of the World?

I suspect he did. Benedict is not stupid, and he’s not unsavvy about media; he knows the press is reactionary and slavish to the sensational – that they would grab his answers to Peter Seewald and run with them, and that after their first noise, some of them would actually settle down and seek to understand, while others never would.

Meanwhile, the faithful would be jarred from their torpor, and others–who had been dismissive of all-positions-Catholic–would again be engaged.

Active engagement is always better than passive dismissal.

And the discussion continues:

Paul VI, he said, “was convinced that society robs itself of its greatest hopes when it kills human beings through abortion”.

Benedict XVI said: “How many children are killed who might one day have been geniuses, who could have given humanity something new, who could have given us a new Mozart or some new technical discovery?

“We need to stop and think about the great human capacity that is being destroyed here – even quite apart from the fact that unborn children are human persons whose dignity and right to life we have to respect.”

Humanae Vitae’s main argument, that sexuality separated from fecundity in principle through the contraceptive pill would lead to sexuality becoming arbitrary, remains correct, Pope Benedict said.

I’ve made that argument over and over and was answered with: “How many would have been crack heads?” To which I say this. Who makes more difference 1 great teacher or 30 crack heads? 50 crack heads? 100 crack heads?

The potential of life is limitless, all it takes is faith and effort.

Oh and another of my Christmas Show guests notes something else the rest of the media has missed:

One aspect about this story that is getting no coverage is that we are getting a book like this in the first place. A sitting Pope sitting down with a journalist and not limiting any questions asked. Sure he is comfortable in his long relationship with Peter Seewald, but Seewald is willing to ask the questions other people would be interested in having asked. The Pope being the brilliant theologian that he is does not give pat answers. The Pope is not concerned with public relations and acting as a spin doctors on his answers to reduce any possible misinterpretations. The Pope thinks deeply on subjects and then gives us his answer where he would trust us with the truth. The Pope could have easily answered the questions on condoms by outlining the Church’s teaching on contraception, but instead spoke honestly in addressing possible situations. Some might call this a PR disaster and certainly it is annoying when the press distorts what the Pope says, but they would find something to distort regardless.

Remember the first thanksgiving proclamation was to give thanks to God.

Poet James Marley… as said to me after I called and read him the Anchoress piece. (He has no computer) The “Act accordingly” is his but he doesn’t recall where he heard the rest of the quote.

That’s two Great Christian minds I’ve been exposed to in under 1 hour. Am I lucky or what?

What do I like best about the Anchoress’ post about C. S. Lewis and C. K. Chesterton? It give me an excuse to repeat my favorite quote of all time!

It’s from Chancellor Kent when asked if he would sign a temperance pledge:

“Gentlemen, I refuse to sign any pledge. I never have been drunk, and, by the blessing of God, I never will get drunk, but I have a constitutional privilege to get drunk, and that privilege I will not sign away.”

How can you not love a quote like that? The instinct to overprotect to the point of oppression is anathema to the whole idea of America.