Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hillary Clinton Visits An Icon Of The Pro-Life Movement On Thursday, Receives An Award From An Icon Of The Pro-Abortion Movement On Friday

We have assurances from the Obama administration that the Secretary of State's visit to the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe and her claims to be overcome by a sense of peace while there were in no way politically motivated.

We also have assurances that there are no imminent plans to superimpose Michelle Obama's face over that of Our Lady.

That last one I actually believe. The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is that of a pregnant woman, and the Obamas have expressed a lack of interest in being punished with another child.

Hat tip to The Curt Jester, who takes it from here. God bless!

In Jesus and Mary,

Friday, March 27, 2009

I Lost My Job A Month Ago Today...

...and it has been one of the most peaceful and most productive months I've had in years.

It's an interesting feeling, being laid off from a job from which you have been praying for deliverance for years. I was working as a customer service representative at a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida call center. The insurance plan that I serviced was that of the Federal Employee Program. I answered calls for seven and a half hours a day. There were some interesting moments, and even some entertaining ones; but without going into too much detail, the job was a huge cross for me. I honestly don't know how much longer I could have lasted.

A month ago today, at approximately 11:15 on a Friday morning, I was on a call when my service manager left a small post-it note on my desk asking me to see her after the call. I had a feeling I knew what was coming, since the company was in the habit of doing lay offs on Fridays. The post-it note was pink: that should have been the first clue, though I didn't think about it at the time. When the call ended, I went to see my manager, and she asked me to walk with her downstairs. I knew then that I would not be returning to the floor; and despite the current state of the economy, I felt like a huge burden was about to be lifted from my shoulders.

My manager made small talk as we approached the elevator (as I worked on the 13th floor and suffer from a recurring case of sciatica, walking down the stairs was out of the question). As we approached the elevator, one of the gentlemen whose job is to make sure we are well-stocked with office supplies was waiting to board an elevator heading down. He must have known what was happening, because when he saw who was about to join him, he stepped aside and let us in. He did not follow; and as the elevator doors closed, he studiously avoided making eye contact with me. So did my manager, even as she continued her small talk. It was obvious to me that she did not enjoy this part of her job: it is not her job to decide who stays and who goes, though in typical bureaucratic fashion those who make such decisions leave it to others to break the bad news in person. I thought about telling her to relax, and that I knew what was coming. Yet I chose not to, not wanting to stick my foot in my mouth on the remote chance that I was not, in fact, about to be fired.

It's difficult to explain what I was feeling at the time. There was a sense of anticipation, to be sure, though it was mingled with a touch of dread as to how I was going to break the news to those closest to me. Mostly, though, I felt like a new adventure was about to begin, like a new chapter with infinite possibilities lay ahead of me.

Please understand, it's not that I hate working. When I took the job at Blue Cross and Blue Shield, it was out of dire financial necessity. Months of looking for a job that would let me put my MA Theology degree to use had proven fruitless, and I had less than $25 to my name and a mountain of debt when I accepted the job. In the two and half years since, I have continued to search for work relating to my chosen field of study. I have dozens of rejection letters to show for my efforts.

The job itself had aspects to it that made it difficult for a Catholic to cope. The insurance plan I serviced did not cover abortions, except in the proverbial cases of "rape, incest, and the health of the mother." As those who trained me in the job emphasized that coverage for medical services was largely based on medical necessity and contraceptives were covered without any restrictions (as routine preventive care, no less - apparently, celibacy and unplanned pregnancy are two maladies that need to be guarded against), I knew how little it took for a doctor to prove that abortion was justifiable based on the "health of the mother." For two and half years, I dreaded receiving a call dealing with abortion or requesting a referral to an abortion provider. I am eternally grateful that this phone call never came.

Leaving Steubenville was as big a culture shock for me as arriving there had been. I knew going back into the secular world was going to be a struggle after having essentially lived in a Catholic bubble for three years. And this job was as secular as it gets. There are far more anti-Catholics environments than the one I was in for two and half years; but this job environment drained me not because of its hostility to my faith, but rather because of its apathy towards it. Casual conversations about behaviors frowned upon by the Church were common, and to do our jobs "effectively," we were expected to "process phone calls" rather than help customers. I received a number of heart-rending calls in my time there, and I was expected to adopt a businesslike attitude towards such people in order to meet my weekly production quotas. I simply didn't have it in me.

I also didn't have the luxury of going to and from this job in a short commute. I had to ride a public bus because there weren't enough cars (or the money to buy enough cars) in the household to allow me a chance to get to work at my own pace. I lost three hours a day on the buses getting to and from work, and I doubt I need to explain what those three hours would have meant to anyone who works for a living. There was at least one benefit - and a wonderful benefit it was! - to the bus-riding arrangement, and that was the fact that I had ample opportunity to pray a full set of mysteries of the Rosary on the way to and from work each day. I can't begin to count the number of times I wept on that bus as I prayed, or the number of times the Blessed Mother drew me - tears and all - into her loving embrace. If not for those prayers and my awareness of those embraces, there is no doubt in my mind that I would not have endured through those two and half years.

So as I rode down the elevator with my service manager - a truly sweet and compassionate lady that I pray will find a job better suited to her personality - the realization that the brutal daily routine I had followed for two and a half years was about to come to an end filled me with a sense of peace that not even the imminent loss of a steady cash flow could overshadow. As it turned out, they were more generous than I thought they would be, offering me a full month's severance and the ability to collect unemployment at the end of that period. As I had several months' worth of salary in my savings account - ironically set aside to buy a car - and had yet to file my taxes, I realized I had a decent nest egg to see me through the foreseeable future. It was with a heartfelt "Thank you" to God that I walked out of that building for the last time. The subsequent bus ride home was the most relaxing and peaceful trip I'd ever experienced courtesy of a public transit authority.

As I sit here a month later - exactly 4 weeks since the lay off occurred in February - I can fully understand now the sentiment of a friend and former co-worker who left the company 3 months before I did: a month away from that place does a world of good to the human spirit. And there are no words to describe what a wonderful feeling it is to be able to do things with the time and attention that they deserve. Those of you who share my meticulous nature will know what I mean.

As I continue to search for work - especially work relating to my degree - in what is a very unfavorable economic climate, I find myself now in the same exact position I was in three years ago: with absolutely no idea of what the future holds or of the means by which God will sustain me through the trials that lay ahead. It reminds me of the closing lyrics to one my favorite Christian songs, the late and great Rich Mullins' Hard to Get:

...And I can't see how You're leading me
Unless You've led me here
Where I'm lost enough to let myself be led
And so You've been here all along I guess
It's just Your ways and You are
Just plain hard to get.

Amen. God bless!

In Jesus and Mary,

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Separation of Church and State? Obama Administration Trying To Silence Vatican Official

For many of the readers of this blog, Archbishop Raymond Burke - soon to be Cardinal Burke, if past tradition holds - needs no introduction. He first began to make national headlines during the 2002 mid-term elections when, as Bishop of the Diocese of Lacrosse, Wisconsin, he warned elected Catholic officials from his diocese who supported legalized abortion not to present themselves for Holy Communion. By the time of the 2004 Presidential election, he was Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis, and he once again made national headlines by advising then-Presidential nominee John Kerry to refrain from presenting himself for Communion at any parish in his diocese (Kerry instead chose to attend a Paulist center in Boston on those Sundays where he bothered to attend Catholic Mass, aside from the errant trip to Idaho where he appeared for Sunday Mass 15 minutes late and dressed in a ski suit, sauntered to the front of the Church where the first few rows of pews had been reserved for him and his entourage, and then had a cameraman record his receiving Communion for a next-day press release. What a touching show of humility. But I digress...). Archbishop Burke has since remained an outspoken opponent of allowing pro-abort Catholic politicians to present themselves for Communion, even forcing a debate on the issue within the painfully non-confrontational United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

It must have caused great consternation among pro-abortion politicians and a disturbingly sizable number of U.S. Bishops when on June 27, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI named Archbishop Burke Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the Catholic Church's equivalent to Chief Justice of the United States. As the second-ranking judicial officer of the Catholic Church (behind only the Pope), the Archbishop now oversees canonical matters in the Church. As Archbishop Burke's stance against the reception of Communion by pro-abortion politicians was an argument he based on Canon Law, his appointment to the position of highest ranking canon lawyer in the Church by the Pope can only be construed as an affirmation of his stance on the matter.

Burke's elevation to the Roman Curia has not stopped his criticisms of self-identified Catholic politicians who support legalized abortion. One such politician is Kathleen Sebelius, presently the governor of Kansas and Barack Obama's choice to be the Secretary of Health and Human Services. As an ardent supporter of legalized partial birth abortion and avowed apologist for infamous abortionist George Tiller (more on Sebelius' pro-abortion political activities, and a list of links further detailing those activities, can be found here), Kathleen Sebelius has long been an enemy of the pro-life movement in Kansas, thus making her a perfect fit for Obama's cabinet.

It should come as no surprise that Archbishop Burke is no gushing admirer of Sebelius. His criticisms of her closely mirror those of Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, who has publicly made his own opposition to her fitness to receive Communion public knowledge after a private meeting failed to sway Sebelius' stance. This has apparently made Burke a target of the Obama administration, and word is now spreading of an imminent attempt by the administration to exert pressure on the Vatican to silence Burke. If the abortionist-in-chief is truly serious about this, then I think he is about to receive some insight as to what Jesus meant when He said that "the Gates of Hell shall not prevail" against His Church.

Still, the mere mention of the possibility that Obama will try to unduly influence Vatican policy should make the hairs on the back of any faithful Catholic's neck stand on end. I pray his first attempt is his last attempt, and I already know that it will be a miserable failure of an attempt at that. The silver-tongued appendage of the eloquent teleprompter-in-chief will not mesmerize the Vicar of Christ, nor will the strong arm of the Obama administration silence the head of the Apostolic Signatura.

For a more detailed perspective on this matter, please read this wonderful piece by Austin Ruse (who along with his wife Cathleen Cleaver Ruse heads the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute).

As events unfold, I'll be sure to pass along whatever other information comes my way.

Happy reading. I pray this finds you well. God bless!

In Jesus and Mary,

Surprise, Surprise: Leftist Front Group "Catholics United" Praises Notre Dame For Hosting Obama, Attacks Critics As Right-Wing "Partisan Operatives"

A few weeks ago, I shared my thoughts relating to a personal encounter with a highly ranked member of the fraudulently named group "Catholic United," which dedicates itself to giving "Catholic" cover to their favored left-leaning politicians as well as to minimizing said politicians' aiding and abetting of the culture of death (which they do by trying to create some kind of warped moral equivalence between opposing murder in the womb and the destruction of human embryos for unproven scientific research with issues that carry considerably less moral weight, such as socialized health care, environmental legislation, welfare reform, and minimum wage increases). You can revisit that post by scrolling further down or by by clicking here.

I've been checking their website since this past Saturday, waiting for their inevitable statement praising Notre Dame's invitation to Barack Obama as its 2009 commencement speaker and their equally inevitable denunciations of those who have engaged in their Catholic moral obligation to denounce this scandalous action. That statement came yesterday, courtesy of a blog post. Predictably, they say that "President Obama’s appearance at Notre Dame will be nothing short of an honor for all Catholics."

Groups like Catholics United sadden me more than they anger me. The movement of dissent among so-called "Catholic" individuals and groups in this country has been going on for decades. There is no one cause to this, as a number of factors have converged to make it happen.

There is credible evidence, for instance, that Communists succeeded in infiltrating the Church at different levels to foment seeds of dissension, though this is something that various enemies of the Church have tried since the Church's founding, and this alone would hardly account for the woeful state we find ourselves in today.

The takeover of a large number of Catholic seminaries by modernists - which resulted in the formation and ordination of many men who never intended to abide by their vow of obedience (and in numerous unfortunate cases, the vow of chastity) - helped pave the way for dissent by gradually weakening the leadership of the Church in this country, and with it the laity's resistance to unsound teaching.

The advent of liberation theology, with its Marxist leanings, is certainly a contributing factor, directing the minds of many towards salvation from earthly forms of oppression while blinding many to the greater realities of spiritual salvation and the life of holiness we are called to live in order to show God our desire for that salvation and our desire to please Him above all else.

The widespread misrepresentation of the documents of Vatican II by faithless apostates was a large contributor, as many enemies of doctrinal orthodoxy have tried to create the impression that there is some kind of discontinuity between Vatican II and the twenty ecumenical councils that came before it, so as to foment the notion that the Church has taken a radical turn in its belief and practice since 1965 (which it has not).

In the aftermath of Vatican II, the previously detailed Land 'O Lakes Statement was a big step towards promoting dissent in Catholic universities (though such dissent was already brewing at the time of the statement, this document had the effect of "legitimizing" it in the eyes of many in the academic world).

Land 'O Lakes, in turn, was a stepping stone to the Charles Curran-led "academia" protest of Pope Paul VI's wonderful 1968 encyclical affirming the Church's long-held ban on artificial contraception, Humanae Vitae. The disingenuous campaign waged by Curran and his cohorts thrust the notion of "conscience" into the mix by stating that individuals could in good conscience dissent from those Church teachings - such as contraception - by which they could not "reasonably" be expected to abide (absent from dissident discussions of conscience, of course, was talk of the need to form one's conscience according to Catholic belief and the role the four cardinal virtues - prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude - played in this formation).

In 1976, Detroit hosted the so-called "Call to Action" conference - originally convened for the purpose of addressing post-Vatican II abuses but which was quickly hijacked by post-Vatican II abusers - an event often seen as a starting point for organized dissent among the hundreds of heretical groups that have cropped up since. Make no mistake: these dissident groups - such as Call to Action, the abhorrently-named pro-abortion group Catholics for a Free Choice, Voice of the Faithful (formed after the media coverage of the priest sex abuse scandals in order to exploit public outrage to promote married clergy, women's ordination, and acceptance of homosexual behavior as "remedies" for the crisis), FutureChurch (largely focused on promoting women's ordination, but which is more generally an outlet for radical feminist ideology), the Association of Rights for Catholics in the Church (or ARCC, which is dedicated to destroying the power of the clergy in favor of a "democratic" Church led by dissidents), and yes, Catholics United - exist primarily to confuse the faithful about what the Church truly teaches on matters of faith and morals, to downplay the Church's emphasis on sin and repentance, and to breed distrust of the Magisterium. The ultimate goal of this for most dissenters is to replace the Church founded by Christ with one created on their own image, and which enshrines their warped moral, philosophical, and political views as the new law of God. Others simply want to erase the existence of an entity that is an impediment to the promotion of their agenda.

I would normally be inclined to say that Catholics United falls into the first category, were it not for the fact that I am now familiar with some aspects of its leadership, and am more inclined to believe that the group is an unwitting puppet whose strings are being pulled by more sinister forces that fall into the second category.

Nevertheless, the actions of Catholics United in giving uncritical support to Obama and in trying to give cover to the scandalous actions of the administration of the University of Notre Dame in extending their invitation to Barack Obama are nothing short of a scandal unto themselves, and should be exposed as such. Do not be deceived by Catholics United or other groups into thinking that the Notre Dame commencement controversy is anything less than the scandal that it truly is. God bless!

In Jesus and Mary,

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Happy Feast Of The Annunciation!

What with all the craziness going on lately, we should remember to celebrate important days in the Church liturgical year when they come upon us. As we are now exactly 9 months away from Christmas, the Church has fittingly designated March 25 as the Feast of the Annunciation, during which the archangel Gabriel announced to the Blessed Mother of the imminent Incarnation of Our Lord, and also a commemoration of Mary's "yes." I shared my thoughts on the Incarnation in a previous post, which I encourage you to revisit. I also leave you with the following beautiful image, courtesy of Salve Maria Regina:

Our Lady, Patroness of the Unborn, Ora Pro Nobis.

Happy feast day, and God bless!

In Jesus and Mary,

A Notre Dame Alumnus Responds

As you have probably figured out by now, I'm taking this Notre Dame/Barack Obama commencement scandal quite seriously. Here's another response from a Notre Dame alumnus, courtesy of Youtube:

Beautifully put. God bless!

In Jesus and Mary,

Notre Dame Students Mount Organized Response In Protest Of Obama Invitation

If I haven't made it clear in previous posts that there are elements of orthodoxy at the University of Notre Dame, then I apologize. I know many good and orthodox people affiliated with the university who are every bit as outraged - if not more so - by the scandal being perpetrated by Notre Dame President Fr. John I. Jenkins and his cohorts.

Though the majority of the student body at Notre Dame actually voted for Obama and is supportive of him, there is a sizable minority of students and student groups who have organized a formal, ongoing response to the scandal being waged in the name of their university. You can keep up with this effort by visiting their website.

Notre Dame students are adamant that all efforts should be student or alumni-led, as they have the most intimate knowledge of all the circumstances. I will concede that point. However, I think many of those on the inside looking out do not fully grasp the gravity of the situation outside the university. This is not merely a local scandal, but one that affects the entire Church due to Notre Dame's reputation and status. While I agree that no one from the outside should attempt to usurp local and campus efforts being waged against this scandal, neither should those on the inside denounce efforts from without just because they think that no one on the outside understands all the nuances of the situation. Every Catholic who loves the Church and what she stands for has a personal stake in this matter. As such, all efforts should work with one another and towards the same goal without stepping on one another's toes. And efforts should be waged on different fronts, because no one effort will be able to reach into every segment of the Catholic population.

That said, anyone attempting to exploit the present situation for the primary purpose of gaining personal prestige - whether they be on the inside looking out or on the outside looking in - will do far more harm than good. This includes the architects of the scandal, as well as those who wish to prolong the scandal as a means to draw attention to themselves. I will not here name names: you know who you are, and your Father who is in Heaven sees what is in your heart, even if you refuse to acknowledge that fact. Take that for what it's worth.

For those who recognize this scandal for what it is: get the word out, and support the Notre Dame students in their efforts. God bless!

In Jesus and Mary,

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Notre Dame Scandal From A Professor's Perspective

This is an interesting read. The original article link can be found here, courtesy of (I know very little about this site, so at present I cannot attest to its orthodoxy or lack thereof).

Dr. Ralph McInerney has long been an orthodox voice for Catholics on a variety of matters. He is a co-founder of Crisis magazine, author of numerous books, and in June he will retire from his professorship at Notre Dame after 54 years of teaching philosophy.

Amidst the controversy generated by the Notre Dame/Obama commencement scandal, Dr. McInerney decided to weigh in on the issue. Given his status as an insider and an eyewitness to both the best and the worst that Notre Dame has had to offer these last 50 years (and what a contrast that is!), I am one to pay attention to what he has to say. The article, in its entirety, has been pasted below. Enjoy. God bless!

Is Obama Worth a Mass?
By Ralph McInerny

Now that the abortion president will be honored and feted and listened to at Notre Dame’s commencement, the question becomes, who will say the commencement Mass?

The University of Notre Dame has officially and with much self-satisfaction invited President Barack Obama to address its 2009 graduates and to receive an honorary law degree. Not to put too fine a point on it, this is a deliberate thumbing of the collective nose at the Roman Catholic Church to which Notre Dame purports to be faithful. Faithful? Tell it to Julian the Apostate.

That someone who procures or advocates abortion thereby excludes himself from communion with the Church has been clear doctrine all along, and increasingly bishops have found the courage to tell those Catholic politicians who are the great enablers of abortion legislation that they cannot receive Holy Communion. Is it any worse to celebrate such a politician as Barack Obama? So where does that put ND President Father Jenkins? He can hardly say Mass without receiving the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, so doubtless he will recuse himself and have someone else say the Mass. But to whom will he go? All his cohorts must come under the same cloud as he. Perhaps the pastor of the president’s erstwhile church in Chicago will be invited to harangue the assembled graduates and parents and faculty – those who can bring themselves to attend commencement this year. Why not?

Perhaps because, having been reminded of the sermons he heard over the years, Barack Obama distanced himself, as they say, from the fiery orator at whose feet he sat for decades. In this, whatever his motives, he has perhaps pointed a way for the Notre Dame administrators to redeem themselves. Perhaps they are unaware of Obama’s record on abortion. Perhaps they have not been paying attention to what he has already done as president. On being reminded of all this, and mindful of the parlous position this puts them into vis-a-vis the Church if they thus celebrate the president, perhaps they will as publicly rescind their invitation as they have issued it? Don’t count on it.

For one whose fifty-four year career as a member of the Notre Dame faculty is coming to an end this June, it is a bitter thing to reflect on the 2009 commencement speaker. It is of course convenient to have an excuse to absent oneself from the festivities. Listening to commencement addresses is the penalty that graduates must pay to receive their diplomas. One can count memorable commencement speeches on the cuticle of one finger. They are ceremonial occasions that will be little remembered and less celebrated. One has groaned at previous selections, but the invitation to Barack Obama is far from being the usual effort of the university to get into warm contact with the power figures of the day. It is an unequivocal abandonment of any pretense at being a Catholic university. And it is in sad continuity with decades of waffling that have led with seeming inevitability to it.

No event was more crucial for Catholic universities than the infamous 1967 Land O’Lakes statement in which the assembled presidents of Catholic institutions declared their freedom from the supposedly baleful influence of Catholic orthodoxy. They would continue to call themselves Catholic, but the definition of the term was constantly under construction. And this by institutions whose task is decidedly not to define what Catholicism is. And now we have come to the point where the University of Notre Dame is publicly excluding itself from allegiance to and acceptance of one of the most fundamental of Christian moral truths, mentioned explicitly in the Didache and again and again over the centuries. Abortion is an essentially evil act, both from the viewpoint of natural morality and from the explicit teaching the Church. There is no way in which an individual, a politician or an institution can finesse that fact.

By inviting Barack Obama as commencement speaker, Notre Dame is telling the nation that the teaching of the Catholic church on this fundamental matter can be ignored. Lip service may be paid to the teaching on abortion, but it is no impediment to upward mobility, to the truly vulgar lust to be welcomed into secular society, whether on the part of individuals or institutions.

Some years ago, Archbishop Michael Miller in his Vatican capacity as overseer of Catholic education, said in an address at Notre Dame that the Holy Father was considering prohibiting the use of “Catholic” by institutions whose behavior contradicts that use. By inviting Barack Obama to be the 2009 commencement speaker, Notre Dame has forfeited its right to call itself a Catholic university. It invites an official rebuke. May it come.

Ralph McInerny is a writer of philosophy, fiction, and cultural criticism, who has taught at Notre Dame since 1955.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Fr. Jenkins Confirms Intention To Give Scandal To The Catholic Faithful, Says Obama "Honors" Notre Dame By Accepting Invitation To Speak At Graduation

The article is from It seems that Notre Dame President Fr. John I. Jenkins is intent on going through with this, and says he is honored by Barack Obama's acceptance. Like most who try to give cover to enemies of the faith, he says he hopes this will create an opportunity for "dialogue."

I think it is time that people stopped making excuses for Fr. Jenkins. Whatever platitudes or token gestures he may offer to satiate orthodox Notre Dame students, faculty, and alumni no longer give credence to the notion that he is genuinely interested in restoring the university's Catholic identity.

I, for one, believe that the university would be better off with a President who places the spiritual well-being of the students above the financial health and prestige of the university. It is time for Fr. Jenkins to resign. If he will not do so, then it is time for the Board of Trustees to remove him and replace him with someone who recognizes the true mission of a Catholic university. And if the Board of Trustees will not do so, then I think it is time for higher authorities to consider whether or not the University of Notre Dame should be allowed to continue to give scandal under the guise of a Catholic institution of higher learning.

I know that many of my friends who are either attending or have graduated from the University of Notre Dame will take exception to my stance on this matter; but there is no nuancing this scandalous behavior. Barack Obama is an enemy of the Catholic Church, and should never be afforded a forum by a Catholic institution to legitimize his anti-Catholic stances in the eyes of the faithful.

This is not a call to action on my part. At least, not yet. I am aware that a great many efforts are currently underway both inside and outside the Notre Dame community, and I am content for now to join my voice to theirs. However, I will not allow anyone to deceive me into thinking that this is anything less than a failing of moral courage and leadership on the part of Fr. John I. Jenkins, and any efforts now being mounted to protest Barack Obama's appearance at Notre Dame's 2009 commencement ceremonies must include calls to hold Fr. Jenkins accountable for this decidedly anti-Catholic action. Feel free to express agreement or disagreement on the matter. I would like to know where others stand on this. God bless!

In Jesus and Mary,

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Notre Dame To Have Barack Obama As Commencement Speaker: Only The Latest In A Long Line Of Scandals

When Fr. John I. Jenkins was elected President of the University of Notre Dame on April 30, 2004, it was hoped that he would take decisive action against dissident factions within the university, something his two predecessors were unwilling to do. Several friends of mine were among those who expressed great optimism over the new administration; and indeed, Fr. Jenkins' inaugural address in 2005 served only to fuel that optimism. The leadership page of Notre Dame's website includes the following quote from that inaugural address:

"If we are clear in our purpose, we will excel in our ideals. This will be my priority and my passion as President of Notre Dame."

It took all of one scandal to call Fr. Jenkins' priorities and passions into question.

For years, the university had been allowing an annual production of the vulgar play "The Vagina Monologues" to be held on campus. I'll let you find out about this play on your own, if you dare: there are standards for what I will and will not say on this blog. A growing faction of students were expressing outrage that such a play would be allowed in a Catholic setting, and they appealed to Fr. Jenkins to put and end to this atrocity. On the other side, Fr. Jenkins was under increasing pressure from a number of dissident factions to leave things as they were. This included a large number of faculty members who allegedly threatened to resign if Fr. Jenkins banned the play from campus. I know many good and decent Catholic administrators who would have welcomed such a golden opportunity to rid themselves of so many negative influences in one fell swoop. Instead, Fr. Jenkins betrayed the students who had placed their trust in him to restore the Catholic identity of the university with a "compromise": the sponsoring department would decide for itself whether or not to hold the event on campus, but would be required to have a "dialogue" afterwards in which all sides were presented. Conveniently, Fr. Jenkins left it to the department to decide how best to represent each point of view.

In making this decision, Fr. Jenkins effectively invited all dissidents to run roughshod over him for the remainder of his term as President.

What faith remained in Fr. Jenkins' commitment to restore the Catholic identity of Notre Dame university after that debacle has all but evaporated after he allowed the most anti-Catholic President in U.S. history to be invited as the 2009 commencement speaker. The scandal this propagates goes well beyond giving a forum to a moral degenerate like Barack Obama. Obama will, without a doubt, use this opportunity to show his "great support" for the Catholic Church, and in so doing will deceive many poorly informed Catholics into thinking that he supports their Catholic beliefs.

Notre Dame has long been regarded as the "flagship" Catholic university in the United States. Many poorly catechized and poorly informed Catholics still regard the actions and statements of this university as being representative of Catholic higher education and Catholic belief and practice. It simply does not occur to them that a university with a Catholic charter does not in fact teach authentic Catholicism in the classroom or promote authentic Catholic ideals in the public square. Notre Dame has long had elements within its faculty that have been promoting a suspect theology; this is a problem that goes back at least to the 1950s, if not earlier. It was then-President Fr. Theodore Hesburgh who, in 1967, spearheaded the efforts of 26 Catholic university Presidents to draft and sign the infamous Land 'O Lakes Statement, which purported to be a statement on the need for academic freedom in the Catholic university (which the Church has never opposed, provided that a clear distinction is made between what is and is not in keeping with Catholic belief and practice), but is in fact a declaration of independence from any accountability to the Magisterium for what is taught in the classroom. Dissidents have long embraced this statement as an excuse to promote outright heresy in the classroom in the name of "academic freedom," and often use it as a staging point to criticize the late Pope John Paul II's wonderful 1990 Apostolic Constitution on Catholic Universities, Ex Corde Ecclesiae (which, among other things, reiterated the need for Catholic university theology professors to comply with Canon 812 of the 1983 revision to the Code of Canon Law: namely, that all such professors are to have a mandate, or mandatum, from their local bishop by which they agree not to misrepresent Catholic belief and practice in the classroom). It is also in the name of "academic freedom" that Fr. Jenkins has allowed both "The Vagina Monologues" and Barack Obama to bring their views to campus under the guise of authentic Catholicism.

Those who speak loudest about "academic freedom" - such as Fr. Richard McBrien, a notoriously dissident professor at Notre Dame and a blight on Catholic theology - are usually the ones most intent on undermining it, as they speak only of freedom for themselves to teach and promote what they please, without thought of the academic freedom to which the student is entitled: namely, the right to know what is and is not authentic Catholic belief and practice and the right to not be subjected to deception or be taught errors by those who are tasked with educating them. But then, dissidents never concern themselves with what is in the best interests of anybody besides themselves.

If you would like to find out more about this brewing scandal, and would like to join in a petition to stop Barack Obama from being the commencement speaker at Notre Dame, please click here. I pray this post finds each of you well. God bless!

In Jesus and Mary,

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Self Professed "Catholic" Professor Wants To Impeach The Pope

Apparently, this man believes that the Church is greatly sinning through its opposition to birth control and prohibition against women's ordination, and believes Benedict XVI should be replaced with a contraception-friendly woman. He believes that advocacy of contraception is a pro-life position, and find's Benedict's opposition to the use of condoms in Africa an unpardonable crime against humanity. I hope I needn't elaborate on this man's profound ignorance any further.

In my experience, people who react with such vitriol against the condemnation of an immoral act are usually engaging in said immoral act. I hope, for the sake of this "man of learning," that this is not here the case.

I don't usually dignify such hyper-emotional drivel. Actually, I'm not dignifying this instance of it either. I merely hold this sophomoric rant up as an example of how amusing it can be when a forum is provided to a theological and moral illiterate who assumes his knowledge of the will of God surpasses that of the Pope.

Robert S. McElvaine, may God have mercy on your soul, for the one whose lead you are currently following most certainly will not.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Speaking of Corrine Brown...

She has represented Florida's 3rd Congressional District since 1993, and has run unopposed for the seat since at least 1998. In the past two elections, the option of voting for or against her has not even been offered on my voting ballots, a fact that causes me great concern as I believe that voters should always be afforded the opportunity to vote for or against their elected officials. That there is not even an option for a write-in vote seems to me a gross violation of our voting rights.

Anyone who read my previous post and saw the video contained therein will not be surprised to learn that Corrine Brown has refused to debate all of the challengers to her congressional seat. She has never needed to. Florida's 3rd congressional district is so heavily gerrymandered that it runs from northeast Florida all the way down into north central Florida. The district's constituents are overwhelmingly Democrat in their party affiliation and a vast majority of them happen to share Brown's ethnicity. Brown would gain nothing by debating an opponent, and would stand to lose a great deal if her constituents ever learned just how woefully inadequate her grasp happens to be on issues that matter to them.

I found a few more Youtube videos that put Corrine Brown's oratorical skills on display. If you can stomach listening to the following 4 clips (the first 3 show her Democrat partisanship, the fourth reveals her tendency to use her position for personal gain), be sure to wince at the knowledge that this woman has a bachelor's degree, 2 master's degrees, an honorary doctorate, and that she served on the faculty of one of the colleges from which she graduated. Let that serve as a well-deserved indictment on the quality (or lack thereof) of the American public education system.

First, on her opposition to the Iraq troop surge, which quickly degenerates into a rant about how Bush misled her and her fellow congressmen (never mind that Congress had access to the same information Bush did at the time of the decision to go to war):

Second, on her support for minimum wage increases, which quickly segues into an assault on the Bush economy. Note the embarrassing moment where her ignorance of House parliamentary procedure is also put on display:

Here, she advocates for voting rights for individuals who stand under indictment for felony crimes. This rant ends with her infamous accusation of a "coup d'etat" in the 2000 Presidential election (I wonder what she would have done had the stenographer asked her to spell coup d'etat):

Finally, this is a local news story from last August about Brown's use of her position to secure preferential treatment for herself from emergency responders when Tropical Storm Fay hit Jacksonville:

And this all before I even mention her 100% pro-abortion voting record according to NARAL, her support for embryonic stem cell research, and her support for gay marriage, to state just a few of her many anti-Catholic stances.

I can only pray that at some point Corrine Brown's constituents can rouse themselves enough to look beyond the color of her skin and the "D" next to her name and see how poorly her presence in Washington reflects upon their ability to make an informed decision.

Monday, March 16, 2009

This, Ladies And Gentlemen, Is Who Represents My Home District

Normally, I'd welcome the opportunity to hear anyone praise the Florida Gator football team, especially on their 2008 BCS national championship. However, the desire to hear such praise has its limits. Case in point: the following full frontal assault on the sense of hearing and on the English language. Sadly, such assaults are regularly perpetrated by my Congresswoman, Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL), a reliable vote for the culture of death and the forces of socialism:

Now, please allow yourself some time to take an online IQ test. If your IQ has dropped by 5 or more points, then I humbly apologize...

I think the following excerpt from The Sporting News blog post, Rep. Brown Gradulates Gators on BS Title, pretty much says it all:

"Where to begin: first there's the robe, some kind of Druidic orange and blue sacrificial cowl I've never seen in the Florida bookstore that she wore just for the occasion of stabbing the English language in the chest in just three minutes of speech. Then she "gradulates" the "Gator" on their national championship, especially "Curch Urban Meyers" and "Percy Harvey," who played "gustily." Everyone showed good "sportmanship," though, and then she ends with an incomprehensible Gator cheer I believe she improvised on the spot."

The blogger forgot to reference - or else chose not to dignify - Rep. Brown's assertion that "it is clear that the Gators are superb to any other schools with the conferences that we play in" (college football teams cannot have more than one conference affiliation), but I think you get the point.

After Barack Obama, Corrine Brown is quite possibly the most severe price the American people have to pay for refusing to be an informed electorate.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, I bid you adieu. Having to watch that video has given me a headache...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Kathleen Sebelius' "Pro-Choice" Incoherence

Here is a great article from Michael Gerson picking apart Sebelius' "personally opposed, but unwilling to impose" psychobabble on the issue of abortion.

A reminder: when someone says they are "personally opposed, but unwilling to impose," they usually mean "personally supportive, and hell-bent on imposing."

Similarly, anytime someone says that they seek to "reduce the number of abortions," and prescribe support for a pro-abort politician as the means by which to do this, they are insulting your intelligence. If the pro-aborts didn't respect your inherent right to make it out of the womb against your mother's wishes when you were a baby, why expect them to respect your right to act against their wishes today?

See the example of the subterfuge perpetrated by Catholics United - who not coincidentally supports Kathleen Sebelius for HHS secretary (and whose Director of Organization campaigned on her behalf when she ran for governor of Kansas) - as detailed in the previous post. God bless!

In Jesus and Mary,

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Behind the Scenes of "Catholics United"

I've been hearing for a few months now about yet another group that falsely promotes itself as authentically and faithfully Catholic, while using this deception to assail pro-life politicians who oppose health care and welfare initiatives sponsored by the pro-abortion political left even as it gives cover to pro-abortion politicians for decidedly non-Catholic stances on the far more important right to life issues. Catholics United - not to be confused with the Steubenville, OH based Catholics United for the Faith or any group that actually defends Catholic doctrines from political assault - originally began in 2004 as the Catholic Voting Project, a supposedly non-partisan group whose thinly-veiled primary objective was to convince faithful Catholics that they could in good conscience vote for John Kerry. The group changed its name to Catholics United in 2005, and has ever since devoted itself to promoting a social justice agenda that is in keeping with the tenets of liberation theology. For those who don't know, liberation theology is an ideology that cherry picks certain aspects of Catholic teaching on social justice, but also heavily incorporates elements of Marxism. What this does in practice is cause adherents of liberation theology to strive for liberation from earthly forms of suffering and oppression (such as slavery and poverty), which in and of itself is a worthy endeavor, but not when done to the detriment or exclusion of striving for the far more important goal of eternal liberation from the shackles of sin (a liberation already won for us by Jesus Christ through His death and resurrection, but which is not forced upon us if we choose through our words and actions to reject that which is of God). A more detailed and far more eloquent dissertation on this problematic topic has already been expressed, and by no less a person than the former Cardinal Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI. His instruction, given in 1984 when he was Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, can be found here.

In a nutshell, adherents of liberation theology spend most of their time trying to reconcile Catholic belief with socialist ideology. This is more than a touch ironic, since liberation theology advocates tend to accuse orthodox Catholics of placing politics ahead of faith anytime there is an attempt to hold a politician accountable for views on right to life issues that are incompatible with Catholic belief and practice.

It was this tendency that led to a very brief but interesting Facebook instant message chat yesterday between me and an old friend from my days as an undergraduate at the University of Florida. I will share some of the details of this conversation only because of their relevance to this post: indeed, this chat served as the primary inspiration for this post, with all due to respect to my friend, whose agenda runs quite counter to my own. When I knew him, this friend was very involved with the Gainesville, FL chapter of Pax Christi USA, a dissident Catholic group committed to the ideals of liberation theology, and a group with whose members I had an unusually large number of heated exchanges both on matters of politics and on matters of faith (I quickly learned that for them, there was no distinguishing between the two). As it turns out, this friend is now one of the driving forces behind Catholics United; and though I did not know this at the time of the chat, the knowledge certainly put the conversation into proper perspective.

Now, prior to this chat, I had not had any formal contact with this friend in nearly ten years. I found him on Facebook and sent him a friend request a few weeks back, which he eventually accepted. Yesterday, however, it was he who initiated the chat; and as I soon found out, the reason for the contact was to take me to task for a Facebook status update in which I said that Barack Obama was putting the "con" back in "economy" (depending on what ideology suits you, you either understand the sentiment or you don't, so I'll not elaborate further on the point). He began by saying that as we strive for holiness, we cannot let go of Charity and goodwill. This is certainly true enough on the face of it, though it seemed an odd way to greet someone you have not spoken with in ten years. I expressed my agreement, though sensing that he was approaching this truth from a different perspective, I felt compelled to remind him that Charity is first and foremost a love of God above all things and for his own sake, and that a necessary part of loving God in such a way is to hate the devil and his evil works (I also stressed that a person's being and a person's actions are two distinct things; and if the action is sinful, one is morally obligated to love the sinner but hate the sin). His response to this, quite frankly, came across as thuggish:

"amen. now lay off obama"

As you might well imagine, this directive did not sit well with me, though I managed a laugh at the irony of the situation: I was at the time watching (on DVD) the scene from "The Godfather" where Tom Hagen was making the owner of a soon-to-be-decapitated horse "an offer that he cannot refuse." Because of my Catholic faith, I have a moral obligation to oppose Barack Obama's agenda, especially as it relates to right to life issues and the promotion of a socialist agenda, since he runs counter to Catholic belief on both counts. I pointed out that I cannot cease my criticism, as it would contradict what I had just said to him (namely, that charity demands opposition to agendas that run counter to the belief and practice of the faith handed down to us by Jesus Christ). For my refusal to cease and desist, I was promptly admonished: "put your faith before your politics." Again, with respect to my friend, my finding humor with ironic statements and the lack of a sense of irony on the part of those making such statements has its limits. This comment reeks of rank hypocrisy, plain and simple. My response was: "always have, always will."

It is not a coincidence that Catholics United feels such an overwhelming need to silence criticism of Obama. As Catholics United embraces beliefs rooted in liberation theology, and Barack Obama's 20+ year tryst with organized religion came at the feet of a man (Jeremiah Wright) whose beliefs are themselves rooted in black liberation theology (which is, needless to say, an outgrowth of liberation theology), the political and religious beliefs of Barack Obama and Catholics United are very closely intertwined. Criticism of the agenda of one is, for all intents and purposes, tantamount to criticism of the agenda of the other; and neither suffers criticism of their agenda lightly (Obama is, bar none, the thinnest-skinned politician I have ever witnessed in action). The implication by my friend that being a Catholic of charity and goodwill requires a refrain from criticism of Obama and his agenda certainly reinforces the point, as does Catholics United's own blog, which shows marked intolerance of the freedom of expression of anyone who levels criticism at Catholics United itself.

My friend went on to quote an unlinked and uncredited article from L'Osservatore Romano praising Obama for allegedly promoting a "pressing resurgence of the values of solidarity" following "a decade of exaltation of individual enrichment." I asked for the full article (for context) and the name of the individual to whom these quotes could be attributed (also for context), and was told that since L'Osservatore Romano is the official publication of the Vatican (which it is) that the source was likely either Benedict XVI or his Secretary of State (highly unlikely, as the article would be quick to attribute any quotes to such highly-placed sources). I once again pressed for the full article and name of the source, and was given neither.

The rest of the conversation was little more than him harping on Obama's promotion of health care and welfare, my stating that this pales in comparison to Obama's anti-Catholic stance on life issues, his ignoring me and returning to the issues of health care and welfare, my reiterating that the life issues are paramount, his asking me to give a clearer outline of Church teaching on health care and welfare, and my telling him to stop throwing red herring arguments out there to try to distract from the far more important life issues, at which point he chose to end the discussion (with a final reminder from me that there is no getting around the fact that certain issues carry greater moral weight than others. As it turns out, I should have emphasized this all the more, given Catholics United's attempts to apply a "seamless garment" approach whereby right to life issues and issues of stewardship carry equal moral weight. It makes sense now that my friend did not want to address that aspect of our discussion.)

Catholics United has long been critical of individuals and groups who set themselves ideologically against Catholics United. For a member of the group, then, to tell me that I was wrong to do the same with someone whose beliefs stand in opposition to my Catholic faith is an unfortunate testament to the one-sided nature of politically correct discourse. I have never been one to abide by the demands of political correctness. I'm certainly not about to start now.

I would like to issue a formal challenge today to my friend. I would like to call him out publicly and debate him on the merits of a Catholic case both for and against support of Barack Obama and his agenda, with consideration given both to the issues that are of importance to Catholics and to the moral weight that such issues hold. I believe that if my friend honestly believes that Catholics should be uncritical and supportive of our President's agenda, then he will welcome the opportunity to make his case in a public forum; and as such, he would also welcome the further exposure that such a forum would bring to Catholics United. I eagerly await a response.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The State of Connecticut Attempts to Usurp Control of the Catholic Church

My hands are literally shaking with outrage as I write this. On March 5, 2009, the Connecticut State House of Representatives Judiciary Committee introduced Legislative Bill # 1098, a direct attempt to remove financial and administrative control of the Dioceses of Bridgeport and Hartford and its member parishes from its rightful place with the Bishops and pastors and transfer it to lay boards of directors (with the bishop as a non-voting ex officio member...convenient) for the stated "purpose" of investigating "misappropriation of funds by certain religious organizations." This from a body that engages in and shamelessly perpetuates the misappropriation of funds by lay organizations.

As I have nowhere else been able to find the actual text of this bill, I am here reprinting it in its entirety from the state of Connecticut's legislative website, so you may see for yourself the full extent of this brazen and egregious violation of the First Amendment. The original link for the text can be found here.

Somewhere, the remaining members of the apostate group disingenuously named the Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church (ARCC) must be celebrating. This legislation is in perfect conformity with their ideal of a lay-governed Church.

The text, in all its legal pomposity, can be found below. Pay special attention to the consequences of this legislation as outlined in section E, and also to the Statement of Purpose at the end of the text. In any sane world, this would be struck down by any court of law and the perpetrators arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law under any statutes governing penalties for attempted despotism. We do not, of course, live in a sane world, so who knows how the courts will act. But make no mistake: this is a Soviet-style full frontal assault on the religious freedom of the Catholic Church in the state of Connecticut. As such, don't expect the ACLU - self-appointed champions of First Amendment rights - to lift a finger in the Church's defense.

An official statement from Bishop William Lori of the Diocese of Bridgeport responding to this abomination can be found here.

General Assembly
Raised Bill No. 1098
January Session, 2009
LCO No. 4528
Referred to Committee on Judiciary

Introduced by:


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 33-279 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2009):

(a) A corporation may be organized in connection with any Roman Catholic Church or congregation in this state, by filing in the office of the Secretary of the State a certificate signed by the archbishop or bishop and the vicar-general of the archdiocese or of the diocese in which such congregation is located and the pastor and two laymen belonging to such congregation, stating that they have so organized for the purposes hereinafter mentioned. [Such archbishop or bishop, vicar-general and pastor of such congregation and, in case of the death or other disability of the archbishop or bishop, the administrator of the archdiocese or diocese for the time being, the chancellor of the archdiocese or diocese and the pastor of such congregation shall be members, ex officio, of such corporation, and, upon their death, resignation, removal or preferment, their successors in office shall become such members in their stead. The two lay members shall be appointed annually, in writing, during the month of January from the lay members of the congregation by a majority of the ex-officio members of the corporation; and three members of the corporation, of whom one shall be a layman, shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.]

(b) The corporation shall have a board of directors consisting of not less than seven nor more than thirteen lay members. The archbishop or bishop of the diocese or his designee shall serve as an ex-officio member of the board of directors without the right to vote.

(c) The members of the board of directors shall be elected from among the lay members of the congregation at an annual meeting of the corporation. The members of the board of directors shall serve for staggered terms of not more than three years. The members of the board of directors shall owe a fiduciary duty to the corporation and the members of the congregation.

(d) The board of directors shall meet at least quarterly. A majority of the members of the board of directors shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. Notice of the meetings of the board of directors shall be sent by mail or electronic mail to each member of the board of directors and be delivered or published in a manner likely to come to the attention of a majority of the members of the congregation.

(e) The general administrative and financial powers of the corporation shall be exercised by or under the authority of the board of directors. Such powers shall include, but are not limited to:

(1) Establishing and approving budgets;

(2) Managing the financial affairs of the corporation;

(3) Providing for the auditing of the financial records of the corporation;

(4) Developing and implementing strategic plans and capital projects;

(5) Developing outreach programs and other services to be provided to the community; and

(6) Any of the powers enumerated in section 33-1036.

(f) The pastor of the congregation shall report to the board of directors with respect to administrative and financial matters.

(g) Any member of the corporation is entitled to inspect and copy, during regular business hours at the corporation's principal office, any of the business records of the corporation including accounting records and financial statements of the corporation if such member gives the corporation written notice of his demand at least five business days before the date on which he wishes to inspect and copy.

(h) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit, restrict or derogate from any power, right, authority, duty or responsibility of the bishop or pastor in matters pertaining exclusively to religious tenets and practices.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2009) The provisions of section 33-279 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, shall apply to all corporations in existence on January 1, 2010, that were organized under subpart D of part II of chapter 598 of the general statutes prior to said date.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2009) Any person having reason to believe that monetary contributions to a corporation organized under chapter 598 of the general statutes are being misappropriated and not being used for the purpose for which they were given may report that belief to the Attorney General. The Attorney General shall, pursuant to his authority under section 3-125 of the general statutes to represent the public interest in the protection of any gifts, legacies or devises intended for public or charitable purposes, investigate such report and take such action as he deems necessary.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1
October 1, 2009

Sec. 2
October 1, 2009
New section

Sec. 3
October 1, 2009
New section

Statement of Purpose:
To revise the corporate governance provisions applicable to the Roman Catholic Church and provide for the investigation of the misappropriation of funds by religious corporations.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Republicans Pledge Filibuster Against Potential Pro-Abortion Obama Judicial Picks

If true, this is a promising development; but I'm skeptical about certain Senators keeping their word on this matter. Still, it is a story that bears repeating, if for no reason than to remind people that the Republicans were on the record as being unanimous in seeing Bush's judicial nominees get fair treatment.

Hat tip to Article follows below. God bless!

Republicans Pledge Filibuster Against Potential Pro-Abortion Obama Judicial Picks

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 3, 2009

Washington, DC ( -- Republican senators have unanimously signed their names to a letter telling President Barack Obama that he needs to fill some of the many open slots in lower federal courts with President Bush's nominees for those positions or face filibusters of his own picks.

The move, if successful, could be a benefit for the pro-life movement as Bush's judicial selections are significantly more pro-life than the ones Obama will likely make.

During the end of the Bush administration, pro-abortion Democrats in Congress refused to allow votes on some of his nominees, including pro-life advocates who would have been more likely to uphold pro-life laws reducing abortions.

Before he picks judges for new spots, the Republican senators say Obama should reappoint some of the Bush nominees Democrats let flounder without confirmation votes.

Doing so, all 41 Republicans said in a letter to Obama sent to him Monday, would “change the tone in Washington."

According to the news web site Politico, they also asked Obama to respect the Senate's constitutional role in reviewing judicial nominees by asking for input from the home state senators for any potential judicial selection to determine whether Republicans would be opposed to the pick.

That's where the filibuster threat comes into play.

“Regretfully, if we are not consulted on, and approve of, a nominee from our states, the Republican Conference will be unable to support moving forward on that nominee,” the letter warns. “And we will act to preserve this principle and the rights of our colleagues if it is not.”

The letter is the first shot in what could be a tough battle on Obama judicial picks and could preview the debate the Senate may have if and when the time comes for Obama to select a new Supreme Court justice.

The Supreme Court was one of the biggest worries for pro-life advocates during the presidential election because it is potentially one vote away from overturning the radical Roe v. Wade decision that allowed for virtually unlimited abortions for any reason throughout pregnancy.

With the election of Obama, pro-life advocates are worried that he will select one or more judges who will replace some of the current group of five pro-abortion justices and serve on the court for decades all the while upholding unlimited abortions.

A potential filibuster, which will be difficult to uphold with only 41 Republicans and some of them taking pro-abortion positions, is the only move the pro-life side has to stop Obama's potential pro-abortion Supreme Court picks.