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December 2005 Archives

December 10, 2005

Close Minded Dating for "Open Minded" Liberals

I was listening to the radio today, and heard an ad for a new service coming online here in town called CELSIUS. That stands for The Collective for Educated Liberal Singles Interested in Unearthing a Soul Mate for those of you who aren't in the know.

The ironic part is liberals are so open minded that CELSIUS is a members only group, and apparently you have to pass an interview with one of the members to be admitted. Not only that you MUST be ALL of the following:

  1. Politically and ideologically liberal;
  2. Well educated (4-year college degree required);
  3. Financially secure;
  4. 30 years of age or older;
  5. Single;
  6. Kind and respectful to others; and
  7. A non-smoker.

Why so narrow? Because sterotype smashing liberals have concluded that:

It is our belief that being a “liberal” tends, on average, to be much more than a political designation. Indeed, we believe that being a liberal is often a general personality marker. That is, it is often a fairly accurate predictor of the presence (or absence) of particular personality traits. It is for precisely this reason that you have probably noticed in your everyday experience that the same people who identify themselves as liberals tend, on average, to be kind, empathetic, and open-minded.

Because we are confident that kind, empathetic, open-minded people tend to prefer other kind, empathetic, open-minded people, we have decided to limit the membership to people of the liberal ilk – the very people who are most likely to possess these traits in combination.

Yet another striking example that ideology is indeed the tie that blinds.

Abortion: Our Tax Dollars At Work

I came across this tidbit from the Republican National Coalition for Life FaxNotes - December 9, 2005

While we here in Minnesota having been doing our part to help keep abortion profitable with our tax dollars, it's comforting to know we are not alone in that.

The abortion capital of New York is at the corner of Bleecker and Mott Streets. That’s the home of Planned Parenthood’s Margaret Sanger Center, the largest abortion provider in New York. Doctors at this one clinic perform some 11,000 abortion per year. “I’m sure we provide a good chunk of the abortions in the U.S.,” says Dr. Maureen Paul, the chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood New York. In fact, the Margaret Sanger Center provides about one in every ten abortions in New York and about one in every thousand abortions in the United States.

One-third of the Margaret Sanger Center’s patients rely on Medicaid for their health care. In 2003, Medicaid paid for 43 percent of abortions in New York City. (“The Abortion Capital of America,” by Ryan Lizza, New York Magazine, December 12, 2005)

Hat tip to AMA.

South Park Slanders Blessed Mother

I can't say I've ever seen a complete show of South Park, but according to the Catholic League an episode that ran this week was busy bashing the Blessed Mother, and drew Pope Benedict XVI into the fray as well:

“A ‘South Park’ character gets a DWI and is ordered to attend AA meetings. Told about the 12-step program, he concludes that he needs a miracle to cure him. The plot then focuses on a statue of the Virgin Mary who is ‘bleeding out her [explitive omitted].’ The Vatican dispatches a cardinal to investigate and he is sprayed with blood when he walks behind the statue. He then declares this to be a miracle, which draws even more people. The alcoholic, now in a wheelchair, is also sprayed with blood: he then claims he is cured and jumps out of his seat.

“Pope Benedict XVI goes to investigate. He, too, is sprayed with blood when he walks behind the statue. A reporter says, ‘The pope investigated further and determined that the statue was not bleeding out its [explitive omitted], but its vagina.’ To which the pope replies: ‘A chick bleeding out her vagina is no miracle. Chicks bleed out their vaginas all the time.’

Of course while such treatment of prominent Jewish or Muslim leaders would be viewed as an unforgiveable act of intolerance, with Catholics anything goes.

Viacom director Joseph A. Califano had this to say about the episode:

Today I viewed the South Park segment about the Blessed Mother. I found it an appalling and disgusting portrayal of the Virgin Mary. It is particularly troubling to me as a Roman Catholic that the segment has run on the eve and day of the feast of the Immaculate Conception, a holy day for Roman Catholics.
I have talked to Tom Freston, the president and chief executive of the New Viacom, and asked him to review this show and determine whether any action should be taken. That decision is his.

Condom Advocate Switches to Abstience to Fight AIDS

Believe it or not, less extra-marital sex results in lower AIDS infection rates. What a concept!

Of course the more noteworthy thing is some scientists are starting to realize this. Read all about it here.

December 15, 2005

Advent USCCB Style

During a recent visit to the USCCB web site, I was pleased to see an interactive advent calendar to help prepare for advent, that is until I took a look at it.

Totally devoid of any mention of prayer, or fasting, and just a passing mention of almsgiving, it encourages the faithful to spend their advent "Writing to elected officials" "Being at peace" Calling their CCHD diocesan director" "viewing a website with a child" etc.

Now I'm sure this was entirely conceived of, created, and maintained by staffers out in D.C., but at the end of the day it's the bishop's website, and I must confess my faith in them decrease by the day. How long Lord?

December 16, 2005

A New Tax Republicans Should Support

Leave it to the Italians to come up with the latest technique for funding big government, the porn tax.

ROME - Italy's cash-strapped government has decided to hike taxes on one of the country's few vibrant industries, pornography, to help rein in the burgeoning budget deficit, government sources told Reuters on Tuesday.

The "porno-tax", which imposes an additional levy of 25 percent on all income from pornography, is contained in a package of amendments to the 2006 budget to presented in the Chamber of Deputies on Tuesday or Wednesday, the sources said.

Under the amendment, subscribers to hard core television channels must also pay additional value-added tax of 10 percent. Altogether, the tougher tax-treatment of porn should bring the government some 300 million euros ($357.5 million) next year.

Surely we can get support from both sides of the asile stateside. I've never met a Democrat who read a tax proposal he didn't like, and the evangelical Republican based would eat this one up in a heart beat. The federal government could swing from a deficit to a surplus, and we could even give the Pentagon a little extra (in exchange for ensuring all enlistees pay their portion of course).

Bishop Backbone Campbell Fights For Statute of Limitations

Former Saint Paul/Minneapolis auxiliary bishop Frederick Campbell is fighting hard in Ohio against a bill that would allow people to sue for abuse cases going as far back as 1970.

Columbus Bishop Frederick Campbell and other church officials testified Thursday to a House committee. Church officials have been lobbying against the bill since the Senate passed it unanimously in March.

Bishop Campbell said the bill could be unconstitutional and would not protect children in the future.

"This undermines a fundamental right to a fair defense of a case," Bishop Campbell said. "Some of the people involved may even be dead."

An advocate for the victims said the lineup of those scheduled to speak is significant for who's missing — more Ohio bishops.

You can bet he's longing for those peaceful days at the Saint Paul Seminary right now, but kudos to him for taking a stand for the church on such an unpopular issue!

USCCB Goes for Gay Cowboy Film Brokeback Mountain

Never mind the advent calendar, the USCCB Office for Film and Broadcasting might as well have encouraged one to spend advent working to legalize gay marriage.

A film review of the movie Brokeback Mountain has nothing but positive things to say about a picture that has elated gay-rights activists.

Just about every other Christian group out there is decrying this film for what it is, a gay love story on the big screen. Take for example these comments from the folks at Focus on the Family:

Focus on the Family Action Analyst Caleb H. Price said Hollywood is doing all it can to get people interested in a film that they know most moviegoers will not want to see. Set in Wyoming in the 1960s, the R-rated love affair between two cowboys culminates in explicit gay sexuality.

"If you read what Hollywood is saying about it, they're calling it 'an achingly beautiful love story,' " Price said.

"But I don't see it that way at all. You see two characters obsessed with a type of bondage that they don’t know what to do with. They don't know where it came from, and they don't know how to resolve it. And they both end up experiencing tragic consequences in their lives."

But no, the bishops' office is doing their part to promote the film, our Catholic Communication Campaign dollars at work. Perhaps it will be integrated into the good touch bad touch curriculums they are rolling out nationwide?

I must confess I have not seen the film, but it strikes me as problematic on several fronts: The critical distinction between sinner and sin is totally lost, it mainstreams a fundamental disorder, if the guys weren't gay, there would be no story, and in the current culture of sexual confusion, it is more likely to lead the faithful astray than toward the true shepherd.

If "Tacit approval of same-sex relationships, adultery, two brief sex scenes without nudity, partial and shadowy brief nudity elsewhere, other implied sexual situations, profanity, rough and crude expressions, alcohol and brief drug use, brief violent images, a gruesome description of a murder, and some domestic violence" aren't considered morally offensive, what is?

Read on for the full review...

Continue reading "USCCB Goes for Gay Cowboy Film Brokeback Mountain" »

Bishops Back Pedal on Brokeback Mountain

Apparently someone over at the USCCB took a little too much heat for the Brokeback Mountain film review.

Sometime today they changed the rating for this film from its original L (limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling) to O (morally offensive).

I haven't had a chance to see if any of the language in the review has changed, but you can find the review as it originally appeard here and in its current form here.

Bishops Blast Southpark Episode

Here is the latest on the Southpark episode we mentioned here last week.

Bishop Skylstad made his critical letter to Viacom president Tom Freston public today, and observed that:

Viacom has shown extreme insensitivity in airing a South Park episode on Comedy Central which mocks the Blessed Virgin Mary in a tasteless and ugly fashion. This is especially offensive at a time of the year when the Blessed Mother is most commemorated and honored by millions of Christians, including Catholics.

Good to see they felt moved to do something about this outrage.

December 24, 2005

For Our Leftist-Democrat Friends

"Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, our best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

We also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2006, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great, without any implication that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere; and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

By accepting these greetings you are accepting these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for herself or himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher."

Hat Tip: John Lillis, original source unknown

December 27, 2005

Now Showing on HBO: The Legitimization of Polygamy

As may have been mentioned in this space occasionally, the cultural battles over homosexual marriage have been lost. Untethered liberals, lacking both creed and conscience, have settled into a state of permanent cultural warfare akin to the old Trotsky communist slogan of “perpetual revolution.” Lest I be accused of slandering good communists, it should be pointed out in their defense that they did indeed cling to a creed of sorts, however utopian and irrational it might have been.

Less than two years ago, the debate over homosexual marriage raged. Many conservatives made the irrefutable though ironically ineffective argument that to split the societal atom of marriage for any purpose was to unleash forces we were unlikely to control. If two women can “marry,” why not two women and a man? Why not formal polygamy? But such reductio ad absurdum refutations assume a creed. Lacking one, liberals are immune to such arguments. Two years ago advocates of homosexual marriage heard the polygamy argument and reviled conservatives, righteously indignant that anyone would dare equate the natural good of homosexuality with the unnatural perversion of polygamy.

Today, we read here of a new HBO series about a normal, devout Christian family that just happens to be a polygamous one. Newsweek is fawning, and the rest of the mainstream press will soon follow suit. HBO plans to run the show in the timeslot right after their popular “Sopranos” show for maximum exposure. What happened to the offensive disapprobation for polygamy? That was last year.

The lack of a creed indicates a lack of principles. Without principles, there is no way to argue because the basis of rational thought itself is gone. The postmodern left does not even possess its own animus, let alone a creed. The only concept that resonates is “freedom,” but they are unable to define that concept except in terms of agitation against limits set by others’ principled arguments. There were no advocates of polygamy on the political left until quite recently when someone on the right expressed the view, based upon principles and long experience, that polygamy was immoral and therefore a societal evil. No doubt polygamy advocates will cry oppression and a sympathetic court will borrow the bizarre logic enshrined in Lawrence: there have never really been statutes against homosexual activity in the past, so writing them now is an oppressive innovation. Of course, creeds exist to remind the faithful of fundamental concepts, and principled disapproval of homosexual behavior as well as polygamy have been explicit in the Christian political and moral experience from the beginning, and indeed extends far back into the ancient world. In short, there have been few laws against polygamy because its destructiveness was obvious until very recently.

That is soon to change. There are already lawsuits slithering through various state courts challenging polygamy laws. Now Hollywood has opened the usual second front. Sadly, the result can be imagined. The only question to ponder is what affliction will next be legitimized. Incest? Cloning? Marriage to non-humans? Stay tuned. Until the crushing pincers of mass pop culture on the one hand and the sovereign judiciary on the other are wrested from the left, the plagues will continue and intensify.

December 28, 2005

Benedict XVI: The Shepherd Speaks

Catholic New Service is reporting that Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, has sent a formal letter to the Neocatechumenal Way directing certain changes. The letter was reportedly sent at the request of Benedict XVI and the clear language reflects the new Pope’s tone. It said in part:

"In the celebration of the holy Mass, the Neocatechumenal Way will accept and follow the liturgical books approved by the church without omitting or adding anything."

Ahem. Any questions?

The language of the letter may sound at first as though the Neocatechumenal Way had gone schismatic, but therein lies the letter’s true significance. The statutes of the Neocatechumenal Way were approved by John Paul II just four years ago and by all accounts the Neocatechumenal Way is faithful movement. The group has a tradition of the consecration and distribution of communion taking place at a round table in the middle of the church, not on an altar in a sanctuary. Also, the movement was granted special dispensation to hold its own weekly masses on Saturday evenings. Rome has found that these practices have caused some problems and so a correction was in order.

This letter is not a stinging public rebuke to some fringe heretical group, but a clear correction made out of love and respect. If it is unrecognizable as such to many here in the US, that is because we see so little shepherding from our appointed shepherds. But such correction is one of the core responsibilities the Pope must fulfill on an international scale, and local bishops have a parallel responsibility to their flock. If the quote above is the word from St. Peter’s successor, one has to wonder how many parishes here in Minneapolis/St. Paul are in fact faithful. “Without omitting or adding anything.” Did St. Joan of Arc and St. Thomas the Apostle get the memo?

They will. The shepherd carries a big stick for a very good reason. The fate of the disobedient and misled will in fact be remembered many years from now as the central theme of Benedict XVI’s papacy and probably the next one as well. This small letter to the Neocatechumenal Way is an image of a concerned and faithful shepherd caring for the vast legions of lost sheep that John Paul II compelled into the fold. There will be more of this to come, and for that all the faithful should be grateful.

December 31, 2005

This Just In: Scalia Funnier than Ginsburg

Ah, the legal academy. Even amid the profound crisis of jurisprudence in America, law professors still have the energy for meaningful analysis. This report decribes an analysis of Supreme Court transcripts that proves that Scalia is nineteen times funnier than Scalia. Information just flows forth from the MSM like cheap wine from a cracked plastic jug.

Raise your hand if you needed a study to prove this point?

Behold the Power of the Blogospere: American Girls Backs Away From Culture of Death

As reported on this blog and elsewhere back in November, the American Girl doll company went over to the dark side by aligning themselves with an organization that promotes promiscuity, abortion and homosexuality. The waves of riteous indignation made their way through the blogosphere with mailing campaigns and calls for a Christmas embargo of American Girl merchandise.

Now, Danielle Bean picks up the rest of the story. American Girl has ended its relationship with the nefarious organization and instead initiated a new campaign aimed at preserving the wholesomeness that was directly attacked by its partnership back in November. Read about it here.

No one should mistake this change in direction for a reformation of corporate culture. The reasons behind American Girl’s change of heart are financial. They have a vested interest in little girls remaining little. And no doubt they felt the financial loss this Christmas when parents took their dollars elsewhere. The corporate heart is as dark as ever.

However, this episode shows the power of the morally spent dollar. Reclaiming our culture is not only a matter of converting hearts and minds individually. It is also about leveraging collective strength. Much of the sickness out there has our tacit consent. The looney left appropriated mainstream culture by placing their own in places of power in the academy and the media and then introducing new concepts that found their way, like sewage, downstream and greatly diffused. Reclamation will occur in reverse. When people who care about modesty stop buying miniskirts for their twelve year old girls, the clothing industry will stop making them and put better stuff on the shelves. There can be no doubt that Mel Gibson’s film of the Passion accomplished this in Hollywood, and the new Narnia films are a direct result of audiences passing on films that do not reflect their values and flocking to one that does. There is no reason concerned citizens cannot affect similar changes in other spheres, and serious discussion and communication will quicken the economic counterstrike so long overdue.

About December 2005

This page contains all entries posted to The Seventh Age in December 2005. They are listed from oldest to newest.

November 2005 is the previous archive.

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Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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