This blog started out as a companion piece to my book, Musings from the Christian Left (excerpts of which can be found in the July 2004 link) and to support a planned radio show. Now, its simply a long term writing project from a Christian Left Libertarian perspective (meaning I often argue for liberty within the (Catholic) Church, rather than liberty because the church takes care of a conservative view of morality.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

53 & Grateful | National Catholic Reporter

53 & Grateful | National Catholic Reporter Happy Birthday, Michael. 1962 was a wonderful year to be born!

Links for 02/27/15 | National Catholic Reporter

Links for 02/27/15 | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: Interesting mix of links. I had not realized Flores was Basque. Having fallen in love with but never catching a Basque girl, and I can see his point, even though they are gracious to a fault.

As to Hillary, you need to read closely that these individuals are using modern marketing methods (ever see Frank Luntz do a focus group? I have, he brought the tape to our doctoral class - he was teaching). When you are going head to head with Rove and Ailes, you need to have every edge you can get - although the electoral college math is still easier for any Democrat - even a blue dog.

I am glad Damon is telling the truth about his side and dare I say FoxNews? Of coures, we already knew that.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Links for 02/26/15 | National Catholic Reporter

Links for 02/26/15 | National Catholic Reporter by MSW.  MGB: Today we have the good, the bad and and ugly.  Bishop Flores on immigration is the the good, some fool at Breitbart is the bad and a review of whether capitalism's claim that wages follow productivity is the ugly. On immigration, I would eliminate right to work and immigration barriers and not how little we see immigrants come in to be hired (given the choice between a native worker and a foreign worker where both are union, I suspect mos employees are nativists.  As the son of Eurotrash Royalty, I suspect any statement to Franics was bought - the best royals are now Americans.

Notre Dame's Curriculum Review, Part III | National Catholic Reporter

Notre Dame's Curriculum Review, Part III | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: The quote form Balthasar is interesting and I don't believe he is arguing absurdly that women and reproduction would end if the modern world won.  I think he believes the 80 hour technogist would simply not notice their absence.  On one level this may be true - however now most workplaces have women.  Also, as the modern technologist earns money, he tends to use it for all things family.  That has always been the case with men and now women who work too much.(See First Corinthians 13)  I do not believe theology is important one way or another to work life.  It may have an opinion, however, on what our technogist and his family do withe ther money.  St. Paul found that love being lost to other concerns, even in Christianity, was a problem back then.  The Communio magazine, started by Benedct, de Lubac and Balthasar have kept tht voice alive, with this ideiolog driving Benedict's Caritas et Vetitate letter.

Camosy and Murray argue bout both dualism and the ethics of eating meat.  There is plenty of room for discussion by Catholic thelogians - including discussion students would find meaty.  Especially in the midwest in states like Indiana and schools like Notre Dame.  The fallen nature of man is another thing to discuss (althugh doing so while remembering that Genesis was a myth, not history, seems to be a challenge some cannot face - especially in Rome.  MSW recommends his two theology courses - the first involving the work of noted theologians (not sure this is undergraduate material) and the question of authority and argument (or the Curia v. theologians).  Pretty sure that would not have been offerred at Loras in my day.   The second course would be specific to the various majors of the student.  That might prove intersting.

Of course, that begs the question of what to offer to theologians - I am sure Cultural Theory as some ideas. Elaine Paiges comes to mind, including and especially her work on The Abominations of Leviticus and on Revelation (which puts a stake in both Leviticus and the end times movement - in other words, the Conservative heart).  MSW challenges the doctral and tenure track pubishing focus in theology.  Political Science has similar problems whic stopped m decision as well - although working in Cultural Theory woud likely have nixedthe boredom - but this thought came to late to save my doctoral career - and the death of Aaron Wildavsky made going back an unsavory process.

The question arises about learning outcomes, whether professors are thre to teach or do research and I add how the curriculum serves the interests of the funders, whether they be a state government, the parents, the students or maybe even the employers who I say should pay the last two years of school.  I guess the question is whether this should be offered in state schools or just private ones - and whether its is for the first two years of basic trainingo r something that is part f the major course study (my questions, not MSW's - but they are key.)  Of course, studying the essence of the mind in theology is worthy, as St. Jon Newman suggests - so one wonders if this could be snuck into the lower grades for everyone.

How does this make Notre Dame more attractive to undergarduates?  In my day, Iowa had a 19 yer old drinking age (where Loras was - and was also an hour or so from home - a two or three hour hitchhike) - while Notre Dame in Indiana had a 21 year drinking age.  For undergraduates, that was important, as well as the driving distance from Cedar Rapids to South Bend - no hitching possible, unless Chicago was the destination.  The existence of a theology requirement was not on the list - unless one was a theology student. I worried more about what the political science and economics departments offered.  Faculty and some upper class students look at such things, not incoming frosh.

Sitting next to Newman on a train would be nice, especially to Cedar Rapids (I actually did one commute with my Accounting professor to get to my mom's birthday party - the same birthday I just celebrated - I would rather ride a train with her, actually - which leads to the theological question of life after death).  In the 80s, I would not hve dreamed of asking St. John about gay marriage.  Today, I would be all ears on that issue.  There are issues to desexualize Newman, but they did not comport with the truth, as his ashes and those of who was essentially his husband cannot be disentangled in order to rebury Newman without his love.  That question makes Thelogy and the Church interesting.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Links for 02/25/15 | National Catholic Reporter

Links for 02/25/15 | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: The length of the UK document simply shows more agreement among the bishops (there are fewer of them, after all).  Theirs looks like a candidate survey.  In the business of election, no candidate should ever do one of these things unless it is absolutely necessary to please a certain constituency (or show that they are not beholden to the survey generator). Generally, canddates should use their own formats to get their views out, not the Catholic bishops of any jurisdiction.

Sarah Christian at Millenial is correct - there are people who are very much pro-abortion and consider it a right of women to exercise with no restriction whatsoever - indeed, for them it is simply another form of birth control, as well as a way to fight the partriarch.  Everyone who is pro-choice, however, is not pro-abortion.  Pro-choice people believe that the government is not competent to make decisions in this area - especially coercive ones.  That is simply not being pro-abortion.

Of course, there is another option on being pro-abortion - that is the philosophical disagreement with the Church over whether abortion should be direct or indirect in the later trimesters - especially if the child has no prospect of surviving the pregnancy.  Logic dictates that if the child is doomed, ending the pregnancy - by induction of course - should best be accomplished as soon as possible for the health of the mother - but rejecting any form that disects the child either in the womb or in the birth canal (if there is a difficulty in delivery use a C-Section).  Is that against teaching.  Yes, absolutely.  Is it wrong?  Heck no!  Rejecting such methods still fall under the heading of believing God is an Ogre who will send you to Hell for violating His exclusive authority over life and death.  That is a regretable defect in the pro-life movement that is entirely selfish, putting the salvation of one's soul above the Truth - which is essentially cowardice, not faith.

It is ISIL, the second S is for the Levant (although simply calling it IS is what they are doing now - Obama uses ISIL to stress that there are many Islamic States and that ISIL is not one of them).  The current tyranny against Christians is both a question of Martyrdom (last I checked, we celebrated such events) and of asserting both the right to location and the freedom of religion at the same time.  The second view is stupid.  It is time for Christians to leave, protestations of rights to the contrary.  This is not the early centuries of the Church, where the empire was huge and the known world (and Martyrdom was glorified).  Its time to go or grab an AK-47 if you want to defend your right of location.  If Christians don't want to get militant, leaving is morally obligatory, at least as far as your family is concerned.  Anyone who wants to be warrior has taken up the sword and may die by it, regardless of how just the cause is.

Notre Dame's Curriculum Review, Part II | National Catholic Reporter

Notre Dame's Curriculum Review, Part II | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: The counter point to St. John is that a branch of knowledge is doomed if removed from the curriculum is Astrology.  It is alive and well and only available in the best university book stores in the New Age section (and certainly not on Catholic Colleges).  Its lingering truth as a social science (rather than a physical one) is reaffirmed with every ably cast natal or synastry (couples) chart - not so much with horary astrology - which has no theoretical basis (even though billions swear by it too).  Theology, by contrast, depends on the choice to accept or reject the existence of God or a higher power as being over the natural world. With apologies to St. Thomas, only Catholic schools still act as if the five proofs of God have not been overcome. What is left is a decision of faith, taken both individually and collectively - and that is Theology.  Of course, St. John's point is interesting on scientific reality exists in the conversation about it.  Heideggar would be most impressed.

Scientism is not equivalent.  The scientific method is our friend and is is used in all kinds of disciplines, like political science - though sometimes too much. It is noticed that too much ability with mathematics, which is the language of science, is often related to the most severe form of mental illness, schhizophrenia.  As a method, however, it is much more reliable than the discourse structure of the Summa.  Still, it is not the place of science to poo-poo theology because the real standard of proof, once evidence has been dealt with, is individual or group choice.  In other words, faith.

Of course, if scientism or atheism (and is wild child, Satanism) do exist, they are also about individual or group choice, which all sounds like the Cultural Theory of Mary Douglass and Aaron Wildavsky are the correct method of anlayzing both.  I am not saying that the Theory answers Theological questions - but it is wonderful in looking at how theology exists for individuals and groups.  As for Eugenics, that was straight up individual and group racism - Cultural Theory can examine this as well.  It is also useful in examining why some believers in religion are looked at as less than sophisticated - especially the Fundamentalists of all faiths - from Liberty University to ISIL and its Wahabist backers.  That is not why we continue to study Theology.

We continue to study it because of our group identity and because it is interesting if presented well.  If the craft of the faculty is not good - especially if knowledge is directed by authority rather than reason and the beliefs of the entire group - then it will be regarded as fascism and it will die - a lesson for those bishops and Vatican bureaucrats would dictate what is discussed in the Theology curriculum.  It is ironic that the thing that makes a University Catholic is most at risk from the leaders of that Catholic Church.  Of coruse, this is nothing new.  The whole concept of liberal arts and a free university is about keeping authority at the gates.  As for love and desire on college campuses, there is no danger of that going anywhere, even in non-coeducational institutions (like Major Seminaries).  Such things are part of our nature that we could not shed if we wanted to - and we don't want to. The form of desire that is for God is also intrinsic to us - even Atheists form groups out of mutual love - and where there is love, there is God.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Links for 02/24/15 | National Catholic Reporter

Links for 02/24/15 | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: Anthony Annett's piece is a very good takedown of both the collectivists and the capitalists (what the Kochs are pushing is not free market - its domination).  His result shows that Church is essentially Christian Democrat - which is a form of big goverenment liberalism.  It works although getting back there is not as easy as issuing papal letters.  I actually have some ideas on that front that lead to more employee ownership and the firms thus created doing more of what the government does now.  It is self-collective rather than government collectivism and it will likely work if money is thrown at it.  The libertarians can even pretend to like it - the socialists too - if it succeeds.

On adding sexual orientation to the Human Rights billis in Wyoming and Utah, Utah wins.  The Cheyenne Church wants more exempt positions (i.e., it wants to discriminate more).  Here's the thing - if either diocese hires heterosexual employees inside a civil marriage (which is not allowed for Catholics) and then goes after civil gay marriages, that is simply bigotry and playing culture warrior again (which almost always means Republican operative - which some bishops sadly are). This is one area where we need to have the Church speak one voice - and not the voice Cardinals Burke or Rigali would use.

Most college students don't know civics, whether at Texas Tech or Loras (although Loras does a pretty good job).  History, Poli Sci and especially watching the news are necessary for modern civil education.  In my experience, between watching MASH and watchin Cronkite, Alan Alda won. Some things don't change. It is not like the day when every Senior Thesis was about a civic topic. We have not seen that in 100 years.  In the end, the dating pool will sort things out so you have civil news watchers and the rest. Or not.  I think being on the same page on this issue and science fiction is essential.  As for Ted Cruz, Latinos though he was one of them - as opposed to a Cubano conservative who won't get their votes again.

Notre Dame's Curriculum Review, Part I | National Catholic Reporter

Notre Dame's Curriculum Review, Part I | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: I was quite delighted to see my Alma Mater, Loras College, mentioned as an example of curriculum change - it was actually starting the process as I was graduating.  Of course, back then Theology was called Religious studies and that department was considered so liberal that more conservative students took extra Philosophy courses (which, by the way, are required for seminarians - theology is not).

I took the Intro course but did not go on to the Philosophy of Man - although I have written a bit about that subject.  Ethics was a feature for those of us who were pre-law, there being no pre-law ethics course available.  If the standard text is used, Fagothy's Right and Reason, interesting disucssions always commence.  The capstone lecture was about Oughtness, as in whether we owe it to God to follow His commands and in all other ways to worship him.  I did not get the answer on the final to the professors satisfaction and therefore got a B.  Of course, I would like get a C for where my philosophy on this subject has gone.  To wit, God has no need of our obedience and all moral law is about our happiness in this life.  Any other answer has a God with needs -and that is no God.  Social needs are part of what God wants for us, but it is for our hapiness - not Theirs - because God is Happiness itself.  Indeed, thinking we are necessary in our moralit for some cosmic reason is essentially the sin of Lucifer (who thought as a Seraphim that he was more important than the Christ).  Unless it is bloody scandal, the crucifixion likewise must be God feeling our pain - not taking our sins onto himself.  Like I said, a C (even though it true)

I did get credit for three theology courses - I tested out of them - thanks to a month reading the Bible and 13 years of Catholic School.  If I were not Hell bent for leather to graduate a year early, I might have taken some of the courses I tested out of.  Of course, none of them had any relation to the Magisterium and because Loras has had a history of rather progressive Chancellor/Ordinaries, none of the teachers have gotten caught - although given my views now, I would likely have agreed with the lefties - but I was not that emotionally mature then.  I no longer allow the Church to do its thinking for me.  I wish Notre Dame well, however I doubt any chages will be Earth shattering.  At most I expect a more specific set of courses than the standard 2 and 2.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Links for 02/23/15 | National Catholic Reporter

Links for 02/23/15 | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: The demonstration of support by Norweigian Muslims for Norweigian Jews is not surprising. Its how Norway rolls.  In a nation where most everyone is related in some way (due to how marriages were made by moving wives and men staying on the farm), such solidarity is part of the culture.  Good show to the demonstrators.

Is anyone shocked that the Koch's would create a fake scientist?  The only shock is that there is not more of an uproar, although both stories have been going around for a few days.  I wonder how Norway is handling the warming issue.  Oil and gas are its main industries, however it is also largely coastal.  Should be interesting.

That the Snowden documentary won is not a shock, although anyone paying attention was not shocked either by what Snowden said - most of us were saying the same thing in the early 2000s.  It seems that the producer of the film agrees with the subject's take on events although I still think he ruined his life for something it was not too hard to guess.  I look forward to seeing more of this film.

Review: 'The Church in the Modern World' Part II | National Catholic Reporter

Review: 'The Church in the Modern World' Part II | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: This time MSW starts with the end of the book and its treatment of the responsibilites toward the poor.  This is not optional but something at the heart of what the Church is.  It is part of finding Jesus in both the poor and ourselves and the sacred constituion does not make this an prudential option. Neither does Matthew Chapter 25.

MSW then goes into the problems he has with the book.  One example is how auther Komomchak analyzes Augustinian Thought vs. Thomistic thought at Vatican II, with Aquinas winning the day.  Of course, Aquinas, who relied on Aristotle as well as the scriptures is more modern than Augustine, who draws from Plato - and who has a long career as a pastor/bishop to hone is message be more pastoral rather than doctrinaire.  The best author I have seen for Augustine if Gary Wills, who I am sure MSW is aghast at.  Nowadays, of course, the question of Augustine v. Aquinas would not come up in an analyis of theological epistomology - many other sources would come it from the theological community, much to the horror of the Holy Office.

Lonergan's perspectivism is addressed next, where everyone's entitled to their own perspective.  While on phyical world questions some measurement is possible for settling disputes, giving everyone their own perspective is problematic for those who fear relativism and seek absolute truth about moral questions.  Of course, the question of papal infallibility shows this best and how hopeless the latter is.  Either infallibility allows us to get to certainty when employed (this incldes the whole of the Magisterium) or it is a form of papal relativism - the tyranny of the pope and its niche truth for Catholics (and observant Catholics at that).  I would use contraception as an example and so do t he authors in about the same way.

The question was actually going to rethink truth via the appointed Commision.  Of course, the Commission loved the idea and the Curia would have none of it, fearing that a reversal here would show that the Emperor, in this case the Pope, had no clothes.  Paul VI went in a much different direction and St.  John Paul and Benedict had no problem affirming Humanae Vitae, which continues the condemnatoin of eugenics and Caritas in Veritate keeps going with it.  Tragically, opposing eugenics, both here and abroad, affirms reproductive freedom - while much of H.V. denies it - which both families and most embryologists have blanched at.  Neither the sex nor the science of H.V. can be affirmed by natural law properly understood (in the way the Church does not understand it).  It will and has unraveled, regardless of what its supporters want.

Chapter Five of the book and its use of the word Christi-ian and itw support for liberation theology is a joy to us hard right Catholics - and likely would have earned the wrath of St. John Paul.  Not so much Francis, although rubbing our noses in it is probably not politic.  MSW is fine with the argument, just not the lack of subtlty which is the mark of more traditional theologians who like to have their cake and eat it too (which is likely why people on the right thing of this as a prudential option).

MSW likes the book, but would only use it with a conservative counter-point and some editing - although with multiple authors, maybe making each chapter an essay would be a better idea.  I am sure reviewers more conservative than MSW - who is conservative enough though he seldom admits - will be more on the attack.  Interesting.  Sounds like a Perspectivist question.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Links for 02/20/15 | National Catholic Reporter

Links for 02/20/15 | National Catholic Reporter by MSW.  MGB: With the codicil that Homilies are mostly reflections by the celebant of the Gospel of the day, it is interesting that this particular homiliy could both apply to drug dealers and revolutionaries who seek the Church as a cover for their reputations as well as for Capitalists like those of the Napa Institute, who endow Catholic Univeristy for some of their apologetics.

On Meaghan Clark's new book, when rights are merely indiviudual, whether or not they are God given (and they are) they are never really effective if they are only enforceable if the authorities get caught abusing them in a trial or the shooting of a teenager.  They must life in the hearts of everyone or they are a bone of contention - a point to be won in Court - which takes away from their inalienability. As for the doctrine, all teaching is found there - although Guadium et Spes seems to argue for is adaptablity for each generation - which is mostly bad news for conservatives who want the rules to never change and their privileges to stay the same as well (including pollution of their own property and the commons as long as no one files a lawsuit).

We have our Lenten hymn.  I wonder if the Lenten time, which was formerly one of privation, was even more spiriutal in its call to God for help, then the long hours of Chistmas.  Anyway, link on the album cover to hear something nice.  I am still waiting for the Chants of Benediction, which so moved me when I was a mere youth and newly confirmed.  Sadly, my daughter does not have such an attraction to this music, at least not yet. God comes to all in their own time.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Links for 02/19/15 | National Catholic Reporter

Links for 02/19/15 | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: Lifesite News continues to find doctrine in remarks on airplanes and speeches to visitors.  None of that, attributable to Pope Benedict, creates new doctrine.  Of course the article says nothing about Burke or the remarks about Burke (indeed, it is probably more accurate to speculate that the remarks of Madison Bishop Morline were the ones Wuerl was referring to - and that these have as much to do with the Bishop's economic stance as his unwillingness to engage on the Synod on the Family - or let his flock engage, which is the purpose of the one year break.  Still, Wuerl and especially Cardinal McCarrick - one of my favorites - took a light touch in telling politicians (like me) when they can or cannot receive Communion.

Canon 915 is clear - advocating abortion itself is wrong.  That is not what we do, however.  Indeed, no Catholic politician outside New York and California has ever voted to legalize abortion.  The Court did it and did so because they could find no evidence outside the 14th Amendment in federal law that the unborn were ever treated like legal persons.  Indeed, abortion had the same penatly as shooting your neighbor's dog - a fine.  Until there is a real bill before Congress (states have no jurisdiction here) - no one need say anything about abortion officially - and even if they do, its not a vote.  Of course, if LSN appreciated the realities, they would shut off their computers or write about something imortant - like poverty.  Or like how poverty relates to abortion - of course if they did that, Libertarians like Morlino would have to be denounced on their page.

Interesting speech by J.E.B. in Chicago.  Kind of sad - mostly because he appears to have kept a few of his brother's speech writers around - unless he really wrote this - in which case I blame the Bush family dinner conversation for allowing such awkwardness.  His claim to fame is still clearly keeping Terri Schaivo alive after she was mostly brain dead - putting the mighty hand of government around the throat of her husband.  It may get him the nomination and the support of Lifesite News - and for the same reason will doom him to lose the general election against Secretary Clinton.  I suspect Rove is still not sure of a run - he may still be trying to find a way the math works.  Note to Karl - the math can't work unless you cheat - and if you cheat, we will catch you.

I like Rachel Maddow always and miss her show (as I do not have cable as yet).  The only thing I don't like is the number of ads and the little snippets of show between them.  Its annoying.  As to video number two, I believe I already commented about it somewhere - or at least saw it.  Interrupters like that should either be applauded or arrested - but taken off the stage either way.  Since we don't arret bigotry, all we can do is gie her the momentary thrill of knowing someone saw her (even if she is a fool).

Obama Is Pitch Perfect at Summit on Extremism | National Catholic Reporter

Obama Is Pitch Perfect at Summit on Extremism | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: Nothing is more maddening  than writers who react to Obama with the thought "I could have done better."  No you could not have.  Note even I could have.  Obama did not pass the Affordable Care Act - his part did because it was a long time goal of its moral leader, Teddy Kennedy.  Oddly, they passed a Republican crafted bill.  Hillary's bill was better, but it could not pass.  Obama's mistake was looting the Senate to staff his administration.  Things would have been easier had he not done that. Obama did not botch the rollout.  A contractor  did - one whom everyone thought could do the job. He was fine with congressional leaders of his party (he had Biden for that) and Mitch McConnell and those who were beholden to the Tea Party and its racist/partisan Republican core (county chairs, etc) would have been primaried just for going to a state dinner.  World leaders in NATO liked Obama enough to have Obama lead the intervention in LIbya. Putin does not like him, but I do not trust anyone Putin likies.  Africa likes him too.  South America is likely a mixed bag due to a few fascist holdovers that likely liked Nixon alot.  The search for budding Jeffersonian was more a Bush thing - just look at Iraq.  We did not start the Arab Spring - a Google Billionaire did - and we are reactive because there is something to react to.  After all that BS in the first paragraph, why read the rest.  I will anyway, but it looks like a man  bites dog story.

Violent extremism knows neither left or right - indeed, McVeigh was a proto-Teaist violoent extremist from the Adrian, Michigan area - where lots of them reside.  Islamic Extremist is a tough word to say when you grew up in Indonesia (even in Catholic School) and most of the population are ratehr peaceful Muslims - and they out number any combination of violent Arabs.  He could finger the Wahabi - but that would require action against our second best partner in the Arab world - the Saudis.

As for Hannity, why go on Hannity - propoganda needs to be ignored, not argued with.  Heck, their line is almost as bad as the one touted by ISIL (not Syria, the Levant - quit being ignorant).  As for moderate Muslims, its hard to fight against the Saudi Royal Families oil revenue.  Sadly, the world loves that oil - if it did not, bombing Aramco fields would cut off the funds to ISIL - along with freezing their assets.  That would, however, seem rather ungrateful after what they have done for us politically in that part of the world.  I suspect going after them in a stealthier fashion might be the order of the day so we can shut off the money to the Wahabis without too many Saudi Royals ending up dead.  Unless you want to have the witness of millions of Christian martyrs (and modern Christianity has no stomach for that at all), something military seems to be in order.

The President's remarks on ISIL are interesting on its lack of legitimacy.  Indeed, they are.  The Ottoman Turks tried to claim the Caliphate, as did bin Laden (until the seal turned him into Swiss Cheese and dumped him in the sea).  I suspect that ISIL want to be heir to bin Laden as much as anything else (and I won't mention the name of the two bit terrorist leading them).  Any larger claim would be quashed by the real royals in the region - like the Saudis. Indeed, the antedote for these claims is to recognize the kingship of the real heir to The Prophet - King Abdullah of the Hashemite Dynasty.  Of course, we could not make that step and it could not be made without His Majesty's cooperation - but doing so would cut them off at the knees.

While Obama is a great speaker and writer, he does have people who work on that for him. Sometimes they hit a home run and occassionally they miss.  Why the Communications Director can't stop the misses is unknown. Given Michael Gerson's understanding of how the right and left sometimes need to say the same things, maybe Obama should make him an offer.  Gergen would also be a good choice.  PC, by the way, is not catching your words so as to not hurt anyone's feelings - it is avoiding words which, though some people may sit is in and about their own group - others cannot.  Back in the day, not being PC could get you a fat lip. Indeed, if you are not Roma and call me a gypsy, I will give you one.  If you are, I will hug you.  That is all PC is - respecting other groups in conversation with them or about them. Its probably why we can't get ISIL until the mess up real bad - moderate Muslims won't touch them again until they start directing their fire against moderate Islam (at which point the Sunni Tribal Leaders had them annihilated - why do you think they were hiding in the Levant?

Links for 02/18/15 | National Catholic Reporter

Links for 02/18/15 | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: Rest in peace, David, as you join that big meeting in the sky (or have a heavenly drink - no one knows).  Sin is that thing we all have - whether it is part of our fallen makeup or something we learn from the culture (and I am not a big believer the story of Adam except as myth).  To know and know of sin is to have tasted from the tree of knowledge of good and evil - a taste made when we are too young to stop.  When we know of our sin and of our knowledge of the sins of other in a moral inventory, the next step is humility - to accept ourselves as we are and as we are not - and let God do the changing.  The next step is forgiveness - that is when we extend that acceptance to everyone else.  Then we do something about it (after talking to sponsors) - of course, the thing most needed for all of this is God - doing it alone can be a disaster, and Dave knew that.  Thanks,Daniel for bringing it out again.

On the EWTN interview, at first I thought of the Bishop of Scranton, Martino, then remembed that Morlino is from Madison, Wisconsin and is Rep. Paul Ryan's Ordinary.  My guess is that he feels that he is speaking to the Choir and is safe - Fr. Z certainly liked it.  Maybe he thinks his defiance is the Lord speaking through him.  Maybe, but only if the Lord needs someone to be foil for personal intollerance and capitalism.  Maybe he wants to be the Chaplian for the Napa Institute, having suffered one harsh Wisconsin winter too many.  Its hard to say - he presumes a bit much on the tolerane of Pope Francis - although recent events have shown that being a public  ass no longer gets you an appontment to Rome.  I suspect that hubris is the right answer - the emotional immaturity to think no one is listening.  Sad.

MSW is in a musical mood, even Lenten music. I'm waiting for the Stations of the Cross and Benediction chants.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

'Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner' | National Catholic Reporter

'Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner' | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: As I was drafting these comments (in the shower) I thought I had gotten them down pat.  I got out, reached for the towel and pulled the towel rack almost off the wall.  Oy.  Five minutes were spent searching for the screw, which I could not find in the bathroom trash (lovely).  I looked at the rack and the screws were in - I had simply separated the mountings from the dry wall.  Not something I can fix before going to work.  That is kind of the message of Lent - you can't handle it, God can, let him.  This phrase actually does come from recovery - but to get it, one must hit bottom and then spend a lifetime overcoming the feelings of entitlement one sees in the anger on MSW's flight to Chicago.  Entitlement, a fancy way of saying pride, bedevils us all.  It is what Jesus spent an uncertain time in the dessert confronting and it is what the Church confronts now, especially among those who do not wish to  grant mercy to those who, while sinners, are not sinning in seeking to find Christ in Communion and love with a new spouse, or with a partner of the same sex.  This will be a tough nut to crack, but I wish us all well in doing so. May we listen to the dissenters, both left and right - as the mercy we seek is sometimes seeing their truth rather than insisting on the Truth, which only resides in God.

Links for 02/17/15 | National Catholic Reporter

Links for 02/17/15 | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB:  The party that turned signing statements into executive nullification has no cause be upset by Clinton's use of executive orders to move issues along when Congress will not.  Their legal opposition to them, however, will fail and strengthen the hand of the White House - making it ready for Hillary. I swear, if anyone in the GOP were able to take the long view, they might be dangerous.

Bishop Lynch hits the nail on the head - although I still wonder what the rest of the priesthood said about this Gospel on Sunday.

I see there is another round of music posted that is not used during Lent (which means no meal at work tomorrow night and sausage and perogies when I get home Thursday).  Of course, if you link to or like the attached videos, you can listen to them all of Lent.

Evangelicals and Catholics (Angry) Together | National Catholic Reporter

Evangelicals and Catholics (Angry) Together | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: The most interesting things about this article are that this group started in 1994 (which was stated at the end) and that the issue of gay marriage is essentially settled in favor of gays.  1994 is significant because it was the year the GOP was going full tilt to win back the Congress - in reaction to both health care reform and the passage of tax legislation that had the rich pay more.  Don't ask, don't tell had also been created in reaction to Clinton's promise to allow gays to serve openly and the prospect of gay marriage was just then starting, with Massachusetts making it legal as a right and New York considering and rejecting it.  That Mrs. Clinton is about to run for President and likely win must be noted.

California's partents 3 and 4 must be noted - because it points to the fact that some gay couples have children from ill fated heterosexual marriages.  Indeed, my brother and his husband were the non-custodial parents of his husbands daughter - my neice has two dads and a mom (she is now a 3rd grade teacher and works the hardest of anyone in the family - even her step dad, who is a doctor).  I'm not sure if my brother wrote tuition checks or not - none of my business - just as it is none of ECT's business.

On divorce and non-marriage - the war against poor - and particlulary poor black men - is a big cause of illegitimacy - whether it be harsh prosecution of drug offenders (again, particluraly black ones) or requirements that a man not be in the house to get welfare - the conservatives bear much of the responsibility - removving them from the majority is the solution to that.  The other cause is the culture of divorce among the children of divorce. I found that one out for myself just recently.  I am not sure, however, that there is a political solution to it.  Regardless, one reason for gay marriage is the fact that gays with stuff and kids break up.  Divorce is the orderly way to deal with that.

The sacramentality of marriage is still important - especially on this issue. I was taught in marriage prep and in my high school marraige class that the couple makes the marriage - the priest is simply a witness for the state and community - and is expendable.  Apply that to gay marriage, because it is simply true.  What is false is the Church (Catholic and Evangelical) trying to pretend that this is not the case - which shows why the timing is important.  The members of these Churches are about to start demanding that gay weddings be blessed - not the state.  This is an attempt to head that off.  It won't work.  Indeed, the scripture on marriage says that when a (couple) marry - they leave their families and start a new one, becoming one flesh.  That is as much about legality as sex (and the I get that the Lord cited the Genesis example in opposition ot parents arranging better marriages for their already married children - I know something about parental involvement in divorce as well).

This is an issue that would not have come up save for the Church.  Stories abound of what used to be called long time companions being denied visition and decision writes in particularly religious hospitals while estranged family members are given the authority to ban them and take their custodial rights away.  If the Churches are asking why gay marriage is coming to the fore now, they need to look in the mirror.

Some day very, very soon this question will be moot, mostly because of people in the pews overriding their clergy and ministers and because Hillary will come to office with congressional majorities - and I am so glad - especially if she keeps them.