The Gospel Truth

10 Liberal Fallacies: Part I

July 30, 2010
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Lately I have been writing about grandchildren and other personal issues while of interest do not really lend themselves to idea-oriented confrontations.

I hadn’t had any real intellectual confrontations lately.

Earlier this month I logged on to The Erstwhile Conservative.

I had ventured there earlier in the year and had gotten into a battle royal with the blogger.

I thought it would help to keep sharp.  I used to love the verbal battles I got into with my left-wing callers on WGNU.

I think they made me a much better informed host because if I could not defend what I believe I had better find out better arguments to meet my personal test of reason.

Well my recent inter-changes with Duane Graham left me empty and unsatisfied.

Last time I ventured to his site, the exchanges were heady and had some real content.

Now his responses seem no deeper than a crayon book, issued by the Obama White House. Check him for yourselves:  See all comments on this post here.

Unfortunately it did not take long for his responses to make a rapid descent into invective and verbal assault.

I had thought he was capable of some independent thought but his best arguments seemed to center on Obama’s strategy for keeping his boot this coming election.

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Which one told no lies?

I took that as his form of intellectual capitulation.  If the ideas don’t work, sling the mud.

Duane’s first line of defense was:

1) Bush did it.

Expect to hear this a lot in the ensuing months.  Every thing that has not worked out for the Obama regime from solving unemployment, the oil spill, an economy that lingers on the brink etc.— have all been the policies of George W. Bush.

What they fail to state is that the annual deficit in 2007 was $200 billion–I will never defend the profligate spending of Bush and his Republican Congress.

That was the year Reid and Pelosi assumed the mantle of spending and promptly lead us deeper into a recession.

I want to laugh out loud every time, the president speaks in his most solemn tones about the Bush deficits he inherited, failing to mention the two trillion in debt he has added in just 18 months.

The Republicans were mere pickpockets compared to this regime.

2) Tax cuts for the wealthy.

I have to quell my rage when I hear this constant refrain, not unlike the witches in Macbeth.  I feel like Big Daddy in The Cat on a Hot Tin Roof when he yells at his son…Mendacity, mendacity…!

The truth is everyone got a tax cut in 2003.

The wealthy saved more because they paid more taxes than anyone else.  It was there money anyway!

The top 5% of tax payers account for about 50% of all taxes collected in this country.

These tax cuts sparked an economic recovery that rebounded, first from the popping of the Clinton internet investment bubble, followed by the crash after 9/11.

Just wait until Obama’s tax increases on all people sends us into another recession.

Hmmm, I thought ONLY the wealthy got tax cuts in the first place.  Methinks our president speaks out of both sides of his face.

Don’t trust his overtures to the middle class with his vain promises of extending the Bush tax cuts for everyone, except the wealthy.

On a similar note, these tax cuts did not cost the billions every Democrat whines about—they more than paid for themselves with hundreds of billions in extra tax revenue from all segments of the economy.

Check out the tax cuts from Kennedy, Reagan, and George  W. Bush.  These cuts brought in billions of extra revenues to the Treasury’s coffers.

They all proved that a rising tide lifts everyone’s boat.

The huge deficits in the two latter cases occurred because of the excessive spending policies of the Democrats.

Contrast this with Obama’s strategy to lower the tides–everyone, especially the middle class will sink to the bottom. Hello Davey Jones!

3) The Stimulus Package worked.

Oh, did it?  Obama projected that unemployment would not go above 8%.  It stands at 9.6 % and that does not include millions of part-time workers and those who merely quit looking for work.  The real rate is probably 15-16%.

And jobs saved?  These were mostly government jobs and they will end when the money runs out.

The government does not create any jobs— just work.

The WPA in the 1930’s had such unproductive jobs as having one man dig a hole and another fill it up.  That just moved dirt. It did not create anything.

Obama’s policies have the same productive content as FDR’s.  Government cannot run any business.  Just look at the Postal System, which has been drowning in red ink since the dawning of the Johnson’s budget-busting years.

4) Man’s Carbon footprint must be reduced.

This is another myth the left  thrives on.

Many had thought this issue was laid to rest with the release of a series of damning e-mail last November from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU)

At its core according to the WSJ, the scandal was as much about integrity of the scientific process as it was about quality of the science.

Leading climatologists were caught advising each other to delete compromising emails, stonewall freedom of information requests and game the peer review process to exclude contributions from skeptical colleagues.

The so-called Climategate emails also revealed a habit among climatologists to trim their scientific sails to the political wind.

This underscores the fact that scientists have sold out their honor and integrity and contributed enormously to the politicization of science.

The lack of honesty and integrity is why global warming has been replaced by climate change, which is even more vague and, more likely a cyclical part of the natural world.

A recent attempt to recapture the high ground was report from the an Independent Climate Change EMail Review, written by a former University of Glasgow Vice Chancellor, Muir Russell that according to the WSJ amounted to a 160-page evasion of the real issues involved.

This report was commissioned and funded by East Anglia.

5) A woman’s right to choose.

This is no right.  Where is a man’s right to choose? Government limits are choices everyday.  They now want to tell us what we can eat and can’t eat.  Why because they will be paying for it with our money and money that doesn’t even exist.

Choice is just a nice-sounding slogan, filled with the sound and fury of millions of dead.

They think that the highest form of existential freedom is making choices.

Many of our choices have a moral content, especially when another human being is involved–no matter how small the unborn child—there is a human being present with of his/her DNA intact.

The morality of any choice is determined by what is chosen.  By that I mean the consequences choices have on other humans.

The Nazis chose to terminate millions of Jews and other undesirables.

Millions of women have made a choice to terminate their pregnancies, creating a new and in some ways, a more horrific kind of Holocaust.  The only true termination of a pregnancy is birth.

And never forget, abortion was invented by men for the benefit of men.  That and the profit motive is what drives legalized abortion. Just ask Hugh Hefner who gave us a fantasy world of sterile bunnies.

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Hefner and one of his sterile bunnies.

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SEXUAL SMOKE: Part II

July 21, 2010
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To more fully understand this controversial issue, I suggest everyone read a short book, Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Crisis, (Our Sunday Visitor) written by Gregory Erlandson and Matthew Bunson.

It is one of the few sources that readily admits that the public should look to homosexuality as the focal point of this horrendous scandal instead of listening to the verbal legerdemain that the public has been subjected to in the media and from the Chancery.

Finally people in my Church are starting to get the message.

The book is rich in statistical information that underscores their first point that Catholic priests are no worse offenders than representatives of other clerical denominations.

I know this is no consolation for their thousands of victims, but it does raise the question as to why it is ONLY the Catholic Church that is being singled out for this criminal behavior?

The authors also make the clear distinction as to exactly what kind of perversion these offending priests have been bedeviled with.

Their statistics demonstrate that the vast majority of offenders can be categorized as either hebephiles, those who display a sexual preference for pubescent boys, between the ages of 10-14 and ephebophiles for teenage boys from 15-19 years of age.

Very few cases have involved little girls and any case involving teenage girls would at least be a natural attraction.

There seems to be a lot of that going on, especially in the public schools.  More sex education anyone?

Few people have ever looked into the connection between homosexuality and young boys.

NAMBLA, an acronym for the National Man/Boy Love Association, has been around for many years and seems to be of no concern to most Americans.

How come with all of the public sensitivity to the predatory violation of our children by priests, there is no public and government outcry against these people?

One of the first priests, exposed in Boston, a now defrocked priest, was Paul Shanley who was a founding member of NAMBLA in the early 1970s.

The defrocked Paul Shanley

The age of consent is another important aspect of his scandal.

It has been a moveable standard that has varied over the course of civilized history.

In the 19th century many teenage girls were married before their 15th birthday.

I remember reading a quote from a Castro section (homosexual section of San Francisco) newspaper in the early 1990’s that pleaded if no sex by eight, it’s too late!

Like the Shakers of the 19th century who did not believe in natural reproduction, even between spouses, such organizations will eventually die out as did the Shakers.

The same is also true of homosexuals.  They must recruit or their numbers will decrease.

Once homosexual marriage is finally legalized in all 50 states, and it will be because the full faith and credit provision of the Constitution will apply, we will see a flood of legislation, wanting to lower the age of consent to 16, 14 or I think in Spain it is 12 tears of age.

If and when THAT happens, it would largely make the Church’s sex scandal” a moot point.

Another consideration is the homosexual influence on the priesthood.

According to some men I have met–men who would have made good priests– they were literally chased out of the seminary years ago because of advances made upon them by other seminarians.

This has made recruitment for the priesthood more difficult.

A few Catholic seminaries, according to Michael Rose’s 1997 book, Good Bye, Young Men, were virtual brothels of iniquity.

Under Pope Benedict XVI, the Vatican has wisely addressed this issue, especially in the seminaries,  in its attempt to restore dignity to the Church.

Another factor that seems to go beyond the lurid details is the idea of the Church’s cover-up.

Ever since Watergate the idea of a cover-up seems more odious than the actual crimes covered-up.

Too many Church leaders, especially Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston, who left Massachusetts in disgrace, shifted some of the most sexually predatory priests to other parishes.

He ignored the criminal aspects of sexual abuse and constantly moved them around the boards like tokens in a monopoly game.

Left Boston in Disgrace

To put this in perspective, not to defend him, I think Cardinal Law was a victim of the modernist thinking he freely chose.

Some would call it the Spirit of Vatican II.  I prefer to use Pope Paul’s Smoke of Satan image.

According to the prevailing liberalism of his time, such behaviors were society’s fault and the individual should be free from any guilt.

These deviant Catholic priests, given the secular/religious spirit of the times were merely sick, and not responsible for their sexual activities.  The same liberal rule still applies to vicious murders, so why not sexual predators?

As a result they needed psychological counseling, not prison.

Modernism is the culprit here, not homosexuality per se.

The Cardinal was reduced to a church bureaucrat who like so many other prelates with power, thought more of covering his own dignity than reporting these predatory priests.

Another part of this issue that raises concerns is the media’s relentless assault on Pope Benedict XVI.

It is unprecedented and can only mean that the media is attempting to force him out as pope.

Pope rebukes Austrian cardinal who accused peer

No  surrender to media sanctimony!

That would be a big coup on their part.

They could eliminate one of the strongest voices in the world against the complete secularization of the Catholic Church and the silencing of all of its opposition to abortion, homosexuality, euthanasia and what other perversions they hope to foist on an unsuspecting public.


Sexual Smoke: Part I

July 18, 2010
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In the immediate wake of Vatican II, Pope Paul VI warned the Catholic Church that the Smoke of Satan had infiltrated the church.

I find that his use of smoke is a perfect metaphor for what has befallen my church.

Smoke blinds and irritates the eyes so that one becomes susceptible to all sorts of dangers.

However this smoke has a carnal nature.

Because of its addictive properties it far more dangerous to an organization than an arsonist who owns a gas station.

I am talking about the sex abuse scandal that continues to rock the Church.

I wonder how many Catholics and clergy realize just how threatening this scandal has been to, not only the reputation but more importantly the future of the Church.

He smelled the sexual smoke

Pope Paul smelled the smoke!

Personally, I never did see the gravity of the selling indulgences nearly five centuries ago.

Yet the Catholics of that era did and watched in horror as the Church fractured into one big remnant and thousands of smaller ones since then.

Historians tell us that it was the Church’s teachings on Purgatory that caused the Protestant Reformation.

The move to piece the Church back together continues well into our own times.

This modern scandal runs even deeper.

It is a double-edged sword that has cut across the bow of the Church by imperiling the priesthood and alienating many of  its members.

And the liberal left is loving every minute of it!  They see it as a prime opportunity to rid themselves of the chief thorn in their sides.

Finally, under Obama’s relentlessness, they can finish the sacred work of the French Revolution.

While the percentage of victimizing priests is relatively small, compared to the raw numbers of clergy serving in the past 100 years, the stain of their guilt has unfairly tainted the entire priesthood, as a ruptured oil line might pollute pure waterways.

It has also demoralized the faithful in the pews, nearly bankrupted several dioceses and giving viable ammunition to the Church’s enemies.

One thing naive Catholics fail to understand is that as part of the indelible sign of grace, bestowed at their Baptisms, they have received a big birthmark that identifies them as Catholics.

This invisible birth mark is in the shape of a bull’s-eye and has signaled them, especially if they actually practice their religion as a Jesus target.

Christ never promised his followers earthly peace and love.  That’s another liberal myth.

He promised a Cross and this scandal has been a heavy cross to bear.

It’s a part of man’s new religion, where god is created in their image and likeness, not the other way around.

Several years ago when I was relatively new to WGNU radio, I used to have this strange black caller.  His handle was the Prisoner of Love.

The POL was more aware

Without fail he always urged me to talk about them priests and all those little boys.

His kind of needling irritated me to the extent that the best defense I could muster was that’s why they went to the altar girls.

He was a lot closer to the truth that I dared to admit in those days, proving the maxim that even a broken clock can be right twice a day.

I guess another story should have tipped me off.

A former pastor, the late Monsignor Robert Krawinkel and I once had a brief encounter.  I think it was 1987.

He had just come to our parish and I had a document that as pro-life chairman I needed to show him.

He stopped me from about 20-30 feet as I approached him near the Church vestibule.

He said that he always got nervous when someone approached him with a file folder.  He asked me what it was.

For some inexplicable reason, I said it was a paternity suit.

Without a moment’s hesitation, he said that would be an improvement!

His quick and nearly profound wit was far more prescient than my understanding could go in those days before the tidal wave hit in Boston.

To further complicate the issue, I think both the Church and secular society have publicly been living a lie since the Boston Globe first broke the story in the early 1990’s.

They have been hiding behind the shibboleth of pedophilia, which is a word that most people have had to learn since then.

Pedophilia means an unnatural attraction toward prepubescent children of either sex.

This scandal has been nothing like that.  The predominant victims have been teenage boys.

The secularists are all in favor of all levels of homosexuality and the Church does not want to admit they opened their clerical doors to people whose behavior they have consistently condemned for two millenia.

This is their unwritten collusive lie.

A writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch all but admitted that to me after I called him about a six-part series he wrote promoting this myth.

More on this later.


Shooting Some Hoops With LeBron and the President

July 14, 2010
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One reason I believe politicians love about sports is the fact that they are a huge distraction from the government’s business at hand.

While our eyes and ears are not quite literally glued to out TV sets, the politicians are free to conspire to dream up more ways to loot our wallets and enslave our children.

This past week was a perfect example.

Probably a billion people watched as representatives of all the major countries around the world ran all all over huge soccer fields, fired errant shot after shot and then ran the other way.

It was a rare occasion when someone actually booted or headed (looks painful) the ball into the cavernous net, so conservative was the play.

Spain won its first World Cup by scoring eight goals–eight goals in SIX games.

Wow that’s too much scoiring for my heart!

A case in point, I saw exactly three minutes of the final with the Netherlands.  The winning goal at the 115 minute mark came just as I sat down.

In the United States an even bigger story was the signing of LeBron James, one of the best athletes in a long time to don an NBA uniform.

In the age of capitalist free trade– he was the best player in what the agents call free agency.   Ask any owner—-there is nothing free about it.

James choreographed a reality show that was befitting a Super Bowl half-time extravaganza and the academy awards combined.

There was so much pomp and circumstances that you expected a college graduation to break out with Bill Clinton at the podium.

When Queen Elizabeth showed up in New York about that time, I thought she was going to join LeBron at the Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich, Connecticut, in conjunction with ESPN to announce which lucky team was going to have his services for the next six years.

He had gotten the sports cable network to allot an entire hour of their prime time for his big announcement.

An hour to tell us where his next job was?  Rush Limbaugh asked what was he going to do for the next 59 minutes?

The pageantry and hoopla–pun intended–was seriously connected with the signing of two other premier players–DWayne Wade and Chris Bosh.

Hours before LeBron’s Big Fat Contract Wedding, both had signed with Wade’s former team the Miami Heat.

The three had been involved in a collusive friendship that seemed to imply that even if one or two of them had to take less money, they would try to sign with the same team.

That seems to be the new look in the NBA.  Though there are five on the court at any one time, teams try to have a nucleus of at least three outstanding players.

That system had worked well in Boston and even LA.

Well when the big moment came–surprise, surprise—Miami came up the big winner.

I will wager that anyone who took the time to view this extravaganza was as satisfied as I was many years ago when invested three hours in watching Giraldo Rivera’s special on Al Capone’s Vault.

Three hours and all I got was peering into an empty vault.  Not even a tee-shirt!

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Not even a tee-shirt for Cleveland

While there were gala celebrations in Miami before LaBron has even scored a point, there was no joy in Mudville, the current name for Cleveland.  It has been called worse.

I mean Cleveland has been the brunt of comedians jokes for years.  What really do they have?

Is that where Dennis Kucinich comes from?  See what I mean.

To lose the greatest player in recent memory is comparable to Brooklyn losing the Dodgers in 1957–no not quite that bad.  Maybe St. Louis losing the Browns four years before that.

At least they didn’t set fire to the city as some did AFTER LA’s championship.  I mean who would notice if they did?

But I do have a word of warning for the new semi-billionaires.

President Obama is lurking in the background and I do not think he is amused.

Now our current president is not the most athletic of our recent presidents.  Most Democrats cringe every time he gets on a baseball mound.

His near embarrassment in St. Louis last summer at the All-Star game–he was saved when Albert Pujos reached way in front of the plate to snag his 59′ drop ball.

At the season opener in DC, he nearly threw the ball over the catcher’s head.

He more dangerous than Gerry Ford was on a golf course.

But he can shoot hoops.  Though he plays an occasional round of golf–only during oil spills and other national emergencies, he knows how to play the game.

His wife’s sister even married an accomplished basketball player and coach.

Anyone catch his performance with Clark Kellogg between halves at the I think it was the NBA All-Star game?

I believe that he will do something to nullify this deal.

I wonder if ESPN will give him an hour?  They had better if he wants it!

After all he can sue one of our states, take over our auto companies, what is a few basketball players to him or a sports TV network to him?

One consideration I didn’t mention is that the president’s team–the Chicago Bulls had a horse in the LeBron sweepstakes.

Critics will say that LeBron has a contract.  Contracts?  They mean nothing to the former Constitutional Law professor.  Just ask the bond holders for Chrysler.

They were skipped in the president’s move to ave union jobs–this was a direct violation of Contract law, as protected under the Constitution.

All he has to do is sign an Executive Order or maybe just WILL it.

People should ask what kind of Constitutional Law did the president actually teach?

My guess is that he taught loopholes.

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Doing something he is good at!

Another consideration is that LeBron is a member of the president’s least favored minority in this country–he is very wealthy and stands to become more wealthy.

By moving to Florida, as the WSJ points out, he stands to “save” millions of dollars in just state income taxes.

That will not be fair to the state of Ohio, which has seen several hundred million dollars of earned income move to other states over the years.

While Ohio is a swing state, the president, given his Chicago Style, will have to go with the home team and void his deal, so that LeBron can sign with the Bulls.

What can he do this?  Because he can do this that’s why.  Just like he has done with the rest of us taxpayers.

If the president can redistribute our wealth through cap and trade, tax and spend and health care reform, it is only logical that he can redistribute a few rich basketball players.

So after the deal is done, maybe the president will invite him over for a White House Summit and they can shoot some hoops.

And that ain’t no bull!


The Blood of a Martyred Faith

July 9, 2010
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In 1965, right after graduating from the Cross, I served for a year in the Catholic Lay Extension, which was something comparable to the secular program, Volunteers in Service to America. (VISTA)

The Extension Volunteers sent us to various parishes, primarily in the South and Southeast where the Catholic population was sparse.

I was sent to Charleston, Missouri with an older fellow from New Jersey.

One of the other volunteers in our troupe was a cute little nurse, named Barbara Bertelsmann.

I remember that she told me once that she had attended a public school in Ohio that employed Catholic nuns as teachers.

This oddity prompted me to say, apparently without thinking  that she had gone to a nun-Catholic school.

That story serves perfectly as a segue to a video clip making the rounds on the Net that shows an extract from a recent performance of the comic play, Late Nite Catechism II.

Since I spend eight years of my early intellectual and moral development under the tutelage of nuns, I find any reverential parody of them, such as this one, the older Nunsense, and the original Late Nite Catechism, are all in good fun.

A religion that can’t laugh at its own foibles, is closer to man than it is to God.

Sister starts with her belief that Catholics are not bothered by martyrdom any more because America has a policy of freedom and religious toleration.

On the surface what Sister says is true–at least in this country.  There are still plenty of Church martyrs dying in Africa, Asia and even in Latin America.

Since 9/11 and the war on terror, the idea of martyrdom has taken on new meaning.

You can’t read a book about Islam or the Middle East with encountering their notion of martyrdom.

And you don’t have to be a theologian to see the difference between a faith that defines martyrdom in terms of how many infidels one can kill in gaining paradise with an ample supply of virgins, and one that stresses the bloody sacrifice of one’s OWN of one’s own life in defense of one’s faith.

For accuracy’s sake, I will grant that during the Crusades some popes did in indeed promise salvation for those who died in defense of the Catholic Church in Asia Minor.

As part of my spiritual reading during Lent, I read Evelyn Waugh’s 1935 biography of Jesuit martyr Edmund Campion who was brutally executed in the 16th century for treason, by being drawn and quartered.

If any one has seen the old Mel Gibson movie Braveheart about legendary Scottish hero, William Wallace, you have an idea of what that entails.

One of the Elizabeth I moviesthe one with Helen Mirren I believeis much more graphic and stomach-turning.

In light of such brutal suffering of our Catholic martyrs, I often ask myself if put to the test, that is my life or my faith, which would I choose?

Fortunately Sister is right and that kind of gruesome exam is virtually non-existent in America today.

However I think there is a more subtle kind of martyrdom, taking place.

I am talking about a dry martyrdom, that is, the relentless attacks on the Catholic faith from what John Paul II called the culture of death.

This is not the death of the rack, the gallows, or the block but a clever attempt to cut away or weaken the basic tenets of the Catholic Church through innuendoes, falsehoods, historical, and doctrinal deconstruction, so that there will be no need for any “wet” martyrdoms because, there will be few true believers left standing.

It will be the faith that will suffer this martyrdom on a cross of relativism, indifference, and boredom, thanks to a daily dose of propaganda in the media, books, schools, and in even their own churches.

Hollywood has long been an agent of this bloodless martyrdom.  Just check out Dan Brown and his cinematic assault on Christianity is in the DaVinci Code and Angels & Demons.

It was his commercially successful The Code that rocked the Catholic world in 2006 with its revival of the Gnostic myth of Jesus’ marriage to Mary Magdalene.

Demons’ producers have promised that their new movie is even less reverential to the faith than the Code was.

In Demons Harvard Symbologist, Harry Langdon’s embarks on a relentless pursuit in exposing the Catholic Church’s dark historical secrets.

Langdon learns that a secret society, the Illuminati, which listed such luminaries as Italian astronomer, Galileo in its membership, was on a 400-year old journey of revenge to even the score with the Church, which Brown claims murdered most of its members in the 16th century.

Like the Code, Demons is heavily laden with historical, geographical and intellectual errors. Its two most blatant falsehoods revolve around its central theme.

There never was any secret society in the 16th century named the Illuminati.

Brown is either confusing it with the Knights Templar, a legendary society of warrior monks, which was virtually destroyed by French King Philip IV with the forced compliance of Pope Clement V in 1312 or the real Illuminati, a revolutionary secret society, founded by one of the most sinister figures in history, a Jesuit product, Adam Weishaupt in Bavaria in 1776.

In using Galileo as its perfect victim, the film also attempts to drive a wedge through the Church’s long and laudatory relationship with science.

Using a malevolent blend of fact and fantasy, Brown hopes to convince people of the Church’s backward status and eliminate it as a viable opponent to such scientific advances, one may assume, of embryonic stem cell research and human cloning.

After the Code, the Vatican understandably, not only denied any material cooperation with director Ron Howard, but urged a boycott of the film as well.

Demons was not as successful as the 1st because most people don’t like theological debates.  If it doesn’t have sex  or a car chase, they lose interest quickly.

(Demons did have one car chase but no sex.)

So successful has been the forces of secularism that apathy rules more than any visceral bashing of someone’s religious faith.

When the movie came out in the theaters, I rushed to see it so that I might be better equipped to refute its silly and erroneous charges.

As it happened only the gullible who would believe any slander against the Church fell prey to Brown’s latest attempt to humiliate the Catholic Church.

I think that is always the best way to the best way for Catholics to defuse the left’s assault on it–tell the truth .

In understanding this dry martyrdom, Catholics should remember that being a real martyr means literally bearing witness to the truth.

If Catholics and other Christians don’t stand up for their respective beliefs, the blood of our martyred faith may be on our hands.


My First-Born’s First-Born:The Trouble With Teens

July 5, 2010
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It occurred to me recently–actually I was reminded by the voice in the back seat that I had written about or at least mentioned obliquely all of my four grandchildren, except the oldest of the litter, the proverbial first-born of my first-born.

I am talking about the demure and lovely Ms. Claire.  It wasn’t an oversight. I just needed the proper medium with which to lionize her.

That happened at her brother Tyler’s–he of the Madden fame–13th birthday party.

Yes, now I had two teenage grandchildren.  I had barely survived having her father and aunt in those horrible years, twixt twelve and twenty when their world is in a rush to go no where fast.

I have trouble relating to teens, mainly because emotionally I have never gotten past 12 years old myself.

The fear of puberty has been too much for me!  I find that they usually outgrow me by that time.

Ms. Claire and Daddy Bee on the brink of her big change

That was what we writers call a hook!

Claire is a teenager and every time I see her I am reminded of that fact.

I advised her and her brother, as I have every other 12-year-old in my family to skip those years–immediately become 20.   But they never listen!

Personally I think all teens are mutants from another world..no matter how cute they may be.

Most teens I know bear little resemblance to Donatello, Michelangelo, Leonardo or Raphael.

They answer to such praenomens as Melissa, Brent, Matthew or Jennifer, exhibiting more an equestrian kinship with War, Pestilence, Famine and Strife than with the reptilian denizens of a sewer.

Teenyboppers come in all sizes, shapes and colors, without instructions or warranties.

Jocks, nerds, cheerleaders, metal-heads, and teachers’ pets——all belong to this chronological fraternity that affects society as the bubonic plague did 13th century Europe.

They are known to inhabit arcades and stalk neighborhood malls, as primitive species once roamed the earth.

Normal twelve-year old boys and girls disappear in a time warp that obscures the innocence and charm that once characterized their pristine personalities.

During the first few years, these mutant teenagers forget, undo or attack every virtue, value or insight learned in the first  twelve.

Their bodies grow in bursts of inches and pounds, radically changing in size, texture and line, marked by the second-hand and not the calendar.

Muscles get firmer and chests fill out in more ways than one.   Their voices sound buried in the bowels of their persona, belying the children still  present in their adult-equipped bodies.

Claire is a select volleyball player and I am afraid that this condition will be acerbated by the way that coaches rack their players.

Have you ever seen a women’s college volleyball game?

All the girls seems as if they are over 6’6″ tall.  Their arms appear to dangles on the ground, leaving them open to knuckle infections.

I hope Claire doesn’t get like that.

And their hair!

I mean, especially facial hair, which engenders confidence, except on the bodies of  female teens.

Can you say the word depilatory?

The idea of  pamper takes on new meaning as they spend hours alone in the bathroom with their mirrors, cosmetics and arsenals of hair conditioners.

Teens subsist on a gastronomical diet, and that term is used advisedly, that involves an indigestible cornucopia of burgers, fries, tacos and of course, pizza, the metaphysical glue that somehow holds their bodies and souls together.

All is inevitably washed down by gallons of Coke. Diet Coke!

Sleep is their sworn enemy when there’s a party going on, but a friendly ally when it is time for church, school, the grass needs cutting or the house cleaning.

Money slips through their pockets and handbags like a bevy of bug-eyed youth, on a weekend spree at a TOYS R US.

Teenagers exist in a state of suspended animation that would make a couch-potato seem like a tri-athlete, until the phone rang or the car horn beeped.

Then parents would need state of the art camera equipment to catch even  a veiled suggestion of their blurred images.

Their language is reduced to blank stares and occasional grunts.  Teens’ lives run awash in a sea of conflict, social disregard, uninhibited self-indulgence and adult parody.

They exhibit a genetic sense of resistance to any sort of pressure, except that generated by their peers.

They suffer from a hormonal storm that clouds their reason, befuddles their judgment and reduces their level of concentration to that of apathetic zombies.

This chemical imbalance carries with it the bane of their existence—-menses, nocturnal emissions, the first kiss, fingers playfully groping in the dark, belly bumping in the night and children conceiving children.

Besides their parents and teachers, who are harmlessly inept, there is but one enemy that haunts their lives, leaving them all quaking within its powerful wake—–ZITS!

These emerging populations, quasi red badges of puberty that mock their existence, force teens to spend even more time in the bathroom, doctoring their wounds with tubes of Clearasil.

Teens are primitive Luke Skywalkers and Princess Lelias, combating the irritations and blemishes of the DARTH VADERS of the skin in an epidermal SCAR WARS.

Teens’ rooms are not inhabited by humans.  They more resemble cages with furniture.  Boys’ rooms are even worse!  Posters clutter their walls in an assorted explosion of rock art and carnal seduction.

A library of CD’s, videos and an unread copy of  A TALE OF TWO CITIES,  stretches across the vast wasteland that once was a closet.

Living organisms reside in make-shift petri dishes, giving rise to the speculation that their rooms would be suitable for a toxic landfill.

Teens dress in a masquerade of color and visual dissonance, reminiscent of an afternoon, spent looting Wal-Mart’s and Sherwin Williams.

Hair cascades down their backs in waves of growth that have forced several barbers to find more productive work as Maytag repairmen.

There’s enough grease abounds to lube an old auto.

Their music drowns any eardrum within a mile, in a cacophony of sound that  makes it impossible to distinguish between the doorbell and an atomic bomb.

This attests to their maxim that Louder is better!

Their dances to jungle rhythms, approximates a tribal individualism that underscores their basic alienation from things, resembling earthly civilization.

While most are afraid of flu shots and vaccinations, they think nothing of piercing their bodies with medieval throwbacks to torture chambers that must be at best very uncomfortable.

These mutants live for the day that society, in its legal ritual of self-immolation, sanctions their blood lust to legally terrorize the streets and highways, as if they had a legal title to every  inch of highway, usually with  their parents’ vehicles.

Unsafe at any speed, they cruise uninhibitedly, until the police pull them over.

Their wheels serve as passports of liberation to worlds their parents never experienced.

Mobile teens drive children were doing driving east on a west bound avenue at three in the morning.

Tobacco and alcohol use herald their initiation into the world of adult rights and privileges, without any of its concomitant risks and responsibilities.

Trials, tribulations, humiliations, premonitions of death, helplessness, suicidal thoughts and a fear of  progressive insanity plague this  period of adjustment.  It is as nearly as hard on the teens.

Parents stoically view this struggle as a SEVEN  YEARS’ WAR of intramural conflict and human degradation. Being a teen is so hard.  It is not something I would wish on anyone.

If only nature weren’t so cruel and teens like Claire could just stay in the suspended animation that we remember best.

The real Claire and Bee in suspended animation


About author

After graduating from Holy Cross, Bill Borst earned an MA in Asian History from St. John's University and a Ph.D in American History from St. Louis University. (1972) A former New Yorker, he taught for many years in the St. Louis area, while also hosting a weekly radio show on WGNU from 1984-2006. He currently is a regular substitute for conservative Phyllis Schlafly on KSIV radio. (1320) He is the author of two books on social history, "Liberalism: Fatal Consequences," and "The Scorpion and the Frog: A Natural Conspiracy." He just retired as the Features editor of the Mindszenty Foundation Monthly Report. In his 11 years from 2003-2013 he wrote nearly 130 essays on Catholic culture and world affairs. Many in St. Louis also know him as the "Baseball Professor," because of a course that he offered at Maryville College from 1973-74. It was arguably the first fully-accredited baseball history course in the Midwest.The author of several short books on the old St. Louis Browns, he started the St. Louis Browns Historical Society in 1984. In 2009 his first two plays were produced on the local stage. "The Last Memory of an Ol' Brownie Fan," ran six performances at the Sound Stage in Crestwood and "A Perfect Choice" ran for two performances at the Rigali Center Theater in Shrewsberry. His third play, "A Moment of Grace," ran six performances at DeSmet High School in January of 2011with First Run Theater in January of 2011. He is currently working on a 4th play, "A Family Way," which is a comedy about a happy dysfunctional family. He can reached at bbprof@sbcglobal.net

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