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It seems Pope Francis needs to brush up on his Tertullian!

It has been reported (in The ChristLast Media, I must note) that the current Pope does not like the phrase "lead us not into temptation...

"Let no freedom be allowed to novelty, because it is not fitting that any addition should be made to antiquity. Let not the clear faith and belief of our forefathers be fouled by any muddy admixture." -- Pope Sixtus III

Friday, February 17, 2006

Does this include sodomite sheep herders and death-craving goat rapists?

AP: Men may exaggerate number of sex partners

RadioShack to close up to 700 stores.

I knew all those years of asking for your phone number would catch up to them.

RadioShack Corp. (NYSE:RSH - news), whose chief executive has admitted to lying on his resume, on Friday said quarterly profit fell 62 percent after a switch in wireless providers led to an inventory write-down, sending its shares to a nearly three-year low.

The consumer electronics retailer, which said it was hiring legal counsel to investigate the admission by CEO David Edmondson, also announced a new turnaround plan that includes closing 400 to 700 company-operated stores and liquidating slow-moving inventory.

The company said it was "unwise" to issue earnings forecasts for 2006 given the uncertainty of the turnaround plan, which could cost up to $100 million.

"We have been very cautious on (RadioShack's) ability to execute the wireless transition smoothly and are skeptical on the just-announced turnaround," Lehman Bros. analyst Alan Rifkin said in a note. "We would not be owners of (the) shares at this time."

RadioShack shares were down $1.61, or 7.8 percent, at $19.14 in afternoon
New York Stock Exchange trading after touching as low as $19.02.

Animal Flesh Recipe of the Day. (Agent provocateur edition)

Fyodor puts his neck where his blogging is, kiddies. I shall proudly lead the way for the worlwide antique media with my Piss 'Em Off Now With American Pork (PEONWAP).

So, because it tastes so good and in some sick, twisted way will soon become politically incorrect, I am proud to present

Achiote Marinated Pork Loin with Pulled Pork "Tamales" Hoisin-Key Lime Syrup
(Copyright, 1999, Ming Tsai, All Rights Reserved)

Recipe Summary
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 45 hours
Cook Time: 5 hours
Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Note: This is a 2 day process

8 pound pork loin
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup salt
1/4 cup toasted black peppercorns
6 to 8 cups water
5 thyme sprigs
1/4 cup minced garlic
1/3 cup achiote paste or powder (add 2 tablespoons rice vinegar and 1 teaspoon ground cumin)
1 cup red wine
1 cup canola oil
Salt and black pepper
Canola oil, to cook

In a container that will hold the pork loin, mix the sugar, salt, peppercorn and 6 cups water. Add the pork and cover with more water if necessary. Let brine overnight in the fridge.

Remove pork and rinse. Pat dry and set aside. Clean out same container and mix the thyme, garlic, achiote, wine and oil. Add the pork and smother with the marinade. Let stand overnight, turning once.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Remove pork from marinade and wipe off excess. Season with salt and pepper. In a hot oven-proof skillet coated with canola oil, sear the pork on all sides until brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to oven and roast for about 20 minutes. Go for an internal temperature around 150 degrees for medium. The pork should remain pink. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground ancho chile
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup sugar
6 to 8 pound pork shoulder (pork butt), cut into 3 large slabs
Canola oil to cook
2 large onions, sliced 1/4-inch
1/4 cup sliced garlic
2 cups red wine
1 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon chipotle puree (adobo)
2 bay leaves
6 cups cooked sushi rice
2 red bells peppers, roasted, peeled and diced (medium-dice)
6 each scallions, separated, 1/8-inch slice
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
8 to 10 banana leaves, cut into 8 by 12-inch pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
Chile oil to garnish

Pre-heat a large casserole or stock pot. On a plate, mix the cumin, coriander, chile, pepper and sugar. Salt the pieces of pork and season well with the spice mix. Coat the pot with oil and brown the pork on both sides, about 12 minutes.

Wipe out pot and coat again with oil. Brown the onions and garlic, about 8 minutes. Deglaze with wine and add the soy, chipotle, bay and cover with water. Check for seasoning. Bring to a boil and let simmer 4 hours until the meat is very soft. Carefully pull out pork and bay leaves. Blend the cooking liquid with a hand blender and check for seasoning. When pork is cool enough to touch, shred the pork by hand.

In a large bowl, take 6 cups of shredded pork and mix with the rice, red bells, scallion whites and cilantro. Add the sauce, a small ladle at a time just to moisten the mix. Season and check. Lay the leaves shiny side down, and place 1 cup of filling on each. Wrap by bringing the bottom up first, fold in the sides underneath, then continue folding forward. The package should end up rectangular shaped. Place in a hot steamer for 10 minutes or until piping hot.

1/2 cup canola oil plus 1 tablespoon
1/4 cup minced shallots
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup minced ginger
1 cup hoisin
1/2 cup fresh key lime juice
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat a saute pan to medium heat and an coat with 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Brown shallots, garlic and ginger, about 5 minutes. Add hoisin and saute 3 minutes. Add juice and white pepper. Scrape into a blender and puree all. With blender running, slowly add oil until smooth and emulsified. Check for seasoning.

Zig-zag the hoisin syrup and chile oil. Sprinkle the scallion greens around. Place 1 tamale and slice open. Surround with the pork slices.

Wine Suggestion:
Brouilly, Pisse Vielle, 1997 (chilled)

Hey, wait a minute...If moslems take their religion so seriously, why don't they rampage, riot, and kill when we eat pork chops?

I challenge all newspapers to send their food critics en masse to order pork dishes and then publish the reviews on their front pages.

The Great Cartoon War of '06 Update.

Who do these goat rapists think they are, La Cosa Nostra?

Cleric Offers $1 Million to Kill 'Cursed Man'

A Pakistani cleric announced a $1 million bounty for killing a cartoonist who drew the Prophet Muhammad caricatures, as thousands rallied across the country Friday and authorities arrested scores of protesters.

Silly me. Not even my idiot, criminal Italian cousins would be daft enough to whack a guy over a cartoon. Maybe this "cleric" had Saddam and the points.

Police put another Islamist leader under house detention amid fears religious radicals would incite more deadly demonstrations after Friday prayers. Five people have been killed in Pakistan this week during protests, but most demonstrations Friday were peaceful.

In Denmark, where the prophet drawings were first published in September, the government said Friday it had temporarily closed its embassy in Pakistan following the violent protests this week.

Pakistan recalled its ambassador to Denmark for "consultations" about the caricatures, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said.

Mohammed Yousaf Qureshi, prayer leader at the historic Mohabat Khan mosque in the conservative northwestern city of Peshawar, announced the mosque and the Jamia Ashrafia religious school he leads would give a $25,000 reward and a car for killing the cartoonist who drew the prophet caricatures — considered blasphemous by Muslims.

He also said a local jewelers' association would give $1 million but no representative of the association was available to confirm the offer.

"Whoever has done this despicable and shameful act, he has challenged the honor of Muslims. Whoever will kill this cursed man, he will get $1 million from the association of the jewelers bazaar, 1 million rupees ($16,700) from Masjid Mohabat Khan and 500,000 rupees ($8,350) and a car from Jamia Ashrafia as a reward," Qureshi told about 1,000 people outside the mosque after Friday prayers.

"This is a unanimous decision of by all imams (prayer leaders) of Islam that whoever insults the prophets deserves to be killed and whoever will take this insulting man to his end, will get this prize."

Qureshi did not name any cartoonist in his announcement and did not appear to be aware that 12 different people had drawn the pictures. (Imagine that! A moslem ignorant of the reality of a situation. What is this world coming to? - F.G.) The crowd outside the mosque burned a Danish flag and an effigy of the Danish prime minister.

A dignified Texas gentleman rises from the dead and puts the ol' kibosh on the antique press' intellectual circle jerk.

The lawyer shot by Vice President Dick Cheney during a hunting trip was being discharged from a hospital on Friday and told reporters he was sorry for all the trouble Cheney had faced over the past week...

Due to AP silliness, we now move to further action...

Whittington, wearing a suit and tie, gave a brief statement and didn't take questions. (That bastard! How dare he not do what the press wants! - F. G.) His voice was a bit raspy, but strong, and he had what appeared to be a line of scarring on his upper right eyelid and scrapes on his neck.

"We all assume certain risks in what we do, in what activities we pursue," the 78-year-old Austin attorney said. "Accidents do and will happen."

Amen to that, Brother. Bless him and heal him, Lord.

It's official! Half of my old Italo-Russo heart swells with pride!

Sun Sentinel: Diagram in Cheney's accident report wrong
There is something wrong with this picture. In the only publicly available, official report on last weekend's accidental shooting by Vice President Dick Cheney, a diagram of a body shows where Austin lawyer Harry Whittington was hit by pellets fired from Cheney's Italian-made shotgun.


It Takes A Village To Staff A Gestapo Unit Update.

New, Improved Hitlery Campaigns at Madame Tussauds; Courts the Votes of Dummies Everywhere

Abortionists can hear the mothers' screams, but just don't give a damn.

APA Admits Mental Problems Resulting From Abortion Ignored by Official Position (Thanks to WND for the heads up.)

American Psychological Association says procedure's effect on women not considered --LifeSite

The American Psychological Association (APA) has said that the effect of abortion on women’s mental health has no relevance in determining the association’s support for abortion.

In a special LifeSiteNews report from the Elliot Institute, a spokesperson for the APA openly stated that the Association supports abortion as a civil right, and therefore research contradicting claims that abortion improves women’s health would have no effect on the APA’s position, because “to pro-choice advocates, mental health effects are not relevant.”

I don't know about you, kiddies, but I am shocked! Shocked, I tell ya! Schocked!

The APA holds extensive scientific authority on mental health issues (Does anyone know why? They get the same respect on the sodomy front. - F. G.) —the association’s support for abortion over the past thirty years has been based on claims that in many cases abortion is necessary for women’s mental health through freedom from “unwanted childbearing.”

"Thirty-five years ago, when the APA joined in the effort to legalize abortion, they were promising more than just 'relief,'" said Dr. David Reardon of the Elliot Institute in the report. "They were insisting that abortion would fundamentally improve women's mental and physical health by sparing them the burden of unwanted children. But 38 million abortions later, there is still not a single statistically-validated study that has shown that abortion has actually improved the lives of women who abort compared to those who carry to term.”

Yep. But can people who pretend that humans in wombs are not really human be expected to respect any scientific facts?

Researchers in Christchurch, New Zealand, whose extensive study found clear links between abortion and women’s mental health problems, accused the APA of selectively ignoring current research that shows the negative effects of abortion on women’s mental health.

They suggested that the APA defense of abortion is based on seriously flawed studies, long outdated, and refuted by research from the last seven years clearly showing negative effects from abortion. In an interesting twist, the Christchurch research team, which supports abortion, undertook their study in order to attempt to refute claims that abortion damaged women’s mental health.

It is much worse than that. The APA's defense of abortion is based on rebellion against God and His good order.

View the full Elliot Institute report here: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/feb/

The protestant crackup continues apace...

...or, Don't believe the hype!

Poll: 70% of evangelicals see global warming threat
51% of respondents want government to take action even if economy is harmed --WND

Ernie Stautner, Requiescat in pace.

In the storied history of the Steelers franchise, only one player owns the distinction of having his jersey number retired: No. 70 defensive lineman Ernie Stautner.

It was a humbling honor for a man who played in nine Pro Bowls, missed six games in 14 years, overcame a lack of size with an enormous heart, landed in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on the first ballot and went on to a stellar coaching career after his 1963 retirement.

Known for his relentless style and rearranged nose (the result of countless breaks), Stautner died in a Carbondale, Colo., nursing home Thursday after an extended bout with Alzheimer's disease. He was 80.

"We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Ernie Stautner," Steelers chairman Dan Rooney said in a statement. "He was one of the greatest players to ever wear a Steelers uniform."

A third-round draft choice from Boston College in 1950, Stautner joined the Steelers well before their famed Super Bowl run of the 1970s -- the franchise was 71-86-7 -- yet he hardly played in anonymity under the watch of coaches John Michelosen, Joe Bach, Walt Kiesling and Buddy Parker.

His non-stop energy resonated through a league that featured stars such as Y.A. Tittle, Sonny Jurgensen, Rosey Grier and Dick "Night Train" Lane.
And, because he demonstrated a blue-collar work ethic (no doubt developed in his native Germany), he was a favorite of the long-suffering Steelers fans.

"Ernie's physical and relentless style of play helped the Steelers earn a reputation for being one of the NFL's toughest teams in the 1950s," Rooney said, mindful that the Steelers were 16-9-3 in Stautner's final two seasons, which included a playoff berth in 1962. "He was undersized for his position, but his strength and power were among his greatest assets."

Stautner, who played at 6-feet-1, 230 pounds, retired as the NFL leader in safeties (three) and ranked third in fumble recoveries (23).

"Ernie was one of the NFL's first impact players along the defensive line," Rooney said. "He was probably the most well-known player on the team throughout much of his career. Although he never won an NFL championship as a player, Ernie was a member of several outstanding defensive lines that included Eugene "Big Daddy" Lipscomb and Billy Ray Smith.

"Even after his playing days, we remained close friends. Ernie will be missed, but he will always be remembered for his contributions to the Steelers both as a player and a person."

After his playing career, Stautner finally earned an elusive championship ring as an assistant for the Dallas Cowboys, a heated rival of the Steelers, with Super Bowl titles in 1971 and 1977. He was the defensive line coach with the Cowboys from 1966-72 and the defensive coordinator, under the legendary Tom Landry, from 1973-88.

He is credited with helping to develop some of the greatest defensive linemen in Dallas history, including Harvey Martin, Randy White and Ed "Too Tall" Jones.

"He was kind of the backbone of our Doomsday defenses," said Gil Brandt, the vice president of player personnel with the Cowboys from 1960-89. "He kind of coached like he played. He was a hard-working, hard-trying individual who had a lot of patience in developing young players. He was easy-going and well-liked. The thing with him was that he made everybody feel at home."

Stautner also served as an assistant with the Steelers, Washington Redskins and Denver Broncos. Moreover, he was a head coach with the Dallas Texans of the Arena League and the world champion Frankfurt Galaxy of NFL Europe.

Stautner emigrated to Albany, N.Y., when he was 3. He later served in the Marines before embarking on his football career.

Survivors include his wife, Jill, five daughters and six grandchildren. Services will be held in Lewisville, Texas. (Thanks to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review for this obituary.)

From Ernie's peers:

"That man ain't human. He's too strong to be human...... He's the toughest guy in the league to play against because he keeps coming head first. Swinging those forearms wears you down. That animal used to stick his head in my belly and drive me into the backfield so hard that, when I picked myself up and looked around, there was a path chopped through the field like a farmer had run a plow over it."-- Jim Parker

"The Horse' was unbelievable. If you had four of him, you'd have a championship team - he could make that much of a difference."-- Dick Modzelewski

Visit The Official Site of Ernie Stautner.

The Michael and Cathryn Borden Memorial Book of the Day.*

Fight Back : Tackling Terrorism, Liddy Style
by G. Gordon Liddy, CDR James G. Liddy, J. Michael Barrett, Joel Selanikio

Liddy, the radio host, bestselling author and Watergate figure has written a new book with his son James, "Fight Back! Tackling Terrorism Liddy Style." In it, he offers up his "Total Security Management" system to protect business and industry from terror threats.

There's a section outlining "significant terrorist groups," including Hamas, Jemaah Islamia and Hizballah, and the Animal Liberation Front.

* Who? Look here.

Ending eagle welfare as we know it.

Homer, Alaska adopts ordinance to stop eagle feeding

Hundreds of bald eagles that gather at the Homer spit each winter for handouts won't be so lucky now that the city council has passed an ordinance barring the feeding of eagles.

The city council adopted the ordinance on Monday. It passed on a 4-2 vote.
Homer acted one month after the state Board of Game declined to regulate the practice of eagle feeding. The state regulators said the problems were local and the jurisdiction federal.

The new law bars deliberate feeding of eagles, ravens, crows and gulls beginning next winter. It provides an exception for 82-year-old Jean Keene, the famous "Eagle Lady" who has been feeding eagles on the Spit for 25 years. But even Keene's program must end by 2010, the City Council ruled.

"We're still going to have eagles in Homer," said Councilman Val McLay, who consulted with Keene in working out the final compromise.

The first groups to be affected will be guided photography "safaris" that come to Homer in late winter and sometimes draw eagles into wide-angle camera range with baitfish. McLay said he delayed enforcement of the ordinance so that photographers with reservations could still come this year.

"You don't have to have hundreds of eagles to take a photograph," said McLay, who heard protests from out-of-town photographers about his proposal.

Opposition in Homer to eagle feeding has grown in recent years. Critics say eagles waiting for handouts are unnatural and demeaning. They say the crowding is unhealthy for the eagles not to mention unsafe for small pets and birds such as sea ducks.

Government biologists generally frowned on the practice but stopped short of calling for regulation.

Supporters called the eagle feeding a novelty whose alleged harms have never been studied, much less proved. They also pointed to the small economic boost to winter tourism.

The Theology of the Body: 33. Opposition in the Human Heart between the Spirit and the Body

In his General Audience of 30 July 1980, the Holy Father continued his catechesis on Theology of the Body. The nuptial meaning of the body is destroyed when man or woman seeks to possess the other as an object, but not when each belongs to the other through self-giving.

Opposition in the Human Heart between the Spirit and the Body

During the General Audience in St. Peter's Square on Wednesday evening, 30 July, the Holy Father delivered the following message.

1. The reflections we are developing in the present cycle refer to the words which Christ uttered in the Sermon on the Mount on man's lust for woman. In the attempt to proceed with a thorough examination of what characterizes the man of lust, we went back again to Genesis. Here, the situation that came into being in the mutual relationship of man and woman is portrayed with great delicacy. The single sentences of Genesis 3 are very eloquent. In Genesis 3:16 God-Yahweh addressed the woman: "Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you." Upon a careful analysis, these words seem to reveal in what way the relationship of mutual giving, which existed between them in the state of original innocence, changed after original sin to a relationship of mutual appropriation.

If man in his relationship with woman considers her only as an object to gain possession of and not as a gift, he condemns himself thereby to become also for her only an object of appropriation, and not a gift. It seems that the words of Genesis 3:16 deal with this bilateral relationship, although the only thing they say directly is: "He shall rule over you." Furthermore, in unilateral appropriation (which indirectly is bilateral) the structure of communion between persons disappears. Both human beings become almost incapable of attaining the interior measure of the heart, directed to the freedom of the giving of oneself and the nuptial meaning of the body, which is intrinsic to it. Genesis 3:16 seems to suggest that it is often at the expense of the woman that this happens, and that in any case she feels it more than man.

2. It is worth turning our attention now to this detail at least. It is possible to perceive a certain parallelism between the words of God-Yahweh according to Genesis 3:16, "Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you," and those of Christ according to Matthew 5:27-28, "Everyone who looks at a woman lustfully...." Perhaps it is not a question here of the fact that the woman especially becomes the object of man's lust, but rather that—as we have already stressed previously—"from the beginning" man was to have been the guardian of the reciprocity of donation and its true balance.

The analysis of that "beginning" (cf. Gn 2:23-25) shows precisely man's responsibility in accepting femininity as a gift and in borrowing it in a mutual, bilateral exchange. To take from woman her own gift by means of concupiscence is in open contrast with that. The maintenance of the balance of the gift seems to have been entrusted to both. But a special responsibility rests with man above all, as if it depended more on him whether the balance is maintained or broken or even—if already broken—re-established.

Certainly, the diversity of roles according to these statements, to which we are referring here as to key-texts, was also dictated by the social emargination of woman in the conditions of that time. (The Sacred Scripture of the Old and the New Testament gives us sufficient proofs of this.) Nevertheless, it contains a truth, which has its weight independently of specific conditionings due to the customs of that given historical situation.

3. As a consequence of lust, the body becomes almost a "ground" of appropriation of the other person. As is easy to understand, that entails the loss of the nuptial meaning of the body. Together with that, the mutual belonging of persons—who, uniting so as to "become one flesh" (Gn 2:24), are called at the same time to belong to each other—acquires another meaning. The particular dimension of the personal union of man and woman through love is expressed in the word "my." This pronoun, which has always belonged to the language of human love, often recurs in the verses of the Song of Songs and in other biblical texts.(1) In its "material" meaning, this pronoun denotes a relationship of possession. But in our case it indicates the personal analogy of this relationship.

The mutual belonging of man and woman, especially when they belong to each other as spouses "in the unity of the body," is formed according to this personal analogy. As is well known, an analogy indicates at the same time a similarity and also the lack of identity (namely, a substantial dissimilarity). We can speak of persons belonging to each other only if we consider such an analogy. In its original and specific meaning, belonging presupposes the relationship of the subject to the object, a relationship of possession and ownership. This relationship is not only objective, but above all "material"—the belonging of something, and therefore of an object to someone.

4. In the eternal language of human love, the term "my" certainly does not have this meaning. It indicates the reciprocity of the donation. It expresses the equal balance of the gift—perhaps precisely this, in the first place—namely, that in which the mutual communio personarum is established. If this is established by the mutual gift of masculinity and femininity, the nuptial meaning of the body is also preserved in it.

In the language of love, the word "my" seems a radical negation of belonging in the sense in which an object-thing belongs to the subject-person. The analogy preserves its functions until it falls into the meaning set forth above. Triple lust, and in particular the lust of the flesh, takes away from the mutual belonging of man and woman the specific dimension of the personal analogy, in which the term "my" preserves its essential meaning. This essential meaning lies outside the "law of ownership," outside the meaning of "object of possession." On the contrary, concupiscence is directed toward the latter meaning.

From possessing, a further step goes toward "enjoyment." The object I possess acquires a certain meaning for me since it is at my disposal and I avail myself of it, I use it. It is evident that the personal analogy of belonging is decidedly opposed to this meaning. This opposition is a sign that what "comes from the Father" in the mutual relationship of man and woman, still persists and continues in confrontation with what comes "from the world." However, concupiscence in itself drives man toward possession of the other as an object. It drives him to enjoyment, which brings with it the negation of the nuptial meaning of the body. In its essence, disinterested giving is excluded from selfish enjoyment. Do not the words of God-Yahweh addressed to woman in Genesis 3:16 already speak of this?

5. According to the first letter of John (2:16), lust bears witness in the first place to the state of the human spirit. It will be opportune to devote a further analysis to this problem. We can apply Johannine theology to the field of the experiences described in Genesis 3, as well as to the words Christ spoke in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5:27-28). We find a concrete dimension of that opposition which—together with sin—was born in the human heart between the spirit and the body.

Its consequences are felt in the mutual relationship of persons, whose unity in humanity is determined right from the beginning by the fact that they are man and woman. "Another law at war with the law of my mind" (Rom 7:23) has been installed in man. So almost a constant danger exists of this way of seeing, evaluating, and loving, so that "the desire of the body" is more powerful than "the desire of the mind." We must always keep in mind this truth about man, this anthropological element, if we wish to understand completely the appeal Christ made to the human heart in the Sermon on the Mount.


1) Cf., for example, Song of Songs, 1:9, 13, 14, 15, 16; 2:2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 16, 17; 3:2, 4, 5; 4:1, 10; 5:1, 2, 4; 6:2, 3, 4, 9; 7:11; 8:12, 14.

Cf. also, for example, Ez 16:8; Hos 2:18; Tb 8:7.

Saint of the Day and daily Mass readings.

Today is the Feast of the Seven Founders of the Order of the Servants of Mary, named the fifth mendicant order by Pope Martin V. The founders were St. Alexis Falconieri, St. Bartholomew degli Amidei, St. Benedict dell'Antella, St. Buonfiglio Monaldi, St. Gherardino Sostegni, St. Hugh dei Lippi-Uguccioni, and St. John Buonagiunta Monetti. Pray for us, all you angels and saints.

Today's reading for the Feast of the Seven Founders of the Order of the Servants of Mary is Romans 8:26-30.
Today's Gospel is
Matthew 19:27-29.

[Links to the readings will be from the NAB until I can find another chapter and verse searchable Douay-Rheims Bible on-line.]

Everyday links:

The Blessed Virgin Mary
The Rosary
Our Mother of Perpetual Help
Prayers from EWTN
National Coalition of Clergy and Laity (dedicated to action for a genuine Catholic Restoration)
The Catholic Calendar Page for Today

Just in case you are wondering what exactly Catholics believe, here is

The Apostles Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.He descended into Hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen.


Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that any one who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession,was left unaided.Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins my Mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful; O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy clemency hear and answer me. Amen.

St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse, pray for us.

Prayer to St. Anthony, Martyr of Desire

Dear St. Anthony, you became a Franciscan with the hope of shedding your blood for Christ. In God's plan for you, your thirst for martyrdom was never to be satisfied. St. Anthony, Martyr of Desire, pray that I may become less afraid to stand up and be counted as a follower of the Lord Jesus. Intercede also for my other intentions. (Name them.)


St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil; may God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the divine power, thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Haha! The hilarity that ensues when language is manipulated for political purposes!

Why do they do it? 'Cause "fetuskiller" doesn't sting so much.

Congratulations! The Radical Right Now Controls Your Body!

We've occasionally consulted WebMD.com for information on health and medicine, but imagine our shock when we learned that it had been hijacked--wittingly or unwittingly, we know not--by the radical right!

A page called "Your Pregnancy Week by Week: Weeks 9-12" is chock full of antichoice propaganda. "By the end of the third month," it outrageously claims, "your baby is fully formed. Your baby has arms, hands, fingers, feet and toes and can open and close its fists and mouth."

They mean the third month of pregnancy, not the third month after the kid is born. That's right, what they're talking about isn't a baby at all but a fetus. In case the antichoice fanatics have you flummoxed, the following definitions are helpful:

fetus: a clump of tissue.

baby: one of those little--sorry, vertically challenged--persons that the village raises while his or her mother pursues a fulfilling career.

But the WebMD folks are either hopelessly confused or part of a sinister plot against reproductive rights. Look what it says under Week 10:

Congratulations! Your baby is now officially called a "fetus."

This is a contradiction in terms, a nonsensical statement. It's like saying, "Congratulations! Your accountant is now officially called a 'tumor.' " But of course the radical right wants to propagate the myth that a fetus is somehow "human" so as to further its agenda of heteronormative white male supremacy.

Are the folks at WebMD co-conspirators in this effort or mere dupes? If the guys at the National Organization for Women would get off the dime and file a RICO action, maybe we'd find out.
(Thanks to James Taranto and Best of the Web Today for the heads up.)

Here's another reason why I support the death penalty.

From Best of the Web Today:

The Undeath Penalty
"A federal judge refused [yesterday] to block next week's scheduled execution of Michael Morales for the 1981 murder of a 17-year-old Lodi girl," the San Francisco Chronicle reports:

However, the judge said the state must place someone in the death chamber with medical training to make sure Morales is unconscious during the lethal injection procedure. . . .

In today's order, [Judge Jeremy] Fogel said defense lawyers had raised a "substantial question'' about the administration of lethal injection in California. But he said the state's interest in proceeding with an execution for a murder committed 25 years ago could be satisfied without violating Morales' "constitutional right not to be subject to an undue risk of extreme pain.''

ProDeathPenalty.com (scroll down) has the background on the man Fogel wants to spare from "an undue risk of extreme pain." In 1981, Morales's cousin, Rick Ortega, had a homosexual relationship with a 17-year-old boy named Randy, who was also dating 17-year-old Terri Winchell. Ortega was jealous:

Ortega and Morales conspired to murder Terri as "pay back" for Terri's involvement with Randy. . . . In the weeks before the murder, Ortega set up a ruse to trick Terri into believing that Ortega wanted to make amends and become her friend. Morales "practiced" how he was going to strangle Terri, and told his girlfriend on the day of the murder how he was going to strangle and "hurt" someone.

The day of the murder, Ortega tricked Terri into accompanying him and Morales in Ortega's car to a remote area near Lodi, California. There, Morales attacked Terri from behind and attempted to strangle her with his belt. Terri struggled and the belt broke in two. Morales then took out a hammer and began hitting Terri in the head with it. She screamed for Ortega to help and attempted to fight off the attack, ripping her own hair out of her scalp in the struggle.

Morales beat Terri into unconsciousness, crushing her skull and leaving 23 identifiable wounds in her skull. Morales took Terri from the car and instructed Ortega to leave and come back later. Ortega left and Morales then dragged Terri face-down across the road and into a vineyard. Morales then raped her while she lay unconscious.

Morales then started to leave, but went back and stabbed Terri four times in the chest to make sure she died. Morales then left Terri, calling her "a f---ing bitch," as he walked away. Terri died from both the head and chest wounds.

Reports the Chronicle: "Fogel said the execution could proceed if, by the close of business Wednesday, the state provided the name of a person with training and experience in anesthesia to attend the execution. That person would verify that Morales was rendered unconscious by the first of the three chemicals and did not regain consciousness until he was pronounced dead."

I know what you're thinking, kiddies. "Sure, Fyodor, all murders seem really bad when you know the details..."

Just humor me on this one, will ya? Let's put this vicious killer to death. He's had more than enough time to get himself right with God and we're making sure he won't suffer like Terri Winchell did.

If wishes were fishes...

If Al Gore had won in 2000, he would have shot himself...

If John Kerry had won in 2004, he too would have shot himself...and then demanded a medal for it.

The Theology of the Body: 32. The Heart a Battlefield Between Love and Lust

In his General Audience of 23 July 1980, the Holy Father continued his catechesis on Theology of the Body. After the fall, human sexuality was marked by a certain "coercion of the body," which subverts the expression of the spirit seeking the communion of persons, male and female, through a mutual gift of self. "The more lust dominates the heart, the less the heart experiences the nuptial meaning of the body."

The Heart a Battlefield Between Love and Lust

During the General Audience of 23 July, in St. Peter's Square, the Holy Father gave the following address.

1. The human body in its original masculinity and femininity, according to the mystery of creation—as we know from the analysis of Genesis 2:23-25—is not only a source of fertility, that is, of procreation, but right "from the beginning" it has a nuptial character: that is to say, it is capable of expressing the love with which the man-person becomes a gift, thus fulfilling the deep meaning of his being and his existence. In this peculiarity, the body is the expression of the spirit and is called, in the mystery of creation, to exist in the communion of persons in the image of God. The concupiscence "that comes from the world"—here it is directly a question of the concupiscence of the body—limits and distorts the body's objective way of existing, of which man has become a participant.

The human heart experiences the degree of this limitation or distortion, especially in the sphere of man-woman mutual relations. Precisely in the experience of the heart, femininity and masculinity, in their mutual relations, no longer seem to express the spirit which aims at personal communion. They remain only an object of attraction, in a certain sense as happens in the world of living beings, which, like man, have received the blessing of fertility (cf. Gn 1).

2. This similarity is certainly contained in the work of creation. Genesis 2 and especially verse 24 confirm this. However, already in the mystery of creation, that which constituted the natural, somatic and sexual substratum of that attraction, fully expressed the call of man and woman to personal communion. After sin, on the contrary, in the new situation of which Genesis 3 speaks, this expression was weakened and dimmed. It is as if it were lacking in the shaping of mutual relations, or as if it were driven back to another plane.

The natural and somatic substratum of human sexuality was manifested as an almost autogenous force. It is marked by a certain "coercion of the body," operating according to its own dynamics, which limits the expression of the spirit and the experience of the exchange of the gift of the person. The words of Genesis 3:15 addressed to the first woman seem to indicate this quite clearly: "Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you."

3. The human body in its masculinity and femininity has almost lost the capacity of expressing this love. In it, the man-person becomes a gift, in conformity with the deepest structure and finality of his personal existence, as we have already observed in preceding analyses. Here we do not formulate this judgment absolutely and we add the adverb "almost." We do so because the dimension of the gift—namely, the capacity of expressing love with which man, by means of femininity or masculinity, becomes a gift for the other—has continued to some extent to permeate and mold the love that is born in the human heart. The nuptial meaning of the body has not been completely suffocated by concupiscence, but only habitually threatened.

The heart has become a battlefield between love and lust. The more lust dominates the heart, the less the heart experiences the nuptial meaning of the body. It becomes less sensitive to the gift of the person, which expresses that meaning in the mutual relations of man and woman. Certainly, that lust which Christ speaks of in Matthew 5:27-28 appears in many forms in the human heart. It is not always plain and obvious. Sometimes it is concealed, so that it passes itself off as love, although it changes its true profile and dims the limpidity of the gift in the mutual relationship of persons. Does this mean that it is our duty to distrust the human heart? No! It only means that we must keep it under control.

4. The image of the concupiscence of the body, which emerges from the present analysis, has a clear reference to the image of the person, with which we connected our preceding reflections on the nuptial meaning of the body. Man as a person is "the only creature on earth that God has willed for its own sake" and, at the same time, he is the one who "can fully discover his true self only in a sincere giving of himself."(1) Lust in general—and the lust of the body in particular—attacks this "sincere giving." It deprives man of the dignity of giving, which is expressed by his body through femininity and masculinity. In a way it depersonalizes man, making him an object "for the other." Instead of being "together with the other"—a subject in unity, in the sacramental unity of the body—man becomes an object for man, the female for the male and vice versa. Genesis 3:16 and Genesis 3:7 bear witness to this, with all the clearness of the contrast, as compared with Genesis 2:23-25.

5. Violating the dimension of the mutual giving of the man and the woman, concupiscence also calls in question the fact that each of them was willed by the Creator "for his own sake." In a certain sense, the subjectivity of the person gives way to the objectivity of the body. Owing to the body, man becomes an object for man—the female for the male and vice versa. Concupiscence means that the personal relations of man and of woman are unilaterally and reductively linked with the body and sex, in the sense that these relations become almost incapable of accepting the mutual gift of the person. They do not contain or deal with femininity/masculinity according to the full dimension of personal subjectivity. They do not express communion, but they remain unilaterally determined by sex.

6. Concupiscence entails the loss of the interior freedom of the gift. The nuptial meaning of the human body is connected precisely with this freedom. Man can become a gift—that is, the man and the woman can exist in the relationship of mutual self-giving—if each of them controls himself. Manifested as a "coercion sui generis of the body," concupiscence limits interiorly and reduces self-control. For that reason, in a certain sense it makes impossible the interior freedom of giving. Together with that, the beauty that the human body possesses in its male and female aspect, as an expression of the spirit, is obscured. The body remains as an object of lust and, therefore, as a "field of appropriation" of the other human being. In itself, concupiscence is not capable of promoting union as the communion of persons. By itself, it does not unite, but appropriates. The relationship of the gift is changed into the relationship of appropriation.

At this point, let us interrupt our reflections today. The last problem dealt with has such great importance, and is so subtle, from the point of view of the difference between authentic love (that is, between the "communion of persons") and lust, that we shall have to take it up again at our next meeting.


1) Gaudium et spes, no. 24: "Indeed, the Lord Jesus, when he prayed to the Father 'that all may be one...even as we are one' (Jn 17:21-22), opened up vistas closed to human reason, for he implied a certain likeness between the union of the divine Persons, and the unity of God's sons in truth and charity. This likeness reveals that man, who is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself, cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself."

Massachusetts' Catholic bishops oppose sodomite adoption? Why do I feel I should be surprised?

From Boston.com:

The four Roman Catholic bishops of Massachusetts plan to seek permission from the state to exclude gay couples as adoptive parents, according to two board members of the church's largest social service agency who were briefed on the plan.

The decision follows a three-month study of the theological and practical impact of having Catholic Charities of Boston, the Boston Archdiocese's social service arm, place children with gay couples, given the Vatican's teaching that describes such adoptions are ''gravely immoral."

This decision to seek an exemption from state anti-discrimination rules pits the bishops against the 42-member board of Catholic Charities of Boston, which is made up of some of Boston's most prominent lay Catholics. The board voted unanimously in December in support of continuing to allow gay couples to adopt children.

That's not surprising at all.

In the past two decades, agency officials placed 13 children with same-sex couples, a tiny fraction of 720 adoptions completed by them during that time.

The outgoing chairman of the board, whose term expired earlier this month, expressed strong opposition to the bishops' plan, saying it would undercut the agency's longstanding mission to provide stable homes for as many needy children as possible.

Two chronic violators of the Natural Law are no more stable than one.

''This is an unnecessary, unmitigated disaster for children, Catholic Charities, and the Archdiocese of Boston," said Peter Meade, who remains a board member.

You, sir, should think about going to confession.

If the bishops obtain an exemption, they could continue to handle adoptions while excluding gay or lesbian applicants from consideration. However, if they do not win an exemption, they either have to allow gay adoptions to continue or risk having their adoption license pulled and being barred from adoption work in the state altogether.

The Saga of Congressthing William Jefferson (D-LA) continues apace.

When we last saw our hero, he was making an ass of himself at a post-Katrina hearing and commandeering some National Guard troops in New Orleans to do devil-knows-what.

Will he cut a plea deal or will he chance a criminal trial? Once upon a time I would have bet on a trial because the fix is usually in when you are talking Democrass malfeasance. But when
Washington's other newspaper does a political eulogy on one of The Party of Blasphemy, Buggery, and 'Bortion's minions, something is definitely up.

Around Washington, Rep. William J. Jefferson nurtured a reputation as a serious, even wonkish, lawmaker, a grade-school dropouts' son who graduated from Harvard Law School and was elected Louisiana's first black congressman since Reconstruction.

Then came the allegations last August that Jefferson had orchestrated a corruption scheme. Federal investigators are targeting the Democratic congressman, 58, for allegedly demanding cash and other favors for himself and relatives, in exchange for using his congressional clout to arrange African business deals. A former aide recently pleaded guilty to bribing Jefferson and is cooperating with authorities, and sources familiar with the case say a plea agreement with the lawmaker is being explored.

Jefferson's world is toppling. Tall and lean, he at times has looked ashen as he walks the halls of the Capitol. Those who know him describe him as shellshocked by the turn of events. Depending on Jefferson's fate, his central New Orleans district -- badly damaged by Hurricane Katrina and in need of effective representation in Washington -- could face a rowdy special election. The political scene is so chaotic that Republicans believe they could win the gerrymandered Democratic seat.

Abortions at home are safe - pilot study

Polly Curtis, The Guardian's "health correspondent" delivers good news for the do-it-yourselfer who wishes to remain nulliparous.

Finally, Melissa Etheridge can impregnate herself with David Crosby's turkey baster and murder the subsequent tissue mass in the privacy of her own kitchen!

Women who are less than nine weeks pregnant can safely have medical abortions at home, according to the head of a government-backed pilot project.

Abortion services for the 20,000 women who seek a chemically induced abortion every year could be transformed should the Department of Health's official evaluation of the pilot confirm initial findings. But it is also likely to provoke controversy from anti-abortion campaigners who will claim that home abortions would make the procedure easier and therefore lead to more women having terminations.

Shirley Butler, the project manager of one pilot which has tested the abortions with 172 women patients since 2004, told the Guardian: "We haven't had any significant problems apart from one woman who had a slightly heavy bleed. In my opinion medical abortions outside of acute hospitals seem to be safe." She added that women who took part in the trial were positive about it.

Ron Popeil, call your office.

Ms Butler stressed that the results were preliminary and were now being officially evaluated. She also asked for her hospital not to be named for fear of reprisal attacks from pro-life campaigners. St Mary's hospital in London confirmed that it is undertaking the second trial.

Pray for us all, Blessed Mother.

Chemical abortions are available before the 12th week of pregnancy.

Women who request it take one tablet of mifepristone at a hospital then return two days later to take four doses of misoprostol which causes a termination within hours. Usually women remain in hospital after taking the second pills until the abortion is complete. Under the trials they took both sets of pills within local community clinics to test the theory that it is safe to be outside hospital, and therefore at home.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said the scheme, which was revealed yesterday by the journal Nursing Standard, had not yet been evaluated. "No changes to the way abortions are carried out will be approved unless we are content that there is no risk to the women's safety."

Anne Weyman, chief executive of the Family Planning Association, said: "Medical abortion is a highly safe and effective procedure. Completing the second stage at home can provide greater comfort and privacy."

Hey, Bryant Gumbel! How's your mom doing?

From NewsBusters comes the latest bile spewed from the mouth of HBO's racist never-was:

HBO's Gumbel: Lack of Blacks Makes Olympics 'Look Like a GOP Convention'
Posted by Dave Pierre on February 16, 2006 - 00:58.

There were some eye-opening remarks from Bryant Gumbel on the most recent episode of HBO's Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel. According to a transcript posted by a television columnist named Seth Frelich, Gumbel said the following in his closing monologue last week (emphasis mine):

"Finally, tonight, the Winter Games. Count me among those who don’t care about them and won’t watch them ... Because they’re so trying ... Like, try not to be incredulous when someone attempts to link these games to those of the ancient
Greeks who never heard of skating or skiing. So try not to laugh when someone says these are the world’s greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention. Try not to point out that something’s not really a sport if a pseudo-athlete waits in what’s called a kiss-and-cry area, while some panel of subjective judges decides who won ... So if only to hasten the arrival of the day they’re done, when we can move on to March Madness — for God’s sake, let the games begin."

Video clip (31 secs), from the Real Sports originally aired February 7, as provided by the MRC's Brent Baker: Real (665 KB), Windows Media (1 MB) or MP3 audio (185 KB).

The comments have received scant coverage, with the San Francisco Chronicle (in a betting column) and The Columbus Dispatch (in a "People in the News" column) among the few outlets that have even mentioned the episode.

Kudos to radio talk-show host Larry Elder for highlighting the remarks.

Gumbel's remarks have been followed by many angry posts at HBO's Real Sports Bulletin Boards. The story was also picked up at Free Republic, where one poster wrote, "Remember what they did to Rush over the McNabb remark. I will contact HBO."

You'd think these remarks would have received more attention than they have. (Well, maybe not.) It's just hard to imagine a Bill O'Reilly or Sean Hannity getting a pass on something like this. Don'tcha think?

Flashback: MRC: "Bryant Gumbel: Liberal Activist Masquerading as Impartial Journalist"
(Thanks to Drudge for the heads up.)

Most Horrific Story of the Day.

79 Year Old Good Samaritan Raped by Ex-Con She Took Into Her Home

A man accused of raping a 79-year-old woman the day after he got out of prison was arrested by police Wednesday.

“It doesn’t get any worse than this. This is as bad as it gets‚” said Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr.

The victim was not able to ward off the attack due to a medical condition‚ he said.

Gregory Yeakel‚ 43‚ was released on Feb. 9 from the Montgomery County Correctional Facility‚ where he served a 23-month sentence for simple assault. The same day he was taken in by the victim at her Upper Gwynedd residence.

And you wonder why people are jaded, cynical, and filled with rage?

Upper Gwynedd Detective Sgt. Jim Pifer‚ the lead investigator of this case‚ said the woman knew Yeakel from having assisted him before.

“In the past when he needed help‚ she was there for him‚” Pifer said. “It’s a shame. She’s a super‚ super nice lady.”

Yeakel showed up at the residence and was given a place to stay for the night. At about 4 p.m. the next day‚ the woman noticed that Yeakel was tired and advised him to take a nap. Yeakel went inside the room where he was staying.

The woman was also tired and lay down on the living room sofa for a nap.
While she was sleeping‚ Yeakel allegedly slapped her on the left side of her face‚ waking her up‚ the affidavit stated.

He then allegedly raped her‚ the affidavit said.

The woman locked herself inside the bathroom until her son came home. Yeakel was not there when the son arrived.

Pifer said the victim contacted police and then was taken to Abington Memorial Hospital for a sexual assault exam.

“She’s going through physical and emotional pain from the rape‚” Pifer said Wednesday evening.

Bless and protect her, Lord.

He said the department had received information concerning Yeakel’s whereabouts. He was arrested by Upper Gwynedd officers at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Roxborough section of Philadelphia.

Yeakel faces charges of one count of rape‚ two counts of aggravated indecent assault‚ two counts of indecent assault and one count of indecent exposure.

May God have mercy on his soul.

Upper Gwynedd police Chief Robert Freed said everything was being done to aid the victim through this traumatic time.

“We’re making sure that she gets the proper attention she needs‚” he said.
(Thanks to reporteronline.com for the heads up.)

Peggy Noonan begins the process of throwing Vice President Cheney under the bus.

From OpinionJournal:

The Dick Cheney shooting incident will, in a way, go away. And, in a way, not--ever. Some things stick. Gerry Ford had physically stumbled only once or twice in public when he became, officially, The Stumbler. Mr. Ford's stumbles seemed to underscore a certain lack of sure-footedness in his early policies and other decisions. The same with Jimmy Carter and the Killer Rabbit. At the time Mr. Carter told the story of a wild rabbit attacking his boat he had already come to be seen by half the country as weak and unlucky. Even bunnies took him on.

Same with Dick Cheney. He's been painted as the dark force of the administration, and now there's a mental picture to go with the reputation. Pull! Sorry, Harry! Pull!

Can media bias be detected in the endless coverage? Sure, always. But it's also a great story. A vice president of the United States shot a guy in a hunting accident, and no one on his staff told the press. That's a story...

Now watch Peggy read the minds of powerful forces in the White House:

I suspect what they're thinking and not saying is, If Dick Cheney weren't vice president, who'd be a good vice president? They're thinking, At some time down the road we may wind up thinking about a new plan. And one night over drinks at a barbecue in McLean one top guy will turn to another top guy and say, "Under the never permeable and never porous Dome of Silence, tell me . . . wouldn't you like to replace Cheney?"

Why would they be thinking about this? It's not the shooting incident itself, it's that Dick Cheney has been the administration's hate magnet for five years now. Halliburton, energy meetings, Libby, Plamegate. This was not all bad for the White House: Mr. Cheney took the heat that would otherwise have been turned solely on George Bush. So he had utility, and he's experienced and talented and organized, and Mr. Bush admires and respects him. But, at a certain point a hate magnet can draw so much hate you don't want to hold it in your hand anymore, you want to drop it, and pick up something else. Is this fair? Nah. But fair has nothing to do with it.
This is a White House that likes to hit refresh when the screen freezes. Right now the screen is stuck, with poll numbers in the low 40s, or high 30s.

Saint of the Day and daily Mass readings.

Today is the Feast of St. Elias and his companions, martyrs. They died for the greater glory of God in Cilicia in the year 309. Pray for us, all you angels and saints.

Today's reading is James 2:1-9.
Today's Gospel reading is
Mark 8:27-33.

[Links to the readings will be from the NAB until I can find another chapter and verse searchable Douay-Rheims Bible on-line.]

Everyday links:

The Blessed Virgin Mary
The Rosary
Our Mother of Perpetual Help
Prayers from EWTN
National Coalition of Clergy and Laity (dedicated to action for a genuine Catholic Restoration)
The Catholic Calendar Page for Today

Just in case you are wondering what exactly Catholics believe, here is

The Apostles Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.He descended into Hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen.


Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that any one who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession,was left unaided.Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins my Mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful; O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy clemency hear and answer me. Amen.

St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse, pray for us.

Prayer to St. Anthony, Martyr of Desire

Dear St. Anthony, you became a Franciscan with the hope of shedding your blood for Christ. In God's plan for you, your thirst for martyrdom was never to be satisfied. St. Anthony, Martyr of Desire, pray that I may become less afraid to stand up and be counted as a follower of the Lord Jesus. Intercede also for my other intentions. (Name them.)


St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil; may God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the divine power, thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Theology of the Body: 31. Lust Limits Nuptial Meaning of the Body

In his General Audience of 25 June 1980, the Holy Father continued his catechesis on Theology of the Body. The sin of Adam and Eve distorted the "nuptial meaning of the body," its masculinity/femininity, which was meant to shape their communion. Their relationship was corrupted by lust, which includes the desire to possess the other, rather than receive him/her as a free gift.

Lust Limits Nuptial Meaning of the Body

At the General Audience in St. Peter's Square, on Wednesday evening, 25 June, the Holy Father delivered the following address.

1. The analysis we made during the preceding reflection was centered on the words which God-Yahweh addressed to the first woman after original sin: "Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you" (Gn 3:16). We concluded that these words contain an adequate clarification and a deep interpretation of original shame (cf. Gn 3:7), which became part of man and of woman together with lust. The explanation of this shame is not to be sought in the body itself, in the somatic sexuality of both. It goes back to the deeper changes undergone by the human spirit. This spirit is especially aware of how insatiable it is with regard to the mutual unity between man and woman.

This awareness blames the body, so to speak, and deprives it of the simplicity and purity of the meaning connected with the original innocence of the human being. In relation to this awareness, shame is a secondary experience. If it reveals the moment of lust, at the same time it can protect from the consequences of the three forms of lust. It can even be said that man and woman, through shame, almost remain in the state of original innocence. They continually become aware of the nuptial meaning of the body and aim at preserving it from lust. Similarly, they try to maintain the value of communion, that is, of the union of persons in the unity of the body.

Better understanding

2. Genesis 2:24 speaks with discretion but also with clarity of the union of bodies in the sense of the authentic union of persons: "A man...cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh." From the context it is seen that this union comes from a choice, since the man leaves his father and mother to unite with his wife. Such a union of persons entails that they should become one flesh. Starting from this "sacramental" expression, which corresponds to the communion of persons—of the man and the woman—in their original call to conjugal union, we can understand better the specific message of Genesis 3:16: that is, we can establish and, as it were, reconstruct what the imbalance, in fact the peculiar distortion of the original interpersonal relationship of communion, to which the "sacramental" words of Genesis 2:24 refer, consists of.

Impulse to dominate

3. It can therefore be said—studying Genesis 3:16—that while on the one hand the "body," constituted in the unity of the personal subject, does not cease to stimulate the desires of personal union, precisely because of masculinity and femininity ("your desire shall be for your husband"), on the other hand and at the same time, lust directs these desires in its own way. That is confirmed by the expression, "he shall rule over you".

The lust of the flesh directs these desires, however, to satisfaction of the body, often at the cost of a real and full communion of persons. In this sense, attention should be paid to the way in which semantic accentuations are distributed in the verses of Genesis 3. Although there are few of them, they reveal interior consistency. The man seems to feel ashamed of his own body with particular intensity: "I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself" (Gn 3:10). These words emphasize the metaphysical character of shame. At the same time, for the man, shame united with lust will become an impulse to "dominate" the woman. ("he shall rule over you.")

Subsequently, the experience of this domination is manifested more directly in the woman as the insatiable desire for a different union. From the moment when the man "dominates" her, the communion of persons—made of the full spiritual union of the two subjects giving themselves to each other—is followed by a different mutual relationship. This is the relationship of possession of the other as the object of one's own desire. If this impulse prevails on the part of the man, the instincts that the woman directs to him, according to the expression of Genesis 3:16, can—and do—assume a similar character. Sometimes, perhaps, they precede the man's "desire," or even aim at arousing it and giving it impetus.

And interior dimension

4. The text of Genesis 3:16 seems to indicate the man especially as the one who "desires." This is similar to the text of Matthew 5:27-28, the starting point of these meditations. Nevertheless, both the man and the woman have become a human being subject to lust. Therefore the lot of both is shame. With its deep resonance, it touches the innermost recesses both of the male and of the female personality, even though in a different way. What we learn from Genesis 3 enables us barely to outline this duality, but even the mere references are very significant. Since it is a question of such an archaic text, it is surprisingly eloquent and acute.

Similar experiences

5. An adequate analysis of Genesis 3 leads to the conclusion that the three forms of lust, including that of the body, bring with them a limitation of the nuptial meaning of the body itself, in which man and woman participated in the state of original innocence. When we speak of the meaning of the body, we refer first to the full awareness of the human being. But we also include all actual experience of the body in its masculinity and femininity, and, in any case, the constant predisposition to this experience.

The meaning of the body is not just something conceptual. We have already drawn attention to this sufficiently in the preceding analyses. The meaning of the body is at the same time what determines the attitude—it is the way of living the body. It is a measure which the interior man, that is, that heart which Christ referred to in the Sermon on the Mount, applies to the human body with regard to his masculinity/femininity (therefore with regard to his sexuality).

That meaning does not change the reality in itself, what the human body is and does not cease to be in the sexuality that is characteristic of it, independently of the states of our conscience and our experiences. However, this purely objective significance of the body and of sex, outside the system of real and concrete interpersonal relations between man and woman, is, in a certain sense, "ahistorical." In the present analysis, on the contrary—in conformity with the biblical sources—we always take man's historicity into account (also because we start from his theological prehistory). Obviously it is a question here of an interior dimension, which eludes the external criteria of historicity, but which, however, can be considered historical. It is precisely at the basis of all the facts which constitute the history of man—also the history of sin and of salvation—and thus reveal the depth and very root of his historicity.

Linked with Sermon on the Mount

6. When, in this vast context, we speak of lust as a limitation, infraction or even distortion of the nuptial meaning of the body, we are referring above all to the preceding analyses regarding the state of original innocence, that is, the theological prehistory of man. At the same time, we have in mind the measure that historical man, with his "heart," applies to his own body in relation to male/female sexuality. This measure is not something exclusively conceptual. It determines the attitudes and decides in general the way of living the body.

Certainly, Christ refers to that in his Sermon on the Mount. We are trying here to link the words taken from Matthew 5:27-28 to the threshold of man's theological history, considering them in the context of Genesis 3. Lust as a limitation, infraction or even distortion of the nuptial meaning of the body can be ascertained in an especially clear way in our first progenitors, Adam and Eve (despite the concise nature of the biblical narrative). Thanks to them we have been able to find the nuptial meaning of the body and rediscover what it consists of as a measure of the human heart, such as to mold the original form of the communion of persons. In their personal experience (which the biblical text enables us to follow) that original form has undergone imbalance and distortion—as we have sought to prove through the analysis of shame—also the nuptial meaning of the body, which in the situation of original innocence constituted the measure of the heart of both the man and the woman, must have undergone a distortion. If we succeed in reconstructing what this distortion consists of, we shall also have the answer to our question. That is, what does lust of the flesh consist of, and what constitutes its theological and at the same time anthropological specific character? It seems that an answer theologically and anthropologically adequate—important as regards the meaning of Christ's words in the Sermon on the Mount (cf. Mt 5:27-28)—can already be obtained from the context of Genesis 3 and from the whole Yahwist narrative, which previously enabled us to clarify the nuptial meaning of the human body.

Fyodor's Blog of the Day.

Joannejacobs.com chronicles the depredations of Big Education. Here are a few recent samples.

February 15, 2006

Looking for trouble

In the post-Columbine era, students who write about violence or abuse in test essays may be reported to their schools by test-grading companies, reports USA Today.

When test graders around the nation pore over student essays this spring, they'll be looking for more than just writing clarity or good grammar. They'll be keeping an eye out for signs of child abuse, depression and threats of violence.

It's become common practice among states to flag what some call "alert papers" because they contain signs of potentially troubling behavior by or against students.I had no idea this was going on. In the one example given of a student who wrote about violent fantasies, "school officials encouraged his parents to seek counseling." One wonders what happens in other cases.

Classless in Seattle

Seattle Public Schools has told nearly a quarter of its sophomores that they've been reclassified as freshmen because they didn't earn enough credits for 10th grade status. The district had feared a third of sophomores would be reclassified.

The move, effective this semester, was part of a package of changes the district announced in October to help better prepare high school students to pass the Washington Assessment of Student Learning and graduate.

Held-back students won't take WASL, thereby boosting pass rates on the test. Less cynically, they'll have a chance to get real about their education early enough to have a shot at improving.

February 14, 2006

Millennials at work

In the workplace, 20somethings -- "millennials" -- are aggravating their baby boomer and GenX bosses, says Fast Company. Millennials don't take criticism well.

Cindy Pruitt, a professional development and recruiting manager with the national law firm Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, shares with disbelief a recent incident in which one of the firm's summer associates broke down in her office after being told his structure on a recent memo was "a little too loose." "They're simply stunned when they get any kind of negative feedback," Pruitt says. "I practically had to walk him off the ledge."

Even worse are employees whose parents show up demanding to see the manager who crushed their child's ego.

The story isn't all negative. Millennials' refusal to do busywork has its merits and apparently they're good at marketing pizza rolls.

Via Eric Kendall.


February 13, 2006

High grades, no skills

Honor students who can't pass California's graduation exam should be angry, writes Ken at It Comes in Pints? They should be angry at teachers who gave them A's they didn't deserve.

While the hardest questions on the graduation exam require 10th grade English skills and algebra (allegedly an 8th grade skill in California), students with basic skills who guess blindly on the harder multiple-choice questions should be able to get a minimum passing grade in their first, second, third, fourth or fifth try at the test. The minimum passing grade is 60 percent for English and only 55 percent for math.

In Tracy, a girl who claims a 3.6 grade point average says she's failed the math exam five times because teachers didn't teach her right. She doesn't seem to question the validity of her A's and B's.

My great potential is being snuffed by this test.

Ken responds:

Once again, one more time: The test is not snuffing anything except the lies that your fraudulent diploma would be telling potential employers and/or college admission boards. You should be happy that this test is telling you that you are unprepared when it's still early enough to correct the problem. Down the road it will get progressively harder, and employers will not be happy that you don't have the skills your diploma claims you have. And believe me, employers will cut you little slack.

Ken also responds to an LA Times column by Russell Rumberger, an education researcher, who complains that "the state exit exam ignores 'noncognitive' social skills — motivation, tenacity, trustworthiness, perseverance, etc. These are difficult to measure but highly valued by employers. Research studies show that 70% to 80% of a high school diploma's market value — measured by earnings differences between graduates and dropouts — can be attributed to these skills."

As Ken notes, students who are motivated, tenacious and persistent can learn the skills necessary to pass the exam.

Ken also cites a letter from a TA to chemistry students who can't tell "vial" from "vile" and think their high school A's mean they can pass pre-med classes without knowing what a logarithm is.

February 12, 2006

Tar Heel uses free speech

Showing more courage than many professional newspapers, the University of North Carolina's Daily Tar Heel published a cartoon showing Muhammad complaining the Danish cartoons show him from his "bad side" while the violent protests show his "worst."

Muslim students wrote a letter of protest demanding an apology.

"The intention of bigotry was clear," the association wrote in a letter to The Daily Tar Heel. "One must question the DTH's ethics in advancing a widely protested issue to cause a riot of their own. The MSA not only found this cartoon derogatory but is also shocked at the editor's allowance of its publication -- one that incites hate in the current political and social context."

"Islam is interpreted to forbid any illustrations of Muhammad for fear they could lead to idolatry," explains the AP story. Apparently it's possible to have idolatry without imagery.

Daily Tar Heel editor Ryan Tuck said the newspaper wanted to challenge fellow students to think about the issue. He said while he has apologized personally to individuals who told him the cartoon offended, the newspaper will not apologize.

"The point of any cartoon in any newspaper is to challenge belief systems," Tuck said. "We knew it would offend, but that doesn't make it the explicit goal of the cartoon."

Meanwhile, Iowahawk reports on rioting in Wisconsin where "tensions remain as high as the cholesterol" over a Dallas Cowboy fan's cartoons mocking Vince Lombardi.

Ok, let's see...There's permitted speech and impermissible speech...and speech that sounds ok but isn't because of who's speaking...

...and then there are clever marketing campaigns from Hollyweird PR flacks trying to build word-of-mouth momentum before Oscar time rolls around...

KIROTV.com: Gonzaga Students Asked To Stop Yelling 'Brokeback Mountain'

Fans of No. 5 Gonzaga have been asked to stop yelling "Brokeback Mountain" at opposing players.

The reference to the recent movie about homosexual cowboys was chanted by some fans during Monday's game against Saint Mary's, and is apparently intended to suggest an opposing player is gay.

Wait just a minute here. Being a sodomite is a good thing, right? (All the really smart people say so.) Why should anyone be upset when someone is accused of doing a good thing?

Would ostensibly Catholic Gonzaga be upset if basketball fans chanted "Philanthropic giver!" or "Hospice volunteer!" at opposing players? I should hope not.

Of course, if homosexual acts are mortal sins...

Ha! Where did that come from?

The hills of Pennsylvania are alive with the sound of blasphemy, buggery, and 'bortion.

One of the sorriest excuses for a newspaper in the Union notices that Democrasses want to let terrorists and dead Philadelphians vote. Don't worry, all you totalitarians out there. Slow Eddie Rendell will veto this, and he'll get away with it because the Repansycans are...Well, they just are.

Daily Local News: Democrats not happy about voter ID law
Local opponents to legislation passed in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives earlier this week say the bill, which would require voters to show identification at the polls, would discourage poorer residents, minorities and seniors from voting.

Let me get this straight. The poorer, minorities, and seniors will be discouraged from voting if they are forced to produce their driver's licenses?

We can't do anything about the seniors. Everybody hates their senior picture and I don't blame anyone who doesn't want to flash theirs in public. I still can't show my mug at high school reunions.

As for the poorer, I would like to propose we adopt the Extreme Makeover of the Poorer Among Us Act of 2006 to improve the self-esteem of these unfortunates by making their ID photos absolutely fabulous! (Federal Department of Mascara, anyone?)

And talk about self-esteem problems! Imagine how bad you'd feel about yourself if you were actually outnumbered by people who don't look like you! For folks suffering with Visible and Invisible Differences From Most Syndrome, we'll just have to hand out cash.

Non-Euclidean Sex Update.

If you thought Bareback Mountain was creepy, get a load of (sorry) Willie Nelson's latest.

1. Willie Nelson Releases Gay Cowboy Song

Sample lyrics from "Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly (Fond of Each Other)":

"What did you think all them saddles and boots was about?" and

"Inside every cowboy there's a lady who'd love to slip out."

Think moslems hate cartoons? Hollyweird is about to up the ante.

2. Gay Muslim film 'Allah' ready to raise a ruckus...

Sandi Dubowski, who won the Teddy gay and lesbian award in 2001 for his controversial doc "Trembling Before G-d," may cause an even bigger stir with "In the Name of Allah," which explores the struggles of homosexual Muslims.

Gay Indian Muslim helmer Parvez Sharma is directing the pic, which looks at gay, lesbian, and transgender Muslims across the Muslim and Western worlds.

"The world right now needs to understand Islam, and these are the most unlikely storytellers of Islam," Dubowski said, who is producing 'Allah.'
Doc will undoubtedly prove an even thornier film to export than "Trembling."

Sharma and Dubowski plan to submit the pic to all major festivals in the Muslim world as well as in the West, but if it's rejected, Dubowski said, "We'll find ways of screening it in every Muslim nation, even if it's underground."

Dubowski already faced problems with the international release of "Trembling Before G-d." Pic faced protests and bans in South Africa, Mexico and Baltimore.

But Dubowski has managed to open doors in the Hasidic and Orthodox communities in Israel, U.S. and U.K. and has toured the world over the past five years doing 800 live events with diverse religious and secular groups. (Thanks to Drudge for the heads up.)

About Me

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First of all, the word is SEX, not GENDER. If you are ever tempted to use the word GENDER, don't. The word is SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! For example: "My sex is male." is correct. "My gender is male." means nothing. Look it up. What kind of sick neo-Puritan nonsense is this? Idiot left-fascists, get your blood-soaked paws off the English language. Hence I am choosing "male" under protest.


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