Monday, August 31, 2009

Totalitarianism Update: New Hampshire

Last Wednesday we reported that Sweden has banned homeschooling. Think it can't happen here? Think again.

From the Alliance Defense Fund comes this story:

NH court orders home-schooled child into government-run school
ADF-allied attorney files motion to reconsider and hold off decision in case involving 10-year-old girl

LACONIA, N.H. — An Alliance Defense Fund allied attorney filed motions with a New Hampshire court Monday asking it to reconsider and stay its decision to order a 10-year-old home-schooled girl into a government-run school in Meredith.

Although the marital master making recommendations to the court agreed the child is “well liked, social and interactive with her peers, academically promising, and intellectually at or superior to grade level” and that “it is clear that the home schooling...has more than kept up with the academic requirements of the...public school system,” he nonetheless proposed that the Christian girl be ordered into a government-run school after considering “the impact of [her religious] beliefs on her interaction with others.” The court approved the order.

“Parents have a fundamental right to make educational choices for their children. In this case specifically, the court is illegitimately altering a method of education that the court itself admits is working,” said ADF-allied attorney John Anthony Simmons of Hampton. “The court is essentially saying that the evidence shows that, socially and academically, this girl is doing great, but her religious beliefs are a bit too sincerely held and must be sifted, tested by, and mixed among other worldviews. This is a step too far for any court to take.”

The parents of the child divorced in 1999. The mother has home-schooled their daughter since first grade with curriculum that meets all state review standards. In addition to home schooling, the girl attends supplemental public school classes and has also been involved in a variety of extra-curricular sports activities.

In the process of renegotiating the terms of a parenting plan for the girl, the guardian ad litem involved in the case concluded, according to the court order, that the girl
“appeared to reflect her mother’s rigidity on questions of faith” and that the girl’s interests “would be best served by exposure to a public school setting” and “different points of view at a time when she must begin to critically evaluate multiple systems of order to select, as a young adult, which of those systems will best suit her own needs.”

Marital Master Michael Garner reasoned that the girl’s
“vigorous defense of her religious beliefs to [her] counselor suggests strongly that she has not had the opportunity to seriously consider any other point of view” and then recommended that the girl be ordered to enroll in a government school instead of being home-schooled. Judge Lucinda V. Sadler approved the recommendation and issued the order on July 14.

“The New Hampshire Supreme Court itself has specifically declared, ‘Home education is an enduring American tradition and right...,’” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Mike Johnson. “There is clearly and without question no legitimate legal basis for the court’s decision, and we trust it will reconsider its conclusions.”

Simmons filed his motions and supporting brief in the case In the Matter of Kurowski and Kurowski (Voydatch) with the Family Division of the Judicial Court for Belknap County in Laconia.

h/t "What's Wrong With the World."

Friday, August 28, 2009


Dear Fr. Malloy:
I’m writing, in response to your message, to apologize for the extremely poor use of words reflected in the recent posting of our Prayer of the Faithful resource as it relates to the petition regarding Senator Edward Kennedy. Upon reflection, the editors who adapted and wrote the prayer recognize their poor judgment.

As a source text they drew from “Prayers on the Inauguration of a Public Official” found in the Book of Blessings. This was a poor choice as a source text. The source prayer, as originally intended, intentionally reflects a future hope; it is not intended as a reflection on the quality of the life of a person or persons. This was not considered enough when adapted. As adapted for the Prayer of the Faithful, the text inappropriately presents a sense of support for the positions and actions taken by the late Senator by those who wrote it or pray it. I know it was not the intention of the editors to support the Senator’s positions, but upon reading the petition, as it was originally written, support can be inferred. I apologize for our failure in judgment and poor selection of words used in the prayer. I pray that we do better in the future.

The text of the prayer has been amended and it now reads:
“For all our beloved dead, especially (particular parish intentions), and for Senator Edward M. Kennedy, that they may find their eternal reward in the arms of God. We pray:”

I appreciate your feedback and concern.

John A. Thomas
Liturgy Training Publications
3949 S. Racine Avenue
Chicago, IL 60609
Phone (773) 579-4900, ext. 3557
FAX 773-579-4929

Let Us Pray for Senator Kennedy

Following the passing of Senator Edward Kennedy last week, Liturgical Training Publications, an agency of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, sent suggested Prayers of the Faithful for August 30.

This updated prayers of the faithful include: "For those who have given their lives to service to their country, promoting values of peace, justice, equality, and liberty; especially, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, that he may find his eternal reward in the arms of God...We pray."

To pray for Senator Kennedy as one who promoted peace, justice, equality, and liberty, ignoring the 49 million+ babies killed through legalized abortion, would be simply to pray a lie at Mass. Senator Kennedy’s pro-abortion voting record is well known. He voted against the ban partial birth abortion. He voted against the ban on human cloning. He voted to expand embryonic stem-cell research. The list could be extended. He has a 100% rating from the National Abortion Rights Action League. (cfr California Catholic Daily)

Pray for Ted Kennedy, but not for one who promoted values of peace, justice, equality, and liberty!

JP II: So Good to Remember!

Brad Miner has a good column today over at "The Catholic Thing."

"Head Chef in the Cafeteria" is about the career and death of Senator Ted Kennedy. Miner fondly remembers John Paul the Great's visit to Nicaragua in 1983, and how he responded to the liberation theologian/priest/Sandanista Minister of Culture, Ernesto Cardenal, when Cardenal attempted to kiss his ring:

Time magazine reported:

"When Ernesto Cardenal Martinez, a Roman Catholic priest who also serves as Minister of Culture in Nicaragua's Marxist government, knelt to receive the Pope's blessing, John Paul wagged his finger in Cardenal's face and chided him, "You must straighten out your position with the church."

Miner closes his column with:

"It’s a pleasant image made painful by my inability to recall any American Catholic priest, bishop, archbishop, or cardinal ever publicly scolding Ted Kennedy.

That said, may he rest in peace."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hillary Clinton on Sex-Selective Abortions

Excellent expose of the "pro-choice" position's incompatiblity with reason over at "The Curt Jester." The post is called:

"But why is she against it?"

Jeff starts by quoting a Life News article:

"Washington, DC ( -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently told the New York Times that she opposes sex-selection abortions and is working to do more the combat them."

Jeff then says:

"As you would expect the NYT does not have a follow up question in regards to sex-selection abortion. No question as to how if abortion is a "right" then how does doing it because of the sex of the child then make it a problem....Does the women have a so-called choice just as long as the reason is not sex-selection?"

The combox is good, too:

"Imagine the leaders of these sex-selecting countries retorting, "Every woman a planned and wanted woman."

Two Orders, Two Videos

Quite a contrast between this video of the Dominican Sisters of Mary and the video just issued by the Jesuit California Province. The Dominican Sisters are growing like wildfire. In the video by the California Jesuits there is an acceptance that that will not happen.

Domincan Sisters:

California Jesuits (caution: 23 minutes):

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"Every seventy-two seconds an African-American baby dies in the womb of his or her mother."

That is the message from pro-life hero Walter Hoye. Pastor Hoye was interviewed today in the California Catholic Daily.

Pastor Hoye has started the Cyrenian Project to reach out to African-American churches on the issue of abortion and how it affects the black community. How necessary that effort is! The project is named after Simon of Cyrene, who helped Christ carry his cross on Calvary.

On January 22, 2010, Pastor Hoye will lead the "3rd Annual Standing Up 4 Life" Walk in Oakland. The 2010 walk will spotlight "The Impact Of Abortion In The Minority Community!"

You can learn more at Pastor Hoye's website, here

What a great gift our African-American pastors are to the pro-life movement!

Totalitarianism Update: Why to Keep Government the Heck Out of Health Care


Venezuela Bans Religious Education

"A clause in recently-passed Venezuelan education legislation backed by President Hugo Chávez has banned religious instruction in all private and public schools. “We’ll see how we will manage to carry forward education,” said Cardinal Jorge Liberato Urosa Savino of Caracas. “We are going to ask God to help all Catholics, principally those educational institutions belonging to the Church and community parishes.”


Sweden Bans Homeschooling

"The Swedish Association for Home Education (ROHUS) is asking for support from the international community to stop an attempt by the Swedish government to outlaw homeschooling. The new legislation argues that because a child's education should be "comprehensive and objective" it must be "designed so that all pupils can participate, regardless of what religious or philosophical" views of parents or children...

The government's explanation of the draft law says, "there is no need for the law to offer the possibility of homeschooling because of religious or philosophical reasons in the family."


Wisconsin compels parishes, dioceses to provide contraceptive coverage.

"The bishops of Wisconsin have reacted angrily to a new state mandate that compels health insurance providers to include contraceptive coverage in their insurance plans.
“This mandate will compel Catholic dioceses, parishes, and other agencies that buy health insurance to pay for a medical service that Catholic teaching holds to be gravely immoral,” the bishops write. “Only dioceses or agencies that are self insured, such as La Crosse and Superior, are not covered by this mandate. As Catholic teachers and pastors, we strongly object to this blatant insensitivity to our moral values and legal rights …

This mandate violates not just our religious values, but also our constitutional rights.”

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Monday, August 24, 2009

The California Society of Community Organizers...

formerly known as the Society of Jesus have a new video. I guess the idea is....well, I don't exactly know what the idea is. Because if its about vocations, they seem pretty comfortable with the lack thereof.

One interesting thing is the number of references to PICO, the nationwide Alinskyite "Community Organizers" federation founded by Jesuit priest John Baumann. You can watch the video here:

This is funny, too. The screenshot below of a lone priest in a collar appears while a lady is saying that Jesuits "...have to be coaxed and pulled along a little bit..." into collaboration. (I don't know about that!)

It's about 8:30 into this penitential experience. I had to do a double take. For a second I thought it was Fr. Fessio!

It's not him (that's him below at left, of course).

But it's funny that when they talk about "needing to be coaxed and pulled along" they just happen to pick a Fessio-lookalike (dressed like a priest and everything!) as the graphic.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

The New Missal

“Understandable, dignified and accurate”
Committee on Divine Worship Introduces Roman Missal Formation Website

News release from U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Aug. 21, 2009 WASHINGTON, D.C.
-- A new Website from the U.S. Conference of Catholic will educate Catholics about the forthcoming English translation of the new Roman Missal. The site,, launched August 21, includes background material on the process of development of liturgical texts, sample texts from the Missal, a glossary of terms and answers to frequently asked questions. Content will be added regularly over the next several months. The bishop’s Committee on Divine Worship hopes the site will be a central resource for those preparing to implement the new text.
“In the years since Vatican II we have learned a lot about the use of the vernacular in the liturgy and the new texts reflect this new understanding,” said Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson, NJ, in a welcome-to-the-site video. “The new texts are understandable, dignified and accurate,” said Bishop Serratelli, who chairs the Committee on Divine Worship. “They not only strive to make the meaning of the text accessible for the listener, but they also strive to unearth the biblical and theological richness of the Latin text.
” After more than five years of consultation, study and reflection, the bishops are expected to conclude their review and approval of the final portion of the translated texts at the end of this year. Final approval (recognitio) of the text from the Holy See for the complete translation will be the last step before the publication of the texts for use in the liturgy. Bishop Serratelli sees this time of waiting as an opportunity to learn and prepare. “We have a great opportunity during this period not only to learn about the changes, not only to learn about the revised texts, but also to deepen our own understanding of the Liturgy itself,” he said. “We encourage priests, deacons, religious, liturgical ministers, all the faithful to avail themselves of the information that we are making available.”? In May 2002, the Vatican published the Latin text of the Third Edition on the Missale Romanum. Since 2003, the bishops of the English-speaking world have been working to prepare an English translation of the Roman Missal.
For more information, Click Here. For examples of the changes, Click Here.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Do-It-Yourself "Year of the Priest" Film Festival

The good folks over at "Korrektiv" have come up with a list of movies you can watch each week throughout the "Year of the Priest." It begins with "San Francisco" where Spencer Tracy plays Father Mullin and runs chronologically through "Gran Torino" where Christopher Carley plays Father Janovich.

What a great idea for any parish!

h/t Mark Shea

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bishop Gets it on Health Care Reform

Finally, a comprehensive letter from a bishop about the dangers of Obamacare.

An excellent letter from the Most Reverend Walker Nickless, Bishop of Sioux City


The current national debate about health care reform should concern all of us. There is much at stake in this political struggle, and also much confusion and inaccurate information being thrown around. My brother bishops have described some clear “goal-posts” to mark out what is acceptable reform, and what must be rejected. First and most important, the Church will not accept any legislation that mandates coverage, public or private, for abortion, euthanasia, or embryonic stem-cell research. We refuse to be made complicit in these evils, which frankly contradict what “health care” should mean. We refuse to allow our own parish, school, and diocesan health insurance plans to be forced to include these evils. As a corollary of this, we insist equally on adequate protection of individual rights of conscience for patients and health care providers not to be made complicit in these evils. A so-called reform that imposes these evils on us would be far worse than keeping the health care system we now have.

Second, the Catholic Church does not teach that “health care” as such, without distinction, is a natural right. The “natural right” of health care is the divine bounty of food, water, and air without which all of us quickly die. This bounty comes from God directly. None of us own it, and none of us can morally withhold it from others. The remainder of health care is a political, not a natural, right, because it comes from our human efforts, creativity, and compassion. As a political right, health care should be apportioned according to need, not ability to pay or to benefit from the care. We reject the rationing of care. Those who are sickest should get the most care, regardless of age, status, or wealth. But how to do this is not self-evident. The decisions that we must collectively make about how to administer health care therefore fall under “prudential judgment.”

Third, in that category of prudential judgment, the Catholic Church does not teach that government should directly provide health care. Unlike a prudential concern like national defense, for which government monopolization is objectively good – it both limits violence overall and prevents the obvious abuses to which private armies are susceptible – health care should not be subject to federal monopolization. Preserving patient choice (through a flourishing private sector) is the only way to prevent a health care monopoly from denying care arbitrarily, as we learned from HMOs in the recent past. While a government monopoly would not be motivated by profit, it would be motivated by such bureaucratic standards as quotas and defined “best procedures,” which are equally beyond the influence of most citizens. The proper role of the government is to regulate the private sector, in order to foster healthy competition and to curtail abuses. Therefore any legislation that undermines the viability of the private sector is suspect. Private, religious hospitals and nursing homes, in particular, should be protected, because these are the ones most vigorously offering actual health care to the poorest of the poor.

The best way in practice to approach this balance of public and private roles is to spread the risks and costs of health care over the largest number of people. This is the principle underlying Medicaid and Medicare taxes, for example. But this principle assumes that the pool of taxable workers is sufficiently large, compared to those who draw the benefits, to be reasonably inexpensive and just. This assumption is at root a pro-life assumption! Indeed, we were a culture of life when such programs began. Only if we again foster a culture of life can we perpetuate the economic justice of taxing workers to pay health care for the poor. Without a growing population of youth, our growing population of retirees is outstripping our distribution systems. In a culture of death such as we have now, taxation to redistribute costs of medical care becomes both unjust and unsustainable.

Fourth, preventative care is a moral obligation of the individual to God and to his or her family and loved ones, not a right to be demanded from society. The gift of life comes only from God; to spurn that gift by seriously mistreating our own health is morally wrong. The most effective preventative care for most people is essentially free – good diet, moderate exercise, and sufficient sleep. But pre-natal and neo-natal care are examples of preventative care requiring medical expertise, and therefore cost; and this sort of care should be made available to all as far as possible.

Within these limits, the Church has been advocating for decades that health care be made more accessible to all, especially to the poor. Will the current health care reform proposals achieve these goals?

The current House reform bill, HR 3200, does not meet the first or the fourth standard. As Cardinal Justin Rigali has written for the USCCB Secretariat of Pro-life Activities, this bill circumvents the Hyde amendment (which prohibits federal funds from being used to pay for abortions) by drawing funding from new sources not covered by the Hyde amendment, and by creatively manipulating how federal funds covered by the Hyde amendment are accounted. It also provides a “public insurance option” without adequate limits, so that smaller employers especially will have a financial incentive to push all their employees into this public insurance. This will effectively prevent those employees from choosing any private insurance plans. This will saddle the working classes with additional taxes for inefficient and immoral entitlements. The Senate bill, HELP, is better than the House bill, as I understand it. It subsidizes care for the poor, rather than tending to monopolize care. But, it designates the limit of four times federal poverty level for the public insurance option, which still includes more than half of all workers. This would impinge on the vitality of the private sector. It also does not meet the first standard of explicitly excluding mandatory abortion coverage.

I encourage all of you to make you voice heard to our representatives in Congress. Tell them what they need to hear from us: no health care reform is better than the wrong sort of health care reform. Insist that they not permit themselves to be railroaded into the current too-costly and pro-abortion health care proposals. Insist on their support for proposals that respect the life and dignity of every human person, especially the unborn. And above all, pray for them, and for our country.

h/t American Papist

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Monday, August 17, 2009

Worldwide Rosary at Saints Peter and Paul!

At Saints Peter and Paul, we participated in the worldwide simultaneous recitation of the Glorious Mysteries this past Sunday. West Coast time was 8:00 AM. We were right across from the Church in Washington Square Park.

What a blast! Thanks to all the parishioners who attended. And thanks to the young people in France at the "Festival Marial International" who gave us this opportunity. Photo courtesy Fr. John Itzaina, SDB.
Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Friday, August 14, 2009

Crossroads Kids Reach Their Destination!

God Bless 'em! From LifeNews :

Pro-Life College Students Meet in Washington After Nationwide Walk on Abortion

"Three groups of pro-life college students will converge in the nation's capital on Saturday after spending months in a cross-country walking trip to bring awareness about the horrors of abortion. This weekend, 40 young people walking with the pro-life group Crossroads, will conclude their journey.

The students encountered a warm welcome and outpouring of support from pro-life Americans as they passed through 36 states, thousands of municipalities, towns and cities, and logged 10,000 miles collectively during the summer pilgrimage."

They also encountered taxpayer-funded obstruction, while trying to cross Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado::

"Three female walkers were stopped immediately before entering the park by a male ranger who said they would not be permitted to continue unless they changed out of their pro-life t- shirts. The shirts are solid colors with the words "Pro- Life" emblazoned on the front.

Nolan said the ranger said pro-abortion people in the park might find the shirts offensive.

After getting legal help, the walkers were eventually allowed to continue. "

Typical: you have to pay a lawyer to battle obstruction by your government (whom you are also paying) to cross land belonging to you. Think about that if you are considering supporting government healthcare. That bum of a ranger ought to be fired.

Anyway, here are two of the crossroads walkers before they set out, when they visited us at Saints Peter and Paul on May 24. That's Fr. Armand Oliveri with them.

God Bless 'em again!

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Thursday, August 13, 2009

California Same Sex "Marriage" Activists Target Maine

No surprise, we were expecting it. From today's Bay Area Reporter, (notable for carrying ads for San Francisco's adoption agency in its sadomasochism section):

"Bay Area LGBTs pitch in to help Maine in marriage fight

As same-sex couples in Maine face the prospect of losing marriage equality, some volunteers in California are coming to their aid.

In May, Maine became the fifth state to legalize same-sex marriage. But a proposed "people's veto" vote in November could result in the law's undoing....

In Silicon Valley, some volunteers are already working to help defeat the proposed veto.

Greg Belaus, 43, who lives in Santa Clara and married Mark Hatfield last year, said that over three phone banks, Silicon Valley callers have made almost 1,000 calls altogether and had 300 conversations. So far, they've been contacting people in Oxford County, Maine, which he said is a fairly conservative and older area of the state.

Marriage Equality Silicon Valley and the Santa Clara County chapter of the Courage Campaign have organized the phone banking. Belaus said that from five to 10 people have been involved in each of the phone banks, which are open to anyone."

Full article is here.

We were certain that California homosexual activists would be helping to try and defeat the Maine Campaign to protect marriage and the family. That's why we have the link at the top of our right sidebar to "Stand for Marriage Maine."

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

When Nancy Pelosi Calls you Un-American...

...remember what district she represents: one whose city government thinks it is a good idea to look for adoptive "dads" on the s/m webpage of a homosexually-oriented online newspaper.

From today's California Catholic Daily:

"Adoptive Dads Sought on S/M Webpage
SF City-Funded Adoption Agency Advertises with “Mister Marcus”, a joint project of the City of San Francisco’s Human Services Agency and Family Builders by Adoption is advertising for adoptive parents on the “Mister Marcus” page of San Francisco’s Bay Area Reporter website. The Reporter’s front page motto is “Serving the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community since 1971.”

“Mister Marcus” publishes a weekly column in the Reporter which covers and publicizes upcoming “leather” events. Examples include: “A weekend of bdsm activity and featuring NW Master and slave contest on Sat. night” (July 2, 2009) and “Hell Hole Fisting Party tonight upstairs at Mister S playroom from 2000 to 0200 next morning” (April 16, 2009)...."

Emphasis added. It sounds unbelievable but it is quite true. Beacuse the ads rotate, you may not see the AdoptionSF ad at first, but it will appear. Or just hit your "refresh" button a few times.

Read the whole story here.

Readers of "A Shepherd's Voice" will quickly recognize "Family Builders By Adoption" as the adoptions organization that Catholic Charities of San Francisco partnered up with back in 2006. That partnership ended in June 2006, although the CCCYO Adoptions page still links to Family Builders.

UPDATE: The CCCYO Adoptions page with the link to Family Builders is now down. Thank heavens.

There's a good lesson here about keeping bad company.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Monday, August 10, 2009

Nice! Worldwide Rosary this Sunday!

And our beloved John Paul II will be helping!

As part of the International Marian Festival that will take place in Paray le Monial, France, August 14-19, the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary will be prayed on the world’s five continents beginning at 5 p.m. (Paris time) on Sunday, August 16.

According to a press release, the Rosary will be prayed “with the Word of God, assisted by meditations from John Paul II at the time of his arrival in France” in 1986, when he consecrated the world to the Virgin Mary.

“John Paul II will entrust our important prayer intentions to the intercession of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary close to the Father,” organizers said.

The purpose of the worldwide Rosary will be “to pray for peace, for the Church, for France, for the world and for the mission of each one of us in particular.”

Those who wish to join in the prayer should note that 5:00pm Paris time is 11:00 a.m. Eastern time and 8:00 a.m. Pacific. More information can be found at:

"On this day, a federal court judge ruled that it is constitutional to put someone in jail for a year for holding out a hand with a leaflet"

Here is the latest news in the case of our friend the pro-life hero Reverend Walter Hoye.

Reprinted in full, from today's California Catholic Daily:

"Mark this day down"
Judge rules Oakland ‘bubble law’ constitutional, pro-life lawyers plan to appeal

"Attorneys for Rev. Walter Hoye say they will appeal a federal judge’s ruling that Oakland’s so-called ‘bubble ordinance’ does not violate the U.S. constitution. An attorney for Life Legal Defense Foundation said Hoye’s lawyers would ask the court to block enforcement of the ordinance pending appeal as early as this week.

On Aug. 4, U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer ruled that Oakland's 'Mother May I' ordinance was constitutional, setting the stage for a showdown in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

In a 25-page memorandum opinion, Breyer held that the ordinance, which applies only outside abortion facilities, was not content- or viewpoint-based on its face. Breyer also ruled that the ordinance was narrowly tailored, even though it prohibits merely extending one's hand with a leaflet to a woman seeking to enter an abortion clinic.

The ordinance, passed in February 2008, prohibits approaches within 8 feet of persons seeking to enter abortion clinics without their consent. Rev. Hoye challenged the ordinance because it prevented him from engaging in the counseling he found most effective, namely, walking up to women and asking them if they would like to talk about alternatives to the clinic. Because the ordinance required him to keep an 8-foot distance, pro-abortion escorts could approach the women first and hustle them into the clinic, while other escorts physically blocked Rev. Hoye.

Confronted with evidence that the city does not enforce the ordinance against pro-abortion escorts who approach and surround women, telling them not to listen to Rev. Hoye, not to take his information, and that he is only there to harass them, the court ruled that this speech was merely 'facilitating access' to the clinic and thus did not violate the law.

Faced with the city's own statements that it is permissible for escorts to approach women and make statements such as 'You have the right to an abortion,' the court simply stated that the city was wrong about what its own ordinance meant. The court disposed of the escorts’ blocking of Rev. Hoye by declaring, 'Of course, escorts also may not physically block demonstrators,' as if by merely saying so, the court had made the problem disappear.

'Mark this day down,' said Mike Millen, who, in conjunction with Katie Short of the Life Legal Defense Foundation, is representing Rev. Hoye. 'On this day, a federal court judge ruled that it is constitutional to put someone in jail for a year for holding out a hand with a leaflet. The Supreme Court clearly wanted to leave at least that channel of communication open to speakers, but the federal district court blocked even that peaceful form of expression.'

The next step is an immediate appeal to the Ninth Circuit, Millen said. 'While disappointing, this ruling is not entirely unexpected. The good news is that while San Francisco federal judges may be loathe to strike down clearly unconstitutional city ordinances, the Ninth Circuit has an admirable record of supporting free speech rights. We are cautiously optimistic that this wrong will be righted."'

Friday, August 7, 2009


From Tom Grenchik, writing for the USCCB. H/t to the Hercules of the Catholic blogosphere, Jack Smith.

I think "line in the sand" is an unfortunate metaphor. Sand is a little shifty and so are politicians.

Lines in the Sand
By Tom Grenchik

As members of Congress head home for their August recess, we now have a better picture of where everyone stands on health care reform. While the U.S. bishops support genuine health care reform, there is a clear line in the sand between our bishops and some congressional leaders.

On July 17, Bishop William Murphy, Chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, wrote to Congress saying: “The USCCB looks forward to working with you to reform health care successfully in a manner that offers accessible, affordable and quality health care that protects and respects the life and dignity of all people from conception until natural death.” Then Bishop Murphy drew a line, declaring that “no health care reform plan should compel us or others to pay for the destruction of human life, whether through government funding or mandatory coverage of abortion.”

Some seemed surprised at this, since abortion was not specifically mentioned in draft health care bills until recently. Those with longer memories may recall that the Medicaid statute doesn’t mention abortion either, but it was funding 300,000 abortions a year in the 1970s until we put a stop to that with the Hyde amendment. In any case, numerous amendments to keep abortion out of health care reform have been defeated in committee, and it is now apparent that some leaders have every intention of threatening the health care reform process by forcing Americans to accept abortion mandates and/or fund unlimited abortion in their health coverage.

Cardinal Justin Rigali, Chairman of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, followed up with a July 29 letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, declaring that “much-needed reform must not become a vehicle for promoting an ‘abortion rights’ agenda or reversing longstanding current policies against federal abortion mandates and funding.” The Cardinal urged Committee members to preserve longstanding federal policies that prevent government promotion of abortion and respect conscience rights.

But Bishop Murphy and Cardinal Rigali are not the only ones drawing lines. Millions upon millions of American Catholics are with them. Earlier this year, dioceses across the country broke all previous records by ordering more than 34 million postcards so their parishioners could urge Congress to “retain laws against federal funding and promotion of abortion.” Now that members of Congress are heading home, they need to be reminded of this message at the local level, in the context of health care reform.

As Congress takes its vacation, various proposals have been left behind. These proposals need to be examined to see how well they provide accessible, affordable and quality health care and how they impact immigrants and the poor. But one thing is certain. The bills approved so far by House and Senate committees include mandated abortion coverage and abortion funding, and that is a line we can never cross.

Now is the time to take action. Contact congressional members through e-mail, phone calls or FAX letters. E-mails can be sent by visiting and clicking on the Health Care Reform Action Alert. You can also call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121, attend town hall meetings in your local district, or call the local offices of your representative and senators. Full contact info can be found on Members’ web sites at and

The message is simple: “Support genuine health care reform that respects the life and dignity of all. A fair and just health care reform bill must exclude mandated coverage for abortion, and uphold longstanding laws that restrict abortion funding and protect conscience rights.”

With all respect, I can't agree. I can't agree with that.

Democratic legislators will receive that message, and then vote anyway for the healthcare package, including abortion coverage, based on the "Support genuine health care reform..." part of the first sentence.

I think Sarah Palin, writing on Facebook today, has a far better grasp of the situation:

"As more Americans delve into the disturbing details of the nationalized health care plan that the current administration is rushing through Congress, our collective jaw is dropping, and we’re saying not just no, but hell no!

The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil...

We must step up and engage in this most crucial debate. Nationalizing our health care system is a point of no return for government interference in the lives of its citizens. If we go down this path, there will be no turning back."

Just tell your legislator "VOTE NO ON HEALTH CARE REFORM."

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Thursday, August 6, 2009

“You are terrifying us”

From Peggy Noonan's column of yesterday:

"And really, (the Congressmen's) shock is the first thing you see in the videos. They had no idea how people were feeling. Their 2008 win left them thinking an election that had been shaped by anti-Bush, anti-Republican, and pro-change feeling was really a mandate without context; they thought that in the middle of a historic recession featuring horrific deficits, they could assume support for the invention of a huge new entitlement carrying huge new costs.

The passions of the protesters, on the other hand, are not a surprise. They hired a man to represent them in Washington. They give him a big office, a huge staff and the power to tell people what to do. They give him a car and a driver, sometimes a security detail, and a special pin showing he’s a congressman. And all they ask in return is that he see to their interests and not terrify them too much. Really, that’s all people ask. Expectations are very low. What the protesters are saying is, “You are terrifying us.”

Is that fear irrational? Look at the projected deficits--from the White House and Congressional Budget Office's own figures:

Is that fear irrational? With a 1,000+ page bill that no Congressman has read, but which a majority appear ready to vote for? and that will have the government taking over your health care?

Fighting for Marriage in Maine

Opponents of same-sex "marriage" in Maine have collected over 100,000 petition signatures, nearly double the amount needed, forcing a November referendum. The Maine legislature legalized same-sex "marriage" in May.

But Maine law says the people have right to overerule their legislators with what is called a "people's veto." To put the referndum on the ballot Main citizens needed to collect 55,087 signatures. Protect Marriage Maine turned in 100,363!

The deadline for signatures was September 12, which means that Stand for Marriage Maine got twice the required amount in about half the needed time. God Bless them!

We will keep the "Stand for Marriage Maine" link up on our sidebar so that you good people will know where to go to contribute. Their website is here:

God Bless the Knights!

The concluding paragraphs of today's Resolution by the Knights of Columbus at their meeting in Arizona:

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Knights of Columbus reaffirms its commitment to unconditional support for the right to life and full protection in law for every human being from conception to natural death; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, that we strongly oppose any effort to repeal the Hyde Amendment and other restrictions on taxpayer funding for abortions in the United States, and oppose any health care reform legislation that does not explicitly exclude abortion coverage for any health insurance plan, public or private; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, that we call upon legislators everywhere to adopt legislation protecting the religious conscience rights of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals, guaranteeing their right to refuse to participate in abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide or any other practice that is destructive of innocent human life or that conflicts with their sincerely-held religious beliefs; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, that we reaffirm our long-standing policy of not inviting to any Knights of Columbus event, persons, especially public officials or candidates for public office, who do not support the protection of unborn children against abortion or who advocate the legalization of assisted suicide, euthanasia and other violations of the right to life, and of not allowing such persons to rent or otherwise use facilities over which we have control, and of not bestowing on them honors or privileges of our Order of any kind, inviting them to serve as honorary chairpersons of events, celebrations or committees, speak at Knights of Columbus events, or hold any office in the Knights of Columbus.

h/t "The Catholic Key"

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Breeding Corruption

Here's a post by Benjamin Zycher writing at "The Corner." It's so good I want to post it in full:

Clunker Cash and Me

"Let’s face it: After 17 years and 232,522 miles of faithful service, my Jeep’s best days were long past. Time for some new wheels — but money’s a bit tight these days, for me as for so many others.

But, as good fortune would have it, not for the federal government: They’re willing to pay me $4,500 — $4,500! — to turn that clunker in for a new car satisfying the combined demands of political correctitude and the auto-dealer lobby. Alas, the rules specify that the big, powerful, safe truck that I want does not qualify.

And so I asked the question on the minds of millions of my fellow concerned citizens: How can I get my snout into this trough? Easy: I buy a small car qualifying for the $4,500, and keep it for a few months until the cash-for-clunkers boondoggle has run its course. At that point, the supply of used cars will have shrunk and their prices driven up; I will sell the almost-new small car for what I paid for it ($12,629 last Saturday) or more, at worst having driven it for free, and then buy the truck I covet.

I am deeply ashamed of myself, having worked the system while the poor get shafted by higher prices for the used cars they demand and by higher prices for the used parts needed to repair them. (Under the rules, the clunker engines have to be destroyed, the real-life Beltway version of the old joke about the fate of dairy farming under socialism: The government takes the milk and shoots the cows.) This is hardly the first time — nor will it be the last — that modern environmentalism has harmed those less fortunate.

As for me, I remain ashamed, but not sufficiently so to have forgone the $4,500. And, to be blunt, I am hardly the only sinner in this congregation. When the federal government starts writing checks so as to implement half-baked ideas in pursuit of yet another cause for do-gooderism, gaming the system is the system, an eternal truth relevant to the ongoing debates over health care, taxes, and much else."

I have friend who lived in Africa for many years. She described some of the labyrinthine schemes everyday people would dream up to make money (Nigerian email scams are pedestrian in comparison). Instead of being used productively, since anything produced was subject to being taken by the government, intelligence had to be used to "game the system."

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Obama Tells the Truth

He wants socialized medicine. Drudge posted an edited version of this, and the foolish White House gave it publicity by claiming it gave a "false impression."

Well, here it is uncut. Judge for yourself.

Abortion Coverage in the Obamacare plan

Hey, Tim Ryan. Hey, Catholics United. Hey Catholics in Alliance.

If you really did not want abortion funded in the House Obamacare bill, why didn't you just cut and paste the language that is currently in the health plans for Federal Employees:

This is from the "Blue Cross and Blue Shield Federal Employees Plan" as it exists today:

Section 6. General exclusions – things we don’t cover

"Services, drugs, or supplies related to abortions, except when the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term, or when the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest;"

This is from the "APWU-Health Insurance for Postal and Federal Employees and Retirees" as it exists today:

Section 6. General exclusions -- things we don't cover

"Services, drugs, or supplies related to abortions, except when the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term, or when the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest."

This is from the National Association of Letter Carriers Heath Plan, as it exists today:

Section 6. General exclusions -- things we don't cover

"Services, drugs, or supplies related to abortions, except when the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term, or when the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest."

Just copy the language. It is quite clear, no confusion at all.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Monday, August 3, 2009

Obamacare: JUST SAY NO!

I've come to the conclusion that the only thing to do is to oppose Obamacare lock, stock and barrel. I believe the Catholic focus on whether or not the plan funds abortion, includes conscience protection, permits euthanasia, etc., is misguided. I believe that when Obama says these things are "distractions," he's telling his supporters: don't worry about it--just help me get it passed. He's taking a page from Stalin, who thought Churchill and Roosevelt were idiots for demanding unconditional surrender in WWII. Stalin said: just get your enemy to lay down his arms, then you can make it unconditional--and Stalin did, and the Democrats will. For heaven's sake, a California Catholic hospital has already been forced by the courts to do a boob job on a transsexual! Does anyone think that when the government controls all health care that Catholic hospitals or doctors (or you or me) will have even the limited freedom they have now?

On Sunday, Mark Steyn:

"The president needs to get something passed. Anything. The details don’t matter. Once it’s in place, health-care “reform” can be re-reformed endlessly. Indeed, you’ll be surprised how little else we talk about. So, for example, public funding for abortions can be discarded now, and written in — as it surely will be by some judge — down the road. What matters is to ram it through, get it done, pass it now — in whatever form."

Well, abortion funding is in the bill now, anyway. Still, I see no reason to think Mr. Steyn is wrong. If it is removed from the bill, it will be added later.

Once government heath care exists, it will be impossible, short of some disaster or miracle, to get rid of it. There will be enormously powerful interests created that will prevent any change--except for enlarging it. It will be like government education, which everybody knows doesn't work, but which cannot be changed. The last time school vouchers were on the ballot in California, public sector unions, led by the California Teachers Association with $26,366,491, contributed over $30 million to defeat the measure. And the money these groups use to defend government education was your money, taxpayers money!

Clifford Assness, writing on July 22:

"Perhaps the best example of the destructive 'public option' is our nation’s schools. Here we clearly have a government provided 'public option' competing with (and in fact dominating in size) private schooling. But, is it fair? Does it work well? Not by a long-shot....

"With a “public option” things inevitably would go the horrific way of our public schools. Instead of existing to please customers (patients and students, respectively) the “public option” in schools exists largely to benefit empowered stakeholders of the system (health administrators and unionized school employees, respectively), who will shamelessly pretend to give a darn about sick people and children. Watch the analogy play out if we go this route in health care. It will be like looking in a funhouse mirror and seeing a doctor where you used to see a teacher. All else will be the same."

Did you know that more Americans than Canadians are satisfied with their health care?
Here's a good rundown on how our current system stacks up against those in other countries.

I work with a priest who had to wait 18 months for a hip operation in Canada--in pain every day. I believe they were hoping he would die before they had to perform the operation. That's our future if Obamacare passes.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Sunday, August 2, 2009

"The Healing of The Centurion's Boyfriend"

Today's San Francisco Chronicle reported:

"Two Episcopal priests in same-gender relationships are among the nominees for assistant bishop of Los Angeles, officials said Sunday.

The Rev. John L. Kirkley of San Francisco and the Rev. Mary Douglas Glasspool of Maryland will be among six candidates on the ballot when lay people and clergy vote in December, despite a long-standing request from world Anglican leaders for a moratorium on consecrating openly gay bishops."

We are familiar with Reverend Kirkley. Our post's title "The Healing of the Centurion's Boyfriend" also happens to be the the title of a homily given by the Reverend Kirkley at an ecumenical service at (where else?) San Francisco's Most Holy Redeemer's Church back in December 2006. From the homily:

"Tonight we gather to observe World AIDS Day. We gather to remember, to mourn, to celebrate, and to advocate. We come to this place for healing, and for the strength to continue to be agents of healing and reconciliation in a broken world. It is in light of this that I invite you to consider with me the extraordinary Gospel lesson we just heard, the story of the healing of the Centurion’s boyfriend.

Notice that the translation of this text refers to the paralyzed person as the Centurion’s “servant.” The Greek word here is pais, which can mean “servant” or, more properly, “servant boy,” but in other contexts is the Greek word used to refer to the younger lover of an older male. While the construction of same-sex love in Hellenistic culture posited such an age difference as normative, it is quite likely that the use of “boy” to refer to one’s beloved in Greek is more akin to the English use of “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” as a term of affection regardless of the age of the lovers.

That this is the case here is underscored by the contrast between the use of pais to refer to the object the Centurion’s special concern, and the use of doulos, the Greek word for slave used to designate those under the Centurion’s command, the people he bosses around. Just any old slave would have been unlikely to garner the Centurion’s attention. He was moved to approach Jesus because of his love for his boyfriend."

Talk about disordered!

The Reverend Kirkley's webpage also tells us he has been "married to my husband, Andrew, for 15 years", and that they have one son. The Episcopalians have nominated a whacko who even interprets scripture through the prism of his sexuality. No wonder they are breaking apart.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Words of Wisdom from Wise Men

1) Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But then I repeat myself.
.....Mark Twain
2) I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.
..Winston Churchill
3) A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.
.....George Bernard Shaw
5) Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.
.....James Bovard, Civil Libertarian (1994)
6) Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.
...Douglas Casey, Classmate of Bill Clinton at Georgetown University
7) Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
.....P.J. O'Rourke, Civil Libertarian
8) Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors
to live at the expense of everybody else.
...Frederic Bastiat, French Economist (1801-1850)
9) Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.
.....Ronald Reagan (1986)
10) I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.
.....Will Rogers
11) If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what
it costs when it's free.
.....P.J. O'Rourke
12) In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other.
.....Voltaire (1764)
13) Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.
....Pericles (430 B.C.)
14) No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session.
...Mark Twain (1866)
15) Talk is cheap ... except when Congress does it.
16) The government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other.
.....Ronald Reagan
17) The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.
.....Winston Churchill
18) The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.
....Mark Twain
19) The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
.....Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)
20) There is no distinctly native American criminal Congress.
....Mark Twain
21) What this country needs are more unemployed politicians.
.....Edward Langley, Artist (1928 - 1995)
22) A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.
....Thomas Jefferson