28 febbraio 2006

Dan Brown's anti-crusade

I am convinced that Dan Brown is knowingly deceiving millions. I cannot possibly believe that the "pain-staking" research he claims was ever done..... unless all of the problems to his theory were purposely ignored.

For instance, the integrity of the DaVinci Code hinges on what he calls the "fact" that Leonardo DaVinci was the grandmaster of the Priory of Sion at one point. The Priory did not exist until 1956, and has nothing to do with protecting esoteric secrets about Jesus. Therefore there was nothing for DaVinci to encode, and the motivations Brown attributes to him cannot exist.

The BBC exposed the Priory of Sion hoax in 1996. When you want to do "pain-staking" research on a topic, how do you miss a BBC investigation? How?

The idea that Mary Magdalene was portrayed in DaVinci's Last Supper is absolutely laughable for art historians. This was exemplified in the ABC special when the woman interviewer brought the art historian to view the painting, and asked him, in all seriousness, "Doesn't that look like Mary Magdalene?" The look on the professor's face was priceless! It was one of those looks when someone has asked a question so incredibly stupid that you actually lose respect for them on the spot!

How could Brown not, in his painstaking research, have come across Leonardo's notes and sketches of the painting... in which all of the apostles are labeled by name?

And when he claims that at the Council of Nicea, Constantine (a) deified Jesus, and (b) established the canon of the New Testament, why did he not read the resolutions of the Council? They are readily available to anyone with an internet connection. The Council said nothing on the divinity of Jesus (this was well established in the New Testament, not to mention various writings of the early theologians) and had nothing to do with the formation of the canon (this would not happen, for good, for another ~65 years at Hippo).

I have lost all respect for Dan Brown, except the respect due to him by the mere fact that he is alive and a fellow human. He is one of those who you should "love as a neighbor, but not like," to paraphrase C.S. Lewis.

25 febbraio 2006

Isn't New Zealand glad Catholics don't revenge insult with injury and burned embassies

Open Season on Christianity
A Little Respect Is Harder to Find

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand, FEB. 25, 2006 (Zenit.org).- The recent publication of cartoons satirizing the prophet Mohammed brought many calls for greater respect of Islamic beliefs. Christians could rightly wonder when they, too, will receive some respect.

As controversy over the drawings continues, a television station in New Zealand chose this moment to show a "South Park" episode ridiculing the Virgin Mary and the Pope. The "Bloody Mary" episode of the animated series has scenes showing a bleeding statue of Mary, whose spurting blood covers the Pope, reported the New Zealand Herald on Monday.

Plans by the C4 TV channel, owned by the Canadian media chain CanWest, to show the episode brought strong protest from New Zealand's Catholic bishops. The bishops issued a pastoral letter, read at all Masses last weekend. "The way in which Mary is portrayed in this episode is derisive, outrageous and beyond all acceptable standards of decency and good taste," stated the letter. "Pope Benedict is also insulted in this episode."

The bishops observed that last year the same company was responsible for screening "the offensive 'Popetown' series." The Broadcasting Standards Authority has yet to deal with the complaint made by the bishops.

In their pastoral letter the bishops explained that they wrote to CanWest several weeks ago, asking the company not to screen the "South Park" episode "because of the grave offence it would give to all Christians, including Catholics, and people of other faiths and cultures." Leaders of the Anglican and Presbyterian churches also signed the letter, along with figures from the Muslim and Jewish communities. Even New Zealand's prime minister, Helen Clark, a declared agnostic, commented that she found the cartoon offensive.

CanWest responded to the protests by bringing forward the screening of the episode, from May 10 to Wednesday this week. According to Wednesday's issue of the New Zealand Herald, the company informed the Catholic Church's communications director, Lyndsay Freer, of the decision at 5 p.m. Tuesday. She was asked to comment on it for the 6 p.m. news bulletin on one of CanWest's channels. "

Given that by far the majority of those involved in the debate have not had the opportunity to view the episode, we feel it is important to give the public of New Zealand that chance," said Rick Friesen, chief operating officer of CanWest-owned TVWorks. The Church has called for a boycott of the television station. And Wednesday's Herald article reported that Patrick Quin, owner of the agency Max Recruitment, has withdrawn advertising worth about $4,300 a month from CanWest.

Insulting Jesus
The New Zealand case is far from an isolated episode. Last Nov. 8 the British newspaper Guardian reported that a French paper had won a court battle giving it the right to show a cartoon of a naked Jesus wearing a condom. The daily Liberation was taken to court by a Christian organization after printing the image in April. A court in Paris described the portrayal as "crude" but said it did not contravene any laws.

Last Sunday another British newspaper, the Observer, published a commentary by Nick Cohen, headlined "It's So Cowardly to Attack the Church When We Won't Offend Islam." Cohen described his visit to an art exhibition in London's East End by artists Gilbert and George. The exhibition is entitled "Sonofagod Pictures: Was Jesus Heterosexual?" The catalogue described the works as "an assault on the laws and institutions of superstition and religious belief." "This isn't a brave assault on all religions, just Catholicism," explained Cohen. "The gallery owners know that although Catholics will be offended, they won't harm them." He added: "If they were to do the same to Islam, all hell would break loose."

Another case is that of popular Swedish jeans, which come with the logo of a skull with a cross turned upside down on its forehead, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Jan. 15. "It is an active statement against Christianity," explained Bjorn Atldax, the designer of the jeans. "I'm not a Satanist myself, but I have a great dislike for organized religion." Atldax said that he wants to make young people question Christianity, which he called a "force of evil" that had sparked wars throughout history. The jeans have been shipped throughout Europe and to Australia, and there are plans to introduce them to the United States and elsewhere, the Inquirer said. Around 200,000 pairs have been sold since March 2004.

Parody abounds
Attacks on Christianity also abound in the United States. Among the examples noted Feb. 15 by the Washington Post were: the latest cover of Rolling Stone, featuring rapper Kanye West wearing Christ's crown of thorns; "South Park's" "The Spirit of Christmas" short, featuring an obscenity-filled fistfight between Christ and Santa Claus; a radio show featuring comedian J. Anthony Brown and his "biblical sayings" from the Last Supper, in which disciples make outrageous quips. The newspaper also recalled the 1999 controversy when then New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani tried to shut down a museum for featuring a painting of the Virgin Mary covered with elephant dung.

And, at the same time Christianity is held up to ridicule, believers face obstacles in proclaiming their own faith. A recent case is the decision on Christmas displays in New York's public schools. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that it is constitutionally permissible for the schools to ban the display of the Christian nativity during Christmas, while permitting the display of the Jewish menorah and the Islamic star and crescent during Hanukkah and Ramadan. The Thomas More Law Center reported on the decision in a press release dated Feb. 3. City authorities defended the policy by arguing that the menorah and star and crescent were permissible symbols because they were "secular," whereas the Nativity scene had to be excluded because it was "purely religious." The court judged that this argument was fallacious, stating that the policy "mischaracterizes" the symbols. But it still upheld the ban on the Nativity scene.

Further examples abound. In Britain a council-run crematorium removed a wooden cross from its chapel, for fear of offending non-Christians, the Times reported last June 9. Torbay Council in Devon also announced that the chapel would in future be known as the ceremony hall. A local Anglican vicar, Anthony Macey, observed that the cross had been in the chapel for nearly 50 years. And Father Paul Connor, the Catholic priest for Brixham, said: "If the cross offends people they can cover it up. What about the Christians who are offended by its removal?"

Respecting beliefs
The Second Vatican Council's pastoral constitution "Gaudium et Spes" addressed the question of contemporary culture and freedom. Culture, it said in No. 59, "has constant need of a just liberty in order to develop." For this reason it has "a certain inviolability," which is, however, not absolute. It is limited by the common good and the rights of individuals and the community, the document said. And concerning these limitations, Benedict XVI commented on the importance of respecting religious beliefs, during his speech Monday to Morocco's new ambassador to the Holy See. "It is necessary and urgent that religions and their symbols be respected," the Pope said. He added that this implies that "believers not be the object of provocations that wound their lives and religious sentiments." A principle valid for all religions, Christianity included.


I'll comment after I stop vomiting. But there is not much to say, the article doesn't need any interpretation. As the saying goes, Anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice.

24 febbraio 2006

Lingering threat of coerced abortion in the Philippines

The same attitude that poplations must be controlled by government policies of sterilization and mandatory abortions is spreading through some in the Filipino government.

A proposed law would threaten doctors who refused to perform sterilizations and administer abortifacients with prison time. Filipinos are 87% Catholic and 5% Muslim. In other words, the religious beliefs of 92% of the country do not allow forced abortion or sterilization.

Luckily, the opponents of this proposed legislation outnumber its proponents.

As reported by Bradford Short (no relation to Martin):

Two-Child Policy Stalled in Filipino Congress; Lack of Support Cited

Proposed legislation in the Philippines that would impose radical limits on the number of children that families can have appears to have less support in the Congress than was once reported. But pro-family opponents of the bill warn that it remains on the legislative calendar and remains a threat despite the fact that the proposed act is very unpopular in the majority Catholic country.

In January the Friday Fax reported that some Filipino legislators, arguing that the Philippines needs a much more aggressive policy of population control, introduced a bill that is strikingly similar to the one-child policy of Communist China. The "Responsible Parenting and Population Control Act of 2005" includes a preference in education for two-child families, free access to abortifacients, mandatory sex education for children as young as 10-years-old and imprisonment penalties for health care providers who refuse to perform or provide sterilization services for a population that is 87 percent Catholic and 5 percent Muslim.

At that time one sponsor of the act reported that he had the votes of 135 of 238 members of the Filipino House. It was thought that the bill could be debated and voted on at any time. It now appears that this particular statement was hyperbole. According to Eileen Macapanas Cosby, Executive Director of the Filipino Family Fund, the act was not debated, let alone passed, by the Filipino House last January. Nevertheless, Cosby warns that the bill remains a threat. She said supporters of the "two-child" policy have pressed on. According to Cosby, the act is "still on the schedule" of the House's legislative calendar, listed as "unfinished business," which means that it can be brought up for debate and a vote at any time during the early days of the work-week during any one of the next few weeks.

If passed the act would provide for a centralized bureaucracy that would be run by three non-elected officials from NGOs. This new bureaucracy would oversee the implementation of the legislation. Cosby said the bill "paves the way" for "the kind of human rights nightmare that is already" taking place "in China, with its coercive sterilization and contraception practices." She calls the proposed bill "China-lite."

Filipino President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is likely to veto the proposed act if it passes both houses of Congress. As in the American system, the act would then return to Congress where it must receive two thirds of the vote in both chambers to override the veto.

Mandatory sterilizations in India make Hitler proud....

Church in India Condemns Judge's Sterilization Order

Teachers, Public Servants and Village Leaders Forced to Fulfill a Quota
fuente: http://www.zenit.org/english/visualizza.phtml?sid=84990
ALLAHABAD, India, FEB. 23, 2006 (Zenit.org).- A district judge has issued an order forcing teachers, public servants and village leaders to fulfill a "sterilization" quota by March 31 on pains of dismissal, suspension or transfer.

In other words... if you don't fulfill your sterilization quota, you don't eat, and you may be forced to move.

The AsiaNews agency of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions reported the news Tuesday, adding that public school teachers are now required to promote sterilization among students and their families.

The Catholic Church "strongly condemns this sterilization plan which is contrary to God's laws and morality, and [which] must be stopped without delay for the good of the nation," said the new secretary-general of the Indian bishops' conference, Archbishop Stanislaus Fernandes of Gandhinagar. The archbishop told AsiaNews that that Judge Amrit Abhijat's order is "unacceptable."

For their part, teachers are shocked by the new "task" imposed on them, AsiaNews said. "We are treated like bonded laborers," said Ravi Prasad Chaurasia, a primary school teacher in the district. "Are we supposed to teach students or ask them to bring their parents to medical camps for sterilization? It is shameful, but who is going to listen to us?"

10 per employee

Under the court order, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, Class III employees in the Medical and Health Department are required to bring 10 people for sterilization, noted AsiaNews. Targets for village leaders have not been announced "but some of them have already started to recruit victims," the news agency said.

Judge Abhijat told the local press that for him family planning comes above everything else because the root cause of all evils is population explosion. "We have to take up this challenge on a priority basis," he stressed. "

Echoes of Malthus, Darwin, and Hitler are ringing through the subcontinent. Even worse is the modernist notion that the root of evil is simply people. Not what they do, but their very existence. In China, some women are forced into mandatory abortions. It is the other side of this same coin.

Judge Abhijat's order cannot but shock every Indian," said Father Babu Joseph, director of the episcopate's Media and Communications Department. "It is shocking first of all because it involves people who educate the young, and secondly because family planning falls within the jurisdiction of the Health Department and not the courts." "The Church cannot accept a barbarous practice like sterilization," the priest said. "It promotes instead natural methods of family planning which is the only path for a responsible population policy."

On Plato's Symposium

To Plato, Love/desire is the want of the beautiful by a man who has not. Plato's definition of love is not synonymous with the act of cherishing something which one already has, it is the desire to have something which is not yet possessed, or to desire an everlasting nature for something one already has. In the story of Socrates' conversation with the priestess Diotina, Plato says that the highest form of love is that which is driven by the goal of being in communion with absolute beauty. He also relates the successive stages which lead a noble man towards realization of that ultimate goal. The ultimate goal of a noble life is described through the words of Socrates:

In that communion only [pure and clear vision of true beauty], beholding beauty with the eye of the mind, he will be able to bring forth, not images of beauty, but realities, and bringing forth and nourishing true virtue to become the friend of God and be immortal.

The communion described here is one which is immortal, and through Socrates, Plato gives examples of the quest for immortality found in animals and in man. He describes how procreation is the ultimate physical goal of all species, more important than life, as progeny can in some ways preserve the aspects of the parent. Humans seek to preserve their intellectual and emotional characteristics, so that they may be remembered forever. Plato gives the example of Achilleus vengeance of Patroclus, the laws of Solon, the children of Lycurgus, among others. However, the desires of everlasting memory are pale in comparison to the immortal and eternal communion of the mind of the philosopher and the true beauty which he sees in the mind's eye.

After Socrates gives his explanation of love, the conversation is interrupted by the entrance of a "drunken" Alciabades. Alciabades personifies Plato's fundamental aspect of love, the desire for that beauty which he does not have. Alciabades' story of Socrates constant rejections of his physical love give insight into the type of love held in highest esteem by Plato. Alciabades is enamored by the seeminlgy divine wisdom of Socrates, and by his physical as well as mental integrity. Socrates is the object of Alciabades' love.

However, through Socrates' constant rejections of Alciabades' physical love, Plato shows that the highest love is not physical, but intellectual or spiritual. Through Socrates' rejection of Alciabades' supplications, Plato is saying that Socrates is noble in seeking immortal communion with true beauty, the desire to be a "friend of God," and in this sense also is noble in his rejection of physical union with a mortal. The desire for the immortal spiritual and intellectual beauty is more important than desire for a physical beauty which will inevitably fade away.

Plato wrote over two thousand years ago. Where can we find a modern "map" to aid us in this quest for communion with the beautiful? On the internet, of course! The Evidential Power of Beauty: Science and Theology Meet by Thomas Dubay, S.M., is an absolutely mind-blowing work which can help you begin your journey....

22 febbraio 2006

Takbir is a scary idiot

He is so stupid! The leader of the new Black Panther movement, named Takbir. He recently had a rally in D.C. with about a dozen supporters. Most of it was spent yelling at peaceful protestors. The highlight of the event had to be when he confused the Danish with the Dutch. Or when he called the white people irreformable cave-dwelling beasts who can never know God. You can download or stream the video from this page. Laugh, or cry, or both. Takbir makes Kanye West look intelligent.

In other news, seven years of legal ping pong in the French courts cases has finally come to an end, costing God knows how many dollars in legal fees. The result is that 3 paprazzi photographers who bothered Princess Di must pay a total of ONE EURO (yes, one, single euro between the three of them) in "damages" to Mohamed al Fayed, the father of Di's boyfriend who died with her in the Paris car crash. I swear I did not make this up! You can read about it here.

Eyewitness to partial birth abortion

Statement of Brenda Pratt Shafer, R.N.
Before the Subcommittee on the Constitution
Committee on the Judiciary
U.S. House of Representatives
Hearing on The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act (HR 1833)
March 21, 1996

Mr. Chairman and honorable members of the Judiciary Committee, I am Brenda Pratt Shafer. I am here before you, at the request of the Committee, to relate to you my experience as an eyewitness to what is now known as the partial-birth abortion procedure.

I am a registered nurse, licensed in the State of Ohio, with 14 years of experience. In 1993, I was employed by Kimberly Quality Care, a nursing agency in Dayton, Ohio. In September, 1993, Kimberly Quality Care asked me to accept assignment at the Women’s Medical Center, which is operated by Dr. Martin Haskell. I readily accepted the assignment because I was at that time very pro-choice. I had even told my teenage daughters that if one of them ever got pregnant at a young age, I would make them get an abortion. They disagreed with me on this, and one of them even wrote an essay for a high school class that mentioned how we differed on the issue. So, because of the strong pro-choice views that I held at that time, I thought this assignment would be no problem for me.

But I was wrong. I stood at a doctor’s side as he performed the partial-birth abortion procedure– and what I saw is branded forever on my mind. I worked as an assistant nurse at Dr. Haskell’s clinic for three days– September 28, 29, and 30, 1993.

On the first day, we assisted in some first-trimester abortions, which is all I’d expected to be involved in. (I remember that one of the patients was a 15-year-old-girl who was having her third abortion.) On the second day, I saw Dr. Haskell do a second-trimester procedure that is called a D & E (dilation and evacuation). He used ultrasound to examine the fetus. Then he used forceps to pull apart the baby inside the uterus, bringing it out piece by piece and piece, throwing the pieces in a pan.Also on the first two days, we inserted laminaria to dilate the cervixes of women who were being prepared for the partial-birth abortions– those who were past the 20 weeks point, or 4 1\2 months. (Dr. Haskell called this procedure “D & X”, for dilation and extraction.) There were six or seven of these women.

On the third day, Dr. Haskell asked me to observe as he performed several of the procedures that are the subject of this hearing. Although I was in that clinic on assignment of the agency, Dr. Haskell was interested in hiring me full time, and I was being given orientation in the entire range of procedures provided at that facility. I was present for three of these partial-birth procedures. It is the first one that I will describe to you in detail. The mother was six months pregnant (26 1/2 weeks). A doctor told her that the baby had Down Syndrome and she decided to have an abortion. She came in the first two days to have the laminaria inserted and changed, and she cried the whole time.

On the third day she came in to receive the partial-birth procedure. Dr. Haskell brought the ultrasound in and hooked it up so that he could see the baby. On the ultrasound screen, I could see the heart beating. As Dr. Haskell watched the baby on the ultrasound screen, the baby’s heartbeat was clearly visible on the ultrasound screen. Dr. Haskell went in with forceps and grabbed the baby’s legs and pulled them down into the birth canal. Then he delivered the baby’s body and the arms– everything but the head. The doctor kept the baby’s head just inside the uterus.The baby’s little fingers were clasping and unclasping, and his feet were kicking. Then the doctor stuck the scissors through the back of his head, and the baby’s arms jerked out in a flinch, a startle reaction, like a baby does when he thinks that he might fall. The doctor opened up the scissors, stuck a high-powered suction tube into the opening and sucked the baby’s brains out. Now the baby was completely limp. I was really completely unprepared for what I was seeing. I almost threw up as I watched the doctor do these things.

Mr. Chairman, I read in the paper that President Clinton says that he is going to veto this bill. If President Clinton had been standing where I was standing at that moment, he would not veto this bill. Dr. Haskell delivered the baby’s head. He cut the umbilical cord and delivered the placenta. He threw that baby in a pan, along with the placenta and the instruments he’d used. I saw the baby move in the pan. I asked another nurse and she said it was just “reflexes.”I have been a nurse for a long time and I have seen a lot of death– people maimed in auto accidents, gunshot wounds, you name it. I have seen surgical procedures of every sort. But in all my professional years, I had never witnessed anything like this.The woman wanted to see her baby, so they cleaned up the baby and put it in a blanket and handed the baby to her. She cried the whole time, and she kept saying, “I’m so sorry, please forgive me!” I was crying too. I couldn’t take it. That baby boy had the most perfect angelic face I have ever seen. [He supposedly had Down Syndrome, remember?]I was present in the room during two more such procedures that day, but I was really in shock. I tried to pretend that I was somewhere else, to not think about what was happening. I just couldn’t wait to get out of there.

After I left that day, I never went back. These last two procedures, by the way, involved healthy mothers with healthy babies. I was very much affected by what I had seen. For a long time, sometimes still, I had nightmares about what I saw in that clinic that day. Mr. Chairman, these people who say I didn’t see what I saw– I wish they were right. I wish I hadn’t seen it. But I did see it, and I will never be able to forget it. That baby boy was only inches, seconds away from being entirely born, when he was killed. What I saw done to that little boy, and to those other babies, should not be allowed in this country.
Thank you.


21 febbraio 2006

Some hard statistics on the mythical "safety" of abortion

The United Nations Populations Division recently released The World Mortality Report: 2005, and has produces some interesting statistics which contradict the "abortion makes the world safer" propoganda spread by many pro-choice groups.

Two of the largest countries in which abortion is legal are the U.S.A and Russia. Per every 100,000 births, Russia sees 67 women die, and the USA sees 17 women die.
In Ireland and Poland, where abortion is illegal, the maternal mortality rate is 13 and 5 per 100,000 births, respectively.

This directly contradicts the pro-abortion party line of "abortion makes childbirth safer for women." It does not.

Also, a recent New Zealand study by pro-choice Dr. David M. Fergusson showed that women who have had abortions are at a higher risk for suicide, major depression, anxiety disorder, and drug dependence. This study took 25 years to conduct, as it studied the mental health of 500 women from birth to age 25. The scope of this study allowed Fergusson to incorporate the effect of sociocultural, family life, and other factors into his results.

What is my point here? That when pro-choice groups make the claim that abortions make the world safer for women, they are just plain wrong, or even worse, lying.

18 febbraio 2006

False teeth

The right side of my face is gigantic. I can sort of see the top of my right cheek in the periphery of my vision in my right eye! I have gauze in my mouth, soaking up massive quantities of blood. I was knocked out completely intravenously at the oral surgeon's, apparently they also gave me ketamine, which made me hallucinate. The first half hour after I awoke I apparently laughed at evcrything anyone said. I laughed as I was writing out a check for $500~! 'Cause apparently that's so funny! Haahahah!


Anyway, my topic for today is part of an ongoing exposition of Dan Brown and his error-ridden the DaVinci Code that will intersperse my other blog posts from this point on.

I will simply tell the truth about what is presented as 'fact' by Brown, in small, digestible snippets.

The Priory of Sion.

From the DaVinci Code:
FACT: The Priory of Sion - a European secret society founded in 1099 - is a real organization. In 1975 Paris's Bibliothèque Nationale discovered parchments known as Les Dossiers Secrets, identifying numerous members of the Priory of Sion, including Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Leonardo da Vinci...

Later, Brown "reveals" that the Priory of Sion is a secret organization whose purpose is to keep secret the 'fact' that Jesus Christ married Mary Magdalene, and had a child named Sarah, among other imaginative fancies, which revolve around alleged attempts of the Catholic Church to claim control of Christendom through the line of Peter, instead of the Merovingian kings hereditary "divine rights" passed down to them, as possessors of the blood of Christ.

In actuality, the Priory of Sion was founded in 1956, by a French criminal and notorious anti-Semite named Pierre Plantard. One of his friends later admitted that he had helped Plantard plant these "ancient" documents in the Bibiotheque, and that the Priory of Sion was no more than a sort of "brandy and cigars" gentlemen's club.

17 febbraio 2006

Trading Moms is not authentic

Most television shows and movies have no idea about Christians or Christianity. With the exception of Christian-themed movies made by Christians, the rest usually mess up the details. Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle was a prime example. "Freakshow" spoke like a fundamentalist Protestant ("Do you guys know Jeeeesus??"), yet he had a gigantic image of the Catholic Divine Mercy image in his home. On an episode of Arrested Development, the married and clearly Evangelical preacher had to attend "Mass" on Sunday morning. In truth, Fundamentalist Protestants (those who know their doctrines) consider the Mass an act of blasphemy and/or idolatry. Yet the writers of these movies and TV shows are completely ignorant of this, and it shows. They'll take the salient parts of different denominations, and mix them together into something any Christian can spot as a fake. Especially when it comes to Catholicism and Protestantism, which in many areas are like oil and water.

On FOX's Trading Moms, there is one episode when an almost violently fanatic Christian woman lives with a pagan or polytheistic or New Age family for a week. Great plot! Of course the tension will be palpable, according to the secular world's perception of Christians: intolerant, uneducated bigots! When one of them gets in with an open-minded, "progressive" New Age family, the sparks will fly and the ratings will soar! (That's why they're rebroadcasting it tonight).

Anyway, in watching this, I found a few inconsistencies.

The woman, Marguerite, is portrayed as a fundamentalist Protestant, the sort of Christian practically despised by the left of this country. The way she talks, "rebuking" people in Jesus' name, and equating stars and gargoyle statues and science with the "dark side," is the typical media stereotype of the fundamentalist Christian.

But she also says and does some very Catholic things. For instance, when she gets off the plane, she says she was "praying to Mary, Jesus, and Joseph" about a safe flight. Hmmm.... I know a lot of Catholics who would say "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!" in that order, and in that order only. I've never heard a Catholic say it the other way (with Mary first), and Protestants WOULDN'T say that, as with the exception of a very small pocket of Anglicans, they do not believe in praying to saints! In fact, it is extremely antithetical to Protestant beliefs, as Protestant theology considers prayer an act of worship (hence the Hail Mary would be 'praying to a false god')! So what is the deal?

I saw a girl in the Christian woman's family cross herself with her left hand before dinner prayers. They she said the typical Catholic prayer "Bless us, O Lord, and these they gifts, which we are about to receive from thy bounty, through Christ, Our Lord, Amen." But the problem is, Catholics do not cross themselves with their left hand. The Orthodox do. Catholics use the right hand. And Orthodox have different dinner prayers....Hmmmm...

If it is a Catholic or Orthodox home, where is the art? Where are the crucifixes? Where are the statues of St. Joseph, of the Virgin Mary, or of St. Francis on the front lawn? Nowhere. If this family is so "devout," it would be extremely rare to not see some sort of religious art in their home. Yet in a Protestant home it would not be a big deal, as some of them even refuse to depict Christ, and they would never have pictures of saints.

Marguerite uses a completely Protestant vocabulary. "I'm a God warrior!" She 'rebukes' people. She calls science and psychology "dark sided." Catholics simply do not speak like that. That is an ultra-fundamentalist Protestant choice of words. Would a Catholic woman be so disturbed by gargoyle statues? Especially when Catholic cathedrals have gargoyles all over them???

When Marguerite goes on the radio show, it's hard to believe it wasn't scripted. The calls do not sound natural at all. Someone calls, doesn't even say "Hey," or "long time listener, first time caller!" - none of the smalltalk or banter. The second caller asks about how his girlfriend wants to physically "go to the next level" with him but his religious beliefs are against that. How convenient for this TV show! And Marguerite, like a good Christian, encourages him to pray and not have premarital sex... but then indirectly advocates masturbation! No devout Catholic or Orthodox would promote that, nor would a fundamentalist Protestant. Then the homosexual psychic, by the New Agey name of "Tristan Rumbo" comes on, and the close-minded, bigoted, Christian woman insults him and refuses to talk to him. Wow..

Then, Marguerite convinces the New Age family to take her to church. Apparently there is only a Catholic church in the neighborhood. The woman is a bit disappointed that the church they went to was Catholic, but at least it was Christian. So we are to take it she is not Catholic... what is she?

When the New Age woman meets Marguerite's friends, there is some tension in the air. One of the women remarks, in those added in retrospective voice-overs/interviews, that "she isn't a Christian, and I hope one day she gets saved." "Gets saved?" That is strictly Protestant terminology. Neither Catholic nor Orthodox Christians talk about whether people are "saved" or not. They don't talk about how Joe or Jane needs to "get saved." It is a lexical item that only Protestants have.

This woman has no denomination. I do not think she was even Christian. That sort of oil and water mixing is not found in Christendom. She spoke like a most fundamentalist of Protestants, yet many of the salient details were clearly Catholic. Why the Catholic details? Because Catholicism is the largest religion in the world, certainly in the West. Hence, it is more recognizable. On TV shows, when they show a religious leader, he usually is an old man with a Roman collar. Why? Because everyone recognizes the Roman collar. Why the Protestant vocabulary? Because when people see a televangelist on TV they hear him say "get saved" and "rebuke the dark side" and talk down on evolution and sometimes science in general.

In the spectrum of Christian thought, the more fundamentalist Protestant one is, the less Catholic they are, and vice versa. This show is a complete sham, with stereotypes of Christian groups mixed together to make them look like idiotic, hateful bigots. Two thumbs down to Fox.

Bryant Gumbel: a racist fool

So, first let's see what he said:

Because [the Winter Olympics] are so trying, maybe over the next three weeks we should all try too. Like try not to be incredulous when someone tries to link these games to those of the ancient Greeks who never heard of skating or skiing. So try not to laugh when someone says these are the world’s greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention. Try not to point out that something’s not really a sport if a pseudo-athlete waits in what’s called a “kiss and cry area” while some panel of subjective judges decides who won. And try to blot out all logic when announcers and sports writers pretend to care about the luge, the skeleton, the biathlon, and all those other events they don’t understand and totally ignore for all but three weeks every four years. Face it, these Olympics are little more than a marketing plan to fill space and sell time during the dreary days of February. So, if only to hasten the arrival of the day they’re done, and we can move on to March Madness, for God’s sake, let the Games begin.

Bolding mine.

Why is Bryant Gumbel allowed to be racist? Why does the color of Olympic athletes' skin matter? Isn't the fight against racism meant to ELIMINATE racism, which means to stop judging other people by the color of their skin? And if athletes are not "world-class" because they are white, is that not a racist comment?

Of course it is racist. But since Gumbel is a black liberal, he can get away with it. Really, the media gives blacks and liberals a higher standards when it comes to racist comments... because of course blacks and liberals can't possible be racist! So it must be... acceptable?

Howard Dean, Louis Farrakhan, Hillary Clinton, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson.... can say whatever they want. But when Rush Limbaugh makes a sociological comment, about Donovan McNabb being hyped up because he is a black quarterback, he's instantly fired.

Let's also look at the "logic" of Gumbel's comment.

It's the freaking winter olympics!! Skiing and skating are the big events. They involve SNOW and ICE. Where are most black athletes from??? USA, Caribbean islands, Brazil, AFRICA.... aside from northern regions of the USA, where do you find snow and ice? Not in the islands, not in Africa.... did it ever occur to Gumbel that maybe there are not as many black athletes in the winter olympics because the winter sports are not ones that black athletes are usually attracted to, or even have an opportunity to play??? Seriously, if you grow up in Trinidad, are you going to play soccer.... or ice hockey? If you are from Zimbabwe, are you going to like track, or skiing? Gumbel is a freaking idiot. And the sad thing is that he is so racist that the "illogicity" of his statement cannot break through the thick cloud of racism. But since he is a liberal minority, he can say whatever he wants.

I would love to do a sociological experiment to see how the media reacts to the same thing said by both a black guy and white guy, buy both a liberal and conservative... it would be telling, let me tell you.

16 febbraio 2006

Cheney's recent hunting accident

The hoopla over Cheney's hunting accident reveals why I have a lot of trouble trusting any criticism of Republicans that comes out of a liberal's mouth. What? Here's the deal: Bill Clinton cheated on his wife, he had many affairs, he was even accused by Juanita Brown of raping her. It takes him 9 months to admit that he lied under oath, that he was not faithful to his wife, and he still does not answer Brown's rape charge.

Dick Cheney, on the other hand, accidentally hits a friend with bird shot while they are out hunting. Key word: accidental. Yet he is being harassed to no end by the same media and liberals that practically worship the floor that Clinton walks on.

This attitude is so entrenched in liberal thought, the attitude of different standards for different people, depending on how far left or right that they are, that the liberals have lost all credibility in my mind.
Quote of the day from a smart guy named Mark Shea:

Postmodernity jabbers about "freedom of choice" but is not serious about it. What postmodernity wants is not freedom of choice but freedom from the consequences of choice. And desiring that is simply another way of saying you don't want choice to matter.


I began a blog on this site about a year and a half ago. I have tried a million times but cannot log back in to update it. So, this may be the only time I ever post here, as well. We'll see.

This blog will be my place to vent about whatever is running through my mind. I couldn't care less if anyone reads it, although I won't deny that I already have dreams of being "blog of the year" and getting a book deal because I am such a genius.

But first of all, let's make a law here. No more usage of the word "blog." What an awful word! It sounds like a huge piece of snot. So I will call this thing anything but the "b" word. Any ideas? LOL, like anyone is reading this anyway! Well, I will think of something, and get back to you, my faithful audience. Right now we do not know what to call this, but at least we know what it is not... a giant piece of snot.

And who knows if I'll ever get back on here to write anything else... this may all be for naught. There goes that book deal, there goes the world discovering the hidden genius of New Jersey.