Deborah Gyapong: October 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Fr. de Valk at Catholic Insight weighs in

How then should we interpret Pope Benedict’s invitation? It should be seen, I believe, as a final rescue and hope for Anglicans who are close to Catholic thinking in both doctrine and discipline. At their request the Pope is making available an Anglican rite, honouring a liturgy of prayer and music in the Anglo-Catholic tradition. But doctrine and discipline will have to be fully Catholic, with none of the customary Anglican ambiguity. Applicants will have to express their faith in Catholic articles of faith; those seeking priesthood will have to be ordained as priests who re-enact the Eucharistic Sacrifice of Christ’s body and blood. The veneration of Mary, mother of Our Lord Jesus and therefore Mother of God, and that of God’s holy martyrs and confessors, together with other essentials such as belief in prayers for the deceased faithful in purgatory and acceptance of the Magisterium as the final voice in protecting the truths of faith, are part and parcel of our beautiful and precious religion, which is the salvation of the world.

Debate will end. Peace of soul will come. To paraphrase G.K. Chesterton, “dogma satisfies a hunger. For dogma means the serious satisfaction of the mind. Dogma does not mean the absence of thought but the end of thought.”

Unlike many writing on this subject, Fr. de Valk is much more well-informed.

Priestly celibacy

Sigh. I think celibacy is wonderful when a man has this gift and calling but I also think there is a place for married priests and a family at the heart of a parish.

VATICAN CITY (UCAN) -- The matter of priestly celibacy is apparently an issue delaying publication of a Vatican document that would make it possible for Anglican groups to enter into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church.

The plan is to bankrupt the west

David Horowitz writes:

In the Sixties, Cloward and Piven had practically invented the strategy of exploiting black rage to advance the cause of “social justice.” Their formula even bore their names: the Cloward-Piven strategy.On August 11, 1965, the black district of Watts in Los Angeles exploded in violence when police used batons to subdue a man suspected of drunk driving. Riots raged for six days, spilling over into other parts of the city, and leaving 34 dead. Democrats used the tragedy to promote an expansion of the welfare state, promising new government programs to address the problem of the inner city poor. Cloward and Piven turned the tragedy into a strategy for the left.

Barely three months after the fires of Watts had subsided, they began privately circulating copies of an article they had written called “Mobilizing the Poor: How it Could Be Done.” In their view destruction could be a creative force, particularly if the destructive effort was focused on the vulnerable underbelly of the welfare state. While liberals sought to expand welfare services, Cloward and Piven proposed to overload the welfare system and destroy it.

When the strategy paper was published six months later as an article in The Nation, it electrified the Left. Activists were abuzz over the new strategy, which was variously dubbed the “crisis strategy,” the “flood-the-rolls, bankrupt-the-cities” strategy or just simply the “Cloward-Piven strategy.” It would become the play book for Shadow Party radicals working for “regime change.”

H. Rap Brown? New meaning to the words "blast from the past"

Another example of the mutant marriage of the far left and radical Islam.

So who is Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin?

He got his start under the name H. Rap Brown in the 1960s registering black voters in Alabama and working with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

"For a time, he was fairly well-known," said Fabio Rojas, an associate professor at Indiana University who wrote a book on black radicalism called "From Black Power to Black Studies: How a Radical Social Movement Became an Academic Discipline." "He wasn't a leader, but he hung around a lot of famous people like Stokely Carmichael."

Carmichael was the activist credited with coining the phrase "Black Power." Self-described radical lawyer William Kunstler represented Brown in a 1960s case when he was accused of advocating burning a school building.

In his autobiography, first published in 1969, Brown wrote that blacks were enslaved by a white capitalistic system.

"Revolution is indeed inevitable, and, as the cycle of change closes around America's racist environment, the issue of color becomes more pertinent," he wrote in a work that includes a racial slur in its title. He said in the book that rap was a term for trash talking in large groups.

"That's why they called me rap, because I could rap," he wrote.

Gee, he sounds like a "community organizer."

Robert Spencer has more:

According to the indictment, in his mosque in Detroit Luqman Abdullah was preaching “offensive jihad” and the establishment of a Sharia state in North America. This sovereign Isamic state would be ruled by Islamic law – and by the apparent godfather of Abdullah’s movement, Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin. Al-Amin is the former Black Panther and convert to Islam who gained fame under the name H. Rap Brown. Al-Amin is now serving a life sentence for murdering two police officers, while his disciples, like Luqman Abdullah, carry on the message he articulated so memorably in the 1960s: “If America don’t come around, we’re gonna burn it down.”

In the spirit of his mentor, Abdullah has told his flock: “America must fall.” He has encouraged the Muslims in his mosque to support Hizballah, the Taliban and Osama bin Laden. He exhorted them to bestir themselves to pious deeds: “We should be figuring out how to fight the Kuffar” – that is, unbelievers. “We got to take out the U.S. government. The U.S. government is nothing but Kuffars.” Among the unbelievers were FBI agents, about whom Abdullah declared: “Deal with them, deal with them the way, the way they supposed to be dealt with…. It’s not that complicated, man….If they are coming to get me I’ll just strap a bomb on and blow up everybody.” A law enforcement official wrote in an affidavit that “Abdullah and his followers have trained regularly in the use of firearms, and continue to train in martial arts and sword fighting” – in accord with Abdullah’s dictum that every Muslim believer should “have a weapon and should not be scared to use their weapon when needed.”

Abdullah found justification for all this in the Islamic holy book, the Qur’an, which he said “justified stealing, robbing and other illegal acts, as long as they profit Islam.”

One would think that Muslim spokesmen in America would be anxious to prove their moderate bona fides by repudiating Abdullah, praising the efforts of law enforcement officials, and announcing new measures to teach against the understanding of Islam that prevailed at the Masjid al-Haqq and to shore up the moderate Islam that politically correct orthodoxy insists prevails in all mosques in America in the first place. But no such luck.

What's next, news that Angela Davis has traded her 'fro for a burka or Niqab?

The National Ummah was established in 1987 by former FBI ten most wanted fugitive, Black Panther "Minister of Justice," H. Rapp Brown, who has been known as Jamil Abdullah Al Amin following his conversion to Islam while in prison from 1971 to 1976 for his role in a robbery that ended in a shootout with New York police.

The National Imam of the National Ummah, Al Amin’s group is composed mostly of African-American converts to Islam who seek to establish a separate Sharia-law governed state within the United States.

Al Amin currently is serving life in prison without the possibility of parole for the March 2000 shooting that killed Fulton County, Georgia Deputy Sheriff Ricky Kinchen and the wounding of deputy sheriff Aldranon English. The deputies - both African-Americans - were attempting to serve Al Amin a warrant for failing to appear in court to face charges of driving a stolen car and impersonating a police officer.

During Al Amin’s murder trial, the Masjid Al Islam mosque in Los Angeles – which called Al Amin "one of the pillars of our local Islamic communities," declared that his arrest was nothing less than a challenge to "establishing Islam in America."


In his 1994 book. Revolution by the Book, Al Amin wrote that "when we begin to look critically at the Constitution of the United States, we see that in its main essence it is diametrically opposed to what Allah has commanded."

During the period he was a leader of the Black Panthers, Al Amin stated that "violence is as American as cherry pie” and that "if America don't come around, we're gonna burn it down.”

A former Black Panther colleague of Al Amin was Angela Davis, who also was a prominent Communist Party USA member and political candidate in the early 1980s.

Davis was a notorious black nationalist from the mid-1960s through the early 1970s, at which time she became the subject of an intense manhunt and a FBI “Most Wanted” designee after a shotgun registered to her was used during the killing of a judge in an attempt to free a black convict.

Davis eventually was caught, tried and acquitted because the jury decided that just because she owned one of the guns used in the judge’s murder it was not sufficient to establish her involvement in the plot. She temporarily relocated to Cuba following her acquittal.

Aren't you glad Obama's in the White House? His conciliatory tactics should cool all this talk of setting up a Shariah state in the United States, no? And don't you feel safe with Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State? Too bad H. Rap Brown and his eager followers didn't get the memo.

Hillary prayed at the shrine of the Muslim saint Muhammad Iqbal in Lahore today.
hillary praying
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, second right, prays together with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, right, in front of the grave of the Poet Muhammad Iqbal, at the Iqbal Memorial in Lahore, Pakistan, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009. Clinton is on a three-day state visit to Pakistan. (AP)

Climate Change and the savior state

Mark Steyn's irreverent look at the real implications on the climate change talks coming up in Copenhagen.

I’m always appreciative when a fellow says what he really means. Tim Flannery, the jet-setting doomsaying global warm-monger from down under, was in Ottawa the other day promoting his latest eco-tract, and offered a few thoughts on “Copenhagen”—which is transnational-speak for December’s UN Convention on Climate Change. “We all too often mistake the nature of those negotiations in Copenhagen,” remarked professor Flannery. “We think of them as being concerned with some sort of environmental treaty. That is far from the case. The negotiations now ongoing toward the Copenhagen agreement are in effect diplomacy at the most profound global level. They deal with every aspect of our life and they will influence every aspect of our life, our economy, our society.” Hold that thought: “They deal with every aspect of our life.” Did you know every aspect of your life was being negotiated at Copenhagen? But in a good way! So no need to worry. After all, we all care about the environment, don’t we?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Judy Savoy performing in Ottawa!!!!

Net Ministries is sponsoring her hilarious one-woman show at 7 p.m. at the Schenkman Arts Centre on November 10.

More info at

She's terrific. Don't miss it!

Yeah! Archbishop Dolan takes on the New York Times

H/t The Anchoress. (Oh I'd like to meet her, too. And Archbishop Augustine Di Noia and now New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan --more names to the list of people I'd like to meet someday).

Archbishop Dolan writes an op ed for the New York Times, which the paper has so far refused to publish. No wonder.

t is not hyperbole to call prejudice against the Catholic Church a national pastime. Scholars such as Arthur Schlesinger Sr. referred to it as “the deepest bias in the history of the American people,” while John Higham described it as “the most luxuriant, tenacious tradition of paranoiac agitation in American history.” “The anti-semitism of the left,” is how Paul Viereck reads it, and Professor Philip Jenkins sub-titles his book on the topic “the last acceptable prejudice.”

If you want recent evidence of this unfairness against the Catholic Church, look no further than a few of these following examples of occurrences over the last couple weeks:
  • On October 14, in the pages of the New York Times, reporter Paul Vitello exposed the sad extent of child sexual abuse in Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community. According to the article, there were forty cases of such abuse in this tiny community last year alone. Yet the Times did not demand what it has called for incessantly when addressing the same kind of abuse by a tiny minority of priests: release of names of abusers, rollback of statute of limitations, external investigations, release of all records, and total transparency. Instead, an attorney is quoted urging law enforcement officials to recognize “religious sensitivities,” and no criticism was offered of the DA’s office for allowing Orthodox rabbis to settle these cases “internally.” Given the Catholic Church’s own recent horrible experience, I am hardly in any position to criticize our Orthodox Jewish neighbors, and have no wish to do so . . . but I can criticize this kind of “selective outrage.”

Of course, this selective outrage probably should not surprise us at all, as we have seen many other examples of the phenomenon in recent years when it comes to the issue of sexual abuse. To cite but two: In 2004, Professor Carol Shakeshaft documented the wide-spread problem of sexual abuse of minors in our nation’s public schools (the study can be found here). In 2007, the Associated Press issued a series of investigative reports that also showed the numerous examples of sexual abuse by educators against public school students. Both the Shakeshaft study and the AP reports were essentially ignored, as papers such as the New York Times only seem to have priests in their crosshairs.

  • On October 16, Laurie Goodstein of the Times offered a front page, above-the-fold story on the sad episode of a Franciscan priest who had fathered a child. Even taking into account that the relationship with the mother was consensual and between two adults, and that the Franciscans have attempted to deal justly with the errant priest’s responsibilities to his son, this action is still sinful, scandalous, and indefensible. However, one still has to wonder why a quarter-century old story of a sin by a priest is now suddenly more pressing and newsworthy than the war in Afghanistan, health care, and starvation–genocide in Sudan. No other cleric from religions other than Catholic ever seems to merit such attention.
  • Five days later, October 21, the Times gave its major headline to the decision by the Vatican to welcome Anglicans who had requested union with Rome. Fair enough. Unfair, though, was the article’s observation that the Holy See lured and bid for the Anglicans. Of course, the reality is simply that for years thousands of Anglicans have been asking Rome to be accepted into the Catholic Church with a special sensitivity for their own tradition. As Cardinal Walter Kasper, the Vatican’s chief ecumenist, observed, “We are not fishing in the Anglican pond.” Not enough for the Times; for them, this was another case of the conniving Vatican luring and bidding unsuspecting, good people, greedily capitalizing on the current internal tensions in Anglicanism.
  • Finally, the most combustible example of all came Sunday with an intemperate and scurrilous piece by Maureen Dowd on the opinion pages of the Times. In a diatribe that rightly never would have passed muster with the editors had it so criticized an Islamic, Jewish, or African-American religious issue, she digs deep into the nativist handbook to use every anti-Catholic caricature possible, from the Inquisition to the Holocaust, condoms, obsession with sex, pedophile priests, and oppression of women, all the while slashing Pope Benedict XVI for his shoes, his forced conscription -- along with every other German teenage boy -- into the German army, his outreach to former Catholics, and his recent welcome to Anglicans.

True enough, the matter that triggered her spasm -- the current visitation of women religious by Vatican representatives -- is well-worth discussing, and hardly exempt from legitimate questioning. But her prejudice, while maybe appropriate for the Know-Nothing newspaper of the 1850’s, the Menace, has no place in a major publication today.

I do not mean to suggest that anti-catholicism is confined to the pages New York Times. Unfortunately, abundant examples can be found in many different venues. I will not even begin to try and list the many cases of anti-catholicism in the so-called entertainment media, as they are so prevalent they sometimes seem almost routine and obligatory. Elsewhere, last week, Representative Patrick Kennedy made some incredibly inaccurate and uncalled-for remarks concerning the Catholic bishops, as mentioned in this blog on Monday. Also, the New York State Legislature has levied a special payroll tax to help the Metropolitan Transportation Authority fund its deficit. This legislation calls for the public schools to be reimbursed the cost of the tax; Catholic schools, and other private schools, will not receive the reimbursement, costing each of the schools thousands – in some cases tens of thousands – of dollars, money that the parents and schools can hardly afford. (Nor can the archdiocese, which already underwrites the schools by $30 million annually.) Is it not an issue of basic fairness for ALL school-children and their parents to be treated equally?

The Catholic Church is not above criticism. We Catholics do a fair amount of it ourselves. We welcome and expect it. All we ask is that such critique be fair, rational, and accurate, what we would expect for anybody. The suspicion and bias against the Church is a national pastime that should be “rained out” for good.
Dolan has a blog, too! Good for him.

In which Jay Currie says kind things about me

He writes:

The wonderful Deborah Gyapong took time off from swimming the Tiber (and her posts on that are deeply moving) to stop by the Justice Committee hearing today. There she snapped some pictures.

Richard Warman was there. It was interesting to see him in person. He asked me to identify myself because I was taking pictures and took some of him. I showed him my press gallery pass. I don’t recall his name being mentioned so no, he was not sent “under the bus” as some bloggers speculated. Warman strikes me as quite young, young enough to be Jennifer Lynch’s son. deborah gyapong

Deb is a very much better Christian than I. I fear that my reaction would have involved a good deal of invective and not so much of the other cheek stuff. Who the f**k does this man think he is? A CSIS agent?

You know, maybe I am too accommodating. I wish I had channeled Kathy Shaidle at that moment.

But I'm slow on the uptake.

But then, maybe I would still be courteous, just tell him with great diplomacy but firmness that it is none of his business.

The Holy See's man in Canada

One of the best articles about our beloved Apostolic Nuncio yet. And so true. We will miss you, Archbishop Ventura!

Fr. Raymond de Souza writes:

Archbishop Ventura, a rising star in the diplomatic corps, was sent to Canada in 2001 from his previous assignment in Chile. In the Catholic world, Canada would not be as prestigious as Chile, a Catholic country where the nuncio is also accorded the honour of being dean of the diplomatic corps.

So why did Canada get Ventura, plucked out of Chile after just two years and sent to the frozen north?

He was sent to Canada after concern emerged in Rome in the late 1990s that the Church in Canada was adrift, losing her confidence and evangelical zeal. The most senior cardinals in Rome convened to figure out what to do about Canada. The remedy was in part the papal visit for World Youth Day in Toronto in 2002. Ventura was sent as well, to ensure that the momentum of that papal visit was not dissipated.

Since his arrival in 2001, Ventura has recommended the appointments of new archbishops in Vancouver, Edmonton, Regina, Toronto, Kingston, Ottawa, Quebec City, Moncton, Halifax and St. John's. He has been the architect of the renewal of the Canadian episcopate. The new spirit of Catholic confidence and evangelization evident across the country is due in large part to that renewal. Indeed, so effective has Ventura been in Canada that he departs Ottawa for Paris, one of the most senior diplomatic posts in the Church, and normally given to a man on his way to being created a cardinal.

Archbishop Chaput--listen to him

The real choice in accepting or rejecting a child with special needs is never between some imaginary perfection or imperfection. None of us is perfect. No child is perfect. The real choice in accepting or rejecting a child with special needs is between love and unlove; between courage and cowardice; between trust and fear. That's the choice we face when it happens in our personal experience. And that's the choice we face as a society in deciding which human lives we will treat as valuable, and which we will not.

H/t The Catholic Education Resource Centre---don't forget to support this valuable online resource and archive.

"You better be freaked out!" --Father Z

Father Z at What Does The Prayer Really Say is now a daily stop on my journey around the blogosphere.

I love the way he "fisks" various articles, including this recent story about a lecture by a priest who is also an exorcist.

He writes (his bolds):

"The lecture was definitely interesting," Satterlee said. "It freaked me out too, which I knew it would." [You better be freaked out.]
And recently, he fisked Maureen Dowd's hideous column in the New York Times. The words in black are Dowd's, the red (and the bolds) are Father Z's.

As the Vatican is trying to wall off the “brides of Christ,” Cask of Amontillado style, it is welcoming extreme-right Anglicans into the Catholic Church — the ones who are disgruntled about female priests and openly gay bishops. Il Papa is even willing to bend Rome’s most doggedly held dogma, against married priests — as long as they’re clutching the Anglicans’ Book of Common Prayer. [This is really the only point: "welcoming extreme right Anglicans". This is it. And so now it all has to be about misogyny and homophobia. So, you attack the Nazi-loving, holocaust denying Pope of Rome. She blames him for clerical pedophilia and AIDS in Africa. When she says "the Church" does bad things, she means "he", Pope Benedict.]

“Most of the Anglicans who want to move over to the Catholic Church under this deal are people who have scorned women as priests and have scorned gay people,” Briggs said. “The Vatican doesn’t care that these people are motivated by disdain.”

But Father Z then delivers the coup de grace:

Dowd writes about religion as if she really cares about it. But she doesn’t. This is camouflage. If she can write these manifest lies, whatever Catholicism Maureen Dowd once had wound up with a forceps shoved through its skull a long time ago.

Oooof! Nice to see someone hit back hard against the vile trope that has been so prevalent concerning the Holy Father's generous offer to us Anglicans who wish to be fully Catholic while preserving our precious patrimony. It is about being faithful to the revealed religion as received by the Apostles and handed down faithfully from generation to generation. It's not about women or homosexuals. If those other Anglicans had decided it was okay to change the elements of the Eucharist to milk and raisin cakes, we would have left over that. It is the tampering with a God-ordained sacrament that bothered us. It allowing the latest sociological and trendy politically correct thinking of the age trump the Word of God that we are concerned about. Thank you Father Z for the uppercut this trope deserved.

As Cardinal Pell once said:

We are called to fight and battle against evil in its many forms. We know that evil will triumph if enough people do nothing.

Good parents will battle to protect their children. People will even give their lives for great causes, to defend their country.

I don’t think a Christian can say “I’m a lover, not a fighter”.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

People I'd like to meet some day--Victor Davis Hanson is one

In the spirit of "if you don't ask, you don't get," here is a partial list of some of the people I would like to meet some day.

Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop Charles Chaput, Dr. Pat Santy (aka Dr. Sanity), and Victor Davis Hanson. What a wonderful, brilliant writer. They all are.

Here's Victor Davis Hanson:

When Obama talks of a trillion here for health care, a trillion there for cap-and-trade, it has a chilling effect. Does he include the cost of interest? Where will the money came from? Who will pay the interest? Has he ever experienced the wages of such borrowing in his own life? Did he cut back and save for his college or law school tuition, with part-time jobs? Did he ever run a business and see how hard it was to be $200 ahead at day’s end?

What destroys individuals, ruins families, and fells nations is debt—or rather the inability to service debt, and the cultural ramifications that follow. When farming, I used to see the futility in haggling over diesel prices, trying to buy fertilizer in bulk, or using used vineyard wire—when each day we were paying hundreds in dollars in interest on a “cut-rate” 14% crop loan.


Here's his analysis of Jimmy Carter and Carterism:

Remember, Jimmy Carter was loved up until about 1978, as he bragged of human rights, slashed defense to use the money for more entitlements, promised to get troops out of Korea, sold out the Shah, intrigued with the exiled Khomeini, pooh-poohed communists in Central America, sold warplanes without bomb racks to our allies, lectured on the inordinate fear of communism and sermonized how no one would die on his watch.

We were his Plains Sunday school class, he the sanctimonious prayer leader. The lions abroad would lie down with us, the new lambs, at home. “I will never lie to you” Carter repeated ad nauseum. I used to listen to his call-in empathy radio shows while driving to work as a grad student, and at 24 thought “Does this adult really believe all this?”

And then somewhere around 1979 the world finally sized him up—and the result was a bleeding American goat crossing the Amazon as the piranha swarmed. Radical Islam was on the rise. The Soviet army invaded Afghanistan. Nicaragua blew up. Iran took hostages. And in reaction Carter devised brilliant strategies like boycotting the Olympics and arming jihadists in Pakistan—and more lecturing us from the rose garden. He wanted a flashy hostage rescue mission—after slashing defense in 1977-8: but the two don’t mix, as he learned.

Read the rest of this. It's terrifying and prophetic about where Obama's policies could take not only the United States, but the world.

But then, you could just believe, he suggests:

I hope I am wrong about all of the above, and that human nature really has magically changed in the era of Obama. So close your eyes, listen to the Messiah’s voice, and repeat: “Debts will be forgiven by creditors; inflation will not follow from massive borrowing; breakthroughs in solar and wind will power our cars and heat our homes; enemies will admire our compassion and join us to achieve world peace; and terrorists are either misunderstood or provoked needlessly by our bellicosity that alone stands in the way of peace.”

Believe all that and you can lay back and enjoy the age of Obama.

It's all getting a little creepy for Victor Davis Hanson

For me, too. At The Corner, he writes (my bolds):

The Victory Column and vero possumus megalomania of 2008 have now led to the deification of Obama as our new Caesar, man of letters (who, in the ancient tradition, enslaved a million in Gaul), and to his communications czar’s praising the embattled Mao (her favorite “political philosopher”) for leading China’s Communist legions to glorious victory over those running-dog Nationalists. Add in the classical-column props at the convention and the Moses-like talk about the seasreceding and the planet’s cooling, and I think this administration assumes we have a Holy Man in the White House. And when you consider the depiction of Fox News as heresy, Rush as the anti-Christ, and the NEA as the medieval church, it all gets, well, sort of creepy.

Douthat is making too much of the Muslim angle

Ross Douthat has an interesting op ed over at The New York Times that is certainly better than the average Dowdian bashing of the Holy See's offer to Anglicans to allow them to become Catholic yet still keep some of their distinctives.

He writes:

Along the way, he’s courting both ends of the theological spectrum. In his encyclicals, Benedict has addressed a range of issues — social justice, environmental protection, even erotic love — that are close to the hearts of secular liberals and lukewarm, progressive-minded Christians. But instead of stopping at a place of broad agreement, he has pushed further, trying to persuade his more liberal readers that many of their beliefs actually depend on the West’s Catholic heritage, and make sense only when grounded in a serious religious faith.

At the same time, the pope has systematically lowered the barriers for conservative Christians hovering on the threshold of the church, unsure whether to slip inside. This was the purpose behind his controversial outreach to schismatic Latin Mass Catholics, and it explains the current opening to Anglicans.

Many Anglicans will never become Catholic; their theology is too evangelical, their suspicion of papal authority too ingrained, their objections to the veneration of the Virgin Mary too deeply felt. But for those who could, Benedict is trying to make reunion with Rome a flesh-and-blood possibility, rather than a matter for academic conversation.

The news media have portrayed this rightward outreach largely through the lens of culture-war politics — as an attempt to consolidate, inside the Catholic tent, anyone who joins the Vatican in rejecting female priests and gay marriage.

But in making the opening to Anglicanism, Benedict also may have a deeper conflict in mind — not the parochial Western struggle between conservative and liberal believers, but Christianity’s global encounter with a resurgent Islam.

I think he's making too much of the Islam angle. The culture war angle is more accurate, I think, but not along the line of the smears against Pope Benedict XVI as a nazi-loving, misogynist homophobe as in Maureen Dowd's view.

I'm with Mark Steyn on his analysis of the problem the west faces from Islam. If our culture were healthy, if we were firmly emplanted on and nourished by and flourishing through our Judeo-Christian foundations, Islam--in either its benign or virulent forms-- would not be a threat at all. Instead in the West we have what Pope John Paul II called "the culture of death" and what Benedict, when he was Cardinal Ratzinger, called the "dictatorship of relativism."

It's the new relativist secularist fundamentalism that is the threat and as liberal religions allow it to water down their theology and relavitize and spiritualize all content from their theology, Benedict is creating a safe haven for those who want to be true to the Apostolic faith as handed down from generation to generation, faithfully, from those first eye witness accounts of Jesus our Lord.

I heard David Warren speak recently and one thing he said struck me---he mentioned how the cathedrals of Europe are filling again, this time with converts from Islam.

This is not something we hear much about is it? We're also not hearing about the massive conversions happening in places like Egypt, either.

No Islam is not a threat to the Catholic Church. We in the west, especially in Europe, are our own worst enemies. If we were not imploding, if our civilization wasn't in rampant decay, we would be able to be warm, generous and firm with our Muslim brothers and sisters insofar as necessary to make sure that fundamental freedoms are respected here.

Would you think it funny to piss on your mother's picture? Or Obama's?

Here we go again. The latest instance of the open season on Christians and the kind of material that human rights commissions will never protect us from. In fact, they are merely providing the levers of government power so Christian expression can be shut down by various "interest" groups :

"Was Larry David always this crude? Would he think it's comedic if someone urinated on a picture of his mother?" Donohue said in a statement. "This might be fun to watch, but since HBO only likes to dump on Catholics (it was just a couple of weeks ago that Sarah Silverman insulted Catholics on 'Real Time with Bill Maher') and David is Jewish, we'll never know."

During Sunday's episode, David, who created, wrote and produced "Seinfeld," visits a bathroom in his assistant's home and splatters urine on a picture of Jesus. Instead of wiping it off, David leaves the restroom. Minutes later, David's assistant enters the bathroom and concludes that Jesus is crying. She then summons her mother to the bathroom, where both women kneel in prayer.

"When David and Jerry Seinfeld (playing himself) are asked if they ever experienced a miracle, David answers, 'every erection is a miracle,' Donohue's statement continued. "That's what passes for creativity these days."


Instead of using the usual reaction of saying no other revered religious figure would be treated like this, the Anchoress poses this question:

Forget Jewish, forget Muslim. If, let’s say, Kelsey Grammer had done precisely the same thing on his show, but using an image of, oh, let’s just say ferinstance, Barack Obama, do you think he’d still have a career?

Frankly, the idea of an image of a pissed-on Obama “weeping,” and some of his fans falling to their knees over it would have a lot of satirical value; it would offer commentary both on the excesses of religious and political worship, and offend fewer people than David’s cowardly joke.

It takes no courage for an rich, unbelieving “artist” to piss on Christ. After all, that’s been done before. And Jesus voluntarily submitted himself to much worse, which means nothing an “artist” does to any image of Christ can do anything but reflect on the spiritual poverty of the “artist,” himself. For an “artist” to use Jesus for a cheap joke is about as “courageous” and “bold” as making a joke about George W. Bush before an audience of like-thinkers; it takes no courage at all.

But for an “artist” to make an identical satirical “joke” on Obama and his adorers? That would take great courage. That would be bold, and daring. And it would speak reassuring volumes about free speech in America.

I would not want to see it. I would not want to see the image of any American President so ill-used; he’s my president, too.

I agree. I would not want to see Obama's image or, frankly, the image of any human being so used.

But the Anchoress is so right. Doing this to Jesus is not courageous at all, because we Christians will only maybe boycott you, (note to self, no more HBO products), write letters or make phone calls.

And satirizing Obama. Whew. He's trying to bring the whole weight of White House power to shut down Fox News, thereby sending a message to any of its sponsors that they could face government's heavy hand as well. Imagine CNN having to vet that comedy sketch?

Yup. Definitely a career limiting move in left-leaning Hollywood.

Hmmmm.....would Jennifer Lynch love this law?

Soon it may be illegal in Europe to say anything critical of either Islam or homosexual behavior.

(But open season on Christianity will be a government-funded free-for-all, I am sure):

Harassment, as vaguely defined in the directive, allows an individual to accuse someone of discrimination merely for expressing something the individual allegedly perceives as creating an “offensive environment.” The definition is so broad that anyone who feels intimidated or offended can easily bring legal action against those whom he feels are responsible. Moreover, the directive shifts the burden of proof onto the accused, who has to prove the negative, i.e. demonstrate that he or she did not create an environment which intimidated or offended the complainant. If the accused fails to do so, he or she can be sentenced to paying an unlimited amount of compensation for “harassment.”

The European press has mostly remained silent on the topic so far, but Christian congregations are extremely worried. Last August, Mgr. Andrew Summersgill issued a statement on behalf of the Catholic bishops of England, Wales and Scotland, rejecting the directive because it would require people and organizations to act against their beliefs. “Homosexual groups campaigning for same-sex marriage may declare themselves to be offended by the presentation of the Catholic Church’s moral teaching on marriage, an atheist may be offended by religious pictures in an art gallery, or a Muslim may be offended by any picture representing the human form,” said Mgr. Summersgill.

“When providing a service (such as a hotel room) or selling goods (such as books) in the EU, businesses and their employees will have to provide them or risk being sued, irrespective of whether they find themselves facilitating sexual ethics contrary to their religious beliefs or helping promote another religion,” say the legal experts of the British organizations Christian Concern for Our Nation (CCFON) and Christian Legal Centre. Organizers of a Christian conference, for instance, will be legally obliged to make double rooms available to homosexual and unmarried couples as well as to normally married couples.
This is what Section 13 would have done if Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn hadn't gone nuclear, as it were.

But there is lots of work to be done, because I sure got the impression from the smiling Jennifer Lynch last Monday that for her equality trumps. And the kind of equality she is speaking of is not equality of opportunity and equality based on a Judeo-Christian conception of human dignity as made in the image of God. No, it's something more new-fangled and modern than that. It's equality of outcome, where people like her are needed to nicely socially engineer society and enforce political correctness so that everyone comes out the same in the end.

Thankfully, many gays and Muslims are waking up to how draconian this kind of legislation is. We stand with them.

They want to be part of a free, pluralistic society where we can be ourselves in the public square, agree to disagree, and argue from our various standpoints for the common good WITHOUT FEARING FOR OUR LIVES or the HEAVY HAND OF STATE POWER.

The Archbishop's Charity Dinner

Ottawa's Catholics packed the cavernous Hampton Park Inn dining hall in the Archbishop's Second Annual Charity Dinner. This year the donations will be shared between the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and the Shepherds of Good Hope.

The 730 spaces were sold out.

Archbishop Terrence Prendergast also gave a timely address that examined elements of Pope Benedict XVI's latest encyclical on the Church's social teaching Caritas in Veritate.

He's posted his remarks on his blog The Journey of a Bishop. Here are a couple of things that stood out to me:

Benoît dit que l’ouverture radicale à la vie que le Pape Paul défend dans Humanae Vitae doit être la source d’inspiration de la doctrine sociale de l’Église, qui a pour but de promouvoir l’épanouissement intégral de la vie commune à tous les plans.

Le Saint-Père clarifie encore davantage ce point lorsqu’il commente que les sociétés qui dés-accentuent la vie, même au point de promouvoir la contraception artificielle et l’avortement, souffrent de difficultés économiques très concrètes.

Pope Paul VI had said that to understand the great concern for the development of peoples, especially those in the Global South, manifested in the late 1960s, one needs to see this process as the world’s response to a call from God.

For God wishes the full human development of every single person on the planet. And this should be the interest and goal of all human efforts towards the eradication of poverty, the alleviation of suffering and concern for the planet.

Every human being includes the unborn child in the womb, in other words. The Archbishop also said this:

Sometimes, we in Canada give the impression we believe all social services ought to be provided by the State and that there ought to be no need for food banks or shelters such at the Shepherds of Good Hope provide. And would that food banks and shelters were not needed! But being engaged and committed to assisting with the work of St. Vincent de Paul, clothing depots and an occasional or ongoing contact with the poor becomes a blessing to us and our fellow volunteers.

In his first encyclical, Deus caritas est (God is love), Pope Benedict pointed out the risk of the state providing everything and soon “absorbing everything into itself” producing “a mere bureaucracy incapable of guaranteeing the very thing which the suffering person—every person—needs: namely, loving personal concern.

“We do not need a state that regulates and controls everything—he said—but a state that, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, generously acknowledges and supports initiatives arising from the different social forces and combines spontaneity with closeness to those in need.

"The Church is one of those living forces: She is alive with the love enkindled by the Spirit of Christ. This love does not simply offer people material help, but refreshment and care for their souls, something that often is even more necessary than material support.”

Thank you for being part of this humanizing movement and for allowing yourselves to be touched by the poor in our midst, the friends of our God.


I'm not sure who the couple is with the Archbishop, who made a point of greeting as many attendees as he could. But the man shown standing at the table where Archbishop Prendergast is sitting is Canada's beloved Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Luigi Ventura, who is making his last lap of public appearances before taking up a significant posting in France.

We are very blessed to have Archbishop Prendergast in Ottawa! And very blessed to have had Archbishop Ventura serving Canada as a sign of the Holy Father's love over these past eight years.

It's always wonderful to see congruence in the inner lives and outward ministry of our spiritual shepherds. I thank God for them.

The cast of characters in the alleged cartoon plot

Mark Steyn has some thoughts on the latest arrest of men allegedly plotting revenge killings in Denmark for the Mohammed cartoons.

Two U.S. residents, one an American citizen, one a Canadian citizen, educated and assimilated, and enjoying a nice enough living to be able to afford to fly to Denmark to kill a couple of guys over a cartoon. In the long run, Afghan cave-dwellers and Waziristani goatherds are less of a threat than fellows like Messrs Headley and Rana. The company name — "First World Immigration Services" — is a rather droll jest.
But if present trends continue in the First World, (if the time is not already here), one will not be able to write about such people in our midst in a candid, frank, factual way, either because people will fear for their lives and property or because government censorship boards masquerading as "human rights" commissions will impose draconian fines and lifetime speech bans for telling the truth.

I think we have to ask ourselves "assimilated to what?".

If we have people coming to North America from any background and they are only assimilating to a shell culture of materialism, western clothing and music and a choice of porn channels and entertainment masquerading as news, then we're going to reap the consequences.

Integration and assimilation needs to be into something that has more of a civilizational core than the ability to make a fast buck and to choose our individualistic pleasures.

Without our Judeo-Christian foundations we're toast. Our biggest enemies are within, the ones who have adopted an alien aggressive secularism laced with Marxist platitudes and utopianiasm.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Jennifer Lynch's remarks to the Justice Committee

Have been posted here at the Canadian Human Rights Commission site. Here's an excerpt. My bolds:

Today, our Act still brings a powerful vision to Canada, brilliantly articulated in section 2: The purpose of this Act is to give effect to the principle that every individual should have the right equal with others to make for themselves the lives that they are able and wish to have – free from discrimination.

This is what inspires me.[Okay, so the equality provision inspires her. So we see what end of the see saw balancing rights her patoot is parked on]

The Commission provides access to justice so that the most vulnerable may have their voices heard. Thousands upon thousands of complaints have been resolved.

-snip-[Some good accomplishments perhaps, but cut for brevity]

Let me be clear. Hate propaganda, sadly, is alive and well. Hateful expression aimed at groups of people continues to pose a threat to the harmony of our communities and undermines equality. Equality is guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

It is therefore ironic that some point to the same Charter as providing an absolute right to freedom of expression. No right is absolute. When rights are in conflict, legislators must find a way to balance those rights.

This debate has already been decided, in part. -snip- [another list of legal restrictions on freedom of expression such as defamation laws etc.]

The Commission has narrowly applied the law in accordance with a Supreme Court of Canada ruling and other jurisprudence. For a message to be prohibited by section 13 as “hate,” it must involve, and I quote: “extreme ill will,” “unusually strong and deep-felt emotions of detestation, calumny and vilification,” that are “ardent and extreme in nature.”

In fact, a prominent complaint filed with the Canadian Commission in 2007 is a prime example of how the Commission has properly applied this law.[Properly applied? After what a year of 'investigating'? One of three similar complaints as part of a triple jeopardy attack that arguably qualifies as lawfare? That was fair?]

The complaint was brought against Rogers Communications, owner of Maclean’s magazine, by complainants who believed that some content in the magazine constituted hate messaging.

The Canadian Human Rights Commission dismissed the complaint citing that the impugned content did not meet the narrow definition of hate.

-snip- [Quoting from the Maclean's decision]

This is the only complaint that we have ever received against mainstream media and we dismissed it. This clearly demonstrates that the Commission does not regulate offensive speech. Any other suggestion is false. [What about Catholic Insight Magazine, which is stuck with $30,000 of legal bills since it was under investigation? "The process is the punishment," said MP Russ Heibert yesterday and he's right.]

There's a lot more. Go read it for yourself.

I'll link to the transcripts when they are ready.

Muslim woman killed out of pure hatred

This is a terrible story coming out of Germany. Obviously the efforts at silencing free speech have not prevented this kind of horrible violence and hatred:

An Egyptian-born man told a German court yesterday how his pregnant wife was murdered before his eyes in a frenzied anti-Islamic attack in a case that has inflamed tempers in the Muslim world.

On the first day of the trial in Dresden of Alex Wiens, a Russian-born German, Elwy Okaz gave wrenching testimony in the same courthouse where his wife was killed.

Security was tight, with about 200 police officers on hand, after death threats were reportedly made on the Internet against the accused, who appeared behind bulletproof glass.

Mr. Okaz said the attacker plunged an 18-centimetre kitchen knife repeatedly into the veiled Marwa al-Sherbini, 31, who was three months pregnant with their second child.

When he tried to come to her aid, he, too, was stabbed several times.

How effective is the notion of balancing rights in Tingbjberg

Hmmmm. I wonder how Canadian Human Rights Commission head honcho would solve this dilemma in terms of balancing rights?

This is a must read article from Bruce Bawer, a gay man who fled the Christian right in the United States to live in more tolerant Europe. He has witnessed forms of intolerance against gays in Europe that make the Christian right in the U.S. look like a Sunday School picnic. H/t Gay and Right.

Er, does the fact that this man is gay get canceled out by the fact that he is a Christian pastor? (Because in all the talk about "dehumanizing and demonizing" certain groups, gee try being a pro-life Catholic or evangelical Christian and see how we're targeted for that kind of language).

As the neighborhood has become increasingly Muslim, it’s also been increasingly plagued by gang violence, burglaries, car-burnings, vandalism, and other offenses. Over the years, the members of Tingbjerg’s non-Muslim minority have come to feel increasingly vulnerable and ill at ease in their community. Many have moved out.

Among the latter is Ulrich Vogel. He is German and gay – and until recently he also happened to be the pastor at Tingbjerg Church. But now, after seventeen years in that position, he’s fled – moved out of the church residence, gone underground, taken sick leave, and begun psychological treatment.

Why? Because in recent years Vogel has been the repeated target of crime and harassment by local Muslims. Vogel refused to discuss his situation with Uwe Max Jensen, who reported on the story for on October 6. But Jensen found police reports in local newspapers that describe acts of vandalism at the church on March 26 and August 5 of this year and a break-in at the church residence on August 16. The latter crime involved the destruction and robbery of much of Vogel’s personal property, including his computer. And this is apparently only the tip of the iceberg: a member of the church congregation told Jensen that the residence has been broken into “countless” times.

In any case, Vogel has given up. And so, apparently, has the church council: instead of opening up a search for a substitute pastor who’s willing to live in the church residence at Tingbjerg, they’ve decided to sell it.

For days, the rumor circulated that Vogel was tormented by the young Muslims because he’s gay. Then, on October 17, Lea Holtze and Jannie Iwankow Søgaard of Kristeligt Dagblad reported that Vogel had broken his silence in order to deny that rumor. No, he insisted: he was tormented not because he’s gay but because he’s a pastor, and thus “a picture of an institution and a normality that is not welcomed by this group of young people.” Vogel also noted, truthfully enough, that he was hardly the only person in the neighborhood who had been victimized by local youth.

“It’s a whole neighborhood that’s been taken hostage,” Vogel said of Tingbjerg, complaining that “one is left to fend for oneself” there because “the police don’t do enough.” The problems, he said, can’t be dismissed as ordinary teenage hijinks: “It feels like pure malice.”

And I bet you that the majority of the Muslims in the same neighborhood also feel like hostages to radical thugs who likely do not practice the religious strictures of Islam--the prayer five times a day, the alms for the poor, and so on, the beautiful elements of the faith, but who take their identity from radical elements of that religious identity coupled with a larding of gangsta culture from the west. In other words, the thugs are mutation of the worst elements of Islam and the west.

Europe is rife with "human rights" bodies that try to make sure no one says anything offensive. And first targeted are often people like Bawer who write about stuff that everyone talks about in their living rooms in Europe but few dare discuss publicly, because doing so could bring death threats, or the real thing. In other words, you speak about unspeakable acts and you get hauled before the European version of Jennifer Lynch's commission or perhaps even a court of law, but the unspeakable acts themselves go on because it is easier for authorities to pretend they don't exist than to nip them in the bud.

Monday, October 26, 2009

This saddens me a great deal--but maybe it's not so bad

LifeSiteNews is reporting the USCCB denies signing on to this:

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 27, 2009 ( - Speaking for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver has stated that a religious coalition, which recently petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to clamp down on "hate speech" by conservative talk-show hosts, has misrepresented the U.S. bishops' involvement in their initiative.

The USCCB Office of Communications is listed as a member of the So We Might See Coalition, a group billing itself as a national interfaith coalition against hate speech in media led by the United Church of Christ's (UCC) Office of Communications' Executive Director, J. Bennett Guess.

The USCCB drew fire from conservative and Catholic commentators after the So We Might See Coalition launched a petition to the FCC, signed by the USCCB, that called for an investigation into "hate speech" in media and that singled out conservative radio pundit Rush Limbaugh as a primary culprit.

Don't these religious organizations realize that their efforts to squelch conservative talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh will backfire on them--at least the ones that still preach anything Christian concerning life and human sexuality?

Tsk. Tsk. Tsk. Deal Hudson writes at Inside Catholic:

In an important article for the American Spectator, Jeffrey Lord describes the effort of "So We Might See" -- "a national inter-faith coalition for media justice," according to its Web site -- to force a Federal Communications Commission investigation of conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh.
The organization's petition to FCC chairman Julius Genachowski and the assistant secretary for communications and information, Larry E. Strickling, specifically accuses Limbaugh of causing the June 2006 beating of two Mexican men by four teenagers in Rocky Point, New York. "This incident occurred after radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh called Mexican immigrants, regardless of legal status, 'a renegade, potential crime element that is unwilling to work.'"
So We Might See regards Limbaugh's words as an example of "hate speech" that led to violence. But Limbaugh is not the only talk radio host considered dangerous. In his article, Lord notes that Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, and Lou Dobbs are also singled out in an e-mail from So We Might See staffer Rev. Ben Guess, a United Church of Christ minister.
Several religious groups are listed as "principal partners" in the interfaith coalition of So We Might See, including the National Council of Churches, Islamic Society of North America, Presbyterian News Service, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) -- and the Office of Communications for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Preach about civility and virtue all you want. Call us to come up higher in our discourse. But PLEASE, I beg you, do not go to government to shut anyone down unless they are threatening your life, lying about you with malicious intent (as people have done about Limbaugh, who may be polemical but he is no racist) or fomenting others to commit violence against you.

Otherwise, you, my Christian brothers and sisters, will be next.

Moon the hero of the committee hearing

Professor Richard Moon was the hero of today's House of Commons justice and human rights committee on the Canadian Human Rights Act's hate speech section 13. Even Ezra Levant had positive things to say about his testimony:

Richard Moon was a pleasant surprise. . . . he stayed focused on his central recommendation: to abolish section 13, and he unpacked that a bit for the MPs who bothered to ask him.
Ezra said if he'd stayed on this message he would have been a hero. Interesting he would use the same word as I did. He has criticisms too, which you will find if you follow the link above.

Moon, a very pleasant chap, made a clear and unqualified defense of his report's first and chief recommendation to repeal section 13. Though he was asked later to respond to questions about possible improvements to the legislation as it stands, he kept on returning to a good, solid, cheerful defence of freedom of speech.

Afterwards, I introduced myself to him and told him that many have treated his key recommendation as if it did not exist. They have only focused on his secondary recommendations should the censorship provision not be repealed. He agreed, but told me he thought repeal was unlikely. In this Parliament, he's right. Highly unlikely.

I see Ezra Levant has been live-blogging the event, with many entries.

As for Canadian Human Rights Commission head Jennifer Lynch, Q.C. she literally made my jaw drop.

Though she had her back to my while she was testifying, I could see her face from the side and her Cheshire Cat grin was wide enough for me to see her upturned lip. She came across as the smiling school marm, patiently explaining to everyone about how equality and freedom of speech need to be balanced. Was word "balanced" part of Jay Currie's drinking game?

Oh, I see it isn't. If it had been included, those who sipped every time she used "balancing rights" or some variation would have soon been staggeringly drunk.

I got the sense she was perhaps trying to brazen this whole thing out by "demonizing and dehumanizing" her critics, aka. Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant as lying and hurtful. She did not concede one ioata that any examples of abuses by HRC employees. They live up to the highest ethical standards, she said.

Does she assume (possibly accurately, I'm afraid) that no MP has the time to investigate the transcripts where her employees or a former employee admit under oath that they posted antisemitic and anti gay remarks on the Internet?

Does Lynch assume that no one will be well-prepared enough to seriously challenge her? Alas, she may be right. But I am sure that as soon as the transcript comes out an army of bloggers will fisk every word. Eventually, the work they do may matter. We'll see.

Richard Warman was there. It was interesting to see him in person. He asked me to identify myself because I was taking pictures and took some of him. I showed him my press gallery pass. I don't recall his name being mentioned so no, he was not sent "under the bus" as some bloggers speculated. Warman strikes me as quite young, young enough to be Jennifer Lynch's son.

And I don't recall seeing any interaction between him and Jennifer Lynch either during the breaks. He sat by himself, as far as I could tell. I wasn't paying a whole lot of attention to him.

Jennifer Lynch puts on her smile when she is talking, but as she sat listening to the testimony after her turn before the committee was over, she came across as quite anxious, twisting her bracelet, her brow furrowed. And she seemed to have a nice tan!

The discussion was civil and made me think of what Kathy Shaidle has written about venue. I can't seem to find it, but in her post she explains that just as a comedian would get punched out if he said certain things on the floor of a club that he gets away with on the stage, a blog post is a wilder and woolier venue for free speech than your usual cocktail party discussion or committee meeting.

Polemics do not work as well in a House of Commons committee venue. Why? Because there are certain agreed upon norms of courtesy and civility that allow people who have diametrically opposed views to debate issues. This by its very nature rather dampers things down to almost snore-fest levels. Rarely is anyone as entertaining as Mark and Ezra were Oct. 5. Polemics, alas, are distrusted because it is often assumed that where there is spin there are no facts or what facts there are have been spun out of recognition. And there is a constant subtle policing for remarks that go over-the-top in a partisan way so there are opportunities for fake outrage and censure on the Hill, but I digress.

It's too bad that Ezra and Mark's style and conservative viewpoints make it easy for people to assume the smiling, patient bureaucrat with the bafflegab is telling the truth and to dismiss their more colorful voices. Most of us who've been on this beat, however, have followed the links and see the verbal pyrotechnics are backed up by facts. As Ezra said when he testified, he found it hard to believe what he was then telling them until he actually pored over the transcripts and discovered they were. Sometimes even sticking to the facts can make you sound shrill or exaggerated. Sad but true.

Jay Currie, who was also live-blogging with several posts, has some interesting analysis of some disturbing points in defence of Section 13 by the Mark Freiman of the Canadian Jewish Congress:

I was struck by this trope, badly enunciated by Lynch, but burnished by Freiman “Intention is a dangerous precondition: if we are not focused on the wrong doer. If we are looking at the speech itself then intention is not as important.”

This is very clever indeed. Because it seeks to divorce the speech act, the expression, from the speaker so that, miraculously, the right of the speaker to due process as his Charter Rights are being taken away, is no longer engaged.

On this logic, Warman v. Lemire is not at all about Lemire: it is about what Lemire put on his website and so it is just fine to largely ignore the procedural protections one would think warranted if Lemire the person was actually being prosecuted. This is a truly brilliant bit of abstraction (way over Lynch’s head) and, with the greatest respect to Mr. Freiman, is a distinction without a difference.

Simply put, every expression has an author. It is impossible to speak of a “hate message” divorced from the utterer of that message because, without the utterer of the message there would be no message. Just as without a murderer there would be no murder. But it was an elegantly palmed card.

This is disturbing because it is the idea underlying why truth and intention are not a defence under Section 13. Moon pointed out that in practice intention has been considered in the CHRT cases he's read.

To be fair to the folks from the Canadian Jewish Congress, they are concerned about procedural abuses and the fact that even frivolous cases get investigated, leaving respondents to complaints often holding a huge legal bill. They would like to see frivolous cases dismissed right off the top and respondents whose complaints have proved groundless receive compensation. But they like the elasticity of Section 13 and that scares the hell out of me.

Jay Currie had some more observations that I share:

It was, frankly, embarrassing to see how ill prepared all of the MPs on the Committee actually were. Mr. Comartin had a clue but the rest of the members were underbriefed in the extreme.

The whole Committee set up with its ridiculously limited time was shocking. However, more shocking, the Members of the Committee knew how limited their time was. I did not see a single one of them use the time they had effectively. Now, with Moon, Farber and Freiman this was not a huge problem – frankly Freiman could have guided them along and they never would have known it – but the sheer inability of the Committee members to master their briefs meant Lynch was able to run down the clock without really dealing with any of the administrative and procedural irregularities which have characterized the hate section.

When Lynch stated “Unsubstantiated personal attacks at Stacey and Kozack…I am proud of my staff.” One of the members should have been ready with chapter, verse and transcript citation. As it was, Lynch’s tactic of denial and delay meant the Committee is no closer to discovering what corruption lies at the heart of the hate speech section.

Why, I wonder, did the conservatives get so few questions. There were a few times when Jennifer Lynch's smile looked like it might melt off when the Tories got a little tougher with her.

I think it was MP Russ Hiebert who said, "The punishment is the process." Good for him.

BTW, I agree with Ezra that NDP Comartin Joe Comartin did a good job. He put Jennifer Lynch on the spot. Ezra writes:

Joe Comartin was up next. He put a crystal clear question to Lynch: had she done an investigation or analysis into my accusations against Dean Steacy or Richard Warman?

Lynch's reply: she went back to re-reading her opening statement. How embarrassing.

After eating up a couple of minutes of Comartin's time, Lynch finally just called my and Steyn's accusations "misinformation". She claims that she had personally "looked into the matter", and reassured Comartin that he can have "pride" in their conduct.

Comartin interrupted her evasion, and asked again: "did you conduct a detailed investigation into those allegations?" Lynch says she has -- and that there has been no "breach of any law or ethic". Really? I look forward to seeing the result of those detailed investigations. I haven't filed an access to information request in a while -- this one sounds ripe.

The smiling blonde with the eye make up and the tan is Jennifer Lynch. The CJC's Burnie Farber and Mark Freiman are shown sitting at the table. Warman is the young bald man with the glasses. And Richard Moon is in the last photo at the bottom.

There were a number of different philosophical and legal positions laid out in today's committee. That's the level it seems most MPs prefer to keep the debate. And there is lots to keep them busy in this vein. But I think something needs to be done to investigate possible procedural abuses, too.

Is Benedict building an Ark?

Does Pope Benedict know something we don't know that is prompting him to act in such haste.

From Dr. Robert Moynahan at Inside the Vatican (my bolds--read the whole thing and subscribe to his news flashes):

If one looks at these meetings in the context of recent events, the essential point is this: Benedict XVI, though now 82, is moving on many different fronts with great energy in a completely unexpected way, given his reputation as a man of thought, not of action. (We are going to have to revise our understanding of his pontificate.)

He is clearly reaching out to reunite with many Christian groups: the Lefebvrists, as these meetings show, but also Anglicans, the Orthodox, and others as well.

He seems to be trying to make Catholic Rome a center of communion for all Christians.

This activity, occurring at an accelerating speed over recent months, looks almost like a "rallying of the troops" before some final, decisive battle.

The activity is critically important, in this sense, for our current global "culture war," especially our anthropology (can man be anything our technology can make him, or are their moral limits we should observe?), our sexuality and sexual behavior (how important is our sexual identity, how important are our gender roles?), and our traditional family structures (are these now outmoded, perhaps even to be completely discarded?).


In short, many eyes are now on Benedict, wondering what he really intends here.

The answer seems simple enough: Benedict is trying energetically to "get his house in order."

But which house?

On one level, it is the Christian Church -- a Christian Church under considerable pressure in the highly secualrized modern world.

In this "house," this "ecclesia Dei" ("church of God" or "community of God"), dogmas and doctrines, formulated into very precise verbal statements, are held as true. These verbal formulas are professed in creeds. Benedict is seeking to overcome divisions over the content of these creeds, these doctrinal formulas, in order to bring about formal, public unity among separated Christians.


One might almost say this pontificate is become one of "all dialogue, all the time."

But on a second level, considering world events and the evolution of the world's economy and culture, something else is also at stake.

Benedict is rallying his troops. He is trying to reunite all those factions and denominations and groups in the West that share common beliefs in the eternal destiny of human beings, in the sacredness of human life (since human beings are "in the image and likeness of God"), in the existence of a moral standard which is true at all times and in all places (against the relativism of the modern secular culture), in the need for justice in human affairs, for the rule of right, not might.

And so he is doing his best, in what seems perhaps to be the "twilight of the West," to build an ark, centered in Rome, to which all those who share these beliefs about human dignity may repair.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Today's Red Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral

Archbishop Prendergast has his post on the Red Mass up, including his homily, in which he says:

"We discover ourselves to be like Bartimaeus the blind man, spiritually blind and in need of Christ’s healing and illumination. "

Oh that we could be like Bartimaeus and press in to Jesus and not take no for an answer until he hears us and heals us!

Hey, could it be true? I'm getting this up before the Archbishop? Usually he out blogs me when we're at the same event.

These pictures are from today's Red Mass, to ask the Holy Spirit's blessing on Canada's judicial system.

A number of judges and lawyers processed in and sat in the choir.

Then the Thomas More Society threw a reception down in the parish hall.