Marriage Means Nothing

...in Canada. Under the Liberals, with their approval and government funding, marriage has been reduced to an agreement with financial and legal benefits and a symbol of homosexual power.

William Gairdner fills us in on the repercussions :

...We need to be reminded that marriage in the West has always been an institution based on four requirements, or qualifications that have provided whatever marital-social stability we used to enjoy. Until recently the law said that anyone is permitted to marry as long as they marry someone of the opposite sex, only one such person at a time, who is not beneath a certain age, and not a close blood relative. That is the four-legged matrimonial chair on which Western Judeo-Christian society has always rested.

But due to the undermining of marriage that results from having removed the gender requirement, the case of open polygamy practiced at Bountiful will not be prosecuted in the confidence that this rational social and moral ground of marriage, this stable structure that has been the very best thing for men, women, children, and for society as a whole for generations, must be upheld. For it as already been trashed.

Instead, polygamy will be prosecuted simply because it is against the current law (Section 293). And polygamy will defended under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms as a matter of religious right.

When it gets to court, judges will fall back on the question of whether or not one individual right (to religion) does or does not “trump” another individual right (say, a woman’s right). In other words, the process of adjudication in the war over rights will come down, as always, to some judge’s effort to construct a reasonable hierarchy of individual rights. Society, and the greater common good, will be entirely absent from this deliberation...

Related Articles:
Cdn Law Prohibiting Polygamy Faces CHallenge
Cdn Gov't Study Suggests Legalizing Polygamy
Special Report: The Conspiracy To Abolish Marriage In Canada

Neuhaus's Liberalism

Damon Linker of The New Republic, and Ross Douthat of The Atlantic are having a good discussion on the particular view of American liberal tradition that was at the core of Fr. Neuhaus' patriotic defense of religion and his strong voice for the 'culture of life' in America.

...Neuhaus argued that the American constitutional order, and the form of liberalism it embodies, "is premised upon moral truths secured by religion," to quote from his essay on John Paul II and the liberal tradition. Moreover, he believed that the modern left's emphasis on the separation of religion and politics (as opposed to church and state) ran toward illiberalism, and that the left-wing promotion of legalized abortion and euthanasia amounted to a frontal assault on essentially liberal principles - human rights and human dignity and so forth. These are not uncontroversial views, to put it mildly, and they certainly made him a conservative in the modern political landscape. But they are views have deep roots in Anglo-American political history - the notion that liberalism's basic premises depend in some sense upon religion, in particular, is as old as Hobbes and Locke - and as such they properly belong within the big tent of the American liberal tradition, rather than outside it...

..This is the great theoconservative shell game...

(h/t Jonah Goldberg)

These are the kinds of discussions that America needs more of.

Meanwhile the tributes to Fr. Neuhaus keep coming....


Planned Parenthood To Lay Off 20% of Staff

Madoff Rips Off Baby Killers


Rainbow Soup?

Campbell's has decided to ignore the McDonald's experience, and the family values expressed by the buying public, and go after the niche of 'gay family' soup eaters.

Good on 'em. They are ridiculously overpriced anyway! (And not very healthy.)

I'm already not buying their soup (I make my own, delicious, soups) but I join in the boycott of Campbell's in spirit. I hope they feel the indignation of normal families who don't appreciate their children being ambushed by 'gay soup' commercials in their prime time viewing. (Actually, I'm boycotting television in general for this very reason!)

Mind you, they are perfectly free to come up with the worst advertising campaign they can think of, just as we are perfectly free to despise it!

Freedom is a two-edged sword.

Funeral Notice

The information for Fr. Neuhaus' wake and funeral arrangements can be found at the First Things blog.


R.I.P. Father Richard John Neuhaus

Fr. Richard John Neuhaus passed away this morning.

Joseph Bottum, Editor "First Things"
.....I weep, rather for all the rest of us. As a priest, as a writer, as a public leader in so many struggles, and as a friend, no one can take his place. The fabric of life has been torn by his death, and it will not be repaired, for those of us who knew him, until that time when everything is mended and all our tears are wiped away...

Pete Wehner
...The death of Father Neuhaus is a terrible blow. Not for him, who is now united with his Savior and his Redeemer, in whom Father Neuhaus placed all of his trust and all of his hope; but for us, who have lost one of America's leading public intellectuals, a man of profound wisdom and learning, and a great champion for the unborn. It was Father Neuhaus, along with his dear, long-time friend George Weigel and just a handful of others like Michael Novak, who not only championed the pro-life cause for so many years, but who gave the rest of us both the grounding and the vocabulary to speak on this issue...

Steven Ertelt, Editor "LifeNews.com"
...His influence was so great on the president [Bush] that his catch-phrase of "welcoming unborn children into life and protecting them under law" became Bush's standard line any time he referenced pro-life matters.

That influence was noted as Time magazine, in 2005, hailed Father Neuhaus as one of the top 25 most influential religious leaders in America. Bush, himself, credited with Neuhaus as "helping me articulate these [religious] things.”...

John Allen

...To Catholic insiders, however, it was Neuhaus’ writing rather than his political activism that made him a celebrity. From the pages of First Things, the unapologetically high-brow journal he founded in 1990, Neuhaus kept up a steady stream of commentary on matters both sacred and secular....

...Over the years, even people who disagreed with Neuhaus’ politics or theology would devour his monthly essay in First Things, titled “The Public Square,” for sheer literary pleasure. His combination of epigrammatic formulae and occasionally biting satire often reminded fans of English-language Catholic luminaries of earlier eras, such as G.K. Chesterton or Cardinal John Henry Newman...

I became aware of Fr. Neuhaus one summer when my mother received five years worth of 'First Things' issues. I read every issue cover to cover, saving 'Public Square' for dessert! Through his magazine I came to know how much more there was to know about my faith, and was introduced to many solid thinkers both Protestant and Catholic.

I thank him for expanding my Christian world and improving my library, but most of all I thank Fr. Richard John Neuhaus for his loving service to the Lord, his strong voice of reason and his love for all mankind - especially the unborn.

Not spilt like water on the ground,
Not wrapped in dreamless sleep profound,
Not wandering in unknown despair
Beyond thy voice, thine arm, thy care;
Not left to lie like fallen tree;
Not dead, but living unto thee.

(Sir Joseph Barnby, 1871 - Burial Hymn)

Catholic Carnival #206

Up at 50 Days After. Prayer, meditation, Saints of all sorts, life issues, resolutions and liturgy!


Prayer Call For Fr. Richard John Neuhaus

Raymond Arroyo of EWTN :

I don't often ask for favors, but I am hoping that you can oblige me on this one. My friend (and frequent on air co-host) Father Richard John Neuhaus is very ill and could use your prayers. I ask you to remember him in prayer as we begin this new year. Here is a bit of a note that Jody Bottum, the editor of First Things was good enough to send my way:
"Fr. Neuhaus is in the hospital here in New York. Over Thanksgiving, he was diagnosed with a serious cancer. The long-term prognosis for this particular cancer is not good, but it is not hopeless, either, and there is a possibility that it will respond to the recommended out-patient chemotherapy treatment.

Unfortunately, over Christmas, he was taken dangerously ill with what seems to be a systemic infection that has left him very weak. Entering the hospital the day after Christmas, he was sedated to lower an elevated heart rate and treatment was begun for the infection. Over the last few days, he has shown some signs of improvement, and there is a reasonable expectation that he will recover from this present illness—sufficiently, we hope, that he will be able to begin the chemotherapy for the cancer."

I saw Father Neuhaus in New York after Thanksgiving, following his last hospital stay. He was weakened but in great spirits. Surrounded by his community, a brandy in one hand, he held forth on an array of subjects with his usual wit and candor. There is no one inside or outside of the Church like him. I ask all of you to pray for his recovery and that he may be granted the strength to return to the work he so loves--the work we so need him to continue.

Thank you, Raymond

Fr. Neuhaus Online Archive

Welcome, Archbishop Vigneron

The Diocese of Detroit has received the good news that Bishop Allen Vigneron, of Oakland, California, has been appointed Archbishop of Detroit. He is replacing Cardinal Maida who asked to retire 2 years ago.

AMP has posted several good links on the Michigan native's move back home.

As Thomas Peters points out, it's especially good news for the Sacred Heart seminary, where Abp Vigneron has served as rector. Our parish (St. Ignatius) in the Cayman Islands has a seminarian there currently, and since the departure of Bishop Quinn we have been anxiously awaiting this appointment.

Probably unknown to most , the Cayman Islands is under the administration of Detroit as a 'missio', so we are pleased to have Bishop Flores and Abp. Vigneron as our Shepherds in Christ.



Wise Men Seeking Truth

The Epiphany

The mystery of the Christ-birth is a rich and glorious beginning, splendid with promise. Today we worship a partial fulfillment when Jesus, as an Infant King, is manifested to wise men of the Gentile world and through them to all peoples. His royalty is neither frightening nor pompous, for the kingly majesty of the sovereign Redeemer is robed in babyhood. Coming in the simplicity of true greatness, Jesus makes Himself acceptable and at home to the little and the great of every nation under heaven.

ProEcclesia has a great round-up of Twelfth Night traditions.

The Westin household will be trying out a few of them this evening.

Joy To The World!! The Lord HAS Come!!

Rights For Gays - Only

More deplorable, disgusting and illegal behavior in San Francisco by opponents of Prop 8 adds to the negative reputation of that city. Can't think of any reason a non- gay person would visit there, unless it was to have a 'detested and mal-treated minority' experience. That's a real tourism booster! (Way to go, Mayor Gavin!)

Catholic League:
Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, in the heart of San Francisco’s gay Castro community, was vandalized over the weekend by opponents of Proposition 8, the California resolution passed by voters in November that rejected gay marriage. Swastikas were painted on the church and the names Ratzinger (referring to Pope Benedict XVI) and Niederauer (the San Francisco Archbishop) were scrawled besides the Nazi symbol....

...“In the wake of Proposition 8, innocent persons have been assaulted, churches have been vandalized, a white substance resembling anthrax was sent to the Knights of Columbus and to Mormon temples, supporters of traditional marriage have been branded Nazis, African Americans have been called the ‘N-word,’ houses and cars have been trashed, etc. Unfortunately, most of those in the gay community have been silent about these acts....

Including Gavin.

Pimping The Tweens

Seems like British schools have found their calling...pimping tweens! "Here ya go guys, the girls are free of any parental or consequential impediments"....WHAT ARE THEY THINKING??
Secondary schools in England are under fire for giving the morning after pill to girls as young as 11 years old without the knowledge of their parents. Norman Wells, director of campaign group Family Education Trust, obtained the information from the health department under the Freedom of Information Act.

The information shows that, in Oxfordshire alone, school-based health clinics have given 1,081 Plan B pills to schoolgirls in the last six years.

Staff at the more than 1,000 clinics throughout the UK are not required to obtain parental permission before giving girls the drug, which can cause an abortion in some circumstances if taken after conception....

"... there's evidence it may be making matters worse. Confidential school clinics enable boys to put even more pressure on girls to have sex as Mum needn't know anything about it," (Wells) said....

....In June, the British health department showed the number of abortions on young teenagers is up significantly in 2007 compared with the year before.

Across all age groups in England and Wales, abortions appear to have risen 2.5 percent. But the jump in teen abortions is staggering in comparison.

The number of abortions on girls younger than 14 years of age rose 21 percent from 2006 to 2007 -- making it appear more cases of sexual abuse are occurring and resulting in more abortions....


"Black Genocide"

"The good thing about an Obama presidency is that we now have a face to put on the genocide of African-American babies in this country." (Clenard Childress Jr., senior pastor of New Calvary Baptist Church in Montclair, N.J.)

Lynn Vincent writes about increasing awareness of the toll abortion has cost the African-American community:

...Earlier this year, an ASU professor invited Adetunji to address her students on the topic. "The professor knew some of her students had faced, or were facing, crisis pregnancies," said Adetunji, a pastor's wife who has lately assumed the mantle of pro-life activist. "She wanted a way to get them some help in making better decisions, better choices." ...

....Adetunji is among a growing number of people working both to educate African-Americans about the truth of pregnancy and the ravages of abortion, and to increase compassionate outreach to black women facing crisis pregnancies. And with an African-American becoming president, some urban pro-life activists say the time to draw national attention to the steep toll of abortion on blacks is now....

(h/t freerepublic)

Related posts :
National Black Prolife Union
Day Gardner's Response to Obama
Barack and Baby Daddies

Abortion and Politics

First Things has two excellent abortion/prolife articles in its latest edition:

"Abortion After Obama"
It happens every four years—maybe every two years: Anytime there’s an election in this country, the pundits and political experts take to their soapboxes and proclaim the death of pro-life politics. The unwashed yokels in Utah, Alabama, South Dakota, Oklahoma: They’re an embarrassment, you see, and the sooner we stop paying attention to them, the sooner the nation’s politics will regain its equilibrium....

"The Prolife Movement As The Politics Of The Sixties
Whatever else it is, the pro-life movement of the last thirty-plus years is one of the most massive and sustained expressions of citizen participation in the history of the United States. Since the 1960s, citizen participation and the remoralizing of politics have been central goals of the left. Is it not odd, then, that the pro-life movement is viewed as a right-wing cause?...