Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.

Now Blogging Afresh at Ad Orientem 西儒 - The Western Confucian

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Prayer Request

Saint Vaast, patron of children late in learning to walk, pray for our sixteen-month-old daughter, Joy.

Readers' prayers are welcome, too. Thank you.
Our Christian Brothers in Iraq and Elsewhere

This article, Bush’s Global War on Christians, while perhaps a bit overly polemical in blaming the President, makes the disturbing point that Christians, a protected minority under Saddam Hussein, are now in great danger and that their current plight is largely being ignored by America. In the article, this rhetorical question is raised:
    "Perhaps if the Assyrians and others renounced Christ and embraced the Talmud, American Christians would care what happens to them?"

Serge, of A conservative blog for peace, responding to the same article, speculates that "[o]ne factor may be that Mr Bush's brand of Protestantism and/or those of his followers don't see these Catholics as Christians."

From the above article comes another, Commentary: Christians Targeted in Iraq!, from which these horrendous photos are found:

    Raneed Raad 16 and her sister Raphid 6 were slaughtered in their home.

God rest their little souls.

Remember, Christianity in Iraq predates Islam.
Information Needed about the Korean Royal Family

I received this most interesting email message today:
    "Laudetur Jesus Christus!
    "Friendly greetings from Germany. I am a Catholic Christian and very interested in Korean royalty.That's how I found your most fascinating website.
    "I have heard that some Korean royals are Christians.The last crown princess became a Catholic taking the name 'Agatha' on baptism. Do you have more detailed informations about her (she was originally a Japanese aristocrate)?
    "I am looking for the names, dates and especially postals addresses and/or e-mail ids of those members of the Korean royal family still alive: some residing in Korea, some in Japan and others in the United States.
    "I should be grateful if you kindly helped me to locate them.
    "Several years ago I discovered in a museum in Bavaria, Southern Germany, a scroll with handwritten prayers of the Christian wife of a Korean prince regent of the 19th century who was burned to death because of her faith.
    "I have never been to Korea but met some Koreans who are residing in my country. May God bless you and your good work.

    "All the best

    "Kindest regards,
    "H------- G---------"

Here was my reply:
    "Dear Herr G---------,

    "Thank you for your intriguing message.

    "I'm afraid I do not have much information on the Korean Royal Family. The topic is not a popular one here in Korea.

    "I found this address, from the MONARCHIST DIRECTORY 2004:

    "Cheon-Ju Yi Clan Association
    "139 Wharyong-Dong, Chongro-Ku, Seoul, Korea
    "Tel: +82 2 765 2124
    "Fax: +82 2 742 1676

    "The last crown princess of Korea was of Japanese birth. Her Japanese name was Masa-go and her Korean name Lee Pang-ja. I never knew she became a Catholic and would love to find out more information about this.

    "(Note "Lee" and "Yi" are two alternate romanizations of the same royal family name.)

    "Here are two articles about the Korean Royal Family:

    "Korean royalty seeks to restore ancestral pride

    "Last Crown Princess of Korea

    "A descendent (son, I believe) of the last Korean King Ko Jong married an American woman. She lived in the royal palace while Rhee Syngman was president in the1950s. I believe she still alive and is now part of a charitable organization.

    "I will try to find more information for you. You have sparked my interest. Please send me any information you discover.

    "God bless,

    "Joshua Snyder"

In some quick Internet research, I also found this fascinating piece of tangential information, from  Prince Ly Long Tuong, Vietnamese Prince in Korea:
    "One of the Korean Lee family lines is acually descended from the Vietnamese royal Ly family. Nearly eight centuries ago, the Ly dynasty was ending and being replaced with the Tran dynasty. The Tran dynasty ordered all those who had the Ly surname from the Ly royal dynasty to change their name to Nguyen. If they did not they were killed. Prince Ly Long Tuong, in order to preserve the Ly family line, fled on boat with several hundreds of his followers northward toward China. He somehow went off course and ended up in Korea where his descendants are living today! Prince Ly Long Tuong also became a general under the Korean King!! He sucessfully defeated two Mongol invasions protecting his new found home. (Incidentally, later the Tran dynasty and the hero Tran Hung Dao would also defeat three Mongol invasions back in Vietnam). Anyways, the Korean people saw him as a hero and made a statue of him on top of a horse in his honor. Because he always rode a white horse into battle he was nicknamed the 'General on a White Horse.' Prince Ly was also given land that became known as the Lee/Ly family farm house."

If anyone has any information about the Korean Royal Family, please leave a comment or send me an email. Thank you.
On America's Culture War

Jeff Culbreath of El Camino Real has these wise words of advice:
    "Time to choose your side and start building those fences."

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Melkite Catholics in Syria

From the Catholic News Service

    A boy lights a candle in the Melkite
    Catholic cathedral in Aleppo, Syria,
    Oct. 24. Syrian Christians are keenly
    aware of the deep roots of Christianity
    in their country.

[see also In Syria, Melkite archbishop says church must make its presence known]
Beyond Good and Evil

Peter Singer, the bioethicist and "philosopher" famous for his support of animal rights and the right to kill disabled newborns, published an attack on President George W. Bush's morality a few months back in a book called The President of Good and Evil.

For more on Singer, see Statement on the Hiring of Peter Singer, Students Protest Princeton Professor Who Advocates Infanticide, and Peter Singer Links.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Today's DVD Purchases

At the recently opened Walmart in Pohang, I bought some DVD's today. They were sold for 5,900 won (US$5.26) a pair! Here's what I bought:

The Ox-Bow Incident (1943), starring Henry Fonda and Anthony Quinn
I saw this film noire western several years ago on PBS and remember it as being one of the most chilling films I have ever seen.

Red River (1948), starring John Wayne and Montgomery Clift
What more need be said?

Alexander the Great (1956), starring Richard Burton
I've never seen this movie, but I love epics, historical dramas, and biopics.

Oedipus Rex (1967), directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini
I don't know much about this movie, but was very impressed by the homosexual Marxist director's Il Vangelo secondo Matteo (1968), which served as one of the inspirations of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ (2004).

The Bells of St. Mary's (1945), starring Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman
This movie looks very Catholic. Bing Crosby is one of my favorite singers and Ingrid Bergman one of my favorite actresses.

The Song of Bernadette (1943), directed by Henry King
I already own this story of Saint Bernadette of Lourdes, one of the most moving and religious movies I've ever seen. So, in celebration of this blog's 10,000th visitor since I started keeping track in March, I'll send this DVD to the first person who posts a comment, from anywhere in the world; it's region-free. Just give me your email, and I can get your address that way.
Russell Kirk's Ten Articles of Belief

Russell Kirk, like so many of the 20th Century's great thinkers and writers (Graham Greene, Evelyn Waugh, Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, Malcolm Muggeridge, Claire Boothe Luce, E.F. Schumacher, to name a few) was a convert to Catholicism. Click on this link, Libertarians vs. Conservatives, to find out his "ten articles of belief [that] reflect the emphases of conservatives in America nowadays."

[link via A conservative blog for peace]
Homosexuality, an "UnAfrican" Practice

[Anglican] African bishops threaten split over homosexuality
Lee Seung-bok, Murdered for Saying "I Hate the Communist Party"

From Report of Ghastly 1968 Murder of Boy by N. Koreans Was True:

    The photograph shows dead bodies of Lee's family, displayed at Lee Seung-bok
    Memorial Hall, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon Province. Here, the corpse of Lee
    Seung-bok, 9 years old at the time, his younger brother Seung-su, 7 years old at
    the time, his younger sister Seung-ja, 4 years old at the time, and his mother Joo
    Dae-ha, 33 years old at the time, are shown.

Requiescat in pace.

[see also We Must Once Again Tell the World about Lee Seung-bok]

Thursday, October 28, 2004

A Zinger

Here's a rhetorical question from the lastest installment of KARL KEATING'S E-LETTER:
    "Who was more likely to have understood the teaching of the apostles correctly, those early writers we call the Fathers of the Church or the Protestant Reformers who came on the scene about thirteen centuries after the Fathers?"

That simple question, stated on a radio debate, was enough to prompt at least one prominent Protestant to examine the writings of the Fathers, discover their unmistakable Catholicity, and eventually come home to the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Vote for Babies

From today's Oremus Prayer Network email:

A Pro-American Dream American Indian

Native American author Sherman Alexie, speaking at a panel discussion in France "about whether the world still believes in the American dream," quoted in What the French love about America:
    "I see white American writers on these stages disparaging the country, when everything they have is because of that country. The dream has not died. I am a millionaire because of my imagination. I don't know if you could find another society that has ever existed where somebody like me could become what he has become."

I've always thought the American Dream was, or at least could be, about something other than becoming a millionaire. Still, Mr. Alexie's words are welcome.
Evangelicals Moving Closer to Catholics Politically

Ralph Reed, founder of the Christian Coalition, is right that "the evangelical movement [i]s more complicated than the stereotype allow[s]." Here's evidence, from Conflicted Evangelicals Could Cost Bush Votes:
    "Within the evangelical community, the complicated fabric of politics was underscored this month when the board of the National Assn. of Evangelicals unanimously approved a document laying out a new 'Evangelical Call to Civic Responsibility.'

    "The document embraces traditional opposition to abortion, gay marriage and embryonic stem cell research. But it also mirrors aspects of the Democratic Party platform, quoting scripture to endorse policies that encourage racial and economic equity and promote a cleaner environment."
The Death Penalty and the Culture of Death

From Texas Lifts Reprieve, Executes Inmate:
    "A man convicted in a 1992 murder case in which the troubled Houston police crime lab allegedly mishandled evidence was executed Tuesday evening despite last-minute legal battles and pleas from relatives of the murder victim that his life be spared....

    "'Texas is going to put a righteous person to die like an animal, putting him on a table, strapping him up, putting those needles in his arms, putting him to sleep,' the victim's son, Andre Lastrapes-Luckett, said after meeting with Green in prison Monday."

    Dominique Green

Requiescat in pace.

Capital Punishment, while not intrinsically evil, is in its application today a part of the Culture of Death.

Paragraph # 2267 of the CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH states:
    "Assuming that the guilty party's identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.

    "If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people's safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.

    "Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm - without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself - the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity 'are very rare, if not practically non-existent.'"

[From today's news, see also U.S. Cardinal Opposes Expanding Death Penalty for Terrorists: Urges "Bloodless Means" Instead and Ex-Death Row Inmates Urge End to Capital Punishment]
The "Modern Catacombs"

Elias, a young Baghdad Catholic, quoted in "We Are in the Modern Catacombs," Says Young Iraqi Catholic: Thousands of Christian Families Reportedly Have Fled Baghdad:
    "Today we celebrate Mass as the early Christians, in the basements of churches, with a few courageous faithful. We are in the modern catacombs."
The "Silent Genocide" of Depleted Uranium Weapons

Re: The Morality Of Weapons Systems

The very disturbing article above is written by Paul Likoudis, whose father James is a Catholic convert from Greek Orthodoxy from my hometown, Buffalo, NY.

The article contains a link to this page of "photographs [that] are gruesome beyond description" of "newborn Iraqi babies, born without heads and limbs, sometimes they are blood red, sometimes black, sometimes covered in an unknown white film, sometimes with gaping holes in their torsos that expose their internal organs" [warning: very graphic]:

More of the same can be found here:

Pro dolorosa Eius passione, miserere nobis et totius mundi.
For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

[link via A conservative blog for peace]
Beslan Martyrs

Icon celebrates the 'martyrs' of Beslan school siege massacre

[link via A conservative blog for peace, where it is correctly pointing out that "one can paint an icon of uncanonized people in this tradition - just leave off the halos"]
Blood Type

Re: Type B Men Angry over Title Song by Singer Kim Hyun-jung

Judging a person's character by blood type is all the rage here in South Korea these days. From what I hear, some companies even consider blood type when hiring new employees.

My guess is that as a more scientific mindset replaces traditional Korean belief in astology and fortune-telling, this type of pseudo-science acts a subsititute for deplaced superstitions.
Defense of Marriage in Puerto Rico

Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez of San Juan, quoted in Bishops in Puerto Rico defend traditional concept of marriage:
    "We cannot alter or mess with the order of creation because creation follows its own logic, it is not the result of mere chance but rather of the decision by the Creator to establish the family, built upon the union of one man and one woman."

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Iraqi Christian Martyrs

Let us pray for their souls, for the conversion of their persecutors, and for peace in their troubled homeland.

Here's a list of their names, from Iraq: Christian death toll grows:
    1) Hasem Patros Dman 10-4-2003 Karkok
    2) Helda Zuhair Astefan 19-7-2003 Mosul
    3) Nadan Yonadm 19-8-2003 Tikrit
    4) Safae sabah habesh 7-10-2003 Baghdad
    5) Dani Eshak 12-10-2003 Faluja
    6) Weliam Qaiser 12-10-2003 Faluja
    7) Esmaeil Yuosef Sadeq 4-11-2003 Mosul
    8) Sargon Nato 18-11-2004 Bassora
    9) Bashir Toma Alias 21-1-2004 Bassora
    10-14) five Christian girls 21-1-2004 near Faluja
    15) Dr. Sarmad Sami 25-1-2004 Bassora
    16) Majed Bia Toma 1-2-2004 Arbil
    17) Haitham Sulaka Hanna 1-2-2004 Arbil
    18) Eklas Qorial Yokana 15-3-2004 Baghdad
    19) Narmin Yonan 15-3-2004 Baghdad
    20) Aodisho Shamun Aodisho 17-3-2004 Baghdad
    21) Marta Zkaria Warda 17-3-2004 Baghdad
    22) Farid Aodisho Shamun 17-3-2004 Baghdad
    23) Zaia Audisho Shamun 17-3-2004 Baghdad
    24) Amijan Kona Eaziz 17-3-2004 Baghdad
    25) Jaudat KaKos 17-3-2004 Baghdad
    26) Ednan Hanna Bia Al-Shaklaui 20-3-2003 Bassora
    27) Rannin Raeed 25-3-2004 Baghdad
    28) Rafi Raeed 25-3-2004 Baghdad
    29) Romio Aisha Daud 20-3-2004 Karkok
    30) Emad Mika 4-4-2004 Baquba
    31) Wesam Yakob Asoffi 27-4-2004 Baghdad
    32) Samir Shlemon 13-5-2004 Baghdad
    33) Ashur Korial Yalda 26-5-2004 Baghdad
    34) Saher Farej Murdakai 2-6-2004 Baghdad
    35) Aisho Nissan Markos 7-6-2004 Baghdad
    36) Ramzia Nuia Youkana 7-6-2004
    37) Duraid Sabri Hanna 7-6-2004
    38) Alis Ara Maiss 7-6-2004
    39) Aida Bedros Bogos 7-6-2004
    40) Muna Jalal Karim 7-6-2004
    41) Sami Saeed 10-7-2004
    42) Rami Saeed 10-7-2004
    43) Shada Sada 20-6-2004 Bassora
    44) Janet Sada 20-6-2004 Bassora
    45) Janan Jossef 10-7-2004 Baghdad
    46) Hanni Yuohanna Naeum 19-7-2004 Mosul
    47-65) 18 morti, bombe in chiese 1-8-2004 Baghdad, Mosul
    66) Rimon Farok Shamun - 8-2004 Mosul
    67) Firas Moefak hzdi petros -8-2004 Mosul
    68) Raed Eishoe Naem 4-8-2004 Mosul
    69) Takrid Abd Almasih Eshak Petros 31-8-2004 Mosul
    70) Hala Abd Almasih Eshak Petros 31-8-2004 Mosul
    71) Tara Majid Petros Alhedaia 31-8-2004 Mosul
    72) Nessan Sliua Shamueel 1-9-2004 Mosul
    73) Kaled Poles 2-9-2004 Mosul
    74) Hani Poles 2-9-2004 Mosul
    75) KorKis Yoaresh Nessan 2-9-2004 Baghdad
    76) Mark Luis Shito 10-9-2004 Mosul
    77) Bassam Sabri 23-9-2004
    78) Sanne Toma 23-9-2004 Mosul
    79) Munir Toma 24-9-2004
    80) Maradona Emanuel Nessan 27-9-2004 Baghdad
    81) Raeed Nessan 27-9-2004 Baghdad
    82) Amer Nessan 27-9-2004 Baghdad
    83) Amir Shabo 27-9-2004 Baghdad
    84) Rassm Elias Sliwa 27-9-2004 Baghdad
    85) Naeem Korkis 27-9-2004 Baghdad
    86) Emanuel Nessan Mammo 27-9-2004 Baghdad
    87) Majd Sako 5-10-2004 Mosul
    88) Little girl 14-10-2004 Baghdad

Finally, here's the story of #88, from the same article:
    "Last week a little Chaldean Christian girl was brutally murdered by a group of Islamic terrorists in Baghdad. The group kidnapped the child and demanded ransom money for her release, but the distraught parents were unable to pay the sum. On 14 October her body was delivered to their home."
The Power of Repentence

Former Khmer Rouge soldier Thao Tanh, 52, quoted in Khmer Rouge embraces Jesus:
    "When I was a soldier I did bad things. I don't know how many we killed. We were following orders and thought it was the right thing to do. I read the Bible and I know it will free me from the weight of the sins I have committed."

[link via TCR News Headlines]
Pre-emptive War not Just War

From Vatican releases handbook on war, abortion:
    "Engaging in a preventive war without clear proof that an attack is imminent cannot fail to raise serious moral and juridical questions."
North Korean Infiltration

Search Operations Ordered Following Signs of N. Korean Infiltration

SKorean military units on highest alert over possible border breach

UPDATE: From S.Korea Probe Suggests No Infiltration from North:
    "[T]he investigation did not point to North Korean agents infiltrating into the South, but instead an unidentified person crossing into the North, Hwang Jung-sun, the defense ministry's deputy director of operations, told a briefing after the joint investigation conducted by the military, intelligence and police."
Rainbow Sash Alert


Soulforce, "an interfaith movement committed to ending spiritual violence [sic] perpetuated by religious policies and teachings against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) people," tries to compare itself to Archbishop Oscar Romero and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. I imagine the vast majority of Salvadoran peasants and Black Americans would be of a different opinion.
Taken to Task

This blog has a dual readership: Catholics and other like-minded folks on the one hand, and expats here in Korean on the other. Gordsellar of eclexys is of the latter group. Has taken me to task in a post entitled Conservative Catholic Illogic and The Question of Gay Marriage. The Comments on this blog that insipred his post are a very bizarre example of triangulation among a Catholic, a Wiccan, and an Atheist!

He does pay me this compliment, though:
    "I think he's the most conservative Catholic I've ever come across, save one substitute teacher I met in high school"

Monday, October 25, 2004

God Bless These Sisters!

A description of The Domican Sisters of Hawthorne, from their website:
    "An American community, founded on December 8, 1900. We live in community, strive to grow in a deep prayer life, and rely on and radically trust in God's providence.

    "Our apostolate is to nurse and shelter incurable cancer patients who cannot afford care elsewhere. All care is free. No payments are accepted either from patients or their families, nor from Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance.

    "Traditions of the Dominican Order ... love of the Church and the Holy Father, wearing the habit, devotion to the Passion of Christ and Our Blessed Mother ... are a major focus of the community's life."

[link via A Catholic Blog for Lovers]
Whole Language: "A Criminal Act against the Children and the Culture"

Re: Must I Honeymoon With Poor Readers?

"Whole Language" was all the rage almost ten years ago when I was doing my master's degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). Whole Language tries, and fails, to teach reading without teaching phonics. Students are not allowed to examine how words are formed from letters and syllables. They are not allowed to examine how the different parts of speech are combined to form the sentences we use to express meaning and ideas. They are allowed to spell words any old way. Fun and self-esteem are the most important things in this method.

My professors had us examine if Whole Language could be used in second language contexts. Fortunately, we spent very little time on it, and spent the bulk of our time examining linguistics and the tried and true methods of teaching grammar and language skills.

But the future teachers of native English speakers were caught up in this Whole Language nonsense. This is a very worrying trend.

From Growing Number of Koreans Getting Organ Transplants in China:
    "Many of these hospitals are believed to be securing organs by inhumane and unlawful means, such as retaining organs from prisoners on death row."
Okay, okay, I'll vote for Kerry. Just please don't hurt me.

From Top Stories Photos - AP:
Massacre in Iraq

Re: 50 Iraq Soldiers Apparent Ambush Victims and, yet again, Internet Tape Purportedly Shows Beheading

It's events like these that illustrate, however wrong the initial invasion of Iraq and subsequent events may have been, the huge moral gulf that exists between the Americans and their enemy.

God rest ther souls.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Yevgeny Rodionov, Christian Martyr

Re: Russia Mulls Sainthood for Soldier Killed in Chechnya

The story provides a link to his website, in Russian:

Here are some images, from From Village Boy to Soldier, Martyr and, Many Say, Saint:

    Lyubov Rodionov holding two
    portraits of her son Yevgeny - a
    primary school photograph and
    an unauthorized icon. Mrs.
    Rodionov says Muslim rebels
    killed him because he refused
    to renounce his religion.

    An icon of Yevgeny Rodionov
    next to one of the Virgin Mary
    in a church near St. Petersburg

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Choose A Candidate

I just took the quiz at the 2004 AMERICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE SELECTOR [link via Dappled Things] to find out which candidate was closest to my views. The results were a bit surprising:
    1. Your ideal theoretical candidate. (100%)
    2. Bush, President George W. - Republican (57%)
    3. Badnarik, Michael - Libertarian (47%)
    4. Cobb, David - Green Party (40%)
    5. Nader, Ralph - Independent (40%)
    6. Kerry, Senator John, MA - Democrat (32%)
    7. Peroutka, Michael - Constitution Party (32%)
    8. Brown, Walt - Socialist Party (29%)
"Dirty Jew"

From World Photos - AP:

    Poster provided Friday Oct.22, 2004 by a
    communication agency for the Union of Jewish
    Students of France (UEJF)'s upcoming campaign
    and showing Jesus and the words 'Dirty Jew'
    scrawled across as if a graffiti. The UEJF aims
    to shock people into awareness of anti-semitism
    through the advertising campaign to be lauched
    next week. Underneath appears: Antisemitism:
    And if it were everyone's problem?
    (AP Photo/ho/Agence Colorado)
Women in Combat

Re: US Army wants to lift ban on women in combat: report

General O'Duffy, an Irish volunteer with the Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War, found the Republicans' use of women soldiers to be the ultimate sign of the enemy's moral depravity. I share his opinion about women in combat.
An Election Prayer

From today's Oremus Prayer Network email:
    In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

    O God, we acknowledge you today as Lord,
    Not only of individuals, but of nations and governments.

    We thank you for the privilege
    Of being able to organize ourselves politically
    And of knowing that political loyalty
    Does not have to mean disloyalty to you.

    We thank you for your law,
    Which our Founding Fathers acknowledged
    And recognized as higher than any human law.

    We thank you for the opportunity that this election year
    puts before us,
    To exercise our solemn duty not only to vote,
    But to influence countless others to vote,
    And to vote correctly.

    Lord, we pray that your people may be awakened.
    Let them realize that while politics is not their salvation,
    Their response to you requires that they be politically active.

    Awaken your people to know that they are not called
    to be a sect fleeing the world
    But rather a community of faith renewing the world.

    Awaken them to know that the same hands lifted up
    to you in prayer
    Are the hands that pull the lever in the voting booth;
    That the same eyes that read your Word
    Are the eyes that read the names on the ballot,
    And that they do not cease to be Christians
    When they enter the voting booth.

    Awaken your people to a commitment to justice
    To the sanctity of marriage and the family,
    To the dignity of each individual human life,
    And to the truth that human rights begin when
    human lives begin,
    And not one moment later.

    Lord, we rejoice today
    That we are citizens of your kingdom.

    May that make us all the more committed
    To being faithful citizens on earth.

    We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

    - Father Frank Pavone, Priests For Life
No Clear Choices Even Among Third Parties

The weaknesses of President Bush and Senator John Kerry and their parties are too numerous and well-known to be described here. Between these two viable choices, however, I have to reluctantly admit that President Bush is the better. Still, as a resident of a solidly blue state, I cast my vote for Michael Anthony Peroutka of the Constitution Party. I'm no die-hard supporter of the candidate or the party, but it seemed that I could best affect the system by placing a vote for a third party, especially given the fact that my one vote could in no way stop John Kerry from winning all of New York State's electoral votes.

I learned something disappointing about Candidate Peroutka today. From the Annals of the 9th Crusade by way of El Camino Real, I came across an article, Fox News Interview: Constitution Party's Michael Peroutka on White House Run, in which the candidate answers a question about his religious affiliation:
    "Well, I was raised Roman Catholic, I began then to be influenced by a reform Presbyterian movement. I actually attend a Protestant church now. I don't think the denomination is actually as important as we believe."

First of all, if demonination is not important, why do Protestants have 60,000 of them? (Catholicism, by the way, is not a denomination.) Furthermore, while I have nothing but respect for those raised in Protestantism, as I was, or those who come into the Christian faith through its missionary activities, one has to question the judgment of someone who leaves the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church for a Protestant church. Sure, he might have been improperly catechized, as many are, but it would still have been his responsibilty as an intelligent man to learn as much as he could about his faith. I'll pray for his return.

Some Catholic bloggers were right to find "creepy Protestant religious right" undertones in Peroutka's party and to suspect it of hoping to turn America into a "Calivinist hellhole." Still, the party is 100% anti-abortion and anti-war, and I don't regret my vote, especially given the other choices.

The Average Joe Shriner Campaign seems like a morally consistent option, although its positions on difficult issues like Terrorism ("Impact it at it's [sic] roots") seem too vague.

The Libertarian Party looks good, until you read their position on abortion (from Women's Rights and Abortion):
    "Recognizing that abortion is a very sensitive issue and that people, including libertarians, can hold good-faith views on both sides, we believe the government should be kept out of the question."

Not good enough.

There are no clear-cut choices even among third-party candidates. That should come as no surprise to Catholics and other Christians who recognize that in this fallen world there can be no utopia before the Parousia. Until then, we'll just have to try to do as much good and as least harm as possible.
Archbishop Chaput Speaks

Faith and Patriotism
Old Korea

    Pusan Customs Building in
    early 20th century / Courtesy
    of Robert Neff

Austrian-Hungarians in Choson
Our Prayers Are With You

From Abducted Aid Worker in Iraq Begs for Life:

    Margaret Hassan
The Snyders of Pohang

    Joshua, Hyunae, and Joy
Terimah Kasih*, Gus Dur

Former Indonesian President defends a Catholic church

* Malay-Indonesian for "Thank You"

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Korean Cloner

    Hwang Woo-suk

Hwang Woo-suk, quoted in Hwang to Resume Cloning Research for Curing Diseases:
    "We will start to establish stem cells from cloned embryos again. We cannot put off our research any longer as tens of millions of people are suffering from degenerative diseases."

What about the embryos?
Blessed Charles of Austria, Pray for World Leaders!

Imperial Peacemaker
The Christian vs. Buddhist Worldviews in a Nutshell

Fr Gerald Vogin, of the Missions étrangères de Paris in Cambodia, quoted in Between salvation and gratitude, Christ in Cambodia:
    "One thing that distinguishes Christianity from Buddhism is without a doubt the notion of thanksgiving. In Buddhism, each person is alone and no one can help others to save themselves. A convert to Christianity discovers that although he or she may have done nothing deserving and may have in fact many sins to account for they still receive boundless love and find that their lives are considered precious. Former Buddhists are truly moved by this because in Buddhist culture, life is about suffering and sadness. By contrast, Christians proclaim that life is a gift from God and this comes as a shock.

    "Buddhism clearly differentiates suffering from reason. If you suffer you have done something wrong. When Christians receive the body and blood of Christ they feel intimately touched by God’s love, something they may feel they do not deserve. If Buddhism tells you, you get what you deserve, Christianity says that you freely receive salvation and thank God for it. Christians are happier for salvation and give thanks in the Eucharistic celebration."

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

"The Only Defense We Have"

From ISLAM AND THE WEST: THE THREAT, THE DEFENSE: Srdja Trifkovic interview with Al Kresta on Ave Maria Radio:
    "For a Christian the real task is to help our fellow humans who are trapped in Islam and to help them become free. But the more pressing task than that is to help our fellows [sic] former Christians, or post-Christians, to become aware of who they are and to become proud of their civilizational and spiritual legacy, because that's the only defense we have. If we fall into the pattern of post-Christian hedonistic and functionally nihilistic post-modern West as we have it today, our goose is cooked—demographically, spiritually, materially, and politically. One can almost not blame Muslims for doing what they are doing, immigrating into the West, procreating at five times the rates of Western nations, because, to paraphrase Martin Luther, they kann nicht anders, they cannot do otherwise. But we do have ourselves to blame for having fallen victim to the putrid, horrible, lukewarm ideology of multiculturalism that cannot be the basis of defense of anything at all. It is a form of anti-culturalism that opens the floodgates of hell."
An Unwasted Vote

I hope President George Bush wins the election, but just cast my vote by absentee ballot for Michael Peroutka for United States President 2004. According to the State-by-State Margins Oct. 19 from the Electoral Vote Predictor 2004, Kerry leads Bush by 23% (!) in my home state of New York. Had a voted for Bush, he would lose by one less vote. Had a voted for Kerry (perish the thought), he would win by one more. Voting for Bush or Kerry would have been a wasted vote. My vote for Peroutka sends a message that pre-emptive war is wrong and encourages the Republican Party to strengthen its pro-life stance.
Herr, Erbarme Dich!

My high school German is a bit rusty, but this new opera doesn't appear to have a pro-Catholic message.

From Fotos: Unterhaltung:

    Probenszene, aufgenommen am Donnerstag, 14. Okt. 2004 in der
    Wiener Volksoper fuer die szenische Erstauffuehrung der Oper
    "Irrelohe" von Franz Schreker in Oestereich. Premiere ist am Samstag, 1
    6. Okt. 2004 unter der musikalischen Leitung von Dietfried Bernet in
    einer Inszenierung von Olivier Tambosi. (AP Photo/Stephan
    Trierenberg) (Bild 1)
A Great Fisking of a Terrible Song

The Party Pooper thouroughly fisks a vulgar anti-American anthem popular in South Korea two years ago: F*cking USA.

A better and slightly more nuanced song was made by The Clash in 1977: I'M SO BORED

Re: Korean 'well-being' slogan for some, not others

The English term "well-being" is a buzzword in Korea these days. The trend on the whole seems positive, something akin to the "slow food" movement. It means different things to different people.

Marketing, however, has taken over the term and it now means nothing. Fast-food chains have "well-being" menus. There is "well-being" junk-food (with calcium). A nude model has released a "well-being" nude photo-album. There is even talk of Kim Jong-il's "well-being" program.
Modern Science: "Genuine Product of a Judeo-Christian View of the World"

Far From Being an Obstacle, Faith Seen as an Aid to Science: Cardinal Martino Addresses Festival in Bergamo
Charles Carroll, Catholic Fouding Father

Re: School graffiti artist became US founding father

Charles Carroll was the sole Catholic signatory of the Declaration of Independence and the first Catholic elected to Congress. He was also a bit of a trouble-maker at school, as the above article implies.
Straight Talk on Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Re: Stem-cell dispute not 'reason versus ignorance,' theologian says

The issue is not about religion vs. science, it is about ethical science.

The Catholic Church, President George W. Bush. and others are not against stem cell research, they are against embryonic stem cell research. Life must not be created only to be destroyed so as to perserve the lives of others. The (good) end does not justify the (evil) means.

Dr. Mengele's diabolical experiments and the Tuskegee Syphilis Study no doubt resulted in the furthering of scientific knowledge, but who would justify the means?
No Swearing in Belgorod

Local official Pavel Bispalenko, quoted in Russian town blacklists bad language:
    "Swearing is a moral disease, a social illness.

    "Scientists have proved that people who use bad words turn into bad people, so the aim of our campaign is to improve the health and the moral standing of our nation."

I've got to wonder about these "scientists" Mr. Bispalenko mentions, and I doubt whether a law is the answer, but swearing is a kind of social disease.

My opinion on swearing is similar to that of Baines (played by Albert Hall) from the film Malcolm X (1992):
    "A man curses because he doesn't have the words to say what's on his mind."
A Coptic Church in Ripon, California

Coptic followers invite look at church, culture: Ornate altar a highlight of Egyptian Festival in Ripon

    George Benjamin, treasurer at the St.
    Mark Coptic Orthodox Church in Ripon,
    admires the hand-carved woodwork that
    was made in Egypt and installed here
    in March. The new woodwork is a sample
    of what visitors can see at the Egyptian
    Festival that continues from noon to
    6 p.m. today.
An Orthodox Reaction to American Liberal Cultural Imperialism

Anglican Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, quoted in Nigerian Anglican leader blasts 'patronizing' Anglican report on gay split:
    "Why, throughout the document, is there such a marked contrast between the language used against those who are subverting the faith and that used against those of us, from the global south, who are trying to bring the church back to the Bible?

    "Where is the language of rebuke for those who are promoting sexual sins as holy and acceptable behavior? The imbalance is bewildering....

    "We have been asked to express regret for our actions and 'affirm our desire to remain in the communion.' How patronizing!

    "We will not be intimidated."
Korea's Coolest-Looking Politician

From 강기갑, "내 꿈은 천주교 신부였다" (Gang Gigap, "My Dream was to be a Catholic Priest"):

Now, he is a representative of the ultra-leftist Democratic Labor Party. He was also head of the Catholic Farmers' Association. Here's his website (in Korean): gttp://
The Excommunication that Wasn't

Kerry "excommunication" scam exposed
A Capitalist Argument for Hollywood to Clean Up Itself

G-rated Exports
The West is Winning the Clash of Civilizations

So says Sadik J. Al-Azm, in Time Out of Joint: Western dominance, Islamist terror, and the Arab imagination, a fascinating, honest, and sometimes disturbing article from the Islamic perspective.

[link via JIMMY AKIN.ORG]

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Kerry Excommunicated?

A reader asked for my comments on the possibe excommunication of John Kerry (see my post Excommunication!). Here are the comments I left. slightly edited for clarity:
    "Excommunication is extremely serious, and it can never be a cause for celebration, much less holier-than-thou gloating.

    "Nevertheless, the Catholic Church is not Unitarian-Universalism, and the doctrines it holds are to be taken seriously by its members.

    "The story mentions that Kerry's excommunication, if it indeed took place, would be 'latae sententiae, which means that it occurs automatically and does not require a formal pronouncement by any church official.'

    "A similar case would arise with a Catholic woman who has an abortion. She excommunicates herself, but only, and this is the clincher, only if she knew beforehand that the penalty for an abortion was automatic excommunication. And it's important to remember that there's always a way back to the Church, even for the excommunicated (it's just more complicated than simple confesssion).

    "It seems to me that Kerry probably has NOT been excommunicated. He doesn't seem to know enough about the Church he professes to belong to to have incurred an automatic excommunication. I still hold out hope for him. If he becomes President, maybe his opinions will change on abortion.

    "I'd like to see more Bishops telling pro-abortion politicians to stay away from the Communion rails, which has been happening in some dioceses. I understand that a bishop in Louisiana excommunicated a pro-segregation politician in the 1960s. Abortion is an even greater evil.

    "Still, like I said at the beginning, the excommunication of anyone is no cause for joy, as it cuts a Catholic off from the Sacraments of the Church."
I'm Voting Tonight

It's endorsement season, and this humble blogger will make his endorsements in this post.

My absentee ballot arrived from New York State today. New York State is a solid blue state; Sen. John Kerry will win all the electoral votes from that state (see Current Electoral Vote Predictor 2004). This reality has informed my decision of whom I will endorse.

The current issue of The American Conservative (link via A conservative blog for peace) offers traditional conservative arguments for each of the candidates (even Kerry and Nader), and for abstaining altogther from the election. which sometimes seems like the best choice.

Each "endorsement" is prefaced with these all-too-true words:
    "Unfortunately, this election does not offer traditional conservatives an easy or natural choice and has left our editors as split as our readership."

Patrick J. Buchanan surprised me by endorsing President Bush in his contribution, entitled Coming Home. (PJB must be mellowing a bit with age.) His is in no way, however, a ringing endorsement of the man he ran against in 2000 and whose war he has been a staunch critic of since before its inception. He writes:
    "[W]hile Bush and Kerry are both wrong on Iraq, Sharon, NAFTA, the WTO, open borders, affirmative action, amnesty, free trade, foreign aid, and Big Government, Bush is right on taxes, judges, sovereignty, and values. Kerry is right on nothing."

For me, the main issues there are values and judges. I shudder to imagine a Kerry Supreme Court.

Mr. Buchanan also offers these pragmatic words:
    "If an authentic conservatism rooted in the values of faith, family, community, and country is ever again to become the guiding light of national policy, it will have to come through a Republican administration.

    "[W]hile one must respect votes for Michael Peroutka by those who live in Red or Blue states, we cannot counsel such votes in battleground states."

Well said.

I live in a solid blue state, however, and while I will be hoping for a Bush victory, I will be writing in the name of Michael Anthony Peroutka (see Peroutka for United States President in 2004) of the Constitution Party on my absentee ballot.

Howard Phillips, in his endorsement entitled Constitutionally Correct Peroutka, summarizes the Perouta platform:
    "As president, Michael Peroutka would end federal intervention in education, cut off federal funding of Planned Parenthood and homosexual activist groups, withdraw from NATO, the UN, NAFTA, WTO, the World Bank, and the IMF. He would seal our borders, cancel the George W. Bush-Vicente Fox treaty to pay Social Security benefits to illegal aliens who have returned to Mexico, expel illegal aliens, end all foreign aid, withdraw from Iraq, oppose the Patriot Act, fight all forms of socialized medicine, and appoint only judges who are 100 percent against abortion. Peroutka would abolish the IRS and replace the income tax with a revenue tariff. He would recognize the threat posed by Communist China and rebuild the U.S. Navy, which has dropped from 600 ships under Ronald Reagan to fewer than 250 today."

[Taki, TAC's editor-in-chief, has made the same choice in his piece, entitled The Real Deal.]

Now that would certainly shake things up a bit, wouldn't it!

The nativist tone of much of that rhetoric turns me off as a Catholic, and the elevation of the Constitution to the status of near-Holy Writ by Peroutka's party strikes me as a bit idolotrous. But the Constitution is as close to Tradition as we Americans get, and the only other viable protest candidate, Libertarian Michael Badnarik, dodges the issue of Abortion.

Simply put, a vote for Peroutka will send a pro-life, anti-war message to President Bush.

[I wouldn't be voting this way if I were a resident of a battle-ground state.]

For the Legislative Branch, I'll be voting for two women, Nancy Naples for Congress and Dr. Marilyn O'Grady for Senate. Both women have received the endorsement of The Conservative Party of New York State.

As a "special federal voter," I am not eligible to vote for any local offices, so I don't need to research the pro-life credentials of the candidates for dog-catcher.
Happy B-Day, D & D!

Re: Gamers mark 30 years of Dungeons & Dragons

I used to play the game and yet never ended up a Satan-worshipper.

[link via Cathartidae]

From Is Kerry excommunicated?: Indirect Vatican letter says pols who support abortion condemn selves:
    "An unusual letter from the consultor to a Vatican agency rules that Catholic politicians who support abortion rights have already excommunicated themselves by their actions – a message that suggests Sen. John Kerry is no longer a member of the church." [my emphasis]

[link via The Catholic Spectator; see also Kerry said to be excommunicated]

Monday, October 18, 2004

Catholic Resettlement

Jeff Culbreath of El Camino Real has proposed Orland, California (pop. 6000) as a site for Catholic resettlement in his latest posting, BACK TO THE LAND.

My parents and sister relocated to nearby Chico a few years ago, and my wife and I were married in Orland, in a Lutheran church. Orland is a beautiful, family-oriented, culturally conservative town.

I'll be keeping my eye on Orland in the months and years to come. It's too early for the Snyders to contemplate a move to the US, but perhaps in a few years...
DPRK Repression

From NORTH KOREA: Christians murdered, sources state:
    "North Korean Protestants are 'very, very strong believers' and said prison guards sometimes offer material incentives to Christian prisoners if they recanted their faith, but that they stubbornly refuse to do this and so are then shot."

Pray for them.

[link via A conservative blog for peace]
"Examination Hell"

From [Photo]Test prayer:

    Seeking omniscience from the omnipotent, a mother praying yesterday at Doseonsa
    Temple in Seoul for her child who will take the national College Scholastic
    Ability Test on Nov. 17. [YONHAP]

The Korean SAT is coming up, the one time of the year other than Vesak (Buddha's Birthday) when the Buddhist temples are full. This exam, more than anything else, determines one's fate in Korea.

I have not noticed any upsurge in church attendance at this time of year. Perhaps Korean Christians are aware of the parable of the dishonest judge from yesterday's gospel reading: Luke 18:1-8.
End of Blogfast

Being away from the computer for two full days was so refreshing, I decided to take another. Now, I'm back.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

See you on Sunday!

It's time for a blogfast*.

* idea courtesy of Jeff Culbreath at El Camino Real.
The Ugly Reality

I had some qualms about posting the abortion photos I did yesterday... until I saw the above on Anne Shirley's Ruminations blog. She says, "Until pictures from the Holocaust were made public many people denied its existence; it was too horrible to conceive."

Pro dolorosa Eius passione, miserere nobis et totius mundi.
For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Oprah in the Hotseat

Re: Oprah Winfrey's Negative Remarks about Korean Women Spark Storm

Oprah is in trouble for asserting that Korea is a "plastic surgery superpower" and that Korean women have "an obsession with plastic surgery" resulting from "an inferiority complex in which they would like to have Western features."

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Adiós Blogspot Comments

I had them enabled for a few hours as per the suggestion of a commenter. But once I realized you couldn't edit them, I axed them.
Abortion and Slavery

Mr. President, I'm genuinely impressed! I have to admit, I didn't quite understand why you brought up the 1857 Dred Scott case in the debate. This article has explained to me why:


What's the fundamental similarity? In 1857, the Supreme Court declared Blacks to be non-persons. In 1973, the Supreme Court declared the unborn to be non-persons.

From comes this article about the racist eugenicist foundress of the Orwellianly-named Planned Parenthood, Inc.:

Learning the truth about this "progessive" icon helps us undertsand why a hugely disproportionate number of abortuaries are located in Black neighborhoods.

In the 1850s, nice people didn't want to know about whipped or mutilated slaves. Today, they don't want to know about (and worse, don't want you to know about) what really happens in an abortion, as shown in photos like these:

Pro dolorosa Eius passione, miserere nobis et totius mundi.
The First New Churches Since the Seventh Century

    The church will be built on land
    donated by the emir of Qatar,
    in a residential district of the
    capital, Doha.

Re: New Places of Christian Worship to Arise in Qatar

Land has been set aside for churches for Catholics, Anglicans, Copts, Orthodox and Protestants.

Included among them is a church building for Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, where "Mass is currently celebrated in the Latin, Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara rites, and in various languages, including Arabic, English, Italian, Urdu, Tagalog and Tamil."

Thank you, Emir! And God bless!
Desecration of a Girl's Body

Re: Army chief 'emptied his magazine' at girl in Gaza

Israel has every right to defend itself against Palestinian Islamic* terror, but this can only be described as revolting.

Ky´rie, eléison.

*Daniel Prager points out that despite having a large Christian population, Palestine has never produced a Christian suicide bomber.

[link via A conservative blog for peace]
Ex-President Kim Dae-jung and Anti-Americanism

Re: Under three flags: WHEN THE ROMANCE IS GONE: How did the United States lose South Korea's heart

This is a fascinating read for those on the Korean peninsula for obvious reasons, and for those off it concerned as I am with the spread of the "illiberal democracy" described by Fareed Zakaria (see The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad).

[link via]
Iranian Gypsies

Re: Snapshots of Tehran's Roma People: Though many people think the Roma are always on the move, most live in big cities like Tehran

Stories about the Roma and Jewish diasporas (and all diasporas) interest me greatly. My paternal grandmother was half Hungarian Gypsy and half Romanian Jew. Her parents met on the boat on the way to Ellis Island. The photo above looks like my cousin.

In addition to the blood mentioned above, I've also got Dutch, German, Irish, and English blood flowing through these veins. I guess that makes me, for better and worse, European, or non-ethnic, pan-ethnic, or maybe post-ethnic. I'd like to think this makes me 100% American.
Animal Welfare

Re: [LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]Defining ‘animal welfare'

Whenever this issue comes up, I turn to the website of former Bush speechwriter Matthew Scully, author of Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy, who rightfully defends animal welfare and opposes factory farming from a Christian perspective.
Contradictions of Capitalism

Re: Koreans still cautious with their cash

Thrift is bad for the economy while consumerism is good for the economy. Yet, thrift is a virtue and consumerism is wasteful. Still, Socialism is even worse than Capitalism. I guess we'll have to come to terms with the fact that an economic utopia is impossible in this fallen world. Messianic capitalists are as bad as messianic socialists. Capitalism tempered by Catholic Social Teaching is the best of the available options.

Anyone with a better understanding of ecomonics, please leave comments.
Blogspot Comments

Gordsellar of eclexys has pointed to me out that I can run Blogspot comments alongside my Haloscan ones. He's much more of a techie than I am, as his blog shows, and I thank him for his input.

So, Blogspot comments are now an option for KS readers.
Food Co-ops

Re: Lexington Real Foods Co-Op lost money last year for the first time

Fifteen years ago, I was a clerk at the co-op mentioned in the article. Most of the clientele were members of the loonie left, but there was even a John Birch-er who shopped there.

Regardless of the politics of the shoppers, the co-op concept is soundly Distributist (see A Distributist Page) and Granola Conservative (see Birkenstocked Burkeans: Confessions of a granola conservative).
The Church and Freedom

From The Catholic Church: Defender of Freedom?:
    "Question: name history’s greatest defender of freedom.
    Answer: the Catholic Church.

    "You won’t often hear that. But it’s true. You can start with the Catholic doctrine of man’s free will—a doctrine that puts the Church at odds with the world, including many of your professors. It is the world that tells us the fate of nations and individuals is determined by race, economics, history, psychology, genetics, fate, astrology, the will of Allah, or even predestination—anything but the free-will decisions of individuals with regard to the truth.

    "Secularists and liberals, of course, take a very different view of freedom; they take Biblical sins, like homosexuality, and make them human rights, while making up their own list of secular sins—like smoking, condomless sex, riding a bicycle without a helmet—and prohibiting them."

[The article above is from ASCC Faith Essentials, "a monthly electronic publication for all college students -- those who are Catholic, curious about Catholicism, or just looking for solid Catholic viewpoints -- and even for those out of college or not yet in college looking to learn about the Church!"]

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

- "Take 'em out..."
- "Oh, dude!"

CNN just showed the video I posted about a few days ago (see Video: US Pilots Kill Civilians).

The pilot, seeing a large crowd pour onto the streets of Falluja, asked if he should "take 'em out." The controller's response was affirmative: "Take 'em out." After the hideousely huge explosion of the 500 lb. bomb (much bigger than you'd think), another voice in the cockpit responded, "Oh, dude!"

The CNN reporter suggested that video had been saved because it was "cool," resembling as it did a video game, except that it was real.

It was impossible for me in my living room in Pohang, South Korea to determine whether the crowd were civilians or not, or whether the pilot, or more likely the controller, were guilty of a war crime or a simple mistake, or whether they had attacked a legitimate target.

What is clear, however, is that, regardless of whether the victims were Falluja insurgents or innocent civilians, one thing is true:
    "The fifth commandment forbids the intentional destruction of human life*. Because of the evils and injustices that accompany all war, the Church insistently urges everyone to prayer and to action so that the divine Goodness may free us from the ancient bondage of war." (from Paragraph # 2307 of the CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH)

Sanctus Deus, Sanctus Fortis, Sanctus Immortalis, miserere nobis et totius mundi.

* A commenter has correctly pointed out that the Catholic position is more nuanced than this sentence suggests. It must be understood within the context of the surrounding paragraphs, which can be found here: Avoiding War.

[See also Pope Warns Against War and Hawks, Doves, and Pope John Paul II.]
A Great Quote

About Saint Christina the Astonishing, Mark Shea, of Catholic and Enjoying It!, has posted a quote I was looking for the other day:
    "How amazingly diverse are the great saints. How excruciating similar and dull are the great sinners. To sin greatly is to become anonymous. To embrace Christ is to become more your eccentric self than ever."
Rocco Buttiglione

Re: Italian Denied EU Post After Gay Remark

"The truth is an offense, but not a sin." - Robert Nesta Marley, O.M.

[link via Catholic and Enjoying It!]
Asian Faces

ALL LOOK SAME is an online test that gives you pictures of 18 Asian faces and you must decide whether they are Chinese, Japanese or, Korean. I scored 8 correct answers (the average of 1.3 million test-takes was 7), yet my score was described by the site as "Bad."

In 1996, while teaching ESL to university undergraduates, fashion and style helped to distinguish the three main Asian groups we taught, Koreans, Japanese, and Chinese (mostly ROC, not PRC), following these rules:
    Koreans: Small glasses, clean-cut American preppy style (Polo), perfect teeth. Men, short hair parted on the side. Women, immaculate make-up.

    Japanese: British prep-school style (shirts untucked and wrinkled), not-so perfect teeth. Men, in need of a comb. Women, hard to pinpoint one style.

    Chinese (ROC): Either of the above styles. Easily distinguishable because always cheerful.

    Chinese (PRC): Older (mostly grad students). Practical no-nonsense clothing and hair (like me, on days off).

I also knew quite a number of Vietnamese folks in my community (who, along with Cubans and Iraqis, are the most hospitable people I've ever had the honor of knowing). For the Vietnamese youth, fashion and style could be used as a gauge to determine how long someone had been in the USA:
    Vietnamese Newcomer (<1 yr.): Timeless and classic style. Men, shirts and slacks, suits for formal occasions, short, neat hair. Women, hand-made dresses, ao dais, evening dresses, or gowns for formal occasions, long natural hair. (Going to the community's Têt Nguyên Dán celebration was like being transported back to 1920s Paris, 1930s Shanghai, or 1940s Hollywood!)

    Vietnamese-American (>1 yr.): Da illest and phatest stylez outta da 'hood, y'all, 'specially da honeyz (translation: Hip-hop fashion, especially among women).

My system wasn't perfect, but it was better than the one used by the characters from King of the Hill on an episode in which a new Asian neighbor moves into the neighborhood. The exchange went something like this:
    "Do you think he's Chinese or Japanese?"

    "Chinese. Japanese guys wear glasses and ties and stuff."


    "I'm Khan. I'm from Laos, but I've lived here 26 years."

    "So, are you Chinese or Japanese?"

Well, this gweilo should shut up before he attracts the attention of the Brownshirts* of Identity Politics.

[link to test via eclexys]

* (c) 2004, Mark Shea of Catholic and Enjoying It!
Progressive Dutch Doctors Murder Infants

From Euthanasia debate in Europe is focuses on children up to 12 years old:
    "Four times in recent months, Dutch doctors have pumped lethal doses of drugs into newborns they believe are terminally ill."

Ky´rie, eléison.

[link via Catholic and Enjoying It!]
Stupid TV

Re: Voice Actor Dies After Choking on Rice Cake During T.V. Show

Korean TV is as stupid as American TV, just less offensive (no Jerry Springer here). Here's the story, from the article above:
    "Jang Jeong-jin, 51, had been connected to an oxygen mask since he choked on a piece of rice cake, which cut off the flow of oxygen to his brain, during a Sept. 13 KBS program. Jang was one of several guests of the show participating in a rice-cake-eating contest."

God rest his soul.

I don't know why anyone would find a "rice-cake-eating contest" entertaining.
No Greater Love

Film to Be Made about Korean Subway Hero, Lee Su-hyun, "who was killed by a train while he was trying to help a drunk man in a Tokyo subway station in 2001," and became a hero to two nations.

    The tomb of Lee Su-hyun in Busan Youngrak National Park
    is strewn with flowers from visiting mourners on Sunday.
    This Oct. 26 is the third anniversary of his death.

Requiescat in pace.
Iraq and ROK-US Relations

From Rumsfeld's Visit to the Zayitun Unit:
    "U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld paid a surprise visit to the Korean Zayitun Unit in Arbil, Iraq on Monday. The Korean troops were the first he visited of the 29 coalition nations with troops in Iraq." (my emphasis)
Wangari Muta Maathai

Re: Nobel Peace Prize winner gives some credit to Kansas Catholic college but Nobel Peace Prize winner outspoken for anti-religious, anti-life views

From the latter, she is quoted as saying:
    "We need to rewrite the Bible again. A Bible in which man, the environment and God are all one, without differences, in order to break with the Abrahamic traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, which are dominated by an anthropocentrism in which nature is given secondary importance."
Pray for Sin

Cardinal Jaime Sin, archbishop emeritus of Manila, that is: Card. Sin rushed to hospital; Radio Veritas prays for his health.

Monday, October 11, 2004

The Best Review of The Passion of the Christ I've Read Yet

Cathedral of the Imagination describes The Passion as "a film that is both intensely traditional and intensely modern, both timeless and of its time." The review puts the film into its context, as a piece Christian art and as a modern film, but touches on much, much more.
Requiescat in Pace

Re: `Superman' Star Christopher Reeve Dies

Of interest to Catholics and other like-minded folk was this bit of misinformation from the article:
    "Reeve's support of stem cell research helped it emerge as a major campaign issue between President Bush and John Kerry. His name was even mentioned by Kerry earlier this month during the second presidential debate." (my emphasis)

President Bush (and the Catholic Church) support stem cell research. They are opposed only to embryonic stem cell research, which Senator Kerry supports.

We can hope that Mr. Reeve's highly visible position on embyronic stem cell research was a result of "invincible ignorance" brought about by his catastrophic disability.

Lord have mercy upon him and may he rest in peace.

My favorite Christopher Reeve movie was Somewhere in Time (1980), mostly due to his co-star, the beautiful Jane Seymour.

The film is not great, and requires a great deal of willing suspension of disbelief, but it is a enjoyable romantic story about the power of love. It is also a very counter-cultural film: it shows two people in love who do not sleep with each other! Imagine!
Religious Belief and Voting

Re: Analysis of twelve major political religious voting blocs in America

The above article describes "the Twelve Tribes of American Politics." It has a lot of interesting conjectures and statistics.

The Religious Left, at 12.6% of the population, is equal in size to the much-maligned Religious Right. This begs the question of why one never hears of the former in the media, which is full of horror stories about the latter.

Catholics are not a bloc but are divided among three groups: Heartland Culture Warriors, Convertible Catholics, and the Religious Left. (Nota bene: Conservative Catholics are correctly not grouped with the Religious Right.)

I guess this blogger would be a Heartland Culture Warrior, but not exactly.

[link via A conservative blog for peace]
Eclipse in Korea

Re: Partial Eclipse to Arrive Friday

So, when the skies go black this Friday, do not fear. It will not be a not the demand of a "sun god" for the blood of human sacrifices. It will not be not the female moon eating the male sun. It will not be not the end of the world. It will simply be an explainable, and beautiful, phenomenon of nature. We can thank science that we are no longer slaves to such superstitions.

But who or Who can we thank for science?

We can thank God for giving us the reason with which to understand His Creation. and for revealing Himself to Isreal, allowing them to know the Transcendent God above and beyond nature.

We can thank the heirs of this knowledge, monotheistic Jews, Christians, and Muslims, for understanding that a Creation created by a rational Creator was something that could be studied and understood, leading to the development of what we know as science.

We can thank the Catholic Church, for being the patron of the sciences, especially astronomy, and for taking this knowledge to the world.
Politically Incorrect, i.e. Historically Accurate, Account of the Crusades

Both Bill Clinton and Osama bin Laden have used the Crusades to justify Islamic Terrorism against the West.

In What the Crusades Were Really Like (Part 1), historian Thomas Madden dispels the following four myths.
    Myth 1: The Crusades were wars of unprovoked aggression against a peaceful Muslim world.

    Myth 2: The Crusaders wore crosses, but they were really only interested in capturing booty and land. Their pious platitudes were just a cover for rapacious greed.

    Myth 3: When the Crusaders captured Jerusalem in 1099 they massacred every man, woman and child in the city until the streets ran ankle deep with the blood.

    Myth 4: The Crusades were just medieval colonialism dressed up in religious finery.

    Myth 5: The Crusades were also waged against the Jews.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Observations from Another Parish

Today, I went to a different parish for Mass. I went to Daejam Catholic Church, where I was received into the Catholic Church two years ago. From that parish, a new parish, Idong Catholic Church, of which I am a member, later broke off. (In Korea, you're assigned a parish geographically.)

Anyway, it's been a while since I've been there and I noticed a few things.

First of all, I saw something that I had never seen before in Korea: an altar girl! (A different one from the one I saw is pictured below.) Oh my, Korea is changing. Maybe they exist and I just haven't noticed them, but this was surely the first time I remember seeing an altar girl in a Catholic church. There was no liturgical dancing, however, which I've heard exists some parishes in the US and is the bane of many traditionlists.

The second thing I noticed was the excellent homily of Father Alphonso Kim Yeong-ho (pictured below), the priest who received me into the Church. The homily was based on today's Gospel reading (Luke 17:11-19), in which ten lepers were healed, but among them only a Samaritan gave thanks to Our Lord, prompting him to say,
    "Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?"

So, the theme of the homily was giving thanks. Father Alphonso explored the etymologies of the words for "thank you" in Korean, Japanese, and Russian (he had been a missionary priest in Russia). I would have gotten more out of it if I were more proficient in Korean, but it seemed amazing. Father Alphonso has delivered similar etymological homiles in the past using Chinese characters.

    Father Alphonso Kim Yeong-ho of Daejam Catholic Church

Father Alphonso's homily caused me to reflect on the Catholic ability to find and examine truth wherever it is to be found in God's Creation, His other great book in addition to Scripture. How different that is from the sola scriptura radicals who insist that no truth can be found outside of the Bible. (Fortunately, most Protestant denominations still contain enough Catholicity to avoid this error.) I've heard of folks who insist that Our Lord did or said nothing that was not recorded in the Gospels, a logical impossibility!

One last reflection was on liturgical music. The mass I attended was the "Youth Mass," so the music was "contemporary," i.e. with guitar, piano, and synthesizer (no drum-kit, thank God). It wasn't Palestrina or Gregorian Chant, but the music was not that bad. In fact, some of it was inspiring and almost holy. One hymn or two had the feel of a Protestant revival, but in a good way. I'd rather see the Tridentine Latin Mass be the norm and these "Youth Masses" require an indult, but they shouldn't disappear altogether. They serve their purpose.