And do you want to risk having a hetero meanie give you the last rites?

"When I approach my death, I want a kind priest at hand, and I frankly don't care what his sexual preference is. I suspect that most Catholics feel that way. It is a thing that the right-wingers hate to admit, but the Christian Gospels do not suggest a culture war. They suggest that we be on the lookout for hypocrisy, especially our own."

When I approach death, I hope my mind will be on my own sins. Yeah, I'd like a sweet priest, but that isn't really what will matter at that point.

The Press: Ho-Hum about the Iraqi Referendum...

After Katrina--which the media hopes will be useful in driving the country to the left--came the Iraqi referendum--a victory for the Bush administration and all people who love freedom. Do you see a pattern? The media presents information that makes conservatives believe we are at our darkest hour. And then the people, in the U.S. or Iraq, go to the polls, and we realize that reality is not so nearly as bleak as we had been led to believe.

An American Spectator correspondent observes from Baghdad:

"This is also a bitter pill for the American MSM. They were hoping the Constitution would lose, not because they felt that would be good or bad for Iraq, or that it would be good or bad for the U.S., but because it would enable them to stick a finger in President Bush's eye. That is all that matters to them. To hell with the U.S.! Let's bring down George Bush even if it hurts the country!"

The Iraqi referendum was achieved by force of arms and the courage of the Iraqi people. As Mark Steyn observes, it certainly wasn't any organization beloved of the left that freed Iraq from tyranny:

"[The Iraq of Saddam] Iraq is gone now - not because of Unicef and the other transnational institutions that confer respectability on dictatorships, but because America, Britain and a few others were prepared to go to war. As the Guardian harrumphed on Saturday: 'People who opposed the war in Iraq will find it hard to stomach attempts to present the referendum as a triumph.'

"Fair enough. For my part, I find it hard to stomach the degrees of support offered to the 'insurgency' by George Galloway, John Pilger, Tariq Ali and Michael Moore. But it's not about what I or the Guardian find hard to stomach. Peripheral though they may be to the concerns of the 'peace' crowd, it is in the end about the Iraqi people, and, as with all the previous will-they-won't-they deadlines, at the eleventh hour they managed to rouse themselves and pull it off."

Would It Be Better Had She Never Lived?

A mother of a girl with Down Syndrome writes in today's Washington Post that people ask her if she had "the test." The assumption is that if she'd had amniocentesis, she would have had an abortion. In fact, a dinner partner insisted that aborting such babies is a moral obligation. It would avert unremitting suffering on the child's part:

"Margaret does not view her life as unremitting human suffering (although she is angry that I haven't bought her an iPod). She's consumed with more important things, like the performance of the Boston Red Sox in the playoffs and the dance she's going to this weekend. Oh sure, she wishes she could learn faster and had better math skills. So do I. But it doesn't ruin our day, much less our lives. It's the negative social attitudes that cause us to suffer....

"In ancient Greece, babies with disabilities were left out in the elements to die. We in America rely on prenatal genetic testing to make our selections in private, but the effect on society is the same.

"Margaret's old pediatrician tells me that years ago he used to have a steady stream of patients with Down syndrome. Not anymore. Where did they go, I wonder. On the west side of L.A., they aren't being born anymore, he says."

There's More to Being Catholic Than Arguing about Gay Priests

Sometimes we forget what really matters. Vatican correspondent Sandro Magister, who is covering the synod in Rome, brings us back to what should be at the very center of the lives of Catholics:

"In the hall of the Vatican where the synod on the Eucharist is being held from October 2-23, above the presider's table is a large screen. It displays a famous fresco by Raphael, which illustrates for the synod fathers the theme of their meeting: the 'Disputation on the Sacrament.' At the center of the depiction, on an altar surrounded by other fathers who are reasoning and discussing - while they adore - is the consecrated host exposed in a magnificent monstrance...."

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