Catholic commentary on culture, media, and politics.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Gossips in the Loggia

Referring to Archbishop Sheen's beatification cause, Rocco Palmo writes:

Barely three decades after Al Smith's faith kept him from the Oval Office, Sheen paved the way for another of the faithful to take it.

As you know, that hasn't happened since. And such is the state of things that, even if one came close in our own time, a Catholic presidential nominee would be eaten alive -- by Catholics.

Wait, that already happened.

Right. As if Fulton Sheen would endorse America's favorite pro-abortion flip-flopper.

Please, Rocco. Come out of the Democrat shill closet.

Monday, August 21, 2006

"Buggery," your excellency? Bravo!

Bishop Doran of Rockford, IL, unfurled the banner of blunt clarity in a recent column on the "D Party," the Party of Death. I'm guessing this is the only instance of a bishop employing the word buggery in a public teaching statement.

Reaping the whirlwind of abortion

I want to touch on this matter before we get too close to the November madness. As human beings, as citizens of a “first world country,” as Americans, and as Catholics, most importantly, we have to take count of the circumstances in which we live. We know that the only creatures of God that outlast time are those created having intellect and will. All other things, with the passage of time, break up or break down.

Many of the issues that confront us are serious, and we know by now that the political parties in our country are at loggerheads as to how to solve them. We know, for instance, that adherents of one political party would place us squarely on the road to suicide as a people.

The seven “sacraments” of their secular culture are abortion, buggery, contraception, divorce, euthanasia, feminism of the radical type, and genetic experimentation and mutilation. These things they unabashedly espouse, profess and promote. Their continuance in public office is a clear and present danger to our survival as a nation.

Since the mid-1940s we have been accustomed to look askance at Germans. They were protagonists of the Second World War and so responsible for fifty million deaths. We say, “How awful,” and yet in our country we have, for the most part, allowed the party of death and the court system it has produced to eliminate, since 1973, upwards of forty million of our fellow citizens without allowing them to see the light of day. They have done their best to make ours a true culture of death. No doubt, we shall soon outstrip the Nazis in doing human beings to death.

I do not think that we should spend a great deal of time in lamentation over the children whose lives have been snuffed out by the barbaric practice of therapeutic abortion. They passed from their lives quickly in this world and have gone into the hands of the Lord of Life and Mercy for all eternity. We must make it clear too, that many who have sought to have practiced on themselves therapeutic abortion are in many instances driven to it by persons heedless of their welfare, or by well- meaning but inept parents or guardians who regard abortion as a solution and not as what it is — an immense problem. There are some, I think few, largely given over to immoral lives who regard abortion as a good, but their number is not great.

What we have to remember is that violence breeds violence. When we tolerate unjust attacks upon the tiniest innocents among us, we habituate ourselves to violence. And so we have allowed these barbaric practices to corrupt our laws, our medical practice, and even our ordinary lives. How accustomed we have become to the immense loss of life in our wars throughout the world!

Steve Martin: national treasure

I remember my dad and I laughing -- rolling on the floor howling -- to my first Steve Martin album, "Let Gets Small."

His comedy persona is as subtle as it is unmistakeable. Here's snippet of why I'm a fan:

It's very hard being one of the most beautiful people. Having this kind of beauty is actually a burden. Sometimes I go to a party and not one of the other 49 most beautiful people is there. That makes me feel very solitary and alone, because it means I am the most beautiful person in the room. If I'm going to a party where I know there will be "less-beautiful people," I try to "dress down" in order to hide my beauty. But this seems to have a counter-effect of actually making me more beautiful. I guess me and dungarees are a pretty potent combination.

I try not to lord my beauty over others. But this is very hard. I try not to mention that I am one of the most beautiful people, but somehow it always comes out. I will usually only bring it up when I'm asked to do a task, like open a garage door. People seem to enjoy my beauty and are genuinely happy for me, because after I mention it they always say, "How nice for you."

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Brush with fame

A while back I interviewed Douglas Urbanksi, the manager of renowned actor Gary Oldman. The interview was picked up by Spero News.

And then splashed on the front page of Gary's website. See "DU interview."

What I'm saying is, this means (obviously) that we're very close friends. In fact, Gare (I call him Gare or The Garester) is having dinner at my house tonight. As he does often. Like, all the time.

Crossing the line of decency

I appreciate humor in political discourse as much as the next guy, but I find it totally unacceptable that a photographer would sneak a picture of Hillary trying to get a little shut eye.

It's just wrong.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The crumbling of America, Part CXVII

There's this little town in New Mexico, see. And it's called Las Cruces, right? That's Spanish for "the crosses," and it commemorates the work of the Franciscan missionaries who helped found and shape the community, okay?

Well, now the little town is being sued by ACLU types to do something about the outrageous official city logo that depicts -- the horror -- some crosses!

Dangerous twits.

Next at bat: the offensive, anti-non-Christian names of Sacramento, Santa Monica, San Bernardino, San Francisco, St. Louis, San Diego, Santa Barbara, etc., etc.

And let's throw in Maryland for its Romanist overtones.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Peter Kreeft surfs, therefore he is.

Last Friday I joined the ranks of the few, the proud: those who have surfed with philosopher, writer, and raconteur Peter Kreeft of Boston College.

The good doctor was in LA to keynote the closing gala for Act One: Writing for Hollywood, of which I'm an alumnus. I heard he was arriving a day early and offered to to play Jeeves to his VIP. To say the loeast, I'm glad I did. The waves at El Porto beach were a blast, but nowhere near as enjoyable as just spending time with one of my intellectual and spiritual mentors.

His book Love is Stronger than Death is the only book I've ever read cover-to-cover and then just had to re-read immediately. It was a true salve for my soul a few months ago when we first got the misdiagnosis (!) of Naomi. Buy the book. It's typically Kreeftian: simultaneously light and heavy, personal and profound.

In person, he's hilarious in a dry, almost British way, with a rapier-like wit -- all overlaid with kindness and humility. His talk to budding Hollywood writers went over big, too; I'll post the text when it comes available.