Saturday, December 13, 2003
Newsday: Fetus Found in Stapleton
A baby fetus found in a bag near Bay Street in Stapleton in Staten Island had police scrambling late Friday.It is always very sad to read this and pray that we (all of heaven and earth) can change the hearts and minds of all mothers not to kill their own children
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:05 AM Permalink
AP: French panel favors school ban on scarves, skullcaps, crosses
PARIS -- A presidential commission yesterday backed a ban on Islamic headscarves in public schools -- stepping into the wrenching debate over how to preserve the country's secular identity while integrating France's Muslim population, the largest in Western Europe.
I wonder how large large is? 1 inch? 3 cm?
This is clearly an infringement on religious freedom and all of the religious leaders in France have raised objections.
It will be interesting to track this as it is an issue that involves Muslims operating in a democratic country on a matter unconnected to international affairs or terrorism.
What exactly is a secular identity anyway? Is it defined only by the absence of a religious identity or the affirmation of atheism, or hostility to religion, or some combination of them all.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:42 AM Permalink
StandUpGirl.com is worth looking at
Oregon Right To Life presents a very visual site oriented to teenage girls.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:13 AM Permalink
Friday, December 12, 2003
Is it too late?
I'm looking at a lot a pessimistic blogs when it comes to the recent McConnell v. Federal Election Commission, which upheld the McCain-Feingold law's prohibitions on certain forms of political speech. As Justice Scalia wrote:
This is a sad day for the freedom of speech.
People pick different decisions to decide when judicial tyranny began.
Some reach as far back as the Marbury v. Madison (1803) in which the Court asserted its power to nullify a law. I believe it was Lochner v. New York (1905) -- this created a doctrine called "substantive due process" -- that allowed the Court to look outside the law itself to create rights -- but everyone acknowledges that it was here by Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) that invalidated laws restricting contraceptives on the basis that the legislature had violated a right to privacy which was implied in the Constitution in the view of the court's majority.
Unless we're prepared to amend the Constitution over and over again, we've got to replace the 5 who voted in the McConnell majority.
The Federal Marriage Amendment is necessary because of the Lawrence v. Texas and the Massachusetts court but it's only a band-aid on a huge wound to the rule of law that's been created by judge-made law.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:53 PM Permalink
If Islam needs a Pope, what does it seem that Islam is getting?
I may be the last to blog this very good article in Tech Central Station (a great web site with a terrible name) entitled "Does Islam Need a Pope?" by Edward Feser. I read the article earlier but didn't comment here. I was reminded of the article at Whispers in the Wasteland which I have just added to my blogroll.
This article harkens back to the excellent article by Jonah Goldberg at NRO Islamic Rites.
My own understanding of the Reformation comes mostly from Hilaire Belloc's works on the topic and for Islam, it is several books written by Bernard Lewis -- not exclusively but mostly.
The wrong understanding of the Reformation mentioned by by both Goldberg and Feser is that it broke the connection between Church and State that the Church imposed. In fact, in the end, it made the Church the servant of the State -- and no where is this more evident in Henry VIII's England in his declaration that he was the Supreme Head of the Church in England.
My understanding of the Reformation is that the Church needed Reform and this could have been achieved under other circumstances without starting the schism that never ends, however, starting with the German princes, the wealth and power of the Church was there for the taking. The Church, I imagine, never thought that it would be a sitting duck when the "revolution" came -- and it did.
Once the Catholic Counter-Reformation had run its course, the religious positions were so hardened by political divisions that reconciliation became impossible.
Today, reconciliation has become impossible in a corporate sense as many Churches of the Reformation have abandoned the historical faith, while the centuries older East/West schism might be healed.
Semper Reformanda The difference is the visible authority of the Bishop of Rome. Under certain defined circumstances the pope can define doctrine in an infallible way. He is not omnipotent. Many people miss that distinction.
The Pope is not subject to a veto and people confuse that with omnipotence. The Catholic faith is not limited to faith and morals but its authority to teach is focused on that. There are many areas of earthly life that the Church has no tradition of involvement in.
The Catholic faith spreading so rapidly in the first three centuries was truly trans-cultural. Local adaptation was the rule from the start, with uniformity of creed, rite, and moral law devloping over time. The faith spread without the distraction of raising armies and imposing a new government upon the people (although Christian armies would certainly come later)
The reach of Islam beyond religion into state and culture was there from the start. There's no parallel to that in any Christian community. Even the missions to the Aztecs which ultimately ended the worship of their pagan gods took centuries to complete.
I've come to think that it is shattering to core beliefs of Muslims who are living in the non-Muslim majority world that we accomodate more harmoniously various Islamic groups (Sunni, Shia, etc.). We're in the "Realm of War", the dar al-harb in their theology. Contradictions are multiplying.
In the midst of chaos, people look to a strong leader. Isn't bin Laden projecting strength? Only his group was able to attack the great Satan and its great symbols in New York and Washington.
If a Muslim leader were to emerge, would he emerge from persecution as Karol Wojtyla did? Or would he appear more like Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahab (c.1703–1791) who wanted to reform Islam by returning it to 10th century roots.
The Wahhabi's have since waged a shooting and an ideological war against the rest of Islam. This war took on new significance with three events: the triumph of the Saud family in Arabia (over the Ottoman Empire, Lawrence of Arabia, etc.), the economic importance of oil, and the foundation of Israel.
The unearned wealth of Islam means that a few leaders can have lives of awesome material wealth and power -- which itself is a corrupting itself.
I've come to believe that the drive behind Islam now is not for greater holiness or accomodation with modernity and more like looking for a Muslim Hitler.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:26 PM Permalink
Why Newt is criticizing the administration
I entered this into the Sean Hannity Fourm
I don't know if I heard this from Rush, Sean, Mark, Laura, Monica, or Steve: but Newt has to stray a little bit from the Bush line -- to get attention. Recall that Rush was told he'd have space in the New York Times only if he wrote an anti-Republican op-ed. Conservatives only get airtime when they can bash Bush.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:44 AM Permalink
CNET: Virginia files felony spam charges
Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore announced Thursday that his office had made its first felony indictment under the state's antispam law.
I am genuinely surprised that this was a considered a priority for law enforcement. I hope that this arrest and prosecution send a message to the spammers.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:55 AM Permalink
Rod Dreher: Fair Weather Friends: A Fable (Dallas Morning News: free reg. reqd.)
A very nice translation of current events into the world of kids fables. Rod Dreher and Mark Shea were the inspiration for me to launch this blog.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:48 AM Permalink
Thursday, December 11, 2003
CNN: Prosecution to seek death penalty in Rudolph case
Federal prosecutors in Alabama announced Thursday they will seek the death penalty against accused bomber Eric Robert Rudolph, saying he intentionally and maliciously killed a Birmingham police officer and wounded a nurse in the 1998 bombing of a family planning clinic.[CORRECTED TEXT]
Until now I thought that there was no Catholic connection in his case. Paul Hill who was executed on September 3 this year had no Catholic connection. While James C. Kopp who was convicted this year maintained his innocence and this was featured in Catholic magazines and web sites. At the time of his capture he admitted to the crimes. He was convicted under New York's maximum sentence of 25 years to life. The death penalty exists on a theoretical basis in New York State, but few DA's seek it, and none of the death row inmates have been executed.
The Catholic connection for Eric Rudolph is that his mother was a former novice in a Catholic convent. This story is from philly.com I don't know the order.
I am grateful to reader Marty for pointing out my confusing Hill with Kopp.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:11 PM Permalink
More reports via the police on the shooting death of two alleged robbers:
(1) Ivan Blume, the store owner, (you can use his name for a google search) did not use his own unlicensed gun. In previous incidents like this, the police typically arrest the owner on a charge of illegal weapons possession. (However, Ivan may have known this and simply said that the gun belonged to Michael Live or Hector Perez from whom police recovered one gun from each.
(2) Blume and another employee were being taken into the back room and as most New Yorkers know this is a prelude to an execution. Five employees at a Wendy's were killed in this manner in 2000 and many other cases since then have followed this pattern. Blume may have acted in desperation.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:16 AM Permalink
Wednesday, December 10, 2003
WINS: Brooklyn Pet Shop Owner Guns Down Robbers
(1010 WINS) (NEW YORK) Two men were shot and killed when they tried to rob a pet store in Brooklyn. New York city Police say the store owner struggled with the robbers and both robbers were shot dead. Police say the robbery began at eight last night at a pet store on Stillwell Avenue.
Here is another take on the multi-blog examination of the use of force, just war, etc.
Was the owner of this store justified is struggling with the robbers?
Should he have done, as he did several times before, turn the other cheek and allow his pets to be stolen?
It should be pointed out that in many cases in New York City, the witnesses to a robbery are sometimes killed in order to prevent the identification of the murder. For a person who has been convicted of a felony before, the typical prison sentence served for armed robbery is about the same same as a murder.
I think this was self-defense.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:16 PM Permalink
AP:Priest Charged With Making Obscene Calls
Daytona Beach FL: A part-time priest was charged with making obscene phone calls to a 70-year-old Ormond Beach woman.
Where to begin?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:17 AM Permalink
Tuesday, December 09, 2003
The Onion: New Alternate Reality Series Puts 12 Strangers on Island Where South Won Civil War
LOS ANGELESÃ¢â‚¬â€?CBS executives announced Monday that they have begun filming Antebellum Island, a new "alternate reality" series in which 12 strangers compete for $1 million while isolated on an island still under Confederate rule.
My favorite fiction genre is Alternate History What if...
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:03 PM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:45 PM Permalink
Boston Globe: Diocese to mortgage seminary, cathedral
So it has come to this. Who still thinks this is a media created crisis?
I hope the evil Mr. Potter (of It's a Wonderful Life and not of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone) does not hold the mortage
Mr. Potter: Why, the whole town knows you've been giving money to Violet Bick.Otherwise Archbishop O'Malley will be soon be saying Mass in the hedgerows if the people in pews do not pray, pay, and obey.
(I know the quote makes little sense, but hey it was 1946, and it wasn't Vincent Bick)
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:15 PM Permalink
Not Really Indian
shares my observation about melting pot of American immigration with a new metahpor:
It is an interesting little phenom, for it leads me to believe that we are entering the age of “mocha flavor.”
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:58 AM Permalink
Gawker: Abercrombie & Fitch Quarterly Shuts Down?
A shocking death; Abercrombie & Fitch Quarterly may be no more.Too early to tell, but perhaps one day looking backwards this will be seen as the high water mark of the indecency movement.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:51 AM Permalink
Caller from car on talk radio crashes.
Today's new talk radio topic: Is calling a talk radio show from your car dangerous? (corrected typos -- lesson: don't blog too early in the morning.)
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:47 AM Permalink
Monday, December 08, 2003
"I'm God, kill me!"
A naked maniac hacked his wife to death with a sword in their Bronx apartment yesterday and then lunged at cops howling, "I'm God, kill me!" before an officer shot him and accidentally hit her own partner, too, police said.
This is not a story for the squeemish. I blog it here to show that there's some limit to the ability to prevent crime. I don't know if this was demonic posssession or simply insanity. It is a tragic story.
I suspect that he wanted to be killed by the police officers when they entered the apartment.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:32 PM Permalink
New York Post: Girl Takes Off on the Wrong Foot
December 5, 2003 -- A 15-year-old Queens girl driving a stolen car rammed into cops who had been chasing her, running over the toes of an NYPD officer, officials said yesterday.
No hesitation in revealing the girl's name in spite of the fact she's 15.
Evidence of the melting pot: a name like Singh-Gomez.
Perhaps she lives in this neighborhood Daily News: Little India in Jackson Heights
These neighborhoods: Rego Park and Jackson Heights are about a mile away from me. Goldfingers I believe is in Queen of Martyrs parish.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:16 PM Permalink
MichNews.com: Bishop Raymond Burke's Strange Nemesis
But archbishop-elect Burke has had his share of crosses, like any other orthodox bishop. One of them is a man by the name of Ryan Scott. "Father" Ryan Scott. Or, as he is currently known, Father Ryan St. Anne, O.S.B. You see, Fr. Scott/St. Anne is an independent priest. In Church-speak, he is schismatic - not in communion with Rome. And whether he is a validly ordained priest is, well, debatable.
My favorite quote:
...the Diocese we have learned one important lesson regarding all of this: have as little to do as possible with Scott. It is best not to engage him in any way, shape or form. All will be quickly distorted and used against you...
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:49 PM Permalink
Sierra Times: How South Park Can Save America By Anthony C. LoBaido
I have become increasingly worried about the direction of our nation and our world. I feel powerless to stop it but people continue to ask me to speak out. I will do so only because, quite frankly, so few others seem to have the understanding of Americaï¿½s axis/allies issues, the courage, world vision, experience overseas and love of truth and country to say what needs to be said. Fortunately we have South Park to save us. (Iï¿½m serious and I came to realize this at 11:59 am on December 7th, 2003 on a big anniversary of Pearl Harbor.)A little difficult to read nonetheless a quirky reminder of how bad things were only a few years ago.
Mark Barton was a 90's serial killer. I had to look that up.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:39 PM Permalink
The Advocate: Judge rules antigay views protected by constitution
A federal judge has ruled that Ann Arbor public schools violated a former student's constitutional rights when she wasn't allowed to express her antigay Catholic views in a panel discussion about gays and religion. U.S. district judge Gerald Rosen said in a 70-page opinion issued Friday that school officials violated her right to free speech and equal protection. He also said officials violated the establishment clause when they allowed a panel of clergy to present only one religious viewpoint on homosexuality.Hadn't read the opinion? Gee, I guess today everyone was busy cleaning the erasers or distributing condoms.
Just to let you know how the gay press handled their defeat.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:23 PM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:56 AM Permalink
Sol Invictus and the accusations of paganism: the other attack on the meaning of Christmas
There is a wonderful story on how the date of the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was fixed, and it may have been told many times before. I hope to retell it.
The untold story is how the Catholic Church and indeed all faith communities that honor Jesus on the date of December 25 have come to be attacked for embracing paganism in choosing this date or, in fact, any such date all over the web.
It starts with a question I was asked in Grand Central Terminal: "What's up with calling December 25 Christmas?"
Or does the entire authority of the Catholic Church (and Christian groups connected to it) hinge on the sincerity of the Conversion of Constantine?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:43 AM Permalink
Sunday, December 07, 2003
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:28 PM Permalink