Friday, November 05, 2004

The National Council of Churches says, "The 2004 election proves we are a divided nation, not only politically, but in terms of our interpretations of God's will."

"Regardless of who leads our country, the agenda of the church must always respond faithfully to the Bible's timeless mandate to minister to the poor, the marginalized and the outcast; and to be seekers and makers of peace. In this quest for the common good, we will contribute to the healing of the nation, and of the family of nations."

The Council pledges to pray for President Bush. This is all very nice, but take a look at the attendees at their final, pre-election "Let Justice Roll" event in Miami.

Nov.1, 2004, MIAMI, Fla. - In what turned out to be a star-studded event, the grand finale of the "Let Justice Roll: Faith and Community Voices Against Poverty" campaign attracted such notables as filmmaker Michael Moore, actress Roseanne Barr, Senator Bob Graham and artists from The Hip Hop Summit GOTV Bus Tour.

Is it any wonder that so many find the National Council of Churches to be just another arm of the Democrat party? Perhaps it's unChristian of me, but I have difficulty imagining Michael Moore and Rosanne Barr down on their knees praying for President Bush.

On another note, and once again: There seems to be a constant shrilling, like the buzz of a great swarm of cicadas, that the exit polls show strong morality and belief in God bought George Bush another four years. At the same time, the same swarm of cicadas complain that the exit polls were flawed and didn't give a true picture of the election. It can't be both ways. We can't believe the exit polls that show Christians put Bush in the White House over Kerry and disbelieve the same exit polls that show it was Kerry who should have won.

I'm sure morality and faith had a role in this election, but it seems everyone is focusing on that and forgetting that 9/11 ever happened, forgetting that Bush does have a domestic policy, forgetting that John Kerry was not a very good candidate. There were far more reasons to vote Bush than there were to vote Kerry. The commentators who make morality the prime reason for a Bush vote are pushing the Republican party off into the weeds. By discounting the security reasons, the domestic policy reasons and the fact the Kerry carried so much baggage from his past, political pundits let the Democrat party off the hook and hook, instead, the Republicans. The Republican party is not the Christian party and it is a dangerous idea for America to have a major party perceived as the Christian party. Christian allegiance is higher than party allegiance and there is no reason to believe the Republican party will become to Christians what the Democrat Party has become to African Americans. But watch out, because you can count on that being the square hole into which we round Christians are going to be pounded.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Interesting article: How do IVF Babies Turn Out? IVF, of course, is in vitro fertalization, where many eggs are removed from the mother, fertilized externally, and then some implanted in the womb.

Thanks to a relatively new but now common technique called ICSI, in which a single sperm is injected directly into an egg, virtually any man can now become a biological father, no matter how weak or slow or scarce or chromosomally problematic his sperm. This breakthrough is, as one doctor put it, "anti-Darwinian." It allows the propagation of a sperm that would never on its own have been able to penetrate an egg. Increasingly, doctors suspect that ICSI may interfere with imprinting—the switching on and off of genes in the early days of embryonic development—possibly leading to genetic syndromes like Beckwith-Wiedemann.

If nothing else, ICSI clearly is enabling infertile men to produce infertile sons. "We're creating a whole new generation of patients," acknowledged one doctor at the conference, laughing at the irony. Well, sort of laughing.

The entire article was interesting, and scary.

Exit Polling 

Why are there so many stories out, in both print and on TV, that both condemn the exit polling on election day as totally flawed and then examine that same exit polling for truths about who voted and why.

County by county map of the 2004 election (not quite complete yet).

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Despite seemingly everyone saying this election was close, it appears to be a blowout when you look at the numbers. If 2000 was pretty much a tie, does 2004 look like it was even close? If Bush divided the nation, wouldn't the blue states have gotten bluer?

Comparing Bush's percentage of the vote, 2000 to 2004, every state except for Vermont moved toward the red and away from the blue. The GOP picked up seats in both the house and the senate and the President won the popular vote in a nearly 4 million vote landslide.

AL: 2000 - 56% 2004 - 63% +7%

AK: 2000 - 59% 2004 - 62% +3%

AZ: 2000 - 51% 2004 - 55% +4%

AR: 2000 - 51% 2004 - 54% +3%

CA: 2000 - 41% 2004 - 44% +3%

CO: 2000 - 51% 2004 - 53% +2%

CT: 2000 - 39% 2004 - 44% +5%

DE: 2000 - 42% 2004 - 46% +4%

FL: 2000 - 49% 2004 - 52% +3%

GA: 2000 - 55% 2004 - 59% +4%

HI: 2000 - 38% 2004 - 45% +7%

ID: 2000 - 67% 2004 - 68% +1%

IL: 2000 - 43% 2004 - 44% +1%

IN: 2000 - 57% 2004 - 60% +3%

IA: 2000 - 48% 2004 - 50% +2%

KS: 2000 - 58% 2004 - 62% +4%

KY: 2000 - 57% 2004 - 60% +3%

LA: 2000 - 53% 2004 - 57% +4%

ME: 2000 - 44% 2004 - 45% +1%

MD: 2000 - 40% 2004 - 43% +3%

MA: 2000 - 33% 2004 - 37% +4%

MI: 2000 - 48% 2004 - 48% +0%

MN: 2000 - 46% 2004 - 48% +2%

MS: 2000 - 58% 2004 - 59% +1%

MO: 2000 - 50% 2004 - 53% +3%

MT: 2000 - 58% 2004 - 59% +1%

NE: 2000 - 62% 2004 - 67% +5%

NV: 2000 - 50% 2004 - 51% +1%

NH: 2000 - 48% 2004 - 49% +1%

NJ: 2000 - 40% 2004 - 46% +6%

NY: 2000 - 36% 2004 - 40% +4%

NM: 2000 - 48% 2004 - 50% +2%

NC: 2000 - 56% 2004 - 56% +0%

ND: 2000 - 61% 2004 - 63% +2%

OH: 2000 - 50% 2004 - 51% +1%

OK: 2000 - 60% 2004 - 66% +6%

OR: 2000 - 47% 2004 - 47% +0%

PA: 2000 - 46% 2004 - 49% +3%

RI: 2000 - 32% 2004 - 39% +7%

SC: 2000 - 57% 2004 - 58% +1%

SD: 2000 - 60% 2004 - 60% +0%

TN: 2000 - 51% 2004 - 57% +6%

TX: 2000 - 59% 2004 - 61% +2%

UT: 2000 - 67% 2004 - 71% +4%

VA: 2000 - 53% 2004 - 54% +1%

VT: 2000 - 41% 2004 - 39% -2%

WA: 2000 - 45% 2004 - 46% +1%

WV: 2000 - 52% 2004 - 56% +4%

WI: 2000 - 48% 2004 - 49% +1%

WY: 2000 - 68% 2004 - 69% +1%

Perhaps this is a result of 9/11, but certainly the progressive Democrat mantra of abortion, stem cells, gay marriage, etc. appears to be moving in the opposite direction from the the USA as a whole.

Update: Here's an updated chart from RealClear Politics.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Patriotic Rosary 

Our parish prayed a patriotic rosary on election eve, just before my RCIA class. We pleaded for the blood of Jesus to be poured out for each state, by name, in alphabetic order with each state's request followed by a Hail Mary. We joined in singing patriotic songs between the decades, leaders read letters of past great statesmen and we gave thanks for the sacrifices and service of the wonderful men and women who have volunteered in our armed forces today and throughout our history. No words of Republican this or Democrat that were uttered, only dozens of people on their knees praying for each state and for our nation. Normally, the patriotic rosary is said on Memorial Day, but this was a good idea and rather well attended.

I cast my vote for President Bush this morning. I'm always an early voter, I always enjoy getting there to hear the poll workers open the door with "Hear ye, hear ye, the polls are now open!!" It was raining lightly, I was first in line, getting their 20 minutes before the opening shout. By the time I voted, a small line of about 15 people had formed. This is more than normal, but not overwhelmingly so. I heard no cross words, everyone seemed calm and happy to be getting their vote behind them.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Iran MPs, crying 'Death to America,' pass nuclear bill.

Can you imagine 85% of our Congress passing a measure along with shouts of "Death to Iran!" Well, of course not, at best our Congresspeople would mutter something under their breath, make sure they could revise and extend their remarks in case their mutterings polled badly, and then get out of the limelight before they offended a voting bloc. What a far cry our current leaders are from the original signers of the Declaration of Independence who signed knowing they could and probably would lose everything they had. But that's neither here, nor there. Why would Iran be shouting "Death to America" when, according to John Kerry, George Bush is completely ignoring Iran and letting the European Union do all the negotiating? Could it be that it's really very clear to the world that the current US Administration was serious when it labeled Iran as one third of the Axis of Evil?

How safe does a John Kerry presidency make you feel when you know that Iran's lawmakers pass bills with shouts of "Death to America" while Senator Kerry wants to call their bluff by giving them nuclear fuel rods and collecting the spent rods when they're done with them. Didn't we already go down that path with North Korea? Didn't North Korea lie to our face and build nuclear bombs with the enriched uranium?

Faced with diplomatic pressure and the threat of American military airstrikes against the reactor, North Korea agreed to dismantle its plutonium program as part of the Agreed Framework in which South Korea and the United States would provide North Korea with light water reactors and fuel oil until those reactors could be completed. Because the light water reactors would require enriched uranium to be imported from outside North Korea, the amount of reactor fuel and waste could be more easily tracked making it more difficult to divert nuclear waste to be reprocessed into plutonium. However, with the abandonment of its plutonium program, North Korea secretly began a program to build a bomb based on enriched uranium.
I don't believe there's anyway to know how the next four years are going to play out with North Korea and Iran, but the image of Saddam on trial, which should be coming soon, will surely have an impact on the leaders of the other two members of the Axis. It's an image John Kerry wouldn't have achieved, an image with which John Kerry, even today, disagrees.

The Seven Sacraments 

Tonight's RCIA class is on Chapter 12: Celebrating the Paschal Mystery. Paschal refers to Christ's actions on Easter, his passion, death, resurrection and ascension. This chapter we study the Seven Sacraments. Sacrament can be defined as "an efficacious symbol" which means a symbol that causes what it represents... like the death of Jesus on the cross is a symbol of our salvation, but it is also the cause of our salvation... like Baptism represents our new life in the Christian community, but it also causes our new life in the Christian community.

The Seven Sacraments are: 1) Baptism, 2) Confirmation, 3) the Eucharist (Communion), 4) Reconciliation (Confession), 5) the annointing of the sick, 6) the holy orders (the ordination of priests and the like), and 7) matrimony (marriage). Is it any wonder that the Catholic Church is so against the concept of gay marriage? Which one of the other sacraments would you like the Government to change? What church wouldn't care if the government decided to change one of the tenets of its faith?

We'll also study the Liturgy of the Hours tonight. Which is a series of prayers and readings recited seven times over the course of 24 hours. Samples: Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, Night Prayer.

And for tomorrow (for calming oneself on election day): Morning, Evening, Night.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

powered by FreeFind