Hello, imonk family. I hope it is starting to get warm wherever you live. Several of the imonk writers (myself, Chaplain Mike, Lisa Dye, Damaris Zehner and Joe the Plumber) were let out the asylum long enough to meet for breakfast this week. And Pope Francis met with President Obama this week. Of course, the liberal media covered only one of those meetings…
POTUS was also scheduled to meet King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia on Friday. Perhaps they can discuss the Saudi textbooks which teach eighth graders that “God will punish any Muslim who does not literally obey God just as God punished some Jews by turning them into pigs and monkeys.” Or the tenth grade text saying that gay people should be burned, stoned to death or thrown from high places and also instructs, “kill the person who changes their religion”. Christians, pagans and Jews are described as “the worst of creatures” who “will dwell in hellfire”. All this from a report ordered by the U.S. state department. The report also notes the textbooks report conspiracy theories as if they were fact, “gave elevated praise to violence against non-Muslims”, and “made direct calls to violence”. The Daily Beast helpfully notes, “Saudi textbooks are not only used in Saudi schools, but they are also sent free of charge to Muslim schools all over the world, including in the U.S.” Great.
March madness is in full swing (go Michigan!). Did you know nine of the 68 tourney schools are Catholic? Five of these are Jesuit. And this is no fluke. Seven Jesuit schools made the tournament in 2007. A full eighth of the field was Jesuit in 2012. Not bad, considering that of the 351 schools that play Division I basketball, only 20 are Jesuit. What gives? Michael Schulson argues it is a combination of the Irish potato famine, American nativism and 20th-century Italian demographics. Who knew?
Did you hear about the UC Santa Barbara Professor who took a sign from, and allegedly assaulted a pro-life protestor at her college? In the police report, the prof argues that her actions were “in defense of her students and her own safety.” Because someone exercising the wrong opinion is very dangerous. The school president responded with a letter, in which he neither named the professor or directly criticized her behavior. He did, however, spend the first two paragraphs complaining about “outsiders” and “evangelical types” who “create discord” and “promote personal causes and agendas.” Besides the dismissive language, what is one to make of the claim that arguing for a pro-life cause is a “personal cause or agenda”? How could advocating for policies which protect unborn others possibly be construed as a “personal cause”? Would the good president refer in the same way to those advocating for the other side of the issue?
Speaking of intellectual vacuity, Skidmore College will be offering “The Sociology of Miley Cyrus” during summer school this year. The course will delve into “gender, sexuality, intersectionality and appropriation.” And among the themes to be discussed: The “rise of the Disney princess”; a section on “allies and appropriation”; and a third on “bisexuality, queerness and the female body,”
Eighteen of the 32 top management jobs in the federal agency that is “ground zero” for running Obamacare are either vacant or filled on an acting basis. Meanwhile, the net cost for Obamacare is now set at 1.5 trillion.
“What is happening is that the hard line of Christian Zionists was not successfully passed forward to the next generation, because it was based on theological themes that are now being questioned by younger evangelicals.” So said David Gushee, professor at Mercer, describing how Israel is losing its grip on evangelical Christians. 49% of American evangelical leaders (49%) expressed neutrality when asked if they sympathize more with Israelis or with Palestinians. Thirty percent expressed support for Israelis, 13% for the Palestinians.
Did you know astronomers have now discovered a pink frozen world 7½ billion miles from the sun? It is very, very dim. They call it Biden.
The Bling Bishop has been fired. This is what happens when you spend 43 million dollars to renovate your house. But hey, when you spend $27,000 on light switches and $673,000 on doors, it adds up. But I hear they are really nice doors.
Ken Ham has called on Bill Maher to repent. I’m sure the comedian will carefully and thoughtfully consider the advice.
Sad subject, but interesting time map of which states used (and use) which method of capital punishment.
The headline of the week sounds like it came from the Onion, but didn’t: British Government bans burning of fetuses to heat hospitals. Yes, in case you missed it, this has been going on. In the last two years alone the bodies of more than 15,000 aborted and miscarried babies were incinerated by twenty-seven National Health Service trusts. Two used the remains to burn in waste-to-energy plants that provide power for the hospitals. It’s hard to argue with the Telegraph: “That’s right – institutions created to protect life are being fuelled by burning the remains of the dead. Some bureaucrat somewhere obviously regarded this as ‘efficient recycling’. It’s more akin to cannibalism. We pride ourselves in the West on being more civilized that the rest. We have a free press, jury trials, human rights and relative peace…But what we actually do in Europe and America is to tuck our social evils away into spaces that we can’t see.” This case should remind us Americans of the recent case of the abortion Doctor, Kermit Gosnell, who left fetal remains haphazardly scattered throughout his clinic—in bags, milk jugs, orange-juice cartons, cat-food containers. The bioethicist Leon Kass has argued for seeing the wisdom in the very sensation of repugnance that we feel towards such activities. “”As pain is to the body so repugnance is to the soul. So too with anger and compassion. Repugnance is some kind of wake-up call that there is something untoward going on and attention must be paid. These passions are not simply irrational. They contain within them the germ of insight. You cannot give proper verbal account of the horror of evil, yet a culture that couldn’t be absolutely horrified by such things is dead.”
Though this headline almost took the title: Ukraine Was Never Crazy About Its Killer Dolphins, Anyway
Someone pointed me to this: 12 things TED’s speakers do that preachers don’t. Hmmm.
From the what on earth were they thinking department comes the story of clothing retailer H&M, which had to apologize for producing a t-shirt with a skull over the star of David.
Scientists at the British Museum performed a CT scan on an ancient Egyptian mummy. They found a tattoo on the mummy’s thigh. It was the name (in Greek) of the Archangel Michael.
A Roman Catholic diocese in Minnesota is suing a diocese in Ireland, alleging it transferred a priest to Minnesota without warning that the man had been accused of sexual abuse.
So pretend you are being offered an award. It’s named after someone in recent history. The person for whom it is named wrote a book which asserted charity was “cruelty” because helping the low-income allowed them to reproduce, which was “positively injurious to the community and the future of the race.” This person also made statements like these:“I personally believe in the sterilization of the feeble-minded” “No permit for parenthood shall be valid for more than one birth.” “The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.” “The greatest sin in the world is bringing children into the world that have disease from their parents”. Would you accept the award? You would if your name was Nancy Pelosi.
A Utah man found human bones while digging in his backyard. I hate when that happens.
A young porn star didn’t like the Catholic high school she graduated from. As “revenge” she staged a nude photo shoot on its campus. Then posted the pics. She got 45 days in the local pen for public indecency and trespassing.
Oprah Winfrey is on a mission, and Rob Bell is her wingman. What is that mission? “All of my life I have wanted to lead people to an empathy space. To a gratitude space,” …”I want us all to fulfill our greatest potential. To find our calling, and summon the courage to live it.” And Oprah will only charge you $100 dollars to lead you to the empathy place. . Well, actually $100 only buys a nosebleed view in a 16,000 seat stadium. But for a cool $1,000 you can upgrade to the VIP package where you might even meet the queen of empathy herself. Just thinking of her self-sacrifice puts me in the gratitude place.
Yes, it’s an ad. But it’s funny. So we are going to end this week’s rambling with it: