Thursday, December 31, 2009

Baby-Hating Malthusian Nonsense Goes Mainstream at Copenhagen

Matthew Archbold reports:
China's at the forefront of saving the planet. And they're doing it one baby at a time. That is, killing one baby at a time, according to Max Schulz from the Washington Examiner:
Want to save the planet from global warming? Forget about getting rid of coal plants or the internal combustion engine. Get rid of the humans. They're the true problem.

That insidious message gained new currency with the United Nations Copenhagen climate change circus this month. While the conference likely will be remembered for participants' failure to reach a binding emissions reduction agreement, its legacy may be that it brought mainstream respectability to the fringe left-wing notion that mankind is a scourge on the planet.

In so doing, it has breathed new life into population control proposals that had seemed discredited since the population bomb alarmists warned about in the 1960s and '70s failed to detonate...

Can you imagine being present at a conference where they're boasting about 400 million forced abortions and not storming out or at least slamming the door. But no, our President and the elite of the world sat on their hands or worse...even approved. 400 million?! That's not environmentalism, that's a holocaust.

My Commnents:
Just a few days ago, we commemorated the Feast of the Holy Innocents. But, in retrospect, Herod had nothing on these environazis.

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

From Our Family to Yours, Have a Blessed and Very Merry Christmas

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Steve Dillard on Bart Stupak: "Pro-Life Warrior"

My friend, Steve Dillard, writes at First Thoughts:
Like many conservatives, I am extremely skeptical that the health-care reform being pushed through Congress by President Obama and his fellow Democrats is actually going to improve health care in this country or reduce the cost of providing same. Nevertheless, my primary concern throughout this political drama has been that the final version of the bill not result in federal funding of abortions.

And for a while, things looked promising. In the House of Representatives,
Bart Stupak (D-MI) fought tirelessly to ensure that an amendment was attached to the House bill prohibiting the use of federal funds to pay for “elective” abortions. Then, Ben Nelson (D-NE) indicated that he would insist on the Senate version of the bill including language that mirrored the Stupak amendment. Suffice it to say, this did not come to pass.

So, as it stands, the only thing standing in the way of federal funding of abortions is Rep. Stupak and his tremendous leadership on this issue.

But the question on every politico’s mind is: Will Stupak cave like Nelson?Many of my jaded Republican friends certainly think he will. They believe that Pelosi et al.will eventually get to Stupak, and force him to sign off on the Nelson-approved language contained in the Senate bill.

Well, call me a cock-eyed optimist, but I truly believe
Stupak will stand his ground. Like the late (and great) Robert P. Casey, Sr., I am convinced that Stupak is the genuine article...

[Read the whole thing]

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
To Bart Stupak, On the Eve of Battle

Democrats Reveal Priorities: Universal Abortion Trumps Universal Health Coverage

Health Care, Politicians and the Catholic Conscience

Feel Free to Oppose Health Care Reform in Good Conscience ...

White House at Odds with Bishops Over Abortion Coverage in Reid "Health Care" Bill

"Pro-Life" Harry Reid Strips Stupak Language from Senate ObamaCare Bill

Epic Fail: Legal Hack Toobin Relies on Falsified Source for Abortion "History" in Article Against Stupak Amendment

Stupak Warns Democrats Not to Mess with Anti-Abortion Health Care Language

Because Blaming the Minority Opposition Party is Easier Than Owning Up to Having Aligned Yourself With a Party For Whom Abortion is a Sacrament

A Big Pro Ecclesia Thank You ...

Stupak Still Fighting Good Fight: Says He Has 40 Democrat Votes to Stop Health Care Reform Over Abortion Coverage; Says President Being Disingenuous

House Democrats Block Vote to Cut Abortion From Health Care Bill

Michael Sean Winters: "Deceitful Bogeyman" of the Catholic Left

Catholic Bishops: All Current Health Care Bills in Congress Would Permit Federal Funding of Abortion

Catholic Senators are Decisive Factor in Defeating Abortion Funding Ban and Conscience Protection in Health Care Bill

Can Stupak Be Counted Upon to Stand Firm on Abortion? Probably Not

Congressman Bart Stupak, Democrat, Defending the Right to Life in Heath Care

Pro-Life Catholic Dem: "We Believe We Have the Votes" to Shut Down Healthcare Over Abortion

Obama Won't Meet With Pro-Life Democrat to Discuss Abortion, Health Care

Pro-Life Catholic Dem: Prevent Abortion Funding, Or I'll Block Healthcare

House Democrats Will Likely Prevent Vote to Remove Abortion From Health Care

Deal Hudson: "Why Catholics Will Not Get Abortion Out of the Health Care Bill" [UPDATED]

LA Times: Next Hurdle in Healthcare "Debate" is Abortion

Congressman Smith Warns Against Phony ‘Compromise’ on Abortion Mandates in ObamaCare

Dem Says Language Expressly Prohibiting Abortion Funding a Must in Health Care Bill [UPDATED]

Pelosi Accused of Muzzling Opposition to Taxpayer-Funded D.C. Abortions

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Monday, December 21, 2009

"Nobody Had a Better Sense of What Was Right Than Teddy"

Excuse me. I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.

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To Bart Stupak, On the Eve of Battle

Deal Hudson writes at InsideCatholic:
Dear Representative Stupak,

Your statement on Saturday following the decision of Sen. Ben Nelson to support the Senate health-care bill was a great relief to millions of Catholics in this country. Your comment that "the Senate abortion language is not acceptable" provided moral and religious clarity at a crucial moment in the history of our nation and Church.

You pinpointed the problems with the abortion language of the manager's amendment, noting the "dramatic shift in federal policy that would allow the federal government to subsidize insurance policies with abortion coverage." You also rejected the proposed "segregation of funds" as "another departure from current policy prohibiting federal subsidy of abortion language."

Senator Nelson believes that the language you find unacceptable has "accomplished the goal" of preventing "tax dollars from being used to subsidize abortions." As your statement infers, Nelson is simply wrong about this and, for whatever reason, refused a briefing with National Right to Life, whose own statement further explains the shortcomings of the manager's amendment.

Nelson's decision was influenced by a deal he was offered so that his state of Nebraska would save money in Medicaid payments. How can that compare to the thousands, and eventually millions, of aborted children that will directly result from federal funding for abortion? Surely you agree that the right to life is not a principle that can be for sale at any price.

In all likelihood, your resolve and leadership is going to be tested when the health-care bill passes in the Senate, passes through conference, and returns to the House for a final vote. Sixty-three Democrats joined you in supporting your amendment banning federal funding for abortion, but the amendment itself added only ten new votes to the total.

Nonetheless, if those ten votes remain constant (including your own), the health-care bill, in its present form, cannot pass the House.

I don't need to tell you that Catholic leadership in the Congress has, for many years, been sending a mixed message on the non-negotiable life issues to this nation's citizens, Catholic and non-Catholic. If the House, following your leadership, rejects this bill because of federal funding of abortion, it will help correct much of the widespread confusion about Catholic teaching. (It will also bring anger, but I have a feeling you're prepared for that.)

I hope you will continue to look beyond the political upside or downside of your efforts to remove abortion funding from health-care reform. None of those calculations can matter in the face of the unborn child.

Many of those lives hang in the balance as we approach the eve of the health-care battle, which may well be Christmas Eve itself. You will recall that the Christ child Himself faced a threat to His life in Herod not long after He was born. He wasn't the last.

With prayers and best wishes during this Advent season,
Deal W. Hudson

Previoius Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Democrats Reveal Priorities: Universal Abortion Trumps Universal Health Coverage

Health Care, Politicians and the Catholic Conscience

Feel Free to Oppose Health Care Reform in Good Conscience ...

White House at Odds with Bishops Over Abortion Coverage in Reid "Health Care" Bill

"Pro-Life" Harry Reid Strips Stupak Language from Senate ObamaCare Bill

Epic Fail: Legal Hack Toobin Relies on Falsified Source for Abortion "History" in Article Against Stupak Amendment

Stupak Warns Democrats Not to Mess with Anti-Abortion Health Care Language

Because Blaming the Minority Opposition Party is Easier Than Owning Up to Having Aligned Yourself With a Party For Whom Abortion is a Sacrament

A Big Pro Ecclesia Thank You ...

Stupak Still Fighting Good Fight: Says He Has 40 Democrat Votes to Stop Health Care Reform Over Abortion Coverage; Says President Being Disingenuous

House Democrats Block Vote to Cut Abortion From Health Care Bill

Michael Sean Winters: "Deceitful Bogeyman" of the Catholic Left

Catholic Bishops: All Current Health Care Bills in Congress Would Permit Federal Funding of Abortion

Catholic Senators are Decisive Factor in Defeating Abortion Funding Ban and Conscience Protection in Health Care Bill

Can Stupak Be Counted Upon to Stand Firm on Abortion? Probably Not

Congressman Bart Stupak, Democrat, Defending the Right to Life in Heath Care

Pro-Life Catholic Dem: "We Believe We Have the Votes" to Shut Down Healthcare Over Abortion

Obama Won't Meet With Pro-Life Democrat to Discuss Abortion, Health Care

Pro-Life Catholic Dem: Prevent Abortion Funding, Or I'll Block Healthcare

House Democrats Will Likely Prevent Vote to Remove Abortion From Health Care

Deal Hudson: "Why Catholics Will Not Get Abortion Out of the Health Care Bill" [UPDATED]

LA Times: Next Hurdle in Healthcare "Debate" is Abortion

Congressman Smith Warns Against Phony ‘Compromise’ on Abortion Mandates in ObamaCare

Dem Says Language Expressly Prohibiting Abortion Funding a Must in Health Care Bill [UPDATED]

Pelosi Accused of Muzzling Opposition to Taxpayer-Funded D.C. Abortions

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Irony: Blizzard Dumps Snow on "Global Warming" Conference

Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) -- World leaders flying into Copenhagen today to discuss a solution to global warming will first face freezing weather as a blizzard dumped 10 centimeters (4 inches) of snow on the Danish capital overnight.

“Temperatures will stay low at least the next three days,” Henning Gisseloe, an official at Denmark’s Meteorological Institute, said today by telephone, forecasting more snow in coming days. “There’s a good chance of a white Christmas.”

Delegates from 193 countries have been in Copenhagen since Dec. 7 to discuss how to fund global greenhouse gas emission cuts. U.S. President Barack Obama will arrive before the summit is scheduled to end tomorrow.

Denmark has a maritime climate and milder winters than its Scandinavian neighbors. It hasn’t had a white Christmas for 14 years, under the DMI’s definition, and only had seven last century. Temperatures today fell as low as minus 4 Celsius (25 Fahrenheit).

DMI defines a white Christmas as 90 percent of the country being covered by at least 2 centimeters of snow on the afternoon of Dec. 24.
(Hat tip: Ed Morrissey)

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O Sapentia - The Coming Lord is Wisdom

Old Testament Prophetic Verses:
Isaias 11:2-3
And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: the spirit of wisdom, and of understanding, the spirit of counsel, and of fortitude, the spirit of knowledge, and of godliness. And he shall be filled with the spirit of the fear of the Lord, He shall not judge according to the sight of the eyes, nor reprove according to the hearing of the ears.

Isaias 28:29
This also is come forth from the Lord God of hosts, to make his counsel wonderful, and magnify justice.

O Wisdom that comest out of the mouth of the Most High, that reachest from one end to another, and orderest all things mightily and sweetly, come to teach us the way of prudence!

O Sapientia, quæ ex ore Altissimi prodiisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem, fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia: veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiæ.

O come, Thou Wisdom, from on high,
and order all things far and nigh;
to us the path of knowledge show,
and teach us in her ways to go.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

Veni, O Sapientia,
quae hic disponis omnia,
veni, viam prudentiae
ut doceas et gloriae.

Gaude, gaude, Emmanuel
Nascetur pro te, Israel.

Come, Lord Jesus!


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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Democrats Reveal Priorities: Universal Abortion Trumps Universal Health Coverage

Matthew Archbold writes at Creative Minority Report:
I've always wondered what was more important to secularist liberals, abortion or socialism. Sure, the two seem to be linked but when it comes down to it, which one, I wondered, was the principal which liberals would cling to no matter what.

And this week gave me my answer. The Senate Democrats needed 60 votes to pass healthcare but Senators Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman stood in the way for different reasons, presenting the White House and Senate leadership with a choice. Lieberman swore he wouldn't vote for a public option while Nelson said he couldn't vote for public funding of abortion.

And this week, Harry Reid did what seemed unthinkable just a month ago. He told Lieberman that they would take out the public option out of the healthcare bill. It's telling that the Democrats in the White House and the Senate surrendered the public option before they were willing to take abortion out.

Let's remember, the whole point of this healthcare bill and the main focus of Barack Obama's first year in the Presidency was the public option. And they just gave it away so that they wouldn't have to take out federal funding of abortion.

So in short, while liberals say that they believe that everyone is entitled to healthcare even at taxpayer expense what they really mean is that everyone is entitled to an abortion at taxpayer expense. They have proven with their actions that abortion is the bedrock principal of the Democratic Party.

But is anyone really surprised by this? I knew the answer all along. After all, abortion is the unholy "sacrament" of the Democratic Party. And, as Nina Burleigh reminded us over a decade ago, the party's base will forgive any number of departures from left-liberal orthodoxy as long as the party remains faithful in its devotion to said "sacrament".

And, yes, they'll even sacrifice long-held social welfare principles such as publicly funded health care on that high altar of abortion. Moloch must be appeased.

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Palin Pwns Schwartzenegger on Climate Change

After Arnold Schwartzenegger's bizarre attack on Sarah Palin over her climate change stance (he implied that she is a so-called "denier" when the exact opposite is the case), Sarah Palin responded with a Facebook post revealing that she has more stones than California's girly man governor could ever dream of having:
Why is Governor Schwarzenegger pushing for the same sorts of policies in Copenhagen that have helped drive his state into record deficits and unemployment? Perhaps he will recall that I live in our nation’s only Arctic state and that I was among the first governors to create a sub-cabinet to deal specifically with climate change. While I and all Alaskans witness the impacts of changes in weather patterns firsthand, I have repeatedly said that we can’t primarily blame man’s activities for those changes. And while I did look for practical responses to those changes, what I didn’t do was hamstring Alaska’s job creators with burdensome regulations so that I could act “greener than thou” when talking to reporters.

- Sarah Palin
(Hat tip: Ed Morrissey)

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First Thoughts: "Did First Things Influence the Obama Doctrine?"

Joe Carter has a tongue-in-cheek (I think) post at First Thoughts speculating (and then dismissing said speculation) that First Things might have played a role in influencing the so-called "Obama Doctrine" on the exertion of military power, which (to the extent the President's Nobel speech actually announced a doctrine at all) appears to have been inspired by the "Christian Realism" of theologian Reinhold Niebuhr.

(Niebuhr is obviously trendy at the moment as, just yesterday, I linked to an LA Times piece by Neal Gabler in which he mentions that Bill Moyers "has also called himself a Christian Realist, after the great theologian Reinhold Niebuhr".)

An interesting discussion ensues at First Thoughts, but my attention was most drawn to this comment, which ponders how Obama's "Christian Realism" might play a role in arbitrating winners and losers in the Culture Wars:
... We learn from Mr Brooks that the Brooks-Obama doctrine of ‘Christian realism’ is grounded on ‘core struggles within human nature’ or paradoxes of the human condition, namely ‘humanity’s noble but sinful nature’, ‘prophetic Christianity and the human tendency towards corruption’. So far, so good. It sounds Pauline, even evangelical.

But place these memes and paradoxes together with the tactical message of President Obama’s speech at Notre Dame in which he indicated that there are two seemingly irreconcilable positions on abortion: a woman’s right and the right to life. Now what do we have? A perfect argument for the Christian Realist to take up the mantel of Arbiter-in-Chief in the culture wars, the umpire in the new American multi-faith, multi-cult society in which everyone has his or her own truth and there is no health in us.

Brooks-Obama presents a new, appeal-to-the-evangelicals, twist on the old story of American pragmatism. It is not the Unifying One who is being put forward as Presidential Persona by Brooks, but the Christian Realist One who will constitutionalize (forgive the barbarism) relativism as the new American civil religion.

Questions of war and peace and much else (gay marriage, abortion, stem cell manipulation, freedom of conscience and general cultural mayhem) can, thanks to the paradoxes of human nature and the human condition, be rendered perfectly harmless by being translated into pragmatic considerations because they are undecidable. You see, Brooks-Obama is even a tad post-modern.

None of this is new but it took Mr Brooks to spell it out theologically and politically.

The anticipated result: a big knock down to Evangelicals of the conservative persuasion, Catholic Bishops, idiots in trailer camps, signers of the Manhatten Declaration, Neocons, American exceptionalists, grumpy old men and women and, of course, Mrs Palin who doesn’t know a relativist from a fundamentalist except that she does know that certain things are wrong. I’m not carrying a brief for Palin but I can’t resist pointing out how un-Realistic she is.

I would like to ask a pragmatic question. Is Brooks-Obama confecting a winner in the cultural wars? By contenting moderately the moderates and shunting aside what will now appear to be the fanatical fringes (Palin to Dolan), it might be possible to acquire both majority and legitimacy. Brooks suggests that Obama’s Christian Realism can offer both success and the moral rearmament of liberalism.

The price is that we must agree that there is no truth, even if truth is something we strive to find and understand rather than possess. We will be offered an analysis of multiple and conflicting problems, rights, needs, paradoxes, perspectives, positions, values and truths, held together by the numbing tragedy and limitations of the human condition. And, oh yes, there is a bright side: we will have a President who is the constitutional guarantor of relativism as the alternative to civil war.

The choice Brooks-Obama offer, and which they want us to accept, is false and demeaning.
[emphasis added]

An interesting (and troubling) perspective.

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Pro-Life Catholic Rubio Pulls Even With Crist in Florida Senate Race

Deal Hudson reports:
Rasmussen is reporting that challenger Marco Rubio , a pro-life Catholic, has pulled even with his GOP rival, Gov. Charlie Crist, in the Florida Senate Race.


This is not good news for Crist who has a ten million dollar war-chest and the backing of much of the Republican establishment.

One GOP leader who is not backing Crist, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), hosted a small dinner last night in DC for Mark Rubio. I found Rubio very appealing as a candidate and a person -- 38 years old, the father of four young children, Rubio left the table to call home and tell his children 'goodnight' just before bedtime. Rubio, from the Cuban community of Miami, obviously didn't do this for show -- he often spoke in a self-effacing way about his wife, Jeanette, who reminds him to take out the garbage and "move those boxes."

Rubio still has the dash and charm of a young man, but he's a seasoned politician having just finished eight years in the Florida legislature, rising to Majority Whip, Majority Leader, and Speaker of the House.

I will be publishing a longer feature on Rubio, with an interview, in the next few days...

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Lefties Cry Over Departure of PBS's Moyers

So-called "progressives" often decry the rancor and tone of modern political commentary, usually placing complete blame for the nastiness on their conservative adversaries, be it radio/TV hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, or Glenn Beck, or political strategists such as Lee Atwater or Karl Rove. They completely ignore the contributions their own side has made to the coarsening of political discourse, either working with the assumption that liberals practice only peace and love in political debate, or taking the approach that nasty, combative, and even misleading or outright false commentary directed toward one's opponents is justified in the name of taking the fight to the hate-filled, mean-spirited vast right-wing conspiracy.

A case in point is an old Pro Ecclesia favorite, Bill Moyers, and how the left has greeted news of his departure from his PBS series "Bill Moyers Journal". National Catholic Reporter's Thomas Fox touts Moyers as a "moral authority" in linking to this LA Times piece by Neal Gabler on Moyer's decision to close up shop: "Bill Moyers: a thoughtful voice amid the din".

Yeah, right. Gabler begins:
It is a testament to how much Bill Moyers matters that this quiet, humble man [ED.: People who are "humble" don't tend to be as thin skinned as Moyers clearly is.] can still stir passions. When he announced late last month he would be leaving his award-winning weekly PBS series, "Bill Moyers Journal," in April, some of us felt as if we were losing a sacred American institution, a repository of the nation's conscience [ED.: Hyperbolize much? And why is it that only left-of-center ideologues get described as "sacred American institutions" and "the nation's conscience" despite their overt hostility to faith in the public square and support for such unconscionable policy preferences as abortion on demand, euthanasia, and other means of population control, while right-of-center prickers of conscience are dismissed as "theocratic", "moralistic", or "puritanical" scolds seeking to "impose their moral values on the rest of the nation"?] or while others cheered. Right-wing bloviator Bill O'Reilly went so far as to boast that he had forced Moyers from the air -- a claim that was not only patently false but also a misconception of who Moyers is and what he does. Astonishing as it may be to anyone who has watched Moyers, his right-wing critics seem to see him as just another noisy shill among the army of blowhards, ideologues, demagogues and partisans on the airwaves. They couldn't be more wrong. [ED.: That's just it. His critics are NOT wrong in their assessment. We know, because we've been on the receiving end of Moyer's vitriol for decades now. His progressive adulators either ignore or don't recognize Moyer's mean-spirited tendencies because they happen to agree with him.]

The reason so many of us are already mourning Moyers' departure is that he is so unlike O'Reilly and that ilk. Though Moyers has certainly addressed the major issues of his times and taken fierce stands on them -- against military adventurism, against violence, against intolerance and hatred, for environmental sensitivity, for real healthcare reform [ED.: Once again, we see that religious fervor animating one's politics is just hunky dory when used to push a an agenda with which the media happens to agree; but Heaven forbid one be motivated by such beliefs in pursuit of an agenda with which the media is adamently opposed, such as the traditional definition of marriage and a culture that values each and every life, including the unborn] and grass-roots democracy -- and though his recent programs have provided the deepest and most invigorating discussions of these issues on television, most of his work has had little to do directly with politics or policy and nothing at all to do with opinion-mongering. He is far less interested in advancing a particular position than in inspiring moral growth in the hope of creating a more just and beneficent society. In short, far from being another cudgel-wielding pundit, Moyers may be television's only moralist.
(emphasis and editorial commentary added)

Yes, he's certainly moralistic, alright. And, as "progressive" ideologues tend to become when self-assured in the moral superiority of their particular viewpoints (see, e.g., Jimmy Carter and Al Gore), Moyers is also insufferably sanctimonious. He's also pretty nasty in his own right toward those who do not share in his world view. Here are some examples gleaned just from the Pro Ecclesia archives:

  • Moyers' record reveals him to be someone interested in "digging dirt" on opponents and "as someone very comfortable with propaganda techniques";
  • Moyers routinely slanders those with whom he disagrees politically;
  • Moyers is a bully;
  • Moyers denigrates his political opponents as uncompromising "religious zealots" who "loathe democracy" (more on this momentarily); and
  • Moyers likes to call into question the sanity of conservatives - let us not forget that the destructive polorization of American politics could just as easily be laid at the door of Moyers who, as a member of the LBJ administration, personally green-lighted the infamous "Daisy Ad", which asserted that a vote for Sen. Barry Goldwater for President was a vote for nuclear destruction. Moyers also coined the anti-Goldwater slogan "In your guts, you know he's nuts." Moyers' opponents aren't just wrong, their mental stability is questionable.

  • Yes, so much for the "thoughtful" Moyers' efforts to raise the level of political discourse above the rancorous din. But I digress. Gabler continues to extol Moyers' "virtues":
    One cannot understand Moyers without understanding his theological training and his moral conviction. [ED.: Again, this is viewed as a credit when the subject is a liberal; when a conservative is animated by religious faith and moral conviction, it is viewed as "dangerous".] His mission has always been to make things better, not louder. In many respects he operates within the religious tradition of the social gospel with its concern for vivifying and actualizing religious values, though he has also called himself a Christian Realist, after the great theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, by which he means, as he put it, to see the "world as it is, without illusions, and to take it on. . . . "

    This, far more than politics, explains Moyers' fervent populism. Populism is where his hardscrabble upbringing, his feeling for his fellow man and his Christianity has led him. (Of course Christianity has also led others to the opposite pole.) For him, politics is a means to a moral end. Christian Realism may also explain his tenacity. Moyers has said that one has a moral obligation to right wrongs, and in this cause, he has been fearless, which is why O'Reilly's braggadocio is so ridiculous. Moyers has never flinched in a fight. He is girded in moral armor.
    (emphasis and editorial commentary added)

    I will note once more the emphasis on Moyers' religious beliefs. And yet, as noted above, Moyers would deny his political opponents the same opportunity to put their faith into practice and to make "politics ... a means to a moral end". He has made it his personal crusade to expose those among his political opponents who are people of faith and who take their religion with them into the public square as a bunch of fundamentalist zealots bent on theocracy. And he has done so, time and again, using harsh rhetoric to describe such people.

    So, no, Moyers is no different than O'Reilly or Limbaugh or Beck or Atwater or Rove when it comes to the game of harsh and divisive political rhetoric. He just purveys his progagandistic, sloganistic, stridently ideological wares in a more high-brow setting and pushing a left-of-center policy agenda of which left wingers like NCR's Thomas Fox and The LA Times' Neal Gabler approve.

    By the way, check out the last blurb at the bottom of that Gabler piece:
    Gabler is at work on a biography of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.
    Oh, wonderful. So, I suppose we can expect the same kind of lionizing of the so-called "Lion of the Senate" from Gabler as Moyers receives, ignoring Kennedy's own contribution to the coarsening of political discourse - such as his calumnious diatribe against "Robert Bork's America", while excoriating Kennedy's political opponents as "mean-spirited and hate-filled bigots". I can hardly wait.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    As If We Didn't Already Know: Media Cohorts Expose Bill Moyers as Propagandist Hack

    "One of the Last Sane Conservatives"

    "Reporting's Easier When You Don’t Worry About Facts"

    Bill Moyers: "Rove Turned Religion Into a Weapon of Political Combat"

    Feddie, on Behalf of Jimmy Akin, Tells Bill Moyers and His Lawyers to Go Pound Sand

    Bill Moyers - Still An Idiot After All These Years

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    An Irish Catholic Heritage Blog ...

    ... focusing on the traditional liturgy:
    St. Conleth’s Catholic Heritage Association aims at safeguarding the rich liturgical heritage of the Catholic Church and promoting its use in the sacramental life of the Church in the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin. In effect, this means that we seek the full implementation of Summorum Pontificum throughout the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin, wherever there is a genuine pastoral need.

    This blog will keep you informed of the activities of St. Conleth’s Catholic Heritage Association, and of progress made in implementing Summorum Pontificum, particularly throughout the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin.

    Posts will be made on the first weekend of the month.
    Check it out. The most recent post regarding the latest issue of the Association's journal CHRISTVS REGNAT, is here.

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    Monday, December 14, 2009

    Nostalgic for the Crusades?

    As Brad Miner notes at The Catholic Thing, Baylor University historian Rodney Starks has a new book that makes the case in favor of the Crusades:
    Pray for me, folks, because I’m nostalgic for the Crusades.

    Of course a twenty-first-century fellow can’t really be nostalgic for the eleventh or twelfth centuries, since nostalgia properly means severe homesickness, a yearning for familiar conditions from a prior period in our own lives. But there’s a secondary meaning: a wistful longing for a lost dominion. I’m idealistically attracted – as perhaps I should be – to the qualities of the knight, such as honor and bravery, and incautiously suppose – as no doubt I shouldn’t – that these qualities arose in a time and in places congenial to virtue. Chivalry! The Crusades! Something to fight for! Where the heck are my sword and my steed?

    If the Crusades ever evoked appreciation – and they did – that particular lost dominion took a pretty serious blow on September 16, 2001 when in an Oval Office speech George W. Bush said: “This crusade, this war on terrorism is gonna take awhile.” The press swooned and Muslim sensibilities were outraged, encouraged perhaps by the media swarf. That’s a mere eight years ago, but the Crusades – their reputation already foundering in the multicultural chop – have all but sunk into the black hole of politically correct disdain. Even “Kingdom of Heaven,” Ridley Scott’s 2005 film about the Third Crusade, failed to make the great expedition very interesting. Many saw the film as a scolding commentary on Crusader Bush.

    Enter historian Rodney Stark, riding my missing horse. His new book, God’s Battalions, is actually subtitled: The Case for the Crusades. And he makes the case! With admirable frankness and flair. He writes that the prevailing wisdom about the Crusades may indeed be that “an expansionist, imperialistic Christendom brutalized, looted, and colonized a tolerant and peaceful Islam,” but Stark’s next words are telling:

    “Not so.”

    Professor Stark (Baylor University) emphasizes that the onset of hostilities between Christians and Muslims long pre-dated the Crusades. We too often forget that for six centuries after the Resurrection there was no Islam and much of northern Africa and what we now call the Middle East were Christian or pagan. But from the beginning of Muhammad’s public life – and especially after his death in 632 – his followers began making war on just about everybody, and within a century Islam had swallowed up most of that eastern territory and by 1095 – when the First Crusade left Europe for the Holy Land – the Byzantine Empire, Christendom’s eastern bastion, was in grave peril of conquest, which is why the emperor, Alexius Comnenus, wrote to Pope Urban II telling horror stories about Muslim atrocities against Christians and begging for military aid from Europe.

    Islam, according to the historical record as Stark presents it, is a “religion of peace” mostly in the sense that it seeks to subdue and unify the people it conquers. True, the Qur’an forbids forced conversions, but in practice this has meant that “subject peoples were ‘free to choose’ conversion as an alternative to death or enslavement.” And to be fair, in some places – Spain (Al-Andalus) is a good example – Christians and Jews might live in relative peace, since the Muslim ruling class sequestered itself, paying little attention to subject people (dhimmis) except at tax time. To many in southern and eastern Europe, Muslim expansion began to seem all but unstoppable . . . until it stopped. Christians fought back. Constantinople was able to hold off its invaders in several successful sea battles. Charles Martel defeated a Muslim force in what would become France. The Reconquista began in Spain, and in 1094 the legendary El Cid defeated an Islamic army at Valencia. Islam was in retreat.

    With the letter from Alexius in hand, Urban II exhorted Christians to come to the aid of their besieged and battered co-religionists in the east, and 35,000 answered the call.


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    Thursday, December 10, 2009

    Washington Post Calumniates Catholic Church

    The Cranky Conservative has the details:
    ... grossly distorted and ignorant op-ed written by Robert McCartney.
    Question: Why would Washington’s Roman Catholic archdiocese let a dispute over employment benefits, which would have little practical effect, cause it to give up doing valuable, publicly funded work helping the homeless and sick?

    Answer: Because the church doesn’t want to miss an opportunity, however small, to oppose homosexuals’ right to wed.

    Lest you think I’m guilty of engaging in distortrion myself, here’ the next paragraph.
    That’s the lesson I’ve drawn from the dispute between the archdiocese and the D.C. Council over the same-sex marriage bill. Unless there’s a compromise before the council’s decisive vote, scheduled for Tuesday, the church would reduce its social welfare activities in ways that signal it thinks they’re less important than taking a stand against same-sex marriage.
    Again, this is nothing but supposition. The diocese has taken a stance that McCartney disapproves of, and instead of engaging the arguments, he chooses to question the authenticity of his opponents. Disgusting.
    I write this as someone who is not Catholic (I’m Protestant) but who has taken an interest in religious issues and the church since I helped cover the Vatican for the Associated Press in Rome in the early 1980s. I view the church as a tremendous force for good in the world in many ways, especially in its advocacy for the poor and against violence. The U.S. church supports more ambitious health-care reform than Barack Obama does, for instance.
    Ahh, so we have the concern troll phenomenon at work here. The author is not even a Catholic, but he presumes he has the ability to read the hearts and minds of Catholic prelates. And the Church is a-okay as long as it only engages in actions and supports the same causes as the author...

    [Read the whole thing]
    (emphasis added)

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    Wednesday, December 09, 2009

    How the Puritans Stole Our Lady

    In a few weeks, it will be time for my annual Twelfth Night post, "How the Puritians Stole Christmas". An event I'm sure you're already anticipating.

    While you're waiting, you can read Dave Hartline's much more serious effort at The American Catholic, which chronicles the ill effects on devotion to Our Blessed Lady wrought by the zeal of the "Reformers":

    "Some 500 Years Ago Like An Abduction In the Night, The Virgin Mary Was Taken From Many Christians".

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    Pope Rejects Moral Equivalency

    Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War, fellow travelers are still playing the moral equivalency game between the free West and the Soviet-bloc East.

    However, the Holy Father said something recently that appears to reject that moral equivalency. Here's the Pope's statement concerning the 60th anniversary of the Federal Republic of Germany's Basic Law and the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall:
    ... Under the communist dictatorship there was no action that would have been regarded as evil and always immoral in itself. Whatever served the objectives of the party was good -- however inhuman it might be. Today someone has asked whether the Western social order is much better and more humanitarian. In fact, the history of the Federal Republic of Germany is a proof of this...
    (emphasis added by James H at Opinionated Catholic)

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    Health Care, Politicians and the Catholic Conscience

    Catholic Online carries this Zenit article by Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus:
    NEW HAVEN, Connecticut ( - For decades, Americans have been subjected to the arguments of certain Catholic politicians who argued that while "personally opposed" to unjust policies like abortion, they were nonetheless unwilling to "impose" that view on the rest of the country.

    The argument was disingenuous, premised on the fact that somehow a "Catholic" conscience had to be put to the side in the public square.

    Now, the very people who argued that they couldn't bring their private conscience into a secular public square are poised to use the law to impose a particular view on their fellow Catholics.

    By working and voting to include abortion coverage in health care legislation, several Catholic politicians stand at the precipice of being the deciding votes in forcing a particular immoral view on their fellow Catholics, by forcing them to fund abortion through their tax dollars.

    While professing that they cannot impose their conscience on anyone else, these politicians seem to have little hesitation about imposing a political view -- one they claim to oppose in principle -- on the consciences of their fellow Catholics.


    Catholic politicians must now consider the effect of national legislation mandating Catholic cooperation in abortion. In his famous pro-life encyclical, "Evangelium Vitae," Pope John Paul II said: "The passing of unjust laws often raises difficult problems of conscience for morally upright people with regard to the issue of cooperation, since they have a right to demand not to be forced to take part in morally evil actions."

    He said further: "Christians, like all people of good will, are called upon under grave obligation of conscience not to cooperate formally in practices which, even if permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to God's law. Indeed, from the moral standpoint, it is never licit to cooperate formally in evil. […]

    "This cooperation can never be justified either by invoking respect for the freedom of others or by appealing to the fact that civil law permits it or requires it. Each individual in fact has moral responsibility for the acts which he personally performs; no one can be exempted from this responsibility, and on the basis of it everyone will be judged by God himself".


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    Feel Free to Oppose Health Care Reform in Good Conscience ...

    ... and to ignore the braying of those Catholic donkeys who seem to be more donk than Catholic when it comes to their continued suppport of health care reform efforts despite the inclusion of abortion coverage.

    Now that the Senate has voted to defeat the pro-life Nelson-Hatch-Casey amendment, which mirrored the Stupak-Pitts language in the House bill, Catholics should strongly oppose and work to defeat the current Congressional health care reform. Listen to the Bishops on this one, not the left-leaning Catholic ideologues.

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    Monday, December 07, 2009

    Digest of St. Paul State Championship Posts

  • Community Celebrates St. Paul's State Title

  • Storybook Ending

  • Champs!

  • Norwalk St. Paul Flyers are State Football Champs!

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    Community Celebrates St. Paul's State Title

    From today's Norwalk Reflector:
    MASSILLON - Saturday’s Division VI state championship for the St. Paul Flyers culminated with a wild celebration at Whitney Field.

    The Flyers, 24-21 winners over Delphos St. John’s, were greeted by hundreds of well-wishers as the team buses pulled into the Whitney Field parking lot.

    Whitney Field’s lights were turned on and the scoreboard read “24-21” and the time said “20:09.”

    The bleachers were packed and the St. Paul High School band pumped out the fight song.

    Head coach John Livengood, who is often very serious, smiled as he carried the state championship trophy on to the field.

    The players and coaches took the trophy on a victory lap.

    Livengood said in Saturday’s post-game press conference the victory “hasn’t sunk in yet.”

    Livengood, in 19 years as head coach, has posted an overall record of 181-49.

    His teams have captured 13 Firelands Conference titles, been to the playoffs 13 times, advanced to the state semifinals six times and finished as runners-up three times.

    Now, add to that the 2009 Division VI state championship. Norwalk Mayor Sue Lesch has proclaimed Tuesday as “State Champion Flyer Football Day.”

    The Flyer football team will be honored with a “Night of Champions” at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the St. Paul Convocation Center.

    Norwalk city council has moved the time of its work session from 7:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday so council members and city officials can attend the celebration.

    Saturday’s St. Paul win was special in several ways.

    First, the Flyers upended the undefeated defending champs.

    Second, Delphos St. John’s had never lost a Division VI title game (5-0) and had only lost one time as a Division VI playoff team.

    That’s right.

    Marion Local’s 24-20 over St. John’s in the 2000 state semifinals was the only time before Saturday the Blue Jays had lost in Division VI.

    The Blue Jays were Division V from 2001 to 2004.

    St. John had won titles in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2005 and 2008.

    The 1997 and 1999 wins were both over St. Paul.

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    Storybook Ending

    From The Morning Journal:
    MASSILLON — Wow. It is hard to come up for a better word describing a game will be told in hallowed terms for the rest of time in the city of Norwalk and wherever St. Paul graduates scatter across the world. With a magical ending envied by Hollywood, St. Paul won the OHSAA Division VI State Championship over defending state champion Delphos St. John's 24-21 at historic Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

    With only enough time on the clock for one more play, St. Paul had the ball on the one-yard line. On the previous two plays, the Blue Jay defense had stopped quarterback Eric Schwieterman inches short of the goal line. St. Paul coach John Livengood used his last timeout and changed the play slightly.

    "We took it out one gap wider," Livengood said. "We thought we would have a better chance of a double team. We talked to the kids and said it was the state championship with five seconds or whatever it was remaining, it comes down to this one play."

    Schwieterman made it through the gap and the Flyers finally had their state title in their fourth state title game and seven state final four appearances.

    "It was a great high school football with two great programs representing their schools," Livengood said. "It couldn’t be much better coming down the wire like that."

    But the Hollywood ending began much earlier. The Flyers trailed 21-10 to start the fourth quarter and trailed 21-17 with 10:11 remaining. St. John’s then went to work on the clock. 10 plays and nearly seven minutes later, the Blue Jays had the ball on the one-yard line. A false start pushed St. John’s back to the six. The Flyer defense held on second and third down forcing the Blue Jays to a fourth and four. St. John’s head coach Todd Schulte elected to go for the sure win rather than kick a field goal to go up seven points. He said there was no thought to kick the field goal.


    Senior Justin Wilde forced Jordan Leininger wide and out of bounds. St. Paul took over on the two-yard line with 3:22 remaining.


    The meaning of the phrase "The Drive" is now forever changed in Huron County. The two-word phrase will bring smiles instead of tears. Schwieterman kept his composure and his teammates followed. Facing a 2nd down at the four-yard line, he found Wilde for a 36-yard gain. Three plays later it was 4th-and-3 with 1:25 remaining. Again Schwieterman turned to Wilde this time for 38 yards. Two plays later on third and five, Schwieterman called his own number and was tackled just outside the goal line setting up the winning play.

    "We all knew what we had to do," Schwieterman said. "We just took the momentum we had and just tried to take plays that worked and work our way down the field. Luckily we got it all the way down."

    "It was an impressive drive," Schulte said. "They stayed pretty calm and poised out there. They weren’t in a huge hurry. It worked."

    Livengood credited his senior class for the victory.

    "I am very proud of these kids," he said. "It really hasn’t sunk in as a state championship. It is our ultimate goal. We talked since the beginning of two a days about being a team and being a leader and everyone taking their turn being the leader. Not just one individual guy. You never know when that play is going to happen but you have to step up and make the play. You saw it tonight, every kid played a part in it. Every kid stepped up. I would like to think that is what our program is about. I am so proud of these kids because they are so determined. When it came down to being 97 yards away and I just felt with the determination of our kids we had a shot. It is their personality. It is the personality of our senior class. I couldn’t be prouder."

    Schwieterman completed eight passes for 187 yards and ran it 30 times for 180 yards and three touchdowns.

    "Eric had a great game," Livengood said. "Not just throwing the ball but running the ball. One of the things we felt going into the game was we needed to have Eric running the ball for us and trying to have Delphos spread out a little. Eric has good size and speed. We felt we needed to use Eric in both the running and passing game."

    Schwieterman made great reads running with the ball all game.


    The St. Paul defense was outstanding. The Blue Jays had only 17 plays in the first half and only 10 first downs for the game. The Blue Jays came into the game averaging 292 rushing yards a game. St. Paul held them to just 153 on 33 rushes.


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    From the Sandusky Register:
    As light snowflakes started to fall at dusk at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in Massillon Saturday, another improbable finish culminated in area history.

    The St. Paul Flyers drove 97 yards in just over three minutes to score a touchdown with five seconds left of a 24-21 win over Delphos St. John’s in the Division VI state championship game.

    Flyer quarterback Eric Schwieterman — who finished with 334 yards of total offense and three touchdowns — bulled across for the winning score from a yard out to give the area it’s fourth state championship.

    On the 35th anniversary of Norwalk’s 1974 state title, the Flyers also join the 1995 Clyde Fliers and the 1999 Perkins Pirates as state champions.

    In 1999 at the same stadium, Perkins’ title came on a miraculous catch with less than 30 seconds left to get the distinction of ‘The Catch.’

    Ten years later, ‘The Drive’ is born for St. Paul.

    “Two great programs played a great game,” St. Paul coach John Livengood said. “It don’t get much better coming down to the wire like that.”

    Read more in today's Register or the ePaper.

    To see photos from the state championship game click HERE


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    Saturday, December 05, 2009

    Norwalk St. Paul Flyers are State Football Champs!

    Way to go, Flyers!
    St. Paul rallied to defeat Delphos St. John’s 24-21 today to claim the school’s first state title in football.

    Flyers senior quarterback Eric Schwieterman’s third touchdown run with five seconds remaining in the game capped a 98-yard drive in the Div. VI championship game at Paul E. Brown Tiger Stadium in Massillon.

    Schwieterman finished with 30 carries for 147 yards.

    Trailing 21-17, the Flyers’ goal-line defense was put to the test late in the fourth quarter.

    St. John’s running back Jordan Leininger picked up about three yards on a fourth-and-1 run from St. Paul’s 7-yard line, retaining the ball for his team and keeping alive their hopes of scoring a touchdown that would have sealed the win.

    Then, with 3:29 remaining, the Blue Jays faced a fourth-and-goal from the 3. This time, Leininger couldn’t covert, getting forced out of bounds at the 2. That gave the ball to the Flyers, who faced the daunting task of needing to go 98 yards for a game-winning score.

    Throwing from his own end zone, Schwieterman connected with Justin Wilde on a 36-yard pass to give St. Paul some breathing room.

    Then, on fourth-and-3 near midfield, Wilde’s 33-yard catch-and-run moved the Flyers closer to pay dirt.

    Two quarterback sneaks from the 1-yard line failed to give St. Paul the necessary score. So, with seven seconds left, St. Paul head coach John Livengood called Schwieterman’s number one more time. And this time the play proved successful as the Flyers’ senior QB found the end zone.

    MASILLON – The Division VI state championship game lasted a little over two hours Saturday, but it will be talked about for years. Needing to go 98 yards against the defending state champions with 3:22 left on the clock, Norwalk St. Paul found enough guts and lifted a huge weight off of head coach John Livengood’s shoulders.

    Quarterback Eric Schwieterman propelled the Flyers to victory with his 1-yard TD run with five seconds left as St. Paul beat Delphos St. John’s 24-21 at Massillon’s Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

    The Flyers were 0-3 in state title games before Saturday and were 0-2 against St. John’s. That stigma has been squashed.

    “We talked to the kids and said you know the state championship’s on the line with five seconds left and it comes down to this one play,” Livengood said. “They were able to get it in.”

    Schwieterman’s TD came on third down after two straight QB sneaks from the 1-yardline failed. This time Schwieterman went out one gap farther and found just enough room.

    “We knew they were brining every one up the middle and there was a little bit of a crease to the outside so we figured there would be a better chance if we bounced it out,” Schwieterman said. “There was a little gap there that we were able to squeeze it into.”

    When asked how close the final play was, Schwieterman said: “I had the ball across the line.”

    Livengood is St. Paul football in the fact that he’s led the Flyers to all 13 of their playoff berths since taking over 20 years ago. In that time frame St. Paul has won six regional titles.

    As big a part Livengood has played in making St. Paul the program it is, Schwieterman played just as large a part in Saturday’s victory.

    The senior quarterback led an offense that churned out 430 yards with 147 yards rushing and three TDs on 30 carries. He also completed 8-of-13 passes for 187 yards.

    Schwieterman continually made play after play against a St. John’s defense that was allowing 209 yards of offense entering the contest.

    On the final drive alone the Flyer QB connected with Justin Wilde on gains of 36 and 38 yards, the latter coming on fourth-and-three from the St. Paul 48.

    His legs and arm did damage.


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    Thursday, December 03, 2009

    Quote of the Day: Different Political Directions

    From a Christianity Today interview with Mike Huckabee:
    A lot of people compare you and Sarah Palin as conservative Christian candidates. What separates you two? What makes you different?

    Well, it's hard for me to say what's different because I don't know. I don't know how people make the comparison. We were both governors, we certainly are both pretty clear in our expression of faith, so yeah, we share those things. But other than those things, I'm not sure where the comparisons are. We're both Republican, we're both pro-life—there are a lot of similarities that way—but she has a very different political direction than I do. I'm not sure of her future politically, and I'm really not sure of mine either.
    (emphasis added)

    From a a commenter at HotAir comes this pithy quote of the day:
    Yeah, her political direction is up and his is down!
    Yep, that about nails it.

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