Courage and Conviction: The Obama Difference

03/26/2010 Comments (22)

The health care bill that passed Congress was terrible. It funded abortion. The executive order that accompanied it was a temporary fig leaf at best. The bill created a bureaucratic mess. It was shoved down the throat of an unwilling public. The process that passed it was far from the transparency President Obama promised, and it often stank of pork-barrel bribery. And the bill was signed by the President when it was 36 hours old, though Obama promised he would always wait for five days of public review.

But it showed the difference that too often exists between pro-family and anti-family legislators: The bill’s backers had the courage of their convictions. They insisted on what they...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, bishops, congress, health care reform, obama

Top 10 Differences, Boys' and Girls' 1st Communions

03/22/2010 Comments (10)

For all those parents who have children preparing for First Communion in the coming months, we know boys and girls experience the same thing: They receive the sacrament of reconciliation and then the body, blood soul and divinity of Christ. Human beings being what they are, there are accompanying experiences of a lesser degree, and there are differences in these. Here’s what to expect for boys, and girls ...

10. You have to remind boys that what’s happening is kind of important.

You have to remind girls that what’s happening is not the end of the world, and they can relax.

9. For girls, the biggest question is: “How does the dress look?”

For boys, the biggest question is: “What will it...READ MORE

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Bart Stupak's Defining Moment

03/22/2010 Comments (9)

Bart Stupak faced the defining moment of his career last weekend and, fair or not, he defined himself by it. He had the chance to be a profile in political courage. But he is now the pro-lifer who caved for the paltriest of political cover at the crucial hour.

He voted for a change in the law of our land such that our tax dollars will fund abortion, and got for his betrayal an “executive order,” which is not and will never have the same weight as the law of the land.

Two things this teaches us right away:

1. Sister Carol Keehan was wrong. The sister who earned $856,093 last year as the head of a trade association of hospital conglomerates argued that the bishops were wrong and that the...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, bishops, politics

Catechism vs. Health Care Reform

Tell Your Rep: "Vote No or I Will Campaign Relentlessly and Tirelessly Against You"

03/18/2010 Comments (8)

If you’re a Catholic and you believe the Catechism implicitly then you believe that health care is a right and you’re inclined to support a bill that expands access to health care. You are inclined to hate the skyrocketing costs fueled by lawsuits. You see the scandal of the uninsured as one of the great injustices of our day. It makes you angry that health problems lock people into jobs that aren’t otherwise in their interest.

You have practically memorized Catechism No. 2211: “The political community has a duty to honor the family, to assist it, and to ensure especially, in keeping with the country’s institutions, the right to medical care, assistance for the aged, and family...READ MORE

Filed under health care

Top 10 Things I Do When I Give Up Facebook in Lent

03/14/2010 Comments (6)

In honor of Sunday, here are my own coping strategies for giving up Facebook in Lent.

10. Call friends at random and say: “Tom is just hanging out after an exhausting day. Whew! Good to be home! ;-)”

9. (Add, to the friend: “I just winked but you can’t see it because this isn’t Facebook.”)

8. Read a book until I get frustrated by the long paragraphs.

7. Hand out pictures of my kids to strangers.

6. Ask April (my wife): “Is today considered part of Lent?”

5. Update the inappropriate, personally compromising material on my MySpace page.

4. Poke people.

3. Tell people at work: “I friend you. Do you accept?”

2. Talk to my wife and kids until I get frustrated...READ MORE

Filed under facebook, lent

My Extraordinary Friends

03/12/2010 Comments (16)

I’m going to do my best to defend the Extraordinary Form after the onslaught by John Zmirak, but he’s made it hard. I think introducing the world to two of my Extraordinary Form friends will help.

Yes, that’s right, for those who have followed this (for those who haven’t, you might want to check out some of the other fine posts on this site instead). I’m not going to defend the Novus Ordo against him. I’m going to defend the Extraordinary Form to my aghast Novus Ordo friends who have read John Zmirak’s two columns and wonder at the vitriol of it all.

My friend John Zmirak wrote an interesting column Feb. 17 that compared the form of a Mass to a flag and defended his...READ MORE

Filed under john paul ii, liturgy, sacraments

Top 10 Reasons to Have Eight Children

03/11/2010 Comments (15)

There are important matters to discuss, but I have no time at the moment! So I discuss this important matter instead ... here are my Top 10 Reasons to for my family of 10 (10 including Mom and Dad).

10. Even when four kids are away, you still have four kids who aren’t.

9. They will cure your obsessive tidiness.

8. On the one hand, there’s the constant wailing and weeping. On the other, there’s the generous per-child federal tax credit.

7. When people say, “Are they all yours?” You can answer, “They belong to the wind, the stars and the burbling brook, and I belong to the moon.” Then watch the look they give you.

6. Like Niagara Falls, the grocery bills are always...READ MORE

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Answering Zmirak on the Mass

03/05/2010 Comments (64)

My friend and former colleague, John Zmirak — the guy who friends of mine call their favorite writer, even now that I’m eligible for the honor — has written an an explosive article (at the excellent Inside Catholic) about the Mass. 

He’s an Extraordinary Form guy — a 1962 Missal guy, a Tridentine Mass guy. He sets out to address the question he has heard: “Why do you people care so much about externals?” His piece is hilarious, copiously linked to supporting material, clever, and wrong.

Well, ultimately wrong. Three things I know:

1. I know that the Extraordinary Form Mass has been a giant blessing for the Church before the Council and continues to be for many people...READ MORE

Filed under mass, vatican ii, zmirak

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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.