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Barbarians in the Church
Intellivu ^ | 4/22/02 | Bill O'Reilly

Posted on 04/22/2002 5:36:05 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez

My mother must be in the Roman Catholic Hall of Fame. For seven decades, she has been a loyal member of the Church. We are talking daily Mass, the rosary, the whole deal. My mom is a true believer, with a direct pipeline to God. If you need a favor, my mother is the one you should have praying for you.

So it is interesting to watch my mother following the priest scandal. Her group in the "Catholic Golden Age" club is generally appalled and confused. Their faith has not been shaken, but their confidence in the men running the church has been.

My mother is also in a difficult position because her only son has been leading the media charge in demanding that cardinals who allowed pedophile priests to roam be forced to resign.

The pastor of my mother's church stopped her after Mass and suggested that I should give equal time to "good" priests. My mother didn't quite know how to answer that, so she smiled and relayed the message to me. I then asked her, "Mom, does that mean when Republicans or Democrats do bad things, I have to have good ones on to balance?" She said she didn't know, and would I like another tuna sandwich?

According to a poll taken by Quinnipiac University, 70 percent of American Catholics want any high-ranking cleric that enabled child abuse to occur to resign. And get this: Only 46 percent of those polled have a favorable opinion of their parish priest, although 90 percent would trust him around children.

What this poll says is that American Catholic priests are failing in their jobs. And I know the reason why.

First, my credentials. Altar boy for 10 years. Sixteen years of Catholic education. Many, many sins and encounters with frowning priests in the confessional. I still go to Mass every Sunday.

My experience has taught me that many priests are extremely interested in themselves and their power -- a lot like most other human beings. The reason Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston will not resign in the face of overwhelming evidence that he aided and abetted gross crimes against children is that the man wants to keep his red hat. He likes the power and justifies his refusal to do penance by saying the best way to serve his church is to keep his power.

Of course, that's absurd. There's no way on this earth that Law can ever regain his moral authority. Perhaps in heaven.

I once taught at a Catholic high school in Florida, and the principal was a priest that ran around with teen-age boys all the time. Everybody knew something was strange, but the guy let it be known that he was shepherding troubled youths. Maybe he was. But this priest was so power mad and arrogant that he turned my stomach, and I left the teaching profession. He waved goodbye to me from the front seat of his brand new Lincoln Continental.

The thing is that many Catholics, including me, have had bad experiences with priests, but there is no higher court. The priest can pretty much do what he wants. As we now know, even criminal priests are sometimes protected because the bishops do not want public scandal in their dioceses.

My analysis of the priest situation has brought fear and loathing from some Catholics who don't like my tone. Some guy from Nevada sent me an email, saying, "Bill, you've gone berserk in your criticism of the Church." A man from Florida wrote: "Do you really think Cardinal Law knew what those priests were doing? You are just trying to get ratings, O'Reilly."

But most American Catholics understand what has happened and cannot defend it. My mother and her friends are watching closely to see if the pope, whom they love, will do anything. I told my mother not to get her hopes up.

There is a siege mentality in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. The elderly men who run things see an immoral world bent on destroying their institution. They see the forces of liberalism trying to tear down tradition. They see barbarians at the gate.

But the truth is that the true enemies of the church are already inside the fortress. They have damaged the walls of faith, hope and charity, and they are still operating.

If ever there were a time for an exorcism ...


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1 posted on 04/22/2002 5:36:05 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez
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To: Luis Gonzalez
Centuries ago, the great St. Teresa of Avila said of the Church: "So many sheep without, so many wolves within."

I guess it hasn't changed much. Spain (and the Church, of course) of that time had people like Santa Teresa, San Ignacio, San Francisco Xavier, San Juan de la Cruz who emerged to reform many aspects of its life. I don't think that God has abandoned the Church, and I'm sure we will have our own saints arise to lead the Church out of its current sins and errors.

2 posted on 04/22/2002 5:48:45 PM PDT by livius
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To: Luis Gonzalez
My mom is a true believer, with a direct pipeline to God. If you need a favor, my mother is the one you should have praying for you.

Think Bill's mom would pray for my son-in-law who has been struck with an incurable illness? We've tried everything else!

3 posted on 04/22/2002 6:12:23 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Luis Gonzalez
Good article. Not long ago I happened to see a couple religious TV programs - one Protestant/evangelical service and one Catholic one. The Protestant service talked about Jesus and the Bible, and the Catholic one focused on the Pope and priests. Made me wonder who had their faith in whom. (Speaking as someone who grew up in a Catholic family, with lots of priests and nuns among relatives). It's not for nothing that the Catholic Church is structurally based on the Roman Empire's organizational chart!
4 posted on 04/22/2002 6:24:41 PM PDT by Moonmad27
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To: Luis Gonzalez
There is a siege mentality in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. The elderly men who run things see an immoral world bent on destroying their institution. They see the forces of liberalism trying to tear down tradition. They see barbarians at the gate.

Those elderly men are right about all that. Now what they do to stop child abuse in the future remains to be seen, but it doesn't change the fact the Catholic Church remains under attack by those who do not want anything that resembles 'objective truth' to be promulgated.

5 posted on 04/22/2002 6:30:53 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: Luis Gonzalez
I tend to agree with O'Reilly. I spent seventeen + years in Catholic educational institutions( first as a student). There are clergymen and clergywomen addicted to power (may of these are actually liberal dissenter types as well). There's also nepotism, endless supply of freeloading, loafing camp followers, and types who gravitate toward money and like to control it. The leaders of some church institutions have not figured out how to attract and enlist loyal and faithful lay Catholics (*properly educated and trained*) and how to maintain an authentic Catholic spiritual focus. No human beings are perfect, but we can certainly do much better in certain cases. One thing though - I think we need to remove people who refuse to publicly take and sign an oath of fidelity to the teachings of the church. If you don't believe and try with serious effort to follow the core stuff, you should leave. Bishops who tolerate cover ups of ANYTHING, need to move along. Leaving dissenters in positions of power to apply their mischief is a large part of the current problems.
6 posted on 04/22/2002 6:31:48 PM PDT by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: Luis Gonzalez
The Catholic Church has a mess on it hands because of its unbiblical adherance to a unmarried, celebate priesthood.

God did not create man to be alone, but to have a female mate.

As soon as they do away with this ridiculous requirement and the worship of Mary they will be miles ahead.

8 posted on 04/22/2002 6:52:18 PM PDT by ASTM366
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To: Luis Gonzalez
There's no way on this earth that Law can ever regain his moral authority. Perhaps in heaven.

Those are odds I don't think would book in Vegas

9 posted on 04/22/2002 6:54:50 PM PDT by JZoback
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Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

To: Luis Gonzalez
Can't believe how things have changed since my days in the Catholic Educational system

I was graduated in 54 from an all boys Catholic HS . We had over a 1000 in the graduating class and almost all priests and noviates for teachers, a total of 64 priests and 36 noviates.

It would have been hard to keep anything secret as rumors got around real quick . I can honestly say there was no hint of any of this type of scandal .
We had a couple of boozers and a few wack jobs but mainly normal men .
11 posted on 04/22/2002 7:13:26 PM PDT by uncbob
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To: William Wallace;Victoria Delsoul; Prodigal Daughter; afraidfortherepublic; billhilly; Ironword...
FYI
12 posted on 04/22/2002 8:05:53 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez
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To: Luis Gonzalez
"Their faith has not been shaken, but their confidence in the men running the church has been."

I don't agree with much of what O'Reilly says, but on this issue, and his take on it as detailed here, he and I are of one mind.

13 posted on 04/22/2002 8:11:09 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez
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To: ASTM366
You have the same problems with married clergy too. Also, why throw Mary into it?
14 posted on 04/22/2002 8:11:27 PM PDT by Coleus
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To: livius
Where is there someone like Teresa of Avila or Mother Teresa or Francis of Assisi who has the moral authority to call for change. All we have are the libs who I think have a lot of responsibility for the problem in the first place.
15 posted on 04/22/2002 8:13:09 PM PDT by Mercat
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To: Coleus; ASTM366
"Also, why throw Mary into it?"

I was coming back to say just that.

16 posted on 04/22/2002 8:13:25 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez
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To: uncbob
That's because it was during a time before the freaks, hippies, pot-smoking, make love not war, sexual-revolution weirdos took control of the Church, Schools, Media and everything else in this country. God Bless America, we will need it. I think we already lost His protection.

Another big secret in the Catholic Church, you think it's Cancer but it's AIDS.

17 posted on 04/22/2002 8:15:56 PM PDT by Coleus
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To: afraidfortherepublic
I am sorry to hear about your son-in-law. Have you started a prayer thread for him here on FR? We have some mighty intercessors here, and have had more than a few small miracles. In any event, I will remember your son-in-law in my prayers for the sick. I say one decade of the Rosary each day for those with incurable illnesses.
18 posted on 04/22/2002 8:18:14 PM PDT by Palladin
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To: Luis Gonzalez
Southern Baptist, he had to get his "diggs" in. Remember, ye must be born again. I was born once and am quite satisfied. Aren't we born again when we were babtized?

My man, Pat Robertson (Southern Baptist) doesn't mention Mary, he's not obsessed with it as others are, I guess?

19 posted on 04/22/2002 8:19:57 PM PDT by Coleus
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To: Luis Gonzalez
Thanks for the ping.....O'Reilly is right that Law should resign.

The overabundance of homosexual priests (many flocked to the seminaries in the late 60's & 70's) is the basic cause of the sexual abuse scandal. The Church became ultra liberal and is now reaping the results of those times.

I don't think married clergy is the answer...or ordaining women...but the homosexual priests should be removed.....ASAP!

20 posted on 04/22/2002 8:21:40 PM PDT by JulieRNR21
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To: ASTM366
"The Catholic Church has a mess on it hands because of its unbiblical adherance to a unmarried, celebate priesthood.

God did not create man to be alone, but to have a female mate.

I shall notify Jesus of your disapproval of his life choices, forthwith.

21 posted on 04/22/2002 8:24:34 PM PDT by AlguyA
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To: ASTM366
God did not create man to be alone, but to have a female mate. or two or three--although not all at the same time. That's how high the divorce rate is.
22 posted on 04/22/2002 8:29:46 PM PDT by RobbyS
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To: ASTM366
Unfortunately, the Church has many big problems right now, but it's reverence for Mary is NOT one of them.
23 posted on 04/22/2002 8:30:01 PM PDT by oldvike
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To: Luis Gonzalez
Thanks for the heads up!!!
24 posted on 04/22/2002 8:36:46 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: oldvike
"There Is Only One Name Given Under Heaven Or On The Earth By Which Thou Shalt Be Saved"......And that is Jesus Christ himself......Mary was not, and is not a supreme being....."No One Cometh Unto The Father Except By The Son".....The worship of Mary is false doctrine......
25 posted on 04/22/2002 8:45:22 PM PDT by rawe
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To: Luis Gonzalez
Thank you for the flag!

He waved goodbye to me from the front seat of his brand new Lincoln Continental. That principal sure sounds demonic, but I'm not so bothered about the car. At least he probably didn't coerce people into tithing towards it. But there was a Catholic clergyman years ago who was soliciting for money to build some new church center. My husband's aunt, a Catholic, called him up and told him he had some nerve soliciting old people for money when he spends his free days out on his yacht.

26 posted on 04/22/2002 8:56:12 PM PDT by Prodigal Daughter
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To: Luis Gonzalez
I typed too fast. The money solicitation was by radio-thon. Her call came out on the radio.
27 posted on 04/22/2002 8:57:21 PM PDT by Prodigal Daughter
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To: rawe
Mary is NOT worshiped by the Catholic Church....she is honored. She was neither goddess or superhuman. The Hail Mary (which is cited by most Catholic bashers as sacrilige) is not a prayer, but rather a means of meditation to become closer to the faith.
28 posted on 04/22/2002 9:03:05 PM PDT by oldvike
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Comment #29 Removed by Moderator

To: JulieRNR21
cardinal Law should get out of the way else he will soon find himself at ground zero.
30 posted on 04/22/2002 9:25:06 PM PDT by Republican Babe
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To: Luis Gonzalez
Some of these people aren't Christians - it's just a job to them. So they care more about the "iron law of oligarchy" than they care about God's Law.
31 posted on 04/22/2002 9:41:31 PM PDT by 185JHP
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To: ASTM366
The Catholic Church has a mess on it hands because of its unbiblical adherance to a unmarried, celebate priesthood.

You might want to read Matthew 19:12, 27-29 and 1 Corinthians 7:32-33. Read about Melchisedech, Elias, Paul, John the Baptist and Jesus, just to mention a few. They were all celibate and they are in the Bible. Also learn about fornication and the discussion of said topic in Scripture. Anyone who isn't married is called to be celibate. How convenient of you not to mention that.

As soon as they do away with this ridiculous requirement and the worship of Mary they will be miles ahead.

It's not ridiculous, it's Scriptural. Catholics don't worship Mary. We honor Her, just as Christ did and the fourth commandment instructs us to. Mary is after all, the Mother of all Christians. Luther, Calvin and Zwingli thought She was pretty special as well.

32 posted on 04/22/2002 10:03:29 PM PDT by SMEDLEYBUTLER
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To: rawe
The worship of Mary is false doctrine......

Catholics do not worship the Blessed Virgin Mary.

33 posted on 04/22/2002 10:06:53 PM PDT by SMEDLEYBUTLER
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To: Luis Gonzalez; ASTM366
Religion should be taken seriously and it should be more than a lifestyle choice. There are some people who blame the vow of celibacy as the cause of the sexual abuse of children. This is not factual. A vow of celibacy may be difficult, since the sexual drive is non-trivial. However, men are not animals. Only those trapped in their immature behavior think that such a vow is an unnatural repression of tremendous energies. Ending the vow of celibacy will not deter homosexuality and pederasty. A man who has demonstrated grave perversity shouldn't be a priest. The priesthood is not a right and it's not subject to government laws. Priesthood is a vocation from God and an office conferred by the Church. Christ gave the apostles the power to bind and unbind -- hence the power of the Church to make law; and the Church, based on tradition and Scripture, may determine who may be a priest. The Church has consistently condemned homosexual behavior, so it is only logical that the Church should agree to enforce a zero- tolerance policy and expel priests found guilty of such abuse.
34 posted on 04/23/2002 7:30:23 AM PDT by Victoria Delsoul
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To: Victoria Delsoul
Wow. One of the best statements I've read regarding the ongoing scandal in the Catholic Church.

(tell the truth -- you copied all that out of a book, didn't you?) ;-)

35 posted on 04/23/2002 9:55:38 AM PDT by Alberta's Child
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To: Alberta's Child
Thanks AC! You're too kind.
36 posted on 04/23/2002 10:01:43 AM PDT by Victoria Delsoul
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To: SMEDLEYBUTLER; rawe
The worship of Mary is false doctrine......

In fact that statement is true. Worship of any creature would be idolatry. Like all Christians, the Catholic Church condemns in no uncertain terms the worship of creatures. Failure to acknowledge this, in 21st century America, amounts to either culpapble ignorance or libel.

AB

37 posted on 04/23/2002 10:04:12 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard
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To: Victoria Delsoul
P.S. I did not really think that was taken from a book or article!
38 posted on 04/23/2002 10:20:17 AM PDT by Alberta's Child
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To: afraidfortherepublic
I will pray for him - a rosary tonight. I will also ask Padre Pio, Mother Teresa, and St. Joseph for their prayers.
39 posted on 04/23/2002 7:18:04 PM PDT by history_matters
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To: Victoria Delsoul
Priesthood is a vocation from God

This is a very important point that I rarely see mentioned. So many think that the solution is to allow married priests so it would open up the pool of eligible candidates.

But the truth is, if God is not calling someone to be a priest, that person shouldn't be a priest. It's not a career choice, like so many think it is.

Wouldn't it be funny if they did open it up to married priests, and found not one of them really had a true vocation?

40 posted on 04/23/2002 7:34:48 PM PDT by BlessedBeGod
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To: history_matters; afraidfortherepublic
I will also ask Padre Pio

It would be an especially good idea to "hit him up" on his canonization day, June 16.

I had a co-worker who had stage four non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. I asked Padre Pio on his beatification day to ask the Lord to cure him. His doctor now refers to him as his "little miracle," and his case was written up in a medical journal.

Padre Pio stikes again!

41 posted on 04/23/2002 7:41:59 PM PDT by BlessedBeGod
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To: BlessedBeGod
Gloria in excelsis Deo!!!
42 posted on 04/23/2002 7:51:21 PM PDT by history_matters
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To: Luis Gonzalez
Thanks for the ping, Luis. I'm sorry for Bill O'Reilly's experience with hypocrisy in the Church. My own Sunday school children's minister (Presbyterian) scared me into leaving church....and many adults, I know never return after an abuse of authority by these most important caretakers of the soul.

Your thread is very civilized considering the issue. I, on the other hand, unknowingly started a small religious war over here: We the Priests in order to form a more perfect union...".

43 posted on 04/23/2002 7:51:25 PM PDT by Ragtime Cowgirl
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To: Victoria Delsoul
Religion should be taken seriously and it should be more than a lifestyle choice. There are some people who blame the vow of celibacy as the cause of the sexual abuse of children. This is not factual. A vow of celibacy may be difficult, since the sexual drive is non-trivial. However, men are not animals. Only those trapped in their immature behavior think that such a vow is an unnatural repression of tremendous energies. Ending the vow of celibacy will not deter homosexuality and pederasty. A man who has demonstrated grave perversity shouldn't be a priest. The priesthood is not a right and it's not subject to government laws. Priesthood is a vocation from God and an office conferred by the Church. Christ gave the apostles the power to bind and unbind -- hence the power of the Church to make law; and the Church, based on tradition and Scripture, may determine who may be a priest. The Church has consistently condemned homosexual behavior, so it is only logical that the Church should agree to enforce a zero- tolerance policy and expel priests found guilty of such abuse.

Just had to print your most excellent text again.

44 posted on 04/23/2002 7:55:01 PM PDT by history_matters
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To: history_matters; BlessedBeGod
Thank you for your prayers.
45 posted on 04/23/2002 8:13:06 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Alberta's Child; BlessedBeGod; history_matters
You asked me earlier to expand on two ideas.

1) The idea that self-control among men is paramount in this issue (as well as in any other area of life), and
2) The concept of the priesthood as a vocation instead of a career.

Self-control among priests is paramount because a priest who has taken a vow of celibacy can't possibly be a good priest if he engages in any sexual behavior. Jesus Christ appoints certain men to renew in his name the sacrifice of our redemption and to share his sacred ministry by the laying on of hands. The Lord calls them to lead God's holy people in love, nourish them by His word, and strengthen them through the sacraments giving them the dignity of royal priesthood to the people he made His own with a brother's love.

Regarding priesthood as a vocation instead of a career, it is because the main goal of the Church is to be a servant to the poor, the needy, the oppressed, and the voiceless. The priest is called to serve God and the Church. Priests vow themselves to live in poverty, chastity and obedience. And it is these same vows of poverty, chastity and obedience which are in stark contrast to the materialism and consumerism, the hedonism so prevalent and the self-willfulness that is so characteristic of our society. It is this simplicity, self-control, and God's will rather than one's own that challenges the priorities of a secular, self-centered and materialistic society. These vows are a prerequisite to be converted to Jesus Christ and His Gospel. The Church would no longer be recognizable as the Church without these gifts from God. This is why these vows must be fostered.

46 posted on 04/23/2002 8:21:00 PM PDT by Victoria Delsoul
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To: Victoria Delsoul
Your words are so true and so beautifully written that I am moved to tears. How I long to hear such clarity from the US Cardinals.
47 posted on 04/24/2002 2:23:51 AM PDT by history_matters
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To: Victoria Delsoul; RJayneJ
Outstanding and eloquent. I hereby nominate this piece for Essay of the Week.
48 posted on 04/24/2002 5:58:22 AM PDT by Alberta's Child
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To: SMEDLEYBUTLER
I have a question I would like to ask someone. I am not trying to offend anyone here, just a curious Baptist. Why is Mary always referred to as the Virgin Mary? Mary was a virgin when she conceived and gave birth to Jesus. However, after Jesus was born, she and Joseph had children. Therefore she was no longer a virgin. Right?
49 posted on 04/24/2002 6:08:16 AM PDT by flair2000
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To: flair2000
Incorrect. Nowhere in Scripture can it be found that Mary and Joseph had children or engaged in sexual relations. It is a common misconception by those who reject the Blessed Virgin Marys' perpetual virginity; which is supported by the Church Fathers and Protestants like Luther, Calvin and Zwingli, amongst others, that Mary had children besides Jesus. Scripture does not even mention Joseph after Christ is found at the age of twelve teaching in the temple. Scripture makes no mention of Mary remarrying. Jesus is always referred to as the Son of Mary, never a Son of Mary. If any of the Apostles were blood brothers of Jesus then Jesus, in accordance with Jewish custom, would not have had to entrust Her care to John as He died on the cross. Since we know that Jesus was Marys' firstborn, a term which does not mean there were others to follow, then those who some claim were His brothers would have been violating Jewish custom by giving an older brother advice and trying to restrain him.

Linguistic literalists who incorrectly interpret brother, sister, brethren, until, firstborn and who do not understand Aramaic add to Scripture by saying Mary had other children. If you would like more information along with additional Biblical proof that Jesus was Marys' only child, please let me know.

50 posted on 04/24/2002 7:15:05 AM PDT by SMEDLEYBUTLER
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