Sunday, July 26, 2009

Concerns with Obama's Healthcare Plan

As I continue to slog my way through the new Encyclical, I just thought I would share something I recently received in an e-mail from the Knights of Columbus.

While, being the "Shoshone Conservative," it may surprise many that I, actually, support healthcare reform, one thing which should be of grave concern to pro-life conservatives is this: If you have a few minutes, I encourage you to listen to the re-play of the webcast. Apparently, there is a possibility that Obama's healthcare plan may lead to taxpayer funded abortion - any fellow pro-life social conservatives who otherwise support alternatives to our current healthcare "system" must vehemently oppose any plan which would result in our paying for such an abonimable practice.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Caritas in Veritate - Introduction

In starting to go through the new encyclical, and reading the commentary on the Internet, one over-arching theme of the Pope's critics is that "the Pope shouldn't be getting involved in politics/economics." In anticipation of such criticism, Benedict XVI states in the final paragraph of the introduction:

"The Church does not have technical solutions to offer and does not claim “to interfere in any way in the politics of States." She does, however, have a mission of truth to accomplish, in every time and circumstance, for a society that is attuned to man, to his dignity, to his vocation. Without truth, it is easy to fall into an empiricist and sceptical view of life, incapable of rising to the level of praxis because of a lack of interest in grasping the values — sometimes even the meanings — with which to judge and direct it. Fidelity to man requires fidelity to the truth, which alone is the guarantee of freedom (cf. Jn 8:32) and of the possibility of integral human development. For this reason the Church searches for truth, proclaims it tirelessly and recognizes it wherever it is manifested. This mission of truth is something that the Church can never renounce. Her social doctrine is a particular dimension of this proclamation: it is a service to the truth which sets us free. Open to the truth, from whichever branch of knowledge it comes, the Church's social doctrine receives it, assembles into a unity the fragments in which it is often found, and mediates it within the constantly changing life-patterns of the society of peoples and nations."

As I go through and comment on the encyclical (and if you choose to read it yourself), please keep this paragraph in mind. I will have more to offer as my schedule allows...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Speaking of Edmund Burke...

While I go through the new Encyclical, here is some food for thought:

While it is (surprisingly) difficult to locate on the Internet, Burke's Speech to the Electors of Bristol in 1780 shows the true difference between a politician and a statesman. Could you imagine any modern politician giving a speech like this to his/her constituents?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

New Encyclical

Pope Benedict XVI has issued a new encyclical: "Caritas in Veritate" or "Charity in Truth." It is some heavy reading, to say the least, but I will post my commentary as I get a chance to go through it. There are some statements on global economic involvement and the UN, which are sure to stir up some controversy in the coming weeks. For a brief summary of the Encyclical, you may look here:

One thing that is particularly striking, is that Benedict XVI seems to have abandoned the use of the "Royal We," which he had used in his previous letters (i.e., he states "my pontificate," as opposed to the traditional "our pontificate," refers to "my predecessor," rather than "our predecessor," etc.). I wonder if this is a translation error, or if he has, in fact, changed his style of presentation?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

New Blog Layout

In case you didn't notice, I have added photos to the top "title bar" of the blog. Since I realize not everyone may recognize the photographs, they are: My local Catholic Church, Edmund Burke (father of anglo-American conservatism), and Pope Leo XIII (author of the Encyclical, Rerum Novarum, which forms the basis of Catholic Social Teaching).

An Absolute OUTRAGE!

"Rogue priest asks clergy to push Knights from parishes, exploit insurance policies"

This "Priest" ought to be defrocked!

(BTW, if you check out "Fr." Farrow's blog now, he has changed the entry in quetsion. See

First Congressional District - more updates

A few weeks ago, another challenger has emerged for Vaughn Ward in the First Congressional District Primary Race - Ken Roberts, a state legislator from Donnelly (a small town around the Cascade/McCall area).

At this point, Roberts' main disadvantage is that he is an unknown - I, personally, never heard of him until now. There's also talk that he is the man backed by the Ron Paul/libertarian wing of the Party, which is a mixed bag, depending on where you go and to whom you talk.

Looking at his vote-smart bio from his last campaign,, he seems pretty active in his local Baptist church, which is sure to help among social conservatives. However, otherwise, his voting record,, doesn't seem to shed much light on his positions on the "hot-button" issues voters are interested in, and his refusal to fill out the Vote Smart questionnaire is also somewhat troubling, Furthermore, he side-stepped some important issues in his reponses to the Gem State Voter Guide questionnaire as well: Basically, he answers the "safe" questions, laying out a run-of-the-mill Idaho conservative platform, but avoids answering those which could hurt his popularity with one wing or another of the party, which is also cause for concern. See also his answers to the 2000 Vote-Smart questionnaire on the link cited above (tax internet sales, but eliminate, not just reduce but eliminate welfare assistance?? Also note what he didn't answer then, as well).

In sum, Roberts may be a fine, conservative fellow, but the information available about him on the internet, where most voters do their research nowadays (that is, those few voters who do research their candidates) is sketchy, at best. Also, from what I've been able to find, he has not even bothered to set up a website.

Ward, on the other hand, has run a smart campaign, and has made a point of visiting North Idaho on several occasions which, again, is always a plus. His military credentials should also gain him support in this generally conservative district, but, first and foremost, he is a talented speaker and very approachable. He's not the gruff, outspoken ideologue that Sali was, but he is not a "back-slapping used car salesman" either. He's got that smooth, persuasive demeanour about him that has, so far, been lacking in First District Republicans in the past decade or so, and just may be the one who, if elected, could lend some credibility and influence to the Idaho delegation after he has been in office a few terms. Most importantly, I think he is the most likely out of the two to beat Minnick in the general election.

Who do I choose? I'm sure it's obvious from the rest of my post that I am currently leaning toward Ward. However, I will not have made up my mind completely until after the next couple of rounds of Lincoln Days, when I have had a chance to hear, and speak to, the different candidates. Hope everyone's had a happy Independence Day!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

It's been a while...

It's been a while since I've had a chance to post on here. So much as happened, and June seems to have zoomed by. Since the last post, Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, and Billy Mays have died; the Governor of South Carolina has proved himself to be what seems to be yet another embarassment and disgrace to the Republican Party; Iran has erupted in protest over disputed election results, and, I'm sure, many other things I cannot think of at the moment.

Regaring the first item: Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.

On the second - Sanford must go! Not only did he disgrace his office and his party, and cause further damage to a party already in disarray, he abandoned his post as Governor to take a trip to South America for 5 days, for his own sexual pleasure. This is unforgivable for a chief executive, and he must either resign or be subject to impeachment proceedings. If I were a South Carolina resident, I would immediately be contacting my State Legislator and Gov. Sanford's office expressing this sentiment.

On Iran, we are doing the right thing by not getting directly involved - we need to root quietly for the opposition, while not meddling in the affairs of a sovereign nation. Deal with Ahmenijidad (or however the heck you spell his name) if he poses a direct threat to the U.S., but, otherwise, it's none of our business how he governs Iran. Don't get me wrong, I feel for the Iranian people, but we need to stop being the world's policeman, and allow dissident groups in oppressive regimes to overthrow said regimes if they gain the strength to do so.

This, of course, is just my quick summary on my take of what's going on in the world at the moment. I will try to post some more in depth commentary as my time allows.

Have a happy Independence Day holiday!