Thursday, March 29, 2012

An Open Letter to the Members of the Constitution Party from a Roman Catholic Pro-Life Independent (Conservative)

Dear Members of the Constitution Party,

In two days, I will attend the Constitution Party Presidential Debate in Lansing, Michigan. I am excited for the opportunity to see the candidates in action, going head-to-head in debating the important issues of the day. I also hope to have the opportunity to talk one-on-one with the candidates about the opportunities this year's Presidential election offers to the Constitution Party.

And make no mistake: you have been offered a HUGE opportunity this year by the GOP's decision to, in all likelihood, nominate Mitt Romney as its Presidential nominee. People like me - independent pro-life conservatives who believe in the Constitution, but who have traditionally held our noses and voted for the GOP - have had enough, especially with the GOP's nomination of easily the least conservative (i.e. most liberal) candidate since Gerald Ford, and are looking to cast our votes for someone we can believe in, even if that means casting a 3rd party vote for President for the first time ever.

Because of the stakes involved in this election, this has not been an easy decision for me (although I made up my mind many years ago that I would NEVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, EVER vote for Mitt Romney) and, I suspect, for many other like-minded conservatives who have decided they cannot vote for the Republican nominee in 2012. The decision has been made all the more difficult by the fact that we face the prospect of the re-election of the greatest threat to our constitutional republic who has ever occupied the Oval Office. In a year in which the GOP, including many conservatives for whom I have a great deal of respect, have adopted the "Anybody But Obama" mantra, my decision to cast my vote elsewhere is one that comes under constant scrutiny and is one that I find myself constantly justifying. But no other choice is left to me. I left the Republican Party to become an independent many years ago, but continued to vote for the GOP in presidential elections (holding my nose to do so in most instances) because I believed the alternative in the other "major" party to be much worse. But the nomination of Romney makes the prospect of voting Republican completely untenable, and severs once and for all any ties that remained between me and my former party. This has been made evident by the mockery to which my social conservative and constitutionalist beliefs have been subjected by Romney's supporters. My vote and my voice are no longer welcomed by the GOP, and I will oblige them by not voting for that party's presidential nominee for the first time since I became eligible to vote over a quarter of a century ago.

And THEREIN lies the opportunity for the Constitution Party to reach disaffected voters like me who are "free agents" for the first time. I suspect that, as with any party, among your top priorities is increasing your vote totals from prior years and gaining additional respect as a viable 3rd-party option to the "major" parties, while still remaining true to your principles. And although I'm not at the moment a member of your party, I deeply share your principles. Your commitment to following the Constitution as adopted by our Founders, and more importantly for me, your commitment to being the only 100% pro-life party in the country, represent a set of values and a philosophy that I have held for almost all my life. That I choose to remain an independent for the time being is in no way a reflection of the esteem in which I hold the Constitution Party.

As an independent, I have no say in who you choose to nominate. And I cannot and will not try to tell you what to do. That is your choice to make as to what you see as the best direction for your party to take. I certainly cannot blame you for choosing not to take the advice of an outsider. However, if you will indulge me, I will share with you what it will take to receive my vote and, although I won't flatter myself to speak for each and every such voter, what I suspect it may take to win over the votes of those who find themselves freshly disenfranchised from the GOP by the untenable prospect of having to cast a vote for Mitt Romney.

I have high regard for the office of the Presidency of these United States, notwithstanding the way in which the office has been degraded throughout the years by unconstitutional usurpations of power, and particularly debased by the current occupant of that office. The respect I hold for the office is a direct reflection of the esteem in which I hold the person whom the Founders had in mind when the office of the Presidency was originally designed. Our first and greatest President, George Washington, was a man who was in many ways uniquely qualified to fill the role. He had been a commander of militia in the French and Indian Wars, he had been elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses (the forerunner of the Virginia House of Delegates), he had been elected to the Continental Congress, he had been Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, and he had been President of the Constitutional Convention. George Washington is perhaps more responsible than any other individual for bringing this Republic into being. And although I do not believe we will ever see his like again, nor do I believe that every candidate seeking the Presidency should have the exact same impossible-to-duplicate qualifications for the office as did he, out of respect for the man and the office he originated, not to mention the grave duties and responsibilities commensurate to the office, I believe that the Office of the Presidency is not and cannot be an entry-level job into governance.

For that reason, whenever I have in the past considered voting for a 3rd-party candidate for President, I have shied away after considering said candidate's qualifications for office. Don't get me wrong: some fine men and women have chosen the 3rd-party route to seek the Presidency; but, for me, voting for a Presidential candidate is more than just about agreeing with someone on the issues and principles; it is also about voting for the person who is best qualified to represent and put into effect those principles as President. And some modicum of a track record of experience is important to me when making that decision.

That is why I was excited to learn in February that Virgil Goode had announced his candidacy for the Presidency under the Constitution Party banner. Here was a candidate that I knew personally from my days of living in his congressional district. Here was a candidate with experience in the Virginia House of Delegates Senate, with the experience of a run for Governor, and with experience in the U.S. House of Representatives. Here was a candidate who had served honorably and with integrity as a Democrat, as an independent, and as a Republican. Here was a candidate with a record of conservatism, who shares my pro-life and limited government principles. Here was a man for whom I could vote for President on a 3rd-party ticket and not feel like I was settling for someone without the experience and qualifications that I believe the office merits. I do not intend this in any way to detract from the fine qualities of character that the other candidates for the Constitution Party have; instead, I write this to point out that Virgil Goode's background uniquely qualifies him among all of those candidates to offer Constitution Party voters an experienced alternative to Obama and Romney, with an appeal outside of the party to a broad cross-section of disaffected Democrats, Republicans, and independents longing for a viable 3rd-party option. With Virgil Goode on the ticket, my belief is that voters who might not normally vote 3rd party, in general, or the Constitution Party, in particular, will see that they do not have to sacrifice experience and electoral viability by voting for a 3rd-party candidate. THAT is the opportunity presented by Romney's nomination by the GOP, by Obama's fecklessness and blatantly unconstitutional power grabs, and by the decision of Virgil Goode to seek the Constitution Party nomination.

Again, the choice is yours to make, and I only offer my view on the matter as an independent voter who shares your ideals and goals. Take it for whatever you feel it's worth. But it is my sincere hope and prayer that Consititution Party members and delegates make the most of this opportunity and nominate someone with the experience and leadership and track record of independence and commitment to constitutional conservatism that Virgil Goode has to offer.

Thank you for your consideration.

Very truly yours,
Jay Anderson
Pro Ecclesia * Pro Familia * Pro Civitate

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ahem. Toldja So. [UPDATED]

Paul Zummo has the full story at The American Catholic:
Meet Romney advisor Eric Fehrnstrom. Earlier today he had this exchange on CNN:

HOST: Is there a concern that Santorum and Gingrich might force the governor to tack so far to the right it would hurt him with moderate voters in the general election?
ERIC FEHRNSTROM: Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again.
It happens every time Dullard Flip Rino gets a big boost and begins to feel comfortable that he's got the nomination in the bag. EVERY TIME. He or his campaign lets the fascade slip and shows their true anti-conservative colors. EVERY TIME.

Here, Romney is fresh off his big win in Illinois and having received the endorsement of Jeb Bush, and his campaign makes it clear that all that conservative mumbo-jumbo the candidate has been spouting in order to fool enough conservatives and GOP voters to win the nomination has all the staying power of an etch-a-sketch drawing.

Santorum Central needs to get this ad on the air pronto:

More at Creative Minority Report.

UPDATE (22 March)
HotAir nails it:
What’s wrong with a strategist acknowledging a basic fact of political life, that candidates tend to move towards the center after the primaries to compete for independents in the general? Philip Klein explains in a post titled, “Romney advisor says his conservatism can be erased”:

Romney ran two races in Massachusetts as a moderate and even a self-described “progressive,” before changing his positions in the run up to his first campaign for president. Just last month, he described himself as “severely conservative” at the Conservative Political Action Conference. But as Fehrnstrom statement suggests, Romney’s appeals to the right are simply a matter of positioning rather than principle, something that can easily be changed once the target audience changes.

If Romney’s fiercest critics wanted to come up with a way to describe Romney’s approach to politics, I don’t think they could have come up with a better analogy than Etch A Sketch. The fact that it’s coming from one of Romney’s long-time aides is stunning. An even scarier thought for conservatives: if the Romney campaign is willing to take them for granted before even clinching the nomination, imagine how quickly Romney would abandon conservatives if he ever made it to the White House.
Yeah, that’s the killer. Before the campaign, I could imagine conservatives nominating Romney if he swore up and down that he’d be a right-wing warrior while in office. There’s always a chance that he’d be telling the truth and a chance is all you need to justify voting for a guy who stands the best chance of knocking out The One. But here’s one of his very top aides all but telling you that “severe conservatism” is rhetoric aimed at getting him through the primaries — and yet we’re going to go ahead and nominate him anyway. Think this is the guy who’s going to the mat as president if a Republican Congress gears up to advocate sorely needed yet unpopular spending cuts and fiscal reforms?
(emphasis added)

Nailing it by saying what I've been saying for years. You CANNOT trust Dullard Flip Rino. He is a self-described "pro-choice progressive" who feels most comfortable when he is running to the left.

Join me, therefore, in vowing to NEVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, EVER vote for Mitt Romney.

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, March 19, 2012

Cardinal Wuerl's Dereliction of Duty

George Neumayr writes at The American Spectator:
... The saints of old warned bishops to choose holiness and orthodoxy over the blandishments of the "world." Many bishops today in America choose the good opinion of worldly elites over orthodoxy. These cufflinked cardinals worry not about punishment in the next world but slights in this one. They desperately crave the approval of America's movers and shakers and live in dread fear of losing it.

What will the Pretty People think if I withhold Communion from powerful pro-abortion Catholic pols? Will the Washington Post editorialize against me? Will I lose my place of honor at posh parties? Will my dissenting priests think ill of me? Will I be scorned at the next USCCB meeting?

These are some of the thoughts that race through the minds of modern prelates. Out of these anxieties comes fiascoes like Cardinal Donald Wuerl's recent one. Wuerl and his surrogates have rebuked a visiting priest from the archdiocese of Moscow for denying Communion to a self-described practicing lesbian at a funeral mass. That's not our "policy," gasped Wuerl's horrified surrogates.

But it is the policy of the Roman Catholic Church. If a person is not in communion with the teachings of the Church, said person should not receive Communion. Period. Canon law makes this explicitly clear. If you don't believe me, ask the head of the Vatican Supreme Court, Cardinal Raymond Burke. Though most of his colleagues seem to ignore his stance, he has said for years that canon law places a grave burden on priests to protect the sacraments from defiant sinners. According to Burke, canon law is not a whimsical option for hardline eccentric priests but a moral duty which "obliges the minister of Holy Communion to refuse the Sacrament" to those in "manifest grave sin. "


This latest episode isn't even a close call. If Cardinal Wuerl doesn't have the guts to deny Communion to an agitprop lesbian Buddhist, he should just close up shop and hand the keys to his chancery over to Obama.


The choice that the Wuerls face is clear: either they take seriously the duty enshrined in canon law to protect the sacraments from sacrilege and scandal, or these Communion controversies will multiply without end.

The notion that bishops aren't gatekeepers would come as a surprise to the Church's first ones. The apostles were told by Jesus Christ that the good shepherd watches the gate, lest his flock be eaten. "Do not give what is holy to dogs," Jesus warned them.

The Church's position on whether a bishop should stop sacrilege and scandal is not determined by his "comfort" level, Cardinal Wuerl. It is determined by the clear requirements of canon law. Cardinal Burke has spoken; the case is closed. Either the bishops take control over their own sacraments or the Church's enemies will.

[Read the whole thing]

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Wuerl: Why I Won't Deny Pelosi Communion

Why Archbishop Wuerl Can No Longer Punt on Pro-Abort Politicos

Response of Archdiocese of Washington to Pro-Abort Senators Receiving Communion

Deal Hudson Asks: "Will Archbishop Wuerl Follow Cardinal Egan?"

CBS: Cardinal Egan "Rips" Giuliani For Taking Communion [UPDATED]

Novak Criticizes Cardinals for "Disobedience" in Giving Pro-Abort Catholics "a Pass" During Papal Visit

"Wafer Wars, Wedge Issues and the Pope’s Visit" [UPDATED]

Pro-Abort Catholic Politicians to Receive Communion at Papal Mass [UPDATED]

Archbishop Burke Preaches Tough Communion Rule

More on Archbishop Burke's Article on Canon 915 (Regarding Communion and Pro-Abort Politicos)

Archbishop Burke on Bad Catholics in Political Life

Archbishop Wuerl's Stand on Lawmakers Who Back Abortion Angers Some Conservative Catholics

Abortion and the New Archbishop - A Shot Across the Bow

Wuerl to be Installed Today - Mass in Washington, D.C., Will Mark His Debut as Archbishop

McCarrick's Successor Seen as Loyal, Diplomatic, "a Vote for Continuity"; Not Denying Communion has "Served Us Well" (15 links)

Pope Names Wuerl New Archbishop of Washington, DC

Bishop Wuerl's Name Surfaces for D.C.

The Final Word on Pro-Abort Pols and Communion?

Bishop Wuerl: Bishops Should Consult One Another Before Speaking On National Issues Like Kerry And Communion

Labels: , , , , ,

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Digest of Today's Posts (18 March 2012)

  • Romney Supporter Scott Brown Mocks Santorum on Contraception

  • Established Politicians Going Third Party in 2012

  • John McCain to Catholic Church: F*ck You

  • Digest of Yesterday's Posts (17 March 2012)

  • Poll: Obama Leads Romney in Four Key Swing States — But Trails Santorum

  • Happy Feast Day of St. Patrick - 17 March

  • Labels:

    Romney Supporter Scott Brown Mocks Santorum on Contraception

    Creative Minority Report has the video.

    Between this despicable "joke" from Romney supporter Scott Brown, and the comments today from Romney supporter John McCain about the GOP needing to "move on" from the debate over the HHS contraception/abortifacient/sterilization mandate, it is clear that the Romney campaign is sending the message that the Catholic Church is on its own should Romney win the nomination.

    If Romney hadn't already disqualified himself from getting your vote, then this ought to do the trick. Please join me in vowing to NEVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, EVER vote for Mitt Romney.

    Labels: , , ,

    Established Politicians Going Third Party in 2012 Race

    Good - we need a choice if the GOP establishment-backed RINO is nominated (as now seems increasingly likely):
    Looking back at American history, some of the most dramatic presidential elections have resulted from former officeholders running as third party candidates -- and that possibility looms in 2012.

    A host of politicians are looking to be on the ballot in the presidential election come November -- just not as the Democratic or Republican candidates. While he faces some opposition, former Gov. Gary Johnson of New Mexico, a former candidate for the Republican nomination, is the front-runner to be the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee. Another former governor who sought the Republican nomination -- Buddy Roemer of Louisiana -- also pulled out of the GOP contest to run for the nominations of Americans Elect and the Reform Party. Virgil Goode, who represented parts of Virginia for 12 years in Congress as a Democrat, an independent and a Republican before losing his seat in 2008, appears headed toward being the nominee of the Constitution Party.


    With the pendulum swinging back and forth between the two major parties -- and with polls showing record low approval ratings of Congress -- third parties are looking to make their moves. When former officeholders have emerged as third-party candidates in American history, it was usually during times of political chaos and confusion.

    For example, in the 1832 presidential elections, the second party system started forming in reaction to President Andrew Jackson. While some of the opposition to Jackson rallied behind Henry Clay in what would soon be the Whig Party, William Wirt emerged as the Anti-Mason Party candidate. Wirt, a Virginian who served as U.S. attorney general under James Monroe and John Quincy Adams, and who also wrote a well-regarded biography of Patrick Henry, led a party vehemently opposed to Freemasons -- despite Wirt having been a Mason himself.

    With the crisis over slavery brewing, new parties seemed to emerge and quickly fade as the Whigs disintegrated.

    Former President Martin Van Buren left the Democrats to run as the Free Soil Party presidential candidate in 1848 with anti-slavery Whig Charles Francis Adams -- the son and grandson of former presidents -- as his vice presidential candidate. New Hampshire U.S. Sen. John Hale was the Free Soil candidate in 1852 but he got trounced by fellow Granite State politician Franklin Pierce. Former Whig President Millard Fillmore teamed up with Andrew Jackson Donelson, the namesake and nephew of the iconic president, to run on the American Party ticket in 1856 but they got trounced by Democrat James Buchanan and John Fremont, the first nominee of the new Republican Party. When Republican Abraham Lincoln sought the presidency in 1860, he had to defeat three officeholders -- Democrats Vice President John Breckinridge and U.S. Sen. Stephen Douglas and Constitutional Union Party nominee John Bell, who served as secretary of War under William Henry Harrison and John Tyler and as a congressman and senator from Tennessee.


    The influx of former officeholders to run as third party candidates in the 2012 presidential election could be a reflection of continuing disillusion with the two major parties which has shaped recent elections.


    It’s hard to imagine the likes of Gary Johnson, Buddy Roemer and Virgil Goode being inaugurated in January 2013. But with Americans fed up with politics as usual, they could make a difference, especially in a close election.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Virgil Goode for President [UPDATED]

    Virgil Goode: Mr. Independent

    Labels: ,

    John McCain to Catholic Church: F*ck You

    Here's the last RINO the GOP establishment told us we just HAD to vote for because he was "electable":
    “I think we have to fix that,” the Arizona Republican said when asked by David Gregory on NBC’s “Meet the Press” about the idea of a Republican “war on women.” “I think there is a perception out there because of the way this whole contraception issue played out – we need to get off of that issue in my view. I think we ought to respect the right of women to make choices in their lives and make that clear — and get back onto what the American people really care about: jobs and the economy.”
    This is what RINOs do. They accept the Dem talking points about the issues. So, instead of framing this as a First Amendment Free Exercise issue in which the Catholic Church has a vital religious freedom stake, the previous GOP nominee for president uses the verbiage of the left in defining this as a "woman's right to choose" issue, even if her choice is on the dime of the Catholic Church.

    And the previous GOP nominee is a big supporter of the current RINO the GOP establishment is busy trying to shove down our throats. And don't think for one minute that Dullard Flip Rino doesn't share McLoser's sentiments and would sell the Church and the First Amendment down the river in a heartbeat if they think it will mean making social issues irrelevant during this election.

    The GOP can go to hell.

    Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

    Saturday, March 17, 2012

    Digest of Today's Posts (17 March 2012)

  • Poll: Obama Leads Romney in Four Key Swing States — But Trails Santorum

  • Happy Feast Day of St. Patrick - 17 March

  • Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh!


    Poll: Obama Leads Romney in Four Key Swing States — But Trails Santorum


    Labels: , , , , ,

    Happy Feast Day of St. Patrick - 17 March

    [NOTE: This is my annual St. Patrick's Day post, originally posted on St. Patrick's Day 2005]

    Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh!
    (Happy St. Patrick's Day!)

    As a Roman Catholic of Irish descent, I am, quite predictably, a big fan of St. Patrick. Long before I became Catholic, St. Patrick - with his bishop's mitre and crozier - stood there beckoning me home to the Church of my forebears. Indeed, the first rosary I ever purchased (again, before I ever became Catholic) had a St. Patrick junction and a Celtic Cross Crucifix. St. Patrick's feast day, therefore, is a cause for great celebration in our household.

    But just what is it about this British-born saint - who (1) was kidnapped as a boy from his home in Britain by Irish pirates, (2) was sold into slavery in Ireland, (3) escaped from his Irish oppressors, and (4) returned to Ireland to evangelize his former captors (the same Irish who would, a century later, with saints like Columba and Aidan, re-evangelize Britain after the Anglo-Saxon invasions) - that makes his feast day celebrated to a greater extent around the world than most other saints?

    Perhaps it is because of the extent of the Irish Diaspora, which stretches from Continental Europe to North America to South America to Australia, and numbers in the tens of millions - making St. Patrick not only the patron saint of Ireland, but of all Irish all over the world. Possibly, it could be St. Patrick's contribution to Celtic Christianity, an influence that can be seen in the Lorica of St. Patrick, which has been attributed to him.

    For more on the story behind why St. Patrick is such a significant personage within the Church, especially where the Irish are concerned,
    go here: Patron Saints Index - Patrick,

    and here: The History of St. Patrick's Day,

    and here: The Ultimate St. Patrick.
    But unfortunately, I think the real reason this particular feast day has such resonance with so many people has nothing whatsoever to do with its religious significance. St. Patrick's Day, like Christmas, is a religious feast day that has lost much of its meaning due to over-secularization. Rather than a day to celebrate the life of this great British saint who evangelized the Irish, St. Patrick's Day has become just another excuse to get drunk and tell stupid Irish jokes.

    Personally, one of the biggest problems I have with the secular celebrations of St. Patrick's Day is the ubiquitous presence of the leprechaun. On and around St. Patrick's Day, this little fairy creature can be seen on the front pages of major newspapers, on greeting cards, and on televisions selling used cars, credit cards, and beer in a cheesy Irish brogue accent.

    Given the artistic legacy of beautiful music, poetry, literature, and liturgical art bequeathed to us by the Irish; given the indispensable contributions the Irish have made to Christianity and Western Civilization as documented by Thomas Cahill in his best-selling book How the Irish Saved Civilization; and given the steadfastness of the Irish in overcoming historical persecution - racial, cultural, economic, and religious; I find the use of the leprechaun on St. Patrick's Day as a symbol of the Irish people and their cultural contributions about as appropriate as a lawn jockey on Martin Luther King Day.

    Some will think that is not an apt comparison. Sorry, but I think it quite apt. The leprechaun as a symbol of this holy feast day is just plain offensive, and should go the way of the kerchief-headed version of Aunt Jemima.

    The Irish - that mystical race of warriors and poets, saints and scholars, who brought us great works of literature like Ulysses and Gulliver's Travels, early medieval illuminated manuscripts like the Books of Kells and Durrow, musicians like Turlough O'Carolan, Altan, U2 and Van Morrison, wordsmiths like W.B. Yeats and Seamus Heaney, kings like Brian Boru and ... (well, Brian's about it as far as great Irish kings go), political heroes like Daniel O'Connell and Michael Collins, and saints like Columcille (a.k.a. Columba), Brendan, Aidan, and Columbanus - deserve better on the feast day of their patron saint than to be represented by a short, ruddy (and might I add, pagan) fairy dressed in a green suit.

    The University of Notre Dame is also guilty of this blood libel against the children of Erin. The University does quite a disservice to the true spirit of the "Fighting Irish" by representing that spirit in the form of a leprechaun (of course, some would argue that Notre Dame also does a disservice to Ex Corde Ecclesiae by calling itself "Catholic" while allowing such nonsense as The Vagina Monologues and Fr. Richard McBrien on campus, not to mention honoring the anti-Catholic bigot and all-around pro-abort, President Obama, with an honorary law degree). Bring back the Irish Terrier to represent the Fighting Irish, as it did in the days of Knute Rockne. Just get rid of that damned leprechaun!!! (Oops! Sorry about that. That should be "damned leprechaun".)

    Okay. Rant over.

    Hopefully, we can try to keep in mind today (1) the spiritual legacy of Ireland's patron saint, and (2) the many cultural contributions of the people he loved so dearly as to bring them the Light of Christ - which are, after all, the primary reasons we celebrate the feast of St. Patrick. Even if the rest of the world is too deep in a drunken stupor to notice.

    And so I end with the following blessing:

    Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh!
    (St. Patrick's Day Blessing On You!)

    Recommended Reading:
    Patrick: The Pilgrim Apostle of Ireland by Maire B. de Paor
    The Confession of St. Patrick by John Skinner
    How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill
    Wisdom of the Celtic Saints by Edward C. Sellner
    Sun Dancing by Geoffrey Moorhouse

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    St. Patrick's Breastplate (The Deer's Cry)

    Happy Feast Day of St. Patrick - 17 March (2010)

    Happy Feast Day of St. Patrick - 17 March (2009)

    Happy Feast Day of St. Patrick - 17 March (2008)

    What I'm Listening to in Honor of St. Patrick's Day

    Don't Drink Green Beer!

    St. Pat's Spat Pits Church vs. Cities

    Happy Feast Day of St. Patrick - 17 March (2007)

    "... The Slur of the Fighting Irish"

    Happy Feast Day of St. Patrick - 17 March (2006)

    Search Terms: St. Patrick's Day, Lent, Abstinence, Meat - Corned Beef, Dispensation, Indult, Catholic

    Happy Feast Day of St. Patrick - 17 March (2005)

    Labels: , , ,

    Thursday, March 15, 2012

    Digest of Today's Posts (15 March 2012)

  • Fr. Flakey in the News Again: Wants to "Snuff Out" K-Mart for Selling Easter Baskets with Nerf Guns

  • Bishops to Obama and ObamaCath Defenders of HHS Mandate: No Compromise !!!

  • Labels:

    Fr. Flakey in the News Again: Wants to "Snuff Out" K-Mart for Selling Easter Baskets with Nerf Guns

    Ed Morrissey reports on Fr. Pfleger's latest left-wing, headline-seeking nonsense:
    Remember Michael Pfleger, the radical priest in Chicago last heard from in the 2008 campaign, defending his friend Rev. Jeremiah Wright? The one who hung out with Barack Obama for decades, thinks that “America is the greatest sin against God,” and who wound up getting suspended by the Chicago diocese after making himself into a national spectacle? Well, Father Pfleger is back, baby, and he has a new eeeeeevil in his sights — guns. Or perhaps more accurately … gateway guns?
    There was a time when kids wanting toy guns had limited media images of cowboys and Indians or cops and robbers to emulate. Today, not so.

    So the Rev. Michael Pfleger said he is challenging the sale of the toys — in Easter baskets — to a generation plagued by more violent and rampant use of guns in their own neighborhoods.

    “I am writing to express my concern and outrage that Kmart is selling Easter baskets, which are obviously for children, with toy guns in them,” Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina Catholic Church in Auburn-Gresham, wrote to officials at the big box retailer, in a Mar. 9 letter obtained by the Sun-Times.

    “With the increasing gun violence in Chicago and across this country, I am amazed that you would choose to offer toy guns to our children to make them comfortable with playing with them. I am asking you to remove any baskets with toy guns in them from your store’s shelves immediately,” Pfleger wrote.

    Pfleger then argues that Nerf is nothing more than a gateway to the harder stuff:
    But equally important is that any psychiatrist will tell you a child who gets comfortable playing with toy guns and pointing them at people as a child becomes comfortable picking them up as an adult. In a nation that’s plagued with gun violence, neither Kmart nor any other store should be selling guns in Easter baskets to our kids.
    My Comments:
    Actually, Ed is mistaken in believing that guns are a "new evil" for Fr. Flakey (although targeting nerf guns seem to be a new twist in his opposition). In fact, it was a controversy over gun shops that first brought this pernicious priest to my attention:
    On Saturday, as part of an Operation PUSH protest at Chuck's Gun Shop & Range, the Rev. Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina's Church, urged the crowd to "drag" shop owner John Riggio from his shop "like a rat" and "snuff" him, the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) said.


    "I want the NRA [National Rifle Association] to understand - you have a lot of money, but money can't buy moral authority and it can't buy justice or freedom, and we will fight you, NRA," he says.

    "We will fight you on every angle [sic], no matter how much money you've got, we will embarrass you, and we will embarrass every legislator that takes money from you. We will call them out by name, by district. We will expose you, legislators."

    Pfleger then turns his attention to Riggio. "He's the owner of Chuck's. John Riggio. R-i-g-g-i-o. We're going to find you and snuff you out … you know you're going to hide like a rat. You're going to hide but like a rat we're going to catch you and pull you out. We are not going to allow you to continue to hide when we're here …"


    The day before the anti-gun protest, the church hosted former Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who was making a rare public appearance. Pfleger was quoted as describing the controversial Muslim activist as "a gift from God to a sick, sick world."

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Catholic Priest Calls for "Snuffing" of Gun Shop Owner and Politicos Who Support 2nd Amendment [UPDATED]

    Obama-Supporting Catholic Priest Thinks White People Should Give Up 401(k) Accounts to Make Amends for Slavery [UPDATED]

    Cardinal George Removes Fr. Pfleger

    He's Baaaaack!

    Humor: Fr. Pfleger on Gov. Palin

    Labels: , , ,

    Bishops to Obama and ObamaCath Defenders of HHS Mandate: No Compromise !!!

    The other day, George Weigel wrote a piece at National Review criticizing a recent Washington Post column by E.J. Dionne in which Dionne, according to Weigel, "attempts some fraternal intimidation of the Catholic bishops of the United States prior to the meeting of the bishops’ conference administrative committee on Tuesday and Wednesday".

    Weigel continued:
    ... Dionne warns the bishops that, if they do not back off from their strong defense of religious freedom and find some way to reach agreement with an administration he insists is trying to accommodate their concerns, they risk becoming a church that no longer stands for both life and social justice. Worse, they risk becoming “the Tea Party at prayer.” ...
    ... and then concluded:
    One of the most maddening aspects of this otherwise bracing debate has been the refusal of those who support either the HHS mandate or the bogus administration accommodation to debate honestly, in terms of the facts, and fairly, in terms of the rhetoric. This leads one to the suspicion that the administration’s defenders know that they have a losing case. The administration will likely continue its intransigence, for it cannot meet the bishops’ full concerns without enraging some of its (most well-heeled) allies. There is no remedy in Congress, thanks to Democratic control of the Senate, and the enthrallment of the Democratic party to those who would make Sandra Fluke a 21st century Joan of Arc. But the bishops have a winning case in the courts, on both First Amendment grounds and because of the provisions of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Indeed, serious constitutional scholars believe that any test of the HHS mandate in the federal courts will result in a victory for the bishops of the magnitude of the Hosanna-Tabor decision in January, where the administration lost 9–0.

    The shrewder defenders of the administration know this. That is why they and their allies in the Catholic Lite Brigade, including the Lite Brigade’s journalistic regiment, are trying to roll the bishops now, before the courts get to work. Having failed even to engage the substantive arguments, they are now resorting to intimidation tactics — “You’ll seem partisan! You’ll look like the Tea Party!” — in order to soften up the ground for another “accommodation.”

    All of which, in truth, is as insulting to the bishops as the intellectual contempt the administration showed in its February 10 “accommodation.” But that is the sorry state to which the administration and its Catholic apologists have come.
    Today, Weigel follows up with a piece hailing the Bishops' decision to stand firm in favor of religious freedom and in opposition to Obama's HHS mandate:
    ... The March 14 statement of the Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, “United for Religious Freedom,” does not contain the kind of rhetorical flourishes that reached a dramatic coda in the Poles’ ringing “Non Possumus!” Still, the U.S. bishops have drawn an unmistakably clear line in the sand.

    Resisting pressures from both within and without the Church to retreat from their hitherto firm and unified opposition to the administration’s HHS mandate and its bogus “accommodation” of religious concerns, the Administrative Committee — which includes bishops from across the spectrum of Catholic opinion and which does the conference’s most urgent business between the semi-annual meetings of the entire episcopate — strongly reaffirmed statements by the conference president, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, and by individual bishops, that both the mandate and the “accommodation” are unacceptable. Moreover, the statement affirms, against charges of exaggeration, that present administration policy represents a threat to religious freedom of “unprecedented magnitude” that must be “rejected.” And as for those who have long sought to play divide-and-conquer in this affair — from government officials to journalists to advocates of Catholic Lite — they, too, are sent an unmistakable signal in the March 14 statement: “We will not be divided, and we will continue forward as one.”

    In a deft response to the spin and distortion that have characterized this debate for two months, “United for Religious Freedom” usefully clarifies just what the argument is not:
    This is not about access to contraception, which is ubiquitous and inexpensive. . . . This is not about the religious freedom of Catholics only, but also of those who recognize that their cherished beliefs may be next on the block. This is not about the bishops’ somehow ‘banning contraception,’ when the U.S. Supreme Court took that issue off the table two generations ago. Indeed, this is not about the Church wanting to force anybody to do anything; it is, instead, about the federal government forcing the Church . . . to act against Church teachings. This is not a matter of opposition to universal health care, which has been a concern of the Bishops’ Conference since 1919, virtually at its founding. This is not a fight we want or asked for, but one forced upon us by government on its own timing. Finally, this is not a Republican or Democratic, a conservative or liberal issue; it is an American issue.
    The Administrative Committee’s statement then crisply defines what the HHS mandate involves.

    It involves an “unwarranted” and “extremely narrow” definition of who is a “religious employer “ — a definition that “creates and enforces a new distinction” between Catholic houses of worship, on the one hand, and, on the other, the Church’s charitable activities and its educational efforts. According to the administration’s regulatory scheme, the latter will become “second class” citizens, in a dramatic break with both Catholic tradition and federal law...

    It involves an attempt by the government to compel Catholic institutions that serve those of many faiths and no faith to violate Catholic teachings within the Church’s own institutions, which is both an intrinsic injustice and a gross intrusion of state power into the Church’s evangelical mission.


    Thus those who expected the bishops to try and find some 50-yard line of agreement with the administration, a middle ground on which the Church’s institutions would be protected while individual Catholic employers would be left to the tender mercies of HHS, were proven exactly wrong: The bishops intend to defend religious freedom in full, and that defense will be all-in.


    There will be no compromise here, for there can be no compromise of first principles. Those who understand that will gather their energies and continue to defend both Catholic and American tradition.

    [Read the whole thing]

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Cardinal Dolan: White House Lectured My USCCB Staff On How to Interpret Catholic Teaching!

    George Weigel on Obama's "Divide and Conquer" Strategy: Obama, Not Bishops, Now Calling Shots for Catholic Church in U.S.

    Divide and Conquer: Ross Douthat Notes Obama's HHS "Compromise" Merely a Means for ObamaCaths to Save Face


    Obama Administration Gives Opponents of HHS Mandate All the Evidence They Need to Convince Court of Free Exercise Violation

    Health Care Reform and the Magisterium [UPDATED]

    Cardinal George: Sr. Keehan Chose Obama Over Catholic Bishops

    American Papist: Obama an Enemy to Catholic Unity

    The Catholic Health Association and the Future of Catholic Unity

    Sister Carol Keehan Misrepresents Her Support of the Health Care Bill

    Bishop Tells Pro-Life Democrat: Nuns Can’t Absolve ObamaCare Vote

    Establishing the "Alternative Magisterium"

    Archbishop Chaput: Those Confusing the Catholic Stance on Health Care Will Bear the Blame for Anti-Life Effects of Heath Care Bill

    Catholic Obama Supporters More Interested in Providing Cover Than Holding Obama's Feet to the Fire

    Catholic Nuns Urge Passage of Obama's Health Bill

    Obama's Catholic Strategy: Divide and Conquer

    Labels: , , , , , , , ,

    Monday, March 12, 2012

    Virgil Goode for President [UPDATED]

    As I have previously stated, I am actually backing two candidates for their respective parties' nominations: former Sen. Rick Santorum for the GOP, and former Virginia Congressman Virgil Goode for the Constitution Party.

    I already have Santorum stickers on my Dodge Ram and Santorum signs in my yard. Well, today, I recived my Goode for President stickers:

    Given the likelihood that Santorum and Gingrich will split the conservative anti-Romney vote between them in tomorrow's "Southern Super Tuesday" primary contests, thereby denying either a clear path to the GOP nomination, it is becoming increasinly likely that I will be casting my vote for a non-Republican candidate in November (since I will UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES EVER vote for Mitt Romney).

    Goode still needs to win the Constitution Party nomination next month at the party's national convention in Nashville. But that appears to be a more likely outcome than Santorum pulling off an upset against the GOP Establishment's chosen one.

    UPDATE (15 March 2012)
    Yesterday, I received some nice Virgil Goode for President political buttons that are produced by someone independent from the campaign. (He specializes in collecting and making old-time political campaign buttons.)

    Upon receiving these yesterday, I then went into one of our storage closets and dug out some old Virgil Goode campaign buttons I had kept from Virgil's campaigns for Congress:

    I know I have some other buttons from other Goode campaigns, but these are all that I could find in my brief search yesterday.

    Labels: , , , , , , , ,

    Saturday, March 10, 2012

    "Game On" - Oklahoma Family's Pro-Santorum Song

    A little too saccharine for my tastes, but this is cute:

    Labels: , , , , , , ,

    Tuesday, March 06, 2012

    Cardinal Dolan: White House Lectured My USCCB Staff On How to Interpret Catholic Teaching!

    From Tom Peters (aka AmericanPapist) at CatholicVote:
    Cardinal Timothy Dolan sent a letter to his brother bishops earlier this week where he revealed a shocking conversation that recently took place at a meeting between White House and USCCB staff:
    At a recent meeting between staff of the bishops’ conference and the White House staff, our staff members asked directly whether the broader concerns of religious freedom—that is, revisiting the straight-jacketing mandates, or broadening the maligned exemption—are all off the table. They were informed that they are. So much for “working out the wrinkles.” Instead, they advised the bishops’ conference that we should listen to the “enlightened” voices of accommodation, such as the recent, hardly surprising yet terribly unfortunate editorial in America. The White House seems to think we bishops simply do not know or understand Catholic teaching and so, taking a cue from its own definition of religious freedom, now has nominated its own handpicked official Catholic teachers
    Let’s break this down so we don’t miss anything about the context or gravity of the situation:


    5. After all of this, when the White House finally gets around to inviting staff authorized by the USCCB to negotiate on behalf of them, the White House says what to them?! First, they issue an ultimatum saying all compromise is off the table. So what on earth are they supposed to talk about if the White House refuses from the outset to compromise in any way, shape, or form? The cynical answer is the White House, once again, simply wanted to establish the appearance of dialogue while offering zero substance.

    6. Then, the White House proceeds to lecture the USCCB staff about how to interpret Catholic teaching! Can you imagine anything more offensive? Telling Catholics how to be Catholic? They show them a copy of the America editorial as if a) the staff has not already read it and b) the U.S. Bishops give a fig what the editors of America think.


    In other words, what we have here is NOT a failure to communicate. What we have here is an Administration and White House officials who believe they know Catholic teaching better than us. And who have the hubris to lecture us about what our faith teaches.

    The editors of the
    Wall Street Journal comment:
    As a study in ideology and power, the anecdote [of the White House meeting described above] is chilling, compounded by all the recent claims by Democrats and liberals that Catholics who actually abide by their faith are opposed to modernity. Such prejudice is supposedly defunct in contemporary America, except when it’s practiced against religion.
    [Read the whole thing]
    My Comments:
    The astoundingly breathtaking arrogance of this White House in daring to lecture the Catholic Bishops on what Catholic theology "should" be sorta calls to mind the astoundingly breathtaking arrogance of Bill Clinton's press secretary Mike McCurry opining that John Cardinal O'Connor didn't understand Catholic teaching regarding the impermissibility of non-Catholics receiving the Eucharist at Mass:
    ... With breathtaking boldness, McCurry borrowed a tactic from Mario Cuomo and told the nation that Cardinal O’Connor, the country’s best-known Catholic prelate, simply misunderstands the policies of his own Church and that, if Americans seek authoritative guidance as to those policies, the White House will be glad to provide it. In effect those bishops who criticized the President were accused of being theologically deficient (believing that the Code of Canon Law governs the Church), a deficiency which, once again, the White House is prepared to remedy...
    The current Obama White House has merely taken the Clinton/Cuomo playbook to the next level. Whereas the Clinton White House sought to try to re-define the Church's teachings in order to deflect away from the short-term effects of one of a number of recurring Clinton controversies and scandals, the Obama Administration is playing for the long-term - seeking to permanently change the Church's theology on a fundamental matter and permanently replace the Catholic hierarchy as the spokespersons for that teaching and for the Church.

    [And, of course, as is indicative in the preceding link as well as in the current instance, there is never a shortage of DemoCath hacks (see, e.g., the usual suspects - you know who they are) who are always only too willing to put the good of the Democrat Party or of a particular Democrat politician ahead of supporting the Bishops of their Church on fundamental teachings or matters of religious liberty. Their party is their "church", and their "Church" is merely their cultural identity.]

    Fortunately, Cardinal Dolan understands how to frame this issue in a way that highlights the Obama Administration's impermissible meddling into internal Church affairs. This is exactly the sort of evidence that will lead the Supreme Court to strike down the HHS Mandate on First Amendment grounds.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    George Weigel on Obama's "Divide and Conquer" Strategy: Obama, Not Bishops, Now Calling Shots for Catholic Church in U.S.

    Divide and Conquer: Ross Douthat Notes Obama's HHS "Compromise" Merely a Means for ObamaCaths to Save Face

    Obama Administration Gives Opponents of HHS Mandate All the Evidence They Need to Convince Court of Free Exercise Violation

    Health Care Reform and the Magisterium [UPDATED]

    Cardinal George: Sr. Keehan Chose Obama Over Catholic Bishops

    American Papist: Obama an Enemy to Catholic Unity

    The Catholic Health Association and the Future of Catholic Unity

    Sister Carol Keehan Misrepresents Her Support of the Health Care Bill

    Bishop Tells Pro-Life Democrat: Nuns Can’t Absolve ObamaCare Vote

    Establishing the "Alternative Magisterium"

    Archbishop Chaput: Those Confusing the Catholic Stance on Health Care Will Bear the Blame for Anti-Life Effects of Heath Care Bill

    Catholic Obama Supporters More Interested in Providing Cover Than Holding Obama's Feet to the Fire

    Catholic Nuns Urge Passage of Obama's Health Bill

    Obama's Catholic Strategy: Divide and Conquer

    Labels: , , , , , , ,

    hit counter for blogger