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WOW! This is interesting! January 22, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, General Catholic, Society.
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I’ve got to stop ripping off Fr. Z, he’s liable to come down here and hurl a skillet full of chicken in fennel and tarragon at my head.  

But this graphic is verrry interesting to me. 

It’s interesting to me that three generations of Americans have nearly identical views on the morality of abortion, with only the baby boomers being outliers (and more abortion friendly).  I won’t read too much into that, but it is interesting.

The really important news is that a clear majority of Americans view abortion as morally evil.  It would certainly be interesting to link political attitudes and religious behaviors to those who think abortion is morally OK – I don’t know how people come to have such twisted values.  I won’t speculate too much, but I bet those who think abortion is morally acceptable would hate just about everything about this blog.  Good.

We need to work on those in the middle.  Those are probably folks who just try not to think about what abortion really means.  I thought there would be a bigger spread in the age groups – I thought those older would be more opposed to abortion than those younger, but that’s not the case.   I shall resolve to work on those my own age who think abortion is morally neutral – that’s either some serious denial, or some really bizaare moral equilavency going on there, but I think reason may reach those people.

Those who think abortion is a moral good, like Joan ChittisterKatherine Ragsdale , Donna Quinn and other from the all-star cavalcade of baby haters, are probably lost.  I can’t imagine possessing such a reprehensible moral compass…..I’m not sure they even know what ‘moral’ means anymore.  Sometimes, one can be so far educated beyond one’s intellect that foolishness becomes wisdom, and the reverse.  Or, you can be so ideologically rigid that nothing can penetrate that thick bark of parochialism.

There is a huge difference between trying to adhere to one’s faith to the greatest degree possible, and being an idealogue, so don’t even go there in the comments.

For the love of….. January 22, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in foolishness, General Catholic, scandals.
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Joan Chittister has a new “column,” and I use that term as loosely as possible, in NCR, eulogizing deceased man-hating lesbian HERETIC Mary Daly.   Now, normally, I would never link NCR, National Catholic Distorter, but I will in this instance, for the insight it provides into Sr. Joan Chittister’s mind.  No, I’m not talking about the reflexive use of feminist code words, or the seething anger that permeates this piece, but the complete lack of a coherent argument, and the utter irrelevance of everything she says.  For a eulogy, it’s very sad…..Chittister states she doesn’t know much at all about Daly, hasn’t read her works much, and never heard her speak, and yet she heaps ridiculous, copious praise on her.  These are the kinds of bouquets the radically dissenting feminists have been throwing to each other for years in theological journals, using effusive, florid language to describe a colleague’s work, when they haven’t even read it.

But, Chittister saves the best for last.  Bearing in mind, she doesn’t cite a single piece of Daly’s work, nor a single reference from another colleague as to how Daly influenced them, and yet, at the end of the piece, Chittister claims that “[women shall see that]….the real evidence of her legacy, her impact, her meaning not only to this generation but to generations to come.  As in “all generations shall call her blessed.””

There it is.  Chittister just made a man-hating heretic theologian who will be consigned to the dustbin of history within mere years,  equivalent to the Mother of God.  These wacked out nuns aren’t even original.  What a pathetic comparison, and how revealing.  Chittister, and those like her, are in love with themselves and those of their kind to such an extent there isn’t even room in their hearts, their egos, for God anymore.  It’s all about them.  Truly sad…….they’ll never know what they’ve missed.

Haaretz backs me up! January 22, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in foolishness, General Catholic.
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I’ve related how I was maligned for coming to the defense of Pope Pius XII in a recent post.  I had related how the typical reactions to Pope Pius XII being named Venerable were based on bias and ignorance, and not on the facts.  Now, I get some support from a source whose credentials are difficult to assail – Haaretz, a major Israeli newspaper.  In an article, Haaretz relates how the “conventional wisdom” among some, who I feel may have some bias against the Church, is based not at all on the historical record, and goes on to cite numerous examples of the Pope directing the Church to help  Jews during the Holocaust.  The article also cites examples of praise from major Jewish leaders during and after the war. 

Finally, the article concludes with this: “Perhaps only in a backward world such as ours would the one man who did more than any other wartime leader to help Jews and other Nazi victims, receive the greatest condemnation.”

Indeed……I pray that one day, we shall not live in a world where Church leaders are eager to cast disparaging, asinine allegations at those defending the Faith in a blatant attempt to quiet them, and will do a little more of that defending themselves.  It’s a far more ‘pastoral’ alternative to always being as impeccably politically correct as possible.

Funding the Bishops’ causes January 22, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Society.
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I got a letter this week, from our Bishop, Kevin Farrell.  Personally signed by an auto-pen and everything.  The letter was requesting that my family and I make our annual donation to the Bishop’s annual appeal.

I’m afraid I’m going to have to decline, for several reasons.  I am very concerned about the manner in which money is spent for Catholic charities at the diocesan, state, and national level.  The main source of this concern is, of course, CCHD.  Issues of life and death are incredibly important to my family.  We go far out of our way to try to insure, to the fullest extent possible, that none of our money will go to sources that may have agendas not in communion with Catholic moral teaching.   The numerous recent scandals at CCHD have led me to believe that CCHD is a broken organization, ill-begotten and committed by its very nature to efforts that are at cross purposes with Catholic belief.  Money is fungible, and even if I don’t support CCHD directly, increasing donations to one Diocesan or national conference charity frees up money to fund CCHD. 

Secondly, I disagree with the agendas of many of the Diocesan aid agencies themselves.  I think many are wonderful, but, again, we have the issue of the fungibility of money, and there are some aid agencies at the Diocesan level that are very involved in political lobbying.  You see, many of these aid organizations have become strongly wedded to the belief that more funding is always better, regardless of the source.  And what is best is stable, dependable funding, which allows them to plan out their programs with ease.  The people are too inconsistent – sometimes they give, sometimes they don’t.   Or not enough, anyway.  But the government………..the government, state or federal, is great.  The money is always there, within a few percentage points, and it comes right on time.  So, these aid organizations have sought, and received, a huge amount of local, state, and federal money – YOUR money.  And, they are always engaged in lobbying to insure they receive at least as much, if not more money, next year.  

Unfortunately, I find this problematic, because the government never gives anything for free.  The government lays on rules and regulations, policies that have to be upheld.  And some of those policies, especially recently, are increasingly antithetical to Church doctrine.  We see this in the ‘health care’ debate, where the Bishop’s conference has confused motives, at best.  On the one hand, they emotionally like the idea of ‘health care for all,’ even if it isn’t, and have enormous financial incentives to support a massively increased federal involvement in the health care field.  But, there are many politicians that would tie that financial windfall for Catholic hospitals to a requirement to perform abortions and terminate ‘unproductive lives’.  Even if the current legislation does not fund abortion, eventually a Congress and President will insure that it does.   And so, we see the on-again, off again approach the USCCB has taken to the pending health care legislation, while they know that federal funding for abortion under any public payer scheme is virtually guaranteed in the foreseeable future.  Because of these issues of advocacy and the tendency for government funding to cause numerous moral dilemnas, I’m hesitant to support some Catholic aid organizations.  In addition, I find the frequent championing of government social programs by the Catholic hierarchy in this country to be misguided, at best.  All government monies are taken with the implied threat of force – either you pay your taxes, or you go to jail.  I think the Bishops and their staff would receive a far better result encouraging the faithful to be more generous, rather than encouraging them to vote for certain politicians or parties that the hierarchy feels will provide that steady opiate drip of government money. 

And finally, I can’t support the annual appeal because I like to have a more direct control over where my money goes and how it is spent.  My wife and I support many charities directly, some of which are Catholic, some of which are not.  We spend time researching the charity before giving to it, to insure that its practices are acceptable to us, and, what’s more, that the charity has a very low ratio of overhead expenses.  Organizations like Food for the Poor have very low administrative costs – almost 98% of money given to them benefits the poor.   Catholic Charities USA does a pretty good job, but has a much higher ratio of administrative costs.   Alot of those administrative costs go to pay for activities like lobbying the government for more funding, and also to report back to the government, down to the last cent, how an organization has spent that public money.  I just don’t feel that such efforts are appropriate, or even beneficial, as I recently related to the Texas Catholic Conference, an organization whose main purpose is to lobby the state government for more funding.  There are just too many strings attached to government funding.

So, sorry, Bishop Farrell.  I’d very much like to support your efforts, but for the reasons I give above I just can’t.  I pray that the leadership of our Church will prayerfully consider whether being so dependent on government funding for their charitable programs, and always lobbying for more, is really the best way to provide aid to those in need.  There are many organizations that are not so dependent on government funding, and have more control over how they spend their money.   I pray that all Catholics will more generously support the charities of their choice.  But, in the end, I pray most that the Church will divorce itself from government aid programs, and rely on the more messy, but vastly more virtuous, alms of the faithful.