Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Bless me lord, for I can relate

There are articles I enjoy, articles I really like and then there are those that hit home. Eric Scheske hits home in Blessed Be the Lower Middle Class.

I think it's a blessed state.
Which isn't a stretch. Jesus, after all, blessed the poor.
I had always interpreted the blessing to mean that the poor will do well in the next world, like disease-infected Lazarus in Abraham's bosom.But in this era when mass society is affluent society, I'm beginning to think it applies to this world, right now. "Blessed are the poor, for you won't worry about the fashionableness of your car. Blessed are the poor, for you will not think about the difference between Pellegrino and Eddie Bauer waters. Blessed are the poor, for you won't know when your clothes are out of style. Blessed are the poor, for you won't find yourself dissatisfied when the dozen coffee choices don't include mild Starbucks."
I'm beginning to think that the lower middle class in America might have it the best: Blessed are the lower middle class in America, for you have enough to live comfortably but not enough to consume yourself with the comforts.

It kinda reminds me of when the simple mind of a 4 year old is trying to figure out where it fits in. Knowing we aren't like "the poors" that don't have much of anything, and we aren't rich cuz he has to share often with his 5 brothers; he simply says, "we aren't rich but we aren't poor either, right dad?"

And after a blessed and peaceful Christmas, yes, it is a blessed state.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

One for the road

Papal ceremonies must set liturgical standards, Pope says

Until after Christmas

I will be away from high speed internet and so in the many words of some wise anonymous writer,

To all sensitive, tolerant and easily offended friends and colleagues:
"Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, our best wishes
for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress,
non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice
holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious
persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with
respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of
others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions
at all. We also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling
and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally
accepted calendar year 2006, but not without due respect for the
calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society
have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily
greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western
Hemisphere. And without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical
ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee. By
accepting these greetings you are accepting these terms. This greeting
is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable
with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by
the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for herself or
himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law and is revocable
at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform
as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of
one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting,
whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this
wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher."

For everyone else of common sense:
Here's wishing all of You a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Sensibility from the black robes?

Court whacks civil-liberties group, OKs Ten Commandments display

A U.S. appeals court today upheld the decision of a lower court in allowing the inclusion of the Ten Commandments in a courthouse display, hammering the American Civil Liberties Union and declaring, "The First Amendment does not demand a wall of

With the defense by American Center for Law and Justice , the Appeals Court ruled the ACLU is wrong about the "separation of church and state" and Judge Suhrheinrich wrote: "[the ACLU]does not embody the reasonable person."

In fact it wasn't until 1940 when the slogan "separation of church and state" became what it means today.
Now look at the First Amendment:
"Congress …" – we know what that is.
"… shall make no law …" Well now, I'll bet you thought you knew what that means. You thought it meant Congress shall make no law. But what you didn't know was that in 1940, in the Supreme Court case of Cantwell v. Connecticut, the justices decided – citing a mysterious legal principle called "incorporation" – that the First Amendment applied not just to Congress, but to state governments too. So now the federal government could force the states to follow its dictates in regards to prohibiting the "establishment" or prohibiting the "free exercise" of religion. This is obviously something the original 13 states would have rejected outright, given that half of them had state "establishments" of religion.
"…respecting an establishment of religion …" For 150 years an "establishment of religion" in the context of the First Amendment meant that a national church, a particular denomination, wouldn't be supported and imposed on the states by the federal government. But with the decline of Christianity in the U.S. and, indeed, increasing hostility toward it, the meaning of "establishment of religion" has been radically changed

What it the first amendment meant to the early Americans
* In 1777, with the Revolutionary War threatening the flow of Bibles from England, Congress approved the purchase of 20,000 Bibles from Holland to give to the states.

* No fewer than six of the 13 original states had official, state-supported churches – "establishments of religion"! I'll bet you didn't know that. In fact, these states – Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and South Carolina – refused to ratify the new national Constitution unless it included a prohibition of federal meddling with their existing state "establishments of religion."
Still other states required those seeking elected office to be Christians.
* The Continental Congress routinely designated days of "fasting and prayer" and other religious observances, appointed government-funded chaplains, and appropriated money to pay for Christian missionaries to convert the Indians.

In other words, the original American government under the Constitution would have driven the American Civil Liberties Union stark, raving mad

tip to DFO at Huckleberries Online

Monday, December 19, 2005

Something we already knew, but now it is scientific

Media Bias Is Real, Finds UCLA Political Scientist

It may sound redundant to say the Media is Biased in America, but this study actually is very interesting. Most stunningly, they didn't get a grant to study this.

The researchers took numerous steps to safeguard against bias — or the appearance of same — in the work, which took close to three years to complete. They went to great lengths to ensure that as many research assistants supported Democratic candidate Al Gore in the 2000 election as supported President George Bush. They also sought no outside funding, a rarity in scholarly research.
"No matter the results, we feared our findings would've been suspect if we'd received support from any group that could be perceived as right- or left-leaning, so we consciously decided to fund this project only with our own salaries and research funds that our own universities provided," Groseclose said.

The topping is this, the radical extreme right-wing radical Fox news had the ONLY media outlet that was right of the AVERAGE VOTER.
Only Fox News' "Special Report With Brit Hume" and The Washington Times scored right of the average U.S. voter.

Of course this study probably violated the "separation of church and state" amendment of the constitution, so feel free to disregard this biased article and keep holding dear to the "facts" presented by the media.

tip to Kathy at Relapsed Catholic

Oh the censorship

America to publish apology on offensive ad for Virgin Mary statue covered with a condom

Oh the horrors of the Vatican oppressive hierarchy. This censorship must stop.

Umm, no matter if they didn't know it was a condom, how do the editors of the magazine think a "delicate veil of latex" over a statue of a saint would be a good idea?

Friday, December 16, 2005

Vanish Inquisition

I like the Jester's title for the quiet cleansing that the Church is going through. Finally the dissenters are getting up the courage to be honest and recognize they aren't Catholic. Of course as the Jester points out, they are never honest about the teachings of the Church, but rather setup a straw man to knock down. But if they have already left the teachings in their heart, they may as well leave the premises also.

Here's to hoping

That they defeat this bill. I am for security, but governments always want to take freedoms to "guarantee security." That isn't a good trade off. There are many securities I can provide for my family if I have the freedom to do so. The government shouldn't intrude on those freedoms in the name of security.

Glad we have a decent senator in Larry Craig. "Folks, when we're dealing with civil liberties, you don't compromise them,"

Again, I support our military and the federal government's duty to protect us from terrorism. But if they don't seem interested in protecting our border, I question their commitment to the fight.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Something I need to look more into

This article seems legit, I just have trouble believing a company could allow something so blatant.

Costco Fires Catholic Who Denied Knights of Columbus Hall for Lesbian "Marriage"
The Knight in charge of renting the KC hall who had to cancel the arangment when they found out the "wedding" was for a lesbian couple, has been fired. It also looks like a setup.

David Hauser told in an exclusive interview that Tracey Smith, one of the lesbians involved in the human rights complaint against the Knights, was also a co-worker of his at Costco. Hauser related that Smith and many of the management at the Port Coquitlam warehouse were openly homosexual. He related that for months before Smith and her same-sex partner approached his wife for the hall rental, these same individuals had been asking him about his involvement with the hall, and knew that he was in charge of bookings.
"In retrospect, they picked a time when they knew I would be at work to call my wife Sandra, who shows the hall when I am unavailable," Hauser said. He is convinced the entire fiasco was orchestrated before the event.
On a dead end street, a small sign and sharing the lot with the Catholic church and school did not keep them from claiming that they did not realize the hall was affiliated with the Catholic Church, or that they found the hall when they just "happened to be driving around and saw the sign."

Still alot to sort through. Apparently Costco demoted the manager that fired Hauser. But he still doesn't have a job and is having trouble getting another one because of the firing. I am sure there is more to come.

tip to Mark Shea

Forgive me if I digress

Mark Shea's recent article on Catholic Exchange about Apostate U has brought me to thinking about charity. End of year financial charity should be effective and worthwhile in my opinion.

Rich Leonardi at Ten Reasons gives some great thoughts why he isn't donating to his alma mater. In the comments, one shares how to make sure the offenders know why you aren't donating to their coffers. And the comment adds that we can do the same for the local bishop's appeal.

That is where I struggle. I considered making a statement in my donation last year. But I held off on the advise of a mentor and friend I trust. His advise was that he donates to the appeal because we are to support our bishop.

True, he is a bishop, an heir of the Apostles. The programs I disapproved of where not heretical or a source for latae sentencia excommunication, but rather poor catechetical programs.

So, my dilemma is this. We are to be good stewards of our money and financial charity. But should we give our bishop's our humble obedience (supplemented by excessive prayer) or should we assume to educate him of our displeasure of his socialistic leanings?

I am siding on the excessive prayer and humble obedience, but I struggle with it. As I grow in faith, I find more reason to avoid criticizing bishops and priests. Prayer seems to be much more effective.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Depends on the definition of "safe"

Dawn Eden catches a Planned Parenthood chapter breaking the law and proud of it. PPGG has a story that an 11 year old girl came to the clinic after she was raped and PP made sure it is confidential. They even break their own code as this girl was 11.

If you are age 12 or older, we will not tell your parents that you came to Planned Parenthood and you do not need your parents' permission to visit us.

Yeah, and these are the people who claim to "care" about girls. Sounds like they are protecting rapists and in general making it easy for men to use and abuse women and little girls.

tip to the Jester

Monday, December 12, 2005

There goes the ID theory

The war over Christmas Carols gets some humor.

Before backing down and permitting a full Nativity scene, a public library in Memphis agreed to allow the scene, but only if the baby Jesus, Joseph, Mary and the wise men were removed This left a shepherd boy and some farm animals. Next year the library will accept a Nativity scene only if it consists of:
a) A shepherd boy and some chickens
b) A shepherd boy and some ferrets
c) A shepherd boy explaining that the head librarian in Memphis thinks with a brain that may or may not be the result of Intelligent Design.


Whoever thought this crackpot idea won't likely get a promotion anytime soon. Show some serious lack of brains in the Washington State Dems. According to the WND, they pulled their item after the heat got turned up.

Thanks to DFO for the tip.

Friday, December 09, 2005


Local newspaper blog had a great ACLU Alert System.

Ultimate Catholic Intercessor Challenge

To honor the patron saint of the day, I am introducing the Ultimate Catholic Intercessor Challenge. Patterned after the Ultimate Fighting Challenge, each saint of the day will take on a challenger. Typically this will be the champion from the previous UCIC. The winner will be determined by the intercessory power exhibited and will continue on to the next challenge.

In the far corner we introduce today's saint, St. Juan Diego. A poor Indian farmer from Mexico, his example of humility, especially in dealing with the doubtful bishop makes him the patron of the lay apostolate.

In the near corner we have (without a previous champion, I chose my patron) St. Joseph.

And now to the challenge. In an inspiration from SJD and his tilma twist, it is cold and wintry here and the cabin fever has set in at home, I think I will pick up some roses for the mother of my children on the way home. And as the patron of the lay apostolate, he is an inspiration of humility and charity towards the hierarchy for all bloggers.

In a return salvo, big Joe drops to his knees and reminds this blogger that as patron of workers, it is time to get back to work.

Game, set, match, St. Joseph is the victor. Talk about no holds barred.

see ya next time.

Ground zero of the culture war

Boston is in the news again as the frontlines in the war on life. "Plan exempts Catholic hospitals from offering morning-after pills."

The new law in Massachusetts that allows "pharmacists distribute the abortifacient [morning after pill] without a prescription." But Gov. Mitt Romney "is set to grant an exemption for Catholic and other privately run hospitals from this regulation on religious and moral grounds."

Romney has been fighting the culture of death lately, but some speculate that it is merely posturing for upcoming political reasons. But I will take whatever small victory we can get in the war.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

There is no war

No, there is no war on Christmas. Just as there is no war on Christ (christ for you in the netherlands.) The bigots of the netherlands and belgium have decided that religions or the word Christ don't need to be capitalized.

Remember, But the atheist says he was tolerant; And the atheist is an honourable man.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


The Curt Jester has developed the WikiCatechism,Theology your way. Something that was long overdue and should alleviate much stress for the nominally Catholic. Or the "almost Catholics" as my father-in-law refers to them as.

A different look at the war on Christmas

Steve, over at the Fifth Column, has an interesting look at where the war on Christmas started. I haven't researched all his claims to verify them, so take them with that warning. He starts with a look at how Martin Luther first attacked the Holy Day of All Hallowed's Eve and progresses to where Christmas is one of the few Holy Days left.

Catholics complained when Protestants stripped the Mass out of Christmas. Now Protestants complain that atheists will strip Christmas out of the calendar.
Or as I would put it, they took the Mass out of Christmas, how can they now complain about removing the other half of the word Christmas.

Liturgical music

Pope Benedict has encouraged new reflections on liturgical music.

Amen to that. I am not musically inclined, but I know bane when I hear it.

Monday, December 05, 2005

If only this would get half the time

If only this address from Pope Benedict would get a fraction of the press that the Instruction on Homosexual Priests got.

"Truly, children are the greatest wealth and most appreciated good of the family,"

You sure wouldn't gather this from the attitude of the birth control companies, where serious injury or possible death is a preferred option rather than a slight risk of pregnancy.