30 thoughts on “News/Politics 3-22-17

  1. Cheryl and I were discussing Catholicism the other day. Certainly, Catholicism has its problems. The horrible child molestation scandal can be linked, in part, to the extra-biblical prohibition on married priests.

    However, I have a couple of questions:

    1. What in Catholicism made its adherents less prone to fall for the Health and Wealth heresy?

    2. With Bill Bennett as a notable exception, it definitely seemed that the vast bulk of Trump’s “religious advisers” were Protestants, with Heath and Wealthers and other charismatics overrepresented. Why was that?

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  2. “The horrible child molestation scandal can be linked, in part, to the extra-biblical prohibition on married priests.”

    No, not at all. What it can be linked to is a church leadership that covered for pedophiles for years. So much so that it became a well known place for pedophiles to flock to, plenty of youngsters to groom for abuse, and the knowledge that the church would cover their deeds if discovered. It had nothing to do with not letting them marry. Pedophiles don’t like women, and allowing them to marry would have done nothing to stop the abuse. They weren’t gonna magically change from perverts to men of God. The blame belongs on the pedophiles and the leaders, right up to and including the Popes who allowed it, enable it, and denied it was happening.

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  3. One group of weirdos has already spoiled a number of West Texas vistas with their queer, subsidized, inefficient windmills. We won’t let Trump ruin Big Bend.

    It is 100 miles from the border (the Rio Grande) to the nearest town (Alpine). Even Mexicans would have trouble hiking that far across a desert filled with rattlesnakes and mountains which contain bears and mountain lions.

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  4. AJ @ 7:18

    1. As the recent Milo story confirmed and as most of us have known for years, there are clear links between homosexuality and pedophilia. Sadly, boys are often seduced into perversion by older men and then repeat the process over and over again.
    2. The ban on married priests prevented many godly heterosexuals from becoming leaders in the Catholic Church.
    3. I would agree with you that the church leadership covered up for pedophiles, but the ban on married priests has always caused a problem. In the Middle Ages, you had priests behaving in a Trump-like or Clinton-like fashion and impregnating nuns. That was covered up as well.

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  5. hwesseli, your “saying no to sex is like saying no to a cup of tea” video made its point, but it still makes me sad.Because sex actually isn’t supposed to be like that, with every encounter being “Do you want it with me?” “No.” Then (to someone else), “Well, do you want it with me?”

    Sex is supposed to be a natural, healthy part of marriage. You don’t always ask “Do you want to have sex?” anymore than you always ask “Would you like me to kiss you?” or “Can I hug you?” Now, granted, if the spouse you are seducing says, “Honey, I have bad indigestion and gas. How about if we think about it again in two or three hours?” you take that as a “No, not now.” But equating sex with a cup of tea to middle schoolers is making it a morally neutral act you can do with anybody, just as long as they say yes, is completely misunderstanding the point of sex and even the dynamics of sex.

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  6. HRW and Cheryl, I remain nostalgic for the old fashioned response: “No, Mr. Trump! I am not married to you. If you try that again, I will have my husband (or brother) beat the orange off of your face.”

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  7. Ricky Weaver, I understand there are “health and wealth” Roman Catholics as well. But the point of the question is lost on me, since “health and wealth” isn’t the only heresy out there. It would be rather like saying that if you agree with Muslims that homosexuality is sin, you must therefore be in agreement with them on doctrinal issues. Um, no.

    Roman Catholic doctrine is apostate. Not every individual Catholic understands or agrees with everything the organization teaches, but its official doctrines are apostate. The reasons for the Reformation still stand, though some of them are muted to North American Christians because of the Catholic tendency to syncretize and the fact that the North American syncretism is generally with Protestantism (also including “health and wealth” heresies).

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  8. Cheryl, I need to study the tension between the Protestant Scholasticism of the Princeton School variety (which you and I favor) and the mystery and “mere Christianity” ideas promoted by both Lewis and his many Catholic followers. I think George Marsden’s new book may be a good place to start.

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  9. It appears this pope may be entertaining the idea of opening a discussion on allowing priests to marry. I think this is not a particularly good pope, more unsound doctrinally than his immediate predecessors to be sure; and allowing priests to marry, of course, solves a looming problem for the church — the growing shortage of priests.

    But I do think the prohibition of marriage is, in part, likely related to the molestation scandals in that young men who may have conflicted ideas and feelings about sex may see joining the priesthood as a way to avoid dealing with that struggle. I’m not saying that’s the driving motivation for choosing a vocation in the priesthood that requires celibacy, but it may be an underlying factor for some. It’s seen as a “safe” place, consciously or unconsciously. Well-intentioned, but of course sin taints even that.

    Some are genuinely called to celibacy, but others may be trying to make that lifestyle fit when it simply won’t in their case.

    The church cover up was/is simply part of the age-old effort rooted in mankind to hide its own sin, nothing new or surprising there & no institution or person is immune to that. It was justified as being for the “greater good of the church,” in most cases.

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  10. The healthcare debacle from the Gang that won’t shoot straight continues. I’d like to think there’s a legit reason for this, but I suspect it’s just the RINO’s doing what they do, undermining conservatives.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-obamacare-immigration-idUSKBN16S2RX?il=0

    “Some conservatives in Washington were fuming on Tuesday after an Obamacare rollback bill was tweaked by Republican leaders to delete a provision meant to crack down on illegal immigrants getting federal healthcare insurance coverage.

    The development posed another problem for Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives and President Donald Trump, who are trying to win congressional approval of the wider bill, the first big legislative test for Trump since taking office.

    The provision would have allowed the Treasury Department to access data at the Department of Homeland Security to verify that healthcare tax credits went only to U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents, not to illegal immigrants.

    In a largely procedural move, it was dropped from the bill after the Senate Parliamentarian determined that the Senate Finance Committee, which handles tax credits under the bill, does not have purview over the Department of Homeland Security.

    Republican Representative Lou Barletta issued a statement on Monday evening, after the change was made, saying he could no longer support the bill, citing the obscure provision.

    “I am concerned that the bill lacks sufficient safeguards for verifying whether or not an individual applying for health care tax credits is lawfully in this country and eligible to receive them,” said the Pennsylvania lawmaker.”

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  11. Wall Street Journal editorial had some harsh words today

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-presidents-credibility-1490138920?mg=id-wsj

    ______________________

    If President Trump announces that North Korea launched a missile that landed within 100 miles of Hawaii, would most Americans believe him? Would the rest of the world? We’re not sure, which speaks to the damage that Mr. Trump is doing to his Presidency with his seemingly endless stream of exaggerations, evidence-free accusations, implausible denials and other falsehoods.

    The latest example is Mr. Trump’s refusal to back off his Saturday morning tweet of three weeks ago that he had “found out that [Barack] Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory” on Election Day. He has offered no evidence for his claim, and a parade of intelligence officials, senior Republicans and Democrats have since said they have seen no such evidence.

    Yet the President clings to his assertion like a drunk to an empty gin bottle, rolling out his press spokesman to make more dubious claims. Sean Spicer—who doesn’t deserve this treatment—was dispatched last week to repeat an assertion by a Fox News commentator that perhaps the Obama Administration had subcontracted the wiretap to British intelligence. …

    … All of this continues the pattern from the campaign that Mr. Trump is his own worst political enemy. He survived his many false claims as a candidate because his core supporters treated it as mere hyperbole and his opponent was untrustworthy Hillary Clinton. But now he’s President, and he needs support beyond the Breitbart cheering section that will excuse anything. As he is learning with the health-care bill, Mr. Trump needs partners in his own party to pass his agenda. He also needs friends abroad who are willing to trust him when he asks for support, not least in a crisis.

    This week should be dominated by the smooth political sailing for Mr. Trump’s Supreme Court nominee and the progress of health-care reform on Capitol Hill. These are historic events, and success will show he can deliver on his promises. But instead the week has been dominated by the news that he was repudiated by his own FBI director.

    Two months into his Presidency, Gallup has Mr. Trump’s approval rating at 39%. No doubt Mr. Trump considers that fake news, but if he doesn’t show more respect for the truth most Americans may conclude he’s a fake President.
    ____________________________

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  12. DOA

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/03/obamacare-repeal-senate-mcconnell-236326

    “Forget the House GOP’s troubles passing a health care bill. The party’s bigger problem looms in the Senate.

    Mitch McConnell is being tasked with fixing what GOP senators and House members say is a flawed Obamacare repeal proposal — one with little to no chance of passing in that chamber in its current form — in a week’s time.”
    ———

    “As currently constructed, conservative and moderate opposition would tank the bill in the Senate, where the GOP can afford to lose only two votes. A handful of skeptical House members are voting for Speaker Paul Ryan’s plan on the assumption it will be improved in the Senate and they’ll get to make a decision when it comes back to the House. And some Republicans believe they’re already losing political momentum with the health care debate and want to pull the plug.”
    ————————————-

    More.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2017/03/21/your-move-ted-cruz-mike-lee-tom-cotton-say-theyre-voting-no-on-the-house-health-care-bill/

    “This is being read as a signal to House conservatives to stay strong before Thursday’s big vote. Probably right, especially since Americans for Prosperity also came out against the bill this afternoon. But there’s a wrinkle.

    What’s the wrinkle? Well, like Ed said here, the more confident conservatives in the House are that the Senate will end up killing the bill, the freer they might feel to pass the damned thing in the expectation that the other chamber will euthanize it. Lee’s opposition, which increases the odds that the bill will fail given the GOP’s narrow Senate majority, might paradoxically bolster the case for voting for it in the House. But there’s a wrinkle to the wrinkle: Other House Republicans might conclude that there’s no point casting a tough vote for an unpopular bill that’s headed for the trash bin in the Senate. It’s one thing to hold your nose and vote for something that actually succeeds in unseating ObamaCare, it’s another thing to take the plunge for Trump and then have Mike Lee and the conservatives in the Senate make it all for naught. If you’re a House GOPer expecting some tough health-care attack ads from Democrats in 2018 if you vote yes, why would you vote yes unless you’re confident of success in the Senate too?

    It’s a difficult calculation for the House. Here’s Tom Cotton making it even more difficult:

    “Despite the proposed amendments, I still cannot support the House health-care bill, nor would it pass the Senate. The amendments improve the Medicaid reforms in the original bill, but do little to address the core problem of Obamacare: rising premiums and deductibles, which are making insurance unaffordable for too many Arkansans. The House should continue its work on this bill. It’s more important to finally get health-care reform right than to get it fast.””

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  13. Sooooo…. Trump was right?

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/gop-lawmaker-trump-communications-may-have-been-monitored/ar-BByBfw8?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=U452DHP

    “The chairman of the House intelligence committee said Wednesday that the communications of Trump transition officials — possibly including President Donald Trump himself — may have been “monitored” after the election as part of an “incidental collection.”

    Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said the intercepted communications do not appear to be related to the ongoing FBI investigation into Trump associates’ contacts with Russia. He said he believes the intelligence collections were done legally.

    It was unclear whether Trump’s own communications were specifically monitored. Nunes initially said “yes” when asked if Trump was among those swept up in the intelligence monitoring, but then said it was only “possible” that the president’s communications were picked up.”

    “Asked whether he believed the transition team had been spied on, Nunes said: “It all depends on one’s definition of spying.”

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  14. Now let’s see…….

    Who, besides the Obama admin still in charge and looking for dirt on Trump, would “widely disseminate” such info?

    https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-03-22/nunes-says-trump-team-communications-caught-in-u-s-surveillance

    “”I’m actually alarmed by it,” Nunes, a California Republican, told reporters at the Capitol. “Details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value were widely disseminated in an intelligence community report,” he said. He said he didn’t know if Trump’s “own communications were intercepted.”

    The disclosure may bolster Trump’s effort to back up his disputed claim in Twitter postings that the Obama administration “wiretapped” him, which he later amended to say that his team was under surveillance. FBI Director James Comey testified before the House committee this week that “I have no information that supports those tweets.”

    “I do think this is a startling revelation,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters.

    Nunes said he expects to learn more on Friday. His panel asked U.S. intelligence agencies for details on members of Trump’s team whose communications may have been intercepted by U.S. spy agencies.

    He said he’s informed House Speaker Paul Ryan of the new information, “and I will be going to the White House this afternoon to share what I know with the president and his team.””

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  15. I agree with The Real. Pedophilia is not caused by taking vows of celibacy. It is also not inherently linked to homosexual proclivities. Everyone hears about the Catholic priest or sports coach who gets found out after abusing multiple boys. No one notices the single cases where the father or stepfather or grandfather or uncle was the one abusing their daughter or step-daughter or granddaughter or niece. I have several female acquaintances which did experience such abuse by adult male relatives in their childhood. Some of these cases took place among Christian circles, perpetrated by married men who called themselves Christian (one was a church deacon). The Protestant and Baptist churches are not immune to the hideous perversion of pedophilia.

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  16. 1. It is without dispute that males who are sexually abused as children are much more likely to become practicing adult homosexuals than are males who are not sexually abused.

    2. When you require a vow of celibacy, that excludes otherwise capable heterosexual Christians from serving as priests.

    3. Roscuro is correct that sexual abuse occurs in all settings and all churches and religions. However, the Catholics had a particularly severe problem. They had a cult of perversion functioning within the Church.

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  17. And if it wasn’t Obama leading this, then who? The most obvious second choice is the CIA. The first name that comes to mind is McMuffin, but I don’t think he has that kinda stroke.Either way, the unmasking is criminal in nature.

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/03/so-were-trumps-tweets-right-after-all.php

    “Does this mean that President Trump’s famous tweets were right all along? Not exactly. Trump claimed that the Obama administration had his “wires tapped” in Trump tower. That implies that he or his associates were targets of licit or illicit surveillance, whereas Nunes says the government was spying on someone else and picked up Trump team members’ communications only incidentally.

    Of course, this doesn’t rule out the possibility that, apart from incidental communications, the FBI or someone else was specifically targeting associates of Donald Trump for surveillance.

    Closer to the heart of the matter may be Nunes’s observation that the identities of Trump associates subject to such incidental surveillance were “widely disseminated.” This “unmasking” is a federal crime, as House members discussed with Comey and Rogers on Monday. So, while President Trump may have been wrong in believing that the Obama administration directed surveillance at him or his associates–the jury is still out on that question–he was certainly right to be angry about the fact that information reflecting badly on his associates, collected through apparently legal surveillance, was leaked to the press in an effort to damage his campaign or his administration.”

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  18. Broadly speaking, sexual dysfunction can take many twists and turns. It isn’t always set in one direction or another — it could be driven by circumstances. That’s just my thought on the priestly epidemic we’ve seen in the Roman Catholic church in the past few decades.

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  19. This is very strange. You have conservatives like Erickson allied with Democrats vs. The Trump Cult which now includes Nunes. The FBI and the rest of the government consistently issues statements which confirm the version of reality at odds with The Trump Cult.

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  20. Cheryl, I agree but its idealistic. I’d like to think middle school and even high school kids would have a natural progression in the intimacy of a relationship, but even when I was young that wasnt always true. There was unwanted groping and touching etc. And consent wasn’t always freely given.

    The additional problem today is the pervasive presence of porn. Similar to alcohol, I have no problems with porn but similar to alcohol it needs to be age appropriate. You might give a teen a glass of wine at dinner but not a bottle of vodka. Similarly, sneaking a peek at your uncle’s magazines isnt the same as watching internet porn which presents consent as ambiguous and blurry lined.

    Unfortunately, consent needs to be taught explicitly which leaves romance and commitment off to the side. My health lessons are a social and legal lesson hopefully the idea of commitment, romance etc are modelled and taught at home. Given the crew I’ve been teaching the last few years, I’m not very hopeful.

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  21. hwesseli, In today’s legal climate, in which a “no” (legally) can include “I got drunk on purpose and sought out this guy on purpose because I wanted to lose my virginity and I knew I’d better be good and drunk, and both of us were drunk, and I told five of my closest friends I was on my way to get drunk and then have sex” or “she said yes, and we’d had sex five times in the last six days, but then afterward she regretted it” and “she initiated it, but as soon it was over she said it was rape,” I actually think any man who has sex with a woman who isn’t wearing his wedding ring is a fool who is putting himself in great legal jeopardy–particularly if he is under 35 or so. Because in today’s legal climate even “yes” can become “no” if she changes her mind afterward, even if there is actual evidence (such as texts to her friends) that she was the aggressor. Premarital sex isn’t only immoral (it is that), but it’s also a dangerous game for both parties. (Chance of pregnancy, disease, broken heart . . . and a rape charge and/or dismissal from your college or your job.)

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