Then there are those supporters of Stacey Campfield who comprise his inner political circle, and many of them could be seen with him at the Crowne Plaza upstairs following the Republican victory celebration earlier Tuesday night. Many of these people had supported Campfield not out of their excess, but out of their want, and not because of what they might get in return, but only because they believed in what Stacey Campfield stands for. My wife made the comment afterwords that being there was different than other such gatherings we frequently attend. "Everyone there was like us," she said "they were just common people, like someone you would meet walking down the street."
The 64 Republican seats in the Tennessee House of Representatives would seem to give the House Republican Caucus the ability to choose the Speaker that the Caucus would desire-the nominee of the Republicans' picking, something that didn't happen in the last General Assembly. A source inside the House Republican Caucus has informed The Examiner on the condition of anonymity that at least one outgoing House member is trying to influence the outcome of the Speakers' race, and not necessarily from just within the Republican Caucus.
"[Rep.] Joe McCord [R-Maryvile] is trying to cobble together a coalition of losing Democrats and shaky Republicans to insure that Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) is elected Speaker regardless of who the [House Republican] Caucus picks," said the source, who was one of the Republicans re-elected to their House seat Tuesday.
While the 60 gains in the U.S. House of Representatives in yesterday's General Election had been predicted to some degree or other by many respected political pundits, very few-least of all this writer-could have predicted the level of Republican gains in the Tennessee House of Representatives. Republicans gained 14 seats when the votes were counted, moving the Republican majority in the House from one seat to fifteen. Unlike the last General Assembly, House Speaker Kent Williams (I-Elizabethton) will not be able to rely on Democratic votes and his own-or a few Republican crossovers-to keep himself in the Speaker's chair. The Republican Caucus will be able to select the Speaker of their choosing.
While some outlets are predicting a GOP "tsunami," your Examiner is more cautious. As of this afternoon, it is the belief of this writer that the Republicans will gain between 50 and 55 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives-more than enough to take control of that body-and 7 Seats in the United States Senate. While it is heartening for those of us on the Republican side to hear that many analysts believe that the GOP could do much better than that (and admittedly if that happens there will be no complaining in this space), we have to be realistic about the mood both in the country and in Tennessee, which seems to be one of "a pox on both your houses." Such a mentality does not generally produce swing majorities as large as what some are predicting.
The Feast of All Saints (Hallow Mass) is normally a Day of Precept and a Holy Day of Obligation throughout the Catholic world. However, some time ago many American bishops decided to cave in to the unfortunate reality that many American Catholics have become entirely too lazy and irreligious for our own collective good. Rather than prod us about how we ought to be more concerned about the things of God than about our own selfish pursuits, it has been determined that when All Saints (or most other Holy Days of Obligation except Christmas) fall on a Monday, the obligation in abrogated, since we were all in church yesterday.
Count me among the Catholics who think that this is horrible.
Next year, All Saints will be obligatory just as it normally is and should be. Yet this year it is not a Day of Precept in the United States of America because it falls on a Monday? Are the Saints more important when their collective feast falls Tuesday through Friday?
God help our spiritually lazy, secularized, stiff-necked people. Lest the reader think I am being self-righteous, I must, similar to St. Paul, confess that there are times when I have been chief among the spiritually stiff. We all need to pray for our own hearts to undergo a much deeper sense of conversion, and for a day when people do not think Holy Days should be skipped because we just went to Mass yesterday.
Shame on us.
As a tribute to the Feast of All Saints, here is the congregation at St. Peter's Catholic Church in Columbia, South Carolina singing one of my favorite hymns-For All the Saints.
1) For all the saints who from their labors rest, All who by faith before the world confessed, Your name, O Jesus, be for ever blest. Alleluia! Alleluia!
2) You were their rock, their fortress and their might; You, Lord, their Captain in the well-fought fight; You in the darkness drear, their one true light. Alleluia! Alleluia!
3) O may your soldiers, faithful, true and bold, Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old, And win with them, the victor?s crown of gold. Alleluia! Alleluia!
4) O blest communion, family divine! We feebly struggle, they in glory shine; Yet all are one within your great design. Alleluia! Alleluia!
5) And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long, Steals on the ear the distant triumph song, And hearts are brave again, and arms are strong. Alleluia! Alleluia!
6) The golden evening brightens in the west; Soon, soon to faithful warriors comes their rest; Sweet is the calm of paradise the blest. Alleluia! Alleluia!
7) But then there breaks a yet more glorious day: The saints triumphant rise in bright array; The King of glory passes on his way. Alleluia! Alleluia!
8) From earths wide bounds, from oceans farthest coast, Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host, Singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost: Alleluia! Alleluia!
Knoxville News Sentinel editor Jack McElroy plays with semantics about censorship:
To say that the paper doesn't engage in censorship is at the least an exercise in semantics and at the most is a disingenuous statement. The truth is that the News Sentinel is able to censor because it is a private entity, but it does engage in censorship. McElroy and others at the paper can call it what they like, but if it looks like censorship, and it prevents someone from expressing their views, censorship is precisely what it is. Yes, the News Sentinel is free to censor others because it is a private entity. As a community news organ, this right to censor should be exercised not only with a great deal of discernment, but should be done very sparingly-and perhaps only when dealing with foul language. E.W. Scripps may own the News Sentinel, but it is Knoxville's only remaining major newspaper and in a very real sense it belongs to the larger community.
A conservative journal of social, cultural, and ecclesiatical affairs grounded in a realistic Catholic Christian worldview. It is my hope that this site will be a reflection of Christ,the teachings of His Holy Church, and of the basic vision of a Christian social morality.