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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Pope, Pensions, Mandela and Marxism -- Dec. 6, 2013

Pope Francis is becoming the darling of the liberal mass media with his outreach to homosexuals and recently his rebuke of capitalism. He is even considered to be Time magazine's front runner for their person of the year. His speeches imploring political leaders around the world to address income inequality was embraced whole heartedly by U.S. President Barack Obama as well as low skilled workers in America demonstrating for higher minimum wages. Yesterday, Nelson Mandela died and immediately he was also held up as a saint. People forget the man was a militant Marxist and responsible for widespread terrorism in South Africa. His conciliatory post racial government is on the brink of collapse as is the country itself. In Illinois, lawmakers finally addressed the state's growing pension crises, however, not without much controversy. Unions, Democratic strongest supporters, are incensed by the narrowly passed legislation which reduces payments for current and future retirees. The breach of contract will be contested in the courts all the while the state continues to struggle paying bills with its irresponsible tax and spend policy.

Sunday and Monday morning news programs had plenty of coverage of Pope Francis. Unlike his predecessors, he has broken with traditional Church teachings that homosexuality is a sin. The new pope says he cannot judge, despite how both the Old and New Testaments condemn the perversion unequivocally. Two cities (Sodom and Gomorrah) were even directly obliterated by God in the book of Genesis for the inhabitants' sexual debauchery. The pope, however, will denounce the capitalist system which has made America one of the greatest nations on earth. The hypocrisy was not missed by me or one of my favorite talk radio show hosts.

After returning from the prison store, I listened to part of the Rush Limbaugh Show. He was as outraged as I over Pope Francis' call for government leaders to redistribute wealth. He was advocating for socialism, if not Marxism. These economic systems were the antithesis of American values. America was supposed to be a beacon of freedom and individualism. It was where men through their own merits were able to succeed unhindered by the government. Individual rights and a system of meritocracy were the reason for America's success and wealth. Look to communist, heavily socialist government controlled economies, or tyrannies and this is where one will find the most wretched poor. How well are those nearly bankrupt socialist countries in southern Europe doing? The communist dictatorship in North Korea? The despots in Africa and tribal warlords? There is also extreme poverty in South America where governments dominate the economy purportedly for the public good, including Argentina where Pope Francis is from.

Despite the results of other countries' economic systems, the President of the U.S. was one of the first to jump in condemning the free market. If he was to simply address the asinine free trade policies America has with China and other countries, I would agree. However, this was another opportunity for him to attack trickledown economics and bolster his pursuit of socialism. A more burdensome and progressive tax system was still on his agenda as well as implementing his mandatory government health care law. Continuing food stamps to over 40 million people and unemployment checks to many who have been on the government dole for years were also high priorities. Finally, he supported raising the minimum wage.

The minimum wage law has again been the subject of protesters this week in many cities of the U.S. Federally, the government currently mandates employers to pay $7.25 an hour, but 16 states have raised that. This is not enough for many low skilled laborers, however, and they are demanding more pay. In Chicago, I found it ridiculous men and women were picketing outside a McDonald's restaurant. They thought flipping burgers was worth $15 an hour. Despite how absurd I thought they were, many liberals supported them. They have no clue how wage and price controls disrupt the economy or they just do not care.

Minimum wage laws negatively affect the economy. They cause businesses to move away, shut down, or simply hire fewer workers. When possible, costs are passed on to the consumer. Imagine that $1 cup of coffee at McDonald's costing $5 instead. Aldermen in Chicago once sought to force big box stores like Wal-Mart to pay a minimum wage of $10, and the company simply said they would build out in the suburbs. The low prices they offered consumers were the key to their success and they could not keep their business model with higher wage expenses. The city lawmakers eventually caved and now Wal-Mart and other stores have created jobs as well as economic development even in some of the most blighted neighborhoods of Chicago.

The U.S. is increasingly losing its global competitiveness. Some of this is due to poor trade pacts with countries whose governments subsidize industries, steal intellectual property and conduct corporate espionage. They also will manipulate currency and wages to give them a trade advantage. Consumer protection laws are nearly nonexistent allowing them to dump cheap, dangerous and substandard foods and products on the U.S. markets. Finally, while U.S. markets are open to them, American companies are blocked or when let in they face enormous challenges and even harassment. Free market capitalism does not work on an international level unless the countries are on fair and friendly terms. America should seek out more open trade with Europe while slapping tariffs and trade sanctions on countries such as China.

The greatest internal threats to economic power in the U.S. are changing demographic values and skills. America is aging and more and more people are retiring. They are creating a burden on the young who are not as capable as former generations. Those entering the workforce do not have the same education, ingenuity, or drive. They are lazy and have been coddled by the nanny state. Government has also contributed to this decline by allowing millions of uneducated, low skilled foreigners to migrate to the U.S. The open door policy of letting the lowest productive elements in while impeding the brightest from within and without will be this country's downfall. Liberals blame income inequality on capitalism, however, you reap what you sow.

Late Tuesday night I heard a pension bill was finally passed by state legislators. However, it was not until the following days that I would learn the details. The annual 3% compounded cost of living increases of state union retirees were replaced with a much less costly system. For example, the rate will now be flat and those employees age 43 and younger will not receive any cost of living increases for five years after they retire. The retirement age itself was also pushed back on a sliding scale for workers age 45 and under. Governor Quinn was on the John Kass WLS talk radio show Wednesday, and he claimed the new law will save $160 billion over 30 years. He did not explain how these numbers added up, but I know even if the 67% tax hike in Illinois is extended, the state will have a fiscal budget deficit in 2015 of $1.5 billion. If the tax hike is allowed to expire, the deficit will be double or $3 billion. Currently, Illinois pays $2 billion annually just on the total accumulated debt it owes, roughly the budget of the IDOC.

The governor has for a long time been seeking to reduce Illinois' pension liabilities. Senate and House Democrats have been avoiding the problem due to the political fallout. AFSCME and other state unions are the main source of funding and support to the Democratic Party. They vehemently opposed any cuts to pensions. I was actually surprised Democrats even passed pension reform until I learned what occurred behind the scenes. In the House, the bill passed narrowly by a 62 to 57 vote and in the Senate it squeaked by with the exact 30 votes necessary. Democratic legislative leaders actually had a strategy to protect vulnerable politicians in their party and only those who were "safe" voted yes. Overall, Democratic majorities are safe given the clout of Chicago and gerrymandered districts. However, in the next 2014 election, their super majority over Republicans which gives them unbridled power could be in jeopardy, particularly if Governor Quinn loses to a Republican.

The day after Governor Quinn was on the John Kass talk radio show, one of his Republican opponents gave his opinion on the pension legislation. Dan Rutherford, currently Illinois Treasurer, spoke of how state spending was way out of control, but the pension contract with the unions could not be broken. Under the state constitution, the pension system is considered an enforceable contractual relationship, the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired. While Democrats believe they have solved a major fiscal problem to the state's finances, they have not and it will only give them the green light to continue to spend taxpayers' money without restraint. I agreed with the Republican candidate for governor, however, inside the IDOC spending cuts are still occurring, at least to the detriment of prisoners, and bills are going unpaid.

Although last week prisoners were given a good Thanksgiving Day meal, food abruptly went back to the usual meager and distasteful portions. Imitation salami has been served three times since and processed soy-turkey is used as filler in nearly every meal. On Monday, prisoners were given the treat of nachos, but before the likes of Nancy Grace think convicts in Illinois have it too good, let me explain what a meal of nachos consists of. Nachos are fried corn shells broken into chips by prison kitchen workers. On the serving line, men are literally given a handful of these, although the final cell house to be fed may get two if there are leftovers. The same grey soy-turkey blend product is offered to be placed onto the chips but most men refuse it. A ladle is used to pour a synthetic cheese which the penitentiary buys in gallon cans. Men get a small scoop of salsa but there was no dessert. There have been no desserts this entire week and small cartons of juice are used as a substitute.

The IDOC has failed to pay many vendors which serve the prison system. This week, I was told Waste Management was fed up with delays in payment and finally picked up their large metal garbage bins. I asked then what was going to happen with all the trash. Apparently, some other company made a contract with IDOC and would be taking over. Later in the week, I noticed the green Waste Management dumpsters had indeed been replaced by blue ones. The blue dumpsters are owned by Patriot and they are probably more desperate for the business.

Garbage cans inside the cell house on the staircase at every level were removed as well and I watched prison laborers lift them up onto the roof of the sergeant's office. All five cans were placed against the wall where no one can have access to them. Initially I thought there may be some correlation with a suspension in garbage service. However, the true purpose is to prevent prisoners from hiding things in them. Inmates in maximum security are trapped in their cells much of the time and therefore will typically place garbage on their cell bars. This garbage is then picked up by cell house workers. When not on lockdown, many prisoners will bring trash out with them to put in the trash cans. Since the cans have been taken away, however, prisoners will just pile it anywhere. A few days ago this led to an exchange of words between an inmate and the cell house worker who had to pick up his mess. My cellmate thought it was amusing, but the true amusement is the ridiculous lengths penny pinchers and security personnel will go to.

The warden had two memorandums posted on inmates' televisions this week. The first was about all the new restrictions and loss of privileges classified staff assaulters and weapons violators will now have which is posted as an update on my post, "Retro Prison Garb." The second went into extensive and graphic detail about what types of photographs are not permitted including sodomy, bestiality, and necrophilia. There already are bans on certain pornographic magazines, but apparently the warden wanted to make the policy on photos crystal clear. Many times I am astounded by the perversions which have become normalized in society whether it is gay marriage, the Pope reaching out to homosexuals, or some of the interracial and homosexual programming on TV. The memo happened to be the last of these and once again it seemed appropriate to quote Bill Murray from the movie Ghostbusters to my cellmate: "Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria"!

Thursday evening there was breaking news that Nelson Mandela had died and ever since there has been nonstop coverage. The praise heaped upon him is unbelievable. If the public truly knew his history, they would not be exclaiming him to be a saint. Nelson Mandela's true name was Rolihlahle Mandela, which is probably too difficult for most Westerners to pronounce, just like the nuances of his life are too difficult to understand. In 1943, as a young man he joined the black power African National Congress where he eventually became a leader in the resistance to the South Afrikaner apartheid government. In 1956, he was charged with treason but those charges were dropped until the police could link him directly to numerous bombings, murders, and other brutal terrorist acts. After serving 23 years in prison, he was offered parole if he would renounce violence. Mandela refused, but was released anyway in 1990. The South African government was under considerable political and economic pressures. The sanctions imposed on it were ironically worse than that put on Iran or North Korea who threaten the world with nuclear warheads. Possibly, though, peacenik John Kerry or "The Worm" can smooth things out.

F.W. de Klerk betrayed his white countrymen who built South Africa into the most advanced, prosperous and powerful country on the continent. Universal elections were allowed and Rolihlahle Mandela was elected president. During his time in office he struck a conciliatory political and racial approach to his white and capitalist enemies. However, since his presidency, the ANC has increasingly sought communist and black control. The political party is corrupt and operates with Soviet style democratic centralism. In alliance with the Cosatu and Communist parties, most of the country lives in squalor and segments of the population have a 50% unemployment rate. Despite this, unions with government backing strike demanding higher wages causing businesses to leave en mass. There is an AIDs epidemic afflicting at least 1 in every 5 people. Crime is 3 times as great as in the U.S. and lawlessness is pervasive even in neighborhoods once crime free. Although Jacob Zuma, a former member of the Communist Party, is the current president, Julius Malema is trying to wrest control of the ANC. He is not only communist, but seeks to strip white people of all their property. Already, there are increasing murders and assaults of Caucasian farmers by mobs of his followers. South Africa once was the most promising country on the continent, but now it is on the brink of economic, political, and racial upheaval.

Despite the allure Marxism has to many poor and other groups, the political system has never worked out well. Social and economic equality is only a Utopian illusion which has never been achieved. When governments have tried, it has always had disastrous results. Marxism requires oppressive regimes to crush everyone down to the same lowest common denominator. Government is the exclusive winner while everyone else suffers. Rather than empowering government, Western Civilization needs to restore conservative values. When individual merit is rewarded rather than collectivism, all boats are lifted. Unfortunately, the Pope, many pension systems, and Mandela seek to sink these ships.

48 comments:

  1. Afrikaaners are being welcomed in neighboring Namibia. Also in Australia, Argentina, Chile, Canada and New Zealand too. AIDS epidemic is ravaging South Africa. South Africa is turning back into Haiti without the Afrikaaners.

    Aanvaar my beste wense Paul Modrowski !

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    1. Despite my own circumstances, I have always been greatly troubled by the developments in South Africa. I see how my own country is steadily declining and imagine how much worse it must be for Afrikaaners. The country they created has been lost and too much time has passed for a successful counter revolution. My best wishes also to you and all Afrikaaners who must relocate and rebuild their lives.

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    2. You think apartheid was a good thing?

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    3. I fully supported the former South Afrikaaner government. It was a tragedy when F.W. de Klerk let the republic be destroyed by the ANC. Nelson Mandela was no hero. He was a communist and terrorist. The country's current economic and social plight is directly related to the change over of power.

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    4. But apartheid?

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  2. south african here. its not as bad as you think. we are a young democratic country. as soon as we get ANC out the picture we can begin to grow again. change is upon us. the DA just may fall into power soon.

    stay strong paul xoxo

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  3. Paul, you covered a lot of topics here with a ton of possible side bars.

    I need to think this through. But for now here are my initial reactions to your post....

    I will post more soon but as I was reading your opinions I have to say that you are a very entertaining and intellectual read.

    I like Rush too. But one has to be mindful of his intentions. He is a radio personality. Rush is an antagonist. He has some very good things to say but they usually are more complaining in nature as opposed to helping. He makes over 20 million bucks a year getting educated people all rilled up. I know your not stupid...I know I know. But Rush is hard to disagree with sometimes. Just remember that he is a radio talk show host preatching to the folks. He loves democrats. They keep him in business.

    The majority of americans are moderate. That's just a fact. No ratings in moderate views.

    Ill respond more soon.....

    Take care...

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    1. The reason I like Rush Limbaugh is because he is an antagonist. He will abrasively tell the truth with wit and humor. Many other talk show hosts will never dare to say what he does although they may be thinking the same. I despise political correctness and cowards who are unwilling to stand up to the liberal media. Rush Limbaugh deserves the millions he is payed and he is worth more than half the weasels in congress. America needs more people like him to slap the public repeatedly with blunt straight talk.

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  4. There was an article on Paul earlier this month on reddit.com

    http://www.reddit.com/r/rage/comments/1u88vl/paul_modrowski_autistic_man_sentenced_to_life_in/

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  5. I've read many conversations on reddit and am angry that so many people have read and believed those old news articles in the Chicago Tribune. Readers actually think the cops who beat Paul and held him 33 hours without a phone call or lawyer would tell the truth at his trial!! Seriously! Those cops created that "confession" that Paul knew what Faraci was planning to do! IF the cops told the truth, they'd have to admit that Paul REFUSED to talk, and REFUSED to sign anything unless they let him speak to a lawyer. Oddly, the newspapers left out the part that there is NOTHING signed by Paul, and NO video tapes of anything the cops did during those 33 hours. No one has really given this any thought--instead they simply believe what the cops said at trial.

    One more thing: Those same newspapers didn't publish what Faraci's wife testified to at trial. She said that Paul left their apartment IN HIS OWN CAR early in the day--ALONE. She also said her husband came home ALONE and asked her to burn his blood soaked clothes!!

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    1. I think Paul already wrote in one of posts that he went to his sister's house that day. His sister and her husband were at the trial waiting to testify, but Paul's lawyers never called them to the witness stand. Paul's incompetent trial lawyer kept insisting "You're innocent until proven guilty. The state has proven nothing so we don't have to call witnesses." I think this is true in theory, but if I was charged with murder I certainly would have demanded my lawyer call as many witnesses as possible !

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    2. Paul, can your lawyer actually stop you from testifying in your own defense?
      Could you have spoken up to the judge at the time?

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    3. Thank you for pointing out many things that may have not been mentioned by the Chicago Tribune or the dialogues on Reddit. Let me add, however, that Rose Faraci, now Rose Zerrilo, only testified to the grand jury that I left in my own car alone on the day her husband killed Fawcett. This information was never elicited from her at the trial. My lead attorney, William Von Hoene, did not want to contest the lies of the interrogating officer. In fact, he told the jury John Robertson was telling the truth and argued it did not make me accountable for the actions of my co-defendent. I argued vehemently with him after Robertson's testimony in a legal room just outside the courtroom. He refused to recall him or put on the numerous witnesses I had who could have refuted or discredited his testimony. When I demanded to testify, he threatened to quit. I was exhausted both mentally and physically. Furthermore, I didn't know the judge would not allow him to withdraw and the thought of representing myself at this point was unimaginable. An assistant witnessed this entire confrontation but she refuses to give an affidavit. Jodi Rosen told my mother and others she would never disparage William Von Hoene who had done so much for her and her career.

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    4. Strap: No, a lawyer cannot stop a defendant from testifying in their own defense. It is a Constitutional right. The judge did ask me if I wanted to testify and I said no. However, I only said "no" because my attorney threatened to withdraw from my case. Back then, I was not aware the judge would not have allowed this and believed I would have to represent myself for the remainder of the trial.

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  6. If this Jodi Rosen heard this conversation, then call her out on social media. It works wonders these days. Facebook, setting up a basic web page with links to sites & email addresses, emails to the firm she works for, various websites, etc. The amount of people reached can be in the 100s of thousands, over a weekend. Something similar to the petition above to the governor.

    If you choose this route, get your facts prepared, write it out so others can pass it on, and let it fly. Make it long enough to give a idea to the reader, but short enough that they will read it all.
    The world is your oyster.

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    1. I do not know how to "call her out" on social media. I have been in prison a long time and have never even seen the internet. The people who handle my blog also are probably unable to do this, or are already overwhelmed with the work they do. I am one person in a maximum security prison cell.

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  7. Make sure you are able to prove she was in the court house that day.

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    1. Yes, I can prove Jodi Rosen was in the courthouse that day. She along with two other assistants were present every day of my trial. What I cannot prove is what she or the others heard.

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  8. Jodi has a moral obligation in this matter. If she ever cared about truth, justice, morality, honesty, integrity and humanity now would be the time to show it. We will wait for her response.

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  9. Don't you come from a decent family with some dough? Why didn't you have better representation?

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    1. Paul has written about many lawyers hired by his family over the years. Each one made horrible mistakes that either got his appeal thrown out for being filed one day late or lacked facts that would have shown errors made by the trial lawyers and/or the trial judge. One of them was a law professor who used his case as a teaching tool for two years and then withdrew his representation for some ridiculous reason ( I think his excuse was because Paul or his mother discussed one aspect of his case with another defense lawyer) ! Paul's current lawyer has had his case for over 4 years now and has yet to file anything. If you know "better" lawyers you should recommend them to Paul. There are many incompetent and inexperienced lawyers out there. Beware !

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  10. I think people in general do not realize that there are a lot of really not-so-great lawyers out there. People still sort of hold lawyers in high regard, sort of awe actually, and don't realize that like all professions there are a few great ones, some good ones, many average ones and a lot of useless ones as well. Often they take cases they are not even qualitifed to do just to get a retainer, etc. Then they will put the case on the back burner. It sounds like Paul had a series of bad lawyers, it's very sad. Even worse is that there are others who are in the same position, no doubt. I would recommend a better lawyer if I knew one, but I do not.

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  11. https://www.catholicvote.org/did-pope-francis-say-homosexual-behavior-is-ok/

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/07/29/what-pope-francis-really-said-about-gays-and-no-it-not-new/

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    1. Yeah don't believe the media on what the Pope said. they twist his words.

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    2. Exactly. They sure do twist his words.

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  12. Paul,
    As for using social media to "call her out". Yes, I understand that you cannot do that. That will be up to the people you have on the outside. You need to compose a letter that will be posted online. It needs facts of your case involving the lawyer, and what she heard. Then it gets posted everywhere online, various sites that get a lot of visitors per day, even craigslist. Included in the post will be a contact email address to the firm she now is at, firms she has been at in the past, and even on Redit, and Topix in the town she lives in, as well as Chicago. There are a ton of websites that can be used that focus on prisoner justice. These are all powerful tools that can be used. After it reaches some speed, it can be forwarded to all the major news papers.
    Its really a simple process. That anyone can do. I am just not the right person to do it. It will begin with you writing out the details that SHE heard, and she choose to hide. That is enough to get things going.

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  13. We should get some celebrities involved in this case?

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    Replies
    1. Let's start with Juan Luna.

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  14. The pope hasn't changed any of the catholic church's teachings. Don't believe the media hype.

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  15. The media hopes the church will stop being Catholic. Well the media is wrong!

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  16. The news programs take the Pope out of context.

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  17. Reporters luv to take Pope Francis out of context. I don't know if you're catholic or not, but if you are, take heart: the church has NOT changed her teaching!

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  18. "Unlike his predecessors, he has broken with traditional Church teachings that homosexuality is a sin. "

    No, he has not.
    You yourself know how the media can lie.

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    1. The media can lie and distort the truth, however, Pope Francis has expressed the most radical liberal values regarding redistribution of wealth, homosexuality and a host of other issues. I believe Rush Limbaugh was correct in comparing his rhetoric with Marxism. There is no question why he is adored by the political left.

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    2. You are basing your opinions on what you hear in the media.

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    3. What was the context of the comment, though?

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    4. I have read Pope Francis' discussions with bishops to change the Church's policy towards homosexuals. It is not a media conspiracy.

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    5. From which sources did you read these discussions?

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    6. Where did you read the discussions?

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  19. found on "catholic vote" websiteFebruary 2, 2015 at 10:56 AM

    "When I meet a gay person, I have to distinguish between their being gay and being part of a lobby. If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They shouldn’t be marginalized. The tendency [to homosexuality] is not the problem…they’re our brothers."


    First of all, the supposedly provocative line begins with the word, “if,” and it’s a BIG IF. Most homosexuals do not accept Jesus’ teachings on chastity. Salvation comes from Jesus. Sin is a rejection of salvation. Adultery is a sin. Sex outside of marriage is adultery. The divine sacrament of marriage requires that one man and one woman vow their mutual love, fidelity, and openness to life publicly and before God. Therefore, homosexual sex is a rejection of Jesus.

    Some people with homosexual tendencies choose to accept the salvation of our Lord and maintain a life of chastity. This is the key to what Pope Francis is saying: people with homosexual desires who are able to exhibit this level of self-control should be welcomed as our brothers and given encouragement in their struggle. This is a very beautiful statement. However, it does not say anything about people who give in to carnal desires and live promiscuously—whether gay or straight.

    Pope Francis does hint at this though. He says that the tendency to homosexuality is “not the problem,” which is to imply that there is a problem. There may not be an official “gay lobby” in the Holy See, but there is definitely a gay lobby in secular political life and it is viciously opposed to the Catholic Church. People who campaign for same-sex marriage or who objectify the human body do not have goodwill for us. We do not need to judge them because their actions speak for themselves.

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  20. VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis responded to several questions touching controversial topics that have arisen in his papacy, including accusations of Marxism and rumors of women cardinals, in an interview published over the weekend in the Italian journal La Stampa.

    Vatican analyst Andrea Tornielli interviewed Pope Francis and asked him about the accusations of Marxism from “ultra-conservative Americans,” who took issue with certain passages of the Pope’s recent apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. The Holy Father flatly denounced the economic ideology.

    “The Marxist ideology is wrong,” he said.

    The Pope had severely criticized the assumptions behind “trickle-down theories” in the exhortation, saying that they expressed “a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.”

    Pope Francis, by condemning economic practices driven by greed and leading to inequality, drew fire from public figures, including conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh, who contended that the Pope’s comments were “pure Marxism” and “dramatically, embarrassingly, puzzlingly wrong.”

    Pope Francis told La Stampa that he was not offended by the comments, noting that he has known many Marxists who were still “good people.”

    The Pope reaffirmed his adherence to the constant Tradition of the Church, explaining that he had no intention of speaking in technical language.

    “In the exhortation, there is nothing that is not found in the social doctrine of the Church. I didn’t speak from a technical point of view; I tried to present a photograph of what happens,” he said.

    “The only specific citation was for the ‘trickle-down’ theories, according to which every economic growth, supported by the free market, is able to produce in itself a great equity and social inclusion,” Pope Francis added.

    In the La Stampa interview, Pope Francis elaborated on his critique of these specific ideas. He said, “There was the promise that when the glass was full, it would have flowed over, and the poor would have benefited from it. Instead, what happens is that, when it is full, the glass magically gets larger, and so nothing ever comes out for the poor.”

    But “this was the only reference to a specific theory,” he said.

    Pope Francis took the opportunity to re-emphasize his standpoint, stressing, “I repeat: I do not speak as a technician, but according to the social doctrine of the Church. And this does not mean being Marxist.”

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  21. Well, that didn't take long.

    When I saw the Pope's comments on homosexuality during the wide-ranging interview he granted on the plane ride back from Brazil to Rome, one thought came to mind.
    "Oh boy."

    For the record, this is what the Pope said.

    "When I meet a gay person, I have to distinguish between their being gay and being part of a lobby. If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They shouldn't be marginalized. The tendency [to homosexuality] is not the problem ... they're our brothers."


    Of course, to anyone paying attention, this constitutes the status quo in the Church's position on same-sex attraction and homosexuality.

    Same-sex attraction, or in the Pope's terminology 'the tendency to homosexuality' is not a sin. Those with same-sex attraction should not be marginalized if they accept the Lord (and consequently His teaching and the teaching of His Church), However, if they do not accept the Lord and His teaching and 'lobby' or advocate for homosexuality, this is sinful and a problem. Even more so when a priest is involved.

    As I said, to anyone paying attention, this constitutes the status quo in the Church's position on same-sex attraction and homosexuality. But to an uninformed world being fed information by a willfully deceitful press? Like I said, "oh boy."
    As soon as I saw the comment, I knew what would happen.

    I called my brother and we discussed it. He wrote later that we should all prepare ourselves to be beaten over the head with 'Who am I to judge?" line from now til eternity.
    The headlines spewing out just confirmed what we knew would happen.

    NYT: On Gay Priests, Pope Francis Asks, 'Who Am I to Judge?'
    LAT: Pope Francis says gays should not be judged
    WSJ: Pope Signals Openness to Gay Priests
    WaPo: Pope Francis calls for inclusion of gays in society, saying he has no ...

    And so on. Amazing that zero change in policy or position can generate so many headlines.

    As the work day wrapped up yesterday, a few folks approached me as we headed for the door. For what it is worth, my Catholicism is well known in my office. Two men came up to me. I could see they had something to say.

    "Did you hear what the Pope said today about homosexuality?"

    "Yes."

    "What did you think?"

    "Not much. That is the Catholic position after all. What do you think he said?"

    "He said that gay marriage is fine or something... Who is he to judge?"

    I just hung my head and sighed.

    "No," I said. "We'll talk tomorrow."

    Like I said, Oh boy

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  22. Gay Groups Rush to Label New Pope "Hateful" and "Harsh"

    Posted by Matthew Archbold on Wednesday Mar 13th, 2013 at 11:47 PM
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    Some "Catholic" LGBT organizations were seemingly in a race to cast the first disparaging remark against the new Pope. The Equally Blessed coalition seemingly won the day by labeling the Pope "hateful" within hours of Cardinal Bergoglio's ascendancy to the papacy.

    Equally Blessed is an organization which includes participation from DignityUSA, New Ways Ministry, Call To Action, and Fortunate Families. Pro-homosexual organizations all. Their statement which was quoted in many news reports seems to indicate their shock that Pope Francis would be pro-traditional marriage and not in favor of gay adoption:

    "If he truly desires to share the Gospel with all people, Pope Francis will come to realize that many of those created in God’s image are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. It is our fervent hope and continuing prayer that Francis will break new ground in opening a conversation with LGBT people so that he may come to know a little about their experiences of God’s grace, mercy and love.

    "We are mindful some of our new pope’s past writings will be profoundly discouraging to LGBT Catholics. During an unsuccessful campaign against marriage equality legislation in Argentina, he wrote things that, frankly, could be considered hateful, calling the legislation that authorized same-sex marriage “a machination of the Father of Lies.” He also said adoption by same-sex parents was a form of discrimination against children. These are not statements worthy of a pope, or, for that matter, anyone in pastoral ministry.

    Hateful? Not worthy of a pope? So who would be worthy of being Pope? According to Equally Blessed, it would seem that faithful Catholics need not apply to the papacy. That would kinda' defeat the point a bit, wouldn't it?

    And not to pick apart their statement too much but isn't it hateful to call someone hateful?

    Dignity USA wasn't as pointed in their criticism but they did their best to attack the Pope just hours after he was elected:


    We are encouraged by Pope Francis’ clear commitment to the poor, and to the social justice tradition at the heart of our faith. At the same time, we acknowledge that as archbishop and cardinal the man who is now Pope Francis has made some very harsh and inflammatory statements about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. We recognize that sometimes this new job on which he embarks can change the man called to it. We call on our new Pope to recognize that he is now head of a Church that includes a huge number of LGBT people, their families and friends around the world. We invite him to take the time to learn about our lives, our faith, and our families before he makes any papal pronouncements about us, and we stand ready to enter into dialogue with him at any time.”

    Yeah, Dignity USA just told the pope he should learn about the faith. They called his words "harsh and inflammatory" and then called for dialogue.

    I'm sure in coming days it will only get worse as dissident Catholic organizations express their shock and dismay that a Catholic became Pope. Again

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  23. The evangelical thrust of Pope Francis (and his predecessors) permeated the final report. The Church should reach out to struggling families, not wait for them to come to her. What’s more, the Church is to cure wounds, not just bandage them and pretend they aren’t there. The Church must “meet people where they are” — going to the highways and byways. Yet we mustn’t “leave them where they are.”

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  24. Why do they need a pope? Does anyone even take the pope seriously? Any pope, not just this guy.

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  25. Paul, what do you of that clerk in Kentucky who is refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples?

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