Group asks IRS to investigate Catholic bishop
Group asks IRS to investigate Catholic bishop against Obama
A church-state watchdog group has asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate whether the Roman Catholic bishop of Paterson, N.J., violated tax laws by denouncing Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama.
In a letter sent to the IRS on Wednesday (Oct. 22), Americans United for Separation of Church and State accused Paterson Bishop Arthur Serratelli of illegal partisanship for lambasting Obama's support of abortion rights.
In a column posted on the Diocese of Paterson's website and published in its weekly newspaper, Serratelli also compared Obama to King Herod, the biblical monarch who ordered the death of John the Baptist.
The bishop did not refer to Obama by name but only as "the present democratic (sic) candidate."
Archbishop Chaput did mention him by name
as well as "the most committed 'abortion-rights' presidential candidate of either major party since the Roe v. Wade abortion decision in 1973." ... facts are facts. He didn't exactly endorse McCain.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. With ~25% of voters in the US being Catholic I have a sneaking suspicion that the Democrats will be cowards and back off this. The Catholic vote they retain is not one they can afford to lose going forward.
Replace your stolen McCain sign with this ....
You don't even have to be a McCain supporter to find that funny ... HT Opinionated Catholic
FWIW tonight or this weekend you MIGHT get a long winded post on contraception and the responsibility of Catholic pharmacists ... I had a long discussion about this and I would like to summarize the content.
Local parish calls for Catholics to contact legislators regarding FOCA
American citizens concerned for the lives of the unborn have reason to be fearful that all our efforts to protect those lives since the Supreme Court decision Roe v Wade will be summarily vanquished. In January, our Federal Legislature will be considering a bill known at the “Freedom of Choice Act.” Read it for yourself (it is not that long):
What our Federal Legislature can do, without our vote of approval, is require any doctor or any hospital facility to provide abortions to any woman requesting it at any time, even after the child is viable (can live outside the womb). The refusal to offer or perform an abortion will become a crime!
Contact your State Representative and State Senators to let them know how you feel about this Pro-Abortion proposal. (source)
Bishops stance on the election
yesterday that 1/4 of our bishops to this date have issued statements stressing the importance of abortion in this election. TWO bishops have apparently made the seamless garment statement to their flock.
IMHO the Faithful Citizenship document leaves itself open to interpretation but it stresses the intrinsic evils, abortion, euthanasia, stem-cell research -- and racism (interesting given the number of "not voting for Obama is racist" arguments out there) ... As of now 3/4 of the bishops have not issued statements.
The USCCB itself has been fighting the "economic policies = reduce abortion = Obama is the more pro-life candidate"
case. They even combated the argument that "support for mothers is primarily what we need, not making abortion illegal".
Of course these bishops are increasingly labeled controversial by the press. Did you ever think you would see the day when 1/4 of our bishops would be labeled controversial? It has even caused a VERY Protestant sports forum I visit to stand up and take notice. They say "I wish our churches would do like the Catholics" ...
Meanwhile Amy Welborn writes a very thoughtful post on the pro-life movement
; its failures and asks those who think it too focused on "law" excetly what direction it should change?
I have found songs I like from electronic bands in Nashville TN and New Orleans LA
Not Detroit .. or the east or west coast ... or London ... or the rest of Europe ... or even Japan.
The Full Circle totally serious voters guide
Just released USCCB: Legal Protection for Unborn, Support for Mothers Both Needed
More on the argument that Roe. v. Wade is an unattainable cause and we need fight the cause of "support for mothers" instead. Legal Protection for Unborn, Support for Mothers Both Needed, Say Cardinal Rigali and Bishop Murphy
Gotta love the BOTH/AND'ness of Catholicism.
An interesting quote:
The law is a teacher
Just so you know, this is one of the reasons gay marriage must be opposed.
Music milestone: I have over 30,000 listens on Last.fm
WOO HOO!!! The rolling charts are the reason I started using Last.fm in the first place. Trust me, if you use anything else, I recommend seeking to log it to Last.fm. Eventually your efforts will pay off. http://www.last.fm/user/weunice
Reasons for not having more kids
A few Catholics we know all noticed that people when they notice we have lots of kids close together are real quick to offer us a litany of reasons why they cannot have more kids.
"I cannot handle it"
"They are too expensive"
"I have a medical condition"
etc. We hear this all the time.
I am just curious. Why? You don't have to justify your choice to me.
On disposable vs. cloth diapers ...
Blow to image of ‘green’ reusable nappy
My the British do have a way with words ...
My wife and I go back and forth on this. We even used those flushable disposable inserts for a while which were a happy medium. LESS washing, no waste but you add the cost of the inserts. I liked them personally. Still, from having a child that pooped in his pants until he was 6 (they tell us it was medical) I can tell you that you might as well skip the diapers and just buy a lot of underwear. Its not that much more difficult to clean. I learned more about God cleaning underwear than I did changing diapers. It fostered patience and cultured humility.
Still, we are using disposables right now because the convenience is useful in our search for household peace right now ... On the environmental impact -- I'm over it. Some study -- similar to this story -- is going to tell me I am cool eventually and it will likely be paid for by Luvs, Pampers, Huggies etc. The green movement will cry conspiracy. Other parents will sigh knowing that they can use disposable diapers in good conscience. Public sentiment will shift on some other hot topic (especially if this cooling trend continues) ...
Quite frankly, I am tired of having to form every nook and cranny of my life based on the bleeding edge and forefront of statistical wizardry (also this)
. Its a royal pain to completely rework your life every 2 weeks because of some study gathering lots of weak associations and bold assertions says you MUST. Its even better to see it reversed by a more sophisticated and much more documented study 5 years down the road. It all seems like public sentiment to me and more fad than fact. Cloth diapers are cuter after all ... Good for the economy I say ...
I want my kids to go to heaven. Period. What they poop on during their path is only of mild consideration to me.
Fun with Facebook status ....
William still hates garbage disposal units and has determined that plumbing wil NOT be any sort of future career path for me :(. 10:11pm -
(friend) at 10:23pm October 18
uh oh! What happened!...
William at 3:19am October 19
I installed a new unit at our old house. At the time I felt the exposure to months of,well, ummm toxic waste that gets caught in weird places on garbage disposal units justified copius amounts of money to a trained plumber/waste removal specialist. I have re-positioned and re-installed the unit we have in our new home at least four times. Twice because manufacturers of children s cups conspired with all the evil forces of the dark side to make cups EXACTLY the size to fit INTO the opening but never come out without hours of frustration, power tools, and finally the removal of the unit ... only to have it pop out easily ONLY after destruction of the cup. I only wish I had a lake of fire for the disposal of said cups.
William at 3:23am October 19
Today is the mysterious voluminous leak. I have applied, liberally of course, amounts of plumbers putty in all possible leaking areas and followed all installation instructions with the great care of a Washington lawyer ... yet I fail. One half of our sink remains in a state of discord and we are expecting guests tomorrow. I angrily ripped all the wood out from under the disposal unit because it gave me a good physical object on which to project my frustration. My justification was that it was water soaked and the health hazard needed removing ... trust me, it was the need for anger management. So there .. that is my love affair with garbage disposals. In the famous words of a Severed Heads album cover "may their arms swell and drop off". .... and its little dog too.
William at 3:25am October 19
and its past 3am ... I will continue to upload pastoral scenes from my day and then huddle in the corner with my thumb in my mouth.
William at 3:27am October 19
argh ... and my keyboard is messed up. Its spelled copious.
Obama the more pro-life candidate: a response to family
(family member), thank you for your response. In the end I suspect none of us plan to change our minds before this election. This too will be my last email on the subject but I figure since everyone is airing grievances on the matter I should go ahead and say my piece. For the record I think I enumerated my stance informed by my faith in my previous email regarding the Catholic moral concept of proportionality
. I certainly respect a vote for Obama under those circumstances although I find it hard to believe that the proportionality is there. This may also be true for a vote for McCain ... I am in prayer on that matter ... It shouldn't be a matter we gleefully head to the polls and go YEA! I get to vote for "change". There are serious objections to overcome in choosing to vote for Obama.
Obviously I fundamentally disagree that Obama's policies will reduce abortion and all conjecture to support him as the more pro-life candidate holds no sway with me. Here is why ...
1) The poor will always be with us. It is one area Jesus tells us that treating the root cause eventually has diminishing returns. That said, I think an important indication we should get here is that our OBLIGATION to the poor is great, despite their reasons for being poor. They will always be there and we are called to their aid ... period. To that extent, I disagree with many of the actions of the right on HOW to deal with poverty in a realistic way.
2) The economy is heading south and based on the way it has been carefully delayed and avoided by fed policy for years now, it HAS to happen. Economically speaking, I am a realist. I expect poverty to increase under Obama, not because of his policies but because economies have a way of being cruel to cultures that engage in poor fiscal practice. The entire west, socialist nations and all, will suffer for their pursuit of greed at the expense of future generations. This isn't a left or right issue. This is a sin issue.
In light of the first two, I would like to quote the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops), which refers specifically to the study forwarded to all of us by (family member)
Sometimes election years produce more policy myths than good ideas. This year one myth is about abortion. It goes like this: The Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision is here to stay, and that's fine because laws against abortion don't reduce abortions much anyway. Rather, "support for women and families" will greatly reduce abortions, without changing the law or continuing a "divisive" abortion debate.
Various false claims are used to bolster this myth. It is said that over three-quarters of women having abortions cite expense as the most important factor in their decision. Actually the figure is less than one-fourth, 23%. It is said that abortion rates declined dramatically (30%) during the Clinton years, but the decline stopped under the ostensibly pro-life Bush administration. Actually the abortion rate has dropped 30% from 1981 to 2005; the decline started 12 years before Clinton took office, and has continued fairly steadily to the present day. ... (source)
That decline, I suspect, is related to the Roe Effect
and to a relatively high time in American prosperity but that is a more suspicion on my part than anything concrete. I pray I am wrong and the downward trend continues. Our American prosperity was obviously false and based on a credit based system that supported consumption at scandalous levels and encouraged a thorough lack of self control in Americans. The hard realities of it are soon to be upon us if it is not already here for some.
Based on points 1 and 2 ...
a) I strongly question that policies with respect to poverty will have much of an effect on that subset of women citing "expense" as their reason for having an abortion. Rich people cite expense for all kinds of evil as well even if they can afford it. It doesn't require economic poverty to think a child not worth paying for so its extremely optimistic to assume reducing poverty will eliminate those abortions.
b) Even if I am wrong on point A, it would require a reduction in poverty the likes this nation has never seen under any administration. Obama will not "change" poverty in this country that much because of the diminishing returns I mentioned above and the inertia of a real economic downturn.
3) Furthermore the policies of Obama seek to eliminate an avenue of choice for pregnant women by reducing funding for crisis pregnancy centers. Crisis pregnancy centers are the bogey man of the pro-choice crowd. Alternatives to abortion should be encouraged, not discouraged. In this case, Obama is oddly anti-choice. Crisis pregnancy centers would not be considered a problem otherwise. Policies such as this fundamentally undermine the health care argument because care for the mother and child TO TERM with alternate information about abortion should be a priority, not an unavailable choice. I am for better health care options for Americans and not necessarily solely of the privatized kind sold to us by conservatives. This brings me to my 4th point -- a special interests point
4) The abortion industry who overwhelmingly donates and supports Obama for president stands to gain from policies increasing access to abortion. We are foolish to think their corporate interests are any more altruistic than, say, the oil industry. Abortions going down decreases their profits. I do not think they would be supporting Obama if they really thought their bottom line would be effected. His insistence that FOCA is one of his first priorities leads me to believe he, like every other politician out there, is in bed with special interests.
5) His policies also wrongly treat the symptoms and not the cause of abortion. A quick side analogy to develop my point ... The Catholic Church has seen a great decline in belief in the last 40 years. Modern catechesis has aimed to educate the faith from a primary angle of social responsibility. This was all good and well but it came at the expense of doctrines like, you know, Jesus came and died for us, rose again on the third day and sits at the right hand of the Father. It put the cart before the horse and American Catholics have seen the sad results of that fallout. It was a systematic turning from God in favor of "results". I see the same problem with education policies that do not attack the root cause. As (family member) indicated I see every reason to believe that abstinence education doesn't work. Secular sex education in the long run will fail because it doesn't attack the root cause. In fact, I typically think it encourages the problem. The root cause of unwanted pregnancy in this nation stems from a myriad of factors but the obvious elephant in the room is that SEX is the problem AND its division from marriage with its intended purpose by God. State education cannot, especially based on modern interpretation of the establishment clause, cite this as a cause. Abortion will not be solved merely by economic policy. It will be solved by removing it as a legal option and, more importantly, by conversion on a national scale.
The final point I will make is on the duplicitous nature of the modern day green movement in regards to contraceptive methods. Its points out the real idol that fuels abortion in this nation.
Some people have raised concerns regarding the impact of chemical contraceptives on the environment (source)
. I think that is a noble cause but the silence is deafening. After all, the choice between chemical contraceptives and the environment requires deferring the use of contraceptives to the health of the earth. I don't see people lining up on behalf of the earth here. Why is that? The point of this final rant is simple. "Consequence free" sex with anyone we please under any circumstances is our god and until our idolatry ends, our path to destruction will continue. God has a plan for how man, woman and sexuality function in the natural order of things. We should consider it and consider self control and reliance on God as the truly enlightened alternate path. I like this new focus on the natural. It causes people to think about these things. In the end, McCain's and Obama's policies will stand mute as a solution until our nation gives up this idol returns its worship to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
With love and great respect ...
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput on Kmiec, Obama etc.
Little Murders by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput
In an address delivered on October 17, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput stated that ''Prof. Douglas Kmiec has a strong record of service to the Church and the nation in his past. But I think his activism for Senator Barack Obama, and the work of Democratic-friendly groups like Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, have done a disservice to the Church, confused the natural priorities of Catholic social teaching, undermined the progress pro-lifers have made, and provided an excuse for some Catholics to abandon the abortion issue instead of fighting within their parties and at the ballot box to protect the unborn.''
Proportionality: a response to family
I want to point something out, for the benefit of those who want to try and understand the position of those of us who are Catholic in this thread ...
We are bound by conscience not to support candidates who advocate grave evil. Obama advocates grave evil. Now, it is also true that supporting McCain is also problematic for the same reason. McCain is for ESCR and supports a questionably just war and advocates the grave evil of abortion in the "exceptions cases". I say "questionably just" on the war because a Catholic can rationalize Iraq as a just war -- lots of Catholics with many letters after their names have done an admirable job of making that case. Others with similarly long letters after their names have made the opposite case -- nuanced cases I might add. On the surface both of the major party candidates are out.
This is where the nuance of proportionality enters the equation. As Catholics are not single issue voters, considering other policies like the war, creeping socialism (which the Church opposes on the grounds that it interferes with the right to make a living and right to raise a family as you see fit), the sanctity of marriage, and social justice are to be considered. For a full treatment of the whole mess you could read the 40+ page document on Faithful Citizenship issued by the USCCB
Most Catholics I know who understand this particular nuance of Catholic doctrine realize that the proportionate reason to support Obama would require policies resulting in a DRASTIC reduction in the number of abortions. I think Obama's economic policies even if they were vastly superior are unlikely to reduce abortions by a "proprotional" amount. Now, that said, if Roe were to be overturned that returns the issue to the states and the majority of abortions occur in states that would continue to keep it legal after the overturning of Roe. That, to me, gives cause to reduce the proportionality but not by much. I am sure the Democrats have curiously watched since 1973 as election after election support from Catholics has shifted to the Republicans in 2004. There is a very predicable reason for this. No policy in Obama's platform unless it changes to include full implementation of the ideas suggested by Democrats for Life comes even close to justifying the killing of millions of unborn children a year. Its safe to say that I think the majority of orthodox Catholics will most likely vote for McCain (with a much held nose) or a third party candidate.
This brings me to the third party issue ... Others, to clear their conscience in the matter vote for candidates who do not support grave evil (Ron Paul being a prime example) .. The idea here is that you believe that casting your vote this way does two things: 1) gives notice to Republicans who have been "more talk than action" in their support for life issues and 2) serves to support a rising party, however unlikely, that is more favorable to the entire corpus of Catholic social doctrine. The debates in the Catholic world have been informative and enlightening
Of course orthodoxy and the majority of those in the pew are rarely on the same page. In the end, I suspect Catholics will mirror the nation on this election as I think the Republicans shot themselves in the foot with the McCain selection in terms of the Catholic vote. Huckabee or Ron Paul would have been vastly superior choices on that front. I personally suspect Obama will win. An Obama win requires praying for a marked change of heart for Senator Obama regarding the value and dignity of human life.
P.S. (family member), of course further from a Catholic perspective, contraceptive solutions are off the table because they gravely injure the procreative aspect of marriage -- but that is a different discussion than abortion as it applies to this election. The whole is deal is covered in Humanae Vitae
if you are really interested in the why behind that case.
Mankind - if they were salmon
This was great ... my favorite:
The natural order is blithely unconcerned with our happiness; our bodies are built with the family's -- and, hence, the species' -- best interest in mind. So, by nature, we barrel bedward with all the zest of salmon swimming upstream to spawn. With the same results. Have you ever seen the battered state of those fish at the end of their selfless, frantic fight against the current, over rocks, up hills, and over dams -- their tattered skin, broken fins, and glassy stares? They look like parents emerging, drained and dazed, from Chuck E. Cheese.
No wonder modern man, having figured out biological means to skip that whole, exhausting slog, prefers to live in a fish farm. We'd rather subsist like those shiny, bloated salmon that slurp around in corporate hatcheries, chowing down on niblets of corn, staying healthy with regular doses of hormones and antibiotics, and using red dye No. 2 to keep our flesh nice and pink. We may not build up all those healthy Omega nutrients that the authorities say would make us "better fish." Our offspring are fewer, but fatter. We might not turn out as complex, or courageous -- but our "effort to pleasure" ratio is a whole lot better.
Putting your faith in markets vs. posterity
highlighted an interesting observation from this post
In other words, if your whole political economy is based on putting a burden of debt on unborn generations, does not the existence of your political economy rest on the idea that the unborn generation shall and must come to be? If the Big Brother you worship and serve cannot remain solvent, indeed, cannot survive at all, unless the next generation outnumbers the current, is it not treason to Big Brother to remain infertile? ...
To which a commenter responded
Civilization will probably return to the historical norm of having a dozen children as a retirement plan.
I find it interesting that financial advisors have told me that a good mutual fund will grow at 10-12% over time. That said an index fund on a major market supposedly outperforms a mutual fund 90% of the time. If you take the DJIA from 1935-1985 and drag a trend line through it you have about 5.1% growth. If you drag it from 1905-1985 you get about 4%. Sounds like inflation to me. I used Jan 1 FWIW. I hear the arguments against me ... "I am including the depression or markets are more efficient these days". Maybe so but I am not putting my hope in it. Furthermore you have dividends to consider as well so lets consider a dividend reinvestment version ... tack on 2-4%. That still ain't 10-12% folks. It seems that historically markets trend up for 15-20 years and then flatten out for that long. I am getting into the meat of my career and any early retirement money I have is shrinking fast. I don't expect it to grow all that fast for the next 10 years so where does that put me if the markets struggle for that time frame? Still working ...
Of course, if I raise them right, at least I can depend on my children when they are older, or as the psalmist put it
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children born in one's youth. Blessed are they whose quivers are full. They will never be shamed contending with foes at the gate. (Psalm 127:4-5)
Watched Brazil a few nights ago ...
Brazil the movie (1985) ...
This movie hits a little too close to home every time I see it. I may have gotten the worst case of !!! from it that I ever have.
1) everyone is addicted to TV
2) the government protects us from "terrorists" although you suspect they are the cause as well
3) everything has a form, signatures and receipts of receipts
4) how you look and your status within the organization is very important
5) people cannot do anything without state intervention
5b) nor do they seem to want to
6) Information Retrieval is the "torture for information" arm of the system
7) Consumers for Christ
8) parents do not even know their kids names ...
9) Life and death seem to be an inconvenient diversion for most
10) Everything is bloated and expensive
The art decco mixed with the inefficient hit a little too close to home. Of course I am sure you are thinking of the Bush administration right?
Meanwhile I want to remind you of a few things regarding socialism defined as
A system of social and economic organization that would substitute state monopoly for private ownership of the sources of production and means of distribution, and would concentrate under the control of the secular governing authority the chief activities of human life.
and about which the Church has stated:
"The socialists, therefore, in setting aside the parent and setting up a State supervision, act against natural justice, and destroy the structure of the home." (source)
"Socialists...debase the natural union of man and woman...the [family] bond they...deliver up to lust. Lured...by the greed of present goods...they assail the right of property. While they seem desirous of caring for the needs and satisfying the desires of all men, they strive to seize and hold in common whatever has been acquired either by title, by labor, or by thrift." (source)
"...Socialism...cannot be reconciled with the teachings of the Catholic Church because its concept of society itself is utterly foreign to Christian truth." (source)
I'm just curious ... How is the an Obama presidency which wants to further remove the education of children from parents by creating mandatory preschool, debase the natural union of man and woman by promoting gay marriage and increasingly assign to the state that which is governed by the private sector an improvement on the bleak vision offered to us in Brazil?
I'm just sayin' ... McSame has a nice ring to it but "O the President" is going to prove to be a disappointment for those really looking for change. After all wasn't this bailout -- I'm sorry "rescue package" -- that was opposed by the ignorant masses a bipartisan effort? I mean we have Bush suspending constitutional rights in the time of military crisis. This is a WAR folks! We have bi-partisan work doing it with an unprecedented economic crisis .. Whats next? Seriously, what crisis will justify suspension of the Bill of Rights and what makes anyone think Obama is really going to be any different? Because his promises sound good and his party isn't the same as Bush?
Politicians want power and they are increasingly more and more obvious about their motives. Good guy (your party) vs bad guy (their party) only serves to keep the masses at each others throats and meanwhile we are all frustrated while supporting both sides of evil. Meanwhile nothing changes on the good side of the ledger -- issues of life, treatment of the poor etc. After all they cannot keep Americans focused on the real problems that face us if they actually do something about it.
OK ... I promise, I'll post something less cynical in the future :)
I'm normally not thrilled when I read movie reviews but when I found this review of Ghost Town
on Mecatornet, I thought I would go ahead and post it.
What particularly strikes me about Ghost Town is how easily it and films like it ... all get right at the meaning of life without being didactic and preachy.
My wife and I saw this move this past weekend. We thoroughly enjoyed it. It simply didn't suffer from the majority of the major flaws of most modern movies. It has some vulgar jokes but beyond that it was a hilarious movie with a good message and a romance that did not result in people sleeping together to get across the point that they were "in love".
Several days ago I got into a discussion about birth control. The main gist of what the discussion focused on was a "pro-life" politician in south Louisiana who suggested that it would be a good idea to give poor people $1000 to sterlize themselves. I won't go into the sheer stupidity of such a plan. From a Christian perspective I will put it succinctly - Matt 26:11a
The poor you will always have with you
Follow that to its natural conclusion.
The pro-life concern here was one of the "intrinsic evil" of sterilization (Humanae Vitae). Immediately upon mentioning the Catholic concern here cries of "seperation of Church and state", "I don't debate religion" and "we shouldn't impose our beliefs on others" rang from the crowd.
I made the point that a case can be made without recourse to Bible or Magisterium yet the overwhelming mindset seemed to be that "birth control is a religious doctrine" thus it can handily be dismissed without further reflection and left in the "its OK for you but not for me" bin. The problem is that this is logically incoherent. I suspect people deep down understand that but it is easier to rush it into a bin that everybody knows is off topic in polite discussion. Welcome to the "dictatorship of relativism". Moral relativism falls slap in its own face and will be the downfall of freedom in our western culture. A perfect example comes from the UK. Modern sensibilities have been favorable to the Muslim plight in recent years highlighting an enlightened sense of "tolerance" in the non-Muslim proponent. Modern sensibilities have also been favorable to free access to sex without consequence. What should so happen when these two worlds collide?Mother is denied pill by Muslim pharmacist
We get the same answer
"I appreciate we live in a multi-cultural society but what gives him the right to impose his beliefs onto me?"
Actually it is precisely the opposite that is occurring here. She is wanting to impose her beliefs on the phramacist. Not only that, there is NO appreciation of the values of Islam going on here. When multi-cultural tolerance meets the need to have sex free of consequence, sex wins. The right and simple solution is "conscience notification" at pharmacies. Its not hard in this day and age to find another pharmacy. In the US chances are there is one across the street. It retains the right of conscience for the pharmacist and does not deny the contracepting person access to contraceptives ... that is, for now. Naturally, in a perfect world I would hope all pharmacists would all of the sudden find Humanae Vitaes message compelling. It would restore a good deal of order to sexual relationships in the world.
Freedom of religion requires as much as is reasonably attainable the right of conscience. I am not against laws requiring a sign stating that the pharmacist will not provide contraceptives or abortaficient pills. I am against laws seeking to require pharmacists and doctors to perform actions that they consider gravely immoral. Now since any Protestant readers I know may encounter this and object on the basis of not believing that handing out contraceptives is a grossly immoral act, I will extend the idea to doctors and abortions. On this front, the pro-life movement is gaining some ground. Doctors are increasingly less likely to want to perfom abortions. This is, or will be soon causing a shortage of doctors willing to perform abortions. The "tolerant" solution? Force all doctors to be able to perfom abortions in order to even become a doctor. That eliminates any future shortage of doctors willing to perform them but at what cost? Denial of freedom of religion and the right of conscience. From a pro-life perspective we want the right of conscience retained. After all, if the law won't change, then a change in the hearts of doctors is a good way to reduce access to abortions and thus the number of them.
This matter of conscience on contraceptives is a key piece in the battle against abortion. To fight against Catholics and Muslims is to setup another blow against life in the future. Don't be caught on that side of the fence because you happen to disagree with Catholics and because the war on terror has you afraid of the advancement of Muslim values. The next logical step is forcing doctors to murder babies.
This is for my conservative readers
Based on the W "The President" stickers ...
It works on so many levels. I figure somebody has already done this. If not, enjoy! :)
Here is a post by a Canadian priest that explains why the bailout is necessary
My theory on why Americans were calling their reps demanding them NOT to pass the bailout
One more thing on the economy and then I will say no more ... it being above my pay grade and all.
The REASON people are calling their reps and demanding they NOT pass a bailout is because they see it like this:
I have been into debt and I had to work hard to get OUT. I suffered for my mistakes.
I have never been in debt. I played fair by the system. I suffered through delayed gratification while my neighbors bought nicer stuff.
I am in debt and I know I will have to work hard and suffer to get out.
Take that analogy and apply it to the banks. Most Americans want those who took the risk to suffer. Yes, I realize those risks will fall out in their 401k's. I suspect many of them know that. Still, the analogy they see is
I went into debt. I have bad credit, junk assets and I am asking the taxpayer to give me a sweet debt consolidation loan and then trust that I'll do better next time.
The market isn't so nice to the average Joe on the street and, quite frankly, they don't see why all of the sudden it should be nice to someone else. The see it as welfare for a class of people they don't exactly feel inclined to feel sorry for. After all, when average Joe goes into debt average Joe pays for it. They only see this as a larger scale average Joe going into debt and asking a poorer average Jane to pay for it.
I am not saying its right nor do I know the right answer. I am not prone to trust politicians who have a vested interest in the market doing well now ... the future be damned. That said, if Americans want to be at the mercy of capitalism at its coldest they may get that. Rock and hard place ... It'll be interesting to see unfold.
Market woes ... in perspective
When watching the market I want you to keep a little perspective
In the great depression the market lost 89% of its value ... we are down almost 25% in the past year. I am going to present here a couple of lists.
Worst market downturns in Wall Street history
Wall Street 1901-03: -46%
The market was spooked by the assassination of President McKinley in 1901, coupled with a severe drought later the same year.
Wall Street 1919-21: -46%
There were fears that the new automobile sector was becoming overheated and that car ownership had reached saturation point.
Wall Street 1906-07: -48%
Markets took fright after President Theodore Roosevelt had threatened to rein in the monopolies that flourished in various industrial sectors, notably railways.
Wall Street 1937-38: -49%
This share price fall was triggerd by an economic recession and doubts about the effectiveness of Franklin D Roosevelt's New Deal policy.
Wall Street 1929-32: -89%
The Wall Street Crash heads the list, with the US stock market falling by 89 per cent between 1929 and 1932. The bursting of the speculative bubble led to further selling as people who had borrowed money to buy shares had to cash them in in a hurry when their loans wre called in. (source)
Yesterdays 7% loss in comparison to other black days on Wall Street
|1||December 12, 1914||-24.39|
|2||October 19, 1987||-22.61|
|3||October 28, 1929||-12.82|
|4||October 29, 1929||-11.73|
|5||November 6, 1929||-9.92|
|6||December 18, 1899||-8.72|
|7||August 12, 1932||-8.40|
|8||March 14, 1907||-8.29|
|9||October 26, 1987||-8.04|
|10||July 21, 1933||-7.84|
|11||October 18, 1937||-7.75|
|12||February 1, 1917||-7.24|
|13||October 27, 1997||-7.18|
|14||October 5, 1932||-7.15|
|15||September 17, 2001||-7.13|
|16||September 24, 1931||-7.07|
|17||July 20, 1933||-7.07|
|18||September 29, 2008||-6.98|
|19||July 30, 1914||-6.91|
|20||October 13, 1989||-6.91|
If the pundits are right then we have a LONG way yet to fall.
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Another cool severe weather capture
You can click on it to see a full sized image. I put the waterspout icon (
) in there thinking it would be unlikely that I ever saw it. Lucky me.