Monday, April 12, 2010
The white-anting of American Catholicism
Eaten away from within by pretend Catholics whose real loyalties are not even spiritual. Does anybody believe that the pedophile priests were true men of God?
So much that you need to know about the Catholic Church's social policy problems can be summed up in one word: Chicago. On race, abortion, guns, immigration and "community organizing," Catholic Church officials in the Windy City have forged unholy alliances with radical left-wingers and enablers who undermine the faith -- and the faithful.
Exhibit A: the Archdiocese of Chicago's Office for Racial Justice and one of its most notorious priests, the Rev. Michael Pfleger. This week, Chicago Cardinal Francis George -- who also happens to be president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops -- presided over a gala ceremony honoring Pfleger with a "lifetime achievement award" for his "service in pursuit of dismantling racism, injustice and inequalities on behalf of African Americans and all people of color."
How, pray tell, has Pfleger achieved the officially sanctioned Catholic vision of "racial justice"? By aligning himself with the nation's worst racial demagogues and using his pulpit at the St. Sabina Catholic Church on Chicago's Southside to promote poisonous identity politics.
Pfleger (who is white) grabbed the spotlight during the 2008 presidential campaign with jive-talking defenses of his fellow race-hustler and President Obama's spiritual mentor the Rev. Jeremiah ("God damn America!" and "AmeriKKKA!") Wright and Jew-bashing hate-monger Louis (Judaism is a "gutter religion") Farrakhan. The racial justice award-winner called the latter a "great man" and welcomed him to his church.
Pfleger, a member of the Catholics for Obama Committee, stoked further racial division by mocking Hillary Clinton's skin color and accusing her of "white entitlement." It's one thing to ridicule Hillary's sense of political and ideological entitlement as part of the Clinton dynasty. But the demagogic emphasis on her race was beyond the pale.
Screamed Pfleger while wearing his Roman Catholic collar during a guest appearance at Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ: "I really believe that (Hillary) just always thought, 'This is mine (congregation laughter, hoots). I'm Bill's wife. I'm white. And this is mine. And I jus' gotta get up and step into the plate.' And then out of nowhere came, 'Hey, I'm Barack Obama.' And she said, 'Oh, damn! Where did you come from? (crowd goes nuts, Pfleger screaming). I'm white! I'm entitled! There's a black man stealing my show. (sobs!)' She wasn't the only one crying! There was a whole lotta white people crying!"
On a roll, Pfleger mustered up his best Wright imitation and let loose on the entire country, proclaiming: "America is the greatest sin against God."
Pfleger has also embraced hate-crime hoax engineer Al Sharpton. Outraged Catholics across the country called on the archdiocese of Chicago to remove Pfleger. In response, Cardinal George meekly suspended Pfleger for two weeks over his "partisan" remarks -- and has now honored him for his "service" to "racial justice."
The sermon in 1 Corinthians 15:33 teaches us that bad company corrupts good character. Have they forgotten?
In an e-mail exchange with Pfleger this week, he indignantly accused me of not telling the "truth." When I quoted his own toxic words back to him, he accused me of being "mean-spirited."
This rogue Catholic priest has been arrested for vandalizing billboards in his community; threatened to "snuff out" a gun shop owner (Pfleger claims he didn't mean to imply he would kill the businessman, just expose his private home address); and flouted church rules limiting tenure. When the archdiocese attempted to enforce its two-term limit on Pfleger, he taunted them to "have the balls to fire" him. They didn't -- and Pfleger continues to serve indefinitely.
Mimicking Planned Parenthood and the death lobby, the Chicago archdiocese defended late-term-abortion supporter Obama as "pro-choice" rather than "pro-abortion" this week -- and did nothing in 2003 when Pfleger put radical-leftist actor Harry Belafonte on the St. Sabina pulpit to rail against former President George W. Bush's pro-life policies.
Cardinal George did think it worthy of his time to condemn the "hate literature" of Illinois Catholic columnist Tom Roeser, who raised his voice against the church's pedophilia scandal and criticized the willingness of Catholic Church leaders to sign on to the Obamacare sellout for the sake of "social justice."
For years, the far-left Catholic Campaign for Human Development forked over funding to Chicago-based, Saul Alinsky-trained outfits that employed then-community organizer Obama. And the Chicago archdiocese has also lobbied aggressively alongside open-borders groups to undermine immigration enforcement, to halt homeland security raids against employers breaking immigration laws and to demand mass amnesty.
As if the massive global sex-abuse scandal that cost at least $3 billion in litigation and inflicted immeasurable pain and grief on Catholic molestation victims hasn't done enough damage to its credibility, the Pfleger-ization of the Catholic Church goes on unabated. And the likes of Cardinal George are doing nothing to stop it.
This is not the Catholic Church I was raised in. It has left me.
Thank God for the one man who has the courage to stand up to the British ruling elite's assault on Christianity
The following encomium to Lord Carey is by Melanie Phillips, who is Jewish. Lord Carey was one of the few Archbishops of Canterbury in recent times who clearly believed in God
The Church and the judiciary are two of the most venerable pillars of the establishment. But in an explosive development, war has been declared between them over one of the most fundamental aspects of our society - freedom of religious conscience.
In an unprecedented move, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, and other church leaders are calling upon the Master of the Rolls and other senior judges to stand down from future Court of Appeal hearings involving cases of religious discrimination because of the judges' perceived bias against Christianity.
The churchmen believe that because of these judges' past rulings, there is no chance of a 'fair' judgment if they hear the latest such case, which has been scheduled for Thursday .
This involves Gary McFarlane, formerly a Christian relationship counsellor for Relate. he is appealing against an employment tribunal ruling that upheld his sacking for refusing to give sex therapy to homosexual couples.
According to newspaper reports, Lord Carey has prepared a witness statement in support of Mr McFarlane in which he will apparently accuse the Court of Appeal of making a series of 'disturbing' judgments and being responsible for some 'dangerous' reasoning which could lead to Christians being banned from the workplace.
In the light of recent events, such fears are scarcely exaggerated. For Christianity is under relentless attack from secular British institutions, as a result of which the freedom of Christians to practise their religion is being lost.
A steady stream of Christians have found themselves out of a job on account of their religious beliefs. When nurse Shirley Chaplin refused to remove her cross, for example, she was prevented by the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust from working with patients.
And when Duke Amachree, a Christian homelessness officer with Wandsworth council, advised a client to put her faith in God, he was promptly suspended, marched off the premises and then sacked.
In a string of other cases, Christians have been prevented from serving on adoption panels or as marriage registrars because their religious beliefs mean they cannot sanction civil partnerships or gay adoption.
Such employment difficulties reflect a wider institutional animus against Christianity. Teachers bend over backwards to promote other religions at its expense. The BBC and the artistic world miss no opportunity to trash it or hold it up to ridicule, while the political class and intelligentsia take an axe to its moral precepts on issues such as euthanasia, sex outside marriage and abortion.
Among some churchmen, there has been rumbling alarm about this for some time. Only last month, Lord Carey and a group of bishops wrote to the Press to denounce such 'discrimination' against churchgoers as 'unacceptable in a civilised society'.
But this new initiative elevates such protest to a very different level. To prevent discrimination against Christians being set in stone, Lord Carey wants religious discrimination cases to be heard by a special panel of judges with some knowledge of religious matters. As an insult to some of the biggest wigs in the land, this could hardly be exaggerated.
By throwing down the gauntlet to the judiciary in this way, Lord Carey is mounting a full-frontal challenge to some of those who most influence our society.
The last of several final straws for these clerics was the case of Lilian Ladele, a registrar who was sacked by Islington council after she refused to conduct civil partnership ceremonies because they were against her Christian beliefs. Led by the Master of the Rolls, Lord Neuberger - the second most important judge in england - the Appeal Court ruled that it was unlawful for her to refuse to do so.
It might be argued that these judges were merely ruling on the basis of anti-discrimination law and that they were right to do so. But in fact, these judges had discretion to rule in Ms Ladele's favour because the law upholds not one principle relevant to this case, but two - and they compete with each other. For enshrined in the European Convention on human Rights is the right to exercise religious conscience.
Why, then, did the judges in this case set aside the human Rights Convention, which they normally revere as holy Writ? Because, said Lord Neuberger, it only protected those religious beliefs which were 'worthy of respect in a democratic society and are not incompatible with human dignity'.
So what the Master of the Rolls effectively seemed to be saying was that Christian beliefs are unworthy of respect in a democracy, and incompatible with human dignity - a truly preposterous claim, since Judeo-Christian precepts invented the concept of human dignity
Indeed, such a ruling comes very close indeed to criminalising Christianity. For if putting Christian belief into practice is outlawed, it won't be long before Christian believers find themselves outlawed.
No wonder Lord Carey and his colleagues have been galvanised into militant action. For under the guise of promoting ' tolerance' and 'liberal' social attitudes, anti-discrimination law is deeply intolerant and illiberal.
That's because it has nothing to do with fairness and everything to do with ideology. It is innately on the side of minorities on the basis that they are by definition vulnerable to the majority. So in the hands of the judiciary, it has turned into a fearsome weapon against Britain's mainstream attitudes and faith.
The result is that Christianity is now in danger of being turned into a despised and marginalised creed practised only by consenting adults in private.
Christians are already being forced into renouncing their religious beliefs if they want to remain in certain jobs. This is simply intolerable in a liberal society where freedom of religious conscience is a bedrock value.
Yet while Christians find themselves under the legal cosh, a double standard is employed towards certain minority faiths. Thus a Christian nurse is told she can't work with patients unless she removes her cross while Muslim NHS staff have been exempted from hygiene rules stipulating that their forearms must remain uncovered.
The relentless message from the top of our society is that Christianity - the foundation-stone of Western liberty, tolerance and democracy - is intolerant, bigoted and objectionable in contrast to other faiths. Their own precepts may be truly inimical to liberty or reason, but to these we must not turn a politically correct hair.
What Lord Carey has rightly grasped is that if the judiciary is not challenged and this process is not stopped, within a short space of time our society will have slid off the edge of a cultural cliff.
But he is having to fight more than the judiciary. For on this great issue - the defence of his religion and the values of this society - his successor, Dr Rowan Williams, is conspicuously silent. Indeed, more than that he is positively embracing his faith's destruction. For along with Lord Phillips, the former senior Law Lord, Dr Williams has welcomed the advance in Britain of Islamic sharia law - which really is inimical to democracy and equality.
The highest echelons of both the Church and the judiciary seem incapable of grasping why Christianity is crucial to this country and has to be upheld and defended against attempts to undermine and destroy it, from wherever such attacks may come. To which all one can say is thank God for Lord Carey - and doubtless he is saying so, too.
What You Won’t Read in the Media about the New Birth Data
Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released preliminary U.S. birth data for 2008. A flurry of news stories followed.
Two statistics dominated the headlines: the total number of births fell by 2 percent, after peaking in 2007, and teen birthrates declined as well, reversing a slight two-year uptick.
But the mainstream media completely ignored the most genuinely concerning trend in childbearing. In 2008, more than 4 in 10 children, or about 1.7 million births, were born to unmarried mothers.
For decades, unmarried childbearing has been trending unrelentingly upward. In 1960, about 5.3 percent of all births were to unmarried mothers. Ten years later, it had doubled to 10.7 percent. By 1980, it was 18.4 percent, and in 1990, 28 percent.
The 1996 welfare reform, which aimed to reduce out-of-wedlock childbearing as it is a primary cause of child poverty, slowed its growth rate for a few years, but by 2003, it resumed the dramatic climb, an increase of 17 percent in 5 years.
In 2008, 40.6 percent of all births in the U.S, were to unwed mothers, according to the new CDC report. While unwed teenage childbearing comprised one-half of all unmarried births in 1975, in 2008, the 133,000 births to those under age 18 comprised less than 8 percent of all unmarried births (22 percent if 18- and 19-year-olds are included).
Indeed, out-of-wedlock childbearing has largely become a twenty-something phenomenon. About 37 percent of all unwed births were to the young twenty-something, and another 23 percent to unmarried women in their late twenties.
Why should the steady increase in unwed childbearing concern the public?
For one, “the 1.7 million out-of-wedlock births are an overwhelming catastrophe for the taxpayers and society.” Heritage senior research fellow Robert Rector explains:
"The steady growth of out-of-wedlock childbearing and the general collapse of marriage lie at the heart of the mushrooming welfare/dependence state. This year taxpayers will spend over $300 billion providing means-tested welfare aid to single parents. The average single mother receives nearly three dollars in government benefits for each one dollar in taxes paid. These subsidies are largely funded by the heavy taxes paid by higher income married couples."
The public cost of unwed childbearing is burdensome, but weighty social concerns loom large as well. Heritage’s Robert Rector further explains:
"The U.S. is rapidly evolving into a two caste system with marriage and education at the dividing line. Children in the top half of the population are born to married couples with a college education; children in the bottom half are born to single mothers with a high school degree or less."
The disappearance of marriage in low income communities is the predominant cause of child poverty in the U.S. today. If poor single mothers were married to the fathers of their children, two thirds would immediately escape from poverty. In addition, the absence of husbands from the home is a strong contributing factor to crime, school failure, drug abuse, emotional disturbance and a host of other social problems.
And how have the Obama administration and the Congress responded to these worrying trends?
They have proposed to effectively eliminate the only remaining federal program to strengthen marriage. Instead, the administration and the Congress have created two new programs, including one in the healthcare legislation, that implicitly endorse a message of permissiveness among teens. Costing about $200 million per year, the new programs fund additional comprehensive sex-ed, and add to the existing $610 million per year that already support these programs.
For five decades, unwed childbearing has risen steadily, with no indication of relenting. Yet the only government response has been to spend more, a failing solution that also undermines the institution of marriage.
Black racism in basketball
He’s been cursed by fans from North Carolina and taunted in road arenas throughout the ACC. Still, the chant that Duke guard Jon Scheyer remembers the most occurred during an AAU game back in high school.
Time and time again as Scheyer dribbled up the court, the opposing coach stood on the sideline and barked orders to his players. “Get the white boy!” the coach said. “Get the white boy!” Scheyer was the only non-African-American on his team.
“Obviously,” Scheyer said, “he was talking about me. I had a number and a name [on my jersey]. But instead it was ‘Get the white boy!’ “
No one, though, was ever able to stop Scheyer from reaching his potential. Not at his Chicago-area high school, where he led his team to a state championship. Not at Duke, where he earned first-team all-ACC honors. And not in Indianapolis, where Monday’s NCAA title game between the Blue Devils and Butler has taken on an unfamiliar look.
Five white players could be on the court at tipoff. That’s the most since 1998, when six white players started in the Utah-Kentucky final. Gordon Hayward and Matt Howard – two of Butler’s top players – are white. So are five of Duke’s top seven players.
Even though the race issue isn’t discussed in polite company, it’s been the subject of hushed conversations at the Final Four and will be obvious to anyone in attendance or tuning in at home. The subject is so taboo that even Larry Bird bristles when it’s brought up.
The Blue Devils, who have been described as “alarmingly unathletic,” powered past West Virginia by 21 points in Saturday’s national semifinal. Hayward and Howard managed to lead small school Butler to victories over three Top 15 teams en route to a berth in the championship game.
Negative stereotypes about lack of speed, agility and leaping ability are being challenged. “For me, it was always just about being a basketball player,” Hayward said. “I’d watch some of the great white players in the NBA and say, ‘Why can’t I do that?’ “
One of those players was Bird, the NBA Hall of Famer and Boston Celtics legend, who is now the president of basketball operations for the Indiana Pacers. Before his team’s game against Houston on Sunday, Bird became agitated when he was asked if he still thought negative stereotypes existed about white players.
“Who cares?” Bird said. “I mean, really … who cares? If you can play, you can play anywhere. It doesn’t matter what the stinking color of your skin is.”
Like many people, Bird doesn’t like to talk about the race factor in college basketball and the professional ranks. Last summer he was heavily criticized for selecting Tyler Hansbrough, who is white, with the 13th overall pick in the NBA draft.
Hansbrough was a three-time All-American, an NCAA champion and the leading scorer in the tradition-rich history of the Tar Heels’ program. But to some critics he was just another white player on a roster that already included former Duke standouts Josh McRoberts and Mike Dunleavy and ex-Notre Dame star Troy Murphy.
Hansbrough is out for the season because of health reasons, but McRoberts, Dunleavy and Murphy combined for 50 points in Sunday’s victory over Houston. The Rockets got a team-high 17 points from rookie Chase Budinger, a second-round draft pick from Arizona who is also white.
When he was in elementary school, Budinger said his friends laughed at him when he told them his goal was to become a professional basketball player. “It was just because of the stereotype that’s out there,” he said. “It stuck with me. I told them, ‘I’m going to be a great player. You’re going to look back when I’m in the NBA and kick yourselves in the butt.’ “
For a time, Budinger was projected as a first-round pick in last summer’s draft, but he slipped into the second round. He thinks he knows why. “I heard a lot leading up to the draft that I was soft and that I wasn’t athletic or quick enough to play in this league,” Budinger said. “That stereotype came from being white and from being kind of different. “I grew up in a predominantly white suburb of San Diego and didn’t have the background some of these guys have, being from L.A. or Chicago.”
Players such as Duke’s Kyle Singler and Hayward are hoping the same thing doesn’t happen to them in the future. Both are potential first-round picks who will likely face similar questions about athleticism and speed. “For me, growing up, it wasn’t about the color of anyone’s skin,” Singler said. “I just wanted to play against the best players, no matter if they were white or black. That’s how the game should be. People should respect the game and learn to appreciate the [individual] players.”
Butler guard Zach Hahn agrees. “Everyone is born with an equal opportunity,” he said.
Duke’s Brian Zoubek, Brigham Young’s Jimmer Fredette and Syracuse’s Andy Rautins are white players who have flourished in this year’s NCAA tournament. St. Mary’s, Northern Iowa and Cornell reached the Sweet 16 with predominantly white rosters.
According to a University of Central Florida study released in 2008, 32.5 percent of Division I college basketball players were white during the 2006-07 season.
“I don’t like it when people make a big deal about me being white,” Scheyer said. “But that’s just the way it is. Ultimately, as long as you keep winning, how can people keep saying that?”
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
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