Monday, July 31, 2006

This Day in Jacobite History: Proscription Act Introduced, Banning Tartan and Carrying of Weapons - 1 August 1747

On 1 August 1747, the English Parliament introduced the Proscription Act, which banned the wearing of tartan and carrying of weapons in Scotland:
Following the Jacobite defeat at Culloden, ... to further punish Scotland, Parliament issued imperious Acts to destroy the clans, their identities and economic structures.

New laws imposed abolished heritable jurisdictions, claimed estates for the crown, banned the playing of bagpipes, the wearing of tartans and Highland dress for all except government troops, and restricted the possession of weapons.

The exact wording of the act was as follows:
"That from and after the First Day of August 1747, no man or boy within that part of Great Britain called Scotland, other than such as shall be employed as Officers and Soldiers of His Majesty's Forces, shall on any pretext whatsoever, wear or put on the clothes, commonly called Highland clothes (that is to say) the Plaid, Philabeg, or little kilt, Trowes, Shoulder-Belts, or any part whatever of what peculiarly belongs to the Highland Garb; and that no tartan or party-coloured plaid or stuff shall be used for Great coats or upper coats, and if any such person shall presume after the first said day of August, to wear or put on the aforesaid garments or any part of them, every person so offending.... shall be liable to be transported to any of His Majesty's plantations beyond the seas, there to remain for the space of seven years."

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
This Day in Jacobite History: Mary Queen of Scots Deposed - 24 July 1567

This Day in Jacobite History: The Battle of Killiecrankie - 27 July 1689

This Day in Jacobite History: Death of Queen Anne; George, Elector of Hanover, Becomes King - 1 August 1714

This Day in Jacobite History: Death of Queen Anne; George, Elector of Hanover, Becomes King - 1 August 1714

On this day 292 years ago - 1 August 1714, died Queen Anne, ungrateful daughter of James II and VII and last member of the House of Stuart to sit on the thrones of England and Scotland (which, under Anne's rule became the throne (singular) of England and Scotland via the Act of Union).

Rather than crown the rightful claimant, Anne's half-brother, the Catholic Prince James Francis Edward Stuart, Parliament grasped at straws to ensure a Protestant succession by naming Georg Ludwig Guelph, the Elector of Hanover, as King George I.
The Wee German Lairdie

Wha the de'il ha'e we gotten for a king,
But a wee wee German lairdie
And when we gaed to bring him hame
He was delving in his kail yairdie.
He was sheughin' kail and laying locks
Without the hose and but the breeks,
And up his beggard duds he cleeks,
This wee wee German lairdie.

An he's clappit down in our gudeman's chair
The wee wee German lairdie
And he's brought forth o' foreign trash,
And dibbled them in his yairdie,
He's pu'd the rose o' English loons,
And broken the harp o' Irish clowns,
But our Scots thistle will jag his thumbs,
The wee wee German lairdie.

Come up amang our Highland hills
Thou wee wee German lairdie,
And see how the Stuart's lang kail thrive,
They dibbled in our yairdie:
And if a stock thou daur to pu'
Or hand the yokin' o' a plough,
We'll break your sceptre owre your mou'
Thou wee bit German lairdie.

Auld Scotland thou'rt owre cault a hold
For nursin' siccan vermin;
But the very dogs o' England's court
They bark and howl in German.
They keep thy dibble in thy ain hand,
They spade but and thy yairdie,
For wha' the de'il now claims your land
But a wee wee German lairdie!

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
This Day in Jacobite History: Mary Queen of Scots Deposed - 24 July 1567

This Day in Jacobite History: The Battle of Killiecrankie - 27 July 1689

Top Republican Asks Bush to Push for Immediate Lebanon Ceasefire

From AFP (via Yahoo):
WASHINGTON (AFP) - A leading Republican senator urged US President George W. Bush to call for an immediate ceasefire in the war between Israel and the militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon.

"The sickening slaughter on both sides must end now. President Bush must call for an immediate ceasefire. This madness must stop," Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel, a possible candidate in the 2008 presidential election, said on the Senate floor.

The Bush administration has been under pressure from Arab and European states to press Israel into halting its offensive, but has received relatively limited pressure from US lawmakers -- especially those in his own party -- to do the same.
My Comments:
When did Chuck Hagel become a "top Republican"? I must've slept through that one.

There appears to be a direct relationship between the MSM's willingness to call a person a "top" or "leading" Republican and that person's willingness to bash President Bush.

Poll: Sen. Allen Leading in Virginia

From the Associated Press (via
Republican Sen. George Allen has a 16-point lead over Democratic challenger Jim Webb in the latest independent statewide poll, published Sunday, but a fifth of the electorate is still undecided.

The election is closely watched nationally as an off-year referendum on the embattled Bush presidency because Allen, one of Bush's most reliable Senate allies, is preparing a 2008 presidential bid. Last year, Allen voted in support of the White House more than 95 percent of the time.

Forty-eight percent backed Allen and 32 percent supported Webb in the Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc. survey of registered voters likely to vote in the Nov. 7 election.

However, 20 percent of the 625 respondents surveyed statewide by telephone July 25-27 said they had not decided between Allen, a former governor seeking a second Senate term, and Webb, a former Republican who was President Reagan's Navy secretary.

The poll's margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Bush's job-approval rating is low even in Virginia, which last voted Democratic in a presidential election in 1964, the poll found. Forty- three percent rated Bush's performance as good or excellent while 56 percent judged it fair or poor. One percent of the respondents were undecided.


Schumer Says Bolton's In

From The New York Post:
July 31, 2006 -- Sen. Charles Schumer yesterday signaled that John Bolton will finally get Senate confirmation as U.N. ambassador, saying it's "unlikely" Democrats will mount a filibuster to block him a second time.
The Post reported last week that Schumer and fellow New York Democrat Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who both voted for the anti-Bolton filibuster last year, hadn't ruled out voting for his confirmation this time.

"I think that if you count the votes, a filibuster is unlikely," Schumer told CNN's "Late Edition" yesterday.


Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Next Time, I'll Support John Bolton, Voinovich Says

Bolton Accused of Causing Chaos Ahead of United Nations Summit

The Bolton Recess Appointment

Andy Card: Bush Wanted Woman on High Court

Publius at Res Publica et Cetera has long suspected it, and now former White House Chief of Staff Andy Card finally admits that he was the key player in the Harriet Miers debacle:
President Bush selected Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court after a search for other possible female candidates outside the White House began to lag, former White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. "Andy" Card, Jr. said in his first extensive interview since leaving the White House.

"The president was criticized for not nominating a woman when he nominated John Roberts," Card said, as he petted Sophie, his Wheaton Terrier, in the living room of his home in northern Virginia.

"And then when William Rehnquist left, you know, ‘What do you mean you're not going to nominate a woman? You've had two opportunities, and you haven't nominated a woman.' And so he was looking to nominate a woman — not blindly, not any woman, not just to nominate a woman."

As the search committee kept suggesting female candidates who did not seem right, Bush pushed for more selections.

"Go back and find more, go back and find more women," Card quoted the president as saying. "We worked very, very hard, and a lot of the names that kept floating up were all white males. ‘No, keep going, going, going.'

"And it was someone who was not involved in the search process who was extremely complimentary of Harriet Miers who suggested that she should be considered. This was an external person. That caused us to say, are we being foolish to not look at her? Those conversations were conveyed to the president, and over the course of about a week he gave a lot of thought to it."


From the interview: "... it was someone who was not involved in the search process who was extremely complimentary of Harriet Miers who suggested that she should be considered. This was an external person. That caused us to say, are we being foolish to not look at her?"

Ummmmm. That person wouldn't happen to be Democrat Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, would it?

Sunday, July 30, 2006

So, Mel's a Jew Hater After All

Looks like Mel Gibson has confirmed a hostility toward Jews that many were accusing him of during the imbroglio over "The Passion":
Lt. Steve Smith, in charge of the detective bureau for the Malibu/Lost Hills station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, confirmed to me just now that "the contents seem to be similar" between the official reports and the four pages posted by on the Internet alleging Mel Gibson "blurted out a barrage of anti-Semitic remarks" -- "fucking Jews" and "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world" and asking the arresting deputy "Are you a Jew?" -- during his DUI arrest early Friday morning. Smith denied's charge that the sheriff's department was involved in a "cover-up" of Gibson's alleged anti-Semitic tirade detailed in deputy Jim Mee's first arrest report. "TMZ has learned that the Los Angeles County Sheriff's department had the initial report doctored to keep the real story under wraps," the website claims. But Smith told me emphatically, "There's no whitewash. I've seen the first report, and the supplemental report, and it looks to be the same thing as what's on the Internet. The contents that are on the Internet are covered in both those reports." That is the first official confirmation from the Sheriff's station that Gibson's alleged anti-Semitic rants are included in the official reports about his DUI arrest.

UPDATE: *Gibson issued a statement today apologizing for his drunk driving arrest and saying he has battled alcoholism throughout his life. The Oscar-winning filmmaker also apologized for what he said were "despicable" "out of control" statements "that I do not believe to be true" made to the deputies who arrested him early Friday morning on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. But though his statement seems to confirm he made the anti-Semitic slurs, it does not specifically admit them or apologize for them.
My Comments:
I still don't believe there was anything remotely anti-Semitic about "The Passion" (apart from its director, that is).

G. Thomas Fitzpatrick at Recta Ratio notes that "war brings a discreditable plague of anti-Jewish sentiment" amongst some in the traditional Catholic community.

Which brings me to the primary reason this Mel Gibson episode is so upsetting to me. Many of us conservative and traditional Catholics came to the defense of Mel and "The Passion" when they were being attacked by Hollywood, the ADL, and even liberal Catholics as being insensitive to Jews. We saw the attacks for what they really were: attacks on the Gospels themselves and the teachings of the Church.

Now those same folks against whom we defended "The Passion" and, indeed, the Church, are gloating because of Mel's clearly anti-semitic worldview. Mel has discredited not only himself, but the Gospel itself in the mind of those who now might be willing to view "The Passion", the Gospels, and the traditional teachings of the Church in light of Mel's recent comments.

The next time someone wants to make a movie that portrays some aspects of the Gospels that Jewish people might find offensive, the Mel Gibson canard will be thrown out in an effort to discredit that effort. Every time the issue of traditional Catholic devotion comes up in the public arena, in the back of the minds of those unfamiliar with traditional Catholicism will be that Mel Gibson is one, and that he is an anti-Semite.

Mel Gibson (and, by extension, those Catholics who share his sentiments) has done far more than harm just himself by his actions and comments.

Tom Haessler, commenting at Amy Welborn's blog, says essentially the same thing:
If it's true I'm deeply saddened. I debated with many liberals insisting that Mel was not anti-Semitic even though his eccentric dad was for certain. Fortunately, this will give a black eye to radtradism and sedevacantism, but I'm certain that the average guy or gal in the street thinks he's a "Catholic", not understanding how schism deprives one of membership in the Church.

If this isn't true, it's certainly one of the most scurilous lies in many a moon - but I fear it is true.

Despite all this, the film needs to be evaluated as a work of art regardless of the character (or psychiatric issues?) of the director. I continue to believe that it's a moving icon that deserves recognition as a great work of art. But it's time to insist more than ever that private "revelations" of pious nuns (really personal meditations), whether unapproved (like the POEM OF THE GOD MAN) or approved (like Anne Catherine Emmerich's) must be acknowledged to have problematic features (like survivals of old-fashioned Christian anti-Semitism) as well as potential for nuturing piety.

We need to pray here for damage control AND for Mel, personally.

Score one for the progressive theologians who now will be doing the "I told you so" dance.

Friday, July 28, 2006

The Religious Left's "Cycle of Violence" Schtick

From FrontPage magazine:
The anti-Israel divestment campaign among U.S. churches has been largely defeated. But in the midst of the terrorists' war on Israel, the Religious Left's hostility to Israel continues.

Religious Left church officials have responded to the conflict between Israel and Hezballah with their usual lamentations over "the violence." But it is "the violence" by Israel that exclusively concerns them. Typical among them has been the reaction of United Church of Christ president John Thomas.

"We watch with horror and outrage as Israel punishes an entire population for the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier in Gaza, and as belligerence escalates with Hizb Allah’s attack on military personnel near Lebanon," Thomas wrote in a letter to "Palestinian Friends and Partners." He continued, "While we pray for the Israeli soldiers’ release and safe return to family, we also know that these incidents have become an occasion for the further oppression of the Palestinian community, for the massive destruction of economic infrastructure and for the tragic loss of much innocent life."

It is wonderful, only now that Israel is attacking Hezbollah targets, that these U.S. church prelates are suddenly so very concerned about Lebanon. But they never expressed any interest in Syria’s nearly 30 years of brutal occupation of and manipulation of Lebanon. Nor have they commented on Hezbollah’s vicious, Iranian-backed disruption of Lebanon’s struggling democracy.

The Religious Left will reluctantly acknowledge the crimes of Hezbollah and Hamas, but only to rhetorically facilitate its more heartfelt condemnation of Israel. These prelates may decry "the violence," but it is chiefly only the violence of one side that concerns them.


Op/Ed: Clergy Too Quiet About Bush, War

The following Op/Ed by some television producer/art instructor appearing in the Atlanta Urinal Constipation is in need of a good "fisking". Unfortunately, I don't have time to do it today. Maybe I'll come back to it. In the meantime, if any commenters want a take a shot at it, be my guest.
Clergy too quiet about Bush, war

Published on: 07/27/06

A few years ago, there was a popular bumper sticker and bracelet. It was the essence of simplicity; four letters, followed by a question mark — WWJD? What Would Jesus Do? Most of the stickers have either faded into oblivion or have been replaced by other causes, such as Support Our Troops or God Bless America.

As the WWJD bumper stickers disappeared, did the message vanish as well? The idea began to haunt me. The more I mulled it over, the darker and more foreboding the tempest swirled, until a single question emerged from this maelstrom of thoughts and emotions: Where is the voice of our spiritual leaders? Where are the sentinels of our souls, raising their voices, asking the tough questions, protesting injustice, condemning corruption?

So, I ask you, clergy, where is your voice?

• WWJD about a war initiated on deception in which, every day, men and women — American, Iraqi, Afghani and others — are dying?

• WWJD about so many of our leaders who loudly proclaim their Christian faith and devotion to God to gain our vote, then, once elected, lie and cheat and deceive?

• WWJD about a government that places more importance on corporate profit than on the environment or the welfare of its citizens?

• WWJD about a government that closes its eyes to so many countries where every day thousands of men, women and children die from diseases that can be easily prevented with affordable, accessible medicines? Or a government that protects the obscene profiteering of its medical and pharmaceutical corporations while hundreds of thousands of its own citizens are unable to afford medical insurance and treatment and die needlessly?

• WWJD with those of us who cry "traitor" and "un-American" at anyone who even so slightly questions our motives in the Middle East, even a mother whose son died there?

Where is the logic in fighting a war on terrorism with every terrifying weapon available to us, just short of nuclear bombs? I'm fairly certain Jesus had a clear position on this.

And we wonder why so many people all over the world hate us. We continually claim that it is because they are envious of our prosperity, when the real reason is our insistence that everyone must submit to our rules. We wave the flag, puff out our chests and proclaim, "God is on our side." And, of course, our God is male, white and conservative Christian.

I ask you, when did the God of compassion, inclusion, tolerance and forgiveness become the God of retribution, condemnation and punishment? Is your silence prompted by a fear that your congregation might be offended and reduce their offerings? Or that the government will reassess your tax status? Or perhaps you have convinced yourself that politics and religion should be kept separate?

So, I ask again, where is your voice? How much more can you tolerate before you speak out?

Perhaps the question now should not be, WWJD? Perhaps the more appropriate question should be, WWYD?

What will you do?

Kenneth C. Daniel is a television producer and instructor at the Art Institute of Atlanta.

Catholic League Says Democrat Religious Guru Cracks Up

From the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights:
July 27, 2006


Yesterday, a coalition of hundreds of public notables released a statement, “Beyond Same-Sex Marriage: A New Strategic Vision for All Our Families & Relationships,” that takes issue with gay activists who are limiting their efforts to legalizing same-sex marriage. Their goal is total societal recognition of “families and relationships” that “know no borders.” One of the 260 signatories is Rabbi Michael Lerner.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue addressed this issue today:

“Rabbi Michael Lerner has been described by the Jewish Forward as Hillary Clinton’s ‘erstwhile guru’ and is unquestionably one of the most prominent—if not the most prominent—religious advisors to the Democratic National Committee (DNC). His book, The Left Hand of God: Taking Back Our Country From the Religious Right, has been described as providing ‘intellectual, political, and spiritual inspiration’ for Democrats. It would be instructive to know, then, whether the DNC agrees with Lerner that religious institutions should be gutted of their moral and legal authority and be forced to recognize polyamorous relationships.

“In the very first sentence of the ‘Family Without Borders’ statement, it explicitly says that our society needs ‘a new vision for securing governmental and private institutional recognition of diverse kinds of partnerships, households, kinship relationships and families.’ By citing private institutions, the document makes clear its interest in forcing religious institutions to accept its agenda. That explains why the document demands ‘Separation of church and state in all matters, including regulation and recognition of relationships, households and families.’ Never lacking in specificity, it says that marital benefits must extend to ‘Queer couples who decide to jointly create and raise a child with another queer person or couple, in two households.’

“These insane ideas are those of Rabbi Lerner, the religious guru of the Democratic Party. Looks like Howard Dean is in a jam.”
(emphasis added)

Michael Schiavo Campaigning for Democrats

As if you needed another reason to vote against the death-loving Democrats:
( - Michael Schiavo, the Florida man at the center of a life-and-death battle involving his brain-damaged wife, is now hitting the campaign trail for Democrats. Schiavo, now the chairman of TerriPAC, plans to endorse Sen. Joe Lieberman's Democratic challenger in Connecticut on Friday, according to Ned Lamont's website. Earlier this month, Schiavo was in Colorado, blasting Republican Rep. Marilyn Musgrave for her "outspoken and misguided attempts to have Congress overrule the legal courts and overturn the private medical decisions" he made on behalf of Terri. Schiavo is targeting politicians, including Lieberman, who did not side with his efforts to have his wife's feeding tube removed.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Travesty of Justice

These beautiful boys are, in fact, NOT DEAD since, apparently, their mother did NOT kill them.

Texans, normally a very "law and order" bunch of folks, also take their religion very seriously. So, I think we finally have found a way to beat a murder rap in front of a Texas jury - convince the jury that you were possessed by the Devil (or at least convince them that you believed you were possessed by the Devil) at the time of the crime:
Ringholz said Yates was delusional the day of the drownings and did not know her actions were wrong, even though she called 911 and knew she would be arrested. Her delusion was that Satan had entered her and that she had to be executed in order to kill Satan, he said. (emphasis added)
I can't imagine such a defense flying in a more secular part of the country. This may be one of those instances were a "red state" jury was more liberal than a "blue state" jury might have been.

Bush to Sign Voting Act That He Once Opposed

From The Washington Times:
With his signature today, President Bush will renew a key part of the Voting Rights Act that singles out 16 states as still practicing voting discrimination, including his state of Texas, where he was governor for six years, and part of Florida, where his brother is governor.

Less than a decade ago, Mr. Bush fought that exact part of the Voting Rights Act, with his appointed secretary of state, Antonio O. Garza Jr., calling the provisions a burdensome and unnecessary federal intrusion into Texas' affairs.

"The Bush administration has really done a flip-flop on this," said Edward Blum, a senior fellow at the Center for Equal Opportunity who has studied Texas voting and the Voting Rights Act. "This is not where he was, and this is not the kind of philosophy that then-Governor Bush had when it comes to getting Texas out from under the thumb of the federal government."

He said Mr. Bush has abandoned "the great color-blind ideals that conservatives believe in."

The key provision is Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, designed to target six Southern states that had a history of discrimination against black voters. In the early 1970s, Section 5 was broadened to cover nine states -- Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia -- and parts of seven others -- California, Florida, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina and South Dakota.

Those states and localities are deemed so discriminatory that they must get Justice Department approval every time they change voting laws or procedures -- right down to moving a polling location.

With Mr. Bush's signature, that requirement will last through 2032.

Mr. Bush isn't the only former governor who finds himself urging passage of a bill that labels his state as discriminatory. Sen. George Allen, who was governor of Virginia from 1994 to 1998, also called for the provisions to be extended without amendment.

Mr. Allen's spokesman, David Snepp, said the senator sees his vote as a statement that the state is committed to minority rights.

"He doesn't think by voting to renew this act he is saying Virginia is one of these bad actors," Mr. Snepp said. "He is looking at it from a different perspective, and that is a commitment to make sure the voting rights of individual citizens is protected now and in the future."

(emphasis added)

My Comments:
"With Mr. Bush's signature, that requirement will last through 2032."

Outrageous! Again, Reconstruction only lasted 7 years. With this bill, states who no longer practice the discrimination the Voting Rights Act is meant to eradicate will nevertheless have been treated as pariahs for a grand total of almost 70 years!

And then, in 2032, I'm sure Section 5 will be renewed yet again.

George Bush: courageous hero vetoing a popular stem-cell bill one week; sniveling coward signing a race-based special interest bill the next.

Alleged proponent of federalism, George "Jeffersonian conservative" Allen, apparently isn't any better.

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
US Conference of Catholic Bishops Clueless on Voting Rights

Holy Toledo: Ohio’s Gubernatorial Race Tests the Power of the Christian Right

From The New Yorker:
Pastor Rod Parsley stood on a flag-bedecked dais on the steps of Ohio’s Statehouse last October and, amid cheers from the crowd below, proclaimed the launch of “the largest evangelical campaign ever attempted in any state in America.” A nationally known televangelist and the leader of a twelve-thousand-member church on the outskirts of Columbus, Parsley had gathered a thousand people for the event, and attracted bystanders with a multimedia performance involving a video on a Jumbotron and music by Christian singers and rappers broadcast so loud that it reverberated off the tall buildings south of the Statehouse. TV crews from Parsley’s ministry taped the event. “Sound an alarm!” he boomed. “A Holy Ghost invasion is taking place. Man your battle stations, ready your weapons, lock and load!” In the course of the performance, Parsley promised that during the next four years his campaign, Reformation Ohio, would bring a hundred thousand Ohioans to Christ, register four hundred thousand new voters, serve the disadvantaged, and guide the state through “a culture-shaking revolutionary revival.”

Among those who spoke at the rally were Senator Sam Brownback, of Kansas, and Representative Walter B. Jones, of North Carolina, both Christian conservatives, and J. Kenneth Blackwell, Ohio’s secretary of state, who is now the Republican nominee for governor. All talked about the need to bring God and morality back into government. “We refuse to give up or back up or shut up until we’ve made a better world for all,” Blackwell said.

For the past two years, the religious right in Ohio has been on a victory march. In 2004, a coalition of conservative Christian organizations campaigned statewide for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, enlisting hundreds of pastors and collecting half a million signatures. The ballot initiative, known as Issue One, passed with sixty-three per cent of the vote, and many concluded that this effort to bring out “values voters” won the state for President Bush, and returned him to the White House. Parsley and another megachurch pastor, Russell Johnson, of the Fairfield Christian Church, campaigned hard for the initiative, as did Ken Blackwell, whose role in overseeing the election procedures caused a controversy of its own, and who was the only Republican leader in the state to join them. Subsequently, the two pastors formed organizations—Reformation Ohio and Johnson’s Ohio Restoration Project—to get out the vote in 2006 and beyond. This year, there is nothing like Issue One on the ballot, but Blackwell, who carries the standard of the religious right, could become governor of Ohio.

In the primary, in May, Blackwell beat Ohio’s attorney general, Jim Petro, with fifty-six per cent of the vote. His victory has shaken the traditionally moderate Ohio Republican establishment, and Parsley’s and Johnson’s efforts to get out the vote have driven liberal members of the clergy to launch organizing efforts of their own. The election in November will determine whether the religious right will take command of the Ohio Republican Party. It will also make a difference, perhaps the crucial difference, in the next Presidential election.


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

This Day in Jacobite History: The Battle of Killiecrankie - 27 July 1689

The Pass of Killiecrankie © National Trust for Scotland

The Braes of Killiecrankie

Words and music Robert Burns

Where hae ye been sae braw, lad?
Where hae ye been sae brankie-o?
Where hae ye been sae braw, lad?
Cam' ye by Killiecrankie-o?

An' ye had been where I hae been
Ye wadna been sae cantie-o
An' ye had seen what I hae seen
On the braes o' Killiecrankie-o

I fought at land, I fought at sea
At hame I fought my auntie-o
But I met the Devil and Dundee
On the braes o' Killiecrankie-o

The bauld pitcur fell in a furr
And Clavers gat a clankie-o
Or I had fed an Athol gled
On the braes o' Killiecrankie-o

Oh fie, MacKay, What gart ye lie
I' the brush ayont the brankie-o?
Ye'd better kiss'd King Willie's loff
Than come tae Killiecrankie-o

It's nae shame, it's nae shame
It's nae shame to shank ye-o
There's sour slaes on Athol braes
And the de'ils at Killiecrankie-o

On this day 316 years ago - 27 July 1689, Jacobite forces supporting King James II and VII, under the command of John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee, aka "the Bonnie Dundee", defeated forces loyal to William of Orange led by General Hugh MacKay at the Battle of Killiecrankie.

An account of the Battle of Killiecrankie, and the events surrounding and giving rise to the battle, can be found here.

Killiecrankie is a historic site under the care of the National Trust for Scotland. Its webpage can be viewed here, with excellent educational resources here. Sarah and I visited this site on our honeymoon in Scotland 5 years ago.

The "Bonnie Dundee"

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
This Day in Jacobite History: Mary Queen of Scots Deposed - 24 July 1567

Orange? On a Catholic Pope? That's Blasphemy!

(Hat tip: American Papist)

I'm still trying to forgive myself for wearing orange here. What kind of self-respecting Jacobite wears orange to a Highland Games?

Ohio Supreme Court: Portion of Eminent Domain Law Unconstitutional, Norwood Taking for Development Overturned

The Ohio Supreme Court gets it right on eminent domain where the U.S. Supremes did not, ironically, in an opinion written by a woman named Justice O'Connor (you may remember that former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor wrote the dissent in last year's Kelo decision):
(July 26, 2006) In a multifaceted opinion, the Supreme Court of Ohio today clarified Ohio law on eminent domain, ruling 7-0 to reverse a Hamilton County appeals court and halt the taking of private homes by the City of Norwood to make way for a development complex. Among other findings, today's ruling: overturned as unconstitutional a portion of Ohio's eminent domain statute, established that an economic benefit to the community alone does not justify government taking of private property, and set a heightened level of scrutiny for Ohio courts to apply when considering eminent domain cases.

Justice Maureen O'Connor wrote the unanimous majority opinion that balances “two competing interests of great import in American democracy: the individual's rights in the possession and security of property, and the sovereign's power to take private property for the benefit of the community.”

The highly publicized case involved a challenge by several “holdout” homeowners to the City of Norwood's eminent domain action taking possession of their property in order to make way for two new city-owned parking garages and a large, privately owned commercial development intended to create jobs and increase local tax revenues.


Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
My Take on the Kelo Decision

Eminent Domain: Churches "Targeted by the Bulldozers"

Unholy Land Grab - In the Spirit of Kelo

Medieval Book of Psalms Unearthed

First millennium manuscript, open to Psalm 83, found in Irish mud:
DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) -- Irish archaeologists Tuesday heralded the discovery of an ancient book of psalms by a construction worker while driving the shovel of his backhoe into a bog.

The approximately 20-page book has been dated to the years 800-1000. Trinity College manuscripts expert Bernard Meehan said it was the first discovery of an Irish early medieval document in two centuries.

"This is really a miracle find," said Pat Wallace, director of the National Museum of Ireland, which has the book stored in refrigeration. Researchers will conduct years of painstaking analysis before putting the book on public display.

"There's two sets of odds that make this discovery really way out," Wallace said. "First of all, it's unlikely that something this fragile could survive buried in a bog at all, and then for it to be unearthed and spotted before it was destroyed is incalculably more amazing."

He said an engineer was digging up bogland last week to create commercial potting soil somewhere in Ireland's midlands when "just beyond the bucket of his bulldozer, he spotted something." Wallace would not specify where the book was found because a team of archaeologists is still exploring the site.

"The owner of the bog has had dealings with us in past and is very much in favor of archaeological discovery and reporting it," Wallace said.

Crucially, he said, the bog owner covered up the book with damp soil. Had it been left exposed overnight, he said, "it could have dried out and just vanished, blown away."

The book was found open to a page describing, in Latin script, Psalm 83, in which God hears complaints of other nations' attempts to wipe out the name of Israel.

My Comments:
"The book was found open to a page describing, in Latin script, Psalm 83, in which God hears complaints of other nations' attempts to wipe out the name of Israel."

Hmmmmm. Sounds familiar.

Senate Passes Interstate Abortion Notification

From Associated Press via CNN:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A bill that would make it a crime to take a pregnant girl across state lines for an abortion without her parents' knowledge passed the Senate Tuesday, but vast differences with the House version stood between the measure and President Bush's desk.

The 65-34 vote gave the Senate's approval to the bill, which would make taking a pregnant girl to another state for the purposes of evading parental notification laws punishable by fines and up to a year in jail.

Struggling to defend their majority this election year, Republican sponsors said the bill supports what a majority of the public believes: that a parent's right to know takes precedence over a young woman's right to have an abortion.

"No parent wants anyone to take their children across state lines or even across the street without their permission," said Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky. "This is a fundamental right, and the Congress is right to uphold it in law."

Fourteen Democrats and 51 Republicans voted for the bill. Four Republicans voted against it: Sens. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, Susan Collins of Maine, Olympia Snowe of Maine and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, was absent.

Bowing to public support for parental notification and the GOP's 55-44-1 majority, Democrats spent the day trying to carve out an exemption for confidants to whom a girl with abusive parents might turn for help. It was rejected in floor negotiations.


Anglo Parishioners in Oklahoma Vent Frustrations to Bishop, Walk Out of Confirmation Mass Celebrated in Spanish

(Hat tip: Catholic World News)

From the official newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Tulsa:
“A sense of disruption” was the phrase used several times to describe how many Englishspeaking parishioners – some of whom were founding members of the 55-year-old parish – have felt since Father Tim Davison arrived 2 1/2 years ago and intensified efforts to reach out to the growing Hispanic community within the parish.
My Comments:
I find it the height of irony that the descendants of white settlers who homesteaded in the Oklahoma Territory - thereby encroaching on land that had been specifically set aside for American Indians - are now bitching about the encroachment of Mexican immigrants.

Is there a Cherokee word for "chutzpah"?

By definition, a "Sooner" is an illegal immigrant.

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Archbishop Chaput Hears Load of Gripes from Anglo Parishioners Frustrated About Immigration's Impact

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

On This Day in History

In 1593, France's King Henry IV converted from Protestantism to Roman Catholicism.

In 1750, Henry Knox, American Revolutionary war general and first U.S. Secretary of War, was born.

In 2000, a New York-bound Air France Concorde crashed outside Paris shortly after takeoff, killing all 109 people on board and four people on the ground. Meanwhile, Texas Gov. George W. Bush selected Dick Cheney to be his running mate on the Republican presidential ticket. Coincidence? You be the judge.

Retired Richmond Bishop Sullivan Tells Jewish Audience "I Stand in Solidarity with the Innocent People of Lebanon"

From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
A celebration of the return of nine local teens from a two-week educational excursion to Israel was dominated by expressions of solidarity with Israelis bombarded by Hezbollah missiles.

More than 300 people packed into the Weinstein JCC last night, lining the walls of the Israel November Auditorium to listen to speeches supporting Israel's attacks on Hezbollah strongholds in Lebanon.

But even as their nation attempts to defend itself, Israelis must continue to seek peace, said Ellen Chernack, executive director of the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond.

"We must pray for the safety of the people caught in the crossfire of terrorism," said Chernack, who recently visited Israel. "Acts of love and kindness must prevail."

Rabbis sang prayers for the safety of Israelis while others read poems and recited the Torah.

Federation representative Ric Arenstein read supportive letters from Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell and from Sen. George Allen, R-Va.

Arenstein also told the assembly they were "ambassadors for Israel" responsible for educating acquaintances about the Mideast crisis.

Catholic Bishop Walter F. Sullivan reminded the audience to also think of the conflict's Lebanese casualties.

"I stand in solidarity with the innocent people of Lebanon sadly, the victims of a war that was not of their doing," he said.

(emphasis added)
My Comments:
The Times-Dispatch story gives no indication as to how Bishop Sullivan's Jewish audience reacted to his remarks.

Book Helps Catholic Faithful to “Rediscover the Rosary”

I just received the following press release in an email:
WILKES-BARRE, PA — JULY 21, 2006 — When Pope John Paul II wrote an apostolic letter calling for a renewal of devotion to the rosary, Antony Outhwaite of Mountain Top, PA felt compelled to do something about it.

“I read the Pope’s letter, and I was struck by his humble request that we all make an effort to reconsider this misunderstood prayer, that we ‘rediscover the rosary’. He talked about the rosary like a precious treasure that many of the faithful have never appreciated for what it is. It is easy to think that we know all about the rosary, but there is so much richness and beauty in the Holy Father’s musings on this simple, profound prayer.”

The Holy Father’s apostolic letter, “On the Most Holy Rosary”, made international news because of its announcement of five new “Luminous Mysteries”, but despite the proliferation of rosary books and of meditations on the new luminous mysteries, Mr. Outhwaite was surprised not to see much notice taken of the rest of the Pope’s letter. “There is so much more to this letter than just an announcement of five new mysteries.”

The Holy Father’s letter contains extensive suggestions on how the rosary should best be prayed. “I thought that the best thing to do was to write a book of rosary meditations that implements the Pope’s suggestions, and provides a clear, simple, practical way for people to pray the rosary in the spirit of Pope John Paul’s insights.” The result is “Rediscovering the Rosary”, published last month, and available from Lulu Press (

New Polling Shows Tight Ohio Governor's Race

COLUMBUS – The Wall Street Journal Zogby Interactive Poll today indicated Republican gubernatorial nominee Ken Blackwell is in a close race with Congressman and former prison psychologist Ted Strickland. Blackwell trails Strickland by 4.6 points with a 3.2 percent margin of error. The survey mirrors a June 22 Zogby poll showing Blackwell trailing Strickland by only five points and a May 25 University of Cincinnati Ohio Poll showing Blackwell trailing Strickland by six points.

The surveys contrast a Columbus Dispatch poll released Sunday showing Blackwell trailing Strickland by 20 points. The inconsistency in the four polls could be explained by what the Dispatch calls “a somewhat higher than normal percentage of Democrats” responding to its own survey.

Embryonic Research Funding May Lure US Scientists to Europe

Here's a "brain drain" that I would welcome:
( - Britain's science minister has predicted that top U.S. scientists "disillusioned" over President Bush's veto of a bill expanding federal funding for human embryo experiments may move to Europe, where funding for the controversial work won approval on Monday. Full Story
My Comments:
Yeah, murderous scientists seem to fit right in over there. I'm more than happy to see any wannabe Dr. Mengele's emigrate to Europe.

Parental and Abortion Rights Collide in Senate

From Cybercast News Service:

( - As the U.S. Senate prepares to debate the Child Custody Protection Act Tuesday, pro-life advocates worry that Democrats' proposed amendments to the bill will undermine its intent.

The Child Custody Protection Act would prohibit anyone other than a parent or guardian of a minor from taking that minor across state lines in order to obtain an abortion.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, only six states -- Connecticut, Hawaii, New York, Oregon, Vermont and Washington State -- have no laws requiring either parental consent or notification for minors seeking abortions. As a result, those six states have become destinations for minors seeking abortions without having to tell their parents.

But California Democratic Sens. Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer have proposed amendments that would weaken the bill.

Feinstein's amendment would allow grandparents or clergy members to take a minor out of the state for an abortion. Boxer's amendment proposes that the bill not apply to any minor who has an abortion as a result of pregnancy by incest.

"The Feinstein amendment really opens up a loophole that is of great concern for us," Lanier Swann, director of government relations for Concerned Women for America, told Cybercast News Service. "It's quite easy to be deemed a clergyman in the Internet age. For some churches it can take as little as five minutes to complete an ordination process via the Internet.

[Full story]

Archbishop Chaput Hears Load of Gripes from Anglo Parishioners Frustrated About Immigration's Impact

From the Rocky Mountain News:
Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput got an earful Monday from a packed audience of mostly Anglo, middle-class parishioners frustrated over the impact of illegal immigrants on society and their perceived reluctance to learn English.

"Wherever I go, I see English and Spanish (signs) - why not Polish?" asked a woman who said she emigrated from Poland decades ago. As she spoke, a standing-room-only crowd of more than 400 people at St. Thomas More Parish in Centennial erupted in applause and cheers.

"I've always said it was good for people to learn English," Chaput said.

It was the archbishop's second town hall meeting on immigration reform, but in a far different cultural setting than last Monday's meeting at Our Lady of Peace Parish in Greeley, where the pastor estimates 60 percent of his parishioners are immigrants. That town hall meeting was conducted in both Spanish and English.

Asked about the effect of continued illegal immigration in 10 or 15 years, Chaput said he believed it was a manageable problem that had largely been inflamed "by fear and 9/11."

"I think we can manage it. My ancestors - I'm an American Indian - we can handle this; we're a big country," said Chaput, whose ancestry is French Canadian and Potowanamie Indian.

A questioner who asked what Mexican bishops were doing to improve conditions in Mexico got applause from the audience and a sharp response from Chaput.

"Bishops are encouraging the government not to be corrupt and to create jobs," Chaput said. "They're not encouraging people to leave and come here, and it's not sensible for you to think that they are."
My Comments:
"I think we can manage it. My ancestors - I'm an American Indian - we can handle this; we're a big country," said Chaput, whose ancestry is French Canadian and Potowanamie Indian.

Too bad Archbishop Chaput didn't respond: "My ancestors - I'm an American Indian - knew a little something about being overwhelmed by immigration. So, don't cry to me about how you're being 'overwhelmed by immigration'."

Monday, July 24, 2006

'Ally McBeal' Star to Play Conservative Pundit in New TV Series

The entertainment industry proves yet again that, when it comes to conservatives, they just don't get it:

NEW YORK ABC reportedly has huge hopes for a new series to air this fall called "Brothers & Sisters," which will follow the hit "Desperate Housewives" on the schedule. Calista Flockhart, best known as Ally McBeal, plays a conservative radio host turned TV pundit. Others in the high-powered cast include Patricia Wettig, Rachel Griffiths, Ron Rifkin and Sally Field.

Flockhart recently explained, "I really want to go back to work. It just seemed like the perfect time and the perfect project."

Asked to describe the pundit, producer Ken Olin (formerly a star of “Thirty Something’) said, "She's not Ann Coulter. She's not insane."

Writer Jon Robin Baitz added, "No, I think she's a thoughtful conservative. She's ideologically, in some respects, very much in mind with the older parts of the party, the sort of Eisenhower Republican, the William Buckley conservative. She's also a humanist.
My Comments:
"She's ideologically, in some respects, very much in mind with the older parts of the party, the sort of Eisenhower Republican, the William Buckley conservative."

That completely incongruous statement is proof positive that the idiots producing this show have absolutely NO CLUE about American conservatism.

Hollywood's version of a "thoughtful conservative" will no doubt be the "fiscal conservative/social libertarian" sort. And most definitely devoid of any whiff of traditional religious belief. She's sure to "grow" and aquire all sorts of liberal tendencies as the show progresses. No pun intended.

Recommendation: Even without seeing it, I can tell you to avoid this show like the plague.

Good News About St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Charlottesville, Virginia

The other day, Sarah and I received a letter (addressed to the "Parishioners and Friends of St Thomas") from the wonderful Dominican pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Charlottesville, Virginia. The letter contains some great news (those familiar with the architecture of St. Thomas Aquinas will surely be interested in this):
When our present parish church was built back in 1995, the pews were designed without kneelers, as was the "custom" in the Diocese of Richmond under Bishop Sullivan. Some of you who might remember the original parish church will recall that the building didn't have any fixed pews but merely folding chairs. As we planned the furnishing of the new Chapel of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in the Parish Center in 2004, I wanted to make sure that we obtained pews for the chapel that would have kneelers. We contracted with a local, Virginia, church furniture company for the construction and installation of the pews in the chapel. This same company has now agreed to retro-fit the pews in our church with sturdy, padded kneelers. We have already signed a contract with them and are hoping to have kneelers installed in church by the start of the new academic year, although the timing is not guaranteed.

(emphasis added)
Outstanding! No more bruised knees (not to mention sticking out like sore thumbs as part of only a handful of worshippers who are kneeling) whenever we're back visiting family in C'ville!

Anyone interested in contributing to the roughly $30,000 necessary to pay for the kneelers can make a check out to "St. Thomas Aquinas Parish" and put "Worship Account" in the memo line. Checks should be mailed to:
Fr. Brian Mulcahy, OP
St. Thomas Aquinas Church
401 Alderman Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
Sarah and I plan to make a small contribution.

I hope Father Brian doesn't object to my posting this. He certainly did not put me up to it, and I didn't ask his permission before doing so. Nevertheless, I wanted to give any readers of this blog with connections to St. Thomas Aquinas Parish the opportunity to consider making a donation.


More Hate from the "Peace-Loving" Left

A Nobel peace prize winner is against violence, except when it comes to her desire to "kill George Bush":
NOBEL peace laureate Betty Williams displayed a flash of her feisty Irish spirit yesterday, lashing out at US President George W.Bush during a speech to hundreds of schoolchildren.

Campaigning on the rights of young people at the Earth Dialogues forum, being held in Brisbane, Ms Williams spoke passionately about the deaths of innocent children during wartime, particularly in the Middle East, and lambasted Mr Bush.
"I have a very hard time with this word 'non-violence', because I don't believe that I am non-violent," said Ms Williams, 64.

"Right now, I would love to kill George Bush." Her young audience at the Brisbane City Hall clapped and cheered.

"I don't know how I ever got a Nobel Peace Prize, because when I see children die the anger in me is just beyond belief. It's our duty as human beings, whatever age we are, to become the protectors of human life."

Ms Williams was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 30 years ago, when she circulated a petition to end violence in Northern Ireland after witnessing British soldiers shoot dead an IRA member who was driving a car. He veered on to the footpath, killing two children from one family instantly and fatally injuring a third.

(emphasis added)
My Comments:
"It's our duty as human beings, whatever age we are, to become the protectors of human life."

This murderous cow must've missed that bit about Saddam gassing and killing a bunch of Kurdish children, and imprisoning other Iraqi children as young as toddlers. And let's not forget the little babies discovered in an Iraqi mass grave.

Rick Santorum: "The Great Test of This Generation"

Rick Santorum notes that "the great test of this generation" is "naming and defeating the enemy, Islamic fascism":
In 16 years Karen and I have been blessed with the privilege and responsibility of raising six children. Like most Americans we are more concerned about the future of our country. Now most of you would expect me to launch into my oft written speeches about culture, the family, and children.

Not today. No today the biggest issue facing our children’s future is a war. Not, as so many describe it, the War on Terror. Not the war in Iraq or Afghanistan. But the world war, which at its heart is just like the previous three global struggles.

In those wars we fought against European tyrants and their allies, from the Kaiser to Hitler to Lenin, Stalin, and their heirs. We fought them because we knew that our survival was at stake. The tyrants would never stop attacking until they had defeated us, or we had defeated them.

Our only choices – choices imposed on us, not chosen by us – were either winning or losing, because there was no way out.

We are in the same kind of conflict today. Some say we are fighting a War on Terror. That is like saying World War II was a war on blitzkrieg. Terror like blitzkrieg is a tactic used by our enemy, not the enemy itself.

In World War II we fought Naziism and Japanese imperialism. Today, we are fighting against Islamic fascists. They attacked us on September 11th because we are the greatest obstacle to their openly declared mission of subjecting the entire world to their fanatical rule.

I believe that the threat of Islamic fascism is just as menacing as the threat from Nazism and Soviet Communism. Now, as then, we face fanatics who will stop at nothing to dominate us. Now, as then, there is no way out; we will either win or lose.

(emphasis added)

John Kerry: If I Were President, This Wouldn't Have Happened

(Hat tip: The Cafeteria is Closed)

From The Detroit News:
U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D- Mass., who was in town Sunday to help Gov. Jennifer Granholm campaign for her re-election bid, took time to take a jab at the Bush administration for its lack of leadership in the Israeli-Lebanon conflict.

"If I was president, this wouldn't have happened," said Kerry during a noon stop at Honest John's bar and grill in Detroit's Cass Corridor.
My Comments:
From the same guy whose VP nominee claimed that if Kerry were elected President, Christopher Reeve would walk again.

Kerry appears to have a serious Messiah complex, with his claims of healing the lame and bringing peace to the Holy Land.

NOTE: Every time Al Gore and John Kerry open up their idiotic mouths, people are reminded of why they voted for George Bush.

This Day in Jacobite History: Mary Queen of Scots Deposed - 24 July 1567

From comes the story of how Catholic Mary Stuart was deposed by Scotland's Protestant "nobility" 439 years ago today:
July 24

1567 Mary Queen of Scots deposed

During her imprisonment at Lochleven Castle in Scotland, Mary Queen of Scots is forced to abdicate in favor of her one-year-old son, later crowned King James VI of Scotland.

In 1542, while just six days old, Mary ascended to the Scottish throne upon the death of her father, King James V. Her mother sent her to be raised in the French court, and in 1558 she married the French dauphin, who became King Francis II of France in 1559 but died the following year. After Francis' death, Mary returned to Scotland to assume her designated role as the country's monarch.

In 1565, she married her English cousin Lord Darnley in order to reinforce her claim of succession to the English throne after Elizabeth's death. In 1567, Darnley was mysteriously killed in an explosion at Kirk o' Field, and Mary's lover, the Earl of Bothwell, was the key suspect. Although Bothwell was acquitted of the charge, his marriage to Mary in the same year enraged the nobility, and Bothwell and Mary were imprisoned. Mary was held on the tiny island of Loch Leven, where she was forced to abdicate in favor of her son by Darnley, James.

In 1568, she escaped from captivity and raised a substantial army but was defeated and fled to England. Queen Elizabeth initially welcomed Mary but was soon forced to put her friend under house arrest after Mary became the focus of various English Catholic and Spanish plots to overthrow Elizabeth. Nineteen years later, in 1586, a major plot to murder Elizabeth was reported, and Mary was brought to trial. She was convicted for complicity and sentenced to death.

On February 8, 1587, Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded for treason. Her son, King James VI of Scotland, calmly accepted his mother's execution, and upon Queen Elizabeth's death in 1603 he became king of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
My Comments:
Although this event pre-dates the Jacobite period by roughly 100 years, it is nevertheless an important date regarding the Stuart monarchy, and is a precursor for what was to come later.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Senators Harkin, Specter inaccurately blast medieval pope during stem-cell debate; Schumer remarks also criticized (5 links)

From Catholic World News:
Jul. 21 -
  • Sen. Harkin inaccurately blasts medieval pope, Renaissance saint (Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights)

  • Sen. Specter also criticizes medieval pope (Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights)

  • National church leaders demand Schumer apology (National Clergy Council)

  • Catholic League criticizes Schumer remarks (Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights)

  • Columnist accepts at face value senators' inaccuracies about medieval pope (Houston Chronicle)
  • My Comments:
    Regardless of the historical inaccuracies involved, the REAL question is what the hell do the actions of medieval popes have to do with the decision of President Bush to veto a bill providing federal funding for embryonic stem cell research?

    The fact that 3 different Senators have dragged the medieval Church into this stem cell debate, coupled with the Associated Press' decision to run a completely unrelated photo of the President standing with prominent Catholic prelates in its coverage of the stem cell veto, smacks of a coordinated effort at "Catholic baiting", as the Catholic League refers to it.

    Actually, I'm surprised these politicians bothered going all the way back to the Middle Ages and Rennaissance to criticize the Church. How long before some politician drags the abuse scandal into the stem cell debate?

    I can hear it now: "Given its recent history, I'm not sure the Catholic Church is in a position to be lecturing the nation on the ethics and morality of stem cell research ..."

    George Weigel on Cardinal McCarrick

    (Hat tip: Catholic World News)

    George Weigel writes in The Tidings about Cardinal McCarrick's view of "moderation":
    In a series of talks and interviews surrounding the announcement of his retirement as archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick frequently told his favorite John Paul II story: the story of the Pope walking up the center aisle of the Newark cathedral in October 1995, touching people on both sides.

    This, Cardinal McCarrick suggested, was how priests and bishops ought to act --- sticking to the "middle," in order to be in touch with everyone. Or, as he told National Public Radio, "The job of a priest always forces you to the middle.… We've got to be in the middle so that we don't let those on the left or the right get lost."

    Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ of God or he isn't; Mohammed is the final Prophet or he isn't; you can't split the difference at the fifty-yard line. Is the "ancient dogmatic formula" which attests to "Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord" true? Or is it false?

    To stand in the center of the aisle and claim to be in communion of mind and heart with people who both affirm and deny that formula is to confess to severe intellectual confusion. Is a validly ordained priest necessary for the valid consecration of the Eucharist, or isn't he? It's hard to believe that Cardinal McCarrick would have wanted his archdiocesan vocation director to stand in the center of the aisle on that one.

    That priests and bishops must be able to minister to people across the spectrum of reasonable theological and political opinion goes, or should go, without saying. That priests and bishops can be true ministers of the Gospel by thinking and acting as if every question were a football field on which truth lies at the fifty-yard line is another matter entirely; see Revelation 3.16.

    My Comments:
    10 ... 9 ... 8 ... Just starting the countdown for how long it will take someone to come on here and take that "neo-con" George Weigel to task for daring to question a Cardinal of the Church ... 7 ... 6 ...

    Thursday, July 20, 2006

    Pope Backs G8 Statement Squarely Placing Blame for Current Mideast Crisis on Hezbollah and Hamas

    Publius at Res Publica et Cetera reports that the Holy Father has come out in support of the G8 statement on the current Middle East conflict.

    Publius also links to more commentary from Tom Haessler, who continues to impress with his level-headed assessments of the current crisis.

    Regular Guy Paul on Barack Obama: "Nice is Different Than Good"

    Please take the time to read Paul's post on the somewhat less sleazy of Illinois' 2 U.S. Senators, Barack Obama:
    In the musical, Into The Woods, Little Red Riding Hood sings of what she learned in her adventure with the wolf, who had been so nice to her initially, summing up her lesson with the words, "nice is different than good".

    In his column this morning, Paul Weyrich has some nice things to say about the nice Senator from Illinois ...

    Senator Obama, in one of the debates with his opponent during his last campaign, asserted that "no one is for abortion". I've asked here many times, but I would still like to know, the practical difference, in terms of voting records, of a politician like Obama who is "personally opposed, but", and a hypothetical "pro-abortion" politician. Given that Obama, while a state senator, three times opposed legislation that would have protected babies who had been born alive from being aborted anyway, I can't see that there would be much difference.

    Perhaps the Nice Senator from Illinois would like to change this. If so, he'll need to make sure his positions are informed by his faith, rather than the other way 'round. A good start would be to apply his prodigious intellect to thinking of a principle, accessible to all, on which to hang his claimed personal opposition to abortion. I can promise him, and you, that they exist.
    My Comments:
    Nice post, Paul.

    And should anyone want to continue to believe the fiction that the junior Senator from Illinois is "nice", they might want to read Jill Stanek's response to Barack Obamination's USAToday piece

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    The Democrats' Unreligious Fringe

    Finding God on the US Campaign Trail

    "Catholic" Senator Dick Dirtbag on Bush's Veto

    Was Mailed Mass Card a Veiled Threat? Federal Judge in Ohio Says Yes

    Amy Welborn reports again on "The Great Ohio Mass Card Controversy", and notes that the federal judge presiding over the criminal case has ruled that it was an attempt at intimidation:
    Michael Lewis tried to intimidate the former Bureau of Worker's Compensation administrator set to testify against him in a bribery trial by sending the official a Mass card, a federal judge said Wednesday.

    U.S. District Judge David Dowd said he could see no other reason why the 71-year-old broker would send Terry Gasper a notice that a Roman Catholic Mass had been arranged for him besides intimidation.

    "It's hard for me to view it as anything but some form of, 'We know where you live, we're thinking of you and you better be worried,' " Dowd said during at hearing at the U.S. District Courthouse in Akron.

    Lewis denied trying to intimidate Gasper. Lewis said he has sent at least 15 Mass cards to Gasper over the years.

    "Mr. Gasper is faced with a difficult period of time in his life," Lewis said. "As a Christian and a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, I'm told to pray for my enemies, quote, unquote."

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Was Mailed Mass Card a Veiled Threat?

    Trial Lawyers' Group Changes Its Name

    Because truth-in-advertising apparently doesn't apply to certain parasitic "trade groups":
    ( - A trial lawyers' trade group is removing the words "trial lawyers" from its name.

    The Association of Trial Lawyers of America, meeting in Seattle, voted to change its name to The American Association for Justice on Wednesday.

    That drew an immediate retort from a frequent critic of trial lawyers.

    The group should change its tactics instead of its name, said Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform.

    "Rickard called the name change "an astounding admission of the unpopularity of trial lawyers in America."

    My Comments:
    Was "Bloodsucking, Ambulance-Chasing Dirtbags and Liars Trying to Enrich Themselves Off the Misfortune and/or Stupidity of Others" unavailable?

    [Full disclosure to those who aren't already aware: I, myself, am a member of the legal profession]

    Next Time, I'll Support John Bolton, Voinovich Says

    From Cybercast News Service:
    ( - Sen. George Voinovich, the Ohio Republican who last year opposed President Bush's nomination of John Bolton to serve as U.S. ambassador to the U.N., now says he'll vote for Bolton when Bolton's recess appointment expires. Full Story
    My Comments:
    Will wonders never cease? First, Voinovich votes against federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, and now, he says he will support the re-nomination of John Bolton.

    I might just have to stop referring to him as George Whineandbitch.

    Wednesday, July 19, 2006

    "Catholic" Senator Dick Dirtbag on Bush's Veto

    This is what Sen. Dick Dirtbag of Illinois, easily the sleaziest member of the U.S. Senate (and that's saying a LOT, especially when one considers the senior swimmer from Massachusetts) had to say today in response to President Bush's veto of federal funding for embryonic stem cell research:
    "Those families who wake up every morning to face another day with a deadly disease or a disability will not forget this decision by the president to stand in the way of sound science and medical research," said Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.).
    This from the guy who, during the 2004 elections, came up with the infamous "scorecard" for Catholic Senators, which rated John Kerry as the "most Catholic" U.S. Senator, with Dick Dirtbag himself rated as the "2nd most Catholic".

    Dick Dirtbag may favor using tax dollars to kill little babies and be a proponent of same-sex "marriage", but hey, at least he voted for the Dorgan Joint Resolution regarding broadcast media ownership and the Kerry National Affordable Housing Trust Fund. That's got to count for something, right?

    Now, someone remind me again why this POS is still allowed to receive Communion in the Catholic Church.

    (Hat tip: Paul at Thoughts of a Regular Guy)

    On a side note, I'm happy to report that my 2 normally RINO Senators here in Ohio - Mike DeRino and George Whineandbitch - were among the Senators voting AGAINST the embryonic stem cell bill. A special thank you to the "distinguished gentlemen" from Ohio.

    More on the President's Veto - Photo Coverage

    This is a photo taken at today's press conference at which President Bush discussed his decision to veto a bill authorizing federal funding for embryonic stem cell research:

    By Mark Wilson, Getty Images

    This, however, is the photo (taken a couple of days ago) that the Associated Press decided to run with its story about the President's veto:

    (Hat tip: The Curt Jester)

    "These Boys and Girls Are NOT Spare Parts"

    God bless President George W. Bush:
    WASHINGTON – The "veto bubble" has finally burst. Five-and-a-half years into his presidency, George W. Bush has ended his record stretch of bill-signings as he rejected legislation Wednesday that would expand federal funding of human embryonic stem-cell research.

    Attempts in Congress to override the veto, which would require a two-thirds vote, were expected to fail.

    Analysts agree that President Bush's veto was risky but unavoidable. Since the issue of stem-cell research arose early in his presidency, when Mr. Bush approved federal funding of preexisting stem-cell lines, he has remained adamant that no federal monies be used on newer cell colonies. The president believes the killing of human embryos, from which stem cells are harvested, is murder, says press secretary Tony Snow.

    (emphasis added)

    More from FOXNews:
    WASHINGTON — President Bush vetoed the first bill of his five-and-a-half year administration Wednesday by rejecting a measure that would provide more federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research.

    "In this new era, our challenge is to harness the power of science to ease human suffering without sanctioning the practices that violate the dignity of human life," Bush said in the East Room of the White House after vetoing the measure.

    Bush announced his veto standing before 18 families with "snowflake babies," children born after frozen embryos that were not used were adopted by other couples.

    "These children
    [ED.: Actually, he said "boys and girls"] are not spare parts," Bush said after several interruptions of applause from supporters. "They remind us of what is lost when embryos are destroyed in the name of research."


    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    “Mr. President: Veto This Bill”

    What a Bush Veto Would Mean for Stem Cells

    Rove: Bush Will Veto Embryonic Stem Cell Bill

    New Poll: Americans Continue To Oppose Funding Stem Cell Research That Destroys Human Embryos

    Missouri Senator's Stem Cell Switch Imperils Re-Election

    Biotechnology Industry Leader Says Cord Cells No Stand-In For Embryonic

    Pro-Life Conservatives Should Prepare For Another Bush Sell-Out - This Time On Stem Cells

    In Heartland, Stem Cell Research Meets Fierce Opposition

    Specter Seeks Veto-Proof Stem Cell Margin

    Catholic League: Frist is Worse Than Kerry on Embryonic Stem Cell Research

    Cardinal Keeler Criticizes Senate Majority Leader Frist’s Statement On Embryonic Stem-Cell Research

    Frist to Back Embryonic Stem Cell Research

    Jeb Bush Opposes Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research

    Four in 10 Republicans Would Not Find McCain an "Acceptable" Nominee

    From Gallup News Service:
    PRINCETON, NJ -- A recent Gallup Panel poll asked Republicans and Democrats whether they would find each of several possible contenders for their party's 2008 presidential nomination to be "acceptable" nominees. Unlike other nomination ballot questions that measure respondents' first choice from among a list of possible candidates, this question paints a broader picture of the level of potential support and opposition for each candidate.

    Rudy Giuliani and Sen. John McCain typically vie for the lead in Republican preference polls, but a greater percentage of Republicans say they would find Giuliani acceptable than say this about McCain (73% to 55%). Four in 10 Republicans say they would not find McCain to be an acceptable GOP presidential nominee. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is also widely considered by Republicans to be an acceptable nominee.

    What is most notable in the Republican data is the substantial proportion of party supporters (41%) who would consider McCain an unacceptable nominee for their party. In polls measuring nomination preference, McCain usually places first or second to Giuliani. In early June, the last time Gallup measured nomination preferences, 28% of Republicans said they were most likely to support Giuliani and 24% McCain for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.

    My Comments:
    Not surprised that so many Republicans find McCain to be an arsehole. I, myself, consider him to be an unacceptable nominee.

    What is distressing to me is that 3/4 of Republicans find the pro-abort, pro-gay, anti-gun, cross-dressing, thin-skinned, cheating-divorced-and-remarried "Catholic" Rudy Giuliani to be the most "acceptable" choice as the Republican presidential nominee.

    I suppose it's a measure of how important the GOP views a strong foreign policy, the assumption being that the tough-as-nails former NYC Mayor will be a strong anti-terror President.

    Nevertheless, I believe it will be almost impossible for us to sustain and win the terror war abroad if we lose the culture war at home.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    McCain's Out-of-Control Anger: Does He Have the Temperament to Be President?

    McCain Swallows Pride to Persuade Christian Right to Back White House Run

    Pro-Abort/Pro-Gay Republican Tops Pro-Abort/Pro-Gay Democrat In Presidential Poll - Who Cares?

    Pat Robertson Says Giuliani Would Be "Good President"

    Culture of Death on the March in the U.S. Congress

    First, on the Senate side:
    Senate Approves Embryonic Stem Cell Research Bill

    ( -
    The Senate Tuesday approved the expansion of federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. The vote was 63-37, four votes shy of the two-thirds majority needed to override a presidential veto. Full Story
    And then on the House side:
    House Rejects Marriage Amendment

    ( -
    The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday rejected a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage because it did not have enough support from Democrats to get a two-thirds vote. Full Story

    Evolution Debate Rekindled in Ohio

    From Cybercast News Service:
    ( - Conservatives on Ohio's Board of Education are battling to reopen the debate over the teaching of the theory of evolution in the state's public schools. Their goal is to force curriculum changes that would also allow discussion of the intelligent design theory.

    The Ohio Board of Education has already reversed itself on the issue once.

    Intelligent design advances the theory that certain aspects of life and the universe originate from an "intelligent cause" and are not related to "natural selection" or survival of the fittest. Critics of the theory include the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, which reported in 1999 that Creationism, intelligent design, and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life or of species are not science because they are not testable by the methods of science."

    However, during the Ohio Board of Education's Achievement Committee meeting on July 10, conservative board member Colleen Grady proposed that the state's science standards be applied to teaching issues such as evolution, global warming and cloning.

    "We would provide a template so schools would be comfortable discussing controversial issues," Grady said, according to the Columbus Dispatch. She said the idea is meant to be "a tool that teaches how to have conversations on topics with widely divergent opinions ... in a positive manner."

    According to Ohio's current academic standards for the 10th grade, students should be able to "describe that scientists may disagree about explanations of phenomena, about interpretation of data or about the value of rival theories, but they do agree that questioning, response to criticism and open communication are integral to the process of science."

    In 2004 the Ohio Board of Education adopted a lesson plan on the "Critical Analysis of Evolution," which intended for students to "describe how scientists continue to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory." The lesson plan noted, however, that its intent was not to "mandate the teaching or testing of intelligent design."

    In January 2006 the board voted 9-8 against a proposal to remove the lesson plan. A month later, however, the board voted 11-4 for its removal, dealing a blow to conservatives who supported the 2004 lesson plan.

    Americans United for the Separation of Church and State (AU), which filed a public records request last week related to Grady's proposal, has concerns about its intent.

    "What we want to learn right now is exactly what the board's trying to do," Robert Boston, assistant director of communications at AU, told Cybercast News Service. "If this is yet another attempt to introduce intelligent design into state science standards, obviously we're very concerned about that and we will fight that."

    Incorporating intelligent design into state standards would be unconstitutional, Boston said.

    "What the citizens of Ohio need to understand is that we have one federal court ruling already declaring that intelligent design isn't science, that it is in fact a religious concept," he said. "Therefore any attempt to introduce it into the standards is going to be not only controversial but quite possibly unconstitutional."


    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Ohio's State School Board Eliminates Critical Thinking from Science Curriculum

    hit counter for blogger