Thursday, May 25, 2006

Travelin', etc., cont. from below

- The night of the very day we got back from New York, the daughter went to watch some friends play softball, while out in the parking lot the window of her car (and those of several others) was being smashed and her purse stolen. Everything important was in it. Hell descended for the next couple of days. I don't want to go into it now, but things have calmed down a bit. This was probably to punish us for walking out of Mass. Does that mean I don't have to go to confession?

- A note from a female reader of exceeding intelligence, re the Dreher temptation toward Orthodoxy, or whatever's at the top of his list this week:

Once you start leavin' it's really hard to stop. My impression is that he is not really looking for Christ's church. He's looking for ROD'S church--something that we are all tempted better self, who in this case is a very-much-too-small voice, pities him and prays for his soul. I'm not always thrilled with the Church's administration or its handling of things, but I feel like the disciples who said to Christ, "Where else would we go? You have the words of everlasting life."

Sounds like a pretty big voice to me.

While people were pondering which church is the church, and whether an immigration bill with teeth had any chance of passing, or why George Bush is so unpopular, or whether a thoroughbred horse will survive his broken leg (Bernadette almost cried up in the N.Y. motel room when she saw the footage on TV - she needs to get a zoo), something else has been slipping under the radar (is it all right if I use cliché's now and then?), mine at any rate. On the O'Reilly factor the other night Michelle Malkin and some cute blonde demo strategist ("Fox News contributors both") were tossing around the federal marriage amendment issue, which has been quiet for a while. And I wondered, why now? O'Reilly claimed that Bush no longer supports it, which I hadn't heard, and that only 50% of Americans are behind it. Malkin did not disagree. And further, Bush does not support it because Laura the Libertarian doesn't. It's a losing issue, dead in the water. (You've already said I could use cliché's.)

Where was all this coming from? Well, I did some searching and I can't yet call George guilty of such a horrendous flip-flop, but I did find this over at

Now that I think of it, he hasn't said much since the 2004 campaign. And what about Laura? Maggie Gallagher quotes her from a recent appearance on Fox News Sunday: "I don't think (gay marriage) should be used as a campaign tool, obviously. It requires a lot of sensitivity to just talk about the issue -- a lot of sensitivity." What an idiotess.

I love this pearl from Sen. Salazar of Colorado: "I oppose the Federal Marriage Amendment. I believe that marriage should only be between a man and a woman, but the regulation of marriage has always been, and should remain, the jurisdiction of the states. We should not enshrine discrimination against any group in our Constitution." He just convicted himself of believing in a doctrine that discriminates. What an idiot.

But we're not done. Gallagher also got the goods (sorry) on Sen. John McCain, who may be the Republican frontrunner. On Fox News Sunday, where all the important voices seem to be dumping their garbage, the senator demonstrates with what ease the idiocy crosses party lines: "I will vote against it because I believe very strongly, first of all, in the sanctity of union between man and woman, but I also believe that the states should make these decisions." Some of them did, senator, in the 2004 election, and most have been vacated by those states' courts.

I think use of the word 'sanctity' by politicians ought to be outlawed.

Well it turns out that this issue will reappear on the radar the week of June 5, when the Senate votes on it. A majority will vote in favor of it. But it's a vote on an amendment to the constitution, and will gather nowhere near the two-thirds majority. Dead in the water.

- Steven Riddle mentions the matter of receiving communion under both species, which reminded me of something I saw in Chicago at the downtown cathedral (Holy Name? God, I've forgotten already). At the busiest Sunday morning Mass, only bread was offered. There were still plenty of Eucharistic ministers crawling all over the sanctuary, but with wine the numbers would have doubled with a cup holder at every station. I note it because it's the first time in a looong time since I've seen it.

- Here's a blog by a woman, (I know that because it says at the top: 'conservative, progressive, woman') who links to me, apparently on the recommendation of Elena. Good rec, Elena.

- In case you ever wanted to write for an audience - by that I mean something beyond blogging, like, say, you wanted to write a book - here are some statistics from a publishing website to cheer you along:

* There are more than 110,000 books published every year, and most never find their way to a bookstore shelf.
* 50 percent of all books sold are never read to completion.
* The average secular book sells 2,000 copies in its lifetime; the average Christian book sells 4,000 copies in its lifetime.
* 50 percent of all books sold are never read to completion.
* The average American spends 4 hours watching TV every day, and 3 hours listening to the radio – but only 14 minutes reading.
* 82 percent of all books are bought by women.
* All bookstores carry books on consignment. 35 percent of all books in the publishing industry are “remainders” – meaning they were published, but were sold at a ridiculous discount, or were never sold and were destroyed.
* The average male high school graduate never finishes another book after high school.
* Only about 5 percent of Americans who have graduated from high school visit bookstores.
* 22 percent of American adults (40 million) read and write at only the fifth grade level.
* Reading level correlates to income – 43 percent of Americans at a low literacy level live in poverty; only 5 percent with a higher literacy level live in poverty.
* In 2005 in the United States: $78 billion was spent on alcohol, $37 billion was spent on cigarettes, $24 billion was spent on publishing, and $6 million was spent on pet food.

Now get to work.


TS said...

"I think use of the word 'sanctity' by politicians ought to be outlawed."

Unless used in a honest sense of "I believe in the sanctity of my political career such that I will stop at nothing to see it continue."

But then that would be quite unlikely. Must. wake. up.

Paul Cella said...

Most amazing in the 3 hours listening to the radio statistic. Who the hell listens to that much radio?

On second thought, part of that figure must be a simple reflection of how much time people spend in traffic.

TS said...

Dan Brown ain't no fool. You report that 82% of book buyers are women. And we wonder why a book celebrating the "divine
feminine" is popular!?!

William Luse said...

Paul must live in a big city. If I had to spend three hours in traffic, I'd get out and start hiking. There's no one on the radio I can listen to for that long.

William Luse said...

Oh, TS - the feminine is close enough to the divine for me. I guess I shouldn't say that...

William Luse said...

TS, just curious. What does Brown mean by the "feminine divine?" I need someone to answer this because I'll never read the book.

Peony Moss said...

I'll give it a shot. It means that the Church tells women that marriage is a vocation, sex is the Marital Act, and babies are a blessing because the Church is misogynist and oppressive; and that the Church denies that Mary Magdalen married Jesus and had his babies because the church is misogynist and oppressive.

The feminine divine means that being the apostle to the Apostle and the first witness to the Resurrection isn't enough -- Mary Magdalen is holy because she married Jesus and had his babies. And Jesus isn't really holy, he was just very nice. So Mary Magdalen is holy because she married a really nice guy and had his babies.

But telling women that it's holy to get married and have babies is misogynist.

Get it?

William Luse said...

Yeah, I get it. 'Divine' has nothing to do with it, and Dan Brown is one sick sucker. Perhaps that's bit harsh. He's misguided.

It's a good thing Jesus wasn't holy, or we'd have all these holy descendants running around whose status as regards original sin might be in question, and then it would all be too much for Dan Brown's brain. Hmm, think I just had an idea for my next book.

Very well done, Peony. You're sense of irony is occasionally mordant.

TS said...

Yep Bill, at times "divine feminine" seems redundant. (Just a joke!)

That's a good question with respect to how that term got thrown around. I suspect it's part of the modern agenda to see God more as "Mother" rather than "Father" because 1) we tend to get away with more crapola with mothers than fathers and 2) modernity sees everything in race/gender & power terms, so if God is female the theory is that it will trickle down to women priests, equal pay, and more jobs for women, or so I imagine the thinking goes.

In Brown's world, "the Grail is literally the ancient symbol for womanhood, and the Holy Grail represents the sacred feminine and the goddess, which of course has now been lost, virtually eliminated by the Church." Same stuff, different day.

William Luse said...

Well, as I said of others in this post, What an idiot.