The Gospel Truth

Mr. Lincoln’s Dog

June 7, 2012

Presidential pets would make a fascinating study.

To my knowledge, there has never been a book about presidential canines.

Of course we have all heard snippets about Bill Clinton’s dog, Buddy and how the president had the temerity to neuter the poor pup.

Better you than me, Buddy!

The country would probably have been better served if Hillary had had her husband neutered instead of Buddy.

And you wonder why a dog is man’s best friend.

I remember my high school history teacher telling us about how President Franklin Roosevelt’s dog Fala had soiled the carpet in the Oval Office.

Bad boy, Fala!

To date much is not known about President Obama’s dog, Bo or his children for that matter.

Personally I don’t know if the president is a closet Muslim as many contend., but I really think he acts more like a closet cat person.

But cats are kind of regal and isolated from the general population.

It would not be good politics to have a cat person in the White House.

Of course the most famous president dog was Richard Nixon’s Checkers.

Pundits even named one of Nixon’s most famous speeches, the Checkers Speech.

Senator Richard Nixon delivers the Checkers speech

Nixon during his 1952 speech

Abraham Lincoln was an outdoorsman, so I assume he had lots of dogs for hunting and fishing and the like.

However I am not aware of any specific dog that was special to him or one that roamed the dusty corridors of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

But I do know that a dog–call it a composite dog, like Mr. Obama’s biographical sweetheart, who now seems to have a real face and a real name, according to the recent Vanity Fair, was the subject of one of his best folksy stories.

That story has great application for today’s social milieu.

Lincoln is alleged to have asked many of his visitors who wanted significant change in something this question:

If you counted a dog’s tail as a leg, how many legs would that dog then have?

Many fumbled with this apparent riddle and jumped to the obvious answer–five!

Wrong, the president must have said.

Just because you call a tail a leg does not make it a leg.

This is a great example of the Nominalism I wrote about in The Faces of God last week.

Every time I read about Obama’s idea of change, I have to think of what we call Gay Marriage.

Is it possible to have two men or two women in a sexual and emotional union without drastically altering the nature of the traditional idea of marriage?

Just what is a marriage?  What determines if a marriage really exists?

Is it just a marriage or union or true minds or are the bodies part of the equation?

In other words are the participants in a marriage merely fungible pegs on a wall that can be juggled around without creating an entirely different right?

In today’s nominalist society the ideas of William of Ockham who taught this thinking seem to dominate.

Churches and theologians used to answer these questions.

Now we get politicos and gay lobbyists mandating their own definitions for us to swallow.

Let me go to the nature of things.

Liberals hate such arguments because they bleed a rationality and a logic that contradicts many of their inner-most feelings.

Using the Garden of Eden as a starting point and even tough this Biblical story may be just an allegory, there is little if anything that does not positively measure up against real people in the real world, not some utopian Marxist self-construct.

In other words, it is basically an accurate accounting of the way people are.

Genesis spoke of Adam and Eve…not Steve.

Eve not Steve

One does not have to be familiar with John Paul II’s Theology of the Body to know that men’s and women’s bodies are anatomically distinct.

In fact when joined together in the marital embrace, they fit perfectly.

Liberals will have a hard time understanding how Adam knew what to do without having had a sex education course but somehow he figured how to join with Eve in a marital embrace that consumated the first marriage.

There is no way that two men can complement each other’s bodies.

It is physically and morally impoossibly.

Men and men lack a certain obvious complementarity.

While they may complement each other emotionally, physically one usually has to pretend to  be the girl.

So the whole union is essentially built on a lie.

My friend, Joseph Sobran had written about this very subject, just before he died a few years ago.

Joseph Sobran

Best since Chesterton

He opined that even societies that tolerate sodomy have seldom if ever seen any reason to treat such unions as marriages.

He reiterated that the practical reason for marriage has always been the breeding and upbringing of children.

Sobran knew that the call for same-sex marriage could occur only in a society that already takes marriage very lightly.

He strongly felt that to homosexuals there was little til death do us part but more an expression of a romantic impulse, made with their fingers crossed.

While procreation is not the only reason for marriage but the traditional family has always been the founding block of civilization.

If one alters that it is just another weakening of the pillars upon which our entire way of life these past 2000 years had been resting.

Like Samson they seem intent on bringing down the entire institution.

File:064.The Death of Samson.jpg

The whole point?

Maybe that’s the point.

The gay lobby is being used, encouraged and funded so that they can bring down the institutions and the culture that has been mean to them over the last 1500 years.

Personally I think the gay and liberal attack on marriage is childish and arrogant.

For one small group to demand that the world change to accommodate their needs and count a dog’s tail as a leg is an absolute act of infantile moral and intellectual arrogance.

I once asked a nurse friend of mine why some people became gay.

(There is absolutely no creditable scientific research proving that people were just born that way.)

And she said that it was arrested development.

That’s an interesting term that means something to the effect that they just did not get the proper male/female balance from their parents.

Given the near collapse of the family, is it surprising that so many young people, especially boys grow up with a confused and even twisted concept of their own sexuality?

I think arrested development is recognizable in our society to the extent that it is a driving force that affects, not just gay people but millions of straights, especially our male children.

Didn’t want to grow up.

The Peter Pan Syndrome has become part of our culture.

Millions have moved back to their parents’ home to live because they made wrong choice in education and work habits.

Liberals are great at demanding things for people who have done nothing to deserve the rewards of life.

With all the false talk about the rich, not paying their fair share, nearly 50% of our citizens pay no income tax at all.

In fact they take out over a trillion dollars of the government’s largesse, just for voting Democratic.

How long can a society lasts when its creative and productive class are being saddled with more  and more financial demands?

Once we exceed the 50% mark the majority can take away most everything of what the productive has created and then the system will fall just as we are seeing in Europe–the Europe that liberals like our president want to imitate.

Benjamin Franklin lamented about freedom that once is was achieved, the real job is to keep and maintain it.

Stories like Mr. Lincoln’s dog go a long way in helping us recognize the multi-faceted threats to that liberty.

Obama’s Easter Carol

April 8, 2010

One of the great things about grandchildren is that one gets to see things that would have been closed to my imagination.

These little people have a God-given sense of wonder that too many of us big people seem to lose as we face the realities of life.

The other day my youngest granddaughter was visiting and we all watched her DVD about Veggies, called the Easter Carol.

It was loosely–I say loosely because I think Scrooge and Tiny Tim were meat-eaters–based on Dickens’s classic A Christmas Carol.

The 49-minute film presented a similar story with some Easter variations.  This Scrooge was a fat broccoli who had a factory that made plastic eggs for Easter.

To expand his plant he has plans to tear down the Cathedral where all the radishes, tomatoes, celery and squash go to pray to God.

I didn’t see any asparagus because I think I read somewhere they tend to be atheists.

( I know a profane story about Babe Ruth and asparagus but I will save that for another day.)

On a side note I had an epiphany that proved to me that you are never too old to learn something, even from a children’s movie.

In watching Scrooge’s guarding egg, who bore a strong resemblance to James Barrie’s tinker bell, I realized that It’s a Wonderful Life, is an American version of Dickens’ classic.

I have seen that film at least 35 times since 1960 and I NEVER noticed that.

This all brings me to my topic.  Just before I saw the Veggies movie I received an e-mail that contained the president’s Easter Message.

I think calling it that was a misnomer because there was nothing of the true meaning of Easter in it at all.

The e-mail detailed how the president completely left Christ out of his Easter message.

This might be excusable if he had written it himself but the slick president literally edited Christ out of his Easter Message, which he excerpted from a sermon given by a military chaplain on Iwo Jima on Easter Sunday 1945.

This is what the president told his fellow Americans.

People in every corner of the planet have marked the rites of Passover, and the traditions of Easter, for thousands of years.

They have been marked in times of peace, in times of upheaval, in times of war.

One such wartime service was held on the black sands of Iwo Jima more than sixty years ago.

There, in the wake of some of the fiercest fighting of World War II, a chaplain rose to deliver an Easter sermon, consecrating the memory, he said of American dead – Catholic, Protestant, Jew.

Together, he said, they huddled in foxholes or crouched in the bloody sands…Together they practiced virtue, patriotism, love of country, love of you and of me.

Obama’s Easter Carol continued The heritage they have left us, the vision of a new world, [was] made possible by the common bond that united them…their only hope that this unity will endure.

Their only hope that this unity will endure.

Now read below the same paragraph again, but this time note the additional bolded language that comes from the audio of the 1945 sermon and its context, but which President Obama decided not to include:

There, in the wake of some of the fiercest fighting of World War II, a chaplain rose to deliver an Easter sermon, consecrating the memory, he said:

He has risen. With all due reverence, we apply these words to our beloved dead.

There are too many air call wings encrusted with the stain of their owners’ life blood, too many marine trousers upon the graves, too many symbols of American dead – Catholic, Protestant, Jew.

Together,” he said, “they huddled in foxholes or crouched in the bloody sands under the fury of enemy guns here on Iwo Jima.

Together they practiced virtue, patriotism, and love of country, love of you and of me. Together they stand before the greatest soldier of them all – Jesus Christ, to receive the token of our triumh.

For Christ has said: “Greater love than this no man hath then that he lay down his life for his friends.”

And so our beloved dead have gone from the world of hate to the world of eternal love.

The chaplain continued, The heritage they have left us, the vision of a new world, [was] made possible by the common bond that united them in the drudgery of recruit training or here in the chaos of bursting shouts.  Their only hope: that this unity will endure.”

And so our dead have risen to glory. (Ed. note–Like Christ)

See the difference?

In his Obaman Carol the president has given new meaning to his idea of transparency.  He remains as opaque and hidden about matters of faith, moral, spiritually and the eternal verities, making him probably the most mysterious president in history.

He keeps giving off these subliminal vibrations that he is hiding something… something that’s  really important.

I can think of no president of all his 42 predecessors (While Obama is #44, Cleveland was both the 22nd and 24th president) who mentioned or shall I say, failed to mention the Deity.

Even the few Deists among them always seemed to have a place for the Creator.  They all had, at least in their public appearance, the stance of humility before God and most asked for his blessing on America.

Lincoln was vague about whether he was a Christian or not.

I have read both sides of the debate and it seems that his faith was in an evolutionary phase when he was assassinated.

Yet he always quoted the God of the Bible.  The Deity’s name was always on his lips.  He believed in a higher power than man.

Does President Obama?

A good friend thinks that he is either a closet Muslim or an agnostic…or perhaps even an atheist.

The president is particularly vague about his religious sentiments, leading us to imagine anything and everything about him.

Obama’s Carol is a message of secular humanity, based on a religion of man where everybody is the same, no matter if they believe or don’t believe–it doesn’t matter…the new god, the god of American power is here to save them and take care of their every need.

The message is that no one needs God.  They have Obama and the over-flowing US Treasury.

It would have been better had the president issued no message at all.  Maybe some day he will be terrified by a vision of America’s future.  I know that vision terrifies me.

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