Archive for the 'Catholicism – Politics' Category

What can one say about a tragedy?

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007

I haven’t blogged anything about the tragedy at Virginia Tech.  My prayers are with those who have lost loved ones and also that God grant mercy to those who have died.

It has been very sad to me to see so much of the focus on the issue quickly turned to political solutions to tragedies like this.  Is there no decency in this country?  Do we allow any time for mourning?  Along those lines, Mark Shea had a great couple posts (first (follow the link to Mrs. Shaidle’s post) and second) about how our society is losing it’s ability to meanfully mourn those who have died as it loses it’s Christian identity.  It is ridiculous how so many fluffy “memorial” services pass for an appropriate way to mourn the loss of life.

In any case, if you want to see any commentary on the political issues surrounding the tragedy, come back in a week or two.

I always knew I didn’t like Sean Hannity…

Monday, March 12th, 2007

…and now I have a reason to boycott him.

This guy has always bugged me.  I mean, even when I’ve agreed with him, the way he has presented topics and the strategies he used to debate people always made my skin crawl.  Heck, just the way his voice sounds bugs me.

But now he’s gone too far:

Before I go on, I should state that I think the priest was holding Hannity to too high a standard that I doubt he’d hold others too.  I don’t think he should deny communion to Hannity.  He could have been more charitable.

But that aside, I’ve lost what little respect I had for Hannity.  What kind of a response is it to a priest questioning how one is presenting the faith to the public to instead acuse him, without cause, of effectively being an accomplice to the priestly scandal?  That’s just ridiculous.  It’s doubly ridiculous coming from a guy who spent half the interview asking the priest if he knew anything about him when clearly Hannity knew nothing about the priest’s work (since the priest was quickly able to reference his website and the work he’s done in regards to the priestly scandal).  But even if this priest had done no work in that area, it’s still not a reasonable response.

In addition his “judge not” and “that’s in the good book” crap was just as ridiculous.  First of all, I’m absolutely sure Hannity has criticized more than one liberal politician for giving that same deflection.  More to the point, there are more than a few references in scripture that speak to the responsibility the Church has to not only generally proclaim the Truth but to call individuals out when they are failing.  In other words, it’s part of a priest’s job to call out sin as sin.

Finally, it’s not an either or choice for birth control or abortion.  There are the options of giving birth or obstaining from sex to prevent conception.  In fact, not only is it not an either or choice, it’s quite the opposite, one leads to the other, as the priest pointed out.  Both are interfering with God’s Will.  Both lead to a disrespect for life.  Once we’re willing to play God with birth control, when our ability to play God falls short, we find new ways to try and play God through abortion.  It’s not a coincidence that abortion was legalized less than a generation after birth-control use became the norm.  And it’s not as like both were discovered recently.  We’ve had the medical technology to do both since the times of the Greek empire.

Or said another way, as a favorite blogger of mine says “If bringing babies into the world is God’s way of saying the human race should continue, birth control is man’s way of saying it should end.”

So, I hearby proclaim that I will change the channel or station whenever I hear Hannity’s voice until he issues a humbly apology for that interview and shows some indication that he is going to take the leaders of the faith he claims to belong to more seriously.

Great immigration interview with Archbishop Chaput

Thursday, March 1st, 2007

Archbishop Chaput has always been an impressive Church leader in my opinion because of his balanced and practical approach.  This interview with him about immigration reform is another example of this.  Some great quotes that show his balance:

“We want a strong economy and a good standard of living, but we also don’t want to do a lot of the unpleasant jobs that help sustain that standard. So we live with a curious kind of schizophrenia. We need the “illegals,” but we also want to complain about them.”

“If Americans are angry about the immigration issue, it’s not because they’re instinctively bigoted. They’re frustrated and afraid, and too many of our public servants have failed us by not really leading with vision — in other words, by following their polls and ambitions, instead of their brains and consciences, to find a solution.”

“In Denver, we want to build a Church community that it is truly multiethnic and multiracial. That strikes me as a demand of discipleship. But unless we get serious national immigration reform soon, a sense of grievance will continue to grow among both Hispanics and non-Hispanics. In the long run, that could gravely wound the whole country.”

Please read the whole thing.

What the pope really said

Monday, September 18th, 2006

I’m sure some of my readers have been reading about the bru-ha-ha that is growing regarding the Pope’s speech last Tuesday.  What most people have not seen is what the Pope actually has said.  Here is the pdf of the speech itself.  However I’ll go beyond that to show the quote that is the source of this outrage for those who don’t want to read the whole thing:

In the seventh conversation edited by Professor Khoury, the emperor touches on the theme of the holy war. The emperor must have known that surah 2, 256 reads: “There is no compulsion in religion”. According to the experts, this is one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat. But naturally the emperor also knew the instructions, developed later and recorded in the Qur’an, concerning holy war. Without descending to details, such as the difference in treatment accorded to those who have the “Book” and the “infidels”, he addresses his interlocutor with a startling brusqueness on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general, saying: “Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached”. The emperor, after having expressed himself so forcefully, goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. “God”, he says, “is not pleased by blood – and not acting reasonably is contrary to God’s nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats… To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death…”.

Note: Italized quote is what is drawing the criticism, bold is my emphasis.

I will not deny that the Pope chose a poor quote for the point he was trying to make considering today’s political climate.  However, it is clear from reading the document that the Pope’s intent was clearly NOT to defame Islam, but to stress the importance of dialogue over violence.  The Pope makes it clear that he is quoting someone else and both prepends and postpends a disclaimer speaking to the harsh language being used (see bolded phrases).

What strikes me about this is how much the Pope’s point is being made in the events since the speech.  While his speech calls for dialogue, those who codemn him have responded with violence and hatred.  One influential Muslim going so far as to say “Anyone who describes Islam as a religion as intolerant encourages violence.” (source)

If that isn’t an ironic statement, I don’t know what is.

When I first read about this controversy, I didn’t think much of it.  I figured it would blow over in a couple of days.  Sadly this has not been the case and violence in the middle east towards Christians is on the rise.

This is a time for prayer:

Heavenly Father, forgive me my sins and help me to rise above my weaknesses.  Help all of us to see the precious gift of life that you have given us all.  Help us to see that violence in your name is not your Will but an offense against your Will.  Give us all the strength to forgive those who have wronged us and that same strength to those we have wronged.  Lead us to peace in your Holy Name.

Arch-diocese of San Francisco “washes it’s hands” of moral responsibility

Friday, August 4th, 2006

After the big showdown in Boston over Catholic Charities and gay adoption, the SF arch-diocese has decided to pre-emptively address the problem before the pressure grew to unsustainable levels.  However their solution is completely unacceptable.  As much as the article tries to put the solution in a good light, it’s nothing more than the arch-diocese “washing their hands” of their moral responsibility.  Let me give you some other “headlines” that illustrate the point:

  • “Catholic Church sends pedophile priests to be public school teachers”
  • “Catholic Church sells obstetric portion of hospital to Planned Parenthood”
  • “Vatican to make nuclear bombs to sell to other countries”
  • “Catholic Church sentences John Kerry to death, will have Texas do the execution”

If that wasn’t bad enough, not only are they “washing their hands” they’re doing so to an organization that is in business SPECIFICALLY for the purpose of helping with gay adoptions.  Just go look at their website.

To me that’s a case not only of “washing their hands” of the matter but also pro-actively subverting the Church.

May God have mercy on us all.

The Loretto high school mess

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005

I’m sure most of my readers have not heard about this, but there is a HUGE controversy brewing regarding Loretto high school in Sacramento. It started when Loretto hired a pro-abortion teacher who had been volunteering at Planned Parenthood as an escort (the people who go out into the parking lot to shield customers from protestors) up through this summer. Two months later, the school fired the teacher at the direction of the bishop. It later came out that a family with a student at Loretto, recognized her from various protests at the clinic. After escalating the issue from the teacher to to the school, they finally escalated the issue to the bishop, resulting in the firing. As if this didn’t make for enough controversy, the school has now expelled the student who’s family was responsible.

I had refrained from commenting on the topic before now because I was conflicted on a number of issues. First of all, I strongly stand for the bishops right to fire this teacher for her non-work-related support of Planned Parenthood. Catholic schools have a right to ensure the moral character of their employees and students reflect the beliefs of the Church. That said, I’m not so sure it was the RIGHT decision for the bishop to do that. From what little information has been circulated, the bishop never talked with the teacher (or had a representative do it) to determine what the teachers perspective was to determine if indeed she needed to be fired. Also, I wasn’t sure what the schools actual perspective on the subject was. Maybe after learning this they had intended to release the teacher at the end of the year. Or maybe they had a discussion with the teacher telling her what was expected of her including no longer volunteering at Planned Parenthood and not condoning abortion in the classroom.

But now that the student has been expelled, I’m more confident that the right thing was done by firing the teacher. It is clear that the school has no sympathy for the student and her family. There argument that the family “attacked” the school is pretty clearly hogwash unless you want to define “attacked” as going over their heads and asking the bishop to take action. This is particularly true since the family has been in contact with the school over the issue for two months now and it was not until the bishop stepped in that the student was expelled. Pure and simple, they’re angry that the family went over their heads. Furthermore, the language in their letter makes it pretty clear they have no sympathy for the family which leads me to believe that they do not seem to care about upholding the faith, at least on this issue.

You can be sure I’ll be writing a letter to the bishop asking him to reconsider taking further action against the school for expelling the student including the dismissal of the president and principle of the school if they refuse to properly justify the expulsion or repent and re-admit her to the school.

Finally, if you want the whole enchilada, you can go to the students blog. Her blog has become a lightning rod for both sides with much animosity and non-Christian behavior on both sides. Katelyn on the other hand has remained forthright and calm, refusing to take the bait that many (she averages a few hundred comments per post these days) throw her way.

Breaking News… Pope hijacks Harris poll

Tuesday, September 13th, 2005

I don’t think anyone will be sad to see it go… However read the story.

Funny stuff.

For those too lazy to click: “Pope Benedict, Successor to the Prince of the Apostles and College Football Expert, moved quickly to quell general fan nervousness about the legitimacy … of the new pollsters.”

And on that subject of timing

Thursday, September 8th, 2005

I haven’t found a way to get minutes or summaries of committee actions yet so I haven’t been able to get a definitive answer to whether the timing of the legislature passing these bills is suspect. That said, if one looks at the history of the driver’s license bill, one can see it was sitting around in committee for a long time and then was sent to the assembly floor on August 29th. Lest anyone need reminding, that’s the day Katrina hit and is the same day the gay marriage bill made it out of committee.

Also of note, Mark Leno, author of the gay marriage bill , and Patty Berg, author of the donor legislation (AB 849) that was used to resurrect the original legislation (AB 19) are both on the Assembly Appropriations committee.