Thursday, April 28, 2005

Neoliberal Hatred, Maureen Dowd Style

Can anybody tell me why Maureen Dowd is employed by the New York Times? As an opinion writer, her columns are supposed to be thought provoking. As such, it is to be expected that her political agenda will bleed through into her columns, and many on the other side of the fence will be irritated, if not offended, by her opinions.

Unfortunately, Dowd consistently reveals herself to be a hate mongering dimwit, well equipped at tapping random thoughts of hatred towards all things conservative, but totally inept at developing a rational thesis. Dowd has done little more than reveal herself to the world as being neoliberal dimentia incarnate.

It should come as no surprise that she hates Dick Cheney. But I was surprised to read about her hatred for Pope Benedict XVI in her recent column. This is Dowd's take on the Papal Conclave:
    "The éminence grise who had long whispered in the ear of power and who had helped oversee the selection process ended up selecting himself. In Cheneyesque fashion, he searched far and wide for a pope by looking around the room and swiftly deciding he was the best man for the job."
Dowd clearly understands that Cardinals elect the new pope during the conclave. She understands there was no campaigning leading up to the conclave. And undoubtedly, she has read the accounts of Cardinal Ratzinger's preference to live out his final years in peace and quiet in Germany, rather than take on the role of leader of the world's 1.1 billion Catholics. So why would a woman make these fanatical accusations against the pope when she knows perfectly well that the words she speaks are false? What does she have to gain by labeling the pope as a power hungry cheat? Welcome to the world of neoliberalism, where you're duty bound to hate all things conservative, and if necessary, fabricate stories about your adversaries in order to recruit others into your circle of hatred.

Dowd goes on to state: "the new pope is a Jurassic archconservative who disdains the "if it feels good do it" culture and the revolutionary trends toward diversity and cultural openness since the 60's." Only an imbecile like Dowd could feign surprise that the pope doesn't subscribe to the "if it feels good do it" club. Does she really expect the pope to subscribe to her dope smoking, gender bending, wife swapping, abortion as contraception culture? Furthermore, how can a man who shepherds 1.1 billion members of all racial and social backgrounds, not appreciate diversity?

I'll be the first to admit that it is a Herculean task to defend the neoliberal platform. Acting shocked that Pope Benedict doesn't preach "if it feels good do it" requires some serious talent. Claiming Cardinal Ratzinger stole the papal conclave election requires some serious credibility. Unfortunately, neither talent nor credibility are Dowd's strong suits. If Dowd is the best the New York Times has to offer in this regard, I can rest easy knowing the effluent that is radical liberalism is headed downwards into history's septic tank of flawed idealologies.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Liberal Rants from The Nation

I've been quite busy at work and home, so blog postings have been few and far between. There's probably 3 or 4 new items in the pending status that aren't yet worthy of posting because I haven't had the time to add the finishing touches. But as I've learned over the past couple of years in blogosphere, if you ever want some great neoliberal seed material wrapped up in a veneer of half-witted logic, head on over to The Nation. Here's what I found this evening.

  • Says Katrina vanden Heuvel: "The nation is in the control of extremists who want to merge church and state. A line is crossed when religion demonizes politicians of certain religion--or no religion--and when the church-state separation is breached by people believing that their God is better than another God." Newsflash Katrina: Nobody on the right wants to merge church and state, we just want to protect our Judeo-Christian values from the likes of you. PS - your "extremist" adversaries recognize but one God. Few Christians have ever said "my God is better than your God", as that statement in itself is blasphemy. But then again, you've probably spent the better part of your adult life writing about the evils of the Ten Commandments in America's courtrooms, so I shouldn't expect you to understand.

  • Says David Corn, "As House Republicans gleefully passed legislation to repeal the estate tax permanently, 42 Democrats--about one-fifth of the party's caucus in the House--went along for the limo ride. It's true that 160 Democrats did vote against this unjustifiable tax break for the wealthiest of Americans." David, are you aware that Americans are taxed annually on their incomes? And they're taxed daily on their purchases? Did you know dividends are already taxed twice (once at the corporate level and again at the dividend recipient level)? So why should the estate of American's be sliced up and handed out to other Americans? Where is the incentive to build wealth? When an American with a multi-million dollar estate has already paid millions of taxes over the years, why do you feel it's justified to tax his heirs yet again?

  • Max Blumenthal, is outraged by "Justice Sunday", a gathering of Christian and political leaders bringing attention to Democratic antics related to keeping right wing Christians out of the judiciary. William Donahoe, head of the Catholic league, spoke about discrimination against Catholics among Democrat senators, saying "There is de facto discrimination. They've set the bar so high with the abortion issue, we can't get any real Catholics over it." Realizing he cannot counter Donahoe's claims, Blumenthal tries to undermine the coalition of Christian speakers by pointing out theological differences among Christian speakers. Dr. Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, shared the stage with Donahoe. Said Mohler in 2000 "As an evangelical, I believe that the Roman Catholic Church is a false church. It teaches a false gospel. And the Pope himself holds a false and unbiblical office." Blumenthal is mystified that Donahoe and Mohler now find common ground on the pro-life front. Wake up, Max. Despite differences in beliefs, Baptists and Catholics alike recognize abortion as intrinsically evil, and no theological difference will ever change that fact.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Habemus Papam!!

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is the Catholic Church's 265th pontiff, and has taken the name Benedict XVI. I'm headed to Cologne, Germany this August for World Youth Day. Given Pope Benedict's German heritage, interest in World Youth Day 2005 has just cranked up a couple notches. Let's hope Pope Benedict will be the catalyst for a return to Christian roots among Western Europeans.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Did the Pope Worship Mary?

In light of the Pope John Paul II's intense devotion to Mary, the mother of Jesus, as well as his Last Will and Testament, and in light of the "M" engraved on his coffin, it might seem as if JP II worshipped the mother of Christ.

Consider the fact that this man likely prayed over a hundred thousand Hail Mary's during the course of his life. Furthermore, his motto was "Totus Tuus ego sum", which is Latin for "I am totally yours" in reference to a total devotion to Mary. In his will, the pope stated:
    "I desire to follow Him, and I desire that everything making up part of my earthly life should prepare me for this moment. I do not know when the moment will come, but like everything else, I place it too in the hands of the Mother of my Master: Totus Tuus. In the same maternal hands I leave everything and everyone with whom my life and vocation have linked me. In these Hands I leave, above all, the Church, as well as my Nation and all humanity."

Wow! Can we conclude that the pope worshipped Mary? He actually put the future of the Catholic Church, and all humanity, in the hands of the Blessed Virgin!?! On the surface, this comes across as blasphemy, and a direct sin against the first commandment.

Of course, a comprehensive discussion of Catholic theology is beyond the scope of this post. But let me do my best to summarize Catholic beliefs as follows:
  • Catholics believe our Blessed Mother is in heaven with God, and with his son Jesus. I assume all Christians would agree.
  • It is not inconsistent to tell our spouses that "I am totally yours". Being devoted to and totally trusting of a person is not mutually exclusive with having a total devotion to God. I assume all Christians would agree.
  • Souls in heaven continue to worship our Lord in heaven. I assume all Christians would agree.
  • Mary, as the Mother of Christ, has a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ than any other person who has ever lived. I assume all Christians would agree.
  • It is beneficial to solicit the prayers of others in our times of need. Clearly, Christ is the only intermediary between God and man, but the prayers of other men/women are heard by God. I assume all Christians would agree.
  • Souls in heaven can and do assist us by praying for us in heaven. I assume non-Catholics would disagree.
  • If we are to turn to any soul in heaven to serve as our advocate, Mary is clearly the best choice given her relationship with Jesus. I assume all Christians would agree.

    We can conclude that, if you believe that souls in heaven hear our prayers and in turn pray for us, it is most beneficial to solicit the prayers of the Mother of God the Son. It is also safe to conclude that devotion does not constitute worship. In summary, the only aspect of John Paul II's devotion to Mary inconsistent with most Protestant beliefs is the idea that souls in heaven can/do pray on our behalf.

    To further make the point that JP II was devoted to Mary (as opposed to worshipped Mary), let's take a quick look at another revealing quote from his Last Will and Testament, which serves to clarify his relationship with God, and the Blessed Virgin Mother:
  • "Once again, I wish to entrust myself totally to the Lord's grace. He Himself will decide when and how I must end my earthly life and pastoral ministry. In life and in death, Totus Tuus in Mary Immaculate."

    In other words, even though he was devoted to Mary and consistently asked for her intercessory prayers, he recognized his total dependence on God's grace, and his total reliance on Christ as our redeemer.
  • Thursday, April 07, 2005

    Biggest Gathering Ever @ St. Peter's Square

    The funeral for Pope John Paul II is drawing larger crowds than even the Vatican predicted. In addition to an expected crowd of 2 million faithful, the funeral will be attended by dozens of world leaders. Reuters is reporting that four kings, five queens, at least 70 presidents and prime ministers are expected to be in attendance, as are at least 14 leaders of other religions.

    I'm amazed, and greatly appreciative of the worldwide support for Pope John Paul II. Hopefully all Christians gain strength and inspiration by the sheer number of faithful pilgrims paying their last respects in Rome this week. More importantly, I pray that the continuing coverage will serve to evangelize Christians worldwide who may longer be active in their faith.

    Tuesday, April 05, 2005

    Sweeping Changes with New Pope?

    The media coverage of the death of Pope John Paul II has been amazing, and as a Catholic I greatly appreciate the time and energy devoted towards covering the proceedings in Rome. As an aside, I hope that after a week of this type of coverage, combined with the previous coverage of Terry Schiavo, Protestants don't rise up en masse and scream Enough!.

    The outpouring of support from political leaders, religious leaders, and every day citizens all over the world provide a vivid reminder of the influence of JP II. He was a man who worked tirelessly to promote the Word of God, the sanctity of every human life, and mankind's inalienable rights of religious freedom. He was a man who connected with the world's youth as well as Church conservatives. And most importantly, he promoted the teachings of Catholicism in a clear and uncompromising manner.

    Today, many in the world's media are speculating on the theology of the next pontiff. MSNBC, for example, stated the following in an article published today:
      "John Paul opposed divorce, birth control and abortion, the ordination of women and the lifting of the celibacy requirement for priests, issues that sharply divided the church."

    This statement must be clarified: No pope will ever change the Catholic Church's position regarding divorce. Marriage within the Church as viewed as a Sacramental union blessed by God, which no man can break. The current process of investigating civil divorces to determine whether a Sacramental marriage existed will remain in place until Christ comes again. Likewise, no pope will ever change the Catholic Church's position regarding birth control. The conjugal act must be unitive, and procreative. Putting any artificial barriers in place to block the procreative nature of intercourse is to deny the will of God. It should go without saying that the church will never, ever, no way, no how even consider changing her position regarding abortion. All life is a gift from God, and cannot be destroyed.

    On the other hand, the Catholic Church could indeed ordain women and lift the celibacy requirement for priests. Although some may doubt the Scriptural support for a celibate priesthood, it should be noted that the Church began promoting priestly celibacy before the Council of Nicea (325 AD). Similarly, the Church has excluded women from the priesthood for all 2,000 years of her existence. Changing Canon Law, and reversing hundreds of years of tradition, are no small matters.

    To conclude, don't expect the new Bishop of Rome to make sweeping changes in an effort to comply with what may be perceived as modern day values. Most of the Church's moral teaching is non-negotiable, and much of the Church's Canon Law is steeped in such tradition that major change is highly unlikely.

    Hyde-Weldon Conscience Protection Amendment

    Ever heard of it? Neither have I, until today.

    I received a letter from the American Center for Law and Justice, which is an organization dedicated to protecting our religous and constitutional freedoms. On a typical day, the ACLJ is busy fighting the lunatic agenda of the ACLU.

    The Hyde-Weldon Amendment, which passed congress and was signed by President Bush last year, protects medical professionals and facilities who refuse to participate in abortion from discrimination and punishment. For example, hospitals which receive federal funding can refuse to participate in infanticide. Not surprisingly, the pro-abortion crowd has issued challenges to the amendment. Apparently, the radical left believes that pro-life medical professionals are constitutionally required to participate in the abortion industry if they receive federal funding.

    Help ensure the religious freedom of America's medical professionals - contact your senator and congressman and let them know you support the Hyde-Weldon Amendment.

    Sunday, April 03, 2005

    RIP, JP II

    May the soul of our Holy Father, John Paul II, rest in the peace of the Lord. And may the Holy Spirit guide the College of Cardinals in their work electing the next Bishop of Rome.