Thursday, February 26, 2009

Catholic League Chatterbox

Bishop Apologizes

Bishop Richard Williamson of the St. Pius X Society has issued an apology for his remarks regarding the Holocaust. Please click
here to read his statement.

Susan A. Fani
Director of Communications
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
450 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 10123
fax: 212-371-3394

Catholic League Chatterbox

Photo Politics

In the “A” section of today’s
New York Times
, there is a huge photo—approximately a quarter page in size—of a priest giving ashes to a woman on Ash Wednesday. The photo, shot from above, shows no one in the church but the two of them. The caption below says, “The Rev. Ed Zogby marked a worshiper’s forehead with ashes at the Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton near Battery Park. Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent.” There was no attendant story.

We checked to see approximately how many Catholics were at the church yesterday to receive ashes. Thousands showed up. Not bad for a shrine in lower Manhattan. We also learned that the photographer was there at the time thousands were in attendance (he stayed for quite a while).

So it makes us wonder, why did the
New York Times
deliberately choose this photo? And why did it give it such prominence? To be honest, we’re really not wondering at all: We know exactly what the newspaper is up to.

By the way, in today’s
New York Post there is a story about Ash Wednesday. Referring to the crowds at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, it says it was “the largest Ash Wednesday congregation in recent memory.” That, of course, is not exactly the kind of message the New York Times
wants to send.

Contact NYT Public Editor Clark Hoyt at

Susan A. Fani
Director of Communications
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
450 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 10123
fax: 212-371-3394


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Thank You Everyone

I know my wife already said it for me, but I wanted to take the time to do it myself. God has truly blessed us, though I have noticed that five children is a lot harder than four children. Trying to get into a regular routine now is difficult, especially with this wonderful Wisconsin weather. The mailman informed me that the four foot pile of ice and snow the plows so kindly deposited in front of my mailbox had to be removed; and now it is raining. No doubt that will freeze.

A couple of things that I wanted to mention that I have not had time to post on: Human Events has a good article on states reclaiming their 10th Amendment rights; Irate, Tireless Minority covered Sen. Liebham's efforts to do the same here in Wisconsin; meanwhile, Red State shows why it is necessary.

The Wintery Knight Blog basically had the same take on Gov. Jindal's speech as myself, but I wanted to add some of my own thoughts. I am happy to say that I was too busy to watch Obama's speech last night, but I did catch Gov. Jindal's. As a longtime supporter I was a little disappointed. I really wish Republicans would not start every speech by praising Obama's historic ascendance to the Presidency. They need to realize this is literally a war of ideas for the heart and soul of our Republic. Show the Dems no mercy, they have never shown us any. Gov. Jindal's speech had plenty of substance, but the delivery was shaky at best. Why do I have a feeling that some RNC people made suggestions? It looked very similar to what was done to Gov. Sarah Palin.

I will end with this suggestion, if you are married and want some comedy relief you have to read this; I almost fell out of my chair laughing.

Catholic League Chatterbox

Progressives Celebrate Ash Wednesday

We thought you'd like to know how progressives view penance. Here is what Roger Ray had to say about the issue in today's edition of the
News-Leader, a Springfield, Missouri newspaper:

"As a member of a progressive Christian church, I am more likely than most to encounter folks who angrily reject all penitence and prayers of confession as being associated with the neurotic guilt and neo-puritanical judgment of their past church experiences. One friend recently told me, 'I just don't believe in sin.'"

Thanks, Roger, for providing this insight. It explains a lot.

Susan A. Fani
Director of Communications
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
New York, NY 10123
212-371-3394 (fax)

Pro-Abortion President Barack Obama's Approval Ratings Drop to New Low

by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 24, 2009

Washington, DC ( -- New polls show President Barack Obama's approval ratings have sunk to their lowest point since he took over the White House. For pro-life advocates,
Obama's record has been a compilation of one pro-abortion decision after another from taxpayer funded abortions to pro-abortion personnel.

For the first time since Gallup began tracking Obama's approval rating, fewer than 60% of Americans approve of the job he is doing as president. [
read more]

Congressional Democrats Seek to Restore, Increase Funding to Pro-Abortion UNFPA

by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 23, 2009

Washington, DC ( -- Congressional Democrats have unveiled their new omnibus spending bill that will fund federal government programs through the autumn months. The measure, H.R. 1105, contains language that would restore the money President Bush withheld from the UNFPA because of its abortion activities. [read more]

Pope Benedict XVI: to follow Peter is a High Duty

Update from the House Republican Study Committee (RSC)

RSC Update: Monday, February 23, 2009

From the Chairman
Congress returns to business this week with a full plate, and congressional Democrats appear poised to continue their irresponsible spending spree. Though their massive non-stimulus bill passed just ten days ago, this week they will bring forward another bloated bill that increases funding throughout the rest of the federal government. The price tag comes in at $410 billion. Adding the necessary interest, the Democrat-controlled Congress will hand out roughly 1.5 trillion dollars in less than two weeks. This is not just fiscally irresponsible, it’s fiscally insane.

After backing an array of costly government handouts, the White House has ironically called for a Fiscal Responsibility Summit. While the effort to finally curb Washington’s wasteful habits is appreciated, fiscal responsibility must be more than empty rhetoric.

As Democrat leaders continue their record-setting spree, it is more important than ever that Republicans stand up for putting an end to runaway spending. We must address the nation’s problems with real solutions that will restore American prosperity and economic freedom instead of sinking future generations into unsustainable debt. The Republican Study Committee is dedicated to being on the forefront of these issues, providing responsible, conservative solutions that will help our economy to thrive once again. Please visit to learn more about our policies and what we are doing to counter the Democrat Majority’s spending addiction.

Rep. Tom Price, M.D. (R-GA)
Chairman, Republican Study Committee

RSC Media Activity
Every week, Republican Study Committee members work hard to ensure that the conservative viewpoint is well-represented in all corners of the media. With Democrats still pushing a reckless agenda, Republicans have been busy spreading their message.

Bergen Record: Stop the Madness
Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ-05)

An aphorism most often attributed to Albert Einstein goes: "The definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over again, and then expecting different results." By this definition, then, the "stimulus" package approved by the House Friday (and which also seemed headed toward Senate approval late Friday) is fiscal insanity. (
Read more)

Human Events: Mr. Daley Comes to Washington
Rep. Darrell Issa (CA-49)
The embarrassing exit of ex-Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, removed for auctioning off President Obama’s old Senate seat, gave America an inside look at the notoriously corrupt Chicago Democrat machine. In their world, elections are just another means to an end -- a mechanism to provide plum jobs and kickbacks in return for lifetime loyalty from their allies. (
Read more)

Human Events: 5 Gitmo Showstoppers
Rep. Pete Hoekstra (MI-02)

There is a disturbing similarity between President Obama’s cabinet nominees who "forgot" to pay their Federal income taxes and the President’s Executive Order to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in one year: they are all decisions made hastily and without proper vetting and forethought. (
Read more)

Washington Times: An Open Letter to Jack Kemp
Rep. Mike Pence (IN-06)
On occasion, there are giants among us - men like Benjamin Franklin, William Wilberforce and Booker T. Washington - who never held the highest elective office in the land but shaped their times by strong moral persuasion and political activism. Jack Kemp is such a man. (
Read more)

RSC Legislative Activity

RSC members have made it a priority to introduce productive, conservative alternatives to the Democrats’ agenda.

RSC Members pen an open letter to President Obama
It was a mere six months ago that RSC Members, without any lights, cameras, or microphones, stood on the House Floor to ensure the American people's voice was heard concerning our energy crisis. The RSC knows how important it is to not only increase our own domestic supply of oil and continue the development of alternative energy sources, but to also maintain a strong relationship with our energy allies. RSC members Phil Gingrey, Joe Barton, Henry Brown, Marsha Blackburn, Jeb Hensarling, and Mike Conaway sent a letter to the President urging him to use his recent trip to Canada to emphasize the importance of Canadian oil sand to America’s energy future. (
Read more)

Rep. Darrell Issa calls on agencies to Prevent Stimulus Waste
House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Ranking Member Darrell Issa (R-CA) today sent a letter to the Inspectors General of federal agencies receiving funds from the ‘American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’ calling on them to put “proactive measures in place to ensure these billions do not fall victim to programmatic failures and bureaucratic mishaps.” (
Read more)

House Floor Activity
The House was in recess last week and no legislation was considered. However, as Congress returns from its first break of the year, we expect the Democrats’ spending addiction to continue with an omnibus spending bill that will fund the federal government but will also hand out piles of pork to the Majority’s favorite pet projects. Consideration of the bill should begin early this week.

Money Monitor
Each week, the
RSC Money Monitor tracks how bills passed by the House affect authorizations, mandatory spending, and federal government revenue. With the House out of session last week, previous spending figures remain unchanged.

Five-year cost of authorizations passed by the House this year: $690.8 million

Mandatory Spending
Five-year change in mandatory spending passed by the House this year: $333.4 million

One-year cost of appropriations passed by the House this year:
Fiscal Year 2008: $0
Fiscal Year 2009: $288.7 billion
Fiscal Year 2010: $66.5 billion
Fiscal Year 2011: $4.6 billion

Five-year change in revenue passed by the House this year: -$171.7 billion

House Republican Study Committee
Rep Tom Price, M.D., Chairman
Paul Teller, Executive Director
Brad Watson, Policy Director
Natalie Farr, Professional Staff
Emily Henehan, Professional Staff
Bruce “Fez” Miller, Professional Staff
Jonathan Day, Director of Member Services and Business Outreach
Alex Shively, Director of Conservative Coalitions
Brendan Buck, Communications Director
Greg Blair, Deputy Communications Director
Stefan Alvarez, Staff Assistant
424 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 226-9717

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Wintery Delivery

Only hours before the big event, the weather took a turn for the worse. We have already hit our normal snowfall levels in January and Old Man Winter decided to stop by for another visit. I was just preparing to drive down the road and pick up some supplies at Wal-Mart when the inevitable happened. My husband and the older children were outside playing in the wintery wonderland (well, my husband was shoveling and probably wasn't having as much fun as the kids). I yelled out the front door to my son because the snowfall was so thick my husband could not hear me yelling from the driveway. I instructed my son to tell his dad that my water had broken. My son relayed the message and they all began to trudge inside. My husband did not have any get up and go in his pace and I was just slightly perturbed.

Once inside I told the kids to leave their snowsuits on and my husband gave me a puzzled look. I repeated my water had broken and we needed to get the hospital right away. My husband's puzzled look turned to that "Oh, cr*p!" look as he explained that he thought that my son was telling him that the water heater had broken.

My husband had packed the hospital bags only the night before on a hunch of mine that I did not have much time left so we only had to call the babysitter; not! The original plan was that I would go full term and my husband's parents would fly in two days before to help out with the children. Plan A, down the drain as I was two weeks from my due date. Next we called my friend whom we had prearranged to watch the kids in case I delivered early and she was out of town; Plan B, down the drain. Panicked I called another friend who had offered to help out and she was out the door on her way to work and unable to change her schedule! This was really great! Out the door we went, no babysitter, and a troop of kids.

We piled into the van and backed out of a half shoveled driveway. Allowing the van to pick up speed as we backed out of the garage and down the driveway my husband was hoping to plow through the unshovled portion at the end. Once out in the road I had a sudden wave of fear we would be stuck in the middle of the road as the plows had not been down our road since our snow blizzard began. Somehow the van made it out to the main road. Instead of taking the main roads to the hospital I guided my very nervous and doubtful husband straight through the residential center of town to the hospital; not one of the roads had been plowed and visibility was almost zero.

We finally crept up the ice and snow covered hill to the hospital entrance, the van did not let us down, and realized we went to the wrong entrance. No turning back now, we just parked and started our long trek to the opposite side of the hospital. Once inside I panicked as I was convinced I would not make it to the other side in time, but since that whole entire side of the hospital was empty and shut down for the night we had no choice but to walk the entire length of the very, very long hallway.

Once there the security officer immediately took me up to labor and delivery because I have a history of very fast deliveries and doctors not making the event. We had called the doctor before leaving so she was there waiting when we arrived. Everyone got settled and I was hooked up to the monitors and my labor STOPPED! I felt slightly foolish:-) After some small talk and a lot of anticipation labor began again. My husband, because we had no babysitter, had to wait out in the hallway with the kids. As there was construction on that floor there was no waiting room so the whole family listened anxiously.

My husband has never missed a birth and normally participates in the delivery so this was very hard for him to do. All the hurrying, and irritation (my husband didn't appreciate my short cut, humph!), and disappointment of Dad missing the wonderful delivery aside once everyone was back together the sight of the little angel God had so lovingly created for us to love was all that mattered. Being our tiniest bundle of joy she sure did make a BIG entrance.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

It's A Girl!

I am happy to announce that our fifth child, a healthy baby girl, was born at 8:32 PM and weighs 7 lbs and 1 oz, and was 19.5 inches long. Both mother and baby are healthy and resting comfortably. I am in such a good mood I am going to break one of my own rules and post a picture. I will be taking care of my wife and the kids so posting will be light, but I will try and get something up every day.