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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, March 24, 2006

Desmond T. Doss Sr., Requiescat in pace.

Now this, kiddies, is an American:

Desmond T. Doss, Sr., the only conscientious objector to win the Congressional Medal of Honor during World War II, has died. He was 87 years old.

Mr. Doss never liked being called a conscientious objector. He preferred the term conscientious cooperator. Raised a Seventh-day Adventist, Mr. Doss did not believe in using a gun or killing because of the sixth commandment which states, "Thou shalt not kill" (Exodus 20:13). Doss was a patriot however, and believed in serving his country.

During World War II, instead of accepting a deferment, Mr. Doss voluntarily joined the Army as a conscientious objector. Assigned to the 307th Infantry Division as a company medic he was harassed and ridiculed for his beliefs, yet he served with distinction and ultimately received the Congressional Medal of Honor on Oct. 12, 1945 for his fearless acts of bravery. . . .

On one occasion in Okinawa, he refused to take cover from enemy fire as he rescued approximately 75 wounded soldiers, carrying them one-by-one and lowering them over the edge of the 400-foot Maeda Escarpment. He did not stop until he had brought everyone to safety nearly 12 hours later.
(Thanks to Best of the Web Today for the heads up.)

This is what America is all about, kiddies, and we are in the process of destroying it. I think Mr. Doss' religion is hooey and his pacificism misguided. (So did many of his fellow soldiers.)

But that is irrelevant. Mr. Doss served our country above and beyond the call of duty. He knew his religious freedom depended upon victory over enemies who would not hesitate to slaughter people like him wholesale.

So he did everything he could.

Have mercy on his immortal soul, Lord.

Please read the complete obituary for Mr. Doss.

Democracy Isn't 'Western'

Amartya Sen, writing at OpinionJournal, reminds us to learn from history.

The belief in the allegedly "Western" nature of democracy is often linked to the early practice of voting and elections in Greece, especially in Athens. Democracy involves more than balloting, but even in the history of voting there would be a classificatory arbitrariness in defining civilizations in largely racial terms. In this way of looking at civilizational categories, no great difficulty is seen in considering the descendants of, say, Goths and Visigoths as proper inheritors of the Greek tradition ("they are all Europeans," we are told). But there is reluctance in taking note of the Greek intellectual links with other civilizations to the east or south of Greece, despite the greater interest that the Greeks themselves showed in talking to Iranians, or Indians, or Egyptians (rather than in chatting up the Ostrogoths).

Since traditions of public reasoning can be found in nearly all countries, modern democracy can build on the dialogic part of the common human inheritance. In his autobiography, Nelson Mandela describes how influenced he was, as a boy, by seeing the democratic nature of the proceedings of the meetings that were held in his home town: "Everyone who wanted to speak did so. It was democracy in its purest form. There may have been a hierarchy of importance among the speakers, but everyone was heard, chief and subject, warrior and medicine man, shopkeeper and farmer, landowner and laborer." Mr. Mandela could combine his modern ideas about democracy with emphasizing the supportive part of the native tradition, in a way that Gandhi had done in India, and that is the way cultures adapt and develop to respond to modernity. Mr. Mandela's quest for democracy and freedom did not emerge from any Western "imposition."

Similarly, the history of Muslims includes a variety of traditions, not all of which are just religious or "Islamic" in any obvious sense. The work of Arab and Iranian mathematicians, from the eighth century onward reflects a largely nonreligious tradition. Depending on politics, which varied between one Muslim ruler and another, there is also quite a history of tolerance and of public discussion, on which the pursuit of a modern democracy can draw. For example, the emperor Saladin, who fought valiantly for Islam in the Crusades in the 12th century, could offer, without any contradiction, an honored place in his Egyptian royal court to Maimonides, as that distinguished Jewish philosopher fled an intolerant Europe. When, at the turn of the 16th century, the heretic Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake in Campo dei Fiori in Rome, the Great Mughal emperor Akbar (who was born a Muslim and died a Muslim) had just finished, in Agra, his large project of legally codifying minority rights, including religious freedom for all, along with championing regular discussions between followers of Islam, Hinduism, Jainism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism and other beliefs (including atheism).

Cultural dynamics does not have to build something from absolutely nothing, nor need the future be rigidly tied to majoritarian beliefs today or the power of the contemporary orthodoxy. To see Iranian dissidents who want a fully democratic Iran not as Iranian advocates but as "ambassadors of Western values" would be to add insult to injury, aside from neglecting parts of Iranian history (including the practice of democracy in Susa or Shushan in southwest Iran 2,000 years ago). The diversity of the human past and the freedoms of the contemporary world give us much more choice than cultural determinists acknowledge. This is particularly important to emphasize since the illusion of cultural destiny can extract a heavy price in the continued impoverishment of human lives and liberties.
Mr. Sen, the 1998 Nobel laureate in economics, is the author of "Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny," published next week by Norton.

The protestant crackup continues apace...

Best of the Web Today takes a swipe at some leftists who wear sheep's clothing.

Ingrates to Their Very Souls
Some good news from Iraq: "U.S. and British forces freed one Briton and two Canadians early Thursday in a military operation, ending a four-month hostage drama in which an American among the group was shot to death and dumped on a Baghdad street earlier this month," the Associated Press reports. The ex-hostages belong to the Christian Peacemaker Teams, a group that--well, let's let the CPT explain for itself in a statement issued today:

[The ex-hostages] were in Iraq to learn of the struggles facing the people in that country. They went, motivated by a passion for justice and peace to live out a nonviolent alternative in a nation wracked by armed conflict. They knew that their only protection was in the power of the love of God and of their
Iraqi and international co-workers. We believe that the illegal occupation of Iraq by Multinational Forces is the root cause of the insecurity which led to this kidnapping and so much pain and suffering in Iraq. The occupation must end.

Today, in the face of this joyful news, our faith compels us to love our enemies even when they have committed acts which caused great hardship to our friends and sorrow to their families. . . .

We pray that Christians throughout the world will, in the same spirit, call for justice and for respect for the human rights of the thousands of Iraqis who are being detained illegally by the U.S. and British forces occupying Iraq. During these past months, we have tasted of the pain that has been the daily bread of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. Why have our loved ones been taken? Where are they being held? Under what conditions? How are they? Will they be released? When?

It's not clear whom the CPT statement means by "our enemies." But the only enemy they seem to recognize is the U.S. and its allies, whose "occupation" of Iraq is the "root cause" of the ex-hostages' captivity, and whose detention of "thousands of Iraqis" they liken to their own kidnapping and (in one case) murder by terrorists.

But if the CPT is going to "love our enemies," the least it could do is thank them. The statement does not acknowledge that the hostages were rescued by U.S. and British servicemen, or indeed that they were rescued at all; it refers mysteriously to their having been "released," as if the kidnappers themselves had decided to let them go.

This seems to run deeper than a case of simple ingratitude. There is a whole strange worldview at work here--a theology, if you will. We don't claim to understand it fully, but it seems to equate America as the root of all evil and America's adversaries as Edenic creatures--innocents who know not good or evil and thus bear no culpability for their bad actions.

If we have this right, it follows that the CPT Christians see themselves, by virtue of their faith, as being forgiven for being American, or for being from another nation that America has corrupted. This is why they cannot be grateful to, or forgiving of, America: For them that would amount to thanking or forgiving sin itself.

...Of course, even "protestant" might be too strong a word for these clowns.

In vitro, no one can hear you scream...

Drudge: Adult cells in mice shown to mimic embryonic stem cells...

German scientists said on Friday they had isolated sperm-producing stem cells that have similar properties to embryonic stem cells from adult mice.

If the same type of cells in humans show similar qualities the researchers from the Georg-August-University of Goettingen believe they could be used in stem cell research which would remove the ethical dilemma associated with stem cells derived from human embryos.

Does this mean an end to the horror of harvesting humans? I doubt it.

The question is "Where can I get one?"

Drudge: Teen-repellent shop siren silenced by human rights fears...

If only the guy with the nice lawn and a shotgun had had one of these babies...

A high-tech alarm audible only to youngsters which has dramatically cut loutish behaviour outside a British shop must be switched off over fears it infringes human rights, police said.

The Mosquito emits an irritating high-pitched pulse that most people aged under 20 can hear but almost nobody over 30 can.

The Spar grocery shop on Caerlon Road in Newport, south Wales said anti-social behaviour had plunged by 84 percent outside the premises since it was installed earlier this year.

However, human rights concerns have swatted The Mosquito -- and stung the shop's furious managers in the process.

"It's absolutely disgusting," a spokesman for the shop said.

"These louts can infringe on our rights to run a profitable shop for the community yet we can't dare infringe on their right to loiter and make life a misery for our shoppers," the BBC quoted him as saying.

A police spokesman said: "Gwent Police agreed to monitor a trial at a retail premises on Caerleon Road and there was an initial indication that it was successful at deterring anti-social behaviour and was positively received by the local community.

"However, it was decided by the Newport Community Safety Partnership (NCSP) that before endorsing the device, issues concerning health and safety and human rights need to be resolved."

A concerned NCSP spokesman told the BBC: "If the noise upset a baby in a pram or caused a dog in a neighbouring house to bark incessantly then these are issues we would have to address."

Fyodor's Headlinks.

There are Christians...


...and then there are Christians...

Afghan Christian 'likely to be released soon'...

How many have been ignored by the West?

The Japanese are indeed different.

1) Mainichi Daily News: Japan's cuisine reaches sublime heights and squid-flavored chocolate lows

Without doubt, Japan has one of the richest culinary cultures on the planet. Having said that, though, Japan doesn't always get it right when it comes to foods, as Josei Jishin (4/4) discovers this week.

Take Genghis Khan-flavored caramel candies. What the hell is Genghis Khan flavor? It's a lamb and vegetable-filled crock-pot dish originally from the northern island prefecture of Hokkaido. And it's that same lamb and veggie mix being used to flavor caramel candies, produced by a company called, without irony I'm sure, Sapporo Gourmet Foods.

"We sell about 170,000 to 180,000 boxes a month. At first, we only sold them at tourist spots like airports within Hokkaido," a spokesman for the self-professed purveyors of gourmet fare tells Josei Jishin. "We got so many inquiries about them, though, we decided to put them on sale nationwide at Hokkaido specialty stores that can be found throughout Japan."

If candies named after a brutal, barbaric conqueror don't tempt your taste buds, perhaps salted butter-flavored or seaweed-flavored candies may be better. Or, Sapporo Beer-flavored candies -- also produced in Hokkaido -- may do the trick.

"They taste a little bit like amazake (sweet sake, rice-flavored wine). The smell, though, is more like the dregs of a beer bottle left out overnight. What's more, these candies are going out of production and sales will be limited to whatever's left," Kenma Yonebayashi, an expert on Japan's freak foods, tells Josei Jishin. "If you can't get some of the candies, perhaps beer flavored chocolate could be a suitable alternative. They've managed to maintain the awful taste of the beer candies in a move that appears to have been intentional."

Perhaps squid-flavored chocolate will, especially as it comes with in both white and bitter flavors.

"It's true that it gives off a squid smell when you open the package. I've bought both the white and bitter flavors," funky food fan Yonebayashi says. "I somehow managed to get my way through the white squid-flavored chocolate, but when it came to the bitter stuff I had to give up halfway through."

Takuma Shokuhin, the company that unleashed the calamari cocoa-blend on the market also proudly boasts of having produced red pepper and curry flavored chocolates.

Slower of the uptake, sort of, is turtle-flavored Jell-O.

"My dad said eating this was like taking medicine," Yonebayashi says. "It's true that the more you eat of this, the worse the aftertaste gets."
Maybe washing your mouth out with Miki, a liquid rice drink, could be the answer.

"It's made of white rice, sugar, gluten rice, wheat and lactic acid. You basically make it yourself, but it's pretty awful. It tastes sort of like an acidic broth, but it looks like the barium milk they make you drink before a stomach X-ray," Yonebayashi tells Josei Jishin, adding that Hustle Drink may be a better way to quench your thirst. "It's only sold on fight nights for the martial arts sport Pride. Hustle Drink is awesome. Open the lid and immediately this vile reek like rotten apples starts wafting through the air. Drinking it burns your mouth." (By Ryann Connell)

2) Mainichi Daily News: Japan's 'second virgins' are camels in a dry spell

Japan is faced with a crisis as growing numbers of mostly 30-something guys go through what Spa! (3/21) calls a "second virginity," where they have not had sex for at least half a year.

But instead of champing at the bit, the magazine notes that most of these "second virgins" are perfectly content to remain inactive.

The Theology of the Body: 70. Doctrine of the Resurrection according to St. Paul

In his General Audience of 27 January 1982, the Holy Father continued his catechesis on Theology of the Body by further examining St. Paul's teaching, in 1 Corinthians 15, on the general resurrection. The resurrection of the body completes man's redemption from the effects of sin.

Doctrine of the Resurrection according to St. Paul

The following is the text of the Holy Father's address during the general audience on 27 January.

1. During the preceding audiences we reflected on Christ's words about the other world, which will emerge together with the resurrection of bodies. Those words had an extraordinarily intense resonance in the teaching of St. Paul. Between the answer given to the Sadducees, transmitted by the synoptic Gospels (cf. Mt 22:30; Mk 12:25; Lk 20:35-36), and Paul's apostolate there took place first of all the fact of the resurrection of Christ himself and a series of meetings with the risen Christ. Among these must be included, as the last link, the event that occurred in the neighborhood of Damascus. Saul or Paul of Tarsus who, on his conversion, became the Apostle of the Gentiles, also had his own post-paschal experience, similar to that of the other apostles. At the basis of his faith in the resurrection, which he expresses above all in the First Letter to the Corinthians (ch. 15), there is certainly that meeting with the risen Christ, which became the beginning and foundation of his apostolate.

God is not dead

2. It is difficult to sum up here and comment adequately on the stupendous and ample argumentation of the fifteenth chapter of the First Letter to the Corinthians in all its details. It is significant that, while Christ replied to the Sadducees, who "say that there is no resurrection" (Lk 20:27), with the words reported by the synoptic Gospels, Paul, on his part, replied or rather engaged in polemics (in conformity with his temperament) with those who contested it.(1) In his (pre-paschal) answer, Christ did not refer to his own resurrection, but appealed to the fundamental reality of the Old Testament covenant, to the reality of the living God. The conviction of the possibility of the resurrection is based on this: the living God "is not God of the dead, but of the living" (Mk 12:27). Paul's post-paschal argumentation on the future resurrection referred above all to the reality and the truth of the resurrection of Christ. In fact, he defends this truth even as the foundation of the faith in its integrity: "If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.... But, in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead" (1 Cor 15:14, 20).

God of the living

3. Here we are on the same line as revelation. The resurrection of Christ is the last and the fullest word of the self-revelation of the living God as "not God of the dead, but of the living" (Mk 12:27). It is the last and fullest confirmation of the truth about God which is expressed right from the beginning through this revelation. Furthermore, the resurrection is the reply of the God of life to the historical inevitability of death, to which man was subjected from the moment of breaking the first covenant and which, together with sin, entered his history. This answer about the victory won over death is illustrated by the First Letter to the Corinthians (ch. 15) with extraordinary perspicacity. It presents the resurrection of Christ as the beginning of that eschatological fulfillment, in which, through him and in him, everything will return to the Father, everything will be subjected to him, that is, handed back definitively, "that God may be everything to everyone" (1 Cor 15:28). And then—in this definitive victory over sin, over what opposed the creature to the Creator—death also will be vanquished: "The last enemy to be destroyed is death" (1 Cor 15:26).

Imperishable soul

4. The words that can be considered the synthesis of Pauline anthropology concerning the resurrection take their place in this context. It will be opportune to dwell longer here on these words. We read in the First Letter to the Corinthians 15:42-46 about the resurrection of the dead: "What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a physical body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body. Thus it is written, 'The first man Adam became a living being'; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual which is first but the physical, and then the spiritual."

Historical experience

5. Between this Pauline anthropology of the resurrection and the one that emerges from the text of the synoptic Gospels (Mt 22:30; Mk 12:25; Lk 20:35-36), there exists an essential consistency, only the text of First Letter to the Corinthians is more developed. Paul studies in depth what Christ had proclaimed. At the same time, he penetrates the various aspects of that truth which had been expressed concisely and substantially in the words written in the synoptic Gospels. It is also significant for the Pauline text that man's eschatological perspective, based on faith in the resurrection of the dead, is united with reference to the beginning as well as with deep awareness of man's historical situation. The man whom Paul addressed in the First Letter to the Corinthians and who (like the Sadducees) is contrary to the possibility of the resurrection, has also his (historical) experience of the body. From this experience it emerges quite clearly that the body is perishable, weak, physical, in dishonor.

Mystery of creation

6. Paul confronts such a man, to whom his words are addressed—either in the community of Corinth or also, I would say, in all times—with the risen Christ, the last Adam. Doing so, Paul invites him, in a way, to follow in the footsteps of his own post-paschal experience. At the same time he recalls to him the first Adam. That is, he induces him to turn to the beginning, to that first truth about man and the world which is at the basis of the revelation of the mystery of the living God. In this way, Paul reproduces in his synthesis all that Christ had announced when he had referred, at three different moments, to the beginning in the conversation with the Pharisees (cf. Mt 19:3-8; Mk 10:2-9); to the human heart, as the place of struggle with lusts within man, during the Sermon on the Mount (Cf. Mt 5:27); and to the resurrection as the reality of the "other world," in the conversation with the Sadducees (cf. Mt 22:30; Mk 12:25; Lk 20:35-36).

Enlivening of matter

7. It belongs to the style of Paul's synthesis that it plunges its roots into the revealed mystery of creation and redemption as a whole, from which it is developed and in the light of which alone it can be explained. According to the biblical narrative, the creation of man is an enlivening of matter by means of the spirit, thanks to which "the first man Adam became a living being" (1 Cor 15:45). The Pauline text repeats here the words of Genesis (2:7), that is, of the second narrative of the creation of man (the so-called Yahwist narrative). From the same source it is known that this original "animation of the body" underwent corruption because of sin.

At this point of the First Letter to the Corinthians the author does not speak directly of original sin. Yet the series of definitions which he attributes to the body of historical man, writing that it is "perishable...weak...physical...in dishonor..." indicates sufficiently what the consequence of sin is, according to revelation. Paul himself will call it elsewhere "bondage to decay" (Rom 8:21). The whole of creation is subjected indirectly to this "bondage to decay" owing to the sin of man, who was placed by the Creator in the midst of the visible world in order to subdue it (cf. Gn 1:28). So man's sin has a dimension that is not only interior, but also cosmic. According to this dimension, the body—which Paul (in conformity with his experience) characterizes as "perishable...weak...physical...in dishonor..."—expresses in itself the state of creation after sin. This creation "has been groaning in travail together until now" (Rom 8:22).

However, just as labor pains are united with the desire for birth, with the hope of a new child, so, too, the whole of creation "waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God..." and cherishes the hope to "be set free from its bondage to decay, and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God" (Rom 8:19-21).

Try to understand

8. Through this cosmic context of the affirmation contained in the Letter to the Romans—in a way, through the "body of all creatures"—let us try to understand completely the Pauline interpretation of the resurrection. According to Paul, this image of the body of historical man, so deeply realistic and adapted to the universal experience of men, conceals within itself not only the "bondage of decay," but also hope, like the hope that accompanies labor pains. That happens because the Apostle grasps in this image also the presence of the mystery of redemption. Awareness of that mystery comes precisely from all man's experiences which can be defined as the "bondage of decay." It comes because redemption operates in man's soul by means of the gifts of the Spirit: "We ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies" (Rom 8:23). Redemption is the way to the resurrection. The resurrection constitutes the definitive accomplishment of the redemption of the body.

We will come back to the analysis of the Pauline text in the First Letter to the Corinthians in our further reflections.


1. Among the Corinthians there were probably movements of thought marked by Platonic dualism and neo-Pythagoreanism of a religious shade, Stoicism and Epicureanism. All Greek philosophies, moreover, denied the resurrection of the body. Paul had already experienced in Athens the reaction of the Greeks to the doctrine of the resurrection, during his address at the Areopagus (cf. Acts 17:32).

The Theology of the Body: 69. New Threshold of Complete Truth About Man.

In his General Audience of 13 January 1982, the Holy Father continued his exposition of the words of Christ on the general resurrection, as applied to Theology of the Body. In some way difficult to imagine, the meaning of the human body will be revealed as the means of mutual self-giving in the communion of Saints.

New Threshold of Complete Truth About Man

During the general audience in the Paul VI Hall on 13 January, the Holy Father continued his catechesis on marriage in the following address.

1. "When they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven" (Mk 12:25; cf. Mt 22:30). "They are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection" (Lk 20:36).

The words in which Christ refers to the future resurrection—words confirmed in an extraordinary way by his own resurrection—complete what we are accustomed to call in these reflections the revelation of the body. This revelation penetrates the heart of the reality that we experience, and this reality is above all man, his body, the body of historical man. At the same time, this revelation permits us to go beyond the sphere of this experience in two directions—first, in the direction of that beginning which Christ referred to in his conversation with the Pharisees concerning the indissolubility of marriage (cf. Mt 19:3-8); then, in the direction of the future world, to which the Master addressed the hearts of his listeners in the presence of the Sadducees, who "say that there is no resurrection" (Mt 22:23).

2. Neither the truth about that beginning of which Christ speaks, nor the eschatological truth can be reached by man with empirical and rationalistic methods alone. However, is it not possible to affirm that man bears, in a way, these two dimensions in the depth of the experience of his own being, or rather that he is somehow on his way to them as to dimensions that fully justify the meaning of his being a body, that is, of his being a carnal man? As regards the eschatological dimension, is it not true that death itself and the destruction of the body can confer on man an eloquent significance about the experience in which the personal meaning of existence is realized? When Christ speaks of the future resurrection, his words do not fall in a void. The experience of mankind, and especially the experience of the body, enable the listener to unite with those words the image of his new existence in the "future world," for which earthly experience supplies the substratum and the base. An adequate theological reconstruction is possible.

3. To the construction of this image—which, as regards content, corresponds to the article of our profession of faith: "I believe in the resurrection of the dead"—there greatly contributes the awareness that there exists a connection between earthly experience and the whole dimension of the biblical beginning of man in the world. If at the beginning God "created them male and female" (cf. Gn 1:27); if in this duality concerning the body he envisaged also such a unity that "they become one flesh" (Gn 2:24); if he linked this unity with the blessing of fertility, that is, of procreation (cf. Gn 1:29); if speaking before the Sadducees about the future resurrection, Christ explained that "In the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage"—then it is clear that it is a question here of a development of the truth about man himself. Christ indicated his identity, although this identity is realized in eschatological experience in a different way from the experience of the beginning itself and of all history. Yet man will always be the same, such as he came from the hands of his Creator and Father. Christ said: "They neither marry nor are given in marriage," but he did not state that this man of the future world will no longer be male and female as he was from the beginning. It is clear therefore that, as regards the body, the meaning of being male or female in the future world must be sought outside marriage and procreation, but there is no reason to seek it outside that which (independently of the blessing of procreation) derives from the mystery of creation and which subsequently forms also the deepest structure of man's history on earth, since this history has been deeply penetrated by the mystery of redemption.

Unity of the two

4. In his original situation man, therefore, is alone and at the same time he becomes male and female: unity of the two. In his solitude he is revealed to himself as a person, in order to reveal, at the same time, the communion of persons in the unity of the two. In both states the human being is constituted as an image and likeness of God. From the beginning man is also a body among bodies. In the unity of the couple he becomes male and female, discovering the nuptial meaning of his body as a personal subject. Subsequently, the meaning of being a body and, in particular, being male and female in the body, is connected with marriage and procreation (that is, with fatherhood and motherhood). However, the original and fundamental significance of being a body, as well as being, by reason of the body, male and female—that is precisely that nuptial significance—is united with the fact that man is created as a person and called to a life in communione personarum. Marriage and procreation in itself do not determine definitively the original and fundamental meaning of being a body or of being, as a body, male and female. Marriage and procreation merely give a concrete reality to that meaning in the dimensions of history.

The resurrection indicates the end of the historical dimension. The words, "When they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage" (Mk 12:25), express univocally not only the meaning which the human body will not have in the future world. But they enable us also to deduce that the nuptial meaning of the body in the resurrection to the future life will correspond perfectly both to the fact that man, as a male-female, is a person created in the "image and likeness of God," and to the fact that this image is realized in the communion of persons. That nuptial meaning of being a body will be realized, therefore, as a meaning that is perfectly personal and communitarian at the same time.

5. Speaking of the body glorified through the resurrection to the future life, we have in mind man, male-female, in all the truth of his humanity: man who, together with the eschatological experience of the living God (the face to face vision), will experience precisely this meaning of his own body. This will be a completely new experience. At the same time it will not be alienated in any way from what man took part in from the beginning nor from what, in the historical dimension of his existence, constituted in him the source of the tension between spirit and body, concerning mainly the procreative meaning of the body and sex. The man of the future world will find again in this new experience of his own body precisely the completion of what he bore within himself perennially and historically, in a certain sense, as a heritage and even more as a duty and objective, as the content of the ethical norm.

Mutual communication

6. The glorification of the body, as the eschatological fruit of its divinizing spiritualization, will reveal the definitive value of what was to be from the beginning a distinctive sign of the created person in the visible world, as well as a means of mutual communication between persons and a genuine expression of truth and love, for which the communio personarum is constituted. That perennial meaning of the human body, to which the existence of every man, weighed down by the heritage of concupiscence, has necessarily brought a series of limitations, struggles and sufferings, will then be revealed again, and will be revealed in such simplicity and splendor when every participant in the other world will find again in his glorified body the source of the freedom of the gift. The perfect freedom of the children of God (cf. Rom 8:14) will nourish also with that gift each of the communions which will make up the great community of the communion of saints.

Difficult to envisage

7. It is all too clear—on the basis of man's experiences and knowledge in his temporal life, that is, in this world—that it is difficult to construct a fully adequate image of the future world. However, at the same time there is no doubt that, with the help of Christ's words, at least a certain approximation to this image is possible and attainable. We use this theological approximation, professing our faith in the resurrection of the dead and in eternal life, as well as faith in the communion of saints, which belongs to the reality of the future world.

A new threshold

8. Concluding this part of our reflections, it is opportune to state once more that Christ's words reported by the synoptic Gospels (cf. Mt 22:30; Mk 12:25; Lk 20:34-35) have a decisive meaning not only as regards the words of Genesis (which Christ referred to on another occasion), but also in what concerns the entire Bible. These words enable us, in a certain sense, to read again—that is, in depth—the whole revealed meaning of the body, the meaning of being a man, that is, a person incarnated, of being male or female as regards the body. These words permit us to understand the meaning, in the eschatological dimension of the other world, of that unity in humanity, which was constituted in the beginning, and which the words of Genesis 2:24, ("A man cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh")—uttered in the act of man's creation as male and female—seemed to direct, if not completely, at least especially toward this world. Since the words of the Book of Genesis are almost the threshold of the whole theology of the body—the threshold which Christ took as his foundation in his teaching on marriage and its indissolubility—then it must be admitted that the words reported by the Synoptics are, as it were, a new threshold of this complete truth about man, which we find in God's revealed Word. It is indispensable to dwell upon this threshold, if we wish our theology of the body—and also our Christian spirituality of the body—to be able to use it as a complete image.

The Theology of the Body: 68. Christ's Words on the Resurrection Complete the Revelation of the Body

In his General Audience of 16 December 1981, the Holy Father continued his focus on Christ's words about our condition after the general resurrection in his catechesis on theology of the body. Each person sharing in the beatific vision will have his own subjectivity perfected, and yet, in view of the Communion of the Trinity, experience a new depth of intersubjectivity which is the Communion of Saints. It will be virginal, and yet reveal the full nuptial meaning of the body, as a gift to God first, and through Him to others.

Christ's Words on the Resurrection Complete the Revelation of the Body

At the General Audience on Wednesday, 16 December, in the Paul VI Hall, the Holy Father continued his series on the theology of the body.

1. "In the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven" (Mt 22:30, similarly Mk 12:25). "They are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection" (Lk 20:36).

The eschatological communion (communio) of man with God, constituted thanks to the love of a perfect union, will be nourished by the vision, face to face, of contemplation of that more perfect communion—because it is purely divine—which is the trinitarian communion of the divine Persons in the unity of the same divinity.

Perfect subjectivity

2. Christ's words, reported by the synoptic Gospels, enable us to deduce that participants in the "other world"—in this union with the living God which springs from the beatific vision of his unity and trinitarian communion—will not only keep their authentic subjectivity, but will acquire it to a far more perfect extent than in earthly life. Furthermore, this will confirm the law of the integral order of the person, according to which the perfection of communion is not only conditioned by the perfection or spiritual maturity of the subject, but also in turn determines it. Those who participate in the future world, that is, in perfect communion with the living God, will enjoy a perfectly mature subjectivity. In this perfect subjectivity, while keeping masculinity and femininity in their risen, glorious body, "They neither marry nor are given in marriage." This is explained not only with the end of history, but also, and above all, with the eschatological authenticity of the response to that self-communication of the divine subject. This will constitute the beatifying experience of the gift of himself on God's part, which is absolutely superior to any experience proper to earthly life.

3. The reciprocal gift of oneself to God—a gift in which man will concentrate and express all the energies of his own personal and at the same time psychosomatic subjectivity—will be the response to God's gift of himself to man.(1) In this mutual gift of himself by man, a gift which will become completely and definitively beatifying, as a response worthy of a personal subject to God's gift of Himself, virginity, or rather the virginal state of the body, will be totally manifested as the eschatological fulfillment of the nuptial meaning of the body, as the specific sign and the authentic expression of all personal subjectivity. In this way, therefore, that eschatological situation in which "They neither marry nor are given in marriage" has its solid foundation in the future state of the personal subject. This will happen when, as a result of the vision of God face to face, there will be born in him a love of such depth and power of concentration on God himself, as to completely absorb his whole psychosomatic subjectivity.

Union of communion

4. This concentration of knowledge (vision) and love on God himself—a concentration that cannot be other than full participation in the interior life of God, that is, in the very trinitarian reality—will be at the same time the discovery, in God, of the whole "world" of relations, constitutive of his perennial order (cosmos). This concentration will be above all man's rediscovery of himself, not only in the depth of his own person, but also in that union which is proper to the world of persons in their psychosomatic constitution. This is certainly a union of communion. The concentration of knowledge and love on God himself in the trinitarian communion of Persons can find a beatifying response in those who become participants in the other world, only through realizing mutual communion adapted to created persons. For this reason we profess faith in the "communion of saints" (communio sanctorum), and we profess it in organic connection with faith in the resurrection of the dead. Christ's words which affirm that in the other world, "They neither marry nor are given in marriage" are at the basis of these contents of our faith. At the same time they require an adequate interpretation in its light. We must think of the reality of the other world in the categories of the rediscovery of a new, perfect subjectivity of everyone and at the same time of the rediscovery of a new, perfect intersubjectivity of all. In this way, this reality signifies the real and definitive fulfillment of human subjectivity, and on this basis, the definitive fulfillment of the nuptial meaning of the body. The complete concentration of created subjectivity, redeemed and glorified, on God himself will not take man away from this fulfillment, in fact—on the contrary—it will introduce him into it and consolidate him in it. One can say, finally, that in this way eschatological reality will become the source of the perfect realization of the trinitarian order in the created world of persons.

Revelation of the body

5. The words with which Christ referred to the future resurrection—words confirmed in a singular way by his own resurrection—complete what in the present reflections we are accustomed to call the revelation of the body. This revelation penetrates in a way into the heart of the reality which we are experiencing. This reality is above all man, his body, the body of historical man. At the same time, this revelation enables us to go beyond the sphere of this experience in two directions—in the first place, in the direction of that beginning which Christ referred to in his conversation with the Pharisees regarding the indissolubility of marriage (cf. Mt 19:3-9); in the second place, in the direction of the other world, to which the Master drew the attention of his listeners in the presence of the Sadducees, who "say that there is no resurrection" (Mt 22:23). These two extensions of the sphere of the experience of the body (if we may say so) are not completely beyond the reach of our (obviously theological) understanding of the body. What the human body is in the sphere of man's historical experience is not completely cut off from those two dimensions of his existence, which are revealed through Christ's words.

Spiritual and physical

6. It is clear that here it is a question not so much of the body in abstract, but of man who is at once spiritual and physical. Continuing in the two directions indicated by Christ's words, and linking up again with the experience of the body in the dimension of our earthly existence (therefore in the historical dimension), we can make a certain theological reconstruction. This is a reconstruction of what might have been the experience of the body on the basis of man's revealed beginning, and also of what it will be in the dimension of the other world. The possibility of this reconstruction, which extends our experience of man-body, indicates, at least indirectly, the consistency of man's theological image in these three dimensions, which together contribute to the constitution of the theology of the body.


1. "In the biblical conception...it is a question of a 'dialogic' immortality (resuscitation!), that is, that immortality does not derive merely from the obvious truth that the indivisible cannot die, but from the saving act of him who loves, who has the power to do so; therefore man cannot completely disappear, because he is known and loved by God. If all love postulates eternity, love of God not only wishes it, but actuates it and is it....

Since the immortality presented by the Bible does not derive from the power of what is in itself indestructible, but from being accepted in the dialogue with the Creator, for this reason it must be called resuscitation... J. Ratzinger, Risurrezione della carne—aspetto teologico, Sacramentum Mundi, Vol. 7 (Brescia: Morcelliana, 1977), pp. 160-161).

Today is the fourth Friday of Lent, a Day of Abstinence.

The law of abstinence requires a Catholic 14 years of age until death to abstain from eating meat on Fridays in honor of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday. Meat is considered to be the flesh and organs of mammals and fowl. Also forbidden are soups or gravies made from them. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and shellfish are permitted, as are animal derived products such as margarine and gelatin which do not have any meat taste.

On the Fridays outside of Lent the U.S. bishops conference obtained the permission of the Holy See for Catholics in the US to substitute a penitential, or even a charitable, practice of their own choosing. They must do some penitential/charitable practice on these Fridays. For most people the easiest practice to consistently fulfill will be the traditional one, to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year. During Lent abstinence from meat on Fridays is obligatory in the United States as elsewhere.

Those who are excused from fast or abstinence
Besides those outside the age limits, those of unsound mind, the sick, the frail, pregnant or nursing women according to need for meat or nourishment, manual laborers according to need, guests at a meal who cannot excuse themselves without giving great offense or causing enmity and other situations of moral or physical impossibility to observe the penitential discipline.

Aside from these minimum penitential requirements Catholics are encouraged to impose some personal penance on themselves at other times. It could be modeled after abstinence and fasting. A person could, for example, multiply the number of days they abstain. Some people give up meat entirely for religious motives (as opposed to those who give it up for health or other motives). Some religious orders, as a penance, never eat meat. Similarly, one could multiply the number of days that one fasted. The early Church had a practice of a Wednesday and Saturday fast. This fast could be the same as the Church's law (one main meal and two smaller ones) or stricter, even bread and water. Such freely chosen fasting could also consist in giving up something one enjoys - candy, soft drinks, smoking, that cocktail before supper, and so on. This is left to the individual.

One final consideration. Before all else we are obliged to perform the duties of our state in life. Any deprivation that would seriously hinder us in carrying out our work, as students, employees or parents would be contrary to the will of God.---- Colin B. Donovan, STL

Saint of the Day and daily Mass readings.

Today is the Feast of St. Aldemar the Wise, abbot and miracle worker. Pray for us, all you angels and saints.

Today's reading is
Hosea 14:2-10.
Today's Responsorial Psalm is
Psalms 81:6-8, 8-9, 10-11, 14, 17.
Today's Gospel reading is
Mark 12: 28-34.

[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.)

Prayer To Saint Michael The Archangel

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, March 23, 2006

Oh yeah, baby. There is nothing quite like the clean, pure scent of the One, True Religion...

The Theology of the Body: 67. The Resurrection Perfects the Person

In his General Audience of 9 December 1981, the Holy Father continued his catechesis on Theology of the Body, with particular regard for the general resurrection, in which the body will be spiritualized, and both body and spirit divinized, in the vision of God.

The Resurrection Perfects the Person

In the course of the General Audience on Wednesday, 9 December, the Holy Father delivered the following address to the faithful gathered in the Paul VI Hall.

1. "At the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven" (Mt 22:30; cf. Mk 12:25). "They are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection" (Lk 20:36).

Let us try to understand these words of Christ about the future resurrection in order to draw a conclusion with regard to the spiritualization of man, different from that of earthly life. We could speak here also of a perfect system of forces in mutual relations between what is spiritual in man and what is physical. As a result of original sin, historical man experiences a multiple imperfection in this system of forces, which is expressed in St. Paul's well-known words: "I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind" (Rom 7:23).

Eschatological man will be free from that opposition. In the resurrection the body will return to perfect unity and harmony with the spirit. Man will no longer experience the opposition between what is spiritual and what is physical in him. Spiritualization means not only that the spirit will dominate the body, but, I would say, that it will fully permeate the body, and that the forces of the spirit will permeate the energies of the body.

Perfect realization in life to come

2. In earthly life, the dominion of the spirit over the body—and the simultaneous subordination of the body to the spirit—can, as the result of persevering work on themselves, express a personality that is spiritually mature. However, the fact that the energies of the spirit succeed in dominating the forces of the body does not remove the possibility of their mutual opposition. The spiritualization to which the synoptic Gospels refer in the texts analyzed here (cf. Mt 22:30; Mk 12:25; Lk 20:34-35), already lies beyond this possibility. It is therefore a perfect spiritualization, in which the possibility that "another law is at war with the law of...the mind" (cf. Rom 7:23) is completely eliminated. This state which—as is evident—is differentiated essentially (and not only with regard to degree) from what we experience in earthly life, does not signify any disincarnation of the body nor, consequently, a dehumanization of man. On the contrary, it signifies his perfect realization. In fact, in the composite, psychosomatic being which man is, perfection cannot consist in a mutual opposition of spirit and body. But it consists in a deep harmony between them, in safeguarding the primacy of the spirit. In the "other world," this primacy will be realized and will be manifested in a perfect spontaneity, without any opposition on the part of the body. However, that must not be understood as a definitive victory of the spirit over the body. The resurrection will consist in the perfect participation of all that is physical in man in what is spiritual in him. At the same time it will consist in the perfect realization of what is personal in man.

A new spiritualization

3. The words of the synoptic Gospels testify that the state of man in the other world will not only be a state of perfect spiritualization, but also of fundamental divinization of his humanity. The "sons of the resurrection"—as we read in Luke 20:36—are not only equal to angels, but are also sons of God. The conclusion can be drawn that the degree of spiritualization characteristic of eschatological man will have its source in the degree of his divinization, incomparably superior to the one that can be attained in earthly life. It must be added that here it is a question not only of a different degree, but in a way, of another kind of divinization. Participation in divine nature, participation in the interior life of God himself, penetration and permeation of what is essentially human by what is essentially divine, will then reach its peak, so that the life of the human spirit will arrive at such fullness which previously had been absolutely inaccessible to it. This new spiritualization will therefore be the fruit of grace, that is, of the communication of God in his very divinity, not only to man's soul, but to his whole psychosomatic subjectivity. We speak here of subjectivity (and not only of "nature"), because that divinization is to be understood not only as an interior state of man (that is, of the subject) capable of seeing God face to face, but also as a new formation of the whole personal subjectivity of man in accordance with union with God in his Trinitarian mystery and of intimacy with him in the perfect communion of persons. This intimacy—with all its subjective intensity—will not absorb man's personal subjectivity, but rather will make it stand out to an incomparably greater and fuller extent.

United with the vision of God

4. Divinization in the other world, as indicated by Christ's words, will bring the human spirit such a range of experience of truth and love such as man would never have been able to attain in earthly life. When Christ speaks of the resurrection, he proves at the same time that the human body will also take part, in its way, in this eschatological experience of truth and love, united with the vision of God face to face. When Christ says that those who take part in the future resurrection "neither marry nor are given in marriage" (Mk 12:25), his words—as has already been pointed out—affirm not only the end of earthly history, bound up with marriage and procreation, but also seem to reveal the new meaning of the body. Is it possible, in this case, at the level of biblical eschatology, to think of the discovery of the nuptial meaning of the body, above all as the virginal meaning of being male and female, as regards the body? To answer this question, which emerges from the words reported by the synoptic Gospels, we should penetrate more deeply into the essence of what will be the beatific vision of the divine Being, a vision of God face to face in the future life. It is also necessary to let oneself be guided by that range of experience of truth and love which goes beyond the limits of the cognitive and spiritual possibilities of man in temporality, and in which he will become a participant in the other world.

In the dimension of the "other world"

5. This eschatological experience of the living God will not only concentrate in itself all man's spiritual energies, but, at the same time, it will reveal to him, in a deep and experiential way, the self-communication of God to the whole of creation and, in particular, to man. This is the most personal self-giving by God, in his very divinity, to man: to that being who, from the beginning, bears within himself the image and likeness of God. In this way, in the other world the object of the vision will be that mystery hidden in the Father from eternity, a mystery which in time was revealed in Christ, in order to be accomplished incessantly through the Holy Spirit. That mystery will become, if we may use the expression, the content of the eschatological experience and the form of the entire human existence in the dimension of the other world. Eternal life must be understood in the eschatological sense, that is, as the full and perfect experience of that grace (charis) of God, in which man becomes a participant through faith during earthly life, and which, on the contrary, will not only have to reveal itself in all its penetrating depth to those who take part in the other world, but also will have to be experienced in its beatifying reality.

We suspend here our reflection centered on Christ's words about the future resurrection of the body. In this spiritualization and divinization in which man will participate in the resurrection, we discover—in an eschatological dimension—the same characteristics that qualified the nuptial meaning of the body. We discover them in the meeting with the mystery of the living God, which is revealed through the vision of him face to face.

Better Dead Than moslem Update.

Let me guess. You are wondering why the mohammed cartoons have reappeared in my Bloggerdom ghetto. First, it seems to be the only way to get the attention of the adherents of the Religion of Peace and Love. So be it.

Dear Powers That Be (ha!) in Afghanistan,
While I have your attention, I demand you let Mr. Abdul Rahman of Afghanistan, Christian, be allowed to continue as such. Our Boys are not fighting and dying so that ignorance as usual may continue. You are now free. With freedom comes responsibility. Primarily, the responsibility to allow all people to decide such matters for themselves. If you need convincing, just look at the horrific messes your religion creates when it assumes secular power. This ignorance as usual will not be permitted to continue.

Just Another Crusader

Second, the links from the thumbnails of these cartoons I posted earlier no longer work. (Also here and here.)

U.S. Must Redouble Efforts for Rahman

Bush 'Deeply Troubled' Over Afghan's Trial

Jihad Watch: On Trial for Freedom

Michelle Malkin: Who Will Save Abdul Rahman?
Abdul Rahman is a man of faith. "I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe in Christ. And I am a Christian," he declared this week.

In case you had not noticed, my mohammedan friends, it does not matter a whit to Your Humble Servant whether Citizen Rahman is Catholic or not. He could be a mormon for all I care. Or a hindu. Or an animist. The point is this: He decides. You do not.

Thanks to Human Events Online for the links above and the cartoons.

Joe Sobran delivers a major league beat-down to the democracy fetish.

The link above will take you to Joe's current on-line column. The archive is here. Not all of his past columns are available in the archive.

Am I dreaming, or what? The Republicans are on the ropes, and everyone is surprised that the Democrats can’t seem to take advantage of the situation.

But isn’t this in the nature of a two-party system when both parties have already failed to give satisfaction? When you’re tired of dysentery, does that mean you should prefer to go back to the nausea that preceded it?

Suppose the two big parties were the Prohibition Party and the Vegetarian Party, even though most people like both meat and drink. Are you with me so far? Okay, so the Prohibition Party rules for a while, but prohibiting the consumption of alcohol turns out to be a dubious idea in practice. The voters decide that prohibiting the consumption of meat couldn’t be any worse, so they put the Vegetarians in power.

Still with me? Now it’s illegal to eat meat, but the Vegetarians leave all the laws against alcohol in effect. This comes as an unhappy surprise to the people who thought that either party would at least offer relief from the other one.

Civics for Suckers, Lesson One: In a two-party system, you can get the evils of both parties at the same time. Maybe you voted Republican because you hated the way the Democrats always inch in the general direction of socialism. The joke’s on you! The Republicans start a war and simultaneously accelerate the drive toward socialism.

Reality Party, anyone?

Have you learned anything? If you are a typical American, probably not. So you buy a ticket to Brokeback Mountain and try to forget. At least in the movie the world makes some sort of crazy sense for a couple of hours. It’s a world where you know right from wrong and the scenery is gorgeous. The men can choose between women like Anne Hathaway or any of thousands of sheep, so, given the alternatives, they choose each other. Did I mention the great soundtrack music?

Back in the real world, as it is affectionately nicknamed, the war in Iraq is steadily losing favor. Even Bill Buckley, the retired founder of a pro-war magazine, says it’s time to admit defeat. This causes the magazine’s current editors, who favor nuking Mecca, to write that Buckley’s opinion is “premature.” After all, the war is not yet three years old, and you have to give these cakewalks at least a decade to work.

Jed Babbin gets it right here.

Politics is actually a lot of fun, if you observe it with a sense of humor and don’t get your hopes up. After all, politicians are basically just like the rest of us, and they behave just the way you or I might behave if we had the power to jail or shoot our creditors. In a democracy, the creditors are called “citizens” and the really gullible ones are called “voters.” Look in the mirror and ask yourself — honestly, now — which category you fall into. Keep the number of your local suicide hotline at hand.

It’s bad enough being a “citizen,” so I decided some time ago not to compound my troubles by being a “voter” too. This enabled me to see the world with an exhilarating clarity. Suddenly all the politicians bidding for my vote became comical little butts, like the figures in a Bruegel painting. At least I didn’t feel I was their butt anymore. Their slave, maybe, but no longer their butt.

Not that politicians really laugh at us. Humor isn’t their long suit. Does the wolf laugh at the sheep? In the movie I just mentioned, the sheep are protected by guys who shoot at the wolf. These guys are called “shepherds,” though in the so-called real world they are called “assassins” or even “terrorists.” And the wolf can shoot back, which brings us to Lesson Two: Don’t even think about shooting that wolf.

So when the wolf pounces on your lamb, just ignore the pitiful bleating and remind yourself that this is a democracy, where every sheep can freely express its preference for which kind of wolf it wants to be eaten by. Many sheep, perhaps understandably, prefer a wolf in sheep’s clothing, which is after all the basic idea of democracy. So far it has worked pretty well. The wolves all agree on that, and they want to spread democracy everywhere.

Irony, thy name is France.

French Anarchists Riot Again for Job Security...

OMG!!!! Phoebe Cates is almost 43!

Never! She will always be 18 to me!

Phoebe is exceptional in more than the obvious way. She and husband Kevin Kline have been married for seventeen years.

From The Horrible And Ironic Ways To Stay Dead Department:

BBC: Frozen parents cremated by son
A Frenchman who fought a long-running legal battle to keep his parents' bodies in a deep-freeze has cremated them after the freezer broke down.

Remy Martinot's parents were frozen soon after their deaths in the hope of bringing them back to life.

A court in January ordered them to be buried or cremated, and Mr Martinot had said he would appeal the decision.

However, they were cremated on 3 March after the crypt where they were kept at -65C heated up to -20C.

"I decided that it was no longer reasonable to carry on," Mr Martinot told the AFP news agency.

That is truer than he knows.

"I am no more sad today that at the time my parents died. I have finished mourning," he added.

That does not make any sense. If he truly believed freezing them would enable them tocome back to life one day, I should think he would be devastated at the thermostat's malfunction...unless he doesn't really love ol' pere et mere...or maybe he's just in it for the money...

"But I am bitter that I could not carry out my father's wishes. Maybe the future will show that my father was right and that he was a pioneer."

Daniel Boone was a pioneer. Your father was a looney.

Mr Martinot's father, Raymond, a cryogenics enthusiast, froze his wife after her death in 1984, hoping that one day science might enable her to be revived.

He showed off her crypt for a fee in the cellar of his chateau, in the Loire Valley town of Nueil-sur-Layon, to help pay for upkeep of the equipment.

When Raymond died in 2002, his body was frozen by his son.

In March that year, a court ruled that keeping the bodies refrigerated at the family chateau was against French law.

In January this year, France's highest administrative court, the Council of State, ordered Mr Martinot to either bury or cremate his parents.

He had planned to take his case before the European Court of Human Rights.

But there is good news for all the looneys chasing immortality:

Method designed to save cells from damage in cryogenics

Religion of Peace and Love Update.

Washington Times: Afghan Trial of Christian 'Troubles' Bush

Another from the "With friends like these..." files:

CAIR Urges Immediate Release of Afghan Christian(CNSNews.com) - A U.S. Islamic advocacy group criticized for not speaking out immediately about the trial of an Afghan Muslim who may get the death penalty for converting to Christianity is calling for the man's immediate release. Full Story

Top UK Court Tells Muslim Schoolgirl Her Human Rights Weren't Violated
(CNSNews.com) - Dismissing claims that her human rights had been violated, Britain's highest court has ruled against a British teenager who wanted to wear an all-encompassing Muslim dress to school. Full Story

Senator Social Moderate is damply incontinent.

Fox News/AP: Reid: Bush 'Dangerously Incompetent'

Someday, somebody will look up the definition of "science" and we'll all have a good laugh.

Scientist Alleging Bush Censorship Helped Gore, Kerry

(CNSNews.com) - The scientist touted by CBS News' "60 Minutes" as arguably the "world's leading researcher on global warming" and spotlighted as a victim of Bush administration censorship on the issue publicly endorsed Democrat John Kerry for president and received a $250,000 grant from the charitable foundation headed by Kerry's wife. Full Story

It Takes A Village To Staff A Gestapo Unit Update.

GOP Bills Would 'Criminalize' Jesus, Says Hitlery

A noted Christian, Gauleiter Hitlery Clintongruber (N-N.Y.), decries the evil FlyingBushMonkey regime's genocidal immigration proposals that threaten to toss Our Lord in the hoosegow.

(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that Republican-sponsored border security measures making it a federal crime to offer assistance to illegal immigrants would "criminalize" even Jesus. "It is hard to believe that a Republican leadership that is constantly talking about values and about faith would put forth such a mean-spirited piece of legislation," Clinton said during a news conference regarding a bill that was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in December. A similar bill was introduced last week by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.). "It is certainly not in keeping with my understanding of the Scripture because this bill would literally criminalize the Good Samaritan and probably even Jesus himself," she said. "We need to sound the alarm about what is being done in the Congress." While noting that "we need comprehensive immigration reform," Clinton added: "Taking a harsh position is not going to solve the problem."

I hope and pray this psychotic power-mad cow keeps on talking all the way up to election day. The Democrasses are going to wish they gave the Gorehound another go.

Fyodor's Sour Sixteen.

I am down to eight teams in my Bracket of Integrity. I am so very, very sorry.

Allah and Man at Yale. (Sorry, WFB)

From OpinionJournal, John Fund continues his attack upon some poor Afghan frat boy who went to Yale just to meet blondes. And oppress them.

Something is very wrong at our elite universities. Last month Larry Summers resigned as president of Harvard; today Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi will speak by video to a conference at Columbia University that his regime is cosponsoring. (Columbia won't answer questions about how much funding it got from Libya or what implied strings were attached.) Then there's Yale, which for three weeks has refused to make any comment or defense beyond a vague 144-word statement about its decision to admit Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi--a former ambassador-at-large of the murderous Afghan Taliban--as a special student.

The three backers of the foundation that, along with Yale, is subsidizing Mr. Hashemi's tuition have told the Yale Daily News that they are withdrawing their support. But the university remains mute and paralyzed. "The intelligentsia haven't told Yalies what to think yet, because even they haven't made up their minds," says Yale professor David Gelernter. He clearly has: He calls the Taliban "an evil and macabre terrorist group. . . . The fact that Hashemi didn't do actual killing does not absolve him. Goebbels didn't shoot anyone either."

Except his own kids. How quickly we forget.

Universities are places where free inquiry, debate and information sharing are supposed to be guiding lights. In reality, the ivory towers too often now resemble dark castles, which raise their drawbridges at the first hint of criticism or scrutiny. Never has the moat separating elite universities from the rest of America been wider than in the case of Yale's Taliban Man.

In justifying its grant of a place to Mr. Hashemi, Yale has cited his approval by the State Department. And Yale's sole official statement says it hopes "his courses help him understand the broader context for the conflicts that led to the creation of the Taliban and to its fall. . . . Universities are places that must strive to increase understanding." That justification is unsettling to two women who will join voices at Yale tonight. Natalie Healy lost her Navy SEAL son Dan in Afghanistan last year when a Taliban rocket hit his helicopter. Ms. Healy, who notes that her son had four children of his own, is appalled at Yale's new student. "Lots of people could benefit from a Yale education, so why reward this man who was part of the group that killed Dan?" she told me. "I want to tell [Yale President] Richard Levin that his not allowing ROTC on campus is one thing, but welcoming a former member of the Taliban is deeply insulting to families who have children fighting them right now."

Ten days ago Ms. Healy met Malalai Joya, a member of Afghanistan's parliament, when she spoke near her home in Exeter, N.H. Tonight, Ms. Joya will speak at Yale on behalf of the Afghan Women's Mission. She is appalled that many people have forgotten the crimes of the Taliban, and was surprised to hear that Mr. Hashemi, who, like her, is 27 years old, is attending Yale. "He should apologize to my people and expose what he and others did under the Taliban," she told me. "He knew very well what criminal acts they committed; he was not too young to know. It would be better if he faced a court of justice than be a student at Yale University."

Mr. Hashemi probably won't be attending Ms. Joya's lecture tonight. He has dodged reporters for three weeks, ever since his presence at Yale was revealed in a cover story in the New York Times Magazine. Some claim he has fully repented his Taliban past, but in his sole recent interview--with the Times of London--he acknowledged he'd done poorly in his class "Terrorism: Past, Present and Future," attributing that to his disgust with the textbooks: "They would say the Taliban were the same as al Qaeda." At the same time, Mr. Hashemi won't explain an essay he wrote late last year in which he called Israel "an American al Qaeda" aimed at the Arab world. When asked about the Taliban's public executions in Kabul's soccer stadium, he quipped: "There were also executions happening in Texas."

Shecky bin Goat Rape. Everybody's a comedian.

Given his record as a Taliban apologist, Mr. Hashemi has told friends he is stunned Yale didn't look more closely into his curriculum vitae. "I could have ended up in Guantanamo Bay," he told the New York Times. So how did he end up in the Ivy League? Questions start at the State Department's door. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, chairman of the Judiciary Committee's border security panel, has asked the State Department and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to explain exactly how Mr. Hashemi got an F-1 student visa. Yale's decision tree is clearer. Richard Shaw, Yale's dean of undergraduate admissions until he took the same post at Stanford last year, told the New York Times that Yale had another foreigner of Mr. Hashemi's caliber apply but "we lost him to Harvard" and "I didn't want that to happen again." Mr. Shaw won't return phone calls now, but emails he's exchanged with others offer insights into his thinking.

The day after the New York Times profile appeared, Haym Benaroya, a professor at Rutgers, wrote to Mr. Shaw expressing disbelief that Mr. Hashemi, who has a fourth-grade education and a high school equivalency certificate, could be at Yale. Mr. Shaw replied that he indeed had "non-traditional roots [and] very little formal education but personal accomplishments that had significant impact." Mr. Benaroya was stupefied; did Mr. Shaw mean accomplishments that had a "positive impact, not terroristic and totalitarian impact"? Mr. Shaw responded: "Correct, and potential to make a positive difference in seeking ways towards peace and democracy. An education is a way toward understanding the complex nuances of world politics."

That last paragraph is why you must monitor your children's education at all times.

Back in the early 1990s, when he was dean of Yale College, Yale history professor Don Kagan warned about what he called the university's "mutual massage" between value-neutral professors and soft-minded students. He is even more critical now: "The range of debate on campus is more narrow than ever today, and the Taliban incident is a wake-up call that moral relativism is totally unexamined here. The ability of students to even think clearly about patriotism and values is being undermined by faculty members who believe that at heart every problem has a U.S. origin." Mr. Kagan isn't optimistic that Yale will respond to outside pressure. "They have a $15 billion endowment, and I know Yale's governing board is handpicked to lick the boots of the president," he told me. "The only way Yale officials can be embarrassed is if a major donor publicly declares he is no longer giving to them. Otherwise, they simply don't care what the outside world thinks."

But there may be one other source of worry for Yale. Mr. Hashemi told the New York Times that he will apply next month for sophomore status in Yale's full-degree program starting next fall. An admissions official told me Yale's plan all along was to do just that if his grades were acceptable. But next week, Yale will mail out 19,300 rejection letters to those who applied to be in its class of 2010. "I can't imagine it'll be easy for Yale to convince those it rejects that the Taliban student isn't taking a place they could have had," a former Yale administrator told me.

Former Yale president Benno Schmidt says admitting Mr. Hashemi is an exercise in "amorality and cynicism." He told me that "diversity simply cannot be allowed to trump all moral considerations." It's not as if Yale can't muster moral indignation. Yale is divesting from Sudan, responding to pressure from student activists and labor unions. But when it comes to a former Taliban official, there is a desire to move on.

That's funny. Diversity is not a moral consideration. It is a political one.

A case in point is Amy Aaland, executive director of Yale's Slifka Center for Jewish Life, where Mr. Hashemi takes his meals (Kosher complies with Islamic dietary laws). (That is what is known as irony. - F. G.) When I asked her if any of the revelations about his past disturb her, she noted that he was "very, very young" when he had been a Taliban official, and that "it's not like the Taliban attacked this country." I asked about the Taliban's decree in May 2001 that all non-Muslims--chiefly Hindus--had to wear yellow badges. The order, reminiscent of the Nazis, was met with global censure. A reporter then in Kabul recalls Mr. Hashemi had no trouble defending the decree as a protection for minorities against punishment by the religious police "until I pointed out it also required non-Muslims to move out of housing they shared with Muslims within three days; he didn't have a coherent response to that." Ms. Aaland absorbed all that I told her, and replied: "I don't expect learning to happen overnight." She still thought that "just living here, [Mr. Hashemi] can learn values and ideals from our society."

She doesn't even have enough of a clue to be considered a self-hating Jew.

There is a line beyond which tolerance and political correctness become willful blindness. Eli Muller, a reporter for the Yale Daily News, was stunned back in 2000 when the lies of another Taliban spokesman who visited Yale "went nearly unchallenged." He concluded that the "moral overconfidence of Yale students makes them subject to manipulation by people who are genuinely evil." (EXACTLY! - F.G.) Today, you can say that about more than just some naïve students. You can add the administrators who abdicated their moral responsibility and admitted Mr. Hashemi.

James Taranto reminds us that anti-Israel is indeed anti-semite for some people. (Part 3)

From Best of the Web Today on Wednesday, March 22, 2006. (Link above.)

Anti-Jew Déjà Vu
Blogger Ed Lasky notes a fascinating piece that appeared in the Jan. 10, 2003, issue of the Chicago Maroon, a student newspaper at the University of Chicago:

An open letter demanding vigilance in ensuring that Israel does not forcibly expel Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza has drawn the endorsement of nearly a thousand American academics, including eight at the University of Chicago.

The letter, adopted from one circulated by Israeli academics, cites Israeli politicians who publicly support removing Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza and relocating them into neighboring Arab countries. The "fog of war [with Iraq] could be exploited by the Israeli government to commit further
crimes against the Palestinian people, up to full-fledged ethnic cleansing," the letter reads. . . .

"The precedent is there [to forcibly expel Palestinians], and it
behooves us to make sure it does not happen again," said John Mearsheimer, co-director of the Program on International Security Policy at the University and one of the letter's signatories.

Mearsheimer, of course, is a co-author, with Stephen Walt, of the infamous Harvard paper arguing that there is no moral or strategic basis for America's support of Israel and concluding that such support is explained by "the unmatched power of the Israel Lobby." As we noted Monday, their paper has drawn praise from David Duke.

The claim that Israel would expel Palestinians from the disputed territories had a familiar ring to it, and after some digging through our archives, we figured out why. On March 14, 2003, less than a week before coalition troops crossed the Iraqi frontier, we quoted a reader e-mail responding to our mystification at the idea--then being propounded by figures as diverse as Edward Said, Pat Buchanan, David Duke and Rep. Jim Moran (D., Va.)--"that the impending liberation of Iraq is the result of a conspiracy by a Zionist 'cabal,' as Buchanan calls it, that is 'colluding with Israel' to 'ensnare our country in a series of wars that are not in America's interests.' "

I would like to suggest Pat Buchanan is better described as "rabidly pro-American" rather than "anti-semitic". I think Pat's record proves he deserves the benefit of the doubt here. I have heard him attack every "ally" we have at one time or another.

Our reader wrote:

What is obvious is that they [the Israelis] will use the resulting chaos as a pretext to get rid of the Palestinians, driving them out of the country into Jordan or Egypt. Who will say or do anything to stop them when the region is totally destabilized and a mess?

We are not cruel enough to reveal the identity of this silly missive's author, but we will say that the person is at the University of Chicago and is not Mearsheimer. Apparently this idea was very much in the air among Windy City savants in early 2003. Three years later, Israel not only has not expelled the Palestinian Arabs; it has withdrawn from Gaza. The prediction not only was not "obvious" but was flat wrong. We said so at the time:

Let us spell out the assumptions underlying this theory:

That the disastrous outcome of war in Iraq--"chaos," with the region "totally destabilized and a mess"--is foreordained.

That Israel and its co-conspirators, some of whom hold subcabinet-level positions in the Bush administration, know this, but the rest of the administration and the majority of Congress have no clue and thus have been duped by the Zionist plotters into thinking the war has a significant chance of success.

That although the whole region will be engulfed in "chaos," "totally destabilized and a mess," Israel will have no problem managing the forcible relocation of more than three million people, many of them heavily armed with guns and explosives, all the while defending its borders against the hostile states and terrorist groups that surround it.

There is actually one more assumption implicit in the 2003 prediction of imminent "ethnic cleansing" in the disputed territories: that Israel would not observe any moral constraint against such an action. In other words, those who predicted mass expulsion of Palestinians assumed both (a) that Israel is wicked and (b) that carrying out the imagined plan would be practicable. We'd argue that both (a) and (b) are false, but clearly they cannot both be true. It may be that a conviction that Israel is evil blinded advocates of this theory to its practical shortcomings.

In a 2005 essay for Josh Marshall's TPMCafe.com titled "A Democratic Foreign Policy?," G. John Ikenberry sang the praises of both the authors of the Harvard study, among others:

It is worth noting that some of the most lucid and compelling voices in Democratic foreign policy circles are in fact scholars who ground their ideas in realist theory. These realist-oriented security studies scholars--who include the top figures in the field such as John Mearsheimer, Steve Walt, Barry Posen,
Robert Art, and many others--all have distinct and sophisticated realist-oriented theoretical views of world politics. But they also have spoken out against Bush foreign policy and opposed the Iraq war in unusually systematic
and intelligent ways.

Can we at least agree that entertaining lurid fantasies about Israeli depravity does not qualify as "realism" in any meaningful sense of the word?

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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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