I Agree With E.J. Dionne

And the angel opened up the fourth seal, etc…

Speaking as a Catholic, I wish the Church would be more open on the contraception question. But speaking as an American liberal who believes that religious pluralism imposes certain obligations on government, I think the Church’s leaders had a right to ask for broader relief from a contraception mandate that would require it to act against its own teachings. The administration should have done more to balance the competing liberty interests here.

I am also a Catholic, but I understand the Church’s reasoning behind the contraception teaching as published in Humanae Vitae in 1968, even, as a husband and father, I understand the difficulties in complying with it.

But to expect Obama to wade through the morass of regulatory fineness to secure for Catholic institutions the liberty to be Catholic strikes me as adorably naive. To support the rights of the religious rhetorically wins plaudits, even from the agnostic left. To support them with the weight of the law, well, that takes work.

UPDATE: The Church says “We Will Not Comply” (h/t: KatyPundit).

In it, Catholic leaders went on to say that the Church “cannot—we will not—comply with this unjust law,” as it violates the Catholic conscience. Additionally, the church says that it is faced with a difficult decision — either comply and violate its faith or drop coverage for employees and suffer the consequences. The letter urges congregants to take action and to call Congress in an attempt to overturn the regulation.

Yeah, this will end well.

Mark Steyn: Rick Santorum is Creepy; Dr. Gosnell is Not Creepy

Camp of the Saints has the goods.

We should keep in mind that Christianity has always been a challenge to those views and values that human society normalizes. Abortion and contraception existed in the 1st century AD as well, albeit less effectively. As human societies exist to simplify human relationships, sometimes murder becomes a convenience. Moral Law remains defiant.

The Big, Bad Catholic Church Strikes Again.

In 1999, the Vatican issued guidelines for exorcisms. Among them was the requirement that a person claiming demonic possession should first be screened by doctors to rule out illness.

In 2012, that fact is used as the premise for a bad movie to trash the Church as “hypocritical,” “bureaucratic,” and uncaring.

Because a religious organization can’t be rational in its approach to the supernatural. It’s like in Science and stuff.

Complicating Just-War Theory

At Catholibertarian: Do the elements added by the U.S. bishops in 1983 to traditional just war criteria help in determining whether a particular war is just?.

I always took the requirement of “a probability of success” to mean that there was a serious and thoughtful plan, in line with other principles, to bring about success quickly. I don’t take it to mean an impossible prescience of what is going to happen. As Hitler put it, going to war is walking into a dark room.

But read the whole thing.

Alan Colmes Loosens His Filter

Rick Santorum’s Catholicism runs to the fervent, and can discompose people whose faith is nominative at best. As one who believes in charity as a divine command, I’m going to offer that as an explanation for Alan Colmes’ cheap shot about Santorum bringing his dead son home in 1996 before taking him to the funeral home. (h/t: Memeorandum). In all likelihood, Colmes simply experienced a visceral reaction to the oddness of treating a dead child like a member of the family, if only to say good-bye.

There is nothing specifically Catholic about saying good-bye to a dead baby, but it comes from the wellspring of Santorum’s faith. A dead child is still, however briefly, a child, a son, a brother. Santorum will always be that child’s father, and he believes implicitly that, should he attain Paradise, his dead son will be there, welcoming him.

Inasmuch as our society regards the dead as waste, to be disposed of with a minimum of fuss, what Santorum did was odd. But I get it. And, after a moments, reflection, Colmes did as well: hence his apology. It would have been better had he reflected for a moment before naming him some kind of a religious nut, but I do not expect such from TV ideologues. In many ways, the Church of Rome is still an alien faith here.

Imagine All The People…Liking Better Songs: A Fisking of John Lennon

I hate “Imagine” by John Lennon. Hate it. I hate it’s sappy, maudlin piano riff; I hate it’s  dull, lazy structure. I hate the video featuring Yoko just off to the side like some soul-engulfing gargoyle. I hate the insipid cartoon image of Lennon that packages the song.

What a dork.

But most of all, I hate the lyrics, which paint the picture of the saddest, lamest utopia ever conceived by the mind of man, yet has been transubstantiated into some kind of progressive Sermon on the Mount.

Let’s rip into them, shall we? Read more

Oh, God! You Genial, Liberal Fellow

DaTechGuy, guest-blogging at FilmLadd, discusses an old movie with an old actor in an old role as an example of Buckley’s indoctrination:

Now, I wouldn’t expect Carl Reiner to give an endorsement to Christianity, but note what he does. All religions are equal, all are valid, there is no “truth”, none of that “Thou shalt have no other Gods but me” stuff. The generic answers given by the “God” in this movie could be, and is given by new age gurus of today who makes the same kind of money that the Reverend Williams does.

No truth, no worship, you don’t need prayer, just know I’m here but I really don’t matter and have nothing to do about it, so unless you are the ’69 Mets, the last miracle God in the movie says he did, don’t bother asking. It’s so simple, the message of Oh, God becomes: “People don’t really don’t need a God”, but that message is delivered in a way so subtle and so discreet that unless someone points it out you can’t see yourself absorbing it. Buckley would have been impressed.

I suppose that’s why I always agreed with South Park’s placement of George Burns in Hell.