Syte Reitz

The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world…….

Browsing Posts published in December, 2010

The ultra-“progressive” and Christophobic tide of the media may be turning!

Daniel Henninger, wrote an opinion piece in today’s Wall Street Journal entitled Popes, Atheists and Freedom, which voices the  sentiment that “secularists should recognize that the pope’s fight is their fight.” Henninger goes on to describe the crucial role of Popes John Paul II and Benedict in the defense of freedom, and quotes the second volume of George Weigel’s biography of Pope John Paul II, The End and the Beginning, in which Weigel analyzes the archives of several former Communist intelligence services.

Daniel Henninger

Henninger goes on to conclude:

It has been odd in recent years to see prominent atheists make so much effort to diminish Judeo-Christian belief. In the modern world, and certainly in the U.S. from the Pilgrims onward to the Bill of Rights, religious practice has been bound up in the idea—now the principle—of individual freedom. I don’t think secularist arguments alone for individual freedoms have sufficient strength and fiber to stand against their current opposition.

Before Christmas Henninger had indicated that the country is moving to the right in an article entitled Holiday Optimism, Limited Edition.

Conservative is the new liberal!

Praise be to God!

Daniel Henninger’s video statement:

Who believes in God?

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God the Father (Sistine Chapel)

Who believes in God?

8 out of 10 Americans believe in a God who is responsible for creating human life.

The results of a new Gallup Poll ( Dec 17, 2010) indicate:

  • 40% of Americans believe in straight creationism
  • 38% of Americans believe in evolution guided by God
  • 16% of Americans believe in evolution without involvement of God.

Add the first 2 numbers:  78% of Americans believe that God is responsible for creating human beings.

There is little correlation with degree of education; 71% of Americans with postgraduate education believe that God is responsible for creating human beings (see original Gallup Poll).

Who would have guessed this?

According to the mainstream media, only the uneducated and unenlightened believe in God, and Evolution is an absolute religion.  In actual fact, seems that most Americans, including most highly educated Americans, see evolution as one of the tools used by God in creation, or do not believe evolutionary theory at all.   I’m in the “evolution occasionally used by God” camp.  God, in His wisdom, uses many tools, and to an honest and discerning scientist, evidence of evolution, although clearly present, is neither ubiquitous nor absolute.

Nativity, Charles Poerson

The next step in logic:  if God is responsible for the creation of human life, and we are not just highly evolved mammals, do we have the right to do with human life as we please, without regard for God’s law?  There are some things on which all religions agree, and that includes the sacredness of human life.

The Christ Child is born!  Alleluia!

He came to be one of us — an embryo, a fetus, a tiny vulnerable child.

“Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will.” – Luke 2:14


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The headline Pope decries Christianophobia in Europe” really caught my eye!

Pope Benedict XVI

This Reuters report sure has a catchy title, and we should be pleased with the attention that intolerance and discrimination against Christians is getting.  I am particularly heartened, since one of my most active blog categories is “Don’t Diss My Church.”

Living in liberal Madison, WI, and reading the United States liberal media, one cannot help but notice the intolerance and discrimination suffered by Christians, who have even been intimidated into the fear of wishing someone “Merry Christmas” on a national holiday which even the government observes.

However, let’s be careful of what words we attribute to the Holy Father—he is a bit too diplomatic to use sensationalism, and he did not actually say “Christianophobia.”

Vatican Emblem

On Dec 16, 2010, Pope Benedict published a really elegant treatise on Religious Freedom – “MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI FOR THE CELEBRATION OF THE WORLD DAY OF PEACE (1st January 2011).”  In the message written to world leaders, the Holy Father discusses the essential role of religious freedom in establishing peace, and mentions the intolerance and discrimination suffered by Christians, particularly in Europe.  The Reuters article, other than putting the word “Christianophobia” into Pope Benedict’s mouth, encapsulates many of the Holy Father’s points well and is worth reading. The Pope’s message is particularly worth reading.

The term “Christianophobia” is worthy of some discussion in itself.  Aside from appearing in the Reuters report, “Christianophobia” is also discussed by the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians, and is analyzed in the Observatory’s 5 year report on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians, which states:

“Christianophobia or Christophobia are common terms that describe the phenomenon of intolerance and discrimination against Christians. The term consists of the words „Christian“ or „Christ“ and „phobos“ (φόβος) which means “irrational fear”. The term means therefore an irrational animosity towards Christ, Christians, or Christianity as a whole. As Christianity is familiar to Europeans, and antagonism against Christians is not due primarily to an „irrational fear of the unknown“, we have chosen to use the phrase Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians when speaking about this phenomenon.”

Semantics aside, it’s great to see Pope Benedict’s message reported by the media, and secretly I really enjoyed the sensational spin Reuters put on the message – Pope Benedict’s diplomatic and humble manner does not always get him the attention his brilliant writing deserves!

It is even possible that Reuter’s use of the word “Christianophobia” is not as sensational as it first appears.  Given the dwindling familiarity and dwindling level of knowledge of Christianity prevalent in Europe and in many United States locations today, the Observatory 5 Year Report’s definition of Christophobia as an antagonism stemming from a lack of familiarity or of knowledge, might after all be the correct description for the animosity commonly seen towards religion today.

“Not a hundred people in the United States hate the Roman Catholic Church, but millions hate what they mistakenly think the Roman Catholic Church is.”

-Bishop Fulton J Sheen

Scott Walker

The Capital Times is moaning about governor-elect Scott Walker’s decision to decline President Obama’a $800 million offer for the construction of a “high-speed” rail between Madison and Milwaukee.

Actually, it’s all in the details, and we all owe Scott Walker a BIG THANK YOU for saving our necks.

Japan's Shinkansen, 220 mph

The proposed rail is NOT high-speed; the top Madison-Milwaukee speed without yet additional Wisconsin spending (beyond anything now being discussed) is 79mph .  High speed rails actually  travel at 160-268 mph.

The proposed rail tickets would cost DOUBLE the Badger Bus tickets, and take 10 minutes LONGER than the Badger Bus to get to Milwaukee.  Who in their right mind would use this rail?

Badger Bus

Jobs will NOT be created unless Wisconsin foots the bill – if you do the math, $800 million over 10 years to create 15,000 jobs would only contribute $5,400 per job per year.  Wisconsin is expected to come up with the rest, which would be $2.2 BILLION more, to bring up that number of jobs up to the minimum wage .

If we can’t handle our snow removal bills now, and are projecting 15% cuts to all UW employee salaries, where do dreamers think the balance of the money will be coming from?

Scott Walker is taking the responsible adult position — you don’t start what you can’t afford.  Good luck to those states participating in this.  Perhaps they have a larger population traveling the rail line which might help it work financially.  Or, perhaps they are still thinking of the long-gone magic economic bubble for which we still have to pay.

. news (Wisconsin State Journal/Cap Times) is a frequent source of inspiration for this blog.  🙂

Wisconsin Institutes of Discovery

Most recently, the Cap Times published an article on the grand opening of the new 205 million dollar Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery research building at UW Madison, which was formally opened yesterday, Dec 2, 2010.

The purpose of the new research building and the ethical concerns raised by peaceful protesters outside took a back seat to the coverage of a union labor dispute over food workers to be employed in the new building.  The union dispute dominated the grand opening, dominated the Cap Times article and dominated the ensuing online discussion.

It is odd the Cap Times article and discussion should consider a restaurant labor dispute to be of higher importance than the PURPOSE of the new building which was the subject of the grand opening, or more important than the ethical questions raised by the existence of the building and by the peaceful pro-lifers protesting outside.  Granted, the union protesters were unruly and disruptive, but the Cap Times should not have given them the platform they were trying to demand.  The Cap Times should also have devoted more space to the discussion of the real issues, and should have represented both sides of the embryonic stem cell research debate, rather than favoring the morally controversial research.

In actual fact, a major motivation behind building the Institutes for Discovery at

A Person is a Person no Matter How Small

UW Madison was to facilitate embryonic stem cell research by UW scientists, at a time when federal funding of embryonic stem cell research was forbidden due to moral concerns.  The majority of Americans still now oppose federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, and numerous moral authorities continue to oppose this research.  EMBRYONIC stem cell research is to be distinguished from ADULT stem research, which is morally acceptable (see Stem Cells).

The Institutes of Discovery plan was to erect a building in which one half was devoted to faculty doing research permitted by the U.S. government, while the other half of the building was devoted to doing private research, for which government approval was withheld.  Thus, scientists doing controversial research could comfortably move back and forth within the building, continuing the controversial research without losing their federal funding for other research projects.

Human stem cells

Basically, the Institutes for Discovery created a loophole to allow forbidden research to be carried out on the UW campus.

Now that President Obama has permitted federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, the Institutes for Discovery is actually an expensive and unnecessary embarrassment.  The building may come in handy if the next administration again forbids federal funding of embryonic stem cell research; however, the next administration might be too smart to fall for this evasion, so that will not be certain.

The fact that this amount of money could be spent in an effort to evade federal regulations, while staff salaries are being cut by UW Madison and employees are required to take “furlough” due to the economy, is disappointing and shocking.  The initial idea was equally shocking – that UW would insist on carrying out research that was morally opposed by more than half of America (57%), and was forbidden on federally funded grants.

Such irresponsible spending and disregard for the ethical concerns  of most Americans is just as suicidal in a University as it it in a nation.  UW is making some pretty big mistakes.  We need a more fiscally and morally responsible administration.

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