Friday, March 31, 2006

Terri Schiavo Passed Away 1 Year Ago Today

Theresa Marie Schindler Schiavo was born into eternal life 1 year ago today, after being dehydrated to death by her husband and a Florida judge. My posts from that day are linked below.

Theresa Marie Schindler Schiavo, Rest In Peace

What Has Our Country Done Unto "The Least of These"?

For full coverage of this tragic anniversary, be sure to read Blogs for Terri. Also, please visit the website for the Terri Schiavo Foundation. Finally, please remember that the Schindlers have written a book about Terri's life titled A Life That Matters : The Legacy of Terri Schiavo - A Lesson for Us All.

Please pray for the repose of Terri's soul and for the Schindler family on what must be a very difficult day for them.

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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Help a Brother Out

Ron Rolling needs our prayers and more. The Holy Fool has the details for how you can help.

Ron has been persuaded to add a PayPal button to his blog after being talked into accepting donations to aid him in his plight. If you have it within your heart and within your budget, please remember Ron in your Lenten almsgiving.


Ron provides "An Accounting" of how the efforts to lend a helping hand have literally paid off:
Well, as of this posting, 41 people have donated (and someone asked me via my personal e-mail for my postal address to send a check). The net amount takes care of rent for March and April as well as the court costs mentioned in the summons, plus a very good start to May (or perhaps some luxuries like food and utilities).
Thanks to all who have prayed for and/or given to Ron in his hour of need.

You Go, Nino!

As Justice Scalia left a Red Mass at Boston's cathedral, how did he respond to a reporter who asked the him how he reacts to critics who might question his impartiality as a judge given the fact that he publicly celebrates his Roman Catholic beliefs?

Like this, according to the Boston Herald:
“The judge paused for a second, then looked directly into my lens and said, ‘To my critics, I say, ‘Vaffanculo,’ ” punctuating the comment by flicking his right hand out from under his chin...

The Italian phrase means “(expletive) you.”
My Comments:
You go, Nino! If the secular left had its way, those who are serious about their faith would be excluded from public service. Remember the Schumer Doctrine?

(Hat tip to the American Princess for the photos)

All of Humanity Proclaimed "The Great"

Catholic Caveman has the details.

"Jay The Great"

Cool. But Mrs. Anderson has already proclaimed me "Jay The Magnificent", "Jay The Stellar", and, simply, "The Man"!

Which, I suppose, is another way of saying I'm "Great".

Catholic League Endorses Bill Calling for Religious Freedom in Afghanistan

Today, the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights issued the following press release:
March 30, 2006


Catholic League president Bill Donohue today endorsed legislation by Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick calling for religious liberty in Afghanistan:

“The idea that 500 Catholic priests, or Protestant ministers, or Jewish rabbis would assemble at a church or synagogue demanding the murder of a person who abandoned Catholicism, Protestantism or Judaism for Islam is unthinkable. But just yesterday, 500 Muslim clerics assembled at a mosque in Afghanistan calling for the death of Christian convert Abdul Rahman. Moreover, the idea that the U.S. Congress would condemn the release of an Islamic convert is equally unfathomable, yet the Afghan parliament wasted no time blasting Rahman’s release to Italy yesterday. As such, this issue is far from over.

“The Catholic League fully supports House Resolution 736 expressing the will of Congress that religious liberty be respected in Afghanistan. Introduced by Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick, the legislation denounces the unconscionable assault on Abdul Rahman’s religious liberties, and thereby commits American lawmakers to take a more active role in monitoring basic human rights in Afghanistan. To be plain, American troops did not lose their lives in Afghanistan so that Christian converts could be killed by the new government.

“The U.S. has yet to grant asylum status to Rahman, and has instead pretended that this is a parochial concern. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the other day that the issue of Rahman seeking asylum in the U.S. was ‘being handled as a private matter.’ It’s too late to call this a private matter—it involves American lives and money—and attempts to do so will be greeted by the American people with derision.

“We are delighted to note the courageous and timely response from Pope Benedict XVI on the matter of Abdul Rahman. The pope is a role model for the leaders of all nations.”

Previous Pro Ecclesia Posts on this Subject:
Abdul Rahman Update: Italian PM Berlusconi Says Afghan Man in Italy After Fleeing

Abdul Rahman Update: Afghan Christian Reportedly Freed

Pope Appeals for Afghan Convert's Life

Abdul Rahman Update: Case Dropped Against Afghan Christian

Abdul Rahman Update

Abdul Rahman Case Puts U.S. "Theocracy" Nonsense into Perspective

President Bush Weighs in on Abdul Rahman

Who Will Save Abdul Rahman?

Apostasy Case Raises Questions About "Islamic" Constitutions in Afghanistan and Iraq

Afghan Man Faces Death for Allegedly Converting to Christianity

Did 2000 American Soldiers Die For Islam?

Benedict XVI on the Church and Politics

(Hat tip: Amy Welborn)

Today, the Holy Father had this to say while meeting with a bunch of European politicos:
As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable. Among these the following emerge clearly today:

- protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death;

- recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family - as a union between a man and a woman based on marriage - and its defence from attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different forms of union which in reality harm it and contribute to its destabilization, obscuring its particular character and its irreplaceable social role;

- the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.

These principles are not truths of faith, even though they receive further light and confirmation from faith; they are inscribed in human nature itself and therefore they are common to all humanity. The Church’s action in promoting them is therefore not confessional in character, but is addressed to all people, prescinding from any religious affiliation they may have. On the contrary, such action is all the more necessary the more these principles are denied or misunderstood, because this constitutes an offence against the truth of the human person, a grave wound inflicted onto justice itself.

Dear friends, in exhorting you to be credible and consistent witnesses of these basic truths through your political activity, and more fundamentally through your commitment to live authentic and consistent lives, I invoke upon you and your work the continued assistance of God, in pledge of which I cordially impart my Blessing to you and to those accompanying you.
(emphasis added)

The Party of Death

(Hat tip: Southern Appeal)

From the inside flap of Ramesh Ponnuru's new book The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life:
Is the Democratic Party the "Party of Death"?

If you look at their agenda they are.

IT’S NOT JUST abortion-on-demand. It’s euthanasia, embryo destruction, even infanticide—and a potentially deadly concern with "the quality of life" of disabled people. If you think these issues don’t concern you—guess again. The Party of Death could be roaring into the White House, as National Review senior editor Ramesh Ponnuru shows, in the person of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

In The Party of Death, Ponnuru details how left-wing radicals, using abortion as their lever, took over the Democratic Party—and how they have used their power to corrupt our law and politics, abolish our fundamental right to life, and push the envelope in ever more dangerous directions. In The Party of Death, Ponnuru reveals:

* How Hillary Clinton could use the abortion issue (but not in the way you think) to become president * Why the conventional wisdom about Roe v.Wade is a lie * How the party of death—a coalition of special interests ranging from Planned Parenthood to Hollywood—came to own the Democratic Party * How the mainstream media promotes the party of death * Why Jesse Jackson, Al Gore, and other leading liberals gave up being pro-life * How liberals use animal rights to displace human rights * The Democratic presidential candidate who said that infanticide is a mother’s "choice" * How doctors—and other health care professionals—are being coerced, by law, into violating their consciences * The ultrasound revolution: why there’s hope to stop the party of death

Ponnuru’s shocking exposé shows just how extreme the Party of Death has become as they seek to destroy every inconvenient life, demand fealty to their radical agenda, and punish anyone who defies them. But he also shows how the tide is turning, how the Party of Death can be defeated, and why its last victim might be the Democratic Party itself.
My Comments:
That loud, piercing sound you're hearing is the Democrats and their death-cult leftist allies squealing like stuck pigs.

Catholic Democrat Spreads Brotherly Love

From Cybercast News Service:
( - Rep. Cynthia McKinney, a liberal Democrat from Georgia, says she "deeply regrets" her "unfortunate confrontation" with a Capitol Hill police officer on Wednesday.

McKinney reportedly struck the officer in the chest when he stopped her for bypassing a metal detector, something that members of Congress are allowed to do.
[ED.: Members of Congress are allowed to punch police officers?]

The officer apparently did not recognize McKinney, who struck him when he put his hand on her arm to get her attention.

Capitol Police say they are investigating the incident, which happened around 2:30 p.m. in the Longworth House Office Building - and was captured on tape, according to the Drudge Report.

In a statement posted on her website, McKinney said, "I was urgently trying to get to an important meeting on time to fulfill my obligations to my constituents. Unfortunately, the Police Officer did not recognize me as a Member of Congress and a confrontation ensued. I did not have on my Congressional pin but showed the Police Officer my Congressional ID.

"I know that Capitol Hill Police are securing our safety, that of thousands of others, and I appreciate the work that they do. I deeply regret that the incident occurred. I have demonstrated my support for them in the past and I continue to support them now."

A spokesman for House Speaker Dennis Hastert - quoted by Fox News - said, "On a day when the Democrats are promoting their national security agenda, it's probably not a good idea for them to allegedly strike police officers."

My Comments:
Another kum-by-ya moment for a Catholic Democrat. Apparently, Ms. McKinney's "primacy of conscience" overrode the Capitol Hill Police officer's duty to protect.

"Language of Beauty" Serves Evangelization, Cardinal Says

From Catholic World News:
Vatican, Mar. 29 ( - Cardinal Paul Poupard, the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, has recommended "the language of beauty" as a means of conversation with non-believers.

The French cardinal spoke at the conclusion of the plenary session of his dicastery on March 28; his address was made public by the Vatican on March 29. He was wrapping up the proceedings of a session devoted to beauty as a means of evangelization and dialogue.


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Abdul Rahman Update: Italian PM Berlusconi Says Afghan Man in Italy After Fleeing

Breaking from Yahoo News:
ROME - The man who faced the death penalty after converting from Islam to Christianity fled Afghanistan and arrived in Italy on Wednesday, Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi said.

Italy offered the 41-year-old Abdul Rahman asylum after charges of apostasy were dropped against him by a court in Afghanistan. Rahman fled the country earlier in the day.

Many Afghans were furious at the decision, and on Wednesday members of parliament that the government prevent him from leaving the country.
My Comments:
Good news. At least until Islam achieves its goal of creating Eurabia. Then all bets are off.

Previous Pro Ecclesia Posts on this Subject:
Abdul Rahman Update: Afghan Christian Reportedly Freed

Pope Appeals for Afghan Convert's Life

Abdul Rahman Update: Case Dropped Against Afghan Christian

Abdul Rahman Update

Abdul Rahman Case Puts U.S. "Theocracy" Nonsense into Perspective

President Bush Weighs in on Abdul Rahman

Who Will Save Abdul Rahman?

Apostasy Case Raises Questions About "Islamic" Constitutions in Afghanistan and Iraq

Afghan Man Faces Death for Allegedly Converting to Christianity

Did 2000 American Soldiers Die For Islam?

Ohio House of Representatives Retains Some Limits on Clergy Sex-Abuse Lawsuits

From The Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Columbus - State lawmakers dropped a proposal Tuesday to create a one-year window for victims of sexual abuse by clergy to file lawsuits in cases up to 35 years old.

Victims' advocates lambasted House Speaker Jon Husted for striking what they see as the bill's most important provision, which would have allowed victims who missed the lawsuit deadline to sue for alleged abuse.

Husted, Republican of Kettering, said leaders were unable to reach a compromise that suits church officials and an outspoken victims' support network, whose members descended on the Statehouse the past two days.

The change was among bill revisions approved Tuesday by the House Judiciary Committee and headed for expected passage in the full House today. Senate President Bill Harris said the Senate likely would agree with the changes.

The revised bill also would shorten the period for future victims to sue over childhood sexual abuse from 20 to 12 years after turning 18, but it would give new authority to the state attorney general or county prosecutor in expired cases to file civil actions. Victims could use the suits to get an abuser classified for a registry listing and then collect attorneys' fees, but could not reap additional damages.

Penalties for failing to report abuse also would increase, and the bill would require known abusers to register their names, addresses and photos in a government-distributed database.

The Catholic Conference of Ohio and bishops have actively opposed allowing lawsuits on old cases, saying that the idea will not promote healing for victims.

Barbara Blaine, president of the Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests, said the bill is weak.

"It's a sham," she said. "It's an illusion, to make the legislature look good today while they allow the kingpins who have enabled these abusers never to be held accountable."

Catholic Priest Persecuted ... by Belgium

Brussels prosecutes an Aramaic priest (and refugee from Islam oppression) for alleged "Islamophobia":
One of the rare Belgian churches that is packed every weekend is the church of Saint Anthony of Padova in Montignies-sur-Sambre, one of the poorest suburbs of Charleroi, a derelict rust belt area to the south of Brussels. Holy Mass in Montignies is conducted in Latin and lasts up to four hours. Yesterday over 2,000 people attended the service by Father Samuel (Père Samuel). The priest’s sermon dealt with his persecution. The Belgian authorities are bringing the popular priest to court on charges of racism.

Father Samuel has been prosecuted for “incitement to racist hatred” by the Belgian government’s inquisition agency, the so-called Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism (CEOOR), because of a remark he made in a 2002 television interview when he said:

“Every thoroughly islamized Muslim child that is born in Europe is a time bomb for Western children in the future. The latter will be persecuted when they have become a minority.”
Last Thursday the Belgian judiciary decided that the priest will have to stand trial before the penal court in Charleroi. He reacted by repeating his time bomb statement and added that he would be honoured if he had to go to jail for speaking his mind. He added that Jesus, too, had been convicted. During yesterday’s sermon he called upon the faithful to accompany him to court. “We will turn this into an excursion, driving there in full buses.”

Father Samuel’s passport gives his name as Charles-Clément Boniface. That is not entirely correct. He was born in 1942 in Midyat, Turkey, as Samuel Ozdemir. The latter is a surname the priest dislikes because, he explains, it was imposed on his family by the Turks. Samuel was a Christian: “At home we spoke Aramaic, the language of Jesus.” The Aramaics are a Catholic minority in Syria and Turkey. They speak an old Semitic language, which Jesus and the apostles used and which Mel Gibson had his actors use in his movie The Passion of the Christ.

In his sermons and on his website Father Samuel speaks out against secularism, but also fights on another front of the three-way culture war, warning against “the islamic invasion” of the West. He says he has witnessed in Turkey what the future has in store for Europe. He claims Muslims are invading Europe and warns for an impending civil war. According to Father Samuel “so-called moderate Muslims do not exist.”
My Comments:
Wouldn't the secular left in America love to have such speech codes at their disposal?

San Francisco: Intolerant City

(Hat tip: again to Amy Welborn)

An editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle raps the city of San Francisco as "intolerant" for its official reaction to last week's gathering of Christian youth:
THE IRONY was obviously lost on the clueless San Francisco supervisors when they passed a resolution warning that a Christian youth gathering could "negatively influence the politics of America's most tolerant and progressive city."

Spare us the doomsday hyperbole, supervisors.

We can safely report that the politics of San Francisco suffered no discernible shift in ideological alignment from the convergence of 25,000 Christian teenagers listening to rock 'n' roll music and words of inspiration. There was no evidence of any surge in support for the Iraq war, affection for President Bush or oil drilling off the California coast. The medical-marijuana clubs were still doing business as usual, public dancing was still legal, the petition gatherers were still working Market Street for the latest save-the-planet cause.

The supervisors' reaction to the evangelical Christians was so boorishly over the top that only one word could describe it:


The gathering was not an "act of provocation," as the supervisors claimed. It was a get-together of young evangelicals whose lifestyles and religious views just happen to be in the minority here -- apparently making them open season for politicians to chastise.

The young people who came to San Francisco to affirm their faith and enjoy a day of rock music deserved better. They deserved to be welcomed by a city that was as tolerant and progressive as its sanctimonious supervisors like to profess.
My Comments:
Ouch! That's going to leave a mark.

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this issue:
California Assemblyman Calls Evangelical Youth "Loud ... Obnoxious ... Disgusting"

Hillary Clinton Makes a Pitch For Catholic Voters

(Hat tip: Amy Welborn)

From the New York Observer:
The hunt for the great American Catholic voter of 2008 started in earnest last week, led by none other than New York’s junior Senator, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Speaking about a Republican-passed immigration bill that would make it a felony to be in the United States illegally, or to aid an illegal immigrant, Mrs. Clinton said, “It is certainly not in keeping with my understanding of the Scriptures, because the bill would literally criminalize the Good Samaritan and probably even Jesus himself.”

Not coincidently, on the same day that Mrs. Clinton was channeling the late Catholic agitator Dorothy Day, the Democratic National Committee was disseminating via e-mail an opinion article voicing similar sentiments written by Cardinal Roger Mahony, the archbishop of Los Angeles.

My Comments:
Yeah, Hillary! is going to win me over by citing to Cardinal Roger.

Michigan Husband On Strike


Husband wants kids to sleep in their own beds:
A frustrated husband is trying to prove his point to his wife by going on strike.

James Wilson of Redford has been spending his days on the roof of his home because he says he wants his wife Valentina to keep their 3-month-old daughter and 2-year-old son out of the bedroom at night.

Wilson says the children in the bedroom are causing an intimacy issue, but Valentina said the kids will remain in the room, Local 4 reported.

Both Wilson and Valentina said they have a very happy marriage, but this is a problem.

"I want my bedroom back and the diapers and toys removed immediately," said Wilson.
[ED: Amen! And I'm not talking about the baby's stuff. I'm talking about all the toys and junk from my 4-year-old and 2-year-old that are cluttering up my bedroom.]

Wilson has been visiting his Web site where he is reading comments from people who he says agree with him.

For more information, go to
He's also, apparently, holding out for permission from his wife to view photos of Brazilian super-model Adriana Lima.

Go check out the guy's blog. The title of one of his posts is "Man prefers jail to wife's nagging". Heh!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Britney Spears Sculpture Headlines Pro-Life Display

Here we go again:
NEW YORK(AP) A life-size sculpture of a naked Britney Spears kneeling on a bearskin rug as she gives birth will be on display next month at Brooklyn's Capla Kesting Fine Art gallery.

The sculpture is to appear next to a display case filled with anti-abortion materials. It was created by Daniel Edwards, who said he never spoke to the 24-year-old pop star or met her, and fashioned her face and figure from photographs.

"I admire her. This is an idealized figure," Edwards said Tuesday in a phone interview from his home, which is near his studio in Moosup, Conn.

"Everyone is coming at me with anger and venom, but I depicted her as she has depicted herself _ seductively. Suddenly, she's a mom."

When some bloggers heard about the exhibit _ "Monument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston" _ the gallery said it received about 3,000 e-mails from around the world in just a week, split between anti-abortion and abortion rights opinions.

"We also got calls from Tokyo, England, France. Some people are upset that Britney is being used for this subject matter," said gallery co-owner David Kesting. "Others who are pro-life thought this was degrading to their movement. And some pro-choice people were upset that this is a pro-life monument."

(emphasis added)

Huh? I don't get the connection.

Perhaps I should have titled this post "Hit Me Baby One More Time" or "Oops, I Did It Again".

If Jack Chick Were a Muslim

From the incomparable Curt Jester:

That's just awesome.

Religious Conservatives Push for "Values Voters' Contract with Congress"

From Cybercast News Service:
( - Religious conservatives meeting in Washington, D.C., lashed out at homosexual advocacy groups and organizations catering to the political Left on Monday.

One participant criticized the "gay agenda," which he said calls for not only acceptance, but also "affirmation and celebration of this behavior as normal and even desirable."

The two-day conference, entitled "The War on Christians and the Values Voters in 2006," is sponsored by Vision America, an organization that describes its mission as "restoring Judeo-Christian values in America." Conference participants produced a "Values Voters' Contract with Congress," which includes key elements of the conservative, religious agenda.

Based on the Republican Party's 1994 "Contract with America," the "Values Voters' Contract" lists 10 aims, ranging from legislation to keep the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance to laws guaranteeing greater religious freedoms in the workplace, prohibiting human cloning and embryo research, and guaranteeing a "right to life" to all children before birth.


Go Patriots!

(Hat tip: Tom McKenna at Seeking Justice)

Another plug for my wife's alma mater, George Mason University.

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Cinderella Story

Abdul Rahman Update: Afghan Christian Reportedly Freed

From Cybercast News Service: - Afghan Christian convert Abdul Rahman, who faced the possibility of execution for refusing to return to Islam, reportedly has been freed from custody following strong pressure from Western governments.

"I can confirm that he was released," wire services quoted Afghan justice minister Sarwar Danish as saying Tuesday. "He is not in detention."

His whereabouts are not known.

On Monday, the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan reported that it was trying to help Rahman with an application for political asylum. "We expect this will be provided by one of the countries interested in a peaceful solution to this case," spokesman Adrian Edwards said in a statement.

Prosecutors and hard-line clerics have called for Rahman's death. On Sunday, hundreds of Afghans marched in a northern city demanding that Rahman be tried in line with Islamic law (shari'a), which requires the death penalty for apostasy.

The case sparked an outcry, led by governments that have sent troops in Afghanistan to help rebuild the country and secure President Hamid Karzai's government against remnants of the extremist Taliban militia toppled in a U.S.-led military campaign in 2001.

"I hope that the strength of international reaction has sent a very clear signal [to Kabul]," Australian Prime Minister John Howard said on Tuesday.

"As far as I am concerned it would just be quite unacceptable to the Australian people or Australian soldiers to be having their lives on the line to defend, in any way, a practice that involved people being persecuted because of their religious belief," he told a joint press conference in Canberra with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Blair said countries that believe in religious freedom should work "to empower those moderate and modernizing forces within the world of Islam and the Arab and Muslim world and say, 'Look, we want to create a situation in which there are those freedoms for everybody to enjoy.' "

Previous Pro Ecclesia Posts on this Subject:
Pope Appeals for Afghan Convert's Life

Abdul Rahman Update: Case Dropped Against Afghan Christian

Abdul Rahman Update

Abdul Rahman Case Puts U.S. "Theocracy" Nonsense into Perspective

President Bush Weighs in on Abdul Rahman

Who Will Save Abdul Rahman?

Apostasy Case Raises Questions About "Islamic" Constitutions in Afghanistan and Iraq

Afghan Man Faces Death for Allegedly Converting to Christianity

Did 2000 American Soldiers Die For Islam?

Charleston, SC Diocese Takes No Position on Immigration Reform: "A Prudential Issue"

From The State (Columbia, SC):
The Catholic Diocese of Charleston, which serves South Carolina, has not taken a stand on the immigration aid question, spokesman Steve Gajdosik said.

The diocese is relying instead on the faithful to make their own, prudent judgments, he said.

“It’s not a doctrinal issue,” said Gajdosik, the diocese’s director of media relations. “It’s a prudential issue. Well-formed, faithful Catholics and Christians can take different opinions because it is a prudential issue.”

That said, Gajdosik said the church “is always going to seek to take care of people’s humanitarian needs. However the bill turns out, the Catholic church will do all in its power to take care of people’s needs within the law.”

(emphasis added)
My Comments:
Contrast this to Cardinal Roger in L.A. who has finally found an issue for which he is willing to criticize elected officials.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Pope Appeals for Afghan Convert's Life

From Catholic World News:
Mar. 27 ( - Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) has made an appeal to President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan on behalf of Abdul Rahman, who is facing a possible death sentence on apostasy charges after his conversion to Christianity.

In a telegram sent by Cardinal Angelo Sodano (bio - news), the Vatican Secretary of State, the Holy Father said that dropping the charges against Rahman "would bestow great honor upon the Afghan people and would raise a chorus of admiration in the international community."


Previous Pro Ecclesia Posts on this Subject:
Abdul Rahman Update: Case Dropped Against Afghan Christian

Abdul Rahman Update

Abdul Rahman Case Puts U.S. "Theocracy" Nonsense into Perspective

President Bush Weighs in on Abdul Rahman

Who Will Save Abdul Rahman?

Apostasy Case Raises Questions About "Islamic" Constitutions in Afghanistan and Iraq

Afghan Man Faces Death for Allegedly Converting to Christianity

Did 2000 American Soldiers Die For Islam?

First Things on Baylor and Beckwith

Please go read Joseph Bottum's take on Baylor's decision to deny tenure to Prof. Francis Beckwith at the First Things blog On the Square:
... Today, the plan is in tatters, and Baylor has apparently decided to sink back into its diminished role as a not terribly distinguished regional school. President Sloan is gone, the new high-profile faculty are demoralized and sniffing around for positions at better-known schools, energetic programs like the Intelligent Design institute have been chased away, and the bright young professors are having their academic careers ruined by a school that lured them to campus with the promises of the 2012 plan and now is simply embarrassed by them.

A case in point is Francis J. Beckwith, who was denied tenure by Baylor last week. Author of several books, including a new volume forthcoming from Cambridge University Press, he was associate director of the J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies, associate professor of Church-State Studies, and associate editor of the Journal of Church & State. You can find his accomplishments listed in more detail here and here. None of this, of course, proves that he deserves tenure, but it looks awfully impressive when compared with the publication records of other faculty members.

In the end, an appeals process exists, and Beckwith may end up getting tenure at Baylor. But either way, his career is badly damaged. If he manages to stay in Waco, he remains at a place that has very clearly informed him it doesn’t like him, and if he leaves, he will have real trouble landing any respectable position. If you’re one of those senior professors brought to Baylor to jazz the place up—if you are, say, someone like Rodney Stark— how can you recruit young faculty to carry forward the 2012 plan?

If I were one of these professors, I’d be forced to advise my protégés to take other offers and pass on Baylor. Academic careers are fragile things: They don’t easily survive a firing, for whatever reason, and young professors shouldn’t take the chance that the mess of an institutional meltdown will ruin their professional life.

In certain ways, the case of Francis Beckwith is merely one example of a general trend worth noticing. In his fascinating book The Dying of the Light, James Burtchaell laid out the pattern by which America’s religious colleges changed their spots, but there are some new elements in the latest episodes.

It works this way: Take an old-fashioned religiously affiliated school. Baylor will do, but Notre Dame and Wheaton and Davidson and the University of Dallas are just as handy.

In each case, the college has an old faculty generally contented with the school’s regional and religious standing. And for some years it has been hiring new faculty who, if not opposed outright to the school’s affiliation, are at least embarrassed by it. These newer teachers came with impressive credentials out of premier graduate programs—but the tightening of the academic job market forced them into positions at lower-tier colleges, and they always believed, in one way or another, that their new schools should take places like Yale and Harvard as their models.

Now, along comes somebody with a vision for the school: a realization that the religious identity is necessary to ensure a steady supply of students and that the nation actually has a set of distinguished senior faculty who want to teach a religiously serious place and want to build up a genuine Christian university. So the school starts to make its move, and the faculty (and often the school’s board of directors) rebels.

The weird part—the new pattern worth noticing—is the common cause made by the secularists and the old religious believers to fight the college’s transformation. You’d think they’d be natural enemies, but it turns out that they both have something at stake in preventing the school from becoming known as a first-rate research university for religiously motivated scholars.

And then there are the ecumenical troubles. The religiously informed figures brought to campus are scattered across America’s denominational divisions. Some of them, like the philosopher Thomas Hibbs (dean of Baylor’s honors college), are Catholics. Others are northern evangelicals (like the literary scholar David Lyle Jeffrey, provost of Baylor until fired by the new administration after Robert Sloan was forced out as president). All of them are participants in a new style of intellectual ecumenism, in which serious Catholics and serious Protestants join in the work of unfolding a Christian understanding of academic disciplines. But modern radicalism and old-fashioned Protestantism share a distaste both for Catholicism and—interestingly—for evangelicalism, since the old denominational Baptists always thought of the Southern Baptist Convention as distant from the northern evangelical churches.

Think about it: If you were a young, high-powered academic with ambitions for a Christian school that matched the new intellectual excitement of the American ecumenical endeavor, why would you risk your career at a place like Baylor? You can buy the same kind of trouble at a better price by taking whatever offer you get from an openly secular college.

For that matter, if you were a parent interested in your children’s obtaining intellectually rigorous Christian education, why would you pay the tuition at Baylor University? Indeed, if you were one of those bright, young Christian students, why would you want to go to Baylor in the first place?

(emphasis added)
My Comments:
Mr. Bottum's description of Baylor's "diminished role as a not terribly distinguished regional school" is a nice way of saying that Baylor is, at best, a 2nd-rate institution.

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Tenure Denial as Revenge

Ashamed of My Alma Mater - Baylor Denies Tenure to Dr. Francis J. Beckwith

Father Pavone's Open Letter to Michael Schiavo

(Hat tip: Mark Shea)

Please take a moment to read Father Frank Pavone's "Open Letter to Michael Schiavo":
... Your actions offend us. Not only have you killed Terri and deeply wounded her family, but you have disgraced our nation, betrayed the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and undermined the principles that hold us together as a civilized society. You have offended those who struggle on a daily basis to care for loved ones who are dying, and who sometimes have to make the very legitimate decision to discontinue futile treatment. You have offended them by trying to confuse Terri's circumstances with theirs. Terri's case was not one of judging treatment to be worthless -- which is sometimes the case; rather, it was about judging a life to be worthless, which is never the case.

You have made your mark on history, but sadly, it is an ugly stain. In the name of millions around the world, I call on you today to embrace a life of repentance, and to ask forgiveness from the Lord, who holds the lives of each of us in His hands.
You can read the whole thing here.

Tenure Denial as Revenge

A Baylor University graduate student, writing anonymously for The American Spectator as "Graduate Student X" notes that Professor Francis Beckwith's denial of tenure is rooted in revenge for former President Robert's Sloan's vision for Baylor's future known as "Baylor 2012":
Prior to last Friday, the famous pro-life philosopher Francis Beckwith was at the pinnacle of his career. His latest book had been accepted for publication by Cambridge University Press, one of the most prestigious academic publishers in the world. The deal with Cambridge was the capstone on several years of prolific publishing in an impressive variety of journals. In an academic world that is feared by many young faculty for its "publish or perish" reputation, Professor Beckwith had nothing to worry about. He'd published...and published...and published.

Tenure was surely a foregone conclusion. Or was it?

Last Friday, we found out just how ugly the politics of the university can get. Francis Beckwith received formal notification that his tenure had been denied by Baylor University. The word that came to the lips of everyone I spoke to on Friday and over the weekend was the same: injustice. Rank injustice.

When I first heard the news I experienced for the first time what is known as cognitive dissonance. I couldn't hold the two ideas in my mind. Professor Beckwith. Denied tenure. It was impossible to believe. There were people who told me it could happen, but I discounted the notion. After all, even political enemies have consciences, right? They have some commitment to integrity, don't they?

I'm a lot less naive about human nature today than I was on Friday morning. Now I understand why my conservative and Christian friends are so hesitant to write anything for publication using their real names. I've taken it up myself. Starting today.

My Comments:
Too busy hanging my head in shame at the 2nd-rate status of my alma mater to comment.

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Ashamed of My Alma Mater - Baylor Denies Tenure to Dr. Francis J. Beckwith

California Assemblyman Calls Evangelical Youth "Loud ... Obnoxious ... Disgusting"

(Hat tip: Amy Welborn)

From the San Francisco Chronicle:
More than 25,000 evangelical Christian youth landed Friday in San Francisco for a two-day rally at AT&T Park against "the virtue terrorism" of popular culture, and they were greeted by an official city condemnation and a clutch of protesters who said their event amounted to a "fascist mega-pep rally."

"Battle Cry for a Generation" is led by a 44-year-old Concord native, Ron Luce, who wants "God's instruction book" to guide young people away from the corrupting influence of popular culture.

Luce, whose Teen Mania organization is based in Texas, kicked off a three-city "reverse rebellion" tour Friday night intended to counter a popular culture that he says glamorizes violence and sex. The $55 advance tickets for two days of musical performances and speeches were sold out, but walk-up admission was available for $199.

That's bad news to Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, who told counterprotesters at City Hall on Friday that while such fundamentalists may be small in number, "they're loud, they're obnoxious, they're disgusting, and they should get out of San Francisco."

(emphasis added)
My Comments:
The aging left can't stand to see young people taking a stand for faith and for traditional values. They see the writing on the wall.

And unfortunately for Assemblyman Leno, there are far more of these "fundamentalists" (read: practicing Christians) than he'd like to admit. You see, their parents aren't aborting them at the same rate as the left kills off their offspring.

Cinderella Story

Congratulations to my wife Sarah's alma mater George Mason University, whose basketball team has made it to the Final 4 of the NCAA tournament.

Go Patriots!

In addition to its outstanding basketball team, George Mason University also has a stellar (and conservative) law school. (Hat tip: Southern Appeal)

FYI: The university's namesake, George Mason, is known as the "Father of the Bill of Rights" because of his authorship of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, upon which the Bill of Rights to the federal Constitution was based.

If you ever get to the Northern Virginia / Washington, D.C. area, I highly recommend that you visit Mason's wonderful home
Gunston Hall, just down the road from Mount Vernon.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Ken Blackwell Has 11-Point Lead With 5 Weeks Left Until Ohio's Republican Gubernatorial Primary

From the Columbus Dispatch:
Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell holds a double-digit lead in Ohio’s GOP gubernatorial primary race in the first Dispatch Poll before the May 2 election.

While Attorney General Jim Petro trails by 11 points, nearly a third of Republican voters remain undecided. That means Petro must win two out of every three of those uncommitted voters just to draw even as the candidates fire up their TV ad war over the final five weeks of the campaign.

Blackwell’s margin might help explain his decisions not to debate Petro and to limit media access. The front-runner will face a crucial decision as the primary approaches on whether to spend the bulk of his campaign cash to counter a probable all-or-nothing Petro onslaught or to save some money for the fall campaign.

My Comments:

Abdul Rahman Update: Case Dropped Against Afghan Christian

Possible good news for Afghan Christian convert Abdul Rahman:

An Afghan court has dismissed case against a man who converted from Islam to Christianity for lack of evidence, an official said Sunday.

The court, and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, had been under intense international pressure to drop the case against Abdul Rahman, who faced a possible death sentence for his public conversion.

Some Islamic clerics had called for his execution, saying Rahman would face danger from his countrymen if he were released.
My Comments:
I'll believe this is over when I see Abdul Rahman walking around as a free man in a non-Islamic country. Even then, some Islamic nutcase mullah is likely to put a fatwah on him so that his life will constantly be in danger like Salman Rushdie's.

Previous Pro Ecclesia Posts on this Subject:
Abdul Rahman Update

Abdul Rahman Case Puts U.S. "Theocracy" Nonsense into Perspective

President Bush Weighs in on Abdul Rahman

Who Will Save Abdul Rahman?

Apostasy Case Raises Questions About "Islamic" Constitutions in Afghanistan and Iraq

Afghan Man Faces Death for Allegedly Converting to Christianity

Did 2000 American Soldiers Die For Islam?

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Ashamed of My Alma Mater - Baylor Denies Tenure to Dr. Francis J. Beckwith

My undergraduate alma mater, Baylor University, has denied tenure to nationally renowned philosopher and scholar Dr. Francis J. Beckwith, Associate Professor of Church-State Studies, and Associate Director of the J. M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies.

Southern Appeal has the details here, here, and here.

To say that I am ashamed to have graduated from a university that would deny tenure to such an accomplished academic with a stellar publication record like Dr. Beckwith is an understatement. Baylor has once again proven itself to be a 2nd-rate institution at best.

Good thing I can always fall back on my law degree from the University of Virginia.

Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary - 25 March

From the Medieval Saints Yahoo Group:
Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, March 25

Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, commemorates the conception in human form of Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ; Also known as Feast fo the Incarnation; The Conception of Christ and
beginning of Redemption; Annunciation of the Lord; Solemnity of the Theotokos (Greek); Lady Day or Our Lady's Day

Instituted: c. 431, shortly before or after the council of Ephesus

Themes & Motives: Beginning of process of redemption

Commemorated March 25

Known as Lady Day, this is one of the Medieval Quarter Days which fall around the Equinoxes or Solstices and mark the beginnings of new natural seasons and were used in medieval times to mark "quarters" for legal purposes, such as settling debts.

In art: the Annunciation is represented in art by many masters, among them Fra Angelico, Hubert Van Eyck, Jan Van Eyck, Ghirlandajo, Holbein the Elder, Lippi, Pinturicchio, and Del Sarto.

The Annunciation of Our Lord Jesus Christ to the Blessed Virgin Mary
(full article at: )

In the first chapter of Luke we read how the angel Gabriel announced
to Mary that she had been chosen to be the mother of the Christ, and how Mary answered, "Here I am, the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be to me as you have said." It is reasonable to suppose that Our Lord was conceived immediately after this. Accordingly, since we celebrate His birth on 25 December, we celebrate the Annunciation nine months earlier, on 25 March.

For many centuries most European countries took 25 March, not 1 January, as the day when the number of the year changed, so that 24 March 1201 was followed by 25 March 1202. If you had asked a Christian of that time why the calendar year changed so awkwardly partway through a month, he would have answered: "Today we begin a new year of the Christian era, the era which began X years ago today when God was made man, when He took upon Himself a fleshly body and human nature in the womb of the Virgin."

Pray the Angelus today in honor of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary:
V. Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae;
R. Et concepit de Spiritu Sancto.

V. The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary;
R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen.

V. Ecce ancilla Domini.
R. Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.

V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord:
R. Be it done unto me according to Thy word.

Ave Maria, gratia plena,.......
Hail Mary, full of grace, .....

V. Et Verbum caro factum est.
R. Et habitavit in nobis.

V. And the Word was made flesh:
R. And dwelt among us.

Ave Maria, gratia plena,.......
Hail Mary, full of grace, .....

V. Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Genetrix.
R. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.

V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Gratiam tuam, quaesumus, Domine, mentibus nostris infunde; ut qui, Angelo nuntiante, Christi Filii tui incarnationem cognovimus, per passionem eius et crucem, ad resurrectionis gloriam perducamur. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum.
R. Amen.

Let us pray:
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His passion and cross be brought to the glory of His resurrection, through the same Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Every Good and Perfect Gift ...

... or, Jay shamelessly changes the subject to something that makes everyone say "Awwwwww":
This is Mary Virginia's birth announcement, which we just received in the mail today from the printer. Since I can't possibly send all of you a birth announcement, please consider this cyber-announcement your personal notification of this blessed event.

Rep. Peter King: Hillary Should "Go to Confession"

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., is urging 2008 presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., to "go to confession" after she claimed that a GOP bill cracking down on illegal immigration would criminalize "probably even Jesus himself."

"These people who are supposed to be speaking for God, saying this [the bill] is a sin, and they should go to confession," King complained to Newsday.

"Talk about hypocrisy," King fumed to New York's Daily News. "I don't think Jesus would have defended alien-smuggling gangs. I don't think Jesus would favor hundreds of immigrants dying in the desert."

"I hope Hillary's a better senator than a theologian," the Catholic Republican said of the Methodist Democrat. "Stopping alien-smuggling gangs is doing God's work," he told Newsday.

Mrs. Clinton ignited a firestorm of protest when she interjected religion into the immigration debate on Wednesday - while complaining about a bill sponsored by Rep. James Sensenbrenner that would make illegal entry into the U.S. a felony.

"It is certainly not in keeping with my understanding of the Scriptures," she declared. "This bill would literally criminalize the Good Samaritan and probably even Jesus himself."

Abdul Rahman Update

Two stories linked on Cybercast News Service regarding the plight of Abdul Rahman - a convert to Christianity from Islam who is currently on trial in Afghanistan and could receive the death penalty for his conversion:

Australian PM Sickened by Plight of Afghan Convert

( - Australian Prime Minister John Howard, a close U.S. ally who sent troops to support the U.S.-led liberation of Afghanistan, says he was sickened to hear that an Afghan convert to Christianity was facing the possibility of execution for apostasy.

[Full Story]

Top Muslim Clerics: Convert Must Die

( - Senior Muslim clerics are demanding that an Afghan man on trial for converting from Islam to Christianity be executed, warning that if the government caves in to Western pressure and frees him, they will incite people to "pull him into pieces."

[Read News on the Web]
My Comments:
"... if the government caves in to Western pressure and frees him, they will incite people to 'pull him into pieces.'"

Proof positive that the "Religion of Peace®" is in reality the "Religion of Pieces".

Previous Pro Ecclesia Posts on this Subject:
Abdul Rahman Case Puts U.S. "Theocracy" Nonsense into Perspective

President Bush Weighs in on Abdul Rahman

Who Will Save Abdul Rahman?

Apostasy Case Raises Questions About "Islamic" Constitutions in Afghanistan and Iraq

Afghan Man Faces Death for Allegedly Converting to Christianity

Did 2000 American Soldiers Die For Islam?

President Bush Meets with Archbishop Chaput to Discuss Immigration Reform

From the Denver Post:
Washington - With the U.S. Senate starting debate soon on immigration reform, President Bush pushed Thursday for a program to allow illegal immigrants to work legally in the country.

"Part of enforcing our borders is to have a guest-worker program that encourages people to register their presence so that we know who they are and says to them, 'If you're doing a job an American won't do, you're welcome here for a period of time to do that job,"' Bush said during a meeting with representatives of groups that support the idea, including Denver Roman Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput.

The president's latest push came as it appeared increasingly likely that the bill the Senate will consider next week will contain a guest-worker provision, setting up a future collision with House Republicans who reject the proposal.


Purity Becomes Her

If you clicked on the link to GQ Magazine in my previous post, you may have noticed the cover photo of one Adriana Lima. How could you miss it?

Miss Lima hails from Brazil - the most Catholic nation in the world. In addition to modeling women's underbritches for Victoria's Secret, and to having dated both singer/songwriter Lenny Kravitz and New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, Miss Lima also publicly proclaims her virginity. From the GQ feature article on her:
She shows up precisely on time — for breakfast. At ten o’clock on a Saturday morning. In Midtown Manhattan. (This alone tells us she is not your average supermodel.) But wait. Adriana Lima, the Brazilian beauty, the ninety-seventh highest-paid famous person in the world according to Forbes, the reason our nephews spank away to Victoria’s Secret catalogs, has plenty of surprises. (Unfortunately, no surprises about her famous ex-boyfriends: We are told ahead of time that any questions about Lenny Kravitz, the model-collecting rocker with whom she was allegedly involved, are “off-limits.” Ditto for Derek Jeter.) But did we mention she’s a virgin? Hey, that’s her story — and she’s stickin’ to it.
Here's hoping she sticks to her guns and provides her future husband with a mighty fine gift on their wedding night.

And then there's this from her GQ interview:
I take it you’re religious?

Yes! I am Catholic. [she pulls out the cardboard scapular hanging around her neck, under her big gray sweater]

Wow. A scapular. Do you go to church?

Of course! Every Sunday.

Is there anything in the teachings of the Catholic Church that you don’t agree with?


Are you pro-life?

What do you mean, pro-life?

How do you feel about abortion?

I think it’s a crime.

Are you a one-guy woman?

Of course! I’m a Catholic.

Look, I’m Catholic, too, but there’s a lot of things about the church that make it hard to date within its rules, don’t you think?

Like what?

Birth control, premarital sex…

Well, you know, sex is just for after marriage.

Say what?

Sex is for after marriage.

Are you saying you’re not going to have sex before marriage?


You mean you’ve never had sex?

That’s why I have to say.

You sure about this?

AWESOME CHICK!!! Tons of inner beauty to match her outer beauty. If I weren't already happily married to Mrs. Anderson, I'd be head-over-heels in love with Miss Adriana Lima. She's going to make someone a very lucky man.

NOTE: Miss Lima apparently isn't too concerned about some of the immodest and quite provocative poses in which she allows herself to be photographed.

FYI. I just showed this post to Mrs. Anderson. Sarah sees nothing wrong with it and says lighten up. She notes that Miss Lima is from Brazil, where showing skin is part of the culture.

UPDATE #2 (25 March 2006):
In hindsight, I should have posted this photo of Miss Lima, rather than the more "revealing" one from the GQ cover.

(Hat tip: Catholic Caveman)

Of course, someone would have objected to this one, as well

Labels: ,

GQ: Republicans Better in Bed Than Democrats

The anonymous author of an informal sex survey for GQ magazine is asserting that Republican men are more virile than their Democrat counterparts.

Tucker Carlson - that paragon of GOP manliness - has the details.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Catholic League: Christians Don't Get Same Consideration from Artistic Elites as Jews and Muslims Receive

Today, the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights issued the following press release:
March 23, 2006


Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented as follows:

“An Off-Broadway play that was scheduled to open last night was nixed because Jews who were polled about the theme found it to be offensive. The person who censored the play is the same artistic director who criticized his theater in 1998 for not supporting an anti-Catholic play.

‘A movie whose title might have offended Muslims was dropped by a major Hollywood studio. The same studio is now associated with a film that one of the co-producers has labeled ‘conservatively anti-Catholic.’

‘But none of those responsible for these decisions has been the target of the vitriol that the Catholic League has been subjected to for merely asking Ron Howard to put a disclaimer in ‘The Da Vinci Code.’

“The play that never opened is ‘My Name is Rachel Corrie.’ It is based on the real-life story of a young Jewish woman who was killed in 2003 when she threw herself in front of an Israeli bulldozer to protest the destruction of a Palestinian home. The man who made the decision to kill the play after he polled local Jews is Jim Nicola of the New York Theater Workshop. He is the same person who slammed his theater for withdrawing its support of ‘Corpus Christi,’ the play that depicted Jesus having sex with his disciples.

“The movie that might have offended Muslims is the Albert Brooks satire, ‘Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World.’ The ever-sensitive studio that dropped the movie because it objected to the film’s title is Sony, the same company that is releasing ‘The Da Vinci Code.’

“Get it? The artistic elite are careful not to offend Jews or Muslims, but they don’t give a hoot about offending Christians, especially Catholics. In other words, the cultural elite can be cowardly or combative — it just depends on who the target group is. And they wonder why so many Christians loathe them.”
(emphasis added)

Mom, Dad Praise Girl Who Fled Abductor

A Toledo girl's quick thinking may have saved her life:
The parents of a 14-year-old central Toledo girl said yesterday they are proud of their quick-thinking daughter, who told police she escaped a gun-wielding abductor by hitting him in the groin with a hammer.

"I'm glad we got that phone call versus the other phone call that she was in a ditch somewhere," the teen's mother said.

The call came Tuesday morning from the victim's grandmother, where the teen ran to seek help after striking her kidnapper and fleeing his parked car.

The junior high student told police she was abducted by a man with a handgun in the 300 block of Moorish Avenue as she was walking to catch a bus for school. He drove her to the 1400 block of Lincoln Avenue, where he parked, pulled his pants down, and told her, "You know what I want," she told police.

The girl told her abductor she had dropped her ring in the car and was searching for it when she was really looking for a weapon of some kind. She felt the hammer under the front passenger seat, then put her ring back on. A short time later she grabbed the hammer, hit the man in the groin, and fled to her grandmother's nearby home on Foster Avenue, she told police.

The victim's father called his oldest child "a smart kid."

"A lot of people would not think to do those things. She had enough sense to use her head and not panic," he said.
My Comments:
Brave girl, but she made a mistake by getting into the guy's car in the first place. Gun or no, she should have run away.

Husbands and fathers, teach your wife and children to respond to similar situations by running away. Better for the armed person to shoot them on the spot (which he generally won't do) than for them to be taken off to be raped, tortured, and then murdered.

Sex Offender Gets Nearly 30-year Sentence

From the Toledo Blade:
A South Toledo man who investigators said sexually abused a 21-year-old woman for most of her childhood was sentenced yesterday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court to nearly 30 years in prison.

Daniel Frost, 35, blurted a profanity at Judge Gary Cook during the sentencing, and repeated the same words to his attorney when he advised him to keep quiet.

Except for the seven years that Frost was in prison, the victim repeatedly was abused by the defendant from the time she was 4 years old until she was 20, prosecutors said.

On Feb. 9, a jury found Frost guilty on two counts each of rape and gross sexual imposition and three counts of corruption of a minor.

The victim testified that the abuse began as inappropriate touching and progressed to oral sex and later to intercourse.

Prosecutors said when she was 10 and 12, the victim brought the abuse to the attention of a relative, who confronted Frost. However, he continued to molest her.

"The victim had no way of escaping from what was going on,'' Judge Cook said.

Frost was in prison from August, 1993, to July, 1996, and from August, 2000, to August, 2004.

Lori Olender, an assistant county prosecutor, said the sexual assaults resumed when the defendant was released from prison, ending in December, 2004, when she reported to authorities that she was brutally raped.

In that incident, the defendant urinated on the woman, covered her with cigarette ashes, and doused her with Kool-Aid, Ms. Olender said.

(emphasis added)
My Comments:
Why wasn't this animal excrement given a life sentence? I hope this POS gets as good as he gave for the next 30 years of his life. Rat bastard.

Abdul Rahman Case Puts U.S. "Theocracy" Nonsense into Perspective

The Abdul Rahman case sort of puts into perspective the nonsense spouted by the left and their mouthpieces like NPR's Kevin Phillips and the New York Slimes that the United States is on the verge of becoming a "theocracy".

When the left says that America is becoming a theocracy, they accomplish 2 things:
(1) They reveal their goal of marginalizing people of faith and shutting them out of the political process; and

(2) They do a disservice to the victims (like Abdul Rahman) of real theocracies in the Islamic world.
Please take the time to read Joseph Bottum's debunking of the "American Theocracy" myth at the First Things blog On the Square.

President Bush Weighs in on Abdul Rahman

President Bush has finally made a statement regarding the case of Abdul Rahman, the Afghani convert to Christianity who is currently on trial in Afghanistan and could receive the death penalty for his conversion:
WHEELING, W.Va. — Initially, the case of convert Abdul Rahman attracted the attention of Christian groups, then it reached the radar of the State Department. Now, President Bush has weighed in on the case, saying he is "deeply troubled" that the Afghan man could face death for his religious decision.

Rahman, 41, a medical worker, converted from Islam to Christianity 16 years ago, a fact that came out publicly during a civil custody case between him and his wife in front of local authorities. The authorities charged him with rejecting Islam, a crime under the country's Shar'ia-based law. The penalty, if guilty, is death.

That's a penalty that concerns Bush, who said in a speech Wednesday that the young democracy in Afghanistan shouldn't be limiting the ability of its citizens to worship.

"We expect them to honor the universal principle of freedom," Bush said during a town hall meeting in Wheeling, W. Va. "It is deeply troubling that a country we helped liberate would hold a person to account because they chose a particular religion over another.
[ED.: Ya think?]

"I'm troubled when I hear, deeply troubled when I hear, the fact that a person who converted away from Islam may be held to account. That's not the universal application of the values that I talked about. I look forward to working with the government of that country to make sure that people are protected in their capacity to worship," he continued.

In a statement to the press on Wednesday, the Embassy of Afghanistan said it "greatly appreciates public concern" about Rahman, and the government is looking into the best way to resolve the case through the judiciary.

"It is too early to draw any conclusion about the punishment, and we appreciate public understanding of the sensitivity of religious issues. ... The constitution of Afghanistan provides protection for freedom of religion. The government of Afghanistan will ensure that the constitutional rights of its citizens, international principles, and the due judicial process are respected and implemented," the embassy statement said.

On Wednesday, an early champion of Rahman lamented that his predicament is hardly unique.

"This happens in Saudi Arabia, this happens in Pakistan — a number of Islamic countries. And, you know, this needs to be spoken against," said Jeff King, president of the International Christian Concern.

(emphasis added)
My Comments:
Nice words, President Bush. Now, what are you going to do to ensure that Abdul Rahman is freed?

Previous Pro Ecclesia Posts on this Subject:
Who Will Save Abdul Rahman?

Apostasy Case Raises Questions About "Islamic" Constitutions in Afghanistan and Iraq

Afghan Man Faces Death for Allegedly Converting to Christianity

Did 2000 American Soldiers Die For Islam?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Till Forced Starvation Do Us Part

(Hat tip: Steve Dillard at Southern Appeal)

From the Touchstone Magazine blog Mere Comments:
It's one thing to take up residence with another woman while his wife lay in a coma in a hospital bed. And it's one more thing to fight your in-laws in a court for the right to remove her nourishment. But it's quite another thing to claim to be a praiseworthy martyr for doing so.

According to the New York Post, the late Terri Schiavo's husband, Michael, told NBC's "Dateline" that Terri is now "praising" him in heaven for fighting to starve her death. The program is scheduled to broadcast Sunday.

"She's up there right now praising me...and saying thank you," he said.

When Christians around the country were praying for Terri's life, and political leaders sought to find legal remedies to help her Catholic parents save her, Schiavo says he just couldn't understand what all the fuss was about.

"I guess when it all boiled down, I couldn't understand why these people were so passionate about my life," he said. "People are allowed to die every day. Feeding tubes are removed every day."

(emphasis added)

My Comments:
Self-absorbed, murderous POS!

Please don't forget this week's Blogburst in Memory of Terri Schindler Schiavo, the details of which are here.

Also, please be sure to visit the website for the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation.

Vatican Change of Heart Over "Barbaric" Crusades

(Hat tip: Julie D. at Happy Catholic)

From The Times (of London):
THE Vatican has begun moves to rehabilitate the Crusaders by sponsoring a conference at the weekend that portrays the Crusades as wars fought with the “noble aim” of regaining the Holy Land for Christianity.

The Crusades are seen by many Muslims as acts of violence that have underpinned Western aggression towards the Arab world ever since. Followers of Osama bin Laden claim to be taking part in a latter-day “jihad against the Jews and Crusaders”.

The late Pope John Paul II sought to achieve Muslim-Christian reconciliation by asking “pardon” for the Crusades during the 2000 Millennium celebrations. But John Paul’s apologies for the past “errors of the Church” — including the Inquisition and anti-Semitism — irritated some Vatican conservatives. According to Vatican insiders, the dissenters included Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.

Pope Benedict reached out to Muslims and Jews after his election and called for dialogue. However, the Pope, who is due to visit Turkey in November, has in the past suggested that Turkey’s Muslim culture is at variance with Europe’s Christian roots.

At the conference, held at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University, Roberto De Mattei, an Italian historian, recalled that the Crusades were “a response to the Muslim invasion of Christian lands and the Muslim devastation of the Holy Places”.

“The debate has been reopened,” La Stampa said. Professor De Mattei noted that the desecration of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem by Muslim forces in 1009 had helped to provoke the First Crusade at the end of the 11th century, called by Pope Urban II.

He said that the Crusaders were “martyrs” who had “sacrificed their lives for the faith”. He was backed by Jonathan Riley-Smith, Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Cambridge University, who said that those who sought forgiveness for the Crusades “do not know their history”. Professor Riley-Smith has attacked Sir Ridley Scott’s recent film Kingdom of Heaven, starring Orlando Bloom, as “utter nonsense”.

My Comments:
I have a problem with the Crusades. My problem is that the good guys were ultimately unsuccessful in ridding the Holy Land of jihadists.

Whole Foods: Groceries for Liberal Elitists Who Drive Volvos and Listen to NPR

From Slate:
... It's likely that neither Wal-Mart nor Whole Foods will do much to encourage local agriculture or small farming, but in an odd twist, Wal-Mart, with its simple "More for Less" credo, might do far more to democratize the nation's food supply than Whole Foods. The organic-food movement is in danger of exacerbating the growing gap between rich and poor in this country by contributing to a two-tiered national food supply, with healthy food for the rich. Could Wal-Mart's populist strategy prove to be more "sustainable" than Whole Foods? Stranger things have happened.

Who Will Save Abdul Rahman?

Michelle Malkin wonders who will step forward to save the life of Afghani citizen Abdul Rahman, a convert to Christianity from Islam, who is currently on trial in Afghanistan and faces the death penalty for his conversion:
... As of Tuesday afternoon, left-wing Amnesty International had nothing to say about the case. But neither did President Bush, a man of faith and a Christian brother. During his extensive White House press conference on the War on Terror and the defense of freedom overseas, Bush spent plenty of time describing what life was like for Afghanis before Operation Enduring Freedom:

"There was no such thing as religious freedom. There was no such thing as being able to express yourself in the public square. There was no such thing as press conferences like this. They were totalitarian in their view. And that would be - I'm referring to the Taliban, of course. And that's how they would like to run government. They rule by intimidation and fear, by death and destruction. And the United States of America must take this threat seriously and must not-must never forget the natural rights that formed our country."

President Bush, who will defend Abdul Rahman's natural rights from being usurped and terminated by Afghanistan's Islamic executioners?

My Comments:
Speak up, President Bush! Was American blood shed for this? As I've said before, good thing we've made Afghanistan "safe" for Democracy.

Previous Pro Ecclesia Posts on this Subject:
Apostasy Case Raises Questions About "Islamic" Constitutions in Afghanistan and Iraq

Afghan Man Faces Death for Allegedly Converting to Christianity

Did 2000 American Soldiers Die For Islam?

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