Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Does the State Use of Religious Symbols Really Insult Believers ?

Over at Mirrors of Justice legal scholar Marc DeGirolami has a post up that is timely because of certain matters before  our Court.  He engages one of the arguments that people sometimes use in arguing against the Government use of religious symbols at times.  That is that such a use insults believers  themselves .

See On the Insulting Claim That Religious Displays Are Insulting .

Sunday, October 27, 2013

How I Became A Homophobe

I find it interesting because I oppose gay marriage  I have become a supposed  hater of those that have various degrees of same sex attraction.

Growing up as a young straight man  in rural north Louisiana interested in art , politics , and just general conversation about people that were just NOT LIKE ME I actually had a good many gay friends.In my friendships with gay men there was never a demand I embrace what they did in their private lives.

We just enjoyed each others friendship.Also not only did I enjoy their friendship I was quite public about how some demeaned them was wrong . However in just a few short years because I don't embrace same sex marriage I am called a HATER.

 I just shake my head at this.

I am still of the opinion that no matter if you are religious or not that the shifting of WHAT MARRIAGE is and who can be part of it is a rather big deal.

Opponents of gay marriage say if we have gay marriage what is next ! Sex with animals or multiple marriage ?

 Now I always thought the sex with animals was going a tad too far. Heck with PETA etc how can a animal ever give their willful consent. However when I mentioned polygamy as perhaps a natural consequence of gay marriage I get yelled down as a HATER !

I always thought that was strange since unlike gay marriage Polygamy actually has a long history of being acceptable in society.

Now it appears via CNN that heck you haters whats the matter with Polygamy! See at Mirrors of Justice this post  "Loving, committed multiple partner families"

Thursday, October 24, 2013

In Georgia The Cradle of Catholicism in the American South Put on Historical “ Places in Peril ” list

Oh this is disheartening but hopefully the word will get out to protect this historical Catholic , American , and Georgia history .See the story and the interesting history of this Church here.

Louisiana Court Rules Catholic Priest Not Mandatory Reporter For Sexual Abuse Via What Heard During Confession

There are actually two interesting issues the Louisiana 3d Circuit Court of Appeals rules on here.

First is the issue if a priest is mandatory reporter of sexual abuse under Louisiana law for matters he hears in a Confessional ( or for that matter in other confidential traditional clergy / layperson venues )  .

The court in Parents of Minor Child v. Charlet, (LA App., Oct. 21, 2013) basically answers the Priest is not an mandatory reporter in this situation and thus in this case there was not private or civil right of action for a failure to report.

The case involved  a now deceased  funeral home owner ( the alleged abuser ) , a minor child and her parents , the priest , and the Diocese of Baton Rouge.  Religion Clause took note of the case here.

The full opinion is here and is worth reading . The Concurrence is interesting because there is a lot of history that goes into the first time such a issue was heard in the United States ( way back in 1813 ) .

Of added significance was the other cause of action the Plaintiffs brought that that court also threw out. That is a alleged tort of " negligent advice " that the plantiffs allege was given to the child during the confession.The Court pretty much affirmed they were not going there and failed to recognize any sort of Tort for malpractice on bad spiritual advice.  Thus the case against the Priest and the Diocese of Baton Rouge was thrown out for no cause of action on both grounds.

Pope Francis and Russell Moore Both Misunderstood - Southern Baptist and Politics

After following Pope Francis and now the new  Southern Baptist version of the Vatican Secretary of State  that being Russell Moore I think there is some similar media misunderstanding about them.

Mark Silk ( in a piece I will comment more on hopefully in another post ) almost  I think gets both men to a certain degree  in his piece Is the culture war over?

... If Land is hoping for Spitfires to reverse the tide, he knows he’s not got one in his successor Russell Moore, who is urging church leaders to be ”winsome, kind and empathetic.” Winsome is not a word that leaped to mind when Land was in the saddle. Moore’s approach, like Pope Francis’, is geared toward relating to the wide world as a friendly interlocutor. Francis meets with atheist editors. Moore has coffee with pro-gay pastors....

Both men represent a change in tone and tactics perhaps. Moore of course represents a real generational change more than Pope Francis . . Both want to preach the Good News to the sinner , and will find common ground with many.

 However both men are no idiots as to real world politics. So I expect there will be needed spitfire moments. Some of those huge spitfire moments we shall be having with Russell Moore is on the topic of religious liberty which is the Southern Baptist DNA . I suspect we are going to find that those that bemoan the culture war will not see themselves as aggressors when we dealing with several huge religious liberty flashpoints coming up.

Regardless I bring this up because Russell Moore comments on a rather  good article on him but with a rather bad headline. The headline perhaps goes to show the misunderstanding that those just have given a fleeting glance to Moore ( as we have seen with Francis ) have. See his piece Should We Pull Back from Politics?

New Orleans Social Justice Group Respond to The Gambit's Puff Piece On Planned Parenthood

However there has been a response from NOLA need Peace . See 'NOLA Needs Peace' coalition responds to Gambit's cover story on Planned Parenthood d-parenthood

Head of Congregation For The Doctrine of The Faith On Why Catholic Teaching on Divorce Not Changing

The head of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith pretty much came to the defense of the Catholic Church's teaching on divorce , remarriage , and communion in the Vatican newspaper. Since this was in the Vatican newspaper this is a pretty big deal. Every time there is a new Pope there is some talk that " things " will change. Archbishop Muller basically points out why things can't change.

 Here are the top 13 quotes from the piece that are complied here at Archbishop Müller’s Defense of the Church’s Teachings On Divorce, Remarriage, and the Eucharist The prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith draws from the teachings of Jesus, the Church Fathers, ecumenical councils, and recent popes.

Here is just one them :

3) The early Church fathers understood Jesus’ teaching on the indissolubility of marriage as binding and rejected divorce laws. “The Church Fathers and Councils provide important testimony regarding the way the Church’s position evolved. For the Fathers, the biblical precepts on the subject are binding. They reject the State’s divorce laws as incompatible with the teaching of Jesus. The Church of the Fathers rejected divorce and remarriage, and did so out of obedience to the Gospel. On this question, the Fathers’ testimony is unanimous.

Of course that is a rather big deal !

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Is Pope Francis Taking The State of Florida By Storm ?

That is the assertion of an interesting article by Vatican Insider . See Bergoglio wins over Florida’s Hispanics

I certainty hope this is true. The article does contain a rather wrong Argentinean American Catholic stat. Also the evidence that is presented is rather anecdotal . Still people smell something is going on so I am hoping this a very true trend of a deepening Catholicism in the area.

Wall Street Journal Highlights Southern Baptist Political and Ethics Head - Russell Moore

As I have repeatedly said I am a pretty big fan of his . Nice profile here at Evangelical Leader Preaches Pullback From Politics, Culture Wars

I am not sure how much of a ' pullback " from politics there will be. I think a good bit will deal with the tone and strategy .

The Catholic Theological Society of America Has a " Conservative " Problem

Julie Hanlon Rubio who is is Associate Professor of Christian Ethics at St. Louis University has an important post over at Catholic Moral Theology on some recent news . See CTSA to Theologians: Embrace Your Conservative Colleagues

It appears the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA) realizes they have a conservative problem. That is they CTSA has not been very embracing of them . She goes into this at her post.

First it is striking that this is  still the situation after even the Pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict.

Further this is a worrisome sign as perhaps  to what goes on in the world of Catholic theological academia as to hiring , tenure , and who and what might be getting published.

However on the bright side side it appears they realized they have a problem and might be taking steps to correct it.

Why Is Catholic Phillip Rivers Viewed as An Catholic Weirdo ?

Mollie Hemingway takes a look at some of the the attitudes toward the San Diego Quarterback and the amount of children he is having . See Fecundophobia: The Growing Fear Of Children And Fertile Women .

She mentions right off the bat he is actually not the only NFL player that has a lot of kids but perhaps he is a tad strange since he has had them all with his own wife . I would also add that fact that he and his wife have made the choice to a considerable amount of their income not on material things but CHILDREN also gives us some discomfort.

Molly goes into some deeper reasons of culture and media why this is happening.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Note On Blog Postings

Blog Posting should return to at least a post a day if not more. I go through some phases where I just take a break from the news and we see just 3 or 4 post a week. I suspect I will be having far more than just a one post a day too.  So check back starting today .

Friday, October 11, 2013

Wearing a Cassock Or Having Nice Vestments Is Not Clericalism.

I am so glad Father Duffy responded to this article . See Titles and Cassocks and Vestments, oh my!

I never quite get the attitude that tries to lump all sort of things into Clericalism . It does not seem the Lutherans or the Episcopalians have this discussion as much as we do  and for that matter in the non Latin Rite part of the Catholic Church. 

Does Pope Francis Have A Loyal Son Versus Prodigal Son Problem ?

As always Friday brings the treat of the weekly John Allen column. See Francis' 'older son' problem; red herrings; and pingpong on financial reform This one is very good.  He talk about several matters " Vatican " but the lead part of this story is what will get people talking.

If a Las Vegas casino had opened a betting line eight months ago on the likelihood that within a year the most popular figure on the planet would be the pope, one has to imagine the odds would have been awfully long. Yet that's basically today's situation, as Francis continues to garner acclaim and admiration from almost every quarter, most recently for a moving Oct. 4 visit to Assisi and for confirming his desire to reach out to divorced and remarried Catholics by announcing a Synod of Bishops in October 2014 dedicated to the family and marriage. 

The "almost" in that sentence, however, is important because while Francis remains a smash hit overall, he's also got a budding "older son" problem. The reference is to the parable of the prodigal son, a template many observers are now applying to Catholic reaction to the new pope.

Over his first eight months, Francis basically has killed the fatted calf for the prodigal sons and daughters of the post-modern world, reaching out to gays, women, nonbelievers, and virtually every other constituency inside and outside the church that has felt alienated. 

There are an awful lot of such prodigals, of course, which helps explain the pope's massive appeal. et there are also a few Catholics today who feel a bit like the story's older son, wondering if what they've always understood as their loyalty to the church, and to the papacy, is being under-valued. One can spot at least three such groups:

 -Some Vatican personnel who have tried to do their best over the years in service to the successor of Peter and who may feel a bit demoralized hearing the pope describe their work environment as infested with careerism, "Vatican-centrism," and the "leprosy" of a royal court. 

-Some pro-life Catholics who feel like they've carried water for the church on controversial and sometimes unpopular issues such as abortion and gay marriage and who now get the sense the pope regards some of their efforts as misplaced or over the top. 

- Some evangelical Catholics, both clergy and laity, who've tried to reassert a strong sense of Catholic identity against forces they believe want to play it down, who now feel the pope may be pulling the rug out from under them. Some leaders in the reborn genre of Catholic apologetics, for instance, weren't thrilled recently to hear Francis call proselytism "solemn nonsense."

 For the moment, whether those perceptions are justified, and to what extent, isn't really the point. They're out there, and people with their ear to the ground in these circles seem worried about it. .....

Allen goes on in his excellent article too look at this in some detail and also I think makes some points that the " older son " in the end should not be too worried. Again read it all.

In many ways I think the " older son " has been trying very well to embrace the Pope's message. However I think they fear the weariness and fatigue of not only being under fire by the culture but also having to explain some Papal remarks in the context the Pope meant them be no doubt .

I am generally positive like Allen that the Pope is astute enough to deal with some of this discomfort. Part of this is just the Pope growing into the job and getting a more world wide view of what is going on in my opinion

Thursday, October 3, 2013

U.S Navy Priest Chaplain From Experience Talks About Field Hospitals and The Pope Francis Vision

Fr. Cusick is in Alaska for a couple of weeks training as a reservist Navy Chaplain and saying Mass for the Souls.

I took some interest when Luke Coppen of the UK Catholic Herald was asking around for anyone that had served in a field hospital. This was of course in reference to the Pope Francis comments that the Church must serve as a field hospital.

I was happy to seen then see  that someone has  responded.

That is Fr Kevin M Cusick is a US Navy chaplain. Fr Cusick also besides his Naval duties is pastor at this beautiful little Church in Benedict Maryland . It is also ( and I got a chuckle out of this ) where you can participate every Sunday at 11 A.M. in a Catholic Mass Reenactment at Site of Maryland War of 1812 Invasion just like it was done then .

Father Cusick has great experience in field hospitals as to the Battlefield. He talks about what an actual field hospital is like. Then then links that to the vision of Pope Francis which also includes what we and our must parishes must do. 

See from the U.K. Catholic Herald This is what it’s like to work in a field hospital A US Navy chaplain recounts his experiences in Afghanistan, Iraq and other theatres of war 

An Emperor Has No Clothes Moment For Christian Activist & Evangelist Jim Wallis

First let me say I don't doubt Jim Wallis sincere Christian Faith. I was very impressed with him in a debate he had with " conservative " Southern Baptist Al Molher a few years back .

Still sincerity and the love to spread the Gospel does not all at times prevent one from being wrong or perhaps being the the rear end of a donkey.

The Government shutdown has Jim Wallis out there a good bit this week. I had some substantial disagreement with his a use of Romans 13 and our current political situation in which voice via a tweet.

However Preacher “civility” really really is upset about some political folks and the GOP in particular  and well we have seen this dog and pony show before. This is shown in a new You Tube video.

First Things has a post calling a good bit of out at It’s Not Theology, It’s Ideology This was followed up by stinging but I think appropriate rebuke on another matter . See . . . It’s Also Uncivil .

The First Amendment Is Hard For Culture Moral Enforcers On Right and Left ( Disturbing Survey )

Imagine this Facebook posting by a doctor :

“I saw this homosexual patient who came in complaining of dysuria and wants me to help. Well … that’s what you get for being gay. I really don’t feel any compassion for these people — they don’t deserve antibiotics, they need to change their behaviors.”

 I can well imagine many on the " left  "would be demanding investigations and censures and a possible loss of license.

Now imagine this Facebook posting from a  psychiatrist  :

I saw this fundamentalist Christian patient who came in complaining of depression because his son is gay, and he kept talking to me about how the son is going to burn in Hell and how much that upsets him. I really don’t feel any compassion for these people — they don’t deserve antidepressants, they just need to abandon their medieval so-called ‘morality.’”

 I can equally imagine many on the " right" would storm social media demanding investigations, censure, and perhaps loss of his license."

If both cases pundits would be outraged but I suspect little thought to the First Amendment.

Eugene Volokh looks a this at Could Doctors’ Public Condemnation of Homosexuality Lead to Medical Board Investigation of Doctors?   which was promoted by a disturbing survey of state medical boards respondents . That first hypo I give is the one these folks were being polled on.

Needless to say those concerned about religious liberty issues should take note. There will be a continued effort to use licensing to make private individuals quasi government officials in order to advance their version of the proper morality.

Pope Francis Could Give Go Ahead For Regional or National Courts For Clerical Sex Abuse Cases

This idea has one merit though in the USA I hope these would be regional courts. Vatican Insider has the story here.

John Allen has a detailed look here

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Hans Kung Seriously Considering Having Swiss Euthanasia Organization End His Life

Sigh no words. Via Google Translate from the Germam article

 "On the evening of life," Küng has overwritten the last 100 pages of his memoirs. In it, he reported for the first time openly about his deteriorating health. He who has recently written to all his books by hand can bring readable only with difficulty letters on paper.

 For over a year he knew that he at Parkinson suffer and will also soon lose his eyesight through macular degeneration. A shock was that Küng admits. "A scholar who can not read and write? Then what?" He asks. "I will not continue to exist as a shadow of myself" From the public, Küng had retired earlier this year. The office of President in 1995 he founded the Global Ethic Foundation, which promotes cross-community ethical standards, it has made ​​. 

After finishing his memoirs, he will now also publish any other books more, Küng announced. Longing his 90th To experience another birthday, he did not. "I'm not 'tired of life', but 'satisfied with life'." 

 Küng, in March 1928 as the son of a shoe dealer in Switzerland born, reminiscent of the philologist Jens, who by a dementia lived the last years of madness and died this summer . "I will not continue to exist as a shadow of myself," he makes clear - and think about it, if necessary with the help of a Swiss euthanasia organization to depart this life. "Man has a right to die when he sees no more hope of a human life according to his own best understanding further." It would be a final affront to the Church, this form of euthanasia strictly rejects.

The man needs our prayers in a very urgent manner.