Saturday, February 21, 2004

Why is This Man a Bishop?

Bishop McGrath of San Jose, CA on The Passion movie (link via Amy Welborn):

While the primary source material of the film is attributed to the four gospels, these sacred books are not historical accounts of the historical events that they narrate. They are theological reflections upon the events that form the core of Christian faith and belief.

They are not historical accounts of the historical events? Huh? Isn't that kind of like saying water isn't wet?

As we enter the season of Lent next Wednesday, Catholics and Christians are called to repentance. I call upon Catholics and all Christians in this Valley to renew the ties that bind us to our Jewish brothers and sisters, the first of God's Chosen People.

Catholics and Christians? Try inserting the word "other" after "and" Bishop. We are Christian too, you know.

If you bother to read the rest of the commentary, you'll discover it's just one big sappy preemptory apology on behalf of any Catholic (or other Christian) who is actually stupid enough to misuse the movie as a vehicle for attacking Jews. Makes you almost wonder if Bishop McGrath is sorry he's Catholic.
Another Friedman Hit Piece

I'm starting to get the idea that Roger Friedman just doesn't like Mel very much. As you read the article, bear in mind that Friedman previously told an untruth about where Gibson wanted The Passion to be shown.
Will Mel's Passion be "Too Catholic" for Protestants?

A few weejs ago, Terry Mattingly at GetReligion quipped:

I have been fascinated by the lack of critical voices among conservative Protestants. At some point, the overwhelming Catholic symbolism is going to tick off a really conservative Reformed Protestant and the fur will fly somewhere online. I would keep an eye on the letters pages of World magazine and its blog.

I don't know about everyone else, but I'll be watching.
About Time

Ahnold finally tells San Fran. gurly mon Newsom to "Stop Eeet."

Friday, February 20, 2004

Good Move

Bush makes a recess appointment of Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor to the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. The only bad news about the appointment is that only lasts for two years. Such is the importance of maintaining a Republican majority in Congress.
Hope for a Legitimate Alternative to the Hopelessly Liberal SF Chronicle

Philip Anschutz, whom the Chronicle somewhat pejoratively describes as a conservative Christian, purchases the historic, but fading, San Francisco Examiner newspaper.

"Today we are announcing a seismic shift in Bay Area journalism," Bob Starzel, 63, a longtime Anschutz lieutenant who will be chairman of the newspapers, said Thursday at a news conference at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in San Francisco. "Philip Anschutz is committed to strengthening and building the Examiner newspaper."

The reclusive Anschutz amassed fortunes in oil, real estate, railroads and telecommunications in Colorado before buying sports teams and movie theaters across the nation. He had a net worth of $4.9 billion in 2003, according to

Anschutz is best known in California for developing the Staples Center sports arena in downtown Los Angeles. He owns the Los Angeles Kings hockey team, a 30 percent stake in the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team and half of Major League Soccer, including the San Jose Earthquakes.

He also is the majority owner of the United Artists and Regal movie theater chains, which he acquired after buying the debt of those companies and other chains in 2001.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Abe Foxman and the ADL are Asses

For publicly trying to drive a wedge between Mel Gibson and his misguided father, and for trying to impute the unfortunate beliefs of the latter upon the former without any sustaining proof. (Foxman apparantly doesn't think that it is possible for someone to believe something that just isn't true; like the Gospels being anti-Semitic).

It's been said several times by many people and in different quarters, but the ADL's problem truly isn't with Mel Gibson or his movie; it's with the New Testament.
Press Release From the SF Archdiocese

Unsurprisingly, this appears to have evaded most of the local media.
One quibble I have with this release is its failure to attack the presumtption that personhood may be defined upon sexual preference. It also fails to address the Church's teaching that homosexual conduct is objectively disordered. Ah well.

Statements and releases

February 12, 2004


CONTACT: Maurice Healy 415-614-5632


The action taken by Mayor Gavin Newsom regarding same-sex marriages in San Francisco is counter to long-established California law, which was reaffirmed overwhelmingly by California voters just four years ago. In addition, his action is counter to the will of the majority of citizens at the state and national levels as evidenced by the fact that 38 states and the federal government have approved laws or amendments barring the recognition of same-sex marriages.

In the current national discussion of same-sex marriage, some voices define marriage only in terms of "personal choice," as if marriage were merely a design of two persons – with nothing to do with family or society. Marriage is a relationship defined by nature, a reality which takes its origin in creation itself. Society does not create marriages, even though it sets parameters protecting it – such as the ban on polygamy and an age requirement to protect a mature decision to enter marriage.

Society grants benefits to marriage for the purpose of fostering families, which in turn nurtures the future. Benefits are not primarily given to individuals who are married, but rather they are provided to establish a nurturing environment for children. Any discussion about same-sex marriage that misses this point becomes mired in confusion, for it is impossible to justify special benefits to married couples if these benefits are seen first as benefits to the spouses themselves. Heterosexual marriage, procreation, and the nurturing of children form the bedrock of the family, and the family unit lies at the heart of every society. To extend the meaning of marriage beyond a union of a man and a woman, their procreative capacity, and their establishment of family represents a misguided understanding of marriage itself.

It is not discriminatory to limit "marriage" to heterosexual couples, as same-sex couples cannot bring into existence what marriage intends by its very definition. Other remedies can be found to protect the valid rights of persons in non-marital unions, for example civil rights given to individuals such as bereavement leave and inheritance rights, as well as benefits and protection for any children involved. Changing the definition of marriage to achieve benefit goals is ill-advised and harmful to society.

Some may call this age-old stance "discrimination against gay and lesbian persons. Such an interpretation is false, and offensive to people whose goodwill is clear. The Catholic Church has often spoken of the respect, compassion and sensitivity demanded in our interactions with and attitudes toward homosexual people. Withholding support for same-sex marriage should never be equated with hostility toward homosexual people.

While the Catholic Church affirms that God created marriage as a union of a man and a woman, giving them a co-responsibility to establish a family by bringing children into the world, this tenet is not solely a Catholic one. Rather, it is the result of natural reason mirrored in every culture throughout humankind’s history.

We need God’s wisdom as part of the current conversation on this subject. We need local, state and national debate conducted with respect, knowledge and understanding. Rushing to grant same-sex partners the right to "marriage" for the sake of status or benefits could not help but undermine human society’s foundational institutions of marriage and family.

Here in San Francisco, the recent election of Mayor Newsom brought with it an expectation that he would invite the participation of the entire community in seeking solutions to issues such as the homeless crisis, affordable housing, budget difficulties and other important matters.

For many of us, Mayor Newsom’s abrupt action on the issue of same-sex marriage – about which our society is so divided -- raises concern and causes disappointment. We hope the mayor’s action on behalf of one segment of the community does not signal an abandonment of his commitment to respect the views of all groups in the community – and to use his leadership to draw our city together to address the pressing issues identified in the mayoral campaign .

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Predestined in Love to be Children of God

From today's General Audience:

Having glanced at the whole of the hymn that opens the Letter to the Ephesians, we now listen to St. John Chrysostom, extraordinary teacher and orator, fine interpreter of sacred Scripture, who lived in the fourth century and became bishop of Constantinople in the midst of difficulties of every nature, and was even subjected to the experience of being exiled twice.

In his first homily on the Letter to the Ephesians, commenting on this canticle, he reflected with gratitude on the "blessing" with which we have been blessed "in Christ": "What are you lacking, in fact? You have become immortal, free, a son, righteous, a brother, co-heir, with him you reign, with him you are glorified. Everything has been given to you and -- as it is written -- 'will he not also give us everything else along with him?' (Romans 8:32). Your first fruits (see 1 Corinthians 15:20,23) are adored by the Angels, the Cherubim, the Seraphim: what are you lacking, now?" (PG 62, 11).

God has done all this for us, Chrysostom continues, "according to the favor of his will." What does this mean? It means that God passionately desires and ardently yearns for our salvation. And why does he love us so? For what reason does he desire so much good for us? Solely because of his goodness: 'grace,' in fact, is proper to goodness" (ibid., 13).
Heh Heh...

I double dare anyone living in the Bay Area to stick one of these on their car and drive slowly through the Castro District in the City.

Worth a Thousand Words

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

SF Judge Issues Non-Binding Cease and Desist

Despite the judge's hangup over the placement of a semicolon (it happens) pro-family forces have temporarily won the battle to stop same-sex marriages in San Fran. Mayor "The Law Is Whatever I Say It Is" Newsom expresses an intent not to comply. And, oh yeah, Ahnold finally said something.
Two Injunctions Sought in San Fran. Same Sex Marriage Battle

The first case, which I think involves obtaining a writ of mandate, won't be decided until Friday, while the second case is going on as I post this.

Although it isn't necessarily an issue in either of these cases, what is going to have to be decided at one point is whether sexual preference is a basis upon which civil rights protections must be applied. I logically don't see how it can, but then again, who would have ever thought consensual sodomy would be deemed a constitutional right.
Wanted: Gavin Newsom

The American Family Association wants Ahnold to arrest the San Fran. Mayor for violating California's Defense of Marriage Act. So do I.

The AFA's law center wrote Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Bill Lockyer Friday insisting the mayor not only violated civil law, but criminal law as well.

Schwarzenegger and other state officials have remained silent on the issue.

The letter cites California's penal code Section 115, which "prohibits the knowing procurement of any false or forged instrument to be filed or recorded in any public office."

The penalty for the felony, the letter notes, is up to three years in prison. The AFA says this means three years for each false certificate issued.

Monday, February 16, 2004

Hell in a Handbasket

Neither rain, sleet, nor snow shall deter people engaging in objectively disordered sexual conduct from mocking and degrading the institution of marriage.
Maybe It She Just "Malfunctioned"

I'm thinking this "lady" (and I use the term loosely) uses tongue when she kisses her mother.

A key Assembly committee is investigating complaints by at least five legislative staffers to Assembly member Rebecca Cohn, including two sparked by a photo shoot for San Jose Magazine in which Cohn allegedly asked aides to handle her bras and underwear.

Aides to Cohn, D-Campbell, have told investigators that she created an uncomfortable, sexually charged working environment by soliciting comments about her provocative attire and discussing her personal life in explicit terms, according to two Assembly Rules Committee interview summaries obtained by the Mercury News.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Effort to Reexamine "Roe" Moves Forward

The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in support of a motion to reopen Roe v. Wade.

"There are several issues before the court," Parker said, "whether Roe versus Wade should be overturned; whether to grant the motion based on the evidence that was submitted with the motion; or send the case back to a trial court for a trial; and whether a single judge or a three-judge panel should have heard the case at the trial court level."

Last June, Parker contended Judge Godbey misunderstood the motion, arguing the case is about changes in the relevant factual conditions, not a submission of new evidence.

One of the most relevant changes in law, he says, is the 1999 "Baby Moses" statute which allows a mother to hand over her child to the care of the state, meaning she no longer is forced to dispose of "unwanted" children by ending a human life.

Texas is among 40 states with such legislation, which didn't exist in 1973, Parker notes.
Playing Defense and Clarifying

Archbishop Levada on the Catholic understanding of The Passion.

Anti-Semitism is incompatible with the Catholic faith. However, even in America, we have seen Catholics embrace anti-Semitic positions, seeking to justify them as compatible with or resulting from Christian belief. The infamous "radio priest" Father Coughlin of the 1930s had a large and willing audience for his anti-Semitic rants, until he was silenced by the Archbishop of Detroit.

The Anti-Defamation League has said the film "has the potential to promote anti-Semitism through its painful portrayal of Jews as being responsible for the death of Jesus." On the other hand, Cardinal Castrillon of the Vatican Congregation for Clergy and Archbishop John Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, call the film a deeply spiritual experience.

This contrast reminds me of a comment by columnist and radio host Dennis Prager -- who is Jewish -- after seeing an early cut of the film: "When watching 'The Passion,' Jews and Christians are watching two entirely different films. For two hours, Christians watch their Savior tortured and killed. For the same two hours, Jews watch Jews arrange the killing and torture of the Christians' Savior."