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Angelo Matera | 10.23.08


Sarah Palin Meets Woody Allen, Across the Great Divide

Sarah Palin Meets Woody Allen from RADAR on Vimeo.

If you’re feeling down about the ever-widening gap between blue-state and red-state America (and the even wider gap between blue and red Catholics), you can find hope in Sarah Palin. Ironically, the woman who’s been blamed for single-handedly re-igniting the culture wars is showing signs that she can appeal across the cultural divide. This past weekend she pulled off a smooth performance on Saturday Night Live, and now she’s inspired Radar Magazine to put together a video mash-up of Palin and Woody Allen, with scenes from Annie Hall, entitled Woody Palin. Here’s the teaser:

“Sarah had it all: a great job, a bright future, God’s love, and the kind of expensive wardrobe most women would give up their guns for. But there was still something missing in her life. Then she met Woody, a neurotic Jew who got nervous whenever he went to real America and couldn’t tell a moose from an elk.”

The video is fun, despite not making much sense, except maybe as an absurd dream of what a fusion “purple” ticket of Obama and Palin (both Gen-Xers, interestingly) could do to settle the culture war once and for all.

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By Marty AT 10.23.08 11:19AM Not Rated


Thank goodness for the Democrats Joe Biden never says anything stupid grin

Nobody questions his IQ and ability to handle the VP spot.

By chassup AT 10.23.08 03:09PM Not Rated


“The video is fun, despite not making much sense, except maybe as an absurd dream of what a fusion “purple” ticket of Obama and Palin…could do to settle the culture war once and for all.”

I find it absolutely frustrating that otherwise intelligent Catholics just don’t understand, or worse yet, knowingly refuse to accept, an incredibly simple reality: intrinsic evils can never be morally justified.

To suggest a fusion ticket as a solution to “the culture war” is ignorant. Ground zero in this war is abortion and her sister evils. The defining issue of our time is abortion. That which separates Americans politically and culturally today is the acceptance or rejection of the primacy of individual human dignity and the absolute right to life as the cornerstone of all other rights and goodness in our society.

The author’s comment “the woman [Palin] who’s been blamed for single-handedly re-igniting the culture wars” is sad, and wishful thinking.  She re-energized the pro-life base by speaking the truth, and became the target of pro-aborts by daring to allow her baby to live, while 90-98% of other parents in similar circumstances didn’t, they hate that baby. She provokes the hatred of the left because she proves that true feminism relies on love and hard work and family and God, not government programs, entitlements and the sacrifice of babies on their altar.  This war has been raging since the legalization of the pill, and escalated with Roe v. Wade.  Every war has traitors and appeasers, they disgust me.

The film is kind of stupid, goofy, juvenile, but just comedy. The author’s comments are petty, offensive and scary, and seem desperate.

By Romanowsky AT 10.23.08 04:51PM Not Rated


I must admit that the more I read blog posts from the people who enjoy the fullness of truth, the more I sympathize with an old friend’s yearbook quotation: I prefer heaven for the climate and hell for the company.

Anyhow, I think Woody and Sarah make a perfect couple. The Radar people must have been inspired by the SNL bit where Baldwin, having come suddenly face to face with her, moves instantly from “that horrible woman” to “you’re much hotter in real life” and takes her on a tour of the studios…

On a slightly more serious note, if we let our time be defined by an evil - abortion - a privation by definition - we will become narrow, ideological reactionaries, condemning and alienating those who need the Church the most. Only when You-Know-Who defines the time do we have any hope of avoiding the visual impairment of our inner Pharisee. “The primacy of individual human dignity and the absolute right to life” is universal - it is not only what makes abortion an evil, it’s what makes many other things evil as well - murder, war, famine, poverty, etc. I for one have faith that we are able to walk and chew gum at the same time. For example, I’m sure if we wanted to we could see and affirm the dignity and value of the human person made in the image of God in our “pro-abort” brother or sister, to say nothing of the human persons unfortunate enough to live and die in Iraq, with just as much sympathy and charity as we do in the unborn innocent child.

St. Augustine said in The City of God that the most important thing for Christians to have in a Christian emperor would not be perfect orthodoxy in faith and morals, but that he knew himself to be a weak and fallible sinner in need of forgiveness and grace, in solidarity with all other sinners. “This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Of these I am the foremost.” (1 Timothy 15)

By Bill Christensen AT 10.23.08 05:12PM Not Rated

Bill Christensen

Hi, Chassup: From your comments you look like you really have it in for “the author”. You chastise him for pieces of the post that cannot be attributed to him and disregard the positive parts that can be attributed to him.

He starts by saying “... you can find hope in Sarah Palin.” (very positive comment) ...“the woman who has been blamed for re-igniting the culture wars (blamed by others, not the author) shows signs she can appeal across the cultural divide”(another very positive comment). He calls the suggestion of a fusion of red and blue into purple “absurd”, and yet, you chastise him for that one, too. Fact is a fusion of red and blus would go a long way towards “ending the culture wars”, because it inherently would mean joining the anti-abortion Pro-Life agenda and policies of one party with the humanly and socially constructive ideas and agenda of the other party. You might want to read the author’s little post again.

By chassup AT 10.23.08 05:26PM Not Rated


Bravo!  Well said.  Only, we must be careful to distinguish between helping our brother and sister pilgrims and actively working to destroy or hurt or enslave them in the name of charity and at the willing cost of allowing worse evils to exist, is that what you meant by walking and chewing gum? 

The difference between caring and loving is huge.  My enthusiasm is directed at those who promote evil in the name of good.  One very good example is the tiresome attempt by many to equate matters of prudential judgment with intrinsic evils.  Of course we love all where they are and who they are, but we mustn’t allow the truth to be confused with false arguments, that’s not real love.

St. Augustine’s quote is beautiful, but you seem to be saying that calling out those who seek to deceive pilgrims shouldn’t be scolded too harshly, lest we not look Christian.  Sinners don’t bother me, I am one.  Deceit bothers me, and I am required to point it out.

By GTN AT 10.23.08 10:36PM Not Rated


Us Republicans don’t have a problem with charity and humanitarian efforts, but we are against stealing from taxpayers and forcing them to fund charities. Like Planned Parenthood.

By Dave AT 10.24.08 06:34AM Not Rated


Obama supports abortion.

McCain supports embryonic stem-cell research and voted for partial birth abortion.

If you want to vote FOR somebody, then vote for Chuck Baldwin who is the presidential candidate on the Constitution Party ticket. He is pro-life from conception to natural death. Plus, Ron Paul has officially endorsed him for President.

By chassup AT 10.24.08 03:15PM Not Rated



I don’t have it in for Angelo… I just like to point out statements intended to misinform through false assumption, false premise, false conventional wisdom, etc.  Something Angelo has a propensity for doing, as a way to justify support for a pro-abortion candidate I suspect.  Angelo could have simply posted the clip and commented on it as funny, an absurd fusion, whatever, but he had to say something negative about Palin before saying something nice and restate the false idea that utopia is right around the corner if we just all get along.

Example: Blamin Palin for “single-handedly re-igniting the culture wars,” I’ve never heard that before Angelo posted it… who is blaming her for that besides him?  He then goes on to say that in spite of that (negative) she shows signs of bridging the gap in our society… and then he proposes the absurd idea that if we can reach across the void and come together the culture war can be settled, the one she supposedly re-ignited.  I am just pointing out that the void in this case—the culture war—can not be bridged from both sides, it must be closed through the rejection of the culture of death.  Many problems in our society can and should be solved through combined effort, compromise, togetherness.  There are other issues, non-negotiables, that can not be solved through bipartisanship, one side is right and the other dead wrong.

By Angelo Matera AT 10.29.08 05:08AM Not Rated

Angelo Matera

Dear Chassup—
I hope we can move on from this, but just a few words of explanation. My two posts about Sarah Palin were intentionally ambiguous because she herself is an ambiguous, and interesting, character. Whether you like it or not, life is not black and white. This is what upset the Pharisees so much about Jesus. They wanted to divide the world into good and bad people and Jesus knew that the line between good and evil runs though each of us. You have people like George Bush who appointed pro-life (we hope) judges, yet plunged the country into a disastrous war, and stood by as unregulated greed brought our financial sector down. Then you have someone like Barack Obama, who seems to be very thoughtful and humane, yet is radically pro-choice on abortion.

As Catholics we’re called to make judgements, and some issues are more important than others, but esp. because we’re Catholics, and we value our God-given intellects, we should never uncritically drink any politician’s Kool-aid and remain silent about what our informed conscience tells us is wrong, just because we want to win. The world will remember our complicity with any so-called lesser evils we support. as it remembers U.S. Catholics’ support for Franco, the lesser evil against the left in the Spanish Civil War. Better to have remained neutral, like Dorothy Day, Jacques Maritain, and eventually Georges Bernanos, who changed when he witnessed Franco’s ethnic cleansing with his own eyes, not to mention Franco’s attacks on the neutral Basques, the most truly Catholic group in Spain.

No one is completely pure, esp. in politics. I can’t see into Sarah Palin’s heart. She’s done and said great things, yet she’s also done and said things that concern me. She’s said things that are shockingly simplistic and she’s used political rhetoric that I can’t stomach. I won’t avert my eyes to things about her with which I disagree because she’s pro-life.

It seems to me that Catholics on both sides of the political aisle need to have greater respect for true objectivity, in the spirit of St. Thomas Aquinas, who in a commentary on Aristotle said, “we must love them both, those whose opinions we share and those whose opinions we reject. For both have labored in the search for truth and both have helped us in the finding of it.”

By chassup AT 10.29.08 04:06PM Not Rated



Thanks for that, I don’t disagree with much of what you said, but it is obvious that you and I see things very differently, perhaps we both see through filters of bias that block objectivity, I am flawed, I know. 

As for your take on the Pharisees, I see them as corrupted individuals who misused the good law to maintain power and prestige, and their great sin was pride.  Jesus’ encounters with them exposed their vice and allowed Him to contrastingly teach about virtue, the real reason for the law, and that’s why they wished him dead.  They actually saw Him as good, some knew He was the Messiah.  They didn’t separate Him into the “bad” pile, they put Him in the “threat to power” pile because His understanding of the law lent them no power.  I see liberals as modern day Pharisees in that regard.  I think that is interesting, not a reason for anger or hate, but definitely the stuff of good debate. 

I think I do see the world in a far more narrow range of black and white than you, and I don’t see so much contradiction in people, they are usually very consistent. Some good examples of our different views are, and I don’t mean to start arguments over them, you see Bush as plunging the country into a disastrous war, I see it as necessary and all but won, consistent with a his pro-life stance.  You see Obama very thoughtful and humane, I think he is calculating and his policies will create much human suffering no matter his intentions… and I see that as consistent with his wrong-headed pro-abortion stance.  For instance, the same way he thinks abortion will solve some human condition, he misguidedly thinks redistribution will solve another.  I think he is badly deceived, not necessarily evil.

As for political rhetoric that you can’t stomach, I endure the same, but you and I are nauseated by different things.  I wouldn’t bother expressing myself if I didn’t think I was on the right track, I assume the same for you. 

The real battle of ideas, and what is at the heart of our differences, is our concept of love for neighbor and what that looks like.  You might call for an entitlement program, I know you wish good for the recipient, but I might see that the solution you offer will actually cause continued human suffering.  My objection doesn’t negate your love, it negates your wrong reasoning due to a lack of dynamic analysis, or your anxiety to make someone go through a tough time to emerge a better person.  (tough love vs. misplaced emotions)  This argument is what policy debate should be about, but what we get is arguments over who loves and who hates.  In my opinion, the conservative side more often wants to debate philosophy while the liberal side more often wants to debate love and hate, the baser forum wins in the arena of products and ideas.  A good example is the work to welfare program, dems decried it as inhumane, people will be forced to eat dog food, etc.  In the end, it has been very successful, not only in raw numbers, but in love to neighbors who were limited in their own minds, being taught that they were incapable of more.  The “suffering” some endured was, in the end, good for them and all of us.

I like reading your words, I like to tell you where you are wrong (:-) and I don’t mind being forceful to break through the noise, it is my boisterousness that causes trouble, I know that.  What I refuse to allow to go unchallenged is outright evil, bullying and lies… especially if it intends to deceive the faithful.  And when I have been the most opposed to you is when I thought you were employing demagoguery instead of dialog.  I’m sure I am guilty of the same.  There is much to learn from St. Thomas Aquinas, most of all, I think, humility.

By Dave AT 10.31.08 07:23PM Not Rated


Me and my entire family will be voting for Sen. Barack Obama this November 4th.

By Vico AT 11.05.08 01:53AM Not Rated


Me too Dave. I thought we might have seen the last of the taint of “error has no rights”; alas, it still seems to have some life left in it.
  Let’s hope at least we have someone more intelligent and prudent in charge of the American empire: Barack Obama.

By Dave AT 11.05.08 09:20AM Not Rated



By chassup AT 11.05.08 06:25PM Not Rated



Error has no rights, but erroneous people do.  Your hope for prudence from a man who rejects the basic human right to life is not rational.

By ajax0602 AT 02.01.09 07:36AM Not Rated


Babies are beautiful and a miracle, but they also grow up to be human beings. Many of them do not live a blessed life. It is hypocritical to criticize abortion when people fall into the axiom “responsibility does not extend beyond my nose.” Some complain how drunks and drug addicts litter our streets, but when it comes to funding programs to help these poor souls,you pass an empty money basket down the aisle. Worse yet, whatever money is in there,you give to corporations so they can “stimulate” the economy. Six years of a Christian Theocracy under the Republicans and the forementioned economic philosophy proved that being a religious person is not enough. Bush said God spoke to him. Well pardon me if I sound blasphemous, but God gave him lousy advice. Our country is not one dimensional. What you believe is true must be balanced with what the world and others believe. If we all believe that we are right because providence so dictates it, then we are truly on the brink of armageddon. And as a poet once said humankind’s last sound will not be a bang but a wimper.

By chassup AT 02.02.09 11:28PM Not Rated



Is your argument that some babies need to be aborted to avoid the resulting “unholy” grown adults?  Or, are you arguing for increased spending of taxpayers’ money to solve social problems caused by babies who are allowed to mature into sinners?  I’m trying to understand.

We’ve been on the brink of armageddon since Adam and Eve ate the apple.  I am not so defeatist as you seem.  Life is a struggle, nothing has changed, nor will it until Christ’s second coming.  We can only try to search for Truth along our way, and if we are virtuous, we will bring Christ to others. 

Babies are human beings before they are born, they grow up to be full grown human beings.  I’m not sure what changes, unless you meant to say that babies grow up to be corrupt persons broken by sin… if so, amen.

You seem convinced that government spending programs are the answer to the human condition, I argue that the government is more often at the root of our most nagging societal ills.

You are correct that government “stimulus” is not a good thing, actually it is anything but stimulating… most of the recently proposed “stimulus bill” is the kind of government social engineering that has cultivated and encouraged the very problems you mention.

The “Christian right” of the conservative movement has not been relevant since 1997.  The Bush years are not a good example of “Christian theocracy” in America… Obama’s election was aided in large parts by Christian voters who stayed home.  The GOP leadership of the last 8 years illustrates a growing distance from Christian moral conviction leading to a jettisoning of conservative fiscal principals.

I believe that a revived GOP will necessitate a return to the Judeo-Christian principals upon which this country was founded.  Not a theocracy, a philosophy or world view enlightened by faith.

By AgapeMargaret AT 02.03.09 07:56PM Not Rated


Right on, Chassup.


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