Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Brutal Murder of Young Man Belittled by GOP Leader

Republican Congresswoman Virginia Foxx says Matthew Shepard's murder was "a hoax"

by John Aravosis

The House Republican chosen to lead the charge against including women, people with disabilities, and gays in America's already-existing hate crimes law - existing law already counts violent crime based on the race, religion or national origin of the victim as a "hate crime" - just referred on the US House floor to Matthew Shepard's murder as "a hoax."

You will recall that Matthew Shepard was the young gay man in Laramie, Wyoming who, a decade ago, was tied to a fence, Jesus-like, pistol whipped in the head some 50 times, then left for dead in the cold fall night, only to be found a day later clinging to life. Shepard died five days later. Even though Shepard's murderers admitted that they killed him because he was gay, the far-right bigots who control the Republican party couldn't resist the opportunity to gay-bash Shepard one last time. Now by referring to his brutal murder as a hoax.

Here is what North Carolina Republican [Congresswoman Foxx] had to say about Shepard's horrific murder:

If you didn't vote for this bill -- against this bill and against this rule for anything else, you could vote against it because we are spending additional money. I also would like to point out that there was a bill -- the hate crimes bill that's called the Matthew Shepard bill is named after a very unfortunate incident that happened where a young man was killed, but we know that that young man was killed in the commitment of a robbery. It wasn't because he was gay. This -- the bill was named for him, hate crimes bill was named for him, but it's really a hoax that that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills.

During the trial, Chastity Pasley and Kristen Price (the pair's then-girlfriends) testified under oath that Henderson and McKinney both plotted beforehand to rob a gay man. McKinney and Henderson then went to the Fireside Lounge and selected Shepard as their target. McKinney alleged that Shepard asked them for a ride home. After befriending him, they took him to a remote area of Laramie where they robbed him, beat him severely (media reports often contained the graphic account of the pistol whipping and his smashed skull), and tied him to a fence with a rope from McKinney's truck. Shepard begged for his life. Both girlfriends also testified that neither McKinney nor Henderson was under the influence of drugs at the time. The beating was so severe that the only areas on Shepard's face that were not covered in blood were those where his tears had washed the blood stains away.

Media Matters has lots of links, and quotes, from the mainstream media attesting to the fact that Shepard was murdered because he was gay.

A hoax? Belittling the brutal murder of a 21 year old college student? And Republicans wonder why their angry, hateful, pathetic party is now only 20% of the US population.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Cuban American Catholics Support the President


The Cuban-American community has been known to be strongly Catholic and strongly Republican. It has been maybe the only significant social element that has modified the GOP's tendency to be an all-white/Anglo club.

Until now.

President Obama is winning tremendous support from Catholic Cuban-Americans. More surprisingly, he is doing so even while venturing into Cuban policy issues that are unlikely to make everyone happy. Over 67% of Catholic Cuban-Americans have a favorable view of the President, the highest level since Ronald Reagan and even higher than the general population's support for Obama. 64% of Cuban Americans say they support the President's Cuban policy (61% of the general population says so).

Strong generational differences also exist with younger Cuban Americans wildly enthusiastic about President Obama.

Seemingly, the narrow community of Obama-hating Catholics draws smaller and whiter.

Friday, April 24, 2009



The Catholic Right, not satisfied with their campaign to deny the nation's first African American President the respect given to the person and office before him, has looked for and found another African American to direct its bile and unChristian lack of charity towards. Regular communicant Donna Brazile, is to receive an honorary degree from Xavier University. Xavier was founded to provide higher education to African American Catholics at the time conservative Catholics demanded that other Catholic school be segregated. These white conservative Catholics who never lifted a finger in the civil rights movement, now seek to tell Xavier who it may grant a degree to.

Xavier does not recognize these conservatives as its Master and will go ahead and honor Ms. Brazile.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Jesuit University Honors Vice President Biden

Vice President Joe Biden, the first Catholic to hold that office, was invited to give a speech at Georgetown University today. Georgetown is America's oldest Catholic university. Biden will also receive the Legal Momentum Hero Award.

Congratulations Mr. Vice President!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Welcome Home, Captain!

Capt. Phillips is a fellow Catholic and member of St. Thomas Parish in Underhill Center, VT.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Susan Boyle -- Wonderful!

BTW, she is a Catholic lady and sings in the choir at Our Lady's Parish in Blackburn, Scotland.

Monday, April 13, 2009


I highly recommend to all the Easter Vigil homily of Rev. Mr. Greg Kandra, deacon of the Diocese of Brooklyn. A section is below and the full homily is linked.

Describing the Catholic Church, James Joyce once said, “Here comes everybody.”

Yes. That says it.

Here comes Peter, the denier and Thomas the doubter, and the converted pagan Augustine. Here comes the soldier Ignatius, and the scholar Aquinas, and the tentmaker Paul.

Here comes the outspoken Catherine of Sienna and the quiet Therese of Lisieux.

Here comes Francis, preaching to the birds.

We are all that and more.

We are monks who copied scripture onto parchment, and preserved God’s word during one of the darkest times in history.

We are priests and nuns who could barely speak the language, but came to an unruly place called America and created the most extensive parochial school system on earth, passing on what they knew, and what they believed.

We are laborers from Italy and Poland and Germany who arrived in Brooklyn with nothing, and left behind towering temples of stone and glass in what we now call a City of Churches.

We are Chesterton and Merton and Hopkins.

We are Bob Hope and Newt Gingrich, John Wayne and Oscar Wilde, Tony Blair and Fulton Sheen.

We are Oscar Romero and Bobby Kennedy and Caeser Chavez and Mother Angelica.

We are the soldier in Iraq praying the rosary, and the immigrant in the barrio with Our Lady of Guadalupe tattooed on his back.

We are Fr. Mike Dalton, in a jeep in Germany, hearing one last confession.

We are Rosa and Richard, about to be baptized here tonight.

We are Amanda and Lydia and Ana and Justine and Carmen, about to be confirmed.

We are saints. We are sinners. We are everybody.

We are the Body of Christ. Bruised. Broken. But resurrected and given new life, new hope. Changed forever.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Good devotion to all during Holy Week. This blog will not be active during that time.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Conservatives in Full Retreat on Notre Dame

Catholic Faithful Appalled by Hateful Attacks on President.

Conservatives realize what a blunder their criticism was

Conservatives are in full retreat from their politically, socially and theologically disastrous attempt to defame President Obama following the invitation of the University of Notre Dame to award him an honorary degree.

Early and intemperate remarks used the strongest language against the President and the University. Typical of the Right-wing, they went so overboard, their own fanaticism became the issue. They learned little from their misguided attempt to proclaim Rush Limbaugh their leader, and action that also resulted in a full scale retreat by conservative and Republican leaders.

Sensible conservative Catholics like Archbishop Timothy Dolan, are now expressing the conservative viewpoint in more moderate and temperate terms. The Archbishop, soon to be enthroned in New York City, offers his personal opinion ("I think it was a mistake.") but affirms his respect for Barack Obama and simply re-states what we all know -- that the Church stands with the President on many issues but not on the abortion issue. Sending a subtle message, in one of his first acts as Archbishop of New York, Dolan will be guest of honor at an event organized by a pro-choice organization (Central Synagogue) and has invited teh President to attend his installation in St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Former Ambassador Thomas Patrick Melady, a conservative Catholic leader, has now penned an article saying that conservatives need to reign things in on this issue and other conservatives are echoing Dolan, voicing their objection as a personal judgement and going to great lengths to distance themselves from the Obama-haters. Even ultraconservative Archbishop Raymond Burke has had to apologize for his actions in recent days.

Christian conservative Michael Gerson sent clear signals on the need to change the rhetoric today saying that the Obama-haters "are going too far" on the Notre Dame issue and is trying to direct criticism of the President back to issues, not the Notre Dame speech. Church bishops previously silent are speaking up that the tone and rhetoric have got out of hand.