#gopconvention reminds me of two wonderful things

I’ve been watching the Republican National Convention speeches.

Tonight, I’ve been reminded of two wonderful things, one in the past and one in the future.

First, in the past, today is the anniversary of the amazing moment when man first walked on the moon. 20 July 1969. I watched the live TV coverage. I hope for the day that such a thing occurs again.

Armstrong Moon

Second, in the future, six months from today will be a joyous moment, the last day of the Obama Administration. 20 January 2017. I will watch the live TV coverage. I hope that such a thing will never occur again.

20 January 2017!

[Get your 12 Pius Clock HERE]

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. thomas tucker says:

    The only thing better will be the end of this pontificate.

  2. thomas tucker says:

    On second thought, I shouldn’t have said that. Mea culpa.

  3. Dimitri_Cavalli says:

    It amazes me that people can lose their faith in God but never, ever in government in the sense that it can solve all sorts of problems and make everyone happy and prosperous through legislation and bureaucratic regulation.

  4. Dimitri_Cavalli says:

    Yes, we should welcome the end of Obama’s presidency. But let’s avoid the partisan and panicked thinking of liberals.

    For them, every Republican President is somehow “worse” (as in more dangerous and corrupt) than the last one. In 1980, liberal Henry Fonda said that Reagan was “worse than Nixon.” Liberal film critic Roger Ebert once wrote that Nixon was preferable than George W. Bush. If Ebert had lived to see another Republican president, that one, I’m assuming, would be worse than Bush.

    Every four years, liberals view the Republican nominee as more dangerous, extreme, stupid, racist, and worse than the previous one and treat the election–and every presidential election–like it will be the last one ever. In 2012, a writer in Commonweal actually wrote that , that year’s election “was the most important since 1932” and imperative that Obama win re-election. Given the anti-Trump hysteria of Commonweal’s editors and contributors–one of whom expressed hope that the Electoral College could block a Trump presidency–the 2012 article seems ridiculous as it is dated. Who wants to bet in four or eight years, Commonweal’s editors and contributors and liberals who think like them will be alarmed by the next Republican nominee and suddenly realize that Donald Trump wasn’t that bad as compared to him or her.

    We can become so obsessed with obtaining and holding on to political power that we lose our common sense and decency.

  5. Absit invidia says:

    The Obama years were torturous, but we are not out of the woods yet. He leaves us with a dark cloud looming over Anerica. His Supreme Court picks and subsequent weird declarations like unnatural “marriage” and Obamacare mandates. The democrat partys reckless attempt at acquiring a new voting block for themselves from illegal aliens has made us vulnerable to terrorist attacks from foreigners slipping through the gaping hole these grossly negligent power mongers created.

    We need to work hard at undoing the 8 years of waste and scandal this presidency brought to younger generations looking to the highest office of the land for faith and inspiration that were handed the worst possible example of laziness, arrogance, dishonesty, and division that could only leave our youngsters confused and morally lost.

    Prayer is a much needed remedy – prayer and social action to bring about real “social justice” to persecuted groups like the Little Sisters if the Poor and common eceryday Americans trying to work out their little piece of the American Dream that for the past 8 years was flippantly heaved to the side in favor of the most radical and divisive policies this nation has had to endure.

  6. JonPatrick says:

    In some ways though this election is more of a watershed moment than many of the recent elections. For one thing it is not so much liberal vs. conservative as it is globalist vs nationalist. This is why so many in the GOP are against Trump and would rather see Clinton elected because globalism is more important to them than the other issues. Also you have the likelihood that at least a couple of Supreme Court seats coming open, plus the fact that Obamacare has been such a debacle means there is a need and an opportunity to redo health care reform. If Clinton is elected this will be undoubtedly a path to a single payer system; with Trump there might be a chance for a more free market solution.

    There is also a darker aspect to this election. The continuing social unrest, some of it undoubtedly encouraged by various political forces on the left trying to undermine what is left of the Christian values that our society was built on, seems to be accelerating. Unfortunately I think this trend will continue no matter who becomes president as I feel it is due to the breakdown of our belief in Christian values and nothing short of a “great awakening” is going to change that anytime soon. Given that we may be headed for the kind of social unrest you have seen in places like Argentina and Venezuela, the ability to arm ourselves, and to be able to practice our religious faith. These are both areas where a Clinton administration would crack down on. I have never owned a gun but I am now planning steps to change that given that if and when Clinton is elected the 2nd amendment becomes history. (By the way any advice on handguns for a first time gun owner would be appreciated).

  7. Manducat in the hat says:

    Felix Baumgartner’s balloon freefall was my generation’s moon landing. Most thrilling thing I’ve ever seen in live broadcast.

  8. un-ionized says:

    JonPatrick, the best place to get advice is a gun shop which has a firing range.

  9. Phil_NL says:

    I just hope and pray we won’t be looking with the same anticipation to 20 January 2020. If it’s Hillary, I definitely will. If Trump, who knows? There’s a chance he’ll get the supreme court right, there’s a chance he won’t go overboard on foreign policy, and a chance is still better than knowing for sure it will go horribly wrong, but this is not a good time to be optimistic.

  10. Jack007 says:

    JohnPatrick, there’s only one bit of advice you need to remember. Glock is your friend! ;-)
    Jack in KC

  11. January 20, 2017: The End of an Error.

    No doubt, Trump is not perfect. Who is? I can recall the wailing and gnashing of teeth over Reagan, and the usual suspects with their shorts in a wad over the thought of RR taking the reins of the ship of state. Were those 8 years a disaster? No. In fact, I’m thinking that was the last administration which actually was not as polarized in its dealings between the exec and legislative branches (read some of the accounts of his dealings with Tip O’Neal…they had their moments, but actually negotiated…rather than the ‘we won, you lost, elections have consequences mantra of 2009-2010( as has been the case since the advent of the hound dog and his bride from Arkansas.

    FWIW, there is NO way I could even conceive of pulling the lever for the other one. I’ll hold my nose voting, but while the one is not perfect (who is?), the alternative is even worse. And that, with all of the revelations, history, prevarications, and hypocrisy…people still are drinking the Kool-Aid and swooning over the choice for her says more about how far we’ve descended and given up our moral compass than it does to recommend our system.

    Agree with Jack007: Glock is a good friend. Get to know him. And stock up on ammo.

  12. Kathleen10 says:

    I’m with you Fr. Z., the day he is out, I am going to celebrate. That will be a happy day, a very happy day. I knew he was going to be bad, but he exceeded my expectations by wide margins. I expected him to be radical, he was as a senator, but who could have anticipated a president who was openly hostile to Americans who didn’t happen to look like him or share his racial background? Who would imagine a president to stoke the fire of racial animosity as he has, putting black and white Americans at great risk. Who would imagine a president that would side with Islam again and again, blatantly, obviously! Who would insult Christians just as obviously, and enable our own government to harass conservative groups and take away the religious freedom of Christians by fining nuns millions of dollars if they did not cooperate with a radically pro-abort government? That would have been unthinkable, eight short years ago. I could go on an on with the twisted ways this one man has tortured America for these last eight years, I am just so grateful his time is coming to an end. Of course, one must watch these demons who are shooting our police officers with almost no pushback from our government. The Democrats are evil, and they have proven they are ruthless when it comes to staying in power. We should all pray much that Hillary Clinton does not get the opportunity to continue this diabolical presidency. This election is absolutely critical.

  13. Mike says:

    The most joyous moment I can imagine, and the one toward which I work (however ham-fistedly) and pray (fervently, if haltingly), is the defeat of Modernist immanentism and the dawn of the Social Reign of Christ the King. With Quas Primas and Rerum Novarum as our guides, we can live on this Earth as Our Lord wants us to, at the same time preparing ourselves for the life to come.

  14. wanda says:

    Two wonderful things! Watched the first in black & white. Lord willing, I will live to see the second wonderful thing live and in HD living color! I applauded last night as Mr. Pence announced the coming 6 month end to the present admin.

  15. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Ah, anniversaries! I remember thinking in that Presidential Election year of 2008 that it was the 1940th anniversary of the beginning of the ‘Year of the Four Emperors’…

    20 July was also the 72nd anniversary of the unsuccessful attempt of the Catholic nobleman, Claus Philipp Maria Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, and his compatriots to bring an end to Nazi tyranny and the German war of aggression. (How many – millions? – of lives might have been spared (also under 45 years of Soviet/’Warsaw pact’ tyranny), had they succeeded?) Stauffenberg was judicially murdered 72 years ago today, with three others – to be followed by 4,980 more ‘opportune’ victims. A Wikipedia article notes, “The Kaltenbrunner Report to Adolf Hitler dated 29 November 1944 on the background of the plot, states that the Pope was somehow a conspirator, specifically naming Eugenio Pacelli, Pope Pius XII, as being a party in the attempt.”

  16. Catholic_Convert2 says:

    I’d rather have a 3rd term with our current congress and president than either Trump or Clinton, and the inevitable shift to a liberal congress.

    (To put this in perspective, I’m almost certainly the most extreme conservative here, to the point of being unpalatable.)

  17. Catholic_Convert2 says:

    God bless Stauffenberg. Thanks for the reminder. What a shame that our Stauffenberg, Ted Cruz, was also ostracized.

  18. SKAY says:

    .” We should all pray much that Hillary Clinton does not get the opportunity to continue this diabolical presidency. This election is absolutely critical.”
    I agree Kathleen10 along with the rest of your comment.

    Think of what a Supreme Court made up of two, possibly three of Hillary’s nominations
    will do with this case concerning the freedom of religion and speech in Iowa.
    This is next on their agenda. It reminds me of what the mayor of Houston who is gay tried to do to
    pastors there when she wanted their sermons to be submitted to her administration before they
    could be given to their congregation.

    Four and sometimes five of the SCOTUS justices are using more and more creative ways to ignore the First and Second Amendments of the Constitution for their own political ideologies as it is.

    Along with that Hillary was very proud of receiving the Margaret Sanger Award from Planned
    Parenthood and will certainly stop any attempt to stop federal funding for abortions and their side
    operations like the selling of parts of aborted babies for profit.
    She and President Obama have the same kind of friends and apparently the same “catholics” that
    voted for him will be voting for her. Amazing.

    Father Z, I also remember watching the first Moon landing and the planting of our flag there. That was something most of us in the country were very proud of.
    I read in a news article that China is planning a landing on the moon.

  19. Kerry says:

    John Patrick, I will leave my two cents regarding firearms at your blog.

  20. iamlucky13 says:

    I’d be happy to see him go only if I thought things would get better.

    In 6 months, we’ll have replaced a moral relativist who can do no wrong in the eyes of his supporters with either an incompetent authoritarian willing to sell out to almost any cause for political support, or with a consistently documented liar running on an authoritarian platform who previously supported the corrupt authoritarian but insists almost every political view he ever pronounced an opinion on was reversed the moment he realized his background and personality were a better marketing fit if he ran under the other ticket.

  21. Filipino Catholic says:

    iamlucky13 has a point. From my admittedly limited perspective as an outsider, choosing between the two POTUS candidates looks like being caught between a rock and a hard place, between the devil and the deep. Is there no third option? Because if not, the US may be in for a very rough ride and that might necessitate every possible means of imploring divine assistance. Would it be permissible to hold a Rogation procession even if it falls outside of the Greater and Lesser Rogation days?

  22. PA mom says:

    I am very encouraged by the choice of Mike Pence, who seems to have a sincerely conservative track record and be a genuine and good person.

    On Rorate, they made mention of a speech in which Trump promised to end the Johnston (spelling?) clause, which is used to threaten and silence members of churches.

    I don’t really know what this is, or how it came to be, but to free conservatives to operate fully could be very helpful. Right now it feel like the liberals have all the time, money and freedom from oversight while the conservatives are working twice as hard with half the resources available, and brought to a standstill by outside forces at the slightest movement.

  23. un-ionized says:

    Filipino Catholic, there are other, third, parties in the US. Some consider the Libertarian party the most viable. I, too, am in a quandary and am considering exercising my right to not vote this time. We are witnessing the death of a major political party, one which my ancestors helped to found after the Whigs vacillated on the issue of expansion of slavery. My ancestors were abolitionists way back in the 1600’s so they were on the outs with everybody else just as I am now with the Catholic thing.

  24. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    un-ionized says, “My ancestors were abolitionists way back in the 1600’s so they were on the outs with everybody else just as I am now with the Catholic thing.” This makes me want to know what, if any, ‘irenical’ aspects there were to the humane, Christian ‘tackling’ of slavery, from the 15-1600s on – in the experience of St. Peter Claver, for example.

    When you say, “I, too, am in a quandary and am considering exercising my right to not vote this time”, I suppose you mean on an office-by-office basis on all levels of government on the ballot, as one can always try to discover which, if any, of the candidates for a particular office seem(s) a conscientious choice, and, if more than one, among those, which seems best. (For example, from what I’ve read about their ‘positions’ on various issues and the examples of their deeds in former offices, I don’t think I could vote in good conscience for the Gary Johnson and William Weld Libertarian ticket, but I would need to check more thoroughly – including the Libertarian Party platform, before I could say that confidently. Of course, if they and the Donald Trump and Mike Pence ticket seemed equally possible in good conscience, it might be most prudent to favor the one likely to win.)

  25. un-ionized says:

    VSL, it sort of came to a head with John Woolman but the majority ruled and it sort of blew over until the mid-19th century. Reading John Woolman’s journal is instructive, as are the writings of William Penn. He wrote a great book called No Cross, No Crown.

  26. iamlucky13 says:

    @ Filipino Catholic
    “Is there no third option? “

    There certainly are. I haven’t been able to pick a specific one yet, but I will be voting third party (Gary Johnson is gaining in popularity and does not seem too far out libertarian, but while he believes abortion is wrong, he also claims the government has no authority to regulate it).

    I’m also encouraging my liberal friends to vote for somebody other than Hillary. The green and socialist parties never looked so good (mainly because if they take office, they’ll be largely impotent on the myriad issues they can’t gain support from Congress on).

    Within the two mainstream parties, however, a fiercely accusatory message is being promoted that anybody who votes for a third party candidate is effectively voting for the other mainstream party’s candidate, and therefore voting for evil. They are attempting to lay a massive burden of guilt on anybody who wants to take the only action capable of turning us away from a broken status quo.

  27. Venerator Sti Lot says:


    Thank you – I enjoyed Woolman’s journal, but it’s been years since I read it, and I’ve never tried Penn, yet (famous though he is).

  28. un-ionized says:

    No Cross, No Crown is tough sledding but worthwhile. I also enjoyed reading about the weirdos like James Naylor! But that was in my wild youth.

  29. Venerator Sti Lot says:


    Ah, the writers I haven’t read (yet?) – I don’t even remember having heard of James Naylor… I’ve read some striking excerpts from Sarah Grubb’s journal, but still have not caught up with it, or George Fox’s for that matter.

  30. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    iamlucky13 says, “Within the two mainstream parties, however, a fiercely accusatory message is being promoted that anybody who votes for a third party candidate is effectively voting for the other mainstream party’s candidate”. I remember a lot of that four years ago, as well. (I wonder if any country has a system that combines compulsory voting with the possible option of ‘none of the above’? That would be interesting to see, although I expect they would have to hold a lot of elections one after the other, till some really substantially attractive candidates were offered.)

  31. un-ionized says:

    Naylor’s forgiveness toward the executioner who carried out his sentence for blasphemy is a model for anybody, blasphemer or not.

  32. un-ionized says:

    I misspelled his name, it’s Nayler. I may have conflated him with another fellow who was also tortured but I distinctly remember the scene of forgiveness.. Nayler’s last words are extremely moving. The Wikipedia entry has it. Quakers like to memorize it as it expresses so beautifully the reason for their pacifism among other reasons.

    The accounts of the first generation of Quaker women are also instructive. It didn’t just begin and end with Margaret Fell.

  33. Filipino Catholic says:

    @un-ionized (as a chemist I like that handle) and iamlucky13

    Deo gratias, at least there is a way out of the binary conundrum, whether 3rd party or outright refusal to vote. Come Good Friday next year, and perhaps we will say “Oremus et pro omnibus res publicas moderantibus, eorumque ministeriis et potestatibus” a bit more strongly than before, and I say we because the Church is not bound by borders — and also because on this side of the Pacific, the Philippines has its own set of problems. Christe exaudi nos indeed!

  34. un-ionized says:

    Yes, FP, the hyphen is all-important. I once read in a newspaper, “the workers were unionized.” I thought it said “un-ionized.” Or how can a solution be “unionized? Who is their shop steward?”

    I am not involved at all in politics, no TV, etc. though I don’t say others shouldn’t unless it becomes obsessive and results in them seeing everything in political terms and being unnecessarily mean to people. I have seen this happen unfortunately. It’s easy to get caught up in it and forget what being a Christian is about. This is one of the myriad reasons for my leaving my former parish.

    This is a time of much stridency everywhere and in everything. I am grateful to the Quakers in my past who taught me the value of silence. (don’t misinterpret this, misinterpretation is all the rage too)

  35. Venerator Sti Lot says:


    Thanks for the further details! I am saddened by the impressions of the theology of most contemporary Quakers I’ve met, even those dear to me, but also have the impression that lots (most?) of the early Quakers – and, indeed, for a long time after – were theologically (Trinitarianly and Christologically) orthodox, though often with various ‘hobby-horses’ (like Woolman’s concern with undyed cloth).

  36. un-ionized says:

    VSL, All of the early Quakers were orthodox Gnostics. They were definitely not Trinitarian and their views of who Christ is is as foreign to us as the beliefs of the Mormons.

    The “hobby horse” as you call it, stemmed from the use of slave labor in growing and harvesting indigo. The conditions of those slaves were truly horrific. Many of the earliest generations of Friends wore undyed clothing. The early Friends truly did live their faith. The modern war tax resisters are their spiritual offspring.

  37. Venerator Sti Lot says:


    Really? – whew! What little I’ve read by any, I must have read too superficially! (I thought Woolman was just taking avoidance of vainglory quite far, and did not know (or pick up on?) the just and merciful motives.)

  38. un-ionized says:

    Most of the wierd things that the early Quakers did were social justice protests. Some of them were effective, most of them, such as refusing hat honor, merely served to make people mad and increase their sentences. Nowadays boring a hole in someone’s tongue with a red hot iron would seem excessive.

  39. un-ionized says:

    For more info see the Wikipedia entry called Testimony of Equality.

  40. un-ionized says:

    There is an online article by Jean M. West called The Devil’s Blue Dye with a subtitle I am too lazy to type.

  41. Venerator Sti Lot says:


    Thanks for the latest suggested reading!

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