Wednesday, February 24, 2010


New stuff over at my new site.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tragedy and Poverty

1. This piece from the Times is unbearably sad -- an online discussion of how a woman is in the process of deciding to have an abortion because her masters degree program was too inflexible to accommodate her pregnancy (which, by the way is illegal discrimination in violation of federal law). Here's a response that pretty much says it all. Let me get personal for a second. I have two graduate degrees, one of which is about as fancy as you can get. But Peggy and I lost three babies before birth. I would trade any of my degrees, and pretty much anything else I have ever owned or will ever own, for even one of those babies to have survived. How sad it is that someone can judge that any master's degree be worth ending someone's life. And even sadder is that people in her life encouraged that way of thinking. Please pray for this poor deluded woman, and all those who think like her.

2. In a not-unrelated matter, a woman is on trial in France for a series of homicides -- the victims were her newborns. Wesley Smith asks, if the newborn isn't a person, as some (like Peter Singer) allege, then what's the big deal?

3. The Cardinal Newman Society has identified ten "Catholic" colleges that promote abortion.

4. A profile of a woman who once worked for Dr. Tiller, but became a pro-lifer. She is very graphic in her description of the evil that took place in that clinic in Wichita. Not for the faint of heart.

5. Helen Alvare on the strategy to legalize same-sex "marriage" by federal lawsuit. She's cautiously optimistic about the outcome of a court challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Of course, the current Administration will be in charge of defending the statute, so I'm less optimistic.

6. The President, meanwhile, is granting some federal benefits to same-sex couples. Gay rights groups are less than enthused -- they want the whole enchilada.

7. Perhaps not the most ideal spokesman for chastity, but here's rock guitarist Lenny Kravitz for you.

8. A beer made from a 9000 year-old recipe will be available this summer.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Stop Legislation by Ambush

1. The NY State version of FOCA was scheduled to be quietly voted on by the Senate last week, but it was postponed by the coup. Call, write, email. Now.

2. The grip of evil clouds the mind and hardens the heart. A couple in Oregon is suing a doctor for failing to pre-natally diagnose their baby's Down Syndrome -- because if they had known, they would have killed the baby. (Wesley Smith's commentary, original story). In the UK, a couple's last frozen embryo was mistakenly implanted into another woman, who promptly aborted him.

3. Boo hoo. I am consumed with crocodile tears. The pro-abortion crowd is deeply concerned that in the future there will be a shortage of Priests of Moloch, er, I mean abortionists. The downside of this is that they will undoubtedly renew the push to require all med students to undergo training in killing.

4. Religious sisters are forming a network to fight against human trafficking (mainly for sex slavery), which is a wicked sin that cries out to God for vengeance. The Holy Father supports this effort.

5. Gay rights activists are annoyeed with the President because he hasn't come out. sorry, I mean his Administration is still defending the Defense of Marriage Act: here and here.

6. Democracy is once again thrwarted by our Platonic Guardian Rulers. The District of Columbia Board of Elections has denied the people the right to a referendum on same-sex "marriage".

7. The cultural imperialism of the West has many faces. Trying to push pro-abortion legislation in Nigeria. European couples using Indian women as surrogate mothers. Influential non-governmental organizations like Amnesty International harassing Latin American governments over their legal protections for the unborn.

8. Blogged over the weekend about the mess in Albany, and yesterday about the need to start facing the question of what we should do when faced with a legal regime that is completely committed to intrinsic moral evil. Check it out.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Debunking the "Common Ground"

1. Here is a thorough demolition of the effort (e.g., by Prof. Kmiec and others in the "common ground" crowd) to resurrect the "seamless garment" approach to Catholic social teaching in an effort to minimize the pre-eminent importance of the Church's actual teachings on life and marriage, in order to justify cooperation with the policies of the current Administration. This is a central issue to the "common ground" debate -- what position will we take on the intrinsically evil laws of our country that permit abortion on demand? Will we accept them and work instead on other issues, or will we concentrate our efforts on resisting the infamy? I posted about this at my ArchNY blog.

2. Not even waiting a discrete length of time, the polygamists are now knocking on the door, demanding "marriage" too. That slippery slope got pretty steep, pretty fast, didn't it?

3. A new bill in the UK could force Catholic schools, nursing homes, etc. to take down religious images if a non-Catholic finds them to constitute "harassment", which is defined nebulously as "unwanted conduct ... with the purpose or effect of violating a person's dignity". Note the word "effect" -- the standard is entirely subjective, and subjects religious liberty to the whims of those with the most sensitive delicacies.

4. Elsewhere in the UK, though, the parents of sextuplets report that they were advised to abort some of their babies, but they refused.

5. Statistics suggest the prevalence of sex-selection (including abortions) among Asian-Americans.

6. Kathryn Jean Lopez defends pro-lifers against the implication in the media that we're all dangerous lunatics.

7. Glowing reviews for a book about a guy who's in prison for making explosives that he planned to use to promote his political cause. Oh, don't worry, he's not a pro-lifer, he's an animal rights fanatic, so his brand of violence is apparently okay.

8. The University of San Fransisco, a school in the Jesuit tradition, honors the famous fourth vow of the Society of Jesus (special obedience to the Holy Father) by giving an award to a bishop from South America who dissents from the Church's teaching, recently re-iterated by the Holy Father himself, on the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV. My favorite quote, from a Catholic faculty member: "Calling USF a Catholic school is like saying Hillary Clinton is a Carmelite nun."

9. One of the State Senators who flipped, has apparently flipped back (I guess they finally found his price). An even split in the Senate equals confusion and paralysis.

10. A Cistercian monk asks some good questions: Why are there no Cistercian conspiracy theories? Why are they always about the Templars or Opus Dei? How about some equal time here?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Beware of Passive Euthanasia

1. Here is a very important document from a group of solid, faithful Catholic bioethics experts. The issue is the proposal being considered by the Bishops in their June meeting to bring the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health care into conformity with the Holy See's teaching on the care due to those in a persistent vegetative state. A few months ago a group calling themselves "the Jesuit Consortium" published a very dangerous piece that, if implemented in the ERD's, would lead to passive euthanasia being countenanced. Pray that our bishops get this right.

2. Follow-up on a previous story: Cardinal O'Malley of Boston has said that the Catholic health plan is attempting to make modifications so that it's arrangement with the secular entity won't violate Catholic moral doctrine.

3. Americans United for Life have a page up with all sorts of information about the Supreme Court nominee.

4. I guess work is a little light around NASA these days, what with fewer shuttle missions, and no moon shots in the near future, so they decided to have a "LGBT Pride Month". Did these people ever hear of the concept of staying on mission?

5. The bishops of Peru have asked the bishops of Canada to stop funding pro-abortion groups. Yes, you read that correctly -- one of the bishops' charities, the Canadian Catholic Organization of Development & Peace, has been documented to have given financial support to groups promoting abortion and contraception in Peru. The bishops of Canada have been investigating these claims since March, but no results have been announced.

6. Elsewhere in Latin America, the Dominican Republic has reaffirmed the true definition of marriage.

7. The legitimization of "a duty to die" continues to progress, which is especially dangerous as health care rationing looms on the horizon.

8. Why won't Notre Dame University make an effort to show mercy to those who were arrested on campus protesting the President's honorary degree?

9. Fr. James Martin, SJ, got whacked around a bit recently by pro-lifers (self included, mea culpa), but he wrote a really beautiful piece today about how happy he is to be a priest, in honor of his tenth anniversary of ordination. May God bless him and all our priests.

10. Chaos continues in Albany. Our hope is that their concern about their phony baloney jobs will distract them from doing mischief like same-sex "marriage" or a state FOCA. Pray, write, pray. I'll blog again about that today, and about the wicked decision by the NY Stem Cell Board to pay women to donate eggs (against the advice of the invaluable Fr. Thomas Berg).

Thursday, June 11, 2009

She's No Pro-Lifer

1. Don't get your hopes up that the Supreme Court nominee is a crypto-pro-lifer: she was involved in filing pro-abortion briefs in six separate legal cases. See also here, where a senator reports that she claims never to have thought about the rights of the unborn. Pretty surprising, considering that she was in a Catholic High School while abortion was being legalized in New York State -- the subject never came up in conversation, much less in class?

2. At the same time, we should always recall that the idea that Catholics can't be trusted to be good citizens is an oldie but goodie of the anti-Catholic set (you remember the secret tunnel we built so the Pope can come here and rule). But here it is again, under the guise of an argument that Catholic Supreme Court judges have to step aside in certain cases (like abortion and same-sex "marriage", of course). I decline to link to the original article, but here's commentary on it. What's next, celebrating Guy Fawkes Day?

3. Ross Douthat speaks some words of wisdom about abortion -- in the Times! Hard to believe that he's going to last long there, sitting next to Maureen Dowd

4. There's a report that the Administration may be open to supporting some elements of the Pregnant Women Support Act. Seriously, though, don't get your hopes up -- they will never back some elements of the bill (support for crisis pregnancy centers and abstinence education) because the Cult of Moloch, er, I mean Planned Parenthood, is dead set against those, and any bill the White House proposes is going to be chock full of contraceptives. Still, if the Administration is willing to support any real pro-life initiative, we should look it over.

5. Leave it to Fr. Rutler to go all the way back to ancient Rome, Renaissance Italy, and the Abolitionist movement to explain some of the deeper meaning of the Tiller murder.

6. A valuable reflection on the verbal engineering by the "gay rights" movement.

7. Helen Alvare on the consequences of the growth in out-of-wedlock childbearing.

8. A man who stopped to ask for directions wound up getting severely beaten with his own golf clubs. That's exactly why we never do it, ladies.

9. I would be happy to explain to people just what is going on in Albany, but I am not a science fiction writer. I did blog about our pilgrimage there on Tuesday, so check it out. My take is, the more chaos, the better the chances are that they'll just close up shop and go home without giving us same-sex "marriage" or a state FOCA. But it's all up for grabs up there. Pray; then write, email and call your Senator; rinse and repeat.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Threats to the Church's Liberty

1. Here's a good summary of the situation in Connecticut, where the state government is trying to shut up the Catholic Church by accusing her of illegal lobbying. Here is Bishop Lori's statement, and if you're a real legal geek like me you can even read the documents in his federal lawsuit against the state. This is a very, very important case for the liberty of the Church.

2. Follow-up to the item yesterday about the Catholic health plan in Boston that may have gotten itself into an arrangement that would require them to cooperate in abortion. The Archdiocese of Boston is reviewing the situation.

3. Hopefully this won't encourage deranged consequentialists who believe that evil means can be used for "good" ends, but it appears that Dr. Tiller's abortion clinic will be permanently closed.

4. Meanwhile, the media continues to lionize abortionists, this time turning the hero treatment onto Dr. Hern of Colorado. Time magazine offers this wistful nonsense about Dr. Tiller. Our objective media, going maudlin for men who kill babies for a living.

5. The government (which would never ration health care and let people die from neglect, nosirree, Bob) wants you to sign an advance directive i.e. a living will), and may even give you a tax break if you do so. Problem is that these documents all too often are "refuse treatment, let me die" documents that encourage passive euthanasia by the "medical futility" crowd.

6. Another reminder that those who cite Cardinal Bernardin for the idea that abortion is just one among many issues should instead read what the man actually said. Here's a key quote: when asked if Catholic voters should disqualify candidates who don'’t support a human life amendment, he said, "Well, certainly. That’s what the consistent life ethic is all about... I don’t see how you can subscribe to the consistent ethic and then vote for someone who feels that abortion is a 'basic right' of the individual."

7. Spent yesterday in Albany at the Rally for Marriage. Crazy atmosphere up there, hard to tell what's going to happen on same-sex "marriage". There's even some odd speculation that Tom Duane, the gay Senator and prime same-sex "marriage" sponsor, might switch sides in order to get his bill passed. Weird. Keep praying. Contact your State Senator. Pray some more.

Chaos in the Madhouse

1. Chaos reigns in Albany, but the bizarre coup that put the Republicans back in charge of the State Senate may be the last nail in the coffin of same-sex "marriage" and the "Reproductive Health Act" (see here and here). Let us pray!!

2. Sex selection abortions are on the way, and soon, now that there is going to be a take-at-home test to determine the sex of an unborn child.

3. The depravity of the culture in the UK hits new lows every day. Now 12-year-old boys will be given "condom credit cards" so they can pick them up for free.

4. Well, what a surprise! The new Supreme Court nominee once filed an amicus brief advocating for liberalized abortion laws. Just as an aside, how lucky is Americans United for Life to have Dawn Eden working for them?

5. Continued concerns about the hospital merger in Boston that may have resulted in a Catholic hospital covering abortions in their health insurance plan, and being somehow involved in abortions themselves.

6. More on the President's deplorable appointment, to an important position in the Education Department, of the founder of GLSEN ("Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network"), the vehicle for indoctrinating children in the public schools in the gay agenda (note, the link leads to a sanitized article, follow the links to the full story only if you have a strong stomach). I guess "common ground" is now defined as where you bury your enemies after you vanquish them.

7. Sometimes politics produces strange ironies. Those few Catholics who've heard of her consider Alexia Kelley, the head of the Democratic front group "Catholics for the Common Good", to be quite liberal (she worked on the John Kerry and John Edwards presidential campaigns, and backed the current President as well), and, shall we say, a tad squishy on abortion, at least as a matter of practical public policy. But now that the President has appointed her to head his "Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships", the hard-core pro-abortion types are absolutely horrified that their hero would appoint an "anti-abortion activist" and a "religious figure". You have to laugh at the discomfort of our adversaries. Plus, here's a test to see if one of the pro-Obama Catholics can use their influence to actually moderate his 100% anti-abortion policies. Your move, Ms. Kelley.

8. Two prominent archbishops of the Church of England tell their flocks that they should not vote for a particular party (a neo-fascist anti-immigrant outfit) because it is racist, and they are applauded by the wise folks from the Humanist Society. Next, they will undoubtedly tell voters not to vote for parties that support the legalized killing of unborn children, because it's "age-ist". Uh, maybe you shouldn't stand on one foot and hold your breath until that happens.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Clinic Access Bill and Freedom of Speech

1. The Times, of all papers, did a reasonably fair article on the New York City clinic access bill, which will take effect next month. They actually interviewed a woman who turned around after seeing a sonogram of her baby, and talked to pro-life sidewalk counselors, let them speak for themselves, and portrayed them fairly. Unintentionally, no doubt, the article made the pro-abortion clinic workers look bad -- not only did they make accusations that the reporter did not substantiate, but they displayed the deep intolerance for free speech that is behind this bill. Here's the give-away: a sign in the clinic that says: "Tell abortion protesters to mind their own business. This is America." Indeed it is, and there still is a First Amendment here, endangered species though it may be.

2. The propaganda effort continues elsewhere, however. In the Washington Post, there was a puff piece about a woman who became pro-abortion in medical school, and is in favor of killing unborn children with adverse fetal diagnoses. Here is a reaction to that terribly misguided attitude.

3. The next time some naive person says to you "Oh, no, nobody is really in favor of abortion", point them to the Rev. Kathrine Ragsdale, Episcopal priest, who calls abortion "a blessing", and may well be the most morally repellent person in America today. Read the whole article only if you have a strong stomach and have already taken your blood pressure medication.

4. What to make of this? Cosmopolitan magazine takes a moment off from peddling its sex-saturated tripe and favorably profiles women who are chaste.

5. Here's a chance for Notre Dame University to show a little of the Christian mercy that is part of its Catholic identity -- ask the prosecutors to dismiss the charges against the people arrested for protesting on campus.

6. Beautiful profile of a Boston priest who is continuing his ministry while suffering terminal cancer.

7. A video of a nun crushing cars with a monster truck -- now that's the way to drum up vocations!

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Challenges of Discipleship

1. Outstanding article from on the challenges of pro-life discipleship in this age. My favorite quote: "We must not submit. No matter how smooth the oration, no matter how appealingly the hand of invitation is extended, the culture of death, which promises everything, ultimately offers nothing."

2. Now, here's a shocker from the Department of the Bleeding Obvious. In the states where more people self-identify as pro-life, there are fewer abortions. In states where fewer people identify as pro-life, more babies die, er, I'm sorry, more "reproductive choices" are made.

3. Theresa Bonapartis of Lumina, the post-abortion ministry (, writes about why she is a "pro-life extremist".

4. You remember that the Holy See is conducting a visitation of women's religious communities in the US, to assess their fidelity to the Church's teaching, beliefs, and practices? Well, some of the religious are objecting to the idea that visitators will be required to subscribe to a profession of faith -- you know, the one that says that the subscriber actually believes what the Church believes. What more proof do we need that such a visitation is necessary?

5. Apropos of that, an interesting analysis by a Vatican official on two currents in the Church regarding relations with the secular culture -- a "current of integration" and a "current of controversy".

6. The pro-life movement mobilizes in Spain.

7. Well, I'm sure glad the President's comfortable with having an anti-Catholic bigot on his Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Woudn't want anyone to be uncomfortable with a person who hates Catholics.

8. Thank God for scientific researchers, who continue to give us useful information. Now they tell us that men who marry younger women (especially if she's 15 to 17 years younger) will live longer, but the opposite effect is true for women -- they die younger if they marry an older man. Sadly, it means we will have more time with Donald Trump.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bad News from New Hampshire

1. New Hampshire has legalized same-sex "marriage", with totally inadequate religious protections.

2. In the UK, the government will force Catholic adoption agencies to place children with homosexual couples. The agenda to rid public life of religion advances another step. Just wait -- it's coming to us too.

3. Meanwhile, the 100% pro-"gay" Administration has appointed a gay activist to a policy-making position in the Department of Education. This is a man who founded GLSEN (the "Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network"), which specializes in indocrinating school children about homosexuality. Still, "gay" rights groups are growing impatient with the President because he hasn't gone far enough for them.

4. Other ethicists are joining Fr. Thomas Berg's dissent from the New York Stem Cell Board's decision to pay women for their eggs. Speaking of Fr. Berg, here's his view on the impossibility of authentic "dialogue" with the Administration on abortion.

5. You want a profile of a real pro-lifer? Try this one, of Rev. Walter Hoye from California. I blogged last night on the differences between him and Dr. Tiller, whom the pro-abortion world is holding up as a "saint and martyr".

6. A pro-choicer who sees and understands -- albeit still disagrees -- with our moral reasoning that the issues is the personhood of the unborn child. If she's gotten this far with her reason, all she needs is her heart to get on board and we may have a convert. Please pray for her!

7. Demolishing once again the smear campaign against pro-lifers over the Tiller murder.

8. An excellent explanation of how acceptance of contraception leads not only to abortion but to euthanasia as well. It's not a "slippery slope", but a line of inevitable reasoning.

9. The Holy Father, once again, reminds us of Christianity 101 -- that faith is more than just thinking, but involves the whole person, including our feelings.

10. Some good news to brighten your day (for once). A baby born in Pittsburgh at 12.5 ounces, 10 inches long (the size of a soda can!), 14 weeks early, is doing great and may go home soon.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

More Depravity from the Cult of Moloch

1. Some depraved pro-abortion zealots from the Cult of Moloch, er, I'm sorry, an Episcopalian female priest and a Reconstructionist Jewish rabbi, are calling Dr. Tiller "a saint and a martyr". Absolutely demonic. There's no other word for it.

2. An Archbishop at the Holy See laments the decline in confessions. The proposed solution? A new handbook on confession. Yeah, that'll do so much more than, say, having the entire Church proclaiming "The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel." Oh, right, somebody already said that, and it didn't have any effect, so no point in saying it again.

3. Same-sex "marriage" advocates are still trying to make it look as if their bill is inevitable, even though all public vote counts show them to be short of victory. If so, they're going to have to do better than this event at which the Senate Majority Leader appeared: "at a rally of about 20 gay couples in support of marriage equality". At what point is it so small that it's not a rally but a coffee klatch?

4. Part Two of Mark Shea's demonstration of how our cultural decline has no principled terminus, now that the Christian sexual ethic has been rejected and replaced by "consent".

5. Meanwhile, to confirm Mark's point, the President has declared June to be "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month", and the Secretary of State has announced that promoting "gay rights" abroad is a foreign policy priority for this Administration. What can you even say about such stuff? Where even to begin?

6. The Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis has issued a statement that those protesting the Church's teaching on homosexuality by wearing rainbow sashes to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will be denied the Body and Blood of Christ due to their act of public dissent.

7. More intimidation on the way from the forces of "tolerance".

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Blame Game

1. I am not a fan of Bill O'Reilly, but the campaign to blame him and pro-lifers in general for the terrorist murder of Dr. Tiller is absurd and offensive, and wouldn't be tolerated with any other group. Try the thought experiment: will anyone blame all of Islam or all anti-war activists for the terrorist murder of the military recruiter by a Muslim convert?

2. Meanwhile, from the "Search for Common Ground" Department, abortion advocates are blocking the Pregnant Women Support Act, which would actually do something to reduce abortions. Mr. President?

3. You may hear about a study that reportedly finds that women who attend religious schools have abortions at the same rate as those who do not. Take the story with a grain of salt, warns Michael New, the sociologist who knows more about abortion rates than anybody.

4. The Culture of Death has gotten so far in the UK that there's an assisted suicide waiting list.

5. The invaluable Fr. Thomas Berg blows the whistle on the New York Stem Cell Board's immoral plan to pay women -- with taxpayer money -- to donate eggs for research.

6. New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is acting confident that the Senate will pass the same-sex "marriage" bill. The bill gets a boost from some celebrities that I'm sure somebody has heard of and former VP Dick Cheney, who is now the highest ranking public official to endorse same-sex "marriage".

7. As of now, the SSM bill is not on the Senate's agenda for the rest of the term, but that could change as soon as the wind blows from a different direction.

8. Here's more on the religion of the new Supreme Court nominee. It appears that she is a "special event" Catholic -- she only attends the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to receive the Body and Blood of Christ when it happens to coincide with some kind of event in her family.

9. Blogged yesterday on Memorial Day, and today on the murder of Dr. Tiller.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Gravely Wicked

1. "Gravely wicked". That's how Robert George described the murder of George Tiller, and nothing more needs to be said. It is also a reminder to us all of Our Lords's warning in Luke 12:20. The killer apparently was known to favor the murder of abortion doctors. Did any of this troubled man's brothers and sisters in Christ do anything to convince him that he was on the path to destruction, and that he should turn away from those sinful beliefs? Please pray for everyone involved in this tragedy.

2. Nat Hentoff calls on the President to live up to his words about "reducing the number of women seeking abortion". The Catholic Key (the blog for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph) wonders when the President's Catholic supporters will do the same.

3. I sent this out last week, but it's such a must-read that I'm doing it again. Robert George, in "Obama and his Pro-Life Apologists", diagnoses the President's position with surgical precision -- the President doesn't think that unborn children have any rights the law is bound to respect, and he doesn't think that abortion is wrong but instead views it as a legitimate solution to the problem of an unwanted pregnancy. The challenge of finding "common ground" will have to face those facts.

4. The National Organization for Marriage kicks off its campaign on same-sex "marriage" here in NY, generates lots of phone calls to senators. Maggie Gallagher gives an overview of the religious liberty issues involved in same-sex "marriage". Another rally on our side, this time in Buffalo.

5. Rich guy in Colorado spends millions to influence local political races in other states, including setting up phony organizations to run misleading attack ads. You expect outrage? Horror? Calls for reform? Silly you, of course not -- he's doing it to support "gay rights" and to "punish the wicked" (his words), namely those who support real marriage.

6. The modern face of anti-Catholicism. Frances Kissling (yes, the awful abortion apologist) asks the question "Are Six Catholics Too Much for the Supreme Court". The answer is, not if one if them is only a nominal Catholic. So, the converse of that reasoning is that "faithful, practicing Catholics need not apply". So much for the Religious Test Clause (Article VI of the Constitution). The bigotry isn't just directed at us Catholics. Same-sex "marriage" supporters are still going after the Mormons.

7. Interesting article about Notre Dame's struggle to find its Catholic identity. Nice coverage of the views of the pro-life and devout students.

8. The number of euthanasia cases in Holland rose by more than 10% last year.

9. The Diocese of Bridgeport, has sued the State of Connecticut to head off an investigation into alleged "lobbying" activity -- defending the real definition of marriage and defending the Church against a bill to take Catholic parishes out of the control of bishops. In the bureaucratic state of all-intrusive regulations, it is very, very difficult to evade the reach of the government into your life.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Wink, Wink, Nudge, Nudge

1. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. It's okay, the White House whispers out of the side of its mouth to the pro-abortion lobby, you don't have anything to worry about with this new Supreme Court nominee. The pro-abortion groups have gotten the message.

2. More breakthroughs in adult cells, including a current therapy for sight loss and new ways to reprogram them into pluripotent stem cells (i.e., the functional equivalent of embryonic stem cells): here and here. Why is the government not putting the bulk of its resources into this approach?

3. Here's Robert George's statement from his debate the other day with Prof. Doug Kmiec about the President's record.

4. Lies, damned lies, statistics, and agendas. Prof. Doug Kmiec and Fr. Richard McBrien have both recently cited the utterly false and repeatedly discredited "statistic" that abortions and abortion rates rose during the various Bush Administrations, in order to make the point that Democratic policies actually reduce abortions. Prof. Michael New, the real expert on this, replies with the actual facts, namely that abortions and abortion rates declined under both Republican Administrations, as they generally have done since about 1980; he also reminds us that pro-life state laws, not economic policies, have the most impact on the incidence of abortion. Smart guys, why can't they look up the facts?

5. Only in the bizarre surreal world of the United Nations would a ban on abortions be viewed as "torture". Take special note from that piece that Amnesty International takes the same position. I say this with sadness as a former member of Amnesty, but the next time they want to start up a group in your school, or do a fund-raiser in your church, ask them about this. Show them this statement by the President of the USCCB. Then say "no thanks" and invite in groups like "Aid to the Church in Need" instead.

6. If you want a quick summary of the "legal realism" school of thought, which the new nominee to the Supreme Court reflects (and which is the staple of modern legal education), see here. As we law students quickly realized, "legal realism" is basically a justification for judges deciding cases according to their own interests and values. As every lawyer knows, sometimes when you go into court, it's not an even playing field, but it's two against one -- your adversary and the judge are both against you. Is that justice?

7. Where are things heading when you need a permit to have a private bible study in your home? They need a lawyer who's familiar with the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000, which was supposed to stop this kind of nonsense.

8. The celebrities are coming out of the woodwork to stump for same-sex "marriage".

9. Celebrity priest Fr. Alberto Cutie, who was photographed canoodling with a woman on the beach, and later went on TV to proclaim his lack of repentance for his incontinence, has suddenly become an Episcopalian deacon (no year-long RCIA or four years of seminary in the Church of What's Happening Now, I guess). And, showing boatloads of class, he didn't even tell his bishop he was leaving. Let's see, we got Fr. Rutler, they get "Fr. Oprah". Heh.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Same-sex "Marriage" is not Inevitable

1. The polls continue to show that same-sex "marriage" is far from inevitable. It is opposed by a majority of Americans, and the percentage in favor has declined. Analysis. Original polling data. Have they hit the high-water mark? Even the Governor of Nevada -- home of the quickie Elvis marriage -- has vetoed a domestic partner bill.

2. Maggie Gallagher's National Organization for Marriage has started their ad campaign in NY. Of course, the Times can't resist themselves, calling NOM a "Christian group" (which it isn't), apparently believing that is a slur. The other side has their own YouTube video up about the "24 Days to Marriage in NY", but I won't supply the link because I decline to propagate such propaganda. Sadly, instead of fighting, some Catholics seem to want to throw in the towel -- Prof. Doug Kmiec is in favor of eliminating marriage in civil law and replacing it with neutral civil unions, an idea Robert George calls a terrible idea.

3. Meanwhile, the Proposition 8 battle has moved to the federal courts. This is troublesome, since the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is notoriously "progressive" (remember they were the ones to discover a right to assisted suicide years ago). Gee, do you think that elections -- and thus judicial appointments -- don't matter?

4. Pro-abortion groups claim to be uncertain about the positions of the Supreme Court nominee. Yeah, I'm sure they're real nervous about this one. As for the nominee's lack of respect for the rule of law, see here and here. Take the blindfold off of Lady Justice and forget about the equal scales.

5. Oklahoma has banned sex-selection abortions.

6. The next battle begins to loom. The USCCB has issued a statement on universal health insurance (which the bishops have supported since 1919, by the way), warning that any plan should not include abortion coverage. Press release. Official statement by Bishop Murphy of Rockville Centre.

7. Wesley Smith on the dangers of a pro-suicide culture.

8. Now that Scientific American has admitted it, are we permitted to point out that embryonic stem cell research isn't the panacea that the advocates have hyped? Oh, wait a minute, we've been pointing it out all along.

9. The forces of tolerance file harassing frivolous lawsuits against the Church to try to force us out of the public square in the Maine same-sex "marriage" fight. Can't wait for them to get all magnanimous and "live-and-let-live" after they win.

10. The next time somebody tries to argue that waterboarding isn't torture, point them to this. The next time somebody tries to argue that we should do it anyway, point them to this: Romans 3:8.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Impartiality and Judges

1. On the impartiality of judges and the oath of office, in this age of identity politics, see here, here, and here.

2. The Vatican newspaper, which has been criticized for undermining the US Bishops' critique of Administration policies, is starting to get on board. The editor, however, still does not understand why we consider the President to be "pro-abortion". See my blog post today for reasons why we consider the President and others to be "pro-abortion".

3. The USCCB's statement on the new stem cell policies. In short, the guidelines ignore science, ethics and the humanity of the human embryo. Cardinal George calls on the President to live up to his word -- you talk about protecting conscience, now's the time to prove it.

4. Hadley Arkes sees the reality behind the "reducing unintended pregnancy" stuff coming out of the Administration.

5. Mark Shea precisely diagnoses the slide from morality towards tyranny, thanks to the breakdown in moral principles on marriage and sexuality. Part One here.

6. Brave New World, coming to a school district near you -- indoctrinating public school kids on homosexuality.

7. Still a close call on the same-sex "marriage" bill in Albany. Maggie Gallagher crunches the poll numbers.

8. Perhaps at some point people would actually read what Cardinal Bernadin said, and stop misusing him as a poster-boy for the notion that abortion is of equal importance with other issues.

9. Hey, somebody's trying to introduce more modest swimwear for women. Finally, a calendar I can post at work.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

They Finally Tell the Truth

1. In an unguarded moment, the Administration's point woman on dialogue about abortion (and a former board member of Emily's List, the pro-abortion PAC) gave the game away: "It is not our goal to reduce the number of abortions… [the goal is to] reduce the need for abortions." Note the subtle difference in language, and understand the huge practical difference -- their plan is to flood the nation with contraceptives while keeping abortion as a back-stop, not to actually do anything that will reduce the number of abortions.

2. Keep your eyes on the news at around 1 p.m. today -- the California Supreme Court will release it's decision on the challenge to Proposition 8, which retained the authentic definition of marriage. Isn't it bizarre that we're waiting for a half-dozen lawyers to emerge from behind the Wizard of Oz's curtain to announce whether black will be white, and white black?

UPDATE: Proposition 8 upheld by the California Supreme Court.

3. It appears that the President has chosen Second Circuit judge Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court. While it's nice that she's a graduate of Cardinal Spellman High School (a few years ahead of me), it's exceedingly unlikely that her Catholic education will make any difference in rulings on the sanctity of human life. For a quick overview of her record as a judicial activist, see here.

4. Moloch is always hungry for human babies. Now the biotech industry is not satisfied with the President's new stem cell guidelines, and want them amended to allow them to create new human lives so that they can be dismembered for spare parts.

5. Meanwhile, the ironies of the Culture of Death continue to amass -- it appears that Downs Syndrome babies, who are being sytematically eradicated prior to birth, may hold the key to some cancer cures.

6. Reason number 98,765,435,498,469,843,543,854 why parents should be very leery about sending their children to "Catholic" colleges. Seattle University, a school in the Jesuit tradition, hosts a "Faith and Reproductive Justice" seminar, featuring all pro-abortion speakers, including a clergy person representing of the Temple of Moloch, er, I mean Planned Parenthood -- on Ascension Thursday.

7. Well, what a surprise! States that funded abstinence education programs have fewer teen abortions than states that rejected the funding. Not that evidence means anything to Congress or our New York State Legislature.

8. The Cult of Moloch wants to go on the air, so the government in the UK is considering allowing abortion centers to advertise on TV and radio.

9. But here are ten signs of hope from the National Catholic Register. Here's one they should have mentioned as well: Summorum Pontificum.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Last Words (I Hope) about Notre Dame

1. See my blog for an exchange of emails I had with Fr. James Martin, regarding his comments on CNN the other night. I apologize to Fr. Martin for the snarkiness of my email yesterday, although, as you will see from my email to him, I stand by my criticism of his remarks.

2. All sorts of stuff about the NDResponse protest of the President's appearance at NDU. I can't help but pass on another article by Kathryn Jean Lopez about NDU.

3. Here's a five-point "test of seriousness" to see if the President is really interested in "dialogue". Some Congressmen are also issuing a challenge to the President on his conscience clause promise.

4. We are now apparently going to "outsource" human drug trials to the developing world. This should worry all of us, since it is specifically designed to evade annoying ethical requirements.

5. The effort in Maine to overturn the same-sex "marriage" law advances another step.

6. Based on what's going on in Spain, guess what's coming our way, in the not too distant future -- educational curricula that indoctrinate in homosexuality.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Missing an Opportunity it on National TV

1. Fr. James Martin, SJ, editor of America magazine, flubbed what it means to be pro-life on national TV the other day. He hasn't gotten the memo about the uniqueness and centrality of abortion as a social justice issue, and the way he speaks about pro-lifers makes me wonder what kind of pro-lifers he knows ("for a lot of people in the pro-life movement, life begins at conception, but seems to end there" -- does this describe anyone any of us knows?). Perhaps he might find the time to re-read "Living the Gospel of Life" by the US Bishops, or visit the Sisters of Life to see what real pro-lifers are like. Or he might check into what Bishop Finn (you remember him, a strong critic of NDU) is up to -- leading a prayer vigil as Missouri resumes executions. (UPDATE: see my official ArchNY blog for some interesting correspondence I've had with Fr. Martin).

2. Article from the Times about the still-forming opposition to same-sex "marriage" in New York. Maggie Gallagher gives an overview of the effects of SSM -- not surprisingly, a decline in the belief that kids need a mom and a dad, and a growing belief that it is risky to express opposition to SSM.

3. The president of a school called Trinity University, which apparently considers itself to be a Catholic college, has pointed to two of their alums, Nancy Pelosi and Kathleen Sebelius, as models of the education provided by that supposedly Catholic school. She actually meant this as a positive statement. No, seriously. Really.

4. Opinion polls show that people want the President to appoint a "conservative" or "moderate" justice of the Supreme Court. But listen to what he said on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

5. If the President wants dialogue with pro-lifers and to find common ground, how about talking about the pain caused to unborn children by abortion. Yes, let's talk science for a while.

6. Buried deep in another opinion poll is yet another indication that more people call themselves "pro-life" than "pro-chocie". Another poll shows that American Catholics have a positive view of the Holy Father. That's pretty good since we are, after all, Catholics.

7. Interesting take on why modern debates are so awful -- "some people are jerks and some people are too nice". His advice -- speak the truth with love, even if that means you're not considered to be "nice".