"Nothing is more dreaded than the national government meddling with religion." John Adams

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Today on CMR —

Today On CMR - September 30, 2008

Google & Gay Marriage
—Google exec comes out against Prop. 8. Who cares?

Catholic, Anti-abortion, and Supporting Obama?
—A canon lawyer joins the Kmiec crusade and surrenders in the battle against abortion.

Cloning Archbishop Burke
—CMR demands that the Church change its stance on cloning so we can clone Abp. Burke. A lot!

A Pox On Both Their Houses
—A bad case of Bailout Derangement Syndrome.

Eduardo Verastegui For President
—The star of "Bella" speaks the truth about abortion and Obama. Muy powerful.

In Pain? Prayer Might Work Better Than Aspirin
—Study says religious people cope with pain better. So remind me, what does atheism have going for it?

Catholic Triumphalism From Protestants?
—What do fundamentalists and ancient Catholic prophets have in common?



Soto Voce
—Bishop gives keynote to Gay Conference and surprises everyone by preaching the truth!

Everybody Should See This
—Don't ever let the Democrats blame anyone else for this debacle.

The Moment I'll Remember: "I Have a Bracelet Too."
—An icky moment from the Obamessiah.

Catholics Have Right To Ancient Rites
—Priests and Bishops have obligation to provide it.

V for Vendetta
—A tale of parental horror and priestly anger management.


Google & Gay Marriage

Internet giant Google has come out against Proposition 8, an initiative measure on the 2008 California General Election ballot that seeks to amend the California Constitution to prohibit gay marriage.

Our position on California's No on 8 campaign
9/26/2008 03:23:00 PM
As an Internet company, Google is an active participant in policy debates surrounding information access, technology and energy. Because our company has a great diversity of people and opinions -- Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals, all religions and no religion, straight and gay -- we do not generally take a position on issues outside of our field, especially not social issues. So when Proposition 8 appeared on the California ballot, it was an unlikely question for Google to take an official company position on.

However, while there are many objections to this proposition -- further government encroachment on personal lives, ambiguously written text -- it is the chilling and discriminatory effect of the proposition on many of our employees that brings Google to publicly oppose Proposition 8. While we respect the strongly-held beliefs that people have on both sides of this argument, we see this fundamentally as an issue of equality. We hope that California voters will vote no on Proposition 8 -- we should not eliminate anyone's fundamental rights, whatever their sexuality, to marry the person they love.

Posted by Sergey Brin, Co-founder & President, Technology
My immediate reaction to this is simply, who cares what you think? You are a corporation, not a cause. Get over yourself. The obviously liberal executives of Google are simply using their position and access to people to promote a ridiculous point of view. I cannot help but wonder if they would take such a position against other chilling initiatives if they thought that it would cost them money. I don' think so.

I say ridiculous for a reason. Look at the weak reasoning employed by Mr. Brin. The issue is one of equality, he says, we should not eliminate anyone's fundamental rights to marry the person they love. What fundamental right is that? Never heard of if before. Did I have a right to marry my first cousin and I never even knew it? Dang, I have some good looking cousins. Obviously not. How can people have a fundamental right that has obvious and time honored limits? They don't. Since this right never existed in the first place, it cannot be eliminated. Fundamental rights, Mr. Brin, are not invented out of whole cloth by a radical state court. That would be a rather pathetic way to be granted a fundamental right.

For Google execs to make such a statement is just another the hubris of the successful. They think it, so it must be right. The rest of us day laborers just haven't figured it out yet and need their guidance. Thanks, but no thanks.

Catholic, Anti-abortion, and Supporting Obama?

A canon lawyer has joined the Kmiec crusade to ensure that Catholics feel good about voting for Obama. This piece in the National Catholic Reporter was written by Nicholas Cafardi, a civil and canon lawyer, and former dean at Duquesne University School of Law about how he is Catholic, anti-abortion yet still supporting Obama.

Start tearing your hair out now.

I believe that abortion is an unspeakable evil, yet I support Sen. Barack Obama, who is pro-choice. I do not support him because he is pro-choice, but in spite of it. Is that a proper moral choice for a committed Catholic?

As one of the inaugural members of the U.S. bishops' National Review Board on clergy sexual abuse, and as a canon lawyer, I answer with a resounding yes.

Despite what some Republicans would like Catholics to believe, the list of what the church calls "intrinsically evil acts" does not begin and end with abortion. In fact, there are many intrinsically evil acts, and a committed Catholic must consider all of them in deciding how to vote.

Last November, the U.S. bishops released "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship," a 30-page document that provides several examples of intrinsically evil acts: abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem-cell research, torture, racism, and targeting noncombatants in acts of war.

Obama's support for abortion rights has led some to the conclusion that no Catholic can vote for him. That's a mistake. While I have never swayed in my conviction that abortion is an unspeakable evil, I believe that we have lost the abortion battle -- permanently. A vote for Sen. John McCain does not guarantee the end of abortion in America. Not even close.
OK. Is all your hair pulled out yet. Well, nobody told me that abortion battle was over. Man, this guy declares defeat faster than Obama in Iraq.

After years of hard work to get judges on the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe V. Wade and getting it possibly to just needing one more justice, we find out that it was all for nothing.

He says that even if Roe is overturned and some states restrict abortion, people will travel to other states which don't restrict abortion. Let's follow the logic. So, according to him we should probably make all drugs legal as well because as long as people can travel they're going to get drugs.

Pope Benedict and the bishops have made it crystal clear that abortion is not a single issue to be compared and contrasted with other issues like immigration or the War on Terror.

He continues:
There is a difference between being pro-choice and being pro-abortion. Obama supports government action that would reduce the number of abortions, and has consistently said that "we should be doing everything we can to avoid unwanted pregnancies that might even lead somebody to consider having an abortion." He favors a "comprehensive approach where ... we are teaching the sacredness of sexuality to our children." And he wants to ensure that adoption is an option for women who might otherwise choose abortion.

Obama worked all of that into his party's platform this year. By contrast, Republicans actually removed abortion-reduction language from their platform.
Yeah. They don't talk as much as reducing because they talk about "the sanctity and dignity of innocent human life."

I'm the first to say I'm not crazy about McCain. But Obama would deliver a hard blow to the pro-life movement as he may get to appoint two justices in just four years. But no Mr. Cafardi I would not say that we lost the battle even then. There's something you obviously don't understand. When it comes to the sanctity of life we won't stop. Ten years. Twenty years. A lifetime. Two lifetimes. We won't stop advocating our position for life. We won't declare defeat if defeat means acquiescence in the face on unspeakable evil. Ever. Because we know that if there is no right to life, no other right truly exists.

Cloning Archbishop Burke

I am hereby demanding a change in one of the key bioethical stances of the Catholic Church.

I do this because I've noticed that all dissenters never "ask" the Church to reconsider her stance on things. Us dissenters "demand change" and insult the Church for not doing exactly what we say.

My demands are as follows: The Catholic Church must allow cloning. Not even for everyone. CMR just wants to clone Archbishop Raymond Burke, prefect of the Vatican's highest court. I intend to clone a bakers dozen of Burkes and have them replace other Archbishops and Cardinals in select areas (you know the ones).

Now I'm a reasonable man and understand that it may take some time for the Church to reconsider its prohibition on cloning but it's OK because I need some time to secure funding and possibly build a laboratory somewhere in North Korea.

Unfortunately, from what I understand, Abp. Burke is clearly and squarely with the Catholic Church on life and bioethical issues, and he likely wouldn't allow himself to be cloned.

Abp. Burke gains our respect every time he speaks. Yesterday, he was quoted as saying the Democratic Party "risks transforming itself definitively into a 'party of death.'"

Many in the media are shocked at Abp. Burke's statements. I too am shocked but only because he said the Dems "risk" transforming themselves into the party of death. To me, the transformation is complete. That party has embraced the culture of death as a sacred right (and not one of those little rights that can be taken away like the Second Amendment.)

According to LifeNews:

Burke said the new Democratic Party isn't the same as the one supported by generations past.

He told the paper it was once "the party that helped our immigrant parents and grandparents better integrate and prosper in American society. But it is not the same anymore. Burke also lamented that pro-life Democratic leaders are "rare, unfortunately."

The Catholic News Service also indicates Burke talked with the newspaper about the abortion-communion debate within the Catholic Church and said he wasn't an isolated position.

"It was shared by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver, by Bishop Peter J. Jugis of Charlotte and by others," he said.

"But it is true that the bishops' conference has not taken this position, leaving each bishop free to act as he believes best. For my part, I always have maintained that there must be a united position in order to demonstrate the unity of the church in facing this serious question," he added.
CMR has long appreciated Abp. Burke's efforts, especially on life issues. But we think it's time we took it to the next level. There are way too many bishops, archbishops, and Cardinals who are...shall we say...a little squishy on many issues.

Archbishop Burke has shown himself to be a leader by his regularly courageous stances and that's why CMR labs intend to clone him once the Church gets out of the Middle Ages and allows us to clone Abp. Burke. If you're interested in helping us please send checks or money orders to CMR Labs at an undisclosed location in North Korea. Send lots because beakers and bunsen burners don't exactly grow on trees, you know.

A Pox On Both Their Houses

Shakespeare famously said through the lips of Polonius "To thine own self be true." I found out that today that I haven't been, but I don't know if there is anything I can do about it.

I made up my mind that I supported the bailout plan. Even though under normal circumstances this type of thing would be anathema, I am constantly being reminded that these are far from normal circumstances. Further, many people much more knowledgeable than I in the ways of finance seem to think we need it. So I made up my mind to support it.

So imagine my befuddlement today when I heard the news that the plan went down to defeat and I realized I was ... glad. I don't know if I am cutting off my nose to spite my face, but I was glad nevertheless. Oh sure, I know that something similar will likely be passed within a week or so, but I think sometimes a dramatic "Not so fast, mister!" is in order.

So now is the time to put away partisan differences and take out the unbridled partisan hatred. Let's start with Nancy Pelosi, who I am now convinced is as mean as she is stupid. Does it seem like a good idea to insult in such a nasty way the people whose support you need in 5 minutes? Well that is just what the Speaker decided to do.

Now the Democrat leadership is attempting to demonize the Republicans for their failure to support the bill. This, of course, completely ignores the 95 Democrats who voted against it as well. So get this, 133 Republicans and 95 Democrats of a Democrat controlled house voted against the bailout, but it is all the Republicans fault? Actually, that is as close to real bipartisanship as anything I have seen from Washington.

Now some Republicans have been complaining that Speaker Pelosi was mean to them and perhaps this contributed to the failure. Any Republican who noted nea not because they thought that it won't work, but because their feeling were hurt should be horse whipped and made to wear little pink dresses and white patent leather shoes. Grow up, this is serious business.

As I have said, I have mixed thoughts on this matter and am unsure what is the right course of action. Republicans can and have come down on both sides of the issue. With that said, I am absolutely disgusted by Republicans (pundits and pols) who supported the bill demonizing any Republican who opposed it. I have seen attacks that employ the worst tactics of the left. I guess I was fooling myself that conservatives are generally above such despicable behavior. Lesson learned.

The one thing that really steams me is the fact that the ones really being demonized here, by both sides, is me and you. The constituents. People, regular folks, who called their representatives in record numbers in opposition to this quick and potentially premature giveaway. Many folks, good decent Americans, are legitimately concerned that this may not be the right thing to do. That it may not fix the problem and perhaps eventually make it even worse. People are wondering if perhaps it is better to take the pain and comeuppance of our failures now, thinking it is likely to be worse if we put it off. So people called their representatives and said "Not so fast!" Amazingly, some of their representatives actually listened.

So now pundits, pols, and the powerful of each party are screaming and demonizing each other over who is to blame for this failure to act. Well, I have news for them. We are to blame. Us folks out here. The ones paying the bill. We are the ones who said wait. Continue to demonize us at your own peril.

I am still unsure about what is the right course of action, but I am now very sure that the leadership of both parties really don't care what we think. A pox on both their houses.

Today On CMR - September 29, 2008

Eduardo Verastegui For President
—The star of "Bella" speaks the truth about abortion and Obama. Muy powerful.

In Pain? Prayer Might Work Better Than Aspirin
—Study says religious people cope with pain better. So remind me, what does atheism have going for it?

Catholic Triumphalism From Protestants?
—What do fundamentalists and ancient Catholic prophets have in common?

Everybody Should See This
—Don't ever let the Democrats blame anyone else for this debacle.

Soto Voce
—Bishop gives keynote to Gay Conference and surprises everyone by preaching the truth!

The Moment I'll Remember: "I Have a Bracelet Too."
—An icky moment from the Obamessiah.

Catholics Have Right To Ancient Rites
—And priests and Bishops have obligation to provide it.

Creative Minority Reader

V for Vendetta
—A tale of parental horror and priestly anger management.

Homeschooling and Sports
—Equal taxes but no equal opportunities.

Will England Fall Under Papal Power?
—England considers getting rid of anti-Catholic laws about the monarchy. This is the opening we've been waiting for!!!!

Name Calling I Like
—In humorous reversal,Rowan Williams called Papal puppet.

Saving Pepperton
—A child's misunderstanding leads to great bedtime stories.

Eduardo Verástegui For President

The star of the movie "Bella" speaks the truth about the holocaust of abortion and Obama. Very powerful video. Take a look.

Catholic Triumphalism From Protestants?

There is branch of Catholic prophecy that predicts a series of events prior to the rise of Antichrist that lead to a unified Catholic Europe. Generally speaking, the events that lead to this foretold conversion are horrendous. Economic collapse, civil war, more war, an Islamic invasion of Europe, pestilence, and natural disasters. Death on an unprecedented level. It is at the point that Europe (and the world) are forced to admit that this was all the result of the godless world of their own creation. In their desperation, they finally turn back to God. From this turmoil rises two great personages of the era that lead what remains of mankind back to the true faith. All forms of schism essentially disappear. There is a prophesied great military and civil leader who along with a Pope of incredible virtue reform the faith and eventually the world leading to a time of one flock, one shepherd.

This basic sequence of events has quite a pedigree in the world of private revelation but is frequently, perhaps unfairly, regarded as the result of hyperactive medieval imagination and nationalistic prophecy wars. After the reformation, the idea of one flock, one shepherd took on a whole new meaning. Some of the private revelation subsequent to the reformation makes direct reference to the elimination of protestantism. Much of this has been disregarded as nothing more than Catholic triumphalism.

This is why I was startled when I read about a coming unified Catholic Europe from a decidedly anti-Catholic source, theTrumpet.com.

To say in 2008 that the Anglicans will ultimately join the Catholic Church may seem a premature claim. But what about making this prediction in 1961? In the October 1961 Plain Truth, Herbert W. Armstrong made this bold forecast: “The pope will step in as the supreme unifying authority—the only one that can finally unite the differing nations of Europe. … Europe will go Roman Catholic! Protestantism will be absorbed into the ‘mother’ church—and totally abolished.”

But even that bold claim was not the first forecast of what is becoming today’s current events. That goes back to approximately 750 b.c. and the Prophet Isaiah’s words on which Mr. Armstrong based his statement. Isaiah foretold a time when a great mother church would experience a great rebellion but would ultimately bring her daughters back under her direction (Isaiah 47). Centuries later, we are seeing Bible prophecy come alive!
Of course, our brethren at the Trumpet think that a unified Catholic Europe is the Whore of Babylon and that this Catholic unity will be achieved at the point of a gun or some other future coercive mind changer. They also think that this will be the Roman Empire from which springs the Antichrist.

Remarkably, this branch of Catholic prophecy doesn't see this as too far off. While Catholics would disagree that the Church is the WoB and will usher in Antichrist. But what does it say? Well, it is from this unified Catholic Europe that gives rise to the last and final Roman Empire whose collapse presages the rise of the man of sin. These private prophecies indicate that the faith, peace, and prosperity that follows the triumph of the Church and universal preaching of the Gospel will not last long. Mankind won't allow it. This will be the great apostasy. The empire will be divided up among a number of rulers and well, you know the rest.

Now, the folks at theTrumpet are not the only ones who think that Europe will once again be Catholic, it is suspected by a number of groups, many protestant.

I hope the irony isn't lost on anyone. It seems that the only Catholic triumphalism these days comes from non-Catholics. Many Catholics today act as if we only expect the situation to get worse as Catholicism withers on the vine. It seems that certain modern protestants and Catholic prophets of yesteryear are not so pessimistic.

In Pain? Prayer Might Work Better Than Aspirin

One night many many years ago while I was still toiling in the fields of agnosticism/atheism I was in an awful car accident. My leg was mangled badly and the night after the accident I was home and in PAIN. I mean the kind that just precludes all thought other than "I'm in pain."

I still consider it one of the longest nights of my life. At night you're alone and there's nobody to distract you from the pain. That night around 3 a.m. I was driven to prayer. It was a heartfelt plea to ease my suffering. There I was on the floor, sweating and in pain and praying to God to take away the pain.

At some point shortly after, I fell asleep. And instead of being grateful in the morning I remained the jerk I'd always been and was happy that the meds finally kicked in. Not only that, later I'd use that night to prove to myself and others that there was no God. I'd say that people in the "old days" believed in God probably because there was no pain medication. Life quite simply stunk and if you or someone you loved wasn't suffering from cholera, the black plague, or tuberculosis you probably had a toothache severe enough to keep you up nights. So I said people were driven to God just because life was so hard. Us advanced 20th century types didn't need God anymore. We had Vicodin.

But now that I've changed a bit I sometimes wonder if people back in the "old days" didn't know something that us enlightened twenty first century folks have forgotten.
A story from Howrah.com:

It’s time to throw away pain-killers from medicine box: Scientists have proved that faith and belief in God can relieve pain.

Researchers at the Oxford Centre For Science Of The Mind, in Oxford University, in a study published in the journal Pain, conducted an experiment with electric shocks on 12 Roman Catholics and 12 atheists as they studied a painting of the Virgin Mary.

The Catholics in the experiment seemed to be able to block out much of the pain as they were able to activate part of the brain associated with conditioning the experience of pain, reported the Mail on Sunday. The study also found that participants who had strong religious belief could moderate their pain by thinking about it more positively. The experiment was conducted as part of a series by the Oxford academics — scientists, philosophers and theologians. It involved strapping a sparking device on the back of every participant’s left hand to deliver an electric shock. They were also asked to contemplate two paintings, Italian painter Sassoferrato’s 17th century Virgin Annunciate (Virgin Mary) and Leonardo da Vinci’s 15th century Lady With An Ermine.

The participants were not told the true purpose of the experiment, only that it was designed to judge how people felt pain while contemplating pictures of different things. They were made to spend half-an-hour inside an MRI scanner, receiving a series of 20 electric shocks in four separate sessions while looking at either one of the paintings. The researchers hoped that the Virgin Mary painting would induce a religious state of mind in the believers and the da Vinci painting was chosen as it did not look dissimilar and would be calming. The researchers found that the Catholics felt "safe," "taken care of" and "clamed down and peaceful," said that looking at the painting of the Virgin Mary. They reported feeling 12 per cent less pain after viewing the religious image.
So at this point we have studies which indicate that religious people recover better from illness, they're happier, and they deal with pain better. Oh yeah and they don't fear death as much. Man, I'm sure glad I'm not an atheist salesman nowadays. "Hey buy into atheism, your life will be miserable and pain filled and you'll fear death a lot. But don't worry, death will probably come to you sooner because you don't recover as fast as those dopey religious types." Maybe Richard Dawkins'next book will include all this.

Weekend On CMR - September 27-28, 2008

Everybody Should See This
—Don't ever let the Democrats blame anyone else for this debacle.

Soto Voce
—Bishop gives keynote to Gay Conference and surprises everyone by preaching the truth!

The Moment I'll Remember: "I Have a Bracelet Too."
—An icky moment from the Obamessiah.

Catholics Have Right To Ancient Rites
—And priests and Bishops have obligation to provide it.

Homeschooling and Sports
—Equal taxes but no equal opportunities.

V for Vendetta
—A tale of parental horror and priestly anger management.

Will England Fall Under Papal Power?
—England considers getting rid of anti-Catholic laws about the monarchy. This is the opening we've been waiting for!!!!

Palin Visits Medjugorje
—Controversy is my middle name.

Name Calling I Like
—In humorous reversal,Rowan Williams called Papal puppet.

Saving Pepperton
—A child's misunderstanding leads to great bedtime stories.

NY Mets Too Big To Fail?
—This is almost as stupid as the other thing.

When Not To Receive Communion
—When parking it in the pew is the right thing to do.

Company Saw the Bad Room
—Everyone has that one messy room that's just not ready for company. Right?

The Front Line In South Dakota
—Referendum to ban abortion makes South Dakota a key battleground.

Dumbing Down Obama
—The gumpification of Obama.

Everybody Should See This

Don't ever let the Democrats blame anyone else for this debacle.

Show this video to anyone who entertains such silly notions.



h/t Redstate

Soto Voce

For quite some time many Catholic bloggers have become quite used to criticizing our Bishops for timidity or worse. Not these days. I enjoyed reading and writing about so many Bishops rising to take on heterodox politicians such as Biden and Pelosi. As much as that was, I think this is even better.

Some people were concerned when Sacramento Coadjutor Bishop Jaime Soto accepted an invitation to be the keynote speaker at the National Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries held last week. If I knew about it, I would have been concerned too. It was too easy to imagine a Bishop showing up at such a conference to tell them that God love's them just the way He made them and that they should never be discriminated against. Too easy to imagine technically true platitudes that are completely besides the point but designed to send the message, "Don't worry about what the Church teaches, you are just fine."

I suppose that is what the attendee's at this conference expected too. That is emphatically not what they got!

[Cal Catholic Daily] But there was noting ambiguous about Bishop Soto’s remarks to the group. “Sexual relations between people of the same sex can be alluring for homosexuals, but it deviates from the true meaning of the act and distracts them from the true nature of love to which God has called us all,” Bishop Soto said. “For this reason, it is sinful. Married love is a beautiful, heroic expression of faithful, life-giving, life-creating love. It should not be accommodated and manipulated for those who would believe that they can and have a right to mimic its unique expression."

At least five members of the audience walked out during the bishop’s address. When he finished speaking, there was general silence -- with only a very small number applauding.

The chairman of the conference then announced that the bishop would answer questions at a reception that would be held in another room. That led to widespread expressions of disapproval from members of the audience, who said they wanted to be able to express their responses immediately. It was agreed that those who wanted to speak would line up. The bishop was told twice by the chairman that he was free to leave if he wanted -- or to stay and listen. Bishop Soto stayed and sat quietly listening to every response.

A series of about eight speakers came to the microphone to express their unhappiness with what the bishop had said -- and what they felt he had not said. One woman said, in essence, "We know what the Church says. What we wanted you to talk about is the value of our lived experience as lesbian women and gay men."

Two speakers -- one man and one woman -- thanked the bishop for his address and voiced their agreement with what he had to say.

While the audience members were responding to the bishop’s remarks, a board member of the National Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries came up to one of the tables in the room and said, "On behalf of the board, I apologize. We had no idea Bishop Soto was going to say what he said."
Wow! Wow! Wow! My hat is off to Bishop Soto for the courage and conviction displayed by preaching such an unpopular but needed message in such a hostile setting.

I am particularly struck by the board member apologizing because he had no idea what the Bishop would say. I imagine not. This gives me hope that perhaps in the not too distant future we will once again expect Bishops to teach what the Church teaches, no matter who the audience is.

I have one lingering question though. I can't help but wonder if the attendees enjoyed their spanking?

The Moment I'll Remember: "I Have a Bracelet Too."

To me, this was a very real moment that just felt so awkward and phony that it may last a lot longer than any other thing that was said last night. The way he couldn't remember the name was just...icky. Bad moment for Obama.

Catholics Have Right To Ancient Rites

Our friend Brian Kopp writes over at the Summorum blog about the preface written to Dr. Alcuin Reid's new book. In the preface, Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, makes some very forceful comments about the rights of the faithful when it comes to the Gregorian Rite (TLM) and the obligations of priests and bishops:

It is a pleasure for me to present this fifteenth edition of Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described, the first edition to appear since the Motu Proprio of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum, dated 7th July 2007, definitively clarified that the rites according to the liturgical books in use in 1962 were never abrogated and that they truly constitute a treasure that belongs to the entire Catholic Church and should be widely available to all of Christ’s faithful. It is now clear that Catholics have a juridical right to the more ancient liturgical rites, and that parish priests and bishops must accept the petitions and the requests of the faithful who ask for it. This is the express will of the Supreme Pontiff, legally established in Summorum Pontificum in a manner that must be respected by ecclesiastical superiors and local ordinaries alike.
Let's say it again, the faithful have a right to these rites that must be respected. For the life of me, I cannot understand what is so difficult to understand. Let's get the clarification on all the pseudo objections out as soon as possible if only to allow the natural course of events to take place unimpeded. If nobody wants it, why worry.

Anyway, it is late and the presidential debate has me worn out. Be sure to read the entire piece over at Summorum Pontificum, it is well worth it.

Today On CMR - September 26, 2008

Homeschooling and Sports
—Equal taxes but no equal opportunities.

V for Vendetta
—A tale of parental horror and priestly anger management.

Will England Fall Under Papal Power?
—England considers getting rid of anti-Catholic laws about the monarchy. This is the opening we've been waiting for!!!!

Palin Visits Medjugorje
—Controversy is my middle name.

Name Calling I Like
—In humorous reversal,Rowan Williams called Papal puppet.

Saving Pepperton
—A child's misunderstanding leads to great bedtime stories.

NY Mets Too Big To Fail?
—This is almost as stupid as the other thing.

When Not To Receive Communion
—When parking it in the pew is the right thing to do.

Company Saw the Bad Room
—Everyone has that one messy room that's just not ready for company. Right?

The Front Line In South Dakota
—Referendum to ban abortion makes South Dakota a key battleground.

Dumbing Down Obama
—The gumpification of Obama.

40 Days For Life
—Be a part of the largest and longest coordinated pro-life event in history.

Archbishop Says He'll Close Hospitals Over Abortion
—Push is coming to shove for Catholic hospitals.

Heroes & Villains
—Our choices define whether we are heroes or villains.

Homeschooling and Sports

Did you know that only 24 states allow homeschoolers to participate in extracurricular activities at public schools? Neither did I until Tito sent me this link to fascinating article over at ESPN on the fate of homeschoolers who want to play high school sports and have opportunities for scholarships.

Since homeschooling became legal in all 50 states in 1993, the number of participating families has escalated. The reasons vary.

The Forciers chose the concept because Tate needed more one-on-one attention and more time to focus on athletics.

Dr. Byron Ketchum of Russellville, Ala., homeschooled eight of his nine children because he was not happy with the lack of religious education in public schools.

Bob Tebow homeschooled all five of his children because he believes the Bible says parents should, above all else, teach God's word. The Tebows, including Tim, the University of Florida's Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, studied with academics as the third focus, after God and character.

"In the Constitution, [parents] have the right to direct the lives of their children," Bob Tebow said, referencing the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the 1925 case of Pierce v. Society of Sister.

By now, Tim Tebow's story is well known. Because of the passing of a state law in 1996, he was allowed to be homeschooled and play for Nease High in Florida.

"How can we deny these people the rights when they pay taxes? That was the issue in the Florida legislature," said Bob Tebow, who added he would have moved to where Tim could play.
The article goes on to say that there is suprisingluy little supprt for homeschoolers sports rights even in homeschooling havens such as Mississippi.
In homeschool-heavy Mississippi, proposed legislation never made it out of committee. Videt Carmichael (R-District 33), the chair of the senate's education committee, said he vaguely recalled such a bill. Sen. Gray Tollison (D-District 9), who supports it, explained why it has received little to no traction.

"The general attitude among some people is, if they don't go to public school, they shouldn't be allowed to participate in public school sports," Tollison said. "Either you're in or you're out, they feel."
I think that homeschoolers have every right to these extracurricular activities. You pay your taxes, play ball.

Read the entire article and let us know what you think.

V for Vendetta

Peter over at With A Grain of Salt, after reading Matthew's story on Dazed Primates, Big Gulp's, and Redemption was reminded of a story of a mess created by his children after the Easter Vigil Mass.

The family attended a little celebration in the presbytery. Caught up in the festivities, they lost track of the wrecking balls on little legs. After a desperate search, they discovered to their horror that the kids had broken and entered into the assistant priest quarters and in a stroke of absolute genius of miniature menace had rubbed Vicks Vap-o-rub all over every surface of the room. In the process, the kids had managed to get as much Vicks in their eyes as they did the room and thus were cowering with tearing red eyes awaiting their certain doom.

Believe it or not, this is where the story gets wierd...

The children were in such distress from having rubbed the Vicks into their eyes we took them to clean up in a bathroom before the mandatory smacks and banishment to the car with mum, while I made profuse apologies and embarrassed offers of compensation for anything that was damaged in any way.

The assistant priest was livid with rage. He demanded that I spank the children and was undeterred when I said they had already been punished and were going home to face more serious consequences. He demanded I bring them back inside and spank them there in front of him. The party spirit faltered somewhere when the whole house rang with cries of "I want to see them spanked!" Even the next day, when I called to ask for an itinerary of items I could replace he refused compensation but insisted "Justice is not done till they are spanked in my presence."

For the next few weeks we had homilies and parish bulletins repeating the theme of spanking as justice and the right of adults to be protected from children.

I've been a little twitchy around the smell of Vicks ever since.
Now, I can understand the priest being somewhat peeved or worse. But going Al Capone ("I want him DEAD! I want his family DEAD! I want his house burned to the GROUND!) on the rugrats seems a wee bit much. However using your homilies and the bulletin to wage a Vicks vendetta must definitely be frowned upon in the priestly handbook, no?

I think father should have paused long enough in his vap-o-rampage to have a "what would Jesus do?" moment.

I think it would be very funny if we all chipped in and sent Peter a case of Vicks for the holidays. It would be even funnier if we sent one to Father.

Be sure to pay Peter a visit and give him your sympathy (plus he has a good graphic to commemorate Father Bruce Banner). I would like to say as a parent we have all been there, but I don't want to go anywhere near there.

Will England Fall Under Papal Power?

Newsweek reports that Great Britain is considering removing some of their anti-Catholic laws from the books.

The British royal family is all about tradition. But even this august institution has to confront the realities of the 21st century. For more than 300 years, it has been an inviolable rule that neither monarchs nor their spouses can be Roman Catholic. The rules of succession also require that a first-born son gets the top job, bypassing any older sisters. Those restrictions could finally be history, according to a report today in London's Guardian newspaper.

The Guardian, which often advocates anti-monarchist positions, says advisers to Prime Minister Gordon Brown are currently reviewing proposals to abolish both these long-held rules. A Brown spokesman neither confirmed nor denied the report, explaining only that "changes to the law on succession would be a complex undertaking … requiring the consent of legislatures of member nations of the Commonwealth." The changes are reportedly part of a much broader constitutional review currently on the desk of Wilf Stevenson, who is a close friend of Brown's as well as his new constitutional adviser. That may give the reforms—long pushed by human rights advocates—their best shot at passage in years.
Pope Benedict right now is giving his best evil laugh right now in Rome, rubbing his hands together, and petting his cat. "Excellent. For centuries we've waited. Soon now England will fall under my power too. Bishops! Fetch a pretty young Catholic girl and dangle her under the nose of one of those princes in Britain. Muhuhahahhahah! Now nobody can stop me."

Palin Visits Medjugorje



Yeah, sorry. Not that Palin. Couldn't resist the temptation to put those two combox busting words in the same sentence.

Today On CMR - September 25, 2008

Name Calling I Like
—In humorous reversal,Rowan Williams called Papal puppet.

Saving Pepperton
—A child's misunderstanding leads to great bedtime stories.

NY Mets Too Big To Fail?
—This is almost as stupid as the other thing.

When Not To Receive Communion
—When parking it in the pew is the right thing to do.

Company Saw the Bad Room
—Everyone has that one messy room that's just not ready for company. Right?

The Front Line In South Dakota
—Referendum to ban abortion makes South Dakota a key battleground.

Dumbing Down Obama
—The gumpification of Obama.

40 Days For Life
—Be a part of the largest and longest coordinated pro-life event in history.

Archbishop Says He'll Close Hospitals Over Abortion
—Push is coming to shove for Catholic hospitals.

Heroes & Villains
—Our choices define whether we are heroes or villains.

65% Want Restrictions on Abortion But So What?
—There's so much to be said about it but you're not allowed to say it.

Of Darwinism and Narcissicism
—In modern science, it is survival of the meanest.

Catholics Returning to GOP Fold. Why?
—Bishops strong stance may have caused poll shift.

Beauty Kills Me
—I'm used to pain and disappointment but love throws me for a loop.

Name Calling I Like

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has been called a lot of names over the years. In the last few months leading up to Lambeth he has been called many, many more. However, I think it is fair to say that never before has Rowan Williams ever been called the name he was called today. Papal Puppet.

Canterbury is being criticized to attending a mass at the famous Marian shrine at Lourdes. Moreover, in his remarks he seemingly accepted the apparitions there to Bernadette Soubirous 150 years ago and implicitly the Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

[Mail] The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, was yesterday branded a ‘papal puppet’ after he became the first leader of the Church of England to accept visions of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes as historical fact.

He asserted that 18 visions of Our Lady allegedly experienced by Bernadette Soubirous in 1858 were true.

His words shocked millions of Protestants worldwide because they not only signified a break with Protestant teaching on the Virgin Mary but also Dr Williams’s personal acceptance of the Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, which is explicitly linked to the apparitions.
[SNIP]
‘When Mary came to Bernadette, she came at first as an anonymous figure, a beautiful lady, a mysterious “thing”, not yet identified as the Lord’s spotless mother,” Dr Williams said.

‘And Bernadette – uneducated, uninstructed in doctrine – leapt with joy, recognising that here was life, here was healing,’ he said.

‘Only bit by bit does Bernadette find the words to let the world know; only bit by bit, we might say, does she discover how to listen to the Lady and echo what she has to tell us.’
[SNIP]
Afterwards he was severely criticised by the Protestant Truth Society, a group of Anglicans and nonconformists committed to upholding the ideals of the Protestant Reformation.

The Rev Jeremy Brooks, director of ministry for the group, said: 'All true Protestants will be appalled that the Archbishop of Canterbury has visited Lourdes, and preached there.

‘Lourdes represents everything about Roman Catholicism that the Protestant Reformation ejected, including apparitions, mariolatry and the veneration of saints.

‘The archbishop's simple presence there is a wholesale compromise, and his sermon which included a reference to Mary as “the Mother of God” is a complete denial of Protestant orthodoxy.’

He added: ‘At a time when our country is crying out for clear Biblical leadership, it is nothing short of tragic that our supposedly Protestant archbishop is behaving as little more than a papal puppet.’
Now that has to be the first time Williams has been called that particular epithet. I like it. Usually Williams denial of orthodoxy, protestant or otherwise, heads in the other direction.

However, I don't think that our reactionary protestant brethren should get too upset. It is unlikely that Williams believes a word that he said. His religious views have proven to as amorphous and unreliable as the mortgage industry's business model.

William's took this trip with 10 Church of England bishops, 60 Anglican priests, and about 400 Anglican laypeople who are favorably disposed to joining the Catholic Church if the Anglican meltdown continues down its current path. Williams Catholicesque overture is likely an effort to convince that there is some Catholic left in Anglo-Catholic. I don't suppose it will go very far in this regard.

When Williams returns home, he will eventually address the more liberal wings of his Church. When that time comes, he will probably throw the Anglo-Catholics overboard as quickly as Joe Biden threw over those coal miners.

Williams religious views are kind of like very variable weather, wait 15 minutes and it is likely to change.

Saving Pepperton

This year my wife decided she was going to make the Halloween costumes for the children. They're excited but the boy wants desperately to be a Power Ranger. "The Red one because pink is for girls" he says twelve times a day.

So I told my wife that we could likely pick up a cheap costume for him so we went to Toys R Us to price them. We found a cheap one that fit him (roughly) so I decided to buy it.

The six of us went up to the most disinterested cashier I've ever met and when she rings us up she mumbles, "Would you like to save ten percent?"

No thanks, I say because we all know that's just another credit card. But I look at my five year old daughter and she seems shocked by something I said. Her eyes go wide and she looks at me imploringly. I throw the costume in the bag and we all get into the van. As she's getting in she gives me another look like she's disappointed in me.

OK. I'm interested. "What's wrong?" I ask.

She looks at me sadly and asks me, "Dad why didn't you save Pepperton?"

Huh?

"The lady asked you if you would like to save Pepperton and you said no. Why didn't you want to save him?"

Now I know that you're not supposed to laugh at children especially when they're confused or disappointed in your callousness at not saving a stranger with a rather dignified name. But I laughed. And thankfully she did too when I explained it to her.

Now, a few nights a week I typically make up a bedtime story for the children. Last night I told them about a dignified little sweater-vest wearing mouse named Pepperton who desperately needed saving.

Today On CMR - September 24, 2008

NY Mets Too Big To Fail?
—This is almost as stupid as the other thing.

When Not To Receive Communion
—When parking it in the pew is the right thing to do.

Company Saw the Bad Room
—Everyone has that one messy room that's just not ready for company. Right?

The Front Line In South Dakota
—Referendum to ban abortion makes South Dakota a key battleground.

Dumbing Down Obama
—The gumpification of Obama.

40 Days For Life
—Be a part of the largest and longest coordinated pro-life event in history.

Archbishop Says He'll Close Hospitals Over Abortion
—Push is coming to shove for Catholic hospitals.

Heroes & Villains
—Our choices define whether we are heroes or villains.

65% Want Restrictions on Abortion But So What?
—There's so much to be said about it but you're not allowed to say it.

Of Darwinism and Narcissicism
—In modern science, it is survival of the meanest.

Catholics Returning to GOP Fold. Why?
—Bishops strong stance may have caused poll shift.

Beauty Kills Me
—I'm used to pain and disappointment but love throws me for a loop.

Unfair to Mark Shea
—Stupid speculation warrants an apology.

Gay Choir Director Fired
—How long do we have until being American and being Catholic are mutually exclusive?

NY Mets Too Big To Fail?

The New York Mets are suffering a stunning late season collapse once again. Leading by three games just a week ago, they are now a game-and-a half behind the first place Phillies and without a drastic change, the Mets could be shut out of the playoffs altogether.

This historic collapse is seen by some as warranting a government bailout of the Mets...before things get worse.

The collapse brings to mind the epic catastrophe last year where the Mets were seven games up with just two weeks left in the season and then went on to lose game after game and finally falling out of the playoffs with a loss on the last game of the year.

But now the Mets are petitioning the federal government for funds to hire relief pitchers. "If we collapse and don't make the playoffs again, thousands of hearts will be broken. Think of the children" said one Mets front office executive. "Think of the seniors who've been waiting over twenty years for us to win the World Series."

Other sources say the team not making the playoffs would affect local vendors as well. "When there's no game I don't make any money," said a man who identified himself as Tony and runs a parking lot near the stadium. Local sandwich makers said that perhaps a ton of pastrami would rot in area delicatessens without playoff games to boost sales.

The Mets salary this year is $137,793,376. In comparison, the first place Phillies have a mere $98,269,880 yearly salary. These stunning numbers have led many experts to argue that the Mets are just too big to fail. "If the Mets don't make the playoffs, the damage to New York would be so grisly that I can't even discuss it. In the end, the entire country would be hurt."

The Mets have asked the federal government to either see its way clear to pony up a few million so the Mets could hire a relief pitcher that doesn't give up a home run every third pitch or just assign a decent reliever to the Mets. If that proves impossible, some are speculating that the government could temporarily reward the Mets four outs during their turn at bat so they could score more runs.

Baseball purists are saying that it violates every foundational principle of competitive sport to bail out the Mets. However, realists say that this is not a time for ideology but action. Something has to be done, and when something must be done a blank check from the government is the only answer.

Other pundits chime in saying that we cannot wait. "Action must be taken immediately! Former members of the Montreal Expos are laughing at us, it is just embarrassing."

Barack Obama has announced that he is still formulating a plan and will get back to us in a few weeks with his proposal. The Obama campaign pointed out that Obama has always been a Cubs fan (even when he lived in Indonesia) and that the Cubs were the first team to clinch the playoffs this year. The New York Times is also reporting that Sarah Palin is being investigated for her ties to the New York Mets. The DailyKos is reporting that her former rival in a mayoral race has accused her of being a closet Mets fan (since Alaska is so small and backward they don't even have a team.) Also, Palin's computer was hacked and her internet cache shows that she frequently checked the Mets score on ESPN.com.

Even though John McCain is on record suggesting back in May that the Mets needed to bolster their bull-pen, polling suggests that the NY Mets collapse strongly favors the Obama camp. ABC / Washington Post plan to conduct a poll in a few days that will support this claim.

Congress is now expected to hold hearings on the unusual request but the Mets say that if the hearings last over two days, it will be too late. "Well, at least then we can blame Congress and not ourselves," said one Mets player.

When Not To Receive Communion

Sitting in my pew for a few minutes as the Priest gives out Communion to the 137 extraordinary ministers, readers in shorts and sandals, and altar girls I often have some time to reflect before the priest gets around giving out Communion to the rest of us.

Sometimes I even reflect upon the concept of "the rest of us." It really means all of us, every last dang one of us. Occasionally, the thought has popped into my head, I wonder if ALL these people have gone to confession? I mean when I go to confession, held once a week for 45 minutes, the lines are just not that long. How is it that all these people are prepared to receive Our Lord in the Eucharist?

Well, as we all know, many of them are not but they go anyway. A good deal of the fault with this lays squarely on the offending receiver, but I can't help wonder if we are all collectively guilty to some degree. These days, there is almost a culturally enforced mandate to go up and receive, prepared or not. I have written before (See The Case for Chaos) that I think that usher enforced orderly communion is partly to blame. However catechesis, personal responsibility, a mind your own business mentality (namely don't give the person next to you the once over if they choose not to receive) and a well formed conscience are also critical elements.

With all this as the background, I was moved by a story relayed by Fr. Ray Blake pastor of St. Mary Magdalen in Brighton UK. Fr. tells us of a man, who is in an unfortunate irregular situation, who attends the TLM because as he says "...because I don't feel forced to come to Holy Communion." Out of respect for the Eucharist, he will not receive unless properly prepared. Fr. Ray relays some details followed by some comments.

"I come to Mass every Sunday," he said, "I am living with "M", she is divorced. Most Lents we have determined to live as brother and sister, sometimes it works and I go off to Confession, receive absolution and receive Communion, normally a few weeks after Easter our resolution breaks down. The last couple of years we haven't got very far, so I haven't been to Holy Communion for three years. I want to come, of course I do, but I know I know what Jesus said about the permanence of marriage and marriage to divorcee. It would be hypocritical to receive Him and not live by His teaching."

I of course suggested looking at an annulment, he said he had tried that but "M" just couldn't bring herself to go through the procedure.

I was so impressed by this man, so impressed by his extraordinary love for the Blessed Sacrament, impressed by his honesty and the heroism of his Christian life.
For certain, the man and the woman should do what is right and at least attempt to fix the situation if it possible and refrain from any further sin. But it does my heart good to see a man honest enough with himself and respectful enough of the Eucharist not to receive. Thanks for Father Blake for sharing this.

There was a time in my life many years ago in my early twenties when I was not properly prepared for communion. Unfortunately, I would just avoid mass altogether so as to avoid the embarrassment of not receiving. I cringe now when I think of it. I think that this fear of embarrassment kept me away a lot longer than I otherwise would have.

The culture of "everyone goes" is detrimental to the faith, especially to those in most need of reconciliation. We should do what we can to eliminate this phenomenon. Again, I say let's start with dumping orderly communion.

Company Saw the Bad Room

Every house has the room. The messy one. The room that will actually take a bulldozer, eighteen garbage bags, a shovel, and a garbage eating rat to get it anywhere close to available for public viewing.

Right now that room in our house is the playroom for the children. It's gotten a little out of hand. Ok. More than a little. On Friday, I asked the children to blaze a path just so I could get to the stairs. You have to understand that school just started and I haven't gotten my Fall legs under me yet. So one room suffered. We have like...7 rooms. 1 out of 7. That's not bad if you're grading on a curve. Unfortunately, my wife isn't.

On Saturday, after we got home from soccer my six year old daughter had a play date with a child who lives nearby. Right before I was supposed to go pick her up the mom of this other child called to say they were walking over. OK, I say. I'm thinking this is good news as I don't have to go get her. My wife doesn't see the good in the news, however. To her, this means we're going to have to invite her in.

So first, I have to change my shirt, she says and then she tells me we must run around and clean up the children's playroom as this woman is coming over. I, of course, speak common sense to my wife and say, "What?! Are you out of your mind? This woman is going to come over, sit down, have a glass of water, chit chat, thank us, and be on her way. Do you really think she's going to leave the living room, go through the kitchen to find our messy playroom? That's crazy!"

What cleverly went unsaid here was the Notre Dame game was on and I didn't want to get up. My wife looked at me with her hands on her hips and said, "Ugh. Fine. Just help me tidy up in here at least."

"Ugh fine," I said.

So I vacuumed while watching the game mainly because she can't give me orders if I have the vacuum on. Let me tell you, if you saw the rug right in front of the television you wouldn't believe how clean it is.

So I shouldn't even have to say it but here's what went down. This woman came over with my daughter and her daughter, sat down, had a glass of water, chitted and chatted, and thanked us. (Now she didn't mention how clean the rug was in front of the television but I just figured she was just shy.) And then she stood up to be on her way. But then all went wrong. My daughter had taken her friend into another room to play. The woman called her daughter and to my surprise the little girl said, "Mom come here and look what they have." And the woman gets off the couch, walks through the kitchen and walks right into the playroom where it looks like a toy/book/stuffed animal grenade blew up.

And you know what I'm thinking: I'm dead. And I was pretty sure my wife was thinking the same thing.

In a few moments this woman was out the door and I was left alone with my wife. She turned, her hands on her hips, looking at me. I expected anger. What I got was worse. Tears. I could've dealt with anything but that.

I felt terrible. I felt like such a selfish jerk and was pretty confident that if put up for a vote it would be unanimous.

So I labeled Sunday "The Big Cleaning Day" in the Archbold house. We didn't even turn the NFL games on. The Giants went to overtime. Overtime! And I was vacuuming under the couches. We even dusted under books. (Does she really think someone's going to come over and look under my books?)

The kids were told they had to give some toys away to "the poor kids" and they first voted to give away what I call the Barbie morgue filled with decapitated, crushed, and limbless Barbies. I felt like a CSI detective going through these poor victims. But then the children actually gave away some real functional toys and they talked about how much the poor kids would love them. That was kind of nice.

And I felt a little less like a selfish jerk. A little.

Today On CMR - September 23, 2008

The Front Line In South Dakota
—Referendum to ban abortion makes South Dakota a key battleground.

Dumbing Down Obama
—The gumpification of Obama.

40 Days For Life
—Be a part of the largest and longest coordinated pro-life event in history.

Archbishop Says He'll Close Hospitals Over Abortion
—Push is coming to shove for Catholic hospitals.

Heroes & Villains
—Our choices define whether we are heroes or villains.

65% Want Restrictions on Abortion But So What?
—There's so much to be said about it but you're not allowed to say it.

Of Darwinism and Narcissicism
—In modern science, it is survival of the meanest.

Catholics Returning to GOP Fold. Why?
—Bishops strong stance may have caused poll shift.

Beauty Kills Me
—I'm used to pain and disappointment but love throws me for a loop.

I Want To Be Dean Kamen
—Where science and compassion meet.

Unfair to Mark Shea
—Stupid speculation warrants an apology.

Obama's Electoral Strategy
—I am not sure if this is a winning strategy.

Google Gives In and Becky Stands Up
—Google allows pro-life ads and Becky is there to help.

Gay Choir Director Fired
—How long do we have until being American and being Catholic are mutually exclusive?

Baby Who Survived Abortion Calls on Obama
—Gianna Jessen lived. Barack Obama would have let her die.

The Front Line In South Dakota

In 2006, the South Dakota Legislature passed a ban on abortion only to have it overturned by a referendum in which Abortion providers and proponents poured millions of dollars into a campaign to defeat the law.

However, after suffering this setback, polling suggested that the citizens of South Dakota would have supported the law if it included some of the exceptions. So pro-lifers got back to work and have put forward a referendum that includes these exceptions. While this makes the referendum less than perfect, it would go a long way to saving many children and could possibly initiate a serious challenge to Roe v. Wade.

So once again, Planned Parenthood, NARAL, end the restof their cohorts are trwoing millions of dollars at South Dakota in order to defeat this measure. Sheila Liaugminas writes at Inforumblog:

South Dakota is ‘ground zero’ right now in the clash of these two worldviews, and that state’s abortion ban law is on the ballot again in November, as I’ve reported here in the Forum. Planned Parenthood and NARAL managed to convince the good citizens of South Dakota in the last referendum of their lies and distortions about the ‘Women’s Health and Human Life Protection Law’, with the power and funding of their national organizations.

Recently, there was a summit meeting in Washington over what to do about South Dakota. The abortion movement has poured over a million dollars into ads in the Rapid City market alone. They are concentrating their national forces on defeating South Dakota again. Because as they said to their group assembled at that meeting, if the South Dakota life protection law wins, it will be the beginning of the end of Roe.

The crafters of that life protection law and the campaign to inform voters about it don’t have nearly the funds of the national abortion movement. But they a force more powerful in the truth about human life.

Help them spread the truth of this campaign.

Sheila also made us aware of this video from One of the original architects of the abortion movement in America, Dr. Bernard Nathanson. In the video, Nathanson tells the truth about abortion.

Help support Measure 11 because the front lines in the pro-life fight is in South Dakota.

Dumbing Down Obama

We have seen it for years, so I am not sure why I am surprised. Well, actually I know why I am surprised.

Do you remember back in 2000 when we were going into the debates. Al Gore, the smartest man alive, was supposed to wipe the floor with red-neck moron from Texas who doesn't even know how to pronounce nuclear. But as we remember, reality was much different. Bush held his own in all three debates and was widely considered to have won two of them hands down.

Al Gore behaved like a robot trained to act like a man by another robot. He was stiff and way over-coached. Problem was, Gore didn't have enough confidence in himself to act like Al Gore. George Bush, on the other hand, acted just like George Bush. At the time, people liked that about him.

As long as I live, I don't think I will ever forget the moment when Bush rose from his seat to answer a question. As he began to give his answer Al Gore rose from his seat and took three quick steps toward Bush. Clearly, Gore had been coached to invade Bush's space to try and throw him off. But the way Gore did it was rather bizarre. Rather than throw Bush off his game, it played to his strengths. Bush paused, looked Gore up and down and then proceeded to give him a smile and a nod as if to say "I don't care if you are Vice-President, you take one more step and you will regret it!" Priceless. I have thought since then that Gore lost the election in that moment.

So that brings up to this election. Since then, and probably even before then, the democrats have gone out of their way to lower expectations for the debates. Republicans do it too, it is just part of the perception game that must be played.

But I am rather struck by it this time around since they are now trying to turn Mr. Eloquence, Mr. Inspiration, The One we have been waiting for into Forrest Gump. The Anchoress writes about the absolute flurry of stories by the Mass Media wing of the Obama campaign.

It seems that the Obama camp has decided to go play the Forrest Gump card with Senator Obama; “I’m not a smart mayun…”

Suddenly, there are a flurry of news articles - really, a flurry - come out as if by decree, or it’s just one of those astonishing co-incidences, like when news anchores and pundits all start using the same word; “gravitas,” “paradigm,” “mayor of a small town.” This time the decree (or the big co-incidence) is meant to lower expectations for Obama as he prepares to debate John McCain: Obama is not a stellar debater. Obama, “Mr. Eloquence”, whose Invesco field speech was called “symphonic” by some pundits is very evenly matched against John McCain. John McCain has scored all the advantages for the upcoming debate. Obama may have to provoke McCain to anger in order to win! Obama is an uneven debater. And, Obama camps seeks to lower expectations.

Get that meme out there, fix that narration; tell the nation that Obama is only a so-so debater, and then - if he is mediocre - it is a win. If he is better than mediocre, well, then John McCain must be an absolute dunce, because everyone knows Obama is not much of a debater.

Get that, the greatest uh uh Orator of uh uh our time, is not uh a good debater. Exactly what is Obama good at then? He has told us that his primary executive experience is running his own campaign. Turns out, his running mate doesn't think he is particular good at that either. Biden had this to say about the Obama ad ridiculing McCain for not using a computer which blew up in The One's face.

[NRO]Couric: And you guys haven’t been completely guilt-free, making fun of John McCain’s inability to use a computer.

Biden: I thought that was terrible, by the way.

Couric: Why’d you do it then?

Biden: I didn’t know we did it, if I’d have known we did we’d have never done it, I don’t think Barack, you know, I just think that was, ah

Couric: Did Barack Obama approve that ad? He said he did, right?

Biden: Yeah, the answer is, I don’t, I don’t think anything was intentional about that, they were trying to make another point.

So maybe the media is right this time. Maybe Obama really is Forrest Gump.