The ObamaCare Vote

Story developing ... It looks like Landrieu's vote has already been bought. The language giving $100 million to "major disaster" states [read: Louisiana] has already been adopted into the bill. The Louisiana Purchase: $100 Million Payoff to Buy Sen. Landrieu's Vote... Is it 49 Republicans + Lieberman + Landrieu = 51 that oppose ObamaCare? Is there some reason that Obama wouldn't be content with a 50-50 split vote with Biden deciding and Landrieu crumpling? Hey, Biden, aren't you Catholic? Not for long ... No. Correction: it's 58 Senate Democrats + 2 Senate Independents = 60 votes to move the bill to full debate. But I thought Lieberman would fight the debate motion with a philibuster ...? Wow ... this is getting really interesting. Can Reid get the 60 votes to take ObamaCare to full debate? Here's the (Far) Left's take on the Landrieu buyout, from the Daily Kos:  Right spreads false rumor that Reid "buying" Landrieu's vote Read More November 20, 2009

Like a Bad Penny ...

Israel displays coins from ancient Jewish revolt  -- News story about recent archaeological discoveries beneath the Temple Mount They are such small things to bear such great scars. The violence which destroyed the Second Temple in AD 70 is legendary. These coins were excavated "from an ancient street below the Temple Mount." Some of these coins were "melted down to unrecognizable chunks of pockmarked and carbonized bronze from the flames that destroyed the Temple."  Jesus foretold this destruction moaning beneath the weight of the cross on the road to Calvary. Luke 23:27-31: A large crowd of people followed Jesus, including many women who mourned and lamented him. Jesus turned to them and said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children, for indeed, the days are coming when people will say, 'Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.' At that time Read More November 17, 2009

The Heresy of Freemasons

Freemasonry is, I suppose, what it set out to be: the glorification of the construction of unthinking, unmoving walls. But Robert Frost reminds us that something there is, something original and free within man, that doesn't love a wall.  The walls of the freemasons limit reason by excluding Revelation; they limit marriage by denying its life-giving Sacrament; and they forbid for a free society the source of its freedom, the Church's saving truth. As to their reported deviousness, freemasonry is like the long-nosed child catcher of Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang , who roams the world offering lollipops, ice cream, and candy on the condition that you gleefully run into his disguised cage. Freemasonry is a cunning vehicle of anti-Church sentiment, and in their way, a sweet relic of the blunter parts of the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and America's Founding Fathers. We are called to condemn this heresy. The captains of the Church, for their part, have been too long steadfa Read More November 15, 2009

Research: What's the problem with Masons??

One of the seniors in my Morality course keeps interrupting class to ask about the Masons. He asks me, "Why do Catholics have such a problem with the Freemasons?" I've had to admit to him that I honestly don't know. Today, I finally found the answer. I was taught the answer today in my Old Testament Theology course with Dr. Brant Pitre at Notre Dame Seminary. After some dark allusions to the masons in class, Dr. Pitre referred further questions to Pope Leo XIII's encyclical Humanum Genus . Before I tackle that encyclical, I first need to familiarize myself with masonic vocabulary. Like, what's the difference between masons and freemasons? And what's this I remember from American history about the Anti-Masonic Party? I turn to Wikipedia ... Freemasonry is a fraternal organisation that arose from obscure origins in the late 16th to early 17th century. Freemasonry now exists in various forms all over the world, with a membership estimated at around 5 m Read More November 14, 2009

Why don't some churches use musical instruments in worship?

I just finished reading Scott Hahn's entry for the Psalms in the Catholic Bible Dictionary , and--this is an ulcer that never goes away--I was again irritated by practice of some churches refusing to use musical instruments during worship. A few years back I attended some Church of Christ services (never partaking in their communion) out of respect for a friend who was of that church. I noticed that they sang always a capella , so I asked my friend why. My friend told me that the early Church did not use instruments, and so why should the modern church? The following are some online articles making this same point, the first of which could use better sourcing: Why Don't We Use Musical Instruments in Worshop? by Michael S. Cole, M.D. Instrumental Music in the New Testament Worship Service by Elder Zack Guess Church of Christ Doctrine  at Learn the Bible (makes an interesting point concerning harps in Heaven) There is an interesting debate being waged on Wikipedia concern Read More November 11, 2009

Saint of the Day: St. Martin of Tours (11/11/09)

For Veteran's Day, we celebrate our men in uniform, past and present. St. Martin of Tours, the soldier monk whom we also celebrate today, gives us an interesting perspective on the life of a soldier. St. Martin, pray for us! I wish I had started this a couple days back, so Blessed John Duns Scotus could have been the first one for this blog. By my very rough Latin, I've always thought "Duns Scotus" meant the "dumb Scot"--wouldn't that have been the perfect way to begin ... with a good dose of humility? Oh, and I'm pretty sure Duns Scotus was the first one to work out a theological basis for the Immaculate Conception, which is pretty stinkin' cool. Anyway... Today is the feast day of St. Martin of Tours. At first blush, all I know is that Charles Martel must be the hero of Tours if not the saint. Remember how he and the Frankish armies were victorious at the Battle of Tours? Charlie Martel, the Hammer? ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Read More November 11, 2009

D.C. Sniper Set to Be Executed - WSJ.com

D.C. Sniper Set to Be Executed - WSJ.com If you read the comments posted to this article, you can see just how bloodthirsty some people are when it comes to punishing people such as the DC sniper. For example, "He needs to be killed quickly and in the most horrific way possible with no due process." I ask you, is this healthy? Is this a culture of life with people clamoring for the healing of not only the sniper's victims, but the sniper, himself? Or, is this a culture of death seeking death? Can any good come from evil means? Is the death penality evil means? Is the American government's application of capital punishment moral? The article quotes some a child of one of the sniper's victims (see below). What do you think of this? Is it possible for us to move beyond a moral code of retribution (i.e. an eye for an eye) to one of love and beatitude? Cheryll Witz is one of several victims' relatives who were going to watch the execution. Malvo confessed that Read More November 10, 2009

A Trade? We'll Pass ObamaCare If You Ban Abortions ...

Senior Democrat is 'confident' that Stupak amendment will be stripped - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room : The Health Care Bill would not have passed the House without this ammendment banning federal money being used to subsidize abortions: "Sixty-four Democrats voted for Stupak’s amendment, without which the House healthcare bill would not have won final passage in a 220-215 vote." "Stupak’s language not only prohibits abortion coverage in the public insurance option included in the House bill. It would also prevent private plans from offering coverage for abortion services if they accept people who are receiving government subsidies." DANG! Is a practical ban on abortion a high enough ransom for this blasted bill? I want to say yes. Sure! Of course. But I don't want to be rash. Where is the serpent's twist? “'It was extremely painful for me to feel compelled to vote for a bill that contained that kind of restriction on a woman's ability to Read More November 09, 2009