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Without a Prayer

Re: George Neumayr’s Kerry’s Auxiliary Bishops:

George Neumayr shows how the Seamless Garment allows Catholics, with John Kerry, to take a more contemplative view of the life issues. Our Bishops point out that the nuanced complexity of the life issues go well beyond reproductive health care. They ask us to consider capital punishment, living wage, environmental concerns and social justice.

Politicians like President Bush want to box in the Catholic vote with a simplistic position on choice. Our Bishops think outside this box.

Which is why I am no longer pro-life, but simply an anti-abortion Catholic.
Dan Martin
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Just read George Neumayr’s article “Kerry’s Auxiliary Bishops.” Great piece. Thought it very interesting that I attended a Theology meeting last week titled “Catholicism in Politics.” The intent was to clear up any election questions for people in our parish. We were given the whole deal, as Mr. Neumayr says, about looking at all the issues and treating them equally. The Deacon said the same things mentioned in the article. He even passed out an “election scorecard”! I was outraged that they would consider several key issues on the same level as others which are minor at best. We have long felt that our church leadership was quietly liberal. Now this!
Any more info on this “scorecard”? Its origins?

Keep up the great work.
Thomas VanHaaren

Neumayr’s article highlights why I left the Catholic Church when I decided to “get serious” about Jesus. The unpleasant fact is that the Catholic Church thinks its own traditions and teachings trump the literal word of scripture. Starting from that position any heresy is possible, and it’s no wonder that the Catholic leadership now finds it so easy to support a heretic like Kerry.
Robert Kinz

During the presidential debates, Kerry stated how important his faith in to him and how it had stood him well during trying times throughout his life. How is it that no one remembers just two or three months back, when Kerry first played the religion card? He said that public displays of faith are difficult for him and that religion is very personal.

However, when he was asked what his favorite book in the New Testament is, he answered, “The Book of Job”. The “altar boy” and devout Catholic did not know that Job is an Old Testament book. Kerry is either a moron or a phony. Personally, I do not think that he is a moron.
Michael Perine

On Oct. 18, Catholic World News reported news that suggests John Kerry may have self-excommunicated himself.

A consultant to the Vatican, Fr. Basil Cole, wrote to Los Angeles canon lawyer Marc Balestrieri, who has formally sued John Kerry in ecclesiastical court for heresy, that “if a Catholic publicly and obstinately supports the civil right to abortion, knowing that the Church teaches officially against that legislation, he or she commits that heresy envisioned by Can. 751 of the Code [of Canon Law]. Provided that the presumptions of knowledge of the law and penalty and imputability are not rebutted in the external forum, one is automatically excommunicated…” While this is an unofficial response, it seems clearly to say that any pro-abortion Catholic politician is a heretic and self-excommunicates himself or herself based because of that position. The positions of Kerry and others on abortion, homosexual unions and embryonic stem-cell research are separating faithful Catholics from secular Catholics, regardless of whether they or not they wear a clerical collar or call themselves bishops.
C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia

Re: P. David Hornik’s Animal Rights: A Question of Humanity and the “Humane Society” letters in Reader Mail’s Dreamland:

Bravo to P. David Hornik’s compassionate stance for conservatism, humanity and animal rights (“Animals Rights: A Question of Humanity,” October 19th). His essay brilliantly questions those who would undermine the ultimate goal of animal rights activists: to make people question cruelty to animals, as well as the necessity to “use” animals at all. Anyone who questions the meat and dairy industry’s cruel practices should view the free online video at Meatyourmeat.com. Of course everyone should be free to live out his or her destiny as they see fit, but why should we not afford these same freedoms to animals when we all agree that animals feel pain, fear and loneliness as we do? You can only attack the messenger for so long before the message becomes painfully clear and truthful. In this case, our “modern” treatment of animals is anything but forward-thinking and compassionate.
Stephen Cramer
Norfolk, Virginia

Mr. Hornik has quite obviously never set foot inside of a swine confinement facility nor have any of the respondents to this travesty of an article.

How did this undocumented joke of an article ever get on The American Spectator? Maybe I need to change my Internet news links.

My company has been a swine confinement electrical contractor since 1994 and I have been inside of thousands of facilities in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Missouri, South Dakota, Colorado, Arkansas, Kansas, and Indiana. I also grew up on a farm in Missouri and I know all about raising hogs the old-fashioned way, and anybody who calls that the humane way is a certifiable idiot! A modern swine confinement facility is a study in technology. No longer does a hog have a miserable life filled with disease, temperature extremes and uncomfortable living conditions with the same end result as a modern hog (a slaughter house). Now the hog lives in a computer-controlled environment with unending water and feed and health care that we humans would love to have. And it’s completely idiotic to mindlessly parrot the animal rights fanatics’ false accusations like the animals can’t lie down etc. Pork is raised for human consumption, not for worshipping at some vegetarian altar. And would you kindly tell me what is wrong with artificial insemination for a sow? And also leave your Old Testament scriptures where they belong. If you want to start quoting them you will hang yourself out to dry in a heartbeat. And by the way it’s their tusks that get clipped (2 of them) not their teeth — would you rather they could bite each other bloody? Do you put a hog on the same level as a human being? Where is the Old Testament now?
Wilmer Gingerich

Thank you for your wonderful parody of animal rights nuts. The “letters” praising the piece were a hoot, too. Of course, it is beyond question that man was biologically designed to be an omnivore. Observation of human history tells us that most successful societies are based on man as a hunter-gatherer. Vegetarianism in its many sects has absolutely no basis in the theology of Christianity, Judaism, or Islam, but is merely a rather strange food fetish, not unlike a child’s irrational hatred of lima beans. It is unfortunate that our increasingly urbanized and feminized culture elevates this fetish to the status of a “moral” choice.

In our relatively pristine part of the world, most of us gather huckleberries and mushrooms in season, and hunt to put meat on the table. This despite the fact that we could more easily (and much less expensively) trot over to the local Safeway to buy Chilean strawberries and hormone-laden beef. We go to all this trouble because it is a more honest way of getting what we need to survive as humans. We show respect for our quarry by being accurate marksmen, and by following the rules. Perhaps that is what keeps us in touch with who we are as men, so that we are confident enough within ourselves to avoid a need for anthropomorphizing our surroundings. It could also explain, at least in part, why “hunting” states are also predominantly “red” states.

I will be thinking of the vegetarian ladies who wrote on this subject next week, when my friends and I are out with our sons to kill elk, antelope, and deer for our families (although you will not find us “crawling around on our bellies with our trusty double-barreled shotguns”). We will remember them in our prayers of thanks as we partake of our harvest in the coming year.

Yours very truly,
Patrick Burkhart
Whitefish, Montana

Re: Pamela Yates’s The Geek Factor:

Brava! Right on, Ms. Yates! Let me be the first to point out that all your arguments apply equally well to Al Gore, so much so that he even hired help to try to turn him into an Alpha Male! Hopefully the voters will see through Kerry’s facade as they did Gore’s in 2000.

“Can the leopard change his spots?”
Bob Johnson
Bedford, Texas

Kerry’s vanity is one thing, but watching the Slate video of the Breck Girl primping himself just defined it all. You won’t see W. doing that. Look in a mirror, comb it, forget it. No hairspray, stylists, and such. The Metrosexual Party ticket is two Girlie-men.
G. Strong

If George W Bush is an example of an alpha male, we’re all in trouble. While I will vote for Bush, you are easily amused if you consider him a strong leader. It’s easy to say “bring it on” while you sit behind a desk.

The alpha males in this country are not politicians, so please get a grip. The alpha males are the men fighting the war and risking their lives. The alpha males are firefighters, police and men busting their ass to raise kids.

Referring to Winston Churchill and GW in the same space is outrageous to say the least.

Arnold Schwarzenegger? Yeah. He played a tough guy on screen …
Pete Beston
Darien, Connecticut

The feminist’s social engineering project, aided by the “Mommy Party” (Democrats), is failing, which likely is why the president is hated so.

It frightens them to grasp that it takes both mother and father to raise a family. It’s amazing, but also bizarre, that they Dems don’t seem to understand dads can often be as nurturing and caring, if not more so, than the moms at times. But it’s the dads’ primary job to protect. That won’t ever change.

A dad for our nation, however, the two Johns and the Democrats are not now-and, politically, won’t ever be. Their guessing at a decision, not being able to make one, is unacceptable. So is their inability to take what they dish out, or their knee-jerk tendency to blame someone else for their failings and mistakes. And their whining is really annoying, isn’t it?
C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia

What Pamela Yates may be writing about, though I wouldn’t put any words in her mouth, is the homosexualizing of society. We’re not talking about just girly men or mannish women. The whole thing is the homosexual influence on society being pushed in every facet of life today. Can any society survive that adopts this type of dominance in their societal structure? The answer is no. History bears that out. Maybe Bush is the beginning of the end of that dominance or maybe he’s just a bump in the road on the path to total societal perversion. We’ll know not in two weeks if he wins, but in 4 years when his successor is chosen.
Pete Chagnon

Re: Jay D. Homnick’s Bazaar of the Bizarre:

I may have to raise my medical insurance after rolling on the floor laughing my chest hurts so much. Let me know when “Democrats: Real or Swamp Gas?” comes out!
John McGinnis

Thank you, Mr. Homnick, for dropping the puns long enough to paint Kerry into his UFO-abductee-inhabited corner. But just because your MS Word flags “abductee” as (at best) a neologism doesn’t mean you made up the word: the only people who might sue you for wrongly claiming to have coined it are the producers of “The X-Files.”

Klaatu barada nikto.
Stephen Foulard
Houston (“Space City”), Texas

Re: C.J. Cassell’s letter (“Undecided Voter”) in Reader Mail’s Dreamland:

I loved the hysterical rant masquerading as a letter to the editor provided by one C.J. Cassell. Actually, the tone and content are the quite typical reaction of the typical liberal upon discovering other opinions exist and are held which are quite contrary to his (or her) own. At least, unlike ABC, CBS, NBC, NYT, LAT, et. al., The American Spectator does not pretend to be something that it is not!
Bob Schwartz
Buffalo, New York

My laugh for the day. Mr. (or Ms.) Cassell accusing conservatives and Fox News of biased thinking. How very perceptive! Of course, there is no bias on the alphabet networks. There is no bias at the New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Post, or any of the other fair-minded “mainstream” media organs. Anyone who sees the world as does this gentleman (lady) must have head cheese for brains. It’s OK to hate President Bush. Many people do. It’s even OK to think that John Kerry is presidential (nothing wrong with a good delusion from time to time), but the sanity of anyone who sees right leaning bias in the every day media is surely in question. Sir or Madame, watch out for the men in the white coats. They could be close by.
Joseph Baum
Newton Falls, Ohio

Whew, pardners, that there C. J. Cassell feller sure can shoot the [expletive deleted], now can’t he. Yep, I sure do like them fellers who can talk purty like that. But he don’t sound very undecided to me. He sounded a lot like one a them there Liberal fellers. I like hearin’ from them boys, it reminds me a home. Ya all know what I mean, you can always smell it in the dark, but you don’t know exactly where it is till ya step in it. This here ol’ wrangler don’t know what a neo-con is, but it sure sounds dangerous. Now my money is on ol’ Dubya, but it could be close and if it is, well then I figger that some of them slick city lawyers will try to mess it up. But that is just the opinion of one of these here single digit IQ country boys. Shoot, ya all know the ol’ sayin’; if it ain’t close, the Democrats can’t cheat.

Just remember; a real man rides hard, shoots straight and always speaks the truth.
Michael R. Tobias

I received an unexpected dose of amusement after reading the letter by C.J. Cassell. In typical fashion of the left, he implies that those of us who support President Bush, and conservatism in general, are somehow less intelligent than people such as he. I daresay the last thing that Mr. Cassell would want to do is engage me in a battle of IQ’s. But that’s neither here nor there. It’s the condescending attitude of liberals that is the crux of the matter. Let us examine a few basic tenets of the contemporary Left:

1) They believe that the government creates jobs, not the private sector.

2) That higher rates of taxation will somehow actually improve the overall economic picture.

3) That by raising taxes on the $200,000 and over tax bracket will not affect the economy even though close to a million small businesses pay taxes at that rate. And guess where the overwhelming majority of new job creation originates? Hmmm?

4) They assert that the war on terror is more of a law enforcement matter and believe that a more sensitive and “nuanced” approach is the way to deal with these barbarians. To borrow Internet vernacular, LOL! LOL! LOL!

5) They would happily devastate our economy to satisfy the eco-nuts by ratifying the Kyoto accord even though there is not a shred of evidence that supports the global warming theory. To suggest that in less than 200 years since the Industrial Revolution that human beings could impact the ecology so dramatically is patently ridiculous.

I could on and on pointing out the follies of the liberal mindset but I think I’ve made my point. Mr. Cassell says that the smart money is that “Dubya is going down” and that conservatives are going to have to start dealing with the truth and facts. That statement is humorous in the extreme. It is the Left that is attempting to regain power by espousing falsehood after falsehood and wouldn’t know a fact if it smacked them in the forehead. Thank you, Mr. Cassell for brightening my day.
Gary Houston
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Re: William Tucker’s The Kerry Nightmare:

I read with great interest your Editorial “The Kerry Nightmare”, which a friend e-mailed to me this morning. Very well written, but you got the names and some of the situations wrong. I felt compelled to re-write it and correct those errors for you. Hope you appreciate this version, too.

(A re-written version of a William Tucker editorial, equally as logical and definitely more plausible).

Last night I had the strangest dream. I guess it was a nightmare, really. I remember most of it, except how it ended.

First I dreamed Bush won the election. That was a nightmare in itself. He never seemed Presidential enough for the job. He had an arrogant bearing, spoke in non-sensical broken sentences, and mangled his phrases. People were weary after four years of his arrogance, uncertainty, lies and mixed-messages.

The year started off like the last one. On January 22, with his usual unfounded optimism, he went to the U.N. and laid down another ultimatum. America had gone it alone too long, he said. All the other countries were either with us or against us. The General Assembly gave him 15-minutes to state his case, but most of the delegates walked out before he finished. They had heard all of this before. His speech was ridiculed in cities from Paris to Berlin to Peshawar. No new day had dawned. World war was at hand.

The first result that came out of his U.N. visit was that Poland decided to accelerate its troop withdrawal already scheduled for 2005 (which was less than 1,000 to start with). Other allies said that since Bush was still stubborn, arrogant and unrealistic, they were going to leave sooner than later as well. Everyone but Great Britain (who still had only 5,000 troops deployed) packed up and headed home. Meanwhile, Bush visited France and Germany to hold long talks with President Chirac and Chancellor Schroeder. The main outcome, however, was that they told him Iraq was his problem and wished him well.

Meanwhile, terrorists in Iraq stepped up their operations By the time President Bush got back from Europe, things had taken a turn for the worse. Both Sunni and Shi’ite leaders announced that, despite the January election of Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, both now regarded his victory as illegitimate. Democracy was a foreign system that America was trying to impost on the Muslim world. Even in the new Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (that IS it’s name), the new leaders were already amending their constitution and reversing the rights given to women and people of other faiths. Both Iraqis and Afghans recommended a return to Islamic rule with religious leaders at the helm. In Iraq, since each sect claimed to be the rightful heirs of Mohammed, each claimed the right to the position. In Afghanistan the war-lords quickly re-established their control and the poppy fields (left undisturbed by the Americans) continued to flourish.

The opposition became bolder. Several suicide bombers penetrated the Green Zone and American casualties started to rise. With our allies pulling out, our soldiers were also required to take over key positions in the South. Suddenly, Bush admitted that our troops were stretched way too thin, as he knew they had been throughout 2004, and we found ourselves facing a newly imposed emergency Draft Law. Rioting, which had been the case throughout the last month’s of his first term, continued to break out in more cities of the Sunni Triangle.

All the pretty plans of the campaign were evaporating and President Bush now found himself facing the basic contradiction of his position. Was Iraq after all the wrong war at the wrong place and the wrong time? Maybe Kerry had been right. Or were we actually undermanned all along as Bush’s generals kept telling him? For two long weeks, Bush mulled the problem while on vacation at his ranch in Crawford, while fierce debate was waged in Congress. Half of Bush’s constituency began calling for a pullout and peace demonstrations took place in New York and Washington. The rest of the Republican majority in Congress said our troops were endangered, however, and backed the call for the draft.

Bush solved the problem by remaining on vacation for another two weeks while Cheney and Rumsfeld arranged a high level conference in Baghdad with all sides attending. A truce was called and for three weeks they debated the issue. Finally, it was decided that 140,000 American troops would be given safe passage out of the country. They would leave in an orderly fashion and then Iraqis would continue to meet under their newly elected government’s auspices to decide how they would govern themselves.

Like the Indians watching the British march out of Fort William Henry, however, once the terrorists saw their enemies defeated they could not restrain themselves. Before the American soldiers had even begun to pack their bags, they were under daily attack. General fighting broke out in several cities, even as Iraqi government continued to meet. American casualties escalated to new levels. Then a suicide bomber rammed the home of Prime Minister Allawi and killed him. The elected government collapsed. Civil war broke out between Sunni and Shi’ite militias, both claiming religious authority, while the Kurds withdrew completely, declaring their own state.

Like so many a President before him, George W. Bush found himself at the mercy of events. All the pretty plans of his election campaign — the Afghan elections, the Iraq elections, the coalition of the willing — were forgotten. Suddenly he was a commander-in-chief trying to rescue a stranded army.

Events didn’t wait. Now convinced that Bush’s objective had always been the Middle East oil, and no longer content to watch Iran develop a nuclear weapon that in two years would be able to hit Jerusalem, the Israelis sent a fleet of F-16s to drop bunker-busting weapons on three nuclear complexes at Bushehr, Natanz, and Arak. Rioting broke out in every Middle Eastern capital. Terrorists streamed into Baghdad from every direction. Syrian and Egyptian armies prepared for a retaliatory attack against Israel.

The royal family of Saudi Arabia broke their lifelong ties with the Bush family, and joined by the communists in China, divested themselves of their dollar holdings on the world monetary markets. The dollar plunged, at home hyper-inflation set in, our economy was in shambles. It made the great depression look like a fourth of July picnic.

That’s when I woke up.

I’ve been walking around in a cold sweat all day thinking about these things. But that’s silly, I suppose. After all, it was only a dream. The American people couldn’t possibly re-elect Bush, could they?

(A re-written version of a William Tucker editorial, equally as logical and definitely more plausible).

I, too, have been having a nightmare. President Kerry appoints Teddy Kennedy Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. There is no more need for Congress — the court establishes all the important laws!

Centerville, Massachusetts

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