Why do I break (after long and anguished reflection) my auctorial silence to produce this blog posting? Having just promised silence until the book is done? Mostly because if I don’t say this, it won’t get said at all…
WARNING: At 5,700 words, it’s a bit longer than the 200-word posts you usually see, so beware. But lots of nice pictures.
And before we do, you might recall that I noted (April and November 2008) ABC’s Brian Ross has some little questions about carrying partisan water (he broke the “Rev. Wright” story, remember). Looks like some media are catching up.
I was raised during the Catholic church of Pope John XXIII, but I find myself living in the era of the Catholic church of Torquemada. Today[April 27], two proud Catholic bigots announced their moral (religious) superiority from two utterly inappropriate Catholic fora: The Learned Hand Chair of Harvard Law School, and the bench of the United States Supreme Court.
In yet another perfect Catholics-to-Heathens 5-4 ruling, stanching the evil scourge of Cher and Janet Jackson was affirmed by Antonin Scalia on the bench. (We nostalgically recall all the assurances that a “Catholic majority” on the Court wouldn’t create this situation. And, even if it did, it was just “anti-Catholic bigotry” that would cause the trouble. Not the bigotry of Catholics. Catholics can’t be bigots, implicitly: Because they’re always … RIGHT!)
Now before I quote the second Catholic bigot, I want you to take a short stroll down memory lane with me.
I’ve laid out how Father Frank Pavone — who weaseled his way into “family spokesman” for the endgame of the Terri Schiavo paparazzi tragicomedy — a rabid anti-abortion activist became a Catholic priest to FURTHER his anti-abortion jihad. And how Pope John Paul II gave it his blessing, and how Pope Joey Ratz gave Pavone the green light to create a completely independent order of priests for the express purpose of attacking abortion in the USA. Here’s the press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jerry Horn, 540-785-4733
Date: May 13, 2005
Rome, Italy — Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, announced today from his Rome office that the new Society of Priests he has been given permission to establish will be dedicated in a special way to the memory and teachings of Pope John Paul II. This announcement comes on the same day that Pope Benedict XVI announced that he has begun the process by which John Paul II could be declared a saint.
Fr. Pavone stated, “The Missionaries of the Gospel of Life, as a group of priests dedicated exclusively to the defense of life from attacks like abortion and euthanasia, draws its plan of action from Pope John Paul II’s teaching and example — and in particular from his encyclical, The Gospel of Life. Our efforts move forward as a living memorial of this great Pope, and we dedicate this new initiative to him, the Pope of Life.” [...]
I wrote about this in 2005 and 2006:
You might remember Pavone. He was the priest who became the spokesman for the Terri Schiavo parents and relatives in the last week of the controversy in 2005. When Ms. Schiavo died, Pavone was the media spokesman for the family and the Catholic Church.
Over the last 12 years, Pavone has transformed his organization, Priests for Life, from a fledgling nonprofit into a multi-million-dollar operation. Its main purpose is to urge priests to be more militant in their pro-life activism. The organization also urges voters to pick antiabortion candidates and has launched a campaign to draw women who’ve had abortions back into the church. Pavone, who worked in Rome for two years, has been called the pope’s “vicar for life” and serves on the Pontifical Council for the Family, which coordinates the Vatican’s policy on abortion issues….
What is not so well-known is that Fr. Pavone traveled with Schiavo’s parents to the Vatican later that spring, and was granted permission by Pope Benedict XVI to expand his organization….
And, we get this from First Things — a Catholic fanboy rag who have publicly attacked me before for having been troubled by this very thing.*
[* see "Catholics 5, The Rest of Us Nothing" (18 April 2007), and for a catalog of links to my other writings on this topic. And here's part of FT's attack on me (and my friends at the Democratic Daily, and Preemptive Karma, among others):
... A “chill wind is blowing from Rome,” announced one leftist site in a blog post titled “Catholics—5; The Rest of Us—Nothing.” The five Catholic justices on the Supreme Court formed—for the first time since Alito joined the Court—the complete majority on a decision. I think that we’re probably going to have to wait for the new fund-raising letters from NARAL and Planned Parenthood before we see the highest pitch of anti-Catholic rhetoric coming out of the Carhart decision.]:
After all, how DARE non-Catholics not follow highly changeable (which I’ll get to in a moment) dogma on abortion? Why, they’re anti-Catholic BIGOTS! right?
Official Ambassadorial Portrait – Glendon
By Mary Ann Glendon
Monday, April 27, 2009, 9:32 AM
April 27, 2009
The Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
University of Notre Dame
Dear Father Jenkins,
When you informed me in December 2008 that I had been selected to receive Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal, I was profoundly moved. I treasure the memory of receiving an honorary degree from Notre Dame in 1996, and I have always felt honored that the commencement speech I gave that year was included in the anthology of Notre Dame’s most memorable commencement speeches. So I immediately began working on an acceptance speech that I hoped would be worthy of the occasion, of the honor of the medal, and of your students and faculty.
Last month, when you called to tell me that the commencement speech was to be given by President Obama, I mentioned to you that I would have to rewrite my speech. Over the ensuing weeks, the task that once seemed so delightful has been complicated by a number of factors.
First, as a longtime consultant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, I could not help but be dismayed by the news that Notre Dame also planned to award the president an honorary degree. This, as you must know, was in disregard of the U.S. bishops’ express request of 2004 that Catholic institutions “should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles” and that such persons “should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”
Er, because he holds an opinion on a deeply personal decision that he will never make that is at odds with a deeply wrenching personal decision that no priest or bishop will ever have to make? Or because he’s a “nigger”?
Does that word OFFEND you? I hope to ghod it does. I hope it pisses hell out of you, because when the silence of the back rooms and the code words and the sleazy rationalizations screams that word, I am NOT going to pretend that it isn’t there. And you’d better not, either.
Given their ugly history of slavery and complicity in the ugliest excess of human darkness, neither the “Republicans” of the New Old South, nor the “bloody Church of England/in chains of history” (and various other franchise names) deserves a pass merely based on “civil speech.”
As that founder of their religion, so oft ignored, suggested as a litmus test: ‘By their fruits ye shall know them.’
Sure SOUNDS exactly like “nigger” to me.
Because, my friends, I find myself increasingly unable to distinguish between the actions of “conservatives,” “Republicans,” and “Catholics” in boycotting and attempting to humiliate President Obama because they are virulently racist, or because they are “principled”?
If it LOOKS like racism, smells like racism, walks like racism, et al, does it really matter the precise REASON for the unreasoning hatred? Reverse Catholic bigotry? Hatred of lawyers. Hatred of “liberals.” Hatred is hatred and she might as well be screaming the “N-word” at the top of her lungs.
It sure as hell isn’t “Christian” no matter what you might interpret that to be.
It sure as heck seems to happen that so many unprecedented boycotts, snubs and “tea parties” are over “principles” that fly in the face of prior behaviors, or are extreme by the standards of the self-same suddenly “principled” objectors.
If Ms. Glendon hated the president for the color of his skin, or because of her stated “reasons” her behavior would not be one whit different.
Neither would the behavior of the Arizona State University officials who invited Obama to speak but decided not to give him an honorary degree (the general, phony and fraudulent “payment” for a free speech to draw press coverage and alumni gifting and good will for having a “marquee” speaker). Neither the utter boycott of all (Southern) Republicans in refusing to vote for a black president’s programs.
Gee: maybe that’s why the breaking news is that Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania has just announced that he is leaving the Republican party and becoming a Democrat.
Kiddies: If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it’s a duck. The open refusal to occupy a stage with the first Black president of the United States of America is inexcusable and symbolically racist, whether by commission or omission — a concept that all good Catholics will understand completely. We return to Klanswoman Glendon’s Harvard screed:
That request, which in no way seeks to control or interfere with an institution’s freedom to invite and engage in serious debate with whomever it wishes, seems to me so reasonable that I am at a loss to understand why a Catholic university should disrespect it.
Or, in the immortal words of Elmer Fudd: “Kill the Wabbit!”
Then I learned that “talking points” issued by Notre Dame in response to widespread criticism of its decision included two statements implying that my acceptance speech would somehow balance the event:
“Widespread”? Criticism by powerful “conservative” fanatics like Glendon, you mean.
• “President Obama won’t be doing all the talking. Mary Ann Glendon, the former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, will be speaking as the recipient of the Laetare Medal.”
• “We think having the president come to Notre Dame, see our graduates, meet our leaders, and hear a talk from Mary Ann Glendon is a good thing for the president and for the causes we care about.”
Shorter: “How dare you try to hide your Catholic disobedience behind my Catholic obedience. The fact that I refuse to share the stage with a nigger has nothing to do with it.”
A commencement, however, is supposed to be a joyous day for the graduates and their families. It is not the right place, nor is a brief acceptance speech the right vehicle, for engagement with the very serious problems raised by Notre Dame’s decision—in disregard of the settled position of the U.S. bishops—to honor a prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice.
Oh. Obama’s the devil and you’re not a racist?
The Gospel of Eastwood, Book of Josey Wales, chapter 11 verse 14: “Don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining.”
Right. Again, since none of the principals involved will ever have to MAKE the decision that the “principles” of “justice” cited by our Klanswoman connote, this argument carries even greater moral faux-weight
George W. Bush openly scorned Pope John Paul II when he pleaded that Bush not invade Iraq (in what we now know and refuse to openly discuss was a blatant war crime: a war of aggression).
Wasn’t that being a “prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice”? (And, in that one, REAL people got killed, not imaginary “babies.”) Have any Catholic institutions — or, indeed, the Pope, with whom Bush met prominently prior to the 2004 election, AFTER invading Iraq — boycotted or otherwise protested the WHITE office-holder?
You can prove that other high office-holders have been treated similarly, but that doesn’t excuse it, nor necessarily remove its racist overtones.
Certainly, when he was head of the Office Formerly Known as the Inquisition, Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) told U.S. priests to refuse Communion to presidential candidate John Kerry (himself a Catholic), but, significantly, NONE DID.
Now, perhaps U.S. Catholics have become more obedient to the Church’s insane reproductive positions, or perhaps it was because Ratzinger found out that Kerry’s grandfather was a Jew. The behavior in all cases would have been the same. (As in: whether he was guilty or not, the man we lynched is just as dead.)
Finally, with recent news reports that other Catholic schools are similarly choosing to disregard the bishops’ guidelines, I am concerned that Notre Dame’s example could have an unfortunate ripple effect.
Kinda sad I’d have to point this out, but American Catholics have been notoriously unresponsive to the dictates of Rome, as forty years of polling results on contraception and abortion bear out. This is not a new problem, this is not a new argument, this is a rationalization. And, as I say, indistinguishable from the most virulent racist finding an excuse to avoid sharing a dais with a Black man.
It is with great sadness, therefore, that I have concluded that I cannot accept the Laetare Medal or participate in the May 17 graduation ceremony.
Er, I think that whatever that medal was for, if it involved “virtue”, you just disqualified yourself for it anyway, Bush Ambassatrix to the Vatican Lady, sir.
In order to avoid the inevitable speculation about the reasons for my decision, I will release this letter to the press, but I do not plan to make any further comment on the matter at this time.
The last paragraph is particularly self-serving rationalization: Ms. Glendon cleverly mistakes the “Widow’s mite” for the (black) widow’s might. Always nice, in a churchy context to pre-emptively portray one’s self as a future martyr for the Cause. Vanity was still a sin in her church, last time I checked.
Yours Very Truly,
Mary Ann Glendon
Mary Ann Glendon is Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. A member of the editorial and advisory board of First Things , she served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican from 2007 to 2009.
Well and Good little Bushie. (Another screech of “nigger!” in the virulent silence of the RepubliKlan). Let’s get the HELL RID of our embassy to the Vatican. It was resurrected by Ronnie Ray-Gun to co-opt the church to the RepubliKlans, after having been explicitly rejected by President Ulysses S. Grant because WE DO NOT HAVE DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH CHURCHES — only with legitimate countries.
Now, before returning to Antonin Scalia of the Catholic Five, let me make a distinction that most Catholics don’t seem to be able to make, anymore. I say that because, clearly, they once did:
I’m not quibbling with the religion, nor with their moral tenets, nor their freedom to believe whatever they want to believe. I am distinguishing the RELIGION of which Catholicism is a branch, from the political organization, and linear heir to the Roman Empire, of whom the head is the Pope.
Because of their moral certitude and ability, since Constantine’s conversion after the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312 A.D. (yes, I know, C.E., but you know what the hell I’m talking about and let’s move on with substantive issues) the “Church Fathers” have never ceased to be political, except when it was politic to appear as “above the fray” (pun intended).
You see, technically, the Papacy doesn’t get to “prioritize” sins. Sins are sins, whether mortal or venial. The decision to pursue THIS particular route with fanatical venom and every appearance of spite has been a hallmark of the John Paul II/BenedictXVI papacy, and when they bring it to my shores, and make it an issue in my elections, I have every right to call Joey Ratz out, whether he’s wearing a dress in his palace or not.
Funny thing: Christianity was founded by a homeless carpenter, and now, at least according to some (many some), is run by an old guy in a dress who lives in a palace.
But that’s just by the by. Whatever you want to believe about miracles, virgins, resurrections, saints and complex afterlife schemes is up to you, although I would caution against the buying and selling of indulgences. The last time that happened, Martin Luther took offense, and all hell busted loose.
In many ways, the political maneuvering of the Catholic church is an attempt to reverse that Reformation. (The fundamentalists, if you’re keeping score, are only trying to repeal the Englightenment).
So, what is this ‘principled’ snub, this pissing on the first Black president, finally?
Disagreeing with his position on a woman’s right to decide whether to carry a pregnancy to term.
And maintaining that ONLY the celibate priest, the old Pope sitting in his palace in Rome has the right to make that decision, which is SHE MUST CARRY THE BABY.
This wasn’t Catholic teaching until 1884, of course.
Pretty much the old Catholic dogma followed the “three trimester” formula outlined in the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
So, the “modern” Catholic church demands of its adherents that not only must they ostracize and do whatever they can do dishonor someone who disagrees with the “new” position and holds the “old” Catholic position (for over 1400 years), but THEY DON’T EVEN HAVE TO BE A CATHOLIC.
That, children, is a hate crime no matter how you slice it.
And it has nothing whatsoever to do with Jesus Christ. Period.
It’s papal politics, and I have tried to raise an alarm about this very thing. Five supreme court justices. 25% Catholic population in the USA. A militant and angry papacy following one of the most repressive papacies since the middle ages (John Paul II, who engaged in a systematic purge of all priests not holding to “conservative” lines, see HERE and skip down to “free from error and requiring full assent from the faithful“ — to the great satisfaction of South American dictators troubled by “liberation” theology.)
To Pope Joey Ratz in Africa not two months ago, lying that condoms do nothing to prevent the spread of AIDS.
Which is, no matter what your religious affiliation, monstrous.
And again, which has nothing to do with the homeless carpenter in whose palace he claims his inalienable right to wear his dresses.
Here’s a good quick history, from Religious Tolerance Dot Org:
[Abortion legal] 5th TO 16th Century CE:
St. Augustine (354-430 CE) reversed centuries of Christian teaching in Western Europe, by returning to the Aristotelian Pagan concept of “delayed ensoulment.” He wrote 7 that a human soul cannot live in an unformed body. Thus, early in pregnancy, an abortion is not murder because no soul is destroyed (or, more accurately, only a vegetable or animal soul is terminated). He wrote extensively on sexual matters, teaching that the original sin of Adam and Eve are passed to each successive generation through the pleasure generated during sexual intercourse. This passed into the church’s canon law. Only abortion of a more fully developed “fetus animatus” (animated fetus) was punished as murder.
Augustine had little influence over the beliefs of Orthodox Christianity. They retained their original anti-abortion stance.
St. Jerome (circa 340 – 420) wrote in a letter to Aglasia:
“The seed gradually takes shape in the uterus, and it [abortion] does not count as killing until the individual elements have acquired their external appearance and their limbs”
Starting in the 7th century CE, a series of penitentials were written in the West. These listed an array of sins, with the penance that a person must observe as punishment for the sin. Certain “sins” which prevented conception had particularly heavy penalties. These included:
- practicing a particularly ineffective form of birth control, coitus interruptus (withdrawal of the penis prior to ejaculation)
- engaging in oral sex or anal sex
- becoming sterile by artificial means, such as by consuming sterilizing poisons.
Abortion, on the other hand, required a less serious penance. Theodore, who organized the English church, assembled a penitential about 700 CE. Oral intercourse required from 7 years to a lifetime of penance; an abortion required only 120 days.
Pope Stephen V (served 885-891) wrote in 887 CE: “If he who destroys what is conceived in the womb by abortion is a murderer, how much more is he unable to excuse himself of murder who kills a child even one day old.” “Epistle to Archbishop of Mainz.”
Pope Innocent III (circa 1161-1216):
- He wrote a letter which ruled on a case of a Carthusian monk who had arranged for his female lover to obtain an abortion. The Pope decided that the monk was not guilty of homicide if the fetus was not “animated.”
- Early in the 13th century he stated that the soul enters the body of the fetus at the time of “quickening” – when the woman first feels movement of the fetus. After ensoulment, abortion was equated with murder; before that time, it was a less serious sin, because it terminated only potential human life, not human life.
St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) also considered only the abortion of an “animated” fetus as murder.
Pope Sixtus V* (1471-1484) issued a Papal bull “Effraenatam” in 1588 which threatened those who carried out abortions at any stage of gestation with excommunication and the death penalty.
Pope Gregory XIV (1535-1591) revoked the Papal bull shortly after taking office in 1591. He reinstated the “quickening” test, which he determined happened 116 days into pregnancy (16½ weeks).
* Actually, Pope Six the Four (the Borg Pope) is also notable for issuing the Papal Bull authorizing the Spanish Inquisition – the first and only Inquisition to be conducted in virtual lockstep with Ferdinand of Spain (whose court would, twenty years later, finance Columbus, and inadvertently provide a means of escape to the McCarthyesque purges of fanatically Catholic Spain.
[King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella] decided to introduce the Inquisition to Castile to uncover and do away with false converts, and requested the Pope’s assent. At first the request was turned down for a number of reasons. One reason was that they had requested the Spanish Inquisition to be under the control of the monarchs of Spain. This in turn would lessen papal authority over the clergy involved and make methods difficult to keep in line with official papal rules of inquisition, and instead easily become a mere political and semi-military tool of Spain. Ferdinand pressured Sixtus IV by threatening to withdraw military support at a time when the Turks were threating Catholic Europe. On November 1, 1477, Pope Sixtus IV published the bill Exigit Sinceras Devotionis Affectus, through which the Inquisition was established in the Kingdom of Castile. The bill also gave the monarchs exclusive authority to name the inquisitors.
A century later, Pope Six the Five (another Borg pope) would play politics on an even grander scale:
Sixtus V agreed to renew the excommunication of Queen Elizabeth I of England (1558–1603), and to grant a large subsidy to the Armada of King Philip II, but, knowing the slowness of Spain, would give nothing till the expedition should actually land in England. In this way he was saved his crown millions, and spared the reproach of having taken futile proceedings against what Roman Catholics viewed as the heretic Queen. [...]
Sixtus V excommunicated Henry of Navarre (future Henry IV of France) …
Sixtus the V was, in a parallel that ought be included here, one of the “heroes” of the “Counter Reformation.”
As one manifestation of the Counter-Reformation, the Spanish Inquisition worked actively to impede the diffusion of heretical ideas in Spain by producing “Indexes” of prohibited books.
But we return to the ugly history of Catholic anti-abortionism:
Leo XIII (The Thirteenth)
Leo XIII (1878-1903):
- He issued a decree in 1884 that prohibited craniotomies. This is an unusual form of abortion used late in pregnancy and is occasionally needed to save the life of the pregnant woman.
[NOTE: Kind of like "Partial Birth Abortions"? -- HW]
- He issued a second degree in 1886 that prohibited all procedures that directly killed the fetus, even if done to save the woman’s life. The tolerant approach to abortion which had prevailed in the Roman Catholic Church for previous centuries ended. The church required excommunication for abortions at any stage of pregnancy. This position has continued to the present time.
Canon law was revised in 1917 and 1983 and to refer simply to “the fetus.”
As one manifestation of the Counter-Reformation, the Spanish Inquisition worked actively to impede the diffusion of heretical ideas in Spain by producing “Indexes” of prohibited books ….
Ironically, the current position of US law on abortion is almost dead center in Western practice for the past 2,500 years (ibid.):
Thus contraception and abortion were not condemned if performed early in gestation. It is only if the abortion is done later in pregnancy that a human soul is destroyed. By coincidence, this 90 day limit happens to be approximately equal to the end of the first trimester, the point at which the US Supreme Court decided that states could begin to restrict a woman’s access to abortion.
So, the position that the Catholic church has, Johnie-come-lately, adopted, is entirely out of line with almost the entirety of Western Civilization.
Other than that, they can have their food fights on their own. But frankly, I have no use for a “church” that insists that no one who disagrees with them be allowed to speak — which is actually what Bush’s Vatican Ambassatrix argues for, if you accept her premise, that she’s protesting by her public “shaming” of Notre Dame (by spurning an invitation to be honored herself) because Notre Dame has chosen:
… to honor a prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice.
Why, you’d swear, from that little prosy, prissy, pissy pithiness that President Barack Obama was some kind of unholy monster, a tyrant who oppresses Catholics by the sword, who oppresses the weak, who tramples on the poor, who … oh. I’m sorry. They’re not actually against people who do THAT.
They’re just against you if you disagree about a decision you’ll never have to make, in favor of the right of the person MAKING that decision to decide for themselves, and not agree with former Inquisitor and Hitler Youth, Pope Joey Ratz.
Yeah, I know that he says he was in the Hitler Youth involuntarily, just like I know that Bush’s former Vatican ambassador is snubbing Obama because she says it’s about him being against abortion, and not about being Black.
But do and did the actions make ANY difference whether the stated intentions were as described or not?
You would think that, given the long and ugly racial history of the US of A, we wouldn’t be forcing Barack Obama to play Jackie Robinson, never taking offense at every racial attack leveled at him, whether overt or oblique.
But, instead, the neo-confederates and the “principled” conservatives scream “nigger!” at the top of their lungs silently, and we let them get away with it. Rather than accepting, as candidate Obama said, that we can find “common ground” on abortion by reducing teenage pregnancy, instead we scream at Notre Dame for inviting a Black President (not Catholic) and finding excuses for our appearance of racism by publishing long “principled” letters in Catholic magazines and playing the martyr who won’t comment further on her socially despicable behavior.
If this woman has lived her entire life without remaining in a room with anyone who disagrees with her religious dogma, THAT would be a miracle of the sort that the Catholic church has devoted an entire statuary industry to for millennia.
And, speaking of creepy old guys in dresses, we have Antonin Scalia, the blackest criminal ever to disgrace the Court delivering the “indecency” decision from the bench today. Reuters:
Before 2004, the FCC did not ordinarily enforce prohibitions against indecency unless there were repeated occurrences.
By a 5-4 vote and splitting along conservative-liberal lines, the justices overturned the ruling by the appeals court and said the FCC’s new policy and its findings in the two cases were neither arbitrary nor capricious.
“The agency’s reasons for expanding its enforcement activity, moreover, were entirely rational,” Justice Antonin Scalia said in summarizing the court’s majority ruling from the bench.
“Even when used as an expletive, the F-word’s power to insult and offend derives from its sexual meaning,” he said.
Government lawyers in the case have said the policy covered so-called “fleeting expletives,” such as the “F-word” and the “S-word” that denote “sexual or excretory activities,” respectively.
(Reporting by James Vicini, Editing by Dave Zimmerman)
Again: Gospel of Eastwood, Book of Josey Wales, chapter 11 verse 14: “Don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining.”
You know, only someone who hasn’t bothered actually living would maintain an assininity like that.
The “F-word” is so ubiquitous, and so RARELY used to connote sexual activity that the assertion is absurd.
I have reviewed the number of times I’ve heard the “F-word” used in conversation at all levels, and what it connotes. Indeed, the insult portion of the term is so all-encompassing that the second-rarest usage of the term in in REFERRING to its sexual meaning. We rarely say “Brad Pitt is F-wording Angelina Jolie.” But a lot of people who ought to have lives instead of living vicariously on the lives of pretty, vapid celebrities will engage in moral analysis akin to Justice Scalia’s and opine: “Brad Pitt was married to that wholesome Jennifer Anniston. F-word Brad Pitt. He was cheatin’ on his wife. He was (screwing, humping, etc. but NOT F-wording) Angelina Jolie. Boy, I’d sure like to (again, NOT the F-word) her.”
Naw. It’s just a bad word. And it’s ONLY a bad word because of the taboo factor that’s maintained by assholes like Antonin “Choir Boy” (in the Joseph Wambaugh sense) Scalia. However, five Justices having been trained in a theological system that’s got more pages of canon law than the tax code (the latter = 67,000 pages, approx.), the increasing consensus may be great for Red Mass priests, but I fear no less for our legal system with a 5 Catholic justice majority (including the Chief Justice, formerly “first among equals”) than I feared as it came to pass.
It becomes extremely difficult to distinguish dogmatic religious moral stances and givens from Constitutionally mandated (and based in the post-Reformation and Enlightenment) concepts of liberty, equality and happymaking.
The original meaning of the banned “F-word” had much to do with happy making, which is, increasingly, how it’s seen to Americans. But to our Catholic jurists, the sexual function and its “inevitable” consequences of overpopulation and familial misery is so terrible that even the mention of its former name, the “F-word” strikes terror into their hearts and into the hearts of the GOP FCC. (Remember, the rule in question was a 4-3 votes along straight party lines at FCC.)
So saith Scalia; so sayeth the Catholic Five.
banner of abortions Leo XIII,with bodyguards
What I am saying that nobody’s going to say is that the consensus of five conservative AND Catholic justices on the United States Supreme Court is an abomination and will continue to produce constitutionally harmful and ridiculous verdicts. And, as this consensus hardens, the criminal Supreme Court of 2000 (Scalia, Thomas and Kennedy remain from Bush v. Gore) will, with Alito and Roberts, attempt to enact their agenda via the “judicial activism” that they rose to power on the wings of protesting against, even though the Rehnquist Court was FAR more judicially “activist” and “legislated from the bench” to a much greater degree than the Warren Court, which they not only far surpassed, but accept fewer and fewer cases compared to — by a significant factor.
So saith Scalia; so sayeth the Catholic Five.
The problem is — and I don’t know how any person could do this — how do you separate the complex, legalistic doctrines of morality of your church from the complex, legalistic doctrines of the secular law without confusing the two? With a majority (now forming a permanent consensus) are all of a single denomination of a faith, the rest of us, all the non-Catholics, non-Christians, non-believers, who have all the same rights and protections under the Constitution that the Catholics have, how are we served? And how does the appearance of impropriety NOT attach to these five “alter boys.”
So saith Scalia; so sayeth the Catholic Five.
The long-term arc of the Supreme Court — which, in my youth was a wellspring of liberty and enlightenment — now appears headed for a period of disgraceful and high-handed behavior to rival the worst Court in American history, the Taney Court of pre- and Civil War America.
Lincoln was finally able to appoint a man who had stabbed him in the back, but of whom he told his allies who couldn’t believe he’d reward an enemy in such a manner: No one in America will be more stalwart in abolishing slavery. That was Salmon P. Chase.
And Chase, for all his faults, was an excellent Justice of the United States Supreme Court, in contradistinction to Antonin Scalia, for all his faultlessness — at least according to him — who is a SHITTY judge, period.
Scalia wouldn’t know justice or tolerance or moderation or decency if they bit him in his oh-so-ample ass.
The “tonic” was cocaine mixed with wine
But let’s return to his Thomist analysis of the “F-word.”
Here’s a final example:
Why is that OK, then? Semen exits the same route when “F-word”ing. Urine represents the fluid portion of the “excretory function” that so corrodes the minds of men that the mere mention of it over the public airwaves must be fined extensively.
So saith Scalia; so sayeth the Catholic Five.
Now, when you’re drawing a special line in the sand between fucking and shitting, AND pissing and the other now-acceptable former expletives, you’d just about have to be a Catholic theologian to find some obscure and almost arbitrary distinction to weave a clear line between OK and not OK.