Friday, November 28, 2003
William F. Buckley: Does Marriage Matter?
The swirl of opinion that came in after the ruling of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court tells its own story, which is that the judicial arm has achieved a moral standing not even dreamed of by Cotton Mather, or mere popes and rabbinical councils. Witness the failure of the two major political parties to take corporate positions on gay marriage.This op-ed is a disappointment. In fact, its just run-on sentence of obvious bits of news. There's no analysis here, no insight, and no opinion.
So it would appear that Buckley has no opinion on the matter.
Thank heaven that we don't have to depend on him to change the hearts and minds of people. We have Maggie.
If same-sex marriage is a culture war issue at all, it's a weird one that cuts across the usual political and ideological lines.
THE PLACE TO START is with the phrase the "benefits of marriage." When marriage advocates and same-sex marriage advocates use these words, they mean two different things, reflecting two different conceptions of what marriage is and how the law helps sustain it.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:19 PM Permalink
Another lapsed Catholic and proudly so
Germaine Greer looks back fondly on her strange, sex-obsessed school days as a convent girlTo quote the Saturday Night Live character, the Church Lady, "Isn't that special?"
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:41 PM Permalink
Media manipulated to call terrorist attacks "revenge"
Palestinian attacks have been regularly characterized by many in the media as “revenge” or “retaliation.” Such references reverse cause and effect, and wrongly suggest Hamas attacks are merely reactive. In fact, Hamas needs no provocation to attack, since it considers Israel’s very existence provocation enough. The preamble to the Hamas charter makes this abundantly clear. It states “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:35 PM Permalink
Religious Persecution: Great and Small.
Fr. Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly remains in jail. (Amnesty USA bio)
I became aware of the case of Fr. Thadeus (also spelled Thaddeus) from the Amnesty International petition that I signed in Grand Central Terminal. I know little more than what you can read about by following the links.
The Catholic faith came to Vietnam mostly from the French imperialists who established the colony of Indo-China during the 19th century. So it's wrapped up with the long-standing hatred of the French.
Relatives of Fr. Thadeus who were seeking his release were arrested and, thankfully, recently released.
BBC: Vietnam dissidents win freedomThe story made more headlines than usual because the Internet was used to communicate information about the case in and out of Vietnam.
What's important to me is that Catholics and indeed all Christians need to be aware that their brothers and sisters in Christ are in prison and being killed for the faith in many parts of the world. Martyrdom did not end with the Edict of Milan. This is a reality.
In our own country with this lie that keeps getting repeated about there being a separation of Church and State, we are moving towards a suppression of the expression of faith in public. The challenges to Christianity come in two directions: one from the secularists who claim to be offended by the mention of God -- it establishes religion. The other direction is subtle: the advancement of the symbols of other faiths in the name of diversity and the marginalization of Christianity. Some of the accomodations made for Muslims, Jews, and neo-pagans are not permitted for Christians.
Things are being pushed against Christians all the time: We are again in courts all over the United States to get nativity scenes in public space where you find menorahs and crescents.
This ABC News story is about a person who lost his college scholarship because he chose to study theology.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:19 AM Permalink
In light of these admissions from the accused, it's strange that this fellow keeps these pages up Who really murdered Holly Wells?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:57 AM Permalink
Hilary traveled to Afghanistan but Bush traveled to Iraq.
Let's look at how someone spins it: Australia: The Advertiser
The trip will help erase the embarrassment caused by the premature flight to aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1 for the infamous "mission accomplished" stunt. Yesterday's visit was an admission of "mission ongoing". It will completely upstage today's visit to Iraq by the Republicans' bete noir, former first lady and Democrat Senator Hilary Clinton, who will travel there from Afghanistan where she spent Thanksgiving.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:17 AM Permalink
Thursday, November 27, 2003
UK Telegraph: Bush visits Iraq
Very cool thing to do. I'm sure the troops appreciated the visit.
Weather in New York was excellent. With my family I gave thanks to Almighty God.
Since the financial markets are open tomorrow, I'll be working.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:45 PM Permalink
Wednesday, November 26, 2003
CNS: Daniel Pipes: Identifying Muslim Moderates
I often argue that if militant Islam is the problem, moderate Islam is the solution, but that begs the question -- how does one differentiate between these two forms of Islam?He does more than ask the question, he answers it.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:36 AM Permalink
Yahoo: Rumsfeld: Arab TV worked with insurgents
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and his top military adviser said Tuesday they have evidence the Arab television news organizations Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya cooperated with Iraqi insurgents to witness and videotape attacks on American troops.The bad guys tips off the friendly media and they show up to take pictures of (hopefully) Americans or allied troops being killed.
It's a propaganda war.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:30 AM Permalink
Newsday: New Jersey rejects proposal for anti-abortion license plate
The state has rejected an anti-abortion group's bid to produce special license plates featuring the slogan "Choose Life" and a drawing of two smiling children.
The reason given is that the bureaucracy thought that "Choose Life" was a political slogan.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:11 AM Permalink
New York Times: You Better Watch Out By Harvey Fierstein
According to legend, New York lore and two major Hollywood flicks, Macy's Santa is the real deal. And tomorrow, to the delight of millions of little children (not to mention the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court), the Santa in New York's great parade will be half of a same-sex couple.
Talk radio hosts are trying to reach the CEO of Macy's (the parade's sponsor), the CEO of General Electric (the parade's broadcaster), the parade's staff and the Daily News (another sponsor) and not getting any calls returned.
When I was listening there was a string of gay callers who said this was a bad idea for the gay movement as it presented the flamboyant and radical agenda in an "in your face" way -- better to let the 180-day calendar in Massachusetts run down without waking up Middle America to this. (It's 172 days now, by the way.)
Why bring up Fr. Judge OFM? Several of his friends, and Fierstein was not one of them, deny that he was a homosexual, even a celibate one. I guess that if gets repeated enough people will eventually believe it.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:36 AM Permalink
Tuesday, November 25, 2003
New York Times: Lawyer for Church Says He Hid His Own Sexual Abuse by Priest
For five years, Robert P. Scamardo defended the Roman Catholic Diocese of Galveston-Houston against lawsuits by people who claimed to have been sexually abused by priests.
I know that this represents a very strong evidence that nothing has changed since 2/2002 but I'm shocked twice:
The Times really needs to get a clue: there needs to be a balance between giving no defense at all to these allegations and scortched earth
A lot of these cases have little to do with justice and a lot to do with going after the deep pockets of the Catholic Church.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:09 PM Permalink
Orson Scott Card: Fanatic Terrorism from the Past
Our current war against terrorism is not the first time that western civilization has faced a widespread terrorist threat.
Card is a science-fiction author whom I like and I have read several of his books. The article compares the terrorists of today with the anarchists of 1900. It's a good article if you want to read something other than "Bush lied, people died" polemics.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:56 AM Permalink
World Trade Center Memorial: 8 Finalists
They can be viewed physically in the lobby of the World Financial Center where I worked about 10 years ago.
Black Table has a review of the entrants.
PATH train service from lower Manhattan to New Jersey restarted this week.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:09 AM Permalink
The Cat in the Hat...
I didn't see it because the reviews were sh**. But the reviews of this movie are funny in a vulgar sort of way: Gawker
Vulgar langauge warning, but it's funny coming from people who are quite comfortable with vulgar language
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:45 AM Permalink
Monday, November 24, 2003
Broken News: Catholic Church Confers Sainthood Upon Michael Jackson
a rather lame parody.
(Warning: the linked site mocks the Catholic Church)
It's an example of thread anti-Catholic running through the culture that wants to connect all pedophilia to priests of the Catholic Church. In Jackson's case, it is especially odd, given that press account avoid the use of that word in connection to the accusations.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:26 PM Permalink
Undoing the damage
I've seen a lot of surrender speeches on the Internet regarding the Massachusetts SC decision along these lines:
All they needed to win was one case in one state court, and they have won it. Game Over. We regret it. Game Over. The next battle will be to defend religious groups from charges of discrimination in failing to recognize gay marriage.
Legal recognition of gay marriage is on a 180 day auto-pilot. This is wonderful for politicians who now have political cover and can claim:
I am opposed to gay marriage, but we have the rule of law, and the courts have spoken, the matter is finished.
Of course, they were cynical enough not to preempt the courts by saying that legislation or a constitutional amendment was not necessary.
Here's an exchange between Sen. Rick Santorum and Chris Matthews from Thursday November 20. Isn't this pessimistic? Does anyone see a fire is Santorum to get the US constitutional amendment passed? Or does he concede that our position was out-maneuvered?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:25 AM Permalink
New York Times David Brooks: The Power of Marriage
Anybody who has several sexual partners in a year is committing spiritual suicide. He or she is ripping the veil from all that is private and delicate in oneself, and pulverizing it in an assembly line of selfish sensations.
This is, of course, an appeal to conservatives that they can be true to principles like the stability of society and restraint of passions.
It's attractive as a via media: the idea that marriage will civilize promiscuous homosexual relationships. This is a point that Andrew Sullivan makes as well.
The legalization of marriage for homosexual couples is not the end point. The end point is the marginalization of marriage, its mockery, and its trivialization.
Brooks is right promiscuity is a spiritual suicide. We're informed so from:
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:01 AM Permalink
Sunday, November 23, 2003
Boston Globe: New assignment for Law anticipated
Cardinal Bernard F. Law met yesterday in Rome with Pope John Paul II, nearly a year after Law stepped down as archbishop of Boston and as some church-watchers say they expect Law to get a new assignment from the church.via On Religion et per Relapsed Catholic
Perhaps a job involving honest manual labor.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:38 PM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:36 PM Permalink
Peggy Noonan on NBC
As the media savvy as I think myself to be, I'm always humbled and humiliated by discovering stuff that I should have known of months ago:
The very articulate and very knowledgable Peggy Noonan is on NBC and MSNBC. I just saw her on Chris Matthew's Sunday show. I'm beginning to rank Chris ahead of another Irish-American I admire Bill O'Reilly.
Today on the matter of the the Massachusetts SC decision, she reminded us why we don't and shouldn't like 4 out 7 men in black robes that the people don't elect or hold accountable have really not only legislated but tried to impose a view of society that touches the soul.
Peggy might want to get that picture of herself changed. This is the look that a teenager gets when he or she comes home after curfew.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:09 PM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:36 AM Permalink