extreme Catholic  warning cross jesus carrying cross chi rho madonna of the streets saint peter repentant el greco pope john paul ii

Patrick Sweeney 19711971
Patrick Sweeney 20032003
In lieu of a tip jar: Donations to
National Review
Irish Echo

The Catholic Evidence Guild is on WVOX 1460 AM in New Rochelle
Catholic World News: The Catholic News Leader
12/15/2002 - 12/22/2002 12/22/2002 - 12/29/2002 12/29/2002 - 01/05/2003 01/05/2003 - 01/12/2003 01/12/2003 - 01/19/2003 01/19/2003 - 01/26/2003 01/26/2003 - 02/02/2003 02/02/2003 - 02/09/2003 02/09/2003 - 02/16/2003 02/16/2003 - 02/23/2003 02/23/2003 - 03/02/2003 03/02/2003 - 03/09/2003 03/09/2003 - 03/16/2003 03/16/2003 - 03/23/2003 03/23/2003 - 03/30/2003 03/30/2003 - 04/06/2003 04/06/2003 - 04/13/2003 04/13/2003 - 04/20/2003 04/20/2003 - 04/27/2003 04/27/2003 - 05/04/2003 05/04/2003 - 05/11/2003 05/11/2003 - 05/18/2003 05/18/2003 - 05/25/2003 05/25/2003 - 06/01/2003 06/01/2003 - 06/08/2003 06/08/2003 - 06/15/2003 06/15/2003 - 06/22/2003 06/22/2003 - 06/29/2003 06/29/2003 - 07/06/2003 07/06/2003 - 07/13/2003 07/13/2003 - 07/20/2003 07/20/2003 - 07/27/2003 07/27/2003 - 08/03/2003 08/03/2003 - 08/10/2003 08/10/2003 - 08/17/2003 08/17/2003 - 08/24/2003 08/24/2003 - 08/31/2003 08/31/2003 - 09/07/2003 09/07/2003 - 09/14/2003 09/14/2003 - 09/21/2003 09/21/2003 - 09/28/2003 09/28/2003 - 10/05/2003 10/05/2003 - 10/12/2003 10/12/2003 - 10/19/2003 10/19/2003 - 10/26/2003 10/26/2003 - 11/02/2003 11/02/2003 - 11/09/2003 11/09/2003 - 11/16/2003 11/16/2003 - 11/23/2003 11/23/2003 - 11/30/2003 11/30/2003 - 12/07/2003 12/07/2003 - 12/14/2003 12/14/2003 - 12/21/2003 12/21/2003 - 12/28/2003 12/28/2003 - 01/04/2004 01/04/2004 - 01/11/2004 01/11/2004 - 01/18/2004 01/18/2004 - 01/25/2004 01/25/2004 - 02/01/2004 02/01/2004 - 02/08/2004 02/08/2004 - 02/15/2004 02/15/2004 - 02/22/2004 02/22/2004 - 02/29/2004 02/29/2004 - 03/07/2004 03/07/2004 - 03/14/2004 03/14/2004 - 03/21/2004 03/21/2004 - 03/28/2004 03/28/2004 - 04/04/2004 04/04/2004 - 04/11/2004 04/11/2004 - 04/18/2004 04/18/2004 - 04/25/2004 04/25/2004 - 05/02/2004 05/02/2004 - 05/09/2004 05/09/2004 - 05/16/2004 05/16/2004 - 05/23/2004 05/23/2004 - 05/30/2004 05/30/2004 - 06/06/2004 06/06/2004 - 06/13/2004 06/13/2004 - 06/20/2004 06/20/2004 - 06/27/2004 06/27/2004 - 07/04/2004 07/04/2004 - 07/11/2004 07/11/2004 - 07/18/2004 07/18/2004 - 07/25/2004 07/25/2004 - 08/01/2004 08/01/2004 - 08/08/2004 08/08/2004 - 08/15/2004 08/15/2004 - 08/22/2004 08/22/2004 - 08/29/2004 08/29/2004 - 09/05/2004 09/05/2004 - 09/12/2004 09/12/2004 - 09/19/2004 09/19/2004 - 09/26/2004 09/26/2004 - 10/03/2004 10/03/2004 - 10/10/2004 10/10/2004 - 10/17/2004 10/17/2004 - 10/24/2004 10/24/2004 - 10/31/2004 10/31/2004 - 11/07/2004 11/07/2004 - 11/14/2004 11/14/2004 - 11/21/2004 11/21/2004 - 11/28/2004 11/28/2004 - 12/05/2004 12/05/2004 - 12/12/2004 12/12/2004 - 12/19/2004 12/19/2004 - 12/26/2004 12/26/2004 - 01/02/2005 01/02/2005 - 01/09/2005 01/09/2005 - 01/16/2005 01/16/2005 - 01/23/2005 01/23/2005 - 01/30/2005 01/30/2005 - 02/06/2005 02/06/2005 - 02/13/2005 02/13/2005 - 02/20/2005 02/20/2005 - 02/27/2005 02/27/2005 - 03/06/2005 03/06/2005 - 03/13/2005 03/13/2005 - 03/20/2005 03/20/2005 - 03/27/2005 03/27/2005 - 04/03/2005 04/03/2005 - 04/10/2005 04/10/2005 - 04/17/2005 04/17/2005 - 04/24/2005 04/24/2005 - 05/01/2005 05/01/2005 - 05/08/2005 05/08/2005 - 05/15/2005 05/15/2005 - 05/22/2005 05/22/2005 - 05/29/2005 05/29/2005 - 06/05/2005 06/05/2005 - 06/12/2005 06/12/2005 - 06/19/2005 06/19/2005 - 06/26/2005 06/26/2005 - 07/03/2005 07/03/2005 - 07/10/2005 07/10/2005 - 07/17/2005 07/17/2005 - 07/24/2005 07/24/2005 - 07/31/2005 07/31/2005 - 08/07/2005 08/07/2005 - 08/14/2005 08/14/2005 - 08/21/2005 08/21/2005 - 08/28/2005 08/28/2005 - 09/04/2005 09/04/2005 - 09/11/2005 09/11/2005 - 09/18/2005 09/18/2005 - 09/25/2005 09/25/2005 - 10/02/2005 10/02/2005 - 10/09/2005 10/09/2005 - 10/16/2005 10/16/2005 - 10/23/2005 10/23/2005 - 10/30/2005 10/30/2005 - 11/06/2005 11/06/2005 - 11/13/2005 11/13/2005 - 11/20/2005 11/20/2005 - 11/27/2005 11/27/2005 - 12/04/2005 12/04/2005 - 12/11/2005 12/11/2005 - 12/18/2005 12/18/2005 - 12/25/2005 12/25/2005 - 01/01/2006 01/01/2006 - 01/08/2006 01/08/2006 - 01/15/2006 01/15/2006 - 01/22/2006 01/29/2006 - 02/05/2006 02/05/2006 - 02/12/2006 02/12/2006 - 02/19/2006 02/19/2006 - 02/26/2006 02/26/2006 - 03/05/2006 03/05/2006 - 03/12/2006 03/12/2006 - 03/19/2006 03/19/2006 - 03/26/2006 04/23/2006 - 04/30/2006 04/30/2006 - 05/07/2006 05/07/2006 - 05/14/2006 05/14/2006 - 05/21/2006 06/18/2006 - 06/25/2006 07/02/2006 - 07/09/2006 07/16/2006 - 07/23/2006 07/23/2006 - 07/30/2006 07/30/2006 - 08/06/2006 08/27/2006 - 09/03/2006 09/10/2006 - 09/17/2006 10/01/2006 - 10/08/2006 12/10/2006 - 12/17/2006 10/07/2007 - 10/14/2007 11/25/2007 - 12/02/2007 12/02/2007 - 12/09/2007 12/09/2007 - 12/16/2007 12/16/2007 - 12/23/2007 12/23/2007 - 12/30/2007 01/06/2008 - 01/13/2008 01/13/2008 - 01/20/2008 01/20/2008 - 01/27/2008 01/27/2008 - 02/03/2008 02/03/2008 - 02/10/2008 02/10/2008 - 02/17/2008 02/17/2008 - 02/24/2008 02/24/2008 - 03/02/2008 03/02/2008 - 03/09/2008 03/30/2008 - 04/06/2008 04/06/2008 - 04/13/2008 04/13/2008 - 04/20/2008 10/05/2008 - 10/12/2008 11/09/2008 - 11/16/2008 11/16/2008 - 11/23/2008 11/30/2008 - 12/07/2008 12/07/2008 - 12/14/2008 12/28/2008 - 01/04/2009 01/04/2009 - 01/11/2009 01/11/2009 - 01/18/2009 01/18/2009 - 01/25/2009 01/25/2009 - 02/01/2009 02/01/2009 - 02/08/2009 02/08/2009 - 02/15/2009 02/15/2009 - 02/22/2009 02/22/2009 - 03/01/2009 03/01/2009 - 03/08/2009 03/08/2009 - 03/15/2009 03/15/2009 - 03/22/2009 03/22/2009 - 03/29/2009 03/29/2009 - 04/05/2009 04/05/2009 - 04/12/2009 04/12/2009 - 04/19/2009 04/19/2009 - 04/26/2009 05/03/2009 - 05/10/2009 05/10/2009 - 05/17/2009 05/17/2009 - 05/24/2009 05/24/2009 - 05/31/2009 05/31/2009 - 06/07/2009 06/21/2009 - 06/28/2009 06/28/2009 - 07/05/2009 07/05/2009 - 07/12/2009 07/19/2009 - 07/26/2009 07/26/2009 - 08/02/2009 08/02/2009 - 08/09/2009 08/09/2009 - 08/16/2009 08/16/2009 - 08/23/2009 08/23/2009 - 08/30/2009 09/06/2009 - 09/13/2009 09/13/2009 - 09/20/2009 09/20/2009 - 09/27/2009 09/27/2009 - 10/04/2009 10/04/2009 - 10/11/2009 10/25/2009 - 11/01/2009 11/01/2009 - 11/08/2009 11/08/2009 - 11/15/2009 11/22/2009 - 11/29/2009 01/10/2010 - 01/17/2010 01/17/2010 - 01/24/2010 01/24/2010 - 01/31/2010 03/21/2010 - 03/28/2010 03/28/2010 - 04/04/2010 04/18/2010 - 04/25/2010 05/02/2010 - 05/09/2010 05/23/2010 - 05/30/2010 05/30/2010 - 06/06/2010 06/06/2010 - 06/13/2010 06/27/2010 - 07/04/2010 07/04/2010 - 07/11/2010 07/11/2010 - 07/18/2010 07/18/2010 - 07/25/2010 08/01/2010 - 08/08/2010 08/08/2010 - 08/15/2010 09/26/2010 - 10/03/2010 03/27/2011 - 04/03/2011 10/23/2011 - 10/30/2011 01/08/2012 - 01/15/2012 01/15/2012 - 01/22/2012 01/22/2012 - 01/29/2012 11/19/2017 - 11/26/2017 05/14/2023 - 05/21/2023 03/17/2024 - 03/24/2024
This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours? blogrolling Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com extremetracking www.blogwise.com
You're the 123! NYC Bloggers
Subscribe with myFeedster

Review extreme Catholic on blogarama
Listed on BlogShares

[Valid Atom]

Who Links Here

Saturday, November 15, 2003
For Fun

Metaphors from Student Essays. My daughter's discovery.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:27 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Godwin's Law and Sweeney's Theorem
Godwin's Law /prov./ [Usenet] "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one." There is a tradition in many groups that, once this occurs, that thread is over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress. Godwin's Law thus practically guarantees the existence of an upper bound on thread length in those groups.

I like to propose the following theorem.

Like Godwin's Law, when the topic of the discussion is religion, the probablity of this quote being used in the discussion approaches one:

I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.

The quote is Cromwell's. The attribution:

Oliver Cromwell (1599–1658), British Parliamentarian general, Lord Protector of England. letter, Aug. 3, 1650, to the General Assembly of the Scottish Kirk. Oliver Cromwell’s Letters and Speeches, Thomas Carlyle (1845).

Cromwell was asking the Scottish to support his Roundheads and stop supporting his enemies, the Cavaliers.

Now, considering Oliver Cromwell's hatred of Catholics was extreme, one wouldn't expect one to see him quoted in support of a Catholic's position. But it's easy to find such examples. This one is for the support of the (Catholic) ordination of women.

This is such transparent rhetorical special pleading. Am I mistaken? Well, Are you mistaken?

And again on the subject of the Episcopal episcopal ordination of Gene Robinson

When I have my colonoscopy this week, I'll think of Christ and Cromwell and Saint Bonaventure.

You are all invited to use the quote, find the quote, etc.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:07 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Reuters: Hanging Corpse Admired as Sculpture on Campus
BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Police on Friday removed the corpse of a man believed to have hanged himself at least a year ago after builders and students at Budapest's University of Arts had initially mistaken it for a modern sculpture.

The body hung for a whole day in a garden building that had been re-opened for repairs before onlookers realized what it was and called the police, local media said.

The building, in campus grounds crowded with different types of sculpture, had been closed five years ago pending reconstruction work.

This has a lot more to say about how people regard modern art as being a representation of beauty than anything else.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:34 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Friday, November 14, 2003
About.com: Children's Sweet Tooth Linked to Adult Alcoholism
Can a child's sweet tooth predict a tendency toward alcoholism in later life?

Researchers from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill say yes, a craving for sweets and the urge to drink may stem from the same gene.

The study found that 19 pairs of twin brothers shared a similar liking for sweets and alcohol despite having quite different life experiences. Preliminary results of the continuing research were presented at a Society for Neuroscience meeting in New Orleans.

"Several years ago, we found the first clinical evidence linking sweet liking with alcoholism in a study that involved subjects tasting a wide range of concentrations of table sugar in water," said Dr. David H. Overstreet, associate professor of psychiatry at the UNC-CH School of Medicine, in a news release. "In this new study, we found that despite different life experiences, twin brothers continue to share sweet and alcohol preferences."

That article made me think of the song:

"Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker,
You can drink all the liquor
Down in Costa Rica,
Ain't nobody's business but my own!"

Everyone in high school or college (tragically) can see a fellow student ruin his or her life with drugs or alcohol.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:06 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Talk Radio

Here's a guaranteed way to get hung up on by the host:

Host: It you can be quiet for a second, I'll answer your question.

Caller: Go Ahead. There's no way...

Host: Next on our lines is Bob...

Callers, if you ask the host a question, please wait for an answer before proceeding.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:17 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Thursday, November 13, 2003
Mepham Update:

New York Daily News: Mepham Teens To Be Tried As Juveniles

A Pennsylvania judge ruled yesterday that three Long Island teens should be tried as juveniles for allegedly sexually assaulting their football teammates - a decision that enraged relatives of the victims.

The Mepham High School suspects now face no more than a couple of years in juvenile detention if convicted of sodomizing three younger boys with a broomstick, golf balls and pine cones.

If found guilty the mininum sentence would be probation and the maximum would be confinement to a juvenile facility until they turned 21. In any case, their criminal record would be expunged at age 21.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:03 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Less than the usual blogging...

I'm on a jury. Stories I can share with you:

  • A surprising number of people who have lived in the United States for 20 years as citizens will claim not to understand English (and therefore be unable to serve as jurors)
  • Jurors chew gum during a trial.
  • No one will follow any rule that restricts cell phone usage.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:55 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Wednesday, November 12, 2003
Public Service Announcment:

Drudge to sub for Limbaugh. Paglia will be his guest.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:32 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Miami Herald: Clinic bombing suspect arrested
A man suspected of planning to firebomb abortion clinics was arrested after he bailed out of a boat off Miami Beach -- jumping into the water after he realized he was under scrutiny by federal law enforcement, the FBI said.

Stephen John Jordi, 35, intended to bomb ''unspecified abortion clinics throughout the U.S.,'' said Beverly Esselbach, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Miami.

Orlando Sentinel: Feds accuse man of planning to bomb abortion clinics

He's always been weird, not mentally stable," said Michael Jordi, noting that he had a poor relationship with Stephen Jordi. "He's stupid enough to do it. He's a religious fanatic."

Some headlines now, analysis later.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:12 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Why "Turn the Other Cheek" Doesn't Apply to the Decision to Go To War

Over in Mark Shea's blog, the justification for the war in Iraq debate has opened anew. My guess is that through the success of Mark's blog and mine, we have new readers, which I welcome.

I don't originate these ideas on "just war". I've tried to read the works of good Catholic theologian, pundits, and other writers and package them for blog readers as well as engage the anti-war bloggers in respectful debate.

This is from the Ethics and Public Policy Center 1996 (The EPPC is the home of George Weigel)

What are the contemporary implications of the idea of just cause, which is one of the fundamental elements in the just war tradition? That is, what sorts of concerns and situations should be judged to satisfy the requirement that for resort to armed force to be justified, a just cause must exist?...

The pacifist wing of early Christianity had argued that Jesus' command to turn the other cheek meant that Christians could never participate in war. The theological argument that made a Christian just war theory possible was developed by Augustine, building on the position of his mentor, Ambrose of Milan. Praising the man who defended his country at personal risk, Ambrose distinguished between using force to defend oneself (which was prohibited by Jesus' words and example) and using force to defend another person (which followed as a requirement of charity). He did this by sketching a paradigmatic example, one well known both by Augustine and by medieval writers on just war: A Christian is journeying alone in a remote area, carrying a weapon to use against animals he might encounter. But instead he encounters an armed bandit in the process of attacking another innocent wayfarer, to rob him and perhaps wound or kill him. What is the Christian to do?

In his answer, Ambrose did not challenge the accepted doctrine that if the itinerant Christian were himself the victim of the attack, he could not defend himself: the Christian "when he meets an armed robber... cannot return his blows, lest in defending his life he should stain his love for his neighbor." But this is a different case; the attack is on a neighbor whom the Christian is commanded to love. For Ambrose, the Christian has a moral duty in charity to defend this innocent neighbor from the attack and may, to do so, use force if necessary, up to and including doing to the assailant what he is capable of doing to the victim. Not providing such defense is itself morally wrong: "He who does not keep harm off a friend, if he can," Ambrose writes, "is as much in fault as he who causes it." At the same time, the Christian should use no more force than necessary to subdue the attacker, for he too is someone for whom Christ died. Charity thus justifies the resort to force in defense, not of self but of the other; yet at the same time it limits the force that can be used against the evildoer to what is necessary to end the evil....

For much of the present century there has been an effort to reduce just cause for resort to armed force to the case of defense alone. For the medieval thinkers who helped to define the just war idea in its classic form, the emphasis was different.

While defense of the neighbor lay at the very basis of the Christian just war idea and was acknowledged as a just cause for resort to the sword, the principal focus of the medieval writers was on the right and duty of sovereign rulers to authorize resort to force to correct violations of justice. Taken in its totality, the medieval concept of just cause had centrally to do with the establishment and enforcement of a just political and social order, an order that was necessary for the presence of peace. Thus was the developing just war idea related to the three acknowledged goods of politics: order, justice, and peace....

Like positive international law, twentieth-century Catholic doctrine has sought to limit resort to force by narrowing the concept of just cause to defense alone. The roots of this approach are in a perception of modern war as a source of injustice rather than a means of fighting injustice....

The concept that just war doctrine begins with a "presumption against war," which appears in the 1983 pastoral of the American Catholic bishops, reflects this shift in focus. This is a major change in just war theory. To put the matter plainly, this attitude toward armed force is not the problem that classic medieval and early-modern Christian just war theory sought to deal with. That problem was injustice, and force (under the conditions established by the just war idea) provides the means to deal with it. The concept that force itself is a major problem originated only comparatively recently as a result of the encounter with modern war, judged as an enterprise whose great destructive potential will inevitably be realized once resort to arms has been allowed....

In such a position, the idea of just cause has dwindled to little more than a formal placeholder, and the heavy-lifting of deciding whether to resort to force in the service of statecraft has been given over to prudential calculations in which the conditions are tilted against any possibility that force can serve the cause of justice... .

A second innovation in recent Catholic thought on war is giving priority within the ius ad bellum to the place of contingent prudential judgments (namely, the amount of destruction that can be anticipated, whether the situation is genuinely one of last resort, whether there is a reasonable hope of success), so that the resort to force is effectively questioned or denied even when there is admitted just cause. This entirely inverts the logic of the classic theorists and goes far toward removing force from among the tools of statecraft able to be employed in the service of justice....

The classic theorists did not approach the question of war with a presumption against the use of armed force; rather, they were motivated by a common presumption against injustice. The fundamental rationale was to prevent injustice even at risk to oneself, as shown by the paradigm from Ambrose described earlier; the need to prevent injustice was what defined the role of the prince as "minister of God," in the often cited text from Romans 13 that figures centrally in Thomas Aquinas's comments on the justification of war.

The problem with prudential judgments is not that they are prudential but that they are contingent. For this reason, classic medieval and early-modern just war theory placed the responsibility for the prudential concerns included in the ius ad bellum on the competent authority who determines whether to resort to armed force. In other words, these concerns pertain to the function of statecraft; the role of the moralist is to specify that they must be taken into account, not to usurp the role of statecraft by specifying how they are to apply or what they mean for specific instances or general periods of time.

In the case of contemporary Catholic thought on the ius ad bellum, the assumption on which the analysis depends is the "presumption against war," the assumption that, in the present age, war may no longer be employed to remedy "violations of justice." But it was precisely "violations of justice" that the classic just war prudential theorists aimed to address and remedy....

There's more on the EPPC site. My point is just as the Church doesn't disarm the Swiss Guard in the name of peace. The Church since the time of Constantine when the possibility of a Christian state's armed force being used justly first arose never applied "turn the other cheek" as a teaching instructive governments to absorb a second blow like the invasion of Poland, the bombing of Pearl Harbor, or 9/11 before countering the attack.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:23 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Tuesday, November 11, 2003
Catholic actor Art Carney has died

A nice obituary in NewsMax. He was just about the same age as my father who passed away 10 years ago. He admired both Art Carney and Jackie Gleason. When I see Art Carney on TV, I think of my Dad.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:28 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

LA Times David Gelernter: Don't Quit as We Did in Vietnam
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — U.S. policy in Iraq is haunted by Vietnam, no question about that. That's why Americans support the war and will keep on supporting it until we win. ("Win" is a verb you rarely heard in the Vietnam era.)

We are haunted by the image of Vietnamese who trusted and supported us trying frantically to grab a place on the last outbound helicopter; by Vietnamese putting to sea in rowboats rather than enjoy Uncle Ho's "Workers' and Peasants' Paradise" one more day. We are haunted by the consequences of allowing South Vietnam to collapse. Tens of thousands of executions (maybe 60,000), re-education camps where hundreds of thousands died, a million boat people.

We put them in those rowboats — we antiwar demonstrators, we sophisticated, smart guys. The war was nearly over when I graduated from high school. But high school students were old enough to demonstrate. They were old enough to feel superior to the fools who were running the government. And they were old enough to have known better. They were old enough to have understood what communist regimes had cost the world in suffering, from the prisons of Havana to the death camps of Siberia.

I'm the same age as Prof. Gelernter and our paths almost crossed. He attended Yale as an undergraduate, I attended Stony Brook. He went to Stony Brook for graduate school while I went on to Columbia University in the late 70's. He became a professor at Yale and I became a software consultant for Digital Equipment Corporation.

I wasn't an anti-war protester nor was I part of the post-Vietnam Carter-era armed forces. My only contact with the army was a period of three months medical rehabilitation in an US Army hospital in West Germany as a civilian in 1975. I honor the Veterans today.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:11 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

WSJ: Palestrina Was Not in Vogue (paid subs. reqd.)


A few years ago, while visiting college campuses with my son, I witnessed an odd but recurring phenomenon: Our student guide would be showing us around a beautiful New England campus -- all arches and spires and ivy -- when we would abruptly stop in front of a building of incredible ugliness. Either a science center or a library, it looked like the Death Star about to become fully operational. Or an auto parts warehouse that had escaped from some malevolent industrial park.

"Oh, this," the guide would say with a cringing gesture. "It was built in the early '70s. We try not to notice."

Such moments of cultural dissonance come to mind while reading Mark Oppenheimer's "Knocking on Heaven's Door" (Yale, 284 pages, $30), a study of the effect of the 1960s and early 1970s on our relationship with God. According to Mr. Oppenheimer, most Americans did not respond to that era's cultural upheavals by joining ashrams or doing TM. Rather, they brought the revolution into their churches and synagogues. And the results were striking: radical lesbian Episcopalian priests, Catholic Masses that sounded like Peter, Paul and Mary concerts, and Unitarians channeling whatever the Zeitgeist had to offer.

But was the era of lava lamps, bubble-gum music and appalling architecture a propitious moment for churches and synagogues to open themselves -- some might say, surrender -- to the secular culture? Did anyone really benefit from this?

Various denominations discovered guitars, sandals, hugging and identity politics.

Mr. Oppenheimer seems to think so, telling us that the innovations got people "involved." By importing big chunks of the surrounding culture into the previously hushed precincts of the sacred, religion was simply doing its job of selling itself. Much of "Knocking on Heaven's Door" is a chronicle of how this process unfolded. There are well-researched chapters on the pre-emptive surrender of Unitarians to everything from gay rights to ESP, the flight of some Jews into communal isolates where dope was available along with the Torah, and the willingness of Catholics to exchange Palestrina for acoustical guitars.

As a Catholic, I naturally took interest in the chapter "Roman Catholics and the Folk Mass." It is not quite accurate to imply, as Mr. Oppenheimer does, that all the liturgical changes that occurred in the Catholic Church after Vatican II were decreed by the council. Some indeed were, but most, including altar tables facing the congregation and the abolition of polyphony and Gregorian chant, were not. Nor were they asked for by the laity. They were the work of a determined minority of clergy and liturgists who had a horror of anything smacking of the transcendent. "Horizontal" was in; "vertical" was out. As a result, we found ourselves on Sundays singing pop jingles like "On Eagles' Wings," a song that makes "Michael Row the Boat Ashore" sound magisterial.

Mr. Oppenheimer is correct to say that the way we worship deeply affects our notion of God. But he does not really connect the dots. His discussion is glancing, almost annoyingly sociological. Yes, people in various denominations discovered guitars, sandals, hugging and identity politics. But what was really going on here?

At least in the Catholic Church, an increasing number of worshipers began to treat their faith primarily as an exercise in self-esteem, even while doctrinal teachings remained in place, and the church experienced an invasion of the "therapeutic." The model of the human person, as presented by certain theologians and even some catechisms, was of a little god in a universe of "options" -- self-affirmed, plotting his comforts, quick to "follow his conscience" when he wanted something he maybe shouldn't. By the late 1960s many Jews and Christians had managed to domesticate God into an affirmer of personal preferences.

None of this registers with Mr. Oppenheimer, who is mostly content to report the surface manifestations of the Me Decade without touching on the deeper issues, such as the validity of supernatural faith and the proper role of religion in public life, and without asking whether a secular culture benefits in the long run from denominations that simply do its bidding.

Undoubtedly, a church or synagogue should update its usages so that it can communicate with the surrounding culture. But shouldn't this be done with caution, along with the conviction that a well-grounded faith has more to teach the surrounding culture than vice versa? When a religion simply signs on for the prevailing aesthetic -- which in the period under consideration was dismal -- and refuses to be "judgmental" about any behavior not proscribed by fashion, then it is in trouble.

Mr. Oppenheimer does usefully remind us of the good that religion can do when it stands against prevailing notions. The civil-rights movement in the 1950s, for example, was overwhelmingly religious in its leadership. But the question he never raises is whether these countervailing values will be around if religion keeps accommodating itself to the spirit of the age.

Mr. Johnston is a writer in New York.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:40 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Monday, November 10, 2003
NY1: Kids find missile launcher in Brooklyn.

Kids in Queens looking for nukes.

This was submitted by me and was accepted as a fark

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:56 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Neglect at Road Runner

On this page:

appears not to have been updated
since September 25, 2003

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:46 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

The Rt Rev Dr Peter Forster, Bishop of Chester, said in an interview with a newspaper: "Some people who are primarily homosexual can reorientate themselves."

It just may be a crime to say (or think that)

365gay.com takes a wait and see attitude.

Such intolerance cannot be tolerated.

UPDATE: Touchstone Magazine's blog takes my little soundbite and develops a coherent warning of the the coming persecution of Christians.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:57 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

New York Magazine: Blog Blog Blog
The New York Weblog explosion has created a new wave of chattering-class grandees. So what if they’re sitting at home in their bathrobes?

By Simon Dumenco

A long, long time ago—the early nineties—I was into blogs before there were blogs.

In a previous life as a new-media “expert,” I was employed to create an America Online site for Seventeen magazine. We needed “content,” quick and dirty. So we created a series of first-person-y proto-blog columns that were written by a posse of editorial and fashion assistants five minutes out of college who would blend personal media observations (careful deconstructions of the previous night’s episode of My So-Called Life or 90210) with office gossip (an embarrassing or endearing thing that happened on a recent photo shoot) and journal entries (unfortunate boyfriend behavior, a life-changing new band) and sassy commentary on Young Hollywood news from the gossip columns. Sometimes we linked, but most often not—simply because there were so few Websites at the time.

Another round-up of hip New York City bloggerati and alas I was not included.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:44 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Washington Times, Diana West: Has the Vatican changed its mind about Islam?
You just might think you've struck a nerve when a guy who goes to work every day at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to promote interfaith dialogue — someone who keeps people talking — hangs up on you. You've certainly struck out, anyway.

But "dialogue" with John Borelli, the bishops' staff man on Catholic-Muslim relations, didn't hold much promise after he said he wouldn't comment on an extraordinary article about the desperate plight of Christians in Islamic societies that appeared in La Civilta Cattolica, a Jesuit magazine thought of as the semi-official voice of the Vatican.

"I won't comment on an article that I have not read in its entirety," Mr. Borelli said, noting that the English translation of the Italian article, "Christians in Islamic Countries" by Giuseppe De Rosa S.I., available at www.chiesa.espressonline.it/english under the headline "The Church and Islam. 'La Civilta Cattolica' Breaks the Ceasefire," is incomplete. (It is a 3,083-word excerpt.) "I don't know what the point of the article is."

(a) If you don't get the point after 3,083 words, then it's really a bad article or you need remedial reading. (b) This article has been out for a week, I've read it, if this is your job, wouldn't you feel a bit obligated to read it?

However, West had better luck than Ira Stoll who did not even get a call back.

The American Spectator Ira Stoll: Bye, Bye Almoudi

That friendship resulted in William Cardinal Keeler of Baltimore accepting from Alamoudi the "Mahmoud Abu-Saud Award for Excellence" at a banquet hosted by the American Muslim Council in December 1995. Borelli didn’t return a call for comment.
And here is a link to the excerpt in English from La Civilta Cattolica, it appeared in L'espresso Online

and blogger credit to Amy Welborn

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:22 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Jessica Lynch's Hero: Pfc. Patrick Miller
For now, Miller has been working anonymously in the motor-pool at Fort Carson in Colorado. Three months after the crash, The Washington Post referred to him thusly in an article about Jessica Lynch: "One soldier whose name could not be learned, took cover behind a berm. Iraqi soldiers were on the other side in a mortar pit. He killed a half dozen of them, a defense official said. Soon though, he was surrounded by a couple of dozen armed Iraqis and is believed to have been killed on the spot. 'He didn't have a chance,' said the official."

Miller says he saw the article. "I went to work the next day and said that I wasn't doing nothing at work because the paper said I was dead," he laughs.

Only a month ago, Baltimore Sun reporter Tom Bowman revealed the name of the unsung hero. Bowman had learned that out of the 150,000 U.S. soldiers sent to Iraq, Miller was one of only 90 to receive the Silver Star for valor.

Col. Heidi Brown explains why, out of 2,000 soldiers under her command, Miller was the only one she recommended for one of the Army's highest awards. She says, "Private First Class Miller did things during war that no other soldier underneath my command did. And he risked his life to save his comrades and he absolutely did."

I began to watch the movie but I had to turn it off after the ambush because my son had not finished his homework -- which he had promised to do in order to be free to watch the movie. School comes first.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:47 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

AP: New Hampshire Court Rules Gay Sex is not adultery
If a married woman has sex with another woman, is that adultery? The New Hampshire Supreme Court on Friday said no.

The court was asked to review a divorce case in which a husband accused his wife of adultery after she had a sexual relationship with another woman.

Robin Mayer of Brownsville, Vt., was named in the divorce proceedings of David and Sian Blanchflower, of Hanover.

After a Lebanon Family Court judge determined Mayer and Sian Blanchflower’s relationship did constitute adultery, Mayer appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that gay sex doesn’t qualify as adultery under the state’s divorce law.

Three of the five judges agreed, but two - generally considered the more conservative judges - did not.

This ruling could have a minimal impact or a maximum impact like the Marvin decision in California which allowed unmarried lovers to sue for a share of the property when the relationship ends (aka palimony).

A really strict reading of this ruling would even mean that sexual intercourse between a man and a woman where some form of birth control was being used would not be adultery.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:12 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Nazis in the 'hood
and I'm not talking neo-Nazi

Newsday: Racing Against Time in Nazi Hunts Old age, legal red tape hamper some pursuits

Washington - Before hundreds of suspected Nazis still living in the United States die of old age, the federal government wants its shot at justice first.

The agency has "between eight and 10 years" to find the "several hundred" remaining Nazis living here, said the Nazi-hunting Office of Special Investigations director Eli Rosenbaum, who grew up in Westbury. An average of 10 suspected Nazis die annually.

"Not a month goes by that we don't learn we have lost another suspect," Rosenbaum said. "We race the grim reaper like no other prosecutors in the country."

WNBC: Protesters Rally Against Alleged Ex-Nazi

NEW YORK -- In Jackson Heights, protestors rallied Sunday outside the home of a 79-year-old Polish immigrant accused of being a former Nazi prison guard.

Jakiw Palij was stripped of his U.S. citizenship in July, NewsChannel 4 reported. The justice department said he lied on his visa application, saying he worked on his father's farm and at a factory during World War II.

Jewish groups claim Palij was an armed guard at the Trawniki slave labor camp, where 6,000 Jews were massacred in 1943. They say he should be deported and face criminal charges.

Sunday's protest coincided with the anniversary of Kristallnacht -- the 1938 night of terror that marked the beginning of the holocaust.

My Observations:

  • I can understand the government's interest in identifying and deporting them if their identification can be established but on a personal level, there should be an affirmation that these Nazis will not escape God's judgment.
  • Jackson Heights once upon a time had a substantial Jewish population, with 2 synagogues and a Jewish community center. Are are closed now and the population is now majority Hispanic from South America (Colombia, Ecuadaor, and Peru primarily).
  • This is same neighborhood as Nazi regalia and Catholic priest John Johnston lived. How's about that for a blogger-connection?
  • We 're not talking Nazi kingpins here: a Nazi who is 79 in 2003 was 19 in 1943. That's not an excuse, but an indication that we're not looking at evil at the level of an Eichmann or Mengele here.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:42 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Sunday, November 09, 2003
Saint Gereon
Saint Gereon is praying for you! To learn more
about this Roman martyr go HERE

Which saint would you be?
brought to you by Quizilla

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:02 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Where in the Cosmos is Mohammed? (another question raised in the comment boxes)


[Dante and Virgil] arrive in the ninth gulf, where the sowers of scandal, schismatics, and heretics, are seen with their limbs maimed or divided in different ways. Among these the Poet finds Mohammed, Piero da Medicina, Curio, Mosca, and Bertrand de Born.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:20 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

A near total lunar eclipse.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:10 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com