Wednesday, July 28, 2004

This Instapundit post on the "selective reduction" account begs a question. If you assume the worst stereotpyes of both parties, who is more evil, the one who would not pay higher taxes to continue his lifestlye, or one who whould stop a heartbeat to do so?

It's interesting to read pro-choice commentary wishing she hadn't told this story, etc. And that's natural, the more light that gets shone on abortion, from scientific advances like 3-D ultrasounds as well as the stories of women who've has abortion, the more apparent less defensible it becomes.
Anyone have any idea how someone got from
there to here?

Friday, July 16, 2004

Rich Lowry has been having fun demonstrating how Andrew Sullivan is capable of little else besides name-calling in the same sex marriage debate, and provoking.... more name calling!

Besides feigned shock that anyone could possibly oppose same sex marriage, Sullivan's other favorite argument is that whenever someone uses an illustrative story or analogy for gay marriage, Sullivan shrieks, "They're comaparing gays to ! That's what the theocrats/Santorum wing etc. think of us!"

There's nothing behind the name-calling, and it's good that Lowry has the stomach to point it out.
Regarding below, I remember two years after the Mets-Yankees World Series, when Roger Clemens threw a piece if Mike Piazza's bat at him, the Yankees were going to play the Mets in an interleagues series. Since the series would be played in Shea Statdium, that meant that Clemens would come to bat. Scheduled to start for the Mets: Shawn Estes.

There was all sorts of discussion in the week beforehand that Estes should bean Clemens. But it seemed strange to me that Estes could be moved to attempt bodily harm against someone for an incident that happened 20 months ago when Estes wasn't even on the team.

Predictable enough, Estes's first pitch to Clemens somewhat lamely went behind him. You can read about the incident here.

I think this captures the fear that those wanting to hold onto anger have. If we're not angry when we carry out justice, then we'll be lame when we do it, as Estes was in his attmpt to "bean" Clemens.

But the unasked question is whether the beaning truly was the just punishment for the crime committed.
Following is my post to this thread about what I think the fundamental stumbling block in these discussions is:

think Tom hit on what is an underlying assumption, in that in order to offer a just punishment we must be angry. I think the fear is that if we give up our anger, we won't be able to inflict the punishment that justice demands.

Anyone who's ever been goaded into a fight with someone he did not really want to hurt knows that it's a recipe for disaster.

So, we stoke our anger. We look at the videos of the planes crashing into the buldings over and over. We demand that the news broadcast the decapitation of Charlie Berg. When the American bishops seem to have straightened things out, or at least are getting better at hiding the bodies, we look across the ocean for more tales of episcopal wrongdoing.

And it's understandable. We've been hurt before. We assumed these were good people and got burned.

Can we be vigilant without anger?
Can we deliver justice without anger?

I think that's the fundamental question in play here. If the answer is "no," then efforts to keep our anger burning may be justified. If the answer is "yes," then they're not.

In my opinion, the Gospel points to an answer of "yes." Justice and forgiveness are not mutually exclusive.

This teaching, as Mark likes to say, is more scandalous than any of the secual teaching (or the teaching that Friday is a day of fasting and penance, which runs directly into the current of our culture.)

Thursday, July 08, 2004

I started praying a decade of the Rosary each night with my daughter on Saturday, beginning with the Joyful Mysteries, and noticed an interesting pattern...

  • Saturday: First Joyful Mystery (Annunciation)
  • Sunday: Second Joyful Mystery (Visitation)
  • Monday: Third Joyful Mystery (Nativity)
  • Tuesday: Fourth Joyful Mystery (Presentation)
  • Wednesday: Fifth Joyful Mystery (Finding in the Temple)
  • Thursday: First Luminous Mystery (Jesus's Baptism)
  • Friday: Second Luminous Mystery (Miracle at Canaa)
  • Saturday: Third Luminous Mystery (Proclamation of the Kingdom of God)
  • Sunday: Fourth Luminous Mystery (Transfiguration)
  • Monday: Fifth Luminous Mystery (Institution of the Eucharist
  • Tuesday: First Sorrowful Mystery (Agony in the Garden)
  • Wednesday: Second Sorrowful Mystery (Scourging at the Pillar)
  • Thursday: Third Sorrowful Mystery (Crowning with Thorns)
  • Friday: Fourth Sorrowful Mystery (Jesus carries His Cross)
  • Saturday: Fifth Sorrowful Mystery (Jesus dies on the Cross)
  • Sunday: First Glorious Mystery (Resurrection)
  • Monday: Second Glorious Mystery (Ascension)
  • Tuesday: Third Glorious Mystery (Pentecost)
  • Wednesday: Fourth Glorious Mystery (Assumption)
  • Thursday: Fifth Glorious Mystery (Coronation)

So, each set of Mysteries begins on on of "its" days, if prayed in chronological order. It breaks down after that, as Friday is a "Sorrowful" day. We'll have to figure out something else to pray on that day.

Pretty cool, huh?
From now on, James Lileks is disqualified from usinf the "Would you rather still have Saddam in power with the rape rooms and torture chambers?" argument against those who opposed the Iraw war after this argument in today's bleat:

Are you proud that nearly 3 billion people on this planet do not have access to clean drinking water when we have the resources and technology to remedy this immediately?

Immediately! Right now! The entire purpose of the American economy must be turned to the task of building sanitary water systems in rural Peru, old Soviet industrial sites in the Urals, and the Chinese hinterlands! Immediately! We are not only obligated to step in and help poor Robert Mugabe upgrade the pipes of urban Zimbabwe, we must issue bonds to ensure that these systems work until the sun sputters out. Because that is the first obligation of the government, as set forth in the Constitution: ensure that someone in the Sudan can drink tap water without getting the squirts.

Right after we make sure someone in Iraq can oppose the government without being thrown in jail.

I know, I know. Saddam was a huge threat. Yellowcake in Africa, etc.

But I guess I'd rather be bringing clean water to people than invading countries and taking them over.

Guess that makes me a wimp.