…from an utterly non-Irish guy.
Here’s my present to you:
…from an utterly non-Irish guy.
Here’s my present to you:
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
Southern Baptist Church doing whatever it takes to get the heathens in the pews.
“Those who built on the wall, and those who carried burdens loaded themselves so that with one hand they worked at construction, and with the other held a weapon. Every one of the builders had his sword girded at his side as he built” (Nehemiah 4:17-18).
I guess that’s a form of constitutional carry…
SCENE: Mitch Berg is at the pharmacy, refilling a painkiller prescription. He notices a tap on the shoulder. It’s Mr. Victor VON SCHLIEFFENBERG-MOLTKE, professional fraternity organizer, and Vice Chair for Education at the 5th CD Libertarian Party.
VON SCHLIEFFENBERG-MOLTKE: Hey, Berg!
BERG (holding an acheing jaw in dire need of a root canal): Hey, V-Molt.
VON SCHLIEFFENBERG-MOLTKE: What did we say about that?
BERG: Oh, OK. Hey, Viktor. What’s up?
VON SCHLIEFFENBERG-MOLTKE: You’re a Christian, right?
VON SCHLIEFFENBERG-MOLTKE: Kurt Tischer said “Everyone is born an atheist and an anarchist. People have to be taught religion and statism.”
BERG: That’s an attack on faith, right?
VON SCHLIEFFENBERG-MOLTKE: Of course.
BERG: People are also born babbling unintelligibly, utterly self-centered, unable to live independently – without their family, which is the ultimate autocracy – and crapping and peeing all over the place. Are these also desirable traits?
VON SCHLIEFFENBERG-MOLTKE: Clearly you are a RINO.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
Brilliant quip from Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit:
“K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Lauren Harrington-Cooper and Other Teachers Arrested for Sex Crimes. “Such crimes are far from unusual, as we have frequently observed, and here are just a few recent examples.” And here’s another. Obviously, we need to end mandatory celibacy and let high school teachers marry.”
Does that mean the superintendent is doctrinally infallible?
Maybe it’s just me – but at around this point in the past few election cycles, it’s seemed that the media has undertaken a campaign to try to give liberal Christians a little boost of self-esteem. Perhaps to help them feel like they matter in the big scheme of things.
In 2007, the media burned a slew of cycles trying to make the case that there was a burgeoning movement of liberal evangelicals. Of course, it came up “meh” at the polls.
Now, I’m a Presbyterian. I am because of the denomination’s theology – not because of its politics, which are (at a regional and national level) almost smug enough to be Episcopal. Note to any conservative Presbyterian sects breaking off from the PCUSA: have your people call my people.
Today’s liberal-Christian superstar is and media darling is Nadia Bolz-Weber. She’s got enough tasteless ink to pass for a bartender at the Seventh Street Entry…
…and she swears in the pulpit, so as to not “be a hypocrite”
Walter Hudson breaks down the reasons Rev. Bolz-Weber is wrong. You need to read the whole thing. But here’s the money quote:
No one who knows God would want to associate Him with filth. That’s why Christian pastors shouldn’t swear from the pulpit, not to “pretend to be something they’re not,” but to glorify who God is.
And that’s the problem with so many of the examples of “liberal christianity” that I see in the media (and conservatives, in too many cases, as well); it’s not about glorifying who God is, but reassuring themselves about who they are.
Which, if you’re a Christian, really really really isn’t the point.
(Also – you want a tattoo, have a tattoo. But that much ink just looks really really really stupid).
Fascinating article in “First Things” about an aspect of Warren Zevon I did not know the first thing about.
May you and yours have a blessed Easter.
Mention Irish rock megastars U2 to people, and the reactions you get will span the gamut.
To kids today, a generation after they first came out, it’s probably all about Bono – the peripatetic, bombastic lead singer who’s parlayed a magnificent singing voice and a global pop following into a second career as a global charity leader (and, it needs to be said, arch-capitalist).
To someone who came of age in the nineties? I’d imagine U2 was to them what the Rolling Stones were to me growing up in the late seventies and early eighties; dissipated celebrities noodling with making sense of their megastardom, albeit with less drugs and model-banging, but with a lot more artistic pretension ladled on top.
To hipsters of all eras? Once they left Dublin, they were trayf.
And U2 has been all of that to me, too (except maybe the hipster bit).
But mostly, U2 is the band that tied together two big strands in my own life. And the main catalyst for this, their breakthrough album War, was released thirty years ago today.
And the strands it tied together for me, and with style, were faith and rock and roll.
That is all.
To: His Holiness, Pope Benedict
From: Mitch Berg, Protestant
Re: None Of Your Business
With all respect due to your eminence in your church on spiritual issues, and to your predecessor’s stances in defense of freedom, I must confess that when I see you and your various ecclesiastical bureaucrats saying things like this…:
In an editorial aired yesterday on Vatican Radio, Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the press office of the Holy See, called “initiatives announced by the United States government in view of limiting and controlling the diffusion and use of arms … a step in the right direction.
“Forty-seven religious leaders of various confessions and religions have issued a call to American politicians to limit firearms, which ‘are making society pay an unacceptable price in terms of massacres and senseless deaths,’” Lombardi stated in his address. “I’m with them.”
…and especially twaddle like this (I’ll add emphasis)…:
While acknowledging “that arms, throughout the world, are also instruments for legitimate defense,” and even admitting “No one can be under the illusion that limiting their number and use would be enough to impede horrendous massacres in the future,” Lombardi nonetheless asserted “it is necessary to repeat tirelessly our calls for disarmament, to oppose the production, trade, and smuggling of arms of all types.
“If results are achieved, such as international conventions … all the better!” he proclaimed.
…it fills me with protestant pride.
Your line, it seems, is “sorry about all the dead innocents who won’t be able to defend themselves, but let’s hear it for those great guardians of the sanctity of human life, the U F****ng N”.
Sorry, Fr. Lombardi. We fought a war in this country at least in part to be free of the rule of monarchs, whether secular or ecclesiastical. And when I read your church’s official word on self-defense (again, emphasis added)…:
“According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, individuals have a right and a duty to protect their own lives when in danger, and someone who ‘defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow,’” CNS concedes, but offers a significant caveat. “According to the catechism, the right to use firearms to ‘repel aggressors’ or render them harmless is specifically sanctioned for ‘those who legitimately hold authority’ and have been given the duty of protecting the community.”
…it puts me in mind of the fact that functional representative democracy came much, much later to the Catholic than the Protestant world for a good reason.
In other words, Fr. Lombardi, your assistance is not needed here. Thanks.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
November 27, 1095, Pope Urban II preached the First Crusade while attending an ecclesiastical conference in Clermont, France. His exact speech is disputed but history shows his words were sufficient to inspire all of Christendom to wage war upon the Muslims then occupying Jerusalem.
September 13, 2001, a different crusader preached the same message in fewer words: “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity . . . This is war.”
It’s been a thousand years and we still haven’t solved the problem.
One of those faiths went through a Renaissance, a Reformation, and a half a millennium of civil evolution. The other largely did not.
Chuck Woolery on Twitter last night:
Biden, my strong catholic belief has driven me to support gay marriage, abortion forced birth control on the church and blatant lying. Amen
— Chuck Woolery (@chuckwoolery) October 12, 2012
I do have to confess; not since Ben Vereen’s prime, or maybe the heyday of Riverdance, have I seen tap-dancing like pro-”choice”, pro-gay-marriage Catholics rationalizing their politics with their faith (or at least the cafeteria version of it).
Earlier this week, I noted that the WaPo released a Presidential preference poll that…:
As I predicted, only faster, the Strib is already on board. Joe Doakes – making a rare two-fer today – wrote to ask about h this column by Sue Hogan at the Strib:
“Catholics” is a pretty broad label. Abortion advocate John Kerry claims to be Catholic and so do openly-gay parishioners at St. Joan of Arc in Minneapolis as well as traditionalists who attend St. Agnes in St. Paul.
Who did they poll?
How was the question worded?
Silly Doakes. Raw data is for gatekeepers.
Let’s take a look at Hogan’s piece:
A majority of U.S. Catholics support President Obama’s decision to require religious institutions to include birth control in health insurance plans, according to two new polls.
A poll by the Public Religion Research Institute in Washington, D.C., found that support among Catholics (58 percent) is higher than that of the American public overall (55 percent).
And who exactly is the “Public Religion Research Institute? They describe themselves as “non-partisan”, which pretty much inevitably means “left-leaning”. You be the judge. Their piece on the poll doesn’t go into a lot more detail than Hogan’s puff piece.
Likewise, a Public Policy Polling survey commissioned by Planned Parenthood found that Obama’s position enjoys support from 56 percent of American voters. Of the Catholics polled, 53 percent agreed with the president.
Meanwhile, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops continues to decry the president’s decision, saying that it violates religious freedom.
And as we’ve noted in the past, PPP voter polls trend left of reality.
Look – I’ve expressed my skepticism that the Catholic Street really cares that much about the issue, or that the “middle management” would choose Vatican doctrine over progressivism. It could be that the polls are accurate. Since they seem to confirm my hunch, that’s a point in their favor 
But who did they poll? What questions did they ask?
And, more importantlly, why aren’t they teliling us who they polled and what they asked?
Remember – distrust but validate. Then, usually, distrust some more.
This morning, I wrote to agree with Chad the Elder that the Catholic grass roots didn’t look like they cared that much about religious freedom – in part because a Catholic (indeed, Christian) laity was pretty much desensitized. like the fabled “frog in boiling water”, to the effects of losing that freedom, and that their leadership hadn’t done much to change that in a few decades.
On the other hand? Maybe there’s some hope:
Catholic leaders are furious and determined to harness the voting power of the nation’s 70 million Catholic voters to stop a provision of President Barack Obama’s new heath car reform bill that will force Catholic schools, hospitals and charities to buy birth control pills, abortion-producing drugs and sterilization coverage for their employees.
“Never before, unprecedented in American history, for the federal government to line up against the Roman Catholic Church,” said Catholic League head Bill Donohue.
Already Archbishop Timothy Dolan has spoken out against the law and priests around the country have mobilized, reading letters from the pulpit. Donohue said Catholic officials will stop at nothing to put a stop to it.
Hopefully it’s not too little too late.
Last week, when I wrote about the stirrings of backlash on the part of some Catholic activists and Bishops over the Obamacare requirement that Catholic hospitals provide contraception and abortions, I expressed my doubt that mainstream Catholics really cared that much.
I got a few Catholics sounding off in my comment section that sounded a little more bellicose than I expected.
Chad the Elder over at Fraters – who is, unlike me, Catholic – is a lot less sanguine:
Many Catholics seem all too willing to erect their own wall between church and state and like to pretend that their politics has nothing to do with the Catholic Church and vice versa. The problem is that when the government breaks through that barrier and injects itself into the affairs of the Church by attempting to force it to accept policies that violate core tenants of its beliefs, the illusion of this happy little coexistence is shattered.
I’m not trying to be snotty, there – it’s a genuine question.
If people have little tangible investment in the practical results of religious freedom – if it’s more an intellectual and rhetorical parlor game than an immediate, vital part of their life – then will it “shatter” so much as “melt like stale jello?”
Well, at least it would be if the Church were more consistent and forceful in explaining exactly what is taking place and why it matters to American Catholics.
There’s that, too. Leaving aside that the laity themselves, to my observation, seem to think it’s an issue well above their pay grade, I have a strong hunch that a good chunk of the Catholic hierarchy is lukewarm on upsetting the progressive applecart.
For whatever reason, Elder’s observations seem to be in tune with mine:
My experience may not be typical, but so far little word of this current controversy has surfaced in our parish on any given Sunday. A few months ago, there was an insert in the bulletin that touched on it. Since then, nothing. No homilies, no presentations, no mention in the weekly bulletin. The only thing related to politics that has merited attention has been on the marriage front, with updates on the Minnesota Marriage Amendment appearing in the last few bulletins. But nothing on the Obamacare rules which are a direct threat to the freedom of the Catholic Church to exercise its religious beliefs.
In order for there to be action, there needs to be a call for it first. I fear that too many Catholic leaders are still reluctant to sound it.
And while I’m assured by many Catholic friends that some of the post-John-Paul-2 clergy is more conservative, I have serious questions as to whether that’s filtered down to an awful lot of lay Catholics and their immediate leadership. Chad’s observations don’t do much to dissuade me.
Of course, it’s similar in my own Presbyterian church (where, to be fair, the problem is opposite; an extremely liberal elected temporal leadership representing congregations that are frequently much more conservative.
Cliff Kincaid at Accuracy in Media reports that the Catholic Church – or parts of it, anyway – are up in arms (as it were) over the Obama administration’s mandates:
My Catholic priest, Father Larry Swink, delivered a homily on Sunday that I told him would make headlines. In the toughest sermon I have ever heard from a pulpit, he attacked the Obama Administration as evil, even demonic, and warned of religious persecution ahead. What was also newsworthy about the sermon was that he cited The Washington Post in agreement—not on the subject of the Obama Administration being evil, but on the matter of its abridgment of the constitutional right to freedom of religion.
What is happening is extraordinary and unprecedented. The Catholic Church is in open revolt against the Obama Administration, with Fr. Swink noting from the pulpit that priests across the archdiocese were joining the call on Sunday to rally Catholics to resistance against the U.S. Government. He said we are entering a time of religious persecution and that Catholics and others will have to make a final decision about which side they are on.
If true, that’s great news – but I gotta say I’m not nearly as sanguine.
I’m not Catholic – and in my observation, most Catholics outside the clergy and intelligentsia are as diligently observant of the Vatican’s rules as most Jews are of Kosher laws; birth control and hamburger on Friday are as common among Catholics as the odd bit of ham and Saturday shopping trips are among mainstream Jews.
And I know – exceptions exist, including among readers of this blog. But in my observation, there are vast swathes of the Catholic Church, in major cities, that either turns a blind eye to the inconvenient parts of the Vatican’s rules, or is willing to rationalize and ignore them in pursuit of a “progressive” political agenda – which accounts for a huge number of Catholic liberals I personally know.
Oh, the Bishops will make a ruckus:
The issue is what the Catholic Bishops have called a “literally unconscionable” edict by the Obama Administration demanding that sterilization, abortifacients and contraception be included in virtually all health plans.
At a time when the media are full of reports about who is ahead and behind in the polls, and who will win the next Republican presidential primary, this incredible uprising in the Catholic Church is something that could not only overshadow the political campaign season, but also may have a major impact on the ultimate outcome—if Republicans know how to handle it. This matter goes beyond partisan politics to the growing perception of an unconstitutional Obama Administration assault on religious freedom. To hear the Catholic Bishops and Priests describe it, our constitutional republic and our freedoms hang in the balance.
But if you go to St. Joan of Arc (to pick a far-left parish of my acquaintance), it’s all an un-issue, ignored for the “greater good”; many, perhaps the majority of Catholic parishes I know of in the Twin CIties would trade, at the clerical level as well as among a fair chunk of the laity, the Nicene Creed for single-payer health care and Cap and Trade.
So am I wrong? I’d especially like to hear from Catholics, here. Does anyone at your parish – from your priests on down – care about Obamacare? Has that “caring” been manifested in the form of “telling the congregation that it’s wrong, and that it’s going to screw with the what the Catholic Church supposedly holds dear?”
I’d be interested in hearing.
Tim Tebow gettingi knocked out of the playoffs is not “proof God doesn’t exist”.
It doesn’t matter how loudly you repeat it, or how much spittle flies out your mouth when you do.
In addition, it is wrong to say “Religion is losing” the game, as Christianity has no actual theological stance on the outcome of a football game, and you’d have to be a demented narcissistic douchebladder to suggest it (and, indeed, you are).
That is all.
Tim Tebow beats the Steelers,credits God, moves on:
“When I saw him scoring, first of all, I just thought, `Thank you, Lord,”‘ Tebow said. “Then, I was running pretty fast, chasing him — Like I can catch up to D.T! Then I just jumped into the stands, first time I’ve done that. That was fun. Then, got on a knee and thanked the Lord again and tried to celebrate with my teammates and the fans.”
Behind Tebow’s 316 yards passing, the Broncos (9-8) are heading to New England for a second-round game against the top-seeded Patriots on Saturday night.
And let the caterwauling begin.
Yesterday, I asked a question about the various “bullying” laws the left is proposing.
I asked – would it be considered bullying if I were to steal a young lesbian’s “Lady Gaga” CD – music that she found important in helping her discover her own identity – and to threaten to destroy it in an elaborate “ceremony” designed entirely to mock stereotypes of lesbianism.
I took a poll – and most agreed with me that that action would be bullying.
Of course, I’d never do such a thing.
But the real reason for the question was to ask liberals; if my hypothetical example was “bullying”, what would this be?
Because to me, the only difference between PZ Myers’ stunt from few years back – giggling about descrating a host from a Catholic service – and the sort of bullying that’s got lefties all exercised is the lack of a gay victim.
Joe Doakes from Como Park writes…:
Somali immigrants not doing the jobs Americans won’t do, shutting down the assembly line in the refrigerator factory for prayer during work hours.
What we have here is a failure to assimilate.
From the PiPress piece:
The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said Monday that more than a dozen employees of the appliance manufacturer Electrolux in St. Cloud are again being denied proper prayer breaks during the Ramadan fast.
The employees are participating in the latest claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, according to the Associated Press…This year, the company reduced the length of the meal break. Muslim employees say they no longer have enough time to break their fast and complete prayers after sunset.
Electrolux responded Monday by saying that, in advance of Ramadan this year, the company proposed three possible revised meal and break schedules and put in place the schedule preferred by the majority of the employees.
“Electrolux seeks to accommodate the religious needs of all of its employees,” the company said in a statement.
I’m seeing a real opportunity here for a Muslim parts subcontractor…
And seriously – I am amazed that refrigerators are still built in the US.
One of the five second sound bites about Michele Bachmann is her take on her church’s (occasional) commandment that wives be “submissive” to their husbands.
Most non-Christians, and/or more liberal Christians (and I don’t belong to a denomination that preaches it, by the way) for that matter either misunderstand the idea, or know nothing but the distorted idea of “submission” fed to them by people like, well, Bachmann’s critics.
One of the areas where it’s irrelevant is, well, the presidency. Michael Prell has an answer he’d suggest Bachmann give when she’s asked about the idea of “submission”.
Here’s the conclusion (read the whole thing here):
“Finally, as president, I will not be submissive to union bosses, to billionaire puppetmasters like George Soros, or to militant anti-American leftists who demonize our soldiers and preach ‘God damn America.’ And, unlike President Obama, I will not be submissive to indicted or convicted special interest groups like ACORN, or to Weatherman terrorists, or those who want to see Israel wiped from the map.”
“Instead, as President, I will be submissive to the American People, and to the Constitution, because as President I will honor my oath to serve both the Constitution and the People—unlike the current president of the United States and his minions who demonize patriotic and Constitution-loving Americans as ‘terrorists.’”
Submission is not the issue. It is who, and what, you submit to that matters.
That’s the real issue, and comparison, here; every tin-pot tyrant and banana-republic strongman is Barack Obama’s dominatrix.