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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, April 28, 2006

The Theology of the Body: 95. Relationship of Christ to the Church Connected With the Tradition of the Prophets

In his General Audience of 22 September 1982, the Holy Father, in light of Ephesians 5, compared the relationship of Christ with His Church to the relationship, described by the Old Testament Prophets, of God with Israel. Whereas, in Isaiah, God is Israel's spouse as her Maker, in Ephesians, Christ is the Church's spouse as her Redeemer.

Relationship of Christ to the Church Connected With the Tradition of the Prophets

The general audience of 22 September took place in St Peter's Square in the presence of a large crowd, in spite of threatening weather. Pope John Paul delivered the following address.

1. The Letter to the Ephesians, by means of a comparison of the relation between Christ and the Church with the spousal relationship of husband and wife, refers to the tradition of the prophets of the Old Testament. To illustrate it we recall again the following passage of Isaiah:

"Fear not, for you will not be ashamed; be not confounded, for you will not be put to shame; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more. For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name, and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; the God of the whole earth he is called. For the Lord has called you like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, like a wife of youth when she is cast off, says your God. For a brief moment I forsook you, but with great compassion I will gather you. In overflowing wrath for a moment I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love, I will have compassion on you, says the Lord, your Redeemer. For this is like the days of Noah to me: as I swore that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you and will not rebuke you. For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you" (Is 54:4-10).

Back to the mystery hidden in God

2. The text of Isaiah in this case does not contain the reproaches made to Israel as an unfaithful spouse, which echo so strongly in the other texts, especially of Hosea and Ezekiel. Thanks to this, the essential content of the biblical analogy becomes more evident. The love of God-Yahweh for the chosen people-Israel is expressed as the love of the man-spouse for the woman chosen to be his wife by means of the marriage alliance. In this way Isaiah explains the events which make up the course of Israel's history, going back to the mystery hidden in the heart of God. In a certain sense, he leads us in the same direction in which, after many centuries, the author of the Letter to the Ephesians will lead us. Basing himself on the redemption already accomplished in Christ, he will reveal much more fully the depth of the mystery itself.

3. The text of the prophet has all the coloring of the tradition and the mentality of the people of the Old Testament. Speaking in the name of God and, as it were, with his words, the prophet addresses Israel as a husband would address the wife he chose. These words brim over with an authentic ardor of love. At the same time they place in relief the whole specific character both of the situation and of the outlook proper to that age. They underline that the choice on the part of the man takes away the woman's "dishonor." According to the opinion of society, this "dishonor" seems connected with the marriageable state, whether original (virginity), or secondary (widowhood), or finally that deriving from repudiation of a wife who is not loved (cf. Dt 24:1) or in the case of an unfaithful wife. However, the text quoted does not mention infidelity, but it indicates the motive of the "love of compassion."(1) Thereby it indicates not merely the social nature of marriage in the Old Testament, but also the very character of the gift, which is the love of God for the spouse-Israel: a gift which derives entirely from God's initiative. In other words, it indicates the dimension of grace, which from the beginning is contained in that love. This is perhaps the strongest declaration of love on God's part, linked with the solemn oath of faithfulness forever.

Creator and Lord

4. The analogy of the love which unites spouses is brought out strongly in this passage. Isaiah says: "...for your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name, and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; the God of the whole earth he is called" (Is 54:5). So then, in that text God himself, in all his majesty as Creator and Lord of creation, is explicitly called "spouse" of the chosen people. This spouse speaks of his great compassion, which will not depart from Israel-spouse, but will constitute a stable foundation of the alliance of peace with him. Thus the motif of spousal love and of marriage is linked with the motif of alliance. Besides, the Lord of hosts calls himself not only "Creator," but also "Redeemer." The text has a theological content of extraordinary richness.

Continuity of analogy

5. Comparing the text of Isaiah with the Letter to the Ephesians and noting the continuity regarding the analogy of spousal love and of marriage, we should point out at the same time a certain diversity of theological viewpoint. Already in the first chapter the author of the letter speaks of the mystery of love and of election, whereby "God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" embraces mankind in his Son, especially as a mystery "hidden in the mind of God." This is a mystery of eternal love, the mystery of election to holiness ("...to be holy and blameless before him"—Eph 1:4) and of adoption as sons in Christ ("He destined us to be his adopted sons through Jesus Christ"—Eph 1:5). In this context, the deduction of the analogy concerning marriage which we have found in Isaiah ("For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name"—Is 54:5), seems to be a foreshortened view constituting a part of the theological perspective. The first dimension of love and of election, as a mystery hidden for ages in God, is a paternal and not a "conjugal" dimension. According to the Letter to the Ephesians the first characteristic note of that mystery remains connected with the paternity of God, set out in relief especially by the prophets (cf. Hos 11:1-4; Is 63:8-9; 64:7; Mal 1:6).

Theological perspective

6. The analogy of spousal love and of marriage appears only when the Creator and the Holy One of Israel of the text of Isaiah is manifested as Redeemer. Isaiah says: "For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name, and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer" (Is 54:5). Already in this text it is possible, in a certain sense, to read the parallelism between the spouse and the Redeemer. Passing to the Letter to the Ephesians we should observe that this thought is fully developed there. The figure of the Redeemer(2) is already delineated in the first chapter as proper to him who is the first "beloved Son" of the Father (Eph 1:6), beloved from eternity, of him, in whom all of us have been loved by the Father "for ages." It is the Son of the same substance of the Father, "in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses according to the riches of his grace" (Eph 1:7). The same Son, as Christ (or as the Messiah) "has loved the Church and has given himself up for her" (Eph 5:25).

This splendid formulation of the Letter to the Ephesians summarizes in itself and at the same time sets in relief the elements of the Canticle on the Servant of Yahweh and of the Canticle of Sion (cf. e.g., Is 42:1; 53:8-12; 54:8).

And thus the giving of himself up for the Church is equivalent to carrying out the work of redemption. In this way the "Creator Lord of hosts" of Isaiah becomes the "Holy One of Israel," of the new Israel, as Redeemer.

In the Letter to the Ephesians the theological perspective of the prophetic text is preserved and at the same time deepened and transformed. New revealed moments enter: the trinitarian, Christological(3) and finally the eschatological moment.

His salvific love

7. Thus St. Paul, writing the letter to the People of God of the new covenant and precisely to the church of Ephesus, will no longer repeat: "Your Maker is your husband." But he will show in what way the Redeemer, who is the firstborn Son and for ages "beloved of the Father," reveals contemporaneously his salvific love. This love consists in giving himself up for the Church, as spousal love whereby he espouses the Church and makes it his own Body. Thus the analogy of the prophetic texts of the Old Testament (in this case especially of Isaiah) remains preserved in the Letter to the Ephesians and at the same time obviously transformed. A mystery corresponds to the analogy, a mystery which is expressed and, in a certain sense, explained by means of it. In the text of Isaiah this mystery is scarcely outlined, "half-open" as it were; however, in the Letter to the Ephesians it is fully revealed (but of course without ceasing to be a mystery). In the Letter to the Ephesians both dimensions are explicitly clear: the eternal dimension of the mystery inasmuch as it is hidden in God ("the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ"), and the dimension of its historical fulfillment, according to its Christological and at the same ecclesiological dimension. The analogy of marriage referred especially to the second dimension. Also in the prophets (in Isaiah) the analogy of marriage referred directly to a historical dimension. It was linked with the history of the chosen people of the old covenant, with the history of Israel. On the other hand the Christological and the ecclesiological dimension was found only as an embryo in the Old Testament fulfillment of the mystery; it was only foretold.

Nonetheless it is clear that the text of Isaiah helps us to understand better the Letter to the Ephesians and the great analogy of the spousal love of Christ and the Church.


1. In the Hebrew text we have the words hesed-rahamim, which appear together on more than one occasion.

2. Even though in the most ancient biblical books the word "redeemer" (Hebrew Go'el) signified the person bound by blood relationship to vindicate a relative who had been killed (cf. e.g., Nm 35:19), to help a relative who was unfortunate (e.g., Ru 4:6) and especially to ransom him from servitude (cf. e.g., Lv 25:48), with the passage of time this analogy was applied to Yahweh, "who redeemed Israel from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt" (Dt 7:8). Especially in Deutero-Isaiah the accent changes from the act of redemption to the person of the Redeemer, who personally saves Israel as though merely by his very presence, "not for price or reward" (Is 45:13).

Therefore the passage from the 'redeemer' of the prophecy of Isaiah chapter 54, to the Letter to the Ephesians, has the same motivation of the application, in the said letter, of the texts of the Canticle on the Servant of Yahweh (cf. Is 53:10-12; Eph 5:23, 25, 26).

3. In place of the relationship "God-Israel," Paul introduces the relationship "Christ-Church," by applying to Christ everything in the Old Testament that refers to Yahweh (Adonai-Kyrios). Christ is God, but Paul also applies to him everything that refers to the Servant of Yahweh in the four canticles (Is 42:49; 50; 52-53) interpreted in a Messianic sense in the intertestimentary period.

The motif of "head" and of "body" is not of biblical derivation, but is probably Hellenistic (Stoic?). In Ephesians this theme is utilized in the context of marriage (while in First Corinthians the theme of the "body" serves to demonstrate the order which reigns in society).

From the biblical point of view the introduction of this motif is an absolute novelty.

Wow.Talk about the proverbial kiss of death...

Michael Schiavo endorses candidate in governor race
Democrat has repeatedly stated opposition to U.S. House's involvement in case --Associated Press

From The Shoring Up Your Base Before The Next Election Department:

Spain's socialists urge rights for apes
Governing party seeks to prohibit 'enslaving' gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans --Independent Online, South Africa

Julia Thorne, Requiescat in pace.

The real wife of noted Catholic John Kerry has died. May God have mercy on her soul.

Boston Globe: Julia Thorne succumbed to cancer, according to daughter

Help! I'm being oppressed by evil school mascots! Update

NCAA declines 3 appeals on Indian mascots
Can't use imagery deemed 'hostile,' 'abusive' at championship events --Associated Press

Remember this one, kiddies? Funny how only huge and rich and powerful Florida State gets a pass, isn't it?

Hey, peasant! Tolerate THIS!!!

Golly. It must be nice having a government that protects your rights...

Lucky perverts.

WorldNetDaily: Virginia Christian investigated after refusing job on biblical grounds Businessman ordered to duplicate lesbian's videos

A government commission has ordered a man who runs a video duplicator business to do a job for a lesbian activist after he initially refused because, as a Christian, he did not want to help promote homosexuality.

According to a report by Concerned Women for America, Tim Bono of Bomo Film and Video in Arlington, Va., did not want to violate his biblical values by helping promote two pro-homosexual films lesbian activist Lillian Vincenz wanted duplicated.

Bono Film & Video informs potential customers that the firm does not duplicate material that it deems obscene, could embarrass employees, hurt the company's reputation or that runs counter to the company's Christian and ethical values, Bono told the Family Policy Network, which is working to organize a lawsuit against Arlington County.

The Arlington Human Rights Commission began an investigation into Bono's refusal to do the job and held a public hearing on March 9 to discuss the alleged discrimination. The panel then issued the order for Bono to acquiesce to the lesbian activist's request.

If Bono refuses to do the job, "after a reasonable amount of time, the commission can reassemble and discuss why the remedy was not done," Raul Torres, executive director of the panel, told CWA.

One option would be for the commission to ask the Arlington County Board of Commissioners to file a discrimination complaint in Arlington Circuit Court.

The human rights panel found that Bono did not review the content of the videos, entitled "Gay and Proud" and "Second Largest Minority," and in refusing to take Vincenz's business violated the county's ban on discrimination due to sexual orientation.

Bono's case is reminiscent of that of Scott Brockie, a Canadian Christian printer who was penalized $5,000 in 2001 for refusing to print letterhead for a homosexual advocacy group.

The Hot TV News Babes of WOOD-TV.

Rachael Ruiz (ABOVE) and Kristi Andersen (BELOW)

Jennifer Moss (ABOVE) and Ginger Zee (BELOW)

and Eva Aguirre Cooper (ABOVE) are the Grand Rapids hopefuls in the Find The Hottest TV News Babes Contest.

Moral Equivalence 101...

...or, the Israeli crackup continues apace.

From Israelinsider:

Perverting the Message of the Shoah
by Ze'ev Orenstein

Today the State of Israel commemorated Yom HaSho'ah - Holocaust Memorial Day.

One of slogans most frequently associated with the Shoah is Never Again.

Never Again... will the Jewish People place their fate (and faith) in the nations of the world.

Never Again... will the Jewish People question the importance of living as sovereign in their Homeland.

Never Again... will Jews sit passively while their brothers and sisters are being persecuted.

Never Again... will Jews believe that they can solve the "Jewish Question" through assimilation and fleeing from their Jewish Heritage and destiny.

Sadly, not all Jews have internalized these messages, as is clear from this ynet article on "pain as common denominator".

"Groups of Israeli students -- Jewish, Muslim and Christian -- visit Polish death camps as part of course on Holocaust, Nakba, and learning to understand each other's stories."

"Thirty students -- 15 Jewish and 15 Arab -- from the Yizrael Valley Academic College took part in the trip as part of the course "Holocaust and Existence: Humanistic and Multicultural views of the Holocaust." The course, like the trip itself, is unusual in its characteristics."

"During the first semester, students study the Holocaust, and after returning from the death camps they learn about the Nakba, which signifies for Israeli Arabs the destruction of Palestinian villages and the expulsion of Palestinians in 1948 during Israel's war of independence...."

"The students tell that after the trip and the ties created among the group, their will for dialogue with the other side, to know the Palestinian perspective, and learn the other side's pain, was sharpened. "

Under the guise of promoting tolerance and co-existence, the memory of the Holocaust and the six million Jews who were slaughtered, along with the foundations of the Jewish State, are being destroyed.

Consider the following points:

* In this course, the Holocaust, where six million Jews were slaughtered, is compared with Nakba ("The Catastrophe"), a day of mourning for the Arabs of Israel over the supposed "expulsion and dispossession of hundreds of thousands Palestinians from their homes and land in 1948." (and on which today sits the Jewish State of Israel. According to the narrative of the Nakba, the Jewish People who settled the Land of Israel and helped to establish the Jewish State are akin to the Nazis, while the Arabs of Israel take on the role of the weak, oppressed and homeless Jews.

* The Arabs of Israel, in their commemoration of the Nakba on the anniversary of the day that the Jewish State of Israel was established, are in fact lamenting the very existence of the Jewish State of Israel.

I imagine that there are a number of key facts that are being left out of this course:

1st: The active involvement of the Arabs (in particular, the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini) who worked together with Hitler to bring the destruction of the Holocaust to the Land of Israel.

2nd: The only reason that the Arabs of Israel have a Nakba to commemorate is because they (and 7 Arab countries) failed in their efforts to wipe the newly re-established Jewish State of Israel off the map by attacking the Jewish State the very moment it was established. Had the neighboring Arab countries not insisted upon the Arabs of Israel leaving their homes before the war in order to make the destruction of the Jewish State easier, they would not have become refugees. As such, the vast majority of Arab refugees only have their Arab brothers to blame.

3rd: Had the Arabs of Israel accepted the United Nations Partition Plan in 1947, they would have had a state of their own. Instead, as has been the case time and time again, the Arabs rejected the Partition Plan because it would have meant that they would have had to accede to the re-establishment a Jewish State in the Land of Israel -- something which to this day, they are not prepared to accept.

But, then again, why should we let facts, history and six million murdered Jews stand in the way of "peace"?

If the cold blooded murder of six million innocent people just like them a little more than sixty years ago fails to convince all the Jews in the world to arm themselves to the teeth and destroy anyone who even thinks of raising a hand against them, is it any wonder we have forgotten a mere three thousand?

I can't decide if it should be called stupidity, laziness, or cowardice.

Here's a bumper sticker for you:



One last thingee for the millions of Mexicans here ILLEGALLY.

Think of it this way, niños.

Why do you want to come here so badly that you brazenly break our laws? Because your homeland is a cesspool of corruption, poverty, ignorance, slavery, and the rule of men instead of the rule of law.

Why is Mexico this way? Because of you, the Mexican people. That's right, you did it and you continue to do it to yourselves every day. It is not the fault of the gringos, or the priests, or the landowners, or the politicians, or the money men, or anyone else but you. Grow up and take responsibility for your own lives, you dumbasses.

Why don't the Red, White, & True Blue folks want you illegal aliens here? Because we don't want you to screw up our country too. We have enough of our own homegrown fascist pinheads running around. Don't believe me? Just hold out your hands. They'll be the ones giving you the money they stole from me.

Wanna get your boycott on, you faithful Mexican Catholics?

Top Vatican official: "Boycott Da Vinci Code film"

Actually, that is not exactly how he said it and therefore there should not be any quotation marks in the Roto-Reuters headline above.

Ha! Look at me! I'm expecting accuracy and other journalistic standards from the antique media. Silly me.

The Vatican stepped up its offensive* against "The Da Vinci Code" on Friday when a top official close to Pope Benedict blasted the book as full of anti-Christian lies and urged Catholics to boycott the film.

The latest broadside* came from Archbishop Angelo Amato, the number two official in the Vatican doctrinal office which was headed by Pope Benedict until his election last year.

Amato, addressing a Catholic conference in Rome, called the book "stridently anti-Christian .. full of calumnies, offences and historical and theological errors regarding Jesus, the Gospels and the Church."

He added: "I hope that you all will boycott the film."

There is Archbishop Amato's quote. I guess they figure nobody really cares about defending The True Church. Silly Roto-Reuters.

The movie, which is being released by Sony Pictures division Columbia Pictures, stars Tom Hanks and premieres next month at the Cannes film festival in France. Sony Pictures is the media wing of Japanese electronics giant Sony Corp.

Amato said the book, written by Dan Brown, had been hugely successful around the world thanks in part to what he called "the extreme cultural poverty on the part of a good number of the Christian faithful."

The book has sold over 40 million copies.

The novel is an international murder mystery centered on attempts to uncover a secret about the life of Christ that a clandestine society has tried to protect for centuries.

The central tenet of the book is that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had children.

In his address to the group, Amato said Christians should be more willing "to reject lies and gratuitous defamation."

He said that if "such lies and errors had been directed at the Koran or the Holocaust they would have justly provoked a world uprising."


He added: "Instead, if they are directed against the Church and Christians, they remain unpunished."

Amato suggested that Catholics around the world should launch organized protests against the "The Da Vinci Code" film just as some had done in 1988 to protest against Martin Scorsese's "The Last Temptation of Christ."


* (Just an aside, kiddies. I find the antique media's use of war-related words and phrases fascinating.)

Amato's broadside was just the latest blast against the book and the film.
Just before Easter, another Vatican official railed against it at an event attended by Pope Benedict, branding the book and its film version as just more examples of Jesus being sold out by a wave of what he called "pseudo-historic" art.

Catholic group Opus Dei has told Sony Pictures that putting a disclaimer on the movie stressing it is a work of fiction would be a welcome show of respect toward the Church.

In the novel and film, Opus Dei is characterized as the latest in a series of secretive groups that worked over the centuries to obscure truths about Jesus Christ.

Opus Dei is a controversial conservative Church group whose members are mostly non-clerics and are urged to seek holiness in their everyday professional jobs and lives. It has rejected criticisms that it is secretive and elitist.

Controversial? Only if you are in rebellion against God and His good order.

With the movie's opening less than a month away, Opus Dei and other Christian groups have been sponsoring Web sites and events telling people the novel should not be believed.

Dingdingdingdingdingdingdingdingdingdingding! It's time for a reality check, kiddies. Have you ever heard anyone demanding any work of fiction be believed as a true chronicle of history?

The book is a thriller in which the main characters must uncover clues they hope will lead them to an important religious relic. Their adversary is an Opus Dei member.

Once again, anti-Catholicism is the only acceptable prejudice in the good ol' US of A.

I don't know about you, but I'm starting my Christmas shopping Monday.

Say it ain't so, Salma! Say it ain't so!

It is sad but true: The prettiest ones are often the dumbest ones.

AFP: Latin Hollywood actors back immigrant boycott
Hollywood stars, including Edward James Olmos and Salma Hayek, have joined ranks with a boycott planned for May 1 to protest the proposed tightening of US immigration laws.

I'm no Vikings fan, but...

...these new uniforms stink out loud. Why do people do stupid things like this? Money.

Pope Benedict XVI: Lack of Love Behind Failed Marriages

It really is this simple, kiddies.

Of course, if you do not know what Love is, it gets a whole lot more complicated.

From Breitbart.com (via Drudge):

Pope Benedict XVI said Friday that a lack of true love was behind an increase in failed marriages and a decrease in birth rates in much of the developed world.

Benedict told members of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences that children nowadays also aren't as valued as they once were, in part because of the economic, social and cultural changes in the globalized world.

"Often, instead of feeling loved and cherished (children) appear to be merely tolerated," he said.

The pontiff said the increase in life expectancy and decline in birth rates were "linked to a disturbing deficit of faith, hope and indeed love."

"Perhaps the lack of such creative and forward-looking love is the reason why many couples today choose not to marry, why so many marriages fail and why birth rates have significantly diminished," he said.

Benedict was speaking to the academy's annual plenary session, the topic of which is "Vanishing Youth? Solidarity with children and young people in an age of turbulence."

The academy, a consultative body which produces research in the social sciences to help the Catholic Church establish policy, is headed by law professor Mary Ann Glendon of Harvard University.

Participating in the conference was Cherie Blair, wife of British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The Vatican said she and Benedict met Friday, but gave no details.

Benedict has spoken out several times in favor of large families and called for legislation to help support families with children.

European Union statistics put the average number of children per woman at 1.5. But in some countries, including Catholic Italy and Spain, the average is down to about 1.3.

It Takes A Village To Staff A Gestapo Unit Update.

Wait'll she hits 'em with Shickelgruber.

Poll Shows Clinton's Approval Numbers Higher With Addition Of Rodham...

Hillary parties with Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch...

Did you ever notice how that whole Black Monolith thingee only works for the Democrasses...

...it could be a case of self-hatred. Black women would not be the first group to suffer from that...

Atlantic Journal-Constitution: Study: More black women doubt Rice's skill as leader

...or it could be a simple case of everybody's third favorite deadly sin, envy.

Shocking (Oh, yes, most definitely! Shocking is the right word.) Headline of the Day.

Washington Times:War support undermines Democratic support for Washington state senator

Senator Brain Damage strikes again.

Las Vegas Sun/AP: Specter Threatens to Block NSA Funds

...and in other dog-bites-man news...

BBC: Arab Journalist Accused of Spreading Confusion

Hmmm...I don't remember Washington's other newspaper having a similar problem with Oliver Stone's "JFK".

Washington Post: Invented Details in 'United 93' Raise Real Questions

But the movie, which opens nationwide today, is a dramatic re-creation that includes scenes and images that go far beyond what is known about the attacks.

Those scenes raise questions: How far can a dramatic movie go in imposing its own reality before it distorts the public's understanding of the event? And with memories of 9/11 still vivid and raw, is it too soon for such films to be made?

The questions have special relevance as film producers prepare other 9/11-related projects. Oliver Stone, who portrayed the assassination of John F. Kennedy as the result of a conspiracy in "JFK," is the director of this summer's "World Trade Center." Sony Pictures, meanwhile, is developing the film "102 Minutes," based on the bestseller about the time span between the first tower's crash and its collapse. A TV miniseries based on the 9/11 Commission Report is also in the works.

And I'll bet you $20 they don't make a peep about Hollyweird's latest foray into anti-Catholic hate speech and its myriad historical fabrications.

Kiddies, YOU make the Law of Supply and Demand work.

Why don't we all stay home tomorrow, do yardwork in the morning, and watch the NFL Draft all afternoon?

Washington Times:'Best Cure for High Gas Prices is High Gas Prices'

Florida Eminent Domain Plan Could Be Largest

I warned you.

We didn't
TAKE SOUTER'S HOUSE and now the thugs are bolder than ever.

From the Las Vegas Sun:

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. - When Mayor Michael Brown envisions the future of this struggling city, he sees no poverty, no drug dealing, no prostitution - and none of the 1,700 buildings where many of his poorest constituents live and work.

These are merely the sunshine and gumdrops promises of the totalitarian. They ALWAYS turn into terror and death.

Up to 6,000 of Riviera Beach's 31,000 residents would be sent packing in the city's effort to revamp its marina district with condominiums, houses, shops, offices and yacht slips. To enraged owners of property slated for condemnation, Brown says the sacrifice is necessary for progress.

"(Italian philosopher Niccolo) Machiavelli said it best - the hardest thing to do is to sustain and change the order of things," Brown says. "I will use every ounce of energy I have to fight to make a better life for these people. There will be no more lower class.

"For all those who don't like it, tough."

And you thought fascists couldn't be elegant and articulate.

The project, potentially one of the country's largest eminent domain seizures, has placed Riviera Beach at the center of a nationwide battle over whether government should be allowed to seize property for private development.

"You can't just take away from people what they've worked so hard for," says Princess Wells, 54, whose home and salon are slated for removal under the $2.4 billion plan.

Actually, dear, they can.

Traditionally, governments have used eminent domain to build public facilities, but cities have increasingly used the power to make room for private development.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that such seizures are allowable if the construction raises the tax base and benefits the entire community. But it added a caveat: States can restrict the use of eminent domain. Legislators in Florida and elsewhere are scrambling to do so. Gov. Jeb Bush is likely to sign the measure if the Senate approves it.

"From the barbershops to the courthouse, all I've heard was, `Please don't let them take our property,'" Rep. Arthenia Joyner said after a recent 116-0 House vote on legislation that would severely limit the condemnations for any private use.

In February, South Dakota became the first state to enact a law that prohibits government from seizing personal property through eminent domain for private use. Indiana, Georgia and other states have enacted similar laws.

Dana Berliner, a lawyer for the nonprofit Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Justice, says Riviera Beach's plan is the largest current project of its kind in the country.

"This land is very valuable and the attitude is, `Why should we waste this prime real estate on low-income people?'" says Berliner, who represented Connecticut homeowners in the Supreme Court case. "It's a terrible thing."
Wells refuses to sell the single-story pink home her husband built 23 years ago. The couple raised four children there.

"When we built our house, we didn't have much money. We prayed a lot," Wells says. "We love our house. Why would I sell?"

Amen to that, Sister.

Developers who have offered some homeowners twice the market values have not approached her, leaving few options but to accept the city's offer of about 30 percent above appraisal, plus relocation assistance.

Here's the bottom line, kiddies. If someone doesn't want to sell their property, no one can be allowed to force them to do so.

The mayor says Riviera Beach is on the brink of bankruptcy and needs redevelopment if it is to thrive in wealthy Palm Beach County. Brown sees the project as a catalyst for opportunities - and millions in tax revenue - for the city, where a quarter of residents live in poverty.

Minus those pesky 6,000 subhumans, of course.

Viking Inlet Harbor Properties, a joint venture between Viking Yacht Co. and resort firm Portfolio Group, is developing the project. Viking CEO Robert Healy says it will bring in 1,500 higher paying jobs, up to 800 affordable homes and create a 400-student maritime vocational academy.
Floyd Johnson, director of Riviera Beach's Community Redevelopment Agency and the project's chief administrator, compares it to building the nation's interstate highways, which connected coasts and commerce but displaced thousands.

"A rising tide will hopefully raise all ships," Johnson says. "There are those who are reminiscent of the good old days here. The greater good extends beyond them."

You don't get to decide what the greater good is, Herr Bürgermeister. No one man does. That is supposed to be one of the things that separates us from the beasts.

He says any new state restrictions could slow the project but would not stop it, and adds that he expects the city will have to seize only about 30 properties.

Only thirty? Well, that makes a difference. Go ahead, you lamebrain. Go ahead and destroy the lives of thirty families. And trample the law under your jackboots...

Some residents, however, say it is only the threat of seizure that compelled them to sell.

"I'm outraged. This is so un-American. It's legalized stealing," says painter Martha Babson, 58, who sold her home in the project zone to a developer and is considering moving inland to find affordable housing.

"Unless the state changes the law, people of my echelon, the financially challenged, will always be the people who get moved. Is there ever an end?"

No madam, there will never be an end to the rapacious hunger for power.

The Illegal Alien Anthem

From Washington's other newspaper comes news that Mexican-Americans are screwing with the national anthem in an attempt to legitimize the millions of Mexican criminals who live among us illegally.

In the Spanish version, the translation of the first stanza is relatively faithful to the spirit of the original, though Kidron says the producers wanted to avoid references to bombs and rockets. Instead, there is "fierce combat." The translation of the more obscure second stanza is almost a rewrite, with phrases such as "we are equal, we are brothers."

An alternate version to be released next month includes a rap in English that never occurred to Francis Scott Key:

Let's not start a war

With all these hard workers

They can't help where they were born

"Nuestro Himno" is as fraught with controversial cultural messages as the psychedelic "Banner" Hendrix delivered at the height of the Vietnam War.
Pressed on what he was trying to say with his Woodstock performance in 1969, Hendrix replied (according to biographer Charles Cross), "We're all Americans. . . . It was like 'Go America!' . . . We play it the way the air is in America today."

Now the national anthem is being remade again according to the way the air is in America, and the people behind "Nuestro Himno" say the message once more is: We're all Americans. It will be the lead track on an album about the immigrant experience called "Somos Americanos," due for release May 16. One dollar from each sale will go to immigrant rights groups, including the National Capital Immigration Coalition, which organized the march on the Mall on April 10.

But critics including columnist Michelle Malkin, who coined "The Illegal Alien Anthem" nickname, say the rendition crosses a line that Hendrix never stepped over with his instrumental version. Transforming the musical idiom of "The Star-Spangled Banner" is one thing, argue the skeptics, but translating the words sends the opposite message: We are not Americans.

One measure of our decline is our inability to call people who violate our laws criminals. Think about that for a minute.

Talk about abuse...

Dating-Abuse Class Tells Kids to Rely on Peers, Not Parents

(CNSNews.com) - A curriculum dealing with dating abuse among teenagers was endorsed by two members of the U.S. Senate this week as a way to stop a "frightening and deadly cycle of children hurting children," but the leader of a pro-family group called the program "a waste of school time" because it teaches teens to seek help from peers before turning to their parents. Full Story

MTV Head Touts Network's Ability to 'Inspire' Youth

(CNSNews.com) - MTV has "empowered and educated" America's youth for the last 25 years, said Christina Norman, president of MTV networks, who told an audience at the National Press Club Thursday that her organization's role is to "inspire a generation." Full Story

I guess Congress can now resume using its constitutionally mandated investigative power...

Ha! I knew I couldn't type that with a straight face.

AP: Independent counsel era to come to end

The post-Watergate era of independent counsels, the investigators whose criminal probes affected the fortunes of Republican and Democratic administrations alike, is officially coming to a close.

A two-paragraph order signed by a federal appeals court clerk on March 31 marks the demise of the last of the court-appointed prosecutors.
Independent counsel David Barrett, who spent a decade and $20 million investigating former Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros, must complete his duties "on or before May 3," the order states.

Cisneros pleaded guilty in 1999 to a misdemeanor of lying to the
FBI about payments to a former mistress when he was answering questions following his nomination for the Cabinet-level post. But Barrett kept investigating, contending in a final report in January that the Justice Department and IRS blocked his efforts to probe possible Cisneros tax violations.

The duration of Barrett's probe is an illustration of why many in Congress grew disenchanted with a process designed to protect prosecutors from political interference in inquiries into high-level administration wrongdoing.

Independent Counsel Ken Starr's probe of the Monica Lewinsky scandal led to the impeachment of President Clinton by the Republican-controlled House. Starr and his successor were on the job for 6 1/2 years of Clinton's eight years in office.

Independent counsel Lawrence Walsh spent seven years investigating the
Iran-Contra scandal, which led to the indictment of former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, Lt. Col. Oliver North, former National Security Adviser John Poindexter and others in the administration of President Reagan.

The first President Bush, who probably would have had to testify at Weinberger's trial, pardoned him weeks before the case was to begin.
And in the Cisneros probe, Clinton pardoned his former housing secretary.


Economy rebounds smartly in 1st quarter

Casting off an end-of-year lethargy, the U.S. economy bounded ahead in the opening quarter of this year at a 4.8 percent pace, the fastest growth rate in 2 1/2 years.

The latest report on the economy, released by the Commerce Department on Friday, showed that consumers, businesses and government all did their part in terms of robust spending and investment to spur a healthy pace of growth in the January-to-March quarter.

Why in the world is government spending included in GDP. Leviathan destroys ten times as much economic activity as it "creates".

The 4.8 percent increase in the gross domestic product marked a vast improvement from the feeble 1.7 percent annual rate registered in the final quarter of 2005, when fallout from the Gulf Coast hurricanes, including high energy prices, prompted people and companies to tighten their belts.

1 Year Ago at TheChurchMilitant.

Thursday, April 28, 2005:

Sometimes, there really are Nazis...

Saint of the Day and daily Mass readings.

Today is the Feast of St. Louis de Montfort, confessor, Marian devotee, founder of the Sisters of Divine Wisdom and the Missionaries of the Company of Mary. His True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin remains popular to this day. Pray for us, all you angels and saints.

Today's reading is
Acts 5:34-42.
Today's Responsorial Psalm is
Psalms 27:1, 4, 13-14.
Today's Gospel reading is
John 6:1-15.

[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.

Prayer to End Abortion

Lord God, I thank You today for the gift of my life, and for the lives of all my brothers and sisters. I know there is nothing that destroys more life than abortion, yet I rejoice that you have conquered death by the resurrection of Your Son. I am ready to do my part to end abortion. Today I commit myself never to be silent, never to be passive, and never to be forgetful of the unborn. I commit myself to be active in the pro-life movement, and never stop defending life until all my brothers and sisters are protected and our nation once again becomes a nation with liberty and justice, not just for some, but for all. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Personally, I'm glad I don't know the difference.

Stockings, pantyhose, whatever...

That is not the point, Dearest.

Just in case you thought I was kidding earlier...

Childrens or girl's stylish solid color fishnet pantyhose. Colors shown are yellow and neon pink. Choose from our selection of 40 colors. Great for dancing school performances.

(Sorry, kiddies. Even Your Humble Servant has to eat humble pie once in a while.)

Here's a story from Japan that has almost everything: Boxing, baldness, a wig, controversy, a second chance, and heartache.

Bald boxer loses wig but battles back to win fight, hearts, even hair

Featherweight boxer Masayuki Koguchi found himself in a pretty hairy situation during his last fight as his opponent pummeled him so viciously, it knocked his wig off.

Koguchi gave his hairpiece a hurl, and the toupee-less terror found national fame when he followed the reverse path of Biblical hero Samson and came back to win an 8-round bout in a TKO against 31-year-old pugilist, Daichi Shibata.

But now, four months later and with a re-match set against Shibata following complaints that the hairpiece adversely affected the result, 28-year-old follicly challenged fighter Koguchi has experienced a miracle that will ensure he'll never have to go through the embarrassment of having his wig knocked off ever again, according to Shukan Gendai (5/6-13).

The miracle, the men's weekly notes, is that Koguchi's hair has started growing back.

Rather than actually benefiting from any act of God, the Wig Boxer, as Koguchi has become known throughout Japan, has since March been acting as a monitor for a product called Momani, a herbal based hair restoration treatment. A spokesman for the company elaborates.

"He's only been a monitor for just under a month so the results aren't immediately obvious, but if you check his scalp under a microscope, you'll find that his hair has already started growing back," the spokesman tells Shukan Gendai. "When we first looked at his scalp, we found that the production of hair on Koguchi's head was very weak. Now, he's got two or three hairs that have taken root and grown up thick and strong. If we wait another month, you'll probably be able to tell with your own eyes that his hair is growing back."

The Wig Boxer himself acknowledges the effects of his follicle fixer.

"Well, I've only been using it for three weeks, this is my fourth week. But my blood circulation has improved and I can feel my hair has gotten better. It really feels like my hair is growing back," Koguchi tells Shukan Gendai.

Koguchi tells the men's weekly that he started going bald at 23, and began wearing a wig, even in the ring, because he felt his baldness made him less attractive among women. He's already got dreams about eventually being able to think about things like hairstyles.

"I want to keep on growing it," he says. "But, I am a boxer, so even when it grows back, I'll still cut it really short."

The Wig Boxer chose to wear a toupee because he thought the hirsute look would make him attractive to the opposite sex. Now that he's got some hair back, well, two or three hairs at least, has it changed the way women look at him?

"Nah. My hair hasn't grown back enough yet," the Wig Boxer tells Shukan Gendai. "Mind you, it's probably harder for me to get a girlfriend now that I'm famous than it has ever been before. Every woman who sees me now calls me 'The Wig Boxer,' whether they know me or not. Women basically regard me as being off the radar when it comes to love. It's tough."

For sale: Japanese castle, 15 years old, good as new

From the Mainichi Daily News:

For anybody who's ever believed that a home should be a castle, there's now a Japanese real estate agency that can literally make that dream come true, according to Cyzo (May).

On sale in a rustic little village in sleepy Toyama Prefecture on the Sea of Japan side of the country is a traditional-style Japanese castle.

At first glance, the castle sitting atop a hill in the village of Yatsuo is little different to those citadels that dotted the landscape during Japan's feudal era, while the interior also retains the flavor of times long past.

But the castle has all the mod-cons, which shouldn't really be surprising because it was only built a mere 15 years ago.

"The president of a construction company built it. He was apparently going to use it as a place where he could hold big parties," a real estate agent identified only as Iijima-san from Shimada Jutaku real estate agency tells Cyzo. "But the company's finances went awry and the president had to put the castle up for auction. Our company bought the property and decided to put it up for sale."

The castle is three-stories high. The president waited until changes in the Construction Standards Law changed in 1987 and permitted the erection of wooden buildings higher than three flights before he built it.

Surprisingly, the castle is comparatively cheap...at 41 million yen, it costs about the same as the average apartment in outer suburban Tokyo, but also comes with some 600 square meters of land and the 144 square meters of the interior is still more spacious than a typical home in the capital.

Inside the castle, it's like taking a trip back to Japan of yore.

"Every room is decked out in traditional Japanese style, with tatami mats," Iijima tells Cyzo. "Except for the smallest room in the house. The toilet is a (far more comfortable) Western-style job."

It's pretty rare to live in a castle. Shimada Jutaku put the fortress on the market in June last year and is still looking for a buyer. Whoever does pick it up will also earn the knowledge that they are one of the few individuals in Japan to own their own castle.

"There are a few cases where rich people living in the countryside have built their own castles, but I'd hardly say that this is a fashion," the editor of a trendy architectural magazine tells Cyzo. "Maybe we should do a big write-up on residential castles!"

For about 400 grand, you could do worse.

The Theology of the Body: 94. Moral Aspects of the Christian's Vocation

In his General Audience of 15 September 1982, the Holy Father continued his exposition of the fifth chapter of Ephesians, by showing how the mystery of God's love, hidden for ages, was revealed in Jesus Christ, with an emphasis on his spousal donation of Himself to the Church and His members' participation in the mystery.

Moral Aspects of the Christian's Vocation

The general audience of 15 September took place in St Peter's Square in the presence of a large crowd of people. Pope John Paul continued his discourse on the text of Paul's Letter to the Ephesians, and spoke as follows:

1. We have before us the text of the Letter to the Ephesians 5:21-33, which we have already been analyzing for some time because of its importance in regard to marriage and the sacrament. In its whole content, beginning from the first chapter, the letter treats above all of the mystery for ages hidden in God as a gift eternally destined for mankind. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved" (Eph 1:3-6).

2. Until now the letter speaks of the mystery hidden for ages in God (Eph 3:9). The subsequent phrases introduce the reader to the phase of fulfillment of this mystery in the history of man. The gift, destined for him for ages in Christ, becomes a real part of man in the same Christ: "...in him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us. For he has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of his will, according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth" (Eph 1:7-10).

3. And so the eternal mystery passed from the mystery of "being hidden in God" to the phase of revelation and actualization. Christ, in whom humanity was for ages chosen and blessed "with every spiritual blessing of the Father"—Christ, destined according to the eternal "plan" of God, so that in him, as in a head "all things might be united, things in heaven and things on earth" in the eschatological perspective—reveals the eternal mystery and accomplishes it among men. Therefore the author of the Letter to the Ephesians, in the remainder of the letter, exhorts those who have received this revelation, and those who have accepted it in faith, to model their lives in the spirit of the truth they have learned. To the same end, in a particular way he exhorts Christian couples, husbands and wives.

4. For the greater part of the context the letter becomes instruction or parenesis. The author seems to speak above all of the moral aspects of the vocation of Christians. However, he continually refers to the mystery which is already at work in them, by virtue of the redemption of Christ—and efficaciously works in them especially by virtue of Baptism. He writes: "In him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit" (Eph 1:13). Thus the moral aspects of the Christian vocation remain linked not only with the revelation of the eternal divine mystery in Christ and with its acceptance through faith, but also with the sacramental order. Although it is not placed in the forefront in the whole letter, it seems to be present in a discreet manner. It could not be otherwise seeing that the Apostle is writing to Christians who, through Baptism, had become members of the ecclesial community. From this point of view, the passage of the Letter to the Ephesians, chapter 5:21-33, analyzed up to the present, seems to have a special importance. Indeed, it throws a special light on the essential relationship of the mystery with the sacrament and especially on the sacramentality of matrimony.

5. At the heart of the mystery, there is Christ. In him—precisely in him—humanity has been eternally blessed "with every spiritual blessing." In him, in Christ, humanity has been chosen "before the creation of the world," chosen in love and predestined to the adoption of sons. When later, in the fullness of time this eternal mystery is accomplished in time, this is brought about also in him and through him; in Christ and through Christ. The mystery of divine love is revealed through Christ. Through him and in him it is accomplished. In him, "We have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses..." (Eph 1:7). In this manner men who through faith accept the gift offered to them in Christ, really become participants in the eternal mystery, even though it works in them under the veil of faith. According to the Letter to the Ephesians 5:21-33, this supernatural conferring of the fruits of redemption accomplished by Christ acquires the character of a spousal donation of Christ himself to the Church, similar to the spousal relationship between husband and wife. Therefore, not only the fruits of redemption are a gift, but above all, Christ himself is a gift. He gives himself to the Church as to his spouse.

6. We should ask whether in this matter such an analogy does not permit us to penetrate the essential content of the mystery more profoundly and with greater exactitude. We should ask ourselves this question with all the greater reason because this classic passage of the Letter to the Ephesians (5:21-33) does not appear in the abstract and isolated. But it constitutes a continuity. In a certain sense it is a continuation of the statements of the Old Testament, which presented the love of God-Yahweh for his chosen people Israel according to the same analogy. We are dealing in the first place with the texts of the prophets who, in their discourses, introduced the similarity of spousal love in order to characterize in a particular way the love which Yahweh has for Israel. On the part of the chosen people, this love was not understood and reciprocated. Rather it encountered infidelity and betrayal. That infidelity and betrayal was expressed especially in idolatry, a worship given to strange gods.

7. Truth to tell, in the greater part of the cases, the prophets were pointing out in a dramatic manner that very betrayal and infidelity which were called the "adultery" of Israel. However, the explicit conviction that the love of Yahweh for the chosen people can and should be compared to the love which unites husband and wife is at the basis of all these statements of the prophets. Here one could quote many passages from Isaiah, Hosea and Ezekiel. (Some of these were already quoted when we were analyzing the concept of adultery against the background of Christ's words in the Sermon on the Mount.) One cannot forget that to the patrimony of the Old Testament belongs also the Song of Solomon, in which the image of spousal love is traced—it is true—without the typical analogy of the prophetic texts, which presented in that love the image of the love of Yahweh for Israel, but also without that negative element which, in the other texts, constitutes the motive of "adultery" or infidelity. Thus then the analogy of the spouses, which enabled the author of the Letter to the Ephesians to define the relationship of Christ to the Church, possesses an abundant tradition in the books of the Old Testament. In analyzing this analogy in the classic text of the Letter to the Ephesians, we cannot but refer to that tradition.

8. To illustrate this tradition we will limit ourselves for the moment to citing a passage of Isaiah. The prophet says: "Fear not, for you will not be ashamed; be not confounded, for you will not be put to shame; for you will forget the shame of your youth and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more. For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name, and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; the God of the whole earth he is called. For the Lord has called you like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, like a wife of youth when she is cast off, says your God. For a brief moment I forsook you, but with great compassion I will gather you...but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you" (Is 54:4-7,10).

During our next meeting we shall begin the analysis of the text cited from Isaiah.

God bless Kelly Jo and Dakoda Dowd.

This is not REPEAT NOT a golf story.

Kelly Jo Dowd didn't know whether to laugh or cry, so she did a little of both. With one swing of her 13-year-old daughter's driver, a mother's dream came true.

Dakoda Dowd opened play Thursday with a birdie in the LPGA Ginn Open, doing so while her terminally ill mother looked on, surrounded by friends and family. Wearing a pink shirt and black skirt, the teen teed off at 9:32 a.m., her first ball sailing down the left-center of the fairway.

Kelly Jo Dowd is fighting cancer for the second time in four years. She was given a clean bill of health after doctors believed she beat breast cancer, but she learned last year that she has terminal bone and liver cancer -- and, conceivably, only months to live.

"This is one of the best weeks of my life," Kelly Jo said Thursday before heading to the course. "It's such a warm feeling. It's almost like I'm walking and it's not really happening. I feel like a kid at Christmastime."

When Ginn officials learned Kelly Jo's wish was to see her daughter, who has won dozens of amateur tournaments, play against the LPGA's best, they made it possible with an exemption into the field.

Dakoda received a sponsor's exemption to play in the event near Orlando. Playing with pros Kate Golden and Tracy Hanson -- both at least 21 years older than the phenom -- she started on the 532-yard, par-5 10th hole. She arrived at the driving range 90 minutes earlier, clearly relaxed. After one wedge sailed long of her target, she playfully punched a cameraman standing nearby.

She chewed on her right thumbnail for a few minutes before teeing off, then hugged her mother and leaned her head back in relief that the wait was, at long last, over.

"I'm excited," Dakoda said after walking off the practice green and signing a few autographs before teeing off. "I feel like I'm going to Busch Gardens."

The Tampa amusement park is one of her favorite places. And she doesn't mind the spotlight, either.

"This has all been great," Dakoda said.

She finished her first nine holes at 1-over par, only a pair of three-putt bogeys blemishing her card. Dakoda hit her first eight greens, then chipped within 2 feet to save par on the 18th hole, her ninth of the round.

Through the attention generated here, the Dowd family hopes to raise cancer awareness and encourage women to be diligent in getting checked -- something Kelly Jo acknowledges that she did not do, instead waiting nearly a year before getting the breast lump that turned out to be cancerous examined by doctors.

Pleasepleasepleaseplease, ladies. If not for youselves, then for those who love you...

Fyodor's Headlinks.

News stories that have absolutely nothing in common...

Boston Globe:Dems, Environmentalists at Odds With Ted Kennedy on Wind Farm Project

Washington Post:More Bluster From Iran
Iranian Leader Warns US of Reprisal Ahead of UN Report

...or do they?

Don't vote against Mitt (?) Romney because he's a MORMON, do it because he's a MORON.

Commentary: Romney's Religious Test
(CNSNews.com) - Mitt Romney, the governor of Massachusetts, was in Washington Tuesday to address the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in an early stage of his 2008 presidential campaign. To a growing number of Republican activists, he looks like the party's best bet, says columnist Robert D. Novak. But some Evangelical Christians stumble over Romney's Mormon faith. Read the commentary

Rats! You can't even depend on Pat Buchanan to call for the execution of traitors.

On a more positive note, I suddenly find myself to the right of Brother Pat. I think this McCarthy cow should be hanged live on national television. If she is convicted, of course.

Mary McCarthy, special assistant to President Clinton and senior director of intelligence in his White House, has been fired by the CIA.

McCarthy allegedly told the Washington Post our NATO allies were secretly letting the CIA operate bases on their soil for the interrogation of terror suspects. Apparently, McCarthy failed several polygraph tests, after which she confessed.

If true, she was faithless to her oath, betrayed the trust of her country, damaged America's ties to foreign intelligence agencies and governments, and broke the law. The Justice Department is investigating whether McCarthy violated the Espionage Act.

Yet, while she may be headed for criminal prosecution and prison, the Post reporter to whom she leaked intelligence on the secret sites, Dana Priest, just won a Pulitzer Prize for revealing the existence of these sites.

Pat, you know Pulitzer Prizes are irrelevant.

Also copping Pulitzers were two reporters for the New York Times who revealed that, since 9-11, U.S. intelligence agencies have been intercepting calls and e-mails between terror suspects and U.S. citizens.

President Bush had implored the Times not to publish the story, lest exposure of the spying program alert al-Qaida to U.S. capabilities and operations.

For one year, the Times held the story – then, it went with it. While the delay has been criticized by some journalists, most applauded exposing the spying program and the U.S. secret bases, and the Pulitzers that went with their exposure.

On ABC's "This Week," Sen. John Kerry, (Who now, exactly? - F.G.) to whose campaign McCarthy made a $2,000 contribution, was his usual ambivalent self when asked whether he approved of what she had done:

Of course not. A CIA agent has the obligation to uphold the law, and clearly leaking is against the law, and nobody should leak. I don't like leaking. But if you're leaking to tell the truth, Americans are going to look at that, at least mitigate or think about what are the consequences that you ... put on that
person. Obviously they're not going to keep their job, but there are other larger issues here.

What "larger issues" there were, Kerry did not say.

The name still doesn't ring a bell, but ABC seems to think he's important.

Pressed by ABC's George Stephanopoulos, Kerry blurted, "I'm glad she told the truth, but she's going to obviously – if she did it, if she did it – suffer the consequences of breaking the law."

Kerry was prepared for the question, so he has to be held to account. When he says, "I'm glad she told the truth," one has to ask: What is Kerry talking about?

To whom did McCarthy tell the truth? Apparently, to Dana Priest, in exposing the secret program. Is Kerry "glad" she did this? Is he glad she violated her oath and broke the law and exposed the program? To those to whom McCarthy owed loyalty, her superiors at the CIA, she apparently lied in her polygraph examinations, and only after being caught did she confess.

Where is the moral heroism in clandestinely violating one's oath, breaking the law, leaking secrets and lying about it? Is this the New Morality? What was the higher cause McCarthy was serving?

Ah, the rhetorical question. Pat knows all too well she serves the cause of rebellion.

Journalists are rising to her defense, describing McCarthy as a whistle-blower – i.e., someone who calls the government to account for wrongdoing. But there is no evidence President Bush or U.S. agencies were doing anything criminal by using secret sites provided by NATO allies to interrogate terror suspects plotting to murder Americans.

If U.S. officials are engaged in misconduct or atrocities at these bases – i.e., the torture of prisoners – no one has said so. Reportedly, an E.U. investigation of the U.S. secret sites in Europe turned up nothing.
What does it say about American journalism that it gives its most prestigious prizes to reporters who acquire and reveal illicitly leaked U.S. secrets, when the result is to damage the U.S. government in a time of war? Both the Times and Post got their Pulitzers for fencing secrets of the U.S. government, criminally leaked by disloyal public servants they continue to protect.

Query: If McCarthy deserves firing, disgrace and possibly prison for what she did, does the Post deserve congratulations for collaborating with and covering up her infidelity, deceit and possible criminality?

Are journalists above the law? Are they entitled to publish secrets, the leaking of which can put their sources in jail for imperiling the national security? What kind of business has journalism become in 2006?

They're not journalists and haven't been for generations. They are partisans.

Scooter Libby is to be tried for perjury for allegedly lying to a grand jury investigating whether he leaked the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame, in a White House campaign to discredit war critic Joe Wilson. Larry Franklin of the Pentagon got 12 years for leaking military secrets to the Israeli lobby.

McCarthy deserves the same treatment. She should be prosecuted and, if convicted, spend the next decade in prison. Whether this war was a mistake or not, no one has a right to sabotage the war effort.

Not even journalists.

Ha! That's just Philly being Philly.

From The Smoking Gun: Domino's delivery man transported pizza, corpses in same car

In what will surely repulse Pennsylvanians, a Domino's delivery man used a car to transport corpses to funeral parlors when he wasn't using the vehicle to bring pies and Cheesy Bread to pizza enthusiasts. Last Friday, a Lower Southampton Township Police Department officer pulled over a 1993 Buick after noticing the vehicle did not have an inspection sticker. Additionally, William Bethel, 24, was driving with a suspended license, so cops informed him that the vehicle was going to be impounded. According to a police report, a copy of which you'll find below, when officers began taking an inventory of the station wagon, they noticed a stretcher in the rear of the vehicle (along with rubbish and wet clothing) where "pizzas were sitting to be delivered." Asked about the items, Bethel explained that when he finished delivering Domino's pizzas, "he transports deceased bodies in the same vehicle for a funeral home." A police check with local health officials determined that the use of the car for stiffs and slices did not violate county ordinances. Bethel, who was not arrested, is facing $400 in fines for driving with a suspended license and operating a vehicle without an inspection certificate. The station wagon is registered to Carl Delia, owner of a so-called removal service that delivers dead bodies to Philadelphia-area funeral homes. (2 pages)

Here is a sentence certain to piss off oodles of people:

The Da Vinci Code is today's The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. (If you think you know moonbats, try searching for the latter on the internet.)

Oh, well. Dan Brown's what we get for letting the government "educate" our kids.

Would you like to find out what happens when ignorant fools take a romance novel for chicks as actual history (and gospel)? Check out this beat down of Citizen Brown's anti-intellectual and anti-Catholic pretentions in Crisis Magazine from September 1, 2003:

Dismantling The Da Vinci Code
By Sandra Miesel

“The Grail,” Langdon said, “is symbolic of the lost goddess. When Christianity came along, the old pagan religions did not die easily. Legends of chivalric quests for the Holy Grail were in fact stories of forbidden quests to find the lost sacred feminine. Knights who claimed to be “searching for the chalice” were speaking in code as a way to protect themselves from a Church that had subjugated women, banished the Goddess, burned non-believers, and forbidden the pagan reverence for the sacred feminine.” (The Da Vinci Code, pages 238-239)

The Holy Grail is a favorite metaphor for a desirable but difficult-to-attain goal, from the map of the human genome to Lord Stanley’s Cup. While the original Grail—the cup Jesus allegedly used at the Last Supper—normally inhabits the pages of Arthurian romance, Dan Brown’s recent mega–best-seller, The Da Vinci Code, rips it away to the realm of esoteric history.

But his book is more than just the story of a quest for the Grail—he wholly reinterprets the Grail legend. In doing so, Brown inverts the insight that a woman’s body is symbolically a container and makes a container symbolically a woman’s body. And that container has a name every Christian will recognize, for Brown claims that the Holy Grail was actually Mary Magdalene. She was the vessel that held the blood of Jesus Christ in her womb while bearing his children.

Over the centuries, the Grail-keepers have been guarding the true (and continuing) bloodline of Christ and the relics of the Magdalen, not a material vessel. Therefore Brown claims that “the quest for the Holy Grail is the quest to kneel before the bones of Mary Magdalene,” a conclusion that would surely have surprised Sir Galahad and the other Grail knights who thought they were searching for the Chalice of the Last Supper.
The Da Vinci Code opens with the grisly murder of the Louvre’s curator inside the museum. The crime enmeshes hero Robert Langdon, a tweedy professor of symbolism from Harvard, and the victim’s granddaughter, burgundy-haired cryptologist Sophie Nevue. Together with crippled millionaire historian Leigh Teabing, they flee Paris for London one step ahead of the police and a mad albino Opus Dei “monk” named Silas who will stop at nothing to prevent them from finding the “Grail.”

But despite the frenetic pacing, at no point is action allowed to interfere with a good lecture. Before the story comes full circle back to the Louvre, readers face a barrage of codes, puzzles, mysteries, and conspiracies.

With his twice-stated principle, “Everybody loves a conspiracy,” Brown is reminiscent of the famous author who crafted her product by studying the features of ten earlier best-sellers. It would be too easy to criticize him for characters thin as plastic wrap, undistinguished prose, and improbable action. But Brown isn’t so much writing badly as writing in a particular way best calculated to attract a female audience. (Women, after all, buy most of the nation’s books.) He has married a thriller plot to a romance-novel technique. Notice how each character is an extreme type…effortlessly brilliant, smarmy, sinister, or psychotic as needed, moving against luxurious but curiously flat backdrops. Avoiding gore and bedroom gymnastics, he shows only one brief kiss and a sexual ritual performed by a married couple. The risqué allusions are fleeting although the text lingers over some bloody Opus Dei mortifications. In short, Brown has fabricated a novel perfect for a ladies’ book club.

Brown’s lack of seriousness shows in the games he plays with his character names—Robert Langdon, “bright fame long don” (distinguished and virile); Sophie Nevue, “wisdom New Eve”; the irascible taurine detective Bezu Fache, “zebu anger.” The servant who leads the police to them is Legaludec, “legal duce.” The murdered curator takes his surname, Saunière, from a real Catholic priest whose occult antics sparked interest in the Grail secret. As an inside joke, Brown even writes in his real-life editor (Faukman is Kaufman).

While his extensive use of fictional formulas may be the secret to Brown’s stardom, his anti-Christian message can’t have hurt him in publishing circles: The Da Vinci Code debuted atop the New York Times best-seller list. By manipulating his audience through the conventions of romance-writing, Brown invites readers to identify with his smart, glamorous characters who’ve seen through the impostures of the clerics who hide the “truth” about Jesus and his wife. Blasphemy is delivered in a soft voice with a knowing chuckle: “[E]very faith in the world is based on fabrication.”

But even Brown has his limits. To dodge charges of outright bigotry, he includes a climactic twist in the story that absolves the Church of assassination. And although he presents Christianity as a false root and branch, he’s willing to tolerate it for its charitable works.

(Of course, Catholic Christianity will become even more tolerable once the new liberal pope elected in Brown’s previous Langdon novel, Angels & Demons, abandons outmoded teachings. “Third-century laws cannot be applied to the modern followers of Christ,” says one of the book’s progressive cardinals.)

Where Is He Getting All of This?

Brown actually cites his principal sources within the text of his novel. One is a specimen of academic feminist scholarship: The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels. The others are popular esoteric histories: The Templar Revelation: Secret Guardians of the True Identity of Christ by Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince; Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln; The Goddess in the Gospels: Reclaiming the Sacred Feminine and The Woman with the Alabaster Jar: Mary Magdalen and the Holy Grail, both by Margaret Starbird. (Starbird, a self-identified Catholic, has her books published by Matthew Fox’s outfit, Bear & Co.) Another influence, at least at second remove, is The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets by Barbara G. Walker.

The use of such unreliable sources belies Brown’s pretensions to intellectuality. But the act has apparently fooled at least some of his readers—the New York Daily News book reviewer trumpeted, “His research is impeccable.”

But despite Brown’s scholarly airs, a writer who thinks the Merovingians founded Paris and forgets that the popes once lived in Avignon is hardly a model researcher. And for him to state that the Church burned five million women as witches shows a willful—and malicious—ignorance of the historical record. The latest figures for deaths during the European witch craze are between 30,000 to 50,000 victims. Not all were executed by the Church, not all were women, and not all were burned. Brown’s claim that educated women, priestesses, and midwives were singled out by witch-hunters is not only false, it betrays his goddess-friendly sources.

A Multitude of Errors

So error-laden is The Da Vinci Code that the educated reader actually applauds those rare occasions where Brown stumbles (despite himself) into the truth. A few examples of his “impeccable” research: He claims that the motions of the planet Venus trace a pentacle (the so-called Ishtar pentagram) symbolizing the goddess. But it isn’t a perfect figure and has nothing to do with the length of the Olympiad. The ancient Olympic games were celebrated in honor of Zeus Olympias, not Aphrodite, and occurred every four years.

Brown’s contention that the five linked rings of the modern Olympic Games are a secret tribute to the goddess is also wrong—each set of games was supposed to add a ring to the design but the organizers stopped at five. And his efforts to read goddess propaganda into art, literature, and even Disney cartoons are simply ridiculous.

No datum is too dubious for inclusion, and reality falls quickly by the wayside. For instance, the Opus Dei bishop encourages his albino assassin by telling him that Noah was also an albino (a notion drawn from the non-canonical 1 Enoch 106:2). Yet albinism somehow fails to interfere with the man’s eyesight as it physiologically would.

But a far more important example is Brown’s treatment of Gothic architecture as a style full of goddess-worshipping symbols and coded messages to confound the uninitiated. Building on Barbara Walker’s claim that “like a pagan temple, the Gothic cathedral represented the body of the Goddess,” The Templar Revelation asserts: “Sexual symbolism is found in the great Gothic cathedrals which were masterminded by the Knights Templar...both of which represent intimate female anatomy: the arch, which draws the worshipper into the body of Mother Church, evokes the vulva.” In The Da Vinci Code, these sentiments are transformed into a character’s description of “a cathedral’s long hollow nave as a secret tribute to a woman’s womb...complete with receding labial ridges and a nice little cinquefoil clitoris above the doorway.”

These remarks cannot be brushed aside as opinions of the villain; Langdon, the book’s hero, refers to his own lectures about goddess-symbolism at Chartres.

These bizarre interpretations betray no acquaintance with the actual development or construction of Gothic architecture, and correcting the countless errors becomes a tiresome exercise: The Templars had nothing to do with the cathedrals of their time, which were commissioned by bishops and their canons throughout Europe. They were unlettered men with no arcane knowledge of “sacred geometry” passed down from the pyramid builders. They did not wield tools themselves on their own projects, nor did they found masons’ guilds to build for others. Not all their churches were round, nor was roundness a defiant insult to the Church. Rather than being a tribute to the divine feminine, their round churches honored the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Actually looking at Gothic churches and their predecessors deflates the idea of female symbolism. Large medieval churches typically had three front doors on the west plus triple entrances to their transepts on the north and south. (What part of a woman’s anatomy does a transept represent? Or the kink in Chartres’s main aisle?) Romanesque churches—including ones that predate the founding of the Templars—have similar bands of decoration arching over their entrances. Both Gothic and Romanesque churches have the long, rectangular nave inherited from Late Antique basilicas, ultimately derived from Roman public buildings. Neither Brown nor his sources consider what symbolism medieval churchmen such as Suger of St.-Denis or William Durandus read in church design. It certainly wasn’t goddess-worship.

False Claims

If the above seems like a pile driver applied to a gnat, the blows are necessary to demonstrate the utter falseness of Brown’s material. His willful distortions of documented history are more than matched by his outlandish claims about controversial subjects. But to a postmodernist, one construct of reality is as good as any other.

Brown’s approach seems to consist of grabbing large chunks of his stated sources and tossing them together in a salad of a story. From Holy Blood, Holy Grail, Brown lifts the concept of the Grail as a metaphor for a sacred lineage by arbitrarily breaking a medieval French term, Sangraal (Holy Grail), into sang (blood) and raal (royal). This holy blood, according to Brown, descended from Jesus and his wife, Mary Magdalene, to the Merovingian dynasty in Dark Ages France, surviving its fall to persist in several modern French families, including that of Pierre Plantard, a leader of the mysterious Priory of Sion. The Priory—an actual organization officially registered with the French government in 1956—makes extraordinary claims of antiquity as the “real” power behind the Knights Templar. It most likely originated after World War II and was first brought to public notice in 1962. With the exception of filmmaker Jean Cocteau, its illustrious list of Grand Masters—which include Leonardo da Vinci, Issac Newton, and Victor Hugo—is not credible, although it’s presented as true by Brown.

Brown doesn’t accept a political motivation for the Priory’s activities. Instead he picks up The Templar Revelation’s view of the organization as a cult of secret goddess-worshippers who have preserved ancient Gnostic wisdom and records of Christ’s true mission, which would completely overturn Christianity if released. Significantly, Brown omits the rest of the book’s thesis that makes Christ and Mary Magdalene unmarried sex partners performing the erotic mysteries of Isis. Perhaps even a gullible mass-market audience has its limits.

From both Holy Blood, Holy Grail and The Templar Revelation, Brown takes a negative view of the Bible and a grossly distorted image of Jesus. He’s neither the Messiah nor a humble carpenter but a wealthy, trained religious teacher bent on regaining the throne of David. His credentials are amplified by his relationship with the rich Magdalen who carries the royal blood of Benjamin: “Almost everything our fathers taught us about Christ is false,” laments one of Brown’s characters.

Yet it’s Brown’s Christology that’s false—and blindingly so. He requires the present New Testament to be a post-Constantinian fabrication that displaced true accounts now represented only by surviving Gnostic texts. He claims that Christ wasn’t considered divine until the Council of Nicea voted him so in 325 at the behest of the emperor. Then Constantine—a lifelong sun worshipper—ordered all older scriptural texts destroyed, which is why no complete set of Gospels predates the fourth century. Christians somehow failed to notice the sudden and drastic change in their doctrine.

But by Brown’s specious reasoning, the Old Testament can’t be authentic either because complete Hebrew Scriptures are no more than a thousand years old. And yet the texts were transmitted so accurately that they do match well with the Dead Sea Scrolls from a thousand years earlier. Analysis of textual families, comparison with fragments and quotations, plus historical correlations securely date the orthodox Gospels to the first century and indicate that they’re earlier than the Gnostic forgeries. (The Epistles of St. Paul are, of course, even earlier than the Gospels.)

Primitive Church documents and the testimony of the ante-Nicean Fathers confirm that Christians have always believed Jesus to be Lord, God, and Savior—even when that faith meant death. The earliest partial canon of Scripture dates from the late second century and already rejected Gnostic writings. For Brown, it isn’t enough to credit Constantine with the divinization of Jesus. The emperor’s old adherence to the cult of the Invincible Sun also meant repackaging sun worship as the new faith. Brown drags out old (and long-discredited) charges by virulent anti-Catholics like Alexander Hislop who accused the Church of perpetuating Babylonian mysteries, as well as 19th-century rationalists who regarded Christ as just another dying savior-god.

Unsurprisingly, Brown misses no opportunity to criticize Christianity and its pitiable adherents. (The church in question is always the Catholic Church, though his villain does sneer once at Anglicans—for their grimness, of all things.) He routinely and anachronistically refers to the Church as “the Vatican,” even when popes weren’t in residence there. He systematically portrays it throughout history as deceitful, power-crazed, crafty, and murderous: “The Church may no longer employ crusades to slaughter, but their influence is no less persuasive. No less insidious.”

Goddess Worship and the Magdalen

Worst of all, in Brown’s eyes, is the fact that the pleasure-hating, sex-hating, woman-hating Church suppressed goddess worship and eliminated the divine feminine. He claims that goddess worship universally dominated pre-Christian paganism with the hieros gamos (sacred marriage) as its central rite. His enthusiasm for fertility rites is enthusiasm for sexuality, not procreation. What else would one expect of a Cathar sympathizer?

Astonishingly, Brown claims that Jews in Solomon’s Temple adored Yahweh and his feminine counterpart, the Shekinah, via the services of sacred prostitutes—possibly a twisted version of the Temple’s corruption after Solomon (1 Kings 14:24 and 2 Kings 23:4-15). Moreover, he says that the tetragrammaton YHWH derives from “Jehovah, an androgynous physical union between the masculine Jah and the pre-Hebraic name for Eve, Havah.”

But as any first-year Scripture student could tell you, Jehovah is actually a 16th-century rendering of Yahweh using the vowels of Adonai (“Lord”). In fact, goddesses did not dominate the pre-Christian world—not in the religions of Rome, her barbarian subjects, Egypt, or even Semitic lands where the hieros gamos was an ancient practice. Nor did the Hellenized cult of Isis appear to have included sex in its secret rites.

Contrary to yet another of Brown’s claims, Tarot cards do not teach goddess doctrine. They were invented for innocent gaming purposes in the 15th century and didn’t acquire occult associations until the late 18th. Playing-card suites carry no Grail symbolism. The notion of diamonds symbolizing pentacles is a deliberate misrepresentation by British occultist A. E. Waite. And the number five—so crucial to Brown’s puzzles—has some connections with the protective goddess but myriad others besides, including human life, the five senses, and the Five Wounds of Christ.

Brown’s treatment of Mary Magdalene is sheer delusion. In The Da Vinci Code, she’s no penitent whore but Christ’s royal consort and the intended head of His Church, supplanted by Peter and defamed by churchmen. She fled west with her offspring to Provence, where medieval Cathars would keep the original teachings of Jesus alive. The Priory of Sion still guards her relics and records, excavated by the Templars from the subterranean Holy of Holies. It also protects her descendants—including Brown’s heroine.

Although many people still picture the Magdalen as a sinful woman who anointed Jesus and equate her with Mary of Bethany, that conflation is actually the later work of Pope St. Gregory the Great. The East has always kept them separate and said that the Magdalen, “apostle to the apostles,” died in Ephesus. The legend of her voyage to Provence is no earlier than the ninth century, and her relics weren’t reported there until the 13th. Catholic critics, including the Bollandists, have been debunking the legend and distinguishing the three ladies since the 17th century.

Brown uses two Gnostic documents, the Gospel of Philip and the Gospel of Mary, to prove that the Magdalen was Christ’s “companion,” meaning sexual partner. The apostles were jealous that Jesus used to “kiss her on the mouth” and favored her over them. He cites exactly the same passages quoted in Holy Blood, Holy Grail and The Templar Revelation and even picks up the latter’s reference to The Last Temptation of Christ. What these books neglect to mention is the infamous final verse of the Gospel of Thomas. When Peter sneers that “women are not worthy of Life,” Jesus responds, “I myself shall lead her in order to make her male.... For every woman who will make herself male will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

That’s certainly an odd way to “honor” one’s spouse or exalt the status of women.

The Knights Templar

Brown likewise misrepresents the history of the Knights Templar. The oldest of the military-religious orders, the Knights were founded in 1118 to protect pilgrims in the Holy Land. Their rule, attributed to St. Bernard of Clairvaux, was approved in 1128 and generous donors granted them numerous properties in Europe for support. Rendered redundant after the last Crusader stronghold fell in 1291, the Templars’ pride and wealth—they were also bankers—earned them keen hostility.

Brown maliciously ascribes the suppression of the Templars to “Machiavellian” Pope Clement V, whom they were blackmailing with the Grail secret. His “ingeniously planned sting operation” had his soldiers suddenly arrest all Templars. Charged with Satanism, sodomy, and blasphemy, they were tortured into confessing and burned as heretics, their ashes “tossed unceremoniously into the Tiber.”

But in reality, the initiative for crushing the Templars came from King Philip the Fair of France, whose royal officials did the arresting in 1307. About 120 Templars were burned by local Inquisitorial courts in France for not confessing or retracting a confession, as happened with Grand Master Jacques de Molay. Few Templars suffered death elsewhere although their order was abolished in 1312. Clement, a weak, sickly Frenchman manipulated by his king, burned no one in Rome inasmuch as he was the first pope to reign from Avignon (so much for the ashes in the Tiber).

Moreover, the mysterious stone idol that the Templars were accused of worshiping is associated with fertility in only one of more than a hundred confessions. Sodomy was the scandalous—and possibly true—charge against the order, not ritual fornication. The Templars have been darlings of occultism since their myth as masters of secret wisdom and fabulous treasure began to coalesce in the late 18th century. Freemasons and even Nazis have hailed them as brothers. Now it’s the turn of neo-Gnostics.

Twisting da Vinci

Brown’s revisionist interpretations of da Vinci are as distorted as the rest of his information. He claims to have first run across these views “while I was studying art history in Seville,” but they correspond point for point to material in The Templar Revelation. A writer who sees a pointed finger as a throat-cutting gesture, who says the Madonna of the Rocks was painted for nuns instead of a lay confraternity of men, who claims that da Vinci received “hundreds of lucrative Vatican commissions” (actually, it was just one…and it was never executed) is simply unreliable.

Brown’s analysis of da Vinci’s work is just as ridiculous. He presents the Mona Lisa as an androgynous self-portrait when it’s widely known to portray a real woman, Madonna Lisa, wife of Francesco di Bartolomeo del Giocondo. The name is certainly not—as Brown claims—a mocking anagram of two Egyptian fertility deities Amon and L’Isa (Italian for Isis). How did he miss the theory, propounded by the authors of The Templar Revelation, that the Shroud of Turin is a photographed self-portrait of da Vinci?

Much of Brown’s argument centers around da Vinci’s Last Supper, a painting the author considers a coded message that reveals the truth about Jesus and the Grail. Brown points to the lack of a central chalice on the table as proof that the Grail isn’t a material vessel. But da Vinci’s painting specifically dramatizes the moment when Jesus warns, “One of you will betray me” (John 13:21). There is no Institution Narrative in St. John’s Gospel. The Eucharist is not shown there. And the person sitting next to Jesus is not Mary Magdalene (as Brown claims) but St. John, portrayed as the usual effeminate da Vinci youth, comparable to his St. John the Baptist. Jesus is in the exact center of the painting, with two pyramidal groups of three apostles on each side. Although da Vinci was a spiritually troubled homosexual, Brown’s contention that he coded his paintings with anti-Christian messages simply can’t be sustained.

Brown’s Mess

In the end, Dan Brown has penned a poorly written, atrociously researched mess. So, why bother with such a close reading of a worthless novel? The answer is simple: The Da Vinci Code takes esoterica mainstream. It may well do for Gnosticism what The Mists of Avalon did for paganism—gain it popular acceptance. After all, how many lay readers will see the blazing inaccuracies put forward as buried truths?

What’s more, in making phony claims of scholarship, Brown’s book infects readers with a virulent hostility toward Catholicism. Dozens of occult history books, conveniently cross-linked by Amazon.com, are following in its wake. And booksellers’ shelves now bulge with falsehoods few would be buying without The Da Vinci Code connection. While Brown’s assault on the Catholic Church may be a backhanded compliment, it’s one we would have happily done without.

It is laughable, but funny dumbass stuff can still do a lot of damage. (Carlos Mencia, call your office.)

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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