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Member since: Thu Apr 15, 2004, 06:56 PM
Number of posts: 789

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The favorite "get out of jail free" card the Catholics love to play in these circumstances...

...is "Scripture and Tradition!". "OMG, the Magisterium!". The Magisterium being a relatvely ill-defined entity that mostly means whatever they themselves want it to mean, particularly when arguing an especially thorny topic which they want to appear oversimplified. This is a big part of what led to the defection of Luther, the Reformation, and the sola scriptura doctrine of most Protestant denominations.

As an aside, a lot of scholars think that modern capitalism and individualism would probably never have developed--or would look very different--if the Reformation had not occurred.

Yep. They often use the literal term "apostate". I remember Mother Angelica of EWTN...

...whining about a group of Catholic laity, "Call To Action", which is a pretty wishy-washy liberal organization. This was in the late '90s or something. Her term of abuse for them was "Call To Apostasy".

EWTN has always been much closer to Bible Belt fundamentalism than to Catholicism. Which isn't so surprising, since EWTN is based in Alabama.

Actually, at most Catholic parishes, even conservative ones, you'd be hard-pressed...

...to find the stereotypical Irish family with 12 children anymore. The only place you'll find that kind of fecundity is in schismatic radtrad churches like the SSPXers and the EWTN "stars" who performatively LARP for the camera with their gigantic families. And those "stars" are almost always being subsidized by Catholic fundamentalist billionaires like Tom Monaghan.

The Church hierarchy is another matter, of course, but their problem is that they aren't the "princes of the Church" anymore: the most educated, thoughtful, etc. who deign to tell the rabble laity how to live. Many of the rabble are now far more accomplished and educated than the hierarchy, and the hierarchy knows it. That's why you see all the ridiculous "lifestyle LARPing" on EWTN, (Ir)-Relevant Radio, etc. They think that if they do enough performative LARPing, they can bring back the '50s--the 1350s.

I forgot about that one. God, what an asshole. And notice that he's too damn fat...

...to button his jacket. It sure looks like everyone else has theirs closed. And he preens in front of everyone like he's hot stuff; the reality is that he needs to cut way back on the Big Macs. Maybe that's a picayune thing to complain about, and it probably is, but absolutely everything is a "fuck you" gesture with Drumpf. He's been known for the "fuck you hair" for decades now, and of course there's the "fuck you tie" that is a foot too long and has to be taped in back, but it's quite clear that the "fuck you" gestures generalize to just about everything in Drumpf's sorry life.

Yep. AT&T pulled the plug on funding ONAN...er...OANN, which was...

...something like 95% of their budget. Funding OANN in the first place was just an exercise in cynicism, intended to get Fox to drop their outrageous carriage fees on AT&T's network. It worked, and then AT&T dropped OANN. The real question is why the morons at OANN allowed themselves to get painted into a corner like that.

It looks like are two main things going on with far-right Catholic influence on the Court.

(1) Catholic billionaire money. Mainly Tom Monaghan (Domino's Pizza founder), but others as well, have lavishly funded all kinds of conservative causes: failed radio networks (CatholicFamilyRadio), the EWTN cable channel, a basilica in Nicaragua (which was very unpopular with the locals), "think" tanks like the EPPC, etc. Monaghan uses all sorts of other businesses to essentially launder money for his political activities (cell phone networks, mutual funds, etc.). Sometimes the activism and business even overlap. Nowhere is that more clear than in his ridiculous utopian project, literally in the swamps of Florida, of a combined planned community and college: Ave Maria Town and Ave Maria "University". Monaghan even has his own "farm team" of sorts, Legatus, which serves to train upcoming generations of wealthy far-right Catholics. (There is a similar outfit in California, the Napa Institute, which is run by a billionaire in the wine business).

(2) The reactionary, regressive bishops appointed by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI. All one has to do to see how much things have changed is to go back to the '80s and read some USCCB documents and compare them with those of today. In particular, pay attention to the USCCB statements in the '80s about US foreign policy (especially Central America) and the nuclear arms race. By the way, these reactionary bishops and other Catholic clergy don't stay in their lane; they go back and forth between their appointed tasks and making the rounds of appearances on EWTN, "think" tank functions (especially the Acton Institute), shows on (Ir)-Relevant Radio, etc.

There was also some sort of agreement with Charles Koch that caused him to back off.

Remember, Koch was originally a never-Trumper and he used his lavishly-funded "think" tanks to go after Trump. But there was an agreement at some point where Trump would rubber-stamp whatever reactionary judicial appointments Koch and the Federalist Society wanted, no questions asked, and the quid pro quo was that he was buying their silence. The story has been covered in the press, and I know it was also discussed on DU.

Wasn't Dr. Tiller the one that Bill O'Reilly attacked over and over on his program...

...calling him "Tiller the Baby Killer" or something similar? That name is really familiar. I remember that Media Matters discovered that O'Reilly said that phrase 28 times. And then Dr. Tiller is murdered. What a surprise.

"Cheap grace" is at the heart of it. And what Ted Kennedy called "Neanderthal justices".


The book was written by a Protestant (Bonhoeffer), but the "doctrine of cheap grace" is most often an accusation made by Catholics arguing with Evangelical Protestants, particularly those of the Southern Baptist and/or fundamentalist variety. The "name it and claim it"/"blab it and grab it"/"Gospel of health and wealth" Christians--nearly all of them nondenominational Protestants--usually get the most severe criticism from Catholics. By the way, this is one of the only things that liberal and radtrad Catholics agree on (somewhat). Of course, so many radtrads have jumped on the Trump Train that they have precious little moral street cred left at this point.

Then there are the "Neanderthal justices", a term coined by Ted Kennedy after the whole Bork disaster. Drumpf made it clear that he would rubber-stamp whatever court appointments Charles Koch and the Federalist Society wanted. That's all they care about. A very few conservative Christian leaders warned their followers about Trump's degenerate lifestyle over the years, but no one listened.

One of the most important things I ever heard was a talk by Robert McChesney,...

a professor at UIUC and media critic. (From 2002-2012, he hosted the Media Matters radio show, not to be confused with the Media Matters for America group). McChesney discussed post-WWII history; how one of the first things the Allies did was break up the media monopolies of the Axis powers, arguing that media concentration aids and abets fascism. He further argued that we need a taste of our own medicine. And in fact, we used to have some pretty good laws and regulations about media concentration, most of which have been repealed.
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