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Obama's Holy Blackberry

Good find from Sweetness and Light. Obama stays in touch with God with his Blackberry? Seriously?:

If church attendance is one measure of a man’s faith, then President Obama may appear to have lost some of his. The first family, once regular churchgoers, have publicly attended services in Washington just three times in the past year, by ABC News’ count, even bypassing the pews on Christmas Day.

Obama quit Chicago’s embattled Trinity United Church of Christ months before taking office in 2008 and has not formally joined a new one in his new hometown.

But sources familiar with the president’s personal life say Obama remains a faithful Christian while in the White House, practicing his beliefs regularly in private with family and the aid of his BlackBerry.
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Longenecker: Protestants To The Rescue!

Fr. Longenecker thinks he has the answer to the priest shortage. Former protestants.

Some time ago I attended a conference for Catholic priests. As a married, former Anglican priest, I felt honored and humbled to be numbered among them. The topic of our conference was the vocations crisis, and I could not help but notice that I was one of the younger priests, and I am in my early fifties. It is not enough to look forward and say that in a few years we will have a crisis in vocations. We already have a crisis in vocations.

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Discussing Abortion Without Politics

Danielle Bean writes about a faux reality show about abortion. She's intrigued. I'm for anything that takes this issue out of the closet and into the light:

When the new made-for-internet television series Bump+ premiered last week, many of us were left scratching our heads.

The press release and website told us:
“In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court gave women a choice. Thirty-seven years later, we’re giving them a voice. BUMP+, a provocative web series from Yellow Line Studio that follows three women facing unintended pregnancies, premieres January 22nd. Watch the episodes. Share your story. Join the conversation.”
But still many of us were confused.
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"I Don't Divide Myself."

Great find from Da Techguy. You have to read what one Catholic politician said at a protest outside a Planned Parenthood. It's a great line:

The Sentinel & Enterprise covered yesterday’s protest against Planned Parenthood and had a quote from city counselor Rosemary Reynolds that every pol who claims Catholicism should memorize:

Reynolds said she was protesting as a resident, and a member of the City Council, against Planned Parenthood coming to Fitchburg.

“I’m one person. I don’t divide myself,” Reynolds said.
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Thank You J.D. Salinger

Frank at Why I'm Catholic writes how one particular work of JD Salinger helped him become a better Catholic. It's funny that he wrote this because this is my story too. I'd never heard of the Jesus prayer until Salinger. And I find Franny and Zooey to be one of the most beautiful things I've ever read:

J.D. Salinger died yesterday at the age of 91 and, full disclosure, I’ve never read The Catcher in the Rye. Nor have I bothered getting detailed autobiographical information on Mr. Salinger. I can only say that his work had an effect on my prayer life, thus proving once again, to me anyway, that God continues to work through the secular in unexpected ways.
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The Real March for Life

This is a beautiful video about the March for Life and the media malpractice in covering it. But it's not bitter. It's informative and quite moving. Check out Divine Ripples:

When it comes to covering pro-life activities, the US mainstream media either ignore the story or distort it. Somehow, it manipulates it to show that the pro-choice crowd is just as active and numerous. It is appalling how truth and objectivity is compromised or sold out to the sponsors. But what is mind boggling is that there are more pro-lifers now in the states and the media still sides with the minority and that does not make much business sense. There will be more interest if they reported the story fairly. But as you watch the video below you will see how there is no more journalistic integrity. Many have become part of the government propaganda machinery. But the truth cannot be hidden and it shall set people free.
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Catholic Charities: Free Needles for Junkies!

Wow. Why not hand out condoms to sex addicts?

Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany, who serves as chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, has approved a proposal by diocesan Catholic Charities to distribute free needles to drug abusers in the hope of preventing the spread of AIDS.

“I understand there will be questions, but this is common sense,” said Sister Maureen Joyce, CEO of Catholic Charities. “I strongly believe in this. It will save lives.”

“From a theological standpoint, we're not being faithful to our mission if we don't reach out to people addicted to drugs, too,” Sister Joyce added.

An $83,000 van filled with syringes will be parked in two neighborhoods and serve as the focal point of Catholic Charities’ needle distribution efforts.
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Add Oreo's, Mix and Spin

This story from Danielle Bean made me laugh.

Tonight, Gabby came to me clutching her stomach. Her face was green and her eyes filled with tears.

“My stomach hurts!!”

I hurried her to the bathroom where we stood near the toilet for several minutes. Nothing.

I pulled her hair into a ponytail, helped her into her nightgown, and walked her to her bed. I tucked her under the covers, placed a bucket nearby, and knelt on the floor beside her.

I smoothed her hair.

“How are you doing, sweetie?”

“Not so good,” came the answer. She was still green.
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Zombie Obamacare

Guys! We know this! You hack the monster, you toss it out a window, you beat it over the head and yet it comes back to life in the sequel. Only one thing to do when the monster won't stay dead. Get the wood chipper. And folks, we're at the woodchipper stage because guess what just came back from the dead. Again. Check out Hugh Hewitt for the scary details:

Senator Jon Kyl relays reports --very reliable reports according to Kyl-- that Congressional Democrats have indeed decided to use reconciliation to resurrect the remains of Obamacare, despite Massachusetts, despite the public's continuing and still growing dislike of the bill, and despite the jam-down ultra-partisanship such a naked power play and perversion of Senate rules that such an approach entails. I will interview Kyl in the second hour, and a transcript will be posted shortly thereafter.
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Feel Good Story of the Day

It starts off with a boy wearing a pink shirt to his first day of high school. Things could've gone very badly the next four years but something good happened. Check out The Anchoress for the story and video:

This comes my way via reader Dick, and I think we can all use a palate cleanser, about now.

Bullied student tickled pink by schoolmates’ T-shirt campaignTwo Nova Scotia students are being praised across North America for the way they turned the tide against the bullies who picked on a fellow student for wearing pink.
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Alito Says "Not True" During SOTU

Must watch video of the day at Hot Air:

He’s on the far left of your screen, seated to the right of Sotomayor. Politico’s calling it his Joe Wilson moment.

When you hear the president of the United States demagoging the First Amendment, you sit there and you take it, son.
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Amy Says "Come Meet Jesus"

Check out Amy Welborn's new book:

I’m pleased to let you know that my new book Come Meet Jesus: An Invitation from Pope Benedict XVI is now available from Word Among Us Press. (excerpt here.)

Let me tell you a bit about this so you’re clear on what it is and what it isn’t.

Word Among Us asked me to write another book for them after Mary and the Christian Life was published. (It’s now out of print – I have a few copies here and will be doing some sort of self-published print and digital version in a couple of months) They had a topic in mind – I don’t remember what it was, but it was something that didn’t interest me very much. So I suggested a book focused on Pope Benedict instead. They were open, asked me for something more specific, and this is what emerged.
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Curt Jester Reviews DMac's New Book

If you didn't believe me when I told you how awesome our Denis McNamara's new book "Catholic Church Architecture and the Spirit of the Liturgy", well then read what Jeff Miller has to say!

Catholic Church Architecture and the Spirit of the Liturgy by Denis R. McNamara is disguised as a coffee table book, but it is so much more than that. Sure this large book contains lots of pictures involving church architecture through the ages and examples of sacred art and can be nicely browsed like a coffee table book. But it deserved to be read from front to back and reflected on and not discarded to a coffee table to collect dust.

The issue of church architecture in modern times has been quite contentious as pundits and people from the pews wonder why their church is ugly or that it is inseparable from a large Pizza Hut or meeting hall. But this book is not a rant on the influences of modern architecture in any way. The pictures used are almost all positive examples with a minimum of negative ones such as the Cathedral in Los Angeles. Instead this is really a textbook on architecture, beauty, and the liturgy.

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Pro-Life Pin: A 1st Amendment Violation?

Wow. That's all I can say on this story at First Things. Wow.

While visiting the National Gallery of Art this past Saturday, I ran into a pair of errant security guards who have taken to interpreting the Constitution in their spare time.

I decided to visit the Gallery after attending the March for Life the day before. There was an exhibit on processes of photography before the digital age that I hoped would confirm me in my refusal to give up on film. After searching my bag, the two guards at the Gallery told me, “You’re good to go in, but first you need to remove that pro-life pin.” He was indicating the small lime green pin with the message “impact73.org” and the silhouette of a small hand inside that of a larger hand that I had attached to the lapel of my coat. The pin, they informed me, was a “religious symbol” and a symbol of a particular political cause and it could not be worn inside a federal building.
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Edwards Wanted to Abort Child

Jill Stanek has the story:

As Jivin J wrote on his blog this morning, "This shouldn't really come as a surprise to anyone."

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal posted excerpts from the forthcoming book, The Politician: An insider's account of John Edwards's pursuit of the presidency and the scandal that brought him down.

The book was written by former Edwards' confidante Andrew Young, who for a time even took a bullet for Edwards and claimed he was the father of Reille Hunter's baby. Last week Edwards finally manned up and admitted his paternity.

WSJ described an excerpt from the book indicating Edwards wanted Hunter to abort:
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German Homeschoolers Granted Asylum

Wow. This is one of those good news/bad news stories. On the one hand it's sad that Christians have to escape Europe due to persecution but the good news is that America is taking them. St. Louis Catholic has the story:

Great news from HSLDA-- a German family who suffered persecution in their home country for the heinous crime of homeschooling their children were granted political asylum in the United States. This is a huge win for homeschoolers around the world, in that as long as the U.S. upholds this fundamental parental right, there will be a safe haven for those who cannot exercise this right in their homeland.
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Spy Fight: Nazi Vs. Vatican

Tom Hoopes writes of Nazi attempts to infiltrate the Church and Pope Pius XII.

I had a fascinating discussions with two Vatican experts about papal security for an article in Our Sunday Visitor.

The two had surprising things to say about Nazis and the Popes, but since that was off-topic for that story, John Norton at OSV has graciously allowed me to share their with readers here.

David Alvarez is author of Spies in the Vatican: Espionage & Intrigue from Napoleon to the Holocaust (University Press of Kansas 2002). He’s a professor at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif. I asked him whether the Pope was a threat to the Nazis.”
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Father of a Downs Syndrome Child

Letters to Liam is one of those blogs I check out once in a while and I'm moved so often by the small and subtle things this father writes about. It also has best blog intro I've read in a long time:

It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

I had this blog well planned out. It was going to be a sequence of letters to my soon-to-be-born son Liam, on how to be a happy, successful adult, covering “manhood and marriage, sound thinking and good feeling, virtue and the good life.” I have a good number of posts already written, and was designing the artwork.

But Liam came (a month early, but it looks like that’s going to be OK), and blew a hole in the plans I had in his name by having an extra chromosome. Down’s syndrome. We go to the geneticist on Monday, but we already have the bottom line.
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Frightened by the Pro-Life Movement?

Danielle Bean at the National Catholic Register thinks that pro-choicers who saw the March for Life have good reason to be scared:

Of all the news stories I’ve read describing this year’s March for Life in Washington D.C., none make me prouder or more hopeful for the future than this little piece by Robert McCartney in the Washington Post:
“I went to the March for Life rally Friday on the Mall expecting to write about its irrelevance. Isn’t it quaint, I thought, that these abortion protesters show up each year on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, even though the decision still stands after 37 years. What’s more, with a Democrat in the White House likely to appoint justices who support abortion rights, surely the Supreme Court isn’t going to overturn Roe in the foreseeable future.

How wrong I was. The antiabortion movement feels it’s gaining strength, even if it’s not yet ready to predict ultimate triumph, and Roe supporters (including me) are justifiably nervous.”
Did you catch that?
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Rep. Cao on Abortion and Individual Rights

Pretty impressive thinking from Congressman Cao. Check out the vid at Pro Ecclesia:

Rep. Cao quotes the Holy Father's Caritas in Veritate about halfway through.
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Oprah Bristles at Bristol's Abstinence Pledge

Oprah hates abstinence. Or maybe just the Palins. Newsbusters has more:

Every week Oprah Winfrey encourages over 44 million Americans to "Live Your Best Life" - the mantra of her billion-dollar brand.
"The key to realizing a dream," Oprah said in the Sept. 2002 issue of her O magazine, "is to focus not on success but significance - and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning."

Maybe Oprah should revisit that statement and add, "Unless we're talking about sexual abstinence. In that case, just throw in the towel."
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Sacrilege at St. James?

This sure doesn't look like Mass. But nowadays who can really tell? American Papist has the story and the video:

Someone at St. James Catholic Church in New York City seriously neglected their responsibilities.

On Friday, January 15th the Church was the scene of a multi-band, late-night, rock/rap concert which took place in the sanctuary of the Church, as the videos clearly show:
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Shock! Porn is...Bad!

Hey whatever your problems, guess what? Porn ain't gonna' make it better. And this'll shock you. Porn may not be all that great for kids either. I know! Who'd a thunk it? Well, Pundette did.

Porn is bad. And it's really, really bad for children:
Boys exposed to porn are more likely to indulge in casual sex and less likely to form successful relationships when they grow older, according to research carried out in a dozen countries.
The report, Harms of Pornography Exposure Among Children and Young People, also found that young boys who see pornography are more inclined to believe there is nothing wrong with pinning down or sexually harassing a girl.
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This is Funny. Really Funny.

Power Line blog has Obama singing "The Day Obamacare died." It's really good. I mean, this is why the internet was created so people with great talent could fritter it away for cheap laughs at Obama. I don't know who they got to imitate Barack Obama but it's brilliant. It's great.
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Economic Descent to a Spiritual Ascent?

Rick from Divine Ripples has some interesting thoughts on whether America may yet turn back to the way of the cross:

Did Ben Benanke’s tactics avert the recurrence of a debilitating depression or did he simply delay it’s onslaught? This video suggests imply that the economic stimulus had the same effect as a shot of morphine that numbed the pain without healing the cause. Worse, it has turned us into a junkie needing fixes until we OD or hit rock bottom.
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Court Willing to Overturn Precedent

Marilyn Heller of the Catholic Jedi Academy noticed something which deserved notice. The Supreme Court's willingness to overturn precedent may be very good news for pro-lifers.

Just when you thought the Scott Brown election was the top pro-life event of the past week, there is even better news. According to Politico, pro-aborts are quaking in their boots after Thursday's decision by the Supreme Court to overturn a 100 year old ban on corporate political contributions.
“It is worrisome beyond the direct impact of yesterday’s ruling on election law,” said, Jessica Arons, the director of the Women’s Health and Rights Program at the Center for American Progress. It’s certainly cause for concern.”

As Politico reports:
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A Tough Last Day On The Job

Our friend LarryD has an exchange between two 'coworkers' at the 'office'...

One day, at Headquarters....

"Hi, how ya doing?"
"Eh." He poured himself a cup of coffee and stared into the swirling steaming brew.
"One of those days, huh?"
A brief sip. "The roughest."
"This day usually is. I take it yours didn't fare so well."
"You could say that again. You know, you work hard every day of your life, faithfully obeying every command, and then when it's all over, it's like....wham! And for what?"
"I can imagine. Remember, though, it's not your fault. You want a doughnut with that? They're fresh."
A half-smirk. "They're always fresh, wise guy. But sure, I'll have one. Any powdered sugar ones left?"
A quick glance in the box resting on the table. "No - Michael was here earlier and took the last one....oops, wait a sec. One just appeared."
They sat down at the polished chrome and glass table, silently pulling their chairs in across the gilded floor. The newcomer carefully picked out his preference and placed it on a china plate.
"Wanna talk about it?"

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Pope: Go Forth and Blog

The Pope is telling priests to go blog and Ace has the story:

The world of digital communication, with its almost limitless expressive capacity, makes us appreciate all the more Saint Paul's exclamation: "Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel" (1 Cor 9:16) The increased availability of the new technologies demands greater responsibility on the part of those called to proclaim the Word, but it also requires them to become more focused, efficient and compelling in their efforts. Priests stand at the threshold of a new era: as new technologies create deeper forms of relationship across greater distances, they are called to respond pastorally by putting the media ever more effectively at the service of the Word.
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Kucinich Threatens Fox

Dennis Kucinich threatens Fox with the Fairness Doctrine. This is pure big government bullying. Wow. Check out the vid at Newsbusters:

During George W.'s administration, liberals loved to wail over the supposed--but never demonstrated--suppression of free speech.

But now we have the spectacle of a member of the Dem majority warning a leading representative of Fox News to stop celebrating his network's success--under threat of reinstitution of the so-called "Fairness Doctrine." On last evening's Factor, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, invoking the possibility of the return of the 'Fairness Doctrine,' warned O'Reilly to stop "crowing" about Fox's success.
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The Latest Everyday Thing That'll Kill Ya

Pretty funny Friday post from Troglopundit who contrasts the findings of two studies:

Here’s a new warning from health experts: Sitting is deadly.


…Research is preliminary, but several studies suggest people who spend most of their days sitting are more likely to be fat, have a heart attack or even die.

Die! If you spend too much time sitting, you could die!
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Father Z Notices Newsweek's Bias

Father Z notices Newsweek isn't really playing the March for Life straight:

I am watching the live coverage of the March For Life in Washington DC.

As I watch I have in my mind an article I read in the appalling Newsweek.
Who’s Missing at the ‘Roe v. Wade’ Anniversary Demonstrations? Young Women.
Krista Gesaman

Today is the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court case legalizing abortion, and droves of women are prepared to face rainy weather to support their positions during the annual Washington, D.C., demonstrations. But there will be one major difference with the demonstration route this year—it’s shorter.
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"Blogs for Life" Twitcast

Man With Black Hat live tweeted the Blog for Life conference. It's almost like being there:

As this is published, the “Blogs For Life” Conference is about to begin. This fifth annual gathering of pro-life bloggers and online social media activists, sponsored by the Family Research Council in Washington DC, is being held in conjunction with the annual March for Life. It also beats the bejeezus out of standing in the cold.
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America, We Won't Go Away

Beautiful writing from Tom Hoopes about the pro-life movement:

America, we won’t go away. Many people wish we would, and heaven knows we would rather be doing almost anything else. But we can’t go away, and we won’t.

I’m sure you’ve seen us. We may have made you angry, or sad, or we may have made you turn quickly away and find something else to look at.

You may have seen us two days before Christmas outside the Planned Parenthood building. The old man with the rosary, the college kids in sweats, the sad-looking woman clutching brochures and an “I Regret My Abortion” sign — that was us.
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John Wayne at His Best

This video of John Wayne and Dean Martin is awesome on steroids. Go check it out at Patrick Madrid's blog.
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Charlotte's Adoption Story

Charlotte at Cheeky Pink Girl writes the story of her adoption and her rediscovering her biological parents. It's quite extraordinary and I'm increasingly addicted to each installment. Check it out.

My Mom and Dad got married in 1967, having met at a major Wisconsin university. Because they were at a school that was infamous for civil rights protests and other hippy-era type social and cultural manifestations, they claim that they always felt open to adopting a child. You know, the whole service to your fellow man kind of thing that started to bloom on 1960's campuses.

Soon after they got married, my Mom experienced a miscarriage. And not long after that, she had a stillborn child (a son). This experience was very hard on my Mom, and as a result, my parents decided to go forward with their previous resolve about adopting a child.

I don't know why they chose Catholic Social Services, but I suppose the fact that my Mom was Catholic had something to do with it. Also, by that time, they had moved to northern Wisconsin, very close to Green Bay, where there was a regional Catholic Social Services office.
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Candy Making Nuns for Brown

American Papist has a story about candy making nuns who pray for Scott Brown. Seriously, you can't make this stuff up. Hey maybe those prayers will get him to change his mind on abortion:

Here in DC, Scott Brown is the talk of the town. But he has some powerful prayer support from back home:

The [Brown] family … has developed a special relationship with an order of Cistercian Catholic nuns at Mt. St. Mary’s Abbey in Wrentham.

Many of the 48 nuns are from other countries, and Brown’s first contact was in response to their request for help on an immigration matter.

“It has turned into a beautiful friendship,” said Sister Katie McNamara, the monastery’s nurse.
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Rationing Against Premature Babies

You see, it's not individual life which is sacred anymore. It's some amorphous collective comfort which is sacred. Wesley Smith has this horrid story:

It’s funny: The more some Obamacare supporters deny that it would lead to health care rationing, the more it is advocated among the bioethics set and in the Medical Intelligentsia. Now, there is an explicit call to deny very early premature babies life-sustaining treatment because of the cost.
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Jesuit Schools For Life

This is good news from Fr. James Martin:

This good news was sent to us from the Ignatian Pro-Life Network, led by US Jesuits.

Students from Jesuit universities and high schools from across the country will gather in DC this week for the annual ‘March for Life;’ there they will pray, sing, chant and march in support of the unborn. The Ignatian Pro-Life Network, lead by US Jesuits, will host the event.
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Bible Verses on Guns?

There's been some outrage about Bible verses on military weapons. Fr. Longenecker isn't only ok with it. He asks if isn't that exactly where we want them:

The issue of Jesus guns reminds me of the sniper in the film Saving Private Ryan. The boy is from the deep South and quotes verses from the psalms as he pulls the trigger. "Bless the Lord my Rock, who teaches my hands to war and my fingers to fight."Click. Bang. Pop goes the weasel.

It has been suggested that gun sights should not feature Bible verses and weapons should not carry religious encouragement. The gospel, we are told, is all about love. That's right, and at the end the loving person gets tortured and crucified naked in public, while his buddies deny him, run away and one hangs himself. I'm afraid the the gospel is not all puppies and kittens and Jesus carried me on the beach when I only saw one set of footprints.
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Obama's Inaugural Address - Revisited

I really liked this. Tom Hoopes at the Register uses the words from Obama's inaugural address to asses his first year and his Boston comeuppance.

Today, on the year anniversary of Obama’s inaugural address, let’s imagine his Inaugural words coming from the mouths of Massachusetts voters.

Might they be saying to Obama: “On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.”

Now, don’t get me wrong. Republicans, heaven knows, have proven definitively that they are not our saviors, and the Senate victory in Massachusetts is rich in dramatic irony but in the grand scheme of things a small thing.

But think of it from Catholics’ point of view: The President promised a conscience clause for doctors to Cardinal George, to Catholic journalists and then again at Notre Dame. Then he threw a health bill in our face that would mean the regulatory end to conscience rights on abortion.

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Weigel: The Best Option?

George Weigel takes on some weak intercessions:

One This past Dec. 28, I was jolted out of my morning fog at 8 a.m. Mass when the deacon offered this petition:

“For those who are considering abortion: may our prayers and the intercession of the Holy Innocents whom we honor today help them choose life as the best option, let us pray to the Lord.”

I can’t remember whether I blurted “What?” loud enough to be noticed by my faithful companions at daily Mass—many of whom wear hearing aids—but I know I certainly didn’t answer with the prescribed “Lord, hear our prayer.”
The best option? Oh, so the decision whether to carry a child to term is a pragmatic calculation, and we’re to pray that those concerned get the calculation, er, right? How did this morally degrading nonsense get written? How did it get past an editor with any theological grain of sense?
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The Most Biased News Story I've Ever Seen

This CNN story is so laughably biased it's insane. I was laughing while watching it. The problem with Obama, says CNN, is he's been too conciliatory and nice to Republicans. I'm serious. Gateway Pundit has the video. It's awesome.

Those dirty Republicans. Those resisters of change. Why couldn’t they embrace the unicorn rider like we did.

After the first disastrous year of Obama CNN says Obama was too nice to his conservative opponents. He should have been more forceful in ramming his radical agenda down America’s throat.
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Arwen's a Know-It-All

Arwen talks about how being a know-it-all is a joy killer:

I'm a know-it-all.

For a long time I've thought this was just a personality trait of mine. I don't enjoy cheese raw, I hate fluorescent lighting, and I like to know things and to share the things I know. Just a trait. Basic, neutral.


My resolution for 2010 is JOY, and as I work on opening myself to living my life more joyfully I think God's giving me another gift along with my own joy: sensitivity to other people's joy.

Sometimes a person I love will discover an interesting fact and share it with me. My first reaction, almost every time? "Oh, I already knew that."
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And Now, a Cautionary Note

Ed Morrissey nails it on not getting carried away with what happened last night:

In the wake of an unimaginable political victory in Massachusetts for Republicans, the celebratory mood is understandable. Scott Brown came out of nowhere in a period of three weeks to wrest the crown jewel of Democratic Senate seats from Harry Reid, to deny Barack Obama his supermajority, and to give new energy to a movement that had already managed to stall Obama’s signature legislation for months longer than anyone really expected. Those circumstances have not just launched new energy but also prompted some fantasies that will inevitably come crashing back to Earth.
The wildest of these fantasies, and surely not one meant terribly seriously, promotes Scott Brown as a candidate for the Republican nomination for President in 2012.
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Obamacare is Dead

The healthcare bill is dead. So says Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard. Let's hope he's right:

The impact of Republican Scott Brown’s capture of the Massachusetts Senate seat held for decades by Teddy Kennedy will be both immediate and powerful. It’s safe to say no single Senate election in recent memory is as important as this one.

Here are a few of the repercussions:

1) President Obama is weakened. For the third time in three months, he couldn’t deliver for a Democratic candidate. Last November, he abetted the defeat of Democrat Creigh Deeds in the Virginia governor’s race and failed to prevent Democrat Jon Corzine’s ouster as New Jersey governor. Now in Massachusetts, his appearance for Martha Coakley was a bust. A president who can’t aid his party’s candidates loses influence with Congress and inside his party.
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The Problem of Catholic Name-Calling

Patrick Madrid addresses the issue of hyphenated Catholics as polemics.

Here's the audio clip of my recent interview on "The Catholics Next Door" show, which airs on the Sirius Satellite Radio network (The Catholic Channel). Hosts Greg & Jennifer Willits and I discussed the problem of name-calling among Catholics, including epithets such as "neo-Catholic." Take a listen.

Also, as suggested by a reader of this blog, here are some comments about this problem made back in 1914 by Pope Benedict XV in his encyclical Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum.

Check it out>>>>

DaTechguy Predicts Brown Will Win

Da Tech Guy in in Massachusetts and is attempting to look at the Coakley/Brown race objectively. He thinks it'll be Brown. Big. I'm not so sure but I'm not there. I just think that it's not outside the margin of theft and the Dems will steal it. Let's hope I'm wrong.

Ok the time for dithering and for hesitating is over, it is now election day and it’s time for me to directly say what I think the result will be rather than hinting.

I am called DaTechGuy, I do tech support, that is all about looking at a system and deciding what is going on based upon the data that we see.

I have been to events on both sides: Scott Brown’s people are excited, the Coakley people are going through the motions.
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Pentagon Whitewash

The Pentagon's report on the Fort Hood massacre doesn't mention Islam once. And Bill Bennett is not happy.

There are devastating and important things happening in the news. Lest we forget, though: We are still in a war against Islamic Terrorism. And it still happens in America. November is not so far away that it deserves forgetting or whitewashing: An Arab terrorist named Nidal Hasan went to a health-care center, in a fort — at an Army base — in Texas, and opened fire killing 14 people while he shouted "Allahu Akbar." But you would not know this if you read the Pentagon Report on the massacre released Friday.
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Catholic Universities Might Stink

Curt Jester wonders if Catholic schools are doing their jobs. And it doesn't look good:

...I wondered whether the graduates of evangelical colleges and universities showed similar voting behaviors, so I compared the voting records of the 10 graduates of evangelical colleges and universities with the voting records of the 60 graduates of Roman Catholic colleges and universities. The results: Eight of the 10 evangelical college grads not only vote pro-life but are among the strongest anti-abortion voices in Congress. In contrast, 40 of the 60 Catholic college grads in the 111th Congress voted last year to expand abortion rights.
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America Mag Awards Rowan Williams

Diogenes is brilliant. You've got to read this. It's so snarky I had to take a shower after I read it. But it's so right on:

"You must go to the place from whence you came, there to remain until ye shall be drawn through the open City of London upon hurdles to the place of execution, be hanged and let down alive, and your privy parts cut off, and your entrails taken out and burnt in your sight; then your head to be cut off and your body divided into four parts, to be disposed of at her Majesty's pleasure."

With those words Queen Elizabeth's Lord Chief Justice dispatched the English Jesuit priest Edmund Campion to his death at Tyburn. The year was 1581. The charge was treason. Campion himself was unruffled by the verdict: "It was not our death that we ever feared. … The only thing we have now to say is, that if our religion do make us traitors, we are worthy to be condemned; but otherwise are, and have been, as good subjects as the Queen ever had."

St. Edmund Campion, martyr, lives on as a model of cheerful, gutsy, devout intelligence disciplined toward the single goal of recovering and rebuilding Catholic churchmanship where it had lain in ruins. I was amused and delighted, therefore, to learn that the Jesuit magazine America announced that it will give its 2009 Campion Award to none other than Dr. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
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My Thoughts Exactly on Avatar

Mark in Spokane lays down his groundrules for who he'll root for in movies. It's a fun piece:

Ok, it won big at the Golden Globes and it is making at ton of money, but isn't anybody a bit disturbed about the success of a movie that propagates such an anti-human perspective?

I like a good story and all, but I also am a fan of humanity. If I see a movie and it's aliens vs. humans, I'm rooting for the humans. Sorry, that's just the policy of Libertas et Memoria. If the movie is humans vs. apes, I'm rooting for the humans. Nothing against apes, but I'm going to root for the humans. Now, if the movie was apes vs. aliens, I'm going to root for the apes. My default position, in the absence of humans, is to root for the Earth-team.
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NFL Teams in Latin

I gotta admit. This has got to be one of the coolest posts ever in the Catholic blogosphere. Taylor Marshall does a great job with this one:

You've heard of NFL "throwback" uniforms which hearken back to the original vesture of older teams. Even Pepsi has a "throwback" campaign - using an older-looking logo and going back to "real sugar."

So here's the ultimate throwback - the NFL team names in Latin. That's right folks, Cicero knew the NFL teams by these Latin names - okay, not really, but if football had been played in the Colosseum, the following names would be the NFL (ahem...Foedus Nationale Pedipila) teams.

I'd appreciate any advice from my fellow Latinists. Last week I asked my Latin students to come up with Latin names for the NFL teams. Here's what we came up with. I'm sure that we've overlooked something.
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Book Review: Anna Karenina

I guess I'm trying to class the joint up with a book review. I love this book and agree with Maurisa that it is the clearest novel on why selfishness and confused romanticism is destructive.

I've always shied away from this novel. I am just not a fan of adultery story lines. I've seen several different versions of Anna Karenina on video, but the story was always romanticized. I just can't sympathize with adulterers and I cannot see how such stories are romantic. Still, I'd heard this book was wonderful, and Leo Tolstoy is often lauded as the world's greatest novelist. Being a fan of classic literature, I finally decided I'd try and read it. I was not disappointed. Unlike movies based on this work, Anna Karenina and Count Vronsky's love affair is far from romantic. It is tragic. Even before Anna's despair drives her to suicide, their relationship is tragic. Their selfishness does irreparable harm to Anna's son, her husband, Vronsky's career, Anna's reputation, and to their own child.
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Misogynistic Newsweek Mocks Palin

How low can Newsweek go? Lori Ziganto has the answer. And it's pretty low.

Jerry Adler over at Newsweek is up to familiar tricks; the typical leftist move of misogyny disguised as “humor”. I know. I didn’t realize Newsweek was still in publication either. Hey, I suppose the hip, cultured and enlightened folks need something to read whilst sipping their Pinot Noir and fantasizing about Europe in their Ivory Towers. And by hip, cultured and enlightened, I, of course, mean the total opposite. Bask in their full open-minded and “progressive” glory here (excerpted below):
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Brown Hates Rape Victims...or Something

Troglopundit is writing over at Right Wing News and has a mailer sent by Martha Coakley concerning Scott Brown, emergency contraception, and rape victims. It's pretty bad. (The mailer. Not Trog's writing)

This is absolutely brutal: Massachusetts Dems have dropped a mail piece accusing GOP Senate candidate Scott Brown of wanting hospitals to turn away “all” rape victims.

...The mailer — paid for by the Massachusetts Democratic Party — says the claim is based on “a law to let emergency hospitals turn away rape victims in need of emergency contraception.” That appears to be a reference to a Brown-sponsored 2005 amendment that would have exempted hospital personnel, on religious grounds, to inform victims of the availability of the morning after pill.
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Nun Need Apply

Kathryn Lopez takes on Martha Coakley's absurb anti-Catholic statements. It's a great and informative read:

Fans of Grey’s Anatomy may not realize it, but the original Seattle Grace was Mother Joseph of the Sisters of Providence. In 1858, she and her sisters established the first permanent hospital in the Northwest, the four-bed St. Joseph Hospital, after traveling some 6,000 miles from Montreal.

(When I say “established,” by the way, I mean it quite literally. A historian described Mother Joseph — the daughter of a Quebec carriage maker — “striding across the ground near Fort Vancouver, Washington, hammer dangling from her belt like the sheriffs of the Old West carried their six-guns, and wielding a saw in her hand.” Similar stories from that period in our nation’s history abound, most of them recounted by the CEOs of America’s first hospitals, schools, and orphanages — all of them Catholic religious sisters.)

If Democrat Martha Coakley is elected to the U.S. Senate on Tuesday as the elected successor to Edward M. Kennedy, she might eventually encounter the statue of Mother Joseph that stands in National Statuary Hall. But Mother Joseph doesn’t belong in the U.S. Capitol, if you follow Martha Coakley’s thinking.
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Parsing the Pope

The media cherry picks from what the Pope says. So, in other words, they're just like most Catholics:

Whenever Pope Benedict XVI gives a homily or addresses a crowd, it’s always fascinating to see how the media write it up. This week, Benedict addressed the Vatican’s diplomatic corps that, by its nature, dealt a bit with broader political themes. How does a reporter sum up a 3,000-word address or figure out what aspect to focus on? To be sure, it’s a difficult task. The Boston Herald headlined its Associated Press story:

Pope denounces failure to forge new climate treaty

The article says the Pope denounced world leaders, that he’s been dubbed the “green pope” and that under his watch the Vatican is going green, etc., etc. The article does an admirable job of trying to explain how environmentalism is a moral issue for the church.

Reuters, on the other hand, took the exact same speech and said it was about gay marriage:
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A Perfect Candidate for Abortion

Check out this amazing video at Les Femmes:

If the disabilities of this young man had been recognized before birth, many would say he should have been aborted. And what a loss to the world that would have been. God doesn't make mistakes. Thanks for sharing your gifts, Patrick.
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Did CNN Go Too Far?

Fr. James Martin has some very important questions about media coverage of the disaster in Haiti. He questions whether CNN went too far in some respects. As a former journalist I think Anderson Cooper did great good for Haiti by covering the rescue of that young woman under the rubble and being intrusive because it brought the tragedy into the living rooms of Americans who can help. But while I think he did good I worry about what it does to Anderson Cooper the individual and the hundreds of reporters covering the story. The line between being objective and detached is not a clear one and it's a danger for journalists.

CNN has had the best coverage by far of the Haitian earthquake. The network, and its reporter Anderson Cooper, who was apparently one of the first journalists to enter Port-au-Prince after the earthquake, is to be greatly commended for bringing this immense human tragedy into our living rooms. As he did with Hurricane Katrina, Cooper brings an articulate and human perspective to these terrible events (and is also not afraid to show human emotions). One of the most moving aspects of CNN's coverage has been their focus on the way that the earthquake affected the poor, as well as their anchors' frequent descriptions of Haiti's overall poverty before the earthquake. Sometimes it seems as if we only remember the poor during a tsunami, a hurricane or an earthquake.
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Did Dems Outsmart Themselves?

Ed Morrissey writes that Democrats may have been too cute by half:

When Ted Kennedy died on August 25, 2009, Massachusetts law required the state to hold a special election to fill the opening he left in the US Senate. That law was put in place by the state legislature in 2004 when John Kerry ran for President, and it was championed by Ted Kennedy himself. Why? The governor at the time, Mitt Romney, was a Republican — and Kennedy didn’t want Romney appointing an interim replacement that wasn’t a Democrat.

Fast forward five years, to when Kennedy was days away from death. The Kennedy family released a letter written by the Senator demanding that the law he pushed in 2004 get repealed in 2009 in order to allow Governor Deval Patrick to appoint his successor. Why? Patrick is a Democrat and a reliable liberal who would select someone in Kennedy’s mold. The state legislature responded by acceding to Kennedy’s dying wish and Patrick appointed Paul Kirk to fill Kennedy’s seat temporarily, until the special election could be held.
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Haiti Relief Efforts Need Help

The Anchoress has some links on news from Haiti and some good suggestions for relief efforts.

The pictures at the Boston Globe are bone-chilling (Picture #37 gives you a really good grasp of the scope of this disaster)

The people of Haiti are perhaps the poorest in the Western Hemisphere. An Earthquake registering 7.0 on the Richter Scale. You’ll recall, the San Francisco earthquake of 1989 was also 7.0, and it pancaked portions of a bridge. Haiti has not got California’s stringent building codes, and they certainly do not build to survive quakes. This event has resulted in numerous building collapses, including hospitals. Haiti in now under Tsunami watch, and things sound very bad:
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Ideology or Science?

Great takedown of biased science over at Dr. Sanity:

Douglas Thompson has an excellent takedown of a study published in the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) in December 2009. The statistical analysis of the study concludes that the uninsured have higher annual death rates than the insured, and it was widely heralded as evidence that Health Care Reform is necessary to prevent these deaths. From "How 4 Deaths Became 401,309":

Co-author Dr. David Himmelstein of Harvard Medical School proclaims in an interview with CNN that for those without health insurance, "it means that you're at mortal risk." Many news outlets discussed this study, with reports of 45,000 deaths annually being linked to lack of health insurance.

Thompson then carefully and systematically analyzes the data sets and discoveres that:
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Nebraskans Disgusted With Nelson

Things are getting ugly for Ben Nelson and all I can say is it couldn't happen to a better guy. Hot Air has your daily dose of schadenfreude:

If this guy was up for reelection in November instead of 2012, he’d already be preparing for a permanent vacation a la Dodd and Dorgan. As it is, he’ll limp along for two more long years — unless he finally crumbles and decides to be the 41st “no” vote after all. Or rather, the 42nd, if/when Scott Brown wins.

Tell me again about running on ObamaCare in the midterms, champ.

Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson and his wife were leaving dinner at a new pizza joint near their home in Omaha one night last week when a patron began complaining about Nelson’s decisive vote in favor of the Senate’s health care bill.
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The Flame of Catholic Dissent Dies Out?

Is the flame of the "Spirit of Vatican II" theologians flickering out?

Mary Daly, a retired professor at Boston College who was probably the most outré of all the dissident theologians who came to the fore of Catholic intellectual life in the years right after the Second Vatican Council, died on Jan. 3 at age 81. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, which might be called the golden age of Catholic dissidence, theologians who took positions challenging traditional church teachings—ranging from the authority of the pope to bans on birth control, premarital sex, and women's ordination—dominated Catholic intellectual life in America and Europe. They seemed to represent a tide that would overwhelm the old restrictions and their hidebound adherents.
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DC Court: People Can't Decide Marriage

We the people now means "We the Judges."

After the District of Columbia Council passed a law redefining marriage in the District to include same-sex couples, citizens groups attempted to circulate petitions for a referendum on the new law. D.C. requires such petitions to be submitted to the D.C. Board of Elections for approval and, as expected, the Board said there could be no referendum because it would conflict with the District’s Human Rights law.
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All Need To Know: Pat Robertson's Stupidity

Peter Wehner says all that needs to be said about the stupidity that is Pat Robertson.

Sometimes in the midst of a tragedy like the one we have witnessed in Haiti we see acts of enormous compassion and sacrifice. Other times we hear words that are wholly inappropriate and offensive, not to mention just plain wacky. Such is the case (yet again) with the Reverend Pat Robertson. Yesterday, on The 700 Club, Robertson said this:

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French Fried Catholicism

Rorate Cæli has the results of a mind-blowing poll of French Catholics. France is not only "mission territory," the case can be made that it is now inhabited by cannibals.

The IFOP Institute has just made a survey on Catholicism in France for the daily La Croix. The result is mind-blowing:

* Whilst, in 1965, 81% of the French declared themselves as Catholics, they were no more than 64% in 2009.
* More serious: whilst 27% of the French went to Mass once a week or more in 1965, they are no more than 4.5% in 2009.

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Pope: Put the Crucifix in Center

Damian Thompson asks why the bishops ignore the Pope:

Monsignor Guido Marini, Benedict XVI’s master of ceremonies, this week strongly underlined the Pope’s recommendation that when Mass is celebrated facing westwards, the priest should place a crucifix at the centre of the altar. This was to make clear that the celebrant was not “facing the people”, but facing Christ.

The Holy Father could hardly have made himself clearer on this point. So why do the Bishops of England and Wales allow the vast majority of their priests to ignore his wishes? Why do the bishops themselves routinely ignore the recommendation?
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Fed Study Links Abortion and Breast Cancer

RobK has links to a federal study which links abortion and breast cancer, something which has been long denied by those who make money from abortion:

This information is worth spreading far & wide. Read it and share it. The link to the full article is below. When a woman and those who support her “decision” buy into the culture of death, it is not merely being closed to life or the violent rejection of her unborn children – it is her life she risks as well.
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Did God Make Michael Steele RNC Chair?

Michael Steele seems to think God wants him to be Chair of the RNC. I really hope that's not true because that would indicate to me that God hates the Republican Party and wants them to lose. Rick from Divine Ripples also seems to think Steele is being a bit presumptuous:

“Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele told CBN News God put him in his current position. Steele came under fire recently after criticizing Republican leadership in his new book and urging the party to get back to its conservative principles. He also said the GOP wouldn't be able to win back the House in 2010." Acc. to CBN News.
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Obama Re-Nominates Anti-Catholic

Bill Donohue takes on the renomination of anti-Catholic Dawn Johnsen:

Catholic League president Bill Donohue calls attention to the decision of President Obama to renominate Dawn Johnsen to head the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel:

Most of the critics of Dawn Johnsen focus on her strong pro-abortion record. While that is disturbing, a pro-abortion president can be expected to staff his administration with such persons, and no one doubts President Obama’s position on this subject. But it is an entirely different matter when a president selects bigots to work for him.
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San Fran, NY, and Beverly Hills Have Decided

Catholic Key has a great article on how the democratic process is being thwarted, especially when it comes to abortion funding in the healthcare bill:

On Nov. 7, 240 House members from every region of the country and both political parties supported current restrictions on federal funding of abortion by voting for the Stupak Amendment to the House health reform bill. That’s 20 more than voted for the health bill itself. Not satisfied with that fair and open result of the constitutional legislative process, 3 pro-abortion Democrats from California and 2 pro-abortion Democrats from New York have taken it upon themselves to re-write the bill this week – while Congress is out of session, behind closed doors and outside of the normal legislative process.

Many have rightfully complained that this closed-door process violates President Obama’s repeated promise of transparency in the creation of a health bill. That’s fair criticism, but more importantly the extraordinary negotiations of Reps. Pelosi (D-CA), Miller (D-CA), Waxman (D-CA). Rangel (D-NY) and Slaughter (D-NY) violate the constitutional principle of democratic rule by a representative legislature. How has the effective force of our House been reduced to those representatives whose constituencies might appear as branches on a shopping bag from a chichi boutique – San Francisco, Beverly Hills, New York?
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Just an Adorable Baby Video

No news here. This is just a flat out cute baby video. First, a Mom tells us how much trouble her little one is and then shows us how cute the baby is which makes her eminently forgivable.

Who takes my new sharpie marker and colors the wall with it? (Thank God for magic erasers!)

Who clogs the sink with toilet paper?

Who helps herself to chips whenever I turn my back?

Who took her play kitchen "knife" today and helped herself to mouthful after mouthful of peanut butter? (there goes that jar... blech...)

Who just opened the refrigerator door, poured straight lemon juice into her cup, and came in here exclaiming, "Mommy, I don't yike dis yemonade"?
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Argue Nice or Get Busted

I honestly thought this was a joke when I first read it. I'm still kinda' hoping.

More proof that the French surrender way too easily.

From the Daily Mail online: France Introduces New Law Banning 'Psychological Violence' In Marriages

France will become the first country in the world to ban 'psychological violence' within marriage later this year.
The new law, which would also apply to co-habiting couples, would see people getting criminal records for insulting their loved ones during domestic arguments.

Electronic tagging would be used on repeat offenders, according to the country's prime minister, Francois Fillon, who announced the law.
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A Very Strong Stand

Check this out at Mark Shea's and give it some very serious thought:

Now that it's extremely evident that Obama and the Dems are, in fact, lying I'm pleased to see gutsy priests like Fr. Chad Gion write:
Hi Mark-

I write asking you to pass this on to your readers.

I and a number of friends here in Mandan, North Dakota have followed the health care debate closely, watching with horror as Democrats use every trick available to get this pro-abortion bill made law. As they appear to be working to circumnavigate conference committee, it seems time is running out. We are now, after much prayer and conversation, making public our website, www.consciencefirst.org, which is a last ditch effort to thwart this leviathan. There we have published a letter to the President and Congress, promising to provide no material support to any health care plan that does not include Stupak-like protections and we are inviting others to join us. The Hyde Amendment has been the standard, and we were promised it would remain so. We are being lied to.
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Journalist Defends Self from Blogger

I found this to be very telling. The exchance is remarkable. The journalist defends his anti-Catholic bias from blogger Steve Kellmeyer. Check it out.

After reading the recent story by the Belleville News-Democrat on Bishop Braxton's requirement that (horrors!) Catholics actually kneel at the consecration, I thought it worthwhile to offer the journalist who wrote the piece a bit of a critique. Here is the exchange:

Mr. Pawlaczyk,

Why did you go to Frank Flinn at Washington University for an opinion on the Catholic practice of kneeling during the Eucharist?

Is Flinn Catholic?
It doesn't look like he is, so what would he know about this issue?
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A Pernicious Appeal for Blind Obedience?

Nuns for hyperbole! Unite!

The National Catholic Reporter has begun publishing a five-part series by Sister Sandra Schneiders, a faculty member at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, in which she takes the Vatican to task for a three-year study begun in January 2009 that will look into “the fundamental aspects of women religious in the United States.”
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Is Obama a Tragic Figure?

Pundette thinks Obama may be in for a fall:

Jennifer Rubin doesn't see Obama self-correcting:

But Obama is not a man whose views have been challenged or who has been forced to reconsider that much of what he “knows” simply isn’t so. He has lived within the cocoon of academic elites, liberal doves, and fawning fans, who reinforce his misconceptions about the world. For him to cast all of that aside and reconsider his fundamental assumptions about the world would take quite an act of intellectual courage and political daring. I just don’t see it happening. I hope I am wrong.

Neither does Victor Davis Hanson, who reminds us that tragedies don't usually end well:
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Great Story About Fatherhood

Must read of the day from St. Joseph's Vanguard and Our Lady's Train:

When I was an atheist, there was nothing in this world I feared more than children.

I feared being around children, and I feared having children more than anything. Children ruin your life and your dreams, I thought, demand all of your time and money, and are selfish, unaware, and inconsiderate. Sure, I had once been a child myself–that fact had not escaped me–but I was different in that I was especially mature and self-aware: There was no guarantee that my own children would be like me.

When I converted to Christianity from atheism 10 years ago, my fear of children persisted, but now it was even worse because, as a Christian, I knew that I was supposed to love and want children.
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Pro-Choice Hypocrisy

So it's a baby when it suits their purpose but it's a blob of tissue as well. Jennifer Hartline at Catholic Online points out liberal hypocrisy:

The truth is the truth is the truth, and it sometimes comes out in the strangest ways...

Two things happened in the last month to change my perceptions of what committed, pro-abortion women really think about babies and pregnancy. Any hopeful thinking I might have entertained about their intentions or any doubt I had about the depth of their dishonesty and violence, was pretty well wiped away by two separate, unrelated events.
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Answered Prayers

Nice to read about successes now and again.

Last week, we were informed by our friends at the Paul Stefan Homes for Expectant Mothers that they and Project Rachel were working around the clock to persuade a 19 year old young lady seriously considering abortion to choose life. After hearing this news, we appealed to our growing list of friends and fans involved in defending and promoting the faith through the St. Michael Society.
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Life Escorts?

You've got to like this. Jill Stanek has the story:

Well, this is good. Pro-life activists are an imaginative bunch.

At the EMW Women's Surgical Center abortion mill in St. Louis, those who pro-lifers call "deathscorts" - volunteers or staff paid to navigate abortion-minded mothers past pro-lifers - are angry because pro-lifers have started wearing the same orange vests they do.
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The Cost of Abortion

I'm not one to attack abortion from an economic perspective but I found this interesting. Great article about the cost in dollars to the economy from abortion. In short, it's bankrupting us:

There is a real economic toll related to abortion, but it's not something Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton or the Congressional Black Caucus complains about. In fact, they all support abortion.

To hear abortion proponents talk about it, infanticide is an economic boon. In 1998, a U.S. News and World Report article called a child "a high-priced consumer item with no warranty."

Less children supposedly means less welfare spending, less unemployment and generally more money to spread around.

Actually, the opposite is more likely to be true.
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Calvinists Are Coming, Calvinists Are ...

Patrick Madrid makes me laugh.

Things are getting a little fidgety over in Calvinland, at least within the Sovereign Calvinist embassy to Free Republic. The Great Reformed Ping List is underway again, complete with some obligatory tub-thumping and chest-beating about their enemies' "anthropomorphic rantings" and how their solas are being "mightily assailed," etc., etc.

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How Disney's Pocahantas Became Avatar

This is pretty funny. A memo compares Diseny's Pocahantas with Avatar. Check it out at Big Hollywood.
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New Archbishop "Outspokenly Pro-Life"


Catholics and Christians in the pro-life movement may often find themselves asking what role their bishops should exercise in their communities as shepherds. At his installation Mass yesterday in Milwaukee, Catholic Archbishop Jerome Listecki gave faithful Christians an answer, saying that the bishop's main responsibility is "governing, teaching, and sanctifying" the local church community, and that the faithful also have a share in this responsibility.

Listecki was officially installed as Archbishop of Milwaukee on January 4, 2010 by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the Papal Nuncio to the United States, although he had already been exercising pastoral care of his new episcopal territory as Archbishop-designate wasting no time to rebuke the dissident "Young Catholics for Choice" for distorting Catholic teaching on contraception and abortion.
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Mark Shea is a Whedon Geek!

This is an astoundingly good piece from Mark Shea that hits on everything from PZ Myers, Christopher Hitchens to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Gotta' read this one:

Culturally deprived and TV-less laggard that I am, I've been watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD lately -- for the very first time. First impressions: Joss Whedon can write rings around everybody else. Second impression: Dickens lives! By that, I mean that Whedon seems to have hit on Dickens's formula: Create a character you can invest a lot of empathy in, then spend the series visiting unbearable pain on that character. Is there any end to Buffy's World o' Hurt?
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Christian Evicted from Rapist's Cell

I just have one question. If the Christian had complained about sharing a cell with a rapist would anybody have cared?

The decay has reached the point that merely being a Christian around a rapist is regarded as a human rights violation:

An atheist rapist has complained that his human rights were breached by having to share a prison cell with a Christian inmate.

Barman Steven Relf, 40, was jailed indefinitely after admitting raping two women he targeted when he served them drinks in a pub.

Police branded him a "sexual predator" and said he could have had as many as 40 victims. …

A source said Relf was "furious" at having to share at Manchester Prison with the Christian convict and wanted him to be "evicted". …

The other inmate was later transferred.
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Just One More

This is beautiful:

On Christmas Eve our church was filled to capacity. We managed to arrive early enough to find a pew that was empty and pile in our six children along with their coats, angel wings, and a stuffed lamb for the shepherd, but it seemed like we got the last seats, because everyone who walked in after us had to stand.

I felt awkward, sitting when others didn’t have a place, so when a nice looking man approached our pew I pulled the children closer to me and invited him to sit down. Certainly, on Christmas, there was room for one more, I thought.
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Why Iran Will Fall

This article from American Thinker about Iran crystallizes the situation extraordinarily well. It's going to take massive amounts of courage and a willingness to die by many people in order to affect change.

How do you stand up to a regime that has all the guns?

It is done when the masses of people demonstrate courage and determination in the face of death or imprisonment. In short, the regime is likely to run out of bullets (or willing shooters) before the people cower and hide in the darkness.

Today's example from Iran comes to us via this story in the New York Times by Nazili Fathi where we learn that 88 professors are risking life and liberty to stand up for their students who are being systematically eliminated if they protest against the regime:
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TOB in Historical Perspective

Dawn Eden at HeadlineBistro

Some well-meaning people seem to make a habit of knocking my grandfather and my great-grandfather.

Oh, they don’t mean to do it. They only mean to tell me how wonderful my dad is. But somehow, in their zeal to boost him, they end up damning his forebears with faint praise. It’s as if they have to put the others down in order to make him look good.

“Your father,” they say, “did such a better job of parenting than any other fathers in your family ever did.”

“Oh,” they add, “your grandfather and great-grandfather tried hard. But they were limited by the antiquated mentality of the world in which they lived. Your father, on the other hand, is enlightened with a special charism. Compared to earlier generations, his paternal wisdom and insight were radically advanced.”

All right, people don’t really speak that way of my dad. Some well-meaning Catholic apologists do, however, speak that way of my late Holy Father, John Paul II

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Is Feminism Destroying America?

Almost everyone I know believes America is on a downward trajectory. And there's many reasons for it. Feminism may be leading cause, says Cassy Fiano:

The Futurist has an excellent essay on what could be causing the decline of American civilization. It’s a very long, yet worthwhile, read, so I encourage you all to go read the entire thing. Many Americans are waking up to a society that is crumbling, yet they can’t see why it is happening. Men and women alike are genuinely confused as to why this is happening, but is the answer really so simple? Has feminism created a misandry bubble that is ruining western civilization? The Futurist thinks so, and so do I.
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Olbermann: Brit Hume = Jihadists

Wow. Brit Hume really set off a firestorm. Good for him. The left is outing themselves by demanding that Christianity not be seen or heard from. Gateway Pundit has the crazy video from Olbermann:

Here’s the latest example of Christianity hatred from the democratic-media complex.
Keith Olbermann compares Brit Hume’s faith to jihadism.

Now the left is demanding that we not speak of our Christian faith in public.
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40 Most Obnoxious Quotes of 2009

John Hawkins compiles them. Yup. They're all pretty obnoxious.

40) But it is really not easy to make fun of the Obamas, because they’re really — they’re kind of really perfect, aren’t they?" -- Joy Behar.

39) Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’ll let you finish, but Beyonce has one of the best videos of all time. One of the best videos of all time! -- Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift's MTV Video Music Awards speech.

38) The governor is hiking the Appalachian Trail. -- Spokesman for Mark Sanford
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Never Stop Praying for Priests

Father Z reminds us in a stark way why we should always pray for priests:

I read the news that former priest and liberal critic of the Catholic Church James Kavanaugh died at the age of 81. The story is on mlive.com.

One of my spies told me something that the obituary does not mention: Kavanaugh asked for and received the Apostolic Pardon just before he died.

Never stop praying for priests… priests who are faithful and those who are not, those who are capable and those who are less so, those whom you like, those you don’t.
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Dolphins are People Too!

Wesley J. Smith of Secondhand Smoke reports:

One of the greatest threats to human exceptionalism comes from the ideology of people who work in the life and environmental science sector, who it seems, take every opportunity to subvert and undermine our self concept as the unique species in the known universe. The latest example can be found on the blog of the science journal Nature describing a session on dolphins to be presented at the upcoming American Association for the Advancement of Science national conference.
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Polyamory Anyone?

Erin Manning predicts it and it comes true. Her powers of prophecy are so keen you should either read her or burn her as a witch. Your call.

From the "I told you so!" files, comes this story from the Boston Globe. It's a story of forbidden love which breaks social taboos, reconstructs human relationships, disregards traditional morality, and insists it is a brave new way. Oh, and this time it's not gay marriage:

With affairs, you get sex. With polyamory, you get breakfast,” says Cambridge sex therapist Gina Ogden, citing a well-known poly saying. Ogden is the author of The Return of Desire, in which she dedicates a chapter to affairs and polyamory. “Polyamory isn’t a lifestyle for everybody, any more than monogamy is for everybody,” she says. “Keeping one relationship vital is a lot of work, and if you start adding more relationships, it becomes more work.” Though common descriptors used for monogamy don’t easily apply to polyamory, there is a recognizable spectrum of how open these partnerships may be.
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Kathleen Kennedy. A Modern Joan or Arc?

I don't have time to rank the stupidest things that have come out of Bonnie Erbe's columns in US News and World Report but this has got to be in the Top 5. And that's saying something. Matthew Balan of Newsbusters has the story:

Bonnie Erbe of U.S. News and Report praised Kathleen Kennedy Townsend’s efforts to change the Catholic Church’s perennial teaching against abortion in a December 23, 2009 blog entry, calling her a “modern-day Crusader of sorts” and outlandishly predicted that the Church would eventually “recognize the wisdom of...[her] approach.” Erbe would even go so far as to liken Townsend to St. Joan of Arc
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Saint Gore and the Green Bible

For anyone who doubted that environmentalism is a religion:

Lefty author Margaret Atwood has created, in the form of a novel, the environmentalist's bible. "The Year of the Flood", as it is titled, is not merely a figurative bible for a dispersed and sporadic collection of greenies, but rather a sacred testament (the author says as much) for a movement that, every day, looks more like a church--complete with sin, salvation, and saints (one of whom is--you guessed it--Al Gore).
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Called By Adversity?

An interesting story from 44 about a Jesuit priest whose calling wasn't typical:

At the last Mass at St. Joseph's Prep before students scattered for Christmas break, the Rev. Rick Curry gave the homily.

I'm not sure how to adequately describe this man, so get ready for a wild ride that I guarantee will put you in the mood for Christmas.

Curry's homily began with a story about a mouthwash commercial.

The would-be actor was born without a right forearm, which made him a freak to the receptionist at the 1977 audition. She laughed him right out of the office.

"I was stunned. I was hurt," the visiting priest told the church full of 1,000 antsy young men. "There was no way I could convince her that having one arm wouldn't stop me from gargling mouthwash."

At the time, Curry was a Jesuit brother studying for his doctorate in theater. He trudged off muttering, "God, what was that all about?"
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St. Philip Neri's Greatest Hits

Some pretty great thoughts in here. Check them out at Patrick Madrid's blog:

If you're looking to deepen your love for God, our Lady and the saints, and your neighbor, this series of admonitions and counsels from the great St. Philip Neri, arranged by month, can help. In addition to your regular reading of Sacred Scripture and other daily devotions, such as praying the rosary, reflecting prayerfully on these spiritual one-a-day vitamins can give your interior life in Christ a real boost.


1. WELL! when shall we have a mind to begin to do good?

2. Nulla dies sine linea: Do not let a day pass without doing some good during it.

3. We must not be behind time in doing good; for death will not be behind his time.
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Pope Benedict on the Environment

If the environment improves but there's nobody there to see it, does it really improve? Sheila at Inforum blog wonders about how the media is handling the Pope's statement on the environment:

Without people, who would appreciate trees?

Well, that’s not exactly how he said it. But Pope Benedict XVI’s message for World Day of Peace this year must have certainly grabbed the attention of the most ardent ecologist, environmentalists and naturalists. Which was the idea…

Here’s how CNN reported it:

“In his address, called “If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation,” the pope said peace with the natural environment is the beginning of peace with all of God’s creation, including people.”

Again, not exactly.
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Mowing the Astroturf

Rich Leonardi notices some priests are coming out strong against the new translation:

Would it surprise you to learn that Fr. Lawrence Mick, official catechist for the Worship office of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, has signed his name to an online petition opposing the new Mass translations? Other signatories include Fr. Ken Overberg, S.J., and several other priest-malcontents at Xavier University; would-be priestess Louise Akers, S.C.; Fr. Glen Chun, S.J., one of the new priests at the rebranded St. Xavier Church downtown; and a gaggle of "lay ministers" and women religious.
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Making Deals With Terrorists?

Pundette pulls no punches when it comes to the administration capitulates to terrorists:

Let's face it. Barack Obama is fundamentally incapable of leading or defending our country. From Andy McCarthy:

Today, New Year's Eve, while everyone's attention is understandably on family and friends, we learn (thanks to the ever alert Bill Roggio, reporting on the Standard's blog) that the administration has now released Qais Qazali, Laith's brother, who is the head of the Iran-backed terror network, in addition to a hundred other terrorists. In violation of the long-standing, commonsense policy against capitulating to kidnappers and terrorists because it just encourages more hostage-taking and murder, the terrorists were released in exchange for a British hostage [Peter Moore] and the remains of his three contract guards (whom the terrorists had murdered).
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The "Yes" that Changed Everything

Kathryn Jean Lopez writes beautifully about Mary over at The Catholic Thing:

The image is of a young woman in her bedroom. If you can tell from a portrait that a young woman is beautiful and pure, through and through, you can see it here. She looks like someone you’d want to know, at any time of your life. Young children would be drawn to her. If you’re college-age, she looks like someone you’d want to be friends with. This is the woman the guy who knows what’s good for him is going to want to ultimately settle down with. If you’re the parent of a college-age child, this is exactly who you want your child to hang around with – and would benefit yourself from having around. She’s unassuming, human in real and recognizable ways, complete with some rumpled bed sheets. She sits open and honest and listening and ready to begin the rest of her life in this moment, which could really be any moment.
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