OK, I'm hardly prudish, but seeing the story, along with a photo of the 50-year-old wannabe porn actress prompted me to question our rationale and judgment for publishing the story. Why? I'm mindful of readers who constantly remind me that the Chronicle is distributed at area schools, including elementary schools. As a parent, I diligently monitor and censor what my 8-year-old son reads, views or listens to. So I empathize with readers who expressed consternation at our publishing a story they deemed inappropriate for a "family newspaper." Some readers saw it as graphic beyond the boundary of good taste to read lines like"within a few unscripted minutes they're mostly unclothed, panting and moaning for the camera, engaged in sexual contortions and obviously unbothered by visiting onlookers" doing "a gonzo shoot — meaning it is more or less plot-free sex for 40 minutes or so." They asked: Where were the editors? "I was dismayed to see the positive portrayal of pornography in the Star section of [Sunday's] paper ('Fifty, nifty and launching a career as a porn star')," a reader wrote. "The graphic nature of the article was bad enough, but I was especially offended that it was accompanied by a provocative photo of a woman in a see-through negligee and g-string. You could have devoted those column inches to any number of important woman-centered or news items ... rather than an article portraying pornography in a positive light." Another reader wrote that story about "the biggest trend in adult videos is older women ... was very distasteful. I am sure kids and teens read this paper (the next page shows Houston's future debutantes). ... How inappropriate to use an article on letting people know that 40- and 50 year-old women ... are getting into the porn industry ... I enjoy reading the Sunday paper but not seeing the paper advertise, through an article, that porn is all right ... And more: "I am disappointed in the Sunday Chronicle Lifestyle section. In my opinion, this is not appropriate material for a family newspaper, but may be appropriate for Playboy Magazine, or some porn magazine. As my Readers' Representative, please let it be known that we do not appreciate this type of article in our newspaper."The Houston Chronicle's features editor rebuffed Mr. Campbell and his readers by stating:
Kyrie O'Connor, deputy managing editor/features, responded: "We didn't choose the 50-plus porn star story deliberately to annoy people. We chose it because it was one of the most interesting stories we'd seen in a long time, well-written, lively, unusual. It's true that it may not be the first story you would want your 8-year-old to read that day, but while we need to be respectful of our readers, we don't need to plan the newspaper for 8-year-olds. Any child who could read that story should have his or her questions answered about it by a thoughtful adult. Our desire was not to endorse the over-50 porn star lifestyle or advocate for it — that's not what we do — but to give people something to read and think about, to be amused or mildly provoked, as they choose. The picture was not risqué."I agree with Mr. Campbell, though the story is 'interesting' it has no place in a newspaper such as the Houston Chronicle that is the only paper in town. What are they trying to cater to? The six readers (including Kyrie O'Connor apparently) who may feel disenfranchised if someone isn't writing a story about their fallen behavior? To read James Campbell excellent posting click here. To read blogHOUSTON's posting on this click here.
The BBC reports that Bishop Harper in an interview with the Irish Times says that the ban on Catholics becoming the British monarch should be abolished. The Act of Settlement of 1701 bans Catholics, or those married to Catholics, from ascending the British throne. Bishop Harper, who was born in Tamworth in Staffordshire, is to succeed Dr Robin Eames who retired in December. The new primate-elect said the Act "belongs to its time and we should move on", but that its repeal could have implications for the Church of England. As well as being the head of state, the British monarch is governor of the Church of England. Bishop Harper told the Irish Times that the disestablishment of the Church of England - separating church and state - was something it would "not only get over, but would be the better for it". Previously, Westminster Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor has said under the terms of the Act, Prince William "can marry by law a Hindu, a Buddhist, anyone, but not a Roman Catholic" and still be king. The relevant part of the Act states: "That all and every person and persons, who shall or may take or inherit the said Crown, by virtue of the limitation of this present act, and is, are or shall be reconciled to, or shall hold communion with, the See or Church of Rome, or shall profess the popish religion, or shall marry a papist, shall be subject to such incapacities."
The Roman Catholic Church and other religious bodies cannot be exempted from new laws banning discrimination against gay (homosexuals) people, Lord Falconer, the Lord Chancellor, said yesterday. He resisted attempts by Ruth Kelly, the Communities Secretary, to water down the rules to enable Catholic adoption agencies to turn away same-sex (homosexuals) couples. The Equality Act 2006, which comes into force in April, bans discrimination in the provision of goods, facilities and services on the basis of (homo)sexual orientation. Miss Kelly, a Catholic and a member of the Opus Dei sect, is under pressure from the Catholic Church to include an exemption for church-run adoption agencies. Lord Falconer told BBC television's Sunday AM programme: "We have introduced laws which prevent discrimination against people on the basis of their (homo)sexual orientation; those laws should be given full effect. "We do take the view in this country that you shouldn't be discriminated against on that basis and think that applies to everybody, whatever your religion." Downing Street has proposed a possible compromise under which Catholic agencies could refuse to accept gay (homosexual) couples but would have a duty to refer them to agencies that would accept them. A spokesman for Miss Kelly's Department of Communities and Local Government confirmed yesterday that discussions were under way in Whitehall on the new rules, but denied that "preferential treatment" would be given to an individual faith. "We are absolutely committed to bringing forward effective protection from discrimination on the basis of (homo)sexual orientation and fully recognise the value of gay (homosexual) and lesbian parents," said the spokesman.
Merkel told German news weekly Focus, in talks with German cardinal Karl Lehmann, that she regretted that the current draft constitution for the 27-member European Union did not include a mention of God or Christianity. "I would have liked to have seen a clearer declaration on the Christian roots (of Europe)," she said. "No one doubts that they significantly shape our life, our society," the chancellor said. (. . .) The Vatican and other church organizations have expressed regret that the document does not include an explicit reference to Europe's Judeo-Christian origins. (. . .) Last year Merkel was among the EU politicians campaigning for a more explicit reference to Europe's Christian roots. Plans to include such a reference were originally blocked by French President Jacques Chirac. Some German officials hope French conservative presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy, who has criticized France's official secularism as too rigid, may support their campaign.Angela Merkel was born Angela Dorothea Kasner from a Lutheran pastor. She married and divorced Ulrich Merkel and is now married to Joachim Sauer. Besides being fluent in German, she speaks near flawless English as well as French, Italian, Russian, and Polish. She is the first 'ossi', or East German from post-unification to lead a united Germany. She is also the first woman and the youngest person ever to hold the position of chancellor since the establishment of Germany in 1871. Her politics is center-right, of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), and is called "The Iron Frau", a comparison to the great Prime Minister Thatcher of Great Britain. She has a background in natural sciences and has been described as the "Most Powerful Woman in the World" by Forbes magazine. Ironically, the CDU was refounded under Konrad Adenauer after World War II that helped develop the 'German Miracle' of economic and cultural recovery. The CDU is the main party affiliated with both Catholics and Protestants, though it is less so now. Konrad Adenauer was a devout and practicing Catholic that helped form what is now called the European Union, based on Catholic virtues and values. Which of course the EU has even ignored their own beginning thinking that 'man' is the end of itself. I personally pray that the EU constitution does make a strong reference to Christianity. From a secular point of view, it is a disgrace that such a reference is not even in the constitution. How can a entire continent deny 1500+ years of Christian heritage? To read this article click here. To read more about Chancellor Merkel click here. To read more about Konrad Adenauer click here.
Post Script: I'm not the bald guy with the big goofy grin and bushy eyebrows.
In Islam, it is easy for anyone to become a Muslim, but when converting to Christianity, it brings condemnation and sometimes death.
"MALAYSIA's status as a moderate Muslim country is being put to the test in a milestone court decision that may allow Muslims to renounce their faith, a move considered one of Islam's greatest sins. The nation's highest court is to rule on an appeal by Lina Joy, a convert from Islam to Christianity who for a decade has been locked in a battle with the government to have her decision legally recognised. The appeal brings to a head passionate arguments about whether Muslims can renounce Islam at will and, ultimately, whether Malaysia is a secular country or is morphing into a conservative Islamic state under religious Sharia law." Our country is at a crossroads pending the outcome of this landmark case," Joy's counsel, Benjamin Dawson, told AFP. "This decision is pivotal to the direction the country will take."
Polish and Vatican officials held talks overnight on the fate of Stanislaw Wielgus, at the centre of communist-era spying row, the reports said.
. . . The BBC's Adam Easton in Warsaw says preparations are still taking place for a service at 1000 GMT, but that the installation ceremony may be replaced by a Mass of thanksgiving for the archbishop's predecessor, Jozef Glemp. Commentators say a decision to stop the installation at this late stage would be unprecedented.
. . . In one survey, two-thirds of people asked, said Archbishop Wielgus should resign. His admission came after a Church commission acknowledged he had collaborated with the communist secret police.
Today I read from several other people that seminarians at the seminary I will be attending are not allowed to have blogs or use forums online. I was extremely disappointed, but I will do whatever I must to live in obedience to my superiors. I plan on keeping this blog on the Internet forever. I have worked and put months worth of hours into this blog. I hope that it is a source of information for months while I am not blogging. Specifically, the "Catholic Categories" has very valuable information. I do, however, hope to post on this blog throughout the summer. So, starting in Fall 2007, I will be unable to post for a significant amount of time - probably until Summer 2008. However, I will be able to email people, so I will remain in touch with my readers. I have grown so close to many readers that it will be very difficult to stop blogging for those months. I pray that I will be able to do whatever is required of me.Well, he is joining tens of thousands of other Catholics that are part of the Pope John Paul II generation of vocations. I'd rather see Moneybags become a priest rather than blogging, which I believe you all to agree would be the best thing if it finally comes to that. Good luck and Godspeed Moneybags! Tito To view Moneybags latest posting click here.
. . . the fact of the destruction of so many human lives still to be born or in their final stage extremely grave and disturbing, but no less grave and disturbing is the fact that conscience itself, darkened as it were by such widespread conditioning, is finding it increasingly difficult to distinguish between good and evil in what concerns the basic value of human life. (Evangelium Vitae, #4)What Speaker Pelosi has is an inconsistent Life Ethic. You cannot be pro-life and still vote anti-life (pro-abortion/pro-choice).
The common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights—for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture—is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination (Christifideles Laici, no. 38).Then Cardinal Ratzinger wrote a letter titled "Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion," which explained in great detail the difference in moral weight between a wage increase and abortion:
"Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage way, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia." (Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion)Which brings us back to the 'gratuitous' Mass that Speaker Pelosi will be attending this week. She brings scandal by her actions which don't support her words of holding Catholic teachings to heart. Is Speaker Nancy Pelosi worthy to receive Holy Communion. The simple and correct answer is "no". For a great article by Judie Brown of Human Events about Mrs. Pelosi click here. For another great article about Catholic politicians by Mark Brumley of Ignatius Insight click here. For the Evangelium Vitae Encyclical by Pope John Paul II click here. For a previous posting of mine related to Mrs. Nancy Pelosi and other 'alleged' Catholic politicians click here.
There's more, but I need to get going. God bless you all.
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Books I Recommend
- The Imitation of Christ by Thomas À Kempis
- Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam by Pope Benedict XVI & Marcello Pera; Forward by George Weigel, Translated by Michael F. Moore
- Triumph - The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church, a 2000 Year History by H.W. Crocker, III
- Witness To Hope, The Biography of Pope John Paul II by George Weigel
- Uncommon Faith by John F. Coverdale
- Holy Bible
- A History of Christendom Vols. 1, 2, & 4 by Warren H. Carroll
- Understanding Medjugorje: Heavenly Visions or Religious Illusion? by Donal Anthony Foley
- The Courage to be Catholic by George Weigel
- God's Choice by George Weigel
- Clash of Civilizations by Samuel P. Huntington
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