From a homily on Matthew by Saint John Chrysostum, bishop

From a homily on Matthew by Saint John Chrysostum, bishop

As long as we are sheep, we overcome and, though surrounded by countless wolves, we emerge victorious; but if we turn into wolves, we are overcome, for we lose the shepherd’s help. He, after all, feeds the sheep not wolves, and will abandon you if you do not let him show his power in you.

What he says is this: “Do not be upset that, as I send you out among the wolves, I bid you be as sheep and doves. I could have managed things quite differently and sent you, not to suffer evil nor to yield like sheep to the wolves, but to be fiercer than lions. but the way I have chosen is right. It will bring you greater praise and at the same time manifest my power.” That is what he told Paul: My grace is enough for you, for in weakness my power is made perfect. “I intend,” he says, “to deal the same way with you.” For, when he says, I am sending you out like sheep, he implies: “But do not therefore lose heart, for I know and am certain that no one will be able to overcome you.”

The Lord, however, does want them to contribute something, lest everything seem to be the work of grace, and they seem to win their reward without deserving it. Therefore he adds: You must be clever as snakes and innocent as doves. But, they may object, what good is our cleverness amid so many dangers? How can we be clever when tossed about by so many waves? However great the cleverness of the sheep as he stands among the wolves – so may wolves! – what can it accomplish? However great the innocence of the dove, what good does it do him, with so many hawks swooping upon him? To all this I say: Cleverness and innocence admittedly do these irrational creatures no good, but they can help you greatly.

What cleverness is the Lord requiring here? The cleverness of a snake. A snake will surrender everything and will put up no great resistance even if its body is being cut in pieces, provided it can save its head. So you, the Lord is saying, must surrender everything but your faith: money, body, even life itself. For faith is the head and the root; keep that, and though you lose all else, you will get it back in abundance. The Lord therefore counseled the disciples to be not simply clever or innocent; rather he joined the two qualities so that they become a genuine virtue. He insisted on the cleverness of the snake so that deadly wounds might be avoided, and he insisted on the innocence of the dove so that revenge might not be taken on those who injure or lay traps for you. Cleverness is useless without innocence.

Do not believe that this precept is beyond you power. More than anyone else, the Lord knows the true natures of created things; he knows that moderation, not a fierce defense, beats back a fierce attack.

Lady Justice Winks – No Blindfold!

Hot Air writes concerning Sotomayor inconvenient statement of her judicial stance:

And so the retreat begins, as predicted yesterday in Politico’s story about Democratic strategists nudging The One to walk back her comment and make it go away. Obama weighed in on this himself just a few minutes ago, saying he’s sure she would have “restated” what she said if she could do it again; Gibbs makes essentially the same point. Nice try, but their problem here is that she wasn’t speaking off the cuff at the time. It came in the course of a speech, something to which a federal judge would devote care in composing. Either she’s a sloppy writer, even on matters of great cultural sensitivity like race, or she meant exactly what she said. And somehow I find it hard to believe she’s a sloppy writer.

Lady Justice no longer wears a blindfold, but the American people must, not to see the irony and pathetic stance of this kind of justice and this administration. For Obama appeals to the great American heart in his heralding the success story of Sotomayor.  However, there is another classic American story, as engaging as Sotomayor’s for true grit, that the American people should get to heqr at the Senate confirmation hearings and that is the story of Frank Ricci.

Charles Krauthammer hopes for a moment of illumination for America’s voters,  just to be clear:

Ricci is a New Haven firefighter stationed seven blocks from where Sotomayor went to law school (Yale). Raised in blue-collar Wallingford, Conn., Ricci struggled as a C and D student in public schools ill-prepared to address his serious learning disabilities. Nonetheless he persevered, becoming a junior firefighter and Connecticut’s youngest certified EMT.

After studying fire science at a community college, he became a New Haven “truckie,” the guy who puts up ladders and breaks holes in burning buildings. When his department announced exams for promotions, he spent $1,000 on books, quit his second job so he could study eight to 13 hours a day, and, because of his dyslexia, hired someone to read him the material.
He placed sixth on the lieutenant’s exam, which qualified him for promotion. Except that the exams were thrown out by the city, and all promotions denied, because no blacks had scored high enough to be promoted. Ricci (with 19 others) sued.

Case dismissed by the three-member circuit court panel including you guessed it Sotomayor.  Ricci promotion denied thanks in large part to ‘empathetic’ Sotomayor.  No American success story for the white guy, because he’s white.

Krauthammer: On the Ricci case. And on her statements about the inherent differences between groups, and the superior wisdom she believes her Latina physiology, culture and background grant her over a white male judge. They perfectly reflect the Democrats’ enthrallment with identity politics, which assigns free citizens to ethnic and racial groups possessing a hierarchy of wisdom and entitled to a hierarchy of claims upon society.Sotomayor shares President Obama’s vision of empathy as lying at the heart of judicial decision-making — sympathetic concern for litigants’ background and current circumstances, and for how any judicial decision would affect their lives.Since the 2008 election, people have been asking what conservatism stands for. Well, if nothing else, it stands unequivocally against justice as empathy — and unequivocally for the principle of blind justice.Empathy is a vital virtue to be exercised in private life — through charity, respect and lovingkindness — and in the legislative life of a society where the consequences of any law matter greatly, which is why income taxes are progressive and safety nets built for the poor and disadvantaged.But all that stops at the courthouse door. Figuratively and literally, justice wears a blindfold. It cannot be a respecter of persons. Everyone must stand equally before the law, black or white, rich or poor, advantaged or not.Obama and Sotomayor draw on the “richness of her experiences” and concern for judicial results to favor one American story, one disadvantaged background, over another. The refutation lies in the very oath Sotomayor must take when she ascends to the Supreme Court: “I do solemnly swear that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich. … So help me God.”When the hearings begin, Republicans should call Frank Ricci as their first witness. Democrats want justice rooted in empathy? Let Ricci tell his story and let the American people judge whether his promotion should have been denied because of his skin color in a procedure Sotomayor joined in calling “facially race-neutral.”Make the case for individual vs. group rights, for justice vs. empathy. Then vote to confirm Sotomayor solely on the grounds — consistently violated by the Democrats, including Sen. Obama — that a president is entitled to deference on his Supreme Court nominees, particularly one who so thoroughly reflects the mainstream views of the winning party. Elections have consequences.Vote Democratic and you get mainstream liberalism: A judicially mandated racial spoils system and a jurisprudence of empathy that hinges on which litigant is less “advantaged.”

War Games to Word Games

‘A rose by any other name would smell as sweet’ in other words,’a rose is a rose is a rose’ and terror by any other word is still being waged in a dangerous world.

Quoted by the NY Time,  Shannen W. Coffin, who served as counsel to former Vice President Dick Cheney said,

“They seem more interested in the war on the English language than in what might be thought of as more pressing national security matters. An Orwellian euphemism or two will not change the fact that bad people want to kill us and destroy us as a free people.” (my emphasis)

The NY Times Peter Baker says,

“The White House dismisses such criticism, saying the president is not focused on wordsmithing national policy.

Still, the degree to which the Obama team seems intent on distancing itself from any language associated with Mr. Bush has drawn ridicule even from the left. On “The Daily Show” on Tuesday night, Jon Stewart vigorously mocked the Obama administration after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said “the administration has stopped using the phrase” war on terror.

Mr. Stewart showed repeated clips of Mr. Obama’s budget director, Peter R. Orszag, referring instead to “overseas contingency operations.”

Summoning one of the most memorable moments of the Bush presidency, Mr. Stewart then showed a mocked up photograph of Mr. Obama in a pilot’s flight suit on the deck of an aircraft carrier under a banner proclaiming, “Redefinition Accomplished.”

When truth is masked, redefinition by any other name still stinks!