Digest of Today's Posts (28 February 2007)
(Digest of Yesterday's Posts (27 February 2007))
Labels: Digest of Posts
Labels: Digest of Posts
I've made some changes to my ever-expanding sidebar.
Today, I corresponded via email with a friend of mine who is a Dominican priest. A few years ago, he basically rode circuit around the Commonwealth of Virginia debunking The Da Vinci Code. Here's what he had to say today about the "King of the World" James Cameron's newest film/mockumentary:
I love the Cameron thing. I can’t wait to get my hands on a pulpit!I love the Dominicans. What would be really cool would be to see my friend take on heretical ex-Dominican Matthew Fox and heretical ex-priest John Dominic Crossan in a debate on this subject matter.
This is exactly what we’ve been trying to get across for years; “you choose: one tomb or the other; one path or the other: choose now.” That has been our task since the beginning – get people to see he is not dead, but alive. And now they have the choice set before them once again.
That Hollyweird moron is making our message visually explicit.
It might help us, but God help him and his cronies for hurting the weak in faith. I wonder if he’s ever thought of doing a documentary on Hell?
Schedule of Events:
Thursday, April 12
6:30PM Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
St. Matthew's Cathedral
7:30PM Mass Concludes
8:00PM Speaker's Reception*
Army Navy Club
*Note: Free transportation is available from St. Matthew’s to Army Navy Club for those unable to walk and is limited to the first 500 people.
Friday, April 13
5:30AM Doors open at the Hilton Washington
7:45AM National Catholic Prayer Breakfast
10:00AM Educational Program General Session and Book Signing
1:30PM Panel I
"Public Policy Issues of Interest to Catholics" *
* Attendance is limited to 150 people
Leonard Leo, Director, of the Lawyers Division and Executive Vice President of the Federalist Society - “The Constitution: Judges and the Confirmation Process” Carter Snead, Associate Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame Law School -"The Ethics and Politics of Embryonic Stem Cell Research" Brad Wilcox, Professor of Sociology at University of Virginia - “Why Marriage Matters”
3:15PM Panel II
"Catholics in Entertainment and the New Evangelization" *
*Attendance limited to 150 people
Special guests to be announced soon.
Saturday, April 14
9:00AM Tour of Catholic Washington
Tour will include a tour of Capitol Hill, Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, a lunch and tour at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center.
Darren Norton of My Catholic Reflections sends along this prayer request:
I am asking for as many prayers as I can get for a very close family member who just found out has a "mass" on his brain. Would you please ask your readers to join me in a novena to St. Jude on his behalf.
My Catholic Reflections
How about a coherent approach? Does Kathryn Jean Lopez actually say anything of substance in this piece at National Review Online?
Thomas Sowell writes at National Review Online:
It is understandable that liberal Democratic presidents, beginning with Franklin D. Roosevelt, loaded the Supreme Court with liberal, Democratic justices.My Comments:
What is far harder to understand is how a whole succession of conservative Republican presidents — Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Bush 41 — managed to appoint so many liberals to the Supreme Court.
All these presidents ran on the idea that what courts in general, and the Supreme Court in particular, needed were judges who followed the law instead of making up their own new laws.
Voters who put these Republican presidents in the White House repeatedly found themselves disappointed with many, if not most, of their nominations of Supreme Court justices.
Given the momentous impact of Supreme Court decisions on 300 million Americans today and on generations yet unborn, it is staggering that either presidents or justices themselves cannot keep their eye on the ball and understand the high stakes at issue.
Whatever the shortcomings of Democrats, they know what they are for — and are willing to go all out to fight for it. Republicans often seem ambiguous about what they are for and seem to regard fighting as ungentlemanly.
Senate Democrats went all out to stop the nomination of Judge Robert Bork to the Supreme Court and to try to stop the nomination of Judge Clarence Thomas. These Democrats did not let either truth or decency cramp their style.
But Republicans voted overwhelmingly to confirm liberal-left nominees Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer when Bill Clinton nominated them. The Senate vote was 87 to 9 for Breyer and 96 to 3 for Ginsburg.
Labels: Supreme Court
Archbishop writes in the Denver Catholic Register:
‘Amazing Grace’ and the task of living our faith more deeply
“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,
that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found;
was blind, but now I see.”
Whether Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant, nearly every American Christian knows John Newton’s beautiful hymn, “Amazing Grace.” Believers have sung it for more than 200 years. Its words and melody speak to one of the deepest instincts of the human heart: the need for deliverance. Like St. Augustine before him, Newton discovered that “our hearts are restless until they rest in (God).”
A former slave trader, Newton converted to Christianity during a storm on the Atlantic. He later became one of the leading Christian evangelizers of his day in England as an Anglican priest. But he never forgot his role in the slave trade. He spent the rest of his life repenting for it and preaching against it. He understood from direct experience that real personal conversion must have broader consequences. If we claim to love God, then we need to prove it with our actions. Slavery, Newton saw, violated human dignity in a profound way.
Newton did more than write a memorable hymn, however. His life had a huge impact on others — among them the son of a wealthy merchant named William Wilberforce. Like Newton, Wilberforce underwent his own Christian conversion. He took Newton’s anti-slavery message into Parliament in 1789, where he became the leading voice against slavery for the next 18 years. Largely because of Wilberforce, England abolished the slave trade throughout its empire in 1807 — the same year Newton died.
Last week, the story of William Wilberforce and John Newton opened in theaters throughout the United States in the new film by Walden Media, “Amazing Grace.” It’s a compelling movie; a beautifully written, acted and directed portrait of a man — Wilberforce — on fire with his faith and its consequences. Inspired by Newton, Wilberforce literally reshaped the conscience of the modern world. Walden Media is the same company that brought the wonderful “Chronicles of Narnia” to the screen in 2005. It’s easy to recommend a film like “Amazing Grace” because the story is so powerful and so very well done. But it’s also an ideal source of personal reflection as we begin our own journey of Lent.
As long as we have breath, God offers us the chance for repentance and conversion, and through them, a path to eternal life in Jesus Christ. St. Paul, St. Augustine and St. Ignatius all took that path. So did William Wilberforce and a self-described former slaver and “wretch” like John Newton. In fact, every Christian man or woman who takes the Gospel seriously must walk the same road. Lent is the season every year when the Church encourages us to repentance and conversion in a special way. We urgently need to use this time well.
The story of “Amazing Grace” teaches a vital lesson for every believer. Every true Christian conversion has consequences that go far beyond the individual. A Christian life, lived well, helps to change the world in the name of Jesus Christ. That’s our vocation as Catholics. And Lent is the time to claim it.
Labels: Digest of Posts
Mark Levin writes at National Review Online:
There is actually very little that's conservative about Giuliani, other than his law-enforcement record. Yes, he made the trains run on time, but some of his supporters are willing to write-off large segments of the conservative coalition, which are not found in New York City or the District of Columbia, with their wave-of-the-hand dismissal of serious issues Giuliani will have to overcome. But please, spare us the fiction that he's some great conservative. If I vote for him, it will be because all the Democrats are so deplorable, not because of his embrace of radical environmentalism, open borders, gun control, abortion, and the rest of it. And, yes, he's leading in national popular polls. But that's not how nominees are selected, is it. You have to battle in each state, and the process is full of unexpected political dangers. So, I'd say it's a little early to declare a winner. It's painful to watch people pretend that Giuliani is something he is not and never has been. (emphasis added)
OTTAWA, Ontario, February 27, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Ontario private schools are coming increasingly under the lens of homosexual activist groups for "homophobic" teaching stemming from the schools' primarily religious foundations, a report in Ottawa's homosexual news media indicated earlier this week.
In an article warning about the increasing trend toward private and religious schools in the province, Ottawa's Capital Xtra objected to religious schools that teach children "only their own values."
The article quotes Tony Lovink, a homosexual Christian teacher in the Ottawa public school system, as saying, "All private schools tend to be at least implicitly homophobic. And I would say all religiously formed independent schools are definitely homophobic."
The Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario said they were concerned the provincial ministry of education wasn't "exerting more control" over the curriculum used by private religious schools. Unless a school wants to grant students government-recognized Secondary School Diplomas, Ontario private schools are free to use their preferred curriculum. Even schools that do grant the government diplomas may teach any additional material they choose, so long as the required curriculum is covered.
As well, the CLGRO objected to provincial standards that permit private schools to hire teachers based on the school administration's own qualification requirements.
In October 2006 the Quebec government ordered private Christian schools in the province to begin teaching sex education and Darwinism in compliance with the provincial curriculum, threatening schools with closure if they failed to comply.
The Catholic Civil Rights League is continuing efforts to ensure all 60 BC school boards acknowledge parents' rights to oversee the education of their children.
Tim Drake has a piece in the March 4-10 edition of the National Catholic Register on Baker, Oregon Bishop Robert Vasa's role as a teacher:
BAKER, Ore. — Bishop Robert Vasa takes his role as teacher literally.(emphasis added)
For many years, the 57-year-old bishop of Baker, Ore., has taught public classes on Tuesday evenings at St. Francis Church in Bend, Ore., drawing from Church documents to teach about the faith. He has taught using the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Pope John Paul II’s encyclical letters Veritatis Splendor and Ecclesia de Eucharistia (The Eucharist and Its Relationship to the Church), and books such as Jean-Baptiste Chautard’s classic The Soul of the Apostolate.
The presentations are videotaped so that they are available elsewhere in the diocese.
In his seven years as bishop of Baker, Bishop Vasa has spoken clearly on many of the Church’s social and moral issues. From homilies and weekly instruction to editorials in his diocesan newspaper and pastoral letters, Bishop Vasa has communicated the Church’s teachings clearly without compromising the faith.
... Such teaching is his response to the lack of adequate formation that has plagued the Church for the past three decades.
“The fruit of this absence or diminishment of teaching over the past 25 years is not very attractive,” said Bishop Vasa. “If we expect to produce a different kind of fruit, we need to take a different kind of approach.”
Bishop Vasa admitted that he favors a “stronger approach.”
That clarity manifested itself in February 2006 when Bishop Vasa used his diocesan newspaper, The Catholic Sentinel, to posit the question of whether the pro-abortion position is one of “heresy.” That article received a great deal of media attention.
“Those who maintain that any and all decisions about the disposition of pre-born human beings are exclusively the right of the mother or the parents, at least implicitly, reject the clear and consistent teaching of the Church,” he wrote.
“It is necessary to defend truth and not be too quick to rationalize, justify or excuse misleading teachings or teachers,” he continued. “There is a point at which passive ‘tolerance’ allows misleading teachings to be spread and propagated, thus confusing or even misleading the faithful about the truths of the Church. There is a very strong word, which still exists in our Church, which most of us are too ‘gentle’ to use. The word is ‘heresy.’”
Bishop Vasa believes that the Church is coming into a time of increasing clarity.
“I look at the Church of the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s as a period of being kind of unsettled and overwhelmed by theologians and liturgists,” said Bishop Vasa.
“We’re now looking at a set of bishops who say, ‘I don’t have a degree in liturgy, but I do know what the Church is calling me to. I can read Veritatis Splendor and see what the Church is calling us to,” he said. “I can look at spiritual and moral theology and see where it is not in line with the Church.”
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Donald DeMarco wrties in the March 4-10 edition of the National Catholic Register:
Student governments at several schools have voted to deny funding and services to any campus group that opposes abortion. Pro-life students are nonetheless obliged to provide financial support for all other student activities. This attitude makes it abundantly clear that the so-called “pro-choice” people do not know the first thing about choice.My Comments:
The presence of pro-life students on a college campus represents an invaluable asset for choice. In providing information and reasoned argumentation, pro-life students are helping certain women to make a choice rather than a guess on so vital a matter as abortion.
By a strange perversion of thought, in order to join the “pro-choice” orthodoxy, one must be resolutely anti-choice.
The students who voted to outlaw funding for pro-life activities are neither pro-choice nor pro-education. They are not even students, since a student is one who “desires learning.”
They are pro-abortion, and in order to defend that position, they find themselves opposing both knowledge and choice, while shrouding themselves in darkness and fiercely dedicating themselves to discrimination.
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From Cybercast News Service:
Al Gore's Mansion Described As Energy HogMy Comments:
(CNSNews.com) - Former Vice President (and global warming aficionado) Al Gore deserves an award for hypocrisy, says the Tennessee Center for Policy Research. Full Story
Amy Welborn and Gerald Augustinus both take on The New York Slimes' favorable treatment of Frances Kissling, retiring president of "Catholics for a Free Choice".
I noted the other day in reference to James Cameron's mockumentary attempting to undermine the foundation of traditional Christianity that "the best way to discredit the filmmakers' laughable claim is to laugh at it. Poke holes in it, but poke fun at it, too".
Rob K at Kyrie Eleison isn't happy with the choice of presidential candidates he has to choose from. Part of the problem seems to be a misperception about the candidate whose views, in my opinion, most closely reflect the full range of Catholic social teachings:
The upcoming presidential race is already looking unfortunate.In response to Leticia's comment defending Brownback, Rob goes on to say:
Brownback? He is right on all the life and gay agenda issues! For everything else, he is terrible: environment, helping the downtrodden, etc. Unless you are a big corporation, Sam won't be there for your. Sorry, my pro-life agenda doesn't end at birth.
Basically, before it even starts I know there is no candidate that represents me. Gee, another election among people that I don't want. Great.
Brownback is a good guy in the culture wars, but no friend to the working or the poor in the US. I'm keeping an open mind, but he is not what I want either.This was my response:
You need to read up on Brownback a little more if you think he's "terrible [on] ... helping the downtrodden" or that he's "no friend to the poor". A good place to start would be this story in the St. Petersburg Times.
"Mr. Compassionate Conservative",
"Sam Brownback Goes to Prison",
"USCCB Official Expresses Gratitude to Sen. Brownback for Hearings on Capital Punishment".
Brownback has also taken a LOT of heat from conservatives for having a humane position on illegal immigration and amnesty that closely matches that of the USCCB.
Seriously, Sam Brownback is the ONLY candidate from either party who takes seriously the whole range of Catholic social teaching. I urge you to reconsider your view on his candidacy.
Labels: Digest of Posts
From the St. Petersburg Times:
Sam Brownback may be the most interesting and foolishly overlooked candidate in the crowded presidential field.
How many politicians can be a hero to antiabortion activists, and also work well with liberals like Ted Kennedy and the late Paul Wellstone to accomplish his compassionate conservative agenda?
Unlike the front-runners, the second-term Kansas senator opposes President Bush's troop "surge" in Iraq. He is campaigning first and foremost as a social conservative, but he also has impeccable credentials as a tax-cutting economic conservative.
Sure, the polls suggest the 50-year-old attorney and onetime radio broadcaster is not competing in the same ballpark as Arizona Sen. John McCain or "America's Mayor" Rudy Giuliani. He has nowhere near the establishment and fundraising support of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
But if Brownback can seize the opportunity, there's a wide open hole for him to run through.
"If any one of those top three Republicans hits a bump, the zone opens up and Brownback could move up to the top tier," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.
Brownback has the highest lifetime rating from Americans for Tax Reform of all the presidential contenders. He and Romney are the only ones who have signed ATR's pledge never to raise taxes, though as governor Romney declined to sign it.
"What Brownback has is complete credibility on the social conservative issues and complete credibility on the economic issues," said Norquist, who is neutral in the primary.
History suggests a hard-right Christian conservative can't win a majority of the electorate. But Brownback is not Pat Robertson, or even Gary Bauer. He's a leading Christian conservative who's admired by many liberals.
Brownback has worked with Barack Obama to call attention to Darfur and stop the genocide there. He and Ted Kennedy worked together to fight Down's Syndrome and human rights abuses in North Korea, and he has called the anti-human trafficking act he and Paul Wellstone sponsored his most significant legislative achievement.
Brownback, a Catholic, can rail against Roe vs. Wade and gay marriage with the best of them. But he also talks about prison reform, fighting AIDS and malaria in Africa, and about compassionate immigration policies. He led the effort to create an African-American memorial on the Washington Mall. He adopted two of his five children from China and Guatemala.
That's a sincere humanitarian streak that could well endear the Kansas senator to crossover voters looking for a palatable alternative to Hillary Clinton.
"I don't think you can pigeonhole Sam Brownback and say that he's just a conservative because he's a lot more than that," said Brownback campaign manager Rob Wasinger. "One of Sen. Brownback's greatest strengths is reaching out and challenging people to go beyond themselves. People want someone who can get results, and Sam Brownback has proven he can. He has a broad agenda that is inclusive of a lot of different people and interests."
A lot is at stake. But now is the time to go for broke and vote with our hearts. Here is a link to a good analysis of Sam Brownback from Kansas, a genuine Catholic on the life issues who is also a genuine Catholic on other issues of social justice. He doesn't fit the unfair stereotype of the conservative Catholic oblivious to the poor. The primaries are the time to vote with your heart...
TEMPERANCE — A slain Toledo police Detective was described at his funeral this morning as a courageous hero and caring family man.Rest in peace.
The two-hour funeral mass ended just before 1 p.m. today with dozens playing bagpipes as Detective Dressel’s body was taken from Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church. The body will be taken in a procession to St. Anthony’s Cemetery on Erie Road between Douglas and Secor roads.
The Rev. Daniel Nusbaum called Detective Dressel, who was killed last week in North Toledo, a religious man and asked those attending the funeral mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church here to celebrate his life.
“The very reason why Keith would be a member, and longed to be a member of the vice squad, was to care for the people no one else cared for at the cost of life,” said Father Nusbaum, pastor of the church and Detective Dressel’s cousin.
Toledo Bishop Leonard Blair, also speaking near the end of the mass, extended condolences to Detective Dressel’s family.
“To Keith’s family, may it be your great comfort and consulation that you will see Keith again,” Bishop Blair said. “In the meantime, there is the hard road of the cross. There is the hard road of faith.”
In keeping with the Lenten season, Agnus Daily has a couple of stories on "Catholic guilt":
Dr. Phillip Gorman, a Psychologist from the institute of Social Mental Health explained that, “Many in the Church argue that the reason many fallen away Catholics feel guilt is because they know that what they’re doing is an objective moral evil. However, studies have proven that it’s mainly a chemical imbalance that is brought about by the constant bombardment from the pulpit regarding things like, sin, the reality of demons and the devil, and other ridiculous claims.” Rev. Kenneth Sims denies this by asserting that, “I, nor any other priest or bishop I know, have ever preached a sermon on sin, hell, demons, or the devil in within the last 40 years. Obviously the good doctor is mistaken.” In fact, in a recent poll, only five percent of Catholics even knew what a demon was.
Wesley Smith writes at the First Things blog:
“Choice” my foot: If the new bill to legalize assisted suicide in California (A.B. 374) becomes law, Catholic nursing homes will be legally required to permit assisted suicide to be committed within their premises, even though doing so would be a profound violation of Catholic moral teaching. In-patient hospice facilities would be similarly coerced, despite assisted suicide being a direct affront to the hospice philosophy and the medical standards under which programs operate. Other California medical facilities and group homes could also be forced to comply. Only acute-care hospitals escape the proposed tyrannical duty to cooperate in ending patients’ lives.
(Hat tip: The Roving Medievalist)
JERUSALEM, Feb. 25 Israeli archeologist Amos Kloner, who discovered the reported burial site of Jesus Christ, has warned that such claims have not yet been validated.(emphasis added)
The internationally renowned archaeologist said a recent film that shows the Jerusalem site as the resting place of Jesus may have been premature in its claim and warned against similar incidences taking place, YNetNews said.
The claim that the burial site has been found is not based on any proof, and is only an attempt to sell, he said. A burial chamber of Jesus' family would be a discovery that would shake up the world, and that's what the filmmakers want to do, Kloner added. The Jerusalem burial site is also said to possibly have been the final resting place of Jesus' mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, and other family members.
One partner in the film told YNetNews that professor Kloner has yet to see the film.
Sunday, 25 February
Labels: Digest of Posts
Fr. Jay Scott Newman of St. Mary's, Greenville, SC, notes that they've trotted out that old Jesus Seminar relic, John Dominic Crossan, for James Cameron's mockumentary: "Your Faith is in Vain, Dr. Crossan".
Amy Welborn has a very interesting post on the ties between 17th / 18th century British politician and evangelical William Wilberforce and Catholicism.
... that this story about the remains of Jesus, Our Lady, and several others (including Mary Magdalene and what is claimed to be her son by Jesus) allegedly being found in some Jerusalem gravesite hasn't gotten more coverage in St. Blog's than it has. To my knowledge, the only Catholic blogs to have given this story any attention are this blog and The Hound of Ulster.
Former "most trusted man in America" appears at event urging greater separation of church and state:
Faith-based initiatives. Intelligent Design. Gay marriage. Terri Schiavo.(emphasis added)
Alarmed by what they see as religious groups' growing influence on government policy, a consortium has launched a public awareness campaign to defend the First Amendment's vow that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
"That cherished freedom is under severe attack," the Rev. Welton Gaddy said before an audience of about
700 people in San Jose. Friday's event included an appearance by newsman Walter Cronkite, who endorsed the new national campaign called First Amendment First.
It calls for houses of worship to stop endorsing political candidates and for states' tax dollars not to go to any charity that discriminates in its hiring or requires people hold a certain faith to receive services.
It also says science and health policies should be based on scientific data, "not religious doctrine," and that schools shouldn't promote any religious preference. [ED.: Does this include private schools?]
Religion and politics are both important, said Cronkite, but "we ought to be able to concentrate on each of those without crossing the two of them."
Republican from New York with plenty of personal baggage still draws conservatives:
WASHINGTON – It sounds like a lead-up to a cheesy joke and it goes something like this:My Comments:
So this guy from New York who's been married three times, wed his second cousin, supports abortion rights and gun control and used to live with a gay couple goes to conservative South Carolina and asks the locals to help him become the Republican president of the United States.
And here's the punch line.
The good folks of Spartanburg meet him over at their firehall, call him an American hero, make him honorary fire chief for the day and don't bother with all that messy divorce, gay and abortion stuff.
Just how long can Rudy Giuliani keep this up?
From Catholic World News:
Vatican, Feb. 23, 2007 (CWNews.com) - “The Church is not an international organization,” Pope Benedict XVI reminded Roman clerics during a Thursday meeting at the Vatican.
The Church, the Holy Father said, “is not an executive body or an organ of power. Nor is she a social agency (although she does undertake social work), but a spiritual body.”
In an informal conversation with priests of the Rome diocese, the Pope stressed the importance of maintaining proper perspective on the spiritual mission of the Church. He encouraged the priests to focus their lives on the Eucharist ...
Get Religion has a piece titled "Keeping religion under wraps", which covers "how little religion was included in [the movie "Amazing Grace"] about someone [British politician William Wilberforce] so religiously influenced".
Sen. Brownback is a fan of late-18th / early-19th Century British lawmaker William Wilberforce, as well as the movie "Amazing Grace", which depicts Wilberforce's efforts to end slavery in the British Empire:
WASHINGTON - Who says Democrats have a lock on Hollywood?
Republican presidential candidate Sam Brownback was in Los Angeles Thursday to attend a screening of the new movie "Amazing Grace," about legendary British lawmaker William Wilberforce, who led the fight to abolish slavery in England in 1807.
Wilberforce happens to be one of the Kansas senator's "personal heroes," said Brownback spokesman Brian Hart. After the movie, Brownback will take part in a panel discussion with the film's producers to discuss human trafficking and slavery.
"He is hopeful that this movie will have a positive impact on the world and shed some light on the tragedy of modern-day slavery and sex trafficking," Hart said.
Brownback's commitment to human rights is bound with his religious faith; he was an evangelical Protestant who converted to Catholicism in 2002. He identifies with Wilberforce, who was a leading evangelical in British Parliament, and has tailored his presidential campaign to appeal to religious conservatives.
Brownback has played a key role in enacting legislation to combat human trafficking, curb disease in Africa and fight genocide in Sudan. He and other anti-abortion activists also see parallels between Wilberforce's fight against slavery and the modern movement to outlaw abortion.
Last week, Brownback introduced a Senate resolution to honor Wilberforce and commemorate 200 years since the end of the slave trade in the British Empire.
New film documents discovery of Jerusalem cave containing ten caskets believed to hold remains of Jesus, Mary, Mary Magdalene and others:
The cave in which Jesus Christ was buried has been found in Jerusalem, claim the makers of a new documentary film.My Comments:
If it proves true, the discovery, which will be revealed at a press conference in New York Monday, could shake up the Christian world as one of the most significant archeological finds in history.
The coffins which, according to the filmmakers held the remains of Jesus of Nazareth, his mother Mary and Mary Magdalene will be displayed for the first timeon Monday in New York.
Jointly produced by Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici and Oscar winning director James Cameron, the film tells the exciting and tortuous story of the archeological discovery.
The story starts in 1980 in Jerusalem’s Talpiyot neighborhood, with the discovery of a 2,000 year old cave containing ten coffins. Six of the ten coffins were carved with inscriptions reading the names: Jesua son of Joseph, Mary, Mary, Matthew, Jofa (Joseph, identified as Jesus’ brother), Judah son of Jesua (Jesus’ son - the filmmakers claim).
The findings in the cave, including the decipherment of the inscriptions, were first revealed about ten years ago by internationally renowned Israeli archeologist Professor Amos Kloner.
Since their discovery, the caskets were kept in the Israeli Antiquities Authority archive in Beit Shemesh, but now two have been sent to New York for their first public exhibition.
Although the cave was discovered nearly 30 years ago and the casket inscriptions decoded ten years ago, the filmmakers are the first to establish that the cave was in fact the burial site of Jesus and his family. (emphasis added)
The findings challenge the traditional Christian belief that Jesus was resurrected three days after his burial and only later rose to heaven. [ED.: But of course. Why else would this be news if it didn't involve an attempt to debunk traditional Christianity?]
Labels: Digest of Posts
... since we had a "Swimmer Alert":
Reuters today ran a story titled "Mediaeval Muslims made stunning math breakthrough". Do you think they (and other media organizations) have a macro to generate paragraphs that read like this?
While Europe was mired in the Dark Ages, Islamic culture flourished beginning in the 7th century, with achievements over numerous centuries in mathematics, medicine, engineering, ceramics, art, textiles, architecture and other areas.I could swear that I have read that exact same paragraph countless times before, whenever some MSM story has appeared about Islamic contributions to civilization.
Michael Jackson could soon convert to Islam, according to his brother Jermaine.He should fit right in [WARNING: Graphic photo].
Michael Jackson is thought to be in Bahrain at the moment
The fallen pop star, who was acquitted of child abuse charges two years ago, has been reading Islamic books and developed an interest in the faith, his brother claims.
Jermaine, 52, became a Muslim in 1989 and said he thought it "most probable" that Michael, 48, would follow him.
"When I came back from Mecca I got him a lot of books and he asked me lots of things about my religion and I told him that it's peaceful and beautiful," he told The Muslim News, a monthly British Muslim newspaper.
"He read everything and he was proud of me that I found something that would give me inner strength and peace.
"I think it is most probable that Michael will convert to Islam."
National Review's Kate O'Beirne (the Fumaristas' "favorite" columnist) writes in the New York Daily News:
... Although former Mayor Rudy Giuliani also could make history, as the first Catholic nominated for President by the Republican Party, the effect of his religion has, to date, been largely ignored. It shouldn't be. Giuliani's Catholicism - and his rejection of some church teachings - could be a significant factor over the long run of the 2008 campaign.
Concerns about conflicted Catholic politicians have largely been laid to rest in recent years, ever since John F. Kennedy gave his historic 1960 speech on balancing the dictates of faith with the obligations of public office.
Giuliani's multiple marriages, his pro-choice stand on abortion and his support of gay civil unions are at odds with his church's positions - so there is no cause to worry that he would be a Catholic President taking directions from the Vatican. But for many Catholics, Giuliani's dissident views could challenge their devotion to the Republican Party.
In his 2004 race against John Kerry, the first Catholic nominee since 1960, George Bush won a majority of Catholic voters by a margin of five points - and carried Catholics who attend services weekly by 13 points. Catholics made up 27% of the electorate in 2004, and are the dominant religion in two-thirds of the presidential battleground states.
Giuliani will need those votes to win. In presidential races over the past 50 years, Republicans have repeatedly been elected thanks largely to Southerners and Catholics who abandoned their ancestral political affiliations. Many of the Catholics who were once Reagan Democrats have become reliable Republican voters in reaction to the excesses of a cultural left that is firmly rooted in the base of the modern Democratic Party.
For Giuliani, that's the rub. Polling shows that a significant percentage of Catholic Republicans share the economic views of big-government liberals rather than small-government conservatives - but many support the Republican Party owing to social issues like abortion. Last year's Senate race in Pennsylvania showed how voters can react when the candidates aren't divided over abortion: many Catholics defected from their previous support for the incumbent, enabling the pro-life Democrat, Bob Casey Jr., to defeat the pro-life Republican incumbent, Rick Santorum.
But what's [Giuliani's] pitch to "values" voters? The GOP should be concerned that nominating a thrice-married Catholic who supports abortion rights could move many Catholics back to their ancestral political home.
Maybe after Rudy says this a few more times, those conservatives who are considering voting for him will snap out of it:
Rudy Giuliani: 'A Woman Has the Right to Choose' AbortionMy Comments:
Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani met with firefighters and police officers in this early voting state Wednesday, using the forum to reference the Sept. 11 terror attacks, which earned him national attention.
Giuliani has a tough road ahead in South Carolina, which is to host the first Southern primaries in 2008. His moderate positions on gun control and support for abortion rights do not sit well with the state's Christian conservatives, who accounted for a third of the 2000 GOP primary vote. Those voters swung heavily to President Bush that year, giving him a 2-1 ratio margin over Arizona Sen. John McCain, who was viewed as soft on abortion.
On Wednesday, Giuliani reiterated his own position.
"I'd advise my daughter or anyone else not to have an abortion," Giuliani said. "I'd like to see it ended, but ultimately I believe that a woman has the right to choose.
Diogenes notes that the Archbishop of Armagh has given the NCAA (headquartered in Nativeamericanapolis, Nativamericana) the green light it needed to go after Notre Dame's mascot:
Has the time not come for us to ditch, once and for all, the caricature of the drunken Irish and to consign it to the realm of history along with the slur of the Fighting Irish?(emphasis added)
[March 15], 1790
While I now receive with much satisfaction your congratulations on my being called, by an unanimous vote, to the first station in my country; I cannot but duly notice your politeness in offering an apology for the unavoidable delay. As that delay has given you an opportunity of realizing, instead of anticipating, the benefits of the general government, you will do me the justice to believe, that your testimony of the increase of the public prosperity, enhances the pleasure which I should otherwise have experienced from your affectionate address.
I feel that my conduct, in war and in peace, has met with more general approbation than could reasonably have been expected and I find myself disposed to consider that fortunate circumstance, in a great degree, resulting from the able support and extraordinary candor of my fellow-citizens of all denominations.
The prospect of national prosperity now before us is truly animating, and ought to excite the exertions of all good men to establish and secure the happiness of their country, in the permanent duration of its freedom and independence. America, under the smiles of a Divine Providence, the protection of a good government, and the cultivation of manners, morals, and piety, cannot fail of attaining an uncommon degree of eminence, in literature, commerce, agriculture, improvements at home and respectability abroad.
As mankind become more liberal they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protection of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations in examples of justice and liberality. And I presume that your fellow-citizens will not forget the patriotic part which you took in the accomplishment of their Revolution, and the establishment of their government; or the important assistance which they received from a nation in which the Roman Catholic faith is professed.
I thank you, gentlemen, for your kind concern for me. While my life and my health shall continue, in whatever situation I may be, it shall be my constant endeavor to justify the favorable sentiments which you are pleased to express of my conduct. And may the members of your society in America, animated alone by the pure spirit of Christianity, and still conducting themselves as the faithful subjects of our free government, enjoy every temporal and spiritual felicity.
From the Denver Register, May 11, 1952:
A picture of the Blessed Virgin Mary and one of St. John were among the effects found in an inventory of the articles at Mount Vernon at the death of George Washington, first president of the U.S.A. The Rev. W.C. Repetti, S.J., archivist at Georgetown University, reports he has discovered this information in an appendix to a biography of Washington. The book is a Life of George Washington by Edward Everett, published by Sheldon & Co. in New York in 1860. "The fact that he had a picture of the Blessed Virgin is rather unexpected, and, to the best of my knowledge, has not been brought out," says Fr. Repetti.
The long report among slaves of Mount Vernon as to Washington's deathbed conversion would be odd unless based on truth. These were not Catholic Negroes; it is part of the tradition that weeping and wailing occurred in the quarters that Massa Washington had been snared by the Scarlet Woman of Rome, whom they had been taught to fear and hate. Supposedly, Father Neale was rowed across the Piscatawney by Negro oarsmen; and men often talked freely when slaves were nearby, confidently ignoring their presence.
From the Denver Register, February 24, 1957:
It was a long tradition among both the Maryland Province Jesuit Fathers and the Negro slaves of the Washington plantation and those of the surrounding area that the first President died a Catholic. These and other facts about George Washington are reported in the Paulist Information magazine by Doran Hurley.
The story is that Father Leonard Neale, S.J., was called to Mount Vernon from St. Mary's Mission across the Piscatawney River four hours before Washington's death. Washington's body servant, Juba, is authority for the fact that the General made the Sign of the Cross at meals. He may have learned this from his Catholic lieutenants, Stephen Moylan or John Fitzgerald. At Valley Forge, Washington forbade the burning in effigy of the Pontiff on "Pope's Day." Several times as President he is reported to have slipped into a Catholic church to hear Sunday Mass.
Labels: Digest of Posts
Not much thinking appears to be going on over at the American Thinker:
Why I - a Staunch Pro-Lifer - Am Voting for GuilianiMy Comments:
By Kyle-Anne Shiver
In most of the Presidential elections since 1973, I have been what the pollsters refer to as a "single-issue" voter, being ever stalwart in my support for vigorous pro-life candidates. But this primary, I'm voting for Guiliani, despite his pro-choice stance. Here's why.
First of all, contrary to a great deal of hysterical feminist rhetoric, the President of the United States can really only do three things to advance the pro-life cause as long as Roe stands. One, he can appoint strict constructionist judges who interpret the Constitution as written, as opposed to the hocus-pocus, magical finding of things that are not there in reality. Guiliani has demonstrated to my satisfaction that he intends to do exactly that.
Secondly, a President can avoid vetoing any pro-life legislation - such as the ban on Partial-Birth Abortion - that happens to find its way to his desk. I would like to see Republicans urge Mr. Guiliani to make this a formal commitment.
Lastly, he can veto any anti-life funding bills. In reality, those are the only areas where the President has influence in the pro-life arena. I could argue all day and all night with Mr. Guiliani over the "rightness" of any woman's choice to kill her offspring in the womb, and it still would not change the current Law of the Land one iota. Despite NARAL propaganda, the President of the United States does not wield lawful control over any American woman's body or what she does with it.
Unfortunately, in 2008, we Americans do not have the luxury of focusing our votes towards any domestic agenda. That we have some very large, ever-looming domestic problems - health care crisis, out-of-control entitlement programs, an irresponsible deficit, to name a few - goes without belaboring. But to give any of those center stage right now is, in my view, pure folly. Whether we like it or not, we are in a war, a war we neither asked for, nor started. And, no matter what happens in the short run in Iraq, we are going to be at war for a long time.