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Fr. Morris vs. Phil Donahue on Notre Dame

You had to expect that Phil Donahue (ND grad) would chime in sooner or later on this Notre Dame business. What I didn't expect was that when he went on television everything he said would be smacked into the third row like a weak layup by Fr. Morris. Check it out at Jill Stanek's site. She's got the video and some commentary:

I can't tell you how perfectly I thought our side, Fr. Jonathan Morris and Martha MacCallum, argued against admittedly fallen liberal Catholic Phil Donohue. This was a grand debate where the liberal clock was cleaned.

Fr. Morris employed wonderful skill against Donohue, who threw 9 pieces of mud against the wall to try to move the discussion away from abortion and human embryo experimentation - including Catholic opposition to condoms, a Holocaust denying priest, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the Catholic Church's history of anti-semitism, George Bush, the lack of priests and nuns, and dropping church attendance....

Fr. Morris consistently reoriented the debate by stating he would love to discuss these issues with Donohue another time, but the topic here was Obama's opposition to Life in context with being honored at Notre Dame.
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Abortion is a Blessing

Some days it's hard being a Catholic and I wonder about the state of the Church...but then an Episcopalian goes and says something so stupid that I thank God I'm a Catholic. Amy has more:

The Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge has unanimously elected a new dean, Dr. Katherine Ragsdale. Chris Johnson at the Midwest Conservative Journal posts:
How radically pro-abortion is Katie Rags? This radically pro-abortion:
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The Modest Power Ranger

My three year old is Power Ranger crazy so Jessica Rey (the White Ranger) is an A-List celebrity in our house. And she probably is to many young people. That's why it's great to hear her talking about modesty and chastity with Tony Rossi:

Jessica Rey found success as the White Power Ranger on the popular kids show “Disney’s Power Rangers: Wild Force.” Though she continues her acting work, she’s also started traveling around the country to give talks about chastity and modesty. She presents the topics in a way that’s appealing for youth who want to be in touch with popular culture, but also want to transform it into something better. Jessica recently joined me on “Christopher Closeup” (full podcast here) to talk about her work. Here are some excerpts:
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Planned Parenthood Mad. Matt Happy.

Here's how I see things. When Planned Parenthood is ticked off, I'm happy. It's pretty easy. It doesn't take much to tick them off. Case in point - PP is angry because Virginia is now allowing license plates to say "Choose Life." The horror! Ed Morrissey has more:

One might think that a license plate that emphasized choice would please the people who style themselves as “pro-choice”. Not in Virginia, though, as Democratic Governor and DNC chair Tim Kaine has discovered. Kaine approved a new option for license plates that displays the phrase, “Choose Life”, and pro-abortion groups have hit the roof:
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Is Sarah the Next Rush?

Red State believes the liberals will attempt to now make Sarah Palin the face of the Republican Party. Will it work? Backfire?

We learned from Greg Sargent’s blog The Plum Line that Democrat strategists have plans to increasingly elevate Gov. Sarah Palin as a leader in much the same way they have done with Rush Limbaugh in recent weeks.

Sargeant reveals that James Carville, who mapped out the Limbaugh strategy, told him that Dems will be increasingly elevating Palin, because she’s “an identifiable person who has a hook,” unlike GOP Congressional leaders such as Rep. Eric Cantor and Sen. Mitch McConnell.
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Responding to Kmiec

Ed Morrissey tears apart Doug Kmiec's obfuscations on life:

Dan Gilgoff at US News asks readers to contribute to a debate between Robby George and Douglas Kmiec, two Catholic legal scholars, on the nature of human life, abortion, cloning, and stem-cell research. Gilgoff oddly refers to Kmiec as a conservative despite Kmiec’s support for Barack Obama and defense of Obama’s stem-cell policies and apologetics over Obama’s abortion stands. Kmiec asked Gilgoff to solicit answers to a series of questions that the two will eventually debate in face-to-face meetings, and the first one is a dead giveaway to the spin Kmiec will provide:
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Dennis Rodman And The Natural Law

From Southern Appeal

Last night I watched the latest episode of The Apprentice: Celebrity Edition. I have been pulled into the series this year largely because of the compelling finishes where The Donald lectures celebrities about their work habits and managerial ineptness. Dennis Rodman has been a draw because of his incredibly bad behavior.

This was Dennis’ week.

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Closing Ranks on Canon 915

From Deal Hudson at Inside Catholic

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius received some good news last week when abortionist Dr. George Tiller was found not guilty of breaking state laws regulating late-term abortion. The relationship between Tiller and Sebelius would surely have played a role in her upcoming confirmation hearings had he been found guilty.
But Governor Sebelius got some bad news as well -- something not noticed much in Catholic media or the secular press. The bishops of Washington, D.C., and Arlington, Virginia, confirmed publicly they would uphold the declaration of her ordinary, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, stating that Governor Sebelius should not present herself for communion.

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She Met Her Husband Online

Then internet is now good for two things. Reading CMR and finding Catholic chicks. Who'd a thunk it?

I never wanted to meet my husband on the Internet.

Online dating sites, I thought, were the haunt of rapidly aging socially-challenged men, and, if I joined an online group, I would be implying that I, too, was socially awkward.

Yet, I had been out of college for three years, and my options for meeting my spouse were increasingly slim. There was no one at work to date, or at church, and I was dubious about meeting the right guy at a bar. With a flourish and a laughing promise to friends that I was not going to take this too seriously, I signed on to AveMariaSingles.com.
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Catholics Same As Non-Catholics on Issues

Gallup is reporting some pretty bad news for Catholics:

Despite the Roman Catholic Church's official opposition to abortion and embryonic stem-cell research, a Gallup analysis finds almost no difference between rank-and-file American Catholics and American non-Catholics in terms of finding the two issues morally acceptable...
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An Address Is Not Dialogue

via Sheila Liaugminas

President Obama’s commencement address at Notre Dame is generating more and more debate, some of it obfuscating and some clarifying. Many are misguided attempts to paint this as an opportunity for dialogue.

George Weigel’s op-ed in today’s Chicago Tribune clarifies. This is actually fundamental. It begs logic and consistency.

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Al Gore: Do As I Say and All That

Report: Gore’s Lights Left on for Media-Hyped 'Earth Hour'

Christianty Today: Beckwith on ND

Francis Beckwith knows what it's like to be in the middle of controversy. In fact, he thinks he's a magnet for it. Beckwith, who is a philosophy and church-studies professor at Baylor University, triggered a debate when he resigned as president of the Evangelical Theological Society after converting to Catholicism.

Now Beckwith happens to be a visiting fellow at the University of Notre Dame, where a new debate is focused on the university's invitation to President Obama to speak at commencement.

"My wife says I'm like the Forrest Gump for controversy," he said.
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Ayers Uninvited From Boston College

Hooray! You see, it can work! [ht to Andy McCarthy]

The good guys win! Ayers is out! Because you spoke out, got on the phones and sent the emails, Boston College did the right thing and told unrepentant domestic terrorist Bill Ayers to take a hike.

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Indefensible

Karen reacts to the Tiller case the way any sane person should - with outrage.

I hope to God that someday people will look back at these times and judge us as harshly as we deserve to be judged. We just elected a president who, along with his wife, threw a big swanky dinner to raise money to ensure that doctors would continue to be able to kill babies after purposefully delivering all but the head and then stabbing their skulls with scissors and sucking their brains out. Think about that.

In my wildest dreams I can't imagine the thinking of someone who feels fine about that. But the majority of Americans either feel fine about it, or aren't disturbed enough for it to change their vote. So I guess they are either glad Tiller wasn't convicted, or they just don't care.
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Abortionist Tiller Found Not Guilty

This is bad news:

A Kansas jury has declared late-term abortionist George Tiller not guilty on 19 counts of performing illegal late-term abortions.

Tiller was accused of breaking a non-affiliation law that required an independent doctor to sign off on late-term abortions, verifying that the abortions are needed to save the life of the mother or avoid major bodily harm. The prosecution alleged that Tiller's close association with abortionist Ann Kristin Neuhaus, to whom Tiller regularly sent patients to receive the requisite second opinion, turned Tiller's facility into a "one-stop shop" for abortions.
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Bishop Aymond on Notre Dame

From Mary's Aggies

Bishop Aymond, of Austin (what a great bishop), has released the following statement:

Statement regarding the University of Notre Dame

As was announced recently, the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., is presenting President Barack Obama with an honorary degree and have asked him to give the commencement address.

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What is a Person?

Mike in CT is speechfying this week at a pro-life conference. His remakrs are quite good:

I find it astounding that our entire legal system is designed for the freedom and welfare of the human person, and yet the human person is not defined! Laws are written to account for fair trade between people, regulating what one can and cannot do in civil society. They help us to keep order and we make laws in order to shape the world in which we want to live. And yet, out from underneath us, the sand is eroding away very quickly. The structure that governs us all will collapse without the foundation that is the human person.
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Touchdown Obama

Read the first line of this piece and tell me you don't want to read the rest from The American Spectator:

The Catholic Church in America has bred her own destroyers, graduating from doctrinally corrupt catechetical programs, schools and colleges two generations of pro-abortion politicians. Barack Obama, in his effortless Alinskyite style, has exploited this phenomenon to the hilt, seeking out Catholics such as Joe Biden and Kathleen Sebelius to serve as his agents of destruction.
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McCain Staff Angry With Palin

Sarah Palin said that she couldn't find anyone to pray with on the McCain campaign. Anonymous McCain staffer says they're upset by her, according to Hot Air:

She said she meant no disrespect by it, but it’s hard to see how: “So I’m looking around for somebody to pray with, I just need maybe a little help, maybe a little extra… And the McCain campaign, love ‘em, you know, they’re a lot of people around me, but nobody I could find that I wanted to hold hands with and pray.” She ended up praying with Piper. Maybe she meant there was no one there with whom she felt close enough to share a moment like that?
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Bishop Olmsted Letter to ND

Another Bishop speaks out against Notre Dame with some pretty strong language. American Papist has the letter.

Here is a screen capture of the letter that the Bishop of Phoenix Thomas Olmsted sent to Notre Dame President Father Jenkins yesterday (on the Feast of the Annunciation) and has now permitted to be published today:
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Is ABC Admitting Abortion Kills Babies?

Media blog captures an image attached to an abortion story on ABC News. I wonder how long they're going to keep it up. I wonder if someone's going to lose their job. Check it out.

ABCNews.com has a story up on the Bush policies that President Obama has overturned in the short time he's been in office. Here's the graphic from their homepage highlighting the story.
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Jen F. Is a Robber.

You know. We here at CMR have long loved "Conversion Diary" and have supported her site but we clearly have to distance ourselves from Jen F. because of her recent crime spree that will likely see Jen F. locked up where she belongs for a very very long time. (Patrick says he always knew something was wrong with her.) It turns out that Jen stole a pacifier. She says by mistake but who knows. If she's willing to do this...what's next? Watch out for her. CMR is very afraid of her and is linking to her only out of fear.

One day last year I was putting grocery bags in the car after an epic store trip, and after I grabbed the last bag something caught my eye in the back of the cart: a $3.75 package of pacifiers. I somehow missed them when I was handing items to the cashier, so we hadn't paid for them.

I had all three kids strapped into the car, they were all overtired and on the brink of major meltdowns, the store was crowded with 10+ minute waits to check out, it was already well past dinner time, and some rumbling thunder indicated that it was about to rain. It seemed virtually impossible to go back into that store. But I really needed those pacifiers. My one-year-old lost her other one and wouldn't sleep without it; they were the main thing I'd gone to the store to get.
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Flipping the Bird is Free Speech?

Who'd a thunk that the middle finger was protected speech? Ace of Spades is surprised as well. (Warning: Ace typically uses some pretty colorful language. Not in this post but most places)

Flipping "the Bird" is Constitutionally Protected Speech. So ruled U.S. District Judge David Circone on Monday (PDF), but this is apparently a fairly settled question.

Here, the plaintiff, David Hackbart, was parallel parking at a meter along a city street when another car approached from behind. That car's driver then pulled partially into the metered parking spot, thus preventing Hackbart from pulling into the spot. The other driver then refused to move, so Hackbart flipped him the middle finger.
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It's Time for...Abortion Pride!

Apparently it’s time for an “abortion pride” movement according to “bioethicist” and author Jacob M Appel.

Everybody is proud these days. While “pride” as a collective concept may have originated with the Gay Rights movement of the 1970s, now marchers in the St. Patrick’s Day parade are as likely to sport pins boasting “Proud to be Irish” and my Jewish friends are as proud to be Jewish as my Muslim friends are proud to be Muslim—although I always wonder if they wouldn’t be equally proud if they had been born into the opposite faiths. Recently, I even spotted a bumper sticker on a jalopy that declared: “Proud to be humble.” While the Book of Proverbs may warn us that “pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall,” the political and social reality today is that pride is a necessary prerequisite for acceptance and equality. That is why the moment is ripe—more than ripe—for an Abortion Pride Movement.
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ND Spins

Jack Fowler of The Corner gets a hold of Notre Dame's spin:

So, they wanted “dialogue.” Well, the big kahuna of Notre Dame alumni, one Charles Lennon, has just sent this missive to “Class Leaders” — essentially talking points for how to spin fellow alumni as to why it's peachy keen that the most pro-abortion president in history will be gracing the University on Graduation Day. The letter in full follows (a helpful gardening tip: print this out, tear it up, and sprinkle it over your flower bed; the fertilizer will do wonders for your roses)...
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Jesus, Target, and Amy

I never thought I'd read an eloguent and insightful post about going to Target. I was wrong.

Target sees a lot of me these days. It's just down the road a mile or so.

It's a Super Target. It's big and clean and bright and very Targety. You know. Crisp and uncluttered, bright red flashing in your peripheral vision in that Targety way.

There was a time, not too long ago, in which a last-minute request or a late discovery of a missing staple would send me right over the edge. But now it's, "You need a compass? I'll just go to Target." "Oh look, we're out of milk. I guess I need to go to Target." "Oh that's right, Joseph needs a t-shirt for Dino Days. Target." And of course, the one we all know and love, "Poster board? No problem. I'll just run to Target"...
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Life at First Breath?

Fr. Dwight Longenecker says that pro-life is pro-science. It is the pro-aborts who cling to outdated notions of life:

There seems to be a growing popularity among pro abortion folks that life begins 'at the first breath.' I'm not an expert on this view of the beginning of life, but I know that one strain of Hebrew thought proposes that this is when life begins. They take this poetic view from the Genesis story where God 'breathes into man the breath of life.' A colleague tells me that this understanding of the beginning of human life was also held by Rudolph Steiner. Steiner taught that a spirit or 'soul' hovers over a child about to be born and enters into it at the first breath.
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Jack Bauer and The Pope

OK. I'll admit that this isn't a connection I'd ever make but Kathryn Lopez seems pretty confident about it so I'll go with it.

24 isn’t the first thing most people would think of when looking for a pop-culture representation of papal guidance, but if you’ve been watching 24 this season, you’ve seen a taste of what Pope John Paul II meant by “the genius of the feminine.” You’ve seen the complementarity of men and women at work.
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Sebelius Barred from Communion in DC?

This might be an interesting one to watch.

Kathleen Sebelius, the Kansas governor who has been chosen by President Barack Obama to be Secretary of Health and Human Services, may be instructed to refrain from receiving Communion in the nation's capital, the Washington Times reports.
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StopTheAbortionBailout.com

KelliK writes at Jill Stanek's site about a new move to remove funding of abortion providers from the budget.

The Susan B. Anthony List has just launched Stop the Abortion Bailout, a grassroots campaign with the goal of sending 200k letters to the Senate to get 41 senators to filibuster any funding of abortion providers in the FY 2010 Budget.

Great idea. StopTheAbortionBailout.com lists specific funding requests by the abortion industry.
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This is Disgusting

Michelle Malkin found this disgusting story from the Associated Press which terribly distorts a tragedy into some sort of socioeconomic comeuppance:

For crying out loud. Seven children, all under the age of 9, died in a horrific plane crash in Montana over the weekend along with their devoted parents and the pilot.

This is how the Associated Press chose to write its lead sentence reporting the tragedy:

BUTTE, Mont. (AP) - Three California families headed to a retreat for the ultrarich were among the 14 victims of a plane crash in Montana
.
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Liturgical Laryngitis

This is great stuff from Larry D. Funny and true.

The Sons of LarryD are stricken with a disease - it's not life-threatening, mind you. It's pandemic, but not contagious. It's neither debilitating nor incapacitating.

It's just really really frustrating.

I'm talking about Liturgical Laryngitis. You can set your clock to when it strikes, and you can guess rather accurately as to when the symptoms disappear. Sure, there are occasions when it fades away during Mass, for a sentence or two - such as "Dad, tell him to stop kicking me!"; or "Is Mass almost over?"; or "Do you have to sing every verse of the recessional?" Other than that, though, their vocal chords remain as silent as Zechariah while waiting for John to be born.
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Scholar vs. Hack on Obama Cloning

This is a great debate. Well, great that you can see Doug Kmiec get bounced around like a kickball in a reasoned debate on whether Obama allowed cloning:

Scholar vs. Hack: Prof. George Schools Prof. Kmiec re: "Did Obama Allow Human Cloning?"
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Barney Frank: Scalia a Homophobe!

Class.

Maybe Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) doesn’t give a damn if people here him call Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia a bigot, or maybe he thought no one outside of 365gay.com’s target audience would notice. The remark happens almost immediately:

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) called Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia a “homophobe” Friday for opposing gay rights.
“I do think that this argument that it’s unconstitutional for the federal government to pick and choose which marriages it will recognize is a good one,” Frank said Friday in an interview with a gay news website, 365gay.com.
“At some point it’s going to have to go to the United States Supreme Court,” he continued. “I wouldn’t want it to go to the United States Supreme Court now because that homophobe Antonin Scalia has too many votes on this court.”
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The Obligatory Sex Scene

This is proof that Erin Manning is one of the best writers in the Catholics blogosphere but sadly, it's also evidence that she's terrible with titles. She has a great post with fine insights about sex scenes in television shows and their effect on the culture but she leaves the words "sex" out of the title. Silly Erin. Sex sells - which brings me back to the point of her post.

I've been watching a newish TV show lately; I thought the concept was interesting, and liked the conflict being set up among some characters. I won't mention the name of the show, though, because it looks like its ratio of OSS to quality broadcast moments is becoming unacceptable, as so often happens with even those shows that have some artistic or literary merit.

OSS? Oh, I'm sorry: Obligatory Sex Scenes.

When Flannery O'Connor gives advice to writers in her various essays, she spends some time talking about how, as art is universal and must be true, it has to reflect the world as it is, not the world as we'd like it to be.
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The Pope Stands With Women

For all the hubbub concerning Pope Benedict's remarks about condoms, please don't lose sight of the important and beautiful things he said about the dignity of women:

Women looking for a little encouragement and parenting advice need only consult the texts from Benedict XVI’s journey to Africa last week. (He comes home today.)

Though he had several important goals to further, the over-arching theme of his addresses was support for the family: it came up in every talk, every homily, to every audience.

Interestingly, in speaking to an audience of members of new movements, the Holy Father made his theme the promotion of women.
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Rare Recording: "So I'm Dying of Cancer"

Dawn Eden sends this over. A very rare recording of Father Daniel A. Lord S.J., and his sermon, "So I'm Dying of Cancer." Check it out.

FIRST TIME ON WEB: The only known recording of Daniel A. Lord S.J.
"God's that wonderful Saviour who walked the highway looking for you because He loved you. And when He couldn't find you, He climbed up on a Cross, hoping that He could see you from that elevation. And then He died rather than let you die."

I have something very special to share: the voice of a man I believe is an unacknowledged saint.

He is Father Daniel A. Lord S.J., and his voice is on a recording of an interview, followed by a sermon (from which the quote above is taken), both recorded in 1954, less than a year before his death at age 66.
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NRO on ND

NRO has a heck of a lineup weighing in on Notre Dame inviting Obama to be its Commencement speaker. George Weigel and Fr. George Rutler weight in along wtih many others. It's great:

The University of Notre Dame has announced that Pres. Barack Obama will be the principal speaker and will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree at the university’s commencement on Sunday, May 17. The invitation comes after the president has taken several official actions that directly oppose the Catholic Church’s most sacred teachings. National Review Online asked some of our experts on education and Catholicism for their comments.
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Amy: Argument for Obama at ND?

Amy really wants to hear some arguments for Obama at Notre Dame:

Give it to me. (Update: And while I really do appreciate the discussion so far...I was serious. Supporters of the choice...tell me why it's a good choice.)

Here's an arguments against, from the comments box:

My heart is breaking at this invitation and the honorary degree that will be bestowed on President Obama. I graduated from ND Law School within the past 10 years and have consistently defended Notre Dame as a great institution that, despite hiccups and inconsistencies, still was Catholic in a meaningful way. I feel a great affinity for ND than my undergraduate university.
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Obamaliturgy - Crossing the Rubricon

Father Longenecker cracks us up with his "Alternative Liturgy for the Visit of a Presidential Person"

Alternative Liturgy for the Visit of a Presidential Person

The liturgy for the welcoming of President Obama to Notre Dame has just been leaked:

Remember: SAY THE BLACK. DO THE RED.

The people shall gather in a suitable meeting place where a stage shall be erected. On the stage shall be placed potted palms. Of considerable size. There shall be a podium. At the back of the stage shall be Corinthian columns. They may be made of fiberglass or another lightweight material.

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Obama: Dear Chirac Letter

Obamatuer hour continues as Obama insults another foreign leader:

In his latest faux pas Obama managed to pi$$ off France...
President Obama wrote Jacques Chirac saying he was looking forward to working with the former French president in the coming four years(?)
Monsters and Critics reported:
US President Barack Obama has indirectly praised former French president Jacques Chirac's fierce opposition to the US-led invasion of Iraq, the online edition of the daily Le Figaro reported on Thursday.
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Jesus and Gandalf Collaborating

Matt Swaim links to an interesting interview with Jim Caveizel who's teaming up with Ian McKellen. OK. I'm intrigued:

Jesus and Gandalf are collaborating.

Both have long hair and awesome beards. Both have connections to supernatural power. But one hates Christians, and the other, well, you know.

Keeping an eye on this one...
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Suicides R Us

Secondhand Smoke has a gruesome story how suicide clinics may be open for business sooner than you think:

I remember seeing the movie Soylent Green in the early 70s. One of the shocks of the film has E.G. Robinson's character leaving a note to Charlton Heston that he was "going home," which turned out to be death via a euthanasia clinic. As I recall, the idea that society would become so crass and abandoning as to permit clinics where people would go to be killed was seen as beyond the pale.

Well, in the 1990s, Kevorkian urged the establishment of suicide/euthanasia clinics. Many laughed that off as advocacy from a fringe kook--even though he had better poll numbers than Barack Obama does today.

Now suicide clinic promotion has entered the mainstream of politics.
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The Choice: A One Act Play

A one act play that illustrates better than most straight pieces how low we've become as a culture. Definitely worth a read at Big Hollywood:

Characters:
Possible: A well-spoken bit of biological material.
Mr. Patronus: Possible’s visitor.
The Setting: A warm, dark place.

(Curtain. Possible is alone on stage when Mr. Patronus enters.)

Possible: Who are you?

Patronus: My name is Mr. Pratronus. I’m sorry to suddenly intrude like this, but I’ve been assigned as your STO.

Possible: Stow?

Patronus: STO. Your Survival Training Officer. Your birth time is approaching and I’ve been sent in to train you in a few techniques that might increase your chances of surviving the next few days.
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Matthew @ F&FL: Why I Stay Home

Read Matthew at Faith and Family Live "Why I Stay At Home"

Why?”

My old newspaper colleague sat across from me in the diner booth. Irritated, he asked me again, “Why?” with a quizzical smile.

The smile was there so I wouldn’t be offended. The quizzical was there because he was.

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The End Came on Wed And You Missed It

Glenn Beck is absolutely right. Doomed.

I've been telling you for weeks to not be distracted by the "big news of the day" because it's usually just a smokescreen. But on Wednesday, I fell for it myself.

While everyone — including me — was taking sides on the AIG bonuses, something much more important was happening: The Fed announced it will pump a $1 trillion into the system by buying debt from our treasury.

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The Pope's Enemies are Catholic

We've all seen the quotes to impeach the Pope or calling hima disaster. Damian Thompson asks who the real enemies of Pope Benedict XVI are:

It's payback time for Pope Benedict XVI's most dedicated enemies, who are not militant secularists, hate-crazed Muslims, diehard Protestants or the liberal media. The people who most dislike the Pope are Catholics, or people who have the nerve to describe themselves as such.

We learned this morning that "Vatican insiders" consider Benedict XVI "a disaster". It's true. They do think that. He's a disaster for them, and their determination to turn the Catholic Church into a touchy-feely forum in which uncomfortable teachings and traditions are "modernised" to impress non-Catholics...
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Score One for the Pope

Succesful novelist Andrew Klavan supports the Pope:

I’m not a Catholic—and I’m pretty sure I’ll never become one—but I’ve read a fair amount of the writings of Pope Benedict XVI and it’s clear to me the man is a theological genius. I find it amazing that the Vatican could have followed a genuine hero like John Paul II with a mighty mind like Benedict’s. He is the Last European, the last man to truly understand the ideas that formed the foundation of Europe’s greatness. When he leaves, they may have to turn off the lights of the continent.
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Teen Self Respect Takes a Beating

As a father of four daughters I read this from OSV and say Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!

I couldn't believe it when I saw a story in the Styles section of the New York Times this morning (Teenage Girls Stand By Their Man) that said that teenage girls, when asked about recent news of pop star domestic violence, basically came down on the side of the antiquated and horribly misguided: She was asking for it. In case you don't keep up with pop-star news, singer Chris Brown, 19, allegedly beat his girlfriend, Rihanna, 21, also a wildly pop singer, so badly that her face -- which can often be spotted in make-up and fashion ads -- was left bruised and bloodied.

According to a Boston Public Health Commission survey of 200 teenagers, 46 percent said Rihanna was responsible for what happened, and 52 percent said they were both responsible.
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Fr. Z: Priests and their Habits

Fr. Z writes an interesting piece on priests wearing cassocks.

Fewer garment have been more hated by modernists and progressivists than the cassock.

In Rome, it is particular law that priests, first and foremost, should wear the cassock. This was affirmed even in the 1980’s when Card. Poletti was the Vicar.

In the Directory for Priests the cassock is given first as the manner of dress especially in administration of the sacraments and other duties.
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Do the Rules Still Apply?

Yup. I'm linking to myself over at Faith and Family Live. That's right. I'm shameless.

My neighbor’s father walked outside while my brothers and I played wiffle ball with his son.

Sometimes, on Sunday afternoons he’d come out with a beer in his hand, sit on the grass with a comic grunt, and announce our games in epic terms while impersonating the radio voices we all knew.

That day, he told us that two “hippies” ran out on centerfield in Dodger’s Stadium attempting to burn the American flag in the fourth inning. He said outfielder Rick Monday grabbed the flag just before the match was dropped. He said proudly that Rick Monday had been a Marine like him.
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Harvard: Pope Is Right!

From National Review

‘We have found no consistent associations between condom use and lower HIV-infection rates, which, 25 years into the pandemic, we should be seeing if this intervention was working.”

So notes Edward C. Green, director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, in response to papal press comments en route to Africa this week.

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Jennifer F. Conquers Gluttony

Jennifer at Conversion Diary tells us how she overcame her addiction to food. We will deal with her addiction to typing later.

This past summer I decided that now was the time for me to finally deal with gluttony. Not only was my weight creeping up higher and higher after each pregnancy, but for as long as I could remember I'd had a real problem with overeating that I seemed unable to conquer.

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Police: Pro-Lifers Potential Terrorists

Glenn Beck said on his television show the other day that "They don't surround us. We surround them." But this kind of memo makes me feel kind of...surrounded. Gateway Pundit has the police memo:

Displaying a "Don't Tread On Me" flag like the the one brought to the Tea Party Protest at the Arch in St. Louis would be a sign of possible extremism.

Missouri police officers were given instructions to target Christians, pro-lifers, Ron Paulians, pro-Gun activists, etc. as potential terrorists.
Timothy Birdnow at The American Thinker reported on this disturbing offical police document:
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A Brave Statement Of Brave Priests

Rorate Caeli publishes a letter of three priests in Brazil involved in the abortion / excommunication in that country to the shameful response of Archbishop Rino Fisichella.
A BRAVE STATEMENT OF BRAVE PRIESTS to a cowardly Bishop in an ivory tower

What I Learned in the Waiting Room

Matthew posting at Faith and Family Live

Everything I needed to know about love I learned in a hospital waiting room.

It all started with a pause. You see, my father was a quiet man. Never complained. Old school tough. So when my mother asked him if she should call the ambulance and he hesitated, we all knew it was bad.

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What is Shamrock Day?

The often excellent Get Religion is onto a story I didn't see anywhere else. Some nutjobs are attempting to have St. Patrick's Day changed to Shamrock Day.

Happy “Shamrock Day,” to you?

I have no idea how this national-angle story ended up in the Waco Tribune-Herald — in a city that is not exactly a major center for Roman Catholic culture and news, unless we are talking about Baylor University wars over the role of faith in higher education. But I fear that there really is something to this story, because it’s, well, so logical in this day and age.
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Sen: Obama Raising False Hopes

Jay Anderson applauds a pro-life voice who takes on President Obama on ESC:

Sen. George Voinovich writes on advancing medical research while at the same time protecting life:

As the debate over federal funding for stem cell research returned to the front pages this week, I am growing increasingly concerned that many Ohioans are unaware that the most promising advances in medical research and treatment today are not attributed to the embryonic stem cells. Rather, it is the non-controversial, non-life destroying use of adult and umbilical blood cord cells that have, to-date, been used to treat more than 70 diseases.
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Palin = Spears?

Uhhh media, your elitism is showing:

As if Sarah Palin hasn’t been torn apart enough by the media, try this one on for size: Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is the equivalent of Britney Spears.

That’s right. Pop culture writer Jed Gottlieb compared the former GOP Vice Presidential candidate to pop icon Britney Spears saying both women are manufactured stars with “baby drama” and a “podunk back story.”
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Erin Shreds Time

Time Magazine has a great idea. How about nobody gets married, at least not by the government. Erin Manning rips that brilliant idea apart:

Apparently out of fresh ideas, Time decides to discuss what it appears to think is a novel and creative solution to the problem of gay marriage:

When a Jewish boy turns 13, he heads to a temple for a deeply meaningful rite of passage, his bar mitzvah. When a Catholic girl reaches about the same age, she stands in front of the local bishop, who touches her forehead with holy oil as she is confirmed into a 2,000-year-old faith tradition. But missing in each of those cases — and in countless others of equal religious importance — is any role for government. There is no baptism certificate issued by the local courthouse and no federal tax benefit attached to the confessional booth, the into-the-water-and-out born-again ceremony or any of the other sacraments that believers hold sacred.
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Matthew @ Faith & Family: Wake Up, Dad!

Matthew is posting at Faith and Family Live this week. His latest is Wake Up Dad!

Here’s how I wake up every morning. My wife lays the one year old on the bed next to me. The baby gently places her hands on my chest, leans in towards my closed eyes and blares, “Wake up Dad!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Now to be honest it sounds more like “EggapDaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!” But she gets the point across with window rattling volume.

My wife thinks it’s very funny. I consider it alternately cute and sadistic depending on the morning. But I smile at the baby even when I’m grumpy and the baby laughs that wonderful baby belly laugh.

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Morally Unserious in the Extreme

Charles Krauthammer, unfortunately an advocate of ESCR, none the less takes Obama to the woodshed over his ESC decision.

WASHINGTON -- Last week, the White House invited me to a signing ceremony overturning the Bush (43) executive order on stem cell research. I assume this was because I have long argued in these columns and during my five years on the President's Council on Bioethics that, contrary to the Bush policy, federal funding should be extended to research on embryonic stem cell lines derived from discarded embryos in fertility clinics.

I declined to attend. Once you show your face at these things you become a tacit endorser of whatever they spring. My caution was vindicated.

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Obama's Council on Women and Girls

So the White House has a Council on Women. Wait until you see the lineup:

A thank you to the girls at Defining Beauty for bringing my attention to the newly created White House Council on Women and Girls. Great, right? I mean, we should feel wonderful that women's health and other "issues" are important enough for our president to create our own council, right?...
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Pope To Pay More Attention to Internet

Pope Benedict admits to poor handling of the media in the Bishop Williams debacle. But things seem to be on the upswing, says Media blog:

From the Jerusalem Post:

"The Jewish people, who were chosen as the elected people, communicate to the whole human family knowledge of and fidelity to the one, unique and true God," Pope Benedict XVI told a delegation from Israel's Chief Rabbinate on Thursday in Rome.


Also present at the papal audience were representatives of the Vatican's Commission for Religious Relations with Jews.

"This was not just another meeting," commented Haifa Chief Rabbi She'ar-Yashuv Cohen, who headed the delegation. "This was a special experience, a turning point, the end of a crisis. We could not have expected a warmer reception."
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Abp. Chaput: "End the Death Penalty."

Archbishop Chaput urges America to end the death penalty.

Let’s end the death penalty, now

Capital punishment, euthanasia, abortion and war: All these issues raise profound questions for Catholics as we reflect on the sanctity of human life. But while they all touch on human dignity, they don’t all have the same moral content.

Euthanasia and abortion are always, intrinsically wrong because they always involve an intentional killing of innocent human life. War and capital punishment, in contrast, can sometimes be morally acceptable as an expression of society’s right to self-defense.
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Muslims Attack Minister

The religion of peace is spreading its assault ministry in Great Britain. Gateway Pundit has more:

A British Minister was assaulted and threatened after he clashed with Muslims on his TV show.

A group of "Asian" men slapped him, punched him, pulled his hair, and threatened him after the debate.
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Atheists or Devilists?

Hollywood screenwriter Michael McGruther of Big Hollywood says the faithful go to Church while the secularists go to therapy. He's got some pretty heavy insights on the pathway of sin. Check it out.

At the very heart of the Christian way of life is the belief that we individual Christians, no matter what our faith, can best effect society with gentle nudges towards God by living a Christ-like life the best we possibly can, while recognizing at the same time that there has in fact only ever been one real Christian to walk the Earth - Jesus. We’re not capable of that kind of perfection. We know this. We are merely asked to try.

Secularists don’t know that simple fact about faith and feel threatened by their own ignorance, which quickly spirals into enmity as a defense against what they deeply fear is the truth. After all, Pride is what made the Devil. And the Devil’s main goal is your total separation from any kind of relationship with God, which can easily be described as anxiety, loneliness, fear, panic attacks, suicide…anything to get you away from sincerely trying to follow God. In other words, people of faith go to church while secularists go to therapy.
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TV Show Based on Scripture?

The new television show "Kings" is apparently based on scripture and doesn't totally stink. Huh. Who'd a thunk it? Amy's got more:

I first heard about this show - miniseries? - a while back, but it had flown off my radar until today when my daughter said, "Hey that Kings show starts tonight."

The concept is intriguing, as is the cast. Well, the cast named "Ian McShane" at least, McShane being the actor who played Al Swearingen in Deadwood, an HBO show heralded by many, watched by my husband (although he professed to never really knowing what was going on at any given moment) , but totally incomprehensible to me, and one in which I finally settled on defining as "Next week on Deadwood - men in moustaches growl " _______" at each other for 49 minutes!"

And if you don't know what fills in the blank...don't ask.

But McShane is great.

The other reason Kings intrigues is that it's based, supposedly, on Scripture...
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No Homeschooling for Creationists?

This is a disturbing ruling that I fear may have long term consequences. It's difficult to know everything going on here but the judge's comments are a bit telling. Mother of All Conservatives weighs in:

A North Carolina judge presiding over divorce proceedings of Thomas and Venessa Mills has ordered Venessa Mills to put her homeschooled children into public school.

Venessa Mills was in the fourth year of home schooling her children who are 10, 11 and 12 years old. They have tested two years above their grade levels, she said.
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Nightline: Hookers for Jesus

We must give credit where credit is due. We pick on the media a lot around here but according to Newsbusters, ABC's Nightline tastefully and without mocking, ran a story on former prostitutes working to get other girls out of the life.

In a respectful and compassionate manner, Nightline’s March 12 broadcast of the “Faith Matters” series brought to light a group of reformed prostitutes who have turned to religion and who are helping other women leave the destructive life of a Vegas prostitute.

Hookers for Jesus is a group started by former prostitute Annie Lobert who hit rock bottom with a cocaine overdose, and decided to leave the prostitute lifestyle when, as she put it, God changed her life. ABC reporter Neal Karlinsky graciously told her story and the story of other women who have found hope through Lobert’s ministry and the church of Pastor Benny Perez.
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SSPX Responds To Pope's Letter

Rorate Caeli has SSPX Superior General Bishop Bernard Fellay's response to the Pope's clarifying letter on the SSPX / Williamson debacle. I think it strikes the right tone.

Read the Letter >>>>

Worse Than Horrifying

Acts of the Apostasy has the most awful story...ever. Some want to salvage parts of aborted babies for parts.

If there is a stronger term than "horrifying" to define the following story, I'm not sure what it is.

From CNA.com: 'Absolutely horrifying' proposal calls for using aborted babies as organ donors (bold mine)

A leading embryonic stem cell expert in Britain has called for organs from aborted babies to be used in transplants to increase the supply of organs available for donation, drawing criticism from pro-life and Christian groups who called the proposal “absolutely horrifying.”
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Patriarchal Porn

The funniest movie review (and a little off color) you'll read about the movie "Taken" by Jonah Goldberg at Big Hollywood.

Okay, let me start by saying I really liked “Taken.”

If you haven’t seen it, it stars Liam Neeson as an ex CIA badass who has retired so he can be near his teenage daughter. She lives with her mom (Neeson’s ex-wife) and her stepfather, a rich, nice guy who you hate just because he makes Neeson look like a shmo - but not for long!

Neeson’s daughter is kidnapped by white slavers in Paris and Neeson is very, very serious about getting her back.
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Believe in God or Die

Andrew Klavan believes the nihilistic lifestyle of our increasingly decadent culture must come to an end. One way or another. Great read:

The latest American Religious Identification Survey shows that the number of those who believe in no religion at all has almost doubled in the last 18 years, rising from 8 percent to 15 percent since 1990.

Great news for Bill Maher. For the rest of us: worrying evidence of the slow decline of the best and freest culture the earth has ever known.
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Frank Miller's Charlie Brown

OK. This is hilarious if you know who Frank Miller is. Cinematical does Charlie Brown as a dark and gothic graphic novel...Continue reading>>>

A Play or a PSA?

Karen Hall is always a fun read. Her son has a part in the Spring play. Guess what the play's about. I dare you:

Caleb's school has a big production every spring. Each class has its own part with costumes and a song and, of course, there's the big all-school show-stopping extravaganza at the end. Last year, readers with good memories may recall, Caleb was a firefly in a show called Bugz. It was a cute play, although there was a weird PETA-ish "bugs are people, too" subtext. I thought it was just because the play was from the POV of bugs -- surely the parents weren't being scolded for spraying their rose bushes.
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Young Miss Palin

Lisa Schiffren of The Corner has an interesting take on Bristol Palin breaking off her engagement to her baby's father. And how marriage is just not that big of a deal anymore:

A mere ten weeks or so after the birth of their baby, Bristol Palin and her co-parent, Levi Johnson, have split up. There will be no marriage. According to the AP, and Mr. Johnson, it was a mutual decision. The same article manages to note that Bristol is devastated. Mr. Johnson, who sees the baby frequently, will continue to be an involved father, the story reports. Or maybe he won't. Or perhaps he will sometimes, when he isn't busy, unless he gets involved with someone else who doesn't want that. Ms. Palin will continue to be the mother full time—because she doesn't have a choice. Which is not to suggest that she would want to abandon the baby. Few women do.
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Pope Laicizes Breakaway Missouri Priest

As much as it may have needed to be done, it is always a sad day when something like this happens:

A Missouri bishop has announced that Pope Benedict XVI has dismissed Marel Bozek from the clerical state since he has persisted in leading a group of breakaway Catholics.

Originally from Poland, Marek Bozek had been leading St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, which broke from the Archdiocese of St. Louis after refusing to conform to canon law requirements which forbade its operation under the lay-run St. Stanislaus Kostka Corporation. Breakaway leaders had hired Bozek, a former priest of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, to act as their pastor.
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A Difficult Day

This is a nerve wracking day for Jennie and her Army of Seven. I think many of us can relate:

We were boarding some horses for a friend of a friend, and it was just lovely to see them out there in the meadow, but the barn was getting kind of gross and smelly and we didn't know if they planned to clean it out, so David put a ten dollar bounty on the job. This particular day was warmish and sunny, and when the kids went out to play, they decided it was good working weather. I didn't know, of course. I was inside tidying up a little and nursing a new baby. But then I heard the yelling. Kids yell, and most of the time, I don't react to it much at all, but this yelling, well, there was a different tone about it that set my mama-radar on high alert, and I was nearly at the door when Delaney burst through it.

"Jonny got kicked by the mule!" she yelled.
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Papal Letter on SSPX Translated

New Liturgical Movement has the Pope's letter concerning the lifting of the SSPX Excommunication:

Here, now, is the full text of the Pope's letter regarding the lifting of the SSPX excommunications itself, which has already been published in the most prestigious and reliable German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, in an NLM translation:
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What's for Dinner? Obama Fingers!

File this story under...business miscalculation. Jammie Wearing Fool has the story:

Well, I can't be all that offended since most of us have been getting the finger from Obama since he took office. Although marketing fried chicken named after a black president might not go over well in some quarters, obviously.
A German frozen food company hopes to raise sales with a new product: Obama fingers. The tender, fried chicken bits come with a tasty curry sauce. The company says it was unaware of the possible racist overtones of the product.
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Romney vs. Reid?

I, for one, find this interesting. Mitt Romney moving to Nevada to take out Sen. Harry Reid. You can bet that Reid wouldn't like to see Mr. Moneybags shopping for a home in Nevada in the near future:

“Rumors swirl in Las Vegas that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is in the process of establishing residency in Nevada with his eye toward unseating his fellow Mormon.”

David Bernstein in the Boston Phoenix in Romney’s home state: “Mitt vs. Harry Reid? If you’re looking to sell a palatial estate in Nevada, I think I might know somebody who’ll be looking to buy soon. … Hint: Mormonism is an asset in Nevada.
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Is Obama an Authoritarian?

Stop the ACLU has an interesting article on how the term "authoritarian" has been changed intentionally. This reminds me of the point Jonah Goldberg made in his book "Liberal Fascism."

Among psychologists, the word “authoritarian” has a meaning quite different from how that word is used elsewhere. And thereby hangs a tale.

In normal usage, the word is most used to describe people who boss others around — with government by dictatorship being the extreme case of authoritarianism. But psychologists use it to describe people whom one researcher summed up as “fearful toadies”. There is certainly no evidence that they boss anybody around.
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The First Fifty Days

You mean some people don't think Obama's first fifty days have been great. I refuse to believe it. I'm not putting my hands over my eyes and my feet over my ears. Hugh Hewitt has more:

Lots of rookies bat below the Mendoza line in their first two months in the big leagues, so past performance by the new president is no guarantee that he won't get his swing fixed.

But lots of the inside-the-Beltway folk are worried. Perhaps Democrats reading my interview with Mary Matalin from yesterday will dismiss it as just a Republican critique, even though most D.C. Dems know and admire MM's sharp analytical skills. (The podcast of the Mary chat is here.)
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Star Trek 90210

Here's the thing. I dug Star Trek: The Next Generation. They did something new with it. But Hollywood is up to its old tricks by doing more remakes than a Michael Bolton CD. You don't mess with Kirk. Not Kirk. He holds a special place in the iconography of heroes. You can't have some CW looking punk play Kirk. Kirk was BIG. He took on Khan! So Big Hollywood beats up on the new Star Trek a little and I say set your phasers on kill, boys.

Here you have these larger-than-life, legendary characters to work with and what are they doing? Making the Starship Enterprise look like a casting session for “High School Musical: The Pouty Prom.”

The original “Star Trek” is iconic and timeless because of the characters. Yes, there was some great storytelling involved, but the best stories always involved the characters — those actors in those roles and the warm, real, complicated relationship that existed between them. No operatic nonsense, no hyper-effects, and no WB Channel-ing can tart its way through that.
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58 Senators Against Children's Education

I find this vote truly disgusting. Red State has more:

The U.S. Senate had the opportunity tonight to give 1,700 low-income children in the District of Columbia the chance for a better education. Instead, voting mostly along party lines, 58 senators sided with liberal special interests to defeat an amendment saving the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program.
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Hooray for Dems for Life

Democrats for Life criticizes Obama for his decision on embryonic stem cell research. CMR is happy to see their outrage:

Democrats For Life of America disagreed with the Mexico City Policy reversal but had an opportunity to air our concerns with representatives of the Administration. But the announcement that President Obama would allow expanded use of embryonic stem cells came as a surprise. DFLA has had a productive relationship both with the campaign and the early stages of the new Administration. To have no opportunity to weigh in on this controversial issue signals a cooling of our relations.
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A Nation of "None"

From Amy at Via Media

Still, the total numbers of Catholics declined, and the rate of decline would be far greater were it not for the impact of immigration. We really need to admit that as a Church. This is RCIA season - with the Rite of Election (not a secret ceremony!) just passed, and with lots of folks around the country preparing to enter the Church at Easter..Look at all of 'em ...we say...what a great job we're doing!

Well, it is great...but before we crow, we should do a survey of our won. Talk to your neighbors...your kids' friends' families...co-workers...how many of them are non-practicing Catholics or former Catholics?

Lots.
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E(xcrement) = M(edia) * C(ompetence)²

Jimmy Akin's General Theory of Media Incompetence

For a very long time I have held what might be termed the Special Theory of Media Incompetence, which is: The mainstream newsmedia is spectacularly incompetent when reporting stories concerning religion, morality, etc.
It's hard to read a story about one of these subjects in the mainstream media without cringing at the problems with it.

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Sen. McLachlan on 1098: "It's Payback"

Senator Michael McLachlan suspects the bill which robs the Catholic Church of its rights is payback for its stand against gay marriage. He believes tomorrow's public hearing will be a zoo atmosphere with attacks on the Church aplenty:

The Judiciary Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly, chaired by Senator Andrew McDonald and Representative Michael Lawlor, seems to have run off into a ditch this session.

First we have an over-reaching attempt to codify the Connecticut Supreme Court's Kerrigan decision legalizing gay marriage - Senate Bill 899 - and now we have a bizarre attack of First Amendment rights against the Roman Catholic Church in Connecticut - Senate Bill 1098.

I'm going to focus on Senate Bill 1098 -- "An Act Modifying Corporate Laws Relating to Certain Religious Institutions." The stated purpose of this bill is "to revise the corporate governance provisions applicable to the Roman Catholic Church and provide for the investigation of the misappropriation of funds by religious corporations." The real purpose of this bill is payback to the bishops and pastors of the Roman Catholic Church in Connecticut for opposing gay marriage.
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Separation Of Church and Hate

From Erin Manning

Oh, sure, we can talk all we want to about the "separation of Church and State." Some groups of people talk of nothing else; of course, since what they really mean by "separation of Church and State" is "separation of all religious values and all the people who hold those values from the public square" they have to be opposed more often than not.

But I think it's time for a radical new idea. I think it's time for the separation of Church and specific, individual states. I think it's time for the Church to write a "Dear State" letter to a handful of truly obnoxious states which keep trying to encroach on the rights of the Church.

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They Don't Fear Us

Deal Hudson nails it:

Why would a state legislature even consider such a bill as #1098, completely stripping bishops and priests of their executive control over dioceses and parishes?

Why are they not remotely afraid of the consequences of such an unconstitutional overstepping of power?

Answer: Because these legislators have no fear of the bishops. Specifically, they do not fear the electoral consequences, the loss of Catholic votes.
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Will Obama ReAwaken Conservatives?

Matt Lewis of Townhall.com wonders if Obama's recent decision on stem cells will reawaken conservatives in this country? I hope so.

Putting aside the moral and ethical concerns, Barack Obama's executive order to overturn a ban on taxpayer-funded embryonic stem cells created after 2001 is also politically unwise ...

I realize this analysis will initially be mocked, inasmuch as Obama's decision is, in fact, quite popular. Regardless, there is reason to believe it will ultimately be viewed as a political miscalculation.
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Give Your Right Leg to Stop An Abortion?

What an amazing story from Mary's Aggies.

After being run over by a man who was driving his pregnant wife to get an abortion, this is the story:

Mrs. Krail, who was badly shaken when she arrived on the scene, said she then had a chance to confront the man along with his pregnant wife.

"I thought, 'What would Jesus do?" she told LSN. "So I walked over and I said, 'Hon, I'd like to talk to you. I forgive you for hitting my husband.' And he said, 'Oh, I'm so sorry,' and his whole face just changed.
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Why Isn't the Archbishop Speaking Out?

Rick from Divine Ripples asks why the Archbishop of Washington D.C. defers to the politicians' home bishop in calling them out for scandal such as in voting for abortion. These politicians spend just as much time in D.C. as they do at their "home." Is this just a game of shuffling responsibility?

To grow in the spiritual life, one needs direction. General spiritual guidance is provided in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Specific guidance needs to be arranged with a director preferably with a priest because of his training. The specific guidance is absolutely necessary when discerning a calling or making decisions like supporting a certain law. It is required for priests and religious.

When I was at the order and had to take classes in different schools, I changed directors every year. It is cheaper than making long distance calls and also the non-verbal communication is essential during the session.

That may sound like common sense, but not when one considers the position of the Archbishop of the nation’s capital.
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Sounding Reasonable About Murder

The Curt Jester thinks it's unreasonable to speak reasonably about murder. Silly Jester:

Fr. Reese S.J. tries to sound reasonable about the destruction of human beings for research and offers some proposed restrictions.

1. Embryos for research cannot be bought and sold. Embryos should not be created for the sole purpose of research. They should only come from excess embryos produced at fertility clinics that are scheduled to be destroyed anyway.
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Good Lizzie, Bad Lizzie

The Anchoress goes a little Sybil on us in a great and funny piece about her efforts to be good Lizzie more than Bad Lizzie:

Let me tell you what today has been like, and we’re only a few hours into it. Those of you who don’t understand what a low-down, bitchy sinner I am may be surprised. Those of you who do know (or suspect) that I am a bitchy sinner will be gratified.

I started the morning crabbing to my husband about my Elder Son, who has a job interview today (please, my friends, I beg you, pray for this kid’s intentions; he’s been out of work for a while, now!) - my crabbing had to do with Elder Son’s hair and beard, “he cannot go into a job interview looking like Animal from the Muppets! They’ll expect him to burst through the door screaming, “give job! Give job!”
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Catholic Hero Father Anthony Rey

This is a great story I'd never heard before. Check out American Catholic for a great read:

James K. Polk, President of the United States, had a problem. The year was 1846 and the US was at war with Mexico, a Catholic nation. A large fraction of the American army was Catholic, usually fairly recent Irish immigrants. Mexican propaganda portrayed the war as a wicked onlslaught by Protestants against a Catholic people and appealed to Catholics in the US army to desert to them, promising them land and a position in the Mexican army. Some troops took them up on their offer, with deserters eventually forming the San Patricios Battalion and fighting for Mexico during the war. To stem such desertions, Polk wanted to appoint Catholic chaplains to the US Army.
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State Regulating Church?

Uh-oh. I mean, I knew it was coming. I just didn't expect it so soon. The state of Connecticut is attempting to regulate the Catholic Church. Hot Air has more:

According to the First Amendment and the Establishment Clause, the government has no business dictating to religious organizations how they should structure themselves. In Connecticut, though, some lawmakers seem to have skipped over the Constitution. A new bill will require Catholic parishes and dioceses — and only Catholics — to organize their parish leadership in a way that pleases the Connecticut legislature (via The Corner):
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Dying 'Reality Star' Becomes Christian

From Damian Thompson
Jade Goody became a Christian today, along with her two sons. Christians everywhere should be pleased that this controversial young woman's final public act was to receive the sacrament - mutually recognised by Protestants and Catholics - that admits a candidate to the Church.

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What Happened To Choice?

Obama's at it again:

I guess being pro-choice only matters if you're pro-abortion? Pro-lifers? No choice for them. This is really bringing people together.
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Doug Kmiec Is At It Again

Doug Kmiec confuses me. He gives me a headache. Honestly. His positions change faster than a werewolf under a full moon. Maggie Gallagher has this one at The Corner:

Marriage for all or marriage for no one? Doug Kmiec, who signed onto more than one amicus brief urging courts around the country to uphold marriage as the union of one man and one woman, co-authored an op-ed recently with a new, evolved position: Ken Starr is wrong to try to uphold Prop. 8; instead, we should get government out of the marriage business. (Admittedly, it's a little legally incoherent for the same man to say the court should NOT have struck down Prop. 8 in the first place and then say Starr is WRONG to defend the constitutional rights of Californians to amend their own constitution but, hey, let's not get distracted.)
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Jen F. Had Baby. Now She Wants Sushi

So here's how it went. Jen F. in pain, Jen F. can't feel legs, Jen F. has cute baby, Jen F. wants sushi. That's the Reader's Digest version. But the whole thing is a lot better. And you get pictures if you visit Conversion Diary:

Our little baby "Joy." She arrived Monday afternoon weighing 6 lbs. 7 oz. and was 19 inches long.

The short version of the birth story: The induction began around 8:00am. The combination of being sick with a sinus infection and frequent interruptions from people coming in and out made pain management difficult, so I went ahead and asked for the epidural around noon, even though contractions weren't too bad yet.

Unfortunately the epidural didn't get full coverage. There was a spot about eight inches in diameter on my lower right side where there was zero pain coverage.
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Twitter Bad, Blogging Good. Got it?

A funny piece from Charlotte at Waltzing Matilda about new technology. I love how we're already looking back on the good old days of blogging:

I know that what I say here isn't going to be popular but I am hoping that it might help someone else who is feeling the same way, which was one of the reasons I started blogging. And, thanks to high school, I'm pretty used to feeling unpopular. So, here goes:

I feel left behind in this whole social networking craze. I once defended the internet because it was a way to build community where there was none but now, I see many friends I have communicated with in thought and word via blogs turning to social networking and in turn, neglecting their blogs. So I tried popping onto Facebook via my husband's page (which he doesn't ever use) and just couldn't get into it. It was all jumbled up and not very orderly which made me feel like I needed to tidy up and declutter. If I want to feel like that, I just have to walk into my kids' bedrooms!
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USA Today Sees Hypocrisy by Church

This is your typical ridiculous knocking of the Church for no apparent reason.

USA Today's Cathy Lynn Grossman sought to create a rift between Pope Benedict XVI and Italian clerics in a March 4 blog post, "'Virtually' signing off technology for Lent?"

The rage among some Italian dioceses is to call on Catholics to shut off the Internet connection, put down the I-pod and chill out on texting for the Lenten fast.

This may contradict the pope, who just recently extolled social networking to forge worldwide understanding and approved a Vatican channel on YouTube. (I wonder if they shut that down for Lent?)
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Heartbreaking Post from Amy

I feel strange even linking to this because it is so personal from Amy Welborn. Be emotionally prepared to read this and please pray for her and her family:

I want to tell you what happened on February 3.

I can already hear Michael. "Why do you write about my stuff?" He would say. "Write about your own stuff. You've got enough."

So I will.

About 1 pm on the afternoon on February 3, I was in the apartment, minding my own business, having just put Michael down for a nap.

I think I had just put the finishing touches on a Legionary of Christ blog post, perhaps.

The phone rang. There was a woman's voice on the other end...
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Catholic College Acts All Catholic-y

You would think from some students reactions that Catholic colleges in no way advertised their religion and only when the students showed up did they yell "Surprise! We're Catholic and we're going to force our religion on you." (Insert evil laugh here.)

Frustrated that her college does not distribute birth control, Stonehill College senior Katie Freitas decided she would do it herself.

After collecting hundreds of free condoms from two family-planning agencies, she and about 20 classmates placed boxes of the contraceptives in student dormitories across the Easton campus last month.

But when administrators at the Catholic school learned of the effort, they quickly intervened and collected the condoms, citing the college's ban against distributing birth control on campus.
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Sci-Fi and Religion

I've often wondered why so many religious folks are into sci-fi. You get an awful lot of BSG chatter mixed in with some pretty heady theological pieces around the internet. It's not an apparent connection. Some of the thoughts of the writer I don't agree with but it's an interesting article and a great topic:

There is a young man, different from other young men. Ancient prophecies foretell his coming, and he performs miraculous feats. Eventually, confronted by his enemies, he must sacrifice his own life—an act that saves mankind from calamity—but in a mystery as great as that of his origin, he is reborn, to preside in glory over a world redeemed. Tell this story to one of the world’s 2 billion Christians, and he’ll recognize it instantly. Tell it to a science-fiction and fantasy fan, and he’ll ask why you’re making minor alterations to the plot of The Matrix or Superman Returns. For reasons that have as much to do with global politics as with our cultural moment, some of this generation’s most successful sci-fi and fantasy movie franchises follow an essentially Christian plotline.
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The Goracle is Confronted

The best part of this is how clumsily Gore rejects any offer for debate. Jammie Wearing Fool has the video:

How much longer must we suffer with this boob? The Goreacle has spoken–again.

Former Vice President Al Gore repeated his message that climate change is a planetary emergency at the WSJ’s Economics conference in California. The Nobel-prize winner declined to take any questions from reporters, but he did receive a couple of challenges from attendees, including Bjorn Lomborg.
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Experimental Liturgy?

If Fr. Blake isn't careful he's going to be banned from entering Cardinal Mahony's diocese:

Struck by how prayerful people find the TLM I thought I would try an experiment.

I had Mass for children from our school, Years 4 and 5 today, 9 and 10 year olds, yesterday we had session in school looking at the Eucharistic Prayer, I got them to list all those we pray with and for during the Eucharistic Prayer, they had the text of EP 2. They shouted out: angels and saints, the Pope our bishop, the clergy, the departed, us, other believers. I was trying to get over to them the breadth of the Church and that the Eucharistic Prayer was actually prayer and they were expected to pray really earnestly during it.
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Is the Pope Catholic? No, Seriously.

The author of this piece seriously believes he's more Catholic than the Pope. LarryD at Acts of the Apostasy tears him apart. So sit back and enjoy the idiocy:

During the course of his pontificate, and especially while leading the CDF, Pope Benedict has been called many things - God's Rottweiler, the German Shepherd. He's been described as being rigid, unyielding, iconoclastic. Some detractors have even pointed to his conscription in the Nazi army as being an indication that he's anti-Semitic (which, of course, he's not).

But I think this is the first time he's ever been accused of...not being Catholic.
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This is How Obama Treats His Friends

So while Obama's kowtowing to our enemies like Hamas and Putin he's blowing off our allies. This will help in the future. Red State has more:

The Prime Minister’s first official meeting with the new President fell short of the lavish welcomes laid on in recent years.

After intense negotiations with the new administration, Mr Brown got some warm words on the historic links between the U.S. and UK.
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Crosses, We Call Them

Amy Welborn writes beautifully of the crosses we bear:

I don't know about you, but one of effects of childbirth on me was a compulsion to spill the details. All of them.

The whole thing was fascinating to me, so of course I assumed everyone else should be fascinated as well in the recounting of every minute of labor, describing the intensity of discomfort or pain and the aftermath. Or afterbirth, I should say. I wanted to tell the story again and again..whether or not anyone was interested.

This past month, that kind of compulsion has returned.

Some, here and elsewhere, have commended me on my "courage" in writing about this most painful of experiences..my purported strength.

Don't. There's really no courage involved. Believe me, I am confronted by a hundred small tasks and moments every day that require far more courage than this. This is nothing.
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Attack Palin, Get a Job

We all knew it was coming. Remember that guy who helped Obama by attacking and investigating Sarah Palin in Alaska. Well, guess who just gave that dude a sweet political appointment?

It's all about transparency, kids. And this has a transparent odor about it. This puke better be paid up on his taxes is all I'll say.
Alaska State Sen. Kim Elton, one of the leading officials to pursue an investigation of Gov. Sarah Palin during the heat of the presidential campaign, has taken a high-level job in the Interior Department.
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Dumping Steele?

Michael Steele has had a very very bad week. First, his labeling of Rush Limbaugh as "ugly" and "incendiary" and then his weak apology. And then you've got his assenting to the labeling of the Republicans looking like Nazis. Hey, the good news is things are going to have get better from here:

Pressure mounting to dump Steele? Not really — or rather, not yet — but between stumbling into a fight with the hero of the base and making himself a late-night punchline for finding “hipness” in moldy slang, the ice beneath his feet is starting to crack. The RNC chair ideally needs to be good on TV and good at ingratiating himself with grassroots conservatives and their pocketbooks, and so far he’s been terrible at both. And don’t think people haven’t noticed:
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