You’re either with him or against him —

Bush lobbied the pope last week, telling him that “not all the American bishops are with me” in the hope that this would compel the pope to encourage greater political activism among them. See Josh Marshall’s earlier post on the item, as well as his follow-up, which says that the specific desires of Bush Co are clear: a Catholic condemnation of John Kerry would be a handy campaign tool. One of Karl Rove’s key Catholic allies, Deal (yes, Deal, not Dale) Hudson, recognizes that the zeal to deny communion to everyone who defies Catholic teachings would leave precious few to take communion. So he advises that the bishops meeting this week to discuss sanctions simply “begin and end” with Kerry. According to the Washington Post:

Even better, he said, would be if priests would read letters from the pulpit denouncing the senator from Massachusetts “whenever and wherever he campaigns as a Catholic.

Is it over? —

The 24/7 Revisionist Reagan History Channels appear to have resumed regular programming. Ron Junior had close-to-the-last words at the sunset burial service on Friday, and they were pointed:

“Big as he was, he never tried to make anyone feel small. Powerful as he became, he never took advantage of those who were weaker. Strength, he believed, was never more admirable than when it was applied with restraint…

“Dad was also a deeply, unabashedly religious man. But he never made the fatal mistake of so many politicians wearing his faith on his sleeve to gain political advantage. True, after he was shot and nearly killed early in his presidency, he came to believe that God had spared him in order that he might do good. But he accepted that as a responsibility, not a mandate. And there is a profound difference.”

Go, therefore, and laugh heartily —

(Via Get Religion…) The Daily Telegraph’s Oliver Pritchett, divinely inspired by publication of a highly contextualized “Pocket Prayers for Peace and Justice,” has reworked some common signage into pseudopsalms. A few of the gems:

“We give praise unto thee and our mouths give forth thanks. Thou shalt be lifted up, for thou hast turned away from the counsel of the unhealthy who walk in the path of the Marlboro Light and bring forth clouds of abomination on their breath so that he that travaileth here and passively smoketh may perish.”

“Rejoice and clap your hands, O ye daughters of Nuneaton, and be glad, ye sons of Tring, and ye who drive the latest top-of-the-range BMW, for in three miles I have prepared for you a service area, so that you may refresh yourselves in its clear waters and your babes and sucklings may have snacks in abundance and there shall be toilet facilities, yea also for the disabled.”

“Great is this carton for it containeth a brand new personal computer. Let its ways be for ever upright. Let no man smite and let not the rain fall down upon it. For if the heathen droppeth it from a great height it will be destroyed and all its software with it and the heathen will then rend his garments and hide his face.”

“Be sure, O my people, when you go forth from this train, that all your chattels go with you – yea, even unto your ox and your ass and your wife’s sister’s Marks & Spencer carrier bag and all manner of vain things, and your briefcase fashioned from precious Samsonite, for if any of these shall be left behind there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth and the litter in the carriage shall be like unto chaff.”

“Woe unto trespassers.”


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