Thursday, December 6, 2007

Personal Asides: Three Minor Matters and One Major…This Man Huckabee.


Three Minor.

1. Someone ought to tell Richard M. Daley for god’s sake get a haircut will you? This notion that someone sold him that because his hair grows over his collar and curls down his cheeks is attractive in a 65 year old gentleman is a terribly false one. This is evidently Maggie’s doing but here she is in grievous error.

2. And while they’re at it, that same someone ought to go to Attorney General Lisa Madigan and tell her that she is a perfectly attractive young woman—spirited, witty, convivial, intelligent, perspicacious—but she is only near perfect in looks where she could be 100%. She has a predominately high forehead—very high--which means that she ought to adjust her hair style for bangs. Who will do that for me? And don’t give me the nonsense that since she is a feminist cum attorney charged with doing the people’s business she cannot be bothered with such non-intellectual interference. If you believe that, you don’t know what woman is.

3. I trust nobody has been fooled by the made-up “feud” between two “Sun-Times” columnists who are supposed to represent two different readers’ niches. One if Mary Mitchell who writes while black; the other is Neil Steinberg who writes while Jewish. They are pretend quarreling over whether a police superintendent should be white. Sorry, Michael Cooke, good try but no cigar. Think up another stunt.

One Major.

Thoughts following Mitt Romney’s speech on his faith.

To call Mormonism a cult…which a wise man said is a religion without clout…is to treat it as weird and at first contemplation more unbelievable than the dogmas of the prime church of Christianity, from which all others emerged—mine, the Roman Catholic faith. Four solid years of theology in the pre-Vatican II era of St. John’s led me to embrace these beliefs—still valid post-Vatican II. It would be understandable indeed if one seriously doubted the validity of these beliefs and could decide not to vote for anyone who held them. Most of them are tenets of the original Christianity—regarded then as a cult when compared to the Jewish and idol worshiping prevalent at the time.

Boss, we have a presidential candidate here who has admitted he subscribes to these tenets:

That to be saved we must eat the flesh of Christ and drink His blood. We acknowledge that Christ was born of a woman who retained her virginity and who was impregnated by the Holy Spirit.

That we were all, save one in the millennia years of humanity, stained with the Original Sin of Adam, the first creature.

That of all creatures heretofore or since, Mary, was conceived without Original Sin which even Aquinas for one refused to believe (showing that the Angelic Doctor had his limitations). Yet this Catholics believe de fide, as pronounced infallibly in 1858 (thanks to other theologians coming later who responded to Thomas’ doubts which did not interfere with his becoming a Doctor of the Church).

That what we know about Christ, the founder of our religion, has been communicated through what we call Divine Revelation—which would probably not pass muster in any law or journalism school in the country (“you mean that nothing whatsoever was written down until long after Christ died and what was then depended on hearsay of people who told people who told other people and who are dead?”). That’s right which means…

That after the Ascension, the apostles handed on to their hearers what He had said and done. That this they did with that clearer understanding which they enjoyed after they had been instructed by the light of the Spirit of Truth.

That they did this in such manner that the things they told us about Christ were true and unreserved (the doctrine of “vera et sincera”).

That as it was taught to us in highest theology “granting that the apostles were at least honest men not to say especially chosen by God, we would expect them not to fabricate. Nor would the other evangelists—Mark, the companion oaf Peter; and Luke the associate of Paul—have any earthly reason to prevaricate. This because all they could look forward to on the promise of Christ was suffering and persecution for telling the truth and in this they were not disappointed.

That after a very ordinary man who is nevertheless a priest—maybe even an unworthy one-- consecrates bread and wine, these become without qualification not symbols but the entity of Jesus Christ, true God and true man while the bread and wine retain the appearances of sensible things—and upon which the faith rests with all its weight on Scripture and the evidence of Tradition testified by John who records that after Jesus worked the miracle of multiplying the loaves and fishes said, in John’s words: I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the desert and they are dead. But this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that men may eat and not die. I am the living bread that has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever and the bread that I shall give is my flesh for the life of the world.”

That we must confess our sins to a priest who very likely is of ordinary mien and often composed of undesirable qualities, but notwithstanding, one who invokes the decision from God to grant us absolution with the proviso we go and sin no more.

That Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture (all to be written with capital letters in the texts) form the sacred deposit of the word of God.

That the Mother of Christ exists are mediatrix to our salvation par excellence.

That she deserves the title mediatrix because she cooperated in an unique way with Christ in his redemptive labors on earth because in heaven she continues interceding for those who are still working out their salvation as pilgrims of the Church Militant or souls suffering in purgatory.

That Mary’s meditation is the crucial issue on which Catholic and other Christian traditions divide.

That Catholics believe in two final destinies: one for man individually and the other for humanity as a whole.

That on the Last Judgment Christ will come in all majesty, escorted by the angels; then he will take his seat on the throne of glory. “All the nations will be assembled before him and he will separate men from one another as the shepherd separates the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left.”

That there will be two Judgments—one for us individually known as Particular and one for all humanity that ever lived since Adam, known as the General.

That if we pass muster at the Particular Judgment, we, the just dead, examined and found justified, shall rise again.

That since the Council of Trent four terms have been applied to identify the qualities of the resurrected body: impassibility (or immunity for further death and pain); subtility (or freedom from restraint by matter); agility (which is something I could use to greater effect right now but which means obedience to spirit with regard to movement and space) and clarity (or refulgent beauty of the soul manifested in the body).

That the Pope has “infallibility.” But it does not mean he is perfect (Andy Greeley’s purposeful misunderstanding with which he has made so much fun in line with his wish to continue as a pop heretical priest-columnist-media showoff). “Infallibility” is not “impeccability” but that when the pope speaks ex-cathedra, i.e. from the chair on faith and morals viz the Immaculate Conception, he cannot err. We note that God who is absolutely infallible gave this gift with certain restricted limits: in matters of faith and morals, when the whole people of God unhesitatingly hold a point of doctrine and always depending on wise providence and the grace of the Holy Spirit.


Look at these items and see if you can understand somebody wondering about the weirdness and mental stability of a Christian candidate.

This Man Huckabee.

As one who spent a good portion of my life managing political campaigns and/or strategizing how Republican candidates can get elected, I know what I believe but understand that to win one must have a ticket the appeals to a broader consensus than one man can. My preferred candidate for president is, as I have said, Mitt Romney. He is the person you would hire for president. His views on social issues, Iraq, economic issues square almost totally with my own. I am not bothered because he has shown deviations—especially on moral issues. After all, as my good friend and spiritual son Jim Leahy has said (in the Chicago Daily Observer) we are in this effort to convince people to join us, are we not…therefore we shouldn’t be disturbed when they do and should stop trying to affix a length of time where they must believe as we do in order to be accepted by us. I remember full well Ronald Reagan’s conversion to pro-life came after he signed into law the farthest reaching abortion law in the nation, ranking with the one signed in New York by Nelson Rockefeller.

There is enough room in the coalition that Reagan pioneered to embrace some diversity. That diversity could well come with Mike Huckabee. While I buy into most everything the “Wall Street Journal” prescribes, I know the coalition does not in every particular. You have blue collars who worry very much about so-called “free trade” and think there should be a movement toward “fair trade.” If so, your man is Mike Huckabee who distances himself from Nafta and would insist on penalties for countries that wish to practice discrimination against our products while expecting we will do the same with theirs—reciprocity. .

For those who feel there should be some expressed compassion in the immigration question that has not been shown by the avid listeners to either Rush Limbaugh or Laura Ingraham, here is one who does not follow in slavish lockstep.

Those who support farm subsidies and an expanded federal role in health care have a champion in Mike Huckabee. While at the same time you have one who

Supports the concept of winning the Iraq War,

Supports every item of pro-life and opposition to same-sex marriage,

Supports appointment of strict constructionists to the federal bench,

Supports junking the Income Tax code and replacing it with the Fair Tax and substitute it with a 23% national retail sales tax on nearly all goods and services which while it hasn’t been worked out sufficiently for my own consumption (will the state taxes when added to that approach 30% will the income tax repeal result in the unintended consequence of an income tax and a national sales tax?) these are bold initiatives, long considered, and now well worth talking about in a campaign.

But given his brilliance in debate and his general political attractiveness, I think the time has come when he should be first in line for vice president on a Republican ticket.

Your comments.


  1. elizabeth alexanderDecember 7, 2007 at 1:33 AM

    Theocracy, anyone?

  2. A good ole country boy from Arkansas ought to know that if the damn government at all levels would just throttle back less than 2% the AMT could be abolished, and there would be no pressing need for a trojan horse "Fair" Tax.
    Only look to Europe and the UK to see the delights of "fairness."

  3. I'm a Reagan Republican who has never voted Dem in a presidential contest.

    I can see it now, Rudy the great prosecutor wrapping himself in the flag and 9/11, and Huckabee the progressive wannabe who is an ordained minister playing his pipe and leading the 'Christian Right' down the yellow-brick road to the Emerald City. Rule of Law, Constitution, and Federalism be damned.

    Oh yeah, the quote:

    "When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."

  4. I think that there should be a federal law banning people from Arkansas from holding federal office. The state operated on a larger version of "boss" style back room good ole boy politics. Remember Dale Bumpers? And then there are the Clintons and a litany of mysterious deeds while in Arkansas.

    Huckabee is a wannabee. His conservative values start to disappear when you look to his record. And then there is this "fair tax" stuff. I believe that there is a move to give the USA a VAT tax which can be integrated into a global tax system. The "fair" tax comes close to that. Such as system ALREADY exists in Europe from country to country and it is onerous.

    But then there is the 'good' Morman Romney. Tom, when are you ever going to look into the history of Joseph Smith, his seer stone, his dubious book of Mormon, and his dubious revelations. Frankly, to compare this to the Catholic Church is ludicrous! Yes I know that many Mormons are conservative nice people BUT what they believe simply goes off the deep end! Tom I am sure that there are plenty of Mormons who would give you a book of Mormon to read for free!

    Frontline also did a balanced presentation on the Mormons. Click on the URL below. I know.... I know you probably don't like the PBS people but this program is a start for you. Take time to watch it on your computer.

    I visited Salt Lake City and got their whole promotion first hand.

    The Mormons would like to be on equal par with the Catholic Church and the Mainline Protestant Denominations BUT there are severe bumps in their path that they themselves have put there which go to the CORE of their beliefs.

    When you study the life of Joseph Smith, you simply have to shake your head in disbelief. But then ask yourself, "What if the President actually believed this stuff?" Yet there are many who go for it. Again it goes to the core teachings as given by Joseph Smith through the book of Mormon and other revelations.

  5. My impression of Huckabee at the black college debate was that he was pandering:

    1.He said he was ashamed of the major candidates who didn't attend. Pat Buchanan said on McLaughlin Group that 10% of the voters are black, and 10% of those historically vote Republican. Given that, can you blame candidates for not spending precious resources to solicit so few votes?

    2.He said the Jena 6 should not be tried as adults. All the other candidates said the same, except Tancredo and Hunter. Hunter seemed to stand on principle, saying that the victim was kicked in the head while unconscious, and the perpetrators should be held accountable, which means trying them as adults.

  6. We as Republicans should be very careful about how we criticize candidate Huckabee. Clearly he is attempting a triangulation strategy that is not only risky, but a distraction. I'm hearing Rush Limbaugh get sucked into his game. The same care should be taken with Ron Paul supporters. National Review endorsed Mitt Romney with the hope of rounding up the Conservatives Big Tent. The likelihood of this actually happenning shrinks everytime we rip Huckabee or Ron Paul and the GOP fractures. If we're looking to unleash conservatism in America, we need to win by putting some blue states in play. Guliani is the only candidate who can defeat a Clinton-Obama, or say Edwards-Baye dream ticket.