Friday, October 30, 2009

SF, Oakland Bishops Act on Obamacare--Pray God it's not Too Late

A blast email from George Wesolek, Director of the Office of Public Policy and Social Concerns of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, was sent to all the parishes of the Archdiocese this afternoon. It included pulpit announcements, plus the bulletin insert from the USCCB. The bulletin insert includes these messages to congress and the senate:

ACTION: Contact Members through e-mail, phone calls or FAX letters.
 To send a pre-written, instant e-mail to Congress go to
 Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at: 202-224-3121, or call your Members’ local offices.
 Full contact info can be found on Members’ web sites at &

“During floor debate on the health care reform bill, please support an amendment to
incorporate longstanding policies against abortion funding and in favor of conscience rights.
If these serious concerns are not addressed, the final bill should be opposed.”

“Please support the Stupak Amendment that addresses essential pro-life concerns on abortion funding and conscience rights in the health care reform bill. Help ensure that the Rule for the
bill allows a vote on this amendment. If these serious concerns are not addressed, the final bill should be opposed.”

WHEN: Both House and Senate are preparing for floor votes now. Act today! Thank you!

Bishop Cordileone sent out a similar email:

"We want to make you aware that Bishop Cordileone sent out an urgent email to all pastors and priests in the Diocese of Oakland earlier this morning. The email is encouraging a parish-wide distribution of the attached Bulletin Insert at all masses this weekend.

We are now at a critical moment in encouraging people to engage in the health care debate, as congressional leaders will be attempting to put together final bills for floor consideration this week. We apologize for the late notice of this urgent but necessary activity."

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Same Sex Marriage

In reference to USF Continues to Honor Same-Sex "Marriage" Advocates of last Wednesday. I would like to reprint a Letter to the Editor, which I wrote some time ago.


The furor over same-sex marriages as fueled by our local papers, would lead us to believe that anyone who does not support it is a hate filled religious fanatic, out of touch with the modern world, or worse.
My reaction to a pronouncement by Judge Richard Kramer is expressed in this statement::
Your honor, I respectfully beg to question your position as Catholic and as Judge. The media declares you to be Catholic, but if you are a Catholic, how can you be so out of agreement with the religion you profess?
As a Judge you declared: “Simply put same-sex marriage cannot be prohibited solely because California has always done so before.” Is it not evident to you that that may not be the reason same sex marriage was prohibited? Just because something was always done, or never done, makes it neither right or wrong. There are many other reasons why same-sex marriages has been prohibited for so many hundreds of years, why did you choose that irrelevant statement to make your point?
You also declared:
“It appears that no rational purpose exists for limiting marriage in this state to opposite-sex partners.”
No rational purpose exists? Do you really believe that the millions of supporters of marriage between man and woman have supported an irrational position over the centuries past? What about the value of father and mother in raising children? Is that not rational?
My question to you, as it was to Mayor Newsom: What right have you to change the definition of marriage? And what right have you to contravene the will of 62% of the citizens of this state who have already voted against same-sex marriage?
In this case, I believe that the will of the people is the will of God and the expression of His law, which you profess to believe, but do not uphold.
Are not you, as a Judge, expected to interpret law not make it?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

More From Our Bishops: Rubber meets the Road

More from the invaluable Tom Peters:

"Francis Cardinal George - President of the USCCB, together with Justin Cardinal Rigali (Chairman of USCCB pro-life activities), Bishop Murphy (Chairman of domestic justice and human development) and Bishop Wester (Chairman on Migration) have sent a letter to every Cardinal, Archbishop and Bishop in the United States asking for their 'active and personal leadership' and to "redouble [their] efforts" that health care reform is done right.
Right now, health care reform is wrong.

I want to focus on what the bishops are urged to undertake personally.

In part the letter to them reads:

'The outcome [of this debate] will depend not primarily on advocacy done [by us] in Washington, but on what we do in our own dioceses and states to make the case clearly and persuasively to influence how our Senators and Representatives vote.' The letter includes many action items for the bishops, including:

'Personally contact your Senators and Representatives who serve your diocese. In addition to letters and email, we ask you to speak personally to your members of Congress, in meetings and/or by phone.'

The letter goes on to say, to both Senators and Representatives (im paraphrasing here):
Please support an amendment to support conscience clauses and rule-out tax-payer funded abortions. If these amendments are not added to the bill, you must oppose the final bill when it comes to a vote.

The ramifications of this activity of the US bishops are extremely significant.

To take one important example, Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco ought to call Nancy Pelosi, and ask that she follow the advice presented above. This then means that when she ignores his advice (as she undoubtedly will) and pushes through this pro-abortion health care reform bill, she will be intentionally and explicitly defying the personal request of her Archbishop.

It should now be impossible, in fact, for any elected Catholic official to claim that they voted for the final pro-abortion health care bill without knowing clearly, in advance, where their local bishop stood on this particular issue."

W urge you to vist Tom at American Papist, and we will continue to follow his updates.

More Prayers Needed

Who would have imagined, at the beginning of the year, that we would find ourselves, in the fall, at a moment of desperation for a new administration of the far Left, supported by heavy congressional majorities? But here we are, with the Democratic Congress trying to convert medical care into a sprawling new public utility, yet snared in the coils of its complexities and contradictions. Still, the Democratic leadership presses on, determined to pass something. The media have not exactly caught on, but the thing that stands in the way at this moment is the issue of abortion and the strategic place held by that improbable crew, the pro-life Democrats....

Bart Stupak from upper Michigan, still young after nine-terms in Congress, has provided the leadership for pro-life and Blue Dog Democrats. They have been determined to keep the funding of abortion out of any scheme of nationally managed health care....

The pro-lifers in Congress have offered amendments in committee to provide, explicitly, that abortion will not be covered in any part of a new scheme of medical care. But every one of those amendments has been voted down.
From an article in The Catholic Thing by Hadley Arkes, Professor of Jurisprudence at Amherst College

URGENT ACTION ITEM: Bishops on Healthcare Vote

Copied from American Papist. Tom Peters says this initiative:

"...represents an unprecedented mobilization of the Catholic faithful on a particular political issue.

It is simply incredible - the US Bishops want every parish in America to help them get the message out. It explicitly says that individual dioceses ought not to "opt out" of this innitiative."

From: Tom Grenchik, Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities
To: Diocesan Pro-Life Directors & State Catholic Conference Director

Re: URGENT: Nationwide USCCB Bulletin Insert on Health Care Reform

Attached [see below], please find an Urgent Memorandum highlighting USCCB plans and requests for diocesan and parish based activation on health care reform.

The President of the Conference and the Chairmen of the three major USCCB committees engaged in health care reform have written all the bishops and asked that the attached USCCB Nationwide Bulletin Insert on health care reform be printed or hand-stuffed in every parish bulletin and/or distributed in pews or at church entrances as soon as possible.

Congressional votes may take place as soon as early November. If your Arch/bishop is not in agreement with disseminating the bulletin insert, you will be hearing from his office immediately. You may wish to check with his office ASAP to see how you may be of assistance in distributing the Bulletin Insert, far and wide.

Tomorrow, the USCCB will be e-mailing these same materials to a large number of parishes across the country, already on a USCCB contact list. The parish list is incomplete, so we will still have to rely on diocesan e-mail systems to reach EVERY parish. Thank you for your great help with this. Also included are suggested Pulpit Announcements and a Prayer Petition.

There is also a copy of a newly-released ad for the Catholic press, which may be printed as flyers for the vestibule or copied on the flip-side of the Bulletin Insert. The flyer/ad directs readers to where they may send their pre-written e-mails to Congress through NCHLA’s Grassroots Action Center. If you wish to sponsor the ad in your local Catholic paper and need a different size, please contact Deirdre McQuade at

Please encourage parishioners to pray for this effort as well. More information can be found at

Thank you for your urgent actions and prayers on behalf of this nationwide effort! With this email are four attached documents - print these out, share them and take action:

HC Cover Note to Leaders, Final.doc (a digital version of the email above)
HC Bulletin Insert 10-23-09 Final.pdf (the one-stop nationwide parish bulletin insert)
HC Pulpit Announcement & Prayer, Final 1.doc (a how-to for distributing the materials)
HC Ad Saving_Lives_Flyer_FINAL.pdf (a flyer to be placed on bulletin boards, etc.)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

USF Continues to Honor Same-Sex "Marriage" Advocates

A version of this article appeared in this morning's California Catholic Daily.

On November 13 the Jesuit University of San Francisco’s School of Law will hold it’s Sixth Annual Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF) Gala. This year’s honoree will be California Supreme Court Associate Justice Carlos Moreno. Justice Moreno’s major claim to fame, and the reason USF is honoring him, is that he was the sole California justice who voted to overturn the will of the people in the Proposition 8 case.

Since it’s inception in 2004, USF’s Law School has made a nearly annual practice of honoring activists who support the homosexual agenda. The first PILF Gala took place in 2004, and the first honoree was San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. At the time USF chose to honor him, Newsom had been in office barely 10 months. His sole notable “accomplishment” consisted in directing the County Clerk of the City and County of San Francisco begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples--an action declared illegal four months later by the California Supreme Court.

• In 2005, USF Law School chose to honor Ms. Maria Blanco. On March 14, 2007, Ms. Blanco, writing for the California Coalition for Civil Rights, sent a letter to Ms. Alice Kessler of Equality California, stating: "The California Coalition for Civil Rights strongly supports AB43 (which would have leaglized same-sex "marriage" in California) and we look forward to the legislature and the governor providing equality for all Californians." On January 24, 2006, Ms. Blanco was signatory to a letter to Senator Diane Feinstein, urging her to oppose the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito. Among other things the letter said “As a Supreme Court Justice, Judge Alito would undermine reproductive rights and is likely to vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.”

• In 2006, USF chose to honor Ms. Kate Kendall, the Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. From the NCLR website: “NCLR was lead counsel on behalf of same-sex couples, Equality California, and Our Family Coalition in the California marriage case, which sought to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage in California.”

• In 2007, USF chose to honor Ms. Elizabeth Cabraser, of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein. Ms. Cabraser was the lead attorney for an amici curaie brief filed on behalf of 40 legal institutions with the California Supreme Court. The brief recommended the Supreme Court overturn Proposition 8. Ms. Cabraser also donated $30,000 to the “No on Proposition 8” campaign.

• In 2008, USF chose to honor Shannon Price Minter, Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights and SF Chief Deputy City Attorney Therese Stewart. The USF website said they were honoring the two because “…Minter and Stewart successfully argued before the California Supreme Court this year that same-sex couples have the right to marry. "A Shepherd's Voice" covered the event.

• Now, in 2009, USF will honor Judge Moreno--the sole California justice who voted to invalidate the votes a majority of Californians by overturning Proposition 8.

While support for the destruction of marriage is apparently a prerequisite to being honored by USF’s Law School, a simple respect for the law, let alone Catholic teaching, is not.

• Mayor Newsom’s action was an illegal abuse of executive power by an elected official--and was found to be so by the court. At the time of Newsom‘s action, the nationally-syndicated columnist George Will wrote that Newsom “…ordered the wholesale issuance of marriage licenses in defiance of state law. He thereby became the most flamboyant scofflaw in an American elective office since George Wallace stood in the schoolhouse door.” That USF’s Law School chose to honor Mayor Newsom following this blatantly illegal action shows a preference of the rule of men over the rule of law--so long as the men share their ideology.

• Nor was 2006 honoree Elizabeth Cabraser especially scrupulous in obeying the law. In 2000, Ms. Cabraser was fined $4,500 by the California Fair Political Practices Commission for making unreported political donations in the amount of $20,000. When levying the fine, the commission noted: “Respondent Elizabeth Cabraser’s law firm, Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bertstein, LLP is a sophisticated political contributor. Her firm has filed multiple major donor statements with the SOS, dating back to 1995. Furthermore, Respondent Elizabeth Cabraser was sent a notification letter, on November 3, 2000, by the Dede Alpert for Senate Committee, advising her of her obligation to file both major donor and late contribution campaign statements.” And in 2003, the California Fair Political Practices Commission had to fine Cabraser again, for three more violations. The commission noted her status as a repeat offender: “In aggravation, Respondent Elizabeth J. Cabraser has a prior enforcement history regarding the failure to file a semi-annual campaign statement…Notwithstanding the previous enforcement action, Respondent failed to comply with her semi-annual campaign statement filing requirements during calendar year 2002.” This time, the fine was in the amount of $12,000. None of this stopped the USF Law School from honoring her with its 2007 "Award For Public Interest Excellence."

• Justice Carlos Moreno, this years honoree, has attempted to justify his dissenting vote: "Someday at some point my dissent will be the majority view in California…" It apparently does not occur to Justice Moreno, or to the faculty and students at USF, that had he convinced just two other justices to share his view, it would have meant three persons denying the citizens of California the right to self-governjment.

In the same article, Justice Moreno also said: "Sometimes a principle, when extended beyond the current facts, can result in unintended consequences." That's a remarkably pedestrian observation for a senior judge; still, it would be nice if His Honor reflected on his own words, and considered the possible consequences a few judges overeruling millions of citizens.

As USF Professor of Philosophy Raymond Dennehy said: "Calling USF a Catholic school is like saying Hillary Clinton is a Carmelite nun."

For a rundown of USF's moral insanity, go here.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Aborted Baby Used to Make Anti-Wrinkle Cream

This story has been making the rounds this morning. When I saw the headlines, I found it hard to believe, but it's true. The company is "Neocutis," located right here in San Francisco, a spin-off of the University Hospital of Lausanne, Switzerland.

Fom the Neocutis "Technology" webpage:

"NEOCUTIS technology platform relies on the use of cultured fetal skin cells obtained from a cell bank for treating differing skin conditions.

The dedicated cell bank was originally established for wound healing and burn treatments using a single biopsy of donated fetal skin following a one-time medical termination. The cultured cells can be used to produce skin constructs for wound healing or can be incorporated as cell lysate in a topical carrier for use in dermatology and skin care."

From the Neocutis "Cosmeceuticals" wepage, comes a list of products and more information:

"NEOCUTIS Bio-restorative Skin Cream, JOURNÉE Bio-restorative Day Cream, LUMIÈRE Bio-restorative Eye Cream and BIO-GEL Bio-restorative Hydrogel are the only products to contain PSP®.

Through years of research, physicians discovered fetal skin has a unique ability to heal wounds without scarring. Inspired by this, medical researchers at the University Hospital of Lausanne, Switzerland created a biotechnology process to extract the rich proteins responsible for scarless wound healing from cultured fetal skin cells. A dedicated cell bank was established for developing new skin treatments using a single biopsy of fetal skin. Originally established for wound healing and burn treatments, today this same cell bank also provides a lasting supply of cells for producing NEOCUTIS proprietary skin care ingredient Processed Skin Cell Proteins (PSP®)."

And from the "Corporate History" page:

The “Laboratoire de Médecine Foetale” at the Medical School of the University Hospital of Lausanne has worked extensively with fetal cells since 1995 and resulted in several patent applications.

During the later part of 2002, experienced business people joined the team of physicians and biologists working at Lausanne University to found Neocutis.

The founders then spent the first 18 months protecting the intellectual property of their proprietary technology ....

In the second half of 2004, Neocutis Inc. was founded and headquartered in San Francisco. Neocutis Inc. heads all of the commercial activites."

h/t "Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam"

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

More on "Sister" Donna Quinn

Faithful Catholics have been rightly shocked and disgusted by the news that "Sister" Donna Quinn was encouraging women to abort their babies. She has been doing this for at least six years.

She should have been bounced long ago. There were many signs that she had separated herself from the Church. One example (there are more): On May 15, 2005, the Rainbow Sash Movement issued this press release (excerpts):

"On Pentecost Sunday, a Roman Catholic nun, a Catholic couple married 44 years, and a long time gay civil rights activist defied the Archbishop of Chicago's ban on giving Communion to members of the Catholic gay group the Rainbow Sash Movement.

Members of the Rainbow Sash Movement wear a rainbow sash during Mass signifying support for equal treatment of gay and lesbian people in Church and society....On Sunday, at Chicago's Holy Name Cathedral, the sash wearers approached the altar for Communion and were denied by associate pastor Rev. Ron Kunkel. The sash wearers then returned to their pew.

Dominican Sister Donna Quinn, director of the National Coalition of American Nuns, Joseph and Barbara Parot of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and long time Catholic gay rights activist Rick Garcia, also attended the Mass. After the sash wearers were denied, Sister Donna, the Parots and Garcia approached the altar and received Communion. To the surprise of some, including the sash wearers, the four then approached the sash-wearers and gave them a portion of their consecrated hosts

That's Quinn front row center, above,

Australian writer and lecturer John Heard, himself a same-sex attracted Catholic and author of the well known "Dreadnought" blog, commented at the time:

"DREADNOUGHT agrees with the Church's view that those wearing the Sash are putting themselves in a position of selfish disobedience to Church teaching and are therefore ineligible to receive communion. One doesn't approach the Lord of Life arrogantly, rather one should approach Him on one's knees, full of the knowledge of one's radical unworthiness before God...
It would be especially useful to explain that such actions serve to confuse homosexual Catholics and increase their anxiety. Servants of the Church should, rather, act in concert with the Magisterium to ensure homosexual Catholics are taught the truth in love."

The fact that she is still allowed to call herself a Dominican is a scandal, and an insult to the true followers of St. Dominic.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Mother & Father

Talking Points from an article quoted in Catholic Education Resource Center: On the Demise of Fatherhood , by KEVIN ALDRICH

1. We are made for love relationship and interdependence -- only through gift of self do we find meaning in life.
2. The moment you get pregnant you are a mother. The moment you get someone pregnant you are a father. You exercised your volition when you chose to have sex.
3. Because of abortion, women look at motherhood as a "choice". Now men have come to look at fatherhood as a "choice". Over 34% of children are currently living away from their biological fathers.
4. Simply carrying out the functions of a father does not make one a father.
5. More support and encouragement are needed for men to accept fatherhood. Being a father is hard, maybe the hardest thing a man will ever do, but it is also the most rewarding thing for him and something immensely good for his wife, his children, and the present and future well being of civilization.

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Timely Reminder

Parents do have a primary role in protecting children from harmful Internet content, Peters admits. Nevertheless, most children can still access the Internet outside the home or by means of mobile devices. All it takes is one child in a group of friends to have unrestricted access to the Internet for all to have access, the report points out.

Benedict XVI addressed the issue of pornography in his April 16 address to American bishops during his visit to the United States last year.

“Children deserve to grow up with a healthy understanding of sexuality and its proper place in human relationships,” he recommended. “They should be spared the degrading manifestations and the crude manipulation of sexuality so prevalent today."

Children have a right to be educated in authentic moral values that are based on the dignity of the human person, the Pontiff continued.

“What does it mean to speak of child protection when pornography and violence can be viewed in so many homes through media widely available today?” he questioned.

To deal with this problem the Pope spoke of the need to urgently assess the values that are guiding society today. If we really care about young people we will all recognize our responsibility to promote and live by authentic moral values, which will enable all people to flourish, he concluded.

A timely reminder of the dangers of turning a blind eye to a problem that too often is ignored.
From a report by Robert Peters, president of Morality in Media, quoted by Fr. John Flynn, LC, Zenith, Oct.18)

Proudly Pro-Life Award

Mary Ann Glendon former US Ambassador to the Holy See and rejecter of the Laetare Medal at Notre Dame because of her disagreement with President Obama, who spoke at the graduation ceremony, humbly received the “Proudly Pro-Life Award.” Here are some comments she made in her acceptance speech:

...After more than three decades of involvement in pro-life activities, I wish I could say that I thought the threats to respect for human life were diminishing. But one lesson we've learned is: Do not underestimate the power of the culture of death. We've learned that what was unimaginable one day can become reality the next. Today, pressures for euthanasia are building; developments in biomedicine are occurring with such speed that they have outpaced reflection on their moral implications; experiments on human embryos are fostering a mentality that treats the lives of the weak as means to the ends of the strong; and the freedoms of religion and conscience are coming under increasing threat.

Thirty years ago, who could have imagined such a thing as partial-birth abortion! When I ask myself why so many people have been slow to realize how easily today's atrocity can become tomorrow's routine, one answer I come up with is that it was due in part to a failure to realize something very important about choice, namely that choices last.

Each time we make policy on abortion, euthanasia, or embryonic experimentation, we are changing the moral ecology of our country. We are either helping to build the culture of life or cooperating with the culture of death. It hasn't helped that the elite media, the powerful foundations, the sex industry, and the vast profit-making abortion industry have done their best to disguise the truth of what was happening….

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Quotable Quotes -- Observation

Anonymous said... (Referring to the following post: Quotable Quotes -- Words of Wisdom"#22)
The Thomas Jefferson Encyclodpedia and the Jefferson Library report that your quote is wrongly attributed to Jefferson: "We have never found such a statement in Jefferson's writings. As far as we know, this statement actually originates with Gerald R. Ford, who said, 'A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have,' in an address to a joint session of Congress on August 12, 1974." Some other people have suggested the quote belongs to Davy Crockett. Neither Gerald Ford nor Davy Crockett attributed it to Thomas Jefferson.

Words of Wisdom--Quotable Quotes

1) Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of
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
.....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
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
....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

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

USF & Abortion

Yesterday's California Catholic Daily reported that on October 27, the Lane Center of the Jesuit University of San Francisco will be hosting Irene Khan, the Secretary General of the pro-abortion "rights" group Amnesty International.

Just a few hours later, Amnesty International issued this press release:

"Peru must build on plans to legalise abortion."

Impeccable timing.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Holy Father Approves Structure to Help Anglicans Join the Church

The Anchoress says:

"This is very big. If this reconnection is well-facilitated, we may see the entire African arm of the Church of England (which is currently its most vibrantly-growing branch) cross the Tiber, and that will be a very interesting development, especially as Catholics are exposed to the Anglican-use liturgy, which will remind many of everything they loved about the Latin mass, but in the glorious language of the Anglican liturgy. This may do accelerate the already-growing movement within the Catholic church to correct some of the liturgical excesses and errors we’ve seen in the last 40 years."

The Vatican statement is here.


As usual, Tom Peters has a comprehensive post following the developments.


Deacon Keith Fournier is eloquent:

"In the midst of the darkness of the hour the Catholic Church has done what she has done for over two millennia, shine the light of the Truth to offer the way to salvation for all the Nations. The Church is not some optional organizational “extra” we fashioned, she is the Body of Christ, the new world, the seed of the Kingdom to come, the place where all men and women can find their fulfillment and the only path to authentic peace. The prayer of the Son of God “May They Be One” (John 17) still echoes and heaven itself is responding."

Monday, October 19, 2009

St. Luke

Deacon Keith Fournier had a nice essay yesterday about St. Luke. One of the many reasons I love St. Luke is because he is one of the patrons of artists, and I have painted a little myself in the past. I think I'll start again. (St. Luke is the patron of physicians, too, which was more the point of the good Deacon’s essay) Anyway, here’s an example. It's a big watercolor about 66 x 40."

May St. Luke protect all physicians and inspire them to work for the Culture of Life. And may he inspire all artists to serve the Glory of God!

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Marriage in Maine: 'It is not permissible for anyone to remain idle'

With only 2 weeks left before Maine voters go to the polls to decide Question 1, Maine's defense of marriage act, the issue is going down to the wire. But the supporters of natural marriage are being outspent by more than two to one. Here's an October 15 statement from Marc Mutty, the Campaign Chair of Stand for Marriage Maine:

“Today’s financial reports reveal a disturbing, but unsurprising reality. Our opponents, while claiming to be the home-grown, locally supported campaign, have amassed from virtually every state in the nation a campaign fortune of more than $2 million to destroy traditional marriage in Maine.

“They don’t want to defend the teaching of homosexual marriage to young children in public schools, so they are spending millions to try to deny and deny. They don’t want to talk about individuals, small businesses and religious groups being sued for refusing to support homosexual marriage, so they are spending millions to calls us liars. And they don’t want to explain to voters why the law they sponsored and advocated strips from Maine’s marriage statutes the interests of nurturing children, so they are spending millions making the oxymoronic claim that we are trying to “harm children.”

“We have been outspent approximately $2.6 million to $1.1 million, yet the fate of Question 1 is too close to call. That goes to show that even with millions of dollars pouring in from well-heeled political elite, gay activists in Hollywood, New York, Massachusetts, or the democratic political machine, Act Blue, our messages of truthful consequences of erasing the definition of traditional marriage is resonating with Mainers."

Bill May, from California's “Catholics from the Common Good" agrees:

"Equality California and national gay rights organizations are pouring paid staff, volunteers and almost unlimited financial resources into the state. They have mobilized volunteers around the country to make phone calls into Maine to contact every voter... The people of Maine need your help. In the words of Pope John Paul II in his apostolic exhortation to the laity, 'It is not permissible for anyone to remain idle' with the current state of affairs. "

To support “Yes on 1”, go to There is also a link at the upper right panel of this blog.

Abp. Burke Celebrates Pontifical Mass in Rome

Speaking of Archbishop Burke, here is some video of today's celebration of the Solemn Ponitifical Mass celebrated by His Excellency in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament in St. Peter's Basilica:

From New Liturgical Movement; h/t National Review.

Good News from Rome: Abp. Burke Appointed to Congregation for Bishops

From Whispers in the Loggia, via American Papist comes the news that on Saturday:

"... B16 named the church's "chief justice" Archbishop Raymond Burke to the membership of the Congregation for Bishops, giving the 61 year-old prelate a seat at the dicastery's all-important Thursday Table, whose votes recommend prospective appointees to the Pope."

Tom Peters says:

"Any move that places Abp. Burke in a more prominent oversight role over the appointment of bishops in the United States is a good thing."


Archbishop Chaput in "First Things"

There is a fantastic essay by His Excellency Archbishop Charles Chaput in "First Things" (h/t Ignatius Insight). Some excerpts are below, but read the whole thing here.

"Government was never meant to be a large presence in our American life. But too often today our knowledge classes—leadership groups in politics, law, higher education, and the media—no longer seem to believe that. America was built on the premise that the power of the state should be modest, because real life is much larger than politics."


"When we look closely at Church–state conflicts in America, we see that they now often center on a group of behaviors—homosexual activity, contraception, abortion, and the like—that the state in recent years has redefined as essential and nonnegotiable rights. Critics rarely dispute the Church’s work fighting injustice, helping community development, or serving persons in need. But that’s no longer enough. Now they demand that the Church must submit her identity and mission to the state’s promotion of these newly alleged rights—despite the constant Catholic teaching that these behaviors are personal moral tragedies that can lead to deep social injustices.

As a result, the original links between freedom and truth, and between individual rights and moral duties, are disappearing in the United States. In the name of advancing the rights of the individual, other basic rights—the rights of religious believers, communities, and institutions—and key truths about the human person, are denied.

In squeezing the Church and other mediating institutions out of the public square, government naturally assumes more power over the nation’s economic and social life. Civil society becomes subordinated to the state. And the state then increasingly sees itself as the primary shared identity of its citizens. But this is utterly alien to—and in fact, an exact contradiction of—what America’s founders intended."


"But we should notice two unhappy things about this public philosophy. First, it allows no room for mediating structures or civil society. In this universe, only individuals and the government finally exist. Families, religious institutions, and voluntary associations are either irrelevant or possible threats to individual rights. This explains, in part, why the Church and other mediating groups so often find themselves attacked by the government for allegedly discriminating against the private rights of individuals. "


"The issues here are complex, but the simple point is that the troubles of the Church and her charitable efforts in the United States today are not merely political in a partisan sense. They are symptoms of a larger breakdown of public reasoning and discourse—and of leaders who have forgotten the moral vision of our nation’s founding thinkers

Friday, October 16, 2009

Good Bishop Sample...

...explains why he refused to allow Bishop Thomas Gumbleton to speak in his diocese. It's not too difficult to understand. An excerpt from Catholic News Agency (emphasis added):

"The Bishop of Marquette then noted his 'grave responsibility' to teach Catholics on matters of faith and morals.

'Given Bishop Gumbleton’s very public position on certain important matters of Catholic teaching, specifically with regard to homosexuality and the ordination of women to the priesthood, it was my judgment that his presence in Marquette would not be helpful to me in fulfilling my responsibility,” he added...

(On December 17, 2008, Bishop Gumbleton led an Advent Vespers service at, where else, Most Holy Redeemer in San Francisco.)

'In order that no one becomes confused, everyone under my pastoral care must receive clear teaching on these important doctrines,' his Oct. 9 statement concluded.

The prelate also offered his prayers for Bishop Gumbleton and all those negatively affected by 'this unfortunate situation.'"

Our own Archbishop George Niederauer attempted to exercise the same reponsibility when retired Australian Bishop Geoffrey Robinson came to San Francisco to speak at a "Voice of the Faithful" event at USF. Of course, USF ignored His Excellency and allowed Bishop Robinson to speak anyway, but that wasn't Archbishop Niederauer's fault.

Assaults Continue on Pro-Lifers

The assaults on peaceful pro-lifers continue. From LifeNews:

"A pro-life person who participated in the 40 Days for Life event in Fresno, California was assaulted on Thursday afternoon by an abortion advocate. Victor Fierro, director of the Hispanic pro-life group Latinos4Life, was the victim of an assault by a woman who first tried to intimidate him.

Yesterday, a pro-abortion woman shouted obscenities at participants in the 40 Days for Life event, which is part of a national campaign.

The woman first attempted to break a security camera pro-life advocates installed to protect themselves and catch any harmful activity on tape. The attacker then cut Fierro’s arm with an unknown object, drawing blood, stormed back to her car and fled the scene."

Fortunately a security camera caught the woman's face and license number. A police report has been filed.


Catholics cannot support the current proposal for health care as presently discussed in congressional committees... The reason is clear. Any provision that facilitates or encourages the termination of innocent human life can not be allowed to stand. But the committees refuse to accept any amendment that would prohibit abortion funding. For Catholics and pro life people of all faiths it’s a non negotiable. No matter how good the rest of the legislation might be in, for example, widening access to affordable health care, it is a stable principle of Catholic faith - and natural law - that you cannot do evil in order that good may come from it.

The pro life community must continue to make its voice heard. Write or phone your congress person to protect the most innocent of human beings and allow freedom of conscience for doctors and nurses and not require that they participate in the holocaust

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

SF Outrage of the Day: Condom-promoting play in four Catholic High Schools

This story (disclosure: we wrote it) is from today's California Catholic Daily. We've added some comments. Original story in blue, our additional comments in black.

"Four Catholic High Schools in the Archdiocese of San Francisco are scheduled to host a performance of the condom-endorsing sex-education play Secrets. The play was written by openly lesbian playwright Patricia Loughrey. Secrets will be performed on October 14, 2009 at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory High School in San Francisco; on November 5, 2009 at Sacred Heart High School in Atherton; on January 19, 2010 at Mercy High School in Burlingame, and on February 9, 2010 at St. Ignatius College Preparatory High School in San Francisco.

The play depicts a teenager who is HIV positive. Some content in Secrets was considered, by the Fremont, California Unified School District, to be sufficiently graphic to require that a permission slip be signed by parents before their child would be allowed to see it. The Fremont Unified School District also posts an online flyer (in English and Chinese) for parents, informing them of the performance, and inviting them to watch a video of Secrets before giving their permission. The flyer also describes two of the scenes: “A character dumps dozens of brightly wrapped condoms on the floor with a discussion about which type of condoms are the best to use and how to use them effectively.” Another scene is a “Discussion about contraceptives and a visual display of them.” The production of Secrets in the San Francisco Archdiocese is sponsored by the Educational Theater Programs division of the Kaiser Permanente HMO."

So while the Holy Father, backed by some observers on the ground, opposes condom use not only because it can be contraceptive, but also because it contributes to the underlying behaviors which spread HIV, Catholic Schools in San Francisco are promoting condom use. To continue:

"Secrets author Patricia Loughrey is currently the coordinator of the play reading series Queer Theatre – Taking Center Stage at San Diego’s Diversionary Theatre, which bills itself as “the nations third-oldest LGBT theater.” Ms. Loughrey is author of The Daddy Machine, a play about children with two lesbian mothers, and most recently, Dear Harvey, a celebration of the life of the openly homosexual San Francisco politician Harvey Milk. Dear Harvey was first performed at San Diego State University. San Diego News Online reported: “The piece, about Harvey Milk, was commissioned by Diversionary as its own tribute to the civil rights activist, and it was conceived long before the film, Milk, was released. The small-cast production made for compelling theater, and the piece is now making the rounds in various locales. There’s even talk of touring the SDSU production to local high schools….The play is a remembrance and a touching tribute, based on Loughrey’s interviews with people who knew Harvey, from activists to politicians.”

Does no one at our Archdiocese vet these people? It took us about 2 minutes to discover Ms. Loughrey's affiliations. (That's also about how long it took us to find out that the "Young Workers United," who were supposed to be vetted by our Archdiocese before they could recieve a grant from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, publicly opposed Propositions 4 & 8 in the last election). To continue:

"Oddly, the entry for Secrets on the Sacred Heart High of Atherton’s online calendar is found under the heading Sophomore Class Liturgy. At San Francisco’s St. Ignatius High School, Secrets is intended to be an annual event. From the school’s May 2009 Health & Wellness webpage: “The freshmen class also witnessed an award winning health education program sponsored by Kaiser Permanente called Secrets. Secrets is a live theatre production which educates youth on the topic of HIV and AIDS. This production was viewed by the entire Student Body two years ago and each year the freshmen will have the opportunity to see it in order to be up to speed with the rest of the school.”

Well, in California, since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, 76% of HIV cases were among men who have "sex" with other men (MSM). In San Francisco the rate is 89%. And that 89% is from a group that constitutes only about 8.3% of the city's population. (1) In Africa, according to "The Lancet," one of the three top peer-reviewed medical journals in the world, MSM also contract HIV at a rate 10 times greater than the rest of the population. Other STD's rates are similar trends. For instance, in San Francisco in 2006, the rate of syphilis was 19 times higher among MSM than among the rest of the city's population. (2) Simply said, the single greatest risk factor for HIV and syphilis is being a man who has "sex" with other men. I wonder if those facts are part of St. Ignatius' "Health and Wellness" curriculum? If not, they are not only failing as teachers of Catholic sexual morality, they are also failing in teaching "health and wellness."

To continue:

"While the content of Secrets may be acceptable to some San Francisco Catholic high schools, Fremont is not the only public school district to harbor reservations. In 1994, officials of the Glendale, California public school district cancelled a performance of Secrets because the play conflicted with the district’s policy of promoting abstinence. In addition to requiring a permission slip, the Fremont Public School District offers parents the option of having their child either view an abstinence-promoting video called Sex Appeal, or the option of not viewing either program."

So some public schools are doing a better job of teaching Catholic sexual morality than these four Catholic schools.


(1) San Francisco Department of Public Health "2008 HIV/AIDS Annual Epidemiology Report." page 1.

(2) San Francisco Department of Public Health " 2006 HIV/AIDS Annual Epidemiology Report." pages 38 & 57.

Monday, October 12, 2009

"Harvey Milk Day"?

Today, Governor Arnold Schwarzennegger signed legislation creating “Harvey Milk Day.” As most people know, Milk was the openly-homosexual San Francisco Supervisor who was murdered by fellow Supervisor Dan White in 1978. This commemoration is opposed by a large majority of Californians. A March 3, 2009 Survey USA poll asked Californians “Whether Harvey Milk’s birthday should, or should not, be recognized state wide as a ‘day of significance.’” The response was 69% “no“, 19% “yes“, and 11% “undecided“.

There are a number of reasons why the commemoration is a terrible idea.

San Franciscans of the Harvey Milk era (like me) will remember Supervisor Milk as a vocal supporter of community organizer Jim Jones, leader of the “People’s Temple.” This support is extensively documented. In 1994, Mary R. Sawyer, associate professor of Religious Studies and African American Studies at Iowa State University, who herself had connections with what she called the “vibrant social justice movement,” wrote:

“Among the progressive politicians, black and white, who left mass meetings at the Temple inspired and rejuvenated was San Francisco gay rights leader and board of supervisor member Harvey Milk who, along with Mayor George Moscone, would himself fall to an assassin's bullet a scant ten (sic) days after the Jonestown holocaust. Wrote Milk, following one such visit: ‘Rev Jim, It may take me many a day to come back down from the high that I reach today. I found something dear today. I found a sense of being that makes up for all the hours and energy placed in a fight. I found what you wanted me to find. I shall be back. For I can never leave.’"

Even more disturbing is the fact that Milk had indications of the true nature of the People’s Temple, yet refused to act on that knowledge, for purely political reasons. The following is from Wikipedia. Bracketed numbers are Wikipedia's footnotes to the orginal sources.

"While the Temple aided some local politicians, it did not do so entirely without suspicion. For example, Harvey Milk felt that Temple members were odd and dangerous. When a Milk aide became wary of the Temple's large and imposing security force following a delivery of election pamphlets, Milk cautioned the aide 'Make sure you're always nice to the Peoples Temple. If they ask you to do something, do it, and then send them a note thanking them for asking you to do it. They're weird and they're dangerous, and you never want to be on their bad side.'[45] Jim Rivaldo, a political consultant and associate of Milk's said that, after later meetings at the Temple, he and Milk agreed that 'there was something creepy about it.'"[96]...

But that sense of "weirdness and danger" did not prevent Harvey from collaborating with the People's Temple when there was something in it for him:

"In a hand-written note, Milk wrote to Jones 'my name is cut into stone in support of you - and your people.'[37] Jim Rivaldo, who attended Temple meetings with Milk , explained that, until Jonestown, the church 'was a community of people who appeared to be looking out for each other, improving their lives.'[96] Boyle explained that it was vital for both his campaign and Milk's that they be received well at the Temple 'because Jones was not only Moscone's appointed head of the Housing Authority but also could turn out an army of volunteers.'[110] "

Milk, (or Mayor Moscone for that matter) never had to answer for their support of Jim Jones and the People’s Temple because they were both murdered by San Francisco Supervisor Dan White nine days after the Jonestown holocaust, which claimed 918 lives.

I’d imagine that even respectable same-sex attracted Californians would have preferred a different candidate.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Back on Uncle Sam's Plantation

A good read......
by Star Parker - Syndicated Columnist

Six years ago I wrote a book called Uncle Sam's Plantation. I wrote the book to tell my own story of what I saw living inside the welfare state and my own transformation out of it.I said in that book that indeed there are two Americas -- a poor America on socialism and a wealthy America on capitalism. I talked about government programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS), Emergency Assistance to Needy Families with Children (EANF), Section 8 Housing, and Food Stamps.A vast sea of perhaps well-intentioned government programs, all initially set into motion in the 1960s by Democrats, that were going to lift the nation's poor out of poverty.

A benevolent Uncle Sam welcomed mostly poor black Americans onto the government plantation. Those who accepted the invitation switched mindsets from "How do I take care of myself?" to "What do I have to do to stay on the plantation?"Instead of solving economic problems, government welfare socialism created monstrous moral and spiritual problems -- the kind of problems that are inevitable when individuals turn responsibility for their lives over to others.The legacy of American socialism is our blighted inner cities, dysfunctional inner city schools, and broken black families.Through God's grace, I found my way out. It was then that I understood what freedom meant and how great this country is.I had the privilege of working on welfare reform in 1996 which was passed by a Republican controlled Congress.I thought we were on the road to moving socialism out of our poor black communities and replacing it with wealth-producing American capitalism.But, incredibly, we are now going in the opposite direction.Instead of poor America on socialism becoming more like rich American on capitalism, rich America on capitalism is becoming like poor America on socialism.Uncle Sam has welcomed our banks onto the plantation and they have said, "Thank you, Suh."

Now, instead of thinking about what creative things need to be done to serve customers, they are thinking about what they have to tell Massah in order to get their cash.There is some kind of irony that this is all happening under our first black president on the 200th anniversary of the birthday of Abraham Lincoln.Worse, socialism seems to be the element of our new young president. And maybe even more troubling, our corporate executives seem happy to move onto the plantation.In an op-ed on the opinion page of the Washington Post, Mr. Obama is clear that the goal of his trillion dollar spending plan is much more than short term economic stimulus."This plan is more than a prescription for short-term spending -- it's a strategy for America 's long-term growth and opportunity in areas such as renewable energy, healthcare, and education."Perhaps more incredibly, Obama seems to think that government taking over an economy is a new idea. Or that massive growth in government can take place "with unprecedented transparency and accountability."

Yes, sir, we heard it from Jimmy Carter when he created the Department of Energy, the Synfuels Corporation, and the Department of Education.Or how about the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 -- The War on Poverty -- which President Johnson said "...does not merely expand old programs or improve what is already being done. It charts a new course. It strikes at the causes, not just the consequences of poverty.."Trillions of dollars later, black poverty is the same. But black families are not, with triple the incidence of single-parent homes and out-of-wedlock births.It's not complicated. Americans can accept Barack Obama's invitation to move onto the plantation. Or they can choose personal responsibility and freedom.

Does anyone really need to think about what the choice should be?"The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sign of the Cross

High court hears arguments about cross in park The cross still stands in the Mojave National Preserve in California. However, it has been covered over with plywood. This was ordered by a federal court.

As the Supreme Court weighed a dispute over a religious symbol on public land week, Justice Antonin Scalia was having difficulty understanding how some people might feel excluded by a cross that was put up as a memorial to soldiers killed in World War I.

"It's erected as a war memorial. I assume it is erected in honor of all of the war dead," Scalia said of the cross that the Veterans of Foreign Wars built 75 years ago atop an outcropping in the Mojave National Preserve. "What would you have them erect?...Some conglomerate of a cross, a Star of David, and you know, a Muslim half moon and star?"

Peter Eliasberg, the
American Civil Liberties Union lawyer arguing the case, explained that the cross is the predominant symbol of Christianity and commonly used at Christian grave site. ""I don't think you can leap from that to the conclusion that the only war dead that that cross honors are the Christian war dead. I think that's an outrageous conclusion," Scalia said.The court is considering whether the cross' presence on the land violates the Constitution, despite Congress' decision to transfer the land on which the cross sits to private ownership.

Several conservative justices seemed open to the Obama administration's argument that Congress' decision to transfer to private ownership the land on which the cross sits ends any government endorsement of the cross and takes care of the constitutional questions. "Isn't that a sensible interpretation" of a court order prohibiting the cross' display on government property? Justice Samuel Alito asked. The liberal justices, on the other hand, indicated that they agree with a federal appeals court that ruled that the land transfer was a sort of end-run around the First Amendment prohibition against government endorsement of religion.

Whatever the court decides, it seems unlikely that the Mojave cross — where Easter Sunrise services have been held for decades — would have to come down. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg indicated, and Eliasberg agreed, that even if the court finds problems with what Congress did, lawmakers probably could find a valid way to sell or give the land to veterans groups. A decision is expected by spring.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Hilarious! "It's not April 1, is it?"

Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize. A number of people have suggested he be given the Cy Young Award, too.

For once, I agree with officials in the Obama White House:

"Two key White House aides were both convinced they were being punked when they heard the news, reported ABC News' George Stephanopoulos.

'It's not April 1, is it?' one said."

Thursday, October 8, 2009

FINALLY--Bishops Speak up on Obamacare

Months ago, we changed our blog motto to read "Obamacare = Publicly funded abortion. If you support the Health Plan you are supporting publicly funded abortion." We didn't specify which health plan, because we knew any health plan coming out of the current Congress or White House will include publily funded abortion. Which has proved to be the case.

Today, we finally have a statement from our Bishops that faces this reality. We applaud them. Below is the statement in full, with our emphases:

"October 8, 2009

United States Senate
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Member of Congress:

On behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), we are writing to express our disappointment that progress has not been made on the three priority criteria for health care reform that we have conveyed previously to Congress. In fact, the Senate Finance Committee rejected a conscience rights amendment accepted earlier by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. If final legislation does not meet our principles, we will have no choice but to oppose the bill. We remain committed to working with the Administration, Congressional leadership, and our allies to produce final health reform legislation that will reflect our principles.

We continue to urge you to

1. Exclude mandated coverage for abortion, and incorporate longstanding policies against abortion funding and in favor of conscience rights. No one should be required to pay for or participate in abortion. It is essential that the legislation clearly apply to this new program longstanding and widely supported federal restrictions on abortion funding and mandates, and protections for rights of conscience. No current bill meets this test.

2. Adopt measures that protect and improve people’s health care. Reform should make quality health care affordable and accessible to everyone, particularly those who are vulnerable and those who live at or near the poverty level.

3. Include effective measures to safeguard the health of immigrants, their children and all of society. Ensure that legal immigrants and their family members have comprehensive, affordable, and timely access to health care coverage. Maintain an adequate safety net for those who remain uncovered.

We sincerely hope that the legislation will not fall short of our criteria. However, we remain apprehensive when amendments protecting freedom of conscience and ensuring no taxpayer money for abortion are defeated in committee votes. If acceptable language in these areas cannot be found, we will have to oppose the health care bill vigorously. Catholic moral tradition teaches that health care is a basic human right, essential to protecting human life and dignity. Much-needed reform of our health care system must be pursued in ways that serve the life and dignity of all, never in ways that undermine or violate these fundamental values. We will work tirelessly to remedy these central problems and help pass real reform that clearly protects the life, dignity and health of all.


Bishop William F. Murphy
Diocese of Rockville Centre
Chairman, Committee on Domestic Justice & Human Development

Cardinal Justin Rigali
Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Chairman, Committee on Pro-Life Activities

Bishop John Wester
Diocese of Salt Lake City
Chairman, Committee on Migration"

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Pro-life View

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life reported on Thursday
that hree-in-ten Americans think that President Barack Obama will handle the abortion issue correctly, while four-in-ten are unaware of his position on the issue. About two-in-ten worry that Obama will go too far in supporting abortion rights

While popular support for abortion rights has dropped seven points in the past year due in part to the election of a pro-choice Democratic president,

Pew's findings square with a similar Gallup Values and Beliefs survey in May that showed more Americans consider themselves to be pro-life (51 percent) than pro-choice (42 percent). Pew researchers pinpointed the this past spring as the turning point of public perceptions of the issue.

"There is no one answer that explains the shift," Pew researcher Greg Mr. Smith said. "The election of a Democratic pro-choice president could be a contributing factor."

In a question about President Obama's handling of the issue, 42 percent said they didn't know his stance on abortion, "which is consistent with the decline of the importance of this issue for a lot of people," Mr. Smith said. Of the remainder, 29 percent said the president is handling the issue "about right," 19 percent worry he is supporting abortion too much, and 4 percent say he is not doing enough.

Ignorance of Obama's stand on abortion is unbelievable. Forty two percent "don't know."

We've got a lot of work to do to wake up this 42 percent.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Help Defend Marriage in Maine!

Today, Tom Peters posted the latest video from the "Stand for Marriage Maine" campaign:

And today's San Francisco Chronicle reports:

"Same-sex marriage proponents from California are getting involved in Maine's campaign. Last weekend, they made 10,000 phone-bank calls to Mainers, and over the next few weeks dozens of volunteers - and a few paid organizers - are heading east to help.

"They will be there at the end of the campaign just to help implement the locally produced campaign," said Marc Solomon, marriage director for Equality California, where 11 field organizers have been raising money to go to Maine."

You can help defend marriage in Maine. Just go to to find out how.

Change of Heart

Here's the latest on the subject:
National Christmas tree will display religious ornaments. Charle Butts - OneNewsNow - 10/7/2009
The National Forest Service has reversed its policy banning religious oriented decorations on the White House Christmas tree.

The original decision came down after Arizona school children -- chosen this year to design their own ornaments for the tree -- designed ornaments with religious themes.
Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) attorney Jonathan Scruggs says some of the "controversial" ornaments displayed manger scenes and the words "Merry Christmas." ADF immediately sent a demand letter outlining why the ornament ban was unconstitutional -- and received a speedy response.

"We received a letter from the National Forest Service saying essentially that they agreed and therefore our client would be allowed to submit his religious ornaments," says the attorney.

Although officials originally used the First Amendment to support the ban, ADF used the same amendment to argue against it. An excerpt from the letter reads: "It is well established that expression of religious beliefs is protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Religious expression is speech and is entitled to the same level of protection as other kinds of speech...even expression that comes through symbols, such as ornaments...."

Students will now be allowed to construct 4,000 ornaments for the 65-foot tree without further harassment over religious content.

A Christian President?

The following was sent to me by a good friend.

This is a message from my friend who was mayor in Lubbock, Windy Sitton. She attended all the White House Christmas parties during both Bush years. This is a personal message to me and not a "scare tatic from unknowns on the internet. Pretty much says it all.

Thought you might be interested in this information from the White House.. This isn't a rumor; this is a fact.We have a friend at church who is a very talented artist. For several years she, among many others, has painted ornaments to be hung on the various White House Christmas trees.

The WH sends out an invitation to send an ornament and informs the artists of the theme for the year. She got her letter from the WH recently. It said that they would not be called Christmas trees this year. They will be called Holiday trees. And, to please not send any ornaments painted with a religious theme.

She was very upset at this development and sent back a reply telling them that she painted the ornaments for Christmas trees and would not be sending any for display that left Christ out of Christmas.
Donna Barnes

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

In God We Trust

You can trust God.
Americans have trusted God since the founding of our nation.
Just don't admit it. Not in public.

That's what some atheists are saying. They're suing in a U.S. district court to expunge from public view our nation's historic trust in God.This lawsuit, brought by the atheist organization, Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), focuses on the $621 million Capitol Visitor Center, which opened in Washington, D.C., last year. It includes references to our National Motto, ''In God We Trust,'' and the Pledge of Allegiance (''one nation under God'').But FFRF wants those references eradicated. Essentially, they want to rewrite history - and write God out.

We will not stand by and let it happen. We are conducting thorough legal research and working in the heart of Washington, D.C., to answer this latest threat to freedom. We are filing a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of Congress and our Committee to Preserve America's Religious Heritage.
"I will continue to believe in the one true God of love because I maintain that no atheist can explain the smile of a child," Cardinal Pell

Highest Honor to EWTN

IRONDALE, AL, October 5, 2009 ( - Pope Benedict XVI has awarded EWTN foundress, Mother Mary Angelica, and Deacon Bill Steltemeier, Chairman of EWTN's Board of Governors, the Cross of Honor for distinguished service to the Church. The medal, officially known as "Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice" (literally "For the Church and the Pope"), is the highest honor that the Pope can bestow upon laity and religious.

The acknowledgement of Mother Angelica's work by the Pope is highly significant in light of high profile criticism that the EWTN foundress has sustained over her unwavering fidelity to the faith. Mother Angelica had to endure crushing criticism and even attempts to take over her station by various left-leaning bishops.... Indeed, the bishops tried to outdo her by launching their own effort, the Catholic Telecommunications Network of America (CTNA). It was clear from the beginning that Mother Angelica was seen as a threat: EWTN had a traditional orientation and CTNA took a modernist stance. EWTN won. CTNA collapsed.”...

From its beginning the station has placed a strong emphasis on explaining and defending Catholic moral principles related to life and family. It has extensively covered the annual Washington March for Life, featured numerous pro-life leaders and broadcasted exceptionally hard-hitting talks….

During elections EWTN has followed the direction of the Popes and
faithful bishops and emphasized that the top priority for Catholics during elections must be the candidates' stands on abortion and marriage and the family and that candidates who are strongly pro-abortion or who support same-sex 'marriage' cannot be supported regardless of their stands on other issues.
This is one of many reasons which has caused the station to be intensely disliked by the liberal Catholic establishment that has for many years pushed a more liberal 'social justice' priority list of voting issues. … and publishing arm, EWTN, is the largest religious media network in the world."

Monday, October 5, 2009

Challenge of the Cross

In Brief: Salazar v. Buono
Tomorrow, On Oct. 7, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Salazar v. Buono, a case involving a constitutional challenge to the presence of an eight-foot-tall Christian cross in the Mojave National Preserve in San Bernardino County, Calif. The case arose when Frank Buono, a former assistant superintendent of the preserve, filed a lawsuit demanding that the National Park Service, which administers the preserve, remove the cross. Buono argued that because the cross is on government land it amounts to a government endorsement of religion and thus violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. After eight years of litigation in lower courts, the case is now before the Supreme Court. The high court's decision has the potential to determine the fate of the cross and similar displays across the country as well as to limit who may bring Establishment Clause lawsuits in federal court.
The Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life provides a brief overview of the case's long path to the Supreme Court and the arguments that the parties are likely to make when they appear before the justices

Friday, October 2, 2009

Benjamin Franklin's Request for Prayers at the Constitutional Convention

Benjamin Franklin July 28, 1787
The Constitutional Convention had been meeting for five weeks, and had hit a perilous deadlock. The large states were insisting that congressional representation be based on population; the smaller states wanted a one-state-one-vote rule. The entire effort to create a stronger union was in jeopardy. Eighty-one-year-old Benjamin Franklin, quiet during most of the deliberations, then addressed the group. According to James Madison's notes, here is what happened next.

Mr. President:
The small progress we have made after 4 or five weeks close attendance & continual reasonings with each other-our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many noes as ays, is methinks a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the Human Understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom, since we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of Government, and examined the different forms of those And we have viewed Modern States all round Europe, but find none of their Constitutions suitable to our circumstances.

In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection.- Our prayers, Sir, were heard, & they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending providence in our favor.

I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?

To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this Republics which having been formed with the seeds of their own dissolution now no longer exist.truth- that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that "except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.

I therefore beg leave to move-that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that Service.
(reported in Beliefnet)