The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench


In the Clubb House: Obama visits with Iowa Catholic family

posted by jmcgee

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President Obama continued his election season backyard tour, and paid a call on the Clubb family — who, whether by accident or design, just happen to be Catholic.

From the Catholic News Service:

President Barack Obama chose the backyard of a Catholic Des Moines family Sept. 29 to talk about issues ranging from the economy and taxes to education, poverty and health care.

The president arrived at the home of Jeff and Sandy Hatfield Clubb and their two children in the tree-lined Beaverdale neighborhood about 10 a.m. and stayed for more than an hour. He spoke to a group of about 80 people, mostly friends of the Clubbs who sat in lawn chairs provided by neighbors.

Obama’s visit was part of a swing through four states.

The couple described themselves as a typical American family. Jeff, who had been a firefighter, is a social studies teacher at Holy Trinity Catholic School in Des Moines. Sandy is the athletic director of Drake University. Their two children attend Holy Trinity School.

Continuing the Holy Trinity theme, its pastor, Father Michael Amadeo, was the last of five people to ask a question during the forum.

The priest shared a story about a Holy Trinity family in which the 55-year-old father lost his manufacturing job more than a year ago. He asked what Obama’s economic policies could do to help people like his parishioner in the next year.

Obama said many manufacturing jobs will not return because factories are more efficient and require fewer workers, and some jobs are moving overseas where wages are cheaper. His advice is for the unemployed to keep up their skills so they’ll be ready when the economy becomes strong again. He singled out clean energy as a promising business for the future.

Read the rest. And CNN has the story behind how the Clubb family was selected to play host to the president.



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Kevin

posted October 1, 2010 at 12:34 pm


CNN reported they voted for President Obama. Are they not catholic with a small “c” since they did not follow the Bishops clear teaching in “Faithful Citizenship?”



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Frank Hannon

posted October 1, 2010 at 12:38 pm


Thanks for the question, Father, but fortunately, lots and lots of folks are talking to the President about the economy. As you know, that’s pretty safe fare, unlike the social issues, about which our chief exec. unfortunately stands decidedly on the wrong side of natural law, and, of course, your employer.
While polite society really prefers to stay away from abortion, homosexual “marriage”, etc., it’s good for our priests, Bishops, and in fact all genuine Catholics to rememer that the Church’s Founder Himself wasn’t particularly “polite”, which landed Him on a cross.
As a “Catholic” news item, this is a frankly a pretty vacuous piece, alas.



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Panthera

posted October 1, 2010 at 12:51 pm


Since this school year began, we have had four children and now one adult kill themselves because of bullying, in all cases by ‘true Christians’ for violating ‘natural laws’.
Frank Hannon, do you really think that is what Jesus intended? Because this is exactly the result.
I fail to grasp how any real Christian, regardless of which side we find ourselves on in the culture wars, can find the actions of the tea-party and Republicans in line with Christ’s teachings on how to act towards one’s enemies and how to treat the elderly and the poor.
Where is your biblical context for that, Frank? I don’t recall either JPII or B16 saying it was OK to bully kids tell they killed themselves, end health care and social security.



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Panthera

posted October 1, 2010 at 1:25 pm


Rick, we’re going to have to ask the Deacon for permission to pursue this first. Since Frank brought up gays, I defended us – I didn’t start this, he did, but the Deacon may not want this discussion.
So let’s wait for his answer.
In the meantime, you can look those deaths up for yourself. The last four were:Seth Walsh. Justin Aaberg. Asher Brown. Billy Lucas.
I’ll be happy to include the comments from conservative Christians on how this is a good thing and they got what they deserved.
Rick, I don’t make statements here I can’t back up. At the same time, the last time I was challenged – and proved the sad case – it led to one of the worst instances of hatred for even this blog. So I ask you – are you really unaware of all this, or are you just challenging my statements?
In any case, let’s see what Deacon Kandra says.



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RomCath

posted October 1, 2010 at 1:49 pm


“now one adult kill themselves because of bullying, in all cases by ‘true Christians’ for violating ‘natural laws”
I can’t believe this tragic case at Rutgers is now being drawn into this blog. It does not belong here out of respect for the dead and sensitivity to the young man’s family. Further I have not read anything that stated that the 2 people who broadcast the young man were Christians.
My prayers for the young man and his family.



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Panthera

posted October 1, 2010 at 1:57 pm


RomCath,
I can believe you would try to stifle discussion – as per usual
Please note, I didn’t bring the matter up, conservative Christians who are also Catholics did, so you should have no objection to the matter being discussed.



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RomCath

posted October 1, 2010 at 2:10 pm


Panthera, I am not trying to stifle discussion. I simply think this particular case is so tragic that out of a sense of decency and sympathy, it should not be talked about lightly on a forum like this.
If you want to talk about it, knock yourself out. Were the two who video’d the young man “conservative Christians”?



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Panthera

posted October 1, 2010 at 2:17 pm


RomCath,
Your last comment, “Were the two who video’d the young man “conservative Christians”.” gives the lie to your false piety.



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Deacon Greg Kandra

posted October 1, 2010 at 2:23 pm


Pan…
Knock off the conservative Christian-bashing, okay? Not all conservative Christians have cloven hooves and tails, and not all liberals wear halos. Yourself included.
Once again, you’re falling prey to predictable stereotyping — which only serves to reduce your arguments to petty whining about victimization.
Dcn. G.



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Rick

posted October 1, 2010 at 2:27 pm


Panthera, I truly am unaware and don’t want to get anything started. While I don’t support gay marriage, I also don’t support the harrassment and persecution of other people. I don’t agree with you, but I don’t think you should be harrassed on this forum for saying what you think.
I don’t know if anything would make you change your mind, but I do know that accusing and harrassing you is incredibly ineffective and disrespectful. The problems with marriage began long ago when traditional marriage began to accomodate easy divorce and contraception. Gay marriage is just the newest, but not the most severe, challenge to traditonal marriage. Straight people who misuse the sacrament are the bigger challenge.
From the Catholic perspective sex between two men is no more sinful than non-sacramental sex alone or with a person of the opposite sex. If Catholics are engaging in that harrassment and persecution, then Bishops should call it out.



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Panthera

posted October 1, 2010 at 2:53 pm


Rick,
I apologize for assuming you must be informed of the tragic deaths of these children.
My family situation no longer permits me to teach, but I stay current in my field and these deaths are the focus of many online discussions throughout my profession right now. I simply could not imagine someone not knowing of just how bad the first school month in the US has been for gay children.
You are quite right – after more than 27 years of happiness together and legal marriage since it became possible, I have good reason to reject the argument that only marriage between a man and a woman is Christian. I find it troubling that this and a woman’s right to free-will are the major issues we Christians in America have found to disagree on, not poverty, suffering of orphans and the elderly, torture, the death penalty or any of the other grave sins which – for Catholics and non-Catholic Christians outside the US are a major focus.
And, again, you are right in noting that attacking me is not helpful. My ‘homosexual lifestyle’ is monogamous, loyal, true, faithful and committed. Our ‘homosexual lifestyle’ has meant leaving our peaceful lives in Europe (where we are full citizens and legally married) to come live in the depths of the American South because my very conservative Christian brother, his wife and their many adult children – all of whom protest their Christianity at the drop of a hat – refuse to fulfill their obligations to our parents.
The atmosphere created by such comments leads to the actions of people such as are alleged against those two Ruttger students. This atmosphere has led to that school in Texas where not only this child has died, but others have been physically attacked for simply appearing to be ‘gay’. A school which has done nothing, at all, to stop the attacks because the school direction bases their administration on ‘Christian’ principles.
Now, President Obama is attacked constantly for not being a ‘true-Christian’. The responses here are typical.
For a large number of Christians, all of Jesus’ commandments on aid to the poor, the elderly, the orphans are irrelevant. All that matters is using a few verses from Paul to justify positions which, in any other Christian context (especially traditional Catholicism) would be anathema.



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RomCath

posted October 1, 2010 at 3:15 pm


I find this totally distasteful and vile. No one knows the facts of this case except for what has been reported in the media.It seems to me that there was not an ongoing pattern of bullying. There is no evidence so far that the young man was previously targeted in any way for being homosexual. From what I read he was liked and very talented.The man accused is quoted as saying his roommate was a “cool guy”.What prompted it? I don’t know and neither does anyone else other than it was a horrible thing to do.
No one should be victimized, bullied or harassed for any reason. To use this tragedy to again climb on the soap box to defend gay “marriage” and women’s free will
really sinks to a new low and to blame it on “conservative Christians” is incredible.
Your comments about “false piety” are projection Panthera. What you are doing for your parents is nothing less than your duty. Read Sunday’s gospel!



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Panthera

posted October 1, 2010 at 3:20 pm


RomCath,
Now that we have, yet again, demonstrated that their is no possible meeting of minds between us, can we let this go and return to President Obama (who I consider to be the best US president since Jimmy Carter)?



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RomCath

posted October 1, 2010 at 3:42 pm


“can we let this go and return to President Obama (who I consider to be the best US president since Jimmy Carter)?”
Well that conversation would be quite limited. All his supporters could fit in a phone booth these days. This pathetic “campaign tour” is just unreal. Shedding the jacket and tie in people’s back yards to show how he is one of us is really funny to watch. He is “Christian by choice”. I guess his time with rev Wright was really inspiring. To think A Catholic couple and a priest would engage in such nonsense is sad. Most Dems don’t want him anywhere near them. But time will tell. We will see in November.
How many of his hand picked staff have jumped ship? I lost count. Today even Rahm. Guess he the Chicago politics scene up close.



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Panthera

posted October 1, 2010 at 4:03 pm


RomCath,
I regard it as a sign of Carter’s outstanding vision that you so dislike his presidency – one of the few in recent years to actually embody Christian principles.
No doubt that is why you so debase him.
I really wish you would stop pretending that I see my duty to my parents as something I find burdensome. I don’t. I do, however, find the oh-so-smug and oh-so-self-satisfied ‘Christian’ façade of my American relations anything but genuinely Christian.
Given the enormous mess Bush-the-Lessor left this country with, I, too, wish President Obama had done more while the Democrats still had a majority to help the poor, the widowed, the orphaned and the elderly. That said, it was your side of our Christian house which created this mess to begin with. Show me just what, exactly, your politicians did which upheld basic Christians duties.



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Deacon Greg Kandra

posted October 1, 2010 at 4:31 pm


Pan and RomCath…
I’m shutting down comments here. Take it outside before you wreck the furniture.
DG



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