Wednesday, September 24, 2008
"Abortion, Catholic Sex Scandals, the Bishop of Scranton, and Joe Biden's Communion
By John Mashek
Posted September 23, 2008
Once again, the emotionally charged issue of abortion has penetrated a presidential campaign, especially among Roman Catholic voters.
The bishop of Scranton, Pa., home to a strong conservative Catholic population, has forbidden Sen. Joe Biden, a Scranton native, from receiving communion in his hometown.
Biden, like 14 other Democrats in the Senate, is both pro-choice and Catholic. So the bishop decreed that the party's vice presidential candidate was not welcome at the communion rail. These Senate Democrats and many other Catholics—including this writer—do not necessarily favor abortion, but we do not feel our religious views should be foisted on others in a nation where church and state are divided.
Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey Jr. is the only Senate Democratic Catholic who is against abortion rights. Yet, he voted last year with the others on a bill that would have overturned the "Mexico City policy," which prohibits U.S. foreign aid for organizations that provide abortions. (Casey's late father, Pennsylvania Gov. Bob Casey, was also against abortion rights, and in 1992 Democrats made a big mistake by not allowing him to speak at the Democratic convention. He should have been heard. In 2008, the younger Casey did address the convention.)
In the 2004 election, Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts felt the wrath of some Catholic organizations for favoring abortion rights. A few prelates of the church said Kerry and other lawmakers who agreed with him should not receive communion.
As a Catholic since birth and one raised by a devout Irish Catholic mother, I have serious problems with my church on this matter.
I admit it relates in large part to the pedophilia scandals that have ripped the church in recent years. Many priests (roughly 5,000 were accused) have been found to have abused young males and young girls, some of them altar boys. For years, the problem was hidden from public view, with priests routinely sent to other parishes without warning the new church—and certainly without informing the authorities. Some cardinals were even involved, and they were, in my view, committing criminal acts as conspirators.
For the record, rape and child molestation are crimes. Covering it up is a crime. Abortion is not a crime because of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade.
More than $1 billion in church and insurance money has been paid to victims of pedophilia and their families for the suffering they endured. Most of the victims were youngsters who looked on priests as moral guardians and were afraid to even tell their parents.
In the past few years, but too slowly for me, the church has attempted to get rid of these men and prevent such an outrage from taking place again. Pope Benedict, in his trip to the United States earlier this year, talked forcefully about the personal sorrow he felt about this outrage.
Is it any wonder, though, that some of us resent this bishop in Scranton telling Biden he could not receive communion? He had to know it would hit the national news.
That division of church and state has application here. No priest, minister, or rabbi should be telling the flock how to vote or for whom. Some do, and they are wrong.
The Knights of Columbus, in a harsh attack on Biden in a full-page ad on September 19 in USA Today, said in sum: "Your unwillingness to bring your Catholic moral views into the public policy arena on this issue alone is troubling." Here's an answer to the Knights: Every survey in recent years shows that at least half the Catholics in the United States are pro-choice. I assume you would like to read us out of the church. I will not let you dictate to me on public policy, nor should Senator Biden.
In earlier days, the Catholic vote was strongly Democratic, largely among working-class citizens in urban areas. There has been a remarkable shift to the GOP in recent elections, and Sen. John McCain, the party's nominee, is certain to get strong Catholic support from conservatives in the church. Abortion is not the only reason, but it will be a significant factor.
Whether Joe Biden is allowed to receive communion in his hometown may not seem like a big event in this fall campaign, yet it is important and disturbing to this Catholic."
Like so many others have in recent years, Mashek uses the sex abuse scandal as a scapegoat for his real prejudices against the Church (and like every other person who seems more interested in tarnishing the Church's reputation than in getting to the truth of the matter, Mashek prefers to cite the number of priests accused, but says nothing of how many of the accused have been found guilty of wrongdoing or - as is far more likely to be the case - exonerated). In fact, if one goes by what is written in the article - Mashek's own words - the entire basis of his disagreement with the Church's opposition to abortion supporters giving scandal to the faithful through sacrilegious Communion seems to be the fact that 5,000 priests have been accused of sexual abuse of minors and some members of the hierarchy were involved in covering it up, and the Church did not react to it as quickly as he would have liked.
Going by this logic, then, Mashek must really have it in for the teaching profession, since incidents of teacher sex abuse are far more prevalent on a per capita basis than they are in the priesthood. I look forward to Mashek's article discussing his opposition to the NEA's agenda based on that entity's lack of a strong stance against the problem of teacher sex abuse. I'll know it's coming because it will be immediately preceded by the one in which he confesses that it was he, and not the midi-chlorians, who fathered Anakin Skywalker.
A few more fallacies to point out:
- The fact that Bob Casey Jr. supports repeal of the Mexico City Policy logically contradicts Mashek's assertion that Casey opposes abortion rights (so does Casey's unabashed support of the most radically pro-abortion Presidential candidate in American history, but I digress...)
- Biden, like 14 other Democrats in the Senate, is pro-abortion and are by virtue of that fact latae sententiae excommunicates, and therefore not part of the communion of the Church's faithful.
- Mashek claims that the "separation of Church and state" keeps him from wanting to impose his religious views on the rest of the country. Increasingly, this unwillingness seems to apply only to opposition of abortion. It certainly does not seem apply when it comes to imposing abortion on an unreceptive populace, which I assure you is about as fervently religious a tenet as the political left embraces. So remind me: why am I not supposed to take it as an insult to my intelligence when you tell me you are "personally opposed to abortion, but unwilling to impose your views on others" when such a position would logically dictate that you abstain from voting on abortion-related issues, rather that having a perfect voting record that directly contradicts your purported "personal opposition"?
- Mashek makes the argument that the Catholic Church is more criminal in its behavior than pro-aborts based on current laws regarding the criminality of sex abuse and the legality of abortion, and lets the argument hang as if to imply that this somehow makes the Church more morally corrupt than abortion supporters. Like most dissenters, Mashek seems to think that human lawmakers have more of a say in what is right and what is wrong than does the Divine Lawmaker Himself. He also uses the argument that half of American Catholics are "pro-choice." OK. All that means is that half of American Catholics hold a view that is in direct contradiction to the Church to which they claim to belong. Only those who do so in ignorance of the Church's position have any legitimate claim to still being Catholic.
- Mashek implies that the legitimate exercise of a Bishop's right to direct a self-described Catholic to refrain from receiving Communion while causing grave scandal to the faithful is somehow an endorsement of a political candidate and a breach of the wall that separates Church and state. Little wonder that he criticizes the Bishop of Scranton for this decidedly Catholic stance: those words could just as easily apply to Mashek himself for the grave scandal he gives to the faithful in writing this atrocity of an article.
There are other things to point out. I shall leave it to any readers out there to comment on them. I pray this message finds you well. Pray for this election, and pray for a conversation of the souls of unfaithful pseudo-Catholics like Joe Biden and John Mashek. It is hard enough to spread the Gospel truth without having to deal with their counterproductive seeds of confusion. God bless!
In Jesus and Mary,
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I know posting has been a bit less frequent lately, I hope to be able to get back to posting more regularly as time progresses. Please keep me in prayer, as there are some periods of transition that lay ahead of me: some good, some not so good.
In the meantime, I just thought I'd share this video I found on Youtube. I've made mention a few times of the name Saul Alinsky, the so-called "Father of Community Organizing" (you can read my original post on Alinsky here). Among other things, Alinsky was a known associate of Frank Nitti, Al Capone, and other members of the 1930's Chicago criminal underground, and was also a known collaborator with the Communist Party in the United States. Alinsky's life and thought were such a great influence to Barack Obama that Obama actually chose to move to Chicago and become a community organizer in order to follow in Alinsky's footsteps.
In the following Youtube video, we are given a bit more insight into just what Obama's career as a community organizer entailed. Pay special attention to what is said about Alinsky and also what is said about Obama's connection to the notorious group ACORN, which in press releases has proudly identified Obama as one of its own (without any argument from Obama) and which is currently under indictment in seven states for voter registration fraud relating to the 2004 and 2006 election cycles (with more indictments likely to come).
It's a comfort to know that if Obama becomes President, he can draw upon his vast experience as a disciple of the Saul Alinsky model of "community organizing" to get enemy dictators voted out of office by finding a handful of that country's dissidents (or, as dictators commonly refer to them, "victims of unfortunate accidents"), whipping them into a frenzy with empty promises of undefined "change", and then getting them to vote 20,000,000 times apiece. All he has to do is wait for those dictators to hold their regularly-scheduled democratic elections.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I wanted to direct your attention to two great articles I read recently. I strongly encourage you take the time to read them both:
Why The Left Hates Sarah Palin - I haven't really commented on the selection of Sarah Palin as John McCain's vice-Presidential choice. I still would have preferred Bobby Jindal, but I must say I feel a lot better about voting for John McCain in the coming election. Seeing the hysterical response from the left - especially from the radical feminists, the self-appointed "representatives" of women everywhere - has me in stitches. It illustrates the hypocritical double-standard the left applies to women based entirely on ideology. It also shows just how misogynistic the radical feminist movement really is, as their vitriolic denouncements of Sarah Palin as a "step backwards" for the cause of women everywhere is based entirely on the fact that Palin, unlike the Gloria Steinems of the world, has actually chosen to embrace her femininity and those aspects of humanity - such as being a proud wife and mother - that are unique to womanhood (and which the radical feminists have chosen to abandon in a pathetic attempt to emphasize their equality with men. If only they realized that equality and sameness are two distinctly separate things...).
What most strikes me about this article is that author Jeffrey Bell goes right to the root of the agenda of the political left. Unlike other pundits, who prefer to deal with the War on Terror, the economy, and immigration at the expense of the more important (but infinitely more contentious) issues of morality that are at the core of social conservatism, Bell tackles the problem head-on and correctly identifies the need to reject the morality of Christendom as the core of the liberalism that arose out of the French Revolution in the 1790s and which is wholly obsessed with creating a completely secular morality over which they can exercise full control and of which they can serve as sole arbiters. Please, please read the article. Bell hits the mark like few other political columnists have in recent memory.
The Speaker's Unusual Description of Catholic Dogma - Paul Weyrich has long been one of my favorite political writers; and thanks to this treasure nugget of an article, Thaddeus McCotter has just become one of my favorite Congressmen.
Nancy Pelosi looks like a deer in the headlights anytime she ventures outside the comfort zone of political obfuscation and tries her hand at theological obfuscation. We should have seen it as a sign of things to come when, upon taking over as House Minority Leader following the 2002 congressional mid-term elections, the pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, pro-embryonic stem cell research, former priest wannabe had the gall to state: "I'm a liberal Democrat, but I'm a conservative Catholic." Naturally. I'm guessing in Madame Speaker's parallel universe, the Marquis de Sade had a healthy sexual ethic.
I congratulate her on one positive accomplishment, however: she has succeeded in stirring many usually lethargic U.S. Bishops to issue pastoral corrections against her ill-advised (and blatantly disingenuous) remarks. Perhaps this will force the USCCB to accept the fact that pro-abort Catholic politicians do not deserve our vote just because they happen to support minimum wage increases.
Read both articles, and enjoy. God bless!
In Jesus and Mary,
Monday, September 8, 2008
My comfort, my advocate, my sweet and beautiful Lady. May you ever be near me, enfolding me in your loving embrace and leading me, through your own Immaculate Heart, ever deeper into the Sacred Heart of your beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Happy Birthday!
Your grateful child
Monday, September 1, 2008
Enter Barack "Citizen of the World" Obama, who a few weeks ago made a tour of Europe where he was greeted with a hero's welcome at every stop. Of course, the people of Europe don't vote for President of the United States (thank God for that!) and Obama is not in fact President of the United States (though given the people he surrounds himself with, such presumptuous behavior should surprise no one). Like Kennedy before him, he attempted to show solidarity with the people of the world. Unfortunately, his display showed a definite lack of solidarity with the people of the United States of America.
Anyone who knows me knows that I enjoy engaging in deep theological and philosophical discussions. I do also enjoy lighthearted discussion, but I have little tolerance for people who present themselves as having all the answers yet refuse to share any of them. This tends to apply to most politicians, though people like Barack Obama tend to elevate the "intelligent fluff speech" to an art form.
It frustrates me to no end that we live in a day and age where people are so intellectually lazy that they demand all of life's difficult questions be answered in a convenient 10 second soundbyte. Like George Costanza, these intellectual sloths are drawn to toilet humor because they like things they don't have to think about too much. When discussing religion, they insist on using an arbitrary interpretation of select passages of the Holy Bible that is based on nothing more than personal experience and completely ignores the context in which the passages were written or the 2000 years of wisdom that have gone into interpreting such passages. When discussing politics, they prefer pre-selected Youtube questions to a classic Lincoln-Douglas debate, and obliging politicians have complied and in the process reduced political discourse to a pitiful pre-Kindergarten playground banter. And in their personal lives, they adopt a "live and let live" mentality devoid of personal accountability because they don't want to offend anyone and demand not to be offended themselves.
I apologize if this comes across as belittling or condescending to anyone; but in a day and age where people speculate about the vast potential of the parts of the human brain we are unable to use, is it too much to ask that we first concern ourselves with mastering the use of those parts of the brain we actually do understand?
One of the greatest weapons the devil has in his ongoing war against humanity is our own ignorance. He has worked overtime to ensure that we remain ignorant to his evil machinations, and we must grudgingly admit that he is very good at his job. Ignorance is the same weapon employed by the Saul Alinskys of the world, and continues to be employed by their disciples (including one Barack Hussein Obama).
We have brains, people. Let's use them. Unless, of course, we are content to let others believe that we think of ourselves as jelly doughnuts. God bless!
In Jesus and Mary,