Fight FOCA

by SDG

in Uncategorized

Obama will be our next president, and he's on record stating that signing the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) would be his first act in office.

Why is FOCA bad? The U.S. bishops provide some answers, as does my own National Catholic Register. In fact, this week the bishops called for a massive national campaign to fight FOCA.

Here's a good start: the Fight FOCA petition sponsored by AUL Action, the legislative arm of Americans United for Life, which has so far collected over 110,000 signatures.

AUL has good people on board. They run an informative blog, and they do good work. Their petition collects real names and addresses, so it carries more weight than an average online petition.

SIGN THE PETITION. And pass it on.

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{ 82 comments }

Staci November 13, 2008 at 2:45 pm

And don’t forget to write your senators and congressmen after you sign the petition!

The Masked Chicken November 13, 2008 at 3:14 pm

If FOCA is passed, we could find ourselves, as Christians, instantaneously teleported back to first-century Rome, where people could be thrown to the lions (in this case, economic) for standing up for Christian beliefs. I wonder…who will be left sitting in the pews at Mass – those who can “afford” to be there because they have not rocked the boat or those who have rocked the boat and proven that they belong there?
The Chicken

Rotten Orange November 13, 2008 at 6:02 pm

This one I can’t sign…

Serena November 13, 2008 at 6:47 pm

I signed it. I wrote my legislators too. If we don’t fight this one with passion and persistence our descendants (if we have any) will deny us.

BobCatholic November 13, 2008 at 8:32 pm

http://www.catholicleague.org/release.php?id=1515
If FOCA becomes law, the first amendment will be seriously threatened.
Imagine getting arrested for protesting abortion peacefully.
Imagine being a doctor and required by law to do abortions.
Imagine being a pharmacist and being required by law to dispense RU-486. We had this happen here in Illinois before a successful lawsuit and appeals court ruling put a stop to it.
Imaging having your parish lose its tax-exempt status when an anti-abortion sermon is given.
Welcome to pagan America.

Tim J. November 14, 2008 at 6:29 am

“This one I can’t sign…”
Why not, Rotten Orange?

Emmiebear November 14, 2008 at 6:48 am

Signed it and emailed it to everyone I know. If they don’t like it..tough.

Matt Gaffney November 14, 2008 at 6:52 am

It seems to me that it’s a mistake for Catholics to oppose a political issue like the Freedom of Choice Act on theological grounds and, if she claims that her opposition is on legal grounds, then that means she’s involved in politics and that’s simply not right. There are many reasons which cause me not to be involved in the Church’s opposition to the FOCA. Here are two.
First, I don’t want my democracy to be even slightly turned into a theocracy. I don’t want a Catholic mullah deciding, either directly or indirectly, what people may or may not do under the law. I want our priests to preach from the pulpit, on the street corner, in the public square—wherever they can preach—to convince people to exercise their free will not have an abortion. It seems to me that the concept of free will is crucial here. If people are legally precluded from exercising their free will by the political actions of the Catholic Church, that’s a big step toward theocracy. People have to want to obey God’s law, not be threatened with imprisonment if they don’t.
And, second, the Church’s preaching against abortion hasn’t been very successful; however, to turn to the government to prevent people from sinning is simply wrong. Just as we would never permit any other religion to impose its theology on our activities (should selected tenets of Hinduism or Buddhism be incorporated into U. S. law?), we should not try impose any of our tenets on anyone else. I remember my Jesuit high school theology instructor (an older priest) in the early 60s saying that all mortal sins are equally offensive to God, but that some are more offensive to man than are other mortal sins. Because we can’t grasp God’s wisdom, we use a different, i.e. human, moral measuring stick, if you will. From that I concluded that divorce is just as abominable as abortion and the good Jesuit agreed.
Each sin separates us from God, but we humans get more upset about abortion than divorce, probably because abortion involves the death of a human and that death is a rather messy and gory event, while the death of a marriage is merely the death of two souls—spiritual, not physical—and much less offensive to our human senses. After all, there are not yet any pictures of souls writhing and withering in sin, are there? We regularly rub elbows with divorce attorneys, but how many of us readily dine with abortionists?
The Church’s efforts to outlaw abortion are understandable, but hypocritical, to my mind. The Church’s efforts to impose its theology on all citizens is a dereliction of its teaching responsibility. It’s as if our bishops are saying, collectively, “We’ve tried, but we just can’t get folks to stop having abortions, so we’ll turn the problem over to Uncle Sam. Since folks refuse to accept our teaching, we’ll make it a law.” There’s nothing wrong with the Church’s teaching. It’s spot on. It just shouldn’t be turned into law. It smacks of “Inquisition Lite.”
The Church’s actions have to remain theological, not political, because, eventually, her meddling in politics will come back to bite her on the butt. The Church has to convince people not to sin, not try to jail them if they do. If the Church continues its political opposition to the FOCA, then she should also sponsor the banning of divorce and the incarceration of anyone who is divorced and the pillorying of divorce lawyers. (Actually, that’s not a bad idea for all lawyers, regardless of their speciality!) The Church can’t have it both ways.

Mona November 14, 2008 at 7:21 am

Matthew, you’re using the old “you can’t legislate morality” line here, and it doesn’t wash.
You said, “the Church’s preaching against abortion hasn’t been very successful; however, to turn to the government to prevent people from sinning is simply wrong.” So the determination of appropriateness here in preaching against the murder of innocents, including secular laws that allow it, is “success”? That’s very much like the line we always get thrown from pro-abortion people during an election year. This time it was “Bush hasn’t gotten Roe v. Wade repealed, so it doesn’t accomplish anything to base your vote on this issue”. Hogwash. You want results, “success”, or else the Church and her faithful people are hypocritical? What is at stake here is the taking of innocent life. I don’t care if it’s the law of the land; wrong is wrong. Our votes and our voices speak against it because that is what we are supposed to do, regardless of whether it gets “results”. Go right ahead and organize a group in protest of divorce laws if you want. But don’t presume to tell those of us who have chosen to stand on this issue that we’re hypocritical.

Andy November 14, 2008 at 7:26 am

Matt Gaffney,
That’s crap. There’s nothing about opposing FOCA that will make abortion illegal, as your entire argument hinges around, though your “free will” logic applied to mass murder muddles me.
This isn’t “meddling in politics.” This is a human institution standing up for its own rights. Do you even know what FOCA will do? Have you ever heard of “conscience clauses?” That’s right, the so-called “Freedom of Choice Act” will REMOVE the freedom of choice from a doctor or pharmacist who doesn’t want to participate in abortion.
We preach the Gospel in season and out of season, not just because the government sets the rules when we can and can’t.
Inquisition Lite my ass.

Rotten Orange November 14, 2008 at 7:27 am

Why not, Rotten Orange?

Dear Tim J.
Because this one seems to be only for American citizens, which I’m not. I signed this one a couple of weeks ago, and even mentioned it on a comment on the novena post.
Thanks for your attention.

Therese November 14, 2008 at 7:29 am

Everyone should also be encouraged to contact their legislators directly, in addition to signing the petition. Direct contact from identifiable constituents is extremely important and truly holds individual lawmakers’ feet to the fire. Many state Catholic Conferences have e-mail networks that provide easy access for this. If yours does not, you can find your rep. and senators’ contact info here: http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

djrakowski November 14, 2008 at 7:52 am

Matt Gaffney wrote: “The Church’s efforts to impose its theology on all citizens is a dereliction of its teaching responsibility”
Since when is the opposition of mass murder an imposition of theology?
And how is it that your standard applies only to the Church? Governments impose morality on their citizens constantly – every time Congress passes legislation, every time the president signs legislation, and every time the Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of legislation, morality has been imposed.
“From that I concluded that divorce is just as abominable as abortion and the good Jesuit agreed”
Except that abortion is imposed upon a guiltless victim who is completely and totally dead, whereas divorce is chosen by adults with free will who are alive and have the opportunity to repent. The two sins are in no way equivalent.

JohnD November 14, 2008 at 8:56 am

I’m not trying to be a pessimist here, but with the pro-abortion party to be shortly in control of the Presidency, the Senate, and the House, isn’t this petition a bit like writing a letter to Hitler asking him to spare the Jews?

JohnE November 14, 2008 at 9:21 am

Signed it. Here’s hoping that an Obama nation doesn’t become an abomination.

Tim J. November 14, 2008 at 9:41 am

“Because this one seems to be only for American citizens, which I’m not.”
Fair enough.
“…we should not try impose any of our tenets on anyone else.”
Bunk. Opposition to abortion is not a religious tenet, it is a matter of natural law, logic and human rights. One need not be religious *at all* to oppose abortion, unless you consider it a matter of religious faith to hold that murder is wrong.

SDG November 14, 2008 at 9:43 am

I’m not trying to be a pessimist here, but with the pro-abortion party to be shortly in control of the Presidency, the Senate, and the House, isn’t this petition a bit like writing a letter to Hitler asking him to spare the Jews?

Even if it is, it’s still better to write the letter than not to.
But I suspect it may not be. The Democratic leadership is looking ahead to 2010. They don’t want a repeat of the Republican revolution of 1994. There may be some reasonable heads among them.

Leo November 14, 2008 at 9:43 am

I don’t know if Matt Gaffney is trolling or not. But assuming he is not…
I distinguish between what is binding on Catholics only and what is binding on us all.
Laws of the Catholic Church, such as attending Mass on Sunday, are binding on Catholics only, and not to be imposed by civil law – that would be undemocratic theocracy. Church laws, binding on Catholics only can consider revelation and sources specific to Catholics.
Questions of slavery, abortion, capital punishment, war, poverty etc. are matters of social justice binding on all rational beings. The Church’s opposition to the aforesaid injustices are derived from common principles of reason, natural law, justice. One does not have to believe in God, Christ or the Church to oppose these injustices.
Discourse regarding the civil law should not appeal to any revelation specific to any one religion, but refer to these common principles. To the best of my knowledge all the statements of the Popes and Catholic bishops regarding what the civil law should be, are argued from principles which all rational agents can access – regardless of their belief in God, Christ or the Church. They are therefore not attempting to impose a specifically Catholic morality derived from specifically Catholic revelation or values on their fellow citizens.

SDG November 14, 2008 at 9:47 am

I remember my Jesuit high school theology instructor (an older priest) in the early 60s saying that all mortal sins are equally offensive to God, but that some are more offensive to man than are other mortal sins. Because we can’t grasp God’s wisdom, we use a different, i.e. human, moral measuring stick, if you will. From that I concluded that divorce is just as abominable as abortion and the good Jesuit agreed.

The good Jesuit was mistaken. Some mortal sins are more disfiguring to human nature than others, and consequently more offensive to God. For example, fornication is a grave sin, but adultery is worse. Again, deliberate unworthy reception of Holy Communion is a grave sin, but I suppose that deliberate desecration of the Blessed Sacrament is worse.

Leo November 14, 2008 at 10:04 am

Many people with pro-life values voted for Obama.
It is important to encourage these voters to make their views known to their legislators – their vote for Obama should not be construed as a referendum vote in favour of FOCA.
It is also important to obtain the support of the large number of people who consider themselves ‘moderates’/’in the middle’ on abortion, to understand how extreme the FOCA measures would be.
An anti-FOCA campaign which was seen as a belated/proxy “anti-Obama” or “anti-Democrat” campaign (eg due to the rhetoric of some of its supporters) is probably doomed to failure.

dymphna November 14, 2008 at 10:08 am

Signing the petition is a worthless feel good excercise.

JohnE November 14, 2008 at 10:14 am

Matt Gafney, what you are promoting, although you probably don’t realize it, is anarchy.
“…we should not try impose any of our tenets on anyone else.” What is law other than an imposition of some tenets on society? Or only laws that also happen to be backed or opposed by religious groups should be opposed or backed, respectively? Why not judge the goodness of a law on its own merits, rather than by who backs it? Abortion is just as much of a “tenet” of Catholicism as murder is. If some in our nation decided it should be ok to euthanize children under 2 or handicapped people, would you fight it, or sit back and not “impose your tenets” on anyone, because after all, the Church teaches against murder and you wouldn’t want to impose your religion? Is there anything we SHOULD fight for or against? Only the things the Church doesn’t teach about?
“The Church’s efforts to impose its theology on all citizens is a dereliction of its teaching responsibility.”
The Church doesn’t impose it’s theology. No one is forced to be a member of the Church. But the Church does teach morality and that we should fight evil and promote good. If you don’t feel like doing that, you’re not living your faith. Your faith is dead.
“The Church’s actions have to remain theological, not political,…”
I think what you’re saying is “The Church’s actions have to remain theoretical, not practical.” This would be a comforting message for those too lazy or cowardly to fight. The Church does not preach a comforting Gospel.

Dave Mueller November 14, 2008 at 10:18 am

Another good way to stop FOCA:
Join the “Conversion of America” rosary novena – a 72 day novena going from November 15th to January 25th (the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul).
Go here for more details.

bill912 November 14, 2008 at 10:20 am

“Signing the petition is a worthless feel good exercise.”
Because…?

Robert November 14, 2008 at 10:28 am

Matt Gaffney,
Let me guess, you voted for Obama, didn’t you?

JohnE November 14, 2008 at 10:28 am

“Signing the petition is a worthless feel good excercise. ”
If Obama is serious about trying to unite the country and heal divisions, then he needs to know that signing FOCA will not contribute towards achieving that objective. He needs to know that many are opposed to it. If it doesn’t persuade him not to sign it, it’s possible it could still serve to temper it and at least diminish its effect. And if that doesn’t happen, it can at least be used against him during his re-election bid, or be used as encouragement for strong pro-life leaders considering running for office. It’s not worthless.

Brian Walden November 14, 2008 at 10:50 am

Last I checked murder, theft, and lying under oath were illegal in my state. I never realized I lived in such a theocracy until Matt’s post.

bklyn catholic November 14, 2008 at 11:33 am

JohnD,
Be known, Democrat doesn’t equal pro-abortion in all cases. There are growing numbers of Democrats who are pro-life. 5 of the 22 seats that the Democrats just picked up were won by pro-life Dems. That shows some progress in that party that hopefully will continue.
If you have friends or family that are Democrats, and pro-life, they might consider sending in the sample letter to their representatives that is located on the democratsforlife website. (For transparency: I’ve posted about this organization on this site a couple times. I’m not a member and only know a little about the group, but it appears their intentions regarding their pro-life stances are genuine. But I cannot say if all their “pro-life” stances are perfectly in agreement with Catholic doctrine on the matter.)

JohnE November 14, 2008 at 11:50 am

bklyn catholic,
I’m not sure yet what to believe about Democrats for Life. I am hoping they are legit, but I don’t know enough about the candidates they support. I do know that here in Colorado they supported Bill Ritter (a Catholic) for governor over a true pro-life candidate, Bob Beauprez. At best, they did shoddy research before supporting some candidates. Here were Bill Ritter’s “pro-life” views, readily available from his website at the time:

Based on my faith, I am personally opposed to abortion. But I recognize that people who disagree with me on this issue hold equally strong convictions.
we must:
Make a stronger commitment to family planning. I will restore the funding to Planned Parenthood and other agencies that Gov. Owens cut by executive order.
Ensure better access to health care for all women, including birth control and emergency contraception. I would have signed the bill that was passed by the legislature but vetoed by Gov. Owens that would have given pharmacists the ability to provide EC without a doctor’s prescription.
(regarding abortion)
I strongly oppose any effort that would seek to criminalize women or their doctors over this issue. I would strongly oppose legislation similar to the one recently passed by the South Dakota legislature. As governor, I would enforce existing laws, including Roe v. Wade. It’s not part of my agenda to change these laws…
It is these same beliefs and concerns that have made me an advocate of family planning and a strong supporter of government funding for agencies involved in family planning education, teen pregnancy prevention programs as well as responsible and age appropriate sex education in schools .

bklyn catholic November 14, 2008 at 2:10 pm

JohnE,
This is discouraging. I was more hopeful for the intents of the DFLA before I read this. If they compromise for the “personally against, but…” crowd, they will have no long-term credibility with those seeking to end abortion.
At the same time, they appear to be actively opposing FOCA, and actively supporting legislation in favor of abortion alternatives (funding for adoption agencies, etc).
I guess this leaves me unsure in my evaluation of this group also. I’ll try to pay attention and see how they respond when FOCA is reintroduced in the new session. It would be nice to have some reliable Democratic allies in the cause serving in Congress, but your description of their support for a clearly pro-choice candidate like Ritter clearly shows they are suspect.

Jonathan Prejean November 14, 2008 at 2:30 pm

I find it hard to believe that Matt is actually as oblivious as he is playing at being, but on the off chance that he is, here is the rational response.
“It seems to me that it’s a mistake for Catholics to oppose a political issue like the Freedom of Choice Act on theological grounds and, if she claims that her opposition is on legal grounds, then that means she’s involved in politics and that’s simply not right.”
You’re forgetting moral grounds, which are neither theological nor necessarily legal.
“First, I don’t want my democracy to be even slightly turned into a theocracy.”
Good. Then you should have no opposition to the government preventing the people it is bound to protect from being murdered on moral grounds. Given that this is the central function of government, the sine qua non of the government having the power that it does, it should be trivially easy for you to accept regulation protecting unborn human beings as non-theological.
“And, second, the Church’s preaching against abortion hasn’t been very successful; however, to turn to the government to prevent people from sinning is simply wrong.”
I am agnostic on this thesis, although you are probably correct about the practicality of the approach, but it is irrelevant. In this case, government isn’t being used to prevent people from sinning. It is being used to protect those who are being murdered by sinners. It has nothing to do with whether the conduct is sinful; it has everything to do with the conduct being murderous.
“From that I concluded that divorce is just as abominable as abortion and the good Jesuit agreed.”
From God’s perspective, even venial sins are inconceivably evil. But the objective harm done by sins is considerably different, meaning that some sins ought to be far more abominable from any man’s perspective. Not all sins involve snuffing out an innocent life; it’s not just about being “upset” with one or the other.
“There’s nothing wrong with the Church’s teaching. It’s spot on.”
So you agree that the government should intervene to protect innocent victims from people who are trying to murder them? Hooray! Then where does this idiocy about such efforts being theological or attempts to outlaw sinning originate?

Jonathan Prejean November 14, 2008 at 2:33 pm

“…they supported Bill Ritter (someone who claims to be a Catholic)…”
FIFY

JohnE November 14, 2008 at 3:50 pm

I think the “pro-life” label is becoming more fashionable for politicians and voters seeking to soothe their consciences. We need to be more careful that “pro-life” doesn’t mean “I don’t like abortion (but I think it should be legal)” or “I’m personally opposed to abortion, but…”

Pam Forrester November 14, 2008 at 4:19 pm

Thanks. I went to the site and was able to add a link on my blog to the Fight Foca site.

Mary November 14, 2008 at 5:13 pm

First, I don’t want my democracy to be even slightly turned into a theocracy.

The Catholic Church excommunicated legislators for voting for segeration.
You didn’t even notice.
You’ll handle this “theocracy” just fine.

The Masked Chicken November 14, 2008 at 5:52 pm

Dear Matt,
I suspect that you are a drive-by poster, but if not, then your logic has committed the faltacy of affirming the consequent.
You wrote:
There’s nothing wrong with the Church’s teaching. It’s spot on. It just shouldn’t be turned into law. It smacks of “Inquisition Lite.”
By this logic, nothing the Church teaches should be turned into law, but since the Church teaches that it is a sin to murder, then neither homicide or fetuside should be declared illegal under law. Simply because the Church teaches something does not prevent the law from intersecting and agreeing with it on that particular point. In matters of morals, the Church is the truth. Any law that is at odds with it is at odds with the truth and is unreasonable. Laws are meant to be reasonable. In the area of laws applied to moral behavior, you have it exactly backwards – the law should become identical to Church teaching. Laws may diverge from Church teaching only where the Church allows divergence, such as in prudential matters. Murder is not a prudential matter. Neither is abortion. How best to fix the countiry’s infrastructure, is.
The Chicken

Marty Helgesen November 15, 2008 at 10:27 am

People who think that opposing abortion is imposing religious beliefs should consider Nat Hentoff, a left-wing civil libertarian who frequently describes himself as a “stiff-necked Jewish atheist.” He is actively, militantly opposed to abortion and has been honored as a “Great Defender of Life” by the Human Life Foundation. Google on “Nat Hentoff” and abortion for details.

elijio November 15, 2008 at 10:59 am

I signed it and I passed it on to all my pro-lifers on Myspace.
After this election, I have come to the conclusion that a high percentage of Catholics don’t know squat about politics and our Catholic politicians don’t know squat about Catholicism.
Does anyone realize that the Electoral College process has not even begun to work? Electors don’t cast their ballots until December 15, 2008. Doesn’t it strike anyone as odd that the mainstream media ”projected” the electoral votes, McCain conceded and Obama accepted victory when the process for the Electoral College, at least in Texas, isn’t even in full swing yet? http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/voter/electoral2008.shtml#q10 The rules state clearly that electors do not have to cast their ballots according to the popular vote cast in the general election.
Why does this matter? Because you have been duped once again by the corporate mainstream media who tells you who you should vote for. They decided who should run, which candidates you should support, what issues were more important and what other political parties you should ignore and call ”crack-pots”. They have you stuck in a 2-party system and until we as Catholics decide who we are all going to stand behind regardless of Reps, Dems, Independents, Liberals, or Constitutionalists, we will never get legislation done our way.
Why do we allow the media to decide for us? Why do we allow CNN and Fox News to be our only sources? Anyone seen news from the Middle East lately? Try http://www.linktv.org/mosaic and let them tell you how they feel about our troops being in 2 of their countries. Technology has given us the INTERNET and we should do the research for ourselves and stop being sheep.
”Today, communication seems increasingly to claim not simply to represent reality, but to determine it, owing to the power and the force of suggestion that it possesses. It is clear, for example, that in certain situations the media are used not for the proper purpose of disseminating information, but to “create” events.”–Pope Benedict XVI on the Media.
We need to decide who our candidates will be. We shouldn’t allow the media tells us who to pick from or to decide who the next president is. We need to make sure our Catholic representatives follow God’s law and if they don’t we need to vote them out! At what point are we all going to decide for ourselves who should better represent us?
Republican pro-lifers owned congress in 2000-2004, they had all their judges in the supreme court and did they overturn Roe v Wade? Was there even a move towards it? Do we really believe politicians when they make promises? Sure they make statements about being pro-life but how many bills do they have in congress to overturn Roe v Wade?
Our opinions are shaped for us by the media and our bishop’s statements were even misinterpreted by some in the faith but in the end nothing mattered because the media picked the next president. Our constitution does not allow ”projections”. It calls for the Electoral College which is a very complicated process itself. God does not allow us to be pro-choice but our Catholic politicians do. We, on the other hand, sit in front of the dummy box and let Bill O’Reilly or Glenn Beck, CNN or Fox shape our opinions and tell us who is better fit for President of the United States of America.
Here’s a very good article http://www.sflifeandjustice.org/
scroll down a little to the one entitled ”After November 4
By George Wesolek.”
Peace.

Marty Helgesen November 15, 2008 at 12:05 pm

elijio wrote, “Our constitution does not allow ‘projections’. It calls for the Electoral College which is a very complicated process itself.” The words “does not allow” could be taken as meaning “forbids”, which is not the case. People can make as many projections as they want, but those projections are not determinative. The next president will be chosen by the Electoral College. Strictly speaking, the term “president elect”, which almost everyone uses immediately after every presidential election, is not correct. Obama is the president designate. He will become the president elect when the Electoral College elects him and will become president when he is inaugurated.

Norma Skjold November 16, 2008 at 1:13 pm

I signed. Please don’t let the hatemongers win. The Catholic Church is truth; abortion is evil; every fourth citizen in this nation is missing because he or she was aborted, and that’s just since 1972. Perhaps one of them could have cured cancer. Or ended war/torture/nursing home cruelty. Or defeated Obama.
Has anyone noted that our Kenyan-elect is also promising to renew stem cell research on living/killed unborn children? Such research does not need human fetal sacrifice — it can be accomplished on adult volunteers, in the Petri dish, on adult cells harvested without injury or death.
Listen to EWTN — the options are reported there nationally and internationally every week. Don’t expect the truth to be spoken on programming paid for by advertisers who benefit from sex. It’s too profitable. Like selling toxic waste as baby formula is too profitable.
Like China still getting away with killing and mutilating girl children while Christians are –not incidentally — being driven underground is “about” population control. And now the practice of sex selection is being imported to this country. Evil lives in a culture of death.
We have genocide, infanticide, euthanasia, abortion and a movie “industry” about horror. Like it’s entertainment.
We don’t need Hitler to destroy the disabled, the disadvantaged, the elderly, the vulnerably inconvenient — we’ve got “pro-choice.”
Our Holy Father pleads for life.
And Obama leads America.

MenTaLguY November 16, 2008 at 6:21 pm

The rules state clearly that electors do not have to cast their ballots according to the popular vote cast in the general election.

I believe this varies from state to state.

BobCatholic November 16, 2008 at 6:35 pm

>It smacks of “Inquisition Lite.”
The “Inquisition” is being done by the secular left.
In Illinois, pharmacists had their licenses yanked when they refused to dispense RU-486 citing a medical conscience clause. It took a serious appeals court fight to finally get the right to practice one’s faith.
In Philadephia, 11 people were arrested for peacefully protesting, who happened to be Christians.
In Michigan, a church was invaded by homosexual activists and they attempted to force their views on the congregation.
Shall I go on? Time after time, it is the secular left that is doing the inquisition. With FOCA, it will be illegal to protest abortion, 1st amendment be damned. Churches will be persecuted under FOCA if they dare to oppose abortion.
Welcome to Pagan USA. Where the only religions allowed by law will be Atheism and Islam.

bklyn catholic November 16, 2008 at 8:46 pm

Norma,
Barack Obama is not our “Kenyan-elect.” That would imply his nationality is at all in question. He is American. 100%. I’d prefer if you kept your xenophobia off these pages.
None of us need to respect his opinions or policy, but as an American proud of our democracy, I will respect, and ask others to respect, the office.

Matheus (a. k. a. Rotten Orange) November 17, 2008 at 2:41 am

He is American. 100%. I’d prefer if you kept your xenophobia off these pages.

Dear bklyn catholic
It’s not xenophobia. Actually there is controversy over that.

Matheus (a. k. a. Rotten Orange) November 17, 2008 at 4:55 am

Dear bklyn catholic
I also realized that, if Obama is “American. 100%.” as you believe he is, then he can’t be a target of xenophobia. You can charge Norma of being uncivil, unjust, rude, whatever. But not of xenophobia.

Leo November 17, 2008 at 6:20 am

The supposed doubt over Obama’s nationality has been debunked repeatedly eg snopes
If there was such a simple ‘knock-out’ blow, surely McCain would have used it repeatedly, officially and publicly – regardless of any alleged dirty tricks campaign. If such a challenge was viable would McCain have conceded defeat so promptly and graciously?
Opposing FOCA is far too important to be tainted by unworthy and easily-ridiculed allegations.

The Masked Chicken November 17, 2008 at 1:24 pm

Dear Leo,
You wrote:
If there was such a simple ‘knock-out’ blow, surely McCain would have used it repeatedly, officially and publicly – regardless of any alleged dirty tricks campaign.
Are original birth certificates a matter of public record in Hawaii? Obama presented a COLB – a certificate of live birth – in essence, a secondary document that is supposed to contain the same information as the original. If the long-form is not a matter of public record, then McCain could not have asked for it, even if it would have been a knock-out blow (if it contained information that indicated that Obama were not a US citizen).
If the original document could have been obtained, it should have been obtained. I simply do not think that McCain had the legal resources to do so. The COLB was considered to be the normal legal form of birth certification for legal reasons in Hawaii. The registrar of public documents in Hawaii is really liable for all of this mess because, realizing the seriousness of the need to provide irrefutable information, he should have released or applied to the state legislature to release the original documents, which are always preferred in a court of law where there could be some question about derived or secondary documents.
Certianly, Obama would have had access to the original document. He should have made it available instead of this secondary source. He should have known that this were the responsible thing to do. Did he decide to do only the minimum to silence his critics? That is not the sign of someone who would go the extra mile for the people who elected him.
I still want to see the original document. It should be the right of all Americans to see it.
The Chicken

The Masked Chicken November 17, 2008 at 1:40 pm

Getting back to FOCA, I find it strange that bishops will stand up against this, but still allow, On Eagles Wings, to be sung at Sunday Mass. There should be some consistency in standing up for things. The history of waffling is starting to catch up to them. I hope the seriousness of this situation will filter down to others aspects they must deal with, such as Church architecture and the like.
I expect FOCA to be a high priority for Obama because Obama wants to involve the UN policy makers in a “global” solution to the “problem” of overpopulation and he runs the risk of losing face if he does not go through with both advocating congress to pass and then, himself, signing FOCA.
As Catholics, I would get ready to withdraw from the common everyday we have known for the last fifty years and isolate ourselves until the current policies self-destruct, in about another fifty years. We need to develop private Catholic hospitals, schools, etc., entirely supported by private funds and immune to government monetary regulations. If health regulations require that hospitals provide abortion for approval, then Catholic hospitals will have to shut down their emergency rooms and accept an exclusive clientele of Catholics who will not have abortions, much as some private doctors might.
However the health profession decides to deal with this, I see rough times ahead, especially for the poor and those without health insurance. Perhaps a religious Order will emerge that specializes in health care, pro bono, for Catholics. “Paging, Sr. Dr. Joan. Paging Sr. RN Agatha.” Well, I can dream, can’t I?
The Chicken

Tim J. November 17, 2008 at 2:18 pm

“We need to develop private Catholic hospitals, schools, etc., entirely supported by private funds and immune to government monetary regulations.”
Amen. That would be worthwhile charitable direction, rather than letting the government have its hand in everything from personnel policy to conscientious objection (to evil practices like abortion), we ought to be willing to be *totally* self supporting, EVEN if it means doing without some things we’ve been used to.

The Masked Chicken November 17, 2008 at 4:35 pm

A couple of notes from the news…
1. It is extremely ironic to the point of being hilariously sad that Kenya is having the same problem we are with a freedom of choice bill.
2. Believe me, the Vatican is very aware of what preseident-elect Obama stand to do in the life arena.
The Chicken

Matheus (a. k. a. Rotten Orange) November 17, 2008 at 4:54 pm

Dear TMC
Regarding your #2, take a look at what Steve Kellmeyer has to say about it.

jtr November 17, 2008 at 7:51 pm

I think the bigger issue is getting the majority of cradle Catholics to be pro-life instead of crypto-pro-death. Once we accomplish this the FOCA becomes an non-issue.
Unfortunately the vast majority of Catholics voted for Obama and they will get what they deserve. Hopefully the painful medicine of Obama is a wake up call for the Church.

Warren Allen November 17, 2008 at 8:40 pm

Signed it .

Water guy November 18, 2008 at 7:53 am

Does anyone know what House and Senate commitees this horror will come out of? I would like info on the commitee members like which ones support it or don’t and how to contact them. A little pressure there may slow it down or change its content some.
Water Guy

bse5150 November 18, 2008 at 10:32 am

Does anyone here think an online rosary rally might get more done for this issue? Anyone want to start one?

The Masked Chicken November 18, 2008 at 12:15 pm

Dear BSE5150,
Such a rosary has already been started. Here is a link to Tom at Disputations. See the November 5, 2008 post near the bottom of the page.
The Chicken

Matheus (a. k. a. Rotten Orange) November 18, 2008 at 12:53 pm

Hey Everyone
Speaking of petitions, I’ve just received the following e-mail from C-FAM, promoter of the petition that I mentioned earlier on this thread:

Dear Friend,
The UN Pro-Life Petition has grown to 200,000 names!
Let’s go even higher!!
Let’s get 300,000 names!
Once more please ask everyone you know to go to
http://www.c-fam.org/publications/id.95/default.asp and sign the petition! And ask them to ask all their friends, too!
Yours sincerely,
Austin Ruse
President
C-FAM

Consider signing this one, too!

Reeds November 18, 2008 at 1:31 pm

Nearly all laws are based on morality. For example, it’s against the law to steal, murder, commit fraud, abuse children, beat your spouse, and on and on and on. To say we shouldn’t “legislate morality” or “impose our beliefs on others” is simply hogwash. To say the unborn don’t have rights until they are born is more hogwash. Then, at what point to human rights begin??? When born? When in the birth canal? A year old? A baby , when conceived, is a distinct human being, different from both the mother and father, with his/her own unique DNA. Just because it can’t survive outside the womb or isn’t wanted, or would make life hard doesn’t make it a non-person. A newborn, one or two year old can’t survive outside the womb without support either. Our culture has marginalized and stripped unborn children of any and all rights and personhood based on whether it is wanted. How pitiful. The right to “choose” comes BEFORE the sexual act. After that it’s a RESPONSIBILITY. Where would YOU be if your mother had chosen abortion?? It’s sad and ironic, all the people who supported slavery were FREE, and all the people who support abortion were BORN! Further, the Nazis took away all rights and freedoms from the Jews and reduced them to non-persons. Then it was easy to justify killing them, starving them to death, working them to death and using them for medical experiments that also KILLED THEM! This isn’t a religious issue. It is a human rights issue, a discrimination issue and an oppression issue with the victims being the most helpless, innocent, vulnerable, defenseless and invisible victims ever.

John November 18, 2008 at 5:13 pm

We have a duty and responsibility as baptized Catholics to defend the sanctity of life. A government hopefully in accordance with the natural law will support and defend their own people on this issue. The Catholic Church on Earth is th Kingdom of God under Jesus Christ. We Catholics are ambssadors to Christ Kingdom of God Church.We actually have a dual citizenship. The United States of America is our secondary citizenship in which we are called by God to support and defend the natrual moral law. FOCA actually was in the government books in the 60’s before Roe v. Wade. FOCA is a neo-pagan,athiest,socialist,communist act. It is contray to natural moral law no matter what religion,nationality, race, color, or creed, involved. FOCA would be the next step toward the advancement of eugenics,ethnic cleansing,population control. Also, the green book called the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I advise all the fathful to have at least one in your home with a bible. One of the major reasons where everybody is arguing over pro-life,pro-choice, theology and politics,church and state is because of terrible lack of catechesis especially in the 50-70 year old group. The Mass is not a just social hangout. We do not throw Jesus in the church closet until the next Sunday.The priests are not the only people who talk about God and Christian values. We lay people have the responsibility when we leave Mass to live the word of God by our example to the children and our brothers and sisters. Not trying to run each other over to get of the parking lot to go to the shopping mall or home to watch football. Nothing wrong about shopping malls and football games. It’s just we have put God below our daily lives. I help teach CCD class. I know kids at high school age that can’t read a bible,pray a rosary, emptying the pews by the crowd with their parents to receive Holy Communion and run right out of the church building with no clue if they are in the state of grace or even believe the Eucharist is the body,blood,soul and divinity of Jesus Christ. If you are pro-choice,you are not Catholic. No matter how much money,how high in government,how much education or social status you think you are. The Mass is not a “divine rabbit’s foot for good luck”. We are no better than a staunch athiest or pagan. We are witnesses to the fullness of truth. If FOCA succeeds, like one person wrote,we may be going back to the Roman Empire and back to the underground to prevent jail or execution. God Bless you

labrialumn November 18, 2008 at 5:32 pm

The situation with the unproduced birth certificate is significant – and Barry Soetoro’s grandmother and aunt testify that they were present at his birth in Mombasa, Kenya.
However, no one contests that he was adopted by Lulu Soetoro and went to madrassas and Catholic school in Indonesia, which only permitted Indonesian citizens to go to school, and did not permit dual citizenship.
That alone disqualifies Mr. Soetoro to be elected by the Electoral College.
There is also no evidence that he became an American citizen after returning to America, or that he ever changed his name back to Barack Hussein Obama. He possibly cannot even legally be the senator from Illinois. Or even any votes for him on ballots having validity, since his name was not on the ballots.
He could of course, correct all of this very easily and quickly, if he were able to.
How does this relate? If this is pushed, the electoral college will have to vote for someone else, and perhaps that person might not be for FOCA.

BobCatholic November 18, 2008 at 8:23 pm

>According to the (KENYAN) bill, legal action can be taken against parents who fail to assist their children procure contraceptives and abortion.
Sheesh, no religious freedom in Kenya.

Tom Simon November 18, 2008 at 11:43 pm

MC:
I’m afraid I don’t understand the inconsistency between opposing FOCA and ‘allowing On Eagle’s Wings to be sung at Sunday Mass’. Why does the latter constitute part of ‘the history of waffling’?

The Masked Chicken November 19, 2008 at 5:45 am

Somebody else want to take this…I’m afraid I might give a long discussion on appropriate music for Mass and why we got into this mess.
The Chicken

John Kasaian November 19, 2008 at 8:27 am

Done!
I think the notion of being teleported back to the Roman Empire is a good one, or even more accurate would be the Calle era in Mexico.
Or the nazis, or communists (take your pick!)
The important question is:
Will we as Catholics be able to carry on the war against the culture of death with the same passion and class as our martyred ancestors?
Can FOCA’s passage be staved off long enough for a president with no executive experence to disgrace himself in the public eye ans so loose credibility with congress and the press (who aren’t exactly poster children for credibility themselves?)
If not, the Catholic Church in the US will likely be the persecuted Church in the US.
If your Diocese is taxed to the point of closure, what are you prepared to do about it?
If your parish priest is imprisoned for preaching the gospel and Church Doctrine, what are you prepared to do about that?
If you and your family are denied the Sacraments by an oppressive regime, what are you prepared to do about that?
When being a Catholic requires getting leaner and meaner instead of the cutesy-wootsy-ness of the current norm, will you be able to take up your post on the rampart steps?

The Masked Chicken November 20, 2008 at 5:35 am

Dear Simon,
You wrote:
I’m afraid I don’t understand the inconsistency between opposing FOCA and ‘allowing On Eagle’s Wings to be sung at Sunday Mass’. Why does the latter constitute part of ‘the history of waffling’?
For at least thirty years, the Bishops’s conferences have watered down what Vatican II wanted in terms of such things as appropriate music for Mass (On Eagles Wings!?), types of appropriate building designs for Churches, the place of conscience in making moral decisions- how many people think they can freely contracept if their (badly formed) conscience tells them it is alright- to the point where many Catholics in the pews have had their faith so diluted and enfeebled that they can’t even recognize the potential for evil anymore. It was, at least to some degree, this thirty years of waffling teaching by the Bishops’s conferences which allowed 54% of Catholics to vote for Obama and possibly turn the tide of the election, since the election was, at least somewhat, close.
Then, when Obama was elected, the Bishops suddenly decided to use “tough” language in their statements about abortion. Where were these types of statements on other issues, earlier. If they had been consistent in their commitment to Catholic principles as articulated in the teachings of the Magisterium, we might not be in the mess we are, today. In effect, they shot themselves in the foot and now are complaining.
There are legitimate difference that are permitted within the Faith, but to be so far in one direction and to so set a tone for the Catholics in this country and then to complain when they get exactly what their policies have allowed, seems a bit like complaining that you didn’t study for an important exam and are now in danger of failing.
If they begin to take clear positions on other aspects of the Faith that are in line with the teaching of the Church, I might be willing to believe that the Church in the US can wake up and have a real beneficial moral effect on the country, but until then, many Catholics will go through life with half-formed consciences and a poor understanding of Church teachings. At this point in history, except for knowing when to stand and sit at Mass, it would be almost impossible to distinguish between a group of Baptists and these show-up-on-Sunday-and-then-play-golf Catholics.
Bishops are responsible for teaching. They must teach clearly and correctly. When they fail to do so, a man like Obama gets elected.
The Chicken
P. S. I have heard a rumor and I do not want to pass it on, so stop it in its track, here, if it is false- did 50% of Catholic bishops vote for Obama? I am not, not, I repeat, trying to spread gossip or slander the Bishops. I saw this statistic on a website and was scandalized, so I am trying to seek the truth so that I may not make unfair statements. Can somebody help prove or disprove this? Is it just a made-up statistic by a disgruntled individual? You guys who have more savvy in political/social matters, keep a poor Chicken honest.

Matheus (a. k. a. Rotten Orange) November 20, 2008 at 6:30 am

Can somebody help prove or disprove this? Is it just a made-up statistic by a disgruntled individual?

Dear TMC
I’ve never heard of this, but I suppose this website came up with that statistic by implying a preference for Obama on the part of these Bishops based on their public behavior regarding abortion, “single issue voters”, and the like. The website could have used those other statistics that have been circulating on the Internet about how many bishops criticized Pelosi; how many openly stressed abortion as the most important concern in their homilies, and other about which I haven’t heard.
Of course some of the bishops who voted for Obama would be proud to reveal their vote somehow, but I don’t think that all of them would agree with it, or that it would be possible to know the vote of all of them.
Regardless of how this information was gathered, I agree with you that showing it is indeed scandalizing and unwise.
If you are used to visit the website in question, why don’t you ask its folks about it?

Serena November 20, 2008 at 11:17 am

BobCatholic said, “Welcome to Pagan USA. Where the only religions allowed by law will be Atheism and Islam.”
If it’s Pagan, it isn’t atheist or Islamic. What we’re facing is a New-Age-ocracy, already firmly planted where I live, a big part of my public school education in the ’70’s and ’80’s, and the only religions allowed are neo-paganism (which is very different from real ancient paganism but they don’t admit it), a kind of impersonal Buddhism, and agnosticism steeped in relativism, existentialistic solipsism, socialism and utilitarianism, all mixed until they turn to a mush of anything-but-monotheism, and shoved down every throat every day everywhere. I have lived my life in it. I grew up implicitly believing in it. Make no mistake, the pushers of that philosophy are serious and think they’re actually saving the world from overpopulation and what they call ignorance. They see life as inherently a burden and a little irritating and OK only inasmuch as it provides material pleasure for others. They consider their own teachers super-wise, and thus see any disagreement with their worldview as pathological.

c matt November 20, 2008 at 2:10 pm

Signing the petition is a worthless feel good excercise
..but as far as worthless feel good exercises go, its one of the better ones…
We need to develop private Catholic hospitals, schools, etc., entirely supported by private funds and immune to government monetary regulations
That would be great but for the fact that the gubmint controls the licensing for such endeavors and could close you down whether they give you a dime or not.

The Masked Chicken November 20, 2008 at 2:31 pm

Dear C Matt,
I thought of that. Short of planting evidence, the government is required to be just in their deliberations. If they close down a hospital for non-sectarian reasons, they darn well better be able to make it stick, otherwise, they will get taken to court and will be required to show that they aren’t being arbitrary in their use of their regulatory power. If they are arbitrary, start spreading the word. There are certain fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution, such that if anyone meets them, they should be granted those rights. If the government starts passing laws that only atheists can run hospitals, for example (which is what FOCA would amount to) then its time for another Declaration of Independence.
Make no mistake, it is quite possible that another civil war might just be on the horizon for this country.
The Chicken

Tim J. November 20, 2008 at 2:32 pm

“That would be great but for the fact that the gubmint controls the licensing for such endeavors”
Keep them open, anyway. Keep teaching, and keep attending. Let them arrest everyone involved, that would make some fine television.
I’m telling you, it may come to acts of mass civil disobedience like this. We can no longer just let them wave a paper in our face and roll over, throwing up our hands and sighing, “Oh, well…”.

Tom Simon November 21, 2008 at 6:13 am

MC:
For at least thirty years, the Bishops’s conferences have watered down what Vatican II wanted in terms of such things as appropriate music for Mass (On Eagles Wings!?), types of appropriate building designs for Churches, the place of conscience in making moral decisions- how many people think they can freely contracept if their (badly formed) conscience tells them it is alright- to the point where many Catholics in the pews have had their faith so diluted and enfeebled that they can’t even recognize the potential for evil anymore. It was, at least to some degree, this thirty years of waffling teaching by the Bishops’s conferences which allowed 54% of Catholics to vote for Obama and possibly turn the tide of the election, since the election was, at least somewhat, close.
If bad music and ugly churches were responsible for enfeebling faith, the Puritans would all have apostatized in the first generation. I do not say that Puritanism was any adequate substitute for Catholicism; but it was a good deal nearer the fullness of Christianity than the milk-and-water Anglicanism from which it dissented.
Speaking of which, the Church of England has not been saved from mass apostasy by the elegance of its buildings or the admitted beauty and inspiration of many of its (older) hymns — much better than almost anything sung in a vernacular Mass, at least in English.
It seems to me that you confuse irrelevancies with essentials. I would rather attend a proper Mass in a dingy modern building with bad music (or no music at all), and receive the Eucharist by a valid sacrament, than attend an Anglican service in a gorgeous cathedral, with a choir singing inspiring music in the voices of angels, and receive a bit of meaningless bread from an agnostic time-server pretending to be a clergyman. If I were given no other choice, I would rather drink the blood of Christ from a paper cup than sewage from a golden chalice.
I cannot help but think of the saints of the early Church, who met in private houses and even in tombs, and who must often have had to make do without any music at all, for fear of being overheard and betrayed to the authorities. If modern Catholics need pretty buildings and Gregorian chant to keep them true to their faith, how feeble that faith must be!

c matt November 21, 2008 at 7:37 am

But even if Catholic institutions were completely privately funded, licensing and certification would have to come from the state. Short of total disengagement on hitherto unclaimed lands, I don’t see how you could get the government paw completely off.
On another note, I wonder if Catholic pro-life Obama supporters will treat FOCA as a line in the sand. If he signs it, will they still support him in 2012? IIRC, many said they could vote for him despite his support of FOCA because they did not expect FOCA to be enacted.

Tim J. November 21, 2008 at 7:58 am

“If he signs it, will they still support him in 2012?”
My guess is, yes, they will. The Seamless Garment, dontcha know.
They will likely find some pretzel logic to justify their vote, regardless of what actually happens to the unborn, regardless of whether abortion actually increases worldwide under Obama (which it will).

The Masked Chicken November 22, 2008 at 12:17 pm

Dear Tom,
You wrote:
I cannot help but think of the saints of the early Church, who met in private houses and even in tombs, and who must often have had to make do without any music at all, for fear of being overheard and betrayed to the authorities. If modern Catholics need pretty buildings and Gregorian chant to keep them true to their faith, how feeble that faith must be!
This misunderstands completely what I meant. The fact is that people do have music and architecture and these are being presented as normative for the faith. Music should reflect the theology of the singer. Songs may be beautiful and reflect the faith and people may not listen, true, but if the songs are bad and people have been told that these represent the current theological understanding of the Church, then it is likely to have a cumulative effect on the listeners: lex orandi lex credendi.
The reason the early Church was able to survive is precisely because they had strong leaders and very direct prayer and songs. Their prayer was strong, so their faith was strong. Change the prayer, weaken the faith.
The Chicken

Mike November 22, 2008 at 8:05 pm

Everyone needs to checkout World net daily website there are articles talking about the Supreme Court on December 5th will go in conference about Barack Obama’s birth certificate or should I say lack of. There are cases all across the country asking the electorial voters not to vote on December 15th until he provides his legal orginal birth certificate. Alan keyes has a case filed in California which got publicity on Drudge report several days ago. Major news media like Fox news are worried because when the Truth comes out there might be riots, that is why there is silence on the topic. Check out worldnet daily website also to sign the petiton demanding for Barack Obama to release his legal longform original birth certificate. If you don’t believe it, call the offices at The Supreme Court and ask about the conference on December 5th! We need to stand up for justice before a marxist takes over our country. Do it for the unborn!!!

Padre Steve November 23, 2008 at 7:52 pm

This is a new era in the culture wars for sure:
http://salesianity.blogspot.com/2008/11/be-not-afraid-time-for-spiritual-battle.html
I pray we are ready!

Matthew Warner November 24, 2008 at 10:22 am

Thanks for the continued spreading of awareness about FOCA. We need to continue bringing it more and more attention with this petition and campaign. I posted on my blog about this with some good discussion in the comments section too…if anyone here wants to help comment and support the right side of the argument it is much appreciated: http://www.fallibleblogma.com/index.php/2008/11/03/barack-obamas-top-priority/
God bless and keep fightin the good fight!

Tom Simon November 28, 2008 at 4:26 pm

The fact is that people do have music and architecture and these are being presented as normative for the faith. Music should reflect the theology of the singer. Songs may be beautiful and reflect the faith and people may not listen, true, but if the songs are bad and people have been told that these represent the current theological understanding of the Church, then it is likely to have a cumulative effect on the listeners: lex orandi lex credendi.
The words to ‘On Eagle’s Wings’ are a paraphrase of Psalm 91. Is it the current theological understanding of the Church that that particular psalm is heretical? If so, I seem to find myself in the wrong church.
I am prepared to stipulate that the music to that song is the auditory equivalent of lukewarm tapioca pudding. However, that shouldn’t be a threat to anybody’s faith; at worst, to their stomachs.
Likewise, I don’t see why one particular style of architecture is inherently sacred and another is inherently profane. To draw such distinctions reminds me of one of Chesterton’s rare moments of roaring foolishness, when he said that beer was Christian and tea was pagan. Millions of Irish Catholics (if they heard him at all) laughed and put the kettle on.

The Masked Chicken November 28, 2008 at 6:32 pm

Dear Tom,
I was originally going to do an explication of the text of, “On Eagle’s Wings,” but I will do that only if it is important, because I have just looked over the lyrics (again, I am very familiar with them), in detail and I am quite angry, just now. It is not a true paraphrase of psalm 91. It is a complete reworking of parts of it (with very important parts missing), interlarded with text from Isa 40:31, with an implied personalist orientation that was not the original intent of the text. The music is of a folk variety which should not even be allowed in Churches, currently. Make no mistake, this is music for the me-generation. It is similar to other offerings from the me-generation, such as those by the St. Louis Jesuits.
It does not properly reflect the text (read the originals, in context, using a good translations, such as the RSV) and therefore does not properly reflect the teaching of the Church. This is a post on FOCA, so I will not do a detailed commentary on this trend in Church music, here.
I suggest reading Thomas Day’s book: Why Catholic’s Can’t Sing.
I am sorry, but I have a Ph.d level knowledge of music history and a fair acquaintance with the liturgical documents. This music is not a fair reflection of the intent of Vatican II, at all. The composer, Fr. Jan Michael Joncas, wrote the song in 1979, in the first wake of songs composed after the Vatican II Sacramentary was introduced. Church music in the United States was co-opted by liturgists who had a dubious understanding of the purpose of Church music and, from what I have read and the resulting music seems to imply, possibly an agenda at odds with a correct interpretation of Vatican II. Many Church musicians share my view. Most liturgists, do not. That should say something. Liturgists have co-opted the creation of liturgical music out of the hands of Church musicians, because of the influence of several individuals, if the history that I have, is correct (and it was written by a liturgical music expert who was present around the time of Vatican II). I do not want to get into the theology of music. Fr. Joncas teaches a course in liturgical aesthetics at a college in Minnesota, but his views and mine of the place of music appear to be different and mine is the prevailing historical view reflected in the documents of Church history up to and including Vatican II.
So, no, this is not just a simple setting of the psalm. I might be instructive to learn something about the history of Church music, if your only acquaintance with it is with the modern Mass music put out by such companies as Oregon Catholic Press, GIA, or the like (I do not mean to sound insulting. I just do not know what your background in this area you have) Compare, “On Eagle’s Wings,” with a setting of one of the Psalms by Tomas Luis de Victoria or Palestrina, for example, to see the real weakness of this quai-folk, personal approach to liturgical music.
For what it’s worth, Pope Benedict the XVI has also had his share of hurt from the modern tendencies in music. A quote:
Only respect for the liturgy’s fundamental unspontaneity and pre-existing identity can give us what we hope for: the feast in which the great reality comes to us that we ourselves do not manufacture but receive as a gift. This means that “creativity” cannot be an authentic category for matters liturgical.
The effects of music (and architecture) on worship have a long history. It is important for the general Catholic public to be educated about them. If we lose a connection with history, we lose a connection to culture. If we lose a connection with the Church music of the past and its proper place in the liturgy, we lessen our hold on the prayer of heaven. A Church music website that is very loyal to the teachings of the Church is here.
No, this is not something trivial. Not by a long shot.
The Chicken

The Masked Chicken November 28, 2008 at 6:43 pm

Here, is another good page on the liturgy and music.
Sorry, to be posting so much, tonight.
The Chicken

Zero December 1, 2008 at 11:51 am

Thanks so much for posting this! I’ve signed and I’m trying to get everyone I know on board.
Obama Will Sign FOCA: Women and children hardest hit

Cory G. December 5, 2008 at 11:31 pm

Just signed the petition. Keep up the good fight!

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