- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 12, 2009

Invincible ignorance

“What has begun to outrage me is the complete ignorance that has manifested itself in light of the repealed excommunications [of four bishops from the Society of St. Pius X]. More importantly, I am tired of non-Catholics and dissident Catholics taking it upon themselves to inform the pope what they think he ought to do in matters that, quite frankly, they know nothing about.

“For the record, I view the SSPX with a wary eye. Though sympathetic to much of their revulsion regarding the abuses of the post-Vatican II era, I cannot abide their ‘holier than the pope’ attitude. Bishop Richard Williamson’s views concerning the Holocaust are of course reprehensible as well. No amount of rationalization can sweep this matter under the rug.

“That being the case, my personal opinions concerning the matter have no bearing on whether or not the original excommunications were canonically justified. If they were not, then the Vatican really had no choice in the matter. We are not a Church of saints, a fact that after 2,000 years you would have thought would have sunk in by now. …

“Furthermore, complaints about the unseemliness of the repealed excommunications, while understandable from a secular point of view, are patently absurd when it comes to internal Catholic matters. The Catholic Church is not a political party seeking good public relations. She is concerned about tending to her flock, and she cannot let media dictate actions which run contrary to her teachings.”

- Paul Zummo, writing on “Enough” on Feb. 3 at the blog Cranky Con

Americanist religion

“Perhaps the best illustration of this is a new [Web site] launched by Norman Lear and his buddies at the Christian-bashing People for the American Way. … They’ve repulsively named their site Born Again American.

“Although its main purpose seems to be promoting a dreary, complaint-rock folk song by Keith Carradine, the site claims that it is ‘committed to the rebirth and re-expression of citizenship through informed and thoughtful activism.’

“This activism, it seems, would make Hitler and the boys happy, suggesting as it does that citizenship should supersede divine worship: Carradine’s bio at the site brags, ‘my Bible is the Bill of Rights.’ ”

- Lisa Fabrizio, writing on “Sacred Secularism” on Feb. 4 at the American Spectator

Irreligious spending

“Anyway, that would be Focus on the Family, which gave $657,000 in money and in-kind support to Prop. 8. That is half the money given by the California Teachers Union in opposition to Prop. 8 - and at least Focus donors were actually in support of what their organization did.

“National Public Radio had a great story with original research showing that the $1.25 million of teacher money given in support of an issue with questionable relevance to the interests of teachers wasn’t backed up by the teachers themselves. Turns out the teachers who donated to the cause donated in the opposite direction … .

“I’m not sure how surprising it is that religious groups that hold traditional views of marriage would put time and money into defeating a huge threat to the institution and am somewhat surprised at all the coverage of same. Or rather, is it more surprising and newsworthy that religious groups - who openly claim to support heterosexual marriage and consider it a key building block of society - would give moolah to Prop. 8, or is it more surprising that a teachers union with no discernible interest in the issue would give money against it? The disparity in coverage is somewhat intriguing.”

- Mollie Ziegler Hemingway, writing on “The politicization of pancakes,” on Feb. 8 at Get Religion

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