Uncomfortable Olympic Go(l)d

What better way to tear down an Olympian than to criticize her faith. Via Professor Jacobson, the Slate delves into Christian bashing with aplomb:

Headline: Did God help Gabrielle Douglas win?

Subhead: The gold medalist is a teenager of deep faith and gratitude — and that can be a little unnerving

Unnerving because Gabby tweets about her faith. God forbid. She lives her faith. How horrible. If she were a Muslim who found strength in faith, she would be championed. But she’s not. She’s a Christian. How passe.

Mary Elizabeth Williams, a self proclaimed papist, writes with as much disdain as she can muster:

Gabby Douglas is now officially a star. When she won the individual gold medal in women’s gymnastics in London Thursday, the breakout darling of the 2012 games, she immediately found herself a celebrity worthy of a cereal box. If her performance in the women’s individual all-around didn’t blow your mind, you cannot possibly have been paying attention. Yet after her victory, one of the first responses that truly resonated for me was from a colleague who noted, “I would like her more if she were not so, so, so into Jesus.” Which raises the question – what is Jesus going to do now for Gabby Douglas’ career?

Douglas isn’t exactly the only outspoken Christian in America – or even the only high-profile Christian athlete. So jam-packed is this year’s roster with them that Douglas didn’t even make the cut for the Christian Post’s “10 Christian Athletes to Watch.”But her newly minted status as a champion and her unguarded outspokenness about her faith are going to give her a new platform from which to preach. After her win Thursday, Douglas said, “I give all the glory to God. It’s kind of a win-win situation. The glory goes up to him and the blessings fall down on me.”

She’s a 16-year-old with both deep faith and profound gratitude, a girl who yesterday tweeted from the Psalms to her followers, “Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me” and Friday sent out a retweet from the Faith in God feed. And that clearly authentic image of a hardworking girl with strong values makes her a natural icon to her fellow Christians, just as it makes the somewhat less faithful uncomfortable.

Emphasis my own. Obviously Williamson counts herself among the “uncomfortable.” And my, how uncomfortable she is:

We are a nation that is lousy with Christians — a fair number of whom are not nearly as nice as Gabby Douglas. A lot of them aren’t super-clear on the whole “freedom of religion” thing and can get pretty gung-go about trying to shut down people with different beliefs. A lot of them are insistent that everybody in the world should conform to what they know for an absolute fact is the one and only truth. So even when Douglas is merely expressing her personal philosophy, posting #christmotivation quotes in her Twitter feed or talking about how she meditates daily on Scripture, there’s always that lurking hint of proselytism. Dear Christians: It’s a fine line between sharing your beliefs and selling them. And there’s something else too.

But there obviously isn’t a fine line between being obnoxious in denouncing the faith of  others and raking a 16 year-old girl through the coals over her religious beliefs because she makes you feel uncomfortable.

I’ve watched so much craziness unfold this week on Facebook over the Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. People I thought to be rational went nuts calling out others (by name!) for their support of “hate chicken” by arguing that they believe in a loving God. I do, too, but I also believe in a facist-free country that allows others the right to free speech. Apparently some speech is more free than others and “the right to not be made uncomfortable” is tolerated much more than the right to express one’s faith.

That’s what makes me uncomfortable.

 

Planned Parenthood pleads: Pray for abortions!

I missed this earlier this month when LifeNews covered it, but I must say I’m awed at the brazen sacrilege of calling people to 40 days of prayer for infanticide. Today is Day 38:

Today we pray for a cloud of gentleness to surround every abortion facility. May everyone feel calm and loving.

Because gentle, calm and loving is exactly what comes to mind when babies are slaughtered, no?

Some of these are beyond rich. Day 3:

Today we pray for our daughters and granddaughters, that they will always know the power of making their own good decisions.

Who associates a good decision with abortion? Besides our POTUS, of course, who never wanted his girls “punished with a baby.”

Day 25:

Today we pray for women who have been made afraid of their own power by their religion. May they learn to reject fear and live bravely.

I find it telling that the PP crowd associates power with abortion. It’s powerful to kill your own child. Funny, I see it so differently: women do have an awesome, God-given power to create life. Creation, destruction. Good, evil. Life, death. Amazing, isn’t it, that liberals always seem to fall on the, er, wrong side of the equation?

Bryan Preston calls the brochure of prayer intentions “the most repulsive thing” he’s “ever seen.” I agree. But it’s not as ugly as what happens in an abortion clinic.

Day 27:

Today we give thanks for abortion providers around the nation whose concern for women is the driving force in their lives.

What a great defense for ol’Kermit: he was concerned for women.

Preston concludes:

Note also the absence of praying for girls to have families.

Can’t have that. Families are the enemy of the socialist state.

“And so obsessed with maintaining their choice, many people are content to remove the choice from others in order to serve their choice”

So writes Matthew Archibold of CMR at the National Catholic Register. It’s the little ironies, isn’t it?

He observes (correctly, I might add):

I know a guy who married the wrong woman because for the first time in his  life he was having sex. And he was fooled into thinking he was in love—for a  while.

I know a girl who was smarter than seven colleges. She dropped out of high  school when she got pregnant.

I know a guy who’s haunted by the abortion of a casual hook up.

I know a young woman who’s confused and angry because she never had a  father.

I know a man who has a venereal disease and after a few dates with women he  has to explain it to them and watch them recoil.

I knew a man who died of AIDS.

I don’t know who came up with the idea that sex was consequence free; whether  it was the genius advertisers pushing The Pill, or Hugh Hefner, or just some  kind of agreed upon cultural delusion, it doesn’t really matter. The reality is  that we’re all stuck with the consequences of the myth of consequence free sex.  In fact, we’ve promulgated the myth for so long we have generations for whom the  thought of consequences to sexual relations is an oddity. Abstinence has become  a cultural punchline.

Now, not only do we have an expectation of consequence free sex but we have a  right. And this supposed “right” has left generations pursuing an unnatural myth  with calamitous consequences for our culture. The myth has fostered the “right” to abortion and now the “right” to contraception, even at the expense of  religious institutions.

I was always taught that one’s “rights” ended where another’s begin. But I guess the Chicago-school doesn’t support that view after witnessing the “rights” to birth control literally trump the Constitutionally protected right to worship.

But that’s just me, I guess.

Read the rest.

Steyn: “The president of the United States has decided to go Henry VIII on the Church’s medieval ass”

Heh.

As ever, Mark Steyn’s incomparable way with words hammers Obama’s latest “compromise” on the birth control conundrum. More:

Whatever religious institutions might profess to believe in the matter of “women’s health,” their pre-eminences, jurisdictions, privileges, authorities and immunities are now subordinate to a one-and-only supreme head on earth determined to repress, redress, restrain and amend their heresies. One wouldn’t wish to overextend the analogy: For one thing, the Catholic Church in America has been pathetically accommodating of Beltway bigwigs’ ravenous appetite for marital annulments in a way that Pope Clement VII was disinclined to be vis-a-vis the English king and Catherine of Aragon. But where’d all the pandering get them? In essence, President Obama has embarked on the same usurpation of church authority as Henry VIII: as his Friday morning faux-compromise confirms, the continued existence of a “faith-based institution” depends on submission to the doctrinal supremacy of the state.

And I thought Washington had done a fine job in ensuring the President wasn’t King. So much for that, eh? Buried in the pages upon pages of Obamacare:

As Philip Klein pointed out in the American Spectator two years ago, the Obamacare bill contained 700 references to the Secretary “shall,” another 200 to the Secretary “may,” and 139 to the Secretary “determines.” So the Secretary may and shall determine pretty much anything she wants, as the Obamaphile rubes among the Catholic hierarchy are belatedly discovering. His Majesty King Barack “shall have full power and authority to visit, repress, redress, record, order, correct, restrain and amend all such errors, heresies, abuses, offenses, contempts and enormities whatsoever they be.”

Read the rest.

A friend of mine posted to Facebook earlier a comment along these lines:

Snap. Work for a religious institution but have medical condition that requires the Pill? You’re covered.

Ah, restraint is a virtue. Yes, snap for religious freedom and the supremacy of state. And snap for those who won’t realize that their insurance premiums rise above what they paid out-of-pocket for their precious progesterone pills. Because they won’t pay for just their own pills, they’re now paying for everyone else’s coverage, too. Snap all the way to the bank with a smaller paycheck. Duped. Just ask those folks in Massachusetts who pay the highest premiums in the land.

(Surreal that Mitt is still even running, ain’t it?)

A profound explanation from Andy McCarthy: it’s fraud.  From NRO:

In the scenario addressed by the Obama administration’s cockamamie “compromise,” religious organization employer (call it “A”) wishes to purchase health insurance from B insurance company for C, its employees, but not cover birth-control services that violate A’s religious principles and that the First Amendment protects A from having to subsidize.

Obama is telling A that it can pay B and that the payments will not cover birth control services for C; he is then telling B to cover the birth-control services for C — but only because A is making the payments. A is thus deceived by Obama’s representations into paying B for C’s birth-control services.

That is fraud. If you tried to pull something like it, federal agents and attorneys would investigate and prosecute you. And if millions of dollars were involved, the sentencing guidelines would dictate many, many years of incarceration

(Well, he is a charlatan, no?)

H/t: Pundette.

“To Hell With Catholics”

Well, it’s not like Obama never telegraphed his abortion views loud and clear before the election.

Remember, the majority of Catholics voted for BO.

While I’d like to think that those are all the Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden types, the truth of the matter remains: Catholics voted for the man.

So will those Catholics–the ones who don’t give a rat’s rear end about abortion or contraceptive culture–be so aghast that their religious liberties are being trampled? Probably not.

But I am.

The Bishop of Pittsburg wrote a scathing response to the new ruling from the Obama administration that Catholic institutions will not receive a waiver from the new mandate from Health and Human Services forcing all employers to provide insurance to cover abortions and contraception. I’m rather saddened that we didn’t hear something similar at Mass this morning:

It is really hard to believe that it happened. It comes like a slap in the face. The Obama administration has just told the Catholics of the United States, “To Hell with you!” There is no other way to put it.

In early August, the Department for Health and Human Services in the Obama administration released guidelines as part of the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The guidelines mandated that by Summer 2012 all individual and group health insurance plans, including self-insured plans, cover all FDA-approved contraception, sterilization procedures and pharmaceuticals that even result in abortion.

A million things are wrong with this: equating pregnancy with disease;  mandating that every employer pay for contraception procedures including alleged contraceptives that are actually abortion-inducing drugs; forcing American citizens to chose between violating their consciences or providing health care services; mandating such coverage on every individual woman without allowing her to even choose not to have it; forcing every person to pay for that coverage no matter the dictates of their conscience.
Let’s be blunt. This whole process of mandating these guidelines undermines the democratic process itself.  In this instance, the mandate declares pregnancy a disease, forces a culture of contraception and abortion on society, all while completely bypassing the legislative process.

This is government by fiat that attacks the rights of everyone – not only Catholics; not only people of all religion.  At no other time in memory or history has there been such a governmental intrusion on freedom not only with regard to religion, but even across-the-board with all citizens. It forces every employer to subsidize an ideology or pay a penalty while searching for alternatives to heath care coverage. It undermines the whole concept and hope for health care reform by inextricably linking it to the zealotry of pro-abortion bureaucrats.

Read the rest. The likely result: if the Catholic Church really goes to war over this, then it will dump the health care coverage for thousands of employees and pay the penalty for doing so.

Will those folks realize that Obama stripped them of their health care coverage? Or will they blame the Church?

A reader wrote  in to PJ Tatler to share what her parish added to the body of the Mass: the Prayer to St. Michael, patron of warriors:

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

This means war.

UPDATE: Linked by Pundette. Many thanks!

Saying Merry Christmas is worse than fornication…

…or getting drunk or even killing someone…

So says an Islamic scholar.

And…ready for a firestorm…..I agree with him…..

What I mean is…if this man believes that Allah is the true god and there is no other god than Allah….to acknowledge and to encourage and to “bless” if you will a false god IS worse than fornication.  Mortal sin is mortal sin, but as a Catholic parent, the lesser mortal sin (if you will) would be for my son or daughter to engage in premarital sex versus actively worshipping Satan.

Now obviously I believe he is flat wrong in his religious viewpoints, but from what I understood him to say in English (who knows what he’s saying in other parts of the clip) – given his religious beliefs, he is correct – it IS a worse sin to blaspheme regarding “the worst evil” and encourage others to do so as well (for which there can be no forgiveness nor repentance) than to get drunk or even to kill another (a lesser evil as I understand his position).

Too bad that the phrase “Merry Christmas” has become so secularized that we forget that what it is (or should) mean is “Rejoice! Our Savior is born!” - today its just a greeting that doesn’t get much thought behind it - but I think he has it “right” as far as what the phrase should mean and I think that its sad that an angry man who is for all appearances trying his best to stir up hate and division has managed to do a decent job of explaining what it means to wish someone Merry Christmas.

Gulp.  There I did it.  Devil’s advocate in all sense of the word.  Hope the WP comment section is fireproof…..blast away!

Update: I was wracking my brain trying to figure out what had made me react to this video the way I did, rather than to immediately dismiss it because of its inflammatory rhetoric.  My Aha! moment came this morning and I recalled this excellent article in the NCR by Matthew Archbold which addresses the subject from the stand point of the “hollowers” – those who want to remove the sacred from Christmas.  It struck home with me and I think that’s why part of the scholar’s message resonated with me in the way that it did.  Mr. Archbold’s article is here and it is an excellent read.

Word to the wise: “Make sure voters can distinguish your policies from Obama’s”

So quips Pundette in response to the CNN poll announcing 59% believed Obama’s policies would fail.

For Mitt fans out there, take note: when David Axelrod can speak truth and eviscerate your golden boy, there’s a problem. Byron York [emphasis mine]:

In the past week, Barack Obama has run a more effective campaign against Mitt Romney than any of Romney’s opponents for the Republican presidential nomination. Top Obama strategist David Axelrod hit the former Massachusetts governor hard with charges of flip-flopping on abortion, health care, the environment and other issues. “We’re having this call because Gov. Romney has been so brazen in his switches of position,” Axelrod said in a conference call with reporters last week. “You get the feeling that there is no principle too large for him to throw over in pursuit of political office,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Dude. I’m used to Democrats having to make crap up to fling. In this case, there’s no need! The general election would be more painful than watching McLame’s weak-kneed attempt to win last go-round.

UPDATE, from the NYT

On the Republican campaign trail, the health care debate has focused on the mandatory coverage that Mitt Romney signed into law as governor in 2006. But back in Massachusetts the conversation has moved on, and lawmakers are now confronting the problem that Mr. Romney left unaddressed: the state’s spiraling health care costs.

Whoopsie! Sure he’s gonna repeal Obamacare. Right. More:

Predictably, the plan did little to slow the growth of health costs that already were among the highest in the nation. A state report last year found that per capita health spending in Massachusetts was 15 percent above the national average. And from 2007 to 2009, private health insurance premiums rose between 5 and 10 percent annually, according to another state study.

I bet when the architect of Romneycare designed it, the citizens of the state were told it would reduce health care costs. Just like the false bill of goods Obama pitched.

H/t: Hot Air headlines.

Have a party at home, just make sure you don’t talk about God!

What is this, Communist Russia?

Via American Spectator, the latest reminder that your home is not your own:

An Orange County couple has been ordered to stop holding a Bible study in their home on the grounds that the meeting violates a city ordinance as a “church” and not as a private gathering.

Homeowners Chuck and Stephanie Fromm, of San Juan Capistrano, were fined $300 earlier this month for holding what city officials called “a regular gathering of more than three people”.

That type of meeting would require a conditional use permit as defined by the city, according to Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), the couple’s legal representation.

The Fromms also reportedly face subsequent fines of $500 per meeting for any further “religious gatherings” in their home, according to PJI.

“We’re just gathering and enjoying each other’s company and fellowship. And we enjoy studying God’s word.” Stephanie Fromm told CBS2.

Rick Moran’s comment:

This is not an isolated incident. It’s happening everywhere. Property rights trampled, religious freedom abridged, free speech stifled, the right to assembly curtailed. This is not a left issue or right issue. It is an American issue. And it’s time we wake up before the Constitution starts gathering dust in warehouse somewhere – forlorn and forgotten.

Pretty much, no?

The rot of totalitarianism starts with localities creating these inane intrusions on rights. No one stands up. No one complains. And the rot spreads.

The city argues that these regular gatherings for 50 or more cause traffic problems. If I were to hedge a bet, if the couple were holding an orgy in the home and inviting 50 of their besties over to join the fun, the city could care less. And the ACLU would be involved if that weren’t the case, blasting the town and the neighbors for being such prudes, to deny the right of homeowners to congregate freely and have sex with multiple partners twice weekly.

The couple lost the appeal to the city. (Of course, as the city stands to gain financially). They plan on taking the case to the state Supreme Court. I shudder to think the law as it stands will be upheld.

H/t: Memeorandum

Linked by Pundette as a “Recommended Read.” Thanks!

UPDATE: Tina Korbe at Hot Air draws the same bedroom analogy:

Mrs. Fromm was rightly incensed at the city government’s intrusion into her living room. “I should be able to be hospitable in my own home,” she said. Had it been her bedroom, libs would have leaped to her defense, but as it was, no such luck for the lady.

 

Sounds cruel? What happened to “for better or for worse,” Pat Robertson?

Or death do us part?

Pat Robertson says Alzheimer’s is grounds for divorce because it’s kinda sorta like death:

Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson told his “700 Club” viewers that divorcing a spouse with Alzheimer’s is justifiable because the disease is “a kind of death.”

During the portion of the show where the one-time Republican presidential candidate takes questions from viewers, Robertson was asked what advice a man should give to a friend who began seeing another woman after his wife started suffering from the incurable neurological disorder.

“I know it sounds cruel, but if he’s going to do something, he should divorce her and start all over again, but make sure she has custodial care and somebody looking after her,” Robertson said.

The chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network, which airs the “700 Club,” said he wouldn’t “put a guilt trip” on anyone who divorces a spouse who suffers from the illness, but added, “Get some ethicist besides me to give you the answer.”

Granted, I’ve always thought Protestant notions of divorce were … loose. Why bother believing in the idea of covenant marriage if you can dissolve it sans guilt? Doesn’t this betray the vows one takes? For better for worse. For richer or poorer. Till death do us part. Now we have famous evangelists who say, nah, your happiness is obviously more important. Go for it! It’s a kind of death anyway.

I wonder what Nancy Reagan would say.

H/t Hot Air headlines (with a lively discussion thread)

Tasty all beef Bible burgers!

image

What’s this? Southern California athiests haven’t yet sued In-n-Out Burger for offending their godless sensitivities? Shocking given the treatment Chick-fil-A receives.

I noticed this years ago on my first trip here. Glad to see In-n-Out hasn’t changed. Very tasty burgers and Bible verses, too, since 1948.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 342 other followers