Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Married priesthood? What a priest thinks

Father Joe tackles a discussion of the celibate priesthood. I should mention that he echoes what I've heard from other priests: that they wouldn't change the requirements if it were up to them.

My experience has been that the only people who are really gung-ho for a married priesthood are the ones who simply want to blur the line between clergy and laity in order to make themselves feel semi-clerical. It's a control issue on their part. If you would refuse to consider a priestly vocation as it stands because it requires too much sacrifice, what makes you think you're the sort that God wants in the priesthood to begin with?

This is how a man dies

We may never know this man's name, but be assured God does. Gentlemen, read the story with your hat off.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Private Snafu: Gripes

Someone has been uploading Private Snafu shorts to the Internet Archive in greater numbers recently (thanks, K-otic!), and they're a treasure trove for both animation fans and history buffs. Films like these were invaluable for training a huge number of newly-enlisted civilians. You could teach them to shoot or to march easily enough, but teaching them to think like soldiers was another matter altogether. In this film, Private Snafu has to learn a lesson that goes by several names: Military discipline, teamwork, bread-and-circuses, and "the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world." All part of training the soldier to take orders and not second-guess his superiors, which is vital in a wartime army but totally alien to a civilian.

Notice the similarities between the narration here and If I Ran the Circus, which I just read to the chilluns a few days ago. Same meter, same rhymes, and in some places even identical phrasing. Guess which animator probably wrote this one.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

How do you say "duh" in Spanish?

This is the woman who represents us to the rest of the world:
During her recent visit to Mexico, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made an unexpected stop at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe and left a bouquet of white flowers “on behalf of the American people,” after asking who painted the famous image. [Emphasis mine]

Yeah, but Bush was dumb!

Following that, Mrs. Clinton went to receive the Margaret Sanger award from Murder, Inc. Next stop will no doubt be a bronzed ax handle from the Ku Klux Klan.

Akubra tip to SondraK.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's her own fault...

... for running against The One™.

The next election is going to make the last one look like kids in the sandbox, folks. Assuming we actually get to have an election. I've never seriously considered the possibility before that we might not, but now I'm wondering. These people genuinely believe that all political contenders except their own must be destroyed by any means necessary. Ethics and the democratic process be damned.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I don't get it

Am I the only one who thinks today's Day by Day strip reads kind of like a Chick tract?

In any case, I don't get the point of this one.

Friday, March 20, 2009

This is what happens when you separate science....

from "ideology" (whatever that means). Also when you separate it from any whiff of ethics or morality, and indeed from anything except profit motive for campaign donors.

Found at Mock Barack. I don't endorse most of what's there, but when it comes to human life issues, we seem to be on the same page.

Fifteen years ago today

My dad died of a brain tumor. Someday I'll write a lot about my dad, but not now. Not while I have family members who read this blog.

There are more things on Facebook, Horatio

than probably ought to be dream't of.
Horatio thinks he saw a ghost.

Hamlet thinks it's annoying when your uncle marries your mother right after your dad dies.

The king thinks Hamlet's annoying.

Laertes thinks Ophelia can do better.

Hamlet's father is now a zombie.

It only gets better.

The scary part is how well it fits. My Lovely and Brilliant Wife convinced me to sign up for Facebook a couple of weeks ago. I've been getting caught up with childhood friends and classmates I haven't seen in twenty-five years, and a couple of cousins I haven't heard from since the 1979 eclipse. Plus some friends and relatives I haven't lost touch with over the years but who also seem to spend a lot of time there.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Smartassery

You know, Ireland had its own Lady Godiva. Except she rode through the streets of Dublin in her Erin Go Bra.

I would have liked to do a whole serious post about the vital role Ireland played in the preservation of Christianity. But I simply don't have time between overdue deadlines and an inbox that runneth over. So I'll settle for a cheap shot instead:

Nobody, but nobody, can laugh at themselves like the Irish. It's a grand world that has Ireland in it.

Hoist a jar and [vulgar sentiments toward] the English!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Purina diet

Put down your beverage and make sure your Depends are secure before you read this. You have been warned.

Akubra tip to Her Sondraness.

Oy vey!

You know things are going downhill when the Elders of Zion start retiring.

The best line:
“I always used to complain that Jews ran the world,” said Reginald Weber, author of “Zionists and Zookeepers: The Unholy Alliance.” “But now I’m starting to worry that nobody’s in charge.”

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

More on the Connecticut church grab

Here's a thought: Suppose the aim of the Connecticut bill isn't actually to take control of the Church, but to force it into property rights battles that it will lose over the hospitals and health care facilities.

The Church has already drawn a line in the sand over abortion. As things stand, the bishops have said that not only will they close hospitals rather than allow abortions, but they will also refuse to sell the facilities to anyone else. Suppose the state intends to place the Church in a position where their hospitals aren't theirs to sell or not sell. There hasn't been any clear precedent yet in cases where the hierarchy of a church and an individual parish are at odds, as far as who gets the parish property. A lay-controlled church would be easier to manipulate, and if the property is under the state's control, the religious tenets become irrelevant as far as the state is concerned.

But the possibilities go farther than just abortion. Currently, the reason the threat of closing hospitals carries weight is that Catholic hospitals and charities tend to serve low-income areas that wouldn't support for-profit hospitals. If those hospitals close, the government will be forced (oh, so reluctantly) to cover the shortfall. This plan would have the twin benefits of (a) encouraging poor districts to vote in favor of socialized health care and (b) putting facilities already positioned in those areas under the control of the government. Convenient, no?

What do you think? Is the state looking this far ahead? Or is it just run-of-the-mill government asininity?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

No pope but Caesar!

Let me get this straight. The State of Connecticut wants to pass a law removing all authority over a Catholic parish's affairs (not any other church, mind you, just Catholic) from the bishop and handing it to a lay council.
(a) A corporation may be organized in connection with any Roman Catholic Church or congregation in this state, by filing in the office of the Secretary of the State a certificate signed by the archbishop or bishop and the vicar-general of the archdiocese or of the diocese in which such congregation is located and the pastor and two laymen belonging to such congregation, stating that they have so organized for the purposes hereinafter mentioned.

(b) The corporation shall have a board of directors consisting of not less than seven nor more than thirteen lay members. The archbishop or bishop of the diocese or his designee shall serve as an ex-officio member of the board of directors without the right to vote. [Emphasis mine]

(c) The members of the board of directors shall be elected from among the lay members of the congregation at an annual meeting of the corporation. The members of the board of directors shall serve for staggered terms of not more than three years. The members of the board of directors shall owe a fiduciary duty to the corporation and the members of the congregation...

What in the name of every deity ever postulated makes these neo-Know-Nothing yahoos think they have any authority at all over the internal workings of the Church?

Forget for a moment that it's only the Catholic Church being targeted. (Although think about this, Protestant brethren: would you want the state to replace your board with a bishop?) Let's suppose for a moment that the entire Supreme Court was on crack the day this law came before it and it was upheld. No matter how many government fatbottoms stamp their approval on it, it's still unenforceable.

The moment the authority of the bishop is removed from a congregation, it ceases to be a legitimate part of the Catholic Church. Period. Rome will not recognize it; no other diocese or parish in the world will recognize it. Not just those in communion with Rome, either. No church that believes in apostolic succession will. And should the state-sanctioned council bring in a priest to celebrate Masses and hear confessions, I suspect those will be invalid as well. (I know they'll be illicit; I'll have to ask my Lovely and Brilliant Wife whether transubstantiation can actually occur outside the bishop's authority.)

The Catholic Church is not a government agency. It is not a corporation as such. It is not a democracy. It predates every government on earth (except the Japanese Empire), and it will outlast all of them, too. The state simply has no authority over the Church, and the Church has a long (and infuriating) history of ignoring dictates from caesar.

The very most that the State of Connecticut could manage (with the sound of flapping porcine wings in the background) would be to force the Church to abandon its property in the state to the puppet church, while the actual Church members met without state sanction, much like they do in China.

Naturally, I don't think it's a coincidence that the congressworms proposing this bill are all heavy supporters of same-sex marriage and abortion, two issues on which the Catholic Church has been their biggest and most organized adversary.

This is the same state that pioneered efforts to force Catholic hospitals to dispense abortifacients. Tell me again why the Church continues to operate charities of any kind in Connecticut?

Ed Morrissey gives a good non-Catholic analysis of the bill here.

World War II made simple

It won't fit in the post, so you'll have to click to read it. Well worth it!

Akubra tip to Strange Maps

Friday, March 06, 2009

Just for the heck of it

I posted the whole movie last year, but I just found a clip of my favorite part. Yes, that really is Jimmy Stewart singing.

When Johnny Toots His Horn

Monday, March 02, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss

The good doctor would be 105 today.

I sort of knew about his wartime work, but I'd never heard of Private Snafu until I started browsing through that electronic playground called the Internet Archive. The 26 shorts, made for the servicemen, were created by Dr. Seuss and produced by Warner Brothers, with the brilliance of Mel Blanc, Chuck Jones, Fritz Freling and other luminaries of early animation. This one is called "Home Front," and boosts the soldier's morale by showing him that the folks back home are behind him all the way, no matter what Michael Moore Tokyo Rose might be saying. These were educational films, but in the war years, the line between education and propaganda was necessarily blurred.

There's more here, plus some cool background.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Miss Brahms is free, I guess.

The delectable Wendy Richards has gone to that great ladies' wear department in the sky.

I never saw her in EastEnders (who in the States watches a British soap opera?), but as the toothsome tart Miss Brahms, she was a heart-winner. Here's how I remember her in Are You Being Served:

Charm God, Wendy.

The End of the Story

Paul Harvey... Good day!