Recently in Catholic Category

Raymond Ibrahim is sounding a note of alarm.

Who is Pope Francis?

Why is he ignoring in his public statements the persecution of Christians by Islam?

Why is he equating the Christian mission of conversion by persuasion with the Islam mission of conversion by violence, by the sword, by the spear, by beheadings?

Why is he issuing encyclicals on climate warming instead of condemning the massacre of Christians by Muslims throughout the Muslim world?

Why is he not championing and defending those who are being martyred daily by the soldiers of Islam? Why is he not defending Europe from the Islamic invasion of conquest?

There are one or two commentators in Boston who never viewed Ted Kennedy as a lion of anything. Howie Carr watched Senator Kennedy throughout his public career and did not like what he saw.

Kennedy's abandonment of his pro-life stance stands in stark contrast to the efforts of his recently deceased sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver on behalf of the unborn, though she is better known for founding the Special Olympics to benefit those with intellectual disabilities.

While he bears responsibility for the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, consider also the millions of deaths to which he has contributed by switching to support of abortion for political expediency in his failed run for the presidency in 1980. Until then, his postion in the Senate since 1962 had been that abortion "was not in accordance with the value which our civilization places on human life."

The Vatican newspaper's front page rightly criticized Kennedy's anti-life stance while noting his passing. That he will have a Catholic burial hopefully signfies a death bed confession of that grave sin against humanity and Christian morality.

Is it too much to hope he has left a statement to be made public expressing sorrow and repentance for his betrayal of the unborn? What a profound effect such a message might have on mealy-mouthed Catholic hypocrites like Senator John Kerry, who have adopted the formula first enunciated by Mario Cuomo, at Notre Dame, no less: "While I'm personally opposed to abortion, I won't impose my religious beliefs on others."

What Catholic priest would have the backbone to demand or even suggest it? Certainly not one the Kennedys would call in for last rites.

We won't hold our breath waiting.

Ted Kennedy's legacy not as heroic as some might think

By Howie Carr New York Post
August 27, 2009

I never voted for Ted Kennedy, not once, and neither did maybe a quarter to one-third of the Massachusetts electorate, although you'd never know that from the echo chamber of the mainstream media since his death in Hyannisport late Tuesday night.

While offering condolences to the Kennedy family at this sad moment, it is important to note that his life was not as simple, nor heroic, as is now being portrayed. On the cable channels yesterday, his fellow Senate graybeards, of both parties, were lamenting the passing of what was invariably described as Ted Kennedy's "collegial" Senate - where voices were seldom raised, and partisan bickering ended when the gavel came down to end the session.

All of which would have come as a surprise to Robert Bork, the Supreme Court nominee of whom the collegial Ted said in 1986:

"Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters . . ."

So much for collegiality. Of course, Kennedy is now endlessly lauded for his support of "women's rights," i.e. abortion. But into the 1970s, before the Roman Catholic Church's influence began to wane, Kennedy was a traditional pro-life New England Democrat.

Here was his take on abortion in 1971:

"Wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life, even at its earliest stages, has certain rights which must be recognized - the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old."

There's a story, perhaps apocryphal, that in his first Senate campaign in 1962, Kennedy was shaking hands at a factory-gate during a shift change. A haggard worker began berating him about how he'd never worked a day in his life. According to the legend, at that point another salt-of-the-earth blue-collar type leaned in and told Kennedy, "Never worked a day in your life, kid? You ain't missed a thing."

But in fact he had. Yesterday the tributes kept mentioning his commitment to the "working class." He fought for, as President Obama said on Martha's Vineyard of all places, "an America that is more equal and more just."

But more equal and more just for some people than for others. When it came to the white ethnic working class from which his father came, Kennedy just plain didn't get it. Whether it was court-ordered busing in Boston in the 1970s, or the affirmative action policies that stymied the careers of so many of his family's traditional voters, Kennedy never grasped the depth of the blue-collar frustration as he veered left. And what infuriated them even more was that so many of them had grown up in homes where on one side of the mantel was a faded photo of the martyred JFK, and on the other the pope, with a dried-up palm frond given out at Mass on Palm Sunday between them.

Chappaquiddick, of course, never went away. But sometimes Kennedy could seem oblivious even to that ultimate blemish on his career. In 1974, when President Ford pardoned Richard Nixon for his Watergate crimes, Kennedy issued this thundering statement:

"Do we operate under a system of equal justice under law? Or is there one system for the average citizen and another for the high and mighty?"

On issue after issue he was wrong - the nuclear freeze, the Reagan tax cuts, the Immigration Reform Act of 1965, which he assured his Senate colleagues would not lead to a "flood" of immigrants into America's cities. With a Tele-Promp-Ter, he could be articulate, but when he wasn't using his glasses to read a prepared statement, he was often an oratorical mess. In 2005, at the National Press Club, he referred to the current president as "Osama bin La-uh, Osama Obama, uh Obama."

And yet he was always protected by most of the media, who shared his views on just about everything. In 1962, at the behest of President Kennedy, the Boston Globe played the story of his expulsion from Harvard below the fold on the front page. To the very end the Globe did its best to shield him - last week the struggling Times-owned broadsheet broke the story of his deathbed attempt to change the Massachusetts law on Senate succession, without mentioning that he himself had lobbied in 2004 to enact the law he was now denouncing as undemocratic. Only then, he was for stripping the governor of his right to fill a Senate vacancy, because, you see, that governor was a Republican.

The Globe reported that Kennedy was extremely concerned that the people of Massachusetts would have no representation in the Senate for five months until the special election. The fact that he had already missed 97 percent of the Senate roll-call votes in 2009 was not noted until the next day - in a different newspaper.

The hagiography will continue throughout the weekend. We all agree that Ted Kennedy should rest in peace. But let's not forget that there was more, much more, to his "legacy" than is being reported on MSNBC.

Though not mentioned by Carr, Kennedy's vicious mendacity in attacking Judge Bork during his confirmation hearing to be a Supreme Court Justice should not be forgotten. It has poisoned the judicial confirmation process ever since.


While Obama is betraying Israel and endangering the lives of American citizens by his foolishly romantic pursuit of the Islam of his childhood, he is step by step working to undermine the culture of life in America and the world and marching to take his place alongside Mao, Stalin and Hitler as one of history's leading killers of defenseless human beings.

Complicit in his killing campaign is what should be a staunch ally in the fight to respect the dignity and sanctity of every life the University of Notre Dame. But it has sold out its Catholic values to go along and get along with the rich and powerful and to bask in the prestige they grandly bestow. It is led by little men who have brought shame on the university so many have loved and revered, including those who spent formative years there as students. One Notre Dame graduate expresses his grief:

Obama Scored Big at Notre Dame
At least the president is forthright about his principles.
Wall Street Journal
MAY 19, 2009

Seldom does dawn rise on an America where the morning's New York Times displays a more intuitive grasp of a story than the New York Post. The coverage of Barack Obama's commencement address at Notre Dame, however, was such a day. Where the Post headlined an inside spread with "Obama In the Lions' Den," the Times front page was dominated by a color photograph of a beaming president, resplendent in his blue-and-gold Notre Dame academic gown, reaching out to graduates eager to shake his hand or just touch his robe.

It was precisely the message President Obama wanted to send: How bad can he be on abortion if Notre Dame is willing to honor him?

We cannot blame the president for this one. During his campaign for president, Mr. Obama spoke honestly about the aggressive pro-choice agenda he intended to pursue -- as he assured Planned Parenthood, he was "about playing offense," not defense -- and his actions have been consistent with that pledge. If only our nation's premier Catholic university were as forthright in advancing its principles as Mr. Obama has been for his.

In a letter to Notre Dame's Class of 2009, the university's president, the Rev. John Jenkins, stated that the honors for Mr. Obama do not indicate any "ambiguity" about Notre Dame's commitment to Catholic teaching on the sanctity of human life. The reality is that it was this ambiguity that the White House was counting on; this ambiguity that was furthered by the adoring reaction to Mr. Obama's visit; and this ambiguity that disheartens those working for an America that respects the dignity of life inside the womb.

We've been here before. In his response to an inquiry from this reporter, Dennis Brown, the university's spokesman, wisely ignored a question asking whether "ambiguity" would be the word to describe a similar decision in 1984 to give Mario Cuomo, then governor of New York, the Notre Dame platform he so famously used to advance his personally-opposed-but argument. Or the decision a few years later to bestow its highest Catholic award on Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, another supporter of legal abortion. It seems that whenever Democratic leaders find themselves in trouble over their party's abortion record, some Notre Dame honor or platform will be forthcoming to provide the needed cover.

Probably Notre Dame is rich enough that it can safely thumb its institutional nose at the 70 or so bishops who publicly challenged the university for flouting their guidelines on such invitations. Nor can we expect much from Notre Dame's trustees. At a time when Americans all across this country have declared themselves "yea" or "nay" on the Obama invite, the reaction of Notre Dame's board is less the roar of the lion than the silence of the lambs.

Pro-lifers are used to this. They know their stand makes them unglamorous. They find themselves a stumbling block to Democratic progressives -- and unwelcome at the Republican country club. And they are especially desperate for the support of institutions willing to engage in the clear, thoughtful and unembarrassed way that even Mr. Obama says we should.

With its billions in endowment and its prestigious name, Notre Dame ought to be in the lead here. But when asked for examples illuminating the university's unambiguous support for unborn life, Mr. Brown could provide only four: help for pregnant students who want to carry their babies to term, student volunteer work for pregnant women at local shelters, prayer mentions at campus Masses, and lectures such as a seminar on life issues.

These are all well and good, but they also highlight the poverty of Notre Dame's institutional witness. At Notre Dame today, there is no pro-life organization -- in size, in funding, in prestige -- that compares with the many centers, institutes and so forth dedicated to other important issues ranging from peace and justice to protecting the environment. Perhaps this explains why a number of pro-life professors tell me they must not be quoted by name, lest they face career retaliation.

The one institute that does put the culture of life at the heart of its work, moreover -- the Center for Ethics and Culture -- doesn't even merit a link under the "Faith and Service" section on the university's Web site. The point is this: When Notre Dame doesn't dress for the game, the field is left to those like Randall Terry who create a spectacle and declare their contempt for civil and respectful witness.

In the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian, there is a wonderful photograph of Father Ted Hesburgh -- then Notre Dame president -- linking hands with Martin Luther King Jr. at a 1964 civil-rights rally at Chicago's Soldier Field. Today, nearly four decades and 50 million abortions after Roe v. Wade, there is no photograph of similar prominence of any Notre Dame president taking a lead at any of the annual marches for life.

Father Jenkins is right: That's not ambiguity. That's a statement.

For a true witness to life, one need only turn the clock back a few weeks to an address the reporter Willam McGurn gave at the Center for Ethics and Culture at Notre Dame.

The extraordinary Spengler of the Asia Times reviews the post-humous book of Richard John Nuehaus who died earlier this year. Father Neuhaus, who converted from his vocation as a Lutheran minister to Roman Catholicism, was a giant among intellectuals who think and write about God and man. HIs final evocation concerned Christianity in America.

BOOK REVIEW This almost-chosen, almost-pregnant land

American Babylon by Richard John Neuhaus

Reviewed by Spengler

President Abraham Lincoln famously called Americans an "almost chosen people". That might qualify as America's national joke, for you can't be "almost chosen" any more than you can be almost pregnant.

Lincoln's oxymoron frames the tension between the religious impulses that made America and the reality that ultimately it is one imperfect polity among many others. America is "a country with the soul of a church", as G K Chesterton wrote, and by no accident, the only industrial nation (apart from Israel) in which religion plays a decisive role in public life. The central role of religion continues to polarize Americans and confuse foreign observers.

The working of faith in America's public square is more complex than Americans acknowledge, or foreigners understand, Richard John Neuhaus shows in this study of the heavenly city versus the earthly city of our exile.

Idolatry attracts both wings of American politics: the right tends to confound the United States of America with the City of God, while the left makes an object of worship out of its utopian imagination. Neuhaus was a pre-eminent social conservative and an advisor to former president George W Bush, but no less an even-handed critic for that. That quality that makes American Babylon: Notes of a Christian Exile one of the indispensable books of our time, of such importance that one wants to suspend debate of America's character until everyone has had time to read it.

Until his death on January 8, Father Neuhaus was America's pre-eminent Christian intellectual, and his posthumous book reminds us what a gap in public discourse is left by his absence. Starting in 1990, Neuhaus edited (and wrote a good deal of) the monthly journal First Things. It is hard for this writer to imagine intellectual life in America without First Things.

I have missed very few issues in the past 15 years, and could not have found my own journalistic vocation had Neuhaus not blazed such a broad trail. In 2007, I had the honor to contribute an essay on Franz Rosenzweig to his journal. Neuhaus was the rare sort of writer from whom one learned especially in disagreement, for his formulation of the issues was so lucid as to force those who did not share his views to rethink their own.

"There is in America," he wrote, "a strong current of Christian patriotism in which 'God and country' falls trippingly from the tongue. Indeed, God and country are sometimes conflated in a single allegiance that permits no tension, never mind conflict, between the two." Neuhaus added that "this book is animated by a deeply and lively patriotism", adding, "I have considerable sympathy for Abraham Lincoln's observation that, among the political orders of the earthly city, America is 'the last, best hope of mankind'."

On the left, utopian efforts to create a heaven on Earth expressed American idolatry, for example, in the Social Gospel movement of Walter Rauschenberg, "Christianizing America and Americanizing Christianity." The liberal philosopher John Dewey embodied the drift of mainline Protestantism into a social reform movement. The heir of this left-wing current is Rauschenberg's grandson, the late philosopher Richard Rorty, whose career was dedicated to proving the proposition that no proposition can be proven.

It is even sillier than it sounds, in Neuhaus' amusing account. As Neuhaus says,

Rorty writes that [John] Dewey and his soulmate Walt Whitman "wanted [their] utopian America to replace God as the unconditional object of desire. They wanted the struggle for social justice to be the country's animating principle, the nation's soul". He quotes favorably the lines of Whitman:

And I say to mankind, Be not curious about God, For I who am curious about each am not curious about God.

"Whitman and Dewey," Rorty writes, "gave us all the romance, and all the spiritual uplift we Americans need to go about our public business."

That is the left-wing version of American self-worship. American nationalism harbors a civic religion as well. There is, Neuhaus explains,

a line of devotion that runs from the [Puritans'] "errand in the wilderness" to John F Kennedy's inaugural ... It is the American story, the American promise, that is invoked in Martin Luther King Jr's dream of the "beloved community" and in Ronald Reagan's vision of the "city on a hill".

Some readers will be surprised and others scandalized by the suggestion that George W Bush was in the tradition of Washington, Lincoln, Wilson, Kennedy, King and Reagan in sounding the characteristic notes of the American story, but so it is.

This is painfully clear, observes Neuhaus, in George W Bush's second inaugural address:

We are led [Bush said in his address] by events and common sense, to one conclusion: the survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world. America's vital interest and our deepest beliefs are now one ... We go forward with complete confidence in the even triumph of freedom. Not because history runs on the wheels of inevitability; it is human choices that move events. Not because we consider ourselves a chosen nation; God moves and chooses as He wills.

"Both the power and the danger of the story is in the sincerity with which it is told," Neuhaus commented. "Good intentions go awry; we blind ourselves to our own capacity for self-deception when we cast ourselves in the role of God's agents in history's battle between The Children of Light and The Children of Darkness, to cite the title of [a] book by [Reinhold] Niebuhr."

Bush's second inaugural was an exercise in American self-worship, in its assumption that the free institutions of the United States were an earthly manifestation of the divine, such that the American government should become a Bureau of Missions for the cult of democracy. But it is manifestly false that America's security depends upon the success of freedom elsewhere. China's political system is not free by Western standards, yet China poses no strategic threat to the United States. Dictatorships that support terrorism well may constitute a strategic threat to the United States, especially if they are able to employ nuclear weapons. But the United States could just as well wipe all of them off the face of the Earth through pre-emptive nuclear bombardment, or let them fight each other to exhaustion, as try to foster democracy in their midst. America had no strategic imperative to promote democracy, only a narcissistic one.

Neuhaus concludes,

However high our appreciation of America's achievement and promise, and whether that appreciation is expressed from the left, as in the case of Richard Rorty's work, or from the right, as in George W Bush's speech, with its confidence in "a new order of the ages", the great danger is in forgetting that America, too, is Babylon.

From a Christian vantage point, Neuhaus means, every earthly city is an exile, like the Babylon whence the Jews of the 6th century were exiled after the fall of Jerusalem. Nonetheless, the Puritans who founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony, as Neuhaus retells the story, saw themselves as a new chosen people founding a new promised land.

In some tellings of the story, they and the New World were Jerusalem, having escaped the captivity of the Babylon of the Old World ... And, in the more fantastical flights of theological imagination, America is something very close to the New Jerusalem.
That, as Neuhaus reports, was the view of the great 18th-century theologian Jonathan Edwards, whose "Great Awakening" preceded and by most accounts prepared the ground for the American Revolution. Yet the fervent Calvinism of the Puritans and Jonathan Edwards turned into the mushy transcendentalism of Ralph Waldo Emerson by the 1830s. With good reason, American critic Harold Bloom characterized this peculiar variety of American religion as Gnostic. Nonetheless:

In the 1860s the church of the novus ordo seclorum was shattered by the bloodiest war in your history, and from that catastrophe emerged the most profound theologian of the civil religion. Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, with its troubled reflection on the mysteries of providence, is in some ways worthy of St Augustine, except, of course, that it is without Augustine's Church, and therefore without the communal bearer of the story of the world by which all other stories, including the story of America, are truly told. American theology has suffered from an ecclesiological deficit, leading to an ecclesiological substitution of America for the Church through time.

There is no gainsaying Neuhaus' critique of the Puritans, who were in a sense play-acting at being Jews with their vision of a new chosen people and a new promised land. Gentiles do not emulate the Jews, or "Judaize", with success, perhaps because Jewish continuity depends not only upon faith but upon blood ties. By 1800, every formerly Puritan church in Boston but one had turned Unitarian, and the vapid Emerson became their intellectual heir.

Still, the tiny band of English separatists who departed Delft on the Mayflower in 1620 had better reasons to seek an "errand in the wilderness" than we easily can imagine today. Then in its second year, the Thirty Years War eventually would kill about two-fifths of the people of Central Europe, and destroy forever the Christian Empire of the Middle Ages, leaving the secular nation state in its place as Europe's principle of political organization.

A red line connects the Thirty Years War of 1618-1648 to the Second Thirty Years War of 1914-1945. Whether the Puritans were right to conclude that Europe already had been lost for Christianity is a matter for historians to debate. But it is hard to imagine how Europe might have avoided the victory of communism or fascism were it not for the United States, now the only major nation in which Christianity remains at the center of public life. If the Puritans had not sailed to America in emulation of Israel leaving Egypt, the Gates of Hell well might have prevailed over St Peter.

Lincoln appeared not only "as the most profound theologian of the civil religion", as Neuhaus argues, but arguably as the most profound American theologian of any religion. That is the view of the evangelical historian Mark Noll in his book America's God. "Views of providence," Noll writes, "provide the sharpest contrast between Lincoln and the professional theologians of his day."

Noll muses that "the American God may have been working too well for the Protestant theologians who, even as they exploited Scripture and pious experience so successfully, yet found it easy to equate America's moral government of God with Christianity itself. Their tragedy - and the greater the theologian, the greater the tragedy - was to rest content with a God defined by the American conventions God's own loyal servants had exploited so well."

Because America is not a chosen nation, Neuhaus warns, "we should be uneasy even with Lincoln's sharply modified claim that we are an 'almost chosen' people". But "almost chosen" is like "almost pregnant", and the absurdity of Lincoln's joke suggests the possibility of a more benign reading.

America brought into the world a new political form, the non-ethnic democracy, a necessary but not sufficient condition for a Christian nation. America really is different, from, say, Poland, the homeland of the greatest religious leader of our times. Pope John Paul II's last book, Memory and Identity, "is about Poland and being Polish, both of which John Paul explores and affirms in a way that many might think scandalously chauvinistic", Neuhaus observes.

In some respects, Poland deserves the special admiration of her pre-eminent son. As a breakaway Soviet buffer state on the central front, Poland occupied center stage in the Cold War, and the Polish people led by the Catholic Church rose heroically to the occasion.

The trouble is that Poland's story is coming to an end. The country's population will fall by almost 30% by mid-century, and the median age will rise from 36 years to 56 years. Benedict XVI, for that matter, ranks by my reckoning as the best mind on the planet, but it is questionable whether today's Germany is capable of educating another Joseph Ratzinger.

America's story will not end, at least not in the same way. What we might call America's "Special Providence" is founded on its capacity to absorb the talented and energetic immigrants vomited out by the wars and persecutions of the Old World.

Europe's residual paganism, the persistence of ethnic self-worship under a Christian veneer, became the downfall of Christendom. America's fresh start made it congenitally receptive to Christianity.

Only in its potential is America "almost chosen"; the extent to which it actually is Christian will depend not on its constitution but on its churches. Ultimately, the Puritan hope of forming a new chosen people in a new promised land only could fail, but it is hard to see how Christianity could have prevailed in the West without it.

Sometimes, perhaps, Christians may have to emulate the Jews in order to remain Christians.

American Babylon: Notes of a Christian Exile by Richard John Neuhaus. Basic Books, New York 2009. ISBN-10: 0465013678. Price US$26.95, 288 pages.

Sarah Palin came out of Alaska as an unknown and immediately capitvated and energized much of the Republican Party. Seeing her as a threat to Obama/Biden, the media and Obama supporters went into a frenzy of trashing her and her family.

She's now back in Alaska and giving some interviews to disprove the many wild claims made, including some by anonymous McCain so-called "insiders." McCain last night on Jay Leno dismissed all those claims, saying he was gratified she agreed to run with him and called her an asset to the campaign and someone who has an important future in the Repblican Party. It is already clear that she is in great demand to appear at fundraisers across the country.

Camille Paglia is a university professor, atheist, feminist and Obama voter. Yet she is a fan of Sarah Palin and deplores the savage attacks by Obama supporters and the sycophantic Obama media. She also, belatedly, is disturbed by all the information that Obama kept to himself or lied about. She is doing some investigation on her own and is uncomfortable with what she's finding out, such as the close collaboration of Obama and unrepentant terrorist William (Bill) Ayers in funding radical projects for school children. Here's what she has posted about Sarah Palin.

Given that Obama had served on a Chicago board with Ayers and approved funding of a leftist educational project sponsored by Ayers, one might think that the unrepentant Ayers-Dohrn couple might be of some interest to the national media. But no, reporters have been too busy playing mini-badminton with every random spitball about Sarah Palin, who has been subjected to an atrocious and at times delusional level of defamation merely because she has the temerity to hold pro-life views.

How dare Palin not embrace abortion as the ultimate civilized ideal of modern culture? How tacky that she speaks in a vivacious regional accent indistinguishable from that of Western Canada! How risible that she graduated from the State University of Idaho and not one of those plush, pampered commodes of received opinion whose graduates, in their rush to believe the worst about her, have demonstrated that, when it comes to sifting evidence, they don't know their asses from their elbows.

Liberal Democrats are going to wake up from their sadomasochistic, anti-Palin orgy with a very big hangover. The evil genie released during this sorry episode will not so easily go back into its bottle. A shocking level of irrational emotionalism and at times infantile rage was exposed at the heart of current Democratic ideology -- contradicting Democratic core principles of compassion, tolerance and independent thought. One would have to look back to the Eisenhower 1950s for parallels to this grotesque lock-step parade of bourgeois provincialism, shallow groupthink and blind prejudice.

I like Sarah Palin, and I've heartily enjoyed her arrival on the national stage. As a career classroom teacher, I can see how smart she is -- and quite frankly, I think the people who don't see it are the stupid ones, wrapped in the fuzzy mummy-gauze of their own worn-out partisan dogma. So she doesn't speak the King's English -- big whoop! There is a powerful clarity of consciousness in her eyes. She uses language with the jumps, breaks and rippling momentum of a be-bop saxophonist. I stand on what I said (as a staunch pro-choice advocate) in my last two columns -- that Palin as a pro-life wife, mother and ambitious professional represents the next big shift in feminism. Pro-life women will save feminism by expanding it, particularly into the more traditional Third World.

As for the Democrats who sneered and howled that Palin was unprepared to be a vice-presidential nominee -- what navel-gazing hypocrisy! What protests were raised in the party or mainstream media when John Edwards, with vastly less political experience than Palin, got John Kerry's nod for veep four years ago? And Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, for whom I lobbied to be Obama's pick and who was on everyone's short list for months, has a record indistinguishable from Palin's. Whatever knowledge deficit Palin has about the federal bureaucracy or international affairs (outside the normal purview of governors) will hopefully be remedied during the next eight years of the Obama presidencies.

The U.S. Senate as a career option? What a claustrophobic, nitpicking comedown for an energetic Alaskan -- nothing but droning committees and incestuous back-scratching. No, Sarah Palin should stick to her governorship and just hit the rubber-chicken circuit, as Richard Nixon did in his long haul back from political limbo following his California gubernatorial defeat in 1962. Step by step, the mainstream media will come around, wipe its own mud out of its eyes, and see Palin for the populist phenomenon that she is.

One of the most articulate and influential American prelates spoke out this past Friday on the candidacy of Barack Obama, calling him the most committed abortion-rights candidate from a major party since Roe v. Wade.

"To suggest - as some Catholics do - that Senator Obama is this year's 'real' pro-life candidate requires a peculiar kind of self-hypnosis, or moral confusion, or worse," Chaput said according to his prepared remarks, titled "Little Murders."

Archbishop criticizes Obama, Catholic allies

Oct 19, 6:34 AM (ET)


DENVER (AP) - Denver Roman Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput labeled Barack Obama the "most committed" abortion-rights candidate from a major party in 35 years while accusing a Catholic Obama ally and other Democratic-friendly Catholic groups of doing a "disservice to the church."

Chaput, one of the nation's most politically outspoken Catholic prelates, delivered the remarks Friday night at a dinner of a Catholic women's group.

His comments were among the sharpest in a debate over abortion and Catholic political responsibility in a campaign in which Catholics represent a key swing vote.

While Chaput has won praise from traditionalist Catholics for stressing opposition to abortion as a foundational voting issue, voices on the Catholic left have sought to apply church teachings to war, poverty, the environment and other issues.

Although the Catholic left is not new, several advocacy groups have either formed or ramped up activities since 2004. Partly, their efforts are a response to attention given to the pro-abortion rights stance of Democrat John Kerry, a Catholic who was criticized by a few bishops who suggested he should be denied or refrain from Communion.

Chaput, without getting into much detail, called Obama the "most committed" abortion-rights major-party presidential candidate since the landmark Roe v. Wade decision on abortion in 1973.

"To suggest - as some Catholics do - that Senator Obama is this year's 'real' pro-life candidate requires a peculiar kind of self-hypnosis, or moral confusion, or worse," Chaput said according to his prepared remarks, titled "Little Murders."



Catholics and Evangelicals are being wooed to support Obama on the grounds his economic policies would result in fewer abortions, even though he is pro-abortion.

Robert P. George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. He is a member of the President's Council on Bioethics and previously served on the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He sits on the editorial board of Public Discourse.

Professor George examines the arguments put forth by Obama supporters and finds them to be "delusional."

In the end, the efforts of Obama's apologists to depict their man as the true pro-life candidate that Catholics and Evangelicals may and even should vote for, doesn't even amount to a nice try. Voting for the most extreme pro-abortion political candidate in American history is not the way to save unborn babies.

For those who are carefully considering this vital moral issue as election day draws near, Professor George's analysis should be read.

Hugh Hewitt is not well known on the East Coast (where Chatham is, for those in Rio Linda, as some might say), but he is a popular radio talk show host broadcasting from KRLA in Los Angeles. Hewitt is very issue oriented and he, unlike most radio hosts, very frequently has guests whom he interviews. The range of his reading and knowledge is really impressive. For his "real" job, he's a law professor specializing in environmental issues.

This week he decided to limit his show to taking calls from first time women callers who had something to say about McCain/Palin. His lines were overloaded, so emails poured in. Here's one that shows the excitement that Sarah Palin has created:

Dear Mr. Hugh Hewitt, I tried calling in, but it is busy. My time is limited, as I'm sure many other people who listen to your show is too, therefore I am emailing you instead. Okay, what I want to say to you and for others to hear as well is this: I am a 42-year-old married mother of three. I own my own home-based business. My husband is 43 and also self-employed. We are high school sweethearts and are Catholic.

I had the privilege of being able to vote for Reagan in 1984. I never really got into politics or religion though until after 9/11. I only had one question: Why? I started educating myself about politics and religion. I read books about Islam and realized I was lied to in school. I was led to believe that we could all sing around the campfire singing Kumbaya. I became awakened and started paying more attention to the Demo and Repub parties. I had been an Independent, because I was also lied to about the Repubs. I realized too that i was a Repub all along, so I switched parties.

I had become dismayed though in the Repub party for about two or three years now though because I have felt like they have no backbone and that they were only in it for themselves. Nobody was speaking for us. The fence still hasn't been completed, illegal immigration still hasn't really been taken care of, social security and medicare/medical programs need to be revamped, I feel like we haven't fought hard enough in this war on terror, and their is too much political correctness.

I loved Ronald Reagan and for what he stood for. I get teary-eyed when I hear some of his recorded speeches and quotes. I have been yearning for a leader with backbone for this country for awhile now and I finally see that in Sarah Palin. That is why I am excited about her.

Not because she is woman, but for what she stands for and what she has accomplished and what she is capable of doing and that she doesn't take any crap from anybody. I see that leadership in her. It's kinda neat though that this leader that many of us has been waiting for is a woman. Wow, I can't say enough great things about her. It's like you said on Friday, August 29th on your show, "What's not to like?".

I grew up with hunters and I fished. I was an outdoor girl and still am. I got involved with my children's school to make it better and I believe in cleaning up the political arena. I am not discounting McCain, don't get me wrong, I was going to vote for him anyways because I knew it was important to vote than be a no vote because that would be a vote for Obama. I donated to the McCain/Palin campaign on Sunday. I saw right away that she is the future of this Republican party and getting it back to the grassroots of the Reagan era. Happy Days are here again!

P.S. I'm sure McCain will do a fine job as President.

Now, Sarah can't walk on water (though she does in Alaska when it's frozen, which doesn't count). Republicans shouldn't get their expectations too high; she's human, like all of us. But, as what the baseball scouts look for, she's a "natural." And that does count for a lot.

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