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Thursday, December 16, 2004

Cardinal Ratzinger on Voting, Abortion, and Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion
Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.
Ratzinger couldn't make it much more clear: abortion and euthanasia are far greater issues than any other. Will the liberals ever listen? Probably not, since this would mean they can't vote Democratic and that's what their Catholicism really seems to be about sometimes. They're not Catholics who are registered Democrats; they're Democrats who attend (or not) a Catholic Mass on Sundays.

COMEDY CENTRAL - Be Careful What you wish for
The bill's coming due for Red Sox fans. Very funny.

Happy Beethoven's Birthday!

I know one person who is very happy:

Today's Peanuts strip:

Check out a great on-line classical music station: Beethoven.com.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

"On every question of construction carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed." --Thomas Jefferson

"[W]hen no risk is taken there is no freedom. It is thus that, in an industrial society, the plethora of laws made for our personal safety convert the land into a nursery, and policemen hired to protect us become self-serving busybodies." --Alan Watts

"Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution and to the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster and what has happened once in 6,000 years, may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution, for if the American Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throughout the world." --Daniel Webster

"National ID cards are not proper in a free society. This is America, not Soviet Russia. The federal government should never be allowed to demand papers from American citizens, and it certainly has no constitutional authority to do so." --Rep. Ron Paul

"It is now, and always will be, the primary duty of the President of the United States to protect and preserve our nation, our people, and our interests with or without the UN. We must lead, because no one else can. The UN could follow, but it chooses not to do so." --Jed Babbin

"Republicans will continue to win as long as Democrats remain the first party of big government. That wouldn't be so bad, if only Republicans would stop being the second party of big government." --Paul Jacob

"Citizens of this country have every right to say that David, Jonathan, and Daniel were gay or that Ruth was a lesbian. I strongly support the rights of leftists to damage their credibility by saying stupid things in public." --Mike Adams

Holiday Snowglobe
This is just fun to play with.

Via The Corner.

Rhythm of the Scripture Readings
For those of you who, like me, always wondered how they pick the reading for Mass.
In the early Church the readings were usually organized on a simple basis of continuity; that is, they took off from where they had finished the previous Sunday.

As the liturgical year developed, certain readings began to be reserved for certain feast days and seasons and so a thematic cycle developed.

When the Second Vatican Council asked for the selection of readings used at Mass to be increased, the experts took inspiration from the two ancient methods of continuity and thematic readings.

For Sundays they developed a three-year cycle, one for each synoptic gospel: A for Matthew, B for Mark (with five readings from St. John, Chapter 6, inserted after the 16th Sunday), and C for Luke. So during Ordinary time each Sunday Gospel continues on from the previous week.

The New Testament readings also follow this continual system, the Letters of St. Paul and St. James being read during Ordinary time because those of John and Peter are read during Christmas and Easter.

This continuous system is why they do not always seem to fit in well with the Gospel.

The Old Testament reading (or the Acts of the Apostles during Eastertide) and the responsorial psalm are chosen so as to somehow relate to the Gospel text.

During Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter and on solemnities all three readings are chosen so as to highlight the particular spiritual message of the season.

With respect to the daily readings: during Ordinary time all four Gospels are read using a semi-continual system during the course of the year. Mark weeks 1-9; Matthew 10-12; and Luke 22-34.

St. John's Gospel is read semi-continuously, above all, during part of Lent and almost all of Eastertide on both Sundays and weekdays.

Thus almost all of Mark 1-12 is read, then the texts of Matthew and Luke that are not found in Mark.

The first daily reading, taken from either Testament, also uses a semi-continuous system organized in a two-year cycle for odd and even numbered years.

The New Testament readings offer the substance of almost all the letters whereas the Old Testament readings offer a selection of the most important elements of each book. Almost all of the books are represented except some brief prophets and the Song of Songs.

Toward the end of the year the reading come from Revelation and Daniel, which fit well with the apocalyptic sermons from Luke.

Unlike the readings for ordinary time the daily readings of Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter have been chosen to relate to each other and to reflect the liturgical season.

A special characteristic of Eastertide is the reading from the Acts of the Apostles as first reading every day.

They also repeat the same readings each year and are not divided into an even-odd cycle.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Scott Peterson Death Penalty Discussion
I found this conversation interesting for the following train of thought which a few people expressed: "We're glad he got the death penalty since it states clearly that we don't want someone like him as a part of our society; I just hope it's never carried out." (This is a link to a Catholic blog.)

I definitely understand the feeling: this guy deserves to die for killing his wife and unborn child, but we don't want him to since the death penalty is wrong except when there's no other way to defend society. It's an interesting thought I'll have to reflect upon more.

CNN.com - Delay sought in Ohio electoral vote - Dec 13, 2004
You lost. MoveOn.

Worthy nominee for Best Corner Post of the Year
Kathryn: Never mind Mars & Venus, how about Juno, Minerva, and Venus? I am speaking, of course, of the Judgement of Paris, when that dimwitted Trojan prince was supposed to say which of the three goddesses was fairest. They all tried to bribe him, of course: Juno offered many fair states and cities, Minerva glory in war, and Venus offered him the most beautiful woman in the world for his bed. Paris, doofus that he was, went for Venus's offer. Unfortunately the most beautiful woman in the world was Helen, currently married to the king of Argos... and hence the Trojan War etc. etc. Juno was seriously ticked off at not having been chosen ("spretaeque iniuria formae" etc for all you Virgil fans), took against the Trojans, and tossed poor Aeneas about on land and sea.

My point? We might have been spared the whole business if only Juno could have offered Paris *POWER TOOLS*.

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Japanese men lap up new comfort
This is just sad.

Monday, December 13, 2004

"One single object...[will merit] the endless gratitude of the society: that of restraining the judges from usurping legislation." --Thomas Jefferson

"The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living, and the get-rich-quick theory of life." --Theodore Roosevelt

"Prayer is the single most powerful tool we have on Earth. And yet so many people misunderstand it -- or ignore it altogether. Prayer is our ability to talk directly to God -- and to listen to God tell us how to live our lives. Those who ignore prayer -- and God, too -- are missing the best part of life." --John LeBoutillier

"[T]his hyper-sensitivity to religious minorities requires gross insensitivity to America's majority religion. You know, the one that begins with a 'C.' Since at least 9 out of 10 taxpayers are Christians, they foot the bill for a public education system on a search-and-destroy mission against even the mildest expressions of their holidays. America was founded by Christians and based on Judeo-Christian values. The signers of the Declaration of Independence and drafters of the Constitution all were Christians -- not Buddhists, or Wiccans or Zoroastrians. Were it not for Protestant Christianity, we wouldn't have limited government, separation of powers, a Bill of Rights or religious tolerance. In short, without Christians, the United States of America would not exist. Even in an age when traditional religion is driven underground, our currency still says 'One nation under God' -- not one nation under Allah or Shiva. On January 22nd, like all of his predecessors, George W. Bush will take the oath of office on a Bible that tells the story of the Nativity." --Don Feder

"[I]f there's four words I never want to hear again, it's 'prescription drugs from Canada.' I'm Canadian, so I know a thing or two about prescription drugs from Canada. Specifically speaking, I know they're American; the only thing Canadian about them is the label in French and English. How can politicians from both parties think that Americans can get cheaper drugs simply by outsourcing...their distribution through a Canadian mailing address? U.S. pharmaceutical companies put up with Ottawa's price controls because it's a peripheral market. But, if you attempt to extend the price controls from the peripheral market of 30 million people to the primary market of 300 million people, all that's going to happen is that after approximately a week and a half there aren't going to be any drugs in Canada, cheap or otherwise -- just as the Clinton administration's intervention into the flu-shot market resulted in American companies getting out of the vaccine business entirely." --Mark Steyn

"Yes, in a sense it would be easier if progressives and other Leftists never co-opted the word 'liberal,' which historically means someone in favor of a limited government and maximized economic and political freedom. But I am not optimistic that the media or academia will ever lift a finger to clarify the confusion over all of this. It's just too easy to describe the bad guys as conservatives and the conservatives as bad guys." --Jonah Goldberg

"If John McCain had his way the federal government would control every phase of our lives from our political system to our sports. Which is why, Republican or not, I wouldn't vote for him for president if he were the only person running. McCain, who inflicted the notorious McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform measure on the nation, thus bringing about the rise of the 527 political organizations, now wants to control organized baseball. He is threatening to introduce legislation that would ban the use of muscle-building, performance-enhancing steroids. Somebody should introduce legislation banning McCain. Now, I don't approve of athletes using steroids. I think it is cheating. I think it warps the record book. I think it is wrong. But I approve even less of government, including the Congress, butting in where it doesn't belong. And it sure as heck doesn't have any business regulating how baseball is played, by whom it is played and under what conditions it is played, and what legal substances a player can ingest. The steroid problem is baseball's problem, it is not the problem of the federal government." --Lyn Nofziger

"A 1990 Gallup survey for the National Endowment of the Humanities, given to a representative sample of 700 college seniors, found that 25 percent did not know that Columbus landed in the Western Hemisphere before the year 1500, 42 percent could not place the Civil War in the correct half-century, and 31 percent thought Reconstruction came after World War II. In 1993, a Department of Education survey found that, among college graduates, 50 percent of whites and more than 80 percent of blacks couldn't state in writing the argument made in a newspaper column or use a bus schedule to get on the right bus, 56 percent could not calculate the right tip, 57 percent could not figure out how much change they should get back after putting down $3 to pay for a 60-cent bowl of soup and a $1.95 sandwich, and over 90 percent could not use a calculator to find the cost of carpeting a room. But not to worry. The American Council of Trustees and Alumni's 1999 survey of seniors at the nation's top 55 liberal arts colleges and universities found that 98 percent could identify rap artist Snoop Doggy Dogg and Beavis and Butt-Head, but only 34 percent knew George Washington was the general at the battle of Yorktown. Americans as donors and taxpayers have been exceedingly generous to our universities. Given our universities' gross betrayal of trust, Americans should rethink their generosity as well as rethink who serves on boards of trustees that, in dereliction of duty, permit universities to become hotbeds of political activism and academic fraud. There are a few universities where there's still integrity and academic honesty, and they don't cost an arm and a leg. Among them are: Grove City College, Pa., Hillsdale College, Mich., Franciscan University, Steubenville, Iowa, and others listed at the Web page of Young America's Foundation." --Walter Williams

Jay Nordlinger on Christmas on National Review Online
Coincidentally, this is something I had planned to write about anyway. We're not in a holiday season right now. We're in the Christmas season. We should say "Merry Christmas!," not "Happy Holidays!"

What are the other holidays at this time? Hanukkah? A minor holiday blown out of proportion since Jewish kids got jealous over their Christian friends receiving gifts. (According to my Jewish over the years.) Kwanzaa? Don't get me started.

It's Christmas time people. Those trying to remove mention of it are little better than the Grinch.

Jay Nordlinger's Impromptus on National Review Online
He's just great.

T-shirts worn by a Bush supporter walking in Central Park:
"BUSH WINS! Protecting Your A** Whether You Want Him To or Not." (That's my favorite — profound, actually.)

"BUSH WINS! 'I can't believe that some uneducated southern redneck's vote counts as much as mine' — Anonymous Upper West Sider, 9/20/04."

"I Dun Voted for Bush. I Iz Stew Ped! — Dartmouth College, Class of 1973."

And "Dalton Parents Congratulate Bush/Cheney on Their Election Mandate!"

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