Saturday, February 14, 2004
While channel surfing, I come accross a biopic called Kennedy.
My 10-year-old son says "Hey, that guy looks like Charlie Sheen".
He's got a point. Doesn't he?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:23 PM Permalink
Friday, February 13, 2004
NASCAR and the Passion of the Christ -- what a natural pairing!
What impact will this have on the Jewish fans of NASCAR?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:37 AM Permalink
Thursday, February 12, 2004
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:49 PM Permalink
Reuters: Inmates Crucified to Demand Faster Justice
LA PAZ, Bolivia (Reuters) - Two prisoners had themselves crucified by fellow inmates at a jail in southeast Bolivia on Wednesday while others sewed their lips together in protests to demand swifter justice and benefits for prisoners.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:38 PM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:42 PM Permalink
Boston Globe: David Elcott: Gibson's polarizing 'Passion'
I was invited as a guest of Willow Creek Church in Illinois to its viewing of Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ." I hoped to be inspired, yet I left disheartened.
News flash: “democratic pluralism and mutual religious respect” are incompatible with Christianity.
Where’s “Nero, Diocletian & Associates” in my Rolodex?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:58 PM Permalink
Institutional Investor: Brokerage Firms' New Paranoia: Charitable Giving
Some brokerage houses fear the Securities and Exchange Commission might frown upon securities firms giving to charitable events and organizations sponsored by their clients and prospects, or with which they are associated. The issue surfaced at a Bond Market Association conference last week.
Let me unpack this for you: You are a big shot investor with tons of money -- and a Catholic -- and I, a broker, want some business from you. As a Catholic you want a Church in a poor part of the city rehabilitated and you let me know. I let you know that I put in $200,000 from my firm to that charitable cause. In gratitude you send some of your brokerage business to me.
Is that corrupt?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:47 PM Permalink
Just one more item on the SuperBowl Halftime
Black Table: SHOCK ME, SHOCK ME, SHOCK ME WITH THAT DEVIANT BEHAVIOR (written 2.4.2004)
What really sucks is that, unlike their own music awards show -- where frankly, MTV can do whatever lame "stunts" they like and anyone who's annoyed or offended by it can tune out -- this was the Super Bowl. Many of us who hate and avoid MTV love the Super Bowl, yet we were all bamboozled into watching their crap in all its glorified lameness on Sunday night. A 140 million-strong captive audience.I admit it: I am a prude in most things but it was suprising to see outrage coming from some places where one wouldn't expect it.
Will this Super Bowl been seen as a turning point in the culture wars?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:10 PM Permalink
Kerry's Problems Multiply
I think it was Dick Morris who pointed out that Kerry "won" too early.
Kerry needs Edwards to get enough votes to hold media interest in the remaining primaries. Kerry's wins will have eliminated everyone to an almost mathematical certainty.
The stories about him in Vietnam are twisting into an examination of his post-Vietnam lies and exaggerations of the conduct of that war and his alliances with the unpatriotic left.
The Republicans were lining up ads to expose his anti-defense voting record.
And he, of course, is from the state that has 4-3 majority on its Courts ready to impose gay marriage on the United States.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:48 PM Permalink
New York Post: "Heeb" is proudly presenting offensive images of the Blessed Virgin and Jesus
February 12, 2004 -- SUSAN Blond - the public relations powerhouse who is also an Orthodox Jew - has quit representing Heeb magazine because she was so offended by a 10-page photo feature mocking Mel Gibson's controversial movie "The Passion of the Christ." Some Jewish leaders have attacked the film, fearing it could foster anti-Semitism for showing the role Jews played in the Crucifixion.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:20 AM Permalink
Wednesday, February 11, 2004
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:26 PM Permalink
Technical Notes: RSS
I have had a RSS "scrape" of this blog for some time.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:05 PM Permalink
The doctrine of preemption targets: The Passion of the Christ
A caller to WABC Radio called and said "Gibson's movie pushes the blood libel. I'm a victim." (The blood libel is not the declaration from Mt. 27.25 His blood be upon us and upon our children. but the charge that the blood of gentiles is used in Jewish rituals.)
He wasn't attacking the movie. He wasn't even reacting to an attack from one who saw the movie. He was defensively claiming the status of a victim.
The host, John Gambling, engaged him is a dialog. (Frankly, John dotes on the kooks and dismisses serious callers).
It's the 21st century and I shouldn't have this fear as a Jew. You gotta ask where this fear is coming from. John, in frustration asked, "are you really that convinced that people are going to go through the streets and attack Jews?"
Yes. I have fear of the zealots.
Oh! If we could only hope The Passion inspires zeal, piety, holiness, etc. among Christians.
Another report I heard on that radio that Christians are getting defensive about the claims of anti-Semitism made by the critics of TPOTC.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:01 PM Permalink
An army of evangelists
Various news accounts of the countdown to the Passion refer to an "army of evangelists" waiting to "take advantage" of the "high profile" that The Passion of the Christ will create for Christians.
Amen. I am a foot soldier in that army.
The Catholic Evidence Guild during the winter months moves indoors to a place in Grand Central Terminal where there's a spot rotating among several advocacy organizations (Amnesty International, PETA, etc.)
Four other members and I were out there to proclaim the Gospel. I prepared a poster presentation (on four 48x36 posters) of the Passion listing the dozen of so events of the Passion (the Agony in the Garden, the Arrest of Out Lord...) from each of the four Gospels, quotations from the Bible, and 24 pictures of the passion (the trial before Pilate, the crowning with thorns, etc.)
The intention was to have people stop, look, talk, and pray.
And they did.
One young man came up and said "I not a Christian, but I've been inside churches and seen pictures and statues like this, can you tell me what they mean?" I spoke to him for 10 minutes or so and he had to leave.
A man about my age "I was a Catholic, but I was taught that you are saved by works and not by faith." He said "I believe we are saved by faith." I said Amen. "I believe the Bible is God's word". Amen. "I believe we are saved only by the blood of Jesus Christ and no ritual have any power to save." Amen. He changed tactics and mentioned purgatory. I answered him "Only what is pure is going to enter heaven. I expect to pass through a fire first, not to destroy me but to purify me". Shock registered on his face. He mentioned that Baptism is symbolic. I answered that when the Lord gave his final instructions it was to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. That doesn't sound symbolic to me but something really important. He left after 30 minutes. He was part of a group of Christians reaching out to Jews. I wished him luck and asked him to look again at the Catholic Church as being the Church that Christ founded.
A lot of people just took photographs without stopping to talk to us, I guess they thought we were lepers.
Something that's never happened before is that a follower of Our Lady of Bayside a Catholic sedevacanist group came by to talk about Mel's affiliation or lack thereof to the Catholic Church.
Another member spoke to a Bible evangelist with his own folded-up table and box of literature to hand out for about 45 minutes. He was on his way to his place to start evangelizing.
In fact, I think this was the first time that we spoke to so many Protestants about what they believe about salvation.
If our experience is any indication, The Passion of the Christ is an opportunity to put the focus on Christ and see past the differences that separate the various Christian Churches and communities -- not to persuade each other -- but to go forth to the indifferent, the inactive, and the non-believer. People who might have their hearts opened up after seeing the film.
Who do you say that I am? That's a question that people will be trying to answer.
There wasn't a hint of the much-anticipated anti-Semitic tone of the film or in the Bible account of the Passion. Although you might see some in one of my art picks: Bosch's Christ Carrying the Cross.
(Thanks to all those who have posted religious art out there on the net, to Adobe Photoshop for the software, and to HP for the photo printer)
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:57 AM Permalink
Reuters: Conservative U.S. anchor now skeptical about Bush
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Conservative television news anchor Bill O'Reilly said on Tuesday he was now skeptical about the Bush administration and apologized to viewers for supporting prewar claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
I've not been able to locate O'Reilly's actual words online, so what we have here is Reuters spin and it is spin: O'Reilly knows that the administration did not use the word "imminent".
I'm not skeptical. I'm disappointed that no Washington careerist or politician has been held accountable for the biggest intelligence failure since the Bay of Pigs.
Skepticism is the suspicion that Bush lied, people died.
I think he signalled for the story he wanted to hear pre-war and got it -- and the evidence to the contrary was given little credibility. The cost in human lives if Saddam was sharing his WMD's with terrorists was too high to contemplate.
I know the haven't found significant stocks of WMD's. What I don't understand if after almost a year of having nearly all of the leadership of Saddam's Iraq in custody and being interrogated why there isn't a more complete picture of what happened to all the existing WMD stockpiles which were verified by the old UN inspections teams in the mid-90's.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:24 AM Permalink
This news-obsessed opinionated blogger
gets three waves of news:
I also get to discuss the news with my 10-year-old son who has these current-events assignments which he always does last.
Last night as I was watching the news, it struck me that all the stories of the first 20 minutes involved death or violence involving children and young adults.
Overall, it looks like a loss of childhood and a loss of "common sense".
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:07 AM Permalink
more than 33 years ago?
DREXEL HILL, Pa. -- A former Catholic nun was arrested Tuesday in connection with alleged sexual assaults on a 10-year-old boy in Virginia Beach, Va., more than 33 years ago, police said.
If this is another he-said/she-said case, how do you get a verdict of guilty beyond reasonable doubt after a case that's been inactive for 33 years?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:53 AM Permalink
Washington Post: No Need to Talk to Police (Bishop O'Brien)
Rand was relentless in questioning the bishop about his failure to report the accident. "You didn't call the police, did you?" he growled.
In just about everyway possible, Bishop O'Brien acted like a guy who knew he caused the death or injury of another. This bizarre behavior that he admits to is totally inconsisent with the aftermath of hitting a dog.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:44 AM Permalink
Frontpage Mag; Don Feder: More Power to Mel
Is Mel Gibson the intellectual heir of The Black Hundred (the notorious progromists of Czarist Russia) or is he merely indifferent to the fact that his cinematic project will “fuel and legitimize anti-Semitism?”
Echoes my theme that this repetition of anticipatory anti-semitism is itself taking on a anti-Catholic form.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:38 AM Permalink
AP: Scope of church abuse accusations greater than previously estimated
The scope of sex abuse accusations against Roman Catholic clergy since 1950 appears to be much greater than previously estimated by victims' groups and the media, an Associated Press review of reports from dioceses has found.
These numbers will destroy the anecdotal claim that's been made that sexual criminals are no more likely to be priests than any other occupation.
Is the seminary and the rectory a factory for creating sexual criminals? or is the Church attracting men and attractive to men who already are inclined to be sexual criminals?
That surest sign that that they don't get it yet is the number of cases where the policy to remove priests appears to have been "bent" or simply ignored.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:27 AM Permalink
Tuesday, February 10, 2004
Reuters: Catholic Backlash Over BBC's Pope on a Pogo Stick
LONDON (Reuters) - Thousands of angry Roman Catholics have written to Britain's BBC complaining about a planned cartoon show mocking the pope as a puerile preacher on a pogo stick, the broadcaster said Tuesday.
The BBC is out-of-control and unaccountable. It is a remnant of an old silly flirtation the British had with socialism.
Sell it off.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:16 PM Permalink
Monday, February 09, 2004
IslamOnline: Controversy Rages on “The Passion of The Christ”
Call it “pushing the envelope”, call it “thinking out of the box”, call it what you will; with the US movie audience on the brink of the release of Mel Gibson’s controversial new film, The Passion of The Christ, the hype is amplifying with every turn of the screw.And, of course, discussing the quote:
Perhaps Gibson’s biggest support has come from the Vatican. According to Gibson’s publicity camp, numerous news organizations and Vatican officials, Pope John Paul II saw the film and issued this now famous quote: “It is as it was.” Did the Pope really say that?
Muslims consider Jesus to be a prophet who prepared the way for Mohammed.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:40 PM Permalink
An inconvenient truth. So the reputations of innocent reporters were sacrificed
Both SD and Joaquin Navarro-Valls are sources for the quote, the greenlight to make the quote public, and the confirmation that the quote was genuine and the permission, even encouragement to use the quote.
The quote was reported on globally in mid-December when it could have been denied to Allen, Noonan, the Associated Press, Reuters etc. very easily and painlessly to all concerned by a fax or an e-mail.
After 13 days, there was a cryptic anonymous denial given to the Catholic News Service's Cindy Wooden on December 29, and then on January 19, from Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz to Ms. Wooden, this absolute on-the-record denial which formed the basis to accuse Gibson's team, Allen, Noonan, and the other journalists and newswires of fabricating the quote or its confirmation by the Vatican Press Office.
Allen's point is that in the chaos of January 19 and the meetings on Jewish-Catholic dialog the quote needed to be denied, but it was done in such a clumsy way as to damage his reputation and that of others -- but not intentionally.
I can imagine how Allen and Noonan must feel about the integrity and professionalism of SD and JNV, but I don't expect to see those feelings in print anytime soon.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:59 AM Permalink
The Quote Dispute Story Lives On
Gibson had the movie screened for the pope late last year, and subsequently the National Catholic Reporter and conservative columnist Peggy Noonan, writing online for the Wall Street Journal, reported that the Holy Father had said of the film, "It is as it was."
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:42 AM Permalink
"They might as well hold open tryouts at Rikers,"
Appalled St. John's [University (Jamaica, New York)] students reacted with outrage yesterday after hearing that members of their basketball team were once again in trouble with the law.It has been alledged that several of the members of the basketball team had sexual intercourse with Sherri Ann Urbanek-Bach. That appears not to be disputed.
Ms. Urbanek-Bach first claimed it was rape. Now she only says that she was drunk at the time and as a prostitute had negotiated a payment of $1000. She said she had met them at a strip club about 2:30 a.m. after a game against the University of Pittsburgh - the "Red Storm" lost by 20 points. She performed but wasn't paid.
The members of the team maintain it was extortion -- that she demanded a payment of $1000 not to make a false claim of rape -- and the sex was consensual and the offer was free.
Six players have been expelled, suspended, or disciplined. The team is 0-8 in Big East games. So few besides the players themselves are going to complain.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:33 AM Permalink
Sunday, February 08, 2004
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:38 AM Permalink