Recently in Current Events Category

Campaign Advice

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Roger Kimball offers some tips on campaign efficiency to Republican candidates this election year:

It's as simple as it is efficient: Ignore The New York Times. More and more of your constituents are doing so, why shouldn't you? Join the many happy folks who have Kicked the Times: Don't read it, don't refer to it, don't regard it as an authority on anything. You'll feel cleaner and your blood pressure will thank you. Above all, do not write, and do not allow your staff to write, op-eds for the Times. On the off chance that the paper actually publishes your piece, you will only help to bolster its sense of smug self-righteousness and perpetuate the illusion that the paper treats the candidates, or the issues, even-handedly. They don't, and you shouldn't collude in fostering the destructive myth that they do.

One of the things we are losing in this society is concern for the truth expressed in open, respectful debate. It seems the preferred option of those on the Left is simply to shut out debate altogether, to deny that there is even the possibility that their opionions could be subject to debate. It's as arrogant as it is dangerous.

Just War

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Father Dowd has an excellent post on the Iraq war. He does a very good job explaining the rationale as to why we might think the war fits the "Just War" criteria, one of the best explanations I've seen to date.

Would that it were so . . .

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This is from an interview published by Zenit with Britain's Cardinal Murphy O'Conner:

Q: Can you tell us more about another topic discussed, the question of Islam, of great concern to so many church leaders in so many parts of the world today?

Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor: The situation is very complex. In mostly Muslim countries there's very little space for Christianity; in other countries, in parts of Africa, there's a conflict of cultures, between the culture of Islam and the culture of Christianity.

In Europe again, it's complex. We need to meet with Muslims and speak the truth honestly, not hold back on the truth we believe.

We must be careful to avoid the position whereby they are blaming war on religion -- terrorism, this is the scourge of religion -- whereas the cardinals would see that we have to meet Muslim leaders and concentrate on the things we hold together: many moral values, matters of family, even if we disagree on the essentials of our religion.

But you know, the only answer to what I would call aggressive Islam is very deep Christianity, deep Catholicism, a faith that is strong; I am sure the Holy Father is very preoccupied by Islam, and certainly its militant tendencies.

So I think particularly we in the West have to impose a kind of reciprocity: We are tolerant of having mosques or of people wearing particular clothing; we expect the same for minority Christians in Islamic countries, that there would be tolerance of us having crucifixes, freedom to worship in church and so on.

So I think there's a feeling to speak the truth in love and honesty with each other.

There is one thing about dialogue that many people seem unwilling to face. For dialogue to be effective, both parties to the dispute must be willing to engage the process in a meaningful way. I don't think that condition exists today among radical Muslims in their dealings with the West. It seems evident that the prevailing attitude among these folks is that they are, in the end, going to destroy the West and all it stands for, therefore, there is no need for dialogue. The more we sit around and talk about entering into dialogue with these radicals, the more likely they are to be correct.

St. Thomas Aquinas Society

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I was planning on attending the Mid-America Conference in Wichita on August 5-8 until I received the St. Thomas Aquinas Society brochure over the weekend. As you may or may not know, the local St. Thomas Aquinas Society hosts an annual conference here in the Springs and this year's is, guess what, August 6-8. Fr. Mitch Pacwa, Jonette Bencovic, both of EWTN fame, and Leonardo DePhillipis and Lindsey Younce (of Terese movie fame) will be here. Bishop Sheridan will be celebrating Mass on Friday night.

The conference is free and will take place in the World Arena, here in the Springs.

I've got to attend this one.

The Gipper

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I guess this says it all:

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The Passion

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Perhaps we can learn something from this.

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Two Items in the News

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I have a couple of comments on items that will be in the news this week.

The first arises out of an open letter from our bishop here in the Springs that was read in place of the homily at Mass last night. The letter concerned the release, expected this coming Friday, of the report on the sex-abuse scandal that has rocked the Church over the last year.

As I understand this scandal, it arose, not from an outbreak of pedophilia among priests of the Church, but would be more accurately portrayed as a problem of homosexuality in the priesthood. In other words, the victims were not very young children but for the most part teenage boys between the ages of 15 and 18. However, our bishops letter portrayed the problem as pedophilia and the solutions presented were aimed at preventing the abuse of young children. This tells me that the bishops either still do not get it or are afraid to face the problem and deal with it. This is a very disturbing development, to say the least, because it means that the problem may not be solved.

The second important event that will be much in the news this week is the release of the movie The Passion. I am, of course, planning on attending at the earliest possible opportunity. I believe that, if for no other reason, it is important for Christians of all stripes to support financially any effort by Hollywood to make movies with Christian themes. This movie, of almost any movie made by Hollywood, more than deserves that support. However, I must admit to one reservation that I have. Until now, I have been at least somewhat able to read the Gospel accounts of Christís Passion, Death and Resurrection and imagine for myself what those scenes must have been like. I can put myself there and meditate on Christís suffering and what He endured for all of us. I am wondering if this movie will not have such a powerful effect on me that this personal meditation may be impossible in the future? I wonder if, whenever I read the Gospels in the future I will see the scenes only as portrayed on film in The Passion. I hope this will not be the case.

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