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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My, they have some strange customs in India

From the Washington Post:

Can you guess the country where Adolf Hitler Marak is running for office (and has a shot)?

A woman registers to vote in Ribhai district of Meghalaya state. (EPA/STR)
A woman registers to vote in Ribhai district of Meghalaya state. (EPA/STR)
We won’t leave you in suspense: it’s India. More specifically, the northeastern province of Meghalaya.
Though naming your son Adolf Hitler might be considered a strident political gesture just about everywhere else, in Meghalaya it seems to be in line with regional custom. Meghalaya, which means “abode of clouds,” is famous for the practice of naming children after just about any familiar noun, from historical figures to everyday household objects. (Stigmas against Naziism and Adolf Hitler aren’t as strong in India as elsewhere, in part because the swastika is an ancient symbol there . . .
Some other names from Meghalya:

• Frankenstein Momin
• Field Marshal Mawphniang
• Wonderlyne Lapang
• Billykid Sangma
• Predecessor Rumnong
• Fairly Bert Kharrngi
• Anvil Lyngdoh
• Methodius Dkhar
• Process Sawkmie
• Bomber Singh Hyniewta
• Hopingstone Masharing
• Hilarious Dkhar and Hilarious Pohchen (no relation)
• Zenith Sangma
• Boston Marak
• Coming One Ymbon

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Of course there are idiots, and then there are the invincibly ignorant . . .

E.J. Dionne, for example, writing in the Washington Post. I guess he's off the hook.

E.J. Dionne Jr.
E.J. Dionne Jr.
Opinion Writer

The best choice for pope? A nun.

The Church and Idiots

Comes word from the New York Post of a Catholic woman whose appalling ignorance threatens the health of her community.

Vaccine-deny ma sues city 
  • Last Updated: 2:52 AM, February 15, 2013
  • Posted: 1:31 AM, February 15, 2013 
A devout Catholic mom on Staten Island is suing the city, saying her daughter was improperly barred from attending class when school officials wouldn't recognize her religious exemption from receiving medical vaccinations. 
In her federal civil-rights suit, filed in Brooklyn, Dina Check, of West Brighton, accuses the city Education Department of prohibiting her 5-year-old from attending PS 35 on Tuesday — even though she filed paperwork for an exemption stating her family’s belief that forced immunization violates important tenets of their faith. 
“To inject invasive and unnatural substances into this divine creation is showing a lack of faith in God and His way,” Check says in the lawsuit.
Assuming the Post's description of this woman as "devout" is accurate (my impression is the media describe anyone, from those who think they might have been baptized on up to the Pope, as "devout.") you have to ask (apart from asking who the hell catechized the dame--"religious exemption from receiving medical vaccinations." Huh?) why doesn't the Church step in here? Seems to me a few pithy words from the woman's priest, or bishop if she's particularly stubborn, would resolve this matter without having to resort to the courts.

One of the great glories of the Holy Catholic Church, one which I did not truly discern until my conversion, is she is truly indeed the universal Church, preparing for heaven all walks of mankind, from staggering geniuses to blithering  idiots; we are all created in the image of God, who wants us to live happily with him forever. When we stray from the narrow path a gentle nudge, or a sharp jab if necessary, from Holy Church steers us back onto it. In what form that nudge or jab takes depends on the strayer. Rhodes Scholars may require different manner of persuasion from those with lesser faculties; the Church adapts to the circumstance and situation.

My great-great uncle Robert, a protestant Ulsterman who emigrated to the United States, counted among his friends when living in Ireland the pastor of a nearby Catholic church. One day Uncle Robert asked his priest friend if he would have a word with a parishioner of his, a servant girl, rather simple, whom Uncle Robert had hired recently. The girl had turned out to be be insolent and lazy. Uncle Robert, not wanting to have to dismiss her, hoped a few words from the priest would set her right. The priest said he would talk to her.

A few days later Uncle Robert ran into his priest friend and reported the happy news of the servant girl's remarkable improvement; she was now respectful and hard working. He asked the priest what he had told the girl. He replied: "I told her if she didn't behave I would change her into a rabbit!" I think that approach, used by clergy on the woman referred to above, would work wonders.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

What a beautiful gift to humanity!

Piers Morgan and Anderson Cooper: put out to pasture at last.

Guide Raises $1M In Seed Funding To Replace TV News With Feeds And Virtual Anchors


posted 2 hours ago
Miami-based startup Guide today announced its seed funding round of $1 million, from investors 

Friday, February 01, 2013

Wonder of wonders, a bishop acting like a bishop

This is how the Church should have dealt with this scandal from the beginning (from Catholic Culture):
Archbishop Gomez relieves Cardinal Mahony of duties; Bishop Curry steps down 
Immediately complying with a judge’s order, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has released the personnel files of 87 clergy accused of sexual abuse and has posted the files online.
 Archbishop José Gomez, who has led the archdiocese since 2011, announced that he has relieved his predecessor, Cardinal Roger Mahony, of all administrative and public duties, and that Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry, at one time Cardinal Mahony’s vicar for clergy, has resigned from his duties as a regional auxiliary bishop. 
“I find these files to be brutal and painful reading,” Archbishop Gomez said in a statement. “The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil. There is no excuse, no explaining away what happened to these children. The priests involved had the duty to be their spiritual fathers and they failed.”
 “We need to acknowledge that terrible failure today,” Archbishop Gomez continued. “We need to pray for everyone who has ever been hurt by members of the Church. And we need to continue to support the long and painful process of healing their wounds and restoring the trust that was broken.” 
Archbishop Gomez added:
My predecessor, retired Cardinal Roger Mahony, has expressed his sorrow for his failure to fully protect young people entrusted to his care. Effective immediately, I have informed Cardinal Mahony that he will no longer have any administrative or public duties. Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry has also publicly apologized for his decisions while serving as Vicar for Clergy. I have accepted his request to be relieved of his responsibility as the Regional Bishop of Santa Barbara.

For decades bishops would deal with priests with proclivities for adolescent boys by transferring them to unsuspecting parishes (where their predations would quickly resume) and carry on as usual--often deplorably. This abrogation of their responsibilities has nearly destroyed the Catholic Church in the United States (for an excellent account how, read this) yet for the most part the bishops, even as wayward priests were finally jailed, got off scot-free. If the Church is to recover they too must be held accountable. Good for Archbishop Gomez.