Thursday, January 31, 2008


In Texas For the Day. Hopefully some Blogging tonight and especially the Louisiana Catholic blogger update

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Going to the SuperBowl? Try Staying in a Monastery

Good and fun read from NYT

Innocent III action toy armed a with a bull of Excomunication!!!!!

Too funny and too cool.

Introduce this Pope Innocent III Action Figure to your other figures and watch the spiritual sparks fly! Armed with his formidable power of excommunication and an intimidating scroll inscribed with Latin text, this 6″ tall, hard plastic model of the 176th Pope will soon have all your other action figures lining up for confession. Read the back of the illustrated blistercard and you’ll find that Pope Innocent III was a good guy in all respects. He was a patron of the arts, cared about orphans, built a hospital and reunified the Papal States! Comes with removable fancy Pope hat.Pope Innocent III Action Figureitem 11147Set of 2 $4.99

Go to Saint Mary Magdalen - Brighton UK and his post Innocent III: I Want.

The Myth That Huckabee Voters Are Romney Voters

I keep hearing on the TV that if Huckabee was out his voters will go to Mitt Romney. I have no idea where this coming from. A few days even Dick Morris announced this was gospel a week ago.

The facts that don't seem to back that up. First I think there is two issues.

First the very presence of Huckabee is causing problems for Romney. Romney would very well like to remove him from the equation. The Chicago Tribune made this point very well a few hours ago. They said in part:
Without Huckabee in this contest, Romney may well have won Florida’s primary – look at the small, conservative counties of the rural Panhandle, and look as well at the bigger counties around Pensacola, the homes of military bases and retirees that sided with McCain over Romney.
Huckabee spoiled the conservative vote there for the candidate who is attempting to lay claim to the conservative base of the party, Romney.
In Pensacola, where McCain learned to fly in the Navy, McCain beat Romney by about 15,100 to 13,400 in Escambia County, but Huckabee picked up 9,500 there. In neighboring Santa Rosa, McCain collected 9,600 to Romney’s 7,600 – and Huckabee pulled 6,300.

In Central Florida’s Lake County, home to the greatest evolution debates of modern Florida politics and a school board that has given the Kansas board of education a run for its money, Romney narrowly defeated McCain by about 14,900 to 14,700. Again, Huckabee pulled 9,000.

And from the Gulf Coast end of the swing-voting I-4 corridor to the Atlantic Coast end, where McCain defeated Romney, Huckabee spoiled the day for the former governor of Massachusetts. In the center of that contest, Orange County, which has voted Republican for years but went Democratic in the presidential contest of 2000 for the first time since 1948, McCain narrowly defeated Romney – 29,600 to 29,200. Huckabee: 15,700.Now, Rudy Giuliani’s presence in the race may also have served as a brake on McCain’s potentially greater vote.
But all of this remains a hypothetical matter, for Huckabee is in the race. And Giuliani is not, not after today.
So, looking at what the former governor of Arkansas has collected in the early contests, it’s clear that he will likely continue to play a role that works against the interests of Romney and for the cause of McCain, who may well spell the path to nomination, H-U-C-K-A-B-E-E.

Ever since the “Values Voter Summit'' which the Family Research Council sponsored in Washington last fall, when all of the Republican candidates courted the Christian right in a two-day convention, Romney and Huckabee have been sharing the vote.

Romney won a straw poll there, thanks largely to a concerted campaign of supporters voting online from outside the hall. But Huckabee, who told the home-schoolers and others assembled there that he does not spell G-O-P G-O-D, clearly was the favorite of the hall

And, in the contests that have followed, they have continued to share.
In Iowa, Huckabee collected 46 percent of the voters identifying themselves as evangelical Christians and Romney collected 19 percent. McCain had 10
In New Hampshire, Huckabee had 28, Romney 27, and McCain 28.
In Nevada, Huckabee 22 and Romney 39 – and Romney won there.
In South Carolina, Huckabee 43, McCain 27 and Romney 11.
Which just goes to show: evangelical Christians are willing to share their votes. But, so long as Huckabee is in the race, Romney and McCain will have to share them with him

That is very true. Huckabee voters are not the cartoon versions that are often portrayed. They give different weights to various concerns.

The problem that Romney has is partly of his own creation. That is downright negative campaign against Huckabee by Romney and more importantly his surrogates. Whether it is the Club for Growth, Rush, Sean, or countless others.

I have noted that not only has John McCain not done this to Huckabee , but his followers have followed that lead. Thus leading to very good feelings toward John McCain by Huckabee supporters. I would go and say at this point that they think of John McCain and his supporters as kindred souls!!! We are all being bashed by the same people so a sort of kinship forms .If you look at blog land it is very rare to see the negative unfair attacks coming from them as to Huckabee. And why not ?because the McCain and Huckabee campaigns have been in dire need of each other since Iowa. Even at this date our active presence for John McCain is a very much more plus factor than a negative. Even if we get 4 or 5 states this coming Tuesday.

So what are the facts.

After Michigan and South Carolina we saw a lot of the damage was done. Jay Cost, who is one of the best at looking at numbers said after Michigan:

Why is it that most primary candidates refuse to run sustained, intense negative campaigns? The answer is that everybody is basically on the same side. An attacking candidate has to be careful about his opponent's core supporters. He runs the risk of alienating them - and they might ultimately refuse to support him after their guy drops out of the race. Romney might find himself in that situation. His attacks on McCain and Huckabee have been as sustained and intense as any this cycle. And there is evidence that this has damaged him with the Mac and Huck factions.

The Pew poll found that Romney's net favorable rating among these voters is not very strong: just +7% among McCain voters, and a whopping -9% among Huckabee voters. Of course, the sample sizes informing these statistics are small - but they are large enough to validate this modest conclusion: Romney is relatively weak among Huckabee and McCain supporters. For comparative purposes: McCain is +30% among Huckabee supporters; Huckabee is +15% among McCain supporters; Giuliani is an eye-popping +69% among McCain supporters, and +33% among Huckabee supporters. [A problem Romney will confront if he wins the GOP nomination: he has a net -12% favorable rating among the general electorate. I'd wager this is also a consequence of the negative tenor of his campaign in recent months.].

Things did not get better at all after South Carolina. Huckabee supporters viewed the attacks on their guy and also McCain as largely unfair. Even if they did not come from the Romney campaign itself but from his supporters.

What did the Florida exits shows us last night?
Giuliani dropping out helps McCain, right? Well, not so fast. According to the exit polls, 49% of those who voted for Rudy today picked Mitt Romney as their 2nd choice while 44% picked McCain. And, interestingly, those who voted for Huckabee overwhelmingly picked McCain as their top 2nd choice over Mitt Romney, 54% to 32%. - TOM BEVAN-

This is the problem that the Romney campaign faces. Huckabee's continued presence has created an effective road block to him in 6 to 7 critical states that Huckabee is strong in. In all these states Huckabee is ahead or tied with McCain with Romney running third.

The above exits how also why it was critical to get Rudy on board fast for McCain. His vote is way more fluid and McCain needs Rudy to bring them home as it were. So McCain views that even if Huckabee is successful on Super Tuesday he still wins!!! The Huckabee campaign sees the elimination of Romeny and his vast amount of money a win too.

The Latin Mass TO be Offered at Franciscan University

I think this is very good in many ways. Go here for more details.

A Great Review of the Baronius Press 1962 hand missal

I have raved on here about how I love my Christmas present to myself this year. That is my Baronius Press 1962 Missal. I attend the regular form of the Mass ,but I take it with me because of the wonderful treasury of prayers that are in it.

Father Z has a great short review with pictures at REVIEW: Baronius Press 1962 hand missal

A Lady From Queens Is Running For Huckabee

Yes we are indeed everywhere :) Nice story from the New York Times. There is a pic of her at the link. Looking at her I bet she could put a whooping down on her fellow New Yorker Katheryn "Huckabee is a Christian Socialist" Lopez if they met up at tone of those National Review cocktail party events. Ahh I would pay to see that. :)

In a relatively liberal bastion of western Queens, Alice Lemos said that she has found it hard to find like-minded, socially conservative New Yorkers. And to find kindred Republican spirits, she explained, she must sometimes travel outside of her neighborhood of Woodside, Queens, to other parts of the city.

“The area where I live in Queens is the City Council district represented by Eric Gioia,” Ms. Lemos said. “And he is a pretty liberal Democrat and a lot of the people here are, too. I have conservative friends that I visit on the Upper West Side and the Upper East Side of Manhattan. I go to Republican club meetings around the city. As conservatives, we’re spread out around the city. But we’re here. We do exist.”

Ms. Lemos is running to be a delegate for Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor who is running for the Republican nomination for president. Mr. Huckabee has courted conservative Christian voters and is seen as having appeal in areas far less urban than western Queens.

But Ms. Lemos said that Mr. Huckabee’s message appealed to her, a Jewish, lifelong New Yorker, because of its uncompromising conservative bent. In particular, she said, Mr. Huckabee’s views on abortion appealed to her.
“I’m pro-life and I’m socially conservative,” said Ms. Lemos, a 53-year-old legal secretary at a firm in Manhattan and a frequent contributor to a Web site called
“Jews for Life.”

“The fact of the matter is that I don’t like establishment Republicans in New York — I don’t like the track record of Joe Bruno or George Pataki,” she said, referring to the State Senate majority leader and the former governor. “Also, I think Rudy Giuliani did nothing to really build up the party at the grass-roots level. I believe in grass-roots politics.”

Although she was born in Trenton, her parents left New Jersey when she was 1 and moved to Brooklyn, to East Flatbush and later to Flatlands. She graduated from Brooklyn College and earned a Ph.D. in Spanish from Brown University.

“I was always interested in politics,” she said, explaining that she became a frequent writer of letters to the editors in local community papers. “I became interest in the right-to-life movement in the late 1990s. And I wanted to make sure that my point of view was reflected in the local papers.”

By 2000, she had become involved in local politics to a point where she ran unsuccessfully for an Assembly seat in Queens, opposing Assemblywoman
Catherine T. Nolan, a Democrat.

She said she might run for office again, perhaps for the Council seat now held by
Mr. Gioia. (He is running for public advocate in 2009.)
But in the meantime, she plans to work for Mr. Huckabee in advance of next week’s primary.

“He reminds me a lot of Ronald Reagan,” Ms. Lemos said. “He is positive and upbeat and comes from a humble background. I hope that I can help others get to know him

Catholics and The Passing of the Mormon Leader Gordon Hinckley

I thought this very interesting. I know the whole Mormon controversy is in the air because of Romney. A controversy that I think it wel overblown by the press and political folks on all sides. Anyway Whispers in the Loggia had this excerpt:

In the States, the six million members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are mourning the loss of their top leader, President Gordon Hinckley, who died at 97 Sunday night in the Mormon home base of Salt Lake City.

Revered by the world's 13 million LDS as a modern prophet, Hinckley's 13 years as the church's 15th head saw not only a rapid expansion of its numbers (particularly overseas), but an increased outreach beyond the walls of its temples.

While Utah's growing Catholic fold has long enjoyed a solid bond with the state's Mormon majority and their leadership, the current ties of friendship and collaboration between the two are arguably the closest they've ever been.Under Hinckley, the LDS lent a substantial hand to the restoration of Salt Lake's Cathedral of the Madeleine, and -- often with the deployment of its own volunteers and other aid -- staunchly supported World Youth Day and the other travels of Pope John Paul II, who the president and his faithful admired as a prophet of peace. And along the Tiber, maintaining good relations with the LDS were reportedly a key factor in last year's appointment of a new bishop for Utah's statewide diocese.

A positive-thinking, media-friendly sort almost viewed by journalists as one of their own, the Mormon chief's death was publicly mourned by neighbor-bishops past and present.In comments to the Salt Lake Tribune, Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco said that "it was a challenge to us to be as open and respectful as they were being to us."Over his 11 years in Utah, the San Fran prelate recalled that the two communities kept a "harmony of vision and purpose" that he expects will continue under Hinckley's likely successor: his first counselor and heir apparent, 80 year-old Thomas Monson.

On Niederauer's 2006 departure for San Francisco, the LDS First Presidency acclaimed the newly-named archbishop as its "faithful friend," "a man of quick wit and good humor, unyielding integrity and immense capacity."Illness might've kept Hinckley from his commitment to attend Bishop John Wester's installation as Salt Lake's ninth ordinary last year, but the two still formed a friendship of their own. In his statement to the paper, the bishop called the late prophet "a real man of bridge-building. A real man of God."He wasn't exclusive, he wasn't insulated," Wester said. "He showed a genuine interest in me personally, and a genuine interest in our church."Hinckley's funeral is scheduled for Saturday. While masses of mourners are expected to flock to Salt Lake, attendance at the rites is limited to the 21,000-seat capacity of the LDS' Conference Center.

Reviewing Six of the World's Seven Trappist Ales

Hmmm this sounds yummy!!!! The Canterbury Tales has the rundown at Review of Six of the World's Seven Trappist Ales . Plus of course there is CHEESE!!

Florida Results Show that Republicans Must Compriomise on Immigration

I went into this in some detail at my post Republican South Carolina Polls Show We Must Compromise on Immigration .

After that post I looked at the Exit poll numbers of Michigan and New Hampshire more closely. In those elections McCain so called MR AMNESTY got 25 percent of the voters that wanted to deport them all. John McCain seems to get 25 percent no matter where he goes. Last night he 25 percent of those hardliners again according to the Florida Exit polls. Thus showing me that the fire on this issue as to no compromise is not one these "vote getters".

Florida is of unique because of the large Latino population that is more friendly to immigration reform. In fact I am convinced that vote is what got him in. For those that say wel that is kust Florida let me remind my GOP friends. If we don't win Florida we very likely do not win the WHite House. Let us look at the CNN exits.

Here are the numbers
How To Handle Illegal Immigrants-
These were the overall numbers in the Republican primary-
Path to Citizenship (29%) Temporary Worker(29%) and Deport Them(40%)

We see here a state where the hardline view fails by a substantial margin

How did the Top four do. Go here to this page to see the results. Huckabee splits all groups again. However McCain is still getting a healthy 26 percent of the hardline crowd. Romney got 38 percent of the hardliners.

May I suggest this is more evidence that a HARDLINE do not compromise approach is a political failure

Fascism, Catholicism, Big Business, and Corporatism

This seems all very interesting and in fact touches on politics and Catholic Social thought issues. I just gave it a brief read. Jonah Goldberg has a new book out called Liberal Fascism. He is running a blog that talks about it. He had a couple of entries that caught my attention. They were in order

Corporatism II: They Keep Using that Word...
Corporatism III: The Catholic Church
John Ryan, Case in Point
The Fascist Bargain
Re Corporatism & The GOP

I am not sure I agree with everything he is sayig but I just gave it a quick read. More later perhaps after I have a chance to read it and digest it

What must Huckabee do Next Tuesday?

I am alternating political and non political post today. Contrary to the pundits Huckabee is far from dead. It is truly a three man race with Romeny very much on the ropes. I will do a much bigger analysis of the race later.

What does Huckabee have to do? In short he must win the following 5 states next week. Delegates are noted GA(72), MO(58), TN(55), AL(48), AR(34), WV(30).

He can perhaps lose one if he can pick another state is that close in play. That being in all likelihood Oklahoma or perhaps Minnesota. This is rubber meets the road time. Winning those states helps him with the next string of Primaries. However we cannot go forward by just winning Georgia for instance. Winning these states show Mike has a broad movement behind him. It sets himself up well for primaries coming up and Texas which is the big Enchilada.

Romney is quickly not becoming a factor in the above states. If we can hold off McCain then the country will take note and the race will go on.

If not There will be serious discussion with Mike and his supporters that a continued race just drains the coffers of a McCain campaign for the general.

That is just how it is. So lets win them

Pope Benedict Talks St Augustine Today

Thanks as usual to the Ratzinger Forum that has done such a quick translation of today's Wednesday Papal Angelus.

Dear friends,

After the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, we return today to reflect on the great figure of St. Augustine. In 1986, my dear Predecessor John Paul II dedicated to Augustine, on the 1600th anniversary of his conversion, a long and dense document in the form of the Apostolic Letter Augustinum Hipponensen(Augustine of Hippo).

The Pope himself defined the text as "an act of thanksgiving to God for his gift to the Church, and through it, to all of mankind, with that miraculous conversion" (AAS, 74, 1992, p. 802). I wish to return to the topic of Augustine's conversion in a future audience. It was a fundamental theme not only for Augustine's life, but also for ours.

In last Sunday's Gospel, the Lord himself summarized his preaching in the words, "Convert yourselves". Following the path of St. Augustine, we can meditate on what this conversion means: it is something definitive, decisive, but the fundamental decision must be developed and must be realized throughout our whole life. The catechesis today will be dedicated instead to the theme of faith and reason, which was a determinative theme, or better still, the detrminative theme in the biography of St. Augustine.

As a child, he learned the Catholic faith from his mother Monica. But as an adolescent, he abandoned this faith because he could no longer see its reasonableness, and he did not want a religion that could not be, for him, also an expression of reason, and therefore, of truth. His thirst for truth was radical and led him to distance himself from the Catholic faith.

But his radicality was such that he could not content himself with philosophies which did not arrive at truth itself, which did not arrive at God. To a God who was not just the ultimate cosmological hypothesis, but the true God, the God who gives life and who enters our own life. Thus all of St. Augustine's intellectual and spiritual itinerary constitutes a model valid even today for the relationship between faith and reason, a theme not only for believers but for every man who searches for the truth, a central theme for the equilibrium and destiny of every human being. These two dimensions, faith and reason, are not to be separated nor to be opposed to each other, but should always go together.

As Augustine himself wrote after his conversion, faith and reason are "the two forces that bring us to knowing" (Contra Academicos, III, 20, 43). In this respect, two Augustinian formulations (from Sermons, 43,9) remain rightly celebrated for expressing this coherent synthesis between faith and reason: Crede ut intelligas (I believe in order to understand) - belief opens the way to get to the threshold of truth - and, inseparably, Intellige ut credas (I understand in order to believe): to scrutinize truth in order to find God and believe. Those two statements by Augustine express with effective immediacy and with profundity the synthesis of this issue, in which the Catholic Church sees the expression of its way.

Historically, this synthesis had been taking shape, even before the coming of Christ, in the encounter between the Jewish faith and Greek thought that resulted in Hellenistic Judaism. Successively, this synthesis was recovered and developed throughout history by many Christian thinkers. The harmony between faith and reason means, above all, that God is not far: he is not far from our reason and our life; he is close to every human being, close to our heart and close to our reason, if we really put ourselves on the right way.

It was precisely this closeness of God to man that Augustine experienced with extraordinary intensity. The presence of God in man is profound and at the same time, mysterious, but we can discover and recognize it in our most intimate being. Do not go out, the convert says: "but go back into yourself - truth resides in the interior man, and if you find that your nature is changeable, transcend yourself.

But remember, when you transcend yourself, that you transcend a soul which reasons. Then reach beyond - to where the light of reason is lit" (De vera religione, 39, 72). As Augustine himself underscored with that most famous statement at the start of Confessions, his spiritual autobiography written in praise of God: "You made us for you, and our heart is restless until it rests in you" (I,1,1). Distance from God is equivalent therefore to distance from our selves: "Indeed, you," Augustine writes (Confessions, III, 6,11), addressing himself to God, “are more intimately present to me than my inmost being and higher than the highest element in me” - interior intimo meo et superior summo meo - such that, he adds in another passage, recalling the time before his conversion, "you were in front of me, but I, instead, had gone far from myself and could not find myself again, and even less could I find you again" (Confessions, V, 2, 2).

Precisely because Augustine had lived firsthand this intellectual and spiritual itinerary, he knew how to render it with such immediacy, profundity and wisdom in his works, recognizing in two other famous passages from Confessions (IV, 4, 9 e 14, 22) that man is 'a great enigma' (magna quaestio) and 'a great abyss' (grande profundum) - enigma and abyss that only Christ illuminates and saves. This is important: a man who is far from God is also far from himself, alienated from himself, and can recover himself only if he meets God, and thus, he will also arrive at himself, his true I, his true identity.

The human being, Augustine then underscores in De civitate Dei (The City of God, XII, 27) – is social by nature but anti-social by fault, and is saved by Christ, the only mediator between God and mankind and the "universal way of freedom and salvation", as my predecessor John Paul II repeated (Augustinum Hipponensem, 21): Outside this way, which has never failed humanity, Augustine says in the same work, "no one was ever liberated, no one can be liberated, no one will be liberated" (De civitate Dei, X, 32, 2).

As the only mediator of salvation, Christ is the head of the Church and is mystically united to it, to the point that Augustine could say: "We have become Christ. Indeed, if he is the head, and we are the members (limbs), the total man is he and us" (In Iohannis evangelium tractatus, 21, 8). People of God and house of God, the Church in the Augustinian vision is thus closely linked to the concept of the Body of Christ, based on the Christologic re-reading of the Old Testament, and on sacramental life centered in the Eucharist, in which the Lord gives us his Body and transforms us into his Body. It is therefore fundamental that the Church - the People of God in the Christologic and not the sociological sense - should be truly in Christ, who, Augustine says in a very beautiful test, "prays for us, prays in us, is prayed to by us: he prays for us as our priest, he prays in us as our head, he is prayed to by us as our God - so we recognize in him our voice, and in ours, his" (Enarrationes in Psalmos, 85, 1). At the conclusion of the apostolic letter Augustinum Hipponensem, John Paul II asked whatthe saint has to say to men today, and responded with the words that Augustine dictated in a letter shortly after his conversion: "It seems to me that man should be led back to the hope of finding the truth" (Epistulae, 1, 1): that truth which is Christ himself, true God, to whom one of the most beautiful and famous prayers in Confessions (X, 27,38) is addressed:

Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you!
You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you.
In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created.
You were with me, but I was not with you.
Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would have not been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness.
You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness.
You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you.
I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more.
You touched me, and I burned for your peace.

So it was! Augustine had encountered God and all his life experienced him to the point that this reality - which was above all an encounter with a Person, Jesus - changed his life, as he has changed that of so many men and women in every age who have had the grace to encounter him. Let us pray that the Lord may give us this grace and to make us find his peace by doing so.
Later, he said this for English-speaking pilgrims:
Dear Brothers and Sisters, As we continue our catechesis on Saint Augustine of Hippo, I wish today to consider some of the teachings of this great Doctor of the Church. A passionate believer, he recognized the importance of bringing together faith and reason. It was he who taught that we should believe in order to understand, and understand in order to believe. God makes himself known to our reason, although he always transcends what we can know through reason alone. As Augustine beautifully expressed it, God is “more intimately present to me than my inmost being” and “higher than the highest element in me.” Saint Augustine taught that by belonging to the Church, we are so closely united to Christ that we “become” Christ, the head whose members we are.
As our head, Christ prays in us, yet he also prays for us as our priest, and we pray to him as our God. If we ask what particular message Saint Augustine has for the men and women of today, it is perhaps his emphasis on our need for truth. Listen to the way he describes his own search for God’s truth: “You were within me and I sought you outside, in the beautiful things that you had made. You were with me, but I was not with you. You called me, you cried out and broke open my deafness. I tasted you, and now I hunger and thirst for you.” Let us pray that we too may discover the joy of knowing God’s truth.
I am pleased to welcome all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Audience, including groups from England, Scotland, Hong Kong and the United States of America. I greet especially the representatives of the Pontifical Mission Societies and the group who are preparing to be ordained deacons. Upon all of you, and upon your families and loved ones, I invoke God’s blessings of joy and peace.

Brownback Doing a Great Job Bring Catholics to McCain- Really?

Updated Below-

I noticed Catholic politico Deal Hudson had a post up today. let me post the whole thing? Go to the EXCELLENT BLOG Pro Ecclesia for the link.

Deal Hudson: "Don't Bet on a McCain-Huckabee Ticket"
Deal Hudson writes at InsideCatholic:
Mark, regarding the likelihood of a McCain-Huckabee ticket, I think you are overlooking the great help that Sen. Sam Brownback has been to the McCain campaign. Brownback has been leading a very successful Catholic Outreach for McCain, one that led to winning the Catholic vote in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida.This is not to say I am prediciting a McCain-Brownback ticket but only to point out if the goal is to attract more religious conservatives to McCain there are choices other than Huckabee, whose popularity is on the decline.Brownback surprised people with his support of McCain after pulling out of the race, support he explained in his interview with me last week.

Brownback's view that McCain is more electable in a national race is being corroborated by the primary results.I don't think Mark is right about his argument that McCain can be greatly hurt by his support for federally-funded research on embryonic stem cells. As McCain explained in his interview with me, he thinks recent discoveries about turning skin tissue into stem cells will make the issue "academic."Mark's argument in his article in the National Catholic Register about McCain on the pro-life issue is off the mark, in my opinion (and no pun intended). McCain has been very forthright on his support for unborn life and his intention to appoint judges who will defend the right to life.But I predict the next few days will see wave upon wave of attacks on McCain for not being a "conservative" or even a "Republican." It is deeply ironic, in my opinion, that that Romney whose conservatism is only a few years old is being seen as the herald of the conservative cause in the GOP.

I am extremely doubtful. First let me say I love Senator Brownback. I love that the McCain campaign has a Catholics for McCain outreach. Especially if he is our nominee. I will be on it. However it is time to look at reality.

The Catholic vote is not being really engaged by anyone. Let us look at the Catholics for McCain. First their official web site. Wait there is none!!! At least that I can find!!! All we have is a page that is on the McCain web sites that has a statement and a list of leaders. Those leaders are

Catholics For McCain National
Senator Sam Brownback,

Governor Frank Keating, former Governor of Oklahoma

Catholics For McCain National Leadership Committee
Former U.S. Senator Mike DeWine (R-OH)
Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL)
Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL)
Hon. Alexander Haig, Former Secretary of State
Congressman Ray LaHood (R-IL)
Congressman Dan Lungren (R-CA)

Catholics For McCain National Steering Committee

Andresen Blom of Hawaii, former Executive Director, Hawaii Right to Life

Professor Gerard Bradley of Indiana, University of Notre Dame Law School

Mary Brunette Cannon of Virginia, former Executive Director, the Bioethics Project

Denis Coleman of Florida, former Chairman of Covenant House and Current Chairman of

Martin Dannenfelser of Virginia, former Vice-President for Govt. Affairs, Family Research Council

Robert Reilly of Virginia, Former Director, Voice of America

Warren Sweeney of New Jersey, former Executive Director, National Right to Life Committee

Eugene J. Zurlo of South Carolina, Chairman of the Zurlo Investment Trust and Former President of the Catholic Radio Association

Catholics For McCain State Chairmen

Iowa: Dana Phillips, Former Catholics for Brownback Co-Chairman and Brownback for President Marion County

Chairman New Hampshire: Hon. Maureen Mooney, NH State Representative (R-Merrimack) and former state director of Catholics for Bush/Cheney 2004

Michigan: Chuck Yob, Republican National Committeeman for the State of Michigan

South Carolina: Jim Corbett, Esq., Former

State Director, Brownback for PresidentFlorida:

Laurence Alvarado, Managing Director of Bearing Point and Contributor to InsideCatholic.comCatholic Students For McCain National Chairman

Billy Valentine of Franciscan University of Steubenville, OH, former National Chairman of Students for Brownback

For a outreach group I have to wonder what they are doing. Are they sending out direct mail? Are they doing ads? What did they do in New Hamsphire and South Carolina, and Florida to do outreach?

Now no doubt some of these people have been active. The law professor from Notre dame is a prime example. However how much of their actions influenced the average Catholics in the pews?

What proof is there that Senator Brownback brought Catholics over to McCain in New Hampshire? Is it not more likely that the Catholics McCain had in New Hampshire were already with him? In fact is that not one reason why Senator Brownback dropped out!!

In South Carolina according to exit polls Catholics thought the military issues were the most important and led all groups in that regard. Abortion and Social issues were 4 percent!!! among Catholics. Did Senator Brownback and Catholic for McCain engage Catholics on "Catholic issues"? If they did it must have been really really underground. What did Jim Corbett who was chairman of the South Carolina Catholics for McCain do? Perhaps a lot? I am not sure

What about Florida? If the Mass Going Catholic vote was being engaged so well why did Rudy have such high numbers just a couple of weeks ago. Could it be that as Rudy started falling McCain's stances on immigration reform and Cuba among Catholic Latinos were the real cause of his good Catholic numbers? In fact we learned that the Catholic for McCain FLorida division was just launched a few days ago.

In fact we see this from Vox Nova today- The white Catholic vote was 21 percent of the GOP vote. McCain polled strongly among Catholics that don't go to Mass. Hardly a group that I think cares what the Catholics for McCain group or Senator Brownback had much influence with. In fact as pointed out McCain had no significant advantage over Romney in this group overall.

Now the purpose of this is not to bash this group or for heavens sake Senator Brownback. I am more concerned that a we all see reality here. That is for large part IMHO the Catholic vote has not been actively engaged. Part of that is funding. Trust me as a Huckabee supporter I know all about that. The McCain campaign had money problems of it own. If and I mean IF McCain gets the nomination this organization will be the foundation for the National Outreach for the General. We need to make sure that we do not delude ourselves with the Catholic outreach that is occurring or that it has even been a factor so far.

Missouri will be a real interesting test. John McCain to say the least is the weakest on the stem cell issue. Will this be a factor? As a Huckabee supporter I hope so. However I will be looking at the exits and news coverage of Missouri to see how this issue is played as well as what outreach is done.

The most disturbing thing is this. How much of the Catholic vote did Republicans lose to pro choice people like Hillary, Obama, and Edwards in places like New Hampshire and South Carolina where Independents could vote?

I got a comment as you can see and I better yet try to clarify this post. I am not bashing McCain or the very devout Catholics that think he best represents Catholic interest. I think they can make a good case. I suspect many are working hard in the ways they can. As to Mike Huckabee, I have said that the lack of funding to go and to really engage the Catholic vote has been a problem. So I am not saying look at us we are doing it better for goodness sake.

I do stand by that among regular Catholics I engage on the net or in person are not exactly looking at this election or John McCain through a special Catholic political lens and all that entails. I have pointed out on here that no doubt Catholics and Evangelical supporting McCain have largely done a good job of making John McCain viewed as pro-life" as others. That is a way is a success. For instance in South Carolina Huckabee was only 2 points ahead of him as to people that view that as to pro lifers. That is indeed a success.

However the assertion that there has been a major effort by Senator Brownback or an organization that all for practical purposes is just 30 days old is pretty absurd!!!

Does that not mean he or others will not be an critical part of the campaign in the future? Of course not. However I can detect no Catholic aimed buzz coming out of these early primary states. Like I said I suspect that might be different in Missouri well I expect McCain knows that a massive push to get Catholic voters in his camp will be needed. Take what I am saying as constructive criticism. I very well could be in your ranks after Super Tuesday if Huckabee does not perform as to reasonable expectations and he has to withdraw.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Thoughts On Huckabee and Predictions on The Florida Primary

Blogging will be close to nothing till perhaps tonight. I am taking the day off with a group of people to call likely Huckabee voters in Florida. DIALING FOR MIKE!!!

Right now the election is too close to call. The latest Zogby poll released today shows a 4 point lead for McCain. I am not buying that yet. I think it is very very close. THe poll shows an interesting vote for Huckabee. By the way we are third with Rudy. A third place win would be significant since we have no ads running in that State. The internals of the Zoby poll shows among the youngest voters – those age 18-29, favored Huckabee with 51%, while Giuliani won 20%. As to the winner? My gut tells me McCain but we shall see .

Anyway if that youth trend I note above holds up that is very significant. The fact that Huckabee got 51 percent of Republicans in that age group is very telling. Are we seeing the future of the party? I will be pouring over the Florida exits laters tonight

I would love to see if they show up tonight.

So WHO do I want to win? Well course Huckabee but that will not happen. I am conflicted. John Mccain is my second choice and I much rather him than Romney. However for Huckabee it would be much better for a Romney win. He sort of sets the race equal again and we can chip into McCain's support int he States we want on Super Tuesday. This election cycle is strange.CW would indicate that McCain winning two states in a row would give him the big MO. We shall see.

However if Romney barely wins I am not sure how this can be called a major Victory that propels him to the nomination. I found this stunning from the Atlantic:

Romney's Major Florida Advantage 29 Jan 2008 05:51 am Mitt Romney's had an 8 to 1 television ad advantage in Florida... part of the reason why he's made the competitive. Heck, most of the reason he's made the race competitive has been his ads.

According to Neilsen, he's run 4,475 ads compared to John McCain's 470 through 1/22. McCain did not run a single ad until January; Romney ran more ads in September than McCain has run to date.

Good grief. Romney has spent $30,000,000 in FLorida alone!!!! Yet he is neck and neck with McCain. McCain we were told was going ot have trouble in Florida because no independents could vote. Well who is really in trouble here?

That being said I expect Rudy will drop out after tonight. MSNBC is reporting the signs are there.

Huckabee now lays out his grand Super Tuesday plan. The polls are good in many states. Plus there is a line of thinking that the Huckabee loss in Florida has been factored in people's minds in these states.

Winning Missouri where Huckabee was at this afternoon is a big part of it. I am going to get into two major Catholic Online Pieces on Huckabee that just came out later. They were pretty good ones. However engaging the Catholic vote in Missouri will be important.

More later back to phone calls

Monday, January 28, 2008

Now This Is How To Do A RCIA CLASS!!!

Pass it along. From Burke to Kirk and Beyond... has a great post here at My lesson on Church History for RCIA: 20 Saints Over 20 Centuries

You know if we had perhaps just a thousand more people like him involved with RCIA Imagine all the tens of thousands upon ten of Thousands thousands of converts we would have. It is sort of like a Catholic "It's a Wonderful Life".

People like him touch so many lives they don't realize it. That is people that really take their responsibility in bringing in converts into the Church in a serious way. By the way I am looking in the mirror too and wondering why I have gotten away from being involved in RCIA the past couple of years.

I must remember. Whatever meager contributions I do for the Catholic faith here, it does not compare with the nuts and bolts human interaction that is needed. Something I think many of Catholic Bloggers need to remember

More Success In Iraq Alert!!!

Michael Totten has a great piece. Tip of the Hat to the Strata Sphere.

Michael Totten writes:

January 27, 2008
The Final Mission, Part I
FALLUJAH – At the end of 2006 there were 3,000 Marines in Fallujah. Despite what you might expect during a surge of troops to Iraq, that number has been reduced by 90 percent. All Iraqi Army soldiers have likewise redeployed from the city. A skeleton crew of a mere 250 Marines is all that remains as the United States wraps up its final mission in what was once Iraq's most violent city.
“The Iraqi Police could almost take over now,” Second Lieutenant Gary Laughlin told me. “Most logistics problems are slowly being resolved. My platoon will probably be the last one out here in the Jolan neighborhood.”
“The Iraqi Police in Jolan are very good,” Second Lieutenant Mike Barefoot added. “Elsewhere in Fallujah they're not as far along yet. Theoretically we could leave the area now and they would be okay, except they would run out of money

Intrigued? Well read more

More on the Recent Christian Archeology Finds

I posted a few days ago on the significance of the third century cemetary in the shape of the cross. The Way of the Father's Blog has a signicant update here on that and other finds.

National Right To Life Says Huckabee Has Strongest Pro-Life Position

Good News here. The National Right to Life Committee came out with a good statement on Huckabee today. This group of course endorsed Fred Thompson earlier. A move that made a lot of people in the Huckabee , to McCain, and to the Romney camp upset. In their statement they do not take a stand on who pro-lifers should vote for. However we do see the state organizations going for Huckabee. There has been a stampede of these endorsements lately. The latest is the Tennessee Right for Right. Huckabee is there campaigning today before he returns for a final rally tonight in Florida.

In other good news a Big Time Fred Thompson supporter came over to the Huckabee camp. That is Tommie Williams, the majority leader of the Georgia senate.

The media is trying to spin that Huckabee is out of it but that appears not to be the case. These endorsements and people coming on board are from people that are factoring in already the Florida showing. A showing that I believed will be a surprised third.

I am going to try to do a Huckabee post tonight on another issue that has been bothering me. A blogger that I really like has some gripes with Huckabee and I think I shall try to respond.

Tomorrow I will show what the Huckabee plan is for Super Tuesday.

By t

Pope Benedict's Slow and Steady Move In the Roman Curia

The Rome based reporter Sandro Magister has an interesting piece up. He starts out by saying:

The general reform of the Roman curia that many were expecting to come as a "tsunami" has not happened – and will not happen. But proceeding in small steps, with a few carefully chosen appointments, Benedict XVI has nonetheless moved straight toward his goal. Today the curia meets the pope's expectations, and it implements his directions more efficiently than it did a year or two ago.

Good article. Go read The Roman Curia Wakes Up and Strikes Three Blows for more.

The Pope's Sunday Angelus

This is the translated text of Yesterdays Angelus by Pope Benedict. Thanks again to the Ratzinger Forum. I do enjoy this one. He touches on themes that were in his latest book. Especially as the word Gospel. In his book Pope Benedict made the point that there was some irony in this. many times the "Gospel" of the Emperors were not very good news at all

Dear brothers and sisters,

In today's liturgy, the evangelist Matthew, who will accompany us throughout this liturgical year, presents the start of Christ's public miistry. It consisted essentially of preaching the Kingdom of God and the healing of the sick, showing that this Kingdom was brought close, or rather, that it had come into our midst. Jesus started to preach in Galilee, the region where he grew up, a 'peripheral' territory with respect to the center of the Jewish nation, which was Judea, where Jerusalem is located.

But the prophet Isaiah had pre-anounced that Galilee, the land assigned to the tribe of Zebulon and Naphthali, would have a glorious future: the people immersed in shadows would see a great light (cfr Is 8,23-9,1), the light of Christ and his Gospel (cfr Mt 4,12-16). The term "Gospel", at the time of Jesus, was used by the Roman emperors for their proclamations. Independent of content, they were defined as "good news", that is, an announcement of salvation, brcause the emperor was considered the lord of the world, and every word of his, a harbinger of something good.

To apply this word to the preaching of Jesus therefore had a strongly critical sense, as if to say: God, not the emperor, is the Lord of the world, and the true Gospel is that of Jesus Christ. The 'good news' that Jesus proclaimed may be summarized in these words: "The kingdom of God - or the kingdopm of the heavens - is near" (Mt 4,17; Mk 1,15). What does this mean? It certainly does not indicate an earthly terrain delimited in space and time, but it announces that it is God who reigns, it is God who is the Lord, and his lordship is present, actual, is being realized.

The novelty of Christ's message therefore was that in him God came to us, he reigns in our midst, as shown by the miracles and healings he performed. God reigns in the world through his Son made man, and with the power of the Holy Spirit, who is 'the finger of God' (cfr Lk 11,20). Where Jesus is, the creator Spirit brings life, and men are healed of their ailments in the body and the spirit. God's lordship is manifested in the integral healing of man.

This way, Jesus wanted to reveal the true face of God, the God who is near, full of mercy for every human being; the God who gives us the gift of life in abundance, of his own life. The Kingdom of God is life which affirms itself over death, the light of truth that disperses the shadows of ignorance and lies. Let us pray to the Most Holy Mother so that she may obtain for the Church the same passion for the Kingdom of God that animated the mission of Jesus Christ: passion for God, for his lordship of love and life; passion for our fellowman, whom we encounter in truth with the desire of giving him the most precious treasure: the love of God, his Creator and Father.

After the Angelus prayers, he had these special messages:

I greet with great affection the children and youth of the Catholic Action of Rome who are here today, as they are every year, after the Mass for Peace, accompanied by the Cardinal Vicar, their parents and teachers. Two of them are here with me. They have presented me with a message, and shortly, they will help me to release two doves, symbols of peace. My dear young friends, I know that you are committed in behalf of other people your age who suffer because of war and poverty. Continue along the way that Jesus has shown us to cnstruct true peace.

Today is also the World Day for Lepers, an observance started 55 years ago by Raoul Follereau. To all who suffer from this illness, I extend my affectionate greeting, assuring you of special prayers, which I extend to those who, in various ways, are engaged alongside them, particularly to the volunteers of the Friends of Raoul Follereau Association. Last Monday, January 21, I addressed a letter to the Diocese and City of Rome on the urgent task of education. In that way, I wish to offer my particular contribution to the formation of new generations, a difficult and crucial task for the future of our city.

On Saturday, Febr. 23, I shall have a special audience at the Vatican for all those who, as educators or as children, adolescents and youths in formation, are the most direct participants in this great educative challenge, and I will symbolically present them with my letter.

To English-speaking pilgrims, he said:

I greet all the English-speaking visitors present at today’s Angelus.

In this Sunday’s Gospel, we hear how Jesus called his first apostles. At once they left everything and followed him. We too are called to be disciples of Jesus. Let us be ready to offer ourselves generously and whole-heartedly in his service. Upon all of you here today, and upon your families and loved ones at home, I invoke God’s abundant blessings.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Louisiana Catholic BLogger Update For January 26th

Since I have not been able to do the Louisiana Catholic Blogger Update this past week. this one shall be pretty big. I am going to catch up on what the Louisiana Catholic bloggers have been saying this week.

Catholic Tube is back after getting situated in his new job. He has a ton of vids from the past week and I going to list them all. The are :
Mary Mother God-A brief explanation of Mary’s role in the Catholic faith. Music done by artist John Hancock
Our Lady of the Nations Part 1-Dr. Mark Miravalle gives a talk about Our Lady of All Nations at the “United Nations Parish”, Manhattan, NY
Looking For a Superhero??-Fox News contributor Father Jonathan Morris has political related vid
The Renewal of Exorcists- This is really interesting and I am not hearing a lot about this in the US
The Acceptance of Cursing God in Society
In Memory of Those We Lost-Dedicated to the fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, sisters and brothers we will never know.
MountainCast: Lino Rulli
Roe vs Wade: 35 Years of Choice Part 1
EWTN Interviews Students at March For Life
More on the ESPN & Dana Jacobson Controversy
Roe vs Wade: 35 Years of Choice Part 2

The Catholic UnderGround has some good posts up. Go see Finding Your Keys: Episode 1 - Marriage as Covenant. Here Louisiana Catholic blogger and radio host takes us on the journey of how the covenants are different from contracts and specifically how Marriage is a Covenant. Josh also talks about society's view of Marriage in general. CU Episode 66: Oh, He’s Gone Crosseyed. is their latest podcast for the week and the show notes can be seem here at Episode 66 Shownotes

From The Recamier has been updating as usual during the week. Her latest entry is here. Happy 25 the Wedding Anniversary. She has a lot of interesting facts and things we need to know. She reminds me that the LSU men's basketball team is playing Arkansas today. Which is something I wish I didn't know. Yes I will have to tune in for the disaster no doubt

Alive and Young has a ton of great posts. Go see this funny pic at One Sign That You Drive Too Fast . March for Life 2008 is a great post. Oh and check out his new other site Now Open for Business . If you are a GK Chesterton be sure to check that one out. Another fun post of Not Said By Jesus Sunday here

Arrival : The Parousian Weblog had a great post here at On the Feast of St. Francis de Sales . This looks like a great novel here at "You suffered with them, and now you are theirs."

Fr. Victor Brown’s Catholic Daily Message had a nice read here at CDM for Feast of Saint Francis de Sales (24 Jan 2008). St Francis de Sales is one of my favorite Saints and I wished I had spent some time on him

Cajun Cottage Under the Oaks of course had a ton of posts. Here is Mailing Ballads, Valentines, and May. She has her book reviewed at Review of "A Picture Perfect Childhood" A picture of Louisiana winter here at Can Everyone Say "Bleak" A Light to Heaven is a nice post on lighting a candle

Footprints on the Fridge has a Nice post here at Keep A Candle Burning which is related to the post Cajun Cottage did.

Thoughts & Ruminations from Fr. Ryan has a several good post the last few days. Be sure to see his 22,d, 24th, and 25th of Jan entries

I thought that Full Circle here had a wonderful and so true post here at Lamenting the general state of parks ... The difference between Louisiana and Arkansas in this regards at times is something else. Even though Louisiana State parks have improved. A good read

The Brown Pelican Society again has a ton of posts. He updates everyday and has about ten post per day on the Church, politics, and Pro life issues. Be sure to check him out today.

A Number of Things has this post Cheesemaking 101. Pretty cool. This a really neat. GO see Do You Use Online Coupons?. Funny and cute pics here at "These are my wormy friends..."

Till Tomorrow!!! That is it for the Louisiana Catholic blogger update. However I will be posting on other things this Dreary rainy Louisiana afternoon.

Catholic Online- Check Huckabee's Pockets!!!

Let Huckabee Speak, Let Huckabee Run… and check his pockets

Needless to say I love that headline and this article below that is in today's Catholic Online Commentary Article is below. I have a few thoughts after the article.

The likelihood of the Governor from Hope taking on the Goliath of the Republican establishment and winning the Republican nomination seems minimal.However, has anyone checked his pockets? There just might be five smooth stones in there. LOS ANGELES (Catholic Online)-

I arrived home late from Washington D.C. Thursday evening. So, I could only watch a portion of the Republican debate which was held in Florida before its winner takes all primary. I will leave to others to summarize who said what and why the Republican candidates did not attack one another this time. After all, we have to be kind to the chattering class these days; they need to make a living and their numbers seem to be growing.

I simply want to call attention to one dimension of the event, the allotment of time given to the candidates. Perhaps someone can tell me why Mitt Romney, the newest favorite of the Republican Party establishment and elite since Giuliani made his strategic error, got 22 minutes to present his positions and Mike Huckabee, the new whipping boy of the same group, only got 11 minutes?

I suggest it may be for the same reason that Huckabee continues to be treated by so many party pundits, such as Charles Krauthammer, with condescension. He is a threat to their long standing hold on power within that Party. How often have we been told by one pundit after another that the former Governor from Arkansas is the “Evangelical” candidate with little chance of winning?

How many times has he been savaged by radio commentators for not being a “true conservative” because he does not carry the water of those who for so long have ruled the roost of a Party which rebuilt itself on the backs of pro-life religious voters but never really found a “place at the table” for them.

The annoying condescension directed toward Huckabee in the columns of conservatives and neo-conservatives and the inane comments from television pundits and panels are getting old. The latest example of this condescension was Charles Krauthammer’s Jan 25th piece in the Washington Post. He came right out and told the readers that the former Governor from Arkansas was not going to win. He then offered him the written equivalent of a demeaning pat on the head and saying that he ‘meant well’: “Mike Huckabee is not going to be president. The loss in South Carolina, one of the most highly evangelical states in the union, made that plain. With a ceiling of 14 percent among nonevangelical Republicans, Huckabee's base is simply too narrow. But his was not a rise and then a fall. He came from nowhere to establish himself as the voice of an important national constituency. Huckabee will continue to matter, and he might even carry enough remaining Southern states to wield considerable influence at a fractured Republican convention.”

Frankly, I am tired of hearing the same talking points from the pundits against Governor Huckabee. It is no accident that the real opposition to his candidacy has come, not from Democrats, but from Republicans. Perhaps they are afraid of him because he presents a fresh vision and a coherent worldview which calls into question their own confused approach.

Perhaps he is also perceived as a threat to their control over the future agenda of the Republican Party at a critical time in its history. Huckabee’s manner and his message, when he is allowed to speak, strike a chord with many people from a broad spectrum of increasingly disillusioned voters. Because of that, the elites try to marginalize him through condescension, like Krauthammer did.

Or , worse yet, they unleash vitriol against him, such as what Mark Levin stooped to in his Thursday talk radio program when he made himself small by crude remarks against this good man . The attacks against the Governor from Huckabee have followed a predictable pattern.

First, there was the way in which his “Evangelical appeal” was treated by these media personalities. I have been around for a long time, and I never accepted the idea that evangelicals Protestants were ever really welcome in the ruling ranks of the Republican Party. As a pro-life, pro-marriage and family, pro-freedom and pro-poor Catholic, I found myself by their side many times, simply because I had to leave the Democratic Party when that once great party of the working man and women stopped up their ears to the cry of the poor in the womb.

However, I was never under any delusion that I was welcome in the Republican Party. However, I actually think that some evangelical Protestants really thought they had found, to use the rhetoric of Ralph Reed, one of the architects of the “religious right”, a “place at the table” among the party elite. The way that Huckabee and his evangelical supporters are now being treated by the Republican establishment should expose the truth and calls this judgment into serious question

It also exposes the weakness in the garment which was hastily sewn together by combining pro-life religious people and the old blue blood fiscal conservatives of the old Republican ...guard. The strategy against Huckabee’s candidacy emanating from what calls itself conservativism today has been an evolving one. Second, he was attacked for being a “populist”, as if that is a bad thing.

Frankly, I found his concern for real people, in their real struggles, a refreshing wind in a party filled with hot air and empty promises. In addition, his genuine concern for the poor and his plans to help expand opportunity and make sure that the market economy was at the service of the person and the family and not the other way around, seems to this Catholic to be an example of good Catholic social teaching, even if it comes from a former Southern Baptist minister.

Finally, he was accused of being a “progressive”. Once again, as if “progressive” is a bad word. I would welcome a debate on just what really constitutes progress with those on the left, and particularly with those within the lunatic nihilist fringe who have usurped the word “progressive” using it as a banner under which to parade their increasingly bizarre social and cultural vision. I for one believe that true progress passes through the two parent marriage bound family, the first vital cell of any healthy society. Marriage and family are not an antiquated institution. They frame the path to the future. Also, true progress will only occur when we recognize in law the inherent dignity of every human person, at every age and every stage, from conception to natural death. There is nothing progressive about killing children in the womb and failing to care for the disabled and the elderly. I think a real debate on just what constitutes real and true progress is just what is needed in the arena of public policy.

Now, Huckabee is aging being parodied, painted as some kind of ignorant “fundamentalist” Christian who will force all Americans to believe like he does. This is one more despicable effort to disparage this intelligent and good man by playing on old bigoted stereotypes.

How many times must he be wrongly been accused of wanting to amend the Constitution so as to somehow force “the Bible” on people as if he were a theocrat? It happened once again this morning when he made the rounds of the morning talk shows. Again, he handled it with dignity and exposed the lie. When you read or hear what he actually says about both his support for a human life amendment to the US Constitution and his support of an amendment to protect authentic marriage against encroaching counterfeits seeking a legal equivalency, he is in line with most Americans. I am one of them. And, I am not an Evangelical Protestant. I am a Catholic.

When this new former Governor from Hope, Arkansas is allowed to speak, the words that come out of his mouth make sense, reveal an intelligent set of political ideas, inspire and continue to win the support of many more people than Charles Krauthammer thinks. In fact, Mr. Krauthammer has paid little attention to the growing appeal of this candidate across socio-economic, racial, religious and even party lines.

I have written about the Governors candidacy at length. He has been kind enough to give me two excellent interviews for Catholic Online. Frankly, I found him to be the most clearly pro-life, pro-family and pro-poor candidate in the current Republican field. There is no doubt that he does not fit the mold of either the Limbaugh “conservative” wing of the Republican party, or the “neo-conservative” wing of the Republican party. Though, to his credit, Bill Kristol has recently begun to speak well of Huckabee.

Finally, he worries the establishment wing of the Republican Party. I, for one, find all of this quite exciting not disturbing. Perhaps it is time for just such a shake up in a party that has stumbled a lot lately. I have one request of the media for the rest of this short primary season. Let Huckabee speak. Then, let the American people decide. Friday morning when he made the circuit of talk shows I once again found myself glued to the screen at his articulate responses. As usual, they revealed him to be a kind, affable man who makes good sense.

One of the commentators noted that she had been told that the Governor was training for the Boston marathon. In response, Governor Huckabee smiled and confirmed that what she had heard was true. He noted that the training was hard, particularly given the schedule he must keep campaigning. Finally, he acknowledged that he did not know how well he would do, but told the interviewer that he knew that he just wanted to finish. I could not help but think of the current Presidential campaign.

I, for one, want to see him continue in this race to the finish. Who knows how it will all turn out? This been a race which no-one could have even predicted two months ago. T

his week, our Old Testament readings at the daily Catholic Liturgy have followed the exploits of David, from his unlikely selection through his anointing and, on Wednesday, we heard of his heroism and triumph against the giant Goliath. It is all recorded in the Biblical book of Samuel. Wednesday’s reading told of David’s preparations to take on the giant Goliath. The scriptures record that he selected five smooth stones from the Wadi which he placed in his pouch. He would later slay Goliath with those stones and a small slingshot. The likelihood of the Governor from Hope taking on the Goliath of the Republican establishment and winning the Republican nomination seems minimal.

However, has anyone checked his pockets? There just might be five smooth stones in there.

Well let me say a hearty AMEN to a good bit of that. A few thoughts. I do not go totally with the good Deacon that Evangelicals and for that matter Catholics are not welcomed in the Republican party. If I thought that I would not be a Republican. However in this current climate we do have a lot of talking heads that seem to want to be the decider of what is conservative and Republican and what is not.

This is a problem that has been escalating the last few years. However I do think this and the Deacon is right. It seems that some people are shocked that we want input on things that are not just about t Abortion or gay marriage. My reply is to get used to it.

Catholic Basketball Coach Vs the Archbishop - The First Half

We shall see what occurs in the second half of this "game" that is going on. As I link to toward the end of these post it might not be a happy ending.

Well this is becoming a controversy. Pro life Catholic blogger Jill Stanek has the story at Catholic coach: pro-abortion, pro-Hillary. She goes into it in some detail. The skinny is that the Catholic Basket Coach of St. Louis University showed up at a Hillary Rally and announced he was Pro-Stem Cell research and Pro Choice so there. Archbishop Burke as you can tell was not pleased.

Vox Nova has a thread on this at The Battle Between a Bishop & Jesuit University Coach. I am sure the comment section there might get interesting.

Pat Forde of ESPN has a article on it here at Majerus: 'Good for your soul to be involved in this process. The whole tenor of the Forde piece tends to be a defense of Majerus. Pretty much heck he is in sports and has opinions good for him how dare anyone say anything.

The problem is this though and it is pointed out by Archbishop Burke in the St Louis Dispatch.
"When you hold a position in a Catholic university, you don't have to embrace everything the Catholic church teaches. But you can't make statements which call into question the identity and mission of the Catholic church.... You can't have a Catholic university with one of its prominent staff making declarations" in conflict with the church."

Well that is true. I suspect that many people will see this issue depending how they view sports. That is those that love it and those that think there is too much of it.

The problem is this. I don't know who the President of Notre Dame , Boston College and Georgetown are but I for darn sure can tell you who is coaching the football and basketball team. College sports are very much ID'ed with the University. In the secular context when LSU plays I very much see them representing me as a person and my state. When I see Notre Dame play , as much as I root for the Irish too lose at times, they represent American Catholicism to me and many in these country in some aspects.

I can tell you if the Head Football Coach of Notre Dame in his spare time became Spokesman for Catholics for Free Choice heads would be rolling.

In Missouri the questions even get more complex. Partly because Missouri has been the front line on several pro-life issues. Especially dealing with some forms of stem cell research. That these comments were made while ten of thousands of Catholics, some no doubt from St Louis University, were marching for LIFE in DC is a problem.

At the end of the day, this basketball Coach is the public face to thousands for a major Catholic University. So he should while he is in that position be mindful of that.

Mirrors of Justice ,which is Catholic Legal blog, is commenting on it. There is controversy there. Go see More on Majerus and the latest post Jesuit, sì; Catholic, not so sure (source: David O’Brien, who coined the phrase many years ago) .

In that post is a link to a blog of a darn good Canon lawyer that I visit some times. That is In Light of the Law. He has a quite interesting post on what the Archbishop could do if he wished to the Coach. The answer is quite a lot. Go see Does Coach Majerus really think he can out play Abp. Burke? .

For more on this story go to Coach Marjerus defies Archbishop Burke; cites Jesuit education.

A Look at Cardinal Law In Exile

Cardinal Law is one of those difficult subject to bring up.

Needless to say the Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal is still raw and he was in the middle of it. I never was one though that wanted to draw and quarter Cardinal Law. I am sure that admission will make some people just explode with anger. I got to know Cardinal Law in some degree through people that knew him Way before he was a Cardinal but when he a priest in the Diocese of Jackson Mississippi.

Still this is a interesting article that again John Allen has done. It looks at what Cardinal Law is doing in Rome. It is called After the fall-Law finds normality in an unremarkable role in Rome. I also recommend a side piece he did that goes with this article St. Mary Major is the right place for penance which is interesting.

I have come convinced that many years will have to pass before an objective view of Cardinal Law as well as the whole Catholic Clergy Abuse Scandal can be had. No doubt there were casualties of untold numbers. The Church this year will be engaging in prayer and public penance for that in fact. More on that later this week perhaps.

Still though I am sure that Allen's article will bring forth a lot of anger. I for one am glad that Law has found some peace and doing whatever Penance that he can whatever that shall be. I do have a feeling though for some reason that Cardinal Law will before he dies try to contribute to the healing in some way now unforeseen.

The Vatican is in a full-court ecumenical press

This article shall be a preview of today's coming attractions perhaps. When I get to my faster computer, I am going to hopefully be posting pics and more articles from Italy on that is in the following article. John Allen has a excellent article in the not very excellent National Catholic Reporter (IMHO) called The Vatican in full-court ecumenical press.

Today was the end of Christian Unity Week and Pope Benedict closed out the week with ecumenical vespers at St Paul outside the Walls. Of course I think the entire year is going to be Christian Unity year because of the Pauline year.

That is a good thing. I think some Catholics at time get nervous when they hear the word "ecumenical". IN the past it was often just code for "watered down" Catholicism. Also the people that were spreading the gospel of "ecumenical unity" here in the United States seemed to be very one sided on whom we were trying to be "ecumenical" with. For instance Eastern Orthodox were not very high on their list. Churches that endorsed gay liturgy, female clergy , and spent 100 percent of their time on Social gospel issues were high.

I do think though with Pope Benedict taking such an active role that some Catholics will feel more at ease. The key will be to find guidance from Rome and see their example. John Allen's article is a good place to start. More later

Islamic Converts, Orthodoxy, Smoking, Baptists, Silly Conservative pundits and other Matters

Crunchy Con had several good posts this week. Since I have been involved in Funeral stuff I am now just catching up. I thought I would post some that caught my eye

I actually read this story this week. It is about how the media and in this case NPR sort of has a bias when they report religion. A real good read at Affirmative action for conservative journalists?

Can you be a Baptist Church and not follow "Baptist" doctrine? Go see Baptists? Who, us?

He is talking about something that has been on my mind. How some of the leading spoke people for Conservatism are using silly arguments to bash fellow conservatives. Go see Policing conservatism from within

Converts to Islam? This is very interesting. He talks a Russian Orthodox blogger that had one time flirted with Islam here at The Islamic Larison. Also read the follow up Update on the Islamic Larison. He goes into a interesting comment someone made on his first post. That is of a US serviceman that explain why US military folks sometimes convert to Islam.

To post that those interested in Eastern Orthodoxy might like. That is Whistling past the Orthodox graveyard. Also the pro life issue from the Eastern Orthodox viewpoint. Go see Orthodox podcasting in our time.

Oh I am going to try to quit smoking again!!! Therefore I enjoyed this posts We Were Marlboro Men Once

Friday, January 25, 2008

Catholic Pro-life Bloggers Not Getting Huckabee?

Today has been a huge day for Governor Huckabee on the Pro-life Front. The Arizona Right to Life Endorses Mike. The Missouri Right to Life just endorsed Huck today. Also the Alaska Right to Life Endorses Mike Huckabee.

As I mentioned earlier Huckabee just praised Catholics the other day in Georgia and their leadership in the Right to Life Movement. He stated:

"I want to say thanks to our brothers and sisters particularly in the Catholic Church, who were way ahead of some of us who are Baptists and other evangelicals, whose voices were louder and clearer and sooner," Huckabee said to applause. "And I thank them for the leadership that they have given to the voice of the pro-life movement across the world."

Now with all this in mind I was very disturbed and perplexed at what I read on the New Republic Blog in their entry Who Will Save The Unborn?.

Here is the part that has me floored:
I expected Mike Huckabee to be a crowd favorite, based on his years as a pastor, his passage of Arkansas' Unborn Child Amendment, and his loud support for overturning Roe. Later that afternoon, at a tea for right-to-life bloggers at the Catholic Information Center a few blocks from the rally, I begin to understand his lack of support. "Huckabee is very religious, and he makes a lot of pro-lifers uncomfortable," says Dawn Eden, a popular anti-abortion blogger and author of The Thrill of the Chaste, sipping on her tea. But aren't pro-lifers very religious? I ask. "It's his association with anti-Catholics like John Hagee," she says, referring to the immensely popular televangelist who once accused Catholics of "plung[ing] the world into the Dark Ages."
Her message is clear: Catholics, who have historically been the heart of the pro-life movement in the U.S., don't trust evangelicals with their cause. With unmatched urgency, the Catholic Church put a significant amount of money into forming pro-life groups after Roe. The Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities, approved soon after Roe by the full body of Catholic bishops, called on each diocese to establish a pro-life office. The Church's National Right to Life Committee is the largest antiabortion organization in the country. As Roy White, then executive director of the committee, asserted in 1975, "The only reason we have a pro-life movement in this country is because of the Catholic people and the Catholic Church." Jill Staneck, a Chicago nurse and prominent pro-life blogger, tells me at the tea, "Some evangelicals have been trying, but Catholics have 2000 years of consistency on this issue, and since Catholics make up one-quarter of the population, they are not going to trust this issue to just anyone."

Good Grief. First I am going to give these bloggers the benefit of the doubt. I am not sure that they said Evangelicals cannot be trusted. I suspect the New Republic might be a tad off here as what they were really saying.

However facts here. If they have problems with Huckabee because he has been on the stage with "anti Catholics" then they better do some research. They will find that many of their Catholic leaders in the pro-life movement as well as McCain and Romeny have a much more closser association with anti Catholic than Huckabee ever has. Including Hageee!!!Please go see my post McCain Embraces Anti -Catholic Hagee Horrors!!!! . WHat will they do when they see Brownback and Santorum are associated with him!! Get the smelling salts!!!

I refuse to believe that Catholic Pro-life Bloggers could be so blind!!!

If they want to doubt to Huckabee's and his pro life bona fides then they did too look at what happened in Arkansas where the emotional politics of abortion and immigration collided.

"As for allowing immigrants to receive free prenatal care, Huckabee said that's part of his pro-life sentiment as well as that of Amendment 65 of the state constitution, which says that Arkansas considers life to begin at conception. "I believe that because it's a human life, then by our law and by our constitution even that unborn child is an Arkansas citizen because he or she is going to be born in this state," Huckabee said. "The prenatal care for the entire pregnancy costs less than one-third of what one day in the neonatal unit at Children's Hospital would cost if the child has complications at birth."

Sometimes positions come into conflict. We see a real life example of how Governor Huckabee stuck to his pro life stands even when IT WAS VERY UNPOPULAR. This example was when the hot button of issue of immigration/illegal aliens and the Pro-Life stand of the Dignity of the human person in the womb came into potential conflict. I will do a post on Huckabee's immigration views later. A view that I expect neither side of this debate will like that much. However his view is closer to the Catholic position than some of the Republicans running.

Amendment 65 of the Arkansas state constitution states that that Arkansas considers life to begin at conception. Life period. It means that life in the womb no matter who you are or where you are from is going to be to be defended under the Consitution of the State of Arkansas. That is because it is at its most vunerable. Governor Huckabee found himself under tremendous political fire for sticking to that. He had a consistent ethic that shows him to be truly pro-life.

As you can see this was not a popular position. I expect some supporters of Governor Huckabee's right now don't like it. But when the rubber hit the road he stood on the side of LIFE. He knew that it to deny these benefits for the unborn child would be to adopt the logic of the forces of evil that state personhood and dignity of the human person can be eliminated by legislative fiat. Life was Life the Governor said and if it was in Arkansas it shall be protected.

Governor Huckabee stands for life even if some finds the unborn child , a troublesome burden, if the child has medical problems, or if it happens to be in the womb of someone here even illegally. That does not matter. That human life deserves protection and equal treatment under the law. Huckabee stood his ground instead of taking the easy way out. A consistent pro-life ethic we need in these days of the culture of death. A ethic that even challeges us conservatives at times. Huckabee withstood that test and was a political prophet and voice for it. He spoke to the people of Arkansas's souls on that matter.

Perhaps just perhaps Catholic Pro-life Bloggers did to take another look at Governor Huckabee!!