Deborah Gyapong: August 2008

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Tokenism it ain't--it's character and narrative

It's interesting that many on the Democratic side and some on the Republican side are calling the Palin VP pick "tokenism" or a nod towards "diversity" and so on.

I frankly don't think that's what tipped the balance for McCain. I think he sees in Palin a kindred spirit, someone with proven character to make hard, even potentially painful choices, to buck the establishment when principles are at stake and who brings a Washington outsider's fresh perspective to Washington. If Sarah Palin were a white male with a similar narrative, I think McCain would have chosen him.

Here's an interesting line by line comparison of Palin's experience and Obama's.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The sexists start coming out of the woodwork

Andrew Sullivan is one:

Do you really believe that Sarah Palin understands the distinctions between Shia and Sunni, has an opinion about the future of Pakistan, has a view of how to exploit rifts within Tehran's leadership, knows about the tricky task of securing loose nuclear weapons? Does anyone even know if she has ever expressed a view on these matters? Here's a bleg: can anyone direct me to any statement she has ever made about foreign policy?

Duh? Her son is fighting over in Iraq. I suspect she knows about these things. And Russia is thirty miles away from her home state.

Victor Davis Hansen on Obama

After the Victory Column, and a Greek temple, what can one expect from Obama during the Republican convention–Mt. Rushmore?

Mark Steyn is baaaaack ---and he likes Palin

Welcome back, Mark. I am sure I'm not the only one who missed you!

Over at The Corner, he weights in on Gov. Sarah Palin as VP:

Next to her resume, a guy who's done nothing but serve in the phony-baloney job of "community organizer" and write multiple autobiographies looks like just another creepily self-absorbed lifelong member of the full-time political class that infests every advanced democracy.

Second, it can't be in Senator Obama's interest for the punditocracy to spends its time arguing about whether the Republicans' vice-presidential pick is "even more" inexperienced than the Democrats' presidential one.

Third, real people don't define "experience" as appearing on unwatched Sunday-morning talk shows every week for 35 years and having been around long enough to have got both the War on Terror and the Cold War wrong.

Heh heh heh.

Horrific Christian persecution ignored by the mainstream media

Horrible, horrible anti-Christian persecution is going on in India. Ron Dreher has linked to some awful details. But this jumped out at me from his blog post. Go over there and read all about it and follow the links from his site:

Until I saw the link on Amy Welborn's blog, the only thing I'd read about any of this violence was a story deep inside the New York Times earlier in the week, with the headline: "Faiths Clash, Displacing Thousands in East India." Ah, yes, "faiths clash;" what's next for the Times, reporting a gang rape by saying, "Sexes clash"? I've noticed this over the years when the MSM reports on violence members of other religions inflict on a Christian minority in a faraway land: they tend to present it as Just One of Those Things -- that is, as if there really were no victims, only clashing parties.

The Anchoress on generosity of spirit

The Anchoress writes (go to her site so the links will work):

In watching the coverage of John McCain’s choice of Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, I thought about generosity and the lack thereof and how they play out, and what sort of payback they bring you in the universe.

What I mean is, yesterday, on the fourth day of the Democrat National Convention, John McCain made an ad congratulating Obama - and the Obama campaign appreciated it and wished he would do more ads like those. McCain didn’t have to do that, but he did, and it was a fairly classy thing to do. No, not classy, it generous. It showed a generosity of spirit.

Today, McCain named Palin, and Obama’s first reaction was ungracious and ungenerous.

That got cleaned up and reconsidered, and Obama even took the corrective further, by calling Palin to congratulate her, but first responses often tell us what is in the heart, and the heart of the Obama campaign lacked generosity.

Barack Obama does not easily show much generosity of spirit. He has thrown a lot of people under the bus, when political expediency has demanded it, but I’m thinking specifically of his lack of generosity toward Hillary Clinton, when she suspended her campaign. His coffers are full-to-overflowing, but he did not offer to help Clinton’s debts from them. Instead, he said he’d ask his supporters to cover Hillary’s debts, but then - when the time came - he forgot to do that.

I'm afraid that B'nai Brith still doesn't get it

While B'nai Brith is sounding the alarm about political Islam and how proponents are subverting human rights commissions to stifle freedoms, it still supports human rights "hate speech" provisions.

Ezra Levant compared the organizations stand to George Orwell's "doublethink." I'm afraid Levant is right, as much as I am favorably disposed to B'nai Brith.

Joseph Brean has a piece in today's National Post about B'nai Brith's critique of human rights commissions:

Mr. Fatah described the Islamist strategy as two-fold. Non-Muslim critics of Islam are labelled "Islamophobic," which is equated in the public mind with racism, one of the most serious accusations in civil society. Muslim critics, however, such as Mr. Fatah himself, are labelled "apostates," which he called a "hidden death threat."

It is this context that Canada's human rights commissions have failed to appreciate, the B'nai Brith report says.

It singles out Barbara Hall, chief commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, for her "egregious" and "appalling" treatment of the complaint against Maclean's, which she dismissed as out of her jurisdiction, but went on to denounce the magazine for racism. Mr. Matas said this "made a human rights threat more acute."

In addition to better education and training, the report calls for substantial procedural reforms, including the awarding of costs to successful defendants, a prohibition on filing the same complaint in multiple jurisdictions, formal guarantees of due process, the right to disclosure and the right to know one's accuser.

Those would be major improvements. But they would in effect make the tribunals real courts.
The open-ended "thought crimes" provisions in human rights legislation, however, are the problem, since they are so lacking in specifics, so open-ended, so subjective that they give government agencies a carte blanche to harass any group or person who happens to be "out" or "politically incorrect." Doesn't B'nai Brith realize the political Islamists are only following the hijacking of the system by anti-family, secular fundamentalist zealots who have systematically a attacked Christianity?

But B'nai Brith still defends this legislation, according to Brean.

Free speech is "the media's favourite human right," the report reads, and "those who advocate freedom of expression often go on to deny the equal right to be protected from advocacy of hatred.... The Holocaust did not begin with censorship. It began with hate speech. Auschwitz was built with words. The killing fields of Cambodia were sowed with slogans. The genocide of Rwanda was spread by radio. Bosnia was ethnically cleansed by television."

This is where they are wrong. The Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, the Cambodian killing fields began not with hate slogans, but government led campaigns to wipe out targeted enemies. The slogans came from government bodies; the slogans did not create the government bodies.
The hate speech of the Nazis was prohibited before they gained power. Then those censorship laws were used to prevent dissent against their heinous regime.

We need protection from government suppression of rights, because it is totalitarian power that leads to genocide, not freedom of speech. Human rights commissions are promoting hatred against Christians, systematically marginalizing them and painting them as haters. Doesn't B'nai Brith have a problem with that? Or do they only want to make sure nothing can be said against the Jewish people, as if they are the only group that is vulnerable to hatred? Christians have been experiencing government-sponsored hate for over eight years now, including attacks from Liberal prime ministers in election campaigns.

I mean, really, Bosnia ethnically cleansed by television? Get real. Bosnia was ethnically cleansed by government troops and sympathetic militias: people with guns and bombs.

More needs to be done now to disarm government power to take away the rights of citizens.

The Rwandan genocide was orchestrated and planned. It did not happen because some radio station started making hateful remarks against Tutsis. The hateful remarks were part of the program. They did not create it.

It's about character, stupid

Remember the old Clinton election slogan "It's the economy, stupid!"

I have thought for a long time the most important slogan in any election is "It's about character, stupid!"

And character trumps experience. I would put her character up against say former U.S. President Jimmy Carter's experience aka. appeasement towards terrorist enemies any day.

That's why I'm thrilled about Gov. Sarah Palin as a vice presidential pick and I have no concerns about her lack of foreign policy experience. She has character, a proven record of making tough, costly, choices both personally and professionally.

So does Senator John McCain.

With the foundational character in place, the rest will fit together. The details---the names of the capital cities in the 'stans, whether a leader is a president or a prime minister, is not as important as whether one gets the big picture principles right.

We need to get back to big picture principles. Even the economy depends on the good character of the business actors. We need to have leaders who inspire us by showing that yes, making the tough choices for what's good, even if they are personally costly, are what builds self-esteem.

I was up in Centre Block in the Hotroom yesterday where journalists hang out when McCain announced his VP pick. You can tell something's happening when all the journalists stop working and cluster around the TV set.

Many were wishing they could get reassigned to cover the U.S. election. They were lamenting how boring the Canadian election was going to be.

Tell me, folks, who would you rather have dealing with Putin or Ahmedinejad? Sarah Palin or Barack Obama? (or Joe Biden with that irritating grin) Clarity and character vs. nuance and image? I can't wait for the debates. I am stocking up on popcorn.

Friday, August 29, 2008

My feature on REAL Women is up at Western Catholic Reporter

REAL Women of Canada was conceived in 1981 during debate over Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Gwendolyn Landolt and her friends grew disturbed when the only voices representing women were "just a bunch of feminists" with government funding, she said in an interview.

"The women of Canada demand so-and-so in the Charter," was the refrain Landolt kept hearing via the news media.

"Has anyone ever asked the women of Canada?" she said.

When the Liberal's Status of Women Minister Judy Erola announced there would be no tax credits for women who chose to stay at home, Landolt knew there had to be an alternate voice.

At first Landolt and six friends met informally around her kitchen table. "We were very aware at the time the family was in a state of crisis," said the Catholic mother of five who is also a lawyer and former Crown prosecutor. "We felt the fragmentation of the family was the major cause of disruption in society."

Harper government caves on Unborn Victims bill

An apparent attempt by the Conservative government to keep abortion out of the next federal election has shocked and disappointed pro-life Canadians.

Amid rumours of an October federal election, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson Aug. 25 distanced the government from Edmonton Sherwood Park MP Ken Epp's Unborn Victims of Crime Bill.

"We've heard criticisms from across the country including representatives from the medical community that Mr. Epp's bill as presently drafted could be interpreted as instilling fetal rights," Nicholson said.

"Let me be clear. Our government will not reopen the debate on abortion."

But one pro-life leader said Nicholson, a Catholic, moved beyond the Conservative Party's previous refusal to take a stand one way or another on abortion.

"He definitely entered the abortion debate - on the side of the pro-abortion camp," said Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) president Jim Hughes. "(Epp's) private members' bill had a real chance of being passed and the Conservatives are denying the humanity of the child in the womb."

I guess "treason" is a concept no one understands anymore

Blazing Cat Fur has a link to a video produced by Al Jazeera, featuring Canada's Avi Lewis hosting, that has a U.S. anti-war veteran saying on air:

"Our Hope is That Our Strategy Will Actually Topple Our Military From Within”

This veteran and his anti-military crew were part of the festivities around Barack Obama's nomination festivities yesterday. You need to listen to the very end to hear the money quote.

Will Obama distance himself from those kinds of remarks? I sure hope he does.

B'nai Brith faces its own hate speech complaint

Joseph Brean breaks the story in today's National Post:

B'nai Brith Canada revealed yesterday it is the defendant in a hate speech case at the Manitoba Human Rights Commission that is based on anonymous and vague accusations of Islamophobia and has taken nearly five years to investigate.

"The [Manitoba] Human Rights Commission itself is supposed to be promoting human rights, but in our view in this process it's violating some pretty basic rights: a secret proceeding, a faceless accuser, failure to disclose documents. These are basic procedural rights that are being violated," said David Matas, a prominent human rights lawyer and senior legal counsel to B'nai Brith.

The Jewish human rights group has long been co-operative with and supportive of Canada's human rights commissions, but has recently called for reform to prevent their hijacking as a political platform. This is the first and only time it has been named as a respondent in a hate speech case.


Ezra Levant, a blogger who leads the campaign against human rights commissions, said in an e-mail that B'nai Brith, which has intervened to support hate speech laws in other cases, "has been a party to some of the grossest violations in due process themselves."

"All I can say is: What goes around comes around," he wrote. "It's a bit rich for [B'nai Brith] to discover their love of natural justice now."

Obama--the good and the bad

From FrontPageMagazine:

It is only fair to acknowledge that Obama’s nomination stands as a significant benchmark in American history: it is the first time that a black American has been selected by a major U.S. party to bear its standard for the presidency. If the relentless harping on this point by Democratic operatives is not exactly disinterested, that makes it no less admirable. Just as significant, the nomination is a tribute to the impressive political skills of a man whose name was largely unknown as recently as four years ago. To go from a humbling defeat in a congressional race against Black Panther Bobby Rush in 2000 to clinching the Democratic Party’s nomination just eight years later is a singular political feat.

Both themes were neatly highlighted in the biographical video that preceded Obama’s speech. In it, Obama affectionately recalled his grandfather’s dictum that Americans “can do anything if we put our minds to it.” Echoing his grandfather’s wisdom, Obama affirmed that what the country needs most is to “make sure opportunity is there.” There is no better proof of the truth of that statement than the political success of the man making it.

All the more jarring, then, that this introduction was followed by a speech that dispensed with the do-it-yourself ethos of Obama’s grandfather in favor of a nanny-state liberalism that sees government intervention as the only reliable guarantor of success. True, Obama acknowledged that “government cannot solve all our problems,” and that “we are responsible for ourselves.” But these concessions seemed merely symbolic, as the bulk of his speech counted the realms – the environment, the economy, healthcare, the housing market, education, etc. – where government could expand its reach. Aside from a single remark about parental responsibility, which would be controversial to no one save Rev. Jesse Jackson and the more aggressive peddlers of racial grievance, it was not clear where, if anywhere, a President Obama would be prepared to place limits on government action.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Signs of the future of the First Amendment under Obama?

The station, WGN, has made a stream of the broadcast available online, here, and it has to be heard to be believed. Obama’s robotic legions dutifully jammed the station’s phone lines and inundated the program with emails, attacking Kurtz personally. Pressed by Rosenberg to specify what inaccuracies Kurtz was guilty of, caller after caller demurred, mulishly railing that “we just want it to stop,” and that criticism of Obama was “just not what we want to hear as Americans.” Remarkably, as Obama sympathizers raced through their script, they echoed the campaign’s insistence that it was Rosenberg who was “lowering the standards of political discourse” by having Kurtz on, rather than the campaign by shouting him down.

Kurtz has obviously hit a nerve. It is the same nerve hit by the American Issues Project, whose television ad calling for examination of the Obama/Ayers relationship has prompted the Obama campaign to demand that the Justice Department begin a criminal investigation. Obama fancies himself as “post-partisan.” He is that only in the sense that he apparently brooks no criticism. This episode could be an alarming preview of what life will be like for the media should the party of the Fairness Doctrine gain unified control of the federal government next year.

GREAT piece by Lea Singh in the National Post

Read the whole thing. Here's an excerpt:

Hold the horses. Conscientious objection won’t automatically strip a doctor
of his licence. The policy goes on to say that such an objection may be OK if
the doctor has communicated clearly and promptly with the patient, given
information about access to another doctor and treated the patient with respect.
Of course, these criteria are as vague as they are subjective, and a doctor
might rightly worry that the CPSO has far too much interpretive power here in
deciding the fate of his license. Follow your conscience at your own risk.

But the most disturbing section of the policy has been largely overlooked.
What does the CPSO mean by treating the patient with respect? “This means that
physicians should not express personal judgments about the beliefs, lifestyle,
identity or characteristics” of a patient, “should not promote their own
religious beliefs” or “seek to convert” their patients.

I’m on board with the second and third part, but what does it mean for a doctor to “not express personal judgments,” even about a patient’s lifestyle? Traditionally, we’ve always looked to doctors for guidance on how to live our lives in healthy ways.
When we go to the doctor, we expect guidance and commentary such as “you’d
better stop eating those greasy fries.”

But now, the doc has to worry about offending us when talking about our lifestyle choices. Of course, it won’t be the fries comments that get doctors in trouble. But it could be the comments about the increased risks of certain types of intercourse, or
premarital sexual activity or the negative effects of abortion on women.

Is any of this a surprise? The CPSO policy is beginning to take on the
familiar markings of an age-old quest to silence those who might point out the
problems with our problematic conduct.

The Globe has a piece about the Ontario Human Rights Commission

Murray Cambpell writes:

Ontario has overhauled its human-rights system, but the question that
remains is whether Mark Steyn is still in trouble. The answer isn't clear yet,
but he would be wise to keep his lawyers on speed-dial.


In later interviews, Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall said the media have a
duty to put their writings through "a human rights filter" and promised to
return later to the subject of the portrayal of minorities in the

She is getting her chance. The newly revamped Ontario human-rights system
gives Ms. Hall's commission a focus on broader, systemic discrimination issues
while leaving the adjudication of individual allegations of discrimination in
the hands of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. A separate legal support
centre will provide lawyers and paralegals to guide people through the

The three agencies are independent but are also intertwined, so that
Ms. Hall's commission can initiate actions before the tribunal and intervene on
behalf of others while the tribunal may also refer matters to the

Progressive Conservative MPPs Lisa MacLeod and Randy Hillier are trying
to find out the views of the people who will sit on this beefed-up tribunal.
Last week, they grilled nine nominees to the tribunal about whether they think,
for example, that freedom of speech has to be filtered. Again and again, Ms.
MacLeod asked: "Does discrimination trump free press or does free press trump

Great letter by Tim Bloedow on pornography

I am a freespeecher, but I do not think the raison d'etre of freedom of speech is a Canadian-made porn channel.

I am especially dismayed that the CRTC, which licensed Northern Peaks, has turned down an application for a teaching/spoken word/ and classical hymn Christian radio station in Ottawa.

Like we need still another popular music station in Ottawa instead. I guess I should be glad that it was a spoken word porn radio station they licensed.

Tim Bloedow has a good response to Rob Breakenridge's charges that social conservatives are inconsistent when they protest against CRTC-approved pornography.

He writes:

The noble and democratic Judeo-Christian tradition of speech freedom was
intended to provide a realm of liberty for the debating of ideas. It was to
provide a realm of peace and liberty in which people who held differing
views could debate them verbally and rationally instead of trying to chop
their enemies' heads off or slipping poison into their goblet.

It is worth noting that the demand for greater freedom for pornographic
viewing and violent media is taking place at the same time that we are
seeing a decline in people's interest in freedom of speech. Government
sanction for more pornographic and violent media is being realised at the
same time as our governments are clamping down on genuine freedom of speech.
These dynamics by themselves are compelling evidence that the impulse for
these two things come from very different places.

And they do. It is not philosophically inconsistent to be a strong opponent
of "pornographic freedom" while also vigorously championing speech freedom. It may be inconsistent if your starting point is libertarianism and a view which does not recognize a qualitative difference between speech freedom and crass or carnal impulses. But libertarianism is by definition relativistic, so libertarians would be hard-pressed to require others to either accept their philosophical starting point as objectively true or concede to being
logically inconsistent.

It may be Christian to recognize a qualitative distinction between speech
freedom and pornographic freedom (although I suspect many non-Christians
would also affirm this point), but Mr. Breakenridge has failed to make the
case for his claim that it is logically inconsistent.
Tim also points out there's a big difference between the government granting public licenses (or funding) for pornography and the government hounding private individuals whose speech is not politically correct. Amen and Amen and Amen.

Most interesting comments from Tom Flanagan

Tom Flanagan, a political scientist at the University of Calgary, believes Harper would be satisfied to return with a strengthened minority -- a result that would throw the Liberals into chaos, thereby advancing the prime minister's longterm strategy of destroying Canada's so-called natural governing party.

"I don't think Harper has to be thinking about a majority at all," Flanagan said in an interview.

"Strategically, this is sort of a prolonged war of attrition."

As Flanagan sees it, the first major battle in this incremental war occurred in 2004, when Harper managed to reduce Paul Martin's Liberals to a minority. In the second clash in 2006, Harper won his own Conservative minority.

The third skirmish, which Harper appears set to launch next week, likely won't kill what Flanagan jokingly refers to as "the evil empire." But, if the Tories can win a few more seats at the Liberals' expense -- an outcome Flanagan considers realistic given Harper's superior campaign skills and the Tories' fatter war chest -- he predicted that would be enough to throw the Grits into a longterm tailspin that could eventually lead to their demise.

The Synod of the Word

There is a big Synod of Bishops on the Word of God coming up in October. I'm working on an advance story about it. Here's a link to the Synod's working document and a cool paragraph:

Knowledge of the Old Testament as the Word of God seems to be a real problem among Catholics, particularly as it relates to the mystery of Christ and the Church. Because of unresolved exegetical difficulties, many are reluctant to take up passages from the Old Testament which appear incomprehensible, leading to their being arbitrarily selected or never read at all. The faith of the Church considers the Old Testament a part of the one Christian Bible and an integral part of Revelation and, hence, the Word of God. This situation urgently requires a formation centred on a reading of the Old Testament with Christ in mind, which acknowledges the bond between the two testaments and the permanent value of the Old Testament (cf. DV 15-16) (14). This task can be assisted by liturgical practice which always proclaims the Sacred Text of the Old Testament as essential for understanding the New Testament, as witnessed by Jesus himself in the episode of Emmaus, in which the Master "beginning with Moses and all the prophets, interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself" (Lk 24:27). In this matter, St. Augustine’s statement is certainly applicable: "Novum in Vetere latet et in Novo Vetus Patet (15)" ("The New is in the Old concealed and the Old is in the New revealed"). St. Gregory the Great maintains: "what the Old Testament promised is brought to light in the New Testament; what was proclaimed in a hidden manner in the past, is proclaimed openly as present. Thus, the Old Testament announces the New Testament; and the New Testament is the best commentary on the Old (16)". This understanding has many important practical implications.

Conservatives risk losing socon support--Fr. de Valk

I'm not the only one wondering about this. I received the following news release from Catholic Insight Editor Fr. Alphonse de Valk this morning via email:


Harper government risking loss of social conservative support, says editor

With its move to override Private Member’s Bill C-484, the Unborn Victims of Crime Act – and with the explicit statements it made while doing so – the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper may well have irrevocably alienated its social conservative support base, says the editor of Canada’s national Catholic magazine of news, analysis and opinion.

“When considered in tandem with past actions, such as squandering the parliamentary vote on so-called same-sex marriage, failing to rein in human rights commissions run amok and not taking steps to overturn the naming of Henry Morgentaler to the Order of Canada, it is clear that the Harper government’s initiative to squelch C-484 means it may well lose the support of social conservatives in Canada,” says Father Alphonse de Valk, editor of Catholic Insight magazine. “This will likely have dire electoral consequences for Mr. Harper and the Conservatives in the next election.”

De Valk noted that it is one thing to not put forth or support legislation specifically dealing with the abortion issue. But it is quite another to go so far as to undermine a private member’s bill that specifically asserts it has nothing to do with abortion and instead, seeks to recognize some value in law of a wanted preborn human being and her mother. A prime ministerial spokesperson was quoted as saying that there is not even a hint of compromise as far as abortion not being part of the Conservative party agenda.

This is remarkable, considering that Canada is one of the few countries in the world without any abortion law whatsoever, meaning that preborn human beings can be killed right up to the moment of birth, said de Valk. Apart from the human toll of more than 100,000 abortions a year, the state of affairs means Canada’s birthrate is not even at replacement level, there is increasing strain on our social safety net, the medical system is drained of tens of millions of dollars yearly and increasing numbers of women come forth to testify about how their abortions have damaged them physically, mentally and emotionally. “It is unconscionable that such phenomena are not on the government agenda at all,” he said.

“Time and again, social conservatives have been let down by the Harper regime,” he added. “It is evident his party carries the title ‘Conservative’ in name only.” De Valk saluted MP Ken Epp, sponsor of the Bill C-484, for vowing he will not withdraw it, despite the government’s intention to put forth a watered down version that will make pregnancy only an “aggravating factor” in the sentencing of violent offenders. At the same time, de Valk criticized other Conservative MPs who have been acting as “submissive sheep” and have allowed themselves to be silenced by their leader’s office.

De Valk said his magazine will encourage readers and all Canadians to vote according to the merits of individual candidates, rather than the parties, in the next election. This will mean that a candidate who proves his or her credentials in terms of standing for the right to life, the traditional family and other morally correct positions will receive an endorsement, regardless of the party with which the candidate is affiliated.


Father Alphonse de Valk, Editor (416) 204-9601

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ship of Fools gives my church at 9 out of 10!!!!

The full review, with a picture, is here

Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?

The service was formal Anglo-Catholic – it could be described as stiff upper lip, but not in a bad way. The Book of Common Prayer was followed rather faithfully, with the interpolation of minor propers plus the Orate fratres before the eucharistic prayer and the Ecce Agnus Dei before distribution of communion. The epistle and gospel were chanted. The homilist noted the lack of red-letter days in the ensuing week, and reminded us that Friday is a day of abstinence. The bishop, vested in rochet, mozzetta, and zucchetto, sat down on the floor to give a children’s address before the sermon to two little girls who had come forward.

Exactly how long was the sermon?
14 minutes.

On a scale of 1-10, how good was the preacher?
6 – Bishop Reid was well-spoken and his homily was doctrinally rich, if not particularly polished.

In a nutshell, what was the sermon about?
Jesus’ parable about the blind leading the blind reminds us not to judge others, as we ourselves deserve judgment. Too often, the need for repentance is swept under the rug in our modern age, but it must not be neglected. Penitence, however, should not lead us to obsession or despair, but to joy in the infinite mercy of God.

Which part of the service was like being in heaven?
I was delighted that the chants were all congregational, unlike many Anglo-Catholic churches with choirs that take much of the service music. There was also a prolonged silence before the communion rite, which was just what my restless soul needed. Also, in a gesture that underlined how unsubtle our entrance had been, the homilist opened by welcoming "our visitors."

Howard Rotberg's case goes to trial tomorrow

Kathy Shaidle has more:

Howard Rotberg still shudders when he remembers hearing the words.

“He is a f***ing Jew!”

His attacker wasn’t a Nazi brownshirt in Germany circa 1938. Rotberg, an author and lawyer, experienced the anti-Semitic verbal attack at a Canadian college town bookstore in 2004.

Rotberg was launching his self-published novel, The Second Catastrophe, at the local Chapters-Indigo, Canada’s largest bookstore chain, with over 70% of the nation’s book sales. Incredibly, his novel — about a Jewish professor whose angry words during a lecture land him in trouble — practically came to life before his eyes that night. Years later, Rotberg is still feeling the aftershocks.

Rotberg had no sooner begun his lecture when, as author and columnist Phyllis Chesler later recounted:

Suddenly, two Muslims interrupted his speech. The first disrupter, who identified himself as a Palestinian, accused Rotberg of saying or perhaps thinking that “all Muslims are terrorists.” The disrupter admitted that he had not read the book. A second man, who identified himself as an Iraqi Kurd, began “ranting about how Americans and Israelis are the real terrorists and that democracy is really fascist.” They did not allow Rotberg to speak. According to Rotberg, they used “Gestapo tactics to completely disrupt [my] lecture.” One called Rotberg, the son of a Holocaust survivor, “a f***ing Jew.”

To Rotberg’s amazement, not a single member of the Chapters store staff, which included one young woman in a hijab named Raneem Al-Halimi, intervened — “that is,” writes Chesler, “until Rotberg responded that he would ‘not be called a f***ing Jew.’

Howard Rotberg writes:

To the extent that the press covered the initial incident at Chapters, they tended to do so with typical moral relativism. Rather than diligently follow up with the names of reputable witnesses that I provided them, they were only too happy to portray the event as some kind of "spat" where a reputable author, invited to give a lecture at Chapters, was in some kind of heated argument with protestors.

Think about it. I was invited to give a lecture. The store manager introduced me and walked away. No one from Chapters monitored the event. A Palestinian and an Iraqi Kurd "took over" the event and basically prevented me from speaking. The Iraqi was making truly bizarre statements about the U.S. and Israel being "fascist", etc., and this was extremely disruptive.

There is a lot more to this case. Read all about it following the links above.

I am all for shutting down the shutter-downers, the people who use brownshirt fascist tactics to shut down the speech of others in private functions, university lecture halls, and public functions where one group has a license to hold a rally. I don't care what ideology the shutter-downers represent---even if they share mine, I abhor those tactics. They do not belong in a civil society.

The Democrat's Catholic problem . . . .

The Democrat's "Catholic problem" erupts in the United States, according to Rocco Palmo at Whispers in the Loggia:

Hours into a week the Democratic leadership's sought to script down to its most minute detail, the party's "Catholic problem" roared to the fore today as, in an unprecedented move, the opening of the Blue bloc's Denver convention saw four senior hierarchs publicly blast the event's chair -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- for "misrepresent[ing] the history and nature" of the church's teaching on abortion in the California congresswoman's latest defense of her pro-choice stance.

Monday, August 25, 2008

It comes as a shock all right writes about the shocking news today:

Rob NicholsonOTTAWA, August 25, 2008 ( - In news which came as a shock within and without the Conservative Party of Canada this afternoon, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson has announced that the Conservative Government will introduce legislation to bolster penalties for those who assault pregnant women. The legislation will in effect kill the Unborn Victims of Crime Act, a private members bill with wide public and legislative support that would have recognized in law the separate life of unborn children - at least those who are 'wanted' or intended by the mother for birth.

Conservative MP Ken Epp's private member's bill would ensure that a criminal would receive separate punishment for killing an unborn child in a violent attack on a pregnant mother. Even though the bill explicitly excluded consensual abortion and acts or omissions by the pregnant woman, the Conservative Government fell prey to the arguments of abortion activists who saw any fetal rights, even of 'wanted' children, as an assault on abortion.

According to Nicholson, the upcoming Conservative bill would add the fact of a woman's pregnancy to the list of 'aggravating factors' which must be considered when sentencing criminals. The proposal is in fact nearly identical to a Liberal private member's bill which was proposed in May by by pro-abortion Liberal MP Brent St. Denis.

In his announcement of the measure, Nicholson noted that the Conservatives accepted the arguments of abortion activists. "We've heard criticisms from across the country, including representative from the medical community, that Ken Epp's bill could be interpreted that Mr. Epp's bill as presently drafted could be interpreted as instilling fetal rights," he said.

"Let me be clear, our government will not reopen the debate on abortion," added Nicholson who in the past was recognized as one of the more heroic and reliably pro-life Conservative MPs. "For this reason, and in the context of the government's tackling crime agenda, I'm announcing that the government will introduce legislation that will punish criminals who commit violence against pregnant women but do so in a way that leaves no room for the introduction of fetal rights."

This is the second time this year that Nicholson has betrayed and shocked Canada's social conservatives. In May he presented the Conservative government Justice Department's 50-page defense of the notorious subsection 13(1) of the Canadian Human Rights Act that has permitted major assaults on freedom of expression and freedom of religion by the Human Rights commission kangaroo courts.

When asked if Epp was even told of the new legislation, Nicholson indicated Epp was not informed, or consulted on the matter, saying only that he would find out with everyone else.

I listened to Epp on an Edmonton talk radio show tonight. He was pretty gracious and loyal, considering.

Nicholson has deeply alienated social conservatives. His continuing support, through the Justice Department, for the Canadian Human Rights Act's draconian Section 13(1) through his department's intervention on behalf of complainants is a source of outrage. He has been caution personified, but the people he is pussyfooting around are the likes of pro-aborts and mainstream news types that are traditionally hostile to conservatives.

The Tories may think they are going to gain votes in Quebec or some ridings in the 905 area-code around Toronto by keeping abortion off the table. The problem for the Tories though is that a number of Catholic voters left the Liberals last time around over the marriage issue. Just the thin promise of a marriage motion was enough to dislodge traditionally Liberal Catholics from their usual home and prompt them to support the Tories. I'm not number-cruncher, but I would not be surprised if that Catholic vote helped give them their minority win, even in Quebec!

As Stephane Dion told Michael Coren, Catholics vote Liberal. If there is no reason--all things being equal on abortion or marriage or family--they will go back to the default position.

I'm afraid that the Harper government takes social conservatives for granted, thinking they have nowhere else to go. Well, fiscally-conservative evangelicals may be unlikely to vote Liberal, but they could stay home, stop donating any money or vote for the Christian Heritage Party to send a message.

Nicholson "cuts loose" Ken Epp's private members' bill

According to the Globe and Mail:

The Harper government cut loose a contentious private member's bill that would have made it a crime to take the life of a fetus just as election speculation hits fever pitch.

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson announced Monday that the government will draft a new bill to replace Bill C-484, the Unborn Victims of Crime Act, so that it closes the debate about fetal rights and focuses instead on penalizing criminals who harm pregnant women.

The act, which was introduced last year by Tory MP Ken Epp of Edmonton and passed second reading in the spring, would make it a separate offence for killing an unborn child when a pregnant woman is slain.

Pro-abortion advocates have denounced it for giving the fetus some human rights. Last week, the Canadian Medical Association voted to oppose the bill, and Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion spoke out against it, challenging Prime Minister Stephen Harper to clarify his own views on abortion.

This is sad, really. Strategically, though, I can understand it. The Tories want to make sure to kill any notion of a "hidden agenda" on abortion before a fall election. They don't want to fight on this issue, especially when it comes to winning more ridings in Quebec and 905-area-code ridings around Toronto.

But it is sad because the issue at stake here is whether the unborn child has any human rights.
Thus the present fiction continues---that the unborn child is not a person.

CJAD's Brian Lilley asked a couple of humdinger questions:

From the transcript of the news conference:

Unidentified Male: Brian Lilley, CJAD.

Brian asked: "You say that there’s differences between your bill and Mr. Epp’s bill so that it can’t be misrepresented as doing something that doesn’t, giving fetal rights. If we do go to an election, you won’t have a chance to table this in Parliament. Will Canadians get a chance to see the difference between Mr. Epp’s bill and what you’re presenting so that they can determine whether there is any difference?

The Hon. Rob Nicholson: Well, we’ll have to see if Parliament gets called back. Again, I’m proceeding on the basis that we will introduce legislation and quite frankly, that’s the basis I, I have been operating on for the last year and a half. We can’t be governed by threats by Mr. Dion or anybody else and so I’ve got to continue to move forward.

Question: We’ve seen in the US election again this past weekend with Senator Biden nominated the issue of faith and abortion coming up and it can be a pretty heated topic. I want to ask how, as a Justice Minister, and as a Roman Catholic, you feel coming here and saying my government will not move forward on giving fetal rights because it’s something that would go against the, the rules of your church?

The Hon. Rob Nicholson: Well the government though has been very clear and the Prime Minister has been very clear on this, that we are not reopening the debate on abortion. And that has been consistent all the way through going right back to the 2000 election. I’m proud to be a part of this government and I realize that this is an issue that divides Canadians but we have been very clear as a government that we are not reopening this debate.

Reuter's Randall Palmer:

Question: If I can switch back to abortion. Your position, the government’s position seems to be parallel to that of Barack Obama. It’s about as liberal as

The Hon. Rob Nicholson: I’m sorry?

Question: Your position seems to be parallel, about as liberal as Barack Obama’s on abortion. As a Conservative government, why wouldn’t you, why do you insist on, on excluding fetal rights, not trying to do anything about fetal rights?

The Hon. Rob Nicholson: I’m not an expert on where Mr. Obama stands on this, so I’m not commenting on that. But I know we have said very consistently and we have said that going back now several years that we are not reopening the debate and we’ve been consistent on that.

A beauty contest for nuns

From the New York Times:

ROME (AP) -- An Italian priest and theologian said Sunday he is organizing an online beauty pageant for nuns to give them more visibility within the Catholic Church and to fight the stereotype that they are all old and dour.

The ''Miss Sister 2008'' contest will start in September on a blog run by the Rev. Antonio Rungi and will give nuns from around the world a chance to showcase their work and their image.

''Nuns are a bit excluded, they are a bit marginalized in ecclesiastical life,'' Rungi told The Associated Press after Italian media carried reports of the idea. ''This will be an occasion to make their contribution more visible.''

Rungi, a theologian and schoolteacher from the Naples area, said that visitors to his site will have a month to ''vote for the nun they consider a model.''

Nuns will fill out a profile including information about their life and vocation as well as a photograph. It will be up to them to choose whether to pose with the traditional veil or with their heads uncovered.

I saw many beautiful young nuns at the Eucharistic Congress in Quebec, by the way.

Morgentaler petition delivered to GG

The Catholic Register has posted my story about the presentation of petitions last week:

OTTAWA - Signatures of 30,000 Canadians demanding that abortionist Henry Morgentaler’s Order of Canada be revoked were delivered to the Governor General’s residence Aug. 20.

“I am here to say there is nothing heroic or award winning about taking the life of an unborn child,” said Silent No More Awareness Campaign national co-ordinator Angelina Steenstra on behalf of Campaign Life Coalition. “As a woman who has suffered an abortion, I know that to be true."

When Governor General Michaelle Jean named Morgentaler to the Order of Canada earlier this year, it stirred up strong feelings among many who felt his inclusion dishonoured Canada's highest honour.

“Giving an abortionist Canada’s highest honour is dividing the nation, contrary to the award’s original intent,” she said, noting the signatures were gathered from across the country. She said more petitions were still circulating and would be presented once Parliament resumes after its summer break.

“National division on this award is not diminishing over the summer months,” she said.

California court ruling sets ominous precedent

Of course, Canada already shows signs that equality rights will trump all other rights . . .meaning really that the state is eager to take away God-given rights such as religious freedom, freedom of conscience and freedom of speech.

From Maggie Gallagher:

The California Supreme Court made one thing perfectly clear this week as a matter of constitutional law: When it's a case of religious liberty vs. sexual liberty, sexual liberty wins.

In the case of Benitez v. North Coast Women's Care Medical Group, the California Supreme Court asked: "Do the rights of religious freedom and free speech, as guaranteed in both the federal and the California constitutions, exempt a medical clinic's physicians from complying with the California Unruh Civil Rights Act's prohibition against discrimination based on a person's sexual orientation?"

And the majority flatly ruled: "Our answer is no."


Equality trumps liberty in the eyes of our courts.

Guadalupe Benitez, a partnered lesbian, chose to be artificially inseminated. She has the freedom to make that choice under California law. The California Supreme Court just transformed that liberty of private action into a powerful new right: the right to use the power of government to force a doctor to inseminate her, regardless of the doctor's own views.

We are not talking here about necessary medical care but an elective procedure -- artificial insemination -- that is obviously fraught with moral issues which are necessarily different from, say, the decision to have your appendix removed or a knee replaced.

I understand even that there are real conflicts in this case. If you are happily planning to have a child, it would be a rude shock, an affront to your feelings, to be told that the doctor is not willing to help you do so.

In this case, the doctor said she was perfectly willing to help treat Guadalupe's infertility -- restoring a natural function of the body -- but she had moral qualms about impregnating (which is basically what the doctor does in these situations) a woman without a husband.

Michael Coren talks with Stephane Dion about God

Most interesting column in today's National Post by Michael Coren:

I pushed a little further. Is this God of whom you speak an important factor in your life? "It is part of the hope I have" was the reply. "A creator who is full of love. I hope this is true. I am a man of hope. I will play hope but Stephen Harper plays fear." Aha. So it's less the God of strength, love, judgment and mercy who is the eternal alpha and the omega, but rather the postmodern godhead of secular niceness who we hope might be the ABC of solving our social and economic problems.

There are worse people to worship. Or pretend to worship. And there are far worse people than Stephane Dion, a profoundly decent man who is a perhaps the most honest leader of his party in living memory. Being a prime minister, however, requires more than Canadian niceness. Sadly, it requires steel and guile.

After the show, Dion asked about the denominational breakdown of those of our viewers who are Christian. "You see, the Catholics can be relied on to vote Liberal, always, but the Protestants much less so," he explained. "It's very difficult to get them to vote for us. I am a Catholic." As were Trudeau, Chretien and Martin. Men who championed abortion, same-sex marriage and many other policies that ran counter to basic Catholic teachings. In other words, they were Catholic by birth but Liberal by belief and works.

His words seemed so naive, so vulnerable to critique, so -- forgive me Mr. Dion-- callow and such a product of inexperience. Goodness it's hard not to like him but it's equally hard to imagine him being tough with our enemies and careful with our friends. He listens to well-meaning but weak advice and then admits that he's been moulded for the moment.

Delicious article about Michael Moore

Kathy Shaidle's latest in FrontPageMazgzine:

He’s been keeping a low profile for a while now, but the controversial Oscar-winning filmmaker (Roger & Me, Bowling for Columbine, Sicko) issued his 2008 Election Guide this week. Rolling Stone magazine reprinted some of Moore’s unsolicited advice to his fellow Democrats (whom he refers to as “pathetic” “crazy” “professional losers.”)

As usual with the over-the-top provocateur (whose last hit film was 2004’s Fahrenheit 9/11) Moore’s sarcasm is difficult to distinguish from his serious suggestions. Among other things, Moore dares Barack Obama to “denounce” him and reject his endorsement, for the candidate’s own good.

He had better back away not only from me but from anyone and everyone who veers a bit too far to the left of where his advisers have told him is the sweet spot for all those red-state voters. I won't take it personally. After all, I'm not the guy who married him or baptized his kids. I'm just the idiot who went to the same terrorist, Muslim school of flag-pin desecrators he went to. […]

So Barack, by denouncing me, you can help McCain get elected. Because when you denounce me, it's not really me you're distancing yourself from — it's the millions upon millions of people who feel the same way about things as I do. And many of them are the kind of crazy voters who have no problem voting for a Nader just to prove a point.

If his advice seems oddly narcissistic rather than tactically sound or even logical, Moore’s next idea is even more counterintuitive.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I am going to The Cry today--how about you?

The Cry is taking place in Quebec and Ottawa today.

I will be heading over soon. If you are in Ottawa, why don't you join this Christian rally to pray for the unborn?

Meanwhile, I am listening to coverage at

More on Senator Obama and infanticide

Blazing Cat Fur has a link to a gateway of links, including some powerful video of a nurse who witnessed live babies, born after late-term abortions, being left for dead in a dirty hospital utility room containing a urinal.

More questions to ask on the "culture of death front"

ProWomenProLife's Andrea Mrozek has some questions:

To me, there’s a story behind the story here: The Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons didn’t just change their policy and decide to force doctors’ hands at a whim. Recall the Canadian Medical Association Journal guest editorial of July 2006. It was co-written by Jocelyn Downie and Sanda Rodgers. Jocelyn Downie had been appointed to advise the interim board of the CMAJ–a lawyer, she was, not a doctor, and a lawyer who advocates for decriminalizing assisted suicide and euthanasia, alongside her pro-abortion views (death all round, but let me not digress). Questions: How did she get appointed to the CMAJ interim advisory board? Why was she allowed to guest write an editorial? What are these two doing today? Do they have influence over the Ontario College?

Another example of how the Ontario Human Rights Commission is a menace to religious freedom and conscience rights

From today's National Post:

The Ontario Medical Association wants the licensing body for doctors in the province to change a controversial document that could strip doctors of their right to exercise freedom of religion when making decisions in their medical practices.


Don Hutchinson, legal counsel for the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, said he believes the proposed document was heavily influenced by a letter sent in February this year to the college from the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

In it, the commission said it has concerns that the "religious or moral beliefs of health-care providers can have a discriminatory impacts on [Human Rights] Code rights relating to sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status and disability, among others."

It goes on to advise the col-lege that the protection of one right cannot "be based on the total disregard of another."

"While the expression of their religious beliefs is essential for religious officials in the performance of their duties, secular service providers cannot claim that the performance of their job function is an expression of their deeply held religious beliefs."

Mr. Hutchinson said that the draft policy will mean interests of physicians "will no longer be considered in the same capacity" as it has up until now.

The Ontario Human Rights Commission is telling doctors--and everyone else for that matter--that the only publicly acceptable ideas are secular humanism---and that everyone else must toe the line or else.

"Respect for diversity" is a mask, an example of doublespeak, for this forced state conformity. Ontario, through this commission, is attempting to force moral relativism and the culture of death on everyone who provides a public service. This is a far cry from a genuine respect for diversity, pluralism and religious freedom, one that would allow people to be who they are in the public square--whether gay, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or atheist--without fear that the state is going to violate their conscience or beliefs through coercive measures. Let's have reasonable accommodation folks. The Ontario Human Rights Commission is anything but respectful of reasonable accommodation, especially when it comes to Christian belief, or the tried and true natural law foundations, based on reason, of Western Civilization.

Canada's bad reputation is forcing political scientists to think twice

The National Post has a story today with the headline Academics fear to speak freely in Canada.

A group of U. S. professors launched a campaign this week protesting plans by a prominent political science organization to hold its annual conference in Toronto next year, claiming that Canada's restrictions on certain forms of speech puts controversial academics at risk of being prosecuted.

Bradley Watson, professor of American and Western political thought at Pennsylvania's St. Vincent College, said he will present a petition calling for the American Political Science Association (APSA) to re-evaluate its selection of Toronto for its 2009 conference at this year's annual meeting, taking place over the Labour Day weekend in Boston.

His protest has garnered support from dozens of professors across the United States, including prominent scholars such as Princeton University legal philosopher Robert P. George and Harvard University's Harvey Mansfield.

"Our belief is that the APSA should choose its sites carefully, with particular regard for questions of freedom of speech and conscience," Mr. Watson told the National Post by e-mail. "We therefore believe Canada to be a problematic destination."

Ezra Levant brings Rob Breakenridge up to date

Ezra has a link here where you can listen to his excellent recap of the status of the battle to restore real human rights in Canada on Rob Breakenridge's radio program.

Friday, August 22, 2008

What an embarrassment

This press release by the Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, celebrating its success in getting an ISP provider to shut down a lone nut's anti-Jewish website, is an embarrassment.

But they apparently want Canada's draconian human rights commissions to be a model for worldwide control of the World Wide Web, according to their release:

Nevertheless, Canadian legislation and its provision for dealing with Internet offenders is a model for international governance.

Comments Leo Adler, director of National Affairs, FSWC, "Our Canadian system strikes the perfect balance between two intrinsically Canadian ideals, namely, freedom of speech and abhorrence for hate and intolerance."

FSWC is calling for the formation of an international accord and subsequent monitoring to effectively and proactively deal with the growing viral phenomenon of global Internet hate.

FSWC monitors online extremism, researching, monitoring, reporting and eliminating hate and terrorism online. FSWC has positioned itself as an invaluable source of information and knowledge of Internet extremism. Now in its eleventh year, the Digital Terrorism & Hate 2.0, an FSWC initiative, is the world's most comprehensive report on extremist elements operating online.

They deserve this ridicule from Kathy Shaidle, who writes:

Now I'm really curious, so I type in and, as indicated in the Weisenthal press release, the site has simply moved to a new ISP.

Meet Milton Kapner, aka "Brother Nathaniel": [She has video of this clown dancing around, dressed in monk's garb, waving a crucifix's ridiculous]

I don't know about you, but I am shaking at the thought of this old street preacher murdering Jews left and right through the unstoppable power of his online craziness.
Ezra Levant chimes in here and here:

He's cuckoo. His website is nutty like a Snickers bar. It's moon-bat time over there.

Which is precisely why Leo Adler and the Simon Wiesenthal Center took it on. That raving lunatic is no threat to them -- politically, legally, or in any other way.

Binks weighs in on first principles---what science can and cannot tell us

Thank God for the Binksmeister. Not only is he funny, he is thoughtful. And he provides many great links for our further edification. Be sure to check out his latest essay that puts the scientific materialists in their place. Here's an excerpt, but read the whole thing:

Science cannot ‘prove’ metaphysical first principles like God; nor can science itself scientifically justify materialism or atheism/ agnosticism. First principles (logic, God’s existence, how we know anything) are not subjects for scientific debate– the “heavens declare the Glory of God “to someone who already knows and loves God, and the evidences of faith are not the evidences of science. Equally, materialism is actually an unscientific philosophical position, as are agnosticism and atheism: you cannot prove a negative (God does not exist), nor can you do it through theory, experiment, or scientific evidence. There is no test for ‘god-ness’.

Modern materialist science forgets there is are prior philosophical foundations for science, reason, logic. Those who claim that materialism is ’scientific’ are simply wrong. There are no experiments for that, either. It’s a presupposition, however much in the background or forgotten. Science presumes creation, intelligibility, some coherence and consistency in the way things are– these are metaphysical first principles.. or as Aristotle put it , the ‘meta ta physica‘ or Metaphysics, literally ‘the things prior to the sciences’. We may think we can jump off our metaphysical shadows, but just because we take them for granted, or as non-existent, doesn’t mean they are (or aren’t).

The ID debate appears very much to be a post-enlightenment fight-back against materialism; it’s much like the fundamentalist/ liberal debate over the ‘historicity’ of the Bible. If we grant that science can determine our metaphysics (or lack of them), we’ve battled on the wrong ground, abusing the proper character of the ‘proofs’ and ‘evidences’ of faith.

The materialists have also claimed too much, that science is the true and only form of knowledge of things; as Christians, we need really good scientists to do objective (non-materialist) science; and to have their metaphysics on straight: God exists and he created all things visible and invisible, and that he makes each thing or creature make itself according to its own proper life and purpose (cf. Aquinas: Grace perfects, it does not destroy nature). However, there is no scientific test for any of that: faith, like a set of glasses, corrects our vision about the true nature of things as created, but again, you can’t ‘prove’ that in the way scientific materialism demands, because they’re mistaken in their first principles, and in their demands for scientific proof of spiritual things.

Obama leaves me shaking my head

The blogosphere has the evidence that Obama did support a bill that would allow infanticide of babies born alive after botched abortions:

UPDATE: RedState has more from Obama in his own words about "it":

As I understand it, this puts the burden on the attending physician who has determined, since they were performing this procedure, that, in fact, this is a nonviable fetus; that if that fetus, or child - however way you want to describe it - is now outside the mother's womb and the doctor continues to think that it's nonviable but there's, let's say, movement or some indication that, in fact, they're not just coming out limp and dead, that, in fact, they would then have to call a second physician to monitor and check off and make sure that this is not a live child that could be saved.
No wonder he wants to hide this.
His words are creepy and appalling.

The blogosphere is also exploring Obama's connections to unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers, who would like to use his Marxist educational ideas to foment a Venezualan-style revolution in Chicago and elsewhere. Stanley Kurtz writes:

The problem of Barack Obama’s relationship with Bill Ayers will not go away. Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn were terrorists for the notorious Weather Underground during the turbulent 1960s, turning fugitive when a bomb — designed to kill army officers in New Jersey — accidentally exploded in a New York townhouse. Prior to that, Ayers and his cohorts succeeded in bombing the Pentagon. Ayers and Dohrn remain unrepentant for their terrorist past. Ayers was pictured in a 2001 article for Chicago magazine, stomping on an American flag, and told the New York Times just before 9/11 that the notion of the United States as a just and fair and decent place “makes me want to puke.” Although Obama actually launched his political career at an event at Ayers’s and Dohrn’s home, Obama has dismissed Ayers as just “a guy who lives in my neighborhood,” and “not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis.”

And now this about China's fascist Olympic architecture from Hugh Hewitt (h/t FFoF):

Obama, earlier today:

Everybody's watching what's going on in Beijing right now with the Olympics , Think about the amount of money that China has spent on infrastructure. Their ports, their train systems, their airports are vastly the superior to us now, which means if you are a coporation deciding where to do business you're starting to think, "Beijing looks like a pretty good option."

I suppose so. Provided you don't mind de minimus pollution controls, employing people under Chinese labor conditions, and you don't mind construction standards in the countryside that allow the collapse of thousands of buildings including schools when the earthquake hits, killing tens of thousands.

Obama has said a lot of stupid things recently, but the idea that totalitarian eye-candy engineering proves Beijing is the better than America is near the top of the list.

Sorry, but as much as I'd like a black president of the United States, Obama is not the one.

Another young CBC "star" auditions for Al Jazeera?

"Our aggressive military activities in Afghanistan are foolish and wrong," said Alexandre (Sacha) Trudeau, 34.

"The Pashtun [people] have extremely different values than ours, values we may not agree with in any case, but it's not our business to try and teach them lessons with weapons," Mr. Trudeau told Canwest News Service.

"Because, in fact, they'll be the ones teaching us lessons.

"We're going to have to leave the place or there'll be nothing left of us or of whatever we've done, except the blood we've lost there after we leave. So it's better we leave now."

Mr. Trudeau was speaking from Beijing, where he has been filing cultural reports on China as part of the CBC's Olympic broadcast team.

I hope he leaves soon. But alas, I am sure there are many more moral relativist useful idiots remaining at the Corpse to take his place. It is so fashionable these days to be a vacuous moral relativist, sitting astride a moralistic high horse over and above anyone who thinks there is such a thing as good and evil. All Pashtuns are not Taliban supporters. The president of Afghanistan is Pashtun. Most Afghanis would like to be able to fly kites, listen to music and not worry that some mullah is going to execute their kid for kicking a soccer ball around.

But one good thing about Al Jazeera. It is a source of some great videos. Avi Lewis invited John Bolton onto his program. Heh heh heh heh. It's good that some shattering truths are spoken by the likes of Bolton to the worldwide audience of this network. And great entertainment to boot.

Remember Al Jazeera also brought us that memorable video by Wafa Sultan. She is one courageous woman.

Though it was CBC that brought us Ayan Hirsi Ali's memorable smackdown of Avi Lewis.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Denyse O'Leary comments on the EZ's latest "hate " complaint

Some Canadians enjoy persecuting people, and some Christians think that the persecution of other Christians is a romantic "Left Behind" drama. "See, it's all happening to them just like that pastor with the gift of prophecy promised!" they fatuously inform us, before driving off in their late-model cars to their comfortable suburban homes. I wonder how many of them work for the government?

Believe me, no gift of prophecy is required to predict that those who do not defend their civil liberties lose them. But worse - they often do not care until it happens to them personally, instead of to someone else.
Thankfully, I write for newspapers that do pay a living wage and do cover these issues.

The hubris of Rob Wells in taking on the EZ

Edmonton gay activist Rob Wells has decided perhaps that Catholic Insight Magazine is too small a fry for his efforts to make Canada over in his image.

Now he has decided to take on Ezra Levant.

Don't mess with the EZ! Prepare to become a laughingstock during your 15-minutes of worldwide fame. People are already laughing across North America.

Ezra has dubbed him the Fred Phelps of Canada!

Ezra writes:

Wells is pretty much the same, but without the noble past. And he switches Phelps’s routine around a little: he protests outside churches, for months on end, slandering Catholics. He actually dresses his vehicle with anti-Christian hate messages, equating Catholics with Nazis, and drives around looking for people to offend. I wouldn't be surprised if he does funerals, like Phelps does.

Come to think of it, Wells could use the same posters as Phelps, with just a little re-arranging: “Fags hate God”. But that’s probably not vile enough for Wells, the garbage-mouthed fool who thought the bumper sticker “F*CK HARPER” was the height of political eloquence.

The Fred Phelps of Canada? Heh heh heh. Glad I had finished my coffee by the time I read Ezra's post, or I would have splattered my key board with a full snort.

But no matter how funny Ezra can make this, what Rob Wells is doing is dangerous to freedom. Ezra writes:

Wells is a favourite of the CHRC. He has used the CHRC to harass the Christian Heritage Party. And he was the complainant against Fr. Alphonse de Valk and Catholic Insight magazine, that drained them of $20,000 in legal fees. That complaint was dismissed by the CHRC when they started getting political heat over it, but Wells is now appealing that dismissal.

Between making little Catholic children cry at church and filing nuisance suits, where does the man find the time?

His complaint against me is rooted in my recent republication of Rev. Stephen Boissoin’s editorial column in the Red Deer Advocate several years ago. That was the column in which Rev. Boissoin expressed his Christian opposition to gay rights – and it resulted in a complaint filed against him at the Alberta HRC. After five grueling years of bureaucratic bullying, Rev. Boissoin was sentenced to a $7,000 fine, a lifetime ban against giving any public sermons that were “disparaging” to gay rights (he was also banned from sending private e-mails about the subject) and he was actually ordered to publicly renounce his religious beliefs on the subject. Seriously – read the sentence here for yourself if you can't believe it
Even though the gay rights group EGALE disagreed vehemently with Boissoin's letter, they defended his freedom to write it. Rob Wells' actions have probably generated more hatred towards gay activists than Boisson's letter ever did. In fact, many Christians shrank from Boisson's strong and perhaps intemperate language. But Rob Wells actions may make many Canadians wonder if there's more than a grain of truth in what Boissoin is saying. That's Rob Wells fault. Not Boissoin's. If Wells hadn't filed all his complaints, the letter would have caused a flurry of debate in Red Deer, Alberta and nothing more.

Thankfully, Wells is not representative of the freedom-of-speech-respecting gay activists I have met in Ottawa, just as Elmo's sock puppets are not representative of freedom-of-speech-respecting Muslims. But because of human rights commissions, he has far more power than he deserves.

Ezra writes:

I’m disgusted with Rob Wells – he’s just as despicable as Fred Phelps. But he’s just an individual bigot, and he's got the freedom to utter his filthy speech. What’s truly appalling, though, is how he’s turned the CHRC into his personal anti-Christian inquisition – going after the Christian Heritage Party, Rev. Boissoin and Fr. de Valk. Without the CHRC’s aid and comfort, Wells would still be driving around Edmonton in his hatemobile, a pitiful, angry, junior Fred Phelps. But, thanks to Jennifer Lynch and the rest of the team at the CHRC, the taxpayers of Canada and the laws of Canada have been hijacked, yet again.

Ezra has republished Stephen Boissoin's letter in full.

As an act of civil disobedience based on principles of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press (derived from our Judeo-Christian Western civilization that many complainants seem to hate), and in protest against the abuses of illiberal human rights commissions who are being used by anti-Christian complainants like Rob Wells, I join Ezra and other bloggers in republishing Stephen Boissoin's letter today. I believe in a Canada where Rob Wells is free to express his anti-Christian hatred but not in a Canada where he is free to use the power of the state to crush people who disagree with him.

I am a free Canadian, free not because the state says I am, but because I am made in the image and likeness of God and my rights are inherent in my God-given human dignity. My rights come from God and not the state. I respect the rights and freedoms of gays and everyone else who disagree with me. But none of us will have any freedoms if we do not take a stand and rid ourselves of these illiberal, anti-Western, Marx-inspired commissions. Let's take Canada back for freedom.

Here's Boissoin's letter.

Homosexual Agenda Wicked

The following is not intended for those who are suffering from an unwanted sexual identity crisis. For you, I have understanding, care, compassion and tolerance. I sympathize with you and offer you my love and fellowship. I prayerfully beseech you to seek help, and I assure you that your present enslavement to homosexuality can be remedied. Many outspoken, former homosexuals are free today.

Instead, this is aimed precisely at every individual that in any way supports the homosexual machine that has been mercilessly gaining ground in our society since the 1960s. I cannot pity you any longer and remain inactive. You have caused far too much damage.

My banner has now been raised and war has been declared so as to defend the precious sanctity of our innocent children and youth, that you so eagerly toil, day and night, to consume. With me stand the greatest weapons that you have encountered to date - God and the "Moral Majority." Know this, we will defeat you, then heal the damage that you have caused. Modern society has become dispassionate to the cause of righteousness. Many people are so apathetic and desensitized today that they cannot even accurately define the term "morality."

The masses have dug in and continue to excuse their failure to stand against horrendous atrocities such as the aggressive propagation of homo- and bisexuality. Inexcusable justifications such as, "I'm just not sure where the truth lies," or "If they don't affect me then I don't care what they do," abound from the lips of the quantifiable majority.

Face the facts, it is affecting you. Like it or not, every professing heterosexual is have their future aggressively chopped at the roots.

Edmund Burke's observation that, "All that is required for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing," has been confirmed time and time again. From kindergarten class on, our children, your grandchildren are being strategically targeted, psychologically abused and brainwashed by homosexual and pro-homosexual educators.

Our children are being victimized by repugnant and premeditated strategies, aimed at desensitizing and eventually recruiting our young into their camps. Think about it, children as young as five and six years of age are being subjected to psychologically and physiologically damaging pro-homosexual literature and guidance in the public school system; all under the fraudulent guise of equal rights.

Your children are being warped into believing that same-sex families are acceptable; that men kissing men is appropriate.

Your teenagers are being instructed on how to perform so-called safe same gender oral and anal sex and at the same time being told that it is normal, natural and even productive. Will your child be the next victim that tests homosexuality positive?

Come on people, wake up! It's time to stand together and take whatever steps are necessary to reverse the wickedness that our lethargy has authorized to spawn. Where homosexuality flourishes, all manner of wickedness abounds.

Regardless of what you hear, the militant homosexual agenda isn't rooted in protecting homosexuals from "gay bashing." The agenda is clearly about homosexual activists that include, teachers, politicians, lawyers, Supreme Court judges, and God forbid, even so-called ministers, who are all determined to gain complete equality in our nation and even worse, our world.

Don't allow yourself to be deceived any longer. These activists are not morally upright citizens, concerned about the best interests of our society. They are perverse, self-centered and morally deprived individuals who are spreading their psychological disease into every area of our lives. Homosexual rights activists and those that defend them, are just as immoral as the pedophiles, drug dealers and pimps that plague our communities.

The homosexual agenda is not gaining ground because it is morally backed. It is gaining ground simply because you, Mr. and Mrs. Heterosexual, do nothing to stop it. It is only a matter of time before some of these morally bankrupt individuals such as those involved with NAMBLA, the North American Man/Boy Lovers Association, will achieve their goal to have sexual relations with children and assert that it is a matter of free choice and claim that we are intolerant bigots not to accept it.

If you are reading this and think that this is alarmist, then I simply ask you this: how bad do things have to become before you will get involved? It's time to start taking back what the enemy has taken from you. The safety and future of our children is at stake.

Rev. Stephen Boissoin