Common Ground vs. Dialogue

06/07/2009 Comment

Yesterday, I noted that Obama’s vision, spelled out at Cairo and Notre Dame, is radically different from Benedict XVI’s.

Benedict wants religions to acknowledge their differences in search of truth. Obama wants them to acknowledge their sameness in search of peace.

Obama is very cleverly, with fine intentions, proposing relativistic secularism as the world’s common ground.

(This continues what I started yesterday in “Obama, Notre Dame and Islam”.)

At both Cairo and Notre Dame, Obama identified the Golden Rule as the point of agreement of all religions.

At Notre Dame, he stressed that the Golden Rule amounts to service and love:

To Catholics: “For if there is one law that we can...READ MORE

Filed under weekend commentary

Wikipedia Bans Scientology

06/06/2009 Comment

Wikipedia has barred the Church of Scientology from changing entries about scientology.

That’s, well, good news and bad news. The Church of Scientology has a reputation for cultish weirdness and propaganda. And weird cultish propaganda.

But shouldn’t they get some say in their own entry? Not sole say, certainly, but ... some?

Catholicism should be next, say commentators on many of the stories about the development.

Says the report from the (British) Register:

According to evidence turned up by admins in this long-running Wikiland court case, multiple editors have been “openly editing [Scientology-related articles] from Church of Scientology equipment and apparently coordinating their...READ MORE

Filed under

3 Things Obama Didn't Say

06/06/2009 Comment

(Ali Jarekji/Reuters)

Obama told his Muslim audience: “[W]e must say openly to each other the things we hold in our hearts and that too often are said only behind closed doors.”

Hmmm … here are three things he didn’t seem to want to say openly in Cairo:

He didn’t praise doubt, or promote LGBT, or read the Koran’s other verses.

1. He didn’t praise doubt.

Specifically, he didn’t say this (I’ve added changes to his Notre Dame speech in boldface):

“But remember too that the ultimate irony of faith in Islam is that it necessarily admits doubt in Mohammed the prophet, peace be on him (or maybe not?). It is the belief in things not seen. It is beyond our capacity as human beings to know with...READ MORE

Filed under cairo, notre dame, obama, weekend commentary

Obama, Notre Dame and Islam

06/06/2009 Comment

At Cairo, Obama had to reach out to Muslims whose religion he admires but who tend to extremist positions (jihad) that he rejects.

At Notre Dame, Obama had to reach out to Catholics whose religion he admires but whose positions (the right to life) he rejects.

The two speeches he gave had some surprising similarities.

In Cairo, he praised a version of Islam that suited his purposes.

His hope — to reinforce the moderate elements in Islam — is a noble one. Let’s hope it works. The danger of his approach: If he is speaking to a wishful-thinking version of the Islamic world, he could speak over the heads of most Muslims, while inciting extremists to be upset that squishier Muslims...READ MORE

Filed under cairo, notre dame, weekend commentary

Obama: USA Transgender Pride

06/03/2009 Comment

(Chicagoenergy photo from Flickr creative commons)

Yesterday, President Obama did something radical: He proclaimed June “LGBT Pride” month.

This doesn’t just mean “tolerance for homosexuals month.” The T stands for “transgender.” The movement is clear that it wants men to be able to use women’s bathrooms, among other craziness. (See?)

The White House buried the news, and the media helped. But Obama said he wants to mainstream that craziness:

“Here at home, I continue to support measures to bring the full spectrum of equal rights to LGBT Americans. These measures include enhancing hate crimes laws, supporting civil unions and Federal rights for LGBT couples, outlawing discrimination in the workplace, ensuring adoption rights, and ending...READ MORE

Filed under lgbt, obama, transgender

Conn. Bishop Fights Back

06/01/2009 Comment

“As a bishop,” writes Bridgeport’s William Lori, “I will take every measure possible to defend our faith and our Church from attempts to silence us — and our individual parishes could be targeted next.”

One thing he is willing to do, it turns out, is sue the state of Connecticut.

It started when parish reorganization Bill 1098 was announced in Connecticut with just five days before its scheduled hearing, Bishop Lori recounts on his blog. At that point, the Bridgeport Diocese:

•  “alerted our membership — in person and through our website;”
•  “encouraged them to exercise their free speech by contacting their elected representatives;”
•  “We organized a...READ MORE

Filed under ct anti-catholic bill

Pro-Lifers Condemn Tiller Killing

05/31/2009 Comment

Pro-lifers rushed to the transom to condemn the killing of abortionist George Tiller by a gunman at his Kansas church.

UPDATED with more comment.

Statements from: U.S. bishops, Priests for Life, American Life League, Kansas Bishops, and Susan B. Anthony List.

Speaking on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, expressed profound regret upon learning of the shooting death of abortion doctor George Tiller.

“Our bishops’ conference and all its members have repeatedly and publicly denounced all forms of violence in our society, including abortion as well as the...READ MORE

Filed under anti-violence, george tiller, pro-life

Bernardin vs. Obama

05/31/2009 Comment

At Notre Dame, Obama referred to Cardinal Joseph Bernardin.

“That must have had Cardinal Bernardin turning over in his grave,” writes Elizabeth Lev.

Then, she finds an extraordinary quote from the cardinal himself ... and in the Register, no less.

Obama “cleverly backed up his pro-choice arguments by quoting the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin’s ‘seamless garment’ project,” wrote Lev, “which many have manipulated to bury abortion among many other issues, as if killing hundreds of thousands of innocent children were somehow morally equivalent to welfare reform and immigration law.”

Said Obama of Bernardin:

“He stood as both a lighthouse and a crossroads — unafraid to speak his mind on...READ MORE

Filed under notre dame, obama, weekend commentary

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About Guest Blogger/Tom Hoopes

Tom  Hoopes
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Tom Hoopes is Vice President of College Relations and writer in residence at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. He has written for the Register for more than 20 years and was its executive editor for 10. His writing has appeared in First Things’ First Thoughts, National Review Online, Crisis, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside Catholic and Columbia. He has served as press secretary for the Chairman of the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee. He and his wife, April, were editorial co-directors of Faith & Family magazine for 5 years. They have nine children.