Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Election 2004: Religion & Politics ( --
Here's An interesting chat on Religion & Politics at with the directors of the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life and of survey-research for the Pew Researh Center.

Same old, same old.

White evangelicals who are regular church-goers find gay marriage a more important issue than Iraq. Jews and African-Americans are Democrats because of social and economic issues. Peopld tend to believe in separation of church and state, but are hostile to the idea of atheists holding public office.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2004

A bizarre thread on Daily Kos --
It's freakin' wierd enough that Foghat is apparently considering touring in support of the Bush campaign. The thread I linked to has a bunch of bizarre comments. Somewhere in the middle, there's speculation on gay country singers. Then there's hope that MSNBC should be the left-wing version of Fox News.

Best joke, by LeftCoastTimm, is "The conservative Alan Colmes....would that be...Alan Colmes?"
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Monday, August 16, 2004

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: August 15, 2004 - August 21, 2004 Archives --
Joshua Micah Marshallwrites in Talking Points Memo:

A number of readers wrote in today noting that TPM was downloading e-x-t-r-e-m-e-l-y slowly. We're working on rectifying the server issue that was causing that problem. So the site should soon be back to its normal speed.

Well, maybe some lefty sugar-daddy should pay for several servers to host some liberal bloggers. Then again, maybe not; some conservative Nixonistas will probably wage a dirty denial-of-service campaign against those servers.

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Saturday, August 14, 2004

Church invalidates girl's Communion --
Via Lean Left, I cam across this story.

You may think me a horrible person, but I'm going to side with the Church on this one. There's a principle involved in this one. The same principle by which the mother is unwilling to let her child drink a partially-fermented grape-juice because of an alcohol content which, according to the article, is equivalent to over-the-counter cough syrup.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2004

I Heart Razz --
The Razz World Series of Poker tournament on ESPN was marvelous, I thought. So, I was rather pleased to see this site add Razz sit and go's to their line-up. I happened to be online early, early morning following the software update that included the addition of Razz and so I sat in on what may have been the first ever Razz SNG on-line. Only $5+$0.50 right now and no ring games available right now, as they are just testing the waters to see who is interested.

Long story short, I won, in the process knocking out this former Bible salesman who was checking in from his vacation in Bangkok.

I think I had an advantage over players who were in it for the novelty. True story, heads-up I nodded off for five minutes, losing 30 straight hands and reversing my 2-to-1 chip lead and putting me in the underdog seat. But I rose to the challenge and made the come-from-behind win.

A few random notes about Razz:
1. Even though it is a limit game, you can still bluff. "Dutch" Boyd may want me to give him lessons on when it is appropriate.
2. You absolutely can't wait until you have a made hand to bet and raise.
3. Like all seven-card-stud variations, if you aren't willing to complete after someone else bring's in and you fold to a raise on 3rd street, you really don't have much of a justification for being in the hand.
4. Really, really bad players really have no chance at this game.
5. Check-raising on a late street is your friend.
6. A pair on the board is not necessarily a reason to be afraid.
7. The key is being able to tell when your opponent is still drawing and when he has a made hand.
8. The second key is being able to confuse your opponent as to whether you are still drawing or whether you have made a hand.

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Wednesday, August 04, 2004

U.S. Newswire - New American Life League Ad Appeals to Pope John Paul II to Enforce Canon 915 --
According to this story, an anti-abortion group is mounting a public advertising campaign asking the Pope and the Church hierarchy to ban pro-abortion politicans from receiving Holy Communion.

While I am sure that some Catholics are sympathetic to the "American Life League's Crusade for the Defense of Our Catholic Church," I can't say that I believe this will sway the Catholic Church and may, in fact, hurt the cause of the American Life League.

The Catholic Church basically doesn't like to be publicly attacked, and the ad is a public attack, make no doubt about it. The Church is not inherently conservative; it does possess some progressive instincts. But it bites down on these instincts when its authority is challenged. The Catholic bishops have spoken; the Eucharist will not be categorically denied to politicians who fall under the label "pro-choice." This ad is a challenge to the bishops and will harden the hearts of some bishops towards those behind the ad campaign.

What is the lesson here? Trying to knock down the front door of the church isn't the proper vehicle for change, it is the vehicle of the schismatically inclined. Students protesting actually retarded popular opinion's eventual turn against the Vietnam War and the same is the case here: trying to publicly force the Catholic Church to change is the worst possible way to effect change in the Church, and this goes for both those who want to ban pro-abortion politicians from receiving Holy Communion and those who want women to be ordained in the priesthood.

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Sunday, August 01, 2004

The Vatican vs. "Feminism" --
My guess is that most people will read articles about "Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Collaboration of Men and Women in the Church and the World." But who is actually going to read the text?

So, let's go over the basic points of the document so you don't have to read it. If you're really lazy, you can skip to my summary at the end.


-The Church is an "expert in humanity" who is interested in the concerns of men and women.


-The basic approach to women's rights has been to set up an adversarial relationship between men and women.

-The biological differences of sex has been replaced with the cultural construct of gender.

-Some believe that the human condition is a ~tabula rasa~ with no ties to biology and that no one possesses absolute characteristics.

-The Church prefers to speak of "active collaboration" between two sexes which are different.


-From the beginning in Genesis, humanity is described in terms of male-female relationships.

-The second creation account of Genesis stresses the meaninglessness of loneliness. The creation of woman places humanity in a "relational reality." Man and woman are called to exist mutually "one for the other" in "interpersonal communion."

-Original sin replaced equality, respect, and love with the domination of man over woman, contrary to God's original plan.

-Although man and woman are equally created 'in the image and likeness of God," there remain sexual differences that are physical, psychological, and spiritual.

-The Bible contains the recurring theme of a covenant between man and woman.

-In the New Testament, Mary "transfigures" the feminine condition of Israel as the Bride, while Jesus embodies the symbolism of God's love for his people being similar to a groom's love for his bride. The letters of Paul especially stress the spousal relationship of Christ and Church.

-Spouses "drawn into the Paschal mystery" are able to avoid "elements of concupiscence" and the subjugation introduced by original sin.

-In Christ, the male-female relationship sheds rivalry, enmity, and violence while remaining distinct for all eternity. The "emporal and earthly expression of sexuality" is merely "transient" and a source of discord.


-Women possess an intuition of the goodness of actions which promote the life of the other; this is tied to the birth-giving capacity of women. Despite this, women should not be considered solely from the perspective of procreation; even without bearing children, women can contribute. Because women possess something whose absence leads to violence, women should have access to "positions of responsibility" but should not be stigmatized or penalized if they choose to spend all their time in the household.

-"Femininity" designates the basic capacity "to live for the other and because of the other" to which women are "more immediately attuned." An adversarial approach to rights is contrary to this value, which would seek to listen to the needs of all and create harmony while recognizing differences.


-The example of Mary is the ideal of the Church.

-For the Church to be like Mary does not mean the adoption of a "passivity inspired by an outdated conception of femininity." Instead, it is a model of "listening, welcoming, humility, faithfulness, praise and waiting."


-"God is love."

My Summary:
Using language that reminds me of multiculturalists trying to explain why different cultures should be accepted on their own terms, this letter says that men and women are different, but that shouldn't be a cause of conflict. Original sin introduced subjugation into male-female relationships, but people can rise above that through Christ.

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