It is popular to say how wonderful it is that young people are so open and tolerant and etc. I usually find the opposite to be the case.
It seems older people that have been around the block a few times , been knocked down , endured some heartache , have some world experience outside their comfort zone , and have sinned themselves are far more tolerant. Tolerance does not mean accepting anything under the sun but I find older folks often extend mercy more than younger even when they disagree.
To get the point when you are younger it seems YOU GOT IT ALL FIGURED OUT which also means you view those that don't agree with you as morons. . That is one reason why I sort of shake my head when people say young folks are the prophetic voice of the Church. Well maybe so but often not.
At least that was the case for me. I was a pretty annoying young Catholic that thought communion in the hand was sketchy , the priest should make everyone kneel for communion , and altar girls was the most horrible thing under the sun. Now I still hold those positions to a certain degree but I learned some good people disagree and I don't need to make World War III over these issues. Needless to say there were more " liberal " young folks that I knew that held the opposite positions and never realized how truly intolerant they were to folks that disagreed. Again a mirror image of me at a certain age.
I suspect older people ( and by this I think approaching 40 is when it might happen ) just want some PEACE , and to be honest the Church is the last place where we want another battle. We can have that at home or in the workplace .
Which brings us to what I thought was the most excellent Catholic post of 2013 in the very crowded Catholic blogsphere on how yes we are a BIG CHURCH that has many often conflicting views. It s written from a personal look myself in the mirror viewpoint. He is a educated man that had Pope Francis shock his world. Which this Pope is good at doing.
So Greg Hillis and his post What "It is everybody's church!" Teaches Me: A Confession get in my mind the best 2013 Catholic post of 2013.
In the end there is room in our Faith for the Archdiocese of the Military and lets say Pax Chirsti
There is room for the Catholics at the Action Inst and let say Catholic worker.
There is room for those that like the " regular Mass " , the Latin Mass , and yes ( gulp ) I will say it Lifeteen Masses .
The Bishops and Popes , which are so vogue to bash , seem to get this and embrace the contributions of all of these. That might be because they realize they are not of the Church of whats happening now but get the whole concept of the democracy of the dead and how by their vows they enter the living history of the Church that goes back to the apostles . Our history show therefore a dynamic and in the trenches way of Faith that is while Orthodox is not cookie cutter.
Again I am not saying anything goes. I am not going to be singing CALL TO ACTION praises anytime soon. But Catholicism allows a huge range of theological , political , social , economic thought.
Let us on both on the " right " and "left" be very wary of saying you are not welcomed to the Eucharistic sacrifice unless it is a very core belief..
There are indeed some issue that Catholicism must not compromise as the Bride of Christ. But again there are many issues where we have no business denying the Eucharistic table of our Lord too because of disagreement.
And for that reason Greg Hillis get Catholic post of the year for reminding of us that.
Sunday, December 8, 2013
It is popular to say how wonderful it is that young people are so open and tolerant and etc. I usually find the opposite to be the case.
Saturday, December 7, 2013
I have to say I am tad underwhelmed over some significant analysis ( legal and otherwise ) on the Michigan ACLU lawsuit against the United States Catholic Bishop's Conference.
One aspect of this I would like covered is how much internal discussion . disagreement with the ACLU itself is happening over the actions of it's Michigan chapter. HOPEFULLY THERE IS SOME. If not it is a sign that perhaps the ACLU has decided one issue overrides all other RIGHTS.
Rick Plasterer over at Juicy Ecumenism has the facts on the lawsuit and it's implications at The ACLU Bids to Make a Beginning of the End of Religious Health Care .
He says in part :
What makes the case especially scary (and telling), is the clear attempt to tie religious doctrine to legal harm. Rather than suing the hospital, the ACLU is suing the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for their directives to Catholic health providers that prescribe medical care according to religious principles. Once the strategic bridgehead is established that Catholic moral teaching is harming good medical care and the government may restrict it, ever more restrictions will be introduced on this and all the other issues of the “culture war” over sex and religion. Religious principles will then be increasingly understood to cause harm in medical care, advancing the claim that they cause harm in the public world of business and the professions, and must be excluded from the actions of anyone serving the public. Beyond this, to advocate or counsel religious actions deemed harmful to the state’s understanding of the good life also become suspect. Currently, the mayor-elect of New York, Bill de Blasio, proposes to shut down the city’s crisis pregnancy centers, which offer alternatives to abortion, while in Germany, books advocating spanking are banned .
Bear in mind the Bishop's Conference does not own any of these hospitals. It is just the fact that Bishop's speak out and say to be Catholic one must do X if one's wants to have that label is enough !
Anyone at the ACLU concerned about the speech and religious freedom issues or is restrict rights by tort litigation all A OK !
Yesterday a court said a baker must make a gay wedding cake.
I am not going to comment on the Judge's opinion yet . If or if not the Judge was legally correct because of certain laws that are on the books is not the point of this post.
The question is again is liberalism going out of style in the good ole USA. When I am talking liberalism I am not talking Nancy Pelosi kinda of liberalism but the kind which is at the heart of the enduring American constitutional order.
Law Prof Dane Crane hit this issue not long ago at Gay Wedding Cakes and Liberalism . After describing what liberalism was and how all factions in these debates are ignoring it he said :
Where are the liberals? Where are the people willing to say: “As much as possible, let’s not decide these questions in the arena of the state. Let’s let them play out in families, churches, religious communities, social networks, friendships, businesses, and private associations. Let’s resist the impulse to make these kinds of divisive moral and religious questions political questions. Let’s not fight another Thirty Years’ War.”
Let me try to preempt some likely objections with two concluding observations.
First, a liberal disposition cannot be confined to circumstances where one disapproves of someone else’s conduct but it causes no harm to others—because that’s an empty set. It’s child’s play for lawyers, philosophers, and economists to demonstrate that almost anything one person does affects other people. When the baker refuses to make the wedding cake, it imposes real distress, humiliation, and inconvenience on the person requesting the cake. Conversely, having to make the cake would impose real offense and moral indignity on the baker. Liberalism doesn’t depend on a view that one of the parties really isn’t hurt, any more than free speech depends on a view that words can never be hurtful. Liberalism is a disposition that says “the state must let pass these sorts of harm—they do not rise to the level of force and fraud where state intervention is justified.”
Second, to espouse liberalism isn’t to pretend that the state never has to make political judgments on issues of sexual orientation. Since the state runs the military, it must decide whether gay people can serve in the armed forces. Since the state regulates adoptions, it must decide whether gay people can adopt. And there are of course other examples. But the fact that it is sometimes unavoidable for the state to wade into these thorny issues does not justify the state wading in when it doesn’t have to. The great project of liberalism is to strive continually for resolutions that don’t involve the state deciding divisive issues of meaning and morality that require choosing between contending world views. This isn’t always possible, but it’s possible much more of the time than it happens.
Calling all liberals . . .
Posted by James H at 12/07/2013 08:33:00 AM
I never quite got why the Keep Christ in Christmas folks ( in which I have a lot sympathy for ) seem to attack XMAS . From a early age I knew the X was Greek for Christ which I found rather neat at the time. Was this really hidden knowledge to everyone ?
Over at First Things Matthew Schmitz has an excellent piece on the history of the " X " . See In Praise of “Xmas” . The X in many ways links us to the Church of all ages living and dead. Which I think is pretty darn Catholic .
Rod Dreher takes a good look at a First Things piece by the poet Dana Gioia that talks about the horrid state of Catholic writing in America. This topic is nothing new on how we have gone from Flannery O’Connor to the sad state of today. However it lays out the landscape in a the most vivid way and is worth the read.
See The Rise & Fall Of Catholic Writing
On a depressing note Rod Dreher also notes that a South Louisiana Catholic High School was perhaps the first to ban Flannery O'Connor at the directive of a BISHOP because parents found her offensive !
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Law Prof Rick Garnett has an excellent Op - Ed in the LA Times today on the VALUE and TRADITION of Accommodation of religion on his column about the HHS Mandate Cases .
He also mentions an issue I keep making :
..And the question should not be whether legal protections for religious liberty stop at the sanctuary door or evaporate when a person is trying to make a living or a business is aiming to make a profit. At a time when we talk a lot about corporate responsibility and worry about the feeble influence of ethics and values on Wall Street decision-making, it would be strange if the law were to welcome sermonizing from Starbucks on the government shutdown but tell the Greens and Hobby Lobby to focus strictly on the bottom line....
This is a question that no so far that I think certain Christians and even whole Faith Communities that are very much supporting the Government in this case shy away from.
He does not mention it but one really has to wonder if accommodation does not become a value we hold dearly what does that mean for EMPLOYEES in the future. I am not sure this can be contained just to employers .
Monday, December 2, 2013
Good article at the the Atlantic. After going through if a HSS Contraception is really that necessary in the big scheme of things of health care she say :
...... The administration didn’t force employers with a religious objection to offer contraception because it made financial or medical sense; they did it because it had great symbolic value to Barack Obama’s political base. And much of that symbolic value seems to actually come from the willingness to coerce people who object to buy the stuff. You can imagine that in an intra-left debate over what mandatory services should be covered, some of the people now professing outrage at Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. (one of the parties involved) would see the logic of ditching birth control if it lowered premiums by $15 a month and thereby increased access. But, in fact, if you want to make the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act viable for the long term, you’re going to need the support of folks like Hobby Lobby as much as you need low premiums.
There are many religious people in America, and if you want to keep stirring up active opposition to the law, one good way is to suggest that this law forces them to pay for something they are convinced is morally wrong. (Hobby Lobby’s objection is not to contraception in general, but specifically to products that could prevent a fertilized egg from implanting.)
If you want to still be fighting Obamacare in the trenches 40 years from now, the best way I can think of is appending it to the argument over abortion. I understand that you may think Hobby Lobby’s position is ridiculous, or that contraception is a fundamental human right, but here’s the problem: Hobby Lobby’s owners, and millions of other Americans, hold the opposite opinion at least as strongly. In a pluralistic society, they have the right to fight you on it every step of the way.
To state the obvious, Obamacare is probably not going to survive many more such battles. If the administration loses in the Supreme Court, that will be good news for religious liberty, but also good news for Obamacare. Right now, the administration needs to pick its battles carefully. This should not be a hill they’re willing to let the law die on.
I think she is largely right and she is far from alone in the view about motivations. It does seem people enjoy their moral superiority when they start out their sentences " I can believe in the 21 St Century we are arguing over birth control " .
It needs to be recalled that this threat was barely on anyone's radar at the time they were just tryuing to get the votes to pass the Affordable Care Act. Everyone was focused on abortion , and the President had seem to promises to such people as Cardinal Dolan there was nothing to worry about on this front.
I think Megan McArdle is right on the other point. What kind of game plan is this if you support the Affordable Care Act ? Further if think a more active Federal Government is a good thing then why are you supporting a major war against common sense religious accommodations that basically is not a huge to burden to the law at all ?
Friday, November 29, 2013
Let me state I have don't know a hill of beans about Duquesne University . It could be like Georgetown University where a Arab student that had been attending Georgetown learned from the first time from me via twitter that Georgetown was Catholic. On the other hand it could be so Catholic in its ethos it puts Belmont Abbey to shame.
What I am focusing on is its official rules of conduct and regulations.
Which bring us to this interesting story from F.I.R.E that seems to be watching this situation closely. See Political Poster Banned at Duquesne University .
As F.I.R.E says in part :
FIRE is proudly nonpartisan and takes no position on the claims asserted in the poster. We do, however, take a position on students’ right to express political opinions: We are unabashedly in favor of those rights. As a private institution, Duquesne University is not legally bound by the First Amendment, but it is morally and contractually bound to provide its students with free speech rights in accordance with the promises it makes in its Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct (PDF).
See above link at F.I.R.E to see those promises.
Now I am not sure why the administration banned this poster . According to the person that put the poster up she was told by someone the images were " too upsetting: " .
A lot of things of course are upsetting and a good bit speech that is protected is aimed at being upsetting.. For the record I am not sure that image while thought provoking is in this day and age going to cause a lot of emotional drama to your average college students. I have seen worse things on regular network TV. This all makes me think something else is going on.
I suspect a possible reason the poster was taken down was because of theological / political dynamics. What some folks call " leftist ideas " along with many progressive social movements have a long tradition in some aspects of the Catholic Church. Thus we might when all things are said and done have a Catholic sensibility argument by the University.
Also I have little doubt that the people behind this poster a combination of the College Republicans and the Young America’s Foundation might also disturb some powers that be on different political and religious levels
Now the University might be saved by the section on publications that is referred to in the code of student rights that is right after the section F.I.R.E cites.
This publication section refers back to the Mission Statement that seems rather perhaps too vague as to Catholic ID . It is about the only place where the religious nature of the University is mentioned in the entire Code which is s part of the bigger problem.
Again I am not sure exactly what the true reason this poster is banned , but if it is because it offends Catholic sensibilities in the eyes of the College the code of conduct should be revamped to make the Catholic ID of the college clearer and what is expected of students.
Let me give an example. I think a Baptist knows what they are getting themselves into when they go to a school like Liberty University. They know if they go to a place like Baylor the rules might be a tad freer to give some more " freedom " . We can go down the line to a school like Wake Forest that has the most loose of Baptist ethos and affiliations. I highly suspect their student codes of conduct reflect this.
We can see this in Catholic colleges. You have Belmont Abbey for instance on one end then places like Catholic University and University of Dallas ( The Catholic Baylors of the world perhaps ) to schools that promote the Sandra Flukes of the world in official publications. You can often see the Catholic ethos and the responsibilities that entails in the student handbook and rules of conduct which is basically the CONTRACT.
Thankfully in this country private colleges secular and religious have a good bit of freedom to restrict a good bit of First Amendment freedom that a secular school could not. That is proper and good. I am for some Catholic Colleges not allowing a good many things on their college that happens on a secular college.
Still if a Catholic ethos , conduct , ethics , etc argument is going to be used in restricting such speech that at the very least needs to be laid out more in the contracts you have with students. As F.I.R.E. states even a private religious school has moral and INDEED PERHAPS legal contractual obligations in this regard.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Friendly Atheist I think shows the rather honest confusion that many have against about the fundamental issue in the HHS Contraception mandate cases at Can Corporations Have Religious Beliefs? The Supreme Court Will Soon Answer That Question .
He ends his piece :
What sort of awful boss asks the Supreme Court to change the law in order to make life more miserable for his employees?
I actually think Friendly Atheist honest confusion has to do with how this has been reported. I am seeing this everywhere.
The main issue is that must be confronted is NOT how much should your bosses be involved in your personal and family life. People that phrase the question this way I think are often of the type that take for granted or give the benefit of the doubt that the power the Congress was legitimate.
The fundamental question is if the rules that came out of the the Affordable Care Act ( NOTE RULE MAKING NOT BY CONGRESS ) violated the employers right as to the Religion Freedom Restoration Act .
The issue is not women's access to birth control or a woman's right to choose. It is about if the Govt interest of providing free birth control is using an avenue he cannot go down as to certain employers. It does not mean all avenues are closed to providing free birth control. In fact a critical part of the claims of the Plaintiffs in this case is that the Government has MULTIPLE avenues to achieve this goal without violating their rights.
Agnostic Law Prof Ann Althouse is now trying to explain this again for the second time in two days. She states in part :
But the Hobby Lobby case isn't about narrowly interpreting the Constitution to let legislative majorities have their way. It's a conflict between 2 statutes, and it was absolutely not Antonin Scalia who encouraged giving religious exemptions. It was Congress, which was reacting to Scalia's rejection of constitutional exemptions. The RFRA bill was sponsored in the House by Congressman Chuck Schumer and in the Senate by Teddy Kennedy. (Each had a GOP co-sponsor). The Democrats controlled Congress, but the Republicans all voted for it too (with the sole exception of Jesse Helms).
From the NYT article in 1993 when President Bill Clinton signed RFRA into law: President Clinton hailed the new law at the signing ceremony, saying that it held government "to a very high level of proof before it interferes with someone's free exercise of religion."... President Clinton voiced wonder today at this alliance of forces that are often at odds across religious or ideological lines. "The power of God is such that even in the legislative process miracles can happen," he said.
This is about statutes and the politicos who produce them, not the judges who stand back and let them trip all over themselves pandering to everyone. If the Congress that passed the Affordable Care Act had wanted to exempt it from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, it could have done so explicitly. It did not.
Why should the Court cut back Congress's absurdly broad RFRA to help it out with what it failed to bother to do with the ACA?
Now I am huge supporter of the RFRA and I don't find it absurd. But if you find the current conflict silly then why did Congress not exempt and why did the President Obama not urge an exemption of the Obama Care from the RFRA ?
I have my theories why that happened , but regardless this situation was very predictable.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Yesterday Rachel Evans opened up her comments to have a discussion on the HHS contraception mandate cases which the Supreme Court has decided to take two . It was good discussion though I wish more " negative " liberty people had showed up.
See 2 questions regarding the HHS mandate and religious liberty .
Two quick theological matters before getting to the legal which is the main purpose of this post.
From watching the comments there I think we are seeing a pattern
Among many progressive Christians there seems to little sense of or indeed any real curiosity why some Christians have an opposition to birth control.The early Church history on the topic , Humane Vitae , John Paul II 's Theology of the Body, and works that question the impact of contraception on marriage is not on their radar.
If it is it is perhaps viewed as some conservative Christians view some Islamic practices. That is with suspicion and viewed as having some sinister alternative political purpose. As we have seen this has not worked out well for Muslims and their religious liberty.
Second as we have seen before on some issues we have encountered recently there is no real in depth discussion as aspect of religious liberty as a human right and how it applies here.
NOW TO THE LEGAL which is much more immediate concern.
What at least I observed in the comments is something we are seeing playing out on the political scene more and more. That is we have a tension between the concepts of negative liberty ( The Govt Shall not ) and positive liberty which is more recent. Positive liberty believes rights are useless unless the Government helps affirm and enable those rights.
The birth control case is a prime example. The RIGHT to birth Control was born in the womb of the Government can't or negative liberty .. That is this is such an intimate choice that the Government has no competence. Hence the right to privacy.
In a few short decades we have gone from the Government can't ban birth control to the your right to it is useless unless we help you get it . Even if that involves making employers act against their beliefs. So much for Government staying out of intimate affairs which it has no competence !
In essence we have a group of many progressive Christians that are all for POSITIVE LIBERTY and a much more expanded role of Government in helping people in a variety of concerns.
THAT IS A LEGITIMATE POSITION.
However what is lacking is it seems the awareness that this will produce some serious conflict where some conscious exemptions are needed. Regimes that don't have conscience exemptions often don't fare well for liberty in the end. So far a good many progressive Christians seem not to be bothered by this at this point.
In this case we have Hobby Lobby that cover 16 of 20 FDA approved forms of contraception . However because they will not cover certain morning after pills that is even a bridge too far for the advocate of positive piberty. EVEN CHRISTIANS !
Christians that support positive liberty and expanded role for Government ( A LEGIT POSITION ) need I think to start thinking about the need for protections much more than than do for people of faith and various other objectors rights.
Moving on there seems to be a theme that in the EMPLOYER / EMPLOYEE relationship the employer has no or little religious liberty rights.
There is not really much scriptural or theological or legal thought given to why this is so but it is just is. There also seem to be little thought in encouraging the employer to so easily shed his moral scruples in the pursuit of business and how that will effect social justice as a whole.
From a legal perspective there is little attention among some progressive Christians how this will effect independent contractors with no employees or in the end the employee itself as positive liberty just keeps marching on without a check.
Of more immediate concern is that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 is not on many people 's radar at all. Which is strange since this is the CAUSE OF ACTION and RIGHT that is partly at issue.
The RFRA was viewed as a major victory for religious believers rights and passed with great bipartisan support.
It basically says that the Government cannot impair your religious belief unless there is a is a compelling interest that the the policy must be narrowly tailored to meet that goal , and the government must show this is the least restrictive means possible in reaching that goal . This is called Strict Scrutiny is the hardest burden for the Government to prove.
From watching the conversations in the comments it seems everyone is pretty much adopting the old rational basis test. The rational basis test is pretty easy for the Government to win and it does ! . That is the governmental action must be "rationally related" to a "legitimate" government interest. In this case its hey birth control might be a pretty good idea and making the employer pay for it is " rationally related to that goal.
There is an opportunity for Christians to have this discussion among each other as to religious liberty. In fact it is a conversation we must have.
Still I get the feeling that what we are seeing here is just basically the positive vs negative liberty debate rolling on. This time with a somewhat Christian air to it.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
It is about 300 pages and I have not even started to read it yet. The BIG PULPIT though has a ton of links to the text to the document , highlights , and commentary here
Wow this is incredible and his remarks actually go to the problem he as trying to point out . FIRE has University of Nebraska Student Senator Faces Impeachment Over Remarks Made During Debate
Friday, November 22, 2013
Everything was going fine this week down in Austin at the PUBLIC University of Texas regarding a controversial student sponsored " catch an illegal Immigrant day " . The student group got their view out and students that thought such a evenys was outrageous used more speech to combat those views and got their position out.
Then some ( what we call Government actors in these situations ) in the administration got involved . See via F.I.R.E. Threat of Honor Code Charges Causes Texas Student Group to Cancel Event for all the details .
Of course such action by the " older adults " does nothing to help the rather depressing views of Free Speech held by many students on campus.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
I thought this was intriguing article over at First Thoughts. See Surprised By Sacraments .
I guess I think of Pentecostals through largely just an " Americas " both North and South lens. I never really have considered it and how its developing , influencing , AND BEING influenced in other parts of the world.
This is a very very interesting article from the Archdiocese of Atlanta . See A final resting place: New practice consoles living .
Cremation for good reasons was frowned upon by the Church for a long time because some viewed it as a denial of the Resurrection of the Body.
However what we have in the Archdiocese is that loved ones ( and it appears in great numbers ) or engaging in more devout practices with their relatives that have passed on. I have to admit that while I am not personally myself thrilled with the idea of cremation for me , the fact I could be buried or be part of a columbarium as a part of a CHURCH and not some secular cemetery is appealing to me . In the end it is " Holy Ground "
This part was interesting :
Several parishes built columbaria and memorial gardens for cremated remains to serve parishioners’ needs. They were forbidden for years, but now these sites may be built with the approval of the archbishop. Deacon Egan said the driving concern has been relocating a columbarium or a memorial garden, if a parish church ever moves. A new archdiocesan policy requires a parish to reserve with the archdiocese one-third of construction costs in case a memorial area ever needs to be relocated, said Deacon Egan.
So if the new Parish moves you go with it ! That seems to even more affirm Catholic beliefs in a way as to our theology and belief about death.
Journalist Greg Burke has always been a interesting fellow to watch and indeed that continues as he is not in a very senior position in crafting the communications message and imaging of the Vatican . The Daily Mail profiles him in this piece . See The PR genius who helped make the Pope popular: Francis's marketing mastermind, an ex US journalist who belongs to Opus Dei .
I found this nugget of info very important and I think has showed part of the problem in the past .
Mr Burke is the only person in the Vatican's communications structure with vast print and television experience from outside the sometimes insular world of Catholic media. 'I've had a lot of diverse media experience that I hope I can put to use for the Church that I love,' Mr Burke said at the time.
That is pretty incredible in this day and age I think. I think we are seeing the benefits of getting some new blood with a different experience in the system.
Public Discourse has a good post on something that incredibly the California legislature passed , but thankfully he vetoed. See A Lesson in Equality from California .
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
This is pretty interesting since this is a Priest from the Diocese itself. That often does not happen though it just happened recently in the State of Texas in the Diocese of Tyler. There is a nice write up here by the Fort Worth Catholic paper .
Rocco Palmo has as usual a great write up that gives a good bit of context.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
This is pretty interesting . See
Pope personally calls Traditional Catholic writer, says he considers it important to be criticized
One thing about Pope Francis is he really does keep his ear to the ground on what is going on in the world around him. Even to call writers that have been critical of him that are suffering illiness.
Oh boy is Rod Dreher incensed and he should be . See It’s Always Dallas’s Fault .
I did not think I would have a lot of interest in the the big 50th anniversary of the JFK killing. One reason is it is a day that is recalled each year with a good bit of fanfare. Also I was thinking jeez what could be new under the sun that would be talked about.
However the other night I watched a fascinating show on National Geographic with great footage and eyewitnesses that talked about the whole TEXAS TRIP.
We forget about the event in Texas that happened before Dallas. JFK was met by very huge crowds everywhere. It was very much a success. This was no small feat because of the numerous purposes for this trip.
The Fort Worth events were something else and National Geographic special show how the people there really went out of their way. The show went into how the host committee puts loads of priceless art into their hotel room to make them feel welcome was a prime example. The day he died he spoke in front of a packed audience at a Breakfast. They loved him and this was largely a crowd that likely did not vote for him.
When you see footage of JFK in Dallas we often just see Love Field and then boom the place he got shot. We don't often see the huge large friendly crowds that lined the roads before they even got into downtown Dallas . This show had it.
Also as has been pointed out the Secret Service had no indications of threats to Kennedy in the city that " willed to Kill The President " as the NYT columnist would say.
The fact that Oswald not only was far leftist but came within a hair of killing right wing General Walker plus wanting to kill Richard Nixon I know complicates things. All that plays a role in the conspiracy theories and as we see here blaming Dallas for something it did not do.
This was in his daily homily today. See via Vatican Insider "A nation that does not respect grandparents, has no future, because it has no memory"
It seems I am picking on the Friendly Atheist website since this is my third post in a row on that site .That is partly because the Friendly Atheist is one of my first stops of the day and then something else catches my attention span then I don't blog. This happens a good bit when Football is on.
Still I thought there should be some comment on this post . See A One-Time Catholic Priest Argues That the Celibacy Requirement is ‘Destructive’
We are not quite hearing so much about this topic in some places because Priesthood Vocations are on the rise again in many places. I also find it interesting that as to VOCATIONS we are not really focusing on the true SEX and Marriage problem. That is Catholics that actually marry ! More harm is being done to Catholic lives ( see children ) , to society , and to the Church by the real problem of Catholic divorce than celibacy.
That being said the Friendly Atheist said this :
It sticks to the concepts of celibacy and bachelorhood for its leaders, both rules that contribute to the child abuse scandals.
Really? Is Time Tebow that is not having sex till he is married a threat to children. Should we be encouraging teenage boys girls to have sex as soon as they can so they don't abuse kids? Should we band people that for various reason have problems finding someone to have sexual relations with from the parks and schools. Should bachelors in our schools be viewed as suspect when they apply for teaching positions ?
Also if celibacy " contributes " to child sex abuse why do we see so such of it among married clergy and well married folks ?
Now perhaps the Friendly Atheists is saying the fact these folks are celibate they just don't care about kids and thus cover it up. Still the question remains. If that was the case why do so many families, churches with lay leadership and married clergy , schools, and various other public bodies that have guard over kids cover it up. Most of those folks are married and getting their thing on a good bit
Sunday, November 17, 2013
I actually like the Friendly Atheist web site. At times it can give some challenging questions Christians must respond too. However we are into day 2 of some rather bad posts at the site . For yesterday see Atheist Takes Pope Francis Out of Context- Pope Says Don't Be Curious My Flock !
Today we have This Is How You Pray Harder, While Accomplishing Nothing which mocks a Catholic blogger post on prayer.
Hemant Mehta writes :
the task they’re trying to accomplish.
Like #1: Close your eyes and just repeat the name of Jesus.
Our God is a good God… a good, egomaniacal God who wants you to repeat his Son’s name ad nauseam. (Which, by the way, is kind of hard to do. Try it.)
In the rush to mock the Friendly Atheists appears not take the time to know his subject.
This is a not a problem that is not just limited to Atheist and goodness Christians do it too . Still for the reasoned educated Atheists class as they like to promote themselves it should be called out . Now this is what we call the JESUS PRAYER. It really is an active ancient tradition and very much used by Christians in the East It has nothing to do with a egomania God. IN fact the " JESUS prayer is of some theological deepness that one would hope a educated person would just be aware of .
In reality a good many Christians use the Jesus prayer as centering prayer or contemplative prayer.
This Eastern Orthodox Web site gives a good review what is going on.
As that sites says :
The third and final level is prayer of the heart. At this stage prayer is no longer something we do but who we are. Such prayer, which is a gift of the Spirit, is to return to the Father as did the prodigal son (Luke 15:32). The prayer of the heart is the prayer of adoption, when "God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit that cries 'Abba, Father!'" (Gal. 4:6).
This is what is going with the Jesus prayers. It is at essence an intimate prayer with a person that we have real life RELATIONSHIP too. Think at times when we are separated from a loved one ( in most cases a spouse ) and just saying their name brings some peace to us. It makes them present.
This has little to do a pleasing a EGO Driven God that if we repeat his name we get various benefits from the Divine Slot Machine.
It is in essence a conversation we are having with a person that is we love just as much as our spouse or children. Now I get how many would view that as some fairy tale hogwash Heck even dangerous mentally ill hogwash. . Regardless that is the intent .
Saturday, November 16, 2013
I am guessing Friendly Atheist is one of the more popular site for people of no belief to stop in at. Terry Firma had a rather unfortunate post up commenting on daily Mass homily that the Pope did past week. The Homily got some attention but not for the reason Terry Firma is mentioning. See his post Pope Francis Warns Believers Not To Be Curious, So They May Avoid ‘Confusion’.
Thankfully some folks in the comments that are atheist took the author to task for a little bit or a great bit of dishonesty. Also one thankfully noted that the term " Dark Ages " is not a good one.
That being said this is an interesting example of the downsides of not having a full transcript to these homilies.
Perhaps one of the better things to happen as to this White and also as to the Congress. Mirrors of Justice has some thoughts on Clinton's remarks .
Friday, November 15, 2013
I just read with some " good grief feeling " this column by Rev. Susan Russell at the Huff Post on Religious liberty. Her conclusion is that anyone that disagrees with her that religious liberty is under threat or even mentions it is a violator of the Ten Commandments . See What Religious Liberty Is... and Isn't
That is pretty heavy stuff isn't it. . I mean I am a violator of the ninth commandment if I think not every thing is just bliss about religion matters under the First Amendment.
My piece of advice is no matter what your viewpoint one should be vocal and testy about your rights as to religious liberty even if clergy call you a " liar "in an attempt to shut you up.
Every day there are some serious threats to freedom of the speech and association. ( see our college campuses )
Every day there are in my view some pretty serious questions to our rights under the fourth amendment as to various issues that are at stake. Anyone that would say you are " Liar " if you had reservations about our liberty as to search and seizures and right to be left alone by the police would be laughed out of the room by the legal academy.
Heck even our rights under the confrontation clause have been at issue.
The same goes for the various rights as to religious liberty which even any cursory reviews of the law reviews would show.
In the end it would be quite amazing if out of all our rights that require constant attention religious liberty is not one.
Now this particular clergy person is quite invested in some political positions that involve LGBT rights and what she would phrase as reproductive justice. However even secular courts that have even sided with some her positions realize there is a trade off with some serious consequences.
Regardless don't let a clergy person tell you that you sin if think your religious liberty rights are at risk and even to question it is SIN.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Its has a been a busy week on the HHS contraception mandate front. There was a major victory for those that oppose the HHS Mandate in the nation's 7th Circuit. That opinion is is being hailed in legal circuits as giving the bests argument on both sides we have seen so far. See Seventh Circuit Enjoins Enforcement of Contraception Mandate Against For-Profits by Marc O. DeGirolami . That post also lists the Circuit courts as to how they have ruled so far on various matters as to the HHS Contraception mandate.
Last but not least today at the conclusion of the United States Catholics Bishops meeting they have issue on statement on the matter. Rocco Palmo has that at On "Coercive, Frustrating" HHS Mandate, Bishops "Stand United to Resist"
I have always commented as to the extreme and indeed troubling irony over the HHS Contraception mandate. That is the seminal cases on this , Griswold v. Connecticut etc etc , really seem to stand for a principle that opposes the HHS Contraception mandate. That is there are some matter so personal and in which the Governments competence in is none that it it has to stay out.
As Prof Beckwith pointed out in tn the comments at this post :
Remember, that in Griswold v. Connecticut the Supreme Court grounded the right to contraceptive use in the newly found "right to privacy," a right that implied that on certain matters of intimacy the government was not fully competent to issue coercive judgments. To extend that right to allowing businesses and individuals not to pay for it, on the basis of a conscience exemption, makes perfect sense given the nature of the activity in question. After all, if you say that contraception is as medically essential as a blood transfusion, then it means that some citizens, like the minor children of Jehovah's Witnesses, may be fitted for contraception by the state against their will and the will of their parents. So, the analogy cuts both ways.
This all makes perfect sense so the question is why is this not happening .
Randy Barnett at his post recently Republican Candidates Must Abandon Judicial Conservatism for Constitutional Conservatism shows us the problem.
Pete’s column also proposes a way to counteract the phoney charge that Republicans are engaged in a “war on women” that smart lawyers like Cuccinelli and Ted Cruz have a hard time adopting:
Cuccinelli also needed to address the false Democrat War on Women and contraception allegations. He should have fired back that the nonsense McAuliffe and his Democrats were peddling would actually have been unconstitutional under the long established Supreme Court precedent of Griswold v. Connecticut.But this is not something that conservative Republicans can do if they are judicial conservatives who believe that the Court in Griswold was wrong to protect a right to use contraceptives. So the next question of a smart lawyer candidate who tries this response is, “Oh so you believe there is an unenumerated right of privacy?” And they have all be trained to answer this answer “no.” And the smarter and better trained they are as judicial conservatives, the more they are trapped by the accusation that state legislatures could ban contraceptives if they want, which then leads to the next questions is whether they think state legislatures ought to ban contraceptives. How they answer this question can then get themselves in trouble with parts of their socially conservative base.
In short, this is a morass for those conservative Republicans who have embraced judicial conservatism, and who are smart enough and well schooled enough to understand where the logic of their position truly leads. So they must clam up. Because Democrats now have their number, they will run this play until it can be stopped.....
I disagree with Barnett that there is any sort of viable social conservative movement that that wish to ban birth control that Republicans fear. During the Republican primary the GOP hopefuls at a debate were asked a question on this and seemed mystified that anyone would think they would want ban birth control. In fact Rick Santorum , devout Catholic and social conservative favorite at the time , had regularly voted funds for federally funded provided birth control under Title X !
Still his main point remains. Start talking about " Right tp Privacy " and then we get right into some important views of how the our Governing document must be interpreted. Talk of "penumbras" and "emanations" just gives many conservatives the hives.
Still while it is clear some conservatives seems to sadly gagged on this issue other are not. Therefore it is interesting that they have not really made this a issue or at least pointed out it more.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
I can't imagine a more unfortunate choice to head up the National Council of Churches than United Methodist Jim Wrinkler at this time in our history . See A Sadly Appropriate Choice to Lead the National Council of Churches
If you have concerns about religious liberty in this country then Wrinkler is not the guy to go too. On the HHS Contraception mandate currently working it's way through various court Wrinkler had some jaw dropping things to say . See the highlights here .
Monday, November 11, 2013
Judge Leslie Southwick of the Fed 5th Circuit has a new book out. It is The Nominee: A Political and Spiritual Journey .
I read the google excerpts of it and it really got my interest . A couple of weeks ago Mississippi Litigation review took notice of it .
Hopefully some Catholic and religious press will take note of it.