Archive for September, 2010


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Thursday, September 30th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 14 Comments

As Jim Rome says, “I take a lot of vacation because I get a lot of vacation.”

The fundraiser — $30,400 per person — was at the home of Linda Douglass, the former CBS and ABC News reporter who joined the Obama White House to sell national health care to a skeptical public. Douglass is now a top executive at Atlantic Media, the Washington-based company that runs The Atlantic, National Journal, and other publications. Douglass’ husband, John Phillips, is a wealthy lawyer, and according to a White House pool report, he introduced Obama tonight by saying, “I can remember walking down those snowy streets of Des Moines in the primary…We sleep much better knowing that you are our president at this difficult time.”

According to the pool report, Obama thanked Phillips for the work he and his wife have done for Team Obama. Then the president mentioned that Phillips and Douglass have an opulent place in Italy and wondered why there had been no invitation to visit. “I’d appreciate a little break and some Tuscan sun,” the president said, according to the pool report. “Some pasta. I can use it.”

The President and First Lady might as well jump on Air Force One.  The Congress just adjourned so it’s not like anything’s happening here.  And besides, who would turn down a Tuscan vacation?  Great scenery, great food, bottles of Brunello every night.

It’s not like there would be any political price to pay for jetting off to Italy in the middle of a recession.  And Obama hasn’t had a break since, what, August?  Besides, the President sounds like he could really use some time off.

Here are some things Barack Obama said this evening to Democratic donors:

“Now’s not the time to quit…it took time to free the slaves…ultimately we’ll make progress.”

“I need you to be fired up.”

“There better not be an enthusiasm gap, people.”

So I say go for it.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Thursday, September 30th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Here’s something new.  Before it’s taken down, click here to read what is probably the first-ever book review death threat.  Then there’s this:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad plans to throw a rock at Israel to demonstrate his hatred on his planned trip to Lebanon, London-based paper Al-Quds al Arabi reported on Tuesday.

Ahmadinejad plans to meet with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, as well as other Lebanese officials, on October 13. During the two-day visit, the Iranian president will participate in events near the Israeli border.

One event is the inauguration of a garden in southern Lebanon, during which Ahmadinejad plans to throw the rock, Al-Quds reported.

Sources indicate that while he’s in the region, the Iranian chimpanzee also plans to:

(1) Egg Israel’s house.
(2) TP Israel’s front yard.
(3) Call Israel on the telephone and ask if its refrigerator is running.
(4) Sign Israel up for, like, 60 different magazine subscriptions.
(5) On the walls of as many Lebanese public toilets as he can get to, write “For really great sex any way you want it, call…” and then add Israel’s phone number.
(6) Call an Israeli bowling alley, ask the manager if his place has 16-pound balls and if he says yes, shout, “How the hell do you walk, man?!” and slam down the phone.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry reports that Israel doesn’t plan on a major response to the little vetriloquist dummy’s activities in the region.  A “You Must Be This Tall To Throw Rocks At Israel” sign has already been erected on the Israel side of the border and Farsi-speaking Israeli soldiers will repeatedly shout things like, “How’s the weather all the way down there?!!” and “Saw your lips move, Akbar!!” the entire time.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Thursday, September 30th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Jake Tapper and his colleagues amuse themselves with a little Robert Gibbs-baiting:

MR. GIBBS: This wasn’t — Chuck, when you guys are on your show debating tax cuts, you didn’t preclude — you didn’t not have that debate because there wasn’t a bill in Congress. Let’s not, like, get wrung around the pole on bill introduction semantics.

Q But the point is there certainly have been — there has been legislation in the past that the President firmly believed in and he pushed the House to vote on it even though he didn’t know whether he would be able to get the votes in the Senate. You go one step at a time. If you believe in it that strongly, you tell the House, let’s push this through. Let’s vote on this –

MR. GIBBS: Chip, Chip, there wasn’t –

Q — let’s get on the record. Why not get on the record?

MR. GIBBS: There was — we can’t — Chip, look at the statements from the Senate Republicans. This wasn’t going anywhere. They had decided to stop middle-class tax cuts.

Q Neither was cap and trade, but you pushed for the House to get on the record on it.

Q So all they need to do is issue a press release and you guys will back off any fight?

MR. GIBBS: I don’t understand your question.

Q All they have to do is say the Republican caucus is not going to support this and Democrats will just say, oh, okay, well, then we’re not even going to try?

MR. GIBBS: No, again, Jake, you’re making the existence of one piece of legislation the beginning or the end of this entire fight. I think that’s kind of a silly concept.

Video at the link above.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Thursday, September 30th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 19 Comments

Sixty-three.  Ten to serve on the Lighting Needs Assessment Committee.

Lambeth Palace will play host to a conference on bats and buildings in November that will look at ways of accommodating churchgoers and the winged mammals roosting in Britain’s churches, the Second Church Estates Commissioner told Parliament last week.

Fifteen to serve on the Lighting Alternatives Committee

On Sept 14 the member for Mid Norfolk, Mr. George Freeman (Cons.) asked the Church Estates Commissioner Mr. Tony Baldry what costs had been incurred by churches “with conditions attached to planning permissions in respect of bats,” and the numbers and costs of damages caused by bat infestations in Norfolk churches.

Ten to serve on the Lighting Environmental Impact Committee

Mr. Baldry stated the Church Commissioners possessed no figures on the total costs “to parishes in Norfolk of getting the necessary bat surveys done before work on the fabric of church buildings can be started, nor of the total cost borne by parishes in mitigating the damage caused by bats in Norfolk churches.”

Twelve to serve on the Lighting Cost/Benefit Analysis Committee.

However, the average costs to conduct an ecological survey ranged from £1,000 and £2,000, he said.  The cost of cleaning was also high, he said giving the example of St Andrew’s Church in Holme Hale, Norfolk, “one of the worst effected in the country,” which last year “paid £2,600 in cleaning costs to clear up after its resident bats.”

Ten to collate committee reports and send them around for feedback.

The Church Buildings Council was working closely with Natural England and DEFRA “to try and find ways of mitigating the burden to churches within the law, and is currently conducting a pilot project in Norfolk to explore ways of encouraging the bats to find alternative accommodation by for example the use of bat boxes outside on the eaves.”

One person to purchase the recommended light bulb, climb the ladder and hold the bulb in its proper position.

“Norfolk has the highest number of medieval churches in Europe,” Mr. Baldry said, and “in many instances bats and congregations can co-exist quite happily. The problems and costs escalate where the bats occupy churches in large numbers,” the second church estates commissioner observed.

And five to turn the ladder.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Thursday, September 30th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, Newsweek’s gotta put Sarah Palin on its cover.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 18 Comments

One-state solution

A disturbing new theme seems to be developing among western leftist Christians, particularly Anglicans, regarding Israel.  The demonization of the Jewish state. 

First up, crazy old Uncle Desmond thinks it would be a dandy idea for the University of Johannesberg to cut ties with Israel’s Ben-Gurion University:

I never tire of speaking about the very deep distress in my visits to the Holy Land; they remind me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa. I have seen the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like we did when young white police officers prevented us from moving about. My heart aches. I say, “Why are our memories so short?” Have our Jewish sisters and brothers forgotten their own previous humiliation? Have they forgotten the collective punishment, the home demolitions, in their own history so soon?

Have they turned their backs on their profound and noble religious traditions? Have they forgotten that God cares deeply about all the downtrodden?

Good move, Des.  Explain other people’s religions to them.  Then Toots really steps in it.

Together with the peace-loving peoples of this Earth, I condemn any form of violence

I notice you didn’t say “against Israel,” there, Des.  There’s nothing in any of this childish petulance about “Israel’s right to exist within secure borders” either.  So is some violence better than other violence?  Apparently so. 

but surely we must recognise that people caged in, starved and stripped of their essential material and political rights must resist their Pharaoh?

Another great analogy in this particular situation.  Good Lord, Des, why not just save time and go straight to a Nazi blast?

Surely resistance also makes us human? Palestinians have chosen, like we did, the nonviolent tools of boycott, divestment and sanctions.

That is, when they’re not indiscriminately lobbing rockets from Gaza into Israel.  Oh, and, don’t think for a minute that we’re insulting Israel with this move because we’re not, says Des.  No, no, no, no.

All we’re doing is saying that until Israel works out a “peace” deal with people who want kill every Jew they can and wipe Israel off the map and comes to terms with the fact that Jewish deaths really don’t bother us at all, we’re going to treat Israel as a pariah.

The University of Johannesburg has a chance to do the right thing, at a time when it is unsexy. I have time and time again said that we do not want to hurt the Jewish people gratuitously and, despite our deep responsibility to honour the memory of the Holocaust and to ensure it never happens again (to anyone), this must not allow us to turn a blind eye to the suffering of Palestinians today.

Next we have the Most Rev. Dr. Barry Morgan, Anglican Primate of Wales, who runs some more apartheid smack.

Nearer home, the situation in Israel/Palestine is also appalling and the UK bears a historical responsibility for that particular region as it does for Zimbabwe.  Now I realise, that whenever I say anything about this matter, I will be accused of being anti-Semitic,

Which you are.

but our own Prime Minister has described Gaza as a prison camp. 

Then your own Prime Minister is a blithering idiot.  He might be anti-Semitic as well but let’s just stick with what we know for the time being.

Gaza is the second most densely populated area in the world with 1.2 million people living on a strip of land between the desert and the sea measuring 280 square kilometres.  Two-thirds of these people live in abject poverty, in refugee camps, after the confiscation of their homes and land by the Israeli Government. 

Not sure where Barry’s hallucinating that since Hamas allegedly runs the place.

The situation is worse now than when I visited in 2001, when there were people living in terraced zinc shacks, without electricity or water and with open sewers running down the streets.  Gaza City itself was like a bombsite.  The situation resembles the apartheid system in South Africa

Annnnnnnnnnd here we go.

because Gaza is next to one of the most sophisticated and modern countries in the world – Israel.  Whereas Israel has excellent technology and infrastructure, in Gaza people carry goods by horse and cart.  Whereas Israel has an educational system second to none, next to it children live who are denied even a basic education because their schools have been bombed.

That sort of thing tends to happen when you elect as your leaders a genocidal political party that’s fond of lobbing rockets into that sophisticated next-door neighbor of yours.  But tell me something, Archescob.

To a certain degree, Gaza is a sovereign entity.  Sovereign enough to elect Hamas to lead it anyway.  Why is it Israel’s responsibility to build roads and schools for a political party that wants to wipe it off the map? 

Click on that seal at the top of the page.  Know what that thing is on the top of it?  That is what Hamas believes to constitute “Palestine.”  Not part of what is now Israel.

ALL of Israel.

Some have claimed that Gaza is well stocked in every commodity, and has just opened a new shopping mall. 

Which it has.

In actual fact that shopping mall is the size of a small Tesco’s and has stalls like Cardiff Market.

I don’t know what a Tesco’s is.  But here are a couple of pictures of that mall so I’m just going to come right out and call Barry a liar.  Which makes the rest of the “facts” he cites highly questionable.

According to Oxfam, which sends a report on the situation in Gaza based on what it calls ‘reliable international sources’,

Which it apparently won’t identify.

only 32% of the industrial fuel needed in one week in August 2010 for Gaza’s power plant was allowed into Gaza.  The result was that the power plant shut down completely for two days after exhausting its reserves of fuel, triggering power cuts of 16 hours per day – affecting water supply, sewage treatment and removal, and the functioning of health services. 30% of households in Gaza have access to running water for only 4 to 8 hours per week; 40% receive water once every four days, and the other 30% obtain it once every two days.  Half of the normal level of need of cooking gas entered Gaza in August; no diesel or petrol has been delivered for weeks – hence diesel and petrol being taken through the tunnels at the risk of attack by the Israelis.

Since the Gazans have been known to smuggle weapons through those tunnels.

Imports are limited, raw materials severely restricted, no building materials are allowed into Gaza, exports from Gaza are banned entirely.

Care to cite your sources, Barry?  Anybody can make numbers up.  I’m a Missourian, Barry, so until I know who came up with those figures and how they were arrived at, there’s no reason in the world for me or anybody else to take them seriously.  But let’s get the usual boilerplate in.

Now, no-one denies that Israel has the right to exist and defend itself, and it is indeed surrounded by states that want its destruction, and one cannot condone the firing of rockets into Israel by Hamas.

Now that that little chore is out of the way, why the bloody hell doesn’t Israel make it easy on all concerned and just go away?

But the longer things continue as they are then moderate, ordinary Palestinians become more resentful and are in danger of being radicalised.

Since everyone knows that this whole situation began when a war-like and expansionist Israel invaded the territory of its peace-loving “Palestinian” neighbor.

In December 2009, a group of leading Palestinian Church leaders issued what some regard as the most significant theological statement on the Israel/Palestine conflict in many years.  It was eighteen months in the making and was written for two groups – firstly for Palestinian Christian communities, all of which have adopted it without exception and, secondly, for the international Christian community.  It is known as the Kairos document.  The Methodist Church, this year also produced a report and discussed it at its conference called ‘Justice and Peace for Palestine’.  Both of those reports say that the key hindrance to security and a lasting peace for all in the region is the occupation of Palestinian territory by the State of Israel.  Israel militarily occupied the West Bank, east Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights in 1967 and, after forty three years, it remains the occupying power and thus responsible under International law, for the welfare of Palestinian inhabitants of these territories.

Oh sweet mother of…I was only making a joke just above there but Barry Morgan seriously believes that this whole situation ONLY BEGAN IN 1967!!  That absolute nothing happened before that.  Nothing at all. 

Those three attempts made by Israel’s Arab neighbors to wipe Israel off the map?  Urban legends.  Never happened.  Like Des, yr Archescob then proceeds to explain the Jewish religion to Jews.

On this understanding, the modern State of Israel, if it claims also to be the homeland for the Ancient Jewish people of God, must take seriously this vocation as the paradigm nation where justice and wisdom are seen to be done.

Which, in the mind of Barry Morgan, not only involves but demands that its people commit collective suicide so that the rest of the world won’t have to concern itself with this situation anymore.  For example, the fact that Israel built a wall to protect itself and its people from suicide bombers and other Muslims eager to kill every Jew that they possibly can is apparently a bad thing.

The wall that has been built covering a distance of 702 kilometres, four times as long and twice as high as the Berlin wall consists of fences, ditches, razor-wire, grooves and paths, an electronic monitoring system, patrol roads and a buffer zone, not only separates Israelis from Palestinians but Palestinians from family members and friends. 

And Israelis from radical Muslims with Semtex outerwear.

In July 2004, the International Court of Justice declared the separation barrier illegal, and called on Israel to cease construction to dismantle constructed areas and provide reparation to those materially damaged by the construction.

I suppose one could make the case, yr Archescob, that since the barrier was not illegal when it was begun, any “court ruling” against its legality would constitute an ex post facto law, under American jurisprudence anyway.  In any event, all this “court ruling” effectively states is that under “international law.” it is now “illegal” for Jews to protect themselves.  Want to run with that one, Archescob?

This should be perfectly obvious to anyone who has, allegedly, been to a university worth a damn but I guess I’m going to have to go through it once again.  You’re a friend of mine who’s addicted to crystal meth.  Your teeth have started to fall out, your skin has turned to shoe leather and you’re not all that far from losing your marbles completely.

You obviously can’t keep a job.  Since all your money goes into your habit, you can’t pay the bills or the rent and you’ve been kicked out on the street.  You’ve sold everything valuable that you own to feed your habit so you’ve been in and out of jail a few times.  One day we meet each other and you demand that I help you.

You could ask me for many things.  That I find you another job.  That I pay your rent until you “get back on your feet.”  That I come up with your bail next time you get arrested.  But if you ask for my help, I’m going to tell you to do one thing before I do anything else for you.

Get off crystal meth.  Unless you do that first, I can’t help you at all.

Court orders are not issued against physically-abused wives demanding that they stop their husbands from abusing them.  So expecting Israel to somehow make Gaza into a viable state when Gaza is ruled by a genocidal movement that loves the idea of killing Jews makes no sense.

Unless it really doesn’t matter whether Jews die or not.

Does any of this really matter?  Short-term, probably not.  There is more than enough support for Israel in this country to overcome any policy change the government comes up with.

But if Washington decides that it doesn’t give a damn what the American people think, then doddering old anti-Semites like Tutu and Morgan or their successors will be perfectly positioned to provide more than enough “spiritual” cover for State to take any position it wants.  And that ought to gravely concern any friend of Israel.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Because Florida Democratic Congresscrapweasel Alan Grayson is currently taking one in le secteur génital:

In one of the most closely watched U.S. House races in the nation, Republican Daniel Webster now holds a 7-point lead over Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson in Central Florida’s 8th Congressional District, according to a new Sunshine State News Poll.

Webster, a former state senator, leads the freshman congressman 43-36 in the survey of 559 likely voters conducted Sept. 25-27. TEA (“Taxed Enough Already”) Party candidate Peg Dunmire drew 6 percent and NPA hopeful George Metcalfe garnered 3 percent, while 9 percent remained undecided (2 percent cited “other” and 1 percent refused to state).

Digging deeper, the numbers look even worse for Grayson as 51 percent of respondents said they had an unfavorable view of the Orlando-area congressman.

“Grayson has real problems here,” said Jim Lee, president of Voter Survey Service, which conducted the poll for Sunshine State News.

“He’s even more unpopular than the president, which is not surprising given how controversial he has been with his rhetoric, overall style and TV ads.”

Lee added, “It’s fascinating that both Grayson and the president have virtually the same image (a positive/negative ratio of 34/51), but Grayson is actually disliked more by independents (36/47 favorable/unfavorable) while Obama is only 36/37.”

Oh and Al?  That Taliban ad of yours didn’t work, fat boy.

Female voters are anything but ambivalent about Grayson — “They really loathe him,” Lee reported. With Grayson’s 33/53 favorable/unfavorable rating among women, Webster’s lead among females is much stronger (45/33 over Grayson) compared to a statistical tie (41/40 Webster) among males. 

“This is important, because we usually see a gender gap in polling where females tend to vote more Democrat than males, but it’s the reverse in this poll,” Lee said.

But I’m sure that once you lose, MSNBC will be glad to take you on so no harm, no foul.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Tuesday, September 28th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 11 Comments

This is not helping, Trumpy:

To a reported audience of about 400, [AFL-CIO President Richard] Trumka warned supporters about Fox News and the tea party “extremists” delivering what he called a “a cynical, deeply dishonest and incoherent message—that big government is somehow to blame for the current crisis that the budget deficit will eat our children, and that illegal immigrants took all the good jobs.”

In response, Trumka stressed that the left needs to offer the public an alternative to “the failed agenda of greed and the voices of hate and division and violence.”

Building for the future, he said, “we need to fundamentally restructure our economy and re-establish popular control over the private corporations which have distorted our economy and hijacked our government. That’s a long-term job, but one we should start now.”

Well, not helping your side anyway.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Tuesday, September 28th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Do the Democrats know what is coming?

House and Senate Democrats are increasingly competing against one another over a small universe of deep-pocketed donors who could make a financial difference in the final stretch before the midterm elections.

In some cases, donors report that they are being urged to fund Senate campaigns at the expense of the House, where Democrats are in danger of losing their majority.

One House Democratic fundraiser said that some Senate operatives are telling big donors and union officials, “The House is lost; you have to save the Senate.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Tuesday, September 28th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

You have to be a REALLY impressive liar when even MSNBC won’t buy what you’re selling.  Put your hands together for Florida’s Alan Grayson, straight-up leftist crapweasel.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Tuesday, September 28th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 16 Comments

Daniel Stoddart directs the Editorial attention to Kentucky which just got itself a new Episcopal bishop:

Episcopalians transformed a Galt House ballroom into a sanctuary with icons, banners and majestic sacred music Saturday for the consecration of Bishop Terry Allen White as the new leader of the Diocese of Kentucky.

Episcopalianism is thriving in the Bluegrass State.

White assumes leadership in a small but historic diocese with 9,856 members and 34 congregations in central and western Kentucky, including Louisville. His election by a diocesan convention in June was later ratified by the national church.

That averages 290 members per parish but a membership of 290 would constitute a large Episcopal church in Kentucky.  A quick glance at several parishes reveals quite a few that don’t claim even 100 members and record Average Sunday Attendances of about half that.  Here are the diocesan numbers.

How does Bishop White plan on turning this situation around?  For some reason, White thinks that the Young PeopleTM actually don’t know that the Episcopal Organization wuvs teh gheys DIS MUCH so he means to get the word out.

White said he plans to convene a meeting of clergy and lay leaders to talk about ways to spread word of the church more widely.

He cited a recent survey by the Barna Group, which conducts research on religion, that found many teens and young adults think of Christians as being anti-gay and judgmental.

“That is not the ethos of this church,” White said, adding he hopes the church can be “more effective in proclaiming to those beyond our doors that we are about celebrating God’s love for all people.”

White said he supports the ordination of gays and lesbians at all levels of church ministry.

Yeah, that should do it.  Hell, it’s worked out well every place else it’s been tried.  Ever since Robbie got his pointy hat, the Episcopalians have had to beat ’em off their backs with very large sticks.

What’s that definition of insanity again?  You know the one I mean.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Monday, September 27th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 20 Comments

Rowan Williams disappoints Damian Thompson again:

Dr Rowan Williams has given a disastrous interview to the [Times] today that leads his interviewer, Ginny Dougary, to describe his position on homosexuality as “both confusing and rather revolting”. Well, she’s certainly right on the first count. Here’s my paraphrase of the Archbishop’s current position:

You used to think homosexual sex wasn’t sinful.  Do you still think that?

“That’s what I wrote as a theologian, you know, putting forward a suggestion. That’s not the job I have now,” [Williams] tells Dougary.

So homosexual bishops are right out?  Not necessarily.

Actually, gay bishops are OK, as long as they don’t have sex. (The same prohibition doesn’t apply to lay people, for reasons lost in the mist of time.)

What was the deal with Jeffrey John then?  Dude claims he’s celibate.  Why did he get turned down for bishop twice?

Here +Rowan really squirms, saying he “let down” John by blocking him as Bishop of Reading. But we don’t discover why, this year, the still-celibate Dean John unexpectedly disappeared from the candidates’ list for Southwark.

Will homosexual bishops one day be able to have homosexual sex with their homosexual partners so to homosexually speak?


According to Thompson, Dr. Williams really did answer that question that way. 

The only thing that surprises me about this interview is that anybody at all is surprised by it.  At this stage, expecting intellectual and theological consistency from any Anglican, least of all from Dr. Williams, would be kind of like me meeting and marrying Christie Brinkley.  Theoretically possible but not bloody likely.

Besides, anybody who’s followed the Anglican controversy for any length of time knows that my gracious lord of Canterbury has been all over the lot, now warning of dire consequences that are just around the corner for the Americans if they don’t stop pissing on the Anglican tradition, now inviting the Americans to a Lambeth Conference specifically designed and implemented to not solve Anglican problems.

So most of us gave up expecting Dr. Williams to decide on a story and stick to it a long time ago.  Given the current state of Anglican affairs, tacking to port or starboard when the occasion calls for it is about all he can do to keep both the Anglican Communion and the Church of England, for that matter, in one piece.  At least until he can retire and watch Anglican Christianity finally fly apart on somebody else’s watch.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Monday, September 27th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 47 Comments

Because here’s another REALLY stupid story on the continuing effort to Episcopalianize the Roman Catholic Church:

Alta Jacko is the mother of eight children. She is also an ordained priest in the Roman Catholic Church.
No she isn’t.
Officially, of course, the Catholic Church’s Canon Law 1024 says that only baptized men can receive holy orders. But there is a movement against the no-women rule; it began eight years ago when a cluster of renegade male clerics (including a European bishop whose identity the female priests won’t reveal in order not to risk his excommunication) ordained the first women. Now, in Jacko’s hometown of Chicago, three women have entered the priesthood.
No they haven’t.
Like many other priests, Jacko trained in various parishes before becoming ordained.

Remember when people actually had to know a little something when they wrote about stuff?  Those were the days.
“We are disobeying an unjust law,” says Barbara Zeman, 62, Chicago’s first ordained Catholic female priest,
The WOW movement was showcased in the recently released documentary Pink Smoke over the Vatican, which aired Sept. 18 at Chicago’s Irish American Heritage Center before an audience of hundreds of Catholics, both ordained and lay. The filmmaker, Jules Hart, said she had originally turned down the opportunity to do the documentary — “I’m not even Catholic,” she says — but reconsidered after hearing the ordeals of several female Catholic priests, including Jacko.

Are you deliberately trying to piss me off?

A pastoral associate on the north side of Chicago, who also asked for his name to be withheld, has had a hand in elevating two of Chicago’s three female priests.
No he didn’t since there aren’t any of those things.
The day after Jacko was ordained — on Oct. 10, 2009, at the Ebenezer Lutheran Church, by the female Catholic bishop Joan Houk
That’s it.  I give up.  I’m done here.  A person can only take so much.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Sunday, September 26th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 19 Comments

Doing good when no one is looking:

Arshed Masih died last night in hospital from the serious injuries – burns covering 80% of his body – which the 38 year old Pakistani Christian suffered when he was set on fire because he refused to convert to Islam. The funeral of man, who died after three days of agony, should take place in the late afternoon, but the family has asked that “before an autopsy is performed.” The Christian community of Pakistan condemns “with firmness” the latest episode of violence and denounces the “slowness” of the federal and provincial government to punish those responsible. 

On March 19 a group of Islamic extremists burned alive Arshed Masih, a driver employed by a wealthy Muslim businessman in Rawalpindi. His wife worked as a maid in the same estate, situated in front of a police station. Recently disagreements had arisen between the employer, Sheikh Mohammad Sultan, and the couple because of their Christian faith. The couple had suffered threats and intimidation to force them to convert to Islam.  

Arshed Masih died last night at 7.45 local time after three days of agony and suffering at the Holy Family Hospital in Rawalpindi, Punjab province. His wife Martha Arshed was raped by police when she sought to denounce the violence inflicted on her husband. The couple’s three children – ages 7 to 12 years – were forced “to witness the torture inflicted on their parents.”

Muslims?  There’s a reason why so many of us here in the West don’t trust you.  We hear or read your regular pronouncements in Western publications about how peace-loving Islam is and that’s fine.  From your mouths to God’s ear.

The problem, of course,  is not what you teach in the West, where you have no influence over anything at all, but what you teach and the sorts of people your religion cranks out in those countries where you have complete and unfettered control.

Are we Christians perfect?  Of course not.  Catholics in majority-Protestant countries and Protestants in majority-Catholic countries have suffered far more than Christians should have ever suffered at the hands of people who allegedly shared the same faith they did.

But here’s the difference.  We acknowledged, repented of and abandoned our error.  You Muslims, on the other hand, continue to hold on to yours like it was made out of gold.

UPDATE: Remember that guy in Florida who wanted to burn Korans?  What an idiot that guy was.  Muslims?  Jesus said that you will know them by their fruits.  Your religion will get respect when it starts producing better people.  Not before.


Posted by Christopher Johnson | Sunday, September 26th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 48 Comments

Legendary MCJ commenter, MCJ Oregon bureau chief and off-the-charts great fictional bartender Kathleen Lundquist directs the Editorial attention to her home town where it seems that a group of Portland Cathlipalians are all cranky:

In August, Jennifer Sleeman, 81, urged Catholic women to boycott this Sunday’s Mass in protest of their treatment by the church. Half a world a way, a handful of Portland women responded.

“We had been talking amongst ourselves about how to be a woman and be a Catholic, dealing with that angst,” says Sarah Granger,  34,  who is active in St. Andrew Parish in Northeast Portland. “Her call struck a chord with us. We needed to do something, to say, ‘We’ve had enough.'” But she and other women from St. Andrew’s envisioned a “prayerful, positive public witness,” not a protest or a boycott.

Sleeman — who is from Ireland and the mother of a monk — said at the time that her call was inspired by a Vatican statement in July that seemed to equate the ordination of women with pedophilia. “One Spirit — One Call” will unfold at 9:30 a.m.  Sunday  in the South Park Blocks in downtown Portland. The 90-minute  program calls for prayers, a gospel reflection, and a litany of women saints. Organizers say they hope participants will attend Mass on Saturday night or stay downtown for a special noon Mass at the Downtown Chapel.

“This is not a boycott of the Eucharist,” Granger says. “It’s an opportunity for women to tell their stories, for our voices to be heard.”
Organizers of “One Spirit — One Call” say women’s ordination is only one concern on a longer list. Women, they say, do not help determine policy within the Catholic Church and are not allowed to serve as deacons, even though they may be as educated and as experienced as many priests. Women fill a number of secondary roles in parishes, they say, completing many pastoral duties but they are not allowed to preach publicly. The fact that the Vatican is investigating communities of nuns and sisters in the United States is another sore point. Church leaders say the goal of the investigation is to assess how religious orders are fulfilling their stated missions. But critics suspect the point is to determine whether women are following church teachings.
An incredulous Lundquist has three words for those women who claim that they’re not allowed to preach publicly.  Who’s stopping you?
It saddens me to read about the women’s gathering to be held in the Park Blocks tomorrow morning (“Catholic women in Portland will answer the call”, 9/25/10).  You know why?

It’s the extreme clericalist attitude exhibited by these Catholic women and their supporters – the idea that Catholic priests hold all the power for ministry in the Church and no one else has access to it.  I categorically reject this.

On the contrary, all Christians participate in the priesthood of Jesus Christ by virtue of their baptism (Gal. 3:27, I Peter 2:5).  This call to mission is given directly to the believer by Christ through the sacrament; it is not a delegation of administrative powers from the established authority structure.  The priesthood of all believers is not a mere abstraction; it is a reality made concrete in the lives of all Christians as they live day to day.  Our gifts and ministries are individual, tailored to our personalities, unlike the generic sacramental ministry of the ordained priesthood.

For example, Nancy Haught is wrong to say that Catholic women “are not allowed to preach publicly”.  As a matter of fact, I spent an afternoon last week reading the Gospels aloud and discussing their meaning – while sitting outside with a group of friends at a pub.  If that’s not public preaching of the Gospel, I don’t know what is.

I don’t need an ordination as a Catholic priest to fulfill my destiny and mission as a Catholic Christian.  It’s too bad that these sisters in Christ think they’re powerless to serve Christ without one.

Exactly right.  And not just true of Catholics.  All of us who call upon the name of the Lord should, as Paul said:
Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
Peter put it this way:
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.
Like Kathleen says, if you want to preach the Gospel then preach the Gospel.  You can do that wherever and whenever the mood strikes you.  Do you want to expound the Scriptures?  Go for it.  Because the only thing that’s stopping you is you.

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