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Patrick Sweeney 19711971
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Friday, December 26, 2003
 
UK Telegraph: Dad, is Santa more important than God?
We are far too frightened that Christian symbols will upset members of other faiths and we have allowed commerce to take over Christmas. This critique of modern society came from shoppers in the second-floor restaurant at the Debenhams department store in Ipswich, Suffolk, yesterday.

I have to disagree.

This isn't happening in a vacuum. There are anti-Christians and they want to supress Christian symbols. And since some Christians are warped into thinking that it's the Christian thing to do, to suppress Christianity, they go along.

This leads to "Is Santa more important that God?" and children who are 10 and can't tell you whose birthday it is on Christmas. These children have spent 10 years in a world that would kill Christ and his message over again.

I almost can't blame the anti-Christians. At least they have zeal and consistency on their side. It's the Christians who accept the imposition of all other religious symbols as "diversity" and accept the suppression of Christianity as preventing an "offense".

It would be as if the first Jew who shouted back at St. Stephen to Shut up was answered by Stephen with OK and Stephen went home.

It's no longer "Keep Christ in Christmas" -- it's "Take a stand for Christ".


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:23 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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A Very Saddam Christmas

(From 12/16/2003) New York Daily News: Regards from President Bush

Soldiers creeping toward the hut got their first surprise when they spotted a box tacked onto an outside wall covered with Christian icons such as Mary and the Baby Jesus and the Last Supper.

UK Sun: Pigsty fit for a pig

Above the entrance was the Islamic phrase “In the name of Allah”. But there were CHRISTIAN decorations dotted around too. Pinned to the outside wall of the mud-brick hut, just yards from his underground bolthole, was a cardboard box. It depicted biblical scenes such as the Last Supper and the Madonna and Child — with the English inscription “God bless our home”. Inside the only bedroom was a 2003 calendar in Arabic with a colourful depiction of Noah’s Ark.

A little bit more humorous:

Daily Breeze: Hussein had OK student housing

Looking at Saddam Hussein's hideout -- the squalor, the mess, the dirt, the absence of the most elementary housekeeping -- one conclusion is inescapable:

Hussein lived very much like the average American college student.

I've added links to the source pages of the images.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:36 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Wednesday, December 24, 2003
 
Opus Dei: Holy Humbug (via UK Times)
There is something about archaeological quests, ancient religious relics and mystical iconography that can turn the average bombs and bullets story into a real magical mystery tour.

I was curious to see what the Opus Dei itself had posted on the da Vinci code.

Google site search for da Vinci code on the Opus Dei site.

I've written some replies into the thread on Amy's blog which is always worth reading, but some of the anti-Brown replies like mine are excellent.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:52 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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AP: [Boston] Catholic Archdiocese Asks Parishioners With Cold or Flu to Forgo Communion
The Boston Archdiocese is asking parishioners with cold or flu symptoms to forgo long-standing traditions of Mass - including communion and shaking hands as a symbol of peace - to avoid spreading the illnesses.

If you stopped there you'd think they were talking about the Body of Christ in the appearance of bread (i.e. the host).

The AP is, in fact, referring to the Precious Blood.

By the way (1), I've always thought the "Sign of Peace" a distraction at Mass. I'd be happy to see it removed from the liturgy or moved to a point earlier in the Mass.

By the way (2), isn't it common sense really wash their hands at the time that the liturgy specifies, and that people with any disease that can be communicated by saliva not drink from the cup?


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:32 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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New York Times: No Joke! 37 Years After Death Lenny Bruce Receives Pardon
Lenny Bruce, the potty-mouthed wit who turned stand-up comedy into social commentary, was posthumously pardoned yesterday by Gov. George E. Pataki, 39 years after being convicted of obscenity for using bad words in a Greenwich Village nightclub act.

At a time when the counterculture was taking early steps in Greenwich Village, the Roman Catholic Church under Cardinal Francis Spellman held enormous political power in the city; the headquarters of the archdiocese behind St. Patrick's Cathedral was known in those days as the Powerhouse. No one seemed more offensive to the cardinal and the Manhattan district attorney, Frank Hogan, than Lenny Bruce.

The New York Times never misses the opportunity to add a cheap shot at the Catholic Church.

And speaking of the First Amendment, how free is one to comment on or make poke fun at race, sex, or sexual orientation today on television?

I think there's a longer list today than in the 60's of the things you are not allowed to talk about on television.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:07 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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AP: Court Tosses Priest Child-Porn Conviction
An appeals court Tuesday overturned the federal conviction of a defrocked Roman Catholic priest for possessing child pornography, ruling that investigators illegally seized key evidence.

The ruling sets aside a nearly five-year federal prison sentence, but does not affect the 12-year state prison sentence imposed in September on James Beine, for exposing himself to three boys while working as an elementary school counselor.

Scott Rosenblum, whose St. Louis law firm represents Beine, said Beine was "thrilled" when told by telephone of "obviously the correct decision."

Well, at least he didn't declare himself innocent.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:00 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Tuesday, December 23, 2003
 
My favorite Christmas Urban Legend

Snope: Twelve Days of Christmas

The song "The Twelve Days of Christmas" was created as a coded reference to important articles of the Christian faith.

FALSE.

But there are thousands of Internet references to this as TRUE. Some urban legend investigators identified the origin as Fr. Stockert. He's admitted writing it up but has lost the references to the source documents which he says he read in 1982 and which no one has seen before then or since.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:06 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Rev. Jerry Fawell: The real Saint Nicholas
...However, Christians can utilize this regulation to bring about a positive result. I encourage parents and grandparents to tell children the true story of Saint Nicholas – Santa's namesake – whenever they see a manger scene that includes a portrayal of Santa in the setting.

Saint Nicholas was born into a wealthy family about 350 miles northwest of Bethlehem in the fourth century. He was a man who loved children and his neighbors – he spent his life privately giving gifts to the unfortunate. These acts of Christian charity – usually made secretly – probably led to the policy of exchanging gifts during the Christmas season.

Rev. Fawell, we've got thousands more Catholic saints. Keep studying them and join us.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:46 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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In Dallas, be careful with that Merry Christmas

Dallas Morning News: Malecia El-Amin: Christmas is not celebration time for everyone

So before you utter a "How are you spending your Christmas," make sure the person to whom you're directing it celebrates the holiday.
or else?

How odd for this attitude to come from a Muslim. In Muslim countries, the religious majority would be amused if you said "make sure the person to whom you're directing it celebrates [something Muslim]". As Malecia El-Amin hints at in his article for a Muslim to reside in a nation which has no culture of Islam, no law of Islam, no public and mandated recognition of Islam, it is an anomaly.

Everyone has a day off on December 25, that's why in polite conversation, there's a curiosity about what you will be doing with the day off. Even the secular culture takes the day off. It's an American celebration.

Another odd thing about Malecia's complaint is that Christ is considered a prophet in Islam and the celebration of his birth, while not a Muslim holy day, it is an expression of the piety of one of the peoples of the Book, the Christians.

The United States is multi-cultural. Lighten-up.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:16 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Monday, December 22, 2003
 
What was before Christmas?

No I don't mean Advent or Thanksgiving, I mean the old pagan holidays- the pre-Christian meets the post-Christian.

Saturnalia

The whole point of this feast seems to be to break down for a while all the moral inhibitions.

Like a drunken weekend in Las Vegas. Mardi-Gras. Spring Break.

It originates in Saturn, the agriculture god. A celebration of the harvest. Party-time.

As Christmas displaced Saturnalia that partying spirit moved to New Year's celebrations, April Fool's Day, and Carnival (Mardi Gras).

What's interesting is that the old (pagan) aspects of celebration co-existed with the religious aspect of the day from the time the day of the Nativity was fixed. Holdover pagan customs even became tolerated, (call it "ceremonial paganism, stripped of meaning).

Pope St. Gregory I (604) in a letter to St. Augustine of Canterbury advises him to permit, and to even encourage, harmless popular customs which in themselves are not pagan but natural and could be given Christian interpretation.

Fr. Francis X. Weiser S.J.: The Christmas Book

This was the case until the time of the Puritans who had enormous influence in supressing Christmas celebrations in England and the United States.

Now the Puritans are suppressed.

(to be continued.)


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:26 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Kantians With Cruise Missiles

The Old Cause: Joseph Stromberg: Kantians With Cruise Missiles: The Highest Stage of 'Liberal' Imperialism

With a title like that and peppered with words like Gleichschaltung no brief quote will do it justice.

On this view, the repackaging of longstanding US aspirations toward empire as neo-Kantian, "liberal-democratic" world peace has already slipped a few gears, and the clutch of history is about to burn itself out in conceptual futility.

Tell that to Saddam.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:29 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Fox News: Battle Over Roadside Memorials Heats Up
Since gaining popularity in the 1990s, homemade roadside memorials have continued to pop up along the nation's highways. Critics see them as safety hazards, but for families of accident victims, the tributes are sacred shrines.

Emily Burgess, a 17-year-old honors student and cheerleader from Liberty County, Ga., died in a car crash on a nearby rural highway. Friends and family marked the scene of the accident with a cross.

After less than two months, it disappeared. The family was upset to discover that it had been removed by Georgia Department of Transportation workers.

But the DOT in Georgia says it makes no distinction between roadside memorials and political signs or other debris that might distract drivers and cause another accident.

Some states are attempting to appease everyone by allowing bereaved families to put up a uniform memorial issued by the state. Friends and family of Emily are petitioning Georgia to adopt a similar system.

It's not the Teddy Bears but the Crosses that get the blood boiling of American Atheists and the ACLU. They argue that it's an establishment of religion not to immediately confiscate them.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:38 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Blogs denounce priests who denounce the Catholic teaching

Chicago Sun-Times: Pastors rip Vatican's 'vile' language that condemns gays

Saying they can no longer remain silent, a group of Chicago area Catholic pastors denounced what they say is "vile and toxic" language from the Vatican aimed at gays and lesbians.

The group of nearly two dozen priests from parishes in Chicago and the suburbs sent a scathing "open letter" to church officials Friday. In it, the pastors blasted recent church pronouncements regarding gays as "divisive and exclusionary" and "increasingly violent and abusive."

"As priests and pastors we are speaking out to make clear that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters are all members of God's family, brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus and deserving of the same dignity and respect owed any human being," the letter stated.

So why don't they resign and do social work on behalf of an organization other than the Catholic Church -- if they despise the teaching of the Catholic Church?

How can one not see these men as Judas's undermining not only the Catholic teaching on sexual morality but all other aspects of the Catholic Church but they disagree with but lack the gravity of the moment to issue an "open letter" on those other aspects.

Of course, these priests know they are misrepresenting the teaching of the Catholic Church as "violent and abusive".

This kind of letter has lots of secondary effects, especially on parish life -- dividing the parishioners between those who accept the Church's teaching and reject the position of the pastor, and those who reject the Church's teaching and accept the position of the pastor.

A sinnner through their own sin in thought, word, and deed has taken away their own dignity and respect before God. That is the spiritual reality of sin. The mission of Jesus is to reconcile the sinner. These priests appear more concerned with presenting gays and lesbians as righteous before God than their salvation.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:20 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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