Friday, December 30, 2011

Death In the Family - Grandmother

Was going over on to Mississippi to do Christmas with my mother's side of the family today, when we got word last night my last Gramdmother died over there.

She was in very bad shape but this was sort of unexpected . Not uch warning at all except we expected this to her last year likely.

Anyway I guess our family shall attempt to do Christmas somehow, and plan a funeral, and do a funeral.

Blog posting might be helter skelter but in case I am off a few days Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Australian Sports TV Does A Pre National Championship Game Segment on LSU 'S Brad WIng

And the Valley Shook has a link to the Aussie news vid up that played yesterday.

New Orleans Saints Who Dat Catholic Mass ( Video )

Since we might be seeing this repeated again soon :)

I must say I have conflicted feeling about this. No surprise since I am MR LITURGY don't slouch your back while kneeling you better genuflect when you leave the Church kind of a Opinionated Catholic.

Also there is the you give Catholics inch they take a often mile sort of thing.

On the other hand, at least it happened after the " Priest -The Mass is Over People- Thanks Be To God" part. Though I was not that thrilled how it appeared the Priest just threw his vestments down.

But I have to admit this happening on a special occasion like this is not likely going to get me to be writing Internet Liturgy Guru Father Z in a tiff.

Though I can understand some people's angst. But I admit if I had been there it would have brought a smile to my face. So shoot me and I might need to turn in my "with your spirit" and consubstantial decoder ring which I like.

To be clear no one is worshiping a football team there but something bigger perhaps. Like maybe just surviving it all.

Harvard Educated Inner City Catholic Priest Makes Observation on How We Handle The Sex Abuse Crisis

I talked about this GREAT Catholic priest story at Harvard Magazine Highlights An Awesome Alumni (86) - A Inner City Catholic Priest earlier. I am not sure from the article if Lawrence has a inner city or indeed the whole city is a inner city. Thus the title.

I mentioned there was a sexual abuse comment he made I wanted to do in another post. I wanted to do that because 99 percent of that story is not about that painful topic and needs to be heard.

Still at The Father Father Paul O’Brien’s tough ministry in Lawrence, Massachusetts I think he makes an important observation.

...Once back in New England, O’Brien was a parochial vicar at the affluent, suburban St. Bernard’s parish in Concord, Massachusetts, before working for six years as secretary for pastoral services for Cardinal Bernard Francis Law ’53 at the Boston archdiocese. He was assigned to Lawrence in 2001.
Law resigned in 2002 under pressure from the clerical sex-abuse scandal. “The hangover from that crisis is going to be very long,” O’Brien says. “There were the most grave, sinful, and terrible crimes, and there was a lot of incompetence among leaders handling these things.” In Lawrence, however, where people “get so used to processing right and wrong and sin and corruption, pretty much on a daily basis, the feeling is, ‘This is what happened and this has been what’s done to address it, and we’re OK going forward,’” he adds. “It’s harder for suburban people to do that, and harder for people who are politicized. People here are pursuing faith as faith and not imposing other things on it. The real issue is: what are we doing about living God’s word and sharing it with other people?”...

I think there is a lot to that. It does not mean "move on" lets forget about it. No doubt people in Parish might have been affected too. But it means deal with the problem but deal with other things too.

In the Burbs and other places outside the inner evil we have our own evils we do but we have a bad habit of making them less evil. We put buffers between ourselves and the consequences of that evil. In Lawrence with these problems it's much more difficult to do that. Thus they see how really complex this world of sinners and saints really is.

People in Lawrence really don't have the time to feel the need to use the abuse of children to further every possible theological or political agenda they want to pursue. They deal with the problem and put it in it's proper place and get on trying to live and spread the faith.

In other words if in most discussions regarding the Church on immigration, birth control, woman ordination, abortion, economic policy, liturgy, liturgy translations, gay marriage, sex outside marriage , etc Child abuse is brought up that might show we are thinking of this in the wrong way. All the while we are patting ourselves on the back.

To much of the child abuse crimes we saw are used as a conversation stopper or some gotcha moment. Which seems kinda of dirty in itself.

This Anti Bullying Teachable Moment Brought To You By " Deck the Halls "

Oh Ann Althouse gets right to the point in many ways that makes me smile. The first part is about Newt the second part (which I am referencing of her post) which strikes more close to home. See Politico's Ben Smith calls some Gingrich video "Possibly the weirdest video of the cycle."

This reminds me of all the faux twitter outrage I saw with a Catholic school outlawing " I love BOOBIES braclets. Oh but it's for Breast Cancer!!! People forget how hard it is to control the mind and mouth of a 12 year old at times.

Slate Writer Discovers SINGING Christian Christmas Trees - The South 101

Another post from Get Religion I wanted to highlight that made me chuckle. See All about those singing Christmas trees!

As he points out and documents this is not new. I suspect that this has been happening outside the Bible Belt . but this has been happening for many many decades down here. I can recall going to the Singing Christmas Tree at Temple Baptist in Ruston Louisiana . It was the huge event. And oh there was quite a Gospel message at the end usually. One year I when I went with Louisiana Tech Catholic students the preacher atop the tree helpfully told us that "Christ was not sacrificed between two candles".


Harvard Magazine Highlights An Awesome Alumni (86) - A Inner City Catholic Priest

Harvard magazine has a rather well done article on a rather colorful and dynamic Priest that is from their class of 1986. See The Father- Father Paul O’Brien’s tough ministry in Lawrence, Massachusetts . It's a nice read and reminds us that YES the Church makes a difference.

This is the Archdiocese of Boston and he make a comment on the sex abuse scandal that I thought was interesting. I am going to highlight that in a second post for social media purposes. I want to keep that separate because this that is not all the main focus of the article which is pretty uplifting.

Lack of Legal Reporting in Fired Artificial Insemination Catholic Teacher Case - Archdiocese of Cincinnati

Get Religion has a profile of an article that is creating outrage among the usual suspects on the internet. See Cuddly baby and a court case which deals with a teacher that was fired because she had a child by artificial insemination.

Now let me note my main objection here is something that Get Religion picks up on. There seems to be little at all legal helpful analysis. I have to think someone could have been found in the area to give a little more depth to the legal issues , both Church/State and Employment law, that are involved.

I thought there was another interesting angle. For those that think I am some sexist old conservative Catholic let me throw you a bone. I find the allegation that perhaps this is not being fairly applied to both males and female teachers interesting. Does for instance a male winning football coach get a pass if his wife has artificial insemination and female staff not? I am sort of interested in seeing that angle explored. Also if , and I SAY IF , that is true does that mean despite the Church status of this school she might have a legal case. Again there are no lawyers to give insight really.

As mentioned at the end the sexual abuse angle is thrown in as to the Priest that appears had to give her the walking papers. What is interesting and what I think various people are missing is her comments on that:

“I would think Father Kiffmeyer would be more empathetic because of the judgment that he’s received from his past,” Dias said.

Now that could mean many things. Does she think he got a raw deal or was not treated fairly? I did some background investigation on this. It seems the Archdiocese when this allegations dealing with 2 people of the age of majority came up they suspended him (which for practical purpose means he was fired). He denied the allegations ,and the Vatican for the reasons given in the article reinstated him. I am not sure the Archdiocese was thrilled with that action looking at the tone the article as to the research I did.

But what was interesting . is this Parish associated with this school did an all out lay push to get this Priest into their Parish and their school. We read here there were a series of meetings and that at the final meeting 92 percent fo the parishioners in attendance supported getting this priest that had allegation against him. There seems to be an interesting back story to all this that the paper hints out and throws out there but does not give background. For a story I suspect they knew would go national it seems as to the Priest's reputation they might should have done that in fairness.

Appears Pope Will Call A Feburary 2012 Consistory ( Cardinal Making )

And I think it is very likely that Archbishop Dolan will get a Red Hat. See Vatican Diary / The next cardinals, name by name

As pointed out in the article when this occurs , Pope Benedict will now have appointed over half of the Cardinals to the College.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Drew Brees - Louisiana Episcopalian Superstar Quarterback Breaks NFL Record

There seems to be a ton of confusion if Drew Brees is a Christian of a more Evangelical tradition, a Catholic ( which I thought maybe he was) , etc.

Well it appears he is Episcopalian , and they are somewhat rightly thrilled they got a major Football superstar they can call their own :) .

Is Your Catholic Parish Blessing Your Wine Today ? - ( Feast of St John the Apostle )

Canterbury Tales has a good post talking about how Catholics ( at least some if your Parish is doing it) bless people's wine on todays Feast of St John. See Dec 27: Today is Wine Blessing Day in the Catholic Church!

As we are in our every day battle for Catholics to regain their Patrimony back and live the Liturgical year this seem like something that should be promoted more. Plus it's fun, gets people in the doors, and I think fits well with the theme that we are in celebration of Christmas time.

Plus who does not need Blessings?

Update- As soon as posted this tI saw the well known Father Z posted on this at 27 Dec: Today we bless WINE! HUZZAH! ( Great minds think alike I guess)

Gay Catholic Rainbow Sash Movement Takes on Birth Control and Abortion Issues

Cardinal George got into a tad of bit of controversy on talking how the anti Catholicism of some in the anti gay movement is like the anti Catholicism of the KKK.

Related to this are " Catholic " LBGT organziations such as Rainbow Sash which is quite active in Chicago

From LEZGETREAL at The Catholic Church And The Sin Of Sexism

We there see that the positions of advocacy that Rainbow Sash takes part is about to somewhat widen. Which really should not be a shock. Also now they seem to be be taking a position that the HYDE AMENDMENT should be overturned.

The Little Catholic Drummer Boy of Chickamauga

For good or for bad I suspect the interest the American Civil War is taking another marked decline among Americans. We have seen this in many regions in the country. Further immigration plays a key. However the American South is still where Civil War memory still retains some currency.

However even here we see a much less marked interest. This is natural. There are very few people alive today that knew someone in the Civil war. My Grandmother , who is barely hanging on, did get to meet and know my Great Great Great Grandfather that served in the Confederacy. So the family memory of that time that got passed down to my grandmother through those stories is in a rather dramatic free fall.

But I will still be blogging about it from time to time since I find that time period so fascinating.

So he is a good story ( WITH A CATHOLIC TWIST) . See The Drummer Boy of Chickamauga.

Birth Contol Using Christians Join Catholic Bishops in HHS Mandate Fight

This is welcome news. See HHS Mandate No Longer Just a Catholic Fight . This is welcome news because no doubt many of the Non Catholic groups do not have anything resembling the Church's teaching on the issue. In fact in some of their Mission work medical wise might actually be dispensing birth control etc.

They wisely see the threat. As noted by Prof Garnett at Mirrrors of Justice :

....The Maureen Dowds of the world want to frame the debate about exemptions from the mandate as a narrowly Catholic concern (and, really, not even a concern for most Catholics), recognizing that framing it this way goes a long way, in many people's minds, toward winning it. But, the issues is bigger than Catholics-and-contraception.

Front Page of New Orleans Picayune Plus Vid of Play ( Drew Brees Breaks NFL Passing Record )

Fun game last night and made much nicer by what happened in the final minutes.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Having Christmas Mass at the South Pole and Other Topics

I have sometimes have wondered what the state of Catholic debates and theology would be if the earth had some mega disaster that would would make a good bit of technology inaccessible in our lives. I though of this the other day when I read Eastern Alice C. Linsley pieces at her blog God as Male Priest , Blood and Binary Distinctions , and What is a Priest? . In other words, is our perception of certain realities influenced a great deal by our perhaps fragile hold on our amazing technology.

Put out a whole much of different subjects out there. Maybe even the current marriage debates. Well what does this have to do with the South Pole and Christmas.

Well there is no doubt technology is present at the South Pole. But it does seem after reading this wonderful piece by a Catholic Priest at the South Pole that the environment puts many things in perspective. See My Faith: An unexpected Christmas at South Pole

Why Martin Luther Had Such A Foul Mouth

I have often wondered about Martin Luther's rather colorful language at times. Zwinglius Redivivus links a piece that explores and explains this subject at Martin Luther: The Potty Mouth Reformer.

Cutting to the chase there was nothing particular scandalous about such language in Germany and was a component ( strangely) of virility and masculinity .

Newt Gingrich's Wife's Catholic Choir and Much More

Get Religion highlight a rather interesting story that appeared in the Washington Post Style section. See Why Callista Gingrich can sing . However as Get Religion points out the story is far more than just about Newt's wife but the state of Catholic music and how music can play a role in a person's conversion.

One person that is a musician pointed out a shocking fact to me as to this article that I missed at first glance. That is the the Shrine has the only all-paid professional choir in the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington. Let that sink in. It's the ONLY professional paid choir in all of Archdocese. While of course paid choirs are never the norm it would seem in a place like the Archdiocese there would be more than one.

Church Fathers and the Christ's Birth On the 25 th of December

Canterbury Tales has Part II of hi sseries up on the subject of Christ's birth. See December 25 is the Historical Birthday of Christ: Mary and Tradition

Friday, December 23, 2011

A LSU Billboard in Afghanistan

Via here

Thoughts On Likely New Head of Likely Aggressive New USA Anglican Ordinariate

I mention one blog was reporting this earlier this week. Another Anglican new source with a some respectable track record says the same. See Former Episcopal Bishop Jeffrey Steenson to be named the first American Ordinary .

I am not seeing a lot of push back against these sources so I think this is all likely very correct. So January First the former Episcopal Church USA Bishop of the Rio Grande will be likely named Bishop of the new Ordinariate.

I think it's a good choice , though I have to admit I was rooting for Fr. Christopher Phillips of Our Lady of the Atonement.

This will be no easy task. The Ordinaritate is going to need all our prayers and yes financial support. The new ordinary must indeed work with the American Bishop to get their assistance in needed matters. But he also is going to have show I think some considerable independence to show that indeed the Ordinariate is it's own important living jurisdiction. I think some American Bishops are going to be a tad surprised how "evangelical" in a Catholic sense and mission planting this new creature will be :) .

This of course does not mean that much needed Christian Diplomacy goes out the door as to the Bishops. Some of these parishes have big visions which will include schools which mean another added area of "competition" with the regular Diocese. All of which I think he is a healthy thing and indeed we are on the same team. But it will take a person with the right tact not to ruffle feather when UNNEEDED and cause bad feelings. There will be bumps of the road but I am pretty bullish on where this is going. This might be a primary reason why the Steenson is such a good pick.

In fact in 5 to 6 years I suspect we shall start seeing the start of quite a non Catholic non Anglican convert trend in the Ordinariate. Which might get the rest of us Catholics examining how we do the Great Commission.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Why Jesus Might Have Been Born In December

Canterbury Tales has post one of a three part post he promises us in the next few days. I have to admit his post one does battle some misconceptions as I understand them that is common . See Dec 25: The Biblical Argument of the Birth of Christ in Late December (Answering Common Objections)

It's a rather fasicanting argument that is had every Christmas seasson.

His future Post III SEEMS to indicate Pope Benedict thinks the Dec 25 date is correct, which I was not aware of. So I am looking forward to see what that post says.

Catholic Bishop of Fargo Says USA Religious Freedom Under Attack By Elements of Communism and Nazism

Catholic Bishops in the United States are not holding back this morning. First it was Chicago and Cardinal George ( see my post Cardinal George , Gays, and the KKK - Violation of Sacred Place ).

NOW it's the Diocese of FARGO about as far removed from the big City lights of the Windy City as you can get. See AUDIO: Fargo Bishop Believes Elements Of Communism And Nazism Are Attacking Religious Freedoms from station KFGO. About to listen to the audio right now.

Fun morning!!

Update- They just give us the blurb which is disappointing and not the whole talk in context. Will keep looking to see if they provide that.

Cardinal George , Gays, and the KKK - Violation of Sacred Place

Oh boy has Cardinal George opened a can of worms. The Huff Gay Post has Cardinal George: Chicago Gay Pride Parade, LGBT Movement Could 'Morph Into Klu Klux Klan' (VIDEO)

Now I would have not used the word KKK but I suspect the Cardinal was searching there. Though I can see some possible similar thoughts emerging. The KKK said that religious schools should be outlawed because they did not support "American Values" Some in the gay rights movement now venturing into the "un American" language too as to the Church. The Gay Right movement does not use violence though which is why the KKK comparison is going to be bad optics.

I would have used Westboro Baptist Church myself. The Cardinal is worried about the tone of demostrations that might occur. As we have seen this year those concerns might be valid as to Holy Name Cathedral. Throw in the Rainbow Sash movement and their antics there and we see why George might be concerned.

I think the problem here is a violation of the social contract that has been happening with many groups of various political interest . Westboro Baptist Church is pretty detested by all so the social sanction as to them is expected. However have we as Americans let the social sanction for violating sacred space go a little neglected?

Lets talk about my folks and that is Christians. There were many things I did not like about the past 911 New York City Mosque protests. But I did have a feeling we violating some space there. Further we have seen some visible public protest at other areas where Mosques are being built. That made me very uncomfortable. I have not seen hardly any Christian protests at completed Mosques themselves with the faithful being there but I wonder if that could be next

Now If I was to take a poll I suspect a majority Christians of all stripes would be against this. But did we bother to speak out against it enough. I know some did but was it enough?

Returning to Chicago we have seen the past violations of sacred space. Now I suspect if I was to take a poll most LBGT folks would disagree with the tactics that we saw in the links I posted. But like Christians above did they do enough to speak out about it.

Thus the fear. The bothering question becomes if this infringement on Sacred Space is becoming more mainstream? Well I truly hope not. But as to Catholics and some fringe gays and Muslims and some fringe Christians there is a basis to the fear in some particular situations.

University of Buffalo Christian Club Under Attack- Tolerance Strikes Again

Justice Alito that gave the dissent in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez must have his ears burning this morning. For a overview of that case go here.

Mirrors of Justice examines a rather concerning case involving the Univ of Buffalo and a chapter of the evangelical Intervarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF). See Another Student Religious Group in Trouble This is I suppose very similar to the situation at Vanderbilt University except of course Vandy is private and the Univ of Buffalo is not. The reasoning here seems well just idiotic and one can see how this makes no sense as to many groups. In fact one can easily see how campus political monkeyshines could be used to hijack all sort of groups on campus. However it's happening and smart educated people are thinking they can enforce this.

Pope Benedict 2011 Year in Review Address to Roman Curia (Christmas Address) Full Text and Observations

Well today was the big day when the Pope sort of gives his "year in review" to the Roman Curia at the Vatican vai his Christmas address and greetings.. Here is the full English translation at ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI ON THE OCCASION OF CHRISTMAS GREETINGS TO THE ROMAN CURIA.

Many years there are things that "make news" in the secular press in this address but looking it I suspect the secular press will not any GOTCHA headlines. Which is ok. Though I am sure various groups will complain that there concerns are not mentioned. I expect SNAP to issue a statement that he did not mention the sex abuse crisis though he has in the past. Other groups might weight in too. I really like the address and needless to say the Pope has Europe on his mind. He makes this important point as to "solutions" to Church problems:

The Year of Faith, commemorating the beginning of the Council fifty years ago, also belongs in this context. Each of these events had its own particular characteristics. In Germany, where the Reformation began, the ecumenical question, with all its trials and hopes, naturally assumed particular importance. Intimately linked to this, at the focal point of the debate, the question that arises repeatedly is this: what is reform of the Church? How does it take place? What are its paths and its goals? Not only faithful believers but also outside observers are noticing with concern that regular churchgoers are growing older all the time and that their number is constantly diminishing; that recruitment of priests is stagnating; that scepticism and unbelief are growing. What, then, are we to do? There are endless debates over what must be done in order to reverse the trend. There is no doubt that a variety of things need to be done. But action alone fails to resolve the matter. The essence of the crisis of the Church in Europe is the crisis of faith. If we find no answer to this, if faith does not take on new life, deep conviction and real strength from the encounter with Jesus Christ, then all other reforms will remain ineffective.

Well Amen to that and something we all need to recall no matter what Catholic faction advocating x reform we are in.

As to this state of affairs the Pope says LOOK TO AFRICA that seems to have had quite a impact on the Pontiff:

...On this point, the encounter with Africa’s joyful passion for faith brought great encouragement. None of the faith fatigue that is so prevalent here, none of the oft-encountered sense of having had enough of Christianity was detectable there. Amid all the problems, sufferings and trials that Africa clearly experiences, one could still sense the people’s joy in being Christian, buoyed up by inner happiness at knowing Christ and belonging to his Church. From this joy comes also the strength to serve Christ in hard-pressed situations of human suffering, the strength to put oneself at his disposal, without looking round for one’s own advantage. Encountering this faith that is so ready to sacrifice and so full of happiness is a powerful remedy against fatigue with Christianity such as we are experiencing in Europe today...

An interesting dynamic there. As the world focused on the possible physical fatigue of the Pope on this quick trip , as is usual with Papal trips, it seems he was quite uplifted.

The Year on review hits on other issues and events ,but his WORLD YOUTH DAY and his observations about it as to giving solutions to the Christian's world Faith fatigue are quite extensive . A good and easy read. Hope many read it.

Big Mistake- Vatican Did Not Purchase New XXX Domain name (s) ( Updated Debunked)

Update- Appears maybe not all is lost here. See here .

As well as several other likely Catholic related XXX domain names that no doubt shall be used. E Church blog has Frankly the Vatican should have already purchased the new domain to prevent abuse.

Its not clear if they did not really try perhaps or did not move fast enough according to one comment. Which makes sense. As I think I linked last week ( or maybe that was on twitter) most American Universities took that preventive step very early as well as others.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Salvation Army USA Mad As Hell Over Salvation Army International 's Stance on Abortion

I saw this noted on the Catholic blogs yesterday and wondered if there would be much reaction. It appears reaction came fast and furious from Salvation ArmyUSA.

See Salvation Army USA Furious Over International Group’s Abortion Stance

Tip of the hat to The

Archdiocese of New Orleans Sees Vocations Linked to Adoration of Blessed Sacrament and Prayer

A nice article in the Catholic newspaper from down there on this topic. See Praying for vocations: One step to promoting them which goes into some local detail.

Jury Nullification In the News Again ( NYT Op Ed )

A always fun and controversal subject. See this New York Times Op Ed. Jurors Need to Know That They Can Say No

I am sort of conflicted on this. I think it serves as a check on power and should be maintained. However it should be used RARELY I think, and it's best if Jurors just discover that power on their own.

It also raises some problems. A good D.A. during voir dire will ,if he thinks the Jury might consider nullifying a case ,will do a lot of "will you "FOLLOW THE LAW" type questions. I am not too keen on Jurors lying as to that. Still it's has been a important check in the past but should be used rarely in order to avoid abuse I feel. Of course "rarely" considering the number of Jury trials we have each day would not be a totally small looking number to some.

Southern Baptist Albert Mohler Versus NYT 's Nicholas Kristof On the Virgin Birth

Albert Mohler has re posted a good column he did from 2006. See Must We Believe in the Virgin Birth?

I have to say the Virgin Birth never gave me any problems for whatever reason. After accepting and believing that I eat the Body and Blood of Christ each week, that Jesus was fully human and fully God, that we shall live forever, and our bodies shall be resurrected the Virgin Birth does not seem such a stumbling point. However that is just me. Maybe I am just not sophisticated to see why this is such a problem compared to the rest as to belief .

I came across this repost via Anglican Curmudgeon that takes this as a jumping off point to a interesting discussion that well is way past my pay grade. That is does the science done on the Shroud of Turin gives us clues as to confirming this event outside Faith.

Laugh of the Day- Liturgy Scholar Urges Catholics To Find Refuge In Modern Catholic Music ( Liturgy Translation )

Oh goodness see this petter to the paper at Letter: New Catholic missal cumbersome, wordy from a Priest in Fond du Lac. ( The RED is my comments)

As a former professor of liturgy at St. Francis Seminary who trained many of the priests of Milwaukee Archdiocese ( Plays the expert card) , I deplore the English translation of the Roman Missal that has been foisted upon American Catholics. ( This was actually "foisted" on more than American Catholics but was to correct problems in the ENGLISH Liturgy worldwide. It's an attempt to also have get with what the non Anglo English Speaking Catholic world is actually playing. See Catholic which means Universial).

By a very slavish translation of Latin, these texts have brought us as close as possible to the way Romans prayed between 500 and 1000 A.D., together with the social and cultural baggage of that time. The spiritual universe of those Roman times is there, along with an almost groveling approach to God and an overriding preoccupation with getting to heaven, rather than the Gospel emphasis upon discipleship, loving our neighbor and service. ( I must say I am not sure I feel like I "groveling" when I get I am praying the new translation. I am made more aware of Majesty of God and what is happening right before eyes and in my hearing and in my senses. Further while the changes are most apparent in Eucharistic Prayer I has everything that this Priest seems to like about the other Eucharistic Prayers been done away with in the other Eucharistic prayers?)

Only antiquarians and Latin scholars (the people who made these changes) could love this turn of events. ( Actually I am hearing the person in the pew likes them) I would advise Catholic people to turn for spiritual nourishment to the hymns we sing, where they shall find the scriptures and contemporary spirituality more readily available. (OK PLAY THE LAUGH TRACK TIME ) . I don't think it's a secret but many people see modern Catholic music as a disaster. It is also not that easy to sing and often times just seems silly. This is not just some "Traditionalist viewpoint" . I have seen rather more progressive Episcopal and Presbyterian folks just shake their heads at hearing it. Say what you will about the recent theological bent of this faith communities but they did not replicate the modern disaster that is Catholic music.

The new texts are cumbersome, wordy and difficult to pray publicly. They shall not wear well, but look increasingly archaic with time, fostering the search for alternate prayers. Unfortunately, the silk purse of our expensive new Roman Missal contains, when opened up, alas, a sow's ear.
Father Kenneth Smits, Capuchin
Fond du Lac

I respectfully disagree. The Liturgical language has indeed returned to more traditional reserved Liturgical language. In fact it has returned in some places to a more scriptural correct translation. It might seem more "wordy" and more "cumbersome" because well it's new. It's is true that no translation is perfect but to continue to think that modern day Catholic music on the whole will provide solace is nonsense. I am not saying there is not some good tunes. But can we at least admit that ignoring the fact that many Catholics don't seem to take a joy in singing 90 percent of it is a problem.

Progressive Commonweal Magazine Supports Catholic Bishops Concerns on Birth Control Mandate

This is pretty good news. Again the issue is more than just contraception and I am glad to see the more "progressive" Commonweal sees that. Hopefully this will have some influence.

See the Op - Ed at An Illiberal Mandate

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Former Episcopal Bishop Jeffrey Steenson To Head New USA Anglo Catholic Ordinariate ?

According to this site and the comments it's a pretty much "open secret". See Ordinariate Buzz . Of course this should all go in the RUMOR department and I have no inside track. Still he seems like a likely name perhaps. Exciting times.

National Public Radio Reacts to Charges of Too Much Catholic Stuff on the Air

NPR reacts here to the complaints. See Is NPR Doing Too Many Stories About Catholicism? Now what to say about that? Well to be honest I am listening to more sports radio nowadays when NPR is on. So well shoot me for that perhaps not so great civic outlook.

However NPR is right there are a ton of Catholics. This struck me as weird though:

..So, I went back to look at the coverage. According to Elizabeth Allin of NPR's excellent library staff, here is how it broke down by religious category over the last 12 months on the news shows listed above:
Islam: 148

Christianity: 63
Judaism: 55
Catholicism: 39
Buddhism: 14
Mormonism: 12
Protestant: 6
Amish: 2
Hinduism: 1

( Note as the writer notes there might be some overlap in the Christianity , Catholic, and Protestant categories)

Now I am assuming NPR is putting most of the various Evangelical ,and Fundamentalist stories under Christianity and not "Protestant". However this leads to the other point. Hardly no stories on the mainline Protestants? 6 seems like a low number. Espcially compared to Judaism unless they are including everything related to Israel there.

When I have caught NPR most Catholic stories often have to deal with negative things. Like the sexual abuse crisis ( note no talk likely of Evangelical or Protestant sex abuse crisis) ,or the issue of women's rights and the always favorite Celibate and male only Priesthood issue.

Further add the controversies over SEX ( Same sex attraction, birth control , etc) and we see an often not very wide world Catholic view. Not saying this should not be covered. However from the listening I have done to NPR ,it seems these are the stories I catch. Though no doubt they had some that varied.

That is one reason I love the LITURGY stories. I do not recall if read the transcripts of these stories or not to see if there was predictable Liberal vs conservative talking point. However , though this has some controversy, lots of people do Liturgy and it's important to far more than just Catholics. Think Episcopalians, Lutheran, Eastern Orthodox, Eastern Catholic Churches etc to name the top ones. All of which I suspect have some listenership at NPR.

So I was thankful for the Liturgy focus. It actually talked about something many of do each week and was different from the " poor woman x cannot become a Priest" story that we have heard a million times.

Still the question remains about the mainline coverage. There are ton of controversies that are hot going on in the mainline Protestant congregations. I do wonder if there is a deficit there. Further the lack of any Orthodox or Eastern Christian stories are striking.

Hopefully someone with more time on their hands than I do will take a look at this more. The NPR stories might have been more varied on the Catholic Church than I caught. Again it would be nice for someone to look into that. However my reaction to the Liturgy stories was "Great- this actually personally affects me each week" and this was a nice change of pace

A Plea To Religious Progressives in Christian Century Magazine On Topic of USA Religious Liberty

I thought Prof Thomas Berg has a short, concise, well written plea to religious "Progressives" here. See Other people's freedom

Since Mr Berg is a lawyer and LAW PROF he is one of those people that can see the "big picture" and be concerned about certain precedents that are being established. Both the religious "right" and "left" both politically and theologically often have blind spots here.

Catholic Schools " Ban " Rainbows - What's The Matter With Rainbows ?

Question what does the above picture "represent "? Is it racism via the KKK , or a reference to a garment that is worn during a important Spanish Religious festival ?

As one tweet from a LBGT said the Catholic Church " bans refraction" Of course they have not but since this happened in Ontario Canada we can guess what this is about. We see here:

Catholic School Bans Rainbows
An Ontario Catholic school has gone one step further than Tennessee's idiotic "don't say gay" bill — they've banned rainbows.
According to
Xtra, St. Joseph Catholic Secondary School allowed its unofficial gay-straight alliance (official GSAs are banned) to hold an anti-homophobia event, but then prohibited all rainbow banners and posters. Said Leanne Iskander, founder of the unofficial group,
We brought signs and posters with rainbows and we were told that we can't put them up. They said rainbows are associated with Pride. There's so many other things that a rainbow could be. It's ridiculous.

The kids got around the ban by baking cupcakes with rainbow batter. But they still had to deal with lots of other limitations. Among other things their school banned:.......

Well I suppose it's true of course that there many things that could be linked with rainbows ,and I suspect rainbows have not been banned from science class. However that's not really the point is it. In the USA lets says a Court house put a giant Fish Symbol up. The ACLU would go that is an illegal endorsement of religion. The argument that a Fish can represent many other things would not fly.

Or what if a County building put a giant STAR up. Well stars can be associated with lots of things too but we all know what it represents this time of year. Does a display of the ten commandments on a State property represent an endorsement of religion or is it there just to represent part of the historical foundation of our law. These examples could go on and on.

Should the Catholic Church's Court of the Gentiles Dialogue Have More Atheists

An interesting article that also deals with the now passed on Christopher Hitchens. From Vatican Insider see When atheists are left outside the Court .

It's the Atheist Christmas Creche in the Wisconsin State Capitol ( Video )

Ann Althouse has a nice vid up this link The atheist creche in the Wisconsin Capitol rotunda. I will reproduce it here because the frame freezes on a part that might make you interested in clicking it. Be sure to go to ther site and read the comments.

Ann and husband take a look a the Christmas dislays in the Rotundua must of the time is focused on the Athiest one. I have to admit the Thou Shall not steal message was confusing but I get the humor there. What? you don't want us to take a brochure?

I agree with them that it's fairly well done. Though I do wonder why evolution is highlighted so much. Many Christians accept at least some form of evolution. In fact Charles Darwin saying we are all Africans is not really that controversal in Christian circles.

Monday, December 19, 2011

New Orleans Saint Owner Crucial To Renovated Catholic Youth Camp

A nice story here. I am glad to see the facility looks so good. See Restored Camp Abbey: A boon to young church

Italian Catholic Newspaper Columnist Slams Dutch Catholic Hierarchy Over Sexual Abuse

I think many of have been weighting for the other shoe to drop big time in the Dutch Catholic Church over the abuse scandal. See Dutch bishops blamed for “organising” paedophiles

It is very true that the scandal of sex abuse has shown up in the most Orthodox of Catholic areas. However as correctly pointed out by Benedict there were many factors that caused this to happen. One being a incredible attempted shift in sexual mores. The Dutch Catholic, that has been in practical rebellion from the Vatican for decades and decades, mirrors sadly the general society here. It will be curious to see what defenders of the Dutch Model have to say. I suspect they will blame the Vatican while of course they have promoted their viewpoint of "Church Governance for decades.

It should be noted that "abuse" in this report could be very wide. For instance abuse is also denoted in the report as unwanted sexual advances. The report mentions Priests, brothers, Nuns, and LAY people. How many lay people were involved I am not sure till I read the actual report in English. Another factor that will have to be looked at is the time period where the abuse occurred and if we saw a decrease in the latter years.

It's horrific but to have such numerous reports from this region is far from not being expected.

Should Famous Anti Catholic Political Cartoonist Thomas Nast Go In New Jersey Hall of Fame ( Links)

I have rather mixed feeling about this. Thomas Nast was of course one of America's most important political cartoon people in America History. He had a some good points, like being against slavery, and some rather bad points. Such has inciting fear of Catholics and immigrants through his work. Needless to say many people , including the Irish ,are not happy that he might be inducted in the New Jersey Hall of fame.

Ann Althouse links a short WSJ article on that gives the heads up before the rest goes behind their pay wall. See "He portrayed the Irish as drunken apes, and the image still remains today." As pointed "Uncle Sam" Santa Claus, and the symbols of both major U.S. political parties came from his talented pen.

I have to admit I am leaning more toward he should go in. While his cartoons against Catholics and immigrants were frightening ,I do get he was man of the time with all the limitations that brings. I also understand well these were the concerns and issues of the day. Nast was on the right side of things and very much on the wrong side of things too. However his influence in Americana , and political discussion should not be ignored.

A Possible Upside To One Of Newt Gringrich 's Judicial Ideas ?

Newts comments on the Judiciary have got some push back from the right. See Gingrich on Judicial Review via The Volokh Conspiracy and a rather aggressive article pushing back at Gingrich and the Constitutional Order

I am pretty much in the push back camp. Though over at Mirrors of Justice ( Catholic Legal Blog Site) on person makes the argument that at least as to one proposal this could be an useful way for the branches to "signal" each other. See The Signaling Function of Suggested or Threatened Impeachment. This seems to be based on the view that Impeachment of Judges is so hard to do that it would be rarely occur. That may be so and I suppose that has merit. But I am still in the skeptical camp. I think even bringing a charge of impeachment , even if unlikely to succeed , is a serious matter.

Another Women Priest's Article - This time New York

A rather badly "womenspriest" article out of New York. See Fighting Tradition, A Catholic Womanpriest Leads Mass in East Village

...But on the second Sunday of the month, a small group gathers at 175 E. 4th Street to celebrate a Catholic mass, creating a sanctuary by dragging chairs into a circle and setting up a makeshift alter. A woman, Gabriella Velardi-Ward, leads the celebration, which is part of a growing movement worldwide that's changing who can lead a Catholic church. ....

I am not sure how much this is "growing" and its seems to be a leap that it's "changing" anything.

Here are a few problems.
There is not real counter weight in the article to the "expert" that says women can be ordained. Further again there is no consideration to the Churches of the East in Communion with Rome or to the Second Lung of the Church the Eastern Orthodox.

Pope Benedict Visits Rome's Bigges Prison ( Full Text of Remarks)

The Pope Went to Rome's biggest prison on Sunday. Here is an overview plus full text of his remarks. Via Vatican Radio Pope Benedict to prisoners: I carry you all in my heart before the Lord

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Pope Benedict Is Going To Prison Tomorrow

Sorry all you wacko folks that clicked on this thinking the Pope has turned himself in for "Crimes against Humanity" that you want him charged with. That is not happening. But the Pope is going to jail though as we see from this article from Vatican Radio that is on this page.

Cardinal Martini once observed that a prison is “the reversed mirror of a society, the space where the contradictions and sufferings of a sick society emerge”: the troubles of prisoners and their relatives, the suffering of victims and their relatives, the problems of prison staff, the difficulties for the authorities – and the questions of legislators, who note how most of the problems that prison should be solving in fact remain unsolved, if not worsened.

The condition of a country’s prisons is, in short, one of the essential indicators of that country’s state of civilization. It is therefore natural for the Church to know it has to be present in prisons – and for Popes too – starting with John XXIII’s historic visit to Rome’s Regina Caeli prison on December 26th, 1958: a visit during which he spent a little time with the inmates and with those who share the burden of their incarceration. He listened to them and gave them a word of comfort.

It is no accident that this happens at Christmas time when we are more in need of stronger acts of solidarity and love. Concerns for the economic crisis must not be an excuse to forget the plight of those on the margins of society, much less a licence to be pitiless towards those who have done wrong: we can build a fairer and more reasonable society by starting with the least and the last of our fellows: by trying to reconcile and heal the deepest wounds. Let us remember the conditions of prisoners in different parts of the world.

At the end of the Synod for Africa, the Pope mentioned the terrible conditions of many African prisons and reasserted the commitment to fight the death penalty. For the Jubilee in 2000, John Paul II discreetly but clearly and insistently asked for “a gesture of clemency” towards prisoners. Has there been such a gesture, or are we still waiting for it?

Rick Santorum 's Major Problem

RON PAUL was on Jay Leno. See Ron Paul On Michele Bachmann: “She Hates Muslims” . This part struck me:

Paul also tagged former senator Rick Santorum with the same label. When Leno suggested all Santorum wants to do is “talk about gay people,” Paul added, “and Muslims.”

That Leno remark is telling. The other night during the debate Santorum actually got a economic question which was nice. There is not the former Senator is a social conservative and has strong opinions on gay marraige and abortion. But I suspect he is talking about other things.

Mike Huckabee was a STRONG social conservative. But he also had a strong economic message that people invoked strong reaction no matter if you liked it or not. Huckabee very much fought back against just being the abortion gay marriage morality guy. I can recall one debate when he jabbed at a debate questioner that he was just getting the Baptist Preacher questions. I mean he was a two term Governor for goodness sake. Rick has not been as aggressive as Huckabee in fighting from being put in a box. Therefore it appears to more people than just Leno that Rick is just focused on a couple of things. The sad fact is this is not the reality as one could see if you saw him on the campaign trail. However that is not getting into the news.

If he manages a good showing in Iowa he needs to correct this and quick,

What Obama and Newt Gringrich Have In Common

The New York Times has a nice article on Newt Gingrich and his conversion to the Catholic Faith. (On a Louisiana note on page two there is a interesting tidbit about who is backing him for President)

There are some things I don't like about the article. It's a tad too political leaning for my taste. I mean did the fact that Newt realize perhaps the wonderful gift the Eucharist was come into playu. For converts that often plays a major role. You know the whole Mass thing.

Newt's life has been messy no doubt as to moral matters. However so are most of our lives that manage to live beyond the age of 20. I notice the lines at confession at not exactly packed before Mass. I do wonder if many Catholic people that feel free to comment on how genuine his conversion is are in those lines on a regular basis.

What does this have to do with Obama. Well I have the same genuine unease when people call out Obama as being a fake Christian. How do you know? Can you get in his mind?

As to both Newt and Obama they of course SHOULD be called out when they are not acting in accordance with their Christian faith.. But the bipartisan Christian habit of calling people fake Christians needs to be handled with care. There are of course obvious examples of cultural Christians that act in everyday oppositon to their faith. As to Obama one could say he is for things that violate 2000 years of Christian tradition. However Obama came to his Christian faith is a somewhat Progressive Protestant Faith Community. Christ can still work there and call people personally.

Here is another point. For those that so publically call out Newt's and Obamas faith experince as fake , what if you are wrong. More importantly how is that going to go down when you face the ultimate judgment yourself. A point to consider.

Reality Time - Pope Benedict's Health Is In Decline

The Anchoress talks about something people like me want to deny. Pope Benedict is experiencing a health decline. See Tired Benedict Needs our Prayers. The comments of the Rabbi there are sort of a wake up call to reality.

I wonder if Pope Benedict sometimes has an angry conversation with God like all of us have at times. WHY ME? At 84 many people ( if they lucky to be alive) are enjoying retirement taking it easy and pursuing various interest. Pope Benedict on the other hand has the weight of the world on his shoulders while often being cast as a villain by some. It is amazing but respect for old people goes out the window as to the Pope.

It is incredible that Pope Benedict ,who in informed circles is credited with getting the Holy See involved in the sex abuse crisis finally, is the whipping boy for all our collective Catholic flock Church's sins. But I suppose that goes with the job, and that will be the state of affairs till his last dying breath. I cannot comprehend being in that position. Talk about how prayer and Grace can sustain a person

I don't expect Pope Benedict to die soon. However I think Catholics should prepare themselves for a much more less aggressive Papacy in public. I don't think we are going to see any new major initiatives from the Pope. Which is fine because there are MAJOR things on his plate right now. Two of which are the New Evangelization and of course the Anglo Catholic Ordinariate. Further he will still be picking outstanding Bishops and Cardinals . We also it appears will have the benefit of his mind and writings.

I feel more connected to Pope Benedict than John Paul the II. Largely because when he writes on subjects I get it. I suppose that is the University Prof in him.

We are all mortal and of course the Pope is not the entire Catholic Church by any means. However I do have some sadness over this.

Friday, December 16, 2011

When Christopher Hitchens Came To Alabama -R.I.P

I am sadden by the death of Christopher Hitchens.

There seems to be quite an outpouring of Christian grief , celebration of life, and hope he made it. In some ways this would appear strange. This is quite different from the death of atheist journalist Oriana Fallaci who died in 2007. Oriana much beloved by Christians and Catholics was an athiest to the end but she recognized the importance and good in Christianity. See The deathbed friendship between a bishop and an atheist.

Hitchens on the other hand never had such an open view. Still people respect folks that buck convention and have sincerity and he was that.

I hope like this Southern Baptist Theologian does that Hitchens made it to Heaven. See Christopher Hitchens Might Be in Heaven. Though as a Catholic I am banking much more on the process of purgatory and thus will pray for his soul. That is the least I can do. It might be futile and I shall not know till dead but there is hope.

The Anchoress has a great post and much of links up ar Christopher Hitchens: A Singular Voice Silenced

However the first image thing that came to mind to was his Southern USA tour this morning. I followed that with some great interest as he toured the Bible Belt at times giving encouragement to Dixie Athiest and non believers which was covered by the local press.

Catholic Amy Wellborn had a good post on his visit to Birminghan Alabama. See Pity The Neanderthals!. For whatever reason since I read the piece this image of Hitchens is the first to come to mind and brings a smile to my face. She writes:

..I watched Hitchens sign books for a while – until I spotted Noah Lett of EWTN in the crowd and went to talk to him. It was pretty entertaining, in an awkward way, to watch the Super Friendly Southern Atheists who were so happy to see Hitchens come around the table to have their pictures taken , fling their arms around him without asking him if it was okay, give him big old hugs, and put their faces right next to his. His expression was so pained – and I don’t think it was the cancer....

I wonder how much of that cultural difference perhaps "pain" Hitchens had to endure on his trips down South

Catholics Talk Ron Paul and Iran ( GOP DEBATE )

I might have some thoughts on the big GOP debate last night. It has been my position we have had way too many , but last night's debate was important.

Ron Paul had a good show , but I think many people are right when they say his Iran view is not a vote getter.

The more progressive Vox Nova blog had a post on this morning. See Debating a Nuclear Iran.

Here are my thoughts.

First, I don't think anyone in the GOP envisions a war with Iran. What seems to be the issue is taking out the nuclear related sites. This would of course involve some major air power. It also might involve some quick insertion of forces to make sure they are wiped out. In other words an Iraq like regime change is not something I see most wanting. A good debate can be had if it this limited strike could be contained ,but that is what is being proposed.

Second, a nuclear armed Iran is unthinkable to me. I think many forget or perhaps were not around when the Cold War was hot. If Iran gets a nuclear bomb a arms race will occur in the Middle East. If Iran gets the bomb well here come Saudi and others. If you thought M.A.D. (Mutually Assured Destruction) was a bad idea then prepare to think M.A.D is insane when this finishes up.

Third, a nuclear armed Iran will mean much more of American physical military footprint in the Middle East. One reason I am uneasy with the massive withdrawal from Iraq of U.S. Forces relates to this. Nuclear weapons are political weapon often. However part of that is to make sure you have conventional forces on the ground so they do not become part of the prime offensive plan. Troops and battles give us time before other unthinkable options are considered. This is why the USA had so many troops and assets in Germany and the U.S.S.R had so many assets just miles away.

If you don't like the fact that there is such a heavy military footprint in the area prepare for more. Which by the way will cost money.

Fourth, Israel cannot likely do the job. We know that many Middle Eastern Countries have no objection to us taking out the sites. In fact many are pleading with us to do so. I think the intelligence we have seen indicates that. In fact it appears they will even cooperate with dreaded Israel to do it. I am wary of the idea they can accomplish it. I also am not thrilled if Israel is the one that does it what that means for tensions in the area.

In the end I think there is a considerable likelihood that Obama himself might pull the trigger. It all depends how close they are to reaching their Nuclear Weapon Dreams.

Christians Wage Holy War With Each Other Over War On Christmas

Christians appear to be having a war over the war over Christmas it seems. This also partly related to the dreaded "commercialism" of Christmas. I am not saying commercialism is not a problem. However I am still with Ann Rice on this one as she writes in her book Called Out of Darkness:

... Even Christmas shopping was part of this festive and holy time of year. For me, it was a matter of roaming five -and-dime stores on Canal Street for the simple little presents I could afford. But I well remember the Christmas carols paying in every store I entered, and the gorgeous Christmas windows of the fine stores, Maison Blanche and D.H. Holmes.

It seems to me in retrospect that the department stores and the dime stores did and excellent job of extending the "sacred space" of Christmas those days. And I sometimes wonder whether people of no religion, this might have been the only sacred space they knew. When people rail now against the "commercial nature of Christmas, I'm always conflicted and unable to respond. Because I think those who would banish commercialism from the holiday fail to understand how precious and comforting the shop displays and music can be. (Pages 96-97).

Also complaints about the commercialism of Christmas seems as much as a tradition as Black Friday. I think many of the complaints are valid , but I am sort of put off the often looking down my nose at all of yall tone that comes with it.

Returning to the War between Christians over the War over Christmas , Mirrors of Justice had a good post. See The War on Christmas Revisited.

In that piece the author of the post examines what Jim Wallis has to say. Wallis States:

Jesus later calls on his disciples to turn the other cheek, practice humility, walk the extra mile, put away their swords, love their neighbors — and even their enemies — and says that in his kingdom, it is the peacemakers who will be called the children of God. Christ will end our warring ways, bringing reconciliation to God and to one another.None of that has anything to do with the Fox News Christmas. In fact, quite the opposite.Making sure that shopping malls and stores greet their customers with “Merry Christmas” is entirely irrelevant to the meaning of the Incarnation. In reality it is the consumer frenzy of Christmas shopping that is the real affront and threat to the season.

Prof Berg makes a good observation:

.....I'm basically sympathetic to [Wallis's] kind of critique. Isn't it true that many of the "keep America Christian" efforts seem to be motivated more by the idea of retaining (cultural) power than the idea of pursuing Christ-like servanthood?

But there's a big potential pitfall in this criticism too. The culture warriors may often overlook servanthood, but they are right to oppose secularism -- and the social-justice Christians need that opposition to secularism in order for there to be public space for their own critique. If it's improper to bring up Jesus's name in pluralistic public settings (including department stores), then you can't proclaim, "Jesus came to bring good news to the poor and oppressed," in those settings. The social-justice types need to give one cheer, maybe two, for the culture warriors.

I think that is very correct. No matter what your political/ theological Christian bent is on these issues it seems many Christians could find a common ground. That is those Christians that have a practice and LIVE a Liturgical year - ADVENT / CHRISTMAS TIME.

For Catholics, Orthoodx, Anglicans etc this seems to be a wonderful time to press it. Many of the concerns of the commercialism of Christmas can be mitigated by really "living out this salavation history, through that and promoting it.

Do the Brad Wing and Les Clap - LSU Championship Game Video

Oh too fun!! Do the Brad Wing Do the Les Clap Geaux Tigers

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Strange Family Christmas Card Of The Day

Lets lighten the mood. I am sure there is some plausible explanation for this Christmas Card. Perhaps they own a taxidermy business.

In Minnesota A University Business School Lecturer Not Hired Because of Views On Same Sex Marriage?

It seems when I do a post on a same sex attraction issue that a couple of major stories dealing with it come up on the same day. Thus I blog on them and it looks like I am talking gay marriage all the time. Which I am not on this blog. Regardless on a very important legal blog we see something of note.

The Volokh Conspiracy has a post up on something that might be rather big news on the internets soon. See Hiring [a Lecturer] Stridently Opposed to Gay Rights Goes Against the [University’s] Ethic of Nondiscrimination”

Now there is a huge caveat here. As Eugene Volokh points out there are a lot of ifs in this story that we are unclear on. I suspect that might be ignored by many. In fact its not clear to be if has been hired or was hired and now it has been rescinded.

Still I think it's something to watch and be concerned about.

States Rights and Slavery Make Another Appearance Again in Same Sex Attraction Debates

Well the bigot / slavery talking point makes another appearance. Last week it was important Lutheran Bishop and this week it's an important commentator on all things Episcopal Church USA.


MCJ I think properly tears this apart but let me offer a few comments. First the text in question. The Bolding in mine.

It can’t be said often enough, that most of the members of the Anglican Church in North America left the Episcopal Church because they could not abide its teachings on same-sex relationships, and chose to join a movement led by Akinola, whose opinions on such matters were apparently more to their liking. Anti-gay bigotry is deep in ACNA’s bones, and no amount of obfuscation from its apologists who would have you believe that their dispute with the Episcopal Church is all about scriptural interpretation can camouflage that fact. “Scriptural authority” is to the debate over sexuality as “states’ rights” was to the debate over slavery.

Well Well Well .

First let me say I am not sure that the Anglican Church in North America got "most" of their members because of the various same sex relationship issues. The Wikipedia page for the Church correctly points out this is one factor. However as you read on the Anglican Church In North America was formed from much earlier formed Anglican communities. Least of which is the Reformed Episcopal Church

So I am not sure Mr Naughton is being entirely accurate here though I do plead some ignorance of all the details of the founding Churches.

Getting to the point, we have now for some time reached the depressing stage as to the discussion of this issue. We are now at the bigoted phase in this theological discussion which seems as low as you go. I guess those that argue scripture in Catholics , Eastern Churches in communion with Rome, the Eastern Orthodox, Copts , etc circles are all bigots too. Or if more too your liking "State Rights" slave holders.

Scripture and theology also rarely operate in isolation. For instance if the Jim Naughton position is correct, we can pretty much throw huge parts of John Paul the II 's Theology of the Body. In fact we might have got a good bit of Sacramental Theology wrong to boot too. And that is just getting started.

In other words the stakes here are high.

Most Episcopalians I know that oppose for instance same sex marriagedo not shun the friendship of people that have same sex attraction. In fact I think they would be be glad if this theological , scriptural, traditional "problem" was off their shoulders. But as faithful Christians they cannot take that route. They can and do treat people with same sex attraction with love and respect. However there are some places they cannot go.

I am reminded of the recent words of the Archbishop of New York which while Catholic the parts I BOLDED I think arerelevant to the Anglicans :

The headline was so familiar: Yet another group was “challenging the Vatican” on something, this time, on upholding the timeless teaching of the Church that only men are called to the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

One can’t really find too much fault with the content of the article, namely that some small groups in North America, Austria, and Australia, the usual lineup, are protesting this particular teaching of the Church.

What one does find frustrating is the tenor of the headline and the article that “the Vatican” has these bizarre, outmoded, oppressive “policies” that need to be “revised” so that such “guidelines of Rome” are brought more in line with enlightened thinking of today.

One would think that leaders in “the Vatican” occasionally meet to decide what “rules” they should issue or reinforce today, or what changes in procedure they should introduce to guarantee that the Church is more relevant.

While this seems to be the presumption of most people who attempt to report on the Church, it is, indeed, a presumption that is invalid.
“The Vatican” is a plot of ground the size of an eighteen-hole golf course on the banks of the Tiber River in Rome. It happens also to be the home of the successor to the man buried on this acreage under the splendid basilica which bears his name, St. Peter’s.

These 108 acres, “the Vatican” have absolutely no authority at all to alter the teaching of the Church. Its sacred duty, rather, is to preserve and hand on the deposit of faith we have received from revelation, from the Bible, from Jesus, from His apostles.

So, to imply that the Successor of St. Peter, Pope Benedict XVI, and his closest aides regularly meet as some political entity to read the latest poll and “change Church policy,” like that of ordaining only men, is silly.

Call it whatever you went — “the Vatican,” “Rome,” “the Pope,” “the Holy See,” “the Magisterium” — whatever you call it, it does not “make up,” “change,” or “issue” new doctrines. It inherits them, receives them, “handed on” (from the Latin word tradiitio,) by Tradition.
Yes, it may rethink how the truth entrusted to it might be better explained, or more credibly presented, or expressed in a more contemporary way

Yes, it might become concerned when it’s clear that a good chunk of people no longer follow a particular teaching or moral precept.

But it does not then call a meeting and vote whether or not to change the teaching.
At times it – “the Vatican,” “Rome,” “the Pope,” “the Holy See,” “the Magisterium” — might even wish it could change certain teachings. For instance, I would wager most bishops, priests, deacons, pastoral leaders, and maybe even the Holy Father himself has, at one time or another wished the Church could alter the teaching of Jesus that marriage is forever, and that one cannot break that sacred bond asunder.
But it can’t, because it didn’t make up the teaching to begin with.

So, plug in whatever word you want in the boilerplate headline: “Group Challenges Vatican on its Policy of __________________” — abortion, marriage, euthanasia, lying, stealing, artificial contraception, sexual acts outside of marriage, ordination of women — fill in the “flavor of the day,” but the headline is still inaccurate: these are not “policies” decided by some person in the Vatican; these are not “bans” put out by some committee. These are doctrines, timeless teachings not ours to alter.

It sometimes seems as if many view the Church as a political institution, with a new pope or new bishop able to set out his own positions and priorities the way an incoming president or governor would. Back in 2009, for instance, when I was appointed Archbishop of New York, I was asked by a reporter how my “policy” on gay “marriage” would differ from the “policy” of Cardinal Egan. I tried to explain, as gently as I could, that the responsibility of any bishop is to clearly and charitably articulate the teaching of the Church, not to establish “policy” on which teaching he will follow and which teaching he will change.

To be clear, yes, the Church does have some “policies” that can be changed, for instance, abstinence of meat on Friday, fasting from food before Holy Communion, or even priestly celibacy. These indeed are part of the Church’s discipline — still not to be dismissed lightly — and can be modified, and there are so many other areas of pastoral strategy where we need vigorous discussion and fresh ideas.

But, sorry, not in the area of doctrine, not part of the Church’s received Tradition. Some might protest, take out ads, have yet another meeting. Go ahead. But, they should at least be accurate: don’t blame “the Vatican” for doctrines you don’t like. Blame Revelation, the Bible, Jesus, and Sacred Tradition. “The Vatican” does not “make-up” teaching, but only passes it on.
In the end, of course, our challenge is not to change the teachings of Jesus and His Church to conform to our whims, but to change our lives to conform to His teaching.
That’s a headline you won’t see

Sister Wives and Tolerant Democrats and Liberals ( Update )

UPDATE- The New Republic link is corrected

Louisiana blogger the weary blues has an interesting post that has food for thought at Why There is No War on Sister Wives . I keep needing to add his blog on the side bar.

He is also one of the Louisiana liberals I follow on the twitter. Plus he is from Northwest Louisiana that is too barren on the left and right as to social media commentary on politics.

I was going to comment on this his comment section but realized it would be too wordy there. First lets me engage the main piece he quotes . The theme here it appears how Democrats/ Liberals are so above all this use of bigotry and fear tactics versus their opponents. Well I somewhat beg to differ.

... I understand that a lot of Democrats (e.g., some in the gay community) feel like the Mormons are trying to oppress them and are very willing to fight back with tough language. I sympathize. I do. But even Democrats who fight back against Mormons do so with mockery and snark, not with incitement to fear. Even when Howie Klein, in the above cited piece, cites some history to show that the Mormons have been interested in winning the White House ever since Joseph Smith ran for the White House, he doesn’t say “egads, the Mormons are all out to get you and turn this country into a theocracy.” ...

Except well that is not quite true. I mean look at this piece that ran in the NYT by Harold Bloom that left the folks at Get Religion aghast. See Harold Bloom, Mormons and spleen-venting

The New Republic said "Granted, Harold Bloom's ruminations on Mormonism deep in the Sunday Times are likely not to register much in the South Carolina GOP primary. But the piece is worth reading in full"

So as to the left I say this occurs a little bit more than might wish to admit. Returning to the piece?

...But, you know, we could make that argument. We could treat Mormons exactly the way that the Republicans treat Muslims. We could forget all about Mitt Romney's record and his ever-changing positions on the issues, and we could demonize his religion. We could pick it apart and make it seem silly. We could make it seem incredibly sinister. The whole left-leaning media world could get on board to one degree or another in pushing that narrative. We could even add in a little hysteria to mirror the right's hysteria about Latino immigration. We could point out that Mormons are outbreeding the rest of us and they'll only need a couple more centuries to become the majority in this country.

We could do these things, but we don't, and we won't. And that's because we actually believe in a few things that are more important than winning. We won't just say anything that can instill fear in people in order to manipulate them. We won't make naked appeals to tribal/racial/sectarian feelings. We won't step all over the spirit of the First Amendment and Article VI, paragraph 3 of the Constitution...

A few words on this. I actually agree the way some Republicans and conservatives treat Muslims and how they deal with the thorny immigration reform issue is counterproductive. Of course many leading Republicans say the same thing. See his Satanic Majesty himself on Muslims that being Grover Norquist ( the most powerful man in the GOP as they say) .

As to Latino's see Senator Marc Rubio's recent comments and the messy immigration reform issue see here.

The party is diverse though ,and there is push back on this. Of course those voices rarely get on the radio or TV. As to many there is sort of double standard too. I have seen and heard some rather harsh rethoric on the Democrat side ( and Unions) as to Muslims. The Democratic party had no problem pushing the envelope as to Muslims to make sure Bush 's Dubai Port Deal went down in flames.

...We won't just say anything that can instill fear in people in order to manipulate them. We won't make naked appeals to tribal/racial/sectarian feelings. We won't step all over the spirit of the First Amendment and Article VI, paragraph 3 of the Constitution....

Well let me say I disagree. We see quite naked appeals to fear of Evangelical Christians, the Catholic Church , and other assorted folks. In fact perhaps this Rabbi was actually affected by that fear ,and what he was hearing when he wrote that absurd column. See my post from today Jewish Rabbi's Bigoted Piece on Tebow and American Christians .

As to the Catholic Church ,we have seen quite an uptick in some very nasty language and appeals to tribal and sectarian feeling in the last few months.

This largely revolves around certain religious liberty issues that are in play. I cringe at some of the things my fellow Republicans say as to Muslims on twitter and other social media. But on the Catholic issue it does not take 5 seconds for people to be twittering how the Church is evil and most Priests rape little boys when these political issues are discussed . This is mainly coming from liberals. Does this represent all Liberals? Well of course not. Just like obnoxious rants about Muslims do not perhaps represent all conservatives.

For instance when have you heard about how many Southern Baptists Leaders defend the rights to build Mosque ,or the defense of Muslim rights from prominent members of the "right"? Robert George being an example of that.

Well enough of him. Lets return to the far more interesting comments of the Louisiana blogger as to this article and the show SISTER WIVES.

There’s not a “war” on Mormonism for a few reasons. Most American conservatives have no clue what Mormons believe. Also, there’s a reason the Florida Family Association hasn’t called for advertisers to dump TLC’s Sister Wives as they have All-American Muslim, a show on the same network: the family depicted on Sister Wives still fits the white, heterosexual family mold.

I think conservatives objections to Mormons are overblown but I think there is at least some "skirmish" going on .

A few thoughts about the FLORIDA FAMILY ASSOCIATION. What do I think of them? Not much.

It has all the hallmarks of a political money making scam operation that is so everywhere on the left and right.

You are bombarded by emails ,and direct mail asking PLEADING IN FACT to send them 20 dollars to save the Republic. They then proceed their mailing list to other groups and process the money through a business they own or their friends own. You will find an amazing amount of these groups have people on each other boards. It's a racket. You will find 90 percent of the money does not go to the "cause", but to promote the political organization to send more direct mail asking for more money.

As Get Religion noted the other day at their piece In Lowe’s ‘backlash,’ a fair hearing? , the organization has a WHOPPING one paid employee. Guess who that is.

The fact that Lowe fell for this is distressing on several fronts. One reason being it enables this scam to continue.

However why are there no conservative Christian protest against Sister Wives.

Well heck if you are one these groups why would you oppose it. It gives the impression of LOOK THIS IS WHAT REAL MORMONS are like.

The people that probably wish this show would fall off the face of the earth is the Church of the Latter Day Saints . ALso I am not sure typical white hetrosexual this show is. Lets face it the show partly sells because of the sexual tension that is in episodes. Also many Conservatives and anti Mormons correctly point out that this lifestyle is maintained by a nice supply of Goverment entitlements that are taken advantage of.

The fact is the use of going to lowest common denominator is done on both sides.

I tried to make this point at Why A Partisan Political War Against the Catholic Church Is Bad Civics and espcially at my post Ms Magazine, Anti Sharia Laws, Catholic Bishops and The Contraception Issue Has Common Theme .

I am not saying there is a problem that should not be spoke out against. But I do say it's a tad more bipartisan than each side thinks.