Thursday, March 29, 2012

Saint Jean Vianney and Satan

A match made in...wait...excerpts:
...In 1829, a young priest, the son of the good widow whose acquaintance we made in the first pages of this book--the Abbe Bibost--came to Ars, in order to make a retreat in the parish of the man he so highly revered. M. Vianney, who had directed his first steps in the priesthood, received him with much kindness, and offered him a room in his house.

"I was intimately acquainted with this priest," says the Abbe Renard, "and it happened that Providence also led me to my native parish at the time of his stay there. In our first interview the conversation turned upon the extraordinary events which were occurring at Ars, and of which the whole country were talking.

"'You sleep at the presbytery,' said I, 'tell me, is it true that the devil makes all this clamour at night?'

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Philip K. Dick: Sci-Fi Genius, Snarky Writer...What The..?

Well!  Hey, science fiction fans! Here're a few excerpts from a Philip K. Dick short story "The Pre-Persons":
"I know I'm no different, he thought , than two years ago when I was just a little kid; if I have a soul now like the law says, then I had a soul then, or else we have no souls - the only real thing is just a horrible metallic-painted truck with wire over its windows carrying off kids their parents no longer want, parents using an extension of the old abortion law that let them kill an unwanted child before it came out: because it had no 'soul' or 'identity', it could be sucked out by a vacuum system in less than two minutes. A doctor could do a hundred a day, and it was legal because the unborn child wasn't 'human'. He was a pre-person...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

President Obama Prepares for War

according to a HuffPo author.  Well.  This is dramatic.  Excerpts:
‎...Last Friday, March 16, President Barack Obama may have quietly placed the United States on a war preparedness footing, perhaps in anticipation of an outbreak of war between Israel, the West, and Iran. A newly-propounded Executive Order, titled "National Defense Resources Preparedness," renews and updates the president's power to take control of all civil energy supplies, including oil and natural gas, control and restrict all civil transportation, which is almost 97 percent dependent upon oil; and even provides the option to re-enable a draft in order to achieve both the military and non-military demands of the country, according to a simple reading of the text.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Mystery and Majesty of Christ


A good, Lenten reminder. Excerpts:
...The HHS Mandate threatens the religious freedom of all people, not just Catholics. Abortion is rampant. Gay marriage was just approved in Maryland (the eighth state to approve it so far). And through it all, the Church is attacked.

And yet, somehow, for some reason, people are flocking to the faith.

The Argument Against the HHS Mandate...in One Photo

Congresswoman Pelosi--here are the women.

(h/t Catholic Vote)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Storks Bringing Kids to Their Mothers--Via Ultrasound

An interesting, cool new pro-life ministry.  Excerpts:
...Dave and the team have high hopes, and they should. The approach is breathtakingly simple and, if early tests are any indication, profoundly effective.

As mentioned, the Storks take to the streets of Dallas on March 13. Meanwhile their website is up and running at SaveTheStorks.com with the purpose of raising money to take the program national. A Save the Storks bus is not cheap, and it takes people to run it. While Dave and his team get things off the ground in Dallas, Joe is in charge of building a national movement.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Yes, You Can Fool the Children of the (Sexual) Revolution II

A great run down.  Excerpts:
...I don’t know who came up with the idea that sex was consequence free; whether it was the genius advertisers pushing The Pill, or Hugh Hefner, or just some kind of agreed upon cultural delusion, it doesn’t really matter. The reality is that we’re all stuck with the consequences of the myth of consequence free sex. In fact, we’ve promulgated the myth for so long we have generations for whom the thought of consequences to sexual relations is an oddity. Abstinence has become a cultural punchline.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Oh, SNAP! Sex Abuse Watchdog Under Investigation

Some interesting data out of this story.  Excerpts:
The leader of a group that works with clergy sex abuse victims admitted during a recent deposition that the organization has published false information and that he is unsure about whether the group employs licensed counselors...

The Origins of the Separation of Church and State

can be found in Christianity.  I got into a conversation with some SSPXers, got a bunch of links and resources out in the course of answering their challenges to this notion, and figured I might as well make them usefully available to more people.  So--here we go.

Monday, March 19, 2012

New Atheist Appropriations of Religion

Interesting.  I agree with the article's criticism of the attempt.  Excerpts:
Celebrated philosopher and author Alain de Botton expects to upset a great number of religious people and atheists alike with his proposal that: “it must be possible to remain a committed atheist and nevertheless to find religions sporadically useful, interesting and consoling...”

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mark Steyn On The Catholic Church in America

I don't agree with everything Mark Steyn says in this piece, but he's right about a lot (and he's done his homework--how many commentators can quote Henri de Lubac's The Drama of Atheist Humanism?). Excerpts:
Discussing the constitutionality of Obamacare's "preventive health" measures on MSNBC, Melinda Henneberger of the Washington Post told Chris Matthews that she reasons thus with her liberal friends: "Maybe the Founders were wrong to guarantee free exercise of religion in the First Amendment, but they did..."

Saturday, March 17, 2012

On Infanticide

Also known as "After-birth abortion," when someone wants to be euphemistic and help the culture of death take a flying leap forward.  This notion was defended in a peer-reviewed paper appearing in a respected journal of medical ethics.  How is this hellish?  Let us count the ways....Here's a comparison which might make the discussion a little clearer.  Excerpt:
...There are two women. They both are involved in modern medical care. The first is named Francesca Minerva. She is a medical ethicist, pursuing postdoctoral studies in philosophy. Medical ethics is a growing field, as governments assume control of medical decision-making. Even her critics admit that Francesca looks nice and has a nice smile.

The other woman involved in medical care is Amie Osborn. Amie is a physician in Houston, treating children. Amie also has a nice smile, but Amie herself admits she does not look “normal”. But let me quote Amie’s blog.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Nazi Concordat Had Broader Religious Exemption Than HHS Mandate

An interesting little historical note.  The proposed HHS mandate on contraception includes a narrow religious exemption, even under the recently announced accommodation.  Excerpts:
...The mandate includes a limited religious exemption that only applies to non-profit organizations that exist to inculcate religious values and that serve and employ primarily members of their own faith.  The narrow scope of the exemption sparked outcry because most religious groups and even some churches would fail to qualify for it...
The 1933 concordat between Germany and the Holy See, the result of negotiations with the Weimar Republic and concluded after the Nazis were voted into power, had the following clause included:

Opposed President Bush? Oppose President Obama

Because President Obama has seen President Bush's conduct of the war on terror--and raised him. If President Bush's methods of conducting the war on terror were significant violations of the Constitution, excesses of presidential power, and a threat to all that we hold dear, then President Obama's actions must be seen as the same, if not worse--and all those people who voted against President Bush in the last election for these reasons should vote against President Obama this time around.  Democratic Party--pick a different presidential nominee.  Excerpts:
...It isn’t merely the Democratic Party generally and its hordes of adherents who have performed a complete reversal on these issues as of January 20, 2009. It’s also true of Barack Obama and Eric Holder themselves.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Enlightenment Is Over

According to this rather fascinating article.  The whole thing is well worth a read, but here we hit the thesis:
...What liberals have awoken to, and what many orthodox Catholics thinkers, unfortunately, have not, is that the Enlightenment is over. As Jurgen Habermas stated in his remarkable 2004 exchange with the former Cardinal Ratzinger, Western culture is now “post-secular.” Liberalism has finally recognized and accepted the contingent, particularist, historically and culturally conditioned, non-necessary, non-self-evident (pace Thomas Jefferson), and eminently debatable character of its first principles.

Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!

Coolness.  I like the suggestion.  Excerpts:
DURING MY UNDERGRADUATE studies as a Linguistics major, one of the things that struck me most is the amazing fluidity of language. New words are created; older words go out of style. Words can change meaning over time, vowel sounds shift, consonants are lost or added and one word becomes another. Living languages refuse to be static.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Steroids--Illegal. The Pill--Given Away.

A really interesting piece by Anthony Esolen.  Excerpts:
...when one compares this sex hormone, testosterone, to the sex hormone now in the news, estrogen, it is hard to see why, on medical and social grounds alone, the one would be severely restricted and the other so freely dispensed that people are ready, not simply to affirm its legality, but to mandate that people and institutions violate their religious faith to purchase it for women who want it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Holy See and Money

Fun.  Excerpts:
The US government has announced concern that the Vatican could be exploited by money-laundering operations.

The State Department listed the Vatican among countries whose banking systems might be manipulated by money-launderers. The Vatican is now listed for the first time as a “jurisdiction of concern” for that reason.

The designation by the State Department is not a particularly harsh criticism of the Vatican. There are 67 other countries in the “jurisdiction of concern” category, including Ireland, Portugal, South Korea, and Belgium. A higher classification, listing “jurisdictions of primary concern,” lists some of the world’s major economic powers, including Russia, China, Great Britain, Japan, and the US itself.

"A Secret Plan to Fight Inflation"

This reminds me of this and this.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Anonymous Attacks the Vatican Website

Great.  Excerpts:
...An entry on the blog of Anonymous Italy said the attack was in response to the “doctrines, liturgies and the absurd and anachronistic precepts” that the Church spreads worldwide. It cited the sexual abuse of children, various historical and alleged misdeeds, and Church “interference” in Italian daily life and public policy as motives for the digital assault.

The hackers also objected to the Catholic stance against abortion and contraceptives.

They claimed the attack was not on the Christian religion or the Christian faithful but targeted the “corrupt Roman Apostolic Church.”

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Young Frankenstein

No, not the Mel Brooks movie--the real thing.  Warning: if you have a weak stomach, this piece from 2006 will be a little too much.  Excerpts:
It’s the hidden side of medical research. A massive industry harvesting pieces of dead children for experiments, or transplanting into animals. IAN WISHART discovers the University of Auckland has imported body parts from American babies for a research project, and asks some hard questions...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Yes, You Can Fool the Children of the (Sexual) Revolution

Mary Eberstadt offers hope.  Excerpts:
...In the end, consolation also comes from this fact: The intellectual divide over the Cold War and the divide today over the sexual revolution another feature in common. In both cases, many on both sides suspected that history had already decided the matter. This was true even of some of the leading anticommunist intellectuals of the day. Jean Fran├žois Revel opened his 1984 book, chillingly entitled How Democracies Perish, with the equally chilling sentence: “Democracy may, after all, turn out to have been a historical accident, a brief parenthesis that is closing before our eyes.” Similarly, Whittaker Chambers famously opens his magisterial autobiography, Witness, with a letter to his children warning darkly of a world “sick unto death,” and he told his wife when he chose to defect from communism, “You know, we are leaving the winning world for the losing world.” Chambers was wrong about that, of course—even as he was singularly and fearlessly right about so much else.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Humanae Vitae Was Right

Mary Eberstadt lays out the evidence, then asks, "Why does no one want to acknowledge it?"  Excerpts:
...the fundamental issue is rather what Archbishop Chaput explained ten years ago: “If Paul VI was right about so many of the consequences deriving from contraception, it is because he was right about contraception itself.”

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Cybercrime: 2012 Looking Bad

Bleah.  When conscience diminishes, the need for cops increases.  Excerpts:
...The use of malware and worms is continuing unabated. While they remain common, little innovation has made it into the mass criminal market  the truly unique manifestations are only isolated creations of genius rogue programmers. But ... the last major threat of 2012 is cyberwarfare.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Anchoress: Benedict Saw It Coming

An interesting collection of this and that.  Excerpts:
...At the dawn of the social revolution, Ratzinger saw all of this, and now he is our Pope, leading us through these first serious labor pains. Who knows if he will be with us through the delivery — I very much doubt it — but seeing him in Peter’s chair at this time reminds us that God has his hand in all things, even in the pastoral weaknesses of the past few decades that have helped us get to this place.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Contraception and Conscience in Washington State

A remarkable decision in the context of the HHS controversy.  Excerpts:
Washington state cannot force pharmacies to sell Plan B or other emergency contraceptives, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, saying the state's true goal has been to suppress religious objections by druggists — not to promote timely access to the medicines for people who need them.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Liberal Catholicism's Betrayal of Its Heritage

A fascinating piece by George Weigel.  Excerpts:
In throwing a robust concept of religious freedom over the side, liberal Catholics were betraying their own noblest heritage.

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