With 2009 in the books,
we asked the staff and friends of InsideCatholic to offer their predictions for the new year.
Here’s what they told us…
Congress will take another stab at comprehensive immigration reform and will pass a less-than-perfect bill before May and the run-up to the midterm elections.
U.S. bishops will prove key to securing the passage of a reform that they have championed for years, although divisive debate will invade parishes as well as the halls of Congress. While some in the Republican Party will oppose any path to legalization for the 11 million or so migrants in irregular status, others who remember that the last amnesty was signed into law by Ronald Reagan will argue that a (young) and legal work force will ultimately benefit business and point to the “conservative” values (hard work, support of traditional family and morality) as justifying granting migrants in irregular status a shot at the American dream. Immigration reform will be passed with wide bipartisan support — with major credit going to advocacy by the Catholic Church. It will be, however, less than perfect, and it will not be a permanent fix.
The Most Rev. Thomas Wenski is bishop of Orlando.
On a lighter note, Bristol Palin will obtain sole custody of Tripp. On a more serious note, Tripp’s grandmother will announce that she will not run for president in 2012.
Frank Keating is the former governor of Oklahoma.
The newspaper business will encounter more turmoil, with several daily papers, including the Washington Times, folding. The New York Times will come close to running out of money but will be purchased by a left-wing mega-billionaire and take a further turn to the left.
A scandal will embroil an Obama cabinet member, who will be defended to the hilt by the president, the press, and the liberal establishment, but will ultimately resign, causing considerable damage and embarrassment to the administration.
Republicans will win many congressional seats in November but will take control of neither the House nor Senate, leaving the Democrats emasculated but still ostensibly in charge.
The following hoaxes/myths will be exposed in 2010:
Manmade global warming
Relativism is the only absolute
Abortion is “health care”
Nobody can do health care better than the government
A Catholic can be pro-choice
The government will take care of you
How Obama saved America
America no longer needs God
Come, Lord Jesus!
The Most Rev. Robert F. Vasa is bishop of Baker, Oregon.
In 2010, the Holy Spirit will prove once again that we Catholic thinkers and commentators make very poor prophets.
Orthodox. Faithful. Free.
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That said, I predict this year will be full of grace, including the grace of suffering. We will find ourselves face to face with 1) atheistic nihilism in the costume of radical Islam and New Age gobbledygook; 2) atheistic relativism in the costume of diversity and open-mindedness (two very good things); and 3) atheistic socialism in the costume of political liberalism. But this suffering will be accompanied and overwhelmed by God’s love for humanity and for America in particular, made known most perfectly by so many good Americans who will swim against the current and do the right thing as best as they know it.
1. The economy briefly exhibits signs of what looks like, and is treated by the major media as, a strong recovery. It is a false recovery that peters out, but President Obama nonetheless is credited (by the establishment media) for the rest of the year with “saving the country from economic collapse.”
2. Republicans gain a net of 28 House seats and four Senate seats in the November elections, leaving themselves vastly strengthened but still short of majorities; New York Times headline reads, “Democrats Retain Congress”; subhead reads, “Voters Give Boost to Obama Agenda.”
3. Attorney General Eric Holder’s job becomes in serious jeopardy as scandal blows sky-high concerning his department’s dropping of an already-won voter intimidation case against several members of the New Black Panther Party.
4. Justice John Paul Stevens retires; President Obama, fearing a major battle in a tough election year, nominates someone over 60 and sellable as a moderate. Nominee sails through confirmation with 94 of 100 votes after declaring himself “personally opposed to abortion.”
5. Polls show increasing trends toward more traditional/conservative views on social/cultural issues almost across the board, although acceptance of homosexuality (but not of “gay marriage,” which actually loses support) does continue to tick upward. Particularly strong backlash occur against smut on primetime TV.
Quin Hillyer is a senior editorial writer for the Washington Times.
The global economy will pull out of the recession, so long as Greece and Spain don’t fail. Stock investments will be good in the first quarter. The Republicans will gain seats — not enough to create a majority, but enough so that the Senate won’t control Congress.
Boston Red Sox will beat the Yankees. And Zoe and Brian will come to Rome.
Irene Lagan is a journalist for Vatican Radio and a blogger for InsideCatholic.
2010 will be a year when the movement toward internationalization will begin to reverse course. President Obama and many of his supporters will see that a smile and a handshake only go so far. Failure to reach agreement on carbon emissions and further revelations about the weakness of the global warming theory will cause leaders to rethink the trajectory of recent efforts. They should recognize that the fundamental idea behind the International Criminal Court led to many deaths (to date, primarily in Uganda), but I don’t think we’ll get that far next year.
Ronald J. Rychlak is the associate dean and MDLA Professor of Law at the University of Mississippi School of Law. He is the author of Hitler, the War, and the Pope (2000) and Righteous Gentiles (2005).
Someone who did not run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008 will emerge as a serious candidate for 2012.
Bill Donohue is president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Liberties.
Just in time for the 2010 election
, the illegal immigration issue will heat up. A.N.S.W.E.R. will break out the Mexican flags and get the parades going again, and many Americans on the right will become utterly inflamed
again. The issue will be used to split and discourage the Right, as it did in 2006, and then the flags will be packed away once more. Whether anything will ever be done to reform the INS is up for grabs, but I can predict with certainty that no one will take seriously my suggestion that a sort of “Ellis Island West”
be created along the California/Arizona/New Mexico borders in order to help get peaceful, productive, but undocumented workers onto the tax rolls; streamline the immigration process; and enhance border security at the same time.
I don’t know what to do about the Canadian border, though. Or Montauk. Good thing no one listens to me, anyway.
On August 10, the Obama White House held an “unprecedented” conference call with Hollywood-types, thanking them for their support and to initiate ways they could advance the Obama agenda. 2010 will begin to see the product of their work as an empowered Hollywood will push their values and the Obama agenda to new heights to help their man. But Hollywood pushing the “contrary values” envelope into the American home in a more direct way than ever before will fail: They will overplay their hand, and this agenda-pushing approach will travel the same dirt road as the cowboy who used to sell us cigarettes before each movie — at first thought to be cool but, in reality, bad for us. Americans will respond by voting first with their wallets at the box office and then, in November, at the ballot box. The result will be some of Hollywood returning to more family-friendly programming and some of Congress returning to more family-friendly, values-orientated representation.
Second: While Americans will hear news out of Washington and Wall Street that the economy is making positive gains, the gains will not be enough to make a difference to the average family. Americans will see a rise in taxes not only at the federal level to pay for President Obama’s spend-a-palooza, but also at the city, county, and state level that will eat up any gains. Years of insatiable spending, instead of making tough decisions, have now led to a perfect storm of tax hikes to cover programs and expenses at all levels of government. These tax increases will not be obvious at first to most — from the nickel per plastic bag at grocery stores in Washington, D.C., to new taxes on Internet travel bookings, to the 1 percent hike on most property tax assessments across the country. But by the end of the year, Americans will still be falling behind from the impact of their overall tax burden, thus keeping the economy moving along sluggishly.
Matt Smith is the president of Memento Strategies and the former associate director of the White House Office of Public Liaison.
1. The Church will face more and more un-dodgeable practical challenges to her teaching, mostly from the homosexualist movement, as did the Archdiocese of Washington last month. Dioceses will lose the public relations war, both because the challenges will be set up so they lose (as in headlines like, “Diocese threatens to hurt poor if rights legislation passed”) and because their opponents, aided by a generally hostile media, will not be scrupulous in their public statements. Some dioceses will see that the only possibly effective response is bold, short, clear, and principled. Others won’t, and will try to “nuance” the matter in a publicly disastrous way.
2. Dissenting Catholics will continue to fade in importance and effectiveness as the market for their kind of diluted Catholicism ages. Undissenting Catholics will increase in effectiveness, partly because their attempt to bring Catholic teaching to the world is simply more interesting and helpful. Some bishops will continue to fail to see this.
3. Many factors, including the previous two, will encourage bishops, priests, and others to assert the distinctively Catholic identity more strongly than before. This will be seen mainly in speech, in an increasing reference to Catholic distinctiveness and the benefits thereof, and an increasing willingness to speak of these in contrast to the Protestant and secular alternatives, and even in using the word “Catholic” where they had been saying “Christian.”
The promulgation of Anglicanorum Coetibus by Pope Benedict XVI is prophetic. The early fathers called the Church the “world reconciled”: She is God’s plan for the whole human race. The Pope of Christian unity has opened the door for the coming full communion of the Church. 2010 will be a year of amazing progress toward that end. Benedict has offered a Catholic vision for legitimate diversity within authentic orthodoxy and orthopraxy. The entry of these convinced Anglican Christians into full communion will contribute to the authentic renewal of the Catholic Church. It will hasten the accelerating move toward communion between the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church. This work of the Holy Spirit will change the church — and the world into which she is called — in a way in which we have not seen in our lifetime.
We do not need a “conservative revolution” in the United States or in the West. We need a “Christian Revolution.” It is from the Church that Western civilization was birthed. It is from the Church — with her vision for the human person, the family, freedom, and a just society — that the West will be re-birthed. Stay tuned.
I predict that, whatever the weather does or does not do, it will be declared to be more evidence of climate change and will be used to demand that we commit our entire society to immediate, radical, and government-expanding action right this very second.
I also predict that some scientific guess, archeological discovery, or philosophical speculation will inspire some pundit in the media to announce that we have to radically reassess the traditional understanding of Jesus in order to conclude that He actually agreed with the pundit about his favorite personal hobby horse.
I believe that the country will become even more divided — not along conservative-liberal lines but along spiritual lines. That is, we will be facing a greater chasm between those who believe in God and those who don’t; between those who have religious faith and the increasingly rabid pagans who believe in nothing except political gods. I also predict that in 2010 the former will become more God-fearing and prayerful as a response to persecutions, subtle and overt, of the new paganism.
Let us all pray that we will be found much more in God’s camp this coming year.
Sarah Palin, in shiny red heels, will carry the banner of New Feminism throughout the land –and Peggy Noonan, wearing dull, black penny loafers, will write one last gasp: “You cursed brat. Look what you’ve done. I’m melting! Melting! Oh, what a world! What a world! Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness?”
Marjorie Campbell is an attorney and speaker on social issues from a Catholic perspective. She lives in San Francisco with her family, blogs at www.dealwhudson.typepad.com, and writes a regular column, “On the Way to the Kingdom,” at www.phasesofwomanhood.org.
My predictions for 2010:
1. Men will rediscover spats.
2. Tiger Woods will win the Masters.
3. The new Apple Tablet (or iSlate) will be the year’s most popular gadget.
4. A GOP dark horse will move into the lead for the presidential nomination.
The Stupak coalition will break down, and some health-care bill that neither house of Congress would have passed in November will squeak its way to the president’s desk. As the costliest, most coercive, and least popular piece of federal legislation in history is signed (funding for abortion intact), liberal lawmakers will crow that they “did something,” and certain Catholics will continue to insist that there’s no practical difference between Left and Right.
Five more states will legalize same-sex marriage, either by legislation or judicial decree, and an overturn of the federal Defense of Marriage Act will gain considerable traction as Congress races to act before the midterm elections and President Obama discovers that social liberalism is the low-hanging fruit.
Russia will upset Canada to win the hockey gold medal in Vancouver. Locals will respond with unprecedented — for the Olympics — acts of hooliganism.
Todd M. Aglialoro is the acquisitions editor for Saint Benedict Press/TAN Books and a columnist and blogger for www.InsideCatholic.com.
The impact of the federal deficit on future generations will become an obvious “social justice’” issue. The presumptive moral high ground of the tax-and-spend entitlement mentality of Washington (including that of the USCCB bureaucrats in Washington) will be easier to confront on social-justice terms: The effects of the entitlement selfishness of this generation will be clearly visited upon the next. Only a few bishops will begin to notice the immorality of the federal budget deficit debacle on children not yet born — but an increasing number of young people will.
Rev. Jerry Pokorski is the pastor of St. Michael Catholic Church in Annandale, VA.
I will take a shot at predicting the only event that seems even less predictable and more prone to “spectacular failure” than anything in the political realm: the Academy Awards.
The Academy’s decision to double the pool of eligible films this year throws an even larger monkey wrench into the works than usual, but I’ll go with Up in the Air this time around, given the tendency among Oscar voters to reward a director (Jason Reitman, in this case) for a well-received-but-non-winner from the previous year (Juno). The Hurt Locker will run a close and intriguing second, as the likely nomination from such crowd-pleasers as Star Trek and Avatar are primarily designed to bring fresh viewers to the evening’s telecast.
The fairly unexpected (but welcome) failure of perennial Best Actor Nominee Daniel Day-Lewis’s Nine, combined with the absence of any self-serving Inspirational Sean Penn Role, leaves the Best Actor field even less predictable than usual this year. I’ll skip the acting awards altogether (George Clooney, Abbie Cornish, Christoph Walz, and Mo’nique — predictions based on absolutely nothing but whim and hubris) and move straight to the Animated categories, where Pixar will see more competition this time around than it has for years. Up, unjustly excluded from serious Best Film consideration, will face an unusually strong field that may well include works from a living legend (Ponyo), an Academy darling (Fantastic Mr. Fox), and an unexpectedly successful in-house competitor (The Princess and the Frog). Its Short Film nominee (Partly Cloudy) will likewise face a stiff battle from its nine fellow nominees, highlighted by Tomek Baginski’s fascinating entry, The Kinematograph.
Someone’s going to take down the Pixar Goliath one of these days. Will this year be the one? Probably not. But the gap is definitely closing; yet another reason to be grateful to John Lasseter and Co.
Joseph Susanka is a blogger and columnist for InsideCatholic.
My predictions for 2010:
- Increased breaches and tainting of the food supply will increase support for community supported agriculture.
- The heads of the Transportation Security Administration will continue to consider themselves integral to airport and flight security… even though their methods of prevention have little or nothing to do with anti-terror actions. More breaches of security can almost be assured.
- Michael Schumacher will finish the F1 season in the top three (and I personally hope he wins the championship, with a nod toward the over-40 set).
- The United States will finally take the required steps to enact a strong dollar policy.
- Mark Rubio will defeat Charlie Crist to win the Florida Republican nomination.
- I will carve out more time from my start-up business and become active in blogging again.
Laurance Alvarado is an international businessman and a blogger for InsideCatholic.
First, I’d like to say that the celebrity predictions I made for 2008 were right on the money: “Brad and Angelina will stay together. So will Tom and Katie. Charlie Sheen will continue to have problems.”
Just call me a prophet.
Here’s what’s in my crystal ball for 2010…
- We’ll see more end-of-the-world mania regarding 2012.
- Sales of canned tomatoes will fall. Dr. Frederick vow Saal at the University of Missouri just discovered that resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A, a synthetic estrogen linked to ailments like reproductive problems, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Acidity — a prominent characteristic of tomatoes — causes BPA to leach into your food. Not so good.
- Someone will start selling tomatoes in glass jars and make millions.
- There will be more outbreaks of E. coli and salmonella in ground beef and other food products.
- Todd Aglialoro will return to blogging at IC.
- Deal Hudson will remain a Republican.
Finally, I predict that I will not be asked to send in predictions for 2011.
Zoe Romanowsky is a development consultant and lifecoach and a blogger for InsideCatholic.
Please add your own predictions in the Comments section.