Thursday, October 14, 2004

I bought DishNetwork in August of 2001 specifically so I could see EWTN. It has been a wonderful investment, especially since weeks after I got it all the local television stations were knocked out by fundamentalist muslims. My girlfriend has Cablevision which includes Telecare, the television station for the Diocese of Rockville Centre and a local public access station. I just happened to see an interesting show about the bias of Newsday on the local public access station. (We never see anything interesting on Telecare - it is mostly secular humanist type shows with almost no real Catholic content. I consider the network a complete waste of money and am glad it is not my money being wasted.) The interesting public access show was done by the American Family Association of New York, the local affiliate of the American Family Association. Several good Catholics that I have heard about but never met such as Frank Russo and Tom Dennelly were discussing the horrible anti-Catholic bias of Newsday. One thing they mentioned was that the former editor of the letters to the editor section (I don't remember her name) was very good at balancing letters in response to various articles and columns. She would make sure the letters were both pro and con and also that they represented a cross section of readers. Since she retired, the paper routinely publishes letters that backs up the paper's anti-Catholic and liberal bias. I have noticed that some of the most biased things I have ever read were letters to the editor - including the person who wrote in a major NY paper that he wanted Mel Gibson to "go away and take your piety with you!". Contrast this to the excellent discussions you can read in First Things. The Letters section is one of my favorite because whatever the letters say they are well written, respectful and cogent. (Yeeeeah I used cogent in a sentence!) The author of the article that prompted the letter is always given a chance to respond and this makes for an interesting discussion. I find that the letters sections of papers and magazines are sometimes the part I look most forward to reading. This is the closest thing to blogging in the "old media".

I just noticed that the Therese movie has grossed over $566,000 and is expanding to more theaters tommorrow. If you are able to see it - go for it! Although I was hoping it would be a better film, at least the movie is faithful and not horrible. Also, perhaps if we support this film, others may see potential profit to be made by making movies on Catholic themes.

10/19/04- Update: The gross is now $826,578.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Harasser of Mel Gibson is jailed for defiance

No, unfortunately this does not refer to Abraham Foxman or James Carroll. And speaking of Mel Gibson, he recently donated $10 million to two children's medical facilities. I wonder how those who attacked him will spin that one?

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

A car dealership blew up tonight, probably due to a natural gas leak. Finally I can link to an inspiring story from Long Island:

"It was inspiring, witnesses said, how people didn't run away after the explosion to save themselves.Instead they ran toward it to save others."
I wavered about posting on this silly article by a self-hating Irish guy, but Amy Welborn thinks it is important to discuss ...

A new anti-Semitism
By James Carroll


"THE ORIGINAL sin of the Christian church, and the culture that derives from it, is contempt for Jews, a disorder that continues to infect religious belief and popular attitudes."

I attended Catholic schools my whole life and never experienced this disorder or this type of popular attitude. I have lived on Long Island my whole life, in a heavily Catholic/Jewish town and have never experienced this either.

"Discussions of the contemporary resurgence of anti-Semitism focus on such phenomena as the anti-Jewish bigotry of many Muslim preachers or the ready leap from criticism of Israeli policies toward Palestinians to an undermining of the entire project of the Jewish state."

That sentence is true: none of the discussions of the contemporary resurgence of anti-Semitism revolve around Catholics or Catholicism. Catholics are not, to my knowledge, strapping bombs to their chest to kill Jews. Nor are they blaming the Jews for September 11th as a leader of the Islamic Center of Long Island in Westbury did.

"But this year, a startling manifestation of foundational hatred of the Jewish people has occurred in the very heart of well-intentioned Christian faith"

I am beginning to think this guy lives on a different planet than I do, or that he wrote this while drunk. Based on my experiences with the Boston Irish, I am guessing the latter.

"When the blockbuster DVD of Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" was released a few weeks ago, the astounding appeal of an already hugely successful film was made clearer than ever. For many, this portrait of the suffering and death of Jesus is a powerful religious experience, despite its hyper-violence and despite a blatant portrayal of "the Jews" as Satan's allies in the murder of one revered as the Son of God"

It is hard to believe the huge success of the movie despite all that isn't it? Unless of course people did not see the portrayal this writer did. I would guess most people saw a state execution of a man and not "the Jews" working with Satan to murder someone. Then again, maybe most viewers were drunk when they watched the film?

"The film exacerbated problems already adhering in anti-Jewish Gospel texts by drawing on eccentric anti-Jewish "visions" attributed to a 19th century German mystic named Sister Anna Katharina Emmerich (1774-1824)."

So some parts of the Gospels are anti-Jewish? And I didn't know the anti-Jewish visions were attributed to Emmerich? I thought they were attributed to Brentano?? Maybe I was drunk when I read that somewhere?

"When the film was released last spring, Gibson's Braveheart sensibility, imposed on the memory of Jesus, was what disturbed, but now the question moves to the huge population of those who affirm that sensibility as their own. This is the background for the extremely worrying event last week, when, at Vatican ceremonies, Sister Emmerich was "beatified," brought to the threshold of sainthood."

Actually when the movie was released last spring most critics were disturbed by supposed anti-semitism but threw in concern about the violence for good measure.

"The nun is associated with "The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ," a text out of the problematic Passion Play tradition, and the acknowledged source of some of Gibson's most lurid denigrations of Jews. ("The high priests were transformed into priests of Satan, for no one could look upon their countenances without beholding there, portrayed in vivid colors, the evil passions with which their souls were filled -- deceit, infernal cunning, and a raging anxiety to carry out that most tremendous of crimes, the death of their Lord and Savior.")"
"According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the "cause" of the canonization of this woman was initiated according to standard church procedures by the bishop of Munster in 1892. Why is the Roman Catholic Church promoting her to the status of "blessed" only now? Is the timing mere coincidence?

From what I understand, the cause was stopped because of questions about the writings and whether they were all her doing. I also understand there have been other causes that were stopped and then restarted recently. This Pope tends to push canonizations quite aggressively.

"More explicitly, why is the Vatican, in honoring this nun, affirming some of the most un-Christian aspects of the Gibson film?"

But that is not what they are doing. Or is this one of those questions that is really a statement? I don't remember any un-Christian aspects of the film anyway.

"Indeed, how can this beatification not be taken as a kind of post-facto imprimatur for "The Passion of the Christ?"

Well, it was explicitly said that her writings had nothing to do with her beatification, so I guess that is how. But if the Church is giving its unofficial okeedokey to the film, then good!

"And given Gibson's open disregard for Vatican II, with its firm repudiation of the "Christ-killer" charge, how can the church embrace this rejection of one of its own most important contemporary teachings?"

Gibson is a traditionalist so he must see Jews as "Christ-killers"???????????????????? He must find it very difficult to work in Hollywood!

"A reading of history suggests an unpleasant answer to these questions. In the 19th century, when the age of revolutions had alienated large numbers of Catholics from the church, many priests and bishops openly embraced the popular anti-Semitism of the day as a way of reconnecting with believers the church had lost. The most notorious instance of this was the Dreyfus affair, when the French church and many French people found common cause against a common enemy."

I don't see any connection ......?

"Reports had it last spring that the pope had approved the Gibson film, but those reports were disputed, and mainly the Vatican kept its distance, a detachment most bishops emulated."

The Pope "approved the Gibson film"? Is this guy really a reporter?

"In thus remaining marginal, alas, the Catholic church missed a major teaching moment, since "The Passion of the Christ" amounts to the most successful project of religious instruction in history. "

Correct! This is the second correct thing this guy has written!

"Instruction in a dark mistake."


"But the beatification of Sister Emmerich suggests that Catholic leaders are taking an opposite tack now, replacing detachment with embrace."

No it doesn't, but if it did so what?

"Mel Gibson has made the visions associated with Emmerich a world phenomenon, and millions have experienced them as the height of piety"

Thanks be to God! I never thought I would ever see the day when Catholic things would be so widely experienced by people!

"Ignoring the potentially lethal consequences of such visions, are the leaders of an ever more defensive church attaching themselves to this perverse pop-culture success for their own parochial reasons? Does the beleaguered church glimpse its future in Mel Gibson?"

"Potentially lethal consequences" - This is what has been said for years now and the body count due to the film is still ZERO. (But as one commenter said, it is doubling every day). And the answers to those two questions are NO and NO. At most, this action by the Pope can be seen as yet another small olive branch thrown to traditionalists.

"This whole sad story suggests that we Christians -- we Catholics -- have barely begun to uproot anti-Semitism from our tradition. "

This is not a sad story and that sentence is a lie. And what do you mean "we" cowboy?

"And make no mistake, anti-Semitism begins here. Who could have imagined that, returning to square one of the reform, we would have to be insisting again that the "Christ-killer" charge against the Jewish people is a lie?"

We don't have to be doing that, only old, tired, drunk, self-hating morons like James Carroll are doing this.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Cops: Boy fatally stabs mom

Fight about girlfriend prompts attack after which 15-year-old takes her car, gun and digs grave for body.

A horrible story from our screwed up culture -the girlfriend is 19 - the argument was because she had spent the night. No word yet on whether they were having sex and if so - will the girlfriend will be charged with statutory rape?
I just added Sodakmonk and to the bloglist. I have always tried to limit the list so I don't spend too much time reading blogs. I am already spending way too much time online.
Malverne resident mourns loss of fellow quadriplegic Christopher Reeve

"Malverne resident Steven McDonald visited Reeve in the hospital just days after the actor was injured. McDonald has lived as a quadriplegic for nearly 20 years; he was shot while on duty for the NYPD and has since forgiven his shooter.

McDonald says that those who may have lost hope found it in Reeve. And like Reeve, McDonald travels the world pushing others to live their fullest. One difference between the two, however, is that McDonald would prefer to see research only on adult stem cells, rather than embryonic stem cells, to help those with debilitating conditions."

Sunday, October 10, 2004

"Would a 50-year-old “Prophet of God” Have Sex with a 9-year-old Girl? "

"YES" according to this fatwa issued by Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, former President of the Islamic Center of North America. The questioner is "...trying to confuse his readers as if the Prophet was not married to this girl or married her against her will."

"Her maturity, knowledge, intelligence, and contributions during the life of the Prophet and afterwards all indicate that she was either an exceptional nine-year-old or must have been older than that. Whatever the case may be about her age, one thing is certain: she was a most compatible spouse of Prophet Muhammad."