Author Archives: Jim Bowman

Jim Bowman covered religion 1968-78 for the Chicago Daily News, since then has written books, articles, etc., mostly on corporate history but also on religion (Company Man: My Jesuit Life, 1950-1968), and more recently on politics (Illinois Blues: How the Ruling Party Talks to Voters, —, Kindle). Longtime Oak Park, Illinois, resident, he lives now on Chicago’s North Side, where four of his and Winnie’s six children live close by.

A libertarian rethinks immigration

Good lede:

Instapundit recently linked to an article at the libertarian Reason magazine with a premise I found – considering the authors and the magazine – surprisingly dimwitted.

No, a border wall is not necessarily morally equivalent to the Berlin Wall, or anywhere near it. Consider Hadrian’s Wall, or the Great Wall of China. Sometimes there are actual barbarians on the other side of it.

In this case sneaking in with the good guys?

via Armed and Dangerous

Trump had a bad week, right?

Depends whom you ask. Writer bets you haven’t heard a word about these Trump accomplishments in the mainstream news:

— The Dow crossed 27,000 for the first time in history, and the S&P 500 broke 3,000 for the first time.

— Food stamp participation is the lowest in 10 years (since Barack Obama).

— Border apprehensions reached the lowest level since March. Why? Because President Trump won the trade war with Mexican officials. They sent thousands of troops to their southern and northern borders. Mexico also agreed to keep the asylum seekers on its side of the border while their cases are being adjudicated. Trump won — again.

— The liberal 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals handed Trump a victory on the issue of withholding federal funds from sanctuary cities.

— Trump announced new asylum rules that force illegals to apply in another country first. No more open borders. Middle-class Americans will applaud this news.

And the nation’s first black billionaire, BET founder Robert Johnson, longtime Dem contributor who voted for Madam Clinton, is exiting Dem precincts, citing “the lowest black unemployment ever, . . . moving the economy in a positive direction that’s benefiting a large amount of Americans.” 

Man knows more than he reads in the (mainstream) newspapers and TV.

via Jews and Blacks for Trump

Trump’s Electoral College Edge Could Grow in 2020, Rewarding Polarizing Campaign – The New York Times

I thought if they’re gonna cover this side of the story, I might pay attention to the gray lady and signed on to its catch-ups by email.


President Trump’s approval ratings are under water in national polls. His position for re-election, on the other hand, might not be quite so bleak.

Not to be picky, but the only poll cited that asks likely voters has him at 50%, not under water, as hailed by the Washington Secrets columnist at Washington Times. That’s Rasmussen.

Continuing the NY Times analysis:

His advantage in the Electoral College, relative to the national popular vote, may be even larger than it was in 2016, according to an Upshot analysis of election results and polling data.

That persistent edge leaves him closer to re-election than one would think based on national polls, and it might blunt any electoral cost of actions like his recent tweets attacking four minority congresswomen.


via The New York Times

University Study Finds US Less Racist Under President Trump than Race-Baiting Obama

Our first black president made matters worse:

A recent study by University of Pennsylvania reseachers Danial J. Hopkins and Samantha Washington found that America is much less racist under President Trump than under race-baiting, whitey-bashing Democrat Barack Obama.

The survey concluded that via most measures, white Americans’ expressed anti-Black and anti-Hispanic prejudice declined after the 2016 campaign and election, and we can rule out even small increases in the expression of prejudice.

. . . .

And this is despite the liberal mainstream media’s best attempts to accuse ALL Trump supporters of racism.

It’s their castigation of choice, far too widely applied.

“Breaking the Ice” in 40th Ward

New alderman sends mixed message.

(7/16) In response to the escalated ICE activity in the 40th Ward we have developed a Rapid Response team to assist in informing undocumented neighbors of their rights.

People should know their rights. Of course.

In conjunction with canvassing to distribute “Know Your Rights” information, the volunteer run coalition will observe and report any ICE activity they witness in the ward.


The team has been dubbed the 40th Ward ICEBreakers and I spent much of Tuesday morning strategizing next steps and training models for this effort with our staff.

For what?

Over 200 people have reached out to express their interest in joining ICEBreakers, and it’s our goal to continue growing this volunteer effort.

We’ll see.

If you or your neighbors are interested in joining us, please sign up here. Training begins this Saturday, July 20th, from 10:00am-1:00pm at the 40th Ward office, located at 5620 N Western Ave.

Announcement is part of excellent rundown on events, services, where and whom to call with ward problems, etc.

Trouble is, the Facebook announcement features a worrisome shot:

Not helpful, to say the least.

via 40th Forward Issue 6: Breaking the Ice

Ari Fleischer’s Savage Message for Bernie After Minimum Wage Expose

Bernie, life is hard. Sorry.

Typical. You pay $15/hour, but I won’t. You provide Medicare for all, but Vermont won’t. The problem with Socialism is you eventually run out of other people’s money. When it comes to paying his own campaign, Bernie doesn’t want to run out of HIS own money. Socialism never works. [Emphasis added]

Just kidding about being sorry. Sorry.

via Ari Fleischer’s Savage Message for Bernie After Minimum Wage Expose

Jesus is not looking for believers – He is looking for followers

This is Pope Francis-like confusing. You gotta believe:

I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.”

For Christ’s sake (and your own). Do not confuse people.

(The above is one of dozens possible quotes.)

via Jesus is not looking for believers – He is looking for followers

Trump approval rating jumps, just shy of locking in reelection

How can this be, with all those people so mad at him? And getting such bad press?

President Trump’s approval rating has been improving and now is at his all-time high and just a few points shy of what’s needed to guarantee him a second term.

via Trump approval rating jumps, just shy of locking in reelection

The Faithful Are NOT To Use the Orans Posture During the Our Father

People mean it when they do so. Mean what, I’m not sure. But I get this urge to call “VIRTUE SIGNALING” when I see it. Gotta get hold of myself.

The Faithful Are NOT To Use the Orans Posture During the Our Father

More to the point, how’d it get started? Who told them to do it?

via The Faithful Are NOT To Use the Orans Posture During the Our Father

How Fr. Weinandy decided to write his letter of complaint to Pope Francis

In Rome in late May of 2017, arriving early for a meeting of Vatican theologians, Fr. Thomas Weinandy took himself to prayer “about the . . . state of the Church and the anxieties [he] had about the present Pontificate.”

He spent most of an afternoon in St. Peter’s,

beseeching Jesus and Mary, St. Peter and all of the saintly popes who are buried there to do something to rectify the confusion and turmoil within the Church today, a chaos and an uncertainty that I felt Pope Francis had himself caused . . . and pondering whether [to] write and publish something expressing my concerns and anxiety.

A few days later, the meeting completed, he “went again to St. Peter’s and prayed in the same manner.”

That night, he couldn’t sleep. Unable to get Francis off his mind, at 1:15 he left his room and went outside “for a short time.”

Back in his room, he made a deal with Jesus in a cri de coeur, asking for a sign, specifying in detail:

Tomorrow morning I am going to Saint Mary Major’s to pray and then I am going to Saint John Lateran.  After that I am coming back to Saint Peter’s to have lunch with a seminary friend of mine.

He specified the sign:

I must meet someone that I know but have not seen in a very long time and would never expect to see in Rome at this time.  That person cannot be from the United States, Canada or Great Britain.  Moreover, that person has to say to me in the course of our conversation, ‘Keep up the good writing’.

Continuing the story:

The next morning I did all of the above and by the time I met my seminarian friend for lunch what I had asked the Lord the following night was no longer in the forefront of my mind.


. . . [T]owards the end of the meal an archbishop appeared between two parked cars right in front of our table (we were sitting outside).  I had not seen him for over twenty years, long before he became an archbishop.  We recognized one another immediately.

My heavens.

What made his appearance even more unusual was that because of his recent personal circumstances [he’d been ill]. I would [not] have expected to see him in Rome or anywhere else [except] in his own archdiocese.

Which is in none of the above mentioned lands.

The conversation:

We spoke about his coming to Rome and caught up on what we were doing.  I . . . introduced him to my seminarian friend.  He said to my friend that [he and I] had met a long time ago and that he had, at that time, just finished reading my book on the immutability of God and the Incarnation.*

He told my friend that it was an excellent book, that it helped him sort out the issue, and that my friend should read the book.


Then he turned to me and said: “Keep up the good writing.”

The sign had been shown.

I decided to write [the]  letter [to the Pope], which I intended then to publish unless [the Pope] adequately addressed the issues I raised.

Fr. W wrote the letter. Two months later he got word from the Vatican Secretariat of State that Pope Francis had got it, but there was no response from Francis.

As for his sign and its fulfillment, he found added signficance in its involving an archbishop, which gave the sign “apostolic mandate.”

(By the way, the book mentioned by the archbishop on the immutability of God and the Incarnation is Does God Suffer?  University of Notre Dame Press, 2000.)

Finally, coming from a world of religion reporting for a daily newspaper after one of immersion in religious life, I must say I can’t get over Fr. Weinandy in his recounting a spiritual, supernatural experience, asking God for a sign and the rest.

He’s a long-time, highly esteemed professional theologian, and yet he talks that way for public consumption. The letter was one thing — it cost him two jobs and was daring to begin with.

But this testimony to prayer and God as responder is something worth noting. Carefully.

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