Elsewhere: 100 million Obamacare exemptions


You may be aware that the Little Sisters of the Poor have taken their case to the Supreme Court. They are opposed to cooperating with the evil of funding abortifacients and contraceptives in Obamacare and applied for an exemption as a religious organization. It was denied essentially because the Obama administration does not consider them religious enough to qualify.

These are habited, women religious living in community. They provide care to 13,000 elderly poor. They wish only to continue doing that in peace, without being forced into immoral acts. 20 judges have already sided with them in similar cases. Over 200 Members of Congress (bipartisan) and leaders of other religions have too. The Obama administration is intransigent, threatening to crush them under $70,000,000 in fines (every year) unless they cave on their Catholic morality.

While the Little Sisters are being put through a proverbial legal wringer, it is smooth sailing for friends of the administration. Exxon Mobil, Chevron, IBM, Visa, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Home Depot, Boeing, New York City and the entire US Military are all exempted. All together over 1,200 corporations and unions have exemptions. Also exempted are Barack Obama and his family, the entire US Congress and their families, the Justice Department and their families, the Supreme Court and their families, all federal judges and their families. In fact, 1/3 of all Americans have received exemptions from Obamacare — but not the Little Sisters of the poor.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is defending the sisters’ religious freedom.


This is so over-the-top, so outrageous that I have to think it is a distraction to keep attention off of something else.

Elsewhere: Spotlight (the movie)


There is a special kind of political correctness applied to the sexual abuse scandal. The unwritten rules require speakers and writers to:

  • Start by acknowledging how horrible it is. This is valid, it is horrible for the victims and the scandal has impacted the Great Commission given to his Church by Christ.
  • Never mention the homosexual under­pinnings of the problem.
  • Do not mention how effective reforms have been (if always imperfect).
  • Do not dare mention how the problem is hugely worse in other religious and non-religious (especially public school) organizations.
  • …and NEVER, EVER suggest innocent priests are forced to falsely confess or are in prison.

The point of the PC policy is to undermine and marginalize the Church and her teaching of the truth, especially on marriage, sexuality and life. It certainly has nothing to do with truth or justice. Prosecutors can build careers going after “pedophile priests” and the biased, unquestioning media will closely and widely follow every development. In many (probably most) cases those charged are guilty and should be punished. Unfortunately as I have noted before (see falsely accused and throw away the key), a significant number of good priests charged with horrible crimes are not guilty, are greatly harmed and often imprisoned (sometimes for decades) by this injustice.

Many faithful Catholics found the movie “Spotlight” to be fair, considering our very low expectations. Yet the movie is quite far from an accurate historical documentary. They took many “liberties” to slant history. A serious problem was exposed (good), but the Boston Globe ran with it to develop, then fan, a lynch mob mentality in the public. There is no justice in a lynch mob.

The last place I expected to find any fair commentary on this is in a solidly left-wing publication. I am therefore immensely encouraged by an article written by JoAnn Wypijewski and published by CounterPunch. Justice should be a non-partisan issue and justice has not been served. Wypijewski and CounterPunch are to be commended for their courage.

I don’t believe the claims of all who say they are victims – or who prefer the more tough-minded label ‘survivor’ – because ready belief is not part of a journalist’s mental kit, but also because what happened in 2002 makes it difficult to distinguish real claims from fraudulent or opportunistic ones without independent research. What editor Marty Baron and the Globe sparked with their 600 stories and their confidential tip line for grievances was not laudatory journalism but a moral panic, and unfortunately for those who are telling the truth, truth was its casualty.

By their nature, moral panics are hysterical. They jettison reason for emotion, transform accusation into proof, spur more accusation and create a climate that demands not deliberation or evidence or resistance to prejudice but mindless faith.

They are the enemy of skepticism, which those on the left and near-left, liberals, progressives, regard as the sword and shield of journalism when it’s convenient or ideologically appealing. The Globe did not so much practice journalism as it constructed a courtroom of panic, one that reversed the presumption of innocence and spilled over into real courtrooms where real defendants didn’t stand a chance.

In 2002 I investigated only one case, but it was a doozy: that of Father Paul Shanley, who figures in Spotlight and who was declared a “depraved priest” by the Globe‘s editorial page of April 9, 2002, the day after a PowerPoint show put on for the press by personal injury lawyer Eric MacLeish. Shanley is now imprisoned for crimes that are heinous in description and absolutely unsupported by evidence.

Since then I have followed the case of another priest: Father Gordon MacRae of New Hampshire, who does not figure in the film. He was accused, tried and convicted in 1994, a time when Spotlight would have you believe that every sexual accusation against a priest either fell on deaf ears or was handled in a hush-hush settlement, and every playground, church and rectory was a hunting ground for the great Whore of Babylon. MacRae remains imprisoned for crimes that are only slightly less heinous in description and absolutely unsupported by evidence.

Both men were called monsters. Both men were offered plea deals by their respective prosecutors that, had they actually committed the crimes, would be an affront to justice and proportion. Shanley was offered time served – the seven months he’d been jailed while awaiting trial – plus two and a half years” house arrest if only he’d say he was guilty of raping a child on Sunday mornings between Masses. MacRae was offered three years in prison, later reduced to two, if only he’d say he was guilty of cruelly molesting a teenager. Both men refused and went to their fates abandoned by church hierarchy.

“Can you imagine,” Shanley said to me after his conviction in 2005, “here I am, the worst monster, a danger to children everywhere, and they offer me time served? …   But for refusing to lie, I got twelve to fifteen years.”

The piece is big (this quote a small part of it), is good and does not mince words. Read the whole thing: Oscar Hangover Special: Why “Spotlight” Is a Terrible Film.

Elsewhere: invaders, not immigrants


ISIS may have won, even if they are completely wiped-out of the countries which they occupy. That may seem illogical, but what if their intent was to purposely displace mostly Muslim people into the naive but welcoming arms of others? If so, then it is working splendly.

Also be wary of the false media and political narrative that these are mostly innocent families seeking only safety. You might think from the pictures that the immigrants are mostly women and children but in fact are mostly fighting-age young men. Note too that they are not immigrating to safe, nearby Muslim countries.

Finally, when you think of immigrants a (historically based) picture of people looking to integrate and work hard for a new life may spring to mind. That is not the case here. The new immigrants are extremely demanding (often threatening) and highly opposed to cultural integration.

Of course, we Catholics support immigration. That is, honest immigration as it has been historically understood. The reality this time is far different. Reasoned opposition is not based on lacking charity but on self-defense. Bill Kilpatrick writing for (always excellent) The Catholic World Report looks at what is happening:

In the worst case scenario, we must contemplate not only the departure of the pope, but also the end of Christianity in Europe. Judging by the ongoing persecution of Christians in the Middle East, Africa, and other parts of the Muslim world, one can’t afford to be too rosy about the outlook for European Christians. Indeed, Christian Europe faces the greatest threat to its existence since the armies of Sultan Mehmet IV converged on Vienna in 1683.

Except this time the advanced troops are already inside the gates. Moreover, the politically correct rules of engagement make self-defense a risky proposition — as in the case of the Danish teenager who was fined for using pepper spray to repel a man who sexually assaulted her. The situation is already far worse than anyone could have imagined a year ago. Muslim migrants in German asylum centers assault Christians and sexually abuse women and children. A ten year old boy is raped by a Muslim migrant in a public swimming pool in Vienna. Gangs of Muslim men wielding iron bars roam through small towns all over Europe seeking victims to beat up. A high school boy in Sweden is stabbed to death for defending a girl against a Muslim classmate’s sexual assault. Jews fear to wear yarmulkes. Single women fear to walk alone. Mothers fear to let their children visit playgrounds. The police themselves are often afraid and there are numerous instances of police retreating in the face of Muslim mobs. In parts of Northern England, police have been directed not to drive to work in uniform lest they be attacked.

What’s more, the situation is likely to get far worse with each successive wave of Muslim migrants. As Europeans begin to realize that police are incapable of defending them or unwilling to, they will take matters into their own hands. Numerous resistance movements have already formed all over Europe, along with local self-defense organizations and even vigilante groups. Rifles are selling out in places like Austria and Sweden. Courses in firearms training are oversubscribed. Clashes between locals and migrants have broken out in once peaceful towns. Many are predicting ethnic warfare on a mass scale with tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of casualties.

The trouble with the hierarchy’s pro-Muslim immigration stance is its almost total disregard for the facts. In reading episcopal statements on the subject, one gets the impression that all migrations are essentially benign: that, to use the pope’s words, all migrants seek the “dignity and equality of every person, love of neighbor…freedom of conscience and solidarity towards our fellow men and women.” Most Muslims, however, if they take their faith seriously, do not share that common vision. Islam dictates one set of rules for Muslims and another, much harsher code for non-Muslims. Moreover, Islamic theology contains what amounts to a doctrine of manifest destiny. The Koran, along with other scriptures, commands Muslims to fight unbelievers until all worship is for Allah alone. The bishop’s attitude toward Muslim immigration not only shows a disregard for Islamic theology, but also for 1400 years of history. During those fourteen centuries, Islamic aggression against non-Muslims has been a constant that spans cultures, geography, race, and language. As Raymond Ibrahim documents in Crucified Again the pattern of persecution takes exactly the same form whether in Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, or Southeast Asia.

And then there’s current history. The bishops must know of the massive population shift that was already underway before 2015. In the Netherlands and Belgium 50 percent of all the newborns are Muslims. In the UK the most popular name for baby boys is “Mohammed.” In Vienna, Birmingham, and Marseilles there are more Muslim children than Christian children. In Southern France there are more mosques than Churches. The bishops must know of the epidemics of rape in England and Sweden. They must know of the numerous terrorist attacks across Europe. They must know that ISIS has stated its intention to infiltrate the refugee population. They must know by now that 70 to 75 percent of the 2015 refugees were young men, not women and children.

Read the who piece at: Immigration, Reason, and Responsibility.

Elsewhere: falsely accused


The sexual abuse scandal was real and hurt people. “Scandal” is the key word in that it pushed victims away from the Church they trusted and the wider public as well. It was not a failure of the Church founded and protected by Christ until the end of time, but rather sinful acts by individual members and poor judgment by others.

Enemies of the Church have used this scandal to diminish her influence to the great loss of many. The Church is hated for remaining true to Christ on moral issues such as abortion, divorce and homosexuality. Because of this, these enemies keep even decades old cases in the news while ignoring much more common sexual scandals outside the Church (e.g. Forgotten Study: Abuse in School 100 Times Worse than by Priests).

When a priest is merely accused of such crimes, whenever the claim has any possibility of being true (however remote), they have been quickly convicted by the media and subsequently by their influenced juries. Often these priests are abandoned early by their bishop and the alleged victim paid significant “damages”. This attracts many con-artists who could not care less about truth or the harm they cause on innocent priests and the Church. This has NOT been rare. You might be surprised how often it happens (ref e.g. False Accusations of Sexual Abuse Can Leave Lasting Scars, *FACT CHECKER* SNAP and the TRUTH About False Abuse Accusations Against Priests or Catholic Priests Falsely Accused: The Facts, The Fraud, The Stories).

The reality for falsely accused priests is that they must prove their innocence more than the state must prove their guilt. Priests can be convicted on nothing more than the (well coached) claims of an alleged victim. You should find that shocking.

Falsely accused priests are strongly pressured to accept plea deals admitting their “guilt” in exchange for reduced charges and little or no jail time. If they accept this lie, the prosecutor chalks up another win, the media celebrates, another “proven” example can be used against the Church, and the “victim” goes on to claim their lucrative damages. This has happened many times.

Not all falsely accused priests will bend to follow this script. Some, despite the great risk, have had the audacity to insist on their innocence and fight all the powers arrayed against them. This usually ends tragically for them, resulting in DECADES of imprisonment for a crime they did not commit. A good example is Fr. Gordon MacRae, currently 22 years into his 67 year sentence (see my piece Throw away the key).

Imagine my surprise when Newsweek recently published a piece acknowledging that this happens. This is a fairly long piece (below is just a sample) on the recent Philadelphia cases in the headlines. It gives good insight to how such injustice happens.

(Warning:   the Newsweek text below contains graphic language.)

The sexual assaults of Gallagher allegedly occurred during the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 school years, when he was 10 and 11 years old. From the beginning, he told an incredible, lurid story, the details of which were often changing. When he first reported his abuse to two social workers for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on January 30, 2009, Gallagher claimed Engelhardt had accosted him after a 6:30 a.m. Mass. He said the priest plied him with sacramental wine and then anally raped him behind locked doors in the church sacristy in a brutal “ramming” attack that lasted from 7 a.m. until noon. After the rape, Gallagher claimed the priest threatened him, saying, “If you ever tell anyone, I will kill you.”

But Gallagher told Mechanick a different story, the same one he told a grand jury and at the criminal trial – that he and the priest had engaged in mutual masturbation and oral sex. Gone were the five hours of anal rape and Engelhardt’s threat to kill him.

Gallagher told the two archdiocese social workers that in the second attack Avery “punched him in the back of the head, and he fell down.” And when he woke up, “he was completely naked, and his hands were tied with altar boy sashes.” Gallagher claimed the priest then anally raped him, smacked him in the face and “made him suck all the blood off his penis.” When this vicious assault was over, Gallagher said, the priest threatened that if he ever told anybody, he would “hang him from his balls and kill him slowly.”

But when Gallagher talked to the police and testified before a grand jury, he dropped the punch in the head, as well as the claims about being tied up with altar sashes, smacked in the face and forced to suck blood. He also omitted the priest’s threat to “hang him from his balls.”

Instead, Gallagher said he’d engaged in mutual masturbation and oral sex with Avery and described a subsequent attack in which the priest forced Gallagher to perform a striptease.

Gallagher at first told the social workers that his third attacker, homeroom teacher Shero, asked him to stay after class and offered to drive him home. In the teacher’s car, Gallagher claimed, Shero punched him in the face, attempted to strangle him by wrapping a seat belt around his neck, performed oral sex on him and made Gallagher masturbate him.

Gallagher claimed that this attack took place in the parking lot of an apartment building near his home and that Shero told Gallagher if he told anyone, “I will make your life a living hell.”

But when Gallagher testified in court in 2013, he didn’t say Shero made him stay after class. This time, he said Shero pulled up across the street from a strip mall and offered him a ride home, and the attack took place in a parking lot. Gallagher dropped from this new version of his story the punch in the face, the seat belt wrapped around his neck and the threat to make his life a living hell.

It goes on like this. This fantastic, constantly shifting story without corroborative evidence (actually, there was evidence against it) was enough to send 4 good men to jail (where one priest died due to lack of medical care). It also made this con-man a multimillionaire. His lawyers did well too.

The whole article is worth your attention: Catholic guilt? The lying, scheming altar boy behind a lurid rape case.

Also interesting is Fr. MacRae’s comments on the Newsweek article at The Lying, Scheming Altar Boy on the Cover of Newsweek.

“If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you.

Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.

If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin; but as it is they have no excuse for their sin.

Whoever hates me also hates my Father. If I had not done works among them that no one else ever did, they would not have sin; but as it is, they have seen and hated both me and my Father. But in order that the word written in their law might be fulfilled, ‘They hated me without cause.’

Elsewhere: paying their fair share


Government costs a lot of money, in its administration and its programs for the common good. As Catholic citizens, we have a moral responsibility to pay taxes — to pay our “fair share.” This ever-popular topic is once again in the spotlight as we hear from presidential hopefuls during this tax season.

One of the most frequent uses of the phrase “pay their fair share” is in reference to the upper few percenters not doing their part. It often seems that these cries are loudest from those who are chronic beneficiaries of politically motivated government largess. Regardless, is it true?

YES! — but in exactly the opposite sense from what they mean…   the upper 20% pay 87% of federal individual income taxes — far more than their fair share — while almost half of all Americans pay NOTHING. This is exactly opposite of the general perception. Catey Hill has written about this recently for Market Watch:

An estimated 45.3% of American households – roughly 77.5 million – will pay no federal individual income tax, according to data for the 2015 tax year from the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan Washington-based research group. (Note that this does not necessarily mean they won’t owe their states income tax.)

Roughly half pay no federal income tax because they have no taxable income, and the other roughly half get enough tax breaks to erase their tax liability, explains Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center.

Despite the fact that rich people paying little in the way of income taxes makes plenty of headlines, this is the exception to the rule: The top 1% of taxpayers pay a higher effective income-tax rate than any other group (around 23%, according to a report released by the Tax Policy Center in 2014) – nearly seven times higher than those in the bottom 50%.

On average, those in the bottom 40% of the income spectrum end up getting money from the government. Meanwhile, the richest 20% of Americans, by far, pay the most in income taxes, forking over nearly 87% of all the income tax collected by Uncle Sam.

The article has more information along with interesting tables and graphs: 45% of Americans pay no federal income tax.