Thursday, November 29, 2007

Digest of Today's Posts (29 November 2007)

  • Henry Hyde - Tireless Defender of the Unborn, RIP

  • Candidates Split on Pro-Same-Sex "Marriage" Book for 2nd Graders

  • Christmas Censors Out in Force, Says Catholic League

  • CLCB's™ Vice President Takes on Catholic Bishops in Venezuela (4 articles)

  • Tertium Quid on Michael Gerson's New Book Heroic Conservatism

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (28 November 2007))


    Henry Hyde - Tireless Defender of the Unborn, RIP

    Rep. Henry Hyde, a Catholic from Illinois who recently received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his tireless work in Congress to protect the unborn, has passed away.

    Requiscat in pace.

    (Hat tip: Alexham at Vox Nova)

    National Review's editorial on Rep. Hyde's passing: "The Honorable Mr. Hyde":
    ... He will be most remembered for the Hyde Amendment. First passed in 1976, when Hyde was new to Washington, it bans the public funding of abortions though Medicaid. The year before it passed, the federal government had financed 300,000 abortions for low-income women. Afterward, this number dropped essentially to zero — the women either found another way to pay for their abortions or chose life for their unborn children. The National Right to Life Committee has estimated, conservatively, that the Hyde Amendment has prevented at least one million abortions. That’s one million Americans who are alive today because of Henry Hyde.

    The Hyde Amendment has proven remarkably durable, undergoing only one important revision. In 1993, Congress added rape and incest exceptions to the life-of-the-mother clause that had been in place from the start. It is without question the most important piece of pro-life legislation ever to pass Congress...

    UPDATE # 2
    More from National Review on Rep. Hyde's passing, this time from David Freddoso writing at The Corner:
    Hyde at Notre Dame
    Everyone remembers the famous
    [ED.: rather, infamous] Mario Cuomo speech at Notre Dame, in which he urged Catholics to keep right and wrong to themselves when it comes to abortion. But how many people remember that shortly after his speech, conservatives at Notre Dame invited Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) to speak on the topic of religion in public life?

    The Associated Press covered his speech on September 24, 1984, as true today as it ever was ...


    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Henry Hyde Awarded Medal of Freedom

    Henry Hyde to Get Presidential Medal of Freedom for Opposing Abortion

    Hyde and Scalia, Catholics With Consequences

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    Candidates Split on Pro-Same-Sex "Marriage" Book for 2nd Graders

    From Cybercast News Service:
    ( - Presidential candidates are split on whether a controversial children's book that promotes or endorses same-sex marriage should be read to second graders.

    Republican hopefuls Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney don't think the book, entitled "King and King," should be read to children, but Democrats John Edwards, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton give it a qualified "thumbs up."

    The book is a story for young children about a prince who, instead of marrying a princess, decides to marry her brother instead. Cybercast News Service posed a question to all the major presidential candidates: "Should teachers read the book to second graders as part of the school curriculum? Would you read it -- or have read it -- to your own children?"

    "The answer is no," Thompson's chief campaign spokesman told Cybercast News Service. "He's very clear. There is no wishy-washiness."

    Romney is also opposed.

    "This is a subject that should be left to parents, not public school teachers," the former Massachusetts governor said in a statement. "We need to strengthen our families by passing a federal marriage amendment and also insisting on marriage before having children."

    But Edwards, Obama, and Clinton endorsed the book for second graders when they were asked about it in September during the Democratic debate in New Hampshire.

    "Yes, absolutely," Edwards said. "What I want ... is my children to understand everything about the difficulties that gay and lesbian couples are faced with every day; the discrimination that they're faced with every single day of their lives."

    Edwards said he "didn't want to impose" his views on his 9-year-old and 7-year-old.

    "Nobody made me God," said the former North Carolina senator. "I want my children to be able to make that decision on behalf of themselves, and I want them to be exposed to all the information, even in - did you say second grade? Second grade might be a little tough, but even in second grade."

    Obama, a Democratic senator from Illinois, said he and his wife have already talked to their 9-year-old and 6-year-old about same-sex marriage.

    My Comments:
    "Edwards said he 'didn't want to impose' his views on his 9-year-old and 7-year-old."

    "Obama, a Democratic senator from Illinois, said he and his wife have already talked to their ... 6-year-old about same-sex marriage."

    I don't even know where to begin.

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    Christmas Censors Out in Force, Says Catholic League

    From Cybercast News Service:
    ( - Upset that local governments are trying to "censor" Christmas, the Catholic League said there is an unfounded fear that Christian symbols, such as a nativity scene, will offend people with other religious beliefs.

    "We haven't hit December yet and already the politically correct police are out in force trying to censor Christmas," said Bill Donahue, president of the Catholic League, in a statement. "The multicultural monsters are rearing their ugly heads once again, showing what they really mean by tolerance for diversity."

    "A lot of it is fear, and it's really unfounded fear," Kiera McCaffrey, director of communications for the Catholic League, told Cybercast News Service. "The idea that a non-Christian is going to be wildly offended by seeing a creche or by people actually acknowledging Christmas, you know it's really insulting to non-Christians. It's assuming a bigotry on their part, where we don't see one exists.

    "Christians who pass menorahs don't go into fits, just as most Jews who pass creches aren't troubled," she said. "But there is the idea by these diversity denizens that we have to water everything down so as not to trouble anybody."

    Making their list of grievances - most of which prohibit nativity scenes on public property - is Chattanooga, Tenn., which has banned a live nativity scene from its public festivities.

    But Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, told Cybercast News Service that the Catholic League's claims are "absolutely silly."

    The Catholic League blames the Freedom from Religion Foundation for blocking an effort to rename the Wisconsin state capitol "holiday tree" the "Christmas tree."

    "There is no 'war on Christmas,' but I think it's always in season to assault the separation of church and state today in our country," Gaylor said. "There is a war against the idea that government should be neutral about religion - even in December. Somehow the government is supposed to believe that it is an arm of Christianity in December."



    CLCB's™ Vice President Takes on Catholic Bishops in Venezuela (4 articles)

    From Catholic World News:
    Nov. 29, 2007 -

  • Monsignor Luckert: Chavez is pursuing electoral triumph at any cost (El Universal)

  • Venezuelan vice president takes on Catholic bishops (El Universal)

  • Venezuelan bishops: Constitutional reform is ‘morally unacceptable’ (El Universal)

  • The youth of Venezuela rise up (Christian Science Monitor)

  • Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Venezuelan Religious Orders Oppose CLCB™ on Constitutional Changes

    CLCB™ Equates Himself With Jesus

    Castro-Loving Commie Bastard's™ New Fellow Travelers

    Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ "Ashamed" of "Morally Unacceptable" Catholic Bishops

    Monument to Che Guevara, Erected by Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ Hugo Chávez, Destroyed

    HUGO’S EGO - Chávez Steps Up His Attacks on Venezuela’s Catholics

    Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ Makes Himself "President for Life"

    Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ Replaces Statue of Virgin Mary with Bust of Che Guevara

    What I Got at the Revolution

    Hollywood's Love Affair with Commie Thug Dicatators Continues

    Venezuelan Cardinal Tells Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™: "Your Way Has Been Tried and Found Wanting"

    Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ to "Build Heaven Here on Earth"

    Going Off On Citgo

    Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ Pounds Shoe on Podium at U.N.

    Venezuela's [Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™] Chávez Urges Pope to be More Careful With His Words

    Venezuela, Syria Join Forces Against "American Imperialism"

    Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ Hugo Chávez Says Israel's Action in Lebanon "Worse" Than Hitler

    Israel's Critics Hail Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ Hugo Chávez

    Pro-US Candidate Wins Landslide in Colombia

    Saint Hugo - the Religious Left Begins its Embrace of [Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™] Hugo Chávez

    Pope Tells Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ to Get With the Program

    Robertson's Remarks On Chavez Shock Baptists

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    Tertium Quid on Michael Gerson's New Book Heroic Conservatism

    Tertium Quid writes at From Burke to Kirk and Beyond regarding former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson's new book:
    "Heroic Conservatism ... is neither heroic nor conservative."

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    Wednesday, November 28, 2007

    Digest of Today's Posts (28 November 2007)

  • Vox Nova on "Racism in America"

  • First Things on "Abortion Politics 2008"

  • Primary Voters in Virginia Must Sign Loyalty Oaths

  • Santa Train Takes Kids to Victoria's Secret Store

  • County Investigates Sheriff for Supporting Christmas

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (27 November 2007))


    Vox Nova on "Racism in America"

    An interesting discussion on racism in America is taking place at this post by Morning's Minion.

    You will probably not be surprised to learn that racism in this country is exclusively a sin of the right and of unreconstructed Southerners. Just ponder the assumptions inherent in one commenter's remarks here and here:

    (1) Conservatives are presumed to be racists; and

    (2) Any effort by conservatives to point out that there are those on the left also guilty of racism, both overt and subtle, is deemed to be "projection".

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    First Things on "Abortion Politics 2008"

    Hadley Arkes writes in the December 2007 issue of First Things:
    ... But there is in his campaign a sobering truth that cannot be evaded: The nomination and election of Rudy Giuliani would mark the end of the Republican party as the pro-life party in our politics. And that would be the case regardless of whether pro-lifers respond to his nomination by refusing to vote for Giuliani, forming a third party, or folding themselves into a coalition that succeeds in electing Giuliani.

    I often meet, here in the East, conservatives of an old stripe: eager to vote for a Republican but repelled by what they have seen as a party in which the religious and the pro-lifers have a marked leverage. Are there enough of these voters to convert, say, New Jersey and Connecticut into Red States? There might be if the old-line conservatives see a massive defection from the party on the part of the pro-lifers. For that will be a sign that the party is becoming habitable again for people like themselves, who may come to define again its ­character.

    What is engaged here is a truth about the nature of political parties that has gone remarkably unappreciated: Parties have the means of changing their own constituencies or their composition. By altering their appeals, they drive some groups out and bring others in. If a Republican party, reconstituted in this way, manages to win, the Republican establishment will readily draw the lesson that they can win convincingly without pro-lifers and their bundle of causes: the destruction of embryos in research, assisted suicide, the resistance to same-sex marriage. Indeed, a Republican party shorn of those people and their baggage may seem to offer a stronger, more durable majority than the party that eked out victories by narrow margins in 2000 and 2004.

    Pro-life voters may subordinate their concerns and join the new coalition, but the lesson extracted will be the same: “The Republican party can win when the pro-life issue is thrust from the center to the periphery of the party’s concerns. Even the pro-lifers do not see themselves as one-issue voters; they will give primacy to other concerns as the crises before us make other issues indeed more urgent. They will content themselves with symbolic gestures or modest measures rationed out to them. For they know that, when their interest collides with others, the party will have to subordinate their concerns to nearly anything that seems more pressing.” And, for all practical purposes, nearly any interest will trump the interests of the pro-life community.

    For years now, the pro-life movement has followed a strategy of moving in incremental steps, unfolding a plan of principle with, to borrow a phrase from Lincoln, the object being to put abortion “in the course of ultimate extinction.” But a successful candidacy by Giuliani would subtly put in place a scheme whose tendency and object would be to put the pro-life movement itself on the course of ultimate extinction.

    It is conceivable, then, that from the standpoint of the pro-lifers it might be better to lose to Hillary Clinton than to win with Rudy Giuliani. The Republican party left standing after the defeat would still be a pro-life party. In the film Ninotchka, Greta Garbo explains to people in Paris the Stalinist purges back home: “We will have fewer but better Russians.” The Republicans might be diminished, but they would be essentially intact as a pro-life party; and, when the electoral winds shift again, they have a chance of coming back with their character intact...

    [Definitely read the whole thing]
    (emphasis added)

    My Comments:
    This is the same thing folks like Regular Guy Paul and myself, among others, have been saying for months now. It is exactly the reason that I will not vote for Giuliani under any circumstances - even should he face Hillary Clinton in the general election.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Rich Leonardi on the "Pro-Lifer's Dilemma"

    Fr. Pavone, Senator Brownback and Rudy Giuliani

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    Primary Voters in Virginia Must Sign Loyalty Oaths

    From The Roanoke Times:
    The Republican Party of Virginia has no interest in thoughtful voters. It only wants mindless party loyalists who will vote Republican no matter what.

    That's the sad message of a new GOP policy for next year's presidential primary approved by the State Board of Elections this week. People who want to vote in it must sign a loyalty oath swearing their intent to vote in November for the party's nominee, whomever that winds up being.

    The oath precludes such careful analysis and leaves Republicans three options:

  • Lie. Virginia's ballots are still secret; no one will know if you vote against the party nominee.

  • Stay home from the Feb. 12 election and keep your options open.

  • Commit to an unknown Republican candidate nine months before the election.

  • Honorable Virginians do not give their word lightly and will not lie, even under these obtuse circumstances. We hope, too, that they put candidates' ideas, character and experience ahead of party affiliation.

    Honest, responsible voters therefore can only skip the primary.

    That, obviously, was not the goal of the Republican loyalty oath. The oath is an outgrowth of Virginia's open primaries and a two-party system that prizes power over all else.

    Democrats are susceptible to such electoral foolishness, too. In Roanoke, Democrats who want to help pick the party's city council candidates must vow to support the party's nominees.

    My Comments:
    If I still lived in the Commonwealth of Virginia, this sort of thing would keep me from voting in the primaries.

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    Santa Train Takes Kids to Victoria's Secret Store

    Toddler attraction features lingerie display:
    The kids' Santa train at the White Flint shopping mall in Bethesda, Md., is giving the tots an eyeful, taking them past a [Victoria's Secret] storefront display of "SEXY" lingerie, according to a consumer who complained to the shopping plaza's owners.

    My Comments:
    This reminds me of something that happened when we were visiting my folks in Texas last year over the Thanksgiving holiday. We took the kids to NorthPark Mall in Dallas to visit Santa (NorthPark is where my mother used to take me to visit Santa when I was a kid, and I always loved the mall's Christmas displays and decorations, so I wanted my kids to experience the same thing while we were in town).

    When we got to the mall, my boys Jamie and Aidan started sprinting ahead of us toward where Santa was located. As they passed the Victoria's Secret store, Aidan - who was a little over a month short of his 3rd birthday at the time - came to a dead stop and stared at the window display (then-4-year-old Jamie was oblivious and kept running).

    Obviously, the mall train in the linked story should take a different route, and we'll be more careful about which mall entrance we use the next time we take the kids to see Santa.

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    County Investigates Sheriff for Supporting Christmas

    (Hat tip:

    It's that time of year again:
    A county sheriff who had publicly expressed frustration with "politically correct" antagonism from secular America toward the religious foundations of Christmas now is under investigation for his thoughts, according to a county commissioner.

    Larimer, Colo., County Sheriff Jim Alderden's opinions were expressed in his "Bulls-Eye" website column recently. He had been prompted to write after watching the ongoing dispute in the city of Fort Collins, where a task force recommended white lights, as well as neutral and non-religious decorations such as snowflakes, snowmen, snowballs, ice skates, skis, penguins and polar bears for this time of year.

    "Penguins? This is dangerous territory. What about those of us who were traumatized by Danny DeVito's performance as Oswald Cobblepot in 'Batman Returns?' Skis? What about the poor who can't afford to go skiing? How elitist and insensitive!" he wrote.

    "The fact that we are even engaged in a discourse of whether Christmas trees and Christian symbols of faith should be allowed on city property is absurd. When one is sliding down a slippery slope, there comes a time to dig in your heels, grab the nearest branch, and hold on for dear life. Our country, and sadly our own community, has reached that point where people of faith and good conscience can no longer stand silently while a belligerent minority usurps our heritage and dictates how and where we express our religious freedoms. It is time to make a statement – to grab that branch, in this case a pine bough," he said.


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    Tuesday, November 27, 2007

    Digest of Today's Posts (27 November 2007)

  • National Catholic Register: "Religious" Democrat Barack Obama Sticks to the Abortion Line

  • Leftists Being Leftists (i.e. Anti-Religion)

  • Ohio Governor Urged to Reconsider Decision to Reject Abstinence Funding

  • Venezuelan Religious Orders Oppose CLCB™ on Constitutional Changes

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (26 November 2007))


    National Catholic Register: "Religious" Democrat Barack Obama Sticks to the Abortion Line

    From the December 2-8, 2007 issue of National Catholic Register:
    WASHINGTON — Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., continues to court religious audiences in Iowa in his quest to surpass Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., as the Democratic nominee in the presidential primaries.

    Obama reaches out to religious voters with compelling speeches about the need to move forward and abandon politics of division.

    Recently in Iowa, where candidates are busy trying to win over voters ahead of the Jan. 3 caucuses, Obama, 46, suggested that it was important to find common ground on the abortion issue, as he answered a question posed by a voter.

    “I don’t think you’re ever going to get a complete agreement on this issue,” he said. “If you believe that life begins at conception, then I can’t change your mind. I think there is a large agreement, for example, that late-term abortions are really problematic and there should be a regulation. And it should only happen in terms of the mother’s life or severe health consequences, so I think there is broad agreement on these issues.”

    Political activists say, however, that Obama’s record does not demonstrate any policy switch to compromise on the important issues.

    “All you have to do is look at his record, as thin as it is, and get a hint,” said Connie Mackey from Family Research Council Action. “You would be very naive to think that he wouldn’t be a lock for pro-abortion advocates.”

    In spite of his rhetorical subtleties, Obama’s record in the U.S. Senate and the Illinois Senate is markedly pro-abortion in nature.

    In April, after the Supreme Court upheld the Congressional ban on partial-birth abortions passed in 2003, Obama came out strongly against the decision, stating that the ruling “dramatically departs from previous precedents safeguarding the health of pregnant women.”

    “I am extremely concerned that this ruling will embolden state legislatures to enact further measures to restrict a woman’s right to choose,” Obama added, “and that the conservative Supreme Court justices will look for other opportunities to erode Roe v. Wade, which is established federal law and a matter of equal rights for women.”

    In July, while speaking to a Planned Parenthood convention in Washington, D.C., Obama reiterated his opposition to the ban and the Supreme Court that upheld it.

    “We know that five men don’t know better than women and their doctors what’s best for women’s health,’’ he said. Planned Parenthood Action Fund Inc. contributed heavily to Obama’s Senate campaign in Illinois and donated about $1,800 to his presidential campaign the day of his speech.

    Pro-abortion legislators responded by introducing the Freedom of Choice Act, a few weeks after the contentious ruling. If passed, the bill would invalidate federal, state or local laws that deny or interfere with a woman’s access to abortion. Obama joined Hillary Clinton as a co-sponsor of the measure.

    “In terms of public visibility I can not detect a difference between Clinton and Obama’s position,” said Bill Beckman of Illinois Right to Life, about Obama’s abortion views. He added that the two candidates “were pretty much identical.”

    Beckman also noted that as an Illinois legislator, Obama voted against the Induced Infant Liability Act, which would have protected babies that survived late-term abortions, a position that NARAL conceded to pro-life activists on the federal level.

    “Obama has been solidly pro-abortion since the beginning,” Beckman added.

    (emphasis added)

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Litmus Test: Democrat Candidates Demand Pro-Abortion Supreme Court Justices

    Democrats Play at Being All Religious and Stuff

    Obama, Clinton Slam Supreme Court on Abortion Ruling

    Democratic Candidates for President Give Unanimous Pro-Abortion Views

    During First Debate, Democrats Back Abortion, Criticize Efforts to Save Terri Schiavo

    Reaction to Court’s Abortion Ruling Falls Along Predictable Party Lines

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

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    Leftists Being Leftists (i.e. Anti-Religion)

    From Reuters:
    MEXICO CITY, Nov 24 (Reuters) - The Mexican capital's cathedral, a 400-year-old Roman Catholic bastion, reopened on Saturday under police surveillance almost a week after it shut its doors following a rowdy leftist protest during a Mass.

    A mob angry at the church bells tolling during a rally outside burst into the cathedral last Sunday, tearing down railings and overturning pews.

    It was the first time the cathedral had shut since the start of the "Cristero" war in the 1920s, in which Catholics fought federal authorities over an anti-clerical campaign by the government after the Mexican Revolution.

    Tensions have risen between Church leaders and the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, since the party narrowly lost last year's presidential election to the conservative National Action Party, which is seen as close to the Catholic Church.

    The Church also has sparred with the PRD over recent laws in Mexico City to legalize abortion and gay civil unions. Mexico's top churchman, Cardinal Norberto Rivera, said last month he had received death threats from members of the party.

    (emphasis added)
    My Comments:
    Proving Regular Guy Paul to be right yet again.

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    Ohio Governor Urged to Reconsider Decision to Reject Abstinence Funding

    From CitizenLink:
    The National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA) is launching a campaign in Ohio to encourage Gov. Ted Strickland to reconsider his rejection of federal abstinence-education funds.

    Abstinence education is taught in all but two counties in Ohio, serving nearly 100,000 students. The program has served as a model for other states.

    “This is a very significant move that the governor has made,” said Valerie Huber, executive director of the NAEA, “We want to send a very strong message to the governor that not only is this unacceptable, but, more importantly, he is taking away the best health message for youth across the state.”

    A press conference Thursday will kick off the campaign, and the NAEA is urging people to show support.

    “We want to have at least 500 people turn out,” Huber said, so the governor “receives a very clear message from Ohioans regarding this issue.”

    The campaign will ask people to call the governor’s office daily to ask him to change his mind.

    Attend the NAEA press conference at 10 a.m. EST Thursday at the Ohio Statehouse atrium.

    Visit the NAEA Web site for campaign updates.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Ohio Governor Strickland Axes Abstinence Program

    Because, You Know, When it Comes to the Pro-Life Issue at the State Level, It Doesn't Really Matter Which Party Gets Elected

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    Venezuelan Religious Orders Oppose CLCB™ on Constitutional Changes

    From Catholic World News:

    Caracas, Nov. 26, 2007 ( - The Venezuelan Conference of Men and Women Religious has announced its opposition to a December 2 referendum on 69 constitutional changes proposed by President Hugo Chavez.

    The Conference stated, “We have not been given enough time to review the proposed constitutional changes.” The Evangelical Protestant Forum of Venezuela has also announced its opposition to the December 2 referendum, describing it as “morally unacceptable."

    Chavez has pressed for approval of the constitutional changes, which would increase the power of his presidency. He has been consistently opposed by the country's Catholic bishops.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    CLCB™ Equates Himself With Jesus

    Castro-Loving Commie Bastard's™ New Fellow Travelers

    Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ "Ashamed" of "Morally Unacceptable" Catholic Bishops

    Monument to Che Guevara, Erected by Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ Hugo Chávez, Destroyed

    HUGO’S EGO - Chávez Steps Up His Attacks on Venezuela’s Catholics

    Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ Makes Himself "President for Life"

    Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ Replaces Statue of Virgin Mary with Bust of Che Guevara

    What I Got at the Revolution

    Hollywood's Love Affair with Commie Thug Dicatators Continues

    Venezuelan Cardinal Tells Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™: "Your Way Has Been Tried and Found Wanting"

    Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ to "Build Heaven Here on Earth"

    Going Off On Citgo

    Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ Pounds Shoe on Podium at U.N.

    Venezuela's [Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™] Chávez Urges Pope to be More Careful With His Words

    Venezuela, Syria Join Forces Against "American Imperialism"

    Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ Hugo Chávez Says Israel's Action in Lebanon "Worse" Than Hitler

    Israel's Critics Hail Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ Hugo Chávez

    Pro-US Candidate Wins Landslide in Colombia

    Saint Hugo - the Religious Left Begins its Embrace of [Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™] Hugo Chávez

    Pope Tells Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ to Get With the Program

    Robertson's Remarks On Chavez Shock Baptists

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    Monday, November 26, 2007

    Digest of Today's Posts (26 November 2007)

  • College Football is the Greatest Game on Earth, and How I'd Make It Better

  • Global Alarming Update: Focus on So-Called "Carbon Footprint" Anti-Family

  • Bob Novak on Huckabee: "The False Conservative"

  • Ron Paul's Appeal to Conservative/Orthodox Catholics
  • Labels:

    College Football is the Greatest Game on Earth, and How I'd Make It Better

    This past Thanksgiving weekend, I watched the best college football game I've seen all year (and perhaps in the last 5 years): unranked Arkansas' 3-overtime upset victory over #1 ranked LSU by a score of 50-48.

    The result of the game's outcome is that, barring some major shake-up in the last week of the season, LSU is now probably eliminated from BCS Title contention, and Ohio State - whose loss to Illinois 2 weeks ago had seemingly eliminated the Buckeyes from contention and whose regular season ended last week with a victory over arch-rival Michigan - is now back within striking distance of going to the title game. The greatest thing about Division 1-A college football (other than the tradition and pageantry) is that EVERY week counts, and that has been especially true in this unpredictable 2007 season.

    But the game could be better. And, in my opinion, the ONLY way the game could be better is by embracing its traditions. So, in that spirit, if I were "King of College Football" and had plenary power to improve the game by the force of my own fiat, this is what I would do:

  • Declare for all eternity and in perpetuity that there will NEVER EVER - under ANY circumstances - be a playoff in Division 1-A college football. A playoff would cheapen the regular season and the excitement of every game counting in the National Title chase. A playoff would NOT eliminate the controversy because "deserving" teams would still be excluded from a playoff. And besides, major college football has NEVER had a playoff - it is not part of the game's tradition (the preservation of which, to me, is the highest priority) - and yet the game is still the greatest sporting spectacle on earth. Don't bother trying to convince me otherwise regarding a playoff: I've already given it a great deal of thought, and I'm not changing my mind. A playoff would be bad news for Division 1-A college football.

  • Get rid of the BCS System. The biggest issue I have with the BCS System and its "Title Game" is that it cheapens the other Bowl games, while giving only a veneer of "finality" to the choosing of a National Champion. Before the BCS System was put into place, ALL of the major Bowl games counted for something and were worth watching because a loss by a top-ranked team in one game, meant the field was wide-open for a team playing in another game. Currently, the other Bowl games serve as nothing more than an undercard for the "main event" of the BCS Title Game. And the whole purpose of creating the BCS was to eliminate or at least cut down on the controversy surrounding choosing a National Champion. That really hasn't happened and, in fact, because of its veneer of crowning a champion with finality, the BCS Championship has arguably increased the level of controversy.

  • Bring back the traditional Bowl alignments (regardless of the respective rankings of the teams playing one another). As my above bulletpoint indicates, I'm a fan of the old Bowl system. I want to see that brought back. I want to see a revitalization of the old interconference matchups that the Bowls provided, as well as games that mean something in the race for the National Championship. If it were up to me, there would be 5 major bowls (there used to be 4) that would break down as follows: (1) Rose Bowl (matching up Big 10 champ vs. Pac-10 champ); (2) Orange Bowl (matching up ACC champ vs. Big East champ); (3) Sugar Bowl (matching up SEC Champ vs. at-large bid); (4) Cotton Bowl (matching up Big 12 champ vs. at-large bid); (5) Fiesta Bowl (matching up 2 at-large bids).

  • No Bowl game will be played after New Years Day. Just like in the old days, by the end of the day on New Years Day, the picture should be settled. No more Bowl games stretching 2 or 3 days past New Years, and certainly not played a week later as the BCS Title Game is currently. One of the best things about New Years Day in years past was watching all of the major Bowl games all day long.

  • Eliminate conference championship games and force teams to play EVERY team in their own conference. Enough said. You should have to play ALL of the teams in your own conference. Period. If your conference has 11 or 12 teams - oh well. That just means you won't be able to pad your wins with a non-conference schedule that includes Louisiana-Monroe or Youngstown State.

  • Eliminate TV network contracts with individual conferences and/or universities (see, e.g., CBS and the SEC, NBC and Notre Dame).The sort of network homerism we see in favor of the SEC and Our Lady's University is downright unbecoming. CBS, the network that televises the SEC has even gone so far as to regularly bash the quality of play in other conferences in order to build up the SEC in the minds of viewers as some sort of "super-conference". And no more Big 10 Network, which isn't even viewable by the majority of people in the Midwest - fortunately, I have DIRECTV and could view all the games, but several Ohio State games were not seen by the vast majority of Buckeye fans in this area because they were televised on a cable channel that most cable providers do not carry.

  • After the 3rd overtime, just call it a tie. Sometimes, both teams play so well and are so evenly matched that it really is a shame for one of the teams to go home a loser.

  • Well that's my 2 cents. That's how I'd improve Division 1-A college football, mostly by going back to those things that made the game great to begin with.

    UPDATE (27 November 2007)
    Let me make it clear (if the rest of this post has not already done so) that I find crowning a definitive "National Champion" much lower on the scale of priorities than I do maintaining the traditions of college football. I believe it is the tradition and focus on winning the game at hand that contributes to the overall quality and integrity of the game. The focus on "crowning a National Champion" diminishes the focus on beating your rivals and the importance of winning your conference - which are the things that has made the game great.

    An example: the University of Georgia is the highest ranked team in the SEC and has a legitimate shot at going to the BCS Title Game (should both Missouri and West Virginia lose again). However, Georgia has no shot at winning the SEC title because the Bulldogs are not in the SEC Championship Game. Maybe I should add another bullet point:

  • As long as the current BCS System remains in place, no team that loses its conference championship should be eligible to play in the BCS Title Game. If my Bowl system that I have outlined above were reintroduced, however, such a team would still be eligible to receive an at-large bid to a major Bowl game, and even voted the "National Champion" if the pollsters so chose to do so.
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    Global Alarming Update: Focus on So-Called "Carbon Footprint" Anti-Family

    "Save the planet, kill a baby!" - Sierra Club joins Planned Parenthood to offer conferences on “Sex and the Environment”
    (Hat tip:
    During the first week of November, members of the Sierra Club traversed one end of California to the other for a series of conferences called “Sex and the Environment.” Accompanying them at most of their stops were representatives of Planned Parenthood.

    Such conferences were held between Nov. 6 and Nov. 9 in Oakland, Santa Cruz, Fresno, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, mostly on university campuses. The “tour,” says the Sierra Club’s web site, was “co-sponsored by International Health Programs of the Public Health Institute, Campus Progress, Global Exchange, as well as Planned Parenthood affiliates and a number of University of California Women's Centers and student groups.”

    The 115-year-old Sierra Club, based in San Francisco and founded by California environmentalist John Muir in 1892 to “explore, enjoy and protect the planet,” now declares on its web site: “Sierra Club is a pro-choice organization.”

    The November tour was part of the Sierra Club’s Global Population and Environment Program, which states as its mission: “to protect the global environment and preserve natural resources for future generations by advancing global reproductive health and sustainable development initiatives.” ...
    "Meet the women who won't have babies - because they're not eco friendly"
    (Hat tip: Rick Garnett at Vox Nova)
    ...Because when Toni terminated her pregnancy, she did so in the firm belief she was helping to save the planet.

    Incredibly, so determined was she that the terrible "mistake" of pregnancy should never happen again, that she begged the doctor who performed the abortion to sterilise her at the same time.

    He refused, but Toni - who works for an environmental charity - "relentlessly hunted down a doctor who would perform the irreversible surgery.

    Finally, eight years ago, Toni got her way.

    At the age of 27 this young woman at the height of her reproductive years was sterilised to "protect the planet".

    Incredibly, instead of mourning the loss of a family that never was, her boyfriend (now husband) presented her with a congratulations card.

    While some might think it strange to celebrate the reversal of nature and denial of motherhood, Toni relishes her decision with an almost religious zeal.

    "Having children is selfish. It's all about maintaining your genetic line at the expense of the planet," says Toni, 35.

    "Every person who is born uses more food, more water, more land, more fossil fuels, more trees and produces more rubbish, more pollution, more greenhouse gases, and adds to the problem of over-population."

    While most parents view their children as the ultimate miracle of nature, Toni seems to see them as a sinister threat to the future...
    "Should fireplace fires be banned?"
    (Hat tip: Mark Shea)
    Under the auspices of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, "public hearings" are being held to determine the fate of the family hearth.

    We stoke our hearths for two reasons.

    First, many rural people burn wood because they can't afford to heat their old houses with electricity. Many more feel that burning wood does less damage to the planet than increasing their carbon footprint by using so much electricity.

    Banning fires would hurt the elderly who live on fixed incomes and the poor in general. It would be an added tax on the rest of us and increase dependence on petroleum.

    Second, for many of us, a fire crackling in the fireplace is about a different kind of energy - psychic energy. After a day's work, is there anything nicer than coming home and having a class of Napa Valley Cabernet in front of a roaring fire?

    Rainy Sundays find us stretched out on the couch, newspapers scattered, 49ers on the TV, and a fire roaring in the fireplace.

    On wintry school nights, our children used to come down into the living room to do their homework in front of the fire as my wife and I read.

    Never was our family closer. The fire was more than a source of heat. It was a mystical, magical magnet of love, warmth and togetherness...

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    Bob Novak on Huckabee: "The False Conservative"

    Columnist Robert Novak writes in a Cybercast News Service commentary:
    Who would respond to criticism from the Club for Growth by calling the conservative, free-market campaign organization the "Club for Greed"? That sounds like Howard Dean, Dennis Kucinich or John Edwards, all Democrats preaching the class struggle. In fact, the rejoinder comes from Mike Huckabee, who has broken out of the pack of second-tier Republican presidential candidates to become a serious contender -- definitely in Iowa and perhaps nationally.

    Huckabee is campaigning as a conservative, but serious Republicans know that he is a high-tax, protectionist, big-government advocate of a strong hand in the Oval Office directing the lives of Americans. Until now, they did not bother to expose the former governor of Arkansas as a false conservative because he seemed an underfunded, unknown nuisance candidate. Now that he has pulled even with Mitt Romney for the Iowa caucuses with the possibility of more progress, the beleaguered Republican Party has a frightening problem on its hands.

    Huckabee clearly departs from the mainstream of the conservative movement in his confusion of "growth" with "greed." Such ad hominem attacks are part of his intuitive response to criticism from the Club for Growth and the libertarian Cato Institute for his record as governor. On Fox News Sunday Nov. 18, he called the "tactics" of the Club for Growth "some of the most despicable in politics today. It's why I love to call them the Club for Greed because they won't tell you who gave their money." In fact, all contributors to the organization's political action committee (which produces campaign ads) are publicly revealed, as are most donors financing issue ads.

    An uncompromising foe of abortion can never enjoy full media backing. But Mike Huckabee is getting enough favorable buzz that, when combined with his evangelical base, it makes real conservatives shudder.

    [Read the whole thing]
    My Comments:
    I must say that I share some of Huckabee's disdain for the so-called "pro-growth" and libertarian wings of the Republican party. Don't get me wrong. I think economic policies that promote growth and economic freedom are preferable to the tired old socialist policies that the left is wedded to. But I am first and foremost a social conservative who believes that government policy should have as its highest priority the preservation of the basic social unit - the traditional family. To the extent that "pro-growth" economic policies conflict with that value (and I'm not saying they necessarily do conflict), then my priorities lie with promoting the social conservative agenda rather than the economic conservative one.

    Nevertheless, I am having trouble embracing the Huckabee campaign because he seems to be a nanny statist with no qualms about adopting the demagogery of the left. That, and the fact that I believe his campaign resorted to anti-Catholic bigotry to help derail Brownback's campaign during the lead-up to the Iowa Straw Poll.

    I'll just say, once again, that the jury continues to be out on whether Huckabee is someone I could support.

    NB: So happy am I with the University of Arkansas' defeat of the previously # 1 ranked LSU Tigers (thereby giving The Ohio State Buckeyes an outside shot at playing in the BCS Title Game) that I have suspended forthwith the use of the "Arkansas Sux" label that I would normally include when blogging about Arkansas politicians such as the Clintons and Huckabee.

    Arkansas, I hereby forgive you for Jerry Jones, Wal-Mart, and Bill Clinton.


    UPDATE (29 November)
    Deacon Keith Fournier responds to the Novak column here.

    (Hat tip: Policraticus at Vox Nova)

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    National Catholic Register Asks: "Will Brownbackers Back Huckabee?"

    "Pro-Life" Candidate Huckabee Clueless on Mexico City Policy

    Republicans Are "Taxing the Hand That Feeds Us"

    Huckabee Campaign Criticizes Pope for Long Vacation, Extended Stay in Summer Residence

    Huckabee Campaign: "How Dare Sam Brownback Take Time Off from Campaigning for His 25th Anniversary?"

    Deal Hudson Rips Evangelical Pastor (a Former Catholic) for Disparaging Sen. Brownback's Catholicism

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    Ron Paul's Appeal to Conservative/Orthodox Catholics

    Rich Leonardi discusses the Ron Paul for President campaign's "explicit appeal to orthodox Catholics".

    Victor Morton offers his take (in the comments to Rich's post) on why he believes many conservative/orthodox Catholics are drawn to the Paul campaign here and here.

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    Tuesday, November 20, 2007

    St. Edmund of East Anglia, King and Martyr - 20 November

    (Originally posted in November 2005)

    "I have vowed to live under Christ, to live under Christ alone, to reign under Christ alone". - St Edmund, King and Martyr

    Today, 20 November, is the feast day of the martyr St. Edmund, King of East Anglia. Many assume St. George is the patron saint of England. However, St. George is actually "Protector of the Realm of England" and patron saint of the English Crown. St. Edmund is the "real" patron saint of England. See also Joanna Bogle's excellent A Book of Feasts and Seasons where I first learned this particular piece of trivia.

    On our trip to England a couple of years ago, during which my family spent a week in East Anglia - where Sarah's Granny was born, we learned quite a bit about St. Edmund. He has become one of my favorite saints. Unfortunately, a planned trip to the saint's final resting place in the town of Bury St. Edmunds and St. Edmundsbury Cathedral did not happen due to the demands of travelling with 2 toddlers. Oh well, hopefully, we can get there on another visit to the U.K.

    The following details about the life of St. Edmund come from the Medieval Saints Yahoo Group:

    St. Edmund of East Anglia
    Also known as Edmund the Martyr

    Martyred by being beaten, whipped, shot with arrows and beheaded at Hoxne, Suffolk, England 20 November 870; buried at Hoxne; relics moved to Beodricsworth (modern Saint Edmundsbury) in the 10th century

    Commemorated November 20

    Patronage: kings, plague epidemics, torture victims, wolves

    In art, he is shown with an arrow; king tied to a tree and shot with arrows; wolf; bearded king with a sword and arrow; man with his severed head between the paws of a wolf; sword

    "The tree at which tradition declared Eadmund to have been slain stood in the park at Hoxne until 1849, when it fell. In the course of its breaking up an arrow-head was found embedded in the trunk. A clergyman who had a church which was dedicated to St. Eadmund begged a piece of the tree, and it now forms part of his communion-table. Another portion is in the possession of Lady Bateman of Oakley Hall" - Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee, 1908-1909

    Edmund the Martyr, King (RM)

    Born 841; died at Hoxne, Suffolk, England, in 869 or 870. Feast day formerly November 2.

    On Christmas Day 855, 14-year-old Edmund was acclaimed king of Norfolk by the ruling men and clergy of that county. The following year the leaders of Suffolk also made him their king.

    For 15 years Edmund ruled over the East Angles with what all acknowledged as Christian dignity and justice. He himself seems to have modelled his piety on that of King David in the Old Testament, becoming especially proficient in reciting the Psalms in public worship.

    From the year 866 his kingdom was increasingly threatened by Danish invasions. For four years the East Angles managed to keep a shaky, often broken peace with them. Then the invaders burned Thetford. King Edmund's army attacked the Danes but could not defeat the marauders. Edmund was taken prisoner and became the target for Danish bowmen.

    In a later account in the The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, reputedly derived second-hand from an eyewitness, Abbo compared Saint Edmund to Saint Sebastien, and so he also became a saint invoked against the plague. The story goes that Edmund was captured at Hoxne. He refused to share his Christian kingdom with the heathen invaders, whereupon he was tied to a tree and shot with arrows, till his body was 'like a thistle covered with prickles'; then his head was struck off. He died with the name of Jesus on his lips.

    The record continues that the Danes "killed the king and overcame all the land . . . they destroyed all the churches that they came to, and at the same time reaching Peterborough, killed the abbot and monks and burned and broke everything they found there."

    Saint Edmund thus remains the only English sovereign until the time of King Charles I to die for religious beliefs as well as the defense of his throne. Edmund was quickly revered as a martyr and his cultus spread widely during the middle ages (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Hervey, Roeder).

    King Saint Edmund is generally depicted as a bearded king holding his emblem--an arrow. Sometimes he is shown suspended from a tree and shot, or his head between the paws of a wolf. He is sometimes confused with Saint Sebastien, who is never portrayed as a king (Roeder).

    He is venerated at Bury Saint Edmunds (Saint Edmund's borough), where his body is enshrined and a great abbey arose in 1020. Richard II invoked him as patron as to those threatened by the plague (Roeder).


    More on St. Edmund of East Anglia at:

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    Monday, November 19, 2007

    Digest of Today's Posts (19 November 2007)

  • Cardinal O'Malley's Criticism of Pro-Abort Dems "Met With Silence"

  • Having Lots of Kids Helps Dads Live to 100

  • Bishop Blair Urges Toledo-Area Catholics to Reject Domestic-Partner Registry

  • Rich Leonardi on the "Pro-Lifer's Dilemma"

  • (Digest of Friday's Posts (16 November 2007))


    Cardinal O'Malley's Criticism of Pro-Abort Dems "Met With Silence"

    Catholics in the Public Square has the details of the stony cold silent reaction to Cardinal O'Malley's recent statement that Catholic support of pro-abortion Democrats "borders on scandal":
    ... As they have for years, most Catholic Democrats in Massachusetts are likely to continue to disagree with the church on abortion without worrying much about the consequences for them or their party. If Catholic voters punished their politicians for opposing church views on abortion - or gay marriage, or any other subject - the response might be quite different, political experts said last week. But they haven't...


    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Cardinal O'Malley: Catholics Backing Pro-Abortion Democrats "Borders on Scandal"

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    Having Lots of Kids Helps Dads Live to 100

    (Hat tip: Victor via email)

    Good to know:
    MONDAY, Nov. 19 (HealthDay News) -- A young, trim farmer with four or more children: According to a new study, that's the ideal profile for American men hoping to reach 100 years of age.

    The research, based largely on data from World War I draft cards, suggests that keeping off excess weight in youth, farming and fathering a large number of offspring all help men live past a century.

    One finding in particular was unexpected, the researchers said.

    "We were surprised that having more than three children is beneficial to longevity -- based on previous studies by other authors, and common sense, quite the opposite could be expected," said study co-author Leonid Gavrilov, who conducted the study with his wife, Natalia Gavrilova, both of the University of Chicago's Center on Aging.

    Gavrilov, a leader in longevity research, was to present the findings Monday at the Gerontological Society of America annual meeting, in San Francisco.

    The husband-and-wife team have long mined vital statistics and other data, looking for clues to why some people live into extreme old age.

    My Comments:
    I don't know about this report. Mine are about to kill me.


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    Bishop Blair Urges Toledo-Area Catholics to Reject Domestic-Partner Registry

    From The Toledo Blade:
    The leader of the Toledo Catholic Diocese urged parishioners [Sunday] to oppose the creation of a registry for unmarried partners in the City of Toledo.

    The ordinance, approved in 10-2 vote by City Council last week, would allow any same-sex couples, as well as heterosexual couples, to register as "domestic partners." It awaits Mayor Carty Finkbeiner’s signature.

    A statement issued by Bishop Leonard P. Blair, read in churches throughout Lucas County [Sunday] morning, said: "We ought not to be encouraging cohabitation by giving it legal recognition as an alternative to marriage."

    The bishop asks parishioners to "join me in opposing measures like the domestic partnership registry, particularly when there has been little time for public discussion."

    "I don’t think [the legislation] was rushed through," said Councilman Joe McNamara, who introduced the registry as a way to announce Toledo’s tolerance for diversity in its desire to attract new residents.

    The registry would provide employers who want to offer benefits to unmarried couples a way to check their relationship status.

    Registration costs $25 and requires both members of the couple to sign an affidavit stating they are in an intimate relationship, share a residence, are at least 18 years old, and are not blood relatives.

    Bishop Blair cited the Ohio voters 2004 approval of a "Defense of Marriage" state constitutional amendment, which defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

    "Not only religious faith, but also human reason, tell us that the way to move our community forward is to strengthen the institution of marriage, not weaken it by giving legal standing to lifestyles that are not in keeping with the God-given meaning and purpose of marriage," the statement says.

    Mr. McNamara, a Catholic, said, "I’m trying to serve God and my fellow man. I’m trying to help as many people as I possibly can. I think this legislation is good for Toledo."

    (emphasis added)

    The full text of Bishop Blair's letter can be read at the Diocese of Toledo's website:
    November 16, 2007

    Dear Friends in Christ,

    This past week the Bishops of the United States gathered in Baltimore for their annual meeting. It was an occasion for us to reaffirm that as a requirement of our faith, the Church is obliged to participate “in shaping the moral character of society,” and that every faithful Catholic is obliged to exercise good citizenship by participating in civic and political life. Our nation’s tradition of pluralism is enhanced, not threatened, when the Church and her individual members speak out on the basis of their faith convictions and their moral concerns.

    Last week the Toledo City Council approved a “domestic partnership” ordinance by which legal recognition is given to non-marital relationships of adults of the same sex or of different sexes sharing a common residence. There is talk of this being adopted by Lucas County as well. As reported in the media (Toledo Blade, Nov. 14, 2007), the Toledo ordinance, and I quote, “received fast-paced consideration from a council that often subjects controversial measures to months of discussion.”

    This is no surprise given the strong pressure in many sectors of our society, sometimes even contrary to the will of the people, to allow the state to redefine marriage or to confer all or some of the benefits of marriage on other relationships. You will recall that in 2004 Ohio voters approved a Defense of Marriage amendment which defines marriage as a union strictly between a man and a woman.

    Not only religious faith, but also human reason, tell us that the way to move our community forward is to strengthen the institution of marriage, not weaken it by giving legal standing to lifestyles that are not in keeping with the God-given meaning and purpose of marriage.

    Marriage is the basis of the family and the protective haven for children, who are the real key to future economic and social well-being for our community. Cohabitation is ten times more common than in 1960, yet the social sciences show that cohabitation is not healthy for children or adults. We ought not to be encouraging cohabitation by giving it legal recognition as an alternative to marriage. The same can be said for the crisis of meaning that arises for marriage and family when the state seeks to redefine them as privatized relationships aimed at adult fulfillment and separated from the procreation and nurturing of children.

    Our defense of marriage is meant to focus primarily on the fundamental importance of marriage for children, families and society, not on homosexuality or other matters. I ask you to join me in opposing measures like the domestic partnership registry, particularly when there is little time for public discussion. For a copy of this letter and more detailed information, you can turn to our diocesan website:

    Sincerely yours in Christ,
    Most Reverend Leonard P. Blair,
    Bishop of Toledo
    (emphasis added)

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    Rich Leonardi on the "Pro-Lifer's Dilemma"

    Taking the weekend off from blogging means I'm a little late to the game on getting around to Rich's post from Saturday, which asks:
    ... What say you? Could you explain pulling the lever for a "President Guiliani (or Romney)" to Christ and abortion's 47 million victims?

    [Read the whole post for context]
    It looks like a lot of folks have already weighed in over at Rich's with their views on this. I'll add my 2 cents here. While I MAY be able to pull the lever for Romney, I think my own view with regard to Giuliani has been made VERY clear over the last year or so. Under NO circumstances will I vote to put an unrepentant pro-abortion candidate (especially one who purports to be Catholic) like Rudy Giuliani in the White House.

    I think some of the commenters at Rich's blog do a fairly good job of providing the reasons why I will make that particular choice to forego voting for Rudy should he be the Republican nominee. See, e.g., Fr. Gearhart who agrees with Fr. Fox who agrees with Paul Zummo who agrees with Donald McClarey, and Regular Guy Paul who agrees with all of them. See also Christopher Blosser's comments.

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    Friday, November 16, 2007

    Digest of Today's Posts (16 November 2007)

  • Litmus Test: Democrat Candidates Demand Pro-Abortion Supreme Court Justices

  • St. Margaret of Scotland, 16 November

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (15 November 2007))


    Litmus Test: Democrat Candidates Demand Pro-Abortion Supreme Court Justices

    (Hat tip:

    Las Vegas, NV ( -- During the Democratic presidential debate last night in Nevada, all the leading candidates for the party's nomination said they would demand that any appointee to the Supreme Court support abortion. They each said they would only send the Senate nominees who want to uphold the Roe v. Wade decision.

    Wolf Blitzer asked pro-abortion New York Sen. Hillary Clinton if "any nominee you name to the Supreme Court would have to share your view on abortion?"

    Clinton said they would definitely "have to share my view about privacy" -- a term abortion advocates use to refer to abortion.

    "Privacy, in my opinion, is embedded in our Constitution," Clinton added, "So it would be absolutely critical."

    With Clinton getting away from the buzzword of abortion, Blitzer brought her back to the direct question, asking, "So the answer is yes?"

    "Yes, the answer is yes," Clinton confirmed.

    Sen. Barack Obama, an Illinois lawmaker and former law professor, confirmed he would only back pro-abortion Supreme Court picks as well.

    "I would not appoint somebody who doesn't believe in the right to privacy," he said.

    John Edwards, the former North Carolina senator, was more clear in his answer during the debate.

    "I would insist that they recognize the right to privacy and recognize Roe v. Wade as settled law," he said of any Supreme Court nominees.

    The other Democratic presidential candidates considered less likely to wind up with the party's nomination all endorsed pro-abortion judicial picks as well.

    New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson
    [ED.: Catholic], considered by many to be a likely vice-presidential pick, repeated earlier comments that he would only select pro-abortion judges.

    "I would also ask my nominee -- this is what I would ask: Number one, do you believe Roe versus Wade is settled law? Number two, do you support the right to privacy?" he said. "If the answer is no to those questions that basically say is it settled law or not -- you want to call it a litmus test, fine -- those would be the judges that I would appoint for the Supreme Court."

    Dennis Kucinich
    [ED.: Catholic], an Ohio congressman who was formerly pro-life, said abortion would definitely be a litmus test in any high court selection.

    "A Kucinich appointment to the Supreme Court would have a litmus test on abortion. It's a -- it's a question of a woman's right to choose and a right to privacy," he said.

    Senator Joe Biden
    [ED.: Catholic], a pro-abortion Delaware lawmaker, agreed.

    "I would not appoint anyone who did not understand that Section 5 of the 14th Amendment and the Liberty Clause of the 14th Amendment provided a right to privacy ... which means they would support Roe v. Wade," he said.

    (emphasis and editorial commentary added)
    My Comments:
    I agree with Cardinal O'Malley. I'm not sure how any Catholic can, in good conscience, vote for any of these people. That many will nevertheless do so "borders on scandal".

    What these Democrat candidates are advocating - supporting only those judges who will ensure that abortion-on-demand, with little or no restrictions throughout all 9 months of pregnancy, remains the law of the land - is pure, unadulterated evil. And their positions on this issue are so well-known, and are so much a part of what the modern Democrat Party stands for, that I'm not sure how voting for any of them could not be seen as formal cooperation with intrinsic evil.

    Just my take on why I won't vote for any of them. Which isn't to say I've found a Republican I can support either, now that Brownback is out of the race.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Cardinal O'Malley: Catholics Backing Pro-Abortion Democrats "Borders on Scandal"

    John Allen Interviews Archbishop Chaput Regarding Catholic Voting Guides

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    St. Margaret of Scotland, 16 November

    St. Margaret's Chapel, Edinburgh Castle
    The chapel is the oldest structure within the castle.
    The stain-glassed image of St. Margaret below is from
    a window in the chapel interior.

    From the Medieval Saints Yahoo Group:
    St. Margaret of Scotland

    Died 1093 at Edinburgh Castle, Scotland, four days after her husband and son died in defense of the castle;

    Buried in front of the high
    altar at Dunfermline, Scotland;

    Relics later removed to a nearby shrine; the bulk of her relics were destroyed in stages during the Protestant Reformation and the French Revolution

    Canonized 1251 by Pope Innocent IV

    Commemorated November 16, was June 10 (June 16 in Scotland)

    Patronage: death of children, large families, learning, queens, Scotland, widows; Returning thanks after meals is known as Saint Margaret's Blessing.

    In art, she is portrayed as a queen, often carrying a black cross,
    dispensing gifts to the poor.

    Margaret of Scotland c. 1045 - 1093

    Margaret, despite her appellation, was born a Saxon in 1046 and raised in Hungary. She came to England in 1066 when her uncle, King Edward the Confessor, died and Margaret's brother, Edgar Atheling, decided to make a claim to the English throne. The English nobles preferred Harold of Wessex over Edgar, but later that year Duke William of Normandy made it all rather a moot point by invading England and establishing himself as King. Many members of the English nobility sought refuge in the court of King Malcolm III Canmore of Scotland, who had himself been an exile in England during the reign of Macbeth.

    Among the English refugees were Margaret and Edgar. While King Malcom was hospitable to all his new guests, he was rather more hospitable to Margaret, marrying her in 1070 to make her Queen of Scotland.

    Margaret impressed not only Malcolm but many other members of the Scottish Court both for her knowledge of continental customs gained in the court of Hungary, and also for her piety. She became highly influential, both indirectly by her influence on Malcolm as well as through direct activities on her part. Prominent among these activities was religious reform. Margaret instigated reforms within the Scottish church, as well as development of closer ties to the larger Roman Church in order to avoid a schism between the Celtic Church and Rome. Further, Margaret was a patroness both of the célidé, Scottish Christian hermits, and also the Benedictine Order. Although Benedictine monks were prominent throughout western continental Europe, there were previously no Benedictine monasteries known to exist in Scotland. Margaret therefore invited English Benedictine monks to establish monasteries in her kingdom.

    On the more secular side, Margaret introduced continental fashions, manners, and ceremony to the Scottish court. The popularization of continental fashions had the side-effect of introducing foreign merchants to Scotland, increasing economic ties and communication between Scotland and the continent. Margaret was also a patroness of the arts and education. Further, Malcolm sought Maragret's advice on matters of state, and together with other English exiles Margaret was influential in introducing English-style feudalism and parliament to Scotland.

    Margaret was also active in works of charity. Margaret frequently visited and cared for the sick, and on a larger scale had hostels constructed for the poor. She was also in the habit, particularly during Advent and Lent, of holding feasts for as many as 300 commoners in the royal castle.

    King Malcolm, meanwhile, was engaged in a contest with William the Conqueror over Northumbria and Cambria. After an unsuccessful 1070 invasion by Malcom into Northumbria followed by an unsuccessful 1072 invasion by William into Scotland, Malcom paid William homage, resulting in temporary peace. William further made assurance of this peace by demanding Malcolm's eldest son Donald (by Malcolm's previous wife Ingibjorg) as a hostage. Time passed, William the Conqueror died, and The Conqueror's son William Rufus took the throne of England. Hostilities again arose between Scotland and England, and in the ensuing unpleasantness Malcolm was killed along with Edward, the eldest son of Malcom and Margaret.

    Margaret had already been ill when Malcolm and Edward went off to battle. Her surviving children tried to hide the fact of their deaths, for fear of worsening her condition. But Margaret learnt the truth, and whether due to her illness or a broken heart, Margaret died four days after her husband and son, on November 16, 1093.

    The death of both King and Queen led, unfortunately, to yet another unpleasant disagreement, this time over who should take their places on the throne. The most likely candidate was Malcom's eldest son Donald, the one who had been taken hostage by William the Conqueror. This was also the favorite candidate of William Rufus, for during his stay in England Donald had developed a favorable view of the Normans. However, Donald's claim to the throne was contested by Malcom's brother, Donald Bán, together with Malcom and Margaret's son Edmund. Donald Bán was opposed to having a Norman sympathizer on the throne of Scotland, and claimed the throne for himself. Both Donald MacMalcom and Donald Bán held the throne briefly, and lost it violently, before Edgar, son of Malcom and Margaret, came to the throne. He was succeeded by his brothers, Alexander and David. Alexander smoothed over relations with England by marrying the daughter of King Henry I and arranging for Henry to marry Alexander's sister Matilda. Edgar and David carried on their mother's reputation for sanctity, both in their service to the poor and their patronage of religious orders, and David was later canonized. Quite a celebrated family when you consider that Margaret's uncle is also known as Saint Edward the Confessor.

    Margaret herself was declared a saint in 1250, particularly for her work for religious reform and her charitable works. She herself was considered to be an exemplar of the just ruler, and also influenced her husband and children to be just and holy rulers. She was further declared Patroness of Scotland in 1673.

    Barrow, G.W.S. The Kingdom of the Scots. Edward Arnold, London, 1973.
    Glover, J.R. The Story of Scotland. Faber and Faber, London, 1960.
    Mitchison, R. A History of Scotland. Methuen & Co., London, 1970.
    Thurston, H.J., Attwater, D. Butler's Lives of the Saints. Christian
    Classics, Inc., Westminster, MD 1938.


    More on St. Margaret of Scotland at:

    Dunfermline Abbey, Scotland - St. Margaret was buried here,
    along with her husband, King Malcolm Canmore (of MacBeth fame)
    and her son, St. David, King of Scots.
    Robert the Bruce, King of Scots, is also buried here.

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