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.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Links for 04/01/15 | National Catholic Reporter

Links for 04/01/15 | National Catholic Reporter by MSW, MGB: The Indiana law is irrelevant, as what it intends to do is in direct violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Bakeries, lunch counters, same bigotry. You don't need to do a same sex cake topper, but ya gotta bake the cake and make it taste good.

If Michelle Bachmann does not talk about and write about liberals, I would be shocked. As for the Church as a GOP problem - that's true. The USCCB is the Amen Corner of the National Right to Life Committee - which focuses on electoral campaigns and raises the abortion issue in ways that have nothing to do with the reality of the issue. That issue dependence, along with gay marriage, has turned the GOP into the party of the stupid - with abortion and marriage second only to overturning Obamacare and cutting taxes on the wealthy. And blocking immigration out of shear racism (which at least the Church is not part of). They would not help Latinos if it would get them votes - and it would. Mostly to keep a flow of underground workers from the border to meat packing plants that should still be unionized (they block that too. The GOP is running as designed - abortion to keep the base energized (with marriage) and every possible measure to aid business. Hyde, by the way, was a way for pro-choice Catholics to triangulate and say that they do not favor banning abortion (pluralism and all that) but won't dirty their hands funding it.

On St. John Paul, I am sure his early views, while visible later on, were muted by the anti-communism of his later years. Its not the atheisim that gets Marx a bad name, its that his words are very affective in organizing workers.

Happy April 1 | National Catholic Reporter

Happy April 1 | National Catholic Reporter by MSW.  MGB: Very nice. If only two of these were true! I like the O'Malley bar fight. I would think he would have the place pacified before the cops came and I would think Jamesons (which is too bad - Bushmillss is far superior - which would be what started the fight).

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Links for 03/31/15 | National Catholic Reporter

Links for 03/31/15 | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: On the Clinton poll, its too early - and being in a statistical tie is pretty good for someone who has not yet campaigned. Lets ask President Dean about how important those early poll numbers are or President McCain.

Silk is right, for the Indiana RFRA to survive, it can't really do anything. It was supposed to be a political statement with a nod and a wink that it really was about gays and Muslims. Of course, the federal Civil Rights Act pretty much trumps anyone open to the public from discriminating against anyone anyway. Period. This was an empty gesture and the fix will be an embarrassment. So much for Pence establishing his social conservative street cred.

I look forward to the notes on the Boston trip, however I would have loved to have been on that panel if someone would pay to get me there (I got peoples to put me up once I do (cousins and such). I hope someone is going as devil's advocate. If I were to, I would say that examples of left libertarianism are the Green Party (social libertarian, economic liberal), Mondragon (substitute for government, economic liberal - cooperativist, social I'm not sure - the Basque know how to party) and Catholic Charities (economic liberal, governmental subsititue, social conservative on some points).

Dr. Carl Milsted of libertarian fame has version of the Norton Chart where he describes both Social Liberals and Left Leaning Freedom Lovers (I would call them social libertarians). Both of these areas combined are the ideology which this panel seems to reject, but is alive and well in American politics, though looking for a partisan home that actually wants to win an election. The problem is, few are willing to fund it because it is anti-privilege for the rich.

Inequality: The Problem No One Can Tackle | National Catholic Reporter

Inequality: The Problem No One Can Tackle | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: The problem is the entire debate.  It seems to be about marginal improvements in taxes, benefits and wages but no real vision for a different future where executives do not seek to be rock stars at the expense of their workers -and at times their shareholders.  It is no wonder the working class, who refuse to even acknowledge such a designation (is a step above or is still in poverty) is not exited by any of the debate - stays home and lets the Republicans have the Congress.  Indeed, many in the working class think they are in the middle class, so the working gets nothing while the middle gets more than it needs.  What we need to redistribute is not income, its ownership and that is a problem many have tackled - especially yours truly - both how to distribute it and what to do when you get it.

The lack of such a vision is why we have acquiesence.  Oddly enough, the creation of the current liberal welfare state, which the Vatican still holds dear in Caritas in Veritate, came about because Pope Leo was answering Marx - and this was essential because Marxism was in the lead in fighting for ownership and income through the union movement - which was attracting ethnics the world over, incluing in the United States.  Indeed, during the early party of the depression, there was a real danger the Marxists would win - so FDR triangulated between Industry, Labor and Government, with the help of Msgr. Ryan and made everyone happy until Reagan came along, coached by none other than George Will.  That tacit agreement to work together stopped under FDR when the Marxists were thrown under the bus (no ownership) and even the Catholics in the movement were reduced to Bing Corsby movies - with a Red Scare attempting to finish the job, but not so much - it merely radicalized the Socialists and gave them even less reason to think from a religious angle - although a part of my book shows that one can be both religious (indeed Catholic) and still have class conciousness - working for ownership.

Then we have Will's review.  I might say he was so much better before, but really, only my father would think so, although I was quite pleased with his column in the late 80s about the pro-life movement giving up on banning abortion.  If MSW was even paying attention, I am sure his head was spinning.  His subject is nothing new - its just a new version of trickle down.  I guess if you deal in high end real estate, cars or cuisine or have ambitions to be a personal servant, life is good in the celebrity actor, athlete or CEO business.  I would go the other way with such stories and use them to build a bit of class conciousness - even Duck is a millionaire.  It seems that people are more prone to desire that kind of of life than seek justice (which is not envy) for those who are not gifted with the luck, ability or guile of the celebrity.  Of course, my little plan would take at least the CEOs out of the celebrity showcase and would require the actors, entertainers and athletes to do more for those who are trying to work their way up.  Povery may be a great incentive for some, but others are equally talented and deserve a chance without having starving children - even an aspiring economic writer (now a best selling author) named Marx who did have a child starve.

Bottom line, if becoming an owners became the biggest part of retirement compensation and it actually meant some share in the control of the firm - as much so as the CEO gets if one is a long enough tenured employee (and the same pay by the way - with CEOs bidding on their wage against others), then the whole story of class conciousness may indeed change.

 As for the Church, I am sure they will flock to any successful movement - which will gladly tell them to emulate Francis on poverty.  Indeed, a morality based on Christian humanism will have the same basic content as one based on secular humanism.  Its natural law either way.  Indeed, if the Curia can't sell its natural law to secular humanists, its not natural law - its religious tradition.  Why is that essential - because atheists need to be convinced, as the Christian Left does, that the Catholci Hierarchy is really teaching truth, not patriarchy.  Can't see that the Church is doing a very good job right now, not even with Francis.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Links for 03/30/15 | National Catholic Reporter

Links for 03/30/15 | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: Christian Leftists are not anit-Semetic, many are anti-Zionist. There is a difference - especially if you remember that Arabs are a Semetic people - indeed, some percentage of the Palestinians are likely Jewish in their gealogy or Samaritan turned Christian.  Not everyone was a Nomad in the ancient world and middle ages, or even recently.

Rather than being slick in our presentation, lets actually practice our Christaintiy a bit less legalisticly and a bit more humanistically.  I am sure Francis would agree.

Millenials may be more pro-life now, but they are less like at present to be in the complicated sexual relationships that make choice something not to be discarded - whether they use abortion services or not.  Its easy to be pro-life in a school uniform. Not as easy in college and much harder later on.  Lets hope that this generation, if I am wrong, is the one which insists on much higher child tax credits for each child - and paid with payroll, not with a refund.

Indiana's RFRA | National Catholic Reporter

Indiana's RFRA | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: The parallel here is not Hobby Lobby, it is Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Defenders of DADT often asked whether soldiers had a religious freedom issue in having the policy. Luckily, the President, the Secretary, the Chairman of the JCS and the Congress did not think so.  Granted, we have a different Congress, but the question is not about the applicability of RFRA - which concerns freedom from governmental action, but the applicability of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  (That trumps a state law by the way).

Like DADT, this is not a religious freedom issuej.  Baking a cake is not material cooperation with evil - unless you are baking it to forcevfeed people in Overeaters Anonymous.  Forcing them to bake an erotic cake or to provide a cake topper might be.  The point is, like DADT, a concern for religious freedom is not the same as one asserting the rigth to moral scorn, or in the case of the USCCB, religious power over employees.  The state's interest is in keeping the peace - and I wonder who wins if gay people seeking a wedding cake who are denied one end up staging a sit-in at he baker's shop or the florist shop?

This act seems to authorize public violence to remove those protestors (so much for the libertarian rule about force).  I suspect the federal courts will disagree - and  yes, this is a big issue and one where I don't care what the bishops actually think - its not their job to make these calls - we have federal courts for that.  Sadly, if the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is not considered applicable, this Congress won't help - hopefully the next one will.  Final thought - what if a baker refuses to bakea cake for a Catholic couple because he believes the Pope is the anti-Christ?  Should that be allowed?  I think not.  And, yes, the issues are the same.

PS Pence is panderingand he got caught.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Links for 03/27/15 | National Catholic Reporter

Links for 03/27/15 | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: The Indiana Act is not a small thing.  It is a stupid thing and, like Prop 8, it will be valuable as a vehicle for a court case to serve as a precedent so no similar stupidity becomes law again.  I am not sure whether in principle the Civil Rights Act of 1964 covers public access for gays and lesbians.  I think very soon it might be - and that is good.  I don't see how Silk gives them comfort - he seems to see it the way I do.  Garnett is not correct in letting people call moral spite some kind of religious freedom - I won't dignify what Indiana did as civil rights legislation.  The GOP passed sour grapes and dared the world to crush them.  Time to make some more whine.

The Catholic Herald is probably correct that the infrequency of Mass attendance has nothing to do with Vatican II.  Still, much of what you can read coming from Rome certainly does.  Even the recent change in translations was an attempt to undo the prose of the Vatican II Mass in many countries, including this one - and the bishops did not have the nerve to stand up and say no.  It used to be said that people stopped going when the changed the Mass.  Well, we changed it back and there has been no surge to Church.  The list could go on, as anyone familiar with St. John Paul at the Council (he was an outspoken opponent) and as Pope.  Benedict tried to settle things and Francis is opening the windows again.  Francis has not brought them back either.  Humanae Vitae did not send them away as much as is thought - but it gets the blame a lot.

I suspect most who miss are actually taking a Sabbath seriously - not rushing yet again to get dressed up for another thing.  Of course, they may go to brunch anyway and dress for that - some nice Dockers and a knit shirt.  I have missing a lot because I was definitely missing the Sabbath to.  Indeed, people who have to work in low wage jobs to help people who can afford it have fun are likely the least likely to come to Mass (or any kind of Church).  Mass, like a big wedding, is a bit of luxury for many. Even more evening Masses won't help those who work.  Absent blue laws, I don't see it - maybe more at 2 pm?  The Spanish Masses are held then.  Wise choice - it was the slot no one wants - now everyone needs it - but Latino youth are among those who are most called to work, so it should not be taken from them.

Cardinal Burke: Scatenato! | National Catholic Reporter

Cardinal Burke: Scatenato! | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: Cardinal Burke is useful foil for reform. While his little rants allow us to count heads to see who is against, say, a renewed look at the natural law regarding marriages and what is truly a marriage (since natural never changes and the Curia is always right) it also allows the rest of us to see how badly the current arguments are (and most of them, like calling homosexuality disordered, never rose to the level of doctrine - they were press release fodder, just like the Cardinal's appearances).

The confusion meme is great fun. It really means resistance and a bit of disloyalty. It is fighting against any change in doctrine that was no more sacrosanct - and probably no less - when it was proposed. I, for one, was "confused" when the whole "intrinsicly disordered" meme came out when it looked like sex was now a gift from God and homosexuals were wonderfully made. Where was the official confusion then?
On pastoral v. doctoral, Burke has it exactly wrong. You cannot have doctrinal teaching that posses the pastoral. The pastoral is real people. The doctrinal is delusions of grandeur that are often wrong - at least when celibates are making pronouncements on sex and marriage.
The Gender Ideology question is interesting because the Church, particularly Catholic hospitals and some civil, created the need for it. If no hospital had ever turned away a committed partner, long time companion or essentiall gay spouse in favor of the family of origin the hue and cry for marriage equality might never have occurred. Did the hospitals themselves decide to behave this way? I doubt it. The Cardinal can look in the mirror if he wants to know why this movement exists.
As to comparing those of (not-nonfamilial, gays have families, blessed or not) non-traditional (no, not that, in many Catholic cultures, people who could not afford marriage cohabitated and gay couples were blessed until the first millenium) non-doctrinal marriage and relationship to murders - Burke is equating all sin. I bet to him Masturbation is still a mortal sin rather a healthy outlet at times when there is no partner.
Funny thing, the only two chapters in Fagothy's Right and Reason (at least when I was in Catholic College) where the author defaulted to authority because the natural law case was too close to call - real natural law with right reason, not something found in the Catechism - were pre-marital sex (not casual, but committed and headed to marriage and homosexual relations. I am sure a few of my fellow throughout time took that as meaning that there is no natural law reason for the doctrine. Pity Burke did not get the hint.
Cardinal Burke was an expert in upholding Canon Law, which made his appointment to the Signatura both good and bad - as I have seen nothing showing he had any capacity for mercy. Worse, as MSW indicates, he seems to have a complete lack of knowledge of Church history - probably good if you are upholding the Church, because the history is both ugly and beautiful - look only to the ancient rites having to do with Bachus and Sergio, a pair of Roman solidier who were martyred and who were a gay couple - in every way married. He might equivacate and say their martyrdom absolved their sins, however we also know them for their love - including the sexual kind. Chaplain to a moribund order of knights is a good place for Burke. I gather he wanted the job (hopefully not to spread the manure he has been throwing around), but the Pope was quite collegial with him and even encouraged him to speak. Still, one can take the role of foil too far.

Links for 03/26/15 | National Catholic Reporter

Links for 03/26/15 | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: We have a link to the Pope's latest homily (at least as of yesterday), which seems to follow the season rather than being some dramatic statement on future plans.  It could be both, but I would like to think that Francis is a parish priest at heart giving the homily any priest shoud give in keeping with the season and  hoping that all priests and bishops use this time in their Lent to reflect on whether they meet the standards Jesus would set for them, rather than those of the Hierarchs in modern Rome or ancient Jerusalem.

The vocations director of Mundelein (most definitely a St. JPII priest, if you know what that means) has a new recruitment video stressing the Eucharist and Basketball.  I guess if it only aired during March Madness, but I agree with Cathy Kaveny who asks "Basketball, really?"

It is noted that Politico is looking a bit askance at the now deceased former president of Singapore.  I was wondering about that too.  The only cane I want is in my tea. I am sure there was some cosmic reason for his authoritarianism to be the right thing then, but I will leave it to others to find it (or the reason some want it here - but you should read John Dean on that).

Catholic Mission, Religious Freedom & LGBT Rights: Part III | National Catholic Reporter

Catholic Mission, Religious Freedom & LGBT Rights: Part III | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: MSW is correct that it does seem like the Archbishop of San Francisco is likely the most opposed to gay marriage - so much so that he won't say the g-word.  In the Arlington Diocese, a priest by the name of Scalia is part of that movement to call it "same sex attraction" and not gay.  Very Orwellian for the Archbishop of the most gay city in America and the son of a Supreme Court Associate Justice.  Archbishop Cordileone was one of the original leaders of Proposition 8, which the Supreme Court did allow to be taken up and challenged.  If he wants to live in a state with no gay marriage, its not California - and soon it won't be anywhere except the Vatican City State (and even there, one hears rumor and who are we to judge).

He is currently messing with the employee handbook in his diocesean schools - as if the pay was not enough reason to encourage a union.  Sadly, there are probably religious exemptions to forcing that and Hosanna Tabor is quite clear that teachers are ministers.  Unless the Vatican gets really gay friendly (and with as many gay priests as their are - because many of the straights left to marry or escape egos like the Archbishop), the handbood will stand, with the labor market and the existence of like minded conservatives, even in San Francisco, saving him from himself.

Let me repeat a distinction I have made before - one that liberals and libertarians should use often in course cases against these madmen in purple and red dresses - these prelates (and will not say the Church in this case, because the Church is all of us) are not seeking religious freedom, they are seeking religious power over their employees, patients in their hospitals (which is why gay marriage became a thing) and society at large (gay marriage, contraception, abortion, all the fun ones).  That distinction is key in establishment cases.  Indeed, it makes the answer obvious to all but those who believe they have the one answer on sexual issues.  Of couse, unless you are in the Curia or support their line of reason, natural law dictates individual conclusions provided use of a well informed conscience (and being told the answer does not count as informed, that is coerced - sadly, most bishops don't know the difference).

Then there is George Weigel, who lionized Reagan and St. John Paul.  His lions have gone on, but he can’t seem to find anyone to lead the circus parade.  Paul Ryan just does not seem to do it for anyone. It is certainly not the Pope from the global south, who represents a Church that is more of liberation than preservation - except he has the power to cleanse the temple, albeit kindly, without being arrested.

Enter the lawyers to defend the rights of the Church (again confusion freedom for power).  They guided us  (yes us, the work for the people as well as the bishops) into settling sexual abuse law suits and sweeping the incidents under the rug.  Look how well that turned out.  Now they are going after gay rights in employment and benefits, recruiting Catholic clients of the same mind.  Sadly, they are better at keeping up with doctrine than the real law, so their success on both abortion, ultmately sexual abuse and gay marriage has been really bad (and some of it you can blame on the doctrine which does not understand Amerian abortion law or how equal protection works - or, indeed, marriage).  The culture warriors associate with lawyers who should explain not how they plan to present doctrine as if it were high law instead of those who know the law who would tell them, regardless of the prestige of representing a bishop or cardinal, that they have no case.

MSW hits the rest really well.  Props to the Mormons for dropping the rock on gay rights and distancing themselves from their friend from San Francisco of those Proposition 8 days.  Props to the Filipino bishops who are supporting human rights before their own rights.  Refreshing, eh.  This brings us back to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (not a synod, just a discusson group, except when its a Synod). MSW has three points on what they should do in June on benefits, non-discrfimination and how their stance effects evangelization.  He is right.  They may listen to him - me, not so much - although I know a few of them as well - although they also die an retire. Culture war is great for riling up the saved, getting them to vote your way (usually Republican - which is a lost cause in San Francisco) and looking holier than thou - not so much holier.  Pointing to Jesus, salvation and the whole loving each other thing that he spoke about in his last discourse - I bet it still works, so does MSW and so does Pope Francis.  But do they have ears to hear?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Links for 03/25/15 | National Catholic Reporter

Links for 03/25/15 | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: Bravo to Archbishop Gomez on his sermon on Romero, who I bet will be canonized soon.

New York has its fair share of Republicans and conservative Democrats, the late term abortion protection measure had no chance - and indeed this particular issue should be federal policy - and by federal I mean congression (with filibuster in place so something real is passed that deals with this issue once and for all - which the pro-life movement could not stand, as there is no money in a settled issue).

The President's Chief of Staff should never be making policy statements at all.  Do I agree with him, however?  Partially. I think he is naive (not sure about the President - who if in the loop won't fire him) if he expects the demilitarizaiton of a Palestinian state.  The IDF is not going anywhere unless there is a one state solution, although then Palestinians could buy the old farm back or at least sue for it.  Expect the entire place to be more of a police state than it already is.  Kharma is a bitch.  Real Kharma will be the other 10 tribes, Catholics of Samaritan descent all, demanding their rights and recognizing the Palestinians as brothers. Now THAT will be messy.  Back to the CoS, Obama won't fire him and if he does he will be said to be leaving voluntarily (even if Barack put him up to the speech).  Unless Jarrett and Axelrod say he should go, he will stay.

Catholic Mission, Religious Freedom & LGBT Rights, Part II | National Catholic Reporter

Catholic Mission, Religious Freedom & LGBT Rights, Part II | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: Part II was less about hiring and more about Councilmember David Grasso of the District of Columbia.  I wonder if, on the advice of the Attorney General, Mayor Bowser will veto it.  Mayor Grey, who is the former head of Covenant House in DC, almost certainly would.  That Hosanna Tabor invalidates the thing (unless the AG enters a consent decree to stop any lawsuit) was obvious from the initial read - but that talks only about ministerial employees which include teachers but not Catholic Charities and Catholic Hospital workers.  I would like to discuss more about hiring them, although I suspect most such agencies do not discriminate - even if the information is volunteered.  As for the closing arguments regarding the Archbishop of San Francisco, do not get me started.  Hierarchs like than are why there was a certain wisdom in Augustine's day in how they eleced bishops (who were really pastors).  In that scheme, these issues would not be issues for very long.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Links for 03/24/15 | National Catholic Reporter

Links for 03/24/15 | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: The Poliico piece is essentailly an editorial - and EMILY's list is not mentioned,  The issues mentioned are not new - restricting private funding given to Community Health Centers (in violation of the agreement that no new abortion resrictions woul be added - and the medical charities fund is not federal money and is not covered.  I wrote about the Human Trafficking bill last week - which is about a fight between the bishops and HHS over the need for abortion referrals when a woman has been raped while trafficked and has become  pregnant.  If you argue that trafficked women cannot consent, even if they cmply, then the rape exception must always be triggered - religious freedom protections or not.

The statement of Micheael C. Culhane is one of those rare slips of the tongue that reveal what the Church is really thinking.  They are caring more for their reputation for doctrinal consistency than addressing the question of whether Thomas More was right on Euthanasia.  The statement comes close, and I think it implies, the belief that only God can end a life, not man.  Of course, that God is an ogre.

It is sad that a Smithsonian exhibit on climate change had to be toned down because the donor is a Koch. Better to fund with tax money (although right now the majority in Congess is Koch fundned too.  Of course, Climateprogress is not exactly an objective news source either.

My cousin does work with rape victims in Iowa City;  I defer to her decades of experience on this, but I will mention that the biggest part of rape culture on college campuses is alcohol, which is what our great-grandmother, a leader in the temperance movement, was all about.

Catholic Mission, Religious Freedom & LGBT Rights: Part I | National Catholic Reporter

Catholic Mission, Religious Freedom & LGBT Rights: Part I | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: I can see why that article was upsetting.  I ignore such garbage and its purveyors.  They make us look a little bad, but themselves they make look like intolerant idiots - as if they could go to Canada or Europe to avoid gay marriage.  Maybe Moscow? Authoritarianism and anti-homosexuality seem to go hand in hand.

I also don't believe that marriage is reserved for a man and a woman. This is the practice in the Catholic clergy, but not at all the truth.  The truth is that marriage is the basic adult right - the right to leave the family of origin and create a new family - and make no mistake, gays and lesbians can have kids - either through inheritance or more scientific means - and I also don't care that this is frowned upon by the Church - they are wrong about that too.  There is nothing illicit about medical procedures upon pre-embryonic cells, including termination.  The term potenital human life was valid back when I was hanging with the Minor Seminarians at Loras, the only reason it is not validT now is politics. Morality contributes to politics, not the other way around.

The 2003 document is interesting.  It seems less concerned with the moral cases and more concerned with the loss of teaching authority on these matters by the CDF.  They did not lose it, they gave it away by trying to save it.  Humanae Vitae was so important not because every sperm is sacred, but because to not take that position endangers papal infallibility.  The 2003 document is of the same ilk.  They don't seem to get it that preaching the truth, including revisions, is much more important than consistency will all other teachings, even the ones that are silly (anyone read the condmenation of Moderism lately.  I was the Church v. Darwin.  Darwin won).  The Church's problem is that it believes it is essential to Christendom (which has not existed for a long time) and that Christendom is essential for civilization.  No.  The Masons, maybe, but not the Church.

The counter point to Notre Dame's action is morally suspect and indeed, bigotry.  Church institutions hither and yon did not question honoring civil marriages which it still considers immoral (it could not do so, because marriages are made by the partners, not the priest or judge).  The only difference between tolearting one sort of civil (or religious) marriage and not the other is the aversion people who are strongly in one sexuality have for the other (ooooo icky) or covering up their own homosexuality.  Either way, its bigotry and that is sinful. As for Notre Dame, it is now singled out for scorn by the right wing because of Barack Obama, seemingly over his stance on what is literally a non-issue - outlawing abortion or reversing Roe - issues have movement and options, abortion has neither).

The Church should hire the best people and pay the benefits required.  That should include benefits to religiously married gay couples (yes, they do exist - and when such couples get married, go to the wedding if invited).  Drunk driving and messing with kids will and should get you fired. Its interesting that many diocese follow the law without question.  One wonders if this is because they are loaded with liberals or gay clergy or whether those who do not have some self-loathing going on.

One thing, I think the Pope was talking about lepers and spiritual lepers, not those whose sexuality varies due to what is called epigenesis and it means it is not a choice. Intolerance, however, is a choice - a spiritual leprosy that Francis was talking about. The authors should go to Confession while it is still Lent.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Links for 03/23/15 | National Catholic Reporter

Links for 03/23/15 | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: That the Archbishop of Los Angeles would endorse the death penalty joint editorial is not news.  That the new Archbishop of Chicago is not (although it may be after his beloved and ailing predecessor probably could not.

Big Energy tries to buy what it wants, both in terms of technology and politicians - however it can't escape the fact that low oil prices make some of their wells, especially the high tech ones - unprofitable to continue.

UNG is showing the usual stupdity of that region - I am sure they were saying something about everyone being in the race - but anything short of everyone finishing together (well, those of us with a B in the last name technically do finish sooner in graduation than someone with, say a W, like Winters - Ha!) sends an implict message that may have not been intended.  They need a variety of covers, like some TV Guide issues, where various persons cross first.  I would love to see who brings which catalog to registration, although I am a fossil, as registration is probably now online.

Is Clinton Running...Backwards? | National Catholic Reporter

Is Clinton Running...Backwards? | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: It is not her own book Mrs. Clinton needs to worry about, its Primary Colors.  Expect the movie version focussing on Clinton's loss sometime next year.  It appears she has a fouler mouth than Nixon.  Speaking of Nixon, the fact that she staffed the House Judiciary Committee on his impeachment has made her some permanent enemies among the John Birch/Swift vote set.  They won't attack her publically for it, but they will be outlandish when they do attack (like when they went after Kerry for opposing a war where he was a hero).  I suspect that when these so called patriots die off, our politics will be a bit better.

The personal e-mail flap is just that.  I have many e-mail.  If I rejoin the pubic service, none of them will be closed.  Indeed, most public servants have a private e-mail for online shopping (using your government account for that is verboten - as is using it to express your personal politics - which you still have the right to do - hence personal e-mail use at work.  The Department can certainly monitor, if only to make sure nothing untoward is being done - but generally it is none of the business of Congress.  If it were, every civil servant could be called on the carpet for their personal e-mail.  That is too Orwellian for me.

Mrs. Clinton was ill served in 2008.  Whether it was her decision or a staff decision not to do caucus states, it was the wrong one. Hew wounds were self inflicted.  Hopefully the lessons of that campaign will serve her in this one.  After seeing no drama Obama work up close, it would be hard to do anything differently - and this time the Obama for America folks may be at her beck and call.  I pity whomever survives the GOP gag fest.  As for her probable opponents - Sanders will run as a Socialist or Green - not as a Democrat.  Jim Webb might run, but he probably should have challenged McAuley for Governor first.  Wes Clark won't run if she is in it - he is loyal friend of theirs.  O'Malley seems in it for the practice.  He will be out by Sourth Carolina.  Biden is the one person who might be able to call in Party resources on his behalf and prevent a coronation, but there is no indication he is ready for another national campaign.

It is interesting she is making nice with the Church - but of course she has NARAL Pro-Choice America in the bag and probably a bag of cash from EMILY's list - or will have one soon.  She will not need to run as a pro-choice candidate for the nomination.  The election is a different matter.  The fact is that whomever wins will be hard pressed to find someone who will vote to repeal Roe v. Wade. The lower federal courts are filled with moderate conservatives who are all for both economic and personal freedom.  You must look really hard for a rabid pro-lifer - just remember that Alito and Roberts voted with Kennedy and not Scalia and Thomas - who wanted Roe repealed as part of affirming the partial birth abortion law.  There actually could be a legislative compromise on this issue, but it would look a lot like the status quo - with nothing for the first trimester embryoes and little for the second - where abortion is rare anyway.  Of course, compromise is not the movement's strong suit.

I spoke with then Senator Clinton (and with then Senator Biden) at a reception on the Hill in 2007. I told her that the way to handle the pro-life movement (and the Catholic bishops who faciltate it) is to point out that it is a fundraising and electoral arm of the Republican Party with little interest in actually stopping abortion.   Let's see if she remembers.  That meme has actually grown - I put it on the Catholics for Obama web discussion where a GOP troll desparately denied it - however it has infected the pro-life movement with doubt.   Its why personhood is being pushed - much to the chargrin of the leadership because it won't work and if it did, the movement would lose its electoral value.  It really can't, except in the Congress and the compromises, again, would essentially be the status quo. Of course, it goes without saying that Mrs. Clinton will be much better than any Republican on what matters in this issue - increasing the income of families with Children. (Biden too).

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Links for 03/20/15 | National Catholic Reporter

Links for 03/20/15 | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: Good day to stay in bed,  at least until the rain stopped. I got out for a few hours, but it is just too cold.

It is always good for candidates to get to know the editorial board at the Register.  Wall Street reform was done, last I checked, unless you are willing to go to the right of the Gentleman from Vermont (who may go Green).

Funny thing, when I was in NIH getting a tumor out, there was a traveling Priest who visited all who requested with Communion (he did not ask t see your voter card) and who said Mass daily.  It is his retired ministry.  Top that!  While we like to think that Catholic identitity lives, I kind of like to think that these hospitals do more than a little bit to pay for the care of retired religious (and if not, why not!)  Of course, the best thing was the organizaiton helping get Obamacare passed.  The blacklash by certain bishops was shameful - as is thier craven attempt to publish guidelines when CHA is the proper authority.

I would like to think that this is not the first poverty statement by the Bishops of Indiana, but I fear it might be.  Indianapolis has some problems, as to some farmers who have not quite recovered from the crash. Not ue, however, the site is very incompete - although we do see it is proudly powered by Weebly.  It probably should not say that.  BTW, what is Weebly? - and don't forget the migrant workers and their desire for some status - not only legal but in the parish.