Saturday Ramblings: September 3, 2016 (Labor Day Edition)


In this Labor Day edition of Saturday Ramblings, we honor the men and women who built the intrepid Nash/Rambler/AMC vehicles we feature week in and out here at Internet Monk.

Here is a series of pictures from the Kenosha (Wisconsin) Historical Society we found on in an article, “Workers on the factory floor in the Nash Plant in the 1950s.” These are some of the folks who built the world I know, the post-war generation of workers who brought about a time of unparalleled prosperity in the U.S. I don’t think we’ll ever be able to “make America great” like this again — at least not in the same way. This kind of manufacturing economy is in our past.

But at any rate, kudos to these workers from us, their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Your labors blessed our lives.




The fruit of their labors
The fruit of their labors

• • •


635935532705590816-635933919773060036-20160312-Flooding-046At the ELCA Churchwide gathering in New Orleans last week, representatives of the largest Lutheran denomination in the U.S. passed resolutions accusing Israel of occupying Palestinian territories and committing human rights abuses against Palestinians.

These resolutions called for a number of anti-Israel measures, including a demand that the United States government halt all aid to the Jewish state if Israel continued building “settlements” in Judea and Samaria. They also demanded that the US recognize the “State of Palestine” and called for divestment from Israeli companies.

And then the floods came.

By the Friday after the assembly, most of Louisiana had received over a foot of rain, with some locations seeing over 30 inches. Thousands had to flee their homes, and about 30,000 people needed to be rescued. At the time of this report, 13 people had been killed and 8,400 displaced, and 40,000 homes were destroyed.

Coincidence, you say? Not so fast. “I think you can connect the dots,” wrote a news editor for Hebrew Nation Radio in an article about the flooding. “There is a measure for measure principle here.”

So, not only did God directly intervene and send this chastening storm, but in their view it was “measure for measure.” Wow. What some people call “justice” is downright scary.

• • •


36 bruises were found on Thaing's 7-year-old son.
36 bruises were found on Thaing’s 7-year-old son.

And then there’s the Indianapolis woman who beat her 7-year-old son with a coat hanger, was arrested and charged with felony child abuse, and then used Indiana’s “religious freedom law” as a defense, saying her choice of discipline grows out of the Bible and her evangelical Christian beliefs.

That law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (2015) says the government cannot intrude on a person’s religious liberty unless it can prove a compelling interest in imposing that burden, and can do so in the least restrictive way.

The mother clearly stated her reasoning: “I was worried for my son’s salvation with God after he dies,” said Kin Park Thaing. “I decided to punish my son to prevent him from hurting my daughter and to help him learn how to behave as God would want him to.”

But that’s not all there is to this story. Thaing, you see, is a Burmese refugee who was granted political asylum in the U.S., and she also is pointing to cultural differences as part of her defense.

Jennifer Drobac, professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis, called the cultural barrier in this case “distressing.”

“If they are engaging in behavior that would be lawful in their country of origin and they’re amenable to rehabilitation and education, then it seems our community resources would be better served … in educating these parents and making sure the family stays together in a healthy way.”

And, one more thing. Indiana law further complicates this case.

…a 2008 Indiana Supreme Court decision…affirmed the parental right to discipline children in ways parents consider appropriate, even when others could deem that behavior as excessive.

In 2008, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled 3-1 to overturn the felony conviction of Sophia Willis, who used a belt or an electrical cord to discipline her 11-year-old son. (The mom said belt, the son said cord; the court ruled it did not matter.)

The justices in that decision gave parents wide latitude in determining what is reasonable discipline for their children.

• • •


CaptureDid aliens butt-dial us in 2015?

What’s more offensive, sitting during the National Anthem, or wearing socks that portray cops as pigs?

Would you consider doing surgery on yourself?

Would you use Virtual Reality to help you overcome arachnophobia?

Has anyone considered that building a border wall won’t stop tunnels?

What virtual tools and services could be useful to churches?

Which Christian colleges made the LGBT “shame” list? (Note: CM’s alma mater is front and center in this article.)

RIP Gene Wilder. What are your favorite GW movies? characters? quotes?

• • •


Mother_Teresa_by_Chas_Fagan_1_Courtesy_of_the_Knights_of_Columbus_CNAAgnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu was born in 1910 in Skopje, in modern-day Macedonia. She grew up in a devoutly Catholic family where she was drawn to religion from an early age. She traveled to Ireland as a teenager to join the Sisters of Loreto in Dublin. There, she took a new name — Sister Mary Teresa (after St Thérèse of Lisieux).

We came to know her as Mother Teresa.

On Sunday, Mother Teresa will be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. Here is a Wall Street Journal story (with wonderful pictures), outlining her path to sainthood.

This story at NPR by Tom Gjelton describes how the church documented the two miracles necessary for declaring someone a saint.

Here is the testimony of a Kolkata polio survivor, who truly knew her as “mother.”

Mother Teresa’s book, Come Be My Light: The Private Writings of the Saint of Calcutta, surprised many admirers when they learned that she was a saint who often found herself in the wilderness, with little sense of God’s presence. Here is a Time article about the correspondence that revealed her inner struggles.

Hundreds of thousands of faithful are expected to attend the canonization service, which will be led by Pope Francis in front of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

The Catholic Herald will broadcast full live coverage of the canonization, via the Vatican’s YouTube channel. More information and a link HERE.

• • •


Curmudgeon 1

• • •


Georgetown_University_-24From the Washington Post:

Georgetown University pledged Thursday to apologize for its role in the slave trade and offered to give admissions preference to the descendants of those sold for the benefit of the school, one of the most aggressive responses to date among the universities trying to make amends for the horrors of slavery.

As descendants of people enslaved and sold listened, the school’s president promised to give their families a boost in admissions, treating applicants who are descendants of slaves owned by Maryland Jesuits the same as it would those who are children of faculty, staff and alumni. And it will name a university residence hall after one of the slaves, a man named Isaac. He was 65 in 1838 when he and 271 other slaves were sold.

Georgetown took the steps in response to a report from a panel of faculty, staff, students and alumni that examined the university’s ties to slavery, including the sale of men and women in the early 19th century that helped pay off debt at the Jesuit school.

…The report and the university’s response drew emotional reactions from people who trace their lineage to those sold in 1838. Jessica Tilson, 34, a student at Southern University in Louisiana, was driving her mother to work Thursday when she got an email from Georgetown. She burst into tears, pulled into a gas station and told her mother. They cried together and talked about how they would tell Tilson’s 80-year-old grandfather.

“I love the idea,” Tilson said. “Especially the name of the buildings. Isaac is my sixth-great-grandfather. . . . When people name buildings after people, it shows how much you value them and respect them. . . .  I’m speechless. There are no feelings in the world that can describe how that feels.”

• • •


hc-joe-paterno-ncaa-wins-0116-20150116-002Penn State University announced plans on Thursday to honor former head coach Joe Paterno before the team kicks off against Temple on September 17.

NBC Sports reports:

The move to pay tribute to their former head coach marks a sharp reversal from the way Penn State has kept Paterno at arm’s length since he stepped down in 2011. The school removed a statue of Paterno outside of Beaver Stadium and has generally steered clear of even mentioning the coach after allegations against former PSU assistant Jerry Sandusky surfaced involving the sexual assault of several children in State College.

Paterno was in charge of the Penn State program from 1966 to 2011 and is the NCAA’s winningest coach in major college football history. Still, his legacy has largely come to be defined by what he did or did not know regarding the actions of Sandusky, with lawsuits involving the school and former victims continuing to unfold.

• • •


Here’s a song from fifty years ago — not quite as old as those pictures from the Nash factory. But it represents the fact that, no matter how much work accomplishes or means, it can be a grind, and most of us are still looking forward to the end of the day.

The Mercer crew will be chillin’, camping in Ohio at the old family farm this weekend. Have a wonderful holiday weekend, and for heaven’s sake get some rest.

93 thoughts on “Saturday Ramblings: September 3, 2016 (Labor Day Edition)

  1. Usually accompanied by the likes of how the New Testament Church at the time of the Book of Acts was Exactly Like Calvary Chapel of today.


  2. The Duke case is a very different kettle of fish, and frankly, has zero to do with either pedophilia or cover-ups by high levels of administration. Can’t really be compared, imo.


  3. Graham Spanier clearly did not act on what he knew. He was not a good pres in other ways, but that… sorry. I look at how PSU football is a huge moneymaker in the area, right down to the people (and there are many of them) who have apartments in town that are *only* occupied on football weekends, and it makes me ill.

    Are you aware of the way in which the moneyed elite in the area control one hell of a lot of decisions regarding businesses, real property and much more? Some of it comes from the software industry, but a whole lot of it comes from the high-up admins @ the university. There’s a trendous amount of good old boy-ism at evety level, and i think it’s more obvious than it is in many places simply because State College is in an isolated rural area – major contrast to, say, Ann Arbor, E. Lansing and many other Big 10 towns.

    The isdue re. money has everything to do with alums donating to the school, and little to do with how good or bad the team is per se. You know it’s a tailgating school… and I’m equally sure that you’re aware that there are more than a few lavish, even opulent, tailgate parties held by alums who dpend a few hundred thou on their motorhomes (again, used only on football weekends, complete with ridiculous Nittany Lion logo custom paint jobs and all). The local infrastructure can’t handle the traffic generated by the games, the local economy is heavy on goods, services and housing for the well-off, but has about zero in the wsy of decrnt and affordable housing for people who make less than 75k a year. If anything, students are having to seek housing 15-20 miles out in the country, snd the local real estate agents are making out like bandits.

    I don’t know how long ago you lived here, but i suspect it might be harder for outsiders to see the impact of some of these things than, say, those who are longterm residents.

    Also, per pedophilia, you realize that people deliberately get themselves into jobs where they can easily trawl for victims, yes? It is a paraphilia; Sandusky is by no means off his head, though I suspect you’re right about his early life. That said, he created a so-called charity that,for all intents and purposes, was a front for his proclivities. I think that was one of the worst things, not least due to the betrayal of trust re. professionals in mental health and social work (referrals), as well as the general public (fundraising and just plain trust that the program was a safe place for kids who needed help).

    I also honestly think you’re underestimating the power of goid old boy networks, but then, I’m just some woman who lives locally, not someone who knows coaches socially, so I guess my hunvhes and impressions are all wet, eh? (Or maybe not, but no point arguing any further.)


  4. Of course Sandusky claims he’s innocent. Most pedophiles don’t recognize their actions as evil… They are suffering from a form of mental illness, I believe. I wouldn’t be surprised if Sandusky himself was abused as a child.

    As far as the narrative that football was all powerful at PSU, I simply don’t buy it. I don’t believe it was any more powerful than any it is at any other NCAA school with popular programs. In fact, during the last 15 years of Paterno’s tenure, the team was generally not that good. They had a few good years, iirc, but if winning was all they cared about, well, I don’t believe Paterno would have kept his job. They simply didn’t win that much.

    I personally know some of Paterno’s assistants – went to church with them, in fact. Unless someone presents some real evidence, I simply will not believe that Sandusky’s actions were some sort of open secret that the media narrative presented them as. This may be an unpopular position, but I don’t care. Certainly we’ve seen enough unfair tarring and feathering of innocent people in the US to learn from it. Look at the Duke Lacrosse case… Everyone believed that was an open and shut thing as well. When the facts came out, it was anything but. And I believe if prosecutors had a real case against the PSU administrators, they would have presented it and won by now. Open and shut cases don’t take 5+ years to go through the system.

    I actually still believe the university is well-respected for its academics. My wife and I have 5 degrees from Penn State between the two of us, and no one I interact with out here in the midwest has ever disrespected us for it. In fact, it’s been a very positive thing. Reasonable people understand that evil people are manipulative and that you can’t hold whole institutions responsible for the actions of one or a few people.


  5. Jerry Sandusky stood up in a courtroom here a few werks sgo and repeatedly said that he never sexually sbused any boy. Never.

    Paterno and Co. profited from Sandusky ‘s coaching skills while apparently turning a blind eye to his abusiveness for decades. Sandusky is the giy who made Penn State into Linebscker U., even more than Paterno. Paterno’s drive was so relentless that i honestly don’t think he was willing to let anything or anyone interfere with his plans. He wasn’t somd kind of deity or head of state (which is how many people treated him and still treat him), he was a fallible human being, like the rest of us.

    The more powerful the football team became, the more $$$$$$ from alums went into the coffers. Football is PSU’s cash cow, and has been for several decades.

    I’m a local; I didn’t go there, but I had family on the faculty. To say that all of this is deeply painful and incredibly cringeworthy is putting it mildly. The university used to be known for academics before the Linebacker U. era, and all of this. I *do* believe there was a coverup in the athletic department and at the highest levels of the previous administration. Notice, too, thst former coach Mike McQueary, who testified before the Grand Jury, lost his job on the PSU football staff several years ago, while Jay Paterno is… well. You can put 2 + 2 together. Whistleblowers are never treated well.


  6. Football Jocks are The Master Race and Can Do No Wrong.
    I learned that as one of the Untermenschen of my High School.

    “I Was a Football Star in High School; once I Scored Three Touchdowns in One Game!”
    — Al Bundy, Fortysomething loser from Married with Children


  7. Remember a LOT of the Movers and Shakers up to State (and possibly Federal) level are into Football.

    I remember House Mahaney (as in Cee Jay) was heavily into Fantasy Football. (Which from the description sounds like “Pro Football Franchise Owner/Manager: The Role-Playing Game”.)


  8. So was Ayn Rand.
    She got on Medicare and Social Security when she hit that age (and had an appropriately Objectivist Rationalization for it).


  9. numo, There is a tendency among some traditional Christians, Roman Catholic and Protestant alike, to glamorize., romanticize, and even fetishize the suffering of the poor. The resultant sadomasochistic distortion of faith is one of the most frightening aberrations of Christianity.


  10. “We need to judge those by the standards of their times, NOT be the standards that rule the modern sensibilities.”

    OK: Lots of people at the time were appalled by slavery. There is an extensive body of literature on the subject from the time. And everyone involved understand the implications of selling a slave down the river. So judging the actions of Georgetown by the standards of the day, they are found wanting. This is even before we bring Christianity into the discussion.


  11. I probably should know better to discuss this online anymore, but the thing about these allegations is they’re just that – allegations. Paterno is dead and never had a chance to defend himself. I don’t agree with the concept that just because a charge is serious, we throw the concept of the presumption of innocence out the window.

    I personally have not seen any real, compelling evidence that there was any sort of cover-up, and I actually think it’s only a matter of time before the remaining charges against the PSU officials are dropped. Just for the record, I should add that I lived in State College for 15 years (my wife and have 5 PSU degrees between us, but really aren’t football fans to speak of). I know many people impacted by this stuff personally. I personally don’t believe the simplified narrative that has been there from the start. People don’t want to believe that people they know and trust could be monsters… It’s just too hard to believe.


  12. I meant shut down the foitball program for a period of years, not just fine them.

    There were protests about the Patetno ceremony planned for today, but the local paper’s website has no news as yet…


  13. Oscar, after reading about the problrms in thr Missionaries of Charity’s treatment of the sick, indigents, orphans and dying people over the past 15 years, I wish I could singlehandedly reform both their order and their often-barbaric “care.” But I’m just one person, and a Protestant at that. Lots of Catholic laypeople are in the exact same position. I really think the Vatican needs to deal with it all, but I seriously doubt that will happen.

    And believing that physical and mental suffering and pain are “the kiss of Jesus” – I have no words to describe how messed up I believe both MT and the nuns are WRT that. It leads directly to… the kinds of woefully inadequate “care” documented in the links I posted below (and in *many* other sources besides), and to a monstrous vision of a god who is not, i think, in any way aligned with the God I believe in. “Dickensian” doesn’t even begin to describe the conditions in these supposed refuges for the sick and dying, and for orphaned and abandoned children. It’s more like Dante’s hell.


  14. Numo, I am not disagreeing that there are a lot of concerns about MT. I just don’t see how her views on abortion, divorce, and contraception are among them (or would be to the RCC).


  15. 1) Nice to know that Johnny P hasn’t yet exploited this disaster. I have family in the area, and the devastation can’t even be put into words.

    2) Indianastan is a weird state – it still holds the record for most openly KKK members holding public office. But as distasteful as it seems, the child is probably better off with his family than in “the system” – my wife worked for the state CPS apparatus for a while, and believe me, it is a terrible option. This needs to be fixed.

    3) I’d have to go with Blazing Saddles. It lampooned racism in a way that we never will be able to again.

    4) The whole canonization thing is malarkey to me, and frankly I can’t see why Mother T would be considered for sainthood. But at the end of the day, I don’t really care – not my business. On the other hand, most of Mother Teresa’s practices actually caused harm. That’s not something I condone.

    5) Good for Georgetown!

    6) State Pen – er, Penn State – is clueless. Have family alum and friends alum, and many of them are blatantly ignorant of the whole scandal: many have told me that Jo Pa just didn’t know about any of that, etc.I hope the major networks boycott the ceremony, though.


  16. I didn’t realize Gene Wilder was anywhere near 83 when I heard of his passing. For me, his role in Blazing Saddles was the one I remember most. Then again, I didn’t see several of his other films. Maybe I need to do some catching up over this long holiday weekend.


  17. Actually, the NCAA did sanction the Penn State football program. Penn State was originally placed on probation for five years, received a four-year postseason ban, lost a number of scholarships and fined $60 million. They also vacated all victories from 1998 to 2011. The sanctions were later reduced, with the postseason ban lifted two years early.


  18. Oscar,
    Quite aside from the specifics of the circumstances surrounding Teresa, I have a hard time understanding how you can say that those who have less apparent moral stature have no right to question the accuracy of the moral stature attributed to another. I mean, what is in question is how true that attribution is, right? Very evil people sometimes do some really wonderfully good things. Think of Pablo Escobar, the Colombian drug dealer, who built hospitals and schools for the poor of Colombia: if we were to assess his moral stature only on the good he did, ignoring the bad, then we might have to say that his moral stature was greater than most or all of the people who participate on this blog, right? But that would be untrue, because we’re not taking into account the balance in total of his actions. And what I’m using in making this argument is actually the moral casuistry (not meant in any of its negative connotations) that I learned in Catholic religious instruction as a kid!


  19. Oscar,
    I feel the same about you, Oscar. And I do appreciate when you call me out for being censorious; I’m too quick to criticize when I don’t have to put my money where my mouth is.


  20. Oscar, the problem is this: she didn’t live up to her calling. Or the public image she created.

    It doesn’t make me feel happy or better about myself to know about the problems in that order. It saddens me and makes me angry, though.


  21. No Robert, I am questioning the moral superiority of those criticizing the works of Mother Teresa! What have YOU done that is superior to her calling? I know that I don’t measure up…


  22. “In their article (Mother Teresa: Anything but a Saint), Serge Larivee and his colleagues . . . cite a number of problems not taken into account by the Vatican in Mother Teresa’s beatification process, such as her “… …. and her overly dogmatic views regarding, in particular, abortion, contraception and divorce.” (paragraph edited)

    How was MT’s views on abortion, contraception, and divorce different from the Catholic Church’s stated doctrine? Why would that be a problem for the Catholic Church (as opposed to a problem for the study’s authors)?


  23. You are not alone in that. Care of the sick and dying that is so far below the current standard should not be acceptable. The Order has the money to educate its members in modern medical practice, and does not do so. Finding God in the suffering of others doesn’t seem to me to be the behavior of a saint.


  24. I think the main point should be: Georgetown has made a good, healing, reconciling move, and provided a model of leadership for the church as a whole, and also for American society in general. Georgetown should be commended. The church should be leading the way in these matters, not following the rest of society; racial division is heretical.


  25. By the 1830s there was a strong antislavery movement (the UK was to abolish it and thereby free their slaves in the West Indies sugar plantations in that decade [admittedly the slave owners, including one CoE bishop and one CoE missionary society, did received compensation so weren’t losing out financially]). The Catholic church like most Christian denominations at the time was divided in its feelings about slavery (though they generally insisted the slaves be converted to Catholicism).

    The slaves were sold in part because of fear of the abolitionists


  26. There have been a lot more canonizations because there are a lot more people today than two hundred years ago. Although I may have exact dates wrong, what happened in the late twentieth century is that the regulations for canonization were standardized; before that, and especially through the middle ages up into the modern era, the process was not uniform throughout the church, and did not hold to the same standards of evidence and investigation in all places.


  27. Happy Birthday, Oscar! As my Swedish friend and neighbor says when giving me a sack of veggies out of his garden, enyoy! And welcome to the dole. I hope you will as well be applying for Social Security, which you can do while continuing to work, and it makes good financial sense to do so unless you plan on living to be 120 and expect the present system to last that long. There may be better arrangements in Theory Land, but this one at least rights the balance somewhat while we wait for New Jerusalem to descend, and best take advantage while it’s still here and more or less functioning.


  28. I don’t disagree with the gist of your statement, within limits; but does it mean that we are unable to make a moral judgment of the Aztec’s religious habit of human sacrifice? Any moral judgment of people in the past should definitely be made with a view toward correcting the mistakes of written history, redressing the wrongs of the past, and informing our own moral perspectives so that we can avoid similar kinds of moral failure to the best of our ability. But the past is not past; it lives with us in the present, and can’t simply be written off.

    Besides, the Jesuits at Georgetown sold those slaves against the moral guidance of Rome; what they did was known to be wrong within their own Church ethical theology. It was a purely financial decision; they knew better.


  29. Actually I think the 1980s rules supposedly eased up on the previous regulations; certainly a lot more people were canonized under John Paul II than had been under previous popes.

    Those who were removed (which was part of a 1960s Vatican II reform not the 1980s) had been saints that had been grandfathered in when the church first put the rules in place many hundreds of years ago and in many cases turned out later to be complete fiction or else embarrassing; a few were later and though revered as saints had never gone through the the process (see Philomena). For instance Saint Josaphat turned out to be the Buddha. Note that removal usually means they are dropped from the calendar not a statement that they are officially no longer saints.


  30. We need to judge those by the standards of their times, NOT be the standards that rule the modern sensibilities.

    It is easy to criticize those whose frame of reference is subject to the times in which it was borne. It is much more difficult to judge fairly, considering what those same people considered to be “fair and just” at the time the decisions were made.


  31. I do agree that it is best that God will be the ultimate judge, of both Catholics who honor those unworthy of honor, and protestants who refuse honor to those who perhaps merit it. But I also trust in, and am relying on, God being far more invested in his love and forgiveness than his judgment…


  32. And yet here you are judging the moral stature of commenters on this blog, and claiming that their moral inadequacy means their criticisms should be set aside without consideration. Interesting…


  33. HA HA!!! It is revealing who takes advantage of socialism while criticizing the system that offers those benefits to others!

    I never would have applied had not my employer stated that I was no longer covered by the company health plan!

    Even though the costs come out of my own pocket I am glad that the benefit is available to me.


  34. It is far easier to cast doubt, it is far more satisfying to tear down monuments, and it is far easier to criticize what one does not do oneself than it is to fairly judge the sanctity of another’s actions and life.

    Who among the detractors has dedicated their life in the same manner as Teresa? Yet they are the first to denigrate her actions and motives. Who here on this website can lay claim to actions, flawed though they may be, that come close to rivaling Teresa’s vocation?

    Leave her be! let the RCC have its Saints. Let God be the ultimate judge!


  35. For me, as a Protestant Christian, it’s quite enough to wrestle with the problematic part that historical evidence plays in Christian faith as it relates to the person of Jesus, his life, death and resurrection; I’m unwilling to extend that struggle into questions of the canonization of Saints. Too many battles with too many fronts.


  36. Winning, and the money that winning football teams bring to a university, is why the football stadium and its associated buildings are far larger than any of the other departmental or administrative buildings on the campus of Penn St and all other big football schools. Sadly, many Penn St alum will likely give more rather than less as a result of this reclamation of Paterno.

    Remember: not standing for the national anthem is disrespectful to and subversive of the status quo of the two major American religious institutions: nationalism and football.


  37. Of course, you’re right, flatrocker: we all have agendas. As did the people responsible for the canonization process, and the people critical of it.

    Speaking for myself, I do not trust that any canonization process can establish the special sanctity of a specific individual with anything remotely like fairness to all the evidence, which, as far as I’m concerned, can never be adequate to make such an official determination. The implementation of new, uniform and stricter standards for canonization in the 198os (an implementation that led to the reversal of the canonized status of some former Saints, no?) may be a step in the right direction, in one sense. But, in another way, it is misleading, because it implies that the perceptions and decisions of the people in charge of the process are somehow scientific or objective, even though the theology behind canonization does not support these implications. The people must have their Saints, that’s what it really comes down to, and have elevated them without any stable, church-wide process for centuries, the historical evidence pro and contra notwithstanding. But, as a result, some real stinkers have been canonized in the past, stinkers that history has exposed. The RCC now wants to put a scientific, objective face on what has been going on for centuries, to avoid future embarrassments as much as possible. But the newly refined process still relies to a large extant on the credulity of the people, and on their will to have saints; it’s still a folk phenomenon, though perhaps a better managed one, and, as a folk phenomenon, it will inevitably give honor and status to some that don’t deserve it. I happen to think that Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu is one of those.


  38. I know jumping into this fray will lead only to other opinions, chatterings and semi-facts that seem to gain credence only through the shouting of the loudest voice. Or maybe through the steady whisper of doubt and derision. Either way, the more churn that is created – the more the argument becomes believable and ends up as fact.

    This is from an article on by William Doino, Jr. on the “First Things” website. Doino discusses a report called “Mother Teresa: Anything but a Saint.”

    From Doino’s writing:
    “In their article (Mother Teresa: Anything but a Saint), Serge Larivee and his colleagues . . . cite a number of problems not taken into account by the Vatican in Mother Teresa’s beatification process, such as her “rather dubious way of caring for the sick, her questionable political contacts, her suspicious management of the enormous sums of money she received, and her overly dogmatic views regarding, in particular, abortion, contraception and divorce.”

    However, Doino goes on to say…
    “I requested interviews with the researchers, and finally obtained one with Dr. Chenard. Her answers to my series of questions were both astonishing and revealing: She confirmed for me that her academic team did not speak to a single patient, medical analyst, associate, or worker of Mother Teresa’s before writing their paper against her; nor did they examine how all her finances were spent; nor did they speak with anyone at the Vatican involved with her sainthood cause, or consult the Vatican’s medical board which certified the miracle attributed to Blessed Teresa. The researchers had not even traveled to Calcutta, whereas even Hitchens, misguided as he was, at least did that.”

    “As it turned out, this “research paper” was nothing but a “review of literature,” a repacking of what others had already written, with the academics putting their own negative spin on it. In other words, an indictment based upon no original research, and the author most frequently cited? Christopher Hitchens. Yet these “findings” made international headlines, and were repeated by many without objection.”

    What a surprise that there is more to every story.

    So, jump into the fray we go. We all have agendas. With the +1 to +1111 approval ratings posted here, it would be interesting to know what each of yours may be.

    Finally, I can’t help but be reminded about an excerpt from “The Screwtape Letters”…
    “I have looked up this girl’s dossier and am horrified at what I find. Not only a Christian but such a Christian–a vile, sneaking, simpering, demure, monosyllabic, mouse-like, watery, insignificant, virginal, bread-and-butter miss. The little brute. She makes me vomit. She stinks and scalds through the very pages of the dossier…”

    However, the First Things auther


  39. My second paragraph is redundant, since the blog post already covered that information. Apologies for the redundancy. It’s too early and I’ve not had my coffee…


  40. I am appalled that Penn St is honoring Paterno after it has become pretty obvious that he knew about the abuse that was happening and did nothing. If I were a Penn St alum, I would be writing letters and they would have seen the last of any donations from me. But I also have been to enough Big Ten football games and know enough boosters to know that for them, college sports are everything, winning is everything, and you can’t let something like a few incidents of abuse deter you from the winning ways. Sad. Very sad.

    I also find it almost humorous that there is such an outcry over a football player who won’t stand for the national anthem but I’m hearing barely a peep on social media over a major college like Penn St honoring a child molester enabler.


  41. Good for Georgetown University. Of course, it would have been better if the American Jesuits who ran Georgetown never had owned slaves, and never had used them to build and support the university. But at least current Jesuits have the moral courage to acknowledge the wrong and how the university still benefits in material ways from that wrong, and to address it in a substantial and costly way; it’s a good example for the rest of this country. Jesus followers should lead the way in things like this, not catch up with the rest of society.

    Btw, when the University sold its slaves in the 1830s, it wasn’t doing them any favors, only trying to solve a financial problem. Most of those slaves were sold into much harder labor in the south, in states that were known for especially harsh treatment of slaves. The University should have manumitted its slaves, not sold them. Selling them was just one injustice added to another.


  42. So, not only did God directly intervene and send this chastening storm, but in their view it was “measure for measure.” Wow. What some people call “justice” is downright scary.

    Yes, that is a scary idea of “justice”. But it’s not anywhere near as scary an idea of “justice” as that God justly wiped out all living creatures in the world, or in the known world, with cataclysmic flood that lasted forty days and forty nights.


  43. Speaking of J. Paterno, further testimony from victims, former employees of the PSU football staff, etc. emerged during J. Sandusky’s recent hearings here in PA. Let’s just say that the rehabilitation of JoePa is not only premature but, from testimony, absolutely uncalled-for. One witness discussed a convo with Paterno in which they wrre told by the coach that he didn’t have time to be bothered with allegations of child sexual abuse because he was too busy running a football team.

    I really, realky wish the NCAA had sanctioned the PSU football,program. As is, Paterno’s son Jay is one of the head honchos, running a dynasty. It’s ugly, and they need to clean house. I have no animosity toward the team per se, but Paterno’s push to get the team into the Big Ten and keep it high in the rankings has more than a little to do with how and why Sandusky was able to run his football camp scam *on campus*(meanwhile assaulting kids on university property) for so many years… and have people look the other way.


  44. Nor do saints tell sick and dying people that their pain and suffering means that they are being “kissed by Jesus” – and further, do nothing to lessen often excruciating pain and other horrible effects of disease.

    I don’t mean to offend, but that order is not what it claims to be, nor was its founder someone who strikes me as saintly.


  45. That whole order does NOT truly care for poor and dying and otherwise ill people. They are confined in appalling conditions, with no real medical care to speak of. Where are the women in that order who are MDs and nurses and nurse-practitioners? They siimply don’t exist, and i suspect that at least some of their members are children from large families whose parents can’t afford dowry money. (Until recently, many young women from the Philippines, Latin America and other parts of S. and E. Asia ended up in Irish convents, having been dumped into certain orders for that reason and others.)

    There are far too many real life horror stories associated with that order (including those of a number of former members) to make me think that this rapid exaltation of M. T. is anything other than a HUGE mistake. The church should be investigating this order and its activities (very much including finances), not making them look like paragons of anything. While I’m sure that some members are sincere i their desire to help, they would be far better off in an order that actually runs and staffs hospitals, clinics and dispensaries.


  46. Since my birthday is September 1 my friends and wife usually use Labor Day as an excuse to celebrate my lasting one more year. I guess it means more to them than the actual holiday…

    By the way, I am now an official senior citizen since I am newly enrolled in Medicare. My employer is celebrating because he no longer has to pay over $1000 a month for my health care insurance. No really sure how this will affect me since I almost never go to the doctor and have been pretty healthy till now.


  47. And I am skeptical of the whole canonization process! If the Church doesn’t recognize you as a saint does that mean that you AREN’T ONE?


  48. Saints help people. The don’t glorify their suffering, thinking that the suffering brings them salvation…

    Saints would utilise funds for clinics and medicibe and schools and that most effective reliever of poverty, the empowerment of woman. Not building convent after convent of one’s own order…

    Yes I am very skeptical…


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