Syte Reitz

The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world…….

Browsing Posts published in June, 2012

Auspicious! Awesome. Amazing.
ObamaCare Has Been Approved By the Supreme Court.

or

What, Are You Crazy, Syte?

 

We Knew Something Was Coming

We knew something was coming.
June, 2012 promised to be a momentous month.
We were in the third act of a great national drama, in which the definitions of fundamental human rights and liberties could be redefined.
Can an American President Mandate? Can he mandate socialized medicine? Can he mandate that all citizens must pay for abortion?
What’s in a Mandate?
For those of us with Faith and Hope, we were praying for an Auspicious month.

Unprecedented Prayer

The Bishops of the United States, realizing that freedom, and especially religious freedom, were in the balance, organized an unprecedented two weeks of prayer and fasting, a nation-wide program known as Fortnight for Freedom.
In Madison,  Fortnight for Freedom started with hundreds of people praying 15 decades of the rosary on the Wisconsin State Capitol steps. This prayer and fasting program continues as we speak.
An unprecedented call for prayer that has been joined by many non-Catholics.
Reminiscent of Jonah’s appeal to Nineveh.

Hope Does Not Disappoint

Bishop Morlino's Coat of Arms

When it comes to God,  Hope does not disappoint (Romans 5:5).
Same as Bishop Morlino’s Coat of Arms motto, The Vision does not disappoint (Habakkuk 2:3).
In Latin, Visus Non Mentietur:

For the vision is a witness for the appointed time,
a testimony to the end; it will not disappoint.
If it delays, wait for it,
it will surely come, it will not be late. – Habakkuk 2:3  

So, Where Are We?

So far, this June we have had:

  • The authority of the people of Wisconsin was upheld in the Governor recall election, with a larger margin of approval for the Governor Walker than he had in the original election.  The only Governor of Wisconsin to be elected twice in one term!
  • Same wonderful reaffirmation of democracy and responsibility with Lieutenant-Governor Rebecca Kleefisch of Wisconsin.
  • Successful national launching of Fortnight for Freedom; American Catholics gathering for public prayer across the nation, with other faiths joining them in prayer.
  • Supreme Court upholding the right of Arizona to enforce law.
  • Democrats abandoning partisanship to acknowledge that even the head of the Justice Department in the United States (Holder) is accountable to truth and to law.
  • A Federal Judge upholding Florida’s right to remove non-citizens from the state’s voting rolls.
    and…
  • ObamaCare approved by the Supreme Court!?!

How Can You Still Say Auspicious, Amazing and Awesome?

This is where faith and hope come in.
God does seem to work this way.
When others give up in despair, we of Faith know that God has something up His sleeve.
The vision will not disappoint.
And it’s likely to be miraculous, something we could not plan and arrange for ourselves.
Abraham did not lose faith in God under duress.
Moses did not lose faith in God with the Pharaoh’s troops at his heels.
I will spare you recounting the numerous times in my life when God stepped in with unpredictable solutions just when things were looking grim.

Moses parting the Red Sea

Hope Does Not Disappoint

Other than this astounding Supreme Court decision, things are not looking bleak at all– back to the list of victories above!
Options still exist for reversing ObamaCare, including the November election.
Some say that the upholding of ObamaCare by the Supreme Court will motivate Americans,  the vast majority of whom oppose ObamaCare, to get rid of President Obama in November:

Obama might have his law, but the GOP has a cause,” said veteran campaign adviser Terry Holt. “This promises to galvanize Republican support around a repeal of what could well be called the largest tax increase in American history.  – Associated Press

More to Look Forward to, in June and Beyond

We can still look forward to many victories before the ultimate victory we seek in November 2012:

  • Today, we still have Eric Holder, the nation’s top law enforcement official and right hand man of President Obama, facing a bipartisan contempt of Congress vote over Fast and Furious documents.  Holder is a big part of the Obama problem; Holder is responsible for not enforcing immigration policies at the Arizona border, for suing Arizona when Arizona tried to do the job themselves, for suing Florida for their attempts to remove illegitimate voters from the rolls, and for many other challenges to United States law and to our freedoms.
  • Prayer and fasting by concerned Christians and Jews continues right up to the November election. We are in the midst of Fortnight for Freedom right now.  In Madison, weekly Capitol Rosary Rallies will be held through November 1st. There is one today.  See you there at 7 PM, State Street steps!
  • The Movie 2016, based on the NYTimes best seller by Dinesh D’Souza and produced by Gerald Molen, producer of Schindler’s List, which projects the devastating effects of President Obama’s economic policies on America, and documents Barack Obama’s anti-American anti-colonialist philosophy, will be released this summer. America will get a remarkable new perspective on Barack Obama, and what his (until now) baffling agenda might actually reflect.
  • The two conventions, Republican and Democrat, and the General Election are still coming.  Stay tuned!

‘No Leader in the World is Powerful Enough to Thwart God’s Purposes’

Back to Bishop Morlino, and the wisdom of his Laetare Sunday message:  just before Easter: Difficult week?  Rejoice!

No leader in the world is powerful enough to thwart God’s ProvidenceBishop Robert C. Morlino.

So we’ve had a difficult morning with the Supreme Court (BTW, wasn’t Justice Kagan supposed to recuse herself on this one?)
Small setback, which might even work in our favor, according to some.
We continue to fast, to pray, to work and to hope.
Hope will not disappoint.
I fully expect something akin to the parting of the Red Sea. Equally huge, and equally unpredictable. In 2012, that would translate into something that we did not expect and which stops the marauding Pharaoh and his czars in their tracks.
(Forgive the mixed metaphor, I know that Pharoah did not have czars.  Tyrants, all of them, just the same.

Perhaps the Red Sea that will swallow up the new Pharaoh and his troops might be the new Democrat mutiny that appears to be surfacing, driven by the desire for votes, which cannot ignore the will of the people and the new surge in conservatism reflected in movements such as the Tea Party.  We certainly did not plan on or count on that. A Democrat mutiny. What do you know! Who could have predicted that?

Or, it might be something completely different. God’s plans can be more surprising than even the Supreme Court’s.

Our Job

Our job is to continue in faith and hope, to fast, pray, remain politically engaged, and VOTE.
Come, join Catholics at the Capitol Rosary Rally at the Wisconsin State Capitol today!
7 PM, State Street steps.
See you there!
It’s 98 degrees; the heat will be magnifying our prayers!

Some photos, now that we’re back from the Capitol Rosary Rally:

Capitol Rosary Rally at the Wisconsin State Capitol, 6-28-12

 

Kneeling to pray 15 decades at the Capitol following the Supreme Court Decision on ObamaCareHundreds gathered to pray the rosary on a 98 degree day.

 

Hundreds gathered to pray the rosary on a 98 degree day.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

Fortnight for Freedom Continues…

or

FFRF’s Already In Cross-Complaint Mode

First, Let’s Pray the USCCB Prayer:

Prayer for the Protection of Religious Liberty

O God our Creator,

Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit,
you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world,
bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel
to every corner of society.

We ask you to bless us
in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.
Give us the strength of mind and heart
to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened;
give us courage in making our voices heard
on behalf of the rights of your Church
and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.

Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father,
a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters
gathered in your Church
in this decisive hour in the history of our nation,
so that, with every trial withstood
and every danger overcome—
for the sake of our children, our grandchildren,
and all who come after us—
this great land will always be “one nation, under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Next, the News:

Fortnight for Freedom Crosses Denominations…

Followers of different faiths are joining forces to protest White House birth control mandates:

(MOBILE, Ala. News Video)   Catholic followers across the nation are in the middle of two weeks of prayer. Locally, followers of different faiths are getting on board.
Fortnight for freedom evolved from the Catholic Church’s objections to the White House mandate requiring employers provide contraceptives and birth control.
Tonight, representatives from Baptist affiliates and a Jewish congregation joined a prayer group at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Mobile.
The Fortnight for Freedom wraps up July 4th.

 

Freedom From Religion is Worried…(and Already in Cross-Complaint Mode!)…

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF)  seems to be getting worried about the Fortnight for Freedom effort; they have already launched into cross-complaint mode.
What is cross-complaint mode?
A dirty fighting tactic in which you respond to any complaint the other raises with one of your own. If done properly, you can create a complete stalemate by balancing complaint against complaint forever!
Guaranteed to annoy and alienate anyone who watches it from either camp.
Watch the FFRF’s cross-complaint video which is suctioning money out of FFRF’s bank accounts as we speak : FFRF Video spot(complete with airing schedules, for atheists who want to watch it over and over and over again… heh, heh, heh, gloat, gloat, gloat. Wonder how

Herbert Lomb

Herbert Lomb is doing? Maybe he’ll join FFRF!  Heh, heh, heh, we’ll show them!  We’ll air an ads all over television with a Catholic dissident inviting everyone to join FFRF.  That will show them! That’s how we (who can only muster up  0.1 of 1 % of atheists to join us) will recruit members from them (from the 80% Christians in America). This will really work! We will show those bishops what’s what!

This even tops our FFRF co-President Dan Barker shouting rude things at children during Madison’s Stand Up For Reliious Freedom rally on June 8th!

Washington Rally…

Washington rally brings 2,000 together in support of religious freedom.

 

The Truth About Religious Liberty…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s in a Mandate?

 

Defending Freedom Online

In the spirit of defending our nation’s religious freedoms, I’ve been participating in some online discussions on the subjects of Obama Administration’s Health and Human Services HHS Mandate, often erroneously labeled the “Contraceptive Mandate,” and on the Fortnight for Freedom prayer effort organized by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), which began on June 21, 2012.

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Typical Radical Catholic’s Argument

One Wall Street Journal discussion participant typified the arguments of radical Catholic supporters of the HHS Mandate, or the Obama Mandate, as I like to call it.

Response to Radical Arguments

Here are his comments and my reply:

CR wrote:

As a practicing Catholic, I’m still waiting for the day when the Catholic bishops organize a “Fortnight for Poverty,” a “Fortnight for Homelessness”, a “Fortnight for Healthcare”, or anything else with an underlying religion-based opinion on that doesn’t focus on women’s health and reproductive issues like this “Fortnight for Freedom”. Easy to tell what the bishops care about…

Syte’s response:

For a “practicing Catholic,” you have a pretty resentful attitude toward the Catholic bishops.
Hard to imagine why you participate in the institution headed by them.
Seems like you have mislabeled yourself- it’s not “practicing Catholic,” it’s more like “cafeteria Catholic” at best, and “heretic Catholic” (i.e., not Catholic at all) at worst, depending on what you are thinking.

Also hard to imagine that you don’t understand that ALL opinions, priorities and agendas, including the ones you mentioned, rely on having the freedom to pursue them.

Finally, hard to imagine that you are unaware that Catholic institutions DO already serve the poor, the homeless, and those who need healthcare, more so than any other societal group, including government. Catholic institutions lead in this area in the U.S. and around the world.

Obama Mandates

If you could just see past the “contraceptive” label that liberals have purposely associated with this mandate, you would see that the conflict actually includes THREE very important issues:

• Mandates. Does the President of the U.S. have the authority to declare (mandate) what is right and what is wrong without consulting the American people, the legislature, the Supreme Court, or moral and religious experts?
• Killing (abortifacients). And yes, forcing Catholics to pay for the killing of human beings IS a bigger issue than the ones you mentioned.
• Shutting down Catholic institutions financially with penalties — first, by law, require Catholics do something they cannot morally do, then, when they violate the law which violates their religious beliefs and religious liberty, penalize them financially in such a way that Catholic institutions become bankrupt within two years.

THIS is what the “Contraceptive Mandate” is really about.

It’s not really a “Contraceptive Mandate,” but is more like:

• “Let’s Establish a New Power for President Obama: He Can Declare (He Can Mandate) What is Right and What is Wrong Mandate”
• “Let’s Force Everyone to Pay for Other People’s Abortion Mandate”
• “Let’s Bankrupt Catholic Institutions which Oppose Obama’s Abortion Agenda Mandate”
• “Let’s Close Catholic Institutions so the Obama Administration Can Take Over Several More Segments of the Economy and Control More Hospitals, Universities and Other Service Institutions Mandate”
• “Let’s Allow President Obama, Not Americans or Their Religious Leaders, to Declare What is Right and What is Wrong Mandate”
• “President Obama Will Decree What is Right and What is Wrong, and Heads Will Roll if Anyone Disagrees Mandate”
• “Didn’t Henry VIII Do that to Sir Thomas More (Whose Feast Day Was Yesterday) Mandate?” Do What? “Declare What is Right and Wrong, then Behead Those Who Disagree With the King Mandate”

Me helping Henry VIII with his Mandates (and I'm a "practicing Catholic!")

 Hope you do not pretend to impose your amateur opinions on other experts in your life, like your doctors, your lawyers, your professors, your police officers, etc., etc., as you seem comfortable imposing your amateur opinions on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

You’ve given me an idea — I should declare myself an Anglican and start telling the Queen of England what the Anglican Church should teach….
…But that’s why America was founded, to get away from Royal Mandates, wasn’t it?
How about we ask women (of whom I am one) what THEY want instead of having Obama MANdate what is “good” for women? What a novel idea, in a democratic nation, asking the women what they want, instead of telling them! 

 What IS in the Mandate?

Some AUDIO resources for those who are interested in understanding what is in the Mandate and why the Catholic Church is concerned:

Madison, Wisconsin’s Fortnight for Freedom Begins

 

Rosary over the Wisconsin State Capitol building at conclusion of rally (photos by Syte)

Audio: Bishop Morlino’s introductory remarks and Rosary let by Father Isaac Mary:

Capitol Rosary AUDIO  6-21-12

(60 min audio; small delay) Audio description: Bishop Morlino’s remarks, followed by 15 decades of the rosary led by Father Isaac Mary, Bishop Morlino’s conclusion, singing of God Bless America, and cheering as a giant “LIFE” rosary is released over the Wisconsin State Capitol Building. (Missed the beginning audio, as Bishop Morlino led everyone in singing Holy God, We Praise Thy Name.)

Background (click here)

More Photos:

Gathering at the WI Capitol at 7 PM

 

Father Rick Heilman, organizer at center

Patient Patriotic Folks; "LIFE" baloons in background

Beautiful Capitol, beautiful evening

Children holding the yellow LIFE balloon rosary. After praying 15 decades of the Rosary, children released the yellow rosary over the Capitol; a poignant symbol of our ardent prayers for our nation

 

The rosary rises higher as we all watch

The LIFE rosary drifts over Madison towards Lake Monona

Beautiful conclusion to a prayerful, peaceful rally

Fr. Rick invites everyone back for next Thursday, 7 PM, same place. He invites us to double today's magnificent turnout next week. Hundreds were here today.

Of course, the Schoenstatt Sisters were there to help us pray!

I hope somebody did a count- attendance was impressive.

Apologies, taking photos into the Sun at 7Pm is not trivial…

For More (and Best) Photos: See Tom Reitz’s photos on facebook

More Events to Come

There is nothing more moving than praying the rosary for freedom and for our nation, with hundreds of people on a beautiful day, on the steps of the Wisconsin State Capitol building.
A remarkable sight for passers-by, and a beautiful witness to our faith and our respect for life.

This scene was repeated yesterday at hundreds of places all over the United States, and similar events will continue for two weeks all over America, until Independence Day.
Madison’s weekly Capitol rosary, thanks to Fr. Rick’s efforts, will continue weekly on Thursdays, past the Fortnight for Freedom prayer effort, all the way up to the election, November 2, 2012.
More events to come at Madison Diocese website.

Media Coverage of Historical Events?

Doubt very much whether this event will be covered by the Wisconsin State Journal or by the mainstream media.
But whether Catholics and the Fortnight for Freedom get treated to a media blackout or not, God is listening.
A concerted national prayer effort of this size is guaranteed to touch His heart.
Get ready for remarkable events.
This prayer effort is historical, and the results will be historical.
What an auspicious June!

May God bless America!

 

Some AUDIO resources for those who are interested in understanding what is in the Mandate and why the Catholic Church is concerned:

 

 

 

 

Soggy Solstice?

 

While the President of the United States in on the verge of  a scandal equivalent to Nixon’s Watergate,
…..and…..
the Supreme Court of the United States is on the verge of a historical decision on ObamaCare that will redefine the powers and balance of government in the United States,
…..and…..
the Catholic Church, the largest religious denomination in the United States is calling for prayer for liberty  “in this decisive hour in the history of our nation,”

what do you think made the front page of MSNBC news?
The Soggy Solstice.
Newsflash: It rained in England.

The 0.1 of 1% of Americans who are pagans will be very happy to know.
The rest of us, 100% Americans, 80% Christians, and 25% Catholics, can find the real news elsewhere.

P.S. For the 80% Christians: Come to the Fortnight for Freedom tonight; 7 PM July 21st, 2012, at the Wisconsin State Capitol, on the State Street steps.

Americans Pray for Freedom Across the Nation

Or

Fortnight For Freedom

Or

Come and Join Us!

 (Fortnight for Freedom, 7PM July 21st, 2012, at the Wisconsin State Capitol, on the State Street steps.) 

Background

The First Amendment

President Obama’s Contraceptive Mandate has violated the First Amendment, depriving Catholics in the United States of their freedom of religion and freedom of conscience, by forcing Catholics institutions to provide abortifacient pills to employees of Catholic institutions, forcing Catholics by law to do something Catholics believe to be morally wrong.

Women’s Issue?

This is not a “women’s health” issue, because the pills are as affordable as aspirin, tissues, and other medical supplies which have often been considered “over-the-counter,” and which have frequently not been covered by insurance policies in the past.  In fact, women use numerous products that are not, and are not likely ever to be covered by insurance, including cosmetics, lotions and sanitary products.  All of the “services” covered by the “Contraceptive Mandate” are extremely affordable, and any woman who can afford aspirin or a meal at McDonald’s can afford to pay for these items herself.

By choosing to mandate (to require by law) the free provision of abortifacient pills, the Obama administration is not trying to help women.  The administration is trying to place financial strain on the Catholic Church, which is one of the largest and strongest opponents of the Obama administration’s “social” agenda.  If Obama succeeds in pushing through ObamaCare and the Contraceptive Mandate, Catholic institutions will be forced by their conscience, like Saint Thomas More, to break the law.  Cathoilics will be forced into civil disobedience, into not providing abortifacient services, and then into paying $2,000 yearly penalties per employee, which are estimated to bankrupt most Catholic institutions within two years. Goodbye Catholic universities, Catholic High Schools, Catholic Grammar Schools, Catholic hospitals, Catholic soup kitchens, Catholic adoption agencies, etc., etc.  Goodbye the role that Catholics and their institutions have played in our national life since the birth of this nation.

Hello, one more segment of the economy that the Obama administration can take over, in addition to health care and General Motors.  Also, a blow to the Catholic Church, the largest (25% of Americans are Catholic), most organized and strongest institution involved in opposing the Obama administration’s “social” agenda, particularly abortion.  Two birds with one stone.  Isn’t the Obama administration wickedly clever!?

Obama’s strategy

The Obama administration’s biggest agenda, both nationally and worldwide, is abortion.  But they have realized from recent polls that Americans are increasingly opposed to abortion, and now a majority of Americans cannot be relied upon to support Obama’s, Hillary’s and Sebelius’ national and global abortion agenda.  To understand why abortion is so important to these people, see Abortion: a Much Bigger Deal Than You Think.

Since Americans are no longer likely to support the abortion agenda, the abortion agenda must be sneaked in under a less controversial issue, such as contraception. By sneaking in abortifacients under the phrase “Contraceptive Mandate,” the Obama administration hopes to get the support of the American majority against the Catholic Church.  It also hopes to divide the Catholic Church, and thus to reduce the power of the Catholic Church, rendering it less able to oppose Obama’s “social” (translated: moral) issues, such as abortion, gay marriage, and government funding of numerous medical strategies that facilitate promiscuity and discourage or demote traditional family life. Divide and conquer.  Isn’t the Obama administration wickedly clever!?

So Now, What’s Happening?

Americans Are Praying

So what do we do when the wicked set snares for us?

People praying the the Wisconsin State Capitol on Corpus Christi Sunday, June 10, 2012

Good Christians pray for God’s help:

For my eyes are upon you, O Lord,
in you I take refuge; do not take away my soul.
Guard me from the trap they have set before me,
From the snares of evildoers.
Let the wicked fall into their own nets,
While only I pass over them safely.
– Psalm 141:8-10

When and Where?

Starting Tomorrow!

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has organized a national 2-week prayer effort, the Fortnight for Freedom, which starts tomorrow, June 21st, 2012.  It begins on the feasts of St. Thomas More  and St. John Fisher, who gave their lives for religious freedom. The Fortnight for Freedom ends on July 4th, our American Independence Day.

The bishops have called us to focus “all the energies the Catholic community can muster” for religious liberty during this time.
Special prayers, novenas, Masses, rosaries, and concerted ringing of Church bells, are planned.  Friday, June 28th, the Priestly Ordination Mass will be dedicated to Religious Freedom through Fortnight for Freedom:

Diocese of Madison, WI announcements, events and details (click).

USCCB National announcements, events and details (click).

What’s Going On in Madison?

In Madison, this begins with a Capitol Rosary Rally on Thursday, June 21st, 2012, at the Wisconsin State Capitol at 7:00 PM, on the State Street Steps of the Capitol Building.
Madison’s Bishop Morlino will join the first rosary event.

Rosary rallies will be held at the Madison Capitol every Thursday at 7 PM, through November 1st, 2012, until the General election.

Come and Join Us!

Come to help us Catholics pray, or come to watch, or come just to lend Catholics moral support.  You don’t have to pray the rosary to attend; you only have to be in support of religious freedom for all Americans, and be willing to ask God’s help.  Catholics happen to be the largest religious denomination in the United States, and are thus able to organize, but all who support religious freedom are welcome to attend.

Why Pray? Why the Rosary?

Catholics have found the Rosary to be a particularly powerful form of prayer throughout the ages.  The victory of Christian forces which prevented the Islamic invasion of Europe at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 was attributed to Pope Pius V’s call for all of Europe to pray the rosary.  The Christian fleet was at a material disadvantage, and the Turkish fleet had superior numbers, yet the Christian fleet won.

At the hour of victory, Pope Pius V, who was hundreds of miles away at the Vatican, is said to have gotten up from a meeting, went over to a window, and exclaimed with supernatural radiance: “The Christian fleet is victorious!” and shed tears of thanksgiving to God.  – EWTN library 

The Battle of Lepanto was first celebrated liturgically as “Our Lady of Victory,” and was later renamed “Our Lady of the Rosary.”

Aside: to address some of the misinformation out there about Catholics, Catholics do not worship or deify Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ.  They simply ask her assistance in pleading with her Son Christ, much as a child might ask their mother’s intercession when they ask their father for something.  Catholics presume that Christ has a soft spot in His heart for his Mother.

Isn’t the Rosary a repetitive prayer condemned by the Bible?

Pope John Paul II: “The rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at a heart a Christ-centered prayer. It has all the depth of the gospel message in its entirety. "

No, the Rosary is not simply a repetitive prayer.  It is a complex form of meditation, in which many of the events of Christ’s life and passages from the New Testament are contemplated.  The Rosary is a prayer that gives structure to the complex series of meditations that are going on in the hearts and minds of those who are reciting the rosary.

The Bible passage most often quoted by those who object to the rosary is Matthew 6:7, which objects to “empty phrases” and to “vain repetitions.” Neither of these applies to the rosary, which is neither empty nor vain.  Jesus Christ Himself used serious repetitive prayer during the Agony in the Garden (Matthew 26:39-44) and Christ instructed people to be persistent in their prayer (Luke 18:1-8).  More information.

Americans Have Been Praying
Before this Most Recent Effort

Americans have been praying for our government for quite some time now.  Many denominations are organizing and praying; please send in prayer programs and references if you want them added to this list.  Most of my references are Catholic, since that is what I know best.

Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rallies across the U.S.

March 23, 2012 Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally, also Madison’s Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally

Madison’s novena prior to the June 8, 2012 Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally

National headcount for June 8, 2012 Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rallies

Interfaith Novena:  – 9 days of interfaith prayer leading up to the June 8, 2012 Stand Up For Religious Freedom rally.

When will the media do their job, report on these national grass roots events, and give poor me a vacation from trying to compensate for their news blackouts?

Hey, Wisconsin State Journal (and all the rest of the media out there): I searched your site for “Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally” and it came up with Your search did not yield any results.
Really. Not surprised.
We’ll include some prayers for conscientious reporting by the U.S. media tomorrow, too.

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Hat’s off to some media who do have articles on the Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rallies or Fortnight For Freedom this week:

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Catholic Free Press
National Catholic Reporter
Family Institute of Connecticut Blog
Colorado Catholic Herald
AfricanAmreicanConservatives
TheCatholic Commentator……
added : WALL STREET JOURNAL just covered Fortnight for Freedom
added: CNS News covers Forthnight for Freedom

…. mostly religious, small and/or conservative organizations.

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Boo to ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN; 160,000 people have been rallying in 161 cities across the US for religious freedom, and ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN gave us a news blackout.

Expecting a media blackout again for Fortnight for Freedom, but God plans to listen.

 

 Remember: Come to the Fortnight For Freedom, 7PM Thursday, June 21st, 2012, on the State Street steps of Wisconsin’s Capitol Building in Madison!

 

Added after the event: Some AUDIO resources for those who are interested in understanding what is in the Mandate and why the Catholic Church is concerned:

What Happens When You Take Character Out of Politics

or

The National Disease

or

Understanding the Role of Religion in Government

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“Divorcing religious faith from public life soon leads to separating government from morality and citizens from their consciences. And that leads to politics without character, which has now become a national disease.”

-Archbishop Chaput in Render Unto Caesar, p. 169.

No– nobody’s talking about violating the separation of Church and State, or the establishment of a state religion.

What is being discussed is the inclusion of principles  in government on which most citizens, and major religions, agree.  Inclusion of these principles in the Constitution and in our system of laws helps to maintain morality and justice.  The principles are not imposed from above, but result from a religious population voting their conscience to create a Constitution and to pass laws which are fair, just, and beneficial to society.

Just as the Founding Fathers of the United States practiced these principles, so, too, the 80% Christian Americans today need to think, act on, and vote these principles to maintain the system of government that was passed down to us.  We cannot sit around idly, while radicals and “progressives” progressively work to eliminate all principles of right and wrong from our government.

Biblically speaking, Christ told disciples to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, referring at least on one level, to the payment of taxes.  Archbishop Chaput points out that in 2012, paying taxes and sitting back is not sufficient.  We must inform ourselves of where politicians are steering our government, we must consult our Christian consciences, and we must take civic action to ensure that our faith, our morality and our consciences take part in the democratic process that continues to shape this nation.

We cannot fall for false and misleading demands by radicals that we guarantee freedom FROM religion in the public sphere.  We need to support freedom OF religion, which builds the politics of character and begins to cure the national disease.

Questions?

Read the book. Amazon lets you read the first chapter free.

What Happens When You Try to Divorce Religious Faith from Public Life?

Freedom FROM Religion happens. (See The Contrast.)
Politics without character happens.
It’s not a pretty sight.

Best Summer Read: Render Unto Caesar

In his book Render Unto Caesar, Archbishop Charles Chaput gives a brilliant analysis of the role of religious belief in government, which would interest any conservative and any Christian.  It’s a compelling, can’t-put-it-down read.  Who would think that our Archbishops would start turning into popular superstars?  First Cardinal Dolan, now Archbishop Chaput.

It is With Wisdom and Good Reason that the Constitution of the United States included religion in the Bill of Rights:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
– the First Amendment, Constitution of the United Sates

Read Render Unto Caesar, and start rendering unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s (and no, you don’t render money, you render your civic action). I have the Kindle copy, which is only $10.99, and works on iPhone.  Amazon lets you read the first chapter free.

To quote another great bishop,

Government needs religion because religion is the only reliable source of voluntary self-restraint.
No government can police a whole nation without the help of voluntary self-restraint. 
-(my paraphrasing of a talk given by Bishop Robert Morlino to Madison’s Future Society in 2003).

 

 

 

 

 

The Contrast

9 comments

The Contrast

Joe and Lucia Leone at Madison, WI Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally, June 8, 2012

The Photo

Last Friday, at Madison’s Stand Up For Religious Freedom rally, I snapped a photo of a friend, Joe Leone, a Madison attorney, who was one of the speakers at the rally.  He was holding his beautiful baby girl Lucia, and beaming like the proud Catholic father that he is, which is what prompted me to take the picture.  The epitome of love; parent and child. Both dressed so beautifully for the Religious Freedom Rally!

However, in reviewing my photos,  I was at first disappointed to see that the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) demonstrators (who could not bear to tolerate free speech and showed up to disrupt our rally) had snuck up behind Joe and purposely thrust their signs into our photo.  One of them even seemed to be gloating over his shoulder, directly behind him (click on picture to enlarge), proud that she had intrusively thrust her poster, which supported the Contraceptive Mandate, into my photo.

The Symbolism

And then it struck me-this was actually the most striking and beautiful picture I had taken.  Aside from the beautiful father-daughter shot, I had inadvertently captured an image epitomizing the cultural war with which we are wrestling in 2012:

  • Christianity versus “Freedom From Religion”
  • Life versus Death
  • Charity (Love) versus Self-absorption.
  • The irony of FFRF’s lack of realization that they would be unable to demonstrate here today if they themselves had been aborted.

Further examination of the photo brought up even more unexpected symbols; one of the national leaders of secularism was in the photo– Annie Laurie Gaylor, a co-President and founder of the Freedom From Religion Foundation in Madison (black T-shirt, white pants, arms raised).  Behind her, a figure which might be her mother (white shirt); co-founder of FFRF and extreme abortion advocate (proud of assisting 18, 986 women to get abortions). Two generations of women who want to kill their babies. Lucky for Annie, she made it through unaborted.

The Contrast

So here we have a Catholic father of seven beautiful children, who appreciates and loves God’s gift of life to us so much that he adopts children whose parents were unable to raise them, contrasted with those who resent the gift of life, who abort, and who militantly demand that everyone else in our nation also help to wipe out Christian teaching and promote widespread abortion.  The gloating young woman with the contraceptive mandate sign would like to force my friend, the attorney, who is in front of her, to pay for other people’s abortions, sterilizations and contraception (i.e. for the destruction of babies as precious as the one he is holding).

The sweet beautiful little Lucia, most likely to have been aborted if FFRF had had any say , now safe in the arms of a beaming loving Catholic father, safe from those who want to kill religion, to kill their own children, and who pursue the killing of babies so fanatically that they have to come to our rally to interfere with our freedom of speech and our freedom of belief.

An extremely compelling 2012 illustration of the battle between God and Satan, with human life in the balance.

Photo of the Year

If it were up to me, this photo would make the Photo of the Year.  But, of course, the mainstream media does not take marching orders from me. Not happening.  Incidentally, I’m not bragging; this photo was not planned, it was fortuitous. It is only by God’s grace that the image was captured.  And the image is not unique; the same story is lived out in the daily lives of millions who love, who defend life, who sacrifice, and who radiate the joy that this Christian lifestyle brings.

Thank you so much to my friend Joe Leone, the attorney, for providing such a beautiful example of light, love and of hope, on a beautiful day, at a beautiful rally.

More ‘Interesting’ Opponents

Dan Barker (FFRF) at Madison's Freedom From Religion Rally; and what was Dan Barker doing? Shouting rude things at children.

Present at the rally also, was another infamous member of FFRF, Dan Barker the other co-President of FFRF and husband of Annie Laurie Gaylor.  A man whose chosen work in life is to crusade around America finding public expressions of Christianity which his organization can sue.  Not a very courageous man, nor a very courageous organization; suing primarily small communities who cannot afford the litigation costs to fight FFRF, and too timid to tackle Islam.  FFRF seems to focus primarily on Catholicism (note their signs in the photo opposing Catholic Bishops), then secondarily to focus on Christianity in general.  Quite a contradiction to their claimed mission of fighting all public expressions of religion!

 

And what was Dan Barker doing at the Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally? He was shouting rude things at children.  He was shouting at them to beware of their priests.  And when the children knelt to pray, he was shouting at them to beware when they kneel down around priests.  An obvious reference to priest scandals, which hopefully the children did not understand, but a warning, nonetheless, against being harmed by their trusted priests.  And no, he was not shouting at all of the rally attendees, he specifically addressed himself, more than once, to kids –  “Kids, watch out…”

If this does not paint a sufficiently shocking picture of unprofessionalism and intentional scandalization of children to you, try imagining me going to a Madison Public middle school playground and shouting at children through the fence to beware of their gym coaches and their teachers, particularly in the locker room, because I read that Jerry Sandusky committed some unspeakable crimes in Pennsylvania. Dan Barker seems to have lost all reason and all professionalism. When he attacks Catholics, he is Barking up the wrong tree.

Incidentally, this accusation is even more unfair because the Catholic Church has actually had the lowest incidence of child abuse of any societal organization.  Children are at higher risk of sexual abuse in their own homes and in the public schools, and, statistically speaking, they are at more risk of sexual abuse from any random man in the street, than they are from Catholic priests.  And why is Dan Barker not shouting warnings at children through Madison public school playground fences?  Why is he not shouting warnings at children whom he sees with their parents? Answer: he’s probably only interested in bashing Catholicism, not any other, larger, source of potential child abuse.

People like Dan Barker and FFRF fail to recognize the essential role played by Catholic priests in our society. Their role is essential to the spiritual well-being of 25% of U.S. Citizens, and of 1 billion Catholics worldwide.  Catholics operate more service organizations, hospitals, schools, and adoption agencies than any other group.  They operate institutions like the Multicultural Center in Madison.  Think about the Multicultural Center; the Diocese of Madison (run by Bishop and priests), with an annual budget of about 4 million dollars can provide this service to the poor.  A service that the City of Madison, with an annual budget of $500 million (including schools), does not seem able or interested in supplying.  Priests give up a family life of their own to serve the families of others.  And even though there are a few bad apples among them, as there are in any group of human beings, there are fewer bad apples among priests than anywhere else.  This is what Dan Barker and FFRF appear to hate.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF)

Here are some little-known facts about FFRF:

  • FFRF is quite small- it has a staff of four and an annual income of about $500,000.
  • FFRF appears to be somewhat cowardly.  They shy away from pursuing Islam in the same way they pursue Catholics and other Christians.
  • FFRF is not representative of most atheists. Their membership constitutes approximately  0.1 of 1% of atheists in America, or only 1 out of 1,000 atheists.  Most atheists are not radical, nor intolerant.  Most atheists are happy to leave religious people alone, and they are happy to be beneficiaries of the services that religious people provide to society.  Most atheists do not spend their time pursuing and harassing others or trying to drown out their freedom of speech. Most atheists are even willing to participate in the more secular aspects of celebrating religious holidays like Christmas.  In other words, most atheists are tolerant.

Did the Whole FFRF Organization show up at the Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally?

It appears that practically the entire FFRF organization may have shown up at our Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally.  There were at least ten in their group, including Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker, co-Presidents, for sure.  Other FFRF members are less visible, but the young man I spoke with (actually, tried to speak with, but he kept interrupting me rudely and trying to put words in my mouth, so rational discussion was impossible) was probably Andrew Seidel, a new attorney who apparently joined FFRF very recently as a constitutional consultant.  If I’m not mistaken, he’s the one in the green shirt.  Green shirt’s was one of the particularly rude signs that FFRF brought to the Religious Freedom Rally  (click on photo for larger image).  The lady in the pink blouse is probably Katie Daniel, FFRF’s  accountant, who is cited on FFRF’s website as one of their few religious members, a “practicing Wiivangelical.”  Not sure whether this is her snarky reference to avid playing of Wii, or a reference to Wicca, a pagan religion which FFRF appears to favor.  Although illogical, this is not too surprising, since FFRF’s Christmas plaque refers to celebrating Winter Solstice, an ironic promotion of an alternate religion by FFRF, an organization which claims to oppose public expression of religion, and which prides themselves on their “REASON.”

Why Did FFRF show up at the Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally?

  • Was FFRF in attendance to support Religious Freedom and the Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally?
  • Was FFRF in attendance to recruit for their organization?  Among the most faithful of Catholics?
  • Was FFRF in attendance to get into the news and attract attention? (Bad move, Madison’s liberal media did not cover the event; nor did national ABC, CBS, or NBC cover any of the 158 Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rallies in 158 cities across the United States, in which over 60,000 people participated.)
  • Was FFRF in attendance to harass religious Americans?
  • Was FFRF in attendance because they enjoy harassing children?

You decide why FFRF turned out in such force (all 10 of them) at Madison’s Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally.  The only thing that was clear was that FFRF came to interfere with the freedom of speech of religious Americans.

More Examples of Apparent Hatefulness and  Unprofessionalism from FFRF

Aside: FFRF’s recruiting efforts would be better spent on the 99.9% of atheists who do not belong to FFRF, instead of pretending to target Catholics for membership.  They appear to be in dire need of fundamental marketing advice: recruiting among your opposition is not likely to be productive, nor cost-effective.

Fanaticism

This FFRF gaggle’s rude and unprofessional behavior at the Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally last week typifies the behavior of Madison’s radicals; socialists who disrupt Pro-life rallies and require police interference, unions which occupy  Madison’s Capitol Square, radicals who attempt to recall democratically elected officials and collect Mickey Mouse signatures, and radical atheists who harass children at religious freedom rallies.

Observation of these Madison radicals in action during the past year has clarified something for me; that fanatical insistence on one’s own rectitude is less a mark of those who are religious and more a mark of the secular; the secular who reach within themselves to find ultimate wisdom and ultimate authority.

Those who are religious seem better able to accept defeat, turning problems which overwhelm them over to God in prayer.  The secularists, however, have nowhere left to turn when they are defeated, having exhausted their own meager resources.   The secularists despair, begin to wallow in the hopelessness of their own inability to order the world, and turn to irrational behavior.

Their fanatically driven self-assertion leaves no room for considering the thoughts of others,  for reason, for  justice, for fairness, or for democratic rule.

Photos and News on Madison’s and 157 Other Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rallies

Slideshow of Madison’s Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally photos, and Links to news on the 158 rallies held across America, will be coming soon.  Check back.

Meanwhile, if you’re on facebook, Tom Reitz has some awesome Madison photos posted there.

 

 

 

 

One Heartbeat Away From Being President…

Vice President Joe Biden

Joe Biden, the man who thinks that matter can be made out of nothing; no soil, no fertilizer and no water:

Biden just told a high school graduating class last week: “Imagine a world in which hunger is vanquished by crops that don’t depend on soil, water, or fertilizer. ”  That world will soon be here, Biden told the students.

No soil, no fertilizer, no water

 

Now, if we can just get rid of the soil, voilà!

 

Hmmm… conservation of mass, matter cannot be created nor destroyed, 9th grade physics, no?

Well, maybe science is not his strong point…
How about economics?

Joe Biden told AARP members at a town meeting in 2009:  “We have to spend money to keep from going bankrupt.”

 

Oh, How We Love Those Liberals!

So CBS just reported: Liberals Threaten Not To Vote In November Over Disappointment With Obama.
Yes.  Liberal logic.
I am so mad that things are not going my way, that I will shoot myself in the foot and show everybody just how mad I am.

Emotional Madison Liberals trying to recall Governor Walker as his popularity continues to rise in Wisconsin

Kind of like the whole Governor Walker thing.
I am so mad that Wisconsin’s people are leaning toward conservatism, that  I will skip work, demonstrate, break laws, blow vuvuzelas in people’s ears, lie, cheat and force the whole State to go through a year of uncivilized recall misery, wasting $125-130 million (which could have employed about 2,000 people for a year) during a time of austerity and recession. This will show everybody what a temper tantrum I can throw when I cannot get my way.  I will alienate so many people, that even union member’s families will vote for Governor Walker, helping to re-elect him by a much larger margin than in his original election.

If  you shoot yourself in the foot,you do or say something  stupid which can cause serious problems for you.  For example, bad behavior like blaming people around you, annoying them by focusing exclusively on yourself, or thinking you are smarter than they are and letting them know it, can spoil a situation for yourself.

Forward, Democrats!
You are our biggest asset!
Ramp up these tactics for November!
Clearly, the beginning of a very auspicious June.
Gotta love those Liberals!

One down (Wisconsin Victory), a few more to go…. President Obama is already helping us.  People love and support their local government?  How ’bout the President shoots himself in the foot by publicly blaming and damning local governments?

Nice job! Keep it up.

 

 

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Addition:
Thanks to my friend Elizabeth, for this thank-you letter to liberals read on WSN 1130 AM this week:  Audio of the Letter to BlueFisters (click)

AFL-CIO Poster claiming to represent Wisconsin

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“BlueFisters” is a reference to union posters which have plagued Wisconsin for the past year, claiming to stand for Wisconsin, while actually standing for unions and their tactics.

 

Text of the Taxpayer’s Letter to BlueFisters:

To all leftists, occupiers, unionistas and malcontents,

Thank you! What an election! We couldn’t have done it without you. Without your tantrums, outbursts and boorish behavior we might have stayed home for this election. Without your filthy, pot smoking hemp -headed minions occupying and violating the Capitol we might have been complacent. Without your obnoxious protests, boycotts and other actions from your union playbook, we might have sat this one out.

But you couldn’t hold back. You couldn’t restrain yourselves and behave like adults. You couldn’t accept the 2010 election results. We sat and watched as you erupted in a juvenile hissy fit that embarrassed Wisconsin. The spectacle you created is what motivated us. And thanks to your ill-mannered behavior, we won. We turned out. Big time! And now we are organized and energized. Committed. “All in”. And we aren’t going away. We now have our own organizations (no dues required), an army of volunteers and the means to communicate. And countless new sources of funding, including a donor base from all 50 states. And we have “iverifythe recall” to ferret out your infiltrators in our future local elections.

So thank you Mike Tate, Graeme Zielinski, Fred “Loonie” Levenhagen, Ismael Ozanne, Maryanne Sumi, Noble Ray, Charles Tubbs, Joanne Kloppenberg, Segway Boy, John Chisolm, public employee union members, UW TA’s, WEAC, SEIU, MTI, AFSCME Council 24 in Union Grove and WI prison guards,. Thanks for the death threats, the intimidation, the bullying, belligerence, thuggery and goonish behavior. The lack of ethics and the failure to enforce rules and laws. Thank you for putting your selfish, greedy motives on display for all taxpayers to see.

Your antics might have made you feel good but they didn’t make you look good. They sickened the rest of us.

Thank you Shirley Abrahamson and Ann Walsh Bradley. Your petty politics woke us up. Thanks you Miles Kristan for dumping the beer on Robin Vos’s head. Thank you University doctors for writing the phony excuses; Madison teachers for calling in sick or dragging your students to the protests without permission. Thank you Katherine Windels for making death threats against the Governor. The noontime capitol singers who taunted Sheboygan high school students. Thank you WEA Trust for raping Wisconsin taxpayers. Thank you Gwen Moore for your embarrassing minstrel show. And thanks all of you for harassing the Walker family at their private home.

You have all been exposed. Your tactics have been rejected. Your bad behavior has been forever captured on You Tube.

Thank you Peter Barca and fellow Assembly members for donning your foolish orange T-shirts and screaming “shame” at legislators just doing their jobs.

Thank you Mark Miller and all 14 senators for fleeing the state and making fools of yourselves in the process. Illinois need a few more village idiots. Thanks for showing us what democracy doesn’t look like.

And Mayor Barrett. How grateful we are that you chose one low road after another in your issue-less campaign against the Governor. This was your strike three. You are out. Take a seat on the bench and stay there. I have a hunch this was your final at-bat.

All of you helped turn Wisconsin permanently red. Your Governor, Scott Walker, will not just complete his first term, he is all but assured as many future terms as he seeks. He will be your governor for a long, long time. Get used to it. And his national “rock star” status just might lead him to be your President some day. Just think, it couldn’t have happened without you! So to all of you blue fisters, thank you from the bottom of my happy, red heart.

Sincerely,

A Wisconsin taxpayer

 

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