Maryland Catholics, Voting, and Abortion

life-beautiful

I recently wrote this piece for a newsletter for the Knights of Columbus Council I am a member of (and Culture of Life Committee co-chairman.)

November 4 is Election Day and here in Maryland we will go to the polls to vote for state and local officials as well as members of Congress. As Saint John Paul II noted, the right to life is “the first right, on which all the others are based, and which cannot be recuperated once it is lost.”

In the document A Brief Catechism for Catholic Voters, Fr. Stephen F. Torraco, PhD wrote that voting for a pro-abortion candidate is a mortal sin. Fr. Torraco also wrote that voting for a candidate who cites personal opposition to abortion while still voting for it would make the voter “an accomplice in advancing the moral evil of abortion.”

When none of the candidates for a particular office are completely pro-life, it’s necessary to choose the candidate that will do the most to promote a culture of life. There are many incremental steps that can be taken in Maryland to advance the pro-life cause.  Otherwise, Maryland will continue to be a state where minors have to get parental consent to go to a tanning bed, but not to kill their unborn child.

Another positive step that could be taken in the executive branch of state government would be for a new governor to order the state’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to keep track of the number of abortions performed in Maryland every year. Those statistics have not been calculated since the current governor took office.

When pro-life Catholics vote based on the principles of their faith, they help elect government officials who will respect their wishes and start the ball rolling on incremental change that will ultimately lead to big changes.

As the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote in Living the Gospel of Life, “[t]he Gospel of Life must be proclaimed, and human life defended, in all places and all times.  The arena for moral responsibility includes not only the halls of government, but the voting booth as well.”

Besides voting, we need to continue to pray for our elected officials at the federal, state, and local levels. We need to be especially sure to pray for the ones who are pro-abortion – that their hearts may be changed on the issue.

For more information on candidates and their views, visit the Maryland Right to Life website and the website of the Maryland Catholic Conference.

Clyburn’s GOP opponent compares gay marriage to Gremlins movie

gremlins

Rep. Jim Clyburn was already expected to easily win re-election in South Carolina’s Sixth Congressional District and will remain the only Democrat in Congress (House or Senate) from the Palmetto State.

His opponent, Anthony Culler, isn’t exactly the most polished candidate.

On Facebook he referred to same-sex marriage as a “pestilence” and made the following comparison:

If you believe in traditional families and that marriage is defined as an institution between one man and one woman then I ask that you start acting like it and START VOTING like it! Do not buy the “cuteness” and “What will it hurt?” arguments whispered in your ears and marketed to our children. Same-sex couples that seek to destroy our way of life and the institution of marriage are NOT cute and cuddly but rather (for those of you that are old enough to remember the movie), Gremlins that will only destroy our way of life.

(Hat Tip: FITS News)

The Washington Post ignored crowd streaming out of Obama speech


(Reuters Photo)

I noted last night that Reuters and Politico (including the White House pool report by a reporter from that paper) reported on a stream of people leaving after President Barack Obama started speaking last night at an event for Lt. Governor Anthony Brown in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Democrats tried to spin the reports, including one in The Baltimore Sun, by saying that the people leaving were from an overflow room that the president spoke to first. There was pushback by reporters on this (and pictures were tweeted proving it) and I’ll have more on that in a minute. There were even some Obama supporters on Twitter, when they weren’t calling reporters names, who were claiming the people who left were Republican plants.

The story in the Washington Post made no mention of people leaving at all, whatever the explanation. That story was written by Jenna Johnson and Arelis R. Hernandez (and John Wagner contributed to it.)

Excerpts from WaPo:

President Obama stood before thousands of Marylanders in a high school gym in Prince George’s County on Sunday and urged them to vote for Democrats who fight for the working class — such as gubernatorial candidate Anthony G. Brown.

The president told the largely African American, and wildly enthusiastic, crowd that Republicans want voters to become so cynical that they don’t vote.

[...]

Although Obama has seen his popularity fade in many parts of the county, he was welcomed with raucous applause at Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School in Upper Marlboro. At times, the crowd punctuated each of his sentences with cheers. It also defended him with boos when a heckler challenged Obama on immigration.

It was a level of enthusiasm that Brown has yet to see as he campaigns to become the state’s first African American governor and the nation’s third to be popularly elected.Some in the crowd said they waited in line for hours to see Obama, not Brown.

I noted last night that news reports indicated that a “steady stream of people walked out of the auditorium while he spoke” and that “once the president started speaking, the crowd began streaming out, a few at first, but then by the dozen once Obama was about 10 minutes into his talk.”

Other reports indicated there was a “traffic jam” of people trying to leave.

Maryland Democratic Party Chair Yvette Lewis called the Politico report a “lie” and crappy reporting. She also castigated Reuters and Yahoo for reporting it. She claimed that the people leaving were coming from an overflow room that Obama already spoke to prior to an event. She also had confusing versions of that spin, including saying the people in the overflow were leaving but then claiming they weren’t allowed to leave.

The reporter from Politico engaged with her on Twitter and corrected her and pointed out that the people were in the main room. Obama supporters and Democrats in Maryland and nationally took to Twitter to attack the reports who wrote about people leaving. These included claims of the reporters being “Obama-haters”, “racists”, “liars”, and other attacks. One person on Twitter even claimed that the people who walked out were GOP plants.

Here’s what Jeff Mason of Reuters told one of the Obama supporters (one who also engaged with me last night) on Twitter after she accused him of being a “dumb ass” and a “jealous hater”:

mason-hater

Twitchy also wrote about it and included tweets with details and pictures.

Other links:
Legal Insurrection
The Political Insider
Liberty News

Multiple parodies hit Anthony Brown over “Frederickstown” gaffe

brown-startled

Last night, I noted Anthony Brown’s debate gaffe of referring to Frederick mistakenly as Frederickstown.

I also noted this parody set to the tune of Billy Joel’s Allentown:

Walter Olson wrote a parody as well:

[can be sung to "Nottamun Town," made famous by Jean Ritchie, or other tunes. By Walter Olson]

SHOW ME THE WAY TO FREDERICKSTOWN,
or, LOST IN MARYLAND

Come all you good people and now gather round,
I’ll sing you the story of Anthony Brown;
Who wandered thro’ Mar’land, up hills and down,
Saying show me the way to fair Fred-er-ickstown.

“For eight years in office I’ve just hung around,
Except for that website I ran to the ground,
But Emperor O’Malley has willed me his crown,
So show me the way to fair Frederickstown.”

“Oh Tony, oh Tony, please pencil this down,
There’s a city called Frederick, of famous renown,
The state’s second largest, with green hills all round,
But there is no city called Frederickstown.”

“Do not contradict me,” Tony said with a frown,
These eight years I’ve traveled this whole state around,
Eastminster, St. Gary’s, and Salisboro town,
From Hagersville-Port to the Chesapeake Sound.”

We wanted a governor with feet on the ground,
We chose Larry Hogan, our taxes came down,
If out on the byways you should meet Mr. Brown,
He’s still out there looking for Frederickstown.

Did a “stream of people” really leave Obama-Brown event early?

U.S. President Obama waves as he arrives for a campaign rally for Maryland Lt. Gov. Brown at a High School in Upper Marlboro
(Photo: REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE)

Reports by Politico and Reuters indicated that people started leaving an event today for Anthony Brown as soon as President Barack Obama started speaking. A Maryland Democratic Party official pushed back and said the people leaving were in an overflow room and attacked Politico and Reuters over the report (via Twitter.) Facts from the original tweets by the reporter from Reuters and pushback against the MD Dem official by the Politico reporter seemingly proves that the Democrats are just trying to spin their way out of a negative story.

Jeff Mason of Reuters filed a story earlier today about an appearance on behalf of Lt. Governor (and candidate for Governor) Anthony Brown by President Obama in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. From his story:

President Barack Obama made a rare appearance on the campaign trail on Sunday with a rally to support the Democratic candidate for governor in Maryland, but early departures of crowd members while he spoke underscored his continuing unpopularity.

With approval levels hovering around record lows, Obama has spent most of his campaign-related efforts this year raising money for struggling Democrats, who risk losing control of the U.S. Senate in the Nov. 4 midterm election.

Most candidates from his party have been wary of appearing with him during their election races because of his sagging popularity.

[...]

Democrats have a history of not turning up to vote in midterm elections.

“There are no excuses. The future is up to us,” Obama said.

A steady stream of people walked out of the auditorium while he spoke, however, and a heckler interrupted his remarks.

After that story appeared, it was getting a lot of play on Twitter. Yahoo ran the Reuters story too and it resulted in Yvette Lewis of the Maryland Democratic Party telling Yahoo they had it wrong via Twitter:

lewis1

Todd Eberly continued to discuss this with Lewis and Lewis said she was in the gym “up top” and that Obama and Brown had both been in the overflow room first. Lewis also claimed there was no audio in that room so people left.

Here’s what the Baltimore Sun had to say:

A steady stream of people, meanwhile, left the event shortly after the president began speaking. It was not clear whether they were escaping the gym’s heat — at least one person was carried out by stretcher — or for some other reason. Many carried signs and wore T-shirts for Brown, and many had waited hours to attend.

Politico reported the following:

This is Obama country — Barack Obama Elementary School is just down the road, and close to 90 percent of votes cast here in the 2012 presidential election were for him, the best he did in any county in the state. The crowd was energetic in waiting for the president and in welcoming him to the stage, but once the president started speaking, the crowd began streaming out, a few at first, but then by the dozen once Obama was about 10 minutes into his talk. Still, the vast majority of the large crowd stayed for the full event.

WBAL Radio provided excerpts from Epstein’s pool report:

Remarks are open press, but one unusual thing that fellow veterans of campaign rallies confirm: some in the crowd started leaving as soon as Obama started speaking and by the time he was about 10 minutes in, there was a traffic jam next to the pool’s tables as folks tried to exit the gym.

Yvette Lewis told Politico via Twitter that their report was a “lie” and referred to their “crappy reporting.”
lewis2

More:

lewis3

Here’s what Jennifer Epstein, author of the Politico story, had to say about the claims by Lewis:

epstein1

 

More:

epstein2

Here’s what Jeff Mason of Reuters tweeted when the event was actually going on:

mason1

More:

mason2
So, according to the tweets as it happened by Jeff Mason and the pushback by Jennifer Epstein of Politico, Yvette Lewis and the Maryland Democrats appear to just be furiously spinning to try to counter the story that people were leaving during an Obama speech. I know who I’d believe on  that one.

UPDATE

Here’s what Professor Todd Eberly had to say:

eberly

Anthony Brown’s Gaffe: Refers to “Frederickstown” not Frederick

brown-mpt

In Saturday’s gubernatorial debate, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown contributed to the perception that he’s out of touch, especially when it comes to the western part of Maryland.

Near the end of the 10/18 debate, Brown was talking about his travels around the state and recited a number of cities, including “Frederickstown.”

As a response, the campaign of Larry Hogan changed the name of their Frederick page on Facebook to Frederickstown for Hogan-Rutherford.
frederickstown

The complete debate video is below (go to the 53:34 mark for Brown’s embarassing gaffe):

Here’s a quick transcript of the Brown gaffe in question:

When I travel around the state of Maryland… whether I’m in Oakland… whether I’m in Cumberland… whether I’m in Frostsburg, Hagerstown, Frederickstown, families want the same thing….

UPDATE
A parody has already popped up, set to the tune of Billy Joel’s “Allentown”:

GOP candidate compares Maryland economy to Ebola

William Campbell, Republican candidate for Maryland Comptroller made the following tweet just after midnight Wednesday night:

campbell-tweet

Here’s the text of the tweet:

MD has economic ebola! It’s hemorrhaging jobs in epidemic proportions. Bechtel moving 1,000 good paying jobs to VA. Stop the virus vote GOP.

Campbell faces the Democrat incumbent, Peter Franchot, in the November 4 election.

Endorsing a Candidate for Maryland’s Attorney General

dymowski

I’m not a huge fan of making endorsements and I’ve never done one on this site before, except a tongue-in-cheek one that I later withdrew. I would only make endorsements in races I actually have the ability to vote on as well. The utility of me making an endorsement in a general election race would be limited since I’m a conservative, and most people would expect me to support Republicans generally. I chose to make this endorsement since I’m voting for a candidate who is not a Republican.

I am voting for Leo Dymowski, the Libertarian candidate, for Attorney General of Maryland. Dymowski is an Army veteran who worked his way through law school and grad school. He has worked in private practice and for both city and state government. He is also the most qualified candidate running in my opinion. I don’t agree with him on every issue, but then again I can hardly ever say that about any candidate.

I’ve noted numerous times that pro-life issues and 2nd Amendment issues are important to me, even when they don’t seem to be for many politicians in Maryland unless it’s convenient. There are exceptions to that, but finding statewide candidates who will even talk about pro-life issues or the 2nd amendment during a primary can be tough (forget about a general election.)

Dymowski has more than platitudes on his campaign website and he takes on tough issues, including the drug war, the 2nd amendment (“citizen disarmament” in his words), and speed cameras. Additionally, I discussed abortion and pro-life issues with him and was impressed with both his knowledge of the issues and his positions, even if I don’t agree with him 100%. I discussed pro-life libertarians, including Libertarians for life, before on this site and Dymowski discussed the fact that the LP includes pro-lifers when I discussed the issues with him.

To sum up Dymowski’s positions on these issues:

  • he has always fought partial birth abortions, late term abortions, and public funding
  • he supports parental notification and free speech rights at abortion clinics by pro-life groups
  • he also opposes abortions past viability or fetal pain
  • he does oppose government intervention in the first trimester

While this doesn’t line up completely with my opposition to abortion in all cases, these positions might make Dymowski the most openly pro-life candidate running for statewide office in Maryland from any party. Considering there is a statewide Republican running who says he wouldn’t change Maryland law or “curb women’s reproductive rights”, it’s refreshing to see a candidate (a Libertarian no less) who fully understands the different issues involved (it’s not just about Roe v. Wade) and takes a clear stance on them.

I am still a registered Republican and will remain one for now. I am just choosing to vote for the Libertarian candidate for this one office this year. Realistically, the deck for this race is stacked in favor of the gun-grabbing Democrat but I wanted to note who I find the best candidate to be for the record.

You can find the campaign of Leo Dymowski online at vote4leo.org and you can also make a donation. I understand he is going to be on the air with radio ads very soon and he also has a YouTube channel where he talks about the issues.

Columbus sought gold to fund crusade to retake Jerusalem from Muslims?

christopher-columbus

A Columbia magazine interview with Carol Delaney detailed her background:

[A] cultural anthropologist and long-time professor at Stanford University, had little knowledge or interest in Columbus — that is, until she was teaching a course called “Millennial Fever” at Stanford in 1999 and came across a reference to the explorer’s apocalyptic beliefs. Delaney was intrigued and set out to research Columbus at Brown University in the summer of 2003. Two years later, she retired from Stanford to devote herself to research, which launched a remarkable journey in the footsteps of the explorer.

The same interview discusses Delaney’s book, Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem: How Religion Drove the Voyages that Led to America.

From the interview:

Everybody knows that Columbus was trying to find gold, but they don’t know what the gold was for: to fund a crusade to take Jerusalem back from the Muslims before the end of the world. A lot of people at the time thought that the apocalypse was coming because of all the signs: the plague, famine, earthquakes and so forth. And it was believed that before the end, Jerusalem had to be back in Christian hands so that Christ could return in judgment. Columbus actually calculated how many years were left before the end of the world. He seemed to think of his whole voyage as a mission, which was part of this apocalyptic scenario.

Delaney also discusses Columbus wanting to evangelize and convert the natives after they were instructed in the faith properly. She points out that Columbus thought he could convert the Grand Khan of China to Christianity and that his forces could march on Jerusalem from the east. She also wrote about Columbus ordering his men to treat the natives with respect.

Delaney’s assessment of Columbus and his successes:

He was angry with King Ferdinand for not pursuing the crusade, and he recognized that terrible crimes had been committed. From this point of view, he felt the quest was a failure. In reality, it was a major accomplishment. Columbus went across the ocean four times in small wooden ships, without the use of modern instruments. In the process, he discovered the New World, even though he thought that he had found only the periphery of Asia.

 

From a review of Delaney’s book:

Delaney argues that Columbus was inspired to find a western route to the Orient not only to obtain vast sums of gold for the Spanish Crown but primarily to fund a new crusade to take Jerusalem from the Muslims before the end of the world—a goal that sustained him until the day he died. Drawing from oft-ignored sources, some from Columbus’s own hand, Delaney depicts her subject as a thoughtful interpreter of the native cultures that he and his men encountered, and tells the tragic story of how his initial attempts to establish good relations with the natives turned badly sour. Showing Columbus in the context of his times rather than through the prism of present-day perspectives on colonial conquests reveals a man who was neither a greedy imperialist nor a quixotic adventurer, but a man driven by an abiding religious passion. Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem is not an apologist’s take, but a clear-eyed, thought-provoking, and timely reappraisal of the man and his legacy.

Sarah Palin’s “Hoohah”

hoohah

Sarah Palin made the above post to Facebook earlier today and as of 2 p.m. ET there has been no change. The Youtube video itself is labeled as a video of a Marine Sergeant First Class throwing out the first pitch at a Washington Nationals game. The Marine Corps doesn’t have such a rank and you can hear on the audio and it’s reported elsewhere that Brian Keaton served in the U.S. Army.

I think Palin, or whoever updated her account, was trying to use the Marine yell of “Oohrah!” and got it mixed up somewhere with the Army’s “Hooah” which would have been more appropriate in the case of Keaton.

However, “Hoohah!” is more similar too “hooha” and not one she’d probably want to use.

UPDATE

Palin’s update below gets it wrong because it’s “Hooah” not “Hoohah” for the Army:

UPDATE: Hey, knock it off. I posted a cool, inspiring video to brighten your day and to honor our vets. I didn’t make the video nor did I title it. This honored vet is introduced as ARMY; that’s why I captioned it “Hoohah!” Amazing how something fun and positive can be turned negative by either folks looking for something to be hatin’ on or those just not paying attention. Now, don’t make me pull a mama’s chewing out on you! Enjoy the video! Hoohah!