Catholic Bandita http://www.catholicbandita.com It is not by chance that in the old popular Mexican language, a mad person was called bandito, that is, blessed. - Cardinal Barragan Sat, 23 Aug 2014 03:34:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Pray for Pierce Brosnan http://www.catholicbandita.com/pray-for-pierce-brosnan/ http://www.catholicbandita.com/pray-for-pierce-brosnan/#comments Sat, 23 Aug 2014 03:34:59 +0000 http://www.catholicbandita.com/?p=9077 Reading Pierce Brosnan’s GQ interview makes me scratch my head and want to ask for prayer. My life started on the banks of the Boyne in County Meath. Navan is the name of the town; only me, Mom, Dad. Dad ran to the hills; never saw him ’til I was thirty-one. Mother looked after me […]

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Pierce_Brosnan

Reading Pierce Brosnan’s GQ interview makes me scratch my head and want to ask for prayer.

My life started on the banks of the Boyne in County Meath. Navan is the name of the town; only me, Mom, Dad. Dad ran to the hills; never saw him ’til I was thirty-one. Mother looked after me and took off to London to be a nurse, to get out of the repression of Catholic-shaming and upbringing. She went to the new land to start a life for me, and consequently there was a separation there.

“Repression of Catholic-shaming and upbringing?” Can he please be more specific? I can’t seem to find that in the catechism.

Here’s a real head-scratcher of a comment.

I served Mass; I loved serving Mass. It was probably my first encounter in giving performance. There was a beautiful church where I lived in Navan, taught by the Christian brothers: fierce, angry men, repressed. And yet, I had a good life.

Again with the “repressed?” Fierce? Angry? Where is that in the catechism? I’m glad that he loved serving at Mass and had a good life, but where is he getting this “repressed” stuff? Pray for him. He says that he has faith in something but he’s not clear what.

Question:

When you look back at that time in your life, what are the lessons you learned about yourself then that you still carry?

Response:

That I’m a survivor. That I can dream well. That I can work hard. That I have some kind of faith that keeps me in check, keeps me grounded in life. And just really good fortune to have traveled through the fair and still be at the table, so to speak.

Faith in God would be better than “some kind of faith.” Please do pray for Pierce Brosnan.

Maybe he could use a pep talk from fellow Catholic actor Jim Caviezel.

Photo: Gordon Correll.

 

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How liberal arguments re: Islam cast Muslims as sub-human http://www.catholicbandita.com/how-liberal-arguments-re-islam-cast-muslims-as-sub-human/ http://www.catholicbandita.com/how-liberal-arguments-re-islam-cast-muslims-as-sub-human/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 06:54:19 +0000 http://www.catholicbandita.com/?p=9072 I’m really glad Raymond Ibrahim wrote this piece on the difference between a shark and a Muslim. I’ve been meaning to write something similar for quite some time. When Western liberals hold Muslims to a lower standard than the rest of humanity—ignoring the beheadings, massacres, rapes, enslavements, and church burnings habitually committed by the likes […]

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shark

I’m really glad Raymond Ibrahim wrote this piece on the difference between a shark and a Muslim. I’ve been meaning to write something similar for quite some time.

When Western liberals hold Muslims to a lower standard than the rest of humanity—ignoring the beheadings, massacres, rapes, enslavements, and church burnings habitually committed by the likes of the Islamic State, Boko Haram, Al Shabaab, et al.—are they not, in essence, placing such Muslims on a “subhuman” level?

Are they not placing them on the level of wild animals—sharks for instance—that are not responsible for their actions?

This is not to suggest that all liberals are bigots. Neither is it to suggest that no conservatives are bigots. It is, however, a bigoted thing to conclude what liberals frequently imply or profess, and that is the idea that we should not apply the same standard to a Muslim, even a violent one, as we do to anyone else. The truth is that Muslims are rational human beings who are, for whatever reason, following a religion that ultimately rejects human reason and, ultimately, calls for violence.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said in his Regensburg address:

In the seventh conversation (???????? – controversy) edited by Professor Khoury, the emperor touches on the theme of the holy war. The emperor must have known that surah 2, 256 reads: “There is no compulsion in religion”. According to some of the experts, this is probably one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat. But naturally the emperor also knew the instructions, developed later and recorded in the Qur’an, concerning holy war. Without descending to details, such as the difference in treatment accorded to those who have the “Book” and the “infidels”, he addresses his interlocutor with a startling brusqueness, a brusqueness that we find unacceptable, on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general, saying: “Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.” The emperor, after having expressed himself so forcefully, goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. “God”, he says, “is not pleased by blood – and not acting reasonably (???? ????) is contrary to God’s nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats… To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death…”.

The decisive statement in this argument against violent conversion is this: not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God’s nature. The editor, Theodore Khoury, observes: For the emperor, as a Byzantine shaped by Greek philosophy, this statement is self-evident. But for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality. Here Khoury quotes a work of the noted French Islamist R. Arnaldez, who points out that Ibn Hazm went so far as to state that God is not bound even by his own word, and that nothing would oblige him to reveal the truth to us. Were it God’s will, we would even have to practise idolatry.

“Islam” is not a race. “Muslim” is also not a race. (Most Muslims in the world are non-Arabs, by the way.) Muslims are rational because they are human beings created in the image of God and have been given the gift of reason as such. Islam, however, is a belief system that rejects reason just as surely as Mein Kampf rejects Judaism. This rejection of reason, as Benedict noted, prompts the “true believer” to a willingness to commit violence and to force conversions through that violence.

Is it rational to murder someone? No. What prompts Muslims to murder? Islam does. Do all Muslims believe everything Islam teaches? No. Only those willing to forfeit their human reason for the sake of Islam will murder people. Anyone can forfeit human reason for the sake of murder. That choice is not limited to Muslims. Just as we don’t ban Mein Kampf from libraries, neither should we ban the Qur’an, nor the study of Islam. Just as we don’t accuse everyone who studies Mein Kampf of being a Nazi, we should not accuse every Muslim of being a potential murderer. It takes an irrational person to commit murder, no matter which books he is reading and no matter who he considers to be a prophet.

In short, Muslims should be treated with dignity and respect. Islam should not be banned. Irrational ideas about violence should be addressed in the same manner that we addressed Nazism when we were faced with it. It is a particular ideology, radical Islam, that should be called out, not Muslims who live rationally despite what Islam teaches. Remember that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was forced into the Nazi youth as a child. He and his family moved frequently in order that their anti-Nazi sentiments not be found out. It was a tough row to hoe in Germany, but they managed to do it without sacrificing their belief in human dignity. Benedict was no more a Nazi than FDR was. We should be able to understand Muslims living as Muslims do not necessarily accept violence just as Benedict and his family lived as Nazis but did not accept the fascist, murderous ideology.

By the way, the line of reasoning regarding casting others as sub-human is not only done toward Muslims. As someone with Bipolar Disorder, I find it both amusing and hurtful when I hear people say that it is “mean” to suggest someone has a mental illness. By attrition, they are saying that there is something shameful about having a mental illness. If you think it is “mean” to suggest that someone may have a mental illness, then you must not think very highly of people with mental illness.

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What Steve King got wrong about Ferguson http://www.catholicbandita.com/what-steve-king-got-wrong-about-ferguson/ http://www.catholicbandita.com/what-steve-king-got-wrong-about-ferguson/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 03:29:53 +0000 http://www.catholicbandita.com/?p=9068 It is disappointing to me to see conservatives like Steve King ignoring an important conservative principle in discussing the situation in Ferguson. In fact, Heritage Foundation lists it as the very first conservative principle among ten. First, the conservative believes that there exists an enduring moral order. That order is made for man, and man […]

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Mike Brown, Rest in Peace.

Mike Brown, Rest in Peace.

It is disappointing to me to see conservatives like Steve King ignoring an important conservative principle in discussing the situation in Ferguson. In fact, Heritage Foundation lists it as the very first conservative principle among ten.

First, the conservative believes that there exists an enduring moral order. That order is made for man, and man is made for it: human nature is a constant, and moral truths are permanent.

This word order signifies harmony. There are two aspects or types of o rder: the inner order of the soul and the outer order of the commonwealth. Twenty-five centuries ago, Plato taught this doctrine, but-even the educated nowadays find it difficult to understand. The problem of order has been a principal concern of conserva tives ever since conservative became a term of politics.

Our twentieth century world has experienced the hideous consequences of the collapse of belief in a moral order. Like the atrocities and disasters of Greece in the fifth century before Christ, the ruin of great nations in our century shows us the pit into which fall societies that mistake clever self-interest, or ingenious social controls, for pleasing alternatives to an oldfangled moral order.

It has been said by liberal intellectuals that the conservative believes all social questions, at heart, to be questions of private morality. Properly understood, this statement is quite true. A society in which men and women are governed by belief in an enduring moral order, by a strong sense of right and wrong, by personal convictions about justice and honor, will be a good society–whatever political machinery it may utilize; while a society in which men and women are morally adrift, ignorant of norms, and intent chiefly upon gratification of appetites, will be a bad society–no matter how many people vote and no matter how liberal its formal constitution may be. For confirmation of the latter argument, we have merely to glance about us in the District of Columbia.

The moral order is “enduring.” Human nature is “constant.” Moral truths are “permanent.” This is why limited government works best.

Steve King said, among other things:

But I will say this: he is innocent until proven guilty. But what’s happening is the community, the people that are doing the looting down in Ferguson, Missouri have concluded that he is guilty or else they concluded that it’s a good excuse to do what they’re doing.

King sees no moral order whatsoever in rioting and looting. Neither do I. Steve King sees no moral truths expressed in rioting and looting. Again, neither do I. But human nature is still constant, and I do see human nature at work in the rioting and looting. Why would people riot and loot? King thinks he knows.

But they’re burning the community, they’re looting the businesses in the community and they’re rioting, they’re punishing their own community for something that they think, or at least allege, that a police officer did inside their community. That is irrational and it should not happen in this country and it doesn’t happen with rational people.

It is certainly irrational to riot and loot, but is it their intent to “punish their own community?” No. Is it excusable to riot and loot? No. Is it understandable that people would riot and loot? Yes. The reason it is understandable is something we learn about in another conservative principle listed by Heritage:

Man being imperfect, no perfect social order ever can be created. Because of human restlessness, mankind would grow rebellious under any utopian domination, and would break out once more in violent discontent–or else expire of boredom. To seek for utopia is to end in disaster, the conservative says: we are not made for perfect things. All that we reasonably can expect is a tolerable ordered, just, and free society, in which some evils, maladjustments, and suffering will continue to lurk.

The restlessness and rebelliousness of the human person is exacerbated when civil authorities become lawless, and the people of Ferguson believe civil authorities have become lawless, hence some (not most) have rioted and looted. Whether you agree that the civil authorities in Ferguson have acted lawlessly, the citizens believe they have, and that is enough to cause a reaction of lawlessness. It’s not exusable, but it is understandable. It is desperation more than it is hatred. Human nature tells us this. It is not “black nature.” It is human nature. Human nature also prompted Cliven Bundy to react as he did. It is not excusable, but it is definitely understandable for anyone who has an ounce of compassion for people who are frustrated and hurting by the actions of civil authorities.

King is right to be critical of what he calls “race hustlers,” but is it practical? Will it change anyone’s mind to do that? I don’t think so. What has to be done is to understand that there is a certain moral basis for the frustrations felt in the community where it is becoming more and more common for young black men to be gunned down by police. You see, the rules of engagement on the streets have changed over time. The law allows deadly force to be used when a policeman believes he is under threat of attack, and it seems that policemen are using deadly force even when it is not necessary to kill in order to protect themselves from the threat. Take a look at the video of the shooting of Kajieme Powell by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. He was murdered. In fact, it appears that he committed “suicide by cop.” When policemen are using deadly force simply because the law says they can, even when it is not necessary, young black men are murdered. Yes, murdered. Too often, it seems they kill not because they must, but because they can.

Read Killed By Cops:

This summer ColorLines and The Chicago Reporter conducted a joint national investigation of fatal police shootings in America’s 10 largest cities, each of which had more than 1 million people in 2000. Several striking findings emerged.

To begin, African Americans were overrepresented among police shooting victims in every city the publications investigated.

The contrast was particularly noticeable in New York, San Diego and Las Vegas. In each of these cities, the percentage of black people killed by police was at least double that of their share of the city’s total population.

Mind you, the statistics might say the same about Christians. Maybe the percentage of Christians killed by police was “at least double that of their share of the city’s total population.” We don’t know if no one studies it, but what matters is the perceptions of people in these communities. They believe they are being targeted disproportionately, and they have statistics to back it up. You may come up with “reasons” for it to be so, but expressing that you don’t even care about what they very seriously care about is not going to win anyone over to your point of view. The conservative response is the pro-life response: that no one should be killed who does not have to be killed as a matter of self-defense in response to an attack. Unfortunately, I am not seeing outrage from conservatives about the killing of Kajieme Powell which was clearly videotaped and which was clearly a case of murder, morally speaking.

Many in Ferguson believe that Mike Brown was murdered because they have good reasons to believe so. Namely, there are eyewitness accounts. You may not believe the eyewitness accounts, and it is your right to disbelieve them, but many people do believe those accounts. They see the autopsy reports and see something consistent with those reports. Again, you may believe them or not believe them, but the idea that they are frustrated because they are anti-cop or are anti-white is not reasonable. Yes, one might say it is irrational to think that protesters in Ferguson are just hateful people. They are anti-murder. At least give them that much. They are moral people in the sense that they are anti-murder, whether or not you personally believe a murder was committed. Give them props for being opposed to what they view as a murder.

Another conservative principle is that the law teaches (seat belt laws result in people wearing seat belts, for example), and this principle itself explains why people rioted and looted. Just as the law teaches, so do civil authorities teach through their behaviors while on duty. When civil authorities are lawless, the people will react with lawlessness out of frustration. There is no moral order if people are rioting and looting….but it must also be said that there is no moral order if cops are murdering people. If you are generally a law-abiding person, you might be tempted to stop being law-abiding when a representative of the law (a police officer) murders someone on your street, especially if you believe he murdered someone who looked like you and that he did so specifically because he looked like you. Again, you may disagree that this was a murder. You may disagree that the officer used excessive force. You may disagree that the actions of the officer were racist, but if that is what they believe, you need to respect that they are operating from a moral position of being anti-racism and anti-murder. They have been frustrated by the example they believe has been set by the police department. When the police come out in full riot gear, that only adds to that same perception of lawlessness on the part of civil authorities. It really is like throwing gasoline onto a fire. The example that should be shown is not one of force but of a desire to understand the legitimate concerns people have and to work toward regaining their trust. They need to know that the police are looking out for them because the police respect their basic human dignity and desire to protect them for that reason. This does not occur by militarizing the police force. In fact, the opposite occurs. Having said that, it is not evil for the police to militarize. It’s just stupid and counter-productive.

I have a great deal of respect for Steve King. I do not believe his remarks were “wrong,” per se, but they were lacking in an understanding of the proper way to handle these situations. I believe with all my heart that people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are operating at least partly from a desire to do good for people for the sake of human dignity. I believe the very same about Steve King. Both sides, however, are saying some very unhelpful things that do not really solve the problem. The way to solve this problem is to be more understanding of the people who are rightfully frustrated by what they see (rightly or wrongly) as a culture of police brutality against people of color. Accusing the protesters of bad motivations is no different than a “gay rights” activist calling a pro-marriage supporter a “bigot.” Accusing them of bad motivations is the very same as accusing the cop of being a “racist” for shooting Mike Brown. The accusations are the same thing. And yes, they are marks of irrational discourse.

One final note. I have lost friends because I have opined that I believe the officer used excessive force and is likely guilty of second-degree murder. I stand by that, no matter how many friends I lose. I will not get caught up in being told what to believe by people who generally agree with me simply on the basis that they generally agree with me. My mind is free in seeking God’s will regardless of what anyone else may think. It’s my conscience and I have to be able to sleep at night. One can’t sleep well at night if one is following the crowd rather than one’s own heart and mind. My heart is truly with the people of Ferguson. I see people in pain and that gets to me. Anyone caught rioting or looting should be prosecuted, but peaceful protesters have my heart in this and I pray they will find a sliver of peace in knowing that. The law should treat everyone as innocent until proven guilty. I have heard conservatives (rightly) say this about Darren Wilson, but not about Mike Brown, who is dead, and that breaks my heart even more.

 

 

 

 

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Powell shooting inexcusable http://www.catholicbandita.com/powell-shooting-inexcusable/ http://www.catholicbandita.com/powell-shooting-inexcusable/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 04:21:18 +0000 http://www.catholicbandita.com/?p=9065 From the Catholic catechism: By recalling the commandment, “You shall not kill,”our Lord asked for peace of heart and denounced murderous anger and hatred as immoral. Anger is a desire for revenge. “To desire vengeance in order to do evil to someone who should be punished is illicit,” but it is praiseworthy to impose restitution […]

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powell

From the Catholic catechism:

By recalling the commandment, “You shall not kill,”our Lord asked for peace of heart and denounced murderous anger and hatred as immoral.

Anger is a desire for revenge. “To desire vengeance in order to do evil to someone who should be punished is illicit,” but it is praiseworthy to impose restitution “to correct vices and maintain justice.” If anger reaches the point of a deliberate desire to kill or seriously wound a neighbor, it is gravely against charity; it is a mortal sin. The Lord says, “Everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment.”

St. Louis police have released this graphic video of the shooting of Kajieme Powell by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. According to the 9-1-1 call, police knew that he had a steak knife in his pocket. You can see that Powell placed two stolen energy drinks on the sidewalk and waited for the police to arrive. When they arrived, he walked toward them saying “Shoot me now.” It appears that Powell committed “suicide by cop.” I count nine shots fired.

This is inexcusable. These cops should go take lessons from people who work in mental health hospitals. There are better ways to detain violent people than shooting them nine times until they are dead.

Warning: Strong language and graphic violence.

Via St. Louis Public Radio:

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Pro-life? Please ignore #IceBucketChallenge http://www.catholicbandita.com/pro-life-please-ignore-icebucketchallenge/ http://www.catholicbandita.com/pro-life-please-ignore-icebucketchallenge/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 02:28:42 +0000 http://www.catholicbandita.com/?p=9062 I saw this coming. Now that there’s confirmation, I’ve asked my kids not to view or share any videos supporting ALS Association. It’s sad, but unfortunately some folks aren’t actually as pro-dignity as they claim to be. LifeNews: The pro-life community has a soft spot in its heart for the disabled and terminally ill. After all, […]

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baby8

I saw this coming. Now that there’s confirmation, I’ve asked my kids not to view or share any videos supporting ALS Association. It’s sad, but unfortunately some folks aren’t actually as pro-dignity as they claim to be.

LifeNews:

The pro-life community has a soft spot in its heart for the disabled and terminally ill. After all, they are often targeted in abortion or euthanasia. Unfortunately, as LifeNews has documented, there is a chance your donation to The ALS Association could be used to support embryonic stem cell research.

Embryonic stem cell research can only be done on the backs of destroying human embryos, unique human beings, for their stem cells. Unlike adult stem cells, embryonic ones have never worked in humans in part because of rejection issues by human immune systems and the fact that they form tumors. Only adult stem cells have ever actually treated human patients.

Read more…

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