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Regular Guy Has Extraordinary Baby

One of our favorite blogging buddies Paul over at Thoughts of a Regular Guy just had a baby. And he's posted the pics of the baby. And oddly enough he was also nominated for a pro-life blog award. Seems fitting, huh?

Michael Travis Mitchell, December 26th, 2008, 8 lbs., 14 oz., 21 inches long, and perfect! Extraordinary Wife and child are resting well.
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Another Two State Solution?

Karen Hall has some interesting perspective on the history of Israel.

I've been waiting for someone (anyone) to break it to the Bush administration, and now the Obama administration, or maybe the present or future madame secretaries of state, that Israel began as part of a two state solution.

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Emilie's Passing

Amy brings us the news...

Emilie Lemmons was a 40-year old mother of two young boys, and a long-time writer for the Catholic Spirit, the archdiocesan paper for Minneapolis-St. Paul.

A year and a half ago, she was diagnosed with cancer, fought it, wrote about it, and died Christmas Eve.
Read Amy's account and Emilie's last post on her blog.

Is Heresy Better Than Schism?

Rod Dreher ponders the question "The question ultimately is this: Are there matters over which there can be no compromise, and in which a compromise would destroy the essence of the institution?"

Quick Movie Reviews

Barb from Church of the Masses has some not-so-kind movie reviews that are fun to read and learns that children are bad:

Happy Christmas everybody! I got back from Portugal on the 21st, and since have been making merry, praying and watching lots of "For Your Consideration" screeners. I must admit, I like the free screener part of being in the WGA very much.

There isn't time to do decent reviews of all the movies I've seen, and frankly many of them aren't worth a serious consideration, and even more frankly, a lot of what I would want to say about most of the films can be summed up in some version of "Yuck" and "Eeeeeeeeew." I am going to jot down whatever pops into my head about the movies and then give it a pass or a plaudit.
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Screamin' Howler Monkeys Throwing Poop

From Fr. Cranky

First it seems our friends from the progressive side of things are into every kind of experimentation with the liturgy, as long as it isn’t any kind of traditional experimentation. They are tolerant and encouraging of all, except for the traditions of the Church. Let them get a whiff of Latin or adherence to the rubrics and they go ape (a word I have chosen carefully). I sometimes call them the howler monkeys, screaming and scrambling around and flinging anything they can grip.

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What If You Get The Answering Machine?

From the Curt Jester

Egypt's Coptic pope has banned the faithful from confessing their sins to priests over the telephone because intelligence agents might be listening in, a newspaper reported on Friday.

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An Extraordinary Form

From NLM

The eastern Church uses three forms of the Divine Liturgy, or Eucharistic Sacrifice: the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, celebrated on most Sundays and feast days;

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A Splendid Ol' Conversion Story

From Standing On My Head

Rob, at Coming Home Network, has sent me a splendid old conversion story written by James Kent Stone, (sometime president of Kenyon and Hobart Colleges) and published in 1869.

It is written in a robust and eloquent style, and is full of a bracing kind of Catholic convert triumphalism one doesn't see much of in this somewhat spineless age.

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How To Visualize Abortion's Toll

From Acts of the Apostasy

Since 1973, when Roe v. Wade was decided, there have been more than 48 million abortions in our nation. It's a number we're all too familiar with, a number that increases by more than 3,000 every day.

The following two videos, recently created by a friend of mine, asks you to imagine that number of deaths occurring through different circumstances.

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Jesuit University OK's V. Monologues

I'm unsure which is sadder. The fact that a Jesuit university is approving of the V. Monologues on campus or that they still think it's cutting edge and cool to approve of it. The Cardinal Newman Society has the full sad story:

The student senate at Boston College voted to allocate $1,000 in college funds for increased 2009 campus productions of The Vagina Monologues. The Observer reports that a list of co-sponsors, including the theology department, was presented to the students in support of funding productions of the oft-criticized, vulgar play.
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Suzanne Has Baby Boy! With Pics!

OK. CMR's award for most diligent blogger goes to Suzanne Temple of Blessed Among Men who now has something like 84 children -all boys. Not only does she have a new baby boy but she blogged the next day with pictures.

With great joy, we welcomed...
Micah Benedict Joseph Temple on December 19th, 2008. 12:34 PM. 7.5 lbs. 21 in.
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Santa Seeks Bailout

The funniest thing you'll read today is Iowa Hawk's bailout plea:

Flanked by officials from the United Elf Toytinkerers union, SantaCorp CEO Kris Kringle today told the House Ways and Means Committee that without immediate government financial help, his firm would be forced to declare bankruptcy, lay off thousands of elves and reindeer, and potentially cancel its annual worldwide Christmas Eve toy delivery.

"These are grim economic times for everyone, but even more so for non-profit toy manufacturers in the Snow Belt," said Kringle. "Our accountants have indicated that we are on track to exhaust our reserves of cash and magical pixie fairydust by December 23. Oh deary me."
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Suing the Good Samaritan

So if someone's car is on fire and they're trapped inside, what do you do? Make popcorn and enjoy the show,of course, especially if you live in California:

In this season of Christmas, let us reflect on the parable of the Good Samaritan. After a traveler had been assaulted and then ignored by the rest of the community, a Samaritan rescued him and helped him recover. If the Samaritan moved to California, he’d better have a good lawyer, as the state Supreme Court ruled that the liability shield passed for those who conduct emergency rescues and inadvertently injure the victims only applies to medical personnel...
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Just What The Homeless Need - Abortions

The homeless and downtrodden don't need compassion. They obviously just need contraception and abortion.Dawn Eden takes on Planned Parenthood:

Planned Parenthood is partnering with a Santa Barbara, Calif., shelter to "confidential reproductive health services" to homeless women, meaning contraception and—soon to come with its "full-service" satellite clinic—abortion. What's more, the abortion giant claims it is doing the women a service by prescribing contraceptives to them without giving them a physical exam...
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When Christians Act Like Christians

Go watch this video of Penn Jillette at the Anchoress and you will see the effect you can have, even on an avowed atheist, when you act like a Christian. This really made me think.

It’s a Pitiful, Dreadful Life.

From Newsbusters

On December 18, in an item that appeared on Page C1 of its December 19 print edition (the graphic at the right is a scaled-down version of what appears at the top of the online version), the New York Times's Wendell Jamieson provided us his perspective on what has became a Christmas staple, Frank Capra Jr.'s "It's a Wonderful Life." I would suggest that the piece reveals a lot more about the author and Old Media's mindset than it tells us about the film.

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Deacon Paul Weyrich?

Paul Weyrich was a Catholic. A permanent deacon too. Did you know that? I read a number of articles on his passing but I don't even remember reading he was a Catholic. Get Religion has a nice piece detailing Weyrich's faith and how the media missed the story:

The most important thing to remember about the late Paul M. Weyrich is that he was a moral and cultural conservative, first, and a Republican, way, way second. In fact, there were plenty of people who decided that he wasn’t — when push came to shove — a Republican loyalist at all.

You can see hints of this throughout the mainstream media coverage in the wake of his death at age 66, following years of painful decline that began with a shattering fall on black ice.

Let me start with a picky question that, so far, applies to most of the obituaries. It is interesting, to me, that most of the stories do not even mention the fact that Weyrich was an ordained, permanent Catholic deacon...
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Can Suicides Receive a Catholic Funeral?

Standard Time talks about a Catholic view of suicide:

...A few days later, the owner of a prominent car dealership in my area had committed suicide.

Over coffee and sad eyes ever since, many folks have been discussing the man. Many of them had bought at least one car from him and his family over the years, my dad and myself included.

There was a lot of sympathy for him and his family. Everyone recognized this as a tragedy. Maybe they'd even spend a little more time with a loved one who is in a difficult period, to provide a hopeful word. That is my hope anyway.

The real questions and fodder for long conversations, however, was that the man received a Catholic funeral. Older Catholics thought that was improper, based on their understanding of Church teaching from their youth. Younger Catholics didn't see anything wrong with a Catholic funeral, but didn't know Church teaching precisely on the matter.
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Sarah Palin Or Caroline Kennedy?

John Painter of Red State does a thorough job of contrasting Sarah Palin with Princess Caroline. He also admirably attempts to decipher the liberal gobbledeygook of MSNBC's new favorite conservative Kathleen Parker:

The debate over Caroline Kennedy’s qualifications for a seat in the U.S. Senate is getting louder, and the number of side arguments over the way JFK’s daughter and Alaska’s governor have been evaluated in their respective quests for higher public office are increasing. Sweet Caroline’s supporters say she deserves her shot at the Hillary Clinton chair. Sarah Barracuda’s troops point to the rank hypocrisy of those who give Ms. Kennedy a free pass after having savaged Gov. Palin.
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Is This the Reason for the Season?

From man With Black Hat

I get more sick of it every year. Maybe it's because they start on me a little earlier than before. Maybe it's because I bought a house this year, and I think Santa's treating me just fine as it is.

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CBS: Gay Marriage is Civil Rights Issue

The liberal media only sees one side of the gay marriage issue and Newsbusters has the video evidence:

At the top of Friday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith teased a segment on the controversy surrounding Barack Obama’s decision to have pastor Rick Warren deliver the invocation at the inauguration: "Barack Obama angers gay rights groups by choosing Rick Warren to give his inaugural invocation." Later Smith brought on Dr. Robert Jeffress of the First Baptist Church of Dallas and David Corn of the liberal Mother Jones magazine to debate the issue, declaring: "President-elect Barack Obama has ignited a firestorm of controversy by selecting conservative Pastor Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration. Warren is an outspoken critic of gay marriage and that has angered many of Obama's liberal supporters."
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Thumbs Up For Six Kids

Half a Dozen Productions has a cute story on the comments you get when you anywhere with lots of children:

Having a larger family tends to be pretty conspicuous. Most everyone notices a woman marching into a store or restaurant with 6 (sometimes 7) children in tow. Occasionally we get rude stares and even ruder comments, but very often we get noticed in more positive ways. The most common question I get is, "Are they all yours?" While I am tempted at times to give a more caustic reply, I always try to smile and answer with a simple affirmative.
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Papist is Offended - And Rightly So

Paying people to sterilize themselves is not the greatest way to ensure that poor people and addicts don't have children. Unfortunately, it's also one of the quickest ways to Hell I could think of. American Papist has the story:

This is so offensive to the dignity of the human person!

Instead of attempting to cure the cause of people's ills, some are attempting to nullify the inconvenience these people cause to the rest of society:

Folks at downtown's Ronstadt Transit Center on Tuesday afternoon had a way to make a quick $300.

The only stipulation was that the people be drug addicts or alcoholics who agree to long-term birth control.
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See How Al Franken Is Stealing an Election

These pictures of election fraud collected by John Lott would be hilarious if they didn't make you weep for our country:

Below is only a sample of some of the questionable calls made by the Minnesota Canvassing Board. These examples are culled from just first 99 cases, more from that group could have been included. There are a few calls in favor of Coleman that are also difficult to explain (possibly to make it harder to show bias), but at a rough glance what I have looked through so far seems to show a systematic bias by the board in favor of Franken. I am in the process of trying to go through these decisions more scientifically.
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Conspiracy Big Laugh of the Day

I'll give you three guesses who killed the Russian patriarch. Hint: He lives in Rome. Matt Swaim over at Apoloblogology gives this theory its due seriousness:

Got this little piece of awesomeness from David Hartline's blog. As someone who enthusiastically collects anti-Catholic propaganda, this has to be one of the awesomest accusations I have ever seen from Reformation.org (I'm printing the highlights below):

Russian Patriarch Alexy II—the Pope of the Russian Orthodox Church—died suddenly of poisoning on November 5, 2008...
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“They do not love Jesus…”

The Anchoress writes beautifully of a little Christian girl who has faced tragedy and saw beauty:

The child you are looking at is Namrata Nayak. Her face was disfigured when when Hindu extremists bombed her home last August, looking to kill Christians.

I am struck by her power and beauty, which is transmitted through her eyes. One does not see the scars for the steadiness and fullness of Namrata Nayak’s eyes.

Her eyes are fearless. She is unintimidated. She looks directly at you, with a collectedness and assurance that only comes from deep interior knowledge. Namrata Nayak knows who she is. At 10 years of age, she understands the world in ways many of us never will, no matter how long we tread the stony paths.
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Freakily Talented People. Watch This Video

Go watch this amazingly talented guy do an a cappella tribute to the great John Williams.

Change to Abortion Laws?

Deal Hudson at Inside Catholic details the changes in store to benefit the abortion industry under an Obama presidency:

Go to Change.gov, the Web site of President-elect Barack Obama, and you'll find a document titled "Advancing Reproductive Rights and Health in a New Administration." Signed by dozens of pro-abortion groups, including Catholics for Choice, this 55-page document provides an overview of the marching orders for the Obama administration in removing all present restrictions on abortions while dramatically increasing abortion funding.
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Pelagianism: I Hate It

Fr. Ray Blake from Saint Mary Magdalen discusses this modern and ancient heresy:

Pelagianism: I hate it, but it is very British. It is really a variant of Arianism which says God did not truly become Man, because Jesus was not truly God.

Pelagianism denies the action of Grace in the world, man is saved by his own goodness and efforts, rather than by God.
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Santa or No Santa: That Is Not The Question

The Nightfly has a very thoughtful post on the role of Santa in our children's lives. Please be sure to read the whole thing.

Excerpt:
I am impressed with the restraint of the rest of the CMR commenters, who have not once brought up "Miracle on 34th Street" during the entire discussion of whether or not to tell kids there's really a Santa Claus. Forgive me, but I'm going to go ahead and bring it up right now to illustrate what I'm trying to say - only with a little twist. To me, the point isn't Fred's debate with Doris, but Santa's debate with little Susan, the schoolgirl iconoclast. For her St. Nick is "a nice old man with a beard, like my mama said," and she tells him that doesn't play with the other kids. They're just silly to her. One says that he's a tiger or an elephant and then asks what animal she is. "I'm a little girl," she sniffs.
Read the whole post >>>>

I Forbid My Wife To Read This Post

From Red Cardigan "Wifely Obedience".

As I promised Friday, I want to discuss a subject that came up elsewhere, on the topic of obedience to one's husband and how that connects to the ever-continuing discussion of whether Catholic women may wear slacks.

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Prison Removes Cross From Chapel

Stop The ACLU always does a great job detailing Western Civilization's swirl down the toilet of history. This story about a jail removing the cross from its chapel is the latest example:

Well, this was ALMOST one of those Christmas hating stories, but, better yet, it’s a plain old hating on Christianity story involving the Nanny state and Muslims, though, to be honest, it wasn’t Muslims who asked for the cross to be banned.
JAIL bosses have sparked fury by banning a cross from their new chapel in case it offends Muslims. Officials were ordered to remove the traditional symbol during renovations.
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Catholicism Without The Sin

LarryD over at Acts of the Apostasy does a great job talking about Me-ism vs. Catholicism:

From time to time I slog through Call-to-Apostasy's "Young Adult Catholics" blog to see what the Sour Patch Kids are up to. A post put up last week was titled "Catholicism Without The Sin?"
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Indiana AG Investigates Abortion Clinic

Indiana Attorney General has launched an investigation into Planned Parenthood after an undercover UCLA student exposed practices of obstruction of justice. Lila Rose posed as a 13-year-old girl and videotaped her experiences at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Indiana, where a staff member advised her to lie about her sexual experiences and instructed her to go across state lines to get an abortion. Planned Parenthood fired the staffer but that may not be enough to avoid criminal charges:
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Fathers Can't Get no Respect

A new father realizes that everybody assumes that he is an inferior parent by virtue of being male. Welcome to the club:

I do notice that wherever I go, people will tell me I’m an inferior parent by virtue of being male. It’s a buried assumption, not a stated position, or they’d never say it. I think.

The old man who says for Liam (nobody can let a baby say nothing, even me), “I want mamma!” as I’m getting out the bottle. Thank God Liam isn’t so picky!
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Pope: The End Is Not Nigh

The closing days of 2008 may be marked by floods, terrorism and global financial collapse - but Pope Benedict XVI has assured believers that the end of the world is not nigh.
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Another Excommunication of A Priest

Amy has some sad news about another excommunicated priest. I don't mean sad that it happened necessarily but sad that it had to happen, if you know what I mean:

Following up last week’s excommunication of Fr. Ray Bourgeois for his participation in women’s ordination ceremonies, word comes down that Bishop Olmstead of Phoenix has excommunicated Lifeteen Founder Dale Fushek and another, Mark Dippre.

Fushek and Dippre, those who follow the story might recall, have established their own “praise and worship” center in Mesa.
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The Best Civil War/Zombie Movie Ever!

Well That just about says everything. An Orthometer movie review.

Cardinal Avery Dulles Dies at 90

Cardinal Avery Dulles, who grew up in a famous American family, converted to Catholicism while at Harvard, and went on to become one of the leading theologians of our time died today at 90 years old.
Amy Welborn has newsreel footage of his 1956 ordination in New York...Continue reading>>>

Vatican Issues New Bioethics Document

Townhall writes about a new document from the Vatican. I haven't gotten a chance to look it over.

The Vatican raised its opposition to embryonic stem cell research, the morning-after pill, in vitro fertilization and human cloning to a new level Friday in a major new document on bioethics.

But in the document, the Vatican also said it approved of some forms of gene therapy and encouraged stem cell research using adult cells.
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From Evanegelical to Catholic

Mommy Life has a great post on converting to Catholicism and how important the difference is between pro-life and anti-abortion.

I've gone through many journeys with you here - losing lots of weight, taking on the school system when they were falling short with my kids, dealing with the ups and downs and ins and outs of relationships with 12 kids (including adults), three Pro-Life marches, magazine articles and columns, financial collapse/foreclosure, going gray, the surprise rise of Obama - and my conversion to Catholicism.
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Braving the Storm

Not to get all apocalyptic but I think Fr. Dwight Longenecker nails it:

Advent is a time of prophecies--looking back and looking forward at the same time. What has the past given us and how does it point to the future?

Others have said it before, but I believe Benedict XVI chose his name because of the great St Benedict--not really because of any of his fifteen Benedictine predecessors. The time of St Benedict was a time of social decay, financial collapse, moral decline and eventual anarchy.
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Benedictus Qui Venit

Fr. Ray Blake has an interesting post about bringing Communion to the sick and teaching devotion:

When I take Holy Communion to the sick I always wear a stole under my coat or jacket, as a priest or deacon is supposed to. I hate those piddly little ribbons, I wear a normal stole.
A few weeks ago taking Viaticum to someone, two Anglican clergyman approached me, noticed the stole at my neck, smiled, made the sign of the cross and both knelt side by side on the kerb until I passed, one was saying "Benedictus qui venit in Nomini Domini".
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Beyond Unconscionable

Erin Manning is blogging over at Crunchy Con and she's got an important story on how a Catholic university has an insurance plan which covers abortions:

So students at a Catholic college are being forced to buy an insurance plan which pays for abortions. And the wording of the policy, that a student must show they have equal or better coverage in order to be permitted not to purchase the plan, makes me wonder whether a student whose insurance does not cover abortions would even be permitted to opt-out of the USF insurance plan.
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Cardinal Takes on Madonna

The Cardinal is concerned that Madonna on her most recent tour is inspiring lustful thoughts. Jammie Wearing Fool says he wouldn't worry about Madonna anymore:

Madonna is causing "crazy enthusiasm" and "impure thoughts" on her first concert visit to Chile, a prominent retired cardinal complained on Wednesday, as he paused in a tribute to a late dictator to denounce the pop star.
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Remembering Merton

Today is the 40th anniversary of the death of Thomas Merton. The Anchoress remembers him:

One of my favorite Merton quotes, and NPR’s media maven Dick Meyer uses it in his book Why We Hate Us is this one:
As long as I assume that the world is something I discover by turning on the radio . . . I am deceived from the start.
It may be time for me to put that back up in my header. Merton died 40 years ago today.
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The Art Of Saying Nothing

From The DailyDanet

For a while now, I’ve want to to call Obama on his utter inability to make a concrete statement on anything. If you parse his words carefully, you will find that, far more often than not, he is saying nothing at all while giving the right people some sort of comfort. Yesterday’s response to the situation at Republic Windows is classic

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Fr. Bourgeois has been Excommunicated

According to Father Z, the Maryknoll priest involved in a recent female ordination, has been excommunicated.

I am sure that all good WDTPRSers will stop and say a prayer for Fr. Bourgeois. We pray for his conversion. Fr. Bourgeois has been excommunicated:
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New Prefect Appointed for CDWDS (liturgy)!

American Papist has a roundup of stories concerning the appointment of the new prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments:

The Holy Father appointed Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, archbishop of Toledo, Spain, as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. He succeeds Cardinal Francis Arinze, whose resignation from the same office the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
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Newsweek Editor Scolds Religious Right

"History is on our side" is the message Newsweek editor John Meacham is saying to religious people who oppose gay marriage:

Jon Meacham’s ascension to the editor’s chair at Newsweek has marked a very noticeable trend toward turning it into Opinion Week (or OpEdWeek). Its cover stories are often not investigative news pieces, but long editorials. This week, religion reporter Lisa Miller uncorked "The Religious Case for Gay Marriage," and Meacham's Editor's Note dared the religious right to protest, like President Bush egging on the terrorists to "bring it on."
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Are Veils For Women Still Required?

Of course not, right? I didn't think so, but this post (At St. Louis Catholic) makes me wonder if I really know what I think I know. Even Patrick Madrid says "Hey he might have a point!"

On January 12, 1930, the Sacred Congregation of the Council issued an instruction to all of the world’s Bishops, ordering them to address, from the pulpit, at least once a year, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, as appropriate, the subject of women’s modesty.

Please Keep Reading >>>

Call In 'Gay' To Work

Jammie Wearing Fool has the oddest story of the day. A gay rights group is telling all gays to "call in gay" at work to signal how much of an economic impact they have. One thing is that I wonder how many straight people are going to drag themselves into work no matter how sick they are because they don't want to kickstart the rumor mill be being out on "Call in Gay" day:

Some same-sex marriage supporters are urging people to "call in gay" Wednesday to show how much the country relies on gays and lesbians, but others question whether it's wise to encourage skipping work given the nation's economic distress.
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Brilliance!

Karen over at Some Wear Clerics directed me towards this article called "Why the Immaculate Conception?" by Rev. Paul V. Mankowski, SJ. It's really quite an amazing read. Especially today:

Pure. Whole. Intact. Entire. Spotless. Stainless. Sinless. unsoiled. Unsullied. Unblemished. Uncorrupted. Immaculate!

I live in an age, and a country, wherein the largest singe cause of death of infants under one year of age is homicide. I live at a time when, according to those who claim to know these things, Ronald McDonald has surpassed Jesus Christ in popularity among children. I live at a time when the best known moral theologians have despaired of leading people to a more virtuous life, but are principally concerned to insulate the sinner from the consequences of his sin; logic has give way to latex as the preferred medium of instruction...
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Hemingway Defends Marriage

Mark Hemingway of The Corner cuts up Newsweek - in a Christian way, of course:

...Should I be surprised that Lisa Miller, Newsweek's religion reporter natch, can't even get through the first paragraph of her story without evincing an understanding of Christianity and its basic texts that is grossly oversimplified and distorted, filtered through an almost exclusively liberal political lens, not to mention catty and downright insulting?
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The Anti-Catholic LA Times

Newsbusters details the anti-Catholic bias of the Los Angeles Times and even has a helpful suggestion to the Times from a reader:

It could be Christmas approaching, or it could be the Catholic Church's success last month in its support of Proposition 8, the initiative to restore marriage in California. But it's curious to see what's been on the minds of the folks at the Los Angeles Times in the past few weeks...
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From Pearl Harbor to Calvary

From Against the Grain:

As Donald notes, today is "the day that will live in infamy" -- the anniversary of the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.

When I was young, I learned of the story of Captain Mitsuo Fuchida of the Imperial Japanese Navy, famous for leading the first wave of the attack on that fateful day of December 7, 1941. Wounded in the battle of Midway, he spent the rest of his life as staff officer, and was actually in Hiroshima only a day before the bombing (he was saved by a call from Headquarters asking him to return to Tokyo).

What is particularly fascinating about his life, however, is what happened after the war:

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Motherhood Changes You

Suzanne of Blessed Among Men talks about the changes motherhood changes you no matter what your "choice" is:

Motherhood changes you. Motherhood changes you forever in ways you might expect and also in ways you'd never know and could never have anticipated. When a new life is conceived within her, a woman becomes something new-- something she can't fully comprehend in the moment, but that unfolds over time like the petals of a rose in bloom. She becomes a mother. This a beautiful truth and the underlying reality behind a similar, but tragic truth: Abortion changes you.
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Balloons Scare Jen F.

Jen F. cracks me up. And even though CMR is not on her sidebar of Favorite Sites we're going to be the bigger people here and continue linking to her because we think she's funny and insightful even though she probably thinks we're a bunch of immature idiots:

My balloon phobia causes me problems on a weekly basis. Our grocery store has free balloons, and every single time we're there some well-meaning clerk offers them to my kids. (Fellow balloon phobes can imagine my horror at picturing three kids under the age of five, all with balloons, their hands all over them, pressing them too hard, the ear-shattering pop definitely coming but you just don't know when...
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Some Much Needed Perspective

Thanks to the Curt Jester for highlighting this post by Fr. Jay Toborowsky. Fr. nails it. I think I will print this out!

If a football coach tells parents their son needs to memorize plays to be on the team, the parents agree. If a priest tells parents their child needs to memorize prayers or facts about their faith to be a better Catholic, the parents argue

If a soccer coach tells parents they need to get their child to team practices three times a week, the parents change work schedules and arrange carpools. If a priest tells parents they need to get their child to a practice before a big liturgy, the parents complain.

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Bratz? Ratz!

I immensely dislike Bratz dolls. So does Matt Swaim over at Apoloblogology, I guess. My girls know enough not to even look at them. At one birthday party, my then eight year old received one as a party favor. Without a word she came home and threw it out. I thought about taking it out of the trash and giving it to the poor but I didn't want to negatively affect some other guy's children. So,needless to say, I was very pleased with this ruling by a judge.

In one of the most devastating blows to the pedophilia industry since people started paying attention to Thailand, a federal judge has ordered that the makers of "Bratz" dolls must cease production of their promiscuity-promoting dolls aimed at elementary school girls...
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Atheist Calls Nativity Scene "Hate Speech"

This is the most outrageous video of the day at Gateway Pundit:

Dan Barker of the Freedom from Religion Foundation said on "Fox & Friends" on December 1 that the nativity scene represents "hate speech" and "a direct attack on good human values." Hate speech?... That doesn't even make sense...
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Backbone Replacement Surgery Needed

RobK over at Kyrie Eleison suspects we'll be needing our backbone increasingly over the next few years. I hope he's wrong. I suspect he's not:

We are looking at some tough times ahead, and I don’t mean the economy. Sure, many of us are facing difficult financial prospects. Joblessness, evictions, poverty, these are items that many of us are facing or may face in the coming months or even years. But that is not the real tough times that we face.

What is the toughest prospects for the future is the extension of the persecution that we are already beginning to see in America. We have seen an increase in the intolerance shown to those who profess their faith outside of their Church walls. This persecution has even encroached within the boundaries of the Church with secularists attempting to dictate Church doctrine. Recent articles in the LA Times (ref) serve as illustration, though incidences of this can be found going back some time and increasing to the present...
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Trust Us, We Were Lying!

The Best title of the day goes to American Catholic's summation of the position of the Pro-life but Pro-Obama crowd.

One of the arguments I’m starting to get very tired of is that when Senator Obama addressed Planned Parenthood and promised that the first thing he would do as President would be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act (thus cementing a more drastic pro-abortion regime than has ever existed in the US to day) he was obviously just scoring partisan political points, and that Catholics are not only ill advised to worry about FOCA passing and being signed but that if they do so they are actively behaving in bad faith by accusing Obama of supporting something he never really meant to do.

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The Samurai With The Cross

From The Hermeneutic of Continuity

Last week 188 Japanese martyrs were beatified at Nagasaki. Put to death between 1606 and 1639, they were led by Fr Peter Kibe Kasui who was converted by St Francis Xavier's group of Jesuit missionaries. Within 50 years, the Jesuits had converted 400,000 Japanese to Christianity.

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Don't Protect Christmas, Share It

Rebecca at Faith and Family Live is asking for a truce in the War on Christmas.

I noted yesterday that there must be a good buried somewhere in the fact that merchants more or less must observe Christmas—even if their celebrations are out of tune.

I also noted that even Christians don’t say anything good about Christmas anymore—all we do is denounce commercialism.
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Herod The Hero?

The Curt Jester writes a great piece on National Geographic's treatment of Herod.

An astute and generous ruler, a brilliant general, and one of the most imaginative and energetic builders of the ancient world, ...
Now who could the National Geographic be talking about? Why of course it is King Herod the Great!...
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Scapegoating Conservatives

Ramesh Ponnuru wrote a great piece at National Review today on how social moderates in the Republican Party are blaming social conservatives for the recent election drought.

In 2002 and 2004, Republicans ran hard on social issues and the courts — and scored victories at every level of politics. In 2006 and 2008, they left those issues off the table, and got walloped. It follows, naturally, that the social issues are to blame for the Republican defeats.

At least, that’s the conclusion that a chorus of commentators has reached. They are attempting to persuade Republicans to soften or downplay their party’s social conservatism and hide its social conservatives in order to resume winning elections. About this campaign to sideline the social Right, three things can be said with a fairly high degree of confidence: It is predictable; it will fail; and it is wrong...
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When Render Unto Caesar Means 'Shutup'

Catholics are told often to Render Unto Caesar. It's a way of shutting us up. We've been rendering so long we sometimes forget that our faith while personal should not be kept private:

I have previously mentioned Archbishop Chaput's book, Render Unto Caesar, which is a masterpiece of laying out the Catholic principles of engaging in the public square and participating in politics as a Catholic. He isn't afraid to tell it like it is. Since I share the same spirit of being straightforward, I would like to share a few quotes from the book...
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Raining Bodies? Red Weighs In

Erin Manning. in a aptly named post "Fools Rush In", weighs in on Mark Shea and the rumor heard 'round the blog.

I should not be getting in the middle of this. Plain and simple.

But here goes.

Mark Shea relates a story wherein a friend of a friend of a friend alleges that American interrogators have been pushing detainees out of cargo planes (which, according to the story, were being flown by a civilian contractor; also, the "intelligence agents" were non-military).

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Temple In Jerusalem; You Are There!

Patrick Madrid has an interesting post with computer generated images of how the Temple would have looked from ancient Jerusalem street level. Check it out here.

Mundy #4. Congrats!

Fellow blogger Deirdre Mundy over at Mommy Writes announced today that she's pregnant with Mundy #4. Congrats to the whole family. We're a little hurt that she told the grandparents before us but we'll suck it up and smile through the pain.

We've told the grandparents, so now we can tell the world:

Mundy Baby #4 will arrive at the beginning of July!...
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Good Catholics Use Condoms

The Curt Jester isn't buying what Catholics for Choice is selling. I don't know why because they have the word "Catholic" in their name so they must be good, right? Right?

Two new radio advertisements for condom use began to target Catholics in the U.S. Hispanic community here today, World AIDS Day, with the message that "good Catholics use condoms" to protect the people they love...
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Pope Warns About Technology Isolation

Thomas Peters over at American Papist says you shouldn't read too many blogs. You can read his and mine too. But he's quoting Pope Benedict XVI so he can't be too wrong, I guess:

I hope I'm not being ironic by spreading this news ... on my blog:

Students today are in danger of losing this balance [between solitude and communion], the Holy Father explained, due to the increased use of information technologies. “On the one hand, they run the risk of a growing reduction in their capacity for concentration and mental application on an individual level; on the other, that of isolating themselves individually in an increasingly virtual reality.”
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Message from John Mallon

John Mallon is trying to assemble an email list of Catholic Blogs in the English speaking world. He is currently working as Contributing Editor for Inside the Vatican magazine, doing media relations for Human Life International, and assisting at the Envoy Institute in a promotional capacity. He have two degrees in theology and frequently has items of interest to Catholic Bloggers worldwide. With 25 years of experience in the Catholic Press, he has found that major secular outlets are often closed to these messages. if you have or know of Blogs that would be interested in receiving press releases and other pertinent materials for your Blogs, he would very much appreciate getting a mailing list of these blogs for this purpose. This is not spam. Anyone not wishing to receive these materials will be removed from the list immediately upon request. Catholic Blogs are absolutely critical for spreading credible information on the Church. This mailing list could serve as a news agency supplying news and other information to Catholic Blogs.

It is absolutely maddening trying to harvest emails off of Blogs, where people won't post their emails. He is only interested in people who want to receive these messages, not bothering anyone.

Addresses may be sent to johnmallon@cox.net

For more on John Mallon please visit his website at: http://johnmallon.net

Equal Time for Atheists

Ace is encouraging militant atheists to speak out and speak freely of their hatred of religion.

I fully support, nay encourage this exercise of free speech:
An atheistic sign is included in the state Capitol's holiday display that includes a holiday tree and a Christian nativity scene.
The sign, a new addition this year, is sponsored by the Freedom from Religion Foundation. The sign reads, "Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds."
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Is 'Planned' A Dirty Word for Catholics?

Darwin Catholic writes a great post on what "planned" pregnancy and prudence means to him as a Catholic.

Taking a quiet Saturday morning to catch up on reading the newspaper, I was perusing a WSJ article on the lost virtue of prudence in our modern American society when I came across this jarring note...<
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Frankly Myself, I Don't Give A Damn

From Sheila Liaugminas

If we are so ambivalent about end of life issues at this point, where are we headed?
A new Environics poll has found that Canadians are split on the question of palliative care versus euthanasia. When asked if they would choose palliative care over euthanasia at the end of their lives, 44% of Canadians polled said they would choose palliative care with an equal number choosing euthanasia.
Do people even know what they’re talking about? How many of us understand palliative care? The right-to-die movement has done their PR work. Which works better on younger, healthier people.

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Advent. What's the Point?

The Anchoress sums things up quite nicely.

I have been asked that more than once, particularly by my Evangelical friends: why do Catholics and others, put so much stock in “ritualistic” sorts of things not explicitly spelled out in scripture – things like Advent, and its trappings - the purple vestments, the Advent wreaths and such. “Jesus came once for all, he doesn’t keep coming,” one woman said. “Christmas is a wonderful season. Why do you need a whole Advent season, too? What’s the point?”
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Man Dies at The Temple of Materialism

Red Cardigan laments the man who was trampled at Wal Mart yesterday and thinks maybe we're all a little responsible.

This morning at the local branch of a store which, despite the fact that like most Americans I patronize on occasion, I see as a hulking symptom of exactly what's wrong with us ("New Lower Price! Smiley Face! And you don't see the fifteen-year-old factory girls in China who are coughing blood from breathing all the toxic dust from the paint the FDA will tell you next year isn't safe!"), a man who had a temp job opened the door to a surging throng of desperately greedy people and was trampled to death as they raced to be one of the first to get a ticket or be in line for the Cheapest Gadgets Ever.
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America Gets Rick Rolled

The greatest moment in the history of the Macy’s parade? Obviously so. The greatest moment in the history of any parade? Debatable, but I’m leaning “yes.”
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Brendan Foster RIP

This is a truly moving story from CNN about a terminally ill boy who despite so many bad breaks was thankful.

As Thanksgiving approaches, I am thankful for Brendan Foster, who lived a life (however brief) of dignity and honor:
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Darwin Raises the Dead

A Neanderthal in every garage and a Mastodon in every zoo. Sounds good? It shouldn't.Darwin Catholic writes very well about some thorny issues science is ignoring completely:

If, as I did, you spent much of your youth reading about creatures of the past, and especially if you had a chance to frequent museums, as I did the Page Museum at Los Angeles' La Brea Tar Pits, the idea of seeing some of the large land mammals which went extinct within the last 50,000 years brought back to life can't help seeming a bit attractive.
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Fr. McBrien is Wrong Again?

Fr. Richard McBrien wants to teach you what the lessons of the '08 election were. LarryD says different:

Richard McBrien's essay at the NC Distorter this week focuses on the lessons the bishops ought to have learned from this year's presidential elections. He cites three distinct points, all of which, IMHO, are distinctly wrong. His words are in red, mine are bracketed...
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Dad Couldn't Pull Plug on Son

When his 18-year-old son met with a road accident in the United States in 1983 and went into a coma, American doctors advised Dr Tan (not his real name) to 'let your son go'.

After all, the young man had permanent brain damage and could survive only as a human vegetable, they said.

As a medical doctor, he knew what that meant. But as a father, he could not bring himself to pull the plug.

'As a doctor, I knew he had only a 4 per cent chance to live and even if he were to survive, he would be a vegetable. But this is my son. I couldn't let him die,' said the senior practitioner, who looks to be in his 70s and spoke on condition that his identity not be revealed.
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When Science Points to God

Dinesh D'Souza points out that many scientists are starting to wonder about all the coincidences that make life possible.

If you want to know why atheists seem to have given up the scientific card, the current issue of Discover magazine provides part of the answer. The magazine has an interesting story by Tim Folger which is titled “Science’s Alternative to an Intelligent Creator.” The article begins by noting “an extraordinary fact about the universe: its basic properties are uncannily suited for life.”
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Who's on the Gay Rights Enemies List?

Raise your hand if you think we're sliding down the road to outright persecution of the religious. I mean, if the government could think of anything to investigate from this election cycle wouldn't it be the millions and millions from anonymous donors to the Obama camp? Nah. The Mormons are the real culprits here. Gateway Pundit has this extraordinarily scary story:

Somebody help me... Is this California or some Far Left tinpot regime?

The California courts will investigate the Mormon Church over its role in the gay marriage ban. The proposition did not affect domestic partnerships in California.
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The New Way of Being Pro-Life

Jeff Miller is not so smart. He doesn't see how Obama appointing wacko pro-abortion officials to his cabinet will decrease abortion. He obviously needs to read his Kmiec to figure this out.

None of this bothers me though. After all Catholic Obama supporters told us that Obama is really more pro-life and that his policies will reduce abortion. Strangely I had never come up with the idea of appointing a militantly pro-abortion women as White House Communication Directory or appointing others all on the same side of the pro-abortion deep end. Silly me I would have thought we have a negative effect on a policy to reduce abortion...
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Hannity's Political Pinata Steps Down

Alan Colmes is packing it up after years of being spanked around by Sean Hannity, says Hot Air.

Hannity could carry the show himself — he does it in “Hannity’s America,” after all — but an hour of him after an hour of O’Reilly, night after night, would be … taxing. Plus, to move from right-wing to very right-wing during primetime would expose the “fair and balanced” credo to even more mockery. The X factor is Rachel Maddow...
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Obama Skips Church. Shock!

Is anyone surprised that Barack Obama hasn't been to church once since winning the election? I didn't think so. I always thought all the discussion whether Obama was a Muslim or a Christian was off the point. Obama is an Obama-ite. Gateway Pundit has more:

I think we have now heard it all...
Barack Obama is skipping church to workout because of his great respect for places of worship.
Of course, this new found respect for God's house was not so evident at his former place of worship:
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Feelings, Woe Woe Woe, Feelings

Karen Hall says when it comes to Gay Marriage, thinking isn't the problem. It's feelings.

These days I frequently hear in my head: "My people will be destroyed for lack of knowledge." But it seems to me that a lot of the destruction we bring upon ourselves is caused by feelings. Somewhere along the way, we decided that our feelings were more important than God's law.

Read the whole thing >>>>

Fight, Fight, Win!

We are at a crossroads. Father Zuhlsdorf senses it, do you?

Socialism Studies

George Orwell has nothing on Karen Hall ht to our friend Dierdre.

My oldest kids are always complaining -- rightly -- about being assigned group projects. By luck or design, they are always the only person in the group who does the work. The other people who refuse to show up, or goof off, or they are just plain I.Q. challenged. They are perfectly willing to let someone else (my kids) do all the work and then put their names on it when it's done. And my kids can't join them and goof off, because they care about things like their grades and grad schools and employers who will one day look at their transcripts. If the goof-offs go down, the hard workers are going with them.

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Stay Away From Suzanne!

I'm warning you to stay away from Suzanne. Even her blog smells like bleach. She's in a cleaning frenzy. Any friends who live nearby maybe they could set up an intervention. She's making all of us non-pregnant bloggers feel guilty.

That red wax mark on the wall by the boys' bedroom that taunted me for the last month? Got it. The one on the ceiling, too. My outlets and switches are streak free, and the toaster shines. I've washed walls, many walls, I still have more walls to wash. Bring 'em on. I don't even feel pregnant anymore, except that there's this thing in the way when I reach under toddler beds and try to squeeze--dust pan in hand-- behind a half pulled out fridge. There's more to be done and thought of it thrills me. I'll get some brushes and touch up paint. I'll get to those closets and unpack the last of the books. I'll winterize the back porch furniture as I've been meaning to, finish up the Christmas shopping, and baking for Thanksgiving. If you're a part of my life, chip in or get out of the way. Should you cross my path and I accidentally comb you, bleach you, or completely reorganize you, I'm sorry.
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Amy Doesn't Like Needy Vampires

Amy Welborn is not liking the new vampire series.

Despite not being the closest observer of the Twilight phenomenon, I will still say that even from the outside, the whole thing seems disturbing to me, and not because of any occult content, but rather because of the overheated needy romanticism that seems to be at the heart of the hysteria. Blech.
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Amazing: Uruguay Leads The Way

Sheila Liaugminas relays an amazing story from Uruguay.

This probably sounds familiar:
It’s a familiar scenario: a tall, photogenic, charismatic left-leaning President who outsmarted traditional political forces to win office with 51.7 percent of the national vote. His platform is social justice, tax reform, human rights, better health coverage…His party controls both houses of the legislature. Elected in the midst of an economic crisis, the pundits described his campaign of hope as “the most profound political rupture in recent history”.
Barack Obama, right?

Wrong. The president of Uruguay, who just stunned the world with a decision he announced.

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Behar: Homeschooled Kids Are Demented

The View is always an endless source of idiocy. Michelle Malkin watches it so I don't have to.

Joy Behar of “The View” has the IQ of a rotten tomato, the manners of an a$$, the mouth of a street thug, and the chutzpah to declare that “a lot” of homeschooled children are “demented.”

I guess we should give thanks that she sits around a table kvetching with other liberal women for a living instead of doing what she did before Hollywood embraced her. That’s right: She was a…public school teacher
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We have to Go Back To Space, I Left My Bag

Can you imagine the conversation this woman will have with her husband after returning home? "Honey, We have to go back to space, I left my purse."

Nice Is Overrated

From Red "Erin Manning" Cardigan or is that Erin "Red Cardigan" Manning

I had a fun exchange with Father Philip, OP, at Mark Shea's blog today. A reader had written to tell a heartbreaking--but all too familiar--tale of mistreatment at the hands of colleagues, one of whom was a Catholic nun who thinks the Catechism is "outdated" (which makes one wonder what in Heaven's name she thinks of the Bible, as it is a wee bit older). Father wrote:
I've had to note many times lately to my readers that I've taken vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

There ain't no %$#@ vow of nice.

I think the time for "being sweet" to the enemy is last past...

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Jay Still Unsure About Steele

Jay at Pro Ecclesia has concerns about probable GOP Chair Michael Steele's bona fides on abortion. Steele didn't exactly cover himself in glory on the issue during his Senate run:

Up until last week, I was a huge fan of former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele. In fact, he was my choice 2 years ago to be RNC Chairman and among my top choices, along with Sen. Brownback and Govs. Palin and Jindal, to be Sen. McCain's running mate. So, I was very much on board with the notion of his becoming RNC Chairman this time around.

That was until this news regarding Steele's less-than-stellar defense of the pro-life cause on Meet the Press came out.
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Must Read of the Day

Jonah Goldberg of National Review essentially tells Kathleen Parker to get off her high horse. Parker, basking in the media glow of being a liberal Palin hating Republican, in this week's column calls religious people low-brow oogedy-boogedy types.Goldberg tells her in no uncertain terms what he thinks of her assessment.

I don't know what's more grating, the quasi-bigotry that has you calling religious Christians low brows, gorillas and oogedy-boogedy types or the bravery-on-the-cheap as you salute — in that winsome way — your own courage for saying what (according to you) needs to be said. Please stop bragging about how courageous you are for weathering a storm of nasty email you invite on yourself by dancing to a liberal tune. You aren't special for getting nasty email, from the right or the left. You aren't a martyr smoking your last cigarette.
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Pastor Fakes Illness for Money

Remember the Royal Tenenbaums. It was an odd Gene Hackman movie which I liked a lot. But it's about Hackman (who is the greatest actor of the 20th Century excluding Michael Pare) faking a terminal illness to win his wife back. Anyway, that's a long intro to Matt Swaim's piece over at Apolobloglogy about a preacher who faked terminal cancer to increase donations. And it worked. That is, until he didn't die. We'll probably be seeing a television movie about it on Lifetime by February. Hey, maybe Gene Hackman could play the preacher.

Instead of faking a terminal illness to bring his family together, this pastor faked a terminal illness to get lots of money from his congregation. Now the people who were trying to help him not die are wishing he were dead
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How Do You Follow A Lifesize Skeleton?

A charming story about her attempts to impress children from Karen over at Some Have Hats.

Tomorrow is "Teach-In" day at Caleb's school. It's the day you've all seen on sitcoms, where a parent (usually a father) goes to the kid's class to talk about his job. He inevitably has a boring job and has to speak right after a fireman.

You would think that I'd be pretty safe in that scenario. But you would be wrong. For instance, last year I had to follow a chiropractor, who brought a life-sized skeleton for the kids to play with. She also gave them all a pair of green latex gloves as a lovely parting gift.
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The Evil Within

From the fine blog of Mr. Alexander

"In the end, the responsibility does not end with either Ayers, or even with the president-Elect. The latter could be said to be guilty of no more, than being exactly what the majority of the American electorate wanted him to be. As such, the burden extends to anyone and everyone who lent credence and support to his cause, for whatever reason. The choice between 'the lesser of two evils' is nonetheless a choice..."

Read the whole thing >>>>

Terrorist Ayers Lectures at Georgetown

The terrorist was invited to speak at Georgetown Law School which leads to the question: WHAT IS WRONG WITH GEORGETOWN?! Amanda Carpenter over at Townhall has the sad sad story:

He (Ayers) spoke on a variety of current events, saying it was time to "get rid of the insane metaphor of the war on terror" to close Guantanamo Bay, to "fight for gay rights in California and everywhere else."

During the question and answer session of the event a student who identified himself as someone pursuing a career in the military asked Ayers "Do you wish harm on me? Do you wish to kill me?" The student, named Luke, told Ayers it was a "disgrace" he was allowed to speak on campus.

"It's not a sad comment on the university to allow me to speak here," Ayers answered. "You cannot move forward as a society unless you engage in a dialogue with people you disagree with...you have to be willing to accept there are a range of opinions across the board." Ayers said it would be a "disaster" for the university to sanction student groups from allowing him on campus. He said most of his opposition was comprised "mostly of middle-aged men who are ventilating on their computer in their mothers basements who are sweating profusely..."
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Evangelical and Catholic?

Dr. Francis J. Beckwith writes a wonderful piece at Inside Catholic on whether evangelicalism and Catholicism are mutually exclusive. He thinks not.

On May 5, 2007, I resigned as president of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS), and two days later I resigned my membership, one I held for more than 20 years. I did so because I quickly realized -- after news of my April 29, 2007, public reception into the Catholic Church had spread like wildfire on the internet and in the media -- that there was no way that ETS could conduct business with my continued presence on the executive committee or its membership. In fact, soon after my resignation, two ETS members proposed extensive changes in the organization's doctrinal statement so that no one would ever question the indelible Protestant character of ETS. Although not supported by the ETS executive committee, their proposal will be voted on by the membership at this week's annual meeting in Providence, Rhode Island. These changes, if passed, would leave no doubt that ETS excludes all non-Protestants from its membership...
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Social Conservatives Must Go?

Every time Republicans lose an election, fiscal conservatives are talked about as anchors who need to be discarded. Dale over at Dyspeptic Mutterings has some insights:

And 2008 was "a referendum on the social conservative agenda"? In what universe? The one where he tries to fend off Christianist hordes hurling their Bibles and rosaries at his mountain survivalist retreat, maybe. Abortion was mentioned at one debate (two if you count Saddleback). The issue was the economy, plain and simple, and big-spending Barack, with his promises of Much, Much More Spending won big and spending freeze Johnny lost.
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Prayers and Practical Help Needed

Ebeth is asking for help for a newly Catholic family in need:

Barbara is a megamommy--she has twelve children. Her life story reads like the most uplifting novel no one could ever make up. After giving birth to nine babies, she adopted three more. Her four youngest sons all have Down Syndrome. Barbara is warm and witty and kind and she has given and given of herself to this online community. Barbara recently returned to the Catholic Church and her husband converted last Easter. This will be the first Christmas that they are a Catholic family.
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Amy's Child is Honest Though

Amy has a great story about her three year old drawing on the wall. Funny and something we all can relate to.

Scenes from the conscience of a 3-year old.

Setting: Regular readers of this now-lame blog recall that Michael the Little has been seized by the Muse and has gone through a stage of coloring the wall instead of napping.

I’ve not yet bothered to clean off the artwork, but as far as I can tell, the Muse seems to have temporarily departed. Except for last night when she returned, moving him to draw on the arm of the couch, even as a piece of paper sat right in front of him on the end table.

Anyway, last weekend, we were discussing the nap in his future.
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Progressive Bible Quotes #1

Funny re-writing of the gospels from LarryD over at Acts of the Apostasy:

Matthew 22:35-39 (McBrien-Kmiec 2008 American Edition.)

35 And one of them, a doctor of the law, asking him, tempting him:
36 "Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law?"
37 Jesus said to him: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy loopwhole heart, and with thy loopwhole soul, and with thy loopwhole mind...
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Stem Cell Deceptions

Matthew Franck over at Bench Memos writes clearly and well concerning the science, the politics, and morality concerning stem cell research and how some are attempting to deceive the country about alternative methods.

Maybe you thought the stem cell issue had largely subsided, thanks to the discovery of ways to "revert" cells in the human body into pluripotent ones with all the properties of embryonic stem cells—thus providing the research materials many scientists desire without having to destroy any embryos, which are after all tiny human beings...
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Jesuits Cut Deal With Victoria's Secret

Maybe they thought that "Miracle Bra" referred to a religious uplifting. Diogenes has the story:

Let's not be judgmental. They were young and needed the money. It's not as if they were Benedictines, after all. Boston College has cut a licensing deal with Victoria's Secret to market its logo on various delicate hand-washables.
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Palestinian Takes On Christian Persecution

Gateway Pundit has an extraordinarily brave columnist who is speaking out against Christian persecution.

A brave Palestinian writer Al-Nasser Al-Najjar spoke out on the persecution of Christians in the Muslim World today...In his column in the Palestinian daily Al-Ayyam, 'Abd Al-Nasser Al-Najjar criticized the persecution of Christians in Arab countries, with a particular emphasis on the Christian population of the Palestinian Authority...
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We Are Living in A Terminator Movie

Matt Swaim over at Apoloblogology has succeeded in the past few days in making me laugh uproariously and scaring the snot out of me. After watching this video I'm sure we're all doomed. Doomed, I say!

Meet Jules. Jules has a special application wherein if you look at him, he can mimic your expressions. If Jules were trying to kill me, and I began to scream in terror, and I saw my own terror reflected in his mechanical visage, I think I would lose all hope.

And he looks eerily like Kevin Spacey.
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Did Half the Bishops Vote Obama?

Curt Jester wonders if it's such a surprise that so many Catholics voted for Obama.

How in the world can we be surprised if 45 percent of Mass attending Catholics voted for Obama if that percentage or more of the Bishops did. Though even if this was ten or five percent it would still be scandalous.
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Blessings For Suzanne's Unborn Baby

Suzanne of Blessed Among Men tells of her trip to Communion with a crowd of children and her unborn baby receiving a blessing. She's a great storyteller.

Last Sunday, I waddled up the communion line with a preschooler in each hand. My husband was just behind me managing two other pre-communicants and our oldest was serving at the altar. As we manage so many little ones, I admit that I sometimes feel watched and I worry that some child will mess up, trip or-- worse-- trip somebody else.

After I received the Eucharist, father bent low and carefully blessed the child on my left. Then he bent again and blessed the child on my right. Just as I thought we'd held up the line long enough, I realized the blessings weren't over
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Obama Gives Patrick Madrid Pause

Patrick Madrid has started a new blog. One of his first posts is that he's more than a little concerned with this Obama fellow. And how!

Of course, we all know that things seem to be sliding in the direction of a “New World Order” in which a global leader could arise and exert control (Hmm. I seem to have read something about that in Scripture somewhere.), but I have never seen anything like this. Not even John F. Kennedy received international adulation on this level.
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That Hilarious Thanksgiving Video

Faith & Family Live has that great Thanksgiving Video. Cracks me up every time I see it.

Go watch it here.

They Exploded a Dead Whale

They exploded a dead whale...and then things got even funnier. I cannot express how awesome I think this story and video are. Go over to Apoloblogology and just witness the awesome.

On November 12, 1970, the Oregon Highway Division set out to rid the beach near Florence of the 45 foot long rotting carcass of a sperm whale. Collaborating with the US Navy, ODOT crews stuffed the carcass with a half ton of dynamite, hoping to fragment it into pieces small enough to be cleaned from the beach by scavenging seaside beasts
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Let's Go Christmas Shopping

The Anchoress has some Christmas shopping ideas including where to get the best coffee in the world.

I know, it’s frivolous! The whole world is “in turmoil” and disaster looms on every corner.

But after being sick for three weeks and now all these concerns about my husband, I find frivolity is in order, and besides, you know you’re wondering what to buy people for Christmas - how to gift people in the spirit of the season without breaking the budget. I am here to help!
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A Pro-Life Democratic Party?

Nothing would make me more happy than if pro-lifers were to take over the Democratic Party. American Papist has a somehwat encouraging take on the possibility.

I've said it before, "pro-life" and "democrat" can be a powerfully appealing combination to a Catholic. It's clear to me I need to learn more about Democrats for Life of America. What I've seen so far, I mostly like (i.e., "Pro-Life Is The Winning Strategy For Democrats", etc). Other things they have said, while I don't agree with entirely, are certainly far better than what we are used to hearing.
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Simon Pegg on Running Zombies

We here at CMR aim to have more zombie references than any other Catholic blog in the world. This one may be the best. Simon Pegg of Shaun of the Dead has a great essay on the recent terrible cinematic trend of running zombies.

I know it is absurd to debate the rules of a reality that does not exist, but this genuinely irks me. You cannot kill a vampire with an MDF stake; werewolves can't fly; zombies do not run. It's a misconception, a bastardisation that diminishes a classic movie monster. The best phantasmagoria uses reality to render the inconceivable conceivable. The speedy zombie seems implausible to me, even within the fantastic realm it inhabits. A biological agent, I'll buy. Some sort of super-virus? Sure, why not. But death? Death is a disability, not a superpower. It's hard to run with a cold, let alone the most debilitating malady of them all.

More significantly, the fast zombie is bereft of poetic subtlety. As monsters from the id, zombies win out over vampires and werewolves when it comes to the title of Most Potent Metaphorical Monster.
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Gay Group Attacks Christian Service

Haven't heard anything about this from the ordinary ministers of the media? Wonder why.

A radical gay group in Michigan crashed an evangelical church service on Sunday.
The radicals interrupted the service rushed the pulpit with a megaphone, noise makers, condoms, glitter by the bucket load, confetti, and pink fabric while screaming at the churchgoers.
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Prolifers Stuck With The Republican Party?

From American Catholic:

Every election cycle, the New York Times and similar publications run op-eds or features discussing the ‘emerging trend’ (always emerging, never quite emerged) of pro-lifers reconciling themselves to voting for the Democratic party. These articles vary widely in quality, and range from intelligent and provocative (if flawed) to embarrassing, but the most common feature is disenchantment with the current state of the Republican party. I will grant that the case has been easier to make this year given the widespread dissatisfaction with the Republican party (particularly among the chattering classes).

Nevertheless, I think the answer to the title of this post is that, yes, pro-lifers are stuck with, or at least would be best served by, support for the Republican party. Some points for consideration:

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The (Adorable) Piper Palin Interview

HotAir is linking to the first radio interview by Piper Palin. It's really cute.

First thing since Tuesday that’s made me smile.
Dude, 2048. It’s happening.
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This is What Talking to Iran Gets You

Amir Fakhravar understands that you cannot hold talks with the brutal regime in control of Iran.

CNN interviewed Amir recently on his time in the notorios Evin Prison. Amir also discussed what he thinks of Barack Obama's plans to talk with the brutal Iranian Regime: Continue reading>>>

Reason #142 to Homeschool

This is a video of Diantha Harris, a lifelong democrat and avid Barack Obama supporter. She is also a lousy schoolteacher, as is evidenced by the mushmouthed kids in her class. And instead of concentrating on grammar and English, math and science, she abuses and ridicules any child who dares to speak up in support of John McCain. This video is part of a Finnish documentary on Obama fans, and it is shocking that you have to go to a foreign country to learn what goes on in our own classrooms...

Update
Link above not working for some reason....Find out all about it at Michelle Malkin.

Newt's Comeback

I was speaking to a friend who's a Republican fundraiser in D.C. and he was saying everyone is waiting for the next Newt Gingrich to lead the party. I joked that the old Newt was still alive. Stop The Aclu has a story that Newt might be ripe for a comeback as head of the RNC. Many people have different thoughts about him but there's no arguing the success he had in 1994.

I think Newt has a rare, true leadership ability to make things happen, and speak clearly on the principles of conservatism. He isn’t perfect, but I’m all for him taking this position. It would be a step in the right direction.
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The Anchoress Sees Ghosts of Hate

I've been pleasantly surprised by much of the conservative blogosphere these past two days. They're not ridiculing Barack Obama. (There are exceptions, I know) I've seen a lot of folks looking to pick up the pieces of conservatism and others who are simply praying that the Democrats won't do the things they've promised to do. The Anchoress says all this better than me though so go read her.

I would love nothing better than to be able to stop writing about “left” and “right.” I wish we had a better vocabulary to describe our distinctions, because these words are limiting and off-putting. I am determined, with the merciful conclusion of this abusively long election season, to work diligently at spending less time entertaining these distinctions. But for today, I think it is only fair to note a very important and glaring difference between “left and right” - and in so doing - consider how we may, finally, stop needing to indulge in what is tedious.
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Sarah Responds

Gateway Pundit has the video of Sarah Palin responding to the anonymous accusations coming from McCain insiders that she ruined McCain's Presidential chances. I watched it. This woman is class.

FOX News reporter Carl Cameron earlier on Wednesday smeared Governor Palin with several horrible anonymous attacks from McCain staffers.

Governor Palin was earlier asked by reporters on the role she played in yesterday's loss.

The classy mainstream had to get in their final digs on the popular conservative governor before she flew back home.
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Notes From The Collapse

Ed Morrisey shares his thoughts and some hard numbers on the election.

This morning, after having absorbed the substantial victory of Barack Obama, I noticed a couple of interesting items in the data. Barack Obama certainly won this race, but he won it with just a little more votes than George Bush won in his re-election bid, and the turnout models came up short.

In 2004, Bush beat John Kerry by winning 62.04 million votes. In 2008, Obama won 62.443 million, a gain of only 400,000. In 2004, Kerry garnered 59.028 million votes; John McCain only got 55.386 million. That means this election saw 3.24 million fewer votes than four years ago. Far from being more energized, the nation appeared to be more apathetic...
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Some Cheering News for a Bleak Day

From Mark Shea:

David Bereit, the Director of 40 Days for Life, writes:
I have a VERY important announcement at the end of this message, but first some GREAT news!

On a day when many are stressed about elections, I just heard from one of our 40 Days for Life local campaign leaders who is bouncing off the walls with the exciting news that the abortion facility that was the focus of their campaign over these last 40 days is CLOSING!!

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Armageddon or Utopia

Mary's Aggies reminds us that yesterday was not the end of the world. For one little baby, it was a new start.

Yesterday we got a call from a person who chose life over abortion. She walked away from the abortion clinic and then called us to try and find help.
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