intersection

the Church, the State, and me

Lord, thou hast made us for thyself, therefore our hearts are restless until they rest in thee.
- St. Augustine of Hippo
Posts tagged "media"

In response to President Obama’s public opposition to the North Carolina Marriage Protection Amendment, Bishop Peter Jugis of the Diocese of Charlotte and Bishop Michael Burbidge of the Diocese of Raleigh have issued the following letter:

March 21, 2012

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Last week, President Barack Obama took the unusual step of commenting on a state ballot initiative. His stated opposition to the referendum on the marriage amendment in North Carolina is a grave disappointment, as it is reported to be the first time that the President has entered into this issue on the state level, further escalating the increasing confusion on the part of some in our society to the very nature of marriage itself.

As Catholics, we are FOR marriage, as we believe it is a vocation in which God calls couples to faithfully and permanently embrace a fruitful union in a mutual self-giving bond of love, according to His purposes.  It is not only the union itself that is essential to these purposes, but also the life to which spouses are called to be open, the gift of children.  Children have the right to the indispensable place of fatherhood and motherhood in their lives as they grow, are loved, nurtured and formed by those whose unique vocation it is to be a father and a mother through the bond of one man and one woman in marriage.  As our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI,  has stated, children have the fundamental right to grow up with the understanding of the proper place of sexuality in human relationships.  He recently emphasized that “Children are the greatest treasure and the future of every society: truly caring for them means recognizing our responsibility to teach, defend and live the moral virtues which are the key to human fulfillment.”

In his comments on the upcoming referendum in our State, the President regrettably characterized the marriage amendment as a matter of discrimination.  While we are respectful of the Office of the President, we strongly disagree with this assessment.  As Cardinal Timothy Dolan, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, recently stated, “The Catholic Church recognizes the immeasurable personal dignity and equal worth of all individuals, including those with same-sex attraction, and we reject all hatred and unjust treatment against any person.  Our profound regard for marriage, as the complementary and fruitful union of a man and a woman does not negate our concern for the well-being of all people, but reinforces it.  While all persons merit our full respect, no other relationships provide for the common good what marriage between husband and wife provides.”

Join us in our support FOR the sacred vocation of marriage and what it means for us and for the future of our great State.  We urge you to visit our Catholic Voice NC website for more information and to vote FOR the referendum on May 8th.

Sincerely in Christ,


The Most Reverend  Michael F. Burbidge
Bishop of Raleigh


The Most Reverend Peter J. Jugis
Bishop of Charlotte

Check it out.

To follow the post below, here’s an interview I did with Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi of the Anglican Church of Uganda in May 2007 for Anglican TV.

One way to figure out which side of an issue you should be on is to see who else is on that side. I learned this when living in California, the land of the ever-expanding propositional ballot. Those measures were often written to purposely confuse and confound the voter, so I would always check to see who wrote the proposition and who was for and against it.

So, let’s take a look at Pres. Obama’s so-called “compromise” on the HHS mandated “free” contraception coverage. Does this regulatory language presented to us on February 10 actually do what the White House said it would: remove the obligation from churches and religious institutions to provide and pay for birth control coverage, including contraception and abortifacients?

On the “for” side (Obama has given us something we can live with/something we like/we’re happy, very, very happy), we have:

  • NARAL (National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, at least until 2003, when they chose to stop spelling out the acronym–gee, I wonder why? Just what you want, an organization that tries to hide what it is)
  • Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United States
  • RCRC (Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, a group that uses religion as a fig leaf to cover up their abortion agenda and even presents as one of their ethical justifications the idea that abortion can be considered a self-defense measure)
  • CHA (Catholic Health Association, the useful idiots of the abortion coalition)
  • Liberal columnists like E.J. Dionne and Jon Meachem (and as a mark as to how low Time Magazine has fallen, the last time I checked, Meachem’s article had only seven comments)

On the “against” side (Obama continues to violate the First Amendment/this “compromise” was no compromise/this is insulting), we have:

Okay, time to pick your side; I know mine.

A look at how the news media is framing the health care contraceptive debate, from J.E. Dyer at HotAir:

On retrieving my paper copy of the Wall Street Journal this morning, I saw the discouraging headline: Obama Retreats on Contraception

My first thought was, “Surely the Journal knows better than this. Why would they headline this story as if Obama had, in fact, backed off on the mandate? What are they, USA Today?”

The headline doesn’t reflect reality.

…Obama has merely shifted the basis for the mandate.  The insurance companies – I use that term loosely – will be required to provide “free” contraception services to the insured who work for Catholic employers.  This means that the premiums paid by Catholic employers will fund contraception services.  And the overall mandate to purchase the insurance will continue.

If the federal government can step in and arbitrarily require a company to provide things for “free” that were previously elective, premium-based services, then it is no longer an insurance company.  We are not buying insurance from it; we are simply participating in a mandatory government program whose features can be changed at any time, regardless of what we or the “insurers” want.  There is no contract.  There are only the one-sided decisions of bureaucrats and future presidents.

This Obama move is the opposite of a retreat.  It’s a decision to reveal the future to us, and to insist on remaining on course for it….

The president’s people say he has changed his mind on the contraception mandate; in the shallowest of political terms, that can be seen as a “retreat”; and no care is taken to frame the overriding reality that Catholic employers will be required to pay for “insurance” programs that distribute contraception to their employees.

That is not a change of heart, it’s a significant broadening of the state’s control, undertaken at the drop of a hat – and we have a huge mainstream media apparatus that simply does not frame what’s going on in realistic terms.  The clear implications of the Obama decision were widely discussed across the conservative blogosphere yesterday, and even on some MSM opinion pages.  But in their news reporting, the MSM characterized what had happened – falsely – as a retreat by the president.

Are they idiots?  Are they all “in the tank” for Obama?  It may feel good to excoriate them in these terms, but I see it differently in the case of at least some of the MSM….

Read it all.

Because no one is like the Manolo:

The Empress Ming the Merciless prepares to give birth to the new age of despotism!

Indeed, the Manolo is only half joking, for as the more he watched the Madonna-tacular show of the halftime, the more he was struck by the unshakeable impression that this was the sort of Nuremberg Rally for the new age of crass narcissism aborning.

Beginning with its imperial fanfare and militaristic pomp, progressing through the forced adoration of the Glorious Leader (L-U-V Madonna! L-U-V Madonna!), and culminating in her apotheosis as the goddess and chief priestess of her own cult of personality, Madonna was urging on us nothing less than her hegemonistic vision of the Madonna-based future….

Check it out, and add Manolo to whatever blogroll you have.

Okay, when I first saw the name in passing, I thought it said “Washington Free Bacon” – is there nothing bacon can’t do? Check it out anyway.

From Matthew Continetti, editor in chief:

What would happen, though, if a website covered the left in the same way that the left covers the right? What picture of the world would one have in mind if the morning paper read like the New York Times—but with the subjects of the stories and the assumptions built into the text changed to reflect a conservative, not liberal, worldview? What would happen if the media wolf pack suddenly had to worry about an aerial hunting operation?

You are about to find out. The Washington Free Beacon is here to enter the arena of combat journalism. Our talented staff will add to the chorus of enterprising conservative reporters, publishing original stories, seeking out scoops, and focusing on the myriad connections between money and power in the progressive movement and Obama’s Washington. Our research and war room divisions will supplement that reporting with context, additional materials, and breaking video. At the Beacon, you will find the other half of the story, the half that the elite media have taken such pains to ignore: the inside deals, cronyism cloaked in the public interest, and far-out nostrums of contemporary progressivism and the Democratic Party. At the Beacon, all friends of freedom will find an alternative to the hackneyed spin, routine misstatements, paranoid hyperbole, and insipid folderol of Democratic officials and the liberal gasbags on MSNBC and talk radio. At the Beacon, we follow only one commandment: Do unto them.

Okay, this has gotten incredibly confusing–full of conflicting stories and vague press releases, so at this point, for me, I’m requesting a refund of the donation I sent the Susan G. Komen Foundation and will wait this out.

Here are some links–see if you can make sense of it all:

CatholicVote.org may be right in that this is not a complete reversal of their decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood by Susan G. Komen. All I know is that the MSM is sure reporting it as if it were–celebrations galore that PP is getting more Komen money. This will teach me to contribute to an organization before I really know what they’re doing.

On You Tube (thanks, Daily Caller), Milton Friedman discusses how the “magic of the price system” comes together to produce items as simple, and as complex, as an ordinary pencil:

This was first written about in 1958 by Leonard Read in his essay, I, Pencil: My Family Tree as told to Leonard E. Read:

…My family tree begins with what in fact is a tree, a cedar of straight grain that grows in Northern California and Oregon. Now contemplate all the saws and trucks and rope and the countless other gear used in harvesting and carting the cedar logs to the railroad siding. Think of all the persons and the numberless skills that went into their fabrication: the mining of ore, the making of steel and its refinement into saws, axes, motors; the growing of hemp and bringing it through all the stages to heavy and strong rope; the logging camps with their beds and mess halls, the cookery and the raising of all the foods. Why, untold thousands of persons had a hand in every cup of coffee the loggers drink!…

There is a fact still more astounding: the absence of a master mind, of anyone dictating or forcibly directing these countless actions which bring me into being. No trace of such a person can be found. Instead, we find the Invisible Hand at work. This is the mystery to which I earlier referred….

I, Pencil, am a complex combination of miracles: a tree, zinc, copper, graphite, and so on. But to these miracles which manifest themselves in Nature an even more extraordinary miracle has been added: the configuration of creative human energies—millions of tiny know-hows configurating naturally and spontaneously in response to human necessity and desire and in the absence of any human master-minding!

The above is what I meant when writing, “If you can become aware of the miraculousness which I symbolize, you can help save the freedom mankind is so unhappily losing.” For, if one is aware that these know-hows will naturally, yes, automatically, arrange themselves into creative and productive patterns in response to human necessity and demand—that is, in the absence of governmental or any other coercive masterminding—then one will possess an absolutely essential ingredient for freedom: a faith in free people. Freedom is impossible without this faith….

Read emphasizes the necessity of faith in the freedom of man to create what is needed and desired without the overarching regulation and mandates of a central government while Friedman emphasizes the pull and push of the marketplace, riffing off of Read’s essay.

But then again, Friedman did write the introduction to Read’s book:

…I know of no other piece of literature that so succinctly, persuasively, and effectively illustrates the meaning of both Adam Smith’s invisible hand—the possibility of cooperation without coercion—and Friedrich Hayek’s emphasis on the importance of dispersed knowledge and the role of the price system in communicating information that “will make the individuals do the desirable things without anyone having to tell them what to do.”…

Whatever the pressure, [Read] stuck to his guns, refusing to compromise his principles. That was why he was so effective in keeping alive, in the early days, and then spreading the basic idea that human freedom required private property, free competition, and severely limited government.

Interesting…

Of course, this week there are the obligatory Steve Jobs links:

1. Macbook Memorial

A lot of love has been shown for the Apple CEO, but MintDigital’s portrait of Steve Jobs made from the parts of a Macbook Pro really stands out for its clever concept and beautiful execution.

and

3. Steve Jobs Patents

If you can measure a man by his patents, the NY Times has a nice interactive piece covering many of the 317 held by the late Steve Jobs. They range from iPod design to Apple store layouts, offering an interesting glimpse inside the mind of highly touted tech genius.

But my favorite is this:

7. Toilet Bike

Only in Japan could you find a gem like this. The three-wheeled Toilet Bike Neo is powered by “100% biogas”, which we can only imagine to mean just what you’re thinking. This weekend will start its trek across Japan from Kyushu to Tokyo.

Hey, if it’s a Toto, you know it’s good.

Check them all out.

From the Daily Caller:

…When a reporter followed up and asked the Attorney General if he knew about the “controversial tactics” employed in Fast and Furious, Holder refused to answer and walked off the stage….

Top Justice Department officials have continually refused to answer questions [on the ATF Fast and Furious program] from press or from Congress except in extreme circumstances. Also, the DOJ’s story — and Holder’s — has changed multiple times throughout the course of the months-long investigation….

Check it out.