Our No Good, Miserable, Very Hot Future

By Rod Dreher

That’s my result from this New York Times interactive feature, which counts the number of days at or over 90 degrees in your hometown when you were born, compares them to now, and projects them into your old age.

In 1967, the year I was born, Baton Rouge had 86 days per year in which the temperature reached 90 or higher.

Today, in 2017, that’s 101 days — more than three months.

When I’m an old man, in 2047, we’ll likely be up to 123 days — four months of very hot days. And humid ones too. It’s always humid in south Louisiana.

It is hard to overstate how much I hate the heat here. I guess I’m going to keep on buying lottery tickets so we can build a compound on the coast in Nova Scotia, and stay there from just past Walker Percy Weekend (early June) through Thanksgiving (late November).

…read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Spadaro Speaks!

By Rod Dreher

Antonio Spadaro, SJ

An inspiring message from a spiritual giant of our time:

That cannot be improved upon. If only there were a video version…

…read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Todd Starnes: Texas cheerleaders win a victory for freedom of religious expression – Praise the Lord

By Todd Starnes There are two hard and fast rules in life: don’t mess with Texas and don’t mess with Texas cheerleaders. The Kountze Independent School District in southeast Texas has learned that lesson the hard way. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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The Hypocrisy Of Pope Francis’s Silence

By Rod Dreher

Austen Ivereigh, a biographer of Pope Francis, writes that the pontiff’s silence on the Vigano testimony is a sign of his holiness. Excerpt:

Yet rather than answer NBC’s Anna Matranga’s question on the plane asking if these claims were true, Francis said the document spoke for itself and that journalists had enough ‘professional maturity’ to reach their own conclusions. Later, he said, ‘maybe I will say some more.’

Some commentators saw this as a ‘stalling tactic’; others said Francis was refusing to play ‘a game that’s 2,000 years old’, in other words, to be drawn into the thickets and weeds of ecclesiastical intrigue. One commentary observed that rather than ‘accusing others and blameshifting,’ Francis ‘simply, in a very calm and dignified way, stimulated an objective and dispassionate investigation from third parties and entrusted himself to whatever the outcome may be, for he doesn’t fear truth, but rather is confident that truth will vindicate him.’

Bergoglio’s 1990 essay, ‘Silence and Word’, suggests a deeper spiritual purpose to his silence, one drawn from a meditation on the Passion in the Third Week of the Spiritual Exercises. There St Ignatius describes how in the Passion, God ‘goes into hiding’, concealing, as it were, his divinity.

This is a very different kind of silence from, say, the silence of complicity or the silence of inaction faced with evidence of evil, as we have seen too often in the case of sexual abuse of minors.

The purpose of Christ’s self-emptying silence — his meekness faced with ferocious hostility — is to create space for God to act. This kind of silence involves a deliberate choice not to respond with an intellectual or reasoned self-defence, which in a context of confusion, of claims and counter-claims and half-truths, simply fuels the cycle of hysterical accusation and counter-accusation. It is a spiritual strategy to force the spirits behind the attack to reveal themselves.

Well, that’s one way of looking at it. Christopher Ruddy, a professor at Catholic University in DC, points out that it’s the same way that the Legionaries of Christ in 2004 regarded the silence of their founder, Marcial Maciel, in the face of serious and credible accusations that he was an abuser. From the document:

1. Fr. Marcial Maciel has received during his life a great number of accusations. In the last few years, some of these were presented to the Holy See so that a canonical process would be opened.

2. Facing the accusations made against him, he declared his innocence and, following the example of Jesus Christ, decided not to defend himself in any way.

Maciel, of course, was guilty as hell.

This doesn’t make Francis guilty of the accusations Vigano makes against him. But you really have to be a hardcore drinker of the Bergoglian Kool-Aid to accept the line that the pontiff’s silence makes him Christ-like. In 2015, Francis told 165 cardinals gathered in Rome that he wants “absolute transparency” in the running of the Roman Curia, which is notoriously corrupt. As recently as this past summer, <a target="_blank" …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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With Trump, There’s Smoke and Sometimes Fire

By Ross Marchand

For vacationers eyeing Southeastern states for sun and waves, the advice given for an incoming hurricane is simple: stay away. Similar advice can be doled out to those driven to the internet during a tweetstorm by President Donald Trump.

For the past couple of years, a pattern emerges following the president’s urge to tweet about a seeming hodgepodge of issues: think post office reform, water markets, or South African land seizures. In the 24 hours following one of his hyperbolic missives, the denizens and self-appointed fact-checkers of the World Wide Web become experts on the topic chosen by the commander-in-chief, and an avalanche of rebuttals follow. Yet, very few fact-check the fact-checkers.

By and large, the best that Trump’s supporters can muster are typical reactionary snark. The battle over rhetorical supremacy on Twitter and among the cable news commentariat is waged. The air gets sucked out of the room, with simple facts and reasoned analysis nowhere to be found.

Fortunately, the millions of Americans looking for level-headed analysis of the issues identified by Trump needn’t completely steer clear of the internet. Archived searches, customized to deliver news and analysis on a subject published before a tweetstorm, allows the resumption of a normal debate.

Case-in-point: the president’s pronouncement on wildfires and water policy, tweeted on August 5 and 6. Commenting on the wildfires rampaging through the Western United States, Trump accused California of magnifying the crisis through “bad environmental laws, which aren’t allowing massive amounts of readily available water to be properly utilized. It is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean.”

Governor Jerry Brown must allow the Free Flow of the vast amounts of water coming from the North and foolishly being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Can be used for fires, farming and everything else. Think of California with plenty of Water – Nice! Fast Federal govt. approvals.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 6, 2018

A simple Google News search on any relevant combination of words (try “wildfire water shortage”) will reveal media outlets such as CNN, NPR, Vox, Politifact, and the Huffington Post lending absolutely no credence to the president’s linkage of wildfires and water rights. NPR’s unequivocal suggestion that “fire experts say there is enough water in California to fight the fires” completely ignores media reports published before the tweetstorm suggesting that California firefighters at times face water shortages in battling the flames.

In December 2017, for instance, Brenda Gazzar of Los Angeles Daily News documented firefighters’ struggles getting water from maxed out hydrants and dried-up ponds. As for the water being diverted to the Pacific Ocean, it’s also possible to see the truth behind the claim—but only by looking at reports published before Trump’s comments.

In 2015, Andy Lipkis, founder of an NGO called Tree People, pointed out in a Forbes interview that, “The biggest misconception is that it doesn’t rain in California. The fact is, it does rain, even in Los Angeles and southern California. But we throw away …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Christian Company Threatens Religious Liberty

By Rod Dreher

A construction worker has filed a lawsuit against his employer for forcing him to attend Bible study as a condition of his employment. Excerpt:

Ryan Coleman, 34, filed an $800,000 lawsuit last week against Dahled Up Construction, a company based in Albany, an hour south of Portland.

According to the complaint, he was hired as a painter in October 2017 and discovered on the job that he was required to attend Christian Bible study as part of his employment.

Coleman, who is half-Native American (Cherokee and Blackfoot), wasn’t comfortable with those terms, his attorney, Corinne Schram, told NPR. “He says his church is a sweat lodge, his bible is a drum, and that’s his form of worship to the creator,” Schram said.

According to the document, Coleman expressed his discomfort with attending the Bible study meetings and said the requirement was illegal, but business owner Joel Dahl insisted that he go anyway.

And Coleman, who has a felony conviction in his past, attended the sessions for a few months, “believing he had no other choice,” the lawsuit states.

He finally quit attending, and was then fired. More:

The Bible study took place once a week for about an hour in the afternoon. The meetings were meant to help employees, many of whom were felons and people recovering from addiction, Hickam said.

“It was arranged through a pastor to provide some appropriate motivation for them to stay the course. To maintain their recovery,” Hickam said.

Coleman served a prison sentence for child neglect and for selling methamphetamine, Schram said. But she told NPR her client had turned his life around and was recently granted full custody of his two sons, ages 10 and 14.

Dahl, the construction company’s owner, told The Oregonian that because of his own history with drugs and alcohol, he is a second-chance employer who hires felons and recovering addicts.

I can understand what Dahl was trying to accomplish here, and I don’t think that he was necessarily a bad guy. But this really is unacceptable. How would Christians feel if we were told to attend pagan worship as a condition of our employment? If church was an integral part of Coleman’s job, that would be one thing. But he was not working for a church or a ministry; he was a painter for a construction company.

As a Christian, I hope Coleman prevails in this lawsuit. First and foremost, he deserves to win on the merits.

Second, from a practical point of view, if Ryan loses, think about how dangerous things become for Christians (and others). A non-religious private company that has the right to compel you to attend religious meetings as a condition of your employment also has the right to forbid you from attending religious meetings as a condition of your employment. “John, this is Sandra from HR. Listen, I’m sorry to tell you this, but it has been brought to our attention that you attend a homophobic church on Sunday. We at the company feel that this is not consistent with our mission as …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Michael Cohen and Trump did NOT violate campaign finance law – despite Cohen’s guilty plea

By Hans von Spakovsky Despite the guilty plea he entered Aug. 21 to charges of campaign finance law violations, it appears that President Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, did not actually violate the Federal Election Campaign Act. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Pope Francis’s Best Friends

By Rod Dreher

Irish journalist John Waters lays it out cold, accusing his colleagues of going soft of Francis on the sex abuse question, post-Vigano, because they want to protect his gay-friendly agenda:

The pope replied: “I will respond to your question, but I would prefer last—first we speak about the trip, and then other topics. … I read the statement this morning, and I must tell you sincerely that, I must say this, to you and all those who are interested. Read the statement carefully and make your own judgment. I will not say a single word about this. I believe the statement speaks for itself. And you have the journalistic capacity to draw your own conclusions. It’s an act of faith. When some time passes and you have drawn your conclusions, I may speak. But, I would like your professional maturity to do the work for you. It will be good for you. That’s good.”

To the uninitiated, this seems like a desperate prevarication mixed with feeble flattery, a playing for time. But if it was a prevarication, it turned out to be an effective one: The pope’s refusal to answer the question was meekly accepted by the journalists present, who would surely have brought the plane down had the pontiff’s name been Benedict or John Paul. The Viganò story has since gained little traction in the mainstream, except for the purpose of discrediting the archbishop. It was as through the pope’s weak waffle was absorbed by some invisible padding of the plane’s walls. Even yet, Archbishop Viganó’s intervention is being treated by the Irish media as some kind of outrageous exercise in party-pooping, revealing—if anyone was in any doubt—that the abuse scandals have chiefly been regarded by media people as an opportunity to prosecute an agenda rooted in other matters.

And when you read the pope’s response again in light of what has happened—or not happened—in the several days since, it acquires an ominous tenor, inviting a stab at a new translation. Here is mine:

Read the statement in the knowledge of the relationship you and I share: We are men and women of the world and like-minded on what is important. We know where we stand on matters like homosexuality and homosexual priests. But be careful how you handle this Viganò business—a wrong word could undo all we have achieved. I have faith in you to figure out who this man is. Do your work well and there will be no need for me to risk my position. Once you have defused the situation, I will deal with Viganò for the record. We are all adults here. I know I can count on you. I need your help on this, but we have an understanding that has worked well so far. Trust me.

Boom. Read the whole thing. I think he’s nailed it. You will have noticed that most of the reporting post-Vigano has been about Vigano’s supposed motivations and connections to conservatives. The outrageous fact that almost a week has gone …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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If Jerry Brown commutes every death row sentence California needs to get ready for this

By John Phillips As a lame duck four-term governor, California’s Jerry Brown is already starting to give away the store, and this generosity could pay serious dividends for every jailbird with an ice pick and a bad temper. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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The Catholic Church is Running Out of Time

By Patrick J. Buchanan

This summer, the sex scandal that has bedeviled the Catholic Church went critical.

First came the stunning revelation that Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, former Archbishop of Washington and friend to presidents, had for decades been a predator-priest who preyed on seminarians and abused altar boys, and whose depravity was widely known and covered up.

Came then the report of a Pennsylvania grand jury that investigated six dioceses and found that some 300 priests had abused 1,000 children—perhaps more—over the last 70 years.

The bishop of Pittsburgh, Donald Wuerl, now Cardinal Archbishop of Washington, defrocked some of these corrupt priests, but reassigned others to new parishes where new outrages were committed.

Last weekend brought the most stunning accusation.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, Vatican envoy to the United States under Pope Benedict XVI, charged that Pope Francis had been told of McCarrick’s abuses, done nothing to sanction him, and that, as “zero tolerance” of sexual abuse is Francis’ own policy, the pope should resign.

In his 11-page letter of accusations, Vigano further charged that there is a powerful “homosexual current” among the Vatican prelates closest to the pope.

What did the pope know and when did he know it?

Not unlike Watergate, the issue here is whether Pope Francis knew what was going on in the Vatican and in his Church, and why he was not more resolute in rooting out the moral squalor.

Orthodox, conservative and traditionalist Catholics are the most visible and vocal demanding an accounting. Progressive and liberal Catholics, to whom Pope Francis and Cardinal McCarrick were seen as allies on issues of sexual morality, have been thrown on the defensive.

Now, accusations alone are neither proof nor evidence.

Yet there is an obligation, an imperative, given the gravity of the revelations, that the Vatican address the charges.

When did Pope Francis become aware of McCarrick’s conduct, which appears to have been widely known? Did he let his close friendship with McCarrick keep him from doing his papal and pastoral duty?

This destructive scandal has been bleeding for decades. Too long. The Church is running out of time. It needs to act decisively now.

Priests who prey on parochial school children and altar boys are not only sinners, they are criminal predators who belong in penitentiary cells not parish rectories. They ought to be handed over to civil authorities.

While none of us is without sin, sexually active and abusive clergy should be severed from the priesthood. There needs to be a purge at the Vatican, removing or retiring bishops, archbishops and cardinals, the revelation of whose past misconduct would further feed this scandal.

For too long, the Catholic faithful have been forced to pay damages and reparations for crimes and sins of predator priests and the hierarchy’s collusion and complicity in covering them up.

And it needs be stated clearly: This is a homosexual scandal.

Almost all of the predators and criminals are male, as are most of the victims: the boys, the teenagers, the young seminarians.

Applicants to the seminary should be vetted the way applicants to the National Security Council are. Those homosexually inclined should be …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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