Archive for Catholic Church

Is it Me or the Pope?

Every time I decide to give Pope Francis a good leaving-alone, he drags me back in:

In Philadelphia, Pope Francis challenges Americans to live up to nation’s ideals

Goldang it, Francis! Who says we aren’t?

If you read on, the answer would appear to be the headline writers at the WaPo. Not His Holiness:

At Independence Hall, where the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were signed, the 78-year-old pontiff reminded Americans, “it was here, that the freedoms which define this country were first proclaimed.”

Introduced by Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man,” the pope stood at a wooden lectern used by Abraham Lincoln for the Gettysburg Address in November 1863, and told the crowd assembled on Independence Mall that “history also shows that these or any truths must constantly be reaffirmed, re-appropriated and defended.”

No argument there. As the Declaration declares, people’s rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” are “endowed by their Creator”. Governments are instituted merely to “secure” these rights. The rights outrank any government. Good job, Francis. (If I may call him Francis. He can call me Blood.)

And the Argentine-born son of immigrants from Italy told Hispanics living in the United States: “Never be ashamed of your traditions. Do not forget the lessons you learned from your elders, which are something you can bring to enrich the life of this American land.”

Agreed, though in English, please. Your traditions enrich nothing if we can’t understand you. But thanks for pizza and burritos, if we haven’t said so already.

Then he threw out his scripted remarks and extolled the virtues of traditional families in an animated address that continued until 9:30 p.m.

He did? Why didn’t that make it into the headline? Pope Extolls Virtues of Traditional Families Echoes Dan Quayle, Other Conservative Christians

So far, I haven’t read a single “challenge” to live up to our “ideals”.

This time he stressed the importance of freedom of religion, enshrined in the Constitution’s First Amendment. He spoke alongside U.S. Catholic bishops deeply concerned about the way court rulings on gay rights and federal health-care expansion are affecting Catholic hospitals, schools and nonprofit entities.

“In a world where various forms of modern tyranny seek to suppress religious freedom, or try to reduce it to a subculture without right to a voice in the public square, or to use religion as a pretext for hatred and brutality, it is imperative that the followers of the various religions join their voices in calling for peace, tolerance and respect for the dignity and rights of others,” Francis said.

Now, that’s what I call a challenge! Give ’em…heck, Francis!

“Various forms of modern tyranny”: such as? Perhaps the tyranny to provide abortions, to bake or cater or provide flowers for a “nontraditional” wedding, or to end up in a prison cell for declining to license those same weddings? “Without right to a voice in the public square”. Amen.

“One of the great challenges facing the church in this generation is to foster in all the faithful a sense of personal responsibility for the church’s mission,’’ he said.

Personal responsibility. What a quaint old concept. Like “traditional” marriages.

While the Pope said one thing, others heard what they wanted to hear:

Carlos Huertas, a native of Guatemala who lives on Long Island, arrived about 2:30 a.m. Saturday with 100 fellow pilgrims.

“He knows our culture. He speaks our language. There is new hope for all immigrants. He said he was an immigrant, too. What he will do for immigrants is a big question. We’re here and want the papers to stay,” said Huertas, 48, a handyman and landscaper.

Every word the press prints is a lie, including and and the. Mr. Huertas, may live on Long Island, just as oriental bittersweet lives in my back yard. But both are invasive species. If he has no “papers”, he is not an “immigrant”, but an illegal alien. Not even the Pope can help him. But that’s okay. The “Vicar of Christ” has nothing on Obama.

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Liberal Pieties

Honest to God, if I wanted to read this sort of nonsense, I only need open to the editorial page of the Boston Globe:

The United Nations is presently celebrating its seventieth anniversary. The history of this organized community of states is one of important common achievements over a period of unusually fast- paced changes. Without claiming to be exhaustive, we can mention the codification and development of international law, the establishment of international norms regarding human rights…

I don’t expect His Holiness to have heard of Not many have. But to fix his mouth to speak of the UN and human rights in the same breath?

Is he on crack?

Acting in its capacity as chair of the largest group of nations at the UN Human Rights Council, the Islamic Republic of Iran has just submitted a resolution that reaffirms the peculiar notion that adoption of sanctions against another country is a violation of human rights and of international law, known in UN-speak as “unilateral coercive measures.”

Earlier this year, the UNHRC’s infamous Consultative Group, with Saudi Arabia’s Faisal Trad then serving merely as Vice-President, successfully picked Algerian hardliner Idriss Jazairy — famous for his efforts as a former diplomat to enact a UNHRC “code of conduct” to intimidate independent human rights experts — as the new “Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures.”

Jazairy has already accused the U.S. and Europe of being leading human rights violators due to their use of sanctions against countries like Iran and Zimbabwe.

Indeed, many of the resolutions adopted at each session of the UNHRC are sponsored by Cuba, Iran, Pakistan, Algeria, and other non-democracies, and are designed to demonize the West, free market economies, individual rights, or Israel, as part of a strategy to deflect attention from council members who are guilty of subjugating women, trampling religious freedom, persecuting gays, oppressing ethnic minorities and promoting relgious extremism.

Or meth?

Saudi Arabia pledged $1 million to the UN human rights office before it won a seat on the UN Human Rights Council in November 2013, paving the way for its chairmanship — just announced by the UN last week on September 17th — of the influential UNHRC committee that interiews and shortlists candidates to become UN human rights investigators.

Or Molly?

Saudi Arabia has sponsored its own softball UNHRC resolution on the Yemen conflict in order to supplant a Dutch-led draft resolution that would dispatch the UN rights office to investigate possible war crimes by the Saudis, Iran-backed Houthis and others.

I’m sure he didn’t want to be rude (didn’t stop him from hectoring Congress, I note), but isn’t it a sin to bear false witness?


…the resolution of numerous conflicts, operations of peace-keeping and reconciliation, and any number of other accomplishments in every area of international activity and endeavour. All these achievements are lights which help to dispel the darkness of the disorder caused by unrestrained ambitions and collective forms of selfishness.

Perhaps His Holiness is so inured to sexual depradation by his errant priests that he’s unmoved by tales of pimping and prostitution of underage girls by UN so-called peace-keepers (piece-peddlars). Talk about “unrestrained ambitions”! Except for the sex of the victims, the stories are hard to keep straight. But surely he must recall that UN peace-keepers introduced cholera into Haiti (about the only plague it lacked) after its devastating earthquake by digging their latrines next to the water supply. That was quite an “accomplishment”, though one which did little to “dispel the darkness of the disorder”.

The Pope went on at gre-a-a-a-t length on the environment, which is fine. But need not detain us here. I doubt China was listening; I know I wasn’t.

Then came this:

The recent agreement reached on the nuclear question in a sensitive region of Asia and the Middle East is proof of the potential of political good will and of law, exercised with sincerity, patience and constancy. I express my hope that this agreement will be lasting and efficacious, and bring forth the desired fruits with the cooperation of all the parties involved.

He can hope all he wants—a little prayer wouldn’t go amiss either—but what makes him or anyone think that the agreement will be either lasting or efficacious? The next time Iran tells the truth about its nuclear program will be the first.

The praiseworthy international juridical framework of the United Nations Organization and of all its activities, like any other human endeavour, can be improved, yet it remains necessary; at the same time it can be the pledge of a secure and happy future for future generations. And so it will, if the representatives of the States can set aside partisan and ideological interests, and sincerely strive to serve the common good.

The United Nations is not “necessary”. It is reprehensible. Uselessness is its only redeeming feature. The Pope didn’t mention Israel, so I guess neither will I. But its absence from his remarks is conspicuous. Curious, even suspicious. The UN never tires of mentioneing it—in the most unflattering of terms. But then, Francis never mentioned Jesus, either. (God did get one shout-out, however!)

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The Pope’s Chutzpah

I thought we resented foreign leaders who came over here and told us how to behave.

At least we did a few months ago:

Today, it’s all rose petals and doves:

Before the sun rose Thursday, the U.S. Capitol was already buzzing with activity — and security — as the hour neared for Pope Francis to deliver the first papal speech ever to a joint meeting of Congress.

On Wednesday, Congress was out of session when Pope Francis stood beside President Obama at a White House ceremony and endorsed the president’s controversial proposal to dramatically cut carbon emissions from power plants over the next 15 years. Republicans have warned that Obama’s plan would eliminate jobs and slow the U.S. economy with limited environmental impact.

Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, refused to be dragged into a discussion about the pope’s themes all week.

“The Pope will speak in English. He will not use a teleprompter. That’s all I know about the speech, and all I need to know, frankly,” he said in an essay posted Wednesday on Medium. “There’s been so much talk about what the Pope will say, and whether he’ll address this or that … The Pope transcends all of this. He appeals to our better angels and brings us back to our daily obligations. The best thing we can all do is listen, open our hearts to his message and reflect on his example.”

The Pope has his agenda, just as Netanyahu had his. It’s just that the Pope’s agenda agrees with Obama’s. Netanyahu was portrayed as the devil, while the Pope is literally and figuratively the man in white.

Nothing against Il Papa, but as the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians (15:33), “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.”

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Lighten Up, Francis

I’ve been deciding how to respond to the latest from Pope Francis on climate change, air conditioning, sex-change and abortion. I haven’t because then I’d have to read it.

Thank God for Colby Cosh (whom we used to cite here years ago):

Whoever is in charge of @Pontifex started dishing tweets like some layabout ex-journalist tweaking on Red Bull. And come to think of it, that is probably exactly the sort of person who was handling the task. “The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth,” the Holy Father’s social-media personification rapped. “We have to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”

Russell Brand or Supreme Pontiff?

As an atheist, I’m afraid my instinctive reaction to the pope’s zingers is that an awful lot of the places on Earth where people live literally on piles of filth happen, by some tragic coincidence, to be predominantly Catholic. Still, I wanted to give the full encyclical a chance. Laudato Si’, when not chopped up into theology McNuggets, creates a very different impression, alternating between personal observations and dreary, committee-written boilerplate.

The tenets of faith on Twitter. Really? It would have made Moses’s job a lot easier to just whip out his iPhone 6 than schlep those stone tablets down Mt. Sinai. But…

Thou shalt not murder :(

Honor thy father and they mother <3

Thou shalt not covet they neighbor’s wife lol 😉

[B]efore you know it he is weighing in on drinking water. “…in some places there is a growing tendency, despite its scarcity, to privatize this resource, turning it into a commodity subject to the laws of the market.” It turns out this is bad, even though almost any economist alive would instantly apply a red pencil and several question marks to that “despite.”

Before long Francis is going off on “Decline in the Quality of Human Life and the Breakdown of Society.” Hilariously, there’s a warning about new digital media, presumably in forms like … er, Twitter?

There is a lot more of this, and I must confess that by the time I got some way into the chapter on “The Human Roots of the Ecological Crisis,” the encyclical was no longer reminding me of Russell Brand: it was reminding me of the Unabomber Manifesto. That is, of course, a little unfair. Ted Kaczynski is responsible for nowhere near as much injury to human welfare as the Catholic Church inflicts every 15 minutes, and, besides, he’s a better writer.

“The idea of promoting a different cultural paradigm and employing technology as a mere instrument is nowadays inconceivable. The technological paradigm has become so dominant that it would be difficult to do without its resources and even more difficult to utilize them without being dominated by their internal logic. It has become countercultural to choose a lifestyle whose goals are even partly independent of technology, of its costs and its power to globalize and make us all the same.”

Pure Kaczynski, yeah? The next sentence could easily be “So that’s why I moved to a cabin in the woods and started mailing bombs to scientists.” Let me give you another: Unabomber or Unapapa?

That’s okay, we’ll pass. But we are grateful the the bullet he took on our behalf. The last time a Pope weighed in on “science”, Galileo was put under house arrest for the rest of his life for heresy.

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The Power of Christ Compels You!

Worth a shot. Anything to get past those “sensational headlines”, eh Barack?

Catholic priests from around Mexico gathered at a central cathedral to do what they could to help fight the country’s crime problem, targeting the demons that may be causing it.

Led by Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, the archbishop emeritus of Guadalajara, a group of priests including an exorcist from Spain conducted a closed-door ritual at the cathedral in the city of San Luis Potosí.

The religious leaders then performed a ‘Magno Exorcismo’ or Great Exorcism, to help Mexico as it struggles with crimes linked to gang violence and drug trafficking.

His ceremony is designed around the four cardinal directions, with distinct prayers, chants and names of saints said for North, South, East and West.

It also includes a section concerning the Door to the Abyss in which one of the participants hits the ground with a ceremonial hammer between calls for the Virgin Mary to close the entrance to Hell and keep the Ancient Snake away.

Pope Francis said last month that the devil ‘was punishing’ Mexico, the second largest Catholic country in the world behind Brazil, with violence.

If it works, maybe they can exorcise the planet of global warming. “Ancient Snake” sounds like a reference to dinosaurs, the fossils of fossil fuels.

Of course, the “devil” works through the hands of men: the psychotic drug lords and their post-zombie-apocalypse executioners; the crooked police on the payroll; the corrupt politicians on the take. Instead of using a ceremonial hammer, I would go after them with guns and laws. And guns. And then more guns. Maybe then a ceremonial hammer.

But what’s the harm in trying?


If We Are Patient Enough, Europeans Will Do The Right Thing

Sephardic Jews, expelled in 1492, permitted to return to Spain

You see, BTL, sometimes I think that both of us are too pessimistic about the human condition. My default is that people are plain nasty and dangerous when stressed. I think that most people have little or no conscience, and would sell your entire family to the Gestapo for five pounds of sugar (see Holland, France, Poland, Germany, etc.).

Perhaps I am too harsh:

The Spanish government passed a law on Thursday allowing descendants of Sephardic Jews expelled from the country in 1492 to seek Spanish nationality without giving up their current citizenship.

“Today marks the end of the parliamentary process that, when it comes into force on October first 2015, will open the door again to the descendants of those who were unfairly expelled from Spain,” Spain’s Justice Minister Rafael Catala said in parliament.

The Spanish foreign minister was also in parliament.

“Let’s hope that the name of the city of Jerusalem, the city of peace, prevails in negotiations and we get to a point in which Jews can live safely as they have not lived for a long time. From that moment they will be able to live there and of course in that second homeland that is Spain thanks to the doors opened by this government,” he said.

Around 300,000 Jews lived in Spain before the ‘Reyes Catolicos’, Catholic monarchs Isabella and Ferdinand, ordered Jews and Muslims to convert to the Catholic faith or leave the country.

The word Sephardic comes from Sefarad, or Spain in Hebrew.

“This is a historical, important and emotional day for the Sephardic world in general. A new era between the Jewish and the Hispanic world opens. Perhaps it was a bit delayed, perhaps 500 years late, but Spain came forth. A date with history,” Isaac Qerub Caro, president of the Jewish Community in Spain, said.

Now, I don’t know anybody who wouldn’t be willing to wait 500 years for a happy ending, do you?

– Aggie

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Angel of Peace Update

Sounds like the ink-stained wretches at AP and AFP need to relearn conjugation:

AFP: They exchanged gifts with the pope giving Abbas a medal with a figure of the angel of peace “which destroys the evil spirit of war”. “I thought of you because you are an angel of peace,” he told Abbas.

AP: Pope Francis praised Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as an “angel of peace” during a meeting Saturday at the Vatican that underscored the Holy See’s warm relations with the Palestinians.

Which had many spewing coffee out of their mouths with the exclamation, Holy S…ee!


He did utter the words “angel of peace,” and he suggested that Abbas could or might be one. In the context of the pope’s complete statement about the meeting, the implication was that Abbas could be an angel of peace if he resumed direct negotiations with Israel.

Why did Francis say the words “angel of peace” at all? Because he was making a gift to Abbas of a medallion engraved with an image of the Angel of Peace. The Vatican Insider feature of Italy’s La Stampa has this summary in its English version:

“As is tradition with heads of State or of government, Francis presented presented a gift to the Palestinian leader, commenting: “May the angel of peace destroy the evil spirit of war. I thought of you: may you be an angel of peace.”

That’s the subjunctive tense, not the indicative. It’s very point is to express what is not.

Note the Holy Father did not place a bet on the outcome. He thought Bodhisattva was more likely to win the Preakness, and that nag is still running.

“May you be an angel of peace” is a wish, a prayer. It is as far from a statement of fact as “get your head out of your a**, so-called journalists”, though a whole lot more likely.

PS: Just a suggestion to His Infallibility, but he might want to keep his aspirations within reach—such as “May you name a youth summer camp after someone who does not have the blood of Jewish children on his or her hands.” Or “May you broadcast a kids show that does not feature Jew-hating poetry recitations or genocidal sing-alongs.” Baby steps.



What an insult to the president!!!

Pope Francis will address a joint meeting of the House and Senate on Sept. 24, becoming the first pontiff to do so, House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday.

“We’re humbled that the Holy Father has accepted our invitation and certainly look forward to receiving his message on behalf of the American people,” Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters.

When will the Democrats announce their boycott of this brazen breach of protocol?

Dozens of House Democrats are privately threatening to skip Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s March 3 speech to Congress, in which he will address ongoing negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program.

Boehner extended the invite to Netanyahu without first consulting the White House, something that has rubbed many lawmakers the wrong way.

It would be more accurate to say that it has rubbed the Obama regime the wrong way. But you go ahead and stay away in droves, Dems. It’s going to take a superhuman effort to so alienate American Jews that they would vote Republican, but I have faith that you are just the guys to do it!


How Nice!

The Pope gets to pray in a mosque!

Pope Francis prayed silently alongside a senior Islamic cleric in Istanbul’s Blue Mosque on Saturday, in a gesture of inter-religious harmony in a country bordering the conflicts in Syria and Iraq.

Francis took off his shoes as he entered the huge mosque, before bowing his head in prayer for several minutes, facing Mecca and standing next to Istanbul’s Grand Mufti Rahmi Yaran, in what a Vatican spokesman described as a joint “moment of silent adoration” of God.

A similar act by his predecessor Pope Benedict in 2006 drew criticism from conservative Catholics and some Muslims.

Good job, Pope Francis.

Let your humility and faith be an example to others:

Ramat Gan Chief Rabbi and prominent religious-Zionist scholar Rabbi Ya’akov Ariel spoke to Arutz Sheva about the tensions over the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism which has been at the center of attempts by Palestinian Authority and Islamist leaders to incite a religious war.

Despite being Judaism’s holiest site Jews are prevented from praying on the Mount and Jewish visits are severely restricted, due to threats of violence from Muslim leaders.

Islamists and PA officials, including Mahmoud Abbas, regularly accuse Jewish visitors to the Mount of attempting to “storm the Al Aqsa Mosque.” Al Aqsa mosque – not to be confused with the golden-domed Dome of the Rock shrine – is the largest of several mosques at the site, where the ancient Jewish Temples once stood.

But In fact, Rabbi Ariel pointed out, no religious Jews have ever attempted or asked to pray inside the mosque – and they have absolutely no desire to do so.

So, a Christian (albeit a fairly senior one) can pray inside a mosque in Istanbul with barely a ripple, but no Jews—none—may pray even in the vicinity of a mosque in Jerusalem!

Oh, okay. Just checking.

If I were of a more religious bent, I might suggest that G-d could not be pleased with this state of affairs. I know it offends me. I say it’s apartheid, and I say the hell with it.


Lighten Up, Francis

Aggie quoted Caroline Glick just a couple of posts down, but allow me to quote her again—if only because she agrees with me:

Consider first Francis’s behavior at the security barrier.

Reasonable people disagree about the contribution the security fence makes to the security of Israelis. But no one can reasonably doubt that it was built to protect Israelis from Palestinian terrorist murderers. And Francis ought to know this. Francis’s decision to hold a photo-op at the security barrier was an act of extreme hostility against Israel and the Jewish people.

As the former Cardinal of Buenos Aires, Francis may have heard of the November 2002 massacre at Kibbutz Metzer. Metzer was founded by Argentine communists in the 1950s. Metzer is located 500 meters from the 1949 armistice lines which made it an obvious beneficiary of the security fence. But true to its radical roots, in 2002 members of the kibbutz waged a public campaign against the planned route of the security fence. They feared that it would, in the words of Metzer member Danny Dovrat, “ignite hostility and create problems” with the kibbutz’s Palestinian neighbors.

Thanks to that concern, on the night of November 10, 2002, a gunman from the “moderate” US- and EU-supported Fatah terror organization faced no physical obstacle when he entered the kibbutz. Once there he killed two people on the street and then entered the home of Revital Ohayon and executed Revital and her two sons, Matan, 5, and Noam, 4 years old.

Fatah praised the attack on its website and pledged to conduct more assaults on “Zionist colonizers,” and promised to continue “targeting their children as well.”

Had he actually cared about the cause of peace and non-violence he claims to champion, Francis might have averred from stopping at the barrier, recognizing that doing so would defile the memory of the Ohayons and of hundreds of other Israeli Jewish families who were destroyed by Palestinian bloodlust and anti-Semitic depravity.

Instead, Francis “spontaneously” got out of his popemobile, walked over to a section of the barrier, and reverentially touched it and kissed it as if it were the Wailing Wall.

The graffiti on the section of the barrier Francis stopped at reinforced his anti-Semitic position. One of the slogans called for the embrace of the BDS campaign.

We said much the same thing two days ago. We hoped—prayed, even—that Pope Francis was blessing the wall—man’s wall, not to be confused with God’s Wall, where he also prayed—for its immeasurable contributions to peace and life. That’s us all over: charitable even to a fault.

Glick has plenty more to say, but consider this:

During his visit Monday to Jerusalem, Francis embraced the Palestinian mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Muhammed Hussein. Departing from his scripted remarks which called for the pope to refer to the mufti and his associates as “dear friends,” Francis called them his “dear brothers.”

Hussein has been condemned by the US and the EU for his calls for the annihilation of Jews in the name of Islam.

In 2012, Hussein said it was the destiny of Muslims to kill Jews, who he claims are subhuman beasts and “the enemies of Allah.” He has also praised suicide bombers and said their souls “tell us to follow in their path.”

Francis didn’t condemn him.

Why should he? The Mufti was just carrying on long-standing policy.

Three syllables…first syllable sounds like…empty, nothing, hollow—hollow!

I think Francis’s hostility toward Israel stems not from millennia-long Catholic enmity toward Jews—though that is the fertile soil from which it grows. No, his particular poisonous line of thinking stems from Leftism. Look at his anti-capitalist screed, consider his background in Liberation Theology.

We took issue with His Holiness over capitalism, as we do with all anti-capitalists. Capitalism is not immoral, but amoral. But in its amorality, capitalism is the greatest creator of wealth outside of an Obama stimulus package. Other than Obamaphones and food stamps, capitalism has lifted the most people out of poverty.

We will disagree—and condemn—Pope Francis here too. I don’t believe he shares the medieval Catholic view of Jews with horns siphoning off the blood of gentile children for their flatbreads. But his association with the Arab occupiers of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza is willfully ignorant. But that’s us being charitable again.


Israelis and Jews around the world need to be aware of what is happening. Francis is leading the Catholic Church in a distressingly anti-Jewish direction.


How to Make “Never Again” Never Again

Like a lot of people, I am disposed to liking Pope Francis. And if he wants peace for the Middle East, who am I to argue? It’s just that…well, have a look:

It is an image that will define Pope Francis’s first official visit to the Holy Land. Head bowed in prayer, the leader of the Catholic church pressed his palm against the graffiti-covered concrete of Israel’s imposing “separation wall”, a Palestinian girl holding a flag by his side. It was, as his aides conceded later, a silent statement against a symbol of division and conflict.

Another angle:

I take it, the graffito in its entirety reads “Apartheid Wall”. And I hope the Pope’s body language translates as “oy vey”.

You see, what some see as a “symbol of division and conflict”, smarter people see as a saver of countless lives.

Okay, maybe not countless—it looks to me to have saved about a thousand over the past decade—but as the saying goes, an anti-terrorist wall that has saved a single life has saved the world entire.

So, I prefer to read the Pope’s heartfelt prayer as a paean of gratitude to the Israelis who built it and for the souls of the Arabs who otherwise would have massacred the innocents. With G-d, it’s usually a win-win.

Visiting the memorial dedicated to victims of the Holocaust at Yad Vashem, Francis prayed before a crypt with ashes of victims and laid a wreath of yellow and white flowers in the “Hall of Remembrance.”

And then one by one, he kissed the hands of a half-dozen Holocaust survivors in a sign of humility and honor as he heard their stories and of loved ones killed by the Nazis during World War II.

“Never again, Lord, never again!” Francis said. “Here we are, Lord, shamed by what man — created in your own image and likeness — was capable of doing.”

He repeated that phrase writing in the memorial’s guest book, adding: “With shame for the fact that man made himself the owner of evil; with shame that man made himself into God and sacrificed his brothers. Never again!! Never again!! Francis. 5.26.2014.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself, Your Holiness.

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I don’t want to get all Rush Limbaugh-y on you, but isn’t this called “sleeping your way to the top”?

Sandra Fluke, a women’s rights activist who came to prominence after conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh labeled her a “slut” for advocating government-funded contraception, is considering a run for Congress.

Fluke told KPCC that she is “strongly” considering a bid for the seat of Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), who announced his retirement earlier Thursday.

“I’m flattered that I’m being discussed as a potential candidate,” Fluke said. “A number of folks I respect very deeply have reached out today and encouraged me to run. I am strongly considering running.”

Limbaugh’s comments about Fluke came after she was denied the right to testify in front of a House committee about the federal health law’s contraception coverage mandate.

She didn’t have the “right” to testify. It was a hearing of clergy, of which she is not one, and her name hadn’t been submitted in due course. The Republicans who denied her “right” did her a favor, as the Democrats organized a fake hearing at which she testified. Thence her 15 minutes of fame (or infamy, if you prefer).

She was a 30-year-old student at Georgetown Law who demanded that a Catholic institution foot the $3,000 bill for her birth control. Never mind what Rush Limbaugh said, that’s what she said. Never mind what you think, that’s not what the Catholic Church thinks. And they don’t exactly make a secret of it either. Women (and their partners) who can’t afford prophylaxis are free to attend other law schools.

Ms. Fluke achieved whatever notoriety she has on the basis of her sex life, or at least its public airing. Now she wants to run for Congress on that “platform”. What a country, huh?

Still, a moderate cutie like Ms. Fluke in place of that bridge troll Henry Waxman will improve the look of Congress immeasurably. So we’re not opposed.

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