Caped Crusaders

crusades 02Ah, the OWH’s Erin Grace is at it again.

“Again?” you say?

Well, you may have read her Sunday column about Governor Pete Ricketts’ views on Catholicism.

That’s all it was about, you see. It was JUST about Pete’s views on Catholicsm…and how he applies it to the Death Penalty debate. (She calls it a “crusade”. See what she did there?)

See, Grace did some deep research, and consulted a number of Catholic Theologians regarding the Death Penalty, and what is and isn’t adherence to Catholic dogma.

She found that Ricketts’ views aren’t Kosher with Church teachings…on the Death Penalty. And she wants you all to know it.

But what about OTHER church teachings? What does Erin Grace think about those?

Well kids, THAT’s another story.

See when she wrote a few years ago about Catholics and ABORTION — mainly as to how some Catholics feel about the Church being forced to fund abortifacient drugs — well…the official views of the Church weren’t so important.

She focused on a few individuals. (One of them being on the Brad Ashford for Congress team, not to mention “Nebraskans for Kerrey”.) But she wasn’t so interested in zeroing in on those politicians (gee, wonder what party they’d be from?) who are Pro-Choice.

Wonder what she would have found it she’d delved into that issue deeper?
Would those pols even give her the time of day, if she wanted to get their thoughts on Catholic philosophy and abortion?

Would she point out their hypocrisy?

(Holding my breath starting…now!)


The LJS ran a story on Saturday about the Death Penalty reinstatement petition process. They noted that Chris Peterson of the “Nebraskans for the Death Penalty” would not give them an update on the number of signatures they have collected so far.

However, Madison County has gotten theirs. Madison County reportedly has gotten signatures from over 15% of voters. Note that Norfolk, where the 2002 bank robbery and 5 murders took place, is in Madison Co.

Note the rules for the ballot:

By collecting the signatures of approximately 57,000 registered voters (5% of registered voters in Nebraska) and signatures from at least 5% of registered voters in 40% of Nebraska’s counties (38 of the 93 counties), the question will be placed on the November 2016 general election ballot.

If approximately 115,000 registered voters (10%) sign the petition including at least 10% of registered voters in forty percent of Nebraska’s counties, the law repealing the death penalty will be suspended until the outcome of the November 2016 election has been determined.

No word from Peterson on financial contributions, though he did note, “We could always use more help and more money, because this is a very labor-intensive and expensive undertaking.


And back to the LJS, Don Walton wrote in his Monday column about former Omaha Fire Union head Mike McDonnell running for legislature…

The Legislature is non-partisan and state senators act independently — perhaps more so during the past legislative session than at any time in recent memory — but party affiliation matters during legislative election campaigns both in terms of money and organized support.

Recent voter registration figures in South Omaha’s 5th District: 8,066 Democrats; 4,487 Republicans; 4,357 independents.


So which is it? The legislature is super NON-partisan…but hey, look Democrats! And lots of them!

Oh, and you might note that the Nebraska Democrats almost consistently vote as a block and are no more “independent” from each other than rest of the Warsaw Pact were from the former Soviet Union.


Hey, if you like my interviews on The Wheels Down Politics Show, today I have up an interview with Representative David Young of Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District — which ranges from Des Moines to Council Bluffs, and generally takes in southwest Iowa.

Young had a particularly interesting election in 2014, where the GOP primary went to the convention (because no candidate received more than 35% of the vote) and Young finally won on the 5th ballot.

I talk with Congressman Young about a number of issues before Congress, as well as his district constituent work in the state that is currently overrun with Presidential candidates.

(He also does a killer Chuck Grassley impression.)

Click above to play in the browser or Direct download by clicking here, or by searching Wheels Down Politics on iTunes.


And just because…Don Walton cites in his column, for some reason…the USA Today’s Top Ten baseball rankings? Because he is hoping for a split between the Computer Rankings and the Coaches’ Poll to see who will make it to the World Series?

(Oh and Don, the Royals are ranked 2nd in your poll today, not 3rd…
But for some reason, I’ll stick with the Standings.)


  1. Pope Grace says:

    I do not need to share my views about marriage, contraception or abortion. This is all about Pete Ricketts!!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    The only news – that Erin & Pete are selective in their Catholic Christianity – is no news at all. This is true of all Catholics in some way; nobody perfectly observes the Golden Rule, much less the Great Commission, the Beatitudes, the Decalogue, or the Corporal or Spiritual Works of Mercy.

    Christians of all stripes, regardless of their positions on abortion or same-sex marriage, accept or tolerate divorce for a wide variety of reasons or no reason at all.

    All the while the poor go unfed, people are cruel to each other, distracted by a grotesque culture of “celebrity” and local violence is greeted with a yawn.

    Chesterton famously said the problem is not that Christianity has been tried and found wanting. The problem is that Christianity hasn’t been tried at all. Passion & Crucifixion are self-limiting. It is hard to see past myself to what I might be & do for others.

    I have no problem pointing the not-Catholic-enough finger at Pete Rickets and Erin Grace, as long as I recognize the 3 fingers pointing back at my daily mockery of Christ and His Gospel.

    Back to our regularly scheduled show. And remember to accuse yourself first!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Lots of Catholics, Jews, Protestants, Mormons, and yes even some peaceful Muslims are slightly selective in their practice of the teachings of their respective faiths. This isn’t about religion, nor is most of what the government does. This is about executing people who committed a particularly heinous crime.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Sweeper must be running out of material, topics and issues that you’re resorting to repeating what other writers write instead of being creatively curious. It doesn’t take theologians to know that if a politician prides themselves as being pro life that being pro death may come across as hypocritical whether it is Catholic or whatever. Not to worry Pete or his Daddy have enough money to buy their way to heaven I’m sure.

  5. repentinglawyer says:

    As a proud member of America’s second largest religion, Ex Catholics,I find the criticism of the article about the Gov. silly. He was the one who paraded his religion and could have expected the request for a justification, Erin Grace did not force him to give a stupid answer, about the equivalent of citing the Church Fathers in defense of slavery, he did that on his own. If there is a better answer perhaps the Sweeper, as an eminent theologian, could give it or buy the Gov a subscription to “First Things,” as I recall Rusty Reno is a fan of the death penalty. At this point is not this who are the real Catholics debate exhausted. It was already stale when Bill Buckley had his famous “Mater si, Magister no” cover of National Review or will the Sweeper trot out the Syllabus of Errors so we can debate who are closest to the Liberals Pius IX condemned.

  6. Now listen up Yanks. Take it from the son of parents who used to drive all the way across Dublin just to attend a Tridentine Mass, and who used to attend Mass daily, not merely weekly, and who had 6 kids on the ‘rhythm method’ (I found the manual up in the attic). There are no Catholics in America. Fabian Bruskewitz made a nice stab at it, but no. Yiz are all just gussied up Episcopalians. Yiz probably couldn’t name even one of the Stations of the Cross, or sing the Tantum Ergo. So let’s not be having this entirely hypothetical, angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin (not that there’s anything wrong with that) discussion.

    And before anyone comes back at me about the gay marriage referendum, Ireland is now entirely heathen also. Too many little boys got diddled.

  7. repentinglawyer says:

    Gerard, I come from a family of 8, and I am not sure Yank Catholicism was all that different in the 50s, Veronica wipes the Face of Jesus, song at exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, question was place of angels pins had nothing to do with it. J. F. Powers’ stories capture it well. He nearly stopped writing claiming Vatican II had destroyed his subject. Is the one County that voted no still Catholic.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Which is why, WRP, I’m headed towards Eastern Orthodoxy. Original Recipe for me, I’ve had enough Extra Crispy.

  9. Question about picture? says:

    This is actually a picture of a Tea Party rally where the theme was to switch clothes with your horse. I still think the sheets look better on the owners though. It also could be a cut of the movie Birth of a Nation directed by Patrick Von McPherson. I am kidding of course, as I was channeling Erin Grace’s impartial reporting.

  10. Corn Reaper says:

    If Gov. Ricketts voluntarily chooses to cite St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas as reasons why Jesus, who was himself executed as a convicted criminal, says it is okay for Ricketts to inject killers with poison, how can anyone expect Pete’s opponents not to notice or mention that? Like Trump, Pete may have unobvious reasons for saying what he says, but on the surface it seems a stupid tactic.

    Ricketts is Nebraska’s Pontius Pilot. As governor, he has the individual power of reprieve a death sentence. He is Nebraska’s hangman, the grim reaper. And that’s fine with me. As a military professional with much combat time, I am not shy about executing criminals. But for the many times I have seen men pray for protection in combat, I don’t remember anyone who expected Jesus to cheerlead for them to kill people. We kill enemy, hopefully catching them asleep, for our national defense. We execute criminals, strapped down, for our civic safety. Defense and safety are public needs. Jesus said his kingdom isn’t of this earth. Nebraska is of this earth. So why bring Him into it?

    Governor Pontius Pilot was doing his job when he crucified Jesus under Roman law. If Rome had outlawed crucifixion, Pilot would have had his hands tied. If Pilot then felt he needed to object to Rome, do you think his argument would have been that Jupiter didn’t mind the death penalty?

  11. Grace Under Fire says:

    Grace is in over her head. How many readers has the OWH lost since she started writing for the paper?

  12. Anonymous says:

    That same Jesus said that he was announcing the Mal’kuth Yaweh, the “Reign of God,” first to “the least of these.” Those least were the human grist for the Imperium, who Pilate represented in person. Not so much Paul Bremer, more like Col. James Steel (whose Wikipedia biography makes interesting reading).

    Jesus brought Himself “in to it” and demanded his followers do likewise. You’re a Centurion, Corn Reaper. Matthew 8:5-13 is interesting reading. If I’m just following orders, I better know is in command. It ain’t a pussy like Pilate.

  13. Anonymous says:

    And you don’t think voters are the imperium? Or representatives? The 51% that puts the 49% in chains are a corporate mirror of Caesar or Senate. Pilot following the law was his choice, just like Jesus choosing to follow his view of God’s dictate was a choice he made in the garden, just like his followers following Jesus was their choice. Its a choice of belief on which one acts in every case. Law punished some choices. And one man’s secular is another’s religion. Stick to the point. Ricketts brought up theologians to bolster his argument for execution. Some think its somehow wrong to notice that.

  14. Voice from on high says:

    I have been monitoring this discussion and I want you to know that my dad told me to make an early second appearance in Nebraska and smite every Cornhusker on general principle. He told me normal people would prefer crucifixion to living under a unicameral full of arses. But you know dad, he gets all up with that angry Jehovah stuff. I told him to be more forgiving. But he said if Huskers were going to use Him as an excuse for them slicing a few throats that need slicing, forgiveness is out of the question. Anyway, he’s already wrecked his big screen throwing lightning bolts at it during Nebraska games.

  15. To Voice from on high says:

    Don’t you think Nebraska has suffered enough for her sins? I mean, have you seen the football program the past 20 years?

  16. repentinglawyer says:

    On attending a Nebraska game in Lincoln and seeing the sea of red, Judge Robert Bork commented that it was the first time he understood the phrase civil religion.

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