Stabbed in the back again: House GOPes pass Obama Bathroom Order into Law in Late Night Session May 26, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, asshatery, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, paganism, Revolution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, Society, unbelievable BS.
This is why Trump exists. This is why he has a shot to be the next president. I am so sick of these liars and knaves. There aren’t 50 true conservatives on Capitol Hill. I am just about totally disgusted with the political process in this country. There is essentially one party, the insider socially progressive party of the elite, by the elite, and for the elite. The only thing they disagree on are tax breaks for the very rich:
Many are asking what Republicans plan to do to stop Obama’s executive war on culture and religious liberty in pursuit of cultural Marxism. Now we know that not only will this party do nothing to stop Obama, it will use its control of Congress to codify Obama’s agenda into law.
Late Wednesday night, Republicans allowed a vote on an amendment from Rep. Sean Maloney, D-N.Y., which codified Obama’s executive order 13672 making transgenderism the law of the land. Obama’s executive order, promulgated in July 2014, instructed bureaucrats to sever contracts with companies that don’t follow the Obama-mandated sexual identity agenda. This could include companies that don’t allow men into women’s bathrooms in their private corporate offices. The Maloney amendment to the $37.4 billion FY 2017 Energy & Water Appropriations Bill (H.R. 5055) codified that unilateral act into law.
The amendment passed 223-195 with 43 Republicans supporting it. The GOP House just supported arguably the most radical Democrat agenda item in the dead of night……..
………Once the Maloney amendment passed with GOP votes, Republicans proceeded to do what they always do so well. They offered side-by-side amendments in an attempt to cover up the damage. [So they are not just radically progressive themselves, they do not fail to vote in the way they were elected to do so by the people they claim to serve (while really serving only themselves), they practice deceit on a grand scale to try to keep the voters fooled] They passed the “Pitts amendment” as a second-degree by voice vote to affirm the constitutional importance of religious liberty. Then they passed the Byrne Amendments to reaffirm that RFRA is still in place and the government cannot discriminate against religious individuals. Well, as we all know, the Constitution and RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act) have been in place for the entire Obama administration, yet he is still able to get away with religious bigotry edicts by claiming they don’t interfere with religious beliefs. Enshrining Obama’s specific edict into law and then passing vanity language reaffirming the general importance of religious liberty is like doing CPR on a dead body.
So, in the period 2009-early 2011, we were told Obama’s agenda simply had to pass because the GOP had no majority in the Congress and just couldn’t do anything to stop it. Give them a majority, they said, and you’d see all kinds of obstruction of Obama’s radicalism and even a rollback of some of his major “victories.” Here we are, 5 years later, with historic majorities for the GOPE ropers in both Houses, and they are STILL passing Obama’s budget, Obama’s expensive, onerous, and freedom-killing regulations, and his radical cultural marxist agenda. Democrats with minorities in both houses continue to block any real conservative legislation (with the willing connivance of the GOP leadership, which has kept numerous pro-religious liberty bills, for instance, from coming to a vote).
The GOP no longer serves any purpose, other than arguing for marginally lower tax rates on corporations and a small slice of the population. They are not for defending out borders. They are not strong on national defense in any way that makes sense. They do not oppose the destruction of Western Civilization through cultural marxism. In fact, the vast majority of GOP pols are fervent acolytes of the religion of sexular paganism.
At this point, I’ve reached the conclusion the GOP needs to die, and something else emerge in its place. I hate to be so negative, but how many examples of lies, treachery, and deceit do we need before we realize they will never, ever support our agenda, and would rather see the party gone (and themselves defected to the democrat party, where they belong) than do so?
Going off topic for a moment…….
As I’ve mentioned to many people offline (my poor wife has heard this too many times to count), there is simply no way a program like Baylor attracts talent to attain Top 5 status without serious recruiting and other moral violations. Just no way. You can be a skeptic and say that Alabama and all the other top programs do the same, but for a small private school in a highly undesirable location and little tradition of winning to suddenly become a top program, something is seriously off-kilter. Think SMU in the late 70s and 80s off kilter.
I’m willing to bet this is almost certainly just the beginning of an avalanche:
Baylor University is making sweeping changes to its athletic and academic leadership in the wake of a sexual assault scandal involving numerous football players.
The school announced Thursday it has suspended coach Art Briles with intent to terminate him after eight seasons.
In addition, school president Ken Starr has been removed as president and will transitions into role of chancellor; he remains a professor at the Baylor law school. Dr. David Garland has been named interim university president. Athletic director Ian McCaw has been sanctioned and placed on probation.
A report from Pepper Hamilton, an outside law firm hired by Baylor last fall, found the school “failed to take appropriate action to respond to reports of sexual assault and dating violence reportedly committed by football players. The choices made by football staff and athletics leadership, in some instances, posed a risk to campus safety and the integrity of the University.”
The report also found Baylor administrators actively discouraged some complainants from reporting or participating in student conduct processes and in one case constituted retaliation against a complainant for reporting sexual assault.
Firing Briles and a couple of others is also a way to proactively respond to any NCAA investigation, if you know what I mean. The hope is that by terminating the coach and some admins involved prior to any action from the NCAA, they can say they were being cooperative and any penalties imposed should be lessened.
Good luck with that.
TCU won’t be far behind in this process, either, I don’t think. But Baylor has long been known to those with even a bit of inside knowledge to run one of the most unsavory athletic programs in the state. I won’t go into details, but they did a lot of really gross things, things in mark contrast to their supposed baptist beliefs. Again, these things might happen a lot of places, but I’m talking about a whole ‘nuther level of magnitude.
But Texas will still continue to struggle for another 7-8 years, quite possibly just punishment for a rabid, over-emotional fan base.
Dallas Bishop Kevin Farrell Wholeheartedly Endorses Highly Problematic, Scripture Denying “Always Our Children” for “Gay” Ministry May 26, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, Restoration, sadness, scandals, secularism, sexual depravity, Society, the struggle for the Church.
It has been reported to me via disparate sources that at the most recent convocation of priests for the Diocese of Dallas, Bishop Kevin Farrell gave strong support to the ministry “Always Our Children,” and encouraged its spread throughout the Diocese. “Always Our Children” is a group which purports to be a support entity for the families of individuals who act out in profound ways on their same sex attraction. Always our Children is a renaming of the group’s previous title, “Outstretched Hands,” and according to some has links to the heterodox New Ways Ministry and Dignity “gay” lobby front groups.
Before I get into the details, I’ll simply state I’m not talking about intent. The intent behind this may be pure as the driven snow, but the effect I fear will be quite the opposite. In fact, the evidence already demonstrates that is already the case.
Some history: 6 years ago, I became aware of what was then called Outstretched Hands at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Plano. I wrote several blog posts on this subject, the two most principal of which are here and here. As I stated, the problems with “Outstretched Hands/Always Our Children” are manifold, including:
- Undermining or attempting to refute the plain condemnations of both the inclination towards, and especially the commission of, sexual acts committed between people of the same sex as outlined repeatedly in Sacred Scripture. In doing so, they adopt the language and diabolically erroneous interpretations of Scripture emanating from false, pro-gay sects like the Metropolitan “church.”
- Basing much of their outlook, and even their name, on an erroneous document produced by a sub-committee of the USCCB in 1997 and never approved by the full body of bishops: “Always Our Children.” This document was so full of error and false moral equivalence, the CDF under then Cardinal Ratzinger demanded it being rewritten and recast under a new title, which document was approved by the USCCB in full in 2006. The “Always Our Children” website makes no mention of this later, much more faithful document, which condemned the acts of Sodom and Gomorrah in much clearer terms, nor the fact that since the “Always Our Children” document was never approved by the full body of US bishops, it has essentially zero doctrinal or moral authority. The bias of the Always Our Children website is readily apparent from the short list of documents they use for reference, all of which were problematic to one degree or another and all of which are distinguished by their unusual degree of acceptance/support for the arguments of the “gay” lobby.
- Referencing the problematic 1990/94 version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which erred towards softness on the subject of sodomy and its associated sins. One has to dig far down to find any mention of the revisions made to the 1997 Catechism on the same subject, correcting what many felt was a far too tolerant approach to these sins which cry out to Heaven for vengeance. The 1997 version of the Catechism is the only “authoritative” version at present, having superseded the earlier versions.
- Routinely serving as an advocacy group for the LGBT agenda
- Violently attacking anyone who shows up at an “Always Our Children” group meeting who speaks of chastity, self-denial, living in accord with the Doctrine of the Faith, etc. I have received numerous reports to this effect, and can attest to this truth by personal experience. In fact, those who present a faithful Catholic perspective at local Always Our Children meetings are routinely told to leave
A bit more history: when I first reported on this matter in 2010, there was a bit of a flap and a number of complaints sent to the Diocese. Bishop Farrell’s response was not to investigate the problems with the offending group with an eye towards removing them from local parishes, not to counteract their potentially (likely?) harmful influence by supporting the only Vatican-approved outreach ministry for same sex attracted individuals and their families, Courage/Encourage, but to order the deletion of the offending (contrary to doctrine) materials on the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton website! In other words, a cover up of sorts. And yet now those same materials have returned!
But that’s not even the half of it. I can also report to you that this isn’t the case of a bad memory. Numerous attempts have been made in recent weeks/months by well meaning souls to explain to the Diocese/Bishop Farrell the continuing problems with Always Our Children. There have also been a number of attempts to garner support for the far more faithful and morally satisfactory Courage group. Those efforts have met with the usual stonewalling and delay tactics.
It is also reported that most diocesan priests are strongly hostile towards Courage, to the extent that for nearly 3 years, from the departure of former auxiliary Bishop Seitz until very recently, the local Courage ministry could find no priest to serve as spiritual advisor/mentor in either the Dallas or Fort Worth dioceses (that sad situation has now, to my knowledge, been rectified). I’m sure you can imagine why so many priests might be hostile towards a faithful Catholic ministry that teaches chastity, the denial of sinful urges, and living in accord with the Doctrine of the Faith.
The truly devastating part is that Bishop Farrell’s support has now caused Always Our Children to spread throughout the Diocese. From being based at only St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in 2010, it is now in four parishes in the north deanery alone: Seton, St. Mark, St. Francis of Assisi (Frisco), and Prince of Peace. Three of the four are of course in Plano.
It does seem that some “Always Our Children” groups are better than others, but the information I have garnered informs me that the groups in the Diocese of Dallas are quite strongly on the liberal/unquestioning acceptance side of this matter. Again, I have some experience of this myself, though it is several years old, but I have recent testimony of folks who tried to represent an orthodox Catholic viewpoint in the local Always Our Children groups who met with a distinctly hostile reaction. This is not surprising to me, given the long time and overwhelmingly left-liberal influence of the lay ministers who oversee the operation of AOC at the local parishes in question. The family and adult ministries at three of the four parishes above have long been dominated by women who hold quite heterodox views regarding the Doctrine of the Faith, and whose advice in practical situation is highly questionable.
But at root, what is most upsetting to me, and others, is Bishop Farrell’s choice to so strongly endorse Always Our Children, when an alternative of much more robust orthodoxy, and a far more successful pastoral approach, exists in Courage/Encourage (Courage being the ministry for those with SSA, Encoruage for the families/loved ones of those with SSA). There are priests in the Diocese of Dallas who would like to see Courage get more support, but they are unfortunately in the distinct minority. As I mentioned above, many priests, quite possibly the majority, are reported to be quite hostile towards Courage and its approach. I would not be surprised in the least if this hostility did not influence Bishop Farrell’s decision. Again, I do not think ignorance can be cited as a defense, as I know problems with the current “gay outreach ministries” and the alternative of Courage have been presented to the chancery for years.
I’m not terribly surprised at all this, though I do find it disappointing. While the Bishop Farrell may be acting with the best of intentions, given the history and the criticism I know these groups have received, it’s pretty upsetting that he decided to go this route.
I’ve inveighed on people to contact the Diocese in the past on such matters, but having been through that process several times I can’t say it makes much difference (save, perhaps, to remove the public embarrassment by taking down a webpage or two). But, if you feel motivated to contact the Diocese of Dallas, by all means, knock yourself out, though I ask that you be respectful and to the point, eschewing words like evil or hell (not because I disagree, but because I don’t think they’re very effective).
Contact info below. Bishop Kelly is really the man to contact, since getting to Bishop Farrell is all but impossible unless you leave a trail of gold coins behind you when you walk:
Mary Edlund Chancellor, Dallas Diocese email@example.com 214-379-2819
Bishop Greg Kelly Auxiliary Bishop / Vicar of Clergy
Elsa Espinoza: Executive Assistant to the Bishop
Would someone kindly link this to Pewsitter? God bless you.
John Salza against sede-vacantism May 25, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, error, General Catholic, Papa, Restoration, Society, SSPX, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Virtue.
10 years ago, when I was first becoming an active, committed Catholic (or trying to), I found the books of John Salza to be immensely useful. His “Biblical Basis” series was an excellent resource to help bring me from erroneous protestantism to a solidly formed Catholicism.
Since then, Salza and I have both become committed trads, him probably more so than me. Salza is now definitely in the SSPX camp, and doesn’t have too many kind words for the Ecclesia Dei communities. So while you could say I disagree with him on some points now, I remain very thankful to him for the role his works played in my conversion to a more robust practice of the Faith. I still think he’s one of the best, most thorough, most orthodox Catholic writers around. I have a great deal of respect for his views.
I say the above to provide a bit of context of where I’m coming from with respect to the videos below. They contain an interview of Mr. Salza by Brother Andre Marie of the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the brother’s Reconquest internet radio show. In general, I found Salza’s analysis below spot on. At any rate, he is a serious scholar of theology and ecclesiology and is worth listening to, even if you don’t agree with every conclusion he makes. I would also note the irony of Salza appearing on this particular radio show, with this particular host, since the Slaves are often lambasted as “Feeneyites,” seemingly every trad-group’s favorite whipping boy. That’s something I admit I’ve never quite understood (I get the root error, but they profess to no longer maintain it). So here you have an SSPX-supporter dashing sede vacantism on a “Feeneyite’s” radio show!
A reader had asked me to summarize the content below. I wish I had the time today to do so, but I’m just about out. It took me 4+ hours to finish the post below, as I had so many interruptions (how can that nasty old work ever get in my way like that!?). For those who cannot watch the below for technical reasons, or because they don’t want to invest the nearly two hours, I’ll try to work on a summary, but these guys cover a lot of ground, including much of the 710 page content of Salza’s book on this subject (which I have not read)! That is to say, summarizing this long interview would be no easy task. But, I’ll see what I can do.
The interview, in two parts:
If you have comments on the interview, I’d love to see them. Thanks and God bless you!
There has long been a debate within the pro-life community whether graphic displays of the reality of abortion are powerful tools to make people realize the awful reality of “a woman’s right to choose,” or excessive displays that turn off more people than they attract. I’ve long leaned towards the former, having seen a handful of people change their stance on abortion after being shown just what a baby at, say, 12 weeks gestation looks like (a tiny baby, instead of a blob of cells), and just what abortion does to their perfect, tiny bodies. But I know a good number of people who disagree, mostly because they feel these displays just turn too many people off.
Live Action has shown what might amount to a third way. They have produced some videos that use animation to demonstrate the reality of abortion. By using animation, the reality can be conveyed, while the horrifying reality of abortion can be somewhat sanitized through the unreality of animation.
The video below is one of those. It shows a typical “D&E” abortion on a 2nd trimester child. The baby is literally ripped limb from limb, before being pulled apart through the birth canal. The video is graphic and will be disturbing for some, but the reality is so important I think it should be shared:
I guess Live Action produced a whole series of these videos during the time I was away from the blog. They can all be found on their Youtube channel.
The interesting aspect to me was the reaction of a number of pro-aborts when shown the reality of abortion. Live Action maintains that 1/3 of the pro-aborts who witnessed the video above changed their position on abortion on the spot. Who knows how many may change their position later? I pray these “conversions,” so to speak, are permanent, at any rate:
Unfortunately, these “conversions” may not be lasting. These folks were on the spot, with people coming from an obvious pro-life viewpoint asking them to justify the unjustifiable. I pray they don’t revert to their previous blithe support for this horror later.
I mentioned in another post that Milo Yiannopoulos, who has been conducting a tour of US college campuses seeking to challenge the leftist repression of free speech and anti-left viewpoints so prevalent in American academia, had a rough ride at DePaul last night. I don’t think I’ll have a chance to get into the details of how he was assaulted and interrupted (as were many of his supporters), you can check out his channel for that, but I did find this interview below meaningful, as it demonstrates how an admittedly powerful personality can completely cow and over-awe a committed baby murder supporter through command of the facts and relentless argumentation. The relevant part is from 16:15 – 17:45, but the entire thing is worth listening to, if you can excuse the occasional foul language:
Perhaps overawe was the wrong term. Complete crushing, from the standpoint of argumentation and totally silencing the opponent, is perhaps more apt. Not sure her mind was changed, but at least the silence that resulted was blissful.
The point being, don’t be afraid to argue with these people face to face. Another rather unquestioned tenet of the pro-life movement of the past several decades is that confrontation is bad, that we should be kind and courteous and accepting and stay far away from judgment. I’m not sure that tactic has served the pro-life movement well. Yes, there have been many (mostly small) pro-life successes on the state and local level in terms of limitations opposed on abortion, but at the end of the day, abortion is just as legal as it ever was and just about as many abortions are being performed today as were being performed 30 years ago. We haven’t got a great deal to show for our niceness.
I’m not advocating that we stand there screaming insults at prospective baby murderers, but I do think we can be more aggressive in our use of facts and communication of the hideous reality of abortion to pro-aborts everywhere, be they outside a mill or not. I’d like to think there is room for both approaches, but many sidewalk counselors have been trained by various CLPCs and other pro-life groups that confrontation is very, very bad. I’m not certain I believe that, as I believe I’ve seen about as many positive results (walkaways, saves) from confrontation as I have from the more passive, supportive approach. I think it depends a great deal on the individual you’re dealing with.
LMS Chairman: Sacrosanctum Concilium a self-contradictory document unsuited for guiding liturgical reform May 24, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, different religion, disaster, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Liturgy, secularism, the struggle for the Church, Tradition.
Joseph Shaw, chair of the Latin Mass Society in England, has penned a piece for Rorate Caeli noting the massive contradictions that riddle the Vatican II Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium. What can be said about Sacrosanctum Concilium can be said about every document of Vatican II, which is that they are less clear pronunciations on the Doctrine of the Faith for all ages, than they are the transcripts of a very heated debate that took place at particular place and time, and which was never resolved. Thus, aspects of other documents of Vatican II seem bizarrely out of date.
I have long argued that the documents of VII are documents at war with themselves, filled with rather banal declarations of orthodoxy weakened with caveats that permitted the entry of mass amounts of destructive novelty. Or, vague statements permitting endless novelty “corrected” by weak endorsements of the constant belief and practice of the Faith. It reads like a debate in which the orthodox, unable to articulate the Doctrine of the Faith cogently, fought a rearguard action of damage limitation. Their efforts were largely unsuccessful, almost entirely because the conciliar popes sided overwhelmingly with the progressives, and so we have what we have today, a Church riven by discord, but with the progressives firmly in command. One could even argue that the documents of Vatican II are so riven with self-contradiction that they create an environment in which endless debate will be the inevitable result. Feature or bug?
Shaw makes some very good points, and demonstrates how both SC, and the conciliar and post-conciliar popes, have at various times endorsed both liturgical orthodoxy and dangerous innovation, which are well worth reading and considering. I’ll skip over those, and note his general summaries, which correspond very closely with my own thinking (which means he must be right, of course):
Liturgical conservatives and progressives argue endlessly about this. Their argument will never be resolved, both because Sacrosanctum Concilium was and the subsequent magisterium has been self-contradictory, but also because neither side in the debate is willing to be honest about the historical facts. I am sorry to be harsh, but having read the output of both sides of the debate over a number of years, it is time it was said.
First, Sacrosantum Concilium: how is it self-contradictory? It makes few concrete suggestions, but it does make some. It calls for wider use of the vernacular (63); the removal of ‘useless repetition’ (34), and a more ‘lavish’ presentation of the Scriptures in the readings, arranged over a ‘prescribed number of years’ (51). It leaves further details to local initiative and an official commission. On the other hand, it says (23):
There must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them; and care must be taken that any new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing.
It is perfectly obvious that the this double condition is not satisfied by the concrete suggestions the document itselfmakes. There is no precedent in the liturgical tradition of the Church, in any Rite, for a multi-year lectionary, and to suggest that such a thing could grow ‘organically’ out of a single-year lectionary is obviously absurd. There is no precedent for a mixing of Latin and the vernacular in the liturgy, or for the liturgy to be translated into dozens of vernaculars for different countries. The principle militating against ‘useless repetition’ is entirely foreign to the Church’s liturgical tradition. And none of these changes could possibly, in advance, be said to be required ‘genuinely and certainly’ by the good of the Church.
From this fundamental self-contradiction, you can draw any conclusion you like. Perhaps the ‘general principle’ of section 23 should control our interpretation of the specific examples of reforms; perhaps it is the other other way around. The fact is, there is no coherent programme of reform in Sacrosanctum Concilium. Let’s not engage in make-believe. It is a compromise document with provisions pointing in different directions.
It was, however, interpreted by those appointed to interpret it, and the Novus Ordo Missae was signed off by Pope Paul VI. So what liturgical style are we guided towards by the official documents, documents of the ‘living magisterium’ as the conservatives like to call them, which accompanied and followed the promulgation of the new missal?…….
……..We need to face the fact: the magisterium’s own interpretation of Sacrosanctum Concilium is a moving target. It was quite different in the 1970s than it was by the mid 1990s. Who knows where it will be in ten years?
…….Those seeking, in Conciliar and post-conciliar documents, guidance on liturgical principles, with a view to the way Mass should be celebrated, and perhaps with a view to future reform, should stop right here. There is no single, coherent, vision of the liturgy in these documents. There is, instead, a debate. In the end, one side of this debate must win, and the other side must lose. [It’s been heavily back and forth since the 60s, as Shaw indicates in text not excerpted. The modernists dominated from the 60s through the 80s, but then the conservatives gained a stronger position in the 90s and 00s, not that much changed, practically speaking.]
I would like to appeal to the ‘reform of the reform’ writers, and to the progressives on Pray Tell and elsewhere: stop accusing each other (and traditional Catholics) of contradicting authoritative documents and the ‘real’ principles of Vatican II. On this subject, arguments from authority will get us nowhere.
The only way to think with the Church on the liturgy is to take a longer view: to look at what the Church has done, not over a few decades, but over millennia. The very idea of doing this, of course, contradicts the claim that everything up to 1965 was bad. But it is that idea, rather than an honest appraisal of the modern liturgical documents considered here, that is really troubling for the doctrine of the indefectability of the Church. If the Church was wrong up to 1965, why pay any attention to what she has said since then?
If you read through the entire piece, do you also come away with the impression that Shaw is recommending this: since Vatican II and the post-conciliar leadership have been blatantly contradictory on the Liturgy since 1965, we should mostly ignore their pronouncements and go back to the Church’s ancient understanding of the Mass and other Sacraments?
If so, that’s certainly something I can agree with. Not so much “rejecting” Vatican II, which has always been a meaningless canard, since the documents contain thousands of statements which can be twisted to say just about anything one wants them to, but ignoring the heterodox, novel portions therein. I’ve always favored the Japanese term mokusatsu, “to kill with silence.”
In fact, Shaw’s take is pretty sympathetic. A stronger stand would be that revolutionaries planned and/or hijacked a council, and targeted the Liturgy as their prime means of remaking the Faith. In other words, different religion.
All I know is, I plan on never assisting at a Novus Ordo again. I’m going to be in San Antonio next weekend. If there is no diocesan TLM, I’m going to St. Joseph’s.
Cover-up of perversion and sexual abuse in Hollywood goes back decades: why are we watching their product? May 24, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, disaster, error, General Catholic, horror, Revolution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society.
I read today that the man who was once America’s Favorite Dad, Bill Cosby, is going to face a criminal trial over the mass of evidence that he drugged, abused, and raped women for decades. Another revelation came out recently, from his own testimony in a previous civil trial, that he had “scouts” bring him a bevy of very young teen models for his perusal every day, and that he would select one or two to use for his sick pleasures. Hardly surprising, given the other evidence, but since this practice was self-admitted, and that there is evidence that some of the models may have been underage, this admission by Cosby could cause him even further well-deserved legal trouble.
But the truth is, Hollywood has known about Cosby’s sicko lusts for decades. I believe I have mentioned before that one of my best friend’s sisters was a Playboy Playmate. There’s a whole sordid tale about how that came to pass, but that’s not the point of this post. The point is, as a former Playboy Playmate, aspiring (but never successful) actress, and denizen of Hollywood, she had access to the Playboy Mansion owned by Hugh Hefner. This was a frequent gathering spot for former Playmates looking to party in a drug-soaked atmosphere with both major movie stars and the perennial Hollywood hangers-on. One of the most frequent guests at the Playboy Mansion during the 70s and 80s was one Bill Cosby.
So there I was at my best friend’s house one evening in 1991 or 1992, when his sister happened to be in town with her then-fiancée Miklos “Mickey” Hargitay, Jr. I don’t know how we got on the subject, maybe his show was on TV, but both mentioned how often they saw Bill Cosby at the Playboy Mansion back in the day. Even more, Mickey Jr., who I ran into several times, and who was a really cynical sort (I was told he was messed up from seeing his mother Jayne Mansfield decapitated right before his eyes in a terrible 1967 automobile accident), made a number of very disparaging comments about Cosby’s moral hypocrisy, how he “guessed he loves his wife Camille, now, because he sure didn’t seem to back when he was <using> 15 year olds three at a time in the mid-80s,” among other things.
Anyway, this was no big secret they had stumbled onto. Everybody who even occasionally attended the Playboy Mansion knew of Cosby’s habits, so notorious were they, and because virtually anyone who was anyone in Hollywood in that period (says, 60s-early 90s, at least) visited the Mansion at least occasionally, pretty much all of Hollywood knew what was up. They probably considered it no big deal, because many others had similar habits, whether criminal or not. Secrets like this are considered de rigueur in Hollyweird, I suppose.
For a bit more evidence of that, a number of child stars from the 60s through the 90s have alleged that child molestation is also extremely widespread, that the “casting couch” applies as much to children as it does to young adults seeking to “make it big.” Just recently, Lord of the Rings star Elijah Woods stated that child sex abuse was common in Hollywood (though he subsequently backtracked), only confirming previous claims from former child stars like Corey Haim and Corey Feldman, two youths who claim their train-wreck adult lives of addiction and worse were fostered by the abuse they suffered.
And it continues to this day. X-Men director/producer Bryan Singer may or may not have raped underage boys, but that he has a strong attraction for “barely legals” is beyond dispute. When allegations first surfaced, the Hollywood press reacted to the effect that everyone already knew this, and who cares?
Of course, these are only a few recent scandals. Hollywood has long played a pivotal role in the decline of moral standards in this country. Hollywood has been associated with moral depravity from its earliest days, whether through the perversion of major stars or “prosaic” serial divorce/adultery, the standard Hollywood set, through its massive cultural influence, provided a highly influential, highly negative example to tens of millions of Americans going back decades. Hollywood has helped normalize vice, perversion, and sin of all kinds. Even “good guys” like John Wayne, Ward Bond, or Clint Eastwood have led personal lives of highly dubious moral character.
Which leads me to my close: why the heck are we giving these sickos a dime of our money? I ask this question as much of myself as of anyone, because my kids like to have some of the recent kids movies and I have a few things I like to watch, too. If I watch anything these days, it’s mostly old westerns, but I do break down from time to time and see something “modern,” which I usually regret afterwards. Like skeinster has said in the comments, if we eschewed everything with a taint of immorality we’d have to live in a cave somewhere with no contact with the outside world. But watching movies and TV comes with an exceedingly high cultural, moral price.
I’m going to try like heck to no longer pay it. So no Captain America: Civil War for the kids, thanks to Disney leaning on Georgia to overturn their ban on men in women’s restrooms, which they unfortunately did.
So the Filipinos have elected a new president, it seems, a man who has made numerous virulently anti-Catholic statements, and who promises to institute a “3 child policy” (I don’t believe he has specified what penalties will occur if families “violate” the policy), divorce on demand and government-funded contraception.
Apparently, his hostility to the Faith did not prevent a plurality of nominally Catholic Filipinos (where roughly 80% of the population today claims the name Catholic, down from over 95% about 20 years ago) from voting for him. As in so many countries, so-called Catholics vote in their own persecutors – assuming, of course, these self-described Catholics even view these anti-Catholic policies and tirades as being opposed to the Faith, which, of course, they don’t (my emphasis and comments):
Philippine President-elect Rodrigo Duterte said he will defy the Roman Catholic Church and seek to impose a three-child policy, putting him on a new collision course with the bishops a day after he called them “sons of whores”……..
……..Duterte’s often outrageous comments have won him huge support and his tirades about killing criminals and a joke about a murdered rape victim do not appear to have dented his popularity in the largely Catholic country.
“I only want three children for every family,” Duterte said on Sunday in Davao City. “I’m a Christian, but I’m a realist so we have to do something with our overpopulation. I will defy the opinion or the belief of the Church.”……[Not clear on if this “Christian” Duterte claims to be a Catholic or protestant. Indications are that it is the latter, which, surprise! A protestant advocating for draconian governmental interference into the most intimate of spheres, the size of family and relations between husband and wife]
…….On Saturday, he criticized the Church as the “most hypocritical institution”, meddling in government policies and said some bishops were enriching themselves at the expense of the poor. [So, opposition to your evil policies = “meddling in government policies?” How many other tyrants have said similarly over the years?]
“You sons of whores, aren’t you ashamed? You ask so many favors, even from me,” Duterte said in an interview broadcast by TV station GMA.
Monsignor Oliver Mendoza, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Lingayen, whose head is the president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, said the Church respected Duterte’s opinion [is that how you respond when someone calls your mother a whore? You “respect their opinion?” That’s not an opinion but an insult, and unworthy of respect. This is a major problem, an indication of leadership far too willing to bow to the secular authority, and its certainly not limited to the Philippines] but that it would continue to speak against government policies that are contrary to Church teaching. [But even after you have done your duty, say, we are unprofitable servants, for we have only done what was required of us]
…..Political analysts said they were not surprised at Duterte’s statements because some bishops spoke out against him during the election campaign. [Only some. Shocking, I know. And thus his successful election? So where does uber-progressive and Francis confidante Cardinal Tagle stand on this?]
“Like most liberal, secular politicians, Duterte is a deist,” said Joselito Zulueta of the University of Santo Tomas. “This in itself is a self-serving position conceived out of human conceit. He will do as he pleases except when he’s stopped by public criticism.” [Well, someone knows the truth! And a Catholic university professor, of all people! I need my fainting couch!]
He said Duterte’s government was expected to clash more with the Catholic Church not only on population issues, but on the restoration of death penalty, legalization of divorce and planned distribution of contraceptives. [Which, if it occurs, means legalizing abortion within a few years, to deal with the “problem” of contraceptive failure (which failures are guaranteed and frequent). Legalized abortion is also necessary to insure a “3 child policy.” You can see where this diabolical plot is headed]
And once again we see bishops expending their limited and dwindling political capital on matters like the death penalty, on which the Church has spoken clearly until the last 40 years or so. The state has always had the right of the sword, according to the Church, and while there may be prudential reasons to oppose the application of the death penalty in a given country either generally or on specific occasions, proclaiming it to be an intrinsic evil, as is generally done by Church leadership today, is simply not reconcilable with the Doctrine of the Faith.
That may sound like picking nits, but it’s not. For as many people as a particular bishop, or even Francis, may turn on by making prudential matters into dogmatic ones, or elevating the progressive political platform into a pretended doctrine, they turn at least that many more off. Even more, the confusion this causes undermines the Church’s moral authority in ALL spheres and can be a precipitating factor in souls falling away.
Which gets down to the root question: is this a feature or bug of the post-conciliar paradigm?
In the light of Pope Francis’ incredible statements made last week, seeming to attribute mortal sin to “bloodsucking” employers who fail to provide what he feels are adequate wages and, more specifically, health insurance, it is reported (link to Crux) that the average Vatican employee makes $22,000 a year, and this in Rome, one of the more expensive places in the world to live. If you assume a 40 hour work week (indications below are that many work much more than that) and 52 weeks work a year (the article also claims most receive no paid vacation), that works out to just over $10.50 an hour, about what a moderately experienced grocery store clerk makes. However, this income is supposed to be tax free, the impact of which is unclear to me in real terms. In the US, people who make under $45k a year rarely pay any income tax, anyway, but I’m not certain of the situation in Italy.
Some additional details:
…..The Vatican has a working force of roughly 4,600 employees, three quarters of which are lay people. The overall annual budget is around $300 million, with salaries and benefits being the largest single expense. [We don’t know, from the data presented here, just how much of that $300 mil goes to salary. If we can assume 2/3 of the total Vatican annual budget goes to personnel costs, and that would probably be a bit high given many other expenses, the “average” salary+benefits cost per employee would equal ~$43500 a year – pretty durned low, especially in Rome]
……The net result is that the average Vatican employee makes around $22,000 a year, tax free.
That may seem shockingly low by American standards, but for those already in the system it’s at least a secure source of employment: Odds are, the Vatican is never going out of business. [Does it seem shockingly low to you? Seems pretty low to me]
Under the Vatican’s labor law, it’s also virtually impossible to get fired……….
……..Those working with a full-time contract get a pension and health care, though anyone living in Italy for more than three months and who registers with the National Health Services is eligible for free or low-cost health care along with their families, university students and retirees.
Things have gotten considerably more difficult for many lay Vatican employees since February 2014, when the Vatican announced an immediate end to new hires and imposed a freeze on wage-increases and overtime in an effort to cut costs and offset budget shortfalls.
Pope Francis, with input from the Vatican’s central accounting office, also determined that volunteers could be used to help provide the labor needed to make up for the hiring freeze and eventual attrition.
According to four Vatican lay employees, all of whom asked to remain unnamed, the freeze has created new ways in which laity face exploitation.
In truth, new lay people are still being hired to work in the Vatican, but under what are known as “religious contracts.” These contracts are supposed to be for religious men and women coming to Rome to fulfill a specific task, for a period ranging from 10 months to a year. [Which would seem dubious to start with. Also a sad sign of the continued collapse of religious life?]
Since religious communities normally provide health insurance, pension and benefits, the Vatican doesn’t have to cover them, and doesn’t do so for a lay employee hired under these contracts. [So that notional $22,000 salary does not even include the single largest additional cost to employers – health insurance?]
This is the case of many people working today at Vatican Radio, for instance, or the Vatican Museums.
In most cases, the employees add, people under these contracts end up working for many years, with no benefits, no guaranteed vacation days or no health insurance, hoping to eventually see their situation regularized. [My goodness. If true, wow. Hypocrisy much?]
Now, this is one report, not exactly the gold standard for reliability, but nevertheless, if even somewhat true, this would reveal a huge dichotomy between the rhetoric we are treated to, and the reality of how Francis runs the Vatican administration as a sort of religious CEO. It would mean, in essence, that Francis has condemned himself with his words. And not for the first time, I might add.
There could of course be true mitigating circumstances, a perceived need to balance the Vatican books, the collapse in religious fervor leading a general decrease in donations to Peter’s Pence (for which, it can be said, Francis shares a growing responsibility), perhaps some dire and unseen funding/debt difficulties – all of which apply to private “bloodsuckers” just as much as they do to the Vatican. Meaning, that while the seemingly low pay of Vatican employees, and using less than perfectly just means to keep employee costs down, can perhaps be excused or explained away, they cannot be squared with the rhetoric declaring others who do exactly the same things for perhaps even better reasons to be mortally sinful.
A skeptic might add that such behavior, however, would be thoroughly in line with the Peronist oligarchical populists of Argentina, who loved to condemn the rich as evil and show themselves to be the friend of the poor common working man, even while obscenely enriching themselves, often at the expense of the poor.
Thankfully, I am not a skeptic.
h/t reader “ediegrey”
He began the week by pretending to see deep inside the heart of every business person who fails to provide health insurance, and finding mortal sin (not a safe link, goes to Distorter). He finished by implying that Christ actually gave His blessing to divorce, rather than castigating it in the harshest terms. Before I get to the quotes, can I just say, someone capable of turning Scripture and Tradition this upside down and placing it at war with itself, is capable of literally anything.
First, today’s debacle, Franky George Bergoglio making Christ a liar in order to further his modernist-progressive deconstruction of the Church:
This morning Pope Francis gave a homily at Casa Santa Marta where he appeared to claim that Jesus approved of the Mosaic Law on divorce on the grounds of mercy. Or, as Francis put it, Jesus enunciated the “official” truth while then going above it or beyond it in order to engage in accompaniment, integration and discernment.
This is of course the very opposite of what is described in Matthew 19 and Mark 10. It is the Pharisees who attempt to use the Mosaic Law to justify divorce. And it is Jesus who rebukes them for it.
The Pope is fond of accusing his enemies of “casuistry” but it is he who consistently engages in it. This twisting of one of the most famous exchanges in the New Testament is striking in its attempt to mislead.
That would be to prevaricate, to obfuscate the Truth with deliberate intent to mislead. Is that what Francis is doing?
I am of two minds, kind of. My rational, evidentiary side says: absolutely! These 60s Jesuits are not dumb. They know precisely what they are doing, and they do it for very specific reasons, to force the Church to fit into their ideological preferences. They have been at this game for a long time, and the consistency of their arguments and willingness to make both themselves and Christ liars from one moment to the next – whichever they perceive as aiding their progressive cause the most – shows them to be agendized ideologues in single-minded pursuit of a goal.
But the other part – the merciful part – of me says, well, maybe he’s imbibed such hideous, nonsensical, contrarian nonsense for so long, Francis is not only incapable of consistent reasoning, he doesn’t even realize when he’s turning logic and the plain meaning of Scripture on its head.
I have a very hard time believing that, however. The twists and turns of Francis’ logic are simply too consistent, and too aligned with a particular goal in mind, to be honest mistakes of zeal and bad formation. That is to say, it’s well past time my doubts have been taken out behind the woodshed, and put down.
According to the National Catholic Reporter, the pontiff made the comments while delivering a homily at Casa Santa Marta on Thursday evening. He reportedly outlined a hypothetical situation in which a business employs someone from September to June but denies them health care coverage during their tenure. Francis observed that when the job ends, the worker “must eat air.”
“Exploitation of people today is a true slavery,” the pope said, referring to the suffering of workers who aren’t treated fairly. “We thought that slaves do not exist anymore. They exist. It’s true, people don’t go to Africa to take them and then sell them in America, no. But it’s in our cities.”
“Living off the blood of the people: This is a mortal sin,” he added. “And it takes much patience, much restitution to convert ourselves from this sin.”
As usual, Francis fails to make a direct point. He strongly implies, however, that failing to pay what he feels are sufficient wages (whatever that means), or only employing people on a seasonal, need-based basis (so teachers are mistreated?), or failing to provide health insurance, constitute a mortal sin.
Note the dichotomy, and note the perfect correlation with progressive (Leftist) thought: sins of the flesh are infinitely excusable, if they are even sins at all (and not occasions for “accompaniment” and “mercy”), while prudential matters that may or may not be sinful, being entirely dependent on circumstance, are not just sins, but mortal sins. Whatever happened to “who am I to judge?”
Anyway, I don’t want to beat this horse too much. As I said at the top, every stinkin’ week it’s the same thing, some new outrage, some new attack. I don’t think it any coincidence that the despicable Fr. Thomas Rosica went on the offensive this week against Catholic blogs, either, castigating them/us for everything from being a “cesspool of hatred, venom, and vitriol,” to being “very disturbed, broken, and angry individuals who never found a pulpit in real life.” Once again, where is the mercy, where is the accompaniment, where the endless apologias? The truth is, those are reserved for those who serve, or advance, the ideological agenda. Opponents will be crushed.
Talk to the Franciscans of the Immaculate about that. They weren’t even given the chance to be opponents of the new authoritarian regime, they were cdestroyed in advance as warning to all others.
It’s all about power with these people. Power, and ideology.