Monday, December 10, 2007
Personal Asides: The CNN GOP YouTube Debate Was Excellent Andy the Entertainer Huckabees Only in Trouble Unless He Wobbles Tales from the Lavender Priesthood Dear Sun-Times and Dear Time Magazine.
CNN GOP YouTube Debate.
In contrast to a lot of stuffy old pundits who believe that policy wonks should dominate running of the presidential debates, I think the last Republican showdown, sparked by YouTube questions, was very revelatory. Asking these guys if they believe in the literalness and inerrancy of the Bible was very important and would not have been asked by limp-eyed, world-weary secular journalists with few absolutes other than the run-of-the-mill liberal ones. I got a lot more out of it than having them recite for the umpteenth time the stands they have perfected on boilerplate about keeping the Bush tax cuts etc.
Andy the Entertainer.
My old friend Andy Young whom I knew from civil rights days and when I did a film documentary of his life minister, former congressman, UN ambassador and Atlanta mayor has developed a unique way of helping his allies. Speaking in Atlanta the other day in behalf of Hillary Clinton, Andy delved into the fact that the Clintons are blackerespecially Bill than Barack Obama. Andy is the only black political preacher-orator with a specific pull to (largely) uneducated, rural southern folk. Urbans seem to prefer Obama; southern black folk listen to Andy.
I wasnt there but knowing Andy I can imagine what happened. Andy can get more of a rise from a southern, largely rural, black audience with humor than can any other black preacher Ive heard. Jesse is too ponderous and oracular; Meeks too stentorian; Sharpton is too street-savvy urban hustler. But with largely more conservative, southern, family-oriented black folk there is only one Andy to entertain.
Thus saying the Clintons are blacker than Barry was fine. Finally he crossed the line by saying Bill Clinton has probably gone with more black women than Barack! The crowd shouted its approval of such convivial outrage and Andy said he was just clowning around. But if it put an emphasis on the Clintons personal life even if speculatively no harm done with that hugely tolerant black audience, respectful of what it perceives that Clinton did for them. And in the broad context of Andys message, to tie a bond closer to Hillary than Obamas, it was probably non-hurtful, black humor in that group being what it has always been.
Because the liberal media believe they are the arbiters of political gaffes, viewed from their left-wing prism, statements made by Mike Huckabee years ago when he ran for the U. S. Senate are regarded as near disasters todaybut they will only be so if Huckabee attempts to wriggle out of them to please liberals ands thus endanger his base. I refer to his statements about the AIDS crisis requiring carriers to be isolated from the general population and that homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural and sinful lifestyle and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk.
The strategy should be to amplify the AIDS comment by illustrating how little was known about the infection when he made the statement and not back away from its essentiality. About homosexuality there should be no restatement. If there is and he weasels, hes not for prime time. His only concern should be not to please Mark Halperin of Time but preservation of his base.
The pardoning factor is irreversible and just one of the things many governors carry around with them: good intentions did not carry through at the end. No qualms or stuttering around should be offered. To those nya-nya-nya handwringers who take a conspiratorial view i. e. what media build up they can destroy, the answer is that Huckabee will gratefully take the buildup rather than notbecause before media got interested in Huckabee he had no chance whatsoever. Handling this problem sagely means that he can pass a first minor league problem.
Opposition to Huckabee is growing from white-shoe, country club Uncle Milty (Friedman) Republicans who want a more pristine, 100% pro-free market running-mate so they can feel comfortable that another gilt-edged patrician with maybe Harvard MBA credentials is number two on the ticket regardless of the fact that 2008 will be like 1974, the Watergate year, for Republicans.
Tales from the Lavender Priesthood.
1. Roger Cardinal Mahony, archbishop of Los Angeles, talked with Los Angeles police last week after it was revealed he had told a group of priests he had been assaulted last summer by a man who was angry about the clergy abuse in the Catholic church, the man suddenly coming up on him and pummeling him when he was trying to mail a letter. Why no reporting of it to the cops when it happened? The cops: he prefers not to involve the police if he doesnt have to. Now we see.
2. Chicago magazine has as its main spread, the Father Mark Sorvillo
Story. Lavender priest pleads guilty to stealing nearly $200,000 from St. Margaret Marys parish on the north side. He gives cars, plane tickets and thousands of dollars in cash to James Sosnicki, a married Louisville man who stripped frequently at gay clubs in Chicago, police said. He had been under suspicion since threatening to close the churchs school because of the parishs strained finances. He skimmed more than $40,000 from collections, wrote checks from parish accounts to himself and his creditors and charged more than $62,000 at Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales and Marshall Fields in the parish. Sorvillo will likely serve two years of his four year sentence. While investigating Sorvillo authorities learned the priest and had and insured an Acura inLouisville and discovered the driver was Sosnicki.
Well at least he was doing it with grown-ups. Another reason to thank God for the gift of homosexuality as a former rector of Mundelein once invoked.
3. The Twin Cities new archbishop, coadjutor John Nienstedt, is a traditionalist with regard to homosexualitywhich is getting him fired upon in certain lavender-friendly quarters of the archdiocese. He is waiting to replace the retiring Harry Flynn who has been a quivering pillar of Jello on the issue. Not Nienstedt, formerly bishop of New Ulm, Minn. (one of my favorite towns). Probably the most lavender parish in the diocese is St. Frances Cabrini where Nienstedt was instrumental in canceling a talk by a father and daughter, co-authors of Are There Closets in Heaven? A Catholic Father and a Lesbian Daughter Share Their Story. Then Niestedt used the archdiocesan newspaper, the Catholic Spirit, to instruct the faithful, referring to a document approved by the USCCB. He went farther than most bishops have in recent years to detail the logical consequences to Catholics who act against this matter of serious moral teaching.
He wrotecorrectly in theological termsThose who actively encourage or promote homosexual acts or such activity within a homosexual lifestyle formally cooperate in a grave evil and, if they do so knowingly and willingly, are guilty of a mortal sin. They have broken communion with the Church and are prohibited from receiving Holy Communion until they have had a conversion of heart, expressed sorrow for their action and received absolution from a priest.
He was blasted by an outfit called Catholic Rainbow Parents whos convener Mary Lynn Murphy said, such extreme talk [sic] from the most prominent Catholic leader in our state not only offends Catholics [sic] but all LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender] citizens, their families and friends and gives license to hatred and violence against all of us.
Now comes another outfit, this one founded by Harry Flynn, the Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities [sic]. Its cofounder and communications coordinator David J. McCaffrey said: This piece from Nienstedt marks an all-time high in this archdiocese in the level of spiritual violenceactually, it should be called `persecutiondirected at LGBT persons, their families, friends and supporters.
Persecution license to hatred and violence. Thats what 2,000 years of Judeo-Christian tradition will do to them. Poor babies.
I should let you in on a little news. Your coverage of the Henry Hyde funeral by Dan Rozek missed a significant news story. Paragraph 2: The longtime Republican legislator, who led a successful effort to ban federal funding of abortions and an unsuccessful attempt to impeach President Bill Clinton Uh, the attempt to impeach Bill Clinton was successful. On December 19, 1998 the House voted to impeach him. The charges were one count of perjury and obstruction of justice. What you should have said was that Hyde led a successful attempt to impeach President Bill Clinton but the Senate with a two-thirds majority needed to convict did not do so. On perjury, the count being 45 votes for conviction and 55 against; on obstruction of justice, 50-50 with five Republicans voting against.
Dear Time Magazine.
Just a note to say that your Dec. 3 issue, main article, What Makes us Good/Evil missed an important issue. Perhaps you were too hurried to get it to the cover. You say gorillas and chimps [have] mastered sign language. They have not as any and all scientific data say. You say that using tools like throwing a rock is the same as conceiving and making tools. They are not. But these are not the only errors.
In the article reference either to a meaningful Godor a meaningless godgets not a single mention. In more than 3,000 words which is supposed to be journalistican exploration of good and evilthere is not a single reference to religion, not a smidgeon of hint that any study worth its name could ignore totally a view that has been with man since the beginning of record-making.
Thats about as bad a journalistic feat as has been done in my lifetime that I can recall.