Friday, March 23, 2012

Great Product: Stick it to Obama Sticky Notes

Buy them here. Here's what they look like:

They are a little pricey, so you could always make your own. They were inspired by a homemade one originally that someone found stuck to a gas pump.

I'm buying 400, for the record.


Starbucks has now come out vociferously against the traditional marriage. Read all about it here. A priest friend of mine sent me info on this, so hat tip goes to him. Here's the email he forwarded:


Dear Marriage Supporter,

We are urging consumers across the globe to "Dump Starbucks" because the massive international corporation has taken a corporate-wide position that marriage between one man and one woman should be eliminated and that same-sex marriage should become the norm. As such, Starbucks has declared it will use its influence and resources in a culture war against at least half its US customers, and against the vast majority of its international consumers who do not share Starbucks' position.

On January 24, 2012, the Starbucks corporation issued a memorandum to all "US Partners" declaring that same-sex marriage "is aligned with Starbucks business practices" and "is core to who we are and what we value as a company."

In addition to declaring its corporate-wide position in support of gay marriage, Starbucks also used its resources to participate in a legal case seeking to overturn a federal law declaring marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

In taking these actions, Starbucks has declared a culture war on all people of faith (and millions of others) who believe that the institution of marriage as one man and one woman is worth preserving.

NOM does not take this step lightly.

Unlike our opponents, we would never take action against a corporation because of the statements of one of its executives. However, Starbucks has declared gay marriage to be a corporate value and has intentionally inserted itself into the debate. Furthermore, NOM officials attended a meeting of the Board of Directors of Starbucks to bring this issue to their attention, and they did nothing.

This is why we must urge all consumers to "dump Starbucks," as well as Seattle's Best Coffee and Evolution Fresh juices, which are owned by Starbucks.

A portion of every cup of coffee purchased at a Starbucks anywhere in the world goes to fund this corporate assault on marriage. Voters in thirty US states have voted to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. No state vote has ever supported gay marriage.

In many areas of the world where Starbucks does business, the concept of "gay marriage" is unheard of and deeply offensive to cultural, moral and religious values. We urge consumers across the globe to join the "Dump Starbucks" campaign.

By going to, you can sign our petition, and take action to contact Starbucks directly. You can also see places near you where you can buy coffee rather than patronize Starbucks. Let your local Starbucks manager and the corporate leadership know that you've joined the Dump Starbucks campaign, and tell them where you'll be going instead to buy coffee.

Please sign the Dump Starbucks petition to register your protest of Starbucks waging a culture war against its customers who believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.

Brian S. Brown
Executive Director
NOM Education Fund

Like everything Maggie Gallagher does, the National Organization for Marriage website is done very well. You can like the NOM on Facebook, check out their blog, follow them on Twitter and sign an online boycott pledge against Starbucks here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Here come the Bishops! Here come the Bishops!

Remember how we use to continually be amazed by the phenomenon of everything reminding Rod Dreher of the malfeasance of Roman Catholic Bishops? Well, nothing has changed. The piece starts out quoting Thomas Frank on financial crises and impending economic doom. Then in the midst, out of nowhere, we get this:

Isn’t that how nearly all our elite institutions work? Isn’t that why not a single Roman Catholic bishop — save, arguably, Boston’s Cardinal Law — lost his post as a result of the abuse scandal? United we stand, or divided we hang.

And then, laughably, he writes this in the conclusion.

I think many of us must imagine these people sitting in their Ivory Towers of government, academia, media, banking, etc., and making decisions they consciously know are wrong, or corrupted. Maybe some do, but the key point here is that many, even most, of them don’t realize at the time how social, emotional, and psychological factors corrupt their own judgment.

But not your judgement, Rod, oh no.

He begins that last paragraph with a ridiculous false dichotomy that you can either be a good poor person or a bad rich person. And he's about to get a seven-figure advance for writing a book about his dead sister. Is Rod Dreher not the biggest laughingstock at this point? I, for one, feel absolutely vindicated for all the work I've done over the years in trying to expose him for the fraud he is. And Jonathan, Diane, Kathleen et al — you should all feel vindicated as well.

Monday, March 19, 2012

You might want to subscribe to this

You can subscribe to updates like this one from The Cardinal Newman Society by going to this link and filling in your email on the left hand side. This newsletter and the site are both very informative about what is going on in the cultural battles at Catholic universities. I've been subscribed for some time now.  I hope they don't mind me posting the entire content of a newsletter to demonstrate how useful the content is. Please consider subscribing.

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Notre Dame Prof: "The immorality of birth control is no longer a teaching of the Catholic Church."  |  A philosophy professor at the University of Notre Dame has declared in the New York Times that the bishops no longer decide morality in the Church and that "the immorality of birth control is no longer a teaching of the Catholic Church."  Gary Gutting, Endowed Chair in Philosophy, argued that the will of many Catholics who choose to use contraceptives is paramount to the teaching of the bishops.  Read more...

Abortion Scandal at Saint Mary's College of California  |  It's always scandalous when a Catholic college hosts an extreme pro-abortion activist like Amy Richards to lecture to students and others. But it somehow seems worse when the Catholic college is named after Mary, the Mother of God.  Richards has been quoted in the New York Times explaining why she allegedly killed two of her three unborn children when she was pregnant with triplets.  Read more...

Boston College Ends Contract With Dissident Priest
A priest in the Theology department at Boston College had his contract terminated, according to news reports, leading some students to suspect it a right-wing conspiracy at the Jesuit college.  Boston College reportedly said Father Shea's contract was not renewed because his position was changed to a tenure-track job, there's some speculation that Father Shea's reported outspokenness on female ordination may have been the cause of his termination.  Read more...

"He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly."  |  Faithful Newman Guide Catholic colleges have fought for religious liberty with lawsuits and unflinching resolve.  Wayward Catholic colleges have issued weak protests or said nothing at all.  It's our business to promote, defend and strengthen faithfully Catholic colleges.  Please support our mission today!

Cardinal Newman Society Statement on White House Announcement 3/16/2012  |  The Obama administration's announcement on Friday, March 16, regarding mandated insurance coverage for sterilization, contraception and abortifacients does nothing to relieve Catholic colleges from the Administration's violation of religious liberty.  Get the facts and read our statement here.

CNS Challenges Colleges to Stand with Bishops

In a strongly worded and unambiguous statement released last week, that The Cardinal Newman Society hopes becomes a rallying point for all Catholic colleges and institutions, the U.S. bishops announced they are strongly united in their ongoing and determined efforts to protect religious freedom.  Read more...

Georgetown Prof Stands Against the Bishops
Jacques Berlinerblau, director of the Program for Jewish Civilization at Georgetown University, wrote a piece for The Chronicle of Higher Education, arguing against the bishops' stand for religious liberty.  He said that "religious freedom" is "regrettably becoming a codeword and umbrella term for certain types of Conservative Christian policy."  Read more...

Four Newman Guide Colleges Named Top Conservative Colleges
Four of the colleges recommended by The Cardinal Newman Society in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College have been named to the "Top Conservative College" list released by the Young America's Foundation (YAF).  The list features institutions that proclaim, through their mission and programs, a dedication to discovering, maintaining, and strengthening the conservative values of their students, according to the YAF.  Which colleges were named?

Homeschooling Conference at Thomas More College
The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts will be hosting the annual New England Catholic Homeschool Conference on Saturday, May 19th.  This conference, now in its 4th year, has been a valuable source of information, support, and guidance for many homeschooling families throughout New England.  Read more...

Loyola Bans Vulgarly Named Band
Loyola Marymount University this week banned a rock band from playing on campus because the name of the band contains a vulgar word, according to the student newspaper.  "...[H]aving a band that has vulgarity as part of its title isn't fitting for our campus," Associate Vice President for Student Life Richard Rocheleau told The LoyolanRead more...

Catholic Colleges Hosts Symposium for Advancing the New Evangelization  |  Earlier this year, Benedictine College in Kansas announced the formation of the Institute for Missionary Activity, designed to help future missionaries be more successful in their work.  The new Institute combines academics, personal formation and field experience to create graduates who are fully equipped for missionary work.  Read more...

Catholics a Minority at DePaul. But Don't Worry, There's a Muslim Prayer Room  |  Statistics gathered by the Institutional Research and Market Analytics strategy group reportedly show that while 33 percent of students at DePaul University declare their Catholic faith, nearly 45 percent of the student body do not identify themselves as being part of any organized religion.  Read more...

Sister Galbraith of Aquinas College Sees "Great Spiritual Conversion" in Church Today  |  Dominican Sister Mary Sarah Galbraith, who was invested as president of Aquinas College in Nashville earlier this year, talked recently about the challenges of Catholic higher education and her hopes for the college and the Church in the near future.

Exorcist Coming to Speak at Franciscan University
In 2005, Father Gary Thomas was sent to Rome by his bishop to take a course on exorcism in response to the Vatican's request that local churches begin to name official exorcists. Though hesitant, Father Thomas went.  And now Father Thomas is coming to the Franciscan University of Steubenville to speak about the myths and realities of exorcism.  (The 2011 movie The Rite was based on him.)  Read more...

Gay Student Group Seeks Recognition at CUA
An unofficial gay student group at The Catholic University of America is seeking official recognition, according to The Tower: "CUAllies, the current Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) and Allies group on campus, submitted a proposal last week to the Office of Campus Activities (OCA) to be recognized as an official student organization."  Read more...

Pro-Gay Marriage Movie to be Shown at Catholic College
In November, Minnesotans will have the opportunity to vote on a marriage amendment to restore traditional marriage. In light of that important vote, The College of Saint Benedict/St. John's University in Minnesota is home to a surprising event that was posted on their website: "Parents and friends of GLBT are invited to come together to share their stories and support each other and their families in a spirit of prayer and respect.  The  DVD  'Catholics for Marriage Equality' will be shown."  Read more...

The Anti-Catholic Catholic College
Carlos Polo, a former student at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, wrote a piece that paints a very dark picture of his alma mater that appeared recently in the Catholic World Report.  "Every enemy of the Catholic Church is today sheltered, promoted, and even financed by the PUCP."  Read more...

A History of the Loss of Catholic Identity at PCU of Peru
The Vatican's ultimatum to the Peruvian university to regain its lost Catholic identity or risk its status as a Catholic college is in the news right now. But how did we get here?  It is the result of years of conflict between school and archdiocese over Catholic identity on campus, according to Our Sunday VisitorRead more...

Celebrate Life Magazine Features The Cardinal Newman Society, Patrick Reilly  |  Judie Brown of the American Life Leauge wrote: "Patrick J. Reilly, founder and president of the Cardinal Newman Society (CNS), started with a dream in 1993. I feel honored to have been one of those folks who listened to Patrick and realized, in the early days of his work, that somebody had to get a handle on Catholic bastions of higher education..."

Students Still Pushing for Gay Club at Notre Dame
The University of Notre Dame student newspaper kicked off a three-part series highlighting the experience of LGBTQ students on campus in light of the fact that the university has refused to grant official club status to a gay-straight alliance despite numerous requests since 1986.

Religious Liberty

Amish Yes. Catholics No.
Why are the Amish exempted from Obamacare entirely, but when Catholic institutions seek an exemption from just one regulation, the Obama administration adamantly refuses?  That's the question posed by Sister Mary Ann Walsh, Director of Media Relations for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, at the USCCB blog.  Read more...

John Paul the Great President and Students Protest HHS Mandate
While the President of  John Paul the Great Catholic University in California wrote a strong letter protesting the HHS contraceptive mandate, a group of students of the university created a video. While this may speak to how different the generations are, it also speaks to how united students and administrators at the Catholic college are against the HHS mandate.
Watch the video.

Notre Dame's Missed Opportunity
Notre Dame Professor of Law and Theology Cathleen Kaveny was recently on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, a rare opportunity for a Catholic theologian to reach millions. While Kaveny had every opportunity to defend the Church's fight for religious liberty, she instead criticized the bishops for their use of the word "persecution."  She didn't directly attack bishops, but it was a missed opportunity, mirroring Notre Dame's own bewildering silence in the face of the threat to religious liberty.  Read more...

Patrick Reilly on Two Major Victories for Religious Liberty
In the mood for a little good news on the religious liberty front? Well, then you're going to want to read the latest from Patrick Reilly, the president of The Cardinal Newman Society, in The Washington Times.  "These days, good news about religious liberty is hard to come by."

An Open Letter to President Obama from a Faithful Catholic College
In a strongly-worded open letter to President Barack Obama, Mount St. Mary's University in Maryland voiced its protest of the federal government mandate requiring the provision of sterilization, contraception and abortion-inducing drugs in all health care plans as part of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.  The letter was published in The Washington Post on March 12.  Read more...

New Hampshire House Passes Religious Exemption
New Hampshire's House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to exempt religious institutions from having to include contraceptive coverage in health insurance plans, Reuters reports.  Twelve years ago, the New Hampshire legislature passed their own contraceptive mandate requiring all employers who carry insurance for prescription drugs to cover contraceptives.  Read more...

Catholic Missionary Sues Obama Administration over HHS Mandate
A missionary with FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, has joined in a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' mandate that nearly all health insurance plans cover female sterilization and contraceptives (including abortifacients) free of charge, according to a statement released by FOCUS.  Read more...

Author Cites Blessed Cardinal Newman in Argument for Conscience
Author Stephanie A. Mann wrote an excellent piece on Catholic Exchange arguing for conscience protections against the HHS contraceptive mandate.  Mann notes that both sides in the debate use the term "conscience." In her piece, she uses the words of Blessed John Henry Newman to show why a true understanding of conscience is imperative to this debate.

Cardinal Dolan: White House Lectured USCCB on Interpreting Catholic Teaching  |  Cardinal Timothy Dolan sent a letter to his brother bishops recently in which he revealed that the White House lectured USCCB staff on how to interpret Catholic teaching in light of the HHS mandate, Thomas Peters reports.  The White House also used the recent editorial from the "enlightened" editors of America Magazine as a cudgel.  Read more...

Georgetown President Scolds Limbaugh, Stays Silent on HHS Mandate
John J. DeGioia, the President of Georgetown University, has been oddly silent concerning the HHS mandate that would force religious institutions to pay for sterilization procedures and contraceptives including abortifacients but he did issue a public statement condemning Rush Limbaugh for his recent comments about a Georgetown student who is demanding contraceptive insurance from the Jesuit university.  Read more...

Bishop Lori Strongly Responds to America Magazine
As The Cardinal Newman Society reported, America Magazine criticized the bishops' efforts to prevent the Obama administration from infringing on religious liberty.  Bishop William E. Lori, the chairman of the U.S. bishops' Ad Hoc committee on Religious Liberty, wrote a response that appeared in America MagazineRead more...

Defusing Manufactured Guilt About Driving

Common sense mixed with good humor is the best way to sell conservative ideas. Another good practice is to alleviate the guilt many people wrongly have over purely preferential decisions such as whether or not to own an automobile. These are two reasons why this article by Colin Kingsbury is so worthwhile and timely. First excerpt:

Here’s the truth: Going car-free is considerably easier if you are happy spending a relative fortune to rent a small apartment in an ultra-high- density neighborhood; enjoy one of a limited number of well-paying jobs in a downtown office; rarely need to move anything larger than a week’s supply of Lean Cuisine frozen dinners; and are happy within the confines of your neighborhood. Just imagine commuting from Dorchester to an office park on Route 128, or wrangling two children and a week’s worth of groceries onto a bus, which many less-well-off Bostonians do. Only a few neighborhoods — mostly Beacon Hill and the Back Bay — have the density to support the kind of mass-transit network and local retail presence to make car ownership largely irrelevant the way it is in Manhattan. No, in Boston, a voluntary carless lifestyle is only realistic for the young and childless with the luck of working at a well-paying job near a T stop. In short: yuppies. They’re the very same people who subscribe to locavorism and sneer that food in this country is far too cheap, but have no clue what it’s like to raise a family in a dodgy neighborhood or take the bus to a low-paying job across the city.

We regulars over here at Est Quod Est laugh at the references to Zipcars and locavores, and the usual suspects show up in the comment boxes with visceral overreactions based on politically correct talking points. I tried to leave a comment over there, but after going through the tedious registration process and clumsy interface, it was partially vomited by Boston Magazine's locavore webserver. So here it is:

The comments on the piece demonstrate the relentless liberal utopian attack on sensibility. Colin K. mentions what everybody already knows, i.e., if you don’t own a car you pay more for other services and limit your available choices, on balance. So he is called “ridiculous”, “selfish”, “immoral” and “worthless” by those commenting. We are treated to brilliant statements such as “Bikers are sexier than car drivers. We just are” and “His perspective is so obviously flawed, baseless, and immoral, that it is not worth a rational person's time to criticize him.” These overreactions mostly serve to prove his point.

These kinds of articles serve a high purpose because they help alleviate the guilt which is brought to bear on a sensible populace which, without the constant PC drumbeat, would see nothing immoral about the responsible use of an automobile. It’s a little sad that we need them to be written, but that is where we are.

I invite all of you to read the comments and notice that the only variation in the "arguments" against freedom to drive is the intensity of the invective. That is all they have left.

Again, what I really love about informative and clarifying articles like this is that they help the undecided among us see the folly and the control freakishness of the left. Colin's paragraph about who really screwed up the cities drives the point home, and is not even dealt with by the angry commenters. Probably because they don't have a response.

It wasn’t cars that devastated cities, but urban planners with a terminal excess of confidence in their own genius. The midcentury notion that the world ought to be segregated into vast tracts of exclusively residential, commercial, or industrial zones linked by multilane highways is now rightly regarded as a radical and myopic shift from how cities previously grew — slowly and organically, boasting a combination of homes and businesses. Livable cities are, above all else, places where people can pursue the sort of life they want, and for the vast majority of people, that includes a car.

Most people see the sense in this. There is room in the world for bikes and cars and people who own either or neither. And the central planners should all get real jobs and just leave us alone to work it out, instead of screeching and regulating everything.

Even so, the politically correct institutions (media, universities, etc.) have an advantage because they conscript the language of morality to voice their assertions. Most conservatives don't do that, unless they are weaked-kneed and looking for mainstream media acceptance. People want to be perceived as good citizens so they go often comply with the liberals' distortion of freedom. Hopefully the next feat of a man as successful as Kingsbury will be to discover a car gene which at least 98% of us have. But if he does I wouldn't hold my breath for a Nobel Prize.