Thursday, December 18, 2008

But they're actually saving them!

I checked out the blog abortionclinicdays again, and was floored by the posting over there now. Acorrding to the most recent post over there, abortion actually does the aborted children (or as she de-humanizes them "pregnancies") a favor by saving them from lives of poverty.

She states:
They wanted their pregnancy, they loved their pregnancy, but they could not in good conscience ask their child to suffer the same poverty they were suffering.
First of all, it is a child, not a pregnancy. A slip-up she makes here. Secondly, she tries a justification defense that we are "saving" a person from a life of poverty. Apparently poverty is so horrible that it is better for a child to die than live in it. However, kill your born children and try this defense and you will be laughed out of court. It's called loving your child to death, the same thing Andrea Yates did, she loved her children to much to let them fall prey to the "devil". More of the hypocricy of feminism that one is called a victim and another a murderer.

She goes on to state that until we take care of the children we have, then killing the unborn is acceptable so as not to add to societies burden. (The Nazis called this "Life unworthy of life") And that we should reform adoption laws (which I agree with her)
The fact that a blonde, blue-eyed baby is exponentially more likely to be adopted than a six year-old child of color is an American tragedy. The fact that children with disabilities of any age or ethnicity are lost in the system is an American tragedy.
And why is that white children are more likely to be adopted? It is because the overwhelming majority of potential adoptive parents are white and the majority of adoptable children are minorities. So is racism to blame? No actually, it is because so many "liberals" refuse to de-segregate the adoption process. Trans-racial adoption and foster care is not allowed in most states. Conservatives and family groups for years have called for this, but liberal groups will not allow it to happen, even in her article Ms. Varian does not call to lift restrictions on race, but she does on every other demographic:
We need to recognize the beauty of all kinds of family structures and stop preventing perfectly loving people from adopting and fostering children because they are single, gay, or otherwise non-nuclear.
But to prevent perfectly loving people from adopting based on race is perfectly ok.

I could go on, but read the article and you will see the rhetoric.

Oh, and of course this woman needs to throw it in that she was raised a "devout Catholic".

Monday, December 15, 2008

The truth can be painful.

While trolling around the pro-abortion blogs I found this posting at "Un-Expecting":

Helpful Tip for the Ladies

NEVER Google Image the phrase “abortion.” Ack! I was trying to find a clever image for my profile picture and made the mistake of typing abortion in the search box. It’s just bad, bad, bad. Hence the totally prosaic Gerbera daisy.

Gerbera daises are definitely much nicer to look at.

So, out of curiosity I Google Image'd the phrase abortion, HERE is my result.

And, she is right, it is bad. But that is the truth of Abortion. No matter how uncomfortable it makes people.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Pope Benedict on Justification

From his weekly audience on November 26, 2008:

In our continuing catechesis on Saint Paul, we now consider his teaching on faith and works in the process of our justification. Paul insists that we are justified by faith in Christ, and not by any merit of our own. Yet he also emphasizes the relationship between faith and those works which are the fruit of the Holy Spirit’s presence and action within us. The first gift of the Spirit is love, the love of the Father and the Son poured into our hearts (cf. Rom 5:5). Our sharing in the love of Christ leads us to live no longer for ourselves, but for him (cf. 2 Cor 5:14-15); it makes us a new creation (cf. 2 Cor 5:17) and members of his Body, the Church. Faith thus works through love (cf. Gal 5:6). Consequently, there is no contradiction between what Saint Paul teaches and what Saint James teaches regarding the relationship between justifying faith and the fruit which it bears in good works. Rather, there is a different emphasis. Redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, we are called to glorify him in our bodies (cf. 1 Cor 6:20), offering ourselves as a spiritual sacrifice pleasing to God. Justified by the gift of faith in Christ, we are called, as individuals and as a community, to treasure that gift and to let it bear rich fruit in the Spirit.


Probably one of the best explanations I have ever read.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I don't really care for Christian music.

Lately (my wife and I) have been trying to listen to Christian music. I discovered that I don't quite care for it. Don't get me wrong, it is positive and encouraging, and gives praise to the Lord. But I don't really like the music. At least not the modern pop-ish stuff.

I don't care for this:


But, in searching, I did find I lean more towards gospel like:


And of course, the classical hymns and chants are always a fave, my favorite religious music is still Mozart's Requiem.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Missionary Adventures in Texas and Mexico

I have been reading an ebook: "Missionary Adventures in Texas and Mexico" By Emmanuel Domenech. Written in the 1850's it is by a Catholic Missionary serving in the Texas Frontier. This book is special to me, because this man was almost certainly known by my Great-Great Grandfather. This passage is one of my favorites.

The tender piety of our people, the poverty of our little church, the simplicity of our ceremonies, frequently touched my heart ; and many a time, while I held in my hands our only ostensory of plain wood, which contained the most sacred Host, tears of joy fell from my eyes. Ah ! in the noble cathedrals of France, how full of splendour is religion in the external pomp of her ceremonial. Gold and silver, and thousands of lights, dazzle the eye, and speak to the imagination ; here, on the contrary, everything speaks to the heart, and transports it burning with love to the throne of God. Every Sunday, at ten o'clock, was celebrated the adorable sacrifice of the mass. The music was very good. We had organised a choir, which succeeded beyond our expectation. At three o'clock the faithful, assembled to say the rosary. This exercise was followed by vespers and the benediction of the most Blessed Sacrament. The paschal solemnity of 1849 was truly consoling to us. All the Catholics of Castroville, with very few exceptions, approached the holy table. I had resolved that our little chapel should be decked out and wear quite a festive air for this solemnity, so I commenced its decoration the previous evening, and borrowed all the shawls and pieces of finery, and candlesticks, to be found in Castroville, even procured two small doors to construct lateral altars. The muslin curtains and shawls served as tapestry. I turned wooden vases in a lathe, and gilded them. In these I placed flowers of every hue and size, which I had gathered in the woods and open country. All this magnificence filled the colonists with astonishment. Next day the Catholics of the town, and of the surrounding country, assisted at the celebration of the Divine Mysteries, with feelings of profound reverence, on bended knees, bareheaded, and regardless of the burning sun, which darted its rays upon them. Poor isolated congregation !


How lively, sincere, touching, was this piety on that day ! The Almighty must have looked down with complacency on the little corner of earth where thou offered up thy prayers ! How favourably did thy piety contrast with the wavering, lukewarm piety of the city population of Europe ! In deserts and solitude, the blessings of religion are so much the more fully appreciated, as they are rarely accorded. Human institutions, for the protection of life and property, either do not exist, or are, at best, very inefficient. Man seems placed more immediately under the immediate protection of his Creator, and hence it comes that he raises his eyes and heart unto Him with greater facility and truth.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Eric Jon Phelps lying again.

I am usually very slow to accuse someone of lying, but when the lying is obvious, it needs to be pointed out. On his website "Vatican Assassins" Eric states that his ridiculous book can be ordered through LOWVEHM, Inc. A company that "holds the copyright to the book and has no legal connection with the author" But, that is not what LOWVEHM's website states where it lists: "Eric Jon Phelps, Vice President, Lowvehm, Inc." Sorry Mr. Phelps but being Vice President of a Corporation, makes you legally connected to it.

And, some quick little research shows LOVEHM, to be legally incorporated in Pennsylvania. So, Mr. Phelps who often decries corporations, owns one himself. Hypocrisy.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Larson for Congress

Although Ciro Rodriguez is reported to be Catholic. His 100% approval rating from NARAL, makes me one Catholic who cannot support him. So, if you live in the 23rd Congressional district of Texas, please support Lyle Larson.

My problems with "Alberto" by Chick publications.

All too often people accuse Catholics of attacking Alberto's background, but not what he says, well, I try to address that here, hope you like it.

Alberto could not speak latin, impossible for someone who attended a seminary prior to Vatican II

Children are not placed into seminaries and certainly do not become priests at young ages (Alberto claims we went to a seminary when he was seven years old). Also interesting that Alberto never identifies the seminary. Thus making it impossible to contact the school or former students. This is his first deception.

Also, the Priest is not Christ. Nor does his ordination grant him special "powers".

No Priest or "Bishop" would refer to the Church as the "Old Roman Catholic Institution" (The "Old Roman Catholics" being a schismatic sect in Germany, started after Vatican I) This is also the first time Alberto referred to himself as a "Bishop". Again, with no proof.

He goes on to give statistics with no backing and repeat a extremely anti-catholic book as if it were an expert source. But like many Anti-catholics he refrains from citing the Scriptures, the Catechism, or the Code of Canon Law. This is necessary to prevent the readers from going to those sources. He needs to create dependance on his words as the only facts. This is another tactic of con-men.

And the age-old myth that all priests are rapists, and nuns are sexually repressed. And his source? The equally dubious Charles Chiniquy (whom the church does admit was a priest, yet another ex-priest that is not denied, no, only Alberto gets that honor)

No tunnels have ever been found linking Monasteries with convents. In spain or anywhere else. But Alberto throws out places and dates to appear to be telling the truth. Of course those dates are in the middle of a civil war, so when absolutely no proof is found of his story, he can just claim that it was destroyed, convenient. Of course this is just one of the stories he stole from Maria Monk.

On page 13, he makes one of his biggest mistakes, he claims the Priesthood cannot exist without celibacy. Here he shows his ignorance of Catholicism. If he had been a Priest he would have known that Married priests were allowed in the western church for the first almost 1000 years of the Church, he would also know that there is no vow of celibacy for Priests in the Eastern rites of the Church. So clearly the sacrament of Holy Orders has nothing to do with Celibacy.

Then he quotes Augustine, no actually he doesn't, he quotes Augustine and then states that quote has been removed. Again, how convenient for him.

Next, Alberto shows his ignorance of both Latin and Greek. First of all, Simon is Hebrew, not greek. and means, "he who hears"

And "Petros" does not mean "little pebble" that is "Lithos" Petros is the masculine form of the word "Petra" Jesus could not name Simon "Petra" as Simon was a man and "Petra" is a feminine noun.

Jesus did not call Peter "satan" Satan gave Peter those words, that is whom Jesus was condemning. Because would Jesus have allowed Satan in their midst? No, of course not.

Alberto then goes on to point out yet another hypocrite priest, he needs his readers to at once pity and fear Priests.

"We were not allowed to read Bibles". This, of course, is an outright lie. Every Seminary teaches the Bible and requires students to read them. The Scriptures are read aloud in Church, but Alberto never mentions that. He needs to perpetuate myths in order to make his story believable.

The Nhil Obistat and Imprintur is not a "seal of approval" It is not a "seal" at all.

The church has always known Peter was married, as a matter of fact there have been 8 married Popes and one widower. Read the 1911 Catholic Encyclopedia, that states clearly Peter was married. This is one of Albertos most revealing mistakes. It shows a complete lack of knowledge and History that no seminarian would possess.

He then refers people to "The two Babylons" by Hislop, and "50 years in the Church of Rome" by Chiniquy. Both, of course, available from Chick publications for a small fee. (this was the main purpose of the tracts, for Jack to sell more publications) Now, he could have referred people to the Catechism or the Catholic Encyclopedia for clarification on Dogma or Doctrine. But that needs to be avoided, when people find out the truth, they have the bad habit of converting.

It claims the Inquisition started in 1200 and was run by the Dominicans and Jesuits. Of course the problem is neither of these groups existed in 1200.

Next, comes a story about Donna Maria de Bohorques actually found in Juan Antonio Llorente's "A Critical History of the Inquisition of Spain", pp. 216-218,

Alberto actually got the story all wrong, he combined the stories of Dona Maria and her sister Dona Jane and combined them into a new person called "Dona Isabella". He then goes on to tell more lies about the Catholic church, the most glaring being that Catholic's believe that Mary claimed to be "the way, the truth and the light". This is of course completely false and is solely to reinforce the sterotype of the uneducated that Catholics are completely ignorant of scriptures.

Again, he goes into details that he destroyed churches and Pastors (never of course, naming ANY of them in order to prevent anyone from trying to verify) He claimed then he was sent to a seminary in Costa Rica, again, not giving a name, why?

Then comes the infamous myth of the "roman Catholic Supercomputer", its absurdity speaks for itself.

In 1981, Alberto states that it "won't be long" before Jesus comes, it is now 27 years later. "Jesus is coming soon" is often a tactic used by religious con men to convince people that their life savings won't be needed and to use it to "spread the truth" before it is too late.

On Page 21, is the total irony. It shows Alberto lying to a Pastor to win his trust by claiming he "suffered under them" (the Catholic Church) in Spain. The EXACT SAME claim he is making in this comic. Was he lying then or lying in this comic?

The next thing, he introduces the angelic looking little Catholic girl, whose "job" it is to destroy marriages and basically act like a %!%+!. This is one of many caricatures he introduces. These caricatures serve the purpose of making people distrust and despise devout Catholics. This is another tactic that rather than educate people about true Catholicism, just scare them away from it.

Then, he sets up his alibi. Saying that the first thing the RCC tries to do to attack good and Holy men of God is to discredit them. Thus, now any attacks on Albertos credibility are now explained. He is not wrong, he is being attacked because he is right. It is a great con, used by snake oil salesman and hucksters for years, (ie the recent book: Cures THEY don't want you to know about). It is always the truth-seeker that is attacked by the liars. Thus, he has ironclad credibility, even though he has provided no proof. The lack of proof becomes the proof.

Again comes another irony, he explains how he "acted" anti-catholic to gain trust. Again, identical to what he is doing in this comic, if he was lying then why shouldn't we believe he is lying now?

Again is the angelic Catholic School Girls, both deceptive, one a %!%+!. Again, this is to scare people into not letting their children get anywhere near Catholics. And he stated that they committed all these sins, to "get points to get out of Purgatory". There is no "point system" for purgatory. Again, Alberto shows his ignorance of a Basic catholic belief. He goes on to show how little he knows about Purgatory, it was not "made official" at Florence. One must wonder, if Catholicism is so transparent, why is Alberto sowing so much fear of it?

The idea that killing can bring grace is horrible. It cannot. And this odd obsession anti-catholics have with Purgatory, they think it controls our lives, it does not.

He then goes on to twist and distort the history of the Mass, we have records of "mass" being held in the second century, Alberto claims it was introduced in the 4th. Catholics do not believe Christ is re-sacrificed at the Mass, a trained Priest would know that. And it is Christ who stated of the bread and wine "this is my body...this is my blood" The blasphemy, to a Catholic, is denying it.

And the notion that Hebrews 10:12 is NEVER read in the Catholic Church is laughable. Actually it is read on Palm Sunday. More proof of Riveras ignorance of Catholicism.

It then makes the ridiculous assertion that Catholics believe that no one can approach Jesus but Mary. Of course we can approach Jesus. He also brings up the myth of Mary as co-redeemer. Catholics do not believe that.

He then goes on to claim that a Jewish rabbi found that it was offensive for Jesus to refer to his mother as "woman". Of course here Alberto, without realizing it, accuses Christ of commiting a sin (dishonoring his mother). But he skips past that to accuse Catholics of worshipping Mary as a goddess.

And Catholics certainly don't believe Mary is "co-equal with God the Father" Again, a mistake no Priest would make. But, he needs to explain the title of "Mother of God" this way, because the truth might actually make people think, so here a lie serves the purpose of scaring people away from Catholicsim and making them pity the ignorant stupid Catholics.

He then gives twisted definitions of penance,

And then come the proofs of the id card and letter, I have dealt with elsewhere. They, in and of themselves prove nothing as they can be acquired by other than legitimate means.

Next, Alberto claims that high Catholics are Masons. Hardly likely as code of Canon Law at that time forbid membership in the Masons and stated it was grounds for immediate excommunication.

He then claimed that the Illuminati were one and the same with the alumbrados, also unlikely since Loyola was one year old when the Alumbrados first appeared. Also, the illuminati was made up of Bavarian agnostics 200 years after the Alumbrados (which were heretical Catholic mystics) disappeared.

Of course, he then goes on to explain that the reason so many churches are recognizing Catholics as fellow Christians is not because they are finally opening their eyes to the truth, but because they are afraid of attacks by the Catholic "plants" in their congregations.

Alberto then goes on to claim he admitted everything in front of a large crowd in Guatamala in 1965. No details are given such as the name of this gathering or who was present, no, as usual, Alberto is very careful not to give out too much detail that may be used to try to verify his story, he needs total dependence on him and his facts.

He then claims that he was tortured in a mental hospital to the point he was placed in an iron lung, nice image, but the iron lung had pretty much ceased to be used in 1960. He goes on to claim he recieved the revelation that Jesus cannot be re-sacrificed at the mass. Well, if he had been a priest, he would not have needed God to reveal this to him, because the church does not believe this. It is just yet another thing to cast doubts on his credibility as a Priest.

He then states he got out of the iron lung and "removed the tubes from my body" Either he was in the iron lung or he had tubes in his body, you can't have rubber tubes in a iron lung, they would constantly be contracting or expanding with the air pressure, this pretty much debunks this part of Alberto's story as impossible.

This is my take on Albertos' story, I have tried to avoid any discussion of him or his background as the complaint is always that Catholics never discuss what he says, only attack him.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Prophecy of the Century?!?!

An Anonymous commenter sent me a comment to check out 2 videos on youtube. Done by a group calling itself "Worlds last chance", they are really nothing more than old re-hashed Catholic-Church-is-the-whore-of-Revelation nonsense. The vid starts out looking like a tribute to Pope John Paul II, but of course, it then goes into the realm of the nonsensical.

At 2:12 the nonsense starts, it gives "definitions" of "prophecy", that "woman" equals "church" and gives Ephesians 5:25 as the justification for this. Well Ephesians 5:25 does compare a woman to the church. Which is true as the church is the bridegroom of Christ. There is no link between this passage in Ephesians however and the symbolism of Revelation. Because, Revelation 17:18 states exactly who the woman is, and she is not a church, she is: "the great city that has sovereignty over the kings of the earth.". IOW Imperial Rome.

But, of course, they identify it as the Roman Catholic Church, because it is the point of their video, reach a conclusion and THEN look for proof. It is the hallmark of anti-catholic apologetics.

They then go on to make several "points" . "Point one" compares the scarlet and purple of the woman of Revelation 17 to the scarlet worn by Cardinals of the Church. Of course some research would have shown that scarlet and Purple were colors of the Roman Emperors.

"Point two" is made with Rev 17:6, of course this is a reference to the Roman persecution of the Christians, and the bloodsport that was often made of it. But they, of course, claim it refers to the "millions killed during the inquistion". Of course this is an absolute falsehood. The fact is, more Catholics were killed by Oliver Cromwell in the space of a couple of years in Ireland than Protestants killed in the hundreds of years of the Inquisition.

Of course at 3:40 into the vid, it states that they were executed for the heresy of reading the Bible. This is of course, laughable, as Catholics have always been free to read the Holy Scriptures. But anti-catholics must keep up the myth that Catholics are not allowed to read the Bible.

And point "three" is silly, It states that the seven hills that the woman sits on are the seven hills of Rome. And that is correct. But the Vatican, does not sit on ANY of these hills, as a matter of fact it is on the opposite side of the river Tiber from Rome. So while anyone who knows history will recognize the woman as Imperial Rome, the uneducated who equate Rome with Vatican, will miss this every time.

It goes on to claim purple and scarlet are symbols of bishops and Cardinals, it is. But the symbolism is clearly the Emperors and their subordinate Kings.

It then quotes Revelation 17:10, and makes the ridiculous assertion that this is an allusion to the Vatican City State. It asks the question, "When did the Roman Catholic Church have any Kings?" Of course the answer could be any number of the Christian Kingdoms that have existed in the Last 2000 years, but that does not fit their propaganda, so they claim the only time Popes had their own territory was with the signing of the Lateran Treaty. Of course this just shows no historical research was performed at all. Or they would have known of the existence of the Papal States for 1000 years prior to the establishment of Italy.

Having failed history 101, it then goes on to make the ridiculous "prophecy" that Pope John Paul II will rise from the grave possessed by a demon and become the anti-christ. Given this videographers track record so far, I relegate this to the absurd.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Tony Alamo, man of God?

I saw this interview live last night, and I am glad that people could see Tony Alamo for what he really is. This man is evil, notice that in the interview he denies nothing, admits that he does not follow the laws of the land (counter to the Scriptures) and defends the forced marriage and rape of 12-13 year old girls.

And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, (2 Tim 2:24, 25)




I wonder if Thomas over at Spiritually "Smart" dot com will still attempt to defend one of his heroes?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

There is a hurricane coming here

Pray for us in South Texas.

QUEEN of the Waves, look forth across the ocean,
From north to south, from east to stormy west ;
See how the waters, with tumultuous motion,
Rise up and foam without a pause, or rest.

But fear we not, though storm-clouds round us gather ;
Thou art our Mother — and thy little Child
Is the All-Merciful, our tender Brother,
God of the sea and of the tempest wild.

Help, then, sweet Queen, in our exceeding danger ;
By thy seven griefs, in pity, Lady, save ;
Think of the Babe that slept within the manger,
And helps us now, dear Lady of the Wave.

Up to thy shrine we look, and see the glimmer
Thy votive lamp sheds down on us afar ;
Light of our eyes, oh, let it ne'er grow dimmer,
Till in the sky we hail the morning star.

Then joyful hearts shall kneel around thine altar,
And grateful psalms re-echo down the nave :
Never our faith in thy sweet power can falter,
Mother of God, Our Lady of the Wave.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Video

This video goes with the story below.
Austrian Crown Prince Fears Georgia May Fall to Russians
(First published July 31)


Charleston Mercury
by Will Cathcart
Published: Tuesday, August 12, 2008 4:26 PM EDT
Link to original


MUNICH, Germany — You’d be pretty angry as a reader of a newspaper that sent two 25-year-olds with a video camera halfway around the world on a midnight plane to a little country on the Black Sea bordering Russia, less than 300 miles from the Iraqi border and 150 miles from Iran, if they returned spouting the mantra, “What happens in Georgia, stays in Georgia,” wouldn’t you? As indeed would the owner of that newspaper. My cohort tends to agree, as it is hard to be notorious if no one tells your story. Thus we have settled on the mantra, “What the FSB [former KGB] doesn’t know, won’t kill you.”

Our Georgia story begins in Munich with His Imperial and Royal Highness Dr. Otto von Habsburg, Archduke and Crown Prince of Austria, Crown Prince of Hungary and Bohemia:Something incredible happened. It did not happen while Elliott Merck was filming this correspondent’s interview with Dr. von Habsburg — likely the single most important man we will ever know, although he does not consider himself important, just hard working. It happened several days after when we returned from Tbilisi, Georgia, and arrived at his daughter Gabriela’s house in Starnberg, outside of Munich, for a barbecue. Having just been spit out of German airport bureaucracy, delirious, sleep-deprived, we were given the choice of beds or of walking down to Lake Starnberg to drink Bavarian beer before the picnic. Obviously we chose the latter and found ourselves paddling about on the Habsburgs’ vintage windsurf boards (without the sails) amid a regatta, doing our best pirate imitation, screaming what little we knew in German with standard Ahhrrrr! Astonished skippers and their wives zipped by us as we surveyed the glacial fairytale-green valley’s horizon with the Alps at our backs and an azure-clad universe towering above us, somehow that day feeling miraculously within reach.

And reach we did, paddling into that cold heaven-reflecting blue, scratching the surface of several hundred feet of pure lake carved out by glaciers thousands of years ago. Somehow we had learned that German dogs do not say “BowWow” the right American way, but instead BowVow, VowVow — hilarious after days of filming in a place where young men look you in the eye with cold grey sincerity and say slowly, “If Putin invades my country [Georgia], we will fight to the death.”

West of that place, across the Black Sea, cozily tucked a few countries deep in the European Union is Bavaria, where guard dogs bark with bureaucratic conviction BowVow, ya! It’s not funny to the sailboats’ skippers, inhabitants of the richest city per capita in Germany who probably now think we are either “special,” or more likely Americans. But that’s all the better because as we paddle back to the shore, the Alps are in our periphery, and we bark echoes — Ya! — valley-wide and feel like heroes. Sunning on the beach are princesses, the daughter and granddaughter of a deposed emperor, and they want to celebrate also. “It will never be like this again, not in this life,” I whisper to myself as a bikini-clad Archduchess Gabriela von Habsburg beheads a champagne bottle Napoleonic style with the sword she was presented along with Georgian citizenship by President Saakashvili, the man who just yesterday took us to an off-the-record dinner with Russian diplomats, Israeli defense ministers and Iranian specialists after granting us a 30-minute interview wherein we discussed Georgian sovereignty — how high the stakes really were. The most recently arrived American special forces unit waiting outside Tbilisi airport in civilian clothes didn’t have to tell us that the stakes were as high as they get. Nor did His Imperial Highness Dr. Otto von Habsburg, who would be arriving soon for the barbecue and the incredible thing that happened, not for him but for us.

The Amazing Thing That Happened

As the meat cooked and a selection of Dr. von Habsburg’s 23 grandchildren whom he shares with his wife Crown Princess Regina, ran about chasing the peacocks that flutter every morning into sculptress Gabriela von Habsburg’s modern-design always-open windows, proclaiming the day in full color and radiant naivety, we stood talking to the man. He assured us he was only that. “Call me whatever you like, I’ve had so many names, so many passports. Doctor is also fine,” he joked, “just so they know at least I can read and write.”

A few more things you should know: Dr. Otto von Habsburg does not live in a castle. He wears shoes just like anyone else, normal people shoes. When he looks at you there is a tingling brightness — simple warm good light, the kind that for centuries held Europe together and battled the darkness of barbarianism. There is a giddy modesty to his knowing smile, ready all the time; it will outlive Otto the man. This smile has no enemy and causes men subconsciously to take fingers off triggers and let muzzles’ aim fall to shake the hand of its proprietor. All of this is achieved by absolute modesty with simple words that the future’s version of kings and presidents will quote if they are lucky enough to remain so. There is something holy and sacred, even saintly about him.

You are allowed to say this, though not to him, because he is 96 years old; because his father was emperor of Austria, king of Hungary and Bohemia; because his family was driven out of power and their homeland with only the clothes on their backs; and because his father died of pneumonia on the island of Madeira because they could not afford firewood. You can say “saintly” because Dr. von Habsburg’s father was beatified by Pope John Paul II, and soon he will be a saint — because Otto von Habsburg gave up any claim he had as king and instead became a leader of his own devices, earning a doctorate in agriculture. “KEEP THE PEOPLE ALIVE,” he explains, “is what we should always put first.”

He emphasizes the obvious but overlooked importance of food: “I believe very strongly that we are going to live through a phase of immense agricultural problems.” This founding father of the Pan European Union inherited nothing, but when he walks down the streets of Budapest people cheer. In Hungary he is a hero, in Nazi Germany he was sentenced to death, in Austria he was exiled, then strategically ignored; for the Pan European Council, he is president; in much of the world he is forgotten.

Five days after the interview, from Munich to Istanbul to Tbilisi and back, Otto von Habsburg’s words were still sinking in; like the deep blue Lake Starnberg their wisdom’s bottom is untold. To put his imperial highness’s take on the conflict between Russia and Georgia in Star Wars vernacular, for all those tragically out-of-place Americans Bow-Vow-ing at the edge of delirium: Darth Vader is Vladimir Putin, the “dark side” is tyranny fueled by oil, Germany is cooperating (who would have thought?), Merkel a robotic droid, the “force” is democracy, Ronald Reagan is Obi-Wan Kenobi. There is Princess Gabriela von Leia, and Otto is of course Master Yoda — his advice unheeded. Luke Skywalker is MIA — perhaps a pothead in Copenhagen hiding in angst only from himself in Denmark’s heavenless grey fog.

The amazing thing is that five days after the interview, not only are we still trying to put his words together, but Dr. von Habsburg is still thinking about our talk as well. We shake his hand amid the peacocks (fluent only in feathers) and grandchildren (fluent in English and God knows what else) and he takes us aside, guiding us along the edge of the Bavarian forest. Somewhere in the distance a hund Bow Vows, and the crown prince draws us in: “All morning I have been writing about what we spoke of.” His excitement is contagious: Not since Aristotle has a greater history teacher walked this continent. “I am writing a treatise comparing the situation surrounding the Munich Agreement in 1938 to the most recent NATO Summit in Bucharest [in which Germany and France caved to Putin’s demands and denied Georgia and the Ukraine NATO membership] and the events that have followed.”

“History is repeating itself,” one of us suggests.

“Precisely.”

“Europe is once again settling for appeasement.”

The Interview

“It was a sort of an explosion,” he describes the flash of the camera which captured a young Otto with his godfather and great-granduncle, Emperor Franz Joseph, in one of his memories of Austria before World War I. In 1916 he became crown prince upon Franz Joseph’s death. If there is a theme to his message, it is faith. He also repeats, “If you make a bad policy, you have no future.”

“Up to now the United States has played a very fine role in the world, let’s not forget that. I know they criticize you now, but you know what the people do not realize is that it is quite certain that everybody criticizes the house on the hill. And the United States has been for a long time the house on the hill.”

Otto von Habsburg’s favorite president is Ronald Reagan: “You have been very lucky, you’ve had many good ones, but I was deeply impressed by Ronald Reagan. He was one of the greatest men of our times. Then you have some people who have been doing a good job, but they are not of that altitude as was Ronald Reagan.”

And our villain? What does he think of Russia’s new prime minister? Dr. von Habsburg is at first frank in his tone, he looks straight into the camera, as if to say I am not afraid. His voice deepens and slows as he elaborates. “Vladimir Putin is the typical very intelligent, very aggressive bureaucrat — at the bottom of his heart, a totalitarian person … who is not a democrat.” By coincidence, Otto von Habsburg has been interested in Vladimir Putin longer than most. During the last phase of communist rule, Dr. von Habsburg and a group of leaders involved in the election campaign were able to visit East Germany after a series of rebellions “which generally started on Fridays with a church service, thank God, and then they would go out into the streets and demonstrate.” One particular Friday Otto was tipped off that Soviet troops were going to open fire on that day’s demonstration, so of course he attended. The demonstration never happened and he found himself in the company of a large group from East Berlin, some of whom had recently escaped from a Soviet concentration camp. He interviewed them about their imprisonment and asked how the wardens were behaving. Otto remembers that one individual spoke up: “‘There is a young Russian officer who is the worst of the lot, and his name is Vladimir Putin.’ I had never heard of him before, but I made a note of him.”

According to Dr. von Habsburg the Putin of today “wants to take over the whole Caucasus area … that is a frightening thing. Many years ago they once said to me that I was sort of a prophet. I wasn’t; I just had chances, because I was retaining the idea. That is why I was first interested in Putin; because a prisoner told me not only how horrible he was … but that he was starting to be the leader. Although at that time, outside people

didn’t know that he had this first organization. You see the Soviet system was not accepted by the technocrats of the Russian side. Putin’s [organization] was a community that was and still is built up on the basis of the organization of the mafia. There were others who were above him because he was still a little bit too young, but that changed very soon.” Dr. von Habsburg explains that this is the system that became the first Silowiki (intelligence) clan, “and it is still running Russia today.”

What does Otto von Habsburg think of his daughter’s involvement in Georgia? He gets excited, and the light gets brighter. Later, toward the end of dinner, we will see that light nearly flicker out from sheer exhaustion, but now it is brighter than ever, “Ohh! I am so enthusiastic that [Archduchess Gabriela von Habsburg] is involved, because Georgia is worth our while. You know it is one of those countries that has a tremendous historical heritage, and a European heritage. For instance, the most important order in Europe, the Golden Fleece, stems from Georgia. It was there that it started.”

Gabriela follows in her father’s humanitarian footsteps; Dr. von Habsburg was responsible for saving the lives of tens of thousands of Jews during WWII: “You see in the end it becomes a passion. When you see the happiness in people when you get them out of such a terrible situation, you are as happy as [they are] … Consequently I am still interested in such issues. I [have] never asked whether they were Jews, whether they were Gentiles … I saw the sufferings of these people and consequently, logically I was very happy that I was in a position that I could help them … I was looking after the fate of the Austrians, but of course there were others, and you couldn’t leave them [behind].”

Remembering Blessed Charles

He tears up at this question. At 96 time travel is involuntary. He can tell you how that first camera flash smelled, the sound it made, the texture of the uniform of his godfather, Emperor Franz Joseph, when he held young Otto close, the collar’s hard material that saved the old emperor’s life during an assassination attempt in which he was stabbed in the back of his neck. Yet it is Blessed Charles, his beatified father, Charles I of Austria, whom he remembers most affectionately: “He had a very strong personality … In the First World War he was the only head of state who was out at the battling line. And he knew what war was, that is why he was working for peace because he realized how horrible it was on the people and on the soldiers — what he had to see. Therefore … he had an impression on me because he was usually very mild, very quiet, but sometimes he exploded. And that is for instance why I was sometimes asked how did it come that I went to help the troops? Well my father gave it to me.”

His Imperial Highness pauses briefly, wipes his nose. Behind that cleverly radiant smile is a tenderness and vulnerability that weren’t there before. He continues, “We were in a place … near Vienna, and an officer came in, and since at that time the left-wing government was very Jewish-dominated, [the officer] started attacking the Jews. My father then interrupted him and said, ‘Stop that, the Jews are our compatriots.’ And that is true. They were among the best fighters for Austria and Hungary, because Austria and Hungary had treated them completely as equals and completely as citizens. You know, when the war in Israel first started, I was one of the people who knew that they would be remarkable [in battle] because I’d seen them in Austria, and they were the most courageous soldiers we had.”

He smiles, “Thank God that you [The United States] have got them on your side!”

Otto on the Georgia Matter

“I have known President Saakashvili for some time, just as I have known his country … Georgia is a part of Europe, but it is a little bit far away. So Saakashvili came at the decisive moment, remarkable in taking up a liberation movement and not making what unfortunately some people did to establish their own personal power. He was never interested really in personal power. He is very honorable, very good and a true democrat also. So he has every value you can have.

“But the attacks against him? They come always from the same center, which is Moscow. When … you cross [the path] of Moscow … you are going to be attacked. I see what is being given to the press … one of the great European newspapers suddenly turned on Saakashvili and on Georgia. Then I found that [they] were given something for behaving like they did. There is a tremendous propaganda machine against Saakashvili because Saakashvili is a tremendously great danger to all those who want to extend again a Russian empire under a dictatorial rule. That is exactly what we have to face today. That is why I am enchanted that the United States has behaved very loyally to its own tradition, to its great tradition.

“Even this morning in the papers there was again this attack against Georgia and an attempt to say that the Georgians because they want to defend themselves are now a public danger for peace.” He nearly chuckles, “Well that is exactly the old propaganda line of the Kremlin. It’s always the same thing.”

The Gazprom

Dr. Otto von Habsburg warns of the vast capabilities of Russia’s state oil monopoly: “We are [about] to have a great campaign, which is tremendously financed. And let us not underestimate the enormous financial power that is the Gazprom organization.” Gazprom is the state-owned company that retains a monopoly on all production of Russian oil and natural gas. Dr. von Habsburg continues, fascination and concern in his voice, “[Gazprom] is the center today. When you look at the government of Mr. Putin and of his successor, Mr. Medvedev.”

It is baffling to remember that this man is 96 — his memory is fluid, names like Medvedev and Gazprom come to him effortlessly; there is barely even a pause. The man is a true orator. Perhaps the success of his discussion is derived from the fact that he earnestly cares about these issues and has been a part of this discourse his entire life. He doesn’t panic, even when discussing something so ominous; he still remembers the First World War.

Dr. von Habsburg continues, “They [Putin, Medvedev and friends] are all the same; they come from the Gazprom. That is to say they have these enormous and unlimited financial means …” There is disappointment, not disgust but genuine disappointment, in his voice as he continues, “And there are unfortunately many, I see it especially in the European press, who are being financed by Gazprom … today Georgia is for us the most important area in the world. Because if Georgia falls — you just have to look at the map! That is going to go on. And that is why I am so enchanted that in this morning’s paper once again they wrote that the United States would continue to help the development of the security services of Georgia. I think the United States is the only great power that has understood what it is all about.” He says this proudly looking up at us, as if we have something to do with it. The man truly believes in democracy, and suddenly I realize that perhaps we do; perhaps we can have an effect. Otto reiterates, “You have to look at the map! If Georgia falls it will go all over the place.”

“And what will happen if Georgia falls?” I ask.

“Then the others will start to fall, one after another … there are nations who have stamina and others who have not.”

How Important Is Democracy, the Great Experiment?

He continues: “Democracy is important because you can motivate people to defend their freedom, to defend their way of life … [Reagan was] a man who was simple, close to the people, very intelligent and very brilliant. I am very hopeful that Saakashvili in his own way, in his Georgian way, will follow the same road. That’s why we have to help him to defend himself, to defend his country. Because we know one thing: In defending Georgia, we defend ourselves.”

Home

Otto von Habsburg identifies with the South of the United States. “I like South Carolina, I like its governor … I like somehow also my contact with the people who still at that time remembered something of the War Between the States. It was a very noble war, a very decent war. On the one hand there was of course this opposition in the United States itself for a very long time, which just proves that the War Between the States was always very painful. But on the other hand that when you look at the way those who fight for the United States, it’s the Southerners who are the first to align.”

As for the Southern side of the conflict, “[The South] is always a good place. First of all I like the South because it’s always traditional, it has a sense of history, it has one thing that counts very much: It has beauty. We have to fight for beauty.

“I like so much that in the Polish constitution they call God the patron of beauty. It’s a wonderful combination. Russia, the Soviets, and the reality of all these countries is that the dictators are building and they have lots of money, but they are never able to bring beauty.”

Advice on Democracy for the Future

“I would say, stick together and continue to believe in God, because that is very important. You see the fact that we have a religion, that we have a God is something enormous. And then do not forget the beauty. That is very important because it is a symbol of the right way. And this I want to insist, dictators have never given anything that is beautiful. All their structures are always not beautiful while those that come out of freedom are wonderful; they are pretty, and they are happy.”

He continues, “You can look at Charleston, and there you know what beauty is. The atmosphere in South Carolina in general is something you cannot avoid liking. I hope South Carolina and Charleston keep up their tradition and their beauty, to be proud of what they have and then to enrich the area for the coming generations.”

Otto von Habsburg will go no more gently into that good night than he ever bowed in servitude to any totalitarian regime of Europe, nor even to his own throne — his own ego, which he abdicated in a display of modesty and a parade of uncrowned sovereignty. He is the type of man the world too often takes for granted, until all of a sudden it turns to the 96-year-old and begs him not to die.

Western civilization spent so much time trying to get rid of its monarchies, it never stopped to think what would happen if a king were to grow up in poverty and earn his own way, to ask nothing of his empire, while at the same time demanding, even fighting for, the utmost sovereignty of his people. The world never stopped to wonder what greatness such a person could provide. Otto von Habsburg is still lucid, charming and sharp. He will not be like this forever. Why were we so hell-bent on trading those who were born with the right to rule for those who killed and enslaved for it? The outcome may be something better, perhaps the great experiment of democracy, but we cannot forget how we got here.

Otto von Habsburg has been the most politically active head of an imperial house of his time, after he was forced to abdicate a throne in which he had no personal interest. It was and is his people he continues to serve. When you look into his eyes there is brightness, a torch he has inherited from the 800 years of his lineage. If Christianity was the light that spread education and love across the continent and held it together, then the Habsburgs carry that torch inside them. Otto von Habsburg seems to convert it to something nuclear.

Will Cathcart may be reached at willcathcart@gmail.com.

Copyright © 2008 - Charleston Mercury


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Seriously?

I got an email the other day from Nial Kilkenny with Reformation.org. This is virulent anti-Catholic site. The email was a bulk email sent to people on his mailing list, it directs them to a new page on his website about the conflict in the Republic of Georgia.

My jaw hit the desk when I saw this. First, it refers to Vladimir Putin as one of the great leaders of the "free world". Putins record on human rights and religious freedom speaks for itself, and it is not one of freedom. But, he (Putin) has opposed the Catholic Church, therefore Kilkinny feels he is a friend of true Christians (the enemy of my enemy).

First, he claims the Pentagon provided the following equipment:


Mr. Kilkenny has obviously never served in the military or done any basic research. The rocket launchers on the left are Soviet made BM-27 launchers. The armor on the right is a Soviet made BMP-1 personnel carrier.

So, it is obvious that these are Soviet leftovers not Western armor. He goes on to show burning "Pentagon" armor. Which are actually burning TU-72 tanks and a burning BMP.

The breakaway provinces are not independent nations, no nation on earth (other than Russia) recognizes them as such. Putin used South Ossieta like Hitler used the Sudetenland.

Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Let the facts speak for themselves.

Mr. Volpe, that is a shame. You alleged my father served as President of TMA at the same time he was on a board advising BCBS. That has been shown not to be true, but you refuse to correct it.

You claimed my father was placed in the Presidency of the TMA by BCBS, yet you offered no proof.

You claimed my father was in a position of "power" at BCBS. But, even you admit that you don't know what authority (if any) this board has. (According to my father they have none, because they are an ADVISORY board) BCBS is under no obligation to follow any of the boards advice.

You claimed BCBS employs my father to "punishes doctors that powerful forces deem a threat". You then go on to detail Dr. Pigotts issues before the TMB. With no evidence BCBS was involved except that ONE of the TWENTY or so doctors has a passing connection to BCBS.

You also claim my father has "gotten into bed with BCBS in order to help BCBS root out those of (his) colleagues that they determine too expensive to keep around." Again though, you admit that you have no idea what this advisory board does, so how can you possibly make this statement. Especially when you admit that you made absolutely no attempt to contact BCBS?

You also claim that during 2002, while my father was President of the TMA, he was also on the BCBS Medical Advisory Board. However, that is not true. But you refuse to remove it solely because it is the only link between Dr. Pigott and BCBS and between her and my father. Is a story more important than facts?

You base your inclusion of my father based on something Dr. Pigott stated that Dr. Curran stated. This is hearsay, and as such, unreliable. And again, you made no attempt to contact my father or BCBS to verify any of this.

You also claimed that Dr.'s Miller, Curran and Merian were on this board with BCBS the same time they were in "positions of power". But, I have illustrated they were not. Your house of cards is collapsing.

In part 3, you claim it is "likely" my father was "helped" into his "position of power by BCBS in order to help execute corruption against doctors like Dr. Pigott" Again, you made this statement knowing nothing about my father. You claim that there are many Doctors with a resume "finer" than my father, yet you admit knowing nothing about him, so your statement is unqualified. Your sole complaint about my father seems to be that he is from a small town so he is inherently unqualified to hold any position of power. (BTW Dr. Pigott is from a small town as well, but you don't doubt her credentials, why?)

Your description of Family Practitioners, while accurate in some areas, shows a level of ignorance about who they are and what they do.

You also claim thousands of Doctors have been "targeted" by the "likes" of Keith Miller. But again, you offer no proof of that allegation either.

You claim the facts speak for themselves. They certainly do.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

further update

Mr. Volpe, I spoke with my father this weekend.

You claimed the only thing you accused my father of was serving on a board with BCBS at the same time he was president of the TMA.

Turns out that is not true. At no time during my fathers presidency with the TMA did he serve on any board with BCBS of Texas. As a matter of fact, that board did not even exist at that time.
Also, my father wanted me to tell you that he has never advocated FOR BCBS against a physician. And if BCBS ever attempted to make him do that, he would quit in a moment. The excellent relationship between the physicians of Texas and BCBS is evidence of the advisory boards fairness and strength in presenting physicians issues to BCBS.

I only know Dr. Miller and Dr. Curran in a professional capacity. I vouch for what I know. If the allegations of Dr. Pigott are correct, then I was mistaken.

But the fact remains, you included my father in this sorry debacle when in fact he had nothing to do with any of it. I don't know why Dr. Curran brought him up, or the context in which he did.
But, I hope you will update your piece to reflect that my father had no relationship with BCBS AT ALL while he was president of the TMA. And as a matter of fact did not begin serving on that board until he retired.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

In defense of my Father.

Over at "The Provocateur", Mike Volpe has made some very serious allegations against the character of my father, Dr. Fred Merian of Wimberley.

Mr. Volpe, even though you claim that the only thing you claimed my father was doing was "concurrently serving on a super secret board and President of the TMA at the same time." The fact is you accused him of far more.

But, I will address your claim first. Was he on a "super secret" board at BCBS of Texas? Well, my father has never made it any secret of his position with BCBS. He served on that board prior to his election to the Presidency and he still serves on it. What does this board do? According to my father it is an advisory board, they meet for one day every other month. A simple Google Search of the BCBSTX.com site pulled up quite a bit of information on it. Including this description:

The Texas Medical Advisory Committee and the Texas Peer
Review Committee serve in an advisory capacity to the Medical
Director and HMO Blue Texas regarding health care delivery
issues that affect members and participating network Physicians
and other Professional Providers. The Committees participate in
the development, implementation, and evaluation of required
peer review activities.


Now, this is how you described it:
This committee reviews the performance of other family physicians that are contracted with Blue Cross Blue Shield and determines if any have stepped out of bounds. Furthermore, this committee is intimately involved in determining proper punishment for those physicians that Blue Cross Blue Shield determines to have stepped out of bounds
Big difference. But, you offered no proof for your allegations against this board. Also, it is clear you never contacted Dr. Merian, Dr. Curran, Dr. Miller or Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Texas. You claim this board is "super secret" and as evidence point to the fact that there is no website for this group, nor a rooster of any kind. Guess what, there is no website or rooster for BCBS' housekeeping department either, does that mean it is top secret? No, just that there is no website.

Now, it is obvious this board is not "super secret" so we will move on to some of your other allegations against my father.

You also alleged:
Three doctors, Dr. Doug Curran, Dr. Keith Miller, and Dr. Fred Merian, were simultaneously in significant positions of power in the Texas medical community. Dr. Curran was the head of the Texas Academy of Family Physicians. Dr. Miller was head of the Texas Medical Board's Disciplinary Committee. Dr. Merian was head of the Texas Medical Association. At the same time, these three were also members of the super secret BCBS Texas Medical Advisory Board. In other words, they were playing both sides of the fence. They represented the interests of doctors, and at the same time represented the interests of BCBS against doctors.
Dr. Curran was not sworn in as President of the TAFP until 2006, and he served 1 year (not several years as you claimed), Dr. Miller was not appointed to the Board of Medical Examiners until 2003. And my father took his office as President of the TMA in 2002, and he also only served one year. So, you are wrong in alleging that these three men held their offices simultaneously. Also, the President of the TMA while being the visible face of Doctors in Texas, holds NO power outside the TMA. The TMA is not involved in the certification, regulation or discipline of Doctors in Texas. It is also not involved in negotiating with insurance companies for doctors, nor in the distribution of benefits. Therefore, there is no conflict of interest. Besides, that is a determination for the TMA Board of Directors, the ethics committee and house of Delegates. Both of which were aware of my fathers position, neither of which objected.

Physicians advisory boards advocate FOR doctors. You asked how I knew such boards existed? Simple internet search. (and, I have worked in or around the insurance industry for over 10 years, there are all kinds of advisory boards) Here is the information for the board at Aetna Insurance. The kicker? 19 state Medical Associations asked for such a board to be created. If such boards were so Anti-doctor, why would 700,000 Doctors demand such a board be created? They wouldn't.

The next allegation, although directed at Doctor Curran, is also applicable to my father:

How does a doctor centered in a relatively small town wind up finding himself in the middle of so much disciplinary and decision making power? The answer is that these three were put there by BCBS to corrupt the system to punish private family physicians in Texas that BCBS determined were too expensive.
My father practiced medicine in Yoakum, Texas (pop 6000) before moving to Victoria, Texas (pop 45,000). Your implication here, of course is that individuals from small towns are inherently unqualified to serve in high profile positions, and therefore can only reach those positions through corruption and collusion. Again, you make this statement with no proof to back it up. In order for your allegation (that my father was put in the Presidency of the TMA by BCBS) to be true, you need to be able to back it up. My father (and Dr. Curran) were elected to their positions by the membership of their organizations. You are accusing thousands of Doctors of selling out to BCBS, all the while offering no proof at all. But challenging me to refute it. This is a logical fallacy known as "Shifting the burden of Proof" The burden is on you to prove your allegations, otherwise they are invalid and not credible.


Mr. Volpe, you wrote a piece on my father and two other doctors without even making any attempt to contact them or BCBS. Your "facts" are rumor and innuendo, as well as assumptions. The reason no major media outlet has picked up this story is because there is no meat to it.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Ah, the hypocrisy

Over at "Abortion Clinic Days" they have posted I am sure what they consider to be a fair sign that they would like to force all health care providers and pharmacists to post in their offices.


NOTICE TO PATIENTS

I follow my own religious beliefs ahead of your medical needs. Therefore, I will not support, offer, or approve any of the following checked off below.

__ I do not subscribe to a woman's right to make her own decisions about her reproductive healthcare.

__I do not believe that a woman has the right to choose her method of contraception and therefore will not sell prescription birth control.

__I do not believe in Emergency Contraception, even if you have been raped, and will therefore not give you Plan B to prevent pregnancy.

__ I do not believe in abortion and therefore will not provide an abortion nor will I offer a referral for an abortion elsewhere.


Of course the first line jumps out at you. A Doctor or other health care provider should be required to violate their principles and religious beliefs. A Catholic doctor should be forced to provide services that go against his conscience. What's next? A Orthodox Jewish doctor should be forced to keep his clinic open on Saturdays as to not place his religious beliefs above that of his female patients? A Muslim doctor should be forbidden from taking time out of his day to observe his times of prayer so not to interfere with his patients care?

Of course, a womans right to choose trumps the Doctors freedom of religion and freedom of conscience. Sorry, this is still America, I have the right to my beliefs and you don't have the right to force me to go against them. Nor, do you have the right to shame me for them.

Here is my response to her post, I don't think it will be posted. A message came up that my email address had been marked as spam:




so, let me get this straight, you support a womans right to choose. But not the Doctors right to choose?

Women have a right to choose an abortion free from ridicule, but health care providers don't have the right to refuse to participate in them free from ridicule?

Nice to know you place a womans right to abortion above everyone elses rights to freedom of conscience and freedom of religion.

Better yet, why don't we require doctors who follow their convictions to wear a "A" on their clothes at all times so that they can be recognized as enemies of the state and enemies of women.

Hey, worked for Hitler.

Monday, August 04, 2008

My favorite Saints




The picture above is of my two favorite saints.

On the left is HI & RH Emperor Charles I of Austria (aka Blessed Charles von Habsburg-Lothringen). As the final Emperor of Austria, and King of Hungary, he was the only leader in WWI to heed Pope Benedict XV call for peace, and he spent his entire reign trying to end the war. He halted the use of mustard gas and ceased executions for political crimes. He instituted liberal social reforms and envisioned turning the Austro-Hungarian empire into a true multi-ethnic state of equals. So important was equality, that he forced the royal household to adhere to the same food rationing that the people of the empire had to follow. Forced into exile at the end of the war he tried unsuccessfully to return to the throne of St. Stephen in Budapest, a claim he never renounced. Despite all of this, and being left penniless by the betrayal of a friend, his Catholic faith never wavered, nor did his love and devotion to his wife and family. He died in Madeira, Portugal where he still lies today.

On the right is St. Joan D'Arc (c. 1412 – May 30, 1431) also known as "the Maid of Orleans", she was a 15th century Catholic saint, and national heroine of France. A peasant girl born in Eastern France, Joan led the French army to several important victories during the Hundred Years' War, claiming divine guidance, and was indirectly responsible for the coronation of King Charles VII. She was captured by the English, tried by an ecclesiastical court and burned at the stake by the English when she was nineteen years old. Twenty-four years later, the Holy See reviewed the decision of the ecclesiastical court, found her innocent, and declared her a martyr. She was beatified in 1909 and later canonized in 1920. I recently purchased a medal of this saint for my sister who is being deployed to Iraq.


Friday, August 01, 2008

The Three rules of Anti-Catholics:

Been beating my head against a brick wall over at CARM again, and the Anti-Catholics are back (not to be confused with those who merely disagree with Catholics, Anti's hate) I have come up with three rules:

  1. Catholics always lie
  2. If a Catholic tells the truth, refer to rule #1
  3. Anti-Catholics always tell the truth, when a Catholic presents you with evidence contradicting the anti-Catholic, refer to rule #1.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Back to work...

Now that "crackergate" is over, back to the basics...

Frank Turk over at "...and his minister is a flame of fire" has written a blog post on "Why I'm OK being called 'Anti-Catholic'" I posted this response to him:

It seems to me, you suffer from the same affliction that many anti-catholics do: The delusion that the Catholic Church IS what you think it is. Have you ever considered the possibility that you are wrong?

For example, in your post, you state that Catholics believe God saves "by rites" and not through Christ. This is, of course, completely and absolutely wrong. Catholics believe in salvation through the atoneing work of Christ on the Cross, and we are all saved by the Grace of God.

Another example: You state that Catholics believe Christ can only save us after we spend time in Purgatory. That is wrong as well. True, that Catholics believe that Jesus is not a "get out of hell free card", that all we have to do is heed an altar call or say a "sinners prayer" and we are saved. No, we believe God gave specific instructions on how we are to come to him. And we as Catholics seek to follow him completely.

Once again, it seems the hardest thing for anti-catholics to do is admit that what they think they know about the RCC is wrong. I know it is difficult, they have learned these things from good people, people that they trust. Of course, they learned it from people they trusted, etc.. Such is the ingrained nature of bigotry.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Congratulations to His Grace...

Archbishop Gomez appointed to Vatican Commission working with Latin America

Archbishop José H. Gomez of the Archdiocese of San Antonio has been appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as a consultant to the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, whose purpose is to assist the human and spiritual needs of the Latin American church. The announcement was made July 25.
“I am indeed humbled and truly grateful for the confidence the Holy Father has shown in me through this nomination,” said Archbishop Gomez. “I look forward to working with my brother bishops in Latin America so that together, we can forge a bond that will be a sign of unity as we carry out the mission of the church throughout the American continent.”
The commission has as consultants bishops from selected churches associated with Latin America or from the Vatican.
According to information from the Holy See’s Web site, the function of the commission is to be available to the church in Latin America, by counsel and by action, regarding questions that affect the life and progress of those churches, and to help the churches in finding solutions. It also fosters relations between the national and international church institutes that work in Latin American and the Vatican.
Archbishop Gomez stated, “I accept this honor to serve the Holy See, to work with the bishops of the United States and Latin American in nurturing better communication in the spirit of solidarity, with the knowledge that this appointment points to the importance of San Antonio -- its history, its culture, its reality and its people.”
The commission was created by Pope Pius XII on April 21, 1958, and is commemorating its 50th anniversary this year. It is currently presided over by Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation of Bishops, the entity by which the group is overseen, and the commission’s vice president is Archbishop José Octavio Ruíz Arenas, who formerly served as prelate of the Archdiocese of Villavicencio, Colombia.
“I look forward to working with my brother bishops at this critical time in history for all of our people. The church of the American continent faces many challenges today and even greater challenges in the future,” Archbishop Gomez said. “As we proclaim the Gospel of Christ, in a spirit of faith and love, I am hopeful that our cultures will come together to reflect respect for life and the dignity of every human person, especially the most in need.”
In an address to an assembly of the commission held in Rome in January of 2007, Pope Benedict XVI addressed some of those challenges, listing globalization, secularism, increasing poverty, violence, and the drug trade. The pontiff said, “For the future of the church in Latin America it is important that Christians have a deeper knowledge and adopt an appropriate lifestyle as Jesus’ disciples, simply and joyful with a firm faith rooted in the depths of their heart and nourished by prayer and the sacraments.”
(Story provided by Today's Catholic)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Catholic League, please knock it off!!

I have only the utmost respect for Bill Donohue and the work that he does defending the Catholic Church. However, his constant baiting of PZ Myers is only making the situation worse. Myers wants attention, and the Catholic League keeps giving it to him.

Mr. Donohue, I urge you to ignore Dr. Myers. He's like a 2 year old having a tantrum, ignore him and he'll stop, keep paying attention to him and you prolong the agony.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Lessons Learned

In the military, whenever an operation is completed, often the "After action report" will include "lessons learned". Well, after getting sucked into the "crackergate" controversy over at Pharyngula, I learned some things:
  1. There are such things as fundamentalist Atheists. The sanctimony and self-righteousness of some of the atheists over there would put Fred Phelps to shame.
  2. Atheists have a odd definition of what a personal attack is. (Over on those boards Catholics have been called: religious, deluded lunatic, a**holes, f***ers, Catholibots incapable of independent, rational or intelligent thinking, who abuse our children by teaching them our religion. But, none of this is meant as a personal attack [yeah, right])
  3. I used to think atheists believed that others were free to choose what they wanted to believe, nope, it seems atheists have a major superiority complex. Apparently only a child or a imbecile believes in religion.
  4. And anyone who is a Christian bears personal responsibility for the sins of every other Christian throughout history.
  5. They know what we believe better than we do, just ask them.
Oh well, I am done with this. I refuse to give Dr. Myers any more attention. His threat to desecrate the Eucharist, I see know, is nothing more than a child demanding attention. He lack the courage to enter a Catholic Church to get the Eucharist himself (what is he afraid of?), and now he is going to rant in private about the church, well, I encourage my fellow Catholic bloggers to ignore him, deny him his 15 minutes of fame and let him go back to the obscurity where he belongs.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I stand corrected, an even newer low...

This may be a coincidence but I doubt it.

Eucharist taken from Cathedral tabernacle

The Eucharist was stolen Friday from the tabernacle at Corpus Christi Cathedral on the 500 block of North Upper Broadway, police said.

Corpus Christi Police Lt. Raymond Lara said the Eucharist, the consecrated bread used in Catholic Mass, was taken after someone entered the church through an open door. The exact time of the theft has not been determined and there have been no arrests made in the case, Lara said.

Corpus Christi Cathedral officials would not comment when reached Monday.

I know this is not what Dr. Myers intended, but given the contempt he has shown for Catholic beliefs can he really be surprised the more radical people who agree with him would do something like this.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Oh, that one hurt!

I posted this over at Scienceblogs:

This just goes to prove that the last acceptible form of prejudice in the US is Anti-Catholic.

sigh, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Posted by: kmerian | July 13, 2008 1:36 PM

And the responses:

Absolutely. I mean, gosh, there are people getting tied to fences and beaten to death for being Catholic, states keep passing laws against Catholics getting married, and we would never, ever elect a Catholic president!

Posted by: Gretchen | July 13, 2008 1:46 PM


Right. No prejudice against Gays, Muslims, Blacks, Jews, etc. Only against Catholics, and it takes the terrible form of people saying your belief in transubstantiation is absurd. Congratulations, you may win the award for the dumbest comment ever.

Posted by: Taz | July 13, 2008 1:53 PM

Jon Rowe wrote:

Man I can't believe how many comments PZ is getting over at his blog.

I know- it's crazy. I think a good part of was instigated by a sock-puppeting troll (or trolls), though. One weirdo had about 15 names and all of his posts were about the caliber of kmerian's here. And for whatever reason people just can't seem to ignore it. Then it just snowballs and, oh my.

Posted by: Leni | July 13, 2008 2:12 PM


And the one thing that seems to stay the same is the absurd need to case oneself as a martyr. This is pure ********. this is criticism of your ideas, which is not bigotry. Every idea is open to criticism and criticism is not evidence of bigotry. This is nothing more than this country's cult of victimization - everyone's a victim because being a victim insulates you from criticism. Sorry, that isn't going to fly here. If you want to believe stupid things, you have every right to do so. But others also have the right to call those beliefs stupid. And calling them stupid is not bigotry, it's criticism.

Posted by: Ed Brayton | July 13, 2008 2:30 PM



I stand by what I said.

The fact is, that if Prof. Meyer had written a post that vitriolic about any other group (with the possible exception of Muslims) 99% of the people there defending him, would be calling for his head on a platter. There would be protests outside his office and he would be stripped of tenure.

In academia, criticism and mocking of Christians (especially Catholics) is perfectly ok. Criticism of any other groups, is verbotten, and will earn you a very swift visit from the PC police.

If you want to criticize what I believe, fine, go right ahead. But keep in mind, I am no victim, I will fight back.

Also, how is calling me a "deluded lunatic" who believes "stupid" "hokum" criticizing only my beliefs?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A new low.

I encourage everyone to pray for this professor.

You have to wonder what would make someone this hateful.

Professor PZ Meyers, describes himself as a "liberal athiest". Which is his right, where he differs from most Athiests (who could care less what we religious do) is he has a level of sanctimony and self-righteousness that would make even the most extreme Baptist go "Dude, come on!".

He is certain that all of us are imbeciles who should bow before his superior intellect. His frequent use of profanity just shows the level of his ignorance and how even the most highly educated can have a pitiful vocabulary.

Well, I will let Bill Donohue be the attack dog on this one. I would just encourage everyone to pray for this soul living in darkness.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A wonderful testament to our Catholic Faith...

Betancourt set for medical after hero's welcome in France

Posted Sat Jul 5, 2008 3:05pm AEST
Updated Sat Jul 5, 2008 4:07pm AEST

Freed Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt faced a day of medical tests in Paris on Saturday (local time) after receiving a hero's welcome following her six-year hostage ordeal, as video footage was released of her dramatic rescue.

Snatched from the grip of Marxist FARC rebels in a Colombian army operation Wednesday, along with three US hostages and 11 Colombians, Ms Betancourt arrived in France on Friday on board a French presidential plane from Bogota.

After being feted by President Nicolas Sarkozy at the Elysee Palace, the 46-year-old former Colombian presidential candidate, who also has French nationality, was to spend Saturday undergoing an in-depth medical examination at a military hospital in Paris.

Though she told reporters she felt "in great shape," she developed a string of ailments while in captivity, possibly including hepatitis.

On her arrival at Villacoublay airbase outside Paris, Ms Betancourt walked smiling down the stairs of the plane to embrace Mr Sarkozy and First Lady Carla Bruni, waiting to welcome her to her second home.

"I am so happy to breathe the air of France. I owe France everything," she told the crowd waiting to welcome her.

"I have shed a great many tears of pain and indignation. Today I am crying with joy," she said, her voice breaking with emotion. "You saved my life."

"Ingrid Betancourt, welcome. France loves you," Mr Sarkozy told her.

Ms Betancourt paid a personal tribute to the French president, who made her release a top priority, as "this extraordinary man who fought so hard for me."

"This extraordinary, perfect operation by the Colombian army... is also the result of your struggle," she said, explaining that France staunchly opposed any armed "military operation that would put the hostages' lives in danger."

A video showing hostages angry and resigned at having their hands bound, and then minutes later sobbing with jubilation aboard a helicopter upon discovering they had been freed, was shown on Friday for the first time by Colombia military.

The video of FARC rebels benignly handing over the 15 hostages to disguised Colombian commandos was released to counter questions about the military's dramatic and bloodless coup, Defence Minister Juan Manuel Santos said.

The video shows the unarmed, disguised Colombian commandos binding the hands of the hostages with plastic cuffs, as one hostage, a Colombian soldier, angrily scolds the fake guerrillas for his treatment.

Once aboard the disguised military helicopter, the video shows Ms Betancourt and others reacting in surprise and breaking out in tears after the cuffs were removed and the soldiers revealed themselves.

"This is absolutely false," Mr Santos told reporters, when asked about reports that $US20 million had been paid as ransom, and that it was all arranged in advance with a rebel commander in charge of the hostages.

Ms Betancourt was accompanied on the flight to Paris by her daughter Melanie, 22, and son Lorenzo, 19.

Speaking at the reception with her supporters at the Elysee palace, she urged Mr Sarkozy to keep working to free the hundreds of other hostages still held by Colombia's FARC rebels, Latin America's most powerful left-wing insurgency.

"Let it be clear, we will continue," the French president replied.

Paris is where Ms Betancourt grew up, studied and raised her family. Her children had waged a relentless campaign for their mother's release, making her a cause celebre in France.

Ms Betancourt said in a radio interview she had been chained up night and day for three years by her captors.

Asked whether she was tortured, she replied: "Yes, yes." She said she saw her captors lapsing into "diabolical behaviour."

"It was so monstrous that I think they themselves were disgusted," she said.

Later thousands of people watched as Ms Betancourt took down a poster of her face displayed on the Paris Town Hall during her captivity.

A fervent Catholic who called her release a "miracle of the Virgin Mary," Ms Betancourt has also been invited to meet Pope Benedict XVI.

"It is a meeting that one cannot pass up," she told AFP.

The Colombian army rescue mission was a huge triumph in President Alvaro Uribe's long battle against the leftist rebels.

A news outlet close to FARC said on Thursday the group would be open to peace talks with the Uribe government.