Saturday, March 29, 2003

An interesting article and something to keep in mind when listening to news from the front

Thursday, March 27, 2003

I love this line:

If you want to see true human shields, walk through Arlington Cemetery.

To read the Beth Chapman's speech in its entirety, go here
---courtesy of View From the Core

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Bombs Over Baghdad!

I would love to claim that I am of one mind as far as the war goes. I’m not. I respect and admire the President. I support him in our war on terrorism. I support our troops and I feel personally privileged by the service of our fighting men and women. I fear for them and I pray for them. I thank God for them.

At the same time, I recognize that this war, if judged without consideration of the larger context, fails to meet the requirements of just war doctrine. I would have preferred another path. Now, however, it appears that the most direct path to peace lies through the minefield of this war. Being truly desirous of a godly peace, I accept that the circumstances framing the discussion have changed. We are a nation at war in a volatile world. To fail in this war would be to fail to attain a just or even a reasonable peace. It would be a victory for chaos. I reject the simplistic thinking of both jingoists and dys/utopians. I pray for peace and for victory against the agents of terror. I pray also that our president will be open to any unanticipated opportunities for a just peace that might arise.

War always and everywhere is a serious, dear and deadly business. Every indication is that the United States is conducting this war with the strictest adherence to just war criteria. If this level of military service persists, it is quite possible that this war will set a new ethical standard for warfare. If reports are accurate, the enemy is pursuing a very different tack. They are behaving as terrorists against their own citizenry.

Currently the war in Iraq is going well. It has been well planned and is being well executed. It is unlike our recent engagements. I doubt that this comes as a surprise to our military strategists. It is intentionally different. It is a war where we have put ourselves at risk to achieve a result that positively impacts the global community, the Iraqi people and the United States. I am confident that our President is well-intended. He is resolute in his duty to defend our nation and our national ideals. I have no doubt that he will stand by the commitment he made shortly after the Towers fell. He is in this for the long haul and he intends to win a new peace. Although I worry about the ‘political’ fallout, I am not impatient.

I must admit to being one of those people who wasn’t where I should have been when the Twin Towers were attacked. I was about a block away from the Towers rather than beneath them. I remember my first response in that surreal moment. Before any other emotion, I was outraged that finally our hand was being forced. I had become accustom to a presidency that held human life so cheaply that acts of war were used to distract our nation from sexual indiscretions. I felt momentary horror that our national response would be a lashing out of egocentric and disproportional violence.

Rushing up behind this horror was a sense of personal devastation. I suddenly realized that it was equally probable that we might do nothing at all. We might light candles and tell pretty lies and delude ourselves with the notion that a nation indifferent to its own survival was something other than a rotting corpse. I have never felt so lonely as I did in the light of that second possibility.

In the aftermath of that moment, the President presented us with a third option. He returned us to ourselves as a nation conceived and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. He reminded us that we are free men and strong. Since then, he has tried to steer a course that is as measured, as just and as generous as the spirit of America.

On September 11, global terrorists attacked America’s ‘domestic soil’. Subsequently, the president declared war on terrorists and on the states that sponsor them. It could be legitimately argued that we have been at war since that day. In this view, Iraq is merely one operation in a larger war. I believe that this is the president’s position. President Bush foresaw our current hesitation, and nevertheless pledged himself to this effort. He continues to fulfill that pledge.

I pray that Operation Iraqi Freedom is measured and swift. I pray that the ensuing peace will be just and lasting. Perhaps most of all, I pray for the defeat of all those agents of chaos who walk in the vanguard of tyranny, and for all of our soldiers who place themselves in harm's way in defense of the dignity of man.

Sunday, March 23, 2003

The Phony Debate The pundits are arguing about everything except what's interesting.

U.S. Army Muslim chaplain questions duty:
Captain gets mixed signals from foreign Islamic leaders

I am not highlighting this story to imply that Muslims can not be loyal Americans. I mean only to suggest that there are dimensions to the competing demands of nation and religion that we would prefer not address.

Supporting Our Armed Forces: An American Muslim's Perspective

Friday, March 21, 2003

"Our First Obligation Is Prayer and Solidarity"
Bishop Gregory's Statement on War with Iraq

Indonesians Showing Interest in Catholicism, Say Bishops
Bishop Petrus Canisius Mandagi of Ambon in the Molucca Islands, the scene of Protestant-Muslim clashes in recent years, said the number of Catholics in his area is growing.

"During the clashes," he explained, "the local Catholic communities upheld the dignity of every person, irrespective of religion, and, rather than siding with one of the parties in conflict, they worked to reach reconciliation. This witness has led many to want to know more about the Catholic faith."

Thursday, March 20, 2003

On the eve of a possible U.S. attack, Archbishop Sleiman [of Baghdad] told the Misna missionary agency that "many of our faithful, who have roots in the country, have gone back to their lands. They have left the city; they fled with everything they could take. Perhaps they will be safe there."

"The churches, however, will stay open, regardless of what happens, to guarantee at any time shelter for all," he said. "The government has given food rations so that, for at least a week or so, there should be no food problems.

"I would like to say to President George W. Bush: 'War also harms the victor; the only possible victory is peace.'"

"In a certain sense, we are all Americans, as we are all citizens of the world," the archbishop added. "I love that country and those people, and I would like them to understand what they are about to do."

* * * * *

In an interview,Powell revealed on Tuesday that he called Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran a day earlier.

The Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera reported that the Holy See appreciated the "welcome" telephone call because, according to Vatican sources, Powell also assured the Vatican that "all necessary precautions have been taken to avoid civilian victims."

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

You're the 456!
You are artistic, a bit whimsical, and less iconic
than the train on the other side of the Park.
Others may see you as an odd conglomeration of
new and old-fashioned ideas, but you realize
that's part of your charm.

Which New York City subway line are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

This turns my stomach: NYC Council Opposes War

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

From The Lay of the Last Minstrel:

Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd,
As home his footsteps he hath turn'd,
From wandering on a foreign strand!
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no Minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonor'd, and unsung.

Thursday, March 06, 2003

Join me and a whole bunch of other Americans in sending thanks to the U.S. Military
Other suggestions on ways in which we can support our military, can be found at SUPPORT OUR TROOPS

When considering your options, please note the following request from the DoD:
Please do not flood the military mail system with letters, cards, and gifts. Due to security concerns and transportation constraints, the Department cannot accept items to be mailed to " Any Servicemember ." Some people have tried to avoid this prohibition by sending large numbers of packages to an individual servicemember's address, which however well intentioned, clogs the mail and causes unneccessary delays.

In Honor of My Patron Saint:
I want to tell you about the launch of a new web site for the movie THERESE, produced by Luke Films and scheduled for theatrical release October 2003. Please visit the site and support this beautiful family film on the life of St. Therese of Lisieux. There are all kinds of things to do and see on the site. You can learn about the people who made the film, learn more about St. Therese and join the discussion group, plus there's a contest where you can win a free trip to the movie premiere. The more of you who visit the site the greater the impact the film will have and it'll show the theater owners and the distributors what kind of films you want to see. Make sure you post a message on the discussion board to show your support. Here's your chance to make a difference in the entertainment industry.
Check it out,

P.S Posting is going to be most irregular for the next week or so. My computer died over the weekend and it will be a week, maybe two, before it's replacement arrives.

Notes on Ash Wednesday from Zenit:
Jews and Muslims Join the Fast for Peace
Catholics in Baghdad marked Ash Wednesday by embracing the Pope's call for a day of prayer and fasting for peace.

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

From Zenit:"Is it appropriate to dig a new chasm between peoples?"
The cardinal said he will insist on the need to find a solution to the Iraqi crisis within the United Nations, and on the dramatic fallout a war might have for future dialogue with Islam.

Also from Zenit:Moral Criteria for Struggle Against Terrorism

Saturday, March 01, 2003

Funding the hand that bites you
Well, Election 2000 failed to derail Planned Parenthood's taxpayer gravy train... They [ the Republican Party] increased Planned Parenthood's public funding. In 2002, Planned Parenthood received an estimated $60 million of the $265 million in Title X federal family-planning funding. Pocketing a cool $60 million sure takes the pressure off fundraising for the world's largest provider of abortions.

De-funding PP should be a priority.

We should also consider this: An Unnecessary Evil
The cause for life in America has yet to reach the second stage. The argument that the unborn are human lives has been largely won. It is now time for a coherent, sustained, and concerted effort to demonstrate that abortion is “impolitic”—bad for women as well as the unborn. As was the case with the slave trade, such a program is needed to counter the notion among many Americans that abortion is a “necessary evil.” In carrying their argument to Middle America, pro–lifers must go beyond preaching to the anti–abortion choir: they need to make their case in ways that appeal to those who are currently undecided or conflicted on the issue. As Chesterton put it, “We must either not argue with a man at all, or we must argue on his grounds, and not ours.”